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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: BPD's misery and refusal to do anything about it despite their intelligence...  (Read 13029 times)
happiness68
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« on: January 20, 2013, 06:56:59 AM »

Turtle, PrettyPlease and me are all thinking the same thing and wanted to start a new thread on it.  We all think that one of the hardest things to understand (no matter how long we've been free of our BPD) is how a person can be so very miserable, but refuse to do anything about it.  We also agree on the fact that our exBPD's are very intelligent, yet they seem to miss the common denominator in all of their misery, which is themselves.  I feel just this about my exbfBPD, he really was a very intelligent man (still is).  :)espite his intelligence, he roams the world feeling so very alone, he's so unhappy but refuses to do anything to make himself happy and yet doesn't think to himself that the problem 'could' be him. I say 'could' because I think if I were him, I'd question myself.  In fact, I have questioned myself after all I've been through over the last few months.  Why is this?  Why do they wallow in the misery?  Is it the victim thing?

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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2013, 07:06:07 AM »

Hey Happiness!

I'm not Turtle, however, maybe I can help.

Read a bit about Radical Acceptance. It is a simple concept to explain a very complicated situation. Basically, you must accept that BPD is a mental illness. There is no logic. There is nothing that we can do to truly understand it. We must simply accept it. Conventional wisdom teaches us that the brain is wired differently in a pwBPD. It just doesn't process the way a healthy brain does. No matter how logical it is, the pwBPD will not see that they are ill. That they are the one who needs help. The way they process seems logical to them, we are the illogical ones! It took hearing this from our CT to really accept this. She was very clear when she said, H is very ill. He won't get better. Even if he worked hard at the DBT we were doing, it would be years before anything would change. I have found it so much easier just to accept it for what it is. No amount of questioning is going to give us answers. It just is, and we didn't cause it, nor can we cure it!

Best Wishes,

Val78
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happiness68
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 07:12:36 AM »

Thanks Val78 - the thread wasn't address to Turtle, just stating that Turtle, PrettyPlease and me had been saying that we should start a thread on this subject.  I agree that BPD's are ill and we won't understand it, because we don't think the way they do, although I must say I believe my exbfBPD is a highly intelligent man and I find it hard to believe that he can be so very intelligent, but not think for one moment that the problem could be him.  He could be creating his own misery.  I kind of feel he knows.  I remember in July we had a few weeks of back and forth and he said to me "but I'm broken" - that tells me he knows he has a problem and he is responsible.  Perhaps it depends how badly they're affected with the BPD.  I don't know, but I do think that maybe just maybe some of the BPD's know that they are the reason they're living in their own misery.  I just don't understand why they don't do anything about it.  I guess i must relate back to the fear thing and admitting openly that something is wrong.  I do analyse everything til the bitter end I must admit.  I kind of feel at peace with myself knowing that 'm 90% sure that my exbf is suffering from BPD, so I'm part-way there.  I just hope that he will see what he saw when he told me he was broken and do something about it.  Despite the fact that he suffers from BPD, there is a big part of him that really is a lovely man.  That's the part I find hard to forget.
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Validation78
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 07:34:05 AM »

Hey again!

I think of mental illness as presenting on a line. One end is low functioning the other is high functioning, and there's lots of space in between. My H is very high functioning. He has achieved a high degree of success in his career, and nobody outside of those he has allowed to get close would ever guess that he's a mess inside. He knows how to cover it up, and simply because of the nature of BPD, it really is only those who he gets into intimate relationships with who bring out the worst of the BPD behaviors. I see them in small ways with less intimate relationships too, however, those folks don't notice because they think that's just the way he is. I know that he keeps most people at a distance to protect himself!

I also believe that on some level, he is aware that something is wrong with him. It's just too painful to look at himself the way a healthy person would, who sees that the only path to healthiness is to look in the mirror. It's hard to do, even for the most heathy person, so I can only imagine what it must be like for a pwBPD. H and I have been going to T for years, he knows he needs it, yet, he doesn't to the work! He still believes that just showing up will do it! It's also easier to blame everyone else. This way, he can feel free of the guilt and shame. When I told him that I was afraid of him, he said he wanted to divorce because he didn't want to be married to someone who was afraid of him! Huh? Wouldn't a normal person say, OMG, what can I do to make you less afraid? Of course, and as we know, they are not normal! We cannot expect normal responses. I too hope that my H gets the help he needs, I just can't wait around anymore for it, and cannot subject myself to the madness in the meantime. It's all so sad, and I have the utmost sympathy for him. However, it's time to put myself first. He has to take charge of his wellbeing without me from now on.

Let me leave you with this. My T put this thought in my head the other day, and it helps me to deal with the good memories, and not miss him. When you think of a good memory, counter balance it with a bad one. It will help you with your healing and to stop you from thinking that it ever could have been what you hoped for!

Best Wishes,

Val78
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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 07:53:24 AM »

Turtle, PrettyPlease and me are all thinking the same thing and wanted to start a new thread on it.  We all think that one of the hardest things to understand (no matter how long we've been free of our BPD) is how a person can be so very miserable, but refuse to do anything about it... .  

Well this can also be seen from a different perspective. As in, one gets dumped by a pwBPD and refuses to 'detach' and 'move on' but remains in this phase of push/pull relationship and try to get everything back together. In the meantime this person is deteriorating everything around her, her work, her social life and when friends tell them, why do you refuse to accept our help? ... the answer often would be (as shown here often on this board) ... but I still have some sense of false hope that everything will be like it was in the old days. And therefore remains miserable and complains that life hurts and blows because the r/s with a borderliner can't be understood.

The moment, if that comes, when everything is over, this person can be so shocked that it will take ages before this person has enough courage and mental motivation to step out of this misery, but mostly will take a long time before she sees the light again and therefore also remains such a long time in feeling miserable.
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happiness68
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2013, 07:53:48 AM »

Val78 - funny you say this - that's just what I do.  I was telling a friend of mine just last night that I remember the bad stuff too.  I can think of something from each month from the second month we were together that was bad where he'd fly off the handle, walk out, hurt me, or something alone those lines.  Good job I've got such a good memory.  I think to myself how that was the start of our relationship too, the so called honeymoon period.

Let me leave you with this. My T put this thought in my head the other day, and it helps me to deal with the good memories, and not miss him. When you think of a good memory, counter balance it with a bad one. It will help you with your healing and to stop you from thinking that it ever could have been what you hoped for!

Best Wishes,

Val78

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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2013, 09:02:14 AM »

Validation78 is right on.  It's radical acceptance. I finally came to that point a long time ago, which was why I said this in that other thread.

Here's what I said:

Excerpt
Quote from: turtle on Yesterday at 08:18:52 PM

We ALL have the "need to understand."  It's not an abnormal "need." The problem is... .  we never will.  We're just not wired the way they are -- and we need to remain grateful for that.

After all the years of asking "why?"  I still only come up with one answer:  Because he's mentally ill.

I was like a hamster on the wheel for years trying to understand, trying to cope, trying to learn, trying to explain, defend, coerce, blah, blah, blah, etc.  And in the end... .  three little words covered the whole thing. He's mentally ill.  Isn't that irritating?  That after all the effort, that's what I came up with?  Sad, but true.

PrettyPlease --- start that thread.  I promise to chime in!

turtle

We all arrive at Radical Acceptance in our own time.  I wished I'd grasped the Radical Acceptance part much earlier than I did.  However... .  I DID finally grasp it ... .  and this time when he tried to reengage after eleven years, the first three words that popped into my brain were "he's mentally ill,"  I was curious enough to see if something had changed for him, but those three little freeing words were right there to remind me.

Well this can also be seen from a different perspective. As in, one gets dumped by a pwBPD and refuses to 'detach' and 'move on' but remains in this phase of push/pull relationship and try to get everything back together. In the meantime this person is deteriorating everything around her, her work, her social life and when friends tell them, why do you refuse to accept our help? ... the answer often would be (as shown here often on this board) ... but I still have some sense of false hope that everything will be like it was in the old days. And therefore remains miserable and complains that life hurts and blows because the r/s with a borderliner can't be understood.

The moment, if that comes, when everything is over, this person can be so shocked that it will take ages before this person has enough courage and mental motivation to step out of this misery, but mostly will take a long time before she sees the light again and therefore also remains such a long time in feeling miserable.

This is great!  And it is so true. 

We can become so wrapped up in what THEY do, what THEY say, how THEY behave, WHY they are this way, that way, or the other way, etc. that we give up our core self trying to deal with it all.  We can become the exhausted hamster on the wheel because we CHOOSE not to get off the wheel.

We can lament why they won't get help forever, but guess what?  After all of our lamenting... .  they will STILL be mentally ill, and WE will STILL be broken.

Part of why I hung in there so very long ago was that I didn't want to give up on him. Everyone else had apparently given up on him and he made sure I knew it. In the end, I said "I didn't give up on you, YOU gave up on you." 

I don't know, but I do think that maybe just maybe some of the BPD's know that they are the reason they're living in their own misery.  I just don't understand why they don't do anything about it.  .



I think this is true, but when they have those moments of clarity, they are quicky dismissed.

Excerpt
I just hope that he will see what he saw when he told me he was broken and do something about it.  Despite the fact that he suffers from BPD, there is a big part of him that really is a lovely man.  That's the part I find hard to forget

It would be great if he got help, Happiness68.  IF he does, just remember that will have NOTHING to do with you!  Another fact of Radical Acceptance.

turtle

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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 09:04:04 AM »

Higher functioning ones are intelligent, on a intelectual level. However, it's the emotional level where they become like a infant/childlike. The reason they will not get help or even accept that they may have a mental disorder is strickly, fear. Mine and many others Ive seen know there is something wrong with them, but would rather live in the world of denial because its more comfortable for them. Facing their disorder causes them severe emotional pain and so the primative defenses kick in such as denial, projection and false self protection. While it's not logical from a normal sane perspective. There is reason behind their disorder. People who study BPD, psychologists and others understand the reasoning behind their actions. While they understand they are actions of a mentally ill person and which doesn't follow common logic. When one can not understand or does not have the desire to understand the reasoning behind the disorder, it is easiest to say, "its a mental disorder" and be okay with leaving it there. Others may chose to understand more about the disorder, while it doesn't make sense in normality, there are reasons for why they do what they do. But the main reason for not wanting help is denial and fear.
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 09:45:31 AM »

Spot on SummerT321... .  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)... .  emotional intelligence is a very different thing from being intellectually savvy... .  

It's why they can appear so capable and functioning at work... .  and why their SO's experience a totally different side of their personalities at home... .  

Acceptance that even attempting a relationship with my ex was, in it's very nature exacerbating her symptoms was my  Idea moment... .  

My boundaries, morals and values were simply incompatible with what she could offer... .  and I (we) had become her biggest trigger... .  

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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 09:49:30 AM »

Spot on SummerT321... .  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)... .  emotional intelligence is a very different thing from being intellectually savvy... .  

I agree SummerT321!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Excerpt
Acceptance that even attempting a relationship with my ex was, in it's very nature exacerbating her symptoms was my  Idea moment... .  

My boundaries, morals and values were simply incompatible with what she could offer... .  and I (we) had become her biggest trigger... .  



Exactly, Newton!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)


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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 10:19:36 AM »

I recall my ex saying, "Why can't we all just live with our imperfect selves?"  I agree that emotional intelligence is very different than being intellectually savvy.  He would talk about Jung psychology (and what was going on unconsciously with ME when he was upset... not HIM), but it appeared he was so very "intelligent" (at first!)

Ya know, I've asked myself the same thing: if I can find out about these personality disorders, why can't he? He's in so much pain doing nothing about it... .  but fear and denial would be a good reason.

It would be great if he got help, Happiness68.  IF he does, just remember that will have NOTHING to do with you!  Another fact of Radical Acceptance.

turtle

turtle... .  can you expand what you mean here? I'm trying to understand that.

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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 10:30:46 AM »

It would be great if he got help, Happiness68.  IF he does, just remember that will have NOTHING to do with you!  Another fact of Radical Acceptance.

turtle

turtle... .  can you expand what you mean here? I'm trying to understand that.

Happiness68 stated in another thread that whe wonders if she would have been able to get him into counseling.  (We can torture ourselves with the "what if's." Maybe she could have, maybe she couldn't have.  Sounds to me like she tried, and couldn't because HE didn't want that. Either way, the decision for treatment would be on HIM and HIM alone. 

The way I see it is IF the disordered person decides to get help, that "help" has nothing to do with the people around them.  They have to want that "help" MORE than they want ANYTHING else and more often than not... .  as Newton stated... .  WE have become a part of their insanity... .  "their biggest trigger."

I look at it like an addict who is in recovery.  They have to remove themselves from all of their old triggers... .  and they have to want to stay clean more than they want ANYTHING else.  That includes, people, places, everything.  Any person, place or thing that threatens their sobriety has to be confronted and most times, removed.

Did I make sense there?  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

turtle

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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 10:44:52 AM »

Thanks for all the replies on this.

Yes Turtle, you make sense.  You mean HE has to want to do it for HIMSELF.  He won't do it for me or anyone else.  That's very true.  I believe that's true of most things in life.  I think I told you he told me I needed counselling, so I went.  The first time I went I went to a lady who lived nearby, who after about 4 sessions said to me that she felt I really didn't need counselling, as although we all have issues in life, mine really were so very small that I was wasting my time.  I had more counselling through another lady about 6 months back when we had a few weeks break up and she told me the same thing - she said she'd never spoken to someone as grounded as me and that I was wasting my money.  She told me I should try to get him to talk to her.  I knew that because he was so sensitive, I couldn't just come out with that.  Instead I did mention about the two of us going for couples therapy, as I felt then the T would hit on what was wrong (I didn't know at this point about BPD) and it would go on from there and hopefully help him.  He made excuses as to why we shouldn't go, moreso saying that it was me that needed counselling.  I didn't ever tell him I'd stopped (simply because it was easier for him to think I was still going, because he thought I needed help). I have to laugh looking back at the fact that I said I was still going, but it's not funny really ... .  

I do think he knows he needs help though.  As I say, he's told me he's broken and I think that was more than one occasion. I do hope he one day does something about it.  I don't want him to do it for me.  I want him to do it for him and I know that HE has to do it because HE wants to.

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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2013, 10:47:43 AM »

Yes, turtle... .  I see what you're saying. It's about them and their desires deep down inside. I see how we are their triggers, yep. The comparison with an addict is a good one. Thank you!

But, does that mean once a trigger, always a trigger? It seems like if they dealt with their core issues that their thinking would eventually shift away from that?

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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2013, 10:57:24 AM »



My uBPDxgf has desperately sought solutions for her emotional pain.  She's been in some form of psychotherapy for years (I'm guessing decades).  She's pursued various spiritual practices, gone to workshops, worked Twelve Step programs, read self-help books, and received alternative medical treatments. Sometimes she admitted that certain of her difficulties resulted from mistakes she made.  However, she didn't really take responsibility for herself and her life -- she was probably unable to do this.

The therapeutic relationships of which I'm aware were all marred by poor boundaries.  I've wondered if her therapists perceived her BPD traits.
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2013, 11:01:20 AM »

But, does that mean once a trigger, always a trigger? It seems like if they dealt with their core issues that their thinking would eventually shift away from that?

Maybe... .  However... .  back to the addict analogy.

I had a friend who was a crack addict.  Notice the word "HAD."  He supposedly had been clean for about 13 years.  Even after 13 years of sobriety, he could never watch shows like "Intervention" and he certainly could never be in an evironment where people were smoking crack.  Makes sense.

Even if "their thinking eventually shifted away from that," WE are still guilty by association.  

And... .  that's true on our side of the equation too. THEY are guilty by association as well. IF my crazyx ever got help and was "better" (something I cannot fathom,) I still wouldn't consider having him back in my world.  I would be glad that he'd gotten the help he needs and I would wish him a happy life and be on my way.

But that's just me.

turtle

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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2013, 11:08:22 AM »

Acceptance that even attempting a relationship with my ex was, in it's very nature exacerbating her symptoms was my  Idea moment... .  

My boundaries, morals and values were simply incompatible with what she could offer... .  and I (we) had become her biggest trigger... .  

It was a bitter Idea moment when I perceived this, but it helped me accept that a relationship with her was likely impossible -- at least as things are now.  I had already started to ask how I might be toxic to her and knew that I had probably made her feel unsafe by not setting boundaries.  However, this site is helping me understand the dance we were in -- and my part in it -- much more deeply.
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2013, 11:24:34 AM »

Yeah, I'm learning my part in the "dance" as well, and not setting good boundaries was a big part of it. I can't help but wonder how he'd respond to any kind of therapy.

IF my crazyx ever got help and was "better" (something I cannot fathom,) I still wouldn't consider having him back in my world.  I would be glad that he'd gotten the help he needs and I would wish him a happy life and be on my way.

But that's just me.

turtle

turtle, yeah, ya know... .  "They" appear to have it all together with their "intelligence" they throw at you... .  but I think once the trust is broken, it's hard to get it back.  You seem like you're at a healthy distance away from it all... .  I have a ways to go... .  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)... .  
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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2013, 11:37:54 AM »

Wimowe... .  I think you are taking too much responsibility for the dysfunction... .  Of course if we don't keep our side of the street clean... .  that will cause major problems... .  

What I am suggesting is that even by being the best 'version' of ourselves that we could be will actually ESCALATE their feelings of inadequacy and fear of abandonment... .  once you can grasp that concept... .  the futility of attempting a rs with a person with BPD who isn't actively engaging in treatment... .  the easier it will be to disengage... .  

Our hard work on the tools here... .  will by it's very nature promote more "closeness" and intimacy... .  that in turn will promote more fear of abandonment/engulfment and acting out/in behaviour... .  My knowledge and understanding of my ex's condition makes me her best friend AND her worst enemy... .  

Surely the definition of a catch 22 situation!... .  
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« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2013, 11:41:13 AM »

My ex who has BPD (undiagnosed) is very high functioning and very intelligent.   He has done very well in his career, is attractive and is financially stable.   On the outside, he appears to be an excellent catch.   But anyone who has been close to him knows what a mess he is.  

He blames everyone else for everything and thinks everyone is out to take advantage of him.  Yes, lots of people do but that is because he goes above and beyond to do things for others for approval.   He needs validation from external sources to prove his worth.   He has never been able to take responsibility for his own behavior in the demise of a relationship.   The other person was always the evil one.   This is why he doesn't believe he needs help, and will always be miserable.
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« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2013, 12:46:39 PM »

Wimowe/Amber3 - that's it - the boundaries - that was my big problem.  I didn't set boundaries.  I was so busy worrying about HIM and trying to please HIM, I forgot about me and in that madness I didn't set boundaries. I used to you know at the start and I wonder if that's why we lasted as long as we did.  I think I just got tired of it.  The longer we were together, the more drained I was, the more I was giving and the less boundaries were in place.  I'm a great believer in the phrase - people treat us the way we allow them to.  I allowed him to behave the way he did.
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« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2013, 01:03:15 PM »

Yes, I agree with SummerT321 that the main reason for their not seeking help is denial and fear. They carry an enormous about of pain and shame inside that I think is difficult for a nonBPD to understand. I do think though that even though their "wiring" so to speak is different that if only they were to commit to treatment they would get significantly better. Studies show that by altering our cognitive patterns we create new "wiring" in the brain. But then again I realize I have no idea the amount of courage it may take to face that kind of internal turmoil.

My pwBPD knows he has serious issues. He doesn't always admit to it and there's a lot of blaming me and projection when things get to heavy for him to carry by himself. He and I were in CT together for almost a year. Our T was brilliant as she had extensive experience from treating BPD-patients. My bf was totally committed to going, in fact CT was his idea in the first place. He tried hard to do the work too and to understand. It was often extremely triggering for the both of us but I would leave most sessions feeling somehow better and though drained mentally also more hopeful, and I have also had to deal with some difficult personal issues. But he would always tell me he would feel at lot worse afterwards, sometimes so bad it would last days. He questioned whether it was even healthy for him to feel so bad. And in the end he couldn't deal with it any longer.
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« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2013, 01:09:04 PM »

What I am suggesting is that even by being the best 'version' of ourselves that we could be will actually ESCALATE their feelings of inadequacy and fear of abandonment... .  

Yes, saw this firsthand throughout the relationship. It became a form of unspoken competition between us, with me doing things to better our situation and she doing things to make it worse. A lot of this has to do with the Control involved. The shifts in balance have to do with control, the lack of it and the attempts at having it. It's too hard, too much work, too many fears and etc. to face, for a pwBPD to help change things for the better, even for themselves (ESPECIALLY for themselves, it seems). It's 'easier' to just stay the (worse) course. Gives a sense of control to the one running away, doing the harm. Even as they also hurt themselves. We can find our own self-control by putting in the time to help improve our lives. Many people beat themselves up over having stayed too long, but I think in many cases it shows how good our intentions were. We were just involved in a losing situation with someone who wasn't actually capable of trying to help it work out for the best. Why aren't they? Shame, pain, entrenched negative patterns, self-doubt, being scared... .  Stemming from childhood abuse which helped cause constant mental illness issues.

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« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2013, 01:09:45 PM »

Sorry to hear your story Mitti.  I agree with SummerT321 and the denial, fear and shame too.  The hardest part is that they can't talk about that even with us who are/were closest to them.  I'm very open and talk about everything and I'm not judging by any stretch of the imagination. I just "wish" it were easier for them.  I think they would make it easier for themselves. I totally understand though that we are all made up differently.
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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2013, 01:12:13 PM »

myself - when you talk about childhood abuse, what does that mean?  Do you think that the BPD was in a situation where he/she was controlled, bullied?  My exbfBPD was one of six boys.  His parents weren't in a good financial situation from what I understand.  Is the abuse thing something you can shed light on?

What I am suggesting is that even by being the best 'version' of ourselves that we could be will actually ESCALATE their feelings of inadequacy and fear of abandonment... .  

Yes, saw this firsthand throughout the relationship. It became a form of unspoken competition between us, with me doing things to better our situation and she doing things to make it worse. A lot of this has to do with the Control involved. The shifts in balance have to do with control, the lack of it and the attempts at having it. It's too hard, too much work, too many fears and etc. to face, for a pwBPD to help change things for the better, even for themselves (ESPECIALLY for themselves, it seems). It's 'easier' to just stay the (worse) course. Gives a sense of control to the one running away, doing the harm. Even as they also hurt themselves. We can find our own self-control by putting in the time to help improve our lives. Many people beat themselves up over having stayed too long, but I think in many cases it shows how good our intentions were. We were just involved in a losing situation with someone who wasn't actually capable of trying to help it work out for the best. Why aren't they? Shame, pain, entrenched negative patterns, self-doubt, being scared... .  Stemming from childhood abuse which helped cause constant mental illness issues.

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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2013, 01:15:37 PM »

My ex-wife is among the most intelligent, courageous, and introspective people I've ever met.  She's also BPD (undiagnosed, of course), and frequently utterly miserable.

She can't see it in herself for even a second.  She obviously wants to be happy, but all of her emotional and intellectual resources can't do a darn thing for her.

Contradictory?  Perhaps... .  but I think it makes sense to me.

Intelligence is a matter of processing input and producing output.  It's looking at a jumbled page and seeing a pattern... .  or looking at a maze and seeing the way out... .  or looking at clues and putting them altogether.  It's connecting the dots.

I don't see anything about BPD that suggests that they can't be good at that.  I think the problem is just that their input stream is wrong.  The jumbled page does have patterns on it, but they are not a true reflection of reality.  They can process and process and reflect and process and be strong all day long... .  but the clues they've been given are just wrong.

If their eyes and ears and hearts keep betraying them, what is the brain supposed to do?
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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2013, 01:16:26 PM »

mitti I feel for you... .  my first T said to me ... .  "Newton... .  I think the hardest thing to accept as someone with caregiving tendencies... .  is that some people we care about are so broken, they simply cannot be fixed, or cannot fix themselves"... .  

He was an amazing clinical psych, psychotherapist and double PHD in mental health... .  he had seen it all... .  a man with 25 years experience in treatment of mental health issues , and more recently personality disorders... .  

I found his words were devastating... .  and liberating ... .  in equal value... .  

Sometimes we just need to arrive at our own understanding that things are not changing, and it's time to walk away... .  It's equally caring to us, and caring to them... .  

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« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2013, 01:22:49 PM »

just_me_500... .  I appreciate your frustration... .  it seems you are missing an essential point... .  

Their FEELINGS are their TRUE interpretation of the world... .  there just isn't a logical filter to process information... .  that is missing... .  

That means it is a reality of sorts... .  a distorted one, but a reality all the same... .  for them... .  hence why their behaviour can appear so bizzare to us... .  

It is very off kilter from our interpretation of the world... .  agreed.

Their brain is doing the best it can, in the fractured way it has developed... .  

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« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2013, 01:25:05 PM »

myself - when you talk about childhood abuse, what does that mean?  :)o you think that the BPD was in a situation where he/she was controlled, bullied?  My exbfBPD was one of six boys.  His parents weren't in a good financial situation from what I understand.  Is the abuse thing something you can shed light on?

From reading stories here, living through it, and learning about this stuff elsewhere, many times the person with BPD seems to have experienced some form of abuse in childhood. That's where the 'survival' parts of this come into play. Where the deepest pains are, and why the acting out occurs. Why it's said that they are stuck emotionally at early-age levels. Why it's harder (if not impossible) for them to change themselves.
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« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2013, 02:07:14 PM »

What type of things could have affected them - shouting, aggression etc?
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« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2013, 02:12:08 PM »

I personally take the abuse stories with a huge grain of salt. Based on the fabrications of my BPDex regarding my behavior and the inconsistent stories of abuse that she told me she had suffered, I realized that her "reality" was largely a product of her mental illness. There was little to no evidence to support the claims she was making, and once she told a lie that put her in "victim status" to manipulate people, she kept running with the lie until it no longer benefited her. When I confronted her on the stories, she acted like I was crazy, denied ever telling me those stories and ramped up a smear campaign to destroy my credibility and reputation.

There may be some BPDs that actually did experience horrible abuse, but I believe that many of the stories are heavily exaggerated or outright fabrications of a disordered mind.

The ultimate victim is a child who is sexually abused. There is a button it pushes in almost everyone when we hear stories of children who are sexually abused. Often these stories are impossible to verify, and anyone who would question whether the abuse actually took place is looked upon as an uncaring, insensitive monster. I think BPDs often use this as a way of deflecting attention from their own behavior, and over time they even start to believe the abuse stories they tell, because it gives them a "reasonable" explanation for the way they feel and an instant pass for bad behavior.

I was duped for many years, and it was a painful realization when I finally saw that I had wanted to believe the stories, in spite of evidence to the contrary. I did not want to believe that the person I loved was broken, and no amount of effort on my part was ever going to change that. I was unwilling to cut my losses, and just kept trying to "work on our relationship" and improve myself to be a better partner. I was a fool, and I am responsible for the loss of 15+ years of my life with her.
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« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2013, 02:14:07 PM »

Looney is very intelligent... .  much smarter than myself... .  that was one of the features that attracted me to her.  My former wife had a knowledge deficit on many levels and we never could really talk about anything of substance, but Looney and I had that connection that I never had with anyone else.  That was part of the allure and attraction.

However, she was as clever as she was smart.  Rather than use what God gave her for beneficial means, she used it to hide, cheat and steal successfully... .  or at least, for awhile... .  her art of deception was masterful and she knew no bounds.

Regarding why she didn't seek treatment?  I am sure there are many theories on that, but my take is that there are tons of mensa members that have a whole host of problems.  Just because you are high functioning, can solve the Rubic's Cube, or write a contata, doesn't mean that you are not capable of emotional dysfunction, domestic calamity and mental illness.

Sure, she admitted occasional dysfunction, but it wasn't her fault.  It was other people that crossed her path that influenced her.  :)eflection is another art that BPD's are highly skilled at.  So, whatever they may have done that can't be lied about or explained away, is swept under the rug as being something they did as a result of someone else's actions... .  not their own.

There was a time when I would have given the moon and the stars if she would haved gone into DBT.  Now, the moon and stars are going to go to someone else more deserving that a self-absorbed, morally bankrupt, hypocrite that has asa much compassion as a scorpion... .  too much?

F1

No, my Looney was as high functioning as they get... .  and that's what made her so very dangerous.

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« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2013, 02:15:57 PM »

happiness68... .  my experience was that a trigger could be simply us feeling a different way from them!... .  that in itself could cause an extinction burst!... .  ie? I was planting seeds in a vegetable patch with her mother on a lovely sunny day... .  my ex was sitting on a bench in the garden feeling crappy... .  

So her verbal response to our behaviour was "Oh so YOU TWO are playing happy effing families whilst I sit here dying" (her actual words)... .  

Her feelings contradicted our behaviour... .  yet she needed to drag us to her level... .  

Even us feeling happy, when they are not can affect them... .  

How we deal with that is up to us  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2013, 02:21:12 PM »

I so get that Newton... .  I need to explore extinction bursts... .  I think I've witnessed a lifetime of them.

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« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2013, 02:27:32 PM »

Thanks Newton.  They are feeling sorry for themselves. That isn't abuse though.  What do you think their childhood abuse could be?  Perhaps an aggressive mother/father?  My exbfBPD didn't talk about anything like that.  I do however think I said/did things (most of the time quite innocently) that triggered him.  I agree with the trigger thing.  However, I imagine that is present in most relationships.  However, most people know how to deal with these things rationally, but BPD seems to make them irrational.  My exbfBPD was most definitely irrational. 

happiness68... .  my experience was that a trigger could be simply us feeling a different way from them!... .  that in itself could cause an extinction burst!... .  ie? I was planting seeds in a vegetable patch with her mother on a lovely sunny day... .  my ex was sitting on a bench in the garden feeling crappy... .  

So her verbal response to our behaviour was "Oh so YOU TWO are playing happy effing families whilst I sit here dying" (her actual words)... .  

Her feelings contradicted our behaviour... .  yet she needed to drag us to her level... .  

Even feeling happy, when they are not can affect them... .  

How we deal with that is up to us  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2013, 02:57:54 PM »

My ex who has BPD (undiagnosed) is very high functioning and very intelligent.   He has done very well in his career, is attractive and is financially stable.   On the outside, he appears to be an excellent catch.   But anyone who has been close to him knows what a mess he is.

Me too, Jenna.  It makes me sick how he must be strutting around, women throwing themselves at him.  In my state, single women are a dime a dozen while single men are extremely scarce.  Little do they know what they are getting into... .  but somehow that doesn't make my pain dissipate at all.

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« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2013, 03:24:33 PM »

Ok... .  here are my perceived potential causes of my exs (multiple ex's)... .  possible causes of their BPD... .  

All of the bullet pointed below are provided from my ex's "revelations" (gaslighting or "confession"... .  

-sexual abuse from an uncle

-physical and verbal abuse from a mother

-physical and verbal abuse from a father

-treatment for cancer at 5 years old, recovery... .  then abandonment from her father

-possible satanic rituals at an early age from a mother (yes really)

-bullying from pre school classmates

-eating disorders at pre teen years

-eating disorders at post teen years

-ocd traits caused by controlling parents

-sexual abuse from a tv celebrity

(This is the combination of two exs revelations)


I could add but I'm bored... .  really... .  If that sounds harsh... .  it's because thats how I'm feeling... .  

All of this PAST crappola has zero to do with me... .  I didn't cause it, It's not my job to fix it and I am in a place now where I am quite able to deal with a partners issues... .  but up to a point! 


... .  I believe I have a mum who has undiagnosed BPD... .  2 affairs, 2 suicide attempts... .  still total denial and projection... .  

A suspected NPD bio dad ... .  who has been off the scene since month 3 of my life ... .  then regular beatings from my step dad and BPD mother... .  (til I learnt kung fu at 7 years old... .  seriously!)

... .  Big deep breaths!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) 

My point is... .  I have actively sought private therapists as and when I could afford them for the last 7 years... .  I have accepted all the help the NHS can throw at me including meds, CBT, etc... .  

It HAS made a difference!  Smiling (click to insert in post)  I have sought active treatment for my mental health issues... .  still to this day my exs are attempting to project their crap onto other people... .  other hosts

I apologise in advance for being so frank,... .  but who cares what caused their initial pain?... .  It's just not our problem!... .  We are attempting to have a connection with an adult on a sexual, physical, spiritual level... .  aren't we? A relationship that is mutually beneficial... .  If our partner cannot manage that... .  we need to address why we are waiting for them to be able to acheive that... .  and if it's even possible... .  

I put in the hard work to get where I am... .  I want a partner who has at a bare minimum, at least the capability to do the same... .  !

I don't see so many stories here with pwBPD that can do that... .  

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« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2013, 04:22:57 PM »

I put in the hard work to get where I am... .  I want a partner who has at a bare minimum, at least the capability to do the same... .  !

I don't see so many stories here with pwBPD that can do that... .  

Newton, that hard work is definitely paying off, going on what you share here.

You not only want that kind of partner, you deserve it. Looking forward to reading your views of that, as well, when you're with that someone. Capable and following through, she'll be. Someone who'll appreciate the whole experience while there beside you.

If only everyone would focus positively on themselves is what this thread is all about.


BTW: I saw a quote today that for some reason made me think of all this BPD stuff.

"Anyone who isn't thoroughly confused isn't thinking clearly." (Clare Boothe Luce)
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« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2013, 04:34:01 PM »

Happiness, the obvious forms of abuse like physical and sexual abuse as well as other more subtle forms of abuse such as emotional invalidation where the child is not allowed to express feelings, shaming, neglect of attention, depression or other mental illnesses in the mother during the formative years and even just an absence of the mother due to illness. Adopted babies who suffered neglect and abuse prior to being adopted by healthy families. Narcissistic and BPD parents, silent treatment used as punishment by either parent.  Over protection, excessive control. Spoiling the child. All off these are forms of abuse that can contribute to a child having BPD.
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« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2013, 04:54:01 PM »

Myself... .  thankyou!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)... .  on initial reading that quote you posted gave me a "SCOOBY DOO" moment!... .  I may have actually shaken my head side to side and uttered "shaggy? "... .  (quietly of course   )

My philosophy reading/studies crave brilliant words like that... .   Smiling (click to insert in post)

Thanks again  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) (googling her now  Smiling (click to insert in post) )  
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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2013, 04:55:22 PM »

I think this thread opened a new and very important aspect. Thank you for that.

Me too did a lot of thinking about what might have caused my expbdgf to develop her (undiagnosed) condition. She did talk a lot about abuse, but most of that started after death of her mother that occured around age 13. Before, she just felt a bit neglected because her parents were developing a family business. By definitions I saw so far on these boards and elsewhere, formative abuse should have happened much earlier, definitely before primary school age.

This, together with other information from this thread brought me to two conclusions (that I will sleep over and see how I feel about them):

1) all the ails and wrongs she used in arguments and self-pity scenes happened at times when her psyche should have been better equipped to deal with negative experiences and, although probably true in general form, were just used as justification.

2) by definition, the very presentation of pwBPD's past is a disordered reflection serving to justify and reassure. All the things they said, that we ruminate and analyze upon - how do we even know they are true. Certainly in my case, something did not add up. I do synthesis of data for work daily (and I am not talking mathematics but social sciences) and can connect dots very well. But I could never reconstruct her past - events, times, durations... .  just did not match up.

Is this lie I believed in much greater then I thought? Hmm.
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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2013, 05:09:15 PM »

4815162342... .     It's important to appreciate that our partners perceptions of the world will shift and adapt according to their feelings ... .  ie/ feelings equal facts... .  

Is that a dynamic you can process?... .  
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« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2013, 05:30:45 PM »

Is that a dynamic you can process?... .  

It does not really matter anymore, relationship is over. But yeah, I can process that dynamic now in retrospect and with a lot of effort. It was impossible for me to process it in "real time", hence the breakup (well, one of the reasons for it anyway).

Today it is just amusing to realize that even the facts (including descriptions of abuse) she told and I took for granted and used to rationalize her behavior (and respond) possibly were not true in form, if not also in substance.
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« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2013, 05:48:29 PM »

So if you take some time and effort to process things... .  how are you feeling about the breakup?... .  
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« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2013, 08:17:47 PM »

Hello,

Maybe I'm being redundant, or maybe I am too late to respond to the original theme of the thread, but I'm in a mood to share my opinions anyway.

Unfortunately, intelligence has extremely little to do with mental health. From what I've gathered, it's actually more intelligent people that have a lot of mental issues and are plagued by mental anguish. I'm not saying everyone here isn't intelligent because they're not mentally ill, I'm just saying high intelligence can come with a price.

I just feel like it's somewhat insensitive to ask why a person with BPD doesn't just get help; That's like asking why an anorexic just doesn't pick up a sandwich and eat, or asking why someone with OCD doesn't just stop performing their compulsive behaviors. It's ILLNESS, as Turtle and many others have already said. There is no logic, or warped logic at best. People with serious mental illnesses usually don't end up getting help until they hit rock bottom, like attempting suicide or getting arrested. As much as we'd love for these people with borderline to get help, as smart as so many of them are, it won't happen because the illness is in their personality - they consider it normal, and so develop a sort of learned helplessness because it's just "who they are."

And any reasons for their illness aren't necessarily excuses -it's dysfunction. You can't invalidate their feelings because, as warped as they can be, it's what their feeling, and who are we to deny that to them? And I do agree that the person with BPD's past is not as relevant to their adult relationships as their current behavior. Lies or not, embellishments or not, they are feeling/behaving this way NOW for a reason, and it's up to you whether you want to expose yourself to that or not.

And I know for me, I had to ask the question of why I wanted my BF to get help - was it so *I* could be happier, or so he would be happier? I feel like a lot of people in this situation feel like if only they got help everything will be hunky dory, so they question why their SO just can't do it. If this person is out of your life, wish him the best and let him be. Fretting over it leads me to suspect that maybe some part of you wants him to get better so that the two of you can be happy again. I could be totally wrong, so take my comments with a grain of salt. It could be a possibility though.

It's better to focus on your mental health. You can never radically accept a mentally ill person in your life if you don't radically accept yourself and have the best mental health you can have.
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« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2013, 03:43:14 AM »

"I had to ask the question of why I wanted my BF to get help - was it so *I* could be happier, or so he would be happier? I feel like a lot of people in this situation feel like if only they got help everything will be hunky dory, so they question why their SO just can't do it. If this person is out of your life, wish him the best and let him be."

Spot on!

This is a great thread but in addition to my desire to endorse Turtle's observation that THEY need to want the therapy, I'd also like to comment on the "other directedness" at play in this line of questioning. Schema Therapies delve into this and OUR psychological issues for choosing them, staying with them and obsessing about them once its over.

IMHO, BPD is about emotional under-development. Intelligence does not factor, but selfishness does. So of course the decision to seek therapy will come from THEIR wants and needs and never ours. That said PwPDs rarely seek treatment.

So what about our misery and refusal to fully let go despite OUR intelligence? And did our visit to the T provide the magical panacea to this awful situation?

Bb12
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« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2013, 04:03:47 AM »

bb12 - your quote here - yes, what about us nons and our misery and refusal to let it go - I think part of this comes from the shock of what's happened and this in itself takes time to get our heads round, whether that with be a T or through friends, or whatever else we feel we may need.  It would seem that a relationship with a person suffering from BPD has such an irrational out of the blue note to it that this is what we find hard to deal with.  If it were a r/s with a normal person, we wouldn't feel like this, as we'd see it coming.  Losing a BPD is such a shock, as it's so unexpected.  It was in my case anyway.  I can't imagine for one minute leaving someone I love and want to spend the rest of my life with over a small issue.  I understand that it's an illness and their illness and we nons will never understand it.  However, for us nons it's a real shock. 



So what about our misery and refusal to fully let go despite OUR intelligence? And did our visit to the T provide the magical panacea to this awful situation?

Bb12

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« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2013, 04:15:27 AM »

Hiya happiness68

Completely agree with you! My ending was as confusing as it was brutal... .  And I still post on the leaving board because of the pain I can still feel. And yes, the fact that we were never this stuck before says a lot about our own emotional and psychological health.

I was just being a bit cheeky and nudging the thread toward self-examination where I believe freedom lies - together with the cure for our attraction to broken people 

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« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2013, 04:17:06 AM »

The nature of the BPD beast is to pull us in, hook us, tantalize, guilt us, etc. without taking all the time needed to unravel their past. So most of them force us to trauma bond, and TO do the work they could not do, then, we or them walk away. So, many of us go to therapy, to un- hook their grip on our personality and character they devour. This  does'nt necessarily mean anything was wrong with us, although we could use it.  And no, a good T and this site, is not a panacea, but a sounding board we need to tune into. One who truly understands the nature of this BPD beast who  preys on the innocent and weak, and also the strong and the wise successfully.
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« Reply #49 on: January 21, 2013, 05:09:44 AM »

I kind off agree with red right ankle. Its similar to asking an alcoholic why dont u just get help and stop drinking. Its so much more complicated and difficult with BPD because of their identity issues. They have built their false identity. Admitting theyoare not who they believe they are is like a soul death to them. It doesnt seem logical to us because we know different. Most of us know who we are. They dont. Their identity comes from what others say they are.
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« Reply #50 on: January 21, 2013, 05:15:33 AM »

2) by definition, the very presentation of pwBPD's past is a disordered reflection serving to justify and reassure. All the things they said, that we ruminate and analyze upon - how do we even know they are true. Certainly in my case, something did not add up. I do synthesis of data for work daily (and I am not talking mathematics but social sciences) and can connect dots very well. But I could never reconstruct her past - events, times, durations... .  just did not match up.

This is so true - and trying to piece together the puzzle would be guaranteed to elicit accusations and rage.  My ex included some material about his childhood in a piece for publication & then got very upset when his family accused him of lying. I know that he had exaggerated claims of being abused at the catholic school he went to - someone called him on it & he immediately changed his story.  He was also fixated on childhood issues of his "favourite" ex.  I got really tired of hearing about how difficult her life had been in addition to his own. I used to wonder why he expected me to care about that stuff when he seemed totally disinterested in anything to do with my life prior to meeting him... .  
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« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2013, 05:17:53 AM »

Apologies - the start of my last post was a quote from 481(numbers) but I'm struggling with an iPhone trying to quote/paste
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« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2013, 05:29:30 AM »

And in response to rightredankles question ... .  why do we want our BPDs to get help? In my case its not because i want it for me. I already know i cant be happy with him. And also, if they do get help, like some do and get cured they usually end up being a completely different person due to the personality changes. In my case i would like him to get help because i cant stand the though of someone i loved being so miserable and in pain for the rest of their life. Even if i never saw him again i still hope and pray he finds help and peace.
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« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2013, 06:19:28 AM »

We were fortunate to have the money a few years back, to have brain scans (nuclear imagery) done at the Amen Clinic in California. These images reveal which parts of the brain are abnormal in their functioning - either lowered neural activity, or heightened activity.  They did the some scans while she was calm and others in a state of mild induced stress.

The results were a diagnosis of mood disorder, depression, and pms syndrome. I don't think they were assessing for PDs as this is more of a behavior issue.  But the pictures were revealing and explained her BPD behavior though at the time we didn't know anything about BPD.

For instance, activity in her prefrontal cortex shuts down under stress, while her amygdala fires up. The prefrontal cortex provides executive function (logic, reason, the  inner "narrator".  The amygdala is more responsible for primal emotions.  From these images you could see how her brain functions improperly when she dysregulates. The psychiatrist said that under stress, her brain will actually go into a seizure  of sorts -- neural activity (electrical/chemical firing) would stop in those parts of her brain that would normally "apply the brakes" to emotions and she could no longer interpret alarming/threatening thoughts like a normal person would.

Knowing this ultimately had a good and a bad effect on me.  The good is that it gave me more compassion, knowing she couldn't help a lot of her intensity and strange behavior during outbursts. The bad thing is, knowing nothing about BPD, I slid further down the slope of no boundaries, enablement and codependence, because "she really couldn't help it." Ultimately she lost something solid to lean against and respect for me.  

I lost myself to a growing resignation and listlessness as exhaustion took it's toll.  This is what happens when  someone lives with mental illness and doesn't have  the skills to deal with it head on nor the knowledge of how to take care of oneself. That's why communities like this are so valuable.

Over recent years, brain researchers have come to  realize that the brain changes over time, depending on choices and behavior . The thinking that a person chooses to engage in, the behaviors they allow to become habitual, actually change the structure of the brain. Chemical/electrical pathways are forged and widened like well-used wagon ruts. Areas of the brain associated with certain functions begin to overbear (and even enlarge) in relationship to other parts. If a person chooses the path of unforgiveness lets say, letting bitterness and resentment become a predominate mindset, I believe the brain begins to change to reflect and accommodate that. So for a BPD, in earlier times, they may have had more of a choice. Later on,  it's not so much their choice, it becomes neurological structure.

So the question becomes, is my wife hypersensitive, resentful, suspicious, etc because her brain processes information abnormally (as the images show), or is her brain shot to ___ because she chose unhealthy thinking patterns of anger, bitterness, resentment, self-centeredness, etc?  What came first?  
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« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2013, 07:07:41 AM »

I usually post on the Undecided board but am closer to making that dreadful "decision" to leave. This thread caught my eye. My H (uBPD) is extremely intelligent. To speak to his abuse: He stuttered growing up, was verbally abused by mom because of it, dad was an alcoholic (dry now), he was put in the Sped Ed classes because he couldn't "talk" right so teachers thought he couldn't read. He never really had many friends growing up, still doesn't for that matter. He got a perfect 800 on the English part of his SATs back when they were out of 1600. Yes, he had a difficult childhood, but he still carries the seed of bitterness.

I would speak to him when we first got married, that all of that was in the past and not to let it color his future. He's highly intelligent, charming when he wants to be, extremely gifted in so many areas, creative beyond measure, landed his dream job right out of college... .  we had the entire world ahead of us. We, as a newly married couple, can determine OUR fate. Fast forward 15 years, his childhood and upbringing still haunt him and that seed of bitterness has taken a strong root: Everyone is out to wrong him, it's ALWAYS somebody else's fault, people are stupid, etc, etc. Over the years, I have watched this man that I love (and maybe it was all mirroring in the beginning. Who knows. I do know that I've always felt duped. The man I dated was not the one in our home after the marriage.) go from super ambitious, always busy creating something to someone who is so unbelievably miserable (negative, irritable, complaining constantly) and projects that on to me and our daughter.

He has so much to be grateful for: we are literally living a dream right now, we have a beautiful, intelligent daughter, not lacking financially, etc. For so long I was angry at him for not realizing this and being thankful. But it is mental illness. THIS colors their world. They will only see what their twisted perception will allow. Until that seed of bitterness, whatever it may be, is dug out and destroyed. And is it possible that THAT could be the cause of mental illness in some people? A wrong that is held onto so tightly? It literally drives them crazy?

Like so many on this thread have posted, MY part in our dance is the boundaries. I was pretty firm with them in the beginning, but then to prevent these rages that came from nowhere backed off. I only found out about BPD 4 months ago and it explains a lot of the craziness that has defined our r/s. Had I known then what I know now, I would have sought counseling much earlier and held to those boundaries no matter what the consequence. Instead, I kept giving and changing, thinking I was helping, only to find out that I have been enabling.

And I know for me, I had to ask the question of why I wanted my BF to get help - was it so *I* could be happier, or so he would be happier? I feel like a lot of people in this situation feel like if only they got help everything will be hunky dory, so they question why their SO just can't do it.

Of course, we want the best for our r/s, which means both partners getting help. I can honestly say that my heart grieves for my H. Nobody on Earth deserves to be in as much misery as he's in. Life is TOO short to live like this. I have told him this too, when I tried to get him to seek help for Depression years back. His answer: Can't you just get it through your head? Some people are just destined to have one ~y day after another.

I look to the future and what I want from life and what I want for my daughter's upbringing will not happen if I choose to stay. Turtle hit it on the head when she said that they need to want help. How long has it taken me to finally accept that? I can't do it for him, and perhaps that is what has kept me in this r/s for so long: if I just do this one more thing, change one more thing, etc. But NO... .  his life is not mine. That is HIS demon to wrestle with. I can be supportive, I can hold to my boundaries, I can validate until I'm blue in the face, but in the end, especially if he refuses to seek help, I will never get the love, respect, support, understanding, or friendship I crave in this marriage.  Nor will I have a healthy model of what a marriage should look like for our daughter.

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« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2013, 07:19:18 AM »

Over recent years, brain researchers have come to  realize that the brain changes over time, depending on choices and behavior . The thinking that a person chooses to engage in, the behaviors they allow to become habitual, actually change the structure of the brain. Chemical/electrical pathways are forged and widened like well-used wagon ruts. Areas of the brain associated with certain functions begin to overbear (and even enlarge) in relationship to other parts. If a person chooses the path of unforgiveness lets say, letting bitterness and resentment become a predominate mindset, I believe the brain begins to change to reflect and accommodate that. So for a BPD, in earlier times, they may have had more of a choice. Later on,  it's not so much their choice, it becomes neurological structure.

So the question becomes, is my wife hypersensitive, resentful, suspicious, etc because her brain processes information abnormally (as the images show), or is her brain shot to ___ because she chose unhealthy thinking patterns of anger, bitterness, resentment, self-centeredness, etc?  What came first? 

So, is it possible to forge new thought patterns after it becomes their neurological structure? The brain is an extraordinary organ. Unfortunately, there's a lot to be said about the consequences of holding on to anger unforgiveness, and bitterness.
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« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2013, 07:24:12 AM »

Thanks Vinnie  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)... .  a very thought provoking post!

I'm inclined to agree on your interpretation of the implications of these scans... .  not only from a clinical perspective but also a personal one... .  

My experience of practicing CBT and mindfulness seems to illustrate that even by practicing and allowing ourselves to experience positive thoughts (or actively challenging negative feelings with self constructed sentences)... .  has a direct impact on feelings... .  

I find this apparent in another area of my life... .  but a reverse effect ... .  

I have studied martial arts since a very young age... .  recently I have trained in a very martial form of tai chi.  It has been explained by my teachers that repeating our form (in which there are hidden a multitude of offensive/defensive techniques)... .  will create new neural pathways in our brain.  

We are also taught how to separate ourselves from thought when practicing our form and attempt to experience a sense of "being" in the movements... .  a kind of dissociative experience I believe (well it certainly feels like it).

The training methods are designed to develop a physical reaction to a physical threat on a very base sub-concious level.  It is often described to us a "reptilian" feeling in nature, and when I need to tap in to that it definitely feels incredibly primitive, raw... .  and provides me with reaction speeds and power that are simply not possible if I "thought" about doing them... .  

We are taught ":)ON'T DO IT"... .  I appreciate that sounds counter intuitive... .  but until you experience that "feeling"... .  the sentence doesn't make sense.

Taking myself to that "place" can be quite overwhelming and frightening when I realise the destructiveness that feeling can manifest... .  

This training has been a key part of my interpretation of BPD symptoms... .  they are reactive in nature on a base level that many can't appreciate or experience.  They can cause a huge amount of damage... .  and taking ownership of them and embracing them for what they are is the only way to tame them.

I appreciate this post is a little "out there"... .  in summary I guess I'm trying to say that in my training it appears I am being taught to reverse engineer my brain, to bypass thought and utilize repeated physical behaviour.  The goal is to attempt to achieve a dissociated state where feelings express themselves in physicality without the time delay of thought... .  

Has this made sense to anyone?... .  It really does to me!    
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« Reply #57 on: January 21, 2013, 08:14:09 AM »

Vinnie -- thank you for your post!

Newton --  yes, this makes sense!

Excerpt
I appreciate this post is a little "out there"... .  in summary I guess I'm trying to say that in my training it appears I am being taught to reverse engineer my brain, to bypass thought and utilize repeated physical behaviour.  The goal is to attempt to achieve a dissociated state where feelings express themselves in physicality without the time delay of thought... .  



I think I have experienced this with the idea of gratitude.  While that isn't a physical behavior, I do believe I have rewired my brian to be grateful FIRST -- "without the time delay of thought."  I don't do it EVERY time, but I do it ALMOST every time.  And for that... .  I am grateful.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

This one thing has changed my life immeasurably.

turtle

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« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2013, 08:23:13 AM »

I second that - thanks Vinnie.  What you write is very interesting.  Thanks for the insight.

Turtle/Newton - I don't understand this.  Can you explain? 

Vinnie -- thank you for your post!

Newton --  yes, this makes sense!

Excerpt
I appreciate this post is a little "out there"... .  in summary I guess I'm trying to say that in my training it appears I am being taught to reverse engineer my brain, to bypass thought and utilize repeated physical behaviour.  The goal is to attempt to achieve a dissociated state where feelings express themselves in physicality without the time delay of thought... .  



I think I have experienced this with the idea of gratitude.  While that isn't a physical behavior, I do believe I have rewired my brian to be grateful FIRST -- "without the time delay of thought."  I don't do it EVERY time, but I do it ALMOST every time.  And for that... .  I am grateful.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

This one thing has changed my life immeasurably.

turtle

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« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2013, 08:40:22 AM »

Turtle/Newton - I don't understand this.  Can you explain? 

Well, I can't speak for Newton, but here's how I perceive that this has worked for me.

Back in the days of being in BPD hell, everything was dark, hard, negative, costly, debilitating, destructive, etc.  We all know what that feels like.

This caused me to approach my entire life from a very dark place. My business, my friends, my family, my very existance on this earth.  Even long after my stint in BPD hell was over, this was what my brain had learned.  That things were hard, negative, costly, destructive, etc.   And... .  some of that was fact!  My circumstances were not great for a number of reasons that were real.  There was no denying the gravity of them, but my approach to dealing with them was not helping one bit.

About a year ago, I started keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, I write down 5 things I'm grateful for. Sometimes, the entries are very small and seemingly obvious.  i.e., I'm grateful for my morning coffee.  Sometimes, the entries are much more significant. i.e., I'm grateful for my new knees and how having them has changed my life (this is a HUGE entry.)

This simple, daily act, has caused me to approach my life from an entirely different mind set.  That includes my business, my friends, my family, my very existance on this earth.  Does that mean my circumstances have changed?  Not necessarily.  Some of them have not and that is just a fact.  However, my reaction to them is different now and it's not some kind of thought or feeling that I have to conjure up.  It's just there... .  FIRST.

That's how I interpret what Newton has said and how it looks in my little corner of the world.

We'll see what Newton has to say!

turtle



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« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2013, 08:52:26 AM »

Thanks Turtle.  I see what you mean. It made you appreciate the good in your life, even the small things.  I must admit I'm much calmer since my BPD relationship.  I became that way about 6 months in.  I had to be to deal with it and him.  I'm very grateful for the good things in my life.  I think I'm very lucky on the most of it.  You're right.  We should be thankful and it makes us look at things in a better way.  I think the good stuff is really what stops us nons from being bitter and resentful after a r/s with our BPD's.  I figure I have to continue to feel the way I am and things will kind of fall into place.  It takes time, I get that.  I don't have so many low moments.  I have moments of missing him and the good stuff that we had, but that's it now and I"m sure I will go on to meet someone else who will create new good memories with me.  Thanks for explaining.  It confirms I'm on the right track of healing. 

I second that - thanks Vinnie.  What you write is very interesting.  Thanks for the insight.

Turtle/Newton - I don't understand this.  Can you explain? 

Vinnie -- thank you for your post!

Newton --  yes, this makes sense!

Excerpt
I appreciate this post is a little "out there"... .  in summary I guess I'm trying to say that in my training it appears I am being taught to reverse engineer my brain, to bypass thought and utilize repeated physical behaviour.  The goal is to attempt to achieve a dissociated state where feelings express themselves in physicality without the time delay of thought... .  



I think I have experienced this with the idea of gratitude.  While that isn't a physical behavior, I do believe I have rewired my brian to be grateful FIRST -- "without the time delay of thought."  I don't do it EVERY time, but I do it ALMOST every time.  And for that... .  I am grateful.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

This one thing has changed my life immeasurably.

turtle


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« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2013, 09:27:16 AM »

Yes, I can confirm that the frontal lobe, especially the ventral medial section, reins in the amygdala like taming a wild horse.  The amygdala is like an untamed horse. Basically, the meltdowns are an uncontrolled stress response. That is, the amygdala is trigger happy and will trip of the fight or flight, which is exceedingly painful and unpleasant. This is why a person would describe them self as living in hell. Nervous wreck.

I have studied this extensively.
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« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2013, 09:33:56 AM »

Green tea, my experience was exactly the same as yours. Had a life that any man would envy, and his ~ attitude drove him to psychosis.

Now I think we need to think deeply about this. Psychosis damages the brain... .  many studies have shown this over the past 20 years. And the longer it goes on, the more damage ensues.

Understand too, that BPD is about 42% genetic. It could be that these pathways are inherently weak... .  like like someone could be born with a weak heart or weak eyesight.

Combine this with parents that cannot recognize this and help the kid deal with the runaway stress response... .  they are likely the same way... .  then you have in essence a family curse.
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« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2013, 09:36:18 AM »

I really find this stuff about the frontal lobe and the amygdala fascinating... .  I've read a bit about it. But it's really a clinical perspective that I don't fully understand but it helps me to make more sense of why they are so illogical at times! The amygdala is the part of the brain which stores all the bad subconcious memories I think I heard that.
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« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2013, 09:43:58 AM »

Oh... .  no pressure then Turtle!   ... .  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Ok my take is that we have an ability to filter what we experience from life... .  I will call that filter "interpretation"... .  

We have power over that interpretation by employing rational thought, actually utilising thought as a tool... .  

Now even if we don't necessarily initially believe the challenging sentences we use to describe our experience... .  the very fact that we have allowed ourselves to experience those sentences will alter our perception... .  and thus alter our feelings.

If we take time to create a space in our thoughts to mull over an idea... .  even that very behaviour which is a choice can influence how we feel about something... .  

It sounds like Turtle is saying... .  (and I know I'll be corrected if I'm wrong Laugh out loud (click to insert in post))... .  that "gratitude" has become the filter/interpretation of her experience of the world... .  

That means things which may previously have passed through a negative filter... .  and promoted negative feelings... .  are now greeted and embraced with a different schema... .  

In addition... .  a pwBPD is filtering the world through a much more primitive mechanism... .  emotion.  There isn't a filter in place to consider alternative possibilities... .  or consequences of their reactionary behaviour... .  it just IS in a MOMENT... .  every waking moment 

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« Reply #65 on: January 21, 2013, 09:47:27 AM »

It sounds like Turtle is saying... .  (and I know I'll be corrected if I'm wrong Laugh out loud (click to insert in post))... .  that "gratitude" has become the filter/interpretation of her experience of the world... .  

That means things which may previously have passed through a negative filter... .  and promoted negative feelings... .  are now greeted and embraced with a different schema... .  

That is exactly right. 

I'm grateful for you, Newton -- you make me laugh.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #66 on: January 21, 2013, 09:48:16 AM »

Vinnie-

In your comment you wrote:

The results were a diagnosis of mood disorder, depression, and pms syndrome.

These 3 things together are like pieces of a BPD puzzle. The behavioral components added in would probably be a conclusive yes to a BPD diagnosis. Especially with the scan results to back up the similar findings that they have seen in recent studies with BPDs.

I feel for you with the changes you made to try to be more understanding of your SO's illness. I did the same, not realizing that it was taking us further down the rabbit hole and making things worse, not better.

GreenTea-

You have my sympathies. The decision to leave is not easy, but you must think of your daughter's well being and your own first. I struggled with how to handle custody issues with my son, but after reading more about BPD and giving it thorough consideration I realized that there would be no bright future for my son if BPDexGF remains untreated. We are now locked in a horrible custody battle that is one of the worst experiences of my life. It may cost me everything I have, but I have to try to protect my son.
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« Reply #67 on: January 21, 2013, 10:22:27 AM »

The amygdala holds the emotional associations with thoughts... .  think pavlovs dog. Bell equalled salivating. Without modulation by the prefrontal cortex, a person is held hostage to prior conditioning. Nonstop stress response. This could be why BPDs live an average of 20 years shorter. Not regulating ones's emotions is a larger death risk factor than smoking and obesity combined.
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« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2013, 10:24:33 AM »

Interesting the amygdala has been found to be hyperactive in BPD patients and it is also the "fear hub" of the brain.
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« Reply #69 on: January 21, 2013, 10:27:32 AM »

Yes, it is a trigger happy deeply ingrained panic attack.

Just asking the board... .  could you develop a sense of identity if you were subject to panic attacks all of the time?
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« Reply #70 on: January 21, 2013, 10:28:04 AM »

Non just the fear hub. All of the primal emotions.
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« Reply #71 on: January 21, 2013, 10:28:32 AM »

Not regulating ones's emotions is a larger death risk factor than smoking and obesity combined.

Idea  Wow!  

That is a shocking statistic.

Thanks for sharing this maryiscontrary!

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« Reply #72 on: January 21, 2013, 10:35:16 AM »

Well, it is about the same for schizophrenia and bipolar. Along with BPD, there is about a 20 year less lifespan than those without. I am not sure of the NPD or ASPD.

I mean, this is serious risk factor. 
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« Reply #73 on: January 21, 2013, 10:45:57 AM »

This thread is making total sense to me... .  I have almost zero knowledge of brain mechanics (I will have soon as a result of the discussion here)... .  google awaits!  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Referring back to my tai chi training... .  we are instructed that in it's purest most perfect experience/delivery... .  our physical responses to a perceived attack should be like sneezing, or vomiting ... .  A physical reaction to a trigger that bypasses thought or decision... .  

I am not suggesting that means pwBPD are not culpable for their shocking behaviour... .  people who exhibit behaviour deemed to be socially unaceptable should be avoided... .  or detained... .  

But it's a very interesting topic... .  and creates a lot of interesting questions... .  

My martial training seems to be developing a "controlled reactive rage"... .  

DBT seems to be teaching "rage filtered by thought... .  thus controlled"... .  



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« Reply #74 on: January 21, 2013, 11:17:18 AM »

Interesting observations here... .  the reduced life expectancy makes sense and I'm fine with it (sorry, still reeeling from it all... .  I'm sure I'll be more sensitive later)... .  

I'm curious about the Non's life expectancy from living with the BPD?

F1
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« Reply #75 on: January 21, 2013, 11:19:57 AM »

I am going to respond back to the original topic of this post:

The simple answer is that part of the nature of BPD is that the person with BPD usually does not believe that there is anything wrong with them. It is always someone else's fault for the way that they feel and behave.

Trying to convince a BPD to seek help, is like trying to convince a person that does not even drink alcohol to seek rehab for drinking alcohol. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to them and the more you persist in trying to convince them, the more they become convinced that you are the crazy one. BPDs are not ignorant of their own behavior, they are just unable to accept and properly process facts that fail to support the way they already feel.
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« Reply #76 on: January 21, 2013, 11:24:23 AM »

Bent... .  that is the main focus of course.  It's absolutely impossible to have any kind of a relationship with someone that is never wrong.  Being asa intelligent as they usually are, they can spin, rationalize and persuade enough to get what they feel is rightfully theirs... .  regardless of the consequences or circumstances.  Double standards are a daily event and hypocrisy is their motto.

Do I sound a bit jaded?  LOL

F1
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« Reply #77 on: January 21, 2013, 11:29:02 AM »

Well as an anecdotal observation... .  my first T expressed his thoughts that choosing to experience a partner with severe mental illness could possibly promote a long term stress "flight" reaction on a physical level... .  ie US developing physical disease in a response to OUR constant emotional distress.

It makes sense to me that exposing myself to cigarettes, alcohol, fatty foods and a stressful job will reduce my life expectancy... .  significantly... .  

It's not a huge leap to understand that the same health risks are involved for choosing to expose ourselves constantly to someone who is disrupting our emotional well being... .  

As an add on though... .  learning about radical acceptance, mindfulness, boundaries etc has reduced my stressors significantly!

... .  "Is there a statistician on the plane?"... .   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #78 on: January 21, 2013, 11:34:31 AM »

Bent... .  that is the main focus of course.  It's absolutely impossible to have any kind of a relationship with someone that is never wrong.  Being asa intelligent as they usually are, they can spin, rationalize and persuade enough to get what they feel is rightfully theirs... .  regardless of the consequences or circumstances.  Double standards are a daily event and hypocrisy is their motto.

Do I sound a bit jaded?  LOL

F1

It has taken me a bit to separate the emotion from my personal experience, and I am not fully there yet. I am also just beginning to get a firm grasp on the twisted logic of my BPD ex. (ie. 1+1=Fish bicycle! You didn't do what I wanted 7 years ago, you did what I told you to do! You apologized for it at the time--which was accepted, but I am going to scream at you for an hour over it 7 years later-all because her abandonment fear was triggered and previous episodes of abandonment fear were recalled)
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« Reply #79 on: January 21, 2013, 11:44:54 AM »

how a person can be so very miserable, but refuse to do anything about it.

My ex with BPD had said it many times and I was witness too it.  It is just too much effort and too tiring to fight BPD, it is so much easier to fall back into the ways they feel comfortable.

I think a good analogy is fighting BPD is like trying not to scratch an itch.

Plus then the whole, removed from reality comes into play and it becomes much easier to avoid working hard at feeling better and just riding the BPD roller-coaster.
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« Reply #80 on: January 21, 2013, 11:54:31 AM »

He tried hard to do the work too and to understand. It was often extremely triggering for the both of us but I would leave most sessions feeling somehow better and though drained mentally also more hopeful, and I have also had to deal with some difficult personal issues. But he would always tell me he would feel at lot worse afterwards, sometimes so bad it would last days. He questioned whether it was even healthy for him to feel so bad. And in the end he couldn't deal with it any longer.

Thanks Mitti, yes this helps to explain why they don't. It hurts them. Just like Marsha Linehan says they are not like us. They have no emotional skin at all. Therapy hurts them. I can't understand that, but it does.
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« Reply #81 on: January 21, 2013, 12:09:25 PM »

The amygdala holds the emotional associations with thoughts... .  think pavlovs dog. Bell equalled salivating. Without modulation by the prefrontal cortex, a person is held hostage to prior conditioning. Nonstop stress response. This could be why BPDs live an average of 20 years shorter. Not regulating ones's emotions is a larger death risk factor than smoking and obesity combined.

Can you share a reference for this data?  As required by HonCode, we ask members to document research findings. (see Ethics)

We are familiar with this data:

www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/219330.php

This article reports that people with severe metal illness tend to drink, smoke, and be obese, and therefore at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and die younger.  This report does not suggest that "Not regulating ones's emotions is a larger death risk factor than smoking and obesity combined." - it paint a relationship between the two.

We welcome the factoids - keep them coming!     Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Also, there was a meta analysis published that suggests that the negative emotionality may be hardwired (chemical).

"Neural Correlates of Negative Emotionality in Borderline Personality Disorder: An Activation-Likelihood-Estimation Meta-Analysis"

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« Reply #82 on: January 21, 2013, 12:39:37 PM »

Referring back to my tai chi training... .  we are instructed that in it's purest most perfect experience/delivery... .  our physical responses to a perceived attack should be like sneezing, or vomiting ... .  A physical reaction to a trigger that bypasses thought or decision... .  

This shows that by working on yourself, you can get to a state of being where you just BE. You ARE at your best. You're: YOU. When things are good, you accept them, you're calmer, your reactions just flow and you're living a natural life. When things are bad ('attacking' you) you accept them, you're calmer, your reactions just flow and you're living a natural life. Without the work to get there, though, this balance does not occur.
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« Reply #83 on: January 21, 2013, 01:19:00 PM »

myself... .  I agree... .  the very odd thing about experiencing this state is whilst I am training with the very few who can turn this on and off with a switch... .  we are acting in an incredibly dangerous way... .  but the harmony of the experience means we have huge smiles on our faces and are all laughing and joking  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I have recently realised that this combination of "feeling and action" can be expressed through sweeping a path of leaves, mowing a lawn or buttering toast!... .  the key... .  for me... .  is maintaining an overall "intention"... .  I believe that means a motivation for our actions... .  in a moment.

It's a shame this thread is nearing it's end... .  it's been great... .  thank you happiness68  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #84 on: January 21, 2013, 01:26:59 PM »

This thread has been incredibly valuable to me - I have been awake half the night having revelations & "aha" moments. Is there any way it can please not be locked even tho it is over 4 pages?

One question - I can understand how brain dysfunction could lead to the rages & loss of control, i had always understood that this was behaviour that he was simply incapable of regulating. But I struggle to deal with understanding the deliberate and calculated cruelty & the sadistic enjoyment that I sometimes felt he gained from it. It seemed to be the opposite of loss of control & to me, that seems the most "evil" aspect of his persona. 

Did he need to humiliate me in order to feel better about the rage & his own feelings of disappointment (and disgust?) in me when logically he knew I had done nothing wrong?
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« Reply #85 on: January 21, 2013, 01:33:46 PM »

Its a subconcious reaction, they don't even realize until after its done. And they don't know why they do it, but it has something to do with their subconcious memories in the amygdala!
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« Reply #86 on: January 21, 2013, 01:47:52 PM »

How could something viscous and calculated be subconscious? I assumed that subconscious behaviour was reactive & emotional whereas the behaviour I'm thinking of seemed so much the opposite?
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« Reply #87 on: January 21, 2013, 02:00:14 PM »

Wooddragon... .  I can understand your confusion... .  it is possible your SO had NPD traits (it can often be co-morbid with BPD)... .  that is a whole different ballgame

If we are talking about BPD though... .  their satisfaction from our distress is an accomplishment of projecting/transfering their pain onto us... .  their lack of self means if WE feel pain then they don't have to own it... .  our acting out behaviour in our misery distracts from them self soothing... .  

It was described simply once here as "tag... .  your IT"... .  

If I am running around with a ticking bomb... .  then I give it to you and run away fast... .  suddenly it's not my problem and my anxiety has gone (especially if I don't really care about your welfare)... .  

It's our choice to accept the ticking bomb... .  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #88 on: January 21, 2013, 02:46:12 PM »

Around 2000 I was tying up loose ends in some toxicology and immunology research and had regular access to mainstream research papers in any journal. Because I had trouble with personal relationships (what I now know as BPD and MPD people in my life, and my own uNPD parents along with my own caregiver traits), I started also collecting, reading, and trying to understand psychology papers on attachment disorders, PTSD, BPD and MPD.

Several of them were major teachers for me. Some used specialized language but I’m going to try to transmit some concepts from them that don’t seem to have been covered completely in the other thread yet.

1. Most fascinating to me: Henry’s 1997 meta review paper [1] suggesting that not only is there biological evidence that the brain develops differently in both hormone levels and specific neuron development in those with difficult childhoods (abusive, traumatic), but also that there seem to be two basic ‘programs’ that humans use to react to situations, one as ‘selfish’ and the other as ‘species’, and the second involves being able to interact empathically with others. He cited evidence these two programs are specialized in the left and right halves of the brain, and that the corpus callosum, which carries information between the two halves of the brain, does not function correctly in trauma survivors (he talked mostly about PTSD but mentions BPD at a times), so that they are essentially stuck in the selfish half. All their reactions and interpretations must come from there, without balance from the ‘species’ (‘other’) half. This paper is great and contains a lot more than I can tell here; I highly recommend it. And, Wooddragon, there is also a good paper by one of Henry’s students, Wang [2], that contains this fascinating quote: “Henry wondered whether the left hemisphere, with its emphasis on power and control, operating without the right hemispheric ‘awareness of the other’, could be a model for the physiology of evil.”

2. Also great, and perhaps just as important: some years earlier Van Der Kolk’s papers [3] [4] that describe the symptoms we all know so well, but in biological terms (his own specialty seems to be hormone levels), and making it clear that these were lasting changes. A key concept I got from him was about self-soothing; that the abuse survivor’s ability to self-soothe is not available. Thus, just being themselves, alone, means that they are likely to be in a state of anxiety and/or unhappiness. Their interactions with others are therefore based on an attempt to use others as objects to help them soothe.

To my mind, if you combine these two ideas, it’s fairly obviously a recipe for a life in hell — for us non’s as well, of course.

However, there is one point that I’m unclear on, and that is the relationship between ‘dysregulation’ and either the self/other shift or the self-soothing need. In other words, how close are the BPD people to ‘normal’ when they are not dysregulated? Do these things only come into play during dysregulation? Or are they there all the time — and normalcy is an act, a pretense?

My own answer at present is that BPD is a spectrum disorder —  it will be caused in different ways in different people, and to different degrees depending on many factors, including where a child is in a particular developmental window of brain growth when abuse occurs. So it may be that some BPDs are capable of actually being more or less normal when not dysregulated (ie, most of the problem will be concept #1, a shift to selfishness that happens during dysregulation). Whereas others, worse, will be unhappy and shifted into #1 all the time, and spend most of their effort seeking help for #2, self-soothing.

PP


[1] Henry, J. P. (1997). "Psychological and physiological responses to stress: the right hemisphere and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, an inquiry into problems of human bonding." Acta Physiol Scand Suppl 640: 10-25.  

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9401599

[2] Wang, S. (1997). "Traumatic stress and attachment." Acta Physiol Scand Suppl 640: 164-9.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9401634

[3] van der Kolk, B. A. and R. E. Fisler (1993). "The biologic basis of posttraumatic stress." Prim Care 20(2): 417-32.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8356161

[4] van der Kolk, B. A. and R. E. Fisler (1994). "Childhood abuse and neglect and loss of self-regulation." Bull Menninger Clin 58(2): 145-68.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7519094

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« Reply #89 on: January 21, 2013, 05:12:35 PM »

Here are links for lowered longevity

Mental illness in general

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22130744

Ah, this one was for PDs in general

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22789412


Of course people who are stressed engage in risky behaviors. But when you add suicide to the mix, this jacks up the stats than for those just obese and/or who smoke.

Having a mental illness, including a PD, greatly increases you odds of dying in your 50s (on average).

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« Reply #90 on: January 21, 2013, 05:23:18 PM »

In order to understand the concept of selfishness resulting from trauma, we need to look no further than Kurt Goldstein, the father of modern neurology, who studied countless injured soldiers during WWI.

When an organism suffers an injury for which their survival to adapt is jeopardized, the so called  catastrophic response happens. This is pure anxiety, which is fear without a discernible object to fight or run away from. So you don't know who the proverbial enemy is. Full end panic attack.

When a person is under this state, he has to become more self centered to survive... .  there is no room for altruism. When a person has a stroke, they have to be selfish in order to try to regroup and rehabilitate. They are concentrating on speech therapy, not on world peace.

When an organism is under stress, there is a tendency for selfishness. This is the stress response of the limbic structure, and not a left and right hemisphere issue.

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« Reply #91 on: January 21, 2013, 05:52:53 PM »

Great set of articles Pretty Please

My own question in this... .  having asked my ex if he suffered abuse as a child and being told no, where does spoiling sit in the physiological analysis?

Not exactly a specific trauma, but perhaps the deprivation or disallowance of personal development.

My own suspicion is that Gen Y are presenting NPD/ BPD characteristics in an unprecedented increase on previous generations. Education systems and indulgent parenting are setting them up to clash with the real world, as they are being told they are amazing all of the time. I read about one school not awarding medals for the 100m dash because they didn't like to use terms like first, second or third. They didn't want individual achievement to make the slower runners feel bad. What the?

My own exBPD had a privileged childhood and I suspect was very spoilt. Natural clashes in adult r/ships were met with sulking, tantrums, moodiness, sighs, harumphs etc...

Love to get your thoughts on the neuropathways and possible associated brain make-up in this scenario

bb12  
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« Reply #92 on: January 21, 2013, 06:02:29 PM »

PrettyPlease and Mary... .  good stuff there! Really.  You are providing a nice service to us with a certain knowledge deficit on these sorts of things... .  My only education has been the school of hard knocks with a BPD.  Lots of field research.

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« Reply #93 on: January 21, 2013, 10:33:49 PM »

My own exBPD had a privileged childhood and I suspect was very spoilt. Natural clashes in adult r/ships were met with sulking, tantrums, moodiness, sighs, harumphs etc...

Love to get your thoughts on the neuropathways and possible associated brain make-up in this scenario

bb12

bb12 - Interesting possibility, but I have no experience with it, and I don't recall seeing a reference to it in any of the papers I posted above or others that I read. But those were from 15 years ago; maybe something exists now? Not sure.

I will say that getting familiar with the PubMed interface was one of the more interesting steps I took, and I recommend it to anyone. After only a little practice with the keyword search interface there you can get dozens of abstracts on a topic from current journals, and sometimes full text online of the entire article. This is basic research and reviews by specialists, so you have to be prepared to look up words you don't understand. But the Internet makes that a piece of cake. Why when I was a boy we had to walk barefoot 15 miles in a snowstorm over broken glass to get a medical dictionary. Smiling (click to insert in post) 

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

PP
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« Reply #94 on: January 21, 2013, 11:08:21 PM »

Ah, this one was for PDs in general

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22789412

Of course people who are stressed engage in risky behaviors. But when you add suicide to the mix, this jacks up the stats than for those just obese and/or who smoke.

Having a mental illness, including a PD, greatly increases you odds of dying in your 50s (on average).

Hi Maryiscontrary

Interesting, but that one is for people who are residents in medical services. This makes it hard to generalize to people who are not incarcerated in the medical system.

Coincidentally, I just happened to be half-way through reading a paper about this subject --  "Cohort Studies: Selection Bias in Observational and Experimental Studies" (Ellenberg; Statistics in Medicine, 1994) -- and the first example is almost exactly this situation:

"Element: Entrance into the health care system; Study type: Prevalence"

"There are myriad reasons why subgroups of patients do not seek medical care. Inability to pay, geographic location of appropriate facilities, level of disease severity, social constraints, employment considerations, religious beliefs etc. all play a role in determining who does and who does not enter the health care system. The disease itself will confound the issues involved... .  "

They go on, with their example, to show how the result of the study gives data that are demonstrably widely different from a similar study that uses the entire population.

PP

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« Reply #95 on: January 22, 2013, 05:15:11 AM »

However, there is one point that I’m unclear on, and that is the relationship between ‘dysregulation’ and either the self/other shift or the self-soothing need. In other words, how close are the BPD people to ‘normal’ when they are not dysregulated? Do these things only come into play during dysregulation? Or are they there all the time — and normalcy is an act, a pretense?

My own answer at present is that BPD is a spectrum disorder —  it will be caused in different ways in different people, and to different degrees depending on many factors, including where a child is in a particular developmental window of brain growth when abuse occurs. So it may be that some BPDs are capable of actually being more or less normal when not dysregulated (ie, most of the problem will be concept #1, a shift to selfishness that happens during dysregulation). Whereas others, worse, will be unhappy and shifted into #1 all the time, and spend most of their effort seeking help for #2, self-soothing.

PP



yes! and i think this is what makes it so confusing for those of us caught up in it! - im still not sure where mine was on the spectrum, but he needed a high degree of organisation, lists, everything in the right place etc etc simply to function on a day to day basis.  he was aware of this and also that he was NQR (not quite right).  the rages, "accidental" ___ty comments etc would always occur when he was relaxing (often drinking) and his guard was down.  generally, as long as he was functioning within a very precise and ordered framework he could operate and interact apparently normally.  but as soon as he was pushed outside that (things not going as planned, people not behaving the way he would prefer etc) he would become very tense and upset. 

so for mine, i think normalcy was him doing the best he could with the tools he had but with an awareness and anxiety that things could go wrong at any time... .  

thank you PP and Newton for your responses.  and everyone else on this thread   
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« Reply #96 on: January 22, 2013, 05:35:56 AM »

My ex is an intellect... won a phD scholarship... a complete high achiever...

And she actually did see a therapist 3 times during our rship. She told me one day she is finding it hard to get up in the mornings because of depression. And she said its due to thinking about her childhood bullying experiences.

I always found it a bit weird how she suddenly thought about the bullying... maybe being with me triggered the memories... :/

But I'm not sure those 3 sessions did anything. She never really told me what happened other than the sessions were "very raw" and she'd start to cry after.

3 sessions wouldn't have been enough to help my ex anyway! She needs a course of therapy.

I guess she recognised she had issues but didn't commit to ongoing therapy. She continued to feel lonely, isolated, fearful of abandonment, anxious etc. and she continued to cut others out of her life without remorse.

I think the 3 sessions did zilch!

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« Reply #97 on: January 22, 2013, 05:53:11 AM »

Mine has a doctorate as well but struggles in the work environment with people and issues that he can't control
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« Reply #98 on: January 22, 2013, 06:01:59 AM »

wooddragon>> interesting...

my ex got a job straight out of uni as a Graduate Lawyer but only lasted 1 year there. She said she couldn't handle it... the personalities... the stress... .  the menial work etc... I think she once said she thought she'd have a meltdown.

I get the feeling because her head is so heavy already... she finds it difficult to function in stressful jobs. Esp law...

Even when she was doing honours, she always had to go for short 'breaks' out of town because she was run down. She was run down more than the average 26 year old should be...

I remember I too was in a stressful job but she seemed to just always need to have holidays. She was a hard worker... a perfectionist... so maybe this is also what drove her into burning out

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« Reply #99 on: January 22, 2013, 09:16:42 AM »

Interesting to note my BPDexGF is a PhD also. I was with her for 15+ years, all the way from start of Masters program through end of PhD. Almost immediately after getting PhD, pregnant, then discards me shortly after baby was born.

Used me until there was no further need for me. A baby is the perfect hedge against abandonment--A baby can't leave until they are a teenager at the earliest.
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« Reply #100 on: January 22, 2013, 12:32:56 PM »

Used me until there was no further need for me. A baby is the perfect hedge against abandonment--A baby can't leave until they are a teenager at the earliest.

Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) Great. I mean, wow how terrible.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

And  Idea from an evolutionary perspective it might be a tidy way for a gene self-propagating: I mean, to the degree that BPD is genetically-based, then the fear of abandonment, and it being solved this way, increases the number of offspring; whereas many of the other BPD traits would seem to decrease the effectiveness and efficiency of child-raising and so would work in the other direction. Just idle speculation of course... .  until we can get our hands on some gene sequencing equipment... .     

PP
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« Reply #101 on: January 22, 2013, 03:52:10 PM »

I don't think the genes themselves have any intelligence in the matter. It is a very Darwinian type of Natural Selection though. The BPDs that are extremely low functioning don't survive long enough to reproduce, or are unable to parent the child long enough to perpetuate the next generation of dysfunction. On the other hand the High functioning BPDs are able to somewhat thrive despite the dysfunction.

I believe that there is a spectrum of disorder where the Highest functioning outliers appear almost normal most of the time, and the lowest functioning end up institutionalized or taking their own lives early on.

I have a former friend that I suspect may be BPD. She has isolated herself in a self-imposed exile from the rest of humanity other than when she goes to work. It is quite sad, but probably better than what she was doing in her earlier years. The last time I spoke with her, I suggested DBT for her sexual abuse trauma issues that she had previously shared with me. She shut down completely and cut off all contact. I wonder if she suspected I was aware of her BPD.
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« Reply #102 on: January 22, 2013, 04:14:49 PM »

Staff only

Hi Folks this thread has reached its maximum page count so we are locking it up.

Thanks for participating and hope to see you on the boards.
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