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Letter to John: How I Walked Away from Someone With Paranoid Personality Disorder

Paranoid Personality Disorder

Dear John, 

It's not about forgiveness, because there's nothing to forgive. You're simply being yourself, navigating life in your own way. Yet, witnessing your soul filled with anger and hatred is truly heart-wrenching. It's akin to seeing someone caught in the grips of addiction, yet to hit rock bottom. 

I can only hold onto hope that one day you'll find the courage to recognize how your words, purposely laced with hurt and cruelty, resemble the actions of someone inflicting physical violence. And then, expecting instant delete and erase from those you've hurt, as if nothing happened, is a deeply concerning pattern of behavior.

I understand the roots of your constant defensiveness and feeling of being under threat. However, this understanding should not be perceived as viewing you as a “science project.” It's like suggesting that chefs and restaurant owners see diners merely as test subjects. 

In our interactions, John, your constant defensiveness and tendency to interpret kindhearted remarks as personal attacks reflect your inner mistrust and suspicion, and habitually positioning yourself as a victim is tough to witness. While you love recommending great restaurants to others, automatically labeling it as an insult when they share something with you, under the assumption that they don’t think you know better, is incomprehensible.

When I choose to approach your reaction with empathy and patience, recognizing that beneath the surface lies a complex web of vulnerabilities and deep-seated insecurities and fears, you proclaim that I am seeing you as a science project. 

I sensed a darkness within you, but I never realized it ran this deep. You are neither a jerk nor a victim. My wish is for you to one day feel comfortable seeking help because you genuinely desire healing and are tired of being angry all the time. I stand by what I told you after the first outburst:

Heal, so you can welcome kindness and love from others

instead of contaminating them with your anger and hatred. 

Heal, because you owe it to yourself to prioritize self-love

over these destructive emotions. 

Heal, not for anyone else, but for your own well-being.

This isn't about having the final say. There are no winners or losers in this situation. The gap between us—how we communicate, our values, and perceptions—is just too wide and different. Before leaving the state, it's important for me to emphasize that there's no resentment on my part. I recognize your authenticity, the person you are, and everything about you.


Life Lessons Learned

  1. I hold myself accountable for ignoring red flags. When someone shows an unwillingness to communicate after realizing they've misunderstood you, it's clear they're not going to change overnight. When the same behavior repeats, it's more than just a simple red flag; it indicates a psychological issue. Yet, I chose to ignore it because I wanted to believe in the goodness of people. 

  1. Not everyone in the world has the desire to change. Familiarity, whether toxic or not, becomes a security blanket for many adults. This doesn't necessarily mean they enjoy it or condone their choices. They simply prefer sticking with what they know because change is intimidating. Change means stepping out of their comfort zone, even if that zone is filled with negativity.

  1. I believe that people are placed in my life to teach me lessons. Therefore, besides being appreciative, I find no room for hate, nor do I feel that an apology is needed on my behalf. Once upon a time, I too harbored a lot of anger within. This soul oddly reminded me of how far I have come in life and what it could have been if I had not pushed myself through healing.


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