We’ve been talking a lot about the destruction or perversion of values brought on by woke and their (im)moral landscape. We all appear to be worried about that, for good reason, because we can feel the menticide and erosion. But honestly we all mean quite different things when we use those words.
Most people don’t really know what their real motivating values are; they absorb nice-sounding externally provided values, overlaying those ideas onto themselves, incorporating them into the self-concept, (“this is who I am, this is what I believe to be important’), while having no sense of their own internal inconsistencies with those stated values.
Values aren’t really something you take in and live up to. They are something you discover inside, and work on transforming.
Our subconscious minds are already chock full of values, rules, standards, beliefs about how one ought to be, most of us know nothing about. These unconscious concepts (formed in childhood, formed naively and incorrectly) govern our lives and behavior, our wishes and desires, our political opinions, and we have absolutely no idea what they are. We are, in a sense, at the mercy of their programming (not some external controller, but the internal one).
So the work is to go inside and find them, to bring them to awareness, to discover them, to see their structure and function, to understand how they condition us to be and act in particular ways, and then, if they are out of proper balance, to work on realignments.
(Spoiler: they are always out of proper balance in myriad ways, and always need lots and lots of adjustment work. We call this character-building work, or spiritual work, or transformational inner work.).
Narcissistic abuse and recovery forces us to confront this topic of inner values, primarily because narcissists and other disordered types manipulate, distort, and pervert internal values, all outside of conscious awareness. And the less self-aware you are about your motivating values, the more susceptible you are to their abuse.
Narcissists push buttons inside of us we don’t know we have, all in an effort to get us to see ourselves more clearly and honestly.
All of narcissistic value destruction is done subconsciously, by implication, by shame and psychological coercion, almost in a pavlovian way, conditioning us to believe we must behave in certain ways, or else. Or else!! That’s the key – they force us to embody their preferred values, (never directly stating what they are, just to keep us destabilized), and we spend our lives on eggshells trying to live up to these fraudulent, misbalanced, dubious, spiritually bankrupt images of what they have determined it means to be a good person.
Is this starting to sound like woke to you?
So we need to talk about those values and their narcissistic perversions, which every recovering codependent will recognize. Naming them, bringing them to awareness, helps us to see where undue unconscious moral pressure is being applied, and how to counter it.
I’m going to post some of the values/moral concepts that arise in narcisstic abuse recovery, so that we can start talking about them more deeply, and recognizing when they are being specifically triggered by woke (on a societal level) and others. Again, these are the broad strokes internal definitions of what being a “good” person means, as it becomes defined implicitly by narcissistic abuse. We must bring these implied standards to the surface, see them, and recalibrate them to healthier, more balanced understandings.
1. Total self-sacrifice – always giving until depleted, never taking.
2. No boundaries – physical or psychological, never say no.
3. Self-silencing/conflict avoidance/be the bigger person – tolerate everything.
4. Anxious perfectionism, because no forgiveness for mistakes
5. Excessive & total self-blame – everything is always your fault; always apologize.
6. Excessive guilt & compensatory demands – they are doing you a favor w/ their time/attention, you’re lucky to have them; you owe them.
7. Acquiescence to interpersonal domination w/o defense.
8. Always provide empathy/sympathy, never questioning victimhood nor offering solutions
9. Sentimentality & sentimental displays as virtue, but no room for any real negative emotions.
10. Never confronting, demanding accountability, nor criticizing.
11. Toxic shame, dimunition of worth/dignity, endless demands for modesty, excessive humility, smallness.
12. Constant accusations, demanding explanations or justifications of intent/character
13. Your feelings/needs/wishes must be sacrificed for those of others, you must always yield and compromise to let them have their way.
14. Never question obvious falsehoods, and never display any certainty nor confidence in your position – you’ll be wrong one way or another.
15. You’re never allowed to be the victim, never allowed to be hurt by anything, never allowed to receive an apology. (Your pain is always less than that of others, always dwarfed by some greater suffering elsewhere.). They are never the abuser, you are always at fault either for hurting them or causing your own pain.
16. Moral double binds – damned if you do, damned if you don’t, causing intense turmoil and moral paralysis
17. Double standards – you must abide by every rule they set out for you, or suffer the consequences. But they won’t abide by any rules at all, and never suffer consequence.
18. In a slightly deeper psychological sense – you aren’t allowed to exist as a seperate individual self, with independent ideas or beliefs (or God forbid disagreements). You are only an extension of them, a lesser then part, and only a servant of their goals and demands.
19. You must be a bottomless well of generosity – of your time, your attention, your space, your financial resources, your energy, & your spiritual generosity (forgiveness and charitable interpretations/benefits of the doubt).
20. You must be unconditionally loving, unconditionally accepting, unconditionally supportive and approving, never judging a single thing, never getting angry, never disapproving of them or their actions or choices.
21. Everyone is welcome; everyone is included; doors open to all – discerning and excluding toxic abusers (to keep actual vulnerable people safe) is not allowed.
22. You have no right to emotional/psychological privacy – you must disclose everything you think/feel, always.
23. They are allowed to hate you; you are never allowed to hate them. (Their hatred is valid, your hatred is not.).
24. You are responsible for managing the emotional state of your abuser. If you say/do something innocuous, and they get triggered, you are to blame. You are always the cause of their triggers and must suffer the fallout.