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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: Will Empaths always attract BPDs?  (Read 13200 times)
Caredverymuch
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« on: September 21, 2014, 03:03:32 PM »

As I continue in personal inventory, I read a statement that left me questioning:  Empths will always attract and be attracted to BPDs and or NPDs.  

Im clearly an empth.  I meet all the criteria. Empths have an ability to truly feel another's emotions. In a deep way. This ability can be genetic or a result of FOO issues. And generally blossoms in adulthood. This is me.

I used to have great conversations with my expBPD about this. He, too always said he could read ppl. Of course, realizing post r/s that he is pBPD, that ability is much different than an Empths. I actually know empathy.

I've noticed retrospectively that I indeed have always been in r/s with pBPD or pNPD. I married a pNPD. After the r/s ended, the pBPD r/s took over. Looking back I see traits in my earlier r/s's.

My T says both my pNPD spouse and pBPD recent ex are the same man.  She has met them both.  

It's been a horrific few years as a result of the perfect storm I endured.

I tend to be attracted to very sensitive men.  Moving forward I think I  am realizing why.  Bc there is always a child underneath that sensitive demeanor that I somehow continue to feel a bond with. And I don't want to.

I ignore no    now. I've ended a few recent casual r/s at the hint of push/ pull.  Im realistically trying to explore what type of partnership is indeed the healthiest for an empath moving forward. As I've been through the wrath of hell with the NPD and BPD r/s.  I'm not actively searching for a new r/s but remain cautiously guarded as I meet new men. My boundaries are unwavering now. I've been alone for a good amount of time and gone inside to do my work.

I appreciate the feedback of this community of support and find it tremendously valuable.  
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freedom33
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2014, 03:34:51 PM »

The question for me is whether that sensitive child that one fall in love with was indeed part of the pwBPD.

I am inclined to believe that actually it is ours. The pwBPD's core is hollow and is covered by a mirror which is the perfect hook for projections.

I think our own inner child was projected on to them that we then we fell in love with and felt compelled to take care of. If one does not make conscious and nurture their own inner child that has suffered narcissistic injuries and needs attention then inevitably all of this woundedness will be projected outside and the same mistakes will be repeated over and over again.

I can't help not to bring up the myth of narcissus that saw his reflection in the lake and fall in love with it until he fall in and drowned.  We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are.
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2014, 03:39:58 PM »

This is a very interesting topic.

I am an empath as well (and a huge introvert) and i attract NPD's & BPD's as well.

And to be honest, i am (actually; i was) attracted to them as well (but will no longer go there, learning here). And i always said the same thing, there is this child in these grown up men that i can see, a sweet, playful child that i adore so much… until i learned the hard way how that child could make you bleed from every pore when being in an adult relationship with them as it was and always will be 'me me me' and their huge lack of basic empathy.

But the thing is, even though i can spot a cluster B now from far and i protect myself by not even going on a first date, they will not give up. They remain hardcore attracted to me and i wonder why? I am deleting, blocking, ignoring any new guy that i feel have cluster b vibes and they still won't give up, some of them really believing that i will be the 'one' for them if i just would give it a chance.
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Caredverymuch
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2014, 03:55:08 PM »

But the thing is, even though i can spot a cluster B now from far and i protect myself by not even going on a first date, they will not give up. They remain hardcore attracted to me and i wonder why? I am deleting, blocking, ignoring any new guy that i feel have cluster b vibes and they still won't give up, some of them really believing that i will be the 'one' for them if i just would give it a chance.

I find this profoundly accurate in my life as well. I can spot cluster b almost immediately now. Both of the men I recent went on one date with were cluster b. i immediately put my boundary up.  The first man would not give up on me.  He was so interested in me he continued to persue me for months as I gave little back in return except appropriateness.

The moment I gave in to a second date, he pushed back. It was a lovely fun evening too. I blocked him from contact after the push , he noticed weeks later. And continued for months to plead for a third date. All the whole with no response from me. He continues to try every few wks to see if i will go out w him again. After i most appropriately told him i was not interested.

A newer man I've dated pursued me for years. I mean years. When we recently both became single, same thing.  Dated twice.  Great times.  Incredibly easy and fun. Then he pushed away. I answer him when I feel like it and not always. The many times I do not answer his texts, etc. He goes overdrive on contact.

I have only casual feelings for these men so its ok that they pushed back.  But wth is it that these cluster b men cant leave me alone?
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2014, 05:41:39 PM »

But wth is it that these cluster b men cant leave me alone?

Conquest.  Simple as that.  They want what they can't have.  F'd up.
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2014, 06:12:53 PM »

There's a big difference between sensitive and disordered.

I consider myself sensitive, and am drawn to partners who are too.

I found I'm too sensitive to be with someone who's disordered, though.

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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 06:44:48 PM »

Yes, I do believe there will always be an attraction, and I believe it's a two way attraction. In the same way negative and positive poles attract. Perhaps there is a way to de-magnetize (electro-shock therapy?  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post))

Well actually, until we can soothe ourselves as empaths, we will always seek that soothing by someone else, and there is nothing as soothing as looking into a mirror - enter the pwBPD/NPD. Mine seems to know instinctively what to say/do to soothe me. It creates the dependency which they need for the abuse to start. Without the dependency, we would just leave.

Do they do it consciously? I think so.



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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2014, 02:46:27 AM »

I tend to be attracted to very sensitive men. 

wait wait wait...

I'm not really following you here. I'm not sure if I misunderstand you.

My definition of a sensitive person is the same as being a HSP and a empath. Narcissists and Borderlines are the opposite. NOT sensitive.

In case I misunderstand you, can you explain what you mean with sensitive men?

--

Being an empath is both a gift and a curse.

The attraction between empath and narcissists is very common since they are complete opposite and opposites attract each other. So seen from that perspective in order NOT to be attracted to narcissists you need to be less of an empath.

Have you read this page: (Can I link to other sites?)

www.thehappysensitive.com/how-to-stop-being-empathic-and-become-a-complete-narcissist-a-k-a-arsecissist/

Obviously it is written with humor, but try to play with the thought a bit. Do you really want to give up your empath power?

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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2014, 03:20:04 AM »

The attraction between empath and narcissists is very common since they are complete opposite and opposites attract each other. So seen from that perspective in order NOT to be attracted to narcissists you need to be less of an empath.

Yes and this can be done by using some of that empathy to one's self. E.g. look at yourself from outside sitting alone and crying in your room and imagine what would you tell them and what sort of af advice would give this person if they were your friend. Literally imagine that for yourself. You can do it! You are an expert in doing it for others. Why not for yourself?

Empathy means trying to put yourself in some else's shoes and feel how someone feels. Now that is good if someone is balanced and has empathy both for oneself and another. The problem is when someone doesn't empathise with one's self. Can't be in one's own shoes. Feel their own feelings. Then they feel compelled to project that to someone else and live through the feelings of the other. Has anyone wondered why someone else's feelings or moods should matter and impact one so much? Why one is so dependent on another person's feelings? Why the divine feelings projected by the BPD ot us at the start felt like heaven and then the negative feelings like hell?

The BPD wants to control their partner (either bring them closer if they fear abandonment or push them away if they fear annihilation). BPDs (and NPDs) are having their way by using their strong feelings and emotions and projecting them to manipulate. This is mostly done unconsciously. The empath is very vulnerable to projective identification (basically emotional brainwashing). The 'empath' is not paying attention to their own needs and feelings lives through someone else's is picking those feelings up and internalises them as if they were his own. Because an empaths feelings never mattered when they were growing up. They were emotionally starved. They are experts in reading other's feelings and tending to them but never their own. Unfortunately this is a parasitic relationship on both sides. One party is more conscious though (guess who?) and has better chances to wake up and start doing something about it.
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 05:01:32 AM »

I'm a bit confused by the use of the term "empathy" here.

How can one be empathetic with a person who is being abusive towards you? In my book this means you are not able to put yourself in this person's shoes. Most of us stayed with a person who pushed us away. Is that really empathetic?

The kind of "empathy" we nons provide is saying "I know how you feel, but your feelings are wrong and I will stay with you no matter what, because I know that somewhere deep inside you are another, better person.".

Personally, I used to think of that as empathy, but now I think I was wrong. I was wrong in ignoring her feelings and thinking she was someone she was not.

I end up with people who invade my privacy because I am (or was) no good at saying no, so I ended up in "empathetic" conversations instead. I have found that true empathy (this sounds very grand, I know) comes from letting people be themselves, even if they turn out to be ___holes. And if they turn out to be, it's all their problem.

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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2014, 06:23:35 AM »

The question for me is whether that sensitive child that one fall in love with was indeed part of the pwBPD.

I am inclined to believe that actually it is ours. The pwBPD's core is hollow and is covered by a mirror which is the perfect hook for projections.

I think our own inner child was projected on to them that we then we fell in love with and felt compelled to take care of. If one does not make conscious and nurture their own inner child that has suffered narcissistic injuries and needs attention then inevitably all of this woundedness will be projected outside and the same mistakes will be repeated over and over again.

Freedom 33--great analysis. I know for certain this is why my T is staying focused on inner child work with me: a concept I gave short shrift for a long while. I have found myself "feeling by proxy"--I can feel pain for others --even movie characters--easier than I can feel my own. I somehow severed those feelings constantly felt by exbfBPD (pain, jealousy, anger, loathing), so I think I experienced those feelings through him. I understand that's a little different from my projecting my feelings onto him. And Caredverymuch--your story sounds so much like mine--I found myself wanting to cry more for you than for me--perfect example! I struggle to feel my own pain. Yes, we are empathic--I'm certain that is part of why NPD and BPD choose us, NOW we must continue to choose for us. I feel the way I think an alcoholic would--I MUST stay away from bars to survive, or as Freedom33 wrote of Narcissus, I know I will fall in the water and drown.
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2014, 10:51:45 AM »

But wth is it that these cluster b men cant leave me alone?

Conquest.  Simple as that.  They want what they can't have.  F'd up.

      Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2014, 03:15:05 PM »

I actually think BPDs seek out empaths. They find us because they know we'll feel bad for them.
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2014, 03:42:33 PM »

Here is something that a psychiatrist called Roger Lewin wrote in his blog about BPDs.

"No good deed goes unpunished." There is a related Chinese, saying “Why do you hate me? I never tried to help you.” What both these peculiar dicta present is the truth that when we seek to help, when we make ourselves available, we volunteer not just as love objects but also as hate objects. We put ourselves in the way of hurt.

We present ourselves as people on whom borderline patients can take vengeance, people with whom the patient can enact the roles of the ones who hurt them, people whose naive optimism and hopefulness about life patients can not only dent but shatter and grind under foot.

We become threats and promises all mixed up together, just the sort of thing that can really mix a person up, if not drive that person crazy. It is not a safe occupation treating borderline patients, because it is hard to know how to defend yourself, the therapist, enough, without defending yourself too much."

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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2014, 04:50:04 PM »

I was expected to hold the pain and handle the hatred aspects with total calm equanimity and acceptance. She was unable to accept her own emotions, why was I forced to become responsible?

Being an empath is confusing enough. Living with somebody who is constantly projecting, gaslighting, and saying all kinds of up and down just makes life total hell for an empath.

Do BPDs deliberately prey on empaths?

No.

Us empathic types respond to their energy ; the vivaciousness and brightness of the positive side. Even if the core source of that power is tainted, the expression and liveness is amazing.

It feels like an energetic match ; an empaths dream, finding a person who GROKS at a non-verbal, emotional level.

The sad truth comes out eventually that it isn't a mutual understanding. In truth, they are two completely alien perspectives about life, communication and love.

I will never hold to the idea that BPDs are out there preying on anybody, let alone empaths.

BPDs don't, for the most part, know what it is they are doing. As an empath, WE KNOW THAT.

And as empowered empaths, we drew a line recognizing that in order to love someone, one must first have something to give.

And in relationship to a BPD, we give everything to the point of energetic exhaustion and depletion.

It's kryptonite to our empathic abilities ; and then once we lose our own self in false-service, there is nothing to give. The BPD goes bonkers b/c they are no longer receiving the validation, recognition, appreciation, and everything from the empath.

And the empath dies inside because the ability to recharge, center and integrate confusing emotional experiences demands and requires solitude, self-nurturing, and an absence of emotional and life chaos.

That never happens with a BPD in the picture.

It is impossible. Withdrawing from a BPD to self-nurture is taken personally by the BPD as if they are a bad person and they are being abandoned. What a trigger.

The empath is eventually left with one choice ; to be alive.

Because once that choice-point has been reached, the empath has already died and is recognizing how much light, life and love has disappeared.

This takes an empath further than mere empathic talents ; it awakens us to a whole new depth of awareness, sensitivity and ability to trust in our self, intuitions, and what we see and feel about people.

It is odd for me at this point. When going in public, I feel people and their moods so easily. Spotting trouble is very simple.

And knowing that the source of my joy and contentment in life is based on my own emotional health and stability ; making the choice to step away from dramatic people and energies has been liberating and empowering.

After all, I do not need to help anyone. I trust in their ability to learn and discover their own truth.

I am responsible for my domain, this self that I am, and others can rule who they are, their body, mind and spirit, as they feel appropriate.

Without going through the things with my xBPD, I'd never have really understood or even recognized these subtle gifts, or the true extent of the power and advantage it gives in social circles.

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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2014, 04:53:08 PM »

The empath is eventually left with one choice ; to be alive.

Because once that choice-point has been reached, the empath has already died and is recognizing how much light, life and love has disappeared.

This takes an empath further than mere empathic talents ; it awakens us to a whole new depth of awareness, sensitivity and ability to trust in our self, intuitions, and what we see and feel about people.

It is odd for me at this point. When going in public, I feel people and their moods so easily. Spotting trouble is very simple.

And knowing that the source of my joy and contentment in life is based on my own emotional health and stability ; making the choice to step away from dramatic people and energies has been liberating and empowering.

After all, I do not need to help anyone. I trust in their ability to learn and discover their own truth.

I am responsible for my domain, this self that I am, and others can rule who they are, their body, mind and spirit, as they feel appropriate.

Without going through the things with my xBPD, I'd never have really understood or even recognized these subtle gifts, or the true extent of the power and advantage it gives in social circles.

Briliantly said!
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« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2014, 05:53:05 PM »

Here is something that a psychiatrist called Roger Lewin wrote in his blog about BPDs.

"No good deed goes unpunished." There is a related Chinese, saying “Why do you hate me? I never tried to help you.” What both these peculiar dicta present is the truth that when we seek to help, when we make ourselves available, we volunteer not just as love objects but also as hate objects. We put ourselves in the way of hurt.

We present ourselves as people on whom borderline patients can take vengeance, people with whom the patient can enact the roles of the ones who hurt them, people whose naive optimism and hopefulness about life patients can not only dent but shatter and grind under foot.

We become threats and promises all mixed up together, just the sort of thing that can really mix a person up, if not drive that person crazy. It is not a safe occupation treating borderline patients, because it is hard to know how to defend yourself, the therapist, enough, without defending yourself too much."

Freedom33,  Your insight on this thread is stupendous and I am going to circle back and comment on a few next.

The thing about therapeutic statements like this is that the therapist has a choice. An informed choice. To end treatment or suspend treatment if agreements with their BPD clients are not upheld. The uninformed partner of pBPDs , which is generally the case, does not realistically have that same choice. Until they are hooked in so deep and then of course we all know the damage. Or we would not be here. The end result risks being the same, regardless, to anyone who offers themselves in either role, to a pBPD. 

I've read a great deal about the therapeutic  r/s bc, ironically, I am a healthcare professional as well and knew zero about BPD to this degree.  Additionally, I do realize that most therapist can easily identify the    much earlier than a r/s partner could. That said, it's very interesting indeed how the therapist must approach treatment with this client. Recognizing which schema the client is in when they come to sessions as well as not allowing any boundary crossing.

One area that left me intrigued is the often realization that many pBPD will assume the detached protector schema so well in therapy that they appear to be doing all that the therapist asks; readings, application of mechanisms, etc. Yet, they are appeasing the therapist and really doing none of that.  The skilled therapist must constantly be assessing the schema of the client, and respond accordingly to that mode.  While approaching the treatment goals in a way that does not threaten.

These patients truly are a paradox of complexities. Incredibly convincing as well. Incredibly.
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« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2014, 06:31:17 PM »

I was expected to hold the pain and handle the hatred aspects with total calm equanimity and acceptance. She was unable to accept her own emotions, why was I forced to become responsible?

Being an empath is confusing enough. Living with somebody who is constantly projecting, gaslighting, and saying all kinds of up and down just makes life total hell for an empath.

Hell and emotional demise.

Do BPDs deliberately prey on empaths?

No.

I unequivocally agree with this.

Us empathic types respond to their energy ; the vivaciousness and brightness of the positive side. Even if the core source of that power is tainted, the expression and liveness is amazing.

It feels like an energetic match ; an empaths dream, finding a person who GROKS at a non-verbal, emotional level.

It feels like heaven. Like pure incredible peaceful wordless heaven. The connection is nirvana at this stage.  Still gives me chills to recall. Where the mistaken soulmate statements originate from.



The sad truth comes out eventually that it isn't a mutual understanding. In truth, they are two completely alien perspectives about life, communication and love.



In that the Empath knows how to give and receive love. Isn't threatened one bit by any of that. In fact is quite confident and at home in that place.  This is the gravy train right here of good communication, incredible emotional chemistry as well as earth quaking physical chemistry full of wordless communication. The pBPD is not cognizant or  mutual in any of this though. It's pure idealized fantasy.


I will never hold to the idea that BPDs are out there preying on anybody, let alone empaths.

BPDs don't, for the most part, know what it is they are doing. As an empath, WE KNOW THAT. 



This deserves applause it is so accurate.


And as empowered empaths, we drew a line recognizing that in order to love someone, one must first have something to give.

And in relationship to a BPD, we give everything to the point of energetic exhaustion and depletion.



Complete  and total preneurosis to the empath at this point. Depletion resulting in bewildered emotional exhaustion combined with tremendous unconscionable anxiety. Which frustrates and confuses the empath while chipping wildly at their well intended, genuine, and wholly caring emotional core


It's kryptonite to our empathic abilities ; and then once we lose our own self in false-service, there is nothing to give. The BPD goes bonkers b/c they are no longer receiving the validation, recognition, appreciation, and everything from the empath.

And then they repeatedly devalue, hard and cruelly, the empath.

And the empath dies inside because the ability to recharge, center and integrate confusing emotional experiences demands and requires solitude, self-nurturing, and an absence of emotional and life chaos.

That never happens with a BPD in the picture.

NEVER CAN THIS HAPPEN WITH THE BPD IN THE PICTURE. They absolutely annihilate any attempt at a boundary around this very necessary recentering place. Relentlessly, in such need based manipulations that the empath is approaching core hallow by now.  Emotionally depleted and debilitated while the splitting ensues,  the empath starts feel they are losing their mind. Acts that show their emotional state disintegrating such as crying in public, not sleeping, not eating, feeling entirely threatened by the ever changing emotional roller coaster with no rip cord in this incredibly and all consuming r/s.



It is impossible. Withdrawing from a BPD to self-nurture is taken personally by the BPD as if they are a bad person and they are being abandoned. What a trigger.



But the moment the pBPD  begins to feel this self imposed engulfement, they get to walk away. And they do


The empath is eventually left with one choice ; to be alive.

Because once that choice-point has been reached, the empath has already died and is recognizing how much light, life and love has disappeared.



Profoundly true.


This takes an empath further than mere empathic talents ; it awakens us to a whole new depth of awareness, sensitivity and ability to trust in our self, intuitions, and what we see and feel about people.

It is odd for me at this point. When going in public, I feel people and their moods so easily. Spotting trouble is very simple.

Indeed. This ability never goes away.  We just temper it as we go on and become more self aware.

And knowing that the source of my joy and contentment in life is based on my own emotional health and stability ; making the choice to step away from dramatic people and energies has been liberating and empowering.



Here is the wonderful gift.  Exactly where I am as well and where I will stay.


After all, I do not need to help anyone. I trust in their ability to learn and discover their own truth.

I am responsible for my domain, this self that I am, and others can rule who they are, their body, mind and spirit, as they feel appropriate.

Without going through the things with my xBPD, I'd never have really understood or even recognized these subtle gifts, or the true extent of the power and advantage it gives in social circles.



Artisan, your analysis is ridiculously brilliant.  This is EXACTLY the Empth/BPD r/s course. To the tee. You have left nothing unsaid.  You described my entire r/s with the bBPD.  This should be published.

Thank you.
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« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2014, 08:21:32 PM »

I'm a bit confused by the use of the term "empathy" here.

How can one be empathetic with a person who is being abusive towards you? In my book this means you are not able to put yourself in this person's shoes. Most of us stayed with a person who pushed us away. Is that really empathetic?

The kind of "empathy" we nons provide is saying "I know how you feel, but your feelings are wrong and I will stay with you no matter what, because I know that somewhere deep inside you are another, better person.".

Personally, I used to think of that as empathy, but now I think I was wrong. I was wrong in ignoring her feelings and thinking she was someone she was not.

I end up with people who invade my privacy because I am (or was) no good at saying no, so I ended up in "empathetic" conversations instead. I have found that true empathy (this sounds very grand, I know) comes from letting people be themselves, even if they turn out to be ___holes. And if they turn out to be, it's all their problem.

i was waiting for someone to point this out. i wonder how correct we are in assuming that we are more empathic than anyone else?

below is a definition of empathy:

Excerpt
em•pa•thy (ˈɛm pə θi)

1. the identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, etc., of another.

2. the imaginative ascribing to an object of one's feelings or attitudes.

i feel that many participants of this post are using the first definition of empathy above--being able to understand the feelings and thoughts of another. i however, feel that only the 2nd definition applies in regards to being in a r/s with a pwBPD--we are imaginatively (and incorrectly) ascribing our *own* feelings and attitudes onto someone else.

if you were fooled by the idealization/mirroring phase, some of this could have been empathy since some of these emotions could actually have been felt and 'real' for the pwBPD. but as soon as you got confused about being devalued or if you were surprised when this person raged or dropped the relationship--you weren't being empathetic by definition #1. you were stuck on def. #2, projecting your own ideals onto a person that did not feel the same way you did, or think the same way you do.

i sometimes feel i'm empathetic, but i think my r/s with a person showing personality disordered traits shows a lack of empathy on my part (using definition #1). i think many here are equating empathy with being nice, or understanding; perhaps to having low or no boundaries and willing to overlook your own needs to try to appease someone else. i just don't see this as empathy.

here are a few times i feel like i was empathetic with my ex (def #1)--meaning where what i was feeling was in line with what she was feeling:

** there were good times, even beyond mirroring i believe, when i felt like she felt good as did i and i picked up on this. i think there was mutual empathy here.

** when i broke up with her over the phone--in this case i feel like my empathy was spot on. i did *not* want to end the r/s! but instead of listening to this deep desire to be with her, i listened to my gut. and my gut told me this woman was going to cheat on me or try to destroy me if we stayed together. i could feel this potential in her and acted on it accordingly, despite what i wanted to happen. and i think i made the right call.

** when she tried to reconnect after months of NC and i ignored her--this was still before i knew about BPD. but it didn't feel right. again, what i wanted was to have some kind of closure, or at least establish some type of respectful friendship. instead i felt that she was contacting me solely for the reason that she had just broke up with bf #2 (or 3? 4?) and wanted to use me as an emotional doormat. so i ignored everything but her initial call. later, i confirmed exactly how i felt in this moment (that she had just broken up, and that she was still scorching the earth in her path). i feel like i understood her and her motives more in this moment than i did in the past where i would have been confused by such outwardly 'niceness' coming from her.

to me empathy isn't being open and nice when you have no idea how the other person actually feels or how they will behave with you. if i had more empathy during our r/s i would have not trusted my ex at all (this is how she felt towards me), but i did trust her--not empathy. i would have been incredibly jealous and would have hated her deeply... .but i didn't feel this way--but she did. so it wasn't empathy at this point. and in a way it's good i wasn't empathetic towards the disorder as it wouldn't be healthy towards me.

just food for thought... .playing the devil's advocate 
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« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2014, 08:42:39 PM »

wonderful guys... .

i join the club. i too feel im an empathetic person which attracted my BPD colleague.

i recently broke apart from him. when i look back i can clearly relate a similar exp. it was my empathy to others that attracted him to me.

n i was very much attracted to the child in him. i was desperate to comfort the child within no matter what. he used to say i was the only one who could lessen his suffering n he felt divinely connected to me.

when i started to take care of the child its needs multiplied exponentially , the more i gave the more unquenchable d thirst became. problems erupted once i couldnt meet the needs.

now i realised this unhealthy nature n broke apart but he s not ready to leave me. he s pursuing me badly. he s not able to accept the fact dat he wouldnt be getting those comforts.
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« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2014, 08:52:26 PM »

My definition of a sensitive person is the same as being a HSP and a empath. Narcissists and Borderlines are the opposite. NOT sensitive.

In case I misunderstand you, can you explain what you mean with sensitive men?

--

Being an empath is both a gift and a curse.[/quote]
huhhuh , I agree. It is both a gift and a curse. Bc we empaths can not stop what we innately feel. Our ability to walk into a room and feel exactly what others are feeling. And often, we know why. We are that naturally gifted.  We are HSP.

The confusion happens when we meet partners like our pBPD's.  I actually read my pBPD the moment I met him. I could feel his pain. Didn't even know his name.  Everyone else in the room thought he was this incredibly gentle kind admirably sensitive and approachable man. They saw nothing else. He wowed them.

I felt the waif, the abandoned child. I felt him immediately. My mistake was that I bonded to what I believed was another HSP. Not knowing anything about BPD. Who are indeed HIGHLY sensitive ppl. Just not at all in the same way as the empath.

I love this type of sensitivity in a man.  The ability to listen without words, to sit by a fire and say little. To be at peace together.  Take long rides and enjoy nature, good music and feel much, then talk it out over a glass of wine and have incredible emotional integration and compassionate satisfaction together. To talk about feelings. To be open. To be real. To be feel safe and welcome in that.

But, I desire it without a disorder.

My expBPD dispelled my trust in much of that moving forward.

NPD are easy for me to identify. I was married to one. I know a NPD the moment I meet them.  And I loved your link to such a humorous comparison.

I got VERY fooled by the BPD. Wow, just fooled and taken down beyond belief. Obviously, or I would not be here.  There was just no way I knew what was to come as I enjoyed all those things as well as falling deeply in love with such a sensitive man. 

Who ultimately is quite disordered.

And more emotionally abusive then the NPD ever was to me on any given day. Bc the NPD never showed a hint of sensitivity. What you see what was you got there.

The BPD was the true falsehood.

i hope that clarifies what I meant in my initial post.

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« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2014, 09:19:10 PM »

Thank you, great insight!
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« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2014, 09:19:31 PM »

The kind of "empathy" we nons provide is saying "I know how you feel, but your feelings are wrong and I will stay with you no matter what, because I know that somewhere deep inside you are another, better person.".

Personally, I used to think of that as empathy, but now I think I was wrong. I was wrong in ignoring her feelings and thinking she was someone she was not.

I did this too. I realized the pushing away behaviors were not right even though I did not understand them, but I allowed myself to continue to focus on only believing in the better person underneath, whom I fell deeply n love with.  Unwilling or unable to realize that even though I could not understand his (very disordered rapidly cycling feelings)  this was who he indeed was. I wanted the man I loved to stay alive. I wanted the man I fell in love with to come back. As if he were half asleep.  Even though I believe I did all that I did in true empathy, bc he was such a waif and so needy, the real act of empathy is in realization. As much as it hurts.
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« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2014, 09:25:41 PM »

Thank you for such great insight on this thread. I appreciate everyone's feedback 
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« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2014, 02:32:39 AM »

to me empathy isn't being open and nice when you have no idea how the other person actually feels or how they will behave with you.

Spot on. The image of the fool comes to mind here, open and naive (it is the first card in the Tarot deck). On the positive side the opposite of the fool is the wise man and to get there one has to start the journey. Most of us here took the first step in that path having played the fool card.

if i had more empathy during our r/s i would have not trusted my ex at all (this is how she felt towards me), but i did trust her--not empathy. i would have been incredibly jealous and would have hated her deeply.

I actually did feel jealous and anger almost from month 2 and could never trusted her. I felt her ambivalency, uncertainty, intensity and inner turmoil from the 2nd time we slept together. Just as she was lying there next to me. But as I couldn't explain it or pinpoint exactly why, I discarded my feelings and thought there was something wrong with me.

The reason I couldn't explain what was happening now I think was because there was projective identification at work. This is the most common defence mechanisms with borderlines that therapists struggle all the time and they are only seeing them an hour a week. Imagine the effect on us... .She was feeling those feelings but never expressing and only projecting e.g.her jealousy and anger to me and I was picking these things up and attributing them to me and in some cases acting them out for her.
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« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2014, 06:16:27 AM »

Yeah when I read how intense they made projective identification seem

In the texts I read aimed at therapists it just made me think and they aren't even sleeping with them.

The text pretty much in "scientific" terms made is sound like magical brainwashing techniques using unconcious emotional triggers by inception.  

Caredverymuch,

What is hsp?

And I agree the BPD waif is in my opinion an epic tragedy.  How a person so amazing can hate themselves so much.  Like if only her family wasn't so messed up she actually be a lot like me. 
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« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2014, 07:16:51 AM »

Yeah when I read how intense they made projective identification seem

In the texts I read aimed at therapists it just made me think and they aren't even sleeping with them.

The text pretty much in "scientific" terms made is sound like magical brainwashing techniques using unconcious emotional triggers by inception.  

Caredverymuch,

What is hsp?

And I agree the BPD waif is in my opinion an epic tragedy.  How a person so amazing can hate themselves so much.  Like if only her family wasn't so messed up she actually be a lot like me. 

Hi Blim,

Great topic! Your insight is always valued to these discussions.  I have to tell you all that this thread, especially and for some reason, is really making utter sense to how I ended up sticking around in the r/s for so long.  Bc there were many times I tried to stop the r/s from progressing further.

Like so much we explore here, the conversation about how an emapth gets so caught up in the carnage is spot on.  The emotional exhaustion is something I could not fully put into words until I read Artisan's analogy here.  Which truly put everything into words. Words or understanding that I could not find, going through the depletion, and abuse.

The topic of empathy left me thinking as well.  I agree that projection got in the way of much there. 

There were definitely moments I could feel the ambivalence, could feel the real emotion under the waif demeanor.

Could feel he wanted to pull away or wasn't really feeling what he said.

Those were moments I would often put to words what I felt.  Such as " I don't think you feel the same way that I do right now. It seems you don't want to be here tonight, perhaps you need some time to yourself. I respect that."  Which I did in and was said in truth to him.  We all need space.

To be met with such highly charged opposite response, which was really was clinging. 

The thing is empaths tend to know what we are feeling in a moment is correct, but the BPD reacts so strongly and convincingly to convince us we are "wrong", and we disregarded our inner knowing in those moments.  Bc we wanted to believe we truly are wrong about him/her not wanting the same.

And the BPD worked double time to convince us we are SO wrong about feeling anything remotely negative about them or to allow any healthy distance to form between them. Ever.

And then, they pull the rug right out, and abandon US. 

HSP=Highly Sensitive Person.
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« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2014, 08:05:19 AM »

Ah cared I see

I feel like I was a highly empathetic person but now I am self absorbed. Durring the idealization phase I bonded to her at multiple levels then one day she began trying to devalue me. The push pull.  Was just madness from this point on I was in denial. Struggling to keep my head above water and not engage in her drama.  She eventually dragged me into the drama and it was and it was like falling into an endless hole.

The disorder does not care.

That's the thing though durring the devaluing they need you to feel the pain of the terrified child or be the punitive parent angry child.  It took her about a week to drag me into that. It was either that or abandon her right there.  My gut told me she wanted me to dump her an my heart told me she loves me.

That's what's so confusing because what they feel is so conflicted between what they say even midsentace when I would speak. 

I should have trusted my gut.  Oh well
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« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2014, 08:53:38 AM »

The thing is empaths tend to know what we are feeling in a moment is correct, but the BPD reacts so strongly and convincingly to convince us we are "wrong", and we disregarded our inner knowing in those moments.  Bc we wanted to believe we truly are wrong about him/her not wanting the same.

Empaths are very sensitive people like borderlines and I am not so sure it they know or knew what they felt before they met the borderline. The difference that I see is that one (the BPD) is active i.e. projecting feelings and the other (the empath) is passive not being in touch with their own feelings and receiving others feelings e.g. the borderlines, and trying to make sense what is his and what is not.  

Many of us had feelings that were unhealthily enmeshed with other peoples feelings even before we met the borderline. My ex before the BPD was like me soft boundaries... .A person with soft boundaries merges with other people's boundaries. Someone with a soft boundary is easily manipulated. I was taking care of her and she was taking care of me but no one was taking care of itself.  We sort of became one with this woman and went down a swamp of intertia and boredom... .And after I broke up I met the borderline... .I believe that borderlines have what is called spongy boundaries - now a person with spongy boundaries is like a combination of having soft and rigid boundaries. People with spongy boundaries are unsure what to let in and what to keep out. It comes from their disorganised attachment patterns. Push and pull.

Anyway it takes a borderline bulldozer not just to nudge but to break the empath's soft boundaries so some of us can eventually wake up to the fact that boundaries do exist and we have to enforce them depending on what we need. This will help us move towards flexible boundaries where the person decides what to let in and what to keep out, becomes resistant to emotional contagion and manipulation, and is difficult to exploit. Amen to that!
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« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2014, 09:01:18 AM »

I am very emphatic , learned it because I need to gauge my mothers feelings so I knew where I had her, in my abusive childhood.

In my case , I used my abilities to detected a lot of red lights before I came to serious with my BPD girlfriend, she still managed to get me feeling for her, but I am over this, feeling very sorry for her , and a pita that I should met a kind of person, want to fix her.
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