Borderline Personality Disorder: Heroic Martyr or Emotional Vampire?

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In keeping with my frequent diaries on mental illness, rage, and obsessive hatred, I thought it was time to talk about the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  The BPD combines many of the traits discussed in previous diaries, and condenses them into a toxic brew.   This is an especially good topic for the holidays, when many of us will be dealing with family members that we have been able to avoid for most of the year.

BPD is one of the most common mental illnesses affecting 3% to 5% of the population.  Borderline symptoms frequently occur with other problems like Bipolar disorder or substance abuse, creating a personality that is extremely toxic to the people around. They are obsessed with control, and when BPD is combined with other mental health problems, they are the Energizer Bunny of emotional and physical bullying.  BPDs have an extremely high rate of suicide, and BPD may be a leading cause of suicide.

The BPD used to be described as “borderline psychotic” because they are subject to psychotic fits of rage.  Actually the BPD combines the characteristics of many mental illnesses, especially the other  Cluster B (Dramatic, Emotional, or Erratic Disorders) Personality Disorders.Although the BPD can be very resistant to entering treatment, the cliche and cartoon-like structure of their personalities is leading to more effective cognitive therapies. But they will probably only reach therapy after “hitting bottom”  through addiction, repeated suicide threats, or self mutilation (“cutting.”)  Cutting used to be considered a  sure sign of BPD, but this was probably an  oversimplification.

They may also hit bottom and require hospitalization for depression as a result of relationships with addicts, who the BPD may find irresistibly attractive.  If they are driven to despair by their relationship with addicts, they may find help through Al-Anon.  You can find more information about this in my previous diary  What is a Codependent Dry Drunk?

BPD see themselves as always being the victim of other people.  They constantly accuse the people closest to them of acting maliciously against them.  These accusations change constantly, and the BPD doesn’t really to”believe” the accusations they make or even try to keep track of them like a good liar.  Although their accusations are often incoherent and contradictory, they make up for that with the tremendous number of lies they tell and the theatrical emotionality of their stories.

Their accusations that others are sabotaging them are often merely projection (pot kettle black) of their own efforts to sabotage and betray coworkers, spouses, and children. Ultimately, the only person really sabotaging the BPD is probably themselves through antisocial actions and substance abuse, although they are also emotional “shit magnets” for abusive personalities.  They may reject any romantic relationship that is not abusive, but they will still describe their partner as abusive to gain sympathy and lure new partners.  They will go to absurd lengths to provoke a fight so they can claim to be the victim.

Besides being the eternal victim, many BPDs will  strive to be seen as heroes, defenders of the truth and the weak. This involves declaring that “bad” people deserve to be punished and then singling them out for months or years of accusations and abuse.  Because rage and abusiveness proves they are good.

As some of the comments note, there is a an overlap between narcissism and BPD. The key difference seems to be that the BPD is codependent and the narcissist is counterdependent. In other words, the BPD clings desperately to just about anyone, while the narcissist usually terminates romantic relationships.  The BPD is more likely to experience periods of clinical depression and guilt. Although the BPD seems more unstable, hostile, and impulsive than the narcissist, the presence of guilt in the BPD may indicate a greater potential for recovery.  The narcissist is more charming, but is also more ruthless and experiences less guilt. Although the BPD has obvious problems, they may have fewer antisocial (sociopathic) traits than a narcissist.  Also a borderline is far more likely to threaten suicide than a narcissist.

It’s probably easiest to start be describing how a BPD acts:

Can’t be alone,  can’t stand to be with others, a common neurotic trait.

Makes everyone walk on eggshells – this is a a common way of describing other personality disorders as well.

Extreme pride and grandiosity
 – even thought the BPD suffers from a crippling lack of self esteem, they may give the appearance of being armor plated.  Whatever criticism reaches them is filtered through layer after layer of denial and distortion.  They may be quite proud of their character flaws.

Shame and secrecy – There is a general sense that anything the BPD does in private must never be spoken of.  In selecting the person for group bullying (in the home or workplace) they will single out the truth teller of the group.

 – trying to convince others that they are mentally ill, such as trying to convince them that real abuse did not occur. In Wikipdeia and a personality disorder blog.

Projective Identification
 – playing the victim by constantly trying to provoke others into being angry.  This not only fills the emotional needs of the BPD, it can nearly make it impossible for observers to determine which person is ill and abusive. See this diary.

Respect me! – pretend my fake emotions are real. This is common in many mental health problems.

Conflict in all their relationships.  Years of grudges and score keeping

Nothing is their fault, especially their own emotions.  Other people are to blame for the BPD’s feelings, as if everyone else has the power to broadcast directly into the BPD brain.  Blame others people for making them feel bad, then blame them others for not making the BPD feel better.

Demands that people join in their mental games. Creates a bubble of chaos whereever they go.

Don’t tell me what to do! Pointless defiance seems to often take the form of denying medical care to their children or parents. Not taking their kid to the doctor is “standing up for themselves” and being told that their kid needs to go to the doctor makes them some sort of martyr

Constant ad hominem attacks – other people have horrible flaws. Often the  BPD can’t quite identify their problem, but the BPD is sure those flaws are in other people and they must be punished.

They will pick apart  everything another person says, and turn that into an accusation.  Living with the BPD is like living through the Inquisition.  Their style can be described as  “analyze and accuse, analyze and accuse.”

They will always claim to know what other people thinking so that they always have an excuse for their rage.

Punishing “thought crimes”
 – since they know what people are thinking, they are in a perfect position to actively punish people for thinking bad thoughts and to recruit other to help punish the thought criminal.

“You think…!” ….For me the BPD lecture that starts out “You think…” is the end of the line because that is the beginning of the onslaught of mindreading and ad hominems. . When I was dating, I would tell people up front that if I ever heard the words “You think…” that I would never speak to them again.  Actually, I would give one “get out of jail free” card, but it was still a solid rule for relationships.

They really do seem to believe they just know what people are thinking, and they try to micromanage other people’s thoughts. This delusional thinking is common in the downward spiral of a power struggle.

“What do you really mean?”  This also overlaps with bipolar.  The subject changes because they are substituting words, apparently because they are swapping words and meaning in their head.  I recently had to restart a conversation about five times to keep it on topic, and I had to point exactly which words were being substituted.  For bipolar people there can be a look of intense concentration as they listen and analyze what you say as if they were trying to listen in a very noisy room. There is an entire inner dialogue going on behind their eyes.

They also assume that other people should know what the BPD wants, and they are enraged when other people fails to deliver what they need.  This is extremely passive aggressive.

They lack personal boundaries, demand to know what other people are thinking or feeling, and are always digging digging digging for evidence to use against others.

In addition to mind reading, they also have the ability to “hear” whatever they need to hear in order to justify their own actions.  This results in constant “he said/she said” arguments where the BPD is recalling some entirely different conversation.

And you can’t win – it’s Damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t, or heads-they-win-and-tails-you-lose, today you were too much of this and too little that but tomorrow it will be exactly reversed.

The BPD has a circle of neurotic friendships to provide the attention, validation, and sympathy that they need to survive.

Accusations – effortless lying, crying, incoherent but convincing, probably believe their own lies more than most people believe anything.

Although they may suffer constant guilt, they constantly try to use guilt against others, and pile guilt on their children. You will never hear them say they are sorry about anything.

Obsessed with the “Truth” and accusing other people of lying (more projection, right?).  Did you say you were going to take your umbrella when you went out but changed your mind because the sun came out?  Then you lied.

Being right in negative and pointless ways, pedantic arguments.

Although seemingly armor plated with narcissistic certainly, they will also plunge into periods of depression and self loathing at regular intervals.

I believe that some BPD are capable of being charming in a superficial way, like a narcissist.   The stereotype of the Jekyll-and-Hyde lover who romantically woos their mate during a whirlwind romance, then becomes abusive as soon as they are married is probably more narcissistic.  This is an area I’ll be reading more about, and tprobably an area of some controversy.

Urge to betray and sabotage their own relationships and destroy other peoples relationships.

The BPD will often be in a series of abusive relationships.  But being a “shit magnet” for abusive partners lets them deny their own deeply masochistic and sadistic tendencies that are directed at every living person within range.

Constantly accuses others of thinking bad thoughts.  Think you are safe by just sitting quietly in the corner – well the BPD will pronounce judgment on your thoughts, including the things you never did and never even said.  A good response is “If you can read my thoughts, then can do this from another zip code. Here’s your car keys, now get the fuck out.”

Another theme of BPD discussions online  is the BPD need to humiliate others. Public sexual humiliation may be comically overdone,  like cuddling with your best friend at a party.  Remember, they want to get a reaction so they can play the victim, so it’s probably better to just tape the episode and put it on YouTube.  But beware, they may have already taken a selfie of them tongue-kissing your boss under the mistletoe and put it on Facebook.  Because that’s just how they roll.

Use of projection is obvious – the BPD constantly accuses others of being angry, negative, and abusive. And their accusations against others is a projection of their own guilt.

BPDs  tell people details about their life very soon after meeting them, especially stories of  how abused they were.  Why tell people this right away?  Other people are tricked into believing that they are saving the BPD. It’s important to remember that these stories frequently aren’t even true. Often the person the BPD claims is abusing them is actually supporting them financially and emotionally, and the BPD is enlisting henchmen in their efforts to betray their real supporter.   The classic scenario is the wife that pus the BPD husband through law or medical school, and then he abandons her after graduation, but a couple years later he has become a drug addict.

Sex and romance are important to the BPD. Rushing into sex in a relationship is typical of the BPD.  First, it’s part of the overly-intense hot phase of the hot/cold BPD relationship.  But it’s also a way of filling the vacuum in the relationship, concealing the lack of actual emotional connection with the other person.  Through sex and  male schlock romanticism, the BPD imitates their idea of what a human being would be.  Like “Dexter,” a BPD is a “human imitator”  to compensate for the  odd gaps in their personality, which is like a pie that has a had a couple big slices removed.  The behavior, even their chronic rage, has a flat repetitive and robot like quality.  This might be an aspect of “splitting” that their personality consists of limited actions and reactions that are repeated as simple scripts that usually run in the same order and can’t be modified.Perhaps one of the reasons they skip from relationship to relationship is that is too easy for other people to figure out their limited and predictable behaviors, even the sadistic ones.

The BPD is an adult child trying to raise a real child with a the lack of a real bond between them.  The BPD may feed the child when it’s sleepy, try to play when it needs a clean diaper, put it to bed when it’s hungry.  It’s so easy to make a child miserable when empathy is missing, and it’s even better when it creates the chance to say “DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO” or wail “YOU THINK I’M A BAD PARENT.”  Of course it’s even better if the child has a health problem, so this can be used to generate sympathy.  A BPD parent may drag a healthy child from specialist to specialist for years insisting that the child has some serious problem that is only visible to the BPD parent.  They are also often trying to force the child to drop out of high school or college so they never leave home. Narcissists have a similar lack of connection to their children, but the narcissist has more of an investment in being seen as a super parent with super children.  The narcissist may force the child to excel to glorify the parent, while the BPD is probably more likely to undercut the child and keep them dependent on the parents.

For people who know them, the BPD stories of heroism and victimhood can’t conceal that BPD’s are often extremely controlling, abusive, sadistic, manipulative, amoral, and dishonest.  They are obsessed with controlling others, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Most of their relationships will end with a power struggle in which the BPD seems to be demanding unconditional surrender, except they are probably already in the process of abandoning the relationship or being abandoned.

When the BPDs romantic relationship inevitably turns into a power struggle, BPD symptoms become a terrifying uncontrolled spiral into madness with a high probability of violence.  Seemingly minor unresolved disagreements his will often tip the BPD over the edge from functioning at a fairly normal level to becoming an emotional mess with psychotic episodes that lead to violence, arrest, suicidal gestures, and treatment in a mental hospital.  Other big risk factors include the death of a parent (where there was typically a long running power struggle) and the growth of child (with the typical power struggles).

Their most stable relationships are friendships with other people who also have problems with anger and low self esteem, except these neurotic “frenemies” encourage the BPDs worst traits and actively discourage the BPD from seeking treatment.

The DPB May Be Codependent, Addicted, And Have Multiple Mental Illnesses

The BPD is very good at deceiving bystanders, because they appear to have a narcissist’s grandiosity and a sociopaths lack of conscience. In reality the BPD has very low self esteem, tremendous fear of abandonment, extreme sensitivity, and depression, and this drives their obsession with control.  Many of you will have realized that this low self esteem and frantic need to control others is what laymen call “codependency.”  In the BPD, this codependency is often a shopping cart of multiple mental illnesses in the same person.

BPD is generally diagnosed more frequently in women, but many male BPDs may avoid diagnosis by going to prison, committing suicide, or being murdered. BPD is often made more complicated and intense by being present with other conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse.  Borderline traits can be present in people that are functioning normally, but they are definitely a risk factor for addiction. The untreated addict on his way to “hitting bottom” is essentially a BPD.

In these cases of multiple mental illnesses,  the BPD may make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. In Junkie, William Burroughs describes a couple characters that seem to be BPDs with speed or heroin habits

Whitey combined the sensitivity of a neurotic with a pyschopath’s readiness for violence.  he was convinced nobody like him, a fact that seemed to cause him a great deal of worry

I noticed another man who was standing there looking at me. waves of hostility as suspicion flowed out from his large brown eyes like some sort of television broadcast.  The effect was almost like a physical impact.

Indeed, a couple times I have been in the next room when a BPD entered the building.  Even when there was not a sound,  it seemed as if a wave of pure malevolence came right through the walls like some sort of microwave energy weapon. Defenses

The BPD’s use of projection as a defense is constant and out of control.  Everyone else is “crazy” and “yelling at them” and “criticizing them” and being “negative.” These are of course their own traits, and they insist that it is everyone around them.  If a BPD is in the home or office, the whole group is likely to be involved in daily debates about who is “nicer.”

In a relationship with a BPD, the two of you may agree that one of you has a mental problem, but you’ll never agree on which one it is.  The BPD is president of the “everyone is crazy but me” club.  Not only do they project all their flaws onto the other person, they will also manipulate the person into the role of the bad guy around the clock (projective identification), and they will “gaslight” there partners (try to convince them they are crazy).

When the BPD says “I’m sensitive” it doesn’t mean they cry at pretty sunsets and sappy movies.  It means they have a hair trigger and propensity towards violence.  The BPD excuses their anger by claiming that they “care too much.” If you sigh the wrong way, it’s “abusive,”  if you taped a “Kathy” cartoon to the refrigerator, that was “abusive” also.  And that’s why they BPD hit you!  It’s your fault, not theirs, because you are the abusive one with your damn “Kathy” cartoon.  Hitting you was justified.

The BPD must frame their criticisms as ad hominem attacks on the other person’s character.  Since the BPD has deep flaws of character and personality they will project those problems onto other people. Politics is also great for BPDs because other people are going to be labeled “Marxists” or “racists” or “baby killers” or “sexists.”  It really doesn’t matter where you are on the political spectrum, the BPD has a grab bags of personalized political attacks.  The BPD claims that their victim is mean to some group of people, and since the BPD doesn’t have any evidence, these attacks are justified by the victims fantasy sins against imaginary people.  

Splitting as a Defense

Splitting is another defense of the BPD. Although  the definition of splitting has evolved over time, it is described as fragmented object relations (intimate relations) and a fragmented ego (the view of the self).

Splitting in object relations  means seeing others as “all good” or “all bad.”  Often relationships start with excessive intimacy with the “all good,” then transition into violent hatred where their lover is now “all bad” and the BPD is back in the role of the victim. The “split” is that the BPD believes two entirely contradictory things and acts as if both things are true.   Of course, this could reflect real events and not BPD splitting, but if it happens repeatedly, the BPD “victim” probably really is as crazy as their supposedly abusive partner, and the “victim” may actually be a serial abuser and stalker.borderline-personality-disorder-to-write-love-on-her-arms-33180128-397-188

The fragmented ego has inconsistent beliefs about oneself. Is the BPD a victim or are they the  enraged avenging vigilante angel of justice?  Is it possible to be both?  Is it possible to be both victim and avenger over and over through the years  while being enraged at both family and strangers? It’s probably a mentally ill idea, but the BPD depends on having  multiple contradictory ideas which are both utterly false.  The BPD  bounces back and forth between these two false self images, which also facilitates projective identification, a defense that is both deeply primitive and astonishingly devious. Those ideas are at least possible in the real world (even though they are false in the case of the BPD), and bystanders are often convinced that the BPD is both victim and avenger.   But at the bottom is a “psychotic nucleus” of things that the BPD doesn’t dare say out loud and can’t stand to have challenged.  This might be something like “Other people are responsible for my emotions, and if I am unhappy it is only because someone has deliberately hurt me every day of my life.”   Challenging this belief is “abusive,” reduces the BPD to incoherent rage, and may result in a physical attack.  Physically running away is also a defense, and challenging the splitting will often cause the BPD to jump into their car (often drunk)  and flee into the night.

Other psychotic traits on which the BPD can be challenged are their rage and sadism as well their belief in punishing people for their bad thoughts. If the BPD pronounces judgment on your thoughts, including the things you never did and never even said, a good response is “If you can read my thoughts, then you can do this from another zip code. Here’s your car keys, now get the fuck out.”

To the observer, splitting looks like an impenetrable wall of contradictory and irrational gibberish.  The BPD can make their incoherent beliefs work to their advantage by turning these beliefs into breathless, tearful accusations.  Because they have contradictory beliefs, the BPD can inflict an endless stream of abuse on anyone around them with this damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t, heads-I-win-tails-you-lose strategy.

BPDs Love Authority And Structures They Can Exploit

BPDs are often able to convince other people that the BPD is the real victim, and the BPD will work to divide any group of people and recruit allies.  Their goal is usually to create a “black sheep” for the rest of the group to abuse. Despite this, they are capable of being seductive and ingratiating, and they can successfully work their way into positions of authority where they can use the institutional power in sadistic and destructive ways.  Being ‘right” is important to the BPD personally and professionally, but they are often “right” in ways that are pointless and destructive.

The BPD is often the low level henchman of a narcissistic administrator. The narcissist and the BPD share common personality traits, so even though they have little empathy for others, they understand their common backgrounds.  The BPD can idealize the narcissist, while the narcissist can put down (devalue) the BPD.

911 calls are a favorite of the BPD, and they will always be first to make an official complaint.  If you rent from them or share a house, they will claim there were huge damages.  They will remodel their house and send you the bill.  They will also bill for work that was never done, and simply try to extort money. The BPD will literally stalk someone, then the BPD will claim they are actually the victim. They are often in civil lawsuits, family courts, and probate fights. Probably a significant chunk of the US economy is consumed by the junk legal actions of BPDs.After all, don’t most civil actions feature someone frantically lying their ass off?

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Celebrities With borderline personality disorder

This is actually very tough, because to spot the BPD we have to find people that have sabotaged themselves, often with drugs and alcohol.  And then it’s a question of whether or not they were actually mistakenly self medicating some other problem like bipolar disorder.  But Amy Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan, and Courtney Love call come to mind.  Actually, the best examples may be the rogues gallery of former child stars that completely ruined their lives.  Many of them had no chance to go through normal stages of development as teenagers, so they are stuck as self-destructive adolescents.  indeed, being borderline has been described as “being 14, forever.”

Is Karl Rove a BPD or maybe a mixture of narcissist and BPD?  He certainly has the backround:  A flaming gay father that abandoned his family, mother that committed suicide (which he disputes), growing up as a non-Mormon minority in Utah.  He has made a career of ginning accusations against people.   But he seems to lack a reputation for public rage, abd his flair for associating himself with important people seems to indicate narcissism rather than NPD.

How about George Zimmerman, a cop wannabee with anger management problems who always calls 911? 

Authority figures are surrogate parent figures who serve as stand-ins for the BPDs negligent or abusive birth parents.  Coworkers are the siblings who compete for the parents illusive affections and competitors for the family’s meager resources.  The fact that none of this may be true has no effect on the BPD, who remains locked in a state of child like rage with extremely limited reasoning ability. They will always by crying foul and demanding that authorities intervene on their behalf.

The BPD love rules and loves to accuse others of breaking the rules.  They also like to make up rules that don’t exist, and even if those rules change hour by hour, breaking the rules will bring years of punishment.

The Successful BPD

Professionally, a BPD can do well.  Indeed, how many times have we seen successful, highly motivated people turn out to be shockingly cruel to their families.  This also includes many prominent social activists of both the left and right who are unbelievable shits to their own families. Mitch Snyder helped the DC homeless but abandoned his family and killed himself.  Politically, it doesn’t matter if the BPD is on the left or right.  Politics is merely a way for them to vent their petty authoritarian urges.

In the workplace, the BPD can do well as a manager in any environment where there are rules that encourage the BPD to play “gotcha” as the micromanager.  That’s especially true today, when employee turnover is often considered a good thing.  Likewise the stalk, harass, gather evidence, and accuse style is ideal for the HR department in a company that wants to downsize through “attrition.”

However, the BPD is often a failure as a leader because they are too busy creating office politics and playing gotcha to focus on actually getting stuff done.  But  the BPD might be the classic failure who “falls upward” from failure because they will always “kiss up (to the boss), kick down (at the underlings).”  Above all the BPD shifts the blame to others while claiming to be the savior, and the BPD recruits henchmen that will be alibis for the BPDs tales of self sacrifice and heroism.

Borderline Personality Disorder And Related Personality Disorders  (from the DSM)

BPD usually has components of related personality disorders:

Borderline Personality Disorder -Experience a pervasive pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships and have difficulties with moods and self-image. Impulsiveness is also extremely common. Often have intense episodes of anxiety, depression and irritability lasting from a few hours to several days. May direct anger outward in the form of physical aggression, but may also engage in self-destructive behaviors such as drug abuse, eating disorders or suicidal gestures. These behaviors are often intended to manipulate others. Usually have poor self-identity that leads to overly intense relationships with others. These interactions are generally filled with conflict, and the individual with borderline personality will vacillate between idealizing other people and undervaluing them. Tend to become angry and frustrated when other people fail to meet unrealistic expectations.

Histrionic Personality Disorder-Generally need others to witness their emotional displays in order to gain validation or attention.  Often display exaggerated symptoms of weakness or illness and may use threats of suicide to manipulate others. Also, many suffering from histrionic personality disorder use sexually provocative behaviors to control others or gain attention.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder – An exaggerated sense of one’s own abilities and achievements.  A constant need for attention, affirmation and praise. A belief that he or she is unique or “special” and should only associate with other people of the same status. Persistent fantasies about attaining success and power. Exploiting other people for personal gain. A sense of entitlement and expectation of special treatment. A preoccupation with power or success. Feeling envious of others, or believing that others are envious of him or her.

Antisocial Personality Disorder – Often act out impulsively and fail to consider the consequences of their actions.Display aggressiveness and irritability that often lead to physical assaults. Have difficulty feeling empathy for others.  Display a lack of remorse for damaging behavior.

The various antisocial personality disorders can’t stand to have someone actually understand them. Nobody can be permitted to identify their antisocial actions and the complete separation of the glowing self image versus their  destructive and sadistic actions. Of course, the BPD would want that discussion to be a confrontation where they can play the victim.  But even if this is done with empathy, the antisocial personality type is likely to respond to empathy as if it were attempted rape.  Having empathy for a BPD is probably the best way to eject them from your life.

Are BPDs A Type Of Psychopath?

There’s considerable controversy and infighting about how to compare BPDs to psychopaths.  BPDs tend to lack the psychopath’s carefree confidence,  lack of guilt, and social isolation.  The BPD is guilty (which the project onto others), dependent, and clings desperately to others.  It has been suggested that the true psychopath is born that way, while the BPD is the result of abusive parenting. But it’s also been suggested that the BPD lacks the narcissism of the psychopath.

Psychopathic Personality Inventory: Factors and Subscales
[1] PPI–1: Fearless dominance
Social influence
Stress immunity
Also assertiveness, narcissism, and thrill-seeking.

PPI–2: Impulsive Antisociality
Machiavellian egocentricity
Rebellious nonconformity
Blame externalization
Also aggressiveness, substance use, antisocial behavior, negative affect, and suicidal ideation.

BPDs Respond To Articles About BPDs

It’s interesting to read articles about BPD where there are comments from BPDs.  Since they are obsessed with what other people think about them, I guess it is no wonder that they would show up in the comments.  Typically, their comments go like this:

YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT – Ok, there’s the BD “appeal to authority” even if someone understands BPDs because they have been shackled to an abusive BPD for decades. Also it’s pretty common for mentally ill people to see themselves as unique and special.

I KNOW MORE THAN YOU – and there we see the BPD narcissism

YOU MUST BE THE CRAZY ONE – Another BPD favorite

BUT I’M SPECIAL AND SUPERIOR – Actually we don’t see as much of that as we would with bipolar people.

I’M THE REAL VICTIM HERE – And isn’t that the essence of the BPD, that in the midst of all the mayhem and pain, and despite the shattered lives they’ve left in their wake, they are the real victim?  Remember, Daddy only drinks because you cry.

YOU JUST HAVE BIAS – you know, sometimes the amount of bias against a specific mental illness corresponds to the body count it leaves.

—————————– Walking Dead Update ————————

I think Daryl’s older brother Merle Dixon is the BPD of the series. Horribly abused as a child, he ends up in prison. When he is with the group, he is constantly divisive, undermining and pitting people against each other.  He does this even though it might threaten his own survival and that of his brother.  When Merle says “I don’t know why I do the things I do. Never did. I’m a damn mystery to me.” he shows a primitive level of disorganization in his personality.  But he does a feel a bond to his brother, and he avoiding murdering people before the end of the world.

Eventually, he ends up serving the  Governor, who is a two faced narcissistic sociopath.  The Governor wants to be a benevolent leader of Woodberry while secretly indulging in various forms of sadism, including torture and rape (in the graphic novel).

Personalities like this constantly feel the urge to betray their comrades. Merle eventually betrays the Governor by killing members of Woodberry, and the Governor later betrays his group in the same way.  Merle has ambushed and killed a number of innocent people for the Governor, and it seems that he has a sense of guilt and wounded pride over this.  He sacrifices himself in a heroic, defiant death, which is the fantasy of so many mentally ill shooters planning to die “in a blaze of glory.”

The Governor is Machiavellian  when he takes over his new group by ingratiating himself with with the leader then assassinating him.  He is also able to manipulate weaker personalities, He kills a group member who shows a sense of morals because the Governor knows that this person would question his authority.  Then he has a heart to heart with his victim’s brother, and the governor talks about how their fathers used to beat them half to death.  The governor is able to show fake empathy for the BPD henchman.

After he kills the leader and dumps his body in the lake, the brother asks if the group will believe their story about how the leader was killed by zombies.  The Governor says:

People believe what they want to believe. They love a hero.

Again, that is a narcissist’s view of life, but the narcissist is able to bond to the BPDs because of their common emotions and background. .He decides that he’ll kill anyone, and he he justifies that by saying he is doing it to protect his adopted family, whose daughter reminds him of his dead little girl.   They are willing to eliminate anyone because they are freeing up resources for their own family.  A rational creative person would think about growing the pie instead, but the narcissist or BPD probably knows deep in their hearts that they can’t increase productivity.

Psychopath vs. Sociopath

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Psychopath vs. Sociopath

Psychopathy and sociopathy are anti-social personality disorders. While both these disorders are the result of an interaction between genetic predispositions and environmental factors, psychopathy is used when the underlying cause leans towards the hereditary. Sociopath is the term used when the antisocial behavior is a result of a brain injury or belief system and upbringing. In recent years, the term psychopath has acquired a specific meaning and the condition is now more widely understood.

Psychopaths are born with temperamental differences such as impulsiveness, cortical under-arousal, and fearlessness that lead them to risk-seeking behavior and an inability to internalize social norms. On the other hand, sociopaths have relatively normal temperaments; their personality disorder being more an effect of negative sociological factors like parental neglect, delinquent peers, poverty, and extremely low or extremely high intelligence.

Anti-social personality disorder results in extremely violent acts. Though psychiatrists often consider and treat sociopaths and psychopaths as the same, criminologists treat them as different because of the difference in their outward behavior.

Comparison chart



Suffers from Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD); lack of empathy or conscience, delusional. Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).
Origin of illness Psychologists generally use the term psychopathy to imply an innate condition of the individual. It’s derived from the nature part of the nature vs. nurture debate. The term sociopathy generally implies that environmental factors, such as upbringing, have played a role in the development of the ASPD.
Predisposition to Violence High Varied
Impulsivity Varies; generally low High
Behavior Controlled Erratic
Criminal behavior Tendency to participate in schemes and take calculated risks to minimize evidence or exposure. Tendency to leave clues and act on impulse.
Criminal Predispositions Tendency for premeditated crimes with controllable risks, criminal opportunism, fraud, calculated or opportunistic violence. Tendency for impulsive or opportunistic criminal behavior, excessive risk taking, impulsive or opportunistic violence.
Social relationships Unable to maintain normal relationships. Values relationships that benefit themselves. May hurt family and friends without feeling guilty. Tendency to appear superficially normal in social relationships, often social predators. Can empathize with close friends or family; will feel guilty if they hurt people close to them.

Differences in Outward Behavior of a Psychopath and a Sociopath

Social Relationships

Both sociopaths and psychopaths are capable of forming relationships. The neurology of psychopaths makes it hard for them to feel empathy. They value relationships that benefit them but do not feel guilty about taking advantage of close friends and family. Both psychopaths and sociopaths can be extremely charming but sociopaths are generally capable of empathy and guilt. To that extent, their relationships — at least with people they end up getting close to — can be “normal”.


Psychopath vs Sociopath,

Psychopaths can be very manipulative and pernicious in their abuse of the people around them. Unlike sociopaths, they can be almost obsessively organized and give the appearance of normal in their social relationships, often forming symbiotic or parasitic relations.


Psychopaths often have successful careers and try to make others like and trust them. This is because they understand human social emotions quite well but are unable to experience them. This allows them to be master manipulators of human emotions.

Sociopaths often find it hard to maintain a steady job and home.

Violent tendencies

Even though psychopathy is characterized by impulsiveness, psychopaths are usually very meticulous in planning their crimes. Their crimes can go undetected for a long time. Violent crimes are rare; most psychopaths either take advantage of those around them without doing anything illegal, or engage in white collar crime such as fraud.

A sociopath’s outbreaks of violence tend to be erratic and unplanned. They also tend to leave more clues.

Both sociopaths and psychopaths commit crime because they are motivated by greed or revenge. But psychopaths feel no remorse after their crimes because they lack the ability to empathize.

Similarities between Psychopaths and Sociopaths

Sociopaths and psychopaths both face medical disorders that can be treated or alleviated if properly diagnosed. Treatment involves therapies and may involve proper medication. In fact, psychiatrists often don’t distinguish between the two based on behavior; instead, they label a person with ASPD a sociopath if their mental condition is a result of mainly social conditions like abuse during childhood and a psychopath if the condition is mainly congenital.

The symptoms in both cases begin to establish and surface at approximately fifteen years of age. The initial symptom can be excessive cruelty to animals followed by lack of conscience, remorse or guilt for hurtful actions to others at a later stage. There may be an intellectual understanding of appropriate social behavior but no emotional response to the actions of others. Psychopaths may also face an inability to form genuine relationships, and may show inappropriate or out of proportion reaction to perceived negligence.


Treatment and Support

Antisocial Personality Disorder is a mental illness that can be managed with drugs and therapy.

The Mayo Clinic also has information on the illness and resources for support.

Psychopath vs Psychotic

It should be noted that psychopaths are not “insane” or mentally disabled. A psychotic person suffers a break from reality, characterized by delusions and hallucinations. This usually renders the individual unable to function normally. But psychopaths are not mentally disabled and do not lose contact with reality.



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Reblogged from ‘dating a sociopath’

her blog
A baby can be transfixed by watching a washing machine go round and round. The clothes spinning in the machine can be fascinating to watch.

An adult wouldn’t choose to watch a washing machine cycle over and over again. It isn’t soothing and calming, in fact the noise from the spin, can be quite irritating.

This is how it feels to date a sociopath. The same repeated pattern over and over again. What is very bizarre is that if you speak to other victims, they have all experienced the same patterns of behaviour. Identical, as if they were dating the same person.

Each time the sociopath makes empty, false promises to be a ‘good’ ‘productive’ person and to do all that they promised to do in the first place, you are hopeful that things will change and you will have a ‘normal’ relationship. This is especially true if you still love the sociopath, or if you have invested so much in terms of time, energy, emotions, love. To finally hear that they are going to be the person that they pretended to be, or that they will fulfil empty promises, makes you want to stay there, after all you don’t want to be wrong, you don’t want to have invested all of that time and energy for nothing.

The truth is, that the sociopath WILL keep (no matter what they say) repeating the same behaviour over and over. Even if they have all the best intentions in the world not to do so. You would therefore only be setting yourself up for more of the same behaviour


Poor impulse control
Failure to learn from past mistakes
Lack of long term plans and realistic long term goals
Low tolerance of boredom
Seeing life as a game, and others in life as players in the game
Dupers delight and the joy of conning
Finding it easier to lie, than to be honest, the ability to live behind the mask
Due to the above personality traits, the sociopath will continue to repeat the same behaviour. Even when they do not mean to. When they say that they ‘promise’ to change. Even swearing on their dying grandmothers life, or their childrens, or anyone else who they think will pull on your heartstrings, they are simply saying words.

To the sociopath, when they say the words they can convince themselves that their word is true. Sometimes they mean it (at the time), at other times, it is merely an opportunity to dupe and con some more, or to use this as an extended period of time to use you for source of supply.

Things might change, for a short period of time, but the boredom factor kicks in, and then all promises are out of the window, and things return as normal. You wonder how did you get dragged back into this yet again?

The washing machine analogy is a good one. Being in a relationship with a sociopath, you can actually feel as if you have been through the cycle of the washing machine, left with your head spinning. If you allow it, the sociopath, they will lure you back in to do the cycle all over again. Do you want this?

This is the cycle of abuse. If you are feeling confused, or like your head has been stuck in the fast spin of a washing machine, this is why. You are being programmed by the sociopath, manipulated and controlled. Even after the relationship has ended the sociopath will still play games, manipulate and control you. Either using others to do this, or by deliberate silence, or letting you know what a great time they are having now you are not in their life (after all it was all your fault). That they are happy and you are miserable (this isn’t true either).

This is just a ruse. It wasn’t your fault. There was nothing that you could have done to change things. You cannot control, or change a master manipulator. Nobody can. We are all responsible for ourselves. We can only change ourselves, nobody else.

It might hurt to remove yourself from the game. Yes, the silence can be painful. You deserve so much better. In reality, you will WIN…. you win because

You can take responsibility and charge for you and your life
Nobody else is turning your world upside down
Financially all of your money is your own. Even if you have been wiped out, you can now start to rebuild
You are FREE – to do what you want, see who you want, go where you want
It is impossible to start to rebuild your life, and to stop being in this crazy pattern of cycle, rinse, spin and then repeat…. unless you remove yourself. Stop being a player in the game.

When you stop playing the game, the sociopath can at first up the drama to engage you to play. If you refuse to engage, if you establish no contact, the sociopath will eventually get bored and move onto a new player in their crazy game of life.

You cannot really lose anything in this life. The only thing that you can really lose is YOU. Other things that you lose (such as death) is not your fault and out of your hands (and I believe that life is eternal). Finances can be rebuilt, you can find new friends, get a new job, anything can be rebuilt. But you can lose yourself, and this is the biggest loss of all.

Find yourself, love yourself, focus on you. This is all that you have control over. You.

How many of you went through this repeated cycle of behaviour, over and over? How many times, before you said ENOUGH??





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The key to success is YOU


Before I begin this post, let me get one thing straight – THERE IS NO MISSING PART OF YOU! You might feel that there is. You might feel that there is something missing in your life. You might feel that you are not the person that you once were.

This is all an illusion.

You are completely whole within yourself. You always have been. What is different, is the mind. The mind is powerful and can play tricks. You can be guilty of deluding yourself.

After an abusive relationship, it is common to stay stuck. The biggest prison, are the walls that people create for themselves. If you allow a sociopath to take control, they will take the bricks and mortar and help you build the wall to keep you prisoner, all under the guise of ‘helping you’.

If you go through your life feeling that something is MISSING the sociopath will gladly fill that missing part for you.

Why the key to ourselves often lies in our past

You are whole. You were born a whole person. You might have a lot of learning, growth and development to do. Some people have other issues, that I will not discuss in this post. I am talking about a person that was healthy and whole, PRIOR to being in either an abusive or traumatic situation.

I knew this. Working with people it was something that I often told my clients. I had worked for decades with homeless people. People who had often lost everything, including their homes, and were now living in temporary accommodation, sometimes with children too. For many of those people, at that point in their lives when I met them, life, was a complicated puzzle, sometimes overwhelming, the problems in their life felt overwhelming. I worked with people to resolve small problems one by one, to put the missing pieces of the puzzle back together.

So, if I was experienced at doing this to help others? Why did I struggle to do it for myself? Firstly, while I knew that the key to my life and the freedom in my life, was in the past – I knew that to reach there, I had to go BACKWARDS. As my daughter had died in Jan 2010, I didn’t want to go backwards to before she was born. I didn’t want to be this person. If I did, I reasoned in my head, then it would mean that I was denying that my daughter had ever existed.

I didn’t WANT to be that person that I was before the trauma had happened. But, even for me, this was essential, and I would stay stuck, until i DID go backwards.

What does it mean to go backwards?

Many victims/survivors talk of how different their lives once were. How they remember the person that they used to be. Often you were a vibrant, fun, successful person, with a lot to offer. Then you met someone who pulled your world down. Now, just how do you get back to who you once were?

To go back to who you once were, to find that missing part of yourself, takes the following:

  • Courage to return to the past
  • A belief to find yourself and knowledge that you will and can do this
  • Overcoming and having the confidence to cope with fear of rejection
  • An ability to follow yourself
  • Knowing who YOU are – what made you tick? What were the things that made YOU happy BEFORE you met your abuser? Where were you? Who were the people in your life? Why did life feel better back then?

Join up the dots

You are ALWAYS who you once were, the difference is what is in your mind. It is your own perception and how you see things. The following are some reasons why you hold yourself back:

  • You might be scared to return to the past
  • You meet see going backwards as literally a step backwards and therefore failure
  • You might think that to go back to where you were before you met the socio – means that you have wasted your life
  • You might not want to have wasted so many (often) years of your life, for… what you might see as nothing
  • You might not want to let go of the false illusion that was offered to you by the sociopath

Backwards can mean forwards

By returning to your past, what you are actually doing, is to return to where YOU were last happy, fulfilled and whole within YOU. You are returning to a time when none of the abuse had happened to you.

You know when you listen to music sometimes, it can trigger a memory? It is like that. By going back to where you felt most fulfilled, you are returning to a place that you felt safe.

I don’t know if this is true for you, but it certainly is for me, and my life. Throughout my life, there have been people who have entered my life, some have stayed, but usually, almost always it is the core group of people that are always there in my life. I might think that they have gone, but they haven’t. Pick up the phone and call, there is something quite comforting about your past.

You are the WHOLE of you

You are every part of you. You are every experience in your life. People come into your life, as blessings, or lessons. Some people are in your life for all of your life, and others, come and go. You need people to leave your life sometimes, as if you didn’t have those people leave, you wouldn’t have time for new people and new experiences.

Let go of the fear and face your past. For in the past, you will find the real true you. The reflections of you that you saw presented to you by the sociopath are not real true reflections. The reflections that are offered by your past will give a TRUE reflection of you.

Go careful, as the mind is powerful and it can play tricks. But it is difficult to trick you when you have returned to the safety of the past, prior to where you were before the abuse happened to you.

You are ALWAYS the whole of you. Nobody can take that away from you. As you go through life, you will grow and develop, sometimes you will experience things that will hurt and cause you pain, but this pain will give you wisdom, and help you to grow. Even if you do not see it at the time.

How far do you go back to the past?

You have to go back to where you were, BEFORE the trauma/abuse happened. Right back, however far that is. For me, this has been five years. I didn’t want to go back to where I was five years ago. I wondered how this could ever be possible. It frightened me, before 5 years ago, I had a very different life. I was meant to be a mother to a little girl. I struggled to go back to the person that i was before my daughter left my life. I saw this as FAILURE.

I saw this as not moving forward, or moving on with my life. Yet, the truth was, as it always had been, the key and the truth for me, lay in my past.

I recall returning to work after my daughter had died. I was in a worst state than I realised at that time. Not in a very good place at all. Yet there was something comforting about returning to a job that I had (at that time) held for seven years. My entire world had changed, my world was fallng apart and crumbling down. I recall thinking ‘in a changing world, it is reassuring to know that some things remain the same’.

What kind of things do you go back to?

This is about the things that are GOOD for your soul. The GOOD memories. This is the place that you know, you feel safe, you understand. It is what you TRUST. Examples of returning to the past (not inclusively)

  • Old friends (particularly those who knew you in childhood) – even if you haven’t seen them for many years
  • Family that love and care about you
  • An old career that used a particular skill, that you were good at
  • An environment or a location, if you went on holiday, or attended a particular event regularly, return there
  • Digging out old belongings – books, music, anything at all, that you haven’t seen for a long time, particularly if you haven’t seen those things since the abuse started
  • ANYTHING that gave you joy, that you loved PRIOR to meeting your abuser

Your soul doesn’t lie

You might think that you CAN’T go back there. But you can, and indeed you likely will, when you are ready. Those missing parts that you think about, when you focus on how the sociopath has RUINED your life. The sociopath cannot really ruin your life, even if you think that they have (but they will have a good try, if they want to). Nobody can ruin your life, it can, only if you allow it to.

Your soul doesn’t lie. When you think back and reminisce. When you think of all you USED to be, or all that you USED to have, it is all still there. It is just about reconnecting to it again. That sadness that you feel in your heart? You feel sad for the false empty promises, where the sociopath promised to offer to missing parts to you – but the truth was NOBODY could fulfill this, as there never was missing parts of you, even if you thought that there were.

Sneaky,crafty sociopath huh? …. master of illusion and confusion – offering to fulfill what you already had within you…. but they do this. The question is why didn’t you see this for yourself.

Begin today

I love lists. Begin today, write a list of all the things that YOU loved in your life BEFORE you met your abuser. What were the things that made you happy? Write down everything – one by one. Everything that made you PROUD to be you, everything that made you happy, everything that gave you joy.

Expect at first, to feel sad with this list. At first it is likely that you will look at this list and see all that you used to be. This, might indeed tempt you to return to your abuser. However, if someone makes you feel bad about YOU – they shouldn’t be in your life. If someone makes you feel bad about you, they are bad FOR you.

Don’t expect immediate results. It can take quite some time. Remember that it has taken some time to abuse you, traumatise you, an attempt to steal your life. Be realistic with time frames. The longer that you were abused for, the longer that it will take to reclaim you.

Believe me, you are WHOLE you always have been. The sociopath might have undertaken ruining and smear campaigns. If you have lost people out of your life because of this, this is fine, let them go. Do not try to protest, or repair those friendships, just let them go. This is in fact a blessing, even if it feels like a lesson.

Someone once told me that you can never really have more than four friends. I thought that was stupid. I had LOADS of friends. Or at least I thought I did. Truthfully I didn’t. My real true friends, would NEVER betray me. Nothing a sociopath could say or do would damage those friendships (and the sociopath would know about this too) they would instead target (to humiliate and shame you) your vulnerable friendships. Those people are not your real friends. Your real friends, lie in your past. You have experienced many events in life with them. Sometimes you might not see them for a time – this is fine, you know that you will see them again.

START SMALL – and go from there.

Please leave comments if you would like to discuss this. As I am sure that this post is written for somebody who is reading, who has been feeling stuck.

What do you miss out of your OLD life?

Do you fear going backwards?

Did you think that going backwards means failure or wasted time and life?

Sometimes in life, the key to finding you – is to go BACKWARDS as always (no matter what the sociopath would have you believe) you are the WHOLE of you.

Copyright datingasociopath.com 2014



The sound of swirls

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I throw my heart out,

and watch it spin down

in beautiful oblivion

You usually take care of them. You heed them and notice them if you let them roam. You protect them, but try to give them freedom. You experiment with them, think about them and stifle them. You seldom love them, but when you prepare to shape them so they will be just right, you sometimes do. When they flutter in the right way, put themselves after one another in the correct sequence. When they follow your intake of breath exactly, and linger at the right spot, you smile.

But not always.

Have you ever seen a blender the size of a house? How much do you think it can take? What can escape its crushing force? Would you want anything other than fruit in there?

Words are precious. Without them, we`d feel afraid. Today we can live thousand lives just by letting them in after turning a page. Today we can collect and remember them. Make them our treasures.

blendWhen we learn to express them, someone must listen. Without reply, they fall. Some begin their ride on the rollercoaster, until they flurry into someone`s ear. We wait in anticipation. Will they smile back as us in wonder or disgust? Or will their faces be blank? What if these words got in the sickening blender, gyrating around until their shape`s contorted? What if the forceful whirlpool made them dizzy, so they no longer knew what was a and what was b? Imagine how they twirl around, faster and faster?

Meet the swirling blender. So nice to look at, with its shiny exterior. Useful and every girl`s dream. But sometimes it makes a mess out of thing. What was whole and complete before,  shredded and distorted until its unrecognizable.


Be careful, dare one. Your words might get in there, too.



Abusers are only afraid of losing control. If you get up, they fall

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I, like many others, have a burning desire to DO something for the world, and I try to do my part every day at work. The last couple of years I have also been reading many books about issues related to the world today, and watched randondocumentaries and movies that also inspired me. After some time, excitement rose as I understood how ideas, psychology and internet have the potential to accomplish things we could not before. Some people say it`s too many bad things out there, we can`t do anything, anyway. I simply believe that is not true. Those words are uttered by bullies not affected by people starving and losing their jobs, as long as they can fly their jets, live in mansions and wear expensive suits.

From working with traumatized people, some of the most lovely persons I`ve ever met, and feeling the unfairness of people USING their kindness and warmth against them, making them feel bad and unworthy, when in reality the roles could have been reversed. Also reading about how psychopaths can climb to high positions in the society EXACTLY because they don`t fear stepping at toes (Watch the documentary I am Fishead for more on this) scares me even more. But, remembering that just 1 – 2 % of the populations truly have no conscious (still the number is so high that we all will encounter one of them quite often. The staggering number is still big when you think about how many people inhabit this planet. Some have even noticed that capitalism is as built for psychopaths, what do they care if Greece goes bankrupt as long as they get their cash and power?

All this made me realize: People trying to make the world worse, will always be a challenge, but they will 4178e2e38a07f5e125f5002bf406f060NOT accomplish this if others protest. The internet makes this possible, and by spreading an attitude of compassion, we can work against this tendency. In his book, “Defense Against the Psychopath,” author Stefan Verstappen outlines the greatest and stealthiest danger in the human jungle. Leaders throughout history – the people we vote for – are rarely moral leaders. For them, lying is as easy and natural as breathing. It is completely unnerving and rattling to face the fact that someone can have absolutely no empathy. This realization is so frightening, most would rather go heavily into denial and fantasize that our helping them succeed is a good thing.

“Because of the tremendous destruction psychopaths reap on society, it is vital for everyone to be aware of their existence and to recognize their behavior traits. Understanding them is the first step to defending oneself against them.”

And terrible things happening right under our noses, has always been a fact. Think about the Khmer Rouge, that in five years time slaughtered about one third of the population (if you ever go there, visit the museums and graveyards, they still find bones from people buried) and even more recent: North-Korea and the suffering people are going through RIGHT now because the communist regime run by the Kim family has had the power to frighten and subdue his “people” who once believed (and many still do) that the Western countries only try to do harm (Check out this book for personal accounts of the atrocities)

This might evoke a feeling of helplessness in us, but when we think about it, the internet has given us so many possibilities to share what we know, and protest along with others who have the same (healthy) targets of an equal world, that we are in reality more powerful than ever. There are several “movements” growing, all of them protesting against war, racism and inequality. The mass protests in Egypt is a very recent example of how it is possible for people to really do something against problems, if they just get together and find each other. Remember I wrote about the slaughtering of people in Cambodia ? The reasons were often random, and you or your family could be killed if you not “confessed” under torture that you were not sympathizing with the ruler and the system. There is even a protest recently (June 2013) in Cambodia from the surviving people of the Khmer Rouge when their leader tried to deny what had happened from 1970-1975, by saying that the prisons made were just “staged”. “If these things really happened, why would the Khmer Rouge not destroy the evidence? ” Well, the survivors and stories are real, no one can stage a tower of skulls, several pictures,prisons and stories. And even if they could, why would they? I have personally talked with a lovely humble girl who was lucky enough to get a scholarship in Norway, who presented me for her family who shared from their own food even if they had so little to spare, when I was in Cambodia.

Peace one day want to make one day a year, a “peace day”, and what about a “kindness day” ? Philip Zimbardo, one of the greatest scientists, have introduced Heroic Imagination Project where he encourage people to take heroic act. Do you 142577dfa7c5e25cfaa3466d2bcf5354know that often it is enough that ONE person protest, for others to join in? In fact, they found that the Milgram Experiment of obedience (where you must deliver shock to others) the willingness to do what they “felt” was not right, went down if they “by coincidence” saw somebody else say no. This means: It helps to follow your heart, when something is not “quite right” even if authority tell you something else. Some do anyway, because they trust their gut-feeling enough to do what feels right, but most people look at what others do (cognitive heuristics) because it is easier.

So, if somebody else does kind things for others, would you not want to, also? If your best friend always smiled at strangers, would it not be easier for you also?

But you need energy, to be there for others. For that reason: Take care of your own needs first! Many feel egoistic if they do, but it`s actually the other way around. By not taking care of yourself, you neglect the energy and happiness necessary for giving others what they need. If an oxygen mask fall down, take your own mask first. Not because you don`t care about your children, but because then you are more able to help others, afterwards.

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”

~Parker Palmer

Remember the old cliché? “Take care of yourself first or you will have nothing left to give others.”  Or, “ we can’t give what we don’t have.” But what is self-care really? Why is it so difficult and why do we feel guilty about doing it?

Skulls of Khmer Rouge victims.
Skulls of Khmer Rouge victims. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Read more:

Genocide Museum of the Khmer Rouge (in Cambodia)

World kindness should be practiced every day


Capitalism: A System Run By and For Psychopaths

the pros to being a psychopath

A book to read

put yourself first

Psychopaths run the world



about psychopaths

is self-care-selfish?

will I ever be good enough

Related articles

The sound of possibilities

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I really, really loved this documentary. About our leaders (maybe some of them are psychopaths), why we let us lead, and how to break free from people who wish to harm us for their own sake!

Knowledge is indeed power!



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