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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Author Topic: What facet of BPD has been the hardest to understand?  (Read 13989 times)
turtle
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« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2011, 05:09:53 PM »

But also, I will ever forget what it felt like to be in his arms ... .before the splitting began... .

WhiteDoe[/i][/color]

You will forget this... .in time.  I remember not wanting to forget it, but time marches on and you do.  You forget it because it was not real and because the bad soo outweighs any good.  

I remember thinking I would never forget that, but I have... .and I'm glad.  The thought of being in the arms of my abuser makes me cringe now.

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« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2011, 05:19:28 PM »

As other people said, her sense of entitlement confused me the most.  The fact that they can just speak with what sounds like total, unwavering certainty while saying HORRIBLE things to people they claim to love.  The fact that they feel no genuine remorse for ANYTHING, and anytime they even seem to feel remorse, it's just another manipulation tactic.  I hate it.
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« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2011, 05:54:22 PM »

The utter absence of logical thinking about important issues manifests in so many ways that... .I don't think I can really get into all of them. Or want to. But here's one example that came up recently.

My uBPDGF is a fairly low enlisted rank in the Air Force, so she makes relatively little money. She's also thousands of dollars in debt (and owes me almost a thousand bucks too, but I've given up on ever seeing that). She currently lives with some friends, and pays very low rent of $300/month.

She insists on moving out of this place, because she believes that living with these friends is driving them apart (it probably is, but some might argue that's going to happen anyway). So... .she starts looking at places that are $600-$700. Without utilities. And then she sees some that are $900/month without utilities, and starts telling me that she thinks the extra money is "WORTH IT". I try to explain that it doesn't matter if extra cost is "worth it" if it's money you don't have, but it falls on deaf ears.

But here's the real kicker. She tells me two days ago that she intends to sign up with a personal trainer. For $50 a session (25-45 minutes). Three times a week. Minimum 12 week commitment. I'll do the math for you: that's $600/month, for a total of $1800. To have some guy "motivate her" to work out. When she has free gym services on the base, and probably even free training advice if she seeks it out. I explain until I'm blue in the face that it's a horrible idea to spend that kind of money on an absolute luxury when she can barely cover her bills RIGHT NOW, and has substantial expenses coming up in the future. She insists that it's an important investment in herself, and that it's a great deal because "he normally charges $65-$120 per session". We have a giant fight over it. She signs up for it anyway. She only makes $2300/month, and she goes and commits a quarter of that to a personal trainer for three months. And ostensibly will be opting to commit some $1000/month to an apartment and utilities. Leaving some $700/month for everything else in her life, like gas, insurance, a cell phone, debt payments, food, and miscellaneous purchases (and she makes some really dumbsht purchases).

This is a girl who whines frequently that she can't afford to be with me, because she can't afford the gas for the 12 mile drive to my place and back, and can't afford to go out (I pay for everything anyway). Money has been a serious issue for us, because she feels obligated to pay for things (but doesn't anyway). And now, the DAY AFTER her first session, I ask if she wants to go grab dinner, and she's ALREADY pulling the line that she doesn't want to because she can't afford it, she just wants to go sit on the beach with me. It's just... .completely unbelievable.

She also seems to be under the impression that I should be punished because I don't want to move in with her. Why should I want to involve myself in a slow motion trainwreck?
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« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2011, 05:59:30 PM »

The utter absence of logical thinking about important issues manifests in so many ways that... .

this is a good one too - the fact that a pwBPD feelings are FACTS rather than facts are facts.

My ex is one of the top statisticians in the country - yet FEELINGS ruled decisions that really should be fact based.

During the hardest of the breakup phase, I sometimes think we get a taste of that when our own feelings are so strong and we struggle for the logic of it all - I couldn't imagine living like that all of the time; it would be exhausting.
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« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2011, 06:00:19 PM »

But also, I will ever forget what it felt like to be in his arms ... .before the splitting began... .

WhiteDoe[/i][/color]

You will forget this... .in time.  I remember not wanting to forget it, but time marches on and you do.  You forget it because it was not real and because the bad soo outweighs any good.  

I remember thinking I would never forget that, but I have... .and I'm glad.  The thought of being in the arms of my abuser makes me cringe now.

This makes me feel a bit better, I need that reassurance that these feelings will eventually pass. I'm in the same place as WhiteDoe... .sometimes I just have the strongest urge to want to be near him... .I still miss the way he held me tremendously. But I also know that as times got worse, even those good times were just not worth trudging through the bad, especially when the bad times became more frequent than the good. Hopefully I can be in the same place as you, Turtle, where I don't feel so hurt and empty and confused anymore.

As for how knowing this is a mental illness is helping me, it just allows me to step back and not take everything he said so personally and I am just trying to understand his thought process. At the same time, it still causes me a lot of pain to know that his love wasn't quite the same as mine... .if you could call what they do love at all.
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« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2011, 06:07:19 PM »

Yup: no truly rational responses to things and my ex is a philosopher!

Maybe it was my bad but I just read some old emails from earlier this year to set myself straight: he was attacking me while my mother was dying. It is true that I was telling him I didn't want the r/s any more because his behavior had caused me too much pain (other women in the midst of this), but ZERO EMPATHY. Those emails are useful I guess for reminding myself that, as one of my T friends said, "you just escaped a hand grenade." Then she upped the ante: "plutonium bomb." For some reason I got a little sad today and needed a reminder. He should have cut me some slack given my mother's death and he shouldn't have been off with other women. NO!

Can't wrap my head around ANY of it other than to say that it is madness.

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« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2011, 06:15:17 PM »

Yup: no truly rational responses to things and my ex is a philosopher!

Maybe it was my bad but I just read some old emails from earlier this year to set myself straight: he was attacking me while my mother was dying. It is true that I was telling him I didn't want the r/s any more because his behavior had caused me too much pain (other women in the midst of this), but ZERO EMPATHY. Those emails are useful I guess for reminding myself that, as one of my T friends said, "you just escaped a hand grenade." Then she upped the ante: "plutonium bomb." For some reason I got a little sad today and needed a reminder. He should have cut me some slack given my mother's death and he shouldn't have been off with other women. NO!

Can't wrap my head around ANY of it other than to say that it is madness.

Diotima

logically, I am sure you have deduced your mothers death triggered his fear of abandonment; that fact doesn't take away your pain - I am highly aware.

the fact of the disorder - fear of abandonment/engulfment can trigger such horrid behavior. 
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« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2011, 06:24:05 PM »

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

This blew my mind! To consider that the whole thing has been a facade, an act, whatever... .has absolutely made me crazy! I felt so used! So toyed with! So played! And so foolish! How could I have been so naive? How could I have just believed him? In him? But it felt so real!

This goes along with the Jekyll/Hyde issue. To finally have to accept that the Mr Hyde persona IS the real him, and that Dr Jekyll was just the act all along, was a very bitter pill to swallow! Heart wrenching! Shocking! I still have to talk myself thru this at times. Its like a nightmare... .surreal! Something you'd only expect to see in the movies!
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« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2011, 06:33:30 PM »

Seeking Balance: I think the reason my mother's death triggered his fear of abandonment was because almost all my attention was on my mother (hence he needed new women). However, this is complicated because HIS BPD mother had died five months earlier and he seemed oblivious to it--other than collecting an inheritance (and he needed new women to avoid dealing with his feelings). So I think both mothers dying around the same time were triggers but for different reasons. But I am dumbfounded (again) by reading those emails. Not ONE word about me and what I might be going through. It is enough to reinforce my decision--also in the emails are my statements about how I couldn't continue with him and I repeated the reasons why several times and he never acknowledged them (i.e., massive mood shifts and running off with other women--no trust). All he could say is that I wasn't romantic enough and he wanted more of me, etc. Too bad.

thanks for your message.

Diotima
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« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2011, 06:34:47 PM »

Two things are difficult for me. The lack of closure and their inability to see grey.

At 4 weeks NC there is no closure and I doubt he will ever contact me again. At least with most relationships that fail you can discuss what went wrong etc. I'll never get that because he hates me.

So many hours were spent discussing issues and my "side" was completely overlooked or didn't matter at all. They don't understand fair.
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« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2011, 06:59:09 PM »

I agree with Rez - B & W thinking - I even used this term before I realised about BPD.

Also the biggest for me was the self entitlement which I am guessing is probably more NPD. He felt extremely entitled to my money - in every sense of the word. Just posted on another thread and the list is endless.

He wanted a reward or benefit for everything - the neediness/self entitlement was ENDLESS! 
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« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2011, 07:22:38 PM »

But also, I will ever forget what it felt like to be in his arms ... .before the splitting began... .

WhiteDoe[/i][/color]

You will forget this... .in time.  I remember not wanting to forget it, but time marches on and you do.  You forget it because it was not real and because the bad soo outweighs any good.  

I remember thinking I would never forget that, but I have... .and I'm glad.  The thought of being in the arms of my abuser makes me cringe now.

This makes me feel a bit better, I need that reassurance that these feelings will eventually pass. I'm in the same place as WhiteDoe... .sometimes I just have the strongest urge to want to be near him... .I still miss the way he held me tremendously. But I also know that as times got worse, even those good times were just not worth trudging through the bad, especially when the bad times became more frequent than the good. Hopefully I can be in the same place as you, Turtle, where I don't feel so hurt and empty and confused anymore.

As for how knowing this is a mental illness is helping me, it just allows me to step back and not take everything he said so personally and I am just trying to understand his thought process. At the same time, it still causes me a lot of pain to know that his love wasn't quite the same as mine... .if you could call what they do love at all.

Yes, thank you Turtle... .I need this reassurance as well... .

And RedLightAnkle, thank you for the validation here... .I still "ache" over all of this but like you, I do find that knowing that he is seriously mentally ill does help... .

And yes, thinking that all the "love" he poured into me was not "real" or at least not in any healthy meaninful way, is devastating to accept... .But we must radically accept this in order to heal and move forward... .

WhiteDoe
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« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2011, 07:27:02 PM »

Engulfment-triggered splitting... .every single good time was followed by a horrible, abusive panic attack. I started thinking there was no point in trying to enjoy life with her. Oh, and abandonment-triggered splitting... .every single time I took time alone to work on something... .horrible abusive panic attack.

The thing that helped was realizing that I'd been exhibiting classic codependent behaviors and taking responsibility for tolerating her behavior.

Understanding the disorder didn't help that much, as I quickly realized (and she confirmed) that, even though the panic was involuntary, the abuse was mostly voluntary, just the easiest distraction from her pain.

Pain is... .some of her love is real.

--Argyle
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« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2011, 07:31:27 PM »

BAIT AND SWITCH

I have a hard time coming to terms with allowing myself "in" another person's world and building trust only to be completely ignored, rejected, and betrayed. Putting forth four years of hard work and only being met with stubbornness, defiance, and resistance all the way.

Feeling as though I had an adversary, not a partner.
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« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2011, 08:16:28 PM »

Great comments all.

Next question then - how does the fact of the illness help you to heal?

For me, it really has let me just "radically accept" this aspect of the disorder.  In doing so, I was able to detach & depersonalize.  This led me to grieve the loss of the actual relationship (my version of it), but not feel so victimized by the actions.

Do others find this true too?

I guess it helps me heal in the fact that it was not something that was personally directed at me. It was all in his head. No matter who he is with he will act the same way.

BPD is like a computer infected with a virus- whoever sits in front of it it's just not going to work right.
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« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2011, 08:44:47 PM »

Omg, that's what it is... ."bait and switch!"

I recall sending him a text telling him I felt betrayed because of all the promises he made to me and who he was at the beginning of the relationship wasn't who he was near the end.

Classic!


BAIT AND SWITCH

I have a hard time coming to terms with allowing myself "in" another person's world and building trust only to be completely ignored, rejected, and betrayed. Putting forth four years of hard work and only being met with stubbornness, defiance, and resistance all the way.

Feeling as though I had an adversary, not a partner.

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« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2011, 08:50:15 PM »

 Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) bait and switch is the term I've been using. 
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« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2011, 09:06:27 PM »

LACK OF EMPATHY- from someone who needed it constatntly but never reciprocated, and the INABILITY to accept love, which he claimed he desperately needed, and also never reciprocated.   I just gave up ?
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« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2011, 09:09:19 PM »

im still learning about all of this... .but for me its the splitting! i cant understand how he loves and wants to marry me and then 2 days later kicks me outta the house... .this has happened a few times, you woulda thought i would have gotten the picture alot earlier:S
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« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2011, 09:14:05 PM »

Hmmm, I think what bothers me the most is that we can't even have an adult conversation now. Here's someone who thought I was so wonderful, planned a future with me, let her baby call me "daddy", and then suddenly without much explanation I'm completely out of the picture. We spent 4-5 nights a week together. She was always telling me "We always talk about everything... .I'll never let you go... .Every time we hang out it's like a fun date... .I love doing stuff with you" When was I supposed to think I didn't "get her" (as she says? As time goes by I realize how the relationship wasn't as rosy as I thought and that I dodged a bullet. She was hiding her feelings from me. The disastrous end was who she really was. As non-disordered humans we're programmed to bond and to love babies. Intellectually I understand a lot of the disorder, but the depression that comes with the perception of losing a family runs deep.

I guess the hardest part for me to get around then is the splitting. If we could come to a meeting of the minds about the ending of the r/s then I think I'd be able to move on. I dated a girl for about 5 months earlier this year and I haven't had the second thought about her. We just didn't have the chemistry and we were both up front with each other. However, I often felt that gnawing in my stomach when my ex and I were still together and I ignored it. Somehow I never thought I'd be the victim of her splitting. I always knew somehow that she wasn't quite the adult I thought she was given that she had a baby and was married twice (at 24 y/o... .another red flag I ignored... .OUCH! OUCH!)
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« Reply #50 on: September 07, 2011, 09:23:50 PM »

Did it actually happen? Was it all real? Was it that bad?
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« Reply #51 on: September 07, 2011, 09:37:45 PM »

LACK OF EMPATHY- from someone who needed it constatntly but never reciprocated, and the INABILITY to accept love, which he claimed he desperately needed, and also never reciprocated.   I just gave up ?

Absolutely right, backontop... .I have never in all my 52 year seen another human being who was so utterly "clueless" in terms of having any sensitivity and/or ability to "take another person in"... .to "understand" where another person "lives"... .to "empathize"... .My beloved BPD/NPDex was completely void of empathy. It was so confusing to me... .

How could anyone, much less someone who "loved" you be so totally insensitive to your feelings? I still "ache inside" when I think of some of "unfiltered" insensitive remarks that he made to me. I honestly don't think he ever said these cruel things intending to hurt me as they truly did... .But rather, he was was mentally "off" and didn't "understand" that he was "inappropriate". He never apologized for hurting my feelings when he made me cry... .He was simply "missing something upstairs"? Yes, lack of empathy is a very difficult thing for me to get my head around?

I am so very different inside... .and I am so grateful to be "me"... .Maybe I care "too much" at times but, to live a life lacking empathy and the capacity for love would be a truly miserable life. As hurt as I've been by the horrific emotional abuse in my BPD/NPD relationship, I'd rather be "me"... .a non with a chance for finding authentic love.

I cannot ever have anything less than compassion for my beloved BPD/NPDex, however. I cannot begin to realize the living hell that he experiences deep inside his BPD/NPD mind... .God, how I wish I could help him... .I would give anything in this world to help him... .But, I have to help "me" now. I need to heal and move on while praying for him and loving him from afar... .After all, as I've said so many times before, he is, without question, a beautiful man trapped inside a serious mental illness... .

WhiteDoe
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« Reply #52 on: September 07, 2011, 09:51:54 PM »

More on Bait and Switch-

In fact, what I find interesting is that it seemed like the whole relationship was a "big tease."

Zillions of promises evaporating into thin air.

As many promises to improve our situation were also completely abandoned after a fitful start:

"I'll go to therapy. I want to work on the relationship. I'll go to 12 step meetings. I will stop acting out sexually. I'll get ADHD meds. I'll have my sleep apnea checked out. I'll (fill in blank... .)"

Oodles of times I was made to think something racy was going to happen that day or during a vacation and the only passionate thing that would transpire was a fight.

The relationship starting off incredibly romantic and close, physically intimate, and then withering away into bitterness and distrust and physical distance.

He'd get me hot and bothered then get up and say "we'll resume later" and nothing would happen later. Or he'd tease me until it was obvious I was interested and then say "Let's get tacos."

So one morning I got him all worked up and suddenly stopped, got up, and said I was going to go grocery shopping and I did. I did explain that what he had just experienced is what he had been doing for some time now. The teasing stopped after that... .

So did everything else... .Guess he showed me!

(Interestingly he himself liked fantasy in which he was being teased... .strip bars etc... .)
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« Reply #53 on: September 07, 2011, 10:36:35 PM »

I can't make up my mind which of the following three:

1. Empathy - this encounter absolutely blew my mind.  I am no longer able to carry a child, as I

    will miscarry.  Was pretty sure this happened and waited to tell him in person.  After I did, he

    said, "Are you done talking now?  Can we watch TV?"  This is when I knew something was

    VERY wrong with this man.

2. Lying/manipulation - I am unsure at this point what was true, and what he told me to get the

    outcome he wanted.  When I didn't respond the way he planned I would, first shock, and then

    rage; I didn't play the game right...

3. Crazy creepy stalking like behavior - feel like now that we're done, I'm in some horror movie.  I

    know his schedule - when he goes to bed, when he eats dinner; he is very ritualistic.  I get

    wierd hang up calls on my cell phone from the same number since we split up.  They are always

    at these times from the same number, on his days off.  I tried to find out who this number is     

    but can't.  You have to watch who you tell this stuff to, because YOU start looking like the       

    crazy one! Smiling (click to insert in post)


     

 
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« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2011, 10:39:37 PM »

How could anyone, much less someone who "loved" you be so totally insensitive to your feelings?

Upon learning of BPD, this is the part that frightened me, sent chills down my spine. The whole lack of empathy thing, with regard to my H, is along the lines of sociopathic. This chills me both for myself, and for our children! How could I have overlooked this/ let this slide?
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« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2011, 09:17:02 AM »

I'm not sure this is a FACT about BPD that is stated anywhere, but the hardest thing for me to come to terms with in my 18+ years of marriage to uBPDw is how she has been able to turn my virtues into faults and strengths into weakneses. What I mean is that the good things I had worked hard during my life to develop within myelf - like loving deeply, loyality, honesty, compassion, generosity, endurance during trials, etc. - have been the very things she has used as pathways to abuse me with her disorder.

Hatred is returned for love; the greater the love the greater the hatred. Deceit is returned for honesty. Hostility is returned compassion. Greed for generosity, accusation for support, betrayal for loyality, and on.

So, the result has been that virtues and strengths, which in normal circumstances would benefit both parties in the relationship, were turned into the very opposite in her perceptions, as if they were odious vices and weaknesses. And she acted on those perceptions just as if they were fact.

Who really can wrap their mind around something like that? It is the universe inverted.
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« Reply #56 on: September 08, 2011, 09:50:48 AM »

As I have mentioned also, the lack of empathy is mind-boggling. Once he actually told me that if I got cancer and had to lose my hair in chemo, he might break up with me because he loves my hair (this was after the honeymoon phase of course... .when we were really good once he told me he would be the first to shave his head with me if that were to happen - total turn around). I also asked him if he would help me and take care of me if I got sick with like flu or something. He replied, "I would stay the hell away from you until you got better." This after he got strep throat once the summer before and I was willing to stay by him all night if he had wanted me to, except he sent me home (this incident he didn't remember just 9 months later... .I'm pretty sure he chose to forget it).

And he likes to say he can feel other people's pain and suffering more than most people... .HA, what a joke. The fact that he led me to believe I could come to him when I was hurt or scared or anxious and that he would support me, then when I did just turned around and told me to "stop complaining", it hurt.
Hatred is returned for love; the greater the love the greater the hatred. Deceit is returned for honesty. Hostility is returned compassion. Greed for generosity, accusation for support, betrayal for loyality, and on.

So, the result has been that virtues and strengths, which in normal circumstances would benefit both parties in the relationship, were turned into the very opposite in her perceptions, as if they were odious vices and weaknesses. And she acted on those perceptions just as if they were fact.

Who really can wrap their mind around something like that? It is the universe inverted.

Fish, I can relate to this too. The qualities that he apparently loved about me in the first place became fodder for him to mock and ridicule me. He loved that I had my own opinion - yet when I disagreed with him I wasn't "listening" to him or he would manipulate me into either feeling bad or stupid about my opinion or making me change it altogether. He loved how kind I was, but later told me I let people walk all over and I've become "everyone's little puppet." He thought I was "funny" - I'm rather quirky and a bit child-like sometimes, but can also be sarcastic. He used to love it, but then it turned into "simple-mindedness" or that I was being mean to him when I was sarcastic. He thought I was a good actress and admired it - then questioned it later and insulted me about it. Everything he loved became everything he hated... .it was terribly confusing.
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« Reply #57 on: September 08, 2011, 09:54:49 AM »

I'm not sure this is a FACT about BPD that is stated anywhere, but the hardest thing for me to come to terms with in my 18+ years of marriage to uBPDw is how she has been able to turn my virtues into faults and strengths into weakneses. What I mean is that the good things I had worked hard during my life to develop within myelf - like loving deeply, loyality, honesty, compassion, generosity, endurance during trials, etc. - have been the very things she has used as pathways to abuse me with her disorder.

mine did this too - I think where it falls into the parameters of the disorder is where a pwBPD Feelings are facts, not facts.

Prefacing this with it being an archaic explanation - let's say BPD it triggered by a perceived abandonment (you are going on a work trip).  You say you will call as soon as you are in (because you value respect of your word in yourself)... .well, the flight was delayed and your cell phone dead - so you call about 3 hours late.  At this point, the BPD brain knows your core value is respecting your word - so to hurt you most - project all their pain onto you - it will be used against you.  "Fish, you cannot be trusted with your word whatsoever.  You play by your own set of rules."

in this scenerio we get, splitting, projection and recreating facts to match the feelings - all BPD traits.

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Faith does not grow in the house of certainty - The Shack
newlife3
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« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2011, 10:29:35 AM »

 Hi Fish & SB:

Your posts highlight the core issues! They are unable to trust, act in blaming, abusive ways and want their partners to be responsible for all of their pain so are constantly projecting... At the end I was devastated at being accused of being abusive, untrustworthy & "never being supportive" of him... All my values, strengths of being trustworthy, being there for him unconditionally were used against me... As he was accusing me of being untrustworthy, he denied having an affair... Of course he was... The whole replacement thing...

Radical acceptance was the only way to go... It is what it is... .a chronic mental illness...
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atwitsend
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« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2011, 02:56:44 PM »

Excerpt
The thing that used to boggle my mind was how he could be so enraged at me (practically frothing at the mouth) and answer the phone and engage in a happy "slap on the back" conversation.  I finally think I figured out it was another way to devalue me and to prop himself up.  This used to infuriate me like would not believe.  Oh Gosh, getting a stiff neck again just thinking about it."—Munchxo

"I have the same experience with my wife.  She just cannot be content with anything. In fact, you can bet money if things are going good, she will create a drama to stop it.

I’ve also experienced my wife raging and literally foaming at the mouth, spittle flying.  The phone will ring and she will answer it all honey and sweet, joking with the person on the other end.

OMG--Mine did the same exact thing. To be honest, for the longest time, I didn't think it to be a BPD symptom. Just thought she had amazing self-control cause when I get pissed, I'm typically in a bad mood with everyone for at least a couple of minutes.

I asked her about it several times: "How in the hell can you be screaming at me a minute ago and be all nice and sweet with X a few seconds later.

Her response? "Well, I'm not pissed at X"
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