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Author Topic: I Don't Know How I Missed Her BPD  (Read 985 times)
Jeffree
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« on: January 29, 2018, 12:30:30 PM »

Eight years of being with my STBx, and I've only recently come back here for support and to acquire more understanding of what I've just been through.

Reacquainting myself here has made it abundantly clear she has BPD, but at no point in our relationship and marriage did BPD enter my thoughts. I think I went as far as realizing she was unreasonably selfish to a point where the term Narcissist popped up in my thoughts, but not even NPD... .just that she was extremely self centered and rage filled.

I am astounded that BPD never occurred to me. It seemed to me for a while that D21 was showing some disturbing signs of possibly being bipolar back when she was in her teens, but I know that's not a diagnosis for someone that young.

Now, my STBx was officially diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety/depression and on meds and in a program for recovering from it when I met her back in 2009, which in itself can be quite a difficult hurdle to jump. So that's what I thought was impacting her cognitive dysregulation... .that and all the daily pot and drinking.

Even the above was a virtual witches brew of trouble, yet something in my reaction to all of this wasn't firing.

It's really weird to have missed this. On one hand her capacity to love me given all the losses she had suffered I had found incredible, yet once that capacity began to become compromised it took her longer and longer to get back on a good track.

Weird little conversations we had early on, which just seemed like her insecurities getting the best of her, now look like screaming red flags.

For instance, she's fairly large bosomed. She'd lay on her back and push her boobs down and say she hates how big they are, that she can't get tops to fit right, that she felt like it's all guys look at, that she wants to have them reduced, that her dearly departed SO was uptight about what she wore in public, she's tired of being hit on and stared at, etc. It was a dissertation on shame she had toward this part of her body.

I tried to be as supportive as I could, but would not condone unnecessary plastic surgery because it wasn't like she was so big as to be having back trouble or other health issues, disfigured or even abnormal. I got her properly fitted for a bra at VS, which made a world of difference, encouraged her to buy better fitting clothes, and appreciate what God gave her. I apologize to the women here if it seems like I didn't help my STBx with her body issue in a better way. But without getting into all the specifics, I did everything humanly possible to walk her in from the ledge on this. We got through it unscathed.

Then she had a skin tag at the base of her left nostril, which was hardly noticeable that she wanted removed. OK. I wasn't going to argue with her about it. No need. Do whatever.

Then she wanted Lasik surgery, then she wanted to whiten her teeth, then she wanted to lose weight by using one of those amphetamine products, on and on and on.

All the while, I am trying to be encouraging. Her usual response was to not go through with any of these things (other than the teeth whitening and the diet pills) because they scared her enough to not go through with them. Plus, I kept trying to drive home the point that we didn't have money for these types of elective procedures.

My point is that a lot of this started out as harmless pillow talk between spouses, yet when looking back at the frequency and constancy of how she nitpicked her appearance and the lengths she seemed willing to go to change these things, there does seem to be evidence that she was extremely preoccupied to an unhealthy extent with her looks and how men perceived her and what they wanted to do with her.

Granted, that is certainly not proof of anything like BPD, but from there came the accusations that I only loved her for her looks and the sex and that's why I didn't want her to have any procedures, that I dress her up in those form fitting clothes to parade her around, etc.

So I began playing defense.

Then from there came other insults... .about my parenting, about how I let the kids talk to her, about staying on top of their homework, of looking at a waitress a certain way, of her "knowing" I like so and so, of looking up my exes on FB, on and on and on.

And then it got worse from there.

All along each blow up seemed like a one off and able to be contained, but pretty soon that's all there was with the lengths she'd go to put me in my place getting more dramatic... .horrendous insults, calling cops, menacingly getting into my personal space and harassing me, etc.

Now, I will say that there was a point in time early on where I told our family therapist that I was done. That she had insulted me and the kids to the point where I didn't want to be in this marriage anymore. It didn't matter the diagnosis, I just didn't deserve to be treated like this and neither did the kids.

He tried to work with us using The Four Agreements as the basis of the work. That, like everything else, was doomed to fail. Whenever she wanted to break any of the agreements she'd defiantly say she didn't need anyone telling her how to be a wife or a mother to her kids.

It was like driving a car thinking you're going the right way until you know for sure you're lost. All along the way I should have noticed I was heading East when the sun sets in the West, but I panicked and didn't realize it until way later than I should have.

I will say that I wasn't looking for it or guarding against marrying it again. I was just doing my thing.

J
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 02:08:09 PM »

Hey Jeffree, Who knew?  I had never heard about BPD until after I had been married for nine years.  For the most part, BPD is largely below the radar of most people.  Sure, I knew something was off with my BPDxW, but could never put my finger on the problem until finally a perceptive T suggested that I review SWOE, at which point the lightbulb went on.   Thought

My suggestion: don't beat yourself up!

LuckyJim
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 02:45:38 PM »

20 years... .I even recently copy pasted key lines from a letter I wrote to uBPDw in 2007 ((pre kids) after she had left the second time) into a google search, top 5 hits were BPD. I missed:
Anorexia and body dysmorphia
Self harm
Suicide ideation
Black and white thinking
Catastrophic thinking
Rage
Delusional thinking
Alcoholism
Drugs
Affairs and general inappropriate behaviour with other men
Splitting
Immature behaviour
Inability to accept guilt, shame, responsibility

Despite having 2 older sisters who were far from this chaotic, I think I had been conditioned to believe this crazy was within the realms of some kind of normal!

Don’t kick yourself! FYI the full letter I wrote is on the conflicted board.
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 02:52:26 PM »

Hi Jeffree,

The thought of mental illness never crossed my mind in my marriage just that there was something serious that I couldn’t put my finger on. Don’t be hard on yourself. I dont have a doctorate in abnormal psychology,  none of us are professionals.
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Jeffree
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 03:16:57 PM »

I'm not kicking myself too much. I'm just looking back and thinking how.

It's like at what point was I going to cash in my chips? I don't know what this would look like if she didn't work herself up into enough of a lather to leave finally.

J
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Skip
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2018, 10:57:15 AM »

Why did she leave... .what was the final blow?

What does your life look like right now? Is the divorce filed? Is the property divided? Are you in a permanent home? Will you have an ongoing relationship with the kids?
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Jeffree
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2018, 11:28:00 AM »

Why did she leave... .what was the final blow?

The final blow seemed to be when I caught her talking up some guy in the middle of the night. She turned this around to be about me spying on her and never came clean about who he was and why she was talking to him for 6 hours in a 10 hour time frame, the most recent one at 3 a.m.

Two weeks later she moved out.


What does your life look like right now?


Despite having to file for bankruptcy and being very underemployed at the moment, life looks pretty OK.

I don't hear from her very much, am getting back to brass tacks and pursuing more gainful employment in the field that I am most interested in and have enjoyed the most, and am busying myself with projects around the house to prepare it for sale.

Is the divorce filed?


Not yet. I did meet with my old divorce atty and need to come up with the retainer to move things forward. In the meantime, I have to do an accounting and get all that preliminary paperwork filled out. There doesn't seem to be a rush to divorce, so it's not on the front burner.

Is the property divided? Are you in a permanent home?


Not legally divided, but for all intents and purposes it is. She is not on the mortgage or deed, never was, and is surrendering her claim to any equity. She has moved out, and should be moving further away in fairly short order as her job might be requiring her to live in a rejigged territory.

I am thoroughly enjoying living in my home relatively free of her presence in it and getting it back to where it needs to be.
 
Will you have an ongoing relationship with the kids?


Yes. They live with me. SD22 moved back pretty much the day after STBx moved out and SS19 also lived there. STBx also left behind her two cats and dog.

Basically somehow she worked herself up so much as to feel justified in moving out from all of this for some small POS cottage that is not properly insulated and recently had the pipes burst.

Thanks for asking, Skip.

Life is pretty darned good again.

J
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 11:41:26 AM »

Excerpt
Life is pretty darned good again.  J

Nice to hear, Jeffree.  I agree.  I'm just scraping by these days, but relish charting my own course after long years of trying to move forward with the BPD albatross around my neck.  I enjoy returning home at night without the expectation of a confrontation.  Boring feels good after all the drama and turmoil!  LJ
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Jeffree
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2018, 12:03:00 PM »

You want to talk boring? I'm painting my white ceiling white, though it is a brighter white.  Thought

But yes I know what you're saying, LJ.

It's like when you're in the batter's cage swinging three bats to get loose, then when you get up to the plate you can swing so much faster.

J

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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2018, 02:12:55 PM »

Hi Jeffree,

I saw all of the red flags, but didn’t put them together as part of a whole.  We have been almost continually reeling from one calamity to another.  Each one seemed like a separate incident.  Of course, I knew there was a pattern, but I kept thinking that once we got past for example, rehab or job problems, that things would straighten out.

Yesterday, we had a family get together to celebrate my mom’s birthday and even though we are separated, my husband came.  My mom considers him a son and she was happy to see him.  When I saw him he was complaining to me about how I have to show him how to log onto the computer and it’s BS the way I have it set up (all on me) and telling me about his various ailments, complaining and of how I was treating him like a stranger.  All within like 45 minutes.  When we left and went our separate ways, I was happy to be not going home with him.  Everything is so much simpler and easier.  I was glad to get out of there!  

I definitely understand how you didn’t see what the problem was.  Maybe for me it was that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

In some ways, I believe that when we learn our lessons we can move on.
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Jeffree
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2018, 02:51:24 PM »

I saw all of the red flags, but didn’t put them together as part of a whole.  We have been almost continually reeling from one calamity to another.  Each one seemed like a separate incident.  Of course, I knew there was a pattern, but I kept thinking that once we got past for example, rehab or job problems, that things would straighten out.

I remember this in spades. Wow, all the complaining and drama all the time. Right along with the prospect of things calming down, only they never did and actually got worse as the cumulative effect sped up the frequency of the complaints and drama.

It's true about moving on. Once I realized she actually didn't have my best interests at heart ever, a peace entered my thoughts. I absolved myself of the responsibility of "fixing" that which she was upset with.

J
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2018, 03:22:08 PM »

Hey Jeffree and Mustbe, I suffered from the same malady: the fantasy that things would level out.  For a long time, I honestly believed that we would reach a plateau of relative emotional stability, which proved to be a mirage, because we never got there.  Instead, as Jeffree notes, things went downhill as time wore on.

LJ
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
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