I didn’t really follow the blog too closely because it was more about coping with the divorce as a an ex-spouse/partner of an ex-spouse of someone who may have a Personality Disorder. But I do think it’s disturbing that the blog has been shut down. More detail can be found here.
I came across the site when I first became aware of Personality Disorders. One thing I found really helpful in hindsight was this blog post about how to reply to hostile emails. While I found it too late to manage the relationship with my mother, brother or sister-in-law, it has helped me to detach and keep the peace with a couple of other relatives I suspect are Personality Disordered. Learning about Billy Eddy’s BIFF techniques (Brief, Informative, Friendly, Firm) has literally changed my life. I’ve even used it in charged situations in my personal and professional lives when the people aren’t PDed but a situation could turn emotional or volatile or just plain difficult. Using this has significantly reduced the amount of conflict and drama in my life.
The blog author of Psycho Ex-Wife & his partner didn’t use real names. I don’t here. I don’t know his ex-wife, I don’t know if she has BPD. But I do think it’s odd that someone is going to draw even more attention to a blog by going to court and stating it’s about them. If someone’s releasing identifying info with your name, your address, etc. then by all means, I could see why someone would feel threatened and pursue it with the authorities. But otherwise, I’d be inclined to just ignore it if I felt it wasn’t true. Or start my own blog with my side of the story.
Allison Morelli’s cries of “what about the children” are striking me as the lady doth protest too much. If their father had this site going for several years and neither she nor the children knew about it, who exactly is putting the children in the middle here? And those of us who’ve been behind closed doors with a PDed person can testify about how good some of them are at fooling the outside world.
From the 2nd article, here is how Ms. Morelli found out:
He said he went to great lengths to be sure the site was not found by his ex-wife or children, but Allison Morelli said she did find it about two years after the first post while researching child support issues. The court also determined the sons, ages 10 and 12, were aware of the website, though their parents disagree on whether the boys have read it.
So basically, she found it on her own. It’s not like he put her name out there or sent it to her family/friends/colleagues. She stumbled across it and despite the lack of names, recognized herself. Maybe she should be taking a good, hard look at her own behavior in things. Or ignore it. Or post her own version.
How exactly did her kids become aware of it? Probably by her. Again, who is putting them in the middle?
It’ll be interesting to see if the first amendment challege is defended by a defamation/libel. The bloggers have said that some of what they’ve posted has been from emails/court documents.
I’d like to address the following quote from the article about the blog being shut down, by an expert:
Psychiatrist Gail Saltz said that while Morelli may win his legal case to continue the blog, the couple’s children will suffer because of it.
“He may be right legally, but he’s not right, in terms of the family,” she told Matt Lauer. “Because at the end of the day, when a couple gets divorced you know the fallout for children. And the only way to try to help to be the healthiest for them is to preserve two good parents, even if they don’t want to be together. But it’s your job to help say to some degree, ‘Your mom’s an okay person and loves you.’ “
Frankly, I call bullshit on this one. When you’re dealing with a PDed parent/spouse, all bets are off. Normal rules don’t apply. My father certainly did his share of wrongs before the split. But after, he rarely spoke against my mother. I can remember all of twice when he did in a total of 12 years. And that was with an ugly legal battle going towards the end before he died, where she was trying to fight his efforts at a divorce (they’d been legally separated for the dozen years because it was beneficial to her and my brother and I). My mother trashed & bashed him every chance she got. She would disparage any gifts my dad and his partner, a lovely lady I’m still in touch with and consider more of a mother than my mother, bought for us and mock anything we did with them. She even pointed out how my dad’s partner’s kids got to go to Disney with their dad for vacations and we didn’t. Completely overlooking the differences in income. Who the f**k does that to kids?
Basically, if you follow the rules this psychiatrist is suggesting with a PDed person, you get parental alienation and in the case of scapegoats, subtle reinforcement that the scapegoat kid sucks as a human being. Because otherwise, why would that “ok person” who “loves” me, tell me on a regular basis that I’m stupid, ugly, etc. and occasionally get violent with me to drive home that point? I’ve been in therapy for over 2 years now trying to undo the abuse and crap I was put through by my mother. I found out from my dad’s partner that he was really upset about some of what was going on, but was afraid to say anything because of the conventional wisdom, don’t talk against the other parent. While this may be true in cases with psychologically healthy parents, it’s dangerous when dealing with PDed parents. The psychiatric and psychological profession needs to stop enabling these abusers this way.
While the blogger who chose the nom de plume Anna Valerious was specifically referring to NPD, I think she gets it exactly right for the Cluster B spectrum (NPD, BPD & HPD):
When I decided to start a blog and needed to pick a name for it I chose Narcissists Suck for a reason. It wasn’t a flippancy. My nom de plume is that of a vampire slayer. Again, not a flippant choice. The primary meaning of this blog’s title is a succinct statement of truth about all narcissists — they suck the life out of their victims. Plus, I did really like the dual meaning of the title. The other meaning being the more casual statement of, “damn, these people SUCK.”
This blog is intended to be the sunlight that destroys these vampiric blood-suckers. Shine the light of truth on who they are and what they do and find them scattering to the dark corners of their lairs. At the very least, the sunlight dispels the hypnotic hold of the vampire on his victims and helps them get free.
This behavior needs to be dragged out into the light of day and named. Not hidden by professionals who are supposed to help. Nor enabled by those who are supposed to help.
Also, I think it sets a dangerous precedent which could take away the support blogs by those of us who’ve had to deal with PDed individuals offer. When I first started realizing 2 years ago, exactly what I was dealing with, blogs like Narcissists Suck, One Angry Daughter, The Queen and the King (the mother part) and others really helped. Reading what these women had been through and how similar some of the behavior I’d dealt with was provided a tremendous amount of reassurance and validation. They’ve been as important to my healing and moving forward from this as therapy. I think it’s important to keep resources like this going.
And we’re in a weird, gray area. Many folks with PDs are never formally diagnosed. Either because they won’t go for help or if they do, they’re misdiagnosed because they lie to their therapists and even themselves. So those of us who have to deal with the fall out and aftermath of the chaos they bring to homes, childhoods and relationships are pretty much left to fend for ourselves for the most part. Things are getting better with more self-help books and more therapists becoming aware of PDs, but it’s something which needs more awareness, not less. Families and other loved ones need more support, not less.