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Author Topic: Help getting ready to tackle this hands on  (Read 434 times)
JoeBPD81
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Posts: 638



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« on: February 20, 2017, 07:43:22 AM »

This is my first post.

I've been involved in another forum, that was about Eating Disorders, because it is the behavior and the diagnosis my significant other had. I've been surprised how all her behavior was repeated by most there, but she always suspected something else was going on with her, as she couldn't cope with simple changes in routine without feeling desperate and even suicidal. So I've been trying and getting help and support for her anorexia, and now that we have this diagnosis, I hope to get more insight to help her in a specific way.

I've been with her for almost 3 years, we became friends and very close from day one, and felt attracted to each other, but neither of us thought we were ready for a relationship. Eventually we became a couple. But it was never easy, we didn't have a honeymoon phase that lasted for more than a few days at a time. I came from a marriage where I neglected myself to serve my wife until I became empty. And she came from an abusive marriage and had 2 kids she needed to battle for custody.

She was once diagnosed BPD as a child and her family took that to throw at her all the negative behaviors associated with it. Instead of getting help and support, they dismissed all cries for help as manipulative efforts, lies, and calls for attention. Furthermore, they used her to get away with things, to lie and cheat, and behave badly and then blame it on her. They treated her as a crazy person her whole childhood and teen years, until she tried to kill herself twice and then she ran away from them.

Away from them, she was better, and she started to discover she wasn't manipulative, and she was honest and good-hearted and hardworking, she didn't seek risky behavior, she stopped thinking about suicide... .And as she associated BPD with all that, she reached out the conclusion that she didn't have it. She found an older man that was mildly polite with her and she thought he was wonderful, he was way better than her own family, the reality she knew. So she married her, and years passed. But it turned out he was a monster, just not as bad as her family.

When the abuse was only to her, she thought it was normal, she blamed herself. When the abuse extended to the kids, she reported him and flee. Things had turned really ugly and she feared for their lives. The monster kept the house, car and everything, and she was a divorced mother with two kids and no job. So she moved to a new city, close to her family, in the hopes that they would be good with the kids, even if they don't love her. this is when we started to see each other.

Everything has been wrong, nothing worked in her favor. She's been betrayed, taken advantage of, and humiliated by the family, the ex, and the justice system. So bit by bit this was killing her, she saved all her energy for the kids, and none to herself. So the anorexia came back, and depression and everything else. She started to think: "something is wrong with me", "my brain is not right"... .And she feared it's was true and didn't want help, just wanted out, but at other times thought "Wouldn't it be great if a pill could make it easier?" But this is the diagnosis she feared the most. Because she has all the bad connotations burned in her memory, and she feels it makes her shameful, and that the therapist won't trust what she says.

Her life's story is so bad and full of things that it's pretty incredible. If I haven't met her family, maybe by this time I would think she makes things up. She has lost friends like that. I believe she is a hero for waking up every morning. She's really sad, she feels "less than". She's not talking about dying now, and that's an improvement. She also feels some kind of peace, because she has now an explanation as to why she can't cope with things other people can. She had many traumatic episodes, and no support whatsoever. Even the therapist said that she is remarkable, the way she's been functioning carrying all that burden, says a lot about her intelligence and strength (She feels this is condescending).

I am hopeful that this diagnosis can help us find better and specific help, so her/our life can be better. I hope she can see it that way when the shock passes.

On my side. I was worried at the beginning that I had a hero complex, and I wanted to save her, and that's why I fell in love with her. People urge me to think about myself and be selfish, and as it comes very unnatural to me, I was lost and I hurt both of us, for months. Then with acceptance, and putting myself out there for her, still I hurt her sometimes as I didn't know much about anorexia. With the best of intentions, I made her cry and get worse sometimes. And learning about it and reading many cases, I managed to be positive for her. And also to accept what I can't do without losing hope. I'd been able to help others with partners with EDs, and that helped me in return.

She is a gifted person, as in out of the ordinary intelligent, I've been labeled "gifted" too, and that doesn't mean much when managing emotions, but I felt in love with her with a few conversations. And she with me, and it was the best thing in my near 40 years of life. I've been tormenting myself about why we can't be happy, why she can't trust me, and so on. After the greatest attraction I've felt, she has put a lot of distance many times, sex is an old memory, and affection and intimacy are seldom. So I've thought that she didn't love me anymore, that she hated and blamed me for something, and everything on that book. Some days are very hard, and some days are OK, never easy.

We've been living together for half a year now, with the kids, and that's another challenge on its own. I'm learning to be a father in a sink or swim fashion. She fears the kids could have BPD themselves and blames her genes, or her care, but gives her a tool to understand their pain. They have a hard time dealing with frustration, and reality in general. They are boys, 5 and 10 years old.

I am already tired and I'm taking some time to be ready to learn a lot about BPD and think, because it's a lot, and I feel if I don't rest, I will burn myself too quickly. When I have listened to her and helped her out of suicide thoughts, I feel I need a week to sleep, or at least to watch TV and not think about drama, but then is when she can talk positive and constructive things, so I keep listening and supporting. I work, and I study, and sometimes my mind just can't keep sharp.

Well, this is my situation, in a nutshell. I don't know enough yet to make the right questions, but I had to star somewhere.

Thanks for listening.
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Tattered Heart
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Gender: Female
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 1937



« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 08:09:26 AM »

Welcome to the board. . I hope you will find a lot of support and guidance here as you begin to navigate through living with someone with BPD. There are a lot of resources and lessons on the right side of the board that will teach you all kinds of things, such as learning more about BPD, how to take care of yourself, learning to communicate and validate better with your pwBPD, and other information. I would suggest that since you are just starting your journey in learning about this diagnosis, that you start there.

From your post, it sounds like you give everything to you gf when she is having difficulties and this takes a lot out of you. Here is a link to one of our workshops on what it means to take care of yourself. It's so important that when you take time to get yourself grounded and in a good place. It's when you are at the top of your game that you can best help your pwBPD.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=112473.0
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