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Author Topic: Maybe radical acceptance is what got us in this mess in the first place?  (Read 882 times)
Seenowayout
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« on: June 05, 2018, 11:48:53 AM »

You will find peace eventually.  I have.  Just keep the faith.

"Radical acceptance" , that's an interesting term JNChell.  Is it a common term in BPD recovery circles?

I'm over a year no contact.  But I had a dream about her last night.  I can dream about her now and she has no hold on me whatsoever.  :)uring my morning run, I was thinking about how I had accepted all of her == warts and all.  I thought about all of her ugly past that I was able to accept and let go of, her multiple marriages, her multiple relationships, her substance abuse.  

But she could not accept any of my warts -- in fact she raged at me for warts that I didn't even have!  

And I thought, she will never be happy because she will never understand that unconditional love.  And also, I was wrong for having unconditional love.  For having such radical acceptance.

Maybe radical acceptance is what got us in this mess in the first place?  Radical acceptance with verification maybe?

I don't know -- my recovery has been an awful lot about middle road, nothing radical.  

I like the middle road.  I'm done with black or white.
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JNChell
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2018, 06:53:35 PM »

Hi, Seenowayout. Thank you for posting.

"Radical acceptance" , that's an interesting term JNChell.  Is it a common term in BPD recovery circles?

Radical Acceptance is a tool that can be used in everyday life. I wouldn’t say that it’s a BPD thing by any means. It’s basically being in the here and now, and accepting what is in your realm of your here and now for what it is. I imagine that this level of understanding can become a healthy virtue for those that grasp the idea and work towards it. However, there are “recovery groups” that have hijacked the term to fit a skewed and unhealthy narrative when it comes to healing from abusive relationships. Hope this helps.

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Seenowayout
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2018, 05:56:59 AM »

Hi JNChell.  

Yes, that does help.  Is smells of detachment in a way.

I guess I'm still struggling with that balance -- radical acceptance but self protection, detached but responsible.  These seem like contradictory aims some times.

I guess it's like -- "well this is awful what she's doing right now, but it is the reality of here and now and I accept it and accept that I can't change it but I'm getting the hell out because I don't want any more here and nows like this there and later"

Smiling (click to insert in post)

  
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JNChell
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2018, 06:25:01 AM »

Hey, Seenowayout! You’re getting it... .Here’s a pretty good link. Give it a read when you have time.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-it-really-means-to-practice-radical-acceptance/
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2018, 11:24:37 AM »

And also, I was wrong for having unconditional love.  For having such radical acceptance.

radical acceptance is a broader term than unconditional love, although the two are not mutually exclusive.

radical acceptance is about both seeing and accepting reality, for what it is, in entirety. its the opposite of Denial.

the author of DBT, marsha linehan, who has BPD herself, coined the term, and described it here: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=90041.0

I was thinking about how I had accepted all of her == warts and all.

are you sure about this?
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Seenowayout
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2018, 04:08:38 PM »

Thank you both for the references.  It's a lot to read, but I skimmed it for now and look forward to coming back to it.

Yes, I do feel like accepted all of her -- warts and all.  At least I did in the beginning, before I was painted black.  Back  when I was on the pedestal, I accepted all her crazy stories about her past, all her sins,  -- all those things that we call in other threads "red flags". 

But when she began bullying me, there was a deep part of me that wasn't accepting THAT.  I mean for awhile, I began believing I was the bad person she said I was.  And I kept trying to rise above it and make her happy.  But there was a small voice inside saying I had to protect myself too.  And that's why we aren't together anymore.

So when it comes to radical acceptance of emotional abuse, I guess what we are saying is we accept that this person is damaged, and it's not her fault she's behaving this way, and accept that we went through hell, but get up and keep moving forward -- with or without them.

I feel like I practiced radical acceptance all my life -- I went through a difficult childhood accepting the emotional or physical abuse dished out by other people -- and I wonder if that's what made me prime for this relationship in the first place.

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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2018, 04:45:38 PM »

the author of DBT, marsha linehan, who has BPD herself, coined the term, and described it here: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=90041.0

This is short - worth a read. Radical acceptance is about building your life and your decisions on "how thing really are" and not on "how you wish things to be".

Yes, I do feel like accepted all of her -- warts and all.  At least I did in the beginning, before I was painted black.  Back  when I was on the pedestal, I accepted all her crazy stories about her past, all her sins,  -- all those things that we call in other threads "red flags". 

But when she began bullying me, there was a deep part of me that wasn't accepting THAT. 

You are really talking about approval.

Radical acceptance would be seeing your ex as a good person and a troubled person - both  - and making decisions based on that.  Many of us got caught up in making decisons based on who we hoped our ex could be.

See the difference?

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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 05:49:50 PM »

Hi Seenowayout,

During my morning run, I was thinking about how I had accepted all of her == warts and all.  I thought about all of her ugly past that I was able to accept and let go of, her multiple marriages, her multiple relationships, her substance abuse.

Just before I got here I was on a divorce site it was divorcing busting that's not the name of the site but that's what the goal was. They talked a lot about 180's. I felt like the site wasn't right for me because none of the other members had an experience as severe as mine. I couldn't relate to them but I could relate to the posts that I was reading here while I was lurking. Anyways one member was talking about accepting his ex when she had a lot of kids when they met and he said look past all of that.

It's the last bit that had me thinking because he's not thinking about red flags ( did she have the kids with different men ) and I think that's what you mean you were looking past all of that and ignored the red flags, I dont think that that is associated with radical acceptance, you got some good examples from the others already I';ll just add my own for years my dad caused me a lot of pain, with his actions in childhood and I kept thinking that one day he'll validate me, he'll admit his faults and change, mentally I was playing this out and it was not realistic, radical acceptance is accepting something difficult and painful in your life, coming to terms with it, it's not overlooking the red flags in your SO.
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Seenowayout
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2018, 04:52:57 AM »

Thanks Mutt.

I hear what all you guys are saying, but help me deconstruct this last nagging thought --

It seems like many of us nons are codependents that grew up with difficult family situations.  We probably learned some form of radical acceptance as children in order to survive, as opposed to those that Marsha talks about who were not able to accept their circumstances, and could not get up and move on.  We couldn't change our circumstances, so we learned to accept it.  Over and over.

I think working that "acceptance muscle" as children left us vulnerable to ignoring those red flags when we met during our BPD experience.  So many of my friends and family say how they would have run for the hills when they saw multiple kids, multiple marriages, poor life choices -- but we accept?  Or maybe we don't disapprove to use Skip's vernacular for that stage?

So to use this radical acceptance muscle again, this time to let go now -- I don't know. 

I mean I do -- I've radically accepted that this whole thing was a mess, I learned some important things about myself, and it will never happen again.

But I can't help but feel that radical acceptance is part of what got me in this mess

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Mustbeabetterway
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2018, 09:41:02 AM »

Hi Seenowayout,

I will chime in here.  Radical acceptance was a difficult thing for me to wrap my head around because I used denial to continue my relationship and marriage.  As long as I believed that I could change him or that he would someday become the husband that he potentially could, that I needed, I was stuck.  Once I accepted that he couldn’t or wouldn’t be that person, I began to work on myself and getting unstuck.

Children practice a form of acceptance because most children do not have options.  I think as adults, it’s radical, because the behaviors are counter to what we want to accept.  We want to believe that they could truly change if only... .but they are adults with free will and we have to ultimately accept that in order to see things as they really are.

As to childhood issues, I didn’t suffer abuse, but there was a lot of chaos in my household.  I learned to be extremely patient, waiting for my needs to be met.  Growing up with dysfunctional people taught me to put up with chaotic situations and to just wait them out.  To go along to get along.  I think this set me up to patiently tolerate verbal and occasionally physical abuse in my marriage.  I just waited it out until the good times would come.  And with a PWBPD the cycles of good/bad times came often and quickly.  In the emotional turmoil, I just steadied myself, battened the hatches and rode out the storms hoping for a bit of sunshine.

Eventually, the abuse became frequent and I was forced to accept the fact that after 38 years of marriage, things were getting worse and not better.  Now I am moving forward on my own.

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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2018, 09:52:18 AM »

Radical acceptance is a tool. That's all.

If you use a hammer to fix porch, great. If you use a hammer to fix your teeth, its not really about the hammer.

If you use radical acceptance to take wishful, unlikely thinking out of your decision making, great. If you use a radical acceptance to justify alcohol abuse, its not really about the radical acceptance.

But your point that life with your FOO may have led you to give unconditional love too the wrong person, is valid. Many growing up with conditional love have fantasies that unconditional love is curative and important to give. I'm not sure unconditional love is a good idea if there is a conflict of core values.
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2018, 10:41:32 AM »

We couldn't change our circumstances, so we learned to accept it.  Over and over.

We learned skills to survive that environment now those learnt skills didn't go away and they're not skills that help us in healthy adult r/s's you have to learn to relearn these skills to maintain healthier r/s's, it's not easy it's not impossible either.

Once I accepted that he couldn’t or wouldn’t be that person, I began to work on myself and getting unstuck.

I think that this is the bigger picture do the self work so that you don't find yourself in a similar situation in the future regardless of radical acceptance, FOO, CD you're captain of your own ship.

But your point that life with your FOO may have led you to give unconditional love too the wrong person, is valid. Many growing up with conditional love have fantasies that unconditional love is curative and important to give. I'm not sure unconditional love is a good idea if there is a conflict of core values.


That's right I unconditionally loved the wrong person and our values didn't align from the beginning, I thought that love would prevail.

Did you have similar feelings Seenowayout?
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Seenowayout
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2018, 04:34:17 AM »

Hello Friends,

Thanks for the hammer analogy Skip.  That makes a lot of sense to me.  And  Mustbeabetterway -- yes, that makes a lot of sense, now that we are adults.  Hugs.

And Mutt -- I guess I did have some magical thinking.  That she would change.  That our love would change her, as I was trying to change too.  But her black and white thinking, her inability to forgive any slight (real or perceived), her accusatory thought patterns, her lack of trust -- it was all so deeply ingrained in her personality, these things simply would never have changed.  And it was so different from my way, we just were not meant to be.

And I radically accept that!

Smiling (click to insert in post)


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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2018, 07:21:58 AM »

Here's a definition:

Radical acceptance does not mean you are agreeing to a situation or action. It means you are acknowledging that the event happened and is real. Acceptance means not fighting reality.

I didn't just accept, I internalized and to some extent embraced. I allowed the control and constant criticism to become the norm. There were times that things were more balanced, and I took those and hung in there, hoping they would return. Hoping isn't a bad thing at all, but a line had been crossed. Change was overdue.

Accepting something you can't change can indeed be healthy. Allowing destructive dysfunction is not.
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2018, 08:38:54 AM »

... .we just were not meant to be.  And I radically accept that!

It seems simple, but this is a good example and one that doesn't come easy. We sometimes thing we can earn love or earn a good relationship... .but it might just be that we just were not meant to be. Seeing it as too good to leave, to bad to stay is radical acceptance - and its not a long term proposition.
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