Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

As I mention both in my book Character Disturbance and in a prior article (See: Personality and Character Disorders – Pt 7: A Wrap-Up), Borderline personalities are perhaps the most misunderstood of all the personality types.  Although psychiatry officially categorizes Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as a distinct syndrome and personality style, I’m among several who recognize that the personality “style” of the borderline really emerges by default – the result of the individual’s failure to solidify a solid and stable sense of self. Some theorists even conceptualize the borderline syndrome as a “disorder of the self.”  The folks we label “borderline,” therefore, are individuals whose personalty never quite came together.  And it’s because of this personality integration failure that they not only appear to have a distinctively erratic, unpredictable, and unstable manner of coping but also frequently display features of other personality disturbances such as narcissism, dependence, manipulation proneness, etc.  For these and many other reasons, coming to an accurate understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be quite a challenging task.

The term “borderline” has an interesting history.  Back in the days when all personality styles were viewed as different stylized manifestations of a person’s neurosis (i.e. “neurotic styles”) and all mental illness was seen as either a matter of having some degree or form of neurosis (the condition in which defenses were intact despite their lack of full effectiveness and the person was in some way dysfunctional but still in contact with reality and capable of rational thought) or psychosis (the condition in which all defenses had broken down and the person could no longer judge reality or think rationally), the term “borderline” was applied to those individuals who appeared to be on the border between neurosis and psychosis because of the highly unstable, irrational nature of their manner of coping.  And indeed, some borderline personalities have long been noted to be prone to brief but generally reversible psychotic episodes.

There’s always been a lot of confusion – even among professionals – about how to best perceive and deal with borderline individuals.  There’s also been a lot of uncertainty and confusion when it comes to making the diagnosis.  That’s because by nature borderline individuals can display features of a variety of different personality types.  But once you accept the notion that the borderline syndrome is really the result of a person’s failure to solidify a singular, solid, stable sense of self, things get clearer.

While we unfortunately have only one label for the borderline syndrome, no two borderline personalities are completely alike. Depending on what innate traits and acquired habits are more dominant in them, borderline personalities can appear very different from one another.  Individuals with a weak sense of self but whose dominant personality traits are of the “submissive” variety, for example, behave very differently (e.g., “clingy,” dependent) from those with strong narcissistic and/or aggressive personality traits in their makeup (e.g., manipulative, self-indulgent, impulsive). Moreover, the traits that tend to dominate a borderline personality’s makeup make all the difference in the world with respect to how “neurotic” vs. character disturbed that person is. Still, there are some behaviors that so often accompany a person’s failure to develop a well-integrated and stable sense of self (e.g., impulsive and erratic behavior, labile emotions and rapid mood shifts, explosive anger displays, self-damaging and  self-injurious gestures and acts, highly intense but equally chaotic interpersonal involvements and enmeshments, chronic fears of abandonment, and periodic deterioration into more severe forms mental illness) that their presence alone is sufficient for most clinicians to confer upon someone the diagnosis of BPD.

The next two articles will take an even closer look at the Borderline syndrome, the typical features that accompany it, the factors that make it difficult for some individuals to develop and sound and stable sense of self, the types of problems that can plague a relationship (including both intentional and unintentional manipulation) when someone has borderline tendencies or perhaps even BPD, and the prospects someone with borderline personality characteristics has for healing.

Next week will usher in the 19th year in print for In Sheep’s Clothing.  I’m deeply indebted to all those whose word-of-mouth recommendations of this book have not only kept it a bestseller for such an unprecedented term but also have prompted its international reach to expand so widely and consistently over the years.  That same strong word-of-mouth is also helping to make Character Disturbance the definitive manual for understanding and dealing with disturbed characters of all types and to bring a small niche market book like The Judas Syndrome to a wide audience.  I am most grateful for all the support from readers, especially those who took the time to post such positive reviews on Amazon.

Last week, I was on vacation, and because the Character Matters program that aired was a rebroadcast, no live calls could be taken. But I’ll be back at the mic this Sunday at 7 pm Eastern (6 pm Central) time and will be happy to take your calls.  It should prove a particularly interesting program because among the topics discussed will be psychopathy and its presence throughout history. Also, look for an announcement soon about an upcoming “webinar” that will also permit live interactive dialog among all participants.

123 thoughts on “Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

  1. Thank you Dr. Simon. I was chatting with an old friend a few days ago- who is a psychiatrist- he knows of my diagnoses. One comment I made about myself, was that ‘everything was just fragmented’ in my persona. he said ‘I understand’ that. I never had a true sense of who I was. Now after all these years, I am slowly developing a ‘true sense of self’ but this is a devastating mental illness for so many women and men. I am beginning to ‘pull in’ those fragments, also realizing I have many talent. Its been a long journey, and its far from over- I did find myself, at long last.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment, Skybuzz. I’m really looking forward to your comments when I discuss in the next article the factors that stymie personality development and in the subsequent article when I discuss what’s necessary to “recover” and heal.

      1. Many children of NPD parents become borderline. I don’t think I was borderline but so many of the false self fragmented self or delayed individuation made sense to me.

  2. Thanks, Dr. Simon. I just received my copies of your books “In Sheeps Clothing” and “Character Disturbance” today — can’t wait to start reading.
    My daughter is most likely borderline — I think you are correct; people with borderline display a whole myriad of different “symptoms” (including narcissism) and they do seem to be personalities that have trouble “coming together.” I agree they’re misunderstood and often diagnosed with other disorders because there’s so many ways their borderline-ness can manifest itself.
    I remember when I studied psychology in college many years ago that borderline was at that time considered a sort of halfway point between neurosis and psychosis. I think people with borderline are quite impaired, although their sociability and outgoingness can be a plus. They don’t seem to be able to maintain friendships or relationships though, and seem to overreact to everything (make mountains out of molehills). They may also have problems in the workplace due to their impulsivity and unreliability–and occassional tantrums and tendency to have psychotic episodes. But like narcissists, they can be flirtatious, attractive, and charming. Usually they make a good first impression.
    I think borderline and histrionic personalities are similar–can you explain what the difference is exactly?

    1. “My daughter is most likely borderline” how old is she? How do you think she developed BPD? It usually comes from a fragmented childhood.

  3. Yes, Dr. Simon, would be nice to know the most important/core difference between the BPD and Histrionics. I was having similar thoughts, as the person in the previous comment.
    Also, can there be a mixture of psychopathy and BPD? I am not simply inquiring on traits, but visible, tangible characteristics.
    Many thanks.

  4. As a Borderline Male, I can be very charismatic and have great presence- I am over 6’4″ tall, good looking, with a certain quirky quality that can be most attractive to others.
    All my life I was insecure- likely from BPD- I had the inner feeling of ‘not being good enough’ so despite the turmoil I faced from as far back as middle school. I worked like hell to learn about everything. I am fairly knowledgeable about everything, from Science, to Art, History, and I continue to read and learn. Nonetheless I am plagued with extreme, sensitivity, severe disassociation, paranoid ideation, fears of rejection for being ‘inferior’- mood swings, black and white thinking. In the cluster B group there seems to be some similarities, but I am nothing like a narcissist or ASPD.

    The positive take on myself however, I am making good progress. My therapist told me I am very intelligent- via DBT doing better then the average BDL patient. Nonetheless my life has been severely impacted by this- I wish it was around 20 years ago! (DBT)

    Having a ‘fragmented’ self or a personality that never formed is what makes many borderlines so ‘crazy’. With the right therapy, a patient who admits their diagnoses, works hard, starts DBT- progress can be made. Most of the borderlines I have met, men and women are lively,joyful intelligent, artistic, and have much to offer under the right conditions.

    I recently finished reading ‘The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Buddhism, and Online Dating by
    Kiera Van Gelder

    and also ‘Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Living with BPD’ by
    Dr. Robert O. Friedel

    1. I wonder so many times that normal human behavior, if there really IS such a thing, could be squeezed into a lot of personality disorder diagnosis. Like the things you describe Skybuzz………”sensitivity, severe disassociation, paranoid ideation, fears of rejection for being ‘inferior’- mood swings, black and white thinking. ”
      I guess I don’t understand the dividing lines between normal expressions of these same traits and when it becomes a “disorder”?
      Just take mood swings for example. I can be in a good mood most of the time but sometimes things pile up inside me and I become overloaded before I realize what it happening and I can get irritable and in a “bad mood”. Sometimes there are things operating in my environment that are affecting me on a very subtle level and i don’t realize it until it’s too late. I’m very sensitive to sounds, temperature, skin sensations…..a clothing tag can be rubbing my neck lightly and it’s not until it has utterly become so unbearable that I finally realize why I’m irritated. until I get to that point I can slowly be devolving into a “bad mood”. But I’m not sure that is being moody!
      I find all of these things exceedingly hard to understand.

      1. Puddle, my son has also been ” very sensitive to … skin sensations…..a clothing tag can be rubbing my neck lightly and it’s not until it has utterly become so unbearable that I finally realize why I’m irritated.” those attention/sensation focussing issues (also some textures of food for instance) are part of ADHD for him. His psychologist says they can also be part of OCD. But it has gotten less as he aged. He is now 20.

          1. Dots, I have ADHD as a part of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I don’t really understand if it’s a part of it or a symptom, etc… I do know that ADHD is the most common initial mis diagnosis for FASD but again, it’s confusing….is FASD misdiagnosed AS ADHD or is ADHD a part of FASD? Anyhow thank you for the reply to my comment. I know it can be disastrous when I get to that point and can’t find a place to be quiet and still, to regroup in other words. It reminds me of shutting off your computer from time to time to let everything settle back into where it needs to go. Or like when you are cooking something and all of a sudden the drawers are empty and all the utensils are out on the counter and you have no place to work. My eyes do something weird too, they kind of spontaneously track, like I can’t focus on one object. It’s all connected, all related. So imaging throwing a Spath into the mix, someone who is intentionally trying to undermine your equilibrium. He did a number on me thats for sure. I was in bad shape but far worse shape than I realized because I was struggling so hard to keep my head above water. All very hard to describe.
            I had a hell of a time in my family situation because it was so crazy and my sensitivities were TOTALLY dismissed. I’m also claustrophobic and especially as a child could not stand wearing anything tight. That didn’t suit my mothers desires for how I should be dressed though so my shoes, clothes, etc were too small, to scratchy too everything. and there was always so much drama because of my brother, my mothers over reactive displays…. I like soft, quiet, etc…….that was not happening in out house! I don’t even like the radio on in the car and very rarely listen to it.
            I definitely think it’s better for me now(in my 50’s) but only slightly……maybe just different. Plus I have an understanding about it now that I didn’t have when I was younger which really helps me not self judge as much.

  5. I’m also a little confused about what differentiates a person with NPD and one with ASPD. My understanding is that someone with ASPD actually does not know the difference between right and wrong, while one with NPD does, but doesn’t care.

  6. If that’s the case, then the NPD person would be more “evil” than the one with ASPD, who really can’t be held responsible for their actions. It’s almost like they have a learning disability. Aren’t ASPD persons more likely to be criminals, however? Maybe they’re just less intelligent than NPD’s? Please clear me up on this (and also the difference between HSP and BPD). Thanks!

      1. Puddle, I also find it utterly confusing. As you may know, what is considered a personality disorder changed significantly in the DSM-5: “Schizotypal, borderline, antisocial, narcissistic, avoidant and obsessive–compulsive personality disorders are slated for inclusion in DSM-5. Narcissistic personality disorder, first slated for removal, was reinstated later on. Paranoid, schizoid, histrionic and dependent are no longer considered for inclusion as specific personality disorders in DSM-5.” http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/776854_2

        As well, the definition of the seven PDs that remain has changed too. Psychiatry is moving more to a ‘trait’ characterization (like how tall you are [a trait] vs. whether you are over 6ft or not — which is a yes or no question). I think this is also more in line with the views of Dr. Simon, from what I can tell.

        The unintegrated sense of self in borderline is fascinating. Many self-identified sociopaths also claim a fluid self, like a chameleon who changes their personality depending on context. I think the borderline ‘chaos’ is more internally driven though. For sociopaths who view others as objects, it’s not surprising they would have atypical views of themselves too. Just my 2 cents.

        1. well Dot’s you sound like you have a pretty good grasp on it to me.
          I have heard that there is this move towards “trait” movement. HA! My councilor said it’s because they are afraid to call a spade a spade (in regards to psychopaths).

          1. Puddle, I firmly disagree with your therapist. Psychopathy or sociopathy are not defined diagnoses, but ASPD is, and even that is problematic. I do agree that psychopathy is a real thing though that can be measured to some degree with Hare’s test.

            There are many reasons that led to reducing the number of PDs and the move to a trait, or dimensional, description. First, many criteria for different PDs overlap. Second, people often are diagnosed with more than one. Third, the diagnoses over time change or a different person would give a different diagnosis.

            Some people do clearly fall into a well-defined diagnosis. Borderline might be the best example. NPD was almost taken out of the DSM-5 but an outcry from the working professionals led to it being put back in.

          2. Well she is an associate of Hare’s Dot’s, and she said what she said in a semi- joking manor but not entirely joking. She is to say the least extremely knowledgeable when it comes to psychopaths. she is very aware of the DSM criteria and terms but , old and new, but behind closed doors the professionals themselves call them psychopaths. What she does not agree with is the term sociopath because it is not measurable but psychopathy is. So now it is ASPD with psychopathic traits? Now,,,,,,,,do not quote me here because I am paraphrasing.

      2. Wait.

        An efficient predator knows what/who he is, basically. By “fluid self”, do you mean that he can shift roles without dissonance?

        1. J, I agree with you that true predators know their nature and other’s as well. Fluid means that the person is ‘mirroring’ other’s behavior. They don’t have a strong sense of permanent identity. It’s not fragmented identity as for borderlines, though. Each persona they take on is whole from their point of view. Yes it means they can shift, lie, etc. without cognitive dissonance or discomfort. I’ve written a bit about it on my blog.

          1. I this it is not so much the idea that the personality is fluid, more that the presentation of an image of self is fluid. That there are social masks that are presented to other so they are more socially acceptable. The masks are a learned behaviour. I think the fundamental aspect of psychopathy is lack of empathy, that stems from not experiencing emotion in the same way. This does not mean the person is necessarily bad. I think the lack of empathy and blunted emotions means it is more difficult to consider emotions and others, and means if they become bad that they are capable of doing great harm without conscience.

        2. http://b2brain.wordpress.com/tag/neocortex/

          “First observations of a bigger Neocortex come from predator mammals. Hunting based life requires a much efficient sensorial and motor system, having a bigger Neocortex allows efficient movement control and senses utilization. These functions are located in this area and give an advantage to predator species. Moreover, meat brings much higher nutritive food, allowing a bigger neuronal volume to be fed.”

          Applies to human predators, too, doesn’t it? Not literally(although there are those cases, too). Isn’t nature wonderful?

  7. For most Borderlines, the ones I have met in DBT, and also on line, the striking similarity is a personality that never formed. Another definition of this could be ‘fragmentation’- a puzzle of a human beings mind that was never ‘put together’.
    That’s the ‘lack of self’. For me this has been devastating- no real career goals, no sense of identity in who am and what I do. In my ‘recovery’ from BPD , I am beginning to see a sense of self, my interests, talents and true abilities. Many borderlines never actualize who and what they are, which leads to the anger, negative thoughts, rage- cutting and ultimately suicide.

    I can remember in 8th grade dissociating in Math class! I was bullied, made fun of, when I went into a stress triggered disassociation. At the job I have now, I will disassociate- its like an ‘outer body experience’ one day someone at work saw this, and said to me ‘where are you, come back in’ – well it was embarrassing to say the least!

    DBT teaches us to use ‘wise mind’ Borderlines live in ’emotion mind’ which of course can lead to a lethal outcome. We are taught ‘skills’ in person interaction- since many of us have interpersonal skills which are poor- we have the emotional regulation of a 7 year old. We learn in DBT regulate and understand our emotions, not suppress them, but to look at them. bring ourselves back to ‘wise mind’ and more rational thinking. Most important we learn not to judge ourselves nor others. Just ‘stay in the present’ observe, describe, no not judge—- it all comes together. It can be transformational- DBT can be used also in depression, Bi Polar Disorder, Anxiety disorders, and even in Histrionic PD and those in cluster A, and C personality disorders.

    Remission from BPD is possible. ‘occupational recovery’ is slower, and more difficult, ‘Psycho-Social Recovery’ is more pronounced. I will never be free of all the Borderline traits-but reduction in their severity is very likely over time. What was once a hopeless condition, there is much more hope and light. Dr. Frank Yeoman’s a specialist in BPD and NPD has stated that with Borderlines there can be ‘recovery’ the patients has to bring in all the ‘fragmented parts’ Narcissist’s are more difficult, one must get beyond the ‘defensive barrier’ the ‘Grandiosity’ for there to be progress.

    1. Very well said, I always suspected this, and also suspected that the NPD’s I’ve met out there often have these fragmented backstories. That most NPDs are BPDs underneath. That it can develop just for being the recipient of false praise that is not in line with our accomplishments, and this leads to a false self.

    2. ” ‘defensive barrier’ the ‘Grandiosity’ ”

      ” most NPDs are BPDs underneath ”

      ” a false self ”

      Not to say that narcissists can’t have actual defensive coping mechanisms to some(if far lesser) degree, but aren’t you interpreting narcissism in a bit too traditional-minded a way?

    3. SkyBuzz,

      I admire your courage and perseverance. I’m only starting to learn about BPD and DBT. What you describe “- no real career goals, no sense of identity in who am and what I do. In my ‘recovery’ from BPD , I am beginning to see a sense of self, my interests, talents and true abilities. ” sounds also what can happen to people who have been traumatized (for lack of a better word) by a close encounter with an aggressive disordered character. It’s a bit like Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. Do you think that makes sense?

      1. Wow Dot’s and Skybuzz…….all very interesting and informative. I don’t understand the term “fragmented self” though. My head is spinning with all of this. They just blend together.
        I have read that PTSD symptoms can be mistaken for BPD as well, as can BPD and a host of other PD’s be mistaken for FASD. I also don’t understand what it means to have an unformed personality. An ex- boyfriend of mine kind of bragged that he was like a chameleon but he was also very into Zen teachings and practiced non attachment to preferences so he wanted to be able to go with the flow and meld and not be disrupted by the problems that arise when we are attached to preferences. I have tried to practice this myself to a certain degree but without sacrificing my values and still being true to who I am. I have certain requirements though in order to function as well as I can which stem from ADHD, FASD, etc. I just can’t turn my back on those things or I can’t keep up with life. HUGE problem with Spathtard in my life because he occupied me and we pretty much were together all the time if he was not at work or Mommy’s. It just kind of evolved into that and I get further and further behind. STILL unbelievable, like it is some movie I watched a long time ago…..

        1. Puddle and SkyBuzz: ” I don’t understand the term “fragmented self” ” Neither do I. I think it is such a fundamental question that I wrote a blog post just up today about it.

          1. ps there’s a big difference between a ‘fluid’ sense of self and a ‘fragmented’ one. the first goes to psychopathy or sociopathy (or in that league) and the second to BPD tendencies or the disorder
            itself.

  8. Incidentally- I also have diagnosed likely GAD -Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and unspecified depression- (co morbid) with BPD- I take one med- 60mg of Buspirone a day.

  9. As I alluded to before I was involved with someone who had NPD- with possible traits of Psychopathy. As if I have not been traumatized enough in life! I continue to heal from that dark person, who might have had the ‘Dark Triad’ NPD, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. I suffered much from that encounter- but did not develop C-PTSD- many do after a relationship with a member of that kind of darkness.

    1. Skybuzz,,,,,,,how did you NOT develop PTSD? I did and I’m pretty sure he had at least two of the triad…… Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism but more than likely all three. He was VERY stealthy and his mother and sister were in on it too but possible because of some BS he fed them. I’m really not entirely sure to what depth the depravity of the entire situation went. it’s very unsettling and disturbing to me still. I don’t know that I will ever feel entirely “safe” again. VERY vengeful people who “love to win” and make you pay.

      1. Puddle, yeah the depravity is deeply disturbing and unsettling — as is to try to imagine the standard operating procedure of these people who set out to betray trust and harm others in intimate relationships. About ‘mirroring’ yes just about everyone does that to some degree.

        In people with strong psychopathic neurological traits, this mirroring works something like a computer program, dissecting, figuring out how to win the game, or the con. They just through themselves into their act. Mirroring in others works more through the empathy circuits which don’t function properly in psychopathic brains.

        1. “Mirroring in others works more through the empathy circuits which don’t function properly in psychopathic brains.”
          That makes sense Dot’s……it’s more of a melding mirroring that an imitation type mirroring? And as always….it’s the intention. I’ve always been the type that likes to
          ” try on new clothes “, open to change, expansion, etc. There are parts of me that I’ve discovered in almost every person I’ve ever been exposed to on a long term basis.
          My family of upbringing……very closed and in the box…..this is who you are, this is how you act and this is what you do. I don’t know why that never stuck with me but once I gained my independence and was free to do as I wanted and be who I really was, the rest has been an ongoing process of discovery. I may have said this before here but it’s so representative of my mother’s perceptions I’ll say it again. When I was younger I moved to a very remote area and lived in a small house out in the woods. This was after several other short term rural locations. But she was not happy about it at all and said to me,,,,”I don’t know why in the world you want to live all the way out there in the country! You’ve ALWAYS been a city girl!” It was just SO off target that it still amazes me that she could even say it out loud to me! Just……….WHAT?? And I STILL live in a rural location, I’ve always loved to be surrounded by nature and quiet and I’ve never had a need to live in an urban environment! SO, that is why I think I am still discovering myself through others……It has opened many doors for me or windows to explore who I really am. and it seemingly never stops. I think every person you meet has something to teach you and something to show you about yourself.

  10. Puddle

    I 3.5 years later after the relationship ended still have lurid memories of the ‘evil’ I encountered. The reality of the cruelty I faced began to effect me over time I was like a fish out of water. Over time I began to read, I put the puzzle together- and it fit NPD- at least.

    The mother also seemed to be either a Narcissist or perhaps Psychopath. And believe it or not the daughter is being used as NS- but I think she is also a NARC- it runs in families through many generations. I was not diagnosed with C-PTSD- frankly I do not feel the agency I went to has much experience dealing with what I went through.

    1. Sky buzz………sounds very familiar. Spath/ Mother / sister. All involved to some degree to teach that Puddle a lesson. They taught me nothing except what childish losers they are. They taught me nothing about myself other than I was ignorant of their types. I really don’t know if mommy and sister were willingly involved, knowingly? Or some line of crap he concocted or embellished drew them into his poor me lie. I would have a hard time believing you were not traumatized. When you have a life history of trauma, it’s not hard for it to be re-triggered.

  11. Dots

    I still feel the aftermath of the ‘creature’ pangs of anger, disgust- but I had to learn why I got into this relationship. You must self examine your own vulnerabilities. I read Robert Hare’s book ‘Without Conscious’ which is about Psychopath’s among us. He gives advice like this: Know about yourself, every weakness and vulnerability you have. This offers a great deal of protection against this happening to you in the future- but is no guarantee. Another book by Hare and Paul Babiak ‘Snakes in Suits’ When Psychopath’s Go To Work’ is also good. I also recommend ‘Psychopath free’ I will likely buy Dr. Simons Book, In Sheep’s Clothing soon. Education has helped me- but truthfully, you can continue to heal, gain self empowerment, learn to love yourself and have compassion for you – but from what I have rad many never fully recover from an encounter with an NPD/Psychopath. Human evil may exist, no?

    1. As soon as I read something like ” I had to learn why I got into this relationship the first place” something bristles in me. What is hard to grasp is where my mind was at the beginning. It’s too easy to stand here now, knowing what I know and think,,,,,,oh……it HAD to be something about me that made this happen. I totally disagree. The equivalent would be for a violent rape victim to say,,,,,,,, Gee, if I only would have walked down a different road or I should have died my hair blonde instead of red…..or bought a different house or worn a different dress. In my opinion and share this opinion with many people…….a persons issues and vulnerabilities are a separate , issue, than the fact that they were deceived, manipulated, used and abused by a psychopath. IGNORANCE on the victim’s part is the only vulnerability that is the real reason this happened. just because you have issues does not inherently mean you will be a victim of a psychopath and actually ignorance of their existence doesn’t either but when psychopath meets ignorant target, that is what equals victim. I put none of the responsibility of what happened on my issues. Another man, a real man, would have respected my issues and done the right and honorable thing. It’s like saying you would never have been mugged if you didn’t have a broken leg or a birth defect or weren’t deaf. I have had a very rich and full and colorful life. I’ve had good friendships and bad ones, good relationships and bad ones. I’m 55 years old and no one in my entire life has done this to me,,,,,NO one has even come close. Guess what, I had the same issues if not worse when I was 16, 30, 40, 50. I should have a string of these types of relationships in my past if it’s a simple as my issues were the reason I got into this nightmare. The truth is…..the relationship I “got into” wan not the same relationshi* I was actually in, as it would turn out.
      The reason someone gets robbed is because the person who robbed then wanted what they had not because they had it. if you do not know who these people are, how they operate, and what the signs are to look for, you are a potential victim. You are the house, they are the thief.
      Now, once this has happened and you have done your due diligence in the aftermath, learned everything you possibly can to prevent it from happening again, and choose to involve yourself with some one dripping in red flags, then I think it warrants so serious self investigation as to why you have involved yourself with someone you already know to be bad for you!
      I’m not questioning the wisdom of self examination and understanding by any means only saying that in my opinion blaming anyone or anything other than the POS that abused you is off target and underplaying the power these people have.
      http://psychopathsandlove.com/got-boundaries-part-three-you-did-not-participate-in-your-exploitation/

      1. Puddle, your statement here is both eloquent and spot on.

        I also see commonality with what SkyBuzz wrote “but I had to learn why I got into this relationship. You must self examine your own vulnerabilities.” These operators prey on their target’s vulnerabilities, it’s like they punch holes in your identity.

        So however it was at the beginning, that sense of self is so much more fragile, and desparate afterward. I have to examine both my vulnerabilities and my strengths in order to heal. I guess that is what both of you are saying. There is a lot of blaming the victim in culture at large, and one important part of recovery I guess is getting over self-blame.

        1. I guess I don’t see the point of asking yourself what your problem was that allowed you to get into the relationship in the first place. They don’t JUST prey on vulnerabilities…..they just prey. They lie, omit, deceive, pretend…..I didn’t know who he really was until LONG after the party was over.
          …..What I mean by “look at myself in the beginning” I mean……at that time i didn’t know these idiots existed! I had no concept that someone could or would be the way these losers are. I knew there were bad people in the world….yes. I knew bad things happen to good people….yes. Did I know that a POS like Spathtard could or would do what he did to me for no other reason apparently then to amuse himself and make Mommy proud? No i most certainly did not. Did I know that someone could sit in my home on and off for two years and swear up and down that he loved me more than he could put into words and be hiding the truth in the very same words he just declared his love in? No.
          I have never had my mind spun into the ditch like he succeeded in doing. I have never had someone take possession of my heart like he succeeded in doing. and I have never had someone disrespect my heart in the way he did. Quite honestly words don’t even seem to be adequate to describe the level of pain he inflicted and the damage it has done. This was the exception to the norm by such a HUGE degree that it basically does not apply to the entire rest of my life. I can see backwards NOW, some other unsavory characters who I’m sure seduced me for their own desires but what Spathtard did?? It’s in a completely different arena, not even on the same planet relatively speaking.
          So compare it to someone who is driving along on a street at night, the same street they drive on, without event, all the time, but one night you are driving along and unbeknownst to you there has been a water main break and you drive right into it and drown in your car. I actually had something so similar happen to me once…..out west during a dust storm. I was driving along a road that I drove down all the time but there was a dust storm and it changed the landscape entirely! The 4 way stop sign that I always stop at, I drove right through it because I had nothing familiar to cue me that it was coming up. Everything was different. VERY hard to explain but it was such a similar experience in many ways. Another example, you go to the bar, over and over and over and over and never have a problem….business as usual. Well you come to expect this as normal without questioning your safety because up to now, you HAVE been safe. Then bam! Someone puts something in your beer. And you end up getting date raped or worse. It’s just not even in your scope of reality untill it happens to you. I’ve had it happen to me many times back in my younger years 🙁 I either caught it happen or someone I knew saw them do it and warned me but it still doesn’t seem like it really happened because I can’t even begin to imagine doing that to someone else!
          The jist of what I’m trying to say is this……….a criminal always has an advantage over the victim because HE knows what his intention is and how he plans to achieve it. They are well aware of it LONG before the victim. In the case of Spathtard…..all he had to do was set the stage for me to open the door just a wee little bit and it was game on. They know what to do . Read the Emotional Rape Syndrome. This is an attack, an ambush. The don’t declare war and wait for you to respond, they bring their weapons in the form of a rose in one hand and a knife hidden behind their back in the other hand.
          Sorry about all the typos!! 🙂 this topic gets me fired up because in my opinion I think there is not enough emphasis on the power these a holes have over the unsuspecting.
          I know now only because i experienced it, a radical difference in my life pattern. It did not compute! Doodoo doodoo…….

      2. Perhaps for you and I, the encounter with this ‘face, mask of evil was a ‘wake up call’ — to get a bit smarter, less trusting, and empower ourselves. We can blame the Psychopath, but remembers NARCS/P are predators that seek out ‘weak’ victims of those who ‘need love’.

        Puddle just protect your self, real all you can, get therapy for the C PTSD, see if there are any other issues you have unresolved. You will only begin to really heal after you totally know yourself.

        1. Puddle and SkyBuzz,

          I believe I agree with both of you although you may not see it that way so I want to clarify regarding a comment Puddle made “I guess I don’t see the point of asking yourself what your problem was that allowed you to get into the relationship in the first place. They don’t JUST prey on vulnerabilities…..they just prey. ” I agree they just prey.

          Just like animals, a social predator stakes out his targets, to learn where he or she can get their hooks into. This is standard operating procedure. The hooks are weak spots, like biting the neck of a prey, or tripping them up, and they do tend to go for the easier targets for their specialty, just like animals.

          My approach is not to ask myself ‘what the problem was’ with me. It’s rather that as a predator the disordered character I ran into focussed as a laser beam on my vulnerabilities, some of which could be strengths in a different context. I did feel, for instance, a strong need to be in an intimate relationship, and I value trust and have been an open person to those close to me.

          So now that he violated my personal boundaries, I felt indeed alot of pain where he inflicted his injuries. That is not to blame myself, or anyone else who falls into these kinds of traps.

          As Puddle wrote, I did not know that there were these kind of people out there. It’s like being bitten by a shark when you didn’t know that sharks swam in shallow waters, not just out in the deep. If I had known what a shark was, and that the first thing to do (so I read) is to hit it in the nose — well now I know. And I also know that most people are not like this. Most creatures in the water are actually just fish, like me.

          1. The biggest change in my attitude toward life is about my contentment in being alone, without an intimate partner. I used to feel lonely, almost an existential loneliness, without a companion. Now I realize, because i have got something profound to compare it to, that I’m more content this way than to be in an emotionally abusive relationship with a disordered, aggressive character. It has really sunk it.

        2. Psychopaths so not only prey on weak people Skybuzz. Some do but some take particular pleasure knocking someone who is strong and confident on their a**. I know that there are those who believe that if only the victim was ……………..fill in the blank, this would not have happened. I disagree. Knowledge is the answer and even that is not infallible.
          Every human needs love………very few can live without it in their life and remain healthy and intact. I’m not going to stop having natural human needs and desires to avoid being trashed again…….I have read what I need to and learned an incredible amount about these losers so I am doing my homework, have a therapist, etc….
          do you think a child who is abused needs to address her issues so she doesn’t get abused again? That is blaming the victim. No one blames the victim when she gets forcefully raped and this is rape only by deception Skybuzz.

          1. Puddle, I actually agree with most of what you write. I guess it is fair to say everyone has vulnerabilities, both physical as embodied beings and emotional, as conscious ones. The one single, profound advantage that the predator has is that his target does not know about predators like him. That’s been written here many times.

            So number 1 is the disguise. Number 2 is that the predator knows the game he is playing. He knows his intent. The target does not know at the beginning. So unless one is aware of these types of people and what to look out for, anyone can be a target.

            My guess is that most predators only choose to play games they think they will win. It’s the same as a lion deciding whether it’s worth to give the chase, or wait for an easier opportunity. They may still go for the challenge, these predators, but they won’t go into something where they don’t think they will get their payoff.

          2. Dots, I think they have won their game so many times they have little doubt they they will win again and again and again,,,,,,,,,because they always have. Maybe some want more of a challenge or who knows. Something very significant happened with Spathtard the very first night i met him. Something that involved him indirectly, or maybe in happenstance, that he took WAY out of context, took personally. It was a joke that was being tossed back and forth between me and a friend and he kind of got caught in the periphery but kept bringing it up from time to time to time during the relationshi*. It was bizarre because no matter how I tried to explain it to him he just did NOT buy my explanation. I think that that night he was humiliated? And my suspicion is that it was GAME ON from that point forward with a few more incidents to cement the motive to take Puddle down. I asked him once what his favorite movie was once and he said “Seven”. I don’t know if you are familiar with that movie or not but it’s about a serial killer who kills people who are guilty of the seven deadly sins. I believe he thought that I was guilty of SOMEthing, maybe more than one thing and that I needed to be brought down a peg or two and that I deserved exactly what I had coming to me and he was the one to do it. Do I know that to be 100% true? No, but my belief is based on a whole array of puzzle pieces put together.

  12. I was married to a man who took on different personalities depending on who he was trying to mirror.
    When I met him he had assumed a nationality and had a background story to go with it.
    I wrote a story for myself called The Puerto Rican Man and posted it in the comments on post (cant remember which one) a while back.
    Once the truth was revealed the mask of that identity was gone. It was replaced by many others that would slip and show the SilverBack Gorilla lurking beneath.

    1. E, I would love to read your story “the puerto rican man’. Can you help me find it or narrow down where it might be.

      SkyBuzz and Puddle and everyone else whose been through a devastating relationship with a disordered, aggressive character — this is how I am starting to see what happened to me, and what might be general. Does this make sense?

      1. Many people who have been drawn through trauma in an intimate relation, and trauma reactions — at the level of notions of self, not just things like ‘evil’ — when they escape that trap part of the self fragments into disconnected and unrelatable pieces, which makes interacting with others also significantly problematic.

      2. Maybe therapies like DBT for borderline can be the best treatment for survivors of this, since borderline tendencies are also connected to ‘fragmented self’.

      3. How is ‘fragmented self’ similar or different from ‘fluid self’ or non-self. I am writing now about borderline voices on my blog, in case you want to read more.

      1. Here is another story……I hope it is entertaining.

        The Puerto Rican Man.

        I once met a Puerto Rican man. He flirted and charmed until I paid attention. He was not unattractive, he had a nice shape and he carried himself well.

        I spent some time getting to know this man. He was kind and charming considerate and easy going, he seemed to share my values. He was smart and seemed ambitious. He was proud of his heritage of his culture. He talked about his history and his search for family and cooked for us ethnic dishes. Wow I thought.

        He asked me to marry him. I said yes.

        He wanted children I said yes.

        I am very pregnant, I am having a boy…….I think…..I have only picked out boy names. I am happy.

        I am visiting with his brother, he is not home but his brother has come to visit. He has told me that his brother is very private. That he does not like to speak about their family. Yet that is where the conversation begins to lead. As we sit and chat I am glad that his brother feels so comfortable with me. Especially since I love the details.

        I say something about their Puerto Rican roots. What my brother in law says to me next shocks me…….

        Puerto Rican he says; Where on earth did you get that!….. I tell him. His face does some weird type of contortions I can’t tell if he is going to laugh or scream. I think he wants to do both.

        Your husband is not Puerto Rican he tells me. He is Mexican.

        What?????

        Does he know that?

        His brother is looking at me bug eyed, he is probably mimicking the look on my face. Of course he knows that! He almost yells.

        Whoa big time whoa. What do I do with this? Wow I thought. How will this play out. I am confused. Why would someone lie about who they are? Why would someone make up a nationality why would why would why would?

        What is that sound in my head. It sounds like music I cannot make it out although I am listening. As time goes by I hear it clearer and clearer. Soon I begin to hear the words that go with it ……………..

        There is a dimension beyond that which is known to man. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just entered… the Twilight Zone. Doodoodoodoo.

        As the Puerto Rican man disappeared the silver back gorilla began making itself known. At times it happened in a flash at others I could see him coming.

        It is Mother’s day twenty years later……..I separated myself from the Puerto Rican man years ago. We have two children.
        I send him an email. My sons are taking are taking their momma to lunch, I let him know. Please bring our daughter I ask him.
        He responds shortly to my email. He begins with a cheery greeting. “Good morning and a Happy Mother’s Day to you” it reads. How very thoughtful of him I think to myself…….I read on……..
        He continues………. “Our daughter has shared with me that her plans today are to take ME to lunch for Mother’s Day.

        I email back……….
        Well then, I guess the only thing for me, is to whish you, a Happy Mothers Day.
        Enjoy.
        Please let our little missy know how much I love her.
        Thanks,

        Doodoodoodoo.

        1. E, that brought chills to my spine. My close encounter was also with a compulsive liar who invented an entire life history, replete with fake military heroism, medals bought on ebay, and many other things.

          I think this is the hardest for me to come to grips with, as it is inevitable that the lies will be discovered. What are they after?

          Probably the compulsive liar’s head is the hardest to grasp because first of all they don’t talk about it, and second if they did it would go throw the filter of lies they put onto everything they say about themselves.

          Mine claimed to want a long-term relationship, and he wasn’t stupid. He almost never admitted a lie, and any discussion of that would lead to conflict. He protected his lies that way, but it was all so pointless from my point of view. But obviously not from his.

          1. It has taken me a while and I have put a lot of effort into educating myself in order to be able to sort through all the crazy making that I experienced. Then there is the smear campaign and recruitment of proxy’s. That one bowled me over for while especially when it infected those that had wittnessed the abuse first hand, those that had called him a monster and told me to leave.
            Even professionals have gotten into the act. I had one therapist (and thank goodness I followed what felt like a paranoid feeling and began recording sessions.) She would whisper I love you to me while I would be speaking to her. Who would believe this of a professional if I had not recorded it. She then told a custody evaluator that she felt I was Boarderline. Insanity! Fortunately not mine.
            She was manipulated by the PR Man I get that but like her I have run into others whether professional or not. Fortunately not everyone gets the wool pulled over their heads. Thank you Dr Simon for your work.

      2. Dot’s, I can relate to what you are saying in #1 for sure and I do feel it in that area of my life……..interacting with others. I still feel like myself with just me but I do feel that this has affected my ability to interact with people. Part of that is that it is SO consuming, the unanswered questions, the search for the truth, the educational process, the retrospective assessment of the whole involvement. I’ve heard that full recovery from one of these encounters takes a significant amount of time and I can see why. For me it’s almost like I have had to relive the entire relationshi* only with a different pair of glasses on, you know,,,,,,one’s you can actually see through rather than the crazy distorting ones you had on while you were under their influence?

        1. Hi Puddle,

          Yeah that’s mostly how I see it too and why forums or boards like this can be so helpful.

          I do think I am already a stronger person who has learned to maintain boundaries than I was before the earthquake in my life. In the aftermath of earthquakes there are aftershocks… About interacting with other people, I’ve read that many folks withdraw for awhile, and I have done so too. But I also know that most people out there in the world are not predators. I just now know that they exist and also know the harm that they do. Intentions seem much clearer to decipher than motivations though. I also don’t want to carry this into other relationships. Most people will be clueless anyhow.

          1. Hi Dots. I’m sure you are wise in your desire to not want to carry this type of thing into other relationships. I’m not exactly sure I understand what you mean though. 🙂 In the future or now?
            The withdrawing makes sense to me and its probably necessary if not essential in many ways. My equilibrium is just now starting to get a foothold, like I had to reorient myself, I was SO upside down. A year or so ago I never thought I would be where I am now but others kept saying it would get better and they were right. That hope that victims can find of sites like this REALY can be a life saver and in some cases actually could be a life saver literally.

          2. Hi Puddle, I meant both present and future. I am not sure this is the best strategy but its my incination now, just to compartmentalize that off so when I do interact with others I am ‘free’.

  13. Puddle

    I read ‘Psychopath Free’ but seldom post there. The book I fact is short, but almost to ‘T’ described my relationship.

    Yes, the NARC I knew, went bankrupt, could not stop spending, had to have ‘the best of everything’ had 2 care Repo, looked down their nose at others whom they saw as ‘stupid’ ‘slow’ or ‘inferior’ Had no sense of humor, which I quickly learned- so I made up the most low key sublime jokes about them- they never picked op LOL

    Yes, the daughter of my ex is now living in the household- just got out of college. They had three other kids. The other two I think are ‘nons’ the daughter I was told by the NARC hade ‘developmental’ problems growing up….hmmm same as Mommy, as I was told. The Mother of my NARC , I think was a NARC also– told me that she had men come to the house, they had sex in front of my NARC- The Father was aloof and detached. It all makes sense, no.

    Scott Petersons background was also very dysfunctional My Narcs , background sounds very familiar. Something also of interest, Lee Harvey Oswald, very unstable family background, thought he was ‘better’ then others, ‘gifted’ mother had men come and go, had sex with them. Oswald has been described now as a narcissist.

    For my own background, which is hardly without flaws. Father was likely BPD- or close. Mother could have had traits of NPD, HPD, and BPD- father was abusive to Mom, and me. Mother could not handle him. I was never validated, my emotions never soothed, later I was bullied- today stopped looking for validation from others- I validate myself. My parents sadly did the best they could, but in the end they did a poor job.

    1. SkyBuzz, what a powerful post! Can I ask you where are the online forums you like to go? My own view is that places like lovefraud and psychopathfree have an imbalance of experience and attitudes toward life, so the perspective is often limiting, sometimes outlandish, and often lacks insight — unlike here — where I find insightful remarks like yours.

      1. Dots, I do not visit many sites- this one is good. Another all may find interesting is called ‘An Upturned Soul’ a person recovering from two NPD parents- its good. Another site you may enjoy with just posts by the blogger is called ‘Little Gidding’ lots of great stuff here about life, and the destruction that narcissists cause.

        I read all the time like a geek. There are many great books on all personality disorders- DR. Simon has some great stuff also.

        My ‘insight’ and discovery of ‘Self’ came after 3 years of intensive therapy, DBT, hard work, reading, facing my own demons, growing up, with the motivation to recover from BPD and be a better person.

    2. Skybuzz, I’ve beed warned about PF AND LF and i had a really bad experience on another site so i thought I’d mention it. I’ve read several articles there but heard some weird stories too. SO, to each their own and if it’s helpful in some way to someone that’s what counts. I’ve never read the book so no comment. I’ve read enough at this point to know that the person I was entangled with is a Spath, not to mention my councilor is in agreement and she definitely “gets it”!
      I admire you honesty Skybuzz and your openness about the things you are addressing in your life. Yeh my parents, same deal………..ill equipped to be good parents and parenting adopted kids brings a whole other dynamic into the picture, then add me with FASD and my brother the up and coming sociobro…….they/ we didn’t stand a chance.

        1. Hi Fin….. It’s hard for me to explain but I still do read and post on LF occasionally and have Actually spoken with Donna Anderson on several occasions. PF I just avoid. I avoid them all for the most part except here and occasionally LF. I think they can be very clicky and jump on people if they disagree with the pack. SOMETIMES. I’m not saying to not go there but just be cautious with any site. It’s safe here and monitored by Dr. Simon who is true blue but basically you don’t know who these people are.
          I got railroaded and totally scapegoated on one site. I dealt with it but I could have been way more negatively affected if it would have happened at a more fragile time.
          It was a gang up and it was very Spathy. I was being falsely accused for not trying and they had no clue how hard I WAS trying and then the poop hit the fan and they demanded an apology for something that was false. It was pretty bad and way more complicated than i can explain 🙂 That was not on LF or PF but on another site. I just think people who are hurting think these sites are a godsend and in some ways they can be but there are some people who are not safe floating around on them so best to be aware. I do not agree with people who promote the notion that the victim participates in their own abuse. I think it really downplays the abusers abilities to pull your strings and the covert nature of what they do. There are all kinds of mental, emotional, hormonal, psychological things at play with one of these situations and once you have swallowed the bait it’s almost impossible to break free until they tire of the game and things devolve to the inevitable end. So until that happens and after it happens you are in a sense in an altered state of awareness and consciousness. I know I was totally trauma bonded to Spathtard. Abuser/ Savior syndrome.

        2. Fin. Not really warned “off of”, that doesn’t sound exactly right because it makes it sound like I was told to never go there. Warned about? Cautioned? I would never tell someone to not go on either one of those sites, just to be aware.
          I’m absolutely sure there are other sites that deserve the same caution and its only because people are in some very fragile states by the time they are reaching out to websites for answers. I know I was a mess. I don’t know how I got through a couple phases really. So it’s serious and deserves someone who really knows what these things are about like Dr. Simon. A lot of these sites are payed advertisement sites which I find very interesting. You don’t see that here.

  14. typo above corrected
    Yes, the NARC I knew, went bankrupt, could not stop spending, had to have ‘the best of everything’ had 2 cars Repo, lost everything–

    1. HA!! Mine too Skybuzz,,,,,,,,he neglected to disclose that little tie bit to me in the getting to know you phase of the relationshi*. I found out! and then found out about the domestic violence arrest, and then found out about some tax issue after the end, long after. One of the best things i did for myself close to the end was to call one of his ex sister in laws ( who knows how many he has?). fortunately she indirectly confirmed “”some”” of my suspicions. UNfortunately…..she was very measured about what she said so I didn’t get enough details to make it really real and really stick. it’s all very odd………his mysterious past.

      1. besides her many financial issues, she had to pay her Ex Support! which she fell behind on- plus she raided her 401K plan- under the age of 59, then had to pay the IRS back taxes!

  15. We live in a society that is primed for the aggrandizement of Narcissists and Psychopath’s. How is better in a job interview, you will likely be outclassed by the psycho, unless the HR department is very astute. he ‘troll’ many boards, and be warned there are Therapists out there, who are NARCS. I can pick up on all of them quicker now. They can power quick, and will do anything to keep in the position they are in. How will get hired faster? A borderline of a NARC? We have lots of work to do on ourselves if suffering from BPD or PTSD- capitalism like NARCS and Psychopaths.

  16. One movie guilty for how borderlines are perceived is Fatal Attraction, with its villain Alex Forrest, after whom the term ‘bunny boiler’ has been termed.

  17. Sorry I know this doesn’t have much to do with the topic, but NarcEx is pressuring me to move back in….he is offering me sums of money but I don’t trust him and even though I’m dirt poor, I value my freedom from him more than any money he can give me. I simply cannot live with him again. I have nightmares about him. He’s evil through and through and I can already play out the scenarios in my mind that it will end in disaster because he’s incapable of anything other than using me as his narcissistic supply…I refuse to be put in that position again….but he’s using the hard sell…he’s like a sleazy used car salesman (apologies to any honest car salesmen/women who may be reading this) and his pushy manipulative attitude and begging is proving to me he absolutely has not changed. He promises to be “better” whatever that means. Oh, I’ve heard it all before. Trouble is, our daughter is deeply enmeshed with him and may be a narcissist herself (more probably borderline with narcissstic traits) and I feel like they will “gang up” on me to allow him to move back in. I could certainly use the money sometimes freedom is worth far more than money and I would hate myself forever if I give into this hard-sell approach he is using. But I’m also afraid of what he may do when he finds out my answer is “absolutely not.” He
    s bombardng me with texts (20 over the last 15 minutes!). The man is deeply ill and I simply cannot put up with his evil shenanigans and manipulations anymore. I even went so far as to tell him I have him pegged as NM (maybe this wasn’t wise?) and I no longer want to live with that. How should I handle this?

    1. Lucky Otter, The one thing I will recommend STRONGLY is to hold your cards close and reveal nothing to him about your thoughts or plans. It must be so difficult because you have a child with him! So you can’t exactly go NO CONTACT. Basically I would tell you to not respond to his texts unless they are regarding your daughter.

      1. the other thing that could be helpful is being the exact opposite of what he wants from you. make him not want to be with you! be boring, uninteresting and show no emotion around him what so ever.

  18. I read a great blog last night (I have to find out the name of it but it’s fantastic) and the “allies” NM’s get on their side to make you feel crazy and wrong have been referred to as their “flying monkeys” (obviously referencing the Evil Witch’s flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz), LOLOLOL! That’s exactly what they are like. They get their army of flying monkeys to break you down and intimidate you into giving them what they want. Sometimes I feel like I have no real life allies at all. My family is no help because my mother is also a MN who is only out to destroy me and has her own flying monkeys (other family members who have sided against me and think I’m a horrible person) and my father who is very ill with Parkinsons is also under the iron rule of his current wife, another MN who takes care of his physical needs but acts as a gatekeeper to keep out certain family members (including yours truly) and is a controlling, judgmental b*tch. I doubt I will be invited to either his or my mother’s funerals.

  19. I have been the family scapegoat since early childhood (and was the only child so had no allies). Growing up with diagnosed Avoidant personality disorder (the adult incarnation of attachment disorder in childhood–lmfao, what a surprise given the evilad hand of cards I was dealt–and possible (undiagnosed Aspergers/autism but I have all the signs of that disorder too) it’s always been difficult for me to create a new “family” of close friends and a support system outside of the interwebs due to my debilating shyness and ridiculously low self esteem. I’ve been severely crippled by my submissive character traits coupled with these characters who seek to infiltrate and take over my life at every turn, and I always seem to find myself a magnet for more of them. It’s like they smell blood when I’m around. That’s why I value my freedom so much today and trust no one; living in poverty is the price I pay for my freedom but it’s worth it. But am I really free? I live in mortal fear these people’s aggressive and controlling personalities and tendency to “gang up” with the help of their flying monkeys to overpower my weak will (coupled with my lifelong discomfort in saying “no” even to the most unreasonable and insane requests from manipulators. All my life I’ve been trained I have no right to assertiveness or to have rights of my own. Finally I’m demanding basic rights such as freedom from these characters but it’s so, so so scary.
    I’ve considered making him a counteroffer-for $8-10K I will move out into my own place and he can move back in, but I will immediately use that money to get my own apartment and a new (used) car. He will not be happy about my counteroffer (he is offering a good deal less) but that’s the deal and if he refuses, oh well too bad for him. I’m sticking to my guns no matter what. This blog and others such as the one I found last night (I’ll post the link when I see it) are my support system and I’m finding strength in the online community. Thank GOD for the interwebs! Twenty years ago or even 15 years ago if you didn’t have real life friends and sympathetic allies you were out of luck. This IS my only support system right now (besides Al-Anon). God bless all of you.

    1. Hi Lucky Otter — hang in there, you are doing the right thing. Sometimes it seems so difficult, but ask God for help to get through the next ten minutes, then the next ten, the next 30, whatever will help you cope. I too lived in utter poverty for about 3 years, so I really do sympathize with your situation.

      Always when things seemed really bleak for me, someone would supply help, some of those who helped are still anonymous, so now that I am in a better situation, I try to pass that help on to others — “Pay it forward.”

      My favorite Bible translation, New Testament in Modern English, says in Hebrews 13: God Himself will judge those…..who defile the relationship of marriage [surely that applies to all of the ex-spouses of most who post here]…..God has said: I will in no wise fail thee or forsake thee.”

      Another thought I have found comforting is this: God is never in a hurry. We frequently do not see the whole design of our lives, just the close-up of wherever we happen to be.

      I pray daily for all who read and post here, and especially for strength and wisdom for Dr. Simon. I cannot imagine what it must be like to deal with some of the people he has counseled in his lifetime. In case you missed it earlier, you can go to biblegateway.com and choose from 40+ English Bible translations,all free, just point and click.

      For those with children, at some point those children freely chose how they would live. My son has decided that he is a passive-aggressive victim. I pray for him daily, but have withdrawn from contact. I just have to trust that someday, some year, he will wake up.
      Peace and hope to all from Elva

  20. The fact my daughter is a 21 year old adult is good–she is no longer a dependent child so I don’t HAVE to be enmeshed with him over her (even though at every opportunity he tries to find fault with me in how she is “turning out” lol) although it’s not easy to keep discussions with him about her to an absolute minimum. The fact she actually still lives under my roof is an issue though, and causes complications. There are ALWAYS complications and DRAMA when dealing with MN evil characters like NarcEx (my new nickname for him–not as great as Puddle’s “Spathtard” lol but better than “asshold” or “The Sperm Donor.” haha

  21. The blog is called House of Mirrors: A Blog about Children of Narcissist Families

    http://house-of-mirrors.blogspot.com

    The blog articles are insightful and some are absolutely chilling. It’s primarily about children of MNs, but everyone is welcome. The blog posts are often humorous too and the illustrations are right on point. Worth checking out if you haven’t yet and hard to stop reading.

  22. Another thing I was thinking about. It seems like many MN parents have only one child-perhaps they’re afraid if they have more you may have allies. There are also those who have large families and choose one poor child as the family scapegoat, while training the other siblings to gang up against the scapegoat making things even worse than they would be as an “only.” I think many MN parents really don’t care about or particularly like children, and look at them only as potential narcissistic supply to be used as an extension for themselves/handy scapegoat. I was both. My mother was a vain woman who cared only about her appearance, and from so many facelifts she looks like she’s wearing a scary mask. She is scary to behold. As a young child I had dreams where she turned into a demon, complete with the black eyes and sneer. At a very early age I just knew there was nothing underneath that exterior–just some sort of black void that wanted to suck me into it. She tried to make me a little copy of her, and was always obsessed about my weight (I wasn’t overweight–I had the usual babyfat in my early teens) but she kept threatening to send me to weight loss camp–at age 12! I was supposed to be this perfect little beauty queen to make her look good. I became overweight later probably to “spite” her although this wasn’t conscious and later on I went back to my normal, healthy weight. I remember at a birthday party at her home where many of her and my friends were present, she gave me a dark blue dress and in front of everyone, said “this will make your ass look thinner.” I ran out of the room in tears and I heard my mother saying to eveyrone in the room, “oh, S is just so oversensitive.” That seems to be a common tactic–after saying something hurtful to a child or teenager, call them oversensitive and shift the blame to them. She lied about everything and never shared anything with me–ever–about her personal life. Today she trashes me every opportunity she gets to her extended family who she has told me want nothing to do with me “because you’re not a pleasant person to be around.” Whenever I tried to tell her how someone at work hurt me, it was always, “YOU must have done something to desreve it.” She NEVER EVER took my side, and she never apologized for anything. My father, somewhat of a narcissist but really kind of weak and dependent on her (he’s always been attracted to MN’s as wives who seem to dominate him even though he provides financially) was either absent or useless. He always defended her, saying things like, “well, she loves you in her own way.” I always knew it was bullshit but I wanted so much to beleve she really did. Now I know she never did. I don’t hate her. I feel very sorry for her. More than anything, I feel sorry we will never have a normal mother/daughter relationship or even one at all (I’ve been NC for 3 years) and when she dies I doubt I will be very upset but I know I’ll be sad that we never had any kind of loving relationship. I admit I have a lot of envy for most people–who have parents who love them unconditionally and if they were in need would be there to support them either emotionally or financially if that was needed–no matter what their age. I feel somewhat bitter than I don’t have options and safety nets like others do. Not that I want them to support me at my age, just that the option isn’t there for me as it is for most people I know. I also feel hurt when others talk about famuly get togethers and picnics and whatnot, and I never have any kind of experiences like that at all. I tell people my family (except my kids) are all dead to not have to explain. They may as well be. They are DTM to me.

  23. My mother is now attempting to brainwash my son to be either narcissistic supply replacement for me, or one of her team of flying monkeys. It’s not working, thank God. In fact, he says he gets the heebie jeebies around her and thinks she’s fake as hell. My son is the only one in the family without some sort of personality disorder or obvious PTSD and he can see right through these people’s BS and that includes his father, who he won’t speak to (and this is mutual) but he has heard her and her extended family of flying monkeys trash me right in front of him and told me he thinks they are horrible, evil people. Hearing these things that I always knew she secretly thought about me confirms every suspicion I ever had about her. I won’t pretend it doesn’t hurt, but it’s a kind of closure, and now I feel justified in going NC when I did. Thank God they haven’t managed to brainwash him. Oh, one time she commented to my father, “where did HE [my son] come from? Certainly not from his parents.” Although he is not a narcissist and is probably the most mentally healthy person in the immediate family, for some odd reason she respects him. She can’t imagine someone she respects could be any son of mine (or his father, who oddly enough, she also hates).
    I know I sound like I’m complaining, but I actually feel like a great weight has been lifted from me realizing that all these things I suspected are actually facts, and I am NOT crazy….maybe PTSD, slightly autistic and Avoidant, but definitely not crazy. And that’s a huge, HUGE relief.
    I need to ask though, is it appropriate to be talking about these things on the blog posts, since they are usually off the topic? There don’t seem to be many forums left on the Internet (a shame), and I’m not sure where I should post these sort of things in a blog format?

  24. Oh, and in her FB profile, she “liked” a post my son put saying I would not be visiting him in Florida (where he lives and goes to school) because I cannot afford to. WTF? She doesn’t like the fact I want to have a relationship with my son. Probably because it’s one of the few things that makes me truly happy.
    Also, in her profile, she put down as one of her three main interests “Children.” LOLOLOL! She always hated kids and found them annoying and useless, and used to bitch and moan that she should have aborted me because of all the “heartache” I brought her. What a fake POS.
    Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I had to get all this out.
    As for “DH,” I refuse to “give in” to his demands UNLESS he agrees to my counter-demand which he probably won’t. I’m no longer his doormat who will take whatever crumbs he decides to toss me. I feel like I’m getting stronger but it’s definitely not easy.

  25. Thanks Elva. I definitely pray and I do so every day (I definitely believe in God or at least a higher power, and I definitely believe in evil. The book “People of the Lie” convinced me (I’ve read it about 6 times–strangely enough my Narc-dependent father sent me this book as a gift–was he unconsciously trying to tell me something?), coupled with my discoveries about my mother and ex and their sycophants. But I have to admit I have a few problems with the Bible (taken as a literal historical document) and living in the Bible Belt (as a transplant from NJ) I find it hard or impossible to embrace fundamentalist/evangelical views of Christianity that are so common here. I’m not sure I believe Jesus was/is actually divine, or just a very evolved human and prophet. I think there may be an entity called Satan but am not sure, but there certainly are evil people and probably evil spirits as well. There are times I want to embrace Christianity, because I fear there may be a hell but again I’m not sure–but if I don’t have enough faith in order to get “saved,” according to most Christians in this part of the country, I will be going there, regardless of any “good works” I may do. I also dislike the way religion has been tied up with certain political views I don’t like or believe in, and there do seem to be some people in the Christian community (often leaders) who do seem to fit the criteria for NPD. Of course most of them do not, but a few do, especially those with high visibility (TV evangelists, etc.)
    I have seriously been considering going back to church, but I would probably choose a more “liberal” mainstream denomination such as the Methodist church or even the Episcopalian or Catholic church, which has become pretty mainstream in recent years. Right now I just want and need the connection of a spiritual community and the opportunity to expand my social horizons, which are practically nil. I also want a closer relationship with God (Al-Anon does help with this), but I can’t seem to wrap my mind and heart around the idea of the Trinity and Jesus Christ as God Himself. Idk, what do you suggest?
    But I do appreciate your support and your prayers. I pray all the time and ask others to pray for me and my family too, regardless of their beliefs as opposed to mine. I guess I’m just very confused about religion, as many people are, I suppose. I’m just confused about a lot of things right now. I hope this post didn’t offend you in any way.

    1. Hi again Lucky Otter–no offense taken. I appreciate your honesty. Yes, some of the denominations can be difficult to put up with. (“do it our way, or you’ll go straight to hell!!”) I personally no longer go to church, prayed about it, but did not receive any guidance that I should go to a particular one. When people come in and ask where are you going to church now, I tell them I’m not, but God put me in this building — Main Street, one sign on front of building, don’t advertise, am deliberately NOT in the phone book or on the web, am so busy that I turn people away nearly every day, because they need their projects done sooner, am currently booked out to Oct 1. Then I tell them that God knows where I am because I talk to Him every day, and that is all that is necessary for me to have a relationship with Him. Nobody has yet had a smartaleck answer to that.

      I understand your difficulty in accepting the Bible as a historical document, because there are so many gaps, narrative doesn’t fit, etc. I don’t worry about it, because God will supply the knowledge I need when I need it. He has supplied my needs all my life, even when I had pulled away in rebellious younger years. All I can suggest for you is to keep praying, ask for guidance, and He will supply it. When I am in doubt about whether I should do this or that, I ask for a big red flag on whatever I am not supposed to do, and He always supplies it.

      Many denominations insist that you have to do things their way, or go to hell. Not true. Your relationship with God does not have to be filtered through a denomination. Keep praying, ask for help and guidance, tell Him you don’t fully understand whatever, but keep talking to Him. Your idea of finding a church home is a good one, visit several churches and see how you feel in their atmosphere. As has been said, some pastors are NPD and should be avoided. I might also suggest that you read through the New Testament — Bible study can take a lifetime of commitment, and you don’t have that kind of time. Just read what you can, keep studying, ask for guidance. Don’t know if any of this helps, and yes there is an evil entity commonly called satan. I have seen personally the results of his meddling in human affairs, including co-opting various humans to act for him, sounds like you have had plenty of experience with that kind of person. I could go on at great length, but when you sense the presence of evil (as in your NPD female parent), pray and ask for deliverance from that evil. I realize that sounds simplistic, but I have been where you are, and I always ask for help when necessary.

      Peace and hope from Elva

    2. There is a program called Celebrate Recovery. It is a twelve step program, but different than others.
      It is amazing. It does lead you through a spiritual journey.
      It does change your relationship with God it does also change your relationship with yourself.

  26. Hi Puddle and everyone,
    What I am wondering do these Spaths we have encountered have any idea that we are on to them
    or that this information is all over the place first and foremost IN SHEEPS CLOTHING. My relationship
    with this person I did not attach emotionally although I have empathy and feelings..I tried to become
    attached and feel for this man but saw behind the mask. I suggested he date a women that I know
    because they have some of the same interest. He was more than willing and it became a situation of
    triangulation. Honestly I don’t care what he does but I do feel sorry for her but most of all it’s shocking
    how he has moved from me to her and this is extremely dramatic because I think she has fallen for him
    and sold her house and is moving 1,000. miles away (from her children that are in college in that state) to be with him.
    The bottom line is this
    I feel guilty because I suggested that he date her (I know it’s not safe to say anything to her)
    I’m terrified of him and he keeps calling me ..I don’t answer..he text me ..I don’t read it or respond
    I have the major webe jebees and have about $5000.00 worth of merchandise in his warehouse
    that I’m willing to write off just so I don’t have to deal with him. Without this knowledge he could have
    probably kept me in the triangulation game on some level but I am terrified because he fits the profile
    to a T. Like I said I am a person who does have empathy and feelings and I don’t think he gives a hoot
    about her and I don’t think he gave a hoot about me it’s all just some sick game and I’m terrified of someone like that.

  27. Jenny

    once you unmask them, they usually have little to do with you. The are dead afraid of their false persona being exposed. They want only people who will worship their ‘superiority’ forever, never question them, take abuse- and remain by them. The one I knew, I sent them a nice letter, but in very clear terms exposed the Narcissism, the response I received back was “OH”. They want new targets that will comply with their sick controlling agenda.

    I feel privileged that I am ignored, its a sign I see through them.

    1. I think that if they know or even suspect you are onto them you will be devalued and discarded in very short order and scapegoated in the process to cover for themselves should word get around. “She’s crazy”= don’t believe a word you hear. The possibilities are endless in this department. Spathtard turned something I said jokingly, something he KNEW was a joke, something he assured me repeatedly he knew was a joke into saying that I said I would have him killed. I’ve never so much as broken someone else’s toothbrush. I’m sure he has said plenty of other slanderous BS too. Whatevah! It’s what they do…….idiots!

  28. Thanks Elva, and actually your advice DOES help! 🙂

    Skybuzz, I’ve known for a long time my mother is NPD (but only very recently admitted to myself she was actually evil and malignant–I made all sorts of excuses because to admit that would be to admit she never loved me, which I didn’t want to believe, despite all the red flags). Several years ago I actually emailed her the old DSM checklist for NPD and no other explanation, and of course I got no response but she seemed to back down for a bit. I think she knew I had her number, lol.

    1. luckyotter

      once the mask is removed- they scurry about like tiny little lemmings- I feel free- Hopefully the one I knew has met someone who take the abuse, lies, gas lighting that I endured.

      These types always settle in a relationship, but the ones who walk away- they will respect.

  29. I’m so full of questions. Here’s another one. Do certain people seem to attract these evil characters more than others because there’s something about them that satan or evil or whatever you like to call it wants to corrupt? Or do we somehow invite it in because we ourselves are attracted to their darkness? I have always been surrounded by them. I feel like I’m at war! I’m tempted to suggest they’re attracted to good or vulnerable people but that may sound narcissistic! I think I’m a good person, though I certainly have sinful or bad thoughts like anyone else and sometimes act on them like anyone else. But are certain personality types more attractive to these entities? (I hesitate to call them human). Are we attracted to or do we choose them?
    Some belief systems believe we choose our own parents before birth. It is possible we did so to teach ourselves some sort of life lesson or even that these entities were placed on earth for a good purpose–maybe to force those of us who need to become stronger in character or more assertive in the face of adversity to get some experience dealing with these kind of characters to strengthen our own souls? Could they ultimately serve some kind of “good” purpose we can’t really understand? I’ve been mulling these questions around in my mind and just don’t really know. What are other people’s thoughts about this?

    1. Hi again Lucky Otter. I have several points for you to ponder about evil people. I don’t have time right this minute to expand, have to get ready to open shop at 10:00 but will try to get back to you on these points after I close this afternoon. Peace and Hope from Elva

      1. Hello Lucky Otter — apologies for taking so long to get back to you on this. About “attracting” less than desirable people — when I moved my shop onto Main Street, I noticed that many of my customers were “odd.” When I talked about this to someone who also had a shop, she said that maybe these people were coming to me because I needed to learn something. She also believes in reincarnation. Well, yes, there is always new information to be learned, but this many?!!! Then I found the website notalwaysright.com, short stories contributed anonymously from all over, about seriously weird customers and their beliefs that they are “entitled.” These people are everywhere. Then I thought to google for what percentage of the U.S. population is mentally ill, or mentally disordered. NIMH statistics are 1 in 4 people have some degree of mental imbalance. American Psychiatric Association says 1 in 3. Another source says 1 in 5. Put another way, out of any 20 people picked at random, 4 to 7 of that bunch may be mentally ill or disordered. So, I am getting these people in my shop, simply because there are so MANY of them. Martha Stout says 1 in 25 people are sociopaths. And just 1/2 hour ago, I happened across this on the sciencedaily.com website — “There could be increased numbers of psychopaths in senior managerial positions, high levels of business, research shows.” If you DON’T run into some of these people, you are lucky.

        And, here’s another thought — It is customary in middle Eastern countries to drink strong coffee or tea, heavily sweetened, which will deplete the body’s supply of B vitamins, necessary for dealing with stress. I believe this leads to the hair-trigger tempers commonly found in the Arab world, (at least as reported in the media) fomenting a high level of irritation, aggravation, leading to frequent combat.

        It may be that Dr. Simon has access to more recent or better estimates of percentages, if so, he will surely correct my information.

        And reincarnation? I don’t know, have read odd stories of children who knew information that they could have gotten ONLY if they were reincarnated. So, maybe. However, bottom line is, what matters is what we do here, now, today, tomorrow, with whatever gifts or talents we were born with. Sometimes it takes awhile for us to figure it out, but we keep trying.

    2. ” Could they ultimately serve some kind of “good” purpose we can’t really understand? ”

      Jung had a concept of synchronicity. Two unrelated things have symbolic connection to someone. That happens all the time. As far as I understand, it’s not delusion. Delusion would be firmly believing that there is an actual connection in concrete reality between two things, when evidence clearly shows otherwise.

      Back to the question, I don’t think evil or irresponsible people literally exist to teach anyone a lesson. It does happen that someone more open to learning learns a life lesson after the fact. Those people, who refuse to learn even when it would do them a lot of good, just happen to exist and others happen to run to them randomly.

      Then again, spirituality is a real thing. It’s not concrete, it’s abstract, but it has real meaning that shouldn’t be demeaned. I agree with Robert Greene and his book Mastery that we all have our unique purpose somewhere down there in our minds. I think it’s too bad that kind of a thing isn’t obvious. We can go through motions and just satisfy some basic desires, but fail to accomplish something that would make a huge difference. Even when we set out to do so, success isn’t guaranteed.

      1. Hi — we don’t necessarily need to make a “huge difference.” Just today, in my shop, a new customer, happened to mention something about his 95 year old mother, I asked a couple of questions, said it sounded like she might have NPD, suggested he visit this website. Whenever you can help ONE person, that help will spread like ripples in a pond. He will visit the site, tell his siblings, friends, etc. So, while searching for your “huge” project, don’t forget to look around you every day, say “Can I give you some help with that?” Every life you touch can spread your help on to others. “No man is an island.” And cumulatively, you can, by helping 1 or 2 other people, make a “huge” difference. Peace and hope from Elva

    3. Lucky Otter, I think the list of questions about them is ENDLESS. I think the short answer to most of them is that there is no answer that most of us can understand. I watched part of a show last night on Discovery ID that I had seen before but what she said really made sense. She didn’t even want to know why what happened to her happened anymore because she realized she never would understand how someone could do something so evil to another person. No one who is not evil can understand evil just like a human will never understand what it’s like to be a cat and enjoy killing and eating a mouse (my analogy). I can’t even remember what happened to her now because I missed the beginning of the show this time but it was a random act of warrantless violence and she was one of the targets and survived.
      I share with you, Lucky Otter, the feeling of trepidation in life and in the world knowing that these people exist and are “on the hunt”. I never had this feeling before in spite of many things in my past, “close calls”, that apparently could have been worse. I have just never felt so utterly deceived and betrayed at such a deep level before and that has made me feel like I can’t trust anyone and that I can’t trust myself to even determine who I can’t trust! I know I couldn’t be tricked in exactly the same way Spathtard tricked me but what about in a different way? Would I be able to spot a different approach? In a different context? I have this constant feeling of anxiety over this because I still have to be in the world, interact with people, etc,,,,,but how do I do that, make friends, be “myself”, but protect myself at the same time? I know myself very well and I know one of my “issues” is that I’m unable to self monitor or …………. not sure how to word this……..I just get carried away? Maybe as Dr. Simon says, I don’t have good breaks but not in the way he uses the term. It’s like “in the moment” EVERYONE is my friend and there is no reason to be cautious,,,,,it’s only in retrospect that I think……holy cr*ap Puddle…..why did you SAY that? Something happens in my brain that I can’t keep track of everything at the same time and my mouth just spits out things impulsively. It happened this afternoon, it’s happened SO many times. And it just seems ok at the time but not exactly. It’s very hard to describe but I almost have no control about what I disclose or how I disclose it. I’s worse when I’m tired or overloaded, like this afternoon. Kind of like when a kid gets really really tired but keeps going anyhow and they just kind of spin themselves into a ditch and hit a wall. so, it is TOTALLY an FAS trait, like my brain is in overdrive, the engine is revved but the gears are not connected. A perfect evample of this is the time i met some guy at a store near me, a mushroom hunter and basket weaver……within a half hour I had drawn him a map to my house and given him my phone number so he could come mushroom hunting sometime. SERIOUSLY?? As I’m walking away from his truck……it slowly sinks in,,,,,,,Puddle?? I think that guy, what was his name again? did he tell me his name?? was looking at your breasts! O M G! Why did you draw him a map to your house??!! So I go back into the store and ask the owner who is a “friend” of mine if she knows this guy,,,,,,”no, not really”. But because he was talking to her at the store when I got there, it apparently was a green light for me!
      What do you do if you have some issue like this, some issue that really is a vulnerability in the wrong hands? I know it about myself, I have a diagnosis that explains why but I don’t know how to change it and from what I’ve read and learned about FASD, it really can’t be changed because it is just the way my brain works, or doesn’t work. I can sit here in my home and see all the reasons I shouldn’t do this or think of a thousand ways I could prevent it in the future but time and time and time again it happens. different day, different scenario, same result.

      1. Hi Puddle, I can relate to much of what you write, to some degree at least. The most helpful thing (and it is so simple too) I’ve found is that whenever I start ruminating over things that he did, or things that he said, or justifications or lies… I repeat this mantra to myself, “He didn’t do it to me, he just did it” or in the present tense if one is in a relationship “He isn’t doing it to me, he is just doing it”. The sadness doesn’t go away, but I find it really takes the edge off things alot…

        About “I can’t trust anyone and that I can’t trust myself to even determine who I can’t trust!” Yeah, this was a big problem, more so on the side that I doubt my ability to decide who I can trust.

        The only way I see forward is to take small steps. One thing I read about starting to date, whenever that should happen for me, is that for the first month or so, not to see that person more than once or twice a week. This gives one time to reflect, time to decide if you want to see them again, or what you want to look for, be cautious about etc. So even if one feels one revealed too much, there is time to reflect, and reconsider things…

        About giving a map to the mushroom man, it’s good that you can reflect on it afterward. Many people are not able to do that.

  30. What are the connections of the lack of a normal healthy human conscious and a lack of empathy, to BPD? Is this a significant factor for persons suffering BPD traits and how does it most often play out?

  31. Martha

    I have BPD- and have empathy for others. I am actually ‘too nice’. Borderlines who Have extreme rejection and abandonment issues can become ‘manipulative’, and self centered in their quest for ‘caregiving and validation’ from others- its not don however with ‘evil intent. Lack of empathy/ conscious are more to those suffering from NPD and Psychopathy.

  32. This is great support here but I find outside of this in person my best friend doesn’t truly get the evil intent of this man. That’s it evil intent someone said earlier..when they set out with a plan to destroy. I don’t think borderline is organized in thieir manipulantions just confused and all over the map. I think my daughter has BPD tendencies
    Also Puddle you hit the nail on the head a few post ago this guy has sort of done a devalue and discard
    I think to the outside world -to cover for himself..Lucky me I wasn’t interested anyway!

  33. Someone mentioned how we might attract or be drawn to these types and it’s interesting and sad but
    this girl that I suggested the Spath go out with had an ex boyfriend hanging around (this is previous)
    her and helping with her daughter and this x boyfriend molested and had been sodomizing her daughter for several years. There was a trial and the pedi file is in prison. If this happened to you wouldn’t you discern character after an ordeal like that. Now she is being wined and dined and not taking the time to really look at his character. Seems we don’t learn.

    1. Perhaps to her running into one person, who’s essentially a walking Satan complex, colorfully expressed, seems like an unofrtunate coincidence, just one. Emphasis on the last word.

    2. Of course there’s also an actual possible explanation: dissociation. It’s a mechanism of mind that prevents the overwhelm of too much at once By numbing. It can become pathological.

      I’ve also read that someone suffering from chronic dissociation can’t learn from their mistakes. Dissociation gets switched on automatically in nasty experiences so that they vanish from consciousness and can’t be consciously processed.

      I actually know a woman, who was married to an abusive narcissist. They had known each other from a very young age before getting married. She also started suffering from dissociation so all abusive incidents would fade from consciousness while the abuse would linger.

    3. Jenny, it’s easy to think someone should have learned from a bad experience with on of these people however she may have encountered a different type or someone who used a different tactic than the other one. Also, she may not have really gone through the entire recovery process after the first one and jumped into the next relationshi* too soon. She could be needy or desperate for someone in her life…….there are all kinds of reasons. I know a friend of mine on another victim’s web site did this……..got trashed by the first guy and within a fairly short time period got involved with another manipulator. Fortunately she had done quite a bit of homework and spotted the problems early on the second time but it did go further than it should have because she rushed dating again.

  34. Both Borderlines and NPD will resort to devalue and discard. I can do it- with me its more in anger, then ‘malicious intent’. The NPD I knew was far more sublime in the devaluing process – ‘gas lighting’ a kind of ‘evil’ I would not employ to someone. A borderline with throw a hissy fit, then dump you. the NPD will be more causal, after they have parasitically drained you of everything. I do not employ ‘exploitation’ of others eithers. The Narcissist I know does not bother me- they know the amount of ‘supply I give them, either negative or positive now is very limited. If they want to see me- I demand reciprocation- which is highly unlikely. That’s why they move on. Expecting anything from a narcissist- well you are being naïve. They only use you for some ‘intrinsic value’ they care nothing for you.

  35. Yes shes needy and lonely and this man has come to her as savior….he has lots of resources and its
    sickening. She’s a very hard worker but it just doesn’t cut it so its easy for a predator like him.
    Also I had to deal with him today as a client in our business and my friend is coaching me on my behavior
    when I have to deal with him. He says the goal is to stay neutral in talks with him. He comes in my exhibition space and I have to deal with him. I would rather take a beating. I try to bring in a male friend
    And exhibit with me but its difficult to get someone every month. I’m sure he would tell everyone I was crazy if I told him to stay out of my exhibition space .. He buys from me and its some form of control.
    I’m self employed and you have to be creative or in his case uses others creativity. We all need strong
    boundaries when dealing with these aggressive types.
    Borderline personality disorder is an important subject and I would like to learn more about it
    since my daughter has been diagnosed with tendencies / traits. She rejects my love and it doesn’t make . sense. Her father and I divorced right before her 13th birthday and her father instantly remarried
    and had a baby girl. At 14 she started rebelling and she was daddy less. By 15 she was diagnosed
    In the early stages of alcoholism. She never really recovered and in college in and out of the hospital to a final stay at the state hospital for 3 yrs just to keep her from suicide. She lives in an apartment and really
    should be in the hospital all the time but they always send her back out again. I’m always afraid
    of the call I’m almost prepared to receive someday.
    This is a true mental illness (scitzoeffective disorder with borderline).
    It’s impossible and I think her empathy can be weak but I have seen it
    and she doesn’t set out to destroy. Although at times I thought her illness
    would destroy me but not intentionally.

  36. Dr Simon, this is a variant of a question I’ve asked before.

    If aggressors and character disordered people can suffer trauma, too, so that they harden their fist-fighting style, what about psychopaths? Can psychopaths suffer trauma, for example at the hands of other aggressors?

  37. Hi again!
    I’ve read a couple of other blogs of survivors of MN people, and decided to start my own blog. The focus is on narcissists but I’ll be writing about other things too. I’m doing this mainly as a form of self-therapy. There’s not much there yet. When I feel ready I’ll post my entire story. Right now I’m just getting my feet wet.
    Hope you like this! http://otterlover58.wordpress.com/

    1. Hi Lucky Otter!! You asked previously, where do I go from here? Obviously, you’re going UP!! Kudos to you, for making lemonade!! Way to go!! Peace and hope from Elva

  38. Thanks Elva, and by doing this I’ve found an incredible community of bloggers going through very similar experiences. I definitely recommend blogging (really a form of the journaling I believe you mentioned) as a way to find support and encouragement.

  39. this artical made me cry it made me catch my breath..Its exactly HOW it is.I have had this MY entire life and over and over and over I have been rejected by everyone, blmaed for bad behavior by therpaits ..i cry at this article because i am NOT to blame. But PLEASE HELP MeI started being hospitalized at 11 years old retsraints and solitary confinement..I was withdrawing from school I am adopted ..can you help me???I am 62 years old and would ZLOVE to know SOMEONE in this earthh doesnot hate me, oh its been so sad of alife alobe alone alone.thank you for listening my name is michele brigando .this is for real.

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