People with borderline or narcissistic personality disorders have a serious mental illness that primarily affects their intimate, personal, and family relationships. Often they appear to be normally functioning at work and in public interactions, and narcissists may even be highly effective, in the short term, in some work or social situations. However, in intimate relationships, they can be emotional, aggressive, demeaning, illogical, paranoid, accusing, and controlling - in the extreme. Their ability to function normally or pleasantly can suddenly change in an instant, like flipping a switch. These negative behaviors don't happen once in a while; they happen almost continuously in their intimate relationships - most often and especially with their caretaker family member. Here, Margalis Fjelstad describes how people get into a caretaker role with a borderline or narcissist, and how they can get out.
Caretakers give up their sense of self to become who and what the borderline or narcissist needs them to be. This compromises the caretaker's self-esteem, distorts their thinking processes, and locks them into a victim-persecutor-rescuer pattern with the borderline or narcissist. The book looks at the underlying rules and expectations in these relationships and shows caretakers how to move themselves out of these rigid interactions and into a healthier, more productive, and positive lifestyle - with or without the borderline/narcissistic partner or family member. It describes how to get out of destructive interactions with the borderline or narcissist and how to take new, more effective actions to focus on personal wants, needs, and life goals while allowing the borderline or narcissist to take care of themselves. It presents a realistic, yet compassionate, attitude toward the self-destructive nature of these relationships, and gives real-life examples of how individuals have let go of their caretaker behaviors with creative and effective solutions.
Any additional comments?
I am a physician. This book is outstanding. I got it for a close friend. He is the caretaker of a borderline/narcissist. They met under turbulent circumstances and he helped bring order to her life. He became her hero. She adored him and brought fun and excitement into his life. He gave her a lot and helped change her life circumstances, yet the drama continued in other directions, engulfing him as well. My friend's previously calm and logical life was constantly in a tizzy and he couldn't figure out why.
Now he gets it. It's not him. She has a mental illness and he can't change that. The more he tries to change her, the more the madness continues.
This book is about acceptance and moving forward. It teaches you to care for a loved one without fixing them. It teaches you your own role in the madness. And that is great. Because ultimately, you can change your own behavior. And once you do, change will come. Get this book. It is nonjudgemental, unlike so much of our culture, and allows you to keep loving the person in your life. You will be the change.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful
I've read eggshells, the essential family guide, and I hate you don't leave me. I've joined a WTO group and have read as many articles on BPD/NPD as I can get my hands on. Just trying to make sense of the chaos my world has become since this person came into my life, and finally, I found a book that made me feel like I can finally get my life back. I can be a happy, relaxed confidently sane human being again. It is possible.
47 of 48 people found this review helpful
I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is struggling in their relationships. I have been studying the narcissist/borderline personality disorders for a year now. I like this book because the author understands the complexity and nuances of the disorders, as well as the effect they have on others. The author also addresses the role and dysfunctional thinking of the caregiver and offers many suggestions to move toward healthier life. What I find especially helpful is her supportive attitude. This is not my first book on the issue, but by far my favorite one.
32 of 33 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Would recommend to anyone dealing with Cluster B disordered people, and the nice, who wonder why they attract so many abusive people.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist?
Chapter 3 on the Caretaker. It described me well. I needed that.
Have you listened to any of Dawn McKelvie Cyr’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I haven't anything to compare. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and find her performance easy to listen to, and appropriate.
What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?
Growing up in a family with 2 Borderline/Narcissists conditioned me to a life full of attracting, and trying to help people like them, with multiple forms of expense to me. They stole my identity by training me to be what they demanded, and I wonder who I would have been without their programming.
Any additional comments?
This is a truly helpful guide for dynamics around the people affected by Borderline/Narcissist disordered people. It explains the damage. It offers different ways to handle these people, with pro's and cons with each way. The approach is psychology and not a personal story. It was a painful relief to have someone reveal so many revelations on how I became wounded, and that my dysfunctions are a result of life with disordered influence. It gives me a place of understanding to continue healing from, which I am grateful for. I found this work through an Amazon search. I have no affiliation with anyone who was involved with this work, and had no knowledge of it prior to the search. I am reviewing to help people see some of what they are getting, and decide if the approach is what they are looking for.
30 of 31 people found this review helpful
After years of trying to figure out who or what my husband is or why he does what he does or how he changes like the weather, I finally got my answer from this book. Although quite an enigma, I now believe that he has borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder or more likely a combination of the two. The realization was eye opening, inspirational and, most of all, validating.
As huge as starting to piece together the puzzle I call my husband, my favorite parts of the book were sections two and three. They were all about me! I can't even remember the last time I could make a statement like that about anything. Not only did the author speak to the need for self-love and nurturing, but she provided many suggestions and concrete steps on how to achieve this. She gave me hope that I actually may live a happy and fulfilled life one day; I just know without any doubt that it will be without my husband. This book has given me more hope and inspiration than any other self-help book I've read. Thank you to the author for helping me realize I can figure out who I really am without him and giving me the confidence to build a whole new life with that knowledge.
26 of 27 people found this review helpful
This book is unique and I wonder how I reached my age without knowing those essential information that were clearly written in this book.
It gives you freedom, nothing less.
Read it to know how to overcome common difficulties dealing with sick personalities that try to steal your time and effort all the time offering nothing in return.
Million thanks to the author and the reader.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Top notch. Must have if you love a BPD. Priceless insight and tools.
excellent narration as well.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I particularly liked chapter 12, which introduces the Yale communication method.
As the daughter of a borderline/narcissist, I wish I had read this book 15 years ago.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
This book was very informative. The narrator was excellent I would read another book if she was doing the reading. Overall it was well done.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist to be better than the print version?
yes, I can listen anywhere.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It helped me see myself and those relationships that I have struggled with in a new light and offered how to improve them both.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
Great validating book for anyone with a caretaking type personality and anyone who has encountered a suspected borderline or narcissist in their personal relationships. Even though I have done a fair bit of reading already on subject matter, this read went clearly over the basics, reinforced good habits and just help me to clarify somewhat my experience which had felt very traumatic, but this simplifies it in a good way without dismissing the experience of the caretaker. It also covers a lot of material with a section which Focuses on the caretaker to make their life free and I hope reach serenity x
Felt like I was completely understood, and explained why my relationships have been so draining
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
beautifully narrated, excellent precise material, life changing book, thank you to the author for writing
Finally a book that helped me to understand what I was doing. Very easy to understand and relate to. I have read many books on narcissism and this is the only one that really helped me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is trying to live with a narcissist .