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 on: February 07, 2023, 12:55:49 PM  
Started by So Stressed - Last post by Riv3rW0lf
Fear. Yes. This is my main emotion when it comes to my BPD mother. I am scared of her, and on high-alert whenever she is around.

For me, no contact has showed me that, sadly enough, the fear had translated in other areas of my life under the guise of social anxiety. Or... Example : ordered a drink in a coffee shop, there was a discount on a specific one, which I requested, the lady makes me pay and charges me the full price, I pointed out there was a mistake, she raised her voice and started acting out, I got triggered, lowered my voice and paid the full price. Left angry and scared.

My mother trained me to freeze when someone gets agitated, even strangers. I got home and my husband was like : "why would you let someone talk to you like that? She makes coffee for a living, you are a professional. Get a grip!" Sorry I don't mean it in an offensive way by the way, I don't judge people who works in the service industry, this is what he said, though, to make me realize I wasn't as assertive as someone in my field should be, that I had to somehow channel the confidence of my title into all situations. Act like the confident adult I should be. This is also the advice my T gave me. I tried. A lot. But everytime someone would raise their voice at me, or berate me, I'd back down, stressed and anxious. My mind knew what was happening and wanted to say something, but MY BODY was shutting down. It truly felt like the response was from my body, not my mind.

I now believe some people internalize the fear so much as children, they lose their fight response, and later on, it manifests as a big lack of confidence and of assertiveness, resulting in an automatic body freezing response whenever there is a threat.  

Crazy thing... Started taking martial arts one month ago... One month... Didn't take very long. Two weeks ago, someone started acting out at the store, and I stayed put and was assertive. I wasn't disrespectful, but I wasn't going to allow someone to be disrespectful toward me either. My voice changed, I felt confident, I felt different. She backed down. I wished her a good day. I didn't end up her scapegoat, I stood up.

Martial arts, for me, is a somatic experience that gives the chance to my body to work under stress and "threat". Some sparring can feel quite real, and I survived them all, and I am less and less fragile, everytime I attend a class. Plus there is a community effect that is quite healing. It also desensitized me to touch quite immensely, and I actually enjoy it now, even from strangers. I don't feel as stressed by it. I used to panic whenever I got a massage, and get real anxious. Well, I went to the physio this morning, and for the first time ever, I didn't mind it at all and felt quite comfortable being touched and massaged. A very new thing for me.

Ultimately, for me anyway, it was a matter of triggering and owning my fight response, of getting it back, not just psychologically, but physically. Would it work in front of my BPD mother? Maybe when I get my blue belt...  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

Otherwise, I am not sure what could help... Is there a specific area of your life that makes you feel real confident about yourself? T said to channel those confident parts. For me, this didn't work... But it might for you.

 on: February 07, 2023, 12:41:14 PM  
Started by Anonymous22 - Last post by Anonymous22
Thank you for your response.  I need to dive into some of the materials on here, as I know that I am missing out by not utilizing this site to its fullest.  Unfortunately, the only time that I am able to come to this site is the 2 days that I work, as I am attending to 4 kids all of the time outside of that!  So my husband has now, out of the blue, agreed to go to couples therapy.  We had previously had an initial session with a therapist who does not accept insurance.  He seemed great.  I set up an appointment for us, which he initially agreed to, but then he cancelled it.  According to him we needed to see other therapists to have more to choose from and he wanted someone who took insurance.  Ok.  So I set up an appointment with a lady who took our insurance.  According to him, he wanted to move forward with her as she will hold me accountable for all of my actions, as the man we saw doesn't believe in blame, etc.  I have nothing to hide, so I have no problem with being held accountable for anything so I set things up to move forward with her.  We both had our one on one appointments with her...she nailed him immediately.  We then got an email saying that we needed to sign paperwork saying that she could speak with our individual therapists, with the therapists info before she would schedule our first real appointment.  According to her, which I think is a great idea, we will only make progress if working on ourselves with an individual therapist, so she needs to make sure this is happening before she will make an appointment with us.  So I sign the paperwork and return it.  A couple of weeks later, I ask her if we can schedule.  She says that my husband has not submitted his paperwork, so no.  I mention something to him.  He thinks that is crazy.  Then out of the blue yesterday asks me to set an appointment with the man therapist since he isn't going to follow through with the lady's requests...even though he was adamant that we go with someone who took our insurance and who held me "accountable".  Ok.  So I am in the process of scheduling an appointment with the man...through a group text with my husband on it so that I can't be accused of hiding anything.  And just like that, my husband has split black today as I am at work and trying to schedule this appointment...I don't think it has anything to do with the appointment, it is his weekly split because I have to go to work...though we usually meet over lunch when I work which makes him a little better, but he told me that he is "too busy today".  I originally thought that the reason he didn't want to give the info to the therapist was that he wasn't actually attending therapy, but he did attend an online session yesterday...at least that is what he told me he was doing.  What is the big deal of having therapists talk...it may actually help us!  Ugh!   

 on: February 07, 2023, 12:36:27 PM  
Started by Mommeredith81 - Last post by Mommeredith81
Thank you to everyone who responded. I'm almost positive I'm not going to allow him to sleep on the couch. I just have to find tactful words to use.

And yes, of course there's FOG.

Responses like "Look on Craigslist," while it may sound practical, it a bit insulting, and there's no real affordable housing near my town unless you wait years, so those kinds of statements would come off as cruel. I've actually dealt with family members who were homeless and most of the resources people suggest are actually just time wasters and make people feel even worse than before, because they don't pan out. He needs to find someone to stay with, but it can't be me. There are relatives who'd take him, but they're far away and he'll just say he wants to be near the kids.

He just had the kids, so part of my worry is that when it's  his weekend next time (like in 2 weeks) he'll ask for them. So yes, maybe I need to find a way to suggest that if he doesn't have a place to take them in town, he doesn't take them. We do have a parent coordinator so I am going to try to talk to that person first.

I wish his relatives acknowledged the extent of his illness so they would do more...they have done a lot, I'll say, but I don't think they realize how bad his illness can get. They probably just think he's depressed. I don't think they get it.

 on: February 07, 2023, 12:23:45 PM  
Started by Bluebird1986 - Last post by Bluebird1986
My husband and I are currently in couples therapy. About 10 years ago he received SsDI after not working about 3 years and disowning his family.. He was adopted at 5 years old after spending 2.5 years with a kind foster family. His birth parents were young, on drugs and regularly abandoned he and his sister. She is a year younger. She was put in multiple foster homes and could not speak or eat well. They were both cared for in an upper middle class home when they were reunited and adopted together. His adopted parents verbally and physically abused both kids.They are both above average intelligence. About the time my husband got SSDI He came home and said he was diagnosed with BPD with narcissistic tendencies.  I am not sure if it was the regular therapist or the therapist for his SSDI that gave the diagnosis. But the therapist continued by saying it is less common in men than women and that he was not too worried because his symptoms were improving.

I grew up without a father figure but with a mother who was hard working, loving but stressed. A family history of addiction my mom struggled with alcohol until I was around 12 and I think I probably witnessed DV on a regular basis mostly by my Alcoholic father towards my mom. I think occasionally she fought back. I hoard. I think I am improving. The house is more liveable and I bring home things I will actually use like work slacks and socks. Still some extra but far less than before.  I was not sexually or physically abused. There was some verbal abuse but I also felt safe, loved, securely attached growing up. I do have various traumas but nothing out of the “norm”
My husband was beaten, accused of lying told he had bad genes and would never amount to more than a garbage  man on a daily basis. He didn’t attach to his adopted mom, peed the bed into teenage and ran away when little. He also hugged paint at a teenage and almost died at one point before his Dad got him to wake up. He was sexually molested in the military by another male soldier and had problems with drinking and fighting during that time. He ended up committing a rape at 24 years old and spent 13 years in prison. He had a lot of therapy, really good therapy and made lots of progress in prison.
He now thinks that I misheard the bpd diagnosis and that I am projecting. I told him I could see how fear of rejection could translate to fear of letting go of stuff and narcissistic tendencies could relate to making our living space less comfortable, but it is hard for me to see BPD in myself.
He does have fear of rejection/His ideas not being followed to the T causing angry outburst
He has had a poor sense of self and has thru the years borrowed behaviors from an actor or others. He does not maintain friendships for long and has in the past had black and white think and splitting about friends and family. He still does splitting with my son and I but less often. He has in the past had problems with drinking, road rage, and sex with prostitutes and porn addiction. He also used to try and run away while my mom was dying of cancer and say he would live under a bridge. He used to have suicidal ideation and try and jump out of the car while I was driving. .When upset he would yell and slam doors and chase people and be relentless if you were not following his suggestions. He is calmer now. I think our son has taught him a lot about what communication works and which does not. We have been married 20 years,  I met him after prison at 33 and he was 39. I got a bachelor degree in psychology and he helped me the last year of school talking on the phone. We met online and we’re engaged in 6 months. I feel as though the only reason he did not have multiple failed relationships is because I was patient and had poor boundaries. He has had episodes of paranoia and grandiose thinking examples He is a prophet and very focused on being the only one with a new idea about civilization, thinking that I was taking him to prison to drop him off, wanting me to quit my job and join protestors about the 1 percent or moving to Mexico or Canada because or Goverment is corrupt and dangerous. I know this is long, thank you for reading I just wanted to try and include important information.
He has also decided that science tells him to take away his co dependent support so that I can’t spend money on thrifted items. I pay all household bills with my full time job and he buys food for our sons and himself and saves money for emergencies. Last year he gave me around $1500 for bills, his family members lived in a spare room for 1 month and he bought a dryer. This year he bought a stove. Our roof has needed repair for 5 years. He has $1600 in savings. He has been saying 3 + years. He likes fast food and cannabis .He makes $1200+ a month on SSDI. He says once we get the stove he will help by cooking and cleaning the kitchen.
So my question is am I projecting? Do I actually have BPD and I heard wrong so long ago and he does NOT have BPD?

 on: February 07, 2023, 12:23:03 PM  
Started by Gutt3rSnipe - Last post by PeteWitsend
The eye surgery thing was SO confusing to me! I truly, truly wanted to take care of her, I would have done anything for her. I was operating under the assumption that if I asked her what she needed, what I could do, she would tell me. Instead she just said that everything was fine, she didn't need anything, she's just resting in bed. I started to then suggest things she might want-like playing some kind of game- because I sensed that she was testing me...although I couldn't put it into words then. Days later when she would finally speak to me again, I reminded her that I had asked her what she needed many times, and I had even suggested things I could do for her.....in addition to what I wrote above about her telling me "her friends didn't need to ask" etc, she mocked the things I had suggested!

I'm glad that my experiences help you feel less alone. Everybody who shares here makes me feel understood and less alone too. It's amazing to me how long it has taken me to start to come to some understanding that none of this is normal.

A book I highly recommend is The Verbally Abusive Relationship, it's a great way of understanding people who need to control and have power over you. I keep it right next to my bed and will grab it to just read a few pages in those times I'm feeling bad and confused. It really is very, very clear.

I'll check that book out, never heard of it before.

I'm in a relationship now that seems to fit that description, although she doesn't check many of the boxes for BPD.  I do know she has some childhood abandonment issues, and she does seem to want to use anger and abuse to control situations, but unlike my last BPD relationship, this one had a "honeymoon period" that lasted up until we moved in together, and over the last year and a half has gotten progressively worse.

 on: February 07, 2023, 12:13:19 PM  
Started by capecodling - Last post by capecodling
> Then, why are you here? 

Fair question.  I am somewhere between where you are now (stuck in a trauma bond) and where you ended up with your first BPD ex (completely detached.)  So there is still some value in sharing with others.   I am honestly not sure if I am better off being here and reengaging with the whole borderline trope or if I would be better off dropping the whole thing entirely at some point.  Most days I spend the first part of the day breaking out of looping thoughts and processing negative emotions that have become trapped and need to be released.  Then usually by the afternoon and throughout the evening I feel like my old self.   But it takes a lot of energy — i have quite a routine of things i do each day — in order to reach that point.  I’d love to reach a point where I’ve dissolved enough of the trauma bond that I can just wake up each day as my old self.  Eventually this will come with time - as long as i remain no contact - but I have no idea how long it will take.

> I 'escaped' the first one cleanly and ethically,

Well, that’s amazing!  You managed to escape one when you did not have the entanglement of kids and finances.  I am guessing you did some work on yourself and let the passage of time heal you.  How long did it take to reach a point of indifference towards her?

> However, the second one with my wife, I am entrapped in it. 
> The answer as to 'why' is very simple - trauma bond
>  is likely the same reason why you are here, even if you
> don't want to admit it.

Please call me on any of my being in denial, but in my story I fully admit that I developed a trauma bond.  I can see it for what it is.  Its essentially a fake version of love that gets implanted in our psychology by the borderline — and by my being a codependent and enabling that through my own vulnerabilities. 

Also I’m being earnest when I say this, but I’m a bit taken aback to see how captive many on here are to the trauma bond.  You are a good example of that, you know the situation is toxic to you - and probably weakens your ability to be there for your kids - but you can’t leave largely due to the strength and magnetism of the trauma bond.  At least you are aware that you are probably rationalizing why you stay with her, but I am not claiming to know what’s in your head.  I’m just basing it on what you’ve told me.

I know a man who was married to a borderline for 25 years and then one day, in the airport, over something fairly small, he finally had enough and left her right then and there.  She never forgave him until the day she died.  Decades later she was talking about him on her death bed.  And I was there to witness this because she was the mother of an ex I’d been with a long time.  I didn’t understand borderline very well back then but looking back now there were two lessons that helped me with my own decision to let go:

1) my borderline ex was probably never going to let go.  She would always keep me just close enough but never so close that I could truly know her or that she could start to heal

2) the only way I would ever escape would be when I finally made the decision that i’d had enough

When I saw how much I had compromised my own values and boundaries in the relationship I saw where it was headed if I stayed long enough: with me completely destroyed, so badly I would not be able to come back from it.  That was actually the “enough” moment for me.

I’m not trying to convince you to do anything different with your situation, I’m actually just putting all of this out there to see if i still have some BS that needs to be called out.

 on: February 07, 2023, 12:03:54 PM  
Started by OnPinsAndNeedles - Last post by Husband2014
Awesome news!!! My experience with my wife who has BPD is she can’t absolutely plan, don’t bother asking her questions because she gets anxiety and everything is all about how
She feels right now and zero consideration that any action may hurt her or someone in the future. Also has zero ability to make
Any decisions even as simple as picking rice or pasta for dinner and always needs validation. I try to keep that in mind when I go about my life with her which is sadly quite miserable.

 on: February 07, 2023, 11:54:52 AM  
Started by NorthernCreature - Last post by NorthernCreature
I still have the keys for the basement as court said I have time until Feb 28 to pick up my stuff. Went into the apartmentblock basement today 3 times in a row. It seems my wife saw me going thought the park. The third time I went into the basement, she was there too with her son... strange coincidance, as if she charmed me. But if so... negatively...

I said "Hi"... her son looked surprised but didn't greet. My wife did not look into my direction and didn't greet either. So, they all basically greet my mother but I don't get greetings. It's ripping me apart... so cold... not even a "hi".. nothing. She was as if I was air, as if I am a ghost.. as if she hasn't even noticed me.

You know, if I would be a criminial... if I would have abused her... if I would be a bad person... I'd understand it.

But I haven't done anything... and I am punished. Crying while I write this... it hurts so much.

 on: February 07, 2023, 11:37:36 AM  
Started by Mommydoc - Last post by Notwendy
I didn’t go into depth but what triggered my sister yesterday, is my upcoming vacation.  Same thing that triggered her in December.  

Me taking vacation = “abandoning mom”= “she has to come out”= “financial impact to her” = “me persecuting her”.

She  revised the story to “you decided to go on vacation on 12/24, made me drop everything to come out again, and didn’t even offer me FF miles”.

 She has being using “planning for your vacation” as the newest reason to meet with increasing urgency as we get closer.  I have not agreed to meeting, and kept saying “ you don’t need to come, but you are welcome to come”.  
The same thinking “ Me taking vacation = “abandoning mom”= “she has to come out”= “financial impact to her” = “me persecuting her”.

my plan for who will be responsible for mom” and told me I was not allowed to make this decision without her as “ co-trustee”

 it took a day for my sister to get out there and a few days for me to get back.  her.  I feel bad about it all.

Again, what I read into these responses is not that you have abandoned your mother, or her, but that if she needs to come see mother, this will financially impact her. I think her financial situation is probably more hanging on a thread for her than you are aware of. This can be independent from income. My mother is an example of this, even though she has had even generous income by most people's standards due to the emotional issues with spending money that can be connected with BPD.

If your sister is already on the edge, income wise- the cost of a trip could be an issue for her. I think the urgent need for her to meet is to discuss financing her trip if she needs to come. The statement " you didn't even give me FF miles" is one of entitlement. She sees you as having the larger income and feels you should pay for her travel. Truly, her income issues are not her responsibility and she does not have to come, but for her to feel she's also in the position of "caring for mother" she needs to do that.

On your part, you may feel things are fair between you. You are not obligated to cover her expenses for travel. PwBPD have a skewed sense of fairness. When someone is in victim perspective, the situation is unfair to them, even if it is fair. That is not your responsibility. However, no matter how the finances are arranged- your sister will likely perceive them as unfair.

I think income discrepancies between siblings are more common than not. I think in the absence of major dysfunction ( I think there is some in all families) the siblings' contributions are not even but each hopefully does what they can. I have also seen where this situation leads to some major family divisions over who is doing what.

My take is that when you are there, she isn't feeling that she may need to come there on an urgent basis- and she does not have the money to do that. On top of that, not having the money could also be embarrassing for her and create a sense of shame- and all that is projected at you, because she sees your decision to go out of town as the cause of this, not her own financial/emotional issues.

You didn't cause her issues, you are not responsible for them, and you CAN make your own travel decisions.

I think NC is a feasible choice for you if you wish to choose it. Your sister is not on her own. She has her own family. She is not your parent. You have no obligation to her.

For me, the decision was different due to the relationship- parent, not sibling, age of parent, and her being on her own. I wasn't trying to be the "good person" here- and it wasn't even about her but what I felt I could manage within my own value system. The decision was based on different factors than you have with your sister.

I wonder if the trust can be arranged so that your sister has an advance or fast reimbursement for her travel expenses should she come visit your mother. It may not be "fair" in the long run but more about each person receiving what they would need in order to be there with your mother if needed. Your sister may not ever see any arrangement as fair. I think that financial concerns are driving her behavior. Again, not your problem to solve, but a possible way to tone down drama during this difficult time. You can still go NC on your end and have her communicate with lawyer/accountant, show receipts for travel to them etc.

 on: February 07, 2023, 11:31:22 AM  
Started by Mommydoc - Last post by zachira
Thank you for all your kindness and empathy in understanding my situation with my sister and my family. It means a lot that you and others here value me as a person, and it helps to undo the family narrative that I am a worthless human being, which really translates to that most of my family members cannot face their own flaws and feelings, and need someone to scapegoat/to blame.
You are also dealing with the fact that true NC can not be completely achieved when there are legal, financial, and family involved. I do think it can be empowering to say you are NC because it reinforces your determination to maintain your boundaries and have as little contact as possible with your sister. You have a really sound plan in place if your sister does decide to visit your mother.

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