Finger Pointing Blame GameThe boy in my story often accused me of being Bipolar, Borderline, and depressed. He would blame his rages on what he liked to call my mental instability. After escaping, I asked my counselor about the differences between depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. I wanted to know how a person knows if he/she has Bipolar Disorder or is Borderline.

My counselor explained that there is no blood test or brain scan to determine any of these conditions. However, he assured me that based on our many sessions and conversations, I was depressed…nothing more.

Not that I was relieved to learn that I was JUST depressed, I was relieved to learn that the boy’s rages had NOTHING to do with me. The boy’s rages had EVERYTHING to do with his own disordered mind. Nothing more. (But even if I were Bipolar or Borderline, doesn’t give him the right to blame me for his shitty treatment of me.)

The boy’s rages would come out of no where and were not influenced by alcohol or drugs. The boy was completely sober. We’d be talking about something and then BAM!! I was always caught off guard and rendered speechless and frozen, similar to a deer in headlights.

Interestingly, I recently read the following on a blog by Joseph Burgo, Ph.D:

“Most of the clients I’ve seen who demonstrated features of Borderline Personality Disorder or presented with Bipolar Disorder symptoms also displayed features of narcissistic behavior, often involving outbursts of rage.”

Dr. Burgo goes on to explain that an episode of rage, whether by a person with Bipolar Disorder, Borderline, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is an intense form of blaming, one of the primary defenses against shame.

Dr. Burgo’s message makes it clear to me that the boy’s rages were a combination of blame, shame, and projection. I’ll never know why the boy was so ashamed of who he is, and I honestly do not care to know anymore. Finally, the boy is dead to me and only his actions and treatment live on in my writings and posts in hopes others will learn from my misfortune.

If someone is raging on you, you need to find the strength and courage to walk away. If they have Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder, bless them and wish them the best. How much more of your life and happiness are you willing to sacrifice for someone who refuses to face their own disordered mind?

Namaste!

Category:
abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Forgiveness, Health, Journaling, Mental Health, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Writing
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Join the conversation! 21 Comments

  1. […] If someone is raging on you, you need to find the strength and courage to walk away. If they have Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder, bless them and wish them the best. How much more of your life and happiness are you willing to sacrifice for someone who refuses to face their own disordered mind?  Narcissists, Their Rages, and the Blame Game […]

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  2. They are not capable of facing their disordered mind. You cannot fix structural abnormalities in the brain. Neuroscience has recently shown through fMRI that personality disordered individuals have brain structure different than non disordered individuals. It has also shown they are not capable of empathy or respond to abstract words or phrases only concrete. Emotions of others are not understood by these individuals. Complicated and very hard to grasp as a non disordered person. Very foreign.

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    • Thank you, Carin. There way of being is very normal to them. It’s one of the things about accepting them that is so hard for many of their victims. Thank you for sharing these resent and invaluable neuroscience research findings. The sooner many realize change is not possible, the sooner they will disengage and protect themselves. 🙂

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  3. I see now that I was with an emotional abuser for 2.5 years. He told me early on that he had panic attacks and needed support from
    me to communicate during those times. I repeatedly changed my communication tactics to accommodate him, but I couldn’t keep up; those “needs” were constantly changing. all of the sudden, I had no voice in the relationship. what I had to say was always either skewed or invalidated. he would drive a wedge between friends and me and then when I confronted the friend, he would take their side. he refused to let my friendship continue with an ex and I found out 6 months later that HE’D started talking to one of his exes and the emails I found were more than “friendly.” his views of every disagreement took precedence, therefore he defined my reality. as the relationship progressed, I deteriorated. I could say something as simple as “when you do this, I feel this,” but instead of listening to my feelings and trying to understand, he would get angry and not talk to me for days. when he did decide to talk, he would calmly explain that whatever I did or said actually caused him to do what he did or said. even though we were “best friends” and able to have conversations about almost any topic, we could never talk about the real issues in the relationship. we could never progress to true emotional intimacy, even though there was tremendous physical intimacy, because there was a stone wall of unresolved issues. I would write and rewrite the things I wanted to talk to him about so I wouldn’t trigger his anger, but it always backfired. and it would create more distance between us, with him saying that “I can’t get too close to you because you hurt me in the past” or that he couldn’t talk because of what an ex had done. he would tell me how crazy she was and cried as he recounted how she tried to kill herself when he broke up with her, then how chivalrous he was for getting back with her and taking care of her after. I believed if I could be more… more loving and understanding, all would be well. because I became afraid of his mood swings, I very seldom brought up any issues, whether minor or major. I would end up exploding, which was a really new experience to me, so it did seem to be MY problem. so I went to work on myself. for a year and a half, despite countless indiscretions and emotional blackmail on his part, I recreated and reinvented myself and had even almost finished an online course at his urging. but all of it was in vain. we were talking about marriage and he told me he was saving for a ring, but the closer we got to that next step, the more reasons he came up with: “I’ll leave you if…” he threatened me twice in the month before we broke up and both times, I changed that behavior accordingly. I had started to feel depressed, which is something I’d never felt in my 32 years before I felt isolated, misunderstood and frightened. so I told him that and how I also felt that I could never be enough for him. he broke up with me the next day, calling me a loser and petty and repulsive. I decided then and there to get out. I am in the process of selling everything I can so I can leave the state, putting all of these broken promises in my rear view. I couldn’t fix the relationship by changing myself. and I realize now that I wasn’t supposed to. not only am I deserving of someone emotionally mature and responsible, but I now see that none of it was ever really about me. it was always about him.

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    • I completely understand how you feel as I have been dating this guy who has been running away from his issues. Whenever I popped the question of what happened to his exes he would call them names i.e. psycho etc. He started demonstrating really weird and bizarre behavior about 1.5 months ago where he would return from a drinking spree and started screaming and yelling and crying. No matter what I did or said, nothing worked and it was always my fault. On the eve of his birthday he had a series of bad luck and started screaming and crying and throwing things in the apartment. He had a knife pointed at me before I started calling the cops. Nothing works when they are raged and in the mood of yelling. He has threatened to leave several occasions and finally I packed up and left on his birthday. He never did call or initiated contact but sent me massive texts on how I sucked and blamed me for everything and called me a bitch etc. I have since moved back as felt that it was unfair to laden my mates with the burden of crashing on their couches. Upon moving back he started attacking and screaming at me and threw stuffs around my apartment. My wall ornaments came crashing during his manic attack. I have since packed his things and told him to move and changed the locks since he was a threat to me. He is bitter and upset and blames me for things. He has since apologized after I did and I have shared that I miss him but he does not respond ….what do I do. I really love him

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    • What do you do? keep doing what you did here…write. It’s clear in your writing that you don’t love this guy but you feel a certain dependency on him for approval and love. After all, how could you love someone who has done all of these things to you? You feel sorry for him and you think feeling sorry for him is love. Have you considered talking to a professional counselor who is experienced in relational abuse and trauma? I suspect you are deep in cognitive dissonance and are torn between two strong but equally opposing feelings: I hate him/I love him. This is a clear sign of trauma and causes intense anxiety and paranoia. You’re not sick or broken, but your brain needs time away from the source (this guy) to be able to discern which reality is the true reality.

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  4. That’s my father too. He’s almost 90 and relatively healthy but even though everyone tells him, he insists that he doesn’t need to go into assisted living. I won’t be dragged into his drama and abuse but it’s tough around the Holidays. The guilt can be consuming. Trying hard not to let it. No one to share with but thanks for letting me vent a bit here.

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  5. I’m sharing this too Paula – to a facebook buddy of mine who’s ex is putting her thru the ringer

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  6. Mine actually went out and bought books on how to live with someone with borderline personality disorder. He insisted it was likely what I suffered from, though he was still investigating whether it was actually bi-polar disorder instead. I was floored. At this point I had moved him into his office and was making plans and safety plans to escape. I asked him what medical expertise he was using to make these determinations and he simply answered that he knew it because I was impossible to live with.

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    • They put so much energy into proving it’s someone else’s fault, when the simple and evolved thing to do would be to look at themselves. Hmmm? Shouldn’t engineers understand “Keep It Simple Stupid” more than anyone? 🙂

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  7. great post Paula!
    I’d like to reblog this, that okay by you?

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  8. Excellent blog, Paula. Keep up the good fight!

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  9. It’s so inspiring to see someone who has processed so much, moved on, and now helps others. I have really been thinking a lot about the idea of shame, and what a common theme it is in narcissism. It is funny in life that even though narcissism is so difficult to deal with, it ends up being a powerful teacher. YOu can’t fool and lie to yourself when you are dealing with a narcissist. They already do that enough themselves. I say this a lot, but thanks for your inspiration.

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  10. Wow you just described my father, but i guess you wouldn’t be surprised. 🙂

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  11. His unexpected outbursts are also a form of gaslighting. Knocking you off balance so he could abuse you even more. Glad you’re rid of him in your life. No one deserves that kind of treatment.

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