Out of the Closet: As a Borderline and a Narcissist

dsc04331aEven now, just as I begin to write I can feel myself wanting to detach, even slightly dissociate into a day-dream type state.

I’m tired though and depressed. What I take some days for my depression and anxiety, makes me tired the next day, which in turns feeds the depression and my boredom.

So, to the point of this post: I have borderline personality disorder. I was diagnosed some time ago, but even if I hadn’t been, I could, quite confidently still say this and know it’s true.

In fact, I sought the diagnosis. Although I would’ve preferred to be proven wrong, the truth is truth no matter how much you don’t want it to be. Sure, I could also be labeled as having Complex Post Traumatic Disorder too and in fact I do think I suffer from that as well. After all, I have borderline because of ongoing emotional neglect and abuse via both parents, which also caused the post traumatic stress.

The traumatic stress was exacerbated during the stretch of weeks that my family and I cared for my father after he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. There abuse exhausted me. I found myself wondering during the editing of this post, if their treatment of me didn’t play a part in removing the mask that I wear. That being said, the mask is and has been off in my living situation for a long time. It has come off in periodic fits of rage or berating of others.

According to the DSM (any version that lists it) I fit quite well into each symptom of BPD. I have mentioned the personality disorder here and there on this blog, but not a whole lot, pertaining to myself, preferring to go along with the (C)PTSD part of the diagnosis, given the way I acquired it. Note: I was not diagnosed with Complex PTSD. The therapist who diagnosed me with borderline also diagnosed me with PTSD.

My thinking on that is because the complex form is not recognized in the DSM and it’s likely for insurance purposes as well. This therapist , in fact all the therapists I’ve seen covered by public assistance have seemed to be more concerned with making sure they get paid than making sure they can help me.

Digressing…sorry.

Feeling afraid and shameful, because of the stigma, I have preferred to mention as little as possible in reference to myself. Besides, don’t people with C-PTSD have trouble with impulse control and containing emotions as well?  I’d bet that some do. It’s a coping strategy in defense of feeling threatened. Whether a real threat or not.

Some of what I’ve written of my behavior though, certainly speaks for itself and someone knowledgeable of the disorders would likely figure it out.  In fact someone knowledgeable may even guess I have some level of narcissism as well.

I want to at some point, go down the list of borderline symptoms and illustrate how they fit my own behaviors. But for now, I will just give an example of some unstable relationship behavior:

In past relationships I have been very indecisive (although the men were always unhealthy) and would pull someone in. Then when I felt like things were getting too serious, I’d push them away in some form or another. I know now that it was because I felt engulfed.

I spent my twenties back and forth between two men, seeing one for a stretch of time, then doing that with the other, repeatedly. Same two guys.

Then in my thirties there were two other men, one being married and the other Mr. B. It wasn’t quite the same as with the other two, but I found myself at one point not wanting to make up my mind between the two of them. In fact, I don’t know that I ever would have, had it not been made up for me. The married man from when I was in my early thirties is one in the same as the man I got re-involved with at the end of 2009 and he was married again to someone else

Always though, sex was the high-point and the most important part of these relationships for me. In fact it was an addiction of sorts. Sex in and of itself wasn’t what I’d call an addiction. I was addicted to each person I wanted to have sex with. I didn’t go seek out sex with every guy in town just so that I could have an orgasm. Sex though, with the men I felt drawn to, was an escape for me like getting drunk was or smoking a joint.

I was up late last night reading a blog I found a link to on the resource page of the blog “Down the Rabbit Hole.”

That  blog is called “From Narcissism to Nirvana” and can be found here. I found myself relating to so much of what was written there.

I know, it’s well known that if you question yourself being a narcissist, you aren’t one. But I don’t agree with that across the board. That’s not to say I don’t think all narcissists are aware, nor do all narcissists question. And it’s probably that if a malignant narcissist is aware of what he or she is, they see no reason to change.

Nor am I saying that I think every single person who questions themselves, is one. As has been said before, narcissism runs on a spectrum and a little is a good thing anyway.

On the blog is a post about different types of narcissists. I found this interesting to read about and found myself in the description of “Fragile/Covert narcissist.” Not everything fit, but enough to see and understand that I have some issues with this. You can find that post here.

I have been resisting using these labels. But I believe this resistance is holding me back from writing as freely as I’d like. I’ve been afraid of what some of my readers will think, say or do. (Even though I don’t have many.)

I am irresponsible. I stay up late and I sleep late. I don’t work. I rely on someone else to keep a roof over my head. There’s SNAP but no cash benefits because I don’t have kids. I self-isolate and have done so for a few years now. When I do leave the house for necessary errands, I am completely wiped out by the time I get back.

I berate my roommate and have little patience for our cat.

Even when Mr. B does something nice or positive or whatever, I will still find something to berate him for. I find something out of place and I call him at work, angry about it, trying to change the occurrence. Trying to get him to change his habits. Trying to control the situation. Trying to control him.

I rage when I feel threatened or slighted in any way, most of the time as well, so yes, Mr. B has experienced and been on the receiving end of this.

I get agitated easily when someone doesn’t understand me the first time I explain myself, whether it’s a hearing problem or a logistic misunderstanding, my reaction tends to be the same. And as I repeat myself the impatience and agitation is loud and clear.

I have never had an interest in anything long enough to become an expert in it, really great at it or to really make any money at it. I get bored quickly and easily long before I master anything.

On top of this I also have codependency issues. I am afraid to be assertive. Either I am putting my tail between my legs or I rage. There doesn’t seem to be too much in-between most of the time.

The co-dependency issues:

-I have a need for approval from others/everyone. The situation I went through with my family while we cared for my dying father is a really good example of my codependency behavior.
-Not being capable of drawing boundaries.
-Worried my family wouldn’t love me if I didn’t do what they wanted.
-Not standing up for myself when they raged at me or otherwise verbally/emotionally assaulted me.
-Their approval of me was more important to me than my own safety.

My family as a unit is/was very narcissistic.

None of us know how to deal with our emotions or stress in productive ways among each other. That was made very clear during my father’s illness. Speaking for myself, my emotional and stress responses go beyond my behavior with my family, as I’ve illustrated here.

Briefly speaking for my family members, I see borderline traits in my brother, both borderline and some malignant narcissism in my sister, and covert narcissism in my mother as well as apathy.

I prefer to say that I have borderline personality disorder rather than that I am a borderline. Because the borderline traits are the behaviors of false-self, as I see it. They are the protection and the defense. Even some kind of denial of self.

Even the nice-guy act of certain types of narcissists is a protective shell to get others to like them. I understand that this is manipulative and fake and much of the time there is some evil ulterior motive other than to just be liked. But bear with me, I am not talking about malignant narcs.

On the above mentioned blog From Narcissism to Nirvana, the author explains some behaviors and how they relate to the false-self and the mask. In reading I came to my own understanding of the phenomena of the act, the mask and the false-self.

The act is just that, but it’s also an adaptation to the social aspect of life. It’s also a far outer wall, to protect both real and false-selves as well as to hide the mask itself.

The mask is the shield closest to the surface personality, which I think is the false-self. The abusive self, the raging self, the angry and hardened self…that is all the false-self. The self that developed in defense to protect the real-self. The real self is actually the vulnerable soft little child who just wants love. And is the one hidden behind all these hard outer shells, known as masks.

So when the mask comes off it’s not the real-self you see. Even though, neither was the nice guy you first met. When a mask comes off, it’s still just one layer. The rage and evil you see is the self defense coping strategy developed over so much time.

The real-self is also the developmentally arrested self. The layers of masks are there to cover up the fact that the child has not emotionally grown up and into the full-fledged adult it was meant to. The adult child is emotionally stuck in whatever age the wounding began.

So what you see and experience when the mask comes off, is another defense and protective mechanism because the adult child hasn’t learned any coping mechanisms past that early age. That rage is a coping mechanism for a very scared, frightened, sad and grieving child.

The adult (real-self) never had a chance to emotionally develop because the child lived in a necessary state of defense, constant stress and fear.

Children need guidance and direction in order to learn new and age appropriate coping skills from healthy adults who also understand healthy ways of coping, as he or she grows.  When that’s not available, the child is left to fend for itself.

I can’t speak to the experience of every narcissist or everyone with borderline personality disorder. I’m speaking from the understanding I took from something I read and applied to the way it feels for me.

There are times I’ve reacted in anger when it made absolutely no sense and in fact it was a result of being embarrassed. So my thoughts on this, is that perhaps the mask is worn (for some) because of the embarrassment that they have not fully grown emotionally into an adult.

I can say that is likely the case for me as well as wanting to be liked, accepted and not bring about negative attention.

I am an ACON (Adult Child of Narcissists). Both parents I believe now were there own brand of narcissist. I didn’t see it in my mother prior because she is more covert and much quieter. I also think she has many codependent issues as well. My father fits the more fragile type and his immature emotions were obvious many times throughout my childhood and later.

As a result my defense mechanisms formed as traits that equal both borderline and narcissistic. My father passed away miserable and unhappy. My siblings and mother choose to stay in denial and simply use me as the family scapegoat. However, I am not in contact with them either so I am no longer privy to anything being said in that vein. Their actions, particularly in those last months of involvement with them, made it quite clear how they feel about me.

I feel like a bee who escaped a nest of angry hornets, who wanted to use me for stinging practice and buzz loudly about everyone they felt slighted them or couldn’t control.  I needed to get away from their angry buzzing and their stings. I needed to get the volume of all that noise down. But unfortunately, it still echoes throughout my mind and I am still defending myself against their attacks, even though they are no longer attacking me in real time.

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Below the line is a rambling before editing my thoughts on the act, the mask and the false-self, if you’re interested in some of the thought process.
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The love-bombing, the acting like a super good person, is an act…as most of us know…even the narcissists themselves, including the unaware ones, likely know this. As a narc becomes more familiar with the person he or she is love bombing, he starts to test the waters to see how much they can slack off. And as each layer of the act comes off, the closer you get to the mask. When you reach the mask, that’s when the the hard core abuse and rage really starts.

But under the mask? There’s where the real false-self is. The self that the narcissist doesn’t want you to see. The false self is the constructed self (the wall if you will) to protect the child inside. Because this person, in an adult body, is emotionally arrested at the level of a small child. A small intensely wounded child.

In essence, the false-self is on the surface…under the mask. And all those traits that you see when the mask falls off, is actually still more of the false-self.

The false-self formed a long time ago, during childhood, likely because of harsh abuse and neglect or maybe even from being fawned over too much, to make a child believe he or she was more special than anyone else. But I’d be willing to bet that different types of narcissism forms, depending on whether a child was abused or fawned over. And I’m not speaking from the stand-point of being fawned over as a child.

The false-self formed as a defense to protect the child. And as the child grows, it becomes more and more ingrained because it continues to need to protect itself.

(I’m using ‘it’ for simplification. I know children and humans aren’t things or its. It’s just easier than writing him/her and himself/herself. No offense intended here.)

And so those neural pathways become like dried concrete. And as a child develops into an adult the more it becomes ingrained and cemented in, if you will.

We have been told this can’t be changed because after all it has become the person’s personality. And although it’s disordered, the personality is the definition of someone.

But this begs the question, at least from me, what sort of person would have emerged if there was never a need to protect itself? If the child had been loved, guided and nurtured?

And if someone can become aware, they can also change their behaviors and even the drives that create a mind-set to bring those behaviors forth can also be changed.

In fact it is well known now through the study of the brain that our neuro-pathways are not forever stuck if we decide we want to change. It’s not easy to do but it is possible.

 

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50 thoughts on “Out of the Closet: As a Borderline and a Narcissist

  1. If there was never a need to protect…….everything that is that you dont like or wish to change or find aggressive wouldn’t even exist. At least i dont think it would. Seems you are aware of yourself but you also may be a little hard on yourself. There is a reason. And you know the reason. So try to be genteel with yourself. You deserve that, you really do.
    Your post is really cool btw. I really learned alot and got a lot of insight. Was very insightful so thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bethany, you are so right about the first statement and also about me being hard on myself. I’ve been hard on myself for as long as I can remember. And you know, I know it’s my father who drilled that in there. And he didn’t even have to directly call me names. I do it to myself now. I’m working on catching myself on that now and replacing it with encouraging, corrective talk.

      My brother does this too, beats himself up when he does something he perceives as stupid. I’ve seen and heard him berate himself out loud in front of me. I remember how sad I felt to hear him do this. I knew then where it was coming from. My father was a real bastard.

      So I am trying to be more gentle with myself and even remember that it does come from somewhere. But then my father was a bastard for reasons too. So at some point I feel like I need to stop blaming or at least stop blaming angrily. Because I’m taking out my anger toward them on people who don’t deserve it.

      I’m thinking and feeling that in order to stop, I’m going to have to focus on myself and not so much them. I’m not completely clear on how that’s gonna be or how that looks. It’s just this abstract idea that is running through my mind right now. I don’t know how to stop being angry, at least not yet. I’m hoping that if I get the behaviors in check, learn how to behave and treat people, then I can work on the underlying issues.

      Like I wrote in that comment to you…it’s about acceptance of their behavior. That it’s not going to change no matter how angry I am or get. They will have always done what they did. Now it’s up to me to recover. If I don’t recover, if I don’t take responsibility and become a responsible adult, they win.

      And even saying that doesn’t feel right because I know that my parents were not setting out to be malicious from the start. But then those weeks in caring for my father, their behavior did seem somewhat malicious.

      Thank you so much for your kindness and understanding.

      Like

      • You hit the nail on the head when you said abstract. It is ALL abstract !!! This whole process of processing, accepting, letting go, feeling. All difficult to sort through. Putting feelings back where they belong, on who they belong and then dealing with the left overs. For me, it is hard to finally be angry, but have no one to be really angry with to confront and to just have to sit with that anger and not be pissy or take it out on anyone else. I know when i am being pissy. I try to stop. Most times i do, take a breath, and realize ok I need to put this anger where it belongs….but where does it belong. What do we do with the anger. Ah people say punch the pillow, scream, talk it out, go for a walk, blah blah blah. It is real anger caused by grief and injustices and I dont know how that goes away. But at some point i usually just make a conscious choice to stop it until another day.

        Liked by 2 people

        • yeah, how to give it back to who it belongs to. The ongoing puzzle. Even if I had the person present to yell at and go off on, I don’t thing that would take it away. For me and for many of us, we wouldn’t be validated anyway and in fact would likely be minimized, recharging the anger once again.

          There’s got to be a way to let go of the anger, or a better word would be the rage. The rage (for me) is a cover for the pain, for the rage. It’s a shell that keeps me from breaking down and crying I think much of the time. Maybe the crying is what I need to release it all.

          I’ve never had much luck with punching pillows. In fact if raging to the air or punching things worked, I’d be healed by now. I used to punch walls and kick doors when I raged. It doesn’t heal anything.

          I also think the rage (or acting out of it) is also a cover for actual anger maybe. Anger is an emotion we’re supposed to feel but we’re told it’s not ok. In addition to that it’s an uncomfortable emotion.

          You said something that caught my attention: that you have to sit with the anger.

          Maybe that’s all we can do. Sit with it, really feel it and learn how to get comfortable with it. Anger is a signal to our body that we are in danger, or something has crossed our boundary. It’s a positive protective mechanism.

          So when it’s from the past and there’s no one to direct it at, maybe that’s all we can do. Sit with it, let our body process it the way it wants to. Maybe even work toward keeping our mind out of it. Like a meditation of sorts.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Aura Gael,
    I know I don’t comment here too frequently, but…wow! What an article. I think perhaps I opened a can of worms by “coming out,” but looking at this another way, maybe it’s incentive to make others more self aware? I apologize, but I didn’t even know you had BPD.
    Narcissism to Nirvana is a fascinating blog. I read much of it about a year ago, when I first started to suspect I might be a covert narcissist. I wish it was still active, but it’s still great information and I learned a lot.
    I’m glad you found my resource page. There aren’t a lot of resources for those of us with “fleas” who suspect we might actually be narcissists (or even for those of us who know we are and have a dx) but I think Yara’s blog (Healing From NPD) has started the ball rolling and a lot of ACONs are now realizing they picked up more than just a case of fleas. I am one of them.
    You know what though. It’s not the end of the world. Those of us who are aware and willing to heal — we are NOT hopeless and we are NOT evil. I’ve avoided the hate blogs now for a while. I can’t stand the us versus them thinking. We are just PEOPLE, and this was caused by narcissistic abuse. It’s all mixed up together, not two different things.
    Anyway, I applaud your courage in writing this post. I HIGHLY recommend Yara’s blog Healing From NPD, because it’s written for people like us who identified as narc abuse victims and later saw our own narcissistic traits or narcissism. But Narcissism to Nirvana is great too, even though you can’t comment there anymore.
    I’m glad you are looking inward, and it may turn out you are not a narcissist, but even if you are, it’s not the end of the world, and I think some of us are working to reduce some of the stigma and more people are going to be “coming out” as they become more aware and more people like you, Yara, me and others have the courage to write about this.
    Oh, and by the way, I used to have a cat named Mr. B too! And I also don’t have much patience with my cats sometimes and I wasn’t a very patient mom either (which makes me sad now).
    You might want to read Yara’s article about the way she idealized and devalued her cat — it’s sort of funny but so true.
    http://healingfromnpd.com/cat-conundrum
    Remember, no matter what, you are still YOU! You are still a beautiful person with feelings who can keep getting better!
    Keep on writing! You’re doing great.
    I would like to reblog this post on Down The Rabbit Hole, if you don’t mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for reading Otter. I have suspected for some time. I really figured the traits that I’ve been demonstrating were part of BPD but the more I read, the more I see traits that are part of covert narcissism.

      It’s been depressing me for quite some time, although I’ve gone through bouts of depression for my entire adult life.So it’s not just because of that. The thing that bothers me most is how I treat Mr. B.

      Oh and just to clarify, Mr. B is my roommate. I use that as I am protecting his identity. Ozzy is my cat’s name. It’s still funny though that you had a cat named Mr. B. Lol.

      Anyway, I described it in the post, how I berate Mr. B even when he does something nice for me. I’ll still find something to brow beat him for. And I get hooked too. It’s not like once and done but I keep going, keep yelling, keep ruminating. I remind myself of my father when I do this. And I hate myself for it.

      I always apologize though. And the real fucked up thing is that Mr. B has gotten to the point that he blames himself for how I behave. Talk about feeling guilty. There’s actually a lot of shame that I feel for that.

      I’ve started working with a DBT workbook I have and that blog I mentioned above has a link to stuff about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and I ‘m looking at that too.

      I don’t just want to stop here, I want to work on myself and stop these behaviors. In controlling the impulse I’m hoping it will change the way I think about things and eventually I won’t WANT to react the way I do now. You know, like I won’t feel the rage or the anger, so there won’t even be an impulse to control. That’s the goal anyway.

      Also, I have read some of Yara’s blog. I really liked and related to a lot of what she wrote about her cat too. It was kind of funny in parts and made me feel not so bad about how I’ve been feeling about Ozzy.

      I also followed her blog too after finding it through you.

      And finally, thanks for the reblog.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Okay, thanks for clarifying. It is sobering when you begin to look at yourself and see that you have done the same thngs to others that you have accused them of doing. It’snot that we weren’t abused — we were, and probably still are. But it’s so confusing sometimes. Who is the abuser? WHo is the victim? it just feels sort of crazy, like seeing everything in mirror image. But it’s not the kind of crazy you feel when you’ve been gaslighted. It’s the craziness of seeing the truth for the first time!
        At first, it was devastating (read my early posts on this blog, as I began to become self aware). I didn’t know I had it, but was suspecting. I fell into a depression that lasted for days. I felt dissociated and couldn’t stop crying about it.
        And like you, a lot of the things I thought were my BPD were really covert NPD (they are hard to distinguish in many ways). But the NPD was built over the BPD to protect me from having to feel the intensity of emotions as a pure Borderline. I didn’t know it was happening (and I’m sure you didn’t know either). There was this overall, sort of “dead” feeling and I couldn’t figure out why people seemed so offended by things I did and said. Now I know why. And it’s actually a wonderful feeling to know the truth and know exactly what I need to do. It answered so many questions and explains everything I didn’t understand before.

        I took DBT classes back in ’96 when I was hospitalized (and diagnosed with BPD) but sort of blew it off back then. Almost 2 years ago, I dusted off my workbook (Marsha Linehan’s DBT book) and started doing the exercises. Being mindful makes a HUGE difference, even though it’s not an actual cure. Inner child work, as my therapist does, helps release trauma and actually is meant to lead to a cure one day (I have no idea how long this will take). As long as you’re willing, motivated, and have a lot of courage (and you do!) you can beat this!
        Thank you so much for posting this and having the courage to do so. I thought i was going to pass out when I hit the publish button, but I knew I had to.

        Like

    • One more thing, just thought of right after posting and don’t feel like editing. I think that part of the depression was also coming from not feeling free to write some things here when I really just need to feel that. The resistance has had me feeling trapped, which takes me back to how I felt living in my childhood home and the school I went to. I was a prisoner of war when I was a kid because of all the abuse, having to walk on egg-shells and then later the mind-fuckery of my siblings with my mother.

      Not to feel free to write what I need to come out with here, feels like I”m not being honest with myself. Even though, I could still be honest with myself without having a blog, it’s just how I feel about it.

      Thanks too, for the kind words and reassurance. I’m feeling pretty good about the ability to let that all out, but I’m sure when the aggression shows or I feel like I hit a wall, I’ll start feeling the depression and self hate. So everything you said is really helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I felt that way too. I felt like I was holding back something and I resented the hell out of it! I noticed I was losing interest in blogging and getting depressed about it because I was too afraid to be honest and open about what I knew.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “if someone can become aware, they can also change their behaviors and even the drives that create a mind set to bring those behaviors forth can also be changed.” ~Yes. I absolutely believe this.

    You and Lucky Otter are two of the bravest people I know. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, I am feeling a great deal better. A book I am reading has a lot to do with that: The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

        Have you read that one? It’s amazing. After all the psychology and self help books that I’ve read over the years, I thought I pretty much knew all there was to know about PTSD. Not even close!

        From what I am reading in this book, the issues in your life and in Lucky Otter’s life that have been labelled BPD and maybe even narcissism — I believe it is really just a manifestation of trauma. This is what trauma does to the psyche, and it can actually be seen on fMRI scans.

        PTSD is a normal reaction to overwhelming trauma and/or neglect, just as bleeding is a normal reaction to being stabbed. Having an open, gaping, bleeding stab wound in your chest or abdomen is not normal or healthy. But how ridiculous would it be if an emergency room doctor declared that you had a lifelong bloody gaping hole disorder? As if you were a stronger person, that knife would have just bounced right off you. You know what I mean?

        Trauma, abuse, bullying, rejection, neglect, and lack of love by our family of origin especially, will result in psychological injuries, not in personality disorder. That’s how I have experienced it, anyway. But even so, I greatly admire your courage and your honesty!!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thank you for your understanding, Linda. It’s encouraging, and you are absolutely right all of this is caused by trauma. It’s not us vs. them or black and white. I know I keep pounding that point home, but it’s so obvious to me now! It’s also very confusing sometimes though. You know what–I love WordPress because it seems to me that most people here don’t judge and are open to new ideas. Unlike that OTHER blogging platform. 😡

          Liked by 2 people

        • Good, I’m so glad you are feeling better. And yes, I have that book. In fact I have marked a bunch of pages with little sticky notes and is in my sights to refer back to soon. Perhaps sooner than I’d originally planned after reading your comment.

          I would like to find a therapist but have been so frustrated in looking in the past that I’ve given up recently. I plan to look again after the holidays but I may have to resort to the work on my own, which is also frustrating because it gets overwhelming with everything that could be possible to work. Or on the other hand, might not.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I’m reading it on my Kindle and so far I am highlighting most of the book! After reading about how different parts of the brain go offline during trauma flashbacks, and seeing the proof of that on fMRI scans, now I understand why writing my book is so HARD!!! The language part of my brain stops working when I relive my traumas…

            Liked by 2 people

              • Yes, it does help take the weight off, in the sense that now I’m no longer beating myself up for failing my 2016 New Year’s Day Resolution to finish my first draft this year. I am still nowhere close to finishing my first draft.

                However… I just hope that before Bessel van der Kolk’s book comes to a conclusion, there will be some viable suggestions on things that I can do to get past this frustrating situation. I just want to finish my memoir, already. Or else give up on it entirely. So far I can’t seem to do either one of those things. Grrr.

                Like you, I no longer have a therapist. The one I had moved away in September of last year. And the best one I found in this area, died in 2012, shortly before I had made up my mind that yes, I was ready to go ahead and make another appointment with her. Whew… she was a contemporary of Bessel van der Kirk. She’s the one who told me about him. I only saw her maybe three or four times, in June – July of 2011. Her insight into what was really going on with me was so uncanny that it almost scared me. Even so, I would have continued to see her but, the day after my last appointment with her, the doctor I was seeing for my antidepressant medication prescribed an additional drug for me that messed me all up very badly, to the point where I could not function, could not leave the house, could barely even get out of bed. By the time I finally weened myself off the RX meds and felt ready to go back to the therapist, when I did a quick google search of her name so I could get her phone number to call and make an appointment, I found her obituary.

                So sad. I feel like I really missed the boat. However, even the few times that I saw her, I got a lot of benefit out of it, so I feel very fortunate in that sense.

                I am like you, I feel a twinge of envy that I can’t go see Lucky Otter’s therapist. Not that I begrudge her having him, I just wish we all could. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: “Out of the Closet: As a Borderline and a Narcissist.” (reblogged article) – Down the Rabbit Hole

  5. One more thing I’d like to add here. I just read that post you linked, in the blog Narcissism to Nirvana, and this passage struck me:

    “As for treatment options, “fragile narcissists may respond best to empathic understanding and interventions that acknowledge underlying pain, insecurity, and vulnerability. These patients would require the clinician’s help to tolerate feelings of vulnerability without resorting to grandiosity or devaluation of others”.

    This is exactly what my therapist does with me! And it’s working! I won’t lie — it’s painful and hard. But he is very good at it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think the hubby has some kind of Cluster B disorder. A lot of what I read here sounds familiar. It’s usually other people, but occasionally I’m the one who bears the brunt of his rages. Eventually he calms down, apologizes, etc., but it’s so upsetting when he’s in the midst of it. I don’t know what caused it, but he talks about being bullied in high school, and that he doesn’t feel anything strongly except anger. He’s even wondered if he has borderline/bipolar/depression. I don’t tell many people about it because I don’t want to be disloyal or hear, “You should leave!” I have a history of attracting manipulative/abusive types who were much worse than him, so I’m not sure disrupting my life like that would be worth the trouble. But my mom witnessed something recently that made her say he’s too “hyper” sometimes. That tells me it’s not just me thinking that. 😛 I hope he becomes self-aware, because the unexpected rages may not happen often, and do not include violence or cussing or names, but they are very upsetting. When I finally break down and react, or stick up for myself, it gets worse. Usually, eventually, he realizes he’s being too hard on me. But getting to that point is long and hard. Cluster B could explain it all. If people who have it, can become self-aware and recover, then there is hope for the hubby, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Crap! I’m so sorry. I completely misunderstood your comment when I first read it. Thinking you were saying “my” husband might be cluster B. Ugh…

      After posting, I got it and deleted. But if you’re getting notifications through email you will see it.

      So sorry about the misunderstanding. smh…at myself.

      Also, sorry you are living with someone who is doing the same thing to you. I guess it’s good to post this kind of stuff because it can help people on the other side of it.

      Like

    • Hey Nyssa, it’s good you’re talking about it. I had no idea. I can understand why you’d be reluctant to post about it and worried people would tell you to leave. He could be Cluster B, or he could be Bipolar or something else, like you said. Some people just have bad tempers. Do you think he’s willing to see a counselor? How do you think something like marriage counseling might work for you two? Or do you think he might project his problems or the issues in your marriage onto you? These are tough questions. But it’s good you can talk about it here, on someone else’s blog, even if you can’t talk about it on yours. At least it’s something.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t really want to talk about it much longer….I don’t want to hijack the thread. 😛 I also get a bit nervous talking about it online.

        The trouble with counseling is the expense. We just don’t have that kind of money. I have noted that the blow-ups at me don’t seem to happen near as often as they used to. He is trying, at least. He knows he has a temper, so there is some self-awareness there that gives me hope.

        Though even when things are going fine between us, he keeps complaining about his terrible life or nobody liking him or things of that nature. It does get to be a strain to listen to this, because he’s done it for some 20 years. Chemical depression maybe? I hope he talks to his doctor about it, but it’s such a delicate subject to bring up.

        I don’t want to abandon the guy, especially if it really is some kind of medical thing driving this. Like with BPD, they say the amygdala is formed differently and makes a person see offense more readily. I see that in his interactions with others, not just me. He’ll be ranting and raving about something a friend of mine said to him on Facebook; I’ll review the post and see nothing to justify his being so upset.

        And then I see posts like this one, and get some insight into the other side, what it feels like to live with such a disorder. I hope it will help me better understand him. I think I’ll subscribe to this blog for that reason. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Open Path Collective is a service that matches you to a therapist in your area, and you will be charged half rates or less. (I only pay mine $40 a session and I found him thru Open Path). The prices vary by therapists though, but are significantly less than paying full rates. There are some therapists that charge on a sliding scale, even if they’re not part of Open Path. I would search for therapists under Open Path that are trained in trauma and attachment disorders. These usually work with people with PDs, as well as people with C-PTSD/PTSD. I hope this helps — here is their link:
    http://openpathcollective.org/

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Rethinking a Self-Diagnosis | Sleeping Tiger

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