When Reality Is Down For Maintenance

Have you ever been suddenly struck by the sheer amount of effort, energy, and work it takes to maintain reality?

Have you ever thought: “Screw this version of reality which I’ve created for myself, it’s too exhausting to keep it up and running… I’m going rogue!”

Atlas Turned to Stone by Edward Burne-Jones

When I spotted the image above, while looking for pics of Atlas on Wikimedia Commons, it appeared to me to capture that thought.

And of course it’s Hermes-Mercury (the guy wearing wings on his feet and helmet) who is doing the whole running away from the responsibility of maintaining a reality. He looks like he’s saying: “See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!” over his shoulder to Atlas who has apparently been turned to stone…

If you’re shouldering a huge responsibility to maintain a reality…

Is it your reality for you or someone else’s reality for them?

When you’re maintaining a reality chances are even if it’s yours just for you it’s not just for yourself but it’s also for all those others who share that version of reality, who depend upon it, who have bought into it, what it’s supposedly selling and they expect it to keep supply ahead of demand, and they’ll blame you if you drop the ball… which in Atlas’ case is the sphere of the heavens, and no one wants to see the sky falling!

…then turning to stone might be an excellent idea.

Have you ever met a person who has turned to stone?

A rigid thinker.

Someone who is firmly set in their ways, in their views, in their version of reality.

Someone who adamantly refuses optional realities, views, ways. They only listen to that which confirms their bias. They never listen to anyone else about anything which deviates from their rigid reality – they can’t, it’s too much of a threat to their petrified system.

Someone who insists that their way is the only way, the right way – all other ways are wrong.

Someone who spends much time, effort, energy, pointing out the flaws, faults, problems, troubles of the world, especially of the people, but can’t for the life of them see how their attitude is the biggest flaw, fault, problem, and trouble since it causes them to only see the flaws, faults, problems, troubles of the world, especially of the people.

In psychology this type of person is sometimes referred to as – judgmental.

What are the signs of being judgmental?  Here are five:

1.      Making a lot of negative moral evaluations of others.

2.      Having a moral rating system that is skewed in your own favor.

3.      Jumping to negative moral conclusions about others; being inclined to believe the worst. 

4.      Moving very quickly from judgments of the form “This action is morally wrong” to ones of the form “This person is morally corrupt.”  (see Don’t Be Judgmental, Be Discerning).

5.      Acting as if you can know that what so-and-so did was wrong even though you know much less about the context of so-and-so’s action than so-and-so. 

Being judgmental distorts our perception of other people, of ourselves and of what matters most in living a well-lived human life. It feeds on and engenders a lack of sympathetic understanding of others. It is often linked with other related character flaws: hypocrisy, self-righteousness, malice, insensitivity, and the enjoyment of destructive gossip.

excerpt from Psychology Today: Who’s Judgmental? Five Key Symptoms – Saying “You’re judgmental” can be a symptom of being judgmental by Caroline J. Simon

This type of person… if you called them judgmental would probably argue that being judgmental is a good thing because without judgment humanity would be in even worse condition than it is. Therefore they’re right and righteous to be judgmental, thus they’re superior, and you’re wrong and wrongeous, thus inferior to them which confirms their bias that they’re superior.

Or they might tell you that they’re not judgmental at all, except for when they’re in the company of morally bankrupt people and then they’ll share their long mental list of all the people and the things those people do which they consider to be wrong…. but they’re not being judgmental when they do that, they’re just speaking truth, being honest, etc, and even if it sounds judgmental to you it’s not, besides it’s not their fault they’re being judgmental, it’s the fault of the other, they wouldn’t need to be judgmental if others didn’t force them to be that way.

Am I being judgmental of judgmental people?


However, especially now that I am older = with plenty of “Shit I’m wrong, being a blinkered jerk, a total hypocrite, and more” experience, my judgmentality is not an end point for me, not a door closing on a subject and that’s that, it’s usually the starting point of a thought journey, a door opening up which can lead to interesting places within, and may lead to understanding of self and of others, which can lead to a release from the need to be judgmental about that.

To release yourself from the pattern of jumping to judgmental conclusions is such a relief, it’s like the weight of the world has been removed from the shoulders. It can sometimes shatter a reality system, but that can be a YAY rather than a OMG the sky is falling and I’m going to be crushed.

It’s a very Uranus transiting Taurus, aided and abetted by Pluto and Saturn transiting Capricorn experience. Structures are being challenged, tested, destroyed, offering the opportunity to check out the foundations, rebuild, create a new comfort zone which is more spacious.

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”

― Narcotics Anonymous

Judgmental judgment acts like a drug – is it a stimulant or an opiate? Coffee or Camomile tea? Cocaine or Heroine? Those who do it, smoke it, shoot it, drink it, tend to get addicted to its quick addictive buzz – they can go from low self-esteem to high self-esteem in seconds. One minute they felt inferior, next minute they felt superior.

They may even feel like superheroes with awesome superpowers after feeling like a nothing with nothing, powerless to do anything… until they fell into some toxic green gunk known as judgmental and it seeped into their veins, now it’s better than blood! At least they don’t feel as vulnerable and as weak as they used to feel, which is a really horrible feeling… oh to feel anything other than that and to do so easily rather than with difficulty!

Melanie asks in this week’s Share Your World: Do you think you’re judgmental?  What tends to bring it out in you?

I grew up with narcissists. My parents were both narcissists, and many of the people in their social circle were very narcissistic.

Narcissists and the narcissistic love to judge and be judgmental – but hate it when that shit is done to them. They’re paranoid about others doing it to them the way they do it to others – so they’ll hear it and see it where it isn’t and then they’ll attack. Or they’ll attack before they hear or see it – it’s safer that way!

It’s nigh on impossible to not develop a judgmental stance when you’re under the influence of narcissists.

Becoming judgmental happens for several reasons in this kind of dynamic, the most dominant of which is – helping the narcissist maintain their version of reality.

If you’re the child of narcissists you don’t have an opt in or opt out option.

Your parents are God, they created the world, they created you and let you inhabit this world which they created and belongs to them, you belong to them too because they created you, and thus you must do what they demand of you.

Your parents the leader of your country, and you must abide by their rules and regulations, or you’ll be branded a traitor and will be used to set an example of what happens to anyone who tries to break free from the narcissist regime, which will scare others into following the rules and regulations and orders.

Melanie also asked this question: Would you go streaking across a football field during a game for a million dollars (insert your own country’s currency), knowing there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll get arrested for indecent exposure?

Which reminded me of that other question – If you found a suitcase full of money, and no one was around – would you take it?

Having grown up with narcissists, my answer to both questions would be – a definite No.


It’s not due to a moral or ethical issue.

Which reminds me of a question Rory asked recently – How Ethical Are You … Really? – and what someone said in reply: “everyone is going to say they are ethical and blah blah blah.

One of the lessons you learn from narcissists is how ethics and morals are abstract theories, flexible notions, which are made concrete so that they can be used and abused to control others to maintain a reality.

Narcissistic people love bringing up morals and ethics… especially when they’re losing an argument.

Out of the blue your discussion about something banal will turn into a moral and ethical dilemma with you on the losing end. It was the only way the narcissist could get you to order profiteroles even though you don’t want dessert – they’re on a holier-than-thou diet and won’t order dessert for themselves but you must have dessert so that they can have a bite of it as that’s the polite thing for you to do.

They love using morals and ethics to create rigid codes of conduct for everyone else to follow. Follow their code and you get a dog biscuit, don’t follow their code and you’ll get a zap from the cattle prod.

They’re very black and white, right and wrong, good and bad in their thinking.

It’s a simplistic form of thinking which is easy to use and abuse. People sometimes rely on this type of thinking when they’re too tired to think things through and think for themselves… narcissists and the narcissistic find ways to make people too tired.

They use that thinking to trap you, control you, manipulate you, and force you to be scaffolding they’ll use to climb up high onto a pedestal of grandiose entitled superiority.

“You have to let other people be right’ was his answer to their insults. ‘It consoles them for not being anything else.”

― André Gide, The Immoralist

My – definite No – answer is an actions and their long term consequences issue.

The currency of narcissist country is the narcissistic nub. It sometimes takes the form of actual money, but it’s flexible, able to shift shape into the form most desired by the person a narcissist intends to suck into their reality maintenance unit.

Narcissistic people often use questions like the money ones above to set you up as a long term slave in their system.

Sometimes they’ll make you an offer like that and other times they’ll embody that sort of offer – they are the money.

Once you say Yes to that kind of an offer, one which seems too good to refuse, you’d be an idiot for saying no, you’re sucked into their version of reality and will be stuck there for a long time serving them and it.

You might struggle a bit, but you’ll always give up the struggle – they know how to make you do that, they’ll use you to make yourself do that.

Most likely you’ll choose to give up the struggle and stay because you still hope for a return on your investment, to get what they never paid you, the money they never promised (you weren’t listening, your greed for a too good to be true offer made you a bit deaf and rather dumb as it was supposed to) but suggested they might give you for streaking – you streaked before getting your payment, that’s on you. Maybe they’ll pay you one day with dividends. Your cell is open, you can leave anytime you want to.

If and when you manage to escape the burden of maintaining their reality system, your own sense of reality will not be what it was before – you can never go back to who you were or the way you were before narcissist… which can be a good thing, it’s up to you to decide what happens next, what reality to construct for yourself post-narcissist.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

― Mark Twain

The narcissistic way is an indoctrination into a school of thought which eventually makes you think an act like a narcissist.

Suppose you say Yes to taking the suitcase full of money. No one saw you. No one knows you took it. But someone did see you, someone does know – YOU.

As well as money that suitcase contains fear.

That fear over time accumulates.

At some point it’ll hit you that you can’t leave the suitcase anywhere unattended by you – what if someone finds it? What if they behave the way you did when you found it all alone, unattended, when they find it… dammit, you can’t trust anyone these days to be honest, respectful of what doesn’t belong to them!

If you felt fairly comfortable about and around other people before suitcase full of money, you won’t anymore, you’ll start to see everyone as potential thieves of your money, potential stealers of your happiness.

You are now manacled to the suitcase of money, and because you are you have another problem – what happens if others ask you why you are carrying it around with you, why is it so important that it can’t leave your side, what’s in it?

You no longer like curiosity – curious people are a nightmare! They must be stopped in their curious tracks!!!

You can’t open it when others are around because then they’ll see what’s in it, want what’s in it, and they might ask you where and how you got it.

Worse still what happens if the person it originally belonged to sees it, recognises it, wants it back.

You now have a target on your back and on your front and sides.

What happens if everyone finds out what you did and judges you for it? Those judgmental a-holes, how dare they! They aren’t better than you!

The solution is to separate the bad from the good. Anyone who is judgmental about what you did and are continuing to do by keeping that suitcase, is bad and must be discredited. Anyone who supports you, gets your support.

Before you know it you’ve supported crooked politicians who are totally cool with what you did because that’s exactly the sort of thing they do, you’ve helped change the laws of your country to make your actions completely legal, and your country is now run by those who believe that finders keepers is the most ethical and moral approach.

It’s all good until that day when those people who got elected because of your need to make your action a good one decide that what’s in your suitcase belongs to them and take it away – you can keep the suitcase and the fear, they just want the money.

Now you’re manacled to a suitcase full of fear which keeps accumulating. You can’t trust anyone. You don’t like anyone. You hate people, people are all bad.

You hate the ones who warned you not to keep the suitcase, told you not to follow the path of keeping the suitcase because those judgmental a-holes were right, and that just makes the wrong place you’re now in after everything you did to end up in the right place to be worse.

You hate the ones who agreed with you about keeping the suitcase and encouraged you to follow the path of keeping the suitcase because… where are they now that your suitcase is empty except for the fear!? They’ve got your money and are enjoying it – how come you never got to enjoy it!?

Every time you see a suitcase… you hate suitcases and their owners!

You hate yourself, and because you do the only remedy is hating others more. You judge yourself, remedy = judging others more and slamming the door shut before your judgmental judgment boomerangs right back at you.

Why are you exhausted all the time, yet can’t sleep. Why do you feel so depressed, anxious, like you’re wearing a blindfold standing against a wall and at any moment you’ll be shot dead but the killshot never comes.

maybe it’s time to go rogue and exit that version of reality and the high maintenance fee it requires of you?


  1. “If you’re shouldering a huge responsibility to maintain a reality…
    Is it your reality for you or someone else’s reality for them?”
    So true Ursula! And Atlas shouldering the world is a perfect depiction of his reality. We all have a reality, (sometimes not of our doing, sometimes is of our doing) that we have to bend ourselves to endure. It’s about perception too. Others who dont live our reality, will perceive it as better than theirs or worse than theirs.

    As far as being judgmental, its human to judge but not all judgment is good. As a Virgo, I can be judgmental. It used to be really bad in my early twenties till my early thirties. I dont like when others are judgmental though. But judgmental can point out judgmentals can’t they?


    • Thank you, Scherezade 🙂

      You hit the nail on the head with this – “I dont like when others are judgmental though.”

      I was watching one of those famous people chatting shows last night wherein two famous people were chatting about other famous people they liked and admired. The conversation was comfortable between the two until one person mentioned someone they liked whom the other person disliked intensely.

      Things went from comfortable to super uncomfortable in a split second because the person with the intense dislike launched into a diatribe about the target of their intense dislike – as though trying to convince the other person that they must dislike the person too and stop liking them immediately, liking them was wrong.

      The show bleeped out the name of this intensely disliked famous person which made things weird for the viewer and yet it also made things interesting – it was a psychological experiment. If they’d shared the name of the intensely disliked famous person the viewer would have had an opinion based on their personal perspective of that person, and then the viewer could decide whether they agreed or disagreed, whose side to be on, who to like and dislike, etc. But without knowing who was the target, all the viewer could see was one person being judgmental about another one.

      It was uncomfortable to watch and hear. It wasn’t just the things the person with the intense dislike was saying about someone who wasn’t there to share their side of the story, defend themselves, etc, it was also the effect it had on the person who liked them and was being subjected to the experience of listening to a vicious judgmental rant. They couldn’t really say very much because they were a guest on the show and the person having the rant was the host.

      The interesting thing was that it seemed as though the main reason for the intense dislike was because the person with the intense dislike viewed their target as having been judgmental of them and that inspired them to be judgmental in return.

      So it was a case of a judgmental pointing the finger at another judgmental.

      Of course viewers needed to fill in the blank so it was easy to find out who the person was whose name had been bleeped. Apparently these two people have been throwing judgmental knives at each other in public for decades, both thinking they’re right and the other is in the wrong, and each time they do it fuels the fire of the feud, the judgmental pointing of fingers keeps going and going with no end in sight. Doing it in public means they drag others into it, and them you have Team A fighting Team B.

      It’s difficult to get a clear perspective when you’re caught up in something like that, when it’s personal, and pride, ego, personal hurt, etc, is on line. It’s easier to see it when someone else is doing it and you can observe the dynamic from a distance. It can take ages to get to that point where you go – I don’t like it when someone is being judgmental, so others probably don’t like it either just as I don’t like it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Ursula for Sharing Your World and letting me hijack one of your questions for this particular version of SYW too! ❤ I always get a TON of thought after reading one of your posts, and I get sidetracked by one and then another. So I tend to try to jot down the thought I want to respond to before it disappears faster than Hermes on speed….

    First one; Reality is ephemeral. No two people share the exact same reality. So those turned to stone idiots are deluding themselves when they judge another who doesn't see/agree with their version of how things OUGHT to be. Sometimes we can't even grasp the version of reality another may have. Your astute example of the narcissist is one such scenario. Those people think so radically different from anyone else that it's impossible for the sane mind to wrap itself around the idea and accept it.

    I've never said it, but I admire how you survived your upbringing and came through the other side with your reality and sanity intact. How you've found ways to cope with the fractures that happen from being subjected to all that stress for so long. It's amazing.

    As to the suitcase? Me? I take the thing, I go directly to the nearest bank and I deposit it all in a safety deposit box (leaving out a prudent amount to pay bills with and elevate my credit rating a little). I agree that fear is inherent in the suitcase.

    A while ago I got a lot of money all at once and who I became after getting that money was someone I don't recognize. She was a lot better than I am in some ways, but she was suspicious (a thousand times more than I am, and I'm danged suspicious to begin with) and looked for ulterior motives in everyone around her. She alienated a lot of people in the process, some of which were good alienation (false friends and people who knew about the money and wanted some), but some of which were wrong. I hurt a lot of feelings and offended some people who ought to be important to me. They haven't forgiven easily and they'll never forget either.

    Which is a conundrum for another day and another comment/blog session probably. If someone keeps reminding you of bad things you did in the past which hurt them, should you keep trying to mend the rift or just let it go altogether and forget about associating with that person you harmed? I'll have to write about that sometime and ask that question because I'm curious what people might think about it. Isn't forgiveness forgiveness or else it's NOT really forgiveness at all?

    Eh. Got off track. Thanks again Ursula for providing fodder for thought and for participating in Share Your World! You ROCK! 🙂


    • Thank you very much, Melanie 🙂

      The forgive/forget debate – that’s a doozy of a question because everyone seems to have a different interpretation and definition of what forgiveness means and how forgetting works in association with forgiveness.

      It’s a brilliant question for blogging about though, since it’s such a problematic conundrum.

      I wrote a post a while back about narcissists and the forgive/forget issue. Narcissists have one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everyone else when it comes to forgive/forget – everyone else has to forgive and forget, they on the other will hold everything you said and did against you for the rest of eternity as leverage, blackmail, to control you and have power over you. If you apply forgive and forget to a narcissist, they’ll screw you over again and blame you for it because you forgave and forgot.

      With people who aren’t narcissists or very narcissistic, they usually want to forgive and forget but may not be able to until they get closure. Giving closure is about them feeling heard, understood, their side of the story listened to in full without interruption from you (excuses, explanations, reasons, justifications, etc, always want to interrupt, sometimes they need to shut it and wait), the pain they experienced needs to feel acknowledged, understood, respected. They may need to tell you how they experienced you, saw you, felt about you, and it may sound ugly, be provocative (especially if you feel totally and unfairly misunderstood by them) but until they get it out of their system it’ll remain stuck there, which keeps them stuck and keeps you stuck.

      Closure can be challenging and difficult to give, but it is worth it, it is liberating for both sides.

      One tricky part of giving closure to someone is if what you did to them was done to them before by someone else, if it’s part of a painful pattern they keep repeating, particularly if it created a deep wounding – then the closure they really need may be very layered and complex.

      Giving other people a safe space to tell their story and to truly listen to them telling their story without reacting in a way which makes them afraid, retreat regret it, is an amazing gift. It can heal what you thought could never be healed.

      Sometimes things just don’t work out even with closure, they can’t forgive/forget or you can’t, or neither of you can, but there’s still the potential for healing by learning from the experience. One of the biggest obstacles to applying forgive/forget is if we can’t forgive ourselves, our part in the story. We tend to be less compassionate towards others when we’re being hard on ourselves. 🙂


  3. Awesome post! Very introspective. I became more judgmental or jump at conclusions in recent years, but if situation proved me wrong then My apologies, maybe I should rethink the issue. I mostly get judgmental with people that caused me to have a great dislike for them, there are not many of them though.

    While reading your post, a person I greatly dislike in my RL popped up and for a sec. I wondered if I should give them a chance, I don’t know/understand their side of story, be friendly again instead of politely ignoring them. Is there such a thing like politely ignore a person? Lol. I would with any other people but not this one.My gut told me so. I’m just plainly disgusted by them, so why do I need to act friendly?! Why I’m saying this is becos just before I read your post I received a mass mail from them requesting our presence in a social event and I could feel my fury rising.

    Thank you for your post really, I’m seeing myself and the situation more clearly now 😉


    • Thank you very much, Reverist 🙂

      A gut reaction is different from being judgmental, at least in my experience it is. Gut reactions are usually right. Funnily enough we can be judgmental towards our gut reactions – the mind thinks it’s superior to the gut and talks us out of listening to the gut. The amount of times my mind has talked me out of listening to my gut about a person… only to regret it afterwards because the mind was wrong and the gut was right! Sigh 😉

      There’s this weird idea we sometimes have where while we don’t like someone we still want them to like us, so we act friendly towards them so they’ll think well of us even though we don’t like them, and no matter how friendly they act towards us we still don’t like them or think well of them.


      • Hmm, I don’t think what you said is weird. To me, that’s an intrinsic human nature-vainty. Everyone has it, in varying degrees, in different forms 😉

        We dont like them but then we don’t want them to dislike us – in my case, I don’t expect them to like me either, just neutral is fine. However, the one that I utterly dislike I’d rather they don’t like me too so I won’t appear to be the one being hostile in public. Only in recent times had I dislike someone so much that I rolled my eyes every single time i see them, if I’d look them straight in the eyes first my fist would punch straight in their face x times 😆 but I’d never been violent so I really don’t know what might happen.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your new word “wrongeous”! I’m going to start using it every chance I get.
    Being in public spaces with Ben over the years has shown me just how many people are ready to be Judgey McJudgeypants. Most give The Look, some make comments to others loud enough to be overheard (passive-aggressive much?), the brave? wrongeous? ones will actually tell me how rotten Ben is and how rotten I am. I used to feel the need to defend myself and especially him. Now I figure if they have to go out of their way to make comments to a stranger about a child they’re not worth my time or energy.
    I love those “would you do such and such for xyz money” questions. I like to ask preachy people. I’ll increase the money amount from hundreds to thousands and up to millions. Most people will eventually say yes. Then I tell them they’d do it for no money at all. What? !? They say. I explain that if they’ll do it for money, they’ll do it. period. If it’s something they’d never do, no amount of money is going to change their mind. They usually walk away from me after that. Which was the point, obviously😉
    Yes I would run naked, if I felt like it, just because I felt like it. You wanna give me money? Whatever dude, that’s your choice. No, I wouldn’t take the suitcase. For the reasons you describe. I might, might take a little of the money depending on how broke I was. I’ve had to roll pennies to buy toilet paper before. I’ve been THAT kind of broke.

    I’m about half done with the questions post. Some of them are requiring thinking & backing off, thinking & backing off…The sounds of a fiddle, hands clapping and feet dancing in a Square Dance😉 Plus I’m having electronics issues that will hopefully be resolved soon.
    Also, Dave Made A Maze…found it finally on Amazon Prime but only for rental/purchase which is fine, but if I’m gonna pay I want uninterrupted, non-exhausted time to watch. Hopefully soon.

    My final thoughts, for now anyway, are that I have always loved in a bubble of my own reality. Sometimes the universe/people pierce my bubble and make me feel with things, but my bubble is never popped. It’s permeable to gentleness, kindness and respectful people. They don’t notice it grow around them when they’re interacting with me. It’s adamant strong in general against all the Yuck, but can be pierced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, Angie 🙂

      Oh that’s very clever!!! I’d never thought of that – “I explain that if they’ll do it for money, they’ll do it. period. If it’s something they’d never do, no amount of money is going to change their mind.” Ha! Awesome observation!!!

      Gobshites like the ones who pestered you and Ben… ARGH! And you know that no matter what you do or say they’ll never get it – that they’re the ones who are what they’re saying others are. That they’re the problem and not the solution. They’re the sort of people who learned at an early age that the only way to get attention from others was by being mean, unpleasant and annoying, inflicting themselves on others. If you do manage to sock it to them, they run away and whine to people about the meanie who was mean to them.

      Narcissists tend to use those sort of people to do their dirty work for them because they’re easy to manipulate since they don’t think for themselves or at all so you can implant thoughts easily, wind them up and watch them go. They’re often the ones who end up being Flying Monkeys for the Narcissists. I’ve dealt with the type before, they’re incredibly irritating.

      There’s an episode of Loudermilk, season 2 – Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting – wherein Loudermilk gets confronted by these two prissy Judgey McJudgeypants who have just moved into the neighbourhood and want to get rid of him and his AA group as it bothers them in a NIMBY manner. Loudermilk is a Judgey McJudgeypants himself, so it was funny to watch him dealing with it and mostly failing.

      I totally vibe with the create your own bubble. I love how you describe yours ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Another fantastically awesome post. I saw it pop up on my email feed today, and after a quick cursory glance realised that it was tying up with a post l was writing. Soo l will reference back to you when done Ursula. Interestingly enough l saw two posts this morning – your and fandango’s provo question which sparked me and l made reference to that sparking in my response to his question. I will come back to this post later and award it the full attention it deserves.


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