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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: "closure"? considering final, nice gesture to uBPDex  (Read 3864 times)
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« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2013, 10:04:26 AM »

This is just my opinion. If you truly want closure with your pwBPD spend a day with them without allowing your ongoing desire to control you. Watch them in a detached state--be a camera. Appreciate all their strange quirks and anomalies--but if you can maintain that detached form of observation you will start to see the absurdity and futility of trying to take this person seriously in a relational sense.

This is very telling Conundrum.  I work with my ex and I have some opportunities to do just that, observe him, quietly, like I am watching a movie.  It really has helped me to detach.  The most interesting is when I am in a room with him and a few other coworkers that are somewhat close to him (arms length).  He does not know what to be or how to act.  He gets very anxious, as if he is onstage in a play and forgot his lines.  I often smile at him to try to make him feel comfortable, but he usually makes an emergent excuse to leave the room.   
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2013, 10:05:06 AM »

Excerpt
They are just people. Broken children. If you want to have a truly krazy friend or lover in your life with all that entails, and the strength that it takes --that choice may await you. It is a very personal decision. But desiring closure in a traditional sense with a pwBPD leads to further suffering.

Like how you said that, conundrum.

I find a hard concept to grasp is that those w/BPD fail to act in ways that most would consider rational or reasonable.  I wore myself out trying to "reason" with my BPDxW, which got me nowhere.  I wonder, Peas, if you are on a similar mission to talk some "sense" into your Ex and end things on a positive note, which I suspect will lead to more disappointment.  But in your case maybe it is worth a try, if only to confirm what you already know.

Lucky Jim
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« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2013, 02:15:49 PM »

Dear Peas,

    Whether you send a letter to him or not means nothing to him -- or you, actually.  The only thing that matters is that you have such a low opinion of yourself that you would even consider debasing yourself in this way.  Until you stand on your feet and break from him this obsession will never end.  I imagine you don't think explaining how you feel to be debasing yourself, but when someone tells you they don't want you around and you still send him a letter telling him, yet again, how much you love him -- that should be beneath your dignity. Honestly... .where does it stop?  You're better than this.  You just have to believe it yourself. 

    By the way, since I expect an angry response from you, let me say that I'd rather have you be angry than weak.  It's strength you need right now; not to stand up to me, but to him.  You are the only person who can get better here.

LT     
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« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2013, 02:41:22 PM »

Dear Peas,

    Whether you send a letter to him or not means nothing to him -- or you, actually.  The only thing that matters is that you have such a low opinion of yourself that you would even consider debasing yourself in this way.  Until you stand on your feet and break from him this obsession will never end.  I imagine you don't think explaining how you feel to be debasing yourself, but when someone tells you they don't want you around and you still send him a letter telling him, yet again, how much you love him -- that should be beneath your dignity. Honestly... .where does it stop?  You're better than this.  You just have to believe it yourself. 

    By the way, since I expect an angry response from you, let me say that I'd rather have you be angry than weak.  It's strength you need right now; not to stand up to me, but to him.  You are the only person who can get better here.

LT     

Peas... .before you'll be sending that letter, please read the above post. Please re-read all posts in your thread which contain some sort of warning.

I know you said the reply itself doesn't matter anymore. I thought that as well. But I ended up feeling even more bad every single time. The reply WILL hurt (silence or an angry response).

I'm repeating myself here, but the possibility of a satisfying answer is like one in a million.
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« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2013, 03:36:51 PM »

One good thing is I live in another city -- we had a long distance relationship. So if he flips out, he will flip out hundreds of miles away.

I really do not believe he will respond in any way to my gesture, if I decide to go through with it.

Also, it's funny, a lot of you are filling in the blanks and assuming I am going to send something long, flowery and hopeful. That's not what I had in mind.

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fromheeltoheal
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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2013, 03:58:22 PM »

One good thing is I live in another city -- we had a long distance relationship. So if he flips out, he will flip out hundreds of miles away.

I really do not believe he will respond in any way to my gesture, if I decide to go through with it.

Also, it's funny, a lot of you are filling in the blanks and assuming I am going to send something long, flowery and hopeful. That's not what I had in mind.

Are you willing to share what you do have in mind?
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« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2013, 04:10:35 PM »

Heal, basically something along the lines of "nice knowin' ya!"
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winston72
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« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2013, 04:25:10 PM »

Peas, the title for your original post is "considering final, nice gesture to uBPDx" so the assumption of a positive correspondence has some merit!  

I have been drafting an email, editing it and sitting on it for about two weeks now.  This thread has been incredibly helpful to me.  Thank you for introducing the topic and for all who have contributed so earnestly to the conversation.

My email has been focused on stating how wrong and destructive her lying and manipulation was to me.  I was clear about how she hurt me when it first disclosed, but I displaced my anger and was very unclear with her and with myself on what I felt about what she did.  In other words, I came apart with hurt, but did not hold her accountable for her bad behavior (lying, cheating, manipulation).  The net effect was that I felt very diminished as a person.  That feeling was because I failed myself... .I failed to express my objections to what she did; and I did this because I was afraid I would lose her and I think I was afraid of my own anger (complex issue!).  Anyway, we were in contact again a month or so ago and she expressed how she was sorry to have hurt me.  There was no acknowledgement of what she did to hurt me.  And, I responded with a general absolution.  Since that interaction I have been experiencing a free flow of objection and anger toward what she did... .and feeling clarity about her behavior and how I want to live my life... .and that behavior such as that is not what I want.  It is all a bit late!  Yikes, about two or three years too late!  But, at least it is kicking in.  So, I have been writing it, and writing it, and writing it.  And, the process of writing it out really does change the emotions and thoughts.  It has been activating my boundaries... .I am realizing where and how I violated my boundaries and writing out my objections to our history has awakened them within me.

Will I send it?  I think so.  For me... .and just for me!... .one of my growth frontiers is defining and asserting my boundaries.  I will frequently withdraw rather than express them.  It is, I suppose, passive aggressive. And I feel like I need to express myself to my ex before it all fades into the sunset.  It feels risky to me, but I am thinking it is a risk that is worth taking.  Pressing the send button is my leap of faith.  I will have said "it".  But, I am still writing... .and thinking.

Sometimes on these boards we treat our the potential for our own hurt as an unacceptable risk.  Potential hurt is to be avoided at all cost.  One consideration in this instance for me is that maybe I just need to send it.  It will make me feel weird because it will be expressing objections to her behavior that I have tip-toed around.  Just sending it will be hard enough.  So, if she ignores it... .or reacts with anger... .or rebuts it... .so what?  So what means I might be hurt... .so what means maybe I won't be hurt, but maybe for me right now the key area of growth is to take a risk to express myself, for myself.  To feel like I could "face the facts" and "express the facts" and accept whatever reaction that might create.

And, if it awful and I fall apart... .it will only be for a while!  Sometimes we give these relationships too much power by fearing how they might zap us, as though we could not recover.  Mind you I am saying this after a couple of years of hell and an inner self that had jello for a spine.

All this being said, I will be patient and think and act on what I think is best at the time.
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« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2013, 05:17:10 PM »

Hey Winston (and peas, indirectly), Instead of crying over spilled milk, perhaps you could say to yourself, "next time . . .  I will stand up for myself, raise objections, express my misgivings, etc." rather than beat yourself up over what you might have done differently last time.  The sad reality is that nothing you could have done would probably have changed the outcome, because it is rare for a BPD r/s to hold up over the long haul.  It sounds, Winston, like you welcome the idea of doing something (sending the letter) that is likely to lead to more pain and regret.  Maybe you could sit with your feelings, before sending the letter, to try and understand why you seem to have a need to prolong the suffering?  Just a thought.  Lucky Jim
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« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2013, 05:58:04 PM »

I don't see my action as crying over spilled milk. I've already done that plenty over the past five months.

I mentioned above to Heal that my note will be "nice knowin' ya," and I was mostly kidding. But really, I do not plan on going into an analysis of any kind.

Winston seems to want to explain some things to his ex, and that is perfectly okay.

I'm with Winston on this:
Excerpt
And, if it awful and I fall apart... .it will only be for a while!  Sometimes we give these relationships too much power by fearing how they might zap us, as though we could not recover.



Incidentally, Winston, I composed a long e-mail to my ex about a week before we broke up. I didn't send it because I feared he would reject me upon reading it. I still have the draft and I re-read it the other day and it reads like a classic account of a BPD's detachment. I was upset at some increasingly disappointing behavior by my ex and how worried I was about our relationship. I wish I had sent it.

I do not see sending a letter now as a way to make up for past unspoken words. Whatever went unsaid will stay unsaid.
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« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2013, 06:50:12 PM »

I think many of us wish we could send letters to our ex's and move on. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. Having said that, who am I to judge? My ex won't leave me alone. I have so much anger towards her, and I truly would love to write a letter to her. I want to let her know how disgusted I am of her actions and broken morals. In the end though, she wouldn't care less of what I was saying. Sadly, it would probably make her day. She would be tickled to death that I actually contacted her. That's all she would get out of it. I do hope someday I can find closure, but its doubtful. If peas and Winston can do it, who am I to say no? I understand their pain. They're hurt and they still care about their ex's. Its much easier for me because I literally can't stand my ex. Some of us have moved on, but it took us a long time to get over the hurt.
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« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2013, 07:08:55 PM »

Sometimes on these boards we treat our the potential for our own hurt as an unacceptable risk.  Potential hurt is to be avoided at all cost.  One consideration in this instance for me is that maybe I just need to send it.  It will make me feel weird because it will be expressing objections to her behavior that I have tip-toed around.  Just sending it will be hard enough.  So, if she ignores it... .or reacts with anger... .or rebuts it... .so what?  So what means I might be hurt... .so what means maybe I won't be hurt, but maybe for me right now the key area of growth is to take a risk to express myself, for myself.  To feel like I could "face the facts" and "express the facts" and accept whatever reaction that might create.

And, if it awful and I fall apart... .it will only be for a while!  Sometimes we give these relationships too much power by fearing how they might zap us, as though we could not recover.  Mind you I am saying this after a couple of years of hell and an inner self that had jello for a spine.

I think this is some good self-examination you got going on here, winstonDoing the right thing (click to insert in post)

It seems like No Contact has almost achieved the status of dogma on the Leaving board. What I'm saying is that it's taken for a fact that contact is bad, and that contact invariably leads to pain. But I think it really depends on what stage of healing you're at. Depending on the severity of the pain your reaction to it, pain isn't necessarily something to be avoided nor a bad thing. Pain is your mind and body telling you that something is wrong. If you don't know something is wrong, how can you heal it?

And to peas and Lao Tzu -- I love your usernames BTW -- I'm not 100% philosophically for or against Lao Tzu's viewpoint. I do think that if you have a self image of being a compassionate and caring individual, it can be self-caring to send a nice letter especially if the communication at the end and/or past the end was not what you normally would engage in. Why should you let other people influence you into being somebody you don't want to be? I want to be a caring and compassionate person, therefore I can write a nice letter if that is what I believe is true to myself and my values. However, I do want to say that we have a duty to ourselves too. I think writing AND sending a letter is best when you're far along the path of realizing the words in the column to the right: Attachment Leads to Suffering, Detachment Leads to Freedom. If there is little expectation of any particular outcome, whether your ex will reply angrily, reply kindly, no reply, file a restraining order, whatever, then the greatest value you receive from writing and sending a letter will be in reflecting and acting in accordance to your own inner beliefs and values.

For me personally, I don't have much desire to write anything to my exBPDgf right now, mostly because there's no point to it for me. She believes she is messed up, knows she pushed me away, and feels like she is unlovable and that everybody leaves. Anything I write will just be empty words to her since I "abandoned" her. So ironic that in the end both of us ended up believing that each others' words were only hollow lies.
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fromheeltoheal
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« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2013, 07:42:22 PM »

Nice Learning.  I never had a strong desire to communicate after I left, and fortunately I had my head about me enough that I didn't do anything I now regret or feel guilty about.

But you guys have got me thinking.  Sure, maybe I feel a sense of obligation to my integrity to do what's right, and maybe capping the dysfunction with a level headed missive to create a clean break would have been 'right', but for me there's also a strong sense of shared responsibility.  She would have had to be someone I cared about, trusted and respected at the end, and the fcking btch just wasn't, so for me that pretty much negates any obligation to act in accordance with my values, which need to be earned, and I don't feel bad about it.  Whew!
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« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2013, 05:26:52 AM »

Also, it's funny, a lot of you are filling in the blanks and assuming I am going to send something long, flowery and hopeful. That's not what I had in mind.

I don't actually think a lot of us did that. And I really feel you're missing the point here. I for one are not ashamed to admit that I would want to do the same thing as you. Heck, I already did that multiple times.

Why? To be normal friends or something like that? NO. It's a combination of desiring closure and ultimately it's just because I care for her.

Did it help me? No, it did not. It only helped for those minutes or hours or once even days when I felt the urge of sending something finally die down.

Do I still have that urge? YES I DO.

It is your decision, and only you can be the judge of your own emotional state. Are you truly ready and prepared for the consequences? We're not talking nukes here, but silence itself can probably cause even more damage any true weapon could. We just can't see if you are ready from our PC monitor, so some of us try to keep this thread balanced.

Not to 'know better' or anything. Just to try and be helpful.
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« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2013, 06:08:15 AM »

Hi Peas,

I am normally on staying but have had a break up before with my uBPDbf and so have been through this a little.

I think that we can do what we want (write the letter, email etc) if that is what we feel is right for us. The only thing I would want to be able to do at this stage if I were you is to let go of the outcome. If the closure letter and getting that information accross is important to you and will make you feel better then that is a valid feeling/standpoint for you. As long as it's about sending the letter ONLY and not about the reaction it will generate then I think its ok. Just my view.

I also agree with one of the posters who said that why should you change your character and act in ways you dont normally? ie with me I dont generally ignore people/shut them out/leave things on a bad note but with my uBPDbf I ended up doing just that when we split for a while. Eventually I daresay I would have done something similar in a letter for my own sake so as to uphold my own integrety. So that I could look back and say "hey at least I maintained my dignity in this and continued to act in accordance with my own values"

I think the main point here is that if you genuinly dont care what the outcome is - if you are prepared for silence as a response and it is only about saying your piece to help YOU then - well - why not do somethng to help you - and if its the letter then so be it.

I know that NC is the thing that is advised a lot but when I went through it for a while I also spoke my truth (nicely) to my bf but I had no thoughts on his reaction, no expectation, no ulterior motive - it was all about me and the information I needed to be heard to help me feel better.
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« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2013, 07:45:47 AM »

I always think of contact equaling pain because anytime I have contact he starts going on and on and on with crazy making behavior about how terrible I am and how good he is and in the end we are right back together with me apologizing for hurting him….for what I can never figure out…because its so mixed up and crazy and him painting me white again because I listened, back on the pedestal and ready to be knocked of again. Its just such a mess anytime there is contact.  I have tried to communicate, to write letters etc in the past….he will always respond but only to a sentence or something he picks out of the letter that he wants to hear and never acknowledges anything that has to do with my feelings….its crazy.  He comes back and says things like he can't do 100 percent of the work…he is a vegan….buddhist….practicing kindness and stuff….and then more mean than anyone I have ever known. Any form of contact has never gotten me anywhere.  Its so hard to just let go with no closure. Its so hard to never feel validated for anything when you have worked so hard. Its so hard to let go of a relationship you want so badly esp when if you just say the right thing, you know you could have them back for a moment…but its not real. I have finally realized there is no such thing as "closure" and ironically that is giving me the closure I always wanted.
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« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2013, 10:28:02 AM »

I always think of contact equaling pain because anytime I have contact he starts going on and on and on with crazy making behavior about how terrible I am and how good he is and in the end we are right back together with me apologizing for hurting him….for what I can never figure out…because its so mixed up and crazy and him painting me white again because I listened, back on the pedestal and ready to be knocked of again. Its just such a mess anytime there is contact.  I have tried to communicate, to write letters etc in the past….he will always respond but only to a sentence or something he picks out of the letter that he wants to hear and never acknowledges anything that has to do with my feelings….its crazy.  He comes back and says things like he can't do 100 percent of the work…he is a vegan….buddhist….practicing kindness and stuff….and then more mean than anyone I have ever known. Any form of contact has never gotten me anywhere.  Its so hard to just let go with no closure. Its so hard to never feel validated for anything when you have worked so hard. Its so hard to let go of a relationship you want so badly esp when if you just say the right thing, you know you could have them back for a moment…but its not real. I have finally realized there is no such thing as "closure" and ironically that is giving me the closure I always wanted.

I can relate to this.  I'd get my head straight when away from her, then get together with her and start asking for what I needed and setting boundaries; yes, I did have the ability to see what I needed and wanted and ask for it, in spurts anyway.  And those conversations would ignite the biggest rages and the biggest blame; that was a road she just wouldn't go down, the one where real issues get discussed, so up went the defenses.  I caught myself avoiding it to avoid the rage and the blame, but screw that; I would have totally lost myself if I went down that path too long.  Closure for me was ensuring she would never, ever treat me like that again, and the only way to ensure that was leave, far, far away.
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« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2013, 10:38:01 AM »

Peas,

I can understand you wanting to get closure by doing that. The only thing that stands in the way of that is, your ex will most likely misinterpret that to mean anything but what it's intended purpose was. And in return, may/will backfire on you. Maybe to someone who wasn't disordered your intent would get through in proper form, but here, with BPD, I fear it will not.

There were many times I tried with all my communication skills, to get through to my ex. After she was triggered both times, all my words were mangled in her filtering process. She could not hear me at all. Or, she was hearing my words and not acknowledging them at all. I don't even know which was worse. And the more I tried to reach through to her, the more she closed down on me, with insults and jabs to boot.

Hang in there Peas.

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« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2013, 10:44:21 AM »

Peas,

I can understand you wanting to get closure by doing that. The only thing that stands in the way of that is, your ex will most likely misinterpret that to mean anything but what it's intended purpose was. And in return, may/will backfire on you. Maybe to someone who wasn't disordered your intent would get through in proper form, but here, with BPD, I fear it will not.

There were many times I tried with all my communication skills, to get through to my ex. After she was triggered both times, all my words were mangled in her filtering process. She could not hear me at all. Or, she was hearing my words and not acknowledging them at all. I don't even know which was worse. And the more I tried to reach through to her, the more she closed down on me, with insults and jabs to boot.

Hang in there Peas.

peas is doing it for her and it has nothing to do with him, which I can relate to; it's about our detachment and our healing, and if something needs to be said, and not saying it is getting in the way, then let fly.
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« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2013, 12:31:33 PM »

Excerpt
After she was triggered both times, all my words were mangled in her filtering process.

IM, that's why I intend to use few words in a letter.

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« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2013, 03:19:11 PM »

I'm thinking of sending a letter or something tangible... .My question to you: have any of you done a final, nice gesture regarding your BPDex? If so, how was it received? Advice?

advice?  no.  but, here's my experience ~ take from it what you will.

here's the wishful thinking:

yes i did want to and i did.  wrote a long heartfelt letter so we could part on good terms, so she would know how much i loved her, how hard i tried, how regretful i was 'we' couldn't make it work, how i hoped her happiness even if it meant being with someone else, blah blah.  i wrote it all!   Smiling (click to insert in post)

we ended up recycling, yay!  i thought my letter must have been brilliantly written and had had  an indelible impact on her.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

here's the fantasy:

several months later, when i was tidying up the place, i found my letter.  awe, it made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside, knowing it meant so much to her that she tucked it away and saved it!  it proved our love was strong, was meant to be, that i really was her soulmate, right?

here's the reality:

as i held the letter, having all those thoughts, i turned it over in my hand and i'll be d*amned if it wasn't even opened!  she hadn't even read it!  she hadn't even had the interest, or decency, to open it!   :'(

so, for the other recycles, i just didn't even bother writing "The Letter" again.  i knew it would be pointless.   just a plain "cya!" with a wave would have been sufficient.  

thanx for the trip down memory lane, peas.  seems like everyday at BPDfam i uncover memories i'd forgotten (or buried).  

oh, PS:  she told me the reason she hadn't opened it was b/c she knew basically what it said and it was too painful for her to have me say goodbye and leave her.     i didn't know it at the time but now i do:  that's classic BPD behavior... .ostrich head in the sand.


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« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2013, 06:21:05 PM »

I'll tell you what helps me when I'm feeling down or confused. I love watching YouTube scenes from my favorite movies. I really get a lot of inspiration from watching some of my favorite scenes. Give it a try.

you know what?  i did give it a try, just now... .the last 1/2 hour spent watching clips of one of my faves (planes, trains, and automobiles w/steve martin and john candy).

i've had an internal day from h*ll, but laughing has really helped.  thank you, from the bottom of my heart, juno.
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« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2013, 07:42:04 PM »

Yes Juno, I meant to reply to your suggestion about watching movie clips on YouTube. I watch old music videos sometimes and that cheers me up. I also watch comedy film clips. There's a silly Joe Dirt clip I watch to get me laughing.

Also, ucmeicu2, thank you for sharing your tale of writing a letter and how your ex responded. I am glad to learn of other people's experiences and what they took away from it.



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Bananas
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« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2013, 07:51:19 PM »

here's the reality:

as i held the letter, having all those thoughts, i turned it over in my hand and i'll be d*amned if it wasn't even opened!  she hadn't even read it!  she hadn't even had the interest, or decency, to open it!   :'(

Wow!  This reminds me, my ex had a letter from his grandmother sitting unopened on his kitchen table for weeks.  This is a grandmother he told me he was no longer speaking to.  I asked him aren't you going to open that letter?  And he told me no.  I asked him how he could just let a letter sit like that unopened for weeks.  And he said he could let it sit there for years and it would not bother him one bit.  Just Wow!

So now I am thinking, my ex probably didn't even open my letter either.  I'm off to watch some movie clips on YouTube. 
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ucmeicu2
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« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2013, 07:54:38 PM »

It is your decision, and only you can be the judge of your own emotional state. Are you truly ready and prepared for the consequences? We're not talking nukes here, but silence itself can probably cause even more damage any true weapon could. We just can't see if you are ready from our PC monitor, so some of us try to keep this thread balanced.

in bold, and in general, this is a really tricky part. dialectics are precisely what the pwBPD needs to learn, btw, it's what is taught in DBT ~ dialectical behavior therapy ~ they need to learn to be able to sit with opposites.  it's lacking that ability that is the bain of pwBPD.

NC as dogma... .  hmmm, ok so the tricky (dialectical) part is that YES only the individual can be the judge of their own emotional state and readiness (or lack of) to have contact with their pwBPDx. 

on the other hand, the dialectic is that addiction always lies to us!  the beast always lies.  alcohol for the alcoholic  sez: you're ok now, you can drink now, just this one time, just today, just one won't hurt, stop at 2, etc.  but the alcoholic is being lied to by the addiction!  same goes for any addiction:  they all talk/scream to the addict to keep doing it.

we were, i believe, addicted to our BPDx's.  if we are still addicted, even just the teensiest bit, is it not potentially dangerous to have more contact with the ex?  yes. even if one doesn't answer that w/a resounding 100% "yes", ya gotta ask yourself if it's worth the risk involved.  risk analysis.  if you say it's worth it and you can/will be able to handle the results, who are we on this board to say NO?  hehe, i mean, yeah we do say no sometimes but i don't think any of us mean it as binding legal advice or a court mandate Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) !  we're just sharing our experience, opinions, gut feelings, etc.

the beauty of these forums:  take what you want and leave the rest.


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caughtnreleased
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« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2013, 09:14:34 PM »

This is just my opinion. If you truly want closure with your pwBPD spend a day with them without allowing your ongoing desire to control you. Watch them in a detached state--be a camera. Appreciate all their strange quirks and anomalies--but if you can maintain that detached form of observation you will start to see the absurdity and futility of trying to take this person seriously in a relational sense.

This is very telling Conundrum.  I work with my ex and I have some opportunities to do just that, observe him, quietly, like I am watching a movie.  It really has helped me to detach.  The most interesting is when I am in a room with him and a few other coworkers that are somewhat close to him (arms length).  He does not know what to be or how to act.  He gets very anxious, as if he is onstage in a play and forgot his lines.  I often smile at him to try to make him feel comfortable, but he usually makes an emergent excuse to leave the room.   

wow! I had exactly the same experience. I watched my ex once amongst a group of his friends - he had exactly the same reaction... .did not know what to be or how to act. He seemed lost. He too had an excuse and left. Indeed, watching them from a detached state you see how different they actually are from who you are. They truly are lost children.

Bananas, you are lucky that he is still there, and you can look at him and see him for the way that he is.  Perhaps that is what is so difficult about NC... .we are left with nothing, except our memories of them when we were hopelessly attached, enmeshed.  Imagine, if we were to work on detaching, but also have limited contact with them... .where we can really and truly start to see them for who and what they are: lost and sad.  I may be wrong, but sometimes I did find NC so much more difficult than if I had to see him on a regular basis. While I was with him I think I started moving down the path of detachment... .but he disappeared into a void of nothingness before I could really get to a point where I wasn't totally sucked up by his energy.   But perhaps making contact is just a way for us to feel our way through the dark... .and simply getting the validation that yes indeed, it is impossible to "be" with them. 

I so badly wanted to get to that "neutral" point... .neutralize it. But no matter what happened, the energy was so frenzied and anxious. It was so tough for me to swing from amazing and passionate, to dreadfully tragic, to frightening, to heart wrenching.   What I think we simply need to understand is that with a pwBPD, that middle ground - perhaps the ground where a healthy adult relationship can grow because it is a foundation of stability - simply does not exist.
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The crumbs of love that you offer me, they're the crumbs I've left behind. - L. Cohen
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« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2013, 09:19:23 PM »

Amazing thread.

   I realized as I read them, I figure there's no one right answer. If there were, that might be black or white thinkingish.

    BPD's are variant- ish, and whether one is giving up a BPD or a drug, alcohol, or overrating, I'm guessing there are all kinds of ways: cold turkey, tapering... .etc.

   Though I do like some of the advice that's a bit of tough love... .
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caughtnreleased
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« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2013, 09:32:01 PM »

here's the reality:

as i held the letter, having all those thoughts, i turned it over in my hand and i'll be d*amned if it wasn't even opened!  she hadn't even read it!  she hadn't even had the interest, or decency, to open it!   :'(

Wow!  This reminds me, my ex had a letter from his grandmother sitting unopened on his kitchen table for weeks.  This is a grandmother he told me he was no longer speaking to.  I asked him aren't you going to open that letter?  And he told me no.  I asked him how he could just let a letter sit like that unopened for weeks.  And he said he could let it sit there for years and it would not bother him one bit.  Just Wow!

So now I am thinking, my ex probably didn't even open my letter either.  I'm off to watch some movie clips on YouTube. 

just a thought, but I doubt it was about interest that they didn't open it.  They probably didn't open it because they knew or feared what was in it: words of love, hurt and letting go from someone they care about.  All these things are what they spend their lives getting wrong. It cuts to their core, and not opening that letter avoids them experiencing that pain, something they go to immeasurable lengths to avoid in fact.
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The crumbs of love that you offer me, they're the crumbs I've left behind. - L. Cohen
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« Reply #58 on: November 13, 2013, 11:04:33 PM »

This is just my opinion. If you truly want closure with your pwBPD spend a day with them without allowing your ongoing desire to control you. Watch them in a detached state--be a camera. Appreciate all their strange quirks and anomalies--but if you can maintain that detached form of observation you will start to see the absurdity and futility of trying to take this person seriously in a relational sense. They are impossibly immature and without the adult tools necessary to sustain a meaningful relationship.

Yes.  The one opportunity I had to do this was the time, at the end, that we went on a cruise together.  To be on a cruise is to be incarcerated on a boat in the middle of the ocean with 3000 other convicts, fun if you make it fun, an opportunity to socialize and relax.  My borderline ex was so massively uncomfortable and without a clue how to behave that she spent almost the entire cruise in our cabin, paranoid and hiding.  Both shocking and funny to witness, I made a lot of friends out in the real world, and that realization, taking her out of her world and her comfort zone and watching the wheels fall off, was the wake up call I needed.  And then the questions start; why the hell did I do that so long?
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« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2013, 11:30:22 PM »

Guitargirl,

Excerpt


I have tried to communicate, to write letters etc in the past….he will always respond but only to a sentence or something he picks out of the letter that he wants to hear and never acknowledges anything that has to do with my feelings….its crazy.  He comes back and says things like he can't do 100 percent of the work…he is a vegan….buddhist….practicing kindness and stuff….and then more mean than anyone I have ever known.



Totally the SAME for me!  In reply to him after he unilaterally cut the the r/s by email, totally bewildered, I did a huge personal inventory of anything I might have done to hurt him, apologized and owned every thing I could think of that was not kind or fair, said I could only guess that he must be acting out of fear to flip from love to quasi-hate so radically... .Asked him to give me feedback, said his well-being mattered to me and I wanted to know if there were things that upset him so we could address them, etc. I said a lot of things. In the reply to me, he singled out a single few lines, responded to those and COMPLETELY IGNORED ALL THE REST.

I experienced this selective replying to only what he felt like replying to all the time. It is TOTALLY crazy-making... .and it wasn't until I started reading about passive-aggression etc. that I came to realize this kind of manipulative quasi-communication is ABUSIVE.

My former partner also is a supposed practising buddhist, does the Loving Kindness sutra every Friday at group meditation, and loves feeling virtuous helping homeless people. But then treats his most intimate partner with NO respect or compassion. The integrity gap is a chasm.

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