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Author Topic: Attachment styles of pwBPD  (Read 2630 times)
Blimblam
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« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2014, 07:39:40 PM »

There are a lot of different models for how conciousness interacts with itself.  :)ifferent models extoll different virtues.  Each model has inherent values especially in relation to how other

Models function to sort of unearth the dogma that can arise in any one model.

That said I have fluctuated through various attachment styles at different points in my life.  Mainly between anxious and avoidant. There was a period I had a sort of combination of healthy/avoidant style in my interpersonal relationships. Though durring this time I had a deep profound attachment to nature.  

A really interesting exploration between the relationship between attachement and projection is explored in the book The song lines. Which is basically a travel journal of a man going to Australia to learn about traditional aboriginal culture.
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« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2014, 07:45:41 PM »

Excerpt
the relationship between attachement and projection

  Can you sum it up for us Blim?

To me, both people in a relationship project things on each other and mirror each other, sometimes we can get so close it's hard to tell where they stop and we begin, other times we couldn't be farther apart, and in the midst of and comprised of all of that is the attachment.
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« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2014, 07:51:52 PM »

That said I have fluctuated through various attachment styles at different points in my life.  Mainly between anxious and avoidant. There was a period I had a sort of combination of healthy/avoidant style in my interpersonal relationships. Though durring this time I had a deep profound attachment to nature.  

Interesting!  I have a deep attachment to nature as well.  And this brings out my 'avoidant' attachment to humans as I have a fantasy of living like Grizzly Adams (remember that show from the 70's?  You are probably too young! Laugh out loud (click to insert in post))

Part of the book 'Attached' asks for the reader to identify secure examples of attachment.  I wracked my brain and had a real hard time coming up with one couple!  I did have a bf years ago that was much older than me but was very secure and brought out this in me.  We had such an 'easy' r/s.  He made me feel very safe.  Outside of that it's hard to even imagine a TV couple with a secure attachment.  I haven't come with any yet!
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« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2014, 07:54:50 PM »

the relationship between attachement and projection  Can you sum it up for us Blim?

To me, both people in a relationship project things on each other and mirror each other, sometimes we can get so close it's hard to tell where they stop and we begin, other times we couldn't be farther apart, and in the midst of and comprised of all of that is the attachment.

I will try.

Basically it is a model of the relationship between mother father and child and the process of growing into an adult on a macro scale. 

The aboriginals project their relationship to the mother archetype into the land and the father archetype as sort of the structure of society as a provider as the father archetype. The period of the walkabout is where they take the lessons they learned on providing and their relationship to various archetypes and are given a personal song that creates a map through the land. They can sing a song and know where to find waterholes and food in terrain they have never explored before.  Each part of the song represents part of the archetypical journey of the hero. So this represents seperating from the mother in infancy and then seperating from the father and reconnecting to the mother as their own individuated provider and this they become a man. This connects them also to their ancestors.  Different tribes spoke different languages but each member of a different tribe was given a unique portion of song or map.  When encountering other tribes that speak different languages they can connect through common song with different words and know each other.  In this told the song is a connection to the Holy Spirit and connects individuals because the song of the ancestors lives on in each individual no matter the tribe.

In civilization the mother archetype has been severed from the land. This is represented in Art and myth in civilized cultures as the decended female archetype who fell from heaven. In some Greek art gaiah is depicted rising out of the earth. In some myths she falls from heaven forgets who she is and then treated like a whore.

So basically traditionally humans would project aspects of our psyche onto natural phenomena and had traditions and rituals to represent stages of development that was in tune with the natural rhythms.  Or when there were periods of becoming out of tune and suffering the consequence was kept in the traditions as a lesson. For example in the song lines they have songs of animals that went extinct over 30,000 years ago and lessons about that experience for that individual to learn from. 

Our connection to these aspects of our psyche has been in many ways severed and it is a traumatic experience with lasting consequences on a macrocosmic scale. At the microcosmic level it creates pockets of society that feel this truama filtered down through there direct experiences with others creating unhealthy attachment styles and addictions perpetuation the original truama of the psyche from the

Divine feminine that connects all things.
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« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2014, 08:01:33 PM »

Excerpt
Outside of that it's hard to even imagine a TV couple with a secure attachment.

Barack and Michelle Obama seem pretty secure to me, and their daughters are benefiting, then again we only see what they want us to.  I've known secure married couples, married for decades and still very much in love, the kinds of relationships that just seem to work, because they make them work, and there's a fundamental compatibility there.  It's possible for all of us, starting with picking the right partner.
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« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2014, 08:37:03 PM »

Basically civilization is like the child of the goddess and it is in the terrible 2s stage going around killing off all connections to the mother.
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« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2014, 08:50:52 PM »

Basically civilization is like the child of the goddess and it is in the terrible 2s stage going around killing off all connections to the mother.

I don't find that mindset especially empowering, but then again, civilization and humans are part of nature, and the "periods of becoming out of tune and suffering the consequence was kept in the traditions as a lesson" is an ongoing process, we're not perfect yet, and is that even a goal?  It's also possible, and important, to connect with Mother Earth or God or whatever you want to call it, and it's as simple as going out into natural surroundings, away from the concrete and the steel, and just being, breathing, being still, and that can also be done inside your house by meditating.  It's easy to reestablish that connection, it's easy to feel it, and I agree it's important to do, to the point of scheduling it regularly, as we live our busy lives, progressing or making the next mistakes, or maybe a little of both.
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« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2014, 09:53:17 PM »

Basically civilization is like the child of the goddess and it is in the terrible 2s stage going around killing off all connections to the mother.

I don't find that mindset especially empowering, but then again, civilization and humans are part of nature, and the "periods of becoming out of tune and suffering the consequence was kept in the traditions as a lesson" is an ongoing process, we're not perfect yet, and is that even a goal?  It's also possible, and important, to connect with Mother Earth or God or whatever you want to call it, and it's as simple as going out into natural surroundings, away from the concrete and the steel, and just being, breathing, being still, and that can also be done inside your house by meditating.  It's easy to reestablish that connection, it's easy to feel it, and I agree it's important to do, to the point of scheduling it regularly, as we live our busy lives, progressing or making the next mistakes, or maybe a little of both.

It takes a long time. We are in tune with society. The book song lines gives the clearest portrait I have seen that explains how archIac humans projected their psyche. An afternoon in nature gives a taste. Really the best way for someone to reconnect would to do it like the Buddha. To go into an old growth forest and sit under a tree and meditate alone for months eating a very plain simple diet. It takes time to get into the space where one begins to encounter repressed parts of the psyche. Then to tune into the natural light cycles that alter the ballance of chemicals in the brain. It is actually pretty terrifying. Many meditation styles from the east we pick up on in the west are relaxation meditation styles that are sort of a preparation for a vipisanna type of meditation. Where one is isolated and comes into confrontation with their unconcious mind. In the west we often call this confrontation cabin fevor.

In a traditional culture like how the Australian aboriginals lived they prepared their youth their entire life up untill the walkabout for this confrontation.

It is not necesarily the earth or Mother Nature, that is a projection. It is the archetype in the psyche Carl Jung refers to as the anima that is covered by the shadow.

In early Christianity they called this archetype Sophia. The original trinity was the father the son and Sophia. The holy spirit that connects all things. 

I went into the woods and meditated for about 1000 hours alone for about 6 months in my early 20s. When I left the woods I lost a connection I had made out there once i reinserted into society. I felt that connection again with my ex upwBPD. She led me to confront my shadow like I had done in the forest but even deeper in a more profound way. Without going into the woods in my youth I don't think I would have been able to bond with my ex as deeply as I was able to.

After about 30 days alone with no contact with another human in nature with no electricity and just staying in one spot without distracting onese self with tasks a confrontation occurs with ones shadow. It is kind of like the pain we go through after a break up with a pwBPD but it is more about detaching from societal conditioning. Books like the Tibetten book of the dead describe this confrontation if interpreted in an esoteric way.
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« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2014, 10:15:57 PM »

Interesting Blim.  I've gone solo backpacking in the mountains for a few weeks, I've seen the shadow you mention, and those experiences are very growth-inducing.  It's not one or the other for me though; we live much more comfortably than the ancients and humans are social animals, so while it's important to go 'out there' and connect with ourselves and what is really real, it's just as important to connect with each other, and the two complement one another.  Also, I've found that having made that connection to the larger, natural world, our home for much, much longer than the ones we've currently fashioned, it's easy to get back there, to reconnect, important.  Now meeting someone who also sees the value?  Now we're talkin'... .
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« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2014, 11:04:25 PM »

Interesting Blim.  I've gone solo backpacking in the mountains for a few weeks, I've seen the shadow you mention, and those experiences are very growth-inducing.  It's not one or the other for me though; we live much more comfortably than the ancients and humans are social animals, so while it's important to go 'out there' and connect with ourselves and what is really real, it's just as important to connect with each other, and the two complement one another.  Also, I've found that having made that connection to the larger, natural world, our home for much, much longer than the ones we've currently fashioned, it's easy to get back there, to reconnect, important.  Now meeting someone who also sees the value?  Now we're talkin'... .

Lol that would be great to connect in that way with a woman. I saw the potential with my exuBPD. They have done studies that it takes 2 weeks in nature for the mind to revert to a natural ballance of melatonin. I have found that ballance to be crucial for deeper meditative work to be done without something like being broken by a pwBPD in shadow confrontation.  I used to love backpacking and I think it is amazing. I really believe that it is an important part of the process if one goes into nature to do this sort of work. Ultimately I think it is critical to find a spot and just sit their doing nothing except the most basic of tasks. If you have ever seem that tom hanks movie where he is stranded on an island he has that volleyball Wilson.  What I have experienced and with others that have gone into the woods is they use busying tasks like a sort of Wilson.  Letting go of Wilson is a critical step to go deep into the depths. I struggled with that part for months. I would let go of Wilson then come back to Wilson then let go.

All that said my experience with my ex uBPD was more powerfull in everyway because like you said that interpersonal connection. Now that I have found that deep part of myself with my ex finding a way to reconnect through projection onto something like nature would provide a way to stay in contact. 

ArchIac humans would project these aspects of the psyche onto the sky as well thus astrology. Society in general has tendency to convert things like projecting the psyche onto Something such as the night sky into like a horoscope.  That would be like taking the exoteric meaning of astrology and simplifying it into something anecdotal. Although their is an esoteric message encoded into it and it was used as a means before humans had developed writing. The meanings were kept incoded into things like poems and songs and projected onto natural phenomena that created a map of the psyche the terrain and the seasons and a recorded history in a mythic format.

It's sort of like Carl jungs psychological types format then modeled into the Meyrs Briggs then if you look up your Meyrs Briggs type it tends to be like a horoscope. There is a deeper esoteric meaning to it.

My ex wife was a cultural anthropologist so she was sort of academically taught about this but even still the guy who wrote songlines seems to explain this better than I have experienced within the world of cultural anthropology.

The thing is the people who are a living link to this past of uninterrupted flow of hunter gatherer cultures that understood this connection are probably all dead there may still be a handful left on earth. This is why a book like the songlines is so important.
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« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2014, 11:47:45 PM »

Pingo, heel, blim, this is an awsome topic. Heel, I started another thread before I read your post. I see the importance in doing so. Everybody wants happiness and nobody wants to suffer. To answer your question heel, I am very open and un avoidant. All of my relationships have been of the secure nature. I hold nothing back and act from my true self. I give generously and expect nothing in return. I bring security into my relationships and avoid nothing without being confrontational. I'm sure that my compassion and generosity make me a target for those less virtuous. I would say that my attachment type is secure. That being said, my attachment is what brought me to suffering.
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« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2014, 11:42:16 AM »

You got me thinkin now Blim, thanks for the discourse.  I choose to believe there is no ancient, hidden wisdom that is lost, or more accurately, all of it is innate and accessible, it's just a matter of focus.  The human brain has tripled in size in the last 2 million years, which doesn't mean we're necessarily more evolved, but we can certainly come up with more distractions.  Ancient humans had a whole lot of downtime too, so it's not a stretch to imagine them kicking back, staring at stars and making sht up, which became mythic lore, the best parts of which got passed down the generations, a prehistoric culling.  Seems the smarter we get the more distracted we become, although we're smart enough to know that, so it's a matter of consciously shifting our focus and returning to our roots, where the innate wisdom can be awakened because it feels like home.  And then record it all on Facebook, the human psyche recorder for the new millenium.  OK, maybe that one needs and upgrade... .

Youda man Perf.  The goal of attachment styles theory is for us all to behave more securely in relationships, and 'holding nothing back and acting from my true self' seems pretty secure, and that's easy when things are going well, although when the sht hits the fan, anxious people like me use 'protest behavior' as it's termed, dysfunctional and room for improvement, but the bottom line for me is it's about having courage to stay the course of my true self at times like that.  I'll visit your new thread and see what's up.
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« Reply #42 on: November 30, 2014, 06:36:23 PM »

You got me thinkin now Blim, thanks for the discourse.  I choose to believe there is no ancient, hidden wisdom that is lost, or more accurately, all of it is innate and accessible, it's just a matter of focus.  The human brain has tripled in size in the last 2 million years, which doesn't mean we're necessarily more evolved, but we can certainly come up with more distractions.  Ancient humans had a whole lot of downtime too, so it's not a stretch to imagine them kicking back, staring at stars and making sht up, which became mythic lore, the best parts of which got passed down the generations, a prehistoric culling.  Seems the smarter we get the more distracted we become, although we're smart enough to know that, so it's a matter of consciously shifting our focus and returning to our roots, where the innate wisdom can be awakened because it feels like home.  And then record it all on Facebook, the human psyche recorder for the new millenium.  OK, maybe that one needs and upgrade... .

Youda man Perf.  The goal of attachment styles theory is for us all to behave more securely in relationships, and 'holding nothing back and acting from my true self' seems pretty secure, and that's easy when things are going well, although when the sht hits the fan, anxious people like me use 'protest behavior' as it's termed, dysfunctional and room for improvement, but the bottom line for me is it's about having courage to stay the course of my true self at times like that.  I'll visit your new thread and see what's up.

It is innately within everyone but we are all programmed.  What I mean is it is a projection of aspects of the psyche that we have been disconnected from.  It is the same thing we project onto our mother as an infant. People still access it but they filter it through their own culture. Before colonization in Australia everyone there was culturally conditioned to project in this way. It was connected to the land. The land was the mirror.  I'm our society the mirror is something much different. We still project in that way, I did on my ex. I am highlighting one culture and book that explains the nature of this type of projection.  It's a travel writing book but the concept he is getting at is as deep as profound as anything you will ever find in any spiritual text if anything they were probably the most in tune. They just had to be because they lives in such a harsh environment.

I just say there in the woods it took a long time but my mind began to unprogram and I reconnected.  The connection died as I went back to life in modern society it is just a totally different frame if reality.
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« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2014, 07:34:58 PM »

It is innately within everyone but we are all programmed.  What I mean is it is a projection of aspects of the psyche that we have been disconnected from.  It is the same thing we project onto our mother as an infant. People still access it but they filter it through their own culture. Before colonization in Australia everyone there was culturally conditioned to project in this way. It was connected to the land. The land was the mirror.  I'm our society the mirror is something much different. We still project in that way, I did on my ex. I am highlighting one culture and book that explains the nature of this type of projection.  It's a travel writing book but the concept he is getting at is as deep as profound as anything you will ever find in any spiritual text if anything they were probably the most in tune. They just had to be because they lives in such a harsh environment.

I just say there in the woods it took a long time but my mind began to unprogram and I reconnected.  The connection died as I went back to life in modern society it is just a totally different frame if reality.

Well, you've instilled interest in that book Blim.  I'm going to Yosemite over the holidays, that and Maui are the most spiritual places I've ever been, and I may just dive into that book, among others.  Since detaching from my ex and going through a bunch of career sht I'm feeling humble and searching again, a state I actually look forward to since it's usually a period of growth, and chilling out in heaven on earth and feeding my brain sounds really good right now.  Thanks for the discourse and the focus shift.

Hope you don't mind the slight hijack of your thread Pingo; we tend to go off on subjects sometimes.  I'm going to reread Attached over the holidays too; 2015 is going to be awesome, for us all.
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« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2014, 07:51:40 PM »

It is innately within everyone but we are all programmed.  What I mean is it is a projection of aspects of the psyche that we have been disconnected from.  It is the same thing we project onto our mother as an infant. People still access it but they filter it through their own culture. Before colonization in Australia everyone there was culturally conditioned to project in this way. It was connected to the land. The land was the mirror.  I'm our society the mirror is something much different. We still project in that way, I did on my ex. I am highlighting one culture and book that explains the nature of this type of projection.  It's a travel writing book but the concept he is getting at is as deep as profound as anything you will ever find in any spiritual text if anything they were probably the most in tune. They just had to be because they lives in such a harsh environment.

I just say there in the woods it took a long time but my mind began to unprogram and I reconnected.  The connection died as I went back to life in modern society it is just a totally different frame if reality.

Well, you've instilled interest in that book Blim.  I'm going to Yosemite over the holidays, that and Maui are the most spiritual places I've ever been, and I may just dive into that book, among others.  Since detaching from my ex and going through a bunch of career sht I'm feeling humble and searching again, a state I actually look forward to since it's usually a period of growth, and chilling out in heaven on earth and feeding my brain sounds really good right now.  Thanks for the discourse and the focus shift.

Hope you don't mind the slight hijack of your thread Pingo; we tend to go off on subjects sometimes.  I'm going to reread Attached over the holidays too; 2015 is going to be awesome, for us all.

Yeah I highly recommend it he makes some really complex concepts accessible to the western mind. It is quite similiar to what the native Americans talked about but we already have a preconception of the native Americans that is hard to remove the filter from as the noble savage. The author presents it in a very sober and imaginitive way. There is definately more layers to what he is alluding to that will deepen the understanding if added to another model.

That's the really hard thing is to try to understand another cultures spiritual model because it is so contextual to their own culture.
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« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2014, 03:35:49 PM »

aren't we talking apples and oranges?  the article and workshop right here at BPDfam - find it in the right hand column of most board list pages - says verbatim that attachment leads to suffering and detachment leads to freedom:   https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=135116.0

":)etachment is rarely something we achieve once and for all. It's a moment-by-moment, day-by-day process of accepting reality as it presents itself, doing our best to align our actions with what we think is right, and surrendering the outcome."

i think the books on secure/unsecure human attachment is legit (humans DO attach to each other.  if they didn't, all babies would die because they surely are a PITA what with all that crying, pooping, and endless hunger, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).  we would not survive if we did not attach). 

i also think the quote above about detachment -  the problem being attached to outcome - is legit.  one does not stamp out the other, eh?

icu

Attachment in any form is unhealthy. Love has no perquisite of attachment, and attachment has no perquisite of love. If anything, love and attachment are enemies. Attachment leads only to unhappiness. Nothing in this material existence can bring us happiness be it a person, place or thing. Including money, sex, or drugs. Happiness is an inside job. If you would like to know more, ask me. Attach:detach. Attachment equals pain and suffering, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but inevitable. We all want to be happy and nobody wants to suffer. The primary difference between dependence and interdependence. What a world of difference in two vowels and three consonants.

Your post is an almost perfect description of someone with an avoidant attachment style Perf, I can see these things now, and it's a brand new world!

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« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2014, 04:15:46 PM »

Yes, I think we're talking about different things as well ucme, both valid in their context.  The concept of attachment styles includes the fact that everyone has one, and how two people interact and whether or not they get their needs met is dependent on what each person's style is; it's a specific model of relationship between people that I've found to be profound and valuable.  And then there's the larger concept of attachment vs. detachment, a realizing we are larger than our emotions and our outcomes and can experience them both while staying detached from them, results in freedom.

I think it can be taken both ways as it relates to a relationship with a borderline.  Being attached in an attachment style sense to a borderline is painful, as we all attest here, and detaching from that is definitely freedom.  And then detachment in general, in a more zen sense, leads to freedom in general.  I say we go for both.

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« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2014, 04:24:16 PM »

Hope you don't mind the slight hijack of your thread Pingo; we tend to go off on subjects sometimes.  I'm going to reread Attached over the holidays too; 2015 is going to be awesome, for us all.

fromheeltoheal, I just finished another book on attachment theory by Sue Johnson called 'Love Sense'.  It was very interesting if you want to delve into this further.

I told my T on Friday that I get melancholy reading about attachment theory bc it always reminds me of how relatively healthy people can fix their r/ss if they just tap into their style of attachment and work from that point of view.  It brings back feelings of being a failure, like if I had just loved him better or worked harder at 'fixing' us I could have saved him.  Of course I know that all this is crap.  But I still get those twinges of sadness.  My T reminded me those books aren't written with a pwBPD in mind, that there is no 'fixing' these r/s.   At best you get some kind of progress where you learn to 'cope' with them and the r/s.  What kind of existence is this?  (I also learned my T has a sister with BPD so she knows personally how these people tick).
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« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2014, 04:56:36 PM »

Excerpt
My T reminded me those books aren't written with a pwBPD in mind, that there is no 'fixing' these r/s.

That's the thing I like about attachment style theory: everyone has an attachment style, while people with personality disorders are a relatively small percentage of the population, and at this point we're better than most at spotting them, schoolin' through pain.  So let's focus on the healthy people who have compatible attachment styles, 80% of the population for someone with an anxious style like me.

Thanks for the book review Pingo, I'm hungry and want more.
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« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2014, 08:16:06 PM »

Yeah attachment theory is interesting.  I'm planning to read some of the primary texts on that in the near future.  Bowlby and ainsworth.

Fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment. That is clearly a mixed attachment style of anxious and avoidant.  

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« Reply #50 on: December 20, 2014, 08:31:32 PM »

Fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment. That is clearly a mixed attachment style of anxious and avoidant.

my xBPDgf had both fears, abandoment and engulfment.  is that common in pwBPD? 

like only a very small percentage of the time were we actually "together" ~ the vast majority, like 95% of the time(?) was either moving towards or moving away.  often 1 step fwd, 2 steps back.  mostly running away.  small piece of paradise followed by vast expanses of her feeling afraid and "unsafe"   ::::eye roll::::, me trying to "prove" myself as worthy small piece of something vaguely resembling paradise, lather/rinse/repeat.  always me trying to get back to that idealization phase, or, really, anything even just remotely similar would have been fine.  i didn't need the over-the-moon thing... .  it was horrible, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking for me. 

the last 7 wks were phone or text only, b/c she was so "afraid" of me :::more eye rolls:::  i mean she snapped overnight b/c of engulfment fears combined with me refusing to swallow her BS and me erecting bounndaries!  one of the last conversations we had was on the phone, and i was crying, sobbing wildly, and screaming, "what have you done with (her name)?  WTF have you done with (her name)?  WHERE IS SHE?"  it was wretched.

icu
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« Reply #51 on: December 20, 2014, 08:40:13 PM »

Fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment. That is clearly a mixed attachment style of anxious and avoidant.

my xBPDgf had both fears, abandoment and engulfment.  is that common in pwBPD? 

like only a very small percentage of the time were we actually "together" ~ the vast majority, like 95% of the time(?) was either moving towards or moving away.  often 1 step fwd, 2 steps back.  mostly running away.  small piece of paradise followed by vast expanses of her feeling afraid and "unsafe"   ::::eye roll::::, me trying to "prove" myself as worthy small piece of something vaguely resembling paradise, lather/rinse/repeat.  always me trying to get back to that idealization phase, or, really, anything even just remotely similar would have been fine.  i didn't need the over-the-moon thing... .  it was horrible, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking for me. 

the last 7 wks were phone or text only, b/c she was so "afraid" of me :::more eye rolls:::  i mean she snapped overnight b/c of engulfment fears combined with me refusing to swallow her BS and me erecting bounndaries!  one of the last conversations we had was on the phone, and i was crying, sobbing wildly, and screaming, "what have you done with (her name)?  WTF have you done with (her name)?  WHERE IS SHE?"  it was wretched.

icu

As soon as my ex fully trusted me and we broke through to her deepest levels it activated the disorder.  The disorder manifested situations to break us up and it's like we made an umbilical connection and she jumped off a cliff back into the abyss pullin me down with her.  Her doubts and fears attached to the validation of others and enablers and was turned against me and I was in a position of exerperiemcing all the confusion and suffering this part of her feels.  Her fears created a self fulfilling prophecy of abandonment and in turn justified why she should trust the disorder above anyone else.
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« Reply #52 on: December 20, 2014, 08:53:33 PM »

Excerpt
my xBPDgf had both fears, abandoment and engulfment.  is that common in pwBPD? 

It's the norm with borderlines.  A borderline doesn't have a fully formed 'self' of their own, because they never successfully detached from their primary caregiver in infancy and weathered the subsequent abandonment depression, which most people do, a standard part of becoming an autonomous individual.  So because of that, when a borderline gets too close to someone they feel engulfed, like they will lose themselves, since they don't have that self of their own, so they push that person away.  And when they get too far away they feel abandoned, a replaying of that earliest abandonment fear they never successfully transitioned through, so they pull the person back.  That sets up a continuous push/pull with no stability and the only contentment being on the fence between engulfment and abandonment, short lived and the fence is always moving.  Crazymaking for those of us trying to navigate that.  You probably noticed.
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« Reply #53 on: December 21, 2014, 01:00:59 AM »

Heel, can you expand on what you're referring to when you use the expression "self"? Please
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« Reply #54 on: December 21, 2014, 11:21:47 AM »

Heel, can you expand on what you're referring to when you use the expression "self"? Please

Hi Perf-

In my efforts to understand why she did what she did, I landed on Masterson's book The Search for the Real Self, a fascinating read that is beneficial beyond all things borderline, and he makes the distinction between the real self, a 'self' that develops normally as a young human grows up, and a false self, one that shows up in a personality when something happens along the way and arrests the development of a real self.  That knowledge along with what I knew about how she was raised and how she behaved really made the lights come on for me; I finally understood why she does what she does, which was very freeing.  And also, as I read the book, I saw traits that I've exhibited more than once and where I've lived false selves in my own life.  Eye opening.

Anyway, the beginning of the chapter on borderlines goes:

Excerpt
NORMALLY, the real self and its capacities emerge allowing the child to mature into an autonomous adult capable of self-activation and self-expression, with a sense of entitlement and the self-confidence to live creatively in the face of challenges and disappointments.  However, when the child experiences the abandonment depression during the first three years of life, the real self shuts down to avoid further aggravating the feelings of abandonment. This shut-down arrests psychological development and produces varying degrees of impairment in all the capacities of the self. Unable to tolerate feeling the abandonment depression, the child engages in a number of measures to protect himself from feeling depressed, at the cost of growth and adaptation. He avoids activities that would further the emergence of the real self, and consequently all the self’s potential capacities are impaired. In addition, the need for defense causes a similar arrest of what is classically described as ego development so that it, too, continues to function on a primitive level.

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« Reply #55 on: December 21, 2014, 12:00:25 PM »

Heel, can you expand on what you're referring to when you use the expression "self"? Please

Hi Perf-

In my efforts to understand why she did what she did, I landed on Masterson's book The Search for the Real Self, a fascinating read that is beneficial beyond all things borderline, and he makes the distinction between the real self, a 'self' that develops normally as a young human grows up, and a false self, one that shows up in a personality when something happens along the way and arrests the development of a real self.  That knowledge along with what I knew about how she was raised and how she behaved really made the lights come on for me; I finally understood why she does what she does, which was very freeing.  And also, as I read the book, I saw traits that I've exhibited more than once and where I've lived false selves in my own life.  Eye opening.

Anyway, the beginning of the chapter on borderlines goes:

NORMALLY, the real self and its capacities emerge allowing the child to mature into an autonomous adult capable of self-activation and self-expression, with a sense of entitlement and the self-confidence to live creatively in the face of challenges and disappointments.  However, when the child experiences the abandonment depression during the first three years of life, the real self shuts down to avoid further aggravating the feelings of abandonment. This shut-down arrests psychological development and produces varying degrees of impairment in all the capacities of the self. Unable to tolerate feeling the abandonment depression, the child engages in a number of measures to protect himself from feeling depressed, at the cost of growth and adaptation. He avoids activities that would further the emergence of the real self, and consequently all the self’s potential capacities are impaired. In addition, the need for defense causes a similar arrest of what is classically described as ego development so that it, too, continues to function on a primitive level.



Fromheeltoheal
, do you think this is the same thing as 'emotional masking'?  Where we hide our emotions so no one sees our pain and thus avoid the chance of being judged or being seen as weak?  This is a coping strategy I developed as a child. 
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« Reply #56 on: December 21, 2014, 12:32:51 PM »

Excerpt
do you think this is the same thing as 'emotional masking'?  Where we hide our emotions so no one sees our pain and thus avoid the chance of being judged or being seen as weak?

I'm not an expert Pingo, but I do know that BPD is deeper than that; it occurs during the development of the personality before cognitive reasoning is possible, so it gets hardwired into the personality as it develops, literally a personality disorder.

I say everyone exhibits emotional masking to some degree and at certain times; that's where phrases like 'put on a happy face' and 'fake it till you make it' come from.  Pure emotional vulnerability takes courage, sometimes we got it, sometimes we don't, and then there's that whole pesky issue with boundaries, where we let them down too far with the wrong person, only to snap them back up and put on an 'emotional mask'.  Standard human I say, hard enough with the healthy ones, but when we find the right ones and let fly with our truth, bliss ensues.  Lately I've been letting fly with my truth just for practice: it's what I want to be doing in general, plus it's a shortcut to finding out if I want people in my life or not, based on the reaction I get.  It's a brand new world... .
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« Reply #57 on: December 23, 2014, 12:32:09 PM »

Wonderful thread, and after reading it last night and then reading a few pages in the preview of Attached online, I woke up this morning with many revelations about myself and my attachments (I'm definitely avoidant, and possibly avoidant-anxious).

I've read and am rereading the book 'Attached' and find it very insightful too.

... .[snip]

The good news is that it's said 60% of people have a secure style, 20% anxious and 20% avoidant, so I've got an 80% change of getting with someone other than an avoidant person.  

But a question about this, fromheeltoheal (or anybody who knows): In several posts you repeat the very hopeful possibility that 80% of people are ripe for being an avoidant's partners? Nice idea, but isn't your math off a bit?

In the online preview of the book I found, Levine/Heller say in Attached:

Excerpt
“All people in our society, whether they have just started dating someone or have been married for forty years, fall into one of these categories, or, more rarely, into a combination of the latter two (anxious and avoidant). Just over 50 percent are secure, around 20 percent are anxious, 25 percent are avoidant, and the remaining 3 to 5 percent fall into a fourth, less common disorganized category.”

Plus, there's also a chapter (which I couldn't read online, just the title available) about the 'Anxious/avoidant trap'. That seems reasonable to me -- Anxious + Avoidant seems like a recipe for hell. (I think I had one of those and know whereof I speak   )

And wouldn't an avoidant+avoidant be almost as bad? Granted, I haven't read the book, but IMO neither avoidant with avoidant, nor avoidant with anxious, seem like good bets.

So isn't the correct field of people who we, as avoidant attachment style (or even if we're avoidant-anxious), might look for, going to be only the "just over 50%" of people who have a secure style?

Certainly still an exciting possibility, and learning how to know them will be critical. So, do we consider other avoidants as good possibilities also? Or not? Is that addressed in the book (or anywhere?)




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« Reply #58 on: December 23, 2014, 01:35:51 PM »

I recommend the book PP, it is very enlightening for me.

I've read elsewhere that the ratios are 60/20/20 for secure, anxious and avoidant, respectively, and yes, in the book Attached the numbers are a little different, but the point is that someone with an anxious attachment style getting together with someone with an avoidant attachment style is bad news for both, and they can work on it, but there will always be an underlying conflict in styles to contend with, and neither partner will get their needs met.

So, for someone with an anxious attachment style like me, I need to avoid the avoidants, which leaves 70-80% of folks, depending on the source, the ones with secure and anxious styles, available to me for potential relationships; that is very optimistic.  And a personality disorder is not an attachment style, so the small percentage of those need not apply, plus I've identified people in my life, ones I never did connect with very well, as people with avoidant styles, and that understanding has really helped explain things to me and helped me lower my expectations around what I can expect out of those relationships.  It's a brand new world.
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« Reply #59 on: December 23, 2014, 01:41:14 PM »

I would just add that when an anxious gets together with an avoidant, it is more difficult on the anxious as they are the one doing all the accommodating generally, their needs never really getting met as they are always chasing the avoidant in many respects.  I can see how this has played out in a couple of r/ss.  And the more avoidant they are, the more anxious I become when in other r/ss I am quite secure or even a little avoidant.

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