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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: Establishing Boundaries and help with No contact  (Read 1383 times)
2010
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« on: December 27, 2010, 10:31:25 PM »

These issues work both ways and need to be thoughtfully addressed by both partners- but be aware that two people are never on the same journey. Disengaging is a process. It begins with feeling invisible and ends with establishing visible guidelines to protect your heart.  Please pay close attention to number 8 and the rational response of 8a:

1. Lack of Individual Identity: "I am a nobody without BPD in my life."

I run the risk of maintaining no boundaries with BPD because I am very dependent on getting my identity from being with a Woman/Man like her/him. The prospect of a perfect union was closer than anything I had ever felt.  I was willing to do whatever it took to make a Life with her/him, even if I had to give up my health, business, security, identity, values, honor and self-respect.

1a. The rational message needed: "I am fine, just by being Me, alone.

I am OK just the way I am, even if I do not have BPD in my life. It is better for me to be on my own and healthy than to be with BPD and be sick intellectually, emotionally and/or physically. I will work diligently with BPD to correct my faulty thinking and projection, which has made me too dependent on the dream.

"By being more of my own person, my relationships will flourish and grow healthier."  

2. Scarcity Principle: I am hooked by the scarcity principle of happiness:"because the beginning status of our relationship was better than anything I had ever had before and seemed so rare."

The problem is, it wasn’t really as healthy and intimate as the true rare relationship I desired. I was so happy at the prospect of true love that I was willing to give all of myself intellectually, emotionally and physically with no regard to consequences.

3. Guilt: Irrational guilt insures that your relationships are preserved, secured and nurtured no matter what personal expense it takes out of you.

I feel guilty if BPD is not succeeding or thriving.  I feel that BPD should be thriving since I am in his/her Life. Because he/she is still sad, I feel I am to blame. I will give of my personal resources, energy, money, time and effort to see success happen in BPD’s life because this is a reflection of my value as a loving partner.

This irrational guilt is a driving motivation to keep me tearing down my boundaries so that I will always be available to BPD at any time, in any place, for whatever reason BPD "needs.”  I feel that any Man or Woman who has me as a partner should excel and if he/she does not, it causes me low self-esteem and guilt.

3a. The rational message needed: "BPD and I need to accept personal responsibility for our own lives and the consequences for the choices we make.  I am not responsible for the outcomes that result from the choices and decisions that BPD makes and he/she is not responsible for mine. We are free to make our own decisions and should be secure enough not to blame each other for failure."

4. Inability to Differentiate Love from Sympathy: I find myself feeling sorry for BPD and the feeling that this generates makes me think that I am a valuable asset to him/her.

The bigger that BPD’s problems are, the greater they succeed in hooking me to lower my boundaries so that I begin to give more and more of myself.  This is a vicious cycle that fuels my frustration because the more I try to help, the more I lose sight of my own needs.  There is no love exchanged, only pity.

4a. The rational message needed:  "It is OK to have sympathy and compassion for BPD, but that does not mean that I have to sacrifice my life to "save" or "rescue" him/her nor he/she needs to rescue me.

Sympathy and compassion are emotions I know well and I will work hard to differentiate them from what love is. When I feel sympathy and compassion for BPD, I will remind myself that it is NOT the same as loving him/her. The ability to feel sympathy and compassion for another human being is a nice quality of mine and I will be sure to use it in a healthy and non-emotionally hooked way in the future in my relationships."  

5. Helplessness and Neediness of Self and Relationship Partners: We find each other hooked when BPD and I get into self-pity, "poor me" and "how tough life has been."

I find myself weakened when BPD demonstrates an inability to solve personal problems which then cause me problems too. I find myself wanting to teach and instruct, when BPD demonstrates or admits ignorance of how to solve problems. I find myself hooked by verbal and non-verbal cues, which cry out to me to "help" BPD even though BPD has the competence to solve the problem on his/her own.  I also realize that I do this too.

5a. The rational message needed: I need to establish healthy limits: Helplessness is a learned behavior that is used to manipulate me to give of my resources, energy, time, effort and money to fix.

"I am a good person if I do not try to fix and take care of BPD when BPD is acting helpless.  I cannot establish a healthy intimate relationship with BPD if I am trying to fix or take care of him/her all of the time. BPD can take care of him or herself. I need to put more energy into fixing and taking care of myself if I find myself being hooked by BPDs’ helplessness or manipulating my own."  

6. Belief that Time will Make it Better: "If I give it enough time, things will change to be the way I want them to be."

I have waited a long time to have true love and a healthy intimate relationship. I rationalize: ":)on't give up on BPD too soon."  He/She is the love of your life.

7. Fear of Negative Outcomes for Relationship Partners: I am afraid to LET GO of BPD for fear something very negative might happen to him/her.

I fear that BPD would become: lonely, scared or worse yet die if I do not continue to fix and take care of his/her needs. This fear of the possible negative future outcomes is so debilitating, that it feels better being sucked dry intellectually, emotionally and physically than to LET GO and watch BPD suffer these feared awful negative outcomes.

I find myself powerless to keep from doing the healthy thing because of the intensity of this fear. I have become a prisoner in the prison of this relationship. I have become a hostage of a very powerful, needy, helpless, manipulative "hostage taker." I am a possession of BPDs. I find myself doing all I am asked to insure that these possible negative dreaded outcomes do not happen. I am being emotionally blackmailed and have even heard threats of bottom deep despair if I say I want to stop.

7a. The rational message needed: "I am only responsible for my life. No one can make me responsible for BPD’s life.

I can choose to feel responsible for BPD’s life, but I cannot control or determine the outcome of his/her life no matter how hard I try.


I am powerless to control other people, places, things and conditions. The only thing I can control is my own thinking, feeling and actions. I need to hand BPD’s problems and his/her needs and his/her destiny over to God or a higher power.  The outcome is not in my hands.

I also cannot carry BPD’s possible negative future outcomes on my body or I will experience failed emotional and physical health.

"It is OK for me to expect BPD to accept personal responsibility for his/her own life. It is OK to require BPD to accept the consequences for his/her own actions, choices and decisions."  

8. Idealism or Fantasy Thinking: I have an ideal, dream or image in my mind of how my partner is supposed to be.  I work hard at making BPD approximate my ideal fantasy. I talk about how it’s going to be when we are together. I put a great deal of time, energy and resources into thinking that I can tackle any of Life’s problems with him/her at my side. I get hooked into working for the "big pay off" down the road. I remain loyal to the belief that it will happen one day. I feel that together, hand in hand, we can tackle anything. That fuels the belief that time will make it better.

8a. The rational message needed: "I will make every effort to accept my relationship the way it is NOW.” I need to make every effort to acknowledge the deceit, lies, shame and sadness.

Once I give up the delusion and recognize that things aren’t the way they are supposed to be, I will realize that I am human and subject to making mistakes and I will forgive myself.

I will begin NO CONTACT and Let Go of the Outcome for my partner and concentrate on myself.
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liveandlearn
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2010, 10:48:41 PM »

This was a great help, 2010.  Thanks... .I've printed.  Really related to #3, 4, and 7. :'(
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David Dare
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Relationship status: broke up in 10-2009
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 01:34:37 AM »

2010:

Another great read.  Your posts have a balancing effect on me.  If I could, I'd hire you to be my personal T.  Sometimes I wonder if you are site admin. posting under a pseudonym.  Thanks for spending your time contributing to this forum. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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Upnorth
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 02:46:49 AM »

Thanks, a good read and a lot to think about!

I recognize 3,4,5,6 and 8 very well.

Since my ex and I are neighbors it will be hard to reach full NC.

Moving is not an option for either of us in the near future, so it will be a challenge.

I am trying a gradual separation which, at least for the first month, seem to work. 
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Im.okay.now
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Relationship status: In a great relationship with someone who isn't nuts !
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 05:02:16 AM »

8. Idealism or Fantasy Thinking: I have an ideal, dream or image in my mind of how my partner is supposed to be.  I work hard at making BPD approximate my ideal fantasy. I talk about how it’s going to be when we are together. I put a great deal of time, energy and resources into thinking that I can tackle any of Life’s problems with him/her at my side. I get hooked into working for the "big pay off" down the road. I remain loyal to the belief that it will happen one day. I feel that together, hand in hand, we can tackle anything. That fuels the belief that time will make it better.

8a. The rational message needed: "I will make every effort to accept my relationship the way it is NOW.” I need to make every effort to acknowledge the deceit, lies, shame and sadness.

Once I give up the delusion and recognize that things aren’t the way they are supposed to be, I will realize that I am human and subject to making mistakes and I will forgive myself.

I will begin NO CONTACT and Let Go of the Outcome for my partner and concentrate on myself.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  - La pièce de résistance ... .
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fogbound
formerly "reevega"
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2010, 06:26:32 AM »

2010, I'll say it again another way. I don't know who you are but your knowledge of this disorder is so extensive it's almost like you invented it just so you could be the world's authority on it.

Thank you for your help again and again.

Fog
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ArtistGuy70
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2010, 04:09:33 PM »

Thank you for this.

I read this three times today. God. I really have to forgive myself.
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Crystal Ball
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Relationship status: divorced
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2010, 09:41:20 PM »

Thank you 2010.  x   I follow your posts.  They are always right on the money and just what I need to hear. 
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Chitowngal
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2010, 10:03:29 PM »

That was wonderful, and exactly what I needed to read to reinforce my decisions.

sigh.  Thanks 2010... .very much.

-ctg
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