Borderlines: incurable demons or trauma victims?

complex_ptsd
The symptoms of Complex PTSD are almost identical to those of BPD.

Something has come to my attention during the time I’ve been blogging, which I think is important enough to merit another post about it.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD, DSM code 301.83) is classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a Cluster B (emotional/dramatic/erratic) personality disorder having many similarities to character disorders like Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). Both NPD and ASPD are characterized by a lack of empathy, entitled behavior, and disregard for the rights or feelings of others. It’s also true that some Borderlines act out in ways harmful to themselves and others. Hence, “Cluster B” has become a pejorative category and some ACONs (adult children of narcissists) and others have demonized people with BPD as being amoral, immoral, and almost inhuman, nearly or as bad as as people with NPD or ASPD. Some even go so far as to lump all borderlines in with the “narcs” and barely make a distinction between them. In their minds, if you’re a Borderline, you’re no better than a “narc” and that’s all there is to it. You’re a bad person and to be avoided.

To make matters even worse, many mental health professionals refuse to treat people with BPD, believing them to be troublemakers, incurable, or both. I remember one therapist I saw years ago for an intake session and seemed to connect well with, called me a few days later after he received my psychiatric records, and told me he couldn’t take me on as a patient. “I don’t work with borderlines,” he said.

It’s true that there are some similarities between the Cluster B disorders, and both BPD and NPD/ASPD have roots in childhood abuse or neglect. But the similarities don’t run very deep. What I mean by that is while both a borderline and a narcissist cn be manipulative or abusive to others, the reasons are very different. There’s also the matter of intention. Borderlines, if they act out against others, aren’t usually aware they’re being abusive and/or manipulative. If their bad behavior is brought to their attention, they normally become very upset and feel terrible about it (unless they have a comorbid NPD or ASPD diagnosis). They act out because of overpowering emotions that they haven’t learned how to control. In contrast, a narcissist or person with ASPD acts out because they can. If their behavior is brought to their attention, they’re likely to become angry and rage against the accusation, make excuses, blame-shift it onto someone else, or deny it.  Unlike most borderlines, they don’t feel remorse, guilt or shame for hurting others.

In addition, many borderlines are much more harmful to themselves than to other people. If they do act out against others, most are as frightened by their own outbursts as others are and sometimes more so. In a nutshell, people with BPD know they have a problem and wish they could be different. Untreated BPD makes a Borderline’s life miserable, while people with NPD or ASPD are usually not bothered by their disorder. That’s why, even though Borderlines can act “crazier” than narcissists, they can get better and are much more responsive to therapy or behavioral treatments such as DBT or CBT.

But we’re still caught in a gray zone, neither here or there.   The stigma against borderlines (in my observation) has grown worse, and most narcissistic abuse sites pretty much regard people with BPD  as the “female or over-emotional version of NPD.”  (actually, Covert/Fragile NPD or Histrionic Personality Disorder would come closer).   If we’re narcissistic abuse victims suffering from complex PTSD, it takes a great deal of courage to admit you also have a BPD diagnosis.  It took me a few months to come out about it on this blog. Fortunately,  I haven’t received too much (or really, any) flack about it.

complex-ptsd-and-bordeline-personality-disorder-36-728
Click to enlarge graph.

The good news is, a number of BPD bloggers are helping to reduce the negative stigma that we’re “bad seeds” with an untreatable disorder just because we’re OMG “Cluster B.” Think about this: have you ever noticed that there aren’t too many people with NPD (or ASPD) blogging about their challenges and insecurities, or fighting to reduce the stigma against their disorder? If they blog about their narcissism or psychopathy, it’s usually to brag about how NPD/psychopathy makes them superior or allows them to have control over others and be successful in the world. That’s because they don’t think they have a problem (They just cause others to have problems). Most Borderlines know they have a problem and struggle with it constantly, since it makes them feel so crazy and lowers their quality of life. I can only think of ONE blogger with NPD who was unhappy with his disorder and successfully treated for it (or so he says). That man probably had low-spectrum and probably covert NPD; a person with malignant or high spectrum grandiose-type NPD will never have enough insight or willingness to admit that THEY are the ones with a problem. In contrast, I can think of about 20 bloggers with BPD who are in treatment or therapy or have even been healed! I’m sure there’s many more that I don’t even know about.

BPD also seems to co-occur a lot with complex PTSD or PTSD. Most BPD bloggers I can think of also have complex PTSD or are in treatment for it. The symptoms of BPD and Complex PTSD are almost the same. The DSM does not recognize Complex PTSD as a diagnosis; it only recognizes PTSD, which is not caused by chronic trauma over a long period of time (such as having been abused as a child), but by one traumatic incident (such as fighting in a war or being raped). Therapeutic treatments for complex PTSD and BPD are also almost the same (for that matter, NPD and other personality disorders are treated almost the same way). Both BPD and Complex PTSD have a higher cure rate than NPD. Since Complex PTSD isn’t recognized as a valid diagnosis, I think a lot of people (especially women) who might have been diagnosed with complex PTSD if it was recognized get slapped with the “Borderline” label instead. Although I accept my BPD diagnosis (and have even become a little attached to it), I wonder if I might never have been diagnosed with it at all had Complex PTSD been recognized by the psychiatric profession. I think in some cases, BPD may not really be accurate, or could even be the same thing as C-PTSD due to their many similarities. At least one blogger (BPD Transformation, who used to comment here but stopped for some reason), doesn’t even think BPD is a valid diagnosis and shouldn’t exist at all.

Further reading:

Are BPD and Complex PTSD the Same Disorder?

Is BPD a Real Disorder or Should it Be Eliminated as a Diagnosis?

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About luckyotter

Recovering from BPD and C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse from childhood. Married to a sociopath for 20 years. Proud INFJ, Enneagram type 4w5. Animal lover, music lover, cat mom, unapologetic geek, fan of the absurd, progressive Catholic, mom to 2, mental illness stigma activist, anti-Trumper. #RESISTANCE
This entry was posted in borderline personality disorder, BPD, C-PTSD, Cluster B stigma, complex PTSD, mental illness stigma and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Borderlines: incurable demons or trauma victims?

  1. Juana says:

    This was a really interesting and informative post. I’ve become really interested in learning about PTSD since I experienced PTSD symptoms after I was raped in 2010. I write about it in my blog and what helped me to get back my sense of self, along with some other things relating to how I think rape culture is perpetuated by society.

    I didn’t know BPD was symptomatically similar to PTSD and CPTSD, which makes me curious to know more about BPD and why BPD exists as a diagnosis instead of just being seen as CPTSD.

    This gives me a lot to think about and research. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Hi Juana,
      I’m sorry you were raped, what a horrible thing to deal with. PTSD in such situations is a very common (and normal!) response. I agree with you that rape culture is perpetuated in our society.

      I don’t know why BPD is recognized and C-PTSD isn’t either. I really think a lot of women are labeled BPD when they really should not be, and the BPD dx. has a terrible stigma tht works against them. I’m lucky to have a psychodynamic therapist who doesn’t believe in labels and is using reparenting/psychoanalytic techniques on me but doesn’t treat “BPD” or “NPD” or “PTSD” but instead treats the symptoms of trauma. I think most people really can’t be put into a box. I think treating symptoms instead of “disorders” is a healthier and more humane way to look at treating mental illness.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Juana says:

        How good for you to have someone who sees you as a whole person and not just a diagnosis! I see that a lot in the Western medical model, although I see it also in some of the “new agey” circles (in which I was involved more and that helped me to move past the trauma enough to reintegrate into my life).
        I think the stigma of diagnosis, for a lot of people, is that a diagnosis basically equals a label/identity in others’ eyes. In other words, when someone knows that you have a certain diagnosis, they can cease to see you as the person you were, who is having some symptoms and begin to see you as your diagnosis.

        I agree completely with your comment, “most people really can’t be put into a box”.

        I think it’s much more useful to look at mental health holistically, and to understand that it’s just one piece of a grander picture.

        Liked by 1 person

        • luckyotter says:

          I think the medical model still hangs onto labels, mostly for monetary purposes. Insurance companies won’t pay claims if there isn’t a diagnosis, so mental health professionals when they submit their claims have to put some kind of diagnosis on them to be reimbursed. Since I pay my therapist in cash there’s no need to submit a claim or have a “diagnosis”, not that the methods of treatment would really differ if an insurance company were paying for my therapy! I like the holistic model better too, although obviously in many cases a medical diagnosis might be necessary, especially when giving medications is involved.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Juana says:

            Yeah. I think the medical model as it is now could stand to have a few tweaks. I know it’s all related to money and payment; interestingly enough, when my ptsd symptoms got to their worst, I ended up spending the night in a psych ward (bullied into staying there) and didn’t get any official diagnosis. I was uninsured, and they told me to find a therapist and stuck me with a $3,000 bill that I couldn’t afford as a low-wage worker.

            I really was unhappy with the care that I received there, and that was when I realized I was going to do my healing my way – I’d already been attuned to Reiki and using it prior to being raped, and so I returned to Reiki, found shamanism, and a process called soul retrieval which helped me immensely with returning to center.

            Anyway, that’s what really spurred my interest in researching mental health issues and how each model treats them. I got so much out of having soul retrievals that I really never looked back to the Western model.

            Liked by 1 person

          • hbsuefred says:

            Another example where “it takes a village” to raise aka heal a child aka your 12 year old self?

            Liked by 1 person

  2. S says:

    There was a time that BPD was going to be renamed, I don’t know, maybe 5-10 years ago. They were going to call it ’emotional dysregulation’ instead. I’m glad they didn’t, because that just sounds like you cannot control yourself which isn’t the case at all.

    In my opinion borderlines take the rap for the narcissists. We are their fall guy.

    I also liked how you mentioned about the emptiness in both N and BPD. I’m starting to think that in this emptiness, one of two things ends up happening. The individual is inhabited by the spirit of God, or, Satan. One of the two will end up filling the void. I think the ones who go for help end up ok. Who goes for help like a real diehard? The BPD’ers do.

    In my case, I made it to the other side. I don’t like to compare, but, based on what I’ve heard, my road may have been slightly darker than the norm. Sometimes when you make it to the other side, the abuse intensifies. That’s what happened to me.

    Such unthinkable things are actually happening, so bad, a lot of people would consider them delusions. So you find yourself fleeing and on the run, but also, careful how you report what’s happening or the wrong guy gets locked up. Most don’t believe it. They think you are delusional and end up locking you up because their afraid you are going to act on your so-called paranoia.

    I don’t get it. Havent the authorities heard of criminals who harass others? I think the reports are frightening to some of the authorities because then that means, it could happen to them, and no-one wants to think that or they would start fearing for their own safety. I believe the most highly skilled psych professionals as well as people like Pastors and Priests know the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      S, I agree with you about BPD being preferable to “Emotional Dysregulation Disorder.” I hate to say it but I’d rather not have the label that makes me sound like a out of control and helpless lunatic. Actually, BPD was originally called that because it was thought to be on the border between psychosis and neurosis. (now I think it’s thought of as the border between psychopathy and neurosis, lol!) BPD’s can sink into psychotic behavior when triggered, so the label isn’t entirely inaccurate. Even so, I still prefer it to EDD.

      As for your idea that the emptiness inside is filled by either good or evil (God or Satan, if you will) that’s a really interesting theory! I do think BPD’s are much more amenable to treatment and want to get better, which means most of them aren’t evil. They don’t have that same lack of empathy, inability to feel guilt or remorse, or sense of entitlement. If you have those things, you are probably pretty much doomed. You won’t have enough self awareness to want to change and you care much more about yourself than others, and it’s easy to become evil once that happens. I’m not saying all narcissists are evil either–I’ve seen some over at Psychforums and at least one blogger (that one I talked about in the post) who were able to overcome their NPD or at least work hard at it, but I definitely think there’s a spiritual dimension and in those rare cases, maybe God has stepped in and changed the person from the inside, allowing them a different view where they can actually see themselves the way others see them for the first time. There are also some borderlines who sink into evil, but I think usually they also have another disorder that keeps them from having insight, or like you said, perhaps some evil entity comes in to fill the inner emptiness. I don’t really know, but it’s an interesting explanation for what can happen. Maybe I can write a post about it sometime.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read BPD Transformation. He probably doesn’t hang out on WP anymore. I think he posted the blog to pretty much document what helped him and to help others who are struggling. To show it doesn’t have to be life long. He was also apparently quite fortunate to find a therapist who knew how to treat BPD (C-PTSD)

    Have you watched Spartan Life Coach. He’s evolved his opinion to thinking the same about BPD…that it isn’t really a valid dx and that it’s actually C-PTSD. He has a lot of valid points. And I tend to agree.

    The question does arise: why would there not be some sort of named diagnosis for having been abused on the regular as a child? It’s obvious to the entire psych profession that it has an effect on people it’s happened to, so wtf?

    Love the chart, btw.

    Liked by 3 people

    • luckyotter says:

      I love SLC, but did not know that he was beginning to consider BPD as an invalid diagnosis. I don’t know if it’s an invalid diagnosis, but I do think a lot more people are diagnosed with it than is necessary.

      I hope to see Complex PTSD eventually recognized as a valid diagnosis in future editions of the DSM. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be. I guess old habits die hard, idk. The powers that be don’t like to change things too much, although they were considering removing NPD from the DSM at one point (I’m sure glad they did not do that!)

      Also, thanks for filling me in on BPD T’s whereabouts. 🙂 He’s an inspiration to all BPDs, in my opinion.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I forget the title of the video on SLC’s channel but basically, if I’m remembering correctly is that it has to do with empathy. I sub to him so I watch all his vids. It’s a couple/few back.

        As for BPD T’s whereabouts, that’s just a guess, given what I’ve read on his blog and exchanging comments back when I read every single post. Lol.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. katiesdream2004 says:

    There is a great deal of food for thought in this blog. Your wise words take some of the sting out of that label and your sensitive presentation of it helped me. I want to put a comment trigger warning, please don’t read further if psychotherapy stigma and abusive therapists or clergy is disturbing. I believe that there is much about the DSM and psychotherapy that has strong misogynist roots. My ex husband had a powerful position as a psychotherapist but to his core, he absolutely hated women. He enjoyed exploiting them and the literal Dr Jekyll/ Mr Hyde presented gentle kindly therapist to the world while a sociopathic monster behind closed door “s. I was physically assaulted within an inch of my life and each assault began with “you #*Y$Y@$*% borderline @#$*%&#” This was the therapist that was also sexually abusing female clients for years and years and getting away with it.

    There was a point I overheard him handling a crises call in which he called the woman profanities, screamed at her for wasting his time and hung up on her. She reported him, I was present when the CEO of the clinic called and said “we had this report” and heard him say “she is borderline you know they all lie and manipulate”

    HE GOT AWAY WITH IT (and I’d heard him abuse the woman there was a witness) But then he was carefully laying a case to his peers and the public that I was BPD too. What I was when I had those near death experiences at his hand, was severely traumatized. But therapists unwilling to believe on of their own, the one that supervised them capable of being so monstrous turned deaf ear to me and his other victims. The case broke when he messed with yet another therapist. Her cries of abuse were met with justice unlike all the “patient” victims that were assumed liars.

    To this day I cringe, physically and get slightly nauseated when I even hear the term BPD. It wasn’t just my husband either. I then worked in mental health and heard up close and personal the contempt, disrespect, mistruct and hatred therapist themselves had for those labeled BPD. I told clients later whatever you do, do NOT, EVER call yourself a BPD in a therapist earshot. I didn’t last that long in the field and was frequently distraught by the Narcissists that hid behind a counseling degree exploiting their power to label those that disagreed with them. I am relative to two such people while they merrily destroy lives

    Can psychotherapists, priests and doctors abuse people. I’m sad to say, yes and that I always believe a victim because it is so very costly to tell the truth about this. This is LONG way of saying your treatment of that label and explanation humanizes it for me, but asking is it a demon is the right question. The stigma isn’t just societal but often worse in the mental health profession itself. If you want to erase a voice very effectively just label the person BPD

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      Hi Katie, what a horrible story and what a monster your ex was. I do believe there’s a lot of sexism and misogyny in the mental health profession, and unfortunately narcissists and psychopathic/sociopathic individuals are common in that profession as well as in the clergy, medicine and other “helping professions” because being able to be a “guru” to others make them feel superior and godlike. I think you have to be careful with psychiatrists in particular because they may have gone into the profession for the money. Since my therpiast is a social worker he isn’t getting rich off his patients and I think social workers are therefore less likely to be narcissists, and are doing it for honest reasons and really want to help people. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist there though too, they can still be god-like to their patients. You have to be so careful.

      How awful for you he turned your BPD dx. against you behind closed doors and called you those awful things. He defintely sounds like he hated and feared women, and gaslighted you with that label. No wonder it triggers you! I’m not so triggered by it, except for how so many other bloggers think of it as something to be feared, just like NPD. Although my sociopathic ex used the BPD label against me as “proof” of how “crazy” I was (also gaslighting). For some reason I won’t ever understand, BPD is even more demonized than antisocial personality disorder! But I don’t really have a problem with the label, per se. I just wish people would be a little more openminded, that’s all. That’s not to say that some borderlines aren’t dangerous, but I think in most cases they’re more of a danger to themselves than anyone else.

      Good for you for having the courage to speak up about the abuse that’s so pervasive in the “helping professions.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • katiesdream2004 says:

        Thank you for the affirmation. In fact I finally went to a neuro psychologist that did 18 hours of neuro testing and said you have a 98 percent score on non-verbal learning spectrum disorders. He wrote a letter stating this and telling all future therapists and health care providers I did not meet any BPD or other criteria than PTSD and NVLD. So it wasn’t even an accurate label in my case. Understanding the challenges of NVLD and the tremendous anxiety associated with it is the healing part. The more I said “I don’t think I am BPD the more they said “that proves you are in denial” . That is the problem that Maslov speaks about “when you are a hammer all the world looks like a nail” I asked that the letter from the neuro-psychologist be put in all my medical records along with an explanation of how to treat someone with that disorder. My medical care much improved after that.

        Liked by 2 people

        • luckyotter says:

          I remember reading about NVLD, and wrote a post once about it compared to Aspergers, which it’s similar to. It’s funny, for a long time I thought I had Aspergers, because the combination of BPD and Avoidant PD can come off to others (and even to yourself) as being on the autism spectrum. In your case, it sounds like the opposite happened, and what you thought was BPD was really a combination of NVLD and PTSD. That’s another reason why these labels can be damaging–there are so many other disorders that can mimic others or the combination of two or more can mimic another. For about 4 months, I was totally convinced I had Covert NPD! (actually not that long ago, lol) I even posted on a message board for people with that disorder (that was an interesting experience, and surprisingly not a negative one–I learned a lot!) Anyway, my therapist assured me I do not have any kind of NPD. (whew!)

          When you think about it, all this diagnosis stuff is more of an art form than a science, because there can be so little agreement even among professionals, with one doctor giving you a completely different dx. than another. It’s not like the medical profession, where you either have cancer or heart disease or you don’t. How do you actually “prove” someone has BPD or any other disorder? You can’t really. But it sounds like yours fits you better than the BPD one, and there’s a lot less stigma attached to it too. Also, a diagnosis like NVLD is actually a neurological one, not a psychological one, so there is a medical basis for it.
          As for myself, I’ve actually become rather attached to my BPD dx, and just opt to fight the stigma against it, not the label itself. But that’s just me.

          I don’t think you were “in denial” at all. Mental health professionals are so quick to slap that BPD label on any woman who they think is emotionally unstable. It’s rather ridiculous.

          Liked by 1 person

          • katiesdream2004 says:

            Yes, I agree, how is any mental diagnoses proven particularly one that requires a lot of subjective criteria Even physical diagnoses is hard to be accurate about with blood tests in some cases. NVLD may be a little easier to diagnose than other diagnosis because neurological testing is a bit more objective. Draw a line between point B and C and D, etc, tie a knot. etc The psychologist wasn’t looking for NVLD he was treating me for a traumatic brain injury when on a hunch asked me how old I was before I learned to tie my shoes. I’ve always been embarrassed that I was in 4th or 5th grade and it was still difficult. He asked “did you fall a lot and bump into things a lot as a child?” yes. He asked if he could give me some tests. They involved shapes and placements of objects in those shapes. 18 hours of tests over a period of 3 months. He actually had a software program for this. Spacial recognition is interesting series of test and pretty diagnostic. He showed me the chart of the results and what they meant and said “I understand you” it was probably the most liberating moment of my life.
            The anxiety with NVLD can feel pretty chaotic and so I see how it might be easy to mix up the 2 diagnoses.

            Liked by 2 people

            • luckyotter says:

              I bet it was a relief to finally know what was causing certain learning problems! Labels do have an advantage–they can bring a feeling of closure.

              Liked by 1 person

            • katiesdream2004 says:

              Yes it was deep relief. I wept for a good long time out of relief. It is hard to convey to people how powerful it is to know the name of the thing that has so shaped your life. It was similar to finally understanding the Narcissistic dynamics in my family and how life is for scapegoats. Knowing both these things gave me deep hope because if I knew what it was I could overcome it. There is a sense of justice to it all too, its like knowing the name of the person that mugged you

              Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Katie… whew. Wow. Just… wow. How you managed to survive all of that seems miraculous to me.

      I completely believe you. I have experienced similar horrors at the hands of psychiatric professionals.

      Last April, Lucky Otter posted my horrible story about when my evil psychiatrist raped and almost killed me when I was 15-16 years old. I was blogging under the pen name Alaina at the time, before I decided to use my real first name. Here is the link to that post:
      https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/04/12/have-you-ever-been-hurt-by-a-psychiatrist-guest-post-by-alaina-holt-adams/

      Liked by 2 people

      • luckyotter says:

        I remember that post! I thought it was pretty great but I felt so horrible you had to go through that. What a monster that psychiatrist was.

        Liked by 1 person

      • katiesdream2004 says:

        Thank you for your affirmation Lady Quixote. It is very difficult to get people to believe a psychiatric trauma survivor. That has caused me a great deal of pain now I’m working through lots of physical damage from the years of trauma. But I have hope and I want you to know that the affirmation of “I believe you” is like a vitamin to revive a soul. We don’t hear that a lot in a busy world rolling over people particular those that have a dark truth to tell. Especially when that truth involves exposing darkness in “helping” professions. Its really on Grace that kept me alive, and mercy, and time alone outdoors where the grace and mercy where a special healing balm. Thank you for your story, it matters that you share it. Its a gift we have to have lived through it

        Liked by 1 person

        • Katie, I got goosebumps just now reading your comment.

          Yes, “I believe you” is the most healing affirmation a survivor of horrific trauma can hear. That, and the mercy and grace of our awesome God. I often feel closest to Him outdoors, too. Which is why I love those long walks with my rescue dog. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

      • katiesdream2004 says:

        Wow, I just read that post Lady Q, it was very powerful, you did the human race a service by exposing him. You continue to do a service by raising conscience that evil can be hidden a very long time and powerfully by those that refuse to believe victims, and fail to discern evil when it stands in front of them. Those flying monkeys always triple the pain of victims too.
        There is the pain of the experience, the pain and shame triggered in reliving it by the telling of it, and then the absolute devastation of gaslighting by the monkeys that think “he is so nice, and she is a basket case, how dare she harm a good man” I remember trying to tell another professional when I was one myself of the evil I’d observed in the name of treatment.
        She was into the NAMI agenda promoting the forced drugging of all psych patients. When I said we have to be careful about that policy because not all therapists have good in miind. She kept saying “that could not have happened” “they could not have done that, medical professionals don’t do that” I finally got a clue that was the same as calling me a liar, it brings on a sense of hopelessness when you know that you cannot be believed. You are expendable is the message

        A friend was raped by her psychiatrist as a teenager too — a beautiful young girl in juvenile hall, assigned court-ordered treatment. No one ever believed her, who’d believe the wild child versus the respected MD? So she told no one, rebuilt her life, burried her past, and to this day I am probably the only one of her friends that knows this about her.
        Another friend of mine was raped by an orderly the hospital covered it up for years. She finally won her court case and then took her own life.

        Maybe you’ve seen this poem, written by a psychiatrist about his trauma patients, I don’t hold his profession against him in these words and they inspire me to speak up

        Memory Shouldn’t Be…

        by Frank Ochberg, MD

        June, 1993

        Memory
        Shouldn’t be
        Shards of a broken dream
        Secret pain
        Shouldn’t strain
        Breathlessly to scream
        I know the where
        I know the when
        I know the who too well
        Believe me or believe me not
        I have a truth to tell

        But Mother, if you cannot hear
        I’ll keep your peace
        A day, a year. Forever
        If you doubt and fear
        Convinces me to silence

        Your Honor, if the proof you seek
        Is rusted, lost
        Too old, too weak, forgotten
        Then I shall not speak
        Dismiss my plea with silence

        It matters not who hears the voice
        Once I have understood
        The thunder of the truth untold
        Will echo in the wood
        And judges naked in their robes
        Will shudder at the gate
        How thin the cloth of innocence
        Against the chill of hate

        Memory
        Shouldn’t be
        Shards of a broken dream
        Secret pain
        Shouldn’t strain
        Breathlessly to scream
        I know the where
        I know the when
        I know the who too well
        Believe me or believe me not
        I have a truth to tell

        Liked by 3 people

        • luckyotter says:

          These abusers are often in positions of power and authority. They are the “pillars of society” — the doctor, the businessman, the police officer, the priest or minister, the psychiatrist, the professor, the nurse! To the sheeple, these “pillars” can do no wrong. So if someone of lower status, say a victim of rape by say, the policeman, no one will believe her, because, well, who’s going to believe this teenage girl over a respected police officer? Right? So the real victim gets blamed as a liar and a troublemaker, even though she did nothing wrong at all other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time!

          I like that poem. It says it all.

          Liked by 1 person

        • That poem. Wow.

          The opening lines of my memoir-in-progress:

          PEOPLE SCREAM in horror movies when the unthinkable happens. But in real life — that is, in my life — I froze like a deer caught in headlights, the terror stuck in my throat.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. luckyotter says:

    Just a random thought, but this thread looks like alphabet city.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. S says:

    Alphabet city maybe, but, the conversation is so productive. We get talking and one thing leads to another. Lucky Otter, I don’t know if you want us to stay more on topic. In katiesdream2004’s comment, I think once we realize we are with a Narc no matter what their position of power, the best way to handle it is not to react and then make up a bogus but acceptable excuse as to why youre choosing another provider. Say something like, I found one closer and I do need to save on gasoline costs. Also I think we sadly find N’s in positions of power like Psychiatrists and clergy is simply because they’re human and can be invaded by the demon spirit too. They must have an emptiness of their own and lack of self-awareness and chose the wrong profession for themselves. My problem was I was disabled and my narc mother was my emergency contact on my paperwork(I didn’t know WHO she WAS at the time). So apparently Munchausens by Proxy was going on as I was sick a lot, and she would just tell the doctors that I wasn’t taking care of myself and they would believe her over me. Big problem, cost me a lot of years.

    Liked by 3 people

    • luckyotter says:

      Oh, my. Your mother was using your “illnesses” to gaslight you, even though she was deliberately causing them. I think anyone who does that to a child has got to be evil. I’ve sort o gotten away from talking so much about the supernatural implications of these disorders (due to the controversy they seem to cause so I shy away from too many discussions of that nature), but I still believe they are at least partly spiritual disorders and the empty void inside being inhabited by an evil spirit or entity makes total sense to me! People who are “cluster B” who haven’t been inhabited yet (you’ll be able to tell because they still have some self awareness) need prayers because they are very vulnerable to possession. At least that’s my opinion. But I hesitate to write too much about the spiritual aspects of cluster B disorders here on this blog. In the past I had more posts like that though.

      I know the evil is real though, because I have seen it for myself. I’ve seen those solid black eyes and the NPD mask of rage on my abusers. I know it wasn’t my imagination either–even my father heard the inhuman voice once over the phone with my sociopathic ex. He didn’t believe in the devil until he heard that voice. I never heard it, but I had already identified him as someone who was probably possessed.

      Anyway….I agree with you that there are evil people in the psychiatric/mental health professions, and also in the clergy. In fact, the clergy is where a lot of them gather, because they will never be suspected. I think that just because something has never been proven or can’t be measured, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I have that emptiness inside, but I’m learning to fill it with good things through prayer, being mindful and keeping myself busy. I’m also getting therapy to try to reclaim my true self, which is coming out more and more over time, and comes out most of the time when I write.

      I think as far as telling a Narcissist provider you’re too busy or can’t afford the gas or whatever, that’s really a form of No Contact and I agree that’s the best way to handle things if you find yourself dealing with any mental health provider who you realize is N.

      Liked by 2 people

      • S says:

        Ok good idea I’m sure not to talk too much about the spiritual aspect but thanks for addressing it. Like I said once before, I’ve listened to part 1 of the audiobook People Of The Lie and I’m going to get the 2nd and 3rd part as well. One thing that has helped me, that might help you, like when we find ourselves getting really angry about the abuse from narc mother is to think, maybe she didn’t really do it. What I mean by that is, she was/is probably inhabited by something other than herself and then that makes our mission a much bigger one, of fighting the good fight. It takes away some of the anger at the person and you think of it as something much bigger and more powerful. Gives more meaning to your life whether things should turn out for better or for worse. I know I’m still holding my breath. I’ve come this far, I’m not giving up.

        Liked by 2 people

        • luckyotter says:

          “People of the Lie” was the book that opened my eyes and made me able to identify both my ex and my mother. I wrote a review of it here: https://luckyottershaven.com/2014/09/13/book-review-people-of-the-lie-the-hope-for-healing-human-evil-by-m-scott-peck-md/

          I agree with you about how thinking of your parent as someone who was taken over by evil or possessed, you feel like less of a victim. It wasn’t her that hated you or abused you (she was helpless because something else had taken over). It doesn’t help to feel sorry for them of course (because you don’t want to enable them) but at the same time, it allows you to let go of your rage and hurt and realize that in a sense, they were a victim too, of something far worse, something they can never escape. It makes me a little sad, but you have no choice but to just write off someone like that, or you could lose your own soul too. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t hate narcissists. I feel sorry for them. But I will never, ever, let one close to me ever again, not if I can help it!

          Liked by 2 people

          • katiesdream2004 says:

            That book was very important to me too. “Wolves wearing sheep clothing” and “darkness comes disguised as an angel of light” explains some of the nature of evil. Evil doesn’t announce itself. When it is really effective at destroying it is done so because people believed it was good. Becoming wise and discerning without being paranoid and closed hearted is growth I’m hoping for.

            My apologies for going off topic, when I do that I call it falling down the rabbit hole

            Liked by 2 people

    • katiesdream2004 says:

      This is good advice. Carefully and safely put distance in a way that they have no reason to retaliate because a Narc therapist can have a long reach into your future care. I’ve wondered about Munchausen’s by Proxy too with my mother too. And the spiritual aspect is huge. The features on my Narc abuser changed into a twisted hideous hate filled mask My mother would also have this dead-eyed soulless look when she was about to launch an abusive tirade. I wondered where that evil came from and I believe it has a spiritual source.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. S says:

    Katiesdream2004, your last 2 comments were very helpful to me. I really liked when you said, “Becoming wise and discerning without being paranoid and closed hearted is growth I’m hoping for.” Those words of yours were meant for me to see because that IS what I want for me too. I just hadn’t put it into words yet. What’s weird is that I’m so certain that some of the people I knew started out as ok and decent people, I’m not so sure I was fooled by their sheeps clothing. It’s almost like somewhere along the line they became inhabited, something changed. Could they have been ok and simply changed at some point? God knows each one of us individually. Could it be that the devil knows each of us too and in a way seeks out to harm Christians? I’m just trying to find a way to explain what has happened to me in the last especially 10 years. I haven’t said it yet in my comments but I’ve seen the black eyes too. It appeared that both the iris and white of the eyes were all filled in black.

    Liked by 3 people

    • luckyotter says:

      I don’t really know. I think people can cross a “point of no return” when something bad takes up residence and there’s no going back. I wish I had the answers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My dad was the minister of a small church in the 1960s. Very strict, hellfire and brimstone. When I was twelve, his religious beliefs and whole personality did a 180. He quit the ministry and start doing many of the things he had preached that you would go to hell for: smoking, drinking, and he bought an “evil” tv.

      Then one night he went into a rage and came so close to murdering my mom that I thought she was dead. (I was 12.) That night, during his murderous rage, the pupils of my dad’s eyes were glowing bright red. I saw it and my mother saw it, too.

      My dad was arrested for his attack on my mom, then put in a psychiatric ward of a hospital. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at first. A couple of years later his diagnosis was changed to multiple personality disorder.

      A few years later my dad told me that others had reported seeing his eyes glow red. His mother and his new girlfriend, among others. Dad also told me that the night he tried to kill my mom, he had blacked out and an evil spirit took over his body. He said he had no memory of what he did when people said his eyes glowed red, he felt like he was simply asleep.

      My dad told me that it all started one night when he was preaching at his little church and man and his son came into the church and started yelling curses. (I said I didn’t remember that happening and he said my mother and siblings and I had stayed home that night.) Dad said that he tried to cast the demons out, but he couldn’t, he didn’t have the power. Then the demon possessed man yelled, “You can’t cast us out, but we will cast YOU out. Soon you will be gone from this place, but we will still be here!”

      My dad said that was when his own demon possession – multiple personality disorder – schizophrenia started.

      A few months after my dad almost killed my mother, my mother tried to gas us all to death. Talk about all hell breaking lose…. it was a living nightmare. And then my own “mental illness” began.

      Liked by 1 person

      • luckyotter says:

        Holy sh*t! Wow, that is SCARY. Yes, it definitely sounds like some sort of entity had taken up residence inside your father, especially since other people reported seeing the glowing red eyes and he remembers blacking out. I think some cases (not all, of course) of Multiple personality disorder (now it’s called dissociative identity disorder) could have supernatural causes. You were lucky to get away from that.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I was lucky… eventually. The true horror happened in my life when, two years after my dad tried to kill my mom while his eyes were glowing red, my family moved to a new town where the high school kids were holding stances with a Ouija board, and I got involved with that…

          Liked by 1 person

          • luckyotter says:

            Oooh I had a terrible experience with a Ouija board when I was 16. I wrote about it too. (There’s a post here somewhere). I threw that thing down the incinerator. I wouldn’t let my daughter bring one into the house.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. S says:

    Oh, I’ve also seen the body language of these individuals change. The movements become very exaggerated. From what I’ve seen, the sound of the voice, body movements, black eyes, and of course their actions all change.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Cluster B | kiasherosjourney

  10. S says:

    Thanks for the validation. I really like it here:)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ruud says:

    I believe it is not all that hard to understand. Certain features of being a bordo makes one especially receptive for manipulation and therefor ideal victims to manipulative people. This wil almost inevitably lead to some form of PTSD in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      I agree with this. Borderlines are very susceptible to abuse and manipulation — a lot of people don’t realize this. There’s a lot of ignorance out there about this disorder. But at the same time, borderlines who have not learned to be mindful can also abuse and manipulate others. A lot of times, this victim/abuser combination appears in the form of a borderline becoming a “colluder” with a narcissistic abuser. That’s why BPDs and NPDs often wind up together and if they have children they can both be abusive to the children. But the borderline is almost always in the codependent role and are victims themselves. They need to get away from their abusers and then they may be able to see the light. It doesn’t happen that way all the time, but it happens a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. S says:

    I’ve been following the discussion and really tuned in to what Linda Lee had to say. Let me add a little more.

    Now, not too long ago, I was living with someone who I think was ‘inhabited’ by a not good thing, BUT, at that time and this was for about 2 years in total, my cat began acting strangely too. Every morning she would run around and act like a dog, producing guttural barking sounds, with her ears pinned back and her tail straight up and all puffy. That doesn’t happen anymore.

    Also, I had this older female friend years back, who now I can tell, she was trying to teach me about the existence of evil, and she claimed that an object in her home would move on its own from time to time. I don’t think she saw it move, but, no one else was around and when my friend would re-enter the room the object had been in, it had changed location.

    At the time, I thought she was a little off of her rocker, just based on the content of what she was telling me, although in other ways she was very wise and completely sane. I made a judgement based on my lack of experience at the time. Now I know better.

    So maybe there is something to that saying, “Change people, places, and things.” They say that in AA. And AA people believe in that Higher Power whereas the N’s tend to believe in evolution. That’s my observation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      The cat acting like a dog is very…strange. So are the objects moving around on their own. I’ve never seen anything like that, but I believe it exists. As for the evolution question, I respect all beliefs on this matter. Personally I believe in evolution but I also believe that God was behind it. I am a Christian but not a fundamental Christian. I do not believe in the ‘young earth” theory or that Adam and Eve were literally the first humans. I won’t get into that discussion here though as to why. I don’t think there’s really a correlatin between one’s religious beliefs and whether or not they are N. Narcs can be found everywhere, and that includes within fundamental Christianity. There are also good people of all faiths and good atheists too. Of course, Ns who profess faith in Jesus Christ/God are probably lying, but there’s no way to prove this.

      Like

      • S says:

        Thank you Lucky Otter, you put that much better. Me too, I believe God started it all and then things evolved from there. What I meant is people who just think that micro-organisms and such were all there was in the beginning and everything else evolved from it. I too believe that there is good where most think it wouldn’t be found as well as bad that lurks in innocent places.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. S says:

    Another tip.

    You know how N’s project their thoughts or feelings into other people? Particularly the scapegoat?

    Well, there are some N’s who project both thoughts AND feelings at the same time.

    It’s like this, the N might say, that a girl Lisa, for example, ‘thinks’ that a girl Anne, for example, is ‘jealous’ of the N(the person making the statement). When in actuality, the N ‘thinks’ she herself is ‘jealous’ of Anne. Lookout Anne!

    That combination is particularly dangerous.

    Thoughts and/or feelings can be projected into most often people, but, sometimes animals.

    For instance, the N might say to you, “The dog thinks you’re hungry.” When in actuality, that translates into this, The N thinks they themselves are hungry.

    This tip, if you can spot it, could be life saving.

    I will bet after the N makes that statement she would then make a sandwich or something and eat it right up.

    It’s called double projection.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. S says:

    You know what’s weird? When young girls of narcissistic mothers are children, the young girl ends up taking care of her mother. So it’s like the young girl missed out on her childhood, one of the best parts. Her mother was the child instead. Ok I get that.

    But now that I’m older, but not too old, I’m 50. The way it has played out, is that now that I’m in my prime(I’ve got enough of a body left, experience, life-skills, plus wisdom), I am living the life of a senior citizen(not very wealthy, physical illnesses that I’m at the doctors with, plus a cat on my lap at home(I do love her though, she’s great).

    While last I heard, narc mother is the social butterfly in better condition than me(and she is in her mid 70’s), and living off of my share of my inheritance that I never got. So in a way, the narc mother steals, the best parts of her daughters life. The daughter is always the mother. A trading places of. I don’t know how to make sense of this. I guess if you live, then your life ends up being stolen?

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Oh, it makes a lot of sense. Anyway to keep you down and keep you from growing, that’s what the narc mother will do. Maybe it’s not exactly conscious, but there’s something at work inside them that makes them do this. Me, I was overprotected and intermittently abused and praised (unrealistically) until I was about 12 or 13, and then I was neglected and finally, abandoned and turned into the black sheep. It’s not so bad being a black sheep though. The hurt is still there but I really do like it better this way.

      Like

      • S says:

        Thanks for that. I appreciate you sharing with me/us here. I know this doesn’t help much, but, I tell myself that things could be worse. I was 47 when I was ‘cut off.’ And without warning, wasn’t at all ready for it, almost too old to do something about it but not quite. If it had happened at 57 there probably wouldn’t have been any recovery that could have been made. But still, no fun scrambling for things at this age. Can I ask how old you were when you were abandoned?

        Liked by 1 person

        • luckyotter says:

          It happened over a period of years. It was gradual, not all at once. First I was emotionally abandoned, during my adolescence (although it actually started happening long before that), at age 17 I was kicked out of my mother’s house (I never got over that–long story though, it’s under the “My Story” posts) Years later, and over a period of time, I learned I’d also been written out of the will.

          Like

  15. S says:

    I’m sorry I just have to say one more thing here. I don’t want these things to happen to others if it can be prevented in the first place.

    I did the therapy thing for a very long time. I was very committed to getting better. My motivating factor was the amount of emotional pain I always seemed to be in.

    This doctor who really understood me and re-parented me, in the end, ended up thinking I was paranoid or delusional or something, because he had never heard of the number of people in my life “being in on it.” Part of the narcissistic-abuse team if you will.So he accidentally put me back with some abusers thinking I was the problem. The doc even said that I needed to listen to them or I would be hospitalized.

    Well, a few more events played out and they realized they were wrong and I was right. By that time it was almost too late. But I got through it.

    Turns out, it was only me and the doc who weren’t part of the narc-abuse team. But my psychiatrist was. Not the therapist. I don’t think the psychiatrist was bad or evil, I think he was fooled by narc mother so he was innocently ‘in on it.’ The woods were that thick. Almost couldn’t find a way out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      That sucks but at least he realized his mistake before it was too late. It’s true that many people don’t understand how these types of families work, and assume the one “they’re all ganging up against” must be the problem. I guess it’s natural to think that way if you’re ignorant about this kind of abuse, after all, everyone else is getting along, right? But we know better don’t we?

      Like

  16. S says:

    Right. Two things need to happen before decent family members can help. One they need to know about the existence of narcissistic families, they need education. Second, they need to be able to recognize evil in their own parentage. I heard that that second criteria is one of the hardest things a person can ever do. In my family, the scapegoat changes after one dies. So, there’s not too many of us left.

    Liked by 1 person

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