Every week, at least one self-identified BPD and/or Golden Uterus sends an email or tries to post a comment taking me to task for warning people to be wary of personal relationships with individuals with Borderline, Narcissistic, Histrionic and/or sociopathic traits. Interestingly, I only receive messages from self-identified BPDs, concern trolls (see below), and stay-at-home-moms who are angry about the articles Why Your Wife’s Excuses for Not Working Are Lame, The Real Reason your Wife Doesn’t Want to Work and Hostile Dependence: Is your Wife, Girlfriend or Ex a Child Masquerading in the Body of a Woman?
I never hear from self-identified narcissists, sociopaths and histrionics, well, until recently. A few weeks ago, I received an email from a self-identified histrionic woman, which will be the subject of it’s very own future article, Self-Pitying Sociopaths.
Over the years, I’ve noticed several themes and patterns in these messages:
1. Concern Trolls. These messages are from women who feel compelled to warn me about how “dangerous” it would be if the information on Shrink4Men fell into the “wrong hands.” Typically, these comments go something like this: “While it’s true some men may be abused, have you ever considered what would happen if your posts fell into the wrong hands? What if an abusive man found your articles and used them to abuse his wife?”
Um, you mean like what can and does happen with the glut of domestic violence websites and resources that solely focus on female victims and male perpetrators? Tell you what, I’ll take down my information when the female abuse victim-focused websites do, m’kay?
Another variation on this theme is a certain kind defensive comment from women who want me to know that, “Men can be abusive, too! Why do you only focus on male victims?!” Whenever I receive this particular comment, my eyes roll so hard they have to do a wind-up first. One has to wonder if the women who express this concern are so self-obsessed that they have neglected to notice the abject lack of resources for men and boys who are victims of emotional, physical and social violence? By the way, that was a rhetorical question.
2. Don’t paint all BPDs with the same brush! For the record, I don’t paint all individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder with the same brush. For those individuals who have been diagnosed with BPD and have made the commitment to enter and stay in treatment, I truly wish you the best. It is difficult and painful work with arguable rates of success. Please keep working at it.
What I also do not do is sugarcoat the fact the realities and likely outcomes of treating BPD. Nor do I tell men and women involved with BPDs to be patient, hang in there and hope for the best while they are actively being abused by their BPD partners. Just because a person with BPD enters treatment does not mean it will be effective. It could take years to see improvement, that is, if there is any improvement at all. Meanwhile, the partners and children of these individuals continue to suffer.
3. You’re making ME feel bad about MEEEEE! These BPD individuals acknowledge that they mistreat and abuse their loved ones, but they can’t help it!!!!!! They then go on to tell me how much pain they are in and that is why they hurt others as if this somehow makes their behavior okay. I suspect these individuals haven’t made it to the Why Empathy for Others is a Good Thing component of their therapy yet — or even worse, they have.
4. Accusations that my stance on BPD is “unprofessional.” Basically, this is just a shaming tactic that stems from “You’re making ME feel bad about MEEEEE!”
Yes, it is very unprofessional for a psychologist to be anti-abuse and to have greater sympathy for the victims of abuse rather than the perpetrators of abuse who show paper thin remorse for the abuse they perpetrate. Oftentimes, individuals with this condition are remorseful when they experience natural consequences for their behavior rather than being remorseful for having hurt others — typically when their partner is at the end of his or her rope and wants out.
5. Name-calling and unintelligible gibberish. Self-explanatory.
I rarely publish the Comments from the Edge (*a wonderful phrase coined by CrazyBuster, MicksBabe) I receive for several reasons:
a) Shrink4Men is for the targets of BPD/NPD/HCP/AsPD abuse, not a platform for people with these issues to sound off and to try to garner sympathy while taking no responsibility for themselves.
b) It’s upsetting to read their circular arguments, distortions and blame shifting for many individuals who frequent S4M. They already get enough of that at home and/or from their exes, thank you very much.
c) Publishing these comments would allow these individuals to participate in the discussions here. I tried that once or twice and, frankly, I was appalled, but not surprised, by the hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty and unwavering lack of empathy for anyone else’s pain other than their own.
d) I get to choose whom I invite into my house and I close the door on individuals who want to enter and take a dump on the carpet.
For those of you who are interested in the inner thought processes of some individuals with BPD, NPD, HPD and full-on sociopathy, I’ve decided to start posting some of their comments here. I suspect the excessive emotionality, name-calling, lack of empathy, blaming and shaming in these comments will be very familiar to many of you.
The following comment is from “Jen.” She posted the same comment 3 times in quick succession. I suspect she didn’t realize that new commenters are held in a moderation queue and became frustrated because, “Dammit! She has a right to express herself!”
Jen commented on Can an Abusive Borderline Personality Disorder Woman Really Change?
THIS IS BULLSHIT!! People with BPD are seriously mentally ill and need serious help. I have had it all my life and before diagnosed went through very violent outbursts in which after I admitted to at a police station as the guilt ads to the hate and disgust people with BPD already feel. There are many different types of BPD she sounds narcissistic to me which is a rare trait with bpd, Imagine the most drunk you’ve ever been to the point you can’t see or understand people, then add the worst experience you’ve ever been through the most soul crushing abandonment and thinking you have nobody, wanting to die but being to scared, and desperately wanting to express yourself but being so emotionally stunted that you are completely unable to even say why you are sad or to explain why your unhappy it LITERALLY WILL NOT COME OUT so it all bottles up, then someone quite innocent says something that a bpd sufferer will completely misunderstand and will get in the firing line, it is literally completely uncontrollable. I often don’t even remember, I can feel myself loosing control and have learnt to try my best to get out of the situation but when you are followed and after begging for them to leave you alone, there’s a certain snapping point. It goes two ways either the person will get abuse or the bpd sufferer them selves will self mutilate this sometimes is the ONLY WAY OUT. Violence is unavoidable with a bpd sufferer but once it gets dangerous the police should be called and this I completely agree with. People with BPD should be honest from the get go with potential partners I always have painted the darkest picture so they no what there taking on and it is then left to the individual to decide to stick it out or not But STUPID IDIOT STEREOTYPES AND ABUSE TO THE PEOPLE WITH THIS SERIOUS mental disease is disgusting and needs to stop would you go abuse people with down syndrome NO so don’t do it to people with bpd there lives are usually a living hell without people like you. Learn a bit about what you chatting about before spreading abuse and chatting S***
Let’s break Jen’s comment down to try to make sense of what she is really saying. My interpretations are speculative, of course, as I have no interest in contacting Jen for subsequent commentary.
Jen writes, “THIS IS BULLSHIT!!” Translation: “I’M ANGRY!!”
“People with BPD are seriously mentally ill and need serious help.” This is very true.
“I have had it all my life and before diagnosed went through very violent outbursts in which after I admitted to at a police station as the guilt ads to the hate and disgust people with BPD already feel.” I could have this wrong, but Jen seems to have thought that telling the police officers who arrested her for her violent outburst that she has BPD should have exempted her from arrest. Translation: “I should not be held accountable for my behaviors.”
“There are many different types of BPD she sounds narcissistic to me which is a rare trait with bpd,” Actually, some degree of narcissism is frequently present in persons with BPD. In fact, this seems to be the norm and not the exception. The higher the degree of narcissism in the BPD, the worse they are and the more untreatable they are. In my experience, this is very common.
“Imagine the most drunk you’ve ever been to the point you can’t see or understand people, then add the worst experience you’ve ever been through the most soul crushing abandonment and thinking you have nobody, wanting to die but being to scared, and desperately wanting to express yourself but being so emotionally stunted that you are completely unable to even say why you are sad or to explain why your unhappy it LITERALLY WILL NOT COME OUT so it all bottles up, then someone quite innocent says something that a bpd sufferer will completely misunderstand and will get in the firing line, it is literally completely uncontrollable.” TRANSLATION: “I am a ticking time bomb. If you cross my path when I am angry, scared, anxious or feeling rejected, abandoned or inferior, I will take my anger, etc., out on you and then expect you to feel sorry for me.”
Many people suffer incredible heartbreak, childhood abuse and catastrophic loss, however, they do not go onto abuse others and expect people to tolerate their abuse because “they hurt, too” and blame everyone else for their unhappiness.
I also object to the “uncontrollable” statement. I have observed many people with BPD. Most are perfectly capable of controlling themselves in public settings, when they are Hoovering and with people that won’t tolerate their crap. They typically reserve their abuse for the people who love and care about them and who they feel “comfortable” abusing (i.e., don’t believe they will experience negative consequences for their bad behavior).
“I often don’t even remember, I can feel myself loosing control and have learnt to try my best to get out of the situation but when you are followed and after begging for them to leave you alone, there’s a certain snapping point.” Translation: “I’m not responsible for my behavior.” Jen appears to disassociate when she goes into her rages. This is not uncommon for many individuals with BPD and/or NPD. Here’s the thing, just because Jen can’t or won’t remember raging at and abusing others, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It is good that she tries to remove herself from these situations, but she still blames others for her behavior, which is not good.
“It goes two ways either the person will get abuse or the bpd sufferer them selves will self mutilate this sometimes is the ONLY WAY OUT.” Translation: “If I can’t hurt you I will hurt myself.” I also call foul on this one. There are at least two more options. One, the individual gets into treatment, and/or, two, abstains from intimate relationships if they truly cannot control their behavior.
“Violence is unavoidable with a bpd sufferer but once it gets dangerous the police should be called and this I completely agree with.” Actually, not all people with BPD resort to violence. Better be careful with that paintbrush, Jen!
Unfortunately, the problem with calling the police on a violent BPD female is that it is often the non-disordered male who gets led away in handcuffs because the BPD turns on the waterworks when the police arrive. Therefore, if you are with someone like Jen, please follow the ABR rule — Always Be Recording — so the police can arrest the right person.
“People with BPD should be honest from the get go with potential partners I always have painted the darkest picture so they no what there taking on and it is then left to the individual to decide to stick it out or not” I agree with this. In theory, people with BPD should be honest about their condition and warn others away, but many are undiagnosed and both diagnosed and undiagnosed BPDs are too self-serving to be truly honest — even with themselves.
I have received many emails from other BPD individuals who believe they are “entitled” to love, too, no matter how much they hurt anyone who tries to love them. From these individuals, I get some variation on, “It’s like you think all BPDs should lock themselves away from the rest of the world! What about us?! We need love, too!” Actually, if you really can’t control yourself, keeping your distance from others you feel compelled to hurt is probably a good idea. Men who can’t control themselves and hurt others end up in jail. The same is rarely true of women who cannot or will not control themselves.
Please note, Jen does not say she abstains from intimate relationships. She claims she gives potential romantic partners fair warning. If potential partners ignore her warning, does that mean it’s open season on them? Hey fellas (and/or ladies), Jen warned you, so you can’t blame her if she emotionally or physically abuses you.
“But STUPID IDIOT STEREOTYPES AND ABUSE TO THE PEOPLE WITH THIS SERIOUS mental disease is disgusting and needs to stop . . .” Pointing out how abusive many undiagnosed and diagnosed individuals with BPD/NPD are to their partners, family members and friends is not abusive and herein lies the problem. Many individuals with BPD, NPD, HPD and sociopathy cannot tolerate holding the mirror up to themselves. They rage at and blame the mirror for the ugliness and damage they perpetrate. It’s not their fault, it’s the mirror’s fault for reflecting their own behavior back to them.
” . . . would you go abuse people with down syndrome NO so don’t do it to people with bpd there lives are usually a living hell without people like you.” I would no more abuse individuals with Down’s Syndrome than I would individuals with BPD or any other physical malady, developmental delay, mental illness or characterological disorder. Again, pointing out the abusive behavior perpetrated by many individuals with BPD, NPD, etc., is not abusive. Furthermore, comparing Down’s Syndrome to Borderline Personality Disorder is like comparing apples to oranges. They are entirely different things and, to the best of my knowledge, abusing others is not an effect of Down’s Syndrome.
This is a very common strawman argument. I have also gotten, “You wouldn’t advise people to break up with their wife or girlfriend if she had cancer, diabetes, etc., etc. BPD is not like any of these ailments.
“Learn a bit about what you chatting about before spreading abuse and chatting S***” Well Jen told me, didn’t she?
Basically, Jen’s point is, “You must feel sorry for me! I didn’t ask to have BPD! I’m not responsible! I feel guilty after violent outbursts that caused me to be arrested, and feeling guilty about my shitty, violent behavior makes me feel even worse!”
I posted Jen’s comment on the Shrink4Men Forum a few months ago and would like to share a few comments from members who made some excellent observations. One member had this to add:
Many BPDs often use their BPD as a crutch and a scapegoat. “It’s not my fault…I have BPD” Jenny was probably floored when she was arrested. “What? You mean…I’m ACCOUNTABLE? … ummm, does that mean the same thing as entitled? Cuz that’s a word I know well.”
it is literally completely uncontrollable. ——- And yet she says they need serious help? Well what’s the point if it’s “uncontrollable?”
I often don’t even remember, — -Cop out.
I can feel myself loosing control and have learnt to try my best — Learnt to try? Just gave herself an excuse for failure. “well…I TRIED… sheesh! Isn’t that good enough?”
to get out of the situation but when you are followed and after begging for them to leave you alone, there’s a certain snapping point. — They asked for it? I think if I had to guess, I’d guess Jen was the one doing the following.
would you go abuse people with down syndrome NO so don’t do it to people with bpd — Did she just compare a birth defect to a mental defect? Wow!
there lives are usually a living hell without people like you. — Oh if only that were true.
Another forum member writes:
Interesting that NPD in BPDs is so common, I think I finally understand the overlap in symptoms in my mother. I love how they think not even one site on the internet can be a place where they’re not welcome. I don’t go to BPD sites looking for sympathy on being the victim of one. I stick to this site. If they can’t control themselves enough not to meltdown from seeing a site for their victims and are unable to, you know, JUST NOT GO TO THE F*CKIN’ SITE, they need to be locked the f*ck up.
I’m a U2 fan. When I first got internet access I searched for sites on them. I found some anti U2 sites. Did I waste my time and energy on them? No, I just f*ckin’ hit the back browser and went to the fan sites. How f*ckin’ hard is that?
I think this may be related to the compulsion many of them have to control other’s narratives — even complete strangers on the Internet.
Another forum member writes:
The crux of all PD’s is that they lack empathy. Borderlines, Histrionics, Narcissists and Sociopaths (anti-social). They’re all completely self-centered. The only variance is the flavor of self-centeredness. They’re all narcissists. Other people don’t matter to them. Including this nutcase who wanted us all to know why she matters and the rest of us don’t.
I really don’t care how much she or her ilk are “suffering”. By virtue, the amount she suffers is always paltry in comparison to the amount of pain she inflicts.
My toddler pitched one hissy fit. EVER. I don’t buy that Borderlines can’t control themselves. They choose not to control themselves because being out of control gets them what they want. It worked when they were toddlers (because they had parents who didn’t put a cease to that sh*t or enabled it and gave into the screaming brat or ignored it). And the grown Borderline seeks out mate(s) in adulthood who will appease her rather than punish her for throwing fits. It’s a learned behavior, sure. One that can’t be unlearned. But this, IMO, is not the same thing as, “they can’t help it.”
Another BPD survivor (and by survivor I mean someone who got away from their BPD) adds:
If they wanted to be better, they would ask for HELP. They don’t. They insist on enabling, because in their minds, that is help – you are allowing them to do what they want. After all, they are entitled to whatever they want.
I used to be lots nicer about individuals with BPD, NPD, etc. But I have seen the way that the personality disordered are excused more and more over the years. 20 years ago, you kept it quiet, and got yourself help so that you kept your sh*t together. Now, you are allowed to dump your sh*t all over the place, bitch at those who complain about being hit, berate those who don’t pick your sh*t up and carry it for you, kissing your ass all the way.
Um. No. We all have issues. Pick up your own sh*t, carry it yourself, and if you are an ass, take ownership of it. If you don’t, then you get to be scooched away from my life. You are welcome to be your unhelped crazy self – but not near me. You have the right to be an unhelped crazy ass, and I have the right to back the f*ck away and wave the torch in your direction.
Another forum member provides a different theory on the ability of personality disordered individuals to control themselves:
I hear you, but based on my experience, they can control themselves. However, it is an act when they do it–they are imitating an expected behavior, not processing like a healthy adult. In that sense, they are like children, as you noted–they are imitating the right thing to do. Children, however, learn from their imitation of others and eventually incorporate that into their lives. PDIs, not so much.
Although this is probably not a good comparison, it takes tremendous energy on their parts to maintain the facade of controlling themselves. I am an introvert, and depending on the situation, groups of people just wear me out. If the wife has thirty people over to the house (not at all unusual in the old days), I need to take breaks to keep it together, or just focus on people one-on-one. (Meanwhile, she is basking in the attention of a dozen others who are telling her how wonderful she is.) She gets fed, I get wore out. So much for our parties, but I can understand the energy level that is involved in a PDI keeping up appearances, and how when it runs out the need for psychic feeding is incredible, and the games begin. Which is also why those of us that have been close to a PDI are the ones who know the madness, and those who aren’t get the high-energy schmooze job.
So what’s your take on this? Can these individuals control their behavior or not? Does your abusive wife, girlfriend, ex, husband, boyfriend, partner’s ex, mom, dad or sibling have the same excuses, lack of empathy and blame shifting as Jen?
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.