Friday, September 21, 2012


I wanted to address the issue of guilt in  my book, "...Until you Die": The Narcissist's Promise.  As this is a true story, the feelings of the characters are real and go beyond the final page.  For those of you who have not read it as yet, let me briefly introduce the protagonist, Skylar Bauers, a survivor of spousal abuse and the antagonist, John Bauers, batterer, narcissist and sociopath.  

What is Guilt?  According to the Encarta Dictionary of North America, there are four definitions of Guilt. 

Awareness of Wrongdoing: an awareness of having done wrong of committed a crime, accompanied by a feeling of shame & regret

Fact of Wrongdoing: the fact of having committed a crime or done wrong

Responsibility of Wrongdoing: the responsibility for committing a crime or doing wrong

Legal Culpability: the responsibility, as determined by a court or other legal authority, for committing an offense that carries a legal penalty

For a narcissist, who never believes there is anything wrong with them – it’s always someone else, so how can they feel guilt, responsibility or remorse for their actions?

The victim looks inward and wonders, have I done anything wrong?  After she unfairly and without reason lost custody of her childrenSkylar Bauers posed that question to her mother, who answered truthfully, “The only thing you did wrong was marry John Bauers”. 

I know of a man who had custody of his children, believing it was in their best interest.  Regardless of the circumstances of that decision, he remained compliant regarding visitation.  His relationship with his ex-wife was extremely cordial with effective co-parenting   His rationale was that the children needed their mother and he wanted to foster as much “normalcy” in their maternal relationship as possible.  This case is an anomaly of what usually occurs within our legal system.

Although many of the stories I’ve heard, the case of Skylar Bauers v. John Bauers shows a woman who was never labeled as unfit, incompetent or having a personality disorder.  A Guardian ad litem & psychologist was brought into court by John Bauers unethical attorney.  This was not due to a request by the judge and he was not court appointed to this case.  Even so, Steven Shapse attempted to interrupt a court proceeding in order to pin a label of personality disorder on Skylar, without ever meeting her. His attempts were pathetically in vain and held no weight in court.         

How can a court look at someone who vehemently denies a relationship between the children and their estranged spouse and see fairness?  How can a judge continuously punish a non-custodial parent whose life outside of court is drama-free, without scratching his head in confusion when faced with accusations of contrary behavior?  Isn’t that judge just as guilty as the narcissist?  

Skylar Bauers does not fit into any of the above definitions of guilt.  However, one synonym of guilt is remorse.  Skylar is not guilty, as she did nothing wrong.  But she does feel tremendous remorse at marrying and having children with John Bauers.  She is not guilty of doing anything which caused her to lose custody of her children, except to create them with someone as contemptible as John Bauers.  And that awareness is can weigh just as heavily as guilt.

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