Just suppose you found yourself a cute furry kitten. It looked gorgeous. It had sat comfortably purring on your lap and looked into your eyes adoringly. As it had started to grow however, you had started to have problems. It had no longer liked all the fun things the two of you used to do. Occasionally it had seemed to transform into something you had barely recognised and had malevolently attacked. However you had just accepted it, hoping that it would eventually come through this uncomfortable stage and things would become more reasonable again. (Sam Vaknin correctly calls this “malignant optimism”). When this had not happened you had called in the experts for help and advice. People whom you had assumed were so much more knowledgeable than you. They were full of guidance about how you had mishandled things. So you try again and again to fix your mistakes and do better. Yet things do not improve. In fact things get steadily worse and all the while you are being made to feel like it is all your fault.
Then one day you are idly researching to try to better understand, when you finally come across others with the same issues. You recognise immediately the identical situation but then as you delve further into your research, you realise you had always misunderstood.You had never been dealing with a kitten. You had always been dealing with a young lion. You had not known what was happening, you had reached out for help and guidance, only to be made to feel like it was all your fault and that you had just needed to do a better job. Yes perhaps you should have been a little more knowledgeable heading into the situation but if only one of the people to whom you had reached out, (who were suppposed to be the authority on the subject), had recognised you were dealing with a lion, perhaps the outcome would have been better for all concerned..