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Author Topic: 6.07 | Is resentment blocking your healing and recovery?  (Read 55558 times)
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« on: December 28, 2010, 12:51:00 PM »

Is resentment blocking your healing and recovery?
for bpdfamily.com members disengaging from a romantic relationship

You've read the vitriol on the Internet - you may have even participated in it yourself. Here are some quotes on bpdfamily... .

"These people (with BPD) are emotional vampires... ."
"They are all the same, they suck us dry, we are only supply to them, then they move on to another innocent victim... ."
"They are all evil, pure evil... ."
"They hunt for their marks, good and giving people like us, and then they strike... ."
"Watchout, they will suck you back into the relationship - no matter how hard you try to get away... ."
"LOSERS!... ."


So, is this helping us or hurting us?  Does this sound more like healthy anger or unbridled resentment or even possibly dysfunctional coping?  How do we know when the anger has gone so far as to become detrimental to our healing? This is the topic of this workshop.

Some thoughts to kick off this discussion... .

Healthy Grieving  We all know that it is important that we grieve the end (death) of these relationships.  The grieving cycle, according to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D includes Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.  The duration, order, and a degree of each stage varies with the individuals.

Dysfunctional Resentment  Resentment is a mental process in which we repeatedly replay a feeling, and the events leading up to that feeling that angers us. With resentment, we re-experience and relive events in ways that affect us mentally, emotionally, physiologically and spiritually in destructive ways.

According to Mark Siche (author of Healing from Family Rifts), resentment happens when:

  • We feel what people did to us that was unnecessarily mean, hurtful, and disrespectful or humiliating

  • What people in our lives did not do for us was mean, hurtful, and disrespectful or humiliating

Resentments are often justified - but are they helpful?  

So how does a little venting hurt us?  When we are resentful, we try to balance the wrongs we feel by demeaning the person that hurt us.  We bash them, feel disgust for them, feel hatred or look down in pity... .we may even wish them harm or lash out to hurt them or their reputation.

The problem for us is that we create a dysfunctional and false reality to sooth our pain.  And in doing so we cling to a futile need to be right or be superior, which overrides our capacity to heal and to make healthy changes in our lives... .usually because we don't know any other way to come to grips with the painful feelings of hurt, rejection, and abandonment.  

At bpdfamily.com, the staff has had the opportunity to watch 1,000s of members process the failure of a BPD relationship and clearly, those that exhibit the most vitriol and resentment are the last to heal - if they heal at all.  Lets face it, the hallmark of a BPD relationship is emotional immaturity by both partners.  The idea that one partner was healthy (loving and giving) and the other partner was dysfunctional is seriously flawed.  BPD is a real mental illness and a person with this disorder will have a history of failed relationships.   However, an emotionally mature and grounded person does not get into such relationships and even if they accidentally fell into one, they would reassess their decision process and values, make changes - not get caught up in extended makeup/breakup cycles and come back time and time again.

When we are caught up in the resentment, it obscures both our vision and motivation to identify and resolve the issues that plagued us in the relationship... .such as relationship skills (e.g., selecting emotionally impaired partners, confusing sex with love, etc.) or even things like our own issues (e.g., co-dependency, narcissistic, schizoid or other traits) or immature thinking.
According to Siche holding resentments is choice.
  
Are you making the healthy choice?  
If you are angry, is it healthy anger or unhealthy anger?
What are examples and signs of unhealthy anger and resentment?
How can we be mindful and change our direction?


We look forward to a meaningful discussion on the subject!

Skippy
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 06:18:24 PM by Harri, Reason: corrected typos » Logged

 


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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 10:31:22 AM »

Dysfunctional Resentment  Resentment is a mental process in which we repeatedly replay a feeling, and the events leading up to that feeling that angers us.  With resentment, we re-experience and relive events in ways that affect us mentally, emotionally, physiologically and spiritually in destructive ways.

This is a great post that I can relate to alot.  I have tons of resentment, but I have not left my BPD relationship.  I need to figure out how to get past the resentment if I want to stay in this r/s and I don't know if its possible.  Maybe radical acceptance (which I've tried to do to a small degree) would help. 

My anger with uBPDbf does subside, although it doesn't ever go away completely because I keep replaying all the bad stuff in my head, which makes me more resentful than angry.  I'm not sure how to get past it ... .probably lots of therapy.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 06:02:45 PM »

Here are the 10 Steps to letting go of resentment from Healing from Family Rifts by Mark Sichel:

1.  Approach resentment as the addictive state of mind it is.

2.  Realize that you are using resentment to replicate your family drama and maintain a connection with those dramas, a necessary acknowledgment before you can let them go.

3.  Examine how your resentment may come from mentally confusing people in your present life with people in your past.

4.  Acknowledge that you cannot control those who have rejected you.

5.  Recognize that your resentment give you only illusions of strength. Instead, highlight and validate your real strength and power.

6.  Learn to identify the signals that provoke resentment.

7.  Practice cognitive behavoiral techniques to stop indulging in resentment. Put a thought between your feelings of resentment and indulging in ruminating about them.

8.  Acknowledge your part in allowing the abuse to occur, forgive yourself for that, and make a decision to not let it occur again.

9.  Declare an amnesty - with your family and with yourself.

10. Forgive when you can, and practice willful and deliberate forgetfulness when you cannot, keeping in mind that these acts are gifts to yourself rather than capitulation to those whom you resent."

« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 06:28:35 PM by Harri, Reason: corrected typos » Logged

 
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 08:36:02 PM »

thanks skip, for that last post

Excerpt
10. Forgive when you can, and practice willful and deliberate forgetfulness when you cannot, keeping in mind that these acts are gifts to yourself rather than capitulation to those whom you resent."

for me, this is a big issue. i was bullied as a kid and i know that i still carry traces of that ancient resentment with me today, and my experiences with BPD have awakened old wounds. capitulation is not an option for me, and this attitude has prevented me from dealing properly with my anger, well that and the fact that she keeps being who she is.

it is helpful to have these simple truths stated openly by someone who understands and can relate to what i feel. now i have to take that and apply it on my own. that is the hard part.

i do realize that the anger has to end before healing can really begin, but i have had to modify or deny my own inner feelings for so long that even the act of controlling my anger when necessary seems as an affront to me. that is why your #10 strikes a chord for me, skip. the forgiveness i dont think i can do, not now, maybe not ever, but forgetting may be something worth trying.

SK
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011, 08:48:54 AM »

Excellent point!  I am shifting into the acceptance phase from the depression phase to be exact.  I dont want to bash my husband, I feel really badly for him and no longer feel responsible for trying to make him happy.  Im breaking the cycle from my end as well.  My therapist was very proud of the independent things I did over the last few weeks with husband (even though they felt foreign to me).  It will take a long time, if ever, before I can trust myself enough to enter into another realtionship as a healthy woman with a healthy man.  That option, being without anyone, is now more appealing than trying to figure out how to stay in this relationship and not get surprised with the next "stunt" from my husband to get a rise out of me and start the cycle again.  I actually now fully understand why his ex fiance left silently before they married.  I would say lucky lady, but she told me about their "different realities" being so extreme and an inability to talk to him as her reason for leaving... .I now get it.  He bashed her to his family to save his face and told them she cheated and left for another man (which she didnt)... .he has already started to deface me to his family, so I wonder what he will come up with after I go... .that will be what I work on in therapy is to let go of that and not think about it as it will be him still having control over me if I let it bother me. 

It will get better.  I will get better too.
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 10:41:29 PM »

Lets face it, the hallmark of a BPD relationship is emotional immaturity by both partners.  The idea that one partner was healthy (loving and giving) and the other partner was dysfunctional is seriously flawed.  BPD is a real mental illness and a person with this disorder will have a history of failed relationships.   However, an emotionally mature and grounded person does not get into such relationships and even if they accidentally fell into one

This is so true!  I chose my NPD/BPD ex husband.  I was emotionally immature.  I would say that I was developmentally delayed in emotional maturity.  I sure had my issues.  I learned why I made such foolish choices through therapy.  

I had two children to my exhusband.  My dd, 28, shows signs of seven traits of BPD.  My ds, 30, shows several traits of NPD.  

I can recall when I first left my ex.  My mother was great at telling people how it was his fault.  And, how he was abusive.  And, I accepted my role as the victim.  Then as the years have gone by - I can say, "What was I thinking?"  I reached a point where I could not stand to be around my ex for five minutes.  And, it wasn't him that changed.  He was like that all along.  I just didn't see it.  I really made some poor choices as a young adult.  I had very low self esteem.  But, I found a man who wanted ME.  No matter what, he loved ME.  So, I can handle all the abuse because he was sorry, and he LOVED me.  I had some BPD traits myself.  The big epiphany came out in therapy, that I was the adult child of an alcoholic.  But, I think the bigger thing was that my father never once told me that he loved me. He died when I was only 17.  I felt apathetic about his death.  And, then I felt guilt for feeling that way about his death.  How could I not grieve my own father?  

My father just came from a family that was not affectionate.  They were very cool and distant. Many years after his death, I forgave him.  I could understand that he loved me.  However, I found ways that he really did love me.

I agree that people in a relationship with BPD have their own issues.  Just a few years ago, I would not have agreed with that.  In fact, I can recall being furious that my dd told me that her T told her that we were all nuts in my family.  How dare he say that?  It was just my dd!  Actually, I finally saw that he was right.  We were all nuts.  My dh, me, all of us.  Through therapy and the right therapist I was willing to look at myself.  And, admit, I have my issues, I must find out what they are.  

I used to blame my ex for the way my children turned out.  He never bothered with them much and was not a good father.  However, my kids were born with a predisposition.  I chose this man as a young adult. And, I made so many mistakes in raising my children.  My uBPDd was a very needy child.  And, I let our lives revolve around her.   I accept my responsibility, too.  It was not all my ex's fault.  
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 02:49:41 PM »

 I am also not a angry person but there is so much of angryness in my BPD husband at the moment and it get worse by the day. At this stage we don't even talk anymore. But now I am angry when I think about the 31years of my life he stole from me,  he can never give it back or even make up for it.
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2012, 04:18:01 PM »

"According to Mark Siche (author of Healing from Family Rifts), resentment happens when:

We feel what people did to us that was unnecessarily mean, hurtful, and disrespectful or humiliating

What people in our lives did not do for us mean, hurtful, and disrespectful or humiliating"

I'm revisiting this discussion because I have fallen back into feeling resentful towards my H. I guess the emotional stages ebb and flow but the holidays sure brought out resentment for me. This was the first non-couple Christmas for me and HWBPD. We set up a schedule so we wouldn't both be at our adult kids at the same time and the schedule worked out but last night I felt such anger towards my H that we had to coordinate this. I focused on how horrible he was and the unnecessarily mean, hurtful and disrespectful things he did during our marriage. :'(

I don't like being in this place of resentment as it kind of debilitates me. I'm going to work on changing my thinking by focusing on the healing workshops on this website. I need to get out of resentment and back into self healing because it feels better.
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 08:17:18 AM »

This was very helpful and very true.  The closest article I have read to help me understand my dwelling on my resentment and disappointment towards him.  Also, I would love to read more about what it is about me that drew me to this person, knowing his 3 past failed marriages, and other issues. What is it about a person who thinks they can "fix" people. 
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 03:08:40 PM »

I wish I had read this months ago.  It was my anger and resentments after years of mistreatments and broken promises and lies coupled with my own anger at myself for tolerating this and enabling his behavior for so long that brought me into counseling back in the first week of December.  I couldn't cope with how encompassing the resentments were and that I couldn't seem to let them go.  I tend to be extremely compassionate and understanding with everyone in my life, but my anger and resentments were making it difficult for me to even look at my uBPDh without feeling it bubble up. 

In therapy, we talked a lot about compassion and forgiveness but I was nowhere near ready.  The holiday season was the most difficult one for me in my life for several reasons and I kept saying that I felt like I was on the edge of a breakdown and finally, 3 weeks or so after Christmas I lost it.  Basically had a fully expressed BPD like rage at my husband in which I am not proud to say I unleashed on him.  He took it well, understanding that it would pass and I apologized afterwards.  Letting it go like that scared me... .I was actually afraid I wasn't going to be able to get in control but after 2 days, it passed and a certain peace I hadn't felt in years washed over me.  I honestly think I needed to release what I had been holding back for many years and now I am feeling the compassion for him that I had lost.  My counseling appointment following this was a turning point.  I was able to deal with some ideas (radical acceptance that he may choose not to pursue the therapy he claims he wants) and more that up until then I couldn't deal with.  I'm not proud and I'm not making excuses but I think my anger and resentment fueled me to turn my efforts from the useless attempts to help him to working on my own issues.  I am glad now that I didn't stuff the anger anymore and that I can now focus on understanding myself better. 
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2016, 09:51:51 AM »

She has caused all sorts of problems for me, but I'd like to remove my resentment so I can move on

Is it radical acceptance and forgiveness?
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2016, 10:01:52 AM »

I think this is a tricky one.

Firstly I read a LOT of comments on here (which I honestly believe to be completely true) that our BPD ex's simply chose to do what they did because they were (insert emotion) and reacted in a way that was tried and tested for them. They fell back on primitive defense mechanism's to try and sooth their pain.

I'm not the first this happened to, and I won't be the last. But we weren't just BF/GF we were married and she still decided to keep this all a secret and run away into the arms of another. My resentment is that this was for keeps and she didn't make one effort to better the situation, just dumped and ran. I guess I wasn't special enough!

Forgiveness? maybe in time. The betrayal is usually huge. I'll be better equipped to forgive in a few years. Acceptance? Yeah that's what tempered my resentment/anger. Accepting this was out of my control. I have more control over the next US presidential election (0%) than I did trying to battle this illness alongside my ex.
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2016, 10:34:32 AM »

If only we could "remove resentment" like it was an unwelcome growth that sprouted up somewhere on our bodies. Smiling (click to insert in post)

But it's really more like an internal growth, not unlike a cancer, that is not a singular globule of stuff, but is rather a networked thing that is interlinked and interdependent with other organs and even the blood supply to those organs. Sorry for the biological ickiness of that image.

What is resentment? Your question made me think about the word and all the tangled things it contains.  It is "Bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly". The Online Etymology Dictionary says:

"take (something) ill; be in some degree angry or provoked at," c. 1600, from French ressentir "feel pain, regret," from Old French resentir "feel again, feel in turn" (13c.), from re-, intensive prefix, + sentir "to feel," from Latin sentire (see sense (n.)). Related: Resented; resenting"

So you're feeling again and again that bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly. That is definitely a hard space to be in.

That feeling is fair enough. You were.

Interesting for me is the "having been treated" part of the definition. The sense of having something unpleasant/unfair perpetrated on us makes us feel weak. One response is anger - which can lead to "stop that right now" moment, but if it continued for a while or was actually happening while we thought something else was happening... .well, that can really make us feel crap.

You can't just stop the resentment. It stops, maybe suddenly and maybe gradually, as you acknowledge what's beneath it. The trust you gave, which was not returned or spurned. The hopes you had, which were dashed. The expectations you had, that were not fulfilled, in the end.

I found mine dissipated the more I :

a) realised my BPD could not help himself and was far worse off than me, because at least I can help myself [I learned this by learning about the condition, here on this site]
b) saw how much I'd learned about myself from the whole experience [big wonderful project that has many aspects]
c) focussed on the good in my life [friends, family, work, hobbies - the ususal]
d) learned to slow down and pay more attention to how I was in the moment and what I needed or wanted [I gave meditation a go and cannot recommend it highly enough]
e) let myself feel compassion [for him, for myself for being at that stage of my development that I needed to learn these lessons, and probably wound another human being nearly as much as he wounded me]
f) allowed myself to have moments where I felt angry or sad and the wound still felt fresh [by knowing that the moment would pass]

Maybe that's all obvious. I know you're doing a lot of work on yourself, thinking and processing a lot. Maybe the other part of the calculation is *time*. Time passes, and if we make use of it in new and attentive ways, it becomes very meaningful. It takes time to recover, time to form new associations between things, time for our hearts to catch up with our brains.

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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2016, 11:33:20 AM »

I can't say I completely don't resent my BP so I'm looking forward to reading others' responses. I do, however, try not to let it hamper my growth.

The point where I thought about something terrible she did and felt that I could choose most of my angry feelings was a big deal for me. That loss of the sensation of automatic fear / anger.

I read that it took someone two years to undo her hypervigilance to a level where she can comfortably read a book. My relationship was not long, but I still feel we are blessed.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I agree--I think radical acceptance and forgiveness helps a lot. Doing both, I still found I required quite a diligent and repeated process. I probably could have sped this up with regular P or T visits.

I'd consider doing upkeep on your limits. The thing I found holding me back was fear that I wasn't prepared for another pwBPD-style partner (and avoiding such persons). It made me fear the future. I felt that fear obstructed my growth in terms of learning and being in a healthy relationship. I still felt this fear after dating someone else. I found that having a really accessible set of personalised limits helped me. I don't know if I'll ever be 100% confident I'm borderline-proof, but I'm okay with that bit. Using limits with different people outside of the pwBPD relationship has been unexpectedly difficult--but I'm more proud than regretful.
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2016, 09:21:29 PM »

A lot is said about Radical Acceptance on h is site. I have done some intense work in an area termed Radical Forgiveness. You might want to research it.
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2016, 09:49:52 PM »

I stumbled upon a definition of forgiveness I've gotten a lot of value out of:

"Forgiveness is a letting go of what you think someone owes you."

I like the "letting go" solutions, there's very little work involved, you just let go and let it fall away, and the weight comes off the shoulders, the brain quiets down, and a calmness settles in.  And resentments leave as forgiveness settles in too.  The bigger ones take a little repetition, but I've found that reframe very effective.
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2016, 10:31:59 PM »

For me, the more success I have on the road to rebuilding my life (I was a stay-at-home mom when I discovered exNPD/BPDh's cheating, stealing, lying, etc.), the less I care what he's up to.  This fuels my drive to continue succeeding, because I like not caring about what he's up to.  I feel I've worked on radical acceptance a lot. 

I don't think I have moments of resentment much anymore.  I really think that's because I'm rebuilding my life.  Most of the pain comes from seeing how my children have to live.  But yes, I do have times when I feel resentment, and I try to accept the feelings and feel them work through my body, etc.  It's not pleasant.

I like the information about the definition of resentment, Vitamin C.

As for forgiveness, I'm not even going to make myself try at this point.  I was very concerned with this a few years ago.  I talked with my T about it and I feel she wanted me to wait on even contemplating it.  During my divorce proceedings, my minister told me to not even begin to think about trying to forgive him.  She told me to pray for my ex, but don't try to forgive him, that it would come much later. 

So I haven't spent much time beating myself up over whether I should forgive him, or what forgiveness would look like.  For me, I do know that forgiveness is more than letting go.  I think radical acceptance has helped me more, and I see that as letting go. 

I don't feel pressured to forgive him at this point, and I don't feel that it's holding me back.  A psychotherapist with the last name Herman discusses how the fantasy of forgiveness can become a "cruel torture" for many who have been hurt, because it is often out of reach for "ordinary" human beings.  He states that true forgiveness can't be granted until the perpetrator has sought and earned it through confession, repentance and restitution.  My ex hasn't done any of that, and I doubt he ever will.  If he's as ill as the MC said, then I doubt he's capable at this point.  In fact, many of our ex's continue to hurt us through our children, or in other ways.  I try to acknowledge that it hurts (or is frustrating, or whatever I feel), he isn't acting with integrity, it's not a reflection on me and my worth, and then try to let it go.  Maybe when I've got my life put back together, I can spend time contemplating forgiveness.

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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2016, 01:13:18 AM »

RA is like my T said,  "I sense that a lot of your anger stems from expecting her to be someone she is not."

Mind. Blown. 

Kind of,  but not really when I thought about it.  What do you think? 
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2016, 05:18:00 AM »

I think the hard part turkish is that the wonderful loving person is as much a part of them as the horrible one. So in a way your T is wrong.

with RA you need to accept that the wonderful side will not win over the horrible. That the horrible one will always be there. That nothing you can do will keep the horrible one at bay forever and you have to accept that its not a life that you want to live.

Only then did I truely move on.
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2016, 06:06:03 AM »

you need to accept that the wonderful side will not win over the horrible. That the horrible one will always be there. That nothing you can do will keep the horrible one at bay forever and you have to accept that its not a life that you want to live.

That is powerful. And so true.

The sad thing for me was to witness the good side erode slowly over 15 years during the relationship, until she presented only the horrible side to me. Of course being so high functioning, she presents the good side to everyone else. They think as I once did, that she is only that amazing person.

But it's not real. I accept that.
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2016, 06:33:34 AM »

RA is like my T said,  "I sense that a lot of your anger stems from expecting her to be someone she is not."

Moselle I'm going to jingle in here Smiling (click to insert in post) I think this is true for me. I didn't investigate our huge differences in fidelity beliefs. Inequality of appearance and reality seriously helped me screw myself here. Thanks Turkish. Can't really accept what we don't know.
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« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2016, 08:51:29 AM »

Resentments hamper any recovery. In AA it's common to hear people say they never got sober or achieved any kind of contented sobriety until they let go if resentment. I wish I had a definite solid answer. In AA they say don't drink and go to meetings, the rest will follow. Pretty simple concept. I struffle hard with letting go. I went nc, I prayed forgave her, looked at me, forgave me, learned not to react not to defend my self to her. I went through the pain head first, wrote a lot in my journal got it out of my head. It just happened with hard work. I read on this board it a process not an event. The one thing I can tell you for sure is it does get better, beyond what you can imagine right now. We reap what we sow. The great rewards come with hard work and soul searching.
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Moselle
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2016, 04:07:26 AM »


At bpdfamily.com, the staff has had the opportunity to watch 1,000s of members process the failure of a BPD relationship and clearly, those that exhibit the most vitriol and resentment are the last to heal - if they heal at all.  Lets face it, the hallmark of a BPD relationship is emotional immaturity by both partners.  The idea that one partner was healthy (loving and giving) and the other partner was dysfunctional is seriously flawed... .

When we are caught up in the resentment, it obscures both our vision and motivation to identify and resolve the issues that plagued us in the relationship... .such as relationship skill (e.g., selecting emotionally impared partners, confusing sex with love, etc.) or even things like our own issues (e.g., co-dependency, narcissistic, schizoid or other traits) or immature
According to Siche holding resentments is choice.
  
Are you making the healthy choice?  
1. If you are angry is it healthy anger or unhealthy anger?
2. What are examples and signs of unhealthy anger and resentment?
3. How can we be mindful and change our direction?


We look forward to a meaningful discussion on the subject!

Skippy

Wow thanks for this Skip!

For a long time I thought that I was the healthy side of this relationship, but I know now that I was in the dance, and I realise that the resentment started during the relationship and has continued afterwards. It has reflected in my attempts to fight and gain some level of retribution for the perceived wrongs. Has it helped me?... .No  

To answer those questions

1. Some is healthy. I have suppressed it for a long time. I sometimes get on my own and vent a little bit. I have also taken up boxing :-) Putting gloves on an hitting a boxing bag is therapeutic, and a real workout. Other anger has turned to resentment and the resulting desire for retribution. I want to deal with this part in a more mature and healthy way.

2.
- Rumination about the injustices.
- Denial about my role in the dysfuntion and the justification of blaming her for what's happened,.
- Use of legal tactics to make life more difficult for them  insead of just moving on with my own life and recovery.
- Bitterness and victim mentality.
- Accusations and Over-reactions.

3. I have recently differentiated between my adult self and my inner child. This has helped me tremendously to act more maturely, and I realise the unhealthy reactions are often the inner child coming out. I care about my inner child and I work hard at soothing him and caring for him. I am re-parenting him in as healthy way as possible. The amazing outcome is that because I am parenting my inner child, I am a better parent to my three girls!

Any other thoughts, comments on these questions or others?

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StayStrongNow
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« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2018, 10:32:45 AM »

Thank you skip, great post.

... .the hallmark of a BPD relationship is emotional immaturity by both partners.  The idea that one partner was healthy (loving and giving) and the other partner was dysfunctional is seriously flawed.  BPD is a real mental illness and a person with this disorder will have a history of failed r/s.   However, an emotionally mature and grounded person does not get into such relationships and even if they accidentally fell into one, they would reassess their decision process and values, make changes - not get caught up in extended makeup/breakup cycles and come back time and time again.

So well put. I have started reflecting on this prior to this post and I definitely had baggage I brought in to this r/s.

I have been taking inventory of myself and I know I was not and I am still not healthy yet.  I remember back 12 years ago thinking I was getting up in age and wanting not only a lifelong partner but I wanted to get married and have children. Prior to that point in my life I dated and dated although I was in a couple 7 year r/s that I did not want to commit to marrying them. Then I met this charming and attractive woman much younger than me. I also developed a sexual addiction to her early on that furthered encapsulated my whole being with her. I also had a ferocious temper although I never did or will use physical violence on her or any woman, my words did the damage. There's more stuff too.

I had all the warnings signs right in front of me early on and even though I had no clue about BPD at the time, any "emotionally mature and grounded" person would have seen it and bolted for the nearest exit. I had my chances to run but I played the rescuer.

There is a saying when I point my finger at someone there are several pointing back. This holds true for me. It wasn't all her, it was me too.
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« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2018, 12:04:23 PM »

It was easier to resent the things done to me which were hurtful by her and focus on this, then to accept the fact that I did not deal with it maturely or from a source of solid self esteem that says, ok you find this seriously unacceptable, what are you now going to do with it. The thing is I really liked this person otherwise and it felt too much to block them out of my life, which would have been the completely reasonable response based on my own moral compass. Instead I went against this and it caused more internal strife because it was myself who seemingly permitted the abusive behaviour. Making my own false justifications for it mentally or going into denial states, just prolonged the agony. It has taught me for the future to not get so emotionally involved even though the other person seems to encourage it, and also to deal with any issues there and then so that they dont even need to lead to feelings of resentment in the first place.
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« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2018, 12:12:37 PM »

Excellent reminder Skip.

One thing I'm really noticing, now that I'm living temporarily with my FOO (I move into my place soon) is how much I started to behave like my dad in the relationship when I felt invalidated by her. I love my dad, but he's a handful and he has little self-awareness about how he behaves/makes others feel. When called out, he changes and is very apologetic. This was my model for getting it right: find maladaptive ways to express my distress/anger/concerns/etc and expect others to call me out on it.

For some reason, I felt like I needed her to be my security and I lost whatever sense of self-sufficiency I had over time. I get it, folks with BPD can really put us in this place, but we still have to give them permission and still have to go there somewhat willingly. My unintentional willingness came from feeling like I'd lose her if I was too (fill in the blank) or if I needed (fill in the blank). Instead of just handling myself and standing up for myself (and letting her figure out what that meant for her), I became a coward and the codependency came out in full effect.

I got in a fight with my dad the other night and he said something that just illuminated things for me. I told him that it was ok for me to say no to something he requested and that when I did, it was his job not to take it personally because my "no" wasn't necessarily a reflection of something he did or didn't do. He told me that it was always the right thing to do to give in to someone even if you don't want to, because that's what the other person wants and that's what a good person does. Mind you, he was asking me to do something that brought up a traumatic memory for me and my "no" was a way to protect myself in the moment from having to relive it. To him, it was unimportant why I might say no and it was more important that I was rejecting his request, therefore rejecting him.

It all made sense to me then. I really grew up with this kind of FOG, so no wonder I got wrapped up with my wife when she was struggling. Instead of just being strong, capable, confident, or even keeping myself at arms length, I went running in head first and took everything she did personally. Near the end of our relationship, I had cultivated this confidence again and her reactions towards me were amazing (for the most part). She couldn't help but notice that I was capable of being her rock, because I had become my own rock. I'm still working on this, but when it took my dad a few days to complete incinerate me and make me feel like a powerless child again, I quickly understood where I learned the codependency.

I don't have much resentment towards my ex at the moment, but again, that was something I really did a lot of work near the end of the relationship (too late) to rid myself of and evaluate how I was creating patterns that only lead to resentment. I can see though, especially watching my dad do it to everyone around him, how much casual resentment I carried around throughout our marriage that I had no awareness of at the time. I know what that resentment feels like on the receiving end, and even though I meant no harm on the dishing it out end, I really am doing my best to check myself. I wish I would have done this sooner. I don't know if it would have made a difference for us, heck it might have gotten us to a break up sooner (or maybe we would have never married). But, I know it will make a difference for me to learn more about it and learn how to not do it in my next relationship (with her or anyone else).
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« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2018, 05:20:39 PM »

Quote: The sad thing for me was to witness the good side erode slowly over 15 years during the relationship, until she presented only the horrible side to me. Of course being so high functioning, she presents the good side to everyone else. They think as I once did, that she is only that amazing person.

This is what hits me the hardest. I'm experiencing this at present. It's as if I'm on an island.

As I work with this person, I am going to do all I can to let go of my resentment, but it's a gut check on a regular basis. And I was just a small part of the damage she wreaked(I was one of multiple affairs she had in 2 years... ). 

I also understand I'm not healthy either. But I've seen myself put in a LOT of the work to get me on the correct path. Reading this thread today stopped me in my tracks somewhat, but I can really see it's the next stop on my journey. Because I'm holding way too much of this inside me... .
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« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2018, 06:43:35 PM »

I never thought of my UBPDH as an “emotional vampire” or as “sucking me dry” etc.  I thought and still think of him as a wounded person who lashed out rather than allow himself to be wounded again.  I have been exasperated that my trustworthiness was always in question although I endeavored to be reliable beyond doubt.  I have been angry that his lashing out has hurt me and others.

In fact, he is extremely resentful of me.  I was supposed to know how to make every situation tolerable for him and in the end, I could not.  

Like enlighten me says, it has been so very hard to let go of the good, thoughtful, understanding side of him.  However, there was always a scary raging side that I couldn’t live with any longer.  Accepting that both sides exist, and that no matter how I tried, both sides remained, and the scary side is no longer safe for me.

I am upset when on my way to work, I pass by my neighborhood, just a few blocks from the home I loved that he is still living in.   But, I am working through that and hopefully will feel better in time.  Trying not to push the feelings aside, but work through them.  

Appreciating all that I have and carving out a new existence is helping me not to be resentful.
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