Are You a Narcissist? Is Our Entire World Full of Narcissists?

Lorrance Herring
25 min readMar 5, 2020

I am fascinated by narcissists. Why? I believe I am surrounded by them, and since I can’t escape them, I might as well study them and do my best to get along with them. I’ve been studying narcissists most of my life, even before I was old enough to marry one. Yes, I married a narcissist who was raised by a couple of narcissists. Good thing I was developed a great sense of humor.

Narcs believe the world revolves around them and everyone else is just props, extras, and there to use and then toss aside when finished with them. Narcs have no capacity for empathy, and can sometimes even develop a sense of pleasure from other people’s pain or demise. Hardcore narcs make life and death decisions over other people’s existence and can commit violence, rape, torture, and even murder. They enjoy the sense of power and control they have over other people’s lives.

Many narcs believe they are God, or a direct voice of God. Look at the leader of Jonestown, Spawn Ranch, or any other leader with mindless followers. Many narcs are very charismatic and charming…at least at first.

My grade school and small town was saturated with narcissists and narcissists in the making. By the time Middle School came around, certain narcissists were well established in the social circles forming in our constructed world. I stepped back and became an observer, and began making mental notes. Yes, even as a child.

I wasn’t allowed to participate in very much, but I was allowed to observe. I was supposed to be set aside and anointed as one of God’s chosen martyrs. Like, that isn’t a set-up to attract narcissists. Narcissists love people who give up their own self-agency and submit to their commands and directives.

Children were often asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” The answers ranged from “President,” to “Teacher,” to “Superman,” to something as humble as a “rock star.” As a little girl, I aimed to become a “ballerina,” and a mother.

There were the popular kids who were voted most likely to be famous, successful, yadda, yadda, yadda…usually, they were the children of the narcissists who were in charge of the school and our small town. The big names in our little society who usually called the shots.

Local “fame” and “upstanding citizens”…who were often later caught in fraud, embezzlement, extra-marital affairs, blatant lies, or illicit drug use. What small town doesn’t have that story? Hypocritical narcissists were everywhere.

Even my best friend was a narcissist. She loved being in the spotlight and she loved being in charge.

She stole my idea for a homework assignment in the fifth grade: a complete story with illustrations. Ironically, she went off to become a teacher as an adult. She was a narcissistic thief who got away with a lot of bad behavior. She might not have realized how deeply she offended me, but that’s typical of a narcissist.

In fact, most of the people who have used me, offended me, or hurt me in my lifetime have never apologized to me. They just do their damage and move on in life to become happy and successful. Sometimes, they even take relationships away from me, leaving me feeling abandoned and alone, picking up the scraps while trying to piece myself back together.

I just seem to be a magnet for them.

Most of the narcissists in my life actually expect me to apologize to them for hurting their feelings, moving away, trying to grow and learn about our world, and making a lot of mistakes by trusting abusive narcissists along the way. That’s ironic.

Some narcissists who are very good at hiding their narcissism have even pointed their fingers at me, accusing me of the very behavior of which they are guilty. They have even gone as far as brainwashing my own children against me by using blatant lies about what kind of person I am. That is very sad.

Many of the school kids back in the 1970’s and 80’s spread rumors about the teachers they didn’t like..the Middle School P.E. teacher who watched the girls shower was apparently a lesbian, even though she was married and had children. The High School English teacher was having an affair on her basketball coach husband with one of the school counselors. The popular daughter of one of the favorite High School teachers had an abortion. She was too young to be a mother; her baby was deformed because she took diet pills to try and hide her pregnancy; and she was headed to college.

Small-town minds talked about small-town dramas, even if some of them weren’t true. All of the rumors that were spread around town, like so much fertilizer, were supposed to be shocking, or horrifying. Florence. Oregon stank to high heaven with Narcissism. I’m sure God could smell the aroma of everyone’s bullshit.

Boys picked on girls and called them names. I was called a “heifer” by a very cute narcissist. I had a young crush on him, then he crushed my self-image. I had so many kids and adults picking on my last name of “Herring” that today, I am the one who makes “fishy” jokes about it. Damned! Some days I wanted to just jump off the Siuslaw Bridge and get my life over with before I even had a chance to do anything with it.

My wise father told me to walk away from narcissistic bullies and backstabbing gossipers. But, he didn’t use the word “narcissistic.” He called them “mean,” “insecure,” and “full of themselves.” He told me they had to pick on other people to make themselves feel better. I didn’t realize then, that he was actually talking about most lawyers and judges, and most adults found in churches, bars, schools, and comedy clubs. Not all, but most.

Today, I feel mean and full. I mean and empty. Today, I feel defeated and depleted. I’m so fed up with certain people’s opinions and attitudes that I am fed up! I’m even fed up with the feds, the federal government, and the behavior of our president.

The reason? Hmmm…it might be complex. Like a syndrome or a complex. I live in a progressive society largely full of of uneducated people riddled with fear and opinions of people they don’t understand or trust. Or respect. I am often disrespected by narcissists merely because I am a middle-aged woman with a quick wit and a sharp tongue. My sense of humor can run on the dark side. I can even paint pictures with words that can scare people…but, I have a good heart and aim to live in peace with others.

I didn’t realize that some people grow up and make a living at being a narcissist. They actually do become world famous, live double-lives, have open affairs, never apologize or admit mistakes, and act one way in private and another way in public. We can see that behavior over and over in the lives of the rich and famous. We can see that behavior in the average Jane and John Doe who generally want to remain respectfully anonymous.

I know of “respectful” judges who go to the Oregon Country Fair and hob-nob with druggies and sex-offenders on their off time. I know of “respectful” lawyers who tell blatant lies about decent, but imperfect, people and then go out and party it up with other lawyers, drink too much alcohol, and do the exact same behaviors for which they look down their noses at other people while in front of a judge, just doing their jobs. They get paid a lot of money to be professional narcissists and “big bullies.”

I know of social workers who do more damage to the families in our society than they do good…and they also make a lot of money doing it, too! Then, they give themselves a pat on the back, ride off into the sunset on their motorcycle, and think nothing of the traumatized people left in their wake.

I know these things first hand, because I wake up traumatized every morning now. I have had my character decimated in a smear campaign by my ex-narcissist and his lawyer following a very damaging marriage which left behind several children bereft of the mother they deserved and should have been able to see successfully overcome the effects of being slowly poisoned by a delusional lie: Drinking alcohol won’t change the behavior of a narcissistic abuser, it will only give the narc yet another reason to emotionally beat up their target.

People who become addicted to alcohol are vulnerable to the emotional turbulence caused by feeling emotions a little deeper than most others. Sometimes, the gene that causes an allergic reaction to alcohol is in the inherited DNA of the alcoholic and it is not their fault that their body builds up a tolerance and a craving for what can only be described as a powerful and baffling chemical.

Teenagers will speculate about other people just as much as adults. By the time I reached high school, certain reputations of minors had already formed the lives and outcomes of our future society. One really handsome boy was already showing up at school drunk most days. One of my good friends had an affair with a married man who worked for the fire department. The affair was hushed. His life wasn’t ruined by going to jail or prison. The fireman was a narcissist who took advantage of my friend’s young age and need for male approval.

Another friend of mine had a girlfriend a year younger than him. They broke up after he turned eighteen. She was still a minor and her parents suddenly decided to smack him with charges that gave him a “sex offender” record. I thought that was cruel since they were fine with the age difference as long as the two were together and got along. Welcome to the adult world.

That kind of hypocritical, double-standard behavior was all over my small home-town.

Narcissists are always the biggest victims you will ever meet! They will become afraid of their targets once their target is no longer afraid of them. After they are done abusing their target, they will often call the police on them and try to bury their own abusive behavior behind an agenda to smear the reputation and even destroy their target’s mental health beyond repair. If a narcissist is given too much power and control, they can actually get away with causing their target to go “crazy” by gas-lighting and engaging in bait and switch, table turning techniques. My ex-husband has done that to me for more years than I can recall, causing me to doubt my sense of reality and sanity, while distorting facts to manipulate his agenda.

In my case, no matter what I do, it is used against me by my ex-narc and my adult children who have aligned themselves with him. In his eyes, every move I make must have an evil intent…even wanting to take my children out for lunch or ice cream. He is a paranoid man, riddled with fears and delusional thoughts of “everyone is out to do me in, and is working against me.”

Sometimes, narcs are also the most covert predators you will ever meet as well. My ex-husband fits almost every item on check-list above…and, so does President Trump. Fascinating. My ex wanted to make me “perfect” for him back in the day, and the President wants to “Make America Great Again.” Perfect.

The clueless judge slapped me down and believed a bunch of hearsay while telling me to “continue to improve myself” even though that is what I have been doing all along! What kind of lesson does that teach my children about how the world we live in works? Bullies and narcs get rewarded? I guess.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to sit these people down in chairs and give them a face-to-face opportunity to pow-wow and problem solve with me and some of my girlfriends about how to deal with communication disorders, social issues involving the impoverished, and respect of women and mothers who are citizens of our “great” country! We could talk for hours about politics, religion, sex and how they impact our families and our society. I have several male friends and transgender friends who have been scapegoated unfairly, who might also like to chime in as well.

I would love to get my family to just communicate again, even if none of us are “perfect,” (my ex-narc could give Trump lessons on how to outdo the cold war and bring back the iron curtain just by claiming to be afraid of educated women).

In fact, I have some “nasty” girlfriends, male friends, and LGBTQ+ friends in my society who would LOVE to tell our narcissistic “leaders” and “dictators” exactly what we think of the example they are setting for our younger generation to follow…elite narcissists are usually so out of touch with everyday reality, that they exist in an alternate delusional la-la land where everybody poops rainbows and pees lemonade…and, the fall-out is detrimental to a lot of people living on the fringes of society.

I know a lot of people living on the fringes of society hanging in there for dear life. Some feel vulnerable due to their skin color or cultural identity. We are the losers and we all have quite a few gripes to express. We are struggling to succeed in life and help those in need also succeed, but our resources are limited!

Being able to afford housing is an issue in Oregon. People with mental health and addiction issues are rising as the cost of living also rises. Stress can cause both to kick into play as people lose hope or go through so much stress and trauma that they will turn to anything to alleviate their suffering.

Some of my gentle, but creative and misunderstood friends have been so traumatized by mainstream conservative thinkers, that they are afraid of going out of their houses very often due to being targeted and abused.

Sex trafficking homeless people is an issue in Oregon. I’ve talked to some women who have been taken from a position of being married and a mother of children, to that of becoming homeless and vulnerable to sex traffickers, all due to divorcing their narcissist. That is a sad, and completely avoidable situation, if the judges in my county were not also non-empathetic narcissists.

Blaming victims of crimes, and lying about good, decent human beings is an issue in Oregon. In Oregon, the rich and the powerful are all narcissists who help create traumatizing events due to the mistakes they make in judging others for the same exact behaviors they engage in, but aren’t very proud of admitting. Some of the elite in Oregon actually take advantage of the most vulnerable among us. I know these things. I was taken advantage of while incapacitated in the hospital and it has forever changed my outlook on life.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a good, decent human being with no intention to harm others, but rather want to live in peace and safety. I also know that I am perfectly capable of telling the difference between a head and a door hinge while removing the pintle with a hammer. I do know how to handle certain construction tools as I have some experience in renovating houses. I also can write poetry with a degree in Creative Writing. Plus, I can cook up a storm of healthy food that actually tastes good, and hold a calm and pleasant conversation with people who are reasonable. Imagine that.

I was painted as someone who is so “dangerous” that I need to be watched like a hawk when around my children. That is beyond preposterous, but, it sure makes someone money and it sure makes for a sensational story. It also sure causes me to lose sleep at night and deal with daily PTSD symptoms concerning what is really going on with my children and their mental and emotional state. Are they even aware of what was said about their mother? Does my daughter really think I am a monster?

Wow. Just, wow. If that is true then my mind is blown away along with all of my money used to renovate a house for my kids. I love my children and want what is best for them!

I just don’t have enough money to pay back all of my debt to society for lying to me, lying about me, and expecting me to donate more blood than I already have donated in my lifetime. I am just not yet that successful in charging people what I’m likely worth per hour. I am still reeling from the trauma of being thrown under the proverbial bus.

So, I know one too many narcissists where I live, and they all live double-lives. They are often successful. They show up one way at work, but have a very different “off work” lifestyle and engage in activities that could get them arrested if the vice police were anywhere around! Maybe, I could become an undercover officer and report to the authorities whenever I get wind of certain people over-indulging in certain bad habits or “legal” but possibly unethical behaviors.

Narcissists are hypocrites…they are the “Christians” and “Catholics” and “Self-important” people who will teach children to make healthy choices, but use illegal drugs, or even legal drugs, and engage in “adult” activities that would make most all of polite society cringe if they were exposed. Narcissists actually engage in sex and sometimes let loose when no one is “looking.” Some “Christians” even get caught in affairs and sexual “sins”. Imagine that.

In Lane County Oregon, many narcissists watch over our children as they torture and traumatize their mothers…and, often the mothers can’t do anything to stop them, because it takes a lot of money to fight a broken social system run by hypocrites and narcissists. And, unfortunately, women are still often paid less, or nothing, for the work they do. Especially, if they are housewives and stay-at-home mothers.

Every society has its secrets. Every society has its issues.

One of the biggest “secret” issues I see in Oregon is the mental health issues of people who have been traumatized at the hands of narcissists. People in positions of power who have no sympathy for people living at or below the poverty line…or, for people who have gone through traumatic brain injuries, or a series of traumatic experiences beginning in their childhood. Narcissism can be a form of survival for some people…especially people who truly are victims of circumstances beyond their control. I know some narcs who were brain damaged while still in the womb. Their brain is actually just wired differently than others.

You can’t stop certain narcissists from telling lies and believing they are the truth. I know these things. I was married to a cruel and sadistic narcissist for twenty years, and it’s not his fault. Nothing is ever his fault. It’s always someone else’s fault. He learned to be a narcissist from his mother and his step-father…and, I played right into his hands.

I was crazy enough to think that I could “save” him by hauling him into church and becoming a “perfect” Madonna wife and mother. What he really wanted was a trophy wife to hang on his arm and adore his every fart and pimple. He really wanted someone to help him be successful, and so I tried. But, I eventually got tired of making excuses for his ridiculous behavior. Maybe, he got tired of my ridiculous behavior. Maybe, we both could have done better.

I do know we both could have done a hell of a lot worse! I know these things. I talk to other women. I am thankful I got the narc I did. He at least never broke any of my bones, and I believe in his own controlling way, he loved me and wanted to keep me safe. So, much, he got very angry when he couldn’t.

He has since found a new partner who is a much better match for his bullying ways, and they have ganged up to decimate my life, and my dignity, to the point of a complete and total break down. I’m broke from going to school and court while trying to renovate an old farmhouse. I’m brokenhearted from spending years trying to take on the whole world and failing to stand up to my ex years ago while my children were still young and we were first divorced.

I can’t go back and undo anything. I can only continue to move forward and hopefully help others avoid some of the same mistakes I made. Or, encourage them to listen to their intuition and pursue their positive dreams. Even if they run into some nightmare situations along the way.

I now enjoy talking about all the mistakes I’ve made. I’ve made so many mistakes, it’s a miracle I’m alive…in fact, this article probably has a ton of mistakes in it. I’ve got so much to protest about, it’s a miracle I’m not in jail or prison.

I’ve also had some random events occur to me that makes the thought of living with my abusive ex-narc look like a cake-walk around the Monopoly game board! When someone else’s behavior from one brief interaction is more traumatizing than twenty years of a progressively toxic marriage, you know you have reached a place where it is much easier to forgive and let offenses float away under the bridge in the sea of intentional forgetfulness.

Over here in Oregon, “crazy” is normal…and, I have found that comedy is the ONLY way to deal with the “crazies”…especially the potentially dangerous “crazies” who have some serious mental health issues, emotional health issues, substance abuse issues, sexual abuse issues, financial abuse issues, childhood abuse issues, and even religious abuse issues…Oregon is riddled with issues and rife with narcissists all up and down the ladder of society.

Oregon is so full of victims…and so full of big, fat narcissistic bullies who shove their victims around, and then turn around and tell people in authority that they are “afraid” of their target, that we actually reward the biggest “victims” by taking almost everything away from the most vulnerable and giving it to the narcissist who feels entitled to just rape, pillage, cheat, steal, and plunder every last shred of a person’s life…including their human dignity. I know these things. Personally. It is a hard pill to swallow.

It is a lot of work to forgive myself for allowing myself to be used as such a target and treated so horribly. It is not a good example to set for my own daughters or sons in how they should be treated themselves. Their mother deserves better treatment. Nobody should be raped. Nobody should be violently tackled to the street. Nobody should be described as a violent person when they are not.

I have been in front of dictators and aggressive bullies who deal with PTSD, asking for forgiveness for accidentally offending them and their sense of “honor” and “entitlement” as I was innocently joking around. How am I supposed to know what will set someone off? Damned! I have some acquaintances that cause me to feel like I’m walking on eggshells when around them…just like my ex-narcissistic husband made me feel during our marriage. He could say whatever he wanted about who ever he wanted, and if you didn’t agree with him, there was something wrong with YOU…not him.

I have had thousands of conversations with friendly narcissists who will be interested in discussing a topic reasonably and calmly, but will suddenly become provoked and get in my face because I hit a “hot button” and they didn’t like what they heard come out of my mouth. That is always a shock to my senses. It causes me to not trust other people very much.

I once lived with a woman with so much PTSD that it was almost impossible to know what might incite her to rage or give her a PTSD flashback of being brutally traumatized. I still think about her and her partner and hope they are doing better, but I personally couldn’t continue to live with them and their lifestyle. It was way too stressful for me.

But, living for twenty years with my ex-husband prepared me for being able to help her and her partner in my home for eight months. It wasn’t easy. Our drama spilled out into my whole neighborhood. Growing up with my emotionally unstable and mentally challenging brother helped prepare me for living with her narcissistic, schizophrenic, and autistic partner who was also dealing with major PTSD. His need to be waited on hand and foot because he didn’t know how to do much of anything to operate normally in a house reminded me a tiny bit of all the years of serving my demanding ex-husband and my helpless children. It also reminded me of my mother still tying my brother’s shoes for him when he was in middle school.

My poor mother practically worshiped my brother. But, I understand why. She lost her first son when he died at the age of seven. I practically worship my children; their lives are sacred to me. It feels like my ex-narc is punishing me by withholding them from me; he has been given that much power and control over our family and his delusional version of who I am becomes their belief system. I am certain he knows what he is doing. That, or he is just cruel and psychologically damaged by his own unusually traumatic past.

That can happen. Children grow up to live what they learn.

While this other man lived in my home with his partner, the name of the game was, “make Satan happy,”….hmmm. That was an interesting experience, since I had already been studying religious archetypes and narcissism found in poetry and the Bible while I was at the University.

The name of the game when I lived with my ex-narc was, “make Daddy happy.” If you didn’t make Daddy happy, and do exactly as you were told, you would definitely get punished harshly. But, if you jumped through enough hoops and made enough slam dunks, you got rewarded. My children and I did our very best to pivot around that one man…the Patriarch of our family. He was like the Godfather, the Top Dog, and the Head Coach all rolled into one package of bright and shining fame!

In a small-town sort of way. In an average, common, nothing earth-shattering sort of way. We weren’t plotting and planning a world take over, or creating a new world order or anything. I mean, narcissists have ruled the world since the world began and we began to build castles and walls, and elected presidents and kings.

But, when my Lord and King of our small castle began to slam me up against the wall, I decided I couldn’t live that way anymore. The only way out was out.

Anti-depressants didn’t change his behavior when I was married to him. I took anti-depressants and he was still a narcissistic dictator! Imagine that. Today, my doctor suggests that I consider taking an anti-depressant again since I’m dealing with depression from being oppressed by him again. Doctor’s prescribe an anti-depressant like it’s some magic pill that will transform my ex-narc, and his new partner, into decent human beings with some sympathy and mercy towards me, my new partner, and my precious children’s future.

They are delusional nut-jobs who believe I have plans to somehow harm them, even though I do not. I have bigger fish to fry in Oregon’s shark infested waters than to ever harm my children or someone my children love. I am able to forgive people who have harmed me to the point of not having anything else to give except forgiveness. They will have to forgive me for not being able to fix their lies and their inability to admit mistakes. They will have to forgive me for speaking and writing about my opinions and experiences of those who have helped shape our broken society.

Is there a magic pill to fix narcissism and self-induced paranoia?

I drank the alcohol my ex-narc brought home for me and that just gave him more reasons to beat me up emotionally and take advantage of me physically. He never held a gun to my head and forced me to drink, but I discovered that there isn’t enough peppermint schnapps in the world to fix that man! Drinking alcohol after being someone’s emotional punching bag is like drinking poison, hoping the other person will feel how much they hurt you. They won’t. They won’t feel anything for you and your drinking except how to use it to their advantage.

A Narcissist is a damaged human who will take anything and everything you do and turn it around to make you look bad and themselves look good. They are excellent gas-lighters and manipulators…and, they usually take advantage of the weak, the inexperienced, the naive, and the clueless.

Church didn’t help, in fact, the self-proclaimed “direct voice of God himself” pastors groomed me to submit to his over-the-top demands and set me up for his gas-lighting techniques that gave him the upper hand in everything during our marriage. In fact, he STILL has the upper hand to this day, due to separation of church and state. Church and state work hand in hand with each other to throw certain people away after they are used up and drained of all resources trying to fix a broken family led by a delusional narcissist.

So, “Thanks God! Thanks for at least leaving me with a sense of humor, because I’ve been raped of all my other senses!”

Neighbors didn’t help me…they were aware of his cruel behavior, but “good neighbors” don’t get involved, or confront an abusive narcissist…especially when he can flip on the charm and either act like he’d done nothing wrong, or play the “victim” and point his finger at his victim.

Police didn’t help me. They helped him. Narcissists often attract other narcissists. My ex-narc became friends with some police officers, all the while abusing me and his family behind the closed walls of our house.

Police didn’t help my children learn to respect me, and they didn’t protect me from getting lied about in court. In fact, quite often police officers are so narcissistic, they will make assumptions about a person without even knowing what they are saying. Police are just fallible humans doing a job that gives them lots of opportunity to play God over other people’s lives. Police also spread rumors about people that aren’t true. They are gossipers.

My children love their Daddy and they should. They wouldn’t be here without him. I wouldn’t be writing about narcissism without him. Everyone should love my ex-narc, because at least he didn’t kill me…and, he only threatened to run me and our baby off the road…he didn’t actually do it.

Thank goodness I never have to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while he is driving again. And, I trust that he would never actually harm one of our children intentionally…even though, his erasure of their mother is psychologically damaging to them as well as to myself.

But, narcissists don’t care. They have no sympathy or empathy. They usually just want money and power, fame and glory. Kind of like Trump.

Of course, my ex blames me for every failure we experienced during our twenty year marriage, while he takes the credit for any success. He’s the “taker” and I’m the “giver.” He points the finger of “blame” and I’m his target. He’s also teaching our children to erase me as they climb the small-town “social ladder” of success and glory. But, I’m not the first parent erased following a divorce with a narcissist, and I’m sure I won’t be the last.

My ex is one of the biggest control-freaks I’ve ever had the privilege of being held hostage in a unhealthy Stockholm Syndrome, verbally toxic relationship that was sinking faster than the Titanic. And, I can remember the grandiose idealizations he had. Our entire marriage was centered around making sure he won at everything he put his hands to in our small, but competitive, town, where everyone knew our business.

Narcissists are often obsessive sports fanatics and will go to any lengths to win. If they can’t be the best, they will try and make their own children the best. Narcissists often try and live vicariously through their children, instead of allowing their children to choose their own interests and activities. For some children, living under the shadow of a narcissist can make them miserable…for others, it can cost them their lives. Look at Kobe Bryant and his daughter’s example. Chasing after fame cost them their already famous lives.

Back in the day, when my ex-narc and I would take our not famous children out into public, we made quite a small town impression of a big, happy family. The big proud rooster leading the way; the mother hen trying to catch up with all of her little chickadees in tow.

At home, we worked our asses off to please our leader so he wouldn’t explode over something when he was throwing one of his tantrums. He began to throw tantrums full of rage almost every day toward the end of our marriage. He became addicted to rage, getting what he wanted in an instant, and treating his family like a bunch of servants. I became addicted to trying to escape into anything that would help me deal with his myriad of issues and rules to follow.

Narcissists are dictators at heart. They like the power and control they get when others are under their leadership. They enjoy ordering others around. They enjoy withholding rewards as a form of punishment. Narcissists are often dog owners. That doesn’t mean that all dog owners are evil narcissists, but some narcissists will treat a mother like a human puppy mill. Then, they will find other narcissists who will agree with their attitude and an entire lifetime of love and work can be snatched away and given to the narcissist and his family of origin who used to call women names like “slut,” and “bitch,” while engaging in behaviors that one could only laugh at because the very word they used to describe others, were the very behaviors of which they themselves were guilty!

As parents, we thought maybe our sons and daughter would grow up and become something more than we had the chance to do or become. And, they are. I am proud of my children. I have the right to be. They are all doing quite well, in spite of living in the shadow of such a great father and such a failure of a mother.

I have made so many mistakes in my lifetime, I am not sure where to begin unraveling them all! Maybe marrying a two-faced man when I was 19 was one of the biggest mistakes I made…but, then again, if I hadn’t made that “mistake” I wouldn’t have the eight beautiful children I gave birth to…and not ONE of them was a mistake! They were all WANTED and LOVED…

Maybe, most men are narcissists, even if they are “nobodies” in this great, big, wide, world!

I am convinced that I am alive today because I took a HUGE risk, threw myself out into the world and managed to work myself almost to death making one mistake after the other. I admit I did not aim for fame and fortune when I aimed to get an English Degree. I aimed to do what I love. I aimed to be a happier person, a better mother, and a writer and a teacher.

I also aimed to meet a partner who might be a better match for me than my narcissistic husband of twenty years. That has been a challenge. My current husband has some narcissistic tendencies. But, at least he can admit it. I can admit my own as well.

I have had to separate myself from some narcissists because they want me to jump on their bandwagon and begin a political revolution that involves violence. I do not like violence. I prefer comedy. I prefer keeping intense emotions to the page and the theater stage. Those are much healthier outlets than getting caught up in a mob mentality where real live people can get hurt or even killed.

I’ve had to take long breaks from people with narcissism and autism, or even Asperger’s…they are exhausting for me to be around for too long. Some have mental health disorders that impact the way they communicate and they expect other people to either read their minds or let them talk for hours on end without interruptions. They get their feelings easily hurt and they can get offended over the smallest little things. And, if you offend them even without realizing it, they will edit you out of their lives permanently.

So, I’m basically a nobody who lives in a small town in Hicksville, Oregon….where some of the most famous people in the world reside. I’m trapped in an alternate reality that I didn’t sign up for when I first moved here. But, this county has been my home for over half a century. Oregon is not for the faint of heart…the only way to survive is learning to roll with the punches…sometimes, literally. Some punches are gut-punches. Some are complete bowel obstructions.

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Lorrance Herring

Oregon born, Bardass Poet, Bat-Shit Crazy Stand-Up Comedian, Entertaining Social Activist, Mamadadaist Artist of 8 kids, Weirdo Wonder Woman, Narc Researcher