Playing the Victim

November 26, 2013

Borderline Personalities are notorious for playing the victim. They have this notion that the whole world is conspiring to get them, that life itself is out to get them. Their lack of self compels them to seek out a feeling of self-importance.

What I found odd about my ex was that her accusations were more about her than me. If she accused me of being hostile it was usually because she was being hostile. She was always complaining that people were being overly intense or aggressive. But she would ignore the fact that she was usually the one being intense and overly aggressive. It was as if she was looking for a fight. She would provoke people just to get a rise. And then when they did respond, she would accuse the other person being abusive. If anything, people went out of their way to accommodate her moodiness.

My ex hated to be criticized, but often engaged in acts that called for negative attention. She would engage in abusive acts and wait for you to condemn her. And as soon as you did, she would then accuse you of abusing her. She was the victim, never the abuser. At least, in her troubled mind.

I thought this following article on borderline personalities was spot on. In particular, the observation that BPs will often play the victim to flatter their suffering egos:

Borderlines can be both very self-loathing and narcissistic at the same time. Some Borderlines see themselves as a victim to the entire world, a world which in their eyes wants to crucify them though they are nothing, and at the same time share the belief that it is because they are so “special”, that everyone around them is “hating” on them and wants to crucify them. For many Borderlines, the belief that someone doesn’t like them or wants to hurt them makes them feel significant, big, like they are somebody or else why would people want to diminish someone they thought of as small. Because most Borderlines thrive off of the idea of people wanting to victimize them, they often find themselves creating self-defeating situations around them, even when all the cards are stacked up in their favor.

Towards the end of our relationship I was skeptical every time my ex cried wolf, even when she complained about headaches or some other imaginary ailment. It got to a point where I assumed she was just looking for attention. Playing victim was her way of making sure no one would abandon her.

It only got worse when she split me black. I was already breaking my back to repair a relationship she had destroyed. And she was simultaneously pushing me away and stringing me along. One second, accusing me of harassing her and then, the next minute, calling me to meet her- to soothe her feelings of loneliness. And then discarding me, once she had found someone else to give her attention. She went back to playing the victim and I went from savior back to being a villain. Whatever was convenient for her at the time.

This victim mind game is abuse at its worst. It’s playing with someone’s mind and heart. It’s not caring about other people’s feelings, because you are so consumed by your own pursuit for attention. Borderlines surround themselves with people who are more than willing to feed this insatiable hunger for attention and expel anyone who denies them the satisfaction. The sad thing about my ex is she’s crying out for help, but nobody is listening. That’s what happens when you cry wolf too many times.

This post could have also been titled, “Why do Borderlines Fear Love?”. A frequent contributor named CeCe had this to say:

As borderline, I would like to say she is trying to convince herself that you are not worthy because she crossed into that terrorizing place deep within her where if she falls in love, if she starts to become dependent on you for validation , if she starts to trust you than she can no longer breathe.

She is in a place of utter dark terror and its because she has fallen in love with you. It truly the most horrific place. Her hot white anger is at herself for having allowed you to get so close. Her hot white anger is coming from a child deep deep within her that is probably 3 years old and she is scared, she is so scared to the point where her brain is telling her she will die ( cease to exist) if she assigns you this much importance.

It’s primal, it’s primitive- this sounds so juvenile and so lame, but its not personal with the exception that she fell in love and, like all 3 year olds, hasn’t the skills to cope or the wherewithal to know why.

CeCe has shown that women with BPD can have self-awareness. They can explain that which seems inexplicable. Sometimes, they can do it better than Nons and psychologists. They can share what it looks like from inside the disorder. Their contribution here is therefore invaluable.