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Think About It...The basic premise of cognitive therapy is that the way we think about events in our lives (cognition) determines how we feel about them (emotions). ~ Jeffrey E. Young PH.D, Reinventing Your Life
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Author Topic: Is walking away the best thing to do - for them?  (Read 1824 times)
sheepdog
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« on: February 20, 2012, 09:55:27 AM »

I posted this on another thread that I found very interesting but for which now I can not find.   rolleyes

Anyway, the thread was about how we should let them go, walk away, and let them be as we are their triggers to all the bad stuff.

So, pretending that it would be easy to get a divorce when there are kids involved, money issues, etc. - in a perfect world, even those married to BPDs should step away from them if they could?  The kindest thing you can do is step away so they have to face everything?

Two more questions:

2.)  How do you step away when you really can't - when you have to see and interact with the person every day at work?

3.)  If they are in therapy and getting help, is stepping away still the best thing to do?

Thank you!
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Auspicious
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 10:12:27 AM »

Do you realize that you are posting this on Staying? Just curious ...


It is possible to "detach with love" sometimes without leaving the relationship entirely. There are plenty of things we can do to change our degree of enmeshment without leaving the relationship entirely.
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sheepdog
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 10:37:47 AM »

Hi Auspicious, yes I realize I am posting this on staying.  And for now, I am staying.

But when I read that thread...I kind of flipped it and turned it from his side and started wondering should I be staying...is it good for HIM?

So that is why I asked the three questions.  He is in therapy now and at the moment it is helping him and he feels the need to go.

But I'm not sure if that is enough.  After all we've been through, the bottom line is that I care about him and I want him well and if the best thing for him at this time is for me to disconnect then I will.
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Auspicious
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 10:50:59 AM »

I personally believe that you can disconnect from his out of control emotions without disconnecting completely from him.

Or that it is possible in general, anyway.
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sheepdog
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 10:54:26 AM »

Auspicious, can you direct me to a thread or a lesson on how to do that?

I didn't know that was a possibility and i am very intrigued.

Thank you for your help.
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 10:57:20 AM »

 ARe you going to counseling also? this can help u understand more of you, and what is happening.
  LIKe auspicious says u can dissconect without disconnecting completly.from him.
  detaching with lov u set boundaries to protect u. but u do this all out of lov,
 IF he is in treatment that is good. but it will take along time to completly recover. until then acceptance lov understanding boundaries the skills and tools all play apart...  smiley There is alot to read on her under the lessons..
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Letting go of what was or what you thought was, and accepting what is, is all part of the piece to the puzzle  we need to move forward.


Auspicious
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 11:00:19 AM »

Auspicious, can you direct me to a thread or a lesson on how to do that?

I didn't know that was a possibility and i am very intrigued.

Thank you for your help.

I'm not sure if there's any one lesson or topic that focuses on that specifically ... I think that as you apply various tools like boundaries, that this naturally has the effect of removing some of the dysfunctional coping mechanisms that your pwBPD has been using, which might inspire them to seek new and better ways of coping.

I'd suggest keeping in mind, though, that nothing that you do can really control what he does. You can protect yourself and stop serving so much as his dysfunctional coping mechanism, but whether he turns to other dysfunctional coping mechanisms or reaches instead for some functional coping mechanisms is up to him.
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sheepdog
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 03:17:01 PM »

Hi Wanda, no I am not in counseling. 

To both of you - how do you disengage or disconnect without disconnecting completely? 

I'm not sure I understand.

So remain in his life but detach a bit?

Sorry, I have never heard of this before and I have been studying a LOT.   grin  I've heard of NC and I have heard of staying but using things like SET but haven't heard of this.
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sheepdog
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2012, 08:02:30 AM »

So, long story short:  my pwBPD had a super hard week and is heading into a tailspin.  As this has happened numerous times before I recognize all the signs and know that I will be on the receiving end of crap and soon.

He also quit therapy this week - after saying how much he loved it and how it was making things better.

He knows that he being in therapy is a stipulation of mine in order for this freindship to continue.  He was very 'cute' and 'charming' when I reminded him of that on Thursday.  He said things like:  "We see each other every day at work.  We're in this social group together.  And this one.  And these other two.  What are you going to do, never talk to me?"  I told him we could still talk at those places and be casual but that we would need a distance.  And he said, "What about texting?  If I send you a text, you HAVE to read it right?  And if it's something important, what are you going to do, just ignore it?  And what if something happens with my mom?  (He is going through major stuff with her right now.) What are you going to do then?  Just not talk to me about it?"
That whole convo kind of bothered me.

Anyway, I had posted another link and had some questions about NC but it has gotten buried.  Here is the link:  http://BPDfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=168494.0 .  I have never heard of diconnecting/detaching in this way.  Can someone please help?

Also, how do I distance myself when we ARE in six groups together and have to work with each other every day?

I feel lost.

I amgoing to post this on the staying board too because I really don't know where it should go as I have to see him all the time.

Thank you.
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sheepdog
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2012, 08:04:27 AM »

So, long story short:  my pwBPD had a super hard week and is heading into a tailspin.  As this has happened numerous times before I recognize all the signs and know that I will be on the receiving end of crap and soon.

He also quit therapy this week - after saying how much he loved it and how it was making things better.

He knows that he being in therapy is a stipulation of mine in order for this freindship to continue.  He was very 'cute' and 'charming' when I reminded him of that on Thursday.  He said things like:  "We see each other every day at work.  We're in this social group together.  And this one.  And these other two.  What are you going to do, never talk to me?"  I told him we could still talk at those places and be casual but that we would need a distance.  And he said, "What about texting?  If I send you a text, you HAVE to read it right?  And if it's something important, what are you going to do, just ignore it?  And what if something happens with my mom?  (He is going through major stuff with her right now.) What are you going to do then?  Just not talk to me about it?"
That whole convo kind of bothered me.

Anyway, I had posted another link and had some questions about NC but it has gotten buried.  Here is the link:  http://BPDfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=168494.0 .  I have never heard of diconnecting/detaching in this way.  Can someone please help?

Also, how do I distance myself when we ARE in six groups together and have to work with each other every day?

I feel lost.

I posted this on the leaving board too because I really don't know where it should go as I have to see him all the time.

Thank you.
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Steph
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2012, 08:19:46 AM »

 What are your goals in this relationship? To make it better, to leave it, to have a closer r/s with him, or ? I am not clear on what you would like to see happen here.

Steph
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sheepdog
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2012, 08:50:33 AM »

Hi Steph,

I would like to have a friendship with him.  I do care about him and his well-being a great deal.

But, that is a moot point now.

I don't think I can have a relationship with him if he is not in therapy.  There are many reasons for that.

I had heard of distancing with love but can't find any info on it.  We are in tons of social circles together and *have* to interact with each other every day at work so I guess what I am looking for is a way to distance myself a bit since he is not in therapy anymore.
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suzn
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 11:08:28 AM »

Is this a friendship? Or are you living together in a full time r/s?

  I would say detaching here, from what you've said, would have to do with your reactions. People with BPD, and just people in general, know what "works" to get what they want. How do you react? Getting to a point where his crisis doesn't affect you as a crisis if that makes sense? When he's going through things with his mother does he lay it in your lap? Being empathetic without allowing him to hand these things over to you and you taking them on to "handle" for him. Do you have all the answers for him? Does he run to you any time things get difficult? Learning to be able to say things like "I'm sorry to hear that" and then truely being able to turn the other way, inside of yourself. Not allowing his "stuff" to affect you emotionally. For me anxiety grew and caused physical affects in me when my exBPDgf had a crisis. I had to "handle" things for her to ease my own anxiety. It was exhausting for me.

Have you read Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder? I read it recently and the insight on how to do this is amazing. It is work, make no mistake, but if it's a r/s you plan to stay in, it's essential, for him and for you.
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“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” ~Jacob M. Braude
sheepdog
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2012, 12:09:06 PM »

Hi suzn and thank you for your comment.  We have a friendship.

I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing detaching.  I think I have been reading TOO much about BPD and have had too many 'talks' with him recently which did not go well over the past two weeks.

I think since he is not in therapy distance is the best/safest thing to do.  That includes texting.  (Many of his rages occurred through text.)

I told him all of that on Thursday.  On Friday, he did not show up for work.  He texted me to tell me he was okay.  That night he was supposed to be at dinner with a group of our friends and he texted to say he was not feeling well and wouldn't be there and to let the hostess know.  I did text back but only with 'okay'.

This morning he texted me to see if I had fun last night at dinner.

So, is this a test?  Is he seeing if I'm serious about the distance thing since he's not in therapy?


I don't even know what I'm saying.  I guess I want to know if that is a reasonable response - to create distance since he does not have therapy (by choice) anymore to help him cope.

And if it is, do I then just ignore his texts?
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suzn
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2012, 12:51:11 PM »

  We have a friendship.

I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing detaching.  I think I have been reading TOO much about BPD and have had too many 'talks' with him recently which did not go well over the past two weeks.

What are you getting out of this friendship? What's the payoff for you? Why do you feel this is your job to have these talks with him? He's a grown man who can take care of himself.

I think since he is not in therapy distance is the best/safest thing to do.  That includes texting.  (Many of his rages occurred through text.)

That sounds rational on your part. Can you stick to this? Why would you feel obligated to answer? I have reached a point where I don't answer crazy. I am accountable if I do, I can't blame anyone else if I engage in it. If you don't know how to communcate with a pwBPD you are not helping, you are hurting.

I told him all of that on Thursday.  On Friday, he did not show up for work.  He texted me to tell me he was okay.  That night he was supposed to be at dinner with a group of our friends and he texted to say he was not feeling well and wouldn't be there and to let the hostess know.  I did text back but only with 'okay'.

And you blame yourself for him not showing up for work? You are not responsible for his work ethic. He should be handling his own affairs by letting a hostess know he wouldn't be attending. Again, he's a grown man. Why are you taking this on?

This morning he texted me to see if I had fun last night at dinner.

So, is this a test?  Is he seeing if I'm serious about the distance thing since he's not in therapy?

Yes, it's a test. Did you respond?

I don't even know what I'm saying.  I guess I want to know if that is a reasonable response - to create distance since he does not have therapy (by choice) anymore to help him cope.

And if it is, do I then just ignore his texts?

Ab so lute ly. I mean why does he need therapy, he still has you? His behavior "works" to keep you engaged. Yes, ignore the texts and all attempts to keep you connected. He's just a friend, is he really friend material?

The distance is just as much for you as it is for him. Detaching is absolutely the right thing. Have you had a chance to read this article yet?
Are we co-dependent?
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“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” ~Jacob M. Braude
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2012, 09:49:46 PM »

Distancing is about how close you choose, warm, and inviting you are to others. It' is very possible to be in the same social circles and not pay attention to him or his antics. It's very possible to block any personal contact from your phone, email, and facebook accounts.

These are all choices that you can make. How much contact do you wish to have with someone?

Now from reading his replies to you?
He is emotionally blackmailing you...in that he believes you are too kind and too nice "NOT" to help him if he needs it. He is calling your bluff

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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2012, 12:38:20 PM »

Suzn:
I used to get a lot out of the friendship, and no I am not talking about the compliments, etc.  He used to be there for me, helped me with stuff, would drop stuff at a moment's notice, had my back...all like I did to him.  Maybe that was mirroring?  But now, I am not getting a whole lot, I guess.   ?  It did get better a couple weekes into therapy - I felt like I was being HEARD for the first time in months and months but lately...yeah.
You said, "I've gotten to a point where I don't answer crazy" and I LOVE that!  I agree and I am getting there.  But like yesterday when he texted it was like, "So, did you have fun last night?"  and later when I did not respond, "Okay, well I guess have a great day..."  So not crazy but I think trying to do the pull.
I used to blame myself when he didn't show up and I felt a lot less of that this time.  I agree - he should have told the hostess himself.  He had texted her at 5 to say he'd be there and then didn't text her to say he wasn't.
No, I did not respond to the texts.  Nor will I.  Can I just say how awesome your fesity response and give-it-to-me-straight post was?  These two things you said really struck me:  "Ab so lute ly. I mean why does he need therapy, he still has you? His behavior "works" to keep you engaged. Yes, ignore the texts and all attempts to keep you connected. He's just a friend, is he really friend material?
The distance is just as much for you as it is for him. Detaching is absolutely the right thing. Have you had a chance to read this article yet?"
Thank you.  I needed to hear that. 

Can you please expand on, "The distance is just as much for him as it is for you." 

Distancing is about how close you choose, warm, and inviting you are to others. It' is very possible to be in the same social circles and not pay attention to him or his antics. It's very possible to block any personal contact from your phone, email, and facebook accounts.

These are all choices that you can make. How much contact do you wish to have with someone?

Now from reading his replies to you?
He is emotionally blackmailing you...in that he believes you are too kind and too nice "NOT" to help him if he needs it. He is calling your bluff





unitedfor now - yes, I think you are right.  I think that's what he's doing.  And my first thought was, "Well he needs me, he's going thru all this crap with his mom and he quit therapy" and then I went, "NO.  Those are choices he is making."

I need to save myself.

So do I tell him that I am disengaging?  I know he is going to be pissy on Monday and ask why I did not respond.  Do I just gently remind him?

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suzn
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 01:35:35 PM »

 Can you please expand on, "The distance is just as much for him as it is for you."  

Well this means that you trigger his illness, if you are not closely involved with him you won't trigger him, so it's best for him if you distance yourself. This will not go over well at first as you've said already. He's use to being able to trigger you, and believe it or not he knows exactly how. As you also said, you need to save yourself.

And when I say I don't answer crazy I mean ANY behavior that I know is unhealthy communication, manipulation, push/pull, abusive... I just don't respond to it. This teaches anyone who tries to do this to me that I just don't allow it. I don't care who you are...you will treat me with respect. Period, flat and final.  grin
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 01:51:05 PM by suzn » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2012, 01:55:57 PM »

 I am wondering if you have stronger feelings for this man that you are letting on.

You are spending ALOT of time on this, when most folks would just put up a fence and keep him at a distance, be social, but not emotionally available, etc..

So, I think we can do a whole lot better for you here if we understand what YOUR hook is in all of this.

I work with people, too, who have issues. It IS possible to see them, be professional AND keep boundaries in place where they dont vomit emotionally all over me. People do that all the time..and I wonder why you dont ?

You might really want to explore this, in your own process here, and just see what it is you are getting out of this and are hoping for.

   Steph
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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2012, 04:45:35 PM »

Hi there,  Doing the right thing

In my terms, detachment within a relationship can be illustrated by the way water runs off a ducks back.  The duck is in the water, but the water doesn't overwhelm it.  Likewise if we choose to stay and try and improve a r/s with a pwBPD, whilst being in the r/s and experiencing the roller coaster, we can choose whether we will be hurt or not.  Boundaries are our main tool, but they only work effectively if we benefit from the boundary (use the time out constructively), if we are in a state of despair during time out, we haven't detached with love effectively.

I just wonder if radical acceptance is a better tool for you from what you explain?
Here is the link: http://BPDfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=89910.0  Thought

Wishing you well!

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