Understanding Abusive Behavior

When we are trying to objectively understand the behaviors and causes of behaviors in others, it is not the same as condoning, allowing, or letting them walk on us.

An example of understanding objectively without allowing one's self to be a target can be seen in psychiatric hospitals, and also group homes for the mentally challenged or ill. There are units in psych. hospitals where patients are constantly trying to target doctors and staff members, some of them every minute of every day. A professional worker, whether they're a doctor, nurse, caregiver, counselor or janitor, must maintain objectivity in order to work there and do their job. A patient might throw their food tray at a nurse. Her job effectiveness relies on her ability to not take it personally, and be fully aware that this person is mentally ill, and that there is always going to be a possibility of a "behavior".

One of the main reasons labels are created in the first place is so that those who work with and help patients and clients can be prepared for what they might be dealing with, and modify their own expectations and behaviors regarding the patient/client.

So that nurse would have expected, or at least not have been shocked for that particular patient to hurl the tray if she had objective awareness, and also experience. She would have been on guard around that patient. If it was an unexpected behavior, the next step is to re-visit the patient's diagnostic evaluation, treatment plan and medications, and re-evaluate how staff is protecting themselves from his or her behaviors.
>>>A non-professional staff (and I've seen this happen) would instead engage in a conflict with the patient, try to bully or shame him or her, and then gossip and trash talk about the patient with each other, and subsequently treat the patient with less and less care and treatment. I've seen this go to the point of serious neglect and abuse.

When we have someone who is abusive to us in our lives, we need to look at the entire dynamic, including ourselves. Of course it's not healthy to live with someone who is abusive toward us, so we need to make some changes for ourselves. Allowing ourselves to be treated badly should not be an option at all. So we need to change things to make our situation safe again.
Understanding and comprehending what is going on with a person who is abusive or manipulative has nothing to do with letting them continue to do it to us, and is in fact the OPPOSITE of that. When we are able to understand in a more clinical and less personal way about why someone behaves a certain way, we become more UNATTACHED and UNENGAGED in their behavior, not more attached. Understanding their behavior in a more clinical way makes it LESS PERSONAL, and easier to deal with in a healthy way.

To put it another way, if your brother ignored you all the time while you were growing up, if he wouldn't play with you, if he wouldn't respond to you when you asked him questions, and if he became ANGRY every time you tried to play cards or get him to go outside with you, you would probably feel hurt, rejected, angry, and/or sad. You might even end up kind of hating him, and maybe developing anger issues yourself, especially if your parents never tried to correct him or intervene.
But~ if your parents had explained to you about Autism, if you had read about it, learned about it, and came to understand that your brother CAN'T do the things you want him to do, and WILL get angry whenever you or almost anyone else tries to get him to do something, your entire perception of him and of your relationship with him would be completely different. You would not take his anger personally, you wouldn't feel rejected by his introverted demeanor, and you would not be confused about where it's coming from, and you wouldn't harbor so many ill feelings toward him. It would be a healthier environment for both you and him, and you would build and live your life in a different way than you would have in the other scenario.

Choosing Movements

 Why do we do some of the things we do, instead of doing other things that would be better on many or all levels?
Betrayal or stealing often does as much lasting damage to the person who does it than the person it's done to, it is an injury we do to ourselves as well as to another. These injuries can be healed when we are able to see ourselves as human beings who don't know everything, and who want forgiveness, and who want to feel the strength and inner peace that comes with straightforwardness and genuine care for the souls of others and ourselves.

Succeed And Fail, Or Be And Do

"Go beyond the idea of succeeding and failing -- these are judgments. Stay in the process and allow the universe to handle the details."
- Wayne Dyer

Narcissism, BPD, and Stigma

We might need to revisit straightforward Narcissism vs. BPD. There is so much stigma attached to both, which is of course one of the traits of Narcissism, ironically~ labeling people as "loser", "crazy", or "bad". These diagnostic labels are supposed to be tools used for analysis and understanding purposes, not for stamping people with scarlet letters and shunning them. Throughout human history though, as we all are aware, there are always those who find ways to group people as "good ones" (that would be the 'Us' crowd) and "bad ones" (that would be the 'Them' crowd). Mental illness is no different, and most of us who have been abuse targets know exactly what it feels like to be treated like a "Them", so we know it's not helpful at all, and only serves one purpose, someone's agenda.
>>>We might want to do that, even feel we need to, when we are in the middle of dealing with an abuser, and it's understandable, but that's a completely different thing from those who are not dealing with a specific situation attaching stigma, and is especially true for those who are mental health care workers and professionals. A psychiatrist, psychologist, clinician or therapist MUST learn how to view other humans as objectively as possible, without giving themselves "permission" to be judgmental with the excuse that they're "only human". Of course it's hard, it's hard for anyone to be objective about their fellow humans, but it's essential nonetheless.
That being said; some differences between classic Narcissism and basic BPD:

The person with BPD is worried about you liking him or her. The person with NPD is not, they are only worried about whether you'll be a supply or not.

The person with BPD may become very anxious or angry if they feel abandoned, it's one of the common symptoms. The person with NPD doesn't feel "abandoned", they feel like they're being 'disrespected' if someone isn't paying enough attention to them.

The person with BPD may feel angry, humiliated, and defensive when he or she feels like someone is treating them like they're someone who's "loopy" or "dumb" (not so abnormal, is it? it's just that their emotions about it can be much more intense, and can cause serious anxiety, which then makes them appear "loopy", which then invites even more negative judgment, etc~) The person with NPD is the one DOING the judging.

The person with BPD may self-harm and develop addictions due to anxiety, fear, stress relief, belonging, and feeling unwanted and shunned. The person with NPD develops addictions because they were looking for something to make them more powerful than they already think they are in some way (like amphetamines so they can get an "edge" on someone they're competing with, or anabolic steroids.)

The person with BPD may be very upset about something someone did or didn't do on a regular basis, and may have interpreted the other person's actions, words, and motive completely wrong but stay upset anyway; the person with NPD pretty much only displays annoyance and anger (and rage) as genuine emotions, and it's usually because something didn't go their way; if they could HIDE those emotional displays they would, absolutely (hurts their image and agenda, the display itself humiliates them, and they may become even angrier and blame someone else for it.They may do things to distract others or 'escape' when they feel exposed, or an emotional reaction coming on. They may 'turn the tables' as an escape tactic.)

A person who has BPD traits can ALSO have 'Narcissism', but they're not one and the same. There are all kinds of "versions" of BPD, especially since it's only a label for a pattern or cluster of behaviors that was noticed some years ago. The actual CAUSE of an individual's BPD symptoms frequently goes unexplored and ignored, and untreated, by many in the mental health professions. It's common for a person who has been diagnosed with BPD to get prescribed heavy medications but not receive therapy such as DBT, which has shown very postive results. It is common for a person who has been diagnosed with BPD to be singled out as the "cause of the family problems" by mental health care workers, (scapegoated), instead of the other way around, or even as a piece of a larger puzzle. It's common for a family scapegoat to develop BPD symptoms, and also for any children growing up in a Narcissistic environment (caregiver, family, or larger community).

There are a lot of people with BPD symptoms, from mild to severe; it centers around weak, severely weak, and injured boundaries, and a lack of awareness and understanding about boundaries in general. With that, an unclear, wobbly, or skewed sense of self and identity. All of which is frequently caused by abuse, bad behavior modeling, skewed feedback, and/or neglect.

 "The disorder, characterized by intense emotions, self-harming acts and stormy interpersonal relationships, was officially recognized in 1980 and given the name Borderline Personality Disorder. It was thought to occur on the border between psychotic and neurotic behavior.  This is no longer considered a relevant analysis and the term itself, with its stigmatizing negative associations, has made diagnosing BPD problematic. The complex symptoms of the disorder often make patients difficult to treat and therefore may evoke feelings of anger and frustration in professionals trying to help, with the result that many professionals are often unwilling to make the diagnosis or treat persons with these symptoms.  These problems have been aggravated by the lack of appropriate insurance coverage for the extended psychosocial treatments that BPD usually requires.  Nevertheless, there has been much progress and success in the past 25 years in the understanding of and specialized treatment for BPD.  It is, in fact, a diagnosis that has a lot of hope for recovery." 
(Click for page:What is Borderline Personality Disorder)