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  1. Phoenix, stress causes us to do and think lots of things that are “out of character” for the “real” US. Been there and dun that!!!! And it seems as if the “other shoe falling” is not ONE shoe but a centipede with 1,000 shoes…and things happen one after another after another and we are so stressed it is difficult to cope.

    I do know though, that in the end things do get better (well, most of the time anyway)

    Last June a “friend” sc-rewed me over and I have not spoken to her since. She has a pattern of this kind of rude behavior and I have confronted her about it in the past and she is UN-reliable and seems to think that everyone in the world wants to do her biddiing.

    She e mailed me the other day and asked why I hadn’t spoken to her since early June, and I told her as kindly as I could that I coudln’t DEPEND on her to be reliable when she said she would do something and that in the past I had talked to her about that but that I didn’t need a CHILD who needed to be reminded how to behave as a “friend” and that in the future when we were both at one of our living history events to just “walk on by” that I wasn’t going to talk badly about her or burn her house but I just couldn’t handle dealing with her unreliability. She has NO other friends and her husband is always embarrased by how she behaves and is always apologizing for her behavior. I love her husband and so does my son, but we’ve had it up to HERE with the wife and I am DONE.

    I’ve learned to set boundaries and I’m I believe “reasonable” with them and expect others to treat me as well as I treat them and when that is not done over a period of time and a pattern of irresponsibility and unreliability is shown, I slip away from the relationship. There is a reason she had no other friends than me.

    I’m not perfect by a long shot, but I try to be considerate of others to keep my word, or if something comes up I try to make other arrangements so I don’t leave someone hanging.

    I know Truthy had a relationship with a “friend” who treated her like a servant and she had to back away from that woman. Once we learn to set reasonable boundaries of what we will tolerate in treatment from others, we will have to eliminate some of them from our lives, but in exchange we get peace in our lives.

  2. Joyce- I hear you on the centipede! Then it seems like sometimes the little things can be distracting and we get all caught up worrying about them. I know it gets better and there’s going to be rough spots along the way. Sometimes you have to look at the speed bumps as a chance to gun it and make the car bounce a little. Remember how much fun that was as a kid???

    Last spring may have been the season for people doing things like that to us. There is a person I haven’t spoken to since around the end of March/ beginning of April. It’s no skin off my back as this person has left a wide path of destruction in their wake, with others too and not just me. The things they have said and done won’t be glossed over with a simple apology, even if they were capable of making it. I’m sure they feel no remorse, have done no wrong in their eyes and life is normal. Sadly enough, their SO is also a good person, like the couple you know.

    In your situation, you have given the woman a few chances and seen no signs of change. I know a woman with similar personality traits. Unreliable is about the only way to sum it up in one word. If it’s important to her, she’s all over it. The minute it loses her interest- good luck trying to get a response or track her down. When you find her- be prepared for excuse, after excuse, after excuse…. As we all know- the quality of the excuses never goes up.

    I have begun to set my boundaries with electric fencing or hotwire. Others may get zapped a few times on it before they figure out if they should test the voltage or if they should stand clear of it. Not my circus, not my monkeys! Lol

  3. Yea, Phoenix…all abuse is not done by males, though the physical violence is primarily male dominated, though some women are actually physically violent or even kill their SO if the victim tries to escape.

    I actually think this woman has some personality disorder of some kind, maybe BPD as she is clingy and demanding. Thinks everyone should be her slave. At events were my living history group camps for sometimes 2 weeks at a time, she insists that others assemble her camp and carry her stuff and she micromanages it. The guys in our group would willingly do it for her and her husband but she DEMANDS that they stop whatever it is they are doing and do hers NOW. My son went to an event with them a couple of years ago to help her husband have “one more” big event and she stayed drunk most of the time or out “gallavanting” around other camps and did nothing for her husband.

    She has all these “diseases” and anything she can read about she has “got” she’s an RN but has been fired from every job since she got out of school, and has a BIG red flag to go on her license and can not find a job, so she decided she is “disabled” and eventually fought until she got social security disability because she couldn’t find a job. She was sent to “anger management” classes by the board of nursing in order to keep- a license at ALL. With that red flag on her license though she could not find a job cleaning out toilets at a hospital.

    I actually don’t even hate her, she is more to be pitied than anything I think as she doesn’t have a friend in the world. I can’t say I was her friend in the true sense of the word, but I tolerated her for the most part because of her husband but my son DESPISES her after spending two weeks with her and her husband, so when she would come here he would leave or lock himself in his room. LOL I have driven her to various medical procedures 60 miles away to Little Rock repeatedly when she would need a driver and her husband couldn’t take her and all I asked was she house sit one weekend while I went to my 50th HS reunion for 48 hours and she totally did NOT stay the 48 hours and she left things in a terrible mess, including the refrigerator door open and the food all hot inside. So I am pretty sure she left Saturday night and I got home at noon on sunday. Plus she turned down the heat on my egg incubator and all of the chicks which were about ready to hatch died in the shell or shortly after getting out. Only 4 managed to break the shell. 14 birds at 50 bucks a piece was quite a lick for me. Anyway, that sort of cinched the deal for me…I was DUN with her! LOL

    Part I think of this whole learning process is learning what and who we will tolerate and under what circumstances. I didn’t really know how to set and enforce boundaries, now I do, so that is a GOOD THING, a REALLY good thing.

    There are some people you don’t have to ENFORCE boundaries with, they are polite, caring and just “nice.” There are others who are not polite, not kind and not “nice” people and they will treat you however they think they can get away with. However you ALLOW them to treat you. I have finally in my old age learned that I DO NOT have to tolerate people not treating me nicely, not being reliable, not being kind and considerate.


  4. After spending so much time in counseling with someone who is very astute about trauma, childhood trauma, and the confusion that family dysfunction creates, it’s no wonder that DV&A is so easily ignored. It’s become “par for the course,” and we associate “abuse” with what media portrays it to be, not what it truly is.

    I also have learned how my inability and refusal to report what Victor did to me (and, our children) was directly related to my own trauma. I was still that same traumatized individual when I jumped from Victor’s fire in the the second exspath’s frying pan – I hadn’t recovered from Victor’s abuse and begun my personal healing process and wound up choosing another “type” of abuser.

    Today, I won’t allow any type of abuse in my life, regardless of whom it’s from. I’ve cut out nearly every friendship that I ever had due to toxicity – if the people weren’t outright spaths, then they were clearly toxic to me, and I was never going to recover if I continued surrounding myself with these types of people.

    Abuse isn’t only perpetrated by intimate partners, but also by coworkers, supervisors, friends, family, clergy, spiritual advisers, and every other association under the sun. Getting BEYOND the belief that I’m “not worthy” or “not good enough” or that I’m a “bad person” if I DO NOT ALLOW toxic associations was a huge, huge hurdle for me to leap over. But, it’s empowering. And, I don’t NEED to have a huge number of “friends” or associations – I’m not “ready” for that, yet.

    So, yeah………the statistics are only numbers that are recorded from reported incidents. It’s far, far more insidious than “normal” people could ever begin to imagine.

  5. Joyce- “There are others who are not polite, not kind and not “nice” people and they will treat you however they think they can get away with.”

    The spath said the same thing for the most part, only in regards to someone else at the time. “People like that will only leach (financially) off of you as long as you let them.”, Spoken from true experience there…

  6. Hi everyone,

    Joyce- “There are others who are not polite, not kind and not “nice” people and they will treat you however they think they can get away with.”

    Yes, yes, and yes.

    The disordered people I believe I have encountered all have this quality of constantly pushing at boundaries, constantly testing to see where your limits are, and then, either little by little, by stealth, or with brute force their try to violate your limits. It seems to be a compulsion with them, to inflict on others, behaviours which are not acceptable to that person.That is all about power, and force, it’s highly aggressive behaviour.

    On politeness, I think that is something that can quite easily be adopted by a disordered person, as a superficial instrument of charm or manipulation. A genuine person’s politeness is just their expression of respect for another. A psychopath’s politeness is of the variety of charming an old lady out of her life savings.

  7. Rhiannonr, you are right about “politeness” being part of the mask of the psychopath, at least for a while….the “love bomb” that many people use as a way to get close to us before the mask comes OFF is typical psychopath and BPD as well. Anytime someone I meet new who is TOO polilte AND at the same time “makes application” to be my “best friend” 15 minutes after we meet, I back off as that is typical BPD and PPD behaviors.

    I used to have a couple that rented a house from me and they were very persistent in wanting to be INSTANT best friends with me and my son, another was a woman, and after talking to her on the phone I realized she had big time BPD symptoms and I actually asked her and she said “yea, she had been diagnosed as BPD”. She even stalked me for a while trying to be “helpful” even when I rebuffed her attempts, but eventually went away.

    My son has a childhood friend with a diagnosis of both BPD and bi-polar and she decided she wanted to marry him…fortunately my son was wise enough to see what her problems were and though he actually loves her as a FRIEND he realizes it would b e a huge mistake to become romantically involved with her.

    While the estimate of 1-4% of people are COMPLETE PPDs, there are plenty of folks who are also BPD or PPD to one extent who may not qualilfy as TOTALLY personality disordered but these are toxic individuals in any case.

    It is iimportant that we learn to recognize these people as TOXIC and steer clear of them as much as possible. Unfortunately sometimes we have to work with these people or they are our neighbors etc but it is wise of us to weed them out of our lives if we possibly can. I have left jobs because of bosses or co workers who were BPD or PPD and I have seen them ruin companies, departments and individuals careers. Fortunately as a Nurse Practitioner I never did want for another job instantly. But some people can NOT quit their job as there are not others immediately available.

    • Joyce, I’m still in the beginning stages of learning what “normal” is. In my previous life, being “polite” was overblown into being solicitous – I was compelled to make things wonderful, right, and “good” for everyone except myself. So, I went overboard into near-histrionic behaviors. Today, I am “cordial.” I express my appreciation in VERY brief terms, and I try to keep my emotional reactions (not contemplated responses) to a minimum.

      I’m in 100% agreement than anyone that displays traits that are high-ppd/spd are out of my personal loop. I mentioned the behavioral dysfunction of DV&A victims in a previous response, and I include these behaviors in the “Hell, No” category. The thing is that I have come up on some people (men, AND women) who are clearly victims of abuse that, given the opportunity, will take me on down with them in their spiral if I allow it. In order for me to NOT allow myself to be caught up in that emotional inertia, I must, must, MUST separate my emotions from the equation, even when interacting with these people. I certainly feel compassion and empathy to the point where it can become a debilitating distraction, and I can’t allow that, again. I am learning……….oh-so-slowly……….how to ramp down that empathy and compassion and guard those very precious vulnerabilities, at long last.

      As you have typed so many, many times, Joyce, this is an ongoing journey, and it’s amazing how far I’ve come in the past 3 years. Thanks for being there for me, and for others.

      • In reference to being caught up in the vortex of abuse, I post on other sites, and there was a poster that came in, cold, typed out their story, and made a very, very dramatic effort to convey their experiences. I reached out with compassion, empathy, and techniques on managing the anxiety, and this person spun around 180 degrees into a rant of how they were just fine and didn’t ask for any input.

        There are people who are Professional Victims. They want pity and they want someone to share their experiences (on a literally emotional basis) with them, but they have no intention of helping themselves or taking responsibility for their own actions and behaviors. These people, while they are clearly messed up, are not a part of my life, either. I refuse to engage with someone who is playing the role of “victim” in an ongoing basis. I don’t have time for that – my life on this planet is MINE, and I’m not going to waste more time indulging my own co-dependent behaviors by insisting upon “helping” someone who clearly doesn’t want help, at all.

        Our vulnerabilities are precious. They are “Qualities,” not weaknesses. Compassion, empathy, remorse, conscience, are all priceless and worth protecting, regardless of WHOM is attempting to tap into them for whatever purpose they have.

  8. Truthy, your analysis of “professional victims” are actually DISORDERED PEOPLE who get iinto relationships with OTHER disordered people and if they are the “loser” in this contest of wills then they paint themselves as VICTIMS when in fact they are ALSO disordered and use the POSE of being a victim to get sympathy and assistance from compassionate people

    Believe me, I have fallen prey to this type of FAUX victim on more than one occasion. They use the PITY PLOY. Just because someone claims to be a “victim” does not mean that they really ARE. And it is VERRRRRY difficult to sort them out quickly.

    The Faux Victim will do a smear campaign on his or her “abuser” just as a psychopath will smear campaign on a victim that escapes. So it becomes a “he said/she said” type of thing until you OBSERVE the person claiming to be a victim and see if they are A) willing to help themselves or if they are wanting to be a mooch B) if they are capable of self awareness (at some point) and if they are willing to accept responsibility for their part in the abuse by ALLOWING it to continue. And believe me “that ain’t easy, McGee”!!!

    Once I allowed a woman who pretended to be a victim of terrible abuse to come here to the farm in her small RV to have a safe place to park. I gave her every opportunity to find a job and help herself but she wasn’t willing to even wipe her own nose. I gave her a private bathroom to use and my only requirement was she CLEAN it. Nope, not that either.

    Eventually I came to see that she had no boundaries where using other people’s resources were concerned and realized she was lining me up to be her next victim of whatever cons she thought she could pull. BTW I wasn’t the only person who had trouble with her and so I asked her to leave and you should have seen the PITY PLOY SHE THREW, it was so classic…she even accused me of abusing her. LOL

    I’ve also had “friends” who got themselves in a financial bind and I tried to help them out, and eventually I saw that they saw me as a source that they were ENTITLED to and that everything I had was theirs,….when I caught the woman in the ACT of stealing from me, it broke my heart and at first I cried and cried because I thought I had EMBARRASSED her catching her stealing, LOL but you know, that event caused me to realize that I WAS NOT THE ONE WHO HAD DONE WRONG by catching her in theft, SHE was the one that was acting badly, and I asked them to leave here. Even afterwards the woman tried to steal from me again and I caught her trying to come here when she THOUGHT I was not home. I just acted like I was surprised to see her but did not let her out of my sight and I could tell she was “mad as a wet hen” but she left and has not been back since. She’;s moved on to other victims to con.

    She and her husband finally divorced and he’s living as a mooch for the past few years.

    These Faux Victims frequently have hooked up with others who are disordered and will repeat this process in what I call “gasoline and fire” relationshits. It takes a while to sort them out if you didn’t know them before they became “professional victims”

    Another thing, Truthy, you mentioned about being careful in not becoming emotionally embroiled in a victim’s (true or faux) situation. Dr. Simon Baron-Cophen’s book about empathy taught me something pretty important. We can CONTROL how much empathy we feel in a situation. Just because we are empathetic does not mean we do not have any control over the FEELINGS of empathy.

    The first woman I talked about that I invited here, when I asked her to leave she went into this PITY ME act, and tried everything she could think of from tears to accusations to get me to PITY her and I stood there without a single shread of pity for her. After she left I thought about my feelings and my COMPLETE lack of empathy toward her tears and pleas. It made me wonder if that is how a psychopath feels when we cry and beg them to STOP abusing us? I imagine it is pretty much like I felt toward that woman. I didn’t ENJOY feeling like that and I imagine a psychopath might not only not feel empathy but ENJOY the pain the person was feeling.

    That whole thing was quite a LEARNING EXPERIENCE for me. I’ve found that sometimes the most important lessons we learn are the hardest to grasp, but unless we actually get the LESSON we will continue to repeat the tests, but once we have learned we can NOT get tangled up again in that kind of situation.

  9. Here’s an interesting article about the NFL and law enforcement giving “star” players permission to engage in domestic violence

    ven after sheriff’s deputies arrived at her Weston, Fla., home, Kristen Lennon remained in the bathroom, afraid to leave. Minutes earlier, she had fled there for safety as she called 911, telling the operator that her fiancé had thrown her on the bed and hit her in the face and head. She was two months pregnant.

    “Please help,” Ms. Lennon said, her voice shaking. “He’s way bigger than me.” The couple’s first child was nearby in their bedroom.

    On the other side of the bathroom door was Phillip Merling, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound defensive end for the Miami Dolphins. When deputies from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office arrived at about 1:30 a.m. on May 27, 2010, they found Ms. Lennon with redness and swelling on her face and a cut on her lip.

    What happened next illustrated how relationships between National Football League teams and local law enforcement agencies can lead to continued abuse.


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