Relationship Partner with BPD (Straight and LGBT+) => Romantic Relationship | Detaching and Learning after a Failed Relationship => Topic started by: angel123 on January 08, 2013, 04:59:32 AM

Title: Silent treatment...
Post by: angel123 on January 08, 2013, 04:59:32 AM
I'm new here. There's so much I could post about my story but the thing that bothers me the most about my recent relationship is the silent treatments. If you could shed some light about your experiences it would really help me. One of the most difficult things I've endured over being with someone who I believe is BPD is the silent treatments. I believe it is very cruel, dismissive and abusive. Any time I would fight with my ex, regardless of if it were blatently nothing I did wrong, I would get the running off, blocking, silent treatments, etc. This is just so completely beyond healthy.

Any time I tried to address how I was feeling, if I were upset, if I felt like this person did something that wasn't right, I would get a rage and then running off into a silent treatment mode. Is this power? Is this control? Is this just the only way they can possibly regain control of themselves. It's truly just broken me down.

In the past, I would go several days and then not be able to take it so I would run back with my tail between my legs trying to talk to this person who was obviously exhibiting horrible behavior to make sense as to why they would not talk to me. It's sick. I truly feel sick to my stomach. The last message I left to this person was yesterday morning. It was not a nice one. I just can't handle this after two years of the same garbage. I basically told him I was extremely angry and that there was no way in he--l I was going to run back with my tail between my legs like I have every other time and that I HATED HIM. I'm not proud of my reaction but good god, there's only so much a person can take.  I feel like I've been torn down, broken and I have lost all form of self respect.

Any insight or experiences you can share with me will be appreeciated and can maybe help me get through one more day of no contact.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: Diana82 on January 08, 2013, 05:50:50 AM
Hi angel

Did your ex give you the silent treatment after the break up too?

Mine dumped me after an argument, asked me to leave her alone and then went completely silent on me. I tried to apologise... seek explanation for her abrupt dumping etc but just got ignored.

Eventually she changed her number which really insulted me.

I then had to try to get my stuff back (that I'd left at her place) and she couldn't even have the courtesy to respond about that. 

Instead, I waited for weeks and then I got 3 books of mine dumped on the sidewalk outside my house. It was so disrespectful and cold. And it wasn't even all my stuff so I had to write to her again to request the rest of my things... .  but was ignored completely 

I did not deserve that silence. It's as if I betrayed or did something terrible to her.

I think it's a form of abuse... even if I am her ex now...

I still wouldn't treat an ex like that! someone I once cared so much about...

I couldn't just go 100% silent. It takes a lot of conscious effort to do that

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: ambi on January 08, 2013, 07:31:32 AM
Hi Angel:

*welcome*  There's a lot of good information on here and I'm glad you found bpdfamily.com.  It's a great resource and support.  There's an article on BPD BEHAVIORS: Silent treatment - verbal abuse. (https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=68733.0) that might help shed some light on things.

In my r/s, sometimes, it was to punish me.  But most of the time, I think he was flooded with emotions and the silent treatment was a way to escape.  If it was something he did or even thought he'd done, I think the shame drove the silence.  It didn't matter if it was my feelings, not even about him, or his own, it was too much.  It didn't even have to be a 'negative' feeling.  Sometimes, he was escaping from feeling love and closesness.  

It didn't matter why, it threw me into a real tailspin.   I'd get a lot of anxiety when he did it and eventually, I'd come charging out of my box to JADE, JADE, JADE, have an emotional hang over and apologize for being a JADED fool and then we'd make up.  My therapist pointed out that I needed to spend more time understanding me and my reaction to it.  I found some roots to the issue and I don't have the intense reactions to it that I used to.  I still don't like the silent treatment, but it doesn't push that button down deep inside any more.  

How long were you with your ex?  If you feel comfortable, we'd like to know more about what brought you here.


Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: Seahorse1 on January 08, 2013, 07:43:48 AM
Hi Angel,

You just did one of my worst "tricks"

You let your anger/ fear etc get the better of you by sending that nasty email... .  I bet you feel guilty now right?

What is your next move here?

I'm sort of in the same boat right now... .  

Eg. He did something bad, I asked him to leave, then I started blasting him because I couldn't handle the painful silence... .  

I said unforgivable things out of anger... .  

All with no response... .  

I finally sent a text saying I'm sorry. Please let me know if you are ok. I miss you very much but I'm really screwed up right now and don't want to keep saying hurtful things... .  

See what hapenned?

He did something bad... .  I reacted badly, now I'm apologizing... .  

So any way... .  What is your plan here?

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: Rose Tiger on January 08, 2013, 08:11:34 AM
Hi Angel123 

Sorry you have reason to join our group but glad that you found us. 

I figure Ex learned the silent treatment from his FOO.  They were the covert passive/aggressive type where he 'knew' he was in trouble but not sure what about.    I got the same thing from my family of origin.  It sucks and it makes a person feel like they don't exist and that they don't matter.  Extremely abusive and cruel.  Unhealthy as all get out.  I see it now as just not knowing how to deal with conflict in a healthy way.

It annoyed me that I couldn't do anything about it.  You can't call the cops and say, hey my husband won't talk to me, please lock him up.  I had to do some serious adjustments in my behavior where I'd ignore him during those times and make other plans.  If he wanted to act like a baby, ok, I'd fill in my time doing things that didn't include him.   :)

Have you and your partner broken up?  How long were you together?

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: Darknightx13 on January 08, 2013, 08:32:42 AM
Any insight or experiences you can share with me will be appreeciated and can maybe help me get through one more day of no contact.

Angel... .  I could probably write a novel about how I was subjected to the silent treatment and the way it effected me.  It is one of the worst abuses IMO.  I would rather my ex have punched me in the face than give me the silent treatment.  When I was still in the relationship there were times when I thought to myself I cannot put up with this for one second longer and knew i didn't deserve it but I felt powerless to do anything about.  It's all about power, but if you really could dig into her mind, it's not necessarily about aggressively trying to hold power of you, but it's because she feels that you have power over her and this is the only way she can reconcile dealing with her feelings.  The main issue, though, is that this power struggle exists only in her mind.  I recently posted about how my ex, whom I had several weeks no contact with, showed up at my door this past Friday.  I ended up talking to her for several hours and during this conversation she told me repeatedly that she felt I always had the "upper hand" in our relationship, to which I told her repeatedly that a) I did not at all and in fact was almost always deferring to how she felt, and b) that healthy relationships do not involve struggles for power.  If you're trying to be NC from this person, try to remember that the more "distance" you get, the more you'll be able to realize how awful this felt for you and how you did not deserve to be treated that way.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: spaceace on January 08, 2013, 09:29:06 AM
This is what I think why people with BPD do this. And I see so many posts about it, it seems very common.

Their response for whatever they do initially makes little sense even to them. They have a lot of shame. So they go radio silent as a defense mechanism not knowing how to handle their emotions.

After a period of time, they cannot figure out how to face their shame and turn back toward us to ask for forgiveness. Or, they just don't want to turn back toward us because, yet again, their shame has gotten the better of them, so they would just rather be alone. Regardless of how much they are hurting and don't really want to be alone.

And then a whole new layer is added on their shame because we the nonBPD person cannot take yet another useless battle, so we wind up the pitch and lob our anger back at them, and THEN that becomes part of the problem of why they see US as the bad one. Never taking into account they initially brought this all about.

Then they stick with the story, we are the bad evil people ruining their lives because we got angry at their silence, and since we don't want to believe it is us, we know we aren't bad evil people, we RUN with our tails between our legs begging, pleading, imploring... please forgive me.

To me, it seems like a two pronged issue. We get trained to do this by them, and we also have guilt, not shame, but guilt, for not keeping our cool, and they use it against us with the silent treatment.

This is the experience I am going through right now. 2 months of NC by my wife. And I am at my ropes end, ready to move on. Actually, not able to really make any other choice because she refuses to engage in any form of communication.

It's all part of this disease from what I can tell from reading on these boards. And it's all rather sad.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: BleedsOrange on January 08, 2013, 10:02:23 AM
Oh my, there is so much about dealing with this on the staying board. Seems like a common hurdle.

My T seems to think that because she knew how much it bothered me, that it had to be in part a way to punish. There is a difference between the silent treatment and needing space. If she said, "I need some time to cool off. I will talk to you when things are better," that would be taking space.

No prob with that. That never seems to be what happened. Ignoring someone, in these relationships or another, is a form of emotional abuse. aI know you are asking, "why did she do this?" and there are plenty of answers out there. It could be any of them in your case. I know my ex would always tell me that she just couldn't talk't talk then (after the fact), and that I KNEW that. To a point, that was true. Her emotions ran very hot. Yet again, that is not a respectful way to take space. It was the silent treatment which is basically a way of showing someone that you dont matter to them. The why's dont really matter. It is just a way to understand and rationalize abusive behavior. This is not a way to demonize your ex, but if it is truly over, then the why's dont really matter any more. It is important to look at yourself and what you could do differently or why it bothers you so much. As for the former, there are tons of stories on the Staying board for how people try and deal with the silent treatment while maintaining a relationship. As for my advice- Dont maintain a relationship with someone who consistently gives you the silent treatment.

As for looking at yourself. I cant help you with that. So let's look at me:

I never set a clear boundary about the silent treatment early on. Much later and much further down the dysfunction road, to a point where it was probably beyond repair, I tried to suggest, "If you need space. That's fine. Just tell me. Get back to me after a day or so, and if you need more time, just tell me. Please dont leave me sitting in limbo." Acceptable, no? Well it didnt work. I should have done this early on. As that boundary kept not being respected. I should have made a decision as to whether this was going to be a healthy relationship or not. C'est la vie. Lessons for the future. The other thing I really needed to look at was the dynamic that was playing out from my FOO, her FOO and how those intertwined (I was "fortunate" enough to know a lot about her background). When she was young she had a very abusive mother who would never let her retreat. When I was in my adolescence I felt my mother didnt care about me (pure perception- I was a rebellious dick), and would retreat from me and what i thought at the time, ignore me. I would then pursue "finishing" the argument. Sound familiar? She wouldnt respect my boundary to try and help not triggering me. I would have trouble (at best) respecting her need for space (as unstated as it was). I take responsibility for myself, no matter the little help I had. In the future, I will expect the same respect as far as the need for space and will understand where my anxiety about it comes and will not let this affect me the way it did.


Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: angel123 on January 08, 2013, 11:55:37 AM
Well I am NOT proud of myself but I just snapped. I can’t take this cr—p anymore! He gave silent treatments during the times we were together, after and whenever. I’ve told him so many times not to do it. Of course, he still did it again over something stupid. It wasn’t even a big argument. I’m so frustrated with myself. I couldn’t take the silence anymore so I called him on my way to work and of course he was accusing me of being a bully, a baby, etc. I lost it. I completely lost it. I lost complete control of myself. I called him while he was at work because I knew it would go to voicemail and I ripped him the biggest as—hole I’ve ever ripped anyone in my life, screaming, sending horrible text messages, etc. I lost COMPLETE control of myself. I know where this is all coming from. I know where my frustrations have come from. I know where all my anger comes from. I just lost it. The last straw was me hearing him act all calm and normal in the car with his dad calling me a bully and I completely lost it.

The only bully in this relationship has been him. The only abusive person in this relationship who gives silent treatments to control others and make them feel like they are worthless is him. I have so much resentment and so much hate inside of me right now that I want to leave work. I’ve never felt this disrespected, this alone in a relationship, this mind boggled, this just pissed off. I’m sorry I’m just angry right now. I thank you all for your posts. I’ve never let someone get to me as much as this. Ever. Of course, not once response back. You know why? Because this is the game he plays. That’s what it feel like to me. It feels like a big game. He can’t handle any emotions, he runs, he hides, he gives silent treatments, makes everything worse, KNOWS it’s going to upset me because I’ve asked him not to do it a million times, and then when I finally snap, he can sit back and say “see, she’s the crazy one!” It feels manipulative. It feels horrible. It makes me angry to no end. I cannot allow this person to make me feel this much guilt anymore. Obviously I need to step away from this person or I am going to completely lose it.

The best part is that before he hung up the phone he says “I can’t talk right now, my dad and I are in the car and this is the only time we have together to talk and you’re being a bully.” Um, for one, is it being a bully to call someone to talk? Two, are you referring to the dad that just a few days ago you slammed to no end, talking about how horrible of a human being he is, how he’s abusive, how he treated you horribly your whole life, how you hate him, how horrible of a father and husband he is, etc? Really? That’s the person you’re having extra special bonding time with. Along with every one of  your friends who you slander and make fun of behind their backs and then act like they are your best friends when you’re around them.

Urgh, I need to go for a walk, take a deep breath and try to calm myself. I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry in my life!

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: spaceace on January 08, 2013, 12:03:02 PM
It's okay to be angry. Sit with it, walk with it and learn from it. It is control. It is abusive. It is VERY wrong what he is doing by using the silence. Do not cave in to it. Especially because he is turning it back on you, knowing you will feel guilty. By doing that, who is taking ownership of it? You are. Not him. He can point at you and go, see, this is why we have problems. It's because of you. BUT IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF YOU.

Please try to remember that and don't cave in. This sounds really rough and I am sorry to hear you are going through it. Please hang in there and stand your ground. You are okay. You are worth it!

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: tailspin on January 08, 2013, 12:15:51 PM

Hello and welcome 

I really know how the frustrations build up until an explosion happens.  My ex once asked me what bothered me the most and I (unfortunately) told him it was being ignored.  This was all he needed, and from then on, if he wanted to punish me he would go silent.  I was being punished and he held all the power because he knew I would either become infuriated or become submissive.  I felt as if he controlled me, because he did, and the worst part was he used the secrets I shared with him to do so.

Of course now I know that I let him control me, but at the time, I thought I was confiding in him.  This manipulation works so well for those with BPD because it gives them the control they desire/crave and a strange satisfaction of being able to carry it out just the way they planned it in their head. 

My point really is to take back your power.  No one can make you feel anything without your permission and if you keep your cool he will not get the satisfaction of making you angry. 


Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: BleedsOrange on January 08, 2013, 12:16:48 PM
Here's something you should get used to hearing on the board: I have the exact same story.

Dont feel bad about snapping (you probably will of course nobody wants to do that crap). I did the same thing a bevy of texts. angry ass stuff. I got a call from her friend telling me to stop (which luckily did shake me to my senses). But dont feel bad this stuff is hard to handle. Oh and I got called a bully and a baby and this one was her FAVORITE: "Butt-hurt"

Get used to hearing that its a repeat of ours 'cause its just gonna keep happening. The good news is that you dont have to feel weird about acting like that 'cause so many of us have. It is actually quite "normal"

I am not proud of how I acted, but I am certainly not ashamed any more either.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: BleedsOrange on January 08, 2013, 12:18:59 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot. You tearing into him wont do anything to him but make him feel justified. Even if you do care, show him that you dont. This wont bother you any more. While this sounds spiteful, it will also train you not to care any more and will be good for your growth.

As my therapist said, "If you feel you need to give an explanation, fine. Make it short, but i would suggest just never talking to her again."

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: myself on January 08, 2013, 01:53:43 PM
Angel, it sounds situational. Forgive yourself, need be. Are you usually a person who loses it, yells and gets so angry? No, you said not. Not that this is all on him, but it's not anywhere near all on you, either. Take those deep breaths. Go for as many walks as you need. Take deep breaths while walking, writing in your journal while you do, drinking tea and meditating, too, all at once. Whatever it takes to help you be more calm and clear-headed. You know who you really are inside. Be that person.

The silent treatment, especially when the other person knows it affects us so much, is used in part just for that reason. It IS punishing, coming from the pwBPD projecting their pain blame and shame away from themselves onto whoever is the closest to them. My ex told me in those very words: "I will be PUNISHING you with my silence". And then she'd disappear for weeks at a time without another word. It broke me down more and more. Eventually, I felt I had to go NC. Thinking, in a way, that my silence would bring her running back, she'd see what she'd lost, and apologize. Those thoughts didn't last long, as I soon enough became aware that I was waking up from the FOG, finding I wasn't being abused anymore, and was thinking my own thoughts more and more. 

Let him remain silent with you. You be silent, too. As far as communicating with him goes. Listen and converse with yourself, though. A therapist, the people here, good friends, family too. In the silence you're going through with him will be healing, growing, changing yourself and your own patterns for the better. Best wishes as you do so.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: angel123 on January 08, 2013, 02:27:09 PM
Thank you everyone. It is frightening how much the stories hold true. I got a few texts saying basically he's at work and I need to calm down and he just saw my slew of texts. Oh, ok, so I need to calm down now huh? The last few things I said is that basically he pushed me over the edge, I was sick and tired of being treated as if I don't matter. I called him out on all of it. I feel better. I know some of you may not agree but it made me feel better to call him out, tell him his silence is a form of control, of making me feel like i did something to deserve all of it, like i have to walk on eggshells all the time, like I did something so horrible to him that he has to turn his back and run and hide and try to prove he is the big bad tough guy that doesn't need anyone like me. I told him that the days of trying to manipulate my head into feeling as if I did something to deserve his silence are over. That I am out of the FOG, out of his distrorted view of the facts, out of all of it. Best of all I told him he cant control my thoughts, my opinions and I have a damn right to speak up when I feel like i am treated poorly without some form of silent treatment or rage coming at me.

Of course, this wont' matter much. He then said please stop I'm with a customer and I will call you later? What? Is this the now pull dynamic. Oh crap I feel that she's finally had enough and she wants nothing to do with my crazy ass so maybe I need to pull her back in? What is this sickness? It's sick? Yes, he had a horrible childhood. His family is dysfunctional now and they were even more then. But I'm tired of the excuses. I'm tired of watching his whole family behave the same way. They ALL do it. His father walked out on his wife and still to this day does when they fight. They are in their late 60s for gods sake. Who does that. Then they all stop talking to each otehr when they are upset.

Screw this. I called him out on all of his family behavior too. I'm done being silent. I'm done feeling like I can't say what I want because he will get angry. .I told him that too. I told him those days are over buddy. Go ahead and not talk to me anymore becaue you feel someone is pointing out piss poor behavior to you. Guess what, I dont care anymore and I don't care if he gives me the silent treatment. I have a right to voice my opinion and tell someone when my feelings are hurt and when I feel they are treating me poorly. If these people can't deal with that than there's the door. The days of manipulating me are over.

Who do these people think they are?

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: angel123 on January 08, 2013, 02:37:07 PM
... .  and of course i had to say i could care less from this point forward if he ran, hid, gave silent treatments, never spoke to or saw me again because I wasn't going to be the one sitting here questioning my sanity and feeling guilty for how i feel, how i've reacted, and what i've done in reaction to horrible behavior. That if he thought for a second i'm going to keep myself stuck in this bad place in my head where i'm blaming myself that he is dead wrong. Those days are over. He wants to run, let him run. He can't run from himself for too long and I'm not goign to be sitting here groveling for his attention because I feel Im in the wrong.

My god, I can't believe I fell for all of this. This board is really helping me and I am so thankful I found you all. Sorry for being this angry but I've finally just had enough.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: Surnia on January 08, 2013, 02:47:52 PM
Hi angel123

Welcome here on board. 

So sorry to hear about your frustration and anger. Silent treatment is a difficult thing to deal with. 

Rose Tiger asked you some good questions.

Have you and your partner broken up?  How long were you together?

Telling us little bit more generally helps us to support you better!


Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: angel123 on January 08, 2013, 03:44:17 PM
We have been together for 2 1/2 years. I don't know where we are to be honest. To me, blocking someone's calls for a few days and then giving them the silent treatment for days on end means you are broken up and they want nothing to do with you. telling someone they deserved to not get their Xmas gift on Xmas because you got in an argument and I 'deserved" it because I got upset he left me out at the bar when we were out with friends because he thought I made eye contact with someone who apparently I had slept with means it is over. By the way, this behavior has happened in the past. There have been two different times in the last few months that I have been accused of sleeping with someone in our home town because literally all they did was make eye contact with me. So he fled and walked home and left me there. The next day when I got very upset at this (NO i don't believe a man should leave his girlfriend at a bar and run  off over something so psycho) on Xmas eve and told him he was going to ruin the holidays, he blocked my calls and wouldn't talk to me on Xmas! I still had not even received a gift from him because he decided to open the ipad he got for me and use it at work. Fast forward to NYE, when I wanted him to go meet some of my college friends and he freaked out becaue I hadn't given him enough notice. We were also supposed to visit my sick godmother that day. The entire day was ruined and of course I was blocked again because I told him I was upset he wasn't going with me. Now in the past I had been accused of sleeping with everyone in college too. Go figure.

Both of these times I had to get a hold of him when my number was blocked. Then he professes his love, a week and a half goes by and he STILL doesn't even bother to give me a Xmas gift or card he claims he has in his house (which I believe is a lie). yes, I was righfully upset. It's not about the material thing. It's about thinking of someone else enough to realize you had ruined the holidays and should probably make up for it. Response I got when I had the "nerve" to bring up that this really bothered me... .  I deserved it because of my behavior. When I got angry at this, he went on to give me a silent treatmment all this week. What behavior? That i said it wasn't right for him to freak out and make up a crazy story about sleeping with some guy I had never even hung out with before and be accused of having sex with him because thee guy looked at me so he literally walked out on me to leave me at a bar alone?

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: angel123 on January 08, 2013, 03:46:39 PM
And in the past he has done this in other situations... .  making up blatent lies and stories that didn't even exist that I think he believes are true to the extent he has a reason to get mad. Its the craziest thing I have ever seen. Who gets accused of sleeping with someone because some guy decides to look at me? That's how this entire thing got started. It's crazy!

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: johnnyonthespot on January 08, 2013, 04:41:19 PM
Hello Angel,

Your despair about the silent treatment and blocked calls really resonates with me.

When I was with my ex-BPD-gf, she learned relatively early on that one way to really hurt me was by blocking my calls. Despite my explaining to her how much it hurt me (likely related to abandonment issues pertaining to childhood/ FOO), and despite her insistence that she would never do it again, it in fact happened with increasing frequency. It became a weapon of terror. Frequently, she would call me repeatedly, and emotionally provoke me to the point of despair. Once she achieved her goal of hurting me and enraging me, she would hang up and block her phone. The despair that I felt in those moments was unlike anything I'd felt since childhood... .  complete emotional castration.

She loved hanging up on me, jumping out of the car, throwing me out of her apartment, leaving me sitting by myself in restaurants, or walking out of bars unannounced.

Once, on a weekend getaway, I was at a bar with her and she got upset because I was 'flirting' with the bartender (absurd). She stormed out while I was in the bathroom. I realized what she did when I called her, and she picked up and hung up on me without saying a word (another favorite trick). When I got back to the hotel, she called hotel security to throw me out of the room. They came up, and were completely confused, because she was drunk and in a full-blown rage, while I was quietly preparing for bed. They left... .  thankfully (one of the guys smiled at me while leaving, and said 'Good luck with that!'.

She loved to threaten restraining orders as well (for what, I have no idea... .  she was abusive, not I).

For what its worth, I am now six months removed, and realize how absurd this all was. And I also recognize how insignificant she made me feel, and how inappropriate that was. But mostly, I'm disgusted with myself. For obvious reasons. I have never had another adult hang up on me in 20+years... .  of course not, that's why we're adults. I've never had another woman walk out on me, threaten me, or give me the silent treatment.  But at the time, I assumed it had to be my fault.

If your BF is bullying you with silent treatments and phone blocking over the holidays, then do yourself a huge favor. Go NC... .  immediately and forever. It will hurt like he!l, but you'll be avoiding much more pain in the future.   


Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: Elsegundo on January 08, 2013, 05:18:10 PM
This thread really hits home.  The silent treatment has gotten diff. reactions from me, from nothing, to intense button-pushed reactions that upset me and yielded texts requesting we talk b/c I was hurt, to one or two outright acting out situations after which I apologized and felt HUGE guilt and FOG.  Made me feel like a nutty hormonal teen girl again! 

Of late, I've been trying to use the suggestions and focus on me when this happens, and my I had a personal breakthrough where I realized that as a grown self-sufficient adult, I don't actually NEED anything from anyone, let alone her.  This helped me feel less upset when she was acting out or silent.  B/c in my body I've started to realize that I AM fine NOT crazy, and NOT this way with anyone else (including other r/s).  But, I'm also not my best self.   

Have you tried "time out's" with him?  And what do you do to take care of you when he's silent to you?

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: angel123 on January 08, 2013, 06:24:19 PM
Johnny – I know you are probably right in saying run like hell. The longest we had gone no contact was three months. He decided for awhile that starting to pop Adderall to get high was a good idea. I made it clear I didn’t want that part of my life, he lied like hell constantly to cover it up, made up all kinds of crazy stories so I bailed. That time it was ME that blocked him. I had a right to that time. This person was acting like a high maniac coming into my home as a single mother with a child so I bailed. I’m embarrassed to even admit this because yes, like a fool I took him back. I feel embarrassed. We went no contact for three months. Of course, at the end of the break up, I was never 100% sure of the drug usage because he could never admit it, went out lying, went out raging, went out with me finally snapping because I was being lied to and manipulated once again. So then I did go complete no contact and blocked his work calls, cell calls, everything. That was my boundary to not have drugs around me.

After reading all these posts since yesterday it makes me ill I fell into this trap. At the end of the three months, I was starting to feel good again. I had even gotten close to dating a few people and was generally feeling ok. But there was this nagging feeling inside of me because I never had any closure. I am reading through your stories and it just makes me realize what I fell into. It was the guilt that I had reacted out of character and I reached out and just genuinely told him I hope he was doing ok and that I thought about him and things were going ok here, etc. I left it pretty generic. STUPID. What I got at first I believe was sincere. It was a huge apology for all the bad things he did, how he has never missed anyone as much as my daughter and I , how he struggles every day knowing he really screwed up the best thing that ever happened to him, bla bla bla. He even admitted to the lies and told me the truth. So this started back and forth three months ago and here we are now. It only took three months to end up in this much of a disaster. Johnny, I was feeling better after three months and I am seeing now my guilt at that point was unwarranted. He never deserved my apology. He never deserved to get any of it. Because what I feel to be true is that if someone really felt that much remorse and guilt and knows they’ve been a liar, they would have had the courage to send a letter, do something, anything after awhile to apologize. But no, never went there. Then again it was turn my back, yell at you when you are trying to address my drug issues, yell when you are catching me in lies, etc. Urgh, so disgusting.

Catalina, yes back in the day when he was under the influence of some drug, he called me names like that. He hasn’t done that lately off drugs. I was stupid enough to think that as long as he wasn’t taking drugs, this crazy behavior would go away. Now I realize the drugs were masking his inner self. He got WORSE in some ways when he stopped. Before his coping was turning to drugs. Now it’s just running, hiding, blaming,  manipulating, etc. I know what it’s like to be called those names and it’s never good. The worse part is that towards the end I started to fight back with him a few times like that and it revoked a horrible reaction in me that made me feel guilt and horrible that I let a person get to me like that.

In a weird kind of way I felt a release today. I have to remind myself that I should NOT EVER feel guilty again for my outburst today. That is what has trapped me in the past after three months of doing work on myself I felt like I needed to get forgiveness from a person that never deserved to hear from me again. I feel like it just gave him more ammunition to treat me like garbage again knowing that I would crawl back. I feel pathetic and low for stooping to the level of being treated like this and allowing myself to have these reactions towards another. I let this person tear me down and really it is my own fault. I realize we are the only ones who can control our emotions and how we allow others to treat us but my god, when you’re in the middle of this all it is just maddening.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: angel123 on January 08, 2013, 06:33:51 PM
... .  and Elsee this is no disrespect to you in any way, shape or form but as far as the "time outs" go when it comes to silent treatments and other poor behavior, I don't think I'm capable of dealing with it. That's why I'm in the "leaving and detaching" boards trying to figure out a way to just move on for good. To me, like Johnny said, this behavior is not adult behavior. I have a toddler at home with me. She is allowed to act like a toddler. He is NOT. He is almost 40 years old. There should be no outbursts, inability to deal with what I've set over and over again as boundaries, etc. If he cannot follow through because of his personality then I have to understand and wake up and tell myself this has to be DONE. I don't want to live like that. people should not do that to each other to intentionally hurt another person, revoke a response out of them and then say "hey they are the crazy one, you are wrong, etc"

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: Rose Tiger on January 08, 2013, 06:37:17 PM

Fantastic work.  The realization that it isn't all your fault is a very enpowering feeling.  That may be where you got the gumption to tell him how you feel, how you don't appreciate this and you've about had it!  I am here cheering you on!  I love when people break through and realize, hey this treatment of me is not fair, it's not justified, something is very wrong with this situation.    Smart girl.  |iiii

It's odd how they break us down little by little.  Like a frog in a pot of water that is slowly being heated up.  We've all done things that we look back in wonder, and so wish we could go back in time.  It's just at the beginning, we try to keep the peace, take into consideration how they are feeling, we are trying to see things from their point of view.  It's not stupid, it's being a caring partner, worried and concerned about someone we care about.

I have to ask, because now you know, things are not all fine in boyfriend land.  Has he ever been violent in the past?  Punched walls, pushed you, that sort of thing?

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: SeekerofTruth on January 08, 2013, 08:54:17 PM
Hi Angel,

There are a lot of insightful nuggets of wisdom worthy of reflection contained within your thread.  Thanks

Oh anger, the uses and abuses, so many flavors.  Not to oversimplify, but to share an analogy of what it could be like. In healthy expression of emotion, anger can function to signal us that there is some type of hurt, violation, threat, or danger thats going on.  Depending upon the context and our assertiveness skills, we might be able to naturally respond with an adaptive verbalization such as "OUCH", "You just stepped on my toe", "That hurt!"... .  and the other person says, "I'm sorry, etc".  Situation resolves quickly, peacefully, and harmoniously (provided it wasn't an intentional act of provocation in which case the insincerity of an apology might sound gamey, or not forth coming at all, or even retorted with "stop being a baby".  In martial arts training I was blessed to study with a Sensei who embodied love.  Some days walking into the doji with a chip on my shoulder from the grind of the day eased up into grace just by the presence of of his genuine kindness and love.  For many others also.  Sensei gently modelled dealing with aggression that resides within us when anger signals us that something is up in response to someone's aggression towards us... .  to simply say very humbly "That hurts my elbow"  "It's causing me pain"  "Could you please be  gentler with me?"  Wow, talk about de-escalation.  Of course, easier said than done in the heat of the moment.  For ex, on a occassion in my earlier days when someone (usually a jerk, bully, power trip or nasty dominator) was "giving me a hard time" on the mat, my tendency was to lock horns or get flustered accompanied by the thought they ain't playing nice, how dare they?  So i got hooked.  Hmm, thank you Sensei for the feedback.  Still arriving.

Deeper caution is warranted down the road with BPD.  When we encounter destructive acting out patterns of BPD, excercising great care is critical so we ourselves don't get consumed, engulfed, and contaminated by their damaging energy and a FOG that finds us trapped in negative forces of self-denial, obsession, hate or rage, etc.  By the time that happens it indicates we've lost our minds and connection to our true spiritual center. Access to more effective, mature, healthier relational abilities gets blocked.  Getting knocked off balance, in a downward spiral of hurts, dysfunction and unhappiness, quite possibly finding ourselves at a bottoming out level or victimhood.

In my marriage I'd get so angry (cus I felt hurt), frustrated, irritated, annoyed with SO passive-aggressive, as well as hostile and even more angry behaviors toward me, that the first months of MC-- I became identified patient, the one with an anger problem and ADD issues and she "managed" to essentially hide out in session.  I was labelled the verbal abuser and bully.  Hell, I was calling her out on her stuff and it was backfiring.  Huh?  Not that I was perfect.  Far from it.  I was jacked up, anxious, and all over the place trying to make sense of wth. At the time, wBPD was unrecognized by me. Therapist's style was to focus on our relational communication patterns, with me largely on the hook putting forth effort in really working hard to improve our marriage and appease my wife, while putting my self interests and goals in 3rd.  Nada Nada Nada.

You know sometimes I think there is overlap and distinction btw BPDsilent tx and Nons-NC is blurry.  I get silent tx can be acting out by way of withdrawal, punishment, control, manipulativeness, avoidance, or being so overwhelmed that space and detachment is needed because they are afraid of acting out even worse and risking the relationship when we are strong.  While NC, as i understand it is because we need time and space away from the trauma bond of our toxic relationship thats got us messed up to regroup, heal, reconnect with our selves and own sense of emotions.  I know there's likely more to it and tools to communicate healthier "boundaries" and "time outs" in which both partners have a gist of the game plan and learning opportunites.  Yeah, let the games begin,... .  ugg.

From what I sense, the intensity of your anger was coming from place of protection.  You were pissed and had every right to be.  An alarm went off saying "KNOCK IT OFF!"  "This is how it is impacting me, don't you get it?" 

The only bully in this relationship has been him.

The last straw was me hearing him act all calm and normal in the car with his dad calling me a bully and I completely lost it. 

Well, if he is BPD and manipulative... .  watch for denial, projection, and circular arguments that go nowhere.  Above coulg be projection.

But its sorta an effective projection, that reinforces denial, and feeds the circular argumentation loop... .  Ugg, hooked.

You sound smart, but also empowered.  Since you "lost it", sounds like u are thinking it thru
There should be no outbursts, inability to deal with what I've set over and over again as boundaries, etc. If he cannot follow through because of his personality then I have to understand and wake up and tell myself this has to be DONE. I don't want to live like that. people should not do that to each other to intentionally hurt another person, revoke a response out of them and then say "hey they are the crazy one, you are wrong, etc"

If he's BPD, may be 40 years old, but with immature, maladaptive and toxic tendencies associated possibly with arressted development of a child in who acts out in funky-gamey ways within close intimate relationship.  That when called out- gets denied, projected, circularly argumented, or very pouty, sulken, shamed, withdrawn.  Tough stuff to be compassionate with while your own emotional regulation goes off kilter.  Lots of opportunities to grow from this.  How we "mirror" is huge.  Hence your self-care comes first and honest love of your self needs to be real.  Also from what I'm seeing on boards, "we teach them how to treat us". 

Rhetorical:  5 years from now, where do you want to be and what do you want to be spending your energy on?

Sounds like you are saying enough is enough.  Have you two had cycles of break-ups and make-ups in your hx?

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: OFFtheTopRope on January 09, 2013, 06:33:37 AM
My r/s apparently ended during a ST, as she just never answered me back.  These ppl get you conditioned to endure such things, it was really hard to tell she left me to "figure it out".  No, i didnt think we were over bc she eventually always came back.  Id be tormented with complete torture thru these, get angry, frustrated, write back, express my anger then shed write back something like "no im not being rude.  Just busy" or "sick" or "didnt know where my phone was". What?  So id say just let me GO then if thats all youre gonna offer me in this r/s.  Shed get sympathy from me, id always apologize (for nothing!) til it happened again & again.

Cant believe i wasted so much of my life subjected to this bs.  Yeah so now im a "stalker" but shes the one who liked to ignore me to get the reaction.  Guess shes not coming back again this time... .  so whatever. 

Absolutely NO credit for suffering thru all this BPD crap.  Learning abt it didnt get me anywhere either besides the fact the patterns fell into place like clockwork. 

Dont be hard on yourself for letting that anger out & sure dont apologize like he expects for it, btw.  You need to break out and show him the boundaries hes violated.  Do something different to let him know you wont be treated like that anymore.  Not sure what your status is with him now, but just wanted you to know they can & will go out with a ST method & make you out to look stupid for still caring.  Worst, weakest breakup ever! 

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: bb12 on January 09, 2013, 06:48:09 AM
Hi Angel

I feel for you! Because its my story too

I only found my way to this forum because I followed links from a google search for "why people use the silent treatment"!

The reading that some of the other members have sent you include articles that equate it to "emotional murder" and I honestly believe it is almost as serious as a real one!

Someone we love cuts us off without explanation and never communicates again. Just writing that line makes my skin crawl. Who can do that?... .  A mentally ill person is who!

The decimation to confidence, ego, esteem, and our very sense of reality can not be understated. I was in ruins for a solid 6 months.

The worst part is that we can't move on properly. They grant us no closure. We act fine for a while but the pull for answers is so strong that we break NC. When they still don't answer, we rage and they use this very action as evidence to support their ongoing silence. It's the worst kind of Catch22.

Unlike other respondents today, I do not think their behaviour stems from shame or other feelings that might warrant some pity. I think they are just cowards. Passive within the r/s and passive aggressive on the way out. For me, their illness is akin to pathological selfishness. They are tantruming children in adult bodies. When a child can't express himself he sulks or goes silent. I also believe that as big kids, they obsess on the new and discard the old. Picking up a new toy entails the dropping of the old one. No emotion involved in doing that - just as there is none in dropping us.

Borderlines need supply. As they mirror and ensnare the new supplier, the only supply we can now provide them is one of "power over" or fear. Just remember that every angry message we leave; every voicemail begging for a chat... .  is supply to them. So do your best not to give it to him.

I am 13 months out now and see it all for what it was. My ex likely BPD (w/NPD traits). Me likely CoDependent. Work on yourself and why you put up with this rubbish for so long. Why you keep going back. Why we think we need them when they give so little. Freedom lies in the search for answers about us, and not about them.

Post here a lot. It really helps

Bb12 |iiii

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: suz124w on January 09, 2013, 07:03:31 AM

What a great post!  I second every word you say!

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: waitaminute on January 09, 2013, 08:33:51 AM
During the rs I tried and tried to have discussions about things we disagreed on. But any disagreement caused her to use emotional terrorism of some sort. And then often there was a "goodbye".

I've gone NC now. From her perspective I'm giving her the silent treatment. But we had our few weeks of closure before I went NC. So I don't view it that way.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: BleedsOrange on January 09, 2013, 10:07:18 AM
Angel, meine fruende,

I would say dont feel stupid for falling into what seems to be such a common trap, but it seems like all of have had to deal with realizing that in a way we got "played" by a specific, yet common technique of manipulation and dominance. it is a struggle to deal with the shame of thinking what we allowed to happen to us.

YET, do not fret! eventually the pattern makes it all less painful. It just becomes another facet of, ":)AMN! I dated one messed up cookie! Won't do that again!" In a way, the whole picture and all the ridiculously common little pieces help it become less personalized. I don't feel like I need to give you much input. You seem to be well on your way! Best Wishes.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: angel123 on January 09, 2013, 11:25:47 AM
OffTheTopRope – I used to get those excuses too. . . “oh I didn’t respond to your text because I wasn’t around my phone” or when he realized I was getting really angry at the treatment, he would say “well I was going to call you today”. Really LIAR?

Bb12 –I completely agree with you. They are cowards. When I unleashed everything I had inside of me out in anger yesterday that’s what I called him. I called him a coward and a punk! It felt good. I told him his behavior was not that of a real man, but rather one of a little boy coward punk. I also told him he required more work than my toddler does with his tantrums.

I understand I should not give him a reaction out of anger but you know what? It has felt good! It has felt good to finally let it all hang out and tell him exactly what I think of this behavior without being fearful of his reactions and whether or not he talked to me ever again because I simply do not care. I told him “you wanna see a bully, you wanna see what psychological warfare on a person feels like, well here ya go” and I ripped him up one side and down the other. I don’t mean to sound so vicious but after 2 ½ years, it felt good.

I know I will stop all of it but I needed to get it out. He kept saying please stop saying these things but I didn’t. I didn’t stop until I got everything out of me. It feels good because this time around, I’m not going to be the one who feels guilty for my feelings and the things I’ve said. It’s clearer than it ever has been to me this person is controlling, manipulative and a LIAR. Urgh.

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: Surnia on January 09, 2013, 01:38:03 PM
Hi angel123

I feel your frustration and anger about his tantrums and silent treatment.

How familiar are you with BPD?

I would suggest you this:

How a Borderline Personality Disorder Love Relationship Evolves (https://bpdfamily.com/tools/articles.htm)

Arguing - don't engage (https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=106107.0).

So you are not living together?

Title: Re: silent treatments
Post by: Seahorse1 on January 09, 2013, 05:38:49 PM
The silent treatment is his "gift" for you to work on your self... .  For you to get back in balance... .  For you to remember the person you were before you met him... .  

Or... .  

It is a time for you to be anxious... .  Depressed... .  Stressed ... .  Obsessed... .  

Having done the latter for six months on and off I'm now doing the former... .  

And loving the hell out of it... .