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10 Books Endorsed and Reviewed by BPDFamily

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Author Topic: Controlling People by Patricia Evans  (Read 3783 times)
FinalLee
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« on: August 11, 2012, 09:39:45 PM »

"Controlling People" by Patricia Evans

This book is not specifically about BPD, but I found it incredibly helpful in understanding a lot of BPD behavior, particularly gaslighting which I experienced as the child of a BPD parent and which contributed to my lack of confidence for many years.

For me, there is something about understanding why a "Controlling Person" gaslights and why they fly into a rage inexplicably that has been of tremendous help to me.

I've spent a good deal of my 55 years wondering "What if my parent is right and I am the one with the psychological problem? What if I'm the one with BPD and they are perfectly normal?"

Reading this book has erased all doubt from my mind that I am not the person with the psychological problem. I've been on a path for the last year to understanding that my own internal reality has been valid all along. But reading this book has helped me to jump several steps forward. I also feel like I now have good tools to recognize controlling behavior so that I can avoid Controlling People before getting too involved with them.

If it's as important to you as it was to me to understand the why of BPD behavior, this book will be incredibly helpful.

Where the book is not at all helpful is in its rather brief and simplistic advice about how to deal with Controlling People. Evans seems to assume that your Controlling Person will be rather high-functioning and somewhat rational. I wouldn't use this book as an instruction book on how to cope with your pwBPD, particularly not with a Witch, but it's incredibly helpful in getting inside the mind of someone with BPD and probably NPD too.
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Surnia
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2012, 08:36:12 AM »

Interesting coincidence. This book is on his way to me, ordered it just 3 days before.

My motivation for it was 2 other books from her, "The verbally abusive Relationship" and "Victory over verbal abuse" (I do not like the title so much)
Both books were extremly helpfull for me. I made the same experience like you. It is like the simple sentence "you don't cause it (the mental illness)" is explored in a whole book.

Surnia
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FinalLee
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2012, 09:12:52 AM »

Surnia

I was also wondering about the book on verbal abuse, so thanks for the recommendation. I'll probably get that one now too.

One of the most enlightening things about the "Controlling People" book was that it gave me an insight into some of the really absurd behavior. Like the time my uBPDm flew into a rage when she asked me what time my friend's children went to bed (people who she had never met) and when I didn't give her "the right answer" and she was angry at me for a week. I could not even begin to fathom what that was about but Evans' book gave me a good insight.

I'm trying to figure out how to summarize how she sees the behavior of a Controlling Person. Basically, she says they are relating to some kind of imaginary, ideal person who is entirely one with them and with their thoughts. They are not relating to the actual person in front of them.

When the Real Person has a feeling, a response or an action that the CP doesn't imagine or want, it's as if the other person has said "You do not exist. You are not real."  The CP basically receives the response as an attack on their very being, as if the other person were trying to kill them.

One example she gave in the book enlightened the whole thing for me. A woman and her CP husband go out to dinner. The husband is imagining in his mind that he and his wife are going to share a pizza. Because his wife "should be" part of him and be able to read his mind (if she can't do this, he is not real), he imagines that she knows and understands that they are going to share a pizza together and, in his mind, this is a done deal. The waiter asks her first "What can I get you?" and she orders linguini and the CP husband goes ballistic in front of their friends. They were going to share a pizza! She knew this! Why was she dissing him in front of their friends?  It was only when the friends saw his behavior as strange that he started to accept that his reaction wasn't normal.  (This is the flaw in her book for those of us who have to deal with pwBPD - most of her Controlling People seem to have realized at one point or another that they had a problem!)
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FinalLee
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2012, 09:19:15 AM »

The other interesting thing about this book is that Evans seems to assume that most Controlling People are male. This is contra the discussion of BPD where we seem to assume that the majority of BPDs are female.

As I read the book, I began to understand that many of the things that Evans was talking about were considered normal male behavior patterns when I was growing up in the 1960s or 1970s.  Have you ever tried to watch "The Honeymooners" these days? I can't bear to watch it, because the entire premise is that the husband is constantly verbally and emotionally abusing the wife.

The book made me think that men have not historically been diagnosed with BPD because a lot of controlling behavior has historically been considered normal for men.  Low-level verbal abuse (e.g. put-downs, disparaging women, speaking about how women are less intelligent and able) has been perfectly normal behavior for men in our society until the last 20 years. The higher-levels of abuse: disparaging women into depression, controlling money with an iron fist, hitting women are considered "bad" forms of "normal" behavior.  Whereas, if women go in this direction they are engaging in "abnormal" behavior. How I see it, anyway.
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Surnia
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2012, 10:07:15 AM »

FinalLee

BTw: Great Avatar!

The pizza story is in one of the other books too. So there is some repetition. But it is okay for me. and the pizza story is great, it gaves me a an insight about strange storys I had with my h. And right now I have to admitt I need this sort of confirmation.
years in lonely crazyness...shared with nobody, this needs healing.

About diagnosis, BPD, woman and men: My h is undiagnosed NPD (only my T mentioned NpD from what I told her) . And just because he is undiagnosed, I like Evans focus on the behaviour side. So many crazy people will never see any T but there Nons like us have to deal with it.

I am very interested to discuss further with you, should you read the other books. Some of her advices are different from "just walk away". I am very interested in other opinions.

 xoxo
Surnia
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FinalLee
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 10:47:25 AM »

Yes, it's a good Avatar, isn't it? (It belongs to the BPD family board.)

I'll read the book on verbal abuse and see what it does for me. It seems to be geared more toward couples, so I wonder if it's actually going to be as helpful. What I'm trying to deal with right now is not so much my relationship with my elderly uBPDm as much as recognizing verbal abuse outside the home.

I feel like I'm only just beginning to understand the world of boundaries and what is normal and what isn't! I totally understand about "years of lonely craziness telling nobody"; I've felt that way all my life. My internal dialogue was "You can't tell anyone about your mother, it just makes you sound like a stupid, whiny teenager and everyone loves her, anyway" (That was another revelation from the Controlling People book - that it's fairly usual that a CP can be abusive with close family members and be the person everyone else loves outside the home.
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Surnia
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 04:27:14 AM »

I nearly finished the book "Controlling people".

It is like you said, it opens a new sight on my h who is uNPD. I understand now that he has a rs with a construct about me, which is craftet by his own disfunctional way of life. This has nothing to do with the real me. It was sort of OMG, this is what happend. It could not function this way...
Very important for me: Not only feelings are facts but also thoughts are facts. Be telling things, CP create facts.
When my h writes and speaks, it is epic. He is cutted from others and from himself and creates his own world with words. Once spoken there are real and right, bc there is only one truth, his truth. Sort of emotional fundamentalism.


"Controlling People" by Patricia Evans
Where the book is not at all helpful is in its rather brief and simplistic advice about how to deal with Controlling People. Evans seems to assume that your Controlling Person will be rather high-functioning and somewhat rational. I wouldn't use this book as an instruction book on how to cope with your pwBPD, particularly not with a Witch, but it's incredibly helpful in getting inside the mind of someone with BPD and probably NPD too.

I agree 100%, could not say it better.


Surnia
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“Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stand on your sacred ground.”  BrenĂ© Brown
gina louise
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 11:14:10 AM »

Surnia and FinalLee,
I am curious about these P Evans books.
My H is also undiagnosed and will probably always be...he refuses to see any MC or shrinks (as he puts it).

He also creates his own version of the Truth, with his own spin and twist...and the sad fact is that as his partner, I am NOT privy to the information. I only find out when I have somehow FAILED in a dramatic fashion!

I once told him, That's YOUR truth-NOW, what about MY truth? He just looked at me like I was crazy!   ?
that gave me a clue that it was all created inside HIM.
And he was totally unwilling to admit ANY other possibilities.

He even says to me now, YOU are not the partner I thought you were. I am setting and sticking to boundaries on what behavior I will and will not tolerate. That means he had crafted a person in his mind that looked like me, but acted the way HE expected!
But the *real* GL didn't follow his pattern. So he's confused at how he *figured* me wrongly. And that's why I am now THE PROBLEM. (but I know I am not)

Nice to know it's not me.   smiley
GL
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Surnia
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2012, 12:56:59 AM »

Hi Gina

I think you got it very well, about CP.

And yes its good to see finaly it is not me. At least not for what "they" blame us. I have my issues but not like my h thinks.  wink

Surnia
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2012, 02:37:18 PM »

I have read Controlling People and Patricia Evan's other books on Verbal Abuse (she has a forum at VerbalAbuse.com) and found that they helped me abundantly in setting boundaries and understanding circular conversations and gaslighting; various verbal and emotional abuse techniques that we too easily "engage" in when we need to learn "detachment". This background has been a rich resource for me as I THEN LEARNED that my dear H is ubpd. I don't WANT to see HIM as an abuser but his behavior; due to fear of abandonment and intimacy and the inability to empathize with others (Narcissistic?) so much resembles the behavior and communication of a pw bpd. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who has NOT read on the subject of Verbal Abuse...it has truly helped me to have this background. (for about 10 years through exh who was verbal and emotionally abusive; NOT BPD but possibly OCPD and NPD...
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