Reply To: Sociopathic behavior, or not?
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Thank you for your insight, passiel. I had to look up ASPD, since I have no background in this area. But yes, it sounds like it could fit.
What I’m wondering now is whether D could be projecting her own traumas onto me. She admits to being “anxious” and “hypervigilant.” She often ascribes this to the pain of losing an admired grandfather at age 2, and being told that he had merely gone away.
But on further reflection, this story does not ring true to me. Two-year-olds lack the mental and emotional development to understand death and loss. Most people are unable to remember anything from when they were two years old.
It was only a few weeks ago — three years into our troubled relationship — when a different childhood issue came up. D said that my tendency to withdraw from verbal escalation reminded her of her mother’s moody silences. I replied, “But you got along with your dad, right?”
D answered, “He kept photos of my younger sisters on his desk at work. But not mine.” This remark stunned me. In my experience, women who had a troubled relationship with their father sometimes project it onto a romantic partner.
Then I wondered … just wondered … if something more traumatic had happened between D and her father. Something that led to her frequent projections of shame or a dark past onto me, when they don’t fit.
At one point, D had scheduled a session with an EMDR therapist to treat what she called PTSD. Her ostensible reasons were the traumatic losses of her grandfather at age 2, and her mother to suicide in her 30s. But now I question whether these stories are just the publicly presentable tip of a deeper family iceberg.
I guess I’ll never know, because our relationship is too broken now to discuss such personal topics. But in an effort to explain it to myself, I do ponder whether our situation was an example of the counterintuitive, but all too common, case of an abused child growing up to be an abuser herself.