Say Goodbye to Crazy video chats provide information and support for people dealing with Crazy in their life. High conflict personalities and how to protect yourself from them are discussed. Episode One, responds to criticism that alleges Say Goodbye to Crazy is stigmatizing to people with mental health diagnoses. Mental health diagnoses are shorthand for clusters of symptoms and behaviors that comprise different conditions and disorders. The diagnostic criteria of personality disorders includes abusive behaviors that carry a stigma because they’re destructive to others and self.
This video originally streamed on March 31, 2015.
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Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
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. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.
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We are struggling. Our son, met a gal while on leave from military. In a very short time he got her pregnant. She admits she manipulated birth control. Pre-girlfriend our family was very close. Our son and daughter were room mates – they celebrated life events – they were best of friends. This girl is evil. Within a day or two of her arrival for Christmas our daughter pegged her with Narcissism / BPD right out of the gate. We welcomed her with open arms – like a knucklehead I made excuses for her – in my mind I was trying to give her benefit of the doubt being she went out of her way to tell us her upbringing was very unstable. I made the mistake to tell her I could understand because my family was very dysfunctional, but we can make a choice to break the cycle. From all she told us is that her siblings were all 1/2 sister and 1/2 brother as each kid has a different father. So, since she was so angry with her mother – I thought maybe she distrusted the females in her life; hence it would take a great deal of time for her to engage with me and my daughter. Wow – what a mess this is. It is SO confusing. She is working overtime to alienate our son. This girl takes every opportunity to drive a wedge in our family. We now have a beautiful grandson who will turn 2 on Oct. 9th. Our son is deployed (Oh Lord – this really is causing her to go overboard) This damn girl holds the cards, she has stopped us from visiting, and is refusing to come here during his deployment. Now – it has been easier not to get sucked into her crap – from a distance. My husband didn’t see it at first but now he sees signs before I even do. She twists us emotionally – and now holds our Grandson hostage. She has convinced our son that his son is struggling so much by not adjusting well to the big move home that he simply can’t have any more distraction. He is struggling to adjust because his mother is working 3 days a week and for fun working in a bar at night – so yes the child is being bounced around like a ping pong ball. Uggggghhhhh…..The anguish makes me physically sick each and every day. We are horrified at the prognosis of our sons future life if he doesn’t begin to see her for what she is and what she is doing. We are trying to be SO CAUTIOUS – we don’t know if we should bring this up to him or knowing that eventually he will stop feeding her whether he know it or not – and then she will start her attack on him. Our FEAR associated to laying low is – she pressures him constantly about marriage through statements like – “He’s the One” – Ugggghhhh make me puke please! So our fear is – what the hell do we do if he plans to marry her – because that’s when we KNOW she will get down and dirty – after she gets what she wants. Yes – she is an asshole – she enjoys being an asshole – what will come of our poor little grandson – We have already seen her play bazaar emotional games – or withholding affection if this little boy doesn’t respond to her liking. I hope I described that properly. HELP! How do you stay sane? I am worried sick.
Unfortunately, I can provide insight into your situation. My wife, who is BPD, filed for divorce and kicked me out of the house after I reached out to family for support. It wasn’t until now that I realized how well she had isolated me. I would drive 2.5 hours (one way) to work and back every day. My family lives in the town where my job is located. When I suggested that I could sleep there for a few nights so I wouldn’t be so tired. She said if I did that, I might as well start the divorce. She is a mean and vindictive person. I know its the disease. She has manipulated or controlled me one way or another our entire relationship. She self presented and manifested whatever she needed to in order to get me go along. Hell when we were talking about getting married, I suggested we wait so we could save more money and could have the big wedding that she wanted. Her response was if I waited she and my step son would not be around. I thought I was being silly and just having cold feet so I married her. Now here we are going to court for temporary visitation orders so that she stops using my 8 month old son as the last control platform that she has with me. My advice to you is that he will take up for her. My family reached out to me several times and my response was always she is my wife, she is my family. Even when things got really bad and they would reach out to me, I would say she is my wife and I am going to try to do everything to make this work. I felt trapped n the middle and felt abandoned. I had argued with my family so didn’t feel that I could reach out to them. So I felt like I didn’t have a choice but to try harder. I can tell you what would have been helpful for me. Be there for your son, unconditionally. Do not say anything negative against her even if he does. Simply tell him that you love him and support whatever he decides. It will be tough for you, but I feel that if my family would have taken that route with me. I may have seen this sooner. I don’t regret marrying her. My daily mantra is I married the wrong woman, but have the right son. I would go through hell for him and in some ways I am. Just be there for him and know that at some point he will begin to see it. I hope that helps.
re: how it starts…. “she went out of her way to tell us her upbringing was very unstable”. translation : “I’ma wee little victim… won’t you rescue little meee??”
“she told us is that her siblings were all 1/2 sister and 1/2 brother as each kid has a different father” translation : “Momma was CrayCray too, and it’s all I know how to do !!”
I take an issue with your statements early that genuine borderlines know right from wrong. I believe they don’t. They lack any a visceral moral sense. Instead their response is largely due purely to self-interest. They also take cues from those around them and society at large and mimic that.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I’m not sure what you’re referring to as I haven’t watched the video in a while.
Many borderlines do know right from wrong or, rather, socially acceptable vs. socially unacceptable. Otherwise, the high functioning ones would behave just as horribly in public as they do behind closed doors. If they think certain people will let them get away with behaving deplorably then that’s what they do. If they don’t think they can get away with behaving deplorably, they will behave a bit better (and then take it out on their “loved ones” in private). It has nothing to do with having integrity or a moral compass.
Married Bestfriend says
I agree with AHA, Dec 17, 2015. They do know right from wrong, but people fall for the “victim” attitude and either cover up the bad behavior, or don’t tell family members – which leads to the crazy never facing consequences or taking accountability. I’ve often said the same thing about writing a book. You just can’t make up some of this stuff up!
And yes too to Robert Tomko….it doesn’t get better. Only worse till things come to head. Thank goodness my husband’s son is now 18 and the contact between ex’s is now non-existent (only after going to the police to inquire about aggravated harassment charges for her calling/texting my husband’s cell after being repeatedly told not to.) That did the trick – no more calls!
After more than 15 years of marriage to a crazy I might have agreed that they cannot differentiate right from wrong, but then only recently I acknowledged my wife’s condition then started to react differently and now it is CRYSTAL clear – these people know exactly their choices in manipulation but are messed up in their internal blame game to avoid accountability as they choose to ignore consequence. Unfortunately, I would say that their condition is an infectious disease for unfortunate children, hopefully I might have some insight for others to help theirs since I have made the decision to stick it out for the kids. It’s very lonely even when one gets over the realization how wasted your efforts were, but I just find a ray of sunshine and always FOCUS on finding my way back to the stranger I once was … it’s quite a journey and in desperate moments I joke that at least my life is not boring and I will retire to write a bestseller. Strength to you all !!!
Robert Tomko says
In my case, I am banking on there coming a day when my 6-month-old-son will be old enough to ask me the question: “Daddy, what’s wrong with Mommy?”
BPDs are certifiable energy-draining malcontents who seek out the perceived stain on the carpet in the land of milk and honey. The gem of a woman I am married to is also a pathological perfectionist with a martyr complex. She is not people-oriented, as she alludes. Rather, she is people-dependent, as her sense of happiness and self-worth comes from the words and actions of others along with circumstances. Nothing is generated from within. As well, she hates being alone for any stretch of time. Probably because she doesn’t like the person she’s alone with.
There are things on the plus side of the ledger (hard working, career minded), but it hardly cancels out the crap on the other side. She is slowly and methodically alienating herself from her family members, and once the child wises up with ages (assuming that will happen), she will be left with who she sees in the mirror.
This will not end well.
Robert Tomko says
Wow, where were you guys 19 years ago? This is the first male-friendly forum I have found after an exhaustive search. I know I have my work cut out for me going forward, but I know have some basic knowledge of what I am up against and what I have been experiencing for the longest time…needless drama despite my best intentions, the labeling of me as the “bad guy”, listening to a professional victim ruminate for hours, zero to pissed in 1.5 seconds. I understand know.
Guys, if you haven’t tied the knot and are contemplating your future…GTFO right now! You are on the road to hell, and IT…WON’T….GET….BETTER!!
Joy Mace says
I am so glad I found your site. I’m not sure what started my journey about learning about these personality disorders. I was in an abusive relationship. Women who claim abuse falsely make women like me scared to say anything for fear of never being believed since my abuser says constantly I made everything up in my head. It’s very confusing and very difficult to heal. The more I learned about domestic violence the more fearful I became on its impact on children. I think I may have been in denial for a long time that my kids weren’t affected by it. My ex started targeting my daughter I believe, has told her he could leave and abandon her whenever he wants and gets upset and throws things in her face like “I guess your mom means more to you.” It’s crazy. I have no clue how to deal with that. My daughter started suicidal behaviors and cutting and I believe some of that was due to the emotional abuse of abandonment. She had a therapist that told me that if I don’t get her help she could develop a personality disorder. Sadly it sounds like she could develop BPD and I’m hoping it’s not too late to help her. I found her an inpatient treatment program that specializes in attachment disorders and complex trauma. She rejects me often and doesn’t accept love from anyone. She and I are working toward that with family therapy and theraplay. This has been a difficult road and I am praying that she will be able to learn appropriate coping skills, learn to love herself in a healthy way and be able to recriprocate empathy towards others. And learn how to love herself enough to not take advantage of others nor allow others to take advantage of her. Finding that balance is what I pray for for her and I only hope this intense treatment and the aftercare I absolutely plan on for her after the program can help her find a healthy sense of self. I’m hoping she’s getting the help early enough while her brain is still developing into those higher executive functions and can continue on that road to healthy functioning. Sadly she is mimicking and exhibiting some of her fathers behaviors. I think he possibly may have BPD or antisocial personality disorder. I’m hoping my girl can recognize her fathers unhealthy behaviors have nothing to do with her and is what is wrong inside of him. I feel bad for my child wanting to love someone who hurts and still believing her father can change. I don’t know if some of her behaviors were meant to get his attention and make him change with those as if she could control other people. She’s just not there yet. Very hard.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I’m very sorry your daughter has been so damaged. It’s good you’re treating these issues now. I hope she can work through her anger and pain and consciously choose a healthier path than her father.
Joy Mace says
I apologize for posting twice. Thank you for the work you do. I also have a 7 year old son whom loves his sister but doesn’t understand what is wrong with her and why she is away right now. He’s in therapy as am I. I’m lucky to have her treatment center therapists and her home therapist corroborating to help the three of us. Sometimes it takes a team effort and I’m grateful for it. I used to use the word needing to heal, however scars like this never go away completely so I’m changing my vocabulary to “coping” instead. Trying to move forward and provide more positive experiences than the negative ones they once had. Hoping to tip the scale if you will.
Joy Mace says
I’m glad I found your site. This has been a long journey understanding personality disorders. These women are scary and for them to make false allegations of abuse makes it very difficult for someone like myself who needed help to be believed. This has been such a long journey from my divorce and constant custody issues. My 13 year old daughter’s mental health declined quickly last fall to the point that she started cutting and acting out and threatening suicide after her father make statements to her that he could leave her anytime he wanted, that he wanted nothing to do with her because in his brain he felt she was “siding” with her mother because she told the truth about the domestic violence she witnessed in our home. I started taking her to therapists and tried to get educated about how children can be affected by violence in the home. That some children can take on some of the behaviors of the abuser to stay safe. She also started hitting me and acting out that way also. I have her at a specialized treatment center for attachment and complex trauma that is intensive treatment and uses theraplay to build some trust. I participate with her while she is there in a family treatment setting and I’m hoping the parenting skills I am learning to be able to provide structure and nurture will be enough to offset the behaviors of the other parent toward her. Sometimes I feel as if she became the new target. Her therapist indicated that she is at risk to develop a personality disorder. It’s been so hard to watch her try to destroy herself thinking she can control other people that way and to have her self esteem destroyed. She also suffered some challenges being born premature and was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and ADHD. I researched many of these when she was young and tried to attend seminars trying to learn more and be a better parent. Sometimes I feel I failed. What is scary for me is I believe her father could be BPD, Narcissistic or Antisocial himself I can’t even tell you which one he could be. However he did couple up with a woman I believe to be BPD herself and between the two of them standing back and watching the insanity between the two going back and forth makes it hard for me to want to continue exposing my kids to that. He has been abusive to her also, but she has her way of getting back at him like threating to slash his tires. Who does that? I was in a relationship with him for years until I snapped out of denial one day which by the way was really painful and saw none of this was healthy for me or my children. I pray that with an open mind and learning new parenting skills I can help my daughter find the self esteem she needs and hoping due to her age that there is hope to turn things around for her so that she can be a healthy happy woman that choses healthy relationships and understands that equal reciprocation of empathy and compassion and shared trust is what she is capable of having. That controlling people with emotional manipulation is self destructive in more ways than one. It opens the door for you to be abused and to be abusive and create your own isolation.