What do you do when you attempt to understand and be understood by someone with a personality disorder? (narcissistic, borderline, or obsessive compulsive personality disorder) but you’re stonewalled from the onset?
What do you do when you can’t have a conversation because they begin with trying to protect their lies to you and about you, and maintaining their abusive behavior toward you?
Remember: It’s not their fault.
1) They refuse responsibility. (This is the #1 sign of an abuser. They never accept responsibility; and therefore, never apologize.)
2) They lie.
3) They look down on you.
4) They slander your reputation.
5) They are duplicative (phony).
6) They project (mirror their abuse on to you as if you are the one who committed it).
Abuse is never their fault. It’s always your fault. Someone’s fault. To them, it’s not their fault they hurt or abused you, it’s your fault for being hurt-able…abusable. If your feelings are hurt it’s your fault – for having feelings. You may be told you’re making the choice to feel bad, or hurt, or that you’re being overly sensitive. If caught doing something insensitive or selfish, they will insist they have no idea what you’re talking about. Or they will mirror the truth of what they did back on you. Crazymaking at its best—gaslighting. In their mind they had to do it because of someone or something else. If you imply that anything is their responsibility, they give you excuses, lies, and/or denial. From their perspective, you shouldn’t care — you should be willing to put the past behind you and pick-up as if the abuse never happened.
This may sound like a good idea; putting the past in the past. Not bringing it up again and allowing the relationship to continue on as if nothing happened, or with the forgiveness to forget and go on.
Forgiveness in our heart is always healing for the abused person but that doesn’t mean we extend the forgiveness to the abuser in word or deed. If they haven’t confessed, repented, and asked for your forgiveness then God does not require you to verbally extend the forgiveness to them.
Here is the problem with forgiving or forgetting without an apology and a change of heart from the person with narcissistic personality disorder (borderline, or obsessive compulsive personality disorder)…it is the same as telling them: “I’m okay with the way your treat me, the way you lie about me—the way you abuse me. You may continue this treatment and I will continue to allow it.”
You may need to change the dynamics of how you interact with this type of person. Remember: Abuse is not a relationship problem, a communication problem, or a marriage problem. It is an abuse/sin problem. For this reason victims should not receive counseling with their abuser; not even in marriage. The abuser needs serious, long-term, professional help for their abusive nature so they can find the root of it, receive healing, and gain freedom.
This is what ANA (After Narcisistic Abuse) has to say about this subject in regard to a narcissist:
“Many mentally disordered individuals project frequently. Narcissists, however, are some of the most actively and severely projecting people encountered. Ever full of accusations and criticisms, the most crazy-making thing about most of the narcissist’s claims is that YOU are doing exactly what THEY are doing. (Projection.) Have they just lied to you? Well, you’re about to be called dishonest. Are they cheating you out of an opportunity? You’re going to get the finger pointed at you for being sneaky. And you can’t say a word to them about something hurtful they have done, because that makes you an abuser – of them. You can’t give them anything but glowing feedback without their raging at you, but you’ll be the one constantly criticized severely and then called freakishly oversensitive if you show any feelings about it. And if they say so, it’s law — you don’t know what you’re talking about.
If you dare to question a narcissist or request things like healthy boundaries and honesty, you’re going to become public enemy number one. The “Mr. or Ms. Wonderful” mask immediately comes off, and there is no level they will not stoop to in order to “punish” you. They have myriad ways of attempting this; some are covert, and some are open and obvious. The narcissist has a seemingly inexhaustible obsession for making people who cross them “pay”. Once they set their sights on you, you’re a permanent enemy, and their seething spite will feel as intense years down the road as it did when it first began. The length of time they can keep up the full intensity of their hatred for you and their campaign to exact revenge is absolutely dumbfounding to non-narcissistic people.”
If you have a personality disorder, or are in a relationship with someone who suffers from a personality disorder you will likely need ongoing, professional counseling at some point.
My motto is: Wise people; strong people seek help.
Counseling/therapy is not for “crazy” people. Counseling is for human beings. Don’t let anyone shame you away from receiving the help you need.
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