In my previous blog, I introduced Benjamin, the financially successful but narcissistically abusive husband in his fifties and sixties. Adults like Benjamin have healthy brains, yet for decades use their freedom to treat others hurtfully. Despite his history of strong accomplishment in the business or professional world, Benjamin's closest loved ones suffer painfully, for decades, from his rude, selfish, mean behavior at home.
In the 18th and 19th century days of sail, warships carried rows of multi-ton bronze cannons. Each sat in a wheeled carriage and was controlled by a crew of men using heavy ropes. Imagine if the carriage ever somehow came disconnected from its ropes, or even worse, the cannon fell off its carriage. With every ocean wave, it would slam violently against the walls of the ship like a wrecking ball. Freed from its constraints, it could kill men and even sink the ship. This is the nightmare of a “loose cannon.”
Now, back to Benjamin. Imagine how life only gets worse for Benjamin’s relatives when, in his later years, Benjamin develops a brain disease that erases his financial and business wisdom. Bad financial decisions start happening, scaring this family and associates. Benjamin, still narcissistic and empowered, but now also impaired, becomes a “loose cannon.”
Accustomed to being in charge and ignoring others’ feelings, Benjamin swats away efforts to protect him from himself. He rejects requests that he delegate responsibility or authority at work, or be evaluated for dementia.
After decades of enduring Benjamin’s emotionally damaging behavior, the family now also faces financial danger from him.
When Benjamin’s wife calls me, we dive into the skills she needs to survive this chapter of her life, such as: avoiding pointless confrontations; finding her assertiveness; identifying allies and resources; distinguishing needs vs wants; etc.
Her new skills empower her to grow into a more effective approach to her dilemma.
Do you know anyone like Benjamin's wife?
“My passion is ensuring that every adult is mentally ready to succeed in all transitions that comprise the adult years. The meaning in my life comes from helping my patients see themselves, their situation, their future, and the entire world with new eyes and a newly courageous attitude.