This post is an update and a request for advice.
The last time I posted was June 21st the day after Fatherâ€™s Day 2010, <http://BPDfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=121962.msg1205113#msg1205113>
discussing the eviction of my ex and how my parents had come in from out of town to help with that.
They provided some great emotional stability to what could have been a nightmare. On June 28, 2010 my father was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. Sudden and shocking. I was very close with my dad. He was my friend, mentor, and hero. I have been a â€śdaddyâ€™s girlâ€ť my entire life. He embraced his gay tomboy daughter as a human being and poured nothing but love at me. He was not a saint. But he admitted his faults and his mistakes and learned from them. He taught me that people are judged by their actions and how they keep their word, that farts are funny, and that god is in the eye of the beholder.
For a brief shining moment my BPDexw stepped up to the occasion and offered her support â€“ food, space, the use of the truck that I had recently signed over to her as part of our divorce agreement. I took her up on the truck. I had to pick my brother up from the airport and go to my momâ€™s about 80 miles away. All my friends were amazing â€“ a few of them drove over 100 miles to come be with me for a weekend as I stayed with my mom in the immediate aftermath and another group drove an equal distance to attend my dadâ€™s service even though they didnâ€™t know him. They were just there for me. Humbleness, gratitude, and honor do not begin to describe how I feel about my amazing circle of wonderful chosen family. They and my therapist have sustained me in all the hard work I continue to do throughout the divorce and death.
But nothing goes smoothly in BPD-land. On the eve of my fatherâ€™s service my ex called me raging, screaming, cruel, cutting, and generally vile. Told me I was responsible for every bad thing that was happening to me and a host of other vile things eventually screaming at me that she was not coming to the service because â€śI EFFING HATE YOU.â€ť I hung up on her and realized that nothing she could do or say would hurt me as much as the overwhelming grief of losing my father. My mom was appalled. She took it as an insult to my dad and could not understand at all because my ex and my dad had a good relationship. They liked each other and rode motorcycles together.
As one of my good friends put it. â€śBefore this you HAD to leave. But after this you WANT to leave.â€ť Amen to that. After telling my ex that she had truly stepped over the line of human decency, I limited contact with my ex to only what was legally necessary. Of course, stonewalling her only made her rage more. But it helped me keep my sanity and carve out a space to rebuild and heal.
So I curled up in a ball an cried and processed and took my life one breath at a time and let the grief wash over me all through the winter. And as the light returned to the evening sky it has been returning into my life.
But now I feel better and Iâ€™m interacting with people more and all the sorrow and loss comes to a deeper integration. And I find what Iâ€™m stuck on is shame.
The close circle that has been supporting me all along (about 4 people) get it and donâ€™t bother me. But the outliers, the friends that are half way between close friends and acquaintances want to catch up. And I want to be honest and authentic. And Iâ€™m not as angry (thankfully). But they press with the questions and they try to understand and when I try to explain they get dubious and they make excuses for my ex. And I find myself having to explain in detail and finally I really have to explain that REALLY she was emotionally abusive and actually pushing me toward being physically abusive. And somewhere in there I have to admit to myself that I was the victim of that abuse. That I let it happen. Even though I got out, it still feels like six kinds of shameful $**t. And every excuse they make for her in an effort to comprehend the uncomprehendable are exactly the same excuses I made while we were together. Logically I know I have nothing to be ashamed of, but it still FEELS crappy. Then the next time someone wants to catch up I find myself minimizing because I donâ€™t want to feel that shameful crappy feeling. And that feels wrong too.
I went on my first date since the breakup about a month ago with a psychologist. It was so refreshing. All I had to say is my ex has BPD and she gave me a sympathetic wince across the table and asked me if the anger got too much to handle. Wow. I just said yes and we moved on to other topics. Pretty stellar first date actually. But that reaction is the exception not the rule.
How do you explain this stuff without drowning in it?