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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: What facet of BPD has been the hardest to understand?  (Read 13990 times)
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« Reply #60 on: September 08, 2011, 05:18:51 PM »

That I was so replaceable... ."insert person here" (arrow pointing at empty spot next to BPD person) syndrome.
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« Reply #61 on: September 09, 2011, 12:49:36 AM »

Yes, SD, the replaceable stuff. I don't think I have wrapped my head around that one yet, despite what I know about object relations, etc. That one HURT like hell... .has a half life like plutonium. I am over a fair amount of stuff but that one lingers... .

Diotima
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« Reply #62 on: September 09, 2011, 01:22:12 AM »

I cannot comprehend for the life of me how they can twist words/phrases/things said that could even be COMPLIMENTS into something bad against them (ex. saying i'm proud of her for something and she says i'm patronizing her)... .and how they can reconstruct reality of what happened to justify their emotions and fully believe it!

As my mom says "it boggles my mind!"
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« Reply #63 on: September 09, 2011, 01:28:54 AM »

T2: yeah, that does boggle the mind and is crazy making. You do or say something nice out of love... .it probably triggered abandonment fears because it was intimate. Terrible rejection for us, who are trying to be intimate with them. So happy not to have that in my life right now.

Diotima
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« Reply #64 on: September 09, 2011, 10:52:41 AM »

Tough question to answer.  There are too many 'facts' that my head can't get around. 

From the list, I'd say "Belief that your BPD partner feels the same way that you feel".  I've come to realize that my ex may have never felt the same way as me, ever, nor is she probably even capable of feeling the way I felt.  My ex lives in a fantasy world, constantly trying to stay on that "high".  I was merely a replaceable figure who holds no real substance.  Remove Why Why Why and replace me with Who Who Who or What What What... .it doesn't matter to my ex so long as there's someone else there she will turn it all into the same fantasy dream world.

My ex is phenomenal at mirroring, and since I read her emails for a short period after the break-up I can attest to this 100%!  She will mirror exactly what the guy says and does.  That's part of her skillset and survival mechanism.  I think that's another 'fact' that is difficult for my head to get around... .their chameleon-like abilities to blend in only to engulf, entrap, and devour you.  But none of it is truly genuine, it's merely for survival.

Another thing I find fascinating is her script.  My ex uses the SAME lines, the SAME story, the SAME strategy with each guy.  It's almost like she has a script that she follows and so the story unfolds exactly the same each and every time.  She'll tailor the story to fit that particular guy in her life, but the overall plot and storyline remain the same.
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« Reply #65 on: September 09, 2011, 11:12:41 AM »

That I was so replaceable... ."insert person here" (arrow pointing at empty spot next to BPD person) syndrome.

good one - that idealization phase made me believe that I really was the "one".  Call it vulnerable narcissism or saviour complex on my part (whichever) - but,  it was shocking to be replaced so easily!
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« Reply #66 on: September 09, 2011, 12:21:20 PM »

That I was so replaceable... ."insert person here" (arrow pointing at empty spot next to BPD person) syndrome.

good one - that idealization phase made me believe that I really was the "one".  Call it vulnerable narcissism or saviour complex on my part (whichever) - but,  it was shocking to be replaced so easily!

Yes, this was soo deeply hurtful to me also. And I wasnt even replaced by a person! How does one wrap their brain around that? For me it was "insert computer porn here". I was replaced by an inanimate object! That's one way to avoid intimacy, for sure!
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« Reply #67 on: September 09, 2011, 01:31:52 PM »

I may be stretching the original question a bit, but the hardest part for me was realizing that I was seriously ill, that I was 'crazy' in a way, because only someone very troubled would stay in a relationship with a person who treats you the way my uBPDexgf did.

Everything that has been said here is completely valid, and I can see all the pain everyone here has been through because of these things.  And For some reason, the realization that no one had done this to me but myself was the hardest.  I had been blaming, denying, and repressing for so long - when this fact hit me, it hit me hard and sent me spiralling downhill for a while.

'But what does that say about me? / A couple bandages, and knuckle sandwiches. / What does that say about ME? I just don't know. / Without sunshine and rain, the grass won't grow' - buck 65
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« Reply #68 on: September 09, 2011, 03:27:09 PM »

The pwBPD in my life suffers from a low self worth but masks it with a sense of entitlement and power. She also has a complete lack of boundaries. So it's not unusual for her to act inappropriately in any given setting. (I've bolded up the two "facts" that I struggle with the most)

~DG

I am in the undecided section but also felt the need to post here after seeing the discussion thread.

My pwBPD *18 year marriage -- refuses to respect my boundaries in regards to our separation - I agree to meet with him yesterday in a public place to talk with him to try to process what happened just before I moved out and told him that I wanted a separation (over the phone when he called from jail wanting me to bail him out -- it was safer to just leave). He also has a complete sense of entitlement (e.g. let's get a motel room if you won't come home; I need to held and touched) or you can come home and we'll work it out there -- I'll sleep in another room. I know he just wants control and he is paranoid and mistrusting when I am not with him. But I stood my ground. He listened to me, but he was so defensive and kept saying "can't we just give it a break and go eat and have some fun. Can't we just go to a hotel; we deserve some time when we are not thinking about this".  I said no, and no, and no, but he kept asking, so I left... .came home feeling like nothing was really accomplished.

This is his email to me this morning before I blocked all communication:

"We have a life, together. I am so sorry that night got out of hand, and I am bearing the brunt of it. A wife and a husband should take care of each other first; if we do not, we can't help anyone else.  No, things are not always perfect ;that is  is what it is to be human. We have built a very enviable life, not something false."

I am struggling with the false belief that "love will prevail" -- after talking to him yesterday, I can see that all  he wants is a quick fix, and he really thinks love will solve everything, and I guess I used to believe that, but now I struggle with the faith that any therapy will help at all. In 18 years nothing has changed, so why do I continue to hold on to the belief it will?

"BPD mood swings and cycles may have you conditioned to think that, even after a bad period, you can return to the "idealization". Your BPD partner may believe this too. A more realistic representation of your relationship is the one you have recently experienced."  I told him that we cannot move forward without facing head on what happened on the weekend of July 4.  I am still undecided about the marriage, but I am not undecided about leaving and having a separation with no contact except in a therapist's office (not marriage counseling, but a  meeting with a therapist who treats couples in a marriage with a pwBPD and bipolar). And if I see the same type of denial and lying... .that is it. No more.


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« Reply #69 on: September 10, 2011, 08:45:23 AM »

I may be stretching the original question a bit, but the hardest part for me was realizing that I was seriously ill, that I was 'crazy' in a way, because only someone very troubled would stay in a relationship with a person who treats you the way my uBPDexgf did.

Everything that has been said here is completely valid, and I can see all the pain everyone here has been through because of these things.  And For some reason, the realization that no one had done this to me but myself was the hardest.  I had been blaming, denying, and repressing for so long - when this fact hit me, it hit me hard and sent me spiralling downhill for a while.

'But what does that say about me? / A couple bandages, and knuckle sandwiches. / What does that say about ME? I just don't know. / Without sunshine and rain, the grass won't grow' - buck 65

This is so true and yes... .it was a fact that I grappled with for a long time.  And... .it was the thing that sent me into clinical depression.  All of crazyx's abuse was horrible, but why I tolerated it even ONE time still haunts me.

turtle

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« Reply #70 on: September 10, 2011, 10:26:03 AM »

Turtle, yes, we tolerated abuse--but only after we had been hooked and in love. The abuse at first seemed like a strange aberration and not the "real" person. It didn't make sense. So we are like the frog in the sauce pan and the heat of the water is gradually turned up. I'll bet we won't do it again! We will know the Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) . My T's comment at the end was to that effect.

Diotima
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« Reply #71 on: September 10, 2011, 11:21:57 AM »

Turtle, yes, we tolerated abuse--but only after we had been hooked and in love. The abuse at first seemed like a strange aberration and not the "real" person. It didn't make sense. So we are like the frog in the sauce pan and the heat of the water is gradually turned up. I'll bet we won't do it again! We will know the  |>. My T's comment at the end was to that effect.

Diotima

I agree about the frog in the sauce pan.  I totally get that no one delivers full blown crazy to your door and you let them in and say "oh, yes... .I'll have THAT."  I can accept the frog in the sauce pan theory for all the verbal abuse that occurred prior to the physical abuse.  I'm not proud that I let him verbally abuse me, but I can see how that happened -- how it was, as you say, an "abberation" and didn't make sense.  What I do not accept, however, is why I didn't get rid of him after he shoved me that very first time.  How could I think so little of myself that I would keep him around after that?  If I had loved myself enough to get rid of him after that first shove, the horrific events (which escalated to horrible proportions) that followed would never have happened.  I'm not making excuses for him.  He's a criminal and belongs in prison. However... .I had checked out of my own life and put my well being in the hands of that criminal. That's on ME.

turtle

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« Reply #72 on: September 10, 2011, 11:35:48 AM »

The '3 year old in an adult body' thing. How someone could be so intelligent in one aspect, and so utterly clueless in another. Still hard to wrap my head around.
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« Reply #73 on: September 10, 2011, 11:48:59 AM »

Wow, great thread SB!

For me it is the complete lack of guilt for bad behaviour.

I know that BP act certain ways because they have overwhelming feelings to do so. But even afterwards, there appears to be no guilt, only righteous justification for their behaviour. Even when mine admitted she was wrong, it was entirely to leverage her position eg. I apologised, you need to forget it and move on (wow, you are nice aren't you... )

Mine even faked feeling bad about stuff, but when pressured, she showed she didnt at all.

I cant get my head around it because i thought that all humans had an innate sense of caring for others and would feel something.

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« Reply #74 on: September 10, 2011, 12:03:54 PM »

Hmm, I posted something and it didn't post--must have come in simultaneously with westgate.  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Turtle, I think I didn't realize the extent of  your ex's physical abuse. I didn't think you were excusing him at all--and there is no excuse for his behavior. I just hope in your searching yourself for why you allowed it to go on that you are not being punitive with regard to yourself. I think asking those questions about ourselves is part of healing childhood wounds and BPDs seems to have an unerring sense of where to aim the abuse, although it is probably just a by-product of their illness.

jhan: the three-year-old (or less) in the adult body is definitely difficult to wrap the old head around!

Diotima
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« Reply #75 on: September 10, 2011, 02:47:35 PM »

How the illness becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. How, because of their illness, they push away the ones giving them the only true thing they crave and never had themselves: love. Thats the real tragedy of BPD IMO.

It is a if she was inexorably on a path to become everything she feared and hated in her parents. She became the worst of both then blamed me for having those traits so she could reject me.

I could not get my head around what had happened. How did this vulnerable person who dependend on me for so much suddenly get the strenght to reject me.

My wife ultimately was programmed to self distruct everything she and I had ever achieved. She did this in the name of achieving her own freedom and happiness. She is not happy and she still will not let go of me. So far she has failed in these two Goals.

But... .

The hardest thing for me to accept when I first figured it out is that she never loved me and I never saw that she never loved me. She seemed so intent on ensuring that I loved her that I assumed it was because she loved me when in fact I merely provided her with all of her needs for such a long time.

Learning that she is not capable of love was very difficult especially after 21 yrs together.




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« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2011, 02:55:02 PM »

I cant get my head around it because i thought that all humans had an innate sense of caring for others and would feel something.

Although there are a lot of co-mordities, pwBPD do have very strong feelings. As a matter of fact per definition they are hypersensitive to it and do not know how to deal with it.

In rare cases of openess, my ex did show guilt and shame for certain situations.

A long time ago I had a concosion. I could only bare the sunlight having sunglasses that block all UV-rays. I think its the same with BPD. Nons do not get the sunglasses that seem to block it all. The sunglasses could be self-delusion denial, drugs or whatever.

@MJJ, one of my toughest realizations is that she never cared for my well-being. Also that she wanted to pull me into her misery, instead of me pulling her out of it.
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« Reply #77 on: September 10, 2011, 03:04:38 PM »

Turtle, yes, we tolerated abuse--but only after we had been hooked and in love. The abuse at first seemed like a strange aberration and not the "real" person. It didn't make sense. So we are like the frog in the sauce pan and the heat of the water is gradually turned up. I'll bet we won't do it again! We will know the  |>. My T's comment at the end was to that effect.

Diotima

I agree about the frog in the sauce pan.  I totally get that no one delivers full blown crazy to your door and you let them in and say "oh, yes... .I'll have THAT."  I can accept the frog in the sauce pan theory for all the verbal abuse that occurred prior to the physical abuse.  I'm not proud that I let him verbally abuse me, but I can see how that happened -- how it was, as you say, an "abberation" and didn't make sense.  What I do not accept, however, is why I didn't get rid of him after he shoved me that very first time.  How could I think so little of myself that I would keep him around after that?  If I had loved myself enough to get rid of him after that first shove, the horrific events (which escalated to horrible proportions) that followed would never have happened.  I'm not making excuses for him.  He's a criminal and belongs in prison. However... .I had checked out of my own life and put my well being in the hands of that criminal. That's on ME.

turtle

I did the same exact thing- so my core beliefs about who I am have been shaken.    I gave up my entire life for someone else, and I had not gotten that life easily- I worked hard for it.   I have done and said things that I NEVER would have believed I would... .and that, folks, haunts me daily.

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« Reply #78 on: September 10, 2011, 03:16:51 PM »

She wanted to pull me into her misery, instead of me pulling her out of it.

In time this begins to wear you down. I think I eventually reacted against this and this triggered a reaction in her when I would no longer listed to her missery, her terrible world, that nobody liked her, that she had no friends that everyone else was bad. I think the way I dealt with this must have invalidated her.

Turtle, yes, we tolerated abuse--but only after we had been hooked and in love.

This is mind boggling to me. Verbal and the truly nasty emotional abuse. I look back and wonder how?

Some of the things she said are just beyond me. How I tolerated and did not even recognise it as abuse. I was even told that it was my fault (gaslighting).

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« Reply #79 on: September 10, 2011, 06:01:21 PM »



I've thought about this question over and over and over since the original posting.  I feel compelled to answer since the thread is filling up and I think I finally have an answer.  

It is not one of the facts from the list of ten.  Rather here is the fact that bugs me the most.  This woman was able to 100% destroy my self worth, confidence, and self esteem even though she told several people around her that the reason for our breakup was that "[shocked] wasn't the one" or "[shocked] wasn't the right person for me."  And also told her friends [shocked] is a "great guy" just not "the one."

Well, if I'm so "great" why did she destroy me in every way in a cold, heartless manner that I never saw coming.  And what was it that makes me not "the one?"  I think the fact that she recognized (or least said to others I shouldn't have heard from) that I was a "great guy" but wasn't whatever she was seeking "exactly" really tore me apart.  I mean she didn't tell me that.  She raged and yelled that she didn't love me, didn't care about me, etc etc... .So what is the truth in her mind?  Everyone I know including her family said she never gave a reason for the breakup besides not "the one" or the "right person"... .I think she would have known this before three intense years including discussions about marriage, children, vacation, etc just weeks before she disappeared... .

I guess that she can't handle emotional intimacy is the best answer I can accept.  She is ill despite all of my love.  
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« Reply #80 on: September 10, 2011, 06:13:03 PM »

Shocked: When it comes time to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk, BPDs can't hack it. They can't do the nuts and bolts of having a r/s--negotiating, talking things through, etc. If you try to do what sane people assume one does to make a r/s work, the BPD doesn't get it and that means that you can't possibly be "the one," because "the one" wouldn't ask such things--it would be honeymoon all the time or nothing.

When my ex wanted to break up, he said we weren't "compatible as a couple." All that meant was that he wanted to chase another woman because it was easier than trying to figure out how to have a r/s.   

Diotima
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« Reply #81 on: September 11, 2011, 05:42:33 AM »

The splitting... .or is it the object constancy... .no the denials... .definitely the projection... .mind you the object constancy is a killer... .the contradictory behaviour... .it all boils down to the one main problem which is... .SPLITTING... .AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
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« Reply #82 on: September 11, 2011, 06:20:18 AM »

... .and she would say, "I don't think I can ever get better from this."  I would assure her that she could and that she needed to keep working at it in T.   But the next day she would have forgotten about the conversation and gone back to just trying to cope with herself.

This is so similar to what my partner says - he says "this is me, and I cant change at all" .  He'll be remorseful (and I think its genuine) , and the next day, its like we'd never had a conversation.  It's all back to square one.  Im often left with a feeling that the conversation was all in vain.

But the part of BPD that baffles me the most is that I am so replaceable.  It leaves me feeling that it's not "me" he 'loves" but anyone who will be there for him.   I think the attraction about me was that I offered a lot of stability (apparently cos Im so boring and predictable - haha).  I find it sad to see a person run off and mirror another person so readily.  To the extent that when he is with a non-smoker he's a non smoker and when he's with a smoker - you guessed it - he's a smoker! I just find it hard to get my head around that.  I feel bad for him that life is such a struggle with no boundaries to define yourself.
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« Reply #83 on: September 11, 2011, 10:28:45 AM »

I was reading all these replies and also thought about the fact that my happiness seemed to be a threat to him.  Anything I did and enjoyed made him angry.  Was it because he was afraid if I found happiness outside of him I would leave him?  Was it because he was so miserable all the time that it meant I didn't love him if I was happy?  Misery loves company.  Was it just plane jealousy that something took my time and attention away from him? 

If my sister came to visit I hadn't seen in 4 years... .it was the end of the world.  He made sure to be extra miserable and made sure I knew and felt guilty.  There was no, "I'm happy for you that your sister is here... .go have lunch with her and enjoy the time together." 

When I spent time with the kids... .didn't I know that in a marraige relationship you should always work on couple time first?  I obviosly didn't care about "us."   He used to say, "the love between two people bring children into the world and then the children destroy that love."  It would make me so mad.  I shouldn't have to "pick"  him over the children.  We are a family.  Can't you come and join us and have some fun family time... .then we can spend some of our own couple time together and I will feel more in love because I see what a good daddy you are.  (sigh)

I just couldn't be happy without him getting angry so I had to hide my happyness or have a big blow up.  Wait for the right time to let him know I was going to do an activity that looked fun... .and never ever go visit relatives or go to a womens retreat and leave him home with the kids.
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« Reply #84 on: September 11, 2011, 11:25:52 AM »

Sapphire: yes, I think being happy on your own would trigger abandonment issues because you are doing something separate from the BPD even if in reality that something is no threat whatsoever to him. They have just two modes: fusion and separation--nothing in between that would constitute the space within which two independent people in a r/s operate.

My ex complained bitterly that I was "too independent" and not being a "we" whenever I did something on my own. Never mind that he and I did most things together and consulted all the time about what we would do... .Even if I said "I am going to the gym," etc.

Attention given to others, such as your relatives, would also trigger him. It is infantile.

Diotima
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« Reply #85 on: September 11, 2011, 02:11:04 PM »

The fact that he suffers from a mental illness which causes him to act and react in ways which make a healthy relationship impossible.  The fact that I can intellectually understand all kinds of stuff about BPD and still never cease to be amazed by his actions and my own actions and acceptance of harmful, destructive behavior from someone who claims to love me.

Recent conversation, having just hung up the phone with my mom who is going through intense chemotherapy treatment for lymphoma and now has an infection in her vein caused by the IV that was inserted for chemo:

Me: "I'm worried about my mom, she sounds like she is feeling really badly."

exBPDbf: ":)id she say why she hasn't started another Scrabble game with me?"

Me: "No, but her sister is visiting and she's only there for 24 hours so I'm sure it's nothing personal.  Also, she's just feeling really badly, you know?  She's feeling achy, she has mouth sores that make it hard to eat or drink, and her arm is wrapped up because of the vein infection and I'm just--"

exBPDbf (SINGING THE FIRST LINE): "That guy you're with, is like a mouthful of sores ... .(pause) ... .Do you recognize that song? from Mr. Show?"  (Mr. Show is one of the billion tv programs he likes to watch and quote)

"Yes.  But I'm just trying to think of what I could do to --"

":)o you really recognize that song?  Or are you just saying that?"

Next: discussion about the fact that I said "yes" but it seemed like I was being dismissive.  Then discussion of how he hates it that I dismiss his feelings and what he says which is ALL OF THE TIME.  Followed by video game playing with the music turned up and loud swearing every time his video game character died.

In closing: what fact of BPD has been the hardest to get my head around and why?  The utter and complete lack of empathy.  The ability to (almost) create a my baggage a deux.   



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« Reply #86 on: September 11, 2011, 02:27:49 PM »

allwillbewell: OMG! I am speechless.

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« Reply #87 on: September 11, 2011, 02:32:41 PM »

Allwillbewell:

You said it, you're on the money.

I really did feel a similarity to a my baggage a deux situation except I was CONSCIOUS of doing it while I was doing it, if you know what I mean. It was a CHOICE to "think nutty." In other words more like the "Stockholm Syndrome." This means that I must have seen this person as necessary for my survival on some primitive level.

So... .he was my parents resurrected. And I thought I was "over" them.
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« Reply #88 on: September 11, 2011, 02:38:35 PM »

Yea, SD, I have discovered that emotionally my grief is so bad because my ex was my father (especially) resurrected. This much grief CANNOT be for a manipulative, lying, cheating, @sshole. Never in a million years would I have a friend who did 1/10th of what my ex did. Mind-boggling when looked at objectively.

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« Reply #89 on: September 11, 2011, 03:45:54 PM »

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." ... .

Yes, RRA... .There is no empathy, only childlike selfishness... .When I needed him most, he literally abandoned me out of nowhere... .

I was painfully aware that he never "had my back". Yet, I would have done anything in this world for him, anything! I would have taken a bullet for him! Hmm? Yes, my ex loved my hair also... .I have no doubt that if I ever had cancer or any other disease that would "interfere" with his "fantasy of me", I would never be able to count on him for anything... .I was a replaceable object, period... .This made me feel as though I had no value to him at all…

God knows how hard I tried to be "perfect enough" for him? My "illness" exposed once again... .That was what I "learned" growing up in the utter chaos that was my FOO. I loved and adored my father, a girl’s first introduction to “love"... .But my father was "cold", emotionally distant, "unavailable"... .Praise and attention from Dad was gained via straight A's on a report card and "obedience"... .Hence, I never stepped off the sidewalk. I sought Dad’s “approval” for everything I did… If I went “against” my Dad’s wishes I “knew” I was destined for failure… I had no confidence in “me”…

Love had to be "earned" or at least that was my "interpretation" growing up in a seriously dysfunctional home…

So, once the splitting started, I worked very hard to be “worthy” of my BPD/NPD’s love… I blamed myself for his “dark moods” although intellectually, on some level, I knew this couldn’t be true?

Yes, this ordeal has clearly exposed my "issues"... .I hope to one day, look back at all of this pain and suffering and see the "gift" in all of it?

WhiteDoe

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