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Author Topic: When does their problem become our problem?  (Read 1092 times)
BrienBear
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« on: March 10, 2010, 04:11:45 PM »

So I have a question.

I posted an earlier topic regarding my use of twitter and flirting with someone several states away that i'd never met before, and one of the responses was "You shouldn't have been flirting with someone anyway, since part of the BPD disorder is abandonment issues." (thats paraphrased, not a direct quote, and its not the point of this post, more just what got me thinking about the generalities.)

It was obvious that I wouldn't have met this person and it was playful banter, not something serious. So why should I concern myself with his paranoia? The other thing the person on the other post said was that they assumed I had a "need" to flirt, which is true to an extent. We all like attention. In my case, I was with the exBPD for all of 5 months. Why should I concern myself with his illness? His issues are not mine - is there a reason why I should have to deal with his stuff?

Additionally, we all know that BPD peeps tend to be cheaters. At least thats the impression I'm getting from reading these boards, and he was no different. So I guess my question overall is... .

Why should I take his illness into consideration? Why should we have to take their unhealthyness into consideration when thinking like normal adults with normal rationales rather than 3 year old children?
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GCD145
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 04:33:40 PM »

If you read these boards, you'll see that internet flirting is often something the pwBPD does.

So, just out of curiousity, if you were in a relationship, why were you flirting on the internet?

GCD145
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BrienBear
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 04:48:02 PM »

So, just out of curiousity, if you were in a relationship, why were you flirting on the internet?

GCD145

Well thats a good question. Realistically, its because I didn't give a damn about the relationship at that point. He'd already been doing a lot more than flirting online behind my back, so I wasn't too worried about the repercussions, and I did feel justified in a few words to someone who I'd never meet. I mean what was the worst he could do, move out and make me not support him anymore? oh no!

Additionally, being gay, our world is a little different than the straight world. Its very much common for gay guys to flirt and joke around with each other. Jealousy is a four letter word to most gay guys in general and far more relationships are open sexually, compared to straight relationships. Within 3 weeks of meeting this guy, he was living with me anyway because he got kicked out of where he was living and had no other place to go, so there was no dating him and getting to know his expectations, and within 1 1/2 months he was chatting with other guys and inviting them over to my apartment while I was at work. So by the time I started openly shooting a flirt out to people I'd never meet, I was at a point I didn't really care.

Quote from: GCD145
If you read these boards, you'll see that internet flirting is often something the pwBPD does.

From what I've read, they do a lot more than flirting, and they hide their activities, something that I NEVER did with him, even after he did everything he did to me. I was always up front and honest with him in regards to what was going on and he could read it himself as it wasn't until after we broke up did I put anything online as private.

Regardless of that specific situation, my question is not whether I was right or wrong for flirting - as I said in the original topic, that part is kind of irrelevant. I'm more interested in why should I/we care about their general pathology?

EDIT - after thinking about the reaction twice now, I realize that I do live in a different world than most of the people on here in regards to flirting, etc. And even thinking about it, it makes sense.

So I apologize to anyone if this bothers them about the flirting thing - please understand its a little bit different in the gay world. Not saying that jealousy isn't there in gay relationships, its just more uncommon. Thats why I keep having these moments where someone responds to me and says something about it and I go, "Why is this such a big deal?" because it is to more people than I realize Smiling (click to insert in post)
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sarah1234
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 04:54:27 PM »

I do get what you are saying, you wasn't really into the relationship and therefore were flirting. I have done this myself. It wasn't right, but it happened. He used to leave me on my own for hours and hours sometimes and the attention was nice although it wasn't heavy or sexual flirting, it was chatting more than we probably should have, and it made me feel guilty so I stopped.

thing is everyone has different boundaries - BPD or not

Some people find flirting on the internet amounts to cheating on them in their eyes. That is how they feel. I do not have BPD, and have internet flirted in a relationship and admit its wrong.

Even if someone does have BPD that doesnt mean its acceptable to hurt them, if you KNOW it will hurt them

And also if you do not want to be in a relationship with someone you shouldn't be. It can be hard with BPD to disengage but flirting isn't the way to make them hate you - in fact, it probably would have the opposite effect of making them angry but their abandonment issues even worse, and more clingy and manipulative towards you. Therefore making a bad situation worse if they caught you.

The  main point being: if you do not care about someones mental or emotional health, you should not be in a relationship of any kind with them. If you do not want someone to be paranoid, certainly do not give them extra reasons to be. If you choose to be with someone with BPD you might have to accept that paranoia is part of their behaviour and emotions. You shouldn't ever give into it and become a recluse and never use the net, but neither should you go and do it anyway
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BrienBear
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 05:00:13 PM »

I do get what you are saying, you wasn't really into the relationship and therefore were flirting. I have done this myself. It wasn't right, but it happened. He used to leave me on my own for hours and hours sometimes and the attention was nice although it wasn't heavy or sexual flirting, it was chatting more than we probably should have, and it made me feel guilty so I stopped.

thing is everyone has different boundaries - BPD or not

Some people find flirting on the internet amounts to cheating on them in their eyes. That is how they feel. I do not have BPD, and have internet flirted in a relationship and admit its wrong.

Even if someone does have BPD that doesnt mean its acceptable to hurt them, if you KNOW it will hurt them

And also if you do not want to be in a relationship with someone you shouldn't be. It can be hard with BPD to disengage but flirting isn't the way to make them hate you - in fact, it probably would have the opposite effect of making them angry but their abandonment issues even worse, and more clingy and manipulative towards you. Therefore making a bad situation worse if they caught you.

The  main point being: if you do not care about someones mental or emotional health, you should not be in a relationship of any kind with them. If you do not want someone to be paranoid, certainly do not give them extra reasons to be.

THAT makes sense to me. Maybe I'm a little BPD myself but I wasn't really "getting" it. Maybe I'm just so angry I can't see straight. leaving the relationship was a biatch because I was supporting him. When I'd try, he'd do things to re-engagement me in again over and over. For a while we had sex and then when I cut off sex he FREAKED out. So I went back. Then I'd stop it because I didn't like the dynamic it gave us and he FREAKED OUT again, so much so that at one point he was hearing his dead (former) partners voice in his head and sitting on the floor and cutting his wrist open with bits of glass. Or when I'd go out with my friends and I wouldn't invite him he'd FREAK OUT some more. I really did get to the point that I hated him... .But by the time of hate, I was not in the relationship with him, we were just roommates, and I was supporting him because he didn't have a job and I didnt want him out on the street... .
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sarah1234
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 05:06:00 PM »

you can't be in a dysfunctional relationship like that and behave in a functional way yourself I found

I would struggle to behave rationally sometimes, because the irrational things drove me insane. I would flip out. I would react the same way he did, I would turn it all around

Difference is at the end of the day, I knew I was doing that, and hated it. I didn't want to do it. I would feel bad and guilty and try to make amends. I would also spend far too much time going over and over it trying to put it right again, and trying not to do it the next time. I would discuss with friends and family how I was feeling, and try to work out how to put things right. Then I started to try to work out how to leave him when I realised it would never be fixed or right. I think that people on here call these behaviours fleas. I know I have them, my dad I do not think has BPD, but has emotional problems and I have bad habit behaviours. I just also have a concience and an otherwise stable normal happy life!

Ex did not do any of these things, and repeated the cycle as if the other times had never even happened. wouldn't admit wrong, wouldn't take blame, wouldn't listen to rational thinking. You are also stuck in a lot of guilt. People lash out to hurt in different ways.
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2010
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2010, 06:20:34 PM »

This is no different than a Hetero relationship.  To decide otherwise defeats the idea of same sex marriage and I would expect that sort of platform (Gays dont deserve boundaries in relationships like Heteros because the Gay World is "different." from Fox news.

Plainly and simply, this is about the dynamics between two people and trust.

There are a vast amount of perspectives that like to explain how people fill their empty buckets and why they keep returning to get their fill.  Fantasy relationships are one of them.

Social networking sites allow us and even encourage us to create this "fantasized" self to project to others (while knowing that we may never actually meet them in real life.)

It’s easier maintaining and building an idealized image of yourself on the internet and even easier to justify it, now that technology has given people so many outlets to do so.

These relationships give us greater satisfaction because we can control them easier than real relationships. They help to protect our negative feelings about ourselves. We can be anyone or anything we want- but we’re not.

In fact, to move a fantasy relationship into reality- if we actually meet, we might discover we have a different opinion of them (and they of us.) They may make us feel very inadequate with ourselves- just like a real relationship.  At that point, like a real relationship, it is easier to fend off any criticism by thinking there is something wrong with THEM.

Then off we go back onto the internet looking for their replacement (Someone else to fill our empty bucket) by making an even grander false self- funny, witty, a foot taller, wearing Prada... .whatever it takes.

And in that moment, we choose to hide behind a false self by seeking attention and approval from a person we may never meet.  And it works like a drug. We use this drug when we have a “stimulus” that provokes us. Each failed attempt at a real relationship sends us back out to the Internet to fill our bucket. Every fight or argument with our real partner adds to our attempts to fend off the criticism by being someone electronically better and more fantastic- and it never fails to deliver us a healthy dose of self-esteem fix *for a moment*  But it is a self esteem medical management that becomes a compulsion and an addiction.

We cannot find true freedom in this. We cannot find our self- esteem in emails. We have to see it in our own self- our true self. The fantasy satisfaction always wears off. And if you don’t understand the need and become aware of what you’re doing, you will continue looking for strangers to give it to you.

Real relationships take more work and are scarier because we hate the fact that we cannot hide our true self from them.

Your partner doesn’t understand the fantasy but knows the fear; whether or not this person is going to show up at the door one day is likely in a BPD mindset… and therefore, this has so many unanswered fears that go beyond you flirting with the cute guy at Starbucks.

Until you are comfortable with your true self, in all its vulnerability, you will constantly seek affirmation and approval from others: like a drug.

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BrienBear
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2010, 08:33:09 PM »

This is no different than a Hetero relationship.  To decide otherwise defeats the idea of same sex marriage and I would expect that sort of platform (Gays dont deserve boundaries in relationships like Heteros because the Gay World is "different." from Fox news.

This is fundamentally incorrect - Note I never said that gays dont deserve boundries in relationships. Gays do have boundries in their relationships - however our boundries are FAR different than most straight couples. We also tend to be a little more loose with our morals than straight people do. I can name off the top of my head several open gay men couples - hell I've been in one myself. I can't think of one straight couple thats open. Mind you I dont hang out as much with straight couples as I do gay couples, but if the numbers are right there are 10% of us vs 90% of you. If I can name more gay couples than straight couples that are open, I think its a safe bet to say its not abnormal. I can also name mutliple triads (a 3-person relationship) that are all gay men. I can't think of any straight triads outside of fictional TV. And if you have to question what I mean about open relationships and such, try watching Queer as Folk, or The L word. Mainstream media doesn't portray this side of our world but its there and its far more prevalent than most would be comfortable with.

But I'm not here to completely argue symantics and this completely went off topic of what I meant originally. My whole point was why in general do we allow ourselves to put up with their BPD traits in the first place - such as infidelity, or how about their flip-flopping moods at the drop of a hat? Why do we allow ourselves to be "punished" in that way?

2010, I'm going to take the rest of your post to my T - you make damn good points and I want to discuss it with her. I'm not sure how completely applicable it is in my situation - I've been out since I was 13, on the internet since I was 14 (I'm 31 now). I've met all my exes online and I dont have the "fantasy" person syndrome you portray, but its not unfamiliar to me. I want to examine it and see just how different I really am from my online "persona". I would even invite anyone to follow me on twitter, though I do get graphic at times. But I'm a fun guy. (Both in person and online Smiling (click to insert in post) )
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