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Opinion

Could You Be Abusing Someone on Behalf of a Narcissist?

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  • Today is World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day. Yes, believe it or not, it is a real thing. And it hurts.

    We are all good people, right? At least, deep down, I hope we believe that; I mean, what person would intentionally, consciously, go out of their way to hurt and destroy another human being?

    We probably have all been in contact with a narcissist at some point in our life. Maybe a boss. A friend. A neighbor. Or like me, even a member of your own immediate family.

    Narcissists are very smart and calculating. They have had to be; they have been doing this for a very long time. They are self-absorbed, controlling, intolerant to others and their needs, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen, even though their front is a façade. “Victimized narcissists” can say hurtful things, but if you dare say something back to defend yourself, you are the enemy and considered abusive. There is no sense in debating with a narcissist; they will shift the blame at all costs. They will never see things through your eyes; they are incapable of reflection or feeling empathy. For this reason, sadly, they don’t have the conscious insight that we do to know that they exhibit this behavior.

    Narcissists will suck the life out of you and leave you struggling to breathe. Narcissists don’t care that they pit one family member against another, even sibling against sibling if the narcissist happens to be a parent. Yes, the most excruciating pain is the reality that moms and dads can also be narcissists, leaving their children sometimes hating each other. And the one that dares to speak out to this abuse is left feeling defeated, battered, and bruised by the people they love most in this world even though the wounds are invisible to the naked eye (which is another reason why innocent people get caught in the trap of defending the narc).

    And if the relationship becomes so intolerable with a narc that you are forced to make a painful decision of quitting your job, moving, ending a friendship, getting a divorce, or even going low or no contact with one or both of the people who brought you into this world, you become public enemy number one; the narc will attempt to destroy you and your reputation at all costs.

    “Narcissist’s will DESTROY your life and erode your self-esteem. They do it with such PERSUASION that you are left feeling like YOU are the one letting them down.”

    A narcissist’s public persona is very important to them, which is why they don’t publicly attack you—that would make them look bad. Instead, they carefully choose people in their circle to be their puppets. The narc delivers believable-sounding lies to sympathetic ears, ones that can be easily manipulated. Of course, very decent, loving, caring individuals can be caught in the trap of the narcissist and innocently become what is called “flying monkeys.”

    A Flying Monkey? Up until a few months ago, I had never even heard the term. But I felt attacked from all directions and so on my quest to understand and survive this abuse I found this in Wikipedia and finally it all made perfect sense. The complicated pieces all came together in my mind: “Flying monkeys is a phrase used in popular psychology mainly in the context of narcissistic abuse. They are people who act on behalf of a narcissist to a third party, usually for an abusive purpose. Flying monkeys are distinct from enablers…. Enablers just allow or cover for the narcissist’s (abuser’s) own bad behavior.”

    This is a phrase made popular by the movie The Wizard of Oz—the Wicked Witch sent her flying monkeys after Dorothy and her friends. In most cases, it is a humorous way of saying “Don’t make me come after you.” But there is nothing humorous about being hated and harassed by a flying monkey on its mission to destroy an innocent person. It is unfair, cruel and causes more pain to someone that is already struggling.

    So, beware.

    You may be a flying monkey if:

    You find yourself believing gossip, even though the facts don’t add up.

    You are an adult, yet you take sides, instead of staying impartial.

    You are mad, stop speaking to someone and possibly hate someone else who has done nothing to you at all.

    You accept someone’s version of the truth although you have no first-hand knowledge of the story.

    You believe that the one you are defending is the only one deserving of sympathy.

    You are overly involved, feeling the need to defend at all costs.

    You are attacking someone else over something that quite frankly is none of your business.

    And what should you do if you are on the receiving end of this hatred and smear campaign either from a narcissist or their flying monkey?

    It is easier said than done sometimes, but keep calm and do not engage. DON’T ENGAGE. The narc is looking for you to react. It gives them fuel. Strength. Power. And they hate nothing more than the silent treatment, as they are then not getting their narcissistic supply.

    Breathe. Ignore it. Read books and articles on narcissism. See a therapist. Write. Cry (it does make you feel better). Cry some more if you have to. Heal. Keep breathing.

    Live a beautiful, healthy, productive, and happy life and don’t look back. Narcissists hate that and it does make them angrier. But don’t do it out of spite; do it because you are entitled to that. You are. And never let anyone make you feel guilty or beaten down or ashamed that you choose to do what is best for your life.

    We are all responsible for our choices and behaviors and the consequences. Knowledge is a gift and you can always change. Say sorry. Forgive. So, if you believe that you have unintentionally been used by a narcissist as their flying monkey, what you do with that knowledge is up to you.

    But know that, moving forward, what you do now IS intentional and conscious.

    Jodee Prouse is a Sister. Wife. Mom. Friend. And outspoken advocate to help empower ACOA’s through their journey of life; trauma, truth, addiction & breaking free from family chaos to live YOUR best life. She is the author of the powerful memoir, The Sun is Gone: A Sister Lost in Secrets, Shame, and Addiction and How I Broke Free. To learn more visit www.jodeeprouse.com


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    Opinion

    3 wards for the city based on federal and provincial governance models.

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  • An interesting proposal has been suggested for our municipal governance that is modeled after the provincial and federal electoral system.
    Federally we have Members of Parliament (MPs) and one of them is also the Prime Minister. Provincially we have Members of the Legislature (MLAs) and one of them is also the Premier.
    Federally our fine city is divided into 2 electoral districts or ridings both federally and provincially, so we have 2 MLAs and 2 MPs, and anyone could also be our Premier or Prime Minister, or Speaker, Cabinet Member, or Opposition Leader.
    Back to our city’s governance, we elect 9 people currently, 8 councillors and 1 mayor for 1 electoral district. The idea being suggested is 3 wards, 3 councillors each with 1 also being the mayor.
    Population wise and geographically 3 wards would be fairly easy. Using the last municipal census. Approximately 1/3 the population lives east of 30th Avenue so that would make an easy boundary and approximately 1/3 live north of the river, another easy boundary. The other 1/3 would be south of the river and west of 30th Avenue. Easy and already done.
    Now, why would we consider 3 wards over governance of a single entity?
    Look at thhe history of the wards, the services offered, crime rates, return on investments and you can see the reason.
    The east of 30th Avenue ward has, 3 high schools with plans for 2 more, has the Collicutt centre with a recommended site for the next multi-use aquatic centre, 2 emergency services location, and a pickle ball court centre.
    The north of the river ward has no high schools with no plans for any, the Dawe recreation centre, YMCA, and 1 emergency services centre.
    The other ward has 1 high school, 1 college, downtown recreation centre, museum, tennis courts, Michener pool, Westerner, Kinex arenas, curling rinks, a proposed cultural centre, hospital, multiple emergency services to name but a few.
    So it is easy to see the rationale behind and the appeal for a ward system as our city grows in a manner favourable to some and not to others. 3 wards with 3 councillors each and 1 of the 9 would also act as mayor. It works provincially and federally and it would make councillors responsible and accountable for any continued disparities, right?
    It is an option. Just saying.


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    Opinion

    Taxpayers DO have the right to remain silent

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  • A taxpayer-friendly unanimous Federal Court of Appeal ruling came out this week in MNR v Cameco [2019 FCA 67]. At issue was whether or not the Minister (through the CRA) has the authority to compel oral answers to oral questions from taxpayers or their employees.

    In his ruling, Justice of Appeal Rennie stated “…the Minister does not have the power to compel a taxpayer to answer questions at the audit stage…”, however, it may be in the best interest of the taxpayer to provide reasonable answers to reasonable questions in order to expedite the process. The full entire ruling can be found and read here

    This ruling simply re-confirms, that even in an audit, you (and your staff) have the right to remain silent, and that the Minister’s powers are limited to physical evidence.

    An exception to this is you are required to provide assistance in locating and providing that physical evidence, which may need to be orally.

    Personally, when dealing with a very large number of taxpayers on our own office, we want to be certain that the file that the CRA is talking about is the same file in front of us. As such, we are a firm believer in the Canadian Home Builders’ Association motto that is ironically supported by the Government of Canada: “Get it in Writing.”

    I am not advocating answering no questions, as the Minister (CRA) still has the ability to issue reassessments, thereby shifting burden of proof to the taxpayer further to disprove the reassessment.

    I am, however, advocating at a minimum to get those questions detailed, and in writing. This will help to provide clarity and allow for proper thought in your answers as opposed to stating something with unintended consequences.

    Here is a little example of what happens when you don’t get it in writing: in my dark-side days as a field auditor with the (then called) CCRA, we used to ask prying questions that the taxpayer had no idea they were answering.

    For example, in one particular circumstance I was reviewing a file where it was suggested that the taxpayer was doing under-the-table cash jobs. This meant I would have to be creative in figuring out the taxpayer’s cost of living, and ruling out other sources of income.

    Meeting in a quiet restaurant in a small Saskatchewan town, I was eventually able to have the taxpayer relaxed enough to think that we were having a normal conversation. Just a couple of ‘Riders fans that aren’t a fan of Ottawa, but hey, I have a job to do. When the taxpayer started complaining about the government, I joined in:

    “Hey, I hear you. I’m not some suit from Ottawa. I’m from Regina. I mean both the feds and the province already get enough out of me from tax on my smokes.”

    I don’t smoke.

    The taxpayer didn’t know that, but the anger was timely because the province had just raised up the cigarette tax the previous year so packs were well over $6 a pack.

    “Yeah I know”, the taxpayer said, “I smoke a pack a day”.

    Music to my ears as a tax auditor, the taxpayer just told me that they need ($6 x 365) = $2,190 of after-tax income just to feed their cigarette habit.

    I continued, “That’s terrible! Between getting our money on that, and getting it at the casino, it’s just crazy how much they make it hard to enjoy our weekends.”

    “Yeah, I don’t win nuthin’ at the casino either,” the taxpayer stated.

    To me I heard ‘I didn’t have any non-taxable casino winnings. In fact, the taxpayer likely had lost money in the year. This means the taxpayer needed to have more disposable income to gamble.’

    The conversation continued for a good 30 minutes. Once I was armed with more knowledge of the taxpayer’s lifestyle and spending habits, I went to work. Bank statements, receipts, mileage information, fuel costs, type of vehicle, etc.

    We would use information tools not only from Statistics Canada for price of fuel in different regions, we would also use websites like www.fueleconomy.gov that provide different estimated fuel consumption based on type of use and mileage going back to cars from the 1980s. Then we work backwards to see if the numbers made sense with respect to the taxpayer’s vehicle and costs.

    When it was all said and done, I used the results of our conversation against the taxpayer. When I was finished, I found over $30,000 in an income variance between the taxpayer’s living costs and change in net worth compared to what was reported. Not only that, but the taxpayer had already backed themselves into a corner because of the questions that were answered which I had documented.

    My guess is that in conclusion, the taxpayer thought they should have got the questions in writing instead of meeting me at a restaurant.


    Cory G. Litzenberger, CPA, CMA, CFP, C.Mgr is the President & Founder of CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors; you can find out more about Cory’s biography at http://www.CGLtax.ca/Litzenberger-Cory.html


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    april, 2019

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