Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
October 23, 2014, 11:28:31 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Moderators: DreamGirl, LettingGo14, P.F.Change, Rapt Reader
Advisors: formflier, Kwaminalivednlearned, maxen, Mutt, pessim-optimist, Turkish, Waverider
Ambassadors: Aussie JJ, caredverymuch, contradancer, free-n-clear, HealingSpirit, lever, NorthernGirl, ziggiddy
  Directory Guidelines Glossary   Boards   Help Login Register  
bing
Think About It... As an adult child of someone with BPD, you've likely been cultivating and honing certain beliefs and behaviors since infancy. As a baby, you viscerally sensed anger, frustration, and despair through your parents' touch, voice, and you felt tension tightening the air...what you learned may have helped you protect yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally from your borderline parent, but it's probably not serving you well now". ~ Freda B. Friedman, Ph.D., LCSW, Surviving a Borderline Parent
164
Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: My therapist suggested that my mother's PD may be co-morbid with Aspergers  (Read 756 times)
UKannie
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1031



« on: February 23, 2012, 06:26:07 AM »

That has really thrown me, partly because I can see why she said it. But I feel my mother is too manipulative and too chameleon-like to have anything on the autistic spectrum.

Most of all I have this irrational feeling that even an armchair diagnosis of Aspergers gives my mother a "free pass". Like she is 'blind' to what she is doing, so we should feel sorry she didn't get the right help when she was a kid and leave it at that.

I hope I don't kick off a storm by starting this thread. I don't claim to fully understand all the potential ways Aspergers can manifest.

I just have an emotional response to anyone suggesting anything other than a Cluster B Personality Disorder is responsible for the emotional, verbal and physical abuse and neglect my mother inflicted. I can't fully understand my own emotional response to this. I am interested in any comments.

   Annie
Logged
tiredmommy2
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2285



« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 06:53:40 AM »

Because I have a mother who leans way towards the NPD/AsPD side of things, and a daughter with Asperger's I have a whole lot to say about this one.  I'll be back in a few when I can type freely.
Logged

"Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness" - James Thurber
bluecup11
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 646


« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 07:19:52 AM »

Oh Annie, I get how you're feeling, that would throw me too.

I have limited experience with Asperger's but something happened recently that you might find of interest. I follow this wildlife page on facebook and a couple of private groups have sprung out of it. There's one group of women that I talk to quite a bit - haven't met any of them - but friendships formed and so did this group. There's one woman in the group that comes off as very intelligent yet very cold. When she has a position on something there is no escaping her position. If you state fact to her and it doesn't jibe with what she believes to be true, she will hammer you with opposition. It's incredibly unpleasant. She will also make never-ending personal attacks and has zero concept of empathy, etc.  A few of us suspect she has Asperger's; the autistic spectrum is in her family.

So cut to the fallout: most of us have left the group. Just cannot deal with her anymore. It's impossible, and life is too short to use free time that way. There's no stopping her behavior. A few people don't mind it and stayed - I'm not sure why - even they say she goes too far but they stayed. She has actually posted that she's there to make people feel uncomfortable.

Now I have no idea if she has a comorbid PD or not, it doesn't really seem so.

Anyway, bottom line is - I can acknowledge that she really can't help it. Her social cues are not like other people's. But there is no way I'm going to have to deal with it. So, the behavior is not ok...combined with BPD I can only imagine what you're dealing with...

BPD is an illness, so is Asperger's ... I think it's ok to acknowledge both as such, but that doesn't mean the behavior is ok?

Do you ever listen to This American Life? (it's so great!) - anyway last week they had a story of a woman who found out her husband has Asperger's and his efforts to change his behavior toward her. Might be worth a listen as he does NOT have a PD and you'll see someone trying to change, which a BPD would not (I think)

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/458/play-the-part
Logged
kittykat63
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 375


« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 07:23:12 AM »

i know what you mean...it can be just another card that they play. but i fear the therapist may be right. i understand people can have mild autism. its a lack of imagination...not having empathy or sympathy for how others feel- i know BPD people are like this also- but autistic people just show an ignorance towards other peoples sufferings.  you yourself has to be the best judge on these things- have you found communicating with your mum completely tiresome- to the point of giving up as she lacks imagination to talkabout subjects? has she shown she has special needs? help with the shopping and communicating?

i agree- it does sound a bit fishy doesnt it...
Logged
kittykat63
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 375


« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 07:28:36 AM »

my 16 year old son has a friend who has mild autism- weve always tried to understand. but lately ive felt the autistic card has been played to gte away with treating someone like sht- he picks my son up and down as he pleases. i think because my son has always been there- he gets taken for granted- hes not one of the cool kids. he lets my son down and has no regard for his feelings what so ever. his mum also says "he cant help it" and then i feel- well, you make things worse- if you cant show him any guidance and tell him how to treat people- how is he going to have any chance?

so i said to my son- forget it- leave him well alone and dont contact him again.

we see updates on facebook now- he gets lonely and morose- lots of teenage anx about his love life- if he was shown the right way to treat people- he could go out with my son for a day out and take his mind off of things- he deserves to be lonely at the moment

im sorry that sounds harsh- but weve had years and years of being poicked up and dropped- like my son is an object to be used. and his mum never corrects him

yes he is autistic- but what about us? what about the normal people- about our feelings and rights? to some extent they have to learn to live in our world- and people must guide them and tell them when they are dishing out shtty treatment
Logged
UKannie
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1031



« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 07:45:49 AM »

Because I have a mother who leans way towards the NPD/AsPD side of things, and a daughter with Asperger's I have a whole lot to say about this one.  I'll be back in a few when I can type freely.

I'm all ears tiredmommy, really I am, when you get the chance
Logged
PinkTeddyBear
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 404


« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 08:00:58 AM »

Hi UKAnnie,

This is a tough one.  Unfortunately, Asperger's is a really, really misunderstood illness, moreso than PD.  People with PD and Asperger's lack empathy and cannot really communicate in an effective way.  Your T was just throwing it out there, hoping that a part of you would accept that your mother's behavior is not YOUR fault.  My T has done similar things when referring to my parents.  But nonetheless, bad behavior IS bad behavior.

Here's my $0.02 on this issue.  I'm not an expert by ANY MEANS, but I have a colleague at my American university who suffers from Asperger's.  She's a capable linguist in the sense that she can acquire languages fairly quickly, but she doesn't understand human interactions (empathy, humor, diplomacy, etc.) very well.  Yet her social mishaps, while common, are not intentional; several of us have had to say to her, "Uh, X, that wasn't the right thing to say."  Although she doesn't express remorse per se, she does attempt to copy us, knowing that's the intellectually right thing to do.  It is NOT a lack of imagination, but rather a bad neurological connection in the brain.  I use her as an example because I'm fairly sure that she does not have a PD.    

However, just like any illness, a person can have Asperger's and a PD.  Bluecup, I'll come out and say that I think that nasty woman has NPD or APD (with possible Asperger's).  The reason being is that she demonstrates awareness that her behavior is wrong before she does it.  A person with Asperger's has trouble, if not finding it impossible, to make that determination.  In other words, the best that they can do is know after the fact.  I think this is key (someone with more experience can jump in here, but that's my intuition).  From what I've observed in people with non-PD autism, there doesn't seem to be the level of intent that exists in people with PD.            

Just a final word/reminder: let's get away from painting people with autism as all one thing or another.  Just like "normal people," they can act relatively decently or can act like a$$holes.  I think there is always one small subset in the larger set that uses his/her diagnosis as an excuse, whether it's diabetes, dyslexia, PD, or autism.  As someone with different neurology - I'm dyslexic - and as someone who has worked with people with disabilities, I can say that with absolute certainty.  Everyone has "special needs" in some way.

PTB  
Logged
tiredmommy2
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2285



« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 08:19:47 AM »

UKAnnie, I think I really do understand what you're feeling right now. My last T was insistent upon discussing my mother's trauma history, and trying to suggest that she could have PTSD along with a PD.  I also can't explain what I was feeling at the time, but I was very taken aback. Perhaps it was because I had already spent over 30 years rationalizing her behavior, and couldn't bring myself to think about anything involving another excuse for her behavior. Whatever it was, I didn't want to hear about it, or think about it.

As far as people with Asperger's go, they have a reduced ability to read social cues, so when it comes to facial expressions or body language, many times they are lost; this is what makes them look like they have limited feelings or empathy. The difference is that once they understand your situation, they will be just as compassionate as anyone else.  Example:  I injured my foot and ended up limping.  My Aspie daughter saw the grimace on my face, and saw my limping, and burst out in laughter. All she knew is that I was walking funny with a weird look on my face, so it was hilarious to her.  Once I explained to her what happened, and that I was in a lot of pain, she stopped laughing and became very concerned for me.  

The other thing is that Aspies are known to tell it like it is.  If you ask one of them a question, be prepared for the honest answer because there really is no filter like NT (neuro typical) people have. Example: I went away for the weekend, and when I got back, I jokingly asked my daughter if she missed me.  She said, "No, not really.  I had fun when you were gone."  She didn't say this to hurt my feelings; this was how she really felt, and without that social filter that the rest of us have, she had no reason to tell me anything different.  

My PD mother has been known to laugh when I injured myself, but the difference is that she understood clearly how I felt, but takes too much pleasure out of the pain of others to hide it.  She would also tell me that she didn't miss me, but it would be said as an intentional dig at me, like her way of saying, "You're really not that important." She is also very chameleon-like and manipulative, while my Aspie daughter is not.

PD mother was extremely neglectful towards me, but managed to care for others (her men and my GC brother), so that means that it was a choice. She hugged me once in my life, and that was when I was really young, and after an episode of physical abuse (she wanted me to stop crying). My Aspie daughter isn't big on hugging or touching either, but that's due to her sensory issues.

Whether your mother has Asperger's or not, I would say that it absolutely does not excuse her behavior.  I've been around plenty of people with varying degrees of autism, and I can honestly say that I have never seen violence with an Aspie. It does happen when people with autism are lower-functioning sometimes, but much of the time it's due to frustration stemming from their inability to communicate - once they are given tools to communicate, much of this behavior stops. So no, your mother does not get a free pass on this one.

Edited to add:  I just saw PTB's response and wanted to add one more thing (as if I didn't say enough already  lol).  My Aspie daughter has a conscience, genuinely feels bad when she understands that she has done something wrong, and learns quickly from her mistakes...None of the above with my mother.  She knows what she's doing is wrong (the proof is how carefully she has covered some of her crimes), chooses to do it anyway, and doesn't feel badly about it afterwards.

Hopefully some of this helps.  
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 08:25:52 AM by tiredmommy2 » Logged

"Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness" - James Thurber
frankief
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 191



« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2012, 09:47:23 AM »

As far as people with Asperger's go, they have a reduced ability to read social cues, so when it comes to facial expressions or body language, many times they are lost; this is what makes them look like they have limited feelings or empathy.

This is where I have a hard time understanding how someone could have both a BPD and Aspergers diagnosis. As I understand it, people with BPD are highly attuned to our body language and facial expressions. They can read our emotions; yet, they just don't have the capacity to care about our emotions over theirs. Having both BPD and Aspergers seems like an oxymoron. Can anyone explain how it would be possible?

I've been around plenty of people with varying degrees of autism, and I can honestly say that I have never seen violence with an Aspie. It does happen when people with autism are lower-functioning sometimes, but much of the time it's due to frustration stemming from their inability to communicate - once they are given tools to communicate, much of this behavior stops.

My cousin is Austistic and is low-functioning. He does act out violently sometimes but it's acting out due to not knowing how to communicate his feelings. I've never seen him act out in malice. And it usually happens when his doctor is readjusting his meds. My aunt and his sister have gotten better at realizing when he is getting frustrated. If they sense he is really frustrated they suggest that he go for a run, which he does and it always makes him feel better. Communicating that he's upset doesn't seem to make him feel better. He lacks an ability to have that kind of discussion re: feelings.

Also, my cousin doesn't fear abandonment, he fears change. He has a really hard time with his routine being different. Whereas people with BPD seem to "thrive" in chaos. When our grandfather died, my Austistic cousin's doctor said it was really important for him to have closure, that he would likely need to see my grandfather's dead body and to say goodbye. But that talking about my grandfather dying would likely be to stressful for my cousin. My aunt followed the recommendation and my cousin seemed like he understood and was OK with my grandfather dying. He asked a ton of questions but he didn't seem distraught. I'm sure he was sad, but not overwhelmed. My uBPD father on the other hand does not handle death remotely well. He cannot let go. And he rages shortly after any family member dies.

I'm not a mental health professional so I really don't know anything about how they determine what can can't be co-morbid with BPD, but they just seem like totally different things to me. I find it distressing that doctors seem to lump on so many diagnoses onto one person sometimes. Sometimes I think it's counterproductive. But what do I know?

UKAnnie- what prompted your T to suggest that your mom might also have Aspergers?
Logged
UKannie
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1031



« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2012, 09:47:48 AM »

Edited to add:  I just saw PTB's response and wanted to add one more thing (as if I didn't say enough already  ).  My Aspie daughter has a conscience, genuinely feels bad when she understands that she has done something wrong, and learns quickly from her mistakes...None of the above with my mother.  She knows what she's doing is wrong (the proof is how carefully she has covered some of her crimes), chooses to do it anyway, and doesn't feel badly about it afterwards.

Hopefully some of this helps.  

All of this helps, so thank you  

My T says she has a lot of Aspergers clients. I am wondering if some of them actually have PDs - maybe she gets pretty good results out of them by choosing to label them Aspergers. I can see hypothetically how that could happen. I also see hypothetically that you are more likely to retain a paying client by suggesting they have some signs of Aspergers than suggesting they are slightly sociopathic. Maybe I am just being cynical.

What I want to point out to my T, is that she only sees people who show up for therapy. They are qualitatively different from my mother.

My mother would not last more than one session with someone who even gently pointed out her behaviours could be hurtful or damaging. She is incapable of reflection, taking responsibility for her own actions and of remorse. I am not saying that determines her diagnosis, just that I bet my T has never had a client like my mother.

My T reckons some people with Aspergers have no remorse. I am not qualified to say whether that is true or not. That does not sit easily with me, although I do accept that there is huge variation within any diagnostic group - as PTB quite rightly points out.

What I don't want to do is paint my T black in all this as she 'gets' schizophrenia (which my dad has) which is very important to me. She also 'gets' the impact on me of having a non-empathic mother. She 'gets' the impact of the violence I have witnessed and received. She 'gets' the impact of my mother dishing out emotional and verbal abuse. She agrees that health and social services should have intervened to help my family. She can see why I have had problems getting into and staying in a relationship. She is the first professional who has called a spade a spade in many respects.

I just wish she would read the DSM IV and re-evaluate the fixation she has with lack of empathy meaning Aspergers. She is a private practitioner and doesn't work for the National Health Service but I think her whole approach is symptomatic of the fact that the UK system makes much better provision for developmental disorders (especially those diagnosed in childhood) than it does for adult psychiatric disorders. That has always frustrated me hugely.

I hope the above makes sense  ?

   Annie
Logged
UKannie
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1031



« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 09:53:25 AM »

UKAnnie- what prompted your T to suggest that your mom might also have Aspergers?

Thanks frankief    . To answer your question, partly her lack of empathy. Also her fixation with the 'rules' of religion (especially the intricacies of Methodist worship) with apparent disregard for right or wrong in many other respects. And bizarrely her lack of remorse ?
Logged
frankief
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 191



« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2012, 10:08:26 AM »

UKAnnie- what prompted your T to suggest that your mom might also have Aspergers?

Thanks frankief    . To answer your question, partly her lack of empathy. Also her fixation with the 'rules' of religion (especially the intricacies of Methodist worship) with apparent disregard for right or wrong in many other respects. And bizarrely her lack of remorse ?

This sounds more like your T's personal bias against Aspergers than the reality of Aspergers. I don't want to suggest you have a bad T because she sounds like she's really great for you in a lot of ways, but I think it would be OK to disregard her Aspergers diagnosis if it doesn't seem to fit. Like I said, my cousin does not have Aspergers, but I don't think people on the Autism spectrum lack remorse. My cousin understands right and wrong. He feels bad after he's hit his sister or mom. If you tell him you enjoy something he will ask you about that (with a TON of questions) but he doesn't think on his own to ask you how you are doing. Your mom on the other hand sounds obsessive.

One of the criteria for Aspergers is : (B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals

Which fits your mom, but it also fits every single person with OCD.  The DSM IV doesn't say anything about a lack of remorse or inability to understand right from wrong: http://www.autreat.com/dsm4-aspergers.html

Maybe this warrants further discussion with your T about how this co-morbid possible diagnosis bothers you?    

Logged
ninjacat
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 147



« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2012, 10:21:15 AM »

As someone who has been diagnosed with Asperger's (as has my son) and has a BPD mother, I want to add my opinion on this.

I completely understand your line of thinking, UKAnnie.  When my mother found out about my Asperger's it was a bit of a roller coaster ride (isn't it always with them?).  First, there was denial ("No, you don't, Ninja- stop being dramatic."), then there was blame ("Oh, so that's why you are so cold and mean Ninja") and eventually (within a week) there was her self-diagnosis.  For a while, everything was 'Asperger's this' and 'Asperger's that'.  So, your fears are valid.  However, that didn't last long.  My mother doesn't really take responsibility for what she does, so there isn't much blame to be passed on.  It was more like, "Well, I'm sorry if your feelings were hurt, you of all people should understand that it wasn't intentional," or "I know you said you have to go but you know us Aspies- we just ramble on and on sometimes."   

Asperger's is inherited and there are a lot of similarities between the two.  It is very possible that my mother has Asperger's (I believe her mother did as well) but I don't believe having Asperger's explains her PD nor does it give her a "free pass"- there are many differences between people with BPD and those with Asperger's.  Kind of like there are many differences between having a respiratory and having the flu.  Sure, both times you may have a fever, a runny nose and a cough but they are still very different.  You can also have both at the same time.

I think the biggest difference between the two is the reason behind why we are the way we are/act the way that we do.  I am wired differently.  I don't always realize when I am making someone uncomfortable, hurting their feelings or doing something that is considered socially unacceptable.  I do however, have empathy (most Aspies that I have spoken with dislike this part of the definition- I've never met an Aspie that lacked empathy- we just don't always recognize someone's feelings).  I don't like hurting someone and it is never intentional.  I have spent most of my life trying to learn to be more considerate of people's feelings and while it has been very hard, I actively try to guard what I say and do so that I do not hurt or annoy people.  Now, I may be a bit different than most Aspies because I am also the child of a parent with BPD (and a father with NPD) but I have found that most Aspies that I have spoken with tend to fall into the same boat when it comes to this.   

My thoughts are that just like anything else, a BPD will try to justify the way that they act or the things that they do based on their situation.  It doesn't matter if it's Asperger's, Diabetes, a bad knee, the fact that they are poor, or whatever "disadvantages" they may have.  They will never take responsibility for their actions or ever feel that they should have to do anything for someone else's sake.  The "What about me?" mentality is ever present.  FWIW, I would also have a strong negative emotional response to anyone that implied that Asperger's is the reason my mother abused me. 




Logged

The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself. - Mark Caine
ninjacat
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 147



« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 11:34:35 AM »

As far as people with Asperger's go, they have a reduced ability to read social cues, so when it comes to facial expressions or body language, many times they are lost; this is what makes them look like they have limited feelings or empathy.

This is where I have a hard time understanding how someone could have both a BPD and Aspergers diagnosis. As I understand it, people with BPD are highly attuned to our body language and facial expressions. They can read our emotions; yet, they just don't have the capacity to care about our emotions over theirs. Having both BPD and Aspergers seems like an oxymoron. Can anyone explain how it would be possible?

Even though the majority of people with a disorder have a reduced sense doesn't mean that they can't pick up on certain facial expressions or body language or learn how to do this.  

Also, my understanding is that women with Asperger's have an easier time with social cues than men because of the way women develop and interact socially.  Some researchers feel this is the main reason that we see Asperger's so much more frequently in men than in women.  For me, if it registers on someone's face or via body language that they are sad, afraid or in pain, it is very easy for me to identify that and has been for as long as I can remember.  I have a hard time with things less obvious (like when someone is flirting, although, I was able to learn to identify that for the most part).

Does that make sense at all?


FWIW, UKAnnie- I didn't get any help as a child and I turned out fairly normal (well, capable, at least).  And I tend to agree with Frankie that you T is looking to label your mother with Asperger's.  Diagnosing Asperger's in adults involves a lot of personal information on how someone thinks, feels and perceives things now and in the past.  
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 11:43:33 AM by ninjacat » Logged

The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself. - Mark Caine
frankief
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 191



« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2012, 11:56:28 AM »

Even though the majority of people with a disorder have a reduced sense doesn't mean that they can't pick up on certain facial expressions or body language or learn how to do this.  

Also, my understanding is that women with Asperger's have an easier time with social cues than men because of the way women develop and interact socially.  Some researchers feel this is the main reason that we see Asperger's so much more frequently in men than in women.  For me, if it registers on someone's face or via body language that they are sad, afraid or in pain, it is very easy for me to identify that and has been for as long as I can remember.  I have a hard time with things less obvious (like when someone is flirting, although, I was able to learn to identify that for the most part).

Does that make sense at all?

Yes, thank you for the explanation, Ninjacat. Like I said, my experience with Austism is with my low-functioning cousin, so my experience is really limited to him. I'm sure I probably have known or know people with Aspergers in my life but just am unaware of it and thus have not had an opportunity to gain understanding on that particular type of the disorder. It's really helpful to have you share your experience.

I think the thing we all have to keep in mind is that T's are only people and have their own biases and experiences that they draw from. They aren't always right.

Logged
tiredmommy2
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2285



« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2012, 12:32:54 PM »

Thank you for chiming in, ninjacat.  What an enlightening response.  smiley

Quote
Even though the majority of people with a disorder have a reduced sense doesn't mean that they can't pick up on certain facial expressions or body language or learn how to do this.
I should have added in (or maybe I would have if my post wasn't so long already  lol) that after years of working with various therapists and teachers specially trained to deal with people on the spectrum, this is less of an issue.  For my daughter, understanding social cues (like signs that someone was tired of talking, or wanted to change the subject), facial expressions, or other body language did not come naturally unless it was very obvious, so she had to be taught. Sometimes facial expressions are still confusing to her, so she now asks questions to clarify.
Logged

"Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness" - James Thurber
blackandwhite
Distinguished Member
Administrator (Retired)
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5584


Back to my old colorful self


« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2012, 03:39:58 PM »

Hi Annie,

Sorry you're struggling with this. Looks like it's an issue that lots of people have various degrees of experience with.

I'm seeing two parts to your post--not sure if I have it right but you can let me know.

There's the part that's confused/questioning/intellectually engaged about empathy, PDs, and Asperger's. For that part, there is some research that might help ground you. There's a recent blog post at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/201202/are-narcissists-better-reading-minds with links out to relevant research. The upshot seems to be that there are (at least) two aspects to empathy: cognitive (I can intellectually work out what you're feeling) and emotional (I can feel what you're feeling). People with NPD (the information does not touch on BPD at all), at least, are not impaired in cognitive empathy. They can figure it out, with their brains. They are impaired in emotional empathy.

People with Asperger's (per one research study, and I don't have deep knowledge of this field or personal experience to test this against, so take this with a grain of salt) are the opposite. They can share your feeling, but they have trouble figuring it out from what they're seeing, along the lines of what tiredmommy was saying.

The other part of what I'm seeing is your own response. You wrote:

Quote
I just have an emotional response to anyone suggesting anything other than a Cluster B Personality Disorder is responsible for the emotional, verbal and physical abuse and neglect my mother inflicted. I can't fully understand my own emotional response to this.

Would you consider answering a few questions, to help tease this out? If so, they might be (to start):

1. What emotions are you experiencing--what are you feeling as part of this response to your therapist's suggestion?
2. Thought experiment...if you're willing to go there...imagine for a moment that your mother was diagnosed as Asperger's (perhaps with other things too). What emotions does that bring up?

B&W

Logged

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else.
                           --Lucille Clifton


UKannie
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1031



« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2012, 04:20:09 PM »

Hi b&w 

Really appreciate the detail of your response  
1. What emotions are you experiencing--what are you feeling as part of this response to your therapist's suggestion?

Some confusion and bewilderment. I'm not able to digest all of the replies I've got today, even though I'm appreciative of all of them.
Also, some degree of frustration and anger towards my therapist for not seeing things my way   

2. Thought experiment...if you're willing to go there...imagine for a moment that your mother was diagnosed as Asperger's (perhaps with other things too). What emotions does that bring up?

The first one? Guilt - the 'G' in FOG.
Rightly or wrongly I have more sympathy for people with Asbergers than people with PDs. I would feel that I had not shown sufficient compassion for someone with a learning disability.

I know that isn't very rational but that's where the thought experiment takes me.

   Annie
Logged
Gowest
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 907


« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2012, 02:46:49 AM »

I would've been ripe for an Asperger's diagnosis when I was younger but I really doubt now that I am or was ever on the autism spectrum. Avoidant PD, maybe.

Even after the explanations I'm not seeing how it would be possible to have a person with both BPD and Aspergers. Some of the behaviors may look the same, but they look like mutually exclusive diagnoses to me. I did quite a lot of reading about Asperger's when I thought I had it (lol) and of course tons about BPD and they are so profoundly different. The behaviors come from a fundamentally different place. It doesn't seem like there would be enough space in one person for both. (Even in "mild" cases.)
Logged
blackandwhite
Distinguished Member
Administrator (Retired)
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5584


Back to my old colorful self


« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2012, 08:06:17 AM »

Feelings aren't rational. That's totally okay.   

Quote
The first one? Guilt - the 'G' in FOG.

Guilt usually indicates that we've violated something in our value system (or that we've tripped onto a guilt button that it would be good to examine). When you feel guilty in the thought experiment, what value do you feel you've violated? (I'm still trying to help you tease out your response, which seems like it's not making sense to you and is troubling.)

Another question, again still in the thought experiment...let's say you come to see your mother as Asperger's and have to cope with this:
Quote
Rightly or wrongly I have more sympathy for people with Asbergers than people with PDs. I would feel that I had not shown sufficient compassion for someone with a learning disability.

What would that mean? What would need to change, if anything?

B&W
Logged

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else.
                           --Lucille Clifton


UKannie
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1031



« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2012, 05:58:26 PM »

When you feel guilty in the thought experiment, what value do you feel you've violated?
The answer that springs to mind is blaming someone for not having a particular ability. Blaming someone 'innocent' I suppose.

Another question, again still in the thought experiment...let's say you come to see your mother as Asperger's and have to cope with this:
What would that mean? What would need to change, if anything?
I think I would view her as someone with Aspergers but someone who also happens to be twisted, toxic, irresponsible, callous, slippery, unstable, deluded, grandiose...etc etc
I still would not trust her any more than I do already and I would still look to protect myself from her most damaging behaviour. No nothing would change really. Thank you for helping me realise that

Having said that, there are a lot of extremely insightful replies in this thread that reinforce the issues I have with my therapist's judgement about this.
 
   Annie
Logged
mmt
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 123


why am i back again?


« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2012, 06:36:34 PM »

well i was just wondering the same thing about my ex? now i guess, bf.. i definitely think he has both.. i do think people with as can feel empathy... they just don't know how to express it.. and get confused about how to deal with people and their feelings.. he has other as traits monotone voice no facial expression, a loner, but he was also incredibly sweet and sensitive to my needs, always wanting to make sure i was ok etc.. asking what he could do to comfort me and all that.. and then we had a fight and he disappeared.. so that seems BPD to me, like he has painted me black. i have read that people with as will shut down and withdraw to get thru hard stuff but this seems very extreme. he seems to have a very wounded psyche.. he prolly had asperger's all his life and was also abused which made him slightly BPD too.. that's the only way i can understand him and his behavior.
Logged
sandpiper
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1589


« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2012, 04:34:33 PM »

I've known a few Aspies and I don't think your mother sounds ASD at all.
I guess the question you have to ask yourself is this - is it that she can't recognise your feelings, or is it that she simply doesn't care?

Last year I met a woman who I think had a few pathologies going on. My initial impression was that she was Aspergers as she was so very clumsy and awkward in social settings. Then she started stalking me on various social networking sites and she started trying to manipulate several friends of mine into getting me to 'friend' her - even though I'd told her no.
The reason she was interested in my group of friends was because we're friends with a local author and she was stalking him - so she'd gone off and 'researched' all of his friends on various social networks in the hopes of getting her hooks into one of his friends and thereby gaining entry to the author's social circle.
As it was end of year and people were here for Xmas/family gatherings/special events, there was a lot going on and she went through our group like a dose of salts, trying to push her way into various social gatherings. Initially everyone gave her the benefit of the doubt and tried to be kind but the combination of pathologies and disorders was just so awful that it made everyone very uncomfortable and then - when she wouldn't hear no at all - some of us got quite paranoid.
Not only was she socially clumsy and awkward, but she really didn't care about anyone's feelings, just her own agenda.
I think she was probably Aspergers, and I'd say she was co-morbid with NPD and BPD as she had traits of both.
One of the women in our group is a GP and she came up with the same assessment as me - and she's worked with them in psyche wards, as well as having some NPD FOO - so I think she'd know how to spot them.
FWIW I don't think that someone with that combination of pathologies would be able to manipulate and gaslight and FOG people with the success that your mother has at her games.
The Aspie people that I've met have definitely had trouble reading social cues and as such they step on people's feelings, but it's not intentional, and once they've realized that they've wounded someone's feelings they've been confused.
FWIW I think your mother is more likely to have some anti-social or psychopath traits, rather than ASD.
Sorry you are going through this, I know you value your T's input.
That said, T's aren't always right, and there were a couple of times with my Ts when I had to stop them and say 'Sorry, but I don't agree with you on that one.' Then I'd state my case for it - if we disagreed on it so be it.
It might be worth reading a bit about ASD so that you can come to your own conclusions about it.
The social awkwardness and the inability to read people are important markers, though - and this really doesn't sound like your mother.
From the stories I've heard you tell of your mother, she's a skilled manipulator, and she couldn't do this if she wasn't able to read people and situations.
Logged
blackandwhite
Distinguished Member
Administrator (Retired)
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5584


Back to my old colorful self


« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2012, 08:18:56 AM »

How are you doing with all of this now that it has had a few days to settle, Annie?

   

B&W
Logged

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else.
                           --Lucille Clifton


UKannie
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1031



« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2012, 03:22:38 AM »

How are you doing with all of this now that it has had a few days to settle, Annie?

   

B&W

Hi B&W

I don't think she has Aspergers, I think she is severely personality disordered. I am prepared to agree to disagree with her rather than spend good money arguing over a hypothetical diagnosis of a thrid party she has never met.

The process of exploring what I think about this whole issue has resulted in experiencing a new wave of anger about how she treated me, age 11-20, and a whole new wave of memories. I'm realising there was shaming going on as early as age 9.

My T said last night that the extremes my mother said and did to stifle my development and shame me about growing up are the worst she has heard. That has helped me feel validated and I am glad T has moved away from discussing diagnoses.

All of the replies to this thread have really helped me move through this, so thanks everyone   

   Annie
Logged
blackandwhite
Distinguished Member
Administrator (Retired)
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5584


Back to my old colorful self


« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2012, 08:03:29 AM »

Really glad to hear you're moving through and on to something that you're finding productive, though also difficult I imagine.

   

B&W
Logged

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else.
                           --Lucille Clifton


sandpiper
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1589


« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2012, 05:54:40 PM »

                 
I've been wondering how you are so I'm glad you've reached this point. I'm not surprised your angry.
RE: the stalker who was troubling me and my writer friend - I looked at one of her social networking comments one day and she said how she was off to spend the day with her (adult) daughter, who was in a play.
An hour later she let fly with an angry rant about how the play was awful, the acting was wooden, the lines were awful, and fifteen minutes into a two hour show she stood up and left in disgust in order to make her feelings known.
When I read that, I wished with all my might that I had some way of contacting her daughter and leading her to this site.
Annie, one of my T's over the years looked at me, when I was puzzling over what on earth could possibly be wrong with mother's FOO, and she said 'Would it make any difference if you knew, Piper? Would it change the impact that they've had on you? Would it change their behaviour now?'
And the answer to both those questions was 'no'.
In the end I just had to accept that emotional abuse and emotional neglect were what they were, and I will probably never know why they were the way that they were.
I was feeling a bit low one day when I was seeing my GP for something or other - I'm very healthy so it must have been some sort of middle-age maintenance thing - and I made some self-deprecating comment about not having achieved more in life. He's known me for nearly 25 years - almost longer than my spouse - and he stopped me and said 'Piper, stop being hard on yourself. Given what you've come from, you are doing amazingly well. Most of the people I see in here who have stories like yours are a mess. They are addicts and their lives are in chaos. They can barely function.'
Words that you might need to hear, too. FWIW, know that your invisible friends here are really proud of you for the resilience you've shown in recovering from what you endured as a child.
Sometimes I think that we're veterans of an invisible war. One that relatives and neighbours and teachers and social services closed their eyes to. One that society is still unwilling to admit ever happened.
I was reading something online about C-PTSD the other day and what a struggle it has been to get the psychiatrist's manual (the next edition out will be the DSM 5.0) to acknowledge that child abuse and domestic violence causes PTSD.
People like us, who've had to recover from abusive and dangerous parents, have really had to struggle against the tide to get help.
I think you're doing great.   
Logged
UKannie
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1031



« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2012, 09:34:00 AM »

Quote from: saNPDiper
People like us, who've had to recover from abusive and dangerous parents, have really had to struggle against the tide to get help.
I think you're doing great. 

SaNPDiper thank you so much for the entirity of your post. I am having a rough day today so I've read it several times. It's really comforting   

   Annie
Logged
Links and Information
Tools
Validation
Ending Cycle of Conflict
Triggering and Wisemind
Values and Boundaries
Becoming more empathetic?
On-Line CBT Program
>> More Tools

Video
What is BPD - Family
What is BPD - Romantic
What is BPD - Child
End the Cycle of Conflict
Validation Skills
Empathy Skills
Parental Alienation
Dialectal Dilemma (audio)


Book Reviews
Endorsed Books
Other Staff Reviews
Member Reviews
Articles - New
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Diagnosis of BPD
Treatment of BPD
Series: My Child
Series: My Significant Other
Series: My Parent/Sibling
Series: My Failing Romance

Articles - Archive
Symptoms of BPD
A Clinical Perspective
Supporting a Loved One
Helping Him/Her Seek Treatment
Treatment of BPD
Leaving a Partner
Depression
Codependency
Sexual Addiction
Healthy Relationships

Content - Messageboard
Top 50 Questions
Top Workshops
About Us
The Mission
Professional Endorsements
2,000 Member Testimonials
Policy and Disclaimers
Blog


Messageboard
Directory
Guidelines
Appeal Moderation
Help-Technical
Manual

Donations
Become a Sponsor
Your Account

Other
Domestic Violence Crisis
Suicidal Ideation

EMERGENCY
Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Top Spacer
images/mb/panel_coping_1.jpg
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.10 | SMF © 2006-2010, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!