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Author Topic: Strong or weak  (Read 3475 times)
ShadowDancer
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« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2014, 06:20:02 AM »

Janey,

        I get a sense from your insight that you have a lot to offer on this board (aside from you compliment  Smiling (click to insert in post)). I do hope to hear more from you on these matters. Please... . join the discussion more often.
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janey62
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« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2014, 07:33:11 AM »

Thank you ShadowDancer for the compliment  Smiling (click to insert in post)  I am here and about and posting and will now keep it up thanks to your encouragement.

Started my new job last Monday so was pretty knackered and in bed by 8.30 most nights in the week, head full of new stuff!   And so grateful to have got through another week without weakening in the r/s department... .

Janey xx
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« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2014, 07:38:58 AM »

Thank you ShadowDancer for the compliment  Smiling (click to insert in post)  I am here and about and posting and will now keep it up thanks to your encouragement.

Started my new job last Monday so was pretty knackered and in bed by 8.30 most nights in the week, head full of new stuff!   And so grateful to have got through another week without weakening in the r/s department... .

Janey xx

Wow lots of new stuff going on! You sound like your taking good care of yourself. You go girl! Being cool (click to insert in post)

P.S. It is so interesting how this dilemma crosses all gender lines, professions ect. ect... Sometimes in our bewilderment we forget there a good and kind people out there who share our grief. We barbarian men do need the perspectives of good women to know that we do not have an exclusive experience in all this. Keeps us in line.  I thank you.
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janey62
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« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2014, 02:07:48 PM »

Hi, yes ShadowDancer, lots of new stuff happening in my life... .

I woke up this morning after dreaming about my son's father (not a pwBPD) whom I split up with 16 years ago.

I sometimes dream about him and he is always being kind and loving and understanding, sweeping me up and saving me (he wasn't any of these in reality) and I wake up feeling warm and sad all at the same time.

After my dream this morning I began to try to think about all of my past relationships and analyse them.  It was quite hard actually to focus, as if I had a kind of amnesia around this.     If I'm brutally honest though and write it all down, there were quite a few who had BPD traits and/or were abandoning (see ex above, son's dad).  The one or two who were 'normal' didn't have the same appeal for me.  I was on a mission, to feel the pain, to feel abandoned, acting out some FOO drama, trying to get it right. 

Men (relationships) have represented salvation, protection, being cared for, being abandoned and neglected, being abused, being used as a sexual object, being loved and being devalued!  Phew!  No wonder I struggle.  What I long for is the salvation, what I get is something else!  What I need is something else altogether.

I guess the thing to do is work, work, work towards being well enough ourselves to able to have a healthy (enough) relationship, even if we never actually completely achieve it. 

I think Perfidy that you are like me, you are trying to repair the early damage with dysfunctional relationships.  You're not in love unless you're in pain?  like me!  That's what the 'complex bond' is about, us needing the pain and them providing it, while they need saving and we try to save them.  It's a bit like the bond you'd have with someone you were in a 'disaster movie' with, trapped in a collapsed building together and fighting for survival, even two complete strangers in that situation would form a deep and unique emotional bond... .

Wow!  Dark stuff for a Saturday night, think I will watch something frivolous on Netflix now!

I love you guys... .

Janey xxx

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fromheeltoheal
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« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2014, 03:00:25 PM »

I think Perfidy that you are like me, you are trying to repair the early damage with dysfunctional relationships.  You're not in love unless you're in pain?  like me!  That's what the 'complex bond' is about, us needing the pain and them providing it, while they need saving and we try to save them.  It's a bit like the bond you'd have with someone you were in a 'disaster movie' with, trapped in a collapsed building together and fighting for survival, even two complete strangers in that situation would form a deep and unique emotional bond... .

Yep.  Someone posted something a therapist had said the other day: we weren't in relationships, we were in need fulfillment bonds.  And it was when I finally woke up and realized that not only were my needs not getting met, never had been except for the illusion of the first 3 months, that her needs would be endless and never be met, that I left her.  So now the focus is how is a healthy relationship different?
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Perfidy
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« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2014, 03:07:51 PM »

Janey, how are you today? I'm ok, kind of blah. I like the insights and openness of your replies. In that pain is part of life, I tend to accept pain. I certainly don't understand how I could ever come to the conclusion that love equals pain, but that seems accurate. Just another incongruity that I wish to come to terms with. I'm sure that FOO, where I have my instructions in relationships, comes heavily into play where pain equals love, facilitating the need for re-parenting, or as I see it, creating my own self discipline in a system of rehabilitation that doesn't have to include punishment.

I'm having conflicting thoughts about her contacting me. I haven't acted on any of my feelings. One thought that I have is to email her and ask her what she was thinking yelling me all that crap after discarding me and then following it up by inflicting massive emotional pain. I know this again would only induce more of the horror that I have already had enough of. Let it pass and be mindful is my only correct behavior. This is what I feel. Perfidy.
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« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2014, 03:21:53 PM »

... . and you're allowed to feel it.  Acting on it on the other hand is a different matter, though you don't sound as if you're about to.  I doubt you'd get the answers you crave anyway, just more confusion.

I'm good today, thank you for asking.  I had a lovely walk this morning with my dogs in the forest and breathed in masses of amazingly sweet clean fresh air.  I met a friend who has been teaching in Nepal for lunch and she brought me lovely colourful gifts and tales of her adventures.

It's weird because I feel kind of alone and lonely but also excited!  I think I'm on the brink of something really wonderful; me and my life starting to make some sense.  My first week in my new job was exciting and tiring and great!

Thankfully my ex has been keeping a fairly low profile, apart from some texts the other night begging me to try again.  I was consistent in my responses and he gave up in the end.  Very upsetting, but each time it happens I get stronger.  I have been thinking about you and your situation and also reading what ClearMind says about NC.  She says that it doesn't help you to detach and I think I agree.  In a way we have to learn to trust ourselves to be in contact and not get drawn back in.  Does that make some sort of crazy sense?  Otherwise we are living in fear and hope that they will maintain the NC and that we will have the strength not to break it... . not sure how safe that is.  It's a bit like saying the only way I can avoid using heroin is if I'm never in contact with it?  Sooner or later we're gonna crack (excuse the pun).

You sound confused Perf... . hang in there   

Janey xx

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« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2014, 03:26:36 PM »

From heeltoheal, that bond is one of the strangest events I've experienced, if not the single strangest thing that has happened to me so far. In my experience, just having no contact doesn't break it. Sure, the physical part is gone but the emotional attachment is still there in greater and lesser degrees. It's been almost a year and although I've been detaching, I still have some attachment and it is a source of discomfort. I am seriously considering hypnotherapy, as this bond seems to go beyond my conscious ability to eradicate. Meditation is very helpful in not acting on the thoughts that I have of her, but if possible I would prefer not to have her in my thoughts.
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« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2014, 03:55:12 PM »

From heeltoheal, that bond is one of the strangest events I've experienced, if not the single strangest thing that has happened to me so far. In my experience, just having no contact doesn't break it. Sure, the physical part is gone but the emotional attachment is still there in greater and lesser degrees. It's been almost a year and although I've been detaching, I still have some attachment and it is a source of discomfort. I am seriously considering hypnotherapy, as this bond seems to go beyond my conscious ability to eradicate. Meditation is very helpful in not acting on the thoughts that I have of her, but if possible I would prefer not to have her in my thoughts.

I dunno, the more I think about it and process, the more I think she was in a need fulfillment bond and I was trying to have a 'normal' relationship.  She became someone she thought I'd be attracted to, lied about more things than I can count, many of which were straight up manipulations, all while calling, texting, emailing all day every day, hanging on my every word, listening to my breathing, all the things someone with an attachment disorder does to affect that attachment.

Sure, I got lost in it, and when she flopped to continuous dissatisfaction and eventually hating me, I got obsessed with getting back to what we had in the beginning, and put up with far more abuse than I should have trying to get there.  But it was never OK, never what I thought a relationship should be; I knew where I was going with the relationship and wanted her to go with me, it was not to be, and yes I got lost for a while, but as soon as I connected with the fact she could never go there with me I left her.  Trauma bond?  I don't think so.  Wake up call is more accurate; see what happens when I go into a relationship blind, naive and with no boundaries?  I get my ass kicked.  Time to grow the fck up, build and maintain strong boundaries, and never, ever, ignore my intuition again.

Anyway, sorry, rambling.  My point is that my opinion and perception of her, myself and the relationship have changed over time, as has my version of what role she played in my life.  I read this morning from a self proclaimed expert on the disorder that if we're still obsessing about a borderline it's because that obsession provides a distraction from emotions we're not wanting to feel.  Totally rings true for me.  I've spent a lot of time avoiding emotions, drugs and alcohol back in the day, work, adrenaline action sports, exercise, whatever, and it has been very tough to not do any of that and just sit with my emotions, but there is no longer any choice.  I spent most of 2013 very pissed off, a phase I apparently needed to go through, and now I've been depressed, not just about her, in fact really not about her at all, about all the times and things that have happened that were a result of weak boundaries and naivety, all the people who took advantage of that.  The good news is the depression is just another stage and it will pass, as long as I go through it and not try to go around it, while focusing on my future and taking care of myself.  Any of that ring true?
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« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2014, 04:17:44 PM »

All of it actually.  This bit in particular for me... .

'Sure, I got lost in it, and when she flopped to continuous dissatisfaction and eventually hating me, I got obsessed with getting back to what we had in the beginning, and put up with far more abuse than I should have trying to get there.  But it was never OK, never what I thought a relationship should be; I knew where I was going with the relationship and wanted her to go with me, it was not to be, and yes I got lost for a while, but as soon as I connected with the fact she could never go there with me I left her.  Trauma bond?  I don't think so.  Wake up call is more accurate; see what happens when I go into a relationship blind, naive and with no boundaries?  I get my ass kicked.  Time to grow the fck up, build and maintain strong boundaries, and never, ever, ignore my intuition again.'

... . except that it wasn't the first one that I went into blind, but yes, yes, yes to the wake up call... . I really needed it and will never be the same again.  I always wanted to listen to my intuition but didn't have the confidence, almost like I was people pleasing?

Amazing insight fromhealtoheal! 

Janey xx
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« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2014, 04:27:38 PM »

Fromheeltoheal, sadly enough I do relate to most of what you wrote. I also am "normal" as far as I can tell. I too wanted to have a mutually satisfying relationship. I picked a very damaged girl and just figured she would grow out of it. Hell, maybe she did and that's why we split, I don't really know anymore. I do know that I felt like I was caring for a sick child most of the time. She had an abusive personality. I don't know if that is even possible for her to change. If it did change I suspect the change would be radicle, like going from a dreg to a saint. Ya, what was I thinking. For the longest time the trauma bond fit well with my experience. Depression, PTSD, suffering horribly, thoughts of suicide. No thanks. I'll pass on the bonding please. Haven't thought about how messed up I was over her in a long time. Reality check.

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« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2014, 04:35:31 PM »

I hate to burst any bubbles here, but I don't think a 'normal' healthy person can be attracted to a sick person.  It's virtually impossible. 

It would be nice to think that we were ok and were somehow fooled into being pulled into a relationship with a not ok person, but how?  We know pretty much all there is to know about a person in the first 5 seconds of seeing them, let alone speaking to them.  On an unconscious level we knew that they were sick and we were drawn to that because we were damaged in equal but different measures and had some kind of weird mission to try to fix them and through them ourselves.

If we choose to ignore this now then we can avoid the hard slog of trying to fix ourselves, the only person we have any hope of fixing actually.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

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Perfidy
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« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2014, 05:00:32 PM »

Ouch Janey, I deserved that. So how much of this is subconscious? I mean, who walks around puzzling over foo stuff while destroying our selves in relationships? That weird plan to fix ourselves by fixing someone else, I can see that. Is it possible to awaken the subconscious and have a heart to heart talk about disorder? I would like to send my subconscious to finishing school. It hasn't been serving me well and needs an attitude adjustment.
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« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2014, 05:14:13 PM »

I hate to burst any bubbles here, but I don't think a 'normal' healthy person can be attracted to a sick person.  It's virtually impossible. 

It would be nice to think that we were ok and were somehow fooled into being pulled into a relationship with a not ok person, but how?  We know pretty much all there is to know about a person in the first 5 seconds of seeing them, let alone speaking to them.  On an unconscious level we knew that they were sick and we were drawn to that because we were damaged in equal but different measures and had some kind of weird mission to try to fix them and through them ourselves.

If we choose to ignore this now then we can avoid the hard slog of trying to fix ourselves, the only person we have any hope of fixing actually.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

I don't know about that. I correctly judged mine as being shy and not trusting of people the first time I saw her across a room. Those are pretty common traits, especially shyness. Heck, im shy too, though not nearly as much as when i was younger. Her sick? That took me a while. My mistake was thinking I could handle it. That was unheathy. About two years ago I realized I would have to leave her at some point. She made the choice for me sooner.

I spent over $2k in therapy to confirm that other than obviously being a Rescuer, there's nothing really "wrong" with me. I even tried to argue this point with the doctor. He didn't bite. I had co-dependent tendecies with my Ex, but after some discussions on codependecy, confirmed that I'm not a Codependent.
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fromheeltoheal
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« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2014, 05:26:57 PM »

I hate to burst any bubbles here, but I don't think a 'normal' healthy person can be attracted to a sick person.  It's virtually impossible. 

It would be nice to think that we were ok and were somehow fooled into being pulled into a relationship with a not ok person, but how?  We know pretty much all there is to know about a person in the first 5 seconds of seeing them, let alone speaking to them.  On an unconscious level we knew that they were sick and we were drawn to that because we were damaged in equal but different measures and had some kind of weird mission to try to fix them and through them ourselves.

If we choose to ignore this now then we can avoid the hard slog of trying to fix ourselves, the only person we have any hope of fixing actually.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

Yeah, I get the bubble bursting, and what I mean is I don't have a personality disorder, although I am a recovering people pleaser and I was very lonely and susceptible when she showed up.  So here's a beautiful girl who is telling me everything I wanted to hear, her business sense, politics, interest in music and travel, everything sounded great, I just didn't know at the time it sounded great because she was parroting me and it was all a lie.  And yes, I ignored my gut, which was telling me things were 'off' and something wasn't right, right from the beginning, and I choose to believe that if I was as disordered as she is I wouldn't have gotten that gut feeling to begin with.  It was a combination of ignoring my gut and giving her the benefit of the doubt, followed by getting lost for a while, easy to do when faced with a master manipulator and lots of sex, but it only took a few months for the facade she'd created to show serious cracks, and the fantasy gave way to reality.  I'm not blaming her entirely, I was as complicit as she was in creating the fantasy, but once the buzz wore off I saw things for what they really were, and she never did.  There's also a line between caring about someone and trying to help and rescuing them, and I didn't cross it, in fact I was looking forward to her getting off her neediness and developing an equal partnership with me.  Never happened.

So I get it janey, but I don't buy the subconscious desire to rescue and therefore rescue myself motivation, at least not in my case.  A man wants to provide for and protect his woman, and expects her to hold up her end of the deal, eventually creating a healthy partnership.  I'm also positive I'm not in denial about that, but that doesn't diminish the value I got from the wake-up call; everything seems different now.
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« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2014, 05:34:38 PM »

So, maybe Turkish, when you spotted this shy untrusting person across the room you consciously related to her shyness, but unconsciously you thought, 'ah, there's a damaged person for me to rescue, she's perfect?'  

A healthy well adjusted person would simply pass her by and go for a confident, happy person.  It doesn't make us sick per se, just not guarded enough, open to being preyed on by pwBPD, usually because we've experienced similar things in our early lives.  We've had to care for someone and put them before ourselves, or we've been neglected in some way, or had a parent who was unnurturing or an addict?  There may also be abandonment issues... . for us, which we're doomed to repeat in our relationships as adults?

I may be generalising here a bit, but from reading many posts it seems we have a lot in common, us partners of pwBPD.  

Janey

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« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2014, 05:47:19 PM »

Yeah, I get the bubble bursting, and what I mean is I don't have a personality disorder, although I am a recovering people pleaser and I was very lonely and susceptible when she showed up.

I think you got it there fromhealtoheal, you were vulnerable at the time in a way and reasonably thought things would improve, especially if you gave her enough love and fulfilled your role as a man.

I remember thinking, when my ex's behaviours started to become too bizarre, that here was a person who would say terrible things to me and then regret it and suffer terrible remorse and shame, so I forgave him believing he couldn't help it and didn't mean it.  I convinced myself that I would be able to help him, that it was my calling, that he needed me and so I would just have to be like a duck and let it run off me like water. 

Now I look back and realise that had I been less of a co-dependent rescuer I would have followed my gut instincts and got the hell out of there asap! 

Of course, the other thing was, as you say, the love and sex and great connection and intelligence and humour and he smelled just exactly perfect!  We don't have PDs, we are in a way their opposites, we are caring, compassionate, unselfish and have dodgy boundaries and possibly some issues.  That's all I mean really. 

For myself I know that I've had a long string of dysfunctional relationships in my life and really need to address this.  It is exhausting having to pick myself up and nurse my wounds and keep being optimistic about my chances of having a lasting relationship... .   Unless I do some work on myself.  This has been the wake up call I've needed for a long time.  Without sounding grandiose, I sometimes think the universe has singled me out for a royal a$$ kicking so that my whole life isn't a complete waste!

Janey xx

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« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2014, 06:00:26 PM »

Ouch Janey, I deserved that. So how much of this is subconscious? I mean, who walks around puzzling over foo stuff while destroying our selves in relationships? That weird plan to fix ourselves by fixing someone else, I can see that. Is it possible to awaken the subconscious and have a heart to heart talk about disorder? I would like to send my subconscious to finishing school. It hasn't been serving me well and needs an attitude adjustment.

I think your subconscious is doing just fine working things out now Perf!  In a way I think this forum is more helpful than anything else for us.  We are able to talk and explore with others who are in the unique position to understand each other. 

This is like university for survivors of BPD!  I know I'm learning so much.

I don't know any more than you do, I'm just theorising and thinking out loud. 

Janey xx


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« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2014, 06:06:24 PM »

I remember thinking, when my ex's behaviours started to become too bizarre, that here was a person who would say terrible things to me and then regret it and suffer terrible remorse and shame, so I forgave him believing he couldn't help it and didn't mean it.  I convinced myself that I would be able to help him, that it was my calling, that he needed me and so I would just have to be like a duck and let it run off me like water. 

Different for me, she never regretted anything or suffered any remorse, although I'd catch her being ashamed once in a while, and my catching her would result in a healthy dose of rage.  I'd have to be an idiot to put up with that, and I did for a while, but sanity prevailed eventually.

Excerpt
For myself I know that I've had a long string of dysfunctional relationships in my life and really need to address this.  It is exhausting having to pick myself up and nurse my wounds and keep being optimistic about my chances of having a lasting relationship... .   Unless I do some work on myself.  This has been the wake up call I've needed for a long time.  Without sounding grandiose, I sometimes think the universe has singled me out for a royal a$$ kicking so that my whole life isn't a complete waste!

Yep, it's said that we can't love someone else until we love ourselves.  That always sounded good on paper to me, but I never got an experience of it until recently.  Someone posted on the Personal Inventory board about the Self-Acceptance Project, I've been working through it, and it has been profound.  I've always looked externally for love, to get it from someone else, but giving it to ourselves is so much easier, predictable and reliable, and we show up much more attractive in the world as a result.

Maybe thinking the universe decided to kick our ass so that our lives aren't a complete waste isn't the most empowering viewpoint?  How about when the student is ready the teacher will appear, maybe cloaked in a personality disorder, and everything we went through happened for a reason, it serves us, and the pain is a tool to help us evolve to that next level for us.  It takes a lot to get through my thick skull sometimes, and the pain of that relationship is what it took in this case, the ultimate gift in the end.

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« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2014, 06:19:57 PM »

Everything we have been discussing here is simmering in my mind right now and it's leading me back to gratitude. I like that. We don't have all of the answers and that's ok. Gratitude has got to be the path to acceptance. I can feel the love from you people and reflect it back to you. Thank all of you.
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« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2014, 06:21:05 PM »

Yes, I like your version much better  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I have learned so much from this relationship and feel as if something important has changed as a result.  

I might have a look at that Self Acceptance Project for myself.

Thanks

Janey x
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« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2014, 06:22:26 PM »

Perfect Perf! 

If in any doubt I always think about all that I have and am that I like and am grateful for. 



Janey
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« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2014, 06:28:07 PM »

I hate to burst any bubbles here, but I don't think a 'normal' healthy person can be attracted to a sick person.  It's virtually impossible. 

It would be nice to think that we were ok and were somehow fooled into being pulled into a relationship with a not ok person, but how?  We know pretty much all there is to know about a person in the first 5 seconds of seeing them, let alone speaking to them.  On an unconscious level we knew that they were sick and we were drawn to that because we were damaged in equal but different measures and had some kind of weird mission to try to fix them and through them ourselves.

If we choose to ignore this now then we can avoid the hard slog of trying to fix ourselves, the only person we have any hope of fixing actually.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

I don't know about that. I correctly judged mine as being shy and not trusting of people the first time I saw her across a room. Those are pretty common traits, especially shyness. Heck, im shy too, though not nearly as much as when i was younger. Her sick? That took me a while. My mistake was thinking I could handle it. That was unheathy. About two years ago I realized I would have to leave her at some point. She made the choice for me sooner.

I spent over $2k in therapy to confirm that other than obviously being a Rescuer, there's nothing really "wrong" with me. I even tried to argue this point with the doctor. He didn't bite. I had co-dependent tendecies with my Ex, but after some discussions on codependecy, confirmed that I'm not a Codependent.

I didn't think he was sick when I met him, in fact I remember thinking very clearly that he was too good for me!  I looked up at him; he was like this shining blonde God with buckets of charm and charisma, and I felt bad because I didn't think he would go for me even in my dreams! 

The only thing that was wrong with him was that his evil ex wife had hurt him so much that he was a little bit fragile, so I resolved to heal that hurt with the power of my love... .

Little did I know!

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« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2014, 07:08:28 PM »

It's obviously positive to better ourselves.

Acknowledging we also did this/tried to in the past.

We were being who we were at the time. Mostly good intentions.

Just like we're being ourselves now. Mostly good intentions.

The  Idea comes as much from focus as focus comes from  Idea

The change is to avoid more of the traps we catch ourselves in.




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« Reply #54 on: February 22, 2014, 07:20:17 PM »

It's obviously positive to better ourselves.

Acknowledging we also did this/tried to in the past.

We were being who we were at the time. Mostly good intentions.

Just like we're being ourselves now. Mostly good intentions.

The  Idea comes as much from focus as focus comes from  Idea

The change is to avoid more of the traps we catch ourselves in.

Nice!
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« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2014, 06:40:01 AM »



I didn't think he was sick when I met him, in fact I remember thinking very clearly that he was too good for me!  I looked up at him; he was like this shining blonde God with buckets of charm and charisma, and I felt bad because I didn't think he would go for me even in my dreams! 

The only thing that was wrong with him was that his evil ex wife had hurt him so much that he was a little bit fragile, so I resolved to heal that hurt with the power of my love... .

Little did I know!

Bingo. Mine was the perfect victim as well, abused first by a violent alcoholic hubby, then a narc aßßhole of a man who kept seducing her back into his life. In reality she cheated on her hubby many times, and drove him into utter madness with her antics before finally discarding him when he was just a shell of his former self. The "narc" guy was actually the one being seduced by her time and time again and she also reeled him back in even when I was ousted. It's mind boggling how convincing the alternate reality was for her. That's why I believed everything, she was so convincing. And I wanted to believe her. She's a liar, I was the fool. Therein lies my weakness, I made excuses for her behavior, and didn't take responsibility for mine. I lied as well, to myself.
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