The reason I started studying psychology was because my mom has the above mentioned disorders. Later while studying psychology, I met several different psychology professors that said:
"I couldn't handle being a practicing psychologist so I decided to focus on research instead"
Why? What made them go from wanting to help people to saying they would rather be in a lab?
There is always one type of client that a psychologist can not work with. It's different for everyone. But the #1 client, that any psychologist will tell you, is the the most difficult to work with, is a client with co-morbid (meaning two disorders in one) Bipolar and Borderline personality disorder (Zimmerman et al, 2013). The reason being that these disorders combined are a dangerous mix of depression, manipulation and suicidal ideation. Making these clients, a high risk of using hurting themselves to control you.
It's not their fault
Now to be fair, it's not their fault. The people that have this disorder have a biological disfunction caused by a chemical imbalance in their brain (McDermid & McDermid, 2016). One moment they are feeling great, in fact ecstatic, believing they have been chosen by god to save the world. The next minute they are angry and upset, blaming everyone around them for how they feel. Next they are guilty and depressed, looking for a way out (suicidal ideation). This is due to the surges of dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline) their bodies release at random. Unfortunately, this combined with narcissism, makes them very difficult people to deal with.
How do professionals handle it?
Psychologists take turns helping them on short term contracts. Since the possibility of suicide is very real, psychologists have to be on call 24/7. This can be mentally taxing. So they usually only work with these clients temporarily and pass them on to the next psychologist. They do this in shifts, so as to not hurt their professional relationships with their clients. With a combination of counseling and medication, people suffering from these disorders can live semi normal lives.
How do you live with someone who wants to control you at all costs?
As I mentioned earlier my mother has these disorders. Now if you listened to my podcast on "The Cycle of Abuse", you also know that she physically abused of me until I was 13 years of age. After she couldn't control me with physical violence, she started holding herself hostage by hurting herself, when she couldn't get her way.
She used violence first
Before this point, during one of her angry outbursts she beat me with a belt and until she cut open the back of my knees. She once picked me up by the head and pulled my hair out. When the chemical imbalance was calmed, she would feel guilty and start crying. A suicide attempt would usually follow. She did so much damage (physically and mentally),that I am writing a book about how I survived and the years of counseling it took for me to heal.
Violence no longer worked so she used guilt
Once I was old enough I got away. I was 16 years old when she decided to marry her abusive husband, who she met at a mental clinic, after being mandated by the state, to get help after one of her suicide attempts (her abusive husband is also a recovering heroin addict). She knew she was wrong and that I was over it. So she used my younger brother (Carlo) to get me to still be around her Crazy Train. She tried to convince my younger brother (Carlo) that I abandoned them, to be with my friends.
Don't be fooled
Eventually, the truth came out when she had to call the police on her abusive husband, because she feared for her life. He was deported to Mexico, because undocumented immigrants can not do extensive time in American prison systems. After he was released in Mexico, she told me she was going back to save him. He called her after coming down from a heroin binge. During one of her manic episodes she decided it was her mission from god to save him.
Who do I save? I am not a saint.
I had a tough decision to make. I needed to get my younger brother(Carlo) out of that situation. But what about my half brother(Ricky)? By then she had one child with that monster and I wasn't sure what to do. I was 25, recently married, taking care of my dying biological father (Daro) and was stuck. I decided that I would save my full blood younger brother (Carlo) and not my youngest half brother (Ricky). I was afraid that if I saved my youngest half brother (Ricky), he would one day hate me for taking him away from his biological father (abusive recovering heroin addict). So I made my mom sign over custody of my younger brother (Carlo), and got him off the Crazy Train.
I may have done the right thing but the Crazy Train is still going full steam
I made a vow after my mom yelled at my wife and accused her of not taking care of my brother Carlo, that I would cut her completely out of my life. I talked to my counselor about it and after a few sessions, it was agreed, that she is just to negative to have around. It was settled. I blocked her from my email and all social media accounts.
Cutting out people you love is never easy
Recently I had to make the decision to cut out my youngest half brother (Ricky) as well. I had to, because she was using him to get to me:
"He kept asking why do you hate her so much? Why do you hate my hard working dad?"
I couldn't tell him the truth. I didn't want him to resent his parents, that have worked so hard, to cover up their ugly past. Besides what can I do?
The terms of keeping contact with my youngest brother Ricky were simple. He can be my friend on Facebook as long as he doesn't talk to me about the Jehovahs Witness religion or my mom. He couldn't keep these terms,eventually I could hear my mom speaking for him in his emails.
He is only 17 years old. I live in Japan now, it's not like I can rescue him, even if he wanted to get away (which he doesn't). He's happy and perhaps ignorance is bliss.
If you were me would you introduce your daughter to the person who psychically tortured you for 13 years and mentally manipulated you through suicide attempts for 25 years?
I said at the end of my podcast that the Cycle of Abuse ends with me and it does. Keeping her Crazy Train, from arriving at my families station, is my way of ending it. Even if it means keeping other people I love at a distance. If you are sharing my pictures and videos of my daughter with her that's fine. But at least know what your are dealing with before you judge me. Also feel free to share this article with her. I don't hate anyone. In fact I forgive her.
But forgiveness doesn't mean I am going to let her hurt me or family anymore
P.S. If you don't like what you read feel free to delete me from you FB. Thanks :)
Social Gelo with Angelo
Angelo Ferrer (M.S. Psychology)
McDermid, J., & McDermid, R. C. (2016). The complexity of bipolar and borderline personality: an expression of ‘emotional frailty’?. Current opinion in psychiatry, 29(1), 84-88.
Zimmerman, M., Martinez, J., Young, D., Chelminski, I., Morgan, T. A., & Dalrymple, K. (2014). Comorbid bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder and history of suicide attempts. Journal of personality disorders, 28(3), 358.