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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: You will start to attract much healthier people into you life when you do this.  (Read 6006 times)
Visitor
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« on: August 24, 2014, 02:43:22 AM »

The problem I am hearing with a lot of people on this forum is a lot of you don't have any clear boundaries.

I left my borderline ex during the idolization stage which is almost unheard of in the BPD community. She was heartbroken and begged for me to reconsider but she had already trampled my boundaries and it was unacceptable for me.

Here are some of the things I just said NO to:

Proclaiming her love for me to early

Calling me crying all the time

Jealous behaviour

Raging and shouting at me for the smallest of things

Always pushing for the next stage in the relationship/forcing things forward.

Moaning at me for going out with a long time friend that she didn't like. 

It got to the point that I just said sorry but I just don't see things working out and left her. It seems I could do this earlier than a lot of you because I was willing to be alone. I had faith in myself as a person that I would attract the opposite sex again due to the great person I am. I trusted that life always works out in the end and you have to create some space from that other person for it to happen.

Don't let the idolization she has or had for you blur these boundaries. It's a very powerful thing for a person to be able to walk away if these are not being respected. Arguing about your boundaries will not work. You have to show that you are an independent person who would rather be alone than take any crap from anybody.

Stop giving you partner the power. Draw those lines in the sand and be willing to walk away if they are crossed.  Being cool (click to insert in post)

You will start to attract much healthier people into you life when you do this.

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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2014, 03:30:51 AM »

Hi visitor,

A lot of people here are stuggling with their wounds and go here for understanding and support and also for advice. We know we didnt do it all the "right" way, therefore we have left our BPD partners, maybe too late, but we did manage to do it! Hooray for us!

I was not brought up in a home where I was allowed to set boundaries. My father made all our decisions, from sports, hobby, education. We had to do it his way and be good at it too, otherwise we would not be validated or loved. Add to that the sexual abuse I had to endure from 4 to 11 years of age by an authority figure... .That didnt help with learning to set boundaries... .So I was easy pray... .It has nothing to do with not being willing to be alone! I was alone for a couple of years and enjoyed it! I was happy and felt good about myself... .I still think I am a good person!

For you it may come natural to set boundaries easy. Many of us didnt learn that or never had to... .  To be honest... .I sometimes dont even know what MY boundaries are, let alone how to set them and guard them. Its not as easy as you make it sound sometimes. But I am glad for you that you are very good at it.

I am seeing a T to manage to do this, and I WILL succeed. Like you said, I deserve a healthy relationship in my life.
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hergestridge
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2014, 04:21:22 AM »

The thing is, I said NO to all those things too. All those 20 years ago. I said no and told her that this has to change, we have to work on this. And then I was told, by my now xwife, by various health professionals and by other people around me that this was indeed possible.

And the dr Jekyll and mr Hyde, that is what BPD is all about. That's why so many of us don't give up and leave. That's why people stay with a part time alcoholic too. They go back to being "nice", again and again.

The penny eventually drops when you realise the "bad" days is not a anomally, like a flu or even a psychosis. It's part of their personality. You can't have "nice" without that other thing.
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2014, 04:25:27 AM »

Hi visitor,

A lot of people here are stuggling with their wounds and go here for understanding and support and also for advice. We know we didnt do it all the "right" way, therefore we have left our BPD partners, maybe too late, but we did manage to do it! Hooray for us!

I was not brought up in a home where I was allowed to set boundaries. My father made all our decisions, from sports, hobby, education. We had to do it his way and be good at it too, otherwise we would not be validated or loved. Add to that the sexual abuse I had to endure from 4 to 11 years of age by an authority figure... .That didnt help with learning to set boundaries... .So I was easy pray... .It has nothing to do with not being willing to be alone! I was alone for a couple of years and enjoyed it! I was happy and felt good about myself... .I still think I am a good person!

For you it may come natural to set boundaries easy. Many of us didnt learn that or never had to... .  To be honest... .I sometimes dont even know what MY boundaries are, let alone how to set them and guard them. Its not as easy as you make it sound sometimes. But I am glad for you that you are very good at it.

I am seeing a T to manage to do this, and I WILL succeed. Like you said, I deserve a healthy relationship in my life.

Hi Recoop

Thank you for the reply and I note your responses. What you and many people have gone through are experiences. And nothing teaches us more in life than an experience. Heartbreak can be one of the best lessons a person can go though in life.

The tragedy sometimes is some people just don't learn. When the emotions have subsided they end up back in the same situations because they haven't worked on themselves. They haven't worked on their inner core and allowed the experience to build on their character.

I was also week, insecure, had a low self esteem and very much lacked boundaries.  But I learned from my experiences in life and use them to help shape who I am as a person.

An insecure person will want to bring you down. Control you and take out their anger on you. They will take from you as much as you give them. If you don't have boundaries they will trample over you and wont give a damn. Why?... because you are letting them do it. If there are not consequences to our actions then we will repeat that behaviour again and again and again.

The idolization phase is the real demon. It's the first dose of crack cocaine the drug dealer gives to a person to get them addicted. The first one is free but then you have to start paying the price. The addict will spend a long time chasing that first high but they never find it. All the time losing friends, family, money and then finally their soul. An external force has a power over them now and the only way they can change it is if they wake up to it and rid of their lives for good.

I would say to anybody stuck in this chaos to take a bit of time out and really think about what your boundaries are. There doesn't have to be hundreds of them maybe just five or 6.

1. I do not except cheating any shape or form. If this happens I am gone

2. I will not accept being called horrible names

3. The silent treatment is for children. If you give me the silent treatment then see you later I'm going out to have some fun. Let me know if you're ready to stop sulking.

4.  Any form of violence is completely unacceptable in all shapes and forms with no exception.

5. If you want to discuss something then I am open to a calm conversation. I understand that all couples argue but a full on rage attack with shouting is unacceptable.

There is no excuse to let somebody trample that boundary no matter how beautiful, successful or stuck on you they once were. NO EXCUSE. I don't care if she starts crying all the time or tells you she is in therapy and TRYING to change. I don't care if she has a horrible past and it is now affecting her future. These are your boundaries and if she is to be with you then she had better bloody well respect them or he/she is out of the door. This is the difference between a good boundary and a shaky one. The shaky one can be affected by all of the above. A good boundary is a solid form of defence.

When you set these clear boundaries with your partner you are putting your power in your own hands. You are owning yourself and her/his behaviour then becomes their problem and not yours.

The problem a lot of you don't seem to understand is this is what your partner REALLY WANTS. There's nothing more unattractive than a partner who lets you get away with whatever you want. I'm sure you have all experience that when you meet somebody with strong principles who is willing to walk away from you they become very attractive and you want them more.

If you are not being treated how you want to be treated then walk away. Don't try to change the other person and try to convince them to respect you. That is just weak. Show them you are willing to walk away and watch their behaviour change in an instant. If they let you walk away then that should tell you all you need to know about the relationship.

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hergestridge
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2014, 04:36:34 AM »

I'm sure you have all experience that when you meet somebody with strong principles who is willing to walk away from you they become very attractive and you want them more.

No.
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 04:41:04 AM »

The thing is, I said NO to all those things too. All those 20 years ago. I said no and told her that this has to change, we have to work on this. And then I was told, by my now xwife, by various health professionals and by other people around me that this was indeed possible.

And the dr Jekyll and mr Hyde, that is what BPD is all about. That's why so many of us don't give up and leave. That's why people stay with a part time alcoholic too. They go back to being "nice", again and again.

The penny eventually drops when you realise the "bad" days is not a anomally, like a flu or even a psychosis. It's part of their personality. You can't have "nice" without that other thing.

Well done herg it sounds like you have learned from the experience which is character building.

I would like to give you all a bit of a lesson about how to communicate a boundary. One example  is giving the other person the power and the other one is keeping the power to yourself.

Bad Example

You're partner has just belittled you in some way and made you feel bad. This is what you say:

"You always say horrible things like that. You make me feel bad all the time... why cant you just be nice and communicate properly instead of shouting at me all the time"

What you have just communicated: you have the power to make me feel good or bad whenever you want. What you say dictates my mood so please act a certain way so that I do not feel bad. (you have given them the power)

Good Example:

"Nobody talks to me like that ever. If you talk to me like that again then I/you are out the door. I can do just fine on my own"

(only works if backed up with actions)

What you have communicated: You don't have any power over how I feel about myself. That behaviour is unacceptable and I wont stand for it. I am willing to walk away if I am disrespected.




Do you understand the sub-communication of this?









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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2014, 04:46:31 AM »

I'm sure you have all experience that when you meet somebody with strong principles who is willing to walk away from you they become very attractive and you want them more.

No.

Then you are lacking meeting a person of quality in your life.

BPD's attract a certain person into their life because a pwBPD is an ego boost. They often attract people with low self esteem who usually have issues with co-dependency and insecurities.

When you set clear boundaries and principles you will start to weed out people like this from your life and you will start to attract quality people in who give back in the relationship without you having to try to change them.





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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2014, 05:20:56 AM »

I agree with what you are saying visitor, that we need to be more emotionally healthy and strong, and stick up for ourselves more. But everything isn't so clear cut. I for instance stood up to her a lot at first, but eventually I felt so traumatized by everything, that my brain shut down and I basically had a 12 year long anxiety attack. At that point did I have a choice? I really didn't, I was barely a person after that.

And I'm sorry, if a person treats you like TOTAL crap, I don't really care if they want me to stick up to them. It doesn't justify treating people like crap, especially the person closest to you. This is akin to saying, "this wife beater guy really wanted his battered wife to stick up for herself" We were abused into oblivion and tricked. Yes we were messed up to end up with them, and we can avoid it next time. But right now we are victims trying to recover.

Personally I'd rather have a person with a soft heart, who is honest. Than some person on an ego trip who confronts people over trivial stuff. I know some people find it attractive to be on an ego trip, but I never have, nor ever will.

PS: I did stick up for myself and when I tried to break it off with her is when she would abuse me the most. Until I couldn't function again... .my brain literally could not emotionally comprehend the stuff she was doing to me. Probably because she tricked me so damn well at the beginning.
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2014, 05:38:32 AM »

I'm sure you have all experience that when you meet somebody with strong principles who is willing to walk away from you they become very attractive and you want them more.

No.

Then you are lacking meeting a person of quality in your life.

BPD's attract a certain person into their life because a pwBPD is an ego boost. They often attract people with low self esteem who usually have issues with co-dependency and insecurities.

When you set clear boundaries and principles you will start to weed out people like this from your life and you will start to attract quality people in who give back in the relationship without you having to try to change them.



You are posting on the "leaving" board where many of us have already left their partners. Many of us have went through the process of setting boundaries for a long time.

I don't become more attracted be people if they threaten to leave me. I just assume we are not a good match and lose interest. You are assuming we are much more alike than we in fact are.
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2014, 05:54:36 AM »

I think for me it was more about me disrespecting my own boundaries. I mean all along, I knew that my boundaries were being crossed but I chose to ignore that. Why? Because for the first time in my life I was experiencing "JOY". And it seemed to me that I had finally found true happiness and I did not want to let it go. For the first time in my life, life finally had a meaning. I wanted to live. I enjoyed being alive. And in order to keep that happiness, I did not care what I had to give away, including my boundaries.

Hadn't he abandoned me, I was probably still in that relationship.

Back then I did not think that I was not taking care of myself. I thought I was sacrificing things to be happy. As painful as it was I thought I was doing the right thing for myself.

Do normal people give away their happiness to hold onto their boundaries? And why is that?
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2014, 06:15:16 AM »

Hi Visitor,

I am sure you mean very well and have no ill at heart. I must say though, although you are right about setting boundaries, We are all here to learn and grow, we are all wounded and although we need to learn lessons in life to make our lifes healthier, I feel there are better ways to communicate here on the board.

I admire the way you are able to set YOUR boundaries, I must honestly say your way of setting boundaries would not be my way of doing it. People are different and that is ok, we all have to find our way that fits to our personality.

I am sure We have all met people of good quality in our lifes... .If not a partner then a friend or parent etc. And what is a definition of good quality. We all look for different traits in people... .

I also do not believe I was weak for trying to  "change" my exBPD and standing by him in therapy. I think it takes a damn strong person to be willing to hang in there and give someone a chance.  When the therapy went sour and he quit I  did leave. I know for myself I have done eveything I can to make it work. No weakness in that... .



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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2014, 07:14:44 AM »

WOW! All the answers. Who would have thought was so simple.  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2014, 01:28:45 PM »

WOW! All the answers. Who would have thought was so simple.  Being cool (click to insert in post)

Sarcasm (and emotions    ) aside yes it really is that simple.

We shouldn't be offended by words like, weak, needy, low self esteem etc. They are all human traits and all things that can be worked on. We should be the harshest critics of ourselves when it comes to these negative emotions. That's not to say we should concentrate on the bad parts of ourselves but we should use this time post break up to work out why this happened, what attracted us to such a person and why didn't we push the ejector seat button much sooner.

It's easy to blame the person with BPD but lets take full responsibility. Lets not take the power fully out of that person hands and so this happened because I let it happen and for no other reason. Your BPD partner will have loaded the responsibility onto you so they have no basis to make any changes. How can a person change if they don't take responsibility first.

It was you that fell for idolization, it was you that tried to change another person, it was you that accepted that horrible behaviour and allowed it to continue. You had the power to stop the relationship any time you wanted but because of reasons that probably related to you wanting to be with that person and not wanting to be alone you let it continue.

You CHOSE to stay/be in that relationship. It was your CHOICE and nobody else's fault.

When you except responsibility you can make the changes to make sure it doesn't happen again.













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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2014, 01:34:47 PM »

I agree with what you are saying visitor, that we need to be more emotionally healthy and strong, and stick up for ourselves more. But everything isn't so clear cut. I for instance stood up to her a lot at first, but eventually I felt so traumatized by everything, that my brain shut down and I basically had a 12 year long anxiety attack. At that point did I have a choice? I really didn't, I was barely a person after that.

And I'm sorry, if a person treats you like TOTAL crap, I don't really care if they want me to stick up to them. It doesn't justify treating people like crap, especially the person closest to you. This is akin to saying, "this wife beater guy really wanted his battered wife to stick up for herself" We were abused into oblivion and tricked. Yes we were messed up to end up with them, and we can avoid it next time. But right now we are victims trying to recover.

Personally I'd rather have a person with a soft heart, who is honest. Than some person on an ego trip who confronts people over trivial stuff. I know some people find it attractive to be on an ego trip, but I never have, nor ever will.

PS: I did stick up for myself and when I tried to break it off with her is when she would abuse me the most. Until I couldn't function again... .my brain literally could not emotionally comprehend the stuff she was doing to me. Probably because she tricked me so damn well at the beginning.

I hear what you are saying build and I'm sorry to hear your sad story.

These people really do take their toll on a persons emotions.

Do you feel you would be susceptible to this again or have you taken anything from the experience?

What would you do if your next partner started to show the same pattern of behaviour in your next relationship?

What action would you take?



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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2014, 01:39:27 PM »

Good Example:

"Nobody talks to me like that ever. If you talk to me like that again then I/you are out the door. I can do just fine on my own"

(only works if backed up with actions)

Do you understand the sub-communication of this?

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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2014, 01:44:49 PM »

I agree with this wholeheartedly.  Regardless of whatever sort of brainwashing my ex did to me, I still allowed it all.  Even while he baited me with his bull___, I did not do what I should have done and left.  I knew it then, and I know it even better now. 

The tricky part is that before him, I was a big boundary setter and keeper in regard to my relationships.  I am still working through how this one was able to get through.
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2014, 01:52:44 PM »

I normally have great boundaries, but my BPD targeted me just days after I broke up with someone and was in a bad place. She picked her target and her moment, and spent time preparing me for the kill. I did stand up to her for a while, but she chipped away at me piece by piece. I finished with her several time, but she was very persistent with her sincere fake apologies and changing her ways for a while. She also picked the optimum times to play up - usually very late at night when I was tired and not able to think effectively, or at the end of a particularly nice day, when I had my guard down. It's easier said than done. Looking back, I'm not sure if I was strong or weak. I kicked her out a number of times and refused to give in to her insane demands - strong. But she always recycled me in the end, and left when she was ready - leaving me feeling deep guilt and misery - weak. I'm getting myself into a position now with clear boundaries and restored self confidence so this nightmare can not happen ever again. I will stick to unbreakable rules - once my boundaries are broken in future, it's over for good.
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2014, 03:21:33 PM »

I hear what you are saying build and I'm sorry to hear your sad story.

These people really do take their toll on a persons emotions.

Do you feel you would be susceptible to this again or have you taken anything from the experience?

What would you do if your next partner started to show the same pattern of behaviour in your next relationship?

What action would you take?

It will be a long time before I ever want to be with another person. When I got into the relationship I was overly trusting and always believed the best in people. Now I barely trust anything. If and when next time happens, I will be cautious and trust slowly. But more than anything I want to love and complete myself, before I bother with intimacy. I don't think it could happen again, I know all the crazy warning signs that I ignored. If I did though, I'd run for the moon before I'd put up with it again.
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2014, 04:01:17 PM »

Dear Visitor

Although your point--I think--is to say that we should take responsibility for our actions in a the relationships. This is certainly a fair point. Most of us here did not realize what we were dealing with until it was too late. As with any issue people deal with it in different ways.

Some people can have a drink and be fine. Others drink until the become alcoholics. Most alcoholics did not intend to become alcoholics when they took their first drink but it happened. It made them feel good in the beginning.

Coming to an AA meeting and saying I had a drink and I am not an alcoholic what is the problem. Just stop drinking. Problem solved... .

This is how you sound to me.

If you don't have a problem with boundaries that is great for you! You can move on and have no fear of ever having a hurtful borderline line relationship.

I personally had great boundaries in the beginning and still found myself in a mess of a relationship because of my misplaced compassion and other issues. As have many people here.

Do you you understand that? 

   
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2014, 04:15:21 PM »

Part of me hopes I meet another BPD ... .Just so I can deal with them properly this time and prove I learned!
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2014, 04:46:16 PM »

WOW! All the answers. Who would have thought was so simple.  Being cool (click to insert in post)

Sarcasm (and emotions     aside yes it really is that simple.

We shouldn't be offended by words like, weak, needy, low self esteem etc. They are all human traits and all things that can be worked on. We should be the harshest critics of ourselves when it comes to these negative emotions. That's not to say we should concentrate on the bad parts of ourselves but we should use this time post break up to work out why this happened, what attracted us to such a person and why didn't we push the ejector seat button much sooner.

It's easy to blame the person with BPD but lets take full responsibility. Lets not take the power fully out of that person hands and so this happened because I let it happen and for no other reason. Your BPD partner will have loaded the responsibility onto you so they have no basis to make any changes. How can a person change if they don't take responsibility first.

It was you that fell for idolization, it was you that tried to change another person, it was you that accepted that horrible behaviour and allowed it to continue. You had the power to stop the relationship any time you wanted but because of reasons that probably related to you wanting to be with that person and not wanting to be alone you let it continue.

You CHOSE to stay/be in that relationship. It was your CHOICE and nobody else's fault.

When you except responsibility you can make the changes to make sure it doesn't happen again.



Do you mine if I ask you to change your name to Arrogant Visitor?








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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2014, 06:28:29 PM »

I think for me it was more about me disrespecting my own boundaries. I mean all along, I knew that my boundaries were being crossed but I chose to ignore that. Why? Because for the first time in my life I was experiencing "JOY". And it seemed to me that I had finally found true happiness and I did not want to let it go. For the first time in my life, life finally had a meaning. I wanted to live. I enjoyed being alive. And in order to keep that happiness, I did not care what I had to give away, including my boundaries.

Hadn't he abandoned me, I was probably still in that relationship.

Back then I did not think that I was not taking care of myself. I thought I was sacrificing things to be happy. As painful as it was I thought I was doing the right thing for myself.

i could have written this 
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2014, 07:22:56 PM »

Excerpt
Stop giving you partner the power. Draw those lines in the sand and be willing to walk away if they are crossed.

I'm glad you were able to walk away before you got hurt Visitor.  It also sounds like you have a somewhat avoidant attachment style, where if anyone threatens your independence you're outta there.  Sure, being alone is always an option, but nowhere near as good as being in a great relationship, and in great relationships partners challenge each other and build partnerships, let go of the need to control, become interdependent, all of which requires letting the walls down and letting someone in.  Granted, letting someone with a personality disorder in is a bad move, but a great relationship can't happen without it.
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2014, 08:32:53 PM »

well Visitor, i do have to agree with most of the points you are making regarding boundaries, etc. however, i also have to agree with another poster that it comes across as arrogant. true, but arrogant. i don't think you meant it this way though.

i've been on these boards for a while. and what i found is that my story and personality tend to be the exception and not the norm for many of the participants here. i think you are in the same boat. what i've learned is that i need to take into account that my experience is different than most here when posting--i still try to let my perspective shine through and offer my truth, but i also realize that i'm not dealing with a lot of issues that others here have. i had a good upbringing, good boundaries, not codependent, never tried to save, confident around women and with my sexuality, etc. but because of this good fortune and 'luck' if you will, i also can only sympathize (rather than empathize) with others who suffer from boundary issues. in short, i recommend mixing in some support and words of encouragement as well as 'tough love' to make sure your message hits the mark.

so then, you may ask, "Well Goldylamont, if you have decent boundaries, not many FOO issues, do OK with women and are fine being on your own; then why were you in a 4 year r/s with your ex who probably had BPD?" Good question! And while it's impossible for us to perfectly contrast our stories, I have a few guesses as to the differences in our situations.

firstly, my xuBPDgf was very High Functioning. at least during the majority of the time that i knew her. so a lot of the behaviors you experienced in a short amount of time were of a lesser degree for me in frequency and intensity. this also includes Idealization--while i must admit there had to be some idealization going on, this isn't something that i need or feed off of. it wasn't what sustained us for 4 years either. i think we actually made a good couple on a lot of levels and while i know that i triggered her (out of my own ignorance sometimes) my belief is that to this day i was the partner who stabilized her the most in her life. it wasn't my codependence or lack of boundaries that allowed things to continue. rather i feel in our r/s the fact that i *was* independent, the fact that she knew i could and would walk, yet that i still was a really good catch of a man on many levels was why it continued so long. i think she kept her behavior in check longer than she ever was able to previously or since, simply because she really wanted to be with me that much (as i did with her) for *years*. this wasn't so for her in the r/s i've seen her in since, she's picked men who were more bendable to her him since us and has cycled through them, becoming abusive and ending things in months rather than years. no doubt eventually she'll be able to find someone who is as strong, exciting and independent as he is caring, compassionate and even tempered as i. she'll be able to find someone like this and fool him too  Being cool (click to insert in post) i dunno, maybe her current bf (#4? 5?) is, i've lost track... .

but basically, while not knowing how long your r/s was, i don't even think my ex started acting out terribly until like the 6 or 8 month mark. and even then it wasn't too often. it sounds to me like your ex was lower functioning and acting out sooner, making it more obvious for you that something was wrong. your ex proclaimed her love for you within one week... .a big red flag. my ex acted like this with my replacement too when she wanted to use him to self soothe and embarrass me... .she moved faster but then threw him away just as fast. with us, things moved slower and more organically. and i think this had a large part to do with my own attachment issues at the time (i was single for a while previously and pretty difficult for me to settle down). she probably could sense that she shouldn't try and wrangle me in with love bombs? i dunno, the attraction was immediate but i held things at arms length until i was ready to move forward. i never felt rushed.

as far as walking away, i think you simply had less to walk away from. or perhaps it was simply easier for you because it was a clearer case that there was less of a reason to stay. as i mentioned my ex was high functioning--it wasn't easy to see her red flags for a while. all of my friends, family, coworkers loved her. were confused when we broke up. thought we were so great together (and we were for a while). you describe your ex as being promiscuous, raging early on, strong idealization and love bombing. i knew nothing about my ex's promiscuity, no early raging, etc. i never caught her or suspected her of being a liar or manipulator... all this came to my attention after years of knowing and living with her, and **after** i instigated the breakup. so it's not like i stayed around for eons for her abuse. and i also think i was getting a lot more good out of the r/s for a longer period of time than you did with your ex. thus, much harder to walk away from. and a longer history shared together means it affected me probably to a greater degree.

lastly, there's just simple attraction at hand. and it sounds like you while you were definitely attracted to your ex, she wasn't really off the charts attractive in your eyes. my ex, well, quite a bit different. i hate to admit it but i know a large part of my attraction to my ex was how attractive she was. and while beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, let's just say that everywhere we went and much of the stuff we did... .well, damn near everyone was a beholder (including a lot of women). your ex sounds attractive, pretty. most people (and i) described my ex as beautiful/gorgeous/hot/what the heck-did-you-breakup-with-her-fine-arse? trust me if you broke up with my ex as i did, she would be doing less crying and trying to get you back and more sorting through an army of men/women ready to make her feel better and do her bidding. and her attractiveness wasn't just physical, she was a really down to earth and cool chick when she wanted to be. not just someone who as you described was "... .very photogenic but in person wasn't really all that... ." my ex was kind of all-that in many ways, and i admit this made it harder to leave, but i did.

i just wanted to give you a picture of my story as i can identify with some of your perspective--that of someone who feels independent, ok with being alone and single, someone who wasn't too affected by childhood and family issues. i do try to "keep it real" with others on this board too, and sometimes i give the tough love. but at the same time i often find myself being creative with my approach since i know i'm coming from a different place. this whole experience has left me with so much gratitude for my family and friends for giving me a strong support base, and i realize not everyone has had this. i hope this helps. i think your opinions in general should be expressed here more, because you aren't the norm. and that hopefully over time you can find some balance to express this viewpoint so that it really sinks in for everyone regardless of their backgrounds.
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2014, 08:43:00 PM »

Some people, like myself, started out with a strong sense of personal boundaries before getting involved with a PD'd SO.

I had no issues with honoring my boundaries and holding others accountable if they crossed them.

That is until I met what I thought was the love of my life and the person I was planning on spending the rest of my

life with. I realized far too late just how many boundaries I allowed her to cross and what that did to my self-esteem.

When I was in the middle of an abusive relationship I'd do a lot just to keep the peace including, allowing my w to disregard my boundaries.

It was instinctual.

I seemed to have a tacit understanding that, the softer my boundaries were, the less friction I created in the relationship.

It was a survival instinct. I have only been conscious of this in retrospect.

My boundaries melted away from the fear of greater conflict.

From what I've gathered, boundaries from the perspective of PD is perceived as withholding love. 

If you withhold love it triggers their abandonment issues. There's always a price to pay when you trigger that beast.

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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2014, 09:09:54 PM »

Some people, like myself, started out with a strong sense of personal boundaries before getting involved with a PD'd SO.

I had no issues with honoring my boundaries and holding others accountable if they crossed them.

That is until I met what I thought was the love of my life and the person I was planning on spending the rest of my

life with. I realized far too late just how many boundaries I allowed her to cross and what that did to my self-esteem.

When I was in the middle of an abusive relationship I'd do a lot just to keep the peace including, allowing my w to disregard my boundaries.

It was instinctual.

I seemed to have a tacit understanding that, the softer my boundaries were, the less friction I created in the relationship.

It was a survival instinct. I have only been conscious of this in retrospect.

My boundaries melted away from the fear of greater conflict.

From what I've gathered, boundaries from the perspective of PD is perceived as withholding love. 

If you withhold love it triggers their abandonment issues. There's always a price to pay when you trigger that beast.

well said! i think most of us here acted out of love, in the same instinctual way.
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2014, 09:29:07 PM »

The problem I am hearing with a lot of people on this forum is a lot of you don't have any clear boundaries.

I left my borderline ex during the idolization stage which is almost unheard of in the BPD community. She was heartbroken and begged for me to reconsider but she had already trampled my boundaries and it was unacceptable for me.

Here are some of the things I just said NO to:

Proclaiming her love for me to early

Calling me crying all the time

Jealous behaviour

Raging and shouting at me for the smallest of things

Always pushing for the next stage in the relationship/forcing things forward.

Moaning at me for going out with a long time friend that she didn't like. 

It got to the point that I just said sorry but I just don't see things working out and left her. It seems I could do this earlier than a lot of you because I was willing to be alone. I had faith in myself as a person that I would attract the opposite sex again due to the great person I am. I trusted that life always works out in the end and you have to create some space from that other person for it to happen.

Don't let the idolization she has or had for you blur these boundaries. It's a very powerful thing for a person to be able to walk away if these are not being respected. Arguing about your boundaries will not work. You have to show that you are an independent person who would rather be alone than take any crap from anybody.

Stop giving you partner the power. Draw those lines in the sand and be willing to walk away if they are crossed.  Being cool (click to insert in post)

You will start to attract much healthier people into you life when you do this.

You are a much wiser person that I ever was.  You were able to set healthy boundaries before things got much, much worse.  Most of us who have lived with the BPD partner put up with all of this and then much more like physical abuse and infidelity.  I am glad that you did not let it go that far.
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2014, 09:44:50 PM »

A long time ago, I used to wonder why women stay in abusive relationships. Why wouldn't they just leave?

When my ex returned four years back, I had made up a lot of boundaries in my head, and I told her about it. That she can no longer demand this or that, do this or that. Yet it went down a path of abuse. Abusive relationships evolve slowly. That is why adult children are still enmeshed with abusive parents. Why so many men/women won't leave abusive relationships. Or why we get stuck with pwBPDs for so long. The more you invest, the nicer you are, the more you love, it is hard to see a person who can be like an angel turn into the devil. You wish for that angel to be back. You go back and forth with the two sides. It is much easier to walk away from anyone whom you are not that emotionally invested in. I have done that many times with other people who weren't very nice to me. Each situation is different. Not all traits, even any trait, comes out early. Some are high functioning. No one in the world sees it except their parents. Then you start doubting yourself if the relationship is a mess because of you. There are so many reasons why these boundaries are broken. Sometimes it is our fault, some of us can't make strong boundaries. But I have learned about BPD and just abusive relationships enough to know that they are good at breaking down even the strongest.
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« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2014, 12:37:04 AM »

Stop giving you partner the power. Draw those lines in the sand and be willing to walk away if they are crossed.

I'm glad you were able to walk away before you got hurt Visitor.  It also sounds like you have a somewhat avoidant attachment style, where if anyone threatens your independence you're outta there.  Sure, being alone is always an option, but nowhere near as good as being in a great relationship, and in great relationships partners challenge each other and build partnerships, let go of the need to control, become interdependent, all of which requires letting the walls down and letting someone in.  Granted, letting someone with a personality disorder in is a bad move, but a great relationship can't happen without it.

Visitor.

While you make some valid comments, you did so in a very abrasive, arrogant manner.

If you detached so successfully from your exBPD and seem to have all the answers... .what are you doing on  this board?

Are you just here to enlighten us poor boundary less souls?.

I am sure that someone more educated in phycology than myself will be able to give you a few personality pointers to get you started.

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« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2014, 06:37:49 AM »

well Visitor, i do have to agree with most of the points you are making regarding boundaries, etc. however, i also have to agree with another poster that it comes across as arrogant. true, but arrogant. i don't think you meant it this way though.

i've been on these boards for a while. and what i found is that my story and personality tend to be the exception and not the norm for many of the participants here. i think you are in the same boat. what i've learned is that i need to take into account that my experience is different than most here when posting--i still try to let my perspective shine through and offer my truth, but i also realize that i'm not dealing with a lot of issues that others here have. i had a good upbringing, good boundaries, not codependent, never tried to save, confident around women and with my sexuality, etc. but because of this good fortune and 'luck' if you will, i also can only sympathize (rather than empathize) with others who suffer from boundary issues. in short, i recommend mixing in some support and words of encouragement as well as 'tough love' to make sure your message hits the mark.

so then, you may ask, "Well Goldylamont, if you have decent boundaries, not many FOO issues, do OK with women and are fine being on your own; then why were you in a 4 year r/s with your ex who probably had BPD?" Good question! And while it's impossible for us to perfectly contrast our stories, I have a few guesses as to the differences in our situations.

firstly, my xuBPDgf was very High Functioning. at least during the majority of the time that i knew her. so a lot of the behaviors you experienced in a short amount of time were of a lesser degree for me in frequency and intensity. this also includes Idealization--while i must admit there had to be some idealization going on, this isn't something that i need or feed off of. it wasn't what sustained us for 4 years either. i think we actually made a good couple on a lot of levels and while i know that i triggered her (out of my own ignorance sometimes) my belief is that to this day i was the partner who stabilized her the most in her life. it wasn't my codependence or lack of boundaries that allowed things to continue. rather i feel in our r/s the fact that i *was* independent, the fact that she knew i could and would walk, yet that i still was a really good catch of a man on many levels was why it continued so long. i think she kept her behavior in check longer than she ever was able to previously or since, simply because she really wanted to be with me that much (as i did with her) for *years*. this wasn't so for her in the r/s i've seen her in since, she's picked men who were more bendable to her him since us and has cycled through them, becoming abusive and ending things in months rather than years. no doubt eventually she'll be able to find someone who is as strong, exciting and independent as he is caring, compassionate and even tempered as i. she'll be able to find someone like this and fool him too  Being cool (click to insert in post) i dunno, maybe her current bf (#4? 5?) is, i've lost track... .

but basically, while not knowing how long your r/s was, i don't even think my ex started acting out terribly until like the 6 or 8 month mark. and even then it wasn't too often. it sounds to me like your ex was lower functioning and acting out sooner, making it more obvious for you that something was wrong. your ex proclaimed her love for you within one week... .a big red flag. my ex acted like this with my replacement too when she wanted to use him to self soothe and embarrass me... .she moved faster but then threw him away just as fast. with us, things moved slower and more organically. and i think this had a large part to do with my own attachment issues at the time (i was single for a while previously and pretty difficult for me to settle down). she probably could sense that she shouldn't try and wrangle me in with love bombs? i dunno, the attraction was immediate but i held things at arms length until i was ready to move forward. i never felt rushed.

as far as walking away, i think you simply had less to walk away from. or perhaps it was simply easier for you because it was a clearer case that there was less of a reason to stay. as i mentioned my ex was high functioning--it wasn't easy to see her red flags for a while. all of my friends, family, coworkers loved her. were confused when we broke up. thought we were so great together (and we were for a while). you describe your ex as being promiscuous, raging early on, strong idealization and love bombing. i knew nothing about my ex's promiscuity, no early raging, etc. i never caught her or suspected her of being a liar or manipulator... all this came to my attention after years of knowing and living with her, and **after** i instigated the breakup. so it's not like i stayed around for eons for her abuse. and i also think i was getting a lot more good out of the r/s for a longer period of time than you did with your ex. thus, much harder to walk away from. and a longer history shared together means it affected me probably to a greater degree.

lastly, there's just simple attraction at hand. and it sounds like you while you were definitely attracted to your ex, she wasn't really off the charts attractive in your eyes. my ex, well, quite a bit different. i hate to admit it but i know a large part of my attraction to my ex was how attractive she was. and while beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, let's just say that everywhere we went and much of the stuff we did... .well, damn near everyone was a beholder (including a lot of women). your ex sounds attractive, pretty. most people (and i) described my ex as beautiful/gorgeous/hot/what the heck-did-you-breakup-with-her-fine-arse? trust me if you broke up with my ex as i did, she would be doing less crying and trying to get you back and more sorting through an army of men/women ready to make her feel better and do her bidding. and her attractiveness wasn't just physical, she was a really down to earth and cool chick when she wanted to be. not just someone who as you described was "... .very photogenic but in person wasn't really all that... ." my ex was kind of all-that in many ways, and i admit this made it harder to leave, but i did.

i just wanted to give you a picture of my story as i can identify with some of your perspective--that of someone who feels independent, ok with being alone and single, someone who wasn't too affected by childhood and family issues. i do try to "keep it real" with others on this board too, and sometimes i give the tough love. but at the same time i often find myself being creative with my approach since i know i'm coming from a different place. this whole experience has left me with so much gratitude for my family and friends for giving me a strong support base, and i realize not everyone has had this. i hope this helps. i think your opinions in general should be expressed here more, because you aren't the norm. and that hopefully over time you can find some balance to express this viewpoint so that it really sinks in for everyone regardless of their backgrounds.

Excellent constructive reply Goldy and thank you.
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« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2014, 06:42:51 AM »

Stop giving you partner the power. Draw those lines in the sand and be willing to walk away if they are crossed.

I'm glad you were able to walk away before you got hurt Visitor.  It also sounds like you have a somewhat avoidant attachment style, where if anyone threatens your independence you're outta there.  Sure, being alone is always an option, but nowhere near as good as being in a great relationship, and in great relationships partners challenge each other and build partnerships, let go of the need to control, become interdependent, all of which requires letting the walls down and letting someone in.  Granted, letting someone with a personality disorder in is a bad move, but a great relationship can't happen without it.

Visitor.

While you make some valid comments, you did so in a very abrasive, arrogant manner.

If you detached so successfully from your exBPD and seem to have all the answers... .what are you doing on  this board?

Are you just here to enlighten us poor boundary less souls?.

I am sure that someone more educated in phycology than myself will be able to give you a few personality pointers to get you started.

Thank you for the reply Big. A couple of people have also said these words are arrogant and I do understand.

Some people (like me) like to say it straight, to the point and how it is. This can come across as harsh/arrogant.

Whether I sprinkle it with sugar or not I believe this is how it is and this is how I will say it.
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« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2014, 06:50:09 AM »

Some people, like myself, started out with a strong sense of personal boundaries before getting involved with a PD'd SO.

I had no issues with honoring my boundaries and holding others accountable if they crossed them.

That is until I met what I thought was the love of my life and the person I was planning on spending the rest of my

life with. I realized far too late just how many boundaries I allowed her to cross and what that did to my self-esteem.

When I was in the middle of an abusive relationship I'd do a lot just to keep the peace including, allowing my w to disregard my boundaries.

It was instinctual.

I seemed to have a tacit understanding that, the softer my boundaries were, the less friction I created in the relationship.

It was a survival instinct. I have only been conscious of this in retrospect.

My boundaries melted away from the fear of greater conflict.

From what I've gathered, boundaries from the perspective of PD is perceived as withholding love. 

If you withhold love it triggers their abandonment issues. There's always a price to pay when you trigger that beast.

Hi Risingsun

If anybody has been through this experience they should now know that if they do not have clear boundaries and drop them in the hope that they can get along better with another person then they will lose respect. Respect for themselves and their partner will not respect them.

Everybody has a sad story about their previous relationship but its how we now take these lessons and apply them to our future ones.

Will history predict the future or will our history give us the knowledge and power to CHANGE the future and shape it how we want it.

We can only change our futures if we give ourselves the power to do so.









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« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2014, 07:00:38 AM »

I don't think Visitor says anything that isn't true, the problem is is simplifies the situation. He is totally right that boundaries must be strong and enforced.

Unfortunately the real world isn't so simple.

I was known for having good boundaries with women, I never stood for any nonsense. However, I was targeted at the very optimum time - days after splitting with an ex. I wasnt interested in the BPD predator, but she was like a computer-designed predator, saying precisely the right thing at the right moment, at a time when I was temporarily receptive. She instinctively adapted according to the situation, and drew me in very verrrry slowwwly over several months. I was on my guard for a long time, and she slowly softened that by saying exactly the right things, acting the right way.  She would bide her time for weeks until ready to strike. She carefully learned my little insecurities and weaknesses, and would save them up then use them all against me in a sudden, carefully timed self-esteem assassination. Each time I was ready to walk, and she would wake up apologetic, ready to seek professional help, full of promises. Of course I shouldn't have listened, but it was a bombardment.

The first time I walked myself, she must have called me 500 times, promised she didnt want me back, just wanted to apologise, etc.

Each time she took a little more of my strength away, and educated herself a little for the next time.

Fast forward a year or so, and I am exhausted, confused, questioning my own sanity, and the rages are so frequent and violent that I literally can't think during them.

My mistake wasn't not walking - I must have walked a dozen times. It was to not cut her off totally when I walked, meaning I was sucked back in by promises and empty words. The first time, I can be excused for giving it another chance, having hope that she had really learned. By the 10th time I was just to exhausted to think straight.
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« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2014, 08:00:48 AM »

I don't think Visitor says anything that isn't true, the problem is is simplifies the situation. He is totally right that boundaries must be strong and enforced.

Unfortunately the real world isn't so simple.

I was known for having good boundaries with women, I never stood for any nonsense. However, I was targeted at the very optimum time - days after splitting with an ex. I wasnt interested in the BPD predator, but she was like a computer-designed predator, saying precisely the right thing at the right moment, at a time when I was temporarily receptive. She instinctively adapted according to the situation, and drew me in very verrrry slowwwly over several months. I was on my guard for a long time, and she slowly softened that by saying exactly the right things, acting the right way.  She would bide her time for weeks until ready to strike. She carefully learned my little insecurities and weaknesses, and would save them up then use them all against me in a sudden, carefully timed self-esteem assassination. Each time I was ready to walk, and she would wake up apologetic, ready to seek professional help, full of promises. Of course I shouldn't have listened, but it was a bombardment.

The first time I walked myself, she must have called me 500 times, promised she didnt want me back, just wanted to apologise, etc.

Each time she took a little more of my strength away, and educated herself a little for the next time.

Fast forward a year or so, and I am exhausted, confused, questioning my own sanity, and the rages are so frequent and violent that I literally can't think during them.

My mistake wasn't not walking - I must have walked a dozen times. It was to not cut her off totally when I walked, meaning I was sucked back in by promises and empty words. The first time, I can be excused for giving it another chance, having hope that she had really learned. By the 10th time I was just to exhausted to think straight.

Hi Camuse

Great reply thank you. I know what you mean by simplifying things. Somebody on here also noted that its like saying to an alcoholic "all you have to do is stop drinking" or saying to a fat person "all you have to do is stop eating".

Of course I understand that it is not that simple. There is a whole journey that person which will probably be the hardest journey of that persons life. It is one that will consume their whole life.

That said. If an alcoholic said "it's the whiskeys fault that I am an alcoholic"... if the obese person said "Its the foods fault that I am obese"  Would you accept that?

Does that mean that in order for that person to be sober he/she would have to rid the world of alcohol?... would there need to be no food containing fats and sugars in order for the fat person to become thin?

No of course not. If an alcoholic wants to become sober he/she must take full responsibility for it and make changes to his/her life. The external temptations are going to be all around them but it is his or her choice in that moment that will shape the future.

As much as I am talking about boundaries I am also talking about the power we give ourselves. Not letting something external like a partner dictate our lives.

This has nothing to do with BP but only the other day I had a friend moaning at me about how his girlfriend treats him. Doesn't let him go out with his friends, moans at him about this and that... .He got the same answer as any of my other friends get about their partners YOU CHOOSE TO STAY IN THE RELATIONSHIP SO IT'S YOUR PROBLEM!... I don't want to hear about it!... if you dont like it and she isnt treating how you want to be treated then grow some balls and do something about it. It's YOUR choice not hers!

I know this is a forum for people who have detached from a failed relationship and a lot of you are still hurting from it but well done!... you have taken the first big step making a huge change in your life and you have finally stood up for yourself.

A lot of you have been "split black" or left by your partners but deep down you know it was for a reason and you know it wasn't going to work out. Even if you get back with them the relationship is doomed.

Work on yourselves now. Let this build your character. There are millions of other people in the world and with your new found confidence and life lessons somebody will come into your life and you will forget all about the pain this other person caused.

I guarantee you all have some wonderful qualities that your new partner will love you for     Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) 



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« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2014, 08:29:47 AM »

You are completely right, of course. I'm just explaining how things can creep up on you.

I never intended to become a smoker, for example. Eventually I stopped smoking, but it was quite a while between realising it was not a good idea, and getting away from it. Of course, I could have just stopped putting cigarettes in my mouth. But many very intelligent people who know they shouldn't smoke, continue to do so. None decide to become regular smokers - it crept up on them without them realising they were hooked until it is too late.

These relationships, in my opinion, create an even stronger chemical addiction which is very painful to cut off suddenly, despite being the best option. The push pull has an effect on the brain, a real effect which causes real unpleasantness when it stops. Much worse than the powerful withdrawal from nicotine, for me!

The junkie knows he should stop injecting heroin, but i'm afraid telling addicts "just stop using" has not proven to be very effective as a treatment program Smiling (click to insert in post)

Sometimes you have to get your brain processes in order so you can handle the changes when your addictive supply is stopped, and that's hard to do when the supply is following you round, phoning trying to get back in your system.

Probably you can compare it to an alcoholic who manages to stop, is handling the horrible withdrawal, but has someone chasing him all round town with a can of beer.

It's hard being a human being, not everything is decided on logic and going against the messages from your mind is extremely difficult, by design. I knew my BPD was no good, unpleasant, hopeless, but I still felt horrific pain when she was gone, and sometimes I just wanted the pain to stop - that's why recycling is so difficult to resist.

We are all fortunate to have survived a nightmare experience, which will shape us forever - ultimately for the very better.
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« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2014, 08:42:13 AM »

Interestingly, my uexBPD used to often say, "You're so independent," and "You look after yourself so well," "I'm not sure I could settle down with someone who has his act together as well as you do," and even "You could kick me out at any time and I have no where to go." She didn't say it as a compliment though -said it with sadness, knowing that she couldn't get away with it forever and that eventually I would enforce my boundaries for good, and she had to start making other plans. Who knows what would have happened if she hadn't managed to find another attachment when she did, but I think she knew her days of abusing me were numbered and it terrified her. Once I'd finished with her the first time, I was doomed of course - she recycled me then an many times afterwards, but she knew she had to find a weaker replacement from that day onwards and I suspect she started looking for it the very next day.
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« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2014, 09:25:04 AM »

Interestingly, my uexBPD used to often say, "You're so independent," and "You look after yourself so well," "I'm not sure I could settle down with someone who has his act together as well as you do," and even "You could kick me out at any time and I have no where to go." She didn't say it as a compliment though -said it with sadness, knowing that she couldn't get away with it forever and that eventually I would enforce my boundaries for good, and she had to start making other plans. Who knows what would have happened if she hadn't managed to find another attachment when she did, but I think she knew her days of abusing me were numbered and it terrified her. Once I'd finished with her the first time, I was doomed of course - she recycled me then an many times afterwards, but she knew she had to find a weaker replacement from that day onwards and I suspect she started looking for it the very next day.

Sounds like your ex was pretty hot too. It's amazing how much a guy will let a girl get away with based on her looks. Many other factors of course but this will be a big one.

You're right my ex wasnt really that hot but she was nice enough. She looked good going out but not that good naked in bed without the make up and hair done etc.

When you say she abused you can you give a couple of examples?


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« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2014, 09:46:39 AM »

Excerpt
Sounds like your ex was pretty hot too. It's amazing how much a guy will let a girl get away with based on her looks. Many other factors of course but this will be a big one.

She was very pretty facially, but I didn't fancy her when I met her - she was quite a big girl - but she lost a lot of weight very fast once we met because of drug abuse and bulemia - mostly hidden from me. I don't think her looks was why I put up with it specifically. Sometimes I did think she was very beautiful, when she was peaceful and smiling. But during her rages I found her very ugly.


Excerpt
When you say she abused you can you give a couple of examples?

Raging, belittlement, insults, some violence, isolation, lies, cheating, take your pick.[/quote]
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« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2014, 09:57:54 AM »

Basically you can say that everything anyone ever does to you is your own fault because you chose to put up with it. That's what many of those self-help people will tell you.

That you start to attract people the day you start saying no, that's what the pick up artist-people tell you.

The reality is different and much more complicated.
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« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2014, 10:31:40 AM »

Sometimes I did think she was very beautiful, when she was peaceful and smiling. But during her rages I found her very ugly.

I know what you mean. My ex BPD used to have this horrible crying face. Her lips used to curl up and her eys scrunched up. It was a real put off!


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« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2014, 10:51:31 AM »

Excerpt
Don't let the idolization she has or had for you blur these boundaries. It's a very powerful thing for a person to be able to walk away if these are not being respected.

My apologies I'm a little late to join. I didn't have boundaries with the self or boundaries with others.

I lacked personal boundaries but the idealization phase was wonderful. It was intoxicating. I had never felt anything like it in my life.

I grew up with a narcissistic father and I wasn't validated, paid attention to and it was a one-way relationship. Her attention and validation was what I was attracted to, because of my FOO. You make a very good point with boundaries. I think it goes back to your FOO.

Did you have a validating environment growing up?
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« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2014, 11:03:03 AM »

WOW! This is helpful? Maybe in seeing more of what is out there that I also would like to avoid.

First: Giving a simple solution and not really understanding how it works for most of us. Having yourself admitted you did not experience the whole cycle.

Second: Making no excuses for your attitude while people are justifying their behavior to you! Why?

And Now: Making fun of the way a person looks when they cry?

This is ridiculous
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« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2014, 11:22:05 AM »

Oh how I wish things were this simple. Yes, boundaries are important, but having been gaslighted it can sometimes be difficult to tell when these boundaries have been breached.

My psychologist explained to me why I have often been in relationships with pwPDs. My mother was NPD, and so a lot of PD behaviour to me is just normal. I don't notice it. It's that simple, it's just normality to me. Therefore it's only when the behaviour significantly escalates that I notice it. Others women, those who didn't have a PD parent, would probably have left the relationship earlier than I did. I wait until behaviour is far more extreme, by which time I'm trauma bonded and more involved. It's not that I've been miserable up until that point, it's just seemed like normal life.

As for ending things due to certain behaviour, as I said, I've been gaslighted by an abusive partner. He'd nudge me out of the way, and say "it wasn't a push, I was just moving you out of the way". He'd punch me in the thigh, and say it was just friendly, horsing around. Both those things are violent - do I end a marriage because of them? Do I wait to see if there's more, clear-cut violence? Because by that time my boundaries have actually lowered a bit: "the last time he pushed me it wasn't that bad, I wasn't hurt, so why would I end the marriage and break up the family? He laughed about it so he couldn't have meant it?". Over time the pushes get harder but he's still brushing it off as a joke and my boundaries have lowered over the years to adapt and normalise his behaviour.

It's rare that someone IMMEDIATELY breaches your boundaries. I have a non-violence boundary too, so do most people, yet I found myself in a marriage that was abusive. I have letters from solicitors and psychologists testifying it was abusive, and yet still I doubt it. He pushed me, punched me and sexually assaulted me, and yet I still say "oh but he wasn't physically violent". Why? Because my boundaries were breached very very subtly over a long period of time so that I didn't notice it happening and I adjusted to it as we went along.

This is a common phenomenon. Yes, establish boundaries and stick to them, but saying someone brought it all on themselves by not having boundaries is oversimplifying and can look worryingly like victim-blaming... .
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« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2014, 12:48:55 PM »

Thank you for the reply Big. A couple of people have also said these words are arrogant and I do understand.

Some people (like me) like to say it straight, to the point and how it is. This can come across as harsh/arrogant.

Whether I sprinkle it with sugar or not I believe this is how it is and this is how I will say it.

Visitor,

I could go to fat camp and proclaim to every one in the room that if they had simply eaten less and exercised more, they would not be fat.  I could go to a domestic violence victim and say, if you had just taken the kids and moved out you would have avoided the incident.  I could say to the alcoholic, just don't drink, dude.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

If I do this, am I shooting them straight - forgoing the sprinkles and sugar - and saying how I believe it is?  Am I helping or am I shaming them for not knowing better?  

I think somewhere in this mix is the generation of the reaction you are getting.

People who are overweight know that food intake/exercise is the mechanics to weight loss.  Highly stressful jobs, working long hours, thyroid disorders, life transitions, illness, injury, depression, money problems, smoking cessation, eating disorders, etc. are often the factors the led to being overweight. And recovering from being overweight is very different than not becoming overweight.

The same is true with these relationships.  Acute emotional crisis (e.g., divorce, loss of a partner, loss of employment, negative life event) or chronic FOO issues or depressions, alcoholism, mid-life crisis, etc. are often the factors the lead to these relationships.  And recovering from being in a high conflict/emotionally instable relationship is very different from avoiding one.

A second point is that "boundaries" won't "attract much healthier people into you life" anymore than a fence around your house will attract a good dog.  Boundaries help us repel people or behaviors that violate our values.  Attracting healthier people into our life going forward is usually about reassessing our own values, our lifestyle, and the people we seek out.  

I would say to anybody stuck in this chaos to take a bit of time out and really think about what your boundaries are. There doesn't have to be hundreds of them maybe just five or 6.

1. I do not except cheating any shape or form. If this happens I am gone

2. I will not accept being called horrible names

3. The silent treatment is for children. If you give me the silent treatment then see you later I'm going out to have some fun. Let me know if you're ready to stop sulking.

4.  Any form of violence is completely unacceptable in all shapes and forms with no exception.

5. If you want to discuss something then I am open to a calm conversation. I understand that all couples argue but a full on rage attack with shouting is unacceptable.

Notwithstanding what I said above, certainly this is good advice.  Values/boundaries are an important aspect of dating and relationships and is a big part of the recovery platform here.

We teach people how to treat us.

I hope this helps put all sides in perspective.  The key benefit of a peer support group is to be able to talk to people that are strong and have good direction, but have the experience to be empathetic.

Skip
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« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2014, 01:30:09 PM »

It's amazing how much a guy will let a girl get away with based on her looks. Many other factors of course but this will be a big one.

You know, I think in a lot of our cases, looks really aren't the driving factor. It's not the fact that they're hot. My ex w/BPD was cute, but I've dated girls that were much "hotter" than she was, and I never got caught up with them in the same way. I think for a lot of us it had MUCH more to do with the way they made us feel. Putting us up on a pedestal. Treating us like we were the most important person in the world. Basically feeding our egos in ways we had never experienced before.

If it were something as simple and superficial as what they looked like, we wouldn't get hooked in the way we do.
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« Reply #45 on: August 25, 2014, 01:31:50 PM »

The same is true with these relationships.  Acute emotional crisis (e.g., divorce, loss of a partner, loss of employment, negative life event) or chronic FOO issues or depressions, alcoholism, mid-life crisis, etc. are often the factors the lead to these relationships.  And recovering from being in a high conflict/emotionally instable relationship is very different from avoiding one.

A second point is that "boundaries" won't "attract much healthier people into you life" anymore than a fence around your house will attract a good dog.  Boundaries help us repel people or behaviors that violate our values.  Attracting healthier people into our life going forward is usually about reassessing our own values, our lifestyle, and the people we seek out.

Thank you for summing up my situation so well Skip.  I can tick the box of most of the factors that can lead to these relationships.  If I had not been in such a vulnerable state after my mother died I do not think that  I would have got involved with the expwBPD.

Yes we do have to take ownership of our boundaries especially so we do not recycle the relationship causing more psychological harm to ourselves.

Yes we do need to take a hard look at the part we played in the dysfunctional relationship.

I am looking at the entire situation as  an opportunity for personal growth and with the help of a councilor I am looking at FOO issues.


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« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2014, 03:17:46 PM »

I didn't even go out with a pwBPD, only befriended and even I was drawn into trusting them, sympathising with them and even liking them before they massively screwed me over.

If you have a kind and open heart, are emotionally available to the persons who come in and out of your life, like I would say most of the community here then setting boundaries can be tough at times especially with people like those with BPD. They seem to know the tricks, know what makes you tick and know exactly how to manipulate you.

Additionally when you really like someone, and want them in your life, the goal-post can change, I think it was Skip who said something about re-accessing values and I completely agree with that. If we had fiercely rigid set rules and guidelines about everything in life all the time we would miss out on so many opportunities. Besides you can't honestly have the exact some boundaries for every single person in your life, surely? A stranger must abide by different boundaries for me than say someone who has been a friend for many years. If I judged everyone I met by the exact same rules and didn't access the situation and the character of the person I'd probably never make any friends/relationships.

In connection to that, you say earlier, Visitor, about your clean cut boundaries of essentially 'these are the rules, or I leave'. Very, 'my way or the highway' and, if I am to be so bold, a little like throwing your toys out of the pram if you don't get your way. Personally, I would hate to be with someone like that, someone constantly threatening to leave due to strict codes of conduct. Additionally, this concept of respect, I respect a man who stands up for himself and what he believes however I certainly do not respect a man who uses unwavering personal laws as reasons to bail without even a mild attempt at discussion and possibly compromise. A relationship is a two way thing you have to hear the other person out because their boundaries and values may not be the same and I doubt two peoples' are ever exactly the same so their has to be some adjustment in order for a loving and healthy relationship to blossom.

Do not get me wrong! Things such as physical violence in a relationship are never ok but even then there are some grey areas. For example:

- Some time ago I dated a guy who at one point put his hand to my face and pushed me into a wall in front of a group of our friends, it was no accident and he did not even attempt an apology; he just saw it as larking about. That was totally unacceptable, I stayed but I know now I was a joke for doing that.

- In my next relationship my bf and I were play fighting on the sofa while visiting some friends. He made a motion miming elbowing me in the gut, unfortunately I moved and he ended up hitting me square in the face and giving me a black eye. Followed were loads of kisses, cuddles and 'wow I am so sorry's!'. Still a form of aggressive physical contact in a relationship but a complete accident.

Arguably, by your boundaries, I should have said goodbye to both of them then and there; does that really sound fair? It's just not always that clear, especially off the bat. Who knows that second guy could have slowly but surely introduced more violence into the relationship, ensuring all were accompanied by apologies to throw me off; that does happen and it is still abuse but you can't tell from that first hit (excuse the pun).

My run in with a pwBPD has made me extremely emotionally unavailable and quite defensive and suspicious of others and now I rigorously keep to my boundaries. Guess what... .I have met no one since I ended my last relationship now nearly a year and a half ago. No new relationship, very few new friendships, it's been a nightmare. I'm coming to realise that I need to start opening up again, be more emotionally available and welcoming of the new experiences and feelings people bring.

Without getting too personal, Visitor, I have to question why you are here if you have it so together, is it curiosity? Or another reason. Again, if I can be so bold, from your statements, you sound rather emotionally unavailable yourself and perhaps have some commitment issues. You do raise some good points but it's just not all the black and white or clear cut.



P.S. You also sound disturbingly like someone I know... .it's making me very nervous.
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« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2014, 04:04:49 PM »

Actually, the only person I know who lives like that - who has really clear cut boundaries and rigorously cuts people out of his life if they step over them - is a sociopath. A very dear friend, but a sociopath all the same. And of course being a sociopath he feels no regret or sadness over doing it, which is really really handy. At the moment I could do with some of that.
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« Reply #48 on: August 25, 2014, 04:39:42 PM »

Actually, the only person I know who lives like that - who has really clear cut boundaries and rigorously cuts people out of his life if they step over them - is a sociopath. A very dear friend, but a sociopath all the same. And of course being a sociopath he feels no regret or sadness over doing it, which is really really handy. At the moment I could do with some of that.

I think that to be in a relationship that we need boundaries and need to respect boundaries and both people need to be aware of boundaries.

Also... your boundaries are going to need to be a little flexible at times... .(good communication and discussion facilitate this)... .but it is not a perfect world... .And "my" experience would tell me that none of what I just typed is possible with a pwBPD. Sad but true.

And since a pwBPD is so deceptive ... .it is hard to know what you are getting into initially because they are soo soo good at deception.

They look at a decent, honest, caring, trusting person as prey.
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« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2014, 05:17:42 PM »

Oh how I wish things were this simple. Yes, boundaries are important, but having been gaslighted it can sometimes be difficult to tell when these boundaries have been breached.

My psychologist explained to me why I have often been in relationships with pwPDs. My mother was NPD, and so a lot of PD behaviour to me is just normal. I don't notice it. It's that simple, it's just normality to me. Therefore it's only when the behaviour significantly escalates that I notice it. Others women, those who didn't have a PD parent, would probably have left the relationship earlier than I did. I wait until behaviour is far more extreme, by which time I'm trauma bonded and more involved. It's not that I've been miserable up until that point, it's just seemed like normal life.

As for ending things due to certain behaviour, as I said, I've been gaslighted by an abusive partner. He'd nudge me out of the way, and say "it wasn't a push, I was just moving you out of the way". He'd punch me in the thigh, and say it was just friendly, horsing around. Both those things are violent - do I end a marriage because of them? Do I wait to see if there's more, clear-cut violence? Because by that time my boundaries have actually lowered a bit: "the last time he pushed me it wasn't that bad, I wasn't hurt, so why would I end the marriage and break up the family? He laughed about it so he couldn't have meant it?". Over time the pushes get harder but he's still brushing it off as a joke and my boundaries have lowered over the years to adapt and normalise his behaviour.

It's rare that someone IMMEDIATELY breaches your boundaries. I have a non-violence boundary too, so do most people, yet I found myself in a marriage that was abusive. I have letters from solicitors and psychologists testifying it was abusive, and yet still I doubt it. He pushed me, punched me and sexually assaulted me, and yet I still say "oh but he wasn't physically violent". Why? Because my boundaries were breached very very subtly over a long period of time so that I didn't notice it happening and I adjusted to it as we went along.

This is a common phenomenon. Yes, establish boundaries and stick to them, but saying someone brought it all on themselves by not having boundaries is oversimplifying and can look worryingly like victim-blaming... .

WOW... .finally an explanation for my not knowing it was abuse... .I had been brought up with an emotionally unstable Mother. She would not want to admit it and she has mellowed with age, but after a few days, and as stress levels go up, it starts to seep out. No wonder I didn't notice. Both my long term relationships were abusive.

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« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2014, 07:22:18 PM »

Excerpt
And recovering from being in a high conflict/emotionally instable relationship is very different from avoiding one.

Hallelujah!
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« Reply #51 on: August 25, 2014, 10:31:59 PM »

Visitor your actually giving some good advice for dating someone normal. I had plenty of boundaries but I think the strongest one is to leave someone disordered immediately! Even with strong boundaries and believe me mine were pretty damn strong. You rage I hang up. You demand to meet my family when Im not ready I say no. You demand more of my time and to see me everyday I again say no we are not on that level yet. We discuss moving in together and you are still raging then now I renew my lease one more year and moving in is off. The list goes on and on constant putting your foot down. The best boundary with someone who is disordered is to leave them immediately. Your examples of boundary setting are damn good but those are good for dating normal people. AJ Mahajari said it herslf that she at this point in time would not date someone with BPD. Meanwhile she recovered from BPD and has dated someone with BPD while recovered. Talk about knowing your stuff she definitely did know. You can go on the staying board and see many of examples. If you set boundaries with someone with BPD from my experience they just keep continuously working to break them down. It's almost like your boundaries are a door to them and they are the cops with a battering ram trying to break the door down. Over time your boundaries will weaken because you essentially will weaken. You will feel extreme exhaustion and little by little lose ground slowly but surely. The boundaries I came into this relationship I learned from when I was engaged and it turned sour(normal girl with regular daddy issues FYI). The best boundary is to just leave them if they are disordered.

I cannot speak for everyone but it seems common that the type of people they hurt like myself have had past trauma or have suffered depression themselves in the past. I battled depression for years and won finally. I became whole. After my bad engagement episode I healed up and was strong and whole for sure. The fact though that I had battled depression years before left me empathetic to my BPD ex's situation. She told me originally she had major depression so I thought WOW this person needs love and care. I sympathized from suffering in the past myself. Now all my years of core work is ripped down way faster then I could obtain it. THe reason I state that is that you need to understand that the type of people they are targeting either have had issues in the past or currently do with core damage. Though I do agree with what you are saying with your boundary explanation it is not safe to assume that all of us didn't have any. We are empathetic type of personality on here for the most part and have chosen to put that empathy into the wrong place. We have made mistakes it's just that simple and are in severe trauma. You metaphorically asking someone who has broken both legs to just walk it off or get up and run. Eventually we will get up and run but it is going to take time.


Also I'm curious brother I really am. From everything you have stated so far and judging from the little amount of posts you have it seems like you are not in pain from the breakup and escaped pretty much unscathed. My question is what do you hope to gain on here for yourself. If you left during the idealization stage then you didn't experience the same as others on here and there probably isn't much to heal on your end. What do you need to work on for yourself that you are going to get from here?
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« Reply #52 on: August 27, 2014, 01:08:00 AM »

Visitor: I read this thread in it's entirety--you really made us think and react. In my case you're absolutely correct. I ordered the book, "The Power of No," which really speaks to me. We all are at different points in our recovery--my feelings vacillate as if I'm recovering from an addiction. If I'm too tired or too lonely or too hungry or not feeling good--all trigger feelings of missing exbfBPD. So, in my case, I know I must go through a recovery program not unlike AA. Because this is the third such relationship in my adult life (not counting FOO) I VERY MUCH WANT TO PREVENT A RELAPSE OR RECURRENCE! Your words really resonated with me. Twelve steps are simple to understand but hard to do. I seek an attitude and behavior change, and your words gave me a good template. I was at a very low self esteem phase when I met exbfBPD, and I believe they sense and perceive that vulnerability and exploit it IF WE ALLOW IT. I definitely feared loneliness more than the onslaught of his abuse. Because of a year of very high stress/cortisol levels, I have been diagnosed with a serious disorder. It's been a serious wake up call that I will not survive another round, so I am seeking any and all advice to prevent and more r/s with pwBPD or NPD or ASPD! Thanks.
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« Reply #53 on: August 27, 2014, 01:50:39 AM »

My ex was aware that these are all red flags and she restrained herself untill much later in te relationship.  To not scare me off.
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« Reply #54 on: August 27, 2014, 03:42:37 AM »

I really enjoyed reading this thread. The intense discussion has highlighted two main points for me:  the utter complexity of the dynamic of being in an intimate, close relationship with a pwBPD.  And, secondly,   that it all begins and ends with us exploring our own issues, as opposed to what we project onto our BPDpartners.  

Thanks for the excellent debate/discussion here.
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« Reply #55 on: August 27, 2014, 12:47:27 PM »

Hi, can I just ask what FOO means? 
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« Reply #56 on: August 27, 2014, 12:49:07 PM »

Hi, can I just ask what FOO means?  

Family of Origin.

For reference, if needed:

What do all these abbreviations mean?

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« Reply #57 on: August 27, 2014, 03:58:00 PM »

Thank you very much. I couldnt work it out! I have taken a look at the link too.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #58 on: August 28, 2014, 03:50:42 AM »

I really enjoyed reading this thread. The intense discussion has highlighted two main points for me:  the utter complexity of the dynamic of being in an intimate, close relationship with a pwBPD.  And, secondly,   that it all begins and ends with us exploring our own issues, as opposed to what we project onto our BPDpartners.  

Thanks for the excellent debate/discussion here.

Ihope2 thanks for the reply.

Very true about exploring our own issues. This is where I am at the moment.

When a fisherman throws his line into the water with a hook and worm on the line a group of fish will see it. Most of those fish say "that doesn't look right I'm going to stay away from that"... .but a few of the fish will say "Now that is a nice worm!... yes something isn't quite right about it but I don't have any other worms around at the moment so I'll go for it" ... .BAM! fish caught!

I'm not angry at the fisherman... he was just doing what he does. I'm not angry at myself as I was just an unknowing fish.

What I am fascinated with is WHY was I one of the few fish that took the bait when all the others around were staying well clear.
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« Reply #59 on: August 28, 2014, 04:14:46 AM »

Visitor your actually giving some good advice for dating someone normal. I had plenty of boundaries but I think the strongest one is to leave someone disordered immediately! Even with strong boundaries and believe me mine were pretty damn strong. You rage I hang up. You demand to meet my family when Im not ready I say no. You demand more of my time and to see me everyday I again say no we are not on that level yet. We discuss moving in together and you are still raging then now I renew my lease one more year and moving in is off. The list goes on and on constant putting your foot down. The best boundary with someone who is disordered is to leave them immediately. Your examples of boundary setting are damn good but those are good for dating normal people. AJ Mahajari said it herslf that she at this point in time would not date someone with BPD. Meanwhile she recovered from BPD and has dated someone with BPD while recovered. Talk about knowing your stuff she definitely did know. You can go on the staying board and see many of examples. If you set boundaries with someone with BPD from my experience they just keep continuously working to break them down. It's almost like your boundaries are a door to them and they are the cops with a battering ram trying to break the door down. Over time your boundaries will weaken because you essentially will weaken. You will feel extreme exhaustion and little by little lose ground slowly but surely. The boundaries I came into this relationship I learned from when I was engaged and it turned sour(normal girl with regular daddy issues FYI). The best boundary is to just leave them if they are disordered.

I cannot speak for everyone but it seems common that the type of people they hurt like myself have had past trauma or have suffered depression themselves in the past. I battled depression for years and won finally. I became whole. After my bad engagement episode I healed up and was strong and whole for sure. The fact though that I had battled depression years before left me empathetic to my BPD ex's situation. She told me originally she had major depression so I thought WOW this person needs love and care. I sympathized from suffering in the past myself. Now all my years of core work is ripped down way faster then I could obtain it. THe reason I state that is that you need to understand that the type of people they are targeting either have had issues in the past or currently do with core damage. Though I do agree with what you are saying with your boundary explanation it is not safe to assume that all of us didn't have any. We are empathetic type of personality on here for the most part and have chosen to put that empathy into the wrong place. We have made mistakes it's just that simple and are in severe trauma. You metaphorically asking someone who has broken both legs to just walk it off or get up and run. Eventually we will get up and run but it is going to take time.


Also I'm curious brother I really am. From everything you have stated so far and judging from the little amount of posts you have it seems like you are not in pain from the breakup and escaped pretty much unscathed. My question is what do you hope to gain on here for yourself. If you left during the idealization stage then you didn't experience the same as others on here and there probably isn't much to heal on your end. What do you need to work on for yourself that you are going to get from here?

Hello AG and thank you for taking the time to reply.

To answer your question I really was into my BPD ex but she pushed me away through her constant boundary crashing, extreme jealousy, raging etc. The idolization stage went on for much longer that most it seems. When I finally left her I was left feeling like I was a bad person. I felt like I used her and never committed as I should have. She was good at making everything my fault and completely disregarding her behaviour which played tricks on my softer side.

My journey here is one of self discovery and searching for reasons that I found myself in the relationship that I did. What attracted me to her in the first place?

My edges have softened since starting the post in that pwBPD don't smash through our boundaries, they are Trojan horses. They trick us into letting them inside and before we know it we are under attack. They are tearing us apart from the inside.

But we cant be fooled twice! Sure we took some collateral damage but they didn't defeat us. They only made us stronger and now we are wise to the Trojan horse.

We will still let people in to our fortress but now we recognize the enemy, now the people inside will only be with us and not against us.

Keep your boundaries my friends... and beware of the Trojan Horse that is BPD!
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« Reply #60 on: August 28, 2014, 09:36:32 AM »

Excerpt
When a fisherman throws his line into the water with a hook and worm on the line a group of fish will see it. Most of those fish say "that doesn't look right I'm going to stay away from that"... .but a few of the fish will say "Now that is a nice worm!... yes something isn't quite right about it but I don't have any other worms around at the moment so I'll go for it" ... .BAM! fish caught!

I'm not angry at the fisherman... he was just doing what he does. I'm not angry at myself as I was just an unknowing fish.

What I am fascinated with is WHY was I one of the few fish that took the bait when all the others around were staying well clear.

Excerpt
My edges have softened since starting the post in that pwBPD don't smash through our boundaries, they are Trojan horses. They trick us into letting them inside and before we know it we are under attack. They are tearing us apart from the inside.

But we cant be fooled twice! Sure we took some collateral damage but they didn't defeat us. They only made us stronger and now we are wise to the Trojan horse.

We will still let people in to our fortress but now we recognize the enemy, now the people inside will only be with us and not against us.

Nice metaphors Visitor, and useful.

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« Reply #61 on: August 28, 2014, 09:46:47 AM »

My edges have softened since starting the post in that pwBPD don't smash through our boundaries, they are Trojan horses. They trick us into letting them inside and before we know it we are under attack. They are tearing us apart from the inside.

There is some validity to the Trojan horse metaphor form the recipients point of view... .not so much from the partners side.

The question is, is what we "feel" actually what is happening?  We often criticize pwBPD saying feelings = facts, but we can do that too.

So, yes, it is like a Trojan horse - what we see is not what we get.

And no, it's not like a Trojan horse - its not a plot or a plan - its almost the opposite - unbridled over responsive emotion.
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« Reply #62 on: August 28, 2014, 10:09:29 AM »

My edges have softened since starting the post in that pwBPD don't smash through our boundaries, they are Trojan horses. They trick us into letting them inside and before we know it we are under attack. They are tearing us apart from the inside.

So, yes, it is like a Trojan horse - what we see is not what we get.

And no, it's not like a Trojan horse - its not a plot or a plan - its almost the opposite - unbridled over responsive emotion.

I guess it's down to the individual. I've heard cases of pwBPD keeping their emotions intact for long enough until they have a foot in the door and even until they are married!

Do you give an validity to this?

My ex certainly kept a lid on things until we were further down the line. Although, maybe they don't have such insecurities so soon in the relationship as there is a honeymoon period. I know for sure she used crocodile tears a lot to control things at the beginning.







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« Reply #63 on: August 28, 2014, 10:44:13 AM »

At the core of BPD, according to some researchers, are two things, fear of rejection, and diminished executive control (impulsive without considering the consequences).

Generally, people with BPD are not schemers.  If anything they live in the moment.

And we all idealize and mirror and suppress (undesirables) in the beginning of a relationship. These are not BPD traits - they are human traits.  A person with BPD, because of their core, tends to be more extreme.

In general, people with BPD are weak.  Not strong.  Not clever.

What makes it so hard for many of us, is we let the weaker person drive the bus.

Understanding this really helps us look back and understand what happened.  The belief in monsters often make this all a confusing blur.

Weakness is one thing to worry about in a relationship.
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« Reply #64 on: August 28, 2014, 10:54:38 AM »

My edges have softened since starting the post in that pwBPD don't smash through our boundaries, they are Trojan horses. They trick us into letting them inside and before we know it we are under attack. They are tearing us apart from the inside.

So, yes, it is like a Trojan horse - what we see is not what we get.

And no, it's not like a Trojan horse - its not a plot or a plan - its almost the opposite - unbridled over responsive emotion.

I guess it's down to the individual. I've heard cases of pwBPD keeping their emotions intact for long enough until they have a foot in the door and even until they are married!

Do you give an validity to this?

My ex certainly kept a lid on things until we were further down the line. Although, maybe they don't have such insecurities so soon in the relationship as there is a honeymoon period. I know for sure she used crocodile tears a lot to control things at the beginning.

Yes, metaphors can be useful, but they have limitations; The Trojan Horse was full of soldiers with malicious intent, which doesn't necessarily apply to our exes.  Borderlines are terrified of abandonment, the core of the disorder, while also being sure it will happen, and may have many references to support that belief.  Anyone wired like that will do whatever they can to avoid that abandonment, including presenting a false self that is hopefully attractive to the current attachment, but as with all false selves, the cracks begin to show, along with the feelings of engulfment that closeness creates, so at some point the wheels come off and the person we're with hardly resembles who we thought they were.

And as the tools, the defense mechanisms, start to get used more and more, the abuse, projection, devaluation, we have a decision to make.  :)o we stay and put up with it, become obsessed with how it 'used to be' and fight to get back there, or do we realize things for what they are and act accordingly.  Well, that depends, on our own wiring and mental health; some realize early things are amiss and terminate, others blame themselves and stay, accelerating the dysfunction.  Me, I stayed for a while and then bailed to avoid pain.  Back to metaphors, hopefully I'm much better at spotting hooks in that bait today... .
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« Reply #65 on: August 28, 2014, 11:20:17 AM »

Anyone wired like that will do whatever they can to avoid that abandonment

So true. And this is one of the most often misunderstood aspects of BPD.

When you are deadly afraid of something, you take extreme measures to protect yourself from it - it's self preservation.  

In the case of abandonment, there is nothing anyone can do to prevent it from happening - it happens to the best of us - so the way to avoid the hurt it is too keep the walls up - don't let anyone totally have your heart.  Right?

So while there is often a sort of reckless abandon in the honeymoon stage, when things start to settle down and risk of abandonment becomes visible, the walls go up and the need for escape hatches appears.

What do we do?  We often react to the distancing by withdrawing or being hurtful.

And the down cycle starts.  Both partners protecting themselves... .and reacting to each protecting themselves.
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« Reply #66 on: August 28, 2014, 11:38:46 AM »

I have a few "differential diagnoses" here but am admittedly not the expert. My T and others close to my situation FIRMLY believe my pwBPD also is NPD and most certainly ASPD, as he has a long history of fraud charges and very little empathy. Having known other pw pd's, I know he cycled through the schemas exactly like pwBPD--my point is lots of pwBPD have co-occurring pd's or mental illnesses, addictions, etc. So, while pwBPD follow a pattern of scehmas, there are differences. My exBPDbf is EXTREMELY clever: high level developer but is indeed weak in many areas. In some ways, we seemed like a perfect fit. I am very strong, very logical/strategic, and (I thought) very stable--right up until I have experienced an entire month of silent treatment and am on very shaky grown: perhaps shakier than his at this time. And I do believe, as this thread started, my nemesis was my lack of boundaries (coupled with my love of this man) who reminded me so much of my late dad. Like the brilliant programmer that he is, he found my vulnerability; wrote the code; and only NC is going to get me strong enough to tackle the virus I contracted (more metaphors :-)
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« Reply #67 on: August 28, 2014, 11:41:51 AM »

Thanks Heal and Skip

If only I knew all of this. I feel so sorry for her. She has so many failed relationships and all she wanted was for us to work. Her neediness pushed me away and I never did commit to her. No wonder she went into horrible rages at the smallest thing.

The more I learn about this horrible affliction the more I isolate between anger and just feeling sorry for the poor girl. Its not her fault she has BPD. She has so much love to give. You're right about it being a weakness and people tend to tread on her throughout life. She always just tries to do the right thing.

She has split me black at the moment. Should I stay no contact or talk to her about it?
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« Reply #68 on: August 28, 2014, 12:53:21 PM »

Excerpt
Its not her fault she has BPD.

 

You're right, it's not her fault, and on the other hand she is still responsible for her actions.  One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  There is no 'cure' for BPD, the disorder was hardwired into her brain before she was old enough to exercise executive control, but as we know there are therapies that are effective, although it's a tough road and takes a lot of work and commitment.  If something isn't working, trying a different approach is better than making the same mistakes over and over.

Excerpt
She has split me black at the moment. Should I stay no contact or talk to her about it?

Up to you, but be clear what your intentions are.  If you're still emotionally enmeshed you could create more pain for both of you, and most of us aren't trained therapists who could make an impact.  Also, telling someone they have a mental illness is not easy to hear, for anyone, and may likely result in her labeling you the mentally ill one, which gets no one anywhere. 
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« Reply #69 on: August 28, 2014, 01:05:49 PM »

Splitting is a coping mechanism that is helping her deal with the relationship loss -- so while I think it's good not to take it personally, we should also be careful not to completely sway the other way in this.

We can't really go from detaching from the relationship to picking up the phone and talking about how it all went wrong. Smiling (click to insert in post)

I think what Skip and heel are suggesting is that you understand what happened in your relationship. Her role, your role. Not take one piece of the puzzle and think that it's enough to solve all the relationship problems you experienced.  

I think a better idea might be to start taking your own inventory of what you've learned from all of this... .using a more "grey" strategy. Anger and pity are two pretty polar emotions on the spectrum, no? It sounds like you're still pretty emotionally invested in this?  
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« Reply #70 on: August 28, 2014, 01:13:43 PM »

The more I learn about this horrible affliction... .

I wouldn't be hasty about anything right now - there is a lot more to learn - about her and about yourself.  I remember you mentioning that she could really get angry and that you weren't the best boyfriend.

I'm really not too fussed about talking to this girl again but I would appreciate any feedback just out of interest.

BPD aside, if there was a lot of conflict, your interest level was marginal, and she walked away - is this worth pursuing or is this mostly a healing /learning journey at this point.

There is a lot we can learn from this type of relationship that can benefit our future.

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