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Author Topic: 8.21 | Contact after the breakup [romantic partners]  (Read 43075 times)
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« on: May 25, 2010, 05:30:03 PM »

Contact after the breakup - what is this about?

Post breakup communications confuses just about everyone.  Why?  

Possibly we see the communication in a simplistic isolated way - not really considering the whole picture.  

Possibly because we are very conflicted by our owns feelings - do we want her/him or not?

Possibly both parties have become conditioned to recycling.

Possibly we are in an emotional cloud - seeing what we want to see rather than what is.


Below is a description the the different types of 'big break-up" communications recently received by members.  

The hardest question is, how can we tell which are which in real time?  How should we treat each differently?

Skippy




Survey data about the communications we receive after the "big break-up"



Normal post relationship contact (6%*) - all the logistics and coordination stuff (returning the pets, the key, picking up things left behind, discussion about mutual friend, etc.).  

True, there might be attitude with this.  True your partner may have left somethings behind - or held some things of yours.  It may be about insecurity about leaving (so they are leaving few bread crumbs leading back) -  or a little anger -  or it's to avoid an emotional showdown (they may just want to wait to until things are cool to resolve these items).  

This is not a unique to BPD behavior.  There is often a lot of ceremony in a breakup of a relationship - especially if their were ongoing frustrations.  It happens in many relationships.

Overstepping Conventional Boundaries/Boundary Busting/Using you (50%*) - Inappropriate post relationship requests are not uncommon in a dissolved relationships with a person suffering from BPD. People with BPD may overstep the conventional boundaries by asking for friendship, favors, validation, even sex after having emotionally disengaged from the relationship themselves.

This is often misconstrued by us as another attempt to recycle. This can be very confusing, and even cruel to the us as the former partner. Understanding that this occurs and being vigilant about maintaining conventional post relationship boundaries is important. It might be emotionally hard to do.  

Remember,people with BPD are known to overstep personal boundaries in relationships and it stands to reason that they would do so post relationship. The motivations for the person with BPD are often selfishness and insensitivity rather than maliciousness.  Nonetheles, our hurt is the same.

If the person truly wants to get back - give it very careful consideration and go slow. If your partner wants to jump back in right where you left off it's a bad sign.

Post relationship fighting (28%*)  - This can been in the form of either blaming, or detailing the resentment, or raging, or showing off the new boyfriend, or a host of other angry/resentful things.

With a very angry/resentful people, it's not unusual for the anger to continue past the separation. Many couples do this.  There is a lot of anger associated with this disorder.  

For the person with BPD this is mostly about resentments that have built up and feelings of being violated or shamed.    The blame goes to you because the pwBPD doesn't want it to be because of their (bad) behavior - they ofte need to be the victim in their new life - it not about us.  

For us it is typically about feelings of betrayal.

Continuation's of of the breakup/makeup cycle (6%*) - While this is a small percentage of the post breakup communications, a recent bpdfamily poll suggests that as many as 75% of the relationships for members on the L3-Leaving have/had 4 or more break-up/make-up cycles.  See data here

Blackmail/Manipulation (<1%*) - This the most pathological of the post relationship behaviors.  Some pwBPD will use suicide or self-harm, threats of harm to others or property, or threats of false criminal accusations to manipulate the situation.

* = Percent of post relationship communications. Percentages reference
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 06:39:33 PM »

Skip,

I think this is pretty thought-provoking;  it's going to take me awhile to absorb it.

One reaction I have is that the biggest slice of the pie is "boundary-busting"... .and that's also where we nons are so fuzzy, especially at the time of the breakup.  If our boundaries aren't clear - and mine certainly weren't, even to me - then we're not going to see lots of behaviors that way.  It took me a long time to get enough perspective to see which behaviors were stomping on normal boundaries.

I think that might be why we sometimes see things in that big slice differently;  we can think it's malicious, or intended to get us back into the relationship, when it's really one person (the BPD sufferer) who's not very good at respecting boundaries, and another person (that would be me) who's not very good at maintaining them.
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 08:25:51 PM »

all i know and can say about this is this:

after any normal breakup i have had, we have both gone NC, at least for a good 6 months, to heal. 

i was ABSOLUTELY shocked when i heard from my uBPDex a day after she broke up with me over the phone, asking if i was okay ... .then the next day calling me to talk.  it baffled me.  i assumed this meant she was having second thoughts about the extremely abrupt breakup.  i was wrong.  i was in for a whole month of pushing and pulling after that.  definitely boundary breaking, and where she really messed me up.
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 08:51:54 PM »

Right now, I'm in the "post relationship fighting" slice of the pie.  

His lack of a stable place to stay with his 13 yr old son, his loss of his truck due to him hitting on the guy who sold it to him's girlfriend, his having to work multiple jobs to just buy food, etc.  It's all my fault because I "kicked him and his son to the curb".  Not so.  I gave him plenty of opportunity to remain here, keep the truck and take care of his kid.  He chose to act irresponsibily and live in the moment in his alcohol haze and to the things that happened that brought consequences... .not just from me, but of course, they are all my fault.  I'm just trying to remember that I am doing the most fairest thing and holding him accountable for his actions. and not compromising my needs.  
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 08:58:16 PM »

all i know and can say about this is this:

after any normal breakup i have had, we have both gone NC, at least for a good 6 months, to heal. 

i was ABSOLUTELY shocked when i heard from my uBPDex a day after she broke up with me over the phone, asking if i was okay ... .then the next day calling me to talk.  it baffled me.  i assumed this meant she was having second thoughts about the extremely abrupt breakup.  i was wrong.  i was in for a whole month of pushing and pulling after that.  definitely boundary breaking, and where she really messed me up.

I just read your intro post and it may be a good example.  One point in all of this is we tend to focus on the "here and now" when the answers are easier to see when looking at the bigger picture.

In your case, the "here and now" is your loving eyes for her, a wonderful touching gift from, tender music, a romantic experience, and warm words.  In the "here and now" it looks like a break-up/make-up.  

The bigger picture was a brief 4 week relationship and back to ex, said she was incapable of a relationship (with you), said couldn't be satisfied by one person (which explained your role).   In the bigger picture it looks like boundary breaking (60% category).  She didn't want you as #1 - she wanted you to be #2 or a bridge relationship.

Is this at all correct?  I just read your intro post.
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 09:23:55 PM »

I never contacted her after she left, however, she texted me many times. Some of it was about things she left behind. Then she wanted to see the cat she left behind. With all of this, I set my boundry and placed her items in a box outside for her to pick up. She could see the cat when  I was free to do so. I placed the cat in the carrier on the porch for her to visit while I went for a run. She was angry that I did that and felt it disrespectful to her. This was her way of trying to control me... .to have things her way... .to weave herself back into my life in some fashion. I set boundries. No more. Done. Any post contact from her made me anxious. I did not like the way it felt to have her near me, text me or otherwise contact me in any fashion. Any kind of contact from her was not about her missing me or having any feelings towards me... .it was all about her and her needs. I was, in her eyes, and I'm sure if she ever should see me out... .the bad guy. She has demonized me. Now, I am taking my life back. She has had it long enough. Time for me to be me.
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 09:27:36 PM »

 

The bigger picture was a brief 4 week relationship and back to ex, said she was incapable of a relationship (with you), said couldn't be satisfied by one person (which explained your role).   In the bigger picture it looks like boundary breaking (60% category).  She didn't want you as #1 - she wanted you to be #2 or a bridge relationship.

Is this at all correct?  I just read your intro post.

i have no clue what she wanted from me.  i guess a bridge relationship.  but she sure acted like we had something special.  if i was a bridge relationship, it was a bridge from her ex that she cheated on with 4 different people, to her current, whom she physically and psychologically abuses, and has moved in with her 2 weeks after they started dating.  with the new one, my ex is a completely and totally different monster.  but we don't speak anymore.  bottomline i need to accept is that it's over, and i'll never understand it.  wish she just would've left it over the night she broke up with me, that's all.
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 10:29:36 PM »

I never contacted her after she left, however, she texted me many times... Any post contact from her made me anxious. I did not like the way it felt to have her near me, text me or otherwise contact me in any fashion. Any kind of contact from her was not about her missing me or having any feelings towards me... .it was all about her and her needs. I was, in her eyes, and I'm sure if she ever should see me out... .the bad guy. She has demonized me. Now, I am taking my life back. She has had it long enough. Time for me to be me.

jalk im in the same boat. i have done nothing to reach out to her, have ignored several attempts, she has left some messages and ive had other people listen to make sure of threats, etc. the last message she said something to the effect of... "IM f'd now"... .really? you? hmmmm so completely seen the selfishness.

so in response to the topic, id say its boundry busting. theres nothing of hers here, theres no reason for us to communicate anymore. thats what category im putting it in. am i right skip?
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2010, 10:31:58 PM »

I'm not skip but I think you are right.  Under non BPD circumstances people can continue to be in contact.  But in this case it's in you best interest to be NC.
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2010, 10:49:21 PM »

All of my post breakup contact with the ex has been "normal post break-up" (ie the 5% one).
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2010, 11:02:52 PM »

Ouch, this subject hurts. I was the inappropriate one for boundary busting. As I reflect on the behavior however I think it was due to my absolute devastation as to what happened and me trying to make sense of it all... .Plus I had not gone through something like this prior, no experience to draw from...

I was stuck in "magical" thinking, thinking if I explained things well enough the person I knew would return and talk to me. Then I was stuck in "helping" him, I knew I didn't want a intimate relationship with him anymore, didn't ask for one, but hoped for a friendship of some sort. The friendship was under one condition... that we discuss what happened and have closure.

When I went N/C I would hear from him and get sucked back in, other times I didn't get sucked in. He asked me for friendship, immediately, then three times in emails, he even detailed how it would happen-over time.

Here is the kicker, had he not been so emotionally abusive that last day and flippin cruel in his comments, I would have been okay with N/C and friendship down the road. But then, it would have meant our relationship was healthy. We weren't a healthy couple.

I was working through all of this and decided no to the friendship. I was so flipping confused, how could a guy rip me apart and then email such kind things, write a loving letter, and then NOT address the emotional abuse. The best thing I could have done is just not emailed him or called and left a message. Sometimes though when we gain our personal power back we have to let the other party know that... .plus I decided telling him he was a narcissist was in his own good.

Yikes, I am so embarrassed to admit this. Anyway I lifted the block on my email, wrote him a note telling him no the friendship, stated he was an abusive guy, the relationship was a mistake on my part AND emailed information on attachment and narcissism. Such a loving act  .

I have learned a valuable lesson here... no matter how much I hurt, am confused, etc. I will not do this again. PERIOD. I hurt me in the long run through prolonging the emotional pain and I gave up my personal power.

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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2010, 11:18:36 PM »

I suppose my experience has been an equal mix of the boundary busting and blackmail categories.  My H and I have connected once since I left him, and that was via chat on facebook.  However, he has left voicemails for my family and friends wanting to know where I am and that he "urgently" needs to speak with me.  The chat on facebook -- I didn't realize I was online and when he sent me a note, I was in shock.  I didn't even know you could chat on facebook!  I eventually answered his chat but he threw everything in my face and blamed me for all of it.  He raged via chat!  And I copied and pasted it all into a document to then give to my therapist to decipher, because I obviously could not.  I then deactivated my facebook account.  He has tried to contact me numerous times via e-mail, but I have not responded.  He plays the victim role each time... ."I would really like to fall asleep without crying"... ."My birthday was terrible"... ."Work is the only thing that keeps me from vomiting all day"... .  Regardless, in all of these communication attempts, he has made it clear that he wants me back.  He wants me to "come home" and he'll be better.  blah. blah. blah.  The reason I also chose boundary busting is because when I left him, I wrote a brief note for him to find when he returned home and would find me gone.  Said that I never wanted to talk to or see him ever again.  And that more importantly, I didn't want him to ever talk to or see me again.  He rarely respected my wishes when we were together.  Don't know why I thought it would be different just because the geography changed.
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2010, 01:57:19 AM »

The most confusing aspect of this disorder was the boundary breaking.  I did not know anything about BPD when I was left for someone else after he promised a life together with me.  I naturally went nc as I am not one for running after people when they have made a decision to leave or I leave.  I just couldnt get my head around the texts within days asking if I was ok... .it totally baffled me.  Since then (over 18 months ago) the boundaries have been broken and stomped upon countlessly.  When someone blocks you from facebook, emails, texts, home phones and sits under the window when they ring the doorbell until he leaves, it is a huge statement to a normal person that you really dont want them around anymore.  The disorder barges through this every single time.  The filters pwBPD must have in their mind completely  obliterate any normal thinking and processing.  It is this which has confused me, made me ill and has totally engulfed me for so long.  He is now engaged and moving into a house that they have bought together... .he still is trying to engage me?  Moving on to the blackmail, well, there we go, it happened a few days ago, even after all this time ?.  He wants to leave his fiance and the house move and move into rented accomodation so he can eventually be with me again.  He asked me to look after his great dane for him until he moves out and if I didnt look after him he would have him put down.  The craziness of his mind is astonishing.  The break up make up cycle only happened when we were supposedly together, it was on and off for 2 years.  Its only thanks to this site that I did not return when he finally left, where I got my strenght from I dont know!  The fighting aspect came from me when he finally divulged to me a few months after he left the shere horrendousness of his cheating behind my back.  His thoughts were if he told me everything I would forgive him and we could return to the original relationship.  I was insensed and reacted with anger, hurt and frustration.  Finally the normal contact was very rare.  There were moments of clarity which is the hook that keeps us by their side.  Looking back though over the last 18 months his disorder is escalating to levels I have not seen before.  It used to be a 3 month cycle when he would contact, usually when he would argue with his girlfriend, there is now no pattern, its still erratic but comes in more frequently.

Tippy
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2010, 02:57:58 AM »

This was her way of trying to control me... .to have things her way... .to weave herself back into my life in some fashion.

I was, in her eyes, and I'm sure if she ever should see me out... .the bad guy. She has demonized me. Now, I am taking my life back. She has had it long enough. Time for me to be me.

Jalk, I know this is how it felt in the moment, but does looking at the bigger picture help?

The small picture was a lot of mixed signals and confusion by her actions.  If she was leaving, why didn't she make arrangements for the cat, why was she contacting you, what did she trying to do to you? Was it control? Payback? Maliciousness?

The big picture view is that she leaves to pursue another relationship.  This was "happy time" for her.  It was heartbreak city for you (thats a tough situation to live through).  

She was completely caught up in her happiness.  You were completely caught up in your pain.  

She wanted you to be a supportive buddy.  You agreed (when you kept the cat).  Her anger was not to control you - it was because you agreed to be the kennel and you then you made her deal with your hurt rather than act like a friend who agreed to hold a cat for a few months.  

The complexities and humiliation of the cat visits was not you being mean - it was you being heartbroken and wanting her to at least acknowledge your emotions at the time.

This was a boundary mess.  She had no respect for conventional post relationship boundaries. You were caught off guard and it took a little while for you to erect some boundaries.   It was not control.   It was not anger.  It wasn't about you or your feelings at all.

So why does she text you now when the photo of the two of you made ended up in a college exhibit?  Because you're the buddy and the only one she can share that excitement with. Her current ex wouldn't find that interesting.  It's probably no more than that. Her expectation most likely was for you to text back  "cool, where can I go to see it" .  It was a simple, uncomplicated, moment for her.

Has she demonized you?  The bigger picture would suggest she has little emotion about the whole thing.

What do you think?

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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2010, 04:52:15 AM »

I never contacted her after she left, however, she texted me many times. 

I have to say that I am so glad I don't have a phone right now.  Haven't had one for over a month.  If I need to communicate with anyone, I email them or use facebook, and at times, have gone to my work which is a 5 minute drive to use the phone there (I have a key).  It has been glorious because I have a feeling that if I were to have a phone, there would be a lot of angry calls or texts.  Now, if he needs to communicate, he needs to find me or go through a mutual friend.  Since he "doesn't want to see my face", there is very little direct communication.  I think this has been a god send.

As for the other pieces of the pie, I have experienced them only in glimpses... .not sure if they will occur in the future.  We really have only been fully separated for a little over a week.  Because he lives so close and most of our friends are mutual friends, and because this town is so small, I'm guessing I may experience more of the other pieces, at some point.

How to deal with them when they occur?  I think attempting LC to NC is the best way.  Also, to try to keep the emotion out of the communication when it does occur will be the key.  Difficult, but I think that is the best way to handle these people.
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2010, 07:55:18 AM »

Think back to a normal breakup. It is usually tough, and it will hurt one of the participants, usually. Once "the talk" is over, and you have communicated a desire to not see one another anymore, that is usually the closure on the subject. In the case of post relationship contact, there is a firm boundary of not recycling the relationship. That will stand tall in the midst of it all.

The one breaking up will have an absoluteness about it. There is no teetering. There is a core sense of self, and desire. It maintains its thoughts and desires, not wavering in the fear, obligation, or guilt. The one being broken up with may try to recycle the relationship, but will encounter a brick wall of boundaries that quickly stops any and all attempts. Acceptance starts from that point.

Now take a disordered person, and inject them into the process. The big missing element is the strong core sense of self. Their thought processes move laterally depending on the fear and abandonment issues that they experience from day to day. One day, they may never want to see you again, and two days later, they want to have coffee with you. This leads to the massive confusion of the non, and the recycling process begins.

The boundary breaking comes from both sides of the fence. The lack of a core sense of self allows the disordered person to temporarily relieve themselves of any and all boundaries, and instigate contact. The FOG allows the non to take the communications, and read their own feeling into it, in their own utter confusion of the events.

We tend to think of what we would want if we committed certain actions. We judge others behavior, based on our own behaviors. If we call someone, and ask them to coffee, then it means we are interested in them. When someone asks us to coffee, we take the mindset of they must be interested in us. This type of uneducated thinking, leads us to drop our own boundaries. Boundary breaking is boundary breaking, even if it us who does it to ourselves, in our own misperception, or confusion of the events that are unfolding.

This process is a very complicated one, and includes many variables. We are really at the infancy of understanding it. The most useful piece of information, that we must understand in viewing all of this is the lack of core self in the disordered participant. There usually is no continuum of thoughts and feelings present. What we experience from their end isn't concrete, but more fleeting. We try to base our decisions on concrete thoughts and feelings. Thus the large amounts of recycles in these relationships.
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2010, 08:15:09 AM »

im a bit late to the party but its been a very interesting thread. I couldnt and didnt go NC. 2 very young children living with bpxw. My contact was often my measure of their coping (encouraged by T). My observation is that the styles of contact were not distinct and defined. In fact more often than not they would blend (bleed ?) into one another in the course of the single contact. A telphone call would encompass rage, then make up/break up, blackmail and even normality. It would flick from one to another without any apparent trigger or cause. An email would start professing undying love and end with a tirade of abuse. And in between the email would cover every other style multiple times.

I dont know that I would agree with the percentages of the pie. Certainly it could have been the pattern during a single contact but overall, I think the styles tended to be pretty even.

What I did conclude is that the communication (or style of contact) was not about me (or the kids) but was really just about the bpxw. Whether she was angry or sad, lovestruck or victimised had nothing to do with anything I had said or done but was only about how she felt at that moment in time.

Strangely enough there is a sense of relief when I had the "aha" moment and realised I played no role in the style of contact. What I then needed to learn was that although I didnt control the style of contact I was enabling the contact by maintaining the lines of communication. It took a while for me to step back from that too.
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2010, 08:26:17 AM »

Well this thread opened a can of worms didn't it. The only contact I got post breakup, ( there actually was no "breakup", she simply left,  and  ignored a letter and 3 dozen long stem roses that I sent right after she left ), was after 5 months of dead silence from her.  I got a  "Happy Birthday!" email from her on my birthday... It made no sense to me, first she tells me "l  love you more than you will ever know" Then the switch got flipped in her brain and she pretty much ripped my heart out and stomped it to death, ( for lack of a better description  ?), then sends me a happy birthday note.  Considering how she ended it with me wondering "what the F*@k just happened here? "... .I think the birthday note would fall under boundary breaking.

  SMP,  my two cents, I don't think Skip meant to say "Maybe she just wasn't that into you", when part of his response to Jalk included. "... .The bigger picture would suggest she has little emotion about the whole thing... ." I think, He was stating a variation on the same theme of what you had stated in your post, "... .They just aren't that into ANYONE... ."

  The nature of this BPD thing seems to be such that while they come on like an irresistible force to the object of their affection, and "fall in love", deeply, and quickly, and the whole thing sweeps us off our feet, WE are the ones that actually emotionally commit. They simply can't. That if left untreated, their disorder , if ya look at the big picture, precludes them from doing that, so they "fall out of love" just as fast, and then search for their next "latest obsession". And , because they also aren't really adults emotionally, and their thinking is kinda stuck on a child like level, they literally can't grasp why their behavior patterns in relationships are wrong, on so many levels.

   Because the BPD paradigm, through which they view their relationships is so different than us "nons", they can do things or go through situations, that likely arouse strong emotions in us,  while they feel very little emotion about it at all. Cause like you said, "... .Bottom line... .these people don't have a bigger picture... ."  Well... . they do I guess, but they cant see or grasp it.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2010, 08:35:23 AM »

That is a very good point Little Doggy. To paraphrase you a little, it took you a little while, and alot of understanding of the dynamics at play, to be able to sucessfully erect and secure your own boundaries. Its hard to build something when you are completely confused about everything.

Looking back on history, there is a huge lesson that needs to be learned. We must come to an understanding of the dynamics, and thought processes that happen. Without understanding, we hold fear. In this fear, we hold onto victimization. In this victimization, we tend to think of people who are different than us as demons. In a land of various shades of grey, there truly is no black and white. There are no "all good" and "all bad" people.

Many events in history had mass casualties due to fear, victimization, and demonization. One that comes to mind is the Salem Witch hunts. Another is the Crusades.

In order to understand the dynamics at play, we must first put down our victimizations, and rise above it to see the bigger picture. It is only then that we will have the mindset to see that we aren't the targets, although it feels like it. Just like Little Doggy has here, he looked through his victimization, and saw that it was only about her, and her needs. Those things affected him, and his life. It was only through understanding that, that he could start to erect the proper boundaries to allow her to have her feelings and emotions, and not have them affect him. We can never take away anyones feelings and emotions, we can only control how they affect our own.
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2010, 08:39:09 AM »

  The nature of this BPD thing seems to be such that while they come on like an irresistible force to the object of their affection, and "fall in love", deeply, and quickly, and the whole thing sweeps us off our feet, WE are the ones that actually emotionally commit. They simply can't. That if left untreated, their disorder , if ya look at the big picture, precludes them from doing that, so they "fall out of love" just as fast, and then search for their next "latest obsession".

I think everyone wants to be swept off their feet, or at least that's the fairy tale.  Now that I have had that experience, I think I would run if I felt I was being swept off my feet in the future.Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)

I know it's a little off topic since we're talking about post-break up communication, but because they so quickly go back into the sweeping someone else off their feet mode, perhaps, while we are in post-break up communication mode, it makes things muddy.  You are dealing with someone who is putting so much energy into getting someone new, that their communication with the ex (us) is colored by pursuing this new person.  If there weren't anyone new in the picture, and their energy wasn't going towards that, there might be more post-break up communication issues than not.  Or at least that's what has happened in my case.  That's why in an odd way, I'm thankful he's pursuing someone else.  It at least takes the focus off of me, somewhat.
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2010, 09:02:02 AM »

Quote from Want2know:

     "because they so quickly go back into the sweeping someone else off their feet mode, perhaps, while we are in post-break up communication mode, it makes things muddy.  You are dealing with someone who is putting so much energy into getting someone new, that their communication with the ex (us) is colored by pursuing this new person.  If there weren't anyone new in the picture, and their energy wasn't going towards that, there might be more post-break up communication issues than not."

Idea Reading this was a light bulb moment for me... . You may be absolutely right. I to this day don't know if I was left because she was chasing somebody else, or just decided she had no feelings me all of a sudden, or wanted to focus on some new found cause to "wrap her life around". But, thinking of it through the context of what you wrote, it would sure explain the almost absolute zero contact from her from the day she left.  
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2010, 10:19:54 AM »

  SMP,  my two cents, I don't think Skip meant to say "Maybe she just wasn't that into you", when part of his response to Jalk included. "... .The bigger picture would suggest she has little emotion about the whole thing... ." I think, He was stating a variation on the same theme of what you had stated in your post, "... .They just aren't that into ANYONE... ."

  The nature of this BPD thing seems to be such that while they come on like an irresistible force to the object of their affection, and "fall in love", deeply, and quickly, and the whole thing sweeps us off our feet, WE are the ones that actually emotionally commit. They simply can't. That if left untreated, their disorder , if ya look at the big picture, precludes them from doing that, so they "fall out of love" just as fast, and then search for their next "latest obsession". And , because they also aren't really adults emotionally, and their thinking is kinda stuck on a child like level, they literally can't grasp why their behavior patterns in relationships are wrong, on so many levels.

   Because the BPD paradigm, through which they view their relationships is so different than us "nons", they can do things or go through situations, that likely arouse strong emotions in us,  while they feel very little emotion about it at all. Cause like you said, "... .Bottom line... .these people don't have a bigger picture... ."  Well... . they do I guess, but they cant see or grasp it.

Well stated.
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2010, 11:04:13 AM »

Well my contact was her texting me after she moved away to where she used to live. Where she had already lined up her next victim that she flirted with on facebook. She gave him a bit of rope and now he's besotted with her. She also has a bloke whom I know she was having an affair with as he was the boss of a shop she worked in as a manageress. I found an email between them ,before I kicked her out, talking of having a meet up soon for sex. Anyway. She was texting me and I nearly went down to see her even though I knew she had these other interests. I decided notg to once I realised she was BPD. This was 3-4 weeks ago.

Last two weeks she contacted me late on a Saturday night. " can we talk without arguing" ? I was sucked in to answer her not to rekindle us but I'm totaly amazed byt the BPD illness now and wanted to see what she had to say. I answered her with "ofcourse" . Her next line was "have you been out?"  ME "yes . Have you? "  Her "Yes its the first time in weeks"

Well I knew this was another lie as she's been back to our home town and has been meeting someone she pulled just after we split. This fella is a bouncer and proberbly dosn't even want to get to know her that well. Just another sex partner.I couldn't help but say the wrong words replying of " Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) I've been to see Frankie boyle tonight and even he wasn't that funny"

She just replied "I don't want a fight after having a good night out . I'm away to bed"

She only text me as her new bloke was at work and she had no male company. End of.

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« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2010, 11:16:34 AM »

I've now changed my phone number and she had me blocked on facebook. When we first split before I knew she was BPD I had set up a secret facebook so we could keep our videos and photos private. As she was saying she wanted me to visit her still and said she'd visit me. I was like what the heck. Anyway. When she realised I changed my number to stop her getting intouch when she was drunk and alone. She unblocked me from facebook and sent me messages on there. She was asking why I had deleted some of our photos and I take it you are not going to reply to the text I sent last night. I told her that my phone was cut off and didnt ask what was in the text as thats what she was aiming at. I said I didnt think you'd log in to view our pics. She asked to have them. So I put them back up. I get a message other night saying "thanx I have the photos I need" and that was it.She was insinuating photos of her and her family but none of me I think. I sent one back being really nice as they can not handle you being nice to them. I said "agh niceone I'm pleased you got what you wanted"

Now I've blocked her from all my emails and face book. If she wanted to get in contact now she would proberbly open new email and send via that. I'll just delete it before opening and block again.

It's hard to have no contact. I keep falling into thinking I'll just play along with her game and maybe get some mad nights of sex with her. But I know I'm better than that.

Time to really move on. I have my interview for the magic circle toinight so I'm putting my head down and using that to help move on. I'm feeling really good about myself again.

Out of my relaitionship with my BPD she has spurred me on in life and I have found a new confidence.

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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2010, 12:00:42 PM »

I keep falling into thinking I'll just play along with her game and maybe get some mad nights of sex with her. But I know I'm better than that.

Agreed.  That would be very bad boundaries.  

I think people sometimes get caught in this trap... .we can see the bad boundaries on their side but don't realize that sometimes we have them too.

Joannak has made this point many times. Joe Carver, PhD also makes it one of his essays.  There is something far more powerful with them than no contact.  It's "no interest".

For example (not a criticism btw), hoping for a sex connection communicate is "interest". Blocking the email account and closing facebook actually shows interest.  So then the whole mutaul bad boundaries thing is in play.

"No interest" would be leaving the old facebook account open to her or having your computer delete email rather than kicking them back.

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« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2010, 12:05:53 PM »

That's one of the hardest disciplines I've had to learn, Skip - just to not respond.  I have all these clever and righteous answers in my head, and I know that if I just say them, that will make her see the light!  She'll realize how wise I am and how important it is for her to begin seeing things the way I do!  And the key is to say exactly the right answer next time she contacts me about something irrelevant or inappropriate!

Of course it doesn't work that way.  When I quit responding - or, since we have kids together, just responded to the kid stuff and ignored the other stuff - things got way less dramatic and pretty soon I got far fewer inappropriate comments from her.  And when I do get something provocative, I get less wound up about it;  knowing that I'm not going to respond frees me from the need to figure out the best way to respond.
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« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2010, 12:32:40 PM »

I'm just catching up this this thread now... .

In my situation we are mostly at Post relationship fighting and Blackmailing.

With my ex it's a lot about control and having to control me and the kids.  If we don't act as he wants us to then he expresses that we hurt him in some way.  He gets so upset and even cries in front of the kids when the kids don't want to do what he wants.  It just feels like a constant battle where I now just make it clear that he is not in control of me .  The truth is he was completely in control for a long time - I hate to fight so I just about always gave in.  When I finally said no more - things need to change and took my control back the relationship got very explosive!  Now I'm separated for almost 2 years and very close to finalizing the divorce.  My S16 reacted to the controlling behavior by basically completely cutting his dad out of his life.  S13 is struggling with the issue. And along with the control is the blackmailing - accusing me of many things that are not true and running criminal background checks on my friends. I keep hoping for things to cool down with him but hold no hope for that.  It comes in cycles... It will be quiet for a couple of weeks and then I will be hit with many accusations and problems.  I feel like I have to keep who my friends are very private because of how he invades they lives doing criminal background checks on them.

Common communication from him would be an email accusing me of keeping information from him. For example one of our kids is being tested to see if he has a learning problem.  I have emailed ex telling him of each appointment I made.  I have gotten emails back copied to his lawyer saying I haven't informed him of scheduled appointment. Since I do everything by email I have proof I did and just forward the proof onto him and his attorney.  I emailed him with my understanding of the testing process after the first time my son and I met the cognitive psychologist.   I got a respond saying that my thought are irrelevant to him and a complete waste of his time and to stop wasting his time with it.  I now just email short one sentence next appointment is so and so date and that is all.  He then gets upset that I'm not telling him more.  Can't win...  What ever I do gets attacked.  I just ignore the attack and communicate as little as I need too, just very professional emails.  The few times I have try to add anything personal to the conversation I would be told he has no interest on my thoughts and ideas.  

Communication is NC except email  or through lawyers.  I know there are other people he has been bad at in the past.  One for over 30 years and with all of them he has never moved past the anger part.  It scared me watching him talk about something that happened 30 years ago and how angry he still was with the person.  He is completely incapably of look at the other persons point of view in that situation and that scared me - the other person is one of the nicest people I ever met!  The anger was at the level where you would believe the event happened yesterday and not 30 years ago. So I'm not holding much hope that the Post relationship fighting stage will end.

He is hurting ... He takes the hurt out on me in what ever way he can.  With him it is so hard to figure out what he wants.  His actions seem to be opposite of what he wants.  He appears to feel hurt and want more information on his children, when I try offering it he attacks me. I just back off and start communicating just what I need to -  which hurts him because he really does want the information I emailed him that he attacks.  It's so crazy!  He also has huge issues with circular arguments and in the past I use to get caught up in these crazy emails with him that just would go on and on.  There is an insane one between him and the S16 that was the last one with the two of them because after that S16 decided to go NC.  Luckily it's all documented in email. I really think he highly enjoys these circular arguments and when he attacks me in email he really is wanting me to respond back to the attack.  I have found that if I say anything about how disrespectful his email was to me, then I would immediately get a 5 page ranting email back.  I now ignore all attacks, try to directly respond to the topic at hand,  and keep the email as documentation.

How can he and I develop some level of communication that works?  I don't see a way.

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« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2010, 12:43:28 PM »

JGirl,

It seems to me that you have already developed a method of communication that "works".  It just doesn't work the way you wish it did.  (And I think your wish is very reasonable.)

Many of us have found that this very distant, emotion-free and usually e-mail-based way off communicating is what works.  It's sad, because two people who could accomplish much more together - especially when there are kids - good communication should be "1 + 1 = 3".  But that's not how it is for you, or for me, or for many here.  We need to accept that this distance is the healthiest thing, probably for both parties, and for the kids too, under the circumstances.

I've found that over time it's become pretty routine, and everybody's stress is lower, and then I can let down my guard a little, but always watching for signs of a problem, and never expecting to get much from my ex - just a very professional, detached discussion of kid issues.

The key is to get past your focus on your ex - your frustration with him, and your wonder at how he continues to live in such anger when he could get help.  And focus instead on yourself and your kids.  It's a hard shift to make but worth it.

(And hey, just as I was typing this I got an e-mail from my ex:  "Since your income is nearly twice what I make I ask that instead of splitting this summer camp cost down the middle, instead you pay slightly more.  So I would pay $115., and you pay the remainder.  I have already paid the $50."  Sounds sensible, right?  Except that she doesn't know what I make.  The little devil on my left shoulder is saying, "Tell her that she doesn't know what you make, and it's none of her business anyway, and we have a court order that says stuff like this is 50/50 so that's what you're going to pay."  But on the other shoulder is Skip - not an angel for some reason - saying, "The last thing you need is her going to court to demand documents saying how much you make - which, by the way, is way more than twice what she does.  So just agree to what she's asking - it's reasonable - and don't take the bait!"  I think this time I'll listen to Skip... .)
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« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2010, 01:21:31 PM »

Joe Carver, PhD also makes it one of his essays.  There is something far more powerful with them than no contact.  It's "no interest".

One of the best points I've ever read here.
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« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2010, 01:31:41 PM »

Matt,

This was the best way I could think of dealing with communication - but I'm not happy with it.  Honestly I want there to be absolutely no contact - but with kids that just can't happen.

Yes, I have bend on some small stuff when I really don't want too.  In your example.  If things were reverse and she made double what you made, do you think she would consider a request like that from you?  Most of the stuff I let slide was because I thought about the lawyer expenses.  I totally understand that he will never accommodate a change in the parenting plan for me under any situation.

I still need to deal with how anxious I sometimes get because of the attacking emails.  It's a lot better that I don't feel like I have to defend and justify myself anymore and I have stopped doing that.  But the emails still depresses me.

Another thing I have been doing is ignoring phone calls.  Both kids have cell phones and the ex can reach them at anytime.  Sometimes the ex wants to talk to S16 and S16 decides he doesn't want to talk to his dad so he ignores his dad's texts and calls.  Ex will start calling the house phone to try to get me or S13 to get S16 on phone.  I just won't have it.  I've accidentally answered his calls a couple of times and he would ask to talk to S16.  I will go to S16 and tell him his dad wants to talk to him.  S16 usually/always refuses to talk to his dad and when I tell ex the S16 doesn't want to come to the phone, Ex starts up accusing me of not really asking s16 and trying to keep  S16 from ex, and so on.  This is a no win situation.  If S13 picks up the phone, he usually lies and says S16 isn't home.  Once S13 gave the phone to S16 without telling him who it was.  S16 was so mad at S13 for days.



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« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2010, 03:41:30 PM »

Not sure if I totally understand the thoughts here, but the bigger picture in a objective way...

Still hard for me to understand... I think the biggest after break up piece is indeed the bounderie busting...

Both ways, for me to draw the line, and for him to respect any bounderie...

I saw it frequently as a attempt to re-engage, what in fact was just to keep his what he thought was his...

I  think that for me, my addiction was so heavy, that I only saw what I wanted to see... whenever a part of the bigger picture was revealing, I immediately shut myself up, thinking that he couldn't be that mean, and that he had a bad time, and did love me.

In a way, as I see it now, the bigger picture had nothing to do with me as a person, but all about him and how he could prevend loosing his narcissistic supply.

However I still have trouble some times to see him as demonic as he appears, but I have to.

Now I think, that whatever contact is made by him, which is little at the time, it all has to do with his plans for the future, if he has any, and that nothing actually has to do with love or caring...

He did try to kill himself when the big break up came close, but it hadn't the outcome he desired... I was furious and he became worse than ever... normal people would immediately call out for help... but he despied psychologists, and the situation became horrible... he left and tried again to come over every weekend, and I continued to see what I wanted to see, he was trying and loved me, and was serious about us...

I took a test, told him my kids were going to live with their father... for him that was a sign to push harder...

he left his girlfriend, rented a room, and we started all over, talking about a future together... when it became clear that my children weren/t leaving, he reconnected with her again... deniying everything... left a lot of his things here and his sons.

I thought it was because he wanted out there, and seriously was looking for an appartment... he came over lesser and lesser... and I was detoxing... and in hell... .he in heaven with her...

Finally I threw his stuff out and texted him more than thousands texts i guess... he kept saying he was busy looking for a room and a job... he didn/t want a devorce, and still I thought it was because he loved me.

THe bigger picture is that he wanted to have a 'safe house'... .

When in an argue his gf kicked him out, or he left... he asked me to write him on my address again and to store his stuff again... this time I refused...

I hardly heard from him again, he moved in with his parents, wanted to devorce right away and that I would arrange that... .I did it, and he was gone... last time I saw him, I thought he wanted to talk, and look back at what went wrong and how we could fix it.

He still kept saying I was the one... I still believed he finally hit rock bottom... he needed some papers from me than, I gave it to him... .never saw him back...

He owes me money and I never expected to get it back, but he is paying his terms... still saying he misses me... Three months ago I still would have believed him... the bigger picture is ofcourse that by paying me and saying he misses me... .he is probably keeping me in the spare zone... .not because I am special to him.

Is he that cold,heartless,calculating is that the bigger picture objectively... .I guess it is, but I am still very sure at times, that he is very much aware of the misstakes he made by treating me the way he did.

And he certainly does know that what he had with me, he will never reach that again... he knows... but if he cares ?  I still don't know... .xoxox
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« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2010, 04:33:12 PM »

Hi Skip.  Well, I think part of what you said may be correct however, I didn't expect her to acknowledge my feelings of sadness. I knew that she was not capable of acknowleging my feelings. When I went for a jog after she got to the house to visit the cat, I left for my run. More so out of self preservation than upsetting her. I needed to take care of myself at that time. Anything she had to say or do no longer mattered to me. She destroyed my love for her,she cheated and lied to me. I can not be a friend to anyone who lies and cheats. If she thought that possible, after what she did, it only proves how sick she really is.

No, she has no feelings or epathy for me. Has little thought in to anything that will NOT benefit her in some way. The picture of us at the university, had I responded to her with "wow, where can I go see this?" would have been followed with her saying "so, how have you been?".  I have no interest in sharing my life with her. She is toxic.

As far as her happiness goes... .she is happy for as long as a three year old is happy with a new toy.  Once she gets bored and tires of the new toy, in this case Smokey (her new love interest), she will be on her way to something or someone else. She has done this six times in the past, that I'm aware of. Who knows? Maybe she had done this more times then I know of. Smokey is number 7. She will be taking her 4th set of vows next spring. Wow!.Incredible!
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« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2010, 05:20:38 PM »

I still need to deal with how anxious I sometimes get because of the attacking emails.  It's a lot better that I don't feel like I have to defend and justify myself anymore and I have stopped doing that.  But the emails still depresses me.

The simplest thing to do is completely ignore the inappropriate parts and respond only to the appropriate stuff.  If he says, "I hate you and I'm going to be 15 minutes late picking up the kids." you can respond, "Then I'll expect you here at 5:15 instead of the usual 5:00.  I'll have the kids ready then."  (Dumb example but you get the point... .)

Another option is to copy his inappropriate e-mails to a third party, with cc: to your ex.  Just forward the note to someone - I used our marriage counselor and our custody evaluator - with no comment.  The point is to make it clear that his behavior will not be kept secret.  That worked for me.

If his comments are really threatening you can always talk to the police or the civil court - maybe an Order Of Protection or Restraining Order.  You don't need a lawyer.  But that might escalate things.

Mainly I think you need to just accept that this is how it is.
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« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2010, 05:49:09 PM »



I hear what PDQuick is saying.  I guess the two issues I have are... .

- we've already stated that many people here may have partners who aren't BPD at all, just showing some of the traits.  So they aren't really disordered, or they may be, but we don't know.  If someone is diagnosed, then ok.  But if not, do we interact and treat them as we would anyone else, or not?

- if we're in the FOG, obviously we're not going to make the best decisions.  Sure maybe we're just boundary breaking like they are - but it seems both sides have very good (albeit different) reasons for that.  Part of being in the FOG is confusion, I'm not sure if being aware and clear that at that time we're simply having bad boundaries is going to help the next time we're FOG'd.

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« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2010, 05:57:27 PM »

- we've already stated that many people here may have partners who aren't BPD at all, just showing some of the traits.  So they aren't really disordered, or they may be, but we don't know.  If someone is diagnosed, then ok.  But if not, do we interact and treat them as we would anyone else, or not?

Usually it works best to focus on the behaviors, not the diagnosis.

If you have a broken arm, that's pretty clear from the x-ray (and the pain).  And doctors know how to fix it, and you can be confident that it will really be fixed, and will work pretty much like it should.

I wish personality disorders and other psychological problems were like that, but they don't seem to be.  People with these sorts of problems don't always want to be diagnosed, and the "fix" isn't something the doctor can do for you - you have to do it for yourself, with help.  I don't know of anyone with a broken arm who doesn't want it fixed!  And I can't imagine a doctor saying, "Well you'll have to do it yourself, but I'll coach you through it.  Why don't you come in twice a week for a couple of years and we'll see how you're doing after that?"

So we can't always rely on a diagnosis or expect someone with a problem to get the help they need.

Instead, we need to observe the behaviors and figure out ways to deal with them, while staying with the person, or leaving.  That's the shift in thinking that's hard for many of us:  From trying to fix the other person, to learning to deal with them as they are.
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« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2010, 05:57:37 PM »

Think back to a normal breakup. It is usually tough, and it will hurt one of the participants, usually. Once "the talk" is over, and you have communicated a desire to not see one another anymore, that is usually the closure on the subject. In the case of post relationship contact, there is a firm boundary of not recycling the relationship. That will stand tall in the midst of it all.

The one breaking up will have an absoluteness about it. There is no teetering. There is a core sense of self, and desire. It maintains its thoughts and desires, not wavering in the fear, obligation, or guilt. The one being broken up with may try to recycle the relationship, but will encounter a brick wall of boundaries that quickly stops any and all attempts. Acceptance starts from that point.

Now take a disordered person, and inject them into the process. The big missing element is the strong core sense of self. Their thought processes move laterally depending on the fear and abandonment issues that they experience from day to day. One day, they may never want to see you again, and two days later, they want to have coffee with you. This leads to the massive confusion of the non, and the recycling process begins.

The boundary breaking comes from both sides of the fence. The lack of a core sense of self allows the disordered person to temporarily relieve themselves of any and all boundaries, and instigate contact. The FOG allows the non to take the communications, and read their own feeling into it, in their own utter confusion of the events.

We tend to think of what we would want if we committed certain actions. We judge others behavior, based on our own behaviors. If we call someone, and ask them to coffee, then it means we are interested in them. When someone asks us to coffee, we take the mindset of they must be interested in us. This type of uneducated thinking, leads us to drop our own boundaries. Boundary breaking is boundary breaking, even if it us who does it to ourselves, in our own misperception, or confusion of the events that are unfolding.

This process is a very complicated one, and includes many variables. We are really at the infancy of understanding it. The most useful piece of information, that we must understand in viewing all of this is the lack of core self in the disordered participant. There usually is no continuum of thoughts and feelings present. What we experience from their end isn't concrete, but more fleeting. We try to base our decisions on concrete thoughts and feelings. Thus the large amounts of recycles in these relationships.

i like this.  it makes me feel sane.  because i do have a core sense of self.
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« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2010, 09:28:11 PM »

I am currently in the make up/break up cycle.  Unfortunately I work closely with my exuBPDbf so there is no possibility of NC.  We were broke up for 2 mos, talked at work & thought we'd try again but broke up again just a day ago.  This is very unhealthy for both of us. 
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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2010, 10:01:43 PM »

Expanded minds bring expanded thoughts.

I am currently in the make up/break up cycle.  Unfortunately I work closely with my exuBPDbf so there is no possibility of NC.  We were broke up for 2 mos, talked at work & thought we'd try again but broke up again just a day ago.  This is very unhealthy for both of us. 

Liss, Im not picking on you, just proving a point. You said there is no possibility of NC. This may be true under these conditions. But the absoluteness in your statement is false. There is a possibility of NC, by finding a new job, or seeking a transfer. Kinda rash, isn't it? So, lets investigate a few things, because I'm sure you don't want to switch employment.

The goal here is to stop the recycling, and understanding the dynamics that are in play with your relationship with him. To understand fully, one must be able to detach. You have to come clear of the FOG. This is where a stern boundary can come into play. Lets say that you set the boundary that there is to be no communication between the two of you regarding the two of you. Only professional banter allowed. If he starts asking how you have been, or reminiscing about your relationship, you get up and walk away. You are in control of this, and you have to take the initiative, and the step.

I know, it isn't that easy, is it?

You will probably be the one who breaks your own boundary, by asking how he is, or giving into a moment of weakness and slipping into a conversation, without even realizing it.

Its ok if you do, because afterwards, you will see your part of the dance in the dysfunction, and begin to work on that. You cant control him, but you can erect, and maintain boundaries to limit his affect on you. Then, you can start working on yourself.

During this process, you will inevitably see what it is that we are talking about. You will communicate what you need, and what you will tolerate, and you will see just how he will try to walk all over you, and your desires. In most disordered relationships, this occurs on a day to day basis. The defining factor is that we, as nons, fail to see it consciously. When we are alerted to it, we will will see all of the actions, that the pretty words cover up. Only we can find this out for ourselves. We can't be told by an outside source, we have to hone in on it with our own observations, not ones by others.

Once we have communicated clearly what it is that we desire, we will see what the true intentions, and underlying meanings behind the disorder are. It isn't about us at all. It is more about their needs taking paramount, and ours falling to the wayside. This is the eye opening effect that releases us from the FOG. Once we determine that it is not us that is the focus, but rather them, it is almost impossible to feel guilt, obligation, of fear for the disordered person in our lives.

This is the fine line that thinking that they cheat, because we are inadequate, and knowing that they cheat simply because it is something they desire, regardless of what they have. It is the difference in thinking that we are doing something wrong, and knowing that what we do is consistant, but we are doing them for an inconsistant set of needs residing in a person. Its the difference between thinking that we can't make them happy, and knowing that they, themselves, can't be happy, because their needs and desires change on an ever consistant basis. It depersonalizes the events, and allows us to see the dynamic for what it really is.

In other words, it strips our desires of an outcome, and our rose colored glasses off. We finally, for the first time in these relationships, see things for what they are, not what we want them to be, and how we expect them to be based on our own thoughts and experiences.

I hope you don't mind me using your post as an example.  xoxox
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« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2010, 01:53:06 AM »

Excerpt
Now take a disordered person, and inject them into the process. The big missing element is the strong core sense of self. Their thought processes move laterally depending on the fear and abandonment issues that they experience from day to day. One day, they may never want to see you again, and two days later, they want to have coffee with you. This leads to the massive confusion of the non, and the recycling process begins.

I went through this... he offered friendship and one day I was okay, the next, uh no thanks. I know my strong core sense of self got lost for awhile. Really lost. And this concerns me, I am working on boundaries in T and reading books to help. I suspect how he attacked me the last day triggered somethings inside me that were unresolved. The other is getting caught up in the recycling of the relationship, the hope, the magical thinking. I did not feel like myself for a time and am still struggling with a few things. But I know I will get there, in time.

Excerpt
Once we have communicated clearly what it is that we desire, we will see what the true intentions, and underlying meanings behind the disorder are. It isn't about us at all. It is more about their needs taking paramount, and ours falling to the wayside. This is the eye opening effect that releases us from the FOG. Once we determine that it is not us that is the focus, but rather them, it is almost impossible to feel guilt, obligation, of fear for the disordered person in our lives.

This is very true. I got a call today and was upset for maybe five minutes. Then I thought, you know, it is about his need to humilate and control me. I didn't get sucked in, no response, and felt okay. I don't owe him anything, but I owe me peace of mind and sanity. It is looking at him as a disordered person and knowing I don't have to be stuck there with him.

I disagree on one point. I cut off facebook, to save myself from being tempted to look at his posts on friends sites. I cut off the email as a drop, not a reject, in order to save myself from looking every day to see if he contacts me but he doesn't know this. I blocked the phone, to help me detach, not to send a message. to him. I am protecting ME right now.  When I am in the place of "no interest" then I will be able to demonstrate "no interest". Right now I am in the place of shredded head and heart. Too vulnerable. 

I think in a healthy relationship, folks can be friends down the road. But not with this kind of disorder, there is no middle ground, and the mental work it would take to be in the middle ground is not worth the effort.

Thanks for the insights guys.

C

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« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2010, 02:39:48 AM »

You said there is no possibility of NC. This may be true under these conditions. But the absoluteness in your statement is false. There is a possibility of NC, by finding a new job, or seeking a transfer. Kinda rash, isn't it? So, lets investigate a few things, because I'm sure you don't want to switch employment.

I found that very true in my own search of recovering, thinking I had no choice, so I couldn't take off, or blocking mail/phone

and in that matter continuing my own suffering, what you are saying is, that you always have a choice...

I did have a choice ofcourse, could have sold my house, took on another job, move away, but it seemed to me to much of an effort, I didn't want to do all that. I didn/t want to make such huge changings which would effect my life and my girls life so so much. I felt I had to be stronger than that, running away,throwing lifes upside down, just because I couldn,t bear the loss and hurt. I truely felt he wasn't worth that... .so I stayed, and made my suffering subsidiary to my girls life and peace of mind. They suffered enough... I couldn't let my ego dominate theirs... So I had a choice and made it... and went through hell...

And what it showed me along the way, was his real intention, the glasses fell off, the fog disapeared,it showed me the real him, the real disorder, I had to face it, there was no more running away from it, no more ignoring of facts, I just couldn't, it proved itself...

I never blocked anything, but through it all I realy had to face myself also, my intentions, my wants and needs, which I probably would never had done if I had run away... and maybe that was the most painfull... acknowledging the lies I told myself, the fact I was so addicted, the fact I was so desparate that I found all the excuses to avoid myself and my behavior,which was at times just as disordered as his... did I realy love him?

I thought I did, but deep down I could't found much respect for him, I wanted to love him, but I also wanted him to be what I wanted him to be... for my own sake, not his... actually I came to the point realizing that it was all about me... auch...

He had to stay what I wanted him to be, in order to keep my dream alive... He made me realy look unfog'd at myself... since that became clearer, the bounderies were easier to keep,the pain lessens, the wounds started to heal...

So I made a choice, and not the easiest one, it took a lot and I gained a lot... They on the other hand have a choice as well, but they always (most of them) make the choice of running away and not facing anything... they prefer the easy way out in stead of the right way out, it's always the easy way for them... and maybe if I had not to deal with the house, my children, I would have made a different choice, and might have run away too,the love for my children forced me to do it different...

And afterwards I am glad, it was the right way, not the easy way, and made me a lot stronger and able to see him for what he is, and facing my fears, the fear for the truth, made me capable of dealing with him and took away his power over me.

He is evil and evil hides in the dark, the light of truth makes him powerless,I feel nothing for him, no friendship wanted, no re engagement wanted, he is not even a bad memory, he is just what he is... and not better or worse than me, just different and no longer someone I want to be with... no fear,obligation or guilt left... just no interest... and able to show that... poor him... he lost more than I did. xoxox
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« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2010, 03:10:45 AM »

I disagree on one point. I cut off facebook, to save myself from being tempted to look at his posts on friends sites. I cut off the email as a drop, not a reject, in order to save myself from looking every day to see if he contacts me but he doesn't know this. I blocked the phone, to help me detach, not to send a message. to him. I am protecting ME right now.  When I am in the place of "no interest" then I will be able to demonstrate "no interest". Right now I am in the place of shredded head and heart. Too vulnerable. 

No Contact (NC) or Controlled Contact (CC) is really for us. It's unfortunate when one has to resort to it - but sometimes we must.  I used it, too, as a tool to enforce boundaries on myself when I needed it.  It's sorta like putting a padlock on the refrigerator and giving the key to a neighbor  Smiling (click to insert in post)

No Interest shown (NIS) is really affective in disarming the other party.  But even here, if the other person is aggressive, you may need CC, NC, and even at times,  a Restraining Order.

It's a balancing act.

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« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2010, 05:18:24 AM »

I disagree on one point. I cut off facebook, to save myself from being tempted to look at his posts on friends sites. I cut off the email as a drop, not a reject, in order to save myself from looking every day to see if he contacts me but he doesn't know this. I blocked the phone, to help me detach, not to send a message. to him. I am protecting ME right now.  When I am in the place of "no interest" then I will be able to demonstrate "no interest". Right now I am in the place of shredded head and heart. Too vulnerable. 

No Contact (NC) or Controlled Contact (CC) is really for us. It's unfortunate when one has to resort to it - but sometimes we must.  I used it, too, as a tool to enforce boundaries on myself when I needed it.  It's sorta like putting a padlock on the refrigerator and giving the key to a neighbor  Smiling (click to insert in post)

This is exactly why I've decided to hold off on getting a phone.  I feel it helps me right now with CC.  Everyone is wondering why I haven't gotten a phone, and I just tell them it's a good thing for me right now.  I will get one when I feel I have fully disengaged from my ex.
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« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2010, 08:06:07 AM »

Think back to a normal breakup. It is usually tough, and it will hurt one of the participants, usually. Once "the talk" is over, and you have communicated a desire to not see one another anymore, that is usually the closure on the subject. In the case of post relationship contact, there is a firm boundary of not recycling the relationship. That will stand tall in the midst of it all.

The one breaking up will have an absoluteness about it. There is no teetering. There is a core sense of self, and desire. It maintains its thoughts and desires, not wavering in the fear, obligation, or guilt. The one being broken up with may try to recycle the relationship, but will encounter a brick wall of boundaries that quickly stops any and all attempts. Acceptance starts from that point.

Now take a disordered person, and inject them into the process. The big missing element is the strong core sense of self. Their thought processes move laterally depending on the fear and abandonment issues that they experience from day to day. One day, they may never want to see you again, and two days later, they want to have coffee with you. This leads to the massive confusion of the non, and the recycling process begins.

The boundary breaking comes from both sides of the fence. The lack of a core sense of self allows the disordered person to temporarily relieve themselves of any and all boundaries, and instigate contact. The FOG allows the non to take the communications, and read their own feeling into it, in their own utter confusion of the events.

We tend to think of what we would want if we committed certain actions. We judge others behavior, based on our own behaviors. If we call someone, and ask them to coffee, then it means we are interested in them. When someone asks us to coffee, we take the mindset of they must be interested in us. This type of uneducated thinking, leads us to drop our own boundaries. Boundary breaking is boundary breaking, even if it us who does it to ourselves, in our own misperception, or confusion of the events that are unfolding.

This process is a very complicated one, and includes many variables. We are really at the infancy of understanding it. The most useful piece of information, that we must understand in viewing all of this is the lack of core self in the disordered participant. There usually is no continuum of thoughts and feelings present. What we experience from their end isn't concrete, but more fleeting. We try to base our decisions on concrete thoughts and feelings. Thus the large amounts of recycles in these relationships.

Hi PDQuick,

I just re read  your post here, after reading it at least 3 times yesterday. It is extremely well said, very insightful. It really has helped me to see clearly through  what for a long time has been a big convoluted mess of thoughts and possible theories in my mind regarding my uBPDxgf and her seemingly without rhyme or reason thought patterns and actions. Especially her out of the blue birthday email to me that I mentioned earlier in this thread. Looking at it through the context of what you posted really explains and  make sense of  of a good bit of the craziness. Thanks for that.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)   
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« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2010, 10:11:29 AM »

Excerpt
No Contact (NC) or Controlled Contact (CC) is really for us. It's unfortunate when one has to resort to it - but sometimes we must.  I used it, too, as a tool to enforce boundaries on myself when I needed it.  It's sorta like putting a padlock on the refrigerator and giving the key to a neighbor 

No Interest shown (NIS) is really affective in disarming the other party.  But even here, if the other person is aggressive, you may need CC, NC, and even at times,  a Restraining Order.

Aw Shwing, thanks for the clarification. I can always count on you to help me get my head straight. You know I have read this before and intellectually I GET IT but what the heck happened to my boundaries and sense of self? It is like trying to reason with hurricane season in my emotions. This has been a real learning curve for me.

I think the N/C would have been easier had all the childhood tapes not started in the end, those tapes began when he verbally and emotionally abused me... .working through those triggers, coming to terms with the emotional abuse, etc on my part has been a slow and painful journey. My exH was physically abusive so I had tangible evidence of what was going on, but the mind games of the exnBPDbf was much more difficult to ferret out.

Thanks for posting this board. It is helping with clarification of my values and the areas of life that need addressing.

There is a quote in the book "The Natural" (great fiction and also a film starring Glenn Close and Robert Redford, it is one of my favorite movies). The quote is "God gives us two lives, the one we learn by and the one we live after we have learned". So in a way, we are always living two lives.
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« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2010, 03:38:23 AM »

Hi Skip

I went thru all these differing break up styles at different points. The last been fighting some two months ago and since then NC. She has threatened me in very general terms before as in "if you leave me just wait and see what happens" but these were not particularly upsetting threats but a very bizarre way to try to get someone to love you and the signs of a disordered mind. It can be difficult to know if we are in a phase of break up or we have truly given up on the exBPD. For me I went back a few times after several months but at no time had I found this board or realised she truly did have a serious mental illness. With that knowledge now, there is no going back so I know what phase of break up I am.
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« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2010, 01:58:16 PM »

I addressed my post to Shwing, I meant Skip. Sorry for the mistake.

The posts are very helpful, helps to understand their fleeting impulses. What takes place is my  behavior, so confusing and strange.

I was continually recycling based on the illusion of the relationship rather than the reality... .and was very confused. Everytime I heard from him, the work had to begin from scratch.

Anyway, learned a lot and am working on forgiving me. The other is realizing how enmeshed I was in the whole thing... .

I thought I was BPD for awhile but realize although that is inside me, the difference is I try to understand my behavior and work on solutions and boundaries. My response was shame driven. Given what he said that last day just triggered the old tapes, abandonment, not worthy of love. I kept thinking my emotional pain would go away if he would validate me through apology. What I've realized is the emotional pain must be healed inside of me, or at least a recognition it is there and not look to my partner to take care of my feelings. A healthy relationship would have balanced components of support and understanding. But ours wasn't healthy and I understand that now.

My hope is I am never with an abusive person again but if it happens the first time the abuse slips out... my old tapes might play for an instant... and then the new tape says "I don't deserve this, good bye".

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

C
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« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2010, 08:13:39 AM »

First I want to say thank you to C12P21 for the "old tapes" image. I have had to deal with the same kind of issues. There is no doubt that the verbal, emotional and physical abuse I received in my family has contributed to my fog and that the pwBPD learned very quickly how to make use of my past. I also enjoyed the line from "The Natural", one of my favorite movies! And I too want to move on into another stage of my life where I can say "no effin way!" to ANY form of abuse. I KNOW I deserve better and even if I live alone for the rest of my life it will be a good life and it will be my own.

But what struck me as I woke this morning is this: Regardless of how we as nons might categorize contact I think we can be quite certain that the pwBPD, "diagnosed" or not, would characterize the contact in a different manner. But it really doesn't matter what that person thinks if what we want is to take our own life back... .
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« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2010, 10:05:59 PM »

Excerpt
Post relationship fighting (25%*)  - With a very angry/resentful person, it's not unusual for the anger to continue past the separation.  Many pwBPD do this.  There is a lot of anger associated with this disorder.  This is mostly about resentments that have built up and feelings of being violated or shamed.  This can been in the form of either blaming, or detailing the resentment, or raging, or showing off the new boyfriend, or a host of other angry/resentful things. 

The blame goes to you because the pwBPD doesn't want it to fall on his/her (bad) behavior - she needs to be the victim - it not about you at all. 

This is so true. He is remarried, all ready. His sister calls today to tell me he wants me to know something, that it wasn't 'my fault" and then she starts in about how much he resented my exhusband. I cut her off and told her, that it was in the past, I've moved on, and if he wants me to know something, he knows how to reach me.

I understand their need for drama and to play victim. I understand he doesn't want to admit he is a womanizer and a liar. I know what happened, reinventing history doesn't change it. So glad for this post.
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« Reply #48 on: June 08, 2010, 09:11:51 PM »

I like simple explanations and fear we may be over complicating our analysis of post-breakup communications.  The common thread to all these patterns is that both partners persist in retaining emotional connections -- both negative and positive ones.  I have discussed this with my T and she agrees. Longing is an emotional connection, make-up is an emotional connection, and fighting is an emotional connection... .All I want to understand is how to recognize these behaviors and exterminate them. 

Bold moves won't work to end these complex emotional entanglements.  I feel like a surgeon removing a complex many branched tumor that has wrapped itself around blood vessels, organs, and nerves.  You can't just cut it off or rip it out.  It takes persistence and careful work to remove each branch of the tumor. 

It is time to behavior mod ourselves and move towards detachment in little steps (shaping).  Think of small ways to move on in our daily lives and communication with our exes, do these small things, and reward ourselves for following through.  Recognize any persistence of an emotional connection or attempt to engage emotionally for what it is and shut it down. 

It is tedious work, it is exhausting, and there is no other way to do it. 
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« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2010, 09:47:55 PM »

Excerpt
It is time to behavior mod ourselves and move towards detachment in little steps (shaping).  Think of small ways to move on in our daily lives and communication with our exes, do these small things, and reward ourselves for following through.  Recognize any persistence of an emotional connection or attempt to engage emotionally for what it is and shut it down.

Yes, a difficult process but a worthy goal. The persistent emotional connection for me is the love of the illusion, the person I projected he was, the kind of person I am in relationship. Loving, kind and supportive. The other emotional connection is not having closure, it still bothers me, yet I accept that it will and in time, it will fade and pass... .

C
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« Reply #50 on: June 10, 2010, 07:54:56 AM »

The common thread to all these patterns is that both partners persist in retaining emotional connections -- both negative and positive ones.    

HI Dad6145,

Interesting comments! You may want to go participate in this workshop entitled “recycling”. It is located here:

bpdfamily.com/topic=95860.0

Skippy
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« Reply #51 on: June 10, 2010, 10:12:24 AM »

I read the comments about how a "normal" relationship ends compared to one with a BPD (or other PD) partner. What a big difference! I truly believe that their way of thinking reflects all their actions. Here is how I experienced the difference:

My ex husband (normal) and I have been able to remain friends after the divorce. We can talk in a mature way and we agree most of the time when it comes to parenting issues, no major fights, because we want the kids to believe in a good marriage even though we were not able to keep it together. I also dated a guy (normal) for a couple of months after my divorce. Same thing, very simple, we broke up when we discovered our personalities did not match and there was not enough attraction between us. No threats, no bad words, no bad feelings.

My ex boyfriend on the other hand (diagnosed with anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, tested positive for 9/10 BPD traits, and was prescribed medication before we met) and I cannot talk in a mature way. We cannot stay friends after the breakup. Until I learned about these PDs I didnt understand why he was so different. We agreed early on to always stay "neutral", like friends, even after the breakup (like me and my ex husband) but it did not work that way. But when he contacted me the other day I got frustrated. His only intention was to take revenge and tell me how he works out every day, and how young women notice his great body... etc.

Its like listening to a teenage boy talk about himself in a narcissistic way.

After the breakup he has threatened to kill himself, sent me "goodbye, my life is over" messages, and tried to hold me responsible for his bad actions. He did that while we were together as well. My dysfunctional relationship with my ex bf hurt my strong core sense of self. The longer I stay away from him, the more I understand about myself, why I got so confused. I just hope I am not too messed up and able to get on with my life.

It does not matter if you are diagnosed, the behavior gives it away. People with "problems" don't want to see a doctor, mine was afraid of being labelled as crazy. No contact is the best option, Controlled contact the second best option. Going back to boost his self esteem would be a mistake, and having sex with him an even bigger mistake. Sex to him is a resolution of all problems, and an acceptance of everything he did, even abuse. Anybody else had this experience, using sex as a tool?

Break up/make up cycles are routine behavior for these people, whenever they need us they are angels, but the next moment they turn into demons. Posessiveness and control are typical too and thats why I thing No contact or Controlled contact are necessary to prevent getting hurt again.

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« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2013, 12:04:12 AM »

Contact after the breakup was when when I got really confused and hurt even more,also when I began to realise something was not right. I got invited over dinner then she changed her mind,eventually went for a day out and slept together again, but I was told things could not change,we could not get back together.

Started getting phone calls at work and at night, she would arrange to meet me if she was out in the car or if I drove past her car, I would get a text saying where are you going,what you doing, who you with? Also got text inviting me over to her house before work to lie in bed. Then arguments started when I got annoyed, I apologized a lot she never did.

Suddenly we were just good friends,although after 2 months she said she loved me and missed me then hurt me even more, when she spent the weekend with a guy and told me. She said nothing happened and she could not be in a relationship, more lies.

For some reason she wanted to tell me a stories everyday about her life, it was like a soap opera. I would get big long text messages every morning when I woke up for work, about everything that was happening with her family. When I got annoyed and said you don't want to be with me, so what are you doing? She was like I thought I could always talk to you,but obviously not. That's when I said if you are going to lie and mess me about,I can't help you.

She would always say I am not a btch and I don't lie and if asked about anything she said that was strange or worrying with her behaviour, she would say just leave it.

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Surrender
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« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2013, 01:21:36 PM »

We were planning marriage involving me leaving my country to be with him. I had just returned from living with him and plans were underway including an LOA from work, almost gave my place up and nearly sold my car. The following week I receive the 'out of the blue by the way I've already dumped you but just letting you know call. Literally out of nowhere he did a 180 and coldly ended everything.

All the typical re-connections established with his exes and ex-friends that he had ditched the year or two prior. New social regime implemented of bar-b-q's, parties and bars. No remorse and he made sure to say to me "I'm fixed solid and won't change my mind. It's done so don't bother besides I don't think I could have even been monogamous." Wow that was news to me because I had spent 2 years with a man that went out of his way to ensure that I be just as loyal and monogamous as he was. Well I didn't bother and managed to not contact him since.

He called me back only once to re-confirm the break-up was solid and to say there is no reason why we can't return to being best friends like we were before we were a couple. He told me "after all you are like family to me, and if you can't do this then you will truly be abandoning me".

My last words to him were "I'm going to miss my best friend but you won't be hearing from me ever again.

His last words to me as I was crying on the phone "well I have to put on my new face, I have the party bar-b-q to go to now that I have re-connected with my ex-girlfriend/friend. Oh by the way, I'll give you a little time and then when your feeling better I want you to call me".

I said "I am afraid then you will be waiting a life time because I will never be calling you again".

He said "Well then I will give you some time and distance and I'll then have to call you and check in somewhere down the road".

I said "please do not".

He said "well, you know I will because I care and want to know that your ok".

At this point I wanted to yell all manner of obscenities it was so convoluted.

I said Goodbye again and hung up. I haven't heard from him and it has been 2 weeks. I removed him from skype and my emails.

I suspect he will call sometime but I'm doing everything in my power to have n/c.

Makes me sick when I think that he expected me to feel greatfull and eager to talk to him.
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« Reply #54 on: April 17, 2013, 10:37:16 PM »

Crying Wings.

Wow, you demonstrated such terrific boundaries in the midst of a confused and broken heart.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I am sorry he treated you in such a poor manner. My hope is for your healing and from the way you handled the situation, you sound real solid.

Take care and thanks for posting,

C
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« Reply #55 on: April 18, 2013, 01:51:21 AM »

Crying Wings.

Wow, you demonstrated such terrific boundaries in the midst of a confused and broken heart.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I am sorry he treated you in such a poor manner. My hope is for your healing and from the way you handled the situation, you sound real solid.

Take care and thanks for posting,

C

Thank you but honestly I don't feel strong and I have no idea how I am maintaining these boundaries in the raging battle I find myself in.

It is really hard to be reasonable in this state and I'm doing everything in my power to do so. Truth is I don't want to be "HAD" anymore and I already feel that my dignity has been horribly compromised. Some things can't ever be corrected or undone. What he did to me falls under the category of something that can NEVER be undone. That is why I don't believe there can be closure nor would I want to give him the time of day. As agonizing as it is I know it's OVER so I don't need closure. What he did to me is closure and when I deeply think about it all I come back to the same dead end.

But at the very least I can ensure that he doesn't have the last carrot on the stick because that is EXACTLY what he needs to feed on. In a way that is the best closure I could give myself and retain what ever vestige of honor I have in this all.

I don't know if that makes sense but that is what I have concluded because ultimately I know he would just love to string me along. It would massage his ego, his 'needs' and he could continue living under the auspice that he could technically have me in some way if he wanted to continue living his 'theme'. I don't want to give him that option. In fact, I want to do the opposite. I want to ensure that he is NOT appeased by reaching me or ever talking to me again. I know it is only a matter of time before he will call me and 'check-in'. Well the phone will never be answered and he simply will just never know where I stand but all he will be left to think is that his worst nightmare was true. He will never talk to me again and he will know absolutely nothing about me because he will be cut off completely cold turkey just like he did.

He will feel abandoned and like he never meant anything to me. He will doubt that I ever truly loved him and he will in his way, yearn to at least make some connection without ever being able to. In his mind he desires some twisted vindication in me longing for him, but he also thinks that he has truly spared me because he loves me therefore some part of me should still love him. However, I'm okay with him NEVER getting that satisfaction because there cannot ever be real closure. Truth is the closure was always in every abusive behavior he did against me. Sound cruel? Well I don't harbor malice or ill will but I'm done with being his pawn and plaything. In the end he will be the one hanging and it will never be the closure or 'stringing' that he so 'needs' and yearns for.  His narcissism will absolutely hate it and that will slowly smolder within him. He will be like a pendulum swinging between rage and taking on the victim stance justified in all his 'black' delusions against me. But he will retreat to longing sometimes and there he will not find his peace with me in this all.

What he has done to me is not forgivable in the sense that it is not excusable even in his illness. I forgive him in 'spirit' and no single ill word was spoken by me when he so coldly dumped me. He has lived a life of being able to 'get away' with everything without truly understanding how it impacts people. Here is a chance at least for him to understand that another human being is not his play thing and that enough is enough. Sick or not he WILL be thinking about my NON-Response and underneath his cool layers it will burn him in some way. He will at first take the victim stance and like a simmering volcano the heat will increase into rage. Let it be so because I will NOT play into a lingering game of emotional torture just for his appeasement.

Forgive me if I have just ranted but I just felt that my argument is justified and that somehow even though I'm tortured through this all, I will not allow myself to cave anymore. I know the game even if he is ill but I just can't be the victim, who is the pretend rescuer only to discover that I was always the victim 'game' just to prolong what is already and always has been a sharp "Good-Bye". I'm not a cruel person but by nature I'm no one's victim in the END even in LOVE. I was his victim and protector long enough. (he doesn't need to know just how much I suffer, that is for me).



Rough Ride Indeed.

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« Reply #56 on: April 18, 2013, 11:00:52 PM »

It wasn't a rant, you are very clear, well stated and here is a big BRAVO to you for your clarity and boundaries. You are protecting yourself from further abuse.

I didn't have nearly the insight to the disorder as you do when my relationship with a dNPD ended. I wish I had. I admire you.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

C
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« Reply #57 on: July 10, 2013, 01:11:47 AM »

Excellent thread, thanks for bumping,

I have been expecting that I might have to deal with an unleashed storm from her after things have gone so smooth so far. I realize initially there was some boundary busting attempts on her part after the breakup, especially her wanting to stay the last month until our lease was up and then when she was excited when I initially agreed to meet with her a couple days after the breakup.

I realize I threw up some pretty big boundaries initially in response to her boundary busting. I told her no way could I handle her still living with me and to pack her stuff up while I was at work. Then when she kept wanting to meet over the couple weeks post breakup (I was initially excited, but eventually decided I couldn't handle it) to talk about moving stuff and "to see where we are at... . " my response was "do whatever you want with moving but I can't see or talk to you now".

Perhaps she saw how dead serious I was about not seeing her right away until she wouldn't be able to reel me back into her world. I'll admit the hurting part of me wanted her to stay the last month and then to meet her a couple weeks after the breakup, but I guess my mind was just able to yell at me enough not to do it. I'm hoping now she just quietly fades away out of my life for good.

Trick



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« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2013, 01:43:22 AM »

Crying Wings.

Wow, you demonstrated such terrific boundaries in the midst of a confused and broken heart.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I am sorry he treated you in such a poor manner. My hope is for your healing and from the way you handled the situation, you sound real solid.

Take care and thanks for posting,

C

Thank you but honestly I don't feel strong and I have no idea how I am maintaining these boundaries in the raging battle I find myself in.

It is really hard to be reasonable in this state and I'm doing everything in my power to do so. Truth is I don't want to be "HAD" anymore and I already feel that my dignity has been horribly compromised. Some things can't ever be corrected or undone. What he did to me falls under the category of something that can NEVER be undone. That is why I don't believe there can be closure nor would I want to give him the time of day. As agonizing as it is I know it's OVER so I don't need closure. What he did to me is closure and when I deeply think about it all I come back to the same dead end.

But at the very least I can ensure that he doesn't have the last carrot on the stick because that is EXACTLY what he needs to feed on. In a way that is the best closure I could give myself and retain what ever vestige of honor I have in this all.

I don't know if that makes sense but that is what I have concluded because ultimately I know he would just love to string me along. It would massage his ego, his 'needs' and he could continue living under the auspice that he could technically have me in some way if he wanted to continue living his 'theme'. I don't want to give him that option. In fact, I want to do the opposite. I want to ensure that he is NOT appeased by reaching me or ever talking to me again. I know it is only a matter of time before he will call me and 'check-in'. Well the phone will never be answered and he simply will just never know where I stand but all he will be left to think is that his worst nightmare was true. He will never talk to me again and he will know absolutely nothing about me because he will be cut off completely cold turkey just like he did.

He will feel abandoned and like he never meant anything to me. He will doubt that I ever truly loved him and he will in his way, yearn to at least make some connection without ever being able to. In his mind he desires some twisted vindication in me longing for him, but he also thinks that he has truly spared me because he loves me therefore some part of me should still love him. However, I'm okay with him NEVER getting that satisfaction because there cannot ever be real closure. Truth is the closure was always in every abusive behavior he did against me. Sound cruel? Well I don't harbor malice or ill will but I'm done with being his pawn and plaything. In the end he will be the one hanging and it will never be the closure or 'stringing' that he so 'needs' and yearns for.  His narcissism will absolutely hate it and that will slowly smolder within him. He will be like a pendulum swinging between rage and taking on the victim stance justified in all his 'black' delusions against me. But he will retreat to longing sometimes and there he will not find his peace with me in this all.

What he has done to me is not forgivable in the sense that it is not excusable even in his illness. I forgive him in 'spirit' and no single ill word was spoken by me when he so coldly dumped me. He has lived a life of being able to 'get away' with everything without truly understanding how it impacts people. Here is a chance at least for him to understand that another human being is not his play thing and that enough is enough. Sick or not he WILL be thinking about my NON-Response and underneath his cool layers it will burn him in some way. He will at first take the victim stance and like a simmering volcano the heat will increase into rage. Let it be so because I will NOT play into a lingering game of emotional torture just for his appeasement.

Forgive me if I have just ranted but I just felt that my argument is justified and that somehow even though I'm tortured through this all, I will not allow myself to cave anymore. I know the game even if he is ill but I just can't be the victim, who is the pretend rescuer only to discover that I was always the victim 'game' just to prolong what is already and always has been a sharp "Good-Bye". I'm not a cruel person but by nature I'm no one's victim in the END even in LOVE. I was his victim and protector long enough. (he doesn't need to know just how much I suffer, that is for me).



Rough Ride Indeed.

Excellent post surrender, and basically sums up how I feel towards my ex. My ex also left it up to me to contact her when I was ready. Ready for what? Like she was doing me a favor. I find it disturbing, especially because through this whole thing there has been no recognition or thanks on her part for what I did for her during the whole relationship (there was plenty).

Was it because I didn't give her a chance post-breakup? That can't be it, in one of the written letters I left for her I did acknowledge that despite the pain, I did treasure our time together and wouldn't trade the experience back. But I have gotten absolutely NOTHING back from her.

It's like she just buried the past four years away somewhere inside of her without reflecting at all. Well, I just don't care anymore, I'm tired of being in her world especially when I see a much better world without her.

It's scary how their brains/emotions work. Hope you are doing well.

Trick   
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« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2013, 10:10:31 AM »

From Skip:

" ... . does looking at the bigger picture help?

The small picture was a lot of mixed signals and confusion by her actions.  If she was leaving, why didn't she make arrangements for the cat, why was she contacting you, what did she trying to do to you? Was it control? Payback? Maliciousness?

The big picture view is that she leaves to pursue another relationship.  This was "happy time" for her.  It was heartbreak city for you (thats a tough situation to live through). 

She was completely caught up in her happiness.  You were completely caught up in your pain. 

She wanted you to be a supportive buddy.  You agreed (when you kept the cat).  Her anger was not to control you - it was because you agreed to be the kennel and you then you made her deal with your hurt rather than act like a friend who agreed to hold a cat for a few months. 

The complexities and humiliation of the cat visits was not you being mean - it was you being heartbroken and wanting her to at least acknowledge your emotions at the time.

This was a boundary mess.  She had no respect for conventional post relationship boundaries. You were caught off guard and it took a little while for you to erect some boundaries.   It was not control.   It was not anger.  It wasn't about you or your feelings at all.

So why does she text you now when the photo of the two of you made ended up in a college exhibit?  Because you're the buddy and the only one she can share that excitement with. Her current ex wouldn't find that interesting.  It's probably no more than that. Her expectation most likely was for you to text back  "cool, where can I go to see it" .  It was a simple, uncomplicated, moment for her.

Has she demonized you?  The bigger picture would suggest she has little emotion about the whole thing."


That's it exactly!

Looking back and considering the big picture now, it's much easier to see that those first two or three months after he left me for another woman, he wasn't contacting me because he was having any second thoughts/doubts about that decision (which is what I most definitely hoped/thought it meant) - he was contacting me because, after being with me for 12+ years, he considered me his best friend/buddy and wanted to share his happiness/excitement about the new woman/relationship with me as such (how much I/our kids would really like her, how great she was in bed, how nice it was to finally be with someone who was so interesting and sweet, etc., etc.).

I used to sit there listening to him talk, or reading what he wrote absolutely astounded at what he was saying to me sometimes ... . and how hurt and/or angry at me he would get when I didn't respond the way he wanted/expected.

He really didn't get it.

But, then again, neither did I at the time.

NC helped clear the FOG, and posts like this help me frame my experience in ways that make it even clearer.

Tx Skip for bumping this up!
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« Reply #60 on: October 05, 2013, 06:36:07 AM »

Interesting comment about post break up contact. He reached out after a month wanting to remain friends and talk on the phone. I realized that was not good for me because it was keeping me emotionally engaged. At that time I did not recognize the BPD. But a couple months later he called me at 7:30 in the morning. And again at 7:35. And 8:30, when I finally picked up the phone. I know we are all in pain here, but there is some humor in acknowledgement that ... .he had broken up with rebound girl the night before. He couldn't stand the pain for being alone for even a few minutes! And felt compelled to call me the minute he woke up.
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« Reply #61 on: November 08, 2013, 04:35:04 AM »

As I reflect on the behavior however I think it was due to my absolute devastation as to what happened and me trying to make sense of it all... .Plus I had not gone through something like this prior, no experience to draw from...

I was stuck in "magical" thinking, thinking if I explained things well enough the person I knew would return and talk to me. Then I was stuck in "helping" him, I knew I didn't want a intimate relationship with him anymore, didn't ask for one, but hoped for a friendship of some sort.

I recognise myself in these words by C12P21. I didn't know about BPD behaviours until recently and I only found this site after my relationship with my uBPDex was over. But in this time I've become aware of my own negative behaviours in the relationship - that I was trying to fix my exSO, that if I gave them enough love, a stable home life etc they would settle down. I realise now I justified a lot of negative behaviours away (she was busy, had had an unhappy upbringing, I had more time to run the house than she did, that if I did these things she would be happier, more communicative, on more even keel).

Magical thinking and a big dose of co-dependency from me!

I've also never had a relationship like this before. Someone whose moods can change so quickly or who could be fickle even about our relationship. At our lowest point, my uBPDex said the most horrid things to me when breaking up but not two hours later asked that we try again, that I was the best thing to happen to her. She flat out denied those horrible accusations saying I misconstrued them. To say I was bewildered is an understatement.

Since our breakup we've busted boundaries with inappropriate requests and sought validation too many times. I think the way forward for me is to be mindful of my boundaries and of our behaviours. I'm working on setting appropriate boundaries with her and dealing with my own issues with my T. I'm not as available to her as I once was and building a life that does not revolve around her but still includes her as a friend.



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« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2013, 04:00:54 PM »

Hey Tippy,

I wanted to respond to your comment about escalating.

In resolving some unfinished business, he has contacted me. And it is so filled with anger. Not just towards me. Towards everyone. He doesn't complete a sentence without dropping the F bomb.

What happened to the kind person I knew?

I actually fibbed to a friend and said he was dead. Well, he is dead in my heart. That is the only way I can deal.

I do not know this person.

I heard through the grapevine that his sister asked his new "victim" if her had hit her yet. Yet.

Hmmm ... .
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« Reply #63 on: April 21, 2014, 09:25:28 AM »

I guess my questions best boils down to should I try or do I wait?

Basically we broke up after 14 months at the end of Feb. I moved out April 1 and he is acting as if I do not exist and will not respond to any (just 2) texts that I have sent since I moved out.

I did not know he had BPD at the time and what I said to him as we broke up is probably the worst thing I could have said. But, the way he was treating me was unbearable. I feel so bad for saying it…but I said this is why you will die alone. I can see now why he probably hates me so much.

How…or is there anything I can do to help him come around? Is it just time? Or possibly he never does?
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« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2016, 03:10:48 PM »

I am basically in the normal to no contact slice because its better for me, he's undiagnosed. I live two hours south. I had to move closer to my job, he's retired, my family is closer to where I am now, so no point in staying near him if he's not serious about getting well. He didn't want to seek treatment or do long distance, so I would not give him keys to my place, it was not practical to have a screamer entering any time , I need a place I will be able to keep, he wasn't respecting me. No contact or minimal gets me guaranteed respect, unfortunately, he can sit with those boundaries. He was the one who decided to end it after I put those conditions out there but he did try to recycle it before the holidays, I think so he didnt have to tell his family we really split after nine years, i didn't take the bait. He had all the control in the marriage and I lost too much. There was a lot if lying on his part.
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« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2016, 07:17:32 PM »

She hasn't made any contact to me in the 9 days since we ended it. I wrote to her twice initially regarding some practical things, but she didn't respond either.
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« Reply #66 on: April 05, 2016, 01:06:26 PM »

all i know and can say about this is this:

after any normal breakup i have had, we have both gone NC, at least for a good 6 months, to heal. 

i was ABSOLUTELY shocked when i heard from my uBPDex a day after she broke up with me over the phone, asking if i was okay ... .then the next day calling me to talk.  it baffled me.  i assumed this meant she was having second thoughts about the extremely abrupt breakup.  i was wrong.  i was in for a whole month of pushing and pulling after that.  definitely boundary breaking, and where she really messed me up.

I have had the same thing happen to me over and over. In Dec. my BPD ex would tell me to get over it and block him and that he would never come back to the relationship ever! but on some days, he would text me and ask me if I was ok, or send a pic of himself in his underwear. If I tried to talk to him about the relationship and what happened, he would get rude and lash out about how everything was my fault due to my insecurities. Meanwhile I only felt insecure about when he would leave again when the end of a month came around. Every other month he finds something to get so angry about and pin it on me and leave again, taking me off facebook and off his phone, then contacting me when he was bored I guess. Dec. was hell, Jan. seemed great, At the second week of Feb., back to hellish breakup, March was great, then Last day of March... blame.  He text me yesterday to say that he is sorry I am hurting and that eventually  my love will diminish and someone else less turbulent will take his place. Meanwhile, the texts the day before was accusing me that I would go out and find someone new in a few days and he will feel sorry for the poor ass. Blamed all his lies to me on the fact that he just was trying to keep me happy and keep us from fighting.  I never ever raised my voice to him or cursed him out like he has done to me. A simple question to him was always taken out of context and caused him to fume up or blank out. Walking on eggshells was to hard, and yet I am addicted to his nice persona everytime he returned, and I am missing him so much. ugh
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atomic popsicles
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« Reply #67 on: June 13, 2016, 07:44:16 PM »

First of all, thanks to all who wrote in on this thread. I'd love some updates so I can hear about how everyone has healed.

I have done all this wrong. Offered "get help, there's a chance", worried where he was... .I'm done. I have lost my self respect and dignity in all possible ways. This site and this thread, not to mention the 4 nasty emails that I have gotten today, has opened my eyes. Especially since he sends them from my email address to me so he's not violating any restraining order!

I'm done. I haven't replied. I told his family I was respecting his wishes for no contact with them and have not replied. I'm refusing to take responsibility for the failure of this marriage. Am I codependent? Well duh, and more so now. But I didn't make bad choices, destroy a house, emotionally abuse my spouse. BPD is no excuse if someone admits they have it and refuses help.

I have been so sad, then I read one if the resources about falling in love with someone with BPD. Check. Done. I was to the point of feeling worthless and useless because he would say "leave me alone, I don't want to talk or see you". Funny, no matter how sad I have been since Wednesday I haven't felt like that.

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« Reply #68 on: June 19, 2016, 07:10:41 PM »

I have lost my self respect and dignity in all possible ways.

Thanks for sharing that. I feel the same way. I was married to a high functioning BPD for 10 years. The things she did to me, and the excuses I made about the need to keep the family together were incredible. But I did it for years.

She moved out, but we've still been emotionally entangled. I vowed today to follow the advice on this site. We have two children together, so non contact isn't an option. I am finding it hard to cut off all non-essential contact, but I was able to do it today.

I found these tips on the site that I'm trying to live by:

~      keep all contact short and sweet - the shorter the better.

~   get the partner out of your day-to- day life

~   stop thinking in terms of a relationship

~   take them out of your vision of the future

~   stop wondering about how they are perceiving everything you are doing

~   stop obsessing with how they are reacting (or not reacting) or what they are doing.

https://bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a110.htm
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« Reply #69 on: July 29, 2016, 05:45:30 PM »

It's been a while since I've posted regularly here but the time has finally come for me to put my two cents into this thread and call it a day.

pwBPD and separated about a year and a half ago. I tried to remain friends with her, but found that this new friendship lacked everything that was important to me in a friendship. My ex continued to hide things from me, and it recently came to my attention that she had been hiding much more, things that happened while we were still together. Funnily enough, my past anxieties have been justified. Turns out I wasn't crazy after all!

A lot of time has passed since the breakup, but I finally feel like I've found a larger since of closure on the past. I've decided to shut the door for good and cut all ties. It is a painful decision, but like so many others that have gone the route of trying to stay in touch, the post-relationship friendship ended up extending the pain that I originally felt all along. I don't hold it against her and wish her the best, but have realized that I can't have that level of toxicity in my life anymore and expect to be happy. It just won't work for me.

That said, everyone's situation is different. The main point that I make is that if I had fully trusted myself I could have prevented myself from feeling a certain way longer than I needed to. That's ok. I forgive myself. Just a word to the wise.  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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SerendipityChild
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 144


« Reply #70 on: August 14, 2018, 04:22:31 PM »

Hey Tippy,

I wanted to respond to your comment about escalating.

In resolving some unfinished business, he has contacted me. And it is so filled with anger. Not just towards me. Towards everyone. He doesn't complete a sentence without dropping the F bomb.

What happened to the kind person I knew?

I actually fibbed to a friend and said he was dead. Well, he is dead in my heart. That is the only way I can deal.

I do not know this person.

I heard through the grapevine that his sister asked his new "victim" if her had hit her yet. Yet.

Hmmm ... .
This is the problem with their BPD. They can be the sweetest person in the whole world one minute then becomes the devil's spawn the next. You can never win with them. The moodiness had me walking on eggshells.
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