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Relationship Partner with BPD (heterosexual or gay) => Romantic Relationship | Learning after a Failed Relationship (after detaching) => Topic started by: Skip on February 28, 2008, 06:45:10 PM



Title: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Skip on February 28, 2008, 06:45:10 PM
How I Gained Control of My Life

A popular suggestion in recent months has been to collect a series of short stories from members that have made significant progress and improvement in their life... .and we thought we would try that here.

This thread is for a single post about your "healing story".  We ask that only members that have worked through the are large part of the process - sorting their BP relationship issues, and inventorying their own life - post here.  

There are no rules, but we do ask that your follow this outline (maybe even use titles) to make it easier for the readers:

1 - Brief summary of your BP situation.

2-  Outline of your recovery/healing process

3-  A short discussion on what you have learned.

This should be interesting - I personally look forward to insights and wisdoms that can only come from those that have been there.

Good reading!

Skippy






A heartfelt "thank you" to all who have come back and posted their stories here!

I think all members will see that "Success" comes in many forms.  For some it means staying with the disordered partner but in a healthy way, for some it means getting the strength to move out of a unhealthy relationship they developed, for some it meant creating a healthy environment the kids after the divorce, for others, it means reclaiming oneself despite what is going on with the parents or children,  

Thank you, again... .  You are all an inspiration!   Joanna


Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: PDQuick on February 28, 2008, 09:36:17 PM
Hi, My name Is PDQuick, and in the real word, Im known as Paul. (No need to edit that Skippy, as I dont care if anyone finds out!  :)) I was involved with a diagnosed BPD, and I suspect, NPD woman off and on for 13 years. The relationship came on by storm, and I was caught up rather quickly in it, and I fell, what I thought, head over heals in love with her idolization of me in the beginning. We broke up several times during the years, living apart and her seeing other people while keeping me on the string. I left in January of 2007, in which she started seeing the next door neighbor and married him a short three months later.

THE PAIN

The pain after each break-up was tremendous, and it seemed to get worse with each break-up. I would feel so confident about my decision at first, then find myself spiraling down to a mass of crying flesh, regretting the decision. I longed for her, I yearned her, I ached for her, and I needed her. There was something there that I couldnt explain, something strong. For so many years, I thought it was love, I knew it was love. How wrong could I have been. We will get into that later.

After the last break-up, and the impending nuptuals to another man so quickly, I fell into a deep depression. I didnt want to work, I cried all the time, and I spent hours here on this board, searching to find the truth to the situation that confused and hurt me so much. I was useless to myself, my work, my friends and anyone or thing that depended on me for the slightest thing. You may say that I was death with a pulse and a breath. It had to stop, it had to break. I knew she had a problem, and she was living life to the fullest, and I was left devestated, after trying so hard. I called a therapist and decided to start there.

THE PATH

I started therapy with a wonderful woman here in my locale. On the first visit, she let me cry, and weep. She let me moan and groan about how I had tried and tried, and did everything right. My ex had treated me so wrong, she had done me so wrong. Oh poor pitiful me. I was the victim, I was the one wronged, I didnt do a thing to promote it, or deserve it.

I had already read SWOE, and I was armed to tell the therapist all about her, and the horrible disorder that she had. I had all of the reasons, I had all of the excuse, I knew why she was who she was, and I was going to do something aout it. I was educated and determined. Or so I thought.

The next visit, my therapist told me that we were going to talk about me. What? Me? I wasnt the problem here. I had done everything right. So I thought.

After several months of visits, I started understanding that I was the problem, at least for myself. My ex was a catalyst, nothing more, nothing less. I started seeing that I had all the decision making power in my life, and I was solely responsible for everything that transpired in that relationship. I was codependent, I was addicted, and I was naive as hell. Not to mention I had turned over all of my rights, and powers to a person I thought I loved, and thought that loved me. I was an enabler, I thought I could help, but all I did was grant her permission to abuse me by sticking around and letting it continue.

You see, none of us have had a gun pointed at our heads. We werent forced to stay. We willingly stayed for whatever reason justified our being there. Whether it be love, or financial situation, or just plain scared to leave, we all made the decision to enter and remain. We didnt love ourselves enough to remove ourselves from the traintrack when we could all clearly see the train coming down the tracks.

MY REALIZATION

During my entire relationship, there was one question that really bugged me. I wondered how I loved someone that I didnt even like? It had to be love right? After all, why would I stay with a woman that had me arrested twice on bogus charges? Why would I stay with a woman that I know extorted money from the people she worked with, and even one celebrity? Why would I stay with a woman that stole tens of thousands of dollars, cheated our friend out of things, and slept with more people that I care to know about while we were together? Love right? Addiction. It was an addiction.

When we started dating, man she was all over me like white on rice. She loved me. Noone had ever made her feel the way I had. Noone had ever made love to her like I did. She couldnt ever imagine life without me. So forth, so on, you get the picture. I was the man, I was the world, I was an Adonis to her. My self esteem was on cloud nine, and my world was complete. Then, it happened. I disappointed her, and fell from my cloud. I was lower that the underbelly of a snail. But I wanted to be back up there in the air again. I did anything to prove my love for her. Anything. She found her sucker, and she knew it, and she tossed me back into the air briefly. An addiction was born. I was addicted to the highs and lows of the relationship. Things were so perfect when they were good, which was about 10% of the time. And the other 90%, I tried my hardest to get back in the 10%.

During this whole process of esculated emotions, I forgot one important thing. I matter. I gave myself to her, 100%. I was her toy. I lost myself to the point that I didnt even realize that I could stop this ride. I was to blame for all of this, not her. I willingly took everything she dished out, and gladly got back in line for more. I was her junkie, and I needed a fix, and I didnt care what it took to get it. Arrest me, I dont care, I know there is a good time around the corner. If I just hold out long enough, it will come.

THE DEFINING MOMENTS

Once I was ready to see my role in all of this, it all came together like a puzzle. You take a mentally disordered woman, add a man that wants nothing more than to feel loved, sprinkle in some good times, and one bad time, stir, and a lifetime of heartache and turmoil will begin to rise out of the batter.

I finally came out of the FOG after about 6-8 months. I tried to cease contact with her, but I was weak, and was drawn back in a couple of times. But each time, I had a new understanding and I watched for the signs. And I saw them, clearer than I ever had. I remember the date well, it was in August. She was married, and supposedly broken up with the husband. She came over to my house. I wanted to be strong, but hey, weakness is weakness, and I gave in. We had sex, and she told me she loved me. We talked about the future afterwards, and it seemed to be so sincere. A half hour after she left, the kids came over and said that their mom had been at a softball meeting all afternoon. Softball meeting huh? Do you know how many softball meetings I had waited for her to come home from? One of the girls phone rang, and it was her. She was home and was cooking dinner for the husband and wondered if the girls were going to be there? It was at that moment that I was done.

MY LIFE NOW

Its the coolest thing to come home and not wonder what is going on behing that front door. Wondering if someone is in there with her. Wondering which personality was going to greet you. It is so nice that when the phone rings, my heart doesnt skip a beat. I can answer it with the peace that I am not embarking on a drama laden journey that will last for days.

My life now is peaceful. One of the daughters is living with me now, instead of her mom when she is home from college. (The two kids arent mine, but I raised and love them.) I am calm now, and I can think straight. I have a vast majority of my friends back, and I have my family back. They even come over, which they didnt when she was in the picture. I have dated some really great ladies, and appreciate them for them, and not for how I want them to be. Im not in therapy anymore, and Im off of the antidepressants. But the best thing about it all is, I am not angry anymore. Im not hurt anymore. Actually, I have to thank my ex for opening my eyes to the wonderful world of me. I gave my life away to her, and everyone else. I sacrificed myself to anyone who wanted me. I never took the time to do what I wanted to do. I never stopped and smelled the roses. I never was a friend to myself, or loved myself enough to put me first. I do that now, and I have a long way to go. I still dont know what I like to do, but Im enjoying trying new things. My future is just that, a future again. It isnt an imprisonment of self inflicted torture. I have gotten to know this really great guy that I have spent my entire life with, but never took the time to look into his eyes and ask, Hey, Paul, What do you want? I have given myself permission to be myself, and to be happy. I am me for the first time since I dont know when.

I have many to thank for bringing myself to where I am right now. First of all, I am to thank myself. I thank a wonderful therapist, the makers of Lexapro, (LOL) all of my friends and family, for being so patient with me and sticking by me, all of the wonderful people who write their stories, support each other, and have held my hand here at this site, and last, but not least, my ex. If it hadnt been for her, I probably would have never woken up and seen the problems I had, and the wonderful world that I see today. It turns out that I do love her, but not for the reasons I thought for 13 years. Its entirely different, and its a love that I will express only to myself, and will keep her as close to no communication as I can.

This can be your story too. Just open your eyes and look outside the box.


Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: Chris on February 29, 2008, 07:35:10 AM
Hello everyone, especially those who despair,

My name is Chris. I found this board in november of 2006 after moving out of the home I had with my BPD-girlfriend and our son. Now she is my ex-girlfriend and mother to our son.

I haven't been on the board for quite sometime now, for various reasons, one of which being that I didn't need it so much after a while. Some of you will remember me, some of you may not.

My story is a little different to PDQuick's, but that is understandable when you realise how wide the spectrum of BPD actually is.

My story

I too became addicted to the drama of the relationship and was basically brainwashed by some of her methods to hold onto me. And I was the sucker who let her do it to me. She didn't cheat on me as she was more waif than queen (the type PDQuick seems to have run into, for further reference on the terminology I refer to Christina Lawson's book Understanding the Borderline Mother).

I was made to continually feel guilty for things that I now know to be normal. I will attempt to clarify by drawing some comparisons to my life now.

I left her in november of 2006 in an absolute FOG, which here means Fear-Obligation-Guilt. I blamed her for everything that I was feeling and was very angry and upset. In some situations I still am. I'm further than I was a year ago, but recovery, especially with a child involved is sometimes a longer path to travel.

I learned that I had found the one person who could perfectly fit themselves to my needs in the initial phase of the relationship, which kept me hanging on for more. Same as PDQuick. I felt a need to be seen as unique and craved attention. And when you live with someone with BPD you get lots of attention. Either positive or negative. In my case it was a two edged sword that dangled over my head for the entire relationship, threatening to cut me down. I gained attention by giving her attention for her waifish behaviour, being the rescuing partner, the knight in shining armour, the one who would give up everything to make her happy. Obviously I liked this attention as it was positive to my self image.

I also got attention for not behaving in whichever way she desired. Constant accusations of cheating, not caring, not understanding etc etc... .This I didn't like, but I behaved in a way that meant that I then tried even harder to be her perfect man.

Now, february of 2008 I have a true girlfriend (since april 2007) who I asked to move in last Christmas.

I don't try to compare her to my former SO, but the relationship I have with her demonstrates how blind I made myself.

We talk about things and sometimes either of us may get hurt, upset or angry. The realisation that we both love each other is always there, where that wasn't the case with my former SO. We never have physical fights and there is no self harming behaviour, which my former SO did.

We have our own lives and share those with each other, leaving space and time for ourselves and our hobbies and friends. This didn't exist with my former SO. I let her live through me and reduced my life to hers, all for the sake of keeping her happy.

How did I learn what I have since november of 2006?

I learned by finding this place, by having a great psychotherapist who helped me work on me and by finding a partner who truely understands enmeshed relationships (having had one with her mother). I learned by returning to the real world and seeing with my own eyes how other relationships work.

What have I learned?

That I am free. Free to live my life as I wish. That I don't need to melt into one with another person to become whole. I learned to find the wholeness within me.

That I craved something that I thought I found in a sick relationship. I craved attention and a feeling of being unique. I learned that my desire for attention can be fed in many ways by many people, and that knowing I have a desire for attention also helps lessen it. I can give myself attention. I am unique without another person having to make me feel so.

That I need to know what I feel instead of hiding behind another person. To put it another way: I hid myself in a hellish relationship because it felt safer than being without.

That I will never again let myself be emotionally blackmailed. You can feel it in your gut when it happens and when you recognise that you need never let it happen again.

That I am a caring person who empathises easily with others but that there is also too much of a good thing. I didn't just empathise, I dived in and became that other person, took 'caring' beyond the healthy and created the basis for the hell I lived in.

THE TRUTH

The most important thing to realise is that, no matter how angry you may be at the person with BPD in your life, no matter how hurt or upset, there is always another side to the story. That other side is you.


You (and I) have had a relationship which was unhealthy. But an unhealthy relationship takes two people to make. The other involved catered to your (unhealthy) needs and desires and fed off them. You catered to his or her unhealthy needs and desires and fed off them.

I learned a lot about myself and I still am learning. I'm still dealing with BPD on a weekly basis, but the threat it posed to my mental health is now over.

My story continues

I now have a fairly happy life. I have a fantastic woman in my life. I understand my own needs much better and can cater to them in a healthy fashion. I have my son week on / week off and he is growing up to be a truly happy, healthy and independent little man (he's almost three now). My business is doing great, my family and I are happy and I see my friends regularly. I play rugby every week and am a lot healthier than I ever was during the relationship with my former SO. I've learned to understand myself and be at peace with myself. My SO respects me, my desires, my goals and my life and I feel loved truly for the first time by someone other than my FOO. She and my son get on like a house on fire.

You too can be free of the pain and despair that the BPD relationship has caused you. You must however be willing to face up to yourself. To admit your weaknesses and desires, to understand your driving factors and to recognise what drew you into the relationship and what kept you there.


For now that's my 0,02$,

Chris


Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: bewildered2 on February 29, 2008, 12:13:24 PM
My story:

When I met my BP I was ripe for the picking.

I was lonely and frustrated. My marriage was loveless, business was slow to dead, and my daughter was recovering from a serious illness that would leave her seriously handicapped. I didn't know how I had gotten there. Almost everything that could have gone wrong had gone wrong. I escaped from reality by binge drinking with people I would normally have been ashamed to have known, much less sought out as company. It was the lowest point of my life. Little did I know that it would get worse, much worse.

The BP approached me in a bar. She said she wanted to have sex with me that night. I thought it was a joke. After all, my wife couldn't stand me. And the BP was ten years younger than me and was very very sexy. Within six weeks I was in love. I spent every minute I could with her, and had the best time of my life. Lots of drinking, lots of fun, lots of sex. She built me up and made me feel great. And I mean Tony the Tiger Greeeaaaaatttt! It was never as good again as it was at that point, just six weeks in... .the rise before the fall... .but it was still pretty darn good for about a year. After that, it was a slow descent into a living nightmare. After she seduced me and got the hooks in deep she got clingy, clearly afraid I was onto her and was gonna leave. I nearly did, but strong memories of the good times kept me hanging in there for more of the same. Year two was about constant criticism, blame, control, manipulation, lies, death threats, interrogation, false accusations, endless arguments about nothing that I could never win even when I was right, almost certain cheating and stds, and a slow loss of myself to a pointless cause, trying to make her happy. It was insane.

I gave her everything, but everything wasn't enough. At one point I think I would have given up my daughter if the BP had asked. I was that far gone. And at the end I was completely and utterly exhausted.

And then it got worse again. We parted company. Acrimoniously. What did you expect? And I thought I was going to die. Seriously. I lost 25 lbs, couldn't eat, sleep, or think about anything but her. I looked  terrible. I had panic attacks at 3.30am, night after night. The first three months were hell. The next three were only marginally better, but I was still in constant and searing pain. It probably took me a full 18 months to get healthy again.   

What a nightmare.     


My recovery:

The recovery was hard. It took a long time. I didn't see a therapist and I didn't go on anti-depressants. Perhaps I should have. Nobody should go through that kind of pain if you don't have to... .

Anyway, I learned all about BPD. I spent months analyzing her and her behavior, trying to figure it all out. I became as much of an expert as I could, read all the aclaimed books on the subject, and bored all my friends and family with details of a mental illness that nobody had ever heard of. No doubt they thought I was the crazy one. Perhaps for a while they were right.

I took the advice here of going No Contact. It was easier for me than for most because my ex-BP never contacted me (I suspect she had some NPD thrown in for good measure which may explain this) and I was "advised" by the police to give her a wide berth or else they would be forced to arrrest me, even though they knew she had a history of mental issues/therapy/depression, etc. (I had physically removed her from my home one night because I was scared she would follow through with a threat to harm or kill me, or my daughter, of whom she was insanely jealous, and she called the police to allege abuse and harrassment when I wrote to her and suggested she get professional help).

And then I crawled away and took the pain. I longed for her badly. If she only knew how much pain she was causing me she'd probably be delerious with joy! I honestly think that giving up heroin or alcohol would have been easier, although I have been addicted to neither.

Hours, then days, then weeks, and then whole months went by. I drank. I went out with people constantly. I came here to read and post. Birthdays, Christmas, New Year's Eves were especially hard for me as I could remember great nights I'd had with her. Funny how I could remember the good stuff so easily, but to remember the bad stuff was difficult.             

Time is a healer so they say, and it's true. I found that with time, the poison was slowly leaving my body and mind. I woke up one day and realized that she hadn't been the first thing I thought of as I gained consciousness. I realized one day that I was attracted to other women I saw during the day. I realized that I didn't jump every time my phone rang or it bleeped when a text message came in. And one day I realized how calm my life had become, and how much I liked it that way. I realized I wasn't drinking very much any more. I realized my life was full of freinds, family, and enjoyment. I marvelled at how good I felt from simple pleasures like riding my bike along the river to work in the morning, and whether it was a crisp cold day, or still and misty, I actually noticed my surroundings and enjoyed them. This never happened before while with the BP. I was always thinking about her and what she needed that particular day... .Even my musical tastes changed. Dark hip hop with the themes of bitter men and their "hos" no longer interested me. I was getting better. It took time, education, self-discipline, some pain, and no contact.   

And I started to analyze myself, to face a few hard facts. I was vulnerable to her charms because I had issues too. Issues that I had been afraid to examine before now... .             

       

What I have learned:

So much. The main thing is to value myself properly. To know my true worth. And to respect myself and to expect respect from others. Funny thing is that when you respect yourself others respect you too. And I learned to move on quickly if that respect is not forthcoming. I have become the person I once was, many years ago, when some people said I was aloof. Aloof may not be the right word, but I think what they were alluding to back then was their realization that I knew my worth and that I wasn't going to waste my time with the wrong sort (like them). By that I mean Users. I was strong back then, and I'm now strong once again. And I won't put myself in a position again where I am vulnerable to the charms of someone like my ex-BP, the ultimate User (and abuser).

There are some dangerous people out there. Very dangerous. But the healthier I get, the more obvious their unhealthiness becomes. I don't need them. And they'll naturally shy away from me too.   

My ex-BP picked me off just like a hyena picks off the weak and the diseased. The only way not to be vulnerable to them is to make sure you're strong and healthy. Strong healthy people do not hang out in bars drowning their sorrows. And that's where she found me. She won't find me there again.     

Life now is very good. I am happy. I am at peace. Business is good. I have an excellent relationship with my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues, even my ex-wife! I still think about my ex-BP a little too much, but that will fade. And when I do think of her I think of a very sad pathetic creature, and I feel genuinely sorry for her. She will continue to wander through life but she will sadly never get to where I am now, just 20 or so months after our break-up. Shame. She was the best of people, but also the worst. And she let me get away. Silly girl!         

So what have I learned? To quote Lynn Melville, that "I am the valuable one".

If I can do it from where I was, you can too.

And something else, when you meet someone, trust your instincts. My feeling when I FIRST saw my ex-BP was one of revulsion. It must have been a pure animal reaction. Something inside of me told me to stay away, that there was something wrong and bad about her. My instinct was right. But on the night my weak head and my other weak head one over. Bad mistake!

Oh well, you live and learn! 

bewildered2       




Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: christabel1956 on March 02, 2008, 06:47:38 PM
My journey into BPD began the moment I drew my first breath.  I was here to survive... .never to sucuumb.  There was a determination and a sense of will that I attribute to, perhaps, a past life.  Maybe a guardian angel.  Something profoundly present in moments that should have taken my spirit.  I have never felt sorry for myself nor have I ever thought, "If only things could be different."

My mother neglected me, and abused me by both physical and mental means.  My parents fought with the passion of a starving man put before a feast.  They loved and they hated to the depths of their beings.  I used to pray that my father, my knight... .the dear one who nick named me "Christabel"... .would rescue me one day from the beast.  He would wave his mighty sword and behead the monster that tortured both of us.  The days came and went... .my knight's armor tarnished and I, wee Christabel, fought to survive.  My father was only human, afterall.  A poor sweet enabler who knew no other way. 

I survived the venemous spew that named me "Little Beast" and the demonic pitch of screaming that rue the day I was born.  I survived being beaten, locked in a cold dark basement, and left to feed, cloth, bathe, and raise my self into my teens. 

Once there, I found sex, drugs, alcohol and the beauty of self destruction.  Killing myself slowly... .day by day, night by night... .one pill, one drink and one nameless sexual encounter after another.  I loved my drug family body mind and spirit.  That connection of being wasted was the truest feeling I had known of what it felt like to be accepted and loved.  Yet, when I was impregnated by a crack addict at 19, after my abortion, I began a re-awakening process.  I was suddenly conscious that I was not surviving... .I was dying.

A year later I would move from my home town to NH, where I still live 30 years later. It was my mother who told me to go... .and lovingly.  Despite the reality that I was driving her to dialysis 3 times per week.  She knew by my path of self destruction that I would not live to tell children of my journey.  Although, there were many times that she wished me dead... .it was she who wanted to die.  She was desperate for peace, and the silence of voices.  She died when I was 22.  And death became her.  The calm and serenity on her face just moments after her passing is nothing that I will ever forget.  The ghosts from generations passed were finally silent.  She must have felt so light in that moment. To this day no one, and I mean no one... .will ever love me as much or in the same way as she did.  Isn't it strange... .I miss her desperately.  There is a beautiful side to those who suffer from BPD.  The depth of love goes as deep as the darkness.  The light of brilliance is matched by none.  And we love them even when we don't want to.

Unfortunately, in the wake of my mother's death, I went on to marry a narcissist.  What the hell?  Pre-determined fate I imagine.  Don't we keep trying to work through past hardships with every relationship?  I suppose I was desperate to fix this man... .my husband... .the father of my 2 daughters.  He seemed to love me with such devotion.  We melded into one and became partners like I had dreamed of.  Then I had our first child.  He dropped me off to go skiing.  Then I had my second child, he dropped me off again.  But didn't I deserve it?  "Little Beast"? 

So, I rolled up my sleeves and said, "OH yea... .you want to see how much I can take?  You can't break me!"  I gave it the good fight... .I hung in there for 12 years.  My precious babies were 5 and 8 when I asked the ego maniac to leave.  And he left all right... .off to go climbing as if he never had a wife or children.  I would encounter people that were astounded when I said he was my soon to be ex.  You can't imagine how many people never knew he was married!  Are you kidding me?  It takes somebody about 30 seconds to know that I'm married with children.

My older daughter had some severe reactions to her father's abandonment.  Suicidal ideation in high school and 3 years of total estrangement from him.  He would write to her occassionally and stand by his belief that he was a great guy and she needed therapy.  Today, at 26, she loves him and has the best relationship, I think possible, with a narcissist for a parent.  I give her a lot of credit for being so accepting and generous.

My younger daughter, to my dismay, is my child with BPD.  My mother's death did not remove me from that path.  I still walk it, but with good solid hiking shoes.  I have maps and compasses.  I have people giving me directions when I get lost.  My life is a miracle and I am presented with blessings that I would not, otherwise, know if I were not where I am sitting at this very moment. 

It was crippling for me to be pulled backwards in time with the velocity of a jet plane.  A part of my life that I had worked so hard to get distance from was living in my house.  My daughters eyes would turn black and she, too, spewed venom at me.  When I would cry, she'd mock me and laugh... .calling me weak. 

It has been 9 months since we have seen or spoken to one another.  She left for the Peace Corp last September without saying good-bye.  She spits on her childhood... .and outrageously... .it is her dad whom she accredits her accomplishments and her perseverance to achieve goals.  "I am all that I am because of my dad."  she once wrote.  At times I become indignant. I have never missed a moment of her life... .until she controlled what I missed.  Possibly, I will see her again in March of 2010, when she returns from Africa. 

I live today without guilt or any semblance that I control any one else but me.  Today is my reality.  Tomorrow may be different.  I embrace my journey and feel humbled to have been given the opportunity for so much greatness.  I am married to the love of my life (18 years) and we have a gorgeous 15 yr old son together.  I am close to my oldest daughter in a way that resembles friendship, sisterhood, and connection as mother-daughter.  I spend my days with those who love me and enhance me.  I walk tenderly around those who don't.  I have an ability for empathy in the face of adversity.  All of these gifts... .beyond words.   

Lovingly,

Christabel







Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: oceanheart on March 10, 2008, 08:34:53 PM
Brief summary of your BP situation.

I am the person with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Nearly 3 years ago at age 34 – after a lifetime of problems – I had an emotional breakdown following the end of a relationship and realised if I didn’t get serious help soon I would most likely end up killing myself.

I had myself committed and was finally, clinically diagnosed as having BPD. The term had been bandied about over the 15 years I’d been in and out of therapy (I knew something was wrong with me), but no therapist had really explained – or treated - it.

After a short stay in the crises unit, I emerged with a dedication to get well; I no longer wanted to live the hellish life that BPD brings. To get better, I continued working with my cognitive-behavioral therapist; I consistently and faithfully took my medication; I devoted hours a day to studying all about BPD (I couldn’t work full-time); and I joined the internet forum, Resources for Individuals with BPD (https://goo.gl/Fg5HBy), where I learned invaluable coping, interpersonal, and cognitive skills.

I no longer meet the DSM-IV criteria for having BPD. At times I still struggle with issues related to it, especially concerning romantic relationships, but I am living a happy, healthy life today, free from the fear, anger, pain, and destruction of BPD.


Outline of your recovery/healing process.

I mentioned previously the 4 things that I did to recover:

1. Effective therapy (cognitive-behavioral)

2. Medication (Lamictal & Strattera for ADD)

3. In-depth study of BPD (books, articles, websites)

4. “Practicing” healthy skills (mostly on BPDR):

  • untwisting thought distortions


  • assertive and civil interaction with others


  • learning new coping strategies (rather than cutting or drinking)


  • impulse and mood control


  • accepting responsibility for my actions


  • trauma healing, resolving old grief


I could not have done any of those things without great determination, drive, courage, and strength. I am grateful I was blessed with the inner fortitude to do so, and that I had the invaluable support of my wonderful, loving family.

It was the hardest – and the best – thing I have ever done in my life.


A short discusion on what you have learned.

That change is possible.

That happiness is possible.

That peace is possible.

That being truly alive means that we realise our possibilities and act on them before it’s too late, because one day it will be.

That being truly human means that we realise we are all human, we are so much alike, and we are all in this together.

That being truly happy means that we realise the only thing that truly matters at all... .love.    



Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: NewLifeforHGG on March 11, 2008, 12:43:03 PM
I came to bpdfamily, as we used to be called, to find help for my marriage but I ended up finding myself.

Beginning: I met my husband and felt an instant connection with him. He swept me off of my feet and I was sure that he was ‘the one’. He lavished me with attention, compliments and yes, material comforts. I thought I was living in a fairy tale. Everyone kept telling me how lucky I was to have found such a catch.

Relationship: I started noticing little things were wrong. He was upset a lot. He was possessive and needy. I chalked it up to his overbearing parents. He threw tantrums. I blamed it on his frustrations with his band. He started putting me down. He criticized my looks telling me that my elbow length hair was too long and that he liked short hair. So I cut my hair. Every time he upped the ante I tried harder to make him happy. I just knew if I loved him more and showed him that he was worthy of happiness that everything would work out. Soon, his needs came before my own. I was consumed with trying to make it work all the while feeling more and more trapped. I started to become depressed and numb. I was nervous all of the time and kept bracing myself for the next onslaught. People who knew me told me I was nothing like my former self. My world shrank until I was virtually inert.

Problems: One night when he was in a rage I left our house to get away from his anger. I needed to clear my head and get away from his abuse. I was afraid of him and had a feeling that something bad was going to happen if this continued to escalate. This one act changed my life forever. A stranger brutally assaulted me near my home. Looking back I believe this broke my spirit. The little bit of fire that still burned inside me was extinguished.

A few years later I miscarried a child I desperately wanted. A few years after that I had cancer and lost my biological chances of being mother again. During this time his inability to be supportive and his cruelty is what brought me to bpdfamily.com. I knew something was not right. He had been to therapists yet nothing ever changed. He made promises that were always broken and the lies were becoming intolerable.

Reality: I was victim in a domestic violence situation. He had abused me financially, mentally, verbally and a few times physically. He was unfaithful to me.  He lied to me and treated me with no respect. Sometimes I felt as though he hated me. I knew I needed to make some changes but I did not have any idea what I was really dealing with.  I was miserable and tired. My daughter was unhappy.  My health was starting to deteriorate

Change: I came to bpdfamily and kept coming back. I was as honest as I could be without revealing my identity. I knew my husband was suspicious of everything I did so I covered my tracks and kept coming back. I started reading and everyday someone else would put a voice to my feelings through their own life stories. More and more I began to realize that my husband was mentally ill. I realized that I was not crazy. That my feelings were very real and made sense. I began to revisit my childhood and I started to see a pattern. I read books and slowly began my journey out of Oz. Sometimes I had to look deep within and sometimes what I found was not pleasant. But I kept at it. I wanted to reclaim my life. I did not want my life to be summed up by circumstance. I had given away my power and my voice looking for love while along the answers were in my heart.

I, took action and one day I left my marriage. It was scary and honestly those days are a blur. I was so exhausted that it took me a few months to get clear headed and to make sense of what had happened to me. I had finally done what no woman in my family had ever been able to. I left a lousy marriage. Sometimes I felt weak but my love for my daughter carried me when my will couldn’t.

Today: I can say that I am becoming who I want to be. I am becoming who I always was but never embraced. I find out new things about myself all of the time and I like what I learn even if it is painful. I have stepped into my life and changed the theme.  I take joy in the little moments and I pat myself on the back when I do something I am proud of. I finally get it that the love I had been seeking was within me waiting to be noticed. If I fail it will be on my own terms. I will own my decisions and never allow anyone to abuse me again. I believe that my life has really just begun.




Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: Mollyd on March 13, 2008, 07:38:33 PM
"Success" ... .when you mother and stepmother are both BPD is an interesting journey.

I suppose, for me, the journey of success is in healing and in learning to really embrace the responsibility for my own well being.  How do you heal when the person who births you is so cruel, rejecting and truly uninterested and/or incapable of the kind of love a child deserves? 

The healing took a long time, years.  I went to therapy (a couple times), school, lived some life and made lots of mistakes along the way.  I had to decide whether it was them or me that was messed up.  In truth, after my childhood, it was both.

I could not have healed without therapy.  I needed someone objective to "see" what I couldn't, and help me separate their pathology from who I was.  Learning and really beginning to believe that I was lovable, even if my mom didn't know it or act as if I was, that was the first step for me.

Once I figured that out, I still had much to do.  I had to figure out who I was, regardless of who they were, what they said I was, and what they did.  That took some more time.

Then, I had to figure out what my boundaries were - where, if at all, they fit in my life.  In the end, I chose to cease trying to make a relationship with my mother.  It ended up being a repeating exercise in rejection that I tired of.  Surprisingly, my stepmother attempted amends in her own way.  She ceased her abusive behaviors, and I maintained some contact until she died.

Now, it's all done.  All that's left is for me to thrive and live my life.  That includes needing to acknowledge and deal effectively with the feelings of loss that sometimes creep in.  But, that's manageable, and just a part of life.

It's better now, and for that, I'm very grateful. 

I remember when I found bpdfamily.  It was also part of my healing.  I had never found a group of adult children who'd experienced something so similar to me.  It was amazing to realize I wasn't alone in my experience; that others really could understand from where I came.  I also remeber how posting really helped me to find my voice, and practice using it.

With gratitude,

Molly


Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: Patty on July 01, 2008, 02:11:09 PM
1 - Brief summary of your BP situation.

I had a BPD mother and sister.  I noticed my mother's behavior at a very young age, at around 4, and tried to make sense of her behavior over the years.  No more than anyone who was raised by a BPD parent, it was a terrible experience overall and there is nothing I can do to change it.  I had no idea what was wrong with her but I did sense it was something very serious and I wanted to get away from her very badly.  I never felt emotionally safe with her nor did I feel safe with other members of my direct family either.  Those who didn't have BPD spent their time supporting those who did and to be honest, I found it all extremely difficult and it left me very traumatised.

2-  Outline of your recovery/healing process

I am not at the success part yet but definitely getting there. I am very happy with the progress I have made so far and not thinking too much about it either.  It is not something that is easily evaluated but I am guided by those who know me best (husband and close friends) as to the progress I have made.  The feedback from them has been very positive.  This board has been the number one healer.  There is no doubt about that.  Getting validation from you all and learning from you all has been just great. It has opened up a new world for me.  Therapy helped as well.  The final thing that helped me gain control of my life was going NC. 


3-  A short discusion on what you have learned.

I have learned many things but still a lot more to learn, which is fine.  There are a few key points that I try to keep in the forefront of my mind, firstly, that it is not my fault that the bps in my family behaved like this, and secondly, that I have a right to protect myself from any more hurt from them, in whatever way I see fitting. 

Thanks to everyone here

Patty

xoxo



Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: jackson on July 14, 2008, 03:02:33 PM
Some of you may have read some of my posts and some may have not but here goes. In 2003 I left my wife when she told me she had had an affair. I moved out but this was not the first time we had seperated. In the 10 yrs we were married we seperated sveral times and went to several counselors but nothing worked. So on that day in April of 2003 I decided enough was enough. I left and simply wanted a divorce and regular visits with my kids. My X did not agree and as she fought she put my children in the middle having them steal and lie about me and in the process of her doing so I was awarded custody in 2004.

My X never quit fighting me and and went thru several attorneys and it took its toll on the kids. She at times was supervised and when she ran off with the kids in 2006 she was arrested in another state and went 8 months basically without visitation. In the last several years I was investigated 11 times by social services and cleared every time. I kept fighting for what I thought was right for my kids.

Then when we had a court ordered custody evaluation done a child psychologist claimed that the time away from their mother was devastating to the children and made me look like the bad guy though it was the actions of the mother that had gotten her visitation removed in the first place. So in 2007, after my X had suffered an amputation of her left leg from the knee down, back to court we went after another judge had made several bad decisions.  A new judge spoke with my kids and the child psychologist.  The kids wanted to live with their Mom, and my daughter being almost 13, the judge said yes. How could he say no to the kids with their Mom there in a wheel chair?  This was what my attorney told me and he was right.

Just before my kids went to live with their Mom I got married to the total opposite of what I was married too before. My new wife was secure and the most stable person I knew. She had basically raised her daughter on her own and educated herself and has a great career. We share our lil house and vacation often now and just enjoy life.

I am at the point where I know I did all I could do and the kids will know that one day and they are seeing a huge contrast from the stable environment they did love in and in a way that is good. They will look back and realize that I am not the beast their Mom made me out to be, and the 4 years I had with them was a blessing. I see them every other weekend and they do great. I make the best of it and I really do. I love my life now and if my kids wanted to come back home I would welcome them with open arms.  But I think they need this time with their Mom to get to know the real her.   


Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: Wanda on November 29, 2008, 06:19:26 PM
 okay  My story i will keep this short, this is my second marriage it was horrible at first rages like three times a week,  i was held captive in my own home and the verbal abuse was  terrible, something had to be done, my uBPDh is a recovering alcoholic of 23 years but wasn't going to meetings, we separated and made rules no dateing anyone else, and we each had to go to T,  through his T i was told he had a personality disorder and i needed to learn to cope, he told my T and i researched came up with BPD, this was 11 years ago i went to boards back then, i read books i got involved in alanon,  my husband went back to his meetings, i had to learn all those coping skills and boundaries which i      i set many boundaries over time to protect me, i wanted to tell him he has BPD but i didn't it was also suggested not to, he refuses to admit to any problem, wouldn't it be easier if he got the help instead of me having to leaRN  all this stuff... but to keep my marriage i just kept going, we went to T for a year we got back together and i think his T finally told him  he had a personality disorder because my H was to never go back... now 11  years later I am back on the boards for support and to help others, and his rages are like 4 months apart, they really got better once my middle son went off to college he was not easy to deal with, but all this took along time didn't happen over night, but through the skills tools boundaries everything i learned things got better... .i might not be a complete success but i figure i am right in there i gained my life back became really strong and learned to understand and accept... and by doing that rages are hardly there, and we are still together... 11 years valentines day... .  


Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: Sandcastle on September 07, 2009, 11:32:05 AM
I'll bite.  *)

1 - Brief summary of your BP situation.

Momster is uBPD, dad is enmeshed with a streak of narcissism thrown in.  Momster's parents are a uBPD/NPD pair, and my dad's parents were crazy and cruel to him. (I didn't know them well.)  Momster is waify with enNdad and varies between waif and raging queen at me.  Doesn't rage at anyone else.

2-  Outline of your recovery/healing process

If I only knew then . . . somehow I always knew momster was "mean."  There's a journal entry from when I was 14 saying so.  In high school, enNdad was getting his MBA as well as working full time, which left me alone with a very verbally and emotionally abusive momster, who eventually got diagnosed as depressed and got meds and started seeing a therapist.  It worked to some extent.  She stopped going pick-pick-pick at me, but she got way more childish and threw more temper tantrums.

My junior year of college, I knew something was wrong with *me.*  I tried very hard to convince everyone that I was depressed, because it's genetic, right?  Uh-huh.  College counselor said it sounded like my parents were very strict.  I wish I'd listened; she suspected something.  I eventually broke enough (thanks to a teacher who was like momster; pick, pick pick all the time which brought out all kinds of PTSD triggers) that I checked myself into a hospital psych ward and a day program, where they only treated symptoms, not the cause, and misdiagnosed me as bipolar and put me on meds.  So I thought, good, I'm sick, I know why, it'll get better, right?

It didn't get better.  I almost didn't graduate college.  I went broke and got evicted from my apartment and had to move home into my parents' basement where I was miserable.  Finally got enough guts to pack the car and move out of state.  Parents eventually followed me.  And, still, I felt that something was wrong with me, that I was still depressed or something.

So I found an add for a T and called him.  Told him I had a Beaver Cleaver family, suburbs, vacations, white picket fence and all that.  (Yeah, that's a warning sign for him) Told him some more stuff.  He said, "That sounds abusive."  Really?  No way!  (A bit of Stockholm syndrome--had to protect and defend the parents and their actions, it was my fault, I deserved it) But then-- :light: :light:

It took a long time--4 1/2 years with him to be able to realize how crazy and wrong momster's actions were, how parentified I was, how choked by guilt and fear.  At first "personality disorder" was only a phrase.  I did the research and checked out every library book I could that seemed remotely linked to momster and the way she acted.  And still, it didn't really sink in until a year and a half ago when she raged at me in a restaurant parking lot, telling me to hit her if it made me feel better. (I didn't.)  I went home and found this board, and then REALLY understood what she had, and I could really start working on myself and it was okay to do so.  And then, seeing her craziness, the craziness of the rest of the FOO was more obvious.  It felt like a total betrayal; I always enjoyed visiting momster's parents because I could get away from momster, but then I realized how she was just as bad, just as waify and manipulative and how my aunt and uncles also reflected her craziness.

Just before Xmas, I had my last conversation with my parents.  They said cruel, narrow-minded things.  I didn't go for Xmas.  Didn't call.  Worried about that a lot.  Haven't talked to them on the phone since.  Momster sent me one last plaintive e-mail that she wanted to know how to talk to me.  I talked to T, and while I was still riled up from that session, I e-mailed her back and told her not to contact me again, that I was moving and would not be forwarding my address. 

And I did move to be near a friend and her horses, and I'm happy.  I feel free, although I still have a bit of lingering fear that they'll "get" me sometime.  As soon as I get a job I'm changing my phone #. There are still lingering effects; a few PTSD triggers, and I've never had a serious relationship.  I'm NC with the whole FOO.  It's scary, it's sad, sometimes I still miss them, but overall I'm certain I made the right choice.  I don't have to squash me to make them happy, and I have friends that accept me as me and understand my background.  I wouldn't trade that for anything. I'm trying new things, riding horses (which I've never done,) and discovering how much fun it is to bake and cook after momster made such horrible big deals out of food and dinner.


3-  A short discusion on what you have learned.

--Other people's feelings are not my responsibility

--I am not being selfish by telling them no to protect myself from being hurt

--It is not my job to mother my mother

--I can trust my own judgment, buy the clothes/dishes/car tires I want and IT'S OKAY.  My parents were not always right, their way is not the only way.

--I am not a burden.  I am not a bother to people.  If they invite me somewhere, they mean it, and aren't just doing it because they feel like they should.  They ENJOY it, and me, and that's okay.

--I don't need my parents to survive in the world

And, one of the big ones,

--I WILL NOT BE USED TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY.  My enNdad used me for this.  Grandmomster used me for this.  I spent at least 28 years feeling like it was my responsibility to make others happy, and it's not.


Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: peacebaby on September 07, 2009, 01:04:04 PM
My DBPDSO and I have been friends for 12 years, lovers for 8. We hit our relationship rock bottom almost a year ago and have both working really hard since to improve ourselves and our relationship. Things are better now than they have ever been for us, together and apart, so I consider it a success story.

1 - Brief summary of your BP situation.

We were friends who became lovers. I realized early on that all the crying and dissociating and panicing and anger were more than just childhood sexual abuse issues. Looking for support for myself on line, I found BPD, and realized she fit all 9 criteria. She agreed and attempted to start DBT therapy but could not get all the assistance she needed. As time went by, things got worse. I enabled her too much, she fell into a depression, and eventually turned some of her anger on me. One night she tried to kill herself and attempted to choke me, I called 911, and she spent a week in the psych ward. When she got out, we realized we had to work really hard if we wanted to save this, so we started treating each other well and finally she was able to start the DBT program.

2-  Outline of your recovery/healing process.

I stopped thinking about how angry I was and stopped trying to get her to make up for the things in the past. I started looking at her again from the positive side, seeing her in the now. I remembered that I really want to be happy, so I focused on that--feeling positive and happy as much as possible, reminding myself that that's how I wanted to feel. I stopped obsessing on how I wanted my relationship to be better and accepted it as it was. I started thinking more about my own happiness, I started not being as focused on her comfort, on trying to fix and help her. And I started learning the DBT skills that my SO was learning in her program. Choosing to control my emotions, choosing to think before speaking, not thinking of my SO as the problem. For her part, she took a 5 day a week, 3 hour a day DBT course where she learned how to identify and act appropriately on her feelings.

3-  A short discussion on what you have learned.

I've learned that I need to work on improving myself instead of other people.

I've learned that taking care of people doesn't help them.

I've learned that being angry is really not useful at all.

I've learned that I could stay in an abusive relationship.



Peacebaby



Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: pallavirajsinghani on September 07, 2009, 02:04:21 PM
I have success story to post as well.  I have a full blown-low functioning BPDSIL.  Devastation to the family has been horrible and thanks to the guidance/information received from this site, we all are on our own individual and joint journeys towards normalcy, above all my brother's behavior is much more normal.  His behavior with us does not reflect the full blown abuse victim symptoms that he used to just a year or so ago.  Our progress has made giant strides since the low last October. 

The Humpty Dumpty is being put together by the king's men... .the cracks are still obvious.  We are NC with our SIL, have never visited his home, are LC with his children... .but at least there is some communication and some understanding on his part that his family is not "evil", and that we wish him/her/the children no harm.  We are not jealous of "their love" and "their perfect relationship" "their perfect family" "their money", "her beauty" "her high standards"... .that we are indeed bright and loving people.  He understand that his wife is not immature nor does she have standards so high that we, the college educated, successful, happily married people do not meet these standards.  He understands now that she has a mental disorder and our very qualities and it is the good/normal characteristics of our lives and our own normalcy that are anxiety triggers for her.

We are continuing to walk on the path of recovery... .time will tell

He has made a choice to stay and we all have had to make adjustments that are very sad.  Necessary and sad... .but hopefully it is a start of something better... .

Thanks to this site... .I am not as despondent as I was last October, nor is my family.  The valuable insights gleaned from here paved the way towards healing.

We have regained our faith in the regenerative spirit... .but I have yet to see my brother laugh... .



Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES: How I gained control of my life
Post by: Steph on January 04, 2010, 11:54:39 AM
Ill add my story in here

Brief summary of your BP situation.

   I am married to a man who was diagnosed with BPD. He has no other mental illnesses or drug dependancy.

  Our relationship started out hot and heavy. His BPD symptoms started to show in negative ways a day after we were married, when he raged at a convienience store clerk. For many years, he saw a therapist and eventually was diagnosed with BPD and got into DBT. He really started to recover  in DBT after about 3 yrs and kept telling me that I, too, was responsible for our marriage being broken. I preferred to continue to blame him for our problems. He left 2 yrs ago when I was out of town. I was relieved and never thought we would reconcile

2-  Outline of your recovery/healing process

      I came here to see what I could find out about divorcing someone with BPD. Instead, I found myself. I started to see my issues in the other posters, and seeing  what he had been screaming at me for years. Our unique dysfunctional relationship was not so unique and I saw my codependancy, blaming, invalidating ways of behavior at last. I got into therapy and support groups and dug in to myself, learning to enjoy and love myself, exploring ideas and new ways of living that I realized that I needed and wanted. Eventually, my H and I started to spend time together, and long story short, we reconciled  after a therapeutic separation and now have a healthy, happy, functional relationship and BPD is non existant

3-  A short discusion on what you have learned.

Ive learned that codependancy is destructive... to ourselves and relationships. Ive learned it takes 2 to make a relationship a mess. It took both of us to make it well. Ive learned its scary and wonderful to be in a calm, healthy place. Ive learned that I like Jazz and orchids and car trips when I pay attention to what I am feeling and thinking ( without others influence, I am finding me) . DBT is very effective with BPD and its also very helpful for those of us nons who want to learn some awesome skills for relationship.

Steph




Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: OTH on May 31, 2011, 05:31:17 PM
Not sure how I got to this thread... .but it's a good one so I'll add mine. LOL

1- Brief summary of your BP situation.

   I met my BPD at her work place in 2002 in Toledo, Ohio. We both had some family drama and history. It came out over a discussion I had with her boss at the time. She and I... .clicked so to speak. We had many pleasant discussions after this and became friends. I only saw her once a week. She moved with her fiancé to San Diego. We kept in touch by email... .maybe once a month. We ran into each other in a random airport once. It was kind of freaky. After getting together we both said that was the time we "knew" there was something special between us.  She was still engaged at the time... .even though years past. LOL. She was engaged for five years before they called it off.red-flag I moved to the Seattle area. Every now and then I would get a flurry of emails from her and then they would slow down to once a month . Anyways... .after getting a flurry of emails about how awful men arered-flag ... .blah, blah, blah... .we started talking about men and relationships. She liked what I said. I didn't hear from her for a few months. Then I get a message that she wants to come see Seattle. I suggested this to her several times but she never took the bait. She comes with a friend and we have a great time in Seattle. Her friend leaves early and we go hiking in the rain forest. This starts an intense relationship with almost weekly flights between OC and Seattle and I propose 4 months later. I had been very career focused and had not fully let myself go in a relationship for years. I was a bit love starved and wanted to settle down and start a family. I saw this need in her for love. I could see it was an almost desperate feeling. I was attracted to it as I thought it was just destiny.  I wanted to fill it for her. Little did I know... .She moves in. We are to be married in April of 2010. The push/pull behavior begins. We have 4 breakup reengagements. I call the wedding off a week before. Thank God. We continue on having good periods and bad periods. During a good period she tells me she was hospitalized after her other engagement and diagnosed as BPD.  |> I ask her what it is and she says she doesn't know and that she was just depressed. I forget to look it up because I am so screwed up in the head at this point.  I have boughts of depression over failing to stabilize the relationship. I go back to Ohio to take care of a property I own without her. We kiss passionately when I leave. When I return she barely acknowledges my existence for three days. I say this isn't working. She agrees to move out. She does but leaves all her stuff behind. We recycle a couple times after I take all the blame for our failed relationship but she never moves back in. We try to be "Just friends" after this fails. Even the “just friends” fail miserably. I finally find my way to this site, discover what BPD is, and begin to heal.


2-  Outline of your recovery/healing process

     I spent a great deal of time trying to come to grips with the realization that she is actually ill. There were times our lives seemed really good together. I just kept wondering "what if I could stop that switch from going off". I finally accepted she was mentally ill and that there was nothing I could do for her because she didn't want to look at herself. She is in too deep of denial for any self-reflection or maybe has just become comfortable enough with her illness. I finally started looking at myself. Why was I so determined to "fix us"? Why was I so determined not to fail? I believe part of that was my own upbringing. My father was very distant and my mother (although very loving... .strong codependency issues) was very controlling. I was a "perfect child" until I was 16 and started rebelling. I think I never got the validation though that I was "good enough". Anything I care about has to be done well or I feel a sense of failure. I just can't put it down until it is right... .or I have solved the riddle... .or I have made the problem at least manageable. My mother had a very strict Catholic upbringing where self-sacrifice was drilled into her head. Some of this was passed off onto me. This has been the largest failure of my life. It has helped me to see my flaws.

3-  A short discussion on what you have learned.

   I learned that mental illness sucks. That sometimes love isn't enough. That you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. That it is OK to try your best and fail. This doesn’t make you a bad person. I learned I need to have my needs met or I will begin to break down mentally. I learned that it is OK to be angry and it helps remove you from a dangerous place. I learned that you can detach, let go of the longing, let go of your desires, let go of your hopes, let go of your dreams, let go of your anger, and come back around to complete forgiveness. I don't ever want to be in her life again but I hope she finds the strength to grow emotionally and heal. I hope she finds the peace, love, and happiness we all crave. I hope we do too. :)


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Surnia on May 12, 2013, 04:38:58 AM
This thread is sleeping for a while now. I would like to bring it to life again. So I will add my story here.



My marriage turns toward a daily nightmare


I met my H online, on a board. At the beginning it was mostly great, we decided to visit each other, felt in love and bc we are from different countries, we married fast and he moved in with me. There were some orange flags.

Leaving together the orange flags turned fast to very dark red flags. Sorting things and finding a compromise was nearly impossible, and he became more and more critisizing, blaming, had huge anger outbursts. We had horrible arguments, were he tend to prove me how wrong I was, cutting my words constantly and telling me what I have to do.

I felt more and more miserable. I worked for both of us, I was more and more withdrawn and after some time I was convinced to have social anxiety. He was sort of threatening divorce and I pushed the idea about couple coaching. It was horrible, I cancelled it after 2 sessions, had a vision about something is seriously wrong with him and not only me, read the Eggshellbook and decided to go to T myself. He started to attack me verbally often when I came back from work and my anxiety were increasing. I was only a shadow and had much more weight than prior. I was so unlucky, withdrawn and depressed!


Turning points

I found this board! This and reaching out to a T was the first step toward healing.

My T is experienced with DBT and is working in a clinic too, so she has a wide range of experience which was a benefit for me.  She told me after some sessions that my H had serious issues, and later she revealed that he could have NPD or strong N traits! As for me she worked with my feelings, emotions who were hided under a very rational surface. Being assertive and developing more self esteem. Another topic was my attitude to be available for other persons like my bipolar mother, my bipolar brother or my sister with Down Syndrom and my inability to do healthy things for myself.

My H was very triggered about me being in T. This was out of his control. I realized how controlling his behavior was and that he had a wide range of verbally abusive attitudes.

The hardest part was to come to a decision about ending the situation or even divorcing. First I told him to move out and after some weeks I decided I want a divorce. Until now it was the most difficult decision in my life. Those steps were very important bc of being assertive and stating my boundaries. I took responsibility for my own wellbeing. Doing this I guess recovering was easier for me comparing with many here who get dumped.



My life now

I am learning so much about myself right now. I realized that I have to work on boundaries, that being perfect is a topic and that my self-esteem could be better. And I am fascinated by all the new discoveries, like moodgym, wise mind, refraiming the own thoughts, not get caught being the victim. All these things helped me a lot and made my life easier and much more spirited.

I am not in a rs right now. I feel great doing a lot of things at my own or with friends. I am very independent right now. I am not locking for a date. I have a agreement with my T that I will call her the moment I start dating or falling in love. My interpersonal skills in a intimate relationship are not so good developed, and I need some coaching there.

I have no anger toward my exH. I have learned so much about myself. I am another person now.



Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: fakename on June 06, 2013, 10:16:33 AM
i hope you can excuse my not following format... . but i didnt want to spend too much time on this (i really only come here sporadically, as while its still important in keeping my foundation solid, i also either dont have interest or dont think its good for me to obsessively read/post on here anymore - hope that doesnt sound rude)

so i'm just writing out some notes i jotted down in the moments the past few days after i was asked to post here... .

i think a good portion of how i feel and where i'm at can be viewed in this thread:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=202475.msg12263850#msg12263850

there are a few important things i can take in my notes below... . among them that i played as much a part in this whole circus as she did (well, maybe she played a larger part, but you know what i mean)

so i met my ex online.  things were weird from the beginning... . at first she rejected me saying it wouldnt work... . then a week or 2 later she contacts me and we got to talking... . soon we talked on the phone, soon we met in person... . there were a bunch of orange and red flags right from there, but i didnt think much of it... . i was pretty new to meeting crazy people... . (and while i have some crazy in me, it was hard for me to recognize how destructive it can actually be until i danced with another crazy and my inner issues came out)

on the 2nd date we met at her apartment and slept together... . right after she started talking laying on to me all her drama, it was kinda scary... . especially since she was standing in the kitchen and i really felt like she was gonna grab a knife and stab me (i dont know if there was any rational thought behind that feeling, but i remember having that feeling strongly... . anyway i stuck around cause she was hot and sex was good... . i knew what i was doing, i figured i'd just sleep with her for a while and eventually it'd end... .

anyway, from there on it was pretty standard BPD stuff... . me getting yelled at for small things (like not tlaking on the phone everyday), one time iw as home working on something and because i was busy i wasnt so talkative so she was convinced i was at some girl's house and was flipping out, i offered to take a picture of where i was and tried explaining myself but to no avail... .

i jumped all aroud to meet her demands on a moment's notice, and had to be on call 24/7... . etc etc... .

she cheated on me a lot of times... . blah blah blah, i dont know what else to say about the r/s with her... . if you have questions you can send me a private message and ask... . i just wanted to put down enough to make my story somewhat relate-able... .

because i couldnt handle the breakup when she left me for a year, i drank myself to the ground... . lost my license for 2 years, slowly lost my job, (but i was drinking irresponsibly for a while, cant blame that on her, can only say the habit and issues i had were accented after not being able to deal with the breakup)

we recycled a few times while she was trying to make it work with the guy shes with now... . sometimes only for a night, sometimes for a couple days or weeks or months... . buti never had her in entirety, she was always either thinking of someone else or just arguing with me... . the good times would only last a couple days if that... . never went a single week without a blow-up... .

anyway. i wrote a bunch... . now i'm just gonna copy and paste the notes i made... . hopefully some of it helps... . i'm in a good spot right now. just gonna keep pushing myself forward until it becomes a natural act - to just keep moving forward productively... .

Had to figure out the delusions and what was created by her mind and her idea of something which i adopted to please her and what I abandoned from my original thinking and logic

Learn to be content with what I have instead of wanting thing or feeling like I need something to be happy. Which is how I was but being around someone who always wants more it will unknowingly rub off on you and feel like you are missing something

Knowing I could never be the person I want to be with her and her influences in my life. And it is not worth sacrificing my internal and real desires and direction in life just to attach to someone else.

You can't battle your issues and turmoils while being with someone else. Though you think you can or that you need it or that the support from that person will help you - it's just a coverup. You cannot do it this way. You have to be alone. You have to find your identity and be comfortable with it and create boundaries to prevent the destruction, or poisoning or weakening of that identity. You have to make a promise to yourself to not lose yourself

You have to be alert. Not just of how others influence or affect you but of how what you do or so affects you and if it is healthy for yourself.

I would blindly take he distorted views and just weirdly completely ignore my own. I gave up my identity to be everything I thought she needed or what she wanted me to be


Where I am now and the future

I am beginning to oblige to the belief that I shouldn't care whether she's happy or not. For me to run through my head that she'll never be happy because of the disorder, I believe is really just resentment talking. And so I've let that go. I don't want to carry resentment with me cause then I feel I'll never get over her. What kind of person am I to wish someone else misery. Whatever her life brings so be it. And the same goes for my life and my actions and the way I lead my life.

I tried with her. Can't say I gave my best because I am more whole now than I ever was. I am able to offer myself more and if I find someone else I am able to offer her more.

But bottom line is it is all me. All within me. My peace of mind comes from myself. What happens in my life is fine as long as I maintain my identity. That is the best gift I can give to myself and to others. And, inthe grand scheme of things I am extremely lucky. I have freedoms as liberties that many around do not and I live much safer than others who aren't as fortunate.

In a way I'm still letting the relationship control ad abuse me by paying it so much mind and giving it so much weight. It happened. It's over. What's done is done. I can't go on playing a victim. I played a part In the dance too, it wasn't just her. I wasn't perfect and I also allowed myself to be abused or taken advantage of. There's no sense in me moping about it or complaining about it. The only important thing now is what good do I do for myself and how do I react to whatever life throws my way. And  to do this alone and maintaining my identity.


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Deleted on September 23, 2013, 05:08:25 PM
Well, ill try to keep this short and to the point... .

I knew my BPDex for about a year before we started dating... .I found her just so sexy and incredible the complete opposite of me, whereas I'm usually an introvert she's out going and fun. A year later when I found out she is into me, I was extremely quick to flirt with her and go out. The honeymoon phase was HEAVEN. I don't think I've been happier in my life. I just had so much fun with her and our friends, the places we went it was amazing. I was on the 3 month mark where she told me she was a victim of sexual abuse and had severe father issues. I stayed. like many on here, I did not want to be another guy who hurts her. I was naive in thinking love can conquer this, ill show her that not all guys are bad. I mean, an incredible woman who's smart and beautiful c'mon, she can have a great relationship. Long story short, the relationship consisted of petty arguments started by her which would escalate to bigger more frustrating arguments. We ran circles over and over and over. I was her emotional punching bag. Whenever she would say I HATE YOU! I know understand that it means " I hate my father, myself, my abuser, I hate everyone and I'm projecting this on you . I had IBS, severe teeth grinding, I lost weight, insomnia, and unfortunately, I was living in the past.

Her past. That's all I thought about, her abusive father, boyfriends, her rapist. I'm in graduate school and I'm thinking about how great would it be to go back in time and prevent all these tragic things from occurring.

Why? Why did I think so much about her past? Why did I stay? Why did I endure such abuse?

I wasn't good enough, the more I tried to comfort her, the more I was pushed away. I was so fed the hell up with trying to prove to her that hey! I'm not any of these guys!

So why did I stay? She was beautiful. I was naive. I excused her bellicose behavior because she was a victim of sexual abuse. She understood this and exploited my weakness. I tried many times to leave but she just kept on feeding me the ol' I was raped pity me! Line  or the banal "i love you so much im so sorry baby" while she kept verbally abusing me. I had low self esteem prior to dating her. I never thought highly of myself so I thought hey, stick with this!

When I left, after cried wolf on trying to commit suicide and blame it on me, DURING MY SISTERS engagement party!, I just had enough. I ran so far away from her. These are just the outlines


So here is my struggle:

I'm in my mid twenties, a lowly science grad student on a near broke budget living in a crappy apartment hundreds of miles away from family. I just broke up with my uBPDex. I'm staring into a void. I felt miserable, I cried. I wanted her so bad, I must of had Stockholm syndrome. Like one member on here stated before that resonated deeply within me i never saw her abusing me, I saw her abusers a few months out and NC I slowly changed my view on her.

1.she is a grown adult and needs to take responsibility for her actions

2. I am not dr.phil, drew, or any psychotherapist, nor do I supply or prescribe any mood alternating or inhibiting drug.

3. Love does not conquer all

4. Problems such as rape, broken home, father issues, etc. are best dealt with by professionals in a clinical setting, not in my bed comforting her saying "it's ok baby"

5. No matter how Low of a self esteem you have, no one, NO ONE is deserving of abuse from a partner.

my turning point.. I was a little more than a year out. I've ruminated until I couldn't ruminate anymore. I though abut it so much that my relationship seemed as if it was just yesterday. I had enough. I didn't even kiss a girl, I was scared of some after her.

I said to myself, hey deleted, you're a good looking guy, you're in graduate school studying one of the hardest majors imaginable and you're doing great! Go out there and get your life. I REFUSE TO SPEND ANOTHER DAY THINKING ABOUT HER. I Refuse to mope around home during the holidays, or weekends feeling like garbage. Numb. I got back out there. I started talking to old friends, I even went on a few dates! I was great.

I felt so weird! I'm out of this prison! My taste of mental freedom in a year, the iron curtain is slowly being raised. I have so much appreciate for life now. I know what it's like to feel completely miserable. In a state of utter solitude and misery, trapped in your own mind, and what's worse is IM ONLY IN MY mid twenties with a bright future ahead of me!

I see a tree and I think bout how beautiful it is, or when I hear birds Chirp or when I see flowers bloom. When I'm in the company of good friends or a lovely girl, I appreciate it so much more. I'm in turn with myself, my surrounding, my mind, and nature. I have found such peace.

Such peace. I tumble here and there but I wouldn't appreciate all these things and the company of good people and good healthy boundaries if it wasn't for her. She has given me a gift. Wrapped in feces and thorns lol! But nevertheless, the gift was increasing my self esteem and being so low that I would never want to be like that again. I have embraced a positive thinking attitude. 


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: HostNoMore on September 24, 2013, 04:59:52 AM
HostNoMore's BPD Saga:

1 - Brief summary of your BP situation.

I met my exBPDgf at work.  We worked together for 8 and 1/2 years until I lost my job after a corporate buyout, and we had no contact for nearly a year. One night she called me and told me that she wanted to have a relationship with me as she was divorced from her husband.  I had always found her attractive, and we got along really well so I jumped at the chance.  I was at a very emotionally vulnerable point in my life too.

She is HF, intelligent, and very attractive.  She is also a good mother to her children.  A little over controlling with them IMHO but a responsible parent none the less.  On the surface she seemed like a great catch, yet I had no clue what I was about to allow to happen to myself.

To keep things short, she did the usual bum rush into telling me she that wanted to marry me, loved me and have a child with me all in the first two weeks.  :)ue to her knowing me so long, her mirroring was extremely well targeted to me and made for an awesome honeymoon phase.  Her sexual inclinations were crazy abnormal though and pushed me way past my comfort zone. The push-pull cycles (Cheating) and intermittent raging over nothing had me perplexed and highly stressed to the point of heart palpitations.  I also found that intimacy was a foreign concept to her.

My BPD story is 80% the same as your story.  There were so many red flags beating me in the face that I am astounded in retrospect, yet I either ignored or rationalized them all away.

2-  Outline of your recovery/healing process

Luckily for me, the "relationship" only lasted three months.  The first thing that I noticed was that I'd never felt this way after any of my other breakups.  Yes, they were painful, but this one was off the Richter scale.  I knew something was vastly different here.  I just did not know what so I kept digging.

About three weeks post breakup, I googled "hit on bartender in front of me".  After about seven google pages, I came across a link describing BPD.  It read like a freakin' movie script of my relationship.  Once I learned what I was dealing with, I now had an intellectual handle on it and my first step towards recovery as I had identified the problem.  A few more google searches lead to me finding bpdfamily a virtual treasure trove of healing information.  I literally read thousands of posts all of them eerily similar to mine.  I also found comfort and people who truly understood what I had experienced.  My recovery's foundation had now been poured.

Next, I had to speed up my recovery process as I was unemployed and this emotional devastation was keeping me from doing what I needed to do.  I studied and employed brainwashing techniques to help me deal with the ruminations.  I began to lift weights and took up hardcore sea kayaking.  I also began to get out and meet new people.  I'm very extroverted so I make friends easily.  I did whatever it took to stop my mind from focusing on her.  I even got involved heavily with my creative hobbies as I am a creative type.  She hated creative things.  Anything that she hated I would make a point to do it or go there, and she hated a lot of things so much fun was had.  With each passing month, I noticed that I was gaining more and more of my self back.  It takes a long time to process emotions after exiting a BPD relationship.  I did anything I could do to help speed that process up. BPD Family and a few selected friends are valuable resources as one must have someone to discuss this with, because recovering from a BPD experience is incredibly difficult, yet totally possible.  I was able to get through it w/o a therapist, but I can totally understand why one may need one.

I've noticed a lot of threads with people asking if they should forgive and the various arguments pro and con.  I chose to forgive very early in the recovery process as it freed me from her, and in retrospect it was very important in my eventual recovery.  BPDs are real people and are not evil monsters though they can come across that way.  This disorder is tragic.  Honestly, had my ex not exhibited 7 of 9 DSM BPD criteria we may have been able to have a long term stable relationship.  I do know that she really cared very deeply about me.  Such was HNM's luck.

3-  A short discussion on what you have learned.

What have I learned?

I have learned that I am strong.  I have learned to set boundaries a skill that I did not have at all prior to my BPD experience.  I have learned not to rush into relationships.  I have learned that knowing someone for many years does not mean that you really know them.  Of course, that is a feature of an HF BPD.

I am now more physically fit than I was in my twenties and teens.  I always get people telling me how good I look for someone pushing 50, and I enjoy telling them what I did to get there.  Folks that have not seen me in years freak out when they see me.  The ones that followed my advice and stuck to it credit me for helping to turn them around.  I can credit my BPD experience for putting me in a situation where I can help others help themselves.  I have learned that I can help others w/o harming myself.

My BPD experience was like a devastating earthquake on my life.  I chose to rebuild a stronger and better HNM. It's not easy, but nothing worth having is ever easy.  I remember in the beginning of my recovery process reading posts of people saying that you will emerge a better person if you take advantage of the opportunity.  I learned that is most definitely true.

Would I repeat my BPD experience?  Of course, no I would not.  However, I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to identify my weaknesses and work on them.  

For anyone just starting out or in the middle of your recovery never give up hope as the day will come when you will have crossed to the other side.  You will see clearly and be a stronger person for the experience.  I am writing this two years out of that dysfunctional relationship.  I am no longer triggered.  I have no hatred, but I would never allow myself to be reengaged by this woman.  I feel sorry for her as she is living with an internal hell of which we can never fully contemplate.

I am going to leave this post with a quote from a historical figure whom I've always greatly admired, Winston Churchill.

"If you're going through hell, keep going." - Winston Churchill


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Deleted on September 24, 2013, 09:15:52 AM
I forgot to add a bit more on the "what I have learned"  


Whatever issue we may have which got us into this relationship in the first place, we are stronger people than what we were before. We have the privilege to change. I may add, it's not because we are NON-BPD and we don't have their mentality, we have the privilege to change because, however scare it may be, we have the courage to look at ourselves and NOT RUN. We have weathered countless BPD storms, but changing ourselves might be the biggest storm yet.

it's a herculean task to change ourselves, truly. It took a 9 month relationship with a pwBPD and a damn year of ruminating, having constant emotional fluxuations, to really cause me to change. With that said, It is absolutely NAIVE and FUTILE to truly think we have made some sort of impact on them and they are going to change.

I now have stronger boundaries which is a blessing. As soon as I spot a few  red-flag I am  folie & out the door, with manners of course. I don't care if I end up being called a "jerk" because I left. I need to take care of myself.

One thing that profoundly changed the course of my healing was the fact that I created a imaginary character in my mind. My BPDex without BPD, who is loving and warm. I often spent many nights with her in my bed, thinking how it would be if she was here without BPD. Until I had to let her go. I needed to stop feeding this non-existant parasite in my mind. Once I let go of that, I got expontentially better.


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: nona on September 24, 2013, 12:46:22 PM
I fought hard to get away, ran out of money, my lawyer did not advocate for me, I "lost".

50/50 res. time in a tiny village where he is the town doctor.

big time parental alienation from D10, triangulated and ostrasized in MY OWN family etc. etc

textbook discard painted black alternating with "i still love you"s.

thousands of emails

the advice on here was so encouraging, I trusted the lawyer... .he couldnot have cared less.

no friends, no family, social services/child protection and DV chewed us up and spit us out. washed their hands of us.

we are too flippin stressed to drive hours to see counselors/psych workers, at great $$$$$$$$$expense and energy.

we are extremely isolated rural.

eventually I realized _I HAVE TO DO THIS ON MY OWN. I love my D10 more than anyone and noone else was gonna help.

One of the most helpful things for me was reading a book titled "brain based parenting"

D10 and I have lived in fight or flight most of her life. It affected our attachment and the chemical feedback loop of parenting in our brains.

i learned to observe my brain and emotional responses with our child parent interactions.

Ive learned to watch my brain dance between fight or flight and calm with UBPDXH .

Calming my brain became my #1 priority, and thats when I turned the corner in my healing and my parenting in this recovery process.

It is still the most powerful tool I have today.

Calming myself. self soothing.

UBPDX still cycles and blames/projects and rages and "loves us" like he always did.

His toolbox has not grown.

I am learning to react less, stay centered for us all.

Even take the good times when they happen.

The best thing for my daughter was getting my brain back.

Sometimes when I am forced to be around UBPDX too much , I backslide and have fatigue, confusion, anger... .

(PTSD symptoms) That means MORE SELF SOOTHING, more nurturing and calming choices, whatever makes me feel  safe safe safe inside.

I give myself permission to rest and nurture till I am calm and centered again. Lower my expectations of D10 qnd myself.

practice makes it easier all the time.

after 9 months of applying this my D10 is WAY WAY WAY better.

when MY brain calmed... .SHE WAS A DIFFERENT CHILD.

this morning her dad was visiting,  being generous and kind until the conversation was headed somewhere he did not want , so he raged and projected "you never listen, I cant get in a word edgewise, you always interrupt me"

I shrugged.

he left and returned seconds later apologizing to D10 "for yelling" not to me... .

later, On the way to school, I commented "too bad dad got so unhappy, that was a nice visit"

D10 tells me " well, you interrupted him"

9 months ago that comment would have unhinged me.

I would have felt all the fear from the parental alienation he practices regularly.

today it's ok. she has a 10 year old brain. she has lived BPD crazy all her life. she has fleas.

I am here and solid , that is how she coped today... .I dont have to change or fear.

I understand he will be back again and do some nice things and some crazy things and do it again. and we will be OK. again.

focusing on the positives and responding with a calm brain and AUTONOMIC nervous system is the MOST powerful thing I have control of that helps us all !


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Surnia on September 24, 2013, 02:33:30 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your stories here!


Whatever issue we may have which got us into this relationship in the first place, we are stronger people than what we were before. We have the privilege to change.

I think this is really important. We can change. We can change our situation. Step by step and together.  |iiii


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Deleted on September 24, 2013, 02:52:15 PM
Surina, yes we have the potential to change.

It was scary to look into oneself and ask such core rattling questions and view our thinking and behavior with such scrutiny but it shows that we are good people, WAY TOO good for our BPDex partners.

We need to love ourselves, be happy or at least content and secure about ourselves so that when we get into a relationship we can truly have a healthy one. Or if we stumble upon a potentially toxic relationship, . we have the wisdom and scars to show and remind us that this is not for us, you don't deserve this and leave. We can't fix every broken wing and expect them to fly off into the sunset. That's not our job or responsibility. Our job is to love and improve ourselves for us.


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: nolisan on September 28, 2013, 09:45:11 AM
My BPD Love Affair

I met her in an AlAnon meeting – she had over 20 years in recovery. We became friends. I feel now that she desired a r/s from the start – early idealization. I was basically a happy bachelor. She shared a lot of her stuff – she had ADD/ADHD and took amphetamines for it, was pansexual, had complex PTSD, was sexually abused as a child by an uncle, said her mother hated her and had been in abusive relationships. One daughter was no contact – said her mother was insane. Now I see these as big red flags.

She was finishing a degree and was broke – I helped her with her finances. She warned me that SOME women might take advantage of me (yep). But she talked a good story, was well read, very intelligent and good looking.

One night we went to a Pagan Halloween celebration. That was the night I feel in love with her (btw she was a witch – did she cast a spell?). We moved into dating – things changed – she became very controlling. She was an “expert” in relationships and laid out all the stages – we would not have sex for 6 months. Things would be on her terms.

A month later we slept together lol. This was my first sober love affair – it really was like losing my virginity again. I was hooked. Then it got weird. We would have great sex – the next day she would be like a stranger – cold as a fish. She would tell me I was “engulfing” her. Then she would be back nibbling on my ear. I googled “push-pull” relationships and I didn’t like what I saw – they didn’t last.

Things got more dramatic – each time she ran I had huge abandonment feelings. She would blame me for triggering her – it was  entirely my fault. It felt like I was being punished for little unintentional mistakes. I apologized and pledged to change.

The financial manipulation escalated – she couldn’t hold a job and wanted me to buy her house and sell mine. I was beginning to not trust her. My weight began to fall from the cycles of closeness/distance. It felt like a cocaine addiction. It was really good when I had it and really bad when I didn’t.

I started to see I had a sex and love addiction and joined SLAA. The sex stopped (later she admitted that that was manipulation). I started to see that I was really codependent (ie rescuing her).

To make a long story short that was really the end. She preferred me “sick” which was really ironic considering her 20 years of recovery. But cycles of closeness/distance continued. The pressure to buy her house increased (everything would be fine then). Finally she did a midnight move back to her husband she has left 5 years earlier because of his sex addiction (more irony).

She returned to pack saying she wasn’t intimate with her hubi (ya right!). She said she still loved me. There was a hint that the r/s could somehow continue.

She was sleeping on my couch (her house had no power). I woke up early – the house was cold – the back door was wide open and my cats had escaped (they came back). A chill went through me – she did it again!

But there she was on the couch. The wind had blown the door open in the night. Something clicked in me. I woke her up and said “Get the F… Out”. That’s the last I saw of her other than an email saying she never wanted to see me again and she would call the police if I tried.

It’s been a year of mutual no contact.

Recovery and Healing

I was shattered. I had convinced myself she was my “one” – the key to my happiness – now she was gone. I felt totally abandoned and betrayed. I was a mess and felt like I was withdrawing from heroin.

I threw myself into recovery – I knew that I was really wounded and needed help. I found a therapist – she told me I had been in an abusive relationship. My friends had been telling me that but I didn’t want to believe it. That validation really helped start to bring some clarity. The T also said “sounds like BPD” – I knew nothing of the disease. I started researching the subject – the bells went off.

I got on this forum and saw that I wasn’t alone. That was a relief. I vented my anger, pain and grief. I joined ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) and CoDA (Codependents Anonymous). Again I wasn’t alone.

Learnings

I discovered I had developed a “betrayal bond” – the worse she treated me the tighter the bond became. These bonds take two people – both with brokenness.

After I had learned enough about BPD (taking her inventory) I started to look at my own brokenness especially why I had these feelings of abandonment. The ex had many traits of my mother – there was a sick attraction back to re-experience those feelings.

I have looked at both my adult child and codependent traits – they have interfered with my life for decades. I was this painful dysfunctional relationship brought them all to the forefront. I see now that we were both wounded adult children – both unhealed.

Today I have forgiven her (I still have an occasional twinge) and myself. I see both of us as children – scared and wounded. I view us both with compassion.

I see love differently. I don’t have the same yearning for a romantic relationship. I see now that that is just a way to fill my “void”. That void can really only be filled by a relationship with a higher power and a love of self. That comes before any interpersonal or intimate relationship. The HP will never abandon me or my inner child.

If another opportunity for a relationship comes along I will look for red flags. I seek now seek interdependence. 

Noli


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Sango216 on November 11, 2013, 12:09:17 AM
Hi everyone!

My BP Situation:

I had been friends with him for a while but we lost contact a lot and then reconnected.  We were in a long distance relationship from about the end of January to April.  Things went well in the beginning and it became clear to him that I had extremely low self-esteem and he could easily take advantage of that.  He became verbally and emotionally abusive.  I went back many times.  One day he went off on me after I attempted to break it off again and told him he needed help.  I had never been cursed out by a man like that in my life.  It left me feeling even lower than before, which I had never thought possible.

Recovery/Healing Process:

I talked to a lot of people (including my therapist).  I talked a bit too much to the people around me and I think they found it hard to understand why this was taking such a negative toll on my life.  I think for them, they thought  I should've been over it a long time ago.  He was, so why shouldn't I be alright by now?  They hadn't been through it so they didn't get it, and that's when I started coming here a lot more.  I met a woman on this board who had been through a similar situation.  She and I talked a lot about what we had been through and how we were working through it.  She was very honest with me (even if it hurt), and I respected that.  It got to the point where she would call me out on my bad decisions in regard to my BPDex.  When I wouldn't stop cyber stalking him and sending him text messages, she told me how awful those decisions were.  I didn't appreciate it at the time, but in retrospect I completely understand why she did it.  I was only harming myself more, and I was also bringing negative energy into her life and disrupting her own healing process.

Healing took a lot of venting, letters, poems, coming to this board, crying, and then some.  The main component of my healing process was getting real with myself.  I had to face those issues that I had put on the backburner when I got involved with my BPDex.  I had low self-esteem and I was clingy and codependent.  I had to ask myself why I went back so many times, and why I obsessed over someone who clearly wasn't any good for me.  I struggled the most with cyber stalking him.  I would look at his social networking sites and once I saw how well he was doing without me, I would draw myself back to square one.  I had to hit rock bottom in order to truly start my healing process.  I had to make myself look like a psychotic, angry person that I never thought I would become, and then I had to face that person and banish her so that I could get back to the path I was on before.  I had to get reacquainted with myself. 

I started keeping myself busy.  I started hanging out with new people, focusing more on my studies, watching movies and TV shows that I had stopped watching once I got a boyfriend.  I slowly turned back into the person I was before and set myself straight.  Granted I still have self-esteem issues, I'm no longer allowing someone else to control my happiness.  I'm working towards building my self-esteem back up by taking better care of myself. 

I begged God for the chance to "redeem" myself, and to show myself and my BPDex that I don't need him.  I thought I would never get that chance again, but one day I received a text message from him asking how I was doing.  In the past, I've often worried myself over talking to him.  I would say or do anything to keep him communicating with me.  I would write long paragraphs to him pouring out my thoughts and emotions, hoping that somehow he would feel how much I loved and wanted him in my life.  When he texted me that day all I said was "Hey.  I'm doing well."  I actually posted about it on the "Personal Inventory" board.  The ideal goal would be to ignore it altogether, but I was just happy to have responded so nonchalantly.  Looking back, the best part about that is the fact that I didn't go back and e-mail him like I would've in the past.  The last time he texted me, I ignored it.  I didn't want any part of what he was dishing out.

That was very telling.  Despite the fact that I was a little disappointed in myself for responding at all, I am still a little proud because I exercised restraint and I showed him that he is no longer the deciding factor of my happiness and joy.

What I have Learned:

If something feels off, it is.  Many times I sensed that something wasn't right between us.  There were times when he would snap and curse at me, and I would have to apologize or calm him down.  He convinced me that it was normal and that all couples do that.  Sure, couples do fight, but you shouldn't have to walk on eggshells with someone you love.  That's not normal.

I don't need anyone else to make me happy.  These days I can go out, spend time with my friends, and have the time of my life.  You know what else is fun for me?  Sitting at home, watching Korean films and eating sushi, all by my lonesome.  I'm a pretty entertaining person, and I never have to worry about me harping on myself for something I've done.  I'm my own best friend.

You can't change a person.  In addition to bpdfamily, I also reached out to an advice column for advice.  One of the experts said to me "it seems you are looking to fix a relationship rather than cultivate one."  He was so right.  I wanted to rescue him and make him a better person, when really there was no "fixing" him.  He had been that way for as long as he could remember, and that wasn't going to change simply because I asked him to.  If I do ever get into another relationship, it needs to be with someone whose qualities I can accept.


Title: Re: SUCCESS STORIES
Post by: peacebaby on December 06, 2013, 07:45:01 PM
I'll introduce my new version of my success story after posting my original response from the first page of this thread from three years ago.

My SO and I have been together for a bit over eight years, and the work we've both done on ourselves and our relationship over the past year is amazing. We are pretty damn happy these days. The thing that has helped her most is DBT, the thing that has helped me most is radical acceptance, and the thing that has helped our relationship most is de-enmeshing.

We were friends before we were lovers, and already had trust when we got involved. I realized early she had more than the PTSD/childhood sexual abuse and general trauma/PMDD diagnosis she came into the relationship with, and we diagnosed her with BPD early. So I was never much effected by the FOG, never thought the things she said when dysregulated were true, never lost my sense of self.

I don't know if she still fits the BPD criteria anymore--she used to be all nine. She used to self harm, attempt suicide, have agoraphobia and anxiety and panic attacks, dissociated regularly, got lost/lose time, cried almost every day, had psychotic breaks, got really angry really easily, couldn't remember what day it was, couldn't work every day, etc etc. But she was always nice, even defferential to me, except sometimes when she was dysregulated or psychotic, which didn't happen too often. And she was in therapy, on meds, sharing her feelings and thoughts with me, through all o it.

So even when things were their worst, the fact that I always knew what was going on with her, and we were always into the cuddling thing, made life seem okay enough to keep at it. I was totally enabling her to live a life with few responsibilities, spent all my time trying to arrange things so as to help her avoid feeling her pain, and it worked for years, was very nice in fact, 'cause we both have the same idea of a good time. But then she started to get meaner and I started to get angrier and it culminated in her suicide attempt, attempt to choke me, my calling 911, and her time in the psych ward--a rock bottom that we'd avoided due to years of enabling and enmeshment. But there we were, and things have been so much better ever since.

She took an intensive DBT course and learned all kinds of tools for handling her emotions. I worked hard on radical acceptance and we both worked on de-enmeshment and validation. We've been in MC since that time, about 15 months now, and during that period, my SO has engaged in almost literally none of the seriously symptomatic behaviors described above. At times it's seemed like magic, how much calmer and more thoughtful she is in the way she expresses herself and handles her emotions. How much more connected she is to me and to herself. It's just so wonderful there are no words for it. And so much of it is due to my pulling back and focusing on myself, just letting her be and not trying to fix everything. And I am still looking for a therapist for myself.

This board has helped a lot--I started posting here during the time when it was getting bad, a year or so before the rock bottom. Seeing parts of myself and my relationship in others here has helped me see my behaviors and stop engaging in the ones I saw others here should so clearly stop engaging in. Looking at people here and all the mistakes and pain, it became clear to me, what I wanted my relationship to be, the ways I needed to act to make it that way. The tools I learned here were many of the same tools my SO learned at the same time in DBT, so it really timed out well.

I have no question that our future will be wonderful. We've made so much progress, there's no way we could go back. I suppose it's possible that as we both continue to grow, we will grow apart, but I doubt it. We're each other's best friends, we've been through so much together and had so many great times even through the pain, that I can't imagine we won't always be in love.

Peacebaby

I guess what happened in the years after this post was that she stopped practicing the DBT skills as often and started treating me worse and being more physically abusive, while I went to therapy. That combination was good for me, bad for her. It took us years but we were both finally healthy enough to see that the abuse just couldn't go on any more and our being together was not going to help make it go away. We kept trying to wait to break up until we weren't broke, but that situation never changed, so we just did it anyway. I am a success story today because this relationship ended three weeks ago and my life is much happier now, I feel free.

I was so committed to her for so long, but now that I have space, I've realized I'm not even in love with her anymore--when did that happen, I wonder?

There are few relationships with people with BPD that work out. I deluded myself into thinking that mine was one of them. It's a wonderful thing, to have a home that is safe again, to have a home that is mine. Makes me grin just writing that.



Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: livednlearned on February 17, 2015, 09:26:00 PM
Brief summary of your BP situation.

I met my N/BPDx husband through work. I knew him long-distance for a couple of months, we developed an intense emotional affair, then he flew to my state and three months later we got married.   My son was born the following year and by the time he was 8, things felt scary. The drinking was getting worse, and N/BPDx started to mix alcohol with different kinds of prescription medications. It took me 4 years to make the decision to leave, and a year of that was spent planning. I left with my son in 2010, and the courts terminated visitation and awarded me full custody in 2014. My ex underwent a forensic psychiatric evaluation that said something like, "The existence of a personality disorder cannot be ruled out." That's the closest thing to a diagnosis I have for him. My therapist felt he was BPD with strong narcissistic traits, and probably bipolar based on his family history.

Outline of your recovery/healing process

I did individual therapy for a year prior to leaving, and then continued seeing her as much as I could up until now when I need a tune-up. At her recommendation I also did group therapy with 7 other women for a year. A few years after I left N/BPDx, in trying to understand what my lawyer meant when she kept referring to my case as "high-conflict," I came across Bill Eddy's "Splitting: Divorcing a BPD/NPD Spouse" co-written with Randi Kreger. That introduced me to BPD. It also introduced me to some awful websites about BPD that nearly broke me with all the miserable and sensational stories, and I felt hopeless. Eventually, I found my way to bpdfamily and that changed my life.

A short discussion on what you have learned

Lean into the pain, not away from it. I know, it seems counter-intuitive, right? Who wants to feel more pain when you're already deep in it. But I discovered that somewhere early in my childhood, thanks to generations of family members who numbed their feelings, I had learned to numb mine. I've been walking around with my emotions buried shut in a box, and have been making my way through life with only my thoughts to guide me. When you lean into the pain, you give yourself the opportunity to process old feelings that you tried to stuff away, often as a kid living in a family where it wasn't safe to feel sad or lonely or mad.

I learned so much from the tools here on validation. They changed not only my life, but my son's. He is still dealing with depression and anxiety, and he might have some of those sensitive genotypes floating around, where he is more susceptible to feeling the crush of life. He's working now with a wonderful psychiatrist who is doing metacognitive therapy with him, and I'm learning a lot just following along.

I especially learned a lot about codependence. I learned why I want to rescue men and fix them, so I can feel worthy if I hit the jackpot and get them to quit drinking, or give up the affair, or choose me, pick me, whatever it is that will prove they really love me. So I've been busy learning how to love myself.

I treasure what I learned about boundaries. My family of origin didn't have boundaries, not really. I'm so glad you can teach an old dog new tricks. Learning how to be assertive, especially how to assert boundaries, has been a game changer. I practiced first with people I didn't know, then people I didn't know well, then acquaintances, then coworkers, then friends, and I'm trying to learn more about boundaries with family.

Some other things that helped along the way: I found the family systems theory work by Murray Bowen to be really helpful. I can see how my stuff is intergenerational. I am still learning about the emotional cutoff stuff and trying to understand how I can heal my relationship with my family. I got a lot out of Karpmann Drama Triangle (victim, persecutor, rescuer), but also The  Empowerment Dynamic (TED) which turns the triangle into creator, coach, and challenger. I'm learning to change rescuer into coach. I'm taking a class in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which is basically the "wise mind" and radical acceptance you see on bpdfamily. Marsha Lineman adapted MBSR for DBT, so if you just want to do the wise mind part and not the whole DBT thing, you can pick up a copy of Jon Kabat-Zinn's work on mindfulness, or better yet see if there is a class offered near you.

I met a man 2 years after my divorce, and he is the first healthy whole man I've dated. It feels great  :) and we've been together for 2 years. I know it's a cliche but it's true -- if I didn't go through all this stuff with N/BPDx, I would not be the person I am. I would not be the mother I am. I would not have learned how to be in a loving, reciprocal and emotionally intimate relationship with someone I love, who loves me right back.

My ex is a former trial attorney and there were more than 60 filings in 4 years. I was in court a lot.   It nearly broke me financially, and it shattered me to pieces going through the divorce and custody battle. But somehow a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes thing happened and I feel better than I ever have in my life. You could not have convinced me of this 3 to 4 years ago in the height of it. I almost feel like this was meant to happen, that it was the natural end point of a lifetime trying to pretend I was someone I wasn't, so hurt by things I didn't have the language or experience to express.

I learned so much from my friends here. I love this place, it's like a small city or castle with a lot of places to explore. Take your time and visit often. We can be mended. We mend each other (from Brene Brown's ":)aring Greatly"  



Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Hawk Ridge on February 18, 2015, 06:07:56 AM
Thank you for this post.  I am 11 months out of a relationship with a high functioning waif pw BPD.  I have many good days and less of debilitating shame and grief.  I find this thread in particular to be one of the most helpful of all i have read.  I am savoring it and reading one submission at a time as it provides me the light that comes from recovered/recovering people sharing their strength, hope, and experience.  Is there a way to bookmark this?   Thank you thank you thank you for this gift!


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: ADecadeLost on February 18, 2015, 09:35:39 PM
1 - Brief summary of your BP situation.

Met my dBPD ex-wife in college.  We were friends/acquaintances for a couple of years, our paths crossing in class and at parties.  Beginning of our senior year, she became single and I decided to make my move.  I was hesitant at first (mainly due to    ) and even casually dated another girl simultaneously early on.  Eventually, I fell for the addictive allure of her mirroring and love-bombing though, and picked her over the other option.  Things escalated from their and she was living with me by the time we graduated.  A short-split followed during which time she sought help for the first time, and was diagnosed with BPD.  We were back together after a few months though, and found ourselves living together again after I left grad school.  We married shortly after and things seemed to decline from their.

From there it was up and down for a number of years (mainly down) with me nearing my limit a number of times.  She eventually agreed to enter DBT though, and I convinced myself to stay the course.  Two years, and much pain later, she called me from home (where she had been working for months/partying with high school friends) to inform me she wanted a divorce. 10 years over in a flash.

2-  Outline of your recovery/healing process

My recovery/healing began months before she ever announced her intent to divorce.  The writing was on the wall and deep down I began to realize I was approaching my breaking point.  She was spending more and more time away, acting out in ways that a married woman shouldn't (partying all night), and it was becoming clear that our connection was clearly waning. When her decision came, I had already begun to accept and look inward.  That said, it still hit me like a ton of bricks.

After a couple weeks of pretty miserable depression, I tried to continue looking inward and processing.  I really couldn't handle too much of it though, and found myself coping in various ways to avoid thinking/processing for prolonged periods of time.  Some were healthier (concentrating on hobbies & work, exercising regularly, etc).  Others not so much (drinking like I was a college kid again).  

Eventually (after about 2.5 months), I got to the point where looking inward and processing weren't as painful and really began to make progress.  Soon after I stopped blaming her (and myself) for the relationship/split, and began looking for what attracted me to such a disordered person in the first place.  Looking back, the rescuer/fixer and co-dependent tendencies were blatantly obvious (as was the early childhood event likely at fault for them).  It just took 10 years with a BPD for me to come to the realization.

Now, it's just a matter of figuring out where to go from here.  How do I regain parts of myself that I lost over the course of the relationship, while still working to address the co-dependency and boundary issues that got me into this mess in the first place.  Not sure I have the answers yet, but I'm working at it.

3-  A short discussion on what you have learned.

I've learned I have a lot to work on, and I'm okay with that.  


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Madison66 on February 20, 2015, 02:10:28 PM
1 - Brief summary of your BP situation:

I'm 15 months out of a 3 year r/s with uBPD/NPD ex gf.  We met online in Aug of 2010 and I had never experience such an intense start to a r/s and was sucked in quickly.  She is/was high functioning and very intelligent along with being extremely emotionally immature and addicted to chaos.  There were red flags abound regarding lies, triangulation, contempt for family and friends, significant emotional issues with her kids, abandonment issues, significant jealousy towards my teen daughter, lack of empathy and unstable emotions.  She was a hot wreck and I was there to take care of her.  I was hooked and the addiction was in full force.  Things started to wear on me after about year one and she began to devalue me when I would attempt to enforce healthy boundaries.  I attempted to leave the r/s three times, but again the r/s addiction was tough and I wasn't strong enough in my will to stay away.  The r/s went on for nearly 3.5 years and was an emotional roller coaster.

2 - Turning points:

We had a failed couple's T attempt in early 2012 and the T saw my ex individually for a few sessions before my ex abandoned the process completely.  The T told me of her feelings that my ex was possibly both BPD and NPD, and she suggested strongly that I leave the r/s.  Although I stayed in the r/s, that was the beginning of the end and I continued individual T.  In the late spring of 2013, my D was diagnosed with an eating disorder and spent 8 days in the hospital.  My ex gf was attempting to support me, but her need to have uninterrupted access to me was interrupted and she began to act out increasingly more often.  I witnessed some pretty sick stuff that today I wouldn't tolerate for a minute.  Then, my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in Oct of 2013 and my ex had one of her worst rage outbursts while I was in the throws of dealing with my Mom's health issue.  Then, within about four weeks there was the first rage outburst that included physical abuse towards me and this was repeated a few weeks after.  By early Dec of 2013, I left the r/s for good and enforced strict n/c even with her and her kids renting a house on my block.  I could no longer deal with the emotional and physical abuse, and had the strength and will to walk away for good.  I had to take control of my life and understand that I allowed all of this to happen to me.

3 - Outline of your recovery/healing process:

Again, I began individual T back in 2012 and continued until Aug of 2014.  During the post breakup period, I wrote down 18 typed pages of all the craziness that went on during the r/s and shared it with my T and three close friends.  "Secrets are for the sick" and I needed to surround myself with people who would help hold me accountable for my actions moving forward (i.e. not going back to my ex).  My T was fully centered on "me" and issues from my childhood.  My T was also centered on my values and how my values are used to help make all the major decisions in my life.  I enforced strict n/c and thankfully my ex moved away in mid 2014.  My life centered around me, my daughter, my family, my career, renovating my 110 year old house and other activities I love to do.  My recovery/healing process was extremely difficult and lonely at times, but it helped me restore the most import r/s in my life = me!

4 - A short discussion on what you have learned: so many life lessons!

Again, my values are there to help direct me and help me make decisions in my life regarding parenting, dating, money, career, etc.  Most importantly, my relationships should reflect my values.  In other words, I will be happiest and at the most peace when I am living my values.  I also learned that I must take care of myself first so that I can be my best for those around me.  Additionally, chaos happens but should not be the rule.  Lastly, self love and self acceptance resides in me and not through validation from others.  Lastly/lastly, I forgive my ex gf from what went down although that doesn't mean I could ever trust her or have any kind of r/s with her.  More so, I forgive myself for staying in the r/s way too long.  My love was real and my intentions were good.

Additional note #1: I am so grateful to have learned the lessons and gained the wisdom from this past r/s.  Growth happens when we are stretched or pushed up against a wall.  I truly look at life differently.

Additional note #2: I'm in the next chapter of my life and started a r/s with a fabulous non PD lady about 5.5 months ago.  It started out slow and I'm enjoying our time together more and more as time goes by.  There are literally no red flags and none of the chaos that I experienced in the past.  I truly appreciate this person in my life and am amazed at her wisdom and kindness.  Maybe the old adage that "you attract what you project" is right on.  Healthy r/s are out there! 

 


Title: Re: PERSPECTIVES: How we gained control of our lives
Post by: Cromwell on June 29, 2018, 08:34:50 AM
1 - Brief summary of your BP situation:

10 months of mostly NC out of a 3 year relationship, friends for 6 months prior to that.

My ex BPD diagnosed but didnt tell me until 2 months in, had escalated emotional intensity from the start, although I had already brought my own feelings of deep infactuation and heightened adoration for the rapport we had previously as friends. It became reciprocated and the relationship felt excellent up until out of nowhere I discovered her cheating. Alcoholism and recreational drug use were a major interplay and I put those factors - I think accurately - into a lot of her behaviour. They were the conduits that disinhibited the worst of the negative behaviour, other than that my ex was engaged in therapy intermittently and both of us tried hard to support each other. There were times that I tried to leave but felt a strong pull to return, she made it easy and on one particular serious attempt to leave and going NC, she stalked me and I went back for the last season and stayed for about 3 months last summer. Negative behaviours were rare and it made it difficult for me to fully detach, I felt strongly enmeshed emotionally and had hope that in the long term id overcome the issues that came in cycles.

Turning points

eventually it became too much, the triangulation, painted black, painted white, some alarming behaviour started that id not experienced so much previously such as destroying property, editing photographs of us with mutilating graphics, stalking intensified, hacked phone, email accounts, paranoia of infidelity although except for twice in the relationship I went elsewhere when I had clearly broken up with her. Put downs, derogatory comments, cryptic messages, gas lighting, and starting to talk badly about me to mutual friends, work colleagues, it started to come together at its zenith as the perfect storm and I decided to leave and go completely no contact, I ghosted her because I felt staying in any sort of dialogue wouldnt have worked. I had also changed during the previous split up, had time to reflect and had read online about BPD. Whilst the time together was excellent, I had started to guard myself more than before and prepare myself to start expecting a polar change.

3 - Outline of your recovery/healing process:

It has been an incredibly longer route than id expected, I suffered a great deal physically and mentally, but it prompted me towards establishing a support network in the form of my family, trusted friends and I started my account here. I couldnt help but spend my days in the aftermath, ruminating, having intense conflicted emotions, combined with suffering a feeling of great fatigue. It had impacted on my job which I left, I started drinking as a coping mechanism. I started on anti-anxiety meds, I was still getting stalked online, so I shut down all my accounts and that led to feeling more isolated. I applied to start a new career and this helped channel my thoughts away from her, made a new social circle of friends, and it became easier as each day went by. I started to experience a range of emotions that i had carried during the r/s but never allowed myself to, didnt feel safe enough to.

4 - A short discussion on what you have learned: so many life lessons!


the biggest life lesson was to reach out to others, before I met my ex I considered myself a strong, independent person and would not consider getting help, so i had developed a high amount of self confidence in dealing with problems myself. I look back and think that I could have done far better and dealt with situations by reaching out to experienced people that were available to help. Trust issues have increased, due to the height of emotional enmeshment I also let my trust towards my ex get to a reckless place, I did so out of a "feeling" rather than of what was safe or rational and it ended up causing me more problems where she took those opportunities to levearge against me. I had been too open, and reciprocated her apparent boundary less open ness. Ive learned also an appreciation of how complex it is for someone suffering from a disorder, a great deal of empathy and a feeling of strength and renewed confidence that I can appreciate the advantages, the joy that the relationship brought and at the same time acknowledge the downsides. I gained over time a more complete overall picture than just limiting my perspective to highs and lows, and have mentally averaged the relationship out, it seems to have helped doing so. Looking forward I have optimism of being succesful at finding a partner that is a better match and to deal with difficult scenarios better when they arise. 10 months on from the end of the relationship im amazed at the things ive achieved, beyond getting back on my feet, im in a better place than before I had met her, it has shown me just how limiting the r/s had been on my broader life goals beyond the high emotional intensity the relationship had to offer as a substitute.