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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Author Topic: Feminist Psyciatrist - "There is no such thing as BPD"  (Read 6369 times)
Scott44
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« on: February 21, 2013, 02:13:05 PM »

One psychiatrist I had told me that I should, "Stop focusing on my ex wife's diagnosis of BPD".  This self-proclaimed feminist psychiatrist told me that, "the label of BPD is simply a research tool, and should never be applied to a real individual or to an actual relationship in the real world".

This psychiatrist told me that people who use the diagnosis of BPD to explain failed relationships are simply trying to "pathologize their former partners in order to relieve themselves of the responsibility for the failed relationship".  She would consider most of the people posting here on bpdfamily.com to be self-indugent and cruel in their attempt to analyze their relationships through the filter of a diagnostic label (i.e., BPD).

This feminist psychiatrist also told me to stop blaming the unhealthiness of our relationship on my ex's brutal physical violence, rages, and manipulation.

Instead, I was told to examine my own cruelty in reaching out to another woman and having an emotional affair.

My social worker believes that the emotional affair was a symptom of a very unhealthy relationship with an emotionally immature individual (i.e., someone with BPD).  This seems to be more in line with the use of the term BPD here on bpdfamily.com.

But I keep asking myself, "What if there is no such thing as BPD?"  If that is true, my defensive behavior when dealing with my ex is appalling.  I have no excuse nor reason for my own pathological behavior.

What if, in the real world, there is no such thing as BPD?   
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trevjim
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 02:22:37 PM »

I asked a simliar question here once, because for me I almost want my ex to have BPD because then I gain a sense of closure through the explanation of here actions.

What it came down to was she may or may not have BPD, but she certainly wasn't normal or healthy, so the quote 'if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck" is one way to put it.

BPD or not, there is some sort of disorder there.
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 02:27:45 PM »

Sounds like denial on the part of the Psychiatrist.

Watch the Jodi Arias trial on TV... .  I am sure she is normal and just had a bad day.

I can see why a Psychiatrist wouldn't want to admit to it... .  there is little they can do for it, and just as pwBPD are a problem for us, they are for the T's as well.

Usually when you have to point out someone is a "Feminist" anything... .  they are off base somehow.

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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 02:39:02 PM »

I think some of the things she was saying are valid, such as focusing more on yourself than her behavior.  However, her conclusions on whether or not BPD exist are opinions, only. 

As trevjim said, regardless if it is BPD or not, she was not mentally healthy.  There is some piece of truth to us not being fully mentally healthy, too, or we would have not engaged or continued as long as we did with our pwBPD.

It's good to understand their behavior as long as it does not take the focus off your primary goal of personal growth and good mental health.
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 02:46:16 PM »

You do have to work through the abuse that happened, a person can't just go, oh well, la la la.  Especially through the anger part of grieving.  Lots of feelings to work through during recovery.  When I would occasionally entertain thoughts of getting a beau since my then hubby was ignoring me, I realized, hey I keep picking disordered people to hook up with in relationships.  I thought, ok, the last thing I need is a disordered spouse and a disordered boyfriend.  Put the kabash on those thoughts.

That's when I started digging into WHY do I keep hooking up with the same types?  Sweet and charming at first and then abusive and cruel to me.  And why didn't I walk at the first sign of trouble?
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TheDude
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 02:53:20 PM »

I dunno. Sometimes I think that maybe nobody really has all the intricacies of humanity figured out. If we look back not all that long ago, people were routinely lobotomized. Think "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". One has to wonder what today will look like to those 30 years in the future. Maybe they'll have a bunch of holographic 'apps' that cures all that ails us emotionally. Or maybe an "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" thing.

In any case, the Psychiatrist you mention may very well have had at least one legitimate point in there. That's in the idea that too much focus or obsession on what's 'wrong' with someone else distracts from the one thing we can actually do something about - ourselves. We're all dealing with a great deal of strife and pain. Regardless of what "diagnosis" we attach to anyone else, we ultimately cannot fix or rescue them. How many exceptions to that notion do we see?

That said, I know... .  it all feels awful. It's a struggle. I have a very long road ahead of me, myself. Having a cursory overview of why her behavior is the way it is has helped to make some sense of why such confusing things have repeatedly happened, but I really don't want to find myself ruminating over HER issues indefinitely. She's broken. I can't fix her. That's the only diagnosis I hope to have of her in the future. Eventually... .  
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MaybeSo
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 03:06:50 PM »

Agree with The Dude,

It takes two to tango. A relationship has it's own entity... .  both people make a contribution, good and bad. An overriding focus on just one persons pathology can become a comforting distraction from our own contributing issues. This website actually does promote a shift from focus on the "BPD" partner to a focus on ourselves. It can take a while on Leaving Board to make that shift, but on the Staying Board it's promoted pretty readily all the way along.
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 03:33:47 PM »

Psychiatrist "no such thing as BPD"

You know that some psychiatrists are pathologic themselves right? Just because they have a degree behind there name doesn't make them God, nor does it make them sane either. Nor does it make them know it alls, or effective. I would never go back to a psychiatrist who says there's no such thing as BPD. Now, I do believe that many people make excuses for their SO's problem thinking they have BPD, when they actually don't.
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 03:44:11 PM »

My T is a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist... .  and I feel lucky in that he dated a pwBPD and has been down the same road I have, suspect that is good luck.

Getting a diagnosis of BPD out of a T is probably hard ... .  I know my exBPDgf could act well enough to make most people believe whatever she wanted them to believe. She only seemed genuine when totally pathetic and down, or when raging with hatred... .  rest of the time is seemed like an act. If you saw someone an hour at a time maybe twice a week... .  it is doubtful you would see a pwBPD's true colors if they didn't want you to, in my opinion.

You can focus on your side of the r/s and improving yourself as others suggest... .  but psychology is not math... it doesn't have provable unambiguous answers... .  and many people go in to the fields they do, because of their own problems and the quest to answering their own questions.
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willy45
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 04:25:45 PM »

I think it is useful as a label to understand patterns of behavior. I really didn't understand what was going on when I was in the RS. Reading some of the stories of people here, the patterns start to make sense. Every snowflake is different, but they are still snowflakes. Words can never fully express the entirety of a situation. A label is just a label. But without labels and without words, we can't understand anything. A label is useful to understand patterns. Once you can see those patterns, things start to make sense and to understand that we aren't alone.

If this label didn't fit, none of here would be reading stories and saying: "Holy Sh*t, were dating the same person?" That is what has been the most interesting thing for me. To see that others have had the exact same experience.

I struggle with the term abuse. I really do. Was my ex abusive as both T's I have been to see tell me? Or was she just moody? Am I too sensitive? Was it my fault? Without owning the label of abuse, I fall into the blaming category. I beat myself up. I feel like I caused it.

And you know what? That is a pattern that many people on this board seem to fall under. We all seem to fall into that. And that is what we need to work on. And having a label is kind of helpful because it allows us to seek out others who have been through it and get some guidance.

Honestly, your psychiatrist sounds awful. Totally terrible. Don't listen to her. If you were a woman and you went to a psychiatrist and told them that you had been beaten, raged at, kicked, manipulated, that psychiatrist would probably call the police (Some states require that).
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 04:45:18 PM »

Exactly - find a new one. ExBPD's current w is studying psych - and having read one of her disjointed emails and seen her rage at my D, I'm amazed that she hasn't seen a diagnosis when she got to B in her studies of mental aberrations - she might have picked up on BPDh's problems too instead of considering him only "fragile".  Smiling (click to insert in post)

BTW exBPDh has been diagnosed BPD and bi polar by two separate medical professionals - both of them experienced with mental illness. His W says he is just "fragile".
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 04:49:19 PM »

I think it is useful as a label to understand patterns of behavior. I really didn't understand what was going on when I was in the RS. Reading some of the stories of people here, the patterns start to make sense. Every snowflake is different, but they are still snowflakes. Words can never fully express the entirety of a situation. A label is just a label. But without labels and without words, we can't understand anything. A label is useful to understand patterns. Once you can see those patterns, things start to make sense and to understand that we aren't alone.

I agree with johnnyorganic.  Some people are so resistant to labeling things that it undermines the ability to properly understand what is going on.

A health professional should examine situations critically, but should also be open-minded enough to properly consider the information placed before them.  The relationships described here are not "normal dysfunctional" relationships, and clearly show a striking degree of similarity to one another.  It would be unscientific to conclude that this is not representative of some genuine phenomenon.

The disorder may not be the exact same BPD that affects many of the people that actually seek help for the condition, and perhaps the label should be different.  But to dismiss the phenomenon altogether as just "people rebuking personal responsibility" strikes me as opinionated and counter-productive simple-mindedness.

I am quite certain that if she had actually gone through one of these relationships that she would be more open to appreciating the strangeness therein.  People who flippantly disregard the possibility of genuine neuroses and psychoses do not seem ideally suited to be psychiatrists.  Don't let her credentials get to you.  She may have learned a lot in school, but we all learn a great deal in this life one way or another.  You, personally, are a better expert on what you have seen, heard, and felt than anyone.  You should listen to others, but you should still trust in yourself.
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 05:03:31 PM »

If this label didn't fit, none of here would be reading stories and saying: "Holy Sh*t, were dating the same person?" That is what has been the most interesting thing for me. To see that others have had the exact same experience.

Yes! That's the part that HAS convinced me that my ex must have BPD. It's as if I had been reading my own journal entries but, it was everyone else's stories that we're identical. 

VERY glad to have found this site.

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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 05:31:05 PM »

Call whatever she likes ... "Fred"

There is a pattern of behavior that can be summarized as "fred"

She has "fred"

There were less clinical names for that type of behavior before the psychologists gave it a name. They were not very complementary.
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 06:14:56 PM »

There were less clinical names for that type of behavior before the psychologists gave it a name. They were not very complementary.

So true... .  I've used a few of those "less clinical" names over the years.

turtle

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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 06:28:41 PM »

Not directed at anyone in particular:

BPD or no BPD, I always wondered why can't people simply say, "You know what?  No two people in this entire world are completely alike - even identical twins - and there are people who are exhibit A, B, and C qualities and traits and behaviors and there are people who exhibit X, Y, and Z qualities and traits and behaviors and it isn't a crime or even a surprise if two people can't make things work out between themselves and are incompatible."

It's like... .  there always needs to be a 'proper' excuse for why things work or don't work... .  including why relationships - intimate or otherwise - fail.

A person with BPD ISN'T ALWAYS WRONG.  My friend - as much as their behavior was very impulsive at times and lacked more commonly accepted reason or rationale - was not always 'wrong' about their conclusions or decisions.

And a person without BPD ISN'T ALWAYS RIGHT, EITHER.  In the course of my friendship, I made a few mistakes myself along the way.

Related to this, why do people have such a hard time breaking away from relationships that have long since turned sour and beyond repair (repair meaning ALL INVOLVED PARTIES pitching in)?

Also, why are people so prone to taking it all upon themselves to fix every. single. thing. - including things not necessarily theirs to fix?

Let's not label anybody but instead talk about a characteristic and a behavior.

How about being able to reason and being able to see two sides of a picture?

BPD or not and speaking very frankly, in my honest opinion, it would be very difficult to have a stable relationship with someone if - every single time there is some sort of a misunderstanding or a conflict - one person is always insisting that their way that they see things is the only way regardless of whatever 'proof' or 'evidence' that may be presented otherwise.

"YOU WON'T PICK UP THE PHONE; YOU HATE ME!"

"I was in a conference/I was in the middle of lecture hall at school, picking up the phone is unfortunately not something I can do right away, but I did call you back as soon as the [insert event here] was over because I know the phone call was important."

"BUT YOU STILL DIDN'T PICK UP THE PHONE WHEN I CALLED!  YOU HATE ME!"

*cues continuing argument*

"I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOUR GUTS AND I WISH YOU WERE DEAD!"

"... .  Well if you hate me that much and I make you that miserable, then, then maybe we ought to consider distancing ourselves from each other."

"NOO!"

*cues continuing argument*

... .  Yeah.  Just... .  NO.

Relationships = a LOT of communication and if that is what 'communication' consists of - especially during the more challenging times, why is there so much difficulty in regards to realizing that, "If the communication isn't happening and there isn't any help from everyone involved in getting it to happen, then maybe this relationship is not going to work out." and why is there so much guilt when the realization is made?

Does everyone believe that EVERY SINGLE RELATIONSHIP regardless of what the parties involved are enduring can be saved and that the entire responsibility is on their shoulders or what?
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willy45
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 11:41:16 PM »

Iced,

You totally nailed it.

The label and pattern is useful but no as a way of demonizing someone but a way of understanding a certain pattern. And it is OK to say that pattern is not going to work.

Yes. Communication is key. My ex used to always say that we had communication problems and that we should seek councilling. I was scared ___less of going to councilling with her because I just figured it was going to be another way of being told about what I was doing was wrong. My ex was very smart and very seductive and charming. I figured if we went to councilling that she would be her charming, chearpy self and that the raging lunatic wouldn't show up. And then all her complaints about my being uncommitted, my tone of voice, my waking up late, my not integrating her into my family, my not being 'nice' to her, would all be confirmed by the councillor and would allow her to rage at me even more.

I didn't know what was wrong at the time. But I was sure that we didn't have communication issues. She had issues in terms of resolving conflict. Her way of resolving conflict was to yell and scream and cry and have temper tantrums. And to call them conflicts is a real stretch. Because the reasons she would rage and freak out at me where never 'conflicts'. A 'conflict' implies two people that have opposing points of view. Our 'conflicts' had to do with me rolling over in bed, me being groggy in the morning, me petting a dog, me not wanting to take a bike on the metro, me being 5 minutes late picking her up from work, me not using the right 'tone', me getting upset when she would rage at me, me not sitting down next to her properly, me not liking a certain movie.

So, yes. I think it is important to not demonize but to acknowledge that a relationship simply will NEVER work unless two people can sit down together with enough respect to listen and not assume that any complaint or problem is a threat to the relationship.

But, knowing more about BPD is helpful. It is helpful for me anyways to see that if someone displays these kinds of patterns, that there was really nothing I could have done about it, short of just giving up and being a broken puppy dog and just doing everything that she wanted. Most of the time she wouldn't even know what she wanted. But she sure would get mad at me for not knowing what she wanted. It was crazy.
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2013, 11:57:01 PM »

One psychiatrist I had told me that I should, "Stop focusing on my ex wife's diagnosis of BPD".  This self-proclaimed feminist psychiatrist told me that, "the label of BPD is simply a research tool, and should never be applied to a real individual or to an actual relationship in the real world".

This psychiatrist told me that people who use the diagnosis of BPD to explain failed relationships are simply trying to "pathologize their former partners in order to relieve themselves of the responsibility for the failed relationship".  She would consider most of the people posting here on bpdfamily.com to be self-indugent and cruel in their attempt to analyze their relationships through the filter of a diagnostic label (i.e., BPD).

This feminist psychiatrist also told me to stop blaming the unhealthiness of our relationship on my ex's brutal physical violence, rages, and manipulation.

Instead, I was told to examine my own cruelty in reaching out to another woman and having an emotional affair.

What if, in the real world, there is no such thing as BPD?   

Echoing the others, you will need to turn the focus to yourself eventually to heal.  To the extent that your P is encouraging this exercise, no harm done.

On the other hand, BPD is a recognized cluster-B disorder, about which much academic and practical scholarship has been produced and which disorder is included in the DSM.  If your P is suggesting that the DSM is not entitled to deference in terms of representing the majority view in the field as to legitimate mental disorders, you are dealing with someone on the very far-out, radical fringes of the profession.

I am not a mental-health professional, but I can tell you how I'd respond if a friend told me his lawyer didn't "believe" in the Rules of Evidence.

I'd tell him to seek new counsel, and fast.
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2013, 06:17:27 AM »

Guys, I think BPD, NPD ect is overall very derogatory. What these are are attachment disorders. BPD is classified as disorganized and NPD is classified as avoidant. These description, if you read about them, are much more accurate, and not so derogatory.
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2013, 07:37:38 AM »

I disagree with the psychiatrist assertion that BPD doesn’t exist, frankly I think that is ridiculous. We have 10’s of thousands of stories on this website that describe very similar symptoms, signs and behaviors and as a normal human function we put a label on it. Just like everyone calls the machine that heats up bread in a little slot a toaster, we call these similar behaviors BPD.

I can speak for me and for others that went through a relationship with what is labeled a silent or waif type BPD. We didn’t take abuse, or raging and frankly would have no clue of the level of deception that was going on until the end. So for us, the idea that we should have known better is a bit simplistic. Lying cheating whore is what the non-clinical label is for my ex. I came here wanting to understand what makes a person like that tick.

At this point I am not on here anymore for answers… I get it now. I hope to add to the discussion and maybe give some insight to those that are still hurting. But in some way, even though I am not still here for answers, the only reason I am here is because of the ex and in some way that maintains a connection to a long gone past. For most of us I think there has to be a time to just move on from all that was, including here.

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« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2013, 08:07:43 AM »

I disagree with the psychiatrist assertion that BPD doesn’t exist, frankly I think that is ridiculous. We have 10’s of thousands of stories on this website that describe very similar symptoms, signs and behaviors and as a normal human function we put a label on it. Just like everyone calls the machine that heats up bread in a little slot a toaster, we call these similar behaviors BPD.

I can speak for me and for others that went through a relationship with what is labeled a silent or waif type BPD. We didn’t take abuse, or raging and frankly would have no clue of the level of deception that was going on until the end. So for us, the idea that we should have known better is a bit simplistic. Lying cheating whore is what the non-clinical label is for my ex. I came here wanting to understand what makes a person like that tick.

At this point I am not on here anymore for answers… I get it now. I hope to add to the discussion and maybe give some insight to those that are still hurting. But in some way, even though I am not still here for answers, the only reason I am here is because of the ex and in some way that maintains a connection to a long gone past. For most of us I think there has to be a time to just move on from all that was, including here.

Thanks for all you just said and the wonderful use of the toaster analogy.

Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2013, 09:31:18 AM »

Bottom line,

BPD, NPD, and the whole of Axis II disorders do describe and label a style of relating that is dysfunctional... .  other terms like attachment disorder can certainly make more sense and be more palitable... .  my ex identifies with having an attachment disorder. He resents my use of BPD (w/NPD traits).

Many clinicians blanch at dx axis II for very legit reasons, insurance, stigma, concern with further harming or losing the client. A clinician can see and treat BPD (if they are skilled in the area) without ever mentioning the label to the client. A clinician has to be careful about triangulating (read definition) with distressed husbands and wives in labeling "that person as the problem"... .  taking that tact can lead a clinician into participating in the dysfunction of the

family system. There is an entire area of study in family systems theory regarding the

identified patient who is scapgoated for acting out all of the families pain and dysfunction ... .  

This is done on a unconscious level... .  it's not like a family decides to gang up and scapegoat

a family member, but it happens all the time.  Also, there is NO couples therapist that

doesn't have to wade through and redirect the finger pointing/ blame game that couples do.

Almost all hurting couples include two folks equally convinced that The Other person is clearly the problem. None of this focus on other is therapeutic or healing.


Having said that... .  

A wise clinician can promote a return to your own life and a healthy focus back to self... The only thing you CAN control... .  without making global statements like BPD doesn't exist.

When these kind of statements "BPD doesnt exist" come out of a professionals mouth... There are probably a million ivory tower lofty reasons for making that statement... But the fact is... .  It invalidates a person's experience and this can be just as dangerous as the fear

of harming or invalidating the identified patient.

There are ways of addressing concerns of a distressed family member who thinks their partner may have BPD that is sensitive to the impact of that label, sensitive to the family system, and sensitive to the experience of the questioner. Proclaiming that BPD doesn't exist is usually a philosophical stance (i know clinicians that take this stance very seriously, as a badge of honor... .  against the harm that labels have caused) ... .  there is real potential to further damage with a stigmatizing label... .  That is true.  But handling it by declaring BPD doest exist,  is taking the easy way out of a loaded and complex situation, misses an opportunity to both teach and share with those asking in a way that can begin a  healthy dialogue  (this takes some thought) and instead alleviates the clinicians anxiety at the expense of the person asking the question.

If  you don't like dealing with complex, sticky issues, you ought not have chosen the field of

psychology as your profession.
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2013, 09:46:38 AM »

Guys, I think BPD, NPD ect is overall very derogatory. What these are are attachment disorders. BPD is classified as disorganized and NPD is classified as avoidant. These description, if you read about them, are much more accurate, and not so derogatory.

Agree completely... and attachment issues are why we responded so strongly to them, and I think there is some transference between our pwBPD and the primary relationship we never had but wanted (in many cases)... like mistaking the seduction stage for unconditional love... .  then when we get dumped abruptly it is like losing a primary relation, not a typical gf/bf. We also take abuse from them like it was from a parent, not like a typical bf/gf... .  so something attachment related is involved. I personally fit the fearful avoidant attachment type better than NPD or any other description. What really hit me was the descriptions of codependency... .  my exBPDgf used to rant and rave about how I was sickly codependent with my exwife... .  and she was not correct about that... but seems to be correct in describing my personality type... I worried about pleasing people, everyone but me, and ended up being controlling and was doing my part of the Karpman drama triangle stuff.

The labelling seems off, I do believe it is a disorder... but the word borderline... makes it sound "almost"... like borderline diabetic is nearly... however there is nothing almost about my exBPDgf, she like many of the BPD folks is seriously disordered. I have no doubt BPD exists, I have been devastated by my r/s with a pwBPD.
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2013, 10:15:23 AM »

There is no doubt in my mind that the disorder exists.  Like others, though, I do not like the term Borderline Personality Disorder.  When I first heard it, it sounded scary to me.  While there were some scary aspects to my relationship, of which I played a part as well, using the term attachment disorder seems more palatable, although there are several types of attachment disorders. 

Like Charred, I'm aware I have attachment problems, too.  I would not have trauma bonded with my ex in the manner I did if this were not the case.  And, yes, it is not a coincidence that there are so many similarities in these relationships.  I've had so many 'Aha' moments reading other people's stories it's almost unbelievable.

I believe BPD can be extremely hard to diagnose unless the professional has intimate knowledge and experience with the condition.  Due to the very nature of it, it often goes undetected unless significant time is spent with the pwBPD in intimate settings.  This is where the illness is prominently displayed.  I feel now, though, it's easier for me to identify characteristics earlier because of my growing knowledge and experience. 

It is my understanding that the illness itself was not officially categorized in the DSM until 1980, so it is still in its infancy stage in that regard and thus largely misunderstood, even by a large number of professionals, in my opinion.  It was formerly called latent schizophrenia.

It has been difficult for me to find a competent psychologist that understands the nature of the illness and how it affects those who are close.
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2013, 11:01:07 AM »

I tend to agree with this author. In my opinion its just another word used to classify a group of similar mental health symptoms. The problem is with the stigma given to the name due to ignorance of the disorder.

Jerold J. Kreisman, M.D. author of, I Hate You, Don't Leave Me (assistant clinical professor for the department of psychiatry at St. Louis University) and Hal Straus (a health writer) is just the book to give you that understanding and save you untold hours of confusion and pain. It describes in layman's terms one of the most common, yet undiscussed, conditions in our society - Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Even those most skeptical of psychiatry and self-help will recognize its pattern in family members, friends, lovers and even themselves as they read.

If the frustrating and difficult situations described earlier strongly evoke such memories for you, Borderline Personality Disorder or its traits may be central to the problem. While it is always painful to learn that someone we care about has a "disorder", it is also through such precise identification that we receive direction towards the support of others similarly effected, resources that can help, and ultimately the peace of mind that results from true understanding of previously confounding and upsetting situations.

Borderline Personality Disorder is an established psychiatric disorder, with strictly defined criteria, which can encompass more specific problems including alcoholism, bipolar disorder, drug abuse, eating disorders, suicide, and many others. While each of these more specific problems are important to treat in their own right, the recognition that each is the result of a greater overall problem - the borderline personality - is crucial for successful coping and treatment.
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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2013, 11:22:42 AM »

Just thinking out loud... .  I wonder at what point, for someone leaving/detaching, the 'diagnosis' of an ex doesn't really matter anymore?

The most significant relationship for me, prior to this one, was with an alcoholic (I'm also ACOA). From the point I understood what the problem was, I was "all in", at least in terms of learning and understanding all I could about it. While there were moments of seeming success, there also came a point when I realized that this was a fruitless effort on my part. Once I said goodbye, the focus quickly shifted away from her problem and on to myself. Life goes on.

That said, here I am. I, too, am guilty of ruminating about HER problem(s), and look for some detail here or there which would facilitate some way to correct this mess. My logical brain is telling me that that's not healthy, and that I must get to the point where it's nothing more than a lesson learned...
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« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2013, 11:41:51 AM »

I had the perfect opportunity to get my ex to consider her BPD behaviors.  She was diagnosed by an expert in the area of BPD.  She did NOT like it when she was given some material from a manual called, "Stop Walking on Eggshells".  We were both knowledgable enough to know what that kind of "homework" meant diagnostically.  She complained about the diagnosis and told the expert to focus instead on her PTSD.  My ex's mother was diagnosed with BPD and the last thing my ex wanted was that label being applied to herself. 

So what did I do?  I sent a letter of complaint to the expert's superior saying that she insisted on treating my wife's BPD which I said she didn't have.  The last session we had with this BPD expert went like this:

My ex: "Focus on my PTSD.  That is my problem not BPD"

The expert:  "Okay, but I still think you have borderline traits that should be addressed at some point."

They have never been addressed.  I called the expert recently saying that I was now divorced from my ex and now I believe she DOES have BPD.  The expert said that she can't see me because she was a therapist to my ex, and there are ethical issues to consider.
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« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2013, 12:45:46 PM »

I wonder how many therapists had to deal with similiar complaints from BPD patients.  I'm guessing it's a sizable number.
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« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2013, 03:02:18 AM »

BPD's often seek out "helping careers" like social work, psychology, psychiatry ... .  

Seems what they can't do for themselves they try to do for others. And I feel they get a high out of drama and witnessing suffering.

My ex wanted to become a professional mediator! Chrikey she couldn't / wouldn't even do the most basic f2f conflict resolution. She would storm off and send me a one sided email where everything was MY fault. Then often impose a time out.
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« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2013, 03:42:53 AM »

I wonder how many therapists had to deal with similiar complaints from BPD patients.  I'm guessing it's a sizable number.

I know a person dealing with BPD-like symptoms discontinued therapy at some point because they believed that it was impossible for them to have something like BPD.

... .  It's funny.

When I first started seeing my psyD, I was ELATED - absolutely excited - to FINALLY have some kind of possible answers - ANY answers - to some of the struggles I was having in my life (dealing with a pwBPD-like symptoms was one of them, but not the main thing at the time).

A third and hopefully unbiased person to bounce thoughts and ideas with was such a blessing and I was so thrilled and even relieved to get that sort of experience that that became my, "Honestly, having a therapist isn't a bad idea even if you don't 'need' one!"

The funny part is, people who I have known in my life who have not exhibited the attachment issues (at least, not so severely as to become a life-altering issue) have been - for the most part - amiable to the idea of therapy and some have ended up seeing one over the years.  Just to see, career counseling, mood help, family help etc.

On the other hand, the people who have exhibited the attachment issues the strongest have all been the most resistent whether they have ever had experience with therapy or not.

... .  Usually, too, I noticed that this same group of people also are the most adamant about, "I don't have any problems so I don't need a therapist!"

Not trying to pigeonhole anybody; just sharing a thought and some observations.
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« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2013, 08:56:02 AM »

I wonder how many therapists had to deal with similiar complaints from BPD patients.  I'm guessing it's a sizable number.

I think it's a HUGE number... .  and that's just from the people who actually seek out therapy.

I believe there are MORE people with this "attachment disorder" who don't seek help than do.

My ex REFUSED to believe he had ANY problems at all and REFUSED to even speak to a professional. He went to AA once... .  and informed me that he would never again sit in a room full of so many "losers."   And because I was the one that encouraged him to go... .  I was punished.

My ex was never diagnosed.  And really... .  I wonder how often a diagnosis of "just" BPD is accurate.  I think it's more likely that there is usually a crock pot full of issues brewing.  At least that was my experience.

My T is the one that suggested a possible diagnosis of BPD to me. She thought it was the closest fit, however... .  she mentioned a few other possible disorders as well and told me it was likely he had more than one disorder.

She also told me that she declined to work with people with BPD because they are too "soul destroying."

Bottom line for me ended up not being about a label.  It ended up being about behaviors that were not just questionnable, but intolerable.

And... .  you can find many, many people in the field of psychiatry that are not emotionally/mentally well themselves.  It's hard to find a good T!

turtle

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« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2013, 09:41:23 AM »

Bottom line for me ended up not being about a label.  It ended up being about behaviors that were not just questionnable, but intolerable.

And then... .  my focus turned to ME.  I started to examine why I would tolerate intolerable behavior.  So... .  in the end... .  I don't care what his pd du jour is.  I care about why I chose to endure ANY of it.

turtle

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« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2013, 10:13:03 AM »

Iced,

I too appreciate therapy, talking to a smart person, getting a third opinion, doing some healing work. and it's not like I have zero attachment issues... .  most folks have some attachment issues.

But, at a more severe level, there can be devastating core shame. This would manifest in a feeling that having issues like BPD is equal to total worthlessness and annihilation. This is why those who often could benefit the most from professional therapy, are often the most resistant.

Even without a severe disorder, most nons show there own terror in wondering if there is something wrong with them... . Most of us have had that sinking, frightening thought...   "Omg, What if I'm the one with BPD? Or, "what if I'm the one with the problem?"  It's scary! We usually seek validation that we aren't the one with the problem, and immediately feel better. So, I can only imagine how frightening or inconceivable it must be to a very fragile very defended person to hear they have a personality disorder. In any event, no skilled therapist is going to approach any client with an attitude of " you're the one with the big fat personality disorder". And when you are knee deep in a BAD relationship, the last thing you are going to accept is a dx from a partner you are having problems with! My ex made some observations about me that while hurtful, had some truth to them. But there was no way I would have ever let him make me the identified patient. There was not enough trust in the relationship. Well, the same held true for him... There was no way he was going to allow me to make him the identified patient, either... .  good for him. Seriously, I think his resistance to my need to make him the identified patient was a sign of health. We both did our own individual therapy, thank god, which is where the real work gets done. Keep working on yourself... .  it's not our job to get someone into therapy.
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« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2013, 10:57:01 AM »

Ex went to a couple therapists to work on his anger and both turned into that it was 100% me with the issues.  No me, no anger, all fixed.  I started a 12 step group in addition to therapy, this was a great healing experience, we all acknowledged we had issues and we were supportive/accepting of each other.  I went in to deal with nicotine addiction, it turned into focusing on love addiction.  Why did I feel so incomplete without a romantic partner, why did I spend my whole life searching for mr. right and keep hooking up with the same type of men?  I recommend 12 step whole heartedly in addition to therapy.

Anyway, when ex and I were in couples therapy, ex started in on how 12 step didn't cure me of smoking.  I said, that wasn't my main addiction issue.  He asked, what is it?  I said, love addiction and hooking up with unsafe people and his eyes about popped out of his head.  Oh, that was a good moment in time.  That was about as close as I got to telling him that he had issues.
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« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2013, 11:17:30 AM »

One time my ex was on the phone with me for a couple of hours, telling me everything I did wrong in the relationship.

I asked her,"I wonder why I'm such a bad person"?

She anwered, "I don't think you're bad, you're just troubled".

She beats me, cuts herself, beats our cat, etc. etc. and it is me who is troubled?  I won't say I'm without troubles but coming from her?  Wow.
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« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2013, 11:20:26 AM »

Turtle what did she mean by Soul destroying ?
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« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2013, 11:30:23 AM »

Turtle what did she mean by Soul destroying ?

She meant that it was too damaging to HER to work with someone with BPD.

She felt that even in a professional setting, it was harmful to her very soul.  I get that.  I totally get that!




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« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2013, 11:31:00 AM »

We clearly all have issues but to solely put the blame on us is wrong and  solely put the blame on another is wrong abuse is abuse BPD non NPD ptsd psychopath it doesn't matter. We are hurt because we need something from these people and they need something from us a healthy relationship helps nurture and grow.

there are  people who suffer problems and have each other to help lift each other but when you as a non seeks help and look within yourself and say i want change you are growing if the BPD person or any person doesn't want change or looks for change in life like in relationships or work or whatever is lost. She/ He hit you is wrong she /he berates is wrong cheating is wrong. you cheated emotionally physically is yes wrong but to be soo clear and dry black and white is not fair. Why did you cheat what is your mentality in that state yes you feel hurt for your actions but if you corner a dog a dog will bite. do i blame the dog no do i blame myself for cornering the dog not entirely its the circumstances, situations dictate your actions.

learning the why and how makes us better because we see signs or  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) and we move on we take care of ourselves. Humans have survived for century's flight or fight

to err is human to forgive divine forgive yourself first then forgive them. and move on love is a game we lost this game but this game was rigged but you will win the next round self love and life and when you meet the one for you game over. accept your reward
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« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2013, 11:36:37 AM »

Turtle what did she mean by Soul destroying ?

She meant that it was too damaging to HER to work with someone with BPD.

She felt that even in a professional setting, it was harmful to her very soul.  I get that.  I totally get that!


I can completely agree i felt i lost my mirror i finally saw myself as a good person but all along it was a broken mirror like a fun house showing me different sides of me side i liked sides i didn't and sides that horrified me. I am on a journey to see the real me and form there

see my self through a full mirror flaws and all and love my reflection.

I can say she destroyed my soul but it was me i did this to me i never set boundaries i let her erode my values and warp my mind. because i wanted to see the good reflection but i need to see that through my own eyes something that i struggled with my whole life.
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« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2013, 12:05:46 PM »

Turtle what did she mean by Soul destroying ?

She meant that it was too damaging to HER to work with someone with BPD.

She felt that even in a professional setting, it was harmful to her very soul.  I get that.  I totally get that!

That is really, really sad. Not that the therapist knows and enforces her own boundaries, but that it puts another roadblock in the way of pwBPD getting help. Because I'm sure that the more self-aware pwBPD who realize and are semi-willing to start admitting they have a problem will at some point encounter this attitude. I've certainly heard it before... that there are therapists who refuse to work with pwBPD.

I can only imagine that it serves to confirm the internal hopelessness that the pwBPD feels. People with core trauma being told that they're so far beyond help that even professionals won't touch them... .  sad. Even if the pwBPD is ready to see that the label fits, it seems like this would enforce the need to go back to denial. "You're beyond hope. You're on your own."
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« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2013, 12:11:04 PM »

That is really, really sad. Not that the therapist knows and enforces her own boundaries, but that it puts another roadblock in the way of pwBPD getting help. Because I'm sure that the more self-aware pwBPD who realize and are semi-willing to start admitting they have a problem will at some point encounter this attitude. I've certainly heard it before... that there are therapists who refuse to work with pwBPD.

I can only imagine that it serves to confirm the internal hopelessness that the pwBPD feels. People with core trauma being told that they're so far beyond help that even professionals won't touch them... .  sad. Even if the pwBPD is ready to see that the label fits, it seems like this would enforce the need to go back to denial. "You're beyond hope. You're on your own."

I feel this way too. I find it VERY sad.   



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« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2013, 01:12:36 PM »

The attitude that working with BPD is soul deystoying was especially prevalent before there was any research based treatment protocol to helped with symptoms. Why would a therapist want to sit with all the difficult countertransference of BPD if you had no viable treatment plan with which to help the client? That has dramatically changed in the last 20 plus years, with DBT, Schema, MBT, Transference Focused Therapy... .  clinicians have a plethora of evidenced based research for treatment with which to call upon. There are scholarly papers detailing how the stigmatizing of BPD within the mental health profession DID serve to exacerbate a negative feedback loop that got in the way of treatment delivery. This is changing.
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« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2013, 03:20:23 PM »

Turtle what did she mean by Soul destroying ?

She meant that it was too damaging to HER to work with someone with BPD.

She felt that even in a professional setting, it was harmful to her very soul.  I get that.  I totally get that!


I can completely agree i felt i lost my mirror i finally saw myself as a good person but all along it was a broken mirror like a fun house showing me different sides of me side i liked sides i didn't and sides that horrified me. I am on a journey to see the real me and form there

see my self through a full mirror flaws and all and love my reflection.

I can say she destroyed my soul but it was me i did this to me i never set boundaries i let her erode my values and warp my mind. because i wanted to see the good reflection but i need to see that through my own eyes something that i struggled with my whole life.

Good post, freshlySane.

My ex viciously abused and tormented me; she destroyed me.  But I permitted every last bit of it.
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« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2013, 07:08:53 PM »



My T of 15+ years said she had become dubious of the BPD dx, but was definite that my uBPDxgf was pd.  I don't know what my T's objections to the BPD dx are.  My T preferred the term "malignant narcissism" to describe my uBPDxgf's behaviors, about which she was quite knowledgeable.

In her book Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman expresses skepticism about the BPD dx, comparing it to the hysteria dx of a century ago.  Herman believes that: the symptoms of BPD result from childhood sexual abuse; people diagnosed with BPD might more properly be viewed as csa survivors; and the BPD dx reflects a cultural and political denial of the extent of csa, just as the hysteria dx and Freud's theories did.  I believe this is the basis of the feminist critique of the BPD dx (however, I'm quite out of my depth here!).

Herman emphasizes the countertransferential issues connected with treating trauma survivors.  She strongly recommends that therapists limit the number of trauma survivors they treat and put themselves under supervision when treating survivors.
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« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2013, 08:05:18 PM »

My T of 15+ years said she had become dubious of the BPD dx, but was definite that my uBPDxgf was pd.  I don't know what my T's objections to the BPD dx are.  My T preferred the term "malignant narcissism" to describe my uBPDxgf's behaviors, about which she was quite knowledgeable.

In her book Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman expresses skepticism about the BPD dx, comparing it to the hysteria dx of a century ago.  Herman believes that: the symptoms of BPD result from childhood sexual abuse; people diagnosed with BPD might more properly be viewed as csa survivors; and the BPD dx reflects a cultural and political denial of the extent of csa, just as the hysteria dx and Freud's theories did.  I believe this is the basis of the feminist critique of the BPD dx (however, I'm quite out of my depth here!).

Herman emphasizes the countertransferential issues connected with treating trauma survivors.  She strongly recommends that therapists limit the number of trauma survivors they treat and put themselves under supervision when treating survivors.

Fair enough, but that theory fails to account for the fact that BPD can occur in persons with no history of sexual abuse, or any other childhood trauma for that matter.  Although it is certainly understandable that a sizable proportion of BPD sufferers do come from backgrounds of abuse, such a generalization is misguided, misleading, and outmoded.  Many of the parents on the family board would most assuredly agree, I imagine.
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« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2013, 08:50:40 PM »

In her book Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman expresses skepticism about the BPD dx ... .    Herman believes that: the symptoms of BPD result from childhood sexual abuse... .  

... .  such a generalization is ... .  outmoded.

Herman wrote Trauma and Recovery about twenty years ago.  Feminists were still fighting bias and iniquity in the justice system's attitude toward rape and sexual assault; BPD was stigmatized; recovered memories were controversial; and there had been a hysteria about csa in the United States.

I don't know how or if Herman's thinking has evolved since then.  Also, I don't consider myself particularly qualified to have an opinion, since I'm neither familiar with the research nor a subject matter expert in this area.

I did find it significant that, whether you call the disorder ptsd, BPD, or something else,  Herman strongly advised professionals to limit the number of such patients they're involved with at any particular time, i.e., she recognized the potential toxicity to the practitioner.

I agree with other posters that the BPD dx is merely a name for a particular, recurring constellation of traits and behaviors.

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« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2013, 10:57:14 PM »

I did find it significant that, whether you call the disorder ptsd, BPD, or something else,  Herman strongly advised professionals to limit the number of such patients they're involved with at any particular time, i.e., she recognized the potential toxicity to the practitioner.

I don't take issue with this proposition at all.  Seems like sound advice.

I agree with other posters that the BPD dx is merely a name for a particular, recurring constellation of traits and behaviors.

I have no qualms with this statement, but is the implication that this axiom applies to BPD only?  BPD in particular or especially?  Aren't all personality disorders - definitionally/taxonomically - of this nature?

I also don't personally have a problem with the current "Borderline" nomenclature.  pwBPD are on the borderline of neurosis and psychosis and the name is both an accurate and concise means of conveying a pretty rich descriptive message of the disorder's mechanics.  On the other hand, I have no stake in retaining such a name, nor do I really care one way or the other.  It's still going to describe the same underlying illness.  I guess what I'm wondering is: why do we care what it's called again?
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« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2013, 11:10:39 PM »

OK. All fine and good.

My question is: who cares?

Isn't it more important to focus on the behavior that we experienced? The rage? The abuse? And isn't it more important to focus on how that is just not OK? Whatever the label is, that behavior is destructive, deeply dangerous, and horrendously painful. We experienced it. We either left or were left. Either way, it hurt like h*ll. And I know for me, it still hurts.

I suggest we focus less on the diagnosis of these abusive people we were involved with and focus on the experiences we went through and what it takes for US to first survive, then heal, and then thrive?

I think that what brings all here is that we all experienced the same crazy behaviors. How experts define the kinds of people that do this kind of thing is kind of irrelevant. We all know what it is like. And we all know that it is horribly traumatic.

Let's focus on us. Let's focus on what we need to do to get ourselves out of this, and, eventually, off these boards. Deal?
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« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2013, 11:12:20 PM »

This Psychiatrist has not had a relationship with a BPD partner.
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« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2013, 12:58:58 AM »

I agree with other posters that the BPD dx is merely a name for a particular, recurring constellation of traits and behaviors.

Aren't all personality disorders - definitionally/taxonomically - of this nature?

Agreed.

I guess what I'm wondering is: why do we care what it's called again?

My question is: who cares?

Well, I'm not a clinician or an insurance company, so I really don't. It's just a name. OTOH, the BPD label helped many of us find these boards (I never even considered that my xgf might have BPD traits until I found this site while searching for information on the typical lifecycle of a relationship with an NPD.)

Isn't it more important to focus on the behavior that we experienced?

Agreed.  And why we tolerated it.

The OP asked:

"What if there is no such thing as BPD?"  If that is true, my defensive behavior when dealing with my ex is appalling.  I have no excuse nor reason for my own pathological behavior.

I agree with the psychiatrist's admonition to keep the focus on oneself (although her categorical denial of BPD seems b&w).  At the same time, I want to be careful not to self-recriminate too harshly.

Whether or not there's any such thing as BPD, whether or not my uBPDxgf manifested traits and behaviors identified by some people as BPD, my uBPDxgf's disorder and behavior do not absolve me of responsibility for my actions, my mistakes and failures, my bad behavior, or my own healing and growth.

The rs would not have been unhealthy if I hadn't remained in it, because there would have been no rs -- healthy or unhealthy -- if I ended it.  At minimum, my contribution was ignoring the initial Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  and then staying in a rs where I repeatedly took wounds and abuse.

Whereas some of my failures and bad behavior might have been understandable, they weren't acceptable -- not to me -- and don't reflect the person I want to be.

Keeping the focus on myself gave me the clarity and strength to cease the craziness (i.e., end the rs).

 
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« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2013, 01:12:18 AM »

This Psychiatrist has not had a relationship with a BPD partner.

Quite possible they haven't and have good spidey sense just looking at behavior alone to not get into one.

I've noticed when some members start posting where they really want the BPD label for the ex.  From what I can tell it seems they feel unjustified in being hurt if they don't have it. 

If someone treats you like crap, runs you through the ringer, abuses you, cheats etc or behaves in ways that are destructive or not conducive to a healthy and harmonious relaionship according to your values you have every right to leave their butt.  If you tried cleaning up your end of things and tried to meet them half way but the behavior is still destructive you don't need a label or a shrink to confirm your suspicions.  You lived it, but yes living in chaos can lead to doubt.  The behavior speaks for itself.  Bad behavior is bad behavior ... .  Look at behavior from here on out and someone's values and you'll know everything you need to make a good decision whether your future mate is going to be a good match.


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« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2013, 01:40:36 AM »

This Psychiatrist has not had a relationship with a BPD partner.

Quite possible they haven't and have good spidey sense just looking at behavior alone to not get into one.

I've noticed when some members start posting where they really want the BPD label for the ex.  From what I can tell it seems they feel unjustified in being hurt if they don't have it. 

If someone treats you like crap, runs you through the ringer, abuses you, cheats etc or behaves in ways that are destructive or not conducive to a healthy and harmonious relaionship according to your values you have every right to leave their butt.  If you tried cleaning up your end of things and tried to meet them half way but the behavior is still destructive you don't need a label or a shrink to confirm your suspicions.  You lived it, but yes living in chaos can lead to doubt.  The behavior speaks for itself.  Bad behavior is bad behavior ... .  Look at behavior from here on out and someone's values and you'll know everything you need to make a good decision whether your future mate is going to be a good match.

Yes, YES, a THOUSAND TIMES -YES-.

Labels are what they are - labels.  And in some cultures and countries, there isn't even a 'BPD' label as 'psychiatry' as we know it today is still an 'ERGH' subject. 

But abuse and being put through the wringer definitely still exist and if there has been effort to try and communicate effectively and/or get help (like marital or couples counseling, whatever), the most logical thing to do - that ANYONE healthy would do - is to finally step back and say simply, "We are not compatible and this is not going to work."

There doesn't need to be BPD or anything else to 'give an excuse' to GET OUT of a bad and dangerous situation and people aren't 'bad people' just because they ARE strong enough to step out of bad situations.

Just because one voice out of all other voices you hear is screaming at you at the top of their lungs and drowning out any and all possible attempts to have a two-way conversation with a, "GO AWAY I HATE YOU, BUT COME BACK!" doesn't mean that they're automatically right just because they're the loudest.
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« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2013, 02:14:03 AM »

This Psychiatrist has not had a relationship with a BPD partner.

Quite possible they haven't and have good spidey sense just looking at behavior alone to not get into one.

I've noticed when some members start posting where they really want the BPD label for the ex.  From what I can tell it seems they feel unjustified in being hurt if they don't have it. 

If someone treats you like crap, runs you through the ringer, abuses you, cheats etc or behaves in ways that are destructive or not conducive to a healthy and harmonious relaionship according to your values you have every right to leave their butt.  If you tried cleaning up your end of things and tried to meet them half way but the behavior is still destructive you don't need a label or a shrink to confirm your suspicions.  You lived it, but yes living in chaos can lead to doubt.  The behavior speaks for itself.  Bad behavior is bad behavior ... .  Look at behavior from here on out and someone's values and you'll know everything you need to make a good decision whether your future mate is going to be a good match.

GM - first, I want to say that I really appreciate the message you're trying to impart with this post.

Honestly, though, I feel like, in my case, I DID need a label.  Especially if you have been conditioned to abuse and gaslighting in your own childhood, the doubt created by the chaos you've described can be intense.

Personally, I was consumed with self-doubt to the point of delirium in the final stages and aftermath of my r/s.  Finding such a label provided the evidence that I needed to be able to rebuild my confidence and trust in my own perceptions/judgments.  I'll never doubt myself like that again, and, in the future, having a label won't be necessary should I find myself in another unhealthy situation.  But, for me, in the wake of this relationship, I really needed that label.
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« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2013, 02:52:51 AM »

I really hope I didn't come off trying to minimize the search for answers, in that sense finally getting a name for a mystery illness can be an ah-ha moment... .  what I'm trying to say is it doesn't have to be as severe as the label for people to be justified in feeling hurt, angry, upset, confused, or leaving. 

Gus the behavior is enough.   I hope you can appreciate this analogy... .  you have an overwhelming body of evidence you just don't have a conviction.   With or without it you know this person is bad for you.  It's okay for that to be enough.

Excerpt
Honestly, though, I feel like, in my case, I DID need a label.  Especially if you have been conditioned to abuse and gaslighting in your own childhood, the doubt created by the chaos you've described can be intense.

 

This is hard... .  not having a good sense of boundaries or what normal/healthy really looks like.  I know this too. .

This is one of the things the psychiatrist was telling Scott44... .  focus on what lead to "you" to this relationship and to look at your part-because unfortunately you are one who ultimately has to live in your choices/actions. 

Here's the other thing the psychiatrist is saying "Just because someone has BPD or BPD traits doesn't mean everything they do is crazy or unrealistic.  There will be times when their feelings match facts and it's the "non" partner that screwed up."

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« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2013, 11:08:04 AM »

Yes I think the feminist psychiatrist was trying to get me to concentrate on my behaviors.

So different from another, older male psychiatrist who simply told me that she was probably the worst thing to ever happen to me.  He had no problem with the diagnosis of BPD.
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« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2013, 12:05:32 PM »

Each professional is going to have a different approach.

She probably was the worst thing.  Not to scare you here but getting to place where its less about the other person is going to help not let another person like this in.
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« Reply #56 on: February 24, 2013, 12:15:34 PM »

She probably was the worst thing.  Not to scare you here but getting to place where its less about the other person is going to help not let another person like this in.

I don't find this scary at all.  In fact, it was the best news ever.  When I accepted the fact that I could do something to make sure my experience was never repeated, it was a great moment in time for me.   That doesn't mean my journey through all of this was sunshine and roses... .  it WASN'T (still isn't sometimes,) but it IS a journey about ME and how I got into such a disastrous mess in the first place.

These relationships leave us feeling helpless... .  and we are NOT!

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« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2013, 01:53:36 PM »

I really hope I didn't come off trying to minimize the search for answers... .  

Not at all.

Gus the behavior is enough.   I hope you can appreciate this analogy... .  you have an overwhelming body of evidence you just don't have a conviction.   With or without it you know this person is bad for you.  It's okay for that to be enough.

As to the emphasized text - you're right that it SHOULD be enough.  It wasn't for me.  And that's a problem with me, and not with the veracity of your statement in general.  I was not in a position to recognize this.  And that's why I've been grateful that a label and a place like this exist, as without them I would still be wallowing in shame and accepting the projections.

"Abuse" is such a nebulous term, and, along with growing up with similar emotional abuse and similar intermittent reinforcement, etc., I don't think I'd have been able to feel justified in feeling angry - in fact, I didn't until I discovered the disorder.  This was all amplified by the fact that my ex enjoyed accusing me of anger problems ("just like [my] father", which I accepted as true.  Every time I felt angry, I not only felt that it was not justified but I also felt shame for having such "hurtful" responses (even if I never even expressed my anger and merely felt it) to someone who was so "good" to me.  Having a list of specific behaviors where I could very objectively say "yes, these apply," and seeing that the behaviors present together, and in orderly patterns, and seeing and identifying with the uncannily similar accounts of so many others, was what I needed at that time - nothing less would have given me the validation I now have and which has really allowed me to make some tangible progress.

I don't need a label now.  Label or no label, I was abused and mistreated.  It's kind of like training wheels.  I have my balance now, but I needed some extra reinforcement to achieve it initially.

This is one of the things the psychiatrist was telling Scott44... .  focus on what lead to "you" to this relationship and to look at your part-because unfortunately you are one who ultimately has to live in your choices/actions. 

Here's the other thing the psychiatrist is saying "Just because someone has BPD or BPD traits doesn't mean everything they do is crazy or unrealistic.  There will be times when their feelings match facts and it's the "non" partner that screwed up."

I willingly placed myself in the direct line of fire - there's no question about that.  I also made plenty of other mistakes that were completely unrelated to my ex's illness.  Yet while there's always room to improve one's behavior, I'm now confident enough in my own perceptions again to believe that none of these mistakes were deserving of the poor treatment I received.

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« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2013, 02:37:31 PM »

I believe that is why this website is called "when a loved one has borderline personality disorder" Its a name. Thats it. It classifies the disorder for research and other purposes. Without the name we'd all still be wandering around in darkness... .  most of us are better for knowing there is a name, there is a rhyme and reason to why our relationships were total chao's. Not sure about everyone, but the name sure helped me. It helped me to find this support group, it helped me to do my own research and find the best treatments, it even helped the fine folks who put this website together organize specific tools designed just for patient's with BPD!
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« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2013, 02:50:00 PM »

Gus the behavior is enough.   I hope you can appreciate this analogy... .  you have an overwhelming body of evidence you just don't have a conviction.   With or without it you know this person is bad for you.  It's okay for that to be enough.

As to the emphasized text - you're right that it SHOULD be enough.  It wasn't for me.  And that's a problem with me, and not with the veracity of your statement in general.  I was not in a position to recognize this.  And that's why I've been grateful that a label and a place like this exist, as without them I would still be wallowing in shame and accepting the projections.

This is an interesting thread.  I think that, when used appropriately, labels are enormously useful in understanding what is going on... .  and I don't see the need for anyone to apologize for relying upon them.

We rely upon labels and generalizations as a way of navigating every facet of our reality.  We can now be hesitant to use "labels" such as BPD, but are we supposed to show the same hesitation for labels such as "insecure" and "irrational"?  Imagine being in an emotionally abusive relationship some centuries ago in which even the simple notion of "irrationality" was not well understood or commonly considered.  If the concept of someone being irrational was foreign to you, how in the world could you possibly come to conclude that the emotional abuse you were receiving was undeserved?  You wouldn't have any way to label their behavior towards you in a way that allowed you to process it as anything other than an honest reflection of the truth.

If you were the only person in the world to be in a relationship that seemed irrational, then you would of course need to doubt yourself in what you thought you were perceiving.  But if you were instead to find that there were in fact thousands and thousands of thousands that were experiencing something similar, then that would help you a great deal to make better sense of it all.

At that point, then imagine some "expert" telling you "irrationality doesn't exist, so stop thinking about it... .  it's just a dumb label... .  and every terrible thing that person said and did is a reflection of truth and you need to accept that."  To take such a notion to heart would represent a major step backwards in the pursuit of a true understanding of what has happened.

Perception is tricky business.  It seems like most of us stayed in our relationships too long because we came to believe we deserved the abuse we received, and that we were lucky to have the occasional good moments that we found.  At the time, it almost didn't seem possible that these people we loved so much could be making us feel so worthless if we didn't in some way deserve that.  It is obviously not as simple as just innately "knowing" that you deserve better.  If it were, then none of us would be here.

The label of "BPD" has helped me a great deal in understanding what was actually motivating her and guiding her perceptions.  It has helped me to put into focus these past 7-plus years of my life in a way that I never could have attained without all that I've learned about this disorder.  It has allowed me to separate my world from hers, truth from fiction, and to get a much clearer picture on what truly are and are not the things in myself that I need to change.

These are all extraordinarily good outcomes of the label.  I don't see any benefit in discounting the value in that.
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« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2013, 03:11:10 PM »

... .  I've been grateful that a label and a place like this exist, as without them I would still be wallowing in shame and accepting the projections.

+1  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

... .  the name sure helped me. It helped me to find this support group, it helped me to do my own research and find the best treatments, it even helped the fine folks who put this website together organize specific tools designed just for patient's with BPD!

+1   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

The label of "BPD" has helped me a great deal in understanding what was actually motivating her and guiding her perceptions.  It has helped me to put into focus these past 7-plus years of my life in a way that I never could have attained without all that I've learned about this disorder.  It has allowed me to separate my world from hers, truth from fiction, and to get a much clearer picture on what truly are and are not the things in myself that I need to change.

These are all extraordinarily good outcomes of the label.  I don't see any benefit in discounting the value in that.

+1   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

My own experience was decades of wallowing between the uBPDs accusations and my own involvement. I gradually did my own research, found the name BPD, found this site, and then reading the "How A BPD love relationship evolves" article was so chillingly accurate that I couldn't avoid all the other learning I had to do. :-)

Labels... .  are words... .  and words are malleable entities with lifetimes of hundreds or thousands of years, created by humans and changed by humans. 'BPD' was useful to me, and clearly has been useful to others. It may be superseded at some point by something more accurate, but it gave me what I needed. As long as we realize that any word is an abstraction and abstractions can be used well or badly by anyone (hint: try thinking of how your pwBPD used words), we can learn to use them well... .   OK, well, some people can.   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

PP
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« Reply #61 on: February 24, 2013, 03:19:00 PM »

I disagree with the psychiatrist assertion that BPD doesn’t exist, frankly I think that is ridiculous. We have 10’s of thousands of stories on this website that describe very similar symptoms, signs and behaviors and as a normal human function we put a label on it. Just like everyone calls the machine that heats up bread in a little slot a toaster, we call these similar behaviors BPD.

I can speak for me and for others that went through a relationship with what is labeled a silent or waif type BPD. We didn’t take abuse, or raging and frankly would have no clue of the level of deception that was going on until the end. So for us, the idea that we should have known better is a bit simplistic. Lying cheating whore is what the non-clinical label is for my ex. I came here wanting to understand what makes a person like that tick.

At this point I am not on here anymore for answers… I get it now. I hope to add to the discussion and maybe give some insight to those that are still hurting. But in some way, even though I am not still here for answers, the only reason I am here is because of the ex and in some way that maintains a connection to a long gone past. For most of us I think there has to be a time to just move on from all that was, including here.

The point you mention, in regards of story similarity between 10,000s of stories here is the KEY to the confirmation that a thing like BPD exists, and that the 1) clinging/pedestal phase 2)hate phase etc. exists in our relationships and that detachment of this is a lot harder than a normal r/s.

I think the female psychiatrist got stood up by someone with BPD and can't get rid of the fact that that happened and puts her blame on her patients ^_^
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« Reply #62 on: February 24, 2013, 04:08:44 PM »

Could very well be the case, harmkrakow.  And yes, the idealization, followed by clinging and finally by devaluing seems to be a universal process when in a r/s with a pwBPD.
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« Reply #63 on: February 24, 2013, 04:26:08 PM »

I feel the label is pointless in our desire to heal. The label is a diagnostic tool keep track of a patient with a specific set of long term emotional problems. It helps to keep track of whether or not specific treatments are helpful in improving their lives.

Our problems are mostly about learning to let go of a r/s that was unhealthy for us and what kept us in it. What can we do now to attract healthier partners?
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« Reply #64 on: February 24, 2013, 05:06:27 PM »

I feel the label is pointless in our desire to heal. The label is a diagnostic tool keep track of a patient with a specific set of long term emotional problems. It helps to keep track of whether or not specific treatments are helpful in improving their lives.

But doesn't healing involve sorting through our experiences and trying to make sense of it?  :)oes it not include trying to understand what troubles we should attribute directly to ourselves and those which we should not?

If my uxBPDw says the relationship ended because I am the most terrible, pathetic, worthless human being that has ever existed... .  then the question does not immediately become "why did I tolerate this so long?"  The first question to ask is "is she right?  Am I really all of those things, or must I consider the source of these statements in my self-evaluation?"

Gaining a better understanding of the lens through which she saw me gives me a better understanding of how to interpret her perceptions of me.  This understanding is imperative to my self-examination.  It is not a matter of looking for an easy way out by blaming her - it is a matter of trying to process everything as thoroughly and honestly as I can so that I can acquire from all of this the right lessons, and not the wrong ones.

You say we should attract "healthier partners", but doesn't that necessitate "labeling" our previous partners as unhealthy?  I take the idea of designating someone that I love (and is very critical of me) as "mentally and emotionally unhealthy" very seriously... .  and I would not do so with confidence if not for all of the evidence laid out so clearly in front of me.  The existence of that evidence is in part due to people acknowledging the patterns of this behavioral phenomenon, connecting those dots, and being willing to put a label upon it.

The label may not be helpful to some, but I think the manner in which it can help others is certainly understandable.
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« Reply #65 on: February 24, 2013, 05:20:01 PM »

And yes, the idealization, followed by clinging and finally by devaluing seems to be a universal process when in a r/s with a pwBPD.

Maybe, but couldn't the same be said for a LOT of 'normal' failed relationships, too?
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« Reply #66 on: February 24, 2013, 05:28:46 PM »

And yes, the idealization, followed by clinging and finally by devaluing seems to be a universal process when in a r/s with a pwBPD.

Maybe, but couldn't the same be said for a LOT of 'normal' failed relationships, too?

yes and no those seem to be more prevalent with BPD relationships. any phase can be brought into failed healthy relationships but from what i learned its a common thing with pwBPD because many repeat this over and over with different partners. healthy relationships fail for many reasons lost of love, life religious differences and on and on. from what i learned BPD seem to move fast somehow someone breaks their prefect image they split devalue and move on to another. healthy people don't always do that a healthy person can see shade of grey.

Is that not what an illness is following a pattern of traits that make up a criteria whether its mental or not. if you believe any failed relationship follows these patterns and not a source of emotional irregularity then why be here why be on this site why this site at all.
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« Reply #67 on: February 24, 2013, 05:52:57 PM »

Absolutely not. The vast majority of posters on this board have uBPD as a SO(not me btw). Why do you need to focus on your partner to heal yourself? Are you really looking to offer no hope for healing to someone with a uBPD partner. It is something nearly everybody on the boards struggles with. SOs, siblings, parents, friends. We didn't manage our boundaries and were hurt emotionally in a big enough way to start posting on these boards. How to recognize and manage emotional attachments better in the future is helpful. Stuck wondering why it happened doesn't lead to better solutions. Understanding when they started treating us badly and how we reacted to it and what to do better leads to positive emotional growth.I admit this is only my opinion. It can be taken as useful or ignored.

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« Reply #68 on: February 24, 2013, 05:56:54 PM »

I feel the label is pointless in our desire to heal. The label is a diagnostic tool keep track of a patient with a specific set of long term emotional problems. It helps to keep track of whether or not specific treatments are helpful in improving their lives.

Our problems are mostly about learning to let go of a r/s that was unhealthy for us and what kept us in it. What can we do now to attract healthier partners?

You say we should attract "healthier partners"

Healthier partners for us.  We all have different tolerance levels.  What I find acceptable behavior, someone else may not and vice versa.  We all plugged into the dysfunction with our loved ones because of our own issues.  Why do we point fingers at others so often rather than pointing them at ourselves?  Why is that easier?

I'm not talking about anyone specific here on this thread... .  , but in general, many people that find their way to this forum have codependent tendencies, depression, they lack a sense of self etc... .   I happen to be one of those people.  I WASN'T HEALTHY PARTNER MATERIAL EITHER.  But here I was, looking for a label to attach to someone else.

And yes, this site has helped... .  me.  bpdfamily/bpdfamily.com continues to help me focus on my own distorted perceptions.  My own dysfunction.  My own wacky ways of relating to other people.  And I don't have BPD.  But I plugged right into it... .  

Why?  That is the question I had to ask myself.  Why did I plug into it? 
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« Reply #69 on: February 24, 2013, 05:59:50 PM »

everyone has to find there own way if the label helps it helps if it doesn't it does not. in the beginning for me it helps now i am working on why i choose to stay and why i still want her when i know she is the forbidden fruit but my phase is learning why i do this the label helped me but that's me. everyone needs to find there way getting stuck in any phase and not growing is sad because we are here to heal and move on. So let what ever helps you help you and move on if you so choose but be happy and healthy that's the key.
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« Reply #70 on: February 24, 2013, 06:07:11 PM »

At this point I am not on here anymore for answers… I get it now. I hope to add to the discussion and maybe give some insight to those that are still hurting. But in some way, even though I am not still here for answers, the only reason I am here is because of the ex and in some way that maintains a connection to a long gone past. For most of us I think there has to be a time to just move on from all that was, including here.

I agree. Being a year out, I can have days of complete detachment. No thinking about the ex. No monitoring of my mind and body for signs of PTSD. Just joyfull living in the actual moment. When you do reach a point of understanding what it was and don't need any more answers, a bigger picture view of what just happened establishes itself.

A lot the older philosophical teachings begin to make sense - including that old addage "No-one can hurt you without your permission". And I think this is where Feminist Psychiatrist might have something. Our own damage is what allowed us to stay so long in an unrewarding r/ship. And our own codependency / other directedness keeps us stuck long after it's over. Our sense of self is completely dependent upon the opinions or beliefs of other people, so we are decimated when that is unknown or changes to something negative.

I must admit, that my obsession with my exBPD was not my first experience with this time of break-up reaction. So that automatically plants the seed of doubt as to whether I can attribute PD to ex as a means to finding closure. In my gut, I know that my issues were as great or greater than his. But as we admit to learning about our own schemas and issues, surely there is room to entertain the possibility that our ex's issues are just as real - and probably BPD.

I am not convinced that labelling it is a bad thing. It is a spectrum disorder, with grades and variabilities, but still a disorder. Naming it does not necessarily admonish our part in the dance or the work we need to do on ourselves to recover from it.

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« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2013, 06:17:13 PM »

Nice post. How does understanding our partner's problem lead to better emotional health for ourselves? I've thought about it a good deal I assure everyone. Other then soothing my ego nothing much else came of it. I had real problems. Some of them I'm still working through. The more I work through my problems the less I worry about my exes. I am absolutely certain this is a good thing.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

At this point I am not on here anymore for answers… I get it now. I hope to add to the discussion and maybe give some insight to those that are still hurting. But in some way, even though I am not still here for answers, the only reason I am here is because of the ex and in some way that maintains a connection to a long gone past. For most of us I think there has to be a time to just move on from all that was, including here.

I agree. Being a year out, I can have days of complete detachment. No thinking about the ex. No monitoring of my mind and body for signs of PTSD. Just joyfull living in the actual moment. When you do reach a point of understanding what it was and don't need any more answers, a bigger picture view of what just happened establishes itself.

A lot the oldest philosophical teachings begin to make sense - including that old addage "No-one can hurt you without your permission". And I think this is where Feminist Psychiatrist might have something. Our own damage is what allowed us to stay so long in an unrewarding r/ship. And our own codependency / other directedness keeps us stuck long after it's over. Our sense of self is completely dependent upon the opinions or beliefs of other people, so we are decimated when that is unknown or changes to something negative.

I must admit, that my obsession with my exBPD was not my first experience with this time of break-up reaction. So that automatically plants the seed of doubt as to whether I can attribute PD to ex as a means to finding closure. In my gut, I know that my issues were as great or greater than his. But as we admit to learning about our own schemas and issues, surely there is room to entertain the possibility that our ex's issues are just as real - and probably BPD.

I am not convinced that labelling it is a bad thing. It is a spectrum disorder, with grades and variabilities, but still a disorder. Naming it does not necessarily admonish our part in the dance or the work we need to do on ourselves to recover from it.

Bb12

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Mary Oliver:  Someone I loved gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift

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« Reply #72 on: February 24, 2013, 06:25:41 PM »

Absolutely OTH. All of this BPD trauma... .  the inability to make sense of things like the discard, the painting black, splitting, silent treatment... .  is real. We are absolutely right to be stuck in 'understanding' for a time and it is perhaps natural to focus on the ex (and not ourselves) as we go through this stage. BPDs make the r/ship about them and they ensure ongoing supply even after the break-up by doing some hurtful and illogical things.

But there needs to come a point where they barely feature in our healing... .  where understanding our partner's problem is acknowledged and parked.

Ruin really is the road to transformation - as Eat Pray Love states - and this is the part of the journey we need to run with as we heal issues that are far longer standing than this latest relationship.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #73 on: February 24, 2013, 06:44:54 PM »

How does understanding our partner's problem lead to better emotional health for ourselves?

Like this: there's an old medical saying 'the doctor takes the pressure off the patient and the patient heals themselves'.

I came here, identified two people that I was in a bad BPD-type pattern with, read about the detaching tools (essentially: validating, becoming boring, and expecting extinction and going through it), and within a WEEK I had solved two major r/s issues in my life (two months later: one of the people is gone and probably for good, the other is no longer triggering and we're maintaining LC without trouble).

I could do this because I could identify the two other people as both being uBPD, and try the tools on them. They worked exactly as predicted.

Now that the pressure is off, I am working on myself to see how I get myself into these things.

PP
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« Reply #74 on: February 24, 2013, 06:59:46 PM »

The topic is about whether or not BPD should be labeled as a disorder with a name BPD and whether BPD even exists. My opinon is that yes BPD should be labeled and yes BPD exists. I' ll focus on that. This topic is getting very muddy, and circular, so thats all from me. Peace. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #75 on: February 24, 2013, 07:24:56 PM »

How about this:

The simple act of labeling our partners as some form of unhealthy may not carry implicit value for us.  But can we not agree that such a label in turn allows us to view quite clearly that our relationship was unhealthy?

If it were not for my understanding of this disorder, I could possibly fall into the trap of looking back at my relationship as a torrid, romantic, heartbreaking, Hollywood type of thing... .  from which the only lesson I could obtain is that I was in fact unworthy of something so beautiful.

At this point, then, I could possibly just feel utterly worthless, an irreconcilable sense of loss, and I may simply be praying to the heavens that I may someday replace what I had lost.

Instead, through readings and my discussions with the many people here, I have gotten to a point where I can look at such a perspective as embarrassingly foolish and naive.  That relationship was severely troubled, and it was unhealthy in a million ways.  I can see that not just by "diagnosing" my partner as being BPD, but by diagnosing my relationship as one completely emblematic of so many described here.

My focus upon myself, then, can shift to very meaningful things like "codependent" and "overly reliant upon others for self-worth".  That seems preferable to my focus upon myself being things like "unworthy" and "pathetic".

One path is me looking at the relationship (and hopefully myself) honestly, and the other is me still being mired in and indulging all of my most damaging traits that got me into the relationship in the first place.  One is a path to healing, and the other is in the exact wrong direction.  Seeing my relationship as "a relationship involving BPD" has helped me to understand the emergent dysfunctional patterns in that relationship, and that, in turn, has helped me a great deal to find the better path towards healing and meaningful self-examination.
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« Reply #76 on: February 24, 2013, 07:36:53 PM »

Or to put it more simply:

It may not be a matter of saying that she was BPD... .  

rather, it's a matter of saying that I confused a dysfunctional relationship with someone with BPD as being love.

Even if I am focusing upon myself, that acknowledgement of BPD allows the focus to begin in a more real and meaningful place.
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« Reply #77 on: February 24, 2013, 07:41:02 PM »

Or to put it more simply:

It may not be a matter of saying that she was BPD... .  

rather, it's a matter of saying that I confused a dysfunctional relationship with someone with BPD as being love.

Even if I am focusing upon myself, that acknowledgement of BPD allows the focus to begin in a more real and meaningful place.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  I like it!  It's really helped me Smiling (click to insert in post)  I think I'd substitute BPD for Cluster B though; I was married to a narcissist
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« Reply #78 on: February 24, 2013, 09:00:50 PM »

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