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Author Topic: Soulful choices, lessons, healing and blessing in disguise?  (Read 11763 times)
AlexRose

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« on: October 17, 2013, 02:05:46 PM »

   Hi everyone.

    I am new here so felt like introducing myself and saying hi. First a little about me, I am a female in her late 30s, a professional and an artist. It is quite important to mention that for my whole adult life I have been meditating, living consciously and mindfully and am a reasonably balanced, relaxed and loving person, able to form and sustain long lasting nourishing bonds with friends, family and partners. On the other hand I have no urge to save anyone or change the world.

    What brings me here is a freshly failed relationship with an undiagnosed BPD boyfriend.

    Will spare you the details, as my story is really not much different to what we can read all over these boards, and instead will give you some basics. The relationship lasted slightly less than a year, it was a long distance thing with plans for me to move in with him (he lives in another country) in few months time to get married and start a life together. Before the unforeseen ‘hit and run’ break up all we had was the highly intoxicating honeymoon phase and this most wonderful rapport on all levels, so I felt relatively safe starting to make some serious moves and rearranging my affairs here in order to prepare for the big move in few months time. Before the blow came I already let go of my apartment and got rid of many of my irreplaceable belongings.

    The ‘break up’ was his doing and - as in most of the cases where a person with BPD is involved - it was an abrupt, nasty and completely unforeseen event that left me totally shell-shocked. It was unlike anything else I have ever experienced. The level of confusion it introduced was incomparable with anything I experienced or heard of.

    It's now been over 3 months since the break up during which I went through various phases you all probably know from your own experience: I was unbelievably hurt yet numb, in disbelief, angry, doubting my better judgement and soulful choices, mourning the ‘soul mate relationship’ as I used to perceive it, trying to make some sense out of it all etc.

    I did struggle enormously and was in constant pain of being disposed of and not having been given any form of closure whatsoever. I thought that even his death wouldn't have hurt more than this. Few weeks into the break up I finally managed to gather myself to write an email to him, making sure it had no trace of guilt trips and no begging. I mostly wanted to let him know in an adult way of how his decision scarred me to the core and how much I struggled to understand the inexplicable – in case he did not notice or in case his retreat was a misunderstanding. The email did not bring anything good and no explanation or closure was offered in return, however he mentioned he still loves me and misses me. His assertions did not change anything though as luckily I am mature enough not to listen to sweet talk when it does not match the actions. I left it unanswered.

    At that time I had no knowledge of what BPD was and did not even think his doings might have been caused by an illness. But when the first phase of my own doubt in myself started wearing off I had this thought that maybe, just maybe, he had some sort of a disorder. Then a friend mentioned BPD to me and from the very first article I’ve read on the topic I knew that was it, I literally had goose bumps while reading as his behaviour ticked off all the boxes except for the self harm. My ex proved to be a textbook example.

    Discovering the convoluted world of BPD marked the threshold of my healing. The presumption that his actions were most likely caused by an illness gave me the closure I soo needed. Reading the message boards here and seeing so many stories so similar to my own one gave me the internal peace that no, it’s not me going bonkers, it is possible for a person to be so heavily disturbed, hard-boiled and cold hearted that they wreak havoc on other people lives without as much as an eye blink. I am extremely grateful to everyone here who decided to share their stories.

    BUT. I am yet to understand how it was possible for me not to have noticed anything when we were together... I am not beating myself up any more for the relationship being over, I can slowly accept it as it is and am at a relative ease with its end, especially since it is not him being just an as*hole but a sick as*hole, which is a bit different. I am even able to feel tentatively relieved it did not go any further and cause more damage. It could have been so much worse, I could have given up my job, got rid of my possessions, left behind all and everyone I knew here and moved over to where he lives (we are talking Europe - Oz distance), basically burning all bridges behind me only to discover the devastating nature of this illness when it would be all too late for me to step back. We could have gone in circles for much longer than we have, breaking up and rebounding, whereas this break up is the first one and most likely the last one we will ever have as I am not inclined to get back with him at all (despite his attempts to win me back and despite my love for the good side of him). It could have been much much worse.

     Yet the biggest wound it has left me with is that I can't quite comprehend how my own intuition could have led me into this dead end, this dark place of carnage, what this whole story was for, what is its meaning in terms of my personal growth. I know I can forgive, I know I can let go and heal, but what's the real lesson here? Not asking you to give me my answers, but asking what made you enter such unhealthy bond and what was your blessing in disguise if you can see one yet.

     

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Turkish
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Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned in Feb 2013.
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 02:46:16 PM »

This may sounds harsh, and I can be cynical at times, but I think there is no such thing as a "soul mate." To me, the term implies predetermination, and no accountability. It was like a friend at work... .after almost a 20 year marriage and two kids, was in the process of divorce, and then went out looking for her "soul mate." (to my credit, I stayed away from her not so subtle hints that she wanted to go out with me... .but then I jumped into what became a 6 year relationship with my BPDex). We all need to be loved, but searching for that One for whom we are "destined," seems to me, at least, the wrong thing to do. It precludes growth in a mature relationship, as well as accountability. IMO, YMMV... . 
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    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
Hazelrah
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 03:13:58 PM »

Not asking you to give me my answers, but asking what made you enter such unhealthy bond and what was your blessing in disguise if you can see one yet.

Sorry to hear about your situation, AlexRose. 

In answer to your question quoted above, entering the bond, like so many of us, was easy... .pure bliss, you might say.  It gave me the impression of true love, and the idealization phase was fairly long (up to a couple of years).  Though I quickly began to see in my eventual wife some tendencies towards perceived or created drama, helplessness and a persecution complex (she is a full-on waif), she chalked it up to childhood trauma and a prior diagnosis of Bipolar II.  I knew nothing of BPD (nor did she), and I wasn't really raged at like many others, so I didn't feel particularly victimized in our relationship up to that point.  After marriage, the behavior became worse, and I found myself being pulled in to more and more of her personal dramas--it brought out my tendencies towards acting as the proverbial 'knight', but I figured that's what a husband should do for his wife. 

Eventually, the BPD diagnosis was made, but the behaviors became even more severe, and I was eventually split black.  She made efforts at DBT, but eventually decided I was the real problem, and she recycled an old boyfriend who leaves quite a bit to be desired in regards to stability, etc.  We're separated and likely headed for divorce, much to my initial surprise.

The whole ordeal has made me realize I had a lot of unresolved childhood trauma of my own... .the seemingly unconditional love I received in the early stages of our relationship filled a hole I'd desperately needed filled since my early years.  I realized I'm a full-on co-dependent, and needed to make some serious forays into therapy to come to these realizations and work on them head on for the first time in my life. 

Currently, I find myself in an odd place... .still heart-broken and pining for a woman that likely never fully existed, yet considerably stronger in some personal areas that needed strengthening desperately.
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Conundrum
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 03:20:15 PM »

Hi, this disorder becomes more obviously noticeable when sharing close domestic quarters, so expecting your "relational-radar" to catch and screen out a pwBPD when it's a LDR--is asking a lot when the traits are often initially subtle (and pleasant).

To briefly address your final question. If life is a continuum, then I find the living of it all, is best served when it's a learning process. And now I've learned--how it feels to be in a relationship with a person who does not perceive life as as a continuum, and for who life it is not a learning process. Nevertheless, it's been an unforgettable experience in a Dickensian way.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was great the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."

To have lived, with a person who is entirely dialectical without synthesis is... .?  We all have our own adjectives.
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bpdspell
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Relationship status: Married.
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 05:34:45 PM »

BUT. I am yet to understand how it was possible for me not to have noticed anything when we were together.

Yet the biggest wound it has left me with is that I can't quite comprehend how my own intuition could have led me into this dead end, this dark place of carnage, what this whole story was for, what is its meaning in terms of my personal growth. I know I can forgive, I know I can let go and heal, but what's the real lesson here? Not asking you to give me my answers, but asking what made you enter such unhealthy bond and what was your blessing in disguise if you can see one yet.

AlexRose,

You asked some great questions.

When we are hot and heavy in the midst of the "honeymoon" idealization there are emotional blind spots that we ignore due to the exhilaration of this shiny brand new attachment. It is only when we've been dumped on our behinds that we're able to look back and see the burning red flags that are certain in this fast and furious romance.

In my case there were red flags that I dismissed as "temperament" and "quirks" because the electricity of idealization had a hold of me mind, body and soul. I was hooked and it honestly didn't matter that there were inconsistencies in his behavior because I had already given him my heart.

It was only when his behavior become unbearable as it evolved to pure disrespect, entitlement, and devaluation that I scratched my head in confusion.  

BPD is a complex mental and emotional disorder but it takes two to tango. That electricity that we feel with an abusive person is a signifier that something about us is off. Some of us have poor boundaries, some of us have self-worth issues that can be traced to chaotic childhoods and some of us are codependents and people pleasers. With personal work we can come closer to pinpointing the root of how we got involved with these toxic souls.

It is true. You have dodged many bullets but emotionally there was some damage accrued so I personally recommend taking the time to validate the damage that was done.

As far as lessons. There are many that come out of these exchanges that will reveal themselves to you in time... .they won't all come at once.

Forgiveness is different for everyone but try not to cart the horse before the wagon. Being dumped in an insensitive and cruel way is no light matter... .sickness or not... .

Keep reading and keep posting when you have questions.

Spell
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Changingman
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Relationship status: Daughter 15, Son 14
Posts: 644



« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 06:50:48 PM »

Hi Alex,

I am just where you are! 3 months parted, and the break up was like a drive thru burger joint in emotional terms for her. What hurts me the most i think, is that the false front/mirroring started day one. The ultimate lie, it's like they didn't exist. we are left looking at shadows and ghosts of real emotions. No closure is a distant horizon for us, we have to navigate unchartered waters, search for the truth like the blind, forget everything we took as reality and search our memories for clues like a bloodhound. I had no idea what BPD was, but as soon as I read the first article describing 'the BPD relationship from beginning to end' I was shocked by how it was mine. Not original, not special and worse not even personal. Wow! I found this relationship... .a bit boring to be honest... .very repetitive. The self medicating through alcohol etc, the circular conversations about her, the worse decision always taken by her, the manipulation, the constant 'accidents', falling, hurting herself because she was clumsy, the neediness, the arrogance, the stupidity, the crying, the hurt, the demands, the need for more 'things' that she would almost immediately abandon. Like a wind up doll. After the break up I thought she had real friends (apart from the few previous boyfriends still circling around her) and maybe my BPD prognosis was wrong. No, when they contacted me I was a shocked that they hadn't told me what she was like and were expecting a friendship from me... .they all said "I don't really know her"... "i Just worked with her"... ."I know you better". It's like a rabbit hole that keeps going down and down.

Wow! lie upon lie upon lie until everything is dissolved into nothing. And we are left wondering why we fell for such Horse****. I have realized I have been around BPD people all my life... .my mother... .my sister... .the mother of my two children... .

How would I have seen the disfunction. Soulmates? the world is made of crooked wood. Not everyone is bad, but some hide amongst us unseen, glanced at... .no eye contact.

For me the life lesson is childhood wounds I still have, things I didn't know about myself, hidden by me and my tormenters... .the very people I loved.

Now thats pain. xx Good Luck to you in feeing through your heart.
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hopealways
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 07:22:10 PM »

Welcome AlexRose. 

":)iscovering the convoluted world of BPD marked the threshold of my healing. The presumption that his actions were most likely caused by an illness gave me the closure I soo needed." This exactly describes how I was able to heal a bit quicker.  Since you had a LDR, your BPDex was not able to get close enough to you for his engulfment fears to trigger the anxiety of getting too close.  That is the first reason why you were not able to see the red flags earlier.

Reality is you and all of us have broken up with others in the past, but the BPD breakup is so painful, it is like nothing we have ever experienced.  To help you heal you must understand that this was never about you. It was about an illness.  A mental illness.  There is nothing you or anyone could have done to change that.  There is no medication specifically for BPD.  Some therapies claim to work but only after years of intensely dedicated treatment-and then only maybe.

The BPD otherwise looks normal, and has what we perceive  to be full of emotion.  That's yet another reason it is so hard for us to believe what happened to us.  It just doesn't make sense.

You are well on your way to healing.  He will likely try to make contact at some point.  That will be your greatest challenge: whether you will risk being recycled.  They never change.  There are no real success stories on this board of 75,000 members, and that is further evidence of the fact that they don't change.  Work on yourself, allow yourself to feel the pain, let it out, and you will be stronger than ever with time.
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human101

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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2013, 03:28:13 PM »

Hi AlexRose

Thank you for your post and sharing your story. Here's my 2 cents worth. Smiling (click to insert in post) you are a self aware person and want to take responsibility for your part in this relationship and learn and grow from it. This is admirable. However be mindful of not taking responsibility for what is not yours. The BPD is not your issue and diagnosing it was not your issue. Theres nothing to be gained from asking how you let yourself fall into the relationship. You're human, you fell in love and you were mindful in the decisions you made. But you were involved with a person with a mental illness    Maybe the meaning for you in this is in the recovery process?  How you care for yourself, heal and forgive?   Just a thought.
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