Randi Kreger has brought the concerns of people who have a family member with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to an international forefront through her best-selling books, informative website, and popular online family support community Welcome to Oz.
Help! My Best Friend Has Personality Disorders
So far, I haven't said much in my books or blogs about what it's like to have a friend with borderline or narcissistic traits. Here, new author Rosary Francis talks about her experiences with a friend who demonstrates both BPD and NPD traits. Can you pick them out?
For 12 years, "Lindsey" was my best friend. She was there for me through two marriage break-ups, as well as life's usual ups and downs. She was a loyal and fiercely devoted friend. She said she would do anything for me, and I didn't doubt it.
I guess I always knew she was different: emotionally demanding, needy, so full of self-importance one minute and so insecure the next. She always had to be the center of attention, and if anyone so much as slighted her or, god forbid, ignored her, she would fly into an indignant rage. "How dare he not say hello to me!," she would complain.
She hated to be alone; she always had to have something happening or someplace to go. She had so many friends that she could hardly keep up with them all. And she constantly had to have an entourage of admirers around her, male and female. But for some reason, she chose me as her best friend. I could do no wrong in her eyes, and I usually never did. I was always as supportive as I could have been. I consoled and counseled her on many occasions. But she never seemed to learn from her mistakes. Everything always seemed to be someone else's fault.
Her sense of morality was out of whack. She seemed to have no qualms cheating on the man she called her 'soulmate' because he wasn't paying enough attention to her. If he didn't know about the affair. it didn't count. Her relationships with other men were obsessive, superficial and generally disastrous. She was very attractive so had no trouble attracting men, but she would repel them just as quickly as soon as she showed her true nature.
These men would be the bewildered recipients of barrages of texts and phone calls that would turn abusive the moment they would dare to disobey her or not jump to her tune. She would say something like, "He should consider himself privileged that I am even interested in him. I am so much better than he is."
At first she would idolize these consorts. But if they didn't go along with her every whim, or worse, wanted to stop the relationship, she would go from singing their praises to trash-talking everything about them in the blink of an eye. They weren't a good enough/man enough for her anyway.
I found her friendship exhausting at times, although I must admit we had a lot of good times, too. Although I was aware she was different, I always weighed it up against all the good qualities she had. For many years her good qualities would win.
Then I moved in with her. What a big mistake. I had just divorced an abusive husband, so living with my best friend seemed like a good idea. I suspected her intensity could be overwhelming, but I thought I could handle it. After all, I was the one person she would listen to. But I hadn't realized she had changed in the past few years, when we had been living in different cities. (Our contact had been regular, but not as close.).
At first the arrangement seemed harmonious. But after a while, warning bells started to go off in my head. Like the time she "joked" she hoped I wouldn't meet a new man too soon because then I would leave her again and she liked having me around.
Another time she lost her temper because I changed my mind about going to a party with her--a party she was attending with eight other close friends. Oh, and the time she casually told me I needed to lose more weight if I wanted to find a boyfriend because no man would want me if I got any fatter.
She was obsessed with appearances, physical and otherwise. I recall pointing out to her how disrespectful and rude her statement was, but she was unmoved. She was simply telling me how she felt. My emotions weren't important to her.
The real straw that broke the back of this camel of friendship however didn't come in the shape of a man. I ended the friendship because she interfered in a new relationship I was developing with a new man, a mutual friend. She believed he was up to no good and started sabotaging the relationship. Perhaps she thought she was doing me a service.
I had had enough of her by now, so I politely, yet firmly, asked her to keep her nose out of my business and her opinions to herself. But she was so convinced she knew what was best for me that she did the complete opposite. She could not fathom that she might be wrong.
I was never able to trust her again. Eventually I had to tell her that our friendship was never going to be the same again.
Since then, her actions have been shocking. She has lied and changed her story several times. She refuses to take any responsibility for her actions at all and has blamed it all on the man involved (who is now my boyfriend.) He is apparently "using me" and has brainwashed me against her. It's only by sheer luck that I stumbled upon the definition of narcissism while studying for my counseling course and a light bulb went off in my head.
The more I read about personality disorders, the more my experiences made sense. I didn't end my friendship because of the NPD/BPD, but at least now I know what I was dealing with, albeit in retrospect.
It has helped me to find peace and not blame myself too much for not being able to get through to her. She is just not able to understand certain things and I'm not sure that she ever will. Perhaps if I knew what I was dealing with sooner I may have been able to handle things differently. As it is a friendship has been lost and it is something I feel terribly sad about.blog comments powered by Disqus
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