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Complete and Unabridged Definitions of Borderline, Narcissistic, Antisocial, and Oppositional Defiant Personality Disorder. The only unabridged DSM 5 definitions published on the Internet.
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Author Topic: SUCCESS STORIES  (Read 77366 times)
John Galt
Formerly marc, rutheless
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« on: March 11, 2008, 08:45:00 AM »

This will be very brief as much can be learned in the committed section of this board.

My brief summary is that I came to this board in a very bad situation. Worse than most from what I read.My BPD wife was in a downward spiral which included police charges, many attempts at suicide and obviously many institutional stays. I was following her around like a puppy trying to help in all the wrong ways. I was very supportive and helpful when I should have worried about my 3 kids and I , and let her figure things out alone. My feeling is that me ''helping'' her was really ''helping '' me and hurting her.

I played this game and danced away for 2 years or less all the while talking on this board with some friends while actually making things worse.

My healing came when I looked at me , not at BPD -which I became a world expert on.I went to therappy wondering why I would put up with this abuse,a fake DV charge and watching my kids suffer, and watching me basically die within while I tried to ''help'' her.Therpay helped me regain my strength. Eventually , I told her to leave or I would .Also me leaving would be with the kids.I did give her a choice of a divorce or serious therapy. She took the therapy choice which was very extensive live out of the home 16 week kind of therpapy which was dbt and cbt . No drugs whatsoever. In this time I also sought some help for things that I was doing which was not helping at all.

Today ,my family is strong and happy. My wife has done exceptionally well. We have moments but they never escalate which was our problem before. I participated in that where some here do not believe that they do from what I read.

If my story is a success then so can others perhaps.

Bottom line advice is to work on yourself, radically accept certain things, give a choice and stand firm.

Good luck,

I give big props to Skip and the team for this section. Its important.


This is a high level discussion board for discussing effective actions for solving ongoing and day-to-day relationship conflicts. Members may appear frustrated but they are here for constructive solutions to problems.
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 10:30:04 AM »

Years ago, BPD was considered a mental illness that was hopeless. We have all heard about therapists who wouldnt treat a person with BPD, and the levels of frustration and utter inability to work with those suffering from it.

It has been relatively recently that there IS hope, there IS therapy and there IS reason to feel that those with BPD can be helped and healed.

This happened in my own home.

My H was diagnosed with BPD and was referred to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. He is considered recovered.  For our marriage to heal, tho, we had to separate, I had to get into my own therapy for codependance and we had to have therapy with a DBT trained therapist to get well. Today,  BPD is not in our home at all, and we are happy and functioning. There have been many challenges along the way and many surprises.

What is your story of recovery? What has helped you? Your loved one? Your relationship? What challenges have you experienced along the way? What are your hopes for the future?


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Think outside the box.

« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 11:26:26 AM »


my partner.. isnt cured.. but he has made a huge amount of progress.. since he started therapy a little over 2 years ago..

im at a advantage i think.. bc he was in treatment before we started dating.. and i knew what he was dx with.. helps a lot with accepting things.. bc i knew what the deal was before we even started talking about dating.. so.. most of the work is his..

my recovery.. is mostly remembering to detach.. and not engage when hes dysregulated.. easier said than done.. and detaching my feelings from his.. sometimes its really hard.. to let him just be however he is without trying to 'fix' things.. usually i want to make things better.. and its really tiring.. and impossible sometimes.. when if i let him be.. or just listen and try to validate.. he comes around a lot faster.. and even if he doesnt..

i really have to remember that.. him getting  better is not my job.. and that all my 'helping' stuff.. doesnt help him learn any skills to regulate himself.. and thats really important.. it ends up hurting in the long run.. if im the one always fixing things so he doesnt get upset.. he doesnt learn how to come back from upset.. or how to balance himself at all..

i meet w/his T once a month or so.. so i know where hes at.. nothing real specific.. just to check in.. and a heads up.. that he might be more/less dysregulated.. or trying a new tool.. see how im doing etc.. get an idea for what times he needs more support.. when he needs space..

moving.. was probably the biggest challenge.. it was very hard on my partner.. and he kind of went off the deep end w/ paranoia about a month before.. so we were looking at him being inpatient someplace.. until we were ready to leave.. didnt end up doing it.. but that was pretty scary.. for everybody.. hes had some really difficult friendships with people.. that were really triggering.. and sent him into a tailspin every time.. really slowly.. hes learning to make friendships that are better for everybody involved.. i also got more practice at stepping back.. and not trying to smooth things over.. oops..

major positives: it has been a really long time since he lost it and broke ___.. over a year.

he is a lot more willing to open about what is going on.. and say honestly how hes feeling.. and i try to listen as good as i can..

he hasnt cut in over a year.. hasnt self harmed at all in almost 6 months..

im a lot happier.. and closer to my friends and family.. bc i feel better about taking time to spend time w/them.. whether hes up for it or not.. if hes not.. its ok..

we communicate a LOT better.. on both sides.. hes learning to validate too.. and its really nice..

for the future..

i know he wants to go back to school.. i would love to see him do that.. hes really smart.. and i think he would like it..

mostly.. im pretty happy with our lives.. him working on his recovery.. and getting better for himself.. i want for him..

united for now
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 07:06:44 PM »

For me, acceptance and learning to take care of myself were the biggest changes to create more happiness.

Radical acceptance - He is who he is... a duck... trying to make that duck bark only frustrates me and pisses off the duck.

I also learned to take a time out - a critical skill. We can't save them - we can't control them - we can't make it all better for them. All of our defenses, all of our explanations just come across as invalidations to them, which only make things worse. Learning when and how to walk away from their dysregulation has prevented further verbal abuse, therefore lessening the painful after effects of the verbal abuse and his own shame when he realized how awful he was.

We are often our own worst enemies. Seeing him as the bad guy kept me trapped in a victim mentality. It kept all the power in his hands to do as he wished and left me feeling weak and defenseless. If he is bad, then I must be good - right? A helpful article, though a long read, is Rethinking "don't blame the victim" - The Psychology of Victimhood .  

Working the tools here and working on myself has reduced the hurt and pain, and brought us closer together. He feels listened to and I don't feel abused. We both feel loved and we both keep working together.

As I worked towards learning about him and his situation, I wound up learning about myself too. The human capacity to heal, our ability to adapt, and how change isn't easy - but it is very possible - if you want it badly enough...


Change your perceptions and you change your life.  Nothing changes without changes
John Galt
Formerly marc, rutheless
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 08:50:09 PM »

I have not posted for years but decided to pop in to say hello. Years ago I came to this board really bad and with a wife and 3 young kids. My wife was classic BPD - if that term even exists. I saw no nope at all.

I bounced around this place and found friends, found conflict, saw zero hope and really stood alone in the sense that most everyone ( for valid reasons ) said ''just leave''. This was problematic for me '' cause of the kids". I spent ages here trying to decide and eventually I learned a few good points.

I looked at me and what I was doing wrong. I went to therapy to look inside. I eventually said to my wife that she could go to a lawyer or serious therapy as in '' leave the house and live in a place where she could deal with her issues''. I told her those were her 2 choices , and I really thought only the lawyer was a solution but I was wrong. She choose therapy and it worked. No drugs, just CBT and DBT and home on the weekends.

This is a very short post to only offer hope to anyone who seeks it.

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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 10:32:06 PM »

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.


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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2010, 09:16:38 AM »

 One thing I noticed as my H got better is that I noticed myself noticing myself..some mild mood swings, some mild depression and a sense of things feeling too calm. It took some effort to move past this.

I suspect the drama filled a need for me and it became addictive..the highs and lows, the always intense stuff, god and bad. I was admittedly a bit taken aback at first, when things were soo stable..it was part of the adjustment and it was a surprise for me, and more uncomfy than I had anticipated.


united for now
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 07:34:11 PM »

Yes, we move out of our "comfort zone" of dysfunction - where normal seems weird and scary. Like something is "off" or "not quite right"...

Kind of like if you normally shop at Wal-Mart, and then suddenly go into a boutique on Rodeo Drive. You feel intimidated and overwhelmed.

Of if your normal restaurant of choice is McDonalds, and someone suddenly takes you out for real fine dinning. You don't know the social etiquette, so your comfort level drops.

These things are outside of your normal behaviors and experiences, so they feel awkward. Stepping away from the chaos and not engaging in the drama feels   wrong somehow... we feel bad - for not rushing in to rescue them - to make things better - to stop the fight - to patch things up - to walk on eggshells...

Yes, when we de-emesh, the real growth and change begins - for both parties 

Change your perceptions and you change your life.  Nothing changes without changes
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 09:21:12 PM »

For years I put up with verbal and emotional abuse by my BPDhubby. I came here after our MC told me that she suspected my husband being borderline.

I thought what the heck is borderline? So I looked it up and found this place. We went to therapy together and apart. He seemed to get worse and blamed me for this. I stopped posting here for about 6 months until things started to get really bad at home.

After being back for a little while I started to plan my way out of the relationship. My hubby was getting out of control and I was afraid of one of us getting hurt. The final straw was him attacking me and my dog for NO reason.

One day I took all my stuff and pets and moved out of our house. I was very upset but I couldn't keep going on the way we were.

At first he wanted to divorce but he kept calling me over and over saying he wanted to divide stuff and figure out who gets what.

I didn't talk to him.

Then he called and asked what he could do to fix this. I told him that his abuse was not going to be tolerated and that he was out of control and needed professional help.

Later he told me he made appointments and was commited to getting help for his raging and anger issues regardless if we got back together. I was going to move away to my family and he asked what it would take for me to stay.

I told him that he could move out and I would move back in our home. So he did. We started having dates and I had the house to myself which felt really good.

He went to therapy and a P so he was learning new ways to communicate and to deal with his anger. We both started to take timeouts whenever we needed a break.

I really got serious about learning the tools here. I practiced validation and it started to create a closer connection with my hubby. I made some boundaries and stuck with them. We went through some growing pains. I would panic if his voice raised and he would panic if he thought I would move out again if he raised his voice.

Over time we both started trusting eachother more than ever before. He hasn't done DBT so his symptoms are still there just not destructive to our relationship as much.

I still take timeouts - did one today  Doing the right thing

The tools work. Not allowing anyone to be abusive works. I think the major reason that we are still married is because I was willing to be alone and I took that chance. On his end he was given a wake up call and was willing to admit the way he dealt with his anger was not ok and he looked for help to change. Things are not perfect but life is much happier for both of us.

Who I really am can never be lost, I choose to live in the moment, I choose to be happy
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 01:29:26 PM »

I'm not sure if I can call my relationship a "success" yet but it definitely feels successful at this point in time.

My BF is not cured and is not going through any type of therapy to lead him there, but great improvements have been made in our relationship. He is what I would describe as high functioning...he appears strong and stable to the rest of the world; only those close to him see the unstable side, he doesn't self harm, has never been suicidal as far as I know, doesn't drink or use drugs, has never been physically violent towards me, and for the most part is the "leader" in our home.

He does show abandonment issues, is quick to anger, has raged, but has not done it in about 6 months, has very black and white thinking, and bouts of depression...along with a few other minor traits.

I think the thing that has helped our relationship the most was me educating myself about BPD, the why's behind it, how he must be feeling, and mostly, importantly, what I can do to help him. I have had to learn to take care of myself, realize not to personalize things and understand that most of the time when he gets angry it has nothing whatsoever to do with me. I've learned to accept the way he feels, learned to validate those feelings, which in turn has helped him to work through those feelings on his own. I've learned to not defend myself, no matter how hard it is at times, yet set boundaries regarding how I will be treated.

For those of you who may be reading this and are new, I was skeptical at first...validate the crazy statements they make? not defend myself? I felt it would just give him permission to keep treating me bad. But it doesn't if it is done in the right manner and you keep your boundaries. The tools on here really do make a difference.

We're still a work in progress. I know he will get dysregulated again...probably in the next week...maybe more than once or twice...but I can now deal with it, keep my peace of mind, and the periods seem to get shorter and shorter. I think more than anything, learning how to better communicate with my BF has built a foundation of trust between he and I. I feel its helped to build a loving and trusting environment when he can feel more secure, which helps him deal with abandonment and anger issues much better.

Good luck to everyone out there!



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