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Author Topic: Am I still enmeshed?  (Read 388 times)
Escaped 30.Sept.2013
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« on: October 15, 2013, 07:02:04 AM »

Today and last night, I've felt really good about the situation with my ex-bf.

But I'm horribly aware that yesterday afternoon I wasn't feeling good about it, in fact got upset for the first time in a couple of days. I got myself out of that, by my own work and logic, and afterwards a friend let me know that he's defriended my Replacement again on Facebook, second time in a month, which is once more than me, and a lot faster than he did with me.

It means nothing much, because 8 of our 15 months were whilst I was defriended by him, or him by me, and in fact much of it was while one of us had totally blocked the other on FB. the only thing it means is confirmaiton that idealisation is now over.

But I feel bad - my mood shouldn't be affected by whether or not he is still idealising or not idealising my Replacement.

I should be trying to reach the point where I simply don't care what he's doing with whom.

It's difficult because I have understood now that my feelings towards my Replacement (specifically, as opposed to any other woman he might be with) are tied up with childhood issues that anyone would choose, from a group of me and a person who is not me, the one who is not me. So in my mind, she is the not-me, and that means it hurts more than to think of him being with some other woman, even if it was one I knew better.

But... .I really shouldn't care. But I do. And that's bad, isn't it?

It's a loong road to walk.

He's emailed today to suggest we go ahead with a plan we had in the summer, to be online-gaming buddies. I'm not doing that at present. Maybe someday if I can reach the stage where I really don't care who he's with, and therefore can say outright, "we only game, no personal discussion, and if you try to talk about personal stuff, I go offline mid-game and don't come back til you're ready to stick to our agreement" and then to do that consistently.

But that's an 'if', not a 'when'. Not friendship, not personal - only gaming. And NOT any time soon.

But I really feel I shouldn't be feeling better about the situation because I've had confirmation that idealisation is already over for my Replacement, should I?
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Escaped 30.Sept.2013
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 10:30:25 AM »

I think it's just so difficult to break that many months of deeply-intense push-pull-push-pull.

In time, I shall be indifferent to his sex life, shan't I?

Meanwhile, I get cast down and miserable when I feel convinced he's happy with my Replacement, which I keep viewing as "proof" that my childhood tyrant was correct... .and then feel strong and calm and able to deal with anything when I get news that they've defriended a second time on FB. How meaningless is FB? But it still makes me feel better about myself... .even though I know how many more months he and I continued together whilst not FB friends... .at least my Replacement has been defriended twice, to my once, and it's happened months earlier.

But I need to find indifference... .
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happylogist
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 10:34:28 AM »

Escaped,

so sorry you feel bad! You always had those very logical and well structured posts that I was reading with so much admiration!

It is OK to feel bad, especially since he contacted you with the request to be buddies. I would guess that this was not something you or anyone else in the same situation would want.  I certainly would be very upset too.

In my case, my replacement is a bit similar to me. And his ex gf also has similarities with me. We are all "good girl" types with a bit of craziness. So I have the opposite feeling - we are all just the same, just different bodies and faces for him, but the essence is the same. Just the next one in the row of his woman. Why I am writing it to you?  Just to show that no matter how and whom they choose there is still bitterness after being idealized and then kicked out of your throne when all you did was to support and be there... .

What are you planning to do?
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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 10:44:41 AM »

But... .I really shouldn't care. But I do. And that's bad, isn't it?

No, it's not bad.

It's not bad after a BPD break up to feel depressed.

It's not bad after a BPD break up to feel suicidal.

It's not bad after a BPD break up to feel crazy.

It's not bad after a BPD break up to feel burned-out.

It is bad after a BPD break up to easily continue with your life like nothing happened.

It's completely random and the sane reaction of a normal person to feel bad after what has happened.
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Escaped 30.Sept.2013
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 11:06:30 AM »

Escaped,

so sorry you feel bad! You always had those very logical and well structured posts that I was reading with so much admiration!

It is OK to feel bad, especially since he contacted you with the request to be buddies. I would guess that this was not something you or anyone else in the same situation would want.  I certainly would be very upset too.

In my case, my replacement is a bit similar to me. And his ex gf also has similarities with me. We are all "good girl" types with a bit of craziness. So I have the opposite feeling - we are all just the same, just different bodies and faces for him, but the essence is the same. Just the next one in the row of his woman. Why I am writing it to you?  Just to show that no matter how and whom they choose there is still bitterness after being idealized and then kicked out of your throne when all you did was to support and be there... .

What are you planning to do?

After discussing it with my good friends, I have simply replied to say in theory yes but not at present nor for a long time, without further explanation, justification or anything else.

I had thought that after my relative stopped living with us when I was 20, I had stopped paying any attention to the nasty stuff when we were kids, but it emerged in the first therapy session this year that deep down I have been believing the poison she poured into my ears with threats when I was tiny. That I was a mistake, I was supposed to have been born dead, and that if I said anything to anyone and didn't do what she told me, then the Government would come and take me away and kill me. From age 4, I believed this as fact, and then in my teens when I told her it was rubbish, she switched to urging me quietly, sometimes several times a day, to kill myself as a sort of gift for everyone else, because it would be so nice when I was dead.

One of the huge things she convinced me of was that everyone would always only tolerate me, never like me. I might think I had friends, but those would actually be very kind people who just felt pity for me because I was so awful. I believed that until early summer this year. I am 44. I have a lot of friends, who truly love me for who I am, but until this summer I just thought how lucky I was to know so many kind people who would put up with me. Even though I knew none of them liked me, I still enjoyed them allowing me to hang around.

And the biggest problem with my ex is that my sister also convinced me that if anyone had to pick between two people, one of whom was me, and one of whom was not me, then the person would always, always, always pick the one who was not-me. Even if that was Hitler or a really hideous deformed monster or a dead person, they would prefer that person to me.

THAT is what I'm up against, four decades of believing that kind of thing to be fact. I just took it as fact growing up as a tiny child onwards and it got rooted deep in my psyche and I never questioned it - but it's stayed all my life til now.

My therapist likens it to a child in the Hitler Youth being told secretly that they are in fact Jewish. I've gone through life scared of putting a foot wrong, and it's no surprise that, despite having had a high-powered and demanding career, I ended up in a relationship with a BPD, after a lot of abusive and violent relationships and experiences.

I'm not quite sure why I don't have BPD myself, with that happening in early childhood.


So... .I have ongoing therapy to convince me that sometimes person A might prefer to be with person B rather than me but it doesn't mean I am a failure, it doesn't mean I didn't do good enough... .and at the same time trying to come to terms with my BPD ex choosing my Replacement over me.

Which I think is why I am so vindicated by the confirmation that she's already out of the first idealisation phase. And that he is still wanting to have some form of contact - although that will ONLY happen if a) I can reach the stage of indifference to his sex life, and b) if he agrees to my terms and sticks to them (gaming buddies only, no personal conversation, no asking how my therapy's going, no asking how I'm coping, etc. or I go offline instantly for 7 days, no compromise)

... .and why I still love him, despite all he's done. When we first met, twenty years ago he saved me from attack, and that still is the only time anyone EVER stepped in and stopped an assault once it had started. Nobody else ever lifted a finger to help me, and I had long ago given up trying to help myself and was just resigned that this was how life goes for me and hope it was over quickly. He stopped the two guys and got rid of them, and another time he found I'd been self-harming and he lay and held me all night so I could sleep safe from the tormenting nightmares.

So... .he and I love each other, but his childhood damage and my childhood damage mean there is no way we can ever be together. Far too destructive a combination.

If I can get past this constant wondering of who he's with and does he prefer them to me because if so then I'm bad, dirty, wrong, awful... .THEN we can be gaming buddies.

Otherwise. Nope.

p.s. five days after I started seeing the therapist, and nine days after my BPD became my ex in an explosion of drama and betrayal, my sister dropped dead suddenly and unexpectedly from alcoholic liver "sudden and catastrophic failure". So I'm having therapy to help me with my sister's emotional abuse of a lifetime, and suddenly she's dead, at the same time as the love of my life suddenly behaves like some person I don't know and then the next few months was hell, as he gaslighted me, convincing me I was misunderstanding, misinterpreting... .I haven't known which way was up til the last month.
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Escaped 30.Sept.2013
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 11:07:09 AM »

It's completely random and the sane reaction of a normal person to feel bad after what has happened.

Thankyou - this helps so much.

This is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, right?
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Ironmanrises
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 11:20:22 AM »

I think it's just so difficult to break that many months of deeply-intense push-pull-push-pull.

In time, I shall be indifferent to his sex life, shan't I?

Meanwhile, I get cast down and miserable when I feel convinced he's happy with my Replacement, which I keep viewing as "proof" that my childhood tyrant was correct... .and then feel strong and calm and able to deal with anything when I get news that they've defriended a second time on FB. How meaningless is FB? But it still makes me feel better about myself... .even though I know how many more months he and I continued together whilst not FB friends... .at least my Replacement has been defriended twice, to my once, and it's happened months earlier.

But I need to find indifference... .

I am sorry you are experiencing that.

I know its painful.

In bold.

That indifference... .

You seek... .

Will not be found... .

If you constantly have information... .

On your exBPDbf.

That is what is keeping you... .

Enmeshed.

Connected.

And all that will do... .

Is hurt you... .

And only you.

NC is your best bet... .

To reaching that... .

Indifference... .

That you seek... .

And need.

No communication with that person at all.

We are here for you Escaped.

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houseofswans
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 11:32:56 AM »

p.s. five days after I started seeing the therapist, and nine days after my BPD became my ex in an explosion of drama and betrayal, my sister dropped dead suddenly and unexpectedly from alcoholic liver "sudden and catastrophic failure".

Oh, escaped, that is so sad. I'm really sorry. It sort of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?
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Escaped 30.Sept.2013
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 11:36:34 AM »

p.s. five days after I started seeing the therapist, and nine days after my BPD became my ex in an explosion of drama and betrayal, my sister dropped dead suddenly and unexpectedly from alcoholic liver "sudden and catastrophic failure".

Oh, escaped, that is so sad. I'm really sorry. It sort of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

It's bloody awful spending time with our parents and her adult children, who mourn her. And all the condolences, people telling me how much I must miss her, how terrible it is to lose a sister. It's been several months now and I still can only view her death as freedom and the best thing that could happen to me... .

I lost my BPD and her in 9 days - I lost my mind for about a month, and wasn't much better for another two... .
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houseofswans
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 11:39:55 AM »

I still can only view her death as freedom and the best thing that could happen to me... .

I must have mis-read your post... .
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Escaped 30.Sept.2013
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2013, 11:44:51 AM »

That sounds dreadful, doesn't it? I'm not glad she died... .but I am relieved, if that makes better sense?

And maybe the decades I suffered at her hands explain why I can't see my BPD ex-bf as "evil" or as having tried to hurt me or enjoyed hurting me. I think he's as damaged as I am, but in a different way, that's all.

Maybe if I ever find indifference to his sex/romantic life, then some kind of friendship may be possible, so long as he would accept no compromise on my part. He knows how badly he hurt me and has been distraught about it - he knows something is wrong with him, and did try to warn me, but seems to feel he has no control over how he behaves (he's got that right!).

But there has to be complete detachment on my side from how my mind has been 'trained', and that means very very very low contact.

I think what I want to aim for is No Contact except for a card at Xmas and birthday, and then after a while, in a year or two, maybe we can be gaming-buddies. At least that way he knows he isn't harming me further and can maybe believe there is one person who will fight not to abandon him, even if that means staying distant and impersonal. Does that make sense?

I understand now, and truly know deep-down, how much I am loved. By many lovely friends (who are indeed kind, but that's not why they are friendly to me!). He, poor soul, doesn't, because he cannot be loved, because he makes it impossible for anyone to love him without them being destroyed in the process.

I would like to reach a stage where I can love him from afar, without harm to me because it no longer matters to me what he does with whom, and because I know how a BPD behaves and can make sure the mirroring doesn't make me believe again, and can make sure the push-pull doesn't hurt me, because I will know it is just him panicking.

I think what i'm saying is - I'll think of him as a mother thinks of a toddler. Love him, but not let his sudden moods, passions and rages affect me. Because I shall never let him close enough again - which is going to need a long period of Low/No Contact.
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Escaped 30.Sept.2013
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2013, 11:45:44 AM »

I still can only view her death as freedom and the best thing that could happen to me... .

I must have mis-read your post... .

Sorry - it was my sister who did all the damage to me emotionally, over many, many years from when I was tiny... .
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Learning_curve74
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2013, 12:33:19 PM »

Escaped, I was moved to tears by your story because I identify with a lot of the same elements in my own life. For me, growing up with that kind of invalidation made me drawn to the initial idealization and honeymoon phase like a person dying of thirst in the desert is drawn to water. And in the case of your exBPDbf, he literally saved you physically 20 years ago.

I think in a way they made us feel whole, and we probably made them feel whole. That's why we were enmeshed, and also why it will take time and self-discovery to detach and discover our authentic selves.

One thing my therapist mentioned was that I want to "move on", and the emphasis should be on "move" meaning keep moving; it's ok to have whatever feelings towards my exBPDgf, but I can't let those feelings stop me from doing the things I want and need to do. As I start to get back to doing the things I want to in my life, getting it back on track post-BPD trainwreck, just making these moves can naturally help put more and more emotional distance between me and her.

I think it's natural to want our feelings for them to disappear quickly, especially if they replaced us and appeared to have moved on so abruptly (which is often not true at all). You are wise to recognize it will take time and it sounds like you really see that goal in the distance, Escaped. Best wishes on your journey. And thank you for this topic because it helped me too.  
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Escaped 30.Sept.2013
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2013, 12:44:10 PM »

One thing my therapist mentioned was that I want to "move on", and the emphasis should be on "move" meaning keep moving; it's ok to have whatever feelings towards my exBPDgf, but I can't let those feelings stop me from doing the things I want and need to do. As I start to get back to doing the things I want to in my life, getting it back on track post-BPD trainwreck, just making these moves can naturally help put more and more emotional distance between me and her.

Thankyou for this, in my turn - my therapist says the same thing, which is always a nice thing, because hey, if two therapists say it to clients with similar back-histories, then that's some pretty good encouragement!

Yes, building my own life will possibly mean that in time I no longer have any emotional ties to my ex. I certainly won't have the hurt, the pain, the confusion... .in fact if I retain anything, it won't be able to harm me, because of the way I shall have moved on and on... .but not running away from myself. If that makes sense?

Your comment has helped me, so thankyou very much *huggy emoticon thingummy* Smiling (click to insert in post)
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Escaped 30.Sept.2013
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2013, 06:55:42 AM »

My T says my ex's invitation to the gaming website was him taking the little-child role... ."look, I'm harmless, come and play! It will be fun! Just we two, it's our little private game!"

Had I been fool enough to join the gaming, then very fast, my ex would have turned round and climbed up into adult-role, leaving me down there in child-role where he would go back to telling me he knows best always, telling me I've misunderstood, I'm not making progress with my therapy, I'm not coping with the trauma of bereavement, I've got the wrong therapist (no, I bloody haven't, I've got a therapist who understands Cluster B behaviour!).

So what I did was good.

"Ideal" would have been no reply, but the T is satisfied that the reply I did send was "good" because it was an adult saying to the child, "yes, yes, dear, but not just now. Run along, I'm busy".

It's a clear refusal to re-engage, it's a clear signal of increasing independence from the co-dependency.

But I know I have a long way to go yet. I need to find, with my T, a way to tackle and overcome my sister's lifelong conditioning about the not-me always being preferred over the me.

If someone prefers someone else, it may NOT reflect on me at all. It's simply their choice, for all kinds of reasons or none at all, and does not necessarily mean ANYTHING about me at all. If I live my life without acting badly, then 99 times out of 100 a preference for someone else will be NOTHING to do with me at all. My sister was wrong. She is dead and she is still wrong!

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