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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: Christmas Gifts and the BPD.  (Read 1278 times)
Jamlad
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Life is Good


« on: November 21, 2006, 01:49:02 PM »

As the holiday season approaches, I fondly remember the Christmas gifts I received from the ex.

My favorite gift was a set of cooking knives that she was thinking of getting me. So my gift consisted of her showing me a picture of the present that she never bought. In her mind, the act of thinking about getting me something was very thoughtful. I was very fortunate that year.

So, does anyone else have a good story?
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mike440
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2006, 02:15:54 PM »

I'm sure there will be plenty of good stories on this, but you might also want to check out this post from a few minths back...

http://BPDfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=49022.msg452356#msg452356
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RefugeeFromOz
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2006, 06:01:20 PM »

My uBPDxw was awful about gifts.  I'm just the opposite, and many people have told me I'm a great gift-giver.  For my kids, I would start planning the "Christmas list" in October.  I always wanted to get the "right" things, the things that would light them up.  She wouldn't participate.  Didn't seem interested.   Now that we're divorced, her gifts for the kids are just all the wrong thing.  To her credit, it seems like she wants to be generous, but just can't determine what is right.

For me, she would ask me what I wanted on Christmas eve, and never put a thought into being creative or buying me something based on my interests.  Never a surprise.  On birthdays, it was usually the day of my birthday, same thing - what do you want?  And even then it was mostly because my kids were enthusiastic about getting Dad's gifts;  For her it was a chore.

There's no big boo-hoo on my part.  I just always noticed that about her and could never understand the apparent apathy.
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Bdawn
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2006, 10:05:20 PM »

Well I can't really say anything negative in this regard about my exbp. He was always a very generous gift giver, sometimes over the top. The only thing that hurt me about this, is that he would give me some extravagent gift that I had never asked for and then later accuse me of using him for this purpose. Eventually I felt no true joy in receiving anything from him because I knew it would be something he would use against me later. One time I was thinking about him and hurting so I sent him a little email just saying hi and how are you doing. He responded politely but then he told someone else that I had most likely contacted him to see if I could get something out of him.  sad
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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. :-)
Cirque
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2006, 03:55:29 PM »

How about GIVING them gifts?  How does that work out? 

With my mom, you've got about 1 in 4 odds of getting it right.  Get it wrong and she's denying she's disappointed so much you want to kill yourself, outright insulted, or weepily depressed.  Will she HELP by suggesting things?  No, if you can't read her mind you don't really love her do you.  Is that more NP than BP you think?

As far as being on the receiving end, my mom started something two Christmasses ago I wish we could just talk honestly about and do both ways. 

My first box from her was a red cashmere sweater and a silk scarf.  Beyond very cool.  Thanks!  My other box from her was a suede jacket -- orange with a lot of soutache and beading on the collar and shoulders.  Well, not something I would have picked for myself, can't like throw my pack on my beaded shoulders and go off in it and the cut's too sporty for dress occasions, plus I really hate orange on me.  But I'm saying only thanks.  Try it on. It's looking kind of big to me but I guess over a sweater it... it's kind of big on me.  No hang tag.  Size tag's been cut off at the neck seam, too.  She tries it on.  Fits beautifully!  Oh, right, and she loves orange. 

Next Christmas.  Open box.  Awful embroidered green tunic and ditzoid matching embroidered green bag.  But ah-ha, the size tags are missing, TG.  Oh, awesome!  Try it on.  Aw, too big, but it's perfect for YOU mom!  Really?  But it's for you -- we should take it back. No, mom, it's totally perfect for you!  You can wear it with those orange pallazzos nothing else goes with.

Since she's hard to buy for it would be great if we agreed I'd get her something for me and she'd get me something for her. 
 
My worst gift from her was an electric shaver when I was 13.  A huge, three-headed man's electric shaver.  I thought I'd opened my brother's present by mistake and was thinking well he can really get those three whiskers of his all day long with this thing.  But he knows it's mine and he's about to roll off the couch and is bevissing so hard his brains are about to come out of his nose. 

Then my granma and aunt come over and we have to show them our presents.  I'm footing the shaver under the tree skirt, but no, mom notices I haven't shown it.  So, okay, there's this, too.  And my aunt's eyes bug out and she says, "A vibrator?"

My brother was just gone.  Could not get a grip.  Mom ordered him to the basement and we could still hear him from down there.

Whole new thread for later:  How to survive getting gifts from a BP's X
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Leagaleagle
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2006, 06:24:38 PM »

Giving gifts to my BPD stbxw was a huge ordeal. Nothing was ever right, I planned to make her miserable by buying the "wrong" thing everytime... I didn't hear the hints that she claimed to give me.. I missed the signs.. I was incompetent at gift giving.. In fact our last break-up was over a birthday gift... yep I got the wrong one again... oh well... now I need not worry about this in my life. No more gifts for the CW, that is for someone else to do!Oh yea and her buying me anything was another huge ordeal, I never got much from her, and it was always her asking me what I wanted and then dealing with her rages as she managed to F up my bday every year. Yep my bdays were always a problem, she used my special day to make it about herself somehow.. I just gave up after a while, expecting the fallout..
Leagle
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Cirque
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2006, 06:39:45 PM »

Yep my bdays were always a problem, she used my special day to make it about herself somehow..

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!  Oh, God, I can't remember when it was that I was at a friend's BD party and noticed it was about her instead of about her mother's having given birth.  Maybe I was 10?  11?  And it was soooooooooo weird.  My brother and I still give our mom gifts on our birthdays to thank her though she's never done that with her mother.  (Though of course the gifts usually make her sad.)  Wow.  Somehow I'd kind of stopped noticing this.  And I can't remember how it started.  I'll have to ask the bro.
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Minky
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2006, 11:01:33 AM »

Present giving was a very touchy subject with my BP ex.  He hated me spending money on other people full stop.  I have a large family and would start to buy early and really enjoyed the gift giving aspect of Christmas - he would be highly critical etc and then go spend the equivalent on beer, wine and food for himself because he said it was Christmas after all?

He always bought me really expensive jewellery but in the end I got wise and realised that I had to wear it because he wanted to point out to everyone what a lovely expensive present he bought me.  One year I asked him to give me some gift vouchers for our garden instead - he said no because no one would be able to see what he bought!

I used to stress out alot about getting him gifts - he would always verbally sling them back at me at a later date - saying what bad taste I had and didn't know him well enough to buy for him.  As a BPD - he didn't even know himself - what chance in hell did I have of knowing him and getting it right?  Also he was a different person from month to month.  City gent, Italian designer guy, country shooting type, kick boxing guy, artist, would be coffee shop owner - I never knew who he'd be from month to month!

He was really big on cards and would hunt for hours to find the one with the most words in it and then fill in the white spaces with how I was the love of his life etc.  Now I'm more of an artistic person and I always chose visual cards and I've never been big on words - I'm an action person - not a words person  - eg do kind deeds and don't talk them.  Well one Christmas he blew his top because I wrote something really simple in a "visual" card I got from a person who made them.  He threw it across the room and said it was pathetic and my words to him were appalling because I hadn't said he was my one true love etc, etc.

When I got sick the first time I sent him a card basically thanking him for being so supportive and how much he and his actions had meant to me.  He put it in the drawer because it made him feel uncomfortable.  I couldn't win could I?  Wonder why you loose your mind after being with them for a period of time?

Minks
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wornout
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2006, 01:43:07 AM »

How about GIVING them gifts?  How does that work out? 

With my mom, you've got about 1 in 4 odds of getting it right.  Get it wrong and she's denying she's disappointed so much you want to kill yourself, outright insulted, or weepily depressed.  Will she HELP by suggesting things?  No, if you can't read her mind you don't really love her do you.  Is that more NP than BP you think?

As far as being on the receiving end, my mom started something two Christmasses ago I wish we could just talk honestly about and do both ways. 

My first box from her was a red cashmere sweater and a silk scarf.  Beyond very cool.  Thanks!  My other box from her was a suede jacket -- orange with a lot of soutache and beading on the collar and shoulders.  Well, not something I would have picked for myself, can't like throw my pack on my beaded shoulders and go off in it and the cut's too sporty for dress occasions, plus I really hate orange on me.  But I'm saying only thanks.  Try it on. It's looking kind of big to me but I guess over a sweater it... it's kind of big on me.  No hang tag.  Size tag's been cut off at the neck seam, too.  She tries it on.  Fits beautifully!  Oh, right, and she loves orange. 

Next Christmas.  Open box.  Awful embroidered green tunic and ditzoid matching embroidered green bag.  But ah-ha, the size tags are missing, TG.  Oh, awesome!  Try it on.  Aw, too big, but it's perfect for YOU mom!  Really?  But it's for you -- we should take it back. No, mom, it's totally perfect for you!  You can wear it with those orange pallazzos nothing else goes with.

Since she's hard to buy for it would be great if we agreed I'd get her something for me and she'd get me something for her. 
 
My worst gift from her was an electric shaver when I was 13.  A huge, three-headed man's electric shaver.  I thought I'd opened my brother's present by mistake and was thinking well he can really get those three whiskers of his all day long with this thing.  But he knows it's mine and he's about to roll off the couch and is bevissing so hard his brains are about to come out of his nose. 

Then my granma and aunt come over and we have to show them our presents.  I'm footing the shaver under the tree skirt, but no, mom notices I haven't shown it.  So, okay, there's this, too.  And my aunt's eyes bug out and she says, "A vibrator?"

My brother was just gone.  Could not get a grip.  Mom ordered him to the basement and we could still hear him from down there.

Whole new thread for later:  How to survive getting gifts from a BP's X

I hate to say this, because I'm sure these episodes have made the holidays painful and difficult.  ...But between the gifts for one's self and the shaver, this is truly sitcom material.  You should submit it somehwere as a script. 
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Cirque
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2006, 05:01:23 PM »

I hate to say this, because I'm sure these episodes have made the holidays painful and difficult.  ...But between the gifts for one's self and the shaver, this is truly sitcom material.  You should submit it somehwere as a script. 

Well, yeah, that's just IT. If we weren't so clenched and about to scream the house to pieces all the time, it would be AbFab America around here. 

The thing I miss most when my brother's at uni is having somebody to laugh with. 

My BP mom and her sister are both hypochondriacs and have incredible flame wars over their diseases and treatments.  When I'm stuck on my own with them I can barely stand to breathe, but when my brother's around, we can run upstairs and laugh while the script keeps blasting up the stairs. 

Sample soundbyte from Thanksgiving:  My aunt's gotten into yoga for one of her rare diseases and my mom, who's always been telling her to get into yoga, resents my aunt's new ownership of it.  They fought like mad cats for over two hours and then my aunt slammed out of the house screaming, "Pranayama, butt."


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wornout
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2006, 11:38:53 PM »

Sample soundbyte from Thanksgiving:  My aunt's gotten into yoga for one of her rare diseases and my mom, who's always been telling her to get into yoga, resents my aunt's new ownership of it.  They fought like mad cats for over two hours and then my aunt slammed out of the house screaming, "Pranayama, butt."


Still funny!  I hope you get some distance and the ability to chuckle when you write about this stuff on the board.
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Stargazer
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2006, 10:22:48 PM »

About 7 years ago, when I was living in New York, I celebrated Christmas in NYC by having a "sleepover" with some friends where we flirted with the Christmas Tree vendor at 8pm on Christmas eve to give us a free tree, decorated it while we drank egg nog and talked about boys   wink , and planned to open up the gifts our families had sent us the following morning.

Morning came, we opened our packages, and when I opened the box from my mother, 5 little packages came out.

Every single one of them was addressed to my dog.    shocked

One of my friends-- an old college friend who had seen my mother in full smear-campaign action firsthand and knew that my mother "wasn't right in the head"-- just began laughing her *ss off.  Soon, I couldn't stop giggling myself.

Stargazer
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wornout
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2006, 10:54:32 PM »

Well, I hope you had the dog write Thank You notes!  wink
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StressedinCleveland
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BPD can be cured --but you may not like the result


« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2006, 02:31:00 PM »

Giving gifts to my BPD stbxw was a huge ordeal. Nothing was ever right, I planned to make her miserable by buying the "wrong" thing everytime... I didn't hear the hints that she claimed to give me.. I missed the signs.. I was incompetent at gift giving.. Oh yea and her buying me anything was another huge ordeal, I never got much from her, and it was always her asking me what I wanted and then dealing with her rages as she managed to F up my bday every year. Yep my bdays were always a problem, she used my special day to make it about herself somehow.. I just gave up after a while, expecting the fallout..
Leagle

I could have written this passage exactly word for word!

Any holiday or occasion involving a gift was always occasion for a rage --I call these "Calendar Rages" because they are so predictable. Either a gift was wrong, or purchased too late making it less thoughtful (last minute), or too expensive or too cheap, or all of the above. But she would usually grab a CD from the cutout bin and not bother to wrap it for my present.
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