It’s day 26 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for men and boys, the invisible victims of domestic violence. Kenneth had an abusive, borderline personality disordered stepmom.
Children with an abusive parent(s) are essentially groomed to tolerate and accept abuse. They are often told that the abuse they experience is their fault. This can create the faulty belief system that it is their job to “fix” and protect their abuser. It may also foster the equally faulty belief that if only they “do everything right,” their abuser will finally see what a good person they are and stop the abuse.
This a recipe for disastrous, abusive adult relationships. Today’s In His Own Words is an example of this.
Pretty Little Liar
I just ended a 6-month on again/off again relationship with a woman who I think fits the description of Borderline Personality Disorder. A lying, manipulative, crying, sniveling, deceptive and, above all, self-righteous human being.
First off, I am no saint, okay. Second, until recently, I always believed that woman could never set out to intentionally be selfish and abusive (probably comes from being raised by a physically abusive BPD stepmother and henpecked dad), so excuse me for looking like a dumb ass for not leaving this witch sooner.
I met her through work and, by all accounts, it seemed like the most normal relationship I ever had. We went for walks in the park, had coffee together and spent hours on the phone talking about everything. We both had very rough childhoods and shared that with each other. She seemed to really struggle with forgiveness and letting go of the past. I found that disturbing.
She had a lot of hatred towards her mother and all her past boyfriends seemed to be bastards. Everyone was out to get her and the world never gave her a fair shake. These were warning bells, but I ignored them because I thought we shared something deep and meaningful. And, hey, I’ll admit it, THE SEX WAS THE BEST I EVER HAD.
Then the lies started. One night, after she knew she had my affections (we’d gotten a little physical by this point — kissing, touching, etc.), she confessed that she was seeing her friend’s boyfriend. She said it was just sexual, nothing else. She also said she wasn’t going to end her relationship with him, so I ended our relationship. I should’ve told her to go to hell, but I was trying to be open-minded. Once she knew I was hitting the high road, she ended it with this guy and that’s when things got fun.
Turns out the affair was was more than just sex. He was in love with her. She lied to me every step of the way about this guy. Long story short, it was a drama-filled 2 months, with her blowing hot and cold. I got blamed for everything.
It was my fault she had a $400 utility bill. It was 14 degrees centigrade in her house. I asked her to turn the thermostat up to at least 18, so I could sleep. I only stayed over 6 times that month. It was my fault she gained ten extra pounds. She said her eating habits changed when she was with me — what a load of shit. I mention these things because they are ridiculous, but there is much more.
The first meltdown was lovely. She screamed and yelled that she didn’t have time to comb her hair and it was my fault. I ended up grabbing her hands to make her stop as she was tearing her hair out in the car with a pick comb. The next day was my birthday. She called me and seemed to sincerely apologize.
She invited me over to her place for dinner and said she bought me gifts. I said something innocent that set off her pathological jealousy. She went off the deep end again, screaming and yelling. She made outlandish paranoid accusations, accusing me of lying and infidelity, and threatened to break up with me. I was not ready for that.
Worst birthday ever.
We broke up. I changed my telephone number and my work shifts (we’re both tech support) and did everything to avoid her. I got blamed for going through her purse and for hacking her computer. I was starting to get scared because this was nuts. I found out later that she even went to my manager and accused me of doing these things.
Here is where I am a dumb ass. Two months later, she wrote me out of the blue and gave me the affirmation that I so desperately wanted and needed. She acknowledged everything I had done for her and that I made her feel so good when we were together.
I cried. I called her. The next day, we’re back in bed together.
Two weeks later, she started making more paranoid rantings. She accused me of being a lying, cheating bastard again. I was not a bastard to her. Everything I did for her and the way I treated her while we were together proved I’m not a liar and I’m not a cheater. She is the one who had the history of lying and cheating, which put her in no place to stand in judgement of me.
Then her cat died. Guess whose fault it was. Go ahead, guess. If you guessed it was my fault, you’re right! She said I stepped on the cat and caused it internal damage. In reality, I accidentally stepped on the cat’s foot. She twisted it in to something else and I swear she honestly believed her version of events.
She was going to show me, so she got an autopsy done on the cat. Turns out the cat died of cancer.
By that point, I’d had enough and I ended it. I can’t fit in all the other craziness I experienced with this woman, but one question begs to be asked.
What the hell is wrong with me?
I know there is something wrong because I chose to be with this nut. I chose to allow myself to get close to her and that is something I have to deal with. I am going to make an appointment to see a therapist this week. If I don’t fix this, I know with my abusive childhood I will likely end up with another nutter down the road.
I want to thank you for Shrink4Men. I happened upon it by doing a search for ‘BPD girlfriend laying blame’ and I found your site. My world is starting to make sense again.
In His Own Words is an effort to help raise awareness about the invisible victims of domestic violence, men. If you would like to submit your story, please follow the guidelines at the end of this article.
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.
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