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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: I cannot function...  (Read 1001 times)
Lost Out

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« on: July 20, 2015, 12:19:24 PM »

I am just at my wits end, I cannot make sense of anything, I cannot function... .
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joeramabeme
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2015, 12:34:50 PM »

I am just at my wits end, I cannot make sense of anything, I cannot function... .

Lost Out, I can relate to what you are saying.  Just posted a message with similar question about trying to make sense of everything.

Where are you at in the process?  Did you recently b/u or are you still with partner?

I have been on this board for about 2 months and I have had moments of great clarity and moments of not being able to see my own hand in front of my face.  I am under the impression that this type of emotional back and forth is part of the territory when the one you love has BPD traits.

What are you unable to function with?

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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2015, 12:40:25 PM »

Well, you can type, and that's good because we can probably help.  What specifically is going on right now Lost?
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Lost Out

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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2015, 01:46:18 PM »

I actually broke it off finally last November. She ruined a night out with a rage incident and that was all I could take. I went totally NC. But it was more like I went in to suspended animation, I just blocked everything out and went on with my life as if nothing happened. There were a few communications about mail and such and she sent a few "I know you don't want anything to do with me" messages, which I ignored. But then last month, she was FB friends with my kids, are the photos of her with the new BF. I am not sure why but that just made me come out of my denial I think, along with finally learning about BPD. Now I knew what was going on, I wasn't crazy... .or am I crazy. I can read this BPD stuff every day and get it intellectually, but for some reason I just can't believe it... .I can't just look back at the crazy things that happened and make it stick. There were so many good times in between. One of the last things I remember her saying to me is "just remember the good times". Like I was just supposed to ignore the rage, the name calling, the ruined events, the disapproval, the lack of empathy.

The whole thing is insanity, I feel insane, I feel like I want to go back in time now that I know it was BPD. I want to end this suffering somehow. I've lost 20 pounds, sleep is messed up, work is suffering... .

I get the stupid idea that she is better now, better without me... .I know that makes no sense, she has a lot of work to do and the ne BF is getting the mirror stage now... .but my self worth is shot and I keep going around and around... .I can't make it stop.
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2015, 01:53:07 PM »

Hi Lost Out,

One of the last things I remember her saying to me is "just remember the good times". Like I was just supposed to ignore the rage, the name calling, the ruined events, the disapproval, the lack of empathy.

I can see how that would be confusing and invalidating when an ex partner says "remember the good times" A pwBPD have dichotomous thinking or black and white thinking and see either all good or all bad. Life is somewhere in the grey area.

I can see how seeing a picture on your kids FB with the new BF would ascertain the reality of a situation. I think it would be difficult to get the news this way on social media and through your kids no less.

Do you mean that you were avoiding the reality of the situation when you say you went into suspended animation and went on with your life? You have been reading about BPD and the news was upsetting? I can relate, I recall being in denial for awhile after hearing about BPD and how all of the pieces of a puzzle fit together and I couldn't believe that someone so close to me was suffering from a serious mental illness.
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2015, 02:02:00 PM »

I can relate Lost; I left her, stopped communicating, and expected to be back to my life before her within a few months, but it took much longer than that, the better part of a year.  It's a combination of what we bring to the relationship and how it meshes with the way borderlines attach, it can get its hooks in deep, deeper than we knew.

It's good that these latest events have broken you out of your denial, as you put it, and there are the things that happen and what we make them mean, two different things.  Why do you think she's better now, without you?  It doesn't matter if she is or isn't, it's what you do with it, what you make it mean.
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joeramabeme
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2015, 02:04:46 PM »

I actually broke it off finally last November. She ruined a night out with a rage incident and that was all I could take. I went totally NC. But it was more like I went in to suspended animation, I just blocked everything out and went on with my life as if nothing happened. There were a few communications about mail and such and she sent a few "I know you don't want anything to do with me" messages, which I ignored. But then last month, she was FB friends with my kids, are the photos of her with the new BF. I am not sure why but that just made me come out of my denial I think, along with finally learning about BPD. Now I knew what was going on, I wasn't crazy... .or am I crazy. I can read this BPD stuff every day and get it intellectually, but for some reason I just can't believe it... .I can't just look back at the crazy things that happened and make it stick. There were so many good times in between. One of the last things I remember her saying to me is "just remember the good times". Like I was just supposed to ignore the rage, the name calling, the ruined events, the disapproval, the lack of empathy.

The whole thing is insanity, I feel insane, I feel like I want to go back in time now that I know it was BPD. I want to end this suffering somehow. I've lost 20 pounds, sleep is messed up, work is suffering... .

Lost Out, Again, I relate.  I read about BPD and some times I understand it but I can't fully accept it and I think, like you, is she really BPD or am I just a crazy sot?  When I can take some of the intense emotions out of it, I get back to BPD easily.  When I ask friends who know us and what they think I get back to BPD.  

It is so easy to get caught up in reading about it all and think of it as being conceptual.  In my opinion the whole ordeal is somewhat traumatic and like any trauma must be worked through so that we can place source emotions with the source events.

I will share one of the source events that acts as a method of re-association for me and belief that she BPD.  My best friend and his family took my wife and I out for my 50th birthday.  My wife (Ellen) is very nervous around my best friends wife (Rose).  Rose knows Ellen is nervous and goes out of her way to be nice to her.  We sit down to order and Rose and Ellen decide they are going to have the same dinner and split a salad together.  The waiter comes by to take the order and my friends wife says, Ellen and I will have the same thing.  My wife turns her head away from Rose and says 'you F'in b___'.  Unfortunately, both of their children saw her say it.  My friends were not as hurt that she said that  as much as they were shocked at the level of her reaction to the event.  

I asked my wife, why?  She said she did not want the meal that was being ordered!  So I ask how come just not say that?  No answer.  No apologies to my best friends.  All she could say to me was that it must have been uncomfortable for me to hear them tell me this story.  What the heck!  You think so?

Not sure what trait that story represents but it always makes me remember that my wife had some serious emotional dysregulation and the marriage suffered greatly because of it.  
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Lost Out

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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2015, 02:09:59 PM »

Yes you are right, that was invalidating to ask me to forget the insanity. That's what makes it so unbelievable. She knew it was happening, she was totally aware of the angst she was causing, but somewhere in there she didn't care or actually enjoyed it. Wow! This is an eye opener! But then I wonder, "am I just paranoid?". That is the rub. But on the other hand I have the information about past relationships she had that were similar. And one thing she said sticks out in my mind, when we first went out, she said "men don't break up with me, I break up with men." One time after she raged on me and I was recoiling she actually said "you guys just can't take it." Now why in the world can't I just digest that and know that it is crazy? Is it because of all the good times? The awesome sexual energy? Which at the end she came over and touched me and I just recoiled at her touch. She was losing her power and she know it. I don't think she was ever angry that I was gone, rather more than the fact that I broke it off. I think I was the first guy to ever break up with her, which sent her for a loop. Why can't I just grasp this stuff? Or just let it go... .it's making me insane.

By suspended animation I think I just went in to complete denial, my brain could not deal so it just didn't. But eventually I had to deal, which is right now, and man it is an incredible thing to do.
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Mutt
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2015, 02:16:44 PM »

One time after she raged on me and I was recoiling she actually said "you guys just can't take it." Now why in the world can't I just digest that and know that it is crazy? Is it because of all the good times? The awesome sexual energy? Which at the end she came over and touched me and I just recoiled at her touch.

You mentioned that she friended your kids on FB.

Were you a family?
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Lost Out

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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2015, 02:17:01 PM »

Well at least your wife did it in public for others to see. My exBPD is a saint in public, everyone loves her. This crap only happened in private so others did not know. That will make a person think they are going insane... .

She would say after a fight, "I told everyone at work and they all agree with me." I know this was crazy because if I told everyone at my work they would all agree with me, and I would tell her that, trying to get her to see that was not useful. But I am so stupid about this stuff, I was thinking we were trying to get to a middle ground, she was trying to make me feel crazy.
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Lost Out

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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2015, 02:18:49 PM »

No, I have two kids and she has two. We only dated for a little over a year. Tried to get back together for a short time last fall, too much rage going on so I just slipped away... .
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Lost Out

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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2015, 02:27:12 PM »

The thing too is that she permeates my life. We did some many things together, everywhere I go I see her there... .in my car, at the beach, at concerts, everywhere... .it's like her spirit is with me... .
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2015, 02:29:31 PM »

She knew it was happening, she was totally aware of the angst she was causing, but somewhere in there she didn't care or actually enjoyed it.

Was she emotionally immature with you? Name calling, belittling you, acting childish?

And one thing she said sticks out in my mind, when we first went out, she said "men don't break up with me, I break up with men.

A critieria for BPD is:

frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

She may of been subconsciously telegraphing that she leaves to avoid abandonment.

She may of meant "I break up with men before they break up with me."
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joeramabeme
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2015, 02:41:00 PM »

Well at least your wife did it in public for others to see. My exBPD is a saint in public, everyone loves her. This crap only happened in private so others did not know. That will make a person think they are going insane... .

She would say after a fight, "I told everyone at work and they all agree with me." I know this was crazy because if I told everyone at my work they would all agree with me, and I would tell her that, trying to get her to see that was not useful. But I am so stupid about this stuff, I was thinking we were trying to get to a middle ground, she was trying to make me feel crazy.

Yes, I can see where that would feel more crazy if she is only displaying it to you. 

That sense of she is trying to make you feel crazy is called gaslighting, perhaps there is an article on this site or you can Google it.  I experienced the same insanity.

It is good that you are posting and discussing, it really does help with the internal crazy feelings.
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Lost Out

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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2015, 02:42:24 PM »

Yeah she could be very belittling, most of the time it was very subtle, sometimes very overt.

Interesting take on the who leaves who thing she said. I think she chose her mates wisely and felt she had power over them. She is good looking and very sexual.  The interesting part about her and I is that when she was trying to mirror me in the beginning. I introduced her to some Buddhist reading material, just some simple Zen stuff that I like. I was reading it to her and she to me and I could see kind of a pained look on her face. We were reading a passage about "detachment" and I remember her not liking that at all. Self reflection probably was not going to resonate with her. And then a few months later when she was on a rant about something, in anger, she said something like "you and those f'ing books you read!"
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Lost Out

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« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2015, 02:46:25 PM »

And after she said she breaks up with men, which just came to mind, is, "when I am done with you, I am done with you".

However that was not a true statement, because she was still in contact with both of her recent ex boyfriends. I was the only one to disengage completely. I think I ended up mirroring her in that way. I was done and she did not like that.

I've read about gas lighting... .that is scary stuff
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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2015, 02:51:17 PM »

Yeah she could be very belittling, most of the time it was very subtle, sometimes very overt.

Interesting take on the who leaves who thing she said. I think she chose her mates wisely and felt she had power over them. She is good looking and very sexual.  The interesting part about her and I is that when she was trying to mirror me in the beginning. I introduced her to some Buddhist reading material, just some simple Zen stuff that I like. I was reading it to her and she to me and I could see kind of a pained look on her face. We were reading a passage about "detachment" and I remember her not liking that at all. Self reflection probably was not going to resonate with her. And then a few months later when she was on a rant about something, in anger, she said something like "you and those f'ing books you read!"

I know you are hurting but what you said was pretty funny; "you and those f'ing books you read!".  Perhaps you have come up with the vampire equivalency of garlic for BPD, Zen!

One thing that has been told to me over and over is that they do not consciously do all the behaviors.  I know that is hard to accept, which is part of the reason it feels so unreal.  My best understanding of this is that the individual behaviors may have intent, but the behavior pattern is unconscious.  They are not consciously aware that they are going through a cycle of behaviors, for them the world is crazy and they are simply adjusting their behaviors in accordance.  For us Non's it seems impossible to believe because of our hurt.  Particularly in retrospect and replaying what they said.  My wife had no idea how much she hurt me telling my friends wife that she is an f'in b___.  In her mind she was defending herself.  It is crazy making behavior.

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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2015, 02:57:49 PM »

If she didn't know then why did she tell me not to pay attention to the bad stuff? She knew afterward the effect it had, otherwise she wouldn't have told me not to pay attention.

I know deep down she is struggling very hard, I have seen it on her face. If I had know it was BPD at the time I am sure I would have been somewhat different. But its hard when you just want a reciprocal relationship and you get a transactional one instead. It feels like a business. If she only could understand that the things I did for her I did just because I loved her... .that would be all it would have taken really. So sad really.
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2015, 03:03:01 PM »

That is how I felt the first a couple of months out too. Couldn't function, felt like I was going crazy, lost a bunch of weight (on the bright side, the weight loss wasn't too bad of a thing, I get even more attention from women now... .I just wish I lost it in a better way). Not sure what to suggest here, except that it takes a lot of time to get through this. No way to rationalize or understand, just let the time fix this... .
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2015, 03:04:47 PM »

If she didn't know then why did she tell me not to pay attention to the bad stuff? She knew afterward the effect it had, otherwise she wouldn't have told me not to pay attention.

I know deep down she is struggling very hard, I have seen it on her face. If I had know it was BPD at the time I am sure I would have been somewhat different. But its hard when you just want a reciprocal relationship and you get a transactional one instead. It feels like a business. If she only could understand that the things I did for her I did just because I loved her... .that would be all it would have taken really. So sad really.

Well said about transactional versus reciprocal.  That is spot on.  Fear of intimacy and getting close to inner pain forces them to play it safe and keep distance.  My wife always told me everything had to be 50-50.  I literally wrote her a check at the end of every month to make sure that we were even, very transactional, all about safety for her or she would be consumed (engulfed) by relationship and needed boundaries to prevent that from happening.

BTW, I am not implying that they are unaware of their behaviors and see nothing, it is that they are unaware of how that behavior fits into a pattern.  Again, for her, this is just the way relationships are and she is acting as if the world is really constructed in the shape of her emotional turmoil.  She may well know what she is doing, but does not see the bigger context within which she does it.
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2015, 03:08:05 PM »

If she didn't know then why did she tell me not to pay attention to the bad stuff? She knew afterward the effect it had, otherwise she wouldn't have told me not to pay attention.

I know deep down she is struggling very hard, I have seen it on her face. If I had know it was BPD at the time I am sure I would have been somewhat different. But its hard when you just want a reciprocal relationship and you get a transactional one instead. It feels like a business. If she only could understand that the things I did for her I did just because I loved her... .that would be all it would have taken really. So sad really.

I've seen similar looks with my ex partner A pwBPD have a false self, a mask that displays a different personality to the world and people, there's often a clinical depression, anxiety or substance abuse, alcohol abuse. A pwBPD have anxiety, insecurities, are self critical and self loathing. Splitting is a primitive defense mechanism to protect from anxiety and stress, its not intentional, her behaviors are driven by the disorder. That's BPD. I understand how painful this all may be.
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