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 1 
 on: May 26, 2022, 02:46:16 PM  
Started by grumpydonut - Last post by 60av8tor
Thank you all for sharing so much. It helps so much and I can tell that each and every one of us did our best and had no idea what we were dealing with. It hurts so much to see someone we loved and trusted, and laid ourselves on the line for time and time again, continue to make such poor and dangerous choices. I had so much pain and anguish from my pwBPD marriage, and we didn't have any kids. I can't even fathom the pain that you all must feel that have kids with your pwBPD. Those poor kids, and to be forced to watch them being abused by your expwBPD and not be able to do anything about it. Just tragic.

I think I am starting to really come out of the FOG and realize that the relationship never was what I thought. She was always experiencing things, and me, through a BPD lens, which is a very scary, painful, and dark toxic place. While I was falling in love, fighting for the ideals of loyalty, honor, commitment, love, she was just trying to survive and constantly self sabotaging. I know she cheated on me at the end, I suspect she did at some other point, too.

She is not who I thought she was, and probably never will be. Like you said above, if THIS is who she presented as when I met her, I would have slammed the door or directed her to the nearest mental hospital.

It has helped so much to have this site. Sometimes y'all are the only people who really get it. It's helped me to talk with an excellent therapist every week. He has decades of experience dealing with pwBPD and their victims. Not that they are intending to leave victims in their wake, but they do. It's also helped me to go through our relationship, on paper, make a timeline, really realize what I was feeling at different times. She had alot more breakdowns and abusing me than my initial memory. And alot of times I confused fear of losing her with love. I was scared of her alot, including scared she would succeed in killing herself and/or me one day, terrified even. And that's no way to live and no home to bring a child into.

Anyways, it does get better. Stay active, stay reading and posting on here, get a therapist who has helped victims of pwBPD before, reconnect with family and friends, stay physically active, go to work, pray if you are a believer.

And finally, I decided one Saturday night after she left, I was feeling so sad and honestly suicidal. Not that I wanted to die but just that I was in so much pain and felt so lost and hopeless. But I decided that that was going to be my rock bottom. Since then, as hard as it has been, and sometimes I have not wanted to get out of bed, not even wanted to hope, but I haven't let myself sink down to that level. Every month gets a little better, and there are good days and bad days but I'm learning to be compassionate to myself.

A dear friend and mentor told me that all of that love and light and energy that I had been pouring into her for years I had to pour into myself now. We can only save ourselves, and it was now time to save myself.

Stay strong everyone, much love to you all. We have survived one of the hardest things emotionally that a human can go through, and if I can do it you can, too. There are brighter times ahead.

Your post really hit me - I went through / am going through ALL of these things. I was in a VERY dark place early on - somewhere I’ve never been in my life.

I’m now realizing everything you stated. The love I desperately drove myself into the ground to get was never and will never be what I thought it was. While I’m realizing what actually was happening in our relationship, she never will. I’m sure I’m a distant memory already and, more than likely, she’s had my replacement for quite some time.

Every day I feel a bit of the old me coming back. Not the defeated POS I felt like at the end of this relationship. In the back of my mind, I’m keeping the thought that this experience, while horribly painful, will ultimately make me a better person.

 2 
 on: May 26, 2022, 02:43:43 PM  
Started by frtbt2 - Last post by kells76
Figured I'd bump this up.

Can't believe it, had to do the math, but I was 29 when I joined.

 3 
 on: May 26, 2022, 02:29:06 PM  
Started by 15years - Last post by Blueberry Cat
Hello I’m really sorry that you’re going through this experience,

I also had to leave and then I was accused of crimes and I’m advising you to be careful.

I would stay for a little while and start documenting her behavior and you really need to build a case up for yourself in case she charges you with some sort of abuse.

A lot of these women once they start painting you black will say that you have either abused them or the children as a way of gaining control of you and use the legal system against you can avoid this  if you go and talk to a lawyer and figure out getting a restraining order against her initially.

Documenting things is good.

Also maybe you can talk to her and get some agreements written down on her behavior and the way she’s going to treat you and if you do separate try to get some thing signed and notarized saying that she’ll go for arbitration not litigation.

So much sounds extreme but I didn’t know when I left I was going to have a domestic violence restraining order thrown at me and then a civil abuse case to fight it’s cost me a tremendous amount and if there’s any way you can save yourself this pain I would start now.

It’s not a good idea to underestimate BPD rage when you do leave

Take care


 4 
 on: May 26, 2022, 02:20:05 PM  
Started by kells76 - Last post by Notwendy
I think the situation between the two families is how each one lives out their political learnings and values. There's how the media presents people on each side of the political fence and then there's reality, where, between the two extremes are a whole lot of people just going about their lives according to what's important to them.

With BPD though, the black and white thinking falls aligns with what's in the media. The media wants readers. For the most part, people on the right and the left are mostly going about their very similar daily business ( mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, taking kids to school) but this doesn't make the news. Controversy does and that is often the most unusual extreme behaviors. With BPD, there's a poor sense of self. So if one considers themselves to be liberal, but they don't know who they are, then they model this on what they think they need to appear to others and what they see and hear.

So it looks like you and your H have a sense of who you are. Your values lean towards conservative/traditional but they are not black and white. While you may not be interested in attending an LGBTQ event, you don't hate gay people and you don't stop other people from attending one if they want to. The boundary is "what is you, what isn't you". If something isn't your cup of tea, well it might be someone else's. It doesn't require you dislike that someone else. This is how people co-exist.

Someone with BPD may not be able to see the nuances. Ex and her H lean left and it's a part of their sense of self. Coexistence is hard when there is black and white thinking and a poor sense of boundaries. If they are left, and you are right, well then you must be what they think of as "leaning right", not the actual reality of who you are. To them, if you lean right, then you must be all of what they read in the news.

Sadly, I think this is also what they share with the girls and so that is why your D assumed that if you don't attend the LGBTQ function then, you must also hate gay people. But that isn't true and I am glad your D was able to ask about it and give you the chance to clear that up.

Personally, I prefer the idea of cognitive dissonance. My BPD mother has told her family members untrue and derogatory things about me, but what they see is a non dramatic person, who holds a job, raises kids, seems very ordinary to them. Eventually they have to wonder about what she tells them. It's not what they see.

Likewise, you all aren't dressed up like the Handmaid's tale and you don't act like what they hear at their mother's house. Eventually they have to begin to question that. I think it's great that you keep the door open to discuss their interests and friends. You allow them the space to do what interests them while being true to your own values. I think that shows them how to coexist with people who have different opinions.

While your D didn't tell the truth about picking up FFF at airport, she did eventually tell you, and I think your not reacting to this was a good thing. One possible reason she didn't tell you is that, she possibly was afraid you'd begin to ask questions about this. I agree, it's a bit unusual for a married couple to be that close with a single  FFF.  I think if you push the not telling you with her, asking her to apologize, this could close her down more. If it turns out that they become a "threeple" with this other person, well, I still think the main step parent bond  is with you and your H. I think I'd let this one play out. All may seem cool to mom and her H for the moment, but if BPD relationships can be unstable, I don't think it's going to be easy to add one more person- as that makes a triangle.

Keep the door open for your girls to talk. The girls are loved unconditionally.








 5 
 on: May 26, 2022, 01:12:13 PM  
Started by kells76 - Last post by kells76
Brief backstory points for context:

It's obvious and known that DH and I have different values and beliefs in some key areas from the kids. That being said, if the kids want to do something that DH and I are not interested in doing because of our different beliefs, at this point we don't "forbid" or "ban" (99% of the time). So, a couple of years ago, the kids were interested in doing an LGBTQ event during our weekend together, and while DH and I did not choose to take them, we let Mom/Stepdad take the kids to the event on our time. Point being, this was talked about in the open and decided on in the open.

Also, the kids sometimes want to do something involving Mom/Stepdad or their family friends on our time. A month or so ago they had some family friends flying back home overseas, and the kids wanted to say goodbye to them, but again, it was our weekend. They asked if they could do so and we said OK and I gave them transportation to and from Mom's house. Again, side note, SD16 had this belief many years ago about me that "I hated gay people". I told her I must have done something pretty horrible for her to think that, but she had no examples. These family friends are gay. Point being, it's not like we're keeping the kids at home in bonnets and aprons and forbidding them to do stuff that we may have different values or beliefs around. The kids had the experience of saying "can we go say goodbye to these friends" and then DH and I making it happen for them.

Additionally, I've had strong suspicions for ~1.5 years or so that a "close" female family friend (FFF) is not just that, but likely there is either an affair between Stepdad and her, or there is some kind of "open marriage" thing or "throuple" thing going on. It's unclear what Mom's level of awareness is. The husband of FFF used to be close friends with Stepdad. FFF & Husband just separated and I think are divorcing. The kids said that FFF is now living "around the corner" from them.

So there's a foundation for: we don't tell you you can't do stuff with Mom/Stepdad on our time, and we don't stop you from doing things even though we don't share beliefs about them, and we know that Mom and Stepdad are "close friends" with this person.

...

So last Wednesday we were chatting with SD16 about what she had going on, and she was like, I have a ton of stuff going on this weekend, I want to see my friends in the school musical, I got asked to tutor someone's kid, and can you take me to the local Hispanic market because I want to make tacos and see my friend who works there. DH and I said Just let us know how we can support you in this.

Friday rolled around and I asked if she had a time set up for tutoring, and offered that SD14 and I could drop her off on our way to do something else. She said "oh, Person hasn't gotten in touch with me yet", and then I think I saw her on the phone, so I assumed she was working it out. We even talked about why SD16 was tutoring and had a whole conversation about "I wonder what the kid's hurdle is, she seems capable but has X problem" so this whole long discussion.

Saturday morning I again asked if she wanted a ride, but she said she was going to walk over to Mom's and get her bike and bike over. This was the first time it seemed odd, because we have plenty of bikes she could borrow, but I let it go. DH had a thing going on so he had taken off, and when SD14 and I left the house, SD16 was still there.

SD14 and I got back home ~3+ hours later and she wasn't home. DH went out front to work on the yard, and apparently SD16 came home then. Neither came in for a while, and when SD16 finally came in, I asked her how tutoring went. She said that she hadn't done tutoring, had just had a long conversation with DH about it, and had actually gone to the airport with Mom and Stepdad to welcome back female family friend (FFF). I asked her what she thought was so hard about telling us what was going on, and she said it wasn't hard, she just chose not to tell us. She said that she was going to tutor on Tuesday, so it wasn't like it wasn't happening. I asked her what she thought she could do differently next time, and she said that she could just say "I don't want to talk about what I'm doing" instead.

We did take her to see the school musical (dropped off and picked up, we didn't stay), and to see her friend and buy taco stuff, that weekend. So we didn't immediately choose to have consequences for her (like, how can we trust that you are actually going to stay and watch the musical). DH and I checked in with each other about it later and he said she didn't apologize to him, either. We didn't touch the topic with her the rest of the weekend. When the kids got picked up from our house on Sunday eve it was Stepdad and FFF, not Stepdad and Mom.

At that point both he and I definitely thought something fishy was going on, given that -- we don't stop the kids from spending time with Mom/Stepdad even on our time, we don't have a problem with the kids saying Hi/Bye to family friends at airports, and even if there is something "different from our values" going on, we don't "ban" the kids from involvement or talking about it. So all I can figure is that either SD16 thinks we DON'T know what's going on and would be shocked/reactive if she said something, or she thinks we might know what's going on but doesn't want to deal with however she thinks we'll respond.

Then SD14 texted Sunday night to see if we could drop some of her stuff off at Mom's (that she wanted for school), so I took it over really early Monday a.m. before work and left it. They have 2 vehicles and "vehicle 1" that Stepdad & FFF used to pick up the kids wasn't there. I'm not trying to be paranoid or "find the evidence", but I also wasn't born yesterday.

...

So the last few days DH and I have been discussing how to follow up with SD16, because the issue with her not apologizing isn't about "getting her to say the words I'm Sorry", it's more about -- if she can't see how her choices impacted the trust between us, then she's going to have serious issues in relationships. It's not important to me the specific words she says, but it's really important to me that there's followup where she has an opportunity to take responsibility for what she decided to do, and that she can at least understand that whatever she meant to do, it impacted the trust I feel I have in her. If she can't or won't see that, then I'm pretty concerned. My T also recommended that we recognize and appreciate that she DID fess up. What's interesting is that she did come clean, because she could've come home on Saturday and when DH asked how tutoring went, say "Sorry it went late, it was fine, what are we up to now" and we NEVER would have known.

...

Then yesterday I picked SD16 up from school. She seemed kind of "blah" and we got to talking. She said she's letting go of doing so much because there's stuff taking her emotional energy and there are "chaotic relationships". I asked if it was with friends or at school and she said No. I asked if she was "involved" or more on the side "supporting" and I think she said "supporting". I validated that it made a lot of sense because chaotic relationships almost magnetically suck our emotional energy. Then she went off on a tangent about how she hates it when DH is "obsessed" with her grades, because she's done a lot of work to not find her self worth through a number, and she's trying to let go of doing so much, and she "just doesn't get" why he is so focused on grades (note, SD16 is a very capable student and usually mostly A's and a B or so, but last report card had a C which is atypical). Again, long convo where I shared that the issue for us isn't a number in and of itself, we don't care WHAT grades she gets, it's more about what the change might be signaling. She said it's typical for parents to just look at grade changes to see what's up with their kids, and she doesn't want us to check in with her just because of that. So (jiu jitsu) I said it sounded to me like she wanted MORE closeness, and MORE connection, and MORE conversation? She said No and that kind of slowed her down. Then she baited by saying "I have another family I can be vulnerable with" but I didn't touch that. She said that even if we checked in with how she was doing, she could just not talk or put up a wall. She also commented at some point that "I got the C on purpose". I asked if I was tracking with her correctly, that she made a conscious decision to get the C, and she said Yes. So I said that it somehow didn't seem fair to me, to make a choice like that, and then when asked about "so what's up with the C", to just not talk about it. Not sure if that got through.

Trying to keep this short. So I circled back to validating that she has been through a LOT the last couple years -- no closure with 8th grade grad, school change every year, near death experience (she almost drowned in the ocean on Mom/Stepdad's time), etc, so it made sense that with the journey she's been on inside, she'd hear someone say "what's up with that C" and not feel understood. I said that what we adults can work on and do differently is realize that the way we ask questions makes a difference, and find other ways to ask about what's going on. Asking questions that start with "Why did you" can feel like an interrogation and increase defensiveness. For her, I said it sounded important to find different ways to respond and slow the conversation down, like finding out why grades seem important to the other person. She said "Yeah, like asking Why is it so important to you" and I responded with "well, close, except starting a question with "Why did you" can escalate, so what if you said "Tell me more about why the grade seems so important to you"".

She seemed less escalated at this point (she got a "tone" when blaming DH for "obsessing" over grades) so I said that in regards to the "chaotic" relationships going on, DH and I didn't need to know the details, what was important to us was that she had someone she felt like she could talk to about it. Usually a neutral person was good, though if she wanted to talk to DH and I that was fine, or if she didn't that was fine, but if she decided she wanted to talk to someone neutral about it, we supported that and would help her make that happen. She said she'd think about it. I also said that I didn't know if she was concerned that I'd be shocked to hear what was going on, but I "didn't just fall off the turnip truck" and I see a lot and hear a lot. She got kind of a serious face then.

...

I think the theory/fear I had a few months ago, and posted about here, that there is something going on between Stepdad and FFF, is probably true. I don't know though if that means that Mom & Stepdad are splitting up. They at least make a good performance of "being together". It's interesting also that in the car yesterday SD16 didn't have to tell me that chaotic relationships were happening (and it's interesting that she used the word chaotic). She could've deflected to talk about something else but didn't. But also didn't tell me everything. I did tell her in our conversation that she has a right to privacy in her life, and that I know she intellectually understands there is a middle way between "total TMI" and "lie about it" -- I know she knows she can honestly say "I don't want to talk about it right now".

I'm afraid that SD16 is dumping things she likes in order to emotionally support adults in her life. I don't think I can convince her not to. I'm afraid because there are unknowns and I'm afraid that whatever relational chaos is going on at Mom's will somehow once again be used to minimize our time with the kids or poison our relationship with them. (DH commented "I wonder how long it'll be before they get the kids to call FFF their real stepmom", and it's a joke, and I'm secure in my relationship with the kids, but that is 110% EXACTLY something they'd do).

I don't even know if I really have a question. It's just all so crazy.

 6 
 on: May 26, 2022, 12:40:35 PM  
Started by bluebutterflies - Last post by Notwendy
I understand it in that he may not actually want me to move out or divorce, and is testing whether I will do it. If I do follow his demands and move out, it means I don't care about him. Thus I am utterly confused.

I'd be confused too. We mostly assume people mean what they say, so it's hard to say he doesn't mean this.

With the push-pull, it's not that they don't mean what they say. It's that they are upset and say what they mean in the moment while they are feeling upset. Once the "bad feelings" have been projected, they don't feel bad and then don't feel the same as when they said that.

Probably every married person has had moments where their spouse, or parent, or child, is annoying. But people with good emotional regulating skills know better than to say something hurtful. We know the consequences if we say it- we can hurt the feelings of someone we care about. If we said something like that at work, we could get fired, so we have constraints. PwBPD may not.

The way I am looking at this ( and you know your H better so I could be wrong) is that he's not testing you. My "read" on this is that he was very upset in the moment and said this. Once he cools down, he may not mean it. I just can't predict what he will do after saying this. We can't read minds. But the pattern generally is that, they cool down and then it's expected that everyone will forget what they said.

The suggestion to make a plan for where to stay if he does go through with this is different from you taking action to carry out what he wants. If he wants a divorce, if he wants you to move out, that's on him. Your job is to take care of you, so the suggestion for a contingency plan ( that you may or may not need) is so you are not left without a place to stay. I don't suggest you move out for good, sign another lease or leave. It would be a temporary situation if you have no choice. Basically an emergency plan that you hope you don't ever need.

Your other option - to just stay anyway- you could do that if you think it's better to do that. Personally, I'd have a hard time staying physically in the same place while someone is telling me to leave, but I have friends in town who have guest rooms in their houses. On the other hand, your situation is a bit more complicated in that, this is a new place for you and you don't really have anywhere else to go. It's not as if you are near friends or family and can go sleep in a spare room if you get told to leave. I also don't know the marriage laws in your area - it may not be legal to kick a spouse out who has nowhere to go. I don't think you can just put your spouse out on the streets. I have no legal expertise at all, and it may help to look at the laws where you are so you know what they are, but my guess is that he won't follow through on what he said.

This is why we all have to look at our own personal situations and do what is best for us in that situation. I think the main thing is- you do not fulfil his wishes for him (whatever they are) because leaving isn't what you want to do. He is responsible for taking action himself.  If he wants a divorce, he needs to get a lawyer. If he wants you out of the apartment, then he has to kick you out. On your part- you need to take care of yourself. If he gets a lawyer, then you need to get one to represent you. If he kicks you out, you need some place to stay. You can be clear about your feelings. "I love you and want this to work out" but it's not possible to control his. For the time being, do nothing to either end the marriage or divorce- just wait this out for now. He may very well cool down. You just need to know what to do if he did go through with it.

Can he have space in the apartment? Is there a spare room? If he remains serious, it's then a discussion about reality. "Honey, I hear what you wish me to do. I wish you didn't feel this way but I will do what you have asked me to do. At the moment, I have nowhere to go as I just got to this country. If I return to my country, I will lose my visa. I need to get a plane ticket. Please give me some time to make arrangements. I will stay in the other room while I make these plans. I can be out of here by July 15 ( or whatever day works for you).

Then go about your business.

I can't predict what he does but from what you tell me, I can guess. If he's the quiet type, is that when you get back, he will be there, and be moody. You will act normal, and never bring that conversation up again. Eventually he will snap out of it and pretend it never happened.















 7 
 on: May 26, 2022, 12:37:22 PM  
Started by jonmnemonic - Last post by DazzleD
Foo Fighters - I Should Have Known

I should've known that it would end this way
I should've known there was no other way
Didn't hear your warning
Damn my heart gone deaf

I should've known
Look at the shape you're in
I should've known
But I dove right in
One thing is for certain
As I'm standing here
I should've known

Lay your hands in mine
Heal me one last time

Though I cannot forgive you yet
No, I cannot forgive you yet
Leave my heart in debt

I should've known
I was inside of you
I should've known
There was that side of you
Came without a warning
Caught me unaware

I should've known
I've been here before
I should have known
Don't want it anymore
One thing is for certain
I'm still standing here
I should've known

Lay your hands in mine
Feel me one last time
Though I cannot forgive you yet
No, I cannot forgive you yet
You leave my heart in debt
No, I cannot forgive you yet
No, I cannot forgive you yet
You leave my heart in debt

I should've known

Maybe you was right
Didn't wanna fight
I should've known
Couldn't read the signs
Couldn't see the light
I should've known

Though I cannot forgive you yet
No, I cannot forgive you yet
You leave my heart in debt
No, I cannot forgive you yet
No, I cannot forgive you yet
You leave my heart in debt
No, I cannot forgive you yet
No, I cannot forgive you yet
You leave us all in debt
I should've known

 8 
 on: May 26, 2022, 12:28:53 PM  
Started by Silverdash - Last post by kells76
Agreed; interesting topic.

I notice that I avoid making eye contact with the kids' stepdad. He has strong NPD traits and I experience making eye contact with him as giving him power, which I'm not interested in doing. I maintain boundaries by not making eye contact that he could exploit or manipulate.

The kids' mom (strong BPD traits)... as I think about it, there is something "not there"/"not present" in her eye contact that also has intense vibes at the same time. She has an intensity that might feel good to someone "into" her but I don't want to participate in it.

Although, I also don't like watching movie closeups where the person's eyes/face are a big part of the screen. I typically look at something in the background of the shot, or away from the screen altogether. I don't know that I've "enjoyed" prolonged eye contact even with people I love and trust. Maybe that's just me.

I try to use eye contact as a judicious tool when I'm talking with the kids about something important to them, to use it as a "check in" and an indication of me paying attention to them and tracking with them. But it's not prolonged.

Eye contact to me, overall, feels like a "boundaries down" experience. I don't like feeling unprotected or vulnerable, so I often decline to participate in eye contact, especially with people who time has shown aren't emotionally safe to be around (kids' mom and stepdad).

 9 
 on: May 26, 2022, 12:16:11 PM  
Started by Silverdash - Last post by FirstSteps
This is a very interesting point.  My uBDPw definitely maintains eye contact for way longer than the social norm, even within a marriage or with our kids.  She's done this her whole life, from stories she tells.  She has giant and beautiful blue eyes too, so I think the effect mesmerized a lot of people.  I think you both could be right in how a pwBPD could use this.

Oddly, I have never "attached" to her eyes, which has always thrown her off.  I think this is that whispering part of me that knew our boundaries were a mess from the beginning.  I plunged into the relationship anyway of course ...

 10 
 on: May 26, 2022, 12:08:12 PM  
Started by jonmnemonic - Last post by 2020
  Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) Oh Sh!t by the Buzzcocks

Or

 Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've), also by the Buzzcocks

 Way to go! (click to insert in post)

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