Sunday, November 27, 2011

Walking with Lisa

(This is a work of fiction.  Any references to historical events; to real people, living or dead; or to real locales are intended only to give the fiction a sense of reality and authenticity.  Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used factiously, and their resemblance, if any, to real life counterparts is entirely coincidental.

The character "Lisa" is inspired by the character by the same name in Susanna Kaysen's 1993 publication GIRL, INTERRUPTED.)

Chapter One

When one first meets Lisa, it is not long before or unusual to think, "Something doesn't seem right."  After spending more time with her (whether it is weeks or months), this sentiment becomes more along the lines of self blame... "Lisa and I just can't get along.  What is my problem?"  This appears to be the average progression of relationships with Lisa unless one has done much study in behavior.  It is not difficult to figure out there is an issue.  The challenge comes in pin pointing it.  Lisa wraps herself so tightly in lies and deception, a person has to make their way through a large, complex web to make sense of things...before becoming prey to the spider.  Some don't make it that far though.  I'm sure you will recall Daisy and the other Lisa.  Both fell victim to this Lisa's taunting and harsh words.  Daisy ended up committing suicide and the other Lisa became a drug addict.

Fortunately for me, I have strength in Christ.  Even still, the gauntlet is thrown and I must be wise.  In order to "walk" with Lisa, there are certain rules I must follow.  #1. Never let Lisa get into my head.  Though it is questionable as to whether or not Lisa honestly is a sociopath, that was her diagnosis and she truly does fit the profile (though her actions might just be an elaborate act).  #2. Never let my guard down.  She cannot be trusted.  #3. Do not be foolish.  #4. (And of the utmost importance) Never take my eyes off the cross of Jesus.  #5. Self assess on a regular basis without going overboard.  Imperfections and weaknesses are okay no matter what Lisa says.  #6. Never take Lisa's word for it.  ALWAYS get a second opinion.  #7. Be in the word of God (bible) daily.  #8. Know with certainty who I am and never doubt it.  #9. Do not limit socializing to only Lisa or spend too much time with her.  She has no boundaries (/nothing is off limits to her) and is very convincing the alternate universe she has created in her mind is the truth.  #10. I am not responsible for her, I am only accountable for myself.  And, I cannot change her.

Though these guidelines are all well and good on paper, applying them regularly (especially when Lisa is on a tirade) can prove to be easier said than done.  Never the less, one will drown, while relating to her, without them.  He or she will slowly become so immersed in her "aggressive narcissism", with traits such as
Glibness/superficial charm
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Pathological lying
Lack of remorse or guilt
Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
Callousness; lack of empathy
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
, most will not even know what happened until it is too late.  The only consistent indication that something is amiss is a nagging feeling of "Ick" after engaging with her.  Patterns are also a key item to watch with her.

I do not know why she says and does the things she does.  Perhaps there is no reason at all...and do I really want to spend years trying to figure it out?  Besides, Lisa does not seem to want anyone to understand her.
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