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Author Topic: Five Warning Signs Of Unhealthy Boundaries - Steve Safigan  (Read 5365 times)
DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2015, 12:05:40 PM »

WOW.  

The long-term effects of porous boundaries can be severe. You feel increasingly stressed, as you continually choose other people over yourself. You feel guilty for disrespecting yourself and letting other people impose on you. You become increasingly angry, irritable and resentful and find yourself unmotivated to participate in life, even falling into a deep depression. You may become so exhausted and consumed by others' lives that you feel as if you have no life of your own.

BINGO!

I need to print that entire post and put it on my bathroom mirror.  Actually I should have a copy in every room!  And the car... .my purse... .Idea

Perhaps in a lovely calligraphy... .  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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Married2monster

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« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2015, 12:25:26 PM »

 Love it DreamFlyer!  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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braveSun
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« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2015, 03:51:47 PM »

I have difficulties with #3 as to how to let my difficult emotions 'just be', to get a break, so to speak. Like with my anger, I tend to 'manage' my emotion, diffuse, etc. But sometimes it doesn't work good enough for me. I tend to not allow myself to feel my anger or my sadness fully. Another aspect is overtime, I do some expression of it, but there is not a real 2 ways exchange in the relationship. Overtime, I need time off, just for me. That's where I see the effect of the suppression.

It's uncounscious almost. It happens very fast.  Some fear that if I did, I would lose my partner to her fear of abandonment (trigger her).

Also the odd inverse thing happens. She is, at times, wonderfully supportive. In those times, it's almost as if I could not allow myself to just relax in her gift, not fully. At the beginning I did unabashedly, and it was awesome. Overtime, I kind of shut down a bit, gradually, like I cannot beleive it fully, since I expect later she will do something which hurts. I tend to instinctively want to 'manage myself' there too.

Anybody else has that?

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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2015, 11:50:52 PM »

I totally understand #3 and what you're saying, BraveSun. I've had to learn to feel my feelings and let my grief or anger or whatever just happen. Couldn't do that so much when I was at home with my uBPDh, he was very uncomfortable with my feelings and would usually try to medicate me when I had strong bad feelings! Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) It's hard to always be taking care of the other person's feelings and never your own, and it's so unhealthy for us--i'm sure that's why I developed Fibromyalgia.
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braveSun
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« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2015, 02:05:04 PM »

Wow Dreamflyer!...  

How did you come into discovering the link between your fibromyalgia and your everyday 'emotional restrictions'? Did you have increasing symptoms as you went through your days? Did you just discover you were sick all of a sudden?

I am also on a watch for my little physical symptoms. Like I had hormonal spikes, dizzy spells, insomnia and some high anxiety states. I also have had an unusually slow recovery from a recent flu. I'm usually very good with that, 3 days and I'm back on the saddle. This last time, it took more than 3 weeks for the little symptoms to stop.

Did you find it's difficult to keep up taking yourself into consideration, while in the swings of everyday demands of the insecurities of your partner? Like taking a few breaths here and there, bringing the energy of the moment to '0', remembering to take my vitamins, or to keep enough money in my bank account (no matter the budget), for things only myself need, instead of the household/others. This maybe sounds a bit wild, but I have never done so much of that type of 'forgetting' before, and I live separately.

In some moments, I find that I tend to almost forget that I 'am', like I forget my own sense of 'being', so strong the pull to be 'there for her', or to not 'betray her fears of abandonment' can get. 

It's not good for sure, and it's a daily bootstrapping for me right now, to not react too much and just 'wait & see'. Like as if it would be to let her down if I did just leave her alone with the difficulty of the moment. She's struggling, I know that. And I am too. She needs to practice her coping skills just like I do.

It's a good lesson in learning to stay 'behind me', in the misdt of challenging emotional bouts. Two bodies can fall in the water, and there will be a better chance to return to shore if both can swim.

I strive very hard right now, to position myself as an adult in face of another adult. 
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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2015, 03:03:28 PM »

My fibromyalgia hit after a big emotional mess involving my husband and our church's pastor. I was so enmeshed in my husband's emotions and my need to keep him afloat that the situation took a huge toll on me too, and within the week the symptoms started with the extreme and early muscle fatigue, bad sleep, and pain. And the symptoms just kept getting worse--the first week I had 2 nights bad sleep, but within a month it was every night, things like that. My T and I actually figured it out! My body was set up for it having spent my entire life to that point trying to take care of someone else's feelings but not my own. I didn't feel I knew myself anymore.

A big struggle for many of us with unhealthy boundaries is to learn what we as an individual are responsible for and what the other person is responsible for. Where our garden leaves off and the next person's begins. And we need to learn all we can and practice those boundaries where we let the other person feel their pain and we support them but don't take it on. That was huge for me! Learning that other people get to have their feelings, even if they make me super uncomfortable. Not trying to talk them out of those bad feelings, but be there for them without "fixing" the feelings. That's what will validate the other person and allow us to have our own sense of self.

It's a big change for us when we've "needed to fix" someone else's feelings, cuz that's what we're trying to do--not so much for them as for ourselves. Like anything else it takes practice practice practice! But we can do it. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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braveSun
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« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2015, 05:31:14 PM »

My fibromyalgia hit after a big emotional mess involving my husband and our church's pastor. I was so enmeshed in my husband's emotions and my need to keep him afloat that the situation took a huge toll on me too, and within the week the symptoms started with the extreme and early muscle fatigue, bad sleep, and pain. And the symptoms just kept getting worse--the first week I had 2 nights bad sleep, but within a month it was every night, things like that. My T and I actually figured it out! My body was set up for it having spent my entire life to that point trying to take care of someone else's feelings but not my own. I didn't feel I knew myself anymore.

Wow!... I see what you mean. It's awesome that your T worked with you on this. Things can take you by surprise and affect you so much so quickly if you are not on the ball...

Excerpt
A big struggle for many of us with unhealthy boundaries is to learn what we as an individual are responsible for and what the other person is responsible for. Where our garden leaves off and the next person's begins. And we need to learn all we can and practice those boundaries where we let the other person feel their pain and we support them but don't take it on. That was huge for me!

Yup!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I have an example here. My SO is struggling with her sex addiction. The issues she's having are to say the least, difficult for me to stomach. She's working at recovery, and than she's periodically slipping into difficult emotional states. I have learned to appreciate over time that when she feels 'challenged', she will reach out to me and seek my support. Something better than her simply betraying me, because of the confidence she offered me.

Only that it's not always practical, and naturally, overtime I gradually feel trapped in by that expectation of myself of 'being there for her when she needs it'. Like more and more often, if she slipped and acted out, right after the fact, she'll want to reach out. In a 'normal relationship', I would not require of myself to have any patience with this kind of behavior. Fidelity is an important value for me. I work hard on my anger issues. I have set some very clear boundaries with this several months ago. I had the requirement for her to let me have my space, right after she slipped, and to go to her support people instead of me.

Samewise, gradually, I developed a growing expectation that she recognizes the hurt it causes me when she slips (read *sees me*), and takes up a more and more hands-on, planned, pro-active role in the face of her compulsivity. As I see this reflected in many BPD stories across the boards at bpdfamily, it does not usually work out as we, nons would need or expect. There has to be some flexibility on my part to meet the reality. I get easily caught there. I'm new to this. I'm learning through trial & errors. There are road blocks and detours, and frankly, some times it gets overwhelming. I see the symptoms of my boundary erosion by noticing little details like when I 'forget to under~stand myself'. Those issues are though to deal with. 

Excerpt
Learning that other people get to have their feelings, even if they make me super uncomfortable. Not trying to talk them out of those bad feelings, but be there for them without "fixing" the feelings. That's what will validate the other person and allow us to have our own sense of self.

I totally understand what it means to not try to 'fix the feelings'. At the beginning, I did a lot of 'soothing' and felt very responsive to her emotional needs. Wow! She liked that!... I would block completely my own feelings of anger, diffuse, and go right in there and explain what I understood could be happening for her, what I believed our shared values were, what she could do, typical problem-solving, etc. I tried to do some mini breathing meditations, mental word games, counting backwards in the middle of the night, you name it. As time went on, I took a beating from my own rising anger, and from the boomeranging effects of her 'omitting my own experience', when regardless on how it affected me, she still made bad choices (hurting me and herself too).  In her typical BPD experience, she doesn't 'remember me' when she feels the strong urges. Apologizing after the facts does not make a difference anymore.

I learned that those feelings she has, even though they're not about me, even though they are triggering my insecurities a lot, they are not going away because she or I want them gone. She has to do her own shame work, her own self-soothing practice, her own homework. This is a sharp example of where being with a pwBPD, and having no control over her recovery, can grate on your boundaries (and on your sanity) if you are not keeping up at reaching out for your own support.

Sometimes I'm catching myself thinking that I would take a yelling-angry-words-at-me companion 10x over this stuff... But I better watch my mouth!...   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)


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« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2015, 09:43:29 AM »

I have difficulties with #3 as to how to let my difficult emotions 'just be', to get a break, so to speak. Like with my anger, I tend to 'manage' my emotion, diffuse, etc. But sometimes it doesn't work good enough for me. I tend to not allow myself to feel my anger or my sadness fully. ... .

It's uncounscious almost. It happens very fast.  Some fear that if I did, I would lose my partner to her fear of abandonment (trigger her).

Also the odd inverse thing happens. She is, at times, wonderfully supportive. In those times, it's almost as if I could not allow myself to just relax in her gift, not fully. At the beginning I did unabashedly, and it was awesome. Overtime, I kind of shut down a bit, gradually, like I cannot beleive it fully, since I expect later she will do something which hurts. I tend to instinctively want to 'manage myself' there too.

Anybody else has that?

Yes, braveSun, I can relate to what you are feeling/expressing.  I recognize that I have an unconscious hesitancy to wallow in the support fearing that it will be pulled out like a rug under my feet.  I thought I had worked a lot on boundaries and my fear of abandonment which feeds my self-worth as far as relationships are concerned.  I realize that I need to continually be aware of and learn more about my boundaries, and how to set and hold to healthy ones.

AGP
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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2015, 01:22:19 PM »

Oh, braveSun, that's a huge difference in values between the two of you--just wow. It sounds like you're figuring out how to balance each of your needs, but DANG.
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braveSun
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« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2015, 05:58:27 PM »

Oh, braveSun, that's a huge difference in values between the two of you--just wow. It sounds like you're figuring out how to balance each of your needs, but DANG.

What did you see? About monogamy and non-monogamy?

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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2015, 03:13:51 PM »

Oh, braveSun, that's a huge difference in values between the two of you--just wow. It sounds like you're figuring out how to balance each of your needs, but DANG.

What did you see? About monogamy and non-monogamy?

Yes. That's a large difference.
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braveSun
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« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2015, 10:55:39 PM »



Dreamflyer thank you!

Yes, I have been thinking about that for a while. Now the way I understand this (and it might not appear like this in my posts above), is that my SO does share my values of wanting a healthy, faithful, monogamous relationship.

But when she dysregulates, she feels that I will leave her, and acts out by having affairs. In those moments, her thinking changes, and she rationalizes it by saying that she always has done things like that. 'She hurts people' (her words). But she doesn't want that. She's walking away from her old ways. She wants a relationship like she sees I am capable of having. She is attracted to me because of that. When she has affairs, it's becoming more like she either feels like she needs another partner like myself, i.e. with similar qualities (a replacement of me), or she gives it all up momentarily and has sex, thinking she's never going to achieve her goals. Or she will pick a partner who does give her the emotional nurturing she seeks, than realises that she will have to work on her issues just the same with that new affair and stops it on her own.  The NC we're in right now was laid out as an opportunity for her to see if she can manage alone for a bit, because I told her that I will need periodic time outs if I have a future with her. While we're not talking everyday, she can explore what happens in her emotions.

I in turn have to live my emotions, and keep up with my insecurities, because of the extinction burst effect. It looks like gradually, as she is working on her issues, she could get better at managing her 'cues', at least seeing them in action. I have to attend to my fears that it might never materialise, not knowing really if she will succeed, and stick to my guns anyway for that period of time. The doubts can certainly creep up on me, but I have to stick it out. I can learn also about my own 'cues', how I can depersonalize the hurtful behavior, but also be consistent that it has to go. 

The underlying issue is the insecure attachment style. I understand now I'm the more secure one.

What you are looking at is her BPD in action and how steep my BPD learning curve is. Values are shared.


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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2015, 12:23:36 PM »

BraveSun,

That's a very generous approach for you to take! Is she actually making headway? Can you look at a time in the past and see where she has moved closer to the goal, having less episodes than now? I hope so, you sound quite kind yet firm in your boundaries. In the world of my fuzzy boundaries (which are becoming more clear) I let my uBPDh's words be my guide rather than his actions. It took some time before I learned to compare the two and see his actions fell far short of his words. I truly hope that's not the case for you. That's great you can allow her to feel her own feelings and deal with her own insecurities. In my case I finally had to let go the idea that because my h said he wanted something or shared my value about something, that something wasn't going to necessarily appear.

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« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2015, 04:49:40 AM »



    DreamFlyer, thank you so much for your encouragements... I think that most people who truely want to heal and grow can do just that. At least be in motion about it, and reach a certain amount of self-awareness. Gradually.

That goes for both the non and the pwBPD. Like you shared of your experience, I've had to learn on the fly about her words not matching her actions. I've had to accept that of myself, that I have been making mistakes of judgement, and will be making more along the way. I am learning BPD from trial and errors. I'm new to this.


Do you feel at times that your H has been in motion about his recovery, or status quo?


For my SO, there is a definite quality of trying out different responses sometimes, inquiry into self and behaviors (not just hers, but also mine and others who affect her). Like someone who learns very very very slow.

The time she spent in residential treatment seems to have affected her growth much more significantly. Maybe. I'm always chosing the better view, even though I know that there are the bad times too. But there is evidence of insights. That's both encouraging, ... and also scary. Hmmm... Because I agree with you, there is no guaranties. Not even after having spent all that effort and time and money in therapy, there is no guaranties that they won't slip again.

The way I see it is that my SO does share my values, but sees herself as failing to deliver the consistent output with her efforts. She has been going on for maybe 3 weeks without sexually acting out, than she had a slip. Now there are those 3 weeks, and way back it was slips several times/week. It has been up and down all the way. Nothing linear. But there is now a small group of people around her who are rooting for her in her path. That makes a subtle difference in her confidence. Even if she rebels sometimes. I can confirm that she is in motion, and has a 'main direction'.

Example: Recently I watched the movie 'Thanks for sharing' and she knew about it. After the movie, I cried. I felt that I had hurt her with my angry words when she had betrayed me in the past. She was very keen on my emotions/experience right there. There was good intimacy there. I had an emotional apology to her. She responded quickly that 'On no! It was she, who had hurt me to begin with, with her hurtful behavior. Don't even to there!' She said...

Those moments are important for the future. I want those to accumulate.


About fuzzy boundaries... It's way more difficult to know what our natural limits are when we have lived an extended period of time with someone who tends to crash people's boundaries. I would say for me, it's much easier to see my limits if I am physically separated from my SO. Even better if I am NC for a few days. In long term r/s, people tend to stabilize behaviors, even if they are not all for the best. There seem to be some sort of ecology of behaviors between partners, and to create changes, it takes a lot of momentum. I admire people who are breaking the status quo in their long term relationships. It demands a lot of courage.

On the other hand, I can see that if something is not going to appear, than it won't. People have to take care of their needs in the best ways possible.

It helps greatly for both partners to have a T and a support network, always.

And of course, MC if both want to make changes.

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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2015, 12:12:41 PM »

Sadly, my uBPDh hasn't made true changes in how he treats me--he's still in the one-up position with a feeling of control. And he still says really mean stuff to me. The good part for him is that he's been in counseling and has learned things about himself that will make his own future better I think. The MC therapist I talked to said that since he still won't accept responsibility for how he treats me he isn't ready for MC. So I need to protect myself now since he is moving toward trying to control me more with the money. (he gets the paycheck, I get disability which isn't enough to live on.)

i'm happy to hear your SO has a cheerleading squad now, and is making progress. I recently watched that movie too, and boy was that eye-opening.

It's all a journey, right? 
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« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2015, 01:53:35 PM »



The MC therapist I talked to said that since he still won't accept responsibility for how he treats me he isn't ready for MC. So I need to protect myself now since he is moving toward trying to control me more with the money. (he gets the paycheck, I get disability which isn't enough to live on.)

Wow DreamFlyer, yes!...  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  

Did you start to look at your options regarding that? I think that your situation is a very real challenge many people experience in long term relationships.

Besides money considerations, are there other ways you could access maybe temporary 'head space', or 'me space'?

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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2015, 03:25:23 PM »

Did you start to look at your options regarding that? I think that your situation is a very real challenge many people experience in long term relationships.

Besides money considerations, are there other ways you could access maybe temporary 'head space', or 'me space'?

Well, i'm living with friends and that's good. i'm also working with a lawyer. So i'll get there.
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braveSun
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« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2015, 06:52:23 PM »



Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) 
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