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Author Topic: Feminist Psyciatrist - "There is no such thing as BPD"  (Read 6384 times)
turtle
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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!

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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.

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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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willy45
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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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turtle
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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!

turtle

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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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