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By | August 15, 2009 131 Comments

Develop your wise mind

In response to my blog last week a reader commented:

I am a (borderline personality) BPD in love with a sociopath, I want to share the depth of sadness and emptiness that occurs in my soul knowing, I will never know the love and security that regular people have, Imagine how long life would be knowing you are not equipped with the same emotion’s as everyone else.

I have never understood why there is no compassion for those of us who were abused when we should’ve bonded. I did not ask to be this way and every day watch and listen to what others do in their relationships so I can do it too ( not that I have been successful , but I try).

It is not that I can’t love, it’s the opposite actually, that I am so consumed by not being loved that pushes me to that bored space that propagates my self destruction. I just feel that most socio/bpd’s wish that they had the same emotions as others, it is exhausting pretending and I wish I could go back and be my own mother and love me in a way that created a secure human not a scared , detached one like me. Bless”¦

PS , I pray every night for healing of my heart and my emotions”¦ still I am who I am.

I debated on whether to respond as a comment but the above is so well written and so touching that it deserves more visibility.

The scientific literature has documented that it is common for women with borderline personality and psychopathic personality traits to hook-up with males who are more pathological than they are. These hook-ups drag already vulnerable women down a path of terror and destruction. In speaking with many victims, I too have noted that a subset have borderline personality disorder.
To make matters worse, relationships between women with BPD and sociopathic men typically begin when the women are in their late teens and result in early pregnancy. The pair is unprepared emotionally and financially to be a couple and to care for their children, who are also then exposed to domestic violence and the sociopath’s “friends.”

Please consider that treating borderline personality in young women will reduce/prevent sociopathy in the next generation for two reasons. Treatment will reduce partnering with sociopaths and also improve parenting ability.

Why do women with BPD and sociopathy have such a high rate of partnering with sociopaths? I think the answer lies in their anxiety and in dominance motives. Sociopaths portray dominance and so are sought after as a source of security. Men who have lower levels of dominance and anxiety themselves are a turn off for insecure women. However, it is those more normal men who have the best chance at helping a borderline woman recover.

Also many women with BPD have a high level of power/dominance motivation themselves, so if they do get into a relationship with a less pathological male, they quickly make mince meat out of him. A dominant woman with BPD has the ability to destroy a normal man psychologically, just like a sociopath can.

If I had no hope I wouldn’t bring any of this up, because what is the point of spreading gloom and doom about human nature. I write this week because I don’t believe these scenarios have to play out in this way. As humans, we not only have the primitive brain with its unconscious motives of fear and dominance, we also have a “wise mind.”

If you have borderline personality (or sociopathy for that matter), your life challenge is to find your wise mind and work to connect with it. Your wise mind should dictate your actions not your primitive brain.

To discover your wise mind, you have to learn techniques of anxiety management. Anxiety interferes with the functioning of the wise mind.

Having a wise mind means deciding on values based on facts, not how I feel in the moment. For example, as I raise my son I am teaching him to have a wise mind. He knows that if left to his own devices at the age of 6 he would eat unhealthy food, not get enough sleep and entertain himself in a way that harmed him.

My son says, “I want to be the boss of myself!” Well to the extent that our primitive pleasure/fear brains choose our actions, whatever feeling of being the boss of ourselves we have is an illusion. It is only when we use our wise minds to make thoughtful decisions that we are really the boss.

Disordered parents are unable to impart the wise mind to their kids. This failure to teach impulse control is just as bad as a failure to teach love. In fact as you see by this writing, poor impulse control leads directly to an inability to love.

That gets me to the pleasure balance. In order to experience pleasure we have to be relatively free from anxiety. Thankfully, there are also medications for that.

So starting from a relatively low anxiety state, we have social and non-social pleasures. People with borderline and antisocial personality disorder also have trouble with non-social pleasures. They never learned to manage their entertainment/recreational needs. Most turn to substances for this purpose.

The wise mind knows that exercise, playing music, doing art, having hobbies and intellectual interests are important for personal growth, mental and physical health. The wise mind can choose to do these things.

The wise mind can also choose to do work to earn a living.

Social pleasures come in three forms, sex, power/dominance and affection. To the extent that sex is tied to affection and a healthy relationship, that pleasure can be fulfilling. Dominance/power that robs another person of autonomy never brings fulfillment. Love is the only real healthy social pleasure.

Our pleasure balance is not fixed and can be modified with time and practice. So my friend you can “go back and be my own mother and love me in a way that created a secure human not a scared , detached one like me.”

To start you have to use your wise mind to understand your own pleasure balance. Begin by developing healthy non-social pleasures. Every person needs a healthy diet, exercise and meaningful hobbies. Stop using recreational drugs. These things will not feel good to you when you first start them, but over time as you apply yourself you will feel better.

Then really look at your social behavior, not how you feel. Most sociopaths and people with BPD think they do feel “love.” If you dominate and control others, no matter what your reason for this is, you have to stop. As long as your relationships center around dominance you will never experience love.

To learn more about the wise mind, enter a DBT treatment program. If anyone has used a good self-help DBT book, please give us the title.


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“Men who have lower levels of dominance and anxiety themselves are a turn off for insecure women.”

I think this “answers” the lament, “Why do good girls like bad boys?”

Lightbulb just went off…it wasn’t the excitement factor (he scared the bejeezus out of me sometimes), it was the confidence he portrayed that hooked me. I realize now that it’s easy to have all the answers when you just make them up. lol. I could do THAT but I have issues with truth and accuracy 🙂 Probably sounds like a “duh” moment…but I’m going to be bouncing that around in my head for awhile. I’ve been looking for the key to what I did then and what I hope NOT to do again in the future- I think you showed me the way to it. Thanks Dr Leedom.

sstiles54

Liane,
Thank you for this article. I have been struggling for a long time with my own road block of my recovery. For as long as I can remember, I have sought constant approval from others, & base my self worth on what others think of me. I have tried to think back to my up bringing to discover what was lacking there to make me the way I am. Every time I try to look there, it is like my mind says, you don’t want to look in there, & shuts it out. I think I had a normal up bringing, our family was like everyone else’s on the block, but something must be wrong somewhere. I just don’t know what it is.

Ox Drover

Dear Liane,

Very good article. While I DO believe that the tendencies to personality disorders ARE genetic to a great extent, I also believe that all humans with an intellectually functional brain have CHOICES and CAN make wise or unwise choices. I do NOT think a person such as my P-son had NO choice but to act the way he did.

He chose to steal though he had no NEED (i.e. he was neither naked nor hungry) to, but for the excitement he got from doing it.

I do think, though, that through years and years of this kind of behavior his choices for manipulation etc to get what HE perceives as his “due” are now hard set, hard wired, and will never change because HE DOESN’T WANT THEM TO. He has not learned to visualize himself as less than entitled, or even as a failure as he sits in his prison cell. Even in his prison cell he sees himself as a successful person.

He has no concept that he could have had everything he ever wanted, money, power, control and to “be his own boss” simply by using his high intellegence to work for a living—he would still have been high in psychopathic traits, but at least he could have been a rich and powerful one—yet, he chose the path he went down which resulted in him in prison, hopefully for his natural life!

I have also made unwise decisions based primarily on “feelings” rather than logic and am working diligently to make more logical and wiser choices based on FACTS and TRUTH and GOOD SENSE rather than on “feelings.”

Clinically, and in the community, I have also seen many instances of what I call ‘gasoline and fire” relationships between two disordered people in which they alternately play the victim and abuser. I have also observed other relationships where one is the abuser and one the enabler/victim or where the victim is trauma bonded to the abuser.

The problem is that there are so many of the 2-disordered people relationships that it has given the role of “victim” a “bad name” and some cops and others as well as the courts seem to think that ALL victims are also “at fault” or “to blame” because some “victims” are CO-ABUSERS. This is a big problem, I think, in our society.

I agree with you about the children of these disordered relationships, they get the DOUBLE WHAMMY, poor genetics and poor environment so the problems proliferate exponentially in our society.

That, plus the problem in One-abuser/one-vulnerable-victim relationships is that the REAL victim sometimes has been “driven so crazy” that they appear to be the disordered one, while the real abuser, the psychopath, appears cool, calm and collected.

I think it is important that we (as victims) examine ourselves and our own anxiety, our own unwise decisions, and to accept responsibility for them. That is NOT to “blame the victim” but to help us make WISER DECISIONS based on what we know is FACT, TRUTH, and LOGIC.

WE are responsible for ourselves, and though being abused causes us some severe trauma in many ways, WE are still the ones who must (with all our resources and those we can muster) pull ourselves out of the abyss by our own boot straps. Some people never seem to manage to do this and remain in chronic victim mode for life, (like your article about the “helpless mouse”) or go on into another victim situation with another abusive partner/relationship because they continue to make and remake the same anxiety-driven unwise choices. I can put myself into that catagory until recently, as I repeated the procedures over and over during decades of my life….not just with a man, but with many others who would take advantage of me and keep me in the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt).

Coming out of that FOG finally, and seeing clearly now that I am responsible for me, and all others are responsible for themselves has been a liberating experience for me.

While I continue to be a caring and giving person, I also see that giving to others out of a kind and good heart can be counter productive for both myself and for the ones to whom I give and give and give. I also recognize that there are some situations and some relationships that there is no “fixing.” Accepting this as a fact, a truth, and wisdom was very difficult at first because I had the MAGICAL FEELING that if I gave enough I could “fix anything.” In truth, the only think I can fix is my self. By accepting the truth, accepting responsibility for myself, and no others.

Jen2008

Dr. Leedom,
Excellent Article!

“To start you have to use your wise mind to understand your own pleasure balance. Begin by developing healthy non-social pleasures. Every person needs a healthy diet, exercise and meaningful hobbies.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I think when one does not learn to be alone and enjoy time and hobbies alone, getting to really know oneself, but instead looks outside for others to make it all better, this can lead to a sense of “desperation” that sets us up for another “bad” relationship.

I think the single best advice I got after the relationship with my ex, was given to me by Sandra Brown, when she advised me NOT to even attempt dating for TWO FULL YEARS. Seemed like a heckuva long time to me (even though I wasn’t interested in dating anyhow at the time)….but I have developed lots of hobbies and have LOST that feeling I used to always have of “I must have a relationship.” I have loads of hobbies, many more friendships, and have learned much better to relate to men without that undercurrent of whether they are available or not, whether there is “interest” or not, whether they find me attractive, intelligent, like my clothes, hair, dress, approve of me etc.

Also, although at first I was very lacking in compassion for socios or psychopaths (thought they SUCKED), the more I have read about them and the genetic component, the more I have developed compassion for them. (still don’t want one in my life though!) I read an article by some psychologist who was treating a teenager who was a psychopath and whose Mother was patiently trying to teach him the difference between right and wrong, and the teacher agers explanation of how hard it was because he had to be “reminded” or to “remember” something was wrong because he didn’t “feel” it like other people. After reading that I really began to think how difficult it must be for some of them (and I do think some of them try alot of the time not to “hurt” but sometimes just can’t help their impulses. (and of course some of them thrive on deliberately hurting others). And like the poster above I think some of them know they are screwed up and have some moments of wishing to be like others. If I can find the article I will post the link here because I think it gave an interesting perspective on it.

super chic

Well maybe I have BPD, I can’t remembere what it’s all about, I’ll have to look it up, but I could have written the letter from the BPD. I have traits Liane writes about, I have anxiety, I like dominant men, am I being dominant when I think I can “help” them, “fix” them, be “the one that can do it all and he’ll love me” ??? Is that my power trip? I have practically only had relationshits with N/S’s. I have never had a wise mind. I also could have written sstiles54’s post. I thought our family was like everyone elses, I’ve asked my sister what our childhood was like and she thinks it was fairly normal, I think about my mother now, and I think she was depressed. I’m missing something too, and I don’t know what it is. I’m feeling like I am just coping with life. I work, but other than that I have nothing to do. How pathetic is this? I have had a blessed life. I’m crap.

neveragain

I am confused. I thought personality disorders are not treatable, just some of the concomitant problems, such as depression, etc. Or is that what you are talking about? Learning to cope better with the disorder, though it cannot be cured?

I looked up DBT and see it is a kind of treatment. Does that address primarily suicide urges?

I agree that people are RESPONSIBLE for their behavior, in that they are the one doing it. BLAME is a different issue.

Looking back, I can see times when the P/S/N made choices to cause extra harm or less harm….based on the impact on him of course, not the impact on me. So in that way I can assign some BLAME for those choice on him. But to change the root problem…..his inability to love, experience intimacy, empathize, or let go of his dominance/control total orientation toward life….I can’t blame him personally for that, unless we later find out it is in part due to choices he made at about age one or so…But I can hold him responsible for the damage he does, nonetheless. Meaning I can get a restraining order or whatever is needed to stop him, because he is the one doing the bad stuff!

But for him to change that whole core way of looking at the world (I must win, what is in it for me) I would think would be as difficult as it would be for me to STOP having empathy for others. I can do it briefly, especially if I’m stressed, under attack, ill, etc….but almost immediately I self-correct and remember the other person’s feelings.

For awhile I was fooled by the fact that he is very intelligent. But intelligence apparently has nothing to do with how we are oriented in this very basic way. And intelligence can’t change it. It can help with some self-awareness and perhaps some mitigating treatments. Maybe what they need is classes where they memorize what is wrong and what is right, because they have no internal compass. I think some high achieving sociopaths have done just that…enough to get by and better con people, like Madoff, until he finally was unmasked. That is the problem. They use what they learn but still operate under the “how can I use this to benefit me?” umbrella.

I also think it would be as difficult for the p/s/n I knew to START having true emotions as it would be for me to shut off emotions…probably harder. I can shut off an emotional reaction in the here and now (plenty of training as a child to survive!) BUT three or four days later, wham….there are the emotions that I suppressed.

For him to become normal would be like un-retarding a retarded child.

And realizing that, I have, quite against my emotional will, forgiven him.

At least with a retarded child, while mourning the person they can never be, you can still take joy in who they are. Especially if you release your fixation on their physical age, and enjoy them for the little child they are. Most are very delightful, though the sexuality can be a problem.

But with a sociopath, you not only have to mourn the person they might have been, you have to protect yourself and society (to the extent that you can) from the person they are.

THERE IS NO DEBATE that the sociopaths ARE the problem, not the victim. HOWEVER, the good news for victims I think is that we are learning that there are tools that are very effective against the sociopaths. And vulnerabilities to watch out for.

I feel much more confident about fighting off a physical rapist now….knowing I have to to be willing to inflict great harm very quickly like a wild animal. I’ve learned self-defense moves, etc.but at the end of the day, your best bet is simply to ram a nose into the brain, rip out an eye, and NEVER give up, even if you are blacked out for awhile. Once I was attacked while taking a shower, all alone, and guess what? I didn’t get raped. Because I’m willing to defend myself, no matter what I have to do.

And the same is true for encountering a sociopath now. OF COURSE victims can be successfully targeted. But if you are aware of the dangers, aware enough that you will do whatever is necessary to defend yourself, it is much more difficult for them to succeed. Strong boundaries, strong integrity, strong demands for being treated with respect and kindness and decency help. Strong boundaries means trusting slowly, gradually. It means giving up romantic nonsense. It means the strength to resist the pull of sexual hormones and brain chemicals that reach out to addict you. At the first sign of your own willingness to do something very atypical and against your values, you must have the inner strength to say no to that addictive pull. Or the addictive pull of past relationship patterns.

I used to brag about how quickly my husband and I fell in love and got married. Now I’m rather ashamed of it and realize I was VERY lucky he was a decent man, not a sociopath, and he also was lucky. It was a dumb and stupid thing to have done, and we were both clearly “under the influence” of love/sex chemicals, etc.

Man, it has taken a couple of years of working on my understanding and reading etc….a part time job, literally…..to get this level of clarity. Some days I still slip in my thinking. Coming to LF helps.

There is still much work for me to do. I need to get my anxiety level back to normal. I need to start exercising again. I need to work at more joy in my life. But I feel I am making real progress.

blindsided31

What the letter writer said in this post sounds so much like what my S said to me when he dumped me.

Letter writer:”I just feel that most socio/bpd’s wish that they had the same emotions as others, it is exhausting pretending ”

My S: ” I don’t love you. I tried to love you because I know you love me. I just don’t have any more to give you.”

As hurtful as that was and still is, it is also so sad. Being able to recognize love , but knowing that, no ,matter what, you will never feel those feelings. So going from woman to woman solves the boredom Ss always feel, but also is done in hopes (vain hope) that they will eventually find and feel love. I even remember saying to him, ” Are you going around looking for love?” (After I asked, he said he loves the woman he left me for. But actually, I guess he was saying that because it sounded better an saying, “I’m a sociopath and this is what I do.”)

And to Shabbychic:
I have to respond to say to you- don’t down yourself. Although I do the same thing , I know it is not constructive. I also, have many blessings- sometimes it is hard to see. I do see a therapist and take anti-depressants, but I know it is very hard to fight those feelings at times. Take solace in knowing that you have the capacity to love and be loved.

blueskies

Chic – there were of course elements in this that struck a chord with how I feel or have felt… I think a lot of these traits are present in a wide spectrum of people at one point or another… feelings of being unlovable, feeling anxious… and what ever it stems from, a true brain or personality mis-wiring, or a neglected traumatic upbringing or BOTH… I think Oxy’s point is bang on,

‘I think it is important that we (as victims) examine ourselves and our own anxiety, our own unwise decisions, and to accept responsibility for them. That is NOT to “blame the victim” but to help us make WISER DECISIONS based on what we know is FACT, TRUTH, and LOGIC.’

It’s important to examine ourselves reflect, be calm and objective, take resposibility for what is ours, and be honest about it (especially to ourselves), place the responsiblity of other’s actions with them and move on from it… well TRY anyway… I am 6 months into a life long course here!

I know, that whatever these people who have hurt me throw at me (or continue to. *tired sigh*) if I keep practising to REALLY be happy with myself, and be calm, life will go the way I steer it, I dont have to KEEP the hurt hurting me (like the hurt is bouncing around like an echo trapped in a cave). It’s something I think I will have to really fight hard at every day…

I think its difficult for anyone when you recognise that there might be something ‘wrong’ with you ( I hate that expression)…. because it feels like an ‘attack'( even if it’s your own conclusion) or that you are worth less than ‘NORMAL’ people. It’s not true. To understand your own bad habit or malfunctions is a step in the way of change and recovery. Dont use the realisation that something you are doing is NOT healthy as (in my case another) way of beating yourself up. Its like a warning light on your car to say the oil needs changing, doesnt mean the cars crap.

Anyway, who knows what Kind of crazy we all are here ( Jenn and I like to howl at the full moon;) that we are trying to get to some place better for ourselves and the people and planet around us is the thing.

neveragain

Jen2008…it was a blog by Steve Becker.

blueskies

P.S – I dont think you sound BPD, and I dont think I am either…

I desperately wanted to be loved by my parents and I feel like I will always be missing something which is ridiculous because one is a Dead Narcissist and the other is a live one, why I deperately cleave for the attention of people who are crap has been a problem, but it doesnt have to always be.

someone said that the greatest gift we can give our children is roots and wings… so no roots… no wings….

I grow my own!

and I know (really, when I stop with the pity party already) I AM loved, by certain friends, by my child (not sure about one of them right now lol!) and I have to nurture those relationships and the one with myself.

Right! I have waffled on here enough now!

xxxxxx

neveragain

Shabbychic—-EVERY personality trait has its strengths and weaknesses. My hypervigilance and sensitivity to what people think of me (traits I HATE that are a result of childhood abuse), make me a great fundraisier! I’m very sensitive to picking up what a donor really hopes to accomplish with their philanthrophy and I help them fulfill their goals. (I have a huge dose of empahty that keeps me from using those traits a way a sociopath would!)

Interacting with a sociopath, those same traits get me in deep doo doo! NOW that I know that, I can watch out for it.

We don’t always need to change who we are, but learn ways to use what is positive about our traits and avoid what is negative.

Jen2008

The entire article by Dr. Michael Conner is posted on a few website addresses. I am fair use excerpting it here:

“………. The clearest case involved an older teen who had no sense of guilt. He could learn the rules, but he had no sense of conscience. The only thing that saved him was a mother who loved him, took him to counseling for years and spent a great deal of time patiently teaching him right from wrong. I remember a conversation where he told me, “People know when something is wrong because it feels wrong. I have to remember or be reminded that stealing from someone is wrong. I don’t feel bad if I take something.”

Meeting this young boy changed my opinion of a psychopathic personality. Why? Because children with this condition are “emotionally blind.” And while I do not excuse cruelty or criminal behavior, I have sympathy and appreciate how hard it is for some people to learn how to act responsibly.”

Ox Drover

There are various “levels” of personality disorders, and though the genetic component is there forever, that does not mean that they cannot learn appropriate behavior.

For example, a person with the GENETIC component for alcoholism CAN STOP DRINKING even though s/he craves it.

It may be more difficult for th epersonw ith the genetic incliniation to crave alcohol to stop than it would be for me, but it is DOABLE if they want to. Problem is, many times the psychopath does NOT want to quit what gives him pleasure—hurting others, or it may be that s/he is rewarded for their bad behavior by money, sex, etc. and they have no motivation to quit.

Even going to prison doesn’t stop many of them from doing bad things because they blame others for going to prison, not their own behavior.

Even a flat worm can learn if you shock it enough times, but psychopaths sometimes are so “set in their ways” that no matter what you do to punish them, they keep on with that behavior unless physically restrained.

I do not think that a PPD can be “cured” but I do think they can be taught to make better choices, but sometimes they just don’t care, and you can’t MAKE someone care.

neveragain

My therapist put it this way.

Most easy for people to get over are phobias. That sort of surprised me, because I had gotten over a phobia and had considered it the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. (that was before the last P attack!) But I though, wow, if that is easy, what is hard?

Next are neuroses. (I may be leaving somethings out). Next was alcoholism and other addictions.

Psychosis were in there somewhere too.

all those things have treatments and are covered by some insurance.

but she said most difficult, and at this point impossible, to treat are personality disorders. Rarely has she found insurance will pay for treatment of a personality disorder per se, because there is no treatment proven to work.

That sort of put it in perspective for me, how hard it is for people with a personality disorder to change.

neveragain

The sociopath is the tin man without a heart….but he thinks he’s the wizard.

Thank you so much for posting the above article. I have struggled for years fearing I had BPD. Because I have an MSW and know the DSM IV pretty well, I sometimes knew just enough to be dangerous to myself and others!!!
Although 4 therapists told me I did not have BPD, the one who did had me convinced I was hopeless.
Over the years, the TRAITS of BPD that I was concerned with (fear of abandonment, pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships, identity disturbance and the inability to feel a sense of self, overeating and spending money impulsively, chronic feelings of emptiness), have gone away. All that is left is as fear of abandonment.
There has been tremendous healing 4 months out of the ending of a LONG history of a relationship with my ex-husband who is a Psychopath. Not only is he out of my life, but the trauma bonding is healed. I hardly think about him, and I spent the last 42 years longing and yearning for him every day. I had NO identity of my own. I felt like I WAS him.
I believe many of these traits overlap. I come from a childhood where I witnessed Domestic Violence no little girl should have to see. I have empathy for people with BPD or any other form of Dis-Order. I cannot be another’s judge and jury, but I can definitely keep myself from harm’s way by working on my own physical, emotional and spiritual recovery.
As the saying goes, “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”

super chic

I looked over the DSM-IV criteria for BPD and have diagnosed myself as BPD. I always knew there was something wrong with me, just didn’t know what it was! It does not say anything about not being able to love someone, I obviously love my daughter and family, but the N/S’s… maybe I just feared abandonment above anything else, even above my “self”… and chronic feelings of emptiness? Step right up! I can sell tickets to that event, it’s happening everyday right here in person!! Not a a pity party! I am not asking for pity! The last year I have felt like I am just barely holding on to a semblance of normalcy. I smile and show a face to people that seems normal, but on the inside… now that’s another story that I’ll keep to myself.

PInow

Dr. Leedom,
Excellent article, Very thoughtful and hopeful. I too think that all persons are capable of learning throughout their lives if they so choose. To answer Justabout’s question, some people are naturally thin and naturally muscular. Others have to work hard to maintain weight. Personality too CAN change, if the growth factors are addressed and symptoms and disorders (on Axis I) are controlled. The problem with Ps and Ns is that they feel they do not need to change. they are just fine and misunderstood at best.
The more conservative treatment for BPDs was setting boundaries, not “sucking into the drama”. I forget the name of the psychiatrist who had made a breakthrough revelation that BPDs need to be helped in growing. He essentially closed his practice and focused but on one woman with BPD. He attended to her emotional needs, made himself available 24/7, parented her and provided with unconditional love and support. The growth and emotional maturity within that one person was incredible. She was BPD “free” within two years. Now, how many professionals (and/ or family members and / or friends) can totally give of themselves for years to help someone Grow? But, I think it’s a powerful finding. And – I think that empathy and sympathy go a long way (but not for Ps who will use it to their benefit, to con and manipulate, because from get go they have no Need to Change). I hope that I did not misrepresent myself: these are my ideas only and I don’t have hard evidence to support my claims. But, I think Jan2008’s powerful blog story shows that if the values are delivered early enough, even the “emotionally blind” can become contributors to society. I recall being a 5-7 year old and tearing off butterfly’s wings. An adult told me that it’s like tearing out human arms and said: “would you like this done to you?” Not only did I stop, but even years and years later – My shoulder blades hurt just from mere memory of this verbal exchange. I forever felt guilty for wounding the butterflies and went through a long period of time when I was afraid to step on an ant. This is no small task, believe me: try to walk and avoid stepping on an insect.

hens

This article has struck a nerve, it is good to see that I am not the only one that feels miswired. I dont like playing the victim but I am one. A childhood of abuse, neglect, incest and a major dysfunctional narcissist mother. I am not a victim now and I do take responsibilty for my actions and how I treat others. I know I have a conscience and am capable of love, affection comittment. I have values, morals. But nothing can undo the damage done as a child. I would have to describe my past relationship with the ex S as a gasoline and fire relationship. I dont feel hopeless tho, I am better equiped to make wise choices now, now that I know all the ugly truths….

Ox Drover

Dear Blueskies,

Every child must have a conscience instilled into them, the content of teh conscience which comes from the culture’s “rights and wrongs” varies with each culture. When I was in South Africa, the Bantu natives at that time, if there were twins born, thought that only one of those children had a soul. they were not sure which child had the soul and which one was the witch, so in order to get the witch out of the kraal, and not literally kill both children, they would lay the children in the path that the cattle came back in from the fields and so the cattle would tread on the babies and both would die. Their conscience was clean, because this was what they were TAUGHT was RIGHT. Of course, OUR conscience would not be “clean” as we are taught what they did was “wrong.”

In some cultures is is permissable for a man to have sex with any woman he wants to, or have plural wives because that is what he was taught is RIGHT and OK. In (most of) our culture that is considered WRONG.

Whatever the content of the conscience as to what is right and what is wrong, which is instilled in the child by TEACHING the child, whether or not a person abides by that conscience or does what he thinks is wrong is up to the individual.

Unfortunately, because different cultural groups have different ideas of what is right and what is wrong. I have no doubt that the men who caused the 9/11 attack THOUGHT they were doing “right.” It doesn’t bring back the dead though.

Henry, I am so proud of you!!! What you have over come to be the loving kind person that you are, able to love and be committed is remarkable for what a kind and compassionate person you are inspite of where you “came from.”

I remember laughing over you putting your X’s cell phone in the microwave (a really tacky thing to do, but none-the-less FUNNY!) But I think many of us have been “driven” (allowed ourselves) to be “tacky” and “act ugly” as my granny would have said—-but we are learning, growing, etc.

Today was a very stressful day when I had to set boundaries for someone who reacted rather badly and “tacky and ugly” to me, and I am proud to say, I ACTED LIKE A LADY!!! YEP, believe it or NOT!!! I didn’t raise my voice, I didn’t accuse her back, I didn’t J.A.D.E.—justify, argue, defend or explain—. I just told her like it was. “This is not working for me.” “It is your responsibility.” “I am not responsible for your problems. I did not cause them. I am not responsible for fixing them when you are not interested in doing so.”

Henry, we can’t fix or change the past, but we can rise above it. I’m proud of myself today, both in acting like a lady and in not getting caught up in the F.O.G.

hens

Oxy – I hope your stress level is down and things are running more smoothly for you, cause what would we all do if you flipped out on us? I think my granny was the stable force in my childhood, she instilled alot of good things in me. She was 1/4 choctaw indian and she had a calmness about her and was very intuned to earth. She knew my mother, her daughter was flawed and stepped up to the plate many times for me. Actually just before granny died she told me ” your parents should both die in prison for what they did ‘ I am not sure what she was referring to but at least I know she knew. I have had a good life despite the horrific childhood, I survived. As a child I was a victim, as an adult I was a target, now at fifty four maybe I will have my shit together as a sexy senior…cellphone in the microwave? hmm wonder what drove me to do such a thing?

Tilly

JAH:
“I’ve learned self-defense moves, etc.but at the end of the day, your best bet is simply to ram a nose into the brain, rip out an eye, and NEVER give up, even if you are blacked out for awhile. Once I was attacked while taking a shower, all alone, and guess what? I didn’t get raped. Because I’m willing to defend myself, no matter what I have to do.”
Me too JAH, I was attacked on every level for my whole life. Until I knew that I wasn’t scared to fight back (which came through being attacked again ( I didn’t fight the P husband back) but as a much older adult), until then, I didn’t have a hope in hell of survival in any way.

super chic

I guess I’m not BDP, but it sounded like a good idea at the time.

super chic

oops, BPD, I can’t even arrange the letters correctly!

neveragain

Shabbychic….sometimes we think we fit a criteria, but therapists who have seen the real deal can tell you, no way! Or confirm. Sometimes we’ve learned defeating behaviors, but they come from bad examples, not from our core, and are pretty easy to fix.

I think the best cure for emptiness is to find someone in more need than you are. Some conditition that speaks to your heart. Abused animals, abused children, starving children, homeless families, the elderly, rape victims…whoever…..there is someone who NEEDS YOU!!!!! I really do think that is the best cure for so many things.

Off to do MY volunteer work!

slimone

Shabbychic,

I don’t know you. So I cannot really address this with certainty.

But, think about this. Could it be that your willingness to diagnose yourself with BPD is another symptom of owning the sick projections of an abusive partner? And the projections, maybe, of a society that does not fully recognize, let alone understand, the reality of Post Traumatic Stress reactions in victims of ‘abuse’?

I don’t have any idea if you are BPD. But I do know you have survived something horrible, where ‘projection’ is a key defense of the victimizer.

I salute your courage to examine this possibility. But I also encourage you to go easy on yourself.

With love, Slimone

Easy

I found this discription of people in a course I am taking.
See if it is me or are they describing ASPD at it’s most destructive position in our society!? Oh , personaly I think they are evil.

They’re not evil. These organizations consist of well-educated elitists who’re self-absorbed perhaps, but not evil. They look at the world as a biological experience where the strong survive, the powerful thrive, and the secretive control. They are the ultimate control freaks not for the sake of adoration or ego-gratification, but because they genuinely believe they’re the best at making policy decisions that effect the world’s economy and security. They simply want to protect their life’s agenda like anyone else would. ~ Dr. Anderson

PInow

BPD – the disorder may be about seeing things in “black and white”. The book “I hate you, don’t leave me” – is excellent for resource and learning. But, the traits are not “black or white”. One can have Borderline Personality Organization structure and not a full blown disorder. At the end of the day it is only classification used by mental health professionals to treat patients. Most of our Ps are not even patients (though should be)…
I hope we don’t start putting ourselves in boxes.

ANewLily

Easy, it took me awhile to accept it but I, too, they are evil. At least, mine was/is.

My interpretation of Dr. Anderson’s description of them as “not evil” may be the difference from a therapist from the humanist viewpoint (mankind is all powerful) and a therapist who has a spiritual orientation (the Creator of the Universes is all-knowning.)

I personally think any human who is pervasively self-absorbed considers themselves to be all-knowing as if they were God Himself and thus mistreat others in very evil ways.

Just my 2 cents

Easy

Thanks Lily

The Course I am taking is a personal Growth course and it is being taught from the perspective of there is no Good or evil.

That would be fine , except that there is Good and evil and evil is Alive and well and wealthy!

http://www.911truth.org/?page=1

NotYourDaddy

Came across this because my BP/BDP spouse of 5 years left me for a Sociopath who is now back in prison (some abuse to another woman).

I’m sure he knows the exact right things to say. As something I read said “if you need them to cry, they’ll sob, if you need them to funny, they’ll tell jokes, if it means getting what they want and controlling you”

Wife now sends the bulk or her $$$ to jail, and collect calls. Selling the rest of her belongings to keep doing that.

She knows she may be being played, but to her, it’s ‘true love’. Says I never loved her, or she doesn’t think I did, and may kill herself if this current one goes south. Grandiose plans of travelling the country and having his babies.

This started about 7 weeks ago, after she met him at a party. Before she left, she said she loved me, we kissed/hugged, and I think she meant it. She was manic (now un-medicated), I couldn’t go [work].

Attempting not to talk with her until the end of the month because this has all been a whirlwind of emotional pain for me. I told her in that email that I think she’s being used for $$$ and she’s with a psychopath.

“He’s a starving artist, not insane” was the reply.

I agree with the article in that Borderlines, their inner emotional landscape, and their “search for true romantic love” are an easy catch for Psychopaths.

Confidence is easy if you’re making up the answers along the way.

Thanks for opening my eyes, and I hope those reading this article who are being used by a psychopath know the mantra:

“Run!”

NotYourDaddy

Thanks justabouthealed and shabbychic – I really got a lot out of your insights here.

blueskies

Oxy – I was a little confused about your post ( I am not the brightest spark) but I think I know what you are saying, its the nature nurture thing? I am terminally fluffy about things, and have often thought that even when born into dire circumstances some can still feel the moral or spiritual wrongs in their society and surroundings ‘naturally’. I think I did, I felt my life was a constant trauma because I couldnt make the behaviours of my care givers ‘sit quietly’ within what I instictively felt was right or wrong… luckily for me at about 9 years of age I had glimpses of other lifestyles… a particularly wonderful Nanny, her family her husband, how they behaved….a particularly wonderful Head Mistress, her family, how they behaved… gave me a kind of validation of how I felt and idea of how good relationships work… I realise though, how your cultural surroundings , even if you are blessed with such insights into better ways of living are so HARD to kick against. Did I invite the relationship with the sociopath into my life because, even though I told myself at the time that this was a way to the ultimate construction of the ‘good life model’ I had seen and wanted for myself,I actually was buying back into the familiar abuse? Maybe part of it. The other part is he read and tapped into that ‘dream’ and recognised it for the important jewel it was, took it, and smashed it to pieces. I dont know if I make any sense.:(

Oh, I guess none of it matters now anyway, the important thing is what I do next.

xxxxx

Easy

Blueskies

It makes perfect sence! We are manipulated by Dreams and Fears! We are promised a rose garden and given a Tangle of thorns!

http://www.wanttoknow.info/mindcontrolinformation#mindcontrolvideos

blueskies

God. (thanks Easy, havent met you before so, hey:) and I will look for your posts:)xx but this makes me want to puke… and become a hermit:( Who is this site aimed at?

Ox Drover

Dear NYD,

Welcome to LoveFraud, sorry you “qualify” to be here by association with psychopaths.

It sounds as if your wife is a (now) unmedicated bi-polar in a mania stage. That is a particularly vulnerable person for a psychopath to target, and they are very good at picking the vulnerable targets. Unfortunately, too, many psychopaths are ALSO bi-polar which makes those ones particularly dangerous I think. (There are some articles here you might search the archives for.)

It is pretty clear to anyone except your x wife that she is being played, but her own condition makes it impossible for her to see the truth.

For us—the ones who are “left behind” in the wake of the storm, in order to protect ourselves we must learn the red flags the psychopaths wave so that we do not become involved with another one, even by accident.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, and the more we know, the better protected we are. Again, welcome.

Dear Blueskies,

You got the gist of my post, and yes, others outside the family can teach us about the larger (outside of the family) concepts of right and wrong when our family is teaching us another thing. The main point is though that what is “right” and what is “wrong” (our conscience) is TAUGHT us. I think it was you who said you pulled wings off a butterfly when you were a kid. A kid can be taught this is a good thing, or taught it is a bad thing by the “culture” or an individual, they aren’t BORN knowing not to tear apart a butterfly and natural curiosity of “what happens if” is what kids do. They aren’t born knowing what is “right.” Children are TAUGHT the content of the conscience, some how the psychopaths get the teaching part–i.e. “it is wrong to tear wings from butterflies” (as an example of right and wrong) but the psychopaths “know” that, but they don’t care, they ENJOY doing it ANYWAY. It (a rule) doesn’t apply to them.

I have NO doubt that my P-son knows it is “wrong” to kill people, but he thinks that rule doesn’t apply to him doing it. He sets his own rules, and since she “snitched” him off, he feels justified in killing her, proud of it actually.

blueskies

This is a site talking about how this kind of human fear/dream scenario can be tapped into by no-goods (socios?) on a global scale.

blueskies

Oxy – I NEVER PULLED THE WINGS OFF A BUTTERFLY!!! Jeese! I cant IMAGINE doing that.

blueskies

Where did I say that? I am really into lepidopterology (spellcheck) in an amature way… this upsets me, where did I say that?xx

Easy

The Media is controled by Corporations! notice the news we get is really just entertainment and 80% advertizement for drugs!

For the real truth in information and real news you have to reaserch the independnts.

http://www.soulofmoney.org/about/about-the-book/excerpts/

We are not as dumb as they want to believe

In Our experience on a personal level with the N/S/Ps our eyes are opened to Real Danger!

Bytheway It is not Personal for them (N/S/P) they do it to whom ever!

Ox Drover

Dear Blueskies—SORRY it was someone else on here gave that analogy recently, please forgive an old woman’s SHORT TERM MEMORY PROBLEMS!!! LOL But the analogy stands, no matter who pulled the wings off a butterfly or other insect and when someone suggested to the writer (who ever it was) that it was like pulling the arms off a person, they stopped doing it. So they were TAUGHT a concept of “right and wrong” and kindness to other creatures, then had that in their conscience.

Little kids are not born knowing that others or animals have “feelings” or should be treated kinidly. (Watch two two year olds playing with one toy! LOL) One will grab the toy and whack the other one, and then the caregiver goes in and says “No no, don’t hit johnny that hurts” so the concept of being kind to others is taught and eventually the child learns that others have feelings and that they should be kind to others. To share things (Of course it takes a while to get this across to a small child) but the psychopath at some point doesn’t get the lesson that these things APPLY to him/her and do not feel bad for breaking the rules or hurting another to get the toy they want.

Sorry about “accusing” you of butterfly murder! (((hugs))))

Easy

Yes it is! For them it is about power and control!

blueskies

I know that Easy, I dont watch the TV and when I do it pisses me off. No we are not stupid, even if we are emotionally fluffy… I am more worried about the butterfly thing right now… what an awful ting to have thought about me… if you knew me. Gutted.

blueskies

I pulled up a slab to watch an ants nest once.

blueskies

whooo! Just read your post Oxy! PHEW…my world just collapsed! (I should look into that huh?!) xxxxxxxxx drama over! I am not a butterfly killer;)xxxxx Big hugs!xxx

Ox Drover

Dear Bl;ue skies,

I hope you saw my apology above it was apparently while we were all posting at the same time….it was someone else on here who gave that analogy. Please don’t be angry with me dear. (((hugs))))

Easy

Parasites play a role in nature, it is population control. I think perhaps the role of the N/S/P is to keep us Grounded in Truth!

blueskies

NO angry here Oxy lovely:) The thought of you has helped me through some crappola I have had lately, with my daughter and mother. (I havent written about it because I dont know how to in any useful way)xxxx Gone, done, lets move on. We all love the butterflies! LOL!xxx

Easy

Give me the power to issue a nation’s money,
And I care not who writes the laws.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild Banking Dynasty

Does this sound the same as the rules do not apply to me?

Easy

If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master.
The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth,
as that may be said to possess him.

Francis Bacon

The most common misconception people have about money is the belief that if they had more money they would be more happy. Yet this is often not the case. In the poorest villages you can sometimes find the most happy people, while some of the richest people on the planet are the least content and most tormented. It is not how much money we have that determines our happiness in life, but rather how satisfied we are with what we’ve got.

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