I have been pretty overwhelmed by the response I’ve had these last couple of weeks to my post about the stages you go through in a relationship with a >'Cluster B' personality disorder. I wrote that post from my own (very personal) experience, and have been so amazed and encouraged to learn that so many others can relate to it, and indeed identify the various stages within their own toxic relationships.
It’s always good to know you’re not alone. I spent far too long believing I was the only person going through this, and not even realising I was dealing with a disordered individual. Certainly, when I first sought professional help and was told I’d most likely been married to a PD, I found it difficult to get my head around. I had been conditioned to believe I was the one with the problem, and it took a while before I was able to really believe that wasn't the case.
Sure, I knew towards the end that the person I was with was pathological, but it took me many months (and detachment from the relationship) to finally comprehend just what it was I’d been up against.
My therapist was amazing. She was the one who finally convinced me that it wasn’t me who had the problem. She helped me back onto my feet again, and helped me to re-discover the confident and vibrant person I had been prior to the toxic relationship. I will always be grateful to her for her unparalleled support and encouragement. She pointed me in the right direction, and waved me off down the road to recovery.
Since then, it has been a journey of discovery and information gathering. The more I’ve learned, the more I’ve healed. When I began writing the book I had a fair bit of information about NPD, but was not aware of the co-morbid disorders, nor how seriously affected my ex partner had actually been.
But we can’t learn (and therefore heal) without help and support from our family,friends and peers. The internet is an amazing place in this respect. If we reach out, and use the right words, we can access information and support from all over the globe.
I would like to extend a very special thanks to top UK Forensic Pathologist >Dr David Holmes.
I first wrote to David in early 2010 to ask him to read my book and give his professional opinion. I was amazed by the >comments he wrote, and am truly grateful to have received professional endorsement of my book. You can find out more about David’s academic work in the field of abnormal psychology by reading his latest >book, which includes a Chapter outlining Personality Disorders and the three 'Cluster' groups.
I would also like to recommend other resources which I have found to be invaluable along my ‘learning and healing’ journey. I hope they will also be of use to readers of my book and blog. Please feel free to contact me to add more to this resource list:
>Lisa E Scott.
Lisa wrote a book called ‘It’s all about HIM’ which was released in 2009. Her book and website were amongst the first I came across when researching NPD and its related disorders. She helps her readers identify the traits of NPD and provides encouragement to those trying to escape the relationship. She also has a great site with a very supportive community for victims of toxic relationships, particularly NPD.
>Forum:Out of the Fog
I was drawn to this wonderful forum after posting my Cluster B blog. It has a wonderful community and an abundance of information for those who have been involved with PD’s. If you are in such a relationship, be it with a family member, parent, child, spouse, or work colleague, you can get support on this forum.
A huge on line community with support groups on just about every subject.
I recently found Joe on Twitter, and he has been kind enough to take the time to read my recent posts and recommend them to his followers. I’m only just beginning to discover Joe’s work, but I certainly wish I’d read >this much sooner. Fascinating stuff.
Another unmissable book, is >'The Sociopath Next Door', in which Martha Stout debunks the traditional ‘Ted Bundy’ perception of a sociopath, and explains in shocking clarity the traits of the ‘every day’ APD.
Similarly,>Without Conscience by Robert D Hare explains, in layman’s terms, the characteristics of a psychopath. If you suspect you are involved with one, this is another must read.
Next, there are the blogs of ordinary people, who have survived the extraordinary, and have gone on to share with the world. I'll add to these as I go along. If you know of a good support blog, please let me know.
The Story of my Life
Web of Lies on FB
The new Sarah Tate Message Board