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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: Why I DON'T go to therapy: An open letter to counselors and therapists  (Read 3015 times)
OverBoard
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« on: December 01, 2010, 02:56:36 PM »

I found this on another board and it rang true. "An Open Letter to Counselors and therapists". I have been there too many times as well.

I am suppose to learn to "react differently to my partner"? I'm suppose to accept the fact that it's also my problem? How I react? If I am abused, as I was both verbally and physically I'm told to seek shelter and I OWN the home?

When the cops came time after time in the begining, all they could say was... "tell her to leave" or that I should go "stay somewhere?"

I was told to attend Al Anon for HER lifelong drinking issues. "

I was told to attend Meetups for people with "problems like mine"

When I told several therapist I need to talk about "me" and not "her" and the damage done, I'm told that "its' over, move past it". Don't you think I WOULD if I could? Why do you think I'm here in your office?

When I'm asked, "Why would you even want a woman like that in your life?" and none of the good is listened to and how I became a trigger for being "in" her life and that I did love her and put everything on the line and am picking up pieces slowly and stumbling over alot of them. No, they don't want to hear that or they "can't" hear that. How much do they really know about BPD? When I mentioned she was telling her therpist I was the one with the issues and yet she was diagnosed BPD and BI-Polar... I'm told, "Well... that is her. Do you need a hotline number?"... What? What Hotline number? Is there a BPD hotline number?

When I can't sleep or eat or have nightmares I'm told to find new people and things to do and to "learn" to trust. Do they have ANY idea what this does to you? yeah, I'll get better in time... I'm still confused, but each day I try to find another piece of me and it's not easy but I don't need a therapist handing me a phone number or telling me "your partner just didn't love you, so find someone new"... UH?

I am damaged, but not beyond repair. I don't know when or on what level I may trust again... I am different now. I have been biten by an "emotional vampire" and in that, you do not just bounce back and are off looking for a replacement. I tried meetups and I'm in no mood to go roller blading or dancing... I wish I could find a group of people that just want to sit around and talk about what's happened to them... like here, on the boards. My therapist told me: "Just get past it. It's done. Walk away and start a new life." Okay... .I'll do that. Give me a minute to grab my coat!

I have my walls up and they are staying up this time. My heart is protected and it's going to take time. I don't want it to take years, but it's going to take time. I will have set backs and I do. I do remember things I lost in the muck of all this nightmare that I bring out and share with others on this board... it's not feeling sorry for myself... it's remember what I forgot. Who hasn't done that? Talking about it brings clarity... .three therapist and they wanted to know if I were sleeping at night and handed me pills. I don't need pills... I got away from someone self medicating. I need "me".

Verbal abuse can cut deeper than any physcial abuse. You walk around without visible scars and no matter how strong you are, how tough you are, how big you are... .they cut deep. When they come out of the woodwork for no reason at all and escalate and you are belittled, put down, called a coward because you won't fight back or get caught up in the raging... when you do end up just like them and begin raging in defense, YOU are the one that is insane.

I'm tired of my therapist telling me it wasn't "real love" or that I was "duped"... No I wasnt'. I saw it. I saw the Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  and have no one to blame but myself. I fell in love and thought I could fix her and was told I could BY her... duped? No... loved the best I could be loved by what she had to give for that short period of time... two years. Could she have given more? I don't know. I didn't want to find out in the direction it was going. I put 100% into this relationship. All of me. Why? I was in love. I didn't fail. She did and that's not pointing a finger to misdirect blame.

If... .IF she were to come back to me... IF... .could I accept her back in my life? NO. Why... .I am not the same person she met two years ago. I will never be that person again.

Everyday now is a challenge for me. It hurts like hell. Everynight hurts. I deal. I face it. I try.

Did she? No... she walked on like nothing ever happened, moved on... and is starting all over again without so much as a flinch.

I'm not sorry for having loved her... I am sorry for having been loved "by" her.
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fogbound
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 04:31:36 PM »

Hi OB

We really have had the crap kicked out of us haven't we? I guess anyone who hasn't been there would never know and therefore, couldn't really understand.
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2010, 04:51:07 PM »

You can't learn what hell we've been through from a textbook or online class.
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anker
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2010, 04:59:39 PM »

You've been seeing really ___ty counselors.

I went to a psychologist instead. And now a psychiatrist. Talk therapy. It's helping. And emdr for the trauma.
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2010, 05:23:30 PM »

In our goodness of intentions we willingly lead them to where they believe they have to go,

Only for us to be accused of leading them to hell……... where they leave us behind!

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HardDaysNight
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2010, 06:06:18 PM »

OB,

  I know it's hard to describe to those who don't live thru it.  For me it's not even the rages that are the worse but the constant contradiction, denigration, smug attitude and demeaning statments, the ones made in tone, inflection and word choice are the worse as they are the most smug.   It's a death by a thousand paper cuts. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 10:17:27 PM »

OB,

  I know it's hard to describe to those who don't live thru it.  For me it's not even the rages that are the worse but the constant contradiction, denigration, smug attitude and demeaning statments, the ones made in tone, inflection and word choice are the worse as they are the most smug.   It's a death by a thousand paper cuts. 

Ugh, you said it.  Same feeling here.  Fortunately my psychologist has treated people with BPD so when I described the situations to her (even a year ago when I was in the relationship) she admitted he had BPD traits but like a true professional wouldn't diagnose him.  I guess I got lucky by finding one who worked with pwBPD.
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 11:16:49 PM »

Hmmmm, I couldn't disagree much more with the open letter, and yet I agree with a few of the other posters. My experience is not like that described in the letter.

I went to a T for three visits, and it made a huge difference. I described to her about two dozen events from the past dozen years, and asked her how else they might have been handled. Not only did she offer great advice, but she also taught me about BPD and specific techniques for dealing with it. I went to Al-Anon for one visit and learned how to help my daughter handle having a mom with an alcohol problem.

Without these two, D and I were both stumped about what might be effective for dealing with the rages, substance abuse, eating disorder, and other abuses we were witness to and victims of. It was too convoluted for us to grok. We'd try various things, but they were hit and miss, and not especially effective. Because of T and A-A, we've been able to flip the script. Instead of W acting out, and D and me reacting ineffectively, D and I have been able to draw a line and create an environment that is much more healthy for ourselves. W now is feeling more like an outcast, no longer sets the mood of the house, and has even started DBT. Without the advice of T and A-A (and this forum, which I found after T introduced me to BPD), D and I would not only be miserable, but we'd have no idea what new to do to that might be better than what we were doing.

Note that my time with T and A-A was really short... .3 and 1 visits respectively. But the biggest change is that they were able to foreshadow all the things that would be happening to D, and with those warnings I have been able to essentially save her childhood. She no longer is being parentified and she is no longer shutting down after being victimized by her mom. W still does crap we don't like, but we have much more effective responses to it that essentially marginalize W's behaviors. As a result, D is stronger than ever, more mature than ever, and has learned a wonderful bunch of skills that help her with any dysfunctional person she meets.

There's still progress to make. D and I have done about all we can and I now have to decide on more long-term solutions, but we're a hell of a lot further ahead than we'd have been without the dead-on advice of my therapist and the people at Al-Anon.
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2010, 11:32:19 PM »

OB,

  I know it's hard to describe to those who don't live thru it.  For me it's not even the rages that are the worse but the constant contradiction, denigration, smug attitude and demeaning statments, the ones made in tone, inflection and word choice are the worse as they are the most smug.   It's a death by a thousand paper cuts. 

YOU are so right!
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2010, 06:20:47 AM »

My experience with what other people call "professionals".

We attended counselling sessions where uBPD turned on the victim and raised blame deflectors.

After the "professional" made me responsible for "not inflaming her" and allow her freedom to freely express her emotions ... .no matter how degrading to me.

Thankfully the internet was just becoming available and a google search for "Crazy Be-otch", lead me to a forum where I saw thousands of people testify about how they were treated by BPDs and even the poor treatment by professionals.

These forums then enabled me to track down more resources for understanding what me and my children were going through. 

I am so glad that many of you were able to find very capable professionals who were not easily swayed and had the bravery to "tell it like it is".

In the end... .that we found a way out and how to repair the damage to our lives is the most important. 

My admonition to professionals... .make sure you are educated in Personality Disorders... .it is the most insidious and difficult mental health issues we as a population face today.

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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2010, 09:29:18 AM »

Excerpt
You've been seeing really ___ty counselors

I agree with anker.  I started seeing a psychologist shortly after my xBPDgf and I started going out.  It had been over 7 years since I had been in a close relationship and wanted to make sure I had my head on straight about it all.  My psychologist has been a godsend and really helped me a ton, extremely validating.

Phuz
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2010, 11:56:31 AM »

The problem is that most therapists DO NOT understand BPD and its effects on people who are in relatiosnhips choosen or otherwise. I'll even take it a step further and say that many psychologists and even psychiatrists do not comprehend the effects of being in a PD relationship. 

It's Good Will Hunting ... .that is to say if you remember the lead character's (Matt Damon) interactions with his psychologist (Robin Williams), the lead character knew everything that he skimmed through in a book but when it came to contextualizing that knowledge in terms feelings associated with that knowledge and understanding other people's perspectives the lead character was lost.

That being said ... .if you have been in a relationship with a PD you do have your own issues to address and as repeated often on this board you can only control your issues. That's what the trained professionals are supposed to do address issues that relate to you. Now it's difficult for them to do if they can't understand what you've been through and textbooks do not explain those feelings.

So the next time a cousnelor, therapist  doesn't get it ask them if they've seen Good Will Hunting and explain the scene where Matt Damon professes to know everything but when Robin Williams challenges the emotional depth of his knowledge Matt Damon crumbles ... .

then broom your counselor, therapist, if they don't udnerstand the analogy... .

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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2010, 02:29:38 PM »

Excerpt
The problem is that most therapists DO NOT understand BPD

That certainly could be the case. It would seem incumbent on us then to pick professionals that are appropriate for our situation. Just as we don't use a real estate atty for divorces, we should avoid counselors not experienced in personality disorders. I wonder how many people know that therapists can have specialties? Some specialize in children, some in substance abuse, some in eating disorders, etc.

My T, for example, said that she specifically will not take a client who has BPD because she doesn't have the skill (or the patience!) to provide the training they need. But she knew enough to give me education and advice, and to recommend the one T in the area who does work with BPD.

Just as doctors and attorneys and engineers and architects and chefs have specialties, so too do therapists, and we'd do well to research to find one with the proper experience, lest we land with one like that described in the OP and things get worse for us at a time when help is most needed.
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2010, 04:05:56 PM »

Well I know my ex T had BPD patients. But I don't know how she dealt with them. About my r/s, she always understimated the problem, and I'm sure she did it on purpose. she prefered working on me, my issues and my self esteem. about my ex, she told me in the end of the terapy that once I would have found someone else to love, I would have forgotten him. I hope she's right. anyway, I think she wasn't wrong. because the more we are strong, the more we don't think of them. it's useless talking about them and how much they're crazy, it doesn't help us to build a new life. it's better focusing on our issues.
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 07:11:51 PM »

Justsayin,  I completely disagree with you.  Overboard, I agree with you.

In our 16 year marriage, we have seen 3 MCs and I've been to 3 my self.  (All of these are before I found out what BPD was.)  1995 - Our first encounter with an MC was we needed to have better communication.  We went through a communication exercise with the "talking pen".  If you have the pen, you talk, if you don't you are quiet.  At the break the person without the pen then paraphrases what you just said.  It is hard to talk if I'm holding the pen if my  pwBPD is yelling at me. The MC said that I must phrase my communication better.  

1999 - Our second MC (right after she accused me of child neglect and her suicide attempt) told me that I needed to be there for her no matter what and she understood if I neglected my child?

2010 - Our 3rd MC asked me to tell my uBPDw what bothered me and I said, "It is hard for me to show affection for you because you steal my credit cards from my wallet and you maxed them out."  The MC said, "What did you do about it?"  I said, "I made her return what she hadn't opened and used."  My wife started crying.  The MC said, "How could you do that to her, you are pretty cruel to put someone through that."  

Discovered BPD!

2010 - I saw my first T shortly after that and I told her everything that was bothering me. "It appears to me that you two don't communicate very well, I have an exercise I want to try with the both of you." ? - Fired!

2010 - Second T.  She is crazier that a sh!thouse rat.  Here, read this book, it will help you cope."  - Fired!

2010 - Third T.  Now this T knows and understands BPD Smiling (click to insert in post)

I really believe that many MCs and Ts don't take the time to determine historical behavior or they don't recognize what BPD is.  Not until I discovered what BPD was could I even look for a T that knew what it was.  It is like being blind and someone telling you that a light is on.  What is a light?  After our 2nd MC I believed her and dedicated my life to helping my wife which is another reason I stayed so long.

So Justsayin, you were VERY lucky to have found someone so fast who was so good.  Not the case for many of us here.

I too don't want to walk on eggshells, learn to talk a certain way or make excuses for her behavior any more.
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2010, 07:24:46 PM »

So I said that therapists have specialties, just as do other professionals, and we'd be advised to focus our attentions on those who are experienced with personality disorders, rather than therapists who have other specialties, such as with children, substance abuse, eating disorders, or other.

Which part of this is the part you completely disagree with?
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2010, 09:54:03 PM »

Excerpt
That certainly could be the case. It would seem incumbent on us then to pick professionals that are appropriate for our situation. Just as we don't use a real estate atty for divorces, we should avoid counselors not experienced in personality disorders. I wonder how many people know that therapists can have specialties? Some specialize in children, some in substance abuse, some in eating disorders, etc.

My T, for example, said that she specifically will not take a client who has BPD because she doesn't have the skill (or the patience!) to provide the training they need. But she knew enough to give me education and advice, and to recommend the one T in the area who does work with BPD.

Just as doctors and attorneys and engineers and architects and chefs have specialties, so too do therapists, and we'd do well to research to find one with the proper experience, lest we land with one like that described in the OP and things get worse for us at a time when help is most needed.

Excellent advice.

Virginia Satir once wrote "I believe the greatest gift I can conceive of having from anyone is to be seen by them, heard by them, and to be understood by them."  She went on further to say that "problems are not the problem, but coping with the problems is the problem."

At a certain point you have to realize that a marriage counselor derives their income (and great satisfaction by the way,) on keeping marriages together and mediating between spouses.  They act as a witness and mediation to a 45 minute dynamic between two people who are failing to communicate effectively with each other because of a "problem."  That "problem" is whatever is blocking the ability to receive the gift, as Satir calls it, to be "seen, heard, and understood by another human being."  Teaching you how to cope with each other is the next step.  Alas, Marriage counselors are not trained to administer coping mechanisms to offset the effects of personality disorders- they might tell you it's out of their area of expertise and to RUN- but that's after wasting your time and reaching their level of incompetence.

It is a mistake to think that Borderline, which is a hidden disorder, will become apparent to a marriage counselor in a 45 minute session unless one spouse appears like a persecutor. A person with Borderline lives with this persecutor intrapsychially in their thinking- and can easily convert his/her partner into a punitive, controlling, angry example.  The marriage counselor often takes sides based on reactive behavior of their own- in a sort of counter-transference. Mind you, their quality of care is based on keeping marriages intact.  Might as well take the shingle down off the door if they dont ask you to come back again next week. To suggest that the marriage cannot be saved is bad for the business model.

Because Borderline is a hidden disorder, sometimes the addition of a professional person unversed and uneducated in disorders damages us further.  Virginia Satir also said that “We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us.”

Personal therapy is the only way to get the gift of being seen, heard, and understood by another.  If you are not being seen, heard and understood by your therapist of chance (rather than choice)- move on to the next. You are vulnerable. People aren't perfect and neither are therapists.  Personalities differ.  It is a mistake to think that all therapists that go into the field to share their remarkably well adjusted personalities with the rest of us.  Some are Narcissists, some are Borderline.  Trust your gut. Human nature is flawed and the best we can do is to listen to our gut reactions as this instinct is serving your best interest. 

We still need to try and share our thoughts with others, if only for someone to talk to now and then to soothe our despair-and sometimes a paid confidante is worth the effort.  It isn't that you have problems, it's that you need support in coping with them. 

Like Virgina Satir said: "I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it -- I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know -- but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me.

However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.

Life is not what it's supposed to be. Its what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference. ~Virginia Satir

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« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2010, 11:09:04 AM »

My 2 cents.

BPD is not the problem, and unless we don’t understand this we’ll never look inside of us and deal with our problems.

BPD allows us to have a symbiotic r/s in which we delude ourselves to relive the symbiotic r/s with our parents when we were children, an idealized r/s in which now we receive all the love we didn’t receive when we were children. Otherwise we wouldn’t need it. What make us stuck in the r/s is the illusion that we have these needs met, and that without this person we can’t live/be happy because we aren’t self-sufficient.

Everyone who is stuck in the r/s and can’t go on with their lives should if they can – that’s what I think – have a T in order to see what is the real and ancient pain they think they can’t deal with. T will help them understand and relive the ancient pain and understand that they CAN deal with it, they CAN bear it. Once this has happened, life will be different and there will be no more room for these r/s.

It is very very hard to do it, because a deep T makes you feel very very sad and makes you feel the void and the pain we all tried to avoid in our lives with all dysfunctional behaviors and defensive patterns - built during the childhood to avoid the pain.

We as adults are capable of bearing the pain in a functional way. What we can’t face in a functional way is what we still feel like children and face in a dysfunctional way – because children aren’t capable of facing the pain like the adults and need adults (parents) to help them.

This is not to undervalue BPD , which remains a severe disorder. This is not to undervalue the effects of BPD. This is not to justify the abusive behavior of our ex, they are damaged and will live their lives as they can, as damaged people who, sadly, will continue damaging other people. This is just to say that, as long as we all keep on looking for answers outside of us we’ll never get recovered. As long as we all keep on blaming them, thinking of them, we’ll never look inside of us and see what we really feel and WHY. Sometimes it’s better staying or missing an abusive r/s than feel the void we feel without them. But the point is it’s necessary to face this void and this pain, give them a name, and understand it is a part of our life and we can survive to all this.

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« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2010, 11:30:36 AM »

Excerpt
As long as we all keep on blaming them, thinking of them, we’ll never look inside of us and see what we really feel and WHY.

This resonates with me. The rest of it I'll think about, but this particularly seemed apropos.

Something that's bugged me about the "leaving" forum is the number of discussions about "them" and all the horrid things they've done. I want to disengage from that and move on to the other steps spelled out for this forum. Focusing on them and taking inventory of all their faults and all the ways they've hurt us just seems to keep the pain alive. Does that help anyone disengage? It never did that for me, but maybe it works differently for different people.
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« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2010, 11:49:03 AM »

Som
Excerpt
ething that's bugged me about the "leaving" forum is the number of discussions about "them" and all the horrid things they've done. I want to disengage from that and move on to the other steps spelled out for this forum. Focusing on them and taking inventory of all their faults and all the ways they've hurt us just seems to keep the pain alive. Does that help anyone disengage? It never did that for me, but maybe it works differently for different people.

JustSaying, I feel the same way.  We can ruminate and regurgitate, but at some point we need to either spit or ___ and get off the pot.   Time to move on.   I don't want to stay stuck focusing on him and how sick and miserable he made me for 17 years.

He left, I survived and I'm free.  I am deleriously happy he chose to leave and is divorcing me.  My health is returning. I am rebuilding my life for my daughter and myself.  This is not an easy task at 52 years old.
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« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2010, 12:27:02 PM »

Excerpt
As long as we all keep on blaming them, thinking of them, we’ll never look inside of us and see what we really feel and WHY.

This resonates with me. The rest of it I'll think about, but this particularly seemed apropos.

Something that's bugged me about the "leaving" forum is the number of discussions about "them" and all the horrid things they've done. I want to disengage from that and move on to the other steps spelled out for this forum. Focusing on them and taking inventory of all their faults and all the ways they've hurt us just seems to keep the pain alive. Does that help anyone disengage? It never did that for me, but maybe it works differently for different people.

I guess it’s part of the recovery. BPD people do crazy things, don’t use our logic. And their behavior is toxic. NC is good to go out of the fog and the addiction and the withdrawal. But, as time goes by, I agree with you that keep thinking/speaking of them means being stuck and still involved in the r/s, even if IT IS OVER. It doesn’t allow you to concentrate on WHY YOU are still involved in the r/s. So we all should ask ourselves, if we don’t go on with our life in an healthy way, why we still keep on thinking of them. Is it so hard to tell us that it is over and this person doesn’t love us anymore and we feel deeply alone – if this happens – without them?
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« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2010, 01:10:22 PM »

I think our focus of recoveryought to be on the rebuilding of our personhood out of the rubble. 

Learning from past mistakes so we don't repeat them, recognizing Red Flags, Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  removing the weirdo magnet from our foreheads and installing the permanent Jerk Alert.
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« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2010, 01:18:42 PM »

removing the weirdo magnet from our foreheads and installing the permanent Jerk Alert.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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grimalkin
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« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2010, 09:13:28 PM »

Yes.  We loved.  What we felt was real love.  We did nothing wrong, there is nothing wrong with us.  Thank you-- I really needed to hear that.

Grim
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« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2010, 01:05:17 PM »

It's a reasonable point of discussion. I think there are certain associations that are being assumed when they shouldn't be attached.

My point was to indicate that there are a lot of behavioral professionals who are ill equipped to address relationship situations becuase either the do not understand/conceptualize BPD or they cannot adequately identify the disorder.

Certainly picking the correct speciality would augment one's chances but I firmly hold the opinion that even those who are experts in dealing with personality disorders have difficulties addressing the issues.

That being said I agree with just saying that ultimately we all have to take personal responsibility and be willing to admit that there are things that need to be fixed within ourselves that have nothing to do with the peson with BPD. They (pwBPD) were just accelerants that exposed to us our personal flaws and issues.

There is a lot of hate on the leaving board which is udnerstandable to a degree. Ive certainly been guilty of "hate" but I try to be detached and more rational and/or clinical about things there.

We as nons didn't do anything wrong per se save for allowing abuse to occur and continung to enable our abusers.
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JustSaying
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« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2010, 01:24:56 PM »

I'm totally on board with you.

Hate keeps us focused on them. What I've learned in the last year is that I've wasted enough of my life focused on "them" and their issues. When I let go of that, of the anger, of the resentment... .I was a much happier person and a much better parent for what my daughter needs now. It's actually a selfish step, and a much-deserved one.

It also helped me to learn that forgiveness is not about saying what they did is ok, but about saying that I'm not going to let what they did hold me back any longer.
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DC Daniel
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« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2010, 01:40:47 PM »

My 2 cents.

BPD is not the problem, and unless we don’t understand this we’ll never look inside of us and deal with our problems.

BPD allows us to have a symbiotic r/s in which we delude ourselves to relive the symbiotic r/s with our parents when we were children, an idealized r/s in which now we receive all the love we didn’t receive when we were children. Otherwise we wouldn’t need it. What make us stuck in the r/s is the illusion that we have these needs met, and that without this person we can’t live/be happy because we aren’t self-sufficient.

Everyone who is stuck in the r/s and can’t go on with their lives should if they can – that’s what I think – have a T in order to see what is the real and ancient pain they think they can’t deal with. T will help them understand and relive the ancient pain and understand that they CAN deal with it, they CAN bear it. Once this has happened, life will be different and there will be no more room for these r/s.

It is very very hard to do it, because a deep T makes you feel very very sad and makes you feel the void and the pain we all tried to avoid in our lives with all dysfunctional behaviors and defensive patterns - built during the childhood to avoid the pain.

We as adults are capable of bearing the pain in a functional way. What we can’t face in a functional way is what we still feel like children and face in a dysfunctional way – because children aren’t capable of facing the pain like the adults and need adults (parents) to help them.

This is not to undervalue BPD , which remains a severe disorder. This is not to undervalue the effects of BPD. This is not to justify the abusive behavior of our ex, they are damaged and will live their lives as they can, as damaged people who, sadly, will continue damaging other people. This is just to say that, as long as we all keep on looking for answers outside of us we’ll never get recovered. As long as we all keep on blaming them, thinking of them, we’ll never look inside of us and see what we really feel and WHY. Sometimes it’s better staying or missing an abusive r/s than feel the void we feel without them. But the point is it’s necessary to face this void and this pain, give them a name, and understand it is a part of our life and we can survive to all this.

I've been posting, lurking and viewing these boards for a very long time and this may very well be one of the best posts I've read... Excellent summation of my feelings and how I've used therapy to expand my issues... The funny thing is, when I started therapy shortly before my divorce the discussions about my exw were limited... We were able to reach conclusions very rapidly. I'll give you a short example of one interaction:

Me: I don't know what to do. She keeps threatening me about getting divorced. Keeps telling me she wants out. She told me she is miserable and if I don't fix things she will leave. She said she hated me.

Therapist: So? When she says she hates you, why don't you tell her, OK great, what do you want to do about it? Would you like to get divorced? If so, when do you want to get started?


The simplest of conversations... .Yet what she said, what any rational person would have said, seemed so uncertain to me... I never thought of it that way... I was tied to my BPD wife, misery and verbal abuse that the most rational responses had left my train of thought... I was so used to "saving", placating, sleeping in the other room and getting verbally abused that I had lost my sense of how to react to someone. I was truly walking on eggshells.

That simple conversation changed me. That very night when I got home she started another BPD episode and I ignored her. She was begging for attention during the episode and simply said, "I will not tolerate your behavior or the way you treat me. If you don't like it, then we can proceed with the divorce"... I continued to have RATIONAL reactions to her irrational behavior, and before I knew it I was served divorce papers, she moved out of the house, and my life has become wholesome and wonderful again...


I cannot stress how important therapy was to my recovery... I still attend nearly every week to go over MY issues. I rarely speak about my ex. I know she is relegated to loonyville the rest of her life, and regardless of how sorry I feel about her "condition" accept that there was nothing I could have done to fix her... Now it's about fixing me. And therapy has been a crucial component to that.
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Forestaken
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« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2010, 02:05:16 PM »

I've seen 3 MC with my uBPDw

The first one believed her that she was a victim from my side of the family and that her family was stable and great (in reality both  families had issues).  Her idea was for me to "divorce" my brothers, sisters, father and mother.  In short, leave my only support system, isolating me (now I realize that is the perfect plan for a BPD).  My uBPDw would still keep in contact with her family.

The second one was charmed by her

The third one (a family counselor: kids now 18 & 12) saw though her.  We discussed family issues and is was revealed about 90% of the problem was centered on her.  We left.

I believe that T focus on changing the nonBPD spouse because the non can function. You can't change someone who isn't going to admit they have a problem.  You can only fix the elements around them.

My uBPDw never admits she lies, is lazy, steals or is generally unreasonable.  But expects me to admit to things I don't do.  In short, when it comes to T and life, we're screwed.
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sunrise2010
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« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2010, 03:15:35 PM »

Thank you DC Daniel.

I would like to stress how therapy is important to understand ourselves and free the inner pain we hold so tight from our childhood. Sometimes we think that without that pain we are nothing, and live a life which is not really ours and bear a pain which we think is essential for us, while we only must have the courage to feel that pain and let it go. I understand that without a T I would never have accepted my ancient pain.

I’m glad you shared your good experience here, the fact that after starting the T you felt inside of you that you didn’t need that abusive r/s anymore. A good T really changes our lives, and change them for the better.

Hugs
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