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JaneE

Do you find yourself acting just like them to cope?

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Hi!

I finally split up with my husband/partner of 12 years. I strongly believe him to have Narcissistic and/or Borderline personality traits, and our relationship was very high conflict.

One thing I find very distressing, is that I find myself acting like him at times, especially when I have to deal with him. I find myself lying, being evasive, manipulative, etc. He never tells me a straight truth, and I am beginning to treat him the same way, just as some kind of shield against him. Or so I tell myself!! It makes me wonder if personality disorder is communicable!! >_<

I read in a book about verbally abusive relationships, that women who are verbally abusive are generally beyond help... UNLESS she is doing it to her abuser. That was a huge help, I hated the person I was becoming with him. He was horrifically verbally abusive of me, and at times I would respond in kind, just to show him what it felt like. Now he thinks HE was abused. Well I suppose he was, but does it count if you're only responding in kind? That, for me, is one major reason I had to get the heck away from him.

But because we have a son together, I still have to deal with him, and I STILL catch him lying to me, being cagey and all that. So far he hasn't verbally abused me since then, but I can't imagine he never will.

I have to remind myself that this man is NOT my friend, and I cannot just hand him personal insights or vulnerabilities and expect him to deal with me honorably. It's sad, but indeed why I left. I wasted 12 years of my life on this person. Ugh. Does it make me a bad person to feel that way??

But anyway. Yeah. The hardest thing about dealing with him is having to sort of be LIKE him, just to protect myself on some level. I can't be real, and that's not me. I am not someone who likes to lie, I don't want to waste brain space creating and keeping track of some artificial reality for the sake of keeping others guessing, or under control, or safely mystified, which is his tactic. Yet I feel I must do this, to protect myself from him.

Just. ARGH.

Jane

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