Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Better than Me

What do you do when you finally realize that the woman you have been married to for the past forty years just can't find it in herself to overcome the fact that she has to be better than who you actually are? What do you do when it's not just her, when it's also the people she respects more than any other people in the world - her family - her mother, her father, her brothers, her sons, her daughter, her church friends and leaders, her spiritual friends? Where does that leave you?
Do you remain her disdained subordinate?
She can't change who she is. She can't. And you are who you are. You'll never be what she thinks you should be or could have been. She has a deep personal need to be more than you, to be above you looking down. She can't change who she is and you are who you are. And any suggestion that there's something that she and you need to talk about is stonewalled.
So what do you do?
What do you do when you have no place else to go and she won't leave?

Disdain for the Mundane

Two days left in the year 2018 counting today. 2019 is the year I turn seventy if I live that long.
I write here not with the authority of post-graduate education or a long practice in the field of therapy but from personal experience, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for over forty years.

I just pinned an index card on the door to my bedroom. This door opens from the kitchen so the note will be hard to ignore. The card has this written on it, "Disdain for the mundane".

Well, not exactly, I write most notes in all caps, so it's more like:




Hard to miss... I used a black Sharpie.

Google that term and you mostly get a film titled "Disdain the Mundane". Or here's a link to a sticky note that seems to reinforce what I think most people feel about the mundane side of life. The message seems to be it's a positive thing in your life when you have disdain for the mundane things in life, in other words, avoid the mundane side of life. Make your life exciting!


The definition of the noun use of the word "disdain" is expressed well in the Merriam Webster online dictionary:
"a feeling of contempt for someone or something regarded as unworthy or inferior"
The key here is that disdain is a feeling directed outward towards an object which can be either a person or a thing.
When you are seeking to experience your life, disdain for mundane things in life is generally perceived as a positive thing.
But in a relationship between two people, disdain towards the other person is generally a negative thing to feel. It hurts the person who is the object of the disdain. This kind of disdain is what is at the heart of all racism.

For anyone who is triggered by my use of the word "object" when referring to a person, please understand I'm speaking of basic grammar here, subject/verb/object. I'm not suggesting that people are things.


So what about the mundane? What does that word mean?
When I think of the mundane I think of things like, maybe, small routine chores, sweeping the floor, picking up your clothes, making the bed, throwing out all your junk mail, washing or vacuuming or emptying out the junk from the car - clipping my fingernails, you know? All these things either should be or must be done but they seem like such a waste of time. They don't begin to compare with things like being in Fenway Park during a game or going to a concert when you enjoy the artist. Then again, even these exciting spectator-related things are mundane to the actual athletes and artists performing for their audiences.
Am I right? Are you following here?

Google just offered me this remarkable list of synonyms for the adjective use of the word "mundane":
humdrum, dull, boring, monotonous, tiresome, wearisome, unexciting, uninteresting, uninvolving, uneventful, unvarying, unremarkable, repetitive, repetitious, routine, ordinary, everyday, day-to-day, run-of-the-mill, commonplace, workaday, plain-vanilla, ho-hum.
As a contrast, Google offered me only two antonyms, extraordinary and imaginative.
So is it any wonder why I like to use Jamaican Jerk seasoning when I fry bacon? It turns plain-Jane ho-hum bacon into something extraordinary.

So with that list of synonyms is it any wonder why people generally disdain the mundane?

The problem is, even though washing and waxing the car and spiffing it up inside is tedious mundane work, a shiny clean car inside and out is an extraordinary thing for people who respect and love cars.
Same goes for a home. There's a small heart-shaped sign hanging on the wall just outside the main entrance to my house that says, "A clean house is a sign of a misspent life!" It would be reasonable to assume that at least one of the people living in this house thinks housecleaning is mundane.
Am I right?
Yet living in a clean house is an extraordinary experience. It's not mundane at all. Sure house cleaning can be seen as being mundane, but completing the chore results in something quite nice. Clutter and dirt are experienced by the mind as cognitive dissonance. Spend enough time in that kind of environment and the mind just shuts down, learns not to even see the mess. The reality of the mess is still there and the subconscious mind is aware of it but the conscious mind just doesn't see it anymore. Life takes on a whole new dimension once the mess is actually gone and the cognitive dissonance is gone from your life. There is a paradigm shift involved.
There was a movie years ago, 1984 actually, "The Karate Kid", which, if I remember correctly, addresses this paradigm shift. This kid needs to learn karate so he finds a master to teach him. Problem is, the master knows that mastery and excellence in karate requires mastery of the mundane. The kid just can't handle this view. He feels disdain for the mundane. The kid can't get anywhere with the master until he overcomes that feeling of disdain.
When I Googled "disdain for the mundane this morning, Google gave me this link to an article written from something of a Christian perspective. I'm inclined to think this is backing me up here.

So now that we have defined "disdain" and "mundane", why is there an index card on my bedroom door that says, "Disdain for the mundane"?

Years ago there was another index card in the kitchen that just said "DISDAIN". It stayed there for a long time. I put it there when it finally dawned on me that disdain was what my wife and her mother and to a lesser degree my wife's father and brothers and then eventually my own sons and finally my daughter had been smothering me in all those years of my marriage. That card has been gone for awhile but the disdain comes and goes, or at least seems to go, seems to come back, but maybe is always present but hidden behind the mask.
If you've followed this blog you know that I perceive my wife and her mother as narcissists, covert and otherwise. Just recently I watched a self-help YouTube video that validated for me the concept that disdain is a tool used by narcissists. It's strange to say that in a sense. It seems so hypocritical, reason being that I generate within myself this feeling of disdain, but the object of my disdain is narcissism itself. I have disdain for those who attempt to manipulate me and control me by using disdain to put me down. This disdain that I feel is especially strong for covert narcissism and passive covert aggression.
But where does the "mundane" come in? Why does that index card say "Disdain for the mundane"?
Are you ready for this? Are you heading down this rabbit hole with me?

Well maybe another time. Call this Chapter One.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas Narcissism

I had another go-round this Christmas with my narcissistic wife and her narcissistic mother that has led me to a couple of insightful obscenities.

Christmas is to narcissists what Halloween is to vampires...
The ideal opportunity

meaning a narcissist can use Christmas to practice their dominance because anyone who resists will be seen as causing a stink in the family gathering, and the family will perceive the initiator of that stink as an asshole.

A successful narcissist becomes their victim's disability.

Ask anyone who has suffered through a relationship with a narcissist what that means.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Blog Worth Music

This just came up on YouTube. I've been watching some of this guy's stuff lately.