That Awkward Moment When You Read Diagnostic Criteria…


and think, “Oh my God, that is me!”

awkward_regan

Self-defeating personality disorder

(Wikipedia)
Self-defeating personality disorder (also known as masochistic personality disorder) is a proposed personality disorder. It was discussed in an appendix of the manual’s revised third edition (DSM-III-R) in 1987, but was never formally admitted into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). As an alternative, the diagnosis personality disorder not otherwise specified may be used instead. Some researchers and theorists continue to use its criteria. It has an official code number, 301.90.[1]

Diagnosis

Red = This fits me

Definition proposed in DSM III-R for further review

Self-defeating personality disorder is:

A) A pervasive pattern of self-defeating behavior, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts. The person may often avoid or undermine pleasurable experiences, be drawn to situations or relationships in which he or she will suffer, and prevent others from helping him or her, as indicated by at least five of the following:
  1. chooses people and situations that lead to disappointment, failure, or mistreatment even when better options are clearly available
  2. rejects or renders ineffective the attempts of others to help him or her
  3. following positive personal events (e.g., new achievement), responds with depression, guilt, or a behavior that produces pain (e.g., an accident)
  4. incites angry or rejecting responses from others and then feels hurt, defeated, or humiliated (e.g., makes fun of spouse in public, provoking an angry retort, then feels devastated)
  5. rejects opportunities for pleasure, or is reluctant to acknowledge enjoying himself or herself (despite having adequate social skills and the capacity for pleasure)
  6. fails to accomplish tasks crucial to his or her personal objectives despite demonstrated ability to do so, e.g., helps fellow students write papers, but is unable to write his or her own
  7. is uninterested in or rejects people who consistently treat him or her well, e.g., is unattracted to caring sexual partners
  8. engages in excessive self-sacrifice that is unsolicited by the intended recipients of the sacrifice
B) The behaviors in A do not occur exclusively in response to, or in anticipation of, being physically, sexually, or psychologically abused.
C) The behaviors in A do not occur only when the person is depressed. Well… have depression, but all these things occur outside of depression.

Exclusion from DSM-IV

Historically, masochism has been associated with feminine submissiveness. This disorder became politically controversial when associated with domestic violence which was considered to be mostly caused by males.[2] However a number of studies suggest that the disorder is common.[3][4] In spite of its exclusion from DSM-IV in 1994, it continues to enjoy widespread currency amongst clinicians as a construct that explains a great many facets of human behaviour.[2]

Sexual masochism that “causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” is still in DSM-IV. (AND DSM-V!!)

Millon’s subtypes

Theodore Millon identified four subtypes of masochist:[2][5]

Subtype Description Personality Traits
Virtuous Including histrionic features Proudly unselfish, self-denying, and self-sacrificial; self-ascetic; weighty burdens are judged noble, righteous, and saintly; others must recognize loyalty and faithfulness; gratitude and appreciation expected for altruism and forbearance.
Possessive Including negativistic features Bewitches and ensnares by becoming jealous, overprotective, and indispensable; entraps, takes control, conquers, enslaves, and dominates others by being sacrificial to a fault; control by obligatory dependence.
Self-undoing Including avoidant features Is “wrecked by success”; experiences “victory through defeat”; gratified by personal misfortunes, failures, humiliations, and ordeals; eschews best interests; chooses to be victimized, ruined, disgraced.
Oppressed Including depressive features Experiences genuine misery, despair, hardship, anguish, torment, illness; grievances used to create guilt in others; resentments vented by exempting from responsibilities and burdening “oppressors.”
Advertisements

:)


I did it! I went to the coffee meeting and it was great! First of all, his picture did not do him justice! Also, he is smart and smart is more important than sexy. Furthermore, he is sweet!

Felicia Day_happy dance

The wind is awful. I had trouble walking to the coffee shop!! So, he drove me back to school. Potentially dangerous? Yes. However, I’ve risked more in the past and unless he is an amazing sociopath who can fake empathy, I had a good feeling about him. Lo and behold, I am alive! We talked for 2 and a half hours and it wasn’t awkward! I could definitely see myself marrying this guy. Obviously, I barely know him and I wouldn’t even consider a proposal until I’ve dated someone for over 2 years. However, eventually I want to get married and so far, he meets my qualifications.

I may or may not have been obviously shaking because of caffeine and lack of sleep…Oops…. I know he noticed, but he didn’t say anything. Hopefully next time we meet, I’ll be less shaky!

If Masochism is Self-Hate…Now What?


I just don’t know. Tonight, I’m almost positive my masochism is just another form of self-harm. How could it not be with the depth of my self-loathing?!

If it is simply another way to express self-hate, is that unhealthy? …I think so… but maybe not…

Fringe_Olivia stressed

If it is unhealthy, where does that leave me? This curse has been inside me since I can remember. My mom suggested sex therapy, to manually learn to enjoy vanilla intimacy more than kink but… I don’t think that will work. So, now what?! A life with no sexual pleasure because intimacy is unhealthy for me because sex equals violence because I really, really, really think I deserve violence?!

 ALSO, TO GO OR NOT TO GO TOMORROW?!?!?!?!

Apparently I have Low Standards


I finished Kushiel’s Legacy and I still  want Melisande! In other words I want a rich sociopath. Jacqueline Carey thinks Melisande is a sociopath, but I don’t know if that is true. She understands masochistic submissives extremely well. She clearly loves Phedre. Melisande doesn’t kill her when most people in Melisande’s situation would murder her to get rid of the threat. Melisande has multiple opportunities to kill Phedre, but she can’t. She jails Phedre in La Dolorosa, where conditions are deplorable. However, she gets worried and caring when Phedre accidentally hurts herself. She is also warm during aftercare. Then again, that might be because Melisande knows Phedre will think she cares if she acts compassionate and concerned during aftercare. However, I like Melisande, so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt!

All I really want is a sadist I can spend my life serving. Apparently I’m turned on by levels of violence sociopaths display. However, I wouldn’t really want to be with a sociopath. For example I would not relish capture by Darken Rahl, Drefan Rahl, or many of the criminals on Criminal Minds. What is the difference between the scenes my serial killer friend described and the others? Simple, he seemed to not want to kill me, cared whether I lived or died, and cared about my well-being. Granted, I learned later his concern was feigned.

Nonetheless, assuming the person’s concern is real (*cough* Melisande *cough*), I don’t think I need romantic love…not the type poems and songs are made of. I’ve never felt romantic love; perhaps I’m dismissing it too easily. But come on! Melisande is perfect! She is extremely intelligent, cunning, rich, enjoys luxury and torture. She has ambition. I don’t need plots to destroy sitting rulers, but ambition is a nice thing. Ha, the money is more important. In sum, if they have money, they’re an intelligent sadist, they won’t kill me, or cast me out once I become useless (I.e., Having been the best person ever for 50 years, I get Alzheimer’s disease…despite my current uselessness, they take care of me because they feel a sense of responsibility), I’d be happy. I suppose you could call that selfless (since I can no longer give anything in return) caring…love. I guess you could also call aftercare a type of love, but it isn’t the same type of bond as I imagine romantic love. I want a bond, but I don’t feel like I need romantic love.

There are a couple of IRL caveats like I want to stay in contact with family, have a say in child-rearing, etc…but I don’t know…compared to other people’s pining, I think I have low standards.

…And…I don’t know how to feel about that.

Firefly_Mal is speechless

*edit* No wait, there are some things I would not be okay with:

  1. scat
  2. age roleplaying
  3. disability (Including smaller things, not just cutting off toes makes walking impossible or difficult, but things like if you only wear high heels for a long period of time, your Achilles tendons will shrink, causing possibly irreversible issues or people who wear butt plugs all the time and only use enemas to relieve themselves can lose the ability to control their bodily functions)
  4. excessive disfigurement (concealable scars, tattoos and brands are ok)
  5. actual animals
  6. actual children
  7. death
  8. body modifying surgery
  9. incest roleplaying
  10. encasement.
  11. Public play in vanilla places

I’ve never had anyone suggest disability, death, or children (the latter shouldn’t even count as a fetish, it is called assault!), but I’ve heard second hand about disability and death. It boils down to a.) actions that take away the rights of 3rd parties (children, animals, random vanilla people who don’t want to see bedroom behavior in the street), b.) things that are difficult, dangerous, or impossible to reverse or hide (disability, excessive disfigurement, death, body modifying surgery, encasement), c.) behavior that is especially unsanitary/ likely to make someone seriously ill (Scat – Hello, dangerous strain of E. Coli) or d.) things that bother me on a personal level (age and incest roleplaying). Some of these things I might be convinced to try under extreme duress, but I would prefer death to other things (abusing someone/thing else).

Yay! I have more standards than I realized!

Felicia Day_happy dance1

But I still want Melisande…

On stepping away from incrimination and accepting sexuality


“Love as thou wilt.” While reading Kushiel’s Chosen, it occurred to me that love cannot be evil. Sure, love can lead us to do immoral things, but the raw emotion can’t be wrong. How could it?

Perhaps it sounds cliché, but my religion is love. I badly want to believe in the God I grew up with, but I struggle. I do not think our mortal minds are capable of conceiving such grandiose things, if they are true. Therefore, how could a benevolent God punish mere humans for getting it wrong? I do not think he would. That would be like an adult punishing a 3 year old for failing to grasp theoretical physics! So, I believe if there is a God or some, any, force that is immortal and controls our access to the afterlife, he/she/they/it could not reasonably damn us for not grasping the truth of planes beyond our existence. If he is smarter than us, he is most likely wiser and more compassionate because if he is more intelligent, he would have to understand our lack of knowledge and intelligence. As a result, unless he is so far beyond us that we are tiny ants, unworthy of his concern, he would not damn us.

I believe we cannot know the truth of what lies beyond our awareness. We can cast our lot with one religion or another, but we cannot be certain until after death. So, our morals cannot come from religious precepts. Then were do they come from? I am not entirely sure, that would take another post. I do know having a positive impact on others is a good thing.

Yet, things are not so simple. One kind act could have awful implications that we could not possibly be aware of. For example, say a woman is starving and out of kindness I give her dinner. As a result, she is able to survive to get her next meal and eventually she finds her feet and prospers. Ten years later she gives birth to a daughter and twenty years after that the daughter gives birth to Adolf Hitler. Hitler, as your know, goes on to orchestrate the murder of millions of people. My one act of kindness saved a woman’s life, but in the end, brought untold suffering. We cannot know the full ripples of our actions. Therefore, how can we be judged solely on what measurable good we do in life? I do not think we can be judged that way. We could judge based on the immediate consequence of any one action, but even that could turn out poorly.

So, if not our deeds, what is left to judge our worth? I think the only thing left is our intent. If our intent is good, born of kindness, compassion, and love, I think we are good people. We may make wrong choices or we may make seemingly correct choices, which lead to catastrophe, but I think our intent is how we can judge a person’s character.

Assuming that supposition is right, how can love, gay, bi, straight, paraphilias, masochistic, or sadistic be wrong? I do not think it can be wrong! There are exceptions, when your “love” harms another person, it is not love; it is lust. For example, I believe pedophilia is wrong because a child cannot consent to sex and sexual abuse does immense harm to children. If pedophiles really loved children, they would not touch them.

However, as long as actions are between consenting adults and do not impinge on a third party’s rights, I conclude love cannot be immoral. Furthermore, if I am wrong, I cannot see how a just deity would damn me for my lack of perfect comprehension when I did not have all the facts. Faith maybe the best course of action, but we are weak; we are not omniscient. How can we be judged by standards that are beyond us?

In sum, thanks to Jacqueline Carey and Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève, I am another step closer to accepting this part of myself. Thanks to Deej, I accept my bisexuality. In years past, I hated my learning disability and mental illnesses. Truthfully, sometimes I still despise the mental illnesses because they make school, relationships, and life in general, much more difficult. However, I now accept my learning disability is not stupidity or a character flaw. It is a result of extreme prematurity (23 weeks gestation) and an intraventricular hemorrhage I suffered in the first 6 months of life. It is not my fault. Yes, it makes academia tougher and presents unique challenges, but I am stubborn and intelligent; I am capable of persevering. Hell, I already defied doctors’ expectations many times over. One doctor (my mom said she used to wish I’d go to medical school and become his boss in the NICU) told her: You don’t need to worry about her getting into college, or even graduating high school. She’ll be deaf, blind, and retarded. You need to worry about whether she can hold down a job, which is unlikely.

You know what? My parents are f**king right when they call me a miracle. At the time of my birth, no baby born as early as I ever survived the NICU at the hospital I was transferred to after birth. Child magazine ranked the hospital in the “top 10 best hospitals in the nation” 4 times in a row. It is considered 3rd in the nation for neonatal care according to U.S. News and World Report. Furthermore, the hospital received the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence, the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To date, only 170 of almost 5,000 hospitals nationwide – 3 percent – have Magnet status. In January 2010, it was redesignated as a Magnet hospital by the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program. Only 2 percent of hospitals nationally have achieved Magnet re-designation. In other words, it is a fricking good hospital and it was good in 1990 to. So, their inability to save a baby born at 23 weeks gestation says something about the state the neonatology at the time. I’m not perfect; there are immutable challenges I must live with, but I am freaking awesome when you consider everything.

some parts of me are awesome

As for the mental illnesses, I believe they are due, in part, to my first 6 months of life. Numerous longitudinal studies show NICU graduates have higher rates of mental illness, including mood disorders like anxiety and depression. I do not know if recovery is possible for me. I know Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can literally rewire the brain, maybe I can recover. However, whether or not I can gain remission from my mental disorders, I must believe I can manage them better. I can surround myself with people who accept me for who I am, I can utilize my support systems, and I can use coping skills to the best of my ability. Managing emotions does not come readily to me. I did not learn to healthily self-sooth and perhaps my emotions will always be more intense than most people’s, but I can learn to use the coping skills therapy taught me.

I used to think I did not have a “right” to be sick. I used to believe my life was perfect, I had a good school, nice friends, a loving family, and I wanted for naught; so, I thought I had no reason to struggle. Now I realize those things, while I am blessed to have them, do not negate my internal world. For whatever reason, I have these problems; they are my burden to bear. I wish it was not so, but I am what I am. I can be no more and no less. I have a right to my feelings, even my irrational ones, but I can learn to harness them. Moreover, I have a right to love who I want and how I want, so long as I am not taking away someone else’s rights.

*edit* While I acknowledge my prematurity had am impact on my development (if nothing else, I endured surgeries until I was 16 to correct certain problems), I do not agree with psychodynamic theory. They believe the unconscious governs most, if not all, mental illness, expressing some unknown need from our forgotten childhood. In contrast, I admit neonatal trauma can physically alter brain development, for example, my stroke.

It is possible that my former therapist is correct and I am substituting masochism for self-injury or my eating disorder, maybe it is unhealthy. At the same time, it gives me peace, security, and happiness. Again, as long as I am not harming others (For example, if shooting random people made me happy, I still could not morally do it.), and it is not detrimental to me wellbeing, I ought to be able to conduct myself as I want. I do not think peace, security, and happiness can be wrong. Granted, my eating disorder gives me those things, after a fashion, but it also harms my long-term health, which when all is said and done, takes away happiness. Masochism, done safely and sanely, does none of those things.

In conclusion, there are still ways I can better myself. Everyone is capable of self-improvement. Bisexuality and masochism do not make me a lesser human being or weak. They are part of who I am. In truth, so are my mental illnesses because they’ve given me more compassion and understanding of others. They’ve shaped me. The harm of mental illnesses can go, but they are not a character flaw or weakness on my part and in a way, I am grateful for them. Bisexuality and masochism are not diseases; they are not immoral. I…I am okay; I am not bad because of them. Alt and Olive_happy to see you Fauxlivia_happy to see you

B smile2 Felicia Day_satisfied smile

First Meet


later this week! I’m not nervous because I decided I’m not in the right place for a relationship, but the person is cool enough to be friends with.

Day 6: I’m grateful for friends who forgive my foibles and just pick up where we left off. I finally got in touch with a good friend, after being AWOL from everyone in my life for months.

awkward_regan

I found the perfect Mistress!


I want Melisande Shahrizai.

so pretty longest night

She is extremely intelligent and cunning. She knows how to read people. She knows how to get what she wants. She is a true sadist, but she cares in her own way. For example, she uses aftercare and makes sure Phedre is medically sound. In our world that is par for the course, but peeking into this fictional world and seeing more, it is clear she cares about Phedre. Yes, she sells Phedre illegally, but her intention was getting rid of her as a threat, yet keeping Phedre alive. Given the stakes of the Game of Houses, I do not think selling Phedre was unforgivable. Melisande is human; she has ambition. Phedre’s knowledge threatened her life and she knew she couldn’t trust Phedre to keep her secret. Most people in that circumstance would kill Phedre. It doesn’t hurt that she is described as gorgeous and rich.

I haven’t finished Kushiel’s Dart yet, so maybe Melisande does something reprehensible and unforgivable, but I do not think drugging and selling Phedre counts.

Picture source.

*edit* Gratefulness Day 5: I’m grateful for sadists because they’re the yin to my yang. Plus, if I can accept them as healthy, maybe I can accept myself.