If you are in a relationship with someone who has Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) and are at your wit’s end here is a possible way to end the relationship. The following letter was written by a woman to a friend of many years. Finally her friend’s temper, co-dependent, and victim mentality behavior frustrated her to the point of wanting to leave the relationship after she in a rage blamed her for her problems. The woman sought the advice of a therapist who was able to identify the disorder as Histrionic Personality Disorder. After understanding her friend’s behavior more clearly she was able to write the following letter with compassion:
I hope this letter finds you well. I know you and I are both disappointed in the current standing of our relationship. Since we have not communicated for some time with the intention of healing what has been broken, I see that at least for the present our relationship is over. I think back to our last meeting when I felt something was missing and I called you the next day to check on what you thought it was. I recall you said all was OK and yet I felt that love was missing. It seems more clear now than ever that the love you used to feel in your heart for me has been replaced more and more often with anger. In spite of our personality differences it was that love that held us together and got us through other past difficult personality challenges. I used to be able to challenge you with your self-defeating patterns and although you found it difficult you were able to consider them and even get counseling to help you transform them. Somehow this time feels different. I don’t feel that love from you any more. It makes me sad to see this change. The old friend is gone from my life and a new angry person has replaced her. It also makes me sad to see how a difficult childhood can affect an entire life (mine included). For years I have wondered about your patterns of exaggeration, lying, needing to be the center of attention, mood swings, co-dependency, victim mentality, relationship conflict, denial, and illusion thinking. I had no idea how to diagnose or view them so I could understand for myself and maybe help you. Out of frustration and desire to understand you I sought the advice of a therapist who suggested a diagnosis that may be helpful some day when you are not so angry at me and can perhaps use it to help yourself or perhaps to tell a counselor who can help you. It’s called Histrionic Personality Disorder. You can learn more about it and it’s origin on the internet. It basically comes from emotional and/or physical abandonment of mother in childhood. This may be the cause of your frustration with low self-esteem. I apologize if this reference to a diagnosis seems inappropriate to you now. I know I can be frustrating to you but I’m thinking it may help some day when I’m not “in your face.” I have had many arguments with God about the suffering it has placed upon its “children.” Why we must suffer abuses and neglects in childhood when we are so vulnerable and innocent. I am not yet at peace with this kind of suffering I see in all life. I know that how you (I, we) are as an adult is the result of what you shared with me about your childhood so long ago. Perhaps the one thing I can offer you that none of your other friends have been able to is not only the challenge of your self-defeating patterns but perhaps offer a way out of them. That possibility in reaching out to others has always, always been a part of me. And I will admit it has gotten me into trouble from time to time…especially with people who don’t understand my underlying motive of wanting to help. Anyway I want you to know that I love you still. However, in spite of my love for you I choose not to continue at this time with our relationship as it is. I guess you feel the same. I do hope what I have written here can in some way help you have the life I know you want. You have so many wonderful gifts to share. I leave with love and hope some day we can be friends again.