RIP Aretha Franklin 1942-2018

Aretha Louise Franklin, born March 25, 1942, died at her home on August 16, 2018, at the age of  76 years, reportedly from complications of pancreatic cancer. She was a legend and the indisputable Queen of Soul.

A mother, a wife, an activist, a pianist and a great singer, she was born in Memphis, Tennessee to a Baptist minister father and a pianist and vocalist mother.

In 1970, Aretha Franklin offered to post bail for Angela Davis, a social activist. She said:

Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace.

Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism but because she’s a black woman and she wants freedom for black people.

I have the money. I got it from black people – they’ve made me financially able to have it – and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.

The best way to remember this great woman is to listen to her music that will live on forever.

As a child growing up in Harlem, her songs were my inspiration.

Aretha Franklin – Respect [1967] (Original Version) [VGA 480p]

Aretha Franklin – Think [1968] (Original Version) [VGA 480p]

Aretha Franklin – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman [1967] [VGA 480p]

Aretha Franklin – Tribute to Whitney Houston [HD 720p]

Aretha Franklin 1942-2018
Source of image: Pinterest

Ew A Pigeon. Or; If You Will How White Folks Feel About Melanin.

This reblogged post is a reminder of mindfulness and comfortableness in one’s skin. What other people think of you is their business. As long as you know who you are and what you want, don’t let other people’s view of you get in the way.

Race and Privilege

Recently I was sitting on the beach with a friend. The air was crisp. There were parachutes flying at distance in the ocean. Sail boats could be seen on the horizon and all around us people were immersed in their lives. Each of them experiencing the beach in our own way.

Suddenly my friend grimaced: “Ew a pigeon.” His disgust was palpable. I paused for a few seconds taking in my friends experience. Next, I watched as the pigeon waddled along the sand. In my mind the pigeon appeared to be living its’ best life.

pigeon

The pigeon unencumbered by my friend’s disgust, was a walking metaphor for life.

Black folks are the “pigeons” of the world. Just like that pigeon we could be gingerly walking along the beach, the grocery store aisle, heck even down the side walk. Ultimately at some point we’re going to get the “ew a pigeon”…

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Narcissist, Psychopath, or Sociopath: How To Tell The Differences

Narcissist, Psychopath, or Sociopath: How To Tell The Differences

He is a charming, thoughtful man who gives to his community. A charismatic man whose grandiosity and great tales of victory command awe.  He adores himself and needs the continuous validation of his importance. Cadres of loyal subjects do his abusive, selfish, and unethical bidding. Many within his inner circle to avoid cognitive dissonance have reinterpreted his actions that were at odds with their beliefs to ‘facts’ that they need to maintain cognitive harmony.  They live in fear of his displeasure and need to be in his good grace for their self-worth.

The above could be the profile of a narcissist, psychopath or sociopath.

How to tell the difference between a narcissist, psychopath or sociopaths?

The video contributed by my follower and friend Pete does an excellent
job explaining in simple language the differences between a
narcissist, a psychopath, and a sociopath. Overlap in signs and
symptoms occur among these disorders and even in normal people without
these disorders. That leads to confusion and the interchangeable
misuse of the terms. Here is what you need to know to understand the
differences.

Narcissist

According to Dr. Ramani,   a narcissist has a disorder of self-esteem. A narcissist feels entitled, continually seeks validation and focuses on other people’s view of them. When a narcissist harms others, they will usually feel remorse in the form of shame more so than guilt.

Psychology Today stated the hallmark of narcissistic personality disorder is a triad of “grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration.” (Psychology Today )   Fifty-Seventy percent of narcissists are men.  It is also common for adolescents to temporarily display narcissistic traits as part of healthy development. It does not mean they will become narcissists.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy as indicated by 5 or more of the following:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggerates achievements, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited power, success, brilliance, beauty or ideal love
  • Believes her or she is “special” and can only be understood by similarly special, high status people
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a sense of entitlement
  • Is interpersonally exploitative
  • Lacks empathy
  • Is envious of others or believes others are envious of him/her
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

All psychopaths and sociopaths are narcissists. Unlike narcissists, psychopaths and eventually sociopaths feel no remorse–no guilt or shame– when they harm others. Psychopaths are believed to be the hand of nature while sociopaths are thought to be nurtured. Both constructs fall under the DSM category of Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, occurring since age 15, as evidenced by 3 or more of the following:

  • Failure to conform to social norms as evidenced by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
  • Deceitfulness
  • Impulsivity
  • Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
  • Reckless disregard for the safety of others
  • Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial commitments
  • Lack of remorse, as being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt others
  • The individual is at least 18 years of age

Psychopaths

Psychopaths are narcissists who feel no shame or guilt in harming others. They do not think about consequences. Studies suggest their response to negative stress is suppressed. They don’t fear danger or regret bad things as most people do. They may even derive pleasure from other people’s pain.

Many psychopaths are criminals such as serial killers. The diagnosis requires a Psychopathy Checklist.

Many psychologists believe there is no cure or effective treatment for psychopaths.

Sociopaths

Sociopaths are narcissists. They learn from their environment to feel no shame or guilt when they do bad things. They learn not to think about or fear consequences. They are products of their environment or experiences. Prisons have high rates of sociopaths; one study showed as high as 70% in the prison population vs. up 3% in the general population.

Theoretically, in the early stages, a willing sociopath may be treatable with timely and appropriate intervention.

Narcissist, Psychopath, or Sociopath: How To Tell The Differences

Source of Image: Pinterest

Well-Being: Strategies To Adjust To Other People

Feeling stronger makes me more productive.  Soon I will want to be around people again. That means adjusting to other people. Last summer’s attempt without a transition after years of solitude was a lesson that to live among other people, I need strategies.

Those years of medically induced PTSD make me fear the prospect of entering the world again will cause much stress, it did last summer. Despite this fear, ongoing obstacles, and unexpected medical speed bumps, I’m ready…I think.

At birth, we naturally adjust to our environment so why am I fearful of a  naturally acquired trait? After years of withdrawing from the world and cutting people out of my life to reduce stress, returning to the outside world to socialize and network with other people is challenging especially without the masks acquired over the years.

To help me adjust, I developed a short list of strategies that thus far seem to work.  While using these strategies, I noticed staying out longer, going out multiple times in one day and a desire to be with people.   This is enormous and a sign that I am indeed on the road to recovery.

The strategies are:

1. Stop, Look and Listen
2. Be Kind or Avoid
3. My Time Is Valuable, spend it wisely
4. Take Breaks

1. Stop, Look And Listen

Don’t be in a rush, slow down and take time to look around. Observe with all my senses to understand the surroundings.

A good doctor is an excellent observer. Doctors learn to Stop, Look and Listen and touch (medical term palpate). That is the basis of a physical exam. Outside of the physical exam touch is a no-no.

#StopLookAndListen forces me to observe, be cautious and learn the lay of the land.

2. Be Kind Or Avoid

I catch more flies with honey than vinegar. In person, always be kind, a smile helps. If I can’t be kind:

-Delay the interaction until I am well rested or if possible avoid altogether,
-Ask someone to be an intermediary,
-Set and stick with an agenda

It’s a good principle to be kind to everyone even those who seem insignificant.  If they are in my life, keep it civil.

The outside world is full of evil people.  Based on the  Iceberg theory, evil cannot be seen.   Avoid or reduce contact with people who make me uncomfortable or who bring out the negative side of me.

#BeKindOrAvoid lets me develop strategic friendships with uplifting or inspiring people.

3. Time Is Valuable

Time is often overlooked and undervalued. If someone takes time to give directions or be civil, show appreciation or carry it forward. I have to remember my time is valuable too, spend it wisely. With a limited amount of time, spend time with people who bring out the best side of me and avoid people who bring out the worst.  In the past, the latter was a telltale sign of a bad relationship.

#TimeIsValuable reminds me of my value and that my time matters.

4. Take Breaks

Take regularly scheduled time away from people. I live in an area where I don’t belong or fit in. No one is coming to rescue me. I have little in common with the people around me.  As a single working mom with young children, I was too busy to notice. Now my children are older, when I #StopLookAndListen the difference is glaring. I don’t belong here yet I can appreciate the environment.

Having time alone is crucial to my sanity.  I know I already have too much time alone yet that seems better than the alternatives.

#TakeBreaks for time alone keeps me balanced in my environment.

 

Adjusting to other people is no cakewalk but the above strategies work to reduce my stress levels.   If you can think of different ways to adapt while keeping stress levels low, please share in the comment section.

XXX

This section of Well-being is new. I will write about adjusting to a missed diagnosis of head trauma at Tufts Medical Center.  That missed diagnosis changed my life forever with subsequent medical and cognitive issues living nightmares.  My road to recovery will be shared in this section.  

Source of Image:  Pinterest