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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: So yah in retrospect I over-reacted on this one.  (Read 572 times)
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« on: October 10, 2018, 05:07:23 PM »

OK. OK.  We will stop.  We will agree with your perspectives.
:|

Excerpt
It sounds like things are back on track with your new friend. You did well.

Are you going to have that dinner with her now?
She is out of town until Monday but will contact me then. She 'thanks me for my love and for liking me!'. I had told her I agreed the language makes it hard, told her I appreciated how hard she studied to learn and that she wanted to learn in part so we could communicate better and I'd try to learn more words to speak to her with. I also told her I'd like to continue to see her as her boyfriend until she leaves with whatever time she can spare from her friends and business without any pressure and we can see together if we want to continue after she leaves. I agreed it would be nice to spend some time visiting her in her hometown as well.

I guess we got in a bit of a limbo not knowing what the other wanted and not having any real way to discuss it. Not the best topics for a friend to translate you know? In any event I clarified at least that I am interested in her and interested at least in the possibility of a more serious relationship if we can figure it out but at least that I wanted to see her while she is here romantically and the various things I appreciate about her and like doing (e.g walking in the park). I also got out of the way my concern that it was my talk about my biz/money that coincided with the "distance" I perceived and she was clear it has NOTHING to do with money she does not care. So clearly that might have been a trigger, I'll need to add that to the list I guess ("looks down on me because I have no money") and not assume/presume. That goes way back in fact to the San Fran girl who ran because of it. So I'll need to keep an eye out for that voice and as per your suggestion name it.

So yah in retrospect I over-reacted on this one. NOT on pwBPD, she got off light not to mention with a couple of undeserved gifts. In this case though, probably a couple triggers at once and I had my eye on the wrong one. You really have to listen carefully to those voices huh? I'm still in a super tight spot until/unless this latest deal goes through. Forgot to mention on the Sunday dinner got stuck with $9 in my acccount just before the concert and was hoping afterwards to have coffee, beg off any other event and offer to cook for her later in the week. Suddenly got corraled by the 3 couples and her and almost kidnapped to the restaurant and had to text her 'hey look I was not expecting to go out afterwards I didn't bring any money I was going to cook for you later'. She must have discretely managed that since no check ever came to the table so I was never even put in the position of being embarassed. Cool classy move on her and their part but looking back at this week I'd guess that played into the reaction so again, a good trigger to name and corral.

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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 05:11:29 PM »

So yah in retrospect I over-reacted on this one. NOT on pwBPD, she got off light not to mention with a couple of undeserved gifts.

We can let it go now... .

She must have discretely managed that since no check ever came to the table so I was never even put in the position of being embarassed. Cool classy move on her and their part but looking back at this week I'd guess that played into the reaction so again, a good trigger to name and corral.

Very discrete.   
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 05:24:00 PM »

We can let it go now... .

Very discrete.   

Yes. I have to say I've had very little interaction with Chinese people in my life and am happy to see how much stock they put in 'the basics'; face, respect, manners, appreciation. I get those can hide all sort of not so nice characteristics as well but heck so can disrespect and lack of appreciation. It could just be her groups of friends but I've been struck so far at the few large-ish outings (6-15 people) I've been with her on at the utter lack of rancor, the warmth and just simple enjoyment in the moment and each other I've witnessed.
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 03:02:16 PM »

In DBT, this is covered in two skill sets; mindfulness, and emotional regulation.

We talk about the concept of mindfulness here as WiseMind:
https://bpdfamily.com/content/triggering-and-mindfulness-and-wise-mind

Triggering and Mindfulness and Wise Mind

What is mindfulness all about?  In the simplest sense, we all develop, from time to time, thinking patterns that do not serve us well.  When we do, we are easily "triggered" - having non-constructive reactions to specific words or actions based on prior experiences.  We've all been there - in resentment, pessimism, defensiveness, impatience, closed mindedness, distrust, intolerance, confrontational, defeat... .

Mindfulness is a type of self-awareness in which we learn to observe ourselves in real time to see and alter our reactions to be more constructive.




We have this simple exercise:

1. Notice it: The critic churns out its judgments, and if we are operating on automatic-pilot, we swallow them, hook, line and sinker. However in mindfulness mode, we are able to step back and notice our thoughts; to see that they are words or sounds in our heads. This immediately gives us a little bit of separation from those thoughts.

2. Name it: We can increase defusion from the critic by naming it. We might say to ourselves: ‘Aha! The inner critic is at it again’, or ‘Aha! There’s the Not Good Enough story’. Or we might silently label these thought processes with a single word, such as ‘Judging’, ‘Criticising’, or ‘Comparing’. We can even give it a nickname: ‘There goes Black Bob again’, or ‘Aha! Here’s Captain Critical’.

3. Neutralize it: We can increase the degree of defusion still further by taking those critical thoughts and putting them into a new context where they are ‘neutral’—nothing more or less than words and sounds, rather than messages loaded with personal relevance.

Can you express your experience in these terms. It helps to strengthen the skill.

So let's do the postmortem.  What forward sight (no cheating with highsignt), what happened, what was the feeling, how would you have handle it - and most importantly - what did you need to tell yourself at the time to bring you to an emotional place where you could do 1 + 2 + 3?
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 06:14:12 PM »

So let's do the postmortem.  What forward sight (no cheating with highsignt), what happened, what was the feeling, how would you have handle it - and most importantly - what did you need to tell yourself at the time to bring you to an emotional place where you could do 1 + 2 + 3?
Hmmmm.  Well let's see. What happened first is that 2-3 times in a row she cancelled/rescheduled in a way I didn't like. I generally prefer "Hey can we reschedule, Karen has tickets for this great event!". No problem. I do NOT like when I check in about the days plans "I'm going with Karen to this great event we can do it tomorrow" AND then tomorrow "I'm writing emails to home but enjoy".  I not only find it disrespectful I find that that kind of disrespect indicates a deeper issue.  When she was out of touch for two days and I followed up and she said she had a cold and was cancelling a big dinner 4 days from then, it started to not sound good to me.

I definitely at that time noticed I was triggering. I couldn't put a name to it really. I don't have a fear of abandonment in relationships, I don't worry my gfs are sleeping around. I can see how it could possibly have triggered me from the pwBPD from last Spring since she clearly was playing the field whilst pushing me for greater and greater commitment but I don't see where that is a pattern I'd trigger off of. Then again it was recent so perhaps it was residual "she's sleeping around". I don't think so though since I didn't even think that was happening. In any event when i found myself getting angry and ready to lash out I did not, I did my 'wave' thing, asked her how she was and told her if she needed anything (medicince, shopping, etc) to let me know I was there for her. I also asked her to let me know if anything was upsetting her about us or me and that if so we could talk about it. She said nothing at all is wrong I want to see you next week. Handled.

She reached out for the aforementioned symphony, great day, as mentioned in the thread her and her friends were quite welcoming, I was something of a guest star and she held court regalding them with stories about us/me, how well I treated her, how smart I was, how hard I worked, how nice I was to her, how she loved for me to cook for her and her friend translated most of this but clearly she likes me a lot and he mentioned she said she was sorry to have neglected me nothing is wrong. Ended the day with him saying 'she wants to know if you would like to spend time with her Wednesday". I said of course, sent her a nice thank you email and her friend who had translated for us to thank him and by extension all of their friends.

So far so good; did the 1-2-3, got to a good place a and a good result.

When she cancelled Wednesday what triggered me was that a) she did it unitaterally again (no not tomorrow) after I'd shopped and planned it and b) "downgraded" it to only options for lunch (at noon non-the-less) on one of the next two days becaues her friends could only make it then.

Not sure what the trigger was there besides the obvious (to me) lack of respect or prioritization.  Lunch is definitely part of it as it *seemed* to me she had been avoiding being with me again at night at her place for awhile and making the time we were supposed to reconnect about her friends schedule likewise irked me.

But again how to name it? Again not abandonment and again not related to pwBPD.  The best I can do is this; my San Fran ex I loved so and whose break-up sort of started this decade plus spiral of loss (fathers illness, business, etc) left me abruptly when it was clear I was losing my business there (a different one) and her friends were utterly cruel to me. I recently told this girl, to be honest with her since she is clearly loaded, that I have no money and am on the rocks until this business takes off. I didn't want to mislead her, waste her time, or for her to think I was not wining/dining her from lack of caring (one reason I cooked her several killer dinners). So the onliest :| think I can think is that I triggered on the 'oh she realizes I have no money for real and her friends all tell her I am a loser why waste time on me' (like ex) and assumed she was being rude and not prioritizing me because she decided against me for the same reason ex did. I am not even sure if that is it but it is the closest I can get. So hmm name it? "She thinks I'm a loser".

So I struck out I guess before she could de-prioritize me again (hurts) or dump me (hurts) or make me feel bad about not having money or her friends could and pushed her away. Again not sure IF that is what happened but trying to fit this into this exercise and be sort of objective about the possibilities.

So how could I have neutralized it? I did the first time with the 'wave' imagery but that didn't occur to me or work the second time. I guess I could have written the letter and sent it to myself so I could read it and see 'Oh the old 'she thinks you're a loser' story'. Maybe I need an email like storiesITellMyself@Gmail.com to send these to for review. But how to neutralize the thought is harder. *I* don't think I am a loser, I am quite impressed with myself :| at a) what I have created and b) how I have perservered but it is frustrating to have nothing to show for it financially or otherwise. So since I don't think that I need a way to realize other people might also be impressed with what I have done and not care I don't have money to show for it or money to spend on them. CLEARLY some people/women will but I generally stay clear of those women anyway and/or they show themselves to be that kind of woman early ("Uh no, not Indian food, you need to take a woman to a Top Restaurant") but she NEVER has.

I guess though the neutralizing it part has me stumped, beyond The Wave. Logic: I've told her I have no money yet she regales people with how amazing I treat her, how handsme I am and (until recently) wants me to be in her bed and enjoys it. I don't just mean sex I mean she loves having me sleep over and be there and talk to her and hold her. She tells eveyr person she sees how hard I work and has tried to get people to invest in me and prayed at St Patricks for my meeting to go well. So logic should tell me that money was/is not an issue (as seh confirmed empahtically just yesterday). And logic should tell me that her rescheduling language that I have issues with is no different than the other language issues we have in general between tenses and pronouns and if I needed any proof of that that she (and her friends) are the absolutel epitome of grace and manners and face and appreciation.

I'm not sure if I can use that globally when this 'critic' pops-up but maybe the point is to just step back and see if the critic has any merit to the person/situation? Doe that work with this 123 exercise?
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 10:27:35 AM »

I knew several Chinese people visiting in a group not long ago.

One woman developed a love interest in an American man. She was informed that if she continued seeing him, she would be sent back to China and would lose her civil service status. She also got a lot of pressure from her family. She went back to China and the American man followed a year later. A year later again, they married in China. He had no money and was old.

A second woman, I decided recently, had strong indications of BPD or trauma. She pushed and pulled with foreigners, got them into trouble, dysregulated, raged, but always acted the part as required in the group. She was a single child brought up in china's one child policy, had had 'busy' parents, and had been brought up by her grandfather, who had died just before her departure.

A third woman, older and married, had two relationships in the group and everyone turned a blind eye.
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 10:46:13 AM »

One thing I am trying to learn to do; be open to the possibility of pain/rejection even in circumstances like these by opening the 'space' for the women/woman to more freely express where they are actually coming from (even if it means I expose myself to the likely rejection). This is what I mean by trusting my instincts AND not taking action based on them and/or communicating in a way where I don't assume/presume which could, obviously, open me up to the exact scenario I am trying to avoid. So basically instead of pre-emptive strike to avoid an outcome simply accept the possibility of that outcome as part of some alternate way to communicate.
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 11:00:27 AM »

I knew several Chinese people visiting in a group not long ago.

One woman developed a love interest in an American man. She was informed that if she continued seeing him, she would be sent back to China and would lose her civil service status. She also got a lot of pressure from her family. She went back to China and the American man followed a year later. A year later again, they married in China. He had no money and was old.

A second woman, I decided recently, had strong indications of BPD or trauma. She pushed and pulled with foreigners, got them into trouble, dysregulated, raged, but always acted the part as required in the group. She was a single child brought up in china's one child policy, had had 'busy' parents, and had been brought up by her grandfather, who had died just before her departure.

A third woman, older and married, had two relationships in the group and everyone turned a blind eye.
I do start to think ChitChat family/friend have had some feedback. She is not civil servant, she clearly comes from boku bucks (just bought a 2018 Ferrari, they start at $290K). She has made it clear she does not care about my money situation and believes in me and supports me.  I have met her Chinese friends, the first group loved me. Her chinese neighbor friend really liked me too but 28, gorgeous and considering an offer froma 60 year old rich American to marry her and move her family here so likely has (and communicated) very different views about my situation. Met another group of her extended friends last week, to my knowledge I made a great impression but have no idea. Clear to them also I have no money but a promising business I work very hard on so who knows what pressures they put on her: "go with the rich Chinese guy!" or "he's after your money!". I don't know man.

A friend suggested I be open to the real possibility that she, like I, is afraid of getting closer and her imminent departure and the pain that could cause. So... .I'm open to it. Not liking her distance or her much less warm texts (she is in Boston for a few days) but letting it ride out w/o assuming, accusing, etc. If she recaches out like she said when she gets back I'll get together. I'll play it by ear then but again will make sure to not assume anything about what is going on and try to give her space to tell me wo fear of judgment/reprisal.
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