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difference between narcissism & bpd?
September 8, 2008
6:53 pm
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marypoppins
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Is there an overlap of characteristics? My mom has never acknowledged she has a problem and has only "dabbled" in counseling. She's self-centered, full of rage, very defensive, cruel, she can't get along with people, and she never ever apologizes. I could go on and on. She seems to have many of the traits I've seen listed for narcissism, but bpd is in her family history, as is alcoholism.

Thanks!

Mary

September 8, 2008
10:52 pm
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marypoppins
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On second thought, never mind.

I've given her and my dad enough already. Neither of them is safe for me or my daughter to be around. I don't want to waste anymore time thinking about it.

September 9, 2008
2:35 am
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red blonde
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Mary

IMO - I would have to say that the probability that Narcisists having another 'disorder' is quite high.

If your reactions when you are around them is unsettling or aggitating in any way...have as little contact as possible or no contact with them.

September 9, 2008
10:35 pm
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marypoppins
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((((RB))))

Hey, How are you doing? Thank you for responding. I know your mom was very very abusive. I believe in skimming the N thread, I read that you're making some good progress in putting things together. I'm happy for you.

I've tried to have my parents in my life because of my daughter, but after the most recent "mind fuck" from my mom, which my daughter also got roped into, I've decided to stay away from them for a while.

It was all just like old times. My mom was cruel and emotionally abusive and my dad stood by her, barking in my face and shaking with anger, the both of them blaming me for everything. I was frequently the family scapegoat.

If it had truly been like the old days, my dad would have beat me to release his anger.

I have no patience anymore for people who stay with abusive partners out of fear and sickness and allow their children to grow up in that unhealthy environment. It's pure selfishness. And there is simply no good excuse for it.

Anyway, I wish you all the very best and thank you again for responding.

Take care, RB!

Mary

September 9, 2008
10:57 pm
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marypoppins
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RB,

I hope that you're making progress in developing more self love and self confidence. We have to parent ourselves and erase the negative tapes.

Since I asked my xxh to move out about a year ago, I feel that I've made a lot of progress in getting to know and love myself.

I don't have to always be right, and I can apologize, but I refuse to take on other people's shit.

Recently I faced someone who is very much like my mother, and this person let loose her wrath on me. It irritated me, but it didn't hurt me. It felt great to not automatically internalize it. Years and years of therapy and experience has taught me something, I guess.

In the last year, I've let go of more than one unhealthy relationship, and though painful, it's strengthening.

Glad you're still posting here.

Mary

September 9, 2008
11:57 pm
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PreciousG
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(((((Mary))))))

Precious

September 10, 2008
11:26 am
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Shaney
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Hey there MaryP -

I hear you. Sometimes it's best to leave those behind that have the ability to affect us negatively. I've sure done my share of "cleaning house" in the friend and family department, when it comes to eliminating people from my life that just drag me down. And I'm better because of it. At first, to avoid confrontation, I would just ignore these people and not return their calls, until they just went away. But as I got older and more confident, I could face these people and put an end to the relationship. Being assertive has proven to be best in those situations, for me at least. There's closure for both parties more times than not.

Without knowing a LOT about bpd, I would think that that particular disorder is more chemically based, rather than learned, like narcissism. So while someone has been diagnosed with bdp, I'm sure that they can take on narcissistic behaviours. Absolutely. Wow, what a deadly combo. Something to stay away from for sure.

I'm glad you're finding the strength necessary to speak up when you feel you need to. And you do it constructively which is commendable. In all honesty, when I first came to AAC, I had more of a level demeanor when it came to conflict. I always respected and attempted to adhere to the guidelines. But as time went on, I encountered more and more posters who lashed out in anger... calling names, going for the vicious comment way below the belt, etc. I began to realize that sort of ill behaviour was tolerated for some... not all, but some. As that group became larger, and as my frustration grew, my responses to them became more vicious.. just like theirs. It was almost a learned behaviour in order to be able to defend myself. At first it felt good to get to them at their level. But that's not the real me. It's easy to become that person in a forum where you don't have to actually face who you're insulting. Maybe that's how a lot of these angry posters feel, that dish out the shit and can't take the same sort of treatment? Who knows. But as much good as I've gotten out of this site, I've learned some bad behaviours as well. I know that, and that's my issue to deal with. And at this point, my plan is to deal with those people just as you stated above. They've already gotten enough of my energy and it's best not to waste the time on them anymore. I have enough going on in my life, I don't need one more negative person to bring me down. I'm spending that energy on me, and good things, from now on :o).

(((maryp)))

September 10, 2008
3:29 pm
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marypoppins
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((((Shaney))))

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I really appreciate the encouragement you've given me on this site. You are sincere and helpful.

We wouldn't be human if our frustration didn't get the best of us from time to time.

Peace to you.

Mary

September 10, 2008
4:34 pm
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StronginHim77
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According to DSM criteria, borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissism both fall within the B-cluster personality disorders. Both are serious mental illness. Both are incurable. BPD's respond better to EXTENDED, CONSISTENT therapy, combined with medication, than narcissists. Narcissists are essentially untreatable because they cannot admit they have a problem which needs addressing. A BPD patient might be motivated by his/her fear of losing his/her partner to get into treatment. Unfortunately, a high percentage of BPD patients will denounce their psychologist/therapist and rage out of the sessions, never to return.

Essentially, narcissism and BPD are both caused by highly dysfunctional parenting. In short, they were severely neglected/emotionally abused in childhood. By the time they reach their teens, the damage is irreversible. Neither is caused by a "chemical" imbalance. Because these are deeply ingrained disordered personalities, they cannot be cured. They are what they are. Few ever improve or change.

Both are incapable of healthy, intimate relationships. Both leave a string of wounded people in their wake. They abuse their children, their partners, their co-workers. They are toxic...with little hope of recovery or near-normalcy..

Because these two disorders are part of the same B-cluster group (which includes histrionics and sociopaths), you will frequently see an "overlapping" of the traits of these disorders. BPD's will exhibit alot of N-traits and N's will exhibit alot of sociopathic traits. Both are virtually incapable of empathizing with others. They are incapable of forming intimate, emotional bonds with any living creature, including animals.

My own mother is an N. My (now deceased) big sister was a BPD. My deceased grandmother was an undiagnosed N. Oh...many BPD's have addiction/alcohol problems, as well. A really toxic combo. I hope this info helps. My best advice? Stay clear of them. Minimize all contact. Bury any false hope that they will EVER change. Move on and keep them at a distance. Or they will crush you alive.

- Ma Strong

September 10, 2008
6:23 pm
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marypoppins
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((((Ma))))

Thank you for your clear and informative response, and for sharing your own personal history. You have done extremely well considering your family background. Your two sons sound like great guys, so despite not having had a good role model, you've been a great mom.

I'm frequently reminded that neither my mom or my dad will ever really change, although there are moments when they seem to be different. My sisters are better able to manage being around them, but no one knows when my mom might decide to go off or who she'll target.

As you advised, I'll just stay away. It seems the only way to avoid the attack, which is never never followed by an apology. Growing up, my dad always told us that my mom wouldn't change, so we'd have to. I'm tired of playing their games. It's just not worth it. It has already cost me so much.

Hope all is well with you, your work and home, your boys, and your neighbor. Take good care and thanks again for your wisdom.

Mary

September 10, 2008
6:41 pm
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red blonde
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What are you guys talking about?

September 11, 2008
11:17 am
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StronginHim77
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Red -

We are talking about borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissism (N), as well as the impact these personality disorders have on family dynamics, particularly disorder parents' affect on their children.

- Ma

September 11, 2008
11:19 am
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StronginHim77
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Mary -

Your father's advice was WRONG. You do not have to change to accommodate your mother's mental illness. Not at all. That is like pretending there isn't an elephant in the living room. STUPID.

Keep your distance. That is the only way to stay out of the range of fire. She is constantly looking for a fresh target.

- Ma

September 12, 2008
9:32 am
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Friendma
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I sure hope that I can shed some light on the other side of BPD......I was diagnosed as a BPD and have been in therapy for several years. I had lots of very bad qualities before I found out what was wrong with me and got help. I was first diagnosed with Bi-Polar which I have been now told that I was misdiagnosed. My therapist has given me great hope.........

I will tell you I never meant to hurt anyone with my behavior. I did not do things to people or react to people in a certain way on purpose. I knew my behavior was bad but I didn't know how to fix that.......

I destroyed my marriage and when he filed for divorce I had to make the hardest decision I have ever had to make and that was to have my babies live with their daddy so that they would not be raised as I was. I knew I would not be able to provide them a stable environment as much as I wanted to. I loved them enough to let them go. The loss of my marriage and family helped me to change. The pain helped me with a drive to find a way to be a better mom, a better friend, a better mate......

I am still working on it and I have a long ways to go. I read the definition and description on this thread and it really hurt me........I am capable of empathizing with others and I can form intimate bonds even with animals. In fact it is easier for me with animals. I am very fearful of humans.

I just want to say that I believe that there is hope for me and others with BPD. I am not evil or bad....I have hurt many people and I feel awful for that and still have not found a way to forgive myself but it was never on purpose.......I don't like to hurt others and I don't like to be hurt.

I also know that my therapist has a program called DBT therapy and it is helping me alot. I know that not all therapist know how to treat BPD so that may contribute to the lack of success, IMO......

Just needed to speak what was on my heart and my post is meant not to be mean or nasty, it is meant with great care and respect......

September 12, 2008
7:29 pm
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StronginHim77
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Friendma -

I don't think your posting was "mean or nasty;" I think it is downright inspiring. You are going to be one of the overcomers...and I commend you with all my heart for your openness and willingness to do the hard work of recovery. I am glad that you have found a therapist who knows how to work with BPD. Many are clueless and just throw their hands up in the air, if you follow me.

Giving up custody of your children must have been very hard. I cannot even imagine what that tough decision cost you, but it had to be rough. Again, I commend you for your unselfish desire to give your children the best life possible. I hope that you will be restored to them, as your recovery progresses. I have no doubt that you will continue to improve dramatically.

Please do not feel guilty or "evil" for having BPD. You did not ASK for this disorder of your personality. It was DONE TO you during your tender, childhood years. BPD is rooted in a deep fear of being abandoned or rejected. It is "shame-based." Most of the acting out which accompanies BPD stems directly from the fear of being abandoned/rejected, as well as shame triggers. Because you have been so deeply betrayed and hurt as a child, it makes trusting others nearly impossible. It can also give you an explosive temper and a pattern of rejecting others, BEFORE they can reject you.

All very understandable. I want to thank you for posting and sharing your story with us. I am rooting for you.

Be blessed...

- Ma Strong

September 12, 2008
7:46 pm
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(((((Friendma))))

This post is very respectful and extremly caring. It is reflects your ability empathizes. You are very brave Friendma.

Precious

September 13, 2008
2:01 am
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marypoppins
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Thanks to ((((all of you)))) posting on this thread. I appreciate the time you've taken to share your stories, and I'm grateful for different perspectives.

I'm reminded how important it is to have compassion for others.

Peace and love to us all,

Mary

September 13, 2008
1:27 pm
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bevdee
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You know, Friendma, I have been thinking about this since you posted it on both threads.

You said" I sure hope that I can shed some light on the other side of BPD......" And if you want to, you sure should. I hope you feel free to share your experiences here as others from "the other side" share theirs. I want to ask you a question - ok?

Do you feel sensitive to reading others' strong opinions and personal perceptions about conditions, behaviour patterns? If so, please remember that despite the name of this site, no one here acts as a counselor. I believe nearly everyone here is just floundering their way through life, searching for answers and solutions to the hand we were dealt at birth.

But I will also venture a guess about you, okay? Are you sensitive to anyone's impression of the behaviours because you feel that you have been judged - in your actual physical life? Could some of this might be coming from within yourself? You know, I am my own worst critic. 😮

Also - please remember, that for all the information that is available on any of these conditions- Any of the Cluster B personality types, research is still ongoing. So the information that is published today is not the last word. Reading one or two books on the subject? Still - no expert. Psychology is a study of the mind, and strides in that field are being made constantly. The latest finding may not be the last.

There are no experts on subjects when it comes to human beings, IMO. I know sometimes people come across that way, whether from the vehemence of their posts, in the way they preface what they have to say, or from their choice of words, but since this site does not offer online counseling? Only discussion or debate? I would take what is said and the advice given with a grain of salt. It's simpler, IMO, to try to pigeonhole someone. But risky - because it just doesn't always work that way.

I remember a while back, the several that stated they had BPD stopped posting about it at this site, saying they didn't want to be called evil or something like that. Their choice, of course. I think that's because there are more people at this site that have suffered because being hurt by the behaviour of and the lack of understanding a loved one with BPD than are people who have been diagnosed BPD. (or the BPDs just stay quiet?)

People react from their hurt- that's what I read here many times. I know I do. While I can talk to someone that is an alcoholic, or of a different sexual preference, if some poster came on this site and said something like "I beat my wife, but she made me do it" - I would not be able to engage in any dialogue with him other than to unload the pain that is within me from my experiences being beaten. I can't even work the phones at women's shelters because of the pain in me and the responses certain situations might evoke.

(((Friendma)))

September 14, 2008
8:48 am
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Friendma
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((((((((((MA STRONG))))))))))

((((((((((PRECIOUSG))))))))))

September 14, 2008
9:02 am
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Friendma
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((((((((((BEV))))))))))

Yes, I am sensitive due to very harsh judging that has been done to me especially concerning me and my kids and the fact that they don't live with me........When people find out most of them immediately assume that they were taken from me by the authorities due to neglect or abuse....or a judge sided with my x.....and that is just not how it was.......I made a decision........due to all that I faced as a child, I did not want my kids to grow up in an environment similar to mine.......and no matter how hard I tried to be different and do different, I was failing.....

My kiddo's were 5 and 3 when my husband and I seperated.........The loss is still gut wrenching today and we split up around 7 years ago.......I have pictures in my bedroom all over the walls of my kids so they are the last thing I go to bed seeing and the first thing I see when I wake up.......

I would do it all over again because thru it all my kids and I have a healthy and strong and stable relationship and I have become a better mom..........My kids are not bein raised in any similarity to how I was........

I do judge myself harshly cause what kind of person, what kind of mom, is bad enough to choose to have the kids stay with their daddy? I am that mom........and I struggle everyday with hating myself.......I am proud of the decision and sacrafice I made but it sickens me that I ever had to make that choice.........

I can't change it, it is what it is.......Thankfully the cycle has been broken and that tells me my kids prolly won't have to make the decisions I have had to make.......I wouldn't wish what I have gone thru on my worst enemy..........

My x and I share joint custody.....they live full time with him and visit with me.........

Anywho.....I could go on and on but my point was not to do a play by play of what I went thru and still go thru.......

Bev, just know you are appreciated very much.....and your insite is amazing............

Yeah, I am leary of sharin that I am a borderline but I couldn't resist this time and ya know maybe one of these days I will start a thread about me as a borderline.......who knows.......there is definately a desire to express it and to show the "other side"

Love and hugs my friend......

September 14, 2008
9:07 am
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Friendma
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Bev, by the way........I like the questions and I forgot to clarify, the harsh judgement has been in my physical life.............and yes I do forget what the site is......and I need to remember that we all are doin the best we can....

Your questions encourage me to do some deep personal investigating and I appreciate that very much, keep em comin if ya have any more........

Are you sure you are not a therapist?........ You sure could be a good one..... :o)

September 14, 2008
1:04 pm
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Friendma,

I want to share with you what I see here.

You made an ultimate sacrifice that most parents are too selfish to make. I have a lot more respect for you, the mom willing to do the right thing for her children. I have no respect for the mother who can't, if there is a better option.

To me, you are a sign of great strength and wisdom. You have made the sacrifice to save your children. Your bravery and courage have me awstruck. There shouldn't be a soul to judge you. The admiration that I have for you is greater than that of most mothers I know.

Bless you my dear, for making the right choice for those children. For not putting yourself before them. You are amazing in my book. There is more to be said for letting them be with their father full time, and still being able to see them, love them and be the mom you can be.

It really is a shame that more parents can't be like you.

You amaze me. No doubt there.

Also, Friendma, you may be borderline, I don't know you outside of this thread. That is your therapists call to make. What I do know is this, your clarity, sense of who you are, and sincerity are worth far more than any label.

It is a healing process. I believe in you. You can overcome it. No matter what you may say, think, or feel, your choices reflect your strength in ways that there are not words to describe.

Thank you for sharing this.

September 14, 2008
7:34 pm
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Friendma
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((((((((((1CLEARCOOKIE))))))))))

I appreciate your kindness and support......I sure don't feel like I deserve all of the nice things you have said but I do appreciate it......It is nice not to be judged......Thank you......

September 14, 2008
8:43 pm
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marypoppins
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((((((Friendma)))))))

1clearcookie wrote:

"You made an ultimate sacrifice that most parents are too selfish to make. I have a lot more respect for you, the mom willing to do the right thing for her children. I have no respect for the mother who can't, if there is a better option."

I'm in complete agreement with this statement. You have shown great bravery in your honesty here.

Thank you for sharing, and thank you for providing a model of what a truly loving mother is.

All the best to you.

Mary

September 14, 2008
10:26 pm
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((((((((((MARYPOPPINS))))))))))

Thank you for your kindness and support.......I truly appreciate it....

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