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Author Topic: 5.01 | Are we victims?  (Read 25707 times)
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« on: March 03, 2010, 03:31:43 PM »

We are the victims

Finding out that someone we care about is mentally ill is such a relief. It explains so much of the horror and confusion we have gone through. It clearly shows who’s right and who’s wrong. We now know who’s sick and who’s well. This clearly proves that we are the innocent victims in this relationship….

I would like to gently challenge that notion.

The trouble with being a victim is that this kind of thinking keeps us stuck in a dysfunctional pattern.   If we are a victim, then we can’t be blamed. It absolves us from all responsibility. It reinforces the thought patterns that we can’t do anything about the abuse. That we are helpless.   It prevents us from reaching for the tools to grow so that we too can heal ourselves. It hides the choices we avoided. It repaints the responsibility we dodged. While it may feel good to be relieved of that responsibility, it isn’t the healthy road to take.

Our dreams and fantasies are that the pwBPD in our lives will suddenly get therapy and become “cured”.  If they were “cured”, then supposedly everything would be OK. Sadly, this dream misses a major component – us.  We too, are sick. How you may ask? Because it takes two people for an argument. It takes two people for emotional blackmail to work. It takes two people if someone is being abused. It takes two for most of lifes events. We chose to stand there and listen as they screamed and yelled at us. We chose to not walk away when things became uncomfortable. We chose to plead with them during the long stretches of silent treatment.  We chose to continue living there. We chose to stay in contact. These are choices that we made. Yes, they were out of love, but love for whom? Why did we love them more than we love ourselves? Why didn’t we protect ourselves? Why didn’t we take care of ourselves? Without changes in us, things are doomed to fail.

The real hope lies in helping the non take a step back from the dysfunction. To untangle the emeshment. To allow the pwBPD to feel and maybe learn from their mistakes. To remove their unhealthy coping mechanisms – their inclination to abuse us. To provide them with the opportunity to make healthier choices.  

"We" need to take action. As the mentally healthy healthier person, the burden is on "us" to do what is right.

How do you feel about this?

Do you see yourself as the victim?

Are you ready to take charge of your life?

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Change your perceptions and you change your life.  Nothing changes without changes


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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 03:42:38 PM »

I will go first!

I can say this is exactly true, when i found out about my husband BPD i was releived at least i knew, i thought ok take meds get cured and on with life we go...

wrong! i had to learn to change alot in me, i learned the skills and tools, and boundaries but for me to inforce them use them wasn't easy, i stayed the victim for a while easier to just complain about my husband then to do something about it...

Then i started doing things changing me, i even which wasn't easy instead of threating to call 911 i just did, and then when i did this and started changing things and myself my husband just followed my steps... lucky for me.

  BEcause he is high functioning and doesn't beleive there is anything wrong with him, now this was 12 years ago and it didn't happen over night, it took years but things did get better. by changing what i could me... so before when yes i saw myself as a victim i do not no more i am strong and happy with me  and my husband actually laughs now also when he never did before... .
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 03:44:05 PM »

I used to be a victim.  I wont be victimized by others any more. 
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 05:08:29 PM »



no... i dont see myself as the victim... the fact that my partners brain gets so unmanageable for him means... i have more control in our relationship than i would w/somebody else...

im willing to do what i have to to get the needs i have met... i think thats about as in charge as anybody can be
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 06:07:28 PM »

No victim here either.  A few months ago, I would have felt different.  I would have thought - how can she do this, how could she say that, I've done so much, it isn't fair, I feel so sad because of all of this.  But I do realize now that was my own codependency coming through.  All those moments of defense... .of explaining... .of pleading; the arguments... .the animosity... .the confusion:  all of these were symptoms of my illness.  I don't know why or when it all 'started,' but I easily see my contribution to making us both ill or more ill.  And I see hers.  It took two of us to get here and it will take two of us to get out together, if we both so choose. 

There's something fairly empowering about that.  If I can say that I was ill... .and I can see myself working to get well... .and I can see the positive effects of that - then I feel fairly at ease maintaining hope that she can.  It doesn't mean she will, but I believe she can.  And there is health in hope, especially on days when hope is hard and requires an amount of work that may be more then required in other relationships. 

I know for me recognizing my contribution and impact has resulted in the most movement toward better days.  Understanding her has helped me understand my contribution and thus highlighted my own symptoms.  I'll never be perfect, I don't even want to try - but I know I can work through those symptoms and choose better ways.  In doing so, I change my part in the dance, which changes our dynamic.  There is a lot of comfort to be found in those changes after so many months of static sadness and conflict. 

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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 08:12:59 PM »

Fantastic post, UFN!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)


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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2010, 08:34:24 PM »

That's what I'm talkin' about! Being cool (click to insert in post)

No victim here. I have a part in everything in my life. Everything. My job to find out what it is and to do what needs to be done.  I learn more everyday. As a result I make better choices and enjoy life more. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2010, 08:45:09 PM »

nope don't feel like much of a victim, sometimes I feel like I am in a really bad situation, but one that I am willing to change. I think it was Mr. Stephen R Covey that helped me start to see how we look at situations makes a huge difference and accept what you can control and what you can not!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

(ps Stephen Covey is the author of 7 habits of highly effective people) so not there but the book has helped change some of my codependant thinking!
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2010, 09:21:05 PM »

My name is ifsogirl and I am recovered from being a victim!
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2010, 09:45:37 PM »

hello ifsogirl and welcome... .     feels good to say that though doesn't it
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2010, 11:12:09 PM »

"We" need to take action. As the mentally healthy healthier person, the burden is on "us" to do what is right.

How do you feel about this?

Do you see yourself as the victim?

Are you ready to take charge of your life?

Well, I 'm not comfortable with the subject so I guess this is right where I need to be. I have realized that in some ways I have felt like a victim. But I've also realized that it's a dead end street. When I feel like a victim I don't feel responsible. When I don't feel responsible I don't take action. Then I'm stuck. So even though I don't want to feel responsible for accepting quite a bit of abusive treatment, I have no power, no strength, no hope of better in my life to come if I hang on to the idea that it ain't my fault; I'm a victim. I have plenty that I have yet to stand up to the plate with and the best I can, I'm keeping one foot in front of the other, better on some than others.

To me: Victim=Stuck

And I don't like being stuck. So victim?... .   Nah!

Thanks United,      xoxox

Marc
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2010, 02:00:08 AM »

Excellent thread UFN  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Excerpt
Well, I 'm not comfortable with the subject so I guess this is right where I need to be. I have realized that in some ways I have felt like a victim. But I've also realized that it's a dead end street. When I feel like a victim I don't feel responsible. When I don't feel responsible I don't take action. Then I'm stuck. So even though I don't want to feel responsible for accepting quite a bit of abusive treatment, I have no power, no strength, no hope of better in my life to come if I hang on to the idea that it ain't my fault; I'm a victim. I have plenty that I have yet to stand up to the plate with and the best I can, I'm keeping one foot in front of the other, better on some than others.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Excerpt
The real hope lies in helping the non take a step back from the dysfunction. To untangle the emeshment. To allow the pwBPD to feel and maybe learn from their mistakes. To remove their unhealthy coping mechanisms – their inclination to abuse us. To provide them with the opportunity to make healthier choices. 

Is there an enmeshment workshop yet? This is so key to breaking through the FOG and throwing up those Beautiful Boundaries.

Excerpt
How do you feel about this?

Do you see yourself as the victim?

Are you ready to take charge of your life?

I agree... .was only a victim once... .after that it was a foolish choice to  try and make things better... .and blah blah blah 

CHARGE... .oh.... and unleash the hell hounds on my hubby. He's been doing much more thinking and far less drinking these last days... .it's a good thing. Short lived to be sure as it always is... .but for now... .it's nice.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 02:22:45 AM »

great post !

thankyou

found this website after calling the police on my husband for the first time on sunday

it was like i light going on i just knew that it was me who had to changge

stop being the victim, always blaming him, feeling sorry for myself, just existing day to day confused and lost

i feel better this week than i have done in ages
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2010, 11:40:10 AM »

I will admit to feeling like a victim.  Or maybe a martyr.  After all, my husband is the one who screams and curses and threatens and throws things.  I am not perfect, but I'm sure not wild and wooly like him!

Of course, since finding out that he is mentally ill, I have been learning that I was hoping that my duck would bark and expecting God to make him bark.  After all, God doesn't make junk and hates divorce (with exceptions) and I took vows in front of God and my family/friends.  So, much like my poor mother-in-law who has been mentally and verbally and emotionally abused for 45 years by her uBPD husband, I figured that I made my bed and need to lie in it.

Hallelujah for bpdfamily.com!  It is a fact that my husband is ill.  He didn't choose to be.  I can't fix him.  I can only be the best JDoe that I can be, with God's help.  What a relief to know that the rage/silent crap has nothing to do with me, so I do not have to feel that DH is victimizing me.  I have allowed him to behave in an abusive fashion.  That is my responsibility.  Nothing else.

I am learning here, slowly and painfully, that when I preserve my self by having healthy boundaries, it can actually improve this stormy relationship and I can help DH instead of cowering and crying and asking, "Why me?"

Just typing as these things come to mind and feeling very thankful for my fellow travelers and those who have gone before and stand ahead lighting the way to a healthier future.

 to all,

JDoe
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2010, 04:09:41 PM »

I used to be somewhat the victim, more a martyr, like someone else said.  I can quickly get into survival mode without realizing it.  I just endure without realizing I'm enduring and have a choice.  I also think I was actually more a victim of myself than of my BPDh.  I believed what he said about me and felt horrible that I couldn't make things better and that I "chose" this in the first place. I am learning that I didn't choose my h's illness, I chose him cuz he is important to me.  I have wished that I would've known at the beginning of our relationship that he would become this limited and I'd have to do all the parenting and all the household management, then I could go into it with eyes open and make a choice.  Feeling like I never had a choice, but instead got trapped by h's mental illness kept me feeling helpless. No one has a crystal ball and can anticipate mental illness that gets worse over time.  Now I know I have choices every single day.  And those choices are about me!  The freedom in this is amazing!
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2010, 04:35:10 PM »

I am in a very similiar palce Ikwit. It is amazing when we realize the choice we have huh!
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2010, 01:55:04 PM »

My relationship dynamic with the pwBPD in my life is a little different. She is the former wife of my husband and the mother of my stepdaughters. So I suppose that it's a lot different for me and perhaps my input is irrelevant but... .

I've felt like a victim before.

Blamed the pwBPD in my life as much as she blamed me.  There was even a point where I probably blamed her for all things wrong in my life. Thought if she could be "fixed" then I could live happily ever after. If she could just be more reasonable, if my husband could "fix" the relationship he has with her, then we could all live in perfect harmony.

But then I started realizing... .why am I so dependent on everyone around me to be "fixed"? 

For me, I was stuck in a "poor me" state of mind because of... .me.  It took realizing that she wasn't doing anything "to" or even because of me.  She is just being her, trying to make herself feel better... .which I used to think the only way she could do this was to make the rest of us feel bad. That is until I could change my outlook and perception to see that I don't have to feel bad... .and I believe in my heart that she doesn't either, and that it isn't her intent to do so.  I felt bad about myself not because she wanted me to but because I allowed myself to. The only reason her words ever hurt me... .is because I believed that I deserved them. 

I don't want to be a victim of these circumstances, but a survivor of them. I want to teach my stepchildren the same. We all get dealt a hand in life, sometimes it's not the best hand, but we can choose to succumb or we can overcome. And like Kenny Rogers sings in the Gambler "Every hand's a winner, and every hand's a loser... .It's knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep."  I choose to keep the lessons she has taught me and let go of the pain. Smiling (click to insert in post) 

 DreamGirl
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2010, 02:13:35 PM »

I will stand here and tell you that I am no victim! And then I'll stand here and tell you that sometimes I still don't see that clearly and yes... .I have been a victim and sometimes I do feel like a victim.

I am a residential stepmother to 3 children whose non-custodial bio mother has uBPD.  There are days when it is just that - everything just seems to happen to me.  Everything falls into my lap to get solved, etc... .

And then there are some days when I can look at stuff and say - yup, it is what it is. And I can sit here and throw myself a pity party or I can do something about it.  Most days I choose this.

But I'm not going to lie. Some days - ya... .I want to be the victim.  Cuz some days I just don't feel it in me to give. And it's easier to just say "woe is me" and go and hide.

I realized a long time ago that if I wanted something for myself, there is only one person who can give it to me - me.  So I don't like to be the victim and I realize that I have a choice. But some days just being the victim wins out over not wanting to be.

And so I am working on it every day.  Being cool (click to insert in post)

Thanks for posting this, UFN!
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2010, 12:32:29 PM »

Hi - im lurking here from the parents board as I need to make a plan to co-parent with my BPDD at some point. My dh and i have custody of our gd4 and currently have a restraining order to keep DD away from our home. Our attempts to co-parent over the past 4 years have not been real successful - well maybe for very short spurts. No - not successful so starting from scratch this time around.

This is a great topic, and something I ponder and work on everyday. IMO everyone is a victim at some level some of the time in some relationship as we are imperfect humans and it is a lot easier in the moment to blame someone else for my pain than take responsibility for it. But I have learned so much here and with other support I have garnered in my life to make my awareness of when I am allowing myself to get sucked into the victim triangle, it is quicker and eaiser to extricate myself.  Learning to let go of trying to "make" someone else take their share of the responsibility in a particular situation is a very powerful skill, and one that I must practice daily.

I appreciate the honesty of many of your replies that this is all part of the process of finding peace and joy in our daily lives. Thanks.
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« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2010, 07:36:29 PM »

YES!  I have been really exploring this arena lately.  I just have an ex-wife-soon-to-be-inlaw who is BPD (my partner's ex wife), and I have been experiencing this as a victim.  I think some of it sort of crept up on me.  I have never before had anyone threaten to kill me, never really had a significant conflict that could not be resolved by communication and caring.  I have been very effective and working through things with people in my life, and so this really surprised me in a way that was hard to understand, so at first I was grappling with the surprise factor, which is somewhat external by nature--"Whoa, what is this that is happening to me?  Is it me, my approach, or something that I cannot influence?" 

Another aspect of this that makes it easy to be in a victimized place is the fact that the BPD person in my life is so often waging a distortion campaign against me and my mate, so that when we connect with people like teachers and mutual friends, they have a detailed story about what I am doing that is completely opposite what is true for me, so I spend time "setting them straight" that I would not spend focused on what BPD is doing if she was not so verbally influencing my relationships with people by making up really outrageous stories.  I have tried various ways of dealing with this facet of having step-kids mothered by a BPD person, ranging from not talking to people about her or the situation, to trying to set the stage so that people do NOT already believe her when they first meet my partner and I, to just reacting to her stories when they come up. 

What has happened is that my communication style has changed so that I am often talking about what has "been done to me" rather than about how I feel, what I am doing in my life, etc.  Part of it is just how I respond to mile trauma of being threatened and verbally attacked on a regular basis (sometimes just through the kids... ."Mommy says you have disgusting feet," "Mommy says you are mean", "Mommy says you are going to try to steal us from her and you want to be our mom," etc.).  So I am talking to friends about what is happening, then how I want to deal with it... .

I also feel as a step-parent, people's first reaction is almost always that friction between mom and me or between mom and dad is "normal," and that most likely I am at fault by being a "step-parent," regardless of how my involvement in my mate's or his kids' lives came about or how long it has been since they split up.  There is just a lot of sympathy for single moms (of course they deserve it), and not a lot for step-moms (of course we do, too). 

One of the disorder's hallmarks is the ability to shift facts and to read and manipulate the audience very well, so that the story my BPD ex wife in law tells is very believable and sympathetic, but not true.  So I feel like the fact that I am compassionate to her TRUE story gets overlooked by others, as it seems that by not agreeing with her that I am not compassionate to her situation.  I am often in the situation of either supporting (tacitly or otherwise) her version of the truth in which I am an aggressor in ways I would never be or support anyone in being, or disagreeing and sounding like I am just being oppositional. 

The upshot is that I have fallen into bad habits, which I am not sure just how to change or how I want to change.  First, I have been working on being more clear about how I want to be with my step-kids, my partner, and myself.  Second, I am asking my partner to create better boundaries with his ex so that I do not have to deal with as much second-hand info about her doing difficult things that I do not have a direct route to communicate about. 

I am also just getting clearer about what are the obstacles for me in myself that make it hard to deal with this situation without obsessing about what BPD is doing or saying "through the kids."  Partly, I feel powerless to influence her in a way that is not usual for me.  Mostly, I have been able to speak what I feel to others, even mentally ill people, and to hear them, and come to a conclusion of challenges that feels good to me.  With my partner's ex, no communication results in a resolution, as wherever we go in a conversation, whatever we come to, she does not remember it five minutes later--or at least, it does not change what she thinks or feels for more than the moment.  In the moment, she says she loves me and am glad I am her kids' step-mom, but the next day, the opposite is true.  If I tell her ways her words hurt my feelings, she uses as an opportunity to express anger and rage and victimized conversation, such that I have not opportunity to say more than one sentence.

So what there is for me to look at is why is it so debilitating to not be received by someone?  If she could hear me, even if she did not agree, I could bear this more readily.  But to have someone striking out, mostly figuratively but sometimes literally, and not be able to influence her at all, not be able to broach her wall of victimhood, is terribly frustrating to me, especially when I hear the kids echoing her story.  I am just in a role where her mind seems to always snap back to the story that I am stealing her life, regardless of what I am doing, and out of that story, she feels fine telling the kids that it is my fault she and daddy are not together, it is my fault that the kids do not live full time with mommy, it is my fault that she lives here, not where she wants to live, it is my fault that her life sucks. 

I have such a desire to fix these kinds of issues with people.  I remember going to see an acquaintance, a convicted criminal, in jail because I heard that he thought I ratted him out, and left with him apologizing for talking bad about me, helping him get a public defender, and him treating me with utter respect for the next ten years.  He was very emotionally and mentally challenged, physically abusive, etc., but I was able to communicate through these barriers.  I volunteer in a homeless shelter.  The first two weeks I did this, I spoke with a schizophrenic man who had spoken with no one in the shelter for years, because I sat down with him and was not intimidated by his growls, just asked, "What does that mean?" in a loving way, so he told me.  I just love to connect with difficult people, and have total faith in the power of loving people for who they are. 

With the BPD in my life, I always go back to trying that, and in person, it yields loving interactions.  But when she is speaking to the kids or others, or on the phone to me, it is all threats and rage and mean stuff, and I get worn down.  I am working on letting go of needing to connect, needing to have my loving way noticed.  But it is challenging to let go and accept that some people are just not going to like me, or will love me and hate me, but not accept me.  And some of them are intimate with the people in my life, and that is just the way it is.  I am not sure why this is so hard. 

So that is the core issue for me.  Also, just feeling like I have no control over basic things in my life, like where we live, how often we have the kids, when vacations are, where school is, etc.  Trying to learn to accept what is.  I feel like acting like a victim is a way of trying to manipulate others into helping me.  Or trying to not be judged.  Rather than just loving my life and letting my partner's ex live hers... .whatever way she wants, including saying mean things and being angry.
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« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2010, 12:57:19 PM »

With the BPD in my life, I always go back to trying that, and in person, it yields loving interactions.  But when she is speaking to the kids or others, or on the phone to me, it is all threats and rage and mean stuff, and I get worn down.  I am working on letting go of needing to connect, needing to have my loving way noticed.  But it is challenging to let go and accept that some people are just not going to like me, or will love me and hate me, but not accept me.  And some of them are intimate with the people in my life, and that is just the way it is.  I am not sure why this is so hard. 

So that is the core issue for me.  Also, just feeling like I have no control over basic things in my life, like where we live, how often we have the kids, when vacations are, where school is, etc.  Trying to learn to accept what is.  I feel like acting like a victim is a way of trying to manipulate others into helping me.  Or trying to not be judged.  Rather than just loving my life and letting my partner's ex live hers... .whatever way she wants, including saying mean things and being angry.

Ennie, you seem to have such a deep understanding of where you are and what you need. The concept that keeps popping in my mind as I read you post is "radical acceptance". Have you explored this idea yet?
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« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2010, 11:32:19 AM »

Ennie, you seem to have such a deep understanding of where you are and what you need. The concept that keeps popping in my mind as I read you post is "radical acceptance". Have you explored this idea yet?

Yes, I would say that is my core approach.  That philosophy has been part of my upbringing and path for much longer than has the BPD in my life.  Though that is what I strive for, I am just not always able to be in that place.  So I need to accept that part of it, too.  This has just been the biggest challenge in my life to my acceptance.  It is my birthday today, and I had a family birthday dinner with many of my relatives.  I heard many people talking about how one of my strong qualities is my ability to accept anyone, and offer them love, even my partner's ex or someone very challenging.  It appears to others that I am doing that with her, but it is just that from my perspective, I am doing it less (or at greater personal cost) than I have ever done with anyone in my life.  And I am doing it more than with anyone in my life, too, as I have told her I love her and accept who she is when she is telling me she WILL kill me, mark her words. 

So it is just a real challenge for me.  For my partner, he feels that he has left her behind.  She is hard for him at times, but so much less difficult than when they were together, that he mostly feels relief and joy when he thinks of her.  Sadness for her and the kids, but lots of happiness with rare anger.  For me, by loving this man and his two lovely kids, by them loving me, I have brought this onslaught of anger and threats into my life.  That is hard for me to be open to, but I am also committed to truly loving and being open to her, not because I should or I have to, but because this seems important work for my own self.  It is like I have practiced all my life for this, but it does not make it easier.  Just possible.  I do not want to spend lots of time with her, or be her good friend, but I want to have a place in me that always sees her goodness and beauty, that makes space for her to flower in her own way, not expecting her to change, but allowing a place for her beauty in the world.  To let her be perfect as she is, including her pain and intense behavior and rage and her loving qualities, her attachment to her kids, her neediness.  Not to get tangled in it or be responsible for it, but not to need to squash her out of my mind because she is challenging for me.  Of course, accepting myself is the hardest part of this.  For me, it is in the intersection of learning to be a parent while dealing with her anger that is the challenge.  I do not want to be angry at the kids for things they say about her, but I am.  So I judge myself, feeling I have failed them.  Part of the acceptance for me is learning to accept the whole of my and what I bring to the kids, that it includes sometimes anger at their mom, anger at them.  That I can work on how I express that and how I deal with their anger, but that I cannot just eradicate parts of my being, or just hate them and expect anything to be different.  My job is to be me, including all the painful responses to kids speaking their mother's pain in ways that get past my defenses.  That is what makes this such good work, in part, is the fact that it bypasses my defenses so I need to deal with this stuff, my feelings at being the subject of others' rage and blame.  I am so good at not getting this from people, that I have very little experience or understanding of my own reactions.  So I am learning.

Sometimes I feel like having been brought up in an environment that taught some form of radical acceptance makes it harder to learn where I have not learned this... .like the ideas are not surprising, and I have already been open to this where I can, so the resistance to really being open is built up in me.  Like a resistance to medication, or something. 

Thanks for your words.
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MxMan
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2010, 10:34:07 PM »

thanks for this thread. great topic. never saw myself as victim, but certainly took some time to accept my own responsibility for the situation I put and kept myself in. While I cannot and do not want to control others, I can control my own actions and reactions to their behavior.

while my BPDex may have treated me poorly, I allowed myself to be treated poorly. All along I've believed I had equal footing in creating my own pain within this relationship. However, I've only begun to accept that I am the sole keeper of my own emotional health and happiness.
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MakeItHappen
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« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2013, 04:44:11 PM »

i haven't quite felt like a victim.

i did feel an enormous amount of relief after i did all the research i did about the BPD.

it didn't quite make me feel any better, just confirmed.

my friend just said, "you can't blame them now."

disagree! the person still needs to be held accountable. perhaps, a different kind of accountable. maybe one with a little more compassion. in the end, i am still hurting. still upset and still upset at myself that i got hooked in.

it's been the longest amount of time now that i've had contact with my ex(BPD). it's a strange feeling. as much as i want to hear, i am relieved that i don't. back and forth with the thoughts.

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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 06:43:01 PM »



In my recent relationship with my uBPDxgf, I bypassed victimhood and went straight to martyrdom.   I'm grateful that I came to perceive how toxic this was.

Quote from: Carnes, Patrick J., The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships, pages 142-143
[Survivors] of any form of abuse have [the] essential task [of transforming suffering into meaning].  Out of the indescribable pain comes clarity of belief and depth of purpose.  They become people of substance, with no more tolerance for living in the lie.  They know evil for what it is and arm themselves with rituals that keep the meaning close to their hearts.  They have a high regard for that which connects, and reject all that divides or hides.  Inescapable pain creates enduring honesty and accountability.  To take the position that "I am the wy I am because of how my family was or because of how they abused me" is to miss the point.  You are a participant.  As with any addiction, you are powerless, but you have a responsibility to do something about it now.  You are responsible for your behavior.

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« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2013, 07:27:20 PM »

I have to say I never felt like a victim until the last break, because I bought everything hook, line, and sinker for years! I believed I was different and special... .  that I was the one person she truly held in high regard and would never betray.  

I also think being raised by someone with BPD taught me a lot of adaptive (if not necessarily healthy) behaviors designed specifically to tolerate pwBPD, and shrug their behavior off without feeling the hurt of it. I certainly felt berated, attacked, disliked, drained dry, and like there was an emotional leech trying to suck the life out of me much of the time, but it didn't translate into a victimized feeling for me. I chose to be there, after all.
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« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2013, 07:29:34 PM »

UFN... .  I love this thread!

I think it's important to be the victim initially because in many ways we were victims of abuse in one form or another.  Being a victim serves an important purpose.

Those of us on this board are BPD victim advocates because we know how it feels.  Being a victim allows us to be validated and comforted with gentle kindness.  However, it is up to each one of us to eventually throw our victim status into the wind and not let it define us as a person.

I was a victim of emotional abuse.  I refuse to let this abuse define who I am as a person.  I'm thankful for the loving kindness I found on this site which allowed me to move beyond what was done to me and define myself because of who I am.

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« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2013, 07:45:37 PM »

Quote from: UFN
How do you feel about this?

Do you see yourself as the victim?

Are you ready to take charge of your life?

If you are struggling with your role or how to move from a survivor to thriver these questions can help.

The last question is especially important.
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« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2013, 07:55:52 PM »

Well I agree with the spirit of what you say.  But the "choose" part I think it's a little to black and white.  A lot of our choices are not conscience; that goes for the person with BPD also.  What we have to determine is if we are capable of looking at our own wounds, whether we have the courage to change a system of beliefs that were developed to help us survive but yet do not serve us anymore.  It's not our fault.  It's not their fault necessarily either.  It's the most painful lesson I am learning in life having married my pwBPD.  I am not healing as quickly as I like; but I will heal.  We also are not all our wounds either.  We have very positive traits, which is why the pwBPD more than likely chose us.  When they mirror us it the positive in us that we either do not see or do not own.  Which is why if feel like they took us with them.  But they didn't they actually left the good with us if we have the courage to see it.
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« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2013, 08:32:20 PM »

Yes ... .  at first I felt I was a Victim. In fact I sought out a counselor from a woman shelter that helps victims of abuse. Was the r/s abusive? Yes!

The sudden detachments, isolating me (put down everything and one dear to me), gaslighting, manipulation (spec finacially), withholding sex; all are criteria for abuse.

But what made  me stay? More in another post ... .  
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