Here's Anonymous on PL's post: "STROLLERS BANNED IN BARS! A NO-BRAINER, BUT NOT FOR THE NARCISSISTS!":
I was perusing the Gothamist article about the stroller ban at The Gate and wound up in the comments section at FIPS. I read your comment, and have a question for you: Who are you?!
(Besides being a psychotherapist for blah-blah years—whatever that’s worth-- and some sort of a Park Slope parent)
I should’ve prefaced this comment by saying that I live in Park Slope, I’ve got a couple of kids, and as a rule, I don’t drag my kids to bars or to restaurants that don’t cater to kids. I’m pretty sure that the one time a year that I wind up meeting some friends at a bar on a slow afternoon (or say, watching a bit of a World Cup game) for a beer is not just an opportunity to act out my drama through my children. I still find plenty of opportunities to act out my own dramas. And I'm not an apologist for those that pollute the bars with their kids. That’s not my point.
It’s interesting that you don’t find that it undermines the spew that you preach on this site to sit in judgment of the shameless narcissists who reveal their poor life choices by taking their kids to bars and nice restaurants. I am curious how you reconcile all this healing and self-actualization that you’re helping or hoping (or something) others realize in themselves with this negative, counterproductive, judgmental sniping.
There is no doubt that there are selfish, entitled people who wind up having kids without understanding the magnitude of that choice. I’m not sure many people do fully grasp what it means to be a parent before they decide to do it. But you appeal to the shame and guilt in your fellow PS parents (and patients, it would appear) by calling them out on your site and the other sites you frequent. This seems to violate the FPL handbook and trashes the credibility of whatever you want to accomplish with the FPL thing.
And it reeks of your own narcissism that you use your new-agey, healing, loving forum to address your beef with your own neighbors, and to remind readers that you’ve been doing it for years. And you might want reign in the pride that you have for unearthing the little nugget that there are narcissistic parents in Park Slope. Any monkey that steps out off the subway in this neighborhood could smell it in the air in a couple of minutes. It’s hardly a landmark discovery.
These petty attacks don’t seem to demonstrate your state of harmony with others and the world around you, but maybe that makes sense to you…being a highly-evolved psychotherapist and all.
Lots o' luck.
Thanks for writing in, Anonymous, though I'm not sure why you're asking who I am since it is "narcissistically" all over my blog, isn't it?!
Anyway, many people confuse judgment with assessment, as you seem to be doing. Judgments are not based on reality, but on projections, transferences, identifications, etc. Judgments, in other words, start with a need to see other people as you wish to see them, rather than as they are.
Assessments on the other hand are descriptions based on information objectively observed. To call a narcissist a narcissist isn't a judgment, therefore; it is an assessment, and actually an essential ingredient to any healing process. There is no healing without facing the truth about oneself.
It is true, yes, that I don't see my role as a "healer" as being to sooth anyone's fragile ego nor feed anyone's illusions about themselves. Too much damage is done from that kind of enabling, especially to children, and including by many therapists.
Any "monkey," as you snidely put it, can smell the narcissism in Park Slope, yes again, but rarely does anyone write about more than their own distaste or inconvenience from the actions of the Stepford Parents here. I am much more concerned with the gutted self-esteem and lack of empathy the Park Slope children are suffering from as a result of the self-indulgent parenting that goes on in this enclave.
This statement by you is certainly not a throw-away line in my book (or blog): "There is no doubt that there are selfish, entitled people who wind up having kids without understanding the magnitude of that choice. I’m not sure many people do fully grasp what it means to be a parent before they decide to do it."
And I don't seek to "shame" or increase "guilt," Anon, but to insist upon self-responsibility.