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Author Topic: Question regarding BPD's rescuing Non's  (Read 2588 times)
joeramabeme
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« on: August 03, 2015, 10:31:29 PM »

This question is actually a sign that my mind is beginning to catchup with an incredible overload of processing.

Awhile back someone told me that BPD's find relationships with people they perceive need fixing and that this is a projection of them trying to fix the parts that they see broken within themselves.

Does anyone know if this statement has overall BPD applicability?

I think it is true in my case and I am still trying to complete the objective context of my marriage properly hence my question.  When I initially started to think through this I thought maybe she saw me as less than.  Although she certainly treated me that way, I don't see that this was her mindset. 

When we met, I had some gaping emotional holes which I am sure she was aware of before we married and she did indeed help me fix them.  A part of my story could almost read like, once she got me patched up enough she was done and moved on.

Just re-assmebling the broken pieces so I can see what the model looked like from an outsiders point of view rather than being an actual part of it.

:-)

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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 10:42:53 PM »

Hey joe-

Here's another viewpoint:

From an attachment and abandonment perspective, which is everything to borderlines, someone who needs 'fixing', and who turns to a borderline for support, and gets it, will become dependent on the borderline and therefore won't leave.  If you were 'needy' intially and turned to her, she felt like you wouldn't leave and therefore felt good, but once you got it together you no longer 'needed' her and were therefore more likely to leave.  All about attachments and abandonment by those attachments.

Another piece is if you were the 'needy' one she was in control, and could therefore regulate the emotional distance between you, avoiding intimacy and therefore engulfment.
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 10:45:15 PM »

With the persons I have known with BPD... .

(I'm thinking of two female friends)

I believe that they were able to see and connect with the vulnerable side of me.  Maybe they split me white by thinking of me only in terms of that vulnerable self.  It is not that I was walking around looking all pitiful, rather that they were hyper in tune to my emotional state and saw that moment of vulnerability as an opening in which to build connection. 

I do not feel either of these friends thought of me as less than, actually, I believe both had great respect and appreciation for me.  I think their great respect for me, my opinions... .is what made them also fearful of offending me.  They were afraid if I didn't contnue to like them, if Sunflower, who has such good judgement, who gets along with everybody, doesn't love me, then I must not be lovable.  Is how it appeared they felt.

Yes, both friends did sort of "take me under their wing" when it came to connecting with my vulnerable side.  They jumped at the opportunity.  Actually, they thrived on it and could not help themselves if they knew I was in pain and either suffering in silence, or was sharing that part of me with another.
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joeramabeme
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 11:02:07 PM »

Another piece is if you were the 'needy' one she was in control, and could therefore regulate the emotional distance between you, avoiding intimacy and therefore engulfment.

HeeltoHeal!  That's it!  DUDE!  You rock. 

It is amazing how this abandonment/engulfment really is the primary issue!  It is so simple and yet so pervasive that it seems almost impossible that everything comes back to this, but it really does.

Think I will take my wife's picture off the refrigerator now that she is gone and replace it with two individual magnets push & pull.  It will be a healthy reminder when I am missing her.

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joeramabeme
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 11:07:11 PM »

Yes, both friends did sort of "take me under their wing" when it came to connecting with my vulnerable side.  They jumped at the opportunity.  Actually, they thrived on it and could not help themselves if they knew I was in pain and either suffering in silence, or was sharing that part of me with another.

Ya, there is something altruistic in this behavior.  I still can't hold in my mind how she did so many good things, particularly in the beginning.  It must be like an animal sense that is hyper tuned in to another frequency.  It is all pretty amazing stuff.

Thanks Sunflower!   
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 11:17:08 PM »

Holy crap this hit a nerve.  When I met my stbxh, I was only a few months out of a physically abusive marriage and was probably a mess as a single parent of a 7 year old.  I had left the marriage not to save myself but to get her out of that environment and didn't deal with my own crap for many years.  He was most definitely my "knight in shining armour".  Over the past 5 years or so, I started working on me, my issues and also lost almost 150 lbs while shedding the baggage that goes along with that.  I didn't need him anymore and his rages were getting crazy.  I put up with them for 9 years and finally had enough.  He obviously didn't know how to cope with my independence from him, not "needing" him, getting more social and meeting lots of great people (I was a homebody), thriving in my career while he was laid off twice in a year taking major pay cuts each time.  He became so desperate and crazy that I actually got scared of him and still am even though I ended things and changed the locks in the house.  Now his manipulation is unfortunately pointed right at our daughter and I won't stand for that even if I have to say no to visitation which he has only asked for 6 hours total this past month.
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2015, 12:03:26 AM »

Hey joe-

Here's another viewpoint:

From an attachment and abandonment perspective, which is everything to borderlines, someone who needs 'fixing', and who turns to a borderline for support, and gets it, will become dependent on the borderline and therefore won't leave.  If you were 'needy' intially and turned to her, she felt like you wouldn't leave and therefore felt good, but once you got it together you no longer 'needed' her and were therefore more likely to leave.  All about attachments and abandonment by those attachments.

Another piece is if you were the 'needy' one she was in control, and could therefore regulate the emotional distance between you, avoiding intimacy and therefore engulfment.

That ^^^^! Well said FHTH! A weakness in a Non is viewed as a control surface by the pwBPD.
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2015, 12:11:23 AM »

my ex was a physician and found her work to be very satisfying. Few of her partners had even been patients
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2015, 12:19:38 AM »

Hey joe-

Here's another viewpoint:

From an attachment and abandonment perspective, which is everything to borderlines, someone who needs 'fixing', and who turns to a borderline for support, and gets it, will become dependent on the borderline and therefore won't leave.  If you were 'needy' intially and turned to her, she felt like you wouldn't leave and therefore felt good, but once you got it together you no longer 'needed' her and were therefore more likely to leave.  All about attachments and abandonment by those attachments.

Another piece is if you were the 'needy' one she was in control, and could therefore regulate the emotional distance between you, avoiding intimacy and therefore engulfment.

That ^^^^! Well said FHTH! A weakness in a Non is viewed as a control surface by the pwBPD.

its not so much that they are a predetor on the lookout for weakness to exploit.  It is more they are looking for someone to define them and a caretaking role is a clearly defined position they can relate to and identify with as they can relate to that need to be taken care of.  The caretaking role a borderline might assume is not necessarily any less authentic or compassionate than that of a "non." In fact, in many cases it is more authentic than that of  a lot of so called "nons."
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2015, 01:12:55 AM »

I wanted to clarify on the 'defining them."  So lets say a borderline assumes the role of rescuer or caretaker to you. It is because they saw the position for an other that is that in you. So they assume that role and will look to you for approval with the demand of, "tell me." Tell me who I am. Of course, we defined them and they idealized us for it.
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2015, 08:08:38 AM »

Another piece is if you were the 'needy' one she was in control, and could therefore regulate the emotional distance between you, avoiding intimacy and therefore engulfment.

HeeltoHeal!  That's it!  DUDE!  You rock. 

It is amazing how this abandonment/engulfment really is the primary issue!  It is so simple and yet so pervasive that it seems almost impossible that everything comes back to this, but it really does.

Think I will take my wife's picture off the refrigerator now that she is gone and replace it with two individual magnets push & pull.  It will be a healthy reminder when I am missing her.

Yeah, simpler is always better, unless it's too simple.  And also remember that it's not malicious or even conscious for a borderline, it's a set of feelings, as some things are for all of us, and a borderline is just looking for a place to fit to complete themselves, as unstable as that unfortunately is.

You might consider adding magnets for you to the refrigerator too, and as your processing and detachment progresses you can move them around in relation to each other, a psychic map on an appliance.
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2015, 08:39:02 AM »

Mine knew I had low self-esteem and no close friends, and she knew that I had never dated anyone.  She also knew that I was still living at home, with my parents.  Also, she knew I had a hard time opening up to people. 

So yes, at first, she really helped me.  After we became close, I started speaking up more at meetings, and I started talking to other co-workers that I had never really talked to before.  I started thinking about moving out of my house.  I told her things that I had never told anyone before.

Mine actually asked me once if she's broken, and so even though she was trying to "rescue" me, she knew that she was the one who needed rescued.   

As fromheeltoheal wrote,"Another piece is if you were the 'needy' one she was in control, and could therefore regulate the emotional distance between you, avoiding intimacy and therefore engulfment."

Mine once said to me, "You're so needy."  This was two days after she asked me to look at apartments with her.  We got too close, she distanced herself and called me out on being needy or clingy, and that helped her avoid engulfment. 
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2015, 09:10:16 AM »

Excerpt
Mine once said to me, "You're so needy."  This was two days after she asked me to look at apartments with her.

That must be incredibly frustrating, especially dealing with your first r/s 

You know it sounds to me that she was the one that was feeling clingy and was projecting it onto you! Didn't you decline her request to live together like any sane person would at knowing someone for such a short amount of time? She probably felt a loss of control and lashed out
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2015, 09:29:02 AM »

Excerpt
Mine once said to me, "You're so needy."  This was two days after she asked me to look at apartments with her.

That must be incredibly frustrating, especially dealing with your first r/s 

You know it sounds to me that she was the one that was feeling clingy and was projecting it onto you! Didn't you decline her request to live together like any sane person would at knowing someone for such a short amount of time? She probably felt a loss of control and lashed out

Take a listen to mine then.

At first, she started mentioning marriage very fast in the relationship, like maybe a few months into it. I just accepted it as how nice it would be, but we kept it there. Then later on, when I started just daydreaming about how it would be if we got married she lashed out at me telling me that I should "fcking stop pushing and pressuring her" and other quite cruel things. I stopped mentioning that topic after that. But some more months later during a huge fight, she tells me how she planned on us going to like a court thing just to get our marriage papers done and we could go on a honeymoon without anyone knowing, but that she didn't do it because I ruined her entire year thus far. I was literally speechless.

How's that for next level crazy?
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2015, 09:34:14 AM »

Excerpt
Mine once said to me, "You're so needy."  This was two days after she asked me to look at apartments with her.

That must be incredibly frustrating, especially dealing with your first r/s 

You know it sounds to me that she was the one that was feeling clingy and was projecting it onto you! Didn't you decline her request to live together like any sane person would at knowing someone for such a short amount of time? She probably felt a loss of control and lashed out

Take a listen to mine then.

At first, she started mentioning marriage very fast in the relationship, like maybe a few months into it. I just accepted it as how nice it would be, but we kept it there. Then later on, when I started just daydreaming about how it would be if we got married she lashed out at me telling me that I should "fcking stop pushing and pressuring her" and other quite cruel things. I stopped mentioning that topic after that. But some more months later during a huge fight, she tells me how she planned on us going to like a court thing just to get our marriage papers done and we could go on a honeymoon without anyone knowing, but that she didn't do it because I ruined her entire year thus far. I was literally speechless.

How's that for next level crazy?

You know we were blind with love and infatuation, plus if you're also the romantic type it's easy to hear wedding bells when sweet hereafters are promised! You can't blame yourself for trying to trust and love someone, let alone make a lifetime commitment. Hopefully now we will know not to take those fast romantic gestures to heart!

Sounds like a typical behavior for a BPDer:

1. fear of engulfment - I hate you, don't leave me

2. fear of abandonment - let's get married

3. no 'off' button during rages
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2015, 12:15:24 PM »

Excerpt
Mine once said to me, "You're so needy."  This was two days after she asked me to look at apartments with her.

That must be incredibly frustrating, especially dealing with your first r/s 

You know it sounds to me that she was the one that was feeling clingy and was projecting it onto you! Didn't you decline her request to live together like any sane person would at knowing someone for such a short amount of time? She probably felt a loss of control and lashed out

Everything with her has always been about where she is going to live.  She first asked me to live with her a month or so after we became friends.  I had known her for about 6 months at that point, but not that well, so I said no.  Then, she asked me again in April.  I said no again.  The last time was in May, and I said yes, but told her that it could take as long as 6 months to find a place, settle, and move in.  So, say we would have moved in October.  I would have known her for 14 months at that point.

The toughest thing is that she was "living" with her boyfriend and framed all of this around him being awful and her wanting to leave him.  She even told me that he hit her and showed me a picture of her bloody lip.  I say "living" because she basically just moved herself in gradually.  She started with a few things, and then when no one said anything, she moved in some more things.  Eventually, she moved everything in and then tried to commit suicide.  That got him to agree to let her live there permanently, and not long after that, she discarded me.

So, I'm struggling right now with the fact that I was basically just a backup plan for if she didn't get what she wanted.  When the Realtor asked my exBPD if she was also going to live at the house, she replied, "Maybe."  That worried me, but I thought at the time that she was just trying to downplay our relationship, since we live in a fairly conservative place. 

So, while she was stringing me along and lying to me, she was worming her way into her boyfriend's place, which is actually his cousin's place.  I think that's why she had to slowly move herself in.  Her boyfriend's cousin may not have agreed to actually let her live there.  If the cousin would have said, "Hey, I think you should find your own place," she would have been able to move in with me and then probably cheat on me with him, until he decided to move out and get a place with her. 
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2015, 04:24:22 PM »

My exBPDbf saw himself as a White Knight, rescuing and taking care of wounded girls. He called himself this often.

I didn't understand why, at the beginning of our relationship, he kept asking if I'd ever been raped or abused. All of his exes had been one or the other or both. He seemed to not believe me when I insisted that I hadn't been, at least until he got to know me better. I suppose I presented to him like his exes did, with similar vulnerabilities and patterns. I did have a desire/need to be taken care of, but it wasn't related to rape/abuse.

I wanted to clarify on the 'defining them."  So lets say a borderline assumes the role of rescuer or caretaker to you. It is because they saw the position for an other that is that in you. So they assume that role and will look to you for approval with the demand of, "tell me." Tell me who I am. Of course, we defined them and they idealized us for it.

Absolutely... .borderlines are always looking for a narrative to fit into to give them a sense of self. And they prefer relationships with "pre-defined" roles, like rescuer and rescued. The borderline can be the rescuer, if their partner is projecting a need for that role. The partner defines who the borderline is, and it works for a while - until it doesn't anymore.
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2015, 05:23:01 PM »

one thing my ex used to say is, "I [treat] you how I want to be [treated]." Also, that "everything happens for a reason."  These are probably the two most revealing statements of the into how and why everything happened.

So, you met your ex in a rough patch of her other rs, or go further in yours or whatever. So she was looking to be rescued from the overwhelming terror of not being defined. At the same time she was probably devaluing her BF, she would rather be treated like crap and put into line than leaving the overwhelming anxiety of nothingness be undefined.
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2015, 09:50:28 PM »

My exBPDbf saw himself as a White Knight, rescuing and taking care of wounded girls. He called himself this often.

I didn't understand why, at the beginning of our relationship, he kept asking if I'd ever been raped or abused. All of his exes had been one or the other or both.


(This is not directed at you HN. I am using what you've written as an example.)

That's the predatory aspect of it ^^^^. In HN's example, he was looking for someone that needed resucing. That's predatory, seeking out the weak. Is he really rescuing, or is he exploiting a weakness to gain control? In a normal rescue situation, the rescuer has the power.

My question is: did you choose your person with BPD, or did they choose you? If you were not the type of person that they normally pair with, you may have not seen the rescue/control aspect for what it was.

My ex keeps an alcoholic/suicidal exbf around. She has had him for years. I am not talking bad about the guy; he needs to get away from her and get professional help. But he's weak. She exploits that. Rescuing him? Not on your life. He is exactly where she wants him.
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2015, 09:56:31 PM »

I think I was the outlier, the one without the narcissistic traits. The one previous, she wasn't in love with. I perceived it to be self flagellation on her part after being dumped, then used, then dumped by the previous bf, with whom she was in love years later. The short termer literally cat called her on the street. He was a manipulator, and played her well, an ex addict who stole her car one night to go see an ex. It ended shortly thereafter.

The first one was interesting. He was a few years younger than she was. They had a special email account set up for the future if they (he) ever decided to come back. Though he dumped her, he was making disparaging comments about me when he saw my myspace profile, saying he was much better looking. She started communicating with him again when we started having problems. My boundaries were lacking, and I never communicated how hurtful that was. He was supposedly going to get a PhD in psycholgy.

After she left, I found an old journal in a box. It ended about the time we met. I found something she wrote about those two, bemoaning that she was attracted to guys who had issues and didn't have it together, and that she deserved more. Enter Turkish: older, financially stable,.and a lot more mature. She wanted a family. Early on, however, I sensed she trying to bring me down, our r/s like two early 20-some things. I resisted, and we had problems from the beginning. I remember talking to my friends about it, "something's seriously wrong here." There was no honeymoon phase for us. My issues for not leaving when I knew I should.

As she left, I found an entry in anther journal about us, in the journal she left on her bathroom shelf after taking everything else. Maybe forgetful, maybe she wanted me to read it. She wrote, "I wasn't ready for this relationship!" I guess I expected too much after two kids. So she's cycled back to a younger guy with narcissistic traits (I hear the voice of my T, exasperated that I'm diagnosing people  Smiling (click to insert in post) I don't think he's NPD, but something's going on there).

Now that she's trying to build a mature life: marrying, trying to buy a home (they both qualify for subsidized housing, so I don't see it), I wonder if he will be able to live up to her expectations?  Time will tell. Has she "rescued" again? I know he thinks he did her.
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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2015, 10:04:12 PM »

My exBPDbf saw himself as a White Knight, rescuing and taking care of wounded girls. He called himself this often.

I didn't understand why, at the beginning of our relationship, he kept asking if I'd ever been raped or abused. All of his exes had been one or the other or both.


(This is not directed at you HN. I am using what you've written as an example.)

That's the predatory aspect of it ^^^^. In HN's example, he was looking for someone that needed resucing. That's predatory, seeking out the weak. Is he really rescuing, or is he exploiting a weakness to gain control? In a normal rescue situation, the rescuer has the power.

My question is: did you choose your person with BPD, or did they choose you? If you were not the type of person that they normally pair with, you may have not seen the rescue/control aspect for what it was.

My ex keeps an alcoholic/suicidal exbf around. She has had him for years. I am not talking bad about the guy; he needs to get away from her and get professional help. But he's weak. She exploits that. Rescuing him? Not on your life. He is exactly where she wants him.

Yeah, and consider the motivation for that control: if a borderline is in control of the relationship they can manage the conflicting fears of abandonment and engulfment, where the only semblance of contentment is found on the fence between them.  Can't blame them for trying at all, it may work in a sense, although who would sign up for the other side of that?  Us.  My ex said her previous 3 boyfriends did "heinous" things at the end of the relationship, her word, and I'm sure I ended up in that camp too, and who wouldn't?  Maybe an extreme codependent who might thrive on being controlled, but beyond that, no one tolerates that happily for long.
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« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2015, 10:16:49 PM »

My exBPDbf saw himself as a White Knight, rescuing and taking care of wounded girls. He called himself this often.

I didn't understand why, at the beginning of our relationship, he kept asking if I'd ever been raped or abused. All of his exes had been one or the other or both.


(This is not directed at you HN. I am using what you've written as an example.)

That's the predatory aspect of it ^^^^. In HN's example, he was looking for someone that needed resucing. That's predatory, seeking out the weak. Is he really rescuing, or is he exploiting a weakness to gain control? In a normal rescue situation, the rescuer has the power.

My question is: did you choose your person with BPD, or did they choose you? If you were not the type of person that they normally pair with, you may have not seen the rescue/control aspect for what it was.

My ex keeps an alcoholic/suicidal exbf around. She has had him for years. I am not talking bad about the guy; he needs to get away from her and get professional help. But he's weak. She exploits that. Rescuing him? Not on your life. He is exactly where she wants him.

Yeah, and consider the motivation for that control: if a borderline is in control of the relationship they can manage the conflicting fears of abandonment and engulfment, where the only semblance of contentment is found on the fence between them.  Can't blame them for trying at all, it may work in a sense, although who would sign up for the other side of that?  Us.  My ex said her previous 3 boyfriends did "heinous" things at the end of the relationship, her word, and I'm sure I ended up in that camp too, and who wouldn't?  Maybe an extreme codependent who might thrive on being controlled, but beyond that, no one tolerates that happily for long.

I totally agree FHTH, the last thing that they want is someone strong enough to challenge their control. They'd never "rescue" someone into that position.
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« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2015, 10:29:15 PM »

I totally agree FHTH, the last thing that they want is someone strong enough to challenge their control. They'd never "rescue" someone into that position.

Unless they wanted a Parent figure. Then again, that is yet another form of control.

Turn it around:

Though this doesn't supply to everybody (most of the short-termers, I'm thinking), who here is a rescuer themselves? I'll raise my hand.
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« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2015, 11:17:36 PM »

I totally agree FHTH, the last thing that they want is someone strong enough to challenge their control. They'd never "rescue" someone into that position.

Unless they wanted a Parent figure. Then again, that is yet another form of control.

Turn it around:

Though this doesn't supply to everybody (most of the short-termers, I'm thinking), who here is a rescuer themselves? I'll raise my hand.

I've been in rescue mode before, it gave me a sense of dominance and control, a response to the fear of getting hurt, and a backhanded way of getting love because I did something, instead of just being lovable.  I always felt queasy in it though, since it was never an equal partnership.

I was honestly looking for an equal partnership with my ex, "building a life with my best friend" is how I put it, but the combo of 6 kids, 2 failed marriages, too many boyfriends to count, and traits of a disorder including continual chaos made being in control her only option.  My focus is never to control, it's to not be controlled, that will never fly with me; pure incompatibility?
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« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2015, 11:26:25 PM »

My exBPDbf saw himself as a White Knight, rescuing and taking care of wounded girls. He called himself this often.

I didn't understand why, at the beginning of our relationship, he kept asking if I'd ever been raped or abused. All of his exes had been one or the other or both.


(This is not directed at you HN. I am using what you've written as an example.)

That's the predatory aspect of it ^^^^. In HN's example, he was looking for someone that needed resucing. That's predatory, seeking out the weak. Is he really rescuing, or is he exploiting a weakness to gain control? In a normal rescue situation, the rescuer has the power.

Oh, absolutely. My exBPDbf is very predatory. One day he'd say he was a White Knight, the next day he'd talk about how much he liked to break strong women.

He left his second ex-wife once she started making progress in her own therapy and was improving her life. His girlfriend before that left him once she started therapy. He knew that he couldn't afford to actually "rescue" anyone if he wanted her to stay.

My question is: did you choose your person with BPD, or did they choose you? If you were not the type of person that they normally pair with, you may have not seen the rescue/control aspect for what it was.

I would have never thought of myself as someone needing rescue. I'm a resilient, independent person. I was also more stubborn back then - but this relationship knocked a lot of ego out of me.  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) I called him out on his BS a ton in the beginning. But obviously, deep inside, I felt like I did need someone to caretake me, and projected that. We chose each other. We fit each other's dysfunction well.

I totally agree FHTH, the last thing that they want is someone strong enough to challenge their control. They'd never "rescue" someone into that position.

Unless they wanted a Parent figure. Then again, that is yet another form of control.

I think waif-type borderlines are especially prone to this, and often seek out rescuer/caretaker partners. Of course, it's difficult to keep the narrative going and stay in the defined roles. Eventually, the rescuer is going to expect the rescued to be a complete person on their own... .or the rescued is going to realize they don't need the rescuer... .or something else will happen to shake up the defined roles.
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« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2015, 11:35:41 PM »

 
I was honestly looking for an equal partnership with my ex, "building a life with my best friend" is how I put it, but the combo of 6 kids, 2 failed marriages, too many boyfriends to count, and traits of a disorder including continual chaos made being in control her only option.  My focus is never to control, it's to not be controlled, that will never fly with me; pure incompatibility?

Is this an other form of control, or just boundaries? Maybe it depends upon how its applied? Or was it a "covert contract" on my side? That is, me doing xyz, expecting to get abc.  My Ex said early on that she liked that I didn't like to control her ( Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)). I think a struggle for control underlies a lot of relationships. Lovers, kids, parents, siblings. Friends.
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« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2015, 11:56:58 PM »

I was honestly looking for an equal partnership with my ex, "building a life with my best friend" is how I put it, but the combo of 6 kids, 2 failed marriages, too many boyfriends to count, and traits of a disorder including continual chaos made being in control her only option.  My focus is never to control, it's to not be controlled, that will never fly with me; pure incompatibility?

Is this an other form of control, or just boundaries? Maybe it depends upon how its applied? Or was it a "covert contract" on my side? That is, me doing xyz, expecting to get abc.  My Ex said early on that she liked that I didn't like to control her ( Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)). I think a struggle for control underlies a lot of relationships. Lovers, kids, parents, siblings. Friends.

Or a control of boundaries, I dunno, I just don't like to be told what to do and won't tolerate it, ever.  And you're right, dominance and submission, leaders and followers, controllers and controlees, they show up everywhere in human nature.  And relationships are power struggles at times, and who's dominant can swap over time, but the best ones go through it and then find a peace, where both partners realize and accept that they are stronger as a couple than the sum of the parts; I've been in those before and it's so freeing, and sometimes fleeting, but it sure is a cool goal.
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« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2015, 04:52:33 PM »

from what I am hearing it sounds like our various exs had some things in common but a lot not in common as well.

I have had about 7 or  more people at various times in my life I would consider To have heavy borderline traits.  One of them commited suicide. Some of them more than others had heavy narcissistic traits, typically the males and each had done time in some sort of prison.

I have known just about all of them to fall into rescuer rescuee type relationships. Only 2 of them, the males, do I see them consciously doing it as some sort of predatory manipulation control strategy, and they are the ones that have very heavy narcissistic traits.

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« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2015, 05:37:20 PM »

Interesting thread.  I have thought more about my question and the responses.

Starting to conclude that I played both roles with the predominant one being victim-rescued.  But when I met her, I thought internally I was rescuing her.  She was loaded with anxiety, had a hard time working and some days it just over took her.  I would love her back to health.

I was loaded with issues, they played out.  She rescued me from PTSD and was extremely loving support that I never had.  

Another way of thinking about it is that sometimes I played the role of child and other times she did.  We tried to parent one another.  Lot's of love and confusion.  We both could never be adults at the same time.  Was that her or me or both?  

At the end, I think it was her.  She actually loved me to a more adult emotional status and then as I grew and became more comfortable not being a child-victim-rescued the game came to an end.

I thought my growth was the answer to our never ending merry-go-round.  I guess it was, but not the way wanted.

So she rescued me and I rescued her and one of us came out with a lot more awareness and the other simply said has was never happy and that we could not work it out.

So, guess I still want to go rescue her . . . again!
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« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2015, 05:53:48 PM »

I have known just about all of them to fall into rescuer rescuee type relationships. Only 2 of them, the males, do I see them consciously doing it as some sort of predatory manipulation control strategy, and they are the ones that have very heavy narcissistic traits.

I agree, I think the consciously predatory people are more narcissistic or antisocial or something else.

In my exBPDbf's case, I don't really believe he goes into long-term relationships with this predatory manipulation consciously driving the train. (Although maybe he does - I'm not sure he even knows for certain.)

People in general are manipulative. I don't mean that in a negative or a positive way - it is what it is. Manipulation is not inherently negative. It's managing a situation, or influencing someone/something for a desired outcome. A doctor trying to manipulate a patient into a healthier lifestyle. A store owner trying to manipulate people into buying her goods. Manipulation is everywhere, and so ingrained in us that it can be hard to realize we're even doing it. We want a certain outcome, and we will try to achieve it by doing things that we've learned might work.

I definitely think my exBPDbf is manipulative, and often predatory, but I think it was less a sadistic desire to hurt (which it was sometimes) and more like "this is what I've learned my whole life might work to fulfill my needs, at least for a while." Instead of being focused on hurting an Other, it's far more focused on soothing the Self.

Also, borderlines are not renowned for their skills in long-term strategy. The nature of the disorder makes it difficult.

I don't see pwBPD as predators stalking around looking for their next unwitting victim. They're people desperate for attachment and identity, and they will do whatever they can to obtain it. Yes, it's manipulation, but it's not entirely conscious - borderlines are ruled by their emotions, after all - and it requires a willing participant.

Which brings us back to what needs of our own were we fulfilling, whatever the narrative and dynamic was... .
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