This article is consistent with my experience. From moment to moment it was difficult to know whether what she was saying was true. At times, of course, I knew she was lying, but if I broached the subject she had well practiced techniques to avoid the question. Sometimes it would be an all out attack, accusations, shouting and screaming. Other times she would do whatever she could to change the subject, using distraction techniques. On a few occasions she resorted to crying.
What really caught my attention was that she would lie about anything, things which weren’t very important. She would lie about things which were important, sometimes things which were very important, but I could understand that for somethings she wouldn’t want to take responsibility. She would lie about the colour of a jersey, she would lie about how long it took to get home in traffic by a few minutes, she would lie about whether or not she had seen the cleaning lady downstairs. She would lie at work about what happened in the house and she would lie about what happened at work. She lied about what happened when she was arrested for theft, which really didn’t help her, because had she told the truth she probably wouldn’t have spent quite as much time in the cell. She lied on her CV about her qualifications, she claimed to have a BBA or at least to be in the process of studying for her BBA. She claimed to be Stanford educated, and though she had completed part of an online course through the SDG to claim to be Stanford educated was also most definitely omission. She lied at times when it was clear that I didn’t believe what she was saying. In many cases it genuinely seemed she believed what she was saying, no doubt a technique to try and make the lie more credible.
She would take credit for what others at work had done, which is also lying. To me it seemed she was living in a fantasy world. On occasion she would say tell the truth. What caught my attention most was the way her family responded to her. They would literally trade belief in her lies for belief in theirs or favors, or justifications. Favors, Justification and the sense of credibility seemed very much to be currency. This family was very severely dysfunctional. I had begun to suspect that there was some dark nefarious past. She made it very clear that for her sex was a matter of some importance. At first I thought that it was directly related to her Bulimia, having read that one of the primary causes of Bulimia was very low self esteem. But some of her behavior definitely didn’t seem related to self esteem. Once while unwrapping Christmas gifts, with the whole family in the room she stripped, and having sight of her naked made several of the non family member guests quite uncomfortable. Had she been a six year old girl this kind of behavior would have been more acceptable, a simple lapse in decorum, she was a 32 year old woman. She said that her ex had refused to touch her, and it seemed obvious to me why this would be an issue, I could only imagine how that would have made her felt, but later it became clear that his behavior was probably an act of self preservation. She had indulged in infidelity in their relationship.
I began to suspect that something had happened to her in her past, something of a sexual nature. It was clear that her behaviour was disorder spectrum on so many fronts, and her Bulimia made a compelling case for a personality disorder. I began to suspect that she had been sexually abused as a child. I went to meet her father at his home and spotted an artistically taken nude photograph of her displayed on his fridge. I asked when is was taken and he answered “when she was twelve”. A few other things which had happened also led me to suspect that she had been abused as a child. She seemed to use her sexuality both for power and for a sense of worth, which isn’t in and of itself all that unusual, not necessarily healthy, but not that unusual, from many things she said and did, she seemed to understand sex simply as an act of objectification.
She had said that she was epileptic, and at first I had no reason to question this. Early on she would have near seizures, and was oddly able to walk it off. Her mother went along with this and would walk her around the room until the possibility of seizure had subsided. This was unheard of in any of the reading I did. she would complain about certain frequencies of flashing light, which does feature as a possible cause for seizures. Later though the near seizures had completely gone away. I began to suspect that the epilepsy was fabricated. It seemed too coincidental that Bulimia causes seizures, and that the same medication is also used for mood stabilization by patients with personality disorders. That too was a lie. I had at times wondered whether she was trapped in her construction of lies and half truths and felt some need to continue to try to maintain the facade or whether she feared more than anything that the truth would become known and the stigma would leave her without a means to live her lifestyle, or whether it was something beyond her control that she was simply trying to manage as best she could.
What bothered me most was that instead of her family trying to help her they enabled her, sometimes they played along and other times they would get involved. It does seem clear to me that parents who are not stable themselves cannot raise a stable child.
Here the article:
This article describes the traits of antisocial personality disorder, medications and treatment recommendations, and suggestions for loved ones and healthcare professionals. Real-life examples of traits and patient care are provided.