(Part of this blog repeats a bit of some past blogs (but has to to tell the story correctly). If so, and you’ve read that part, my apologies. Please gloss over that part and get to the new stuff). Thanks. Rick
Fifty years ago last week, I saved the lives of my brother Andy Stetelman and sister Carol Stetelman-Abshire from a raging fire that destroyed our home. It had started from a lawn mower gas tank that the landscaper left with the cap open next to the hot water heater in the storage room. My parents were at a cocktail party at the Fine’s house. It was 6:40 (give or take a few moments) CST on a Thursday night, October 1965.
The maid/baby sitter had locked herself out of the house and was repeatedly ringing the doorbell. My six year old brother Andy was paralyzed with fear crying on the couch in the den on the west side of the house closest to the front door. My sister Carol was in the hall bathroom taking a shower.
My 11 year old aspie mind assessed the situation. I could see it was bad and about to get much worse. First I ran to the beige dial-up phone under the stairs next to the bridge table and called the fire department which was on a yellow sticker on the phone. There was no 911 in 1965.
I then knocked loudly on the hallway bathroom door to alert my sister who didn’t believe me (at first) but as smoked filled the house, she did and left through the front door.
I then pulled Andy next door to Richard Ward’s house who generously kept him calm there and safe so he wouldn’t re-enter the burning home.
For two weeks I had the role of “hero child”. It felt awkward as I was not used to positive attention from my parents or family.
How do I remember these lucid details such as times, days of the week etc? I actually remember much more of that night but no room to include. Some people afflicted with autism/Asperger’s can remember details of situations as far back as 2 years old, some even further. I remember a lot of milestone details as far back as age four. The fire is one of them. I even remember how long it took for the fire department to get there after I called. I remember being nervous and twice having to hang up the phone as I could not dial the number correctly. I remember how the smoke bellowed from my closet door as the Munsters played on tv. That was 50 years ago. I was 11.
Then I was told never again to mention what I had done and they were back to treating me as “the core of all the problems they ever had”. My father mumbled something about humility and that was the end of the story. I thought he was doing me a favor, teaching me social skills; but if asked about the events of the fire, which I often was, I simply told people, “I don’t talk about that anymore”.
It ruined my bedroom as well which was in an isolated attic away from the family. For all my childhood, I thought living in an isolated attic was normal. It was not. It was very sick, and often done with disabled children who “don’t fit the family lineage”.
I don’t bring up this dark time in my life to get a pat on the back or receive the tag of “hero”. That, of course, is not what I am/was at all. Any brother or sister, I believe would do everything possible to get their sibling(s) out of harm’s way.
The reason for writing about that event, is what was to follow. The “erasing of Rick”. It was already happening, I simply was not aware. I was an undiagnosed autistic child, barely making it in the world, and punished severely for my behavior.
Joe and Rose Kennedy did this with Rosemary with a lobotomy and an isolated cottage in an institution that Joe had built. On a much smaller scale, that was basically what was being done to me. In both instances, lies were manufactured so the public would be assured they were being protected from this “accidental monster they’d created”. My family did it to me on a much smaller scale; but with just as little class as Joe Kennedy. Not much.
In medical/psychological terms, they were creating the “Identified Patient”. In street terms, the black sheep or scapegoat. Scapegoats don’t just “happen”, they are created and for a very specific reason (click on link below for article explaining).
Why would any parent do that? Narcissistic abuse follows one way into adulthood. Siblings and their friends begin to “believe the lies” as to face the truth would make them fall apart, literally.
I’ve decided this family secret has officially ended. Whoever believes me or not is immaterial. I now know what happened and it has been confirmed by some extremely knowledgeable people in the medical community. And now, of course there are articles and stories all over the media with the Kennedy story being leaked all at the same time.
I am in the process of writing a book, and soon thereafter a film. I’ve set up a strategy that should something happen to me, members of one of my autism communities will finish both. Also one member owns a very large film studio. So it will happen whether I’m dead, in jail, or unconscious. My beloved wife Lee and an autistic group will receive the proceeds of both should something happen to me (I also have congestive heart failure) and active “flying monkeys”, now very angry ones.
These stories need to evolve no matter how scary they are, no matter how much they make waves, no matter how much they disrupt the status quo. For if they don’t the very soul of this great country is gone. And it is up to us, the citizens of this great country, to set such stories straight. Not everyone will believe them and that’s fine. Those of us who have the epiphany of the real truth is what matters. And if it helps one more person or family, it was all worth it all along.
Excellent Story On Why Parents Scapegoat: http://bit.ly/1Lo8Q21
Upon my enlightenment of what happened to me (early in my life) up until age 60, I became angry. That is normal (many scapegoat children-turn-adult) never lose that anger. Even more, never even discover what happened to them, as it is “the family secret” and all participants who choose to engage “play a role” and play it well for their own survival.
One of the main roles is to help “build the hierarchy” of the dysfunctional family model, by helping the parents scapegoat the “weak child”, hence removing responsibility of their own dysfunction and projecting it onto the scapegoat (and if that model scapegoat is created at a young enough age) i.e. vis a vie triangulation, isolation, etc. it works quite simply.
Of course there are numerous downsides to this type “family model” that are far too numerous to mention. One is the deception and manipulation mentioned above. The family generally then turns to their community and screams, “See what a madman we have? No wonder our family is in turmoil”. Of course it is all based on deception and untruths.
And though it “works”, this model harms a lot of people (even outside the family unit) as well as the children (not only the scapegoat child). All models from the golden child to the lost child are angry (at whom, they are a bit confused/misguided) but that’s merely a fact of the NPD family model (they all think they are angry at the scapegoat). Sadly they are not.
Mix in a heaping tablespoon of Autism Spectrum (with which I was born), didn’t only make life difficult, it made it impossible. Believe me when I tell you, Clark Kent couldn’t have changed into his Spandex and flown out of there without some heavy duty kryptonite burns.
Jung and Satir’s psychological and psychiatric papers are chock-full of these dynamics which are the “fingerprints” of any NPD family. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) penned his 2nd book “People Of The Lie” on this very family model. It is much more commonplace than people know.
So how to heal? I’ve been reading a great deal on that, and consulting with several top professionals in that field. I am also now hooked into several large networks that allow me support, and the ADA has assured me they would assist in any external issues that might arise while I attempt to begin my life, possibly for the first time; and of course my wife Lee is a tremendous support. Together we are walking through this.
Anger and fear are actually healthy responses to “my enlightenment”. In fact, I’ve learned that had I not had such emotions, I should be worried. It would mean I had likely gotten to the point of dissociation and void of all feelings (which would put me right back in the mud, wallowing with the narcissists and their“flying monkeys”) who continue to occasionally pop up (I choose not to engage with them anymore, however; and that is healthier for both sides
As Katy told Boon in “Animal House” when asked to be his date to the toga party, “I’ll write you a note. I’ll say you’re too well to attend”. And actually, just as promised from various therapists, once I purged the anger and blogged it, the anger subsided. Have I forgiven the culprits yet? Of course not. I know, I know, forgiveness is “the solution” to many things, and I agree, and feel I will forgive one day.
But if I give a “fake performance” (just to show “how spiritual I am”), and not feel the anger and “loss of innocence” if you will, that’s exactly what it will be, “a fake performance”. Fake performances were the very foundation of what I had to do in that original family unit to survive. I refuse to be involved in that kind of behavior ever again.
So forgiveness is on my agenda in the future, but not forgetfulness. It is every bit as important to remember who did these deeds to me, and who enabled them (and who continues to enable some of them) and never, ever allow them in my life again. They do not deserve that honor. To be forgiven? Yes one day. To be forgotten would be naive and myopic.
Will I write a book (and/or screenplay) regarding my life? I have been approached by several very capable people “interested parties”, and am tossing that idea around. I’d say “probably so” but I don’t want to do so while my moods are still volatile.
First I want to allow those around me who really love me (Lee) to help in the healing, which she has been doing, and that doesn’t go unrecognized, and continue our hikes as I’ve learned late in life that God’s handiwork aka nature is a healer like no other I’ve ever seen. Lee agrees, and together our hikes are like magic.
In college, my first time around, I was not a great student. Now of course I understand more clearly as to why.
I could barely read, and, I actually had never read even one entire book cover-to-cover until age 27, and again, now I have a greater comprehension as to why that occurred too.
A combination of struggling with both autism and scapegoatism, hindered my ability to do so.
When I finally learned how to read properly (using a ruler or other similar object), it made things much easier. And though I loved some of the great nature/spirituality writers such as Emerson and Thoreau, I didn’t fully comprehend their core message until experiencing it. In fact I used to snicker at some of it, sadly. Now I know how much smarter/wiser they were than I will ever even hope to be.
Lee on the other hand is and always was an avid reader and comprehends what she reads. Using her instincts, one birthday she got us both Kindle Fires. Suddenly, due to the brilliant background lighting and large font, enabled me to read and absorb the words (without using a flat object to keep the letters from jumping all over the place).
And though I realize the autism will never go away, I am slowly learning to accept it. It is in fact a gift after all (I had always heard otherwise). It is why I am able to do a lot of the things I am able to do (especially on the creative side). In my diagnosis, which was done by the top neuropsychologist in Arkansas, (and allegedly one most respected in this whole region) who does most of the neurological evaluations in this state as she is that respected, and has sat on the Ar. State Autism Board about 35 years who wrote a letter to my GP (which is the result of the evaluation). She says that even my work is autistic in nature. (I gave her the URL of my web site).
Ironically, Lee’s guess and later my guess was Asperger’s. She noticed numerous “Aspie” movements/gestures etc. for several years. It took time but upon deep assessment, finally so did I. But we found out I am much deeper on the Autism spectrum than the Asperger’s spectrum. And though Asperger’s is considered a type of autism, not everyone with autism has it. I got lucky and have both.
As each day passes, I learn just how lucky and blessed I really am. I have what I need; more than I ever desired. I am alive and, though on some days struggling with health issues, I have survived and I am strong.
I am a survivor, of things that (I am told) most people don’t survive. I don’t say that in glee. I say that because that is one of the main reasons I blog this topic, very different than my cartoon/humorous stuff, which I find equally important. Laughter was not easy on many days. I have been writing cartoons for 18 years.
I notice on days I am able to find humor on which I could rely for a laugh, sometimes that is all I needed to make it through the day.
But I also needed information like this (on this topic).
It is not fun to write, and sometimes it isn’t easy to write. But for me, it is very necessary to write. I’ve already been told of several families who have been helped. Young lives who won’t have to go through what I did.
Several families have opted for professional help rather than ego-driven narcissism/power etc. to greet and welcome in life. To them I say, “God bless you” and please do keep the faith. All that pain, made this day worthwhile for me, and I hope and pray that in your own journey toward recovery, both of us will be able to look back and say, “Now what was that that was bothering me back in July of 2015? I don’t even remember”.
Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer. He is best known for his Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts which have remained Google #1 ranked since 2005. He is active in such causes as autism/Asperger’s, animals, children and the environment.
Since posting 3 chapters of my book on my autism and being scapegoated, I’ve been deluged with questions. And that’s a good thing.
Some people are not sure, most feel fairly certain they are not on the autism or Asperger’s spectrum; a few feel they may and are getting tested. If planning to get evaluated, please make sure to “vet” the professional who does so. Not every psychologist or psychiatrist is trained in that area expertise. Mine has chaired the Arkansas Autism State Board for 35 years and is well-versed in the topic. Yours does not have to have that kind of qualifications, but it should be someone who is well-versed in, not just autism/Asperger’s but various disabilities and truly knows the topic “inside-out”, and is not likely to make errors. You don’t want a wrong diagnosis. You’ve gotten this far.
That is good too. I’m starting the book as “a novice”. No, not a novice at being scapegoated or having autism…have had that all my life (for 60 years). But I only discovered both through the help of some very experienced professionals; I could never have figured that out on my own; though I was able to finally put all the pieces together with the help of some very insightful professionals with over 100 years experience in this area of work. So I’m a novice at “knowing the issue at hand”. For 60 years I knew something was not quite right, I simply didn’t know what.
Keep in mind struggling with the autism was/is challenging enough. But add the struggle of a narcissist/scapegoating family who had, while abusing their community powers, also recruited other “flying monkeys” to march to their “hate Rick” campaign, the odds were pretty much stacked against me. But now I have a chance to live my life, and live it well. The point I’m making is that I am not unique. Most disabled persons (born disabled) but rather than diagnosed and treated, are hidden away, abused and/or neglected, have a similar unique challenge. They eventually have to decide to come to terms with what has happened to them, is happening now, and will continue to happen. I was, and in some cases still am, punished by those who were supposed to love and help me, simply for having a congenital condition of which I inherited, and over which I had/have no control. That condition is sad and quite a challenge. Those who were/are abusive are, I’ve learned, much sicker, and much more cruel than I’ll ever be.
The fact that suddenly I have had a “eureka moment” does not change anything on the outside. The family and the part of the community they have recruited are ill. Very ill according to numerous top professionals. They won’t be getting well anytime soon, if ever and their “We must hate Rick for our own self-esteem” will probably go with them to their graves. It is a much a part of them as breathing oxygen. It is their oxygen in many cases and has been all (of my life). I shouldn’t expect any support from them. Is that painful? Of course, but now I am getting support from healthy places, and I realize they will die ill and bitter. That is what hurts. The good news is the replacements. Those who lost the chance to share my love, and there are many (former relatives, friends, etc. are actually the ones who have lost an opportunity). No, I’m not anything particularly special or great, but I am strong. Very strong. None of them could have survived what I have. Not one single one of them. I could have taught them a bit about strength, about character, and about things they’ll most likely never know. Their loss.
People I once looked up to and trusted, never were trustworthy, and never will be, and as my doctors have suggested, in many cases it is best to ignore them, they don’t deserve the honor of my presence, and only address them (or let the government address them) if they continue to try any bullying or abuse (whether directly or through a third-party “flying monkey”.) Still, I remain very optimistic simply based on the internal changes I have seen, as well as the external ones, that is, suddenly the type of healthy and loving people in my life, of whom I never felt I would have access. And they love, respect and support me back. To me, that is success. Others may define success however they wish.
So there are plenty of questions of which I don’t have the answers (at this point) though I plan to study it for the rest of my life and learn as much as possible and I promise to share any and all pertinent information that may be helpful. Nobody, under any circumstances should endure scapegoating, and to scapegoat a disabled person is absolutely indefensible and repulsive facilitated only by the most nefarious characters among us. Funny thing. The Brother’s Grimm in the early 1800’s had great insight on scapegoating and/or NPD (narcissism personality disorder).
If you’ve only seen Sleeping Beauty as a child, I strongly suggest to have an adult look at it. No story I’ve seen explains the narcissist/scapegoating process like this story. It goes further into only those dynamics but “community/power/money” dynamics as well. Nobody wanted to “get on the bad side of the evil queen”. After all, they could be her next scapegoat. She “won by intimidation” (or almost did), but failed only because there was someone honest in the kingdom who could not kill Sleeping Beauty. A lot of it is corny (it was written for kids), but it was also clearly written for adults.
Snow White is wonderful too with a similar theme to help both children and families of NPD disorder and scapegoating. Of course Cindarella is also the epitome of the scapegoat child.
There is a tremendous moral to that story; how important it is to sometimes if not often “go against the tide”. What one might be hearing is only rumors. Not to put ones dog in a fight that doesn’t belong there. How envy and hate can be omnipotent in some very sick people (as the queen was) and it happens in our towns, cities and communities all the time. The other moral is “how one man fights the tide” and wins. It’s an important story. Disney brought it back for a reason in 1937. He knew the importance of something that he knew was epidemic if not pandemic. He wanted the public to know. And it became one of the biggest box office hits of all time.
If your esteem is down from being scapegoated, here’s the good news. You should pat yourself on the back for having survived. It is the narcissists and flying monkeys among us, who used our good name, who should hang their head in shame. And if they continue doing it, and you are disabled, it will be worse for them than hanging their head in shame. I’ll mention the disability webinar later in this blog. Whether you have autism or any other disability, and you’ve been scapegoated (and/or still are), there’s some good news for you, and some bad news for the perpetrators.
Most of their children’s literature covered such topics. They deemed it important to write it in a format that both parents (reading to their children) and children could understand it, and, if their family dynamics were already in the middle of narcissistic parentel destruction, they could recognize it and get help. The Brothers Grimm knew only a few would, but even if it were only a few, consider the amount of suffering that would be avoided.
Fast forward several centuries. A novice filmmaker named Walt Disney also considered that topic high on the list of important educational topics. One of his first films “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs” (1937) was based on the same Brothers Grimm book and covered the topic of NPD disorder and in a way that both the layman, the child and the parents could understand it. Knowing most NPD families are in total denial (for a lifetime),
Disney also knew this important message may only help but a few suffering families. But to him, a few was a lot better than none. It meant lifetimes of avoiding needless suffering (of children who later became adults). Here is a list of other popular films from Arthur to Wall Street to A Streetcar Named Desire…that all dealt with NPD disorder and scapegoating. Another one, highly recommended but not listed on Wiki is “Gaslight” which won numerous awards. It is creepy though and very difficult to watch, but clearly explains some of the “crazy-making” in more extreme narcissistic/scapegoating cases.
I recommend to rent these films on Netflix or Amazon for a few dollars. They can much more clearly explain scapegoating and NPD disorder than I can. As I stated, as I write this blog I am still new at “knowing” this is my story.
Where does the autism fit in? That’s complicated in that the autistic child (and later adult) already has developmental issues. When parents, siblings and the community scapegoat that autistic child, it can be lethal. Fortunately for me, God was apparently looking after me. I wanted to improve. I longed to improve my life. And I kept my faith. If I can do that, anyone can.
If you suspect NPD disorder occurred in your family, chances are there are still “Flying Monkeys” in your stratosphere. There are now ways (legally if need be) to keep them at bay. I strongly suggest a webinar by the Autistic Network. By clicking the image below that says “IPMG” you can register for free. It is important, and will educate you on your rights, and make your life a lot easier. I’m looking very forward to it as is my beloved wife Lee.
And though this webinar is targeted toward persons with autism and/or Asperger’s, it will be helpful to anyone with a disability. One of the main focuses is going to be knowing your rights (and what to expect from the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) which is part of the Department Of Justice. They are not only interested in your disabilities, but your rights if anyone (whether they be family, friends, strangers, groups, lawyers, you name it, they want to know) if you are being injured, stalked, or harmed in any way by anyone(s).
If you were raised with an un-diagnosed congenital disability, chances are very good you were scapegoated, still are, and there are “flying monkeys” in your life. Groups like this offer you resources and protection. You only deserve the best. You’ve seen the parts of life that nobody should have to see. It’s your turn to enjoy your life with no sociopathic “flying monkeys” interrupting in yet more attempts to hurt you via censor, fiscally, or whatever other dirty trick they have up their sleeve on any given day, and believe me they do have dirty tricks up their sleeves, always. They are sick and it doesn’t go away unless they come out of denial and get real professional help. Sadly, the majority don’t. They are convinced they are well. Very well.
As for you….. Don’t just “Want it”, “Demand It”. You deserve the best. You always did. And now it really is your turn.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer. He is actively involved in autism/Asperger’s, animals, nature and children’s causes. He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts which he launched in 1997 from an abandoned tin shed in rural Mississippi.
So how does an undiagnosed autistic child (or adult) figure out the issue is a Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD) origin family including past and current flying monkeys (FM) from those families and/or friends? Again flying monkeys are minions who do the narcissist’s “dirty work” to attack or harm the scapegoat child (even as an adult); sometimes long after the original narcissist(s) are deceased. It can be carried on by siblings, friends of siblings, even grandmothers and grandfathers, church or synagogue members; whomever the narcissistic can influence and/or bribe/buy that they know the scapegoat cannot, as they generally do all they can to keep the scapegoat in poverty as long as they can (yet another form of narcissistic parental control).
One place to start is to think like the criminals they are. This is not easy for the scapegoat child as he/she is taught never ever to lie. (What we’re not told is they will do the lying for us, and make sure we are put in situations that make us appear to be the liars).
And I don’t mean to suggest you lie or be a criminal. Just be prepared to ask tough questions to the people from your past you’ve decided to allow into your current life; Ask questions and be silent. You may want to allow none of them contact with you and that is fine. There are plenty of new communities full of much healthier people willing to offer support.
But, if you decide to give some of the old flying monkeys mercy, learn what some of the FMs who might not be in the FM inner core are hearing from their narcissists on the NPD spectrum. Then double check it to make sure you heard it right. It is usually a lie, and often a lie that can be proven (now with the Internet one can get public records (even from a half century ago) with a credit or debit card and the flick of a mouse; not good news for the habitual flying monkeys who are addicted to that lying process (and most are).
From the start, let me make something clear that is so important. Never ever ask or demand that someone “be on your side” and believe you only. Jung talked about this. First it doesn’t work. Second it puts you at the same very low level as the narcissists and their FMs, a place you very much don’t want to be. Then “they’ve won” in that they’ve brought you down to their level. Stick with the facts. If someone shows an interest, show them the evidence. Still, no demands to be on your side “in this fight”. It’s not a fight. It is “getting your life back” which is the only battle. Those people who were once relatives, friends, associates or whatever, are just sad, sick people of the past that hurt you, and possibly tried to do worse. They didn’t succeed. Now it’s your turn.
Your turn for what? Not revenge, at least not in the sense that people think of revenge. Don’t ever let them draw you into an argument or debate. If they try, they are bullying you and that info should go straight to the ADA. I’ve given info on how to contact the Americans With Disabilities Act, and if anyone tries to hurt you now, you have their help.
Success is going to be your revenge. It may or may not be money. But it absolutely will be to break the bonds of lies and aspersions that they cast many years ago. You will be free of those. And whether you accumulate wealth, or not, there is no greater success than being free of those bonds, and having “the good guys” on your side who are actually in place to protect you. Is that not success? You’ve already won the major battle. Now to build your life the way you’d planned to build it many years ago but were bullied, scapegoated and undermined so that it was assured not to happen. The perpetrators may have been people to whom you looked up and admired. They did not deserve that. They were sick, ugly horrible people, not worthy of your time or attention.
This is the “year of you”. Let’s build you the way you always wanted to be; even better if you wish. It is possible at any age. One day in the future, if you deem appropriate, you can forgive them. You can right now if you wish, but it’s not likely to be sincere. You are in the early stages of recovery from what many call “soul murder”. It is a crime often compared to murder (or rape). It is definitely child abuse, and it often turns into adult abuse. Usually the perpetrator(s) are long gone/dead but offspring and their own social/business circles continue the sociopathy. Now there’s help. Much help.
The scapegoat child (even as an adult)’s fate used to be sealed. His/her reputation was tarnished before he/she even knew he was “at war” or “in a battle with his family. I, of course, felt really dumb. But I hadn’t a clue narcissistic parents do everything possible to isolate the chosen “scapegoat child” from its siblings as early as possible. And who could imagine parents would set up a child to fail (and undermine them if they didn’t) so that they could appear victims of an out-of-control offspring?
Remember, the Internet is your friend. Now you can check and double check these lies, many times with city and/or county records. Google “Find County Records” or “Find City Records”. It often costs about $20 a month to use these services but if you are writing a book or film that requires accuracy and honesty, it is pertinent and well worth the investment. Or even if you just want to know for yourself (if any of them are true or not, a month or two subscription to such a service can offer empowerment and great peace of mind). It certainly has for me.
The Flying Monkeys stories can no longer take flight; or only the unwired, those who are on the fringe and quite naive would believe some of the garbage from that kind of drek’s mouths. They are passe’, archaic, and has-beens. Most don’t know it, yet; but many are “beginning to get it”. They are going to have to learn to “make it” on their own, without the abuse of disabled people. It will be tough for many of them, but they really have no choice (according to the ADA) Americans With Disabilities Act.
Though my own parents knew there was something very amiss with me, they never had me tested for any type of condition or disorder. It turned out to be autism and Asperger’s (as I have written), and, as I have written, I was hidden away in an “attic bedroom” far away from my other siblings for nearly 12 years of my life (age 6-17). Job done. Same as solitary confinement (In an autistic child’s mind). But I didn’t even know such a family dysfunction even existed until age 60. So where’s the justice? T
That nightmare existed from age six until age 17 when I was totally/physically abandoned for numerous years until I was so near-death, even the worst dregs of the earth couldn’t not take me back in (I was only taken back in for short periods of time until I could find yet another dead-end nothing job to keep me going as long as possible). It was a gift of God that I had creative and entrepreneurial skills, discovered late in life, that allowed me to build popular businesses from nothing. No money, never more than a few hundred dollars. So I was “allowed” freedom as an adult as long as I could keep those businesses going. Being a scapegoat child with autism, that was often not very long. So, start with a third party, a mutual friend of both “sides of the aisle” who you trust. Ask them a question about yourself, maybe based on a rumor about yourself you’ve heard elsewhere. The following is just one of several hundred I have on file that have gotten back to me. It is the “But your dad opened that beautiful health food store for you”. When/if you hear the actual lie, ask the friend or relative for a favor. Ask them if the person who told them the fib might be willing to take a mutual lie-detector test; and then be silent. If the mutual friend is on the up-and-up, they will usually say (with hesitancy because admittedly it is an odd request) “Sure at least I’ll ask”.
FMs NEVER EVER take lie detectors nor will submit to one even if you, the scapegoat offers to pay for both theirs and yours. How can they? Their entire inventory of terror is based on lies. I used to ask that question when such lies got back to me. Now I know the “creator” of such lies never admit they even “knew of them”, much less “created them”. Occasionally there is a half/or part truth, but that is a rarity, and if there is, it is often nothing they haven’t done themselves, or their friends, or human beings in general. Remember, it is the “big lies” you’re after. The type that can make or break a reputation. The kind that can make or break a human. The kind that can make or break a spirit. The kind that belongs in best-sellers and top box-office films; and they most certainly will in my case, whether I’m still living or not. My wife and I have made certain of that as has a very large autism network.
I spoke last month to one of my favorite relatives who, I knew, sadly, was part of the “flying monkey” network. In her case, it was difficult at best, in that she is married to an attorney who found himself early in life recruited as a FM and they were deep into the FM spectrum before they even reached 40 years old. They are now in their 80s. The one thing about this relative is that no matter how much she aged, she was always interested (or so it seemed) in the good and the bad that was happening in my life. That information seemed to be “our bond”. She is a tough bird, hence I rarely had trouble telling her much of anything, even the tough parts of my life. Of course I told these things to Lee (my wife) as well, but by telling unresolved conflicts to an older “trusted” relative, one often gets a perspective that one cannot get from my generation. Often if I had a problem or conflict, she’d been through something similar and had some sage advice. So I decided to let her know about my definite diagnosis of autism/Asperger’s. Being from an older generation she asked me where I thought I could have caught it. She added, “I mean you’ve lived in so many places”. I shook my head and laughed, and told her it was/is congenital, people don’t catch it, one is born with it. She knew and was very close my parents very well. She added, “Then how could your parents missed something that big?” I told her, “That is what we’re trying to find out now. They also missed vanus, a very severe form of flat feet.” “Rick then surely you caught the vanus somewhere or it was due to injury of all that long distance running, martial arts and hiking. Maybe cut back on hiking”. I knew this was going to be a difficult conversation. Not knowing yet that I was “the scapegoat child of narcissistic parents (or an ACON), I explained to her that my parents were in their own unresolved battles, and frankly did not have the time to explore everything about me. They had their “future Realtor of America” and really “Isn’t that all they wanted?”
She always laughed when I said that as she knew that was true. I explained to her that my parents didn’t like me once. For instance my siblings received nice material inheritances. I added sardonically to my relative, “And I inherited a suitcase”. She quipped back quickly, “But your dad did give you that very nice health food store”. There was a long silence (and these long silences gives the scapegoat time to catch his/her breath and realize he/she has caught a flying monkey in a lie). I asked where she heard that (already knowing where she’d heard it as I’d heard it from other mutual friends of my family) and she didn’t answer and changed the subject.
I think I actually surprised her in that, even at her age with her wisdom, she was believing the still-living narcissists. I told her a bank president named Jack T. of the now defunct Bank Of Hattiesburg loaned me the money as well as my partner Doug R.
Jack figured a way to loan my partner and I a whopping $10,000 total. We needed about eight times that much. We did what we could (for the rest) using sweat equity. And sweat we did. I was often there until midnight and often 24/7, decorating and redecorating the store, studying catalogs for hot trending items, learning all I could about nutrition, etc.
My father not only didn’t bank at BOH, he also wanted nothing to do with the health food store, unless he could figure out a way to make money on it. And of course he did (most of the money that went through that store went to him). He told me he would secure me the corner 875 square foot (perfect) space in a new mall he’d built called “Village Green Mall” if I would rent from him and the rent would be a very low $675 per month. To him low, but to me extremely high.
I assessed the place, Village Green Mall, and came to the conclusion people would have a difficult time maneuvering in and out of it, or even finding it, given that North 25th Ave. the inward artery had no traffic light, nor did the service road. He assured me it would be mainly students at USM across the highway and most of them would walk. Any normal businessperson would have seen the obstacle to traffic, and opted out, as most did.
But when you have autism, at age 28, running marathons and “trying to be a super athlete”, it is easy to talk oneself into believing they can overcome such obstacles, which actually are more basic business principles than obstacles. They cannot be overcome, and none of the other stores in that once full mall were able to make it past 2-5 years either. I could run 26 miles, but I couldn’t keep a tiny shop open that had no access road traffic light. Shows how important basic business principles really are (and to avoid landlords who feel you might not understand them).
His assurances were as good as his word. Very few students could afford or even wanted vitamins or herbs at the time (1978) and most of my older customers also went to the competing store which had about 6 years experience and inventory on me (and easy in/out access). In other words not only did my dad not contribute a penny to The Sesame Seed health food store, he managed to take 24,600 from it in rent. Rent in a mall that went under (as far as boutique shops which were there when I was).
To my knowledge, it is still open but has tenants such as “EZPay Loans” etc in which people will take a risk taking dangerous turns to get there, simply because they would even deal with a predator lender. A person wouldn’t make that turn for some overpriced tofu or rice crackers; when they could get it a mile away at an established store and a few years later at a new store called “WalMart” another 1.5 miles away.
So that lie not only didn’t fly but has a backlash that will appear in my book, after I discovered I am able to get those records from the Internet since the business went into Chapter 13 in 1980. Those records are still in the clerk’s office. The only names anyone will see on them are Doug R. (my 1st partner who sold out the first year), former USM professor Bill K., and The Bank Of Hattiesburg. (My late dad’s name is nowhere to be found on the loan papers), as he (and his FMs) have told and continue to tell everyone. I now know the exact source, who it was who told my relative in the northeast as I got her to “accidentally” cough it up, and it turned out to be one of the second generation flying monkeys as I suspected. As mentioned all this is on the Internet county archives and very easy to retrieve which I will be doing for my book.
That FM began making up lies (at least ones that got back to me) before I was 15. I didn’t quite understand what they (the lies) were all about. Of course with enough therapy, anyone would understand. Nothing personal, just playing ones role for survival in a very ill NPD family, and my “sin” was being the sane/honest one. So it goes. Oh, Professional Bill and I decided to try some real estate ventures on our own after the health food crash. We bought some old homes and fixed them up. In the middle of that, my dad ran him out of town. He was having “too much control over me” and was “not a good influence”. Actually he was a very nice person and good influence. USM apparently thought so too.
That was just one of the many NPD lies that has circulated for years before reaching me (most of them eventually do reach me) as I said. The majority of FMs do get sick of being minions for a family feud of which they know nothing about, but are commanded by the narcissists in it to take their side and do their dirty work. They not only eventually stop, but they get so angry over the years they even come to me to let me know what has been happening. So I took all that information to the State Of Arkansas Autism Board Member (for 35 years) who is my acting therapist who assured me that I’ve been dealing with an NPD family.
That is what the attic bedroom isolation was about at age six. It had nothing to do with being a “special child”, it had everything to do with isolating me from the other children. I was the odd one. I blinked my eyes too much. I had twitches, I acted strange. I had autism. I must be punished for that. And punished I was. The flying monkeys continue to “do their dirty work” as word gets back to me.
But it has died down considerably since my autism diagnosis as such crimes and discrimination against the disabled are taken very seriously (as well they should G.). I have made it as clear (I only need tell one or two….the rest know within an hoiur or two…that is the way that FM family/minion network works), as I possibly can to the current living flying monkeys what the consequences will be of further such evil actions (even if it is from a third party), I know the exact source. The Universe truly has a way of providing kindness and justice if the scapegoat will only grab onto a rope and have patience. The bottom line is disengage, no matter how hard they attack. All attacks from them go directly to the ADA (Americans With Disability Act) part of the Department Of Justice. Keep in mind that as the scapegoat child (even as an adult), your ability to fight back and resources to do so may be limited. Besides, those type family feuds often last forever and nobody wins. However if the DOJ takes over, the fight has ended (even if the FMs and narcissists don’t realize it at first). That’s why the ADA exists. Your rights are their business, and they take their business very seriously, no matter what station in life the flying monkeys are enjoying. Your rights are not only their business, but the FMs and N’s have made a very special effort over the years to make it appear that you don’t have any (rights). Bullies try their best to do that to their victims. They are now going to learn otherwise.
My wife and I are listening to one of my network’s webinar on the steps to use to file such a complaint in case this ever happens again, which it could. I hope everyone can listen. I posted the registration URL on social media yesterday. Please sign up and have a look. It is free, and your rights (that have been taken away) are pertinent. Knowledge is power and the more you know about your rights, the more it diminshes the FMs/bullies/narcissists.
Meantime, I write these type blogs, not only to compile into a book, but am publishing them sooner than the book; and for free to read, so that others (and this type family dysfunction is omnipotent and we thought it was rare for so long), so that others can get help, or learn from my own mistakes, and not have to shell out money they may not have (for a book) but still get the proper assistance and/or resources.
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 fill 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.
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 found a neighbor 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 autism (When I say painful I mean emotionally so) such as depression, anxiety, esteem issues, etc.
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. Why were my younger siblings out and about, and I was at home brooding in my attic bedroom away from everyone else. She 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.
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.
The shocker is that though her loving parents didn’t know she had autism (which she may not) but chances are good she does, 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.
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. 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 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 know how to stop them in the 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.
Everyone who knows they have not done wrong, longs to clear their 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). One knows they have tried their best. They know they’ve not hurt anyone, at least not purposely, and they can’t 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 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, etc. most of whom all tell me what they are up to. 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.
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.
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 give the NPD/flying monkeys experience, until the world is aware. That is a promise. If anything happens to me, there are 25 others writing with me. 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.
My life 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.
He 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”.
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 they don’t, they are often punished. 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).
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”.
They healthy places I’m now going in my life, they don’t “want to go there”. And not because they wouldn’t if they could, it’s because they can’t go there. They are no longer invited along. They do not have the honor of my company, even in proxy. They will have to create their own new fantasy life that does not include me. Many do not understand that yet. They will when my book and subsequent film is produced, though. They’re writing the ending. They simply aren’t aware of that fact yet. Maybe now they are. 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.
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.
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.
Pioneer NPD vs Healthy Family therapist Virginia Satir understood the dynamics of an NPD family possibly better than anyone.
Here are her “Five Freedoms”…..
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”.
Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift & clothing designer. He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts. He also has the condition of autism/Asperger’s and is an adult child of NPD parents.