Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

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Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby badbugbadbug » 02 Mar 2012, 04:34

I've been reading the psycho xiaojie threads with great interest for the past year, comparing the various stories to what I've seen and what I've experienced myself. From what I can tell, there are two types. The first is the unlucky, naive girl who meets a foreign guy, falls madly in love in a day, then gets hurt when he drops her because he was just out for a quick fling. I've seen this happen plenty of times, and while the girl's reaction is often extreme, I can't say the douchbag didn't have it coming when she carved "cheater" on his front door, or stuffed a rabid hamster down his pants. Anyone who's been here longer than six months knows what the experience and expectations of the average girl are, and fucking around with that just makes him an asshole. I'm not here to talk about this kind of situation.

I'm here to talk about the second type. This is the girl who finds a perfectly nice guy who loves the hell out of her, probably because she has a million amazing qualities. But in the end, she's so insecure that she undermines the whole relationship, finding problems where none exist, blowing up over incomprehensible things, and eventually doing the same batshit stuff as the first type. This is the one I have personal experience with. No, I have no comment on rabid hamsters. Due to the extreme behavior of both types, we call them psycho. I certainly told mine she was crazy (I may have also used the words insane, nuts, lunatic, and desperately in need of a therapist) before I sent her packing.

I'm not going to tell the whole story of this girl - you've all heard these stories already. I'm going to tell you my mistake. And that was using the word "crazy" as if it were a metaphor, or just to describe her behavior in a given situation. I just recently, after a coincidental conversation with a psychiatrist friend, realized that I wasn't that far off.

Here's a test. Go ahead and plug your own pxj into it, and see what comes out. If she meets five of the nine criteria, she qualifies.

1.) Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
2.) A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
3.) Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
4.) Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, excessive spending, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
5.) Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
6.) Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
7.) Chronic feelings of emptiness
8.) Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
9.) Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms

This comes from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition. It's the primary guide used by psychologists and psychiatrists to make diagnoses. Wow, psycho xiaojie gets its own clinical definition? Yup, sure does. Except mental health professionals call it borderline personality disorder.

And I really, really wish I'd known this sooner, because believe it or not, I would've stayed with my pxj. The one who got seven out of nine. The one who had a million great qualities. I would've stayed, and gotten her a little help, and done my best to walk her through it, because she isn't a bad person and she didn't choose her mental state. I would've stayed because I really loved her and wanted her to be happy, and I wouldn't have thought she was such a terrible person.

Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, hey, I'm gonna act like a lunatic and undermine my own good luck! Nobody would ever choose to be needlessly paranoid, empty, suspicious, abusive and self-abusive. It comes from somewhere else. A lot of mental issues seem to come mainly from genetics. Those, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, respond best to medication. BPD doesn't though. Research seems to show that it's mainly caused by environmental factors, with only a tenuous genetic link. If you've been around here long enough to see some of the family dynamics, you get where I'm going with this. Kids who are grow up abused - emotionally, physically, or sexually - account for the vast majority of cases. And unless we've gone through it ourselves, I don't think most of use can comprehend what constantly experiencing that in our most vulnerable years would do to us. So what I would like to see is this: sympathy for the psycho xiaojie.

No, more than that. Unless you're under a certain age and find the amazing sex a good reason for marriage, we don't fall in love with these girls for no reason, right? Well, if you love someone, and they have a problem that they didn't bring on themselves, have some compassion and help them! The real question is, how much do you care about this girl? If you don't care enough to help her, why are you with her? If you do care... get her to talk to a professional.

I know this is easier said than done. Obviously you can't just walk up to your girlfriend who is having a tantrum over the temperature of her drinking water and say, "Hey babe, you're crazy and I'm taking you to the shrink." But you can come up with something. You can be patient and let her get her whole past out in the open with you, I mean, really probe into it and really listen. You can say WE should talk to a relationship counselor to improve things, and use that to lead into something. Personally, I wish I'd tried the second one. I'm glad I didn't keep taking the emotional abuse and accusations - I'm not someone who lets myself get used or walked over. But I wish I'd fixed those through something other than dumping a girl who has a really great soul buried inside. The point is, most people who behave like this have pretty nasty experiences that explain it. She certainly did. And if you care at all about that person, you can do more than just stand up for yourself. There are great therapists and therapies out there for those who need them. For those who want it to, treatment works.

If this sounds arrogant, like a foreigner diagnosing local girls as crazy in some condescending way, believe me that's not the case. I've had my own struggles in life. By the time I finished high school, I had severe PTSD. It took me five years to have a remotely close friendship with anyone, and the better part of ten years to get my shit together enough to finish college and have a real, satisfying relationship. When I was 23, I certainly wasn't any better at it than my ex psycho xiaojie here. I didn't choose my adolescence, and neither did she. So I'm not judging. Just empathizing. Nor am I being sexist by picking on the xiaojies - there is a male version too, he's a stalker or physical abuser, and the best advice I can give any girl in that situation is to get as far away as you can. While this guy needs help too, I have to admit it's harder for me to find sympathy for him.

I realize that not everyone can accept help when it's offered. Sometimes you just have to let people go. But I think a lot of us might be too quick to judge some of these girls, too quick to use the word "psycho," and too quick to leave. Maybe we should all be quicker to understand where it comes from. Maybe, understanding this, we should all be quicker to help. Or at least give it our best shot before we leave. These girls deserve the same shot at real happiness as the rest of us. Considering what made them the way they are, they might deserve it even more.
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Re: Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby *monkey* » 02 Mar 2012, 10:25

Your post is just another take on “She’s not fat because she eats so much, it’s because (insert implausible reason here).”

I think just about every “psycho” case I have seen is simply a girl overreacting to a change in a relationship. They cannot reason or negotiate on an adult level, so they resort to the tried and tested tactics that worked long ago when they wanted their parents or grandparents to do something for them -– throwing a hissy fit and manipulating their victim through embarrassment or guilt. And it always works.

The kicking the door at 4am, threats of self-harm, drinking till she pukes, rifling through your personal papers – it’s all part of the show. It's what they see in the TV soap operas. It's what they've been programmed to do.

In other words, you think too much, lah!
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Re: Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby badbugbadbug » 02 Mar 2012, 12:22

*monkey* wrote:They cannot reason or negotiate on an adult level, so they resort to the tried and tested tactics that worked long ago when they wanted their parents or grandparents to do something for them -– throwing a hissy fit and manipulating their victim through embarrassment or guilt.


I understand the kind of girl you're talking about, she's just spoiled. I'm not talking about her. I'm talking about the girl who is completely insecure because she grew up getting screamed at by her crazy mom and constantly belittled by her dad. There are a million of those here. They can't reason on an adult level, this is true. I spent a year trying to reason with one and got nowhere. I also found that her personality could flip like a switch - there were two completely different people in one girl, and I never knew which one I was going to get. Don't you think this indicates a fairly deep problem?

People behave based on how they see the world, and how they see the world is based a lot on personal experience. If their experience is messed up, they won't know how to deal with the complexities of a relationship or even people in general. I'm not just letting them off the hook, I agree with you that in the end we're all responsible for our own happiness. I am saying that depending on the situation, that's a lot harder for some people, and they may not initially be capable of it without help.
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Re: Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 02 Mar 2012, 12:30

badbugbadbug wrote:
1.) Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
2.) A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
3.) Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
4.) Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, excessive spending, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
5.) Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
6.) Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
7.) Chronic feelings of emptiness
8.) Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
9.) Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms

This comes from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition. It's the primary guide used by psychologists and psychiatrists to make diagnoses.


No it's not. You lifted that straight from the Hess HR department's hiring and training manual.

...some excuses...


Bollocks. Charles Manson didn't need someone to just sit down and understand that deep inside, he really was a sweet guy. The guy was a fucking psycho, and that's why they locked him up.
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Re: Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby NonTocareLeTete » 02 Mar 2012, 12:59

Great post BBBB!
Although before making a life-long commitment to someone who hit more than one item on that list, I would make sure they were aware of their problem and deeply committed to change. Getting a diagnosis doesn't mean the problem disappears, and your future children would probably suffer a great deal and having a name for it (mommy has borderline personality disorder!) probably wouldn't help them much.

Also, I think a lot of those behaviors are symptoms of unmet expectations (this foreigner is supposed to act like the guys in the movies!) culture (acceptable ways to deal with a break up seem to be different here than in the west- maybe their behavior is just supposed to show the extent of their devotion?) and most of all, youth :lol: Any attractiveness I've lost in the last 10 years is more than made up for by how much nicer I am to my boyfriends. ;) But try telling a dude that. Young men's love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes and all that. smart guy, Shakespeare.

Anyways, a nice post actually looking at the issue from another angle- sign of maturity and intelligence.

GuyInTaiwan wrote:
badbugbadbug wrote:
1.) Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
2.) A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
3.) Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
4.) Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, excessive spending, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
5.) Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
6.) Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
7.) Chronic feelings of emptiness
8.) Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
9.) Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms

This comes from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition. It's the primary guide used by psychologists and psychiatrists to make diagnoses.


No it's not. You lifted that straight from the Hess HR department's hiring and training manual.
HA! :bravo:
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Re: Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby dan2006 » 02 Mar 2012, 13:10

2 things come to mind

1. If a person has a mental disorder, and the guy is not prepared mentally or emotionally to deal with it, her moods and crazyness can bring him down too. In the end, the two bad moods will feed off each other, and you will both hate life and you will both want to jump off the nearest balcony.

2. You say that a person was obviously attracted and loved the person in the first place, and that dumping them like that doesn't show this love. Well, I wouldn't be attracted to a PXJ if I knew what she was about from the start, which means that she attempted to hide it to make me like her at first, then let the crazy come out later. This is deceptive. Why would I put up with it.
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Re: Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby badbugbadbug » 02 Mar 2012, 13:12

NonTocareLeTete wrote:Great post BBBB!
Young men's love then lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes and all that.


So... youre saying I'm young? :notworthy:
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Re: Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby badbugbadbug » 02 Mar 2012, 13:15

GuyInTaiwan wrote:You lifted that straight from the Hess HR department's hiring and training manual.


Yeah, every time I meet someone who got rejected from Hess, I congratulate them.
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Re: Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby Tomas » 02 Mar 2012, 13:31

Yes, it's a very sensitively written post. I'm glad you're getting at least a few sensitive replies, but advise you to brace yourself for some of those self-styled "straight talker" type of responses, which will not be so sensitive. It's the nature of Forumosa and probably many discussion boards.

I've often wondered if people who have some form of psychosis are able to have healthy relationships. I suppose it's possible, if they are able to manage their disease and their partners understand what's going on. I think it's an awfully big burden to take on.

Many years ago when I was single, living in Taiwan, and changed girlfriends somewhat frequently, I found that if I dated someone much younger than me who had only had one or two relationships prior to ours, she would have a difficult time with the breakup and would sometimes resort to some extreme behavior to try to sustain the relationship (e.g. I did have a window-ledge sitter once who drank all of my whiskey and puked on my floor before going onto the ledge, and I had a few bang on my door at night after getting drunk at a KTV). I think these girls were just immature and, as monkey has suggested, probably were just acting out what they'd seen on television. They calmed down fairly quickly and, after a few hundred "I love you. I hate you. You are a love god, come back to me. You suck and I hope you die!" text messages, they would go away peacefully.

When I dated women who were more mature, I never ran into that problem. They accepted the breakup news fairly well.
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Re: Reassessing the Psycho Xiaojie

Postby Okami » 02 Mar 2012, 13:39

Tomas wrote:I've often wondered if people who have some form of psychosis are able to have healthy relationships.
No
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