A Bpd Epiphany

My wife of almost 11 years has proven most of those years to be manipulative, hostile, sexless and demeaning. She can also be incredibly nice but it usually has a price. She uses her pocetbook to impress me and doesn't realize I'm not impressed with gits.

A recent reply about my situation prompted me to read Stop Walking On Eggshells, a book about BPD. This along with other readings and self study leads me to believe firmly that she has BPD but recent event convinced me.

We went to the funeral of one of her oldest friends. This woman died at 44 from a combination of Guillan-Barre syndrome and Diabetes. They had been friends since Junior High. During the funeral, my wife began sobbing as she talked about their plans to get old together and spend time sipping wine on the patio together when she suddenly exclaimed, "Now what am I going to do?" I was stunned! Her friend is sitting in a box on a table (She was cremated) and her thoughts are on how she feels abandoned by her friend. She lamented at various times during the gathering how unfair it was to her. I thought at some point, she was going to outright blame her friend for dying. I have never been so embarrassed! Her behavior was totally selfish and self-centered.

When my Brother-In-Law, who was also my best friend died, I couldn't get to his funeral. (I'm in another state and couldn't afford to go) all I could think of was wanting to see him one last time to say goodbye and to comfort my sister. We too had plans to grow into grumpy old farts and annoy people with our opinions but I never thought "what am I going to do?" I knew what to do. I would go on and live my life. I would and did find new friends as he would have done if I died but enough about mne. I hope this story illustrates the reason I am so certain my wife has BPD.

deguarddog deguarddog
51-55, M
22 Responses Mar 23, 2009

Dude, your wife is crazy. You should get a divorce.

I am a designer and I am suffering many years now from very heavy depression.2years ago I meet a girl she is a poet and we fall at once in love...a very strange love.After I learned that she also suffers from borderline personality disorder (people who know what this disorder means..can only understand).We both were looking for a saviour but we found ourselfes,in an everyday battle to save our souls from collapsing,our minds and our hearts from breaking.We almost never use the word 'love"..but we both feel it,in our darkest thoughts,our slow and sad nights,so cold-so burned.But LOVE is there,keeps our hope alive.Makes me try only because of her shiny eyes.makes her try only because of my unfinished love....so complicated,so simple,so beautifull..we both share our beautyfull diseases of our mind,like the sun shares the light with the mornig star.She is my everything in my nothing...she is selfish,unkind,sometimes she is trying to hurt me as hard as she can.opening my unhealed wounds of depression with practises that remind to revenge.But I know that after,when it gets dark,she comes and cryies,full of guilty and I see deep in her eyes that she has the innocent look of a child.My friends told me to leave her,that she is a bad person,that she has a heart of stone....I see a lonely soul who needs as much love as she can get.The voices of people just fade away,everybody says "I LOVE YOU'..but I think only a few have really felt the blessed pain of the passion of being in love with somebody.I hope I will be strong enough,to offer her more love forever.

WOW, I had a similar thing happen with my wife. Though, not a death, a good friend's wife notified me that her husband had to suddenly have life saving open heart surgery the day before. This was shocking because he seemed in good health and is younger than I am.<br />
While at lunch, I told my wife about how distressing this was. Her response: no concern or sympathy for my friend- she got ticked off and said something like, "wow, nice to know you care for him more than you do for your own wife!"<br />
And for the record she is shown kindness and love constantly- but it does no good. She only wants to imagine that she is always being treated horribly- so is constantly putting me down.<br />
But this issue was shocking. How heartless.

I just finally finished a divorce with a BPD ex. I had to pull the trigger before we are all left broke and the kids will have nothing as she dragged it on and on so I made a settlement she could not refuse. I felt like I have been in prison for 14 years. I had to do this as the kids were watching us fight every minute of the day. She has used the kids as pawns and now that might bight her in the butt because the 2 doctors appointed by the courts sees that and also the judge. It has been pure hell man. I looked back and I think that because my mother was never around and my father was home once a week that drove me to her due to insecurity issues etc. I do feel that because I was separated for 4 years before filing divorce just to see if things would change gave me a better insight on things. I felt in my own experiences that the kids were better off not having me around the marital home as they will contsantly see us fighting. Just a precaution- My ex lied, and lied, and lied about everything on court just to see revenge. She even accused me of domestic abuse but I cleared my name after the 2 doctors and judge looked into it as completely false. They are unpredictable when they are feeling **ABANDONED***. Because of that word **DIVORCE** or else you might not see it coming. I feel all of your pain and I wish everyone luck. In my case, I had to give her 1.4 million dollar but it was worth it to have my life back and to hopefully have full custody as the courts are certainly leading to that direction.

My advice, endure the next 12 years until she is eighteen. If things haven't improved or have degraded, divorce her. In the meantime, be the best dad and politest Husband you can be. Your daughter will remember this and be impressed.

This is amazing finding this forum. I've been married to a woman for eleven years and I've always known that she was completely irrational, paranoid, hateful, unscrupulous and without any reason whatsoever...but I didn't know until recently that there is a clinical definition for it. In retrospect, though, I should have known. <br />
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For most of our marriage her wrath was always directed at other people, but I was always troubled by it. She was extremely quick to alienate anyone she perceived as being "against' her - which was most people, it seemed. We've never had many friends and she's always acted a bit resentful of mine. Recently, though, she has turned on me. <br />
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Over the last three of four years things have degraded to the point where whenever I try to talk with her about improving our marriage all she can say is, "I have no feelings for you". She's been having extramarital relationships, she says she blames me for all her unhappiness and problems and, that, ultimately she "wants someone" who's going to treat her like a queen and kiss her ***. <br />
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She is unable to forgive even the slightest offense, even if forgiveness is asked for, and she is equally incapable of ever admitting that she's ever done anything wrong. Trying to reason with her is like convince someone that 2+2=4, but no matter how hard you try she will just never agree with it. I have become absolutely apoplectic just trying to get her to concede the most basic facts, like, I don't know, ...it's inappropriate for her to have a relationship outside of our marriage. Just when I think I've logic'd her into a corner, she will change the subject and try to turn it around on me.<br />
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If it were not for our six year old daughter, I would be long gone. I want to try and keep the family together for her sake. My wife has convinced herself that our daughter will be fine even if I'm out of the picture. She has no concept of the consequences of her thinking. Any rational person would at least admit, "I know it's going to be hard on our child, but..." When I point this out to my wife she just gets a glazed look in her eyes. I feel completely boxed in and don't know what to do. I feel like nothing I do is ever going to change her but I have to try for my little girl's sake.<br />
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Any helpful comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

Dude....I was married to a highly functional type for 18 years. I filed for divorce a year ago even though I have 2 boys, 10 and 12. I have always been very involved in their lives and that has not changed. My feelings are this: I have two boys to raise into men and while I am Catholic and so wanted to do the forever thing and not break up my family, I realized that sticking around until the oldest went off to college and then leaving would only hurt them more by taking away what they thought was their baseline for a relationship. They would look back and see fraud. No bueno. Now, they get their chance to see their dad in a healthy, loving relationship (some day I know!) where emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy exists.

You have a life to live...you need to live it. Your kids will be so much better off if you are whole.

Just my two cents.

Good advice jessie0697. Its all about the kids and you have to ask yourself do you want them growing up and watching their father turn flips trying to make their impossible mother happy? Do you want to teach them that men are put here to serve women and even when the requests are completely out of line a man is required to do as they are told? No, its better to teach your sons that there are situations that are intolerable and every person is responsible for their behavior and that there are repercussions for actions. That’s why I left my first wife, I too had 2 sons and after I spent 15 years with her struggling to keep her happy with no success of doing so, I gave up and we divorced. Unfortunately a couple years later I met this other seemingly nice woman who turns out to have BPD, now I have wasted 3 years on her. I am working on my exit strategy right now, but I made the mistake of getting her pregnant and right now we have a 1-year-old daughter. But seeing how things really do not get better over time, I would rather leave now before the daughter has to experience the pain and suffering that I am. I will try to get full custody of the child, since her mother has so many other issues.

On second thought, I looked at your profile and since you have the appearance of a trouble causing lurker, you're blocked. **** off.

I realize you're angry at your wife, but maybe you shouldn't take it out on the complete strangers in this forum? Additionally, there is a "brain malfunction" component to the Borderline condition. It's true. They've actually done brain scans of BPD succeeded and can show the difference. It's been said that the part of the brain that controls impulse control doesn't function properly. I completely understand the Pure HELL that partners go through having to deal with their BPD spouses, but it is treatable and as hard as it might be to see past what they've done to you, the pain isn't a one-way street in that this condition leads to a miserable and tortured inner life for the Borderline Personality as well. I can tell you this from the other side of the table. There's a really good book on the subject that explains it as a sort of emotional dyslexia in which the BPD hears what is said to them, but their condition interprets it wrong. Many Borderlines don't want to be acting the way they do, they just haven't gone about learning healthier ways of coping with stressors and communicating. Many BPDs have had success with Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The best combination is a weekly DBT skills group and working with a DBT specific therapist. The BPD has to want to though. I feel for the pain you must have been and maybe still are in. Whether you stay or not, it might help you reconcile some of your anger to better understand the condition and to try to understand how hijacked BPDs are by their own constant troubled thoughts and miserable feelings. Sometimes it takes a very emotionally tortured person to be so mean. For anyone who's interested in a really good website with great resources and an inspiring recovery story, this is one of my favorites. This is Tammi Green's website. She's a recovered BPD and tells on her website how she was exactly like the evil women you all are experiencing, how suicidal she was as well, and how she was able to turn herself around and rebuild her life! http://www.borderlinepersonalitysupport.com/ There is hope! If you want to leave it's understandable. If you want to try to help her, my suggestion is to wait until she is calm, not what we in the biz call "elevated", and explain that you understand how much pain they are in and that there is help. Maybe if she can listen to this, then maybe share some websites like Tammi Green's. It won't get better over night, but it can get better. It is possible to see the woman you fell in love with again.

Dnjarvke, I've know alot about Tourettes and it isn't the same. Frankly, you don't know what you're talking about. Tourettes is a brain malfunction, not a mental illness. Maybe you should get your facts straight before spouting off on my post. I have Diabetes. You're probably not aware that it carries the potential to cause mental and emotional problems too. I know this and work to control such things. She's been aware enough in the past to seek psychiatric help. She chooses not to currently. She's aware of what she does so it gives her that choice. I've studied BPD extensively. So now that you've managed to judge me without getting your facts straight, I'll give you chance to rethink your post before deciding whether or not to block you.

Do you realize what BPD is all about ?<br />
It is a mental illness, when you said 'If she cant appreciate my offer she doesnt deserve to have it'<br />
You are very insensitive, this is a disease... I have been dealing with this my whole life and it takes all my power every day not to end my life.<br />
I think you better do your homework on this..... its like telling a diabetic to just stop being diabetic...<br />
A mental health problem is no different than a physical health problem..........<br />
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I cant believe anyone could write that without getting the facts....<br />
There is very little that your wife can do about this condition, leave her if you will, but please don't condemn her, she didn't want this disease, doesn't like this disease and probably wishes to God she could stop it....ever hear of tourettes ???? same-same.

I appreciate your thoughts about my situation. I have worked to uncover my demons that got me here. I was in a bad marriage when I met her. I was attracted to her looks and got involved because of my succumbing to damsel in distress mentality. Like many men, I developed an urge to rescue her from her situation. I learned alot from Dr. Schlessinger's book "10 Stupid Things Men Do To Mess Up Their Lives" and I've committed most of them. Knowing what I was doing wrong has helped me figure out what to change. So much so, as I stated in other posts, that when we were trying counseling, we ended up with individual counselors. After two sessions, my Counselor said she didn't think I needed counseling.<br />
As to my sexless marriage, my wife has made it clear she has no desire to make our intimate life better. She says I'm just obsessed with sex and don't care about her needs. Twelve years of trying, not only to do things to show her I care, but to even get her to tell me what I need to know, I've frankly given up. I'm to the point where I can't handle the chronic and constant complaining, criticizing and bitching about family, friends (what few she has) and co-workers. I went with her last Friday to her workplace. While she was getting her laptop to work from home, I was to roam about Odgen and take some photos. The drive lasted 40 minutes and from the moment we left the house until she got out of the car, she bitched about all of the above non-stop. I nodded and said "yeah" and "I understand" and nothing else. I would rather have taken a steak knife to my eye than listen to her any longer. I'm glad you're able to handle it but I think your situation is a little different than mine. Still, I will take what I can from your insights. Thank you again for sharing them.

Reading these old posts just shows me that my situation has no good future. I know what you mean when you say she did nothing but ***** and complain the entire time for I have been on that trip myself with my BPD girlfriend. I just block her out and ignore what she says because its all negative hate speak anyways. At least she is not focusing on me at the time.

My wife has BPD. It is hell at times. What I struggle with most is dealing with the childish tendencies, as you described, and dealing with her ideology that someone else is always at fault. The spin that she puts in her arguments completely baffles me. What happens with me is this; if I have done something wrong, I am in trouble and lectured to, belittled, told of all the things I have ever done wrong or thought to have done wrong; If she did something ******, she'll yell at me for being angry, tell me that I am always am angry with her (even though I am not and did not give any idication that I was), give all sorts of reasons to legiitmize what she's done and blame the whole thing on me. I've come to understand that in her mind, if someone see's any fault in her, they see all the faults in her. In other words, that someone thinks of her the way she thinks of herself. It is far too painful for her that someone else may find her out and that would legitimizes that she really is the horrible person that she thinks she is. It is a very sad and painful way to live life but it's the only way she ever has. The self hatred is very real and incredibly painful for her.I have come to find that not arguing with her and simply staying very calm in the face of terribly hurtful comments, rages and belittling calms the storm-still lots of storm but better than jumping in the storm with her. More often now, there are even apologies for being bitchy. I have found that I have to get to a place (when my wife is triggered by something) where I can imagine I am talking with someone I don't even know and therefor don't have any care for the acusations and unjustified blame and belittling. As one therapist said to me, "someone has to be the adult". I now know how to recognize a trigger moment and am able to act calm, soothing and supportive without accepting any blame for anything I shouldn't. Very often, she will recant the next day. You just have to learn to be tough enough to get through the ****** parts, you have to weigh if the good parts out weigh the ******'s. If there's no good parts, then get out.My wife makes many comments like yours did at the funeral. They take place constantly about almost anything. I ignore them. If I'm asked directly about them, I deflect. "I hear ya'. Imagine how her family feels. They've gotta be just devestated." This legitmizes her feelings but also turns attention to what the main course of her feelings should be directed. I think everyone would feel the way she does in that situation but recognizes those feelings as selfish and far down the list of legitimate concerns. Or in other instances, if she is gossiping about some "wrong" she supposes someone is doing to her I stay out of it and tell her that, "I'm not the type to get hung up on gossip or what people might be thinking, I usually end up being completely wrong when I start thinking about stuff like that."I sense a lot of blame and disrespect for your wife in the tone of your story and responses. I know exactly where you are coming from. I have been exactly there and have hated and resented everything to do with my wife, her childish actions, her blaming, her meanness... You can have a great relationship with a BPD'er but to do so takes a tremendous amount of effort that is not always rewarded. It is in the end, however, and I believe it is rewarded more so than any other relationship is. This is what I mean:- I feel a tremendous sense of pride in the growth I have had. I have legitimately become a much better and much stronger person. Dealing with the "undealable with" and making legitimate progress is very rewarding. I have had to become stronger or wither to nothing or leave and not live everyday with my children. I may have come into this relationship as a co-dependent, low self esteem, victim mentality, al-anon candidate (no one ends up being with a BPD'er by accident, (there's something that you should seriously look for in yourself and find why you ended up with this person-believe me there's no coincidence in it) but I've come out a self assured confident man- When the expectations are so low the highs are fantastic. I went from a sexless marriage to having unbelievable sex, lingerie Saturday nights (her not me), weekday quickies with lots of other fun stuff and on a pretty plentiful scedule.Don't get me wrong, it is still be hell at times, real hell, (I can't emphasize enough nor say it enough, REAL HELL) like your having. I can tell you this, hell can get less frequent and the good times can get way better. You need respect for her (harder because it feels like she has no respect for you) and you need to know and understand how painful life is for her. In other words, you have to commit to work your *** off and you have to truly love the crazy *****. ;)

Sereia99, I sympathize that you have BPD but my wife not doing anything about it is her fault as she recognizes many of the destructive behaviors and proceeds to rationalize them. She is not excused from getting help and treatment anymore than I am excused from treating and controlling my Diabetes. As a spouse, one is obligated to be as physically and mentally healthy as possible just as they are obligated to be understanding and compassionate about their spouse's ills. Failure to do so constitutes deception, disdain, disrespect and dishonesty towards one's spouse. Your analogy to illiteracy is flawed as illiterates usually aren't hostile and aggressive. Illiteracy is easily remedied and not so easily hidden, especially today and the fact that it isn't an illness whereas BPD is. Actually, according to what I have learned about it, your defense is rationalizing it and thus could be seen as a manifestation of the disorder. I'm not saying your response is such, just that it could be viewed that way.

Oops. I'm new to posting here so am still learning how to do it. My Jun 28th, 2010 at 9:24 AM post above was in response to the one posted by sereia99 on May 29th, 2010 at 4:57PM.

I strongly disagree with your statement that her behavior is not her fault. Our behavior is always our fault. Someone may be predisposed to do something wrong whether minor or major. The list is huge: cruelty, murder, insults, lies, stealing, adultery, torture, kidnapping, self centered rudeness, etc. etc. etc.) These behaviors may be explained by both nature and nurture--that is, our biology, our family history, our education, our culture, etc.--but our bad behavior is *not* excused by that explanation. <br />
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We must make amends and work to replace cruelty with kindness. <br />
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If I do wrong to someone, I need to apologize for the wrong I did and how it hurt them. That is an acknowledgment of my error...taking responsibility for my fault. Then I need to work to do right for them in the future.<br />
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For what it's worth, I am pretty convinced that my wife has BPD. The first decade was tough but had some joy, too. But the last decade has been miserable. I plan to stick w/ her till my dieing day because I made that commitment to her before the sight of God on our wedding day. I'm in it for the long haul. She has done much evil and persisted in it arrogantly. She has destroyed much in our family. I have limited ability to stop her destructive behavior, but I am responsible for how I respond to her behavior. I should respond with love and patience. I should not respond with hatred and respond with the same kind of evil words and deeds that she has done. We are all responsible for our behavior and will be held accountable both in this life and after we have died.

Thanks, ladywiththebrneyes, for providing some information, instead of joining the pile on. As someone with BPD (who is capable of behaving appropriately at funerals), what struck me about the wife's comment was how child-like it was. That's where a lot of people with BPD find themselves stuck, as a result of biological predisposition and early childhood experiences. At age 3 or 4, they didn't have the opportunity to learn stuff like "I can soothe myself when I'm sad", "the world isn't all about me", or "people can leave and come back." Treatment for BPD involves learning many of those lessons.<br />
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For the record, people with BPD are typically much more unhappy than the people around them. They behave as they do because it's the only thing they know. If you were married to a woman who couldn't read, she'd probably lie to you about it (at least at first). Most people are ashamed of being illiterate, so she'd probably lie to other people about it.. People who can't read often have very clever ways of manipulating others into reading to them. And if they're not able to get someone to read to them, they tend to pretend like they can read and sign random stuff. That's deceit, manipulation, and causing problems. Would you think your illiterate wife was evil incarnate? I'm not saying you need to stay with your wife, but I am saying you need to stop blaming her for something that was no more her fault than yours.

Thank you sereia99, a thoughtful and informative post, from a bpd sufferer who can also behave appropriately in a wide variety of situations.

People suffering from BPD are, in most cases, adults. They are not "evil" for having the problem; however, they are responsible for working on getting help for it. To treat them otherwise is to infantilize them even further, I believe.

People with BPD strugle with their emotions, their behaviors, and their sense of idenity, as well as their relationships with other people. Because they are in such emotional termoil, they often resort to coping strageties that seem to work in the moment. that make things worse.<br />
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To others it may seem to be manipulative and attention seeking. It means that they are desperately in need of some kind of attention from another human being. Of course this should be of the positive nature and not the negative attention that they recieve the majority of the time.The BPD with even sadly accept the negative attention rather than no attention at all. <br />
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BPD can be treated. There is much information out there now. Learn about this disorder. It is hell to live with I am sure. Be supportive.

I hope they help you sla<x>yerthe. BPD is terribly destructive to spouses.

I signed up just to respond..... Any therapist will tell you: Dysfunction attracts dysfunction. In order for you to stay with a BPD for 11yrs then you must be 1. Easygoing to a self abusive level. 2. A people pleaser. 3. Never allowed to acknowledge your own wants and needs. 4. Fear of criticism. 5. Enabler. But hey, ME TOO!!! You self monitor to manage her behavior. Doesn't work. Cause and effect says that if she already has what she wants, to have a relationship with you, she has no personal reason to change. Would you show up for work everyday if you got paid anyway??? She has to WANT to change herself. Good luck!!!

i've been with my wife for eleven years too..i'm not bpd, i'm healthy inside..assertive and expressive. when i had finally seen her for what she was and chose to give her a dedline to find a place and leave, i found out she was pregnant. long story..i made bad choices too ect. but bottom line, i will not leave my child defenseless against a mother who can be 'sweet'..and can be a monster..in one...she would use every dark secret she knows about me if i was to divorce..to get kids at least half time ... i am extremely carfull not to give her amunition to use against me..but she is savy, and knows for example my bigender...my life is destroyed..familywise ect. due to her behavior...but for better or worse she is my wife presently, and i will not leave my children alone with her to raise for all the gold in heaven..the younges is 8 so i have at least 10 years to go before i can let sanity prevail. i have children to protect until then. by he way, she isn't all bad either...this just makes it all harder...

Stormoya, I know exactly what I did to create this problem. A: I married in haste. B: I did the foolish "rescue the damsel in distress" routine that many men do. C: I didn't get out right away. D: I foolishly remained thinking I could fix myself and make it better. That's why I'm unhappy. <br />
As to what your Pastor said, it's true in most cases. When dealing with mental disorders, that all goes out the window. It's like jumping into known shark-infested waters, realizing you did something dumb and then asking the sharks, "I've changed, I've learned from mistakes, why are you still trying to kill me?"<br />

i was listening to this pastor the other day and he said what can we do to be different and loving. forgive. it isnot just about getting a divorce because we carry always ourselves away from the marriage. it is not finding the perfect spouse but being who we are. maybe the first step in ending this relationship is thinking about what you have done to create this problem as well. and be forgiving of yourself. she is not to blame for your unhappiness. we are with our partners for a reason. we need to look at what lesson is here that is about me.

Absolutely! The last thing I will allow is for her to destroy my soul or my life. I believe I have a lot to offer the right woman and if she can't appreciate what I offer, then she doesn't deserve to have it. <br />
Thank you for your compassion. It's the sort of thing that goes a long way with me.

I've commented previously on your posts about how difficult BPD is - and it seems others also recognise this.<br />
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Your posts demonstrate a kind, thoughtful, intelligent and caring person. Are you getting a divorce? I think you deserve a woman who can really share your life, and sadly this will never happen with your current wife.<br />
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Don't let her destroy your soul, as happened to poor "IvotedforPedro". Thinking of you with compassion.

And that says a lot coming from a counselor! Good luck, deguarddog!

Borderlines are one of the most difficult of the personality disorders to treat because they only see how things affect them, not the other way around. Even in therapy, they tend to stomp out of a room convinced they're being targeted or unfairly picked on. I'm sorry you have to deal with this. I hope you find a way to stop walking on those eggshells. Life is too short.

Yeah, I've seen that stomping out of the therapist's office first hand. Frustrating.

Ever thought that maybe she is just a Clod Heart *****?<br />
Just like some Guy's are ********?