Living Well – Fine Revenge This Valentines By Rick London

Today is Valentine’s Day.

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For many years that day didn’t mean a lot to me, whether I was in a relationship or not.

That may sound like a “call for pity” yet it is just the opposite.  I know now how blessed and lucky I am, not just to have my wife Lee in my life, but both of us understanding with what we deal; autism as well as building our lives together.

Some think I talk about autism too much, and that’s too bad and their issue. Autism is very much who I am, why I do what I do, and how I do it.

For numerous years professionals wondered how I “lived through what I lived through”, and there are times when I did too, yet they never told me what it was in which they were amazed about.

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More than one psychiatrist I told I was hidden away in an attic at age five which lasted my entire youth up until age seventeen and then thrown to the wolves.   I am sure most of them knew what that meant, but maybe most of them felt it was best to tell me I had been severely abused, simply by the act of “residential segregation” and the very different rule structure set for me as compared to my siblings.

They also felt it best that my siblings were quite abusive as well, for the most part of their own survival.  That part I understood and even forgave. One extremely well-versed very well educated therapist told me, “If they’d had a backbone, if they’d had an ounce of good in them, they would have turned off the “hate Rick campaign” and done the right thing, as adults after your parents died, but they were too ambitious to “have their name in lights”.  I could easily see them given that I’d had my name in lights several times (and it was highly overrated). I’d never scapegoat a sibling to do so, nor did I ever.

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So given the abandonment (and even abuse) combined with the autism, it is beyond comprehensible to most that I survived. I did have the wherewithal to continue seeing professionals in an extreme effort to find out what had happened to me.  Remember, I didn’t know I had autism, nor that I’d been severely abused until I was 61. I was programmed not only to fail but to die young.

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And that’s probably why I decided I was not going to die young. In spite of two major heart attacks 3 surgeries and stents, I was determined to discover what had happened and who did what.

Then came Lee.  She loved me and loves me unconditionally.  She helped me in my quest, so that I might not dismiss abuse when it came my way.

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Remember, I never even knew I was “at war with my siblings” (I just felt they didn’t care for me) until age 61.  At age 60 I decided to write one of them to let them know of my autism diagnosis. Also of my vanus diagnosis; an extremely painful form of flat feet, also congenital.  As always, I was dismissed by one sibling by email with a line that read “My spouse’s niece had a bit of autism but is fine now. What will you do for symptoms”. (In other words people live with autism all the time.  Get used to it).

Truth be told, most autistic children do not get hidden away in an attic, scapegoated by their entire family, and never diagnosed.  The difference is apples and oranges (than simply “being autistic”.  I survived a pre-meditated war against me, one I never knew I was in, only to find the real truth, and that the perpetrators of that war were rancid cowards, bigots and haters,  and still are.  Now they will coddle their autistic niece to show “their goodness”.   Educated people expect that and are not impressed…in the least.

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I lost it. I was livid.  Symptoms?  Autism does not have symptoms. Autism is who someone is. It is not something to cure. It is something with which to have compassion because the tools to teach autism are just now coming into fruition.

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I told the sibling a thing or two about symptoms (the only true symptoms of such a condition are hate, prejudice and fear) projected by ignorant people, and I made certain this sibling knew what that meant. I never heard from that sibling again and if I’m fortunate I never will.  I know it sounds erudite but these siblings do not deserve to be a part of my life.

I am not perfect, in fact far from it.  But the torture of another person, especially a child who later becomes an adult, to me falls in the category of serial killers and such.  Before you say, “how crude”, so do a majority of the members of the autism groups which have at least 3.2 million diagnosed members not to mention even more than that that are un-diagnosed.

This feeling is real, and the experience/torture is very much of a similar sociopath nature. Those people need help and need it today.  They will within a few years, most likely, find themselves way on the fringe, at least that is what is being reported by knowledgeable scholars acting within the mainstream autism communities. I believe it wholeheartedly.

And I don’t regret writing that. I do not want that kind of “person” in my life, ever.  And though I know they cannot help that they are that sick, they do have the responsibility to get professional help.  After all, I did, and I was not even the one who needed it most. In fact, I am quite at peace with myself most times, knowing that I finally know what really happened to me, and not the “family press release”.

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Yes, I still get the occasional PTSD that I used to get often.  But PTSD is not a character flaw or weakness. It is a healthy response to something very bad that someone experienced or saw.  I can remember having it since age 5 (the year my first attic isolation tank) aka bedroom was built).  Why would a five year old have PTSD?  Child abuse is the reason about 99% of the time. I was part of that 99%.  I survived it and am very proud of that.  Not all do. And that is why I write these blogs.  I don’t believe any of my family will change.  They have too much invested in “the lie”.  But I know others might read it and see hope. I know NPD parents might read it and seek help.  If just one reads it and seeks help, it’s a success.  Torture is torture and if it prevents just one, it proved to be a good thing.

I merely ask you to imagine a 5 year old child alone, isolated in an attic, for 12 years. The first 4 years crying every night to no response (they couldn’t hear me in such a large home and made sure of that).  This causes all sorts of psychological problems, the worst of all chronic insomnia (which is not even allowed in the most brutal wars by the Geneva Convention). Neither is that sort of isolation.  Some parents truly need not be parents.  They are forgiven (by me).  They are also forgotten (by me).   I survived that and I am tougher than I thought.  They are more cowardly than I ever knew.  Sadly, they knew what they were doing.

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The rest of my life went downhill from there.  Until age 58.  That’s when God presented my wife, and there was a definite curve upward.  Beautiful things began to happen.

I realized rather rapidly I was the lucky one by not scapegoating anyone. I was the lucky one for “taking the fall”. I was the lucky one for letting them cast aspersions and tell lies etc.

I  look at my life and I look at theirs.  I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else.    God made certain I would not only enjoy but cherish my 61 year old Valentine’s Day.  We have wonderful friends, most married who share the same affection for their spouses.

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I now am learning how to navigate life with autism. I realize I read and saw and thought everything differently. I also know that was not my fault.  I was not diagnosed purposely for nefarious reasons. Now I am diagnosed for decent reasons and have a beautiful chance to enjoy my life.  Lee and I will only associate with good people who support our relationship.  If you are one of those who find you are not, do not try to be a trickster.  We’ve seen it all, and we fight back. We will defend our love no matter what.

If you and I have been friends in the past, in real life, but you are frightened to express it due to NPDs and their “flying monkeys”, might I suggest those days are over, and they turned out to be wrong.  Very wrong.

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And if you don’t believe me try contacting one of the major Autism associations.   Most of them know me now, know the dynamics happening, and are not happy with it at all.  It’s very nice to have that support.

They will assure you that abuse and prejudice against autistics will be a dark part of American History. Please, consider siding on the right side of history.  Not the side in which someone might throw you a few nickels or “property one day”, or if you’re really lucky “be a part of their popularity circle”.  Just remember how they obtained that popularity.  With torture.   I will not tell you not to be a part of that.  We all have to answer to our God.  You know best.

You might look at my life and think it was quite unfair.  The real facts is that I was dealt a very bad hand of cards (by humans).  When I let God take over, things changed.  Suddenly my offbeat cartoon of which I’d worked on for 8 years was the Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoon and a few years later my designer offbeat gifts also became #1 ranked.  They have maintained that ranking through hard work all the way up until now (2016).  That is 11 years.  I am proud, very proud, but I clearly understand now it is from a Hand Above and from the loving Support of my Wife Lee.  I couldn’t have dreamed of this.

That may not seem like much, but given there are 100,000+ offbeat cartoons and gifts on the net on any given day (am told), I feel pretty good about that.  Had I been treated fairly, that would have never happened.  So I do have the culprits to thank, and thank them forever and ever.  Nobody has been as good to me (but surely not on purpose), and of course my Angel wife Lee who willfully has been good to me, and has showed me the world in a whole different manner.  I will always push to look at it correctly, and not as a “mean ol’ place”.  It’s not a bad place at all, and most the people in our circles are very very decent.

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Scapegoating toddlers who become children who become adults, with a pre-planned “program” to make them the bad guy and then “buy their friends” is not even considered humane in the very worse cultures and societies.

Sadly, it is done quite often in these United States, and most children/later adults never knew what hit them.  My parents never figured I would have the photographic/date/time memory that gave them away the first time they committed such a crime.  They were busted. They just didn’t know it.  It took me this long to figure out just what the abuse was.

It was so subtle, so professional, so well done in privacy with me; not when other siblings or friends were around, you would have thought it was an Alfred Hitchcock film.  But most Hitchcock films offer a bit of grace and negotiation. Mine offered neither.  I believe with the help of God and amazing friends, I lived long enough to figure it out, and have enough life in me to help others who find themselves in similar situations.

I am able to vocalize to them they are not alone. I am able to shout to them to hook up immediately with autism legal programs, autism support groups, and the like.  They can then safely tell their story and if someone interferes, it can easily become a civil rights matter and that interfering person may just find themselves on the wrong side of history, not where they want to be.

Scapegoating humans and torturing them is horrendous. Doesn’t work nor should it.  It’s hate. It’s prejudice and it’s fear.  It’s masochistic and brutal.  To support it is as cowardly as the act itself.  That’s not you I hope, and pray.

Love is truly the answer

The Beatles were right. Money can’t buy that.  It can’t even buy “like”.

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Rick London is a writer, songwriter, gift designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for his Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts “Londons Times” LTCartoons.com.  He is married to popular nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London who owns nature blog Hike Our Planet and brand store LeeHillerDesigns.com.

I want this blog to reflect how important it is for a loving married couple to work as a team. I won’t do it justice but I’ll report what I witnessed.  I have what could be the smartest, kindest, and talented wife on the planet.  And I don’t say that lightly.  Here are some reasons why.

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We can all work toward this kind of interaction skills that show love, way beyond mouthing the words “I Love You” which we all know how to do.  This is real.  It can be for everybody if they want it.  We’ve spent 7 years working and playing on our relationship and 6 of it has been in marriage.  We’ve grown, changed, and are growing up.  I like that. Always wanted it.  So did Lee.

So much self-discovery has gone into the past 5 years.  I learned the importance of veganism, not just learning to mouth the words but taking action and doing the right thing.  It was not as difficult as it seemed.

Lee and I had been hiking in Hot Springs National Park, the most beautiful forest I’ve ever seen, abundant with plenty of wildlife, birds, etc.  Many have gotten to know our names. Squirrels and rabbits  don’t run from us.  Mocking birds make a special trip over to land at arm’s length and sing with us.  They know who we are. They don’t do so with everyone (as odd as that sounds).  We talk to the trees. Not all of them but the ones who like to listen “and talk back”.  🙂

Then I used to go home and make some kind of chicken or fish stir fry staying in complete denial I was eating my friends, literally.  Lee had figured it out a year before and was busy putting together new recipes for her new life.  She did not know if I would transition or not, but finally I did.

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Two things helped facilitate that.  One: Watching Paul McCartney’s “Glass Houses” video on YouTube.  Paul is a former carnivore who, with Linda McCartney had a sheep ranch.  They were busy eating their lamb chops and watching the sheep gaze out of their window. Some of them they named, and each animal would come running to them upon hearing it.  It occurred to him they were eating their friends.

Linda came close to becoming a vegan but stayed vegetarian eating some vegan dishes. At the risk of angering some, best tell the truth. Vegetarianism is not a whole lot healthier than meat-eating.  Veganism is what clears the body of it’s horrendous toxins over the years from animal proteins.

cow cartoons by ltcartoons ltcartoons.com

cow cartoons by ltcartoons ltcartoons.com

Also watching Lee in her vegan regimen and watching her skin clear up; her scowl turn into a smile, her weight dropping off like nothing I’d ever seen. I said to myself, “I want what she has”.  She told me how to get it, and she was right.  Lee is 58 years old. She does not mind that fact being known. Some women do. Lee wears no makeup. Her face is natural beauty like I never knew existed.  She does tai chi, has taught it to me, and together we are learning to take care of our bodies.  This is a lot better than the old destructive ways which were handed us from a prior generation.  Again, I am very blessed.  She is the best, by far.

Also, upon discovery of my autism and lifetime punishment for being born with it, Lee declared 2016 (in our home), the “Year Of Rick”.  She said I have helped her (not sure if that is true) but now she was/is going to make sure I get through this.  She is (doing so).

I had to go to the hospital yesterday due to an undiagnosed severe kidney infection.  My pain level was past a ten.  I didn’t take any opiates but I took about 20 more per month of my vagus nerve medicine. This is not enough to kill me, but create a vicious cycle in which it seems it would never end.

They now have my meds straight. I am fine; and am driving to the grocery tomorrow.  They thought it was be 2-3 weeks.  They thought wrong. Not to worry. It was never enough to kill me, but it was enough to add to the toxins of the untreated kidney (antiobiotics and herbal tinctures are healing that).  I will be most likely hiking with Lee again next week.

One funny thing.  The hospital, as they do most patients, attempted to manhandle me in and out. Not this time.  Lee stood by my side and put her elbow up in front of her when they tried to push her out of the way to get to me to drag me away. She let them know she was/is in charge and nothing is going to happen here without her knowledge or permission.  Talk about patient advocacy. It was something out of a very good movie. We both smiled and the hospital had a change of heart taking as much time as I needed, with Lee by my side. She left them with a cold stare (all of them) that clearly stated, “You are treating Rick in a dignified manner or not treating him at all”.  (They seemed to get the message.  I wanted to applaud her.  Everyone and I mean everyone deserves that kind of medical advocacy whether from a wife, significant other or family member.  Otherwise, treatment might be less than par (at best).  It was good.  Very good.

Lee told me anyone can do that, take charge of their medical rather than leaving the whole thing to hospital staff.  And they hopped to it.  We heard one young nurse outside our door near the x-ray room yell, “Dam she is GOOD, Brilliant”.  LOL.  🙂  And she is.

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I have learned a lot, a whole lot.  I don’t think I would have learned much of any of it with Lee’s assistance.  She is magnificent.  I am the most blessed man in the world, to hell with the “most interesting”; I’d rather be blessed any day, and I know I am.

I am no guru, but please take care of yourself.  Eat right to the best of your knowledge.  Find doctors you trust and follow their orders.  If you don’t trust your doctors, find others. There’s plenty of good ones out there.

Don’t scapegoat people.  Don’t isolate them and make them feel different.  Karma often comes knocking one day along that dreary path.

Be good. Be good to yourself and others.  Laugh a little. Do something good for someone who cannot (at this time) do anything or much back.  Maybe they never will be able to do so.  God smiles upon that kind of thing you know.

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for his launch of Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts from a tin shed in rural Ms in 1997.  It has lured nearly 9 million visitors since that time and has been Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoon since that time.  He is married to the love of his life Lee Hiller London founder of nature gift store LeeHillerDesigns.com and popular nature blog Hike Our Planet.

The NPD Family, The Scapegoat Child, And “Flying Monkeys”. The Remedy – by Rick London#the trac

First, thank you to my wonderful, understanding wife nature and wildlife photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller London who has made 2015 “The Year Of The Rick”, that is, I am able to feel comfortable in my development and growth (that never happened) due to un-diagnosed autism, vanus, and NPD Disorder parents (and subsequent “flying monkeys”).  A thought hit me the other day.  I wonder what it looked like to neighbors who knew I was put away in the attic and my other siblings encouraged to go outside to play.  Don’t get me wrong. I had a bike and all the accoutrements to appear to have some normalcy.  But that’s all they were, like braces on my teeth at age 12.    One might ask, “But Rick, you were given expensive braces. How can you say they ignored you or scapegoated you”.  Every child with crooked teeth whose parents had the resources got braces because that can be seen by the public, plus it played into “the perfection syndrome” of the NPD. npd meme 9 Autism cannot be seen, extremely painful vanus (flat feet with shattered joints, cartilage cannot be seen by the public.  Straight shiny white teeth can; futher proof of “all the good they were doing for their ungrateful child”. So I queried a facebook friend who moved into my neighborhood when she was 5 years old with her parents who were very well known and respected in the community.  Normally, my parents did their best to ingratiate themselves to that type.  Not this couple.  Why? Upon asking questions, I asked her a bit about herself several days ago in facebook private message.  As it turns out she is now a grandmother, and has grandchildren diagnosed with autism.  Upon noticing that, she could see many of the symptoms in herself. ADHD was one of them.  That was no big surprise to her as she’d been reading about it awhile.  She is starting therapy next week to try to lessen some of the painful side effects of what appears to be autism (When I say painful I mean emotionally so) such as depression, anxiety, esteem issues, etc. She feels from reading if not full-blown autism, surely somewhere on the Asperger’s Spectrum (of which I can also identify). I have both. npd meme 1 I asked her if she remembered my attic bedroom.  I imagined 50 years later, she didn’t.  I was very wrong.  She not only remembered it, she remembered wondering what the hell was happening at our home as did her parents.  Why were my other siblings out and about, and I was at home brooding in my attic bedroom away from everyone else most of the day after school. I occasionally had friends, but my parents “ran them off” for being “a bad influence on me”.  The only ones they allowed in my life, were the ones that truly were bad influences on me. Some nearly got me killed.  They remained “just fine” in my parent’s book.

My neighbor (and I’m sure many others) knew to a certain degree something was very wrong; she simply didn’t make it that blunt as you can see in her message to me further down the page on the “facebook screen shot”.    The narcissistic parents can be so self-absorbed, they haven’t a clue others nearby are curious at worst, concerned at best. Even 5 year olds (and of course their more worldly/educated parents).  I asked her if I might block out her name and photo and post it in my upcoming book (of which I am blogging various chapters now).  She said, “Not only can you post it, there’s no need to block out my name or photo. I can see quite well what they were doing to you”.  Still I decided to block it out. Her family was very well known and respected and though she’s moved far away, she still visits occasionally.  npd 7 The shocker is that though her loving parents didn’t know she had autism (which she may not), they knew something was different and took a very different approach than my parents did.  They loved her unconditionally and being good with academia, helped her nonstop with her homework and encouraged her to try new things and face challenges. Of course mine did the opposite.  jung meme 3 Here is a screenshot of her memories of me hidden away in the attic.  This was our third home, but our second home in Hillendale, the subdivision my maternal grandfather Marcus London developed, the home that burned down and rebuilt.  The home that I made sure the fire department arrived by calling them and the home where I dragged my 5 year old frightened brother to safety next door at Richard Ward’s home and made certain my older sister got out of the  bathtub and out of the burning home that had smoke billowing through it. She has even noticed that my wife Lee is an angel, learning with me all we can, so our lives are as happy and fulfilling as we deserve. And we deserve good now.  We’ve seen what rough edges can be.

We know what “flying monkeys” can and will do. We now have the tools to stop them in their tracks, with the help of major networks and government agencies if need be, but we know our rights, and we use them accordingly if need be.  I deserve my remaining golden years to be good ones. I spent 12 years in “attic captivity” in a place where NPD tactics were used regularly to create a “scapegoat child” and later a “scapegoat adult”.  The more you read about NPD, the more nauseous one gets.  There’s no way around it. I know I will have to forgive one day, not for them but for me. Meantime, my newfound anger, energy and contacts only drives me to help other families and/or children who might find themselves in similar situations.  

That has become, other than God and my wife, the most important thing.  That story was told often in my family….for a few months.  Then suddenly it disappeared as if it had never happened. I went from “the bravest little boy ever” back to the “snotty bratty kid who could do nothing right”.  Even in adulthood, my siblings never thanked me or acknowledged that I’d saved their lives.  My parents concluded I had, the maid said I did, I’m sure it appeared to next door neighbor Richard Ward I did, at least with my 5 year old brother (as I had him tightly by the arm dropping him off there to safety from the burning home, and finally am sure it is somewhere in the record archives of the Hattiesburg Police and Fire Departments.  

But suddenly it disappeared from my family records.  Rick never saved anyone; or at least it was never brought up again, and I was discouraged from talking to others about it.  It even seemed creepy to me then. Now that I know what that was all about, it is worse than creepy. It is maniacal, yet I’d do my best to save their lives again if put in a similar situation.  They never could help being emotionally ill anymore than I could.  My parents couldn’t help that they had NPD Disorder.  However, they could have gone for help.  They didn’t (to my knowledge).  If they did, it didn’t “take”.  mandalay connie Large blocked2222222222222222222222222

Anyone who knows he/she has not done wrong, longs to clear his/her name; no matter how many years later if it has been tarnished. Often, at first, it is a total surprise as to why it even has (been tarnished). I was never told I had done anything wrong.  I was never corrected for anything above regular childrens “crimes and misdemeanors.   One knows if he has tried his best. I’d not hurt anyone, at least not purposely, and was baffled figure out why their family of birth keeps those “imaginary wrongs” in the public eye.   Though I have a good name outside of my hometown in most cases (even worldwide..and should, I treat my friends and fans as I’d want to be treated), remnants of NPD occasionally resurface.

 I was raised in an NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) home.   NPD is a dreaded emotional disorder in which parents abuse their children, all of them, but particularly the “scapegoat archetype” child, well into adulthood.   That is a necessary dynamic to the NPD (according to Jung and Satir) in order for the NPD model to work.  Make no mistake, the other children; hero, golden, and/or lost child are injured every bit as much.  They simply don’t know it as they get “some soothing” via material possessions, less mental abuse etc. NPD is so subtle, unless one is trained, studied, or looking with a microscope, it can be very difficult to be revealed. In fact it appears the opposite. It appears the victims are the parents and the perpetrator is the scapegoat child. Nothing is further than the truth. In fact it is the overly-sensitive, truthful scapegoat that is chosen for those very qualities in most cases (to be the scapegoat) to the NPD parents.  

The other NPD children, the golden child, the lost child etc. may not have been brutally criticized etc. daily, but they were carefully and artfully manipulated into their roles to help do their parents bidding, and to make certain the “scapegoat child” was hated within the family unit, and then help broadcast it into the community.  Children are not dumb.  They knew early on it was a lie but had to do what they had to do to survive in that family unit.  So they did.  It became habit and possibly even fun.  But a lie is a lie, and even as adults, especially as adults, they know exactly what it is (unless they are just too far gone) in denial.  npd 3 meme parent The narcissistic parents do not recruit friends, they recruit to what are commonly referred as “flying monkeys” named after the flying monkeys from the film “Wizard Of Oz”.  Those FMs are completely unaware, at first, why they are recruited, at least most of them.  Ironically, not only Jung and Satir (and to for the most part Freud, were aware of this entire sick family dynamic, so was Mark Twain. He warned people with his famous quote regarding “getting fooled”.  It pertained to this very issue.  So where is the closure?  Where is the justice that was a lifetime of chaos and capriciousness facilitated by parents who used their scapegoat child as a diversion (for the public) to their own mental illness? 

What is left but “flying monkeys” who, haven’t a clue they were duped, wouldn’t believe it if the best psychologist (or psychiatrist in the world told them), and why do they continue, as if chronically ill themselves to blacken your name, no matter where you live by insidiously broadcasting to local religious organizations, law enforcement, friends, students and even mutual friends of the scapegoat etc. many of whom all tell me what they are up to.  At first some of it thought it was “sort of fun”.  Then they saw the damage that was being done to me.  Then they saw the damage that was being done to them. Then they got sick of it; at least the ones with a little bit of sanity left.  The others continue to enjoy it as it is “what makes them tick”.  They will (most probably) need legal intervention to stop if it invades my space, hurts me in personal or business situations etc.  But it takes what it takes.  Lee and I have a motto in our home and it applies to everywhere we go, “Nobody wants to bully either of us. They may not know it at this time, but they really really don’t.”

Most are sick of them and, like most adults, feel that if one has unfinished business with someone, they should confront that person themselves.  Flying monkeys are cowards.  Cowards of the worst kind.  Some think they are strong and mighty (because they have brought the scapegoat to his/her knees) but quite the opposite.  It was the numbers of them, not any one of them.  It was also the element of surprise in that the scapegoat hasn’t a clue that he/she is “in a war” until way after it is too late.  The negative feedback usually begins early on (and from parents, then siblings, then community) so that’s “just how life is to the scapegoat”, a bit difficult but hey, that is life, right?  No, not even close.  

In real life a person is not purposely undermined on a daily basis by hundreds, sometimes thousands.  The good news.  There is a solution and it can be reversed, and often is.  No one of them could endure, or even come close to endure what the scapegoat has (and deep down every one of them are quite aware of that fact), hence they never confront or even mention any of the “wrongs” to the scapegoat ever. 

When word has occasionally gotten back to me by 3rd parties, I always ask, “What was my wrong?”  Of course all I get is radio silence.  I always then ask, “Do you think you could get them to take a lie detector test with me?  I’ll gladly pay for it.” Again radio silence.  That has happened so many times, it is what led me on my two decade journey to finally discover exactly what the issue was, and the issue was not me, it was a  horrid social/mental disorder of which my parents suffered called NPD. npd meme father 2 Recently, I mentioned it was discovered that I have autism. I mentioned this to several relatives, close relatives (or as close a birth relatives that I might have).  One does not “catch autism” as if it is an airborne disease, it is congenital.  One relative had nothing to say except, “Well we didn’t know much about autism back then.”  I followed up, “Why wasn’t I tested?” 

She continued, “Well if we didn’t know much about anything why would we have you tested?”  I responded, “Then why at age 6 was I hidden away in an attic far removed/isolated from my other two siblings?  (radio silence).  I knew then my parents knew there was indeed something very different about me. It turned out not to be a disease, but a gift.  But a gift of which they were ashamed, since it was so different.

When emailed from me to one blood relative of my autism he replied, “Funny, I have a bit of dyslexia and I volunteer with some local doctors and we get great results. I’m very interested in yours. Please tell me more as my wife’s niece has a mild case of it, hence we have it on both sides of the family”. (In other words, “Shut up, Rick. You’re making a big deal over nothing.  Sorry your autism was never diagnosed. Live with it.  The rest of us are doing just fine with my wife’s niece with her mild case.”)

Unless he is totally naive, which is very possible, I think he thought I’d listen to his garbage and just let it go.  He thought so very wrong.  I will one day let it go. though, but of course that’s another season. Now is not that season. Now that I am in touch with it, know what it is, and finally know what it is I am battling and learning to grow, develop, and learning to live comfortably with  it, I won’t stop, especially given the NPD/flying monkeys continued behaviors, until the world is extremely aware.  That is a promise.

If anything happens to me, there are 25 others writing with me in the autism/Asperger’s network and they are very familiar with my case and the players.  FYI, there are no “mild cases” of autism or Asperger’s. One is either on the spectrum or not.  There are different places on the spectrum of which they are, but that isn’t mild or intense, it is autism, a different way of thinking. Period. Only the most ignorant and uniformed would call autism “mild”.

 I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading in the email, and then remembered it was from a related (one of the core) “flying monkey” recruiters. I showed that to my PhD psychologist expert who simply shook her head.  She knew what I’d been up against for many many years, and how very cruel it was, and is; as are the people involved in such virulently negative behavior. 

It’s way too late for them to continue the flying monkey routine and think it is productive. If anything it is simply more “grist for the mill” for our publishing and/or productions to do anything possible to help other families avoid it, or if they are already on the narcissism spectrum, how to change the dynamics from extremely sick to healthier, and possibly to healthy (with the right professionals).  So the more they “act out”, the more information we have on various “worst-case scenarios”.  As I mentioned, some “writers” who are not quite aware they are writing the ending….are writing the ending of my story 🙂  

My wonderful wife Lee seems to have a very instinctual understanding of it all, and is very supportive.  I am very lucky for that.   I get so much more done in my personal life, my business life, and now my educational life (that is in helping others understand what is happening to them with NPD and/or un-diagnosed autism/Apserger’s; and “flying monkeys and cruel/ignorant families.  She is a brilliant writer with excellent contacts and knows how to complete my project, and will, should something happen, along with the autism network.  It will be completed, no matter what. 

My blood relative added, “In 4th grade mom and dad learned I had ADD so mom threw me a Valium, put me on my bike and sent me to school. It’s a wonder I ever made it to adulthood”.  Then he added an “LOL” at the end of that statement as if that were funny, and of course another subtle request for me to “stop making a big deal out of nothing”.  

Of course those of us who are halfway studied, understand that child abuse is anything but “nothing”.  It could only make me wonder how he has raised, and is raising his own children.  I shudder to think.  Hence the isolation and subsequent mental abuse.  Possibly a part of them felt the abuse would “change those differences”.  I had tics, I blinked my eyes incessantly, I flailed my hands and numerous other obvious movements.

Healthy parents would have at least had their child assessed by a child psychologist. Even a mediocre one in those days knew enough about autism to know it was “not something to be cured” but something to be educated in a different manner (special education) and in my case it would have simply been “the gifted program” and I would have fared quite well. Keep in mind after the parents are deceased, with nothing, of course, but unfinished business, not just with their scapegoat but with their golden child and lost child, what happens.  Long before the parents are deceased, the siblings of the scapegoat learn they can join in with the abuse, and this for the most part keeps the focus off them, and their imperfections. 

Remember, NPD is all about ambiance, (the way things look and seem to the general public) and they must seem as perfect as humanly possible; even if that means “creating a scapegoat” as “the one who is always trying to mess things up”.  That scapegoat actually is, but not because he/she wants to, because he/she has to. He/she has been programmed by the sick parents to do so, and if he/she doesn’t misbehave, he/she can and often is criticized even more severely and for longer periods of time.  This is the parent’s “alarm bell” to say to them, “See, we are perfect and we are doing the best we can, but we’ve been cursed with this demon child” who cannot do anything but wrong.   And wrong I could do. I must have responded to my programming with such preciseness, they were quite proud (while badmouthing me the whole time). npd meme 9 A recent flying monkey reared his ugly head not more than a few months ago.  He lives in Houston and contacted several local businessmen of which I have a good relationship.  They wondered why, if he had a gripe with me, he didn’t simply contact me.  He grew up in this area, but really didn’t know them or vice versa.  One spilled the beans and let me know what he was up to.  I contacted the ADA (Americans With Disability Act). When I tell you they are on your side (if you have a disability, and believe me you do whether you have autism or NPD or both).  The casting of aspersions stopped as rapidly as they started.  I called for a complete federal investigation (and would again next I hear of one). 

I now have heart disease and high blood pressure (and civil rights) and if they do anything to affect my health due to my disability (and now that is what the flying monkey business is about), they are asking for prison time.  And I am willing to help them pack their bags.  I can no longer be run over, not by them, and not by an unsuspecting third party they “recruit in innocence”. 

The healthy places I’m now going in my life, are they don’t “want to go there” places…not because they don’t want to, because they can’t. Unless they come clean (which is highly doubtful), they will remain bitter sick “flying monkeys” into the grave.  As sad as that sounds, it happens every day.   Plus they are no longer invited. I now know who they are and their sick sick game. They do not have the honor of my company, even in proxy by 3rd or even 10th party “flying monkeys”. 

They will have to create their own new fantasy life that does not include me.  Maybe new scapegoats (Though I don’t wish that on anyone, a “flying monkey must have a scapegoat” in their minds, in order simply to “be”, to “exist” if you will.  Many do not understand that yet. They will when my book and subsequent film is produced, though.  The flying monkeys are writing the ending.  They simply aren’t aware of that fact yet.  Maybe now they are aware now, or figured it out awhile back. 

They’ve been writing it for the past 1.5 years.  I hope they like what they’ve written thus far. I mention that part of the story because one cannot do enough for narcissists.  The “scapegoat role” is way much more important than anything so temporary and expected as risking ones life to save there’s.  Thankfully there are still people alive who remember that incident, and I believe the fire and police departments keep that kind of thing on record.  npd flying monkey 2 meme Never try to satisfy a narcissist. They do not look at you as human, only as a tool to further their role as victim and covert abuser. Mark Twain knew that. Jung knew that, Virginia Satir knew that, and for your own peace of mind, please learn and know that. Twain possibly knew more (by instinct, not training) than any other in contemporary history on the dysfunctional family.  Often he felt it necessary to describe it from a child’s point of view.  Huckleberry Finn is chock full of quotes regarding this type dysfunctional family as well as other dysfunctional type family dynamics.  Mark Twain Quote If you are someone’s flying monkey, do the healthy thing and distance yourself. If you find yourself unable, get professional help. They will give you the tools to do so.  To abuse a child is unforgivable. To abuse a child with autism, or any such disability is beyond unforgivable. It is the definition of abuse and sin.  Even in the best of conditions, any scapegoat child would have had a very difficult time moving forward and grow as his/her peers. To stunt that is evil (in the serial killer level of evil….the dynamics are the same; having others/minions do the “soul murder” by carrying out their dirty work, but keeping their hands clean). Didn’t someone named “Manson” use similar dynamics in the 60s?  

True, it is difficult to see the similarities…..unless you’ve been the victim of this type of crime, but it is easy to see that the dynamics were/are identical. The narcissist makes the rules of who is bad or good, and then sends out “flying monkeys “to punish them”.  It’s pretty clear.  The narcissists hands are clean and rarely if ever puts such orders in writing.  The flying monkeys get the blame if caught.

  I’ll be clear.  As sick as these people were/and current ones are, I don’t compare them to Manson and his evil crimes.  (He is a monster), only the dynamics of their crimes.  The dynamics are exactly the same.  The perpetrator’s hands are clean.  Their flying monkeys have all the blood on their hands, and like Manson’s “flying monkeys”, don’t most (not all) but most, don’t even have a clue they are being used, and their best interests are not at heart.  Often they are given “gifts” or other material things to make them forget that.  The ones who continue it are the ones who never had moral or ethics in the first place and if they’ve passed middle age, they still have a chance to get well, but that window is closing rapidly. 

Make no mistake, it is a brutal horrible inexcusable crime (that rarely goes punished); except for the inner-demons and very low self-esteem that exists in any narcissist and “flying monkey”.  That is the extent of their punishment unless legally made to stop.  And that is my goal; plus to educate others as how to do the same.   The difference is Manson’s poor victims never had a chance to get help and understanding as to what happened to them.  Soul murder is different.  A victim does get that chance, if bright enough, but it won’t be due to the flying monkeys sharing private information or handing them the key from bondage.  It will be from self-awareness, education, and very good professional people who understand “the whole game” very well. In fact they see it daily.  They are the best psychologists that profession has to offer.  

And I have several of them working with me personally, and several more in my network.  I hate writing that, and don’t want to think it, but it is true (according to textbook psychology and psychiatry).  It is a type of murder (soul murder) that lasts a long time. Sometimes a lifetime.  Sometimes the scapegoat gets lucky and with a lot of help, figures their game out, and how it can and must stop (not just for my own good, but for theirs as well).   It is even more difficult to write, given that many of the central players of the “flying monkeys” are blood relatives to me, but I don’t call them “my relatives” when mentioning their names.  It is best for healthy people to not have association with someone like that; in fact pertinent.  Pioneer NPD therapist Virginia Satir understood the dynamics of an NPD family possibly better than anyone.  Here are her “Five Freedoms”….. npd virginia Satir If you find you are the family scapegoat of an NPD family, find a way to get the information into the community.  This type family crisis is fixable, or at least treatable so that the amount of abuse and flying monkeys are minimal, and you get to lead the productive healthy life you deserve.  But first one must confront every “demon”, and stop worrying about making waves.  As Shakespeare most briefly stated, “To thine own self be true”.  jung wolf ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons which he launched in 1997. His funny gift shops are very popular as well.

3+ Years With The World’s Best Wife & Living In Paradise by Rick London

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I get asked every now and again how I met my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London. I know it sounds “iffy” but we met on Twitter about four years ago and have been married for three years.   We worked together on a project designed to get a Presidential Medal Of Freedom to Dame Elizabeth Taylor. It’s a long story.  Though we didn’t succeed, we created a lot of buzz on Twitter and the White House even called me to “Stop The Campaign”.  That’s an “LOL”.  They were mad.

One of the White House PR outreach interns had given me an important private mailbox that filled up rather rapidly and was overflowing.  I cooperated and stopped the campaign.  We did manage to get the story worldwide with a Reuter’s Wire hit which was fun.    Don’t even ask how it happened.  Neither of us are celebrities (to my knowledge).  But it was fun and we learned a lot rubbing elbows with several.

Lee, a former Power seller of EBay, had finally closed her store when EBay came under new management and the huge crowds that used to be there to buy vintage goods (which was her specialty) had virtually dried up.  EBay Motors and expensive electronics seemed to be all that was left selling there.

The town is made up of probably 60%+ of tourists who fell in love with it and moved here.  I was one of those, as was Lee.  It is easy and fun to call home now. We live right on the edge of the 2nd oldest National Park in America and hike and commune with nature often.  We’ve seen every kind of animal and wildflower imaginable.

Lee had a lot of talent and willingness to learn.  I had returned to school and studied Business Information Management at Western Governors University as a nontraditional adult student about fifty years old.  I think BIM amounts to learning how to navigate the Internet, SEO, social media, pinging, etc.  I am still not sure what all I learned, but I seemed to learn it well.  Digital design was one of the many things.

Lee had been an expert seamstress growing up, so her ability to learn digital design watching me came naturally and she got much better than me at it and had thousands of items in the marketplace within a few months.  I was very proud.  Her items were selling well.  We were designers for household names (Hollywood celebrities) and for our own lines.  We loved, and still love working together, and share the same living room office overlooking Hot Springs Mountain.

June 18th is our anniversary. We’ve now been married a little over three years and I love Lee now more than I did in our courting days.  We’ve learned a lot of things.  We both work in the arts and letters so contrary to what traditional society used to say, the liberal arts was a very good choice of majors.  We work in the same living room office. Sometimes hours go by where we barely say a word but we can “feel each other there”. 

And we have our own little private code symbols to remind the other we’re still here.  To the average couple in which the intense concentration of design is not part of their lives, they might think, “What’s wrong with them?”  And the answer is, “They are supporting each other in their work.  When they’re finished they  will talk…..or hike….or do tai chi, or go to a gallery or museum, or a combination of more than one of those.

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One thing we like to do is communicate to each other on social media.  We once used facebook often but we found it was eroding our motivation to do business so we’ve cut it back to weekends and a lot more work gets done.  This decision was made for summers (since our businesses are so seasonable) and it gives us a chance to design more items; otherwise, though we love our old friends and new ones we’ve met on facebook, if we had our druthers, we’d spend all the time with them.  But we work for ourselves and are our toughest bosses, hence we sometimes make major decisions.

On the other hand we can keep our Tweetdeck open for Twitter. Since 90% of what we do on Twitter is automated and pre-scheduled, we don’t have to spend a lot of time on it.  The only time we do is if a message comes to us that needs answering and one of our associates is not able to answer it.  This may seem mercenary, odd and unfriendly, but actually it is the opposite.  Our friends and followers of our brands have come to expect quality, and for us to provide quality (since we design our own), it takes time, concentration, and the ability to push it through to the marketplace.

There are several schools of thought regarding social media.  When Lee and I started Twitter we did personally interact with a lot more than we do now.   We enjoyed it and still do enjoy it the occasional times we do it.  Lee has a great deal of followers who enjoy discussing nature with her. 

A lot of our business overlaps.  We both do digital designing.  We both work with a lot of the same manufacturers.  When we have an issue or a problem, we know we can talk to each other about it and try to remedy it.  And often it is remedied in a timely fashion as we both understand the issue.

I realize not every couple has this luxury (of working together, living together, loving each other and creating together.   So if a couple asks advice on how we do what we do, I honestly wouldn’t have an answer.  But I do have a theory based on what we’ve done and built.  Try to find things that you have in common with your significant other.  When ground rules are made, make sure to follow them.  Don’t make them for one and not the other. 

Make plans to do things together that you enjoy.  A couple does not have to spend a fortune to love each other; in fact the opposite.  Both of us have performed plastic surgery on our credit cards and pay as we go with cash or debit cards.  We barter when need be.  I’ve bartered my first 8 years (bartered 99% of the time) of my cartoon business.  Lee is at a point, and the economy is ripe for more businesses open to barter and she’s learned it fast.  I still barter when I can, but nothing like what I did to keep my cartoons alive in the early stage of the project.  Barter sustained me when I first started. I had no money.   There are still products and services that are not within my budget that, though I can do without and often do, more often than not, I can barter; and it is always a win-win.

Lee and I hike together, photograph wildlife and photography together (she’s teaching me how), and do as much as we can of things in which we both have an interest.   And that doesn’t mean going out every weekend.

We both love oldies music and discovered Herman’s Hermits, The Grass Roots & The Buckinghams will be playing at Oaklawn Theater next month and we definitely plan to go.    That doesn’t sound like a big deal but to us it is.  And it’s just another fun memory we’ll be able to discuss for years.

Create memories.  Good ones.  Life itself can create the bad ones for you but don’t take them seriously.  Health, economy, etc. etc. all create memories (not necessarily good ones) that are not very much within our control.  The trick is to not take those too seriously, but take them seriously enough to take care of them, and go out of one’s way to create the positive ones.

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Speaking of health, when Lee moved to Arkansas, she was way out of shape and had some extra pounds on her.  She does not mind me telling that, especially that now she has (not dieted) but changed her lifestyle to vegan and is hiking often.  All her old clothes are at the Salvation Army because her new ones are size small to medium and her waste is a 25.  All that happened within 3 years.   Her skin is smooth and young and she wears very little makeup when she wears any at all.

It’s also contagious; no not the cosmetics behavior (I never wear lipstick for instance) J  but the motivation to regain one’s health, shed pounds and clear the arteries.  Both of us have been on the vegan diet (Lee for 3 years and I have for 2 years) and more and more of it is raw food, and nearly always organic. 

Again, I’m not suggesting an individual clones the other.  Lee has plenty of things that she does on her own of which are “within her domain” and don’t interest me, and vice versa, and that’s healthy.

My point, and theory is, so many couples we know focus on their differences, and of course there are and will be differences.  We have decided to focus, not on our differences, (there are plenty), but on our “same-nesses” and how grateful we are to have the life we have.   And that makes our relationship and lives a success, not how much money we make (some months we make plenty and others we’re like dorm students), not how many friends we have (we have friends all over the world, but the friends we see the most often have wings or four legs), etc. 

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And life remains very good. I love you Baby.  

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and designer.  He founded the #1 offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times in 1997.  It’s been top ranked by Google since 2005 and Bing since 2008. His wife Lee is a popular nature photographer and runs the popular nature blog Hike Our Planet.  She also designs gifts and collectibles from her photography and art and showcases them at her various home decor  and clothing shops such as Lee Hiller Designs.  Both are avid outdoorspersons and stewards for Hot Springs National Park which they hike and take care of weekly. 

 

 

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