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Author Topic: 03. Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist - Margalis Fjelstad, PhD, LMFT  (Read 47696 times)
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« on: June 20, 2013, 06:31:09 AM »

Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist
Author: Margalis Fjelstad, PhD, LMFT
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (February 7, 2013)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-10: 144222018X
ISBN-13: 978-1442220188





About the Book
I came across a very helpful book which focuses much more on the person involved with NPD/BPDs rather than the pwPD.
It identifies a range of emotions, behavior and thought distortions that trap a person into a care-taking role. If you are stuck with a pwNPD/BPD and have tried various strategies to dislodge you will instantly identify with the various types of care-taking the author has identified. Please do read a sample on amazon and go through the table contents to decide for yourself.

I am not related to the author in anyway. But have been going through A LOT of books for two years to make sense of a lot of things I am facing. This book is being really helpful.
 
About the Author
Margalis Fjelstad, Ph.D., LMFT, has a private psychotherapy practice in Ft. Collins, CO, specializing in work with clients who are in relationship to someone who has borderline or narcissistic personality disorder, and she facilitates groups on Caretaker recovery. She has previously been an Adjunct Faculty member at Regis University in Colorado Springs and at California State University in Sacramento.
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2013, 09:23:39 PM »

Thank you soo much!  This book looks GREAT!

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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 06:38:29 AM »

The preview PDF of chapter one seems to give a good concise overview of the personality traits.

www.books.google.com/books?id=aciFU9rNt84C&pg=PA1&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false

It would be interesting to get the opinions of anyone who has read the entire book. Particularly on how it differentiates between BPD & NPD.
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2013, 10:29:55 AM »

This book got my attention. Perhaps bc it is focused on BPD and NPD. I just started to read. It is the first book about PDs since a while.  Being cool (click to insert in post)

My very first impression is: This could be a very interesting book. I will tell you more.
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 10:05:49 AM »

I read some Amazon reviews and the link to the caregiving description.

Sounds like it may be a worthwhile read.

It is a very complex subject so I always have wonderings... .

For example, the book for obvious reasons has to identify a problem, in this case being a caregiver to a NPD or BPD type person.

Yet, often times it's folks with a narcisstic organization that  find partners with a borderline organization, because their respective styles are both compelling and volatile for each of them. I wonder if the author addresses that?

Also, if we get the book, I geuss it's cause we resonate with being "caretakers" to pwBPD or NPD (or those traits).  That's quite an us/them construction... . I am always surprised how many pwBPD or N traits do their own fair share of care-taking/walking on eggshell  type

behaviors.

If it encourages self examination and self care it certainly will be a worthwhile read.

I hope the book deals with a very complex topic is a useful manner.

Thank you for the thread!
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 02:46:12 PM »

Thank you so much for this post.  I live about 30 minutes from where the author is located and conducts her recovery groups.  I just looked her up and found the times for her groups.  I will definitely be considering that in the future.  I had no idea these resources were available so thank you!
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 05:06:48 PM »

I bought and finished the book.  I have to say, I really enjoyed reading it (and I have read a ton of BPD books).  I wish I had started with this one (although I really enjoyed Christine Lawson's book too).

To me, this is a must read for anyone interested in learning more -- especially about themselves (caretaker).

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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 10:50:20 PM »

This is Margalis. She is a member here.


Date: Apr-2013Minutes: 4:56

Stop Caretaking the BPD or NPD | Margalis Fjelstad, Ph.D., LMFT
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 05:55:57 AM »

Wow thanks for this! I just read the pages on the link, and I think I have found myself and my exact situation.It made me cry. Definitely will be buying this, thankyou :-)
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 11:35:16 PM »

This book focuses on "us" and "our role" in loving someone who is BPD/NPD. It turns the mirror to help us see how our behaviors and thoughts keep the dysfunction going. It  can be painful to read if you don't keep an open mind.

A great book for all caretakers to learn from.
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 10:08:28 PM »

An excellent guide and support book - support not in the terms of giving reason to stay with the BPD/NPD but support for validating the experiences and providing insight as to the dynamics of the power play that leads up to the and sustains the push/pull and fear/obligation/guilt cycle so pervasive in these tumultuous and ultimately destructive relationships. I've  downloaded the kindle version that I'm currently devouring and know I'll be referring back to it frequently as my family and I go down this road with DS in his dealings with his uBPD wife.

This is a therapist who clearly defines the profile of the various Caretaker roles as well as the BP/NP thought processes, skewered as they are, in such a targeted and accurate manner and free from medical jargon, that a lay person can readily relate and apply to their own set of circumstances.

A must read, and a gentle, possible suggestion for those who would like and are able to consider another step as I had (if we are allowed to do so on this site): I was able to put my DS in touch with Dr. Fjelstad for a phone consultation. I'm sure hearing directly from the source and obtaining validation, coping skills and reinforcing a plan to chart his future course from a professional as equipped as Dr. Fjelstad helped provide excellent groundwork for moving forward. 

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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2013, 11:11:24 AM »

I have not finished yet, I was too busy.

Just a taster here: She underlines the importance to change the dynamics of the Karpman triangle. Her approach to do so is the so called "caring triangle".

The actions of the persecutor ----> we start being active and assertive.

The victim role ------> we accept things like they are and make healthier choices.

The rescuer role -----> We give our SO the respect to solve his problems him/herself.

In short: Great book.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2013, 09:07:34 PM »

I just finished reading this. I'm not joking when I say that this is THE best book (or any other type of content) I've read on be topic of living with a BPD.

STUNNINGLY accurate and insightful. Not sure how old this book is, so maybe I'm just late tot the party. But wow is it worth the read. Seriously, why are you still reading his message? To buy it!
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2013, 09:16:43 PM »

thanks for the book info.  I have been devouring info about BPD ever since I learned about it.  I'll give this book a shot.
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 06:03:33 PM »

Wow, I read the preview and will be ordering it today.  I already have learned several things just from the preview, the first of which is the difference between a Caretaker and a Codependent (being a Caretaker is situational to the relationship with the pwBPD/NPD as opposed to generalized with everyone in all situations).  The second is that I think my uBPDh may have some NPD going on as well.

  Daylily
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2013, 04:31:34 AM »

I finished it yesterday. One of the best book I read so far. It is written for "us". There is sometimes some distinction between BPD and NPD, but the focus is always who we can deal with our caretaker role.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  Highly recommended. And available as e-book, which can be a advantage. 
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2013, 03:14:25 PM »

I agree with all of the other posters, a highly recommendable book. Very insightful!
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2013, 05:35:56 AM »

Personally, I've seen codependent as being more unhealthy and caretaker as more neutral. But in the book Stop caretaking the borderline or narcissist by Margalis Fjelstad (which is excellent, by the way) she classifies the caretaker as following:

"People who are overly empathetic, self-sacrificing, unassuming, deferential, more willing to put other's needs before their own, uncomfortable with conflict, generous and perfectionistic are more vulnerable to becoming a caretaker."

So by that definition, codependent and caretaker seem to be the same.

I think the most important, anyway, is to look to how we can step out of this role into something more healthy  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2013, 03:54:58 PM »

I am reading Margalis Fjelstad's book Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist (referred to above, and it's a great read if anyone's interested), and she explains the difference as being one of pervasiveness:

"Caretaking may sound a lot like codependency.  Codependency seems to be a more pervasive set of personality traits that are applied in every aspect of a person's life, including at work, in friendships, at school, in parenting, and in intimate relationships.  Codependent behaviors could be described quite similarly to those that Caretakers use.  However, most Caretakers take on this role almost exclusively inside the family and primarily only with the borderline or narcissist.  Often Caretakers are very independent, good decision makers, competent and capable on their own when not in a relationship with a borderline or narcissist."

This really hit home with me, because my behavior with my uBPDh does not occur anywhere else in my life. 

  Daylily
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2014, 02:22:45 PM »

I just finished reading this book.   I feel like it was written for me as every sentences was applying to my situation.   It is a strong message of hope for the caretaker personnalities that always end up with unhealthy relationships because they always give without receiving, creating an unbalanced relationship.   I found that I was so overgiving that I tend to make healthy people feel that I dont value what they can give and tend to attract needy people who needs a caretaker.   This book is the first step to my recovery, I will read it again starting tomorrow.  I highly recommend to all those who are trying to end up the relationship with BPD but are too guilty or depressed to act and break the vicious cycle.
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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2014, 10:30:52 AM »

This book is the first step to my recovery, I will read it again starting tomorrow. 

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I think this is a great book for everyone, Stayers included.

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« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2014, 05:22:21 AM »



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

Wow... . so... . this is me.

Now what?

And of course my argumentative self comes out... .

So... . isn't this what I've been taught as a Christian man.  Jesus sacrificed himself for the church... .   I'm supposed to "lead" my wife and my family as Jesus lead the church. 

In marriage... . two become one... . sort of violates the boundaries thing... .

So... hoping to hear from some that have worked through this.


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« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2014, 07:29:10 AM »

some of that applies to me,pleasing people and wanting to feel appreciated,but i dont think i want to feel as if ive sacrificed my need... . it makes me angry. but sometimes saying no makes me feel very guilty,is that a symptom of co dependency? ive found that i hate change,and a part of me might be more comfortable out of a relationship,i do let my own needs pas for others,and then i feel frustrated about it.im sure its a symptom of co dependency.

i think it doesnt matter how we do it... we should stand up for ourselves,i really wish it came as easily to me as it does to most people,recently ive been feeling pretty bad because of some problems in r/s,but what i really want is to have a stronger character,

same question,anyone out there who has been able to do that?
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« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2014, 10:11:48 AM »

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

Wow... . so... . this is me.

Now what?

And of course my argumentative self comes out... .

So... . isn't this what I've been taught as a Christian man.  Jesus sacrificed himself for the church... .   I'm supposed to "lead" my wife and my family as Jesus lead the church. 

In marriage... . two become one... . sort of violates the boundaries thing... .

So... hoping to hear from some that have worked through this.

I'm a christian. I can tell you this, love is indeed sacrifice. But its mutual sacrifice. Christ loved us, and so we love him. Christ sacrificed his life, and so we sacrifice our lives to God - you get me?

Now co-dependency is fine and is indeed the norm, in a relationship where two people are dependent on one another in a willing, and equal sense. For instance a husband depends on his wife for some things, and a wife on her husband for other things. Never think that you're abnormal.

Christians are a great target for BPDs, we have an inherently loving, and giving attitude -thats what we're called to do - and they abuse it, but it doesn't make us wrong for being how we are. So long as we do things in a discerning, and moderate way. Jesus doesn't want us bullied by BPDs, he also doesn't want us to be giving to Satan what we could be giving to lost sheep. If you are to give to a BPD, give them the gospel, but don't give them too much of your time.

There is indeed an issue of boundaries, and even within a marriage boundaries exist. To become one flesh does not mean to become one soul. It just means that we are intermingled as people, that we have made a lifetime commitment to one another (til death do we part). We're not going to be standing at the judgment seat of Christ as husband and wife, but as individuals. Also as Godly parents you encourage giving to those in need. But you also encourage "not too much". As people we have multiple responsibilities to multiple people. Its complex, but Jesus sacrificed his life for EVERYONE, and a husband would sacrifice his life for HIS FAMILY. Its not a matter of psychological dysfunction, its a matter of allowing an abuser to walk all over you. Thats where you need to be setting healthy boundaries - something which we've failed to do. Nothing to do with faith in Christ.
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« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2014, 12:30:56 PM »

ff, as a balance, let me offer some thing from Stop Care taking The Borderline Or Narcissist:

"Caretaking may sound a lot like codependency. Codependency seems to be a more pervasive set of personality traits that are applied in every aspect of a person’s life, including at work, in friendships, at school, in parenting, and in.intimate relationships. Codependent behaviors could be described quite similarly to those that Caretakers use. However, most Caretakers take on this role almost exclusively inside the family and primarily only with the borderline or narcissist. Often Caretakers are very independent, good decision makers, competent, and capable on their own when not in a relationship with a borderline or narcissist. It is almost as if the Caretaker lives in two different worlds with two different sets of behaviors, rules, and expectations, one set with the BP/NP and another with everyone else. You may even hide your caretaking behaviors from others and try to protect other family members from taking on caretaking behavior, much like child abuse victims try to protect siblings from being abused."

I was hung up on codependency for a while, but my T kept reminding me, almost exasperatedly, "not everything needs to be pathologized."

While only we know ourselves, really, I think we can have a tendency to be harder on ourselves than we need to be. Introspection and self examination are good, even necessary, but perhaps too much of it is another way of getting stuck.
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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2014, 12:52:57 PM »

 

Good points.

I think I need to remind myself... . that life... . and reality is a spectrum... . not an on off switch or black and while... like BPD thinking.

So... . I very well may be a caretaker... . and I may have tendencies towards codependency. 

Also... . in what you put... . I saw myself... . sort of two different lives... my public life and my relationship with uBPDw... and to a large degree inside the family.


Another point here is to take in new information and think on it for a while before incorporating it into what I believe.

I'm trying to do that... . and I have to watch my "desperate" attempts to fix things... . in a hurry.

Thanks!
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« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2014, 02:31:41 PM »

I'm part of another Christian forum where the issue of codependency and boundaries comes up very frequently, so I have a bit of experience with understanding it. From my own experience, Christians are often taught and encouraged to give up themselves to an extent that is very unhelpful and not Biblical, if we consider Jesus' life. We are taught that how another person acts is a reflection on our own lives and how well we are obeying the Bible (for both husbands and wives); when our spouse is having issues, it is our fault for not doing something right.

What helps me to resist being sucked into an unhealthy codependence is the realization that 'I' am not in control of my spouse or their reactions to God or me. They are responsible for those; just as I am responsible for my actions and reactions. For a lot of my early marriage, I was actively discouraged from having the 'tools' that I needed to be healthy and to bring health into our marriage. As I gained those tools, I became more aware of the issues and understood better that some of those are things that I cannot do anything about -- and really, no one outside God can help with those. I have also had to be more proactive about making sure that I am healthy so that I don't slip back into the codependent role.

In one of our (uBPDh and my) conversations, I said that I felt like when we got married, he just assumed that 'we' would become 'he'; I lost a lot of myself in that process. He didn't like that, but it was my reality.

When our financial issues come into public view, then we were both scrutinized. I decided that the best thing for me to do was to present a united front in addressing the issues, even though I had been trying for years to give the same advice we received. He always thought I just needed to loosen up about adding more debt. The difficulty I have is when I am forced to  help him pay off the debts that he chose by himself to incur; these are things that I did not choose and advised against. So, it's not always possible to have a clear line of responsibility for certain aspects of our life, but I'm not willing to be the only one working on the solution, either.

I've also had to 'narc' on my husband because of one of my leadership positions -- I had to make a choice about whether to keep quiet and cover over the issue or to fulfill my responsibilities. I decided that I couldn't enable his behavior by covering it up. Of course, he thought I was just 'out to get him' -- I had decided that I needed to report the issue in his presence and with his consent. He knew the requirement.

Ultimately, I don't think that Jesus ever said that a person's sins don't matter or that we should hide them from one another. Bringing them into light is the only way to deal with them and to bring healing to those areas. But, I also don't think we can be motivated by vengeance or anger. The concept of Boundaries helps keep us from acting in anger. Forgiveness doesn't mean that there are no consequences for one's actions.
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« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2014, 02:41:39 PM »

Just read this myself... . where do I stand in line... . ?... . anyone found anything on how to stop or reduce this... the beginning of the article said only a co can help themselves and can be helped... but never found anything on how... .
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« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2014, 04:57:13 PM »

Just read this myself... . where do I stand in line... . ?... . anyone found anything on how to stop or reduce this... the beginning of the article said only a co can help themselves and can be helped... but never found anything on how... .

I will try to re read the article... . but I think boundaries are an important first step.

Then... make sure that are looking at steps you can take... . regardless of what the partner does.

Will try to come back later on this and add more

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« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2014, 11:05:53 PM »


I guess the question is... . how does it work for you? What in that article sounds like you and seems to work badly for you?

If it is you... . but doesn't seem to be a problem, you don't need to worry about it so much now.
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