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Author Topic: This just doesn't makes any sense - 6  (Read 3180 times)
FallenOne
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« on: January 31, 2017, 10:31:25 AM »

You know what the most disappointing thing is for me right now?

I knew nothing about BPD either... And I feel like if I had, so many issues in my relationship could have been avoided if I had known more about it. It might have saved it...

But, I was made aware of it about a year into the relationship... And I still didn't do enough research or learn enough and took the disorder for granted, thinking that what I knew was enough... .

Now, I finally know enough, and the relationship is over... If I knew then what I know now, it could have possibly been saved. My ignorance in conjunction with all of her disorder symptoms are what ruined it.


Prior:
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=304431.0
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=305602.0
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=305603.0
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=304770.0
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=305606.0
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 10:58:46 AM »

It feels as though you are experiencing a lot of guilt and shame.
This is a form of denial & is actually the beginning of the grieving & healing process.

I think educating yourself on BPD will help you a lot.

From someone who has done the self-educating and been where you are now - take it from me - it wasn't your fault.

Being educated on BPD, may have actually made the pain worse.
Because then - you would understand clearly - that it is beyond all of our control.
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 01:43:54 PM »

infjEpic <- love this guy's take on things. Would enjoy more of your contributions - your writings really hit home. Would love to see a Surgeons General ClusterB Warning label on dating sites... .I like to tell all my friends that online date about the red flags. I think I might save someone's mental health, and that makes me feel like I did a good thing.
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 04:42:53 PM »

Part of the recovery from these relationships is accepting the fact that regardless of the replacement or her, that the relationship was not meant for You.   The success of a relationship cannot be based on the length of it alone, who wants to just tolerate being married for 40 years because they are really too scared to get a divorce or are afraid of what would happen if they did?   
If she does find a R/S with someone else then God bless em, maybe she will leave you alone

As far as the Psych forums, some of those folks have multiple attempts of suicide, are on alot of meds, are in therapy, have been through multiple relationships that ended in them hurting people they really cared about, what do you expect them to say, there is no hope and call Dr kevorkian?    Of course not.    If they had a choice I don't think they would choose to be BPD. 
Keep your head up Matt.
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FindingMe2011
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 06:04:18 PM »

Now, I finally know enough, and the relationship is over... If I knew then what I know now, it could have possibly been saved. My ignorance in conjunction with all of her disorder symptoms are what ruined it.
 

       Appears to be a bit of bargaining going on, and I oh so relate to that. Learn a little more, until you know, you are no match for BPD... .You could better serve yourself, by understanding, why you so willingly, entered this relationship... .If not you will probably find yourself, playing the same song, with different instruments.
wish u well peace
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 06:18:54 PM »

Excerpt
       Now, I finally know enough, and the relationship is over... If I knew then what I know now, it could have possibly been saved. My ignorance in conjunction with all of her disorder symptoms are what ruined it.           


That's how I feel, I know it's not much help.
I think you are being torn apart as am I.
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 07:01:04 PM »

I feel exactly the same way.  I tried to educate myself when I found out about BPD once in the relationship.  Only since it has ended do I feel I really understand.  And I too feel I could have done more had I been where I am now.
It's really hard. 
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2017, 07:26:23 PM »

There are many months of healing ahead and lots of rungs on the ladder. At each rung, you will think you figured it... .and then you will learn more (net rung) and think you have it... .and then another rung... .and another... .

Here is a story.


Your friend gets a really cute mutt puppy at the SPCA - breed unknown. The dog is cute at time and hard to handle at times. Every time you check in on your friend over the next 4 years, you here a story. Cute Christmas doggy photos. Then Dog ate the sofa. Dog bite the child next door. Dog ran away. His kids love the dog. Dog got hit by a car, needs $10,000 surgery. Dog came home bit the owner on the face. Animal control is pressing charges for the child bit. Dog is great running companion.  HOA is angry about dog barking at night and fines owner. Owner goes to court. Dog runs a way for good. Owner is heartbroken for two years after the dog is gone. Owner really wants the dog back. Refuses to get another dog.

You talk to the broken-hearted owner who asks you, what went wrong?

Would you say "it was all the dogs fault? You gave the dog everything a dog could want, nothing would satisfy that dog. End of story."  Hardly. There is something off when someone lives fro crisis to crisis and keeps doing the same thing.

Would you say "the dog conned you, manipulated you, gaslighted you. You couldn't possibly have made sense of any of that."  :)ogs aren't that smart or organized.

Would you say "if you had watched the dog whisperer before you got the dog, this would have been manageable. That's where you came up short. "  But when he discovered that it was a difficult dog, he knew he was not Cesar Millan, or a pro golfer, or an architect - he was just a typical dog owner.

In the last 300 posts in this thread series, these three comments have been made many times.

Was the 4 years really about the dog?  Or is it a much more complex story about a difficult dog and someone with not very good dog skills who went deep into a two -way destructive cycle with a dog (for months and months and crisis after crisis) and couldn't rise above it enough to find a way up (or out). Even after the dog was gone - the destructive cycle was missed.

Is it possible the thing to think about in this story, is what I highlighted in yellow. Why did that happen.

Don't worry about this today. Don't feel a need to deny or agree.

We all have to go up each rung of the ladder. I'm only sharing this to encourage you keep an open mind and to understand that this process like peeling an onion layer by layer, learning more with each layer until you discover who you were in that "event".

When you do, you will have the key to a better relationship life.
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 07:53:58 PM »

infjEpic <- love this guy's take on things. Would enjoy more of your contributions - your writings really hit home.

Thank you!
High Five Being cool (click to insert in post)

We all have to go up each rung of the ladder. I'm only sharing this to encourage you keep an open mind and to understand that  this process like peeling an onion layer by layer, learning more with each layer until you discover what happened.

When you do, you will have the key to a better relationship life.

Very interesting post, thank you
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2017, 01:09:35 PM »

loved it too, really makes sense.  Thank you   
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FallenOne
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2017, 01:51:18 PM »

You could better serve yourself, by understanding, why you so willingly, entered this relationship... .

Because it was fun, it made me feel good, and I hadn't been in a relationship for a few years and was trying to find a girlfriend... .And here comes this girl I was attracted to, had a lot in common with, who WANTED to be around me, wanted to be with me, had a blast with and so on and so forth... What was I going to say "Sorry, but I don't think we can do this... .it's just going too fast... "

No way... I took my chances.
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 02:27:52 PM »

Did you feel lonely?
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FallenOne
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 02:32:02 PM »

At the time, yes.
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 03:50:15 PM »

Now, I finally know enough

Respectfully, your posts of the last few days seem to reflect more confusion than understanding about yourself, the relationship, and the disorder. You have said so yourself.
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 03:53:32 PM »

I see that you are only about 6-8 wks from last contact. So maybe things are still pretty raw, Ive been there. I read a few of your latest posts, and others trying to explain the illness, it seems you miss a few things about BPD
  
Because it was fun, it made me feel good, and I hadn't been in a relationship for a few years and was trying to find a girlfriend... .And here comes this girl I was attracted to, had a lot in common with,

     When BPD meets a new host, they also believe, they have met their knight in shining armor. If you understand they have a poor sense of self/identity, therefore BPD mirrors you. If your looking at yourself, whats not to like? I hope in the future, you understand what red flags are, and do whats best for you.

What was I going to say "Sorry, but I don't think we can do this... .it's just going too fast...

To be honest, yes. But you decided to keep living the honeymoon period, your choice, so you bare some responsibility for this relationship. When i think of this, if you did slow things down, she most likely would have revealed, a side you didnt see, until later in the relationship

No way... I took my chances.

With no regard for your well being, until it was too late... .Understanding BPD, is the easy part. Understanding yourself, not so easy... .wish u well peace
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2017, 03:53:39 PM »

No way... I took my chances.

Then there is a break up, and we are left again with ourselves to manage.
(So we are confronted with the original pain we had that this person allowed us to escape from. Or if there was no original pain, we are still left feeling great loss or revisiting old pains. Or some combo.)

So we are at a fork... .
-So we can face ourselves: our feelings, our grief and do hard the work of detaching.
-Or we can look for a way out of the pain: escape, recycle to stop it, rebound to ignore it, or analyze it to death intellectualizing what happened still avoiding our feelings.

In all fairness, I think my own path of detachment was me moving back and forth from a bit of denial and avoidance, to facing the pain and working with it.
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2017, 04:22:18 PM »

At the time, yes.

It's difficult to discuss given the question and word restrictions, but it might help to examine if that loneliness left you more vulnerable. To behaviour another person may not have tolerated.

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FallenOne
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2017, 11:30:02 AM »

Respectfully, your posts of the last few days seem to reflect more confusion than understanding about yourself, the relationship, and the disorder. You have said so yourself.

I think I understand but I'm in denial and don't want to accept the truth, and I am still clinging to hope...
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FallenOne
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2017, 11:36:49 AM »

Here's the issue with taking it slow, and running at the sign of any red flags...

ALL people have red flags and show signs of red flags... All people move at different paces when beginning a relationship... This is not always a bad thing. This is not always a sign of a disorder or something toxic... Everyone has personal issues and some form of baggage. I have my own.

By running away from people who show red flags or want to take things faster than normal, I'm effectively killing my chances at being with anyone and giving up someone who may be a perfectly normal, caring, and loving person.
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FallenOne
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2017, 12:12:59 PM »

 Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) New Question: Is it safe to assume that the things she was saying about this ex are things that SHE was actually guilty of and not him?

She always had negative things to say about her past ex's. A few of them she talked about more than others... Some of the others she said nothing about, and I didn't even know who they were.

Her ex who she has a child with, near the beginning of the relationship, she told me that he was "manipulative, abusive, a cheater, a liar" etc...

Is it safe to assume that the things she was saying about this ex are things that SHE was actually guilty of and not him? Is it safe to assume that it was the same situation with him as it was with me?

She's probably saying the same things about me now to her "rescuers" and flying monkey squad I imagine?
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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2017, 12:31:48 PM »

I don't think it is safe to assume anything.

I don't recall ex saying much about his ex. They were still friends.

I know what ex was telling other women about me as I saw the emails that he wrote to these other women.

Really, what he says about me depends on the situation. I have heard him say great things about me to people that he wants to think of him in a positive light. Oh, he is enlightened and wonderful and has nothing bad to say about me. To other people, he says horrible things about me.
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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2017, 12:53:46 PM »


Is it safe to assume that the things she was saying about this ex are things that SHE was actually guilty of and not him?

It's impossible to say, some things are imagined, some are projection, some are part of a smear campaign, some are just compulsive lies.
There's probably a kernel of truth somewhere, with extensive lies built on top

Excerpt
Is it safe to assume that it was the same situation with him as it was with me?

Almost certainly.
The difference I guess is that some people are passive, others are reactive.

The R/S with passive people tend to last longer and the BPD usually bails out first.
The reactive people don't last as long, and the Non usually bails first.

I'm passive to a point, then I become reactive. (hence INFJ)

Excerpt
She's probably saying the same things about me now to her "rescuers" and flying monkey squad I imagine?

Some things will be imagined, some will be projection, some will be part of a smear campaign, some will just be compulsive lies.
The cycle continues.

You've seen the light - you get to leave the carousel... .disoriented and confused but you're off.
Meanwhile, some other poor sod is just getting on it
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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2017, 12:59:43 PM »

Probably a kernel of truth. Maybe a lot of truth. The BPD NPD relationship is very common. In those cases the BPD is the one who gets taken advantage of.

However, it most likely is just a smear campaign. THe BPD doesn't want you forming any kind of relationship with the ex. The BPD is afraid the ex will tell you the truth and wants to keep the two of you at arms distance.
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FallenOne
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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2017, 01:20:06 PM »

Probably a kernel of truth. Maybe a lot of truth. The BPD NPD relationship is very common. In those cases the BPD is the one who gets taken advantage of.

However, it most likely is just a smear campaign. THe BPD doesn't want you forming any kind of relationship with the ex. The BPD is afraid the ex will tell you the truth and wants to keep the two of you at arms distance.

This ex of hers that she has said these things about has been married since sometime after their relationship and has two kids with his wife... They don't seem to have any of the issues that my ax and they had together. He seems like an okay guy actually. He also has full custody of their son, whereas my ex has no custody.
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FallenOne
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2017, 01:25:10 PM »

The R/S with passive people tend to last longer and the BPD usually bails out first.
The reactive people don't last as long, and the Non usually bails first.

Mine was 4 years and I wasn't passive (all the time)... I also broke up with her a few times before she started breaking up with me. Most of the time, especially in the beginning, I would let things slide and they built and built until I would eventually blow up on her from frustration or just to show her that I had a spine and wasn't going to deal with her anger problems toward me... She seemed to respect me more when I got angry back at her. So I guess I was a combination of both passive and reactive? My personality type is INFP by the way. At least those were the results when I took the test...

I'm passive to a point, then I become reactive. (hence INFJ)

I'm the same way.
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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2017, 01:31:31 PM »

He drank a lot and pushed her away because of his drinking.
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FallenOne
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« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2017, 09:54:58 AM »

THe BPD doesn't want you forming any kind of relationship with the ex. The BPD is afraid the ex will tell you the truth and wants to keep the two of you at arms distance.

Which is probably why she filed a restraining order against me when I started telling my replacement over facebook about some of her behaviors?
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« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2017, 10:05:20 AM »

Which is probably why she filed a restraining order against me when I started telling my replacement over facebook about some of her behaviors?

How did her replacement respond to your warnings?
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« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2017, 10:09:35 AM »

Matt, I am so happy to see your post today. I was fearful you might have gotten arrested.

No matter what you tell the replacement you will look like the "crazy ex". You have to remember, many of us on here were the replacement to other ex's. I thought my ex's ex was a rapist who she had a restraining order on. Turns out this woman is quite lovely and a prison psychologist! My ex lied to me to make me her "white knight".

But when I met my ex I ate up what she told me and that is exactly what your replacement is doing. It's not your responsibility to warn or save them. Trust me, they will find out on their own.

I know part of it is you don't want her dating this person. You are jealous and upset it may work with them.

Friend, the proof is in the pudding. She has  A LOT OF ISSUES. You have told us her story and I can guarantee without the right tools and training this guy has no way of fixing her.

There is a RO on you because she has painted herself the victim and he believes it. Do not try to convince him or anyone else otherwise. Walk away and work on you. I know it's hard but it's over and she means it. You owe no one an explanation and you won't fix her opinion of you.

In the greater scheme of things her opinion doesn't matter.

You will see this someday. I promise you will.
 
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FallenOne
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« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2017, 10:09:52 AM »

How did her replacement respond to your warnings?

She said she knew about her mental health issues and they talked about it before... I didn't really point out much, other than obvious and truthful things. I didn't try to form my own smear campaign or anything. I only sent a few messages and pointed out a few facts. She said she already knew that... And she said it wasn't going to change her view of me or my ex.
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FallenOne
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« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2017, 10:23:12 AM »

Matt, I am so happy to see your post today. I was fearful you might have gotten arrested.

No, I'm actually doing slightly better and have been talking to a someone new... Nothing serious. They know my story. Just looking to see what's out there...

No matter what you tell the replacement you will look like the "crazy ex". You have to remember, many of us on here were the replacement to other ex's. I thought my ex's ex was a rapist who she had a restraining order on. Turns out this woman is quite lovely and a prison psychologist! My ex lied to me to make me her "white knight".

Mine made her son's father seem like an abusive, manipulative, psychopath... .The guy is married with his own kids ans his marriage is successful... If he's such an abusive, manipulative, psychopath then why is current marriage working so well and why does he seem normal?

But when I met my ex I ate up what she told me and that is exactly what your replacement is doing. It's not your responsibility to warn or save them. Trust me, they will find out on their own.

I also ate up the stuff my ex told me about her father, and some of her ex's... She has a love/hate relationship with her family (especially her father and her sister)... Her sister has similar issues... The whole family has issues, really... She seems to be on good terms with her father, as long as he's helpful and gives her what she wants... As soon as he's disagreeable or doesn't approve of something, she hates him... And for some reason she's terrified of her sister... This seems to be the only person that strikes fear into her... I have no idea why though?

I know part of it is you don't want her dating this person. You are jealous and upset it may work with them.

I'm not exactly jealous, since this girl is a serious downgrade to me... She's more on the same level as my ex though... My ex downgraded severely... It just proves that she doesn't care who she's with... She doesn't care about the "person" she's with... She just wants to be with someone, anyone, will put up with her sh!t that is passive and easily manipulated...

Friend, the proof is in the pudding. She has  A LOT OF ISSUES. You have told us her story and I can guarantee without the right tools and training this guy has no way of fixing her.

It's actually a female. She is bi-sexual... But, she has always been in relationships with guys before, though she has experimented with women... This is the first relationship I know of that she has been in with a woman.
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« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2017, 01:00:43 PM »

It's been around 7 weeks of no contact since she got the restraining order against me... I haven't heard a single peep from her. However, the girl she is dating lives in a close neighborhood to my parents house (and I visit there frequently to visit my parents) and the neighborhood is my old stomping grounds... I have seen her vehicle parked nearby. I also walked into a nearby tobacco store recently only to see out of my peripheral vision, the girl that she's dating who is now working there... I immediately turned around and left. She didn't see me. This is such an odd situation... .
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« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2017, 03:51:43 PM »

You really think she's stupid/crazy enough to break her own court order? It would only come back on her.

The key word is crazy, not stupid.

She is smart enough to know it is a really bad idea.

But the nature of BPD is that when she gets completely overwhelmed by her emotions, she does stuff that makes sense based on those emotions only if you ignore the facts... .which she is capable of doing.

For your own protection, do everything you can to stay away from her for at least the two years you are required to, and don't assume she will do the sensible thing. Ever.
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« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2017, 04:01:20 PM »

I would agree to be careful. It is good you are not hearing from her, but it could still happen. They can break no contact and trick you into talking with them... .then you will be the one once again in trouble. Be very careful. It can be revenge for leaving them. I know, makes no sense. We aren't supposed to understand completely, that's the key. Just stay away and you will be fine.
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« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2017, 10:49:26 PM »

No. I think most people on here are NPD and don't realize it.
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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2017, 08:45:11 AM »

I too have been questioning since my breakup whether or not I'm also BPD/NPD... My ex accused me on multiple occasions that I was a "sociopath" and that I was a "narcissist" and I was "abusive" etc... Though, deep down, I feel like this was just projection... When I think hard about it, she was the one escalating arguments, and she was the one guilting me into helping her with all of her problems, and she was the one who would end up with someone else in a week following a breakup, while I was still sorting through what happened... I am able to be alone and be comfortable... I do not have a history of unstable relationships... I am able to feel empathy for people... I am not emotionally unstable and rarely even show emotion. I don't fit the bill... Though, I still question it about myself... I believe I do have some traits of BPD/NPD, but I think EVERYONE has some of these traits... Some of them are just human nature.

I didn't even know what BPD was before dating this woman...

I had a perfectly normal childhood. I was not neglected, or abused, and my parents are still married...

I believe the dynamics of the relationship, the projection, the mental abuse and the drama and chaos can affect you and some of their traits can wear off on you and it really gets inside your head... I think this is why we feel this way after these relationships are over.
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« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2017, 01:58:59 PM »

If you're in a relationship with someone who has BPD and you aren't even aware of what BPD is at the time, and your BPD partner is in a state of distress, needs your help, is depressed, or needs support, how is wanting to help your significant other, give them advice, or wanting to fix their problems, inherently narcissistic? When you're in a relationship, don't you equally share problems? Aren't their problems also your problems?

Isn't it normal and natural to want to help your lover? It's not normal or natural to be in a relationship that has one-sided needs where it's all give and no receive, but I don't see what else you're supposed to do when your partner is in need of your help?

For example, what if your partner is suicidal and has repeated trips to the hospital... My instinctual reaction to that is to be there with them and help them through it... But what you all are saying is that it is narcissistic to "fix" them and that I shouldn't give into their needs so much... .I should let them be in the hospital alone and refuse to support them in their time of need? Like "oh, you've done this a bunch of times before, I'm not going to support this behavior anymore so I'll just ignore you while you're in the hospital... "

If your partner is in a financial crisis, you should refuse to help them and tell them "sorry, but it's your problem"?

If your partner needs a ride or a favor, or whatever... You should tell them "sorry, but I'm too busy right now, you'll have to find someone else to help you"

That doesn't sound like a very good partner... .

I'm not saying you should succumb to everything they ask you to do and never say "no" but let's be real here... .
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« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2017, 02:14:07 PM »

how is wanting to help your significant other, give them advice, or wanting to fix their problems, inherently narcissistic?

think of it more in terms of "little n" narcissism, a neutral term. theres healthy and unhealthy narcissism, for example.

to answer your question, im not sure its inherently narcissistic. youd have to look at that tendency (if it is one) in totality and ask questions like: "is this behavior pathological for me? what am i getting out of it? is this where my sense of self worth comes from? what do my boundaries (where i begin and the other person ends) look like? am i capable of saying no if i need to/if it would be the loving action? do i make time for myself as well?"

then you have to take into account that this and everything we are discussing exists on a spectrum. helping others is healthy. feeling good about ourselves when we help others is healthy. all of this behavior, to a point, is healthy, and all of this behavior becomes unhealthy at a point.

i like being the guy my friends come to. i think im a good ear, too. those are positive things i like about me, and thats healthy narcissism. i also had (probably to some extent still have) a tendency to be drawn in, try to micromanage, take it personally/get annoyed if they didnt follow my advice, and also not take a break from it when i needed one. thats drama, and its less healthy and looser boundaries. doesnt make me a bad person, but through awareness of it and some new skills and communication tools, i can be a lot better and more effective at helping others. win win.

Understanding and owning our behaviour can be painful and uncomfortable it's is a great way to detach and move forward

its also truly difficult to see, because our ways have worked, by design, for so long.
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« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2017, 02:24:14 PM »

what am i getting out of it? is this where my sense of self worth comes from? what do my boundaries (where i begin and the other person ends) look like? am i capable of saying no if i need to/if it would be the loving action? do i make time for myself as well?"

For me, I just like helping partners/friends/family... I'm never looking to get anything out of it. I do it because it's the right thing to do... With my ex, sometimes I would "hope" that I would get something out of it, but rarely ever expected something...

She knew that in some cases, I would have to say "no" to a request or I wouldn't be able to help... I said yes 75% of the time and no maybe 25% of the time...

For example, I wouldn't leave work to help with anything, unless it was an absolute emergency...

I wouldn't call off of work for anything either...

I would tell her when I needed a day to myself and stood my ground even if she didn't want a day to herself. (She hated being alone)

If she wanted something, and I couldn't afford it, I would tell her.
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« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2017, 02:38:49 PM »

Hi Matt

If you're in a relationship with someone who has BPD and you aren't even aware of what BPD is at the time, and your BPD partner is in a state of distress, needs your help, is depressed, or needs support, how is wanting to help your significant other, give them advice, or wanting to fix their problems, inherently narcissistic?

You can't fix their problems and unless you're a skilled therapist you lack both the knowledge and expertise to give them useful advice.

The belief that we can fix / change others can be seen as narcissistic because it's often underpinned by the belief that we are more powerful, knowledgable than the person who we believe needs our helps. It's a one up relationship that is not built on equality.

You can support someone's efforts to heal. This is a very different thing and it requires strong boundaries and detachment

My question Matt is what was the pay off for you?


Excerpt
When you're in a relationship, don't you equally share problems? Aren't there problems also your problems?

No.

We support each other but are still individual and separate and some problems can only be confronted and owned by the individual. Respecting your partner's right and need to carry his / her own burdens and confront her / his own problems is fundamental to a healthy relationship.

Excerpt
Isn't it normal and natural to want to help your lover? It's not normal or natural to be in a relationship that has one-sided needs where it's all give and no receive, but I don't see what else you're supposed to do when your partner is in need of your help?

This raises some big questions.

1. Do you have the skills and experience to assess their needs? Is it healthy and appropriate?
2. Are you really in a position to supply the help that they need? Are you stable and sufficiently detached?
3. What are your motives for helping them? What outcome do you want?

There is a big difference between offering support and trying to control someone else's behaviour because you want a certain outcome. When someone is being treated for BPD they are trying to become emotionally self sufficient. They may well have a history of unhealthy dependence on others for validation and support but it's the last thing they need when they're working to recover

Excerpt
For example, what if your partner is suicidal and has repeated trips to the hospital... My instinctual reaction to that is to be there with them and help them through it... But what you all are saying is that it is narcissistic to "fix" them and that I shouldn't give into their needs so much... .I should let them be in the hospital alone and refuse to support them in their time of need? Like "oh, you've done this a bunch of times before, I'm not going to support this behavior anymore so I'll just ignore you while you're in the hospital... "

You're not responsible for your partner's suicidal ideation and you certainly don't have the power to fix it. The appropriate thing to do is to alert professionals and empower them to deal with this situation. You may well decide that's it's not healthy for you to be in a relationship where this is a constant threat and that is perfectly reasonable. Either way you have no control over someone's (suicidal) behaviour.

Excerpt
If your partner is in a financial crisis, you should refuse to help them and tell them "sorry, but it's your problem"?

If your partner needs a ride or a favor, or whatever... You should tell them "sorry, but I'm too busy right now, you'll have to find someone else to help you"

That doesn't sound like a very good partner... .

I'm not saying you should succumb to everything they ask you to do and never say "no" but let's be real here... .

We are talking about relationships where one or both partners exhibit PD traits and where their interaction is destructive and dysfunctional. Supporting your partner in a relationship built on equality, mutual respect and interdependence is a very different proposition.

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« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2017, 04:24:33 PM »

I never tried to control her behavior or outcomes... I just wanted to "be there" for her, and helping her was my way of supporting her. Sometimes I gave advice, but that was it.
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« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2017, 04:27:23 PM »

The payoff for me was just that I wanted to help. I never expected anything in return and didn't necessarily want to "fix" her but I helped in any way I could. I just like helping people...
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« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2017, 10:02:35 AM »

I never tried to control her behavior or outcomes...

... .

Sometimes I gave advice, but that was it.

Here's a good example...

My ex was on Social Security Income the entire time we were together and used her mental health as a reason why she wasn't working... She said her doctors recommended that it wasn't beneficial for her to work right now...

Any time I tried talking to her about getting a job or how I don't like it when people live off the system, she blew up and raged or got sad and cried...

Even though this is how I felt about it, she couldn't accept my view or opinion on it... .I had to support her view regardless of how I felt about it in order to keep the peace.

FallenOne   Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) is this not an example of trying to control her outcome, against the advice of her doctors, and when she made it very clear it was unsolicited advice?

and im quite certain you meant well and wanted to help, as we all did. i was at my wits end and urged/demanded my ex see her psychiatrist. she came out, told me what hed said, and my immediate reaction was to get frustrated, start yelling, arguing, and invalidating. thats controlling. not helpful.

like  Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) Reforming said, at the end of the day, being helpful is about respecting a person as an individual.

I too tire of labels


"emotional vampire" is quite a label   

 Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) everyone

who can disagree that these were messy, immature relationships? that necessarily means we were one half of a messy, immature relationship. we can pin it all, or the majority of it on our exes, if thats what we decide to do. but if we do, thats as far as our learning will go.

its very fair to say we didnt know what we didnt know at the time, and theres zero reason to beat ourselves up for it now. if you, as a first grader, had taken a test on long division, no one, yourself included, would expect you to do well. now we have the opportunity to learn from what we didnt know, learn more about ourselves, and use it in the future. to have healthier relationships. to thrive. isnt that the goal?
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« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2017, 11:17:56 AM »

Making suggestions and giving advice to your partner isn't controlling behavior and doesn't automatically mean that I think I have more knowledge and know better than they do. Even if you get frustrated sometimes...

Controlling behavior is needing to know where your partner is all the time, telling them who they can and can't hang out with or talk to, making rules for them, checking in, telling them that they can or can't do something... That's controlling behavior.

Talking to someone about future career goals on both sides, financial issues, and trying to suggest what you think is best for the relationship as a whole, is just normal adult conversation and thinking... That's what people do...

Are we children here? Cause' I felt like I was dealing with an irresponsible child sometimes, and I need to be in a relationship with a serious adult... .not a child.

Should we really be expected to carry these people around and do everything for them? My BPD was not self sufficient at all, and I was patient with it for over 4 years, while I got empty promise after empty promise that her situation was going to change... How long should I have to wait for her to make some sort of progress in her life while I take on 75% of the workload in the relationship?

It was not fair... I was very patient and understanding of her personal issues and her bad situation, but after 4 years something should have happened. I was paying her way, driving her around, supporting her and at the same time trying to go to work, take care of my own problems and live my own life.

Also, even considering controlling behavior, am I wrong for thinking it's not acceptable for my girlfriend to talk to and hang out with ex's, drug addicts, and random strangers? Who wouldn't try to put a stop to that?

Would you want your significant other hanging out with people like that? Would you have a problem with it and draw a line somewhere?
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« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2017, 11:43:07 AM »

Making suggestions and giving advice to your partner isn't controlling behavior and doesn't automatically mean that I think I have more knowledge and know better than they do. Even if you get frustrated sometimes...

this is very different than repeatedly giving unsolicited advice that is contrary to her doctors, and when she responds with raging and crying. id be pretty frustrated with someone doing that to me too.

Are we children here? Cause' I felt like I was dealing with an irresponsible child sometimes, and I need to be in a relationship with a serious adult... .not a child.

by your own admission, you were "dealing with an irresponsible child", not a serious adult. that is a one up relationship, not a healthy one of mutual respect. if you had the healthy view of yourself that you are projecting, then how did this happen?

Should we really be expected to carry these people around and do everything for them?

no. thats the point Smiling (click to insert in post)

Also, even considering controlling behavior, am I wrong for thinking it's not acceptable for my girlfriend to talk to and hang out with ex's, drug addicts, and random strangers? Who wouldn't try to put a stop to that?

youre not wrong for thinking that. nonetheless you entered into that relationship, tried various methods of "trying to put a stop to that" (as opposed to exiting the relationship) even when she made it clear it was not going to happen.

matt, we can go back and forth on this all day. sometimes its too soon to see our own behavior more objectively and own it going forward. thats okay. the questions youre asking are worthwhile in terms of learning the differences between enmeshment and good boundaries.

I am trying to learn how to avoid these people,by finding the flaws that make me susceptible to them so I can have a healthy and real relationship.

you cant simply "avoid these people", nor should you necessarily try. mental illness effects approximately 28% of people at a given time. id look at it more as learning to navigate a challenging world with challenging people. build your skills. gain some tools. build your confidence and your boundaries.

if you look at this relationship as predator vs prey (people with BPD are not predatory) then the lesson youre going to learn is fear and victimhood and hypervigilance. these things negate human connection and intimacy.

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« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2017, 01:24:24 PM »

once removed,

I realize that you're trying to look at this from both sides, but it feels like most of what I say is being deflected back at me and I continuously feel like I was in the wrong for everything I did in the relationship... I'm here for truth, not people just "taking my side" but I'm also here to be understood and to heal, and I feel like the mods on this site direct a lot of our questions back at us and almost defend our ex's in a way? Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how it feels sometimes.

The truth is, my story is long and complex... It's impossible for me to make you understand all of the highs and lows of my 4 year relationship with just some messages on this board.

Did my ex act like an irresponsible child "sometimes"? Yes. But, not all of the time... Sometimes she was the opposite. Sometimes in between. Hence the reason I use the word sometimes. There are no absolutes.

Just because my ex was childish sometimes doesn't mean I didn't see her as an equal and respect her... I in fact had a lot of respect for my ex and treated her better than anyone else in her life had.

Sure, I made mistakes. Plenty of them. But when weighing the pros versus the cons, I think I was a very positive influence on her life.
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« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2017, 02:22:54 PM »

I'm also here to be understood and to heal

... .

The truth is, my story is long and complex... It's impossible for me to make you understand all of the highs and lows of my 4 year relationship with just some messages on this board.

matt, i certainly empathize; four years was twice the length of my relationship and from what you have shared your ex would be higher than my own on the spectrum. i can imagine, and from what you have written, you went through a great deal.

these are by nature complex relationships, and unique to each of us. something so complex is not easily digested or absorbed. understanding does not come easily and without facing some hard truths.

I'm here for truth

and you have asked questions and sought an understanding. in this case, you asked when our own ideas of "helping" might become unhealthy. you were given lots of examples and determined youd done no such thing. you were given a direct example. and now... .?

the truth is there are explanations for what we went through. some of them simpler than we make them. some more complex than we make them. some of them painful; necessary if we are seeking the truth.
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« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2017, 03:40:27 PM »

I don't anyone here wants to blame or reproach each other.

We come here to share our stories and try and offer each other support and insights. And while we share common ground we are all individual and unique and we all deserve the time and space to heal on our terms.

I agree that labels are often tossed around far too casually and I think that goes both ways.

BPDs, NPDs, Nons are tools to help us understand behaviour.

Sometimes I think we can use them to cast off the parts of ourselves that we’re uncomfortable owning or confronting. So perhaps it's more helpful to focus on what drives our behaviours

I know from my own experience how confusing and painful these relationships can be and I know how they can leave us feeling exploited and misunderstood.

This was my experience

I spent a long time with my ex – 16 years.

I loved her and I really believed we had a special connection. I also believed that I was doing the very best I could to help her and make things work. I supported her professionally and personally. I helped her establish a career by paying for training and using contacts to get her a foothold in my industry. I did this again when we relocated to another country. I tried to help and support her through a succession of family crisis, depression and the fall out of childhood sexual abuse.

There were some really good times but there were some very dark and painful periods too. I didn't know anything about BPD but deep down I knew that our relationship was unhealthy. She did too. At various points I tried to confront our problems by seeking professional help for her, for myself and for us as a couple.

But my primary focus was always her issues, which I saw as the main cause of our problems. I wanted her to be the person that I fell in love with at the start of the relationship.

In retrospect it was not a healthy dynamic for either of us but I wasn’t able to see it at the time.

Why was I drawn to it? What kept me there?

The pay off for me was that that being the good guy, the rescuer allowed me to feel strong and whole. I based my self-esteem on fixing her problems while denying or disowning my own.

My ex may have encouraged rescuing at the start of the relationship but she gradually grew to resent it. Eventually she called me on it... .

She said I was hiding behind her problems and using them as a shield. She said that I didn’t really see her as an equal and that a part of me liked the idea of her being broken because it made me feel more secure and strong.

If I'm honest I think she was right. Deep, deep down I was frightened of being in a relationship with someone who was healthier because that could expose my own deficits. It would mean being vulnerable and weak and risking the possibility of rejection.

But I wasn't willing to face up to this at the time. I was completely convinced that I was loyal, giving and unselfish and that I only had my exes best interests at heart. Over time I have come to accept that my belief that I had the power and the right to fix her problems was controlling, manipulative and unhealthy.

She sensed that too.

For those of you who have watched The Affair on Showtime there was a scene in a recent ep between two of the main characters; Alison who exhibits BPD traits and her ex husband Cole, a grade A white knight / rescuer who is running away from his own issues

Cole berates Alison for her impulsivity and selfishness and says “I’ve no time for your craziness today”
 
Alison says: “It’s a good thing I’m so *****ed up isn’t. As long as I’m crazy you get to be sane.”

It really struck a chord for me

My ex had an affair towards the end of our relationship and when I asked her why she was drawn to my replacement she said, “He doesn’t judge me like you.”

When my relationship finally ended I was a wreck. The infidelity was horrible but what really devastated me was the feeling that I had failed to fix my ex and fix my relationship. And when your self-esteem is built on fixing others a failure like that can shatter your sense of self into a million pieces. This is what some people call a narcissistic injury and the pain and confusion of that loss of self can be utterly overwhelming. But it also creates an opportunity for growth and real healing.

Most of us only change when our world is turned upside down. The end of my relationship was a fork in the road. I could try and rebuild my old defences and make them even stronger. But they just isolated me from real intimacy and connection and were at the root of my problems.

Or I could try and confront my own problems and move forward.  I chose the latter and I don’t regret it for a minute. I need to grow but I found the process a humbling experience. Changing our thinking and behaviour takes a lot of guts and effort and it made me realise how hard is must be for someone working to overcome BPD.

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« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2017, 10:00:52 AM »

I'm also having the same problem...

Two months after the breakup. I've tried exercising, going out, seeing my family, dated a few girls (even had sex to try and get over it), I'm in therapy, meditating, talking to friends and family about it, focusing on my own life...

I'm having trouble experiencing any joy or excitement. I'm having trouble communicating with new people and I can't eveh think of anything to talk about in regards to myself. It's like I no longer have a personality or my own sense of self. It's as if it screwed up my own mind. I feel like I just exist. I honestly just think about killing myself.

The way she left unexpectedly, didn't give any closure, didn't acknowledge my feelings, made it seem like she hated me and then got a court order barring me from any legal contact with her, the whole breakup and relationship are like a malignant tumor just pulsating in my brain and distracting me from any enjoyment I get out of life.

I'm having trouble accepting that someone I was with for 4 years never cared about me enough to even wonder how I would feel about any of this.

At first I thought things would get better, but the more things I try and do to get over it, the more I'm noticing that nothing seems to be working.

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« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2017, 08:58:20 PM »

I honestly just think about killing myself.

So did I. I came very close to it. Right around the 2 month mark I think actually... .

The phrases you've used - 'no sense of self, no personality of my own'.
'I feel like I just exist' I wrote them - I said those exact phrases.

So very hard to see right now, but you are actually healing.
I'm not gonna lie and say it's gets easy -but it won't always be this hard. And then, honestly - you'll probably get angry again... .for a while.

Excerpt
At first I thought things would get better, but the more things I try and do to get over it, the more I'm noticing that nothing seems to be working.

Give it more time.
There are many things you can try to do - and by all means, try them.
But Time is the biggest component in the healing.
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« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2017, 09:03:32 AM »

It sounds like depression, Matt.

Have you taken this brief test?
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=79772.0

It would be helpful to know as you may need medication to keep this from being a very long recovery.
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« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2017, 05:27:41 PM »

Hi Matt,

I'm sorry that things are so tough right now.

I think InfEpic and Skip have offered some helpful advice.

I'm also having the same problem...

Two months after the breakup. I've tried exercising, going out, seeing my family, dated a few girls (even had sex to try and get over it), I'm in therapy, meditating, talking to friends and family about it, focusing on my own life...

I'm having trouble experiencing any joy or excitement. I'm having trouble communicating with new people and I can't eveh think of anything to talk about in regards to myself. It's like I no longer have a personality or my own sense of self. It's as if it screwed up my own mind. I feel like I just exist. I honestly just think about killing myself.

I realise that this may not give you much consolation right but these painful feelings are not abnormal. When all of your life energy have been directed to sustaining a relationship that ends traumatically it can leave you feeling very drained and empty.

I imagine you're already doing this but it is important to share your feelings with your T.

Excerpt
The way she left unexpectedly, didn't give any closure, didn't acknowledge my feelings, made it seem like she hated me and then got a court order barring me from any legal contact with her, the whole breakup and relationship are like a malignant tumor just pulsating in my brain and distracting me from any enjoyment I get out of life.

This is very hard.  I know from my own experience that it feels deeply hurtful when you feel you have tried your best to make things better.

I'm not here to excuse her but for what it's worth I don't think she hates you though I appreciate why it feels that way.

She has BPD and a big part of that is a deep fear of abandonment.  When this is triggered a pwBPD really struggles to manage their emotions and their perception of reality can be distorted.

I know you care about her deeply and I know you tried your best to help her but you're not responsible for her feelings and right now there's nothing you can do to change them.

You both deserve the time and space to heal.

Excerpt
I'm having trouble accepting that someone I was with for 4 years never cared about me enough to even wonder how I would feel about any of this.

A lot of us went through the same thing and it feels incredibly painful. I spent almost 16 years with my ex and within a couple of weeks she treated me like an enemy or a stranger if that makes sense.

I know this may be hard to accept but your ex is not doing this to hurt you - it's a survival technique. Thinking about you hurts a lot because it triggers feelings of deep shame. So she's locked those feelings away and built a wall between you.

I know this feels deeply personal but it isn't about you - this is how the disorder works. It's not your fault.

Excerpt
At first I thought things would get better, but the more things I try and do to get over it, the more I'm noticing that nothing seems to be working.

You spent four years with her and your relationship was intense. Four months is a short time to recover.

Don't judge yourself - you need time and space grieve and rediscover yourself. I remember someone telling me to lean into the grief. I found it helped me a lot.

Therapy, meditating, exercise and hooking up with friends - these are all brave and positive steps.  

The darkness will lift and your world will get brighter. As InfEpic said we often don't realise that we're making progress until we get a chance to turn around and see how far we have come.

We're here for you

Reforming
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FallenOne
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« Reply #52 on: February 21, 2017, 12:52:41 PM »

Reforming,

Thank you for analyzing my situation and commenting...

It has been 2 months, not 4 months though.

"I'm not here to excuse her but for what it's worth I don't think she hates you though"

"I know this may be hard to accept but your ex is not doing this to hurt you - it's a survival technique. Thinking about you hurts a lot because it triggers feelings of deep shame. So she's locked those feelings away and built a wall between you."

If these quotes are true, then why does she seem so terrified of me? Why the need for a court order? If it hurts her this bad to disconnect from me and try to forget about me, then why does she put both of through all of this senseless pain instead of just talking to me and making things right? It goes beyond my understanding... .Why lock the feelings away? If she contacted me right now, or said she wanted to drop the court order, I would talk to her and make amends without thinking twice about it... .It all seems so easily done, but she's making it impossible.
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bunny4523
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« Reply #53 on: February 21, 2017, 01:12:01 PM »

Bullet: important point (click to insert in post) New Question: Is it safe to assume that the things she was saying about this ex are things that SHE was actually guilty of and not him?


I personally experienced this.  My ex would tell me these stories about how is exwife treated him, behaviors, slamming doors, yelling even down to the types of things SHE would say... .over reactions, deemening comments.   Very quickly after I moved in... .I started seeing and hearing him say and do all of those things.  Gave me the chills. 

I would bet that he is telling anyone who will listen about the "things" I did in the relationship that he actually did... .it is what it is.  Oh well.  The interesting part is he must know his behaviors/actions are not right that's why he passes them off as someone elses.  Imaging hearing a friends reaction after  describing this crazy situation your saying you experienced and knowing that when they advise you to get out, that person is crazy that they are really talkign about you? Or does the BPD really believe it wasn't them but you?  Either way, no thank you... .don't want to be a part of any of that!

The people who know me know me and I don't need to defend myself.  Those who don't can believe whatever they want in their own head.  Doesn't hurt me in anyway... .



 
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Reforming
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« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2017, 02:11:51 PM »

Reforming,

Thank you for analyzing my situation and commenting...

It has been 2 months, not 4 months though.

Sorry I spotted this after I posted but it was too late to correct it.

Excerpt
"I'm not here to excuse her but for what it's worth I don't think she hates you though"

"I know this may be hard to accept but your ex is not doing this to hurt you - it's a survival technique. Thinking about you hurts a lot because it triggers feelings of deep shame. So she's locked those feelings away and built a wall between you."

If these quotes are true, then why does she seem so terrified of me? Why the need for a court order?
If it hurts her this bad to disconnect from me and try to forget about me, then why does she put both of through all of this senseless pain instead of just talking to me and making things right? It goes beyond my understanding... .

Matt one of the hallmarks of PBD is the compelling belief that you're being persecuted / victimised. This may seem very irrational to someone else but it's a facet of the distorted thinking that comes with the disorder and it's very real to her. It's very likely that she does believe that you're persecuting her.

Right now it's important to remind yourself that you do not have not power to change or challenge her belief and trying to will just make her feel even more frightened and persecuted. I understand that this feels very hurtful but you cannot force her to change how she feels.

Excerpt
Why lock the feelings away? If she contacted me right now, or said she wanted to drop the court order, I would talk to her and make amends without thinking twice about it... .It all seems so easily done, but she's making it impossible.

She is locking her feelings away because they utterly overwhelm and terrify her. This part of the disorder. She doesn't want to talk to you because any contact with you would trigger her feelings. In her mind you have abandoned her and this was her worst nightmare. This means that means you are no longer safe.

I don't know what outcome your want here but if you're looking for closure she can't offer it right now. She may never be able to.

If you're hoping to reconnect at some later stage then the best thing that you can do is step back and give her the time and space to recover. This is what she's asking for... .

Any efforts you might make right now to reconnect or make amends will be totally counterproductive.

Good luck

Reforming
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bunny4523
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« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2017, 03:25:56 PM »

once removed,

I realize that you're trying to look at this from both sides, but it feels like most of what I say is being deflected back at me and I continuously feel like I was in the wrong for everything I did in the relationship... I'm here for truth, not people just "taking my side" but I'm also here to be understood and to heal, and I feel like the mods on this site direct a lot of our questions back at us and almost defend our ex's in a way? Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how it feels sometimes.

I remember feeling this way once too on this site but I have to tell you that there is a secret lesson here.  Returning questions and putting it back on you reaffirms what you already know deep down inside but are afraid to say.  It helps you to get in touch with what you deserve and REALLY want.   

Once you can say, "I don't want that kind of a relationship." then the clarity and healing begins... .

Another thing to keep in mind is she doesn't think like you do.  She doesn't function like you do.  Her mind works differently.  Giving her the same openess and descency that you would someone who thinks like you do can be a waste of time.  Everything just gets twisted with their perception.  One thing I try to remember is with BPD the feeling comes first and then they modify the facts to back up their feeling.  So even if all your actions back up your good intentions towards her... .if she feels you are trying to hurt her or against her then YOU ARE.  It's that simple.

Quick Story:
I was sitting on the patio playing on my cell phone
My BPD partner comes out and sits down next to me
I say, "oh cool, you going to sit out here with me? How nice, let me run in and take the casserole out of the oven and I will be right back."  VERBALLY AFFIRMED IM COMING BACK
I set my cell phone down on the chair  PHYSICALLY AFFIRMED IM COMING BACK
Timer on oven goes off AFFIRMS I HAVE A CASSEROLE IN THE OVEN
I'm pulling the casserole out of the oven AFFIRMS I HAVE A CASSEROLE IN THE OVEN AND I LEFT TO REMOVE IT
He comes in the sliding glass door... .shuts it & locks it, he has my cell phone in his hand and puts it on the counter (next to the casserole) and hollers. "see!  you don't want to spend time with me.  You are always walking out of a room when I come in." throws his hands in the air and storms out of the kitchen.

I don't want to understand this.  I do not want to be in a relationship like this.  Of course it took me awhile to get there. At first I tried to understand,  I tried to re-assure him, talk him through it.  Tried to think about the tools I could have used.  But we always ended up back here because of his deep seeded fear that I didn't want to be with him and would eventually leave him.

I don't want to be in a relationship like this.

Bunny

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Naughty Nibbler
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« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2017, 09:25:17 PM »

Staff only
This thread is being closed, as it has reached it's maximum length.

We welcome you to start a new thread and continue.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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