A few days back I was running late for a function and decided to take the train. I bought a first class class ticket from Borivali to Dadar. It was afternoon and the ladies compartment was empty. A lady in denims and white shirt sat next to me. We got talking. She worked in a multinational company in Andheri. When she came to know that I am counselor she was more than happy to share her story.
She was a housewife before, mother of one daughter and one son. She worked before marriage but had quit her job for kids. She complained that she kept of feeling trapped in marriage. Everything she ever did or said was never good enough for her husband. He kept on criticizing her and the standards for pleasing him were very high. She constantly felt bad and lousy about herself and nothing seemed to work. As I listened she continued, “But its not that bad you know.. He does everything for me and buys me such beautiful gifts. There are times when he is the perfect husband.”
As contradictory as these lines sound I was not surprised. Nor did I feel that they were untrue. There are many such perfect husbands and wives around us. Not many people are aware about Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The victims of BPD or NPD seldom know that they are the victims. They are always in self-doubt and guilt. Nobody talks about or talks to to these victims. The star of the story is always the person suffering from it. What about the ones who take this abusive behavior? The slow silent sufferers.
Each day makes them feel jumpy and they are always on high alert and ready to expect any kind of abusive scene. They make wishful, hopeful self talk everyday and sometimes even feel like giving up. They feel responsible for kids and are usually the guilty parent. Their angry frustrated outbursts are meticulously noted by their abusers and are repeated to them each time to take them on a guilt trip.
The volatility and emotional roller-coaster ride makes them feel empty and emotionally drained most of the time. The sad part is that the victims choose to continue with this dysfunctional relationship because of social pressure, family pressure or kids.
These victims have a lot of anger, frustration, guilt and emotional stress to deal with. They need a vent. A release. It is important that they talk to or confide into someone they love and trust. Most of them are clueless about what is happening and don’t seek professional help.
So next time if that acquaintance, friend, colleague or ‘train friend’ starts talking about their personal life out of the blue, don’t change the subject. Dont look awkward either. Just nod in silence and listen. Make no judgement in the mind, fill your heart with kindness and .. listen.
It may be a few words for you but it means the world to them.