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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Author Topic: REPOST: Conversations with the Invisible Man  (Read 925 times)
PennMicheleG

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« on: March 19, 2010, 01:07:23 PM »

OMG!  I need to check in at the local Psych Ward cause I'm losing it for sure.

Did you ever have the same critical life changing discussion multiple times with your BPD ex and they don't remember what you said?  And I know he's not just conveniently "forgetting" what was said.  He honestly does not remember - wth is up with that?  And then he gets upset when I don't talk to him?  Makes me want to   
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havana
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 04:17:46 PM »

Mine never remembers anything, at least not the way it happened
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Life is short. Shorter for some than others.
workinghard

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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 05:29:28 PM »

Sounds soo familiar   

I have no idea if they really do forget or are just "conveniently" forgetting, but they are darned good at it I'll give them that!  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Makes constructive conversations impossible don't it. **banging head against wall**

Mine even makes up stuff about what I apparently said - word for word - when I know I never would have said anything like that  (and never did).

I'm thinking they are in their own little made up fantasy world with no responsibility or consequences and they are able to play it for all it's worth... .

U are not alone  x
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Verbal
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 06:11:28 PM »

This sounds very familiar.  I think they have a force field up that blocks out any incoming information that doesn't agree with their prevailing paradigm.  I can explain something to my NPDw, and she will seem to understand.  Then the next time the subject comes up it is as though the previous conversation never occurred, and we are back to square one.

She also isn't able to track what she herself says.  I have known her to repeat the same sentence four or five times in one conversation. 

They're just weird.  That's all there is to it.
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 09:08:59 PM »

Excerpt
Did you ever have the same critical life changing discussion multiple times with your BPD ex and they don't remember what you said?  And I know he's not just conveniently "forgetting" what was said.  He honestly does not remember - wth is up with that?  And then he gets upset when I don't talk to him?

I read somewhere that their forgetting is actually a dissociative state that they get into for protection during anxiety. It goes hand in hand with splitting and stems from early childhood abuse. Most of us learn at a certain age how to "discuss" relationship problems without making people all bad. We learn that good and bad exist in the same person (what Melanie Klein calls the good breast and the bad breast in her object relations theory) A PD person doesn't understand this and cannot self-soothe. They expect you to do this for them- when you dont they get frustrated and dissociate.

Like you PMG, I also got upset and stopped talking. Then I felt guilty and tried to reason by opening up additional dialogue and asking if my partner would like to "talk things over again."  I received a text (the final one) that said, "I do not want to talk it hurts too much that you are no longer talking to me."

If that's not mental illness- I dont know what else is... .
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francienolan
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 09:46:12 PM »

Excerpt
Did you ever have the same critical life changing discussion multiple times with your BPD ex and they don't remember what you said?  And I know he's not just conveniently "forgetting" what was said.  He honestly does not remember - wth is up with that?  And then he gets upset when I don't talk to him?

Totally. It was exhausting.

I read somewhere that their forgetting is actually a dissociative state that they get into for protection during anxiety. It goes hand in hand with splitting and stems from early childhood abuse. Most of us learn at a certain age how to "discuss" relationship problems without making people all bad. We learn that good and bad exist in the same person (what Melanie Klein calls the good breast and the bad breast in her object relations theory) A PD person doesn't understand this and cannot self-soothe. They expect you to do this for them- when you dont they get frustrated and dissociate.

This is fascinating to me. I wonder if these dissociative memories eventually return to consciousness for them.
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 10:17:15 PM »

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I wonder if these dissociative memories eventually return to consciousness for them.

The dissociative state is their way of putting themselves on autopilot. Think of it like driving a car. In a dissociative state they aren't really at the controls and driving- they cant ever recall what the highway conditions are like or even pay attention to stop signs or green lights... . Most of us dissociate to a small extent when we drive on the freeway and move along with the rest of traffic- sort of driving and dissociating from the driving at the same time by thinking about groceries or chores, etc.  Now think about doing this and driving in side streets, stop and go, intersections, look left, look right- now dissociate yet hold a meaningful conversation. See how hard that is? That's what a BPD is experiencing and it aint easy for them. It's easier to just shut down.

(Shutting down like a sleepwalking zombie prevents stress) They will not remember a word you said.

When this dissociative state is applied to relationships, it is a useful tool to defend against what they perceive to be attacks.

You can point it out to them that you aren't attacking- you're just having a discussion. After all, that's what normal people do when they problem solve- but the defense mechanism is so deeply embedded in them that its like "dry drunk syndrome," a condition of behavior that drunks still perform even if they haven't had a drink.  As they say in AA : you can take the rum out of a fruit cake, but you've still got a fruit cake... .

I keep having to tell myself that this is a disorder. The disease it creates occurs in otherwise healthy people who try to help. And any progress made to a recovery needs to be seen in both people's actions, over a period of time- and that means remembering what we say to each other. If one person cant recall and the other knows word for word- then it's time to walk away from each other, because there's no sense in having conversations with the Walls.
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PennMicheleG

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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 09:34:41 AM »

The really sad thing is that when I was with him I really did think it was me that was "forgetting" conversations.  He was so convincing that I was the crazy one that I actually believed him.  I started seeing a T to try and get an understanding why I was doing this.  One of the first questions she asked me was "Why do you assume it's you that's forgetting things?"  It was like a glass of cold water thrown on my face.   

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