Recycling - what is it?
We often believe this is about the ex - to be contacted an ex with a personality disorder solely to bring the non back into the relationship. Characteristically, it is either a phone call, text, or meeting that leads to a reconciliation of the relationship.
To some, recycling is a source of envy from those who have been abandoned, and have had no contact from their exes, to a bonding phenomenon to those who experience communication from their ex frequently. If you look at it from a detached viewpoint, it has one thing in common, a desire to be communicated with by the non. It serves as a validation to the wounded non. It tends to keep us in a victimization mode, instead of a proactive one.
We are all people, very capable of making our own decisions. We cannot be brought back into a relationship if it is our desire to be out of it. Recycling gets its strength is from the wounded, confused, and indecisive non. We all can identify with this thinking, because we were all there at one point or another. It is a thought process where we take the feelings and "reality" of our disordered former partners over our own feelings and "reality." Oftentimes, our intellectual minds are telling us not to go back into the relationship, but our emotional psyche is screaming for the pain to stop, and personal validation. Thus, we, as wounded, confused individuals, reconcile with our disordered partners, ignoring the history, but blindly hoping for a change, and a different outcome. We still reconcile, on our own power, despite our knowledge and history.
A person experiencing a re-engagement, has a fear that resides in them, that despite their knowledge and history, they are afraid that they will resume a relationship, beyond their control. It lends a victimized thought process, simply because they do not understand the dynamics at play. The are hurt, and confused, lacking a true sense of direction, and having more doubt than confidence in their decision. It is their desire of wanting a good relationship with the disordered person that overshadows the acceptance of the disordered person, the disorder, and the dynamics that flow out of the relationship. Usually, the disordered person is seen as two people existing in one body. There is the loving, euphoric, fun to be around person that everyone adores, and then there is the raging, manipulating, dark side that we tend to want to keep away from. It is because this split exists in our minds, that the doubt is allowed to linger and grow, giving us hope that the next time will be different. We try to chose one side of the person, rather than accepting that there is one person with vast ranges of emotional capacity, from the far left side of bad to the far right side of good.
Once the acceptance of the person as a whole, instead of parts, happens, we can then decide if it is worth it to us to continue to have them in our lives as romantic partners. Once we make up our minds about what it is we truly want, then we can see their behavior as what it is. It no longer is a recycle but a cry out because they, themselves are hurting. It can even be a simple communication that although the relationship has been lost, they, too, mourn this loss as we do. It can even be that they are having second thoughts, that wont matter now, because we have a clear definition of what it is that we want. It can be a number of understandable things, but because of the clarity that exists in our minds, it isn't a recycle any longer.
Relationships are hard, by nature, and when a disorder is in play, they tend to be very difficult to the point of confusing. The end of a relationship is hard as well, because it is usually one person, desiring something out of a relationship that doesn't exist in the current one. A disordered relationship is two fold for the non. Usually the non wants parts of it, and not other parts of it, and has the desire to keep the ones they like and discard the ones they don't. Look at your relationship. Does this dynamic exist?
Even in healthy relationships, there are many questions and feelings post relationship. It is quite natural, and everyone has the right to seek answers to questions, to have communication between the partners to evaluate their own roles in the failures of these relationships. Usually, the end of the relationship does not mean the end of the friendship that existed. After a time of detachment, the friendship can general be resumed. There are communications about what to do with items left over from the relationship, and also feelings left over. This is all completely natural. Due to the dynamics at play, these scenarios are viewed as re-engagements because of the confusion, hurt, and lack of insight by the non at the end of a disordered relationship.
If you fear a reconciliation, keep in mind that you have to decide to reconcile. It cant be done on both sides by one person. You do have a choice, and a voice. If you are conflicted about your choice to reconcile, you may need help to sort out your feelings.
I now feel empowered with these words of wisdom...look at the BPD as a whole person ..so accept that Hyde and Jekyll are on and the same...with ultimately the same motivations..
power lies within the non...the BPD just keeps looping..finally I think I get it. So what causes a BPD to move forward? The lack of response and drama? I could never understand why my uBPDh was not happy with his first wife...beautiful, funny, great mom/wife who never questioned his actions or demanded his attention..but I guess thats why when I appeared (his angel he lied to say...a halo of light around me -but now I'm a "2-bit whore") on the scene he thought I was his savior...that he could rely on me to protect him and support him...make him feel desired and important because I "validated" him or engaged with him...and of course since I was a succesful career woman then all the better...so he probably felt "safe" about jumping ship to sail with me...which was totally shocking to his first wife as she was used to his "recycling"...he had left a few times before..so she really did not believe that he was gone until he skipped out on his son's football game to hang out with me...(light bulb shining brighter)...and his immediate family did not believe it either and probably remained supportive of the first wife because they probably thought his affair with me would blow over...as all the other affairs had. MMMMMmmm
But no one, including him, realized how determined I was to believe that the world was not filled with men like my NPD father...so I chose to view him through rosy glasses and treated him like he was a victim ...a victim of his parents and first wife...he convinced me that they never really cared about him...and pure ignorance had me up the ante even more when I
suggested that we all meet to discuss the issues at hand and to reassure his family and first wife that I had no interest in taking what was theirs. So his BPD mind then had to quickly strangle any possibility of everyone getting along and so instead starts telling me that his family said horrific things about me. (what I should of asked myself back then was why would he encourage animosity between all of us if he was really serious about his "soulmate love for me? Triangling. Andnow when I'm ready to divorce if it can be peaceful he needs to drum up some drama so that he does not need to take responsibility for the r/s ending...he never did file for divorce with his first wife..she filed...and a month later when I snooped into his wallet he still had her photo and love notes displayed (in his wallet). Wow!
Very interesting and very insightful thread. Thank you all for sharing your wisdom and to help me grow.