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Video: Validation -- encouraging peace in a "BPD" family Alan Fruzzetti Ph.D. provides an in-depth explanation of validating and invalidating communications and the importance of creating a validating environment for the entire family. This is a "must see" for any family that has a family member who has a highly sensitive personality or who may be suffering from BPD.

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Author Topic: Disappearing act or silent treatment, when is it abuse?  (Read 1229 times)
Essay
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« on: February 01, 2011, 03:43:06 PM »

I have done alot of searching on the internet trying to determine what this is. I hope that someone here can help me put it to rest so that I can start to relax and heal from this situation.

First question, is there a difference between the disappearing act that I read about on here and the silent treatment? They seem the same thing to me. Am I wrong?

Second question, if a person does this to their friends sometimes too and not just me, is it still emotional abuse?

Really needing answers.   ?

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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 02:49:54 AM »

I think it can def be emotional abuse. My exuBPDbf used to disappear for days at a time and not communicate in anyway as to whether he was even alive (with his substance abuse problems, that was a legitimate concern) and then show up out of nowhere and act like nothing happened. He also did this to his family, terrifying his poor mother.

I haven't been on here long enough to know the answer the silent treatment thing, so my ability to contribute is limited.

I hope that helps?
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 02:20:38 PM »

I haven't had to suffer through the silent treatment or disappearing act for about a year a half now (thank goodness!) but my BF used to do it earlier in our relationship. I think it was his way of coping when he got stressed because he didn't have good coping skills. But, I also think it is a form of abuse as well.

When my BF would get scared or stressed, he would push me away...mostly due to our increasing closeness and his fear that if he allowed himself to really feel that emotion and love for me that I might leave him and hurt him. That pushing away sometimes included him picking a fight with me using irrational thinking and not calling me for days. (we were in a long distance relationship then.) If I tried to contact him during those times, he would get angry and push me farther. It was very hurtful to me and I know he knew he was hurting me by doing this (that is where the abuse comes in) but at the same time I don't think he knew any other ways to cope and was just grasping at whatever made him feel better at that moment (even though overall he was miserable when he would do this to me.) I'm not making excuses for him. He is responsible for his actions and, in a relationship, has to learn how to cope without hurting others.

Things are 100 percent better between he and I now and we've had chances to talk a bit about those times and what he was thinking. It all basically boiled down to his fear or a stressful situation causing him to run and want to be alone. And, yes, he has done it to a number of his friends as well as me. He would do it to everyone.

I learned that when he would do that to just leave him alone, give him his space and let him figure out how to process his emotions and fix things on his own. It took me months before I was able to do that, but I soon learned it was best. He would soon come around on his own, usually acting as if nothing had happened. In time I was able to talk with him more about it.

We now live together and things are 100 percent better. I think it is due to me learning how to better communicate with him, understanding him and allowing him to feel what he feels. That has created a strong bond of trust between which I think allays his fears of abandonment.

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ymistlhr
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 02:42:58 PM »

just wondering, does the disappearing have anything to do with DID. and them really not remembering where they were what was going on what they did?
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Essay
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 04:36:13 PM »

Wow Committed, thanks so much for your response. I would love to hear more about your experience? I have been searching for a year now on how to figure all of this out and I swear that your response was by far the most relatable for me.

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