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By | June 15, 2012 144 Comments

Histrionic personality disorder

Defense attorneys for Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach at Penn State who is accused of molesting 10 boys, may argue that the man suffers from histrionic personality disorder. So what is it? Lovefraud readers sent links to articles that explain:

What is histrionic personality disorder? on CNN.com.

What is histrionic personality disorder? on Health.Yahoo.net.


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G1S

This is about how adults act towards other adults.

He doesn’t even fit the criteria.

If Sandusky was doing this, I would expect his defense to parade a whole bunch of adults who are saying that he has done this with them. Not a hint about that, though, just more, “Poor me. I have this condition.”

Yeah, it’s called pedophilia.

I hope they lock him up and throw away the key.

behind_blue_eyes

So? That is no defense for him being a pedophile and a liar.

behind_blue_eyes

IMHO, there are only two disorders that can rightfully be used as defense to criminal behavior — full blow mania and schizophrenia.

The rest is just a legal ploy and as such, indicates underlying guilt.

ElizabethBennett

Sandusky doesn’t have a mental disorder-it’s legal tactics. They always pull the insanity defense, just to get someone off. I always wonder how defense attorneys can live with themselves for getting pedophiles and rapists off by claiming the insanity defense. They should be held responsible when that person re-offends.

BTW, after reading the traits of histrionic personality disorder, I see a lot of that in my N. She is a raging N with schizoid traits, histrionic traits, and sometimes it also seems that she has more than one personality as well-they act and dress differently. Wow, I was infatuated with one f***ed individual. Freud himself couldn’t fix her even if I dug him up and had him work on her full time!

slimone

Every time I read the definitions for ‘different’ personality disorders I think ‘Different flavors and styles’, but not different diagnosis. And Elizabeth, I think there is NO discernable difference between being N and being ‘H’. They are one and the same.

I agree with everyone here: not only does he not fit this precise definition, he also sounds like a run of the mill child predator. Does he have a personality disorder? Likely. Is it the ‘kind’ that keeps him from making choices? No. None of them do.

We all have hardwiring of one sort or the other. And, we all have choices.

I am hardwired to love. But I can choose NOT to love and get involved with harmful people.

Slim

darwinsmom

“We all have hardwiring of one sort or the other. And, we all have choices.

I am hardwired to love. But I can choose NOT to love and get involved with harmful people. ”

Well said, Slim!!!!!

the sisterhood

A Cluster B is a Cluster B.

I agree with Slimone, “Every time I read the definitions for ’different’ personality disorders I think ’Different flavors and styles’, but not different diagnosis.”

This should in no way get him off the hook for what he did. IMO he is surely a predator and I believe a highly Narcissistic predator. So would that make him a Sociopath. I strongly believe so.

At the very least, maybe this will open the door for wider education about personality disorders. God, I hope so.

Those poor, poor boys. I am beyond disgusted at this whole thing.

G1S

I don’t understand why the lawyers aren’t better at education the juries during a trial.

Dr. G., who has a wonderful cable program that educates viewers about what she finds when performing autopies and was the prosecution’s medical examiner who testified at Casey Anthony’s trial, wasn’t called back to refute certain statements made by Anthony’s “expert” medical examiner. Dr. G. ultimately had an hour program showing the failures of the legal system not to cover and address certain medical points.

So, why, why these lawyers throw around psychology terms, don’t they have experts explaining the histrionics has nothing to do with being a pedeophile.

They’re just muddying the waters, which I understand is a legal tactic, but somebody has to have enough intelligence to figure it out. We did. If we can do it, why can’t they?

darwinsmom

The verdict isn’t out on Sadunsky yet, is it? It’s just a lawyer tactic from what I can make out of it. And it seems from the articles that psychologists find it a totally ridiculous proposal.

As for trials… last week was the murder case of a 71 year old man accused of manslaughter on his son Younes (a toddler). He and his much younger wife had a row and fight one night (and the old father had loose hands); she ran away; he supposedly went looking for her… when he returned the youngest son (in his diapers) had gone allegedly missing and police were warned. Later, they found the little Younes in the river. The father tried to claim the boy must have walked out of the house and accidentally fell in the river, while without adult supervision. Then the father and mother were both arrested and the older brother (6-7 years) was interrogated. The mother was set free again. The older brother corroborated his father’s story, but during nightmares his fostering supervizors overheard him crying out for his father to stop. Though now convicted of manslaughter he still proclaims innocence, and the mother believes him. On what grounds was he convicted: Younes’ blood was found in the house and on the father’s clothes. Both his controlling and abusive treatment of his wife, the weird story of how Younes went missing and died, persisting his innocence even in the face of so much bloody evidence, adn the stockholm bonded belief of the wife in the innocence of her abusive husband are all signs to me the man is a P.

Seems to be the ‘excuse’ fashion in Belgium these days when a spath parent kills their child: claim the child went missing and found some accidental death, while they were somewhere else.

MoonDancer

Sandusky is one of those __________ that will go to his grave claiming he did nothing wrong. I think he will get life in prison but he wont last long when they leave his cell door open ……

7stepstoheaven

Sandusky is so creepy, with that goofy half-smile of his, and so narcissistic that he appears to have no clue what he did to those boys. I try to imagine how someone could be enjoying himself sexually while the child he is raping screams for help, and the thought makes my brain want to explode! His wife is an enabler and denier – he must have been controlling with her, because anyone else’s wife would have popped down to the basement once in a while to see if they needed anything, and apparently she never did. That tells me all I need to know – did she not hear that poor child scream? Disgusting! His attorneys trotting out this personality disorder is tantamount to an admission of guilt. But Sandusky has never admitted guilt, and denies what he did. This jury will crucify him for that, and he deserves it! He should have been in jail this whole time, too, not under house arrest! Still being treated like royalty!

If Mike McQuerry hadn’t seen him, would he even be on trial? That Bob Costas interview was the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen, a window into his narcissism and sense of entitlement – it was good for people to see that, to see how their minds work! I went to Amazon to get that book “Predators” by Dr. Salter, and their are bad reviews on their by people who MINIMIZE and DENY that these people exist, or are doing anything wrong! Unbelievable! One of them even uses his/her real name! Probably charter members of NAMBLA. Sickening that anyone could be an apologist for pedophiles, except pedophiles!

G1S

I just found the article below which speculates on what approaches Sandusky’s defense lawyers might take next week.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/16/12257854-jerry-sanduskys-defense-gets-its-turn-faces-tall-task-in-sex-abuse-trial?lite

The article mentions that the victims continued to associate with Sandusky and maintained friendly relationships with him even into adulthood.

For people who don’t know about sexual abuse and pedeophilia, they might believe that proves something, but the truth is most people are horribly ignorant of the dynamics involved.

Pedeophiles tell the children that they love them. Many times, there is a void in the child’s life. I’ve been reading too many horror stories the past few days so I may be mixing my information up here, but I believe one of the boys had a single mother who thought a male role model would be good for her son and encouraged him to go with Sandusky.

Being the single mother of a boy, I know the longing a child has for father in his life. I, too, would have welcomed a male who could have been a positive role model for my son. He came home in tears once because the kids in school told him that he had no father.

I also know that single mothers get overwhelmed. I made the choice to be there for my son and put him first, but there are plenty of mothers who want relief and a break. I appreciated them when I got them, but my son’s safety was always foremost in my mind, perhaps because I was raped as an adolescent.

Sexual abuse of a minor confuses the child. Many times, the experience does have a pleasurable side. Orgasms and arousal can still occur even though the child is traumatized. Talk about mixed messages!

People still have difficulty understanding how somebody so nice could do something like that. The Tickle Monster thing will be interpreted, I’m willing to bet, by somebody as Sandusky just being a clown.

People continue to make excuses for abhorrent actions. “It must be a mistake.”

I think outrage and public education may change some people’s minds, but there will always be somebody who isn’t sure that abuse happened.

There are many people who think trauma is obvious. Victims walk around shell-shocked or something like that. Many people are clueless that people can and do maintain relationships with their abusers even into adulthood.

That doesn’t mean that the trauma wasn’t severe or is no longer impacting the victim. It often means there are so many mixed messages and emotional voids in a child’s life that some attention, even if it means it comes with sexual abuse, is better than no attention at all.

These kids were needy. They were extremely vulnerable. That was the point of Sandusky’s program. I bet some of the parents were star-struck over Sandusky as well.

7stepstoheaven

I became a needy kid after my father died. I was in 2nd grade, and remember being absolutely horrified the first day I went back to school, and a girl on the playground said to me “Your daddy died, my mama saw it in the newspaper!” My mother went on like he had never existed, throwing away his pictures and everything. I had to grieve by myself, crying myself to sleep every night. She didn’t seem to notice that. Of course, she had lots of reasons to want to hate him because he was an alcoholic batterer. I could not remember any of that. I only knew about it from my 2 years younger sister, who didn’t block it out like I did. It’s like my grief was never validated or acknowledged, and that made me a very lonely child – what parent could ignore their own child’s grief?? It created a confusion and an empty space in me that I couldn’t understand!

I have been a victim of the smear campaign in my own family, and it has been one of the worst things that has ever happened to me, especially because I didn’t understand what was happening, except that all of a sudden I was shunned by my siblings! Finally, after almost seven years, my sister finally said to me that she knew that my youngest sister “had scapegoated me!” I had been waiting for her to say that to me for the last year, after we got back in touch when my mother was dying a year ago. The bad people will out themselves at some point. I sent a letter to my younger brother a couple of months ago, after years of his smear campaign against me, his constant lying, and completely stonewalling me for years. I called him on all of it! I said as long as he feels necessary to lie to people, and pretend that he tries to get in touch with me, we will have no relationship!

While my mother was alive, she was constantly splitting all of us, smearing one behind the other’s backs, and controlling and bullying us with her narcissistic rages. My brother is a chip off the old block! But at least my mother was honest, which he is NOT!

I saw my sister shortly after that conversation, when she happened to be in town for business. We had not spent an evening together in years. I thought we would talk about a lot of these things, but we talked about politics, with which she is obsessed. Ever since, I have been feeling really terrible, like all of those terrible bad feelings I thought were gone, have come back to haunt me.

She is the one and only person to have validated me at this point, but since she has been manipulated in the past, and doubted me because of my other sister’s machinations, I still don’t completely trust her. I feel exposed, and not safe. It’s like finally seeing her brought back all the pain of what my other sister did to me! They live in the same town, and I was afraid to say anything until my sister could see it for herself! Then, I finally broke! I told her that I had broken with my brother when I did, because he is a pathological liar and I don’t trust him. He borrowed money from me years ago and has never bothered to pay it back, and has completely stonewalled me for years while telling other family members that he has “tried and tried” to get in touch with me! At least the “concreteness” of his not paying me back was something easy to explain to my sister. She only sees him a couple days a year here and there, so she has not been able to acknowledge or see his bad behavior! But she and my other sister (all of us, in fact!) do know that he lied to his last 2 serious girlfriends that he wasn’t married! So he also has the obvious track record of being a liar.

My younger sister was sexually abused by a man my mother brought into the family and married a couple of years after my father died. My baby sister was only 3 years old, and that’s when this man began sexually abusing her. I was happy to have a stepfather who was fun, and who would do things with me, as the oldest child. He taught me how to ride a bike, he taught me how to drive later on. He was a buffer from my mom’s complete emotional detachment and rage. When I needed a new bike, he bought me one. He took me hiking and camping. He even bought me a surfboard and wetsuit when I started surfing. He was 12 years younger than my mother, although she told us 10. Almost any fun thing I got to do was because of him, not my mom. I had a new dad!

He went to school on the GI bill, and my mother bore him a son when I was 13 years old. I was so excited to have a little brother – we called him “blueberry eyes!” I always felt close to him. When I graduated high school an was getting ready to go to college, he graduated also, and when I moved into the dorm my family was going to move 3 hours away because of his new job. So my first year in the dorm, away from my family, was very hard, and I didn’t have a car. The next year I moved to the beach with a friend – cheap rents, restaurants to work at, and of course surfing and all the rest. No TV, no phone – had to ride my bike to the fishing pier to the pay phone. At the beginning of my second year my money to buy books didn’t come when I expected it, so I called home, and learned that my stepfather of 10 years had left, and was living with another woman who had left her newborn son for him! That was a shock- I was 19 and on my own, and there was no money to send me, so I borrowed from a friend so I could buy my books, and got a job at the restaurant.

I had to call my mom and ask her why she hadn’t sent me money for school. She hadn’t bothered to let me know this would happen! When I had a chance to get home to visit, my closest sister then told me about the abuse of my little sister. She had finally said something to my mother, who then divorced him. I was 19 years old, and hearing about this totally crushed me. I didn’t know people did things like that! It It was in 1976, and there was no discussion of things like that. I had just lost another father! It put me in a rage, and I wanted to kill him!! How could 5 people live together in a house for 10 years, and not know this was happening?

I am 55 years old now, and this has shattered my family to a point where things will never be the same. My mom kept us all together for years, but she’s gone. My closest sister is the only family I have left, and she believed the lies and manipulations from my other two siblings for years. There is no coming back for people who have betrayed you so awfully. It will no longer be possible for me to have any relationship with those 2 siblings. I was finally doing a lot better, but it’s hard to not trust anyone anymore.

The thought that what this man did 40 years ago has taken my family away from me is tearing me up!! It will affect generations! I have been cut off from my niece and 3 nephews for the last seven years because of this.

I am a good person. i took the high road. I don’t know how to deal with this anymore!!!

7 steps,
I’m sorry you were raised in such a bad situation.
From reading your story, the most glaring thing that stood out is that you really don’t know what happened, not to your 3 year old sister with your step-dad, nor about your “alcoholic” father which you don’t remember.

I’m reading right now about false memories and how easy it is to implant them. If you don’t remember your father’s abuse, then how do you know it happened? Your family is not normal and lying is a common incidence in Cluster B’s. Your youngest sister is a liar. As you have mentioned, she smeared you. How do you know she didn’t lie about being molested by her step-dad?

Your mother sounds like a borderline PD. Her reaction to your father’s death is as if she blamed him for abandoning her. That’s typical BPD. They lie all the time.

How do you know why your stepfather left? Did you talk with him? It seems to me you would remember something about him being creepy if he had been molesting the baby sister.

I can sympathize with a lack of family. I don’t have one either anymore because I see what they are. All we can do, is work on ourselves to become healthy. You can’t do that in the context of sick relationshits, they will only drag you back into the muck –especially if they see you rising out of it. N’s and P’s and BPD’s can’t stand to have anyone leave them. If they see you becoming healthy, that looks to them as if you are leaving them behind. They become envious. What they will do is create drama for you to react to. That’s how they keep you ensnared in their sickness.

I would recommend learning as much as you can about the Cluster B personality disorders. I would also recommend reading about cognitive dissonnance. It’s quite an elaborate subject. Find books on these subjects. It will help you to recognized how the mind keeps us distracted and unable to see reality.

IMHO, you should get therapy, but not until you’ve educated yourself on these subjects, so that you can progess more quickly.

I’m so very sorry about your situation. Nobody should have to find themselves in that position, but unfortunately, it’s more common than we’d like to believe. I think that only knowledge can help us rise above it. And the determination to do so.

7stepstoheaven

Thanks so much for responding, Skylar. I haven’t been here in a while. I have been in therapy – I went back almost a year ago, but in the last couple months i thought I would cut back, because I was doing much better. I had been just physically sick from the stress, so I started therapy and seeing a massage therapist on a regular basis. But seeing my sister definitely snapped something back to a horrible place!

I know my relationship is done with my youngest sister and brother. Done. They have both treated me with judgement, contempt, and cruelty, for no reason I know of. I am an honest person. I would never lie to any of them. They did this at a time when I was very sick and became disabled, and there was no way I could stand up for myself. I could see a lot of it happening, but I had no idea what was going on – no idea! I kept thinking there was some terrible misunderstanding, and waited for some chance to straighten things out, but that chance would never come, because they stonewalled me completely. I didn’t live where they did, and I haven’t been able to travel for 12 years because of my permanent disability. I’ve had fibromyalgia for 23 years, and in 2000 I had undergone 4 surgeries for endometriosis that completely disabled me. Before I did a lot of traveling to see my sisters, because I wanted to be in my niece and nephews’ lives. It was important to me, since I had no children of my own.

At a time when I lost EVERYTHING, my health, my job, my friends, my relationship, because of my illness, they turned on me like a pack of wolves. Years in bed, my life in complete chaos, with no family even in the same state. And on top of all that, shunned by my own family! Nothing like this had happened before – I always thought we were close, although I was never really close to my youngest sister, because we were 7 years apart. I made many trips to see her, after she got married and started to have children. I visited her, on my own dime, at least six times. But in 20 years of my living in the DC area, she never visited me once. She is a cold, manipulative b*tch. I thought that hearing my other sister admit that would make me feel better – I have needed that acknowledgement for a very long time. But I have just been feeling very ill for at least a week, and been just sobbing and in a rage for the last two days, which makes me physically sick and uncomfortable. It’s just an extreme emotional reaction, I think, that I haven’t had before.

There is no one who can tell you what to do in a situation like this! It is sickening to realize your own family members HATE you. LOVEFRAUD is the only place I have found where I can get some understanding of what has happened in my life. I came here four years ago, when I decided to stop contact with my mother, after I had moved back to my hometown to spend time with her. After two years of her denial of how my siblings were treating me, and her narcissistic rages, I realized I had to save myself. That broke my contact with everyone else in my family, which is why I had hesitated to do it. I felt horrible guilt, because she was 76 years old. But the concept of no-contact was completely unknown to me until I came here.

I think my brother has sociopathic tendencies, because his father was definitely a sociopath! My sister doesn’t believe that, but I do, based on his behavior the last 5 years.
I have no doubt that my stepfather did what he did. He was very handsome, very charming, and no one would have a clue what was underneath that. He was like a renaissance man, very smart, all kinds of interests. He was a pilot, who took us up in small planes. He and my mother bought a sailboat with my grandmother’s inheritance, and we all learned to sail. He helped her spend that money while she worked to put him through school. He had many affairs with neighbors and friends of my mothers, and he did what he did I have no doubt. I think he f*cked anything that moved. All he did was use her, and she was the first to say the man was a psychopath. She had read “The Mask of Sanity” a long time ago. My father was a psychiatrist, and she had worked in the medical field a long time. As soon as he had what he wanted, he left her for a co-worker, a woman who abandoned a BABY to be with him. This son of hers grew up to be a criminal – my brother knew him because he had contact with his father for many years.

The psychopath made sure his child support for his son was the minimum possible, and was barely in his life. His mother enabled him, and would never believe the man was a predator. But I lived with my mother and my brother for two years when I first got fibromyalgia – he was 15 to 16 years old. My brother dropped out of high school, and then went to live with his father for a time. The man swindled his own son out of the inheritance his grandmother left him!!! He would not let him go to his grandmother’s funeral, for that reason.
I have no doubt that only a sociopath could swindle money out of his own son!! So my brother has the gene pool, and on top of that the abandonment and my mother’s dysfunction and neglect. I felt sorry for him for a long time, but not anymore.

He came to live in the city I was in for six months, while he was in the army. I welcomed him with open arms. like his father, he is charming, intelligent, good-looking, and fun. But it soon became apparent to me that something was not right. He went into rages over the smallest thing, saying I was “disrespecting” him. I had no secrets from him, but he took that knowledge of my life in chronic pain and disability, and used it to smear me with the rest of the family, telling them that I was a drug addict and god knows what else! I didn’t find out about that for a long time. I could not believe how someone could misinterpret my situation so blatantly, when I was absolutely upfront with him about everything going on with me. I didn’t think he would betray me – I had no idea! I was so naive, I thought that he would let everyone else in the family know that since he had a firsthand look at the hardships I was going through, that maybe I would get some more compassion and understanding because of it!!

Boy, was I ever wrong!!! I saw him borrow money from me, to go back to his hometown to divorce the sociopathic grifter he had married, and who was holding onto him like a life raft. Why would he get involved with such scum as this woman? I think that’s no accident. I think there’s a lot about his life that no one suspects. I have a firm intuition that he’s a sex addict, like his father. He would start “relationships” with a girl he had known for five minutes! This was troubling to me. I saw serious character flaws I had not noticed before! His roommate after he dropped out of college was a drug-addicted stripper, who died running her car into a bridge abutment. No sex, but a lot of outrageous drama in that “relationship!” He is inappropriate and says sexual remarks frequently. He sickens me! I never want to see him again!

Boy, was I ever wrong!!! I saw him borrow money from me, to go back to his hometown to divorce the sociopathic grifter he had married, and who was holding onto him like a life raft. Why would he get involved with such scum as this woman? I think that’s no accident. I think there’s a lot about his life that no one suspects. I have a firm intuition that he’s a sex addict, like his father. He would start “relationships” with a girl he had known for five minutes! This was troubling to me. I saw serious character flaws I had not noticed before! His roommate after he dropped out of college was a drug-addicted stripper, who died running her car into a bridge abutment. No sex, but a lot of outrageous drama in that “relationship!” He is inappropriate and says sexual remarks frequently. He sickens me! I never want to see him again!

When he left my city, I never heard from him again. He would not return phone calls, or emails. Then he went with the army to Afghanistan, which in my family somehow excused all bad behavior. I kept wondering why my mother would cover for him, and not admit the obvious lies. I saw her for who she really was, callous and completely self-interested. After I moved back to spend time with her, the first Christmas I was there, she said my little sister was coming down to take her out for dinner, because she had gotten divorced, and her husband had her kids. I was not invited!! I was like, “Mom, didn’t you tell her I was living here, and that i had no one else to spend Christmas with?” That was just something I could NEVER understand! That was when i began to see clearly that my mother would not stand up for doing the right thing! My little sister had stonewalled her mother for TEN YEARS, so my mother was not going to rock the boat!

That was when I really started to get upset, and go into a depression. I would still spend time with my mother for the next year, until the next Christmas, when EVERYONE in the family EXCEPT ME was invited to my sister’s house to spend Christmas together! I did not get a phone call, or a card. Nothing! I got so upset that at that point I was done! I talked to my mother ONCE during the time she was up there, and started to get upset about it on the phone with her. She said to me (really!!) “Stop it, 7steps, you’re being HYSTERICAL!!!”

I snapped after that. I broke contact with her. She called me ONCE, a couple of weeks later, and left me a message in a voice dripping with contempt, that “I don’t know what I did to make you angry with me, but this silent treatment just isn’t CUTTING IT!”

For the first time, I heard how she was speaking to me, in a completely detached way, like I was someone else. I thought, holy sh*t, i have NEVER heard such hate and contempt in someones voice like that!! This is a HORRIBLE person!! Except, now that I realized it, i had heard that contempt many many times throughout my life, from childhood on. A couple of months later I had a breakdown and dropped ny to see her for a couple of minutes, and she pretended like nothing was wrong. She was very good at that. that’s the last time I ever saw her. She died a year later of cancer. That’s when I finally heard from my sister.

God, that’s depressing!

That’s horrible 7-steps. It seems to me that people who have been in emotionally abusive relationshits tend to get fibromyalgia. I always find out that they had abusive husbands and then later, learn that they come from N parents too.

That’s why, as hard as it is, NC is healing for us. At the very least, we need to have more loving relationships than bad ones, to help us heal.

I can relate to being astounded at the malevolence in your siblings. Me too. It seems like just yesterday you were playing with them, helping them with their homework and running thru sprinklers with them. And you thought you had a bond of affection from that shared history. Nothing could be further from the truth. All they ever saw you as, was a RIVAL. Spaths are all about competition and they don’t bother playing fair. Life is a game to them but at the same time, they don’t have limits to how far they’ll go to win. In their eyes, you deserve to lose for being “weak”.

Showing weakness around a spath makes the spath salivate. They can’t wait to eat you alive.

My own siblings are that way, but they are clueless too. They can’t imagine that my kindness is not weakness. They only see what’s on the surface. Never tip your hand to them and you’ll be ok.

G1S

Skylar,

As somebody who can’t remember all the details of her rape, I find your comments “how do you know that this happened” very insensitive.

My P sister cannot remember her childhood.

Let me relate to you how the therapists explained the loss of memories to me.

The mind blanks out what it cannot endure. The pain is too much. The horrors are too much.

Children do not blank out happy childhoods.

Really, Skylar, I’m struggling very, very hard to give you the benefit of the doubt that you were just asking out of curiousity, but that has to be one of the most insensitive, ignorant things I have read on this site.

Why don’t YOU do the research?

Grace,
sorry to offend you. It was an honest question and it was not addressed to you, it was addressed to 7-steps. She didn’t say she was offended.

The reason I ask is because I’m reading a book, right now, that questions loss of memories. It says that the data shows just the opposite. Holocaust survivors didn’t forget what happened to them. People who have been through wars remember vividly.

The entire book is about cog/diss. It’s written by researchers who provide research data. It’s very convincing.

It also says that false memories DO exist and are very easy to implant. It gives research data on that too.

So my only suggestion to 7-steps is that perhaps her father, the psychiatrist was not as bad as she was told.

The basis for considering this possibility is that her mom was a manipulative N, her sister is younger and perhaps could have had the memories implanted.

The fact that 7-steps is the eldest and the most normal of the bunch with her next sibling being the next normal, seems to indicate that perhaps they had a good influence in the early part of their lives, for a longer period than the other kids. Perhaps the father?

You seem to be a rational person, interested in research and science. You might enjoy the book. It’s called, “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)”

By the way, I’m not taking sides on the issue of lost memories, I was simply pointing out another possibility to consider.

Also Grace, my comment was to suggest to 7-steps that she give more credence to HER OWN MEMORIES, than she gives to her sister’s. Your own memories are the only thing you can own. Whether they are there, forgotten, or implanted, they are still yours, in your head and for you to address. Her sister’s memories should not carry as much weight as her own.

I didn’t tell 7-steps to negate what she remembered, in fact, it was just the opposite. I told her she needed to give credence to what SHE REMEMBERED. And to consider the source when giving credence to what other people remember.

I fail to understand how that can be offensive to you.

Truthspeak

7stepstoheaven, I am so sorry for your experiences. Getting to the core of what actually happened is daunting, at best, and IMHO I’m not always certain that knowing details is always beneficial to recovery. Sometimes, I believe that specific dynamics preclude the events as they truly happened – spath parents/family members won’t care about the facts or how we were so damaged. Bottom line for ME is that I only need to acknowledge that my childhood was instrumental in my being groomed to become a dependent “victim.”

G1S, I type this with due respect for your own recovery: nobody has been appointed the LoveFraud Hall Monitor. Not one of us who is in their own various stages of recovery has all of the “right” answers. If one reader learns something to assist them in their personal recovery from another reader’s history and recovery, then it is a triumph. To say that you are “struggling” to give the “benefit of the doubt” to another reader is out of line and definitely offensive to me. I’ll make a gentle suggestion that attending to one’s own inventory may be more profitable.

Truthspeak

Skylar, it’s a statistical medical fact that women, primarily, develop any number of autoimmune disorders if they have endured violence/abuse.

I’d be interested to know how many LF readers have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. I’ve been diagnosed and it was interesting how the exspath treated me afterwards – as if I were some sort of millstone around his neck. And, he “planned” outings that severely taxed my physical limitations – sort of rubbing my nose into my own disease as if to remind me of my physical deterioration. Very cruel, actually.

Truthspeak

7stepstoheaven, by any chance, are you involved in counseling therapy or a support group? You’ve experienced the whole gambit of traumas, and it may be an option for you to consider if you’re not already engaging in counseling. Seeking out counseling doesn’t mean that we’re crazy, inept, or stupid. If our plumbing leaks, we call a plumber. If our car needs a new transmission, we take it to a mechanic. If our emotional health is out of our control, a good, strong therapist that “gets it” is worth more than their weight in gold, IMHO.

Brightest blessings to you

ErinBrock

Hi…..i’m EB, and…..I have an autoimmune disease.

ErinBrock

I just heard the news that Sandusky’s defense is exploring using a ‘mental disorder’ as a defense.
This shows the big gap between what attorneys are reaching for……..and what medical professionals diagnose as insanity.
Histrionic PD does not qualify as an ‘insanity’ defense! Typical DUMBSHITS!!!

((Truthspeak)),
thanks for validating my feelings. I have a hard time validating them for myself, it’s not something I learned to do as a kid.

Yes, I’ve had autoimmune problems since I was a child. Lots of food allergies, skin rashes, hay fever, wheat and milk allergy. I believe it was from living with the the N-parents.

When I was with the spath I developed what I thought was fibromyalgia, then later, chronic fatigue. When I left him all the symptoms disappeared –and so did the food in the refrigerator. Then he admitted he had been putting strychnine in my food for 25 years (among other things).

breckgirl

Grace – You sound pretty upset – like someone in the past questioned your rape since you could not remember all the details. I know that what you say is true about trauma causing a blanking out. I remember very little of my childhood – it is like I have big holes in my memory bank and I have been told that it is symptomatic of the abuse I suffered.

I do know that the opposite is also true and false memories can be implanted (I’d like to implant some seriously happy ones in my own head!)

I thought Sky’s questions was good in that given all the other family members behavior it could be possible that the birth father was not the monster portrayed. (Or am I confused and the question was about the step dad?)

A friend of a friend – someone I know but not well – was raising her daughter alone and she married a man from the military and he helped raise this little girl. He was very, very good to the Mom and child – he loved the mom very much so I was told. Then, at about age 16 the girl told her mother that the stepfather had been molesting her. The mother had a hard time believing her daughter bt she did the right thing. She divorced the man and he went to military prison for a few years. He claimed he was innocent to no avail. Years later the daughter ended up confessing to her mother that she had lied. That girl had destroyed her stepfather and her own mother’s life for whatever reason. The stepfather at this point was out of jail and remarried.

It is so hard to know the truth at times.

Annie

Re: the ‘false memory’ discussion: I’m going to come down in the middle on this one: I totally get where G1S is coming from, because I too have almost no memories of my childhood (but I have enough really bad ones to know some bad stuff went on, and that my egg-donour is a psychopath and a sadist). And I’m, to say the least, suspicious of most discussions I see around the various ‘false-memory’ trends; particularly since that was one of the two hammers inevitably used to keep me from getting anywhere truthful in my years of excerable therapy and working with the memories I *did* have. It went hand in hand with the other hammer, inevitably brought out by those same therapists – both traditional and feminist – which was that since I was saying it was my mother who was my abuser, and we all *know* women don’t do things like that, therefore I MUST have been imagining it, therefore – voila: “false-memory”. There are certain things that I remember, that I’ve always remembered. No memory implantation possible. The only thing I needed was to ‘denormalize’ my understanding of them. Took me years to ‘realize’ that not all loving caring mothers force-vomit their children and then… well, I don’t need to continue, I’m sure you get the picture. And I’m sure most people here can understand how brainwashing under torture can convince you to accept the most heinous abuse as ‘normal’ – particularly when you have no-one validating your reality, and everyone supporting your ‘wonderful’ abuser, and pulling out the ‘false memory’ card as a defence against hearing things they may not like.

Realizing the truth about what happened to me wasn’t false memory implantation, it was a reality check. It’s been my experience that manipulative &/or cowardly mental health professionals LOVE to pull out the ‘false-memory’ card faster than you can blink in order to influence a situation to fit with their idealogy. Which makes it all the harder for anyone to examine this legitimately.

Did I mention that I was touchy about this term?!?

However, if you substitute the term “implanted false family stories” for “false-memory”, I’m totally behind the questions Sky is asking. One of the conditions a few courageous GPs and therapists have asked me about (only ever people I was seeing peripherally for other things) is Munchausen’s by Proxy. My mother is a nurse and fits the profile and my medical ‘history’, none of which necessarily adds up and I’m now realizing is probably more of a ‘her-story’, is full of holes and contradictions, even though I’ve spent most of my childhood with various illnesses (another clue to possible Munchausen’s by Proxy). I finally started to get somewhere when I started to realize that all of my medical ‘history’ was actually stories my mother had told me, and that the only possible way to start to figure it out was to more or less do what Sky was suggesting: to question every single thing I’d ever been told. Not to infer that it was all false, but to acknowledge that disordered individuals almost always mix lies with a sprinkling of truth, and to acknowledge that I can’t know which was which.

Another problem, and I think this is also perhaps what Sky was alluding to here in her questions to “7”, was my perception of my father. Even though my father didn’t leave my mother until I had left home and my brothers had graduated from high school, my mother had managed to pull off a case of ‘parental alienation’ between my father and us, even though we were all in the same house. She had us all convinced, and all saying in unison, that it was my father who was the monster. (But she could never convince me to say she wasn’t a monster herself – the only flaw in her plan.) I didn’t know whom to trust, and ended up going NC with ALL of them, and ended up never seeing my father again (he passed away several years ago, but no-one notified me – another looong story). I’m just now starting to realize how much he’d been slandered – including by me – and just how much I’d let my mother’s lies about him split us up and poison me. The guilt I feel now for going NC with him is massive. He wasn’t perfect by any means – I believe he tried to protect me when I was young but he’d pretty much given up by the time I was in high school and left me to be devoured by her – but he certainly wasn’t a monster. When I was young I remember him being funny and loving, and playful and caring. By the time I was in high school he was a shell of his former self.

But at the time I broke off contact my mother had me convinced (she had EVERYONE convinced) that it was my father who was the monster. But it was all via listening to stories that, when I went back to thing about it, she had planted herself. What I’d missed, for years upon years, was that the stories she told were never about what SHE thought, or what SHE said herself; they were always stories she’d told us about what OTHER PEOPLE had been saying: about my father, about what other people had told her my father had said about me, etc… And there was always ‘lots of corroborating evidence’ from other sources – but always only coming to us from my mother’s mouth. Took me years to realize that the multi-layered reality that I’d thought was coming from so many directions always only had one source.

So that’s not to say that what 7 has heard about her father or step-father is invalid, just that it’s important to question every single piece of information that has come from the mouth of a known slanderer and manipulator. My mother had me convinced of ‘the truth’ and I repeated it to others like the good victim I was, thus providing another point of corroboration for her stories. My guilt now for doing that is almost more than I can handle.

Ox Drover

7steps,

I am sorry that you have had such a horrible time in your young life and in your family of origin (FOO) It sounds like some of your sibs are also personality disordered (just like your original dad) and it sounds like maybe your mother is somewhat disordered as well.

Even at 55 I know it is important to feel that your mom loved you, or that your father loved you….I felt the same way, believe me, but I ahve finally come to the realization that my male sperm donor was a Psycyopath and my maternal DNA donor was as disordered as they get as well, and that she never loved me. My family was disordered, my feelings were not validated and in the end, I was devalued and discarded, smeared to the world. I don’t have any sibs except my 3 half sibs (children of my P sperm donor) and they were poisoned against me by my P sperm donor, so I don’t have any sibs at all…and I really am glad I guess because that is less drama I have to deal with.

My own biological sons: one is a psychopath in prison for murder, and the other one is not the kind of man I want for a friend, though he is not a psychopath. I do have an adopted son that is the light of my life though, so I am not totally alone as far as family is concerned.

I have a FEW good friends and those I treasure. I have gone NC with the users and abusers in my life and distanced myself from anyone who is dishonest or unkind. Build your life for YOU, and quit sweating those that would abuse you…I finally came to realize those people who have abused me, are not “family” just because we share DNA. FAMILY is made up of people who love and treat us well, not by sharing DNA. God bless (((hugs)))

Ox Drover

Yea, I saw That on the news about Sandusky’s lawyers trying to say he has a “personality disorder”—-but that will be shot down by the prosecution, it is just a pity ploy! He is going to prison or I will eat my hat, feaathers and all!

Annie

@Oxy “but that will be shot down by the prosecution, it is just a pity ploy! He is going to prison or I will eat my hat”

On the other hand, didn’t we have a psychopathy researcher go on TV saying that Casey Anthoney DIDN’T have any personality disorder that he could see?

Ox Drover

Annie, yea, true, but I don’t think there is a snow balls chance in hell that Sandusky will get off on this one….or I will eat my hat and send pictures to LF so you can see it. LOL

Annie

Re: “histrionic disorder”

I think this is another one of those convenient terms, just like BPD, that has been applied with far too broad a brush, and generally serves to lump victims into the same category as perpetrators, and to shame and silence them into submission so they won’t ask for any services.

It’s so common that it’s become accepted wisdom that child abuse survivors, who use up far more medical services than the average, when they go to doctors with vague symptoms are not sick but are being histrionic – meaning that they are faking physical illnesses in order to get attention and are wasting resources. And yet, if you look at the results of the CDC ACE pyramid study, the results are completely the opposite (and shocking): the more adverse childhood experiences someone has, the odds are exponentially increased that they will not only get conventional diseases like cancer and heart disease, but that they have MUCH shorter lifespans – by up to 20 years.

So many of these psychological labels seem to be terms of convenience, that can mean pretty much anything to anyone. They can be used to deny needed services to legitimate child abuse survivors, but also to try to get off scumbag pedophiles. No wonder there is a push to drop this category in the DSM.

Annie

@Oxy,
Well, that would be a funny picture, but not so good for your diet (but I seem to remember you may have had a funny story or two along similar lines from your living history events.?!?!)

Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that the jury gets it right this time.

That’s a really strange defense. The poeple I know who have been diagnosed with HPD are endlessly self-dramatizing and seeking attention. If there’s a ruthless quality in it, it’s about being so needy and obsessed with their own problems that there’s no space left for anyone else to have issues.

The old definition of histrionic was related to imagining things, or having false health issues, or being over-emotional because of hormonal imbalances. But I think that the definition has evolved since then to basically being desperate for attention, and manufacturing immense dramas to get it. It’s another personality disorder that comes out of a deficit in parenting, but this one is more related to emotional abandonment, often by mentally ill parents.

At least that’s the way I understand it.

The histrionic pd doesn’t seem to be a defense, so much as it seems to be a way of twisting reality. They are using it to say that the boys misinterpreted the grooming behavior. They’re saying it was just a style of inter-relating because of HPD, not because he’s a grooming pedo.

It would be useless as a defense since PD’s are not the same as insanity and can’t be used as an excuse.

I think it’s interesting that the defense lawyers are using the same reality-twisting mechanisms in court, that cluster b’s use in their own lives. Be prepared for more of the same.

This brings to mind a funny video I saw, of a man who said he uses NLP techniques to pick up women. He says that the female mind can’t comprehend big words, so if you throw out some multi-syllable words she’ll be putty in your hands because her brain is busy trying to comprehend the word.

It’s meant to be a comedy and a spoof on PUA videos.

It seems like the defense team is using that strategy here. By using terms that most people aren’t familiar with, they think they can distract the jury from the facts of the case, while they are trying to wrap their heads around the term “histrionic”.

G1S

OK. I apologize to anyone who took offense with what I said, but at the same time, I have never appointed myself LF monitor or whatever you want to call it. I also don’t need to be told to take my own inventory, which sounds like monitoring to me.

I will say that last night I had just returned from six hours in the ER with my son who got a very bad sprain playing basketball that evening. So, when it comes to practicing program, yeah, I get HALT. I was exhausted and after three weeks of bad news medically, I had reached my limit. On the positive side, I got permission to take this week off as vacation.

I am very aware of families re-writing history and planting lies. That is exactly what the Ps in my family did to me, but coupled with that was their abuse as well as their invalidations that my memories were false. Most of us here should know about Ps invalidating what they have put others through. There is also “gaslighting.” So, there are multiple points of views and experiences on this issue. There are also authors who argue for “memory implanting” to throw people off and make things muddier. In other words, they do so invalidate the truth as in, “You’re just making that stuff up.”

The written word can be interpretted more than one way. All of the above is why I said that I was struggling.

Moving on, I found this article about Sandusky a little while about the defense using a histrionic defense.

http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/15/12242582-does-it-matter-if-sandusky-has-a-personality-disorder?lite

The expert quoted in this piece says, “So what if he does in fact have histrionic disorder. There is no correlation between that and pedeophilia.”

Grace,
that’s why I do take what I’m reading with a grain of salt.
The book is very, very good. It does address abusers and even mentioned psychopaths once, even though psychopathy is not the topic. It tries to address the entire gamut of experience with cog/diss.

BUT…as someone who understands the hidden mechanism of abuse, intimately, I have to wonder if scientific data isn’t being skewed by psychopaths who come across as being “normal”.

In People of the Lie, Dr. Scott Peck describes a couple who bring their son in for therapy. They seemed like fine upstanding members of the community — until he figures out that they are evil and they were preying on their sons, trying to get them to commit suicide (one did).

People just can’t imagine how MANY of these creatures are out there. And they don’t WANT to. I do believe that the science on false memories is good, but it needs to bring in the psychopath factor, to be better.

It’s one of the red flags of spaths when they re-write history. My spath did this ALL the time. He knew I had named all my animals with much thought and research. I like giving them unusual names, with specific meanings. Before I met him, he had a dog — which he named Dog. 🙁

Eventually, he started to say that he had named all the animals.

Annie

“BUT”as someone who understands the hidden mechanism of abuse, intimately, I have to wonder if scientific data isn’t being skewed by psychopaths who come across as being “normal”. “

I couldn’t agree more. Also, by their minions and pawns.

Linking this back to the use/misuse of the label ‘histrionic’, which is a label commonly applied to people with complicated, unusual or as yet unexplained medical problems (far more than to pedophiles, which is an association I’ve never heard before), I have to wonder about the complete lack of follow-through by the medical community to Dr. Felitti and Anda’s CDC study. I don’t know of any other way to characterize the lack of response by Kaiser Permanente to the conclusions, which are overwhelming:
http://www.healthycal.org/archives/8887/print/
http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/33662/InTech-Childhood_sexual_abuse_and_adult_physical_and_dental_health_outcomes.pdf

Almost every single person I’ve met with an ‘unorthodox’ major medical disorder: lupus, carcinoid cancer, MS, etc… has spent months to years being told that they are manufacturing symptoms and imagining things – particularly those with a documented history of child abuse – and this is almost uniformly used as the reason to justify not following up medically. And yet, the study (which followed approx. 17K patients for >10 yrs, says pretty much the opposite:

“The ACE study reveals a powerful relationship between our emotional experiences as children and our physical and mental health as adults, as well as the major cause of adult mortality in the United States. It documents the conversion of traumatic emotional experiences in childhood into organic disease later in life (p. 245).

In addition, the more adverse experiences one reported, the more likely one was to develop severe, life-threatening health outcomes such as heart disease, skeletal fractures, stroke, diabetes, and cancer (Filetti, Anda, Nordenberg et al, 1998; van der Kolk, 2005).”

Annie,

Thanks for those links. It’s very good information. I’m so glad that Dr. Felitti is doing what he can to teach this to other doctors.

The problem is still that abuse is so covert in appearance. One question, in his questionaire, wouldn’t have brought an accurate response from me, because I wouldn’t have understood the question, until 3 years ago.

Felitti, who founded Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, and ran its clinic said that patients there answered 17 survey questions about their childhoods, like “Did you often or very often feel that no one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special?” They were asked whether their parents divorced, if they’d witnessed domestic violence and if they’d been physically, sexually or emotionally abused.

I didn’t know what emotional abuse was. To me, emotional abuse was just normal everyday relationshits.

G1S

Sky,

You’re familiar with my story. I actually asked a therapist if I had been abused by my family because I was like you, I thought what they did was normal. Seriously, I had no clue that it was abuse, although I did get tired of being the scapegoat for everything.

I think there is also an element of the experts wanting to make names for themselves. I believe some of them have egos big enough to want to be viewed as the ultimate authorities on certain subjects.

Very little in the world is straightforward. If you start bringing up certain incidents or pointing out exceptions or deviations from the experts’ theories, then they cannot have all the answers anymore. It reminds me of statistics-statistics can be presented to support almost anything.

Sometimes I feel the information is presented in such a narrow, limited fashion so the points can’t be challenged. Some diet books, for example, tout the wonderful success of their diet methods but there won’t be a peep about how this might impact somebody with cancer or gout. (I know. I’ve looked.) The subjects are ignored entirely. Why would a diet ignore health conditions that are so heavily impacted by diet?

Anyway, I’d be open to hearing from experts if they could own up to the limitations of whatever they are pushing. Ignoring something entirely detracts from their creditability. Not all of them do this, so that can’t be said for them all.

Annie, the things you brought up point to why it is so hard for some people to take care of themselves, which Oxy urged in her article.

I envision the negatives of what happens to us, especially as children, as downward spirals to a poor quality of life (however that manifests in body, mind, and spirit.)

It takes a lot to throw the brakes on and begin spiraling upwards to “I matter” and “I deserve good.”

To me it’s a spiral staircase. Everything little gain is another step upwards and every negative is a step down.

Oxy is right about the importance of taking care of one’s body. There is a lot of stinkin’ thinkin’ that we incorporate from the ugly messages we get throughout our lives. We can push back and overcome them, although sometimes it takes a lot of hard work.

I wonder if society is going to reach a breaking point with the BS that the lawyers spin about why perps should be understood and forgiven? Will there be a collective snap where we just won’t put up with the BS anymore and start demanding reality?

Something has to change.

7stepstoheaven

I finally woke up this morning with a little bit of relief. I am just in grief and shock, and worried about my next conversation with my sister, where I will tell her that I have to KNOW that she will no longer pass on information about me to my 2 disordered family members, or believe any more lies and manipulation from them, or I will not be able to trust her EITHER. If she values my relationship with her, she will listen to me. I have to do this for my SURVIVAL, because without an understanding with her, I just feel TERRIFIED and exposed and I will not live that way any longer.

I already sent my brother the letter, and told her about it and why – that I cannot have a relationship with someone who lies to me and uses other people. I will be doing the same with my sister. It really made me feel better to send my brother that letter, and especially when his response CONFIRMED every suspicion I had. My mother was callous, but we had a close relationship all my life, and she would do thoughtful and loving things for me. She could be my best friend in a lot of ways, and we talked about everything, including her past. She knew that she made mistakes, but her disorder caused her to have little or no insight into WHY she made the choices she did, or WHY she would have such terrible, rage reactions when you questioned her about anything. She was very socially proficient in some ways – all of our friends always thought she was the cool mom, or their second mom, but they never saw the side of her that we did, the contempt, rage, and silent treatment. But she worked hard, and always told us how talented and smart we all were, and that we could do anything we wanted to. It could have been worse.

It was the actions of my SIBLINGS that caused me to break with her, otherwise, I could put up with her behavior because it was so childish. But she was never deliberately EVIL like my siblings have been. She was just totally blind to her own shortcomings.

When I went back to live at home for those two years, we had many heart-to-hearts and she was always honest with me. That’s when I learned about my father’s abuse of her, which was corroborated by my aunt (his sister, who attested to the EXTREME abuse both of them suffered at the hands of my grandmother, who was a psychotic, sadistic person), and my sister would tell me – don’t you remember when Mom woke us up in the middle of the night, to leave the house and stay with her sister, to get away from my father after he had beaten her?? I had no memory of that at all. He was an alcoholic who also abused drugs (he had access as a psychiatrist) and one time was even arrested after he became psychotic and paranoid, and chased my mother out of the house with a knife. I think my mother was definitely messed up by a lot of what he did to her. He even beat her up when she was pregnant with my sister! Locked her out of the house when it was snowing outside, the stories were awful! And she never thought to leave him! I asked her if he was ever sorry after he had beaten her up, because you hear that about abusers, but I was pretty shocked to find out that he NEVER apologized to her or expressed any remorse for what he had done!

I’m not offended by any questions about memories or pseudo memories, I understand that memories can be malleable, and people can be told lies as if they are truth, or given explanations of things that have no basis in reality. I am just trying to understand what has happened to me, and every question is valid. I am so grateful that I can talk to people who have had similar experiences to my own. I have spent YEARS in therapy, probably about 8 or 9 years total, and still could not recognize how disordered people in my family were! Most of my therapy was about coping with chronic illness and pain, and to keep me emotionally in a place where I could cope, and not get too depressed to survive.

My current therapist, who is a specialist in chronic illness, tells me I’m a survivor. She has a kind of dry, cynical humor about the stories I tell her, which validate that anyone would have a difficult time after having the experiences I’ve had! I’m sure many people she counsels are chronically ill for a reason, like I am. Now it looks as though my niece, 17, is becoming chronically ill. I found out from my sister (she had been hiding it from me) that her husband had become a severe alcoholic over the past five years. He had an alcoholic father and brother, both dead. So this drama goes on and on.

I didn’t know that I had endometriosis, which is an auto-immune disease, since high school, when I began to have severe cramps and pain. Because of my mother’s neglect, and her diagnosis that it was irritable bowel like she had, I basically thought it was nothing serious for 25 years, until the pain became too excruciating for me to function, and multiple surgeries did not help. I got fibromyalgia, another auto-immune disorder, when I was 31 years old. I have noticed that MANY MANY people on this board have fibromyalgia, and that is no coincidence! There have been studies out for a while now showing that women who have chronic illness experienced trauma in childhood. They are more frequently sufferers of chronic pain. I also saw a study that said 30% of women with endometriosis get fibromyalgia – which was a stunning amount! One auto-immune disease leads to another. Chronic stress in childhood has a permanent effect on your health. I have suffered anxiety and depression since childhood. None of this is coincidence. So I now fear for my niece, that she may have endometriosis. She was treated for depression last year, a response to her father’s alcoholism. So I really fear for her! My sister put her on antidepressants – she told her it was either meds or therapy, she had to do one. I think she needs therapy, because her illness is a reaction to the situation she is in as well as her genetic heritage – two grandfathers, an aunt on the maternal side and an uncle on the paternal side are alcoholics! My sister told me she may not even be able to catch up for her junior year! I have told her my concerns regarding the health issues, that I have had lifelong depression, endometriosis, and fibromyalgia, and that I am concerned about these things for her. That’s all I can do, but I think this girl needs a therapist, too. My sister is a psych nurse, and she has never had much therapy herself, until she and her husband started couples counseling to save her marriage. So she has a lot on her plate, plus a stressful job where she travels all the time. I can’t tell you how distraught i feel to see that history could be repeating itself!

But I don’t have control over anything except how I react to situations. And I will be honest, and I will not be in denial, and I will no longer make excuses for people, and I will no longer tolerate relationships with people who lie to me, don’t listen to me, or betray me. Now that narrows my whole world down to about 3 people! My rheumatologist, my therapist, and my massage therapist, who is a sweetheart and a friend. My sister is tentatively on that list. She is important to me, we were always friend, and it’s obvious to me now that my siblings resented that, and resented my relationship with my mother too! I think they had some crazy idea that i got off easy, or had it better than they did! That makes them crazy right there!

7stepstoheaven

I can really relate to what Skylar says “I didn’t know what emotional abuse was. To me, emotional abuse was just normal everyday relationshits.”

Freudian slip? Relation-shits!? Didn’t see that the first time!

Anyhow, yes, I had no idea that my mother was emotionally abusive to me until the last couple of years, and that every relationship I’ve been in my whole life was with someone who was either narcissistic or personality-disordered. That seemed normal to me. I was a sucker for punishment! Even my last relationship, which was better in a lot of ways, crashed and burned after he became emotionally abusive to me. I have only realized that it was abusive about six months ago, and I lived with him for ten years!!

It’s clear to me now. I just seemed to enjoy beating my head against brick walls, thinking that I could fix anything, if I had the will and the perseverance, which I certainly did have! I spent half my life on lost causes!

I have been alone for seven years now, and still don’t feel anywhere close to being able to function in a relationship. There’s no trust left in me, and I am very fearful since I have been through so much. I came to fear even making a decision, because every decision seemed to turn out badly! PTSD can do that to you, make you afraid that anything you might do, anyone you might trust, could be a big mistake! I have not been very fortunate that way.

The experience of moving in with a roommate who began stealing my pain meds was a bad one! I remember thinking how could ANYONE be this unlucky??!! It still baffles me! She was a pathological liar, but it took me at least a year to see it, and by that time I was so depressed about going NC with my mother and family that I could barely function, much less find another place to live. I was at her mercy, because I was too sick to leave, and had no one to help me! That experience made me extremely ill for a year. Such a track record doesn’t not instill confidence in my ability to recognize who the bad people are!

7stepstoheaven

I have directories full of articles like this – sorry I don’t have the URL!

Abuse in Childhood Linked to Migraine and Other Pain Disorders

ScienceDaily (Jan. 6, 2010) Researchers from the American Headache Society’s Women’s Issues Section Research Consortium found that incidence of childhood maltreatment, especially emotional abuse and neglect, are prevalent in migraine patients. The study also found that migraineurs reporting childhood emotional or physical abuse and/or neglect had a significantly higher number of comorbid pain conditions compared with those without a history of maltreatment.

(Childhood maltreatment was reported by 58% of the patients. Emotional abuse was associated with increased prevalence of IBS, CFS, arthritis, and physical neglect with arthritis. In women, physical abuse was associated with endometriosis and physical neglect with uterine fibroids. Emotional abuse, and physical abuse and neglect (P < .0001 for all) were also associated with increased total number of comorbid conditions.)

Full findings of the study appear in the January issue of Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, published on behalf of the American Headache Society by Wiley-Blackwell.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state and local child protective services (CPS) investigated 3.2 million reports of child abuse or neglect in 2007. CPS classified 794,000 of these children as victims with 59% classified as child neglect; 4% were emotional abuse; 8% as sexual abuse; and 11% were physical abuse cases. Both population- and clinic-based studies, including the current study, have demonstrated an association between childhood maltreatment and an increased risk of migraine chronification years later.

To conduct this study, Gretchen E. Tietjen, M.D, from the University of Toledo Medical Center, and colleagues, recruited a cross-sectional survey of headache clinic patients with physician-diagnosed migraine at 11 outpatient headache centers. Childhood maltreatment was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), a 28-item self-reported quantitative measure of childhood abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional) and neglect (physical and emotional). Self-reported physician-diagnosed history of comorbid pain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), interstitial cystitis (IC), and arthritis was recorded on the survey.

A total of 1348 patients diagnosed with migraine completed the surveys. Researchers found migraineurs who reported childhood emotional abuse or physical neglect had a significantly higher incidence of comorbid pain conditions compared with those without a history of maltreatment. In the study population, 61% had at least 1 comorbid pain condition and 58% reported experiencing childhood trauma either by abuse or neglect. The number of different maltreatment types suffered in childhood correlated with the number of comorbid pain in adulthood.

****Specifically, physical abuse was associated with a higher incidence of arthritis; emotional abuse was linked to a greater occurrence of IBS, CFS, FM, and arthritis; and physical neglect connected with more reports of IBS, CFS, IC, and arthritis. In women, physical abuse and physical neglect was associated with endometriosis (EM) and uterine fibroids, emotional abuse with EM, and emotional neglect with uterine fibroids.****

"Our study found that while childhood maltreatment is associated with depression, the child abuse-adult pain relationship is not fully mediated by depression," explained Dr. Tietjen. Results from this study, as well as three recent population-based studies, indicate that associations of maltreatment and pain were independent of depression and anxiety, both of which are highly prevalent in this population.

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Says it right there! IBS, Endometriosis, FMS, Migraines, and in a separate article INFLAMMATION (auto-immune) and heart disease!

Even emotional abuse ends up physically abusing you, for life!

Ox Drover

Dear 7steps,

When first one psychopath and then another latches on to us, taking the “wind out of our sails” it IS difficult to get your feet back on the ground and get yourself moving….yep, you CAN DO IT THOUGH!

There is enough knowledge and things to be learned here at LF that if you read til you go blind of old age, you couldn’t take it all in, but you can take in enough to get you started toward healing.

The road toward healing starts out about learning about THEM, but it ends up learning about OURSELVES. Learning how to set boundaries and say “NO” to people who want to abuse us, and to recognize the RED FLAGS OF FRAUD whether it is love bombing or pity ploys….learning to recongnize when someone is being dishonest. As Dr. robert Hare says in the Fishhead movie “it takes time” to learn to recognize them and no one can spot one quickly, it takes being around someone and seeing what they are doing and saying before you can see that the two things do/say don’t mesh. Most psychopaths take time to show their true colors because they MASK them at first.

So learn to set boundaries and to say NO! and to take care of yourself first! ((((Hugs))))

7 steps,
RelationSHITS is a word coined by Hens, a blogger here. It’s fricken PERFECT.

I have a “good” sister too. But I went NC, without a word, because she just doesn’t get it. She keeps talking about me with the other family members. She doesn’t understand evil.

I stopped trying to convince her. As far as she is concerned, I don’t have a phone and don’t use that email anymore. I’m not even going to bother giving her the whys and wherefores.

You’re not unlucky, you’re just like the rest of us, stuck repeating the same old programming because that’s all you know. Stick around here, read, read, read and don’t stop reading the posts, the comments and any books you can get your hands on. When you aren’t doing that, google search terms on psychopathy, cog/diss, cluster b’s. Keep learning. That’s the ONLY way to break free of the illusions that are set up to keep us imprisoned.

Ox Drover

7 steps we posted over each other….your link above to that article about what the abuse does to us is very RIGHT ON…abuse = stress and stress=health problems. Look up the “holmes and Rahe stress scale” and you will see the research these people and others have done on the effects of stress and how it causes the body to not be able to fight disease.

We have to take charge of our lives and to decrease the stress by stopping being around these people who cause such stress in our lives, we call it NO CONTACT and at first it feels funny….odd even…but it keeps us away from them, FAR AWAY and keeps us from being repeatedly injured and reinjured.

We have to look at new people in our lives and not give them trust instantly. We have to watch and see what kind of person they are and it may take weeks, months or even eyars before we can truly know them well enough to trust them. It is called self preservation.

Keep on learning, and know that you are NOT ALONE. THE LOVE FRAUD MOB IS HERE WITH YOU! We get it! (((hugs)))

Annie

7 steps,
As Oxy recommended, just keep reading here and you’ll find a wealth of information.

I also highly recommend the book “In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People” by George K. Simon: http://www.amazon.com/In-Sheeps-Clothing-Understanding-Manipulative/dp/1935166301

It was my first primer on how to recognize, and deal with disordered people. It changed my world – literally. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Also, for the workplace, “The No Asshole Rule” by Bob Sutton.

Grace (and Oxy), thanks for the pointer to Oxy’s article: http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2012/06/15/taking-care-of-ourselves%e2%80%94first/ It’s good advice.

Unfortunately I stink at self-care, even moreso when I’m healing and the triggers are acting up. Oxy, I hope you (or someone) will consider writing a follow-up ‘how-to’ manual for self-care for CA survivors. The one point that no-one seems to talk about (yet) is what to do when you have triggers (conditioned fear response) associated with self-care tasks. In one of the articles I linked to they mentioned that survivors of oral rape often have problems with dental care due to triggers, but no-one ever seems to make that same assoication with other types of child abuse – particularly early childhood abuse which most often happens in the home, and during child-care activities: bathing, eating, dressing, washing, etc…

Truthspeak

Annie, and others, perhaps it’s just a throwback from bad times, but “self-care” has always seemed like an indulgence. Probably part of the shame-core, I guess.

I would also love to see a self-care article, OxD. Not an article that says, “You need to take care of yourself,” but actual steps that one can take to begin the experience of self-care – CARING about one’s Self. THAT would be priceless!

7stepstoheaven

Thanks for the ((((hugs)))) Oxy! What you have endured is truly an inspiration to me! I have been through an EXTREME learning curve over the last few years, and LOVEFRAUD and the people’s honesty about their stories has made it CRYSTAL CLEAR to me, in a way no therapist or book has, about what is EVIL and unacceptable, and how you have to protect yourself FIRST! The way I was raised was to pretend that nothing bad was ever happening to you, and to NEVER question an adult, whatever they might say or do. That was not being POLITE! Not a good way to learn what boundaries are.

I have noticed my whole life that I cannot STAND to be around anyone who is angry, it’s like I ABSORB THEIR FEELINGS THROUGH MY SKIN. Talk about not having boundaries! I did not understand why I could not detach myself from having such EXTREME DISCOMFORT around other people’s emotions. I think I got married because I could not stand to live with other people, because I was so worried about standing up for myself, and never wanting to express any sort of dissatisfaction with someone else. The thought of anyone being angry with me makes me physically ill, because of the way my mother controlled us with her rages, and never taught us how to protect ourselves from other people! I now realize that she probably had the exact same sort of severe anxiety that I had, because for the last 20 years of her life she had few friends, and would often tell me of her complete dislike of any sort of groups or organizations. I am exactly the same way! I had a successful career before I got sick, but I would always have severe anxiety at walking into a room full of people. I had good people skills and I was always well-liked, but I could not understand why I would have a reaction like that. I could override it, and function normally, but always at a cost.

After I got really sick and disabled, that anxiety became full-blown agoraphobia, and almost paranoia at going out where I felt that people would be watching me. I did not feel safe!
I spent a whole year like that, in 2011. I finally started getting better with the therapy and massage, but I still occasionally have relapses where I feel I am going to jump out of my skin. The whole last week has been like that, and it seizes up my digestive system and drains me of energy so I can barely eat or sit up straight. You should see my startle reflex! It could power an entire neighborhood!

But I am sure everyone here knows those feelings! What my family has been through, and what I have been through, is not over yet. My blowout with my brother a couple months ago empowered me, but also made me afraid I would be judged and rejected again by my “good” sister! Fear of abandonment is a terrible thing.

Skylar, I can identify so much with what you’re saying:

“I have a “good” sister too. But I went NC, without a word, because she just doesn’t get it. She keeps talking about me with the other family members. She doesn’t understand evil.”

I will not hesitate to do that if I have to. I already did it once with the whole family, and I just did it with my brother, regardless of the consequences, because FOR ME it was the right thing to do. I split with my mother for EXACTLY the reason you gave, because she would not stop passing on details about my life to people who wouldn’t even speak to me! I laid down the law with her, but she was not capable of understanding that.

I was there for my sister six months ago, when she thought she was going to have to kick her alcoholic husband out of the house. I think she understands me better now, and has respect for my input and support. But I expect the same from her in return! And I will be absolutely clear about that. I have to make sure I am absolutely clear with her, before I drop the bomb on my little sister. I had to wait until she verbally acknowledged that something was F’d up, which she finally did. So I am experiencing a lot of anxiety as a result, because I am afraid that little sister still has a lot of power in that relationship. This woman is a PSYCHIATRIST, believe it or not!! My sister has always deferred to her, even when what she said was total bullshit! I don’t know if it’s a nurse/doctor thing, or just my sister’s vulnerability! But she’s out for herself, she does NOTHING that doesn’t benefit her directly in some way.

I feel bad for my two nephews, who are innocent bystanders. I told my sister, finally, that little sister had not acknowledged a single xmas or birthday present I sent to her children FOR YEARS! That didn’t make her look too good, in a family where people are ANAL about always sending thank-you notes! My sister is beginning to get the picture. I will still send gifts to my nephews, because I do not want them to forget that I will always care about them. Their father befriended me on FB, when his ex-wife, my own sister, would not!

She outed herself with her own passive-aggressive need to punish me in some way. At xmas I sent 2 separate packages, one for each set of kids, and the addresses got garbled, and each family got the packages that were for the other. My sister, being conscientious and thoughtful as she usually is, made sure that my little sister’s boys, her nephews, got the right package from me before Christmas. Little sister, on the other hand, appeared not to care whether her own nience and nephew got theirs – I would remind my sister every time I talked to her, “did your kids ever get their presents?” and the answer was always no, it’s been a REALLY long time, hasn’t it?

The longer this went on, the angrier I got, but I kept my cool, and made suggestions – can’t she just mail it to you? They both live within 20 miles of each other, and both are busy. But their is no excuse for such behavior, and my sister knows it! She FINALLY went over to little sister’s house to get my mother’s ashes, which we were going to spill into the harbor when she came to visit. She said, that’s really ridiculous, isn’t it? It’s JUNE! That’s when I told her about the complete stonewalling regarding all the other gifts!

Little sister thinks she’s smarter than everyone else, but since her need to punish me ended up punishing her won niece and nephew by withholding their xmas gifts from them, she has finally done something TANGIBLE to disgrace herself, like my brother has. Hopefully, it will be enough. This same conversation was when my sister said – she scapegoated you!

I had to wait for the light bulb to go off in her head, so I wouldn’t sound like I was just trying to be divisive or mean.

She could care less about her own niece and nephew! That really made me angry! I wanted them to get their xmas gifts AT CHRISTMAS!! And she purposely denied me of that small joy!

7stepstoheaven

“THE LOVE FRAUD MOB IS HERE WITH YOU!”

I LOVE that!!

Annie, that was an eye-opening article! The part about medical procedures casing flashbacks to trauma was something I haven’t ever seen before, but can relate to. The dental work thing is a huge problem for me. I now understand that an auto-immune disorder can cause your teeth to rot out of your head at an early age, and I get so fatigued to the point where even brushing my teeth can seem like too much. I never had that problem until my fatigue and pain became disabling. I just cannot function like a normal person, no matter how good my intentions. The inertia is crippling!

I had to have a tooth taken out a few months ago, and it was a horrible ordeal! I got dry socket, and severe jaw spasms that locked up half my body for a month! I could do almost NOTHING for 3 weeks! I don’t know how I’ll get through that again, because my body just can’t take it! I’ve never had a colonoscopy or a gynecological exam for the last 8 years, because I have had colon spasms and vaginal spasms related to the surgeries and physical trauma from the fibro and endo.
I believe I had scar tissue that developed into gastro-paresis, where my colon didn’t function right for a year. None of these things will kill me, but they have worn me out. The stress of the last week has brought those symptoms back.

Getting to the massage therapist helped my system start to work normally. I was really sick when I started, and was getting a lot better until this tooth episode. It’s tough when there is NOBODY to get your back. If I don’t do it myself, it won’t happen. I am trying to get a better backup system. I found out about VisitingAngels online. I have got to get help for when i become incapacitated like that. It’s scary!

There comes a time when being too self-reliant becomes hazardous to your health!

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