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Poll
Question: Choose all of the fantasies that apply
The other person admits his/her errors and the way he/she has hurt you and makes amends. - 242 (22.5%)
The person suffers because of what was done to you. - 127 (11.8%)
You are able to outperform the person who has hurt you and can rub his/her nose in your superiority. - 71 (6.6%)
Everyone around him sees him or her as you do and rejects him or her. - 111 (10.3%)
You are vindicated. - 113 (10.5%)
You are able to do to the person who hurt you what he or she did to you, or someone else does that to the person. - 43 (4%)
The person will change and regret what he or she did or said. - 235 (21.9%)
Other: please specify in your comment. - 26 (2.4%)
I used to hold one or more fantasies like this, but I have let them go. - 85 (7.9%)
I do not have any fantasies like this. - 22 (2%)
Total Voters: 368

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Author Topic: SELF ASSESSMENT |Are you holding on to fantasies about someone who has hurt you?  (Read 30257 times)
blackandwhite
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« on: October 02, 2011, 11:14:29 AM »

Are you holding on to fantasies about someone who has hurt you? Is your fantasy holding you back?

If you've had a relationship with a self-absorbed person, it's common to develop and hold on to fantasies of revenge, recognition, and repair that are not realistic and hold back your healing.

The most constructive and enduring strategy for lessening or eliminating negative effects of the self-absorbed [person] on you is to develop a stronger and more resilient self... .Adopting constructive strategies is more rewarding in the long run than continuing to try to get [the person] to change, as the effort you put into changing him is unlikely to be successful. Turn your time, effort, and emotional investment to developing yourself.



INSTRUCTIONS: Take the poll and comment below, addressing these questions and adding any other comments:

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

Why identify these fantasies and what's wrong with having them?

These fantasies are helping your negative feelings persist, and they reinforce these bad feelings. They are fantasies because they are unlikely to happen just because you wish they would. Neither [the person who has hurt you] nor anyone else is going to change because you want them to. [The self-absorbed person] probably perceives events and situations differently than you do, or he is unaware of or insensitive to your wounding. Your wishes, dreams, and fantasies about your [self-absorbed relative, partner, ex-partner, or friend] are not helpful at all.

Adapted from Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents, 2nd edition, by Nina W. Brown, Ed.D., LPC



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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 12:57:06 PM »

After my H began therapy last Fall, I began to fantasize that he was finally going to 'get it', finally start facing his demons and dealing with his problems. But the therapy didnt last long, only about 6 sessions. Since I had been actively pursuing my own changes and personal growth, I actually thought I could help him find himself. But the day we were talking about an big issue of his, he began to put up his usual resistance. I asked him if he wanted to deal with this or not? He said "why does it have to be like work?" Thats when I was done, all hope gone, I gave up on him and our r/s.

I sometimes catch myself thinking that he feels bad for the hurt he's caused, or that he will want to do what he need to do to keep from losing me. But these thoughts get fewer and farther apart. i accept that he is simply not capable of any real or lasting change. He is who he is. I dont want that kind of a life anymore. Im too excited about my own prospects in the future to spend much time wishing and hoping on a false pretense.

Ive let go. One more month. Then my recovery and healing take off!
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King1989
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 01:04:07 PM »

Well it's been a year as of today.  I don't fantasize much anymore, but back then I did. Though I think it might be partial dream/nightmare, and not.  Some things I would think about being with Nicole (my close friend that lives here who... .eh, there's an 8 year history that I just can't get into on this post), and the my ex and her mother would show up. Big fight would escalate and Nicole would basically be the one pushing her out the door and saying she'd call the cops on them if they didn't leave.  The ex and her mother would sit there, challenging that and waiting for me to come out and talk to them, then the police would come and cart them away. I'd wave  Hi!
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diotima
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2011, 01:09:19 PM »

That my ex will realize the errors of his ways, go into T, realize what he has done to me used to be my strongest fantasies at the beginning--along with revenge. I don't do the revenge fantasy but still sometimes have the rest. They have faded, although they are not gone, given that I realize he is very unlikely to ever admit anything or be empathetic about the effects of his actions or really care who I am other than what needs I can meet for him.

Reading the stories of others on this website, hearing my T and a T friend tell me about the trajectory of BPD r/s's, and lots of inner work! I meditate every day too and spend a fair amount of time reflecting on what it is in me that made me so receptive to a BPD--the good and the bad.

I'm not out of the woods, but getting there.

Diotima
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Matt
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2011, 01:18:15 PM »

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

1.  I settled custody "on the courthouse steps" - less than 24 hours before trial.  Looking back, I hadn't prepared well enough, so the settlement (50/50) was based on what the CE recommended, and if we had gone to trial, it would have probably gone the same way.  My fantasy is, if I could do it over again, preparing really well, I could have gotten primary custody, and that would have been better for the kids, and better for me too.  I think about a do-over - going back to court and getting all the important information that wasn't on the table at the time, out into daylight and onto the record.

2.  Used to be 5, now about 2.

3.  Not too much.  In fact I think it is a good thing in one way:  It helps me fight my tendency to comply with my ex's orders.  By knowing that this remains an option, I hold the line better when she gets aggressive;  and I've made it clear to her that if she makes it worth my while I might do that - go back to court, with the gloves off.  But getting from 5 down to 2 was important so I can focus on more positive things.

4.  I think talking openly about it has helped - to my ex, with a mediator present, to my counselor, and here.  There is a realistic side of it - an option that I have if push comes to shove - and a much bigger fantasy part - replaying what I should have done 3 years ago.  I think it's OK to keep the real part of it alive and talk openly about the fantasy part, but not dwell on it too much.
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findingmyselfagain
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 02:09:06 PM »

1. The fantasy I entertain the most is that the person feels the loss the same way I do. My hope during the chaotic ending was that the feelings of the honeymoon would be enough to bring the person back to the relationship. As I continue the process I realize the honeymoon wasn't quite as rosy as I choose to remember it, and I realize this person really did treat me much less well than I deserved to say the least. I

2. Perhaps a 2 or 3 now. The ruminations aren't continual but more like a dull toothache. I still think of the person every day... .especially waking up in the morning. But more often I'm feeling happy and enjoying freedom. It blows my mind how someone could rush into love and out so quickly and without remorse or empathy, but I'm accepting more that it's the reality of the illness. It goes against my principles completely to treat anyone as poorly as I've been treated but I'm getting to the point where I need less validation from the person.

3. Not as much as it once did. Some days are still a little worse than others. For some reason this weekend seemed to be a downer for me. But I continue to plug away and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

4. I distract myself with movies. I'm working on my own "happiness project". I'm working to manage an artist/friend of mine. IT's giving me a future to think about. For the first time in my life I'm focusing more on building my life than finding a partner though I'm dating casually. Things are getting easier. It's just that these relationships are so uniquely traumatizing. We're attracted so much for our own reasons. Just letting go as we would like to do... .just isn't that easy.
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qcarolr
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2011, 02:17:59 PM »

INSTRUCTIONS: Take the poll and comment below, addressing these questions and adding any other comments:

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

My r/s is with my BPDDD25 and the r/s with my gd6 who has always lived with dh and I, and we have had custody since she was 18mos. and the various BF/SIL's that have drifted through our lives. Almost need a map and a time-line.

Fantasy: DD will see the harm she has done, feel remorse and make amends. Harm to me as mom, to her daughter gd6, to other extended family relationships - could just keep building this one ad naueum    She is actually making a reality out of small parts of this fantasy - so the fantasy has shifted to believing the current more stable "good" cycle will last 'forever' would be a nice fantasy!, and for me to get over the constant 'looking over my shoulder' to see when the "bad" cycle is going to crash the party. Going on four months of her self-control, following the rules to stay in our home, being supportive of gd6 in her daily routines, etc ---- the longest 'good' cycle in all the 25 years of her life that I have seen.

This had reached a number 5 strength fantasy for me - especially the ruminations about something crashing her stable place - most likely something that can be projected onto me. And this is making me ill - physically ill/exhausted, emotionally unstable - a crabbie grammi/mommi/wifey, cognitively very distracted. Have been very hypervigilant about keeping everything in the household under 'control' - DD is living here with bf along with the 'regulars' - me, dh and gd6. I ended up with a serious facial cellulitis infection and in the hospital on IV antibiotics for 5 DAYS. And came home to a perceived shift in all the power away from me into the hands of the current bf living with DD, and therefore with the family. So I was very distressed, depressed, and just wanted to go back to the hospital or get in the car and keep driving til I ran out of gas - this would be where to start a new life   :'(.

So I have been taking steps to be more aware the paradox of this fantasy - that things will continue to progress in a rosy pattern on and on concurrently with the constant fear of implosion or explosion destroying my life as I have come to know it now. I am trying to get more sleep, eat better, get more excercise (ie. walking the dog), I am working to let go of the belief that I have the power to control all the details of my household single-handed - delegating stuff to others and stopping my constant thinking about if they are doing to my standards or not (care of 2 puppies - a tiny one and a giant one; cooking and shopping for food - DD and bf are doing at least 1/2 of the family meals now and weekly grocery shopping and staying in the budget with my credit card - amazing!; limiting my time on the computer and spending more time in the evening with dh - realizing he does love me and misses my company, etc). I have also checked in with my pdoc to increase my bipolar meds and am seeing my T again - and he is supporting all the 'right' things that I have been doing and have trouble believing in, and is encouraging me to find ways to focus on my self-care while the home-front is more peaceful. So this means taking a piece of each day back for quiet pondering, meditation, reading, BREATHING. Getting away from so much thinking, thinking, thinking.

Impact:  I am doing better overall. The strength-o-meter has dropped down to about a 2. I am more aware when my thoughts get in the ruminating pattern and stop/breath/think of something else (well like driving - what color what that last stop-light  - driving is my most thought-absorbed time and boy is that dangerous and I get lost too). I set some new boundaries, with the help of a meeting with gd's school social worker that DD actually accompanied me on - that she reinforced for us that we need to keep gd feeling safe, almost like being in a 'box' of loving care. So I let everyone, esp. bf who was interfering in the dinner time routine/rules creating huge power struggles and no eating by gd, what was expected of gd. And this let gd know what was expected too. And she responded very quickly - taking control of what she eats and eating a little of everything the past few nights. I even researched online and printed off guidlines (research based - who can argue with that) for kids healthy eating habits. So it not just my random thinking. And bf/DD have stepped back from their constant pressure/criticism of gd about so many things that they see from a different perspective than dh and I have maintained with gd over the past several years that DD has been out of touch with gd's daily life.

Sorry if this is too long - appreciate the chance to share and for anyone willing to listen.

qcr  Smiling (click to insert in post)


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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2011, 02:49:44 PM »

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

That one day I'll have the mother that I get glimpses of when she's trying to be nice.  That she'll eventually apologize and get help for her abusive behavior.  That my dad will wake up and realize what's going on and see that it's not really love.

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

2 maybe 3ish I don't know if I could honestly see them happening they wouldn't be fantasies.  Atleast not to me.  I see fantasies as being something that's good to envision on occasion but know they'll never come true.  Like their on the same scale as me marrying The Rock or Vin Diesel. 

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?  I think that fantasies are okay as long as they're not causing you to want to harm yourself then they're okay.  I do feel that the fantasies of my parents being the normal happy loving parents I desire is causing me more harm than good because everytime they show their true colors it hurts more and more. 

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact? Haven't started ridding myself of the fantasy. 
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C12P21
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2011, 02:51:11 PM »

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

Hmmmm, that I win the lotto and he reads about it and thinks, yikes she is richer than me.  That's about it as far as fantasies are concerned. Money is what he lived for, the possession of it and the power he felt accompanies wealth. I will never win the lotto so the fantasy is just that-a passing fantasy and highlights what happened in the course of our r/s. During the devaluation and discard, my low income became a factor of his scorn of me. Ouch, that hurt. I am in a field that will NEVER be a big bread winner but has blessed me with the ability to make a difference in peoples lives. For along time his comments gave me pause and then I remembered my core values.  Smiling (click to insert in post) I remembered who I am.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) But yep, every now and then the lotto fantasy is there.

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

I-passing thought

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

About once every four months I spend a buck on a lotto ticket.  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) Smiling (click to insert in post)

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

I evaluated my self esteem and core values due to how upset and crushed I felt when someone that I cared for and held in high regard was critical of my income. I am financially responsible, repay any debt I owe, and live within my means. I support my child and he does not lack any necessities of life. So what was bothering me? My own self doubts... that somehow high income is tied into success. It isn't. What money brings is a car that runs well, excellent health care and retirement... many of us are earning a living wage and may never retire. There is no shame in this.

I decided to stop allowing the exNPDbf negativity in my head. Money is his value, so be it, there is nothing wrong with his values, or mine. But, every once in awhile I do purchase the lotto ticket and think, okay-first I'll set up a foundation/center for victims of DV and then send him a picture of me laying with my millions on my satin sheets and sipping champagne.  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

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Cordelia
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2011, 05:12:52 PM »

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

The "proving my superiority" one is a big one for me, the "my mom will wake up and recognize how much she has hurt me and make amends" is probably the second biggest. 

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

I have made a lot of progress letting go of the idea that my mom will change and recognize my value.  It helped a lot to end contact with her, thus ending any possibility of such apologies or recognition.  It was great to realize that I could go on and enjoy life without any apologies from her or recognition by her!     The need to prove my superiority to her is much more deeply seated - in some ways it could be seen as the root of everything I do.  It's hard to separate out my motivations - I really have created a life that I love for myself, and I really do enjoy it, but part of me suspects that I wouldn't enjoy it as much if I didn't think that my achievements have "proved" my value in some way that even she couldn't deny.  I know I need to work on this, but not quite sure where to start.   ?

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

It drives me to achieve, but also creates a lot of anxiety around failure, since what's at stake is not only the thing itself but also my value as a human being. 

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

As I said above, ending contact ended the possibility of reconciliation and acknowledgement, which helped me let go of the need for it, and see that even never having that recognition from her didn't impact my life that much.  Letting go of the need to prove myself superior would be a huge step for me I think, one I will think about how to achieve! 
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turtle
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2011, 09:02:09 PM »

I used to have all kinds of fantasies about crazyx. I had millions of imaginary scenarios and conversations where I would be vindicated.

It took a long, long time... .but I don't have any fantasies about him at all now.  Don't wish him harm, don't wish him well, I have nothing to prove and I don't need/want anything from him. 

Oh wait!  I would like my money back. I could really use that $$ now, BUT... .I no longer have any fantasies about that happening or how that could/should work. The money is gone and so is he.  It was a small price to pay for my freedom and sanity.

I am grateful to be this far down the road.  I remember thining that I would never get to this place --- yet... .I did.

Now... .there's a few other people I need to deal with. Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).  Sigh.

turtle

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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2011, 10:31:04 PM »



1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

I had mainly revenge fantasies of physically hurting her and making her admit she is crazy. 



2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

At first a 5 now I would say 1 and rarely

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

At times it made me feel better, but knew was just fantasy and anger expressing itself.   My son got tired of hearing about it.  I realized that it was making him feel guilty for getting involved with her and creating turmoil.  I, his mother, was causing him more hurt. Not a nice feeling for a mother to have and a wake up call.  

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

The steps I took were to try (still working on that) to have compassion for the disorder and realize that it is the nature of the beast--for me I liken her to a rattlesnake.  You cannot blame a rattlesnake for being a rattlesnake.  You avoid them.

Since the court hearing and her being exposed in court for the disordered person she is, that helped tremendously.  Having the court agree she was an unfit mother and their infant daughter was better off raised by her father (my son).  Vindication that my son was not exaggerating and that she could not ban me from seeing the child.  I also got to see her enabling sister realize (though I doubt it changed anything in their r/s) the things her sister had done.  I will admit that my private thought immediately after the judge ruled was "you thought you could outsmart me b*tch". Ironically, then I felt a bit guilty.


I also remember my mother saying you can only let someone upset you if you let them.  I have passing thoughts, but not daily and just enjoy being with my granddaughter.  Part of me will always be grateful to her for giving our family such a precious little girl.   

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jardin
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2011, 11:01:50 PM »

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

I fantasize about S being/becoming open about the relationship with her friends and family and acknowledging that not doing so in the past has caused hurt and a lot of problems.  Though, to be honest, if the former happened, I would be fine (meaning I could move on fine) without the apology or acknowledgment. 

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

Given the relationship hinges on this more then any other issue, it's something frequently on my mind.  That said, S is very early into therapy and given that I am already seeing some positive changes, I don't constantly ruminate about it because I know this answer will take time (and because I'm just too busy to ruminate!). 

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

Well, at some level, I'm waiting for someone who may never be able to be all-in in the relationship.  Not an insignificant impact in terms of my time, energy, and emotional investment.  Also, the dynamic does impact how I socialize with her friends (ie I really don't anymore) and sometimes how I view her (ie I don't think lying to others is a very attractive trait). 

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

This is a limit for me.  I can't be in a long term relationship with someone who doesn't acknowledge it.  I'm giving this time because she's in therapy, but I'm not ridding myself of the expectation that this is the only way forward for me.  If the fantasy doesn't happen, I'll need to leave.  It's pretty simple.  In the meantime, I just accept that she has a serious mental illness that she's working on and a rough history.  I don't often get 'angry' anymore; I just observe and also implement boundaries to keep myself out of situations that I know will be triggering to me.  And I continue to live as I want to - including affirming the relationship to my own friends and family, even when she is there and it requires her to deal with some discomfort.  Between all of this - and the fact that I have so much of my stuff to work on and so much work to do day to day period - I've found a working balance for the time being.   
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2011, 02:43:01 AM »

With respect to my wife I have let go of these fantasies. But there are other highly problematic persons in my life where the wounds are fresh and the list sums it up nicely. So it is back to square one. I guess I have to do this work for each painful relationship where I detach from.

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

  - Primarily around vindication. I believe me and several other persons were hurt badly. If everyone would see that person like I do that person would sink into the earth by sheer weight of guilt and shame.

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

  - Was 5 - very strong. Took me 4 weeks of vacation to get down to maybe 3.

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

  - Not good at all.

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

  - Spending some time thinking about it made it worse. One put to rest another one comes up and then tackling that triggers the first.

  - Doing other stuff helped somewhat.

  - Reading a book that had nothing to do with any of it

  - Spending private time doing something for myself and making my environment nicer

  - Confiding in a friend

  - Writing down my boundaries to prevent a repeat for at least myself. Were tested shortly later and while I was triggered all over the place helped me avoid a bigger mess.
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2011, 04:54:31 AM »

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

I wish she would admit she was wrong and amend, and also change.

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

When we were together - 5.

Today I do not care.

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

It was something I clinged on to maintain hope for our r/s. It also was the reason I broke nc after a month. I was extremely lucky, I got a sort of amendment and a closure which gave me a much more peaceful mind.

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

See 3, also after the breakup, when I realised she had BPD and found this site, and then understood it was not about me and my behavior.

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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2011, 05:35:50 AM »

Which fantasies do you have, if any?

When we were still together and she was seeing a therapist I used to think that the therapist might find a way of breaking throught her defence mechanisms of blame and projection. I hope I would a at some time no longer be the demon she perceived me as. The therapist admited she was making very slow/ No progress and my uBPDw would need years of therapy. Since this idea did not appeal to my uBPDw she gave up therapy.

2. How strong were those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

It was devastating. I had supported her throughout our entire relationship suddently the table turned and I became desperate to try to repair and fix things. I would say this fantacy was a the 5 level for a month. 


3. How did the fantasy impacting your life?

By trying to cling to this fantacy I made things worse. Her rejection of me become more extreme. Conflict became a way of living for a short time. I did not understand that using logic and reason was completely pointless and guarteed to fail. 

I finally let go of this fantasy. Letting go of "hope" was the hardest thing I have ever done. Letting go of the idea that we could ever be truly happy together. Letting go of the idea that my children could be raised in a home filled with love and happiness.  She made it easier for me to let go of the idea that we might ever be friends again (my marriage ended when she started making false accusations against me and all trust was gone).

I regret that my attempts to hold on meant the children witnessed conflict between us. I did my best by not being in the same room as her, leaving the house when she raged, tried to answer calmly that I would not allow her to continually rage at me but would talk to her when she calmed down. She never truly ever did.


4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

Looking to my own needs and feelings. Education about BPD/NPD helped me understand what I had been through and why she did the things she did. Reading SWOE. Working on the information and material on this forum. Journaling my thoughts and feelings. Therapy. Engaging in social activities. Reconnecting with friends. Focusing on my work and not letting that slip (this was a powerful distraction). Looking to the needs of my children. Meditation. Recognising I has let my boundaries slip and choosing to resestablish these (each time I expect a backlash from my wife).

High functioning pwBPD + NPD seldom change or commit to therapy. Her wish was to have a quick fix therapy "Just tell me what I need to do". It will be much easier for her to find another man and repeat the cycle than to see the part she played.

I now realise that she suffers from a mental health condition which is the result of combination of biology and environment (uNPDf and uBPDm, genetics + environment). She has no true insight. She sees the patterns but it is easier to blame others (she has done this for 25+ years). She is unwilling to face because it that would be harder than the alternative.

Looking to my own emotional intelligence and the role I played in the relationship. Learning from the midstake I made in not spotting Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) and not seeting boundaries.

In letting go of this fantasy I have chosen to commit to new goals in my life:

To put myself and my children first in my life.

To have no concern for my uBPDw and the choices she will make for herself (aside from being aware of the impact her choices may have on our children).

To live my own life by my personal guiding beliefs and values.

To focus on my work and be the best that I can be at that.

To cherish my family and their love.

To appreciate the friendship that I have built with others.

I hold the key to my own happiness. That happiness is within me. It is part of who I am.

I can be a positive influence on my children. I can proved them with a safe santuary when they are with me. I hope I can instil enough wisdom, balance, perspective and idependence for them to make their own decisions as they grow up. 

Looking back I understand the need I had to hold on to my fantacy. It was all I thought I had. Without it I thought I would be lost. In reality it was this fantacy which kept me lost. I am stronger for having let it go and my children are in a better place.

I have been given a gift. A chance to live my life as I choose, not dictated by the needs or demands of someone else. I have a second chance. For this I am extremely grateful. I will embrace it and live life to the full.

Divorce is like a second chance for the pwBPD to continue to abuse you, to try to exert control and manipulate. Attorneys accusations, custody battles, mind games, financial misappropriation are the tools by which the conflict coninues. Staying strong is not easy. Having coping mechanisms and a clear vision of where you are going is essential to staying focused on what is important and what is not.

MJJ

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JDoe
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2011, 06:07:11 AM »

Before I learned about BPD, I truly believed that STBXH would one day shake his head and say, out loud, "What am I doing?  This woman loves me unconditionally!  I am never going to make her cry again."

Dependance on God has saved me from some of the other fantasies, like revenge and vindication.  Now I just want to be free.  I pray that H gets the help he needs to grow past the angry, blaming, emotionally raw person that I lived with for 20 years.

When I gave up on hoping that H would change was the day I left.  No more fantasies at all that include him, unless it was a quick and relatively painless divorce.

Great Poll/thread!
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King1989
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2011, 07:04:41 AM »

The person suffers because of what was done to you.    - 15 (9.9%)

You are able to outperform the person who has hurt you and can rub his/her nose in your superiority.    - 11 (7.3%)

Everyone around him sees him or her as you do and rejects him or her.    - 14 (9.3%)

You are vindicated.    - 23 (15.2%)

You are able to do to the person who hurt you what he or she did to you, or someone else does that to the person.    - 6 (4%)

I used to hold one or more fantasies like this, but I have let them go.    - 18 (11.9%)

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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2011, 10:36:18 AM »

Which fantasies do you have, if any?

I always hope(d) that somehow I was wrong, that she didn’t have BPD (due to its intractable nature) and would come to her senses and see that someone loves her despite her actions. A "This is Your Life" or courtroom moment where she would have to explain what she did, obliged to answer directly to those she hurt.  This would lead to her ultimately revealing who and what she is.  Validation more than vindication, her accepting and recognizing what she has done. Seeing the awful realization set in, finally recognizing the depth of the pain she knowingly inflicted on someone else. Explaining how I could once be the love of her life and now be nothing.

The irony is that she will only love those who made her the way she is.

I often want to go to sleep and never wake up. I woud love for her to know that I died of a broken heart and for her one day come to unerstand what she has done. To live a very long life with this knowledge.

2. How strong were those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations):

5 Constant ruminations, trying to understand this has consumed my life. Every second that I am awake I think about this and ache. The worst part about all of this is that I know better. I know there is no hope for her and I, yet I die a little bit each day.

3. How did the fantasy impacting your life?

It drains me, I sit at work and stare at my screen for hours. When I go home all I cant deal with anything else. Noises are too loud, lights too bright. I am stuck inside of my own head. I cant get away from any of it. I just want it to stop. I cant stand to hear her voice yet I miss her. I cant do anything else, yet I know better.



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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2011, 12:39:01 PM »

Which fantasies do you have, if any?

These are the ones I had. I don't have them anymore... .

The other person admits his/her errors and the way he/she has hurt you and makes amends.

You are able to outperform the person who has hurt you and can rub his/her nose in your superiority.

You are vindicated.  

The person will change and regret what he or she did or said.

2. How strong were those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations):

They dominated my thinking for a good 6 months. I started feeling better but still ruminated on and off. Talking to her again actually helped put it all to bed. Not being emotionally connected and actually listening and believing what she told me was key. I never actually believed what she was saying before because it didn't make sense. Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). Now I see why she thinks the way she does and I can communicate better with her.

3. How did the fantasy impact your life?

It pretty much parked my life in neutral. I sucked at work and it effected my peronal relationships. I'm better now... .as far as intimate relationships go... .I've been idle for a year and I am just starting to get moving again.
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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2011, 12:49:04 PM »

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

I would love to have closure.  I would love for my BPDbf to "wake up" and see that he was part of the problem and sincerely apologize for what happened between us and the pain he put me through.  

I had fleeting revenge fantasies at one point but never thought they were real or interesting. I think they came more from my frustration at not getting closure than anything else.  

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

Needing closure was a 5 at one point - probably a 1 now.  In some ways, it might always be a 1.  I would like to say I could bury those feelings but I spent a significant part of my life with a BPDbf and I experience emotional upheaval for years.  Would a rape or assult victim ever turn down a sincere apology from the person who hurt them even if it came years after the event?  I think even a late apology would be better than none.  I realize it will never come and perhaps my desire for it will fade in time but I can't predict that now.

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

It doesn't really effect things anymore.  I am still emotionally recovering from the relationship but I don't think fantasies are holding me back.  I think the relationship uncovered old childhood stuff and I want to deal with it and put it to rest.  This has turned into a different process for me apart from the BPD relationship.

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

Therapy has been a lifesaver for me.  I am grateful I have a wonderful and supportive T.  Getting a lot of negative events out here, in a supportive environment, has also been very helpful.  Reading lessons here has helped as well as outside reading.  Allowing myself time to mourn and grieve and be angry and anxious was necessary too.  Rebuilding my life, renewing friendships and making new friendships has also helped.  In many ways, I feel like I have started a new and better life - focusing on that life allows me to move on past old events.

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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2011, 07:42:22 PM »

I had only marked that I held one or more of these fantasies but had let them go.

My 'fantasy' was not listed. That fantasy, was that after momster was gone, my sibs and I (with the exclusion of evilsis) would get back to some level of being family in our old age. This was not a conscious 'fantasy' per se, but an expectation. Even if it was contact only during major holidays.

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

How strong was that fantasy? 2 or 3.

The fantasy is not now impacting my life.

There is no impact, but the reality since this fantasy was broken, is that I am a 'marroned' family member with no family. So I have to make strides to replace what 'wasn't'. By becoming more active in organizations, or some other source of networking.


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« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2011, 08:13:48 PM »

I was pretty flippant in my post as it has been awhile since I have fantasies about my exNPDbf. The fantasies at first were like many on this board...

1. I wanted so much for him to seek professional help and make amends through the form of an apology. The fantasy was not so much of a recycle of the relationship as it once was, but the possibility of a friendship down the road, a long distance one. He wanted this but I could not allow one as he did not apologize, so without understanding his behavior was abusive, there was no way I could allow him back into my life. And as long as I challenged him about his abusiveness, he could not face me, either.

2. The first year, a five. Now, it is non-existent with exception of one thing, I do hope he seeks professional help for himself.

3, The first year I saw him EVERYWHERE-it was uncanny. So the it impacted my life quite a bit. Now it doesn't. I was wreck that first year, useless in many areas of my life, just one big sore of human suffering.

4. Acceptance was how I rid myself of the fantasy. I had to accept that it was his life and his choices and the best I could do was heal from the emotional and verbal abuse. I realized I didn't need his validation of my emotional pain to make the experience any more real, hurtful or eventual healed from by me. I didn't need him to make it all better-or to even explain himself. He ended the relationship on a bad note-I ended the relationship on an ugly note through my confrontation of him. It was unfortunate but now I see it as a crucial component of my healing. I faced my abuser... and lost all contact with him due to his rage. Over time I understood that the healthier part of me was standing up for myself, even if I went about it the wrong way. At the time, it was the best I could do and if I had to accept and forgive myself for this... could I not also see his suffering, too? He may have denied his suffering... but in his unguarded moments, the man was filled with shame. I didn't realize it then, I do now. Acceptance and release.
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« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2011, 12:30:40 AM »

I really don't have any of these fantacies and I have never had them.  All I do is hope that my UBPDW will improve with my abilities to better communicate with her with a soothing ability.  If I have any fantacies, they would be for our relationship to return to the way it was 43 years ago when we were married.  She was so attentive and we loved each other so very much.  At this time, I am the one who loves her so very much.  I dream of the time when just the loving part of intimacy returns.  I long for her to kiss me back, and hug me back again like before.  I have not lost my feelings for her. 

     I have had success with boundries, and limits.  With my boundry unsaid, every time she raged with humiliating words and implications towards me, I would immediately jump up and leave the room.  This stopped the abuse.  After doing this several times, she stopped raging for the most part.  This is a break through.  It seems the only time she will rage now is when I am trapped in the car with her.  I am trying to devise a boundry to stop that as well.  I think it will take me getting out and walking home.  I did that once, and it took me about three and one half hours to walk home.  Boy, was I tired and my knees hurt as I have artheritis in my knees.  I guess I must do that again.  Another thing I do is treat her like a queen most of the time, and I don't believe she respects that.  I need to think on this and figure out how to deal with my nice guy actions.  Sorry that I got a little carried away.

Art
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« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2011, 12:46:29 AM »

This thread is a good idea!  I'll give it a shot.  It sure can't hurt to give it some thought... .

1) I marked "Other," since I did not quite find a match on the list.  I want to trust my ubpw again. I long to be able to true forgiveness rather than excusing or forgetting.  I want my wife to express love to me, to stop getting drunk, to respect that I do not cheat on her despite her infidelities, to stop her over-zealous friendship with her ex-husband.  I want her to stop saying bad things about other people no matter who they are or how screwed up they may truly be.

2) Impact about a 5 or 6, I'd say.

3) I am bitter about being betrayed, insulted, emotionally and financially drained, put down and undermined.  And so I am angry. Often, I am wishing for a fantasy that is not going to happen.

4) I tried getting in shape, pursuing my art, cultivating my spitiruality, and making new friends, but by far the most powerful step was to get sober.  I am completely sober for more than a year now.  It is surprising how much better you feel without those few drinks.  I also changed my expectations somewhat and started to pay attention to what boundaries I expect and to communicate them or make it known to my spouse when they are violated.
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« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2011, 08:51:30 AM »

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

I think the only overwhelming fantasy I have is that my uBPDm will finally realize she needs help, seek it, get better, and actually be capable of being truly happy for once her in life.

I don't really care if she admits everything she has done to me and how awful it was. I don't really want revenge. I think I have moved past the abuse I suffered as a child and have forgiven my abuser(s) for it. I just would like her to have some happiness before she dies. She's been denied it her entire life and I find that tremendously sad. I think I hang on to this so hard partly because I am agnostic and very ambivalent about any sort of "afterlife." I think the chances are nil that there is one (as much as I would like to think there is.) So, from my point of view, if she doesn't find a way to happiness now, in this life, she never will. That will be it. How heartbreaking!

The bonus of her getting better is that I could finally have a stable, safe relationship with her. That would be amazing!

In the past that fantasy was about a 4 at times. Now it is more like a 2, sometimes 3.

It makes it hard for me to realize I can't help her. I can't convince her to get better. I can't make her see the light. Because I so desperately want her to.

I'm working on letting go of the fantasy of her ever being better. It's hard. I am working on facing and dealing with the sadness that comes over me when I imagine my Mom will never have been a truly happy person. Right now I still tend to hide from that sadness. However, I know if I don't deal with it, I will never accept the reality that she is unlikely to change. But the reality of her NEVER being happy and okay with herself is a very hard reality for me to swallow.
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« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2011, 02:10:46 PM »

when fantasy becomes reality  Smiling (click to insert in post)

my d did realize how she hurt me and asked to be forgiven... .when she makes a mistake now she usually apologizes and askes to be forgiven... .without prompting from me!  my answer is of course "yes, i forgive you" lest we create an environment of shame, self degradation or disharmony.

the thing about it is that i expected to be vindicated... .instead i was humbled and thankful that my precious d was finding a way out of the shame of BPD!

props to her!  she has worked hard!

lbjnltx
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« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2011, 07:52:53 PM »

I still hope BPDw will regret what she's done to me.  And, it isn't a total fantasy - because she does sometimes.  I used to hope that she would change, but that hope has faded.

I've pretty much given up on that subject, but not entirely. I'm at the 'here's a list of things I won't live with' stage.

1. Which fantasies?

That she will regret what she's done to me.

2. How strong are these fantasies?

2.5

3. How is the fantasy impacting my life?

Mild happiness.  It serves as a distraction from the pain of leaving a woman I still love. It may be slowing me slightly, but not much. And frankly, crying uncontrollably in my office wasn't speeding things up.  Fantasies are cheaper than heroin.

4. What steps?

I read the leaving, staying, and undecided boards, and the divorce boards, read a bunch of books on personality disorders and abusive relationships, and read through a fair number of academic papers on BPD and associated topics.

Reality is gray - she'll never regret the way I would, but she already occasionally regrets her behavior and apologizes.

For the change portion, I've outlined a set of changes in behavior I'd need to stay and asked her to read through them.  As she hasn't yet - I'm pretty sure I have my answer.

--Argyle
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« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2011, 08:56:00 PM »

Results to date:

The other person admits his/her errors and the way he/she has hurt you and makes amends. 18.3%

The person suffers because of what was done to you. 11%

You are able to outperform the person who has hurt you and can rub his/her nose in your superiority. 7.6%

Everyone around him sees him or her as you do and rejects him or her.    11.8%

You are vindicated.  12.9%

You are able to do to the person who hurt you what he or she did to you, or someone else does that to the person. 4.2%

The person will change and regret what he or she did or said.    19%

Other: please specify in your comment.    2.3%

I used to hold one or more fantasies like this, but I have let them go.  11.4%

I do not have any fantasies like this.   1.5%

   

So that's 98.5% who hold or have held this type of fantasy. Any thoughts on that and the breakdown statistics?
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« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2011, 11:23:33 PM »

1. Which fantasies do you have, if any?

2. How strong are those fantasies, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = passing thoughts; 5 = continual ruminations)

3. How is the fantasy impacting your life?

4. If you've taken steps to rid yourself of the fantasy, what have you done and what has been the impact?

My fantasy:  Everyone around him sees him as I do and rejects him.

It doesn’t necessarily impact on my day to day life – however I do get caught up in the ruminations sometimes. I just figure it will catch up with him at some stage - the new GF will figure it out all on her own.

Why identify these fantasies and what's wrong with having them?


I have these moments only fleetingly now – I don’t wish him harm however I still get angry about what happened – I would have to be honest and say that I am more angry at myself for allowing it, not seeing it before it was too late, validating him only to be devalued later, that my family had no clue.

What I have done to rid myself of the fantasy – I wrote a post for this very purpose – to see the r/s for what it is. It helped enormously to write it all down and I read it often:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=156053.0

I have done a heap of work on the fantasy of the r/s as opposed to the reality – I guess this is why I have come to a place of acceptance – in that HE is who he IS – the good and the bad. It was an illusion for us both – in different ways though – I am capable of moving past it – he is not, without intense therapy.

I also had a chat with his ex before me – validation to the MAX!

Now I think about it less – I am dealing with my own sordid past – alcoholic uBPD father.

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