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Author Topic: PERSPECTIVES: The dysfunctional dance - self inflicted wounds  (Read 24429 times)
elphaba
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2008, 09:07:18 AM »

I think to some extent yes...all pain is self inflicted...we choose how to react to any situation, the emotions are ours to process.

In the example you gave...an unexpected death...we can chose to be relieved (depending on your beliefs, that they are in a better place)...or we can choose pain/sadness for OUR loss...

But, I don't think all pain is bad, by no means...pain is meant to teach us something...just like a little kid who may need to burn his little fingers on the stove to learn that the stove is HOT...just as each of us learned from our BPD relationship, that pain taught us invaluaable lessons.

Not that any of this means we deserved the pain...or that we were not wronged...we did not deserve it, we were wronged...but, ultimately the choice is ours of how we process it, the real test of our character is how we rise above it and remember the lesson.
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2008, 02:08:31 PM »

My DBT therapist told me that feeling pain is part of life. It is our struggle and judgment against that pain that can make things worse.

Her formula

pain + non-acceptance = suffering.

If you stop living in the land of "it's not fair" or asking "why did this happen to me?", then you can allow the pain to go through it's normal cycle where healing begins.
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2009, 10:59:19 AM »

I don't know about the idea that all pain teaches us something.  I know it's an attempt to mobilize a bad experience for a positive goal - which is certainly worthwhile! - but sometimes I feel like analyzing my pain for what it has to teach me doesn't get me anywhere.  There's clearly a difference between the pain that you experience when you make some kind of mistake - whether it was missing a deadline, running a red light and getting in an accident, or more emotional mistakes (blaming others, etc.) that CAN reinforce your desire to avoid that behavior in the future, and the kind of "pure pain" that you experience when you're wounded by the vicissitudes of life and there's really nothing you could have done about it (death is a great example of this, but also - in my case - that I happened to born to someone with major emotional problems).  Those kind of experiences do teach you things - i.e., give you a deep insight into what others are feeling or a drive to fill that empty space with achievement or money or whatever - but not necessarily good things.  Sure, so thanks to living in fear as a child that my mom would emotionally self-destruct at any moment, I have an instinctive sense of others' emotional states.  I can still use that ability for good or evil.  It's neutral, in my opinion.  It's just life.  It shapes us in ways we don't control.  I don't know it's helpful - or true - to tell ourselves that these experiences were designed to make us better people.  Sometimes you're just walking through life and an air conditioner falls out of a window and hits you.  It's not to teach you something.  You just heal the best you can, and maybe you have a scar, and you live with it. 

I understand it's comforting to believe that everything that happens happens for a reason, though, and was meant for your spiritual growth.  It's nice to think something or someone out there is looking out for you.  I just don't know if it's true.

It is laudable to try to grow spiritually at any time, of course, as well.  We should all be looking for ways to be better people at all times.  I just reject the idea that pain is necessary in that process.  I would grow spiritually just as much from winning the lottery, lol.  I promise!
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2011, 11:45:41 AM »

With weak boundaries, we become sponges who allow our bps to step inside our inner self, suck up our energy, and define our world for us.  We permit them to tell us what to do, when to do it, and who to do it with. With each passing day, our self esteem deteriorates, and our ability to defend ourselves decreases.   
. . .

If we accept responsibility for our borderline and handle their duties and responsibilities, we are essentially handling "their stuff" rather than our own. Permitting someone else to make decisions for us suggests that we are letting them define our life for us.  If there isn't a clear boundary line between your stuff<----//---->my stuff, defenses (such as withdrawal, sidetracking, blame, rationalization, and black-white thinking) become handy ways for both parties to avoid self-awareness and growth.

I think these points are the challenging ones for me in staying.  Right now my W (also attested to by our T) lives in her defenses.  Every substantive conversation involves withdrawal, sidetracking, blame, rationalization, and black-white thinking.  I am not quick at using boundaries to catch all of these, but am getting better.  It reminds me of playing dodge ball when I was in 7th grade, playing against the 9th graders.  It was all about survival.   cool
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Sir5r
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2011, 02:53:59 PM »

My DBT therapist told me that feeling pain is part of life. It is our struggle and judgment against that pain that can make things worse.

Her formula

pain + non-acceptance = suffering.

If you stop living in the land of "it's not fair" or asking "why did this happen to me?", then you can allow the pain to go through it's normal cycle where healing begins.



The Natural Reaction to Pain in all living things is to withdraw from it.  

Choosing to accept pain from another person in order to survive is one thing but I'm beginning to feel standing there and taking verbal abuse is nothing less than Masochism.  I am starting to think that since I have no responsibility or control in my wife's healing, besides the fact that I have been calling myself her verbal punching bag for at least 15 years, why should I stay? Why should I care anymore?

Her main motivation for getting me back is only to abuse me more.   Honestly her BPD behavior is starting to disgust me,  she may have succeeded in her final push.  It wasn't a grand large push either it's just the limit.  

If my wounds are self inflicted it was out of ignorance that I ended up with her in the first place.   She went to great lengths to hide anything that would have been a red flag to me.  I would have known something was wrong and that is something that weighs on me every time I assess my willingness to stay with her and choose "acceptance" of her pain.

The question to ask yourself is why?  Why do we as non's choose to accept the treatment we do?  
Why would any healthy human being choose to remain with a borderline?

I accept that they have little or no control over themselves and that they can't be held totally accountable for that.  
So, Like the Animal Planet show "Fatal Attractions" is it our fault because we choose to live with "Dangerous Animals?"

Sir5r

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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2011, 03:43:54 PM »

,,,

The question to ask yourself is why?  Why do we as non's choose to accept the treatment we do?  
Why would any healthy human being choose to remain with a borderline?

I accept that they have little or no control over themselves and that they can't be held totally accountable for that.  

So, Like the Animal Planet show "Fatal Attractions" is it our fault because we choose to live with "Dangerous Animals?"

Sir5r


I first asked myself what I could live with and accept.  The extremity of the BPD/NPD behavior varies.  I have an idea of where my limit is and luckily there has been some improvement from there.  There are certain behaviors I don’t accept anymore and that hopefully will continue working.

However as to “accepting the treatment” I don’t.  The first step for me was not to and to stop internalizing the verbal abuse.  I try not to internalize it or give credence to it.  It is not always easy.  I slip and give the pwBPD intermittent reinforcement by taking the bait or responding to the chaos creation attempts.

I would never have chosen a relationship with a BPD had I known about BPD all those years ago. In fact that is part of the problem.  In the beginning, first year, none of the rage, verbal abuse, etc. happened.

The reason I remained so long with the pwBPD in my life is I thought these were just bad days and the problems could be solved by talking, open discussion, reason, and increased attention and affection for the pwBPD.  It took me a long time to realize despite my best efforts no level or attention or communication was going to stop the chaos.  By the time I recognized and faced the facts, however, other factors had come into play.  

To wit, three children.  The children did not choose this.  As the only emotional adult it becomes up to me to make the best of a bad situation.  I could certainly bail tomorrow if I didn’t care about them.
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 04:39:23 PM »

Her main motivation for getting me back is only to abuse me more.  


I think Margaret Paul  is telling us not to say things like this to ourselves... that this is were we self inflict our own wounds.

However as to “accepting the treatment” I don’t.  The first step for me was not to and to stop internalizing the verbal abuse.  I try not to internalize it or give credence to it.  It is not always easy.  


This is well said.  We can stop being a victim by not letting some of this conflict get to our hearts.   Its not alsways about leaving the room.

As an aside, I have a friend who is an artist at this.  He tells himself (and me) "I'm not going to get upset about that" when the relationship problems start coming down.  He says it nicely... but he really means it.  And you soon learn from dealing with him that drama just fall on the floor when he is around.

I slip and give the pwBPD intermittent reinforcement by taking the bait or responding to the chaos creation attempts.


Even if you are only 50% successful - that is a big improvement.  It's like learned  skill.

In a lot of areas in life we don't take bad behavior to heart... we brush it off.  I think the part of the issue is that we have much higher expectations of the spouse.  And we feel very compromised when we lower those expectations.  It is not our image of a relationship.

Given the options before us - it may be an important compromise to make.  Something to radically accept.
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2011, 12:25:53 PM »

The example to me doesn't seem so irrational.  If your SO is angry at you, particularly if they misunderstood something you did, doesn't it make rational sense to want to explain the misunderstanding and dissolve the anger?  My biggest difficulty with my BPDbf is that he makes irrational claims that I am hurting him.  For example, he claims that my facial expressions hurt him.  My natural response is to try to work on this conflict and explain perhaps he is misinterpreting my facial expressions.  Of course, this just ramps him up into a rage.  His reaction is abnormal - not mine.  What I am learning in therapy is that some of his positions are no-win situations for me and I have to learn to walk away.  Now I can do this with some success but it goes against my nature to want to comfort him and help him see I am really on his side.  The healthy person in a BPD relationship is still learning to adapt to the BPD's disorder - that takes a lot of education and a deep well of patience.

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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2011, 07:06:21 AM »


Paul uses the following to exemplify her point...

When I asked Don why he sits and listens to Joyce, he stated that he hoped if he listened to her she would listen to him. I asked if she ever does listen during these conflicts, and he answered "No."

"Why do you need her to listen to you?"
"I want to explain to her why I did what I did with the children."

"Why do you need to explain it to her?"
"So she won't be mad at me."


According to Dr. Paul, Don allows himself to be yelled at by Joyce as his way of trying to control Joyce, hoping to get her to approve of him. Then he tried to explain to further control how she feels about him. When she won't listen, he feels victimized by her yelling, blaming her for being such an angry, controlling person.


Taking responsibility for our own feelings of worth and lovability, instead of giving that job to others, moves us out from being victims.


Ahhhhhh so true. You know, I read somewhere once, that 'help is the sunny side of control'. I believe that. That makes me wonder how I was controlling or trying to be controlling in the r/s by being sooooo helpful and always there. I must say, I was not aware I had intentions of being controlling  to my ex BPDbf, yet I can see now this is the case. Passive aggressive controlling perhaps. Trying to control something so out of control. I knew that if I accepted enough, forgave enough, listened enough, was there enough, that I would 'outshine' any other girl and would be the one he would always come back to. When I look at that behaviour of mine, sure it was partly 'survival' to 'keep' bf but it was also control. Lack of control, for my own actions/behaviours, that were rooted in seeking validation from him, and passive aggressive control over him disguised as 'help'.


I gave him control over me and tried to regain my control over myself by being loved validated etc by controlling him through help. 

My analytical mind can see all this and own it, my emotional mind is still very hurt and wants to cry out that my heart is sore and I didn't mean to bring this on myself.  Then none of us meant to but did. 
 
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2013, 05:45:46 AM »

Boy oh Boy I did the dance. I have been looking much deeper into myself and asking myself why I danced. It is much easier to look at everyone else but ourselves. I used to think I knew my self pretty well I think I was an extremely compassionate person. I started to really look at why and what is inside of me that I allowed this dance to continue for so long. I was as healthy as I thought but getting a lot firmer with my boundaries. Not trying to fix anyone but myself now and accepting that each one of us is responsible for fixing themselves. Great Article
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