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Author Topic: SELF-AWARE: What it means to be in the "FOG"  (Read 17099 times)
Randi Kreger
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« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2009, 12:22:01 PM »

The boundaries workshop is at http://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=61684.0.0.
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Author, The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder, Stop Walking on Eggshells, and the SWOE Workbook. Coauthor, Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  www.BPDCentral.com

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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2011, 12:30:21 AM »

I wondered if this workshop on FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) might be of interest to this board.

Do you recognize the role of FOG in your life? What has it been? How have you worked on reducing it?

 smiley

B&W
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« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2011, 10:45:47 AM »

Thanks Black&White for putting this here.

Any other workshops that could be helpful here would be WELCOME too.

FOG, eh?

For me, the FEAR of what could happen was in the forefront.  The what if's. The consequences of MY actions.
Fortunately, I learned in Nar-anon that I can't stop a train from derailing.  I had 2 choices, either jump off the track or die trying to stop said train.  My bpd/bipdd is always having suicidal thoughts and verbalizes them.

I've just said, "You're gonna do what you're gonna do.  Nothing I can do to stop you"

This always leads to the "you don't love me, you'd be happy if I die, yada yada.

OBLIGATION...now that's the sticky wicky.  We are her parents.  She IS sick.  She can't seem to take care of HER.
Then there's the kids.  This obligation piece has gotten us stuck for 2 years now.  My dh is finally seeing he is no longer obliged to DO.  She is 26 almost 27 already.  this same piece had us stuck for our AS though we got over that one.
We got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

We're there again...I can only DO so much.  Period.  It is what it is.

GUILT...ya got me here.  DNA is one of those things we cannot change.  In my case, I had no family history on my dad's side. 
Wish I did about 26 years ago.  I got it about 3 years ago.  Mental illness abounds.

That said, I would have been looking at things way differently many years ago.  s28 was dx'd adhd/odd when he was very young.  I think he's bpd too.  JMO.  He's got all the behaviours including addiction. 

Could I have done something sooner?  Could I have intercepted this?  Could i have forced treatment on them?  Should I have even had kids?  Oh the list could go on and on.

I harbor no guilt for my son's addiction.  I didn't cause it, can't control it and definately can't cure it. 
I'm over the DNA guilt too.  I know I didn't cause BPDd's illness, can't control it and definately can't cure it.

I live by a saying that frees me from guilt...

WHEN WE KNOW BETTER, WE DO BETTER

I'm working on boundaries now.  My big one for bpdd is you do your part we're good.  You don't..you gotta go.

Fortunately, my son's addiction tought us all about boundaries.  I forgot to apply them to my daugher  ?

Love this acronym.  I'm all about acronyms. 

I use QTIP(quit taking it personally) when she rages at me.
I use KISS(keep it simple sister) when giving instructions to her.
I WILL use FOG to keep me on MY mission to regain MY serenity, sanity and peace.
I use JFT(just for today) I can do this.  Ok, sometimes it's JFM's.(moments).

So happy to have an outlet for this illness too.  Love thought provoking topics.
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blackandwhite
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2011, 12:06:46 AM »

Hello serenitygone,

You are most welcome. When I read your analysis of Fear, Obligation, and Guilt it strikes me how strong these are for a parent of a child.  Empathy

Quote
I live by a saying that frees me from guilt...

WHEN WE KNOW BETTER, WE DO BETTER

Can you talk about that a little more? What does this saying mean to you? What goes on in your head when you say it, and how does it help you ease the guilt?

I also had the thought that the opposite of FOG in some ways is radical acceptance.

Quote
Radical acceptance was developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD. from the University of Washington (see article) and is based on the ancient Zen philosophy that each moment is complete by itself, and that the world is perfect as it is. Zen focuses on acceptance, validation, and tolerance instead of change.   Mindfulness is “allowing” experiences rather than suppressing or avoiding them. It is the intentional process of observing, describing, and participating in reality non-judgmentally, in the moment, and with effectiveness. Ethereal l as it may sound, Linehan's methods have been independently studied by clinical researchers and shown to be effective.
 
The prime dissatisfaction for many of us is the sense that we are unworthy according to Tara Brach, PhD. We aren’t enough, we don’t do enough, we don’t have enough.  We live in a trance of unworthiness. It’s a trance because the pain of KNOWING the unworthy feelings is rather deep. So we keep really busy, so there’s no time to sit and know. We embark on self-improvement projects to try to be good enough. We avoid risks to avoid more pain. We withdraw from knowing our current experience.  We become self-critics. And like most self critics, we also become critical of others.  The trance of unworthiness involves being in close touch with a self that’s fearful, wanting, feeling alone and separate.  The self caught in desire, aversion , delusion. It means losing sight of the self who’s connected, whole, in the ‘fullness of being.’

“When we learn to face and feel the fear and shame we habitually avoid, we begin to awaken from the trance.”

Further thoughts welcome.  smiley

B&W
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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2011, 08:28:16 AM »

Great thread and I plan on going through this workshop myself...  Today will be a hard day as I meet with d25, her treatment team and then her therapist.  Im not sure what to expect.

Fear:  They are going to ask me to do something I dont want to do.  They will think Im a bad mother when I enforce my own boundaries and limits.  D25 is going to target me and they will believe her.

Obligation:  I am her mother, I "should" be willing to do whatever it takes and whatever they suggest.  I should do "more"

Guilt:  I havent done enough, I did something to cause this.  My boundaries will trigger her. I get to come home... she doesnt.


These are words in my head, although I know they arent true...  So, I hand them over to you guys today and choose not to take them with me.

NTB
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bpd/dpd/edD 25
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« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2011, 10:10:48 AM »

I think for a parent you experience the FOG regardless of any particular attempt by the pwBPD to inflict it on you with emotional blackmail.  Below is an example of the FOG we've experienced:

Fear: 
1. What will become of our son's life?  Will he ever "recover" from BPD?  Will he ever be able to hold down jobs?  If we "let go" completely, will he spiral further downward into a life of crime, drug addiction, etc.?
2. We hesitate to crack down on hit behavior, because he might rage and cause damage or physical harm to someone else in the family.

Obligation:
He's our son.  We should do all we can to "fix" the problem.

Guilt:
1.  We must have made mistakes as parents to bring this on.  So much of the information on BPD talks about children who were not properly nurtured.  What could we have done to make him feel unloved or abandoned?
2. Why didn't we catch this earlier?  There were some signs when he was younger but we did not get him in therapy.  Could we have done more as parents to address personality issues while he was a minor?
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Wife and I
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DD 18
serenitygone
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« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2011, 10:58:44 AM »

WHEN WE KNOW BETTER WE DO BETTER

As human beans, regardless of anything else, we only know what we were taught. 
The rest comes from living. 

I knew NOTHING about personality disorders, adhd, bipolar, the legal system, etc.

I've made tons of mistakes...some real, some imagined over the years.

I knew nothing about mental illness due to my upbringing.  It was NEVER discussed.  In fact, they think it's a joke.
There is NO such thing...self will cures all.  don't ask.

ADHD was my first experience.  I learned what I could at the time.  Computers weren't around then.  I had unreal expectations of my son.  They led me to do all the "wrong" things.  When I learned WHAT the illness was...I could make better choices.

So when I knew better I did better.

Same thing with my bpdd...I now KNOW she can't STOP herself...and it's not just her being defiant, lazy and a few other adjectives.  I've changed MY expectations.  Again...I know better I make better choices.

I've also been fortunate to learn the difference between helping and enabling. 

Guilt is a FEELING...it's NOT a fact.  I've had to learn to FEEL the feelings.  Seperate them from the facts.

My new reality is this...

My daughter may not ever be a productive citizen in the "normal" sense.
My dreams for her have been squashed...I had to grieve this.  Dead.  Buried.  Gone.
My life has forever been altered from what I THOUGHT it would be.
My plans HAD to change.  I could no longer keep those ancient dreams of retirement, travel.  Not all of these are due to mental illness either. 

I could really go into a dark place and focus on all the losses.  I could choose acceptance.  I could make a conscious choice to be happy NO MATTER WHAT.

I can't change DNA.  I can't change the past.  I CAN learn from it.  I choose to use it as a learning experience.

Guilt only keeps me stuck...I can never be happy if I'm stuck.  I'd always be fighting.

I hope this explains what I meant Black & White.  Cuz life is all GRAY!
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somuchlove
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« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2011, 09:22:52 AM »

I only have time to read through some of this again very quickly.  The last post said you have learned the diff. between enabling and helping. 

I think I am beginning to understand and apply some of all of this but a couple quick questions.  When my g sons are not here I will read more in depth.   

1.  When do we get to the point we feel dd is affecting the children. she loves them so much but I think I have to love them enough to protect them even if it could possible destroy our dd.  She would be devastated if we caused her to loose partial custody. 

2.  How do you keep from saying things...  even when I think I am validating her feelings she takes it wrong twists things and then I am caught up in trying to apologize or explain which only gets me deeper in..
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« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2011, 10:07:43 AM »

My experience is that I have a pattern of thinking up new ways to make things better and then believing my w will work with me. Each time, over 20 years, I have been disappointed in the result. I find I keep overlooking the bpd. What I mean is I continue to find ways to help but they assume a rational partner is in there. They aren't. I know that yet I keep trying. I think that is the fog--it prevents me from seeing objectively. It has taken a long time but now when I find myself 'discovering' a new idea of how to help, I simply do not try. I feel that nothing will ever work.
owdrs
 
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A mind stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimension; 'the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know, the more I realize I don't know,...the more I want to learn.'AE
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« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2011, 01:46:53 PM »

Yes, yes,  I do that,  I imagine what I can do to actually make it better despite what I read here.  I imagine surely there is that special way of saying something that will make it click for her.  I play it out in my head.  I even think about being blunt and just tell her, she is acting like a child, or you children are going to pick up on this and behave in the same way.  I struggle when i do wonder if saying something like, is this what you want your children to grow up doing.  I know they see these outrages sometimes...  What to do in that case?   
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owdrs


« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2011, 11:24:07 AM »

The kids do pick up on the behavior in the house. i see it now in s17 and d13. The fog, though, keeps me in a kind of alternate universe in that I am constantly balancing meeting the genuine needs of my kids vs the irrational needs of my w. In my life there's work, kids, house, and of course w. It's really hard to always be on top of the situations and the fog goes unnoticed sometimes.
owdrs
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A mind stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimension; 'the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know, the more I realize I don't know,...the more I want to learn.'AE
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« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2013, 12:08:19 AM »

WHEN WE KNOW BETTER WE DO BETTER

As human beans, regardless of anything else, we only know what we were taught.  
The rest comes from living.  

I knew NOTHING about personality disorders, adhd, bipolar, the legal system, etc.

I've made tons of mistakes...  some real, some imagined over the years.

I knew nothing about mental illness due to my upbringing.  It was NEVER discussed.  In fact, they think it's a joke.
There is NO such thing...  self will cures all.  don't ask.

ADHD was my first experience.  I learned what I could at the time.  Computers weren't around then.  I had unreal expectations of my son.  They led me to do all the "wrong" things.  When I learned WHAT the illness was...  I could make better choices.

So when I knew better I did better.

Same thing with my BPDd...  I now KNOW she can't STOP herself...  and it's not just her being defiant, lazy and a few other adjectives.  I've changed MY expectations.  Again...  I know better I make better choices.

I've also been fortunate to learn the difference between helping and enabling.  

Guilt is a FEELING...  it's NOT a fact.  I've had to learn to FEEL the feelings.  Seperate them from the facts.

My new reality is this...  

My daughter may not ever be a productive citizen in the "normal" sense.
My dreams for her have been squashed...  I had to grieve this.  Dead.  Buried.  Gone.
My life has forever been altered from what I THOUGHT it would be.
My plans HAD to change.  I could no longer keep those ancient dreams of retirement, travel.  Not all of these are due to mental illness either.  

I could really go into a dark place and focus on all the losses.  I could choose acceptance.  I could make a conscious choice to be happy NO MATTER WHAT.

I can't change DNA.  I can't change the past.  I CAN learn from it.  I choose to use it as a learning experience.

Guilt only keeps me stuck...  I can never be happy if I'm stuck.  I'd always be fighting.

I hope this explains what I meant Black & White.  Cuz life is all GRAY!

Similar path with my BPDDD27. I have learned so much. yet it gets stuck in my head. I struggle to put it into practice. I resist. Acceptance is HARD - day after day after day. I find myself either avoiding DD or getting overinvolved. And this is not healthy for either of us. And then I have my gd7, who lives with dh and I -- we are her guardians, the real parents for her. And having DD in our home has impacted her in such negative ways. And shifted my parenting of gd into old, negative patterns. So we put new boundaries into place to find peace in our home - battleground resulted - DD no longer allowed in our home. I am trying to avoid having her in my car. Limited contacts with gd away from house. She struggles to not want to really physically hurt me in her distress and this abandonment -- choosing gd. Other complications in the story that drag me down.

This is FOG for me today. Knowing what I want to do and not being in a place to do it. Kind of like drowning though I keep bobbing up for a gasping breath. Working to accept increasing distance from DD to be here for GD. Hard choice.

qcr love
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I must have the courage to live with the paradox, and the strength to hold the tension of not knowing the answers, and the willingness to listen to my inner wisdom.
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« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2013, 08:36:47 AM »

What is my FOG?  I fear the divorce process.  I fear the trashing that will I will get in my social life, the trashing that I will likely get at work and the trashing I will get with the kids.  I fear that I will have to change jobs and move out of state.  I fear that I will lose lots and she will stay in my life harassing me.  I fear letting go of my dream.

I struggle with a sense of obligation to take care of the kids and her before I take care of myself.  Guilt eats at me when I don’t take care of them before myself.  Guilt eats me up when I let myself down and put others first. 

This hero crap has really got to go.  Being pissed off helps.  It pisses me off that we would have a pretty nice life if she would just act half way normal. There is not a reason in the world that I should have to put up with this sort of crap. I am not wanting all that much.  The task ahead of me to let go of the anger and stay just as fed up.   But then again, the anger helps to burn off the FOG.
 

I'm new to the discussion board but this nails it for me. My sister told me once to stay angry, it will help keep you focused and seeing things clearly.

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« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2013, 12:27:44 AM »

I'm so happy I found this site BUT...  it's very very difficult when the BPD is your child. I can't consider "leaving" or divorcing. I can't cure his mental illness thought that's my greatest wish. He's only 16 and only trust me and just a little bit. His step-day won't educate himself the way I am so while I try and validate he think's I'M CRAZY.

I've discussed NIF with my son and he said he'd much rather do that than talk therapy. I asked so you do think you need some things to change in your brain? He said Heck yes that's obvious mom. So he's semi self aware but I haven't discussed BPD in detail with him because I think he'll try to live up to that. I did tell him his therapist suggested he had a PD and I regret even telling him that. He does know he has ODD ...  I truely feel he wants a "normal" life. He want to be happy and connect with others.

Fear ~ my son never having real peace and joy in his heart. My family falling apart under the weight of these issues.

Obligation~ Uh YEAH He's my son. He's had a very difficult life. His Bio day has been in prison for 10 years (I suspect PD all the way) His step dad doesn't understand, has given up and they basically don't speak. He has type 1 diabetes for the past 8 years. He overdosed at age 15 on our first day of family vacation? His grapdpa, father figure passed away suddenly 1 year ago while he was still in treatment and we held his hand as he passed. He loved and trusted my dad more than any other.

Guilt~ see above. I was a teen mom and made a lot of mistakes. We failed him as a blended family. I know the pain he has in his heart. HIS life MUST get better. Depression and Bi polar runs in the family.

Any success with Neurofeedback? I'm willing to make the investment if it will help him with his poor impulse contral and bring him some peace.
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« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2013, 06:43:40 AM »

Br1Clp,   I agree with you that this is harder when it's your child.   I struggle with this also.   Before I found this awesome site, this safe haven of acceptance and learning, alot of the books I had read tells you how to identify someone with BPD and then to stay away from them.   It doesn't relate to us parents.   My ddBPD21 doesn't live with us (has been in and out of our home 5 times in the past 4 years) and each day I live in fear of her being arrested or dying.   Through the support of this site, I feel better about enforcing the boundaries we have in place (such as her not physically living with us) but at the same time I still worry about her and her future every single day.   As her mother I want to protect her from her impulsive, poor choices but I cannot.   And when she gets herself into a mess, as her mother I struggle with how to handle it.  Do I make her face the consequences herself or do I fix the mess?   My dd refuses responsibility.   She starts a job and in short time stops showing up.  it's more important to 'chill out' with people than to have steady income.   It's very hard to see our children standing on the edge of a 'cliff'.   But each day we try and we pray and we hope.
 love
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« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2014, 02:19:37 AM »

Never realized that I have been in the FOG for many many years. Although it is finally lifting.What was I thinking
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« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2014, 06:23:35 PM »

Fear - What else she will say to that kids/family/friends about me,  how badly she will ruin our finances in her abandoning the situation.  She tried once almost pulled the trigger on 4k(that we didnt have) of plane tickets to fly her and the kids away.  That she will be even more manupulating during the custody battle.

Obligation - To my children to keep some sort of peace, 2 of them are autisitic.  That she is my problem to deal with.  If I leave she gets the kids and temporarily they will get her wrath.  Obligation to break out of the pattern of brokeness that our extended families brought us up in.  The Mariage Vow, I know this dosent include commonly include mental illness here in this board, I AM obligated by my faith to go till I have no fight or I am given spiritual direction to leave.  Honnor(Im a Marine) What man leaves his wife and 3 children?

Guilt - That I WANT to leave, Hit her, Scream at her.  Get back at her for her adultry.  That She is the worst thing that I have ever been through and the hardest thing I have ever had to wrap my mind around.  That If I had left earlier that I would have left my daughter.  Guilt that I have 2 Beautiful sons that I love soo much and to want to have never met her would mean they never would have ever existed.  Guilt that I was mad that my daughter had been born and that was what my BPDw said was the reason why she didn't tell me about her infidelity earlier(took her 8+years).  Guilt that I HATE going to church with her at a good church when she forced me away from another good church because she painted them black. Guilt that I have wanted to end my life because of the unending FOG I live in EVERY day and take away the only consistant thing my children have.  Guilt that I just want to run away and live in the woods and turn my back on the world because I have such deep wounds.   
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« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2014, 02:30:42 PM »

Quote
Psychotherapist Beverly Engel, a recognized expert in the field of relationships, explains how limits disappear. She says:

Most of us begin a relationship thinking we have certain limits as to what we will and will not tolerate from a partner. But as the relationship progresses, we tend to move our boundaries back, tolerating more and more intrusion or going along with things we are really opposed to. . . . [Individuals] begin tolerating unacceptable and even abusive behavior, and then convince themselves that these behaviors are normal, acceptable, [and deserved].[5]
Unquote

My Fear was her constant instability with her decisions, in the morning she would call my to let me know about getting a job in my city and in the evening saying that wasn't sure about taking it.
My "felt" Obligation was to remind her about her words and logic's to apply, as I thought she was just depressed I was trying to help her being stable. That was then interpreted as I way to control her. Of course I admit that I was trying to have her close to me.
My Guilt, was when I would plan to go out with friends or when I would be out of town for work, these were the days she would cling the most.
She would keep me on chatting, even though she knew I had to go or work. I would feel some much guilt of not listening to her feelings and complaints. I thought that I had to be there for her 24 7/7 and it's just not possible for me.

Now I'm learning to put my feelings first and detect early abusive emotional blackmail. I still feel not completely at ease with the way of asserting my boundaries, I guess I should jump to the dedicated workshop  smiley

Thank you all for this great thread.
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Samsara121
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