It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Deconstructing rage

Healing from the abuse we suffered at the hands of our narcissists…and the internalized narcissists in our heads who keep us abusing ourselves…is a journey. Just as it took time and effort to turn our joyful little child-selves into angry, beaten-down adults, it takes time to come back from that state, to restore joy and perspective and self-love to our lives.
Six years ago, when I was writing the 46 Memories and working through some of my issues, I wrote a blog entry entitled “Deconstructing Rage.” Re-reading it today, I see a lot of information that some of you may find interesting and/or helpful:

I don’t get mad much anymore. Some years ago I had this epiphany in which I realized that when I was angry, that anger was actually hiding…masking…what I was really feeling, which was mostly hurt, fear, and/or disappointment. After some heavy thinking I came to realize that my anger was actually a reaction to one of those feelings, anger being more powerful and empowering than allowing myself to experience, yet again, those emotions I had come to equate with being a victim.

What brought me to that epiphany was a think-session in which I tried to figure out why I cried when I was mad. Talk about dis-empowering! I used to be able to work up a good head of steam…a really intimidating rage…only to have its intended effect completely neutralized by the telltale red nose, watery eyes, and streams of water coursing down my cheeks. Anger…the towering rage kind of anger…used to be the “big gun” in my emotional arsenal. It was effective, it was intimidating, it got me what I wanted, right up to the moment I started to tear up. I knew the tears to be a sign of an escalation of emotion…an expression of a rage so profound I felt like I was going to explode with it, but my victims took quite an opposite view. Instead of the power of my fury, they saw a weeping woman, ineffectually spitting out blunted barbs.

Eventually I would withdraw to a place of privacy and dissolve into a storm of noisy sobs. When that was over, I would emerge and, if the situation had not been resolved to my satisfaction, a cold fury would set in. This was the dangerous one, because it fuelled retaliation, rejection, or worse. There were no tears in this determined, steely-eyed rage. It was cold, calculating, and bent on getting what I wanted at all costs. It took me years to untangle this and ultimately discover that this was not my process, it actually belonged to someone else, and the tears were my own personal contribution to it…and my only clue.

By the time I reached my mid-thirties, the cumulative dramas and traumas of my life were beginning to take their toll. I fell into a deep depression and began having suicidal thoughts. When things that would formerly enrage me occurred, I would go to bed, curl into a foetal position, and wish for the dark oblivion of death. During this period I found a therapy group and began to participate twice weekly. In the group sessions, the women would expiate their rages by beating huge pillows with tennis racquets, but I simply observed, clenched and rigid, my rage returned and barely controlled. But by the time I returned home, it had returned to its hiding place beneath my depression where it lay dormant, coiled and ready for its next summons.

I’d like to say that the rage slowly seeped away, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I just got better and better at keeping it under control. A divorce and remarriage later, it still lurked beneath my surface, popping out occasionally for a snack on someone’s ego, never diminishing in strength or potency, but remaining increasingly closeted. And then my husband died.

For the next nine days I was nearly in a fugue. I was unable to eat anything, and slept only when I was falling-down exhausted…and then for only a few hours. My mind, always alert and active, seemed to be a blank. And I couldn’t cry. Finally he was buried and I skipped the family lunch, hosted by the brother-in-law who had spent his life ridiculing and belittling his now-dead brother. I just went home, took off my widow’s weeds and went to sleep. For 20 hours.

I woke up alone and suddenly realized that this was to be my new life. Oh, I had been alone before…I had been divorced, after all, and had been in a more than a few broken relationships in my life, but this time it was different. This time there were no fights and furies and break-ups and make-ups en route to my single status. No indignant “how dare he?” or “what was I thinking?” moments, no grand emotional production leading up to the apocalyptic moment of dumping or being dumped. This time there was a fragile kind of peace around me, a serenity that was not disturbed even by my numbness or sudden, unexpected moments of tears. I was alone, my heart was rent into ragged little bits, but I felt purged of rage. There was no one to be angry with, nothing to be angry about. He was gone, it was nobody’s fault, and he wasn’t coming back.

The next months of being alone were not, surprisingly, lonely. I spent a lot of time fiddling with the computer…something I do to keep my “upper” consciousness occupied with trivialities so my deeper consciousness can work things out and, eventually, kick them upstairs where I can ponder them. About five weeks after he died, my husband came to me while I slept and told me that it was all going to be okay and when I woke up, I knew.

I had a rather grim childhood and adolescence. To speak except when spoken to was to invite a backhand. Despite being a compliant and willing child, I was inept…as children are, until they have sufficient practice to master something…and so I received daily beatings from an unforgiving perfectionist of a mother. In so many ways I was a disappointment to her, and in so many brutal ways she let me know it. And yet, unlike so many children who buy the abuse and come away feeling at fault and therefore deserving of their victimization, I knew, every time that strap bit into my bare flesh, that what she was doing was wrong, that I was being unjustly assaulted…and I would get mad. By the time I was eight years old, I hated my mother with all the fervour an eight-year-old can muster. But to express that hatred was to invite further abuse, so I learned to be silent and nurture the rage, add to it with each new injustice, and eventually allow it to burst forth and defend me.

It took more than half my lifetime to learn that the rage was the mask that protected me from feeling the pain of my mother’s brutality. If I could focus myself on a rage, I would not feel the hurt. I learned to feel angry the moment I perceived any threat, for rage would not only keep me from feeling my fear, if it was big enough, it could actually drive off the threat. I soon came to realize that disappointment also provoked an angry response, too. We all have expectations of others, as well as ourselves, and I discovered that to keep myself from having to experience the pain of disappointment…or the guilt, if I was disappointing myself…all I had to do was stir up a fine rage and its fury would consume all those hurtful feelings so I would not have to experience them.

Once I had synthesized this in my head, I gave the idea to a few of my friends to see what they thought. Without exception, after some reflection on the matter, they agreed. In the throes of a break-up, if you get mad, it doesn’t hurt so much. Facing fearful situations, anger gives you strength, empowerment. And when someone tramples on your expectations, whether it is the third time the plumber has blown you off or it is some idiot who cut you off on the highway, the anger you feel is actually preventing you from feeling the disappointment of having your expectation unfulfilled: that the plumber would come at the appointed time or that the other driver would respect your right of way.

I have come to think of anger as a secondary emotion, an emotion that cannot exist in a pure state, as can fear, for example. Anger is a reaction or mask for certain primary emotions like fear or pain…disappointment being a form of emotional pain, after all. What all of these emotions have in common is that when we feel them, we feel vulnerable, victimized, powerless, at risk. Anger, however, is an empowering, pro-active emotion and the moment we shift from fear to anger, we no longer feel vulnerable, but powered by the adrenaline surge that comes with the advent of rage.

For me, crying through my rages was always a curious thing that neutralized the power of my anger. One cries when hurt or frightened, and it was those tears that eventually put me onto the track that lead me to figuring it out. Today, when I feel anger welling up inside me, I immediately analyze it…fear? pain? disappointment? Did that reckless BMW driver scare me when he passed on a blind curve? Did a person’s remark hurt my feelings? Did I really expect that woman to control her child?

I find that I am more prone to mild annoyance today than anything that approaches anger. I have found I can be outraged by something without being angry about it. I have discovered that there is very little worth working myself into a lather about anymore, not even in my marriage. Hubby and I have a very peaceful life…we hardly ever fight…I just state my case and then shut up until he comes around. Even if it takes him days…

We have all heard that anger is a corrosive emotion, that harbouring a grudge or holding onto revenge fantasies are like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. But do you know why? Anger and its attendant behaviours (revenge fantasies, grudges, etc.) are part of our “fight or flight” response, a primitive, unthinking, literally mindless instinct. This instinct triggers physiological responses in our bodies, primarily the release of adrenaline. This adrenaline has numerous effects on our body, among them the blunting of pain and a feeling of power and empowerment. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this adrenaline release: it causes stress hormones to be released into your system, which thins the stomach lining and stimulates stomach acid production, it raises both your glucose levels and your blood pressure. It can wreak havoc on your health…

“The adrenalin speeds up your heart rate and intensity of contractions. It diverts blood from organs that are non-essential during emergencies, and redirects it to the brain for thinking and to muscles for movement. Your breathing rate increases to keep up with oxygen demand. You become alert and vigilant.

“Also released is a natural steroid called cortisol. Cortisol is amazing. When facing a short term emergency, cortisol performs an intricately-balanced, controlled shutdown of many non-essential body systems that would tax our resources.

“There's also a dark downside to this wonder steroid. Our bodies are wonderfully adapted to short term stressors. But for each minute that a stressor such as anxiety persists past the time it is needed, cortisol keeps suppressing the body systems that digest, store energy, and grow/repair/replenish cells in major organs.

“As long as anxiety persists and our sympathetic nervous system is activated, cortisol will be released. While it won't kill us outright, it will gradually cripple our defenses, and cause our body systems to become vulnerable to disease and infection, a little bit at a time. For those of us who are already dealing with medical conditions besides anxiety, the effect is much worse. Let's take a look at how this happens:

“[1] It takes a significant amount of energy to create this response. If the demand 'switch' can't be shut off because of our persistent anxiety, there's no time or resources left to store energy, so a deficit occurs. Ever feel really tired after long periods of anxiety? Now you know why.

“[2] The stess response requires oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to reach all necessary areas required to respond, so the heart beats faster and harder. Blood vessels tighten to increase blood pressure. This ensures blood gets where it is needed -- muscles for escape and brain for thinking. Speaking of blood vessels, you know how they branch into smaller and smaller vessels? The branch itself is a point of resistance, bearing the brunt of the increased pressure of blood slamming into them. Do this often enough and the wear and tear over time causes damage to the vessel wall, which the body is obligated to repair. The repair isn't quite as good as the original vessel wall, and may cause plaque to form which thickens the vessel. The repaired area tends to get damaged again and again under all that pressure, so the damage/repair cycle causes a great deal of thickening. Remember, this is happening all over your body. Sometimes these thickened plaques break off under the pressure and join up with sticky platelets, traveling around the system until it hits an area that's too thick or small for it to pass. Blood flow is reduced or stopped altogether by this clot. Whatever is on the other side of that clot needs oxygen and nutrients from blood to survive. But if the blood is blocked, the downstream cells die. Those cells could be leg muscle cells, pancreas cells, eye cells, nerve cells, lung cells, heart cells, brain cells, etc. If the cells happen to be those that carry heartbeat signals, their death can cause the beat to become irregular.

“[3] The body stops breaking stomach contents down into components and absorbing them as they slowly wind their way thru the intestine. Instead, it diverts resources away from the digestive tract, and aims them at sources that are more readily available. Once all the fuel available in blood (glucose) is used up for example, the liver dumps glycogen into the system to replace it. After that dries up, the body goes after stored energy in the form of fat (triglycerides stored in fat cells) and protein (muscles and organs). But there's also a problem. Cortisol reduces the amount of insulin. Insulin is the 'key' that 'unlocks' the cell so it can take up nutrients for energy or storage. Cortisol also tells these needy cells not to let insulin's 'key' into the cell's 'lock'. Do this enough and some cells will starve. Not only that, but cells that live can become less sensitive to insulin's 'key', eventually leading to impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and type 2 diabetes.

“[4] The body shuts down acid secretion in the stomach because it is a non-essential system. Everybody thinks stomach acid increases during stress because of the pain, but here's what really happens: The stomach stops producing stomach lining, mucus and other protective substances because generating them is also non-essential. If this happens for an extended time, the lining isn't as protective as it used to be. So on days when anxiety is low, normal stomach acid comes pouring into that thin stomach lining to do its digestion thing. Only now that thin lining may not be able to withstand even normal amounts of acid, so irritation - and perhaps even an ulcer -- may eventually emerge.” From Health Central.

Believe it or not, you can become addicted to the adrenaline rush, to the empowered feeling you get when the adrenaline kicks in. This may explain why some people refuse to give up their anger…without it and the adrenaline it triggers, they feel disempowered, even vulnerable. They use the power of the adrenaline rush to hide behind, to make them feel strong and able to defend themselves. Rather then learn better, more healthy and socially acceptable coping mechanisms, these people cling to their righteous anger and resentment, nurturing their rage with revenge fantasies and wishes for payback.

But this clinging to rage and anger is not without cost…and a very high cost: “[There are] very real negative ramifications of adrenaline. Here are just a few of the more serious ones: cardiac disease, stroke, high blood pressure, sleep deprivation, diabetes, obesity, panic anxiety disorder, and major depression (Hart 2009).

“Located on the outer layer of the adrenal glands is the adrenal cortex. This section of the adrenal glands produces a group of hormones called glucocorticoids. The most common and popular hormone that comes from this is cortisol which is a steroid. Cortisol helps fight inflammation, raises the blood sugar level, and increases muscle tension among other things. The section of the adrenal glands called the adrenal medulla produces a group of hormones known as catecholamines, one of which is adrenaline.

“The problem with this ‘feel good’ hormone that was designed to alleviate stress on a short term basis or for emergency situations is that too much of a good thing ends up being a bad thing. Adrenaline can increase our cholesterol level, blood pressure, and even cause a heart attack from being too angry.” Source

I get that anger and revenge fantasies make you feel powerful…but at the same time, the chemical soup they trigger in your body is making you weak…and possibly even sick. Not only does clinging to your rage keep you stuck in one place, unable to recover emotionally, it literally, physically makes you ill. In a meta-analysis  of 14 studies conducted between 1965 and 2003, researchers found that stress exacerbates auto-immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and lupus. Cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone,” is released along with adrenaline…and over time, keeping your body in a constant “fight or flight” condition literally has a negative impact on your health.

Rage feels empowering and, in the short term, it can be. Over the long haul, though, it is damaging to you, both to your spirit and to your body. We hide behind that empowering rage because it numbs us to pain, but the long-term price can be years off your life, impaired health, and continued unhappiness. A wise therapist once told me “the only way out of the pain is to go through it.” I didn’t understand at the time, but looking back, I realize that she simply meant that as long as we refuse to actually feel the pain we have been avoiding, as long as we refuse to face up to the pain of being unwanted, unloved, brutalized, rejected, and neglected, as long as we stay stuck in denial of our real pain and stuck in adrenaline-inducing fantasies of vengeance, we cannot move forward and truly leave our pain behind.

Anger, even rage, has its place…but its place is supposed to be temporary and quickly expiated, not carried with us like a security blanket for years…even decades. When we do that, it no longer protects and comforts us, it smothers and destroys us.

For your own sake and the sakes of those who love you and must helplessly watch you slowly destroy yourself on behalf of your Ns, let it go.

Addiction & Recovery" (speaker Dr. Archibald Hart). Adrenaline Addiction. Lesson 16. DVD., 2009


  1. Magnificent post. And a lesson I am learning even as I type. I have gone through the tunnel and am coming out the other side. xoCS

    1. Starting to see that, Violet. Glad you are there and writing and keeping this blog going. It's a beacon.

  2. Wow, thank you - I recently had a discussion with a group about why I felt that anger should be considered a symptom of something else. You say it so much more clearly that I can. I hear so often about "controlling anger" when the reality is that controlling anger is not an issue when we are introspective enough to search out the deeper emotional cause of that anger and address that in a healing way.

    Oh, and you are not the only one who climaxes an angry bought with tears.


  3. I used to fantasisize about chopping my mother up with an axe I hated her so much. I wasn't allowed to express anything really ( I was fat, lazy, clumsy, ungrateful, tactless and stupid told to be quiet) so the anger went inside. By 17 I was quite depressed and having suicidal thoughts, and got into huge trouble for not performing well at school and winning the prizes I guess my parents felt they were owed. No wonder university was a struggle. For many years I felt nothing, then I got angry, then I had adrenal exhaustion (too much cortisol is definitely not good). Now I am trying not to get angry, but it's difficult when you feel powerless. I read once that depression is the flipside of anger you don't feel you have the right to have. I have done a lot of work but deep down I am still angry with my mother. She is a monster who poisoned people's lives and she has never been called to account. Naturally her persecution is something I have invented. Though my sister backed me once and that shut her up. We haven't spoken for 15 years.

    1. For me, chopping up my mother was not enough--when I was a child (8-9?), after having been beaten by my raging mother for something that I did not do (again), I sat on the bathroom floor and traced out an invisible oath on the mirror on the door.

      In the oath I promised myself to hate my mother forever, to never forget the things she did to me, to fight the gaslighting and know that my memories were real. I promised not to be fooled by her unpredictable streaks of generosity, which only served to run up my "debt" to her. I also promised that when I was older, if she tried to beat me, I would defend myself, fantasizing that I would cut her into tiny cubes--to "dice" her like the little can of pop-top peaches I liked.

      Now at 48, with a child of my own, a loving relationship, and more than a decade of psychoanalysis, I see that I wanted to annihilate her, because anything less might not be enough to protect me. Even then, I apparently understood that it was a "her or me" situation. I rummaged in the bathroom closet and found something sharp, cut myself, and signed my name in blood on the mirror. Then after steeling myself to do whatever I had to do to get away from my parents--telling myself that there would be a whole life for myself once I got away, I cleaned the mirror.

      This happened about 40 years ago, and I remember it like it was this morning: the bright orange formica-topped lavatory base, the white drop in sink, the garish bright yellow gloss my mother had painted the cabinet and the back of the door, the cocoa 2" square tiles on the floor with the tiny white flecks.

  4. Dice up my NM, continued:

    She's not dead yet. She's 80. My father recently died, and months later her son (with her 2nd husband) who was her GC and my father's SG died. I wondered what she was going to do without her NS.

    It isn't pretty. There is no one left who plays along with the fiction of our family. She's becoming extremely paranoid. She's raging about everything, then she breaks down sobbing. Her memory is noticeably impaired. Could be dementia, could be an act. I have no idea who she "really" is--like Violet's NM, mine always amazed me by switching personalities the instant the phone rang.

    She's behaving in ways that are dangerous to others--she has twice in a few weeks tried to *force* my 80 old aunt, NM's twin who lost her husband a few months before my NM lost hers, to get out of NM's car on a 4-lane highway with no shoulder because my aunt's comments (which my NM can never specify) rub her the wrong way. (Literally, "My way or the highway!") Thankfully my aunt would not be bullied and refused, even threatened to call 911 if NM would not take her back to her car. She loves to act out/threaten abandoning others, and when someone (even her firstborn son) chooses someone else over her (by getting married) she has no problem with dropping them like a hot rock. She hasn't seen her eldest in at least 25 years. As a mother myself, her behavior is unfathomable.

  5. Dice my NM, conclusion:

    When I told her that my partner of 8 years and father of our son were probably going to get married soon because our child was asking us about it, and seemed to fret that we were not married and we want to make sure our child feels secure, she turned on me and hissed "If you do that, you'll be sorry! Why does [our child] even know about such things! That's an adult matter!" I explained with detachment that in my relationship, a 6-year old child knows the truth about mom and dad's relationship and we like it that way, and that the days of her presuming to dictate whom I love have been over for decades.

    She always worked her will with verbal and physical abuse, with my gutless father looking on. Now he's dead. She's a toothless, pathetic old snake, and flipping out. The control is gone. She never bothered to learn to use the imac I had set up for her. She cancelled the cable because my father watched too much TV while terminally ill, when he could have been paying attention to her. Now she's totally isolated herself. I guess her plan, whatever it was, went wobbly on her. I can't say I'm not pleased on some childish level that she now feels lost, unmoored, afraid and alone, just as I did for so very long. I guess payback is a bitch.

    I'm trying to heal for my own sake and for my family, but it is not anything I can share with my NM. Nor do I want to. Stress from my parents almost cost me my life. I cannot afford to give NM another atom of my soul. I wish her a swift death-she is a miserable, horrid, soul-killing bitch. I hate her for what she did to me and her other children, but in a detached less-toxic hate than angry hate. I have to keep that hate there as a placeholder to prevent hope from creeping back. It is the hope that crushes you. My father died without telling me--his GC--he loved me or even saying goodbye, wishing me or his only grandchild well, and he had many opportunities.

    These twisted people choose to inflict pain, guilt, shame. Both my parents had horrible childhoods, but so did I. When I had my child, what I had been through made me want to be a far better parent than mine were to me. I try to extend the compassion that I yearned for, and put myself in my child's place to give what's needed. I do not, and never will, understand why my parents did not feel the same way, and chose instead to invalidate my identity, my emotions, my self, and see me as a permanently unequal being, simply an extension of themselves. NM still sees me this way. She is the center of the universe. I hope I outlive NM and see her universe implode and at last, be truly free.

    1. Have you read my entry "Scapegoats: not always what you expect"? Has it occurred to you that your parents may also have felt "it's her or me"?

      That doesn't make what they did right, but if you can fathom their motives, it can help you come to terms with it. Some years ago there was a terrible drought in the American Southwest and the wild horses were unable to find sufficient forage or water. Range managers were finding dead or starving foals...abandoned by their mothers to die, something very contrary to their normal behaviour. It was ultimately determined that the mares were abandoning the foals because if they cared for them, they would both die due to the lack of resources: by allowing the foal to die, the mare stood the change of surviving to better times, whereupon she could produce more foals. Now, horses are not smartest beasts in the world (I have owned a few, I know this from experience!) so this was not something the mares cognitively figured out...they were acting according to some instinct that was triggered by the scarcity of resources. I tell you this story because your parents made me think of it: as abused kids themselves, they had precious little emotional resources of their own and when they had children, those children were drains upon those scarce resources.

      Now, they aren't horses, your parents, they are human beings with an infinitely greater intellectual capacity than a starving feral horse, so their bad childhoods do not excuse them, for all that it may explain them. Remember, they are not you and you cannot judge them based on what you would can, however, judge them based upon the expectations of the culture in which you and they lived.

      I hated my mother until she died. Like you, I moved away from the toxic, angry kind of hate into a more detached hate that protected me from hoping for her to wake up and grow some compassion and love for me. It wasn't until she died that I realized it hadn't worked: the hope is still there, however feeble, and when I learned she was dead, I cried. But I didn't cry for her, I cried for the death of that hope. I would have been better off if I had given up all of the hate because the opposite of love is not hatred, it is indifference. The fact that you cling to any kind of hate is simply saying that you continue to keep an emotional bond between you alive.

      From what you say, it sounds like your NM could be declared incompetent and given a guardian. You might want to explore that...but be careful because your siblings might object and you might be appointed that guardian. Above all else, do things that work to keep your conscience clear...the last thing you want is to look back after her death and feel remorse for not doing what you believe was the right thing to do.

      Best of luck to you,


  6. I hate people. After dealing with both parents and so much abuse at every stage of my life in all forms, I have come to realize people are just really bad and my parents are also people therefore they literally suck. I cannot believe I never realized what my mom's inactivity toward my dad caused all of us. She could have left him, never married him, forced him into taking medication but instead she is a robot and dog for him and I've been either treated like shit with my dad and with my mom basically ctriticism till death and told not to laugh. She is either insane too or learned from his narcissm. Misery of everyone is what they feed off. I begged them to show affection growing up. My dad woudl be one person with guests and another when they left. He belittled my mom in front of us and guests and she was always looking to be the bad guy while he was funny, charming, and had great stories. She was always the bad guy. The abuse from the both of them have turned me into a a panic/anxiety disordered, suicidal, hopeless, helpless, depressed loser who gets blamed for everything and is the center of disrespect that they condone from everyone. I have no one in my life, but me. I used to have an uncle but my dad took him away from me. Neglect, blaming, lieing, physical, mental abuse, gaslighting, undermining, mix messages etc. He is a sick man and she is even more disturbing to back him up. She is so weak that she begs like a dog for him to stay, or even to go camping with her. She is his robot. I hate them both and love them both at the same time. I now have no relationsihps with my siblings bc he has affected those too. He tells me all the time how everyone hates me, how I am oversensitive, how I have high expectations, how I am a loser, moocher and even once told to go kill myself, that he wishes I was not here, and even both my parents encouraged my brother beating me up. He did it two nigihts in a row. They lied to the police and so I got nothing from the government temporarily so I could get my own apt. or somewhere to stay. The government sent me to an abusive friends a boyfriend but really was a friend who wanted to be my boyfriend for years. I stayed in a shelter for over a month and was sent out on the basis of someone tryign to frame me for something I didnt do or at least intentionally do. I suspect they realized she was dangerous along with her bullying group of gals and they needed me out bc they didn't know how to control these women.


I don't publish rudeness, so please keep your comments respectful, not only to me, but to those who comment as well. We are not all at the same point in our recovery.

Not clear on what constitutes "rudeness"? You can read this blog post for clarification: