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Skills we were never taught
98
A 3 Minute Lesson
on Ending Conflict
Communication Skills-
Don't Be Invalidating
Listen with Empathy -
A Powerful Life Skill
Setting Boundaries
and Setting Limits
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Author Topic: SUCCESS STORIES  (Read 123684 times)
Rilian

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« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2013, 12:43:27 PM »

Ps, I also think the reason there are few stories here is because when a BPDer gets better, their family members don't use the site as much? Just a thought!

That's what happened with me. As things got better I found myself coming here less and less. 

Last year about this time we were in the middle of a crisis including multiple ER visits.  I found the group in April when things were at their worst and leaned on it a lot for a few months.  Sometime in May my BPDw finally got into treatment with some people who actually know what they're doing, and things have been different ever since.  The program was local, DBT based, and was completely committed to her long-term recovery.  After less than a month the rages began to decrease (and have fallen off completely now), and next thing I know she is starting to apologize to me for random things that had happened days ago (usually after she had been journalling for a while).  She has been in full-time or half-time treatment for well over a year now, but our relationship is completely different than it has ever been.  I can be honest with her again without worrying about triggering something crazy.  We were even in the middle of a stressful situation the other day, and I commented to her how much better she was handling it than I was (which is weird considering how things used to be). 

If anyone is curious to know, DBT was the key for her, and because of the crisis we were both fully committed to the therapy.  CBT had been a waste of time, and insight-focused therapy (familial, childhood processing) brought up too much trauma too quickly.  She went through a few programs that actually screwed her up more before getting into this one.  The program started by focusing on developing basic coping skills, while the program directors focused on maintaining her daily stability.   Once those were in place she started transforming into her true self, and it has been beautiful. 

We still have a lot of challenges, not to mention baggage from years of dysfunction, but things are still heading steadily in the right direction.  Thank you all for the help that you provided in my lowest moments!


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tuum est61
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« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2013, 02:49:50 PM »

Rilian,

Your success story is a real testament to how even a bit of knowledge can help. Thanks for coming back here 9 months later and sharing it.

You only posted 9 times before this - so I think you've got to be the most efficient non to ever make use of this site!

What do you think was the key thing/event that lead to your W's diagnosis? Did your awareness of BPD lead to it? Or did the medical system pick it up first?
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momtara
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« Reply #62 on: February 27, 2013, 03:21:36 PM »

And what does DBT do that's so different from CBT and other therapies? It'd be good to know what about it, specifically, makes such a difference!
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« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2013, 02:20:09 PM »

Hi Rilian,

I am very glad to read about your success story  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post). May I ask how was your wife convinced that she needs to go for therapy? I believe that is the biggest hurdle in treating BPD... .  denial. Thanks!
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Rilian

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« Reply #64 on: March 03, 2013, 12:29:10 AM »

Hi All,

I'm glad that my story could encourage you a bit. 

You are right that I only posted a handful of times over the course of a few months, even though I read the site incessantly for a while.  I found it during the lowest point of this whole mess, but that turned out to be right near the turning point for us. 

Tuum est – I honestly had never heard of BPD until her (third) Psychiatrist suggested it as a possible diagnosis.  My BPDw had been in therapy for a lot of years.  She came out of a very emotionally abusive family (later diagnosed with complex PTSD), and had worked with a variety of counselors throughout our marriage, always focusing on her depression.  She had also exhibited BPD symptoms (fear of abandonment, idealization vs. devaluation, unstable sense of self, etc.), but none of this tipped us off because I was a natural enabler who grew up with a mother who also had serious mental health issues.  When I eventually started reading up on BPD, it made perfect sense of all of the crazy behavior and dysfunction in our marriage.  I have found venting passages in my journal that say “one minute I’m the best guy in the world, and the next I’m a total a########.  What is wrong with you!” (referring to my wife’s unstable opinion of me)

Elessar – She had already been in counseling for some time, but what got her initially into the intensive treatment was this:  About three years before the meltdown, the rages started, and then sometime after the birth of our second child, our life started getting a lot more stressful.  Our marriage blew up, her depression got very severe, and then she began fantasizing about killing herself and our children while I was at work.  Thank God this alarmed her enough to tell her current counselor who convinced her to get into her first PHP.

The fight came later.  After a few mental health professionals had screwed up, and after she experienced just how painful the process can be, she began to fight it and had to be hospitalized twice.  Somewhere in the intensity of all of this it clicked for her that she actually did want to live, and had no other way forward than to submit to the process.  Right at the same time is when she found a fantastic DBT based IOP in our city (with some ACT as well), and the two came together at just the right time.

So I guess the answer to your questions is that in some ways she always knew she had problems, but what pushed her through was the intensity of the crisis. 

Momtara – The big difference about DBT is that it focuses on developing and strengthening emotional coping skills before engaging the core issues.  I can give some specific examples:

CBT – Her first therapist focused on CBT, which attempts to change behaviors and attitudes by changing the way that you think.  My BPDw obviously has a very low self-image, so the therapist had her make a whole workbook with things like “Truth” statements, which are truths that are intended to counteract her natural feelings of self-loathing. This was totally ineffective for her, because as much as she might repeat the “truth” statements, her BPD would inevitably hijack her frontal cortex, leaving her unable to properly think at all.  What DBT does, is to train you to head off this kind of hijack with a variety of tools.  Now that she has developed this capacity, these CBT methods are actually beginning to bear fruit in her life, but before DBT that was impossible. 

Insight/Familial/Emotional – Her first PHP focused on her tapping into repressed emotions and working through her abusive family history.  Again, this is NOW an important part of her recovery, but at the time it presented her with emotions that she had no way to cope with.  The analogy I like to use is that she had this radioactive spill inside her that had been sealed up by concrete.  The reason she went to counseling in the first place is that radiation had started leaking out into her life, so her therapists (by having her approach all these childhood issues and repressed emotions), had her break the seal and let it all out, leading to an emotional disaster that she couldn't handle.

They say that BPDs are emotional hemophiliacs, meaning they have no way to stop the “flow” of emotion once it gets started.  DBT is designed to teach a variety of coping skills so that a person can regulate intense emotions before they take over.  Does this make sense?

Thanks again to you all, and sorry for the length of this response... .    Smiling (click to insert in post)

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Themis
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« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2013, 09:27:43 PM »

.We hear so much about negative traits - what about positive ones like...

--This is a great focus! Makes me feel happy!
 
-creative
-inventive
-can do anything they are passionate about
-beautiful smile
-hilarious
-charming
-perceptive
-lovely to hold
-big heart
-means well
-inside the BPD there is someone with a huge heart, and when not in anger they are the nicest person I ever met
-patient has lots of time for me
-endless love
-doesn't mind a lot of things
-hardy
-reliable
-very talented
-full of energy and light
-good to be around, uplifting!
 
Yes, let's remember who we fell in love with!
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Foreverhopefull
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« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2013, 02:14:28 PM »

I am as proud of my husband as a mother watching her child walking for the first time.

For the last month, he has taken on the challenge of pushing himself to do things out of his comfort zone.

First thing, he volunteered to help my parents move furniture in their house to make way for my grand-pa moving in with them (mom has furniture in every spot it can fit, her house of filled to the brim with furniture, so it's always a pain in the backside when you try to move anything there), now he volunteered to move my grand-pa into the house (knowing full well, some things are moved from his place to more than one house).

Second, he usually never attends any family affairs other than Christmas Eve and day. Well, he spent Christmas Eve, Day and boxing day, New Year's day, Easter and visited with me 3-4 times in between the holidays.

Third, he's really taking on responsibilities with my grand-pa's care. Since my husband is currently not working (on long term sick leave), he asked my mother to call him when ever she needed help with grand-pa. That's huge coming from him. He's also saying that he agreed that I should give mom off one weekend a month (or more if needed) to care for grand-pa.
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Iced
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« Reply #67 on: May 14, 2013, 08:59:00 PM »

This isn't a recent story, but I do have a story of how a loved one with BPD walked down the road to recovery.

We met as friends online - introduced to each other by a mutual friend - and at the time we knew each other, we were both on separate roads towards seeking counseling for separate issues.  Me for managing stress and chronic health issues, them for depression and the beginnings of prescription drug dependency.

As neither of us really had a support network - friends, family, etc - at the time who supported our decisions to enter therapy, we ended up bonding over this and pretty much right away, we agreed to help be each other's support.

A few months into their treatment and a few months into our friendship, their psychiatrist concluded that the depression was stemming from and also fed into a 'disorder of disordered thinking and dysregulated emotions and emotional control'.

The words of BPD were not explicitly used, but when my friend scanned and emailed me a copy of the packet of information their psych gave them, the description definitely matched BPD.

Prescription meds were given to help stabilize the depression and to mitigate the anxiety and therapy sessions were altered to include what sounded like a mixture of both DBT and CBT.

The closer we became, the deeper into their world I walked and I got to see many of the BPD-related rages and meltdowns.

How many phone calls had we had where they were screaming at me to leave or that they would make me leave or that they had done something to hurt me or hurt themselves or hurt somebody else or wanted to die or that they were terrified of abandonment?

Too many to count and each and every one was heartrending... .  but in all honesty... .  

Stigma - an issue both of us had faced prior to meeting each other - was all but non-existent between us and I would like to say that it was because of this that we were able to communicate fairly openly and honestly from the get-go.

No embarrassment, no humiliation, no shame.  We were both in different but very similar boats paddling across the same lake towards better mental health.  Why alienate someone else who knows what it's like to be fighting for mental health?

Yes, they RAGED.  Yes, they SCREAMED.  Yes, they even THREW THINGS (not at me).

Disorderly thinking and dysregulated emotions were everywhere.

But they also communicated.  Honestly.  Openly.  The best they knew how.

Tears poured and sometimes, so did blood all the while as vocal chords were screamed raw.

A knife to the thigh drew blood, but also drew enough distraction for them to finally admit to the hurt of abandonment - a hurt that they had buried so far down that they felt too ashamed to bring back up.  It was something that should have been moved past and forgotten they screamed at me, but they just couldn't forget.  They had to grow up too early as their mother was frail and hadn't been well... .  they had seen rejection after rejection after rejection from their peers while growing up... .  They wanted so much to be loved but couldn't comprehend that someone could love them because the fear of abandonment was so much stronger.  

There were so many things... .  so so many things that they had buried inside of them.

I held them against me at that turning point, wrapped tightly around them in their bed, their thigh bleeding, their knuckles raw from pounding against the fence, and told them that no matter how long ago it was, that it was okay to feel and that they needed to finally feel it so they could grieve it... .  and on their own terms, accept it.

I cared for them, no matter what, I loved them I told them.  Bad days, good days, laughing, crying, a person is a whole person made up of all things and nobody's perfect and I didn't expect them to be.

Just try.  Just like we had agreed to when we first became friends.  Try and help ourselves become free... .  Free like the people we were meant to be and not chained to past trauma or be at the mercy of stress.

We went from friends to lovers that night and after that turning point where they discovered the 'root' of their trauma, things started progressing faster.

We saw better days more often... .  but we also saw some dramatic relapses a few times, too.

I even had to initiate temporary NC - painful, but absolutely necessary to protect my own health... .  and help them to trust themselves and stand firm on their own.

I walked away as they screamed at me that I was abandoning them.  For a while, my mind was clouded over with agony.  Was NC because I was sick the same as abandonment?

Months later, I couldn't help but sob in public when they told me that they were finally at a point where they could understand why I had to do what I had to do and that they were grateful that I had not only taken care of myself, but also helped them to take care of themselves and to 'grow up'.  That they finally understood that taking a step back to breathe doesn't mean someone doesn't care.  That they can be loved even though the person who loves them isn't right there with them.

Overall, with their persistence and willingness to stand back up and try again (though let me tell you, there were times where they really didn't want to), they made it out of BPD mostly if not fully recovered.

Relapses could be possible, but careful choice-making and daily self-reflection and self-awareness coupled with consistency in continuing therapy on a maintenance level helped to keep things balanced.

We eventually split up, but it wasn't the BPD that did it and in the end, it was truly amicable and to this date, I believe very strongly and feel very strongly that because of everything we had been through together, we will always share a unique bond between us.

We've both moved on in our lives as a matter of course and as a matter of being the captains of our own ships, but I know that if we ever crossed paths again, we will smile, wave, and in our eyes will be THAT look.

Because we get it.  We went through it.  We worked on ourselves separately and together.  We fought our battles separately and together.  For better, for worse.  And it worked.

Why did it 'work'?

A couple of things that I think helped to make it all 'work'.

- They were serious about helping themselves and about doing therapy and following their therapist's and psychiatrist's orders and suggestions.

- I - as their friend and partner - was doing therapy, too.  For myself (though granted, for a wholly different reason at the time) and then later, also to help me stay strong and focused and realistic so I could help support them.

- Even at the beginning they were able to share what they were feeling and thinking and throughout the course of the relationship, they continued to communicate and were willing to communicate as honestly as they were able.

- I was strong enough to reinforce boundaries when needed.

- They reached the point of self-awareness where they were able to rationalize and reason instead of just reacting... .  at least some of the time.  Later on, it was most of the time.

- A day at a time, this is enough.

- Sometimes, an hour at a time.

- Knowing and accepting that 'results' may not be linear.

- Knowing and accepting that there were and would be challenges.

- Communicating boundaries honestly and openly in the early stages of our friendship.
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Jeansok
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« Reply #68 on: May 24, 2013, 11:18:05 AM »

I hope to be able to say the same one day. I too, feel I have a co-dependency tendency and am just discovering I believe my husband has BPD... .
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Scarlet Phoenix
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« Reply #69 on: July 25, 2013, 09:21:15 AM »

Time for a new update:

I'm still in the relationship. And I'm at peace.

I don't feel like it's work, I don't feel frustrated (well, no more than in a normal relationship  ), I feel close to my boyfriend. Radical acceptance, validation, boundaries, SET - it has all sunk in and I'm forever changed.

He is continuing his therapy.

We're happy 
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~~ The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again ... and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly ~~ Become who you are ~~
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« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2013, 10:50:49 AM »

I am so glad to hear happy stories, and glad people come back to tell them.

I am still searching for one involving parents of young children.  I feel like it's too risky to get back together with my hub, due to his rages.  But he has committed to therapy.  It's not totally working, but if I thought it could, maybe there would be a change for our family.  I just think I don't want to expose my kids to a lot of the things that have happened.

So, anyone who's a parent and got a success story, please post!
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Steph
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« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2013, 03:27:04 PM »

A brief update

  BPD has not visited our home for years, following 3+ years of DBT and a separation and reconcilliation.

My spouse has gone thru some tremendous stressors with life, and no... . BPD doesnt ever show up. Ever.

  My spouse has walked alongside of a guy from day one in the guys DBT treatment. This guy is now done, 3 years later, and is healthy and strong, as well.

  For us, DBT was the answer and was a life changer in so very many ways!


Steph
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Ring of fire
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« Reply #72 on: August 03, 2013, 12:59:43 AM »

WOW. Now that is what I like to hear. I am so sick of hearing hopeless stories... Thank you so mucg for sharing!
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megocean
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« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2013, 01:22:29 AM »

Am I really here, in the success stories? Yes, it seems I am!

When I first found this site several years ago, I was searching for help with the pain that my relationship with my diagnosed but untreated bf was causing me. And, at that time, I was certainly making things worse: JADE-ing endlessly, saying things that dysregulated him because I felt I should be able to say whatever I wanted and he should be able to deal with it, thinking that his love should solve my problems and mine should solve his. After much therapy myself, and using the tools I learned here, I can truly say I am in a happy, loving relationship. Am I still on the co-dependent side? Yes, I am working on it, but I probably will always have that bent, to some extent. Does he have BPD? Yes, but we have built a hard won trust and I support him. And actually, he now gives me so much too. Not just his brilliance and adorable-ness, things I loved and wanted from the first---but real support in hard times.
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Foreverhopefull
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« Reply #74 on: September 23, 2013, 07:17:55 AM »

What a night!

Friday was a big day for dBPDh, he had medical appointments and we had a date night planned. I was trying to keep in mind that following the appointment, he might cancel the date.

To my surprise, he didn't and we spent the night laughing, holding hands and everything else a "normal" couple does. It felt amazing, refreshing and so much more.

Not only was this our second date night in 5+ years, but he's also planning on having other date nights and he even wants to do an activity with our niece. He's planning all sort of things he wants to do, so of course I'm encouraging him. I will go to any sport game ever if it means we get to be in a public place having fun together.

I missed that so much.
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allibaba
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« Reply #75 on: October 20, 2013, 12:51:17 PM »

I just realized that I do in fact have my own BPD success story!

My relationship with my uBPDh is still a work in progress and I hope to some day be able to post about that relationship here as well... .but for today I can post about my relationship with MY MOM who is also uBPD.  

Her mom (my grandmother) died in a private plane crash when my mom was 14 yrs old.  At the time, her parents were separated and she lived with her mom.  Her mom had gone on a trip for the weekend and my mom waited and waited and waited for her to come back on Sunday.  She never showed and it turns out that the pilot had flown the plane into a mountain in bad weather (the ultimate abandonment story).

Her father didn't want to deal with her so he immediately enrolled her in boarding school in Europe (she was in Southern California at the time).  He sent her away and she did not see her father or brother or sister for more than 5 yrs.  She literally had no phone calls or contact (a second abandonment).  This I believe was the source of her BPD.  My dad (her husband) drank heavily and though he is a good man (other than the drinking)... .he abandoned her for alcohol after 30 yrs of marriage (to be honest he was drinking as an escape instead of dealing with some of her twisted behavior).

I learned about BPD from a therapist in 2007.  I started work with boundaries without the benefit of this site in 2008.  My relationship has gone from a totally traumatic, verbally and emotionally abusive relationship (where she would regularly call and scream about how much she hated me in the middle of the night and I would do everything to MAKE HER HAPPY including being totally dishonest to her) to a pretty normal mother - daughter relationship where I can share what is really going on in my life and be honest.  With the addition of tools on this site it has only gotten better.  Boundaries, validation, and some of the communication tools have been key.  Learning to become less enmeshed was also critical.  

She never did any formal therapy but has been using a lot of tools like MINDFULNESS to avoid conflict in her life.  Ironically she also calls me for advise on how to deal with other interpersonal relationships.  While not fully recovered (I do see mild signs of BPD when she is under stress)... .I would consider her and my relationship with her as a success story.

Thanks for letting me share.

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« Reply #76 on: February 25, 2014, 11:28:07 AM »

My SO was diagnosed Oct 31 2012.  She was told that she has been living with this for the majority of her life.  We have now been together for almost 20 years. I've always known that there was something going on but never directly talked about it.  We went to marriage and individual counselling which led to nothing. 

When she was diagnosed, she was put on antidepressants as well as antianxiety meds.  I was also put on antidepressants just because I did not know how to handle the situation.  We both ended up seeing different pychologists.  She was enrolled and completed the STEPPS program and is now awaiting the STAIRWAYS program. 

These have helped us tremendously.  Life at home is a lot different.  These programs do not cure but they do give tools to help deal with situations. 

I was in a car accident and following a CAT scan, was diagnosed with Calcification on the brain, hypocalcemia, hypoparathyroidism, and possibly diabetes.  This hit her hard but she used her tools and we are getting through it together. No one should be alone.

If anyone reads this, do not give up on the people that need help.  Good thoughts and stay strong.




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« Reply #77 on: May 13, 2014, 09:39:25 AM »

My dBPDh hasn't spoken or seen his sister and brothers in the last 8+ years. It's been his choice, not mine. I have kept in contact with his family but respecting his boundaries and theirs as well. It's been my SIL's hope that she gets to see and hug her brother. He wasn't ready.

We all live in the same small city. However, we never meet anywhere... . it's weird.

Let's just say that it wasn't faith that brought them together on Sunday (of all days), neither of them were supposed to be at the restaurant Sunday morning (my dBPDh wasn't feeling up to going out in public but did it for my mother and it appears my SIL didn't want to go out either but her kids surprised her with breakfast at the same restaurant.)

My nephew was the first one to see us, my H saw his sister and went to say hi, then would make jokes as he walked by her table. I was so proud of him, my face was hurting from smiling, but I was on guard anyway.(old habits die hard) I was expecting being told it was an ambush on my part or something.

As we left, he did something I never expected, he gave her the chance to hug him. She did and held on for a very long time. He didn't push her off or ran away after wards, he stayed and talked.


Last night he told me he tried calling her last week, but never got an answer. He also gave me permission to tell her she could call him as long as she respects that he might not feel like talking on the specific day she calls, that it's not personal, it's how he's feeling at that moment.

I've never seen him be happy about anything with his family. He hasn't had any adverse reaction (like getting angry, upset or being sad), I can actually see a weight off his shoulder.
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Aussie JJ
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« Reply #78 on: June 29, 2014, 12:21:31 AM »

This isnt my story however it is one that I am proud of playing a part in.  

A friend at work whom I have known for 6 years.  Her partner was diagnosed 3 months ago with BPD.  I havent shared this forum with her, it is sort of mine, I know that is selfish but I will give it to her in time.  We talk alot and both have always let our frustrations out on each other.  When I broke down about Febuary and I was leaning on someone for support she assosiated her partner with all of the BPD symptoms.  That is where this story started... .

They went to counselling together, her partner started indivdual counseling.  Her partner was diagnosed with BPD.  I gave her some of the BPD books and print outs from here along with the high conflict couple and other books I have.  Well, they started working through it together about 2 months ago.  Her partner has a level of self awareness that is very high and she actually pursued the psycologist and got herself diagnosed, had a bit of a breakdown when that happened however they are working through and constantly read the books together on communication amongst other things and the level of fighting and the rages has gone way down.  

When I told her about SET, the first time she used SET to respond her partner broke down in tears as she felt understood.  

One thing they have instigated was whenever they were felling sad (*note sad instead of dysregulated... . )  They would sit down and have a cup of tea/coffee together.  Then talk it out and write down what was making them sad.  For my work collegue she is like a new person, she sleeps at night, sets regular text times and many other things that help her partner control everything when she is at work.  

Last week her partner started an outpatient DBT program.  2 days a week and one Saturday a week in group and 2 individual sessions.  

By all accounts it is hard, within the first week she came home crying twice but she is working through it and accepted she has a problem.  It is something that I had no power over however it has been amazing seeing the transformation in their relationship.  She still doesnt know that I know she has BPD however I have never seen the signs in the 4 years? I have known her only been told some of the stories that have occured when they are alone.  

Ill update at some time in the future however I think it is only fair to share someone else story with everyone.  It is in the early stages however it is by all accounts progressing along nicely.  
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ennie
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« Reply #79 on: July 03, 2014, 02:37:22 PM »

Another part of our success story... .my husband separated from his BPD wife over almost 9 years ago, and I have been with him 7 years.  He split up in large part because he was afraid of the impact the violence in the family had on the kids.  He has had 50/50 custody since, often against the advice of friends and therapists who advised him to try for full custody.  But he has been committed to having his BPD ex in the lives of his kids.  She has not been physically abusive with them. 

My biggest concerns initially were regarding the long term impacts of the kids' enmeshment with mom. 

At this time, my stepdaughters are 10 and 14.  Both have had an increasingly strong relationship with dad since the breakup.  While BPD mom still threatens violence at times to dad and I, we have both received lots of help from counselors and other support to be able to develop our own senses of peace and not be so bowled over by her most extreme moments.  We also both are able to enjoy and be open to her during the good times, without letting that result in compromise where it is important to DH and the kids and myself.  Any compromise or gift we make, we really try to have no expectations of reciprocity.  But we are both open to BPD mom being loving when she can, which is occasional but appreciated (for example, I had a burst appendix and she visited the hospital with the kids and called every day to check in on me). 

What is happening for the kids is amazing.  For SD14, she has always felt that to fully express how much she loves DH and I is to betray mom's loyalty. But these days, she says surprising stuff.  She has asked to have a job at her dad's business, and got her mom to agree to this during mom's custody time.  She also told me recently, "My mommy is my best friend, and you are my best friend... .I am just lucky that way!"

It has been a long and hard road, this past 7 years.  It has been important to me to address issues that are uncomfortable, and to have clear boundaries as to respectful behavior, while also being willing to have the kids express when they feel like I am acting a way that is hurtful to them.  DH has dealt with intense alienation, going through periods where every transition was met with SD14 yelling that she only wanted to live with mom, threatening to run away, and both he and I needed to make clear that right now, both girls were going to live with both parents, and that was the agreement and court order, period, but that we understand how painful it is to want something really bad that you can't have.  And how hard it is to be a kid and not have a choice about big things in your life. 

My personal goal with the kids was to be honest about my feelings and able to hear theirs, without making anyone wrong but also without avoiding the hardest things.  Mt hope was that when it came time to separate from mom, enmeshed SD14 could do it without hating her, could see more of the truth of her mom without making her bad, and be able to feel anger without hatred. 

That has not all happened yet, but it seems like a miracle to me that SD14 is really stepping out of her mom's shadow and belief systems,  and is un-enmeshing!  BPD mom yelled at me in front of SD14 recently for helping her on a project, saying I "had no right to help" as SHE is the mom, and SHE is the one who should be helping her child (!).  SD14 would normally spend the next week asking, "Why did you make mommy mad?" or "You are not my mom, and should not help me! My mom is right to be mad!"

But this time, when we got home, SD14 took me down to the project, and said great things about our work.  Then she turned to me, kissed me on the cheek, and said, "Thank you." 

She still loves her mommy and has a totally made up story about how her life with her mom has always been perfect.  With me, she is more real... .when she said that I was her best friend, too, I said, "Um, yes, but sometimes I am also your worst friend!" and she said, "Yes, sometimes you are my frenemy!"  and we both laughed.  I hope and pray that one day she can let in the hard parts of her mommy's story, but with her dad and me, she is really getting great practice loving us with all our warts!  And knowing that we love her completely and totally, while still feeling angry and sad and hurt at times over the years. 

To me, this is a huge success.  I think I'd sum up the success like this:  We have kids who know who they are and express it with their whole hearts.  They are loving people.  They are not like their mom, but they dod not hate their mom.  Mom sees that they love us, and though this is painful for her, as she sees sharing their love as betrayal of her, she still allows it to occur.   I think the biggest success is that SD10 and 14, should they chose to become mothers, will be able to pass the best of their mom's qualities on to their kids, without having to pass on the worst to the next generation.

Success is not always keeping a marriage intact... .it can be how you separate, and how you allow that BPD person to be who they are, without compromising the well being of your self and others.  Success can be allowing there to be a world in which a BPD person can act like a BPD person without jeopardizing those around them. 
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« Reply #80 on: July 03, 2014, 03:14:36 PM »

My SS18 called me mom this week, and told someone he is here visiting his parents. 

He lives two states away with extended family (so he could finish high school locally when my DH got emergency custody last fall).  He's down visiting this week, and we were discussing his desire to go into the military.  He's thought it all through, but of course I'm worried about him being in a war zone, and told him if I didn't hear from him in a timely fashion I may end up trying to find him!  He said "oh yeah, I can see telling my commander officer that I have to go home because my mom is here". Then yesterday he was getting his hair cut, and told the girl he's here visiting his parents.

All this from a kid who hadn't seen DH for at least 5 years up until last year at this time, and had never met me until last August.  He went from a kid trying to escape his uBPD mom to a kid with plans, and parents that care about him.  It feels awesome!

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« Reply #81 on: July 03, 2014, 03:37:13 PM »

That is a great story!  Thanks for sharing it and congratulations
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« Reply #82 on: July 11, 2014, 09:50:21 AM »

Ok. I feel it's time for a success story on my side.

I met my dBPDbf about a year ago. He mentioned quite early he was diagnosed with BPD a few months before. He is comorbid ADHD so there was a lot going on at the same time. He broke up with his previous girlfriend a few months before (around the time he found out he had BPD).

When we first started dating, he mentioned: "My T says I am in a cycle of getting into relationships, building trust, and then something happens, and we break up." I asked: ":)o you know what that something is?" No, he didn't.

In march we had our lowest low. He dysregulated after some severe criticism from my side. In a normal relationship this would have been a normal fight. This time it resulted in 3 days of silent treatment, texts that he never wanted to see me again, more silent treatment, and getting back together.

He mentioned: "You didn't get mad. My ex always got mad. Why don't you?"

Because by that time I had read enough about BPD to know what cycle we were in and how not to behave (anymore).

Things haven't been easy, but the progress is really there. We're overcoming a second low - a lot less low than the first one. No silent treatment, no exessive drinking, he's on ADHD medicin which makes him more calm. This time when we got into a fight, the next day he was able to calmly discuss what happened. He acknowledges that it's hard, and difficult. He talks to me about it. I was able to validate his good behaviour as well - which softened the way we talked to each other as he felt validated in the efforts he is putting in. Today, he told me he has the faith that we just need to stay calm and keep going for a while, that it's hard, but that it will get better. I love how he is willing to communicate, willing to work on our shared issues and how this low was turned around a lot quicker than the previous one. He's becoming aware of the part he is playing in the drama in his life, and although not always capable of acting upon that knowledge, and sometimes becoming depressed about it, the knowledge also helps him to make small changes. Noticing those makes me very happy  . We're defintiely not there yet... but on our way.
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« Reply #83 on: September 27, 2014, 02:31:19 PM »

How do you eat an elephant? 

Living with a pBPD is like having a constant huge elephant in the room all the time.  You can get stomped on or knocked over at any time.  Battling BPD is like eating the elephant away from your relationship.  Sounds disgusting?  It is.  But there's only one way to do it -

One bite at a time!


This is simply one hefty meal of success in our pledge to beat this BPD elephant, as a couple.

One of the worst things about us, was when my BPDh would get in his bad place. When he's there, he adopts this eff-you attitude that applies to everyone and everything around him.  He cares about nothing, nothing is considered but he, himself, and him!  It is a very dangerous place to be, for everyone involved. 

In the past nine months, since he started T and group sessions, he has avoided this eff-you place very well.  In fact, if I had to count, I would have to quote hours he has spent in this bad place, not days, not weeks - hours.  That's progress like I never really thought we would see so soon.  I think he battles going into this bad place a lot that I don't know about, but it hasn't erupted into anything earth shattering since Christmas!

I'm so proud of him for making such great progress and sticking with it.  I see him doing things different, saying things different, and just overall thinking before he opens his mouth more often.  The old habits come back now and again.  Most of the time we can just deal with it, or laugh about it, or whatever.

He has been very grateful to me.  Telling me often that he is blessed that I have stuck around this long.  He actually puts effort into meeting my needs and wants some of the time now instead of never.  He still has a hard time with a lot of stuff, and I see him struggle to accept the consequences of his actions, but still!  The progress makes things so much easier to face.

I've learned a lot too; when to give him space, when to adore him, acceptance.   I've changed how I react, what I say, etc.  I've put some of my own tools back into practice that were dropped somewhere during those terrible years of constant turmoil, hate and eff-you attitude.  I've invested in him, and now he's investing in himself too, and it's actually making a difference.

I don't think the suicidal thoughts have abated much... .just from things he has said in passing (because I can't handle to hear him speak about it, he doesn't share those thoughts with me much), but I pray that as he sees how much better life is this way, he will think less about running from it.  And it's so much easier to love him this way, so I hope that helps too.

BPD is certainly a big elephant to swallow, that's for sure.  Using sites like this one is like having a whole kitchen full of spoons to help, and committing to changing things with therapy and good communication is a truck full of soup ladles! 

It can be done.  I found this site a few months ago, when this very shaky place of change was becoming too much, and I saw hope in the stories here.  They helped pull me through, and I have a resource to go to when things get shaky again.  Great tool, nice sized spoons!

And now I see less elephant in the room!  That's what success looks like for me.







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« Reply #84 on: December 30, 2014, 08:55:58 AM »

Hello Success Stories:  Our son(25) is married to a dbpwf.  They have been together 7 years now and have 3 children.  As parents, we have be learning about BPD, loving our son and his wife, supporting their marriage, and our grandchildren.  As I look back over the years, my journaling is evidence of success:  The past three years out of 7, are the best. 

Our "kids" got together in 2007.  It was HELL!  Fortunately we found out about BPD early on, and put to practice the skills we needed to communicate, etc...   My journals have been upbeat for the past 3 out of the total of 7.  So, we must be doing something right.

But now I'd like help from anyone, but particular partners in a relationship that are trying to succeed.  Did your parents/in-laws play a useful part in your success?  What did they do to help you in your quest for success?  Or did they make mistakes that my husband and I can learn from?

Our son "walks on eggshells" trying to keep the peace.  Our presence (or family and friends) stirs up dil's fears of abandonment.  We think that's why, he distances himself from anyone.  Especially us. It's painful!  We work on build trust, breaking down walls etc. It's up and down.  The walls come down, then they're back up, etc.

We really focus on our BPDil.  But I especially, as the mom, am a threat to my dil.  I walk on eggshells with my son, and am hurt by his emotional/physical distancing from me.  I backed away from him, as well, to keep the peace.

BPD has made me timid, nervous, paranoid to hug my or even try to have a conversation, or laugh with him.  I backed away from him, to keep the peace.  Is there any hope for me as the mom?  How do I love him?  And not threaten her?
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« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2015, 10:44:02 PM »

I celebrated with my uBPDh the other day because we had 8 days with very little disruption (followed then by 3 days of dysregulation). I told my SO how proud I was of him and I could see the efforts he had been putting in. We feel that the time we have had off work over Christmas has helped alleviate some of the stress and as soon as we had bills to pay and work started again the dysregulation occurred. I am glad he is trying to understand what is happening to him and recognising the triggers. He has committed to a psych evaulation later this month and truly seems to want to understand what he is experiencing. I can no ask for more than that at this stage and I am proud of him   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #86 on: January 07, 2015, 08:48:30 AM »

I can no ask for more than that at this stage and I am proud of him   Smiling (click to insert in post)

Nice work... .!  Thank you for being loving and supporting of him.  Hang in there... .
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« Reply #87 on: February 15, 2015, 08:43:10 PM »

wow, i love reading all the stories here, it's truly a inspiration.
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« Reply #88 on: February 25, 2015, 10:26:35 PM »

"Free to admit I made mistakes, I’m sad or lonely. Not to sacrifice things I want because they might trigger her. Not to live in fear of episodes like the feeling of dread just before we have dinner at my Mother’s. I could handle an episode once and while but it is all the stress about everything else.

I’d like to think there are lots of 100% success stories with no hint of BPD but they aren’t posted here because the person stopped coming to this forum as their problem disappeared."

Excellent post.  All of that is so reasonable.  It's about the least a normal person should expect in life.

I think people who get these things under control don't come here anymore, but I also think it's a very hard disease to treat.  I hope some people have found true success.
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« Reply #89 on: February 27, 2015, 03:48:01 PM »

Reasonable happy... .I like this as a goal to reach for.  I'm celebrating the small successes and hope they add up someday to be big, long-term success.  Until that happens, it's time to celebrate the small stuff. 

This was a successful exchange I had recently with my BPDh:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=272271.0

Everything just accumulated into things working out well this time.   Smiling (click to insert in post)  Finally.   

Reasonably happy is a good way to describe how I felt after this exchange.  I'm going to stay focused on these from now on.

Thanks for all the great success stories here!  Fabulous stuff!  I'm encouraged everytime I read them.

C.

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