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Author Topic: 10) Belief that they have seen the light.  (Read 4254 times)
MindfulJavaJoe
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« on: August 27, 2011, 12:47:57 PM »

When a BPD relationship is in its final throes or has recently ended you can feel you are in limbo. Both you and your ex may be trying to detach and yet neither of you has a clear sense of direction.

Reminding ourselves on a regular basis of the things that can keep us connected is an important step on the road to recovery for us. Each time I sense I am uncertain of myself or that I am losing my way I look at this resource and review then 10 beliefs that can keep you stuck. This simple action when it becomes a habit can keep us on the path that leads to healing, detachment and ultimately peace and happiness.

  

Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder


10) Belief that they have seen the light.  [Read original text here]

"Well, at the end of any relationship there can be a series of breakups and make-ups – disengaging is often a process, not an event.

However when this process becomes protracted, it becomes toxic. At the end of a “BPD” relationship, this can happen. The emotional needs that fueled the relationship bond initially, are now fueling a convoluted disengagement as one or both partners struggle against their deep enmeshment with the other and their internal conflicts about the break up.

Either partner may go to extremes to reunite - even use the threat of suicide to get attention and evoke sympathies.

Make no mistake about what is happening. Don’t be lulled into believing that the relationship is surviving or going through a phase. At this point, there are no rules. There are no clear loyalties. Each successive breakup increases the dysfunction of relationship and the dysfunction of the partners individually - and opens the door for very hurtful things to happen."


The article makes a good point. We may have tried to fix the relationship, tried persuasion, logic and even coercion. Finally we realise the inevitable, we have no choice but to let them go. If we were rejected, as so many of us are, this choice may have been taken from us.

The intense connection that you felt during the honeymoon phase of your relationship endures. Detachment is difficult not just for us nons but also for our partner. They may have depended on you for support, comfort, advice, sex and shelter. You may both have become enmeshed. This can be strange time where boundaries are fluid and ill defined, you are each uncertain if you are friends or foe, still unsure about staying or leaving. Are you independent, dependant or still co-dependent? You begin grieving, healing and starting the process of detaching.

There is a lull in the storm the conflict has ended, the power struggle between you ceases. You begin to distance yourselves as you prepare to separate.

At this time your partner may suddenly change. With the hostilities at an end, they become warm and friendly; you talk freely and openly again reminiscing about what was so good about your relationship. They tell you they never saw the relationship ending. That you were their” best friend”. Suddenly out of the blue it feels like the clock has been turned back to when you first met,  a time when your felt nothing but love for each other.

You may think to yourself everything is back to normal. Perhaps you have overcome your relationship setback. You may hold hands, hug each other, and may even sleep together "one last time". Things feel perfect again. You each give comfort to the other which in turn brings comfort. Finally you believe your partner has seen the light.

Sadly this phase never lasts. True reconciliation never occurs. Your partner needed to feel you comfort them.

This “recycling” may have happened once, twice or many times before. Last time you got hurt, this time you tell yourself “it feels different, it feels real”.  But just as you get close again your partner panics, the projections, the blaming and the raging intensify.   Suddenly you are rejected and painted black once more but this time with much more ferocity. Each time you go through this painful recycling process the more savage the push and pull dynamic.  Each time the level of dysfunction increases to a point were almost anything could happen.

I hated this phase and yet we stayed here for a long while because of the uncertainty of where it would lead. Looking back I see how unhealthy it was. Being asked to rescue and then being rejected once more. Being blamed and then asked to comfort.  We both knew that the next phase would be even more painful. Separation, divorce and what that would mean to our children.  

One last word of caution: The patterns of behaviour exhibited by a person with BPD become more extreme as the emotional tensions intensify. At this stage there are no "rules". Your partner can just turn in an instant. To them the projections are their reality.

One minute you might be told "let’s sort things out amicably" and "let’s be friends for the sake of the children". Then shortly afterward the police could call to your door because your partner made false claims against you. This time the rejection is final. For you trust and all respect is gone.  

For some your partner may respond differently. Rather than facing renewed aggression you may be treated with passiveness, placed in isolation, given the silent treatment once more.  Perhaps your partner ended this recycling phase by cheating on you then quietly or not so quietly disappearing.

Some of us need to have this experience more than once (and some several times) before the lesson is learnt. We realised that we were fooled. In retrospect the truth is a little clearer than before.  Your partner never really “saw the light”. Their and your need to recycle is based on the pain of acute loneliness and profound insecurity. This and their fear of abandonment, inner emptiness, need for validation, need to prove that they are “a good person”.

Combined with emotional immaturity and sometimes the need to control and manipulate we have the ingredients of a deadly cocktail which seduces you, intoxicates you then leaves you with the worst hangover you could ever imagine. You wake up shell shocked, wondering what exactly you have been through and trying to put yourself back together.

More information

Surviving a Break-up with Someone Suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder

1) Belief that this person holds the key to your happiness

2) Belief that your BPD partner feels the same way that you feel

3) Belief that the relationship problems are caused by you or some circumstance

4) Belief that love can prevail

5) Belief that things will return to "the way they used to be"

6) Clinging to the words that were said

7) Belief that if you say it louder you will be heard

8) Belief that absence makes the heart grow fonder

9) Belief that you need to stay to help them.

10) Belief that they have seen the light

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InEarPeace
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2011, 04:43:38 PM »

This is a good topic, deserves more discussion.

The article makes a good point. We may have tried to fix the relationship, tried persuasion, logic and even coercion. Finally we realise the inevitable, we have no choice but to let them go. If we were rejected, as so many of us are, this choice may have been taken from us.

I am grateful she made the choice.  I don't think I was strong enough at the time to do it.

The intense connection that you felt during the honeymoon phase of your relationship endures. Detachment is difficult not just for us nons but also for our partner. They may have depended on you for support, comfort, advice, sex and shelter. You may both have become enmeshed. This can be strange time where boundaries are fluid and ill defined, you are each uncertain if you are friends or foe, still unsure about staying or leaving. Are you independent, dependant or still co-dependent? You begin grieving, healing and starting the process of detaching.

There is a lull in the storm the conflict has ended, the power struggle between you ceases. You begin to distance yourselves as you prepare to separate.

At this time your partner may suddenly change. With the hostilities at an end, they become warm and friendly; you talk freely and openly again reminiscing about what was so good about your relationship. They tell you they never saw the relationship ending. That you were their” best friend”. Suddenly out of the blue it feels like the clock has been turned back to when you first met,  a time when your felt nothing but love for each other.

I remember going through this in 2006 after I caught her in the 1st affair.  We moved her out to an apartment at which point we started talking opening about things.  Within 2 days she had moved back in and we decided we were going to work it out.  It really felt like we were starting over.  This time we were going to make it work and we were both going to be better. (Moved her stuff back in 3 weeks later, I remember how strange it felt doing the moving out and back in within weeks of each other.  Wish I would have explored that feeling more and saw that pattern for what it was.)


Sadly this phase never lasts. True reconciliation never occurs. Your partner needed to feel you comfort them.

This “recycling” may have happened once, twice or many times before. Last time you got hurt, this time you tell yourself “it feels different, it feels real”.  But just as you get close again your partner panics, the projections, the blaming and the raging intensify.   Suddenly you are rejected and painted black once more but this time with much more ferocity. Each time you go through this painful recycling process the more savage the push and pull dynamic.  Each time the level of dysfunction increases to a point were almost anything could happen.

We fluctuated so much like this over the past 5 years that I long lost count.  Can't tell you how many times she "got offended" by my family and stopped talking to them and then painted me black because I always take their side for trying to have a reasonable conversation about what we could do to resolve the issue. Each year it was harder and harder to get her to come to family functions.  I would get me and the kids ready and then she would announce that she didn't want to go (she said she wanted to go an hour before?) and I would try to convince her to come for 30-60 minutes until she gave up and came or I gave up and left her home.

Your partner never really “saw the light”. Their and your need to recycle is based on the pain of acute loneliness and profound insecurity. This and their fear of abandonment, inner emptiness, need for validation, need to prove that they are “a good person”.

I agree that I wouldn't have taken her back so many times if I wasn't so insecure.  I was worried that I would never find another one like her (what a blessing that would be!) or that I could never be happy without her.  All the lies I agreed to kept me coming back to her.  I feel much more secure in myself now.  I am ok being without her or anyone else.  I look forward to a relationship in the future but I will not allow my happiness to be determined by it any longer. Finding myself has been key to getting peace back again.  No more recycling!

Combined with emotional immaturity and sometimes the need to control and manipulate we have the ingredients of a deadly cocktail which seduces you, intoxicates you then leaves you with the worst hangover you could ever imagine. You wake up shell shocked, wondering what exactly you have been through and trying to put yourself back together.

This is one reason I thought I was in the wrong somehow.  I was so confused by the actions I felt I must be doing something wrong here.  I was spun in so many circles I couldn't see straight anymore. NC for me was finally where I stopped the dizziness and was able to start seeing straight and figure out what happened.
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 04:48:23 PM »

My ex and I broke up five times in 6.5 years We recycled every spring. Every spring she would tell me how unhappy she was, and how she could not get those feelings she had for me back... .every spring. To hear that every year after I had tried so hard to make her happy and give her everything she wanted was so hard on me. I always took it personally, like I had done something wrong, like it was my fault that things between us were off. After we would split and hook back up again, we would always talk about the things we would do differently to make it work. After these long conversations I always felt like she really "had seen the light". Yet one year later, there we were again breaking up because she was "unhappy and could not get those feelings back for me". Finally this last time there was no more recycling because she had "soulmate" #4 waiting in the wings. I guess she did see the light after all, she knew it would never work between us and left. Unfortunately I am the one who is left behind trying to pick up the pieces of my heart, dignity, self esteem, and soul. Looks like she won this one.
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 05:37:00 PM »

Is the going through the end part harder than dealing with the after its all over part?

I know I have to end it, and then I get all magical thinking because of the panic and anxiety.  And then reality hits.  This is really happening.  And they force you to be the one to end it.  Some of you lost your partner before you made the break, but I bet you it was your realization of things that made them bolt.

If H served me tomorrow with papers, man that would hurt but it would make things easier.  Ugh, this just sucks.  :'(   :'(  
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 06:19:58 PM »

Never thought I would write this but- yup... .they don't change, even after ALL the promises to do so.   After putting myself back together and moving on for the 10th time in two years- he shows up after 11 days of no contact, begging, crying and pleading "you're the only friend I've ever had", I let him back in, but it was different.   After spending the night, he disappears- and seven days later a friend told me he's been with someone else since!    Parading her around work- where he met me.  THANK GOD I don't work there anymore !  Haven't heard from him in a month because he has found another victim.    I'm FINALLY free.    The only thing I could think was after two years of taking him back because I was afraid he'd kill himself- he's fine and cozied up next to someone else in ONE WEEK.    I could have bagged this nightmare up A LONG TIME AGO!  He has no reason to change- he will always find another unsuspecting fool to "make everything better".   Don't waste your time  
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 09:26:17 PM »

This is an awesome post. I have alot of the characteristics, I know I broke NC because I needed to believe I was a good person and when I told her I would let it go I also told her she was my best friend and I missed that, but in a way it was my first time saying goodbye when I said if we don't trust each other it is not a good basis for a friend ship. 

I am now 2 weeks no contact and have some self-respect back. I am heading for a month now.

thanks for your interpretation Java Joe.
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 06:23:12 PM »

"Some of you lost your partner before you made the break, but I bet you it was your realization of things that made them bolt."

Right on.

I think I just expedited the process when something finally happened that I refused to let slide without an apology. It was finally him that broke it off less than two weeks after a seemingly heartfelt apology and a reminder that, "He didn't just love, he was in love with me." Right... .for that minute anyway. But, I did somewhat break my normal routine of backtracking and eggshell walking... .and I'm thankful for that.

I went to sleep so many night telling myself that, if I wanted to, I could end this. I don't know if I could have. And now I've got my out and his 36yr old self has got a new 20yr old party/sex/love-of-his-life/we're-getting-married-mate. It still hurts like hell, but I guess we just gotta run with it and try our best not to look back. The last time I saw him we kissed and said I love you... .I know I have to prep myself for whenever I run into him... .this is a small town and it's gonna happen, mostly likely while he's with the new host. God help her.
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2011, 09:56:01 PM »

"Some of you lost your partner before you made the break, but I bet you it was your realization of things that made them bolt."

Right on.

I think I just expedited the process when something finally happened that I refused to let slide without an apology. It was finally him that broke it off less than two weeks after a seemingly heartfelt apology and a reminder that, "He didn't just love, he was in love with me." Right... .for that minute anyway. But, I did somewhat break my normal routine of backtracking and eggshell walking... .and I'm thankful for that.

I went to sleep so many night telling myself that, if I wanted to, I could end this. I don't know if I could have. And now I've got my out and his 36yr old self has got a new 20yr old party/sex/love-of-his-life/we're-getting-married-mate. It still hurts like hell, but I guess we just gotta run with it and try our best not to look back. The last time I saw him we kissed and said I love you... .I know I have to prep myself for whenever I run into him... .this is a small town and it's gonna happen, mostly likely while he's with the new host. God help her.

It's like that movie Wizard of Oz, when toto takes off and Dorothy says, he got away!  You got away!  You jumped off the roller coaster of nutz and got away!  The flying monkeys found a new soul to torture and they'll learn the same.  Of course it hurts and you have to respect that.  Now the healing, no more accummulated hurts.  Congratulations!     You got away! YAY!
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 10:29:42 PM »

Light? What light?

I have seen people decide to change and I have seen people remain in denial until their last breath.

We don't know which one we've got on our hands right away. But one thing is for certain:

People do not change unless the consequences of their behaviors affects them. Then MAYBE they try to do something different. If there are no consequences there is no motivation to do anything different in most cases.

Now, the same consequences that motivate a person to change may do nothing for another person.

Then "seeing the light" presumes we know what's best for another person. Obviously we don't want a person to hurt themselves but we all have to go down our own path and we all learn at the pace we are capable. Some of our BPDs would seriously UNRAVEL if they were to do things the rest of us do on a daily basis. Their coping mechanisms are there for a reason, they served a purpose so they could survive. They may still serve a purpose... .who knows?

I think a bigger question is whether WE'VE seen the light or not... .?
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 02:59:35 AM »

This explains exactly what I just went through before being thrown away AGAIN! I'm just glad it's over and I don't have to deal with this mess anylonger. Now it can be someone else's issue.

They are truly crazy and it made me act crazy too. I never want to go back to all that again.
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 08:17:48 AM »

"Some of you lost your partner before you made the break, but I bet you it was your realization of things that made them bolt."

Right on.

I think I just expedited the process when something finally happened that I refused to let slide without an apology. It was finally him that broke it off less than two weeks after a seemingly heartfelt apology and a reminder that, "He didn't just love, he was in love with me." Right... .for that minute anyway. But, I did somewhat break my normal routine of backtracking and eggshell walking... .and I'm thankful for that.

I went to sleep so many night telling myself that, if I wanted to, I could end this. I don't know if I could have. And now I've got my out and his 36yr old self has got a new 20yr old party/sex/love-of-his-life/we're-getting-married-mate. It still hurts like hell, but I guess we just gotta run with it and try our best not to look back. The last time I saw him we kissed and said I love you... .I know I have to prep myself for whenever I run into him... .this is a small town and it's gonna happen, mostly likely while he's with the new host. God help her.

It's like that movie Wizard of Oz, when toto takes off and Dorothy says, he got away!  You got away!  You jumped off the roller coaster of nutz and got away!  The flying monkeys found a new soul to torture and they'll learn the same.  Of course it hurts and you have to respect that.  Now the healing, no more accummulated hurts.  Congratulations!     You got away! YAY!

Thank you! I'm workin on it it!

Shew... .getting away does seem to be a long process though, huh? ExBPD is now officially married less than a week after breaking up with me, both of them laughingly telling mutual friends how they've been doing pills (oxy) and haven't had a sober day. It makes me sick... .and also realized things his ex-wife tried to tell me about pills being the real reason they split up (not her infidelity) was true... and now I guess I know where the missing money went. My exBPD, looking back, mostly only "saw the light" after he'd had a few too many.

Also, because of threatening texts the past two days, I filed and EPO (Emergency Protection Order) against him and they delivered it yesterday. I'm wondering, with him already being in a volatile bp stage what additional things might come or be heightened with him on pills and always drunk?
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2011, 12:16:21 AM »

Yep, I know this is how it happens:

Excerpt
This “recycling” may have happened once, twice or many times before. Last time you got hurt, this time you tell yourself “it feels different, it feels real”.  But just as you get close again your partner panics, the projections, the blaming and the raging intensify.   Suddenly you are rejected and painted black once more but this time with much more ferocity. Each time you go through this painful recycling process the more savage the push and pull dynamic.  Each time the level of dysfunction increases to a point were almost anything could happen.

What I still can't wrap my head around is why, once they split and then we recycle that it has to get worse each time. Given their strange memory system and history rewrites, one would think that things wouldn't necessarily get worse. My last recycle was worse only in the sense that my ex was probably more wonderful than he ever had been and it was the first time he talked of marriage--I couldn't make a commitment right at that instant because of my mother dying... .I think I am answering my own question! However, he was also scheming about another woman at the same time. Complicated. Aside from this, each of the major recycles was worse because my trust was gradually eroded. I don't know whether it was worse for him or just the same old thing. I mean I don't know whether he split me worse, if I am being clear.

Diotima
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MindfulJavaJoe
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2011, 03:06:51 AM »

What I still can't wrap my head around is why, once they split and then we recycle that it has to get worse each time.

Personally after spending 21 years togehter I believe that we had reached a relative plateau of success. I was beging to enjoy lifes riches. Most people would be happy here. I was growing tired of always being asked to look after her, sort that neighbour out, not being included in social events because I was working or mind the kids.

As I became less willing and less able due to emotional, mental and physical exhaustion I became of less use to her. She still had her neediness and I was not longer willing to provide for her needs endlessly at the expense of my own. In some ways I began to assert my own identity (something I had not done for a long time) and I now see the way I communicated this to her may have felt invalidating to her. I knew nithing of BPD.

I became devalued as a consequence, painted black to her friends and family. She found one family memeber who was willing to listen and added fuel to the fire.

She could not bring her-self to break free despite the fact that she no longer valued me. She talked about trial separations & divorce. she could not bring herself to act. I was trying to fix our relationship. At this point her projections grew arms, hairs and legs. I became everything she hated about herself and her parents.

This is when the raging just grew out of control. When I would respond by taking a time-outs rathere than fighting back she decided to get me "out of the house" by whatever means she could. False accusations of DV was her solution to the problem. This and seeing the effects that her raging was having on the children was enough to make me leave.   

Idealised >> unable to keep up the demands of pwBPD >> devalued >> painted black>> rejected

Then there is the "why can't we just be friends".  "I miss you", "you were my best friend", "we were good for each other"

"we had a huge connection"

If you are recyled, since you are still unable to satify their needs or fill their emptiness then you will be rejected even quicker and more vigourously the next time. You no longer fit their "fantacy" of the perfect partner. 

Going back for me is not an option.

I would not go back to such an unhealthy relationship.

MJJ
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2011, 08:06:32 AM »

MJJ - this is probably the one thing that kept me in my relationship.  We recycled twice.  Each time before the breakup the fighting became so savage, and my BPD got violent which is apparently my boundary and I forced him to leave, changed the locks and thought I was done with him.  However, then the phone calls and the emails started.  He was so sorry, saw the error of his ways, would never happen again, blah, blah, blah but I bought it - even the second time around.  Each time there was a honeymoon period where I thought things would return to "normal" but in retrospect not much had changed except the raging/abuse was diminished for a period of time only to resurface even more viciously. 

I know now why I recycled.  My parents were emotional children - I was a caretaker for them and a much younger brother for all of my early years.  Being the caretaker is what is subconsciously comfortable to me.  Establishing boundaries and asking for my needs to be met does not come naturally to me.  My mother has some kind of PD I'm fairly sure and I was also used to push/pull and being painted black at times.  So my BPDbf's behavior didn't seem as crazy to me as it would to other people.  I was also freshly divorced when we met and feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed. I'm sure my own low self-esteem was also a factor which my BPDbf further eroded and eventually shattered.  For four years, I felt that if I only did more, met the never-ending demands, that things would be "normal" and certainly when my BPDbf was the center of attention and his needs were being met and exceeded - he could be a nice fellow.  However, like you, as I began to feel exhausted and depleted - he thought perhaps I wasn't validating him like before (without ever knowing how unreasonable his demands were) and the attacks increased at a time I was most unable to defend myself.  I ended up in crisis - depressed and riddled with anxiety attacks, probably PTSD and afraid to move on.  Therapy and this board helped but I still have periods of overwhelming emotions. 

MY BPDbf lives under the same roof.  Our lives are mainly separate but a few roots are still entangled.  I plan to sell my house in the spring market - get one that is more easily affordable in an area where I have always wanted to live and move on.  My BPD still exists in my life but his bag of tricks no longer emotionally effects me the way it used to.  Reading the lessons on this board over and over again has really helped me to understand ME and make myself stronger.  I realize my future happiness does not have anything to do with my BPDbf and it is only a way of getting stuck. 
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2011, 11:18:14 AM »

OB,

Excerpt
So my BPDbf's behavior didn't seem as crazy to me as it would to other people.

I think this is true for me too because of my early family dynamic. I knew my ex was doing some "out there" things, but I also thought that I could understand it and help the r/s. I didn't realize how serious an illness BPD is. My ex tapped into a lot of early childhood stuff for me and so felt "familiar." My mother had N traits... .too long to go into all the rest from family members!

MJJ, sounds like your assertion of your own needs changed the dynamic a lot and brought things to a head. I experienced that too the last time we broke up and I wouldn't take him back. I am not as far away from it yet and so still feel a lot of attachment and longing, despite knowing how bad this is. thank god for these boards and my T--my T had to tell me over and over again the same things so it would sink into my head!

Diotima
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2011, 11:20:10 PM »

Why does it get worse each go-around? Well, here's a theory:

You know how if an alcoholic quits for 1,5,10 years, and then goes back to drinking it is like he never quit, that the progressive nature of the disease picks up where it left off and then accelerates how it would have anyway?

I think it's the same thing. When you broke up the relationship had gotten to a certain point. When you got back together you are starting from THAT point forward so it is like a progressive disease, it gets worse if it isn't arrested. We make the mistake to think that because we're "starting again" that it is a clean slate to move forward from. Nope. You know each other and have a history and you can't erase that. Therefore you move from the point you left off at.

My opinion only... .

soodone
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2011, 12:38:06 AM »

SD: sounds like a good theory to me.

Diotima
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2011, 03:30:50 AM »

MJJ, sounds like your assertion of your own needs changed the dynamic a lot and brought things to a head. I experienced that too the last time we broke up and I wouldn't take him back. I am not as far away from it yet and so still feel a lot of attachment and longing, despite knowing how bad this is. thank god for these boards and my T--my T had to tell me over and over again the same things so it would sink into my head!

I think you are right. I was drawing a line in the sand, setting boundaries around the crazy behaviour and looking after myself for the first time in a long while. In many ways I was fighting for my sanity and my own survival. Putting my needs first for tbe first time in our r/s was new to both of us. I never stopped loving her and always saw us being together.

This provoke a strong negative reaction. Not knowing about BPD and how to communicate using the tools meant much if what I  did or said would have been invalidating to a pwBPD.


She reacted by distancing, painting me black, blaming and raging. I saw her do this to others in our 21 years together but never thought she would turn on me.

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« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2011, 04:48:16 AM »

This provoke a strong negative reaction. Not knowing about BPD and how to communicate using the tools meant much if what I  did or said would have been invalidating to a pwBPD. 

MJJ - I am not sure the tools here would have helped much.  My situation is very different - I lived with my BPDbf for 4+ years.  We were not married and didn't have kids together but he did sort of have a relationship with my youngest D and for that reason I was vested in trying to make it work.  In any case, my conclusion was that I simply don't have my needs met in the relationship, I am sick of being "mom" and I am tired of getting yelled at.  I was simply exhausted, depleted, depressed and overwhelmed never knowing what personality would greet me when I got home.

I am not sure, after a long pattern of marriage that you could have both reasserted your needs in a healthy way AND managed to placate your BPDw - those two things don't seem to go together.  Using the tools here might have made things easier or made them drag out but you would probably hav ended up in the same place.  Don't be too hard on yourself - I am not sure you could have saved things and maintained your own sanity.  I give you tremendous credit for lasting in the relationsip for so long. 
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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2011, 10:57:48 AM »

MJJ: how long have you been out of the r/s? I know you have said you would never go back to that situation. How long did it take you to detach? that must have been so hard after all those years.

Even I didn't think my ex would give me up (after 4 years), although to be fair it was me who wouldn't take him back and then of course he got involved with another woman immediately.

Horrible illness.

Diotima
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2011, 04:24:01 AM »

MJJ: how long have you been out of the r/s? I know you have said you would never go back to that situation. How long did it take you to detach? that must have been so hard after all those years.

I hit rock bottom 1 year ago. I know I could not go on and wanted out of the r/s. Up until this point I never doubted my love for her. I never doubted her love for me. I could see that we had problems but expected that these would sort themselves out. My uBPDw was resisting going to see a therapist. 

We had one session with a couples therapist in Oct. I have never seen my uBPDw so out if control. She shouted and raged at the therapist. It was all blame at me. Telling the therapist to tell me my behaviour was not acceptable. Called me violent but the when asked had no example of any instance where I was violent.

I was convinced unless she could get help all hope was lost. The therapist made some progress with her but my uBPDw blame and projections for me were too big. The therapist could not prevent things from going legal, her making false accusations of DV. Considered reporting me for child abuse to damage my reputation and standing in local community. Thankfully someone talked her out of that otherwise the children might be in care.

We agree to separate in Dec 2010 and I was forced to move out of the house in March or risk my children seeing me in a police cell for further false accusations of DV.


I have an amazing therapist who held me together as I was falling apart quite literally. I remember those sessions so well and the harrowed look my thrapist would have on her face as I would share my story. I came here around Feb2011. Read SWOE at that time. After 3-4 months I notice that my therpaist looked about 10-15 years younger. I now realise that this was because I has found my way out. The intesity of the grief I felt had subsided to a point where I could laugh and joke.

My recovery is not complete by a long way. I am still very sensitive to conflict including legal mind games. I try not to take these things personally but this is not easy. I refuse to let my uBPDw know that the mind games get at me. I rely on self reflection, being in touch with my core values. I think just finding ways to have "fun" e.g. with the children, friend or family are an excellent escape from the over intellectualising about my uBPDw that I can sometime slip into. This "fun" recharges my batteries feeds my emotional self  and reminds me what life is all about. I am lucky that I love and enjoy my work. 

I can see my uBPDw and see that part that I loved. She has some wonderful characteristics. I now see the pwBPD that I never understood. I can predict to some extent her patterns. I cannot love her anymore. I do not feel safe in her company. I do not trust her. I cannot help her. I wish her well. I hope she goes and finds a therapist and I hope for her sake and the sake of the children she recovers from BPD.

I have enjoyed getting to know myself better. I feel I have grown emotionally. Being with a pwBPD prevents us from growing emotionally too. Recognising that I had some growing to do in this area was a help too.

I am open to finding love again but not just yet. I want the dust to settle on our divorce papers before I even consider that.

This forum has been a huge part of my recovery. I now recognise the codependency that we had allowed to develop between us. I recognise the part I played and how it may have prevented her from growing. If I had held my boundaries earlier she would have gone to therapy earlier. Our relationship may have been a lot shorter. By getting caught up in FOG from very early it was hard to see my reality.

I do not have regrets I think dwelling on the past too much can be unhelpful. Reflecting rather than dwelling is much better.

I can still feel the pain of my grief. I was given the priceless advice here not to wallow in my grief but to lean into it from time to time.

I have learnt not to feel or react when I meet with my uBPDw.  She alternates from two extremes. Sometimes she is waif-like looking to see I am still connected and at others she acts out, pulls silly stunts just to provoke a response. I try to show the same me no matter how she acts. I stay calm and indifferent.

I think this r/s and the experience around it may always be a part of who I am. I try not to deny what happened to myself, I focus on the positives, I look after myself as best I can, I try to act and speak with integrity. As we have separated I know that I am not perfect and that I have made mistakes.

Reclaiming you life it a wonderful feeling. The ongoing conflict of divorce intrudes significantly from time to time.

Realising that I am not alone by spending time has been an essential part of keeping  myself grounded. Spending time with friends I can support my children and give them the tools of self confidence, setting boundaries, judging people based on their actions not their words and providing them a safe heaven on on when they are with me.

MJJ

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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2011, 10:02:55 AM »

Thanks for sharing that. I see that it really is fairly recent, and it is also complicated because of children and having to interact with her. I wish you the very best. 

Diotima
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2012, 12:41:24 AM »

In my case, after I left and we were apart, I continued to grow through recovery and therapy.  I would read the ten mistakes over and over and made real progress in moving on.  But I made the mistake, against everyone's advice including my T's, of contacted my ex with a goodbye letter, because I "understood" things better.  After I sent a letter explaining my feelings, she decided she wanted to us to go to back to counseling and think about a reconciliation. The topic of marriage was even discussed because things could be different now. But because she was in the first year of grad school, we decided to delay for 2 1//2 month until winter break.  But she said she had insurance through school and would schedule the appointment. 

Well winter break came and went with no contact from her.  Finally, I caved and wrote her in late January asking why no contact.  He explanation was she "just couldn't bring herself to do it."  Later she said she was stressed out.  So I said OK and good bye.  But of course she wanted to go back to counseling.  She scheduled an appointment for three weeks later.  But by the time we went, I realized she had just met only as a mechanism to alleviate her guilt.  She had already replaced me with someone else.  And the session topics became about me stalking her and why couldn't I accept that she just wants to move on.  She said that she was sorry about her behavior at times, which was a result of how I acted... .HUH?  She also parroted another counselor by saying that she wanted to learn to live her own pain.  But, I knew that she already had another guy waiting in the wings and this was just a way to have the therapist agree with her.  It was hard watching her seduce him in the middle of the session. I guess that why she choose him.  She's had six therapist since I've know her, and she's getting better and better at knowing which ones she can seduce. 

During the session, my favorite line that she kept repeating was, "I did my best" or "I tried my best for us."  Which makes no sense.  These claims about doing her "best" are just ways of avoiding the responsibility of self reflection and the need for change.  After all, how could I ask for more than her "best".   I wanted to scream if you had tried your best, why didn't you ever drag your brother into counseling with you and talk about how he and his friends would routinely molest you when they were sixteen and you were ten. And why is it that you two are still sexually suggestive with each other.  But I didn't.  I just cried through most of the session, because I could see that she had clearly "split" and had already discarded me like an old pair of shoes that were smelling stale.

Why so much detail.  Because I went backwards, relapsed and lost a year of therapy and spent four months waiting for her to respond and thinking that she was moving forward like me.  All because of a letter, a few emails, one phone call, and one hour of enablement therapy.   My obsessiveness is more severe.  My anger and resentment (at her and myself) is debilitating at times.  My pulse will race in the middle of the day, and my relapse has negatively affected my work and relationships with those people who can genuinely care for me.

I did not have a brief setback from the point of my recovery and moved forward from there.  I went to the place where I would have been if I had not left a year and half ago.  A much deeper and darker place.  It is not just a brief setback... .It's a relapse.  Writing that letter is similar to me inviting malignant cancer back into my life.

I see now that she has no capacity for true remorse for her actions.  Maybe regret, but no remorse for her transgressions.  She can't even handle the guilt of an obvious transgression, so her actions were never about amends to me, but just a means to justify her behavior.  My BPD ex in denial has limited capacity for remorse, empathy, altruism, or understanding personal responsibility toward others.   As a result, growth is not possible.  She simply went backward to a time and place where we never existed.  There is no way to ever see the light under those circumstances.

But the above are her issues.  I'm regrouping and trying to deal with the shame about the fact that I could be so deeply attached to a woman who clearly lacks the ability to love.  Why am I so damaged that I would devote so many years of my life to someone who had treated me in a manner that I couldn't even imagine doing to someone that I cared for.  So the healing has to come from within me.

My advice, is if there is any doubt, STAY AWAY.  BPD's in denial have survival techniques so deeply imbedded that it's not possible for them to see the light.  But also have compassion for your ex.  Seeing the light would require them to first see the dark place that they have had to hide to survive their childhood.  And if they do look at that place at a time when they are not ready and without proper guidance, the pain and reality of the nightmare could possibly kill them. So forgive, but do not forget the reality of the destruction inherent in almost any contact with your ex BPD. 

I was not a victim.  I was a volunteer, but the damage of the relapse is real.  SO STAY AWAY. Just for today.  One Day at a time.  One minute at a time.  Call a friend.  Go work out til you drop.  Go on another date, but STAY AWAY, because nothing has changed on the on the other end.
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2012, 02:13:45 AM »

Wow, Elies, that is such a moving story.  Recounting the actual impact of the limited contact you had has the effect of making me redouble my commitment to NC.  Thank you.  I understand ... .I thought nothing could feel worse than I felt after my ex initially ended our relationship so abruptly & morphed into a cold, irrational being I couldn't recognize as the person I loved.  But.  It did get worse after I saw him again two months later, we talked about the supposed issue he had pointed to in the breakup, he decided it wasn't a barrier, and he asked if we should try again.  I was open, I tried to discuss my real conditions (that he try to figure out what had happened & why it wouldn't just happen again ... .I knew nothing of BPD then, wasn't sure what the answer would be) -- and his responses immediately stopped making sense, he pulled away, and had another emotional cave-in.  A few weeks later he was cultivating a renewed connection to his ex-gf.

Somehow that second round was even more debilitating than the first.  I kept feeling like I should have handled it differently & it could have ended up OK; that by setting some standards for how I expected things to go, I drove him away.  Because a big part of me wanted to accept him on any terms, without any standards.

I've been strictly NC for the past 5 months; he has reached out a couple of times & I've reiterated warmly but clearly that I really need him not to contact me.  It's taking a ridiculously long time but I have made a lot of healing progress during those 5 months.  I can only imagine how awful it would be if we were in touch, all the while he is plunging back into a relationship with an ex, and I were trying to subtly get him to see the light, want me again, etc.

Thank you so much for sharing your story.  I bet you actually have made more progress than you can clearly see yourself right now.   I hope it starts to feel somewhat better very soon.
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« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2012, 04:34:29 PM »

The belief that they have seen the light got me a lot.  But true changes are shown through commitment and time.   That's the part that didn't stick.

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« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2012, 04:59:25 PM »

Never thought I would write this but- yup... .they don't change, even after ALL the promises to do so.   

Interestingly, my ex didn't promise ever to change. She was always demanding change in me. In fact, there was one incident - it was the second incident in which my younger son was privy to and I did not want him to see or experience it. The first time there was such an incident, it got so bad, even after my pleading with her to take it "private" and not in front of him (he was six years old at the time), she refused and it got to the point where I had to "get out of Dodge" as fast as I could for the sake of my son. At that point, we were living due to some circumstances "long distance" and I had traveled to see her. Getting out of Dodge meant a $250.00 cab fare for me to the airport.

The second time when she erupted in front of my son, again I tried to calm things down, and persuade her to discuss things in private and not in front of my son (at this point, we were living together).

Her response to me that second time was, "I'm not changing you know. I'm not changing."

I should have listened to her.

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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2012, 05:47:43 AM »

Actions always speak louder than words.

Comitment to therapy.

Appologising.

Accepting some responsibilty for actions.

Willingness to talk and discuss issues.

these are just some actions that might indicate someone was willing to change.
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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2012, 03:21:47 PM »

Actions always speak louder than words.

Comitment to therapy.

Appologising.

Accepting some responsibilty for actions.

Willingness to talk and discuss issues.

these are just some actions that might indicate someone was willing to change.

MJJ - this is a good list but I would add that the above items need to be sustained and not just a hook to keep the other person in the relationship.  As I was ending my relationship with my BPD, he offered to go to therapy (lasted 2 sessions), he did apologize for many things (although I doubt it was heartfelt) and he made more of an effort to listen to me which mostly meant at least staying still and hearing me although I am not sure he took anything in because he later referred to those times as the times I was yelling at him.  The weird thing is that I wasn't yelling.  I was frustrated with his behavior but I think he perceives any conversation that I have with him that isn't complimenting him as "yelling at him" so I don't take it personally.

At the end of a relationship, I think some BPDs will put in some temporary efforts to keep you on the hook.  It just goes to show that they do know what a healthy relationship should look like.  In my case, my BPD was unemployed and financially dependent on me so it was worth his time to try a few things to see if he could keep me going.  He even went on a job interview which is something he didn't do for 4 years.  But the reality is that, making temporary changes to try to keep the relationship going isn't nearly the same as "seeing the light" and owning even some of their own issues.

One of the things I learned is that my BPD eventually showed his true colors.  We recycled, things improved temporarily at times, but they always reverted back to the same dysfunctional cycle.
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2012, 07:12:52 AM »

Sounds like my ex gf/fiance in a nutshell... .This most recent time of splitting. She did that. She claimed she wanted nothing to do with me, and then that if I wanted us to work out that I would have to be upfront with my mom about her... .I was never upfront with my mom, because my mom didn't like her, for the pure fact that she had lead her parents to believe that I had thrown her down a flight of stairs... She and I talked one night, and I told her that I don't want to hear the next day that she regrets that we should never have talked and yada yada... .Next day, I got a txt msg from her saying that exact phrase... She regretted us talking,that it was a big mistake, and to never talk to her again. Then fast forward about six hours later, she was texting me again asking me what I was up to and then how she missed me and wanted to work things out. We worked things out for about a record four days, and then she disappeared without really giving me a valid reason as to why she was leaving. Its been over a month since she's been gone. She told even if things didn't work out for me and her that she would always love me somehow... .Im just wondering if its something I should be on guard about her getting back in touch with me even after an extended amount of time... .When she lead her parents to believe that I had thrown her down those flight of stairs. We didn't talk for two months and then I contacted her. Please tell me what the heck is possible to happen between me and her...

<MGL
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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2012, 06:36:41 AM »

MGL - I can really relate to the way you describe yourself.  I also was raised by a mother who never understood me or saw my point of view.  My guess is that she is NPD although I only recently realized this.  Being raised by someone who is self-centered means you have to develop huge amounts of empathy because you always have to predict what the other person is going to do - a lot like walking on eggshells.

I think, unfortunately, at least for me, too much of my empathy carries over into my interpersonal benefits.  I tend to make excuses for other people's bad behavior toward me even though they really don't deserve it. 

Having a lot of empathy is NOT a bad thing at all.  But, if it extends to the point where you are a door mat and you live your life trying to please other people at your own expense, then it becomes self-destructive.  Pretty much any personality trait, even good ones, need some kind of boundary and limit.  This doesn't make you a bad person at all.  Drawing boundaries is necessary to protect yourself. 

You can extend empathy to your ex.  You can understand why she did what she did.  However, it is ok to draw a boundary and say the relationship is over when she is involved in any way in filing false claims against you. 

I always had weak boundaries because of my upbringing although I didn't know it until recently.  Learning about and enforcing boundaries has been hard because the people in my life don't expect it so initially they pushed back.  But, in the last year since I have built these skills I realize now that I am getting so much more respect and kinder treatment from other people.  I've also had to let a couple of relationships go and that's ok.  They are being replaced by people who treat me better.

You are definitely not a bad person although many BPDs will tell you that you are if you draw a boundry.  They are wrong - not you.  And they are not the ones who should define what a healthy boundary is.
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