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Author Topic: Codependency Guilt  (Read 1609 times)
laelle
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« on: April 27, 2013, 04:58:12 PM »

I was going through some of the info on the website and I came across this article https://bpdfamily.com/content/codependency-codependent-relationships

My heart dropped when I read it and I began to truly get what codependency is.  I feel terrible guilt.  I never thought I was above my ex, but I did feel more valuable to him

the more I helped. I thought he wouldnt leave me if I made him happy. I began to feel bitter at the fact that I gave and got back little.  Did I really get back little or did I just want to see it that way to keep myself a victim?  I was doing to him what my ex husband was doing to me.

My COD caused him to focus more on his problems as well, which I, in the end, blamed him for.  I'm not saying that he wasnt a BPD, because he soo was, and im not saying that he was not verbally abusive, but wasnt what I was doing abusive too?  At the end of the relationship I was trying to talk to him about this, I just didnt know it had a name.  I didnt want to save him anymore.  I didnt want to be the one to hold his head above water, I wanted to be the one who could buy us a pair of jet ski's to enjoy.  Anyway, I feel really rotten as I feel in someway I judged him unfairly.

any advice or opinion on this would be greatly appreciated.

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Somewhere
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2013, 05:25:52 PM »

I was going through some of the info on the website and I came across this article https://bpdfamily.com/content/codependency-codependent-relationships

My heart dropped when I read it and I began to truly get what codependency is.  I feel terrible guilt.  I never thought I was above my ex, but I did feel more valuable to him

the more I helped. I thought he wouldnt leave me if I made him happy. I began to feel bitter at the fact that I gave and got back little.  Did I really get back little or did I just want to see it that way to keep myself a victim?  I was doing to him what my ex husband was doing to me.

My COD caused him to focus more on his problems as well, which I, in the end, blamed him for.  I'm not saying that he wasnt a BPD, because he soo was, and im not saying that he was not verbally abusive, but wasnt what I was doing abusive too?  At the end of the relationship I was trying to talk to him about this, I just didnt know it had a name.  I didnt want to save him anymore.  I didnt want to be the one to hold his head above water, I wanted to be the one who could buy us a pair of jet ski's to enjoy.  Anyway, I feel really rotten as I feel in someway I judged him unfairly.

any advice or opinion on this would be greatly appreciated.

dunno.

mho -- the article linked was, well . . . mostly just sort of goofy.

Here is how I explain it to the kids . . .

We stand on one leg. Wave our arms. Point down at our leg and we yell -- Independent!

Then we stand on the other leg. Wave our arms. Point down at our leg and we yell -- Independent!

Then we jump up and down, jog in place, and dance around. Point down at both our legs and we yell -- Inter-dependent! Working Together!

THEN. We stand, cross our legs left and right, all tangled together. Wave our arms and fall down -- yelling Co-Dependent!

We all get up laughing.

Even the 5 year old understands this.

Can't be interdependent if you (BOTH) cannot be independent, first.

=================

Real deal -- most addicts and mentally ill (many BPD are BOTH) are Users.

Co-des by and large are looking for love -- To Love and To Be Loved.

Just VERY POOR targeting skills in that regard.  A User can neither really Love nor Be Loved.

So the more the Co-de tries to force their form of Love upon the User (and the User takes and takes), but the Co-de gets none in return.  The Co-de gets more and more depleted and despairs and starts to pull back and the User believes they deserve the fix the Co-de has reduced the supply of. 

Abandonment in BPD terms.  Then the blow-up.

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laelle
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2013, 05:35:22 PM »

Thank you Somewhere,

What your saying makes lots of sense and really hits home for me.  The article seemed a little harsh as I have never heard anyone on these forums refer to a COD in that way.

It hurt me deeply.  I know im not perfect, but never wanted anyone to feel beholden to me.  I just wanted to make someone life a little bit brighter.  It made me feel good when I made someone else

feel good.

You just saved me a couple hundred hours of therapy  Smiling (click to insert in post)



Copy and pasting this one to my monitor.
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arabella
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2013, 05:53:03 PM »

I don't agree with the article. It even points out that it doesn't agree with experts on codependency!

Excerpt
To contradict a lot of codependent books I am going to go out on a limb here... .  

Excerpt
Although the experts seem to claim... .  actually... .  

The side-notes that Skip posted were more helpful. Skips note are identical to literature given out by CoDA but the article doesn't describe their philosophy at all (to my mind anyway). I think the article author got NPD and codependency mixed up and mashed them together.
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maria1
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2013, 05:57:17 PM »

Laelle

I love these boards but not in their entirety. There are articles I disagree with and this is one. I do think there are some codependents out there like this but they are at the extreme end of the spectrum, I have met a few. It is not denial that causes me not to see those traits in me or in you but I do see them in some people on these boards. And I do see some of my behaviour here and there.

I think this article serves to turn people away from recognising their CD traits at an earlier point in their recovery. I do not know why it is on here. I find it crass and incredibly black and white, along with the one about the BPD love relationship.

It isn't you Laelle.  
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Hurt llama
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2013, 11:42:46 PM »

I just read the posted link and while I have discovered codependency issues I clearly had with my ex, that article was (IMO) really dumbed down and very over stated. Terrible article.

To me personally, while I think I have clearly owned up to my responsibility in my relationship, it's a fine line and as discussed in Leaving, where someone posted if 'apologizing' to your BPD partner is a good idea, I learned the hard way that it was handing over ammunition to a child with a gun. Bad idea.

You know I really enjoy your posts and PM's. You have really helped me. I hope it doesn't upset me to mention that I had to read a post you made recently in which you mentioned your ex spit in your face? I say it because to me, I have my own 'spit in the face' example such as her infidelity and twisting the facts so much, I was truly not sure if we were in an exclusive arrangement... .  she confused me so much I was spinning... .  Talking about "Two truths" and "Why is it ok for a Man to do it but not a woman?" just so much smoke, deflections and well for lack of a better word, "insanity'.

I'm not in an apologetic mood these days. I'm also not walking around cursing her under my breath as I did. My eye is on the prize of indifference or better said, detachment.

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laelle
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2013, 12:54:29 AM »

Aww, thank you guys... .  Thats why I love you all so much.  

I question myself alot, constantly keeping myself in check as to whether I am a good person or not. I know it is self criticism and that people dont really see me that way.  Except my ex.  

When I talk to my T and I say things like "I'm abnormal", she will say.  "The way that you are feeling is completely normal for someone who has grown up with the dynamics that you had in your life."

There is nothing "abnormal" about it.  "There is some deep down twisted thinking that makes you feel bad about yourself, but it is "twisted thinking" meaning its just not true."

"You are a great person Laelle"  "You just have to believe that fact."  We are going to work on removing that twisted thinking so I can believe it.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Arabella-    -  Yeah, lets just believe she is the lone wolf in the COD territory.  I dont like her and I never met her.  Smiling (click to insert in post)  Look, I made her disappear from my thoughts... .  tada  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Maria-   - I guess its just that this is the first time that I have gotten info here that fed my worst fears.  That I am a selfish person.  (My mom put this thought there, while my ex turned the knife)  Thank you for supporting me on this.   We all can be selfish at times, but our existence is not a selfish one.

Hurt  llama -  my dear, kind Hurt llama,  thank you.  You are right.  The way we acted in our relationships was reactionary to what was going on in them.  Most of the time it was a bit of crazy making, combined with him being a needy, manipulative ass.  There were good times, but I have my doubts if they werent simply there to keep me feeding him emotionally and financially.

Thinking back last nite, I really cant remember one time that he did something just for me.  If he was giving me support, he was usually in the process of asking for some of his own.

I ask for anything, I get spat in the face and abandoned.  Your right Hurt, they were magicians, and masters of their own art.  Nothing is as it appeared.  Only enough was real to keep you

believing the rest was real.

That being said... .  My BPD rant  Smiling (click to insert in post)... .  I do have empathy and kind feelings for my ex.  I do realize that he is sick and that he did try to fight those urges to protect himself using his own faulty defense mechanisms. He has read books about BPD, and he use to post regularly on a BPD website.  He tried.  Kudos for that.

Now to the important question... .  Do I REALLY have kind feelings for him, or it that coming from my need to be a Good person.    

Love you guys  



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Hurt llama
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 03:33:29 AM »

Now to the important question... .  Do I REALLY have kind feelings for him, or it that coming from my need to be a Good person.    

You are obviously a kind, sensitive, caring, giving good person. So am I , so probably are most of us.

These traits also including a higher degree than average or even 'normal' empathy are wonderful things about us. But as is typical I see strengths also being weakness and even weakness as being a strength. In our case we probably gave to much of self, not out of 'bad' or 'manipulative' reasons or even 'co dependency'. I believe that while some of us are co dependent or have tendencies, there is something else going on too.

It's the fact that we were with MENTALLY ILL people. That matters. Yes, some or maybe even most people might have drawn stronger more clear boundaries but well, they wouldn't have worked anyway. They really wouldn't. Because the BPD person or the Non would call it quits fast and each would move on.

But not us. We 'doubled down', we rose to the 'challenge', we weren't going to 'lose', we might use all of our ability, our intelligence, our knowledge to try to 'teach' or educate or enlighten or lead by example or try any and every thing we could do to make a healthy relationship out of an IMPOSSIBLE relationship. A relationship that seemed to make some sort of sense but only when you were deep inside... .  and before you knew it, you were sucked into and an equal part of Crazy Land. You know., the roller coaster that made you sick and when it stops you need and want to get back on for more.

My thesis at the moment and yes, it's self serving for where I am in my process but to me it seems the focus at this point for some of us, is MUCH better served on not apologising, not feeling so badly about our part (even if we did bad things and I have) but on trying to almost re-experience in memories certain events but with the new 'lense' we have to see it all a bit differently and to hear or feel the vibration that was always present in good times and bad contributing to an almost constant state of instability or not feeling safe and to take the inventory in THAT light, not in the light necessarily of this so called 'equal' part of the dysfunction.

Sure we held our part in the equation but sorry in my opinion it's a different part to be the one with the gun being point at as opposed to the child waving the gun around.

Sorry for the long speech... . This is building up for my own process, some of it you may or may not relate to but take a leap of faith and believe you are good enough and a good person and stop worry about your ex who spat in your face when you disagreed. Get angry sometimes. Anger is underrated at times.

In the end, I am certain we will not be angry, we won't have this idealistic love (as they did for us), we won't have the anger either. We will have achieved the detachment we need to get the lives that we deserve.

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maria1
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 04:23:11 AM »

Laelle

That article is nasty. It takes the negative sides of codependency and twists. It triggered you because it takes the caring part if you and turns it into a negative. That's what your mother did. It's what my father did to me when he told me 'you are over sensitive' if I ever expressed any feelings.

Please please please don't let that article reinforce that voice.

It's that twisting voice that is telling you you don't really care about your ex, you just want to be seen to care. IT ISN'T TRUE.



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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2013, 09:45:35 AM »

Laelle, I read this article recently too and felt the same way.  Did some soul searching and thought that something wasn't quite right and went back and read it again.  Ohhhh, she said that she disagrees with the experts.  Well, that explains it! 

I think most of us want to be helpful to be helpful, not to puff ourselves up.  The problem is that sometimes being helpful is just the opposite and what is needed instead is tough love. 

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Somewhere
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2013, 10:58:59 AM »

Like any other human condition, there is a wide range.

Most of *us* are repentant from being Co-de, if at all.

Folks that are really (really, really) into their Co-de-ness can get quite extreme, and often do resist any outside pressure or even attempts to get them to stop.

Take my MIL, for instance . . .  (Please!)  [old vaudeville comedy routine, there Smiling (click to insert in post) ]

Completely raging Co-de.

Buys and carries her hubby (now with a stroke) cigarettes.  He had quit after having the stroke.

Tries to cloth me, cannot not try to fight over the tab at a restaurant, I cannot even tell her what I am getting Mrs. Somewhere or the kids for Christmas or a birthday -- or else she will try to run out and get it first.   on and on.

But after Mrs. Somewhere came back from rehab (eating disorder and hyperactive exercise), MIL's Co-De kicked into High Gear.  Decided that Mrs. Somewhere needed a job (yeah, probably true, but she would not show up for the one she had).  MIL wrote her three different resumes, seven different cover letters, filling out 10 page forms, and searched 30 to 50 jobs a day -- All by MIL, while Mrs. sat on her butt, making up bytch stories, lies, and gossip.

Got so crazy at the mid point that MIL was sending exercise clothes for karate class teaching jobs to Mrs. Somewhere (with exercise bulimia).  Fortunately the T's got involved and No-Go'ed that.  When MIL tried to drag me in deeper, I just rolled my eyes and said, "Have Fun."  She started screaming about how much she, "Hates My Alanon."  THAT was when I knew I was getting better.

But one night MIL thought she was having a heart attack, (All drama, all the time), and I was the only one to stop in and check on her.   Mrs. Somewhere and her NPD sister had not returned calls.  MIL was mostly upset at all she does for other people and no one really cares about her.  Yep.  The classic Co-De storyline.

So yeah, just like Bad Co-de stories say -- Real Co-des are all about the Co-de. 

Just like the BPD is Always All About the BPD. 
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Somewhere
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2013, 11:02:14 AM »

And being more practical in all this . . .

Suppose we could ask the Board Admin to dump that article and put something of quality in its place.
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arabella
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2013, 11:45:02 AM »

Now to the important question... .  Do I REALLY have kind feelings for him, or it that coming from my need to be a Good person.

Your need/want to be a good person is what makes you a good person. The attempt to show kindness to those who have wronged us makes us good - not codependent. Now, if you obsess over that or go overboard, or you want recognition for it... .  that's maybe a problem. But if you are doing it because you realize that kindness is healthier than holding on to hate, and you want to be healthy - that's emotional maturity. I think we should all strive to be good people, but for ourselves, not to look good to others. It would be a sad world if everyone stopped trying to be good and kind.
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2013, 01:06:31 PM »

"I think most of us want to be helpful to be helpful, not to puff ourselves up."  From Mara2

yI feel like there is more to this.  That we want to be helpful to survive emotionally.  Taught that we get love by being helpful.  Taught that is about our only value.  So when someone says, YOU are NOT helpful, it is devastating (BPD devalue).

Addicted to being helpful to feel good.  Healing to the point where if someone says YOU are NOT helpful, we go Okie doke.  I'm still the same cute little cuttlefish.

The BPD worrying about my every need, that was meth cocaine when being idealized.  It was finally, someone is addressing my needs without me having to articulate what they were, like I had a clue what they were.  I was trained to not have needs.

I am skilled at being helpful.  I suck at standing up for myself and expressing my needs.  And figuring out what my needs are is tricky too!
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Hurt llama
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2013, 01:07:53 PM »

Now to the important question... .  Do I REALLY have kind feelings for him, or it that coming from my need to be a Good person.

Your need/want to be a good person is what makes you a good person. The attempt to show kindness to those who have wronged us makes us good - not codependent. Now, if you obsess over that or go overboard, or you want recognition for it... .  that's maybe a problem. But if you are doing it because you realize that kindness is healthier than holding on to hate, and you want to be healthy - that's emotional maturity. I think we should all strive to be good people, but for ourselves, not to look good to others. It would be a sad world if everyone stopped trying to be good and kind.

That's such a good way of thinking about it. well said. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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laelle
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2013, 01:56:51 PM »

I think this is such a worthy conversation, and I promise I will reply more to it soon.  Its been a worrisome day and I would really like to reply to it when my thoughts

can follow what everyone is saying.  In other words, my brain is rather squishy today.  Smiling (click to insert in post)  and im reading but cant understand what im reading.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I do good things for two reasons... .  

1. to make someones day a little bit brighter.  Help to give hope where there is none.  

2. because it makes me feel good to make someones day a little bit brighter.

I dont know whether that is right or wrong, its just the way I am.  I get smacked in the jaw quite a bit with this attitude, and im making some changes

to protect my face a little better.

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Hurt llama
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2013, 03:15:54 PM »

Laelle,

You're doing great.

I'll share that while 'anger' is certainly not a 'goal' sometimes anger is a motivator, that's why it exists. To protect us at the most base levels.

Sometimes when we intellectualize and make allowances or excuses to 'explain' or 'allow' bad treatment to continue we are denying 'proper' anger.

Why we do this, is for another thread but in my experience it seems like what some of us do.

In my own case, there would be times that I would be talking to my ex over the phone (she's 3k miles away) and when I would stand up and outline my boundaries, she might pull away, get cold and hang up) . Afterwards I would have tremendous anxiety of the lost connection, the drug was being pulled away. It's a pathetic feeling that I imagine most of us feel or have felt.

I am writing this as I guess maybe I am projecting, in fact, I certainly am! But when I read about your ex and certain things he did, my blood runs ice cold and I imagine how strong my own boundaries are in how I would never accept such treatment and yet I have accepted mistreatment, I have thrown myself in front of the bus time and time again.

I did pull back in healthy ways, I did have a plan and I did do a healthy thing in distancing myself, calling off the engagement and many things I started to change over the years. But only very recently have i started to see the full effects that contact with my ex has been responsible or adding to an underlying issue I have carried.

By getting angry, we can identify what needs to be done easier than with compassion and need to be 'good' understanding and 'nice' people. It's much more complicated than that. We used them maybe as much as they used us.

"Angry' isn't the end goal of course. Detachment is. But intellectual thought alone can't get me there. I need to experience the full gamut of emotions and I recognize that my 'strength' of compassion and caring, in most cases are the reason I got in deep in the first place. Stay Tough. Stay Hard, Stay Strong.

I think.  
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« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2013, 04:55:11 PM »

Okay, I read the article. Not to intentionally be contrarian, I think this article has very valid points.

I believe I am a recovered codependent. I am studying the codependent people of my life to get further insight as well. I believe codependency happens with a lack of self worth. A person may not have a cohesive sense of self. The codependents that I know, including me until recently, don't have a conscious awareness of their selves and their true place in the world. So they try to gauge who they are be other peoples reactions, if good signals, this means validation. I think when a person develops a little healthy narcissim, I mean healthy, this consciousness of who you are comes into awareness. Like a map of you.

I realized that I am supposed to be a little btchy. Teach em hard, teach em good. I had no idea I was supposed to be like that. I had no sense of self identity. No cohesive google map of myself.

When you realize your worth, and how this kindness you have to give, if given to the right people, can fruitfully multiply your rewards untold numbers. But if given to a brat, it becomes a vast sink hole. And yes, a person who has invested his kindness unwisely will feel resentful and depleted. His efforts are going into a vast black hole.

So really, it's not that the kind efforts are extinguished, it's giving them in better channels, with better returns. I saw it was a misallocation of investment, and not that I am a bad person. I make better emotional investments now. I am not codependent anymore.

What do you think of this?
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« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2013, 05:29:38 PM »

I think this website is made up almost entirely of people with codependent traits. It is the codependent traits that kept us in a r/s with a pwBPD. But there is a difference in definition of codependency and that's where I'm against the article. It reminds me of a rant I read on a BPD website entitled 'I hate nons'. It doesn't get us anywhere; it moves nobody any further forward.

I have had unbearingly codependent relationships in my life. Reading that article wouldn't have helped me see that. It was usually somebody else's fault! As I've got older I've wanted to look more at me and why I keep repeating the same stuff in relationships. I got fed up of nagging, of wanting people to change, of hiding away in other people's problems, of feeling I was banging my head against a brick wall thinking he just needs to do this or that and it'll all be fine.

I got tired of being codependent without even recognising what that meant. Weirdly enough the relationship prior to BPD was the one where I saw the pattern most clearly.

What us codependents need once we recognise it is a bit of self acceptance and compassion, not a scalding like that article gives.
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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2013, 07:24:41 PM »

I agree this board has people with codependent traits too. You know how Dave Ramsey encourages conserving  your resources? Well, maybe this board is a lot like dave Ramsey. Maybe the biggest problem we have is not throwing the louts out soon enough.

Think about it like this. How do you feel helping someone on this board vs. helping a non appreciative jerk? Much more rewarding? More payoff? I don't think the problem is helping, it is just helping the wrong people.
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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2013, 07:43:43 PM »

OK this is hitting on an issue I have, am I truly not codependent or am I in denial. When I read the definitions of codependency they just don't feel like they fit. I mean, I really want them to, it would give me an answer as to why.

So, especially back to you Maria, what remarks on here speak to you of codependency traits. Ok as I write this I'm thinking, I tried to fix him, I guess that would be one.
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« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2013, 09:19:44 PM »



Underdeveloped self esteem (no boundaries) combined with an inappropriate caring for others (invading a boundary), and an inappropriate reliance on another's response (invading a boundary), in a negatively reinforcing loop
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« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2013, 12:15:07 AM »

This was a turning point for me:

www.mindfulconstruct.com/2010/07/09/end-a-codependent-relationship-the-healthy-way/

And defining codependency as finding happiness and fulfilment in somebody else's crap because it stopped me focusing on mine. I had a better definition but I forget it!

I didn't even try to fix my pwBPD, I'd decided no more fixing when I met him. Fixing/ changing didn't work in my relationships and I knew that. That didn't stop me spending all my time thinking/ worrying/ listening/ focusing/ dreaming/ helping/ listening/ to him.

And when I tried to pull back from doing that he hated it. He woke me in the middle of the night with texts or phone calls. That's why if I have LC i won't let him have my number. Because he can only do it by pushing the other person into codeoendency. He knows no other way. But he knows its too much.

Apologies Laelle I feel we are hijacking.

I'm in a therapy group led by a therapist who refuses to use diagnostic labels such as codependent. She asked me if I thought she had classified me as anything and I said probably that. She said she hadn't and she doesn't as she doesn't find it helpful. She prefers to focus on the issues.

My group members all drip codeoendency but in very different ways. I'm very glad we don't classify or use the word. It makes a huge difference.

Also this helped me:

www.mindfulconstruct.com/2009/02/05/what-is-codependency/

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« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2013, 01:02:00 AM »

And never forget that we loved them. It's easy to boil it all down into codependency and classification. On top of everything else is love and we loved them.
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« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2013, 09:10:38 AM »

I have read the article several times in the past; I will read again later 2 day.

I know it's not a pretty article.

What I found helpful, even in the past, was this (others may not, it's just what I found helpful).

There are a ton of writings on the CD subject. It ends up being viewed as the nice persons warm/fuzzy issue. Then the mental construct I see developing is a fierce attachment to being a nice person. Anyone presenting another side is viewed as a threat to being a nice person. I've seen nice CD folks gang together and be really, really  awful to others who even dare suggest that their belief system is faulty or not helpful to themselves or others. It's easy to argue for niceness!  When suggesting there is more to it, it's easy to look like you are against being nice.

How does one argue with niceness? In some ways it makes CD more tricky and much easier to defend psychologically, cause after all... . "we're the nice ones, the ones who love too much."

Many people say "I'm CD" with a nod and a wink... .  like it's the cute Teddy bear problem.

This article is NOT pretty. And I didn't identify with every bit of it, but, I saw myself in it enough that it was a real eye opener. And for the first time I saw it wasn't just the cute nice persons problem. I began to see the dark underbelly of Cd.

It's an ugly, unattractive article. It highlights the worst aspects of a unhealthy belief system. It's not unlike thousands of articles and posts highlighting the worst of BPD behavior, and lumping those traits all into one harsh extreme.  So, it made me also a bit more aware of how it must feel to be labeled, with something other than a nice person problem.

I found the article to be helpful because of those things. It was a wake up call to me. Not everything I do is "nice". Part of healing is accepting ourselves and others realistically and integrating all our parts, dark side included.



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« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2013, 10:15:52 AM »

Great vocabulary, maybe so.

I am not a nice person to a lot of behaviors. But I am a hell of a lot more principaled, and I feel a lot better for it.
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« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2013, 01:25:47 PM »

A simple definition for me runs along the lines of losing or compromising myself in attempt to get in the good graces or favor of someone else.  As we know it's more complicated than this.  If I'm honest with myself, there is a payoff in there for me, that relates to my own selfishness.  So, is it that I really want to be in the good graces of the other, or is it that I don't want to look at my own problems?  The tendency is to argue for my 'giving' qualities, but I believe a lot of this to be false.  I am often not wanting to look honestly at myself.

My mother taught me well to be 'empathetic' towards her needs, that her needs were most important, and that I am a good, kind child when responding in this way.  I believe now my mom has BPD.  The start of recovery for me is recognizing what my values are.  Then, adhering to them (easier said than done).  Learning that "NO" is a complete sentence. 

I've recently found that I do have a tendency at times to feel guilt for acting in a sane, healthy way, as opposed to a codependent way.  This is how ingrained the behaviors are, feeling guilt for something good.  It is getting better, though, a little at a time.  Awareness is the beginning, then I can advance on the actual changes.
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« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2013, 01:50:43 PM »

I have had other relationships where I was codependent.  Never tho, have I been in one where the receiving end just kept on wanting more.

I did not contribute so I could belittle him and puff myself up.  I love him.  When you love someone you support them, not break them down.

I contributed because I wanted to help him to "fix" his situation so he could take care of himself and be happy.  If he could not take care of himself, how could I ever hope that

he and I could take care of eachother.  No matter how many times I tried, it was never enough.  I would dig him out of a hole for him to turn around and jump back in it.

I dont feel bitter because I gave so much, I feel bitter because he emailed me my "f**k off letter while in the western union picking up the money I had just sent him.

Laelle... .  angry  

Maybe so, One thing that I have begun to notice about myself is that I had myself split into a good person / bad person  persona. 

Good Laelle could not do Bad Laelle things.  Both could exist and I was fine with both, but they could not share the same behavior.  I am catching myself now when I start sorting my feelings good or bad... .  to say NO... .  they are not good or bad, just my feelings.
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« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2013, 02:27:40 PM »

Excerpt
A simple definition for me runs along the lines of losing or compromising myself in attempt to get in the good graces or favor of someone else

I didn't particularly care what he thought of me. I just wanted him to be OK. I just wanted to meet his needs because him being OK was more important than mine. I do think there's a difference. I'm not in denial of my victim stance, I've been there, I may be there again I'm sure. But something different was happening in my BPD r/s. I absolutely set myself aside for somebody else. I lost myself in somebody else.

I didn't resent any of it. I loved it! I just wanted to sink into him in any way that I could. I accepted him and he accepted me or so I thought.

As soon as I began to feel a slight shift, a slight feeling that something was very wrong he sensed it and dumped me. Maybe that was the beginning of resentment- in fact it probably was. I was trying to plan my son's birthday party and he kept giving me tasks to do for him. I just felt so empty and so, so tired. I was so tired I could hardly speak and he was asking me 'what's the matter with you'. I just felt attacked. He shouted at me about his pudding and I left the room. I sat with my bag packed but I knew I couldn't leave. I wanted to be at home in my bed and I lay all night wondering why I couldn't be. He apologised, said I was acting like his ex wife but that was because he was 'too spikey' for a relationship.

If that had carried on I'd have got there- but he knew as well as I it couldn't carry on. He dumped me a couple of days after.

Feel angry Laelle. You have every right to.  You in now way deserved his s*** and I stick on my point that article isn't about you albeit you may have codependent traits.  

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« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2013, 03:15:02 PM »

Feel angry Laelle. You have every right to.  You in now way deserved his s*** and I stick on my point that article isn't about you albeit you may have codependent traits.  

Thank you Maria 

I'm not perfect, but I did not want him to be dependent on me.  I wanted to complement his life, not own it.
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« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2013, 03:44:59 PM »

Some people just will not see it. I suppose that when I really internalized this on a real gut level is when I got pissed as hell. Some people are just takers, and do not deserve our investment.
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« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2013, 04:14:04 PM »

I think that just being codependent doesn't mean we are all the same. There is a whole lot more besides. So we all have different roads to get there. The ultimate place of healing/ being healed is functioning healthily in society and we all have a different view of how we want that to be. I don't want to be ever vigilant, I don't want to be always on guard against the takers. I do get that I need to be more guarded- I just don't think my personality and other parts of who I am allow me to go as far as others might want to.

I can still work towards putting my needs first and other goals. But I want to be me. I can swing too far in doing what others tell me, ie. Oh yes I'm a useless CD type. I need to hold on to my positives whilst battling the negatives. The negatives already eat me to pieces. Laelle I can't help guessing that happens with you too but I'm projecting here.

I guess I'm just saying we are all different in our CD just as pwBPD are all different!
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« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2013, 10:01:02 PM »

laelle... .  don't believe EVERYTHING you read~~especially on the internet!  Any joe-schmoe can write an article and put it out on the internet.  I tend to stick to articles that are worthy of publication in respectable journals.  I've gotten caught up in the trap of questioning myself because of some of the things I've read.  Part of your growth will be in knowing when to trust your instincts... .  you're not what this article suggests~~and neither am I.   
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« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2013, 08:45:52 AM »

Some of that article sounded harsh to me as well, but I also believe there are some hard truths in it.  However, I probably don't agree with all of it either, though.

I don't doubt either that I had good motives in wanting to help her in any way I could.  I did, and do, genuinely care for her very much, but my own character defects kept me from acting consistently in a healthy manner.  How could I truly be there for her and truly love her if I was neglecting myself and my needs?  I couldn't.  It's not possible.  I cannot fully love another if I'm not fully loving myself first.  But I felt guilty denying time and attention to her that I should've been giving myself.  I was fearful that she might reject me if I didn't 'give her my all'.   A big reasons she rejected me is because I could not live up to constant idealization.  I am not perfect. 

I believe we deceive ourselves in these relationships ever so slightly, and it takes some very honest questions to ourselves to start shining some light through the cracks.  Yes, my ex had a lot of problems, but so do I.  Water (as in emotions) seeks its own level.  I definitely 'get something' out of trying to be helpful, but I tend to lose myself in the process.  I was taught to be helpful while neglecting myself in the process.  So I become empty, with nothing left to give.  I exhaust my resources.  I have to draw the line and do my best to adhere to boundaries.

Laelle, it struck me what you were saying about 'good' and 'bad'.  I have struggled with black and white thinking, too.  I think it's great you are accepting all of you, the good and the bad.  Sometimes I don't like to use the term, bad.  There is darkness and light and shadows.  Human beings contain all of that.  We were made that way.  It is ok to be 'bad' sometimes, to live in grey areas, to make mistakes, to act like an idiot, and so on.  It is also apparent that we have great good in us or we wouldn't be bothering with trying to improve ourselves and doing this hard work and staying on this path.  Recovery is not for sissies.  You have great strength and love in you, Laelle.  You are a tower of courage!  And yes, it is ok and good to get angry.  I have let strong anger come out, and still do... .  just don't hurt anyone in the process.   

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« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2013, 09:17:12 AM »

I think bpdfamily.com is picky and generally cautious about the articles published on this site. I've seen articles removed. There is a reason it remains on this site. I'm assuming there is something to the article of value.

The main thing I don't like is the way the author assumes they know a persons intentions, then writes as though a cd will always act helpful but really just wants xyz and then we are given examples of XYZ and the examples are all really harsh and negative.

This reads as though a CD person is presenting as nice but really twisting their evil mustache with conscious intent behind the scenes.

Many articles and posts do the exact same thing when speaking of BPD.

Neither is really accurate; a person with these struggles is usually not aware enough to see

their behavior and beliefs systems objectively and how it impacts others or themselves. People

generally feel they are trying to do good, even if  there is evidence that the behavior is not

especially helpful or ends up self sabotaging.  

OTOH, CD behaviors often do get defended as the ultimate criteria for being a nice, useful person, and I personally feel it's important to shake that assumption up, and boy this article does that in spades.

There are gradations for all of this, too. I've seen Skip indicate that likely most folks discussed on this forum don't meet criteria for BPD and have no dx; but carry traits. The same is likely true for us; most of us probably don't meet the criteria for Dependent Personality Disorder, an axis II diagnosis, but we probably carry dependent traits. Of those traits, the variation is presentation can be immense. My way of being CD may manifest in a way strikingly different than someone else. There is no cookie cutter CD and no cookie cutter pwBPD.

Most difficult personalty traits were adopted in FOO as it worked or ensured membership or survival in that environment.

As with any article, take what speaks to you, put aside what doesn't.

Try to notice the instinct to rush in and reject anything that feels scary or causes you to question yourself. PI is a lot about questioning yourself. This is a safe place to do it. This is part of recovery, and gaining more awareness is always a bit painful.

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« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2013, 09:21:05 AM »

I will go against the flow on this one... . I think the article while harsh... . is dead on. Its the tough love message we need. Most the articles/books on codependency seem to view the codependent person(s) as victims with good intentions... . and the article correctly gets at the manipulative side of being a rescuer... . the part of it we possess but don't want to admit too.

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« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2013, 09:39:27 AM »

I dunno... .  

I dont think I was a victim, I played my part in it.  I am not however, the vile creature portrayed in that article. (I hope)  I know tho that I am no Teddy Bear.

I loved and needed to be loved. Its what I was willing to do to keep that love going.  If I stopped giving what he was needing, I knew (or thought) on some level he would leave me.

In my own low self esteem / image that was unacceptable.  I kept trying to set boundaries for myself in what I was willing to give, but I kept letting them slide further and further until

I ran out of room.  I was giving "All" for him, and none for me.  I am not really a victim as I had the control to stop it.  I just couldnt do it.  The pressure placed on me if I did, was immense.
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« Reply #37 on: April 30, 2013, 09:45:22 AM »

In the last few days of our relationship I was trying to speak to him about how I felt I was doing all the committing and he was doing everything he could to dodge it.  Changing course every time

some solid plans were made.  Not following up on promises, and seemingly not really caring about the outcome... .  shows me not commited.  On top of that I felt pressure to continue helping financially when I felt he wasnt being forthright with his intentions.

He got angry, said I couldnt commit, was a blood sucking vampire and dumped me.
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« Reply #38 on: April 30, 2013, 09:48:49 AM »

I don't agree Charred. Different things are spot on for different people. My coming to terms with my own CD/ narcissistic traits hasn't been helped by articles like that or by the CODA website. Not because I don't want to recognise the bad stuff in me, but because I too easily jump onto the bad stuff. I too easily think I'm a pile of c***. My battle is realising that I'm not, accepting the good whilst working on the bad. That article has no balance.

My battle is about being able to state my needs to somebody without being called a drama queen. Am I a drama queen? No. But I feel like one if I ever get ill. I feel like one because I'm currently in my third month off sick with an illness which I'm sure everybody else is judging me as 'drama queen' with! And that's because for the last 3 years I carried on running against everything terrified to play the victim, terrified to ever, ever let my ex or anybody know that any of anybody's actions ever had any impact on me, because too many people were dependent on me to be the strong one. I didn't do that because I wanted to be a martyr. I did it because I didn't have a choice, now I'm writing that and even just saying it I feel 'martyr' written all over me.

I wasn't like that in my r/s with my children's father. I was utterly c/d and hated myself for it.

Why I take issue with that article is some of us do not need to feed our self hatred. We are all different and there should and could be a gentler article on codependency on here. I believe that different people need different approaches. Yes I recognised part of me in the article but I read it at a time when I felt strong enough to dismiss parts of the article and explore my own definition of CD.
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« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2013, 09:59:22 AM »

As I am now more aware of myself and my ability to say no... .  like it or not.  I will say no to this article.  I can understand how there are extremes that run along that line,

but I refuse to believe that most of us are that way.  I am not Miss Havisham from The Great Gatsby.

I was PRESSURED to give... .  I gave because I thought it would make him happy.  If he was happy, he would stop being unhappy every single day... .  over and over.

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« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2013, 10:01:25 AM »

Laelle, have you read Codependent no More by Melody Beattie? It's where a lot of the CD stuff comes from and is a lot less crass than that article.


Excerpt
I think bpdfamily.com is picky and generally cautious about the articles published on this site. I've seen articles removed. There is a reason it remains on this site. I'm assuming there is something to the article of value.

The main thing I don't like is the way the author assumes they know a persons intentions, then writes as though a cd will always act helpful but really just wants xyz and then we are given examples of XYZ and the examples are all really harsh and negative.

This reads as though a CD person is presenting as nice but really twisting their evil mustache with conscious intent behind the scenes.

Many articles and posts do the exact same thing when speaking of BPD.

Neither is really accurate; a person with these struggles is usually not aware enough to see

their behavior and beliefs systems objectively and how it impacts others or themselves. People

generally feel they are trying to do good, even if  there is evidence that the behavior is not

especially helpful or ends up self sabotaging.  

I agree with what you say Maybeso but I don't agree that we should just assume because it's on here it's gospel. I think it's dangerous to assume that and I maintain the article is damaging. Why intentionally trigger people in vulnerable states? I'm stepping back from this now as I don't think it's my battle to fight.

Laelle, I'm still with you  
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« Reply #41 on: April 30, 2013, 11:01:37 AM »

I mean great expectations... .  robert redford much? 
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« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2013, 11:22:53 AM »

Excerpt
Not because I don't want to recognise the bad stuff in me, but because I too easily jump onto the bad stuff.

this might be strengthened by working with this kind of material... .  in other words, the tendancy to be too tuff on yourself or buy too far into any part of a negative message about yourself, may become more balanced by sitting with the material and staying in wisemind rather than moving to emotion mind and rejecting it entirely.

Excerpt
but I don't agree that we should just assume because it's on here it's gospel.

I'm not aware of anyone suggesting the article is gospel!

Excerpt
Why intentionally trigger people in vulnerable states?

Several on this thread, myself included,  indicated the article shed light on a subject in a way they found at least in part helpful (not gospel, just helpful!) and with the amount of readers this site has, I would assume there are others that may find it useful, while others may find it triggering or of no value. It would be impossible, of course, for the site to anticipate who may or may not like the article.  I suppose the only way to fully protect from potentially triggering anyone is to remove the article from this site entirely, though you may still find it elsewhere on the internet, anyway. 

I'm not sure this one article is really the issue.

Excerpt
I will say no to this article.

We are all encouraged here to set aside any content or feedback that doens't resonate with us or is not useful.  This is no exception.

Excerpt
Laelle, I'm still with you 



So am I, and I think all posters on this thread are wanting to be supportive and are with you. 


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« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2013, 12:12:44 PM »

For me I think the tone of the article was inappropriate. It is written to sound authoritative and, well, gospel-like. It isn't merely suggesting things to think about so much as it is presented as The Truth about codependence. I don't think that's appropriate, especially when, hidden in the article itself, is an admission that it disagrees with much of the published literature on the subject and other experts in the field. There is a warning on this site not to post 'junk science' or unrecognized sources - I think this article falls into those categories. At the very least it should have a disclaimer and a link to some more main-stream thinking on the subject. I'm not saying the article has no value, but it is not well presented here.
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« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2013, 03:50:58 PM »

As I am now more aware of myself and my ability to say no... .  like it or not.  I will say no to this article.

Good for you, laelle!  I am saying no to some of what I read on the internet, too. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2013, 06:37:08 PM »

Huh.  That article does catalyze emotional responses in a lot of us!  It reminds me of when I recently did a google search on codependency, and ran across this on wikipedia so i hope it is accurate:

Inverted narcissists

Sam Vaknin—"a self-help author who openly discusses his experiences as a person with narcissistic personality disorder"[16]—has identified a special sub-class of such codependents as "inverted narcissists."

Inverted or "covert" narcissists are people who are "intensely attuned to others' needs, but only in so far as it relates to [their] own need to perform the requisite sacrifice"


My take on this was it came as no surprise to me that a narcissist would define people who give rather than take as 'covert' or inverted narcissists.  Seems like pretty classic projection.  I didn't dig any deeper to find out if he took the philosophical perspective that (para) "everyone only does good works to feel better themselves or otherwise help themselves, because we are all narcissists".  Or if, as the reference I found might be indicating, Vaknin was really talking about only a specific sub-class of "co-dependents"

I certainly do not subscribe to the notion that codependents are narcissists - I do not believe that at all.  Yes, we co-dependents do selfish (at the expense of others) things at times. My belief is that Good and Evil exist.  We feel 'good' when we do a good thing because we are SUPPOSE TO feel good about doing the right thing!  (made in the image and likeness of God)  How many times is it so much EASIER to do the wrong thing in the moment because of some immediate, perhaps painful, repercussion, or because it "feels good" in the moment even if we KNOW it is the wrong thing to do?  If we stand our ground and do the right thing, sometimes immediately but most always eventually we feel pretty darn good about it.

Anyway, it seems the author of the bpdfamily.com article referenced in this thread may be influenced by Vaknin, or perhaps holds the narcissistic philosophical viewpoint.  When I first read it, one thought was "boy, my separated BPD wife would have a field day with this one!" Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2013, 01:03:20 PM »

Man, I remember reading that article for the first time. It was a hard read for me too. I am a recovering codependent. I see this article from a much different perspective today. For me, it was spot on accurate. All of it. Bear with me... .  

First of all I had to be really honest with myself about my behaviors. My life at the time was not good and I very much wanted to change. Went through a really bad depression after my r/s and it was hitting bottom for me. Depression, one of the characteristics. Something I've struggled with over my life at different times. Mainly because I didn't want to deal with being alone, and or, loneliness. 

Second, I was controlling. I didn't see this at first. Situations, that I put myself in, were anxiety ridden for me so I tried to control my environment, and if you were in my environment and causing me anxiety, I would try to control you too. I tried to control my exBPDgf, she told me this, I saw me trying to help her stay out of trouble. The truth was her behaviors scared me and stressed me out. Control her, control my stress and fear.

I was not emotionally available, I was emotionally immature. This stemmed from my childhood and I had to learn about my behaviors today. I had to look back to see where it all came from, not to blame but to understand. My codependency was an addiction. I would be involved in others lives to hide from my own feelings. This addiction went beyond my romantic r/s... . it included friends and family. I tried to fix people, when in truth I was trying to make things more comfortable for myself. I was self centered, a perfectionist, distrustful and full of fear.

I understand feeling guilty. Codependents are full of shame and I had to learn to new ways to cope. Going back and finding the source of this in my childhood was key. I learned I had to reparent that child that is still within me. I had to learn to be kind to her, be patient and be compassionate when I needed some discipline. To recognize my unhealthy behaviors and turn instead to healthy coping skills.

Codependence is full of learned behaviors and we can unlearn them. It takes diligence and hard work. Hard is hard, it is not a step above easy. This article was part of my wake up call. Yes, it's triggering for some, it was for me at first too. I think it is fair to compare this article to a codependent as you might some of our articles regarding BPD behavior as it would feel to a pwBPD.

I would remind you, the severity of traits vary just as individuals do, some mild, some extreme. I took what I should own and worked on that. We sometimes expect and sometimes hope that our pwBPD would just get help, work harder and get better. Why wouldn't we be willing to do this for ourselves first?
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« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2013, 01:11:12 PM »

In my previous relationships I was never the "fixer", I was normally the one that needed to be rescued.

This relationship was totally different.  I loved this guy so much that I changed my own script.  It was against my own nature when I became his

caretaker.
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« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2013, 02:20:15 PM »

I don't agree Charred. Different things are spot on for different people. My coming to terms with my own CD/ narcissistic traits hasn't been helped by articles like that or by the CODA website. Not because I don't want to recognise the bad stuff in me, but because I too easily jump onto the bad stuff. I too easily think I'm a pile of c***. My battle is realising that I'm not, accepting the good whilst working on the bad. That article has no balance.

My battle is about being able to state my needs to somebody without being called a drama queen. Am I a drama queen? No. But I feel like one if I ever get ill. I feel like one because I'm currently in my third month off sick with an illness which I'm sure everybody else is judging me as 'drama queen' with! And that's because for the last 3 years I carried on running against everything terrified to play the victim, terrified to ever, ever let my ex or anybody know that any of anybody's actions ever had any impact on me, because too many people were dependent on me to be the strong one. I didn't do that because I wanted to be a martyr. I did it because I didn't have a choice, now I'm writing that and even just saying it I feel 'martyr' written all over me.

I wasn't like that in my r/s with my children's father. I was utterly c/d and hated myself for it.

Why I take issue with that article is some of us do not need to feed our self hatred. We are all different and there should and could be a gentler article on codependency on here. I believe that different people need different approaches. Yes I recognised part of me in the article but I read it at a time when I felt strong enough to dismiss parts of the article and explore my own definition of CD.

I don't take it as saying I am a pile of something... .  more like a bucket of water thrown on me to get my attention, and say "Knock it off." 

Our needs and boundaries matter, we need to have genuine empathy/sympathy for people when they are in a bad situation, but rescuing them is a dicey proposition... .  when so many of us have lived the "karpman drama triangle" cycle of relating, both in and out of the r/s with pwBPD. I can see our rescuing/codependent traits starting the cycle... .  and the article seems to be saying don't do that anymore... .  its not nice, and your manipulating people when you do it. The strong reaction I see from others on this makes me think it is because it hits home... .  did with me anyway.
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« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2013, 02:33:15 PM »

I recognize that I had some definite codependency issues.  I wouldnt have gotten in this relationship if I didnt.  After coming to this website and learning boundaries and such, I tried to knock it off.

I tried to stop saving him.  I wanted a fair and equal relationship, but he didnt understand.  He just saw it as me insisting to have my way. 
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« Reply #50 on: May 01, 2013, 07:49:17 PM »

I'm not saying that he wasnt a BPD, because he soo was, and im not saying that he was not verbally abusive, but wasnt what I was doing abusive too?



I have had to wonder this same thing,  and over the last two years what I've concluded is that some of what I did was indeed abusive.

That is not to say that I was in any way twisting my evil mustache or even aware at the time that what I was doing was abusive, but I know now, that it was abusive, and at the very least, indicative of very unhealthy relationship behaviors.

For example:

-My attempts to control were abusive. I have no business trying to control or monitor or change another adult, certainly not a loved one.

-My constant focus on how messed up he was, and my need to label him and preach to him about what he needed to change, was abusive. (When he did this to me, it felt like gaslighting and it scared me and made me feel crazy... .  what I can now see, it that MY insistance that HE was the problem had the same affect on him, it felt like I was insisting that he was 100% to blame for our r/s problems because he was mentally ill according to ME... .  that's also gaslighting. It goes both ways.  I am not his doctor or therapist, I am much too close and subjective to be labeling him.  It's scary to have a loved one insist that YOU are mentally ill or that all the r/s problems are due to YOUR mental problems. It was just as disturbing to him as it was to me.

-My fervor in hoping I could help him and therefore change him... .  and my belief that if I did suceed in changing him he would then be such a happier person, and  more stable, productive person and he'd love me and feel grateful to me for the rest of his life. Ugh!  The hubris of my actions today, looking back, make me cringe. But that's what I did. Not proud of it, but that what I did.

-And in anger I said some ugly thing to him, also.

Having said all that. I'm not a bad person and I am not going to beat myself.  I am only human. I was just using the coping skills I had at the time and some of the skills I had were maladaptive, much the way some of his coping skills were quite maladaptive, too.

 
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« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2013, 08:37:28 PM »

I still wonder if we are not rather quick in labelling ourselves as codependent. Maybe I am not ready to see, but I don't feel comfortable wearing this label. And, it's not that I don't want to. It's like someone with a terrible abdominal pain, they go to the Dr., told its nothing to worry about, go back a week later and told the same thing. The pain persists for months without relief and they get to the point where they don't care how dire the diagnosis is, they just want a diagnosis so they know what they are dealing with. That is how I felt. What was wrong with me that I stayed in this relationship so long. I want an answer. Codependent was the most obvious and the one that seemed to surface on posts repeatedly. Finally, an answer, something I could face, understand and deal with. But, it just doesn't fit for me and I wonder if that is not the same for others. That we want something to explain why and so grab on to this explanation. Yet, for me it is like wearing a coat, two sizes too small. I can get it on, but its uncomfortable, and the buttons just don't do up. In the same way I can recognize some of the traits of codependency that I have but they are few and were not the reason I became enmeshed or the reasons I stayed.

I believe the very traits that were my strength, became the very traits that were my weakness and contributed to my staying in the relationship. Not because of codependency but rather from the highly empathetic, compassionate and forgiving nature I have. A nature that I didn't understand needed to have a liberal dose of truth seeking in it to prevent my being taken advantage of.
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« Reply #52 on: May 02, 2013, 01:09:37 AM »

I never told my ex he was messed up.  I let him make his own decisions.  Only when he asked me to choose, did I voice my (true) opinion. The rest of the time I would speak to him about the options I saw in something and he would kick them around in his head.  It was very important for me not try to make his decisions for him. He was extremely intelligent and was very quick to tell me what he needed and didnt need me to do.  

It was only when I started to see the pattern that he kept jumping in the same rabbit hole that made me start saying "Look out for that rabbit hole!"  I never labeled him or called him sick.

When we started the relationship he told me he was BPD.  I accepted that it wasnt going to be a "normal" relationship.  I just didnt realize that it was going to be an "impossible" relationship.

Me and a friend were talking last nite about how my ex would tell me that he wanted me to come and live with him, and the next day he would encourage me to get custody of my kids, which (he knew) would then force me to stay where I am.  Then when I took custody of the kids (which of course was what I wanted in reality), he told me that I didnt know what I wanted.

We had talked about him coming to live here with me and that if he had to do it he would.  Then he tells me that he wont live here after I took custody of the kids.  If I am living here then I had to start paying my bills here, and not planning on taking over my share of his bills.  He didnt like that and told me that I was not committing to what we agreed.

He was full of contradictions like this. How can I possibly be in two places at once?  How can I pay my way here and his way there?

He dumped me when i started to enforce boundaries.  I wasnt going to commit further to a relationship, if he couldnt sit down and give me a solid plan and follow it.  He got angry and dumped me.

I take the blame for entering a relationship where I knew he needed to dominate me, and I was more than happy to take the submissive role.  In my other relationships I was the one who had to make all the decisions, and it was nice to have someone else be the leader.  It was the blind leading the blind.

I am not blaming him for the relationship, I knew he would become addicted to my submissiveness as I know he was a controller.  That was how I wanted to keep him.

What a stupid thing to think.  He sucked me in chewed me up and spit me out.

If anything, he helped to cure me of my co dependency.   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #53 on: May 02, 2013, 05:43:22 AM »

Laelle, do you mind me asking what you saw in yourself as codependent traits? I related to that line about it being nice to have someone else as the leader but it was like the blind leading the blind. But, my xBPDh only led in some areas, in others I led and made the most of the decisions. From what you posted it seems like you did too. Making decisions for your family based on what you thought was the best for everyone not just him. And you said you didn't make his decisions for him, nor did you want to. That doesn't sound codependent. It sounds like a woman in love with a troubled man. A woman who tried to make things work, against the odds and was able to recognize that she wasn't capable of being and giving to the two parts of the relationship.

I don't blame my x for the relationship either. Not only do I think assigning blame is unproductive I just don't like what that says about me to me. But, over the months I have been able to assign him the responsibility of his actions. And leave them with him. They were not my actions, I would never condone that kind of behaviour and I am in no way responsible for them. He owns them, not  me.

Sorry, I know have drifted a ways from your topic, obviously that article triggered my defences too. So, isn't there some other explanation besides CD that has attracted or kept myself and others in this kind of relationship.
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« Reply #54 on: May 02, 2013, 09:05:53 AM »

Laelle, Cumulus,

If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it.

The opening paragraph of this thread would lead a reader to believe their was painful recognition and a very strong reaction to one of many articles on cd and non behavior on this site. At this point, there would seem to be little or no recognition.

Folks, all CD is ... .  

Is an unhealthy relationship where two emotionally immature people become addicted (dependent) on eachother and the relationship itself. The examples of exactly how that plays out

are like the stars, too many to possibly count and each unique.

The article is here because most nons in a long term r/s here DO recognize disturbing elements

of CD in the r/s. And because a cd dynamic is ubiquitous in r/s where one person has a addiction or mental illness etc.

However, If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it.

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« Reply #55 on: May 02, 2013, 09:49:05 AM »

I walked into my french class today and only my professor was there.  No other students showed up.  We spent the day talking.  Turns out his minor in college was psychology. He did alot of research on personality disorders, and research papers on BPD.  

He told some very basic statement, and it freed me.  I want to mention in advance that my ex had all 9 of the criteria for BPD.  I understand that no person is exactly the same, and everyone

walks into the relationship with different skills.  This is not an insult to anyone working on their relationship.  This applies in my relationship.

I did not exist to my ex other than an emotional garbage can. (sorry, I know its harsh language)  He kept me around with him all the time because he had alot of garbage to throw away.  There was probably more than one person involved because one garbage can could not hold it all.  The only care he felt for me was making sure that the garbage can didnt roll down the street.

Everyone is co dependent to an extent.  As a few people here have mentioned,  Its who you choose to share your emotions with that was the error.

I went into the relationship thinking I cold help to make a sick heart whole (Cod)(because I have a need to make people happy)(I overlook the bad) (to feel good about myself)

He went into the relationship looking for a place to store his garbage, and I added a sense of stablity that helped him to "contain" his frantic emotions.

You cant expect to be in a relationship with someone who is disordered without becoming disordered (while in the relationship) yourself.

good + crazy = crazy  ALWAYS

I let go.

Oh, and I think I need a new psych.  Mine has NO experience with BPD.  Then again, I dont know if I need a BPD specialist.  Maybe I know what i need to know and can keep working on me.
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