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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: One BPD women's perspective on "control" and "vulnerability"  (Read 6917 times)
jammo1989
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« on: January 20, 2015, 02:24:38 PM »



Been asking a BPD woman about why they punish their partners, and this was her response:

I wanted to hurt the guy that I've been falling for only because he makes me feel crazy. It feels like he controls my emotions because of how much I truly am into him. Whenever I don't have control, I feel vulnerable. And whenever I feel vulnerable, I have a major urge to get rid of that feeling. I feel like hurting someone will make me stop the emotions I have towards that person, even it probably won't work. I feel like if I emotionally damage him, than my feelings towards him won't be as strong and I won't feel vulnerable and I'll feel that I have control. I know this sounds terrible but I always feel better whenever I imagine all of the ways I could hurt his heart.

This may come across as evil and vindictive, but from the words of a diagnosed sufferer it can help us NONs to understand that yes, CONTROL is the desired outcome, but it also allows us to understand why punishment and cutting loved ones out of their life is used from their perspective.

Hope this helps guys

Take care 
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Tim300
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 02:32:31 PM »

This is very interesting and helpful.  Thank you.

It seems like as the relationship with a pwBPD gets closer and closer the love/hate pendulum just swings further and further in each direction. 

I definitely felt like I was "destroying" my ex in some ways by living with her.  The anxiety she had about me was just nuts.  At times it was like if I glanced out the window she might fear I was plotting to leave her.  It's like my presence, in and of itself, was torturing her.  She would say that she couldn't believe that she had me.  It was like she didn't have control, and she is someone who lives for control -- no wonder that she cut me out.
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CloseToFreedom
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 02:33:13 PM »

Good stuff, not surprising at all.

After our 10th and last break up, she basically admitted in an email exchange (that was filled with hate towards me) that she needed to hate me. Her words were: "I hate you because it helps. It is better than falling in love again and believing your lies."

My lies. Sure. That's why I was always faithful.

Anyway, they need to split us black, to get on with their life.
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Tim300
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 02:34:54 PM »

My lies. Sure.

They just cannot trust.   
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fred6
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 04:58:53 PM »

My ex definitely had the control/fake independence thing down. But she had such low self esteem and opinion of herself that it seems like she looked down on me for loving her. It's almost like she thought, "If I'm so messed up and he loves me, then he must really be messed up". That's the impression I got at the very end
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saintjude

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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2015, 05:07:31 PM »

My ex definitely had the control/fake independence thing down. But she had such low self esteem and opinion of herself that it seems like she looked down on me for loving her. It's almost like she thought, "If I'm so messed up and he loves me, then he must really be messed up". That's the impression I got at the very end

fred6, I can relate.

Mine would say, "If you stay then something must be wrong with you, if you leave its proof that something must be wrong with me"

The possibility for a good outcome was pretty much non-existent.
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Tim300
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 05:26:38 PM »

My ex definitely had the control/fake independence thing down. But she had such low self esteem and opinion of herself that it seems like she looked down on me for loving her. It's almost like she thought, "If I'm so messed up and he loves me, then he must really be messed up". That's the impression I got at the very end

Yeah, near the end, mine said, "How can you still be with me?  What is wrong with you!"  She said this in the morning after the night she physically attacked me.  I tried to explain to her that I loved her unconditionally -- but I don't think she can process that, or she simply puts no value on that.  It's a no win situation.
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fred6
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 05:37:28 PM »

My ex never actually said anything to indicate that. It's just the impression or gut feeling that I had by the way she acted. However, a couple weeks before I moved out she did say, "You'll be better off". While I'm thinking, Yeah, thanks for making that decision for me.
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AwakenedOne
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 08:17:22 PM »

I have somewhat of a different opinion on the value of learning from what a pwBPD on the internet tells us regarding their failed relationships and why they acted the way that they did. If you talk to a thousand different people with BPD your might get a thousand different reasons why they do anything. A.J. Mahari is a cured pwBPD. Listening to her seems productive. She's on the other side of it all, recovered and clear headed. 

What I went through with my wife would certainly qualify as purposeful punishment. I tried to match up what this person says here in your quote with what I know about my wife of 4 years but it just doesn't synch. I do believe control is a huge issue though in general with pwBPD. I was called controlling by her which was in my opinion projection.

Another thing, listening to someone with a mental disorder giving a point of view on why they do what they do can be interesting but does it translate into something we nons can even understand? If you are a psychiatrist you might be able to sift through what you are being told by them and translate it into something sensible.
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JRT
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 09:30:03 PM »

This to me makes total sense... .about the most sense (if you want to call it that) regarding my b/u. In my relationship, there was zero acrimony... .no fights or arguments at all... .I took care of her and did small and thoughtful things to make her happy... .her family and friends were impressed and she shared their compliments with me as well as hers... .this was sustained over 2 years and I felt very good to support her (and her son, that part was NOT easy) and give of myself - if felt very good to do and I was completely happy.

She disappeared without warning, there was no incident or fight... .the only notification I got was an angry text telling me it was over, that she moved out and that I should not try to contact her... .I have not spoke to her since then but there has been SOME interaction between us via third parties and she is PISSED OFF! She called the cops and a lawyer to threaten a PPO when I did bypass her phone block from a hotel I was staying at. For the past 4 months I have struggled to better understand where the anger is coming from and the only thing that makes sense is the original post to this thread. I consider this post as one of my missing jigsaw pieces, thank you. She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

I'm an urban explorer among other things. We took her into an abandoned High School to check it out when I first started to date her. The uncertainty and loss of environmental control did something that actually scared me a little bit. Its hard to describe but it was almost as if she were about to shatter into a million pieces... .she was close to hyperventilating and complete breakdown. I wonder if that is what happens when I try to contact her now.

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?
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Tim300
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2015, 09:51:18 PM »

She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?

Yes, the anger is just a coping mechanism.  If she was indifferent she wouldn't care.

I don't think her issues will go away with therapy.  I've read a bunch on DBT, etc., and I'm not optimistic about it.  My BPDex-fiancee was doing it and it didn't save us.  

I will say that I had a breakup very similar to yours with a girl I dated seriously before by BPDex-fiancee.  (Although we were not engaged or anything.)  I had only dated the girl for a few months.  She wanted me to spend more time with her but I told her that I had to study.  She responded with extreme anger and refused to communicate with me or even look at me at all straight through graduation (we were in a small grad school program together).  I had no idea what the heck was happening, but now I believe it to be BPD (she also had some other odd behavior).  She was very physically stunning, so I thought maybe she wasn't used to a guy saying No before -- but I still couldn't make sense of the degree of anger and the refusal to be friends/cordial, especially when I even said I would be open to dating again if that's what she wanted.  I emailed her so many times to try to reconcile and explain that whatever she was angry about must be a misunderstanding.  Her NC with me just absolutely crushed me, as I'm used to getting along with everyone and keeping in touch with many people.  Then after we graduated I gave it a rest for like 1.5 years.  Then I sent her an email one day and she responded cordially.  Now I email her once a year around January 1st and she responds with a short "Thank you for reaching out. [and a couple additional nice sentences]."  It brings me great relief to have LC with her (I still have her blocked on FB).  Now that I've learned about BPD I feel very sorry for her.  Fortunately, I am not afraid of her b/c she lives on another continent and I am not vulnerable to her in any significant way really.  I'll always email her once a year.  But it's definitely NC with my BPDex-fiancee, who I fear greatly.  My point is that if you are not afraid of her, you might be able to achieve LC one day, but that could be years away, and I wouldn't worry about it one way or another.
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Tim300
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 09:53:42 PM »

[delete -sorry, didn't hit the wrong button]
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JRT
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 11:27:18 PM »

She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?

Yes, the anger is just a coping mechanism.  If she was indifferent she wouldn't care.

I don't think her issues will go away with therapy.  I've read a bunch on DBT, etc., and I'm not optimistic about it.  My BPDex-fiancee was doing it and it didn't save us.  

I will say that I had a breakup very similar to yours with a girl I dated seriously before by BPDex-fiancee.  (Although we were not engaged or anything.)  I had only dated the girl for a few months.  She wanted me to spend more time with her but I told her that I had to study.  She responded with extreme anger and refused to communicate with me or even look at me at all straight through graduation (we were in a small grad school program together).  I had no idea what the heck was happening, but now I believe it to be BPD (she also had some other odd behavior).  She was very physically stunning, so I thought maybe she wasn't used to a guy saying No before -- but I still couldn't make sense of the degree of anger and the refusal to be friends/cordial, especially when I even said I would be open to dating again if that's what she wanted.  I emailed her so many times to try to reconcile and explain that whatever she was angry about must be a misunderstanding.  Her NC with me just absolutely crushed me, as I'm used to getting along with everyone and keeping in touch with many people.  Then after we graduated I gave it a rest for like 1.5 years.  Then I sent her an email one day and she responded cordially.  Now I email her once a year around January 1st and she responds with a short "Thank you for reaching out. [and a couple additional nice sentences]."  It brings me great relief to have LC with her (I still have her blocked on FB).  Now that I've learned about BPD I feel very sorry for her.  Fortunately, I am not afraid of her b/c she lives on another continent and I am not vulnerable to her in any significant way really.  I'll always email her once a year.  But it's definitely NC with my BPDex-fiancee, who I fear greatly.  My point is that if you are not afraid of her, you might be able to achieve LC one day, but that could be years away, and I wouldn't worry about it one way or another.

On previous recycles, it was according to a template X number of day so fo no contact... .me calling and leaving messages and voice mails... .her finally emailing me after I stopped calling her... .then a phone call (she attempting to draw me into a contentious conversation, I successfully resisted and kept calm)... .then a meeting - by her own words, she would tell me after the fact that upon sight of me that 'all was well with the world' and the episode ended there and was never even really discussed. I have been thinking that she was desperately wanting to avoid contact just so it didn't lead to the steps to reconciliation as it did before. Clearly, this b/u can be called an atom bomb in comparison to the firecrackers of earlier in the relationship. Referring to the original post, she must have REALLY been into me!

It seems that you take a pessimistic view of anything good coming of this.
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downwhim
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2015, 11:32:46 PM »

My exBPD fiancé hates my guts and this tread is what I needed. He is a major control freak. He said "I loved you for 8 years, I love you now"... .gone. It was all too much for him. He needs to hate me so he won't fall in love again. It is too much for him to take. I felt this from him and his way of dealing with it in the end was 1) have an affair 2) cut me off physically. It is such crazy making, really all of it is exhausting to even think about let alone feel. Now he has hacked into my computer and following me on a dating site which I got off of because it is too uncomfortable... .yuck. I feel stuck somewhat yet free of the constant anxiety.
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2015, 11:40:10 PM »

Sorry to hear that you are going thorugh this... .how long since your b/u?
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hurting300
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2015, 11:46:52 PM »

This to me makes total sense... .about the most sense (if you want to call it that) regarding my b/u. In my relationship, there was zero acrimony... .no fights or arguments at all... .I took care of her and did small and thoughtful things to make her happy... .her family and friends were impressed and she shared their compliments with me as well as hers... .this was sustained over 2 years and I felt very good to support her (and her son, that part was NOT easy) and give of myself - if felt very good to do and I was completely happy.

She disappeared without warning, there was no incident or fight... .the only notification I got was an angry text telling me it was over, that she moved out and that I should not try to contact her... .I have not spoke to her since then but there has been SOME interaction between us via third parties and she is PISSED OFF! She called the cops and a lawyer to threaten a PPO when I did bypass her phone block from a hotel I was staying at. For the past 4 months I have struggled to better understand where the anger is coming from and the only thing that makes sense is the original post to this thread. I consider this post as one of my missing jigsaw pieces, thank you. She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

I'm an urban explorer among other things. We took her into an abandoned High School to check it out when I first started to date her. The uncertainty and loss of environmental control did something that actually scared me a little bit. Its hard to describe but it was almost as if she were about to shatter into a million pieces... .she was close to hyperventilating and complete breakdown. I wonder if that is what happens when I try to contact her now.

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?

The short answer is no. Think of it this way, how hard would it be for you to completely change your PERSONALITY? There is your answer. Very very low rates of recovery. One psychologist noted that by the time a BPD is cured you yourself would be crazy. Source; psychology today.
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In the eye for an eye game, he who cares least, wins. I, for one. am never stepping into the ring with someone who is impulsive and doesn't think of the downstream consequences.
Tim300
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2015, 11:49:40 PM »

She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?

Yes, the anger is just a coping mechanism.  If she was indifferent she wouldn't care.

I don't think her issues will go away with therapy.  I've read a bunch on DBT, etc., and I'm not optimistic about it.  My BPDex-fiancee was doing it and it didn't save us.  

I will say that I had a breakup very similar to yours with a girl I dated seriously before by BPDex-fiancee.  (Although we were not engaged or anything.)  I had only dated the girl for a few months.  She wanted me to spend more time with her but I told her that I had to study.  She responded with extreme anger and refused to communicate with me or even look at me at all straight through graduation (we were in a small grad school program together).  I had no idea what the heck was happening, but now I believe it to be BPD (she also had some other odd behavior).  She was very physically stunning, so I thought maybe she wasn't used to a guy saying No before -- but I still couldn't make sense of the degree of anger and the refusal to be friends/cordial, especially when I even said I would be open to dating again if that's what she wanted.  I emailed her so many times to try to reconcile and explain that whatever she was angry about must be a misunderstanding.  Her NC with me just absolutely crushed me, as I'm used to getting along with everyone and keeping in touch with many people.  Then after we graduated I gave it a rest for like 1.5 years.  Then I sent her an email one day and she responded cordially.  Now I email her once a year around January 1st and she responds with a short "Thank you for reaching out. [and a couple additional nice sentences]."  It brings me great relief to have LC with her (I still have her blocked on FB).  Now that I've learned about BPD I feel very sorry for her.  Fortunately, I am not afraid of her b/c she lives on another continent and I am not vulnerable to her in any significant way really.  I'll always email her once a year.  But it's definitely NC with my BPDex-fiancee, who I fear greatly.  My point is that if you are not afraid of her, you might be able to achieve LC one day, but that could be years away, and I wouldn't worry about it one way or another.

On previous recycles, it was according to a template X number of day so fo no contact... .me calling and leaving messages and voice mails... .her finally emailing me after I stopped calling her... .then a phone call (she attempting to draw me into a contentious conversation, I successfully resisted and kept calm)... .then a meeting - by her own words, she would tell me after the fact that upon sight of me that 'all was well with the world' and the episode ended there and was never even really discussed. I have been thinking that she was desperately wanting to avoid contact just so it didn't lead to the steps to reconciliation as it did before. Clearly, this b/u can be called an atom bomb in comparison to the firecrackers of earlier in the relationship. Referring to the original post, she must have REALLY been into me!

It seems that you take a pessimistic view of anything good coming of this.

I think you are right.  She can't see you because she is so into you that she knows she'll be swept in again.

As far as me being pessimistic... . I think if you give it some time and get your head around BPD you will lose interest in her.  I mean, at this point, knowing what you know,  is this someone you want to procreate with?
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HappyNihilist
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2015, 12:02:24 AM »

it can help us NONs to understand that yes, CONTROL is the desired outcome

Control is the desired outcome, yes - but not control over the partner. Rather, a pwBPD is seeking control of their own emotions, or at least the power to make the bad feelings stop.

Excerpt
Whenever I don't have control, I feel vulnerable. And whenever I feel vulnerable, I have a major urge to get rid of that feeling. I feel like hurting someone will make me stop the emotions I have towards that person, even it probably won't work.

It's human nature to sometimes get defensive and/or lash out when we feel vulnerable. For most people, however, this vulnerability isn't as intense or frequent as it is for a pwBPD.

75-90% of dBPD patients have attachment disorders. There is often a history of childhood abuse. That feeling of being a vulnerable, helpless child with no control whatsoever of his/her environment and situation gets resurrected when the adult pwBPD feels vulnerable. That's strong, painful stuff.

For their own emotional survival, pwBPD have learned effective (albeit unhealthy) ways to numb the pain. One way is to hurt someone else emotionally. There's a great article called "The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence" by Steve Hein (full article) that explains this defense mechanism: "The survival instinct has programmed humans to attack what is hurting us and to defend ourselves from it. [... .] When the body is in attack mode, it doesn't feel its own pain."

Excerpt
I feel like if I emotionally damage him, than my feelings towards him won't be as strong and I won't feel vulnerable and I'll feel that I have control. I know this sounds terrible but I always feel better whenever I imagine all of the ways I could hurt his heart.

This part seems quite telling to me. Because there's another reason for this punishment - the ex or significant other has become the dumping grounds for all of the pwBPD's "badness." The pwBPD isn't trying to hurt the ex/SO directly, but rather what that ex/SO now represents.

Peter Fonagy, in an article on attachment and BPD, explains the externalization this way--

Maltreatment and difficulty in mentalizing preclude an organic self-image. Internal experience is not met by external understanding. In place of an image corresponding to the constitutional (organic) self, the self-representation will be the representation of another. In some cases, this is not a neutral other but rather a torturing one. This alien representation has to be expelled, not only because it doesn't match the constitutional self, but also because it is persecutory. The consequences for affect regulation are then disastrous.

For the self to be coherent, the alien parts require externalization; they need to be seen as part of the other where they can be hated, denigrated, and often destroyed. The physical other who performs this function must remain present if this complex process if to operate. The borderline can't feel that he is a self unless he has the other present to frighten and intimidate, to seduce and excite, to humiliate and reduce to helplessness.
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JRT
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2015, 12:05:19 AM »

My procreation days are over... .I am 48 years old and she is 44... .but I get the gist... .here is the deal: most of the r/s I read about here were characterized by serious acrimony and abuse... .there was usually cheating, lies and other problems... .

My r/s was not like that at all... .there were problems (recycling of course... .her son -BPD and THEN some... .her internalizing of her thoughts and potential problems... .some other minor issues) but all in all, I was VERY content. We were very compatible... .we had similar interests, values and goals and blah blah blah. The final nuclear b/u came out of the blue and was 10 times worse than any other episode in the past. The thing that took me the most by surprise was the anger... .it certainly was misplaced as I REALLY took care of her and treated her with so much TLC, that it made the buzz with her co workers, friends and family (who knows what they are telling her now that I am P Black). That why I cracked the joke that 'she must have REALLY been into me'.

If she was a rotten pos and abused me ( I have seen examples of these types and I do NOT take kindly to it), I would have had little problem moving on. But I see this relationship almost as salvageable; what do you do in a situation you were happy?  There are things that need to be worked on especially breaking up, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).

This sucks!
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2015, 12:10:51 AM »

it can help us NONs to understand that yes, CONTROL is the desired outcome

Control is the desired outcome, yes - but not control over the partner. Rather, a pwBPD is seeking control of their own emotions, or at least the power to make the bad feelings stop.

Excerpt
Whenever I don't have control, I feel vulnerable. And whenever I feel vulnerable, I have a major urge to get rid of that feeling. I feel like hurting someone will make me stop the emotions I have towards that person, even it probably won't work.

It's human nature to sometimes get defensive and/or lash out when we feel vulnerable. For most people, however, this vulnerability isn't as intense or frequent as it is for a pwBPD.

75-90% of dBPD patients have attachment disorders. There is often a history of childhood abuse. That feeling of being a vulnerable, helpless child with no control whatsoever of his/her environment and situation gets resurrected when the adult pwBPD feels vulnerable. That's strong, painful stuff.

For their own emotional survival, pwBPD have learned effective (albeit unhealthy) ways to numb the pain. One way is to hurt someone else emotionally. There's a great article called "The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence" by Steve Hein (full article) that explains this defense mechanism: "The survival instinct has programmed humans to attack what is hurting us and to defend ourselves from it. [... .] When the body is in attack mode, it doesn't feel its own pain."

Excerpt
I feel like if I emotionally damage him, than my feelings towards him won't be as strong and I won't feel vulnerable and I'll feel that I have control. I know this sounds terrible but I always feel better whenever I imagine all of the ways I could hurt his heart.

This part seems quite telling to me. Because there's another reason for this punishment - the ex or significant other has become the dumping grounds for all of the pwBPD's "badness." The pwBPD isn't trying to hurt the ex/SO directly, but rather what that ex/SO now represents.

Peter Fonagy, in an article on attachment and BPD, explains the externalization this way--

Maltreatment and difficulty in mentalizing preclude an organic self-image. Internal experience is not met by external understanding. In place of an image corresponding to the constitutional (organic) self, the self-representation will be the representation of another. In some cases, this is not a neutral other but rather a torturing one. This alien representation has to be expelled, not only because it doesn't match the constitutional self, but also because it is persecutory. The consequences for affect regulation are then disastrous.

For the self to be coherent, the alien parts require externalization; they need to be seen as part of the other where they can be hated, denigrated, and often destroyed. The physical other who performs this function must remain present if this complex process if to operate. The borderline can't feel that he is a self unless he has the other present to frighten and intimidate, to seduce and excite, to humiliate and reduce to helplessness.

So inflicting pain, seducing, exciting, etc. gives them the sense of being? A negation of the emptiness that they feel up until they bring a SO/target into their life close enough so that they can 'come alive'?

So why do they direct this anger at a SO? Why not make them their rock? The SO is usually willing. Why not just be a bully, say for example? What could have caused mine to hurt who was by all accounts including her own, very content?
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2015, 12:55:08 AM »

So inflicting pain, seducing, exciting, etc. gives them the sense of being? A negation of the emptiness that they feel up until they bring a SO/target into their life close enough so that they can 'come alive'?

It's not quite that. Borderlines lack a coherent sense of self. That part of you deep down inside that you can cling to and say "this is Me" -- a pwBPD doesn't have that. This is why they "borrow" selves from other people, and why they can have very different "personalities" in different relationships.

pwBPD especially have trouble reconciling Good and Bad within the same person. This is what leads to Splitting - someone/thing is either All Good or All Bad. There are no shades of grey. If a person has some badness, then that person must be All Bad. Well, everyone has "bad" in them, and pwBPD often behave in ways that can be seen as "bad." What, then, is the pwBPD to do? If they admit to their own badness, then they must be All Bad. So they avoid that by projecting their "bad" parts onto their partner.

The partner takes on a torturing, persecuting representation to the pwBPD. They become the "punitive parent" - responsible for the bad feelings that a pwBPD has.

If a pwBPD is feeling bad, then it must be because someone else made them feel that way. (BPD is a very persecution-based disorder.) And for a pwBPD, feelings are facts -- so the pwBPD truly believes that their partner did something to cause their bad feelings.

So why do they direct this anger at a SO? Why not make them their rock? The SO is usually willing. Why not just be a bully, say for example? What could have caused mine to hurt who was by all accounts including her own, very content?

You're looking at this from a rational and non-disordered point of view. That's not the mindset in which a pwBPD functions.

The pwBPD enters into an attachment like a child to a mother, looking for deep core needs to be met. But no one can meet these needs - and so eventually the pwBPD becomes unsatisfied, resentful, hurt, etc.

Add to that the fact that intimacy itself is what triggers the core fears of abandonment and engulfment. When a pwBPD is triggered like that, it's like they're experiencing the initial trauma in that moment. It's scary and painful and confusing. They're not conditioned to see intimacy and love as stable and beneficial. This is why they push away when they get close to someone.

The sad truth of the disorder is that loving someone triggers it. There is no way for a partner to just keep on loving and somehow "push through." It's something that can only be dealt with by the pwBPD.
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2015, 01:39:14 AM »

MAN! It just seems so impossible! So sad. Is it even possible to climb out of this?
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2015, 03:33:03 AM »

Been asking a BPD woman about why they punish their partners, and this was her response:

I wanted to hurt the guy that I've been falling for only because he makes me feel crazy. It feels like he controls my emotions because of how much I truly am into him. Whenever I don't have control, I feel vulnerable. And whenever I feel vulnerable, I have a major urge to get rid of that feeling. I feel like hurting someone will make me stop the emotions I have towards that person, even it probably won't work. I feel like if I emotionally damage him, than my feelings towards him won't be as strong and I won't feel vulnerable and I'll feel that I have control. I know this sounds terrible but I always feel better whenever I imagine all of the ways I could hurt his heart.

This may come across as evil and vindictive, but from the words of a diagnosed sufferer it can help us NONs to understand that yes, CONTROL is the desired outcome, but it also allows us to understand why punishment and cutting loved ones out of their life is used from their perspective.

Hope this helps guys

Take care 

Yes. Psychopathic selfishness, with an extra large pinch of cruelty thrown in. I almost lived through it, too!   :'(
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2015, 10:17:17 AM »

So inflicting pain, seducing, exciting, etc. gives them the sense of being? A negation of the emptiness that they feel up until they bring a SO/target into their life close enough so that they can 'come alive'?

It's not quite that. Borderlines lack a coherent sense of self. That part of you deep down inside that you can cling to and say "this is Me" -- a pwBPD doesn't have that. This is why they "borrow" selves from other people, and why they can have very different "personalities" in different relationships.

This is exactly what I experienced in my relationship. When we would get too close he backed off. He could not take this kind of love. I mean it. I know it to be truth. To think that he asked me to marry him and how that was a commitment for life with a person that loved him deeply must have been so smothering to him. I think he tried to do the right thing by getting engaged like a non BPD would progress in a relationship but it was all too much emotionally for him and he had to pull away.

pwBPD especially have trouble reconciling Good and Bad within the same person. This is what leads to Splitting - someone/thing is either All Good or All Bad. There are no shades of grey. If a person has some badness, then that person must be All Bad. Well, everyone has "bad" in them, and pwBPD often behave in ways that can be seen as "bad." What, then, is the pwBPD to do? If they admit to their own badness, then they must be All Bad. So they avoid that by projecting their "bad" parts onto their partner.

The partner takes on a torturing, persecuting representation to the pwBPD. They become the "punitive parent" - responsible for the bad feelings that a pwBPD has.

If a pwBPD is feeling bad, then it must be because someone else made them feel that way. (BPD is a very persecution-based disorder.) And for a pwBPD, feelings are facts -- so the pwBPD truly believes that their partner did something to cause their bad feelings.

So why do they direct this anger at a SO? Why not make them their rock? The SO is usually willing. Why not just be a bully, say for example? What could have caused mine to hurt who was by all accounts including her own, very content?

You're looking at this from a rational and non-disordered point of view. That's not the mindset in which a pwBPD functions.

The pwBPD enters into an attachment like a child to a mother, looking for deep core needs to be met. But no one can meet these needs - and so eventually the pwBPD becomes unsatisfied, resentful, hurt, etc.

Add to that the fact that intimacy itself is what triggers the core fears of abandonment and engulfment. When a pwBPD is triggered like that, it's like they're experiencing the initial trauma in that moment. It's scary and painful and confusing. They're not conditioned to see intimacy and love as stable and beneficial. This is why they push away when they get close to someone.

The sad truth of the disorder is that loving someone triggers it. There is no way for a partner to just keep on loving and somehow "push through." It's something that can only be dealt with by the pwBPD.

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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2015, 10:19:33 AM »

This is exactly what I experienced in my relationship. When we would get too close he backed off. He could not take this kind of love. I mean it. I know it to be truth. To think that he asked me to marry him and how that was a commitment for life with a person that loved him deeply must have been so smothering to him. I think he tried to do the right thing by getting engaged like a non BPD would progress in a relationship but it was all too much emotionally for him and he had to pull away.
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« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2015, 10:44:10 AM »

So if I am to interpret my breakup and her flight on the basis of this conversation, (triggered by one or more associated events) she reached what was likely a, sort of, zenith point in her love for me and this is what resulted in her sudden and abrupt disappearing act? This is also what fuels her continuing anger (even though there was no anger or acrimony present in the relationship at all)? Does it ever mitigate? Is there a point in time where a BPD under these circumstances unpaint us black and the anger subsides? Is this a natural progression or not generally?   

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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2015, 11:29:34 AM »

So if I am to interpret my breakup and her flight on the basis of this conversation, (triggered by one or more associated events) she reached what was likely a, sort of, zenith point in her love for me and this is what resulted in her sudden and abrupt disappearing act? This is also what fuels her continuing anger (even though there was no anger or acrimony present in the relationship at all)? Does it ever mitigate? Is there a point in time where a BPD under these circumstances unpaint us black and the anger subsides? Is this a natural progression or not generally?   

Some pwBPD do come back (this is what you’ll see called a ‘recycle’ attempt), and some simply don’t.  Recycling is always about them…i.e., filling some need, usually temporarily.  Judging by your past history with this person, you very well may have been recycled a handful of times—you just didn’t know what to call it when it happened.  The likelihood of them returning could be a measure of how black they’ve painted us, their level of shame, and whether their needs are being adequately filled by another person.

“:)oes it ever mitigate?” 

If a person suffering from BPD truly dedicates themselves to long-term therapy, their outlook can significantly improve.  But as you’ve mentioned a number of times, JRT, this is very painful stuff.  I couldn’t agree more—I have been there and back.  A good question for yourself is, even if she does come back this time, are you prepared to go through the whole thing all over again, assuming she does suffer from the disorder and continues without addressing it?  If so, why would you risk your heart like that?  What do you think might missing for you that you’d put yourself on the line for someone who has repeatedly done this, albeit with varying degrees of severity?     

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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2015, 11:50:02 AM »

Thank You Hazel... .yes, I have been recycled in the past about a handful of times... .this episode 'improves' upon the previous ones exponentially. Her level of shame must be incredible... .I wonder what is going on on the other end... .I can only imagine.

Its a fair set of questions that you ask and they are ones that I have been asking myself. I have been in very difficult relationships in the past. One of them with an incredibly attractive and bright girl that, in hindsight, was very much a BPD. It was not easy to breakup with her especially since she recycled at least a dozen times (they only lasted hours in some cases before I broke up again). But I did what I needed and moved on (interestingly, she met a man dancing at a bar an hour after I broke up with her, married him and is STILL married 20 years later!).   

Anyway; the thing that makes this one more difficult than the one above or my marriage is that it was not at all characterized by the stormy elements that seem to define most of the r/s that I have been reading about. We did not argue or disagree... .there was no lying (at least none that affected me)... .no cheating (that I know of)... .we had common interests and values, and we did almost everything together and were generally happy... .In some ways I WISH that we had at least a small amount of acrimony so that I could leverage that anger to help move forward. But outside of the way that she has acted from the b/u forward, there is none.

There is something inherently god with this one and very much complimenting and desirable to me, even with her human flaws as well as those related to BPD. I WISH that there wasn't. Had she been like that woman that I dated after I got out of college, This would have only been a bump in the road and long ago in my rear view mirror.

Does this make sense?
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« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2015, 03:40:24 PM »

You know, after reading the OP a few times. I realize how someone could snap and beat the hell out of a pwBPD. I'm not the type and I don't condone that type of thing. But thinking back to how I was treated, if someone had a bad temper or lack of self control. I could see them going ape $hit on a pwBPD.
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« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2015, 03:46:27 PM »

You know, after reading the OP a few times. I realize how someone could snap and beat the hell out of a pwBPD. I'm not the type and I don't condone that type of thing. But thinking back to how I was treated, if someone had a bad temper or lack of self control. I could see them going ape $hit on a pwBPD.

The behavior is a total MindFvck!  Me... .I just got clinically depressed.   I turned it all on me.  LOL! 

I am sure that what you are saying happens.   It could put someone over the edge.
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« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2015, 03:53:15 PM »

You know, after reading the OP a few times. I realize how someone could snap and beat the hell out of a pwBPD. I'm not the type and I don't condone that type of thing. But thinking back to how I was treated, if someone had a bad temper or lack of self control. I could see them going ape $hit on a pwBPD.

I really wonder what % of DV cases are manifestations of BPD.  I hope people in DV clinics are fully aware of BPD. 
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« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2015, 05:04:48 PM »

You know, after reading the OP a few times. I realize how someone could snap and beat the hell out of a pwBPD. I'm not the type and I don't condone that type of thing. But thinking back to how I was treated, if someone had a bad temper or lack of self control. I could see them going ape $hit on a pwBPD.

The behavior is a total MindFvck!  Me... .I just got clinically depressed.   I turned it all on me.  LOL!  

I am sure that what you are saying happens.   It could put someone over the edge.

Infrared, I turned it on me and got depressed, too.

Of course, Munchkin-short, size-8 me trying to beat up my tall, big, muscular, seasoned-fighter exBPDbf would have been hilariously entertaining to any bystanders, I'm sure.

I really wonder what % of DV cases are manifestations of BPD.  I hope people in DV clinics are fully aware of BPD. 

Like anything, it depends. I've done a lot of work with DV clinics and shelters, and the personnel and volunteers are well-trained (and usually have mental health credentials, esp. the paid personnel), but do they necessarily know all about possible mental illnesses? No. For one, that's not their job -- crisis/trauma intervention is not in the same wheelhouse as diagnosis and therapy.

But rest assured that people who do this sort of work regularly DO know about disordered behavior. And they know that, in a lot of cases (not the majority), both partners are perpetuating the abusive cycle.
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« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2015, 10:40:02 PM »

After a blow out a few months before I ended it, she was calm and said, "I know we can't be together, but will you give me another chance to be with you at some point?" I said, you mean together? She said, no physically." I literally laughed. This was a great moment for me because I looked at her dead in the eyes and said. Look, despite the fact you cheated, I told you I'm not a cheater. I don't even know who I'd be dating in the future, but even without knowing her, I can tell you I'd absolutely never do that to her."  In that moment she realized how rancid her character was compared to mine. And I don't care, it's true. But she did this all out of control. She was looking for ways to connect with me in the future, and dictate my life even before any of it happened.

I  never brought up BPD or NPD (which mine had as much if not more traits than BPD) but instead, in her more lucid moments on anti anxiety medication and antidepressants, during talks I'd ask her questions about things and over time she basically confirmed every major symptom/trait without me ever feeling the need to connect the dots for her. She told me she feels vulnerable and it makes her want to push me away.

She also told me she trusted her ex more than anyone she ever met (while simultaneously) talking about how they had nothing in common, etc. And he left her. I said, he was introverted. She said, yeah. And I realized right then. He was passive. He never brought stuff up. He hated confrontation. He just went along for the ride. To someone so scared of ever opening up, how perfect is the partner who is passive as listed above? He is non threatening, and therefore she felt safe aka "trusted him so much" They slept in separate bedrooms, never had sex, she neglected him, she never paid attention to him, etc. She drove him away, out of love and he left. But she was actually happy in that relationship. And it was because she HAD NO relationship.

She also during sex had a thing for talking up scenarios where she was always in the power position. She would talk about some far off time, I was dating someone and she would want me to say, I'd leave who I was with. She also one time after sex looked at me and said, "I control this don't I" As she looked me up and down. Everything with them is about control. Moreover, it's about being in a one up position. They must have an upper edge OVER you. That's what devaluing is about. To put you in your place, and it's below them.

Things like balance, reciprocity, etc were foreign to her. Her perfect partner would be an emasculated beta male who is passive introverted and has no sex drive. Someone who she can eat dinner with, unload her moods on, and who worships her. Someone with no wants, needs or desires, who will look the other way when she cheats. Someone who will do the majority of the work, and get no credit. Someone who will mechanically please her physically and emotionally. Someone who she can make comments to and about and they will smile and take it.

It's funny, she actually said to me when I told her I was done, "You've been acting like an alpha male lately" I literally laughed. Why? Because I'm not letting you walk all over me anymore? I'm not a doormat, but I took my fair share of bs and then some. Enough. Nobody is worth this much abuse. They will kill you. The constant anxiety, fight or flight, lack of sleep, chaos, would kill a man by 50. No doubt.

I have one life. One short period on Earth. I was lucky enough to be born in a free country. Why on Earth would I voluntarily become a prisoner to her misery?

Done and Done. Good Riddance. And enjoy your next failed relationship. I'm going to move on with my life and be happy finally.
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« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2015, 11:03:58 PM »

After a blow out a few months before I ended it, she was calm and said, "I know we can't be together, but will you give me another chance to be with you at some point?" I said, you mean together? She said, no physically." I literally laughed. This was a great moment for me because I looked at her dead in the eyes and said. Look, despite the fact you cheated, I told you I'm not a cheater. I don't even know who I'd be dating in the future, but even without knowing her, I can tell you I'd absolutely never do that to her."  In that moment she realized how rancid her character was compared to mine. And I don't care, it's true. But she did this all out of control. She was looking for ways to connect with me in the future, and dictate my life even before any of it happened.

I had one recycle and during it, I snooped her phone because I had zero trust and thought during our break up she had probably started something up.

In it, she was texting her best friend during our break up period and said she planned to "use me as a booty call" in a year or so after her feelings for me had died down.

That made me sick to my stomach.  I also wondered if she had "booty called" any exes while we were together.  I'll never know.

If she did anything nefarious, I'm betting she was smart enough to keep it to facebook, skype, google hangout, email or some other way that was more difficult to detect than phone calls or texts.  And I'll never get the truth from her.
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« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2015, 11:17:13 PM »

Things like balance, reciprocity, etc were foreign to her. Her perfect partner would be an emasculated beta male who is passive introverted and has no sex drive. Someone who she can eat dinner with, unload her moods on, and who worships her. Someone with no wants, needs or desires, who will look the other way when she cheats. Someone who will do the majority of the work, and get no credit. Someone who will mechanically please her physically and emotionally. Someone who she can make comments to and about and they will smile and take it.

It's funny, she actually said to me when I told her I was done, "You've been acting like an alpha male lately" I literally laughed. Why? Because I'm not letting you walk all over me anymore? I'm not a doormat, but I took my fair share of bs and then some. Enough. Nobody is worth this much abuse. They will kill you. The constant anxiety, fight or flight, lack of sleep, chaos, would kill a man by 50. No doubt.

Mine wanted an alpha that she could control in a subtle way.  She was a quiet/waif type.

I found myself being more aggressive and dominant in social situations than I usually am to give her "the tingles".

She is an ex-partier that is the type to like bad boys, which I'm really not.

At one point, I was offered a better job 10 hours from her.  We would be long distance for almost a year.  She wanted me to take it because it would benefit us both financially if we were together permanently, but also I think she liked the idea of only seeing me a few times a month and then being left to her own devices otherwise.

One thing I'm glad I did after the final break was outlining all she did to abuse me (mostly lies, weird behavior that would cause most anyone insecurity/jealousy/doubt, and emotional withdraw/shutdown) and told her that no man she would respect for long would be willing to take those behaviors.  I told her she wanted a doormat but she could never be attracted to a doormat.

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« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2015, 11:40:39 PM »

Things like balance, reciprocity, etc were foreign to her. Her perfect partner would be an emasculated beta male who is passive introverted and has no sex drive. Someone who she can eat dinner with, unload her moods on, and who worships her. Someone with no wants, needs or desires, who will look the other way when she cheats. Someone who will do the majority of the work, and get no credit. Someone who will mechanically please her physically and emotionally. Someone who she can make comments to and about and they will smile and take it.

It's funny, she actually said to me when I told her I was done, "You've been acting like an alpha male lately" I literally laughed. Why? Because I'm not letting you walk all over me anymore? I'm not a doormat, but I took my fair share of bs and then some. Enough. Nobody is worth this much abuse. They will kill you. The constant anxiety, fight or flight, lack of sleep, chaos, would kill a man by 50. No doubt.

Mine wanted an alpha that she could control in a subtle way.  She was a quiet/waif type.

I found myself being more aggressive and dominant in social situations than I usually am to give her "the tingles".

She is an ex-partier that is the type to like bad boys, which I'm really not.

At one point, I was offered a better job 10 hours from her.  We would be long distance for almost a year.  She wanted me to take it because it would benefit us both financially if we were together permanently, but also I think she liked the idea of only seeing me a few times a month and then being left to her own devices otherwise.

One thing I'm glad I did after the final break was outlining all she did to abuse me (mostly lies, weird behavior that would cause most anyone insecurity/jealousy/doubt, and emotional withdraw/shutdown) and told her that no man she would respect for long would be willing to take those behaviors.  I told her she wanted a doormat but she could never be attracted to a doormat.

see that's how mine was, she abused me with weird behaviors, lies and  controlling me. I would've gladly welcomed being cursed and yelled at because at least I could have caught on.
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« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2015, 11:50:44 PM »

see that's how mine was, she abused me with weird behaviors, lies and  controlling me. I would've gladly welcomed being cursed and yelled at because at least I could have caught on.

I've heard the quiet/waif type are dangerous because they can hide in plain sight.  You really think you could trust them and that they are somewhat stable.

Also, it means that I can't identify with many of the more overt behaviors others here outline.

Heck, if she and I lived together, I'm nearly certain she would do something crazy like take my dog to the pound out of state and then claim he slipped his collar and then ran into the woods. 

There is a reason why predictability and ability to "know the internal space" of another is a requisite for real trust.  Think of a car.  Would you trust an unpredictable car with internal designs of which you had no clue?

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« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2015, 12:05:45 AM »

Mine was a waif... .there were some very subtle signs but for the duration of our relationship, I just thought that she had some 'quirks' (outside strange breakup episodes that I later came to know as 'recycles'... .she internalized things... .she NEVER complained or shared her deep inner thoughts... .there were no arguments or fights to speak of... .everything was placid and moving forward... .then she disappeared ... .I would have preferred some tumult; I would have seen this coming.
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« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2015, 12:15:22 AM »

Mine was a waif... .there were some very subtle signs but for the duration of our relationship, I just thought that she had some 'quirks' (outside strange breakup episodes that I later came to know as 'recycles'... .she internalized things... .she NEVER complained or shared her deep inner thoughts... .there were no arguments or fights to speak of... .everything was placid and moving forward... .then she disappeared ... .I would have preferred some tumult; I would have seen this coming.

Yes... .mine was the same... .quiet but apparently building this raging resentment... .then the cheating... .
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« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2015, 12:16:35 AM »

Mine was a waif... .there were some very subtle signs but for the duration of our relationship, I just thought that she had some 'quirks' (outside strange breakup episodes that I later came to know as 'recycles'... .she internalized things... .she NEVER complained or shared her deep inner thoughts... .there were no arguments or fights to speak of... .everything was placid and moving forward... .then she disappeared ... .I would have preferred some tumult; I would have seen this coming.

Unless you have evidence of cheating, etc., I think it is hard to be the one to break up with a quiet/waif.

She was just continuously, mildly dishonest, obviously overly flirty, overly private/defensive, would dramatically withdraw to the point where I felt like a rapist if I wanted to hold her hand, and with tons of weirdness and things about her past that were bad, most of which she would not detail/share.

So, I had no definite "you are a cheater and rage at me" signs... .I just knew something was very, very off and I'd ignored my gut for too long.  That was my internal struggle, my gut was saying "put on your Nikes and run away from this girl until you hit an ocean" but I could not pin down HUGE dealbreakers... .and I looked at her and it was like leaving a scared rabbit in the corner of the pet store.

Also, I hadn't been 'in love" for a long time, and my relationship prospects were not looking good (living in a garage apartment behind my parents, working as a college prof, and paying down massive student loans).  I'm nearly certain my mi-20s self would have not gotten involved with her past initial red flags popping because I had tons of options and time to look around.
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« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2015, 12:43:41 AM »

Mine felt very natural... .I didn't have the the instinct to run... .in fact, we were engaged and she just moved in... .interesting: mine always wanted to hold hands even when I was driving the car ... .it was odd sometimes ... .and she never really flirted with anyone... .its interesting how they are all different.
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« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2015, 12:55:29 AM »

Well like others have said they are individuals, but gosh all of our stories are basically the same.
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« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2015, 01:22:40 PM »

Control... .Dang, I remember her talking about control but I can't remember the specifics of it. Something about hating not being in control of something, I think. Wish I remembered.

She controlled me, though. That's for sure.
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« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2015, 02:06:10 PM »

Mine liked to be in a certain amount of control but I didn't feel controlled... .maybe the better word was environment of predictability... .interestingly, she really liked it when a man took charge of a situation or was a 'take charge' sort of individual... .not shure it hat has any BPD meaning at all.
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« Reply #44 on: January 24, 2015, 02:30:40 PM »

I think that when you look at the makeup of a pwBPD and see their lack of self and their fears of abandonment etc. it's easy to see how much of the overt or covert controlling they do is from what they see as "self-protection." Even if it's a twisted version that causes extreme pain to their SO and family.

My uBPDh always regretted any time where he'd been vulnerable enough to admit to being responsible for his mean behavior.
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« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2015, 02:38:32 PM »

I think that when you look at the makeup of a pwBPD and see their lack of self and their fears of abandonment etc. it's easy to see how much of the overt or covert controlling they do is from what they see as "self-protection."

I agree, Elpis.

interestingly, she really liked it when a man took charge of a situation or was a 'take charge' sort of individual... .not shure it hat has any BPD meaning at all.

A pwBPD has no stable sense of self. So they attach best in relationships where the other person has ideas of reference for the pwBPD. This way, the pwBPD knows what is "expected" and can adapt accordingly, in their never-ending search for a self.

In an attempt to survive defective self-object experiences, empathic failures, lack of validation, and insufficient attunement of significant others to needs to the self, the borderline submits to expectations from the environment and his/her self-concept becomes dominated by projective and invalid representations of the self.

-Carsten Rene Jorgensen, PhD, ":)isturbed Sense of Identity in Borderline Personality Disorder"


Member 2010 discusses this tendency of BPDs, especially waifs, a lot. A couple of helpful excerpts--

The easiest and most life-affirming connection [pwBPD] make is with people who put them in "one-down" positions. Those are the rescuers, saviors, and white knights, as well as the voice hogs and the self-centered.

The compulsion for a waif is to serve another person and attach to them for survival. When this servitude is praised, the pwBPD feels somewhat conflicted, as the feel-good quality of pleasing the other person soon turns into a distorted perception of captivity and bondage. Scapegoating and blame are projected at the partner.

Waifs will attach to those they perceive to be dominant (usually "rescuers". The borderline then cries foul when their submissiveness becomes so extreme and equality in the relationship is so askew that it gives the partner an appearance of taskmaster and the borderline a reasonable "out" based on their inner persecutorial ideas of reference (Punitive Parent).
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« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2015, 02:59:17 PM »

Excerpt
interestingly, she really liked it when a man took charge of a situation or was a 'take charge' sort of individual... .not sure it that has any BPD meaning at all.

Women expect men to do that initially in a relationship; it's at least a subconscious desire to be protected, a man's job evolutionarily.  And then, as the relationship progresses and a 50/50 partnership is formed, who does what and what roles each partner fulfills develop between them.  It's up to us to notice if a woman is letting a man be a man or is looking to play the perpetual child and stay in the 'one-down' position forever, which has it's own control tactics.  There's not much room for control in a healthy relationship.
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« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2015, 04:11:02 PM »

I think that when you look at the makeup of a pwBPD and see their lack of self and their fears of abandonment etc. it's easy to see how much of the overt or covert controlling they do is from what they see as "self-protection."

I agree, Elpis.

interestingly, she really liked it when a man took charge of a situation or was a 'take charge' sort of individual... .not shure it hat has any BPD meaning at all.

A pwBPD has no stable sense of self. So they attach best in relationships where the other person has ideas of reference for the pwBPD. This way, the pwBPD knows what is "expected" and can adapt accordingly, in their never-ending search for a self.

In an attempt to survive defective self-object experiences, empathic failures, lack of validation, and insufficient attunement of significant others to needs to the self, the borderline submits to expectations from the environment and his/her self-concept becomes dominated by projective and invalid representations of the self.

-Carsten Rene Jorgensen, PhD, ":)isturbed Sense of Identity in Borderline Personality Disorder"


Member 2010 discusses this tendency of BPDs, especially waifs, a lot. A couple of helpful excerpts--

The easiest and most life-affirming connection [pwBPD] make is with people who put them in "one-down" positions. Those are the rescuers, saviors, and white knights, as well as the voice hogs and the self-centered.

The compulsion for a waif is to serve another person and attach to them for survival. When this servitude is praised, the pwBPD feels somewhat conflicted, as the feel-good quality of pleasing the other person soon turns into a distorted perception of captivity and bondage. Scapegoating and blame are projected at the partner.

Waifs will attach to those they perceive to be dominant (usually "rescuers". The borderline then cries foul when their submissiveness becomes so extreme and equality in the relationship is so askew that it gives the partner an appearance of taskmaster and the borderline a reasonable "out" based on their inner persecutorial ideas of reference (Punitive Parent).

This makes complete sense in my case... .I AM a rescuer and she is a waif... .I would imagine that by extension, if I ever were given a chance to ask her what her problem is with me, she might venture to say that she felt subservient to me? That she was in captivity? I imagine that her smear campaign would reflect the same?
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« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2015, 04:12:45 PM »

interestingly, she really liked it when a man took charge of a situation or was a 'take charge' sort of individual... .not sure it that has any BPD meaning at all.

Women expect men to do that initially in a relationship; it's at least a subconscious desire to be protected, a man's job evolutionarily.  And then, as the relationship progresses and a 50/50 partnership is formed, who does what and what roles each partner fulfills develop between them.  It's up to us to notice if a woman is letting a man be a man or is looking to play the perpetual child and stay in the 'one-down' position forever, which has it's own control tactics.  There's not much room for control in a healthy relationship.

What is meant by a 'one down' position?
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« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2015, 04:35:41 PM »

Excerpt
interestingly, she really liked it when a man took charge of a situation or was a 'take charge' sort of individual... .not sure it that has any BPD meaning at all.

Women expect men to do that initially in a relationship; it's at least a subconscious desire to be protected, a man's job evolutionarily.  And then, as the relationship progresses and a 50/50 partnership is formed, who does what and what roles each partner fulfills develop between them.  It's up to us to notice if a woman is letting a man be a man or is looking to play the perpetual child and stay in the 'one-down' position forever, which has it's own control tactics.  There's not much room for control in a healthy relationship.

What is meant by a 'one down' position?

In the dynamics of relationship, one partner can be superior, dominant, entitled, in control, which is termed the 'one-up' position, and the other partner can be inferior, subordinate, submissive, and controlled, termed the 'one-down' position.  That dynamic shows up everywhere with humans, our first exposure being with our parents, who are in the one-up position and we're in the one-down, they're in control, which we actually need as children because they are also providing security and direction.

In a healthy, adult relationship each partner has different strengths, she handles the finances and he changes the oil in the car for example, and that happens in the bedroom too, one partner may be dominant and the other submissive sexually, and that works for both of them.  But in a healthy relationship there's a balance, an overall 50/50 split to the relationship dynamic.  If someone is or insists on being in the one-down position all the time it leads to problems, but it also has benefits, like the one-down partner doesn't have to take responsibility for anything, yet they can control the other partner with their needs.  Every relationship has a little of that, but when the focus is on control and an unequal partnership all the time, it's not healthy.
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« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2015, 04:59:53 PM »

Hmmmmm... .as I am considering my own relationship with my BPD, I am wondering if there was that balance or is she was in a one down position... .its odd, because I cannot answer that... .her needs came first for sure as they were almost always wrapped in a crisis sot they HAD to receive full attention at the expense of anything else... .phone conversations were usually a query from her about my day; a chance for me to vent my day out to her as she pretended to act as if she was concerned and was listening. It was really just a polite ruse where she waited for me to clear my plate so that her concerns and problems were fully attended to (usually her son or work - perpetual crises).

Its funny, I gave her a lot of slack and really tried to allow her to be her. But it was notable that she wanted to lean my family's language, wanted to learn my hobbies and interests, wanted to come to my kind of concerts and so on (all of which never really materialized at all). I wonder if in reality, she really knew what she was doing when it comes to all of these things and did what she did to keep me at bay until the time came when I was no longer of value to her. It makes me question if accepting my wedding proposal was also a way of delaying the inevitable just so that she could get more of the fix that she needed until it was sucked dry from me.
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« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2015, 05:23:51 PM »

Hmmmmm... .as I am considering my own relationship with my BPD, I am wondering if there was that balance or is she was in a one down position... .its odd, because I cannot answer that... .her needs came first for sure as they were almost always wrapped in a crisis sot they HAD to receive full attention at the expense of anything else... .phone conversations were usually a query from her about my day; a chance for me to vent my day out to her as she pretended to act as if she was concerned and was listening. It was really just a polite ruse where she waited for me to clear my plate so that her concerns and problems were fully attended to (usually her son or work - perpetual crises).

Its funny, I gave her a lot of slack and really tried to allow her to be her. But it was notable that she wanted to lean my family's language, wanted to learn my hobbies and interests, wanted to come to my kind of concerts and so on (all of which never really materialized at all). I wonder if in reality, she really knew what she was doing when it comes to all of these things and did what she did to keep me at bay until the time came when I was no longer of value to her. It makes me question if accepting my wedding proposal was also a way of delaying the inevitable just so that she could get more of the fix that she needed until it was sucked dry from me.

I'm careful about giving borderlines too much credit; some are malicious and have a diabolical plan, no doubt, but I say most are just bouncing through life like a tumbleweed in a tornado, which is why there's continual chaos.  One thing that is the norm is a desire, a need, to control the relationship, the emotional distance between a borderline and their partner: that is a way to deal with the constant opposing forces of fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment; if the partner is being controlled and is not autonomous, they have no way of upsetting that precarious balance.  There's multiple ways to control too: a Queen borderline does it with outright aggression, a Waif borderline does it with their needs, but the desire to control is the constant.  My ex did what yours did; she always accused me of not listening, while not taking any interest in what I said or what was going on with me, the self-centered behavior of someone in continual pain.
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« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2015, 07:00:24 PM »

interestingly, she really liked it when a man took charge of a situation or was a 'take charge' sort of individual... .not sure it that has any BPD meaning at all.

Women expect men to do that initially in a relationship; it's at least a subconscious desire to be protected, a man's job evolutionarily.  And then, as the relationship progresses and a 50/50 partnership is formed, who does what and what roles each partner fulfills develop between them.  It's up to us to notice if a woman is letting a man be a man or is looking to play the perpetual child and stay in the 'one-down' position forever, which has it's own control tactics.  There's not much room for control in a healthy relationship.

I don't necessarily agree that all women expect men to "take charge" initially in a relationship. People are individuals, despite our evolutionary biology, and therefore place value on different things.

The pwBPD isn't necessarily presenting him- or herself in a "one-down" to begin with. That's the position that the partner puts them in, whether by rescuing/fixing behaviors or through more "overt" dominance and control (like with a NPD). They will happily stay there for a while, but a pwBPD doesn't stay "one-down" forever -- by the time the r/s implodes, the roles have switched, leaving the pwBPD one-up to the partner.
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« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2015, 07:26:57 PM »

Excerpt
interestingly, she really liked it when a man took charge of a situation or was a 'take charge' sort of individual... .not sure it that has any BPD meaning at all.

Women expect men to do that initially in a relationship; it's at least a subconscious desire to be protected, a man's job evolutionarily.  And then, as the relationship progresses and a 50/50 partnership is formed, who does what and what roles each partner fulfills develop between them.  It's up to us to notice if a woman is letting a man be a man or is looking to play the perpetual child and stay in the 'one-down' position forever, which has it's own control tactics.  There's not much room for control in a healthy relationship.

I don't necessarily agree that all women expect men to "take charge" initially in a relationship. People are individuals, despite our evolutionary biology, and therefore place value on different things.

The pwBPD isn't necessarily presenting him- or herself in a "one-down" to begin with. That's the position that the partner puts them in, whether by rescuing/fixing behaviors or through more "overt" dominance and control (like with a NPD). They will happily stay there for a while, but a pwBPD doesn't stay "one-down" forever -- by the time the r/s implodes, the roles have switched, leaving the pwBPD one-up to the partner.

Yes, I was referring to relationships in general and not necessarily borderlines, but you're right, the dynamic that forms is the creation of the two people involved.  Also, it's more clear to say masculine and feminine, not male and female, since we all have both energies.
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« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2015, 07:32:30 PM »

The girl I was dating was an uBPD, who I initially thought was an NPD. Through the help of some friends whose perplexed faces of shock in what I told them stories, I was encouraged to go to a counselor who helped me understand these terms.

I read everything I could about validation, baiting, triggers, etc. I tried everything I could do to somehow co-exist with her(and her behavior) I got her talking about things because I didn't judge her in this phase (before her destructive behaviors began) And without ever coming out and mentioning either condition, but rather the "symptoms" she admitted to them all, almost like a checklist.

When things got really bad, I used her periods of shunning me, to my advantage by emotionally detaching, finding activities and rekindling friendships that she basically isolated me from. (She would get mad if my friends called me, and once said, why do you need other friends? we're best friends... .)

I don't know if it's her, or the condition, but as time went on she always pushed the envelope further and further. Demanding more, expecting less, creating chaos, blaming me, ignoring me after picking a fight and refusing to ever admit fault or apologize for her role, instead telling me how "I need a guy who will do this or that" vs. I'm sorry. Within days I was "perfect" again.

She always sought out a one up position. If someone complimented me "Your boyfriend is so sweet. He's good to you., etc) I can't explain it, but she'd look over at me with this "look" and smile.  Within a day, she would make undermining comments, or pick a fight. I read somewhere (and it was totally accurate) they don't want you to feel good about yourself. That's exactly what vibe I got in these situations. Always wanted me to be off kilt. Unsure, and chasing.

I told her how much it hurt me when she'd "disappear" I told her how hard I was trying to be a part of her and her son's life (exactly what she wanted so badly in the beginning) and she'd have these periods where it was like she kept him from me just to hurt me. Weeks. We'd go from spending time together, dinners, etc. It was almost like she was saying to me, I know you love him, but he's mine and because you love him, I'm not going to let you be around him because I know it will hurt you.

Anyway, I drew a line in my mind that she crossed so many times. The final "shunning" I was prepared to walk. When it lasted longer than normal, I sent a text that basically said goodbye, changed my number and haven't seen her in 2 weeks. She went crazy. Showed up at my house pleading, but I held my ground.

I agree they may WANT us in a one down position, but it doesn't ALWAYS end up that way. It just depends how much/little self respect you have, where your "line" is and how you react when crossed, and the level of denial you live in.

I don't look at my situation as ha ha I won! I think the whole thing is pathetic and sad. I'm just very thankful, I salvaged my dignity and was able to hold a boundary firm finally. It's been the difference of getting over this quickly vs. all the extra layers of hurt/shock/anger that would have existed if I had continued giving giving and giving and been screwed over. Which I have no doubt was coming.  

She took me for granted, and she thought I was perfectly conditioned to do that. She thought she was getting me good. A solid silent treatment punishment. But I actually am the one who blind sided her, because I dumped her and shut her out when she "decided" my punishment was over, she had nobody to come back to.

Good riddance. Toxic. Just writing it makes me want to take a shower in holy water.
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« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2015, 11:05:30 PM »

the dynamic that forms is the creation of the two people involved.  

So true.

In the case of borderline relationships, if we weren't projecting a false self that the pwBPD wanted/needed, then he/she wouldn't have attached in the first place. And this dynamic is where a lot of our truths lie.

Also, it's more clear to say masculine and feminine, not male and female, since we all have both energies.

In those terms, then yes, I definitely agree. I'm more feminine in r/s's, so I personally am drawn to a more "dominant" male. But some women are more masculine, and some men more feminine... .and as long as we find a healthy yin to our yang (or vice versa), it's all good. Smiling (click to insert in post)

I agree they may WANT us in a one down position, but it doesn't ALWAYS end up that way. It just depends how much/little self respect you have, where your "line" is and how you react when crossed, and the level of denial you live in.

Once you have been pushed off your pedestal, you are in a one-down position to the pwBPD.

Once you see that your encouragement, love, understanding, gentle guidance, and/or rescuing are not only not having the intended effects but are actually being used against you. The object of your good intentions is now your persecutor, and you have become the victim.
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« Reply #56 on: January 25, 2015, 12:12:24 AM »

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