You’ve done a really good job of naming some important behaviours here, and most of this could have been bang-on about my last relationship. Which is why I’m saddened that you started it off with your disclaimer about personality disorders, and then mention them again in the first paragraph, especially this part: “Polyamory can be a fertile ground for the personality disordered to hide in plain sight…” This is really super ableist and is going to hurt people. And it’s not at all necessary!

The things you describe are abusive behaviours, and they are behaviours enacted by people with and without PDs. And people with PDs may enact some of these, or they may not. You’re talking about behaviours that cross the spectrum of ability and personality, and the commonality to them is entitlement and abusiveness. Also…I know someone who was abused by someone who accused her of being a narcissist. I just think it’s really dangerous to start throwing around labels about people’s mental health that we don’t really understand.

I’m saying this because this is so close to being a really really helpful article, and would be except for this. I hop you will please consider replacing “the personality disordered” with “abusive people”; “a narcissist” with “abusive”/”an abusive person”; “narcissistic behaviour” with “abusive behaviour” and so on. I think you could do this and your point would be just as strong — stronger, even, because it wouldn’t be weighed down by unnecessary ableism.

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Co-author, More Than Two and Black Iron. Founder, Talk Science to Me Inc., and publisher, Thorntree Press. Lekwungen territory.

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