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 on: November 11, 2019, 08:49:53 PM  
Started by wbrady11 - Last post by Radcliff
If she reached out after two months last time, perhaps she'll follow the same timing.  You could wait a bit and see if she reaches out, or you could reach out.  The key is not to overpursue.  If you send her a message, say something simple like you're thinking of her.  Asking her to do something like meet you, or even asking her a question, might make her withdraw more.

How long were you together?  How old are the kids?


 on: November 11, 2019, 08:45:05 PM  
Started by Emerald0923 - Last post by FaithHopeLove
Hello Emerald
Welcome to the parenting group. We are glad you are here. This is a great place to find information and support for what you are going through with your daughter. There is a lot you can do that may help your relationship with her but first it is important that you be healthy and step strong. You took a big first step in coming here. What else are you or could you be doing to care for yourself and the rest of the family?

 on: November 11, 2019, 08:43:53 PM  
Started by Bocanastasia - Last post by Radcliff

We're sorry for the pain you're in, but are glad you've found us.  The good news is that you can learn coping skills here to help make things better.  Can you tell us a little more about the good and the bad?  What does he do when he's happy that makes you feel good?  Can you tell us about a time when he got angry quickly about something?


 on: November 11, 2019, 08:43:08 PM  
Started by DontGiveUpOnMe - Last post by Ramhorn
Shame is something that I am very familiar with. I am not sure if mine looks/feels/smells the same as yours, but I hope I can add something here.

My shame has a couple different shapes. The big one is the pure dread and turning of everything inside you when you screw something up, for me it’s the idea that I hurt someone. You can know that I completely loath everything I am. And I have found that I take credit for way too many people’s feelings. The second large manifestation of my shame is ruminations. This is a newer idea to me, so I’m still exploring all ins and outs. But, it’s the times when I just rerun the mental film on the aforementioned shameful events. This can happen when I’m reminded or just cause I was driving and it came to me. The third big impact I’ve found is the foundation of my self image is infested with shame. Because I was taught that I wasn’t worthwhile as a kid, no one can prove to me that I am. Or at least they haven’t been able to so far.  So when a situation could even suggest that I wasn’t perfect, I am automatically thinking through all the things I did wrong.

I have found, for me, that ignoring the shame is not healthy or effective long term. No matter how nice I built my personality, the foundation was always compromised.  The shame would ultimately bubble up and blow up whatever idea of myself I tried to develop. And the only thing I had to fall back on was my shame-filled foundation.

The thing that I have found to help and subsequently the thing that I am struggling to do is sitting down in my bull crap and seeing what is correct and what is lies. It’s a slow and tedious process. What I try to do is:
  • Pay attention to my inter-dialogue in shameful situations.  What am I saying? Is it correct?
  • After I have finished reacting to the trigger, run through the situation looking for things that I might have misunderstood. Did they say something out of character? Could they be mad at something else? Etc.
  • Once I think I have myself under control, I will plan out what I need to say/do to bring healthy resolution to the situation.
Mindfulness and meditation have been very helpful in being able to hear what I’m actually telling myself.

Ignoring hasn’t been helpful for me. It just poisoned me. I’ve been trying to beat it back every time it comes. I’m not sure yet if it will eventually stop the shame coming so strong and often, but I have seen enough growth in trying to break it down that I am writing it in this post.

I want to reassure you that whatever lies and bull crap you got sold, it’s not true. Whether you believe me or not, you’re not the person they have said you are. And you don’t need to live into that idea of who you are either. You are able to re-pour your foundation.  You can tell the scared kid that he/she is actually worth being loved. The truth is that you deserve love and to be treated well. Your voice is important and you are needed.

I want to say some hopeful thing that sounds great but honestly, I think the journey maybe a lifelong one. But I do believe that we both have the opportunity to free ourselves from shame and it seems like we are both trying to capitalize on it.

Keep grinding. It will get better.

 on: November 11, 2019, 08:41:48 PM  
Started by Enabler - Last post by Skip
Enabler, we all want the best for your family - know that that is the top motivation for every one posting in this thread.. There are some different opinions being expressed and they are the both sides of the argument.

I believe my children would struggle to cognitise or agree that divorce was the ONLY option.?

I assume some of your children believe in Santa Clause and some don't or are of the age to be questioning him or know it was a child's story.

How are you/will you handle this elaborate lie and deception?  If Santa doesn't exist, how do explain the baby Jesus part - how is that true and Santa was a lie?  When the oldest first questioned Santa's existence  - did you immediately come clean? Did you and your wife take equal blame or did one evoke the moral high ground and say they didn't want to lie but the other parent did? When the oldest knows, will/did you try to keep the lie and deception going? Did or will you/will you ask the oldest to co-conspire in the lie to the younger children?

Lastly, how would your child deal with it if one parent insisted that Santa is alive and the other insisted he was lie?

I believe my children would struggle to cognitise or agree that divorce was the ONLY option.

So if you go down this path, let's examine the outcomes?

You tell the kids there is a divorce. Most likely there immediate reaction will be terror? They will say please don't, please fix this, don't leave me. And your response will be, I agree, it's your mom who wants this. All the hysteria is turned on her (see already feels immense guilt for doing this to them). The kids are uncontrollably crying and one refuses to let her touch them for a while?

And for the hardest question... deep down, does part of you want to see play out? Infidelity of the ultimate betrayal, a mortal sin? How much of this thinking is driven by revenge and resentment or hope of kicking some sense into her?

I'm not accusing you or implying anything? I have no judgement Enabler - I'm just here to help. I'm just asking you to test yourself.

Now your wife...

Will she be OK with this - ever?  Threatening a mothers relationship with her children can draw a huge response. Will she need to destroy their opinion of you to restore her relationship with them? What will she do? At the time? In the next week? In the year after?

Now your kids... How will they deal with the need to chose one truth over another? Accept that one parent lies and is OK to harm them and one is good?

It's difficult for kids to comprehend a "no fault divorce" - it's much harder to deal with a divorce and learning a parent means them harm.

Do you want a high conflict divorce? Is the price of assigning responsibility worth it? Not a rhetorical question - yes or no are real and acceptable answers.

Remember. Your wife is vulnerable. You can take this shot.  There will be a time when you are vulnerable (like when you move out of the house) and she will likely have little reservation to take that shot - everyone will say she is justifed.

She may take that shot no matter what.

 on: November 11, 2019, 08:37:42 PM  
Started by missyou - Last post by Radcliff
It sounds like you eventually brought the conversation to a close when you became too exhausted.  Good work  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  Three hours is a long time.  I've been there, and I stuck with the conversation because I wanted to validate and do everything I could to soothe my partner and help her feel heard.  In some conversations, it took a long while by my partner eventually felt heard and it felt worth it for me to have put in the time.  In others, after a certain point, I was just hearing the same things over and over and it was wearing me out.  The extra time didn't help either of us, and I was telling her through my actions that it was OK to say nasty things to me and blame me for everything without moving forward constructively.  Given his recent silent treatment and the fact that this was a tough anniversary for him, it was probably a fine time to be extra patient with him.  In the future, how would you feel about setting some boundaries around being respectful in conversations and the length of conversations?

On your question about experiences, what you describe is familiar.  Long conversations, sometimes hours long, full of blame coming at me, without my partner willing to take any responsibility.  100% of the problems were my fault.  She usually made everything out to be a reflection of my poor character, insulting me as well as my family.  I was supposed to be a robot with no needs, magically making everything go well. 


 on: November 11, 2019, 08:28:47 PM  
Started by Blueskyday - Last post by FaithHopeLove
Just a thought. Is there an AlAnon group nearby? It doesn't cost a thing and it would get you out of the house and with supportive people.

 on: November 11, 2019, 08:24:22 PM  
Started by desperado13 - Last post by FaithHopeLove
Hello Desperado
Welcome to the parents group. I am glad you found us. It seems you have already gone through quite a lot trying to care for your BPD daughter. It must be terribly disconcerting to think her condition may be worsening. You say she lives on her own. What else are you comfortable sharing about her life? Does she have a job? School? Hobbies? Most importantly is she in therapy? I ask because the more complete our picture of her the more we can help you figure out your next steps.

In the meantime what are you doing in the way of your own self care?

 on: November 11, 2019, 08:23:30 PM  
Started by ProudDad12 - Last post by ProudDad12
However, in this case..parents say bad things (purportedly) and your wife expends energy.

Do you see how that hands dysfunctional people power?  They can make you expend energy whenever they want by saying untrue and whacky things.

That's the basic version.  Can you see this?

Yep, that makes sense, thanks. Sadly that's going to take some work, because purging aside, hearing what they do does still cause all sorts of emotions and disruption with us. In fact, so much has been going on the past few months that eats at us, that both my wife and I are falling behind at work and having physical manifestations (back spasms, etc.). So despite our increasing efforts, we still have a lot of work to do to because they do have control in a lot of ways. In fact, my sister sent my wife a FB message tonight asking if she can talk to our daughter. Such a stark contrast from everything. And I've been thinking about it ever since!

Is it possible to take a break from the family (the usual no response on social media, text or vm) for two weeks to try out NC?  If you don't like it or don't feel ready, not too much time is lost to return to what you are doing now.

We've been trying to take a break. I'm slowing realizing the NC may be indefinite. Problem is they still find ways to get to us. My wife intends to unfriend my sister soon to cut off the FB messaging. My brother and dad still can email me at work because we all work in the same large company. And then there's them leaving presents at our door. So the cutoff isn't perfect, but thus far we haven't responded to anything that's broken through our NC, which the exception of me talking to my dad before his surgery.

Forgiveness doesn't mean you allow the transgressor to treat you like a doormat or automatically reconcile with them. Forgiveness means you let go of the situation and move on so you can grow and mature.  If the transgressor asks for forgiveness and wants to reconcile, then it's your call to move on with it or not.  It's moral to choose yes or no in my opinion. I've heard this in my church many times. It has worked for me - again may not work in your situation.

That's along the lines of what I'm trying to tell myself. Even though my mom has sent a couple of "apologies", they didn't seem close to sincere, much less acknowledging any more than a fraction of what she's done. Even though I'm certain even that came with much difficulty for her, I'm more certain nothing would change with a reconciliation. As far as I can tell they are being nice and saying what they think they need to say because it's my daughter's birthday and they're realizing we aren't backing down. I'm concerned any reconciliation comes at a cost to our emotional/mental well being.

And thanks, I'll check out the Tolstoy story!

Oh...forgot to mention earlier there is a massive difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.

I've forgiven my in-laws and harbor no ill will.  They are unwilling to take any steps towards reconciliation, so I respect their choice and live my life separately (and much calmer I might add).

We're working on the no ill will part. In fact, part of our Sunday School lesson discussed letting go of anger, which became another point of deep discussion. I've been hesitant to let go of that anger, because it's what I tap into when the FOG starts to control me. I feel like it's giving me strength to protect my family, and reminds me why I am. It's been suggested to me by someone familiar with BPD that my anger is a self defense mechanism I've developed.

So both my wife and I have a way to go with the forgiveness part, and navigating it's distinction from reconciliation. Because in my case my family would like nothing more to reconcile, but I've finally realized that in this case reconciliation is mutually exclusive with avoiding the dysfunction.

 on: November 11, 2019, 08:13:17 PM  
Started by Icopewithmusic - Last post by Radcliff
I'm sorry to hear that she didn't get much help while she was gone.  BPD is notoriously underdiagnosed.  The doctor at the facility only had one session, talking to someone with reality distortion.  He was actually at a pretty big disadvantage compared to your daughter's therapist, who was talking to a young woman who's observed your wife over decades.

During the calm times, what do you do?


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