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Author Topic: Ok... now I really need some input from you guys...  (Read 1379 times)
truefriend
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« on: March 06, 2010, 03:39:38 PM »

I posted recently about the fleas my friend has from his BPD. They have been separated for a month. I have tried to be there for him without focusing on the relationship, just encouraging him to feel better about himself.  I first noticed them last week as I was showing him condos to lease. He was agitated, and demanding. Even bordering only insulting at times. I ignored as I knew what they were. He asked afterwards if I would like to get something to eat. I said no, I needed to get home. I couldn't take anymore. I had to get away. Two days later he called to talk about the condos and said his behavior towards me was just anger at not being where he wants to be. He would love to get this condo right now but is short of funds for probably 3-4 months. So okay, I think this is good. At least he is recognizing bad behavior. He calls a couple more times this week to chit chat. He seems good, cheerful, on the right direction. Making plans for this summer and other positive things. Today he calls, while talking he makes a mockery of something I said, in other words mimicking. I'm taken aback as I was only talking about my feelings about something with my daughter. I confronted him on it saying... .these are my feelings about the subject, why are you making fun of them? He came back with, oh that's right. Tell me how to think, how to live... .what are the next words you want me to say? Huh? okay I know these are fleas big time, I recognize that. I have never told him how to think, live or what to say. Mainly I listen. I know the last year at his house was extremely bad, and his father just told him last weekend he was a bad father for leaving. He has know idea of the magnitude of the abuse he endured. Maybe he's wrestling with these thoughts, don't know... .My question is... do I subject myself to this and be patient,  or do I just tell him he needs some time to work through things. At this rate we won't have a friendship. Maybe it would be better for him to deal with everything on his own.
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2010, 04:33:04 PM »

Excerpt
My question is... do I subject myself to this and be patient,  or do I just tell him he needs some time to work through things. At this rate we won't have a friendship. Maybe it would be better for him to deal with everything on his own.

It would definitely be better for him to deal with everything on his own. He is trying to tell you that he needs some time to work through things and you're getting frustrated by his denial. Denial is the most useful tool for anyone who has suffered abuse.  The pounding on it with a sledgehammer by any well intentioned friend is heaping more abuse. It just shows the lack of boundaries for both of you.

If a true friend said to me that I had no idea of the magnitude of the abuse I've endured and at this rate we wont have a friendship- I'd consider them a fairweather friend.  I know that's not your intention, but you need to decide why this person is now a stand-in for yourself.
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truefriend
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2010, 04:56:58 PM »

Thanks 2010 for that and it really does shed some light. I hope I made things clear enough though. It's his father I was saying has no idea the magnitude of abuse he endured and yet he dumped more guilt on him. So I'm trying to be patient. I haven't said any of this to him. In fact, I don't even bring up his abuse or what he needs to face. That's what I'm saying... .we are just chit chatting about everyday things and the anger is so prevelant. It seems he is passive aggressively directing it at me. But it's not just me as I talked to his mother about it and it has been her and his sister. I don't know if it has been anyone else. It's not my intention to be a fair weathered friend but he could easily kill the friendship... .Does any of this make more sense now? Was I sketchy in writing some of this?
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2010, 04:57:47 PM »

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... .said his behavior towards me was just anger at not being where he wants to be.

Sounds like a half-assed apology, so technically he is abusing your goodwill, allowing a replay of this kind of crap. If something like this pops up again, during a conversation or after, then you fully have the right to say, "Anger? Well then it's yours. Own it and deal with it." That way, you can wash your hands of it and it sets boundaries for what you're willing to put up with.

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truefriend
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2010, 05:06:12 PM »

Thanks for putting into words what I was feeling but was stuck... .that's what it was a half-assed apology. I've known him 6 yrs. and he was not like this in the beginning. He could apologize and mean it. So this was part of my confusion. Allow him to work through this stuff and hopefully I come out unscatched. Or like you say, it's his anger, let him own it. I like your way... .
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2010, 05:56:09 PM »

Hi truefriend!

I tried to think of what my friends said to me and how they did behave towards me after the relationship with my unBPDexbf ended, the things that helped. And yes, that involved me thinking of how I behaved... I managed to not direct anger at them, but one thing I did was talking about the ex and talking and talking and talking... .I fell into a big black ex-hole... at at least two occasions two different friends told me that I had to stop, that they at that moment couldn´t listen to it anymore. That was good for me, it made me snap out of it, at least for thoose occasions and it made me see what I was doing = letting him in to my friendships... .

At one time, when I just had been out for maybe a month or so, my brother said to me: just because he is crazy dosen´t mean you have to be/let yourself be crazy... (fleas where all over the place ).

Just as the BPD´s have the responsibility for what they say and do to other people, we as non´s (as everyone), of course have it also, and, hopefully, we can take that responsibility, and deal with it. Your friend has his responsibility.

Take care!
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2010, 06:21:43 PM »

Hey, I was just reading your post, and it is obvious that you are trying hard to really help and be there for your friend... .and I am not sure how you know what you do about his past or his relationship with his BPD ex... .so I would have no way to ascertain the veracity of it... .but I got such red flags reading your post in regards to your freinds treatment of you... .that I would want to urge caution on your part in dealing with him... .because the post reads like a rescue, and his behavior towards you does not make sense... .I guess in plain english I would wonder if maybe he is uBPD... .I am sorry if I am totally off here ... .but I guess I wanted to put it out there... .take care
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schwing
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2010, 06:43:53 PM »

Hi Truefriend,

I posted recently about the fleas my friend has from his BPD. They have been separated for a month. I have tried to be there for him without focusing on the relationship, just encouraging him to feel better about himself.  I first noticed them last week as I was showing him condos to lease. He was agitated, and demanding. Even bordering only insulting at times. I ignored as I knew what they were.

As I have written before, it would be reasonable to see him as a recovering addict going through a withdrawal period.  He may have wildly fluctuating emotions for some time.  If you make yourself too available, you will be the target of some of these fluctuating emotions.  It is important that when you spend time with him that you do so with a solid foundation, emotionally and physically.  To spend time with him in his state will be trying.  :)o so only so long as you are in a good position with yourself; do not self-neglect for his sake.  In fact, you must take care of yourself if you wish to be able to support him in the long run.

He asked afterwards if I would like to get something to eat. I said no, I needed to get home. I couldn't take anymore. I had to get away.

Make sure you have appropriate (for you) boundaries and distance.  I would not be surprised if spending time with him will feel like drain on you emotionally for some time.  He may even be looking in a sense for a "replacement."  He will be drawn towards unhealthy enmeshed dynamics, until he realizes how unhealthy and inappropriate his prior relationship has been.  You cannot protect him from his own choices.  At the very best you can only suggest that such choices may not be in his best interest.  He may not see it that way.

Today he calls, while talking he makes a mockery of something I said, in other words mimicking. I'm taken aback as I was only talking about my feelings about something with my daughter. I confronted him on it saying... .these are my feelings about the subject, why are you making fun of them? He came back with, oh that's right. Tell me how to think, how to live... .what are the next words you want me to say? Huh?

These are fleas.  He is most likely exhibiting the same kind of behaviors he has been subjected to for as long as he has been with his BPD loved one.  I see it as a kind of "detoxing."  He is dishing out what he has been served for these many years.  He is reacting to you as if you are his ex.  In a sense his psyche longs for the opportunity to "stand up" to his ex.  But in truth he is in no position to do so, so thoroughly is his still enmeshed with her.  So it may be a kind of role-playing, where he reacting to you as he might wish he had reacted to his ex.  But you are not supposed to be his therapist.  You are his friend.  So maintain your boundaries.  If he treats you poorly, you must communicate this to him, and react accordingly.  He must learn to respect your boundaries, or else you will need to give him more distance until he does so.

He may not react well to this.  That is his choice.  Just do not allow your dynamics to deteriorate to the point where it is awkward for either of you to bridge the hard feelings.  Emotional distance and boundaries are your allies.  He does not suffer from borderline personality disorder, but he has picked up A LOT of bad habits.  I know this from direct personal experience.  It will change in time so long as he continues to take care of himself.  But ONLY if he takes care of himself.

My question is... do I subject myself to this and be patient,  or do I just tell him he needs some time to work through things. At this rate we won't have a friendship. Maybe it would be better for him to deal with everything on his own.

My suggestion is: if you are inclined to subject yourself to this, find out what your limit it, and never allow yourself to approach that limit; gain strength from your other friendships, your other attachments.  He will of course need time to work things through.  Encourage him to seek therapy.  You don't have a friendship.  And you will not for some time.  He is not in a position to sustain a healthy friendship.  The best you can do is plant seeds for the future.  

A good approach with him I think is to give him predictable and consistent attention.  If it is lunch or coffee once a week or once a month, so be it.  If it is an occasional e-mail, checking up on how he is doing, that's fine too.  If you are only comfortable sending him the occasional special event card, then do that.  But make it predictable and consistent.  And keep your distance.  And take care of yourself, because time with him will be trying for some time.  Until it is no longer.  That might take years.  In my case, I think it took me probably two or three years before I became slightly more engaging to be around than a bag full of wet mice.

But so long as you are a predictable and secure source of support, he will learn to appreciate it and cherish it.  Or else he is a fool.

Best wishes, Schwing
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truefriend
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2010, 08:19:40 PM »

Thanks everybody... .yes I put this out there thinking he could be BPD? I too saw Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  Have even begun to think what came first the chicken or the egg? Did she start or he start? That's when I asked his Mother about it. She said before he married her he never displayed these qualities with another relationship. He was always caring and kind. But the wife was very abusive physically and mentally. The background is there for her to have abandonment issues. Her Mother abandoned her at 2 mos. to ride off on a motorcycle and her father did a good job of poisoning her mind against the Mom after that.

I'm watching things... .he just called this evening and threw in the casual conversation we were having, about what was started this morning. Passive aggressively tried to turn it around. Gaslighting. I recognized it right off. I said, let's not go there again and changed the subject. I do think it tends toward being fleas though, as he does have remorse, can apologize right, and can admit his faults. The last year though I've seen a huge change in him in this manner. He stayed too long.

I'm going to distance myself somewhat as we don't discuss the issues he's having with her anyway. So he's not leaning on me for support in that way but perhaps he's using me to displace his anger... .
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Im.okay.now
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2010, 05:36:24 AM »

I know how this guy feels and it took me several months to return to being "myself" after the end of the relationship with "you know who".

My real and true friends stood by me, listened to me, put up with crap and left me alone when that's what i needed. Those people showed me what true friendship was all about.

Take care

ION

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reneeth
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2010, 07:40:24 AM »

  TF,

  ",or do I just tell him he needs time to deal with things"... .

   I think we all have to be a little more careful and clear about how we say things and 'own' our own stuff... .it could be a little difficult for him to be told by someone what he needs... .

   the need is yours isn't it, your own boundry needs to not have displaced anger put on you... .I'm not sure but isn't it like ... .validate what they say, ask them what they are feeling , and than communicate clearly what your needs are in dealing with the dynamic of what is happening in the relationship/ interaction... .geez, why don't they teach 'real' communiction skills in gradeschool  Smiling (click to insert in post)... .I'm learning too... .x  R.
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jalk
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2010, 10:26:36 AM »

If all you're trying to do is give good advice to a friend and he's coming back with sarcasim etc., he's clearly not in a place where he will listen to you. He sounds bitter and angry and is projecting that anger and bitterness on to you. For your sake and for your sanity, it may be best just to listen. You don't need to agree or disagree. Some people just need a sounding board. He should seek help from a professional. There he can lash out all he likes. Doing it this way, however, can cause damage to a friendship. I know it must be frusterating for you but try and hold back your advice and opinions unless he asks for it... .then if he gets nasty with you, tell him not to ask for your advice anymore. Leave it at that. Take care.
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