Understanding Personality and Character Disorders

Personality and Character Disorders: An Introduction

Personality and Character Disorders are as difficult to understand as they are to deal with. And many misconceptions exist about them both. Truly, if you ask someone what a personality or character disorder is you’re likely to get some vastly different answers. That’s sometimes sadly even true when you ask a mental health professional.  And the whole issue is being further complicated by the fact that the very ways we’ve defined these things in the past has recently come into question. No wonder there’s such misunderstanding!

To really understand personality and character disorders you first have to understand the difference between personality and character. I go into some depth about this in all four of my books as well as in my professional training workshops. Then, you have to know what constitutes a psychological disorder. Understanding that can help you get your bearings when you’re trying to assess the chances for meaningful change or successful professional intervention.

Personality vs. Character

What is personality?  These days, we define at as an individual’s unique and preferred style of relating. It’s how someone habitually sees things and does things. It’s the way they prefer to operate in life. Personality is not merely the collection of their various traits or distinguishing characteristics. And it’s not merely the person’s temperament.  Some people are by nature more laid-back or pacific in temperament. Others are more high-strung, and quick to become unnerved. Temperament is an important aspect of personality. But it doesn’t define one’s personality.  Most importantly, personality is not just the result of biology. Nor is it merely the product of someone’s formative experiences. A lot of things go into making up someone’s personality: biological predispositions, temperament, environment, trauma, etc. But in the end, all these things contribute to the distinctive manner in which folks tend to both view and interact with the world.

Character is the moral side of personality. Everyone has their unique way of seeing and doing things, and especially, relating to others. However, sometimes a person’s style of relating can run afoul of standards of decency. That’s what character disturbance is all about. And when someone’s habitual and preferred way of seeing and doing things significantly interferes with healthy relations, that disturbance can rise to the level of a disorder.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be talking a lot a bout personality and character disorders. And I’ll be explaining how to spot them, the issues they raise for relationships, and the challenges they pose for intervention.

Upcoming Announcements

At this writing, the Spanish language edition of In Sheep’s Clothing is in production and will soon be available for wide distribution.

The new studio for Character Matters podcasting is close to finished.

The 2020 workshop schedule, which begins in July, will be posted within the next few weeks.

Please take the time to peruse the vast library of informational articles on this blog. You might just find the very answers you’ve been looking for.

31 thoughts on “Understanding Personality and Character Disorders

  1. I am wondering if my daughter is truly a narcissist. She always seems to try to have the upper hand, does not let her guard down. She says things to intentionally hurt me. At times we can have a conversation that does not involve her taking a jab at me. When we talk (over the phone-she is out of state), she is not interested in much that I say about what I am doing, it is mostly about her and what she is doing. Much of the time when I say something about my own activities she just gives me a disinterested reply. That’s when I know to switch over to asking about her or something that involves her. I don’t tell her certain personal things because she will most likely use them to make fun of. As long as I stay on the subject of her the conversation continues.
    Her Dad was a narcissist, but he was a lot worse, plotting and scheming all the time. I had no idea, came from a alcoholic family and basically did not have value of myself and thought I didn’t matter at the time and so did not recognize it and his blaming of me is something I just took in.
    I keep wondering if she is a true narcissist and where she would be on the spectrum if so.

    1. Kat,
      I think I have a lot of Narcissistic people in my life that do just that you described. I’m not trying to label your daughter but it seems that the world we live in today narcissism is on the rise.
      My family members only want the best for themselves and really hate to see me succeed in ANYTHING. If it’s NOT about them then they’re ganging up on me like a bunch of twits on the playground. I have no contact with them. My one sibling recently contacted me saying she misses me terribly. Haven’t seen each other since 2013. Thought we had this “close” relationship, but got slapped in the face when her husband died. Only sibling in her life out of 5 others her whole life.
      But she finally let the cat out of the bag and she and 4 kids let me know what they were thinking of me and my family “having it all”. Helped her financially for just about 28 yrs. Resented pretty much I ever GAVE her that whole time????
      I decided it was best to “take a break” from them all. She quickly started trying to abuse me with her new man texting me threats and stalking me on FB when I wouldn’t speak to her. Had to block her and all in her clan.
      Now all of a sudden she’s missing me and family? Well, it just so happens that once again I did her a favor. Gave my DNA to Ancestry about 2011 or so and her son she gave up in the 80’s found me and wanted to contact her. I don’t think she wants to meet him at the place her new man has her in, ancient run down motel. She’d rather meet him at my home????
      Once again, I’m GOOD FOR SOMETHING?
      Not willing to do that, not bringing her kids back into my life after what they did and said to me and my family. Definitely not willing to bring her criminal man into my home. Just so no one thinks I’m unforgiving and unreasonable…he has 28 arrests ranging from traffic violations, drug, human trafficking, squatting in a $700,000 home all over the news on that one, theft, destruction of government property, domestic violence and the list goes on. It seems his whole family has issues with the law and they think it’s funny.

      1. Priscilla,

        Who cares if anyone thinks you are “unforgiving and unreasonable”? You aren’t. And even if the criminal lacked 28 arrests, you still are very reasonable in looking after yourself and protecting yourself.

        That being said, poverty and marginalized lives force many women into ‘relationships’ with criminal men, abusers, etc. so I feel for your sister. Do I care about her criminal man? Not a bit.

        Perhaps you can help her, because if she had options, I’d bet she’d not be with this guy.

        And it happens when someone is in tremendous need, living horrible lives with incredible trauma, they present to others as being needy and some people with privileged, lucky lives then are led to believe themselves as having made better choices, done well in life due to innate characteristics, hard work, etc. and if those needy, traumatized individuals would just do …..

        Try not to look down on her or resent her neediness. It could have been you. Perhaps you are married and your husband’s income provides you with financial stability, a sheltered life, etc. But you could be hit by a car tomorrow, become bed-ridden, have your husband decide he doesn’t want a disabled wife, ditches you, and now you’re suddenly bed-bound, disabled, and dependent on the mercies of others to help you survive.

        I don’t know your story, but so many people in positions of comfort, financial security, etc. look down on those who are impoverished, homeless, traumatized, disabled, and desperate. They assume the marginalized have all sorts of choices, options, and opportunities that really don’t exist.

        She gave up a child for adoption. She clearly felt she could not properly care for the child and wanted the child to have a good life. Presumably, she is embarassed about being in some dive motel, and doesn’t want her first contact with a baby she gave up to take place in such a setting. Or, better yet, her criminal man is an abuser and controls her and wouldn’t allow such a meeting and contact to happen if he knew about it. Or she is protecting the son from having to meet the criminal boyfriend/abuser.

        Also, she probably wants your support and help in managing such a momentous occassion such as meeting a son she gave up for adoption.

        If I was her sister, I’d want to help her get away from the criminal boyfriend. Perhaps you can encourage and facilitate her departure and entry into a shelter for abused women, as she is probably being abused and is a battered woman. Abusers never change. Her new guy is likely beating on her and terrorizing her and controlling her and running her self-esteem into the gutter.

        1. Well said, Annie! The world can be a better place had more people in privileged position been more empathetic, understanding and supportive to their less fortunate abused relatives for them to have more options to make better choices in their lives

      2. Priscilla,

        Good for you! Enough is enough. I have siblings like that too. (My adult daughter too) They only come around when they want something (and they expect a yes, so it’s really a demand in disguise), then they have the gall to tear me down afterwards. I’ve come to realize (it took WAY too long) they are envious rivals.
        I got severely burned by them a couple of years ago when I stepped in for us as a group in a legal matter and helped y sister who was not willing/able to do her formal role. At first they were on board, then, as per their usual, they started undermining and attacking. Apparently, I’ve been assigned the role of scapegoat. I’m done. I went full no contact. Would prefer to have a “normal”, healthy family, but I don’t. They’re a bunch of conniving, deceitful sharks. Good riddance!

      3. I would not be interested either. I’m sorry your sister is doing these things. Its not your responsibility to provide a place for them to meet, that is her responsibility. You have done a lot for her and she has not appreciated it. The way she has chosen to live and who she has chosen to live with is scary and I would want nothing to do with it, she has not shown she has changed.

      4. Priscilla,

        I must have missed this line of yours:

        “She quickly started trying to abuse me with her new man texting me threats and stalking me on FB when I wouldn’t speak to her. Had to block her and all in her clan.”

        That changes everything. Disregard all that I said above.

        Wow, that was an important sentence and yet I missed it somehow.

        1. Wonder if Priscilla’s sister was knowledgeable and willingly aids in her boyfriend’s subsequent abusive action against Priscilla. Hmm…

      5. Priscilla,
        Looks to me like you’ve got a firm grip on the whole situation. You recognize what their intentions are, what letting them back in would do to your life, you’ve got boundaries and most of all you are over their abusive ways of treating you and want no part of it. You recognize their game. And you’ve stepped away from them and continue to do so to protect yourself, your life, that you’ve created without them in it.
        Isn’t it nice to be drama-free, CDN-free, living life like we should and can live?

    2. Kat,

      I understand that struggle. You have described my daughter. Unfortunately, she has gotten worse since she moved out of state and now is just like her dad. It was such a painful thing to accept. Trust your judgement.

      I know my daughter competes with me, which makes no sense. I personally think it has everything to do with the messages she has received throughout her life from her father and from my not pushing back even harder than I did when she was young. She sees my kindness and restraint as weakness to be contemptuous of and to exploit. She does not respect me or my limits, because she thinks I’m weak. They see the kind person getting beaten down and the unkind person being rewarded by society and they side with the “winner”. Survival of the fittest.

      I do wonder if there is a chemical imbalance that contributes as well. I have been researching mental health issues related to nutritional imbalances due to my system being completely thrown out of wack by a medication. My body wasn’t able to utilize/release minerals. It had a profound effect on my physical and mental health! My organs were shutting down and I was anxious, agitated, couldn’t sleep, and more. It turns out that if you have too much histamine, and too much copper in relation to zinc, and not enough b-6, it can cause those symptoms as well as depression and more.

      As it relates to my daughter, this book states that other disorders can also be contributed to chemical imbalances. If you think about it, it makes sense, that why allopathic medicine uses SSRI’s and such…to balance out the chemicals. And these imbalances can be inherited. It’s my understanding that NAC works well for alcoholics, for example.

      This method instead focuses on metals and other nutrients. In my case, I was deficient in B-6 and zinc and had too much copper. My body started healing and my symptoms quickly resolved after supplementation. My doctors were uneducated about this stuff (they are not taught about nutrition in med school). I had to ask them to run the tests and then educate myself on appropriate levels which was fairly easy to find (internet/functional medicine).

      If you or anyone else is interested in this for yourself, it also helps pinpoint chemical imbalances for various types of depression and other mental health problems, including ODD, OCD, IED. It’s called Nutrient Power by Dr. Walsh. It’s been life changing information for me.

      It’s such a difficult, painful place for a parent.

      1. I caution people to not accept the “chemical imbalances” theory. It is widely known to be false. The medical profession uses the ‘chemical imbalance’ myth to get patients to buy into the idea, to take medications, and to not stop taking various medications. It’s a nice concept to use when wanting patients to take mind-altering drugs, which may or may not damage their brains.

        And in case you trust doctors, especially psychiatrists, please think again. Mental health professionals, that is, doctors and psychiatrists, used to pitch lobotomies as being efficacious treatment, too. You can read such glowing reports in the medical establishment’s peer-reviewed journals.

        When thinking about psychotropics, please use extreme caution. Once you start messing with your brain, there is no going back. And doctors do not know what they are doing. They are merely guessing. And you are the lab rat. Moreover, any clinical trials most likely were very, very small, and involved almost exclusively men. So, if you are a woman, the dosing, etc. is even more untested. You, the general public, are the experimental test subjects.

        And in case you say, ‘but the drugs are FDA approved!’ Well, so were a lot of other horrific things that turned out to be dangerous, harmful, and eventually pulled off the market, due to too many deaths, etc.

        Profits are king. And the medical establishment is highly suspect. Look at how handsomely your particular doctor is financially rewarded by the pharmeceuticals before blindly taking whatever latest drug is being touted as ‘necessary’ and ‘helpful’. Doctors get paid by drug companies to prescribe their latest product and again, you are the uncompensated lab rat.

        Just my thoughts. Take them or leave them.

        1. I agree with much of what you stated. I would also not take prescription SSRI’s and the like.

          From my personal experience, I had much better results testing my blood levels of various compounds our bodies require for effective functioning (biochemistry)- zinc, copper, GABA, B-6, calcium, magnesium to name a few. It helped immensely.

          Look up methylation – it’s an essential process and if it’s not functioning properly, you will feel it. You may have associated it with something else as I did.

          I do not trust the medical establishment. Period. I stay away from them as much as possible As a former cancer patient, I can tell you they will and do whatever they do for the money and if you have a problem with it, you are the problem. They know the treatments do not work and are often more dangerous than the cancer. (They spell it out in studies – mos patients understandably, have not read them.) Chemo is only effective for a few specific types of cancer, everybody else it destroys the immune system (that you need to fight the cancer) is toxic to the organs ,and is a carcinogen. But! It’s a money maker (between $10k and 200K). I have been threatened (and gaslit) repeatedly for not cowing. Sickening propaganda.

          1. Mindful,

            So, did you go to a boutique clinic and order yourself some blood panels or what? Are there testing centers? Walgreens doing blood draws?

            And as for the biochemistry, are you talking about taking a multi-vitamin and supplements? Or following a particular diet? Or ?

            One thing that happens with PTSD is hippocampal volume goes down and I recently read that Paxil and Zoloft had shown to increase the hippocampal volume, the gray matter in those with PTSD. Having read that, I might be interested in those SSRIs for that purpose.

            I’m actually surpised that anyone talks about mental health and depression apart from the environmental factors, because when one lives with a batterer, for example, it’s very reasonable and understandable that the wife is going to become increasingly depressed and anxious.

            And yet such is done on the regular. Doctors and psychiatrists will compile a checklist of symptoms, count the number of times the patient checks a box, compares the sum of boxes checked with a severity scale/’diagnostic’ tool and ‘diagnose’ the disorder.

            It’s ridiculous. It’s done in workplaces, too, where the company contracted psychologist will label/’diagnose’ the bullied/mobbed in any given toxic workplace, so as to make the victim out to be the problem, possessing an organic mental health disorder of the victim’s own doing/faulty ‘chemical imbalances’, not a psychiatric injury caused by a toxic, hostile workplace with mobbing, sexism, etc. being condoned, if not encouraged and supported.

            If you feel like detailing out your health regimen, please do, as I’m interested and probably other women are too.

      2. Mindful,
        My daughter also competes with me and with her brother. I agree that they despise kindness. Also I am a Christian so that really gets to her. She pits me against others to try and make me feel bad about myself, of course I know what shes doing. I would never tolerate this from anyone else.
        Regardless of what I think about Dr. Phil – I agree and disagree with him at times – but he brings up chemical imbalances quite often, or things like a metal toxicity.
        Her Dad basically groomed her without me knowing-everything was covert and I was absolutely clueless at the time.
        I think she does see her behavior as powerful and “winning”. Little does she know.
        Thanks for your response.

    3. Hi Kat,
      I have been a long time lurker here and have read many views of narcissists and how to manage them. I am currently married to a covert narcissist husband. We have an only daughter. She is granduated, out of state, and working. She has only recently stopped talking to either one of us. She, too, treats me the same way, but I have come to the conclusion that she was alienated. I currently read a blog by Karen Woodall. She does not deal with the possibility that the child could be a narcissist, but the alignment of a child with a narcissist would result in precisely this behavior. Most of what eventually lead me was the odd things she would occasionally say to me, and his gaslighting attempts. He has over the years said things like “Marriage is a competition.” or “I don’t deserve her respect”.

      My daughters comments were much more vague and off, and troubled me for a long time. Things like, “I was always afraid something worse would happen, but it never did.” She has also attempted suicide once, and the remark of her counselor during her treatment that she did share with me was “Your relationship with your father is unhealthy.”

      But I am mostly left in the dark wondering what is going on, which would suit a narcissist just fine.

      I hope this helps, it could be either way, Good Luck.

      1. Hi Awakenow,
        My daughter is covert as well, she says things in a way that if you confronted her directly she could deny it. And if you do confront its no use, they never stop, you never change their behavior. I go back and forth regarding whether or not I should continue on with her, but I just can’t break away from her, but I know that we will never have the relationship I desire and so I know not to be disappointed that it won’t ever happen, unless of course God changes her. When I get really angry with her I tell her I have to go and get off the phone. I believe she has tried to make me look bad to others by their behavior towards me. They don’t even know me and act like I am a bad person-her Dad used to do the same but way worse. She is a much milder version than her Dad though. They say to cut contact but I have just not been able to do that. At this time I prefer to talk to her but that can always change.

      2. I’m not picking up on what behaviour you’re daughter has done that is narcissistic. Generally when a child stops talking to both parents it’s the parents fault. Have you been truly brutally honest with yourself?

  2. Mindful,
    Thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree that they believe they are powerful and winners. Her Dad was grooming her covertly and I had no clue until long after I left him. She also pits me against others to try and make me feel inferior. I am aware of her tactics now and would never socialize with anyone else with those behaviors. She competes with me and her brother, and even her poor daughter. She is not as bad as others I have heard described on here but it is disturbing none the less.
    I watch Dr. Phil-I disagree with him at times but he does bring up chemical imbalances and metal toxicity and has people checked out who he suspects of behavior that may be related to those issues.

    1. kat,

      Your opinions are your own. However, when I read your line about Dr. Phil and his talk of chemical imbalances and metal toxicxity…. please, think again. There was this episode where the guy was pretty regularly strangling his girlfriend/fiance/wife (i forget which one) and mother of his young child (possibly young children) and he was strangling her until she lost consciousness.

      There was a whole series of things he did, he was a poster boy for a batterer and was an abuser, through and through. And that woman was being absolutely ruined by him and needed truth from Dr. Phil – not some advertisement for his buddy’s boutique clinic. And instead of saying, listen here, we are dealing with evil, this guy will kill you, he is already inflicting brain damage each time he strangles you unconscious, and he is destroying you in all sorts of other ways, too. Dr. Phil is all about, ‘hmm, you seem nice enough, there must be some problem with heavy metals in your brain, did I tell you about my buddy’s fabulous clinic with all of it’s fancy testing? We need to get you checked out, because there must be a problem there.

      The problem is evil. The problem is the abuser was going to kill her because he was evil, wicked, and a predator. The problem is misogyny. The problem is sexism. The problem is male domination of women. The problem is men’s violence against women. The problem is woman abuse. The problem is wife-beating.

      But did Dr. Phil say that? Of course not. Instead he spent minutes pitching the gloriousness of his buddy’s clinic and talking about there must be a problem with heavy metals, let’s get you checked out.

      He is not even current in his licensing. Dr. Phil’s show is to be seen as entertainment only. It’s a running ad for his wife’s skin care line, his buddy’s clinic, any other treatment facility he routinely pitches, etc. Oh, and then there are his kids’ businesses, like the publishing house, as well as it being a running ad for all his various books he has authored.

      1. Lilly,
        I was commenting only on the mention of chemical imbalances and heavy metals and how it would relate to behaviors. I don’t know anything about it. I always take Dr. Phil with many grains of salt, and I don’t approve of his hawking his wife’s skin care line or his son’s business on air. But I find his show interesting because of his guests. Lots of enabling going on and drug issues. The treatment centers sound top notch, far above what most people could manage, so I don’t mind that. I do think the enablers and codependent people could be directed to the al-anon program and the 12 steps which are so beneficial to so many. I appreciate your response, I agree there are many snake oil salesmen and one has to be so careful.

        1. kat,

          Of course.

          In case my prior comment was unclear, Dr. Phil referred the batterer to the clinic, and instead of talking about the batterer as being a criminal making choices, he made the wife-beater into some sort of ‘victim’ of ‘heavy metals’ that would be better addressed when the wife-beater was evaluated by so-and-so’s boutique clinic.

          Not sure if you implied this or not, but battered women are not codependent. They don’t need to go to al-anon. Battered women need real options, which are largely absent in this society.

          People say, ‘just leave’ and yet leaving doesn’t stop the violence, abuse, domination, harassment, control, etc. And a lot of battered women are killed because they tried to leave.

          They are not codependent, but rather entrapped and captives. Most are without financial means to escape. Most will become homeless. Most rightfully fear that attempting to leave, to stand up for themselves will end up with them suffering greater violence, greater injuries and potentially being murdered.

          Then there are considerations about custody battles and some women fear it would be worse to leave their children unattended and totally at the mercy of an abuser father 50 percent of the time (or whatever the courts dictate custody to be) than to stay, and at least feel better able to protect and shield them. There are no good options. Most batterers, something like 70 percent or more, get custody when they seek it. Full custody. So, many women realize such and don’t want to risk not ever being able to shield their kids, having full custody go to the batterer dad.

          The there’s the damages. By the time a woman is enslaved, entrapped, and captive of some wife-beater abuser, she is beaten down, damaged, injured, and her self-esteem is non-existent. She is perpetually controlled. She is very likely suicidal. There are lots of things to consider and realize. Many factors. Very complex. And who caused it all? The evil, wife-beater abuser. The wives are codependent. They are captives.

          You’re right, kat, about there being so many snake oil salesmen and that one has to be so careful.

          It’s exhausting. It’s also overwhelming because a person can only research so much, know so much, and nobody knows everything, and vulnerability, ignorance, desperation, etc. all factor in. Makes me loathe predatory, dishonest, manipulative people all the more.

      2. I take huge issue with your comments about ‘men’s domination over women’ domestic violence is not a gendered issue and is 50:50 both sexes. Women are just as violent as men. Source; a meta analysis of over a 1000 studies concludes this. The feminist narrative of Male perpetrators is a myth designed to keep their false narrative going to keep their sexist refuges afloat and their patriarchy theory alive. http://Www.Honest-ribbon.org

        1. This is patently false. Just look at the ridiculousness of your claim. A perfect 50:50 split. Obviously you are male and are invested in spreading false narratives.

          On average, three women a day, in the United States, are murdered by their partners, be it husband/boyfriend/ex-husband/ex-boyfriend. In Russia, the average number of women murdered, per day, is 40.

          Your stats are but a lie and you know it.

          Any woman alive who has lived enough has either experienced abuse and domestic violence at the hands of her male boyfriend/husband or she knows other women who have.

          Go away with your lies. You know it is men committing nearly 100 percent of the domestic violence. The whole culture is built on male supremacy and men’s oppression of women.

          Women live in fear. Most men are abusers. And you are either deluded, or most likely an abuser yourself. Abusers love to reverse victim and offender, falsely claiming that they, the men, are but victims.

          Stop telling lies.

          1. Do you honestly believe that women are incapable of abusing their partners?

            Sweeping statements maligning the entire male gender for being abusive, violent, and responsible for nearly one hundred percent of domestic violence?!

            I married a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder. I nursed her through four suicide attempts, one where she would have been successful had I not called the paramedics.

            I tried in every way to be a supportive partner to no avail. She was an adulterous that slept with at least nine men that I’m aware of. Eventually she painted me black and left me for another.

            She belittled me in such a surgically efficient manner capitalizing on my worst fear and insecurities. She spent years unearthing my deepest weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and exploited them with absolutely no compunction or remorse. A creature that did not have a moral compass.

            She punched me in the face, body, and groin. She viciously scratched me from my forehead down to the bottom of my throat, lacerating my eyelid. To be perfectly honest the physical abuse was considerably less painful. I actually called law enforcement because she threw a pint sized liquor bottle that put a gash on the bridge of my nose. The police officer asked what happened and told the officer what she had done. I further explained that I called you to prevent myself from doing something that I would regret. The officer asked me if I wanted to press charges and I declined.

            She was a vampire that stayed with me long enough to take the very last shred of dignity, decency, and self worth I possessed.

            She crafted her exit affair for weeks. She called DCFS and stated that I smothered her with a pillow until she lost consciences. In addition to that she stated I was mentally instable, and not taking my medication. She further asserted that I was abusive and neglectful to my toddler son. Subsequently he was taken from me. It’s a good story because smothering does not leave marks.

            The county I lived in in Texas has a no drop policy for Domestic Violence. Her statement alone that was documented by law enforcement empowered the District Attorney with probable cause to charged me with attempted murder, and Domestic Violence with intent to bodily harm.

            Neither the police nor the D. A. ever interviewed me, I was not arrested, formally charged, or arraigned. I found out because arbitrary defense attorneys mailed me letters stating that I had a warrant for my arrest. I verified that there was a warrant and retained an attorney. My attorney’s retainer was $3200.00. All she did was get the charges charged to simply Domestic Violence. I had to go county jail and my bond was 40,000. While in jail I was brought before a judge in the jailhouse dressed in jeans and a Polo and he read what I was charged with and asked me how do I plea? I stated not guilty and a court date was set. That was my arrangement! The court did not weigh the counties case to establish whether enough evidence existed to go to trial, which is the whole purpose of an arraignment. Some courts in lieu of an arraignment have the district attorney present evidence to a grand jury. Neither of those things took place, and the county through obfuscated “exigent circumstances” simply did not have to establish their case in order to go to trial.

            My attorney pushed me to take a plea for deferred adjudication. The court wanted two years probation, 120 hours of community service, a six moth class for Domestic Violence, and a $2700.00 fine plus court costs.

            I refused and said that I wanted to go to trial, because I haven’t done anything. She than advised me that her retainer to go to trial would be $9600.00. I said that I would represent myself because I couldn’t afford the retainer. My attorney than advised me that the D.A would file multiple motions, and if I did not respond in a specific way required by law that I would be be automatically convicted. Since I didn’t have the funding so I reluctantly took the plea deal. If I satisfied all the conditions of the court no crime would be reflected on my record. My attorney wouldn’t even try to negotiate better terms for the plea deal. I told her that I wanted the deal reduced to eighteen months probation and eighty hours of community service. I stated that if you’re unwilling to do that, that I would do it myself. She only negotiated on my behalf because I threatened to do it myself. The court stipulated to the counter offer because the entire goal was to keep it out of the courtroom. All the county wanted was money, that’s all they cared about.

            The country I lived in adopted the “zero tolerance, no drop policy” for Domestic Violence in conjunction with opening a shelter for battered women which procured the country nine and a half million dollars in Federal grants.

            It was completely disgraceful, and the notion of due process, innocent until proven guilty, was still preserved because technically I could have my day in court. An utterly shameful exploitation of people that did not have the funding for decent representation. I called multiple attorneys and all of the retainers were within $650.00 of the $9600. 00.

            It was a cash cow and total racket. William Shakespeare was correct in saying “First start by killing all the lawyers.” The whole experience shattered my belief that Civil Liberties were bestowed to every citizen in our republic. What appellate court or citizen would be opposed to cracking down on wife beaters? It’s an impeccable distortion of Justice that is so well crafted that it systematically and legally rigged that it essentially dismantles one’s civil liberties. I realize that some men are guilty. Some of the guy’s in my class actually admitted to beating their partner. They got the same deal as me! For those falsely accused, it’s a tough pill to swallow, and virtually all the victims are men.

            My wife went no contact for six weeks to cement her new relationship by ensuring her new boyfriend impregnated her. DCFS concluded that she had no credibility and would require supervision to visit our son.

            She admitted to me that she fabricated the Domestic Violence allegations in order to secure a temporary restraining order. She didn’t want me near her new boyfriend. She actually didn’t believe what the outcome was with the court until I showed her the outline of my plea deal.

            The only silver lining is that DCFS frightened her enough that she offered joint custody with me as the custodial parent given I did not collect child support. Fortunately for me her boyfriend was a higher priority than our son.

            The first day of my Domestic Violence class the instructor asked how many times did your partner call the police and accuse you of abuse? Answers varied from one to twenty times.

            The instructor then asked if anyone’s partner was physically abusive? About eighty percent raised there hand. The instructor then asked how many of us ever called the police? Only I raised my hand. The instructor then asked me if pressed charges? I said that I hadn’t.

            He said make no mistake gentleman women are abusive as well but only three percent of men press charges. Most men perceive that such an action would be emasculating and humiliating. Consequently the data is not even remotely accurate.

            Is it fair to say that her behavior and choices constituted abuse?

          2. Assuming what Will says is true, then so be it. I find it hard to believe. Lacerated your face from forehead to throat or some business like that? Hmm, did you get stitches? How many?

            I stand behind what I said. Men commit nearly 100 percent of the domestic violence. Your claimed sob story doesn’t change that reality. I don’t believe you exist. I don’t believe your story. And it really doesn’t matter because your claimed experience doesn’t negate the reality of what men do to women and the fact that nearly 100 percent of the domestic violence is men perpetrating against women. And domestic violence is the one of the most underreported crimes. Same with rape. Men rape women. Want to argue that not all men rape? So what? Many of them do.

            I’m beyond tired of the “not all men” arguments. On the same token, women will also do a variation of the “not all men” arguments which is the “not my Nigel” arguments.

            Facts are facts. Most men hate women. Most all of the domestic violence is men as perps and women as victims. It’s proof of your entitlement and selfishness that you believe you are entitled to more pity with your claimed story than the reality that an average of 3 women are murdered every single day in the USA by their husbands/boyfriends/exs.

            And since when did an exception disprove a general rule? Even if one will toss you instant credibility, which I don’t, an exception never negates a general rule.

            Partly why I disbelieve your story is even true is because of the unlikelihood. Another part is why write is as a response in the first place? Why argue the tired “not all men”? It’s entitlement showing. It’s self-centeredness showing.

            Instead of saying how awful it is that women live in fear of men and an average of 3 women are murdered every single day in the USA, you dismiss such as though it’s offensive to your sensibilities to let such stand. Thus the “not all men” argument.

            Sure, there are some women who are abusers. Most of the time women abuse other women. Even if your exception is true (which I highly doubt) the fact that you argued it to be a ‘proof’ against facts and stats is what makes it that much more suspect. Incels make “not all men” arguments.

            A few men, as an experiment, several decades ago, went out as women and these were smaller guys, with lightweight frames and the makeup artist, prosthetics, etc. was convincing. They walked the streets with a hidden camera. The men were catcalled, followed, propositioned, harassed, and basically experienced life as a woman for a few short hours. They were so relieved to take off the makeup, etc. They were so relieved to not be women. They were shaken and they weren’t even alone, as the hidden camera person was in front of them, to film what happened to the men.

            In general, men hate women. If men didn’t hate women and male supremacy wasn’t a large part of most men’s identity, then porn wouldn’t be what it is today and as widespread as it is. How much porn do you consume? Come on now. Most men consume porn. Porn is woman-hating. Many men beat their girlfriends and wives. Many men would love to rape women on the regular. There are multiple studies showing that men admit they’d go around raping women if they knew they could get away with it. Such studies are more than 2 decades or more old. Men are even more filled with misogyny nowadays.

            I find it contemptible that you respond only to make the tired, pointless, needless “not all men” claim and go on to dismiss and disregard the facts and stats I conveyed. Your pain, if it is even true, is not more and of greater importance than raped, beaten, stalked, and murdered women. And it happens every day. Women are beaten, raped, and murdered every day.

            For the most part (and this is saying, indeed, there are a few rare exceptions) men are shits to women and they love it. They love being total shits to women. They love harming, degrading, hurting, dominating, controlling, exploiting, and abusing women.

            Thems the facts. If you don’t like it, go and get on men’s cases to stop being such violent, depraved misogynists. Don’t muddle things with this tired, pointless “not all men” sob story nonsense. There are other indications within your story which give rise to my doubt and disbelief. Abusers are clever people and they love to paint themselves as heroes and victims. Abusers are also the ones to usually take issue with facts and stats concerning men’s violence against women. Abusers are also those who make the “not all men” arguments.

            So tiring. So old. So predictable. So disgusting how men dismiss and devalue and argue against women’s lived experiences, crime stats, common knowledge, and so forth. Such drivel.

          3. Oy! Obviously, I didn’t really to bother to read your comment. The ‘gem’ at the end, the supposed ‘proof’ of women’s violence? A class of wife-beaters claiming their partners were physically violent? Ha! What ‘credible’ sources! You know so little. Batterers lie and lie and lie some more. If they are talking, they’re lying. They constantly lie about the women they beat, falsely claim that she is abusive, falsely claim that they needed to restrain her and so many other tired, worn BS lines. It’s truly as though abusers get the same handbook distributed to them.

            Violent men have been known to regularly scratch or punch or cut themselves prior to the police arriving so as to falsely claim either straight DV with them being the victims (liars that they are) or, if they’ve obviously bloodied their wives and it’s no use to attempt to lie such away, they’ll try to get their victims arrested too, falsely claiming that it was mutual.

            You make my stomach churn. You sound like so many incels who make the same tired arguments and lie about being victims and claim women are so violent and abusive. It’s drivel and lies.

            How many men are raped per day, on average, in the USA? By women, not other men, because when men are rape victims, it’s men doing it to other men. How many men are murdered, on average, per day in the USA by wives/girlfriends/exs?

            That you listen to wife-beaters and some instructor who clearly doesn’t know what he is doing, is so very telling. I call BS. Such seems like the usual made up stories and fabrications of so many incels.

  3. Lilly,
    I didn’t respond regarding the abusive man. I was talking about the enablers Dr. Phil has on. Usually its parents enabling their grown children. Those are the people who could benefit from a 12 step program. Of course in the case of a battered woman the number one concern is her safety. Too bad they don’t do follow ups on some of these cases to see what the results are. I’m sure Dr. Phil realizes that the woman needs to be separated from the abusive husband. He was only offering a resolution so perhaps the man could be helped by medical intervention. The only alternative I see is medical help and a possibility for change, or he continues his abuse. I think its worth a shot, who knows, it could change the outcome of the scenario you are describing.

    1. kat,

      I misunderstood. Sorry about that. Thanks for setting me straight.

      Indeed, there are a variety of guests, including those who are in needlessly enmeshed relationships.

      I, too, wonder what happens to guests. What was the fallout of appearing on national television? Are there lives better having appeared on the show? Was the help offered actually beneficial and substantial enough to truly help them?

      I worry about the abused women. How many abusers are watching that show? Abused women are so vulnerable and thus susceptible to another abusive relationship as abusers hone in on the already wounded.

      1. Kat brings up many important points and lets not forget that men are also victims of abuse. Abuse of men by women is under reported due to shame and the stereotypical stats that it is the woman who is the victim of abuse.

  4. For years I struggled with–they say they love me. Why can’t I accept their love. No, they never showed it. It was a sentimental kind of love. When their brain felt “loving” they expressed it. But it had no sustainability.
    Recently, I just took a break from most of my relationships to see if I did nothing at all (I was available) what would that look like? How long would it take for them to show their concern, love, offer of time. I had to muster up: Radical acceptance because not much happened. Noone offered anything to me after years of paying, suggesting, offering, hellping, amusing, driving, listening. It’s hard but once I put space between my own tendency to hold up the relationships with my own muscle, I saw the reality.
    It was sad but I felt empowered. I worked through disappointment into what the relationships really were and it helped me to honor the ones who checked on me for a change. It clears things up and produces clear eyes for the obvious. I am not bitter at all. This was a gift to myself. I highly suggest it. Thanks

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