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Author Topic: How do you know it's not you?  (Read 13483 times)
francienolan
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« on: March 16, 2010, 04:25:28 PM »

I was talking to someone yesterday about trying to figure out exBPD and she said something like, How do you know you're not the Bullet: comment directed to __ (click to insert in post)$$hole? It kind of floored me and I'm still thinking about it today.

Maybe I was the one with BPD (or something) all along. I'm in psychotherapy, on anti-depressants, living alone, don't have too many friends, have trouble meeting people, and spend the majority of my time ruminating over my last relationship. My ex has a ton of friends, never got upset about anything, had no problems moving on, and is able to make friends at the drop of a dime. Although I feel like I was subjected to emotional abuse during my relationship, it pales in comparison to some of the stories I've read on this site. Maybe it was emotional abuse at all, maybe I'm just really sensitive. I mean really, maybe I've been the disordered party all along and just don't realize it? How do you know?

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GCD145
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 04:28:56 PM »

Francienolan-

This is a very common question on these boards.  The answer seems to be that the very fact you question yourself indicates that you are not the pwBPD.

On the other hand, it doesn't matter.  A miserable relationship is a miserable relationship no matter who's "fault" it is.  And, truth be told, no matter who is the pwBPD and who is the non, both share blame for the relationship's failure.

GCD145
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francienolan
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 05:26:06 PM »

You're right. I know I'm as much to blame as he is, maybe even more so.
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squaredots
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 07:10:24 PM »

If you are seeing T then you should get some grounding there. BP's can be notoriously gregarious and will be the biggest noise in the room. They pick on people they can control - maleable or easy to manipulate. An exception to that might be if they see you as a social or economic leg up, in which case you are also fair game - up to the point where you have either served your purpose, or shown that you are more in control than they can deal. Control is always at the heart of the issue. You need to stop listening to negative voices. From my own experience, it is usually dependency and approval issues that keep us glued to these types. If you just care less, you can detach and no need to beat yourself up. In any case, so what about a label. What matters in the end is that you find a life that works for you, and if you have kids, that you show them how you can be happy. It really has nothing to do with an ex relationship. Life is more than that.

You just need to know that you are ok, on your own, you have everything you need. Believe  . . . be nice to yourself.
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francienolan
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 07:43:24 PM »



If you are seeing T then you should get some grounding there. BP's can be notoriously gregarious and will be the biggest noise in the room. They pick on people they can control - maleable or easy to manipulate. An exception to that might be if they see you as a social or economic leg up, in which case you are also fair game - up to the point where you have either served your purpose, or shown that you are more in control than they can deal. Control is always at the heart of the issue. You need to stop listening to negative voices. From my own experience, it is usually dependency and approval issues that keep us glued to these types. If you just care less, you can detach and no need to beat yourself up. In any case, so what about a label. What matters in the end is that you find a life that works for you, and if you have kids, that you show them how you can be happy. It really has nothing to do with an ex relationship. Life is more than that.

You just need to know that you are ok, on your own, you have everything you need. Believe  . . . be nice to yourself.

Dependency and approval issues and listening to negative voices... .that's where I have the most problems. I'm taking steps to create a life that makes me happy, but it's been hard getting over this. I feel used and kind of duped sometimes. Especially when I see how quickly he's moved on.
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centella
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 10:37:40 PM »

My ex has a ton of friends, never got upset about anything, had no problems moving on, and is able to make friends at the drop of a dime.

Your question has been mine as well lately. I have suffered a great deal of abuse, and you can read the description here, https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=115240.msg1135079#msg1135079  and I still find myself wondering if he is not absolutely sane and I am the crazy one. I've reached the conclusion, that we both made mistakes, that my behavior was not the best, but it still does not justify his behavior. Also, I have told him from the beginning that I was a recovering pwBPD for the last 10 years and that even though the traits were gone completely, they could also appear. And I can see now that he has used my honesty, my disease to make me feel guilty and act like he is the sane one and I was the one to blame. We, who acknowledge that there's something wrong and seek help to make things better are actually the sane ones. My X also knows a lot of people, but the truth is that they don't know him at all and he is the first one to admit that he keeps his personal life to himself. They idolize an actor, and his play is his everyday life. The moment he realizes that someone knows who he really is, he shuts them down of his life completely. Also, he never invites all of his friends to the same place, or else they would cross stories and he would be caught up in his lies. I am making new friends, not many but they are real and they know who I am. Don't beat yourself up because he seems better than you. It's not a contest on how many friends you have or how fast you can get over things, just keep searching for your balance. We all should search for balance, even the ones who look absolutely normal because it makes us learn a lot about who we are and where we want to go.
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kj1234
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 11:27:22 PM »

I probably have some of the traits in some ways of thinking, maybe more than the average person, but we all do to some extent.  We all can have natural fight or flight responses, some degree of cognitive distortion in some circumstances, etc., etc.  I also have reached a fairly ripe age and have failed to have a permanent relationship.  It can be scary.  But I also have a pretty high degree of self knowledge and self acceptance at this point.  In my earlier years I may have lived a little more similarly to a BPD, but thankfully I have grown up over the years.  We can't really choose our own parents or parenting, but that is just a fact of life.

It is important to look at ourselves and our behavior.  First order of business though, after getting blindsided and/or abused by a BPD or other disordered person, is self-protection.  For me, 11 months have passed now and I finally feel ready to dig into some of these questions.  I have scheduled an appointment with a very good T with the intention of examining these things in myself now.  Soon I think I will close the door in my mind to stbxw and SS and it is time to look at me again.  All this learning about BPD and other things has given me more framework within which to learn more about myself.  Am I BPD?  I don't think so at this point, but I think the events in my early life had all the ingredients to make me so and I have some traits.  Life used to be more torturous for me, to tell the truth.  I am very thankful that it is much less so now, with only occasional periods of extreme pain, like after stbxw pulled all her crap, which I am still dealing with.  Many people would have dealt with it more quickly or been able to let some of the stuff go more easily.  With regard to that, what helps me most is to try to do the right things, or the things I feel I must do, then to accept that as who I am at the moment and move forward.

To comment on the idea of making friends at the drop of a hat, that can be a skill and can be a manipulative one at that.  What is the quality of the friendships?  To what degree does the person have boundaries within those friendships and balance them appropriately with other relationships?  Nobody can have hundreds of friends to whom they give much and take much.  I have found it useful in the past (found the exercise in a book) to list the top 10 people in my life and try to identify just what is given and taken by the other party and myself in the relationship.  It's an interesting exercise.
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2010, 11:51:21 PM »

making friends easily is a borderline trait. they are very engaging.

that's how she hooked you. my ex is like that. whenever we would

go out, i'd go to the john & by the time i got back she'd be chatting

& laughing with at least one person. they're slick as hell. look, when

you're an absolutely ruined person inside, you had better be able to

hide it, & hide it well. they know this. & the fact that you ended up

with a BPD pretty much says you're a decent hearted person. they

need people with kind hearts to prey on. emotional destruction is

the mission. hardened people are too much work, plus they run the

risk of getting played themselves, & they can't be arsed to feel

one-upped in any way. so yes, they need an easy target.
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centella
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 12:14:24 AM »

look, when you're an absolutely ruined person inside, you had better be able to hide it, & hide it well.

I don't quite agree with this. In my observation one should never have to hide who he truly is, as others should never have the power to take advantage one one's vulnerabilities. I don't mean one should brag about how ruined he is, but if one is committed to an intimate relationship, then he should always be honest with the person he's engaging with and by doing so, one is also being honest with himself. It is up to the person who receives that honesty, to give it back as well.
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2010, 12:19:07 AM »

i was referring to the borderline person, & how they have to hide their toxicity
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centella
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2010, 12:25:15 AM »

I'm sorry, I misunderstood. English is not my first language, and this happens sometimes.   
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2010, 12:38:33 AM »

no worries!
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Howzah
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2010, 02:35:31 AM »

Excerpt
you had better be able to

hide it, & hide it well. they know this. & the fact that you ended up

with a BPD pretty much says you're a decent hearted person. they

need people with kind hearts to prey on. emotional destruction is

the mission.

I disagree with part of this

I wouldn't say emotional destruction is their mission. It is not the intention of someone with BPD to purposely destroy you emotionally. They have a severe mental illness. They don't regulate emotions like we do. This causes them to rationalize things completely different than a normal person. They convince themselves you deserve it when they can't handle the true intimacy of the relationship. It's not rational. It's delusional and erratic thinking based entirely in emotion.

It has taken me a long time to grasp their reality. We only truly know what we experience. What we feel. We can only judge others based upon our known reality. You really need to understand that people with BPD cannot control themselves. They can't control their behaviors. Yes, some are aware there is something wrong, but if you were in their shoes would you want to admit you had a severe mental disorder with no known cure? I'm not saying we just forgive them and say "Oh well, that's just BPD!"... absolutely not. We need to hold them accountable for their actions and fix ourselves. That means getting the hell out of the relationship and as far away from them as possible. Not allowing someone so destructive , chaotic, and mentally ill to have such a huge negative impact on our lives. Our problem is we don't accept the disease for what it is. We try and rescue. You can't rescue a dog with rabies or teach a rattlesnake not to bite you.

It just is

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VanessaG
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2010, 05:54:55 AM »

Oh heavens, I think we can all find ourselves in DSM-IV if we try hard enough!   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

A couple of months ago, I found this website.  I had ended an emotional affair, essentially, with the uBPDm in my life, which had started while I was having an extremely rough time in my marriage.  My H has a PD too, but his is much more difficult to classify, and he's higher functioning (who knew?) than the uBPDm with whom I'd sought refuge.  My H is more of an avoidant/narcissistic type, very withdrawn and a workaholic.  (He is in T now.)  So of course the BPDm was like a breath of fresh air when he came with all the flattery and mirroring and instant intimacy.  Until the controlling, jealous, endless black hole of need revealed himself. 

In any case, when I found the website, I admit it, I read a lot.  I read everything and then I went to the library and started going through DSM-IV.

I decided that maybe I was histrionic.  Maybe these men weren't so bad, and that maybe I was really the one at the heart of the problem. 

I really, seriously, fell down the rabbit hole.   

In my next T session, I shared all of this with my T and we spent a lot of time talking about healthy ways for me to satisfy my own overwhelming urge to UNDERSTAND and to put some limits on it so I didn't get quite so wound up.  She said, if anything, I could go the way of General Anxiety Disorder if I continued to spin and ruminate and lie awake trying to figure things out.  We all have our healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms.  Analysis is one of my healthy ones; overanalysis to the point of obsession is one of my not-so-healthy ones.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

And then she laughed and laughed and laughed and told me that I was in no way, shape or form histrionic.  Not even close.

I think whoever said the mere fact that you are contemplating and examining your own role in this is the best indicator that you are NOT the one with BPD was right on the money.

VanessaG

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francienolan
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2010, 06:19:01 AM »

My ex has a ton of friends, never got upset about anything, had no problems moving on, and is able to make friends at the drop of a dime.

Your question has been mine as well lately. I have suffered a great deal of abuse, and you can read the description here, https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=115240.msg1135079#msg1135079  and I still find myself wondering if he is not absolutely sane and I am the crazy one. I've reached the conclusion, that we both made mistakes, that my behavior was not the best, but it still does not justify his behavior. Also, I have told him from the beginning that I was a recovering pwBPD for the last 10 years and that even though the traits were gone completely, they could also appear. And I can see now that he has used my honesty, my disease to make me feel guilty and act like he is the sane one and I was the one to blame. We, who acknowledge that there's something wrong and seek help to make things better are actually the sane ones. My X also knows a lot of people, but the truth is that they don't know him at all and he is the first one to admit that he keeps his personal life to himself. They idolize an actor, and his play is his everyday life. The moment he realizes that someone knows who he really is, he shuts them down of his life completely. Also, he never invites all of his friends to the same place, or else they would cross stories and he would be caught up in his lies. I am making new friends, not many but they are real and they know who I am. Don't beat yourself up because he seems better than you. It's not a contest on how many friends you have or how fast you can get over things, just keep searching for your balance. We all should search for balance, even the ones who look absolutely normal because it makes us learn a lot about who we are and where we want to go.

.

Centella,

My ex acted in a similar way to me. In my case, I didn't have BPD but I was pretty open with him about having had severe clinical depression. When we first started dating, I was going to therapy 2X a week to make sense of my life. He questioned this and said something like, "well, exactly how sick are you? Even my friend who has bipolar doesn't go to therapy twice a week". I answered all of his questions and basically explained what therapy is and how going 2X a week helped at the time. And ever since then,  he would bring up how unhappy I was or how unhappy I seemed, even though within the last year and a half, I've done everything I could to improve myself and I've made strides. I took my meds, went to therapy, did things that I loved again, quit a job that wasn't for me, found something that I love to do, decided to go back to graduate school, and moved out of my family's house. Not to mention opening myself up to another human being (who ended up spitting it back into my face, but I digress), leaving that negative relationship, and moving out on my own.

I'm doing the work and trying to figure out my piece of this relationship, but some days it just gets really hard. Some days I really go to the extremes--I either blame myself and go back to thinking about where I went wrong or I completely blame him and feel like, does no one see what this guy did to me? and what he continues to do? are people so blind? And I know I have to find a balanced way to look at the relationship because neither extreme is very healthy. But for the past couple of weeks, I've just been really sad and it's gotten really hard.
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francienolan
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2010, 06:47:51 AM »

Oh heavens, I think we can all find ourselves in DSM-IV if we try hard enough!   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

A couple of months ago, I found this website.  I had ended an emotional affair, essentially, with the uBPDm in my life, which had started while I was having an extremely rough time in my marriage.  My H has a PD too, but his is much more difficult to classify, and he's higher functioning (who knew?) than the uBPDm with whom I'd sought refuge.  My H is more of an avoidant/narcissistic type, very withdrawn and a workaholic.  (He is in T now.)  So of course the BPDm was like a breath of fresh air when he came with all the flattery and mirroring and instant intimacy.  Until the controlling, jealous, endless black hole of need revealed himself. 

In any case, when I found the website, I admit it, I read a lot.  I read everything and then I went to the library and started going through DSM-IV.

I decided that maybe I was histrionic.  Maybe these men weren't so bad, and that maybe I was really the one at the heart of the problem. 

I really, seriously, fell down the rabbit hole.   

In my next T session, I shared all of this with my T and we spent a lot of time talking about healthy ways for me to satisfy my own overwhelming urge to UNDERSTAND and to put some limits on it so I didn't get quite so wound up.  She said, if anything, I could go the way of General Anxiety Disorder if I continued to spin and ruminate and lie awake trying to figure things out.  We all have our healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms.  Analysis is one of my healthy ones; overanalysis to the point of obsession is one of my not-so-healthy ones.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

And then she laughed and laughed and laughed and told me that I was in no way, shape or form histrionic.  Not even close.

I think whoever said the mere fact that you are contemplating and examining your own role in this is the best indicator that you are NOT the one with BPD was right on the money.

VanessaG

Yeah, I've asked my T several times if she thought I had a PD or something and she said absolutely not. While we all have the traits to some extent, few go to the extent where it warrants a diagnosis. I guess that's comforting.

Thanks for your help guys. It's been a bleak couple of days, so I really appreciate it.  x

 

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GCD145
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2010, 06:52:02 AM »

I just wanted to clarify what I meant by "share the blame" in my initial post.

Unless you are actively using the tools that you can find on the "staying" board- validation, radical acceptance, SET, etc, chances are you behaved in a way that fueled the pwBPD's fears and behaviors.

We all have our issues, and most of us who find our way here suffer from codependency.  This is the exact opposite of what a pwBPD needs.

GCD145
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francienolan
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2010, 08:05:42 AM »

GCD145,

No doubt. I was not up for the job of being his full-time emotional regulator, validator, caretaker, etc. I read all of the tools on the "staying board"--some of them I did intuitively without knowing they were a tool and some of them not.  I respect people who actively try to accept their pwBPD as they are and faithfully apply these techniques, etc.

However, I see a contradiction here. You say most of us who find our way here suffer from codependency. I look at these tools and the amount of mental effort to actively use them and to me, it seems that they foster codependency too. You are always having to check yourself and your behavior. No matter how much you try to emotionally detach yourself from the equation, the truth is--you are still there, a person, a part of this relationship in which your thoughts, feelings, etc will always take a backseat to pwBPD. And from the stories I've read on the Staying board, sometimes no amount of validation, no amount of making them feel safe is ever enough.

Contrary to what you say--Whether you use the tools or not, being in a relationship with a pwBPD requires a certain amount of codependency. In truth, all relationships require a certain amount but more so with pwBPD. It's not for me and I'm tired of feeling bad about that.

What about what I need? I would rather have a give-and-take, a healthy relationship, a partnership, someone who believes in me as much as I believe in him. If I wanted a full-time project, I would restore an old Jaguar. At least then I could look forward to a better ride.

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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2010, 08:26:11 AM »

GCD145,

No doubt. I was not up for the job of being his full-time emotional regulator, validator, caretaker, etc. I read all of the tools on the "staying board"--some of them I did intuitively without knowing they were a tool and some of them not.  I respect people who actively try to accept their pwBPD as they are and faithfully apply these techniques, etc.

However, I see a contradiction here. You say most of us who find our way here suffer from codependency. I look at these tools and the amount of mental effort to actively use them and to me, it seems that they foster codependency too. You are always having to check yourself and your behavior. No matter how much you try to emotionally detach yourself from the equation, the truth is--you are still there, a person, a part of this relationship in which your thoughts, feelings, etc will always take a backseat to pwBPD. And from the stories I've read on the Staying board, sometimes no amount of validation, no amount of making them feel safe is ever enough.

Contrary to what you say--Whether you use the tools or not, being in a relationship with a pwBPD requires a certain amount of codependency. In truth, all relationships require a certain amount but more so with pwBPD. It's not for me and I'm tired of feeling bad about that.

What about what I need? I would rather have a give-and-take, a healthy relationship, a partnership, someone who believes in me as much as I believe in him. If I wanted a full-time project, I would restore an old Jaguar. At least then I could look forward to a better ride.

To add to your post, I didn't even know my stbx had BPD. Therefore I had no clue of how to respond to her attacks. The only thing I knew was to defend my self and always wonder, "why is she so angry, why is she so emotionally distant, why does she say those things to me, etc... ." Our, or at least mine, were mostly reactionary to her evil. I'm generally happy-go-lucky and freespirited but this woman has broke me down. Yes, i stuck around and my own naivete kept telling me "keep loving her and she will love you back. it will eventually be ok." That may have been a rational thought on my part, especially if I were with someone that was healthy, but I really had no clue what i was up against. I suspected a PD early in the realtionship but me being the "fixer" thought that I could work things out. Again, if i were with someone healthy that might have worked. My stbx has no empathy and could never understand, hear or accept my feelings towards anything. I have said to her for many years you either don't care or have no clue about my feelings. Now, I know she just didn't have the ability to know or care. 
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2010, 08:47:22 AM »

I decided that maybe I was histrionic.  Maybe these men weren't so bad, and that maybe I was really the one at the heart of the problem. 

I really, seriously, fell down the rabbit hole.   

And then she laughed and laughed and laughed and told me that I was in no way, shape or form histrionic.  Not even close.

I think whoever said the mere fact that you are contemplating and examining your own role in this is the best indicator that you are NOT the one with BPD was right on the money.

I've snipped this a bit to carve out the common bits to my experience, but lemme give Vanessa an "amen". 

I checked myself into therapy about two years into the relationship with my uPBDgf, after a particularly volatile and crazy-making period.  I had suggested counseling because I was trying to prod her into going; however, the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if the problems I'd had in my marriage weren't very similar.  My uPBDgf persuaded me that I was a narcissist and emotionally abusive.  As Vanessa said: you can find yourself in the DSM, if you look hard enough.  I finished the job of persuading myself, and yes, "down the rabbit hole" is spot-on. 

My T also laughed and basically said: it's pretty much the definition of a narcissist that they would not ever consider themselves to be the problem and check into therapy.  Therefore, pretty much by definition, you are not a narcissist.  Further, when I spent time enumerating the traits that I identified, my T pointed out that we all have these cluster traits - in varying degrees - and they are actually, to some degree, healthy to have!  These traits are part of our make-up precisely because they do, in some contexts and to some degree, confer real benefits - think about how successful sociopaths are in capitalist business - evolutionary benefits even.  Look at these traits in the frame of the old toxicology paradigm: everything is toxic, therapeutic or harmless, it's just a question of dosage. 

I still stuck with the therapy and counseling, because my counselor said to me, "Why are you here?  What do you want?"  I said I was unhappy with my life and I was tired of that, and I just wanted to be happy.  We started there and found plenty to work on without having to find a clinical label for some kind of psycho-pathology in the DSM.  In other words: you can improve your mental health, well-being and general happiness in counseling, even if you're not "broken".
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2010, 09:01:28 AM »

However, I see a contradiction here. You say most of us who find our way here suffer from codependency. I look at these tools and the amount of mental effort to actively use them and to me, it seems that they foster codependency too. You are always having to check yourself and your behavior. No matter how much you try to emotionally detach yourself from the equation, the truth is--you are still there, a person, a part of this relationship in which your thoughts, feelings, etc will always take a backseat to pwBPD.

Your thoughts, feelings, etc may always take a backseat to the pwBPD - in the pwBPD's mind. They don't have to always take a backseat in your mind - even if you stay Smiling (click to insert in post)

And from the stories I've read on the Staying board, sometimes no amount of validation, no amount of making them feel safe is ever enough.

Enough to what - fix them?  No ... .that's not what (or who) the tools are for Smiling (click to insert in post)

It's not for me and I'm tired of feeling bad about that.

What about what I need? I would rather have a give-and-take, a healthy relationship, a partnership, someone who believes in me as much as I believe in him.

Don't blame you ... .no need to feel bad about that choice  x  The existence of tools for help with Staying is not a slam against anybody who chooses to leave. Not at all.
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2010, 09:06:29 AM »

My uPBDgf persuaded me that I was a narcissist and emotionally abusive.  As Vanessa said: you can find yourself in the DSM, if you look hard enough.  I finished the job of persuading myself, and yes, "down the rabbit hole" is spot-on. 

My therapist (after assuring me - in somewhat similar circumstances - that I did not have a diagnosable mental disorder) added that diagnosis is only one piece anyway, and not the most important piece.

Does the person function - work, parent, etc. - in society? Do they treat others appropriately? These are much more important than diagnosis, ultimately.
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StillChasing
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2010, 09:25:57 AM »

Unless you are actively using the tools that you can find on the "staying" board- validation, radical acceptance, SET, etc, chances are you behaved in a way that fueled the pwBPD's fears and behaviors.

We all have our issues, and most of us who find our way here suffer from codependency.  This is the exact opposite of what a pwBPD needs.

GCD145

I agree that many of us on this site suffer from codependency, but I don't think there's anyting more codependent than using the tools on the staying board to sustain a BPD relationship.  I tried validation and radical acceptance in the latter parts of my relationship with my uBPDxgf.  In the process, I tolerated more BS than I ever should have.  I attribute this to my codependency; that I would bend over backwards and show endless kindness, warmth and love to a person who treated me like Bullet: comment directed to __ (click to insert in post))#*&.

Eventually, I grew enough of a spine to stop tolerating the intolerable.  She disappeared and married someone else within months.  And while a part of me has been left thinking "if only I continued to tolerate her behavior better", that's my codependent side talking.  The part of me that isn't codependent is the part of me that says things like "I have a right to expect honesty, stability and fidelity from a woman who claims to love me."  

I agree that standing up for myself did fuel my ex's BPD-based fears, but that wasn't based out of codependency.  Codependency was what allowed me to enable the behaviors of a tragically sick person.  What ultimately triggered her fears was my re-discovery of my self-respect.
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ashlawn

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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2010, 09:37:02 AM »

I attribute this to my codependency; that I would bend over backwards and show endless kindness, warmth and love to a person who treated me like Bullet: comment directed to __ (click to insert in post))#*&.

Eventually, I grew enough of a spine to stop tolerating the intolerable.  She disappeared and married someone else within months.  

I agree that standing up for myself did fuel my ex's BPD-based fears, but that wasn't based out of codependency.  Codependency was what allowed me to enable the behaviors of a tragically sick person.  What ultimately triggered her fears was my re-discovery of my self-respect.

Wow... .my experience, to a T.  Mine was not unfaithful, but yes, the more I started to stand up for myself, the more it pushed her buttons, particularly when I was no longer willing to engage in the fights. 
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GCD145
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2010, 09:39:15 AM »

To those of you pointing out that using the tools on then staying board foster codependency:

I agree and I disagree.  The difference seems to be radical acceptance.  Codependents want to change their partner.  Nons who stay must give up the notion that they can do this.  

But, hey, I have no experience with staying. If you tried radical acceptance, StillChasing, and felt that it fostered codependency, then you know more than I do, because I came to these boards after I was already out of my relationship.  I'll take it one step further: I have little or no idea of why most of the people who choose to stay do so.  In some cases, there are children.  In others, it appears that the non has made a decision that the benefits outweigh the negatives.  That's a personal decision, but not one that I could see myself making in the context of my stbxw.  Maybe there are people who are so wonderful that dealing with them having serious emotional dysregulation disorder is somehow worthwhile.  Maybe it's all FOG.  Who knows.

I think this has been a good discussion.

And to those participating, can you ever see a pwBPD analyzing their motives and actions like this?  Thinking about these issues will lead to us being better, stronger people and potential partners.  We will grow and change, and hopefully learn from our experiences.  

GCD145

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StillChasing
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2010, 10:14:55 AM »

To those of you pointing out that using the tools on then staying board foster codependency:

I agree and I disagree.  The difference seems to be radical acceptance.  Codependents want to change their partner.  Nons who stay must give up the notion that they can do this.  

But, hey, I have no experience with staying. If you tried radical acceptance, StillChasing, and felt that it fostered codependency, then you know more than I do, because I came to these boards after I was already out of my relationship.  I'll take it one step further: I have little or no idea of why most of the people who choose to stay do so.  In some cases, there are children.  In others, it appears that the non has made a decision that the benefits outweigh the negatives.  That's a personal decision, but not one that I could see myself making in the context of my stbxw.  Maybe there are people who are so wonderful that dealing with them having serious emotional dysregulation disorder is somehow worthwhile.  Maybe it's all FOG.  Who knows.

I think this has been a good discussion.

And to those participating, can you ever see a pwBPD analyzing their motives and actions like this?  Thinking about these issues will lead to us being better, stronger people and potential partners.  We will grow and change, and hopefully learn from our experiences.  

To get quasi-philosophical, I think the codependence is a priori, not a posteriori.  It's not that the tools for staying foster codependency; they are legitimately effective techniques for sustaining the relationship.  But the desire to sustain an obviously unhealthy relationship is indicative of codependency in the first place. 

Radical acceptance works, as does validation.  But a healthy, non-codependent person would never see the need to adopt these practices to begin with.  A healthy, mature person in a relationship generally thinks "I will treat my partner with love, respect and honesty, and expect to be treated the same way in return.  If the other person does not want to/is incapable of treating me that way, the other person simply isn't The Right One for me."

A codependent person looks at a troubled relationship, and rather than thinking "My needs aren't being met; it's time to move on," he or she instead thinks, "what can I change about myself and my behaviors to save this relationship?"  I asked myself this all the time, and it was completely due to my codependent fears.  I'd be lying if I claimed those fears aren't still with me -- I still worry I'll never find love again -- but at least for today, my need to respect myself is stronger.  Lying to me, stealing my money, and sleeping with other guys?  Those are dealbreakers. 

The codependent in me thinks "She must treat me like crap because I deserve it.  I'll try to be a better person.  Perhaps there are techniques to save this relationship."  The self-respecting person in me replies "No. She treats me terribly because she's disordered.  She can't love me, but I can start loving myself and move on from this situation."

And I think you hit the nail on the head, GCD, regarding your comments on people with BPD not being able to analyze questions like this.  I'm 99% sure that if a person is asking themselves "how do I know it's not me?", then it's not them.  I think most of us have plenty of work to do on ourselves -- the fact that we let ourselves get hurt by disordered people suggests we have room for personal growth -- but not as if we have BPD. 
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2010, 10:36:46 AM »

I am not sure I understand co-dependency. Seems it is a term that is used frequently, and has become a bit of a catch-all. Perhaps there is a continuum of co-dependency. The line is blurred, as , I feel that in most relationships, people are dependant on each other to some extent.

A guy whose writings on PD's I read, Richard Skerritt, take issue with labeling folks that get involved with PD's and stay too long, co-dependant. HE points out several things on this issue.

First, he points out that a loving, healthy person is willing to tolerate some bad behavior when he or she is in love.

He also points out, rightly, that the behaviors , most often, seem  to appear after serious enmeshment, like kids, marriage, and mortgages, etc. These factors, and a healthy person's commitment to the vows, cause folks to stay much longer than thye would without them.

I know for me, had these abusive behaviors reared their head before marriage and pregnancy, I would have bolted. But, I am not ahamed of having tried to fix things and to appease because I was so concerned about my kids, and I took my vows seriously.

I think many of us have wondered if it was us with the disorder and many have inquired of their therapist and been told no.Being in a relationship like this makes you question all types of things about yourself, you adequacy, your attractiveness, your alleged abusiveness etc. This self doubt is very painful and rocks you.
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francienolan
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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2010, 10:40:42 AM »

Ok, I understand that the tools are not used to fix or change the pwBPD.  Rather, they are a way to understand them and to cope with their behaviors and enforce certain boundaries. What I meant was these tools will never be enough to make the non an equal part of the equation.

My ex would frequently say "You have to accept me for who I am." That's pretty much radical acceptance in a nutshell. I get that. But where is the limit? The non does the work, accepts the person for who they are, and decides to live with it. But in the process, doesn't the non end up changing for pwBPD? And what does it mean to have a relationship like that? Is there an "I" even present in the relationship anymore? Definetely not to the pwBPD--I think we've already established that. How far can you go without getting any of that love and acceptance in return?

I think, in light of having found out just how quickly my ex has moved on, I'm trying to work through the "what could I have done better?"/"will he be different with the next person?" questions. After my friend made the comment about how do you know it's not you, it got me into this thought spiral. One minute, I feel justified in my actions and confident that I made the right decision and another minute, I feel like maybe it was all my fault.

You know what, I do accept him for who he is. And I say no thank you. If the next chick accepts him for who is and wants the full-time job of being his SO and it all works out happily ever after, then I accept that too. Now excuse me, I have an old Jaguar to restore.
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GCD145
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2010, 10:52:18 AM »

StillChasing:

The only thing that bugs me is that you seem to be saying that no healthy person would stay in a relationship with a pwBPD.  I agree with you; I just think we're going to be stomped on by outraged people from the staying board who don't see themselves as unhealthy.

Ron7127:

I'm starting to think that initial codependent tendencies can become exacerbated over time in a relationship with a pwBPD, by the processes you so nicely described.  However, there is no doubt that by the time my marriage ended, I was an enmeshed enabling codependent mess.  Was I that way before?  I don't think so, but it's almost impossible to remember who I was before I got burnt to a cinder and covered in sh&t.

This discussion is really really good.  It probably belongs on "Taking Personal Inventory" the least-used, most-neglected and probably most valuable part of these boards.

GCD145
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Fruit Loop
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2010, 11:00:47 AM »

StillChasing:

but it's almost impossible to remember who I was before I got burnt to a cinder and covered in sh&t.

Why does this happen?  I really can't get a handle on who I was before this relationship and who I am now.
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