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Think About It... Some members think of "triangulation" as a dysfunctional behavior perpetrated on them by a person with BPD. And why not - this is how we often see triangles when we are in them and the '"odd man out"! However, seeing it this way is exactly the opposite of what we want to do to end the drama.. ~ Skippy
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Author Topic: Thinking like a borderline  (Read 1544 times)
grimalkin
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« on: December 18, 2010, 07:57:35 AM »

I'm finding myself with a lot of BP tendencies left over from my relationship with my ex.  Yuck.  How does one get rid of them?

Grim
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grimalkin
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2010, 08:08:45 AM »

It was hard to avoid, since I used to have BPD myself.  I suppose Most people get this way to some extent, and all it takes is time apart from the BP and self relfection.  However it's annoting and insidious.  Maybe I can just keep an eye on the criteria and do my best?

Any thoughts?

Grim
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Travis
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2010, 09:03:54 AM »

I have found I have lost a bit of myself dealing with my BPDw.  I just found appeasing her was easier than arguing.  All she wanted to do was argue and put me down.  I'd just end up agreeing with her (falsely) and apologizing.  Apologizing all the time for things I didn't do or simple, normal misunderstandings. 

So in other words, I was lieing, and being like a BPD just to appease her and try to have peace. 
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muddychicken
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2010, 09:13:53 AM »

The key to your statement is that you recognize this. Catch yourself and your thoughts, feelings, behaviors and anaylze them before you make a decision. I myself have a case of the fleas and react to others like I did to my exw and after 15 years, it's hard for this old dog to learn new tricks but I amm...it's quite liberating.
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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Are you on the right board?
This board is for members with failed or failing relationships that want to detach from their relationship and relationship wounds. If you are still analyzing the decision to stay, please post on Undecided: Staying or Leaving
All members living with a pwBPD should learn to use the Stop the Bleeding tools - boundaries, timeouts and other basic tools - to better manage the day to day interactions with your partner. If you have questions on any of the tools, feel free to go over to Staying: Improving a Relationship with a Borderline Partner and ask for help. :-)
El Greco
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2010, 09:46:00 AM »

It was hard to avoid, since I used to have BPD myself.

You did?
Hell, than you're a source of information.
If you don't feel like it than I understand but what happened to you to change that, boy would I love to know.
And because of it don't you understand better than anyone how to handle these issues you have now?
Forgive me if I'm being ignorant but this is all new to me.
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grimalkin
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2010, 10:40:30 AM »

It was hard to avoid, since I used to have BPD myself.

You did?
Hell, than you're a source of information.
If you don't feel like it than I understand but what happened to you to change that, boy would I love to know.
And because of it don't you understand better than anyone how to handle these issues you have now?
Forgive me if I'm being ignorant but this is all new to me.

I was raised by a bipolar I, borderline mother.  I had to learn the game to survive.  I was unprepared for the non world and had a very hard time of it, especially through my teens and early 20s.  I had the advantage of seeing how controlling and hypersensitive my mother was, and was impossible to please she could be, that sprinkled with smothering love and affection.  I didn't want to be that way.  I always took things extremely personally, even if they weren't meant to be attacks, and would devalue lovers almost the moment I became involved with them, and would always, always do the leaving.  It was hell.  At least I had my mother's weird behavior to look at to help me learn how NOT to be.  I married a man who seemed to know instinctualy what to do.  He simply wouldn't engage me at all.  He wouldn't argue, didn't try to reason with me, didn't try to defend himself.  He would just wait until it was over.  This way I was simply left on my own with my bad feelings, to deal with them by myself.  Well that taught me a lot.  I also switched majors from art to Western philosophy, which forced me to learn how to think things through logically-- a real workout for the brain.

I guess I sort of grew out of it over time, and with all these factors backing me up.  Believe me, I was a wreck growing up.  I raged, felt empty, mirrored, was resentful and SOOO sensitive about everything anyone said or did.  I'm no longer like that now, just a few fleas left over from my exBPbf.  I found myself reverting somewhat to old ways of thinking and feeling (I swear sometimes I felt like I was living with my mother again).  I don't feel particularly BP overall, just a bit fleabitten.

Grim
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El Greco
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2010, 11:13:31 AM »

I married a man who seemed to know instinctualy what to do.  He simply wouldn't engage me at all.  He wouldn't argue, didn't try to reason with me, didn't try to defend himself.  He would just wait until it was over.  This way I was simply left on my own with my bad feelings, to deal with them by myself.  Well that taught me a lot. 

Grim

You are still married to this man?
Cause now that I learned what was going on all this time, I beat myself over the head that I should have handled it differently, I just did the defending and arguing for 4 years and now I feel guilty about that.
Part of me would like another shot at it, or go back in time, cause I loved her so much but just didn't understand.
Of course I know there's ego involved but when I think about her "new man" doing it better than me and ending up with the woman I love, well I should be bigger than that, but it makes me really sad, and than I get ashamed for feeling that way cause I still want the best for her even though I'm so angry with her.
I start crying like crazy now as I write this but I wish I was the man for her like the one you married...
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Border Crossing
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2010, 06:19:13 PM »

Im finding trust issues are the biggest for me. The BPD trusted maybe one family member and her doctor. If Id been thru what she's been thru maybe Id be the same. Im not allowing this rship to lead to me being mistrustful of everyone I meet. But I will be safe in future. I might get hurt in future rships but Ill have done everything I could to reduce risk.
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2010, 06:25:56 PM »

Quote
I wish I was the man for her like the one you married

It would not have mattered. Having a Husband doesn't allow for the necessary solution to confront the Borderline problem (which is the failure to be autonomous)- alas, the solution to this problem is acting independent and being self sufficient. Borderline personality disorder is a disorder because Borderlines follow the reward in others in order to fulfill a sense of their own "self."   They attach to those that they perceive as powerful hosts for their fulfillment.  (They wait for someone or something to come along to fulfill them and they attach to it.) Unfortunately, they dont find themselves (read: they do lose themselves) in this hosting and the search continues on for a new host. That Host is a reproduction of their initial self object fusion; i.e., Mother who exists in their psyche.

Mother did not allow for daughter to develop an independent sense of self, so the child has a desire to attach to others and please them in order to feel a sense of purpose. In other words, to exist.  The child becomes an obedient and compliant reactionary which creates a cautious and person-sheltered and protected human from the experience of autonomy. In essence, bondage.  Most of the problems with Borderline thinking is the lack of "self" without others to attach to and provide some sense of direction for them while feeling put upon and slave-like (bad) but also fearing another bad which they think is the worst alternative: abandonment.

While Borderline may appear dormant at times, it is only because your autonomy and self sufficiency is not being tested. Being a child of a Borderline creates a persona that does not act but is acted upon by others.
 
Feeling powerless and dependent on others who are more powerful (esp. money) teaches Borderlines to get what they want indirectly through another person, another "self." Because of this, many Borderlines rely on this "self" that exists in another person to fulfill them. This causes all sorts of self-sabotage and misery and they jump from relationship to relationship.

Borderlines are wanderers in life, orbiting the other "self" and when that self withdraws or gives the perception of withdrawal- the Borderline feels invisible and un-needed. Without feedback, Borderlines fear annihilation. They then begin the search for new reflecting surfaces to see themselves. They move in the direction of others (who they perceive as rewarding reflections) and away from their present relationships (that they perceived as withdrawing and unfulfillable) and they do this as though they are being seduced. When the seductive reward withdraws into reality, and away from fantasy- the Borderline feels misled, and claims that they were kidnapped in the process. Thinking this way and being a kidnap victim is the Borderline refuge from self responsibility, i.e; reality. Reality that they are an autonomous human and responsible for their own choices without blaming others.
 
Quote
I'm finding myself with a lot of BP tendencies left over from my relationship with my ex.  Yuck.  How does one get rid of them?

You must tackle your lack of direction and lack of drive for your own "self."  Where do you want to go? Does it rely on others to get you there? Confront that thought.

If you continue to re-live this important thought (that you are held captive) in elements of your unconscious, you will remain irresponsible to yourself and react to others like patrons whose good graces need to be courted.  This doesn't leave allot of self determination in the process except as a reactionary to others actions. (People are split good and bad based on those reactions.)

Follow your reward thinking and see how it is not only drawn to others for your reward but also how delicate that reward is. It cannot survive forever. Eventually, it is pulled away and withdrawn by another Human and that's when you have to find it within yourself. Borderline reward relies on another Human for fulfillment. Borderline thinking is the fantasy of being kept safe from harm- but fear and eventual bondage comes out of it when the safety is in question. The outcome of this is your attempt to control annihilation (who you think you are) and abandonment (who you want to be.) When your persona is dependent upon your interactions with a host, it’s never going to be entirely within your control. The concept of free will needs to be addressed as well as the fears concerning the expression of free will and what you suppose would happen if you just were yourself and not trying so hard to please others.

Grim, you have had an experience that has changed you for the better. Acknowledging it as a turning point in your life will spare you a deep-set depression *if* you understand that the turning point has both positive and negative consequences that came about from your decision to jump from one partner to another. The negative you have received because of your partner’s failure to support you monetarily does not mean that you will remain defeated by life forever. And the positive outcome of this does mean that the end of your wandering has occurred and you are aware of change. Namely, the painful personal growth of your self sufficiency and independence.

Many Borderlines have become so aware of what's needed that they can guide others. In time they find understanding of their own and others thought processes. I think you're one of them.  If you can transmit what you've learned to help guide others, you'll come through this turning point with great wisdom and healing.  Doing the right thing


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El Greco
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2010, 07:21:56 PM »

Wauw,  thank you for this 2010.
Even though I've learned most of what you're saying I'm just confused as you can imagine.
I'll get out of this just fine, just need some confirmation here and there because everything I was and knew is lost a little, just have to get it back.
Now the final question  I just have to ask grim is this: you told me about that husband handling it the right way but to my surprise I see that you are here for the same reason  we are.
Where is that husband, is he the BPD or what happened in between for you  to "cure" yourself and now ending up at the other side of the coin with the rest of us.
Forgive my being nosy but it would really help me.
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2010, 09:22:27 PM »

Thanks for this post and for sharing.

I find myself in a sort of similiar situation. I used to be BPD 'lite' to use the term from another post. Consider myself mostly healed, although I can catch myself falling back into old tendencies on occassion under stress. Currently attempting to disengage from my BPD partner and now that I have space away from her, finding that I have internalized some of her patterns - which were not my old ones. Mostly anger and feel as if I might rage like her, although I have never acted on it, and don't think I will.

I consider myself very lucky to have worked my way out of my own BPD, and do find my personal understanding of the disease useful in negotiating this relationship. I hope someday I can help other people, it is like a miracle - I feel and act like a totally different person. And get that feedback all the time.  I agree the only way out is to find a way to be autonomous and independent, and be willing to look really deep inside yourself at what the truth is, and all the hard stuff that happened to you.

I think it is ironic that even BPD's can be swept into the trap of another BPD. But, as hard as this relationship and particularly it's ending has been, I have also found a lot of healing in it. Being on the otherside, has really opened my eyes wider to what I have put people through! And, having an unavailable BPD for my partner, really forced me to be independent and find in a way a strong sense of myself. In other ways of course I have lost myself, trying to avoid triggering her. So it's interesting. And you are not alone!



 
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grimalkin
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2010, 10:36:39 PM »

I left my husband because we became alcoholics together and our finances had become dangerously out of control.  By exBPbf rode in on his white horse and saved me from all that.  I wasn't thinking clearly, as the alcoholism was making my bipolar II much worse.  I really did love him.  We were like two peas in a pod.  I understood him, and thought I could help, because I saw the BPD in him and since I'd been through it, I thought (stupidly) that I could be good for him.  Of course this backfired.  I got drawn in anyway, just like the rest of us.

At first we got on like a house on fire.  Then slowly the relationship became abusive.  I was shocked and dismayed by this.  I never returned the abuse, but it didn't matter.  I think the fact that I DID understand him wound up scaring him, making him feel more ashamed and out of control.  For my part, I was unable to ignore him when he was abusive.  I stood up for myself and that was a mistake.  I should have just ignored him.  Not that it would have ultimately changed the outcome, but it would have helped in the moment.

I left him when it became so bad that he undermined my very sense of sanity.  I didn't stick around to see how bad the physical abuse could get.  He was already leaving bruises on me. It was and has been excruciatingly painful. 

I actually wound up back with my husband, who has been very supportive as I try to figure this all out.  I didn't have too many other options (like, none).  We're taking it extremely slowly, to see if it will work.  For right now we're room mates.  He is respecting my need for space while I'm healing.  His finances are a bit better than they were, and he's not drinking as much as he did.  We both have a lot to work on.  He is still my best friend, though-- that's never changed. 

We've agreed that the time apart has given us both a new perspective on things, and ultimately it may be good for us.  We'll see.

Grim
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damask
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2010, 11:32:08 PM »

You've had a hard row to hoe, Grim.  No wonder if some of your BPD-ish tendancies haunt you now and then.  But you seem to have an inner strength that has helped to hold you up.  Keep grounded, trust your instincts, they seem to lead you in the right direction.  My heart goes out to you.
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grimalkin
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2010, 11:36:22 PM »

I should add that I WAS relatively well balanced and had real direction before my exBFbf came into my life.  I put everything on hold for him.  Silly thing to do-- like I said, he brought out my old BP tendencies by seeming so needy.  I thought at LAST I had someone who fit me perfectly.  It was a horrible mess.  Perfect at first, as they all start out to be.  Then the resentment started.  

No wonder I felt like I was back in a relationship with my mother.

Now I have to find direction again.  It's very difficult.  I feel like I've gone backwards.  These boards have been incredibly helpful.  It will be a long process.

Grim
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grimalkin
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2010, 11:38:04 PM »

You've had a hard row to hoe, Grim.  No wonder if some of your BPD-ish tendancies haunt you now and then.  But you seem to have an inner strength that has helped to hold you up.  Keep grounded, trust your instincts, they seem to lead you in the right direction.  My heart goes out to you.

Thank you.  I don't feel very strong sometimes.  I appreciate your encouragement.

Grim
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Border Crossing
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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2010, 01:44:13 AM »

Thats a hard hard road Grim. Good thoughts ur way
Im also feeling a little infected. I think its true that it can leave you thinking like them. Partly thinking like them at least. In my case I think it will be a matter of time. Trust will be the issue at hand in future rships if I LET IT BE ONE. I was joking with someone I have this picture of myself in a new rship hiding things around the house or car or whereever before going to bed at night. Screw that, Im not transmitting this to other ppl. You have ur experiences, but you choose ur behaviour.

Or in the BPD case ur almost completely running in whatever direction the illness points you in. Sad. Dont contact me. Keep seeing ur doctor.
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El Greco
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2010, 08:09:38 AM »

Thank you so much for sharing, and despite of the alcoholism, I Guess thank god for your husband.
I do hope you tell him that every once and a while, big part of the healing is being able to do so.
All the best to you.
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Travis
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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2010, 08:14:10 AM »

I hope you are OK.  Hang in there.  It has to get better and it will.  You deserve happiness and peace.
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GCD145
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2010, 10:48:37 AM »

Grim-
You have indeed had a hard road.  x

I have to ask this, though: what makes you think you were borderline?  Were you diagnosed?  I find it difficult to believe that you could be "cured" without therapy.

GCD145
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grimalkin
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2010, 12:50:50 PM »

Grim-
You have indeed had a hard road.  x

I have to ask this, though: what makes you think you were borderline?  Were you diagnosed?  I find it difficult to believe that you could be "cured" without therapy.

GCD145

No, I was never diagnosed, but I fit 7 out of 9 of the DSM IV criteria, including inappropriate anger, feelings of emptiness, suicidal ideation and gestures (actually one full blown attempt when I was 19).  I mirrored like crazy and hated, I mean HATED being alone.  Lots of self loathing. 

Whenever I would start to feel intimate to someone I would immediately devalue them.  This made it much easier to handle my volatile emotions.  It also made it easier to leave them, which I almost invariably did.  I'd leave them before they could leave me.

I don't know whether I'd say I'm completely cured, but I've mellowed to a point that it isn't an issue anymore.  I can't vouch for all BPs but it happened to me, just in the manner I described it.  My experience with my exBPbf brought back a lot of unwanted insecurities as we each mirrored each other and the ideal of the relationship became to "take care of each other", read: indulge the crazy.  Not good.  There is a certain romanticism about both having the same dysfunction, but it's not worth the price.

I don't see why one can't get past BP issues without therapy.  If you're aware of what's going on, you know how you want to be and you do the work towards that goal, why wouldn't it be possible?

Grim
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