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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: She broke my heart and has left scars on my psyche which I feel will never heal  (Read 3607 times)
Wicker Man
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Attempting to reconcile after my affair.
Posts: 507


« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2018, 01:09:21 PM »

Excerpt
... .it also became a form of subconscious challenge to keep trying and "win" this person's love, convince them that they were loved and to defy the condition. but that was trying to attain the unattainable and the more I lost the more the feeling of losing gets entrenched.

You are precisely right -the feeling of 'I can beat this'. 

Excerpt
Long term going through this really eroded my self esteem, her antics accelerated the more control she got.

Once again... .precisely right -during our last time together she had began talking about the notion of  "(name)'s Rules" in other words there was only one rule -hers.  I had to demand over a three day period she send a commission payment to my agent -a contractual necessity.  It was something I could not do myself for international banking reasons.  When I think back with a (relatively) sober mind she rarely ever did anything I asked -whether trivial or major.  Something as silly as me reminding her to have her nails done before she began a job was met with stubborn rejection.  --I am a selfish ass... .

She was kind, but only on her terms.  Even when we were apart she would order dinner and have it delivered to me -and then watch me eat it via video.  --I know the nice parts of our relationship are not relevant to this discussion (but that was nice)... .

Excerpt
Just imagine what might have happened if you had actually gone through and the ball was firmly in her court?

Blood and pain -of course. 

Excerpt
medusas life might be very challenging, ill give it that, but survive she will, using the techniques she has always used. but having mines ruined as a byproduct of her journey was not something I was willing to cooperate with anymore.

Yes -of course you are right again.

Excerpt
that in itself takes courage to do what is right for your own life first and foremost. for how can you help another if you cant yourself first.

That is the 'I' in 'I love you'.

Cromwell, you have given me your time and insight over these last few weeks and I am in your debt.  My fantasy had been such a beautiful dream, unfortunately it was an artificial construct -just as artificial as the person she had morphed into while we were together.  --as I have said before I have no malice for her transformation, it is subconscious and innate. Fallout from her having to survive a diabolical childhood.  No child should suffer on a level which necessitates adopting such survival skills. --sure there is a genetic component, but if my mom considered leaving me out in the snow as a 3 year old to die who might I be today?

I miss her -partially because with her I lost the Chinese film market, I lost the culture, a lot of friends  and I lost the reason to continue my Mandarin studies.  I do not want to go back now, I think it would be too painful.  But the working conditions there are bone crushing -so working here in the US will be healthier for a multitude of reasons.

And you are right again about her survival skills -I saw a post of her from her dance instructor.  She has recycled her instructor and is now back in training.  She will be fine.

I need to let my fantasy go.  I have to mention in closing her name means ':)ream Come True' --ugh.


Wicker Man
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Wicker Man
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Attempting to reconcile after my affair.
Posts: 507


« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2018, 06:08:36 PM »

In a way, having learned about BPD and believing she suffers from the disorder, it has made my recovering from the relationship more difficult.  I would really like to be angry with her -but I feel like it would be being angry at a cat for being a cat.

Yes --She broke my heart and caused me to have a brief emotional breakdown.  It was in this painful rift I had the clarity to end our relationship.

In the beginning of our relationship her innate ability to read me, to become seemingly perfect allowed me to construct this beautiful dream of fairytale love -but I don't feel I can be angry with her for assuming this guise -for in the moment it was real for her too.  I wish I had the luxury of feeling actively tricked, but I don't. 

The end result is tragic, but her actions were done without malice.  She raged at me out of a deep rooted fear.  She cheated because she could not love herself and was unable to find enough strength from our relationship --afterward she felt crushing guilt and fear.  I can only imagine what it would be like to be in a blossoming relationship and then feel uncontrollably compelled to take actions which are poisonous, dangerous, and hurtful.

It is no longer mine to contend with, but I feel for her loss as well as mine.  I am certain she knows who and what she pushed out of her life -and will without a doubt be reminded by her family.  She will feel the full brunt of their anger in no uncertain terms, there will be no convincing them our demise was of my orchestration.

How convenient it would be for me to be able to replace pity for her with contempt -but I how can I justify being angry at someone because I lost a fantasy of my own concoction?  How can I be angry with someone who has no control over their self image and emotional state?

I feel I have lost my innocence.  I felt love on such a level where it borders on psychosis.  I was loved by someone who was loving me as her very existence  depended on it, for at that moment it did. --love as mania.  It is little wonder, after having such a fantasy exposed to the light of day, life feels just a bit grey. 

What makes the experience interesting (once again interesting has become a synonym for tragic) is I really don't feel I have learned anything from this loss of innocence.  I delved into the realm of fantasy and upon returning to the real world I feel none the wiser, just battle weary.


Wicker Man
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Cromwell
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« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2018, 12:18:55 AM »

Dont worry about the grey too much, you get used to it  Smiling (click to insert in post) its there for a good natural reason too, an adjustment not to be feared, but as a defence to counter act those heights of emotion and blunt them down to a natural baseline. Is it really reasonable to expect to have those heights of euphoria as an expected, day to day, experience? Id suggest no, despite how amazing it may have felt, because logically if it became the norm it would no longer be what it is, it would become a baseline to expect more from. it wasnt natural or healthy, it was induced state that does have its parallels in other forms of addiction. not so difficult to understand why the resulting crash comes from, when its removed.

You said before you never took schedule 1 drugs before, ive tried everything and the drugs were less difficult to deal with, simply because the euphoria is there, the long term emotional investment/enmeshment is not. I met my ex when I was just coming off a severe drug habit, I can safely say that she was the perfect replacement and I got off all the other addictions by having her supply the emotional rollercoaster highs and lows. The thing that made it more dangerous than schedule 1 is because you dont have control over getting the next hit. Cutting off and going NC was the same as going off a schedule 1 "cold turkey", it works but is excruciatingly painful, not so much physiologically as this chemistry adjusts itself back to normal much faster than the psychological addiction. The majority of it is rooted in our own sense of finding fulfillment in idealising. The worst thing my ex did was not to take away the love I believe she had for me, but take away my own illusion of it. She built it all up, but then crashed it down, almost in a way of saying "i dont get to feel that way, neither will you". She knew she couldnt control me with the sex alone, I could and did go elsewhere for it, but she hooked me in by the love bombing and I was vulnerable to gullible for it. its her modus operandi, she has used in all the relationships before, it works.

even a cat knows when it catches a mouse to play with as long as it can, lets it run away, chases it again before finally deciding to let it go or kill it. but (and ive tried to) relate the behavior in some aesop fable sort of way, it doesnt help. Medusa was human and not a cat, her behaviour might be deep rooted, but she still had the power beyond that of any animal to decide what she would say or do.

Im not battle weary anymore because the battle was over 8 months ago, tactical retreat . Battle scars you pick up in life, they are reminders of what we have been through, but they do heal and are just helpful reminders of what have encountered, but ultimately, surpassed. She said she would destroy you, she didnt. Just like my ex told me we would be together forever, we could still be today, but she was wrong. Just how you feel that much of what you experienced was from within your own mind, so is using this same power of belief to get better. If you tell yourself you will never heal from it, you are in my opinion, programming yourself (telling your brain) to work towards this. But these self affirmations only have power if you truly believe in them, I felt the same way after the R/S I think many do, but its just part of momentary sadness and dealing with the raw state of emotions. I thought I would never heal from this, and this kept me stagnated as a victim, in many ways it is sharing the same pathology of our ex's mindsets, of being a perpetual victim, of believing that nothing will ever get better. a feeling of hopelessness. It can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

I dont know if this helps, but one of the biggest things have to embrace the fact that the feelings I had for my ex were real for me - at that time - and i feel fortunate to have experienced them. Its not that I havent been able to before, but the timing of it came where I needed a bit of self delusionment as a form of escapism. The thing that helped is to recognise it for what it was, rather than thinking I have "lost" on love. Feelings are not real and wanting is not the same as needing. I felt love and wanted love, in the end it wasnt what I believed and probably more importantly, I didnt "need" her as much as I became accustomed to believe I did. but this rationalisation did take time, and was impossible during the r/s to comprehend, just too much going on to process. The healing and recovery is very much for me an evaluation stage, the best thing that has helped has to look at other people's experiences from a non-emotionally involved perspective but to notice the similarities from my own, which then causes a revisit to those high intense emotions. Its not easy at all especially when we are dealing with memories that can teleport ourselves back to the time, rather than the fact that time has moved on, with it carrying life in a new direction and its really more a case of looking at history rather than reliving it, like what my ex did that kept her in that state, always replaying the negative things that happened in her life but in doing so, reliving them in the present and carrying them into her future conduct. Its a hard mental-cycle to break because there is some allure in maintaining a victim status. I got some sympathy from a lot of people for having went through the hardship of a BPD relationship. that was welcome at the time, but there comes a point to break free and the wounds to the psyche have healed. I wouldnt want to forget the bad times, for they are useful experience for the future, just like the battle analogy, sometimes you 'lose' a battle but if you survive it, you can still carry on the war with much valuable experience. From what I hear, after being with BPD and getting over it, theres not much in the future that will pull the wool over your eyes, or smoke and mirrors to blind with. There is a mess of tangled complexity to get the head around at first, but please dont let it grind you down or feel depressed or bitter of fatalistic in thinking that its going to stop you enjoying the future.

the next r/s will be better, because this process has made me better. I really feel for myself that has been the crux of all this, shifting towards the "self" and development rather than what I see the old me, that gravitated to giving my strength to others. ive recognised the disadvantage more than ever of being a people pleaser as not being the route to fulfillment. if anything, this BPD experience program, tutored by Medusa I see it as being the biggest alarm wake up call i needed. no one likes alarm clocks but hers was loud enough to wake me up from the self induced deam like trance. That doesnt mean cant have those feelings again or become disheartened, just that I found she wasnt the right person, yes i see her as a dream-stealer, but dreams arent real. they are actually a form of psychosis themselves, a bit of a clue of spending too much time with someone who is in psychosis a great deal of time due to their condition. Its easy to underestimate just how much has been through in these types of r/s, but I really believe that you will recover and overcome in your own time, the drug-analogy is a very good one but im having a harder time giving up cigarettes than I have to get over her, I think that shows myself just the real extent of how far the 'love' really went.

you will get there wicker man. one day at a time Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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Wicker Man
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Posts: 507


« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2018, 11:04:59 AM »

Excerpt
Dont worry about the grey too much, you get used to it  Smiling (click to insert in post) its there for a good natural reason too, an adjustment not to be feared, but as a defence to counter act those heights of emotion and blunt them down to a natural baseline. Is it really reasonable to expect to have those heights of euphoria as an expected, day to day, experience? Id suggest no, despite how amazing it may have felt, because logically if it became the norm it would no longer be what it is, it would become a baseline to expect more from. it wasnt natural or healthy, it was induced state that does have its parallels in other forms of addiction. not so difficult to understand why the resulting crash comes from, when its removed.

Interestingly, what feels grey is no longer conversing with her, having her half real, half fantasy point of view in my world. The majority of the passion I miss was our hours long talks we would have -she often spoke of her dreams, which bordered on reality for her. What we would call dreams were visions for her.  The necessity of removing her companionship has created a hole --I suppose having someone who is always looking forward to speaking with you is enmeshment -but it felt good...   You and I have written about 'grayness' -she had seeped into every corner of my world -home, play and work. Her absence has left a vacuum, which I new have to fill with healthy things.  Reading, exercise, and work and I need to get back to some sort of hobby.

Excerpt
She knew she couldnt control me with the sex alone, I could and did go elsewhere for it, but she hooked me in by the love bombing and I was vulnerable to gullible for it. its her modus operandi, she has used in all the relationships before, it works.

Mine never tried to use sex to control me.  From the very beginning of our relationship becoming intimate I told her 'Sex is lovely and when you feel intimate I will be there for you and when you don't just say so -I am fine either way. Never feel you have to, and never ever feel you can control me with it.  Sex is something to be enjoyed by people who care for each other -not a tool'  Ours was an affair and my wife had used sex as a tool of torment, so I was immune.  I told my ex the same thing about the dating 'game'.  I said I like you, so send me notes when you feel like it, and I will do the same -no game of waiting and counting days.  --She said you are a very strange animal.  There was a large difference in our age, and I warned her several times -whereas I may seem youthful these eyes have been watching the world for a long time.  --sadly, these eyes had never seen splitting, never seen dysphoria, never seen destructive behavior patterns on a grand and global scale.

Excerpt
Medusa was human and not a cat, her behaviour might be deep rooted, but she still had the power beyond that of any animal to decide what she would say or do.

I still am not sure mine did. Your experience was much harder in some ways than mine.  I truly believe mine had no control whatsoever over her rage.  She introduced me to her family and we spent a lot of time together.  I had been the first man she brought home, if she were playing premeditated games she would never have brought her family into the mix.  Culturally this added a huge weight to the concept of 'us'.  She will have hell to pay with them and the neighbors in their compound -they threw a block party for us upon my introduction.  As I had mentioned, her grandparents raised her, and were the most important people in her world -in a rage she literally, I mean literally, tore all the flooring out of their apartment.  This would have been physically difficult for me -she weighs 90 pounds... .  She had no apparent emotional governor when she raged she was consumed and lost in it.

Excerpt
Im not battle weary anymore because the battle was over 8 months ago, tactical retreat . Battle scars you pick up in life, they are reminders of what we have been through, but they do heal and are just helpful reminders of what have encountered, but ultimately, surpassed.

Yesterday I was talking to my therapist about the end game in a long term BPD relationship -what might it have been like.  He began speaking about the possibility for some to make it work in the long haul (his job is to present possibilities, not offer direct guidance) and stopped himself and said 'OK... .Really, you very likely dodged a bullet', meaning by removing myself and ending my relationship.  I told him I don't feel I dodged the bullet, but instead of the bullet striking home lethally in core mass I turned away and took the shot in the shoulder.  A wounding rather than a deadly blow, all in all I will one day begin to consider myself lucky.

Excerpt
If you tell yourself you will never heal from it, you are in my opinion, programming yourself (telling your brain) to work towards this.

You are, seemingly as always, correct here.  I am healing, and will continue to do so.  It seems I have fallen into the indulgence of hyperbole (hate that) -life will go on.  I am keeping a weather eye on myself and even on my use of this message board.  Making sure catharsis does not creep into compulsion or a way to keep my connection to her ghost.

Excerpt
I dont know if this helps, but one of the biggest things have to embrace the fact that the feelings I had for my ex were real for me - at that time - and i feel fortunate to have experienced them. Its not that I havent been able to before, but the timing of it came where I needed a bit of self delusionment as a form of escapism.

I was open to and blinded by the idealization phase during the beginning of my affair, I now believe, because my marriage with an OC(PD) woman had withered and all but died. The weight of my marriage gone cold was not something I had felt on a conscious level, but instead it had become a monster which emerged claws out and roaring from my subconscious .  The affair was, as you so aptly named it, an escape.  I had traded OC(PD) for B(PD) -note the commonality which become apparent through the use of parenthesis.  My therapist used this nomenclature and it really hit home.  I traded one personality disorder for another. 

Now... .in my defense, as limping and lame a defense it may be, I didn't know about BPD -I knew my affair partner was hurting, but I didn't understand the full brunt of her wounds.  Perhaps, if I had not been fleeing a flawed marriage, acting out like a child and having an affair in the first place -I would have been more aware the idealization phase was too good to be true.  Perhaps if the experience were to have happened in English, rather than Chinese I would have been more sober about the flaws and cracks which, now in hindsight, I can see were forming right from the beginning our our time together.  -There are so many ways to look back at past mistakes, and the harder I look the more my memories end up skewed with bias.  Recounting my experience sometimes feels like trying to grab smoke.

Excerpt
I felt love and wanted love, in the end it wasnt what I believed and probably more importantly, I didnt "need" her as much as I became accustomed to believe I did. but this rationalisation did take time, and was impossible during the r/s to comprehend, just too much going on to process.

Our experience here sounds similar -I kept sweeping her bad behavior under the rug and focusing on my fantastical dream.  Perhaps it was just mirroring, but she told me she wanted to have my baby -I was poleaxed, mesmerized and swallowed this offered future dream hook, line and sinker.  However, when we met she had had assumed the guise of a rich girl -her previous significant other had been wealthy.  As she and I spent time together she shed this skin and became family oriented.  I was too enthralled to notice the transformation, I thought this notion of beginning a family must be the bedrock of true love. 'Love at first sight' ':)estiny' 'True love' Knight in Shining Armor' 'Always and Forever'  --What madness love brings!

Excerpt
I wouldnt want to forget the bad times, for they are useful experience for the future, just like the battle analogy, sometimes you 'lose' a battle but if you survive it, you can still carry on the war with much valuable experience.

I went further.  In my journalling I have made a fairly comprehensive list of the bad times to keep myself vigilant.  It seems far too easy to fall back into the believing 'Omnia Vincit Amor' --when has latin ever done anyone any good? Smiling (click to insert in post)

Love can and does heal -iff (if and only if) a couple can commit to staying together and putting in the difficult work of being in a relationship -I do not believe she was up to the task.  Changing Ayn Rands theorem A = A slightly to Cat = Cat.

Excerpt
... .but please dont let it grind you down or feel depressed or bitter of fatalistic in thinking that its going to stop you enjoying the future.

There is a mixture of embarrassment and shame in having deluded myself so thoughally -in not understanding what my marriage had devolved into and in acting out so badly.  In wanting so desperately to believe in fairytale love, it enabled me to fall into the disgrace of an affair as well as a dangerous dance with BPD.  Through therapy and a lot of hard work life will go on and in a positive direction. 

As devastating as this experience has been for all involved it has necessitated a hard restart for my marriage.  We literally can never go back to what we had, the betrayal of an affair is too damaging -but instead my wife and I are going to work toward evolving our marriage into something vital.  --Whereas my experience with BPD will make things hard.  OCPD manifests itself in coldness and perfectionism.  This silly codependent (me) had lived at one end of the personality disorder continuum and then visited the other side --my old companion rage was ever present.

Excerpt
That doesnt mean cant have those feelings again or become disheartened, just that I found she wasnt the right person, yes i see her as a dream-stealer, but dreams arent real. they are actually a form of psychosis themselves, a bit of a clue of spending too much time with someone who is in psychosis a great deal of time due to their condition.

Personality disorders are life long and hard on the people who suffer with them as well as their mates.  As the journey of my life continues I find myself now trying to reconcile my broken marriage, quietly trying to understand the heartbreak I feel after leaving my affair and all the while trying to understand where my needs actually lie.  I have a lot of plates spinning these days  --a myriad of therapists will be gainfully employed for months to come -so I guess there is an economic upside for the local mental healthcare workers... .

Night before last I was speaking with a long time friend who is currently divorcing.  She has observed my marriage for decades and said 'I was not surprised you had an affair -I was surprised it took you this long'.  What made the discussion diabolically difficult was her trying to convince me to go back to 'true love' -meaning my undiagnosed BPD lover.  --she diminished all of my 'concerns' about the disorder as excuses which could be overcome with enough love.  She said 'What is the worst thing that could happen... .'    It is hard enough trying to stick to my guns and keep the notion of annihliation firmly in mind, when my heart still yearns for the short term high. --if she only knew.

Excerpt
I got some sympathy from a lot of people for having went through the hardship of a BPD relationship. that was welcome at the time, but there comes a point to break free and the wounds to the psyche have healed. I wouldnt want to forget the bad times, for they are useful experience for the future, just like the battle analogy, sometimes you 'lose' a battle but if you survive it, you can still carry on the war with much valuable experience.

My tryst was relatively short being only a year and within this year I worked 300 days -175 of them without a break.  So as far as having had a tussle with a BPD lover I got away relatively unscathed.  BPD Family has been as an important learning and therapeutic tool perhaps as valuable as my therapy -reading and vicariously learning from the experiences of others has helped me put my experiences in some semblance of order.  I am re-reading the Art of War -I lost the battle, but intend to win the war.  Put my life back together and get on the right track.  It will take some time to figure out what I have learned and how to incorporate it. 

Excerpt
From what I hear, after being with BPD and getting over it, theres not much in the future that will pull the wool over your eyes, or smoke and mirrors to blind with.
... .
Excerpt
... .(don't) feel depressed or bitter of fatalistic in thinking that its going to stop you enjoying the future.

Oh!  I know the answer to this one!.  The only person who has ever been able to create blindness in my life is... .me.  The answer is easy, how to stop -therein lies the real question.  My fear lies in wondering -am I doing it again.  I need to fully commit to the reconciliation process, all the while trying to figure out if it is actually right for me -whether it is right for my wife.  This feels like emotional gymnastics -grieve loss, explore through introspection my flaws, and try to heal a relationship which has been destructive for 25 years.

Excerpt
I see the old me, that gravitated to giving my strength to others. ive recognised the disadvantage more than ever of being a people pleaser as not being the route to fulfillment. if anything, this BPD experience program, tutored by Medusa I see it as being the biggest alarm wake up call i needed.
 no one likes alarm clocks but hers was loud enough to wake me up from the self induced deam like trance.

Perfectly observed and well said.  I am awake and the lights are on now.  This tentpole event in midlife will force growth -but the impetus of this growth is pain -I suppose without hardship there is no chance for enlightenment.

Excerpt
The drug-analogy is a very good one but im having a harder time giving up cigarettes than I have to get over her, I think that shows myself just the real extent of how far the 'love' really went.

She and I smoked together.  I gave up both at the same time... .To quote the movie Airplane "I picked the wrong week to give up sniffing glue" --ok I never sniffed glue, but you get the idea.  I quite smoking quite easily, although painfully -I went no contact, I stopped buying them.  I quite smoking the same way I quit my affair --No Contact.


Wicker Man
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Cromwell
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« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2018, 05:19:24 PM »

Hi Wicker Man

I liked your description about having a bullet aimed at the centre mass, but you got shot in a non vital spot. Without discrediting your therapist or picking at their words, its stuff like that what you say that makes crystal clear sense to me and carries a lot of weight, emotionally, it felt the equivalent of having been fired at with a clip of parabellum. In reality, I think I would have suffered far less, You say that you havent been through as much volatility as me, I can only say that this is because you made the decision to disengage before more power was shifted away from you. No one can predict what might have happened if you didnt, but what I can say is that in my r/s, there were upsets here and there but things escalated the more control my partner systematically over time got over me. Its a bit like the saying "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely", the more I handed over my own control whatever form it was, it was used against me to my detriment, when what my objective was (again, this rather foolish romantic notion) of making myself intentionally vulnerable in order to feel closer.

I thought in doing so it would reduce her paranoia, reduce her anxieties and engender trust, which if you read about BPD, there are huge trust issues as part of the disorder. Perhaps this might have been where the "coward" came from, her feeling that you didnt trust enough, based on her own belief system. I think looking back that a big part of all the stalking my ex did on me was a result of these deep rooted inability to trust issues, it is why she couldnt commit to getting close, she was searching for something that she could label as a "betrayal" and her cheating on me was a pre-emptive strike. She did this in every prior r/s (which in a way, made it easier for me, I didnt take it personally, I was just another entity involved in a repeating pattern of her deep rooted behaviour.

Its good that you are evaluating what you have went through with more insight, it does help put it into perspective, such as when you say you didnt understand her condition or underestimated it. Very valid and important points I believe. as Sun Tzu said "know they enemy and know thyself" win every battle. I learned that I didnt know either. Is it fair to regard my ex as an enemy? Absolutely. When she was in the mode of painting me black, she was, regardless of waiting for this to cycle back to the person I loved.

Interestingly, what feels grey is no longer conversing with her, having her half real, half fantasy point of view in my world. The majority of the passion I miss was our hours long talks we would have -she often spoke of her dreams, which bordered on reality for her. What we would call dreams were visions for her.  The necessity of removing her companionship has created a hole --I suppose having someone who is always looking forward to speaking with you is enmeshment -but it felt good...   You and I have written about 'grayness' -she had seeped into every corner of my world -home, play and work. Her absence has left a vacuum, which I new have to fill with healthy things.  Reading, exercise, and work and I need to get back to some sort of hobby.


I can relate to this entirely, it is what made it difficult to detach, but it was very much enmeshment, in my case it got systematically more, where my ex became the centre focal point of everything. It does sound like a codependency, but on the other hand, it is natural to miss someone who you enjoy their company to that huge extent. I say that as how i felt, post break up and for some months after, yet this did change, not only because I got on with my life in other directions but because on reflection, a large proportion of the good company came from myself and not her! She was just astute at mirroring it and stuck with me because I was so good at providing her the company she desperately needed. (part of BPD is not being able to be alone) it is related as far as I understand to the notion of ceasing to exist without having another in proximity. i boiled all of that down to reduce it to the notion that, it wasnt a love for me that she was with me, wanting to be with me, but because I could fill this emptiness. If someone else would have been better at this than I was, she would have went elsewhere, indeed, she tried to.

its interesting when you say that your ex stated "you are a strange one", for how you never placed any pressure or demands on her. I got very much the same in that I was "one of a kind" and that she never met anyone who didnt expect anything from her. Of course, hearing this engenders a feeling of being special and with it, a hope that regardless of the condition (which I entirely was naive of and didnt understand, under estimated) that with just enough effort to do all I can to prove to her how much she was cared for, that as you say "love would conquer all". If you allow me to continue on with that, "errare humane est" goes alongside that. Dont blame yourself for not knowing about her condition, you can change a lot, but a personality that has been entrenched since childhood is deep rooted and ingrained. Is it possible? Yes, but the statistics are that you would do better pouring everything into a las vegas slot machine.

Be very wary about third parties giving you advice when they dont have direct experience with what you have gone through. Platitudes like "what have you got to lose", well the truth is, everything! Just imagine that instead of being on this board and getting help to recover from the emotions that have been hard to work through yourself that you would have sallied forth instead, got married etc. it must have taken huge courage to go against the passion you felt, and admit defeat before recklessly risking everything you have worked hard for, one of the few regrets I have is that I allowed the r/s to continue against my inner-guide screaming not to.
i
I think I dont get those urge feelings anymore or longing for her company, for the simple reason is that I went No Contact for so long now that this "reward" system left my psyche. The R/S goes on so long because - sometimes I won - and when I did it was amazing. Regardless of the big picture of so much dysfunction. This is like a casino, keeps you playing, you know the return on (emotional) investment will come but you dont know when exactly. its why I put up with all the "lows" - but it kept me hooked, and again, it was part of her strategy.

ultimately, I didnt have the courage to leave until it literally nearly jeapoardised my own survival. It would be the same as deciding to stop smoking just after being diagnosed with lung cancer, despite having all the signs of it developing for years prior. Thanks again for such valuable insight into what youve been through and going through it helps a lot, my last cigarette today, you are right the answer is in logic, dont buy them in the first place.

so stage 1 in my recovery was all that obsessive search for answers with regards to BPD and my ex, the "know thy enemy" component. but stage 2 has been the most valuable, figuring out my own issues that led me into that dynamic. "know thyself"

ive started to find myself again, acknowledge the good parts and work on the bits that got highlighted during the relationship. in short, we can only but do our best with whatever tools we have, but for me, going back had to first become a resolute non option. doing so salvaged that little shred of self esteem I had left, but was enough to show her that despite being willing to give her more love than she could have ever handled, that ultimately, I had to stop when it came at the expense of hurting myself. my ex believed in "tough love" and love = feelings of pain and betrayal. Its a difference of mindset and an incompatability. committed r/s can function where there is small tweaks here and there to accomodate the other person, but the gulf between BPD and non is a huge one to take on as a challenge. I value a quieter and peaceful life without her, always remember that you were not just a passive recepient of the excitement times, or be modest about how much the happiness was due to your own ability to express your personality.

The one thing I cant offer any advice on is how to reach your goals with regards to your wife, its something that wasnt part of my dynamic and I found it diffcult enough just to deal with the outfall of leaving medusa. do you feel that you have become closer as a result of what has happened? I certainly appreciate my family members and friends far more after this experience, they have been invaluable to helping me get better, as are all the members on here who have helped. Sometimes all it has taken is one sentence of a different perspective to give food for thought, which after time to digest, has helped me get to a place where far from "recovering" I feel happy for the majority of the time. thanks again wicker man.
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« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2018, 07:21:00 PM »

Excerpt
I liked your description about having a bullet aimed at the centre mass, but you got shot in a non vital spot. Without discrediting your therapist or picking at their words, its stuff like that what you say that makes crystal clear sense to me and carries a lot of weight, emotionally, it felt the equivalent of having been fired at with a clip of parabellum. In reality, I think I would have suffered far less, You say that you havent been through as much volatility as me, I can only say that this is because you made the decision to disengage before more power was shifted away from you.

Ironically, and off topic, I had promised I would teach her to shoot if we had visited the US together... .  As if she couldn't do enough harm to me with her words and actions?  The image of her with a handgun is terrifying to the point of being humorous.  I think my therapist's metaphor taken a step further is apt -I was in a hostile environment and under fire .  In 20/20 hindsight I could see her making constant bids for power.  I am an easy going secure person, so I let most of it pass -but the trend was alarming and yes... .It seems like she was gathering ammunition for a massive and protracted battle.  Sun Tzu "Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain."  In other words no one wins a protracted battle.

Excerpt
No one can predict what might have happened

Well... .the odds started badly.  The odds of an affair becoming a healthy marriage is 20%.  Our age difference put us in the first percentile... .  Add an insidious personality disorder to the mix? Love is truly blind... .

Excerpt
"power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely", the more I handed over my own control whatever form it was, it was used against me... .

The idea of romantic love, particularly of the fairytale variety, makes this sort of sacrifice a gesture of love.  As a codependent, I was raised to love via sacrifice.  The notion of childish love 'If I care for you the way I want to be loved -then you will love me that way too' -from A Road Less Travelled (I think).  It seems ideal -but it simply is a horrible plan and an awful way to approach a relationship -- I am working on this.

Excerpt
I thought in doing so it would reduce her paranoia, reduce her anxieties and engender trust

From what I have read and, sadly, experienced first hand the more reasons you give them to trust you the more cognitive dissonance they feel.  What aught to relieve pressure and stress somehow creates an unbearable fear.


Excerpt
Sun Tzu said "know they enemy and know thyself" win every battle. I learned that I didnt know either. Is it fair to regard my ex as an enemy? Absolutely. When she was in the mode of painting me black, she was, regardless of waiting for this to cycle back to the person I loved.

To continue the analogy... .You did not have one enemy but several.  Not only that, but the battle ground was in constant flux.  Adoring, crying, cutting, raging, God forbid she had a drink -then she may simply pack up and play on someone else's battlefield.  Ok... .the metaphor fell apart there at the end, but you get the idea... .  It is impossible to know someone when they don't know themselves. 
 
Excerpt
She was just astute at mirroring it and stuck with me because I was so good at providing her the company she desperately needed. (part of BPD is not being able to be alone) it is related as far as I understand to the notion of ceasing to exist without having another in proximity. i boiled all of that down to reduce it to the notion that, it wasnt a love for me that she was with me, wanting to be with me, but because I could fill this emptiness.

I feel part of her beauty was seeing my own reflection when I looked into her eyes.  Who knows if it is true, but after complimenting her on her smile -she said 'I am glad you like it, before we met I never smiled'.  She was happy and at peace for a short time; her friends and family were relieved we were together.  It was a pleasure to make her laugh.  I am, as you very well know by now, if nothing else a smart-ass -I was constantly turning words around she taught me within moments.  She would repeatedly say 'I must stop teaching you Chinese'.  --So yes.  I do miss the time we spent talking... .The rages I don't miss so much.

Excerpt
its interesting when you say that your ex stated "you are a strange one", for how you never placed any pressure or demands on her. I got very much the same in that I was "one of a kind" and that she never met anyone who didnt expect anything from her.

Yep.  Ditto.  Knight in Shining Armor, first, best, only, my whole world, always and forever... .  The vernacular is identical -even in a different language for f#cksake... .  I sort of hate my experience was predictable to the point of banality... . 

Excerpt
If you allow me to continue on with that, "errare humane est"

You are on the right track... .Finish the thought!   "Errare humanum est, sed in errare  perseverare diabolicum."  --"To err is human, but to persist in error (out of pride) is diabolical."  This was the road I was walking.  Even when I felt the train sliding off the tracks my pride and my lust to save her from a cruel world (of her own creation) was enticing me toward conflagration!


Excerpt
Be very wary about third parties giving you advice

Yes. absolutely, but since I was sitting in the middle of her divorce ravaged home I felt I should take the beating gracefully.


Excerpt
I think I dont get those urge feelings anymore or longing for her company, for the simple reason is that I went No Contact for so long now that this "reward" system left my psyche.

Part of the magnetism which held me in a BPD relationship is the variable reward schedule --like a slot machine.  It is the most powerful of the reward schedules.  Add a feeling of responsibility, a dash of codependency, twist of pride --you have a very potent cocktail... .or perhaps it is simply an example of the  Stockholm syndrome.

Excerpt
ultimately, I didnt have the courage to leave until it literally nearly jeapoardised my own survival.

Yes... .I had the luxury of a brief emotional break -it hit me suddenly and hard.  Painful, but quick.

Excerpt
It would be the same as deciding to stop smoking just after being diagnosed with lung cancer, despite having all the signs of it developing for years prior.


Timing is everything I suppose.

Excerpt
Thanks again for such valuable insight into what youve been through and going through it helps a lot, my last cigarette today, you are right the answer is in logic, dont buy them in the first place.

Best of luck with the smoking.  It is a lovely habit -it just also happens to be really bad for us.  My mom was a model and smoked from the age of 13 on.  Well... .you are in the medical field you know -the end game is grizzly.

Excerpt
Stage 1 in my recovery was all that obsessive search for answers

Yep... .check.

Excerpt
Stage 2 has been the most valuable, figuring out my own issues that led me into that dynamic. "know thyself"

I am currently working on this endeavor.  Therapy and doing a lot of reading.  Getting out in the mountains cycling again.  Basically trying to keep the shiny side up.


Excerpt
The one thing I cant offer any advice on is how to reach your goals with regards to your wife, its something that wasnt part of my dynamic and I found it diffcult enough just to deal with the outfall of leaving medusa. do you feel that you have become closer as a result of what has happened?

Ok what I have learned here... .   Never ever start a relationship i.e. have an affair when one is married.  If you feel you 'need' an affair look hard at the marriage and figure out why.  If you feel there are truly irreconcilable differences -divorce, if not get your house in order.  Recovering from an affair is no fun.

In "The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity" Esther Perel talks about marriages transcending the affair and becoming stronger.  We shall see, this is a lot to ask of the betrayed --now... .add in (yet another) personality disorder and it becomes a particularly tall order.  I will do my best.

Our dialogue has given me support, insight, plenty to think about and a few laughs.  You are welcome! --in like manner thank you again for your time, compassion and consideration.


Wicker Man
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« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2018, 06:12:43 PM »

Evening Wicker Man

Again, it is uncanny how much I read on here that gives me the impression that ive shared some form of parallel lives with others.

In the context of enjoying the ability to induce a smile and happiness in our exs. for me, ive thought about this a bit deeper and realised that it actually constituted "work" as opposed to what should just be a normal feature of the r/s I had. Intentional effort to help someone out of their state of dysphoria - and more so - to avoid the chance of a dysregulation. I had no choice but to make medusa happy, the alternative mood was something that had to be avoided at all costs. The fact that I was good at it, better than others, is of little consolation to me now when I realise that it was actually mentally straining - intentionally generated work as opposed to what i really wanted out of a r/s. Again, it is continuing this theme of servant-master relationship. I had no option but to ensure she was kept in a happy state of mood in the hope of it being reciprocated.

The good news is that there isnt a huge deal of concious work to do after a r/s like this, the very fact you have had the strength to detach from the magnetism and say no to experiencing any more of it, speaks volumes about what strength you already have. Beyond that, once the residual emotions are dealt with, the co-dependent traits I had are largely reprogrammed due to getting to a state where I had no choice but to amputate them and realised that they were dangerous when engaging with certain types of people out there. On the other hand, I wouldnt trade the person I was, for someone who would have just exploited and manipulated my ex to maximise the satiation of my own needs. I wouldnt have enjoyed the experience of happiness via kindness. My ex saw kindness or 'love' as a synomn for stupidity. Based on her own deep rooted experiences which led to the formation of her condition. There are some people who just cant handle it, understand it, or believe in it, despite a deep longing for actually wanting it. If her primary caregivers failed in this, then there is little chance of me being able to. In short, its not our fault for trying to do what seemed natural, and hoping to compensate or over compensate for something that was deprived of.

From what I have read and, sadly, experienced first hand the more reasons you give them to trust you the more cognitive dissonance they feel.  What aught to relieve pressure and stress somehow creates an unbearable fear.

This is entirely true in what I went through, I actually started to give less and conversely receive more. It is the most difficult paradox to rationalise but certainly made sense in my r/s. she felt safer when I did less, yet - only to an extent. Again, it is hard work having to figure out this precarious balance to reach whilst going through the trepidation of thinking you might err in doing too much or too little. "walking on egg shells".

Do you really feel that you were safe in the r/s to just sit back, relax and truly be yourself? Id like to think so, but the times where I did try, and would casually "speak my mind" (honesty was of prime importance to my ex), well i discovered that she was someone who generally couldnt handle the truth, despite seeking it. If I told her the truth of the depth of my strong feelings for her, it would cause her to become imbalanced, often to the extent of her thinking I was lying. Ultimately it is mission impossible, there is no way towards a win-win situation. In the mind of a PD the world is full of people who are just out to get what they want, and that broad bush is applied to us as well. Yes its true I wanted things from my ex, but she couldnt comprehend that they were not forced expectations or at the core of my intentions, ultimately I wanted to share myself with her in a zero sum way. I dont believe that it is any fault of some of her past r/s that caused her this level of distrust, by the sounds of it she had lots of people in her life that wanted her to succeed and become happy and fulfilled, but she sabotaged them the same we she did with me.

The hardest emotion I have yet to resolve is that I got so emotionally intertwined with her, it was her longest r/s and the more I have learned about her condition I stopped feeling so sorry for myself and realised that whilst my life goes on, in many ways enriched by having met her and the experience that went with it, I imagine her floundering and treading water as she has always done, whilst I have changed, I never saw anything to suggest that she had or will. So it is an emotion of sadness mixed with pity. A far cry from the sadness polarised by anger I had towards someone that I didnt understand the reasons behind her behaviour as being anything more than that of a manipulative callous and sadistic person. Just as from how I read your posts, you are already at that stage and seem to have stoically bypassed the anger stage. All I can say is great work on your part you tried your best to be good to someone who really needed it but there comes a point where there must be self respect and acknowledgement of our own needs as a priority, and this was my greatest failing, to subjugate my own needs for happiness.

3 years of my life I tried, and 9 months more of reflection and partly stagnation, its a big enough chapter to say enough is enough I did all I could, i went beyond what the vast majority would, and have come to the conclusion of seeing this as a character weakness rather than something to feel noble about or admire. Whilst my ex will have enjoyed being the recipient of all my energy provided, I believe at her core she didnt respect me for it. At least by leaving her I salvaged some of that and showed her that whilst I couldnt have made her love me, I will make sure she respects me.

like I said and I hope it might give you some hope of potentially experiencing the same, I genuinely feel that I came out of this r/s as a beneficient, a stronger more developed person. That is taking into the account the deeply traumatic and mentally "scarring" times, some of the worst ive ever had to go through. to the point of feeling guilty about it. but asides from that, I hardly think of her anymore, she was my responsibility to the extent of what I gave myself the task but its a bit like those silly people out there who win the lottery and still want to go back to their minimum wage job because they would miss their routi ne and work friends. it is banal thinking, and I just need to shrug off this residual "caretaker" role that i wanted to be her heroic saviour from what you said a cold cruel world. Heros often fail. sometimes you lose. these are just hard to accept realities, but acceptance is a must.

enjoy the cycling and look forward to getting better, your posts show such huge insight into how far you have come to understand what you have went through. there might be times you feel you arent progressing or even getting worse, its all part of the challenge in mastering the emotions and not let them be the master of us. Getting through this you will have the equivalent of the strongest kevlar vest, ive came across many otherwise succesful and intelligent people here but in emotions exist the passions and they are equally as destructive to us as they are enlivening.

so on the next gray day, do as i do each morning, take control, pump out the music so the neighbours can hear you, (remember this is about your needs not theirs), open the window wide at 4 am and at the top of your lungs scream out to the world (and to your ex especially) signal to all of them as loud as humanly possible (dont told back one bit) and shout at the top of your lungs... .

 "IM ALIVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

promise me youll do that and your day will guarantee be non-gray I assure it.
 Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2018, 06:24:14 PM »

Cromwell, your neighbours must love you!  I just popped by to say that I keep abreast of this thread and thought I'd share what a delight it is to read.  Wicker Man it's wonderful to see you process things as you are.  Tough realisations may come up and it's not all plain sailing, however this journey you are on is leading to the promise of a future of your own design and moments like these where we truly assess what we're doing in our lives don't come along every day.  Embrace where you've been and where you're going.  And if you live in an apartment block and decide to literally take Cromwell's last piece of advice, be prepared to buy a lot of apology gifts for the other residents... .There is something to be said for celebrating the here and now though.  This moment is a gift.  That's why they call it the present.

Love and light x
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« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2018, 06:54:56 PM »

Cromwell and Harley,

Thank you so much for your kind words and constant encouragement.  It will take me some time to process and respond to your post Cromwell -I will get to it as soon as I can.

It was about 35˚ in the mountains today -judging by how you spell 'center' I am guessing you use celsius Smiling (click to insert in post)   The heat and exertion help.  A bit of self mortification seems in order these days. --I will leave the cutting to my ex.

One difference you and I experienced was in 'earning' smiles.  For us the time we spent actually in each other's presence was nearly always pleasant.  In fact my resting heart rate would generally fall by 10 points the moment we were together -I would sleep 9 hours a night, strangely I felt at ease and at home.

The wheels would fly off when I was away for more than 24 hours -and boy howdy  they would fly off hard and fast!

Yes... .yes... .don't worry I know this would have changed.  I am not flagging in my resolve -just giving a little foreshadowing for my response.  It comes down to social economics or game theory... .One one hand you have smiles on the other annihilation... .  basically bad math(s)  --the 's' was for you Smiling (click to insert in post)

On my ride I was remembering Rilke's poem:

His gaze against the sweeping of the bars
has grown so weary, it can hold no more.
To him, there seem to be a thousand bars
and back behind those thousand bars no world

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone.

For her there is no escape from her cage, I still had a way out.

Ugh -I promise I won't quote poetry or song lyrics anymore... .  I mentioned it was really hot in the mountains right?(!)


Wicker Man

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« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2018, 01:13:07 PM »

Excerpt
In the context of enjoying the ability to induce a smile and happiness in our exs. for me, ive thought about this a bit deeper and realised that it actually constituted "work" as opposed to what should just be a normal feature of the r/s I had.

This is perhaps what makes my detachment difficult.  When we were actually together she had a quick temper -what I mean by this is she would get angry now and again, but it was mild and infrequent (this is going to sound horrible, but I can't think of another way to say it... .like a normal person).  It was as easy to turn these situations around.  --In fact my nickname for her was 'Small devil'.  She told me this nickname was generally reserved for misbehaving children... .  I just smiled. 

One evening temper when off and she said 'Are you stupid?' -I sensed in the way she said it this had been a normal go to jab from past relationships... .So I answered 'I must be, I love you (I smiled) so I have to stupid'  She escalated switching to English 'F#uck you!'  I said looking around the restaurant 'Here? Right now? are you stupid?' this recursive 'argument' turned a flare up into laughing She said 'I love you' I asked her if she was stupid... .  --In our day to day life -in each other's presence things were usually beyond great.  Her anger would trigger and I could have her laughing within moments.  It had no emotional cost to me, and I had just accepted she was temperamental, there was no rage just the usual occasional friction of people sharing a life.

Ok... .allow me a digression.  Her 'real' nickname means 'Soft' -it is common for people in China to always use a nickname instead of their formal names.  I was one of the only people who was allowed to call her ':)ream Come True', --her actual name.  Well  'Soft' sounds a lot like 'Of Course' -which when she was being unreasonable I would just say 'of course'.  I began periodically calling her 'Of Course' instead of using her name.  Soo... .one evening she introduced herself to a friend of mine as 'Of course' instead of 'Soft'.  I laughed so hard... .  She had never encountered a smart-ass with my level of patients.  In comedy timing is everything -and I figured I had the rest of my life, so I was very patient.  --We did have some fun.

Excerpt
Dysphoria - Dysregulation... .
Rage began almost the moment we parted -every time.  For nearly a year it was retroactive jealousy.  She was raging over my past relationships.  It was inconsolable and since one cannot change the past there was no logical argument, yet I saw it was tearing her apart.  For better of for worse I had been through this for 5 years in the beginning of my relationship with my wife -so I knew the tune. 

I spent countless hours on the phone listening to her scream at me about people she never met.  At one point she was so angry she started texting me in Chinese saying she was too angry to type in English -so here I am running her text through 3 different translation programs, because none of them do flesh rendering vitriol very well... . 

When she had dysphoria she would cut herself.  I was very supportive, understanding and tried to offer alternatives.  I sent her this quote:

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering —Nietzsche

I told her I completely understand why you cut yourself -she said 'you can't' -I explained to her I have gone running to feel pain.  Part of my attraction to fighting was getting hit (I used to train -I don't mean picking a fight).  I told her it is the same, but the way I chose to hurt myself is 'socially acceptable'.  I said sometimes when things are very dark pain makes time start again.  I told her a story about a very young friend of mine who died suddenly -To try to understand this I ran and ran, I fell and got up and ran more.  By the time I was done I was a bloody mess --but I had reached a level of understanding.  Within 3 months she had stopped cutting herself.  I was happy for her and proud I could help her. -We will keep coming back to pride.


Excerpt
I had no option but to ensure she was kept in a happy state of mood in the hope of it being reciprocated.
As a codependent, I sought this out --I was guilty of 'childish love' --'if I care for you the way I want to be loved -then you will love me that way too'

Excerpt
... .the very fact you have had the strength to detach from the magnetism and say no to experiencing any more of it, speaks volumes about what strength you already have.

I will reiterate your quote... .

“Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum --To error is human, but to continue out of pride is diabolical.”

I do not feel strong -I still feel, in my heart, like a bit of a coward for running away -this is pride, arrogance, codependence, and the slowly fading grip our love had on my soul.  Yes, of course, I know intellectually, I very likely did the right thing by ending our relationship, but there is an ache.  The residue from being in the variable reward paradigm which is BPD love.

I only saw full blown Dysregulation once.  She had 3 days where she was having severe visual hallucinations.  This is why I believe she had been misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic.  I was supportive and it passed.  Like the cutting the voices she heard also stopped --pride.

Excerpt
The co-dependent traits I had are largely reprogrammed due to getting to a state where I had no choice but to amputate them and realised that they were dangerous when engaging with certain types of people out there.

You are incredible astute (damn you).  I am currently working on trying to break my cycle of codependent behavior.  By the age of 6 my mother had made me an 'inappropriate friend' or perhaps even put me in a 'Surrogate Spouse Role' -no sexual abuse.  Fortunately, my wiring allowed me not to suffer enormous damage to me self esteem -but I certainly feel the need to save people and 'be strong' in my self sacrifice .  These traits kept me in a very badly damaged relationship with my OC(PD) wife for 25 years.  My affair has gotten both my wife and I into therapy -I know my wife would have never addressed her personality disorder without the tectonic rupture which is my betrayal  -and I likely would not have sought help for my codependence. 

This seems to be the tricky thing about personality disorders -they seem to be self rewarding.  OC(PD) makes you a perfectionist and a great worker -codependence makes me supportive and romantic... . 

I coped with my marriage by always having a socially acceptable mistress -my work.  Well... .apparently... .25 years of repression is bad... .  Who knew right?(!) In not dealing with my condition and what felt like a loveless marriage I ended up finding myself on an unfamiliar battle field, not knowing myself and meeting an enemy I had never imagined.

'Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate'. --Sun Tzu

Excerpt
On the other hand, I wouldnt trade the person I was, for someone who would have just exploited and manipulated my ex to maximise the satiation of my own needs.

I have wondered, not about exploitation, but a relationship where I might have set boarders and boundaries.  In other words always left myself a way out, but I do not think I am capable of being in a relationship where one is checking the corners and always aware of the nearest exit.  I only entertain this fantasy when I am hurting and missing her the most.  --This is precisely why 'No contact' is so vitally important. 

This is why I do not consider myself 'strong' for ending our relationship  -my situation with her was to be binary, on or off.  Since the relationship would have entailed moving to her country, buying a house, and having a child there would have been no shade of grey and no chance for a graceful endgame if (when) she decided to leave me.

Excerpt
In short, its not our fault for trying to do what seemed natural, and hoping to compensate or over compensate for something that was deprived of... .  ... .the more reasons you give them to trust you the more cognitive dissonance they feel.  What aught to relieve pressure and stress somehow creates an unbearable fear.

Wanting to save the beautiful and magical part of her, give her a safe place to heal and flourish was incredible seductive --pride again.

To see the relief in her grandparents eyes when we were together, to have her step father pat me on the back and smile when I entered their home.  They were all desperate to have her in a safe relationship. Believe me I was not 'perfect'.  Some Chinese can accept mixed marriages and others cannot.

Also... .  I am 3 years older... .  3 years older than her mother.  They didn't care, they accepted me into their home and into their family -they just wanted her with someone who could take care of her. 

To be clear -our age difference was my single greatest concern.  When I admitted to myself and to her I loved her I wept openly.  --It was definitely not my attraction.  Her difficult childhood and messy life had made her old beyond her years.  She, in someways, it seemed had had more life experience than I had.

Oh! I have to digress... .A while ago I mentioned I was the first man she had brought home... .  On my ride yesterday I remember her telling me 'My little brother likes you better than my past boyfriends' -so many lies.  How can someone who lies so frequently be so bad at it?  Doesn't practice make perfect?  I am an exceptional liar -I just choose not to do so.


Excerpt
If I told her the truth of the depth of my strong feelings for her, it would cause her to become imbalanced, often to the extent of her thinking I was lying.
My experience differs here -perhaps I left during the twilight of the idealization phase.  We spoke often about a future together and she was at ease.  She spoke about changing her family name to mine -which is incredibly difficult in China and may only be done once.  We spoke about what color eyes our baby might have -we spoke deeply and often about our future, and it seemed to be as soothing to her as it was for me.  We were shopping for homes and it was frankly lovely.  --The fantasy I had created for myself was seductive.

Excerpt
by the sounds of it she had lots of people in her life that wanted her to succeed and become happy and fulfilled, but she sabotaged them the same we she did with me.
I could never get a fix on her past relationships.  I now believe, as a result of reading about BPD, she was still sleeping on and off with her boss.  She kept us a secret from him until she was raging at him and told him she would marry soon -he cried.  She was keeping her 'dangerous' boyfriend spinning, and there were a few others close at hand.

I have some intellectual curiosity about her past relationships, but I will never ask -she would lie anyway.  I cannot have any contact with her, as it would be misunderstood by her (my mentioning this is not accidental and meant as a parable).  If I were to open any contact with her I fear it will start her healing cycle over from zero -it might give her hope of another go around.  I believe she lives with one foot in fantasy and the other lightly grounded in reality.  In mirroring she is "extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Extremely mysterious"  -If I were to engage with her I could easily, perhaps even happily, be drawn back into the maelstrom.

Excerpt
So it is an emotion of sadness mixed with pity. A far cry from the sadness polarised by anger I had towards someone that I didnt understand the reasons behind her behaviour as being anything more than that of a manipulative callous and sadistic person.

I have spoken often about ':)ream Come True' not having any intent in her malicious behavior.  On my ride yesterday I think I found a 'proof' to my theorem.  If she had intent, the ability to control her emotions even slightly for self enrichment and personal gain she would not indulged in her final 7 day rage. 

If she had been capable of rational and manipulative thought she would have simply been supportive in our last week as a couple.  If instead of telling me 'Being sad and weak will get you no where --you are a coward' she were to have said 'I understand how hard finalizing your divorce must be, I have not had to sell homes and prepare to move to a police state... .-it must be stressful'... .  We would be together now and I would have sealed my fate. 

I was once signature away from divorce, the waiting period had transpired -the documents were prepared.  Over Christmas week I was packing up one of our homes for sale -the stress and pain were palpable, piece by piece tearing up a 25 year marriage.  I called and asked for some moral support from ':)ream Come True' and what I got instead was the worst of her rage.  This, once again, is why I do not consider myself strong for ending our relationship.  It felt like it was kill or be killed.


Excerpt
Just as from how I read your posts, you are already at that stage and seem to have stoically bypassed the anger stage.
You have missed the mark here, but inspired me to re-read Marcus Aurelius

"The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts" --Marcus Aurelius

I wish I could be angry with her.  I just feel pity.  She is, like many people with BPD, a genius and I am afraid she knows who and what she lost.  If I could be angry it would be easier for me to let go of this pity.  This is partially my hurt pride -the ridiculous notion that I could have loved her enough to help her heal her inner demons. 

Excerpt
I will make sure she respects me.

This is dangerous -and relates to your new thread.  I cannot afford to consider what my ":)ream Come True" thinks of me anymore.  My greatest fear is she thinks I was her best hope for salvation -Why? Because I would have to agree with her.  That way lies madness for both she and I.  I cannot and will not go back to her.   She is very unlikely to find my equal and I hope she can somehow forget what I offered her and forget she shattered our dreams.

Excerpt
... .I just need to shrug off this residual "caretaker" role that i wanted to be her heroic saviour from what you said a cold cruel world. Heros often fail. sometimes you lose. these are just hard to accept realities, but acceptance is a must... .   ... .I genuinely feel that I came out of this r/s as a beneficient, a stronger more developed person.

I feel foolish, hurt, embarrassed and defeated (pride) -but my experience was an affair so the context will, of course, have a lot of bearing on the path to my on going recovery.

Excerpt
... .Its all part of the challenge in mastering the emotions and not let them be the master of us... .

Yes -life is journey.  This last year has been tumultuous to say the least.  It feels like I have woken up from a nightmare of my own creation.  The amount of pain and devastation I had a hand in creating is staggering.  --Doesn't fit well for a 'People pleaser codependent' and causes a lot of cognitive dissonance.

Excerpt
so on the next gray day, do as i do each morning, take control, pump out the music so the neighbours can hear you, (remember this is about your needs not theirs), open the window wide at 4 am and at the top of your lungs scream out to the world (and to your ex especially) signal to all of them as loud as humanly possible (dont told back one bit) and shout at the top of your lungs... .

I will take this under advisement... .   In the mornings I usually make a pot of coffee -chew some nicotine gum, walk the dog and post on this BBS. 


Wicker Man
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« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2018, 02:36:55 PM »

This is perhaps what makes my detachment difficult.  When we were actually together she had a quick temper -what I mean by this is she would get angry now and again, but it was mild and infrequent (this is going to sound horrible, but I can't think of another way to say it... .like a normal person).  It was as easy to turn these situations around.  --In fact my nickname for her was 'Small devil'.  She told me this nickname was generally reserved for misbehaving children... .  I just smiled. 

One evening temper when off and she said 'Are you stupid?' -I sensed in the way she said it this had been a normal go to jab from past relationships... .So I answered 'I must be, I love you (I smiled) so I have to stupid'  She escalated switching to English 'F#uck you!'  I said looking around the restaurant 'Here? Right now? are you stupid?' this recursive 'argument' turned a flare up into laughing She said 'I love you' I asked her if she was stupid... .  --In our day to day life -in each other's presence things were usually beyond great.  Her anger would trigger and I could have her laughing within moments.  It had no emotional cost to me, and I had just accepted she was temperamental, there was no rage just the usual occasional friction of people sharing a life.

It was the same, the vast majority of her anger was not at me, or about me, but bubbling under the surface her rage at a catalogue of people past and present. I was just the person there she trusted she could safely let this rage out and I wouldnt run from it, where others would. In the same vein, I was able to bring her out of this state of mind. Im not a big fan of NLP but it was sort of along those lines, I would divert her attention to something humerous, and it was startling how instantaneous her mood could alter. I suppose it is part of the reason why I was such valuable emotional source. I would have been ok with this, except for the one sidedness of it all. yes she had the ability to comfort and console me better than anyone else could, but the biggest issue was that she eventually became the principal major source of my upset, she became the source of my discontent and my happiness. thats where things started to fall apart. Its interesting you mention the misbehaving children, I think it speaks more than it might appear, the way that my ex could change her state of mood is very much related to how you could interrupt the temper tantrum of a toddler by distracting them with an ice cream. From what ive read there is a theme of emotional under development in BPD, being "stuck" or arrested in early development. By the sounds of it you did as well as you could have in the circumstances. quick changes of mood with great intensity, is a hallmark of BPD, but equally the dysregulation can even go on for days, if not altered, this is where needing something or someone to alter it is of such importance. (ie, a caretaker who is good at this task)
One evening temper when off and she said 'Are you stupid?' -I sensed in the way she said it this had been a normal go to jab from past relationships... .So I answered 'I must be, I love you (I smiled) so I have to stupid'  She escalated switching to English 'F#uck you!'  I said looking around the restaurant 'Here? Right now? are you stupid?' this recursive 'argument' turned a flare up into laughing She said 'I love you' I asked her if she was stupid... .  --In our day to day life -in each other's presence things were usually beyond great.  Her anger would trigger and I could have her laughing within moments.  It had no emotional cost to me, and I had just accepted she was temperamental, there was no rage just the usual occasional friction of people sharing a life.

Ok... .allow me a digression.  Her 'real' nickname means 'Soft' -it is common for people in China to always use a nickname instead of their formal names.  I was one of the only people who was allowed to call her ':)ream Come True', --her actual name.  Well  'Soft' sounds a lot like 'Of Course' -which when she was being unreasonable I would just say 'of course'.  I began periodically calling her 'Of Course' instead of using her name.  Soo... .one evening she introduced herself to a friend of mine as 'Of course' instead of 'Soft'.  I laughed so hard... .  She had never encountered a smart-ass with my level of patients.  In comedy timing is everything -and I figured I had the rest of my life, so I was very patient.  --We did have some fun.
Rage began almost the moment we parted -every time.  For nearly a year it was retroactive jealousy.  She was raging over my past relationships.  It was inconsolable and since one cannot change the past there was no logical argument, yet I saw it was tearing her apart.  For better of for worse I had been through this for 5 years in the beginning of my relationship with my wife -so I knew the tune. 

I spent countless hours on the phone listening to her scream at me about people she never met.  At one point she was so angry she started texting me in Chinese saying she was too angry to type in English -so here I am running her text through 3 different translation programs, because none of them do flesh rendering vitriol very well... . 

Interesting you bring up the jealousy indicator, its not an easy one to pick up on but it was more signficant than I appreciated. I think in my case it stemmed from having a lack of control. my ex didnt like that I made friends easily and that I could "talk to anyone". She also put me down at times for my accomplishments, which I shrugged off. I wonder if the jealousy was more a deep rooted fear of me leaving her, or finding her not suitable an insecurity. probably a mix of control issues or even a form of narcissim picked up from her mother where she is just role playing out. (this enmeshment and idolisation of her mother is hugely significant, I notice you mention a similarity from your own childhood, it is a defence mechanism but carries with it an underlying anger). I noticed it strongly but never ever dared to bring it to her attention, I can only but imagine the dysregulation. but i believe it is the crux to her developing this disorder. I wonder if you might notice anything about your ex's r/s with her parents that might reveal anything similar? I will quote my grandfather "if you want to know the daughter, look at the mother, the son, look at the father". I never gave my parents or grandparents the respect they deserved when I was younger but their wisdom really is just distilled from psychology. looking beyond our ex as an individual and seeing the wider picture of those who were directly involved in influencing their development is very significant but often overlooked. In my case I wasnt allowed too much contact with her family, at her request, but what I did see told me there was good reason for this. when she painted her father as completely black for marrying a woman 15 years younger and I pointed out that she wanted to marry me and im almost the same age difference, she became stuck as if forced to contemplate and rationalise. I think whats important to extract from this is that there is a lot of history that is unknown but significant, a lot of what we saw of the behaviour is deep rooted and linked to this, and a circumstance that we were nothing involved in but became the surrogate emotional outlet for. When my ex would rage at me I truly believe in her mind at that time she had associated me with her father, who had eventually left. to summarise, it is daddy-issues, and I didnt like being a passive participant in that role play. her jealousy of your previous r/s is based on her abandonment fears, just how she would choose to go with the person that best meets her needs, she believes you would do the same.
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« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2018, 02:43:09 PM »

 

When she had dysphoria she would cut herself.  I was very supportive, understanding and tried to offer alternatives.  I sent her this quote:

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering —Nietzsche

I told her I completely understand why you cut yourself -she said 'you can't' -I explained to her I have gone running to feel pain.  Part of my attraction to fighting was getting hit (I used to train -I don't mean picking a fight).  I told her it is the same, but the way I chose to hurt myself is 'socially acceptable'.  I said sometimes when things are very dark pain makes time start again.  I told her a story about a very young friend of mine who died suddenly -To try to understand this I ran and ran, I fell and got up and ran more.  By the time I was done I was a bloody mess --but I had reached a level of understanding.  Within 3 months she had stopped cutting herself.  I was happy for her and proud I could help her. -We will keep coming back to pride.


Im also happy that I feel I was in many ways a good influence in her life. At the end of the day, its not so much a sense of pride but just what I expect a r/s should be, mutually supportive. I did my part and it seems you did yours. but no good deed goes unpunished, in many ways I believe my ex hated me for being or wanting to be her saviour, it is a reminder that she needed me. a lack of control. her previous way of dealing with it was cutting, alcoholism, drug taking and promiscuity. but she still felt in control with these options. me being there for her was taking the locus of control away by becoming reliant on me, but what if I leave? again, the abandonment fear of the caretaker is invoked and you end up becoming resented for your efforts.
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« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2018, 03:35:48 PM »

As a codependent, I sought this out --I was guilty of 'childish love' --'if I care for you the way I want to be loved -then you will love me that way too'

I will reiterate your quote... .

“Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum --To error is human, but to continue out of pride is diabolical.”

I do not feel strong -I still feel, in my heart, like a bit of a coward for running away -this is pride, arrogance, codependence, and the slowly fading grip our love had on my soul.  Yes, of course, I know intellectually, I very likely did the right thing by ending our relationship, but there is an ache.  The residue from being in the variable reward paradigm which is BPD love.

I only saw full blown Dysregulation once.  She had 3 days where she was having severe visual hallucinations.  This is why I believe she had been misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic.  I was supportive and it passed.  Like the cutting the voices she heard also stopped --pride.

I suppose im struggling with the same sense of ego. I didnt like the idea of having to retreat from this, its not in my nature, "who runs away lives to fight another day", sometimes we have to know our own limitations.
You are incredible astute (damn you).  I am currently working on trying to break my cycle of codependent behavior.  By the age of 6 my mother had made me an 'inappropriate friend' or perhaps even put me in a 'Surrogate Spouse Role' -no sexual abuse.  Fortunately, my wiring allowed me not to suffer enormous damage to me self esteem -but I certainly feel the need to save people and 'be strong' in my self sacrifice .  These traits kept me in a very badly damaged relationship with my OC(PD) wife for 25 years.  My affair has gotten both my wife and I into therapy -I know my wife would have never addressed her personality disorder without the tectonic rupture which is my betrayal  -and I likely would not have sought help for my codependence. 

This seems to be the tricky thing about personality disorders -they seem to be self rewarding.  OC(PD) makes you a perfectionist and a great worker -codependence makes me supportive and romantic... . 

I coped with my marriage by always having a socially acceptable mistress -my work.  Well... .apparently... .25 years of repression is bad... .  Who knew right?(!) In not dealing with my condition and what felt like a loveless marriage I ended up finding myself on an unfamiliar battle field, not knowing myself and meeting an enemy I had never imagined.

Some people go through their lives not acknowledging stuff like this, you have all the insight to overcome it. Like you say, there is plus points to everything, the drive to perfectionism is great in certain career fields and rewarding, but there is a down side. Im sure you will work on this to try and find a happier medium. It takes a huge amount of courage to identify stuff like this and I have also realised that part of my own personality disorder: non specified diagnosis comes from a dysfunctional upbringing. I also dealt with this by overcompensating and expecting perfection of myself. I reached my career dream at the age of 19 and had 98% job performance review, it was the highest out of over 300 other people in a highly sought after and competitive role. I couldnt accept the congratulations. I was angry that I had failed by 2%. Yet my main sense of achievement was achieving a career based on my parents telling me I would never achieve it and shouldnt even bother trying. In the dynamic with my BPDx, its why I was able to deal with the same criticisms, it was just noise that I filtered out, learned primordial behaviour. Yet it still is a dysfunctional coping mechanism all the same. Like I said, its great courage and a strong person that acknowledges the weak points and seeks to address them, if I had done this and not repressed it as you say, I would probably have never entertained a similarly personality disordered people in my life. I see the encounter with my ex as a wake up call that led me to finally acknowledge these things, in the midst of it, I lost a lot of ego and a drive to perfectionism, she made it blatantly clear that with all my best efforts, I wasnt going to rescue her as I set out to achieve. in the midst of this apparent defeat was actually a victory of great personal development benefit.


I have wondered, not about exploitation, but a relationship where I might have set boarders and boundaries.  In other words always left myself a way out, but I do not think I am capable of being in a relationship where one is checking the corners and always aware of the nearest exit.  I only entertain this fantasy when I am hurting and missing her the most.  --This is precisely why 'No contact' is so vitally important. 

This is why I do not consider myself 'strong' for ending our relationship  -my situation with her was to be binary, on or off.  Since the relationship would have entailed moving to her country, buying a house, and having a child there would have been no shade of grey and no chance for a graceful endgame if (when) she decided to leave me.

Wanting to save the beautiful and magical part of her, give her a safe place to heal and flourish was incredible seductive --pride again.

To see the relief in her grandparents eyes when we were together, to have her step father pat me on the back and smile when I entered their home.  They were all desperate to have her in a safe relationship. Believe me I was not 'perfect'.  Some Chinese can accept mixed marriages and others cannot.

Also... .  I am 3 years older... .  3 years older than her mother.  They didn't care, they accepted me into their home and into their family -they just wanted her with someone who could take care of her. 

To be clear -our age difference was my single greatest concern.  When I admitted to myself and to her I loved her I wept openly.  --It was definitely not my attraction.  Her difficult childhood and messy life had made her old beyond her years.  She, in someways, it seemed had had more life experience than I had.

I feel the same, its the reason I was so happy during the r/s, I saw there being no point to be in love but to simultaneously consider a betrayal. besides the momentary cheating, the r/s was a good match, two disordered people with complimenting skill sets of experience to pool together. She couldnt hold down a job or handle money, (a hallmark trait of BPD) I was the first to show her, and it feels sad that she was neglected in this way, or apparently no one showed any interest. Thats where the complementary part comes in, I was brought up to be cautious and frugal and had in the long run done financially well for myself, I met the polar opposite, and a middle ground was reached. I also learned to become more spendthrift, at least ive never been materialistic anyway, but I enjoyed the experiences we had because I had the resources to do so. its made me more rounded today and another plus point, just have to seek them.


My experience differs here -perhaps I left during the twilight of the idealization phase.  We spoke often about a future together and she was at ease.  She spoke about changing her family name to mine -which is incredibly difficult in China and may only be done once.  We spoke about what color eyes our baby might have -we spoke deeply and often about our future, and it seemed to be as soothing to her as it was for me.  We were shopping for homes and it was frankly lovely.  --The fantasy I had created for myself was seductive.
I could never get a fix on her past relationships.  I now believe, as a result of reading about BPD, she was still sleeping on and off with her boss.  She kept us a secret from him until she was raging at him and told him she would marry soon -he cried.  She was keeping her 'dangerous' boyfriend spinning, and there were a few others close at hand.

I have some intellectual curiosity about her past relationships, but I will never ask -she would lie anyway.  I cannot have any contact with her, as it would be misunderstood by her (my mentioning this is not accidental and meant as a parable).  If I were to open any contact with her I fear it will start her healing cycle over from zero -it might give her hope of another go around.  I believe she lives with one foot in fantasy and the other lightly grounded in reality.  In mirroring she is "extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Extremely mysterious"  -If I were to engage with her I could easily, perhaps even happily, be drawn back into the maelstrom.

I have spoken often about ':)ream Come True' not having any intent in her malicious behavior.  On my ride yesterday I think I found a 'proof' to my theorem.  If she had intent, the ability to control her emotions even slightly for self enrichment and personal gain she would not indulged in her final 7 day rage. 

If she had been capable of rational and manipulative thought she would have simply been supportive in our last week as a couple.  If instead of telling me 'Being sad and weak will get you no where --you are a coward' she were to have said 'I understand how hard finalizing your divorce must be, I have not had to sell homes and prepare to move to a police state... .-it must be stressful'... .  We would be together now and I would have sealed my fate. 

I was once signature away from divorce, the waiting period had transpired -the documents were prepared.  Over Christmas week I was packing up one of our homes for sale -the stress and pain were palpable, piece by piece tearing up a 25 year marriage.  I called and asked for some moral support from ':)ream Come True' and what I got instead was the worst of her rage.  This, once again, is why I do not consider myself strong for ending our relationship.  It felt like it was kill or be killed.

I wish I could be angry with her.  I just feel pity.  She is, like many people with BPD, a genius and I am afraid she knows who and what she lost.  If I could be angry it would be easier for me to let go of this pity.  This is partially my hurt pride -the ridiculous notion that I could have loved her enough to help her heal her inner demons. 

This is dangerous -and relates to your new thread.  I cannot afford to consider what my ":)ream Come True" thinks of me anymore.  My greatest fear is she thinks I was her best hope for salvation -Why? Because I would have to agree with her.  That way lies madness for both she and I.  I cannot and will not go back to her.   She is very unlikely to find my equal and I hope she can somehow forget what I offered her and forget she shattered our dreams.

I feel foolish, hurt, embarrassed and defeated (pride) -but my experience was an affair so the context will, of course, have a lot of bearing on the path to my on going recovery.


This is where i need to really think about how you have tacitly dealt with this, put those intense emotions to one side and done the right thing, not just for your self, but for her as well. there has to be more fulfilment to your own life than to be a caretaker for her, in some ways the encouragement of her parents could be seen as a way of diluting their responsibility on to you. I really feel closer to clarity from your posts and can relate so much. the drive for perfection which results in the disenchantment of failure. the height of passion and love for someone by being the best person you can, making self vulnerable, to the point of recklessness. it leads me to a realisation though, if I never had those ingredients myself, then I would have never been with my ex, accepted her behaviour and also not enjoyed the magic of it all. In the end, i pressed eject and parachuted out as the alarm sounded for incoming missile strike, there is no cowardice in avoiding annihalation, you were perfect in saving your life from the high likelihood of catastrophe, my opinion, based around that the notion of 'perfectionism' is subjective a term. i didnt like the title of this board "detaching from a failed relationship", it is based on an assumption that the r/s failed but from that, it strikes at the pride of having failed and extrapolates towards the idea of being a failure. Is communism an inherent failure? or did it fail under the circumstances. Anyway, the nomenclature has forced me to be relegated back to "detaching" board, ive went a level down in my recovery. back into the fray.

self sabotage, much? Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2018, 03:51:21 PM »

Excerpt
It was the same, the vast majority of her anger was not at me, or about me, but bubbling under the surface her rage at a catalogue of people past and present.

I was always right in the crosshairs.  Rage is generated from fear.  Fight or flight -as I mentioned when we tried jogging together... .She made it 3 blocks.  She was a fighter not a runner... .  In retrospect (ugh) the her retrospective jealousy was fear of not living up to the women in my past.  Ok! Several of whom I had met before she was born and had not seen during her lifetime.  That is the beauty of irrational behavior I suppose. 


Excerpt
She also put me down at times for my accomplishments, which I shrugged off.

As I said, I believe we were in the twilight of idealization.  She was a big fan of my work and very proud of me and my accomplishments.  She had planned to actually work alongside me as assistant and interpreter.  --Which would have meant the utter disruption of my career if the wheels flew off our relationship.  Imagine if your ex is also your booking agent and has access to all of your clients? --It brings to mind the idea of me teaching her how to shoot a gun... . 

Excerpt
I can only but imagine the dysregulation

I had thought she was a high functioning schizophrenic -so I was ready for this eventually.  She had began seeing faces in rocks and trees and it was her mission in life to help these beings.  I told her I can't see them, but I knew they were real for her and I was willing to support her as best I could.  It passed in a matter of a couple days.  --I knew as I was getting into the relationship she had had a tremendously difficult life up to that point and I was willing to accompany her hand in hand on the path to her new healthier life.

Look at the irony of my situation?(!) Here I sit wishing she merely had schizophrenia instead of BPD -I am some sort of a poster child for codependency.  To explain myself a little... .  I loved her --schizophrenia does not imply she would turn my love inside out, weaponize it and use this newly honed weapon to eviscerate me. The safe and loving home which can help schizophrenics thrive would have spooled up her BPD to a fever pitch.  How dare you love me! ugh... .


Excerpt
I wonder if you might notice anything about your ex's r/s with her parents that might reveal anything similar?

Father was painted black and out of the picture.  I have wondered if he really was the devil she described -or if in fact he ran for his life from her mother.  -or perhaps he ran for his life from ':)ream Come True'.  He did try to make contact with her while I was with her and suggested 'people change'.  She was having none of it.

I had trouble getting a handle on mom.  She carried a very heavy ShangHai accent and had trouble understanding her -she spoke no English.  She had a vicious temper, but seemed to be doing a very good job raising her boy -Dream Come True's step brother.

Excerpt
Her jealousy of your previous r/s is based on her abandonment fears, just how she would choose to go with the person that best meets her needs, she believes you would do the same.

I know this to be true.  Sadly for her, I suppose for both of us I believed I was with the person who best met my needs.  It was upon learning this person would more than likely one day abandon me -I brought her worst nightmare to fruition.


Wicker Man

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« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2018, 11:05:56 AM »

What an amazing discussion this has been.  The companionship I found here helped me put some thoughts in order and certainly has given me something to look forward to each morning.  --Cromwell as you take to your studies please accept my gratitude for the countless hours you spent talking this through with me.

The subject line is, of course, incorrect.  My psyche will heal, as will my wounded pride.  I wish I could look at my relationship as a life adventure, but it simply is not who I am.  It was a failure and did me more harm that good.

As a learning experience?  I described my brush with BPD to my therapist as a loss of innocence.  To feel love for someone on the depth I have, to only realize this woman cannot see her own value, has no love for herself -where is the lesson for me? 

She said to me once 生活很难 -life is hard. I learned looking into her soul how truly hard life can be.  Her day to day existence is brutal.  Seeing into her world has left me very thankful for my own mental state, but the injustice, the utter tragedy of personality disorders leaves me feeling sad.

She would frequently buy junk food and arrange it on a table as if in a shop.  All in order, neat and tidy.  I asked her why?  She said having food near by made her feel safe.  Truly my dear 生活很难.

I did allow myself to look at her instagram feed.  The veiled messages to me stopped two and a half weeks ago.  I know it is best for both of us -she had to let me go. It is still bitter sweet.

I do not know whether to expect some sort of contact from her about returning my things -they are just things and I try not to care.  To be honest I don't know what I would do with my grandmother's earring and my mom's engagement ring at this point. 

--In a box here or a landfill in China the net result is the same.


Wicker Man




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« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2018, 12:21:08 PM »

Wicker Man, just be glad that you were not the one that ended up in a box or landfill! LOL

You are making wonderful strides! Keep it going!
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« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2018, 02:10:49 PM »

Excerpt
You are making wonderful strides! Keep it going!

Right now it feels like Madame de Stael had it just about right 'One must choose in life between boredom and suffering'. 

I don't know about 'great strides' -However, there is no danger of my breaking 'no contact', as it would hurt her perhaps more than it would hurt me.

The fantasy life I had imagined was so rich I am now grappling with how to reconcile to a life ordinary.  With the loss of her I plan to no longer work in China -working abroad is bone crushingly difficult, but I found a lot of inspiration as an artist and as a human being.  China is beautiful and terrible, both young and old and struggling mightily with an identity crisis.  The same could be said about ':)ream Come True' she is a near perfect metaphor for her country.

No contact taken to an extreme I suppose --but as of now I believe it is the right thing for me.  I am currently working with my agent to swing my career back to the US market.   

I believe a mitigating circumstance for my affair was the 110 hour 7 day work weeks -my limbic system got the better of me.  I was so hyper-focused on the work, mentally exhilarated and physically exhausted I was perhaps more open to an affair.  --Not a mistake I shall ever repeat, but it is perhaps time to step away from the brutality of working in Asia. 

China offers me as a workaholic what my BPD ex did as a codependent --a path to destruction.

Wicker Man
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« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2018, 05:05:43 PM »

Right now it feels like Madame de Stael had it just about right 'One must choose in life between boredom and suffering'. 

I don't know about 'great strides' -However, there is no danger of my breaking 'no contact', as it would hurt her perhaps more than it would hurt me.

The fantasy life I had imagined was so rich I am now grappling with how to reconcile to a life ordinary.  With the loss of her I plan to no longer work in China -working abroad is bone crushingly difficult, but I found a lot of inspiration as an artist and as a human being.  China is beautiful and terrible, both young and old and struggling mightily with an identity crisis.  The same could be said about ':)ream Come True' she is a near perfect metaphor for her country.

Soren Kierkegaard had a lot to say on boredom, about it being worse than death. Im not the best with philosophy but you might be interested if not aware of his work on it.
www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/kierkegaard/themes/

Ive found myself depressed in life, but rarely bored. I had conflated my ex with being equal to excitement, yet it was a big revalation to me after the post r/s post mortem to actually find that it was myself who initiated most of the boredom alleviation, and is indicative as to how good a "source of supply" I was. What im saying is that was it really a break from boredom or was it a hit of andrenaline each time, there is a big difference. my ex could manufacture chaos, promote a physiological response, but the actual context of it was just boring arguments, chasing after her, trips to the ER, something an emergency services worker would put down as just another day. andrenaline junkie yes, but I fail to see how any of it was interesting or novel experiences to feel enriched by from.
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« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2018, 06:51:57 PM »


Excerpt
Soren Kierkegaard had a lot to say on boredom, about it being worse than death. Im not the best with philosophy but you might be interested if not aware of his work on it.
I am not familiar and will have a look.

Excerpt
Ive found myself depressed in life, but rarely bored.

By boredom vs suffering --I suppose I am feeling the backlash of having planned and put into motion a very interesting, but difficult future for myself (even with the enormous presumption my relationship with ':)ream Come True' had been stable) the plan was dangerous.  Knowing what I know now about her personality disorder my plan was insane.  Love is blind.

Staying here in the US and redefining a stable relationship is a much better plan -and sane.  Both good things.  Happiness comes from within.

I am glad to have narrowly escaped the turmoil of a long term BPD relationship -I am grateful for my luck, but coming to terms with all of this will take some time.  Repression?  Midlife crisis? Head in my ass?  I will get to the bottom of it.  Time, therapy, and a lot of reading... .

Today has been rough and I don't know why.  I am going to blame Lacan... .  I think there is always good sport in blaming the French... .  Stupid (really smart) French guy using words and making me think --how dare he!


Wicker Man
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« Reply #49 on: May 08, 2018, 01:25:43 PM »

Wicker man just my observation but as reality has set in that you indeed dodged a bullet by no longer being in a relationship with your exBPD partner( same here)... .I think the disappointment of all of this takes a lot more time to swallow? I to tried blaming mid life crisis , ego flattery of having a young beautiful woman at my side , the false image of a perfect future life, this list goes on.But I’m going to go out on a limb and simply say maybe it is as simple as being disappointed?Ive narrowed mine down to simply saying to myself Shawn” you thought you had a dream woman,soul mate,almost a child and finally a chapter in your life accomplished”... .when in fact none of that happened .Sure we can feel foolish for “falling for it” , self esteem takes a kicking sure , but frankly I just think is damn right disappointing! And endless reading on the subject won’t fix what has happened .When you look at my past posts and many others to be honest ,we all seem to be perpetually stuck in the past tense .Its all done and over , time fixes disappointment,trying again or trying new things changes the mind frame to forget (as much as that is possible).

You seem very wise ,well spoken ,and observant , but all in all nothing more can be done to undo emotions triggered in the past .Time will take care of everything ,helping people here can to ,unless it triggers you back to thinking of her.This world is filled with endless triggers that for a long time will keep our wounds unhealed.For me it’s the simple stuff that sets me off like : couples walking hand in hand ,babies because I wanted to have kids and almost did with her, movies about lost love, this list is vast for me.When I feel like crap I come read the new stories of victims or even reread old stories and say to myself Shawn look what you avoided ,look what could have been? Now be grateful and go jog off the stress and sadness.

Just yesterday I went into my iCloud Drive guess what I saw and that I wasn’t looking for , pictures of us.You think I didn’t want to drink when I saw that? But I didn’t ... .I pulled the motorcycle out and went for a run.

Time wickerman time usually heals everything ... .if you let it.
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« Reply #50 on: May 08, 2018, 01:48:15 PM »

I am not familiar and will have a look.

By boredom vs suffering --I suppose I am feeling the backlash of having planned and put into motion a very interesting, but difficult future for myself (even with the enormous presumption my relationship with ':)ream Come True' had been stable) the plan was dangerous.  Knowing what I know now about her personality disorder my plan was insane.  Love is blind.

Staying here in the US and redefining a stable relationship is a much better plan -and sane.  Both good things.  Happiness comes from within.

I am glad to have narrowly escaped the turmoil of a long term BPD relationship -I am grateful for my luck, but coming to terms with all of this will take some time.  Repression?  Midlife crisis? Head in my ass?  I will get to the bottom of it.  Time, therapy, and a lot of reading... .

Today has been rough and I don't know why.  I am going to blame Lacan... .  I think there is always good sport in blaming the French... .  Stupid (really smart) French guy using words and making me think --how dare he!


Wicker Man

Hey Wicker Man,

This recovery stuff has its own roller coaster style of motion to it as well as the r/s you were in. yet the dips of mood I learned to associate with the moments I had just figured something out signficant. They were the "what the heck?"  Thought moments of clarity, no repression or confused thinking, but really starting to see the big picture. When you are sleep walking in a dream like trance, things happen and you are as you say "blinded". They do pass, and are preferable to the alternative, being in denial and repressing stuff long term. Some things will be painful to confront, and will feel depressed. Do whatever works for you, take a break from the books, go outside for awhile, be good and kind to yourself.

Today has been rough for me too, I started to talk about her to my colleagues in a joking way, which they were all highly amused by, but deep inside Ive started to revist the underlying return of anxiety and my hard fought for serenity has once again be cast a dark shadow over. i havent deleted her or changed sim cards because I want to see how this has made me feel, since that encounter on the bus I feel fatigued, it reminds me of the stress I had during the r/s, which is a good thing, it is my minds way of protecting me to prevent me from re-engaging. ive learned to trust these physiological responses more rather than try to alter them, they are inner warning systems.

im sure your just having to digest a great deal of thoughts, I know the feeling. Like I said before, this is not easy, its hard mental work, you might find yourself also going down dead roads that you have to back track on, or follow red herrings. The mind maze. Often the hardest part to accept is there will be many answers that regardless of an obssessive quest to search for, will always remain unanswerable. very hard to accept. Do you even think that much of philosophy will be written from the standpoint of rational and logic, I cant see how it can help when finding answers to someone whos behaviour is outwith that. philosophy doesnt have anything to say about BPD.
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« Reply #51 on: May 08, 2018, 01:57:31 PM »

Excerpt
I think the disappointment of all of this takes a lot more time to swallow? I to tried blaming mid life crisis , ego flattery of having a young beautiful woman at my side , the false image of a perfect future life, this list goes on.
It is indeed the loss of my dream I lament -the future ':)ream Come True' and I spoke of so often.  It is also the tragedy which is BPD -the image of what she will go through as she continues her journey through life.  She is not a disorder -she is a living breathing human being. 

I had hoped to, through love and understanding, allow her a safe place to heal.  It is a wound to my pride to have to admit 'failure'.  I intellectually understand I did the right thing in leaving her, but it will take time to accept this on an emotional level. 

Excerpt
Sure we can feel foolish for “falling for it”
I really have no feeling of having 'fallen for it' per se.  She was not ever trying to trick me, I know she had the deepest love for me, but her nature necessitated my departure.  The tragic irony of her personality disorder -the love she so desperately craves creates fear within her -this fear precipitates rage.

Excerpt
... .self esteem takes a kicking sure... .

I left her self esteem intact -I firmly believe I was perhaps the best human being she had had in her life -I am deeply sad in further believing she would agree with me.  I lament her loss as much as I lament my own.  I feel for her family -they wanted me to keep her safe, and I cannot.


Excerpt
You seem very wise ,well spoken ,and observant

Very kind of you, but check your premise Smiling (click to insert in post) If I was truly wise I would have never embarked on an affair in the first place.  If I had been observant I might have know there is no such thing as fairytale love. 

Excerpt
This world is filled with endless triggers

Oh God yes.  Endless... .  Movies, music, literature.  Our perceptions change as we change, what once brought joy now can bring waves of sadness. 

Excerpt
Just yesterday I went into my iCloud Drive guess what I saw and that I wasn’t looking for , pictures of us.

I do my own IT work and have made sure there is no chance of stumbling upon any photos.  I am a visual artist -the image of her face with tears streaming asking me 'Is this the last time we will speak?' is enough and burned into my mind.  I will not look at any photos.

Excerpt
I didn’t want to drink when I saw that? But I didn’t ... .I pulled the motorcycle out and went for a run.

Good for you!  I have been drinking more than I like, but being of Irish heritage I am well aware of the dangers and keeping it in check.


Wicker Man

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« Reply #52 on: May 08, 2018, 02:12:20 PM »

Excerpt
i havent deleted her or changed sim cards because I want to see how this has made me feel, since that encounter on the bus I feel fatigued, it reminds me of the stress I had during the r/s, which is a good thing, it is my minds way of protecting me to prevent me from re-engaging.

I have to leave to see my therapist in a few minutes, but I wanted to at the risk of being "a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile", but that would be beating a dead horse." -Whats Up Tiger Lily

Please make sure your motivation for not blocking her is as you say it is.  I have the deepest respect for your intellect, but it seems to me you are playing with fire.  If I had a trigger and ':)ream Come True' was at hand it would be all to easy for me to reach out to her.  If I did I know in my heart of hearts I would be drawn in.  She was my perfect drug.

I once and again feel compelled to reach out to some of our mutual friends -I know this must be a latent desire for connection with her.  -They were her friends to begin with, but accepted me while we were together.  Staying distanced has been difficult.

This morning I had a discourse with a Chinese work associate -simply speaking Mandarin again made me miss the dream of her.


Wicker Man
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« Reply #53 on: May 08, 2018, 04:35:08 PM »

I have to leave to see my therapist in a few minutes, but I wanted to at the risk of being "a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile", but that would be beating a dead horse." -Whats Up Tiger Lily

Please make sure your motivation for not blocking her is as you say it is.  I have the deepest respect for your intellect, but it seems to me you are playing with fire.  If I had a trigger and ':)ream Come True' was at hand it would be all to easy for me to reach out to her.  If I did I know in my heart of hearts I would be drawn in.  She was my perfect drug.

I once and again feel compelled to reach out to some of our mutual friends -I know this must be a latent desire for connection with her.  -They were her friends to begin with, but accepted me while we were together.  Staying distanced has been difficult.

This morning I had a discourse with a Chinese work associate -simply speaking Mandarin again made me miss the dream of her.


Wicker Man

I know what your saying WM, when I got her first text after giving her my number, I got it late afternoon the day after seeing her. I could feel that old andrenaline hit again hearing the beep in my headphones.

The same old tried and tested messages she sent. They did take me back momentarily in time. but I controlled it, ive build up the resistance over 9 months.

Its actually working out well for me, its like free drugs with no comedown. Lets call it a small relapse, like 9 months quit smoking and then doing again, im not going to beat myself up about it. she didnt text at all today, since I never replied to her cajoling message. It was an open invite to come running to her generated "distress". Ive not responded = im not interested in playing the game. ill take the little "hit", she wont get anything in return. when she realises im the one benefiting at her expense, I dont eventually need to worry about detaching, she will hopefully even do that part for me!  Bullet: completed (click to insert in post)

lets see how long it takes her to realise.


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« Reply #54 on: May 09, 2018, 10:19:52 AM »

Excerpt
lets see how long it takes her to realise.

Dream Come True was obsessed with me.  She would spend every waking hour sending messages or speaking with me if she could.  My presence was soothing to her -unless, of course, she was in a blind rage... .  Then she still wanted my time and attention, but it was to beat the stuffing out of me.

After we ended out relationship she began posting a veiled message to me on instagram -one a day for something like 116 days.  In her mind I would return -I had to.

The last thing I want to do is stoke her obsession.  I feel for her, I miss her, you know what?  Down deep I still love her, or at least the idea of her.

She gave me a few of the best weeks of my life and this statement has nothing to do with physical love -I mean the deep spiritual peace of being in love.  She also gave me the worst weeks of my entire life -I hate hyperbole, but when in a relationship with someone suffering from BPD hyperbole becomes a way of life.  Binary -bliss or horror. 

To alude to a comment from a different thread -I was not a victim, I was a volunteer!  The only victim in our relationship was a little three year old girl who overhead her mother talking about putting her out in the snow to die.

Someone who has know so much pain in her life is capable of things unimaginable to us relatively healthy people. 

Wicker Man

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« Reply #55 on: May 09, 2018, 12:51:53 PM »

Today I can say I still love my exGF, not the idea of what it could have been but actually her.I hope never to meet her again for the obvious sentimental reasons however if I ever did come eye to eye with her I already planned what I was gonna say. It would be “ I will always love you and you will always hate me for it”. That best sums up all I can think of when looking back at the whole scenario and last 7ish months .
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« Reply #56 on: May 09, 2018, 01:10:29 PM »

Excerpt
I will always love you and you will always hate me for it.

I don't have this in me.  I could not pour any salt into the gigantic hole I left in her heart when I left. 

I am strongly considering ending my career in Asia with her being one of the factors.  --Perhaps, I am lucky having the buffer of the Pacific Ocean between us.  It gives me the luxury of not having to wonder what I might say to her. 

However, as an intellectual exercise, if we were to ever meet again... .I would likely say 'I hope you are well'. 

She did the best she could to love me -and in her way she did love me deeply.

She cannot be in my life, but I wish her nothing but happiness and safety.  Ironically, or better put... .sadly, the two things she is least likely to find.


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« Reply #57 on: May 09, 2018, 04:36:49 PM »

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