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Is She a Crazy Bitch? A Quiz

crazy_womanThis isn’t a rhetorical question. If you’ve asked yourself more than once, “Is my girlfriend/wife/fiancee a crazy bitch?” as a clinical psychologist, I’m here to tell you the answer is, “Yes. Diagnostically speaking, she may very well be a crazy bitch.

A ‘crazy bitch’ insidiously makes you feel like the unstable, angry person. You soon doubt your interpretation of events and experiences. In lots of cases, this type of woman may have a personality disorder, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or Antisocial Personality Disorder or some combination of the Cluster B disorders. In other cases, they may not qualify for diagnoses, but it doesn’t really matter. Abusers are highly resistant to change regardless of whether they have a personality disorder or not.

Here’s a quiz to find out if your wife, girlfriend or ex is an abuser:

  • Does she fly into rages without warning over relatively trivial matters like a web page loading too slowly?
  • Are you always the scapegoat/bad guy whenever she’s frustrated, disappointed or just plain bored?
  • Do her friends (that is, if she has any) describe her as a “drama queen?”
  • Does she describe herself as a drama queen? If so, congrats. You found one with a modicum of self-awareness.
  • Is her lipstick a little too red? Is it applied like theater makeup and a tad crooked?
  • Did sex begin with an earth shattering bang and fizzle into infrequent, transactional and conditional sex?
  • Is she a black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinker?
  • Do you lie to your family, friends and colleagues about what goes on at home?
  • Do you find yourself making excuses to your family, friends and colleagues for her inexcusable behavior?
  • walking_on_eggshellsDo you find yourself walking on eggshells around her?
  • Does she hate your friends and family and become angry or tearful when you spend time with them?
  • Is she pathologically jealous?
  • Does she project her feelings onto you? For example, she’s yelling and raging and then accuses you of being angry.
  • Does focus solely on her emotional experience while exhibiting little or no empathy for yours?
  • Have you distanced yourself from friends and family because of your relationship?
  • Does she place you on a pedestal one day only to tear you down the next day? “I’ve never known anyone like you before. You’re so wonderful!” Next day: “You’re the devil! You’re the most selfish bastard I’ve ever met! You don’t love me!”
  • Did she change her identity after she landed you? For example, when you first met her she was a sexy, adventurous, sweet ballbuster; now, she’s afraid of her own shadow, has no outside interests and goes ballistic if she has to do anything without you.
  • Does she put you into “no win” situations in which nothing you do is good enough and you’re guaranteed to fail?
  • Does she exhibit stalker behaviors? This usually occurs during the courtship phase or when she senses you’re about to make a break for it. For instance: Calling and hanging up? Calling over and over and over until you answer the phone? Does she wait outside your home, uninvited, until you arrive? Does she show up at places she know you’ll be, also uninvited? Has she tried to get close to your friends in inappropriate ways?

If you answered “yes” to more than two of these questions, you may be involved with a female abuser. You’re not alone. They’re everywhere.

Most of the men who ended up in my therapy office were there because they were experiencing stress, depression or anxiety as a result from being in a relationship with an emotionally abusive woman. Ironically, most of the time they were shamed and pathologized into seeking counseling by these women. Never mind that most of the symptoms my male patients experienced were a direct result of being in a relationship with an abuser who most likely had one of the abusive personality disorders

If you think you may be involved with an abusive woman, good luck. They’re typically treatment resistant and they never really get any better. If you choose to stay in the relationship, I strongly recommend you educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of abuse, personality disorders and learn some basic behavioral management skills.

By: Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD





And the follow up to this post…

How to Deal with a Borderline Woman

tornadoIf you think the woman you love has Borderline Personality Disorder, but don’t want to end the relationship, I suggest you learn some basic psychological survival tips for coping with this woman’s frequent and erratic emotional storms.

The only way to deal with these women, should you choose to continue the relationship, is to:

1) Set reinforced steel boundaries and clear limits in regard to her outrageous behavior.

2) Hold her accountable.

3) Stay calm and focused on the central issue when she spirals out of control. She enjoys nothing better than when you spiral into the outer orbits with her. Why? Because then she can depict you as the nasty angry jerk later on when she’s in victim mode and avoid taking responsibility for her own behavior, which probably causes her to feel a great deal of shame.

4) Develop a strong support network. Don’t let her isolate you from people who can help you reality test when she’s flying through the favorite Borderline hot spot, the Land of Distortion.

Should you choose to end the relationship, brace yourself for the inevitable threats, emotional blackmail, bargaining, muckraking and possible suicidal gestures and stalking  behaviors. Try not to feel bad about ending the relationship. This woman is a virtuoso at playing the poor little me victim role. Many Borderlines fear abandonment above all else, yet their behaviors appear designed to drive others away. It’s sad that they do this, but they’re adults. I feel most sorry for the people who are on the receiving end of their more maladaptive and hurtful behaviors.

This woman is no victim; she’s an energy sapping, self-destructive predator when she’s in high gear. She has an innate ability to push people’s buttons that can’t be taught; it’s instinctual. It’s how she keeps people engaged. Again, her greatest fear is abandonment, yet her toxic relationship behaviors drive people away.

Remember, you’re not the crazy one. One of the most damaging effects of being involved with a BPD woman is that you become programmed into believing her distortions–you’re the bad guy, it’s your fault, you’re angry, you’re not loving, you’re not understanding, she’s a saint to put up with you, you’re beating her down, you’re selfish. Borderlines generally resort to name calling and verbal degradation, which they then justify by wrongly accusing you of doing all sorts of horrible things from insensitivity to infidelity.

thermonuclear_meltdownOne of the most maddening aspects of being involved with a Borderline, or any abusive personality type, is when they deny things they’ve said and done after they’ve calmed down. For example, after her most recent thermonuclear meltdown, you try to talk to her about the verbal grenades and false accusations she lobbed at you.

Her response, “That never happened. I didn’t say that. I don’t know what you’re talking about. You must be imagining things.She denies it ever happened, recounts her own highly distorted version of events or insists that you need to understand the reasons behind her hurtful behavior and forgive her even though she’s likely to repeat these same hurtful behaviors over and over again.

As a result, you begin to doubt your memory, which leaves you  bewildered and questioning your own sanity, which may induce a state of learned helplesness within you. This also serves to invalidate or de-legitimize your feelings and experiences. You’re not allowed to have your own feelings or viewpoint; only her feelings and distorted experiences matter and, therefore, are the only ones she’ll recognize.

If this happens repeatedly and you don’t have outside supports for reality testing, it’s only natural to believe her twisted perspective over time. She’s forcing you into a role that lets her live out the script she has in her head. By the way, this is usually completely unconscious on her part, but that doesn’t make it ok.

If a man treated a woman the way many Borderline women treat men, it’d be labeled abuse. It is abuse. It’s just that our society paints men as the perpetrators and women as the victims. Just because a Borderline has mental health issues doesn’t mean she isn’t responsible for her actions. You have a right to feel angry, hurt and frustrated. You have a right to be treated with respect, kindness and stability. It’s up to you to decide what you deserve and want in a relationship and how much you can tolerate.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD



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