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Author Topic: 1.0 | A common personality trait in us?  (Read 5826 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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« 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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