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Author Topic: Challenging "no contact"  (Read 7060 times)
rougeetnoir

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« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2014, 02:22:06 PM »

In my case, I didn't just go "no contact" cold turkey.  I did it after I negotiated the move out and while doing so, had to negotiate several sessions of yelling at me, FOG, wild accusations, and power plays.  Every time, we had contact after that (I made a perhaps ill-advised contact with a friend of hers to let her know to look out for my ex, because I still cared about her.  One that led to some manipulations by the friend, which similarly featured guilt-tripping and anger AND an angry response from my ex (which was met with an angry response when I asked why she was so angry with me since she kept informing me that she was "done and moving on.", I decided that the best thing for me was to keep my distance and be as neutral as possible if I had to deal with her.  I didn't declare to her "I'm going NC," but I stopped contacting her (last contact: a month and a half ago which led to 5 abusive emails while I kept my replies on contact).  I've been full NC for about a month and a half now. 

I've realized that she feels deeply, deeply ashamed about our relationship ending and that she reacts how she has whenever she's felt or feeling ashamed (whenever a facade in the crack will be revealed), she lashes out at me (all of her "friends" liked and respected me-- they called me far and away the best guy she's dated; her mom called me a "blessing" for how much I helped out with her son, etc. etc.  She blew a good thing and everyone around her has to pretend she didn't, which they are good at because they are a group of alcoholics and enablers.).  I am not mentally in a position to put myself through that anymore even though I miss her and her son everyday, so I've chosen to go no contact.  I wish we could have a real conversation-- one where we agree on therapy and she gets help so her life doesn't have to feel so hard (exact quote to me during the fight where she put her hands around my neck and I left).  But I've tried, I asked, I begged, I pleaded, I've yelled, I've lost my cool, I've cried.  She even said she would go then never followed through.  I did my best. I need to protect myself no matter how much it hurts right now.

The other thing is that she doesn't really contact me (there were one or two practical things and two phone calls from her son when I was moving out), but when I have had to contact her, eventually the anger gets triggered.  So I realized that just me being there isn't good for her.

That's why I went no contact... . To slow the hurt for both people.  Not as revenge or as a punishment. 
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Pecator
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« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2014, 09:03:38 PM »

Alright, but back to the matter at hand,

I think I identify with LivingLearning on this. (LL please correct me if I missed your point)

Too often the resolution to our predicament is that we are equally responsible for being in this mess.

Being as this is a spectrum disorder (still my favourite concept learned here. Thanks Mutt.), Doesn't it fit that the spectrum applies to us nons as well? There are many here for whom their r/s with a pwBPD has brought to light FOO issues and much more for the very first time. Hopefully, with the tremendous support of this site, their encounter has pointed them towards a journey of self-discovery and healing. If i may sound a bit grandiose, this is the most nobel of bpdfamily's purposes.

As a "spectrum," however, there are those who have been on a journey of healing for some time and still get hooked by pwBPD.

I believe LL is saying that this is true. LL has been on a journey of healing and self-discovery for some time. Perhaps, part of LL's journey is to claim his personal power and speak the truth he feels. BPD manipulated beyond FOO and other issues needing addressing. Perhaps, LL was on a healthy journey and BPD hurt him for because of BPD, not him.

But let me use my example rather than conjecture on his.

I appreciated the journey of healing and self-discovery most of my life. I have been involved with professional therapy since I was 17. I always though "emotional hygiene" is as important as dental hygiene. I have worked through my FOO issues to know that while still a substantial effect, they do not dominate my life. Yet I got drawn into the BPD dynamic.

I met my uBPDex at a vulnerable time. I went through a nine year period of unbelievable persecution. I was arrested and put on trial for four years. It wasn't criminal. It was an immigration issue brought about by people able to manipulate justice. It ended with the Judge saying on record, "You (Crown Attorney) have used the courts to intimidate this man. You have not proven there is anything done wrong, much less that this man has committed anything."

I met my ex three years later. While trying to wrap my head around the effects these years had on me. No, I wasn't healthy at a place, but I saw in her mirroring the inspiration to continue my journey of health and self-discovery to heal from these years.

I am understanding that her mirroring me means that those qualities are in me. That they still exist. But, I have a very difficult time dismissing the choices I made as dysfunctional or the product of my FOO issues.

She led me to believe that being there through the tough times is what makes a lasting relationship. She led me to believe that she had the emotional strength to build a life together. Okay, she had jealousy issues. Why would I not work to appease them as she said adjusted to my issues (and I did. there were no jealousy issues for the las six months of our relationship). Okay, so she ran several times when immigration issues created emotional stress that I would be taken away from her (I understood she has abandonment issues before I understood the severity of BPD). Each event lessened over time. Why would I abandon the family we built and the future we planned when I had the emotional awareness and strength to get us to a stable place?

She left me just as everything began to settle. Fearing that I would leave her.

Ultimately, because of LC rather than NC, she has told me that "can't." Not that she doesn't love me on the emotional level that created the inspiration, but she can't. I wish I would have known that two years ago.

At some point, (and I hope this is LL's point) can't we say that BPD is terrible regardless as to where we are on our personal journeys? Can we not express that it is an horrific experience regardless of whether we are aware of our FOO issues or not?

I know I have much to work on in my journey, but does that negate the fact that if I knew "she can't" I would never invested my career, livelihood, and future.


Here is another example.

What about my replacement? He is an intellectual, top in his field. His work has brought justice to areas of the world that most of us never even think about (sexual slavery). He devotes himself to his work (workaholic by many standards). Being in his mid 50s and having only one other significant relationship, does he need to address his FOO or other issues? He has found peace in his own way and contributes to humanity by important means. My ex has her hooks into him.

At what point do we declare that BPD is a serious issue? At what point do we declare that its seriousness transcends our culpability? At what point do we speak our truth and tell others of the dangers?

I know that my journey is even tougher now. I will strive to make it through.

But at what point do we make a public campaign? At what point should i warn my replacement?







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Hurtbeyondrepair27
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« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2014, 09:10:45 PM »

Shame is a really strong word, whether it's used once or twice. I'd actually offer- no shame, just quality judgment/discernment. Every time.

I believe "fool me once... . " is a Chinese Proverb.  

The reality is, I'm responsible for staying in a relationship with a man who was abusing me.  I could have left the r/s earlier but I didn't.  I'd like to think that one of the reasons I stayed was because I knew on an unconscious level that I had some pretty heavy inner work to do.  I was drawn to that r/s because that's what I needed at the time to facilitate change within myself.  That r/s was the event that forced me to go further inward than I've gone before.  I thought that I was done with FOO issues a long time ago.  What a rude awakening, but what an opportunity to *grow* and hopefully reach my true potential.  

Blissful "feeling her optimism returning" Camper.  

Love reading stuff like this. Keeps me going. There with you
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StayPositive

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« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2014, 09:29:48 PM »

No contact is cruel.

My exBPDgf did this constantly. That's why I looked into this and found out about BPD. It's a complete disrespect of friendship and everything, and that's why most BDFs fail.

Stay Positive
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woodsposse
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« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2014, 09:40:00 PM »

At what point do we declare that BPD is a serious issue? At what point do we declare that its seriousness transcends our culpability?

You bring up some fantastic points.  I would have quoted the whole post, but I think theses last few sentences are all I need to start with.

BPD, or any PD are serious issues.  Mental health issues world wide are (IMHO).  Far too often we may overlook the fact that someone is diagnosed bi-polor and not see it as a mental illness and just say "oh, they hae some meds to help with that"... . and the day moves on.

But the effects pwPD have on those around them is profound and without knowing that going into a r/s with someone can cause all sorts of havoc.

But it doesn't really transcend our culpabilities ... . if we ourself are comfortable and secure with our personal boundaries.

Let  me explain by example.

BPD or  not, if I am in a r/s with someone and I find out that they have cheated on me... . I'm out the door.  No real discussion.  No barter.  This is a deal breaker and one which I don't compromise on.  So lets just say my new bPD GF who has pulled out all the stops and has got her hooks in me and I'm head over heals in love with her and I'm all in decides to do the whole cheating thing... . and I find out about it... . guess what... .

I'm out the door. 

If I stay, or allow her back, or make excuses or rationalizations... . then I am part of the "problem". 

Nobody is perfect, disordered or not, and things happen.  But, again by example, this is my boundary.  This is what I set as something I won't accept in my life.  she can do whatever she wants. If it is not boundary busting - then it is all good.  If it does go agaist it... . and I accept it - well... . that's on me.
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woodsposse
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« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2014, 09:47:12 PM »

No contact is cruel.

My exBPDgf did this constantly. That's why I looked into this and found out about BPD. It's a complete disrespect of friendship and everything, and that's why most BDFs fail.

Stay Positive

Yes, I agree that coming from a pwPD, "no contact" or the silent treatment is cruel.  It is a form of emotional terrorism and a manipulation tactic which is... . cruel.

But in the context of setting yourself up to heal from a relationship with a person who has BPD, the no contact isn't meant to punish the other person or to be cruel... . it is meant to give you time to heal.

Think of it like this... .

If you were constantly in conflict with someone, everytime you are together or talk you get feelings hurt and self esteem drops, you are anxious and nervous and just generally do't know what to do and your head spins round and round... . the best thing to do would be to - continue to put youself in that situation so it can improve?

No.  You would want to, at least, separate for some time - give yourself some space so you can get away from the stress triggers long enough to heal up and have a clear head.

No contact is a break from the chaos.  It gives you a chance to heal.  It really isn't meant to be forever. It can be if you need it to be, but you can't start the healing if your wounds keep getting hit.

This, by definition, is positive.
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« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2014, 10:22:20 PM »

No Contact is to make Better Contact with Ourselves.

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LivingLearning
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« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2014, 08:58:28 PM »

It's funny, for so many years I've been a fan of the "it takes two" idea. There's some therapy modalities and lots of books on this idea.

   It's been really interesting to experiment with the idea that this could be a concept that actually replicates trauma. That whether it's nazis and Jews, neighbors, or a relationship, it can take one.

   To experiment with that idea means I then don't need to question "why I accepted the behavior" "what was my trauma". I instead very matter of factly can say " oh wow, that was a mistake, she's quite a chameleon and abuser and I was fooled".

    I understand this goes against much of abusee psychology: "figure out why you stayed, so you don't repeat it".

   What's interesting to me is that this can potentially keep one rooted in the past. And possibly that's exactly what causes the recurring trauma through generations.

    That's not to say I haven't thought about why I stayed, it's also simply interesting to focus on behavior not analysis. Which I suppose is also a trend in therapy in the last 10 years.
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Mutt
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« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2014, 11:12:25 PM »

It's funny, for so many years I've been a fan of the "it takes two" idea. There's some therapy modalities and lots of books on this idea.

  It's been really interesting to experiment with the idea that this could be a concept that actually replicates trauma. That whether it's nazis and Jews, neighbors, or a relationship, it can take one.

  To experiment with that idea means I then don't need to question "why I accepted the behavior" "what was my trauma". I instead very matter of factly can say " oh wow, that was a mistake, she's quite a chameleon and abuser and I was fooled".

   I understand this goes against much of abusee psychology: "figure out why you stayed, so you don't repeat it".

  What's interesting to me is that this can potentially keep one rooted in the past. And possibly that's exactly what causes the recurring trauma through generations.

   That's not to say I haven't thought about why I stayed, it's also simply interesting to focus on behavior not analysis. Which I suppose is also a trend in therapy in the last 10 years.

I'm sorry that your ex has caused you so much pain LivingLearning. These r/s are like nothing else out there, we have a small community of people helping each other, because people in our regular lives don't understand. My r/s with someone with a personality disorder was emotionally abusive, no doubt. My self esteem eroded, I harbored anger and resentment. It took me several months to identify with those feelings and I didn't want to validate the anger anymore. In reality, it's doing the same thing as my ex did to me and it's splitting, it's polarizing. I did PI work here and identified what emotional trauma that was in my past, that let me to my journey with a borderline woman. Which was my father. He was an emotionally repressive, domineering man that would split me black. I didn't get attention from him, and I always had unconditional love for him.  

By doing my own PI and learning about her disorder and I still do every day, I was able to identify that I had poor boundaries or lack thereof. The idealization phase felt like a drug, I was seeking validation and attention from her that I wasn't getting from my father as a young child. That was my emotional baggage that belonged to me and not her. Everyone has their own reasons from their own experiences.

Having survived an abusive relationship, I'm more aware of toxic behaviors and red flags with people and I choose not to engage, or let them in my life, because I have boundaries now.  My cycle has stopped, but it took a borderline woman to see what my emotional baggage was. That I can take away from being in this r/s.

By learning as much as I have about BPD, I have learned that she is mentally ill, and her actions are not intentional, but a reaction to an attachment and many defense mechanisms to protect her core abandonment wounds. But through my journey of working on my issues, I have learned to become indifferent to her behaviors and de-personalize and finally... . forgive her. I feel empathy for her for having to experience feelings of self-loathing, low self esteem, shame and guilt 24/7, and she is imprisoned by her own disorder, very difficult for her to want to get help. I'm luckier, I can change, but I went through a lot of emotional pain to get here.

I can honestly say after 14 months of being out of the r/s, I feel clarity, calmer, more at peace with my FOO and my experience with her, and the strongest I've been in the last 40 years. I feel confident and it was through an extremely emotionally difficult and heartbreaking experience with a borderline woman.
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falconfree28

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« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2014, 03:42:22 AM »

What an excellent discussion, Mutts post has really spoke to me and genuinely everything he said I'm currently going through.

I've now been NC with my exBPDgf for nearly 3 months, for people who don't know my story we share a partner dancing community and even at those get togethers I ignore her completely, I even had to dance with her during class (even when I changed classes to keep NC) and I exchanged a maximum for four words, without NC I couldn't of started to experience of exploring who I am and exploring my feelings about why I ended up with her, I've also been helped by a very good counsellor.

It's only yesterday that I had a "break NC urge" like so many you've read about here and on many other threads, and for the first time I searched out why and by the end of it and I didn't want to contact her in any form whatsoever, I'm now starting to see who and what I am and discovering that I've piled lots of stuff and coping stratagies to deal with issues from my childhood and my upbringing.

So where does this leave me on the subject of NC, well it certainly isn't easy but it's allowed me to heal, take stock and go on a journey that is an improvement of myself, see myself but also my friendships change for the better (I'm more confident, calmer and a lot of happier) - so NC is a tool, for yourself and way to accept (eventually) how your exBPD partner affected you, if you use it wisely you're find so many things out about yourself, but it's a real challenge and a personal one that requires you to find it within yourself to face what you are, and that isn't going to feel nice.

I'm now starting to get over the guilt that I heaped on myself and what I went through not just with her but the last 15 to 20 years of my life and building myself backup into a much better person, I'll need to accept we'll still encounter each other (the fact our community is so small) but they'll be no friendship or dancing unless absolutely necessary but I'm starting to forgive her, the initial mixture of anger and guilt towards her is fading away, so my moving forward can really begin.

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« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2014, 07:06:52 AM »

 

Mutt's post is a great testament to why being here, for me, is so important.  We do have a little community of people who understand something a lot of folks in my day to day world just don't get.  And it isn't their fault - they just don't see it.  Heck, before I finally ended up here - I didn't see it.  I mean, I was in the r/s with all the dynamics involved, but I just couldn't see it.

The bottom line of where I'm going with this is - it was once I really went LC and then NC was I able to finally step away from the chaos and stress long enough to really start to heal.  Sadly I know now that even if I had continued to stay LC or NC right after we split, I still wouldn't have been able to heal completely as I hadn't found the answers I was looking for for "her behaviors" to help explain my reactions to them.

It really was only once I came here and understoond Personality Disorders did I finally realize I had been surrounding myself with disordered women for a very long time... . starting back with my mother.  Of course the 'hole' I was trying to fill was that of what my mother didn't provide (or took away depending on how you look at it).  Yes, I needed that validation from a woman to let me know I was worth something. 

Even though I finally understand it, it is still a day to day struggle when that feeling hits and I want to soothe  it somehow.  And I realize in the past, I took whatever I could get (a port in the storm) to fill it.  Either with drinking or with superficial relationships - or getting involved with someone and staying in the r/s even though everything sign is pointing to get out.

But, I'm only a few months out on this part of my journey which took 40+ years to create.  I'm bound to have some hold overs.  And I'm okay with that.  It's normal and part of the process.
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