Relationship Partner with BPD (Straight and LGBT+) => Romantic Relationship | Detaching and Learning after a Failed Relationship => Topic started by: artist27 on April 25, 2007, 12:49:52 AM

Title: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on April 25, 2007, 12:49:52 AM
Hope is the mind killer.  I think someone somewhere said that.  When I put away my hope for a good relationship of the romantic sort my pain seemed to subside.  When I put away the hope that I had, for my ex who I suspect has a BP, to somehow behave normal, my pain again subsided.  When I lost my trust for her and could no longer see the beautiful person that I had once seen, my expectations dropped, I began to heal.  All the things that I loved about her fell away and what was a left was a person who had none of the attributes that most men would want in a woman.  Which has left one question for me, what about the friendship? 

Do I want to be friends with a woman that I can not trust, I can not confide in, I can not let my self truly grow close to as a friend or otherwise, and who I can not count on to be their for me, but who will always expect me to be their for her?  That is my question that I now have in my quasi-no contact state.  I still have to see her on a daily bases, at least for a little while.  It will be almost impossible to ignore her for more than a couple of weeks or so.  I don’t call her and I don’t text her anymore. 

Even though I feel that I love her, I have kept an emotional distance from her early on in the relationship, because I was aware of her disorder from almost the beginning.  I always wonder if that makes a difference.  I have pretty much lost my romantic feelings for her.  It does not hurt me when I see her talk to other men now.  It does not hurt me when she rages over something small and we stop talking, because now I just see it as part of who she is, part of her personality.

My concern, and what will dictate our friendship, is how bizarre her behavior will get.  In her current re-engagement state she is getting more aggressive.  I have made it clear that I no longer want a romantic relationship, and all that is left is possible friendship, but she continues to make it clear that she is unhappy, when I talk to certain co-workers that she does not approve of.  Her argument is that she is not jealous she is simply looking out for me as a friend.  She got to the point one day, where she was saying things about another female co-worker at work, loudly enough for the co-worker to hear and take offense.

The “control” situation is just as bad, when we discussed a recent conversation we had which had set her off, she out right said that I had to think about what I said because she may take it wrong and it was my responsibility to make sure I said it right, so that she did not take offense.  This ignores her part in communicating with me, which would be to clarify something that sounded wrong or was unclear.  I found that everything is seen as negative and I have not and will not be hyper-vigilant with how I speak around her.  I will give the same sensitivity to her that I give to others, and I will not take any verbal abuse from her, I never have.

My hope (there’s that word again) is that she will stabilize and we can have decent conversations every now and then.  I also hope that maybe she will find a new interest and move on.  But, somehow I think this is just another step I have to take to accept that I can not have this person in my life anymore.  I feel that she feels that I know her now, so she does not have to hide her behaviors anymore.  She does not have to hide her paranoia anymore.  So we will see…can she be a friend?

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: indoubt on April 25, 2007, 01:06:53 AM
I don't know how long you were together. How long you dated,how long you were married if you were. I saw the signs in my relationship and still got married.

Just be glad she is your 'x' and your not in a realationship with her now. Don't get sucked back in. I realize now that I was brainwashed in my weakness and married her when I should't have. Now I'm paying the price and have to get out!

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: JerryKew on April 25, 2007, 01:15:30 AM
It's hard to answer that question. I haven't really read any posts where people said they had managed to establish a friendship with their xBPDpartner.

I kind of have the fantasy that I might establish one with my own xBPD, but in fact I doubt it can even be possible. I left a little over 2 motnhs ago, haven't seen him or even talked to him since then, but we have corresponded fairly normally for the past 3 weeks or so. However, this is no indication that a friendship is at all possible.

I suppose friendship invoves a certain degree of closeness, and you know how hard it is for BPs to handle the closeness.  My BP has very few friends, in fact lost many over the years.

As for me, having been with him for 17 years, I know him very well and for too long was much too sympathetic and empathetic with him. And now I need to protect myself from him (and from my own demons as a Non). So I guess if we ever become friends it won't be any time soon. I suspect the process would take a long time. But ideally, yes, I would like that to happen in the future.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: ian on April 25, 2007, 01:44:18 AM
I think it is REALLY hard to do. From most people's experiences she will probobly push your limits until you can't be freinds anymore, and if you can, what's the point? This sounds a little cold but you are probobly still attached to her in SOME way. I tried to be freinds with my BP for months before the NC which was worse than the actual break-up. I just wanted her as a person, and us to work out as freinds but even that was impossible.

The question is, what would you really get out of the freindship? I really doubt that she will change, so as things are you have to ask yourself if you are expending energy on something that is not going anywhere. I don't think they generally stabilize when you get to know them, they actually get crazier.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: FallingLeaf on April 25, 2007, 01:53:00 AM
Ahh yes, the friendship question.

In a nutshell, here's how things went down for me.

She "abandoned" me at a time she felt I would abandon her. She had her backup guy all prepped up and I never saw what hit me. Then SHE asked for friendship ("friends with benefits" in her own words, to keep me "hooked" I suppose).

I was crushed, but I gave it a shot. That's when things got REALLY weird and I started hunting down the internet looking at personality disorders. The pieces all came together when I read about BPD and NPD. Friendship in "our" words is a foreign concept to them. It still is about filling their bottomless pit of need.

Good luck. I see my ex everyday at work. It can be difficult sometimes.

She will push you away if you are close to her, and beg you to stay if you leave. The only way to win, is not to play.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: eternaloptimist on April 25, 2007, 08:10:21 AM
Hi Artist - I am intrigued by your post.  My mind has been going in exactly the same place recently, the place where “hope” becomes the big question in my relationship.  It was wonderful to hear what you had to say about it.  I find that when my H stops acting out and shows the side of him that I married, the hope quotient goes way up and I start believing that things will get better.  I am an optimist - I am a hopeful person.  Losing faith and giving up hope for me is almost as painful as giving up my marriage - that hope is what has kept me alive.  That hope is what makes me the person that I am.  It is so hard to give up the hope to gain back my life.

But Artist, just like you said, when I let go of the hope, things actually look better for me - it is ironic that the thing that has made my life bearable - the hope - is also what has kept me from moving on when things became intolerable.  It is also what is missing from H’s being - he can find no hope in the future, in himself or in the world.  I provided the hope for both of us. 

So how do you let go of that intrinsic part of your being - the hope that people are good and that things will get better - Dante - “Abandon hope all ye who enter here” -  written over the entrance to hell -

Thanks for the post - it made me think about why this is so difficult.  - EO

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: elphaba on April 25, 2007, 08:40:45 AM

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that because of their black/white and twisted thinking - even friendship is impossible...

I tried, really honestly tried...we'd been friends long before we started a relationship and hoped that we could fall back on that, but, these people (without intensive therapy) are not able to carry on any kind of interpersonal relationship. 

Realistically, and you have said it yourself...why would you (or any of us) WANT to be friends with someone we cannot trust, someone who has shown that they will never be able to be counted on.  Spend your time and energy finding REAL mentally healthy friends!

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: TonyC on April 25, 2007, 08:55:24 AM
i think the question is can you be a friend,

you  have alot of do i's in you post...do you really need to be friends with some one you cant trust , or get empathy from?

or would she be the one to call if you had something heavy on your mind...cause there will be many situations... where you problem is in consequential  to her...because her problems are much more important than anything you have

also if BPD ...you can only be her friend none elses


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: snoqualmie on April 25, 2007, 09:33:51 AM
Convenient and appropriate topic for me.  Got a letter from UDBPW that cheated on my while she was deployed with NG.  Went back with the 2nd of the 2 guys after I did not take her back immediately.  She is now training in Alabama.  I am sure that she knows something is up with her commanders.

Got a letter from her yesterday from her training base in Alabama.  She goes on how she says that she can't fix what she has done, I am a great man and father, how she is entitled to be around our daughter as much as me (although the wife has been in and out of our daughter's life for 3 years - some by her choice, some not).  She wrote how she is trying so hard in this school and I need to let her do that.  She signs it "Your Friend, UDBPstbx"

I almost laughed.  The fundamental basis for any relationship is trust and respect.  I have neither for her.  She has done very little to help me regain any respect for her.  I think these people equate friendship with your ability to help them.  In this case, she does not want me to let her commander know about her affairs.  Too late - her commanders already know.  Just waiting for the hammer to drop. 

I would be leery about having any semblance of a relationship more than you need to with these people.  I will unfortunately have to as she is the mother of my child.  They are probably using you for some reason or another.  After she does not have a use for me, I will probably be painted black once again.   

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: turtle on April 25, 2007, 09:45:21 AM
Do I want to be friends with a woman that I can not trust, I can not confide in, I can not let my self truly grow close to as a friend or otherwise, and who I can not count on to be their for me, but who will always expect me to be their for her? 

So we will see…can she be a friend?

Based on this paragraph, I say "no!"   Are you friends with anyone else that you can't trust, can't confide in, can't let yourself grow close to, can't coun't on to be ther for you, but always expects you to be there for them? 

This isn't friendship. And, like many others, my personal experience is that the bp is just not capable of friendship because they are not capable of any kind of close relationships -- period.  It's just too much work to be "friends" with a bp who was a former SO -- IMHO.  I would rather spend my energy cultivating healthy friendships.


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Beachman325 on April 25, 2007, 10:21:31 AM
   This is a good question that I have poundered over a number of months.  When the relationship failed and I let her go, she left me a voice mail about how she wanted to be friends and that she would still get me things like dinner when I am working...I thought this is strange response as I did not at that point trust her anymore.  As I learned from more people who know her and her background and from mental health folks who know her enough that BPD was the first thing they told me, I backed away from ever contacting her again as I realized she is not normal.  We were friends for a number of years before the relationship and she used to listen to me at night when we would visit, but as I think about it, she never could give me much back.

   Snoqualmie you make a good point that really did hit home today.    You said: [The fundamental basis for any relationship is trust and respect.  I have neither for her.  She has done very little to help me regain any respect for her.  I think these people equate friendship with your ability to help them]  Your last sentence reminds me of codependency and my own need at times to help more which feeds the need to care, which I have equated with love and now know very sadly it is not.  If I think about it further, I am trying to feed a sick soul from someone who also has a sick soul.  My needs are not being met from her and her needs will never be filled up by me.  Two people could not be so different and so apart rather than the closeness I thought we had.  It just struck me that I can neither fill these or other codependent folk up, but instead need to back off more and do things for me.  I see the results in over 5 almost 6 months of working on silly stuff, like organizing my apartment better, taking a healthy look at my finances and working on improving them, actually planning my life with goals and direction, and being free to move about as I would like.  It just struck me that with a BPD, you are on a collison course from the get go as both of us take care of our needs in very unhealthy ways, the only outcome will be destruction and implosion from the get go.  Thanks for the insight!  I will learn how to be less intrusive, caring but not responsible and above all let relationships form and be on their own right and not something I would like them to be when the person is not what I hoped...amazing some times what I learn about myself here! 

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: sillyputte on April 25, 2007, 10:57:28 AM
I tried, but as many have said here, I did it for the wrong reasons.  I was still acting on my co-dependency issues in thinking she needed someone to stay by her.  It blew up just as the relationship did only worse, and in the end was probably a good thing because I was coming to realize just how dysfunctional any relationship with her was going to be.

Like you I questioned why I wanted to be involved with someone I didn't trust and didn't respect.  The reason became clear over time with counselling...I was still trying to fix her.

Once I realized I am not that powerful, and have no control over her, and she had the blow up of all blow ups saying she hated me and never wanted to see me again, I finally got it.  Her subsequent attempts to re-engagement have failed.

No one here can tell you what to do, we can only state what our experiences have been.  At some point the facts will lead your heart to the conclusion your head probably already knows.  It might take one more perverbial kick in the nuts, or it might not, that choice is yours.

I have not read of any successful friendships coming out of a relationship with a BPD however, and I suspect in all fairness you will be setting yourself up for failure.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: pizaluvr on April 25, 2007, 11:09:00 AM

I believe that being friends after ending a relationship with someone you loved deeply is just another way to stay attached to them somehow.

I don't think it is healthy at all to try to remain "friends" after being lovers.

Borderlines IMO, aren't capable of being a true friend.

They seem to just exist and become chameleons when they are looking for prey for their next attack.

I am making them sound so mean, and they are.



Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: garyw on April 25, 2007, 11:32:34 AM
Hi artist

I didn't even finish your whole post or any of the responces but I know the answer.

No !

I tried it and it was almost a worst Hell than when we tried to be a couple.

You can not be (just friends) with someone you still have romantic love for.

It will tear your heart out.

It is nothing but a big lie to yourself.

Like I said...i did it. I at the time you are at now would settle for whatever crumb fell onto the floor just to be around her just in case.

I think it is a human impossibility as long as there is still love involved. You will little by little want just a little bit more and she will little by little start taking more away.

Of some of the things I feel strongly about...this is one of them at the top of my list.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: neko on April 25, 2007, 12:57:19 PM

Well you hit it right at the start.  How can you be 'friends' with someone you simply cannot trust.  What kind of 'friendship' would it be?  Mine tried like crazy to keep me as a friend, with even creating issues at work that only I could fix.  I had to keep on telling her that I cannot be friends after everything.

It's hard but don't forget they cannot let go until they have gotten 100% bored of you.  At the same point I see in my life that I was so desperate for attention that even something highly defective I was willing to go above & beyond to try to maintain it.  You would be better focusing that energy on something productive, than an already dead end...

Best of luck!

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: cali girl on April 25, 2007, 01:32:20 PM
Hi Artist... I actually posted something similar recently and met with the same replies. 

My sitch is this - My exbf broke up with me recently.  We still live in the same house, sleeping in separate bedrooms for over a month now, me wanting to believe that we can be friends at this point.  In the three years we had been together our relationship had been deteriorating for the last two in my eyes.  Slowly but surely my love for him was dying -  a slow death, nonetheless dying. 

At this time, I feel completely out of love with him, to the point I feel ready to start dating others, haven't felt this mentally healthy in years. 

We have decided to be "friends" until he finds another place to live.  We still chat at home after work at night, keep it light for the most part (he knows he is incapable of a relationship, so he SAYS).  Right now he leaves every Friday morning to go visit his kids/ex-wife out of town and doesn't return home until Monday evening. I love this setup - I feel so clearheaded when he is gone.  So we have this understanding that we are now "friends".  I find that he is floundering though, he initiated s*x the other night and I told him I wasn't interested (1st time ever).  In my honest opinion, he wants to remain "friends" to remain close to me and as I look into my crystal ball, I can see this now as maybe a slow re-engagement, as he isn't aggressively looking for a place to live. 

In my heart I KNOW that when he moves out I will probably will not want to pursue our "friendship".  I despise him for not being the person I thought he was when we met, but have gotten past it. 

Is it safe to say that you feel sorry for her but yet have a certain amount of animosity, like I do, and we've ended up putting this in the "friendship category" due to lack of another term  ?  I think that BPD's want to lead you to believe they can be your friend - when really, alterior motives are attached.

~ Cali

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: thomaso61 on April 25, 2007, 01:56:00 PM
Judging by your post, you work with her, right? Where would you be if you didn't even work with her? From my experience so far, once your outta sight your outta mind. You have to see her continually. Would it have been different if you didn't have to see or work with her? My guess is yes. You might not even be pondering the question about just being friends. Once your painted black, your done, over, finito. They move on to the next person who will fill their bottomless pit of need. Good for you for recognizing she had issues right from the get go. Unfortunately, I ignored them. It cost me immensely. Where was my BPDwife when I was down? As is for lots of other people on this board left pondering the same question. They move on like you didn't exist. You sure you want to maintain a friendship with someone like that? It's not worth it.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: NewLifeforHGG on April 25, 2007, 02:09:23 PM
Being civil is one thing but a friendship is a recipe for disaster.

I don't think being friends with someone who abused your feelings is a good idea. Ultimately she will have ulterior motives. It will end in tears in my opinion.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: cali girl on April 25, 2007, 02:11:57 PM
I must echo Thomas in that I still feel that slight "ping" when I see him - for me it's Tuesday thru Thursday.  BUT, when he leaves for on Friday for four days, I don't think about him at all - zero, zilch, zippo.

There will always be that little thread of a connection when you are around her, I am finding that to be true in my circumstance.  How do you feel when you go home at night, is she "out of sight, out of mind"?  

~ Cali

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on April 26, 2007, 12:50:13 AM
Thanks for the posts and support.  We were together for about a year and I have no children with her.  I have heard it mentioned several times that BPD’s make poor parents.  Is that something that is always true? 

To answer Eternaloptimists question, I don’t know exactly how I let go of my hope.  I think that I did it over time.  I think I started to let go after I saw the first real rage and she tried to act like nothing had happened.  That is when I really started to believe that she had BPD.  Until then I had pushed the thought away and thought “I’ve just been reading too much at school and I’m seeing disorders everywhere.”  But, I saw the gradual transformation from a gentle and supportive woman to a verbally abusive and vulgar woman. 

When she begins to get angry she becomes very vulgar and brings up things about other people that make no logical sense to bring up.  I wish I could go into more detail, but she still has me so paranoid that I am still scared she could find this site and realize that it is me.  She learned everything about me that she could in such a short period of time.  She knows things about me that long time friends don’t even know.

I think that is one of the keys in leaving.  I had to believe that she had BPD, even though she has not been diagnosed to my knowledge.  She meets all the dsm criteria.   After a few more rages and re-engages I really began to believe, and the hope and trust melted away after each episode.  The latest one just drove the point home.  I have become numb to her advances.  I am the Zen master :).  It’s like being in the middle of a storm and being at peace. 

Watching her behaviors is sad.  Every time she does something that screams BPD I feel more confident with my decision to end it.  I just keep thinking and the posts that I have read have urged me to think this, “I can’t put up with this for the rest of my life.”  And if I can’t deal with this behavior on a long term basis than what is the point of going forward in my relationship?  The woman that I thought existed never did exist, and when I really look at her, I see a person that I probably would have never started talking to.  I was blinded by all the attention. At the beginning she learned everything about me and became what I wanted, and once she felt she had me, she changed. 

I do have to work with her and I feel that once I move to a new job she will melt away.  But that scares me as well.  Right now I don’t think that she would pursue me, but I don’t really know.  She surprises me more and more as her behavior gets more and more desperate.  She does and says things that are so childish, like pointing out little things about other woman in what seems to be an attempt to keep me away from them. She does this in an inappropriate way and in a way that is obvious to other people; I really think that she is trying to push them into a confrontation with her.  She makes it well known that she does not care if no one likes her.

I know an attempt at friendship is most likely to fail, but I’m going to play it by ear and see what happens.  I know that on some level it’s just that last little bit of hope that I have to let go of.  I hope the predictive nature of the BPD is correct and her deep need for attention will move her on to someone else who will give it to her.  Because the “attention source” from me is drying up and at some point will be shut off all together.  It just takes time, and in this case the saying is reversed “don’t keep hope alive!”

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: cali girl on April 26, 2007, 10:55:02 AM
  I have heard it mentioned several times that BPD’s make poor parents.  Is that something that is always true?

I'm gonna say no.  Some BPD's will make great parents and over-compensate because they crave that unconditional love from their kids - it makes them feel normal.  My exbf's thinking is that when we have an argument he can run to his kids and ex-wife, can bury his head in the sand and wala, he feels normal again. 

He told me that he could no longer "juggle" our relationship and be a dad at the same time  ?  I was basically banned from the kids after being in their lives for 3 years.  All I could say was "why would anyone want to lead two seperate lives"? 

My conclusion is that his ex-wife hated me being around the kids, the kids would tell me "my mommy doesn't like you", wanted him back, him liking all the attention (ace in the hole) etc...

I cannot believe this was my life   

~ Cali

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: NewLifeforHGG on April 26, 2007, 02:18:01 PM
Be careful artist. Some BPDs lure their exes back just so they can dump them and have the final say.

cali-glad you are fee of the toxic situation.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on April 28, 2007, 09:26:34 AM
So, this friendship thing is hard.  Every day that I have to spend with my ex makes me wonder if I am falling back into a relationship with her.  I still don’t text her or call her but she is following the same pattern that she has followed before to bring me back.  She is being pretty nice right now and the bizarre behavior has subsided a bit.  But, I wonder if that is because I have not been around anyone she disapproves of. 

It is so hard to maintain a sane perspective when you are in the BP world, because you want to think that the BP would not do some of the things you suspect them of doing, because “normal” people don’t act that way, or if they do, they don’t take it to such an extent.   I really don’t want to maintain contact, but I have to maintain a certain amount of civility at work, and being the friendly person that I am (I really am :)) it is hard for me to outright ignore anyone if they are friendly to me.  She knows this and I think that she takes advantage of it.

I guess the key to not getting hurt is to remind myself that she is still the same person and she will not change.  I have to accept her disorder and deal with her on that basis.  Because, it is when I start to believe that she is “ok” I begin to waiver and I get sucked back in.  Not this time.  I have to remember the goal: don’t get back into the relationship and limit the friendship to minimal contact.  Hopefully she will fade away.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on April 30, 2007, 09:31:58 PM

I keep trying to be friends with my ex boyfriend (bp) but he manages to lure me back into some kind of "dance" where I can't win.  And he keeps saying how much he loves me and sends me the most heartfelt apologies I've ever read in my entire life. 

It feels overwhelming to try to explain it all, doesn't it?

Anyway, the mature thing is for two ex-lovers to try being friends, but I just don't think it's possible.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 01, 2007, 08:55:12 AM
Wow!  I found out my ex is going on a leave for at least a month.  It was so nice not to work with her.  I felt a peace that I have not felt for a while.  I have not been calling or texting her and she has not been calling me, but I don’t know how she will react now that she will not see me for a while.  This kind of worries me.  She has always had some sort of access to me at work and I have heard the stories that you all tell about how your bpex’s stalk you and start calling over and over.  Maybe I’ll be lucky and she will leave me alone.

I’ve been trying to have a limited friendship, but even though we are not “together” we have been talking more and she was starting to fall back into her patterns: verbal abuse, (which I promptly address), anger and rage over small things (like not saying the right thing because I should know better), and she is still trying to control who I talk to, usually through subtle and sometimes not so subtle intimidation of co-workers.  I guess she does not need me to be “with” her, she just needs me to communicate with her.  I guess this is one of those “stealth” re-engages.  Never saw it coming!  Am I back in the relationship and don’t know it?

Marymac I know that “dance” I think I have been doing it since my last break up.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 01, 2007, 10:15:08 AM

You wrote: Am I back in the relationship and don’t know it?

Wow, do I know that feeling!  I'm there with ya.  Agreed to reopen correspondence and communication, and within about two days I felt like I had never left, and yet I didnt even realize it until I got back on this site and searching around for answers!  And we haven't even seen each other in person since our b reak up two weeks ago!

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: JerryKew on May 01, 2007, 11:31:44 AM

You wrote: Am I back in the relationship and don’t know it?

Wow, do I know that feeling!  I'm there with ya.  Agreed to reopen correspondence and communication, and within about two days I felt like I had never left, and yet I didnt even realize it until I got back on this site and searching around for answers!  And we haven't even seen each other in person since our b reak up two weeks ago!

It's funny you should write this, marymac. The same thing kind of happened to me when I allowed xBPDpartner to write me after about a month or so going absolutely NC.

We only exchanged a couple of letters, but what little we exchanged was ENOUGH to instill in me a sense of STILL BEING IN THE RELATIONSHIP. I need to be very careful about this, otherwise, next thing you know, we'll be back together and I won't even know when  or how it happened! Without even going so far, I risk losing control of the situation. I have to admit the only way to keep control of the situation is to go absolutely NC. I allowed LC because I thought it would speed up the process of selling the apartment and taking care of practical details, but I do now realize I run a higher risk of inducing a massive re-engagement attempt from him. When that hapens, boy - I'd better be prepared! In other words, I need to be CONSTANTLY on guard. It's tiring. What might happent he day I'm too tired to be on guard? I dread to think of that.

I keep thinking of what to say or respond if I ever get caught in a re-engagement attack. I still feel quite unsure how to respond. So I guess the "friendship" question is out of the... question for now.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: NewLifeforHGG on May 01, 2007, 12:38:13 PM
I think NC is best. The re-engagement can sneak up on you and then you turn around and you a right back at square one.

These people know our weak spots and aren't afraid to use them.

Thank heavens for peace and quiet.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 01, 2007, 02:48:17 PM

Their desire to keep us in the loop is very, very strong, because, I think, their sense of self is so fragile - they can't stand to feel abandoned or alone.  My very smart and clever ex knows this and reads about this, but then just can't change or be more consistently nice -- just plain nice, I would accept nice. But what I get is whirlwinds and craziness and confusion and challenges.  Nice would be nice, wouldn't it?

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 01, 2007, 02:50:37 PM

Yeah, peace and quiet.  I recently stayed at my sister's cabin in the north woods, and I loved the silence.  I even disconnected their ticking clock so I could enjoy the total quiet.  I slept for the first time in ages without using any meds to help me sleep.  It was so relaxing I almost felt drugged!

My ex did continue to send me text messages though, often in the middle of the night.  So the only artificial sound would be the occasional beep of a tm coming in.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 02, 2007, 07:21:28 AM
I feel as though there are two realities, the bp-reality and the non-reality.  It’s like I feel I am not together with her, but she feels we are together as soon as we communicate.  Where does the BP cycle start?  Is it as soon as I acknowledge her presence?  How do you make sense of the chaos?  Even in chaos there are patterns.  Am I stuck in fuzzy logic?

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 02, 2007, 07:26:58 AM

I had NC for 3 weeks, and then relented for 3 days of communication because my borderline ex wanted to try to have a healing friendship.  But -- over the course of those 3 days we went from healing friends to practically becoming lovers again (even though we didn't see each other once during those 3 days), and it took much support (mostly from people on line here!) to just get out.  Again.  And now, of course, he's angry.

Yeah, I definitely hear you -- he felt as if we were back together as soon as we communicated again. It was hidden under a bunch of words at first, but then it slowly came back into view.


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: NewLifeforHGG on May 02, 2007, 01:24:23 PM
I don't think you can be friends.

Since they don't understand boundaries this is a very dangerous path to try to take.

marymac-I had a similar get away and I know what you mean about feeling drugged.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 02, 2007, 02:08:08 PM

Really?  Did you lie there, totally soaking in the silence, and then at one point think that maybe you were dying or something because you were that relaxed?

It was memorable, deep.

Maybe this is how most people feel most of the time because they don't have to keep their guard up all the time?

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: NewLifeforHGG on May 02, 2007, 02:15:12 PM
Yes. I felt so relaxed that I felt like I was on another plane. I was in this seaside little cottage that had no tv, phone service or cell phone service because it was blocked by a mountain.

There was a big window overlooking the ocean.

I just rested and my muscles were like jelly.

I too wonder if this is what day to day life is for happy people.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 02, 2007, 02:20:51 PM
Yeah! This house overlooked a lake, no TV, no internet!

We can't ask all the happy people if that's what life is like for them because they don't know! If it's YES then it's always been that way for them so they just wouldn't know it!

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 03, 2007, 01:22:00 AM
So this is what it is like to have no contact.  In some ways it was easier to see her at work.  Now I have this anxiety that she will call or text me.  This is a new experience for me.  I guess being friends was just an easier way to let go of her.  I sit here and wonder what she feels right now.  It is so hard to imagine her with no feelings, because she portrayed them so well when she was sad.

I know she was in pain, people at work would tell me that she looked as though she had been crying on more then one occasion.  When we first stop talking she will always re-engagement her exbf and parade him in front of me for a day or so in an attempt to hurt me.  I think that it was her way of trying to keep me in line i.e. “come crawling back or I’ll go back with him.”  This has never worked on me and she always blows him off within a short time and tries to come back to me.  It’s like a bluff.  After she blows off her ex she goes into this “depressed state”.  She barely talks to anyone and she does things to try to get my attention.  She acts happy when she thinks I am sad, but if I look fine she will almost immediately get quiet and go back to the depressed state; almost as though she is disappointed that I am happy without her.

This is un-chartered territory for me.  When I saw her at work it was a constant reminder of how warped she was, because her actions were right there in front of me.  I could listen to her distorted thinking.  I could see the angry stares.  Now I find myself only remembering the good things and I have to remind myself that the goal is to not continue with her.  I have made a decision in my mind not to pursue a relationship with her.  I can see down the road and I know the pain that waits if I go back. 

The good times were sometimes the hardest to deal with because that is when hope would surface; the hope that she could be a normal person.  But the BPD always comes back.  And new worry comes to me, what if I stay friends with her and then I start seeing someone else?  What would her reaction be?  I stated before that I feel that I have only seen a small part of how distorted she can be, it was always the worst when she saw me talking to a girl she did not like or felt was a threat.  Reading the experiences here helps because it is a reminder of how bad a BPD can get.  I hope I don’t get that far…I think I am the only one that can stop it from happening.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 03, 2007, 03:31:11 PM

A few days ago, my ex bg and I were talking about how we might be able to be friends.  We both wondered aloud what would happen if one of us started dating, stuff like that.  It seemed reasonable, mature...

Anyway, I was away overnight (last night) visiting my daughter who doesn't have internet hooked up yet, so I put on an auto-responder that didn't mention my daughter, only that I'd be away from my computer over night.  So ---- get this ------ he called me super-super-super hurt that I would throw it in his face that I was sleeping overnight at a man's house.

What I learned?  We won't be able to be friends.  He just took that info and blew it up into the next drama.

Problem is, in a break up, the one who is dumped is going to be in pain. (We are too, of course) But borderlines think it is our job to relieve them of their pain.  But once we break up each person is on their own, and our job is only this -- to take care of ourselves.

Hey, believe me, this is hard for me to learn, but telling it to you helps reinforce it in me!


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 03, 2007, 03:31:39 PM
Oops, I wrote ex bg -- I meant "ex bf"!

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 03, 2007, 10:16:43 PM

I'm learning that also, when I tell someone else what I already know to be true it does reinforce it in me.  Isn't that odd. :)

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 05, 2007, 02:48:12 PM
I think that I am starting to get the concept of “oz”.  This little bit of nc has been great.  I go to work and I am not concerned with entering the building.  I don’t have to work with a different persona.  I am who I am.   It feels so good just to be me.  I have my lapses and I want to have the hope that she is capable of normalcy.  That is the only draw back, when I don’t get the chance to see the disturbed, twelve year old behavior, I tend to focus on the good.  You never know how much you walked on eggshells until the eggshells are gone.  Secure footing is peace.   The only thing that remains are the ghosts of past fears and the mirages of happiness.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: NewLifeforHGG on May 05, 2007, 02:57:15 PM
What a great thread artist. Your issue is one many face or will face in the future. I like that you worked it out in the end. It proves how the power of a supportive atmosphere can really help.

I am happy you are experiencing peace. Imagine that the rest of your life can feel this good.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: cali girl on May 07, 2007, 10:50:06 AM

A few days ago, my ex bg and I were talking about how we might be able to be friends.  We both wondered aloud what would happen if one of us started dating, stuff like that.  It seemed reasonable, mature...


This is where my exbf and I are at right now... we talk about parting ways, going on with life without each other, etc.  He currently sleeps in another bedroom and is moving out at the end of the month.  He too seems to be going along with the break-up thing and remaining friends, but I'm also wondering if this is just lip service?  I'm not sure if he is just quietly going to exit the building, or if he is building up to something else?  For now, we are FRIENDS, which is astonishing to me - but I really don't know his motives - do we ever know what a BPD is up to  ?

Just thought I would share, who knows whats gonna happen  ::)

~ Cali

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 07, 2007, 07:14:10 PM
Hey Caligirl,

I think these guys have all the best intentions, I really do.  But they can't resist messing things up, confusing the issues, getting us to chase our tails.  You are fortunate that all is quiet right now, just let it be and be prepared for when it isn't so quiet any more.  My ex bf remained fairly quiet until he was out the door...I think...I don't know -- the past few months are becoming a blur of fights and make-ups, all in the name of friendship.

But, hey, for you - so far so good, and that's fantastic!

keep posting, let us know how it goes!


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 07, 2007, 11:39:27 PM
MC and CG,

Let me know how it goes.  So far with me it seems all that is needed to keep you in the cycle is a little bit of contact.  I wonder if you all will experience the same thing.  The relationship is already conditioned; a stage set to one act in a play that we play over and over.  We each know our place and for us the role changes, but to the BPex the act stays the same and the same act continues.  I think for them the goal is to have someone there, and even though the contact is different, we are still there, and it seems so far that that is all that is needed to maintain a relationship for them.

I’ve been thinking about it and for us, at least for the most part, we always saw a continuous relationship.  For them, or at least my ex, we have been good and bad; the relationship has been on and off.  To them it is just another off period.  For us it is a major decision to move on and change the nature of the relationship. 

I have thought a lot about the triggers for me ex’s rages.  And the one element that seems to jump out, for the major rages when she would stop talking to me, are the times when she would see me talking to a girl I knew she felt was a threat.  I did not matter if it was work related or just a friendly conversation.  I feel she thought it was the beginning of me abandoning her, so she did it first.  Before she would stop talking to me the verbal abuse would start.  Everything I said and did was bad.  She would twist my words and actions around. There was no way to explain anything.  All my intentions were evil. 

I think that this was her way of building up to the break up.  I think that she really intends to stop talking to me during these periods, but she can’t do it, so she tries to re-engagement, and in the past I complied, and the act continued.  I wish that I could go into more detail about the things she would do.  Some of them are just so childish but at the same time scary.  I just don’t want to say too many things that would give away who I am.  God knows that if she found out about this place she would have a new way to torture me.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 08, 2007, 02:35:18 AM
I have to call her.  I have a choice not to call, but to maintain civility at work I need to make one call.  I hope she does not answer.  All I need to do is communicate a few words, it is not necessary to have a conversation.  I wish I could give more detail about why I have to, but I can’t.  I have known that I have to make this call for a little while and the stress of it is familiar.  For those of you with children and those of you that have to maintain contact for an extended period, I admire your courage.  Part of it is obligation and guilt; I am a good person so I have to do it. 

It is a reminder of how I always had to give and she did not.  I always had to be the stronger person and look past the things she said and did because I knew how she really felt.  The words or actions were between us and I could take them and deflect them because I understood the pain and fear that generated them.  I left the relationship because I knew that I could not take those little attacks for a lifetime, it was to draining.  I’m strong but I’m not that strong.  I’m glad I can write this here, because although I have great, strong friends, they really don’t know or understand this thing we call BPD.  All they can do is shake there heads at the things I tell them that she does.  Once more unto the FOG, I hope that it is a short journey.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: RTTCB on May 08, 2007, 04:46:00 AM
Hi artist27,

Friendships are relationships too - and for that matter they are something that I cherish very much.

Those suffering from BPD are unable to regulate emotions, which means that they are unable to sustain a normal relationship of any kind - whether it be romantic, family or a friendship. IMHO.



Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 10, 2007, 06:07:23 AM

I know, I had to leave the relationship and I had to accept that that would not work because of the BPD.  Now I think I have to follow the same process with the friendship.  Maybe something will happen to make permanent nc possible.  I still miss her just not enough to go back to her.  I really do miss her.  I can’t say that I was completely innocent; I did some insensitive things as well, but her reactions to them were so extreme.  I never tried to hurt her on purpose they way she would try to hurt me.

Sometimes I think this is great we have developed a label that predicts and describes the actions, of what would have, in the past, simply described a bad person.  I am not unsympathetic to those with mental illness and I understand that there may be neurological reasons for why BP’s do what they do.  I still love my ex, but her disorder only explains why she does the things that she does, it does not excuse her actions.  I am ambivalent.  I saw all this coming in the begining and I let it happen anyway.  I always have to give people a chance.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: RTTCB on May 11, 2007, 06:11:44 AM
Hi Artist27,

I too miss my friend, and in the initial stages when she was first diagnosed I was glad there was a reason for the behaviours too. In almost all cases I was able to pinpoint reasons for the way she treated me.

However, this is all well and good if the person realises that their behaviour is unacceptable, and they accept that they have BPD. The next step must be to seek therapy to correct or at least manage the behaviours. If this does not happen the only option in my opinion is to remove yourself, as otherwise you are allowing yourself to be subjected to unacceptable treatment for some reason (Co-dependency?).

And additionally as some other wise soul mentioned here – you are in fact ENABLING the illness, as you are letting this person continue to behave in an unacceptable manner.

I found it incredibly hard to walk away from my friend – hell after 4 months I still do – some of this was due to the fact that she’s incredibly low functioning, and thus a danger to herself. But at the end of the day I cannot fix her – nobody can even attempt to unravel the mess until she reaches out and asks for it – and then it must be a professional who is skilled at doing so. 

Indeed I am all for giving people a chance – it’s just that when it got to the point that the “chance giving” had got into double figures it was time to wake up and realise that I had gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.

But I stress again that in my opinion I do not believe those with untreated BPD can sustain any kind of normal give and take relationship - romantic, friendship or family.


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 11, 2007, 06:54:50 AM

Did you make the call yet?  How did it go?


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 11, 2007, 09:35:18 AM

I did make the call and it was beautiful, because I did not have to talk to her, just left the required message.  I think I actually jumped for joy afterwards!  I did my job as an employee and friend and I don’t have to talk to or see her for a little while.  Of course I will probably have to see her when she returns to work, and if she calls me I will still take her calls, unless they become abusive or excessive.  I don’t think that will happen though.

I am getting a lot of time to think during this period.  Talking to my co-workers really helps.  Honestly it helps more than when I talk to my really close friends, just because they know the situation and they see the way that she acts.  My close friends have never met her.  This may seem odd, but they only know a little about her, I really don’t talk about her because it is sometimes so hard to explain the things that she does. 

But, as I have stated before, my co-workers really help me stay in touch with reality at times because they point out behaviors that I might not immediately notice as bizarre.  For example the dirty looks that she gave to others; I did not notice this until some of my friends at work brought it to my attention.  Of course I did notice when she started saying insulting things loudly, within the hearing range of a female co-worker, to try to provoke her into a confrontation, all because I was “talking to her to much”.

More and more I am realizing the little things that she did to control me.  Each day arms me with new information.  I hope that by the time she returns I will be more effective in dealing with her.  There really is a fog and I may have said this before…I don’t think I am completely out of it yet, but I think I have at least turned on the fog lights.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: blowinNdawind on May 11, 2007, 02:17:44 PM
In my honest opinion, when a person with BPD states that they want to be friends with you, is really just another way for them to say, "I would like to find more ways in which I can manipulate you since the old ones don't work anymore." Why in hell would I want to subject myself to the madness? I have more to post, but have to go back to work.


blowinndawind, but pleasantly so...

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: paintedBLACK on May 11, 2007, 02:45:33 PM
Well, I just posted and here are my thoughts on friendship.

DO NOT attempt to be friends untill you are fully stable, strong and completely OVER the thought of a relationship with that person. 

If not, the results can be ugly. 

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 12, 2007, 02:34:26 AM
Yeah, my ex Dannyboy, kept wanting to be friends, and it just got ugly every time I gave it a try.  Even now, here I am awake at 3 a.m. because he text messaged me (a message of love, of course) at 2 a.m.  That darn little beeping just woke me wide awake and now I can't get back to sleep.   I'll have to get a new cell, cuz the one I have can't block specific numbers.   

artist, sounds like you are getting clearer and clearer in your head...hoo boy good luck!  Why do you think you'll take her calls if she does call?


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 12, 2007, 11:33:57 AM
I agree with you all that being friends is just another way of trying to manipulate the situation to the bp’s advantage.  I have noticed this as time goes on; the contact is all that is needed to try to start the cycle again.  And I also agree that you do have to be completely over the thought of the relationship working for any type of friendship to work.  My ex can pick up on the slightest bit of weakness to try to get a response.  So if there is a hope for a relationship in me she will find it. 

Here is an example of how attentive she is.  During the last time that we were not talking at work, she would listen to my conversations; she was able to do this because her work area is near mine.  I know she was listening because she told me she was listening; after we started to talk again.  She knew details of the conversations that I had with some of my friends at work.  Is that scary or what?

I thing she has been able to control a lot of her impulses in front of me.  But, I have this nagging feeling that she is just going to lose it one day and it will be the beginning of a series of rages the like of which I have never seen before.  I think that she is getting more and more comfortable exposing the way that she really is with me.  Anybody have experience with this?  Did any of you have a point where your bp just started to “let it all out”?

Marymac, define ugly.  I will take her calls because at this point they have not been angry, abusive or excessive.  In fact she has not tried to contact me at all yet.  However, she is involved with something that requires a considerable amount of her attention right now.  Once her attention is no longer needed we will see what will happen.  Based on her past behavior she can only take a few weeks of nc with me before she attempts contact again.

I know that this sounds stupid, but I have to maintain a balance because I work with her.  If she is not stepping over the boundaries then I can communicate.  I can do this because I have let go of the hope of a relationship, so all the buttons that she could have pushed before are no longer available to her.  When she talks to me, she talks to me.  When she is abusive I walk away.  When she is away from me I try not to concern myself with what she is doing, it is none of my business.  I don’t depend on her, so when she is not there for me it is no big deal.  If she can be there for me then that is great.  I don’t go to her for help, if she happens to be there when I need help, and she is willing, then I will let her help me.  I know that that sounds like a horrible friendship, but so far it is the only way that I can be friends with her.  It is what it is.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 12, 2007, 11:48:31 PM
Hey!  I finally figured out how to silence Dannyboy's text messages, so I won't be awakened tonight, how awesome is tht?

I like your description of how  clear your head is about walking away, etc.  Very strong.  Might be asking a bit too much of your self, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  Remember to give yourself a break if you vary from  the planned "program" one day!

We all have to give ourselves more breaks!


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: neko on May 13, 2007, 08:32:17 AM
Hey!  I finally figured out how to silence Dannyboy's text messages, so I won't be awakened tonight, how awesome is tht?


Yes custom ringtones gave me some part of my life back.  I know it was hard to ignore the impulse to want to talk to her, but knowing that she's trying to get a hold of me was so hard to shake..

In a way I really wish I knew what on earth set her off on this "I'm done with you, I hope you die" tirade.. Its been over a month now, and I finally think its over..  This kind of peace I'd be more than happy to share, but I don't know what caused it...

Oh well hang in there, with any luck 'dannyboy' will flip out from NC, and invent some reason to kick you out of his life, and it'll be over for you too.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 13, 2007, 06:36:22 PM

I swear, I would be relieved if he kicked me out of his life...instead, he alternates between idealizing me and hating me in his text messages...and sometimes he's somewhere in between with that "where did we go wrong" b.s.  But you are right...the NC does flip him out, says he feel abandoned and feels like he's disappearing.

right now, at this very moment, I miss him.  But I don't even think of him all that  often any more -- so sad, the way we leave some things behind, and take other things with us.


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 16, 2007, 03:21:49 PM
Do you ever not know how you truly feel?  Do you ever wander past that ambivalent state that permeates every inch of you existence; when you go past the encouragement, when you look past the words that you tell yourself, so that you will make it through another day without feeling that deep sadness that you feel when you let someone you love go.   Is this one of the normal stages that I have to go through before I let go?  The stage where I really start to feel my feelings, because I have reached a part of the journey that lets me feel the love I lost without going insane with anguish.

I wonder if I have reached that state, or if I am simply passing a moment of clarity; just another moment in the long journey of letting go.  Maybe it is just a glimpse to the time when I can truly look back on this part of my life and think “I wonder how I ever got past that?”

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: Bailey on May 16, 2007, 08:57:31 PM

I've been seeing a Rubenfeld synergy therapist in addition to regular talk therapy. . . . . not that I'm that nuts, but I figure what the heck...

Rubenfeld T's start out just touching or holding a part of you, like your feet or your arm, and you are supposed to say whatever comes to mind.  The idea is that the body holds our pain.  In the first couple of sessions, she'd ask me, What are you thinking (or feeling)?  And I just wouldn't know!  So that was what we worked with, my not knowing.

So, yeah, I know what you mean.  And the deep sadness, yeah to that, too.  I am a big believer in anti-depressants, so I am on one now, and it helps.  Keeps the sadness from hitting too deep.  Of course we have to work through our feelings, but for me there is a point of overflow where the feelings become less than useful.

How're you doing tonight, Artist?


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 17, 2007, 01:25:25 AM

I’m doing ok.  I think anti-depressants are fine, and maybe I should be on something, but I don’t seem to mind being depressed.  Maybe I just have not been depressed enough to seek help.  I'm comfortable with my depression; it’s like an old friend that is always there.  I don’t go to therapy; instead I talk to my friends.  I deal with it in all sorts of ways.  Is that odd?

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: gr8future on May 17, 2007, 03:21:07 AM
It sounds like you already know the answer. NO!

I tried the "friendship" train with my soon to be ex-wife. It only seemed to inspire her that she could still return to her old ways and would still have a relationship. As long as you are there in any form of relationship, it suffices their hunger for control and non-abandonment.

Remember, they do not think the way we do. Any relationship (good or bad) is a victory for them and it fuels the cycle.

Intense mutual counseling or nothing at all - it's the only way.

Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: JerryKew on May 17, 2007, 03:40:51 AM

I’m doing ok.  I think anti-depressants are fine, and maybe I should be on something, but I don’t seem to mind being depressed.  Maybe I just have not been depressed enough to seek help.  I'm comfortable with my depression; it’s like an old friend that is always there.  I don’t go to therapy; instead I talk to my friends.  I deal with it in all sorts of ways.  Is that odd?

Artist27: friends are for venting; therapy is for healing. Do not confuse one with the other.

You seem to feel "comfortable" being in your depression. Then perhaps it's not depression per se you're deeling with. You're feeling kind of blue, "down in the doldrums". Depression is a very serious clinical condition, which can even be lethal.

You might want to start considering therapy when you're ready to move on with your life - then friends and the "comfortable doldrums" - or even this board for that matter - won't be enough any more.

Good luck on your path and take good care of yourself,


Title: Re: The "friendship" question?
Post by: artist27 on May 17, 2007, 03:46:05 AM

I know that I know the answer, I just have not told myself yet... :)