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Author Topic: 1.0 | A common personality trait in us?  (Read 5740 times)
tut-uncommon

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« on: March 11, 2013, 06:48:49 PM »

Im curious if there is something "we" all have in common?   Is there something that allows us to become victims more easily?

I'll start -

Im an adult male who works in the medical field (no, not a Dr.) I'm independent and have no major hang ups. I can be emotionally sensitive. I am of average size and looks. I have had several happy relationships and some terrible ones. Need more? Ask.

Can I get some input from everyone? Details are not necessary, just basic stuff including some personality traits.
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 06:51:16 PM »

I'm a fixer, not much more to say!

I also am very loyal and don't give up on people I see good in.  To my detriment sometimes!
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 07:34:11 PM »

this is an interesting question.

I am in a high level creative job. I'm financially secure, attractive, fit and my self confidence was very intact when I met my partner 5 years ago.

I've had very good relationships and a couple which were not so good as well, but nothing at all like this one. I tend to be a perfectionist and am an over achiever for sure. I have often felt I could "handle it" or I was smart/clever enough to find a solution.  I realize this was false thinking on my part and it might work with projects often enough, but not with relationships - or at least not this one. I am fiercely loyal and I believe this is a blessing and a curse. A curse if you do not have a very good handle on your boundaries.

a little off topic but I recently read a book about Adult Attachment and the Science of Attachment Styles. It was eye opening. I have been struggling over my seeming inability to be firm with my uBPD partner. While reading I wondered how many of us identified with which style (needs). There is no one better style than another, and they are somewhat changeable once you learn about them.  I am striving to use the tools of a 'secure' attached individual(I believe I was this style once upon a time, but now respond more in an anxious style) to not only leave this r/s behind me, but make better decisions down the road with new ones.

The book is not about any disorder and it guides you to identify your own style as well as make a very good effort at determining your partners style.

I've read it once and NEED to read it again. The first go through was empowering and helped me forget about what I believe is a/his disorder and focus on the fact that we simply have very different needs in an r/s and will not be our best together, whether he is disordered or not.

I am a person who is having a very hard time walking away from what is clearly not good for me. I could not identify why. This has helped me.

Maybe you or someone here will find it as empowering as I did.




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Clearmind
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 08:09:12 PM »

Can I get some input from everyone? Details are not necessary, just basic stuff including some personality traits.

I was also a care taker, and never realized that my self worth was as low as it was.

I had a uBPD alcoholic father which left a legacy.

We all learn our relationship skills, ways of relating from our parents/care givers. Given our r/s were toxic and many of us didn’t realize it until we were discarded – I would say that much of this questions lies in our childhoods.

Depending on the childhood experience - the reason could be different for everyone.

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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 08:10:16 PM »

I have thought about this a bit too. It seems to me that many of the nons posting on here are probably of above average intelligence, articulate & well educated. I know I'm not the only one on here that has a law degree for example! Our training as well as our personality type leads us to try to deal with issues in a very logical & structured way. We tend to interact with the world through the head & the intellect rather than through the heart (feeling) or the body (physicality). Although it is our feelings that have been crushed, & our physical selves that were so completely engaged in our relationships as well, I think it was the need to find rational & logical explanations that stopped me from listening to my feelings during the course of my relationship.

The red flags trigger the feeling that something is not right - but the logical mind finds a way to rationalise these. Then the strong/overwhelming feelings of attachment take over & because we are unused to managing these type of feelings we surrender to them.

That's my take anyway...
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 08:26:10 PM »

Well, reading many postings and a few attachment books... seems like they are operating in the schema called abandoned child and most prefer lonely child, which is someone needy for that unconditional love that you are supposed to get from your folks... but often doesn't happen.

The other key trait would be rescuers... we jump to help, and start working toward drama as they take the role of victim for a while, till the whole drama triangle thing is in full swing.

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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 08:32:42 PM »

I think that something common to all of us might be:

'Other Directedness' whereby we get our sense of self or validation from watching someone behave the way we had hoped after we DO something... .  whether that be fixing, rescuing... .  whatever. I am fairly sure we have a fairly intangible definition of self or sense of self. We don't know ourselves very well.

I think that something common to some of us might include:

An over-functioning relationship with life. We are pretty sorted in relation to money, work, health and feel capable of taking on other people's issues because we feel our own are minimal or under control.

bb12
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 09:17:56 PM »

The lonely child is one schema. A schema in general - is a cognitive framework that helps organize and interpret information in the world around us.

See reply #73 for a description of Schema's

PERSPECTIVES: From idealization to devaluation - why we struggle


Take the Schema Questionnaire:

Schema Mode Inventory 1.1 - Questionnaire AND the  Schema Mode Inventory 1.1 Scoring Information
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 09:24:11 PM »

Here's a thing I find most of us have in common:Co-dependency: When Our Emotional Issues Affect Our True Availability

Maybe not every aspect for each of us, but at least some of them. I'm a "fixer" too. Why? Because somewhere down inside, I don't think I deserve to be loved just because I'm me. I have to earn it. The greater the challenge of earning it, the more I might possibly believe I deserve it (or not--especially if I can find a futile challenge, which "confirms" my lack of deserving)
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We must come to know we are more than anyone's opinion--including our own
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 09:28:53 PM »

The red flags trigger the feeling that something is not right - but the logical mind finds a way to rationalise these. Then the strong/overwhelming feelings of attachment take over & because we are unused to managing these type of feelings we surrender to them.

Very well said Wooddragon!

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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 09:30:16 PM »

I think that something common to some of us might include:

An over-functioning relationship with life. We are pretty sorted in relation to money, work, health and feel capable of taking on other people's issues because we feel our own are minimal or under control.

bb12

That about sums it all up.

Thanks.

Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2013, 11:05:18 PM »

I am definitely a rescuer!

I told my therapist that i am hugely successful in my career, well respected and liked. When I am single i go into overdrive with work and build up my name, finances, and business. A waif will walk into my life and i give it all away at the drop of a hat to save them. Then we split, I build it up again... .  rinse repeat... .  

If i did not enter these relationships I now genuinely believe I could be a very wealthy man both emotionally, and financially  Smiling (click to insert in post)

This time round I have made a promise to MYSELF that i will not enter a relationship until I have put as much work into ME and MY issues, no matter how long it takes me because I am tired of being this way.

I am not worried about the money, It means nothing and does not buy happiness, I want to share my life with somebody who we have equal love, trust and respect for.
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2013, 11:09:18 PM »

I am definitely a rescuer!

I told my therapist that i am hugely successful in my career, well respected and liked. When I am single i go into overdrive with work and build up my name, finances, and business. A waif will walk into my life and i give it all away at the drop of a hat to save them. Then we split, I build it up again... .  rinse repeat... .  

If i did not enter these relationships I now genuinely believe I could be a very wealthy man both emotionally, and financially  Smiling (click to insert in post)

This time round I have made a promise to MYSELF that i will not enter a relationship until I have put as much work into ME and MY issues, no matter how long it takes me because I am tired of being this way.

I am not worried about the money, It means nothing and does not buy happiness, I want to share my life with somebody who we have equal love, trust and respect for.

The rescuer thing is a key part of being codependent... most discussions of codependency make it sound like being codependent is being a victim, this boards discussion of it is far more accurate, read it and see if it rings true. I was a bit shocked... as I have seen myself as a rescuer... but often was seen by others a different way.

https://bpdfamily.com/content/codependency-codependent-relationships

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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2013, 11:18:27 PM »

I have now come to the conclusion that it was "arrogant" of me to think i could fix the people in my life. I mean, who am I to do that? superman?
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2013, 11:29:00 PM »

I have now come to the conclusion that it was "arrogant" of me to think i could fix the people in my life. I mean, who am I to do that? superman?

Wanting to help people is a noble motivator... taking the rescuer role in a Karpman drama triangle... is where we end up when we try to rescue someone with a PD... things get dysfunctional.

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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2013, 11:42:45 PM »

I am definitely a rescuer. I am attracted to the girls whom everyone wants but the girls who care little to the pandering of men.  In short I am attracted the girl whom every guy looks at and wants and then when the guys go to talk to the girl the girl tells them to "~ off."  Then we couple that with a girl who is very intelligent but is falling short of her potential and either doesnt seem to care or cant figure it out.  This has led me to date multiple bar tenders, go-go/exotic dancers, and waitresses. I like a girl that is a challenge easy/slutty has never interested me in terms of an S/O.

About me I think most people would consider me an extremely attractive guy.  I almost never have a problem getting attention or getting a girl to notice me. I am a very extroverted social guy. I have been very successful in life/career so far. I came from a very great family; however, I was not and still am not particularly close with my parents or siblings.  We have a good relationship but I certainly wouldn't call us close.  

I have dated girls that are gorgeous successful and very kind and I lose interest in them very quickly. I dont know why but I am just never able to develop that deep attraction to them.

How do I break my "addiction" to these unhealthy girls?
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2013, 11:49:24 PM »

I've seen "fixer/rescuer" and "logical" mentioned in lots of places in regards to non partners (I'm definitely both), and these two are probably the ultimate recipe for BPD doom.  We try to apply logic to illogical situations, rationalizing that there must be a valid reason that our pwBPD are behaving this way, and then we try to fix the situation without knowing that there's no solution.
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2013, 11:56:43 PM »

 We try to apply logic to illogical situations, rationalizing that there must be a valid reason that our pwBPD are behaving this way, and then we try to fix the situation without knowing that there's no solution.

This is huge I have spent so many sleepless nights trying to apply logic to our relationship to her, to me, and all of our problems. 

"recipe of total doom"

For me I can see a girl who is troubled and in need of rescue; however, unless i see hope or potential i dont get hooked its when i see someone who has the potential and is failing in some aspect of life.

Why doesnt this extend to my platonic friendships? Generally, all of my friends that i associate with are all on "good shape" and have their lives in order.  You would think I would want to surround myself with similar types in platonic relationships as well.
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2013, 12:06:57 AM »

I came from a very great family; however, I was not and still am not particularly close with my parents or siblings.  We have a good relationship but I certainly wouldn't call us close.  

I have dated girls that are gorgeous successful and very kind and I lose interest in them very quickly. I dont know why but I am just never able to develop that deep attraction to them.

How do I break my "addiction" to these unhealthy girls?

We respond to the people that match our model of what love is... which if you come from a family with unconditional love and normal attachment, is great, however if you come from a family where you are not particularly close with anyone in your family... .  where things were off... you respond to what you had as love as a little kid. And that is where the unhealthy girls come in, its icky, but we typically go for someone like our parents... or if the damage was great enough... like we are fearful/avoidant attachment type... we seek unconditional love... and the idealizing phase of a r/s with a pwBPD seems like unconditional love... long enough for us to accept them as the primary attachment we never had... .  then when they dump us its devastating, like losing a parent. Even when we are not dumped... their is an intensity to everything that makes a normal r/s with a healthy person seem tame/boring... .  so we are mistaking intensity of nervous energy... for love, most likely because we had a lot of intense nervous dsyfunctioning around us long ago.

How do you fix it, see a T and work on those deep wounds from your FOO that make you seek out unhealthy women.
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« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2013, 12:08:38 AM »

How do I break my "addiction" to these unhealthy girls?

What are your thoughts here trampled? Why do you believe you are addicted?
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« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2013, 12:12:54 AM »

The wheels are really turning in my brain tonight because of this thread.

Is it possible that as rescuers that is how we express and feel the deepest sense of love for another human being when we our "devoting" ourselves to help them.  That satisfaction that we get from helping someone is that deep love feeling we crave. My exgfBPD told me many times as we were breaking up "thank you for everything that you did for me." One of my other ex's a year or so after we split wrote me a3 page email thanking me for all the effort i put forth in believing in her. Yet at the time i did this for her it only drove her away.

When I talk to others about my ex they say "and what if she changed?... .  would everything had been perfect then." I don't know the answer to that question that is what really troubles me. I'd like to say yes everything would be perfect but maybe I would lose interest in that person.

Has any rescuer every succeeded in rescuing someone? If so were things perfect?
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« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2013, 12:16:28 AM »

Clear Mind

I think I am addicted in the sense that when I meet these type of girls i fall head over heels for them. I have a great deal of trouble steering away from them. Yet when I meet normal girls the attachement is never ever even close to as strong.
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« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2013, 12:19:52 AM »

I think the rescuer thing goes wrong when it tends toward codependency... or more simply... you focus on fixing/rescuing the other person, to the exclusion of your own needs/wants. In a crummy family upbringing, with needy/unreliable family members, you can get in the habit of being the responsible person, the one that tries to make everything be all right. That kind of behavior is rewarded in many ways, but also can create some deep resentment over time, and when you question the rightness of having to rescue people who knowing do the wrong things time and time again (bad parents)... you repress your own ability to be angry and become a rescuer like the ones described in the boards codependency article.

https://bpdfamily.com/content/codependency-codependent-relationships
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« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2013, 12:26:27 AM »

anyone watched Lost and therefore know Jack Shepherd from that show? I always related with him because his character was the one who always had to fix something/someone. And he just couldn't let go. My friends always told me that, I am the rescuer type. I don't know why... .  I feel like I won't be loved for who I am. I always have the desire to help someone. To be needed. And I have done for that as long as I can remember... .  maybe since kindergarten.
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« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2013, 12:33:11 AM »

Charred

I guess my question is when does the line become crossed between rescuer and co-dependent? I feel as if I am certainly a rescuer although I believe I maintain a significant degree of self.  I never felt as if I was sacrificing for her more so helping. I never wanted the WOE IS ME card.  I never felt as if my life suffered because of me rescuing her.
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« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2013, 02:25:09 AM »

How did we become rescuers?

How did we become care-takers?

hit

Many rescuers were given the power to attempt to rescue other family members/parent in some significant ways as a child. For me, having a Borderline father, meant that I rescued: to escape abuse, because that is what my mother did (I became an enabler just like her).

Why did I feel need the rescue a helpless man (my ex) instead of reserve my right to walk in the opposite direction? It is partly lack of self worth, not feeling I deserve a healthy relationship, it was partly because I reveled in the drama and drama was very normalized because my childhood was drama filled (healthy men were boring to me – sound familiar @trampled?)

All that aside – I felt utterly powerless – I lived the fantasy that by rescuing somehow I was valued, powerful, worthy and useful. When I was devalued my sense of value, albeit a false sense of security, cascaded in spectacular form. My world, which I had lead to believe was a better place because I rescued was in fact not! This was a re-enactment of my childhood.

For a good long while my therapist attempted to shift the attention back to me – it worked for a second – until I shifted my focus back to my ex, my father or someone else I chose to blame for the way I felt - Does this sound familiar? It’s what many of us do here – shift the focus back to our ex’s so we don’t need to concentrate on our issues.

In therapy, I thought all I needed to do was to find a better way to rescue rather than work on my rescue tendencies - how wrong I was!

I needed to be needed – in fact I probably needed to be needed more than my ex needed rescuing. My self esteem took a dive each time there was a gap between rescuing – more drama was created and the more I was addicted to the roller coaster.

What I in fact I did things for my ex he refused to do for himself -– I helped create my ex’s victim cycle – my ex upped the ante and busted my own boundaries in the process.

hit_

How would you feel if you learned that you absolutely could not rescue your ex?

Would have your relationship started or lasted if you didn't rescue?

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« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2013, 03:09:45 AM »

Wanting to help people is a noble motivator... taking the rescuer role in a Karpman drama triangle... is where we end up when we try to rescue someone with a PD... things get dysfunctional.

My take on this "nobility" element is the opposite! I agree with the fact we are all rescuers and that at face value that's a lovely thing. But the darker reality... .  that bit that would fight and scream and treat our exes horribly - and at times beyond what was appropriate... .  is also codependency, but the shadowy side of it. Someone earlier said it was arrogant to try to rescue and I have come to agree. I now believe that we choose people who are not our equal for the single purpose of controlling them. It is not as altruistic as we might wish it to be. For there is an expectation... the giving is conditional. I will do this for you if you do that.

I will give you my fortune and fab life if you don't leave me.

So I can see my own illness fairly clearly now too - and I'm not convinced it is too different in severity and cause from our borderline exes. My own obsession with my ex and inability to move on for so long was directly attributable to the fact pwBPD can break these unspoken rules. Their attachment disorder allows them to leave and let go, when we can't. It also confirms the other unspoken truth... .  That we don't think we are loveable. It only hurts because it resonates as truth ( but of course, it isn't)

Bb12
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« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2013, 04:59:25 AM »

We are pretty sorted in relation to money, work, health and feel capable of taking on other people's issues because we feel our own are minimal or under control.

Because somewhere down inside, I don't think I deserve to be loved just because I'm me. I have to earn it. The greater the challenge of earning it, the more I might possibly believe I deserve it

We try to apply logic to illogical situations, rationalizing that there must be a valid reason that our pwBPD are behaving this way, and then we try to fix the situation without knowing that there's no solution.

Right on target all this. I recognize a lot in other posts as well: perfectionist, fixer (don't work much at the moment, but when clients used to have some impossible problem with an impossible deadline I was the one to give it to), very loyal, attractive, physically fit, financially secure. I have reasonably high self esteem but I've always been a loner and I have some emotional immaturity going on. I find other people much more 'grown up' than I find myself.

I copied this list from a review of 'In sheep's clothing: understanding and dealing with manipulative people'. I don't recognize myself in 2 and 3. But 4 and 5 and also 1 (in relation to my ex, not in general) would fit me.

"The primary tactic for us in dealing with such manipulative people is to be more aware of ourselves and what is happening inside us. Five things are worth working on:

1. Naïveté: some of us can't bring ourselves to believe this person is as cunning, devious and ruthless as our guts tell us he/she is. It's time to grow up and grow wiser.

2. Over-conscientiousness: are you too ready to see everyone else's point of view, and too willing to blame yourself? You make yourself an easy target.

3. Low self-confidence: you are unsure of your right to pursue your own wants and needs, or unsure of your ability to engage well in inter-personal conflict.

4. Over-intellectualisation: you try so hard to understand behaviour that you end up excusing it, and you lose sight of the fact that this person just wants to get their own way. The truth is, you need to fight them!

5. Emotional dependency: you are attracted to `strong' people but you fear standing up to them in case you are abandoned by them or they reject you."

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« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2013, 05:33:07 AM »

I think that something common to all of us might be:

'Other Directedness' whereby we get our sense of self or validation from watching someone behave the way we had hoped after we DO something... .  whether that be fixing, rescuing... .  whatever. I am fairly sure we have a fairly intangible definition of self or sense of self. We don't know ourselves very well.

I think that something common to some of us might include:

An over-functioning relationship with life. We are pretty sorted in relation to money, work, health and feel capable of taking on other people's issues because we feel our own are minimal or under control.

bb12

BIG YES here !

However, I think there is a deeper layer at least in the case of me... .  let's dive:

Otherdirectedness is a character trait that is natural, healthy, and constitutes part of love in action; caring, helping, being considerate. Doing these things also signals 'You are wanted here'. The flip side of the coin is feeling wanted, appreciated, cared for, etc. Me personally, I like both; giving and feeling being wanted. When two people attract/meet that like both giving and feeling being wanted, we bond.

The bonding happens as a result of our reward system including the dopamine, releases a 'shower' every time we interpret a situation as - we get our sense of self or validation from watching someone behave the way we had hoped after we DO something. Dopamine is a REALLY strong internal drug, which makes us go back for more - thus bonding happens.

This is all fine and well when two functional people meet. The reward system kicks in when the ':)O' and the 'response' comes out of the selves of the two involved.

But when one of them is dysfunctional, the reward system kicks in as a result of our pwBPD beaviour 'happens to match' the expected outcome from our ':)O'. However, in reality our pwBPD behaviour is NOT driven by a healthy relationship script out of a 'self', but rather from a dysfunctional 'BPD-script' primarily coming out of distorted cognition and the dual fears of abandonment and engulfment.

What is does to us, is that the rewards and the dopamine 'showers' are released more randomly or intermittently. And as can be read elsewhere, 'intermittent reinforcement' yields an even stronger bond, and we ':)O' more to get it.

It is like a healthy part of us gets hijacked and we succumb to ':)O' more.

... well I'm not sure this diving tour came out as pretty as my intent was. Hope it make sense to you. It does to me.

/Careman

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« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2013, 06:20:19 AM »

It is like a healthy part of us gets hijacked and we succumb to ':)O' more.

/Careman

Good post Careman

I remember seeing my T for the first time and hitting on this exact point

I said "The more I give, the less he does"

My T corrected me and said "No, the less he gives, the more you do!"

And there you have it... .  stuck in DOING to feel loved instead of feeling loved for BEING

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

bb12
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« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2013, 06:31:23 AM »

I am a caregiver... .  work in medical field as a nurse.  I've been told that I am overly tolerant and forgiving.  I was married for 26 years to a man 16 years my senior... .  was I searching for a father figure seeing as how my dad was traveling and gone throughout most my young. 

I'm very analytical... .  any time we'd have a fight or I saw red flags, I'd analyze it for days on end trying to understand things which ultimately never could be reasoned with.  I am very giving and tend to put my needs aside for others which I definitely did in my relationship with my ex BPD boyfriend.  I guess it also comes down to the fact that I don't have the confidence and self-esteem to stand up for myself when I should. 

I know i was used and taken advantage of... .  whether it was done maliciously or not it still hurts like hell.  I gave my heart and soul to this man only to be treated horribly and have whatever confidence I had taken away. Obviously, it's time to take a good long hard look inward and fix me.  I know in the end I will be grateful for this experience for the personal growth... .  not feeling too grateful right now while I'm struggling just to maintain NC but there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel. 
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« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2013, 08:20:27 AM »

Wanting to help people is a noble motivator... taking the rescuer role in a Karpman drama triangle... is where we end up when we try to rescue someone with a PD... things get dysfunctional.

My take on this "nobility" element is the opposite! I agree with the fact we are all rescuers and that at face value that's a lovely thing. But the darker reality... .  that bit that would fight and scream and treat our exes horribly - and at times beyond what was appropriate... .  is also codependency, but the shadowy side of it. Someone earlier said it was arrogant to try to rescue and I have come to agree. I now believe that we choose people who are not our equal for the single purpose of controlling them. It is not as altruistic as we might wish it to be. For there is an expectation... the giving is conditional. I will do this for you if you do that.

I will give you my fortune and fab life if you don't leave me.

So I can see my own illness fairly clearly now too - and I'm not convinced it is too different in severity and cause from our borderline exes. My own obsession with my ex and inability to move on for so long was directly attributable to the fact pwBPD can break these unspoken rules. Their attachment disorder allows them to leave and let go, when we can't. It also confirms the other unspoken truth... .  That we don't think we are loveable. It only hurts because it resonates as truth ( but of course, it isn't)

Bb12

I agree actually... I don't think rescuing is noble... I think we tell ourselves it is to rationalize it, and believe that we know what is best for someone else, and that we put ourselves above that other person... .  we think its no big deal to me, I am so powerful I can fix the problem. And it kicks off the bad relating. I probably should have said as much, but had a hard time casting stones when I am cut from the same cloth.

Been told I spoil my daughter... throw money at the problem, anytime there is one, same with exwife. With my exBPDgf I visited her home one time and didn't like her furniture, she had thrift store old stuffed chairs and no couch or loveseat where you could snuggle or make out... so I commented on it, and my exBPDgf said her budget was tight, she was a teacher and had a kid, so she would make due. I bought her a nice living room set... she was thrilled, her son loved it. Saw her vaccuming with old beat up, inneffective vac... .  got her a new bagless... and then was even irritated when she bought a bunch of bags for old one... .  just in case. She didn't have a printer, her laptop was old... .  etc, etc... anyway over time her place was fixed up by my rescuer checkbook. Used to do the same thing with my exwife, I traveled all the time, and made good money as a consultant... and felt a bit guilty about being gone and missing out on so much, so would spend, spend and try to make things better.

One day came home and wife was on phone talking to one of her friends and saying "$600 oh thats nothing, I will take care of it"... and I was irritated... how was it nothing, wife didn't work? She had quit her job without discussing it with me 2 weeks after our daughter was born... if she went back to work she would make maybe 20 an hr... so she would have to work 30 hrs to gross 600, so more like 40 hrs... with tax... .  so she was saying some thing that takes a week of your life's work was nothing?... That was my reaction and it pissed me off for a long time. I realize now that I acted like it was nothing... and she valued it as nothing... and it was my life's work that was being pissed away.

When I broke up with my exBPDgf and went through the divorce with my wife... they both said the same things... .  you can give and give with your checkbook but you hold back of yourself and keep people at a distance and think somehow helping someone out makes you better than them... .  and over time we learn that those handouts come at a price to the relationship.

So... I don't know when it all turns bad... but adults need to be independent, even kids want to be, and we should be as well. I grew up with a lot of unhealthy parental example... .  folks separated when I was 12, divorced when I was 14 and ignored me for a long time before and after that... and now at 50, I am divorced, and I ended r/s with pwBPD... and there is a big blank as to what do I want to do now... a blank that comes from having suppressed my own feelings/desires/needs for so long that I really don't feel motivated to do anything... .  because there isn't anything I want, except for close relationships... and I have become expert at keeping people distant, and controlling them, by rescuing, and distancing myself... to keep from getting hurt. Now I don't need someone to give me issues, I can do it all by myself.
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« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2013, 08:34:56 AM »

Why doesnt this extend to my platonic friendships? Generally, all of my friends that i associate with are all on "good shape" and have their lives in order.  You would think I would want to surround myself with similar types in platonic relationships as well.

Couldn't agree more! Thanks for posting that.
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« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2013, 09:48:17 AM »

 

I have a theory that we were triggered by our ex because they reminded us of someone from our past, whether a parent or caregiver, who instilled in us the belief that we weren't good enough.  Once this trigger is pulled (by our ex) we spend the rest of the relationship trying to prove to them that we are good enough. 

Unfortunately, we choose this person for a reason, and the same characteristics we recognize in them from our past, are the same characteristics that prevent us from changing the script to a happy ending. We were told we weren't good enough at a young and impressionable age and we believed it. I think this belief follows us into every relationship we have.

We have our own self fulfilling prophecy to deal with and we have our own script we follow. Our ex's may have a personality disorder but we are far from being mentally healthy ourselves. We are haunted by a false belief that compels us to prove we are worthy; we long to be accepted and we overcompensate by being too agreeable and this leads to co-dependency and neuroticism. 

The good news is... .  we can change our beliefs.  We can choose to reframe how we think and we can overcome self esteem issues.  We can challenge what we were taught about ourselves and we can believe we are good enough. 

We were always good enough.

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« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2013, 09:50:50 AM »

I have a theory that we were triggered by our ex because they reminded us of someone from our past, whether a parent or caregiver, who instilled in us the belief that we weren't good enough.  Once this trigger is pulled (by our ex) we spend the rest of the relationship trying to prove to them that we are good enough. 

Unfortunately, we choose this person for a reason, and the same characteristics we recognize in them from our past, are the same characteristics that prevent us from changing the script to a happy ending. We were told we weren't good enough at a young and impressionable age and we believed it. I think this belief follows us into every relationship we have.

We have our own self fulfilling prophecy to deal with and we have our own script we follow. Our ex's may have a personality disorder but we are far from being mentally healthy ourselves. We are haunted by a false belief that compels us to prove we are worthy; we long to be accepted and we overcompensate by being too agreeable and this leads to co-dependency and neuroticism. 

The good news is... .  we can change our beliefs.  We can choose to reframe how we think and we can overcome self esteem issues.  We can challenge what we were taught about ourselves and we can believe we are good enough. 

We were always good enough.

tailspin

Well Put, agree completely.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2013, 10:48:51 AM »

I am a rescuer. Although I didn't know this until my relationship with my udBPD wife. It was a matter of co-dependence for sure. I never new this about myself, but I certainly do now.

Even now, after completely splitting up with my wife and as she moved away not knowing where to? And after having a series of blowouts with really bad name calling, I feel like I need to rescue her.

Example:

I get a letter yesterday about taxes that are due on a vehicle we co-own. I send her an email about it and ask her to address it. Nothing more, noting less. I was straight to the point making sure she was aware of the bill and pays the bill.

Late last night I get 3 text's from here and it totally rattles me. I could not read them. I truly do not care what she has to complain about.

After deleting them, I started to wonder and worry, is she okay? Did she write something important I needed to know? Was she reaching out? And that is exactly why I needed to delete them. She's not my responsibility anymore. She made her decision to up ad move and to not even tell me where she has moved, yet I am worried about her? Talk about being a rescuer?

At the end of the day, if I would have read the texts and responded to whatever she had to say, that action would have kept me involved in an unhealthy way. I know this. That's why I deleted them. But that doesn't mean today I am not struggling with my actions. I wish I would have never emailed her about the taxes. It only opened a window where in the end, I am struggling with MY decisions and actions and if I did nothing, I would not be in this emotional place at the moment.

Live and learn.
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« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2013, 03:40:21 PM »

This is a good thread.

I had a "practise" this morning, that drove it home for me (AGAIN). Talked to stbx this morning, trying very hard  not to replay old tapes or "help". (by the way, here's an excellent article about emotional memory and our reaction to it--I had this in mind when I talked to stbx https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=103393.0;topicseen  ) Guess what? When I bit my tongue to keep from offering "help"--or criticisms for his refusal to accept my "help", I didn't know what to say. It was dead silent on my part. That tells me something.

I agree with bb12--codependency is about control. Not the loud, brash control of the people we would call "control freaks"--a more sneaky form. We wouldn't want to be called dominating, so we mask our control issues as "help". We are attracted to victims because WE want to be victims. We want control because we had none growing up--I know I sure didn't!

Once, someone told me something that has come to have even deeper meaning over time for me. He said "most people that need help--well, there's a reason they need help". There, I "fixed" this broken person. See? That proves I have value! But in reality (to answer trampledfoot's question about has any rescuer ever succeeded and had a perfect life) here's what actually happens: self respect/self dignity/self esteem comes from our ability to be independent. When you make someone dependent (by "fixing/helping" and doing for them what they won't do for themselves, or don't WANT done for themselves), they become resentful of the dependency. The more resentful they become, the more we try to "fix" it. In the form of controlling them by nagging them about how grateful they should be to us. You know the line, we've all said it in one form or another--"after all I've done for you... .  ". We want these people to bolster our sense of value because we don't know how. So in many ways, we aren't that much different from them. Maybe our methods are different, but our secret motive is the same.

When you hear yourself saying "we've talked about this before... .  " you are not open. You are getting ready to play an old record of resentment. Maybe you don't scream in out of proportion emotion like the BPD, but you are projecting your resentment. Remember what I just said about resentment? How it comes from dependency? So what is it that we are dependent on them for? Yeah--our self value. Here's what I think (not feel) I need to have value, and you--you ingrate!--won't give it to me! How am I supposed to help/fix you when you won't do/think/feel/behave the way I want you to?

THAT'S why we leave or get evicted from relationships and then find another just like it. And then explore our "victimhood" rather than our "control freak" behavior.
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« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2013, 03:44:34 PM »

Sometimes we want to fix someone else so they will owe us, and fix us... .  
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« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2013, 07:29:27 PM »

This is a good thread.

I had a "practise" this morning, that drove it home for me (AGAIN). Talked to stbx this morning, trying very hard  not to replay old tapes or "help". (by the way, here's an excellent article about emotional memory and our reaction to it--I had this in mind when I talked to stbx https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=103393.0;topicseen  ) Guess what? When I bit my tongue to keep from offering "help"--or criticisms for his refusal to accept my "help", I didn't know what to say. It was dead silent on my part. That tells me something.

I agree with bb12--codependency is about control. Not the loud, brash control of the people we would call "control freaks"--a more sneaky form. We wouldn't want to be called dominating, so we mask our control issues as "help". We are attracted to victims because WE want to be victims. We want control because we had none growing up--I know I sure didn't!

Once, someone told me something that has come to have even deeper meaning over time for me. He said "most people that need help--well, there's a reason they need help". There, I "fixed" this broken person. See? That proves I have value! But in reality (to answer trampledfoot's question about has any rescuer ever succeeded and had a perfect life) here's what actually happens: self respect/self dignity/self esteem comes from our ability to be independent. When you make someone dependent (by "fixing/helping" and doing for them what they won't do for themselves, or don't WANT done for themselves), they become resentful of the dependency. The more resentful they become, the more we try to "fix" it. In the form of controlling them by nagging them about how grateful they should be to us. You know the line, we've all said it in one form or another--"after all I've done for you... .  ". We want these people to bolster our sense of value because we don't know how. So in many ways, we aren't that much different from them. Maybe our methods are different, but our secret motive is the same.

When you hear yourself saying "we've talked about this before... .  " you are not open. You are getting ready to play an old record of resentment. Maybe you don't scream in out of proportion emotion like the BPD, but you are projecting your resentment. Remember what I just said about resentment? How it comes from dependency? So what is it that we are dependent on them for? Yeah--our self value. Here's what I think (not feel) I need to have value, and you--you ingrate!--won't give it to me! How am I supposed to help/fix you when you won't do/think/feel/behave the way I want you to?

THAT'S why we leave or get evicted from relationships and then find another just like it. And then explore our "victimhood" rather than our "control freak" behavior.

Very good points... I would add that not only do they resent our helping, but we do as well. The interesting thing with the codependency dynamic for me was that I kept doing it, kept being kind of pissy about minor things, while doing large rescue items... .  and lost the ability to really be mad when it was genuinely called for. I think somehow we change our focus from ourselves, to pleasing others... .  which makes them less independent, and us less independent, leaving everyone less happy.
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« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2013, 07:48:00 PM »

I don't know what "type" I am.

Before the relationship with my person with BPD, I never had a serious relationship.  I also never admitted to myself that I was gay.  She was my first real try at a relationship.  Before her, I had little to no interest in getting serious.  I never wanted to settle down till I met her.

I'm a 30-something teacher.  I like to take care of people.  I like to nurture but not in a motherly way (my biological clock is nonexistent). 
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« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2013, 09:03:26 PM »

Excerpt
I remember seeing my T for the first time and hitting on this exact point

I said "The more I give, the less he does"

My T corrected me and said "No, the less he gives, the more you do!"

And there you have it... .  stuck in DOING to feel loved instead of feeling loved for BEING

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

bb12

I want your therapist based on this observation alone.
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« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2013, 11:42:23 PM »

I'm at odds over this.

With my late wife, I was an incredible provider for our family.  I gave her everything she wanted.  She did not have any BPD traits.  I gave.  She gave.  It wasn't 50/50 -- it never truly is.  But each gave in a mutually beneficial way and both parties were happy.  We enjoyed 14 years together before cancer took her away.  We were interdependent.

I treated my uBPDexgf the same exact way.  But she did not give back like my wife past the honeymoon phase.  She began to take more and give less.  When I sat her down to discuss my needs, it would turn into a cry-fest, which shamed me into no longer asking for anything.  I knew I was getting the short end of the stick but I stayed and didn't complain (I now know why).  I never uttered "I did this for you, you should... .  "  I never said those things to my late wife either.

But, with the last recycle, I helped my uBPDexgf with something big (at her request) that would be of great benefit to her kids but would make it harder for her if she pushed me away.  If she didn't push me away, great for all of us.  If she did, it meant more consequences to her (stress, finances and so forth).  I didn't do it on purpose but I was fully aware of the potential future impact.

In either case, I am the constant.

In the first example, there were no negative side effects from providing.  In the second, because the other person "used" me, there were negative impacts because she got what she wanted, discarded me and failed to realize potential consequences of doing so.  Not my decision, not my fault, no longer my problem.

I helped both out.  I sought to control neither.  One relationship was good.  The other not-so-good.  Same guy in both.

Go figure.





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« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2013, 11:46:32 PM »

Good thread. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

How do we fix the need to fix?
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« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2013, 11:58:02 PM »

Yup.

Caretaker. Easily destroyed boundaries. Tendency to blame myself. Always trying to fix people's problems. The usual.

The pattern in 'us' seems pretty clear... .  
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« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2013, 12:11:56 AM »

Good thread. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

How do we fix the need to fix?

Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) HAHAHA!
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« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2013, 12:13:19 AM »

I've seen "fixer/rescuer" and "logical" mentioned in lots of places in regards to non partners (I'm definitely both), and these two are probably the ultimate recipe for BPD doom.  We try to apply logic to illogical situations, rationalizing that there must be a valid reason that our pwBPD are behaving this way, and then we try to fix the situation without knowing that there's no solution.

Solid Gold WT !

A year of my life recovering (and I have!) and trying to work out what just happened

And there you go, putting it so succinctly and perfectly

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

bb12
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« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2013, 12:28:43 AM »

Great thread:

This is what I believe people view me as: Attractive, likeable, easy going, thoughtful, genuine, intelligent. They also see that I keep my distance and choose to not engage. This is my way of protecting myself from being hurt. I am quite patient, understanding and emotional which add up to a potential intensity if I give and not get something back, I would feel disappointed. I give understanding to others and hope to get it back for example. It hurts me to see some people being mean to each other. I'm very empathetic which is why I keep my distance.

I don't compromise myself for others. I draw boundaries early on and know where I stand. So how did I end up with a pwBPD? I really liked how she made me feel like we connected as friends. She accepted me for who I was and I felt comfortable in my skin. We were friends and I liked that and wanted to keep it going. The romance began and I joked about how perfect and cute it is that we were friends who are romantically involved. And it was. Once that was established, which I was content with, the clinginess began: "Im not comfortable with you seeing girls" "What kind of relationship are we in?" She just needed safety and wanted to attach which I wasn't thrilled about but thought to myself how people have issues and if I like this girl then I'd give her some peace of mind. You know how the story goes from here...

I am not as financially secure as others are on here. I am ADHD and can be obsessive about subjects. I think very differently than others "Outside the box thinking" and very non-linear. This is why I'm in the arts field as I art direct, and now I'm making my first full length feature film.

So that's me. Oh, and I've come up with a reason why I put up with my exBPD and it's because she wasn't so... she was loving but... something about her was unavailable. I always needed to work for it which I REALLY liked. A person like me with ADHD loves challenges and unless its something big it can't hold our focus. I need to be stimulated and challenged and I sure have met my match with this. I realize a part of it I absolutely love but the other part is just not fun. The part where there is no growth and discovery together. It feels like she is just at a stand still and not capable of growing. That sucked and I definitely want someone to grow with.
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« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2013, 12:31:18 AM »

I've seen "fixer/rescuer" and "logical" mentioned in lots of places in regards to non partners (I'm definitely both), and these two are probably the ultimate recipe for BPD doom.  We try to apply logic to illogical situations, rationalizing that there must be a valid reason that our pwBPD are behaving this way, and then we try to fix the situation without knowing that there's no solution.

Solid Gold WT !

A year of my life recovering (and I have!) and trying to work out what just happened

And there you go, putting it so succinctly and perfectly

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

bb12

Thanks!  Putting those two things together like that isn't something that I had previously thought about, but when I started replying to this thread, I realized that that's exactly what it was for me, the lethal combination of logic and fixing, because any logical problem can be fixed, right?  Little did I know that the problem was neither logical nor fixable.
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« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2013, 12:41:56 AM »

Boy, I have to admit I have spent a lot of time doing this too--reasoning with out of proportion emotions just doesn't work very well. Yet I continued to do it over and over and over.

We need an emoticon of a "smiley" ripping it's hair out.
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« Reply #49 on: March 13, 2013, 01:03:16 AM »

I believe that for the most part in each of our past relationships with BPD's that the majority of them had at least one thing that we didn't, be that wealth, beauty, power, prestige, extroidinarily high knowledge of a subject of some sort and they used this to their advantage, ha or some of them just flat out lied about having it in the first place.   Once they gave an assessment of what may be lacking in our current lives they used what they have, or pretended to have, to lead us to believe how much better we would be with these things they possess, all while under the guise of saying "I Love You".  And I also believe that Nons, as previously mentioned, are rational thinkers working to solve irrational problems, albeit who lack the cunning and risk taking BPD's can readily engage in without breaking a sweat.   
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« Reply #50 on: March 13, 2013, 02:07:59 PM »

I believe that for the most part in each of our past relationships with BPD's that the majority of them had at least one thing that we didn't, be that wealth, beauty, power, prestige, extroidinarily high knowledge of a subject of some sort and they used this to their advantage, .   

I believe i had the advantage in almost everything with the exception of the big one... .  knowing what "love" was or what makes a good boyfriend.  She always claimed she knew what i needed to do to be the perfect boyfriend or who i needed to be like.  If i loved her I would do tXYZ... .  if i reallly wanted to be with her then i should do XYZ.
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« Reply #51 on: March 13, 2013, 04:01:31 PM »

Trampled, thank you for sharing that.  I noticed that as my relationship went along with the ex pwBPD and out of the idealization stage I got much more of "if you really loved me you'd do... .  "   or 'I'm just never good enough for you because if I were you would have done ... .  ".   I remember one time she had a fit for me to get her something to eat on my way over as I was leaving my kid's soccer practice, so I stopped and got her a salad she liked, and when I brought it over to her house, she opened it and totally blew up-all because I got grilled chicken on it instead of fried, LOL  she said if I really loved her I would have known she hated grilled and only ate fried on her salads.  I swear honestly it was like having another 40 hour a week job just dealing with all that relationship.  All the "If you loved me you'd do X" or "if you wanted to be with me you'd have done hit__"  all that is I believe is manipulation on their part, they want us to give up everything to be with them, while they give up nothing in return.  Thanks for reminding me. 
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« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2013, 04:32:32 PM »

I am a fixer, but it is merely a symptom of my real problem.  I am good at a lot of things, but I have never been very good at feeling happy.

Fixing a person was supposed to make her happy.  I could be good enough for the both of us, and the emotion that radiated out of her seemed as though it could easily be enough to shine on me as well as her.  Together we'd be like two puzzle pieces that finally completed the picture.

I used to wonder what the point of it all was... .  and those questions rang through my head all the time.  With her little tears, and her sad beauty, and her quivering broken heart beside me, though, those questions stopped (at least at first):  The point was her, the point was her, the point was her.

Pulling her out of the swamp seemed to me as though it was supposed to be my life's work.  I was so happy to find something so meaningful.


In other words, I'm codependent.
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« Reply #53 on: March 13, 2013, 08:21:58 PM »

Good thread. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

How do we fix the need to fix?

Clearmind,

As for me:

1. I am seeing a therapist for grief counseling and when I grow past it, I will take a good long hard look at me and my relationships (family, friends, lovers) and with help, figure out what Im doing "wrong" and correct it. I do not want to subject the rest of my life to people who are toxic. Life's too short and it robs me of the good friends and family (present and to be in the future)

I am starting to admit that this devastating event in my life has exposed the mistakes I made - past and present.

This is a great thread everyone. I have gotten some much needed advice, sharing, and perspectives

. . .  and I really needed it 
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« Reply #54 on: March 13, 2013, 08:28:55 PM »

I'm a fixer, not much more to say!

I also am very loyal and don't give up on people I see good in.  To my detriment sometimes!

ditto for me
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« Reply #55 on: March 13, 2013, 09:04:36 PM »

What my trait looks like is basically:

"Willing to put up with lots of !@#$@!$#!@$#!"

On a deeper level, I was DESPERATE for love when I met her so I ate all of the romance like candy while ignoring the pit in my gut. It was a familiar dynamic... .  my mom is very similar... .  single mom, waify, temperamental, unstable, needy. I wanted to make the single mom a love success story. My grandparents doted after my mom's needs, so it was as if I was trained to be a rescuer.

What I learned:

1) I have my own fears of intimacy largely b/c I'm not "comfortable" with healthy, nice women.

2) If I meet a nice woman, I have a fear they will become like my mother... .  nearly impossible to deal with.

3) I spent a lot of time to myself as a child, very likely to get away from an uncomfortable home environment. In a lot of ways, I've been running from healthy people ever since.

4) It's a journey, and it's going to take as long it takes, but the reward will be great.

5) Don't ignore negative feelings in the gut!
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« Reply #56 on: March 14, 2013, 04:30:08 PM »

Hi,

Protector as opposed to knight in white



The above traits made it possible for someone to slip into my cracks in my own personality . 
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« Reply #57 on: March 15, 2013, 07:50:47 AM »

Hi,

Protector as opposed to knight in white



The above traits made it possible for someone to slip into my cracks in my own personality . 

good insight!
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« Reply #58 on: March 15, 2013, 02:13:35 PM »

What my trait looks like is basically:

"Willing to put up with lots of !@#$@!$#!@$#!"

On a deeper level, I was DESPERATE for love when I met her so I ate all of the romance like candy while ignoring the pit in my gut. It was a familiar dynamic... .  my mom is very similar... .  single mom, waify, temperamental, unstable, needy. I wanted to make the single mom a love success story. My grandparents doted after my mom's needs, so it was as if I was trained to be a rescuer.

What I learned:

1) I have my own fears of intimacy largely b/c I'm not "comfortable" with healthy, nice women.

2) If I meet a nice woman, I have a fear they will become like my mother... .  nearly impossible to deal with.

3) I spent a lot of time to myself as a child, very likely to get away from an uncomfortable home environment. In a lot of ways, I've been running from healthy people ever since.

4) It's a journey, and it's going to take as long it takes, but the reward will be great.

5) Don't ignore negative feelings in the gut!

Wonder how many of us spent a lot of time by ourselves... .  read in schema literature that the BPD person is the abandoned child, and they favor an r/s with a lonely child, (someone that spent a lot of time alone I presume). I spent a lot of time alone, as a kid I was oldest kid, and got my own room in basement while rest of family was together upstairs, then we moved to rural area, I lost all my friends and lived miles from anyone for a number of years, then left to live with my dad, found out he didn't live in apartment I thought he lived in, he lived with his girfriend, so I was in the apartment (from 14-17) by myself, and it was in new school district so started over with no friends, and was pretty isolated, and so on... its always been case. I am now 50, and still pretty isolated. Wonder if that is just a chance thing or a common thing we have in common?
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« Reply #59 on: March 15, 2013, 05:52:29 PM »

Good thread. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

How do we fix the need to fix?

Clearmind,

As for me:

1. I am seeing a therapist for grief counseling and when I grow past it, I will take a good long hard look at me and my relationships (family, friends, lovers) and with help, figure out what Im doing "wrong" and correct it. I do not want to subject the rest of my life to people who are toxic. Life's too short and it robs me of the good friends and family (present and to be in the future)

I am starting to admit that this devastating event in my life has exposed the mistakes I made - past and present.

This is a great thread everyone. I have gotten some much needed advice, sharing, and perspectives

. . .  and I really needed it 

Good for you - something fabulous will come from this pain I promise you.

You will understand yourself better, you can protect yourself better, you will love yourself more - you won't want to get into another r/s like your past one because for the first time you will value yourself too much to subject yourself to the abuse.
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« Reply #60 on: March 15, 2013, 05:59:04 PM »

The lonely child does not pertain to everyone! To be sure, and without speculating what schema you are: its important to take the questionnaire and chat to your therapist. There are 18 schemas identified thus far.

hit_

Schema's:  “broad, pervasive themes regarding oneself and one's relationship with others, developed during childhood and elaborated throughout one's lifetime, and dysfunctional to a significant degree." (www.schematherapy.com/id63.htm)


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« Reply #61 on: March 15, 2013, 08:55:43 PM »

I'm an adult child of 2 alcoholics and am used to being the caregiver and to uncertainty. But the interesting thing is that even though this is what is familiar to me, I crave certainty and stability.

And I think my uBPDbf wants some things outside of his pattern, too. We have helped each other in so many ways and have grown over the years. But now he is dysregulating again and I am so sad. Just feels so wrong and dramatic.
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« Reply #62 on: March 15, 2013, 09:41:08 PM »

So as I read through these posts what I keep saying is ditto, yup, that too!  I found recoils post unusual in that he had one healthy relationship and then the relationship to the pwBPD. I've noticed a few others like him but they do seem unusual. Why is that? Are our personalities magnets for the disordered or is it just bad luck. It made me wonder, what if I had married one of the other two guys I had been in a serious relationship with. Would I have grown as a person and grown in my relationship if I had a partner who was emotionally and mentally healthy. What would have become of my codependent traits if I married someone who hadn't required them. Would I even have developed them. Then I got wondering what percentage of divorces are due to one of the partners having a personality disorder. I would say most of the women my age, 50s, don't divorce healthy men. So I would expect that number to be very high.
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« Reply #63 on: March 16, 2013, 12:23:21 AM »

I'm just a woman who wanted to be loved.
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« Reply #64 on: March 16, 2013, 07:59:40 AM »

I found recoils post unusual in that he had one healthy relationship and then the relationship to the pwBPD. I've noticed a few others like him but they do seem unusual. Why is that? Are our personalities magnets for the disordered or is it just bad luck.

I had a ten year relationship before this one. It started out healthy but in the later years my partner became more and more depressed and frustrated because of his career and I was the only one he had to get angry with. So I got out of that relationship tired, wounded and looking for love. That made me an easy target for my BPD-ex. A couple weeks after I broke up with my BPD-partner I was already targeted by someone I was pretty sure had BPD. I'm more wounded and an even bigger BPD-magnet now. Just guessing but maybe widows and widowers are also more vulnerable and more appealing to people with BPD.
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« Reply #65 on: March 16, 2013, 12:06:19 PM »

I'm a magnet for them.  I only mentioned two of my relationships in the above post.  I acted the same in both those relationships - and one was a very healthy relationship; the other not-so-much.  Our pick in a partner matters.

There is something I was thinking about last night.  I had much better boundaries before becoming a widower.  I once dated a girl who I later found was molested by her Father.  I told her I would stick by her if she went to counseling.  She refused.  I ended it.  No drama, no sleepless nights, nothing.  She even came back months later saying she would go to counseling but my offer had expired by that time.

What happened to me?  Why did I start accepting breadcrumbs in the last relationship?  I know the answer.  I may post more in L6.


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« Reply #66 on: March 16, 2013, 12:24:16 PM »

I'm a fixer, too.  I have behaved very co-dependently all of my life, and it was through my r/s with uBPDbf that I realized this.  Now that I have the awareness, I'm working on it.

My mom was bipolar and I strongly suspect had BPD.  She would switch from kind and loving, to raging and abusive, to withdrawn.  Not surprisingly, I have a an insecure/anxious attachment style, which is triggered by my uBPDbf's withdrawals.  I can see that I've been trying to heal my "mom" issues in this r/s.

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« Reply #67 on: March 16, 2013, 12:56:46 PM »

I married very young to a man 17 years my senior.  We were married 26 years before he passed and he was a wonderful husband.  I loved him very much.  We trusted each other and learned to compromise and everything else that goes into a loving, caring, respectful relationship.  Actually compromise was huge in our relationship... .  we didn't even agree on children (he never wanted children and of course I did).

I know it's not normal to marry someone so much older but the relationship worked.  Was I searching for a father figure?  Possibly... .  my dad was never home since he worked overseas and we didn't see him much growing up.  When he was home for short periods of time, he wasn't involved as a parent. 

Guess I need to take all this to counseling with me and see just what my deal is... .  

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« Reply #68 on: March 16, 2013, 07:44:49 PM »

What happened to me?  Why did I start accepting breadcrumbs in the last relationship?  I know the answer.  I may post more in L6.

I wonder the same thing. My theory is that as we get older we want a long term r/ship more. We get lonelier (lonely child) and tolerate poor behaviour more than we once did when we were more confident of finding love again if this r/ship ended... .  

Bb12
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« Reply #69 on: March 16, 2013, 08:56:04 PM »

Hi,

I have had some very healthy normal loving relationships with other partners. They ended because it was not meant to be, some ended in a hard way others an acceptance we were different.

As to being magnets of people with BPD, I would agree to some extent. Some relationships I started or that were started I recognized early on there was something very wrong with them. The relationship and the person ... .  and were ended in a healthy manner quickly once things got out of hand.

With my eventual ending up in  a longer term relationship with someone with BPD there was and is a difference. As I said before the reason for me being a protector as opposed to a white knight ... .  or fixer ... .  is my ex BPD partner was able to exploit this chink in my ... .  my personality and I actually fell for it. Normally trusting I accepted half truths at face value ... .  if only i had checked the background but no one told me and likely it would not have mattered either way.

Why I almost ended up with several people who i suspect were BPD prior to this but was able to spot them ... .  and why I ended up with the BPD partner  was about me. All about me and who and what I am as opposed to the BPD ex or the ones who I ran away from prior to that.

Accepting who and what we are, learning and growing and accepting we are not perfect and have traits is one of the many journeys I have had post BPD relationship.  That I personally tend to protect people in trouble in many ways is a good thing, on the other hand to have it exploited and used is not a good thing. Accepting and knowing this a lesson learnt. The big difference between enabling and helping someone a one I still struggle with but know the weak point.

Take care on your journey   
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« Reply #70 on: March 16, 2013, 09:03:49 PM »

I find myself to be a helper and a nurturer. I shy away from the term "fixer"- I do try to mediate problems, I don't try to fix people.  I tend to surround myself with smart, intelligent, stable people who don't seem to have major issues.

I don't think I would normally fall under the co-dep label, and I don't see it in any of my previous r/s- romantic, FOO, friends, etc.  I help people out by watching their kids, picking up a few items from the grocery store while I'm running errands, helping them with homework, etc.

As far as what other people are saying here- I didn't see anything wrong with my pwBPD. He was extremely HF and I was attracted to him because he seemed so emotionally healthy and put together.  I looked for flaws and went over him with a fine-toothed comb and came up with nothing.

As far as why I stayed- like I said, I believe in fixing problems, and I really thought (for years) that we were just having miscommunications. I wasn't willing to throw away what I thought was so wonderful because of something that could easily be resolved with a pop psychology relationship book, or a couple sessions of couples therapy. I also felt guilty after my first divorce, because I wasn't sure if we really did everything possible to avoid divorce. I wanted to give this r/s with my pwBPD 110%.

It was only when it dawned on me that *we* didn't have problems, *he* had problems, that I tried to "fix" him. The dysregulation and our rollercoaster r/s seemed entirely dependent on him. Yes, I went into high gear with trying to get him to open up, get on meds, go to counseling, talk about problems... .  basically, get HIM healthy so that WE could get healthy.   I had no idea I was only seeing the tip of the iceberg. If I had the foggiest idea of what BPD is, I would have run for the hills and never looked back.
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« Reply #71 on: March 16, 2013, 09:21:25 PM »

I come off very soft and low-key in person.  Always smiling. 

I've had some great success in my life, athletically and in my career.  Anyone who talks about me says "he's a REALLY nice guy!"

The core of me is unrelenting and intense, very determined, and so very loyal.  I just don't give up on people and give others too much credit.  This is my fault.  I want to be harsh on people, but can't do it until I'm pushed to unreasonable levels, and then I EXPLODE. 

I think bad women see the nice guy they can stomp all over, get attracted to me, and I let them do it.  Then, I always kick them to the curb after I've had enough suffering.  I just never put my foot down earlier enough to stop the madness.
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« Reply #72 on: March 17, 2013, 03:48:12 PM »

Hi Mauser, my feelings very similar, figure I must be codependent  to have stayed so long, yet when I read the definitions I meet very few of the traits. I stayed because of my loyalty and because things did seem to be getting better, (and they were on the outside, less public antagonistic behaviours, less raging). I wouldn't consider divorcing or leaving because he was unable to meet my emotional needs or contribute much to the relationship, for me that just wasn't reason enough.  I was able to do that without relying on him anyway.  Probably traits many of us share.

Hi expos, me too, always get the she's such a great person stuff. Always looking out for others even at my own expense.  ( one of the checks in the codependent dept).  No matter how pissy I'm feeling on the inside I'll be smiling on the outside, don't want anyone to feel hurt.
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« Reply #73 on: March 17, 2013, 05:16:58 PM »

... .  so judging from the most recent round of comments, perhaps the common personality trait for us is letting the relationship be all about them

whether we are codependents or have common schema can be argued ad nauseam, but I think this quality might be shared. Somehow, and without realising it, the r/ships became very one-sided and all about HIM / them

For me, it was very subtle. In truth my heart wasn't terribly invested until the devaluation stage. I kept it fairly casual for a long time. But when he bagan to chip away at me, I think I tried to placate him and work on the things he was accusing me of. And then the list grows and you feel that the problems are all your fault. Little do we realise they are just bored and looking for a way out without having the courage to say it.

And like Expos, I would explode when I was pushed to my limits and they would then use that explosion as evidence for our issues or as a reason to discard and disappear

Mind-warping stuff. And I will forever be on guard for that moment when a r/ship becomes too much about them and not about me.

My ex didn't even ask about my day. I would walk into the house and he'd talk about a problem... .  and the whole night would be about that or other things he wanted help with.

And only all these months later do I realise he never once asked after me... .  my day, my work, my well-being.

BB12
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« Reply #74 on: March 17, 2013, 08:58:06 PM »

To answer the main question, I imagine all of us to one degree or another deal with one or more of the following:

Codependent

Anxious

Insecure

Fixer of things too broken.

Bad Boundaries

Passive

Note these are all just labels and starting points.  They aren't what you are, but your behaviors.

Oh wait, that was just a list of things I do... .  oh my, I have some work cut out for me... .  

this is an interesting question.

I am in a high level creative job. I'm financially secure, attractive, fit and my self confidence was very intact when I met my partner 5 years ago.

I've had very good relationships and a couple which were not so good as well, but nothing at all like this one. I tend to be a perfectionist and am an over achiever for sure. I have often felt I could "handle it" or I was smart/clever enough to find a solution.  I realize this was false thinking on my part and it might work with projects often enough, but not with relationships - or at least not this one. I am fiercely loyal and I believe this is a blessing and a curse. A curse if you do not have a very good handle on your boundaries.



Excepting the confidence part, I'm exactly the same.  Always think I'm a clever one... .  can handle anything tossed my way.  Even a live grenade.  And the pin is pulled.  And oh shi... .  

Excerpt
a little off topic but I recently read a book about Adult Attachment and the Science of Attachment Styles. It was eye opening. I have been struggling over my seeming inability to be firm with my uBPD partner. While reading I wondered how many of us identified with which style (needs). There is no one better style than another, and they are somewhat changeable once you learn about them.  I am striving to use the tools of a 'secure' attached individual(I believe I was this style once upon a time, but now respond more in an anxious style) to not only leave this r/s behind me, but make better decisions down the road with new ones.

I am a person who is having a very hard time walking away from what is clearly not good for me. I could not identify why. This has helped me.

Maybe you or someone here will find it as empowering as I did.

I'm right there with you with the attachment styles.  Everyone here should learn about them.  I imagine a lot of us are anxious style and we benefit the most from learning about them.   Once I learned about attachment style, It really opened my eyes.  The last ex was avoidant-fearful (had her take the test, she was into psychology as well). I still think that is all it might have been, maybe not something as bad as a PD. Knowing what I know, I still tried though... .  

Also, as a recommendation, my therapist turned me on to Non-Violent Communication.  I highly, highly recommend it.  Also, also, if you know your meyers briggs, my guess is ENTP, possibly INTP
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« Reply #75 on: March 17, 2013, 09:22:40 PM »

I too am a caretaker, a fixer, and thanks to my father a hard worker.

You put all that together, and it makes a perfect spouse for a BPD.

My therapist said, her theory is that people can 'smell' one another's drama, and that that is one thing that attracts us to them. Not sure if I believe that specifically, but I does make some sense.

My traits/flaws, coupled with a BPD has led me into codependance.

I'm in recovery from it, and some days I fight the urge to call and check on her. Bi I know it's for the best.

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« Reply #76 on: March 18, 2013, 04:14:38 PM »

I seem to be a magnet for disorderly folks... dated 3 so far. My Meyers-Briggs is INTJ.

Sounding to me like codependent tendencies... .  being a rescuer and not looking out for our own real interests, is the most key common personality trait we share.
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« Reply #77 on: March 20, 2013, 01:15:44 AM »

Charred, my result on Briggs Myers (www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp) is almost the same as yours. I came out a ISTJ, with just a slight preference for S over N.

Would be interesting to see what 4-letter type others here are according to this test.
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« Reply #78 on: March 20, 2013, 01:41:57 AM »

Staff only

This has been a worthwhile topic, but we have reached our four page limit so I am locking this thread.  

A new thread to continue the discussion is here:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=197320.
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