Articles Posted in BPD and Divorce

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I stumbled upon this article today doing some research on profiles of Borderline Personality traits in marriages and divorce. One of the things that is unique about the case presented in this article is that the victim of the Borderline rage and abuse is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a scion of the Kennedy family and currently a lawyer and environmental activist. I include this article today as it captures rather well and completely the nature of being in a relationship with someone with a very aggressive form of BPD.  The articles details the physical and emotional abuse that the victim spouse suffered, along with the suffering that the children on this marriage endured. Unique about this case, as well, is the level of detail and analysis that is involved in identifying the traits of BPD, and the efforts that Mr. Kennedy made to demonstrate this level of abuse to the courts in the pursuit of his child custody case. The full article appears here: http://shrink4men.com/2012/06/11/the-new-face-of-borderline-personality-disorder-mary-richardson-kennedy-abused-her-husband-and-children-and-committed-suicide-as-a-final-act-of-revenge-for-perceived-abandonment/

“Whenever Bobby mentioned divorce, she would threaten suicide, but the next morning she would be calm and gentle. She would say she was sorry and didn’t know why she was acting this way. For a time she would be her old wonderful self at night as well as during the day, and Bobby had renewed hope, the affidavit said.”

” It is very common for the BPD to return “back to normal” after raging and spewing vitriol. I liken it to emotional projectile vomiting. As their partner, you are expected to pretend as if nothing untoward happened, even though you’re standing there, still dripping in their emotional vomit. If you do not accept her “apology” and apologize for “your part” in her rage, you will often be subjected to more rage and emotional projectile vomit.

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In my divorce and child custody practice, I have represented a number of very good, intelligent people who have been victimized by a narcissist spouse’s  gaslighting campaign. Gaslighting is a term that is used to describe the abuse inflicted so as to damage the victim’s perception of reality, in the sense of who they are as a person, whether they are to blame (though they are innocent), and a means by the narcissist or borderline to control their victim spouse with emotional abuse. “Gaslighting is a form of manipulation through persistent misdirection, contradiction, and deception in an attempt to destabilize and brainwash a target (spouse). Its intent is to sow seeds of doubt in the targets, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term owes its origin to Gas Light, a 1938 play and 1944 film, and has been used in clinical and research literature.

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A recent article on PDAN’s site (Personality Disorders Awareness Network)  discusses gaslighting well. See:  http://narcissisticbehavior.net/the-effects-of-gaslighting-in-narcissistic-victim-syndrome/

From my experience representing victims of emotional abuse by spouses with personality disorders, some of the devastiting effects of gaslighting are found across the board in victims of emotional abuse by BPDs and NPDs. These are:

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One of the primary concerns that parents have about an impending divorce is the question of the resilience and adaptability of the children to divorce. In my practice at Law Offices of Michael F. Roe LLC, there has been a history of successfully managing cases that sometimes involve complex issues, such as a parent with traits of a personality disorder, Parental Alienation, or a toxic parent that acts out in the family with a lot of chaos, threats, and aggression. Cases that have these features make the protocols put into place all the more important in order to protect my clients and the wellbeing of the children. I have spent the last 20 years focused on the clinical and psychological issues in divorce and custody, and make every effort to apply this experience in each and every case in my Firm; there are no “cookie cutter” approaches and each family’s case is different and requires different solutions and plans.

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One of the goals of managing these complex cases is to create a plan for the developmental health of the children, both in the near term and the long term. A recent article has reflected on outcomes in divorce cases with children, and the findings of the varied research are interesting. The research speaks to the idea that kids that emerge from low conflict divorces, with mindful and respectful parents, do better over the long term. Kids from chaotic families tend do do more poorly, but my belief is that with good planning and protection, these difficult outcomes can be mitigated:

” Divorce affects most children in the short run, but research suggests that kids recover rapidly after the initial blow. Most children of divorce also do well in the longer term. Researchers have consistently found that high levels of parental conflict during and after a divorce are associated with poorer adjustment in children.

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The podcast below is one of the best opportunities to get a summary from Dr. Amy Baker about her work with Parental Alienation, and her efforts to mentor parents affected by Parental Alienation.

A large part of my practice involves complex and high conflict divorce and custody cases. Many of these involve one parent affected by a personality disorder, which can then involve active and damaging alienation of the non-disordered parent’s relationship with their children.

http://kprcradio.iheart.com/media/play/27301638/

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Law Offices of Michael F. Roe manages a number of cases where traits of toxic narcissism are involved. These personality traits can cause a lot of suffering in a marriage and eventual divorce, and the suffering is compounded when children are involved. One simple distinction needs to be made: what is the difference between narcissism and high self esteem?

A recent psychological study explains the crucial difference between being a narcissist and having high self-esteem. Although narcissists feel superior to others they do not necessarily feel that good about themselves.  In contrast, people with high self-esteem naturally feel good about themselves but do not feel superior to others.

The difference is highlighted in a new paper which shows how narcissism and high self-esteem diverge.

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I found this post today on a BPD support blog, and it mentions Bill Eddy’s landmark book on Divorce and BPD/NPD, Splitting. The gentleman writing in to the blog is experiencing the surreal and chaotic behaviors of a spouse conducting a distortion campaign against him. His questions may have some resonance with some of you.

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” I bought William Eddy’s book on divorces and have read most of it.

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Marriage and Family Therapist Holly Brown has written a spot on article about identifying and avoiding a long term relationship with a narcissist. If you are in a marriage with a narcissist, and need counsel as to how to end a marriage that is causing you and the children emotional suffering, contact our offices. Michael Roe is one of the country’s leading lawyer specialists on personality disorders and divorce. In the meantime, here are the signs of the narcissistic personality to be aware of:

How to Spot a Narcissist By Holly Brown, LMFT

A lot of people assume narcissists are easy to spot, that they talk obsessively about themselves, for example, or never seem to care what you have to say. Those are the obvious narcissists. This post is about the charming narcissists who can fly under the radar until you feel like you’re in too deep to get out.

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What Therapists Don’t Tell You About Divorcing A High-Conflict Personality

Therapists are trained to help clients become self-aware and authentic. For people who grew up in invalidating environments, where they learned to suppress their feelings and needs in order to be accepted, therapy can be life-altering.

Competent therapists who provide a corrective emotional experience can make it possible for people who never had a voice to find one. Once self-actualized, people generally find the quality of their lives improve: they find the right career, attract the right mate and extricate themselves from toxic relationships.

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Falling in love with a person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is an emotional roller coaster ride. The relationship involves never-ending emotional blackmails, hurtful criticisms, threats, manipulations, verbal attacks and silent treatments. Borderlines are known to call you at work more than 20 times in a day. Borderlines need constant reassurance. Borderlines feel the need to check up on you all the time. Borderlines also wake you up in the middle of the night because of their concerns.

How can you continue to love a person who will give you the responsibility for anything and everything bad that happens to them? You are accused as the source of all their pains, heartbreaks, anger, frustrations and hardships? The Borderline will emotionally wear you out by their insults and accusations.

Borderlines have a problem with regulating their emotions. They feel real pain and fear of abandonment.

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How to Recover from an Affair Involving Borderline Personality Disorder

By Tommy (http://youmebpd.com/)

The feeling of pain and betrayal that an affair causes is something I would wish on almost no one, but when you add in the addition of borderline personality disorder it throws in a whole new set of variables. Our particular story is one that has a lot of mitigating circumstances, but that makes it no less painful to go through. In June of 2011 I lost my wife (at least that is what it felt like). June, 2011; I checked my wife into Prairie St. John’s facility in Fargo, ND for depression and manic behavior. She went into the facility a loving wife, devoted mother and successful business owner. She spent the first night there crying asking to be sent home to her family. She was met with doctors telling her that if she did not stop crying, asking to go home and start taking all the medicine they had for her that they would hold her indefinitely.