I used this blog to manipulate  


Not so much that, but more as a means 

To try and force acknowledgement and a real apology from my mother. 

I used it to try and change my situation. 
Before this blog
I was isolated. Almost completely. 

The main event in my world, at least in terms of what most needed to be dealt with (Being ostracized, abused and then orphaned by and from my family) 

The thing that was at the center really. 

I had to keep locked away in my stomach. I had to keep it locked away in my mind. I had to keep it, in my reoccurring nightmare. 

Which was not reoccurring in the details of activity but was reoccurring in the emotion in produced in me. 

The emotion

Was total isolation, without the possibility of connection with anyone here. 

I’d wake up and realize, no one here really knows me, sees me or loves me. Strangers do, fans do. But that’s a different kind of love. The main structure of my life was almost entirely loveless but for the love I got from God (which turned out to be plenty) 

The nightmare had weight, because the nightmare wasn’t a dream. The nightmare was reality, and it was the reality I was living. 

I couldn’t handle how heavy and dark it all was. ( I still can’t) 

So the nightmare would let me feel what I was actually going thru. 

I was powerless to do anything about any of it. But for one thing. 
Opening up. 
And the other weird thing about NPD abuse, which is an infamous feature, is that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to get support from those in your immediate environment. 
Consider for a second 

How detailed and how many words and how intricate those words and details are in this blog for me to even begin to adequately explain a portion of my side of things. 

This disorder is nearly impossible to explain to anyone, in any kind of typical way of communicating. 

In normal life, try imagine, explaining this shit to anyone. Even a decent friend has limits. And also, speaking on this subject makes you seem much “crazier” than you do when you can take the time to pick your words. 
Since I started this blog my mother “hoovered” ( another word I hate because it’s not a name, it’s a nickname and we need more serious names attached to the behaviors in this condition. It’s too dire to leave the language as it is. I think Hoovering should be called Surrounding, stalking. I don’t know. Not those, let me think about it and get back to you in a future digression. In case you couldn’t tell I communicate thru digressions but anyway…..) 

She reached out via email. 
I had stopped watching videos on YouTube about npd. (Sometimes you need a break and you want your life to be about other things than “recovering” but when you stop focusing on it, you can easily get soft. ) 

I posted a few things on the blog and resented being in the position of having to do that. I wanted to end it. Just make the blog disappear, but the thing is, I can’t make this situation disappear. I wanted them to make it disappear when they were doing it to me. I begged them to make it disappear. But, 

They made it appear harder. 

I guess that’s what I’m doing with the blog. Making it appear harder, But it’s really not revenge. 
It’s a means to make that nightmare go away. 
And as far as that’s concerned. It’s worked to a degree. 
I’ve felt the support and again I can’t adequately explain how grateful I am for it. It’s saved my life. 
I think it helps explain to the people who are in my life 

And to some of the bridges I burned (because of extreme and incomprehensible emotions I was dealing with, which led to extreme and incomprehensible behavior, which I was both incapable of communicating and really understanding. As well as programmed to keep secret. 
Imagine a dump truck. 

A massive one
Drives up to your yard and empties a giant pile of trash and waste all over your yard. 
And then just drives off. 

But not before telling you, all the way down to your core, that if you tell anyone this trash ISNT yours, your world will end. 

Also, if you try to clean it up. Your world will also end. 
You go back inside and you think of things for awhile
And you realize you can’t really do anything about it. 

You hide out for a few days, but finally decide you need to live your life. So you go outside and walk by the huge pile of rotting garbage in your yard. 
You wave to the neighbors who would usually wave and smile back. But now just look away and keep their head down. 
This is what the abuse is like. 
It doesn’t stay local. It leaks bleeds out all over everything. 
The yard in that analogy is meant to represent your head and your heart. Your psyche and your spirit and your emotions and every other thing that makes you human. 
You do everything you can to pretend you’re not full of somebody else’s garbage. 
You come up with tricks. 

You reason ” well… I can’t clean up the garbage and I can’t tell anyone it’s not really mine, but they never said I couldn’t rearrange it. 

You live with this garbage so long, you start knowing everything about it. You arrange the empty milk cartoons into a fort by your favorite tree. 

The headless dolls you’ve leaned against the mailbox. 

The empty beer cans and piles of newspapers you’ve turned in to a chair. 
The neighbors have lightened up a little , as they now see your garbage as a wacky creative project from a “wacky” guy 


They still look at you funny. 

You still have a ton of garbage in your yard 

And you still haven’t gotten rid of it. 
Writing this blog 

Is the equivalent of ignoring the message

That I can’t clean the garbage up or tell anyone where it came from. 

Writing this blog is me slowly, and bag by bag, cleaning up the rotting debris and taking it to the side of the road. 
And when that happens, when you start doing that, 
Your “neighbors” who are not only meant to symbolize both your actual neighbors but also everyone you encounter in your life ever. 
Start to treat you differently. They start looking at you without “that look” 
Also a truck comes by and picks up the first few bags you put out there, and the space starts clearing up a little and you start feeling shades of your authentic self reassert itself. Another truck comes. More garbage leaves. The neighbors keep getting friendlier. They even invite you to dinner next Thursday. This shocks you, you haven’t been invited anywhere in quite awhile. 
This blog is me in my yard

With a bunch of industrial strength garbage bags. Bagging up other people’s garbage and getting it the fuck off my lawn. In spite of the fact that I was told in many ways and by many sources that to do that would be almost certain death. 
Led to believe that to do that would make the neighbors hate you even more. Never mind the abusers. 

Strange how cleaning up other people’s garbage is seen by them as a form of betrayal. 
I guess it is, but my yard is my yard, no matter who’s dick and vagina brought me into this world. 
You even had it so twisted that you 

Thought even the neighbors would get mad at you for cleaning up the garbage. 

You started thinking after awhile, that the garbage was what was good about you, not what was keeping you in isolation. 
So you see 

I got sick of all that garbage. 

I got sick of that nightmare. 

I got sick of the isolation

I still have much cleaning left to do. 

So what’s the confession
I responded to my mother. 

I broke no Contact in doing that. 
I asked again for acknowledgement and an authentic apology. I asked again to remove this insane invalidation. 
She wrote me back apologizing for never protecting me in my childhood. But did so without acknowledging the actual apology and validation I needed, for the actual current situation. Kinda like apologizing for everything was the same as apologizing for nothing. Other details in there, subtle and not so subtle forms of invalidation is what I got back. ( my family doesn’t deny the abuse that occurred in my formative years, and in fact all of them acknowledge that I got it the worst. (Was the scapegoat. ) they won’t use the term “scapegoat” however. Because that resonates to closely with what was still very much happening when I went no Contact six months ago. 
The abuse can only be acknowledged as this old thing that happened way back when. It can’t ever be acknowledged as the current thing it still very much is. 
When I try to force acknowledgement and an apology 
I always (and I suppose weakly) threaten her with this will be your last chance. 
I’ll say something like

” if you don’t acknowledge what happened and apologize then you will never hear from me again and I will block this last in road. ” 
I’m not proud of this. To me. I consider that threat a kind of failure but
I need to know I did everything I could to turn this around. 
I need to know I left no stone unturned into try to change the impossibility of this situation. 
I haven’t checked that email my main gmail account in days. 

I can’t even go there to look if there was a response. 

I have too much shit to do right now, to let this drama steal my energy yet again. 
I need to rebuild my career. I need to win back fans and win new ones. I need to earn a living in my chosen profession, as should be anyone’s simple right to do. 
Clearly they want me to keep my eyes off that prize. 
They pick moments when they know the stress is on me to reach back out. 
And when they reach back out they make sure invalidate the work I’ve done here. And the work I still need to do. 
I think for people who don’t deal with this situation, all this must seem totally bizarre. But for those of us, that do and have, of which there are countless, I’m sure can relate entirely to this impossible quagmire of this situation. 
I will say for me personally, and even before I got all those validating comments, this blog has been a major step in me returning me to my authentic self. I’d say it’s been as crucial to my recovery as anything. Probably more. 
I would encourage other victims of this abuse to reach out in a public way about your story. 

It’s really the only way to deal with this. At least from my point of view. 
Namaste. And may your day be a wonderful time of realizing your true dreams and reaching for something more. 
I love you. 
Joe Smoke 


Joseph Lyburn Arthur 

6 Comments on “Confession 

  1. This post reminded me of when I demanded an appolgy from my parents around Thanksgiving , and my mom told me to leave. To leave! My kids and husband were there as well. My brother & his kids too. I just took back my words and wiped my tears and I’ve been  pretending the whole thing never happened. Its so screwed up. This would be the shit hitting the fan section of my story. Honest to God I couldnt make up what happened in those few hours at my parents house if I tried.
    I thought about writing about it but I dont have strength to actually look at this mess in my own words. And to have others read about it would probably send me into panic attack.

    At my last therapy appointment my therapist had asked me what I wanted to get from going to see her. We were like 7 visits in at this point I think. This was in March, I said,  I just want my family to realize that what they are/were doing to me and each other was wrong and They need to get help. I wanted an apology. (After all , I’m the one taking medication to deal with their behavior..its the least they could do.) Therapist said that was NEVER going to happen, and I needed to accept that. I wouldnt make progress if I didnt. I had to let it go..focus on myself, move on.

    That was my last session. And Not because of her advice but because I knew I had to take it. Its hard  for me accept because I cant imagine doing this to my kids. Ever.

    So its just me. I need to help me. Im it. I am who Im depending on. So I’ve been taking small steps. What else can you do really?

    Some days are so friggin hard. When I’m around everyone I just hold my breath and try to not speak much. Its a miracle I dont pass out when I visit. 

    I just want an easy fix. An answer. A simple solution to this crazy situation. An end.  A rewind button. Something. But thats not happening- so i guess i need to accept all that too. Thank goodness I still have a sense of humor and sarcasm.. A little piece of me that hasnt completly disappeared. 😊

    Anyway, My story is very different from yours but your words have helped me tremendously. Just wanted to say that. Really.

    Thank you. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. J,
    I don’t want to make your blog all about me, but the parallels are remarkable. Unfortunately, I’m caring for my abusive parents in their dotage, and can’t truly recover until I’m out of the environment. I’m a good listener, if you ever want to bend my ear, but I’ll likely interrupt, blurting out “Oh my gosh, me too!”

    Insomnia was my companion last night. Favorite Girl was my earworm. I somehow composed a mashup of that and Dying by Hole while staring at the shadows created by the simulated moonlight.

    Looking forward to the show at Jammin Java tomorrow evening. **S


  3. Joe,
    I have not commented until now, but that has not been because I have not wanted to reach out. Your story resonates deeply within my soul. It stirred up a lot of emotion and feelings that at first left me feeling retrospective. After careful contemplation, I realized, revisiting those feelings was actually a great reminder to me not to let my guard down and most importantly, it affirmed just how far I have come in my own recovery process. You are very courageous in sharing your struggles and showing all of us, reminding all of us in similar life situations, that we are not alone.
    My situation started as a child in a family with a narc mother who eventually drove away our father and all of her children at different points in our lives. We started our no contact at those points.
    Many of us who experience this narc abuse are empaths. We empaths are easy targets for narcs if we do not learn how to protect ourselves from the evil they can and will inflict.
    I see you are early on in your process of discovery and recovery. I can assure you that you are on the right path; taking care of yourself, finding yourself, enjoying yourself, loving yourself once again first and foremost. I went through the stage you are currently in years ago and I can tell you there are many stages to recovery you will go through. With each step, your life becomes easier and more enjoyable; the pain from all the hurt and betrayal lessens and you learn to live with your new reality. It is not an easy process, as I know. I have moved two steps forward and one-step back many times. However, I have stronger boundaries now than ever before. I kicked my deadly cocaine habit by going cold turkey in my no contact phase with my mother. It was difficult as my cocaine addiction was the only way at the time I knew how to mask the narc abuse of my mother. If I had not gone no contact when I did and gotten clean, I would not be here on Earth right now. To do so also meant leaving all those who aided my addiction behind. Painful it was, as some were very close friends with struggles of their own. I had to focus on myself, both mentally and physically. Being in good physical shape aids you in improving your mental health. I reached out to professionals for additional help with the mental recovery I faced. One thing I should say, is that I myself have been a health care professional my entire life. Even when I was living, breathing every moment of my life for cocaine and sex, I was good at leading a double life. I speak not only from that professional side of me, but also from the part of me personally who reached out to professionals for dealing with my mother’s narc abuse. It took meeting and trying several professionals before I found the one I felt comfortable staying with for their help and guidance in my recovery. My first attempt was with a psychiatrist. I walked out in my second session with him when he hit on me. After searching for help with a couple different professionals, this time licensed counselors (non-MD) who specialized in substance abuse, sex addiction and most importantly personality disorders, I found one I felt good about helping me on my path to recovery.
    I don’t want to bring your or anyone else’s hopes down; quite the contrary. However, I do not know if a full recovery is ever possible for those like us. I myself still have recurring issues with attracting narcs in my dating life. Nevertheless, with each one, I have become better at identifying them quicker in the relationship. This is the one piece I am still working diligently on…how not to attract them, as I have mastered the no contact once their true nature is presented. I have embraced my being an empath and have actually found by focusing on the positives that come with that part of me, I can and do have a very happy and fulfilling life. I reach out to help those less fortunate and try to help them better their situation. It is part of the mission of the company where I work. I also do a lot of volunteering in areas that are near and dear to me as an extension of my work…our homeless population, substance abuse, family poverty, etc. Every single day I am touching someone in need in a positive way.
    Regarding your mother, I relate it to my own experiences…two steps forward, one-step back. I too sought validation from my mother that she loved me so I too tested it by reaching out a couple times. It was hard for me, especially after I twice carried children in my own womb, felt them living breathing inside of me. It was hard for me to understand how a mother’s love could not be anything but what I feel for my two sons. I now fully understand and accept what my mother is, and one cannot expect a narc parent to love us as other mother’s love their children. They simply are not capable of it.
    Joe, there is so much more I could say. Let me end this comment with how incredibly grateful I am I discovered your talent back in the ‘90’s. You have no idea how much your music and lyrics have resonated with me over the years. In my eyes, you are one of the most gifted songwriters/lyricists of our time. I admit, I kind of lost sight of your music for a while in the mid-2000’s and then rediscovered you again in 2012 when I caught your performance on one of the late night shows. I caught up on your music, poetry and discovered your art with a new passion. I stumbled upon your blog when I was looking to order the reissue of Redemptions Son online.
    You are such a strong empath. Embrace that side of you as I have. You can learn the boundaries you need to keep the dark side of people from detracting from the bright side of being an empath. I know first-hand how rewarding that bright side is.
    Much love and respect,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bonjour … Courage de France !
    J’étais hospitalisée 4 jours et impatiente de lire votre blog…
    Encore fragile je vais écrire que quelques mots..
    Ne souffrez plus à cause de votre famille…rejetez la ! Cette famille toxique ainsi vous serez libéré ! Acteur de votre vie et heureux si vous choisissez ce chemin de la sagesse…on ne change pas les individus mais soi même oui…
    Vous choisissez déjà un nouveau commencement..mes pensées vous accompagnent . J’espère vous rencontrer en France cette année à un de vos concert !☆

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well I just opened up my laptop and am finding all these posts I didn’t see on my phone. Even though you draw a distinction between fans and people who truly love you (and obviously there is a huge and very vital distinction), I just want to say that there is something special about being an artist. Somehow we cross the boundaries. Who can and can’t “get” you, who can and can’t “understand” you. You’re putting your spirit out here. It’s flapping and flying and sitting and waiting and listening. It’s a bird. You’re generating energy that we NEED to know we are all marching to in solidarity. And so many of us have heard your call from the start. We feel it too. And I think that transcends being a fan or whatever. It becomes about being human and speaking a human language. I have to say, personally, reading your thoughts coupled with knowing your music, I think to myself, “I am not alone.” I actually haven’t wanted to post anything too grabby because it’s like, silly and what’s the point. But if I could put you in my car when I’d go on long drives at night with Innocent World playing “we don’t know which way we’re going… find a way out.. home is somewhere i’m missing” and sobbing. You would get it. Actually today I felt so full of despair. Mind over matter only works so long. But I looked for some new posts of yours and there you are saying things I have thought over and over and try to disseminate and I can’t figure out why no one else says them. It’s so encouraging to know there is a fellow human out there working hard, tackling the detriments, standing up, but shaking because finding your voice is creepy and makes you see things you wish you didn’t have to see but now you know you have no choice, and standing up, shaking, standing up, shaking. The way you choose to share your voice inspires others to share theirs. I’m encouraged to never look back. I hope this wasn’t too fawning. I’m trying to say that souls find each other. So don’t get strung up about THE BLOG. iI’s a valuable tool. And you are also really funny which is great. 🙂 I laugh out loud at work.


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