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Author Topic: Struggling with guilt over leaving BPD boyfriend  (Read 331 times)
Queen of Indecision

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: formerly engaged, now it's over
Posts: 5



« on: June 15, 2018, 10:15:54 AM »

I was with my 40 something boyfriend for 6 years. At first, it was really great. I knew he had his dark moods and anger issues, and struggled with keeping a job, but our intense connection, and his good qualities seemed to make up for the hard times. But two years ago, after we moved in together, the moodiness got worse. Maybe living with him, I just saw it more. We got engaged a year ago, and for a brief time, things were good, but then they went downhill fast. He was angry and moody all the time, constantly accusing me of cheating on him, once saying I acted like a slut when I went to a party because I was dancing (nothing obscene) with a female friend and guys were watching. He would yell at me or he would go into the bedroom and stay for hours, shutting me out. I begged him to go to counseling, I tried to talk to him and see how I could fix things, but nothing really worked. I was depressed and suffering from severe anxiety that was affecting my job. Finally we decided to live separately but still see each other. For a few weeks, things were good again. Then he lost his job and plunged into depression. I tried to support and encourage him, but nothing seemed to help. He kept accusing me of being out with other men on the nights I wasn't with him. A few times this happened and the next day he would threaten suicide. Finally, a few weeks ago, he texted me and implied he had taken a bunch of pills. I was frantic. I called him and he sounded very groggy, said he was sorry but had to go. I called 911 and they took him to the hospital. Apparently, he didn't take as much as he said, because they didn't pump his stomach but only kept him for the day for observation and then let him go home. For me, this was the last straw. I felt he just did it to get me to come running over to see him and take care of him. I told him I loved him and hoped he would continue with therapy (which he had just started), but I couldn't be with him anymore. Now I have terrible feelings of guilt over it all and am trying to process through it. How do I get past all of this? I worry so much about him, but I finally realized I couldn't fix him, nor could I continue to stay with him and be emotionally abused.
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mama-wolf
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What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 540



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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2018, 10:52:46 AM »

Hi LeftAndRight,

Welcome!  I'm really sorry you have been going through all of this.  You are in the right place for help with these questions and general support through what will be a bumpy ride.  There are some very wise members on this board, and lots of people who have struggled through the very same kinds of decisions you have had to make.

Personally, I'm in the process of separating from my uBPDw, and I struggle with a lot of the same feelings and questions.  Guilt over leaving the marriage and over what it will mean for our kids.  Questioning myself, doubting myself, etc.  What has helped me (at least a little) is to keep reminding myself that the relationship I am leaving was never a truly healthy one, and it can only continue to do me harm.  You are exactly right that you cannot let yourself continue to be emotionally abused, and the description that you provided of your relationship is full of that abuse.

Tell us more about how you're taking care of yourself now.  Self-care is important in general, and especially critical right now... .

mw
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Queen of Indecision

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: formerly engaged, now it's over
Posts: 5



« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2018, 11:04:21 AM »

mama-wolf, thank you for your response. I'm new to this site so I hope I'm posting my reply correctly.

As for what I'm doing now as far as self-care, I am seeing a counselor every two weeks. I've been seeing her for several months, just not as regularly as I should, pouring out to her my unhappiness over my relationship. I started exercising pretty hard last fall to control the horrible anxiety and sadness I felt. It has helped, and I've lost some weight, which helps my self-esteem some. My counselor suggested journaling, so I do that in my own email (no physical journal lying around for someone to stumble across). When I go back and read some of the entries from last fall and over the winter, I'm amazed at how much I put up with and kept staying, kept hoping things would get better. I have moved in with my mom for a while in order to save some money until I figure out my next move. She has been very supportive, and so have my friends and other family members. They never liked my ex, and always felt he was disrespectful to me, but I could never see it before. I always felt so sorry for him because of the abuse he suffered as a child. I thought if I loved him enough, encouraged him enough, prayed for him enough, well, you know... .Reading through this site and some others have taught me a lot about myself and my codependency issues--something I never knew I had. I'm hopeful that at some point I'll work through a lot of this and then be able to have a healthy relationship. It will never be as intense and enmeshed as this one was, though.
What did you do to cope? How did you get over the guilt and worry and all of that?
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Lucky Jim
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 6211


« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2018, 11:40:09 AM »

Hey LeftAndRight, Let me join mama-wolf and say Welcome!  You haven't done anything wrong, so in my view it's OK to let go of your guilt.  This may sound harsh, but at the end of the day you're not responsible for the well-being of another adult.  Took me a long time to come around to that view because I have my own codependent tendencies and enjoy helping others.  Yet care-taking my BPDxW was destroying me.  I suggest focusing on yourself and your needs, as mama-wolf suggests.  What is the best path for YOU?  What are your gut-feelings about the r/s?

LuckyJim
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
Queen of Indecision

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: formerly engaged, now it's over
Posts: 5



« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2018, 12:54:29 PM »

I'm learning a lot about myself and my codependent issues. I know it became a very unhealthy relationship. Looking back at different things that happened--along with the emotional abuse, he lied to me as well--I see I was only too ready to excuse him from responsibility over what he did because I attributed it to his depression and, well, his BPD. I know (or at least keep telling myself) counseling, journaling and the support of my friends and family will help me to get past this eventually. I guess I'm just hoping for some tips on what to do when the guilt and sadness strikes, and the loneliness. I don't want to contact him in a weak moment. I know that would be bad for both of us. It's hard to stop worrying about him.
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Queen of Indecision

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: formerly engaged, now it's over
Posts: 5



« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2018, 12:56:54 PM »

Gut feeling is to stay away from him so we can both move on. Also, like I said, continue with counseling and also educating myself about BPD and codependence, etc. It has been eye-opening to read the stories of so many of you on here (and I'm just getting started), and to learn that so many of us have gone through the same anguish with these relationships! Thank you, Lucky Jim, for the welcome!
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Mutt
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Relationship status: Divorced Oct 2015
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2018, 08:10:50 PM »

Excerpt
. I guess I'm just hoping for some tips on what to do when the guilt and sadness strikes, and the loneliness. I don't want to contact him in a weak moment. I know that would be bad for both of us. It's hard to stop worrying about him.

I can relate with working out to stay ahead of anxiety and depression. It helps a lot I would recommend anyone to see a GP or MD for depression. You’re a caretaker like many of us on the board - if on’y I had done enough or tried one more time.

Posters above stated that he is an adult and he has a severe mental
Illness it’s not excuse to not get help he has a responsibility to get help for himself. You can’t dl that for him lit something that he has to want to do it’s his path and it might be in his destiny to get help but usually a pwBPD have to hit rock bottom ( no one left to enable them ) and then they may get help for themselves.

Think of the three C’s, I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it and I can’t control it. You’re not responsible for the disorder. You mentioned working out do you go to a gym or do you have a home gym? Usually there are classes in gyms, do you participate in those? How about calling or spending time with a friend ir family member when you ruminate about your ex? What else can you think of for a distraction?
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"Let go or be dragged" -Zen proverb
mama-wolf
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What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 540



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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2018, 06:20:45 AM »

As for what I'm doing now as far as self-care, I am seeing a counselor every two weeks.

I started exercising pretty hard last fall to control the horrible anxiety and sadness I felt.

My counselor suggested journaling, so I do that in my own email (no physical journal lying around for someone to stumble across).

I have moved in with my mom for a while in order to save some money until I figure out my next move. She has been very supportive, and so have my friends and other family members.

Reading through this site and some others have taught me a lot about myself and my codependency issuea

These are all great!  You're already on the right track for taking care of yourself.  If you think you're not seeing your counselor often enough, is there an opportunity to see her once a week for a little while?  I had to increase the frequency of my sessions from every two weeks to every week for a bout two months when the anxiety and stress of my situation intensified.  Going two weeks between sessions just felt like an eternity, and my stress level was just not tolerable.

Journaling is a very useful tool, as you can already see by looking back at your previous entries.  Whatever method works for you is fine, and I can tell you there are some pretty good apps/websites out there that enable secure journaling online/on your mobile device (I use Day One).  I have to admit though that I have never been very good about doing it regularly, and have slacked off on it with everything going on lately.

Exercise, spending time with family and friends who will support you, and learning more about yourself and your ex are all very important.  The one thing I'll suggest is that you do more of this... .beyond reading on this site, try to engage and interact with the members here as much as you are able to.  Share what you're thinking, what you're feeling, and what you're experiencing.  You will get essential validation and tips from others who have gone through the exact same thing (something your friends and family might not be able to offer).

What did you do to cope? How did you get over the guilt and worry and all of that?

I'm afraid I can't claim to have gotten over much of the guilt and worry yet.  I'm still in the thick of it right now, and the quilt is hard to shake.  But it is subsiding as I stay focused on what is right for me, and as I start to realize I'm feeling just a little healthier every day (mentally and emotionally).  I have done much of what you described, as I wrote above.  I also try to keep reminding myself that along with all the rest, it takes time to heal.  I can be pretty impatient about that part... .

Excerpt
I don't want to contact him in a weak moment. I know that would be bad for both of us. It's hard to stop worrying about him.

This is where your support network and a community like this come in.  There are a lot of folks here trying to maintain no contact with their ex pwBPD.  That won't work for me due to having to share custody of our children, but there are many here who will have pointers on how to resist the urge.  And reaching out to a friend or family member when you're feeling a particularly strong urge to contact him is a great alternative, too.

Keep up the good work LeftAndRight!  Mutt and LJ have made great points... .focus on what is right for you, and don't take on his responsibility to take care of himself.

mw
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Mustbeabetterway
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 633


« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2018, 10:30:45 PM »

Hi LeftandRight, let me join the others in welcoming you.  It sounds as if you are doing a lot of things already that will help you.  Great that you have supportive family and friends.

What you describe is almost exactly what I have been through with my husband. So I totally get the anxiety, guilt, and worry you are feeling. 

Like you, I decided that I had to choose between my safety and sanity or my relationship.  I am also trying to overcome the guilt.  As Lucky Jim and Mutt have said, each adult is responsible for his/her own self. 

I’m working with my therapist to heal the part of me that feels guilty for not helping.  We are uncovering the possible reasons why I feel so responsible and guilty.  I’m making progress and you will, too.  I’m sure of it.

Peace and blessings,

Mustbeabetterway
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2018, 10:52:16 AM »

Excerpt
I guess I'm just hoping for some tips on what to do when the guilt and sadness strikes, and the loneliness. I don't want to contact him in a weak moment. I know that would be bad for both of us. It's hard to stop worrying about him.

Hey L&R, Well, the feelings are bound to return, so my suggestion is to acknowledge them as they come up and look at them mindfully, as if you are an outsider.  E.g., "how interesting that I'm having these obsessive thoughts again," and then let the feelings pass.  I find it helps to process my feelings.  How to process?  That's up to you, but you could try: writing in a journal, meeting with a close friend or family member to share what's going on, making an appointment with a T, taking a walk on a beach or in the woods, practicing mindfulness meditation, etc.  You get the idea!  It's a two-step process: first acknowledging and then processing.

LuckyJim
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
Queen of Indecision

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: formerly engaged, now it's over
Posts: 5



« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2018, 12:26:37 PM »

Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome and encouraging words and good tips. I think part of me wants to avoid all of that introspection and processing of emotions. Of course, I'd rather be already through to the other side--wouldn't we all? but I know I can't avoid it. I have to feel the feelings and process them. Journaling really helps, and I see many others have found that to be true as well. Lucky Jim, I do need more quiet time out in nature, that's something I can strive for. I'm going to a quiet beach with my mom and oldest son (22) next week. I think that will be good, walking on the beach, time with family, away from work.
Mama-wolf, glad you're feeling a little more mentally healthy every day. I totally get the impatience thing!
I am so glad to have found this site and to be able to read your stories and have the chance to empathize with and learn from others. What a great support system!
I am staying with my mother, and she doesn't understand any of this. She doesn't see why I still feel upset, why I can't just let it go and move on. I'm glad to have found others who are walking through the same thing, who understand.
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