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Author Topic: VCP Concept (Very Cruel Person) & Tough Love for those like me  (Read 269 times)
IntoTheWind
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« on: September 13, 2021, 09:07:49 PM »

Hi, I wanted to address codependents on here that are like me. This post isn't applicable to everyone; those that it is applicable to will know.

I've found a really useful tool to get myself out of some pretty toxic cyclical thought patterns and behaviours that have prevented me from healing, and I've come to some pretty stark realizations about my own behavior that I wanted to share because it might jolt some people into getting out of the trap I was in.

If you find yourself in the trap of constantly researching into BPD, NPD, looking for a binary yes/no answers to questions. You may be stuck in the endless search for answers as to whether they "really are", or "what it means" as a form of closure. To kill remaining hope and write the relationship off. To make what they did "okay", because they couldn't help it (maybe even so you can let them back in...). To paint over mistakes you've made in the relationship because it was "doomed anyway" (ouch). So that you have a diagnosis to cling to, and something to fix that'll make the problems go away. So that you can learn all about it, so next time they come back, you'll be able to keep them around. To use as a coping mechanism. I've been there and seen it, and this is a bottomless pit. It also isn't healing, it's marinating in trauma on a quest where there is potentially no end, and you can get stuck there for a very long time. Learning about the disorder in a healthy way is fine. Only you will know if that's what's actually going on for you. Be very honest with yourself.

You may be prolonging grief whilst delaying acceptance and ultimately positive change.

I was stuck in this trap. I have also enabled my own codependency through this research, I know because it felt good when I read information that supports the idea that they may float back into my life. I've been at points where I've literally hoped that I get recycled, and looked into when this might occur. There's also a real danger of using the diagnosis as a way to free your ex from responsibility and judgement - as a student writing a thesis this is fine; as a partner this is fatal. I imagine that there's a fair few of us out there that are in this deep, and I assume that for some of you reading this might touch a nerve, and that's okay.

I've had a couple of therapists tell me that they believe my ex's diagnosis is likely BPD after going through the relationship end to end with them.

What has this given me?

  • A broad framework to understand her behavioral patterns more.
  • A useful communication tool to express to other people (that know about it) what I might've gone through

What didn't this give me?

  • Closure
  • An 'aha' moment that made everything ok
  • Self respect
  • Transcendence into a healthy state of mind
  • An understanding of how to grieve
  • The ability to move on and be happy

I could've spoken to a third therapist and been contradicted. It's not so easy, people are different, parts of them were amazing, parts of them weren't it's grey, messy, muddy, there's contradictions to the facts, there's a spectrum, there's so many variables at play, personality traits. What is the "truth"?

What's an easier, simple categorization that a non-therapist is fully capable of applying to a person without getting bogged down into the science, research and medical diagnosis?

Was this person cruel to you across time, and across context?

If yes, then they are a VCP. A very cruel person.

Do you want a VCP in your life?

This guy explains it 100x better than I do https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RccGm8LUdvg

Here's another https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p9IzQ4YQ2Q

These videos apply specifically to NPD not BPD, but the echo chamber/trap is the same.

Anyway, I hope this helps some people who are where I was.
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Sappho11
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2021, 02:42:47 AM »

Great post, IntoTheWind. I definitely second this approach. My healing commenced when I realised, beyond doubt, that my ex actually never cared about me, that it was all about him from Day 1, that he not only never looked out for me, but instead chose to cause me profound pain in order to avoid the slightest inconvenience to himself. At that point, I wasn't able to deny any longer that this wasn't love, and that no "fixing" on my behalf would ever make this right. It was him who would have had to change – but people with PD's rarely do.

Bottom line, I saw that he only loves himself, is willing to inflict pain (or cruelty, as you say) on others in order to gain an advantage, however slight, for himself, and generally has ZERO empathy despite claiming otherwise.

The final messages we exchanged after the breakup confirmed this: it was his usual egomania all the way, not a word about me.

I realised that
1) this man had never truly loved me or even cared about me and
2) the man I had loved had never actually existed, it had all been an elaborate fantasy.

With the physical distance between us and the physical addiction wearing off, he eventually gave me closure without knowing it by remaining his same pseudo-empathetic, manipulative, self-absorbed, cruel self until the very last message. That was all the confirmation I needed.

In short, +1 for the cruelty factor, in which everything is contained.
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grumpydonut
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2021, 03:49:05 AM »

"If we break up, you won't win".

If you don't have true empathy or a true identity, you can be whoever and do whatever. Mine told me several times that she believes she is capable of killing someone. I believe her.
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2021, 11:23:47 AM »

Here is a link to a really fun post about Internet life coaches... if you haven't seen these videos, you may enjoy it. All of these guys have been referenced at one time or another by members to be "experts" who have a depth of understanding on a higher plane than the psychology profession: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=317743.msg12916503#msg12916503

Anyway, back to the point of the video "VCP: a concept beyond “Narcissism”. The vlogger sums it all up at 6:19 (see 85 seconds excerpted clip below). If your wife (child, mother) is a "Very Cruel Person" then you should be looking for an exit to that relationship. There is no hope."


Date: 2021Minutes: 0:85

VCP: A Concept Beyond “Narcissism”

But is that operating at a higher level of emotional intelligence? Will this thinking help mature you to be a better husband/wife (father, friend). Will this help you develop the skills that we all perfect, in part, through broken relationships (failure)?

Here is where I would tend to agree and disagree with his opinion:

                AGREE | If you are using labels like BPD or OCD, ADHD, etc. to bash your ex or convince yourself that the brokenness of the relationship was their fault, then I agree. Using clinical concepts  for this purpose is a waste of time. You don't special vocabulary for that.

DISAGREE | These terms are not esoteric musings for psychologists to share among themselves - these terms are detailed descriptions of personalty types that help us better understand other people, learn how to constructively interface/communicate with them (constructive for us, constructive for them), how much to integrate them into our lives (or how much to distance them), and how to help them if we are so inclined. How many of you have taken personalty inventories at work (e.g Myers-Briggs) to learn how to better interface with people who think differently than you?  This is the same thing, albeit on a higher level. There things are all rooted in Carl Jung's personality theories.

DISAGREE | Eliminating people in our lives who are important to us (child, mother, wife, lover, best friend) are last resort tactics for most of us. That is the root of the struggle. And knowing that 29% of the US population at any one time is struggling with mental illness or substance issues, we need tools to learn how to co-exist and thrive in this world.

DISAGREE | We could all tag 50 people in our lives that were cruel to us. People as a whole are self centered and that alone can feel cruel to us - they are focused on themselves and we we are focused on ourselves and both are looking for the focus to shift to self.  The bane of all relationships is selfishness.  

I get it. I arrived here broken and wounded and feeling that my partner was hurtful, oblivious to my feelings. I was profoundly sad.

I felt I did everything for my ex and she was thoughtless and hurtful to me, and she unfairly blamed me for the relationship failure. When a psych nurse suggested that my ex had BPD, I jumped on it. It seem to explain everything. It also felt like her condition was terminal. I broke away and it was excruciating but I pushed ahead and kept reminding myself that there was never going to be a fix (for her).

After a while, I began to question myself. Differently this time. I wasn't revisiting the blame she bestowed on me but I wanted to know if I had some issues in dealing with people, or my expectation of others, or even who I was choosing to be close to me.

I learned that looking at myself was hard to do. Maybe I'm this. Maybe I'm that. Maybe I am an emotional rock. Maybe I'm weak/needy. It took several years of being very mindful of my own feelings and expectations of others and observing how others reacted to me to realize I had some emotional growing to do.

I've learned that it was not so much that I was broken. More that I was desperately needing personal validation to feel OK about myself. That's what my BPD relationship was all about on my end.  I had plenty of validation professionally, but in my personal life I was on the low end of receiving it and giving it. And I had higher (unrealistic/unfair) expectations for my partners than for myself. This realization has been humbling, and valuable.

Anyway... that was more than a decade ago. Learning about BPD and learning skills helped me help my exes children. It helped me to cope with her (and several other people in my life - from difficult clients to pesky neighbors). And yes, it helped me let go of a relationship that wasn't working... but more importantly, it helped me rethink "who I was in a relationship" and "what to seek in a partner that was healthy".

... relationship are still complicated, and they will always be, but...
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 04:17:29 PM by Skip » Logged

 
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2021, 07:44:04 PM »

Excerpt
It's not so easy, people are different, parts of them were amazing, parts of them weren't it's grey, messy, muddy, there's contradictions to the facts, there's a spectrum, there's so many variables at play, personality traits. What is the "truth"?

in all of our cases, the most important, and only indisputable label/truth is "ex". as in, accepting that the relationship is over, and, eventually, determining where we want to go with the next one.

my ex could be a very cruel person. she was especially, at the end. but if thats all that she were, i wouldnt have stayed, and i wouldnt have struggled so much in the aftermath.

believe me, i tried that approach. its all there, ten plus years ago, ten thousand or so posts back  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

when i came here it had been just a couple of months or less since my breakup. i was in an awful place. i had suicidal thoughts. i had exhausted my support system. learning about BPD (it was by accident that i stumbled onto it), realizing there was an entire community of people going through something similar to what i was, at a time when i felt so alone and hopeless, was a godsend i will never cease to be grateful for.

and yes, it became an obsession for me, too. i didnt lean into BPD so much to excuse my exs poor behavior. i did it to cope with my broken heart (and as you say, paint over my mistakes). for a while, i desperately wanted her back. when it became clearer that that wouldnt happen, i coped with those feelings of loss the best i could at the time, and lets just say my coping skills were limited.

blame (toward her) was a big part of my recovery. so was anything that would tell me what i wanted to hear. for example, you see a lot of threads about "will my ex be different with the next person", right? and there are no shortage of sources out there that will tell you "your ex wont be any different, you dodged a bullet". i posted them at the time. the funny thing is, no matter how many times i read it, it sure didnt feel that way. it ultimately wasnt true, either. my ex and i both are very different people today.

time didnt heal my wounds, but it dulled the pain. eventually, little by little, you forget, the trauma loses its urgency, you get into a new routine, your body and mind adjust...you cant ruminate forever. i moved on in that sense, probably around the one year mark, but i carried the wounds (which by and large existed before i ever met her) into the next relationship, and the next. that compounded everything, and in fact, i even tried diagnosing them, too. but there came a point that that just didnt suffice. even if everyone around me were personality disordered (they were not), i was the common denominator, they were gone, and i was left with my struggles, so i had to be the solution.

the truth is, even if i were open to that idea during my recovery (i like to think i approached recovery with an open mind; i took the advice to explore my role in the relationship, but my understanding of what that meant was limited and shallow at the time), i couldnt have seen it. my narrative today, about what transpired in my relationship and how it broke down is unrecognizable compared to what it was at the time. i think bumping up against the wounds is a risk, if not an inevitability to some extent, for virtually all of us. will we meet those bumps as an older, wiser version of ourselves, with stronger coping mechanisms than before, and make better choices? or just add more baggage? bpd can be a catalyst for either path.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 11:51:16 AM by once removed » Logged

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Couper
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2021, 10:42:20 PM »

All of these guys have been referenced at one time or another by members to be "experts" who have a depth of understanding on a higher plane than the psychology profession.


I have a question and it's regarding those in the psychology profession.  When I saw your original post before I went to lunch, what I am going to ask seemed more relevant, but it looks like your post has now been edited a couple of times throughout the day.  The part I quoted is not what I was going to quote originally, so the full context may not seem quite applicable, but bear with me.

Watching  / reading online I’ve seen a couple of instances where a BPD will ask, “Should I tell my boyfriend / girlfriend I’m BPD?” and the professional gives them an answer that is other than “yes”.

I’m just wondering what the general take on this question is when on the part of those of us trying to figure out this stuff there is all this talk of cultivating a higher emotional intelligence, having a social responsibility, etc., -- why should someone diagnosed as such not be encouraged by the professional guiding them to inform the person with whom they are pursuing an in-depth relationship of their condition? Or, is not doing so frowned upon and not an accurate representation of advice typically given by professionals in this field?  
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2021, 04:48:27 AM »

I would think that every ethical psychologist would tell a person with BPD that they should disclose their condition at some early juncture...not the first date (avoid too much too soon thing), but at some early point.

But who knows/admits they have BPD?

Therapists/psychologists find it very easy to say that a person not in the room has BPD (e.g;. I think your girlfriend has BPD), but they are very hesitant (except in extreme cases) to tell their client they have BPD; because of the stigma and because this drives clients away. It's safer to use words like  anxiety or depression. This is a dilemma for the profession. They over diagnose on one hand (at a far) and under diagnose on the other (face to face).

The "amateur psychologists" are worse. Look how fast members here will diagnose partners at a far and stay far away from diagnosing other members. Hey John, setting her rabbit on fire was probably not a healthy response.

And many people (most of the partners on this site) have subclinical features of BPD - they have traits but are functional and don't qualify for a formal diagnosis. And while they may not be clinical BPD, they can be very difficult partners.

I know four very well known authors of books about BPD, who are very negative about people with BPD, clearly have BPD themselves, and adamantly deny it. They see the mental issues in their parents, offspring, siblings - but not themselves.

Alcoholics who have seen the light and are on the mend will say "I am an alcoholic". But the majority battling alcohol issues will deny it. I think the same is true for BPD.

Human nature is complicated.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 04:59:08 AM by Skip » Logged

 
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2021, 07:29:44 AM »

Human nature is complicated.

It certainly is.  Thank you for the thorough reply.

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MeandThee29
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2021, 10:58:55 AM »

I think the "VCP" label can be helpful because it embodies the need to get away from them. Sometimes that's the bottom line whether there is a formal diagnosis or not. We can choose who we have close to us.

Our long-term, mutual therapist diagnosed my ex with NPD/BPD and was in the process of getting to the point that she felt that she could tell him. There had been a suicide attempt, so she was being careful. Then he quit therapy and took off some months later. When he announced that he was never coming back, I went to her, of course, all upset and stressed. She told me then what the diagnosis was and recommended closing the door on him and getting an attorney lined up. Well, I decided that labels were just labels and kept trying. We had decades together, and I wasn't ready to accept what she said.

Eventually, he kicked off the divorce process, and I agreed. However, I really didn't have the clarity that I had to completely get him out of my life until the divorce was going all kinds of wrong and both attorneys were going crazy with him.

I think that if the therapist had indeed gotten to the point of telling him, there would have just been all kinds of pushback and denial. His family decided that I was the sticking point in the problems anyway, and that of course kept him where he was.
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SinisterComplex
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2021, 07:08:08 PM »

I would think that every ethical psychologist would tell a person with BPD that they should disclose their condition at some early juncture...not the first date (avoid too much too soon thing), but at some early point.

But who knows/admits they have BPD?

Therapists/psychologists find it very easy to say that a person not in the room has BPD (e.g;. I think your girlfriend has BPD), but they are very hesitant (except in extreme cases) to tell their client they have BPD; because of the stigma and because this drives clients away. It's safer to use words like  anxiety or depression. This is a dilemma for the profession. They over diagnose on one hand (at a far) and under diagnose on the other (face to face).

The "amateur psychologists" are worse. Look how fast members here will diagnose partners at a far and stay far away from diagnosing other members. Hey John, setting her rabbit on fire was probably not a healthy response.

And many people (most of the partners on this site) have subclinical features of BPD - they have traits but are functional and don't qualify for a formal diagnosis. And while they may not be clinical BPD, they can be very difficult partners.

I know four very well known authors of books about BPD, who are very negative about people with BPD, clearly have BPD themselves, and adamantly deny it. They see the mental issues in their parents, offspring, siblings - but not themselves.

Alcoholics who have seen the light and are on the mend will say "I am an alcoholic". But the majority battling alcohol issues will deny it. I think the same is true for BPD.

Human nature is complicated.

Human nature complicated? Nah...not possible. Its all easy as 1-2-3. I kid I kid. :-D From a philosophical standpoint though...are humans inherently complicated, or do human beings actively make human nature complicated? Just a thought for discussion.

To add onto your thoughts about amateur psychologists...aren't the Pop Psychologists like literal geniuses and know everything? LOL. Yes I have to have humor here because I agree with you. Honestly, I don't think anything grinds my gears more than when I've heard someone say they studied psychology too, but took 1 or 2 courses and now they are experts. I typically make my argument back that hey I took a few cooking courses so that must make me a world class chef now right?

It is kind of an insult to those who are actually college educated in human behavior and even more of a slight to those who are practicing professionals. In a time when mental health professionals are needed the most they are still not given the respect they deserve.

Cheers and best wishes!

-SC-
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grumpydonut
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2021, 08:50:55 PM »

Excerpt
Honestly, I don't think anything grinds my gears more than when I've heard someone say they studied psychology too, but took 1 or 2 courses and now they are experts

YT in a nutshell, especially those who talk about BPD.
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2021, 09:46:38 AM »

This is a helpful discussion.
 I ruminate less as time goes by, but yes I have spent years arm chair diagnosing my ex.
   Yes I have major flaws. Yes I want to blame it all on her.
    And yes. I allowed the behavior to continue. I allowed  all the extremes.
   So maybe it’s simplistic to just say this person is cruel and I won’t tolerate it anymore. But it works at this moment.
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2021, 09:54:20 AM »

Another theme that I have heard recently on you tube is “self pity party”. I laugh because that’s exactly what I do in my head when I’m low.
   I realize it. That’s a good thing.
   
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