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Author Topic: He’s Fine, I’m the One with the Problem  (Read 407 times)
Zemmma
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« on: June 11, 2017, 06:01:12 AM »

I have to acknoweledge that the only time I focus so intently on the idea that my ex-bf has BPD is when he leaves me. This makes me question myself. Is it just my unwillingness to let go of a dysfunctional r/s that makes me pathologize him? Am I not acknowledging my own responsibility in this? I once flew across the ocean to attend a workshop on CPTSD, inspired by our rocky r/s and his behaviour (it was actually a great experience and I am in the field of psychology, so it was a business expense). Smiling (click to insert in post)

Yes. I saw all sorts of BPD tendencies. Yes I was baffled by his behaviour, especially during the early days (we were both getting out of long term marriages, still both living with our ex-spouses). He was experiencing major signs of depression and anxiety... constant pain in his chest, panic attacks, missed work. The smoking and alcohol were out of control. I know it was a stressful time for him as it was for me.

He did the following things before I knew they were BPD things.

-idealization (Wow, that was amazing. I felt better about myself than I had in my whole life).
-devaluation (invented an evil text persona for me, accused me of things I did not do, criticized, doubted my intentions; I was always put on the defensive; I spent years trying to justify myself)
-no object permanency! I remember saying that to him in early days before I knew it was a thing (I knew the term from psych 101! What a strange thing to notice about someone, right? It is usually used to describe how a baby feels when the mother leaves the room; it blew my mind how much trouble he had retaining me as a positive image in his head if I was away from him (just at my house, or at work)... when I was gone (even after sharing the most amazing weekend together) he suddenly attributed negative qualities and intentions to me; when he saw me again he would look clearly astonished, telling me I was pretty as though he had forgotten, or looked smaller than he remembered...
-stalking (literally followed my friends and I downtown as I attended a girls night out; he listened as we chatted from the other side of a fence at the night club
-went through my phone (bypassing the passwords because he had somehow watched me as I had typed them in [premeditated!]), over and over, even after I caught him and called him out on it and made him promise he would never do it again, this happened for years!
-lying: about a lot of things (often strange things for seemingly no reason)
-accused me of sleeping with others when I was at work, even though I was on my way to see him a few minutes later
-thought I was F*##ing everyone, seemed to think everyone wanted me
-eavesdropped on phone conversations (once I was making a police report from my home line about my lost wallet and thought he had hung up the cell phone)... instead he stayed on the line while I talked to the officer and later accused me of flirting; the tone was like, "Ha! I caught you! Here's the evidence!" (uh... .I was filing a police report... I think I had made a mild joke to the cop and he read into it); this happened on other occasions, if the cell phone didn't disconnect he would always stay on the line and listen in to see what he could find out (once I was doing a therapy session with a disabled client and looked down at my phone and could see he was on the other line! ... what?)
-assumed I was sleeping with my ex-husband (uh... no)
-push and pull
-over 12 break ups in 5 years
-could not bear his own dark thoughts, especially at night, had to block it with movies or music in order to sleep
-if left in my house he would search through my things looking for evidence that I was unfaithful
-I left him at my house to cook my bday dinner while I did an errand; he did a house search to find my briefcase; found it in my son's closet (I had moved it from under my bed to hide it from him), broke into it and read the contents, told me later that night
-jealousy... of my family, my women friends, my gay male friends, my colleagues...
-jealousy... of me personally (the things I had) and my kids (the things they had that he never had)
-angry, jealous outburst in a bar one night at me and his brother who was in from out of town, we were all having fun with him clearly at the centre, and he was convinced that we were making a play for each other right there in front of him; later apologized to us with great shame but also flirted heavily with the server (holding her hands across the bar, I am sure as punishment and to even the score, as he perceived it)
-frequently disappeared when we were out with friends, felt I was paying too much attention to the other people, even if I hadn't seen them in years; felt a need to remove himself periodically from social situations (said his ex used to understand and come and touch base with him at various points through the night; God- sometimes I wonder if he is aware of a diagnosis and was afraid to tell me)
-counting things: the number of times I touched my hair when I spoke to his friend, the number of times I said my ex's name over dinner (early days), the number of texts I had written to him over a course of hours, the number of weekends we had fought vs. the number we did not, etc.
-testing me: sometimes, without my awareness, he would keep track of the events of a whole night when I went out with friends, and on a subsequent night he would try to recreate the night to make it "even Steven:" if I called him once, he called me once, if I went 3 hours without texting him, he would do the same... he did it to see if I would be okay with the equal treatment, and would tell me he had done it after the fact; always referenced things as being not uneven or unfair in our relationship like there was a contest that perhaps I was winning (this notion of fairness came across as child-like to me)
-I now believe the last year of our r/s was a test; he let it slip that he had committed to himself to do one year as one final try to make the r/s work; the way he said it made me believe he had dared himself; during the break up he expressed how proud he was for not leaving me at all that year, like he had met a goal; he left at almost exactly one year from the start of the recycle
-lots of other examples of underdeveloped emotional responses (child-like conclusions)
-he was so wild that first six months that I actually did an internet search that asked, "Are crazy people better lovers?" and lots of searches about toxic r/s's (perhaps if you have to Google "toxic r/s" there is a problem)
-so many more examples... .

So first of all, I put up with all of that, still thinking the good outweighed the bad. Hmmmm... Questionable for sure.

Despite all of that he was so lovely, very attentive, an excellent lover, great cook... we had wonderful times. And he was perfect for me in some amazing ways, the way he talked to me, the things he said... It was like I had found something I had always searched for (even though I was never looking). His impact on me was epic and healing.

So yes. He was often emotionally dysregulated. He was overly sensitive, could never ever drop anything, even after we had been over it 100 times and come to a resolution. If he got an idea in his head that was undeniably 100% wrong, I might explain or show him what he had missed to ease his mind. He would be relieved and understand and it would seem resolved, but then he would later revert to the original thought like we had never had that discussion. This drove me crazy. He always saw the negative in everything. He had very distorted thinking. I remember telling him during early fights to "stop making things up." At other times he had a bit of a superiority complex. He definitely thought he was "special" (he was, but... ) and got angry when he didn't achieve the things he thought should be rightfully his due to his great talents.

But my point is... he tried and he was pretty reasonable last year (as compared... .and I was willing to work with him because the rewards of the r/s outweighed any of the bad for me). After the latest break up he didn't contact me for 2 months before he sent an email out of the blue. That had me back in full pursuit! One crumb and I came running... His reasons for breaking up this time seemed valid and reasonable. He met up with me instead of previous text break ups. He clearly explained why he was leaving with reasons that made sense. And he was kind about it (as much as one can be).

After that email though, during break up, we hooked up and I hoped I could sex and love my way back in, but he shut it down after a month.

This disengagement was also done very calmly and matter-of-factly (on text). He seemed to have no emotion about engaging or discarding me again. So my point is: HE IS FINE. He is in control of himself more than he has ever been. He has engaged in a serious work out program, started some projects and seems happy with himself. He doesn't want to pursue our r/s anymore.

It's not him that is currently messed up, its me. Sad. Obsessive at times with the whole denial thing. And then I start to fantasize that he will be back in my life.

This just makes me think that I am the one with the problem. Not him. He is moving on quite happily and I think I will be miserable for the rest of my life without this one great love and connection. I seriously worry I will never find anyone I feel such intense love for (or any love) again.

So I engaged in a crazy r/s with him and it is as though it fixed him and he is fine. And I am left broken. This is the most clear he has ever been about not wanting a r/s with me (still amongst the mixed messages of sleeping with me, affection and some sweet texts). But he has shut all of that down. He has done his damage and it seems to have healed him. I have to acknowledge, don't I: I am the one with the problem now.
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Zemmma
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 166


« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2017, 07:52:51 AM »

Sigh... I think he worried he was a little too clear with me and might lose me for a back up plan. He just sent an invitation to his bed to muddy the waters. It is what he does. He won't commit and he won't let me move on.

And me (remember... the one with the little love problem?), with my denial born of my affection and his ambiguity,HERE I AM feeling annoyed with myself for being relieved that he contacted me and railroaded any recovery efforts again.
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roberto516
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 782


« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2017, 08:00:10 AM »

Sigh... I think he worried he was a little too clear with me and might lose me for a back up plan. He just sent an invitation to his bed to muddy the waters. It is what he does. He won't commit and he won't let me move on.

And me (remember... the one with the little love problem?), with my denial born of my affection and his ambiguity,HERE I AM feeling annoyed with myself for being relieved that he contacted me and railroaded any recovery efforts again.

This is how it akways goes. We are objects to them. The second we stand up for ourselves and they realize they can't control us then the game is over. But until they find a replacement object they will keep us semi close or they will keep us semi close until they are assured the replacement is able to be controlles. It's sickenkng. Absolutely sickening
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“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”
Harley Quinn
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2017, 03:30:25 PM »

Hi Zemmma,

Apart from the fact mine became violent over time, I'd otherwise think you were with the same guy.  To the letter.  What scares me then is how they are cut from the same cloth and how similar so many of them seem to be when reading people's posts on here.  It has stripped my ex of his wondrous individuality in my mind, as if I was with a clone or something.  And the way we have felt... .Well that sounds pretty textbook too.  When did we sign up for being part of a study?  Because that's what it's beginning to feel like to me.  As if it's some sort of a test that is premeditated by someone somewhere who has created this small army of people with their brains wired differently who have the sole mission to bring society to it's knees... .OK my mind is running free now so just ignore me!

What I wanted to say was that one point you made really took my breath away because it was EXACTLY the way I had put it.  My ex was 'everything I'd never known I'd always wanted'.  You phrased it so similarly I had to go offline and come back because it hit me hard.  That's the hook.  I know my ex struggled with empathy the majority of the time, but there must be like a six sense thing going on where they create themselves in the image of a being that is perfectly aligned with our unconscious desires.  It's an incredible talent and one that deserves applause.  And gratitude on my part I feel, as whatever other torture this man put me through, what he actually GAVE me even for a brief time was my heart's desire.  A desire I never knew I had and somehow he saw inside of me.  So if we never see one another or speak again for the rest of our lives I will always have had that.  Like you I doubt I have it in me to love again and certainly not to the same intensely passionate, soul filling level that I had with him.  However, if it never finds me again at least I did have that once.  Some don't.  It's better to have loved and lost after all... .

Love and light x
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Zemmma
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 166


« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 04:19:26 AM »

Harley,
I have really resonated with what you have written here and in other places on this site.

I have learned a lot in the past few years. Not only from this man but my ex-husband. The truth is, we are all individuals, but we are not as different as we would like to think. Next time you have an "original thought or question, just Google it. Someone already thought it, with the exact wording! The collective unconscious! When really delving into the information on mid-life crises and other studies (I am in psychology), i find that people sort of do this, or they do that, say this or say that... very similarly... .Not so many choices... Men in mid-life crises who suddenly leave their wives do so with an uncanny script, rewrite the past, etc., etc. And so too it seems with people with BPD tendencies. This is how I found out about BPD: a friend who was a social worker said, "He sounds like he has BPD." Don't know if he would be officially diagnosed but I have gained so much from reading about people's experiences that are so similar, and it does help to see how people cope.

You said he was what you always wanted deep down. This comes from childhood desires and needs and is major. Partly he filled that gap because he was open and receptive and really there for you at that time. The right person at the right time. I know that is true for me. It is very rare to find that perfect connection with someone. That is why we cling to it despite the bad behaviour. I think that love and connection is real and I am also glad to have experienced it. It was a true gift and an amazing time despite the other stuff. He swooped in and saved me at a time I was at an ultimate low. He was like a 24 hour hotline at that time, so there for me, saying and doing all of the right things.

But for me the problem has always been that he can't be consistent. He is fighting against being with me. Part of him doesn't want it or can't take it. He is not capable of giving me the relationship I need. He has a certain view of how love should look and how relationships should progress, it is one he calls his "Romeo and Juliet fantasy," (why them I don't know!). He gets so upset that the r/s is not exactly as he imagines it should be. He would rather compare our r/s to a fantasy and come up short, than actually deal with the reality of our situation, stage in life, limitations as people and as a couple. He is not willing to commit to me and accept MY flaws and stand by me. He runs from the situation or his feelings. I have to take care of me because I know he won't. I am happiest when I am with him and it is hard to live without that joy and contentment, but when he leaves it hurts so much every time. I've done this for 5 years, always on the defensive, thinking I can make him understand me when he can't see my good intentions, love and loyalty, thinking he will eventually see how I've stood by him through everything. See that I am a great person and that we have something amazing. But his thoughts are distorted. He sees the past from a negative perspective and chooses to focus on that. Because the good in our r/s is so good, I have always been willing to put up with the pain. Because he feels pain from this r/s he can not see the good. This is our fundamental incompatibility. Needing love is my highest priority and avoiding pain is his. And intense r/s's cause him pain. That is just the simple truth. He once said to me, sitting on the floor with his head in his hands, "I am just not good at this." I felt he was speaking a deep truth about his ability to make love last. I keep wishing he would just stop feeling pain, choose happiness with me as we are and just start enjoying the good stuff, but I fear he will always be searching, struggling with inner conflict and will never be truly happy. I have actually felt like, "You'll never be happy anyway, so why not stay miserable here with me?" I thought I could stand by him through that misery, help him be happier. Why wouldn't he want what I have to offer and appreciate what I am willing to sacrifice for him? But, but, but... .

I don't like when people suggest I am tied to the highs and lows, or drama of the push/ pull. As I have suggested, I think it is rather me trying to hold on to that thing I want and need so much. The feeling he gave me. And HIM, with all of his unique qualities. Because he of course, has them and is an amazing person. As does your man, despite everything else.

When he invited me to his bed today I didn't consider going. I am feeling like he would have to try a little harder than a lazy, half hearted text. Even asking me to do that after cutting me off last week shows such little understanding and compassion for what he has put me through. He really is not capable of putting anyone else truly first. He is a broken person.

I can choose to engage in this forever or opt out. What do I want the next five years to look like?







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roberto516
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 06:46:47 AM »

He sees the past from a negative perspective and chooses to focus on that. Because the good in our r/s is so good, I have always been willing to put up with the pain. Because he feels pain from this r/s he can not see the good. This is our fundamental incompatibility. Needing love is my highest priority and avoiding pain is his. And intense r/s's cause him pain. That is just the simple truth. He once said to me, sitting on the floor with his head in his hands, "I am just not good at this." I felt he was speaking a deep truth about his ability to make love last. I keep wishing he would just stop feeling pain, choose happiness with me as we are and just start enjoying the good stuff, but I fear he will always be searching, struggling with inner conflict and will never be truly happy. I have actually felt like, "You'll never be happy anyway, so why not stay miserable here with me?" I thought I could stand by him through that misery, help him be happier. Why wouldn't he want what I have to offer and appreciate what I am willing to sacrifice for him? But, but, but... .

Hey Zemma. My first comment yesterday was very jaded. I'm not in a good spot mentally. This quote resonates with me and I have had the same exact thoughts. I truly believe it is all about avoiding the pain for her. She even admitted after the breakup "i'm not good at relationships." I also resonate with the focus on the bad times. Everytime she'd say "we always fight". Well, no. We didn't argue more than any other couple. But you can't have healthy conflict resolution with people that we dated.

And I to feel the pain that I feel like I am crazy while she is so much better. When we got together she was broken from her breakup and I swooped in and eased all her pain and made it go away for her (waif for sure). Then it just stopped. I guess it's how she always views relationships. Once the guy is hooked in then it becomes "take care of me" now. I don't know.

She does seem so much happier. So many times I told her I couldn't do the relationship and she'd beg for me to not leave, and to try again. Well when I did that it was "Nope. See ya. Get help for your stuff, and move on." It hurt more than anything in my life.

But deep down you are right as well. They won't be permanently happy. They can't. All the things they do are just ways to run from the pain. Which is what a lot of people do. Myself included at times. I remember after the relationship ended, and before the first recycle when I came over to comfort her, and she told me how she turned off the cable in her bedroom and she would just lay there depressed. She called her bedroom the "den of depression." Well, weeks before when I called her asking her to reconsider she was so positive, upbeat, confident, etc.

Right now she is starting a new job and has me in the role of beggar. So life is good for her. She's in complete control and now has the new identity. She has a new high with the new job. Well that will wear off. It will disappoint her. Her mom is going to yell at her eventually. She will become depressed. She will feel a void. She will get bored with the routine. She will keep searching for happiness. So it won't end.

So I resonate with all you're talking about. I still hate to accept that things can be so easily thrown away without a second thought. But that's what it is for real. It was a relationship that filled their needs. When they didn't feel the same fulfillment they got out. I wish they would have told us in the beginning of the relationship that it wasn't what we thought it was .
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