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Author Topic: VIDEO | Critical Review: At Any Cost, Shari Schreiber  (Read 12936 times)
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« on: June 16, 2011, 03:57:04 PM »

At Any Cost: Saving your Life after Loving a Borderline
Shari Schreiber

Original Article

Article Review

This very long article (7,000 words, 28 book pages) is about failed male-female romantic relationships in which the female partner is suspected to be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Schreiber ambitiously attempts to describe the motivations, intentions, and interactions of both parties from the beginning of the relationship until well into the breakup.

The author characterizes, in earthy detail, many of the common anxieties that someone who participated in a relationship where one partner exhibits BPD-like tendencies might feel--this is helpful and readers should find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in these feelings. "Your Borderline might have been so insecure and needy, you felt reasonably certain she would never leave you."  "You cannot help agonizing over how she could leave given all the times she told you that this was the best sex she ever had, how much she needed you, and that she could never even imagine living without you." You're probably obsessing about what she's feeling or doing, who she's screwing--and wondering if she's thinking at all about you." — Shari Schreiber

Beyond this, however, the article fails to deliver an emotionally intelligent, balanced or realistic perspective on the relationship dynamics or how to deal with the relationship loss in a constructive way. Instead, it provides a very black-and-white/good vs evil plot, in which the person with the BPD traits is characterized as cunning, manipulative, self-serving and dangerous--while the partner (the intended reader) is painted as a well-intentioned people pleaser who just wants to be loved. The language is vivid, with deviant sexual overtones at times and a dehumanizing way of describing the woman with possible BPD. "The dangerous, diabolical hook with Borderlines, is they initially come across as genuine, and completely without pretense, guile or disguise. This helps you drop your guard... .These early behaviors are central to their Seduction Plan... ." "Heaven knows, you're not perfect--but you've overlooked an awful lot, just to keep this woman caring enough to stick around." — Shari Schreiber  

These relationships and breakups, by their very nature, are emotional and difficult to navigate.  The black-and-white contrast of the article may not be helpful as it encourages greater feelings of injustice, victimization, and even rage. "if you're reflexively making yourself [feel] "wrong" for conjuring up all sorts of terrible fates befalling her, ease-up on yourself! Your anger is appropriate under these circumstances, and it's an activating emotion--which gives you temporary respite from this dreadful depression. Rage is a normal aspect of your healing process, but try to hold these feelings without self-judgment" — Shari Schreiber

It is true that anger is a natural way to shield more painful feelings of loss, fear, guilt, and anxiety—and a phase of grieving. However, fueling the rage ("violent and uncontrolled anger" and overlooking the real emotions that lie beneath is not the perspective on would expect from a mentor or the perspective needed to constructively grieve.

These biases are particularly concerning because many of the intended readers are depressed (site surveys show 74%) and already vulnerable and prone to what Standford University's David Burn, MD calls "twisted thinking". (1) Twisted thinking includes "all or nothing thinking," "overgeneralizations," labeling, personalization and blame...  

When the article does talk about the reader’s (non-borderline's) digressions and bad choices, they are largely blamed on the person suspected of having BPD or BPD traits. Borderlines can turn good men into monsters. They'll steadily erode your self-worth with subtle/snide comments and other passive maneuvers, even if their words can't be identified as wounding or cruel. Their delivery and tone will make you feel infantalized--as if she's the critical parent, and you're the little kid, who's done something terribly wrong. She's masterful at shaming you."  "This [her] behavior triggers your competitive reflex, because boyhood self-esteem issues get activated (along with abandonment concerns), and you're compelled to do something about that! This can take the form of buying her costly gifts, fawning over her, taking her on elaborate trips/vacations, etc. Her diabolical maneuvers are designed to make you feel insecure/unworthy, view her as more valuable than she sees herself, and manipulate your desire and emotions." — Shari Schreiber

Schreiber goes on to explain that the reader is not at fault “You'll want to blame yourself ... .but this is directly tied to experiences in childhood... .A young child can't make sense of why isn't getting enough love, affection or support from a parent, it doesn't even know how to ask for it… you've carried the self-worth injuries into your adult relationships, and now they're alive again." — Shari Scheiber  

Ironically, this is the exact childhood issue of lack of parental attachment that is most often identified as being potentially causative of BPD. Certainly this is not a universal experience for all of the readers but the statement itself underscores that recovery from these failed relationships should not be about finding fault--but rather about healing, stepping back and understanding the convolutions of the relationship dynamics, and becoming more self-awareof our own attachment issues.  

Let's break down one example to compare Schreiber’s theory to the mainstream.

The dangerous, diabolical hook with Borderlines, is they initially come across as genuine, and completely without pretense, guile or disguise. This helps you drop your guard, and makes it easy to trust that their statements to you are real--and they're authentic, integrous individuals. The ease you have felt with them is so natural and wholesome, it seems you've waited for this your whole life! These early behaviors are central to their Seduction Plan; as soon as they sense that you're captivated, you're captured— Shari Schreiber

SCHREIBER’S THEORY: People with Borderline Personality Disorder present a carefully crafted and false persona and this behavior is part of a conscious and evil (diabolical) plan to allure, capture and exploit.

MAINSTREAM PSYCHOLOGY THEORY: Almost everyone mirrors their partner to some extent in a new relationship--fashions themselves in an image they think the other person will be attracted to.  And almost everyone idealizes a new love interest--puts them on a pedestal.  But people with BPD generally over express all emotions and suffer from very low self-esteem and a weak sense of self and they compensate by mirroring and idealizing to an unhealthy extreme.  

This Schreiber theory of a well-planned plot to capture a victim conflicts with two of the hallmark characteristics of this disorder:

  • People with BPD are notoriously impulsive (not planners).

  • People with BPD are hugely idealistic (even fairytale-ish) about love. It stands to reason that the reason the "love" was so believable in the beginning was because the BPD partner believed in it too (rather than it being a diabolical evil plot).

Does any of this matter?  

There are significantly different healing implications for in these two theories and which path one selects could make a significant difference in their focus on making the changes necessary to avoid a repeating these struggles with a future partner.  

Schreiber's simplistic "black and white" theories imply that these relationships are about a predator and prey. But conjuring up a "super villain" to avoid facing our emotional pain is dysfunctional coping and it brings us no closer to a healthy and mature healing.  "Black and white" or "all or nothing" is distorted (it's all her not me) thinking.  The reader's struggles often have roots beyond the "BPD" relationship.

The mainstream thinking is more complicated.  These highly traumatic romantic relationships with a person suffering from BPD are most often the result of two injured people coming together and becoming enmeshed in a very complex relationship. Even if one partner has significantly more issues that the other, it is no less important to channel the pain of this failed relationship into self-discovery and growth. A significant part of the journey is to achieve self-awareness and to understand the role that each partner played in the relationship "dance".

Review completed by ~ An0ught, BlackandWhite, Patty, PDQuick, Seeking Balance, United for Now.  This is a review of the article as it appeared on June 1, 2011 (note - the article is continuously modified).


About the Author
Shari Schreiber is a men's advocate and self-described healer/author/life strategist (2).

(1) Informal survey showing as many as 74% of bpdfamily members have symptoms of depression bpdfamily.com/topic=79772.0

(2) More information on author and member experiences bpdfamily.com/message_board/topic=161211
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2011, 03:56:13 PM »

"as soon as they sense that you're captivated, you're captured"

This seems to fit more with narcissist personality disorder & psychopathology from what I know about both, but I may well be wrong- maybe it also applies to some BPDs.
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2011, 04:35:52 PM »

When you are hurting and searching for reasons, these type of articles can be appealing. They seem to reaffirm your pain and all the hard work you put into the relationship. It feels good to have someone agree that you did the best that you could. It feels comforting to find out that the other person is mentally ill (thus to blame). The explanation soothes the hurt and disappointment you feel.

Unfortunately, getting caught in this type of thinking doesn't help with the healing process. In many ways, it actually contributes to keeping members stuck in the negative cycle of blame and anger. Moving forward requires you to accept what happened, examine your own role, and to work towards self improvement so that you can get off the roller coaster for good (and don't wind up with someone similar the next time).

In the end, being proactive will get you further than being reactive... .
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2011, 04:36:07 PM »

I read this article during the initial break up from my exNPDbf and remember feeling worse-the blaming and labeling of this article increased my sense of shame about myself for being in the relationship and believing that HIS emotions were that hot/cold. I was sickened by the thought of someone very dear to me walking away without a second thought. Of course it isn't true-no matter how they behave or talk-something ugly and disturbing motivates the behavior. The flippancy was not helpful to me.

I wanted to read motivations behind the actions and understand what happened.  

This does not excuse the behavior and it cannot be romanticised as a tragic love story-my emotionally disturbed partner created havoc in my life. My thinking was twisted  (although I was unaware of this at the time) going into the r/s. Mix in the BPD/NPD coping mechanism that leave the non confused ? by the loving-indifferent-loving-spiteful behavior of their SO and pretty soon the r/s and the non become twisted.

It would be naive of me to blame all the r/s dynamics and problems on my ex S/O wBPD/NPD. The reality of the situation is this-he served up crazy in a bitter but tasty cup of Jo and I sweetened the deal by adding cream and sugar.

If I were so attuned to my inner world and how I operate or my boundaries clear-the r/s would not have gone past the first few dates. He was symbolic of unfiinished business of my childhood.

Articles such as this increased my anxiety, caught me up in the blame game, and was pretty flippant about an emotionally painful event of my life. Further-it borders on supporting relational bullying.

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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2011, 05:30:30 PM »

I don't believe my ex planned and calculated to hurt me.  

Rather I see him as simply doing what he had to do to get his needs met, just as one would do with hunger.  He had a need for love and attachment, a need for comfort to soothe his abandonment, his fears, his needs.  

I believe he felt he loved me, in as much as he is capable of love.  

It was simply a love that could not be sustained.  

I was ripe for the picking.  I was single, not looking for a r/s, but when he contacted me out of the blue, a guy I'd been briefly involved with 22 years ago, thought very highly of, and had nothing but good memories of, I was delighted to hear from him and it was a quick and easy rekindle of an old romance.  He had a free pass into my life because of our shared history that no other man would have gotten.  For me it was the perfect storm.  

I feel that I was simply the collateral damage of his disorder.  I don't think he set out to hurt me, I do think that being who he is he really could not have done otherwise.  

I think these relationships are tragic.  They're over before they even begin, and what both partners believe to be true, good and beautiful is really nothing more than a dance of need and illusion that will be likely struck down in the most painful fashion.  

At the same time, the pain of the non cannot be ignored or diminished.  If you're operating from a staNPDoint of "normal" or "average" or even something only reasonably close, there are rational and reasonable expectations of the progression of a relationship.  I doubt any of us who got involved with a borderline knew we were doing so, or had any idea what we were walking into.  We just thought we hit the love jackpot.  

I didn't know he was BPD.  I only really only knew a smattering about BPD, and most of what I'd heard indicated it was a women's issue.  I didn't know what I had lived with until I sat here, utterly bewildered, utterly heartbroken and shaking like a leaf, and started researching domestic violence, emotional abuse... .and eventually found my way here where the lightbulb went on.  And on.  And on.   Idea Idea Idea

I've been through difficult relationships before, I'd known serious abuse before, but I have *never* seen anything that could compare with what I've come to believe was a relationship with a person with BPD.  

Intentional?  No.  No more calculating and intentional than a  tornado would be.  But utterly devastating nonetheless.   Absolutely requiring of research, enlightenment, and recovery.  

If there were said to be evil involved, I would not say the BPD was evil, I would perhaps say the BPD was under the influence of evil.  

As I tend to be of a spiritual mind, I do believe in good and evil, and I believe that much of human behavior is thus influenced.  I believe evil targets our weaknesses and preys upon our frailties.  Perhaps that's where "guilt" ultimately lies... .not in the individual, but in the actions perpetrated under the influence of evil.  And that can easily go to both parties.  

Hate the sin... .love the sinner... .
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2011, 07:05:47 PM »

I think this is a worthwhile discussion.

I personally believe that the behaviors exhibited by people with BPD (pwBPD) are perfectly human behaviors.  That is to say, I think each and every one of us are capable of behaving in similar ways.  Why else do we "nons" pick up "fleas"?  

The nature of their disordered behaviors is that they are coping mechanisms.  They dissociate because they experience feelings or thoughts that are too difficult to handle.  They "split" for similar reasons.  "Nons" are just as able to "project" and also to "split" (ie, exhibit black & white thinking) especially when we are coping with emotions that are intense and powerful; such as those emotions we feel when considering our BPD loved ones.

I personally believe that when pwBPD "leave" us, they can put us through a kind of abandonment trauma.  After all, what is abandonment?  It is when someone you trust deeply betrays yours trust and severs their contact with you.  I think that often the way we are "left" we feel as though we were abandoned.  And so our reactions to this abandonment is not dissimilar to how pwBPD reaction when they experience their fear of abandonment.  Why else do you suppose so many of us nons feel and wonder if we are not the ones who are (also) suffering from BPD?

I think for these reasons we are subject to twisted thinking just as pwBPD are.  And so I think the point of this article review is to highlight the kinds of biased thinking that we nons are more vulnerable to subscribing.  Personally I think when our emotions are intense enough, it is inevitable that we exhibit "twisted" thinking.   The danger to oversubscribing to twisted thinking is that it prevents us from learning and perhaps preventing the repetition of our mistakes.

For example, if I choose to believe that it was my ex who *duped* me.  Then I would be more inclined to conclude that I just need not to be *fooled* next time.  If I believe that the only culpability I had to contend with was my own naivety then I might not choose to investigate deeper into my own issues, issues that might reveal to me why I *subconsciously* continue to seek out such psychologically damaged partners.

"Twisted" thinking might lead me to conclude that the only problem I have is that I keep selecting the wrong partner; and that I only need to get lucky and find the *right* partner.  And yet there are those of us who continue to find the *wrong* partner over and over again.  I am fairly certain this is the delusion that pwBPD entertain in order to perpetuate their serial relationships while investing zero attention to their own issues.  We are just as capable to such delusions as pwBPD are.

My 2 bits, Schwing
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 07:35:56 PM »

Just wanted to say that her articles, particular the one about men with BPD since that pertains to me more, was what initially helped me decide to leave for good.

I went back and read them a few more times for about a week or so then I stopped because after my initial emotional turmoil calmed more, I realized it was just too extreme.  But it was good for that initial push for me to realize the r/s had a future that I did not want.  I don't read them anymore though, because it is too black-and-white and doesn't really help me in the healing process.

I like the article review; really good analysis  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 08:30:12 PM »

The nature of their disordered behaviors is that they are coping mechanisms.  They dissociate because they experience feelings or thoughts that are too difficult to handle.  They "split" for similar reasons. "Nons" are just as able to "project" and also to "split" (ie, exhibit black & white thinking) especially when we are coping with emotions that are intense and powerful; such as those emotions we feel when considering our BPD loved ones.



However when Nons respond in this manner, they are responding in reaction to something that actually happened in real time while BPD behavior is in response to a "trigger" (could be anything) to their subconscious.  Basically nons are responding to reality, where BPD's are responding to a subconscious perception very likely based in past events which have nothing to do with the here and now.  

For instance, if my BPD partner were to rage at me, yes, I'm going to respond.  Intense and powerful emotions evoke psychological and physiological responses (fight or flight) that are instinctively programmed.   I'm responding to the rage.  

The BPD's rage may have been "triggered" by any possible event.  I was 5 minutes late arriving home.  I was intensely studying and didn't hear them call for me.  Something on that order.  The event was perceived and processed as something it wasn't, and then the response.  

There's a big difference in responding to an "in your face" threatening reality and responding to a misguided perception that triggers a subconscious pain or fear generating a perhaps wildly inappropriate response.  


I personally believe that when pwBPD "leave" us, they can put us through a kind of abandonment trauma.  After all, what is abandonment?  It is when someone you trust deeply betrays yours trust and severs their contact with you.  I think that often the way we are "left" we feel as though we were abandoned.  And so our reactions to this abandonment is not dissimilar to how pwBPD reaction when they experience their fear of abandonment.  Why else do you suppose so many of us nons feel and wonder if we are not the ones who are (also) suffering from BPD?

Again, the abandonment we perceive when they leave (betray trust and sever contact) is abandonment in real time.  It is a very painful situation and it is normal human behavior to respond to this.  

The abandonment fear the pwBPD experiences is a deeply rooted subconscious fear based on an event that generally happened years ago and has nothing to do with us or real time.  


I think for these reasons we are subject to twisted thinking just as pwBPD are.  And so I think the point of this article review is to highlight the kinds of biased thinking that we nons are more vulnerable to subscribing.  Personally I think when our emotions are intense enough, it is inevitable that we exhibit "twisted" thinking.   The danger to oversubscribing to twisted thinking is that it prevents us from learning and perhaps preventing the repetition of our mistakes.



I don't think there is anything twisted in what would be considered to be a "normal" response to a real time event that most people would consider painful, threatening, etc.  Normal responses to real time events such as abandonment, abuse, rage, etc., would include fear, panic, upset, anger, grief, and of course "fight or flight"... .defend or retreat.  Again these are basic survival instincts.  

And then of course post r/s ending/abandonment, whatever, there is the grief process that is quite normal and takes as long as it takes to sort through, process  and reach acceptance.  :)enial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance... .all part of the process.  

Getting stuck and staying there?  Yep, that's a problem, but who's to say what's stuck?  Who's to say how long it should be before a person gets through that grief process, particularly when some have said grief can be cumulative?  I do think if one feels stuck, or others notice one is stuck that counseling is in order and would be helpful to recognize why and get the process moving again.  



For example, if I choose to believe that it was my ex who *duped* me.  Then I would be more inclined to conclude that I just need not to be *fooled* next time.  If I believe that the only culpability I had to contend with was my own naivety then I might not choose to investigate deeper into my own issues, issues that might reveal to me why I *subconsciously* continue to seek out such psychologically damaged partners.

"Twisted" thinking might lead me to conclude that the only problem I have is that I keep selecting the wrong partner; and that I only need to get lucky and find the *right* partner.  And yet there are those of us who continue to find the *wrong* partner over and over again.  I am fairly certain this is the delusion that pwBPD entertain in order to perpetuate their serial relationships while investing zero attention to their own issues.  We are just as capable to such delusions as pwBPD are.

I agree that labeling a person as bad and moving forward without analysis of the situation is just foolish, and I agree that as you said this is what pwBPD do ad infinitum.  It is a major mistake to not analyze the situation and learn from it.  Moving on from troubled relationships without proper analysis (particularly moving on quickly to another r/s) can lead to big trouble.  

I've been with abusive men in the past.  Recognized it.  Got counseling. Lots of it.  :)id EMDR  Thought I had it together, thought I knew what I was doing.  Then came Mr. BPD.

Now I have a whole different outlook and a whole different approach.  Give up on love?  Not a chance.  But I'm taking plenty of time, shoring up my own life, strength and emotional fortitude. and also, there will be a process now that just didn't exist in the past.  Kind of like "I once was blind but now I see... ."

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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 08:47:28 PM »

I think we have to   take  responsibility   after we find out it is BPD.

However , I'm not sure how much we have to take before we find out what we're dealing with.

I split up with my exBPD in 2009 mostly because of her abusive words when she drank. I mistakenly thought the drinking was the cause of her issues rather then a symptom. In between that 2 month split I found out about BPD by going on this board and reading articles including those by Shari Schreiber.  I really didn't want her to be a BPD but I was at least armed with the knowledge of what it was. Unfortunately she fit BPD almost  classically .This time around I wasn't quite in denial about her BPD behaviors especially her lying and craving for attention(and probable cheating ). Had I continued on knowing what I did about BPD  and that things weren't going to change (and probably just get worse) then I would  have the bulk of the responsibility.

There is a concept in law called assumption of risk. If your riding with someone that you know is a drunken idiot then you assume  a large percentage of the fault if get hurt in accident with them.On the other hand if you jump in a car with someone who is sober and they suddenly pull out a bottle of vodka ,down it and hit a pole injuring you then it is primarily their fault.

If my exBPDgf had  said to me at first " I drink like a fish and am abusive. I also like to go  to bars and flirt with guys.  I give out my phone numbers to  some of them and may even go to bed with a few of them. Did I mention my anger and mood swing issues?"  Instead she gave me a song and dance on how she liked a glass of wine now and then,  was a respected teacher,a single mom who raised 2 kids and wanted to be in a stable committed relationship.  I believed her.!It wasn't like I was dealing with a slippery used car salesman and should have been on guard.She really seemed to be a stable, loving ,honest person.
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2011, 10:20:53 PM »

clearly, i can see the examples of blame mentality, although i dont recall feeling that way at the time i read her articles. i consider myself to have a discriminating mind, as is rightfully suggested to have when learning about BPD from different sources. so i tend to dismiss what sounds a bit questionable to me, or even find descriptions or accounts that aren't that relevant to me, and take what is applicable.

generally speaking, i thought she was pretty insightful about what its like to deal with a pwBPD. i had lots of those "oh my god!" moments, especially when i read her describe the "questions" a borderline will start going through about your family members, designed to push your buttons and make you defensive.

my two cents are that a person coming out of these relationships, or remaining in one, should learn as much as they can, and take in as much as they can, with a discriminating mind. there's a resource article on this site, one of the very first things i read, that did that same sort of demonizing. i dismissed the demonizing, but i found the article itself very helpful and insightful. as part of a healthy diet of BPD knowledge, i think Schreiber's articles have a good amount to offer. i dunno about her qualifications. i have some questions about her. i think it's a bit odd that she said something along the lines of not doing therapy, but call me for counseling! but i suspect she has a fair amount of experience in dealing with borderlines, and that alone is useful. so no, don't eat up everything she says, just like i don't eat up every word anyone on this board says, but i would recommend her, primarily, because she has a way of (and stresses the approach of) saying things in ways that make them "click." those are the kinds of things i've found useful. i also think she has a lot to say on the subject of healing from these relationships, and the wounds that have occurred.
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2011, 10:44:34 PM »

also, just to jump in on the red flags convo, i saw them. i've got journal entries i read last night, from right before her and i finally met, and after we met (we had "met" through a friend). i use the phrase "red flags" repeatedly. so much "i don't know about this" and uneasiness. thing is none of this shocked me, i remembered it all. i knew better with this one, absolutely. i just decided i'd been wrong, and grew dismissive. what jumped at me was livia's quote of

"I think these relationships are tragic.  They're over before they even begin, and what both partners believe to be true, good and beautiful is really nothing more than a dance of need and illusion that will be likely struck down in the most painful fashion."

i remember feeling that after she told me she loved me. "this is too fast. too easy. it feels like all we are doing is crawling into each other." same thing happened to me when i read seeking balance write "our dysfunctions plug into theirs." i felt us just sort of drawn to each other based on sick needs, and i was uncomfortable with that. i knew this was going to destroy me in the end... .i just couldn't have predicted the ending.

fact is, i have no one to blame but myself. honestly, a lot of my EARLY red flags were misperceptions and weren't really a worry. but i KNEW this girl was crazy. i said so. when i made the conscious decision to date again, i also made the decision to be open to "another crazy one" to "test myself." i remember thinking that, and i read myself last night having written it at the time. i absolutely don't think everyone sees the red flags, or at least not clearly. some kind of like schwing mentions, may detect the red flags a bit more subconsciously and dismiss them for certain reasons. some people dismissed the red flags (including myself) for what seemed like very legitimate reasons. i can only speak for myself, but i should have known better, and i think i did. i do think most of us experienced at least in part, at some point, that gut feeling. it seems as much a hallmark as BPD symptoms themselves.
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2011, 11:22:46 PM »

Shari's articles are right on the money

You can't sugarcoat the disease. It has life and death consequences for both the BPD and the Non.
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2011, 11:55:19 AM »

"Life and death consequences" for the non?   A disease?

Howzah, Schreiber posits it's not an actual "disease" but an emotional stuntedness of sorts, a core wound caused in year one of life. She's real clear it's not a disease. For what her opinion is worth.

And it does look like she's highly regarded by some in the field. I'm not the type who needs someone with an alphabet after a last name though I have a few myself. Looks like she's been more than educated in the BPD post doc world.

I discovered her site last night and read thru everything BPD-related (getting past the extraordinary windedness & dizzying comma splices every other sentence). I get it that some think she's bashing BPDs. If I cared about a BPD in my life, I might take offense, but the 2 immediate relatives who hurt me over the course of a few decades, well, I need all the help I can get BEYOND repairing myself inward--.

Goes w/o saying all BPDs are "different" bc all people are "different"- but there's enough of a recurring constellation of observable behaviors & thinking processes that BPD has its own etiology, and isn't, say, agoraphobia. Truth is stranger than fiction. As a writer, I couldn't MAKE this stuff up if I tried.
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2011, 01:12:24 PM »

Howzah, Shari posits it's not an actual "disease" but an emotional stuntedness of sorts, a core wound caused in year one of life. She's real clear it's not a disease. For what her opinion is worth.

I'm not sure what "emotional stuntedness" is.  But the World Health Organization (WHO ICD-10 ) and APA (DSM-IV) have classified borderline personality disorder as a mental disorder.


And it does look like she's highly regarded by some in the field. I'm not the type who needs someone with an alphabet after a last name though I have a few myself. Looks like she's been more than educated in the BPD post doc world.

Harley, I'm not sure it is accurate to say that she is highly regarded in the field.  Shari Schreiber didn't complete her 3 year internship or state boards ... .she never reached the level of licensed therapist or counselor treating patients. She has not even participated as a guest/lay person in the NEA-BPD meetings as have authors (like Randi Kreger, Kiera Van Gieder, etc) and bloggers (like Tami Green).

One indication that she is out of the mainstream is her publishing this: "Borderlines can make tangible progress with solid therapeutic help, but you may have a better shot at flying to the moon strapped to a banana, than keeping them in treatment long enough, to accomplish any real growth or healing." Contrary to her belief, she published that in the very year that a 10 year study was published showing that eighty-five percent of patients treated for BPD remitted.  Treatment is no panacea for sure, but those that are respected in the field would likely take exception with the banana statement



Ten-Year Course of Borderline Personality Disorder
Psychopathology and Function From the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study


John G. Gunderson, MD; Robert L. Stout, PhD; Thomas H. McGlashan, MD; M. Tracie Shea, PhD; Leslie C. Morey, PhD; Carlos M. Grilo, PhD; Mary C. Zanarini, EdD; Shirley Yen, PhD; John C. Markowitz, MD; Charles Sanislow, PhD; Emily Ansell, PhD; Anthony Pinto, PhD; Andrew E. Skodol, MD

Arch Gen Psychiatry. Published online April 4, 2011. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.37
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2011, 02:30:03 PM »

okay, found this, but there's no search function on her site... .she does reference the DSM charas for BPD in one of her letters, but the below seems to indicate BPDs can be helped:





  • "Q. Can Borderlines ever be healed?

    A. Yes, some can. Within a nurturing, supportive/safe, long-term therapeutic alliance, borderline disordered people can begin trusting another with their care. In my view, this requires considerable re-parenting work, which is best accomplished with a therapist who has deep compassion and understanding of core trauma, and the emotional scars (and defenses) that remain. With patience and time, these clients develop a stronger foundation/core, which enables trust in themselves and their ability to form healthier attachments."
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2011, 02:50:51 PM »

okay, found this, but there's no search function on her site... .she does reference the DSM charas for BPD in one of her letters, but the below seems to indicate BPDs can be helped:

"Q. Can Borderlines ever be healed?

A. Yes, some can. Within a nurturing, supportive/safe, long-term therapeutic alliance, borderline disordered people can begin trusting another with their care. In my view, this requires considerable re-parenting work, which is best accomplished with a therapist who has deep compassion and understanding of core trauma, and the emotional scars (and defenses) that remain. With patience and time, these clients develop a stronger foundation/core, which enables trust in themselves and their ability to form healthier attachments."

Again, this doesn't line up with what the real research is showing. AFAIK, "reparenting" is not an evidence-based treatment for BPD (definitely let me know if there is information to the contrary).

www.medscape.com/viewarticle/744003

Excerpt
{... .}Four evidence-based treatments for BPD are dialectical behavior therapy, mentalization-based therapy, transference-focused psychotherapy, and general psychiatric management. Dialectical behavior therapy involves individual as well as group behavioral therapy, with didactics and homework on mood monitoring and stress management. This therapy is the best validated and easiest to learn of the psychotherapies. The therapist acts as a coach with extensive availability to instruct the patient in how to regulate feelings and behaviors.

Mentalization-based therapy is a cognitive or psychodynamic therapy including individual as well as group therapy. While assuming a "not-knowing" stance, the therapist insists that the patient "mentalize," or examine and label his or her own experiences and those of others. This emphasis on thinking before reacting may be a process central to all effective therapies.

Transference-focused psychotherapy, which is developed from psychoanalysis, is an individual psychotherapy with twice-weekly sessions. It highlights interpretation of motives or feelings unknown to the patient and focuses on the patient's misunderstanding of others, particularly of the therapist in the form of transference. This form of therapy is the least supportive and the most difficult to learn.

General psychiatric management, which is conducted once weekly, is a form of psychodynamic therapy developed from the American Psychiatric Association guidelines and the basic BPD treatment textbook. Although the main focus is on the patient's interpersonal relationships, this therapy may sometimes involve family interventions and pharmacologic treatment. General psychiatric management is the least theory bound and easiest to learn of the therapies, but it is also the least well evaluated.{... .}

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« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2011, 03:08:46 PM »

Interesting. Here she says,

  • "If Waifs engage therapeutic support, it's typically in the midst of a crisis; given they're inherently resistant to change or growth (which threatens their sense of control), their progress in therapy tends to be slow, and there are frequent setbacks and regressions."


& another place she says to the effect therapy doesn't work very well bc when closeness occurs, BPDs miss appointments then stop... .well, it looks like she has no definitive answer to this! Big red flag.  |> I'm glad you pointed this out.

Whatever the 10 year study protocols were, I'm glad for others that BPD can be helped. My BPD won't be helped & at 78, after a 2 decade absence from her, even after telling her about BPD way back then & my going NC, she's only worsened thru time, as I saw after breaking NC with her this year then having to go straight back to NC. --Cheers
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2011, 03:43:04 AM »

the suggestion that getting a borderline to commit to and stick through treatment is difficult or even nearly impossible doesnt strike me as necessarily contradicting or being ignorant of the 85% remission rate study of patients who had actually committed to treatment.

i've seen similar studies and whole heartedly believe them, but i've read nothing but stories on this board of refusal or failure in treatment. that's why i don't see a contradiction. those numbers don't include how many borderlines refuse treatment, or fail to seriously commit to it.
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2011, 09:37:45 AM »

This section from Ms. Schreiber's article is worth examining closely as well (highlighting mine):

Excerpt
BPD isn't something we're born with--nor is it inherited. It is not due to an 'innate over-sensitivity' that leaves us at risk for acquiring it as we grow into adulthood. While behavioral models of treatment can help curb the volatile acting-out impulses, Borderline Disorder can't be eliminated with modalities such as DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that focus on the here and now--but fail to address/resolve infancy and childhood abandonment trauma and attachment issues, which drive a litany of clinical and social concerns.

While clinical disorders can be inherited genetically, personality disorders are sculpted by our earliest relational experiences. Those imprints shape how we feel about ourselves, and determine the extent to which we're able to forge trust in others (and Self). Much of BPD distress occurs within the first year of life, due to inadequate bonding or emotional attunement with Mother. These primal deficits usually continue to influence self-worth and partner selection for a lifetime, unless solid, core-focused therapeutic help is obtained.The intensely confusing and paradoxical behavior patterns of the Borderline are simply defenses that were adopted growing up, in order to survive these kinds of experiences in their childhood home. You might say, the Borderline is actually showing you, what he or she had to contend with as a little kid.

Anyone who is familiar with the evidence around the causes of BPD will be astonished at the certainty and definitive tone of these statements. The causes are very much under investigation, with some good studies, suggestive trends, indicators of important factors and so on--but by no means is this a settled matter, as the author implies. Here's a summary of the state of understanding of the field as of 2004, from the Lancet, a premier medical journal. The field is rapidly evolving, and a few things will have changed since 2004, but by no means do we have a definitive understanding, as Ms. Shreiber indicates. I've highlighted some key sections in the quote below.

Excerpt
Causal factors

The cause of borderline personality disorder is complex with several factors, which interact in various ways with each other. Genetic factors and adverse childhood experiences might cause emotional dysregulation and impulsivity leading to dysfunctional behaviours and psychosocial conflicts and deficits, which again might reinforce emotional dysregulation and impulsivity. Data for the role of genetic factors are sparse. In one twin study, based on DSM-IV criteria,

concordance rates were seen for borderline personality disorder of 35% and 7% in monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs, respectively, suggesting a strong genetic effect in the development of the disorder. Multivariate genetic analyses of personality disorder traits have identified four factors, with the main one labelled as emotional dysregulation and describing labile affects, unstable cognitive functioning, an unstable sense of self, and unstable interpersonal relationships. This main

factor resembles borderline personality disorder in many aspects, and heritability can be estimated at 47%.

Various types of adverse events during childhood, including ongoing experiences of neglect and abuse, are reported by many patients. The most frequent of these is childhood sexual abuse, which is reported by 40–71% of inpatients with borderline personality disorder. The severity of borderline psychopathology has also been linked to severity of childhood sexual abuse. Taken together, these findings have led some clinicians to view borderline personality disorder as a

form of chronic post-traumatic stress disorder. However, no evidence is available that childhood sexual abuse is either necessary or sufficient for development of this disorder. Other childhood factors have been judged important in development of the disorder, particularly difficulties attaining stable attachments. However, a study of attachment styles of patients with borderline personality disorder noted that these individuals reported increased concern about losing their primary

attachment figure. In view of this slight empirical evidence, whether these attachment difficulties are causal or a result of the emotional turbulence and impulsivity associated with borderline personality disorder is not clear.

www.tara4BPD.org/pdf/LancetReview.pdf

from "Borderline personality disorder," Lancet 2004; 364: 453–61

Klaus Lieb, Mary C Zanarini, Christian Schmahl, Marsha M Linehan, Martin Bohus

Author affiliations and qualifications: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg Medical School, Hauptstrasse 5, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany (K Lieb MD); McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA, USA (M C Zanarini EdD); Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapeutical Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany (C Schmahl MD, Prof M Bohus MD); and Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA (Prof M M Linehan PhD)

Why treat something so unsettled (the causes of BPD) as settled? I don't know. However, the author certainly deviates from the mainstream with these claims. Her theory that BPD is not a clinical disorder, that it has no genetic component, and that it's caused solely by childhood attachment issues seems to fit with her general stance that people with BPD are not suffering from a disease. And if they are not suffering from a disease (a "clinical disorder", it's much easier to lose sight of a person's humanity in our natural anger at being mistreated.

B&W
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2011, 12:48:24 PM »

"it's much easier to lose sight of a person's humanity in our natural anger at being mistreated."

Absolutely.  Well, there's serious debate re alcoholism, as well. They tip the drink into their mouths, after all. No one has them at gunpoint. There may be more propensity of addictive behavior in one's genes... .well, when the drinking gets out of control, notice it then curb it. One theory is it's a moral failure, a disorder of character that an alcoholic keeps smacking back the booze. Others hold it's a disease... .I always thought a disease had no choice component to it. What do you do with no response to, "You're killing yourself with that scotch" or "You're ruining our marriage with these BPD behaviors."

Schreiber says somewhere on the site BPD causes are still under investigation and by no means is this a settled matter... .I wonder if she simply forgets what she writes from time to time on that site, bc this is another contradiction to the below I quoted. 
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« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2011, 02:13:45 PM »

Nobody disagrees that she writes stuff that "sounds good", especially to someone who is hurt and emotionally reeling.
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« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2011, 03:33:55 PM »

Schreiber is bashing of bpdfamily over on her site & references Skip by name- another red flag- which is unprofessional & unfortunate, & only undermines her credibility for me, at least, in the end. Cheers =) & btw THANK YOU, Skip, for your time & hard work on this site! Has been instrumental in my healing & goes w/o saying in many others' healing as well.
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« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2011, 03:47:20 PM »

Shari's articles have saved my life!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  

I was suicidal.  Her article on Borderline Males specifically spoke LIFE into me and really helped me to understand the crux of this disorder.

I don't care about her qualifications or that she's a wack job.  All I know is that her articles are the TRUTH. They're a "make it plain" oasis in the desert for someone looking for real world explanations on the emotional dysfunctional effects of a little known disorder known as BPD.

And to be quite honest... .no one's looking for balanced scientific mumbo jumbo when they're hurting.  When people are hurting they DON'T CARE about textbook jargon or qualifying criteria.  And that's why Shari's vision is such an amazing gift that she's bestowed upon the Internet public.
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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2011, 03:57:07 PM »

I just read Shari Schriber's entire article, and have to say that for a professional therapist who recognizes the immature black and white thinking of someone with BPD I can't believe she wouldn't recognize her own Black Hole thinking aout women with BPD - including singling women out for this article, which is 'stinkin thinkin' on steroids in my opinion.

Let me explain my opinion and give you my own credentials. My main credential is being married to a fairly extreme BPD woman for almost 20 years. I also was the director of a non-profit facility that provided various services for people with all types of physical and mental disabilities.

I feel this article absolutely paints the pwBPD as bad guys and the nons as poor misunderstood victims due to childhood experiences. What about the horrible childhood abuse many BPDs have experienced? No wonder we can't mention BPD to our SOs. It's this kind of 'professional'  tripe that has caused the horrible BPD stigma, and almost made me hate my own BPD wife in the past.
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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2011, 04:40:38 PM »

I think that we all need to use discretion in our experience and processing of anything we read.  

We need to work through our own insights, get as much information from as many sources as possible, and then work on making informed, rational inferences from what we've learned.  

A lot of Shari's articles made great sense to me.  I did see many of the patterns she detailed played out almost verbatim in my r/s with my ex.  At the same time, I did feel the language and tone of her writing was at times tinged with a bit of hostility, judgement, and flippancy.  Whether that is as a result of her own pain having dealt with a pwBPD, or having seen the terrible pain of others, (perhaps both), it may have been a wee bit over the top.  

I must say I got a great deal of insight from AJ Mahari, a person with BPD, as well.  A bit of balance, a bit of understanding of the processes in operation on the other side of the fence.  

Now being able to relate my understanding of BPD to what I have learned/perceived about my ex, what he told me, it all makes sense, even more so by the day.  It's like all the puzzle pieces have slid into place, and yes, the puzzle is a tragic picture indeed.  

As for what I know of his history, my ex fits the classic causes of childhood abandonment and severe abuse.  As an adult... .intense and turbulent and short lived relationships, numerous jobs, numerous moves, serious anger problems, etc.  

From what I learned of him, his history, and our r/s, I've concluded he has BPD and/or some similar disorder.  It's not my right or job to diagnose anyone, this is simply a conclusion I arrived at after tons of reading and piecing things together.  That process was a part of recovery and healing for me, trying desperately to find and make sense out of something that didn't make any sense at all.  

As I have come to this place, and having been able to release what transpired between us, I can see the tragedy, I can see his suffering, and I can have compassion for him.  

As for Nons, we vary just as our relationships, and I don't think assumptions and judgments are productive.  

First, I do agree with Robhart that we cannot take much responsibility for what we didn't know.  

If we knew about our ex having BPD or some other serious pd (I did not), then there is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with that knowing.  Some decisions have to be made.  Serious ones which have consequences for everyone involved.  

If we didn't know about the pd, and found ourselves seriously abused in the r/s for a length of time where recognition of ongoing abuse was evident... . If we then  continued to allow cycles of abuse that would constitute abuse/codependency, then there is a measure of responsibility that comes with that.  Yet even that is quite a complex issue, because there are many reasons a person might not leave an abusive relationship in addition to love however misguided it may be (fear of escalation, financial issues, issues with children, religious issues, etc).  

I think it's important to eventually seek and hopefully find compassion and understanding for our ex's, but it is essential to first take care of ourselves.  Recovery and healing are essential for ourselves, for our futures, and for our eventual ability to feel compassion for someone who we feel emotionally (and perhaps also physically) brutalized us.  

Anyone who knows and understands the well known stages of grief... .denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance should be able to understand the anger of the non and the need for some sort of validation of their feelings.  I think anyone would agree that these can be excruciatingly painful and invalidating relationships, and given the necessity of working through those stages of grief in order to reach recovery, it is important to understand and support folks going through it.  

Sure ongoing venom and blame that seems to have no end in sight is something that should likely be worked through with a counselor (heaven knows our ex's could use that), yet who is to say when a person's pain has been vented, but that person?  Some are able to work it through in a relatively brief period... .others may take longer.  Having read recently that grief can be a cumulative thing... .that gives plausibility to those who may take longer to work through recovery.  

With working through the grief process, healing, peace, renewed strength, and clarity can come, and with those things in place forgiveness and compassion can begin.  I think to ask understanding, forgiveness and compassion of a person who has not completed the grieving/healing process is to put the cart well before the horse.  It's hard to feel understanding, compassion or forgiveness for the person who hurt you while the pain is still excruciating.  

It took me 10 months and a tremendous amount of prayer and introspection to find my way to healing, to be able to let go, to find compassion for and to forgive someone who had hurt me do deeply, but I must say it has been incredibly freeing to get here.  I have felt a profound relief and a fascinating sense of abundance flowing into my life in recent weeks that I don't think I've ever experienced before.  

I wish it for anyone who has suffered the pain of having loved and lost as we have.  

Peace... .and may Grace like rain wash the pain away.  

Liv... .
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« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2011, 05:10:57 PM »

 ? Ooops,I am so sorry if I offended anyone posting on this L3 board. I came here by mistake. I usually post on the L4 board, and felt this article was a very bad one for someone who is trying to stay with their partner - I still feel that way, however I do uderstand all of your pain on the L3 board, and how these kinds of articles can be appealing and steel your resolve to leave.

In case any of you still loves your SO and is having second thoughts about leaving, here is a little of my story, and why I am so down on this article.

During my 20 year r/s with my wife I have read and studied tons of articles, books, DSM proposed revisions etc. We have been separated several times, gone through numerous mariage counselors, my wife was in T and on anti-depressants when I met her, has two DUIs, and is still in denial about having BPD, even though previously diagnosed with it by a Clinical Psychologist - our marriage counselor and her T at the time.

I'm no lily white here either. I have been married more than once, have ADD, can be very anal, picky, detail oriented, and analytical - I was an engineering manager for 30 years Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). I do have four wonderful  grown children,many grandchildren, and hopefully some good characteristics also.

This has been the toughest relationship of my life, and it almost ended many times. My own bad behavior that contributed to this fact was primarily due to my own 'black and white' thinking about my wife. The sad part is that this thinking was primarily driven by books, tapes, videos, articles etc. containing the same type of catch all 'black' description of people with BPD as exhibited in this article - mostly written by the same professional Ts that are called on to help these poor misunderstood people who were usually abused as children in some way.

Thank God for this web site and the great people who administer and moderate it. Only when I really started working on myself alone and started realizing how my strong personality and opinions have exacerbated my r/s problems with my W, have I started to make progress with her. I have learned to show her the type of love, respect, understanding, empathy, trust, and so on that I have felt so terribly lacking from her - without having to get it in return. I can now do this out of empathy and understanding about how her condition  prevents normal responses - even though I already knew that -  rather than going into my own 'black' mood due to the horrible negative BPD descriptions of manipulative, plotting, cunning, lying, promiscuous, mean spirited, people, who will leave you first as a preemptive strike so you can't leave them.

I do both empathize and sympathize with all of you on the L3 board. LIfe is hell where you are, and probably many of your SOs have earned the 'black' feelings you have for them with or with out BPD. Consider this however, If you are really going to recover your own mental health and well being - moving on with empathy and forgiveness is faster, and will better equip you to avoid your own anger and black and white thinking in all your current and future r/s with everyone in your life. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2011, 05:45:44 PM »

Rage is a normal aspect of your healing process, but try to hold these feelings without self-judgment" — Shari Schreiber[/i]

Borderlines can turn good men into monsters. They'll steadily erode your self-worth with subtle/snide comments and other passive maneuvers, even if their words can't be identified as wounding or cruel. Their delivery and tone will make you feel infantalized,, " — Shari Schreiber

I read the article an it sickens me.  This is how every women beater thinks "she made me do it!"  Shari Schreiber's message is loud and clear, you can't treat a BPD women badly enough,,, they deserve it all.

I lurk here mostly, but I feel I needed to say what others are too polite to come out and say.

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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2011, 06:31:54 PM »

I don't think there is anything twisted in what would be considered to be a "normal" response to a real time event that most people would consider painful, threatening, etc.  Normal responses to real time events such as abandonment, abuse, rage, etc., would include fear, panic, upset, anger, grief, and of course "fight or flight"... .defend or retreat.  Again these are basic survival instincts.  

Livia, I agree with your 'real time event' reactions Vs. past history events BPDs react to, however, consider this; if you realize that your BPD partner is reacting to past events as if they are current ones, and yet you know they aren't, shouldn't your reactions be tempered somewhat. Shouldn't that be part of our empathy for the BPD condition.

Story Time. 

Man and his two little boys get on a bus - boys are acting up running up and down the isle bothering everyone - someone finally yells at the man, can't you control those brats - everone cheers in agreement - man  loudly says, I'm sorry everybody, I wasn't paying attention to them like I usually do. We just left my wife's funeral and they're very upset - his voice starts to break - They loved their mom so much, and we're having a really hard time dealing with all this. She died in a bad car crash last week. - his voice breaks completely - and after a pause he continues in a loud controlled sob - we were standing on the curb waiting for her to pick us up... ., and saw the accident right in front of us. A drunk driver crossed the center divider stripes and hit her head on - the boys stop running and ruch over to their father, who is now along with his boys crying uncontrollably - a hush falls over the bus.

Why did the passengers all of a sudden react so differently, and probably felt ashamed of their group cheers. They were enlightened - learned animportant fact they hadn't known - felt remorseful, and empathized with the man and boys immediately.

Moral of the story. We nons already know about about the trauma and resulting dysfunctional life our pwBPD are living and about the emotioonal chaos that is at the very core of their existance, so maybe with the help of sites like this one and the kind, understanding, patient direction of the administrators and  the wonderful positive support on this site, we can all become enlightened like the passengers on the bus. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2011, 06:57:52 PM »

I don't think there is anything twisted in what would be considered to be a "normal" response to a real time event that most people would consider painful, threatening, etc.  Normal responses to real time events such as abandonment, abuse, rage, etc., would include fear, panic, upset, anger, grief, and of course "fight or flight"... .defend or retreat.  Again these are basic survival instincts.  

Livia, I agree with your 'real time event' reactions Vs. past history events BPDs react to, however, consider this; if you realize that your BPD partner is reacting to past events as if they are current ones, and yet you know they aren't, shouldn't your reactions be tempered somewhat. Shouldn't that be part of our empathy for the BPD condition.

That could be the case if I had known my ex was BPD.  I actually had no idea, so therefore I did not realize my partner was reacting to past events as if they were current ones.  So basically what I saw was simply unwarranted rage directed at me.  I only made the BPD connection through research of domestic violence and emotional abuse (which eventually led me to BPD) after my ex left.  

There are many folks like myself on L3 who had no idea we were dealing with BPD until after the r/s was over and we found ourselves reeling in hurt and bewilderment trying to figure out what had happened.  

Interestingly enough, the same story you quoted could apply to a Non who was acting out in pain and anger as a result of a broken BPD r/s where they were unaware of why such terrible events were happening.  

Compassion and empathy must be a two way street... .there is much pain to go around with this terrible disorder.  

I have wept knowing that my ex was abandoned and abused as a child.  I ached for the child he was - vulnerable and frightened, hurt and with no one to protect him.  Yet I too had a terribly difficult childhood in a chaotic household.  We both had our tragedies... .we simply developed differently.  

Moral of the story. We nons already know about about the trauma and resulting dysfunctional life our pwBPD are living and about the emotioonal chaos that is at the very core of their existance, so maybe with the help of sites like this one and the kind, understanding, patient direction of the administrators and  the wonderful positive support on this site, we can all become enlightened like the passengers on the bus. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

And from the perspective of those who have left the r/s, or been left by their BPDex, particularly those who only learned about the disorder their expwBPD experiences subsequent to the r/s ending, there must be understanding and compassion as well, along with time for recovery, and time to complete the grief process.  

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« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2011, 07:18:33 PM »

As I previously posted Shari Schreiber's articles and this site helped explain my exBPD's hurtful and cruel behaviors ... Which in turn helped me to pull the plug.

Shreiber may seem to paint the BPD as all black but she also  believes we have some accountability for being in r/s with a BPD. Her belief is that a core wound to us made us seek out that this type of person.

This board seems to try and not paint the BPD as all black and want us to take some responsibility.

It seems for me the longer I would have stayed knowing that she was BPD the more responsible I would be...

I know I'm far from perfect and have flaws,I also know that sometimes relationships slowly end.

But with my BPD we could spend a wonderful weekend together with her telling me that she wanted a life togethe. A few   hours later  she would go into a low class bar and flirt and makes date. No where did I sign up for this! it wasn't like at the end of a r/s where everything just fizzled out and I didn't see it coming.

Maybe my upbringing led me to be a fixer upper but I truly didn't want her to be a cruel cheating person.

I'm sorry but I have to paint her mostly black pd and all .

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« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2011, 09:35:44 PM »

Hmmm... .I'd like to try to contribute again to this discussion but from another angle.

I think that "painting" people with BPD (pwBPD) "black" can serve a useful purpose.  Such as by helping us disengage from our BPD loved one when that is our goal.  It certainly helped me access a lot of anger I previously had trouble accessing prior to being angry at her.  And there was a time that I hated my xuBPDgf more than I ever thought I could hate anyone. 

Before I knew about BPD, I painted her black via her ethnicity.  It did not help that she and my replacement shared an ethnicity I did not.  And for a while I identified myself as having prejudice against that ethnicity.  I freely admit this (ha, even though I do not provide the ethnicity).  And I am not proud of it.  This was part of my process. 

After learning about BPD and realizing that this afflicted my exBPDgf, my prejudice shifted away from prejudice against that ethnicity and towards prejudice against people who suffered from this disorder.  I don't know if fostering this prejudice, this hatred, was the best approach I could have taken.  But it was the road I walked.

Why did I foster this hatred?  Partly because I still had a lot of feelings to process through.  And before when I fostered the ethnicity prejudice, it was in the effort to avoid repeating the mistake of that kind of relationship.  But I still found a commonality in the other women I dated at the time.  There was something else that I kept stumbling upon and I could not put my finger on it.  And even though I probably did date other women with BPD, I never committed in the way that I did with my primary xuBPDgf.  Maybe if I learned about BPD I might have avoided dating those other BPD women.  That would have been useful.

But even after I got married and started a family, I was still haunted by the memory of my primary BPDgf.  I was still bothered by my experience and perhaps my own unresolved cognitive dissonances.  Hatred and prejudice (even though misguided) only helped me to avoid repeating my mistakes; it did not help me through the rest of what I considered my recovery process.  In fact, I wonder if it only deferred it.

My long term goal was to feel indifference towards my xuBPDgf and in order to get to that place I needed to let go of my anger and pick up and work on other things, my issues.  And I think that is the general point of why this article was reviewed the way that it was.  To put it all on "them" and to only leave it there, may leave a lot of other "recovery work" undone.  It may also only serve to set us up for the next fall.  Because until we work on our own issues, I think we may be inclined to make similar choices, similar mistakes.  As many mistakes as it takes to learn what we need to learn.

I'm sorry to speak in generalities and vagueness but we all have issues and some of the issues are different.  But that does not mean we don't have them.  As I see it, if I continued to foster my anger and hatred, I would still continue to be "haunted" and maybe I would choose to continue to blame these other people for my own discontent.  I did this for a while, probably longer than I needed to.  And I think it would be a great thing if others can be spared living with this unnecessarily.  Anger serves a purpose but in order to fully recover and heal, and get to a place where we don't care anymore, we need to let it go.

Anyway, that is how I see it.
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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2011, 10:42:40 PM »

Shari Schreiber has an excellent article on her site entitled "If Looks Could Kill: Anatomy of a Borderline".  Here are a few passages:

"In the midst of mending from these intoxicating but dangerous relationships, dozens of men have described a terrifying "demonic" influence that appears to inhabit their beloved when she's confronted with her lying, manipulations and betrayals--or some sort of (minor) infraction on their part, has catalyzed the most horrifying change in her facial expression. Many have reported; "it's like sparks flew out of her eyes," or "there's such a cold and hideous mask" that showed up, they couldn't recognize the woman they've loved so deeply. If looks could kill, they believe they'd be dead after one of these episodes!

A female client recently expressed that her (male) borderline friend "looked like the Devil himself," during vitriolic rages where his terrible verbal abuses were spat at her, like molten lava spewing from a (suddenly) active volcano. Other times, she says his demeanor was very peaceful and "cherubic"--a man you'd never suspect, was capable of such volatility. But how does this facet of "pure evil" manifest in somebody we've felt so close and loving with, just minutes or hours earlier? Would they recognize themselves, if we held up a mirror when this vile darkness appears? Might they see the distorted face of their rageful/punitive parent, instead of their own? Could it be that's what you see in them?"


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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2011, 11:28:59 PM »

Problem is, these views paint a picture of a pwBPD as being so 'black' on the black and white spectrum, that it's no wonder so many BPDs are in denial. Read the article and posts.

If you were BPD and described this terrible way, wouldn't you reject a BPD diagnoses? I would. And I would be furious at my SO who told me I was BPD.
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« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2011, 04:31:46 AM »

Excerpt
I personally believe that when pwBPD "leave" us, they can put us through a kind of abandonment trauma.  After all, what is abandonment?  It is when someone you trust deeply betrays yours trust and severs their contact with you.  I think that often the way we are "left" we feel as though we were abandoned.  And so our reactions to this abandonment is not dissimilar to how pwBPD reaction when they experience their fear of abandonment.  Why else do you suppose so many of us nons feel and wonder if we are not the ones who are (also) suffering from BPD?

 I've never thought about it from that perspective.   Idea  This is a feeling I can relate to, empathize with.

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« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2011, 07:31:01 PM »

schwing, another fantastic post, and i think it speaks to exactly the "getting stuck" problem everyone else is discussing.

i too believe (im fairly certain) that i've dated BPD's in the past. for the most part, my healing and moving on came as a result of devaluing (honestly, rightfully so) them and trying to reach indifference toward them without seeing my own role (i did see some issues of mine, and things i thought were "mistakes" that got me broken up with, but i didn't see it clearly, and i just learned defense mechanisms). like you, i'd made all kinds of comparisons between them all, and knew something was up.

so like i said, for the most part, i just increasingly tried to devalue the previous ones. to some extent this left me with a victim mentality. not necessarily a lot of anger, but victim mentality, perhaps even some triangulating dynamics (believing i'd been persecuted at least, and that each new one was a rescuer). all this ever did was land me in another one, until i met the one that landed me here.

this is why healing is necessary. this is why recognizing our own issues, as well as our own role in the relationship and it's demise are crucial. this time i can see exactly where i was wrong, mistaken, perhaps fooled or foolish, and now i can very clearly see a pattern of what got me into, and kept me in these relationships. NOW i stand a chance to really heal and not make the mistake again.

i do agree though, to some extent devaluing our exes is helpful. so many of us leave these relationships with such a skewed perspective, and with our exes on a pedestal. even though we feel wronged, even when we can't understand why in the world we're still pining for our ex when we practically couldn't even stand them. remembering the bad, remembering her nightmare behavior, has helped me recall what i dealt with and can never allow myself to deal with again, and remember how powerful those feelings that this was NOT what i wanted to deal with for the rest of my life, really bring me back to a healthy reality, and her to a much more balanced perspective. i do not demonize her, i don't believe she's a monster. neither is she an angel, or someone i should find myself pining for. at times i NEED to remember that.

so i think there's a healthy balance. anger is righteous. devaluing may be necessary. it just all needs to be conscious and appropriately worked through and balanced. it's something we all need to go through. if you don't devalue your ex to SOME extent, you can otherwise get stuck with distorted thoughts about how great it all was/they were. another thing in defense of shari. i've met a few borderlines, and read about several borderlines that yeah, i think they at least behave a little bit more "monstrously". i think perhaps shari's had a bit more experience with those, and i think she kind of speaks in general terms. there were lots of things she writes that i just didn't find applicable at all or agree with. she speaks kind of broadly, and with some uniformity. and that may be necessary for her audience. again, i took what i found useful, and there was a good amount of what i found useful. just like our thoughts and our process need balance, so do our sources of information, and again, this requires a discriminating mind.
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« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2011, 03:21:58 AM »

Hi,

After much research and understanding the head of a BPD... I realised that BPD is no label.

BPD is a system of thinking, feeling and actions which for us nons may be dsyfunctional, or against our values or thinking, but for the BPD that is a way of life and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

I realised that my BPDw basically has a few symptoms of BPD, a little of NPD and a few more from ASPD. Plus she is aggressive by nature, is scared of being emotionally hurt or insulted.

She does well for herself with the outside world and she was good all these years. But the problem started after marriage when she was supposed to "conform" to social values and behaviours.

The only thing helped is for me to learn to deal with my own issues and let her be herself.
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« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2011, 08:33:44 PM »

I have to say that one thing that I really love about this board is that there is such great open-mindedness and respect for everyone's opinion along with a genuine mission toward critical analysis of all the issues at hand.

Twenty years ago people with BPD and their loved one's basically suffered alone. The internet has opened up so many doors- thrown them wide open, really. From my view, this is a positive thing for everyone. The more information about BPD that's out there, the better equipped we all are to cope with the hand we're dealt. But, not every source is credible or reliable, so having a critical eye (or belonging to a community like this where all viewpoints are considered) is important.

Now, there are lots of ways of gaining knowledge. I have a particular bias because I'm a researcher, so I am always looking for the empirical evidence for a particular statement/statements. I am so glad that this is something that comes up in the discussions on bpdfamily-- there is a research literature out there, and we are learning more and more about BPD, and some of what we learn from our research is quite surprising and counter-intuitive (i.e., Zanarini et al's research on the 10 year course of BPD, which was mentioned in this thread).

Of course, there are also many things we don't know about BPD. Actually, one of the most under-researched areas in BPD is in the domain of interpersonal relationships. So, I am always skeptical when anyone makes definitive statements about what is "true" about BPD relationships. We do know that the BPD label applies to a remarkably heterogeneous group of people who can look night and day from each other an can behave in very different ways in relationships. There is remarkable complexity and diversity in these relationships.

The research literature on BPD relationships is now growing exponentially, so more answers are coming. But I am so grateful for communities such as this one, that supplies credible and balanced information to those who need answers sooner rather than later.
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« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2011, 07:47:10 AM »

Shari Schreiber has an excellent article on her site www. that addresses this very topic, entitled "If Looks Could Kill: Anatomy of a Borderline".  Here are a few passages:

"In the midst of mending from these intoxicating but dangerous relationships, dozens of men have described a terrifying "demonic" influence that appears to inhabit their beloved when she's confronted with her lying, manipulations and betrayals--or some sort of (minor) infraction on their part, has catalyzed the most horrifying change in her facial expression. Many have reported; "it's like sparks flew out of her eyes," or "there's such a cold and hideous mask" that showed up, they couldn't recognize the woman they've loved so deeply. If looks could kill, they believe they'd be dead after one of these episodes!

A female client recently expressed that her (male) borderline friend "looked like the Devil himself," during vitriolic rages where his terrible verbal abuses were spat at her, like molten lava spewing from a (suddenly) active volcano. Other times, she says his demeanor was very peaceful and "cherubic"--a man you'd never suspect, was capable of such volatility. But how does this facet of "pure evil" manifest in somebody we've felt so close and loving with, just minutes or hours earlier? Would they recognize themselves, if we held up a mirror when this vile darkness appears? Might they see the distorted face of their rageful/punitive parent, instead of their own? Could it be that's what you see in them?"

I have to admit, I am very unimpressed with that website and think the author may do more harm than good.

For a woman who's supposed to be experienced in these matters, I find some of her writing to be confusing in certain areas and overly dramatic & derogatory in her descriptions. Surely, as a "professional", discussing mental illness ... she should exercise more care and respect?

No personal insult intended at all, I just have some issues with that particular website & the author ... .

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« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2011, 02:36:45 PM »

Good thread. I might as well throw my two cents in... .

To have to imply DEARMAN etc and more or less think very hard and carefully before you speak, walking on eggshells around your partner or family member?

This is my personal honest opinion but quite frankly its tiring, draining and for the good non's its something we do not deserve! Im not saying every non is a sant... but for what the borderlines have put us through...

To have choose to imply DEARMAN etc...

but for what the borderlines have put us we(non/BPD relationship partners) put ourselves through


We all have decisions to make in our life. We have to focus on our own mental health to make better judgments for ourselves. The advice on the staying board is not to sacrifice yourself to your loved one. The advice is to stop walking on eggshells (like the book). You have to take care of yourself first. How often do we see the words on the leaving board... .take care of yourself. When you have put yourself in a position that you are tired and drained it is definitely time to figure out how you got there. I read the staying board too. I don't post there but I sense the most common mistake I see is the nons overlooking their own needs and boundaries. If the people on the staying board do follow their best interests the relationship might end. This should be accepted by the non. We set the conditions in our life to have our needs met and to pursue our own happiness. This should be done fearlessly. When our happiness depends on someone suffering from a personality disorder we are in a very dangerous place.  If our partners can't accept our own pursuit of happiness then we should be strong enough to let them go and grieve the loss of the relationship.

Shari's articles have saved my life!

I literally could not breathe when I went searching for ANSWERS for a breakup that I couldn't explain to others... .made me feel suicidal.

I found Shari's writing comforting in the beginning myself. After getting dumped on for so long I was still having problems wondering what was mine and what wasn't. What I could have done differently (mainly so the relationship would have worked). I was momentarily relieved of that burden and could just focus on getting my mind free from the attachment. When the anger finally left I came to find that the questions still remained. Mainly "What could I have done differently" (only this time wondering why I didn't get out sooner)? The answer I found had nothing to do with my BPD partner. It had everything to do with me. I was distracted by all the drama and lost sight of myself and doing what was right for me. It seems so obvious now it is almost kind of ridiculous. I know I won't let this happen again. I also understand better my need for the intense validation. I won't find it so attractive next time.

I think the worst part of Shari's writing is that it gives too much focus on the BPD aspect of the relationship and not enough introspection for the non. We really get caught up analyzing every aspect of our BPD partners. We obsess about their role in the relationship endlessly. Many on leaving never put themselves under the same intense scrutiny they do their BPD partners. If there is any good to come out of our BPD relationships... .this is the place we need to look. We can look to the future with confidence and hope when we see what our own vulnerabilities were at the start of the relationship (What did we need from them?) and what made us hold on when our own needs weren't being met?
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« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2011, 10:21:08 PM »

Excerpt
The answer I found had nothing to do with my BPD partner. It had everything to do with me. I was distracted by all the drama and lost sight of myself and doing what was right for me. It seems so obvious now it is almost kind of ridiculous. I know I won't let this happen again. I also understand better my need for the intense validation. I won't find it so attractive next time.

This is the core of the issue. I too, lost sight of me and doing what was right for me. When I read the book Stop Walking on Eggshells, I asserted my needs with the exNPD/pdbf in order to-

Excerpt
o follow their best interests the relationship might end. This should be accepted by the non. We set the conditions in our life to have our needs met and to pursue our own happiness. This should be done fearlessly. When our happiness depends on someone suffering from a personality disorder we are in a very dangerous place.  If our partners can't accept our own pursuit of happiness then we should be strong enough to let them go and grieve the loss of the relationship

I was even working up to acceptance that my request to have my needs me might end the r/s. What I did not account for was the horrid verbal and emotional abuse. And what I further did not realize is how that abuse would reopen some core childhood wounds and self doubt.   Oh my, so much to learn about myself.   He wasn't the only one with problems. Smiling (click to insert in post)

My exH was the violent abuser and the bf was controlling. The issue however was when the raging and devaluation began, I sincerely was at a loss as to what I was experiencing, it was swift-within a few weeks and devastating to me. The final lesson I needed to learn is no matter what anyone says to devalue me-if my esteem is intact then the words are easy to walk away from and they do not take up residency in my head.

I agree with you that information addressing the non's emotional experience is relevant and necessary for healing. Hopefully-

Excerpt
When you have put yourself in a position that you are tired and drained it is definitely time to figure out how you got there



the lesson is to not get to the point of being tired and drained in a r/s. This is the lesson worth learning.

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« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2011, 11:05:43 PM »

I think the worst part of Shari's writing is that it gives too much focus on the BPD aspect of the relationship and not enough introspection for the non.

May I suggest ":)o You Love to be Needed or Need to be Loved"?

This is a thoughtful, albeit at times berating, thread. I think it must be said that it is vital for those seeking therapy to carefully select a therapist -- or lifecoach, guide or whatever "degree-qualified" or lack thereof you desire, as long as you head into such a relationship openly, honestly and with mutual respect (along the lines stated in the book "Eyes Wide Open: Practicing Discernment Along the Spiritual Path" -- who resonates with an individual, can probe gently yet insightfully into exploring the inner core aspects of ones own psyche to explore and gradually bring to the surface some of the very issues that may make one so vulnerable to those who possess a range of BPD/NPD traits.  The defense mechanisms preventing acknowledgement of some of those issues, if one feels they do indeed exist or is comfortable to explore them runs deep within the souls psyche and it takes a skilled and gifted therapist to be able to gain the trust of an individual entering into such a process to be able to sift through such emotional landmines.  If there is suspicion or doubt of the person's capability or credentials one feels is necessary to do such work, then this person is not the one to engage. However, for those who may be willing to explore some of these darker matters and do have the faith that they're working with a person they feel confident to guide them down that path, the success is in the freedom, clarity, happiness, self-confidence and independence, to name but a few rewards to be gained from such a process.
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« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2011, 11:52:32 PM »

I have read Shari's writing. As I stated, I found some it useful to me when breaking free of my attachment. I know where her focus is. You stated it very clearly before. Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Everybody posting in this thread has read her site. I was getting good feedback from this site while I was reading Shari's. If I was only reading Shari's i can see how I could get stuck in the victim role. Blameless. No need to think about my issues. I don't know if any of the other staff here has implied that Shari is ill intentioned. I see no evidence of that. We do see many posters here. I have read thousands of threads. The biggest problem on all of them... .staying, leaving, and undecided is a lack of self awareness. So focused on the BPD. The one party of the relationship they have no control over. This is what bpdfamily is trying to push here. Self reflection. Self awareness. Emotional growth so us nons can look to future relationships with confidence rather than fear. It shouldn't be necessary to view our exBPDs as the antichrist to detach and move on.

Shari Schreiber has an excellent article on her site entitled "If Looks Could Kill: Anatomy of a Borderline".  Here are a few passages:

"In the midst of mending from these intoxicating but dangerous relationships, dozens of men have described a terrifying "demonic" influence that appears to inhabit their beloved when she's confronted with her lying, manipulations and betrayals--or some sort of (minor) infraction on their part, has catalyzed the most horrifying change in her facial expression. Many have reported; "it's like sparks flew out of her eyes," or "there's such a cold and hideous mask" that showed up, they couldn't recognize the woman they've loved so deeply. If looks could kill, they believe they'd be dead after one of these episodes!

A female client recently expressed that her (male) borderline friend "looked like the Devil himself," during vitriolic rages where his terrible verbal abuses were spat at her, like molten lava spewing from a (suddenly) active volcano. Other times, she says his demeanor was very peaceful and "cherubic"--a man you'd never suspect, was capable of such volatility. But how does this facet of "pure evil" manifest in somebody we've felt so close and loving with, just minutes or hours earlier? Would they recognize themselves, if we held up a mirror when this vile darkness appears? Might they see the distorted face of their rageful/punitive parent, instead of their own? Could it be that's what you see in them?"

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« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2011, 12:48:20 PM »

I agree with the several folks who've said we all need a balanced approach and that's true for any difficult issue. Schreiber gives us another perspective. I've read most of Schreiber's site relating to BPD and while I agree she uses much harsher and more blunt words to describe pwBPD, those words are sometimes clearer than the sometimes too politically correct ways we all choose at times. I almost feel like in trying to be polite to pwBPD and their disease (even in this forum where it's just us nons), that we continue to needlessly apologize for ourselves just like we did directly to the pwBPD in our lives over and over. Schreiber doesn't mince words.

I for one have been helped by reading her descriptions of BPD behavior and being able to say "that's exactly what happened to me." And I'm not a man, nor was I in a romantic relationship with my pwBPD, so she can appeal to anyone. Like her words or hate em, she has a knack for cutting to the core of the behaviors.. I'm not saying she always hits the mark on treatment, healing, moving on, etc, but I do think she calls the behaviors in a very truthful and understandable way.
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« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2011, 02:43:25 PM »

The pain of abandonment after a longish push and pull can be incredible when being left. The confusion when leaving someone who is so so demanding and raging that you can't recognize yourself anymore and in order to save yourself you flee is very disturbing. These are extreme experiences. Somehow I understand people describing a pwBPD as a vampire. I use the physicist equivalent - a black hole all the time.

B&W thinking is very validating when we are upset. It connects to the wounded soul. But then what is the path forward? Staying on the agitated level or de-escalating? Why does it matter when rage is feeling so good? Our emotional system after a breakup with a pwBPD is disturbed. Extreme emotions, particularly fear activate the attachment system. Staying on a heighten emotional arousal level is neither helping to get away nor helping to be able to select the next partner more carefully. ? Calming down is a process which takes time. It can be aided by acquiring knowledge, self understanding and some skills.

The question when faced with a sales story is not - does it connect? - but - where does it lead me?
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« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2011, 04:02:56 PM »

 Great discussion and gives us food for thought, no doubt.

I am coming at this froma  fairly unique place. Many of you dont know me, as I post in Staying, so in a nutshell ( no pun intended), here it is.

I am married to a man who was diagnosed with BPD and no other mental illnesses or addictions involved. He always worked, is creative, fascinating guy who is a professional and has a super high IQ. Nice on the eyes, too!

Anyway, his BPD symptoms included serious, scary rages, dissociation, including other personas, suicide thinking and several attempts, days crying in bed which follwed the rages, defensive, angry, hostile oppositional, etc. Classic male BPD.

Eventually, he got into DBT and stayed put. It was an up and down recovery,which we are learning is about typical. He did all of the right things, yet he and I were still broken. Eventually, he left me one day when I was out of town, saying that he hoped this would give me an opportunity to take a look at myself. I was just happy he was gone.

  Eventually, I found this board and I saw our ugly dynamics and I was able to recognize my piece in all of this mess. I saw my own rationalization, my need to be exhonerated at all costs, my need for control, my need for a mentally ill person in my life to mask my own depression and codependancy ( I was a professional in the mental health field,. btw)

At that point, I found comfort in knowing we werent the only ones living in chaos and I saw what he had been raging to me about ( not exactly an effective way to communicate) for all of those years. I went into therapy and eventually, we came to a place where we had a therapeutic separation ( guided by a MC, while he remained in DBT, and I in therapy and we lived apart, working on what was broken individually, and in MC as a couple) It lasted about 8 months this way, and we reconciled about 3 years ago.  No more symptoms of BPD at our house, not one... .and our marriage is happy and healthy. It took 3 years of DBT, a year of MC and a year of T for me.

  All of this is to say that it isnt only our disordered partner, or ex. It is us, as well. Honestly, most people at the first sign of much of the stuff we saw... .and ignored... .would never have taken the relationship further... This is healthy! We, instead, run into the burning building, gasoline in our arms and a smile on our face. This is where most of us are broken!

  We can heal. People with BPD can heal. Our relationships can also heal, but from what Ive seen, it takes work, willingness, gut wrenching honesty and alot of time, patience, tears and grace.

  Without our disordered spouse, many times, we are then left with our own stuff... our codependancy, anger issues, self esteem issues, etc... and even with them gone, our lives need rebuilding and care and help. Blaming the ex only keeps us stuck and very, very vulnerable for choosing another person in our lives who likely will have 'issues' as well.

Steph
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« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2011, 05:31:25 PM »

I think the posts by steph brings up some important differences in the folks on this discussion board. All of us have loved, supported and been a significant part of the life of a pwBPD. BUT... .not all of us have the same issues, problems, behaviors or things we need to own and work on.

I was the FRIEND of a BPD. I love her dearly (still do, always will, she's family even if I never see her again the rest of my life) and I wanted to help her because I wanted to make a difference in her life and I LOVE solving problems. So that's part of my thing. But at the end of a visit with my pwBPD, I went home to a peaceful, loving relationship of 17 years. I have wonderful friends, a good job, a nice family, etc. Yes, I let myself get involved with a pwBPD so I must have been filling some need or hole in my life, but my reasons (or "issues" are very different than that of a spouse, child, mother, co-worker, therapist or whoever.

Therefore, when we read info such as Ms. Schreiber's, we all have to get out of it what helps based on our own situation. I felt like Schreiber was describing much of my experience and that provided some comfort.

Is it rude to want to read harsh comments about someone afflicted with BPD? I don't know, maybe.

Now that I need to move on and get over the lost friendship, I need to stop thinking about my pwBPD's behaviors (which I had no part in, they were all there before me and will be long after me) and find my own closure. But I think reading about BPD behaviors that matched my experience was a reasonable first step to saying, "ok, this happened, it sucks, it's sad but now I go to the next step in my closure process."

This discussion board has helped me and the people here are wonderful. But we all have different stories, different things to work on, or possibly even just the need to learn about BPD so we understand what happened.

Knowledge of any sort, is power. Every question is an act of freedom.
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« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2011, 06:24:27 PM »

steph,

that's a great story. congratulations.
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« Reply #47 on: June 30, 2011, 07:40:34 PM »

People can come to a place of having empathy for their abuser, but not while they are getting abused.  I don't believe the empathy is for condoning their behavior while they are exhibiting the behavior. The empathy is for when you detach and try to understand your part in it. 

I think Schreiber's articles are to be read during abusive situations.  It describes what the non is going through at the time they are going through it.

I think she is an important part of the process for many people.  I read the relationship article but instead of using a romantic BPD, thinking about the points and how they relate to my sister.  It really helped me understand how pwBPD are stereotypically, that I am abused verbally by my sister and how it explained several romantic relationships she had that didn't make any sense to me at the time.

BW
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« Reply #48 on: July 01, 2011, 12:07:34 PM »

As several posters have said, balance and staying "real" is very important to healing.  

Is "painting someone black" a healthy coping mechanism?   Some have pointed out that painting a ex-partner black was a necessary part of their healing process. This is not new at bpdfamily.com by any means.

But how do we view "painting black" when a BPD partner does it. We have over 20,000 posts on this message board exploring "splitting" (painting black)  by pwBPD.  Here is what we as a community said about it just a few days ago.

I had heard it put that it is easier to project their pain on to you than deal with the underling cause. The child like fear mechanism.



... .he says that he doesn't act that way with anyone else, so it must be my fault, or because of ME.  so he kinda owns it but doesn't. i just know he can't handle the feelings... .

Pwpbd have maladaptive coping skills specifically related to feelings of abandonment/engulfment.  This also could include reworking the facts to match their feelings in seeing us as their persecutor - yes.

If these statements are true for a pwBPD, are they not true for us too?  Sure, one can justify it and say it works - but, then again, so can a person with BPD - afterall, that's exactly why anyone does it.

"if we are doing it what is the next step for us?  should we be mindful and try to get more balanced?  do we want to encourage extremism in others - and have them encourage us?  "

Relationship issues are about two people, no matter how dysfunctional one person is.  End the relationship and you end the relationship issues.

And for the most part, our partners were not "demonic monsters spewing molten lava" at us as the article says - if they were we would have been gone fast.  Instead,  they were dichotomous - a contrast between two things - attractive/deeply connected  - and selfish/hurtful - often in ways so subtle that outsiders could not even see it.

In many cases the damage to us came not only from the actions of our partner* but from our inability to see reality for what it really was - to see and understand this personality dichotomy - this disorder. Many of us were obsessed with trying to make "a blind horse, see" and suffered significantly from this obsession.

We all need to be mindful not to substitute one obsession for another - casting our ex to be something worse than they were.  We need to do this balance for our own wellbeing (not for anybody else).  Obsessive behavior has hurt us and it will continue to hurt us if we don't recognize it.

Avoiding extremism does not need to not take away from our grieving (denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance) - or our need to focus and remind ourselves of the negative side of the relationship so that we can detach from the positive side.

The reality of these failed relationships, particularly the "not so grand" problems, are enough for us to let go. Learning to understand how damaging and insidious these soft problems can be is more challenging - but it should help us in future relationships.

Skippy

* Not including issues of physical abuse, infidelity, or crimes
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« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2014, 02:00:43 PM »

As several posters have said, balance and staying "real" is very important to healing.  

Is "painting someone black" a healthy coping mechanism?   Some have pointed out that painting a ex-partner black was a necessary part of their healing process. This is not new at bpdfamily.com by any means.

But how do we view "painting black" when a BPD partner does it. We have over 20,000 posts on this message board exploring "splitting" (painting black)  by pwBPD.  Here is what we as a community said about it just a few days ago.

I had heard it put that it is easier to project their pain on to you than deal with the underling cause. The child like fear mechanism.



... . he says that he doesn't act that way with anyone else, so it must be my fault, or because of ME.  so he kinda owns it but doesn't. i just know he can't handle the feelings... .

Pwpbd have maladaptive coping skills specifically related to feelings of abandonment/engulfment.  This also could include reworking the facts to match their feelings in seeing us as their persecutor - yes.

If these statements are true for a pwBPD, are they not true for us too?  Sure, one can justify it and say it works - but, then again, so can a person with BPD - afterall, that's exactly why anyone does it.

"if we are doing it what is the next step for us?  should we be mindful and try to get more balanced?  do we want to encourage extremism in others - and have them encourage us?  "

Relationship issues are about two people, no matter how dysfunctional one person is.  End the relationship and you end the relationship issues.

And for the most part, our partners were not "demonic monsters spewing molten lava" at us as the article says - if they were we would have been gone fast.  Instead,  they were dichotomous - a contrast between two things - attractive/deeply connected  - and selfish/hurtful - often in ways so subtle that outsiders could not even see it.

In many cases the damage to us came not only from the actions of our partner* but from our inability to see reality for what it really was - to see and understand this personality dichotomy - this disorder. Many of us were obsessed with trying to make "a blind horse, see" and suffered significantly from this obsession.

We all need to be mindful not to substitute one obsession for another - casting our ex to be something worse than they were.  We need to do this balance for our own wellbeing (not for anybody else).  Obsessive behavior has hurt us and it will continue to hurt us if we don't recognize it.

Avoiding extremism does not need to not take away from our grieving (denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance) - or our need to focus and remind ourselves of the negative side of the relationship so that we can detach from the positive side.

The reality of these failed relationships, particularly the "not so grand" problems, are enough for us to let go. Learning to understand how damaging and insidious these soft problems can be is more challenging - but it should help us in future relationships.

Skippy

* Not including issues of physical abuse, infidelity, or crimes

So spot on, Skip, eloquent and balanced and compassionate. It does feel so good to blame the other person entirely, to be beyond reproach... but it would (and has) only hurt me to take no responsibility for my part in allowing myself to be mistreated (staying). I still have so much work to do on myself, but I couldn't see it before because all I was looking at was what was wrong with my ex and how he'd hurt me... how he manipulated me, lied to me, said hurtful things to make me feel ugly and defective and like nobody else but him would want me... I felt like if I put up with his bad behavior he wouldn't leave me, because he'd never find anyone else who would... When he did find someone else who would, all I wanted to focus on was how evil he was, conniving, a user, making sure his own needs were covered at the expense of everyone else. Focusing on this did not allow me to see that what I had actually been a victim of was my own codependency issues. Why did I want to be in a one sided relationship? Why did I want to settle for a relationship where I did all the heavy lifting and put up with so much abuse? Why didn't I want a relationship with equal contribution, respect etc.? I told myself I was staying for love, but that wasn't true, and even then part of me knew it but refused to look at it or deal with it, because even then I was only focused on him, what he was doing, how good I was. He made me feel like I was a good person to put up with him, the long suffering girlfriend. My contribution to my own unhappiness escaped me, and would continue to, if other things in my life hadn't brought me to therapy. It frightens me upon reflection because it felt so good and was so easy to demonize him, but it was never about him, the relationship with my BPDex was a symptom of something bigger going on with me, and if other things in my life hadn't taken me to therapy i feel that I would have simply ended up in another unhappy and one sided relationship, perhaps not with someone with BPD, but unhappy and one sided is still unhappy and one sided, even if it is less tumultuous.
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« Reply #50 on: December 20, 2014, 09:41:45 AM »

Excerpt
I personally believe that when pwBPD "leave" us, they can put us through a kind of abandonment trauma.  After all, what is abandonment?  It is when someone you trust deeply betrays yours trust and severs their contact with you.  I think that often the way we are "left" we feel as though we were abandoned.  And so our reactions to this abandonment is not dissimilar to how pwBPD reaction when they experience their fear of abandonment.  Why else do you suppose so many of us nons feel and wonder if we are not the ones who are (also) suffering from BPD?

 I've never thought about it from that perspective.   Idea  This is a feeling I can relate to, empathize with.

This is a fantastic thread - I am commenting, in part, to put it back at the top of the list of threads!  Smiling (click to insert in post)  I think it's that good.

In regard to the original topic:  I found Schreiber's articles very helpful in the very immediate aftermath of the end of my relationship with my exBPDgf.  I had stayed silent through four years of emotional abuse, telling absolutely no one about the lying, the repeated infidelities, or the terrible blows to my self esteem. Schreiber's articles, although clearly biased, provided me with the validation I needed at that point in time - and helped fuel a much needed indignation and anger at my exBPDgf.  For reasons I am still trying to understand, I had such an unhealthy amount of empathy and sympathy for my ex that I somehow failed to immediately recognize how close the relationship came to destroying me. Her articles helped me name many things that I couldn't put into words, and helped me begin to shift the focus to my own recovery and healing (instead of my on my exBPDgf's).  I will always be grateful for that.  However, I agree with other posts here - that while anger is a very normal and necessary part of the grieving process, there comes a point that we must move forward from it.  

I am 4 months out from the b/u, and Schreiber's articles no longer resonate with me the same way that they once did.

As for the issue of abandonment that I quoted in my post:  this is what I have come to believe, although I have no idea if I am right about this. I think pwBPD recreate the abandonment in other people that they have experienced in their own lives in an attempt to excise their own pain. I now feel as though I have experienced the deep pain and terror of abandonment that my exBPDgf has lived with her entire life.
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« Reply #51 on: April 04, 2015, 06:48:27 PM »

It is my uneducated opinion, but after having read much of her articles on her web page that she is just as dangerous as any Cluster B.  I think she might even be one herself.  To tell a victim of NPD that their Narcissist didn't make them feel like they were going crazy.  If they felt like they, the victim,  are going crazy, they, the victim,  MUST be BPD.   Is.  She.  SERIOUS?   
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« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2015, 06:59:31 AM »

I was thinking like most of you here that the article is too harsh on BP, but after I saw my BP ex smiling when describing how she was punching me with fists in the face, my opinion changed. They like the idea of you suffering, because they think that you have hurt them. They are sicker than you think. They want to hurt to, they don't wish you the best, they paint you black and when they have an opportunity they want to destroy you.

So don't feel sad about them, because like Schreiber says it is very easy to say like BP do - " I am broken, get over it

"I will not look for help, that is me". Someone who deep down knows that is sick, and does not want to change, but hurt people in order to survive - is not a good person and there should be no empathy or sympathy for them.
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« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2015, 03:54:12 PM »

I actually spoke to this woman... .her articles seem to have SOME validity so I decided to call her... .it was incredible: she was incredibly impatient, rude is probably the better term... .she made various assumptions about my case and (for lack of a better word) enforced those assumptions even when I attempted to tell her that what she was insisting did not apply to me... .in fact, it made her highly irritated that I simply didn't accept her assumptions as fact... .she eventually and suddenly turned the tables on me and began to insist that I was the person with problems that I needed to have resolved and then abruptly hung up on me.

Not impressed with her at all and would agree with the other poster about her being dangerous.
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« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2017, 10:47:51 PM »

I've read articles Shari Schreiber's site - and I just found it a little wonky and unprofessional. I didn't know she was this crazy. I'm pretty creeped out by that video, to say the least.
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