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Male HPD Question: The Actor

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Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby Monstergirl » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:30 pm

Is it possible for a diagnosed HPD/Bi-Polar person (in my case, my male fiancées) persona to change so they have limited recollection of the things they said/did? Does anyone have any insight?

Impressionistic speech. Since it lacks detail and substance, is it harder for them to recall such conversations? Sort of like the when people fib and can't remember what they said? And since the HPD is driving them to play act in these instances, there is no real internal script, ergo they cannot recall it as easily as say, an actual conversation or experience they had when they weren't in the acting mode. ??? not sure.

The reason I ask is because there were 2 times in the past my man acted in a way that he has very limited recall on. Nothing bad, just trying to make me think he was a bad boy, which he totally is not. And there were some other tiny things he said, but doesn't recall. No big deal.

We laugh about it now (it's been a year, he/we are doing great and he's in therapy) but it did concern him that he couldn't recall the details of those 2 times. Actually, it concerned him a lot, and he's going to bring it up his next therapy session (but that's 2 weeks away)

So if anyone has thoughts, feel free to share them. Thanks!
I'm a Non-pwHPD happily engaged to a diagnosed HPD man, looking for support and enlightenment.
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Re: Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby mark1958 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:19 pm

Hi Monstergirl,

The answer is yes. I have come across two forms of amnesia when someone has HPD. One is selective amnesia or a form of dissociation. The other is emotional amnesia.

I will try to briefly explain as it gets a bit technical. People who are HPD have developed a self-image that is designed to provide ego syntonic benefits. In fact, the HPD personality and its characteristics (people pleasing, charming, fun, controversial, drama seeking, attention seeking etc) is actually designed to do just that. The true personality is rejected and in its place is HPD.

Any act or behavior which is inconsistent with the HPD self-image manifestation will be forgotten or the person will dissociate from the memory of it. Often times, a narrative will be created around a specific event or behavior which deviates markedly from the reality of the situation. This occurs to shelter the person from a self esteem injury by limiting their ability to recognize personality characteristics which are in conflict with the disorder. I.e. they are not in fact friendly, charming, innocent, fun etc. This internal conflict between what is actually real and what is recalled is resolved through the selective amnesia.

The second, emotional amnesia, is based on poor recall of emotional memories connected to people or experiences. They may remember an event, but may forget how they were feelings about it. Emotions and feelings are generally shallow and rapidly changing with someone who has HPD. They therefore can forget about the good feelings they had towards a person one day and then feel completely different the next.

This is why pwHPD have difficulty forming security bonds/attachment to significant others and can move from relationship to relationship. They can be "in love" and then quickly not be "in love." And they can forget the feelings they have with person A and now feel something for person B.

I hope that helps a bit.
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Re: Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby Monstergirl » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:45 pm

"Any act or behavior which is inconsistent with the HPD self-image manifestation will be forgotten or the person will dissociate from the memory of it. Often times, a narrative will be created around a specific event or behavior which deviates markedly from the reality of the situation. This occurs to shelter the person from a self esteem injury by limiting their ability to recognize personality characteristics which are in conflict with the disorder. I.e. they are not in fact friendly, charming, innocent, fun etc. This internal conflict between what is actually real and what is recalled is resolved through the selective amnesia."

Okay now THAT just made a ton sense, Mark. THANK YOU. But I do need a little clarification, if you can. I'm not grasping this entirely.

So, the behavior that is inconsistent...is that the manifestation of TRUE self or is that a defense mechanism to protect themselves, or are they trying to be "alluring" in some way? Or can it be any or all of the above? I am so confused by this.

Here's what occurred. It seems so silly but... We were at dinner around month 3 of dating. He started telling me he was "evil." The "dark end of the towel" (which he recalls saying, sort of, but not the why he said it.)

What he doesn’t recall is this weird example he gave when I asked him to clarify. "Let's say I was in a grocery store, and there was one box of cereal left on the shelf, and I wanted it. I'd take it. I get what I want."

That was it. None of which is in line with his 24/7 persona. Now, here’s the thing. He abhors people with a sense of entitlement. And all of this "I'm evil" conversation came off as forced, awkward, and very insincere.

I got the sense he was trying to make me THINK he was a bad boy, but had no idea how to be one (hence the cereal reference). So that night I said I didn’t see him that way at all, and I changed the subject, and the behavior stopped.

A few nights ago we were chatting, he buried his head into me, laughing with embarrassment about it. Even he sees how stupid it was, but, he’s weirded out he had limited recall and said, “That doesn’t even sound like me. I don’t know why I said that. Why would I say that? It makes no sense. It was so dumb.”

So, that’s the question isn’t it. Who is HE? Is he the nice guy pretending to be "evil" or is he "evil" pretending to be a good guy? What was THAT? THAT statement seemed in direct conflict from his 24/7 persona, and even he, "the actor", couldn't pull it off at all. So why say it at all?

I know his persona is formed by the HPD (people pleasing etc) but here’s where I get confused.
Was the conflict in that moment he felt evil? Or was this just to make me think he’s this bad dude because of some inner insecurity at that point?

He has no answer to this, other than being embarrassed and saying he was very happy I didn’t listen to him because it was that moronic.

He swears the person he is now is the "real him.' I know, I know....but he was so upset over this the other night saying, "How can I prove this is really me?" tearful and all, and he never cries. Here's this man who truly feels that "this" him is the real him. Who am I to say it's not? He's been so many people throughout his life and he never fit in. He says for the first time in his life he is comfortable and happy because he's being himself and that I accept and love him for who and what he is, flaws and all.

Thank you again to help us understand. He's doing very well in therapy, and is extremely engaged with it. Every time he comes away feeling better.

He has 100% stopped all negative attention seeking behavior since February. Has removed his online sex harem (he had a major addiction) AND he no longer has ANY sexual problems in the bedroom. None whatsoever. For a man who never was able to have proper sex that's a major accomplishment. He's a ton more confident in everything he does.

But he's still frightened by this disorder, especially when he acts in a way that doesn't align with how he "normally" is.
I'm a Non-pwHPD happily engaged to a diagnosed HPD man, looking for support and enlightenment.
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Re: Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby xdude » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:11 am

Might just be part of a more general pattern that I cannot prove, just my personal observation from my experiences -

People with HPD (and BPD) may go through periods of idealizing ASPD types. Why would take a while to explain.

People with HPD may try on different personalities, to see what works (similarly, people with HPD may report I don't know who I am). This goes hand in hand with the disorder for some. Taking on different roles, using wording and gestures that illicit emotional responses in others (i.e., impressionistic speech and mannerisms), for acceptance, approval, attention (all three of which related, because they provide temporary boosts of explicit self-esteem). Clearly those words had an emotional impact on you ;) He may have just been trying out that persona to see if you are the type who finds it attractive (really really, some do).

Mark explained the reasons re: memory. Re-writing history is about forgetting something that is self-esteem damaging and replacing it with a version that is self-esteem building.
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Re: Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby mark1958 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:27 pm

Personality is very complex. All personalities are a composite of good and bad, strong traits and weak ones. We all share this dynamic, whether one has a PD or not. Depending on ones own sense of self-worth/esteem though determines if one understands and accepts those less then desirable traits.

For some people (those with PD or even just very insecure or have trauma or wounding), they deny parts of their personality as it does not reflect favorably on the person. Perhaps some of their darker qualities. It is not "evil" in any way, simply parts that are less then flattering. However, if one is struggling with self-esteem issues, those poor qualities (selfishness, anger, impulsiveness, sarcasm, dishonesty etc-all of which can be exaggerated by a disorder) will often be forgotten or denied. Even when observed as factual by others.

For someone struggling with identity issues (and BPD/HPD people have this issue), some parts of their personality may seem surprising even to themselves. Some have difficulty in understanding who they are, their motivations, their wants and desires in life. If you ask why did you do this, you may often get a " I do not remember" Or "I do not know" response.

Now as xdude suggests it could have been a trial run to see how others react, a test to see if this had the most ego benefits. And then quickly forgotten. People who are HPD have this ability to adopt parts of the personalities of others as they see those qualities appear to attract and be admired and respected by others. Sometimes there are so many different personality parts that on a day by day basis one can say, "who are you!" to their HPD partner. Things can shift and change.

Many HPD people know on deeper levels that something is different about them. They see others behaving and expressing in certain ways and know they do not act like this. Many feel that if they act like someone else, they will become like other people. This has been documented and is not just my opinion.

Therapy for HPD people is about maturity and integration. HPD has been described as a series of immature "defenses" designed to protect a wounded ego. They can become stuck in a child like state. Once these immature defense systems are changed or altered, maturity comes quickly. Integration means to merge the "selves" into one cohesive personality that enables one to self soothe or self-regulate self-esteem, make plans and achieve goals and have the ability to have satisfaction and contentment with life.

One final point. This is sensitive. If someone who has HPD enters therapy to "change", the changes can be so dramatic as to alter the attraction or relationship between two people. It is important to understand this. Right now this man is dependent on you, Monstergirl. And that makes you needed and valued by him. It also puts you in a place of power. This type of dynamic can be very attractive. But once these needs are minimized, the dynamic may be different. What happens when he longer may need you in this way?
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Re: Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby xdude » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:50 am

mark1958 wrote:Personality is very complex. All personalities are a composite of good and bad, strong traits and weak ones. We all share this dynamic, whether one has a PD or not. Depending on ones own sense of self-worth/esteem though determines if one understands and accepts those less then desirable traits.

For some people (those with PD or even just very insecure or have trauma or wounding), they deny parts of their personality as it does not reflect favorably on the person. Perhaps some of their darker qualities. It is not "evil" in any way, simply parts that are less then flattering. However, if one is struggling with self-esteem issues, those poor qualities (selfishness, anger, impulsiveness, sarcasm, dishonesty etc-all of which can be exaggerated by a disorder) will often be forgotten or denied. Even when observed as factual by others.
...


Mark makes an excellent point here.

As we have written before, he is really not simply the 'good' guy or the 'bad' guy. It's all him. As Mark wrote, we are all a composite of multiple drives, including some 'darker' drives.

I completely agree too, a key issue for people with HPD (and some other cluster B types, particularly BPD), is their tendency to think in terms of all good, all bad, or more generally, wanting to understand themselves and others in simple terms. The inability or unwillingness to integrate the whole leaves them open to misinterpreting others, and denying access to their whole self.

Conflicted emotions/views (aka ambivalence) is stressful for everyone to some degree, and so to avoid stress they will try to resolve the conflicted views one way or the other (pick a simple all or nothing view), versus an approach of weighing their total set of feelings, and choosing based on weight and their sum total sense of who they are.

Beyond the stress of conflicted feelings, as Mark explains, yes, when self-esteem issues are a key drive, that can be a major in how they want to see others and self.
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Re: Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby xdude » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:08 am

p.s. A short-story/analogy to make the point, based on real life experience ;)

Someone goes to shop for a new car (or fill in whatever product/service you like). The sales person is ingratiating, smiles, complimentary ('you have good taste'), etc.

A bit later, the sales person is overhead talking with a manager, the tone of voice has changed, they speak of 'just trying to get this sales closed today while the customer is itching to buy', etc.

So the obvious question is, who is the 'real' sales person? The former or the latter? Hopefully, most NONs know the answer is both. The first is a role, as is the second. Even if the later conversation was not heard, a healthy NON wouldn't read too much meaning into the first role. They know it's the person's job, and that while that's fine social practice, they still need to be a smart buyer and make their decision in terms of what's best for self. They don't read much into the compliment/s or appearances because they understand there is a whole person they are interacting with.

Sadly, and really really, some people really do think in terms of -

Role #1 - They are so sweet, my friend, they really like me, and even more so when backed by a compliment (i.e., a self-esteem booster).

Role #2 - They are evil, self-centered, can't be trusted, back-stabber, etc. (i.e., a self-esteem downer).
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Re: Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby mark1958 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:11 pm

xdude wrote:('you have good taste'), etc.


But I do have good taste. :wink:

Points above well taken. It all comes down to our deeper desires and what we really want to see. In ourselves and in others. I was watching a movie the other day and part of the dialogue was "We all like to think we are good people, but am I really?" The context of that dialogue was the actor was questioning his decisions regarding a certain tragic outcome.

In relationships we would all like people to choose, like, admire, respect, love etc us for who we believe we really are. Even if those beliefs may not actually reflect our truer nature. I have read once before and have stated this before as well, that we choose partners based on their ability to "mirror" to us what we truly want to believe about "us." That confirms we are person "A" versus person "B". Therefore when idealized, we can fall very hard for this particular person.

What sometimes happens though, is we get partners who actually mirror to us who we really are, both good and bad. When this happens we often feel the relationship is wrong or poor, or dysfunctional in some way. Perhaps it is our own blindness to our inner motivations and drives, weaknesses and darker sides that we do not want to see. This is why it pays to stop and reflect on who we really are.

Getting back to these relationships, pwHPD want to secure "love" in some way and can often be conflicted about how to achieve that very end. In this regard we are all on common ground. However, the differences lie in how one goes about this very process. Is one willing to be themselves? And what is that? People with PD are often confused about that very question. Often rejected and emotionally harmed being who they were, they decided that who they are is deficient, and some newer self will work better. However, we can not really escape our truer nature, and our less then attractive qualities will remain and show themselves, and often a "disorder" simply intensifies those emotions, feelings and behaviors.

Also when a "non" falls in love with someone who has a disorder, a good question to ask is, am I willing to allow this person to be themselves? To find their own path in life based on what they deem is correct or proper. Or am I actually attracted to their "weaknesses' because this makes me the strong one and therefore I am needed. When encouraging someone with a PD to grow, are we really asking them to grow for their own sake or do we mean to lessen the negatives but keep the positives and still need us in some way?

Often times encouraging a "dependent" personality to stand on their own two feet, will remove the impetus for the attachment in the first place. The need is reduced or even eliminated. And, if we really love this person, when that happens are we willing to let them go if they choose? To truly love someone, imo, is to allow the person to go in the direction they choose. Even if that does not include us. And this outcome is not what we were really intending all along.
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Re: Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby xdude » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:06 pm

mark1958 wrote:...
Also when a "non" falls in love with someone who has a disorder, a good question to ask is, am I willing to allow this person to be themselves? To find their own path in life based on what they deem is correct or proper. Or am I actually attracted to their "weaknesses' because this makes me the strong one and therefore I am needed. When encouraging someone with a PD to grow, are we really asking them to grow for their own sake or do we mean to lessen the negatives but keep the positives and still need us in some way?

Often times encouraging a "dependent" personality to stand on their own two feet, will remove the impetus for the attachment in the first place. The need is reduced or even eliminated. And, if we really love this person, when that happens are we willing to let them go if they choose? To truly love someone, imo, is to allow the person to go in the direction they choose. Even if that does not include us. And this outcome is not what we were really intending all along.


And this so true ^^^
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Re: Male HPD Question: The Actor

Postby Monstergirl » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:47 pm

Man, you guys are good! :D As a person who knew NOTHING of this PD, you guys have really helped me understand. Like I have mentioned in other posts, we read these together sometimes, and it gives us a lot to think about and discuss, open and honestly. Plus, he doesn't feel so alone in his disorder. And I am better equipped to understand certain behaviors. So again THANK YOU.

I am fully committed to him, and am very aware that there may be a day where his "need" for me vanishes. As sad a thought that is, I know it is a very real possibility. But, I also want him to be happy, healthy and whole. In that journey of self-discovery and healing, I expect to "lose" parts of him, and perhaps him completely down the road. Oh, believe me, I'd be devastated. If that day comes, you better believe I will expressing those feelings here. But at the same time, I'd be okay with it because he was better. If that makes any sense. :cry: Not to say I don't have my own set of insecurities about things. I do.

But he can also heal and still want me in his life. I see that as real a possibility, too. I simply cannot break the relationship on a maybe. Every person is different. There are varied dynamics at work. It may last, it may not, PD or not. At least we can do is try.

The 'I am evil" comments. It was in the early stages of our dating. We were reminiscing one night and I brought it up. It seriously bothered him he couldn't recall the whole scene. Yeah, it did make me curious as to why he was acting that way, but I just waved it off as another weird comment (he did/does stuff like that from time to time.)

So this weekend I asked him why he THINKS he was saying he was Evil 9even tho he only had partial recall). I mentioned nothing of this thread. His answer, "I think I was insecure in that moment. Probably because of my self-esteem." So yes, the short answer from him was a feeling of insecurity. He too feels he was "trying on" a stronger persona to feel more confident.

It was the lack of recall that frightened him. In turn, that made me ask the memory question. He sees his therapist this week so I am sure he will talk about that. There have been a handful of comments or behaviors he does not recall. Sometimes he remembers parts of "act". Sometimes he thinks he said something once, when in fact, he said it multiple times.

We are working the "bugs" out. :D

"People with HPD may try on different personalities, to see what works (similarly, people with HPD may report I don't know who I am). This goes hand in hand with the disorder for some. Taking on different roles, using wording and gestures that illicit emotional responses in others (i.e., impressionistic speech and mannerisms), for acceptance, approval, attention (all three of which related, because they provide temporary boosts of explicit self-esteem). Clearly those words had an emotional impact on you ;) He may have just been trying out that persona to see if you are the type who finds it attractive (really really, some do)."

Yup- and this explains his multiple online persona's where he "played" to a wide swath of audience. He said it was 100% for acceptance, approval but mostly who would give him the most attention with the least amount of effort on his part, and disturbingly, no matter the sex, gender, weight, looks or age. Nothing mattered except someone talking to him and finding him desirable.

This is extremely complicated and yet simple. I am getting a much better understanding of it because of this website. Because of caring and knowledgeable people like you. And he is getting a good handle on the "whys" because, he never knew.
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