Your partner may be irrationally upset about situations that are real or imagined such as in the examples above. If you try to defend yourself or get upset, your partner may accuse you of being overly sensitive, or unable to tolerate criticism. It is a no-win situation…well, for you, at least.
When the crisis is resolved, your partner may wonder why you are still upset. Partners with Personality Disorders: Crazy-Making? Partners with Personality Disorders: Crazy-Making?. Psych Central. Last updated: 31 Mar Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network blogs.
CrazyMaking: Domestic Abuse Intended To Cause Self-Doubt
All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral. All rights reserved. Hot Topics Today 1. It is their world and you are just a visitor. Egocentric creatures that they are, Crazy Makers live in a world of complete distortion.
They see themselves as victims of their circumstances. From their perception, they never make mistakes, are never wrong, and their motives are always of pure intent. They take no responsibility for their own behavior. They argue over everything and nothing, often making the biggest fuss over the matters of least significance. Kicking up dust deflects their responsibility for the issue at hand and throws their victims off target.
They'll use anything to justify their anger while pointing the way you're actually in the wrong. They only see certain "facts" and eliminate all other useful or fair information. Wow, do these people have tantrums down to a science, maybe even an art form. They make a ton of noise when not immediately gratified, often throwing around verbal threats, justifications, and rationalizations for meeting their demands immediately.
Their other favorite way to throw a fit is pretending you don't exist. Either reaction encourages the cycle because the Crazy Maker did get their way. Their goal is inciting you into a rage so you look at fault and they easily side-step responsibility. To add insult to injury, Crazy Makers then offer insincere apologies feigning innocence with passive-aggressive phrases like: "All I said was These people get especially annoyed when others try and tell them what to do. They stall taking action until you're so enraged you do it yourself. Or they react with anger and indignation when asked to cooperate or comply.
They see any request as a demand and they view cooperating as submitting. Crazy Makers recognize the opportunity to promise others a beneficial arrangement for all involved, knowing they'll probably opt to disappoint everyone by backing out or showing up late just because they can.
They even train themselves to be sensitive to what other people want and need just so they can avoid giving it to them. If you try to hold them responsible, they'll simply deflect by saying, with false sincerity, "Sorry" or "I screwed up. They'll turn around and make the same "mistake" over and over again. Soon their apologies become more offensive than the original assault. Sadly, the thing Crazy Makers withhold most often is emotional support.
Sometimes they defend the indefensible just to be difficult. They do not see other people as "people. They do not empathize with the feelings and needs of others. So how do you handle a Crazy Maker if you're dating one, employed by one, or in a family with one? Here are a few smart strategies to help:. Crazy Makers masterfully disconnect you from rational thinking. They distract, deflect and confuse to keep you off balance.
It sounds easy and simple, but it's extremely difficult to do because when we feel taken advantage of, we resort to very primitive responses. These are great tips for kids who are experiencing bullying at home or in school. So many young people are handing over their power because they think they don't deserve any better. But they do! I think to blame ourselves for being bullied or devalued is seriously wrong and akin to saying only girls who dress provocatively get raped. Having lived with a medicated, bi-polar crazy maker for many years, you learn, it's not about you most of the time and you learn to separate crazy from personal.
We were married very young but I did not go into the relationship with low esteem and didn't rely on his affirmation to feel worthy of happiness. I have always known my value, being a daughter of God and pray often for strength. I loved my husband in high school before crazy was a factor and one of the things I liked best was his confidence. The kicker is that as much as he appeared confident, at the end of the day, his insecurities and lack of self-esteem was incredible.
His arrogance and manipulation masked his awkward self image. When mania set in, they soared to new heights along with his booming bass, verbosity and lack of any boundaries. When inevitably the pendulum swung and he hit bottom, his regrets and remorse were overwhelming. He felt inept in all capacities of life and no assurances could convince him he was loved. He once told me the question he asked himself every morning was, "should I commit suicide or should I go to work? And though I was certain it was meant to terrorize me, I know he meant it.
The people whom worked with him for many years had no clue he suffered from a mental health disorder. They did know he graduated from medical school, finished an internship and residency, practiced as chief of anesthesiology at a reputable hospital, taught medical students and received national recognition for it, and had advanced to leadership roles, because he had a "wall of fame" that covered half of his office.
At those times, he tried desperately to make me feel as miserable as he, but I have always felt while pain is inevitable, misery is an option I don't choose. Ironically as his cancer wore him down and humility allowed him to feel our Savior's love, he was able to feel love for and from everyone. For someone who previously battled suicide daily, he fought very hard to live. Yes, I have scars but I'm still me, I have an awesome family and some great friends and enjoy the same hobbies and interests I always have.
I never lost myself in his madness and I owe that to the Lord. We have 3 daughters, 1 son and 8 grandkids. We all miss his wit, knowledge, and companionship, and absolutely not, his crazy. I feel peace and have faith that he does too. I am in awe how well you not only described your situation but that you were able to rise above and keep your self worth strong and intact. I've been married to such a man for. It's tough but the more I learn hopefully I won't continue to fall into his traps.
Thank you for sharing. I am so grateful to this woman for sharing her experience with a difficult spouse. She has an inner strength that does indeed only come from her faith and spirituality. I have also experienced this type of personality or mental health issue with a child and perhaps a boss a doctor , and now my significant other. At times I have felt like the "crazy" one and have to turn to my inner strength to realize that it is their issue and not mine.
It is amazing to me how wonderful these people actually are. It is also amazing to me how they sometimes view the world around them and how quickly they try to project their traits onto the people who love them the most. My sincere sympathy to Deb on the loss of her husband. I feel your peace and your strength through your writing. You are a wonderful human being. May God bless you and your family.
I am really touched by what you went through in life. I lived the same, that you mentioned. My current husband, soon to be Ex, acts brave, kind, and all knowing person on the outside. But only in words. He acts as if every decision he makes is either for the betterment of the family or his own interest that is incapable of changing, and that there is nothing wrong with them no boundaries but all in words. When it comes to action, he never keeps up his promises. He is a stealth bomber, where he promises but always has inevitable excuses to not do them, unless they align with his interests Narcissist.
He loves himself too much, but also feels inferior all the time, comparing himself and me with others all the time. He is incapable of empathy because he had hit me several times, and always abuse talked everyone around him. He creates cunning double binds, where if I say no he retaliates saying " but I am here now" "I am not the one asking for divorce" or "You only came out of the house by yourself", when in fact, as everyone knows how hard it is to live with a physical abuser, What good is a "But I am here now" when his actions prove otherwise.
What good is a relationship where one spouse is in a manipulative abusive relationship? What good is a house, when that house is unlivable and carries horrible memories? Obviously he has selective memory. Because when the discussion about his hittings and his bad actions come, he says " I do not recollect that happening", but when it comes to something of his interest, he remembers each and everything I did, and throws them at me. Fortunately, like you, I entered the relationship with good self esteem.
I took an observers point of view, only 3 years into the abusive relationship. I was happy with the affirmations I got from within myself, and did not need external praises. The only thing I could do then was to keep a healthy distance. Which is what I am doing now for past 2 years. The moment I realized, the fault is not with me, and that even if Miss world was in my position, he would have still abused her verbally for "being ugly" and for not "doing duties of a wife properly", I understood he is like a 2 year old child, and not mine to put up with.
I lived in what I called a 'malignant' marriage for 23 years. I am free now and it's wonderfull. You WILL be fine. It is so liberating to get to know yourself, maybe, of the first time. Just see to it that you break ALL contact. Even change your name. Don't be afraid of being alone. In my marriage I was lonely. Now I live! Break a leg, doll! Someone told me that many people who have a bad relationship with their parents have it change right before this parent dies. Sadly just as it was getting better. The reason is that it takes a great deal of humility to change and since the physical strenght and mental strenght is closely knitted when the body breaks down then suddenly you get trough to them.
I would not be so rude as to say that God gave your husband cancer to fix things, but Im so glad and feel uplifted that he saw you all trough your difficulties. Praise the Lord. I know this is an old post, and maybe you will never ready it, but wanted to let you know that I thought I was reading my life story. It brought tears to my eyes, as I understood everything you were saying.
I lost my husband to cancer almost 7 years ago. We were married for 35 years. You loved your husband so very much, as I loved mine, because you saw his gentle soul beneath the rubble. True love, my dear! I hope you are happy today. I think you have nailed the basic dynamic of crazy-making behaviors for many of us who were raised by a parent s with one or more of the Cluster B personality disorders. That's the best, most descriptive term for forcing someone to make choices and then punishing them for whatever choice they make: the no-win-situation is emotional torture.
Its also known as psychological torment or mental cruelty. Anyone reading this: if you know of a child who is being subjected to any of these crazy-making behaviors by their own parent s , then, please befriend that child or better yet get them removed from their abuser s and relocated into the care of more humane, caring, mentally healthy people. It definitely is a form of emotional torture, especially when they don't recognize the good that you did but always looking for the bad.
It's a good thing to be humble but not at this price. You cant have children removed from. Better if you just try to be a real friend to , be good kind and positive. It does work magucally. This article describes my mother , and how i felt as a child and still do as an adult with two amazing adult age kids.
I tried to bend over backwards with my children and still do because of what my mother did to me. They are so confident and awesome We have gone years without talking, then we do and its the same crap all over again. I'm better off avoiding her toxic ways and limit my dealings with her and focus on my life, my awesome friendships, my great kids who love and appreciate me, and support me.. She's done more damage to my life than i can possibly express here, in a public format.
30 Warning Signs of a Toxic Person
I wish everyone luck with their situations. In December I flew up to take care of my mother and sister my mother's care giver and enabler who broke her arm badly. My mother did not want me to come up and help. This way she could TRY to be the hero, then when that failed because she can not drive and refuses to take public transportation, she could be the victim. If I didn't come up despite her protests, I was not trying hard enough to help.
I DID go up to help but it was the week from hell. Four food gift baskets came just hours after I arrived and the next day. One was from me. She opened all of the gifts baskets but mine, made a big deal out of the packaging, the taste, how wonderful they were. Her face glowed with sadistic excitement as she offered me tastes - while my basket remained untouched for the entire week.
As I left for the airport, it still remained unopened. When I said, "Mom, you hurt my feelings", she made it my problem, "That is no way to talk to your mother. Back at home I started having numerous panic attacks. Worked like a charm. I occasionally communicate with my mother but am very limited with information about me and a time limit. I can totally relate to what you're describing. You know what therapists say "you cannot change someone else's behavior but you can change the way you react to them". Well, here's my two cents because believe me i get what you feel And take the basket with you.
From now on Don't give your mother the sick satisfaction of making you upset. Watch and see I am sooo sorry ME too. The less contact you have with that evil ice queen, the better. It is perfectly ok to avoid anyone who is not kind and loving to you Anyone who has a problem with that? You do not have to justify your actions for anyone something we realize we have the power to do and the way to live if we are lucky.
With family, there are these crazy "rules" in which no matter how someone treats you, you are forced to love them as siblings, obey them as parents, etc Part of healing is breaking the rules made by fools. If ever you worry if you are doing the "right thing", consider the situation as though someone you care for is telling you about it and seeking your advice. We are better advocates sometimes for others and sadly not so much for ourselves.
And wish for your world to be filled with love and kindness. I wish you all the best! Fortunately my contact has dwindled so much that their games have just become background noise. Either this is great satire or you suffer from the same narcissistic disorder as your mother. Sorry to break it to you. To the person who made disparaging comments Why are you writing me?
You don't know anything about me or the way i raise my children. I was raised by an abusive mother, fortunately she lives in Chicago, not near me, and i limit my dealings with her. You seem to have anger, therefore I suggest you channel your anger in the gym or another venue, and evaluate your own personality, rather than look to criticize others you know nothing about. This forum is solely to support one another. Either this is great satire or I would explore if you suffer from similar narcissistic tendencies as your mother.
Children do not walk away from an upbringing with a narcissist without carrying some narcissistic behaviors forward. What do "disparaging commenter's" comments have to do with anything anyway? It was an excruciating process, but worth it in the end. To the person who wrote " I agree with you in regard to both disparaging comments". Thank you for understanding me. I felt as though this person whom I had never met was lashing out at me, and what did I say wrong?
That I am a great mom. Well, I am. I'm a very humble person, but when it comes to parenting.. My children and I are very close, and I earned that. This person who criticized me does not know me , and was indeed "blaming the victim" I am a single mom, and having gone thru a divorce, I know what you speak of. Cheers to us. I applaud everyone who has the courage to get out. I am Pro-marriage 23 years , but psychological torment or mental cruelty. Me three. The beuty of it is that shes also two faced and her hysterical abusive behaviour happens behind closed doors so that no one will believe me.
I moved to a different town an hour away and she continues this over phone. I confronted her and deflected her usual attacks then she starts to openly lie to me. I said now youre just lying and hung up and blocked her. Three days later shes standing outside my apartment pretending nothing happened. Now I live six hours away.
But phone attacks still happens and she just happened to be in my town last summer traveling trough This time I told her im busy. I have confronted her behaviour on txt and told her I wont ignore how she treats me anymore. That I have had enough. She replies that she dont recognice what Im talking about and wont "take my shit" Then she sends a good night txt with smileyfaces on it. I figure she can deny it all she wants. And try to drive me crazy turning everything on its head all she likes.
One of her tactics is to make sure I cannot prove whats really going on to anyone else. But she knows and I knows and that is enough. Im an adult. I dont need to proove this to anyone else. That I know is enough. The mature thing is to set boundaries and stand up for myself.