Wednesday, January 04, 2006

P is for Personality Disorder

At Men's News Daily, William A. Eddy writes about the prevalence of personality disorders in divorce court. I disagree with him as to the cure for this (more shrinks in the process is not the solution, I think) but I sure do recognize some of the disorders and behaviors he cites - take a look at the below excerpt and see if anything rings a bell for you (Bolding is mine):

People with personality disorders also appear more likely to make false statements. Because of the thought process of a personality disorder, the person experiences interpersonal rejection or confrontation much more deeply than most people. Therefore the person has great difficulty healing and may remain stuck in the denial stage, the depression stage, or the anger stage of grief - avoiding acceptance by trying to change or control the other person.
Lying may be justified in their eyes - possibly to bring a reconciliation. (This can be quite convoluted, like the former wife who alleged child sexual abuse so that her ex-husband's new wife would divorce him and he would return to her - or so she seemed to believe.) Or lying may be justified as a punishment in their eyes. Just as we have seen that an angry spouse may kill the other spouse, it is not surprising that many angry spouses lie under oath. There is rarely any consequence for this, as family court judges often believe the truth cannot be known - or that both are lying.

Projection

Just as an active alcoholic or addict blames others for their substance abuse, those with personality disorders are often preoccupied with other people's behavior while avoiding any examination of their own behavior. Just as a movie projector throws a large image on a screen from a hidden booth, those with personality disorders project their internal conflicts onto their daily interactions - usually without knowing it. All the world is a stage - including court.

It is not uncommon in family court declarations for one with a personality disorder to claim the other party has characteristics which are really their own ("he's manipulative and falsely charming" or "she's hiding information and delaying the process"), and do not fit the other party. Spousal abusers claim the other is being abusive. Liars claim the other is lying.
[...]

How Family Court Fits Personality Disorders

Family Court is perfectly suited to the fantasies of someone with a personality disorder: There is an all-powerful person (the judge) who will punish or control the other spouse. The focus of the court process is perceived as fixing blame - and many with personality disorders are experts at blame. There is a professional ally who will champion their cause (their attorney - or if no attorney, the judge). A case is properly prepared by gathering statements from allies - family, friends, and professionals. (Seeking to gain the allegiance of the children is automatic - they too are seen as either allies or enemies. A simple admonition will not stop this.) Generally, those with personality disorders are highly skilled at - and invested in - the adversarial process.

Sigh. Too True.

My best to you in your struggles!

-M
Simulposted at MIsForMalevolent

1 Comments:

Blogger One man said...

Excellent post.

1/04/2006 02:18:00 PM  

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