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5 Damaging Lies We Learn From Narcissistic Parents/ Huff Post

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The effects of childhood trauma, including emotional neglect or abuse in childhood, can have alarmingly potent effects on our psyche as we enter adulthood, even to the extent of rewiring the brain (van der Kolk, 2016). The children of narcissistic parents, those who meet the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, know this all too well, having been raised by someone with a limited capacity for empathy and an excessive sense of grandiosity, false superiority and entitlement (Ni, 2016). Children of narcissistic parents are programmed at an early age to seek validation where there is none, to believe their worthiness is tied to the reputation of their families, and to internalize the message that they can only sustain their value by how well they can ‘serve’ the needs of their parents. They have lived an existence where love was rarely ever unconditional, if given at all.

This is not to say that childhood survivors of narcissistic abuse cannot rise above their childhood conditioning; in fact, they can be stronger survivors and thrivers as a result of the resilience they are capable of developing and the ways in which they channel their traumas into transformation (Bussey and Wise, 2007). It takes real inner work and bravery to unravel the traumas that we’ve had to endure as children as well as address any retraumatization as adults. Being able to understand our relationship and behavioral patterns, as well as any negative self-talk that has arisen as a result of the abuse, can be revolutionary in challenging the myths and falsehoods we’ve been fed about our worth and capabilities.

As children of narcissistic parents, we often learn the following from a very young age:
To read more follow the link below

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5-damaging-lies-we-learn-from-narcissistic-parents_us_586608e7e4b068764965c0ff?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003

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May 12, 2017 at 7:39 pm

General Letter to a General Child in a General Family./ Dr. Childress

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“The child’s misidentification of authentic sadness is being created by the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent. The child’s authentic sadness and grief are being transformed by the manipulative pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent into “anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes.” Dr Childress

 

I am working as hard and as fast as I can to bring this nightmare of “parental alienation” to an end – for all children and for all families. My next blog post will be significant in moving our fight for your children forward. In the meantime, I was asked by a targeted parent if I could write a letter to the children explaining things to them. So I did.
For a variety of reasons, I can’t actually write a specific letter to your specific child in your specific family. But I can write a general letter to a general child in a general family. And this is what I did.
I wanted to speak directly to the child (an adolescent between the ages of 13-17), so I had to make four versions of the letter, one for a daughter who is rejecting her mom (A Letter to Mary) and one for a son who is rejecting his mom (A Letter to Jason), one for a daughter who is rejecting her dad (A Letter to Jessica), and one for a son who is rejecting his dad (A Letter to John). They’re all the same, but it simplifies the use of pronouns. I think of this as my “Letter to Mary” series, since this is the one I started with.
Until we can protect your children we cannot ask them to reveal their authenticity. They have to survive in the psychologically dangerous upside-down world of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent, where night is day, and black is white, where truth and reality shift with the needs of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent.
Fundamentally, though, the problem for the child is a misidentified and unprocessed grief response (the famed attachment theorist, John Bowlby, referred to it as “disordered mourning”). The child’s misidentification of authentic sadness is being created by the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent. The child’s authentic sadness and grief are being transformed by the manipulative pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent into “anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes.”
From Kernberg (1975): “The [narcissist’s] need to control the idealized objects, to use them in attempts to manipulate and exploit the environment and to “destroy potential enemies,” is linked with inordinate pride in the “possession” of these perfect objects totally dedicated to the patient.” (p. 33)
From Kernberg (1975) “They [narcissists] are especially deficient in genuine feelings of sadness and mournful longing; their incapacity for experiencing depressive reactions is a basic feature of their personalities. When abandoned or disappointed by other people they may show what on the surface looks like depression, but which on further examination emerges as anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes, rather than real sadness for the loss of a person whom they appreciated.” (p. 229)
In normal-range divorces, parents help their children understand and process the children’s sadness and grief surrounding the divorce. This is what parents are supposed to do. But the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent has no empathy for the child, and instead manipulates the child’s authentic sadness into anger, into blaming and resentment toward the other parent in order to exploit the child’s anger as a weapon against the other parent.
About the only thing I might be able to do for the child caught in the loyalty conflict imposed by a narcissistic/(borderline) parent is to do for the child what a normal-range parent should do, help the child understand his or her authentic hurt, and sadness, and grief beneath the anger and blaming. So that’s what I tried to do in these letters to the children. It may not be successful and it may not help. But it’s the most I can do until we are able to protect the children from the psychopathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent.
The four versions of the letter are up on my website, down at the very bottom. Direct links are:

A Letter to Mary (mother/daughter):
http://www.drcachildress.org/asp/admin/getFile.asp…
A Letter to Jason (mother/son):
http://www.drcachildress.org/asp/admin/getFile.asp…
A Letter to Jessica (father/daughter):
http://www.drcachildress.org/asp/admin/getFile.asp…
A Letter to John (father/son):
http://www.drcachildress.org/asp/admin/getFile.asp…
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857
Kernberg, O.F. (1975). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism. New York: Aronson.

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April 15, 2016 at 9:59 pm

Tatyana Brown- “Gaslit”/everydayfeminism

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How Gaslighting Is Abuse That Stays with You Like a Terrifying Hurricane

 

 

Taking its name from the 1944 film The Gaslight,

gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which false information

is continuously presented to a survivor in order to make them doubt their memory, perception, and sanity

You know you’ve really got it bad when decades later,

shadows in your apartment flicker after the sky is baptized in lightning,

and you hear his voice instead of thunder telling you, “There is no storm”

You don’t need to close the windows

That is not water pouring in sheets onto the rooftops,

flooding your bedroom until the mattress weeps under your weight

It’s just an accident

Probably you did it, little girl

Why are you making such a scene?

It’s a quiet night, a leaky bathtub upstairs,

there is nothing to protect yourself or anyone else from, darling

Everyone is happy

Maybe you should try it

Are you trying hard enough to have some better, more attractive feelings?

Show me your winner’s smile

No, not like that, all bare teeth

Close your mouth, and pull until it stings

Who’s going to love that gap, yeah?

Who do you think you’re fooling with all this sky is falling bullshit?

Nobody cares

It’s a party, and the sad girl in the darkened room stays sad her whole life

Her bottomless sorrow transforms all of the beautiful people into monsters,

or else just makes them leave

She only has herself to blame

It goes on like this for hours

Even though you know it’s raining, it’s a hurricane

The walls are peeling from their studs

The floor is floating in the flood

You live on a raft now, tearing itself apart as it is being sucked out to see

You find yourself apologizing to a voice no one else can hear

I’m sorry for this act of God we’re living through

Sorry about this flesh wound I keep walking around with, staining all your furniture

I’m sorry I can’t seem to start crying

You know, I guess somebody died, and it’s stupid

I realize, but not over it

I guess maybe something happened that gutted me

like a carp you hack apart to catch worthier fish

I guess I haven’t slept in months because silly me,

the roof tore off,

and I have swallowed so much rain lying on my back

Taking it

I’m sorry

You probably don’t mean to hear this messy grief girl who can’t keep her mouth shut

It’s just the way it always is, yeah? My fault.

You know it’s bad when you can’t actually remember what he sounds like

The only version of his voice is rooms away, roaring between the book shelves

as he pulls them crashing to the floor,

and you wonder how it is that he still lives here

How every creak and rumble in your new apartment belongs to him somehow

How you keep waking up feeling guilty for being lazy and such a mess, even at 7 AM

Your books still in their boxes, you realize, it isn’t him you’re hearing,

but the muscle memory of what he made you feel

It’s not so bad. It’s not so bad. You’ve got to get up, and get over it

Are you sure you even remember it right?

It’s your hand on the light switch now, flickering, and cursing your eyes for their perfect sight

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

April 15, 2016 at 9:31 pm

Empower Target Parents of Parental Alienation- Dr. Craig Childress

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October 28, 2015 at 12:42 am

Chronic Lying is a Signature Trait of the Narcissistic Personality/Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life By Linda Martinez-Lewi PHD

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http://thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Chronic Lying is a Signature Trait of the Narcissistic Personality
(This refers to male and female narcissists).
“Lies roll off the tongue of a narcissist as smoothly as butter melting on hot bread…A lie is a handy tool the narcissist uses to enhance and protect the image he has so painstakingly built…He (the narcissist) knows that he can lie and get away with it….Lying for him is a shortcut on a crowded highway. It is a free ride in the fast lane (of life)… (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life)
How Narcissists lie:
During divorce wars they always hide the financial assets and tell you they have nothing.
Narcissistic mothers tell their scapegoated child that she/he is ugly, stupid and will never succeed.
Narcissistic siblings lie, cheat and steal to get the family inheritance.
Narcissists always lie when they have innumerable others throughout a marriage and pretend that they have sterling characters. .
Narcissists lie to judges and lawyers during divorce proceedings.
Narcissists get others to lie for them whenever it is convenient and more lucrative for them.
Narcissistic mothers lie to their other children about the scapegoated child and turn one sibling against the other.
Narcissists always lie about money–how much they have, don’t have, where it is hidden, from whom they “borrowed” it.
Narcissists lie about their educations and degrees to maintain and build their perfect image.
Narcissistic parents never tell the truth to their children and cause tremendous psychological and emotional pain.
Narcissistic co-workers lie about your good character and turn others against you.

I welcome your adding to this very long list. The more that we know and understand about the true nature of the narcissistic personality, the more we are empowered to maintain our separateness, integrity, psychological and emotional well being as individuals.

psychopathy

THE SOCIOPATH WILL ALWAYS ACCUSE YOU OF WHAT THEY ARE GUILTY OF THEMSELF

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The below article was originally posted on: dating a sociopath ( link below)

http://datingasociopath.com/2013/06/08/the-sociopath-will-always-accuse-you-of-what-they-are-guilty-of-themself/

Did you feel like you were going crazy? You were losing your mind? This is all part of the sociopath’s crazy making behaviour.
The sociopath will always accuse you of doing the very thing that they are guilty of themselves. They do this to deflect the attention from them.

Examples of this are

Accusing you of cheating
Accusing you of being dishonest or lying
Accusing you of talking about them
Accusing you of doing whatever it is that they are guilty of themselves
The sociopath has a bizarre ability to be able to make YOU feel guilty and feel like you have defend yourself… for things that he has done.

You see the sociopath, is actually fairly intelligent. He knows that whilst you are busy defending yourself, and proving your innocence, you will be confused, and will forget about the real issue, the truth that you are close to uncovering about the sociopath.

Bullshit Bingo

It’s all a game to the sociopath. Life is a game. With little inside themselves they spend most of their life playing stupid mind games.

Accusing you of things that they have done themselves, is something that they will do over and over again. The result for you, the victim is

Feeling confused
Feeling violated
Feeling misunderstood
Feeling unheard
Feeling guilty

Likely he will also say ‘everyone thinks, or says….’ – so you feel isolated too
Afterwards, after wasted hours, protesting your innocence, you think

How did that happen?

The truth is right there, you are relieved that the constant questions and accusations have stopped. There is peace again.

Once again, the sociopath has managed to manipulate the situation, and deflect blame back onto you. You have spent another few hours of your time, stressed, anxious and defending your corner.

You feel that yet again there was yet another problem that didn’t need to be there. Some other issue, that didn’t need to be there.

But for the sociopath, it isn’t like that. He is playing a game. Playing a game with your mind and your heart. There are two things that are important to the sociopath

Winning
Control</s
If you were to catch him out in a lie, he would neither win, or be in control. So he will do anything that he can do, to win the game, and control the game.

That is all that it is.

The sociopath probably doesn’t even realise the effect that this has on you. After all, he never thinks about your needs, and this is in terms of both good and bad things. He, like always is thinking about himself, not about you, your welfare or your needs.

It is all just a game. A stupid, mindless game. That could continue for the rest of your life if you let it.

Isn’t it time to move forward? To stop playing the stupid game with the sociopath, who could play forever. If you let him. The sociopath doesn’t feel too much, but he does feel satisfaction from

Winning
Being in control
Maybe right now it is time to stop playing the game. To finish the game. Stop playing. It is now time to focus on you. On your needs and your welfare. After all when you were with the sociopath, so much of your time and energy was wasted, defending yourself, and playing pointless mind games, nobody was taking care of your needs.

Endless stress and endless drama. that is the relationship with the sociopath. There comes a time, when the only thing to do, is to put in place no contact rules, stick to them, and focus on you, and loving yourself and creating your own beautiful world. A world where there isn’t someone constantly trying to pull you apart.

You deserve so much better 🙂

Copyright datingasociopath.com 2013

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

June 10, 2015 at 1:40 am

Defense Against the Psychopath (Full length Version)

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psychopathy

Defense Against the Psychopath is a documentary excerpted from chapter one of the book; The Art of Urban Survival. by Stefan H. Verstappen. This book teaches people how to recognize and defend against our society’s most dangerous predators, psychopaths.

You’re Evil! Combatting Badmouthing in Parental Alienation/ Ostara Gets A Divorce

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Originally posted November 11, 2013, on Ostara Gets A Divorce

http://ostaragetsadivorce.com/2013/11/11/youre-evil-combatting-badmouthing-in-parental-alienation/

“You’re evil, you’re evil, you’re evil”, Muppet sings while hugging, kissing and frolicking with her big sister while I’m setting the table for dinner. I smile; her words and actions are clearly contradictory, so she is not aware of the meaning. Such a sweet little toddler.

Time to have the discussion about certain words we don’t use, I think to myself.

While I’m serving dinner, I start out “There are certain words that are not nice to say to people, and I don’t want you to use them. We don’t say ‘people are evil’, we don’t use the word ‘stupid’. I want you to respect others and show respect in the words you use.”

“But Dad tells Kelly, my sister and me that you are evil. That we get the flea bites at your house and that you give Muppet the booty rash.” Sweet Bee says.

RIP. MY. HEART. OUT.

How many target parents have heard similar words? How many target parents have felt the same feelings that were going through me?

Countless, but even 1 person having to go through this is too many, even 1 child having to be subjected to this is too many.

And it is not like I had not heard it before. During trial we entered into evidence and email from Ex to me where he calls my mother ‘the Devil’, because my mother held him accountable for not taking good emotional, physical and financial care of me and the kids. The pattern is only repeating itself, but now with me who is to be eliminated.

The most prominent alienation strategy was denigration of the targeted parent, informally referred to as “bad-mouthing.” — Baker, Amy J. L. “Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind”

Bad-mouthing the other parent seemed to serve the same function as bad-mouthing the “outside world” has for cults: promotion of dependency. — Baker, Amy J. L. ” Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind”

Parental Alienation is depriving a child from a valid loving relationship. It is about creating dependency on the alienating parent, not based on the truth and reality, but based upon subjectivity and persuasion.

Drama replaces reason.

And that is the ‘hook’ Reunification Therapists take a hold of. They work with the child to teach them to ‘figure it out’, to learn to discern between fact/reality and subjective distortion. The Reunification Therapist works to improve mental functioning by working on reality testing and mitigate the trauma by weighing evidence.

Most parents don’t know what a therapist does, but that doesn’t mean a parent can not do ‘supportive’ work while the therapist is not available. It is hard and can be difficult, but the parent has to calmly, objectively and non-emotionally clarify the reality which the child themselves can test.

So what is the evidence in the statement of Sweet Bee? Ex has a ‘rat problem’, rats carry fleas. The kids return from access with numerous bites, documented by 3rd party. I have dogs who are religiously treated with K9 Advantix. The kids leave without flea bites. Muppet has been returned from access with a (bleeding) diaper rash multiple times, diagnosed and treated within hours by dr.’s.

“Are you itchy right now?” I ask. “No” they answer. “Do you have any bug bites right now?” I continue. “No” they answer again. “When you are itchy and have bug bites where are you then?” “We’re at Dad’s, and he has no bug bite lotion” is the answer. They emphasize the lack of bug bite lotion. While that seems trivial, it is not. It means they (unconsciously) did a reality check. They had been looking or asking for bug bite lotion while at Dad’s.

I didn’t lash out and said Ex was a liar to the children. I calmly did a reality check. While dealing with the bug bites was ‘easy’, internally I was trying to figure out how to bring up the diaper rash. The dr.’s diagnosed it as being the result of prolonged exposure to urine and it extends down her leg(s). It is not normal for a 3-year-old to have this when she is fully potty trained. The last episode likely had to do with the fact that Ex left the children unattended in a car for periods of time without supervision, access to food/water or bathroom. ‘Inadequate guardianship’ is what CPS supervisor called it.

“Where does your booty hurt the most?” I ask Muppet. “In the front” she replies. Ok, good point, a good factual statement for a 3 ½ year old. “But when you are with Mom or with Dad?” I try to probe a little further. “Both” she innocently replies. And she is right, it is not like it is instantly over, and how am I going to explain to a toddler that it takes time to heal? How do I explain the cause and effect; prolonged exposure to urine = diaper rash?

And this is why parental alienation takes ground with younger children so much easier than older kids, teenagers or adults. Younger kids don’t have the same conception of reality, developmentally they are not ready yet. They still believe in Santa. They’ll believe anything a parent tells them.

Distorting reality for a child this young and depriving them from the other parents’ love, making them question the validity of this love is devastating and has long-lasting effects. It is cruel to the child.

But parents with this attitude do not solve problems by being rational. They have no internal conflict, it doesn’t bother them they are hurting the child. If a problem arises, it is always someone else’s fault.

There is no protocol to fix the alienating parent—not legally, not therapeutically, and not by reasoning with them. It is also unlikely that they will ever stop trying to perpetuate the alienation, because it has become a gut-wrenching survival issue to them! — Douglas Darnell, 2000

Courts are supposed to uphold the statue of Best Interest of the Child. It should protect the child from the harmful effects of Parental Alienation, which is considered psychological child abuse in the DSM 5. Fighting parental alienation is not about a mother’s right, it is not about a father’s right, it is about the children’s right. They are not 2nd class citizens.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” — Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

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Narcissists and Child Custody

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June 30, 2014 at 2:10 am

Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder ( BPD) / BPD Central

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bipolar-woman-mask-200

This article was originally posted on BPD Central ( link at bottom)

People with borderline personality disorder see people as all good or all bad and have extreme, blink-of-an-eye mood swings. Their fear of abandonment, combined with feelings of emptiness and self-loathing, makes others feel like they’re constantly walking on eggshells.
Some borderline individuals are suicidal and self-harm. Other rage, criticize, and make wild accusations. People with BPD suffer, and so do those around them. About a third of people with BPD also have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD); they are especially unwilling to look at themselves and their own behavior.

Familiar Fights
We all use defense mechanisms to get us through the day. But people with personality disorders use them to a greater extent, which makes it seem like they’re living in their own little world. If you spend too long isolated in a crazy environment, you may start to think in these ways yourself. This is one reason why it’s essential that you maintain your friendships–even if your personality disordered family member insists that you give up other people.
Feelings Create Facts (emotional reasoning)

In general, emotionally healthy people base their feelings on facts. If your dad came home drunk every night (fact) you might feel worried or concerned (feeling). If your boss complimented you on a big project (fact) you would feel proud and happy (feeling).

People with borderline and narcissistic personality disorder, however, may do the opposite. When their feelings don’t fit the facts, they may unconsciously revise the facts to fit their feelings. This may be one reason why their perception of events is so different from yours.

Splitting: (I Hate You—Don’t Leave Me)
People with BPD and NPD may have a hard time seeing gray areas. To them, people and situations are all black or white, wonderful or evil. This process of splitting serves as another defense mechanism. Peter, who has BPD, explains: “Dividing the world into good or evil makes it easier to understand. When I feel evil, that explains why I am the way I am. When you are evil, that explains why I think bad things about you.”

Tag, You’re It : A Game of Projection
Some people with BPD or NPD who act out may use a more complicated type of defense mechanism — we’ve named it “Tag, You’re It”- to relieve their anxiety, pain, and feelings of shame. It’s more complex because it combines shame, splitting, denial, and projection.
People with BPD (and some with NPD) usually lack a clear sense of who they are, and feel empty and inherently defective. Others seem to run away from them, which is lonely and excruciatingly painful. So borderlines cope by trying to “tag” or “put” these feelings onto someone else. This is called projection.
Projection is denying one’s own unpleasant traits, behaviors, or feelings by attributing them (often in an accusing way) to someone else. Projection is like gazing at yourself in a hand-held mirror. When you think you look ugly, you turn the mirror around. Voila! Now the homely face in the mirror belongs to somebody else.
Sometimes the projection is an exaggeration of something that has a basis in reality. For example, the borderline may accuse you of “hating” them when you just feel irritated. Sometimes the projection may come entirely from their imagination: for example, they accuse you of flirting with a salesclerk when you were just asking for directions to the shoe department.
The BP’s unconscious hope is that by projecting this unpleasant stuff onto another person-by tagging someone else and making them “it” like a game of Tag — the person with BPD will feel better about themselves. And they do feel better, for a little while. But the pain comes back. So the game is played again and again.
Projection also has another purpose: your loved one unconsciously fears that if you find out they’re not perfect, you will abandon them. Like in the Wizard of Oz, they live in constant terror that you’ll discover the person behind the curtain. Projecting the negative traits and feelings onto you is a way to keep the curtain closed and redirect your attention on the perfect image they’ve tried to create for themselves.
How can people with BPD and NPD deny that they are projecting when it is so obvious to everyone else? The answer is that shame and splitting may combine with projection and denial to make the “Tag, You’re It” defense mechanism a more powerful way of denying ownership of unpleasant thoughts and feelings.
Some adults who enter into relationships with borderlines feel brainwashed by the BP’s accusations and criticisms. The techniques of brainwashing are simple: isolate the victim, expose them to inconsistent messages, mix with sleep deprivation, add some form of abuse, get the person to doubt what they know and feel, keep them on their toes, wear them down, and stir well.

Everything Is Your Fault
Continual blame and criticism is another defense mechanism that some people with BPD and NPD who act out use as a survival tool. The criticism may be based on a real issue that the person has exaggerated, or it may be a pure fantasy.
Family members have been raged at and castigated for such things as carrying a grocery bag the wrong way, having bed sheets that weighed too heavily on the BP’s toes, and reading a book the BP demanded they read. One exasperated non-BP said that if by some chance he didn’t make an unforgivable error one day, his wife would probably rage at him for being too perfect.

If you object to the criticism or try to defend yourself, your loved one may accuse you of being defensive, too sensitive, or unable to accept constructive criticism. Since their very survival seems to be at stake, they may defend themselves with the ferociousness of a mother bear protecting her cubs. When the crisis has passed and the person with BPD seems to have won, they may act surprised that you’re still upset.

To learn more go to BPD central ( link below)

http://www.bpdcentral.com

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

June 19, 2014 at 8:26 am

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