Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
February 23, 2019, 01:43:56 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Board Admins: Harri, Once Removed
Senior Ambassadors: Cat Familar, Flourdust, Mutt, Only Human, Radcliff, Turkish
Ambassadors: Enabler, formflier, itsmeSnap, Ozzie101, WTL, Purplex, zachira
  Help!   Groups   Please Donate Login to Post New?--Click here to register  
bing
Perspectives we need to hear [video]
102
Caretaking - What is it all about?
Margalis Fjelstad, PhD
Blame - why we do it?
Brené Brown, PhD
How do you help someone
Jorden Peterson, PhD
A perspective on BPD
Ivan Spielberg, PhD
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Still Working Through Detaching  (Read 327 times)
mama-wolf
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 360



WWW
« on: January 31, 2019, 08:26:43 AM »

Hi Family,

It has been a while since I have started my own thread.  I found that I withdrew quite a bit when my T went on maternity leave back in October, and stopped visiting the board entirely by about mid-November.  I got to the place where I didn't really feel like I had much to contribute to others here, and also didn't feel up for processing my own stuff (probably to my own detriment since by the beginning of January I felt like I was hanging on by my fingernails).

My T came back in early January, and I have had four sessions with her.  It took a few sessions to improve the depressive feelings and get the anxiety back under better control.  She has been more direct about the reality of me having been through emotional abuse and the effects it has had, and she has touched on the topic of grief and my low self worth.  Plenty of work to be done.

So, here are a some updates to get a little caught up on my situation in general...

The new family therapist is in place now, appointed by the Parent Coordinator when uBPDxw and I could not agree on who to select.  Overall, I'm pleased with who he appointed, even though she is out of network for insurance and her office is not very conveniently located.  We have been working with her for a couple months, and yesterday she said she will be reaching out to uBPDxw's therapist (with permission) to provide some feedback on specific behaviors (in general, but also specifically towards D9) that she absolutely must stop.  That is at least encouraging.

D9 in particular struggles each time she has to go to uBPDxw's house.  She (and S5, but to a lesser degree) has shared a lot with me about uBPDxw's anger, inappropriate comments, and unacceptable behaviors.  I continue relaying that information to both D9's T and the family therapist, while also encouraging D9 to talk about it with them.

My own interactions with uBPDxw are exhausting and anxiety-provoking.  She can't stand the boundaries I have established and constantly challenges them.  Her resentment seeps through many of the messages she sends.  Those messages have gotten a little better at least since the family therapist reinforced some of the initial restrictions from the PC (keeping communications to logistical details and keeping it to the facts).  Her response has been to become less responsive, which is not quite acceptable since she does owe me answers on parenting matters, so there's work to be done there for her to find the right balance.

Last week, I was able to close on the refinance of our house, putting it entirely in my name as part of our separation agreement.  It was good to get that big financial piece out of the way and further settle into what's mine that I can control vs. anything outside of that.

I haven't really gone back through the posts to see how folks have been doing over the past couple of months, but hope you all made it through the holidays ok.  I'm going to try to be a little more active here, but I found I have to establish a better balance between this space being a mechanism for me to continue ruminating vs. being a good outlet and sounding board.

mw
Logged
ARE YOU ON THE RIGHT BOARD?
All members still incontact with their partner should learn to use the basic relationship tools to better manage the day to day interactions.
If you are evaluating a decision to stay or leave, please post on Conflicted and Deciding
Harri
BOARD ADMINISTRATOR
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Parent
Posts: 3821



« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2019, 10:07:29 PM »

Hi mama-wolf and welcome back!  I've wondered how things were going after your T went on leave.  It sounds like things got a bit rough there but you managed and are back on track now.   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)   I took a break from T and just started back yesterday.  I am excited and feeling weary too.  Healing is tough work but worth it.

How do you feel about how things are progressing so far? 
Logged

     everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. ~ Viktor Frankl
mama-wolf
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 360



WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 12:11:02 PM »

Hi Harri, and thanks for the welcome back!

How do you feel about how things are progressing so far? 

Do you mean progressing with my T now that she's back?  It's a little hard to say.  She had encouraged me to keep some notes and said it would be OK to send them for her to catch up a bit before we met again.  That first session was really a download from the notes I sent and I think her assessing where I was at that point.  She observed that I'm still too hard on myself, and she encouraged me to work on identifying my needs. 

In the next couple of sessions, we spent some time on the ongoing anxiety my ex causes me (things our kids tell me about her behavior with them, and her own behavior towards me), and she has tried to help me identify my grief.  I have a hard time being able to separate the reality I lived and how miserable and damaging it had become--which I cannot fathom grieving--from whatever it was I thought I had that would be "worth" grieving.  She has touched on my low self worth a bit as well...that feeling of not being good enough.  It's hard to grieve the loss of something that maybe you deep down don't even think you deserve to have in the first place.

The thing is, when I say/write things like that, intellectually I understand how wrong they are.  But I can't connect with that knowledge on an emotional level.  I know my T is also gradually trying to get me closer to my emotions in general, and I have also been conscious of my own efforts to steer the discussion away from them.  I can tell she's aware of it too, and I sense she's pushing me when and where she thinks I'm ready to be pushed.

So, I think progress is slow and I want so much for it to be faster.  I know it really can't be, so I try to take some comfort in the fact that each session helps me feel at least a tiny bit better...

mw
Logged
Harri
BOARD ADMINISTRATOR
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Parent
Posts: 3821



« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 12:21:46 PM »

I can relate very much to where you say you understand on an intellectual level but emotionally is something else.  yeah, it is hard. 

Excerpt
I know my T is also gradually trying to get me closer to my emotions in general, and I have also been conscious of my own efforts to steer the discussion away from them.
I push away from mine too and my T will say "what are you doing Harri" and I reply "avoiding".  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)  Your T sounds wise with pushing you where she can and not pushing too hard.
A lot of times my T would say to me, 'as long as you are aware of it Harri"

Why do you think you avoid the emotions though?  What do you think will happen when you look at them?
Logged

     everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. ~ Viktor Frankl
mama-wolf
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 360



WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 12:45:01 PM »

Why do you think you avoid the emotions though?  What do you think will happen when you look at them?

I'm not really sure, and it's something my T is also trying to help me understand for myself.  In a lot of ways--in part because of my own reserved and analytical nature and in part from learned behavior through my childhood--I don't understand the value.  For example, I struggle with understanding what is the point of feeling angry towards my ex since it won't change anything about the end of our relationship.

I do recognize that there are some intense emotions in there somewhere, but I also don't know how to process them on a conscious level.  The likelihood of being totally overwhelmed is something I'm not ready to deal with.  It's scary in itself, but that prospect also makes me think it would make me a little too much like my ex, who was one big ball of emotions pretty much all the time.

I'm also pretty sure I might not like what I find.  Like the low self-worth issue.  While it may have been there on some level before my marriage, it has certainly been amplified through the emotional abuse.  There's a lot of self-criticism that flares up just by acknowledging any of that.  I do get that identifying, acknowledging, unpacking, and processing these things is supposed to make them better...it's just extremely daunting and exhausting.  And it's hard to conceptualize "the other side" that's supposed to be so much better and so worth it once you work through it all.

mw
Logged
Harri
BOARD ADMINISTRATOR
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Parent
Posts: 3821



« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 01:22:38 PM »

Yep, ditto to just about everything you have said here.   Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

It is daunting and scary and overwhelming.  However, I am also one of those who will preach that it is worth the difficult times and the pain of confronting what is beneath the avoidance of feeling.   

Excerpt
I do recognize that there are some intense emotions in there somewhere, but I also don't know how to process them on a conscious level.
Well, that is what T is for right?  We can help here too in some ways, but it is best when combined with the work you do in therapy.

Excerpt
I'm also pretty sure I might not like what I find.  Like the low self-worth issue.  While it may have been there on some level before my marriage, it has certainly been amplified through the emotional abuse.  There's a lot of self-criticism that flares up just by acknowledging any of that.
Often confronting fears, feelings, doubts, etc and getting them out in the open helps us shrink them.  Here I bet when you hear many me too's and I can relate and that makes things so much less scary and less *big* and overwhelming?  Can you see the progress you have made in T?   I think you are doing very well if that makes a difference.  None of this is easy. 

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
Logged

     everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. ~ Viktor Frankl
mama-wolf
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 360



WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 07:23:18 AM »

Here I bet when you hear many me too's and I can relate and that makes things so much less scary and less *big* and overwhelming?  Can you see the progress you have made in T?   I think you are doing very well if that makes a difference.  None of this is easy. 

Yes, the validation and community here is definitely helpful.  Sometimes I'm reluctant to post though, because I know the behaviors I have experienced have not been as extreme or as acute as a lot of what others here have been through.  It makes it a little harder to accept the impact that my relationship has had on me (that whole "it wasn't really that bad, was it?" loop).  I also feel like I have been "stuck" in this particular spot for a while and end up just rehashing the same crap.  Understandable maybe, between the interruption in therapy and the fact that I have to have frequent contact with my uBPDxw due to the kids.  But folks can only remind me so many times to try to be more compassionate towards myself and try practicing mindfulness, right?

Either way, my T has tried to highlight some of what she has called "growth" that she has seen over the course of my therapy.  She has also told me she feels like I'm doing well, which I don't really feel but I get what she's referring to.  I could be in a lot worse state of anxiety and even depression interfering with my ability to get through day-to-day life, but I'm not.  As exhausting and exasperating as it can be, I'm generally able to resist the invitations from my ex to argue or otherwise get drawn into exchanges that will deteriorate into accusations, etc.  I guess that all counts as "doing well," and thank you for pointing it out, too.  Sometimes it's just necessary to hear things from multiple impartial sources so that it can sink in just a little more Smiling (click to insert in post)

mw
Logged
kells76
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Romantic partner’s ex
Posts: 357



« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2019, 09:16:05 PM »

Welcome back mama-wolf  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

Thanks for letting us know how you've been. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who thinks of members who haven't posted in a while and wonders how they're doing!

I've read some of your story over on the coparenting board. Some of your xW's behaviors remind me of my DH's xW.

It means a lot to me to hear you say that sometimes you're reluctant to post here, because it seems like your xW's behaviors aren't as acute as what other members have gone through. I can relate to that, and I guess it helps me feel like I'm not alone in the feeling of "I shouldn't post/complain about her, because it isn't that bad".

I can also relate to taking a break from the boards; I did that for a bit a year or two ago.

So, yeah... Just wanted to thank you for sharing where you are honestly at, because it helped me today.

cheers;

kells76
Logged
WTL
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Other
Posts: 1749



« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2019, 10:53:01 PM »

It has been a while since I have started my own thread.

Yes it has. Glad to see you. Virtual hug (click to insert in post)  It sounds like things have been rough and tumbling, but improving. Is it accurate to say that you’re feeling better emotionally? Just a hunch. Being cool (click to insert in post)

I’m happy to hear that you have reconnected with your T. A good T is invaluable.

Plenty of work to be done.

You’re doing it. The work. It’s a thorny path, but sometimes we just have to say  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) it and forge on. Emotional abuse is hard to recover from. It’s “hidden” abuse. There are no visible marks. No evidence to show to the one’s we might reach out to. We feel it though, don’t we?

It sounds like family therapy is going well. It’s interesting that your ex has given permission for your all’s therapist to retrieve information from her T. Do you think that she’s being cooperative for the best interests of all involved? This could be a positive.

I’m sorry that the children are struggling at exchanges. That part is hard. The kids. It’s so hard. Most of my anger towards the situation is about the affects on S4. It’s not fair to them. They’re innocent in all of this. Stack on top of that the anxiety that comes with trying to raise them to not repeat what they’ve been through.




Logged
mama-wolf
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 360



WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 11:29:22 AM »

Hi kells76 and WTL, and thank you for dropping a note!

So, yeah... Just wanted to thank you for sharing where you are honestly at, because it helped me today.

kells, I'm so glad to hear my post helped you in some way.  It can be hard to remember that posting on these boards serves multiple purposes.  On the one hand, it's an outlet for us that doesn't really exist elsewhere...a place to just release pent-up thoughts and feelings in a community that really understands, whether it's to seek suggestions/recommendations on "what now?" or just to be heard and get some validation that we're not crazy ourselves.  Therapy has its place in our lives, but sessions are limited in length and frequency.  Having an additional safe place to further work through the things we have gone through and continue to deal with is so very necessary.

And even if our posts receive little direct response, it still helps us get these things out of our heads, where they can run around in circles and drain us in ways we're not fully aware of.  That gets us to the other purpose of posting on these boards, which your response helps to remind me of:  Posting here, no matter how trivial or even unimportant the content may seem to us, can be very helpful to other members of this community.

Is it accurate to say that you’re feeling better emotionally? Just a hunch. Being cool (click to insert in post)

WTL, this is an interesting question for me to tackle, which is why it has taken me a couple days to respond.  I do feel better in the sense of my support network being "whole" again now that my T is back.  The relief that brought me was significant.  I am also feeling some hope with the family therapist in place that I have a mechanism to get some fundamental things to change on behalf of my kids.  That relief and hope (while somewhat guarded) are part of what keep me going each day.

Otherwise, I have actually been spending too much time ruminating on why I don't feel better.  I feel stuck in an endless cycle of coparenting with uBPDxw, being there for my kids in ways that she cannot be (stable, supportive, and validating), getting triggered by her behaviors or having to continually react/respond while keeping myself from getting triggered, trying to recover from the drama, and then start all over again.  That doesn't leave much room to focus on trying heal the underlying damage done from my relationship over the past several years, so the undercurrents of pain, anxiety, and low self-worth continue to flow.

Whatever process I'm going through--grief, healing, recovery from abuse...all of the above--just feels too slow.  I know it's not linear.  I know it takes time.  I just get so tired of feeling bad.

It sounds like family therapy is going well. It’s interesting that your ex has given permission for your all’s therapist to retrieve information from her T. Do you think that she’s being cooperative for the best interests of all involved? This could be a positive.

I do think her cooperation is in everyone's best interest, but I can't speak to whether that's her primary motivation.  She claimed she wanted to promote transparency across the various therapists involved in our lives so that they could coordinate care--especially for the kids.  I think she wanted this primarily because she had split on D9's T a year ago (uBPDxw wasn't getting what she wanted out of D9's therapy) and she hoped the family therapist would help influence D9's T in the direction uBPDw wanted.  But in doing so, and with my willingness to have my T also coordinate, uBPDxw painted herself in a corner and had to enable that communication with her T.  From what my T said about her contact with the family therapist, and from what the family therapist said in session today, I still feel like it's a very good thing and am hoping to see some improvements.

Most of my anger towards the situation is about the affects on S4. It’s not fair to them. They’re innocent in all of this. Stack on top of that the anxiety that comes with trying to raise them to not repeat what they’ve been through.

Absolutely...this is the source of a lot of anger, guilt, and anxiety for me as well.

mw
Logged
WTL
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Other
Posts: 1749



« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 06:37:46 PM »

Hey there, MW. I understand how difficult it is to try to detach when there are things that make it seem impossible. The child/children. I’m in no way placing the innocent little rug rats in the middle, but I’m sure that you get where I’m coming from. We can’t simply cut off contact. We have responsibilities tied in to all of this. I don’t know about you, but every communication that I have with S4’s mom still has a great deal of pain tied to it. It hurts to communicate with her. There are no “I love you” or “I miss you” anymore.

The whole process not being linear is difficult as well. It would be much easier if we knew that we made it through one stage meant leading into getting through the next. Too many variables and triggers, I reckon, for that to be possible.

the undercurrents of pain, anxiety, and low self-worth continue to flow.

I’m with you on this. I understand that you don’t have a lot of time for yourself, if I’ve read correctly, but where do you feel that these feelings stem from? Have these feelings been undercurrents for a long time, or have you noticed them as a result of what you’re currently going through?

just feels too slow.  I know it's not linear.  I know it takes time.  I just get so tired of feeling bad.

Ok. I’m 100% with you on this. Feeling bad. You know, it’s been well over a year since things finally ended with S4’s mom and myself. She’s still my first thought when I wake. It’s frustrating. It feels like I’m not making progress, but I definitely have since first showing myself here. You know, I can remember the fun times going by too quickly and the blah times slowly creeping by as a kid.

I’m not yet very good at self care. I’m terrible at it. Do you do certain things to comfort yourself when you have the time to do so?

I think that you’re wise in keeping an eye on why she wants to coordinate the T’s. Personally, I’d watch that closely.

You’re looking out for your kids. That’s why you became a parent. The other end is weak, and you’re picking up that slack. That is commendable. Here’s a virtual high five! You don’t feel the best right now, but you’re doing unspeakable wonders for your children. You should feel really good about that. You should feel really good about yourself. You’re doing a damn fine job. Just wanted to let you know.

Logged
ARE YOU ON THE RIGHT BOARD?
All members still incontact with their partner should learn to use the basic relationship tools to better manage the day to day interactions.
If you are evaluating a decision to stay or leave, please post on Conflicted and Deciding
mama-wolf
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 360



WWW
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2019, 11:38:00 AM »

I don’t know about you, but every communication that I have with S4’s mom still has a great deal of pain tied to it. It hurts to communicate with her. There are no “I love you” or “I miss you” anymore.

I don't feel the hurt when communicating with my uBPDxw.  Whether I have already let go of that aspect--which I feel like I gave up on well before we finally separated--or I'm denying/still numb to it...I don't feel pain of loss when communicating with her.  It's more frustration, impatience, and anxiety.  Much of that comes from how she has thrown in my face repeatedly how much easier she thinks this separation has been on me than it has on her.  How much more I "got" out of it all financially (she feels I didn't give her enough money, and that I didn't take nearly as much of the debt as she tried to shove onto me)...how much happier the kids are with me, and how they prefer being with me...how much easier my life is to still live in our house near my office and the kids' school while she was "forced" to move 30-45 minutes away (more in rush hour traffic).

She has gotten "better" about bringing these things up thanks to restrictions on our communications that were put in place by the Parent Coordinator, and subsequently reinforced by the family therapist.  So the rest of the frustration, impatience, and anxiety basically comes from having to continually deal with her logistically.  From her not being able to follow through on what she says she will do, not getting places on time, acting surprised by something that most people with basic common sense would have seen coming a mile away.  That, and the ever-present anticipation of the next blow-up, misinterpretation, and playing of the victim that I have been conditioned to expect.

Going NC could be so much easier, but as we've said it's just not possible.  So instead, my T of course has me focusing on what I can control, and otherwise just being stable and responsive for our kids.

the undercurrents of pain, anxiety, and low self-worth continue to flow.

I’m with you on this. I understand that you don’t have a lot of time for yourself, if I’ve read correctly, but where do you feel that these feelings stem from? Have these feelings been undercurrents for a long time, or have you noticed them as a result of what you’re currently going through?

I feel like the anxiety really just ratcheted up as I became aware of the situation I was in with my relationship...particularly starting about 16 months ago on the day my uBPDxw yelled in my face in public in front of our children, and it understandably continues now.  The low self-worth, I only really became aware of it in the past few months.  I take it that was probably there on some level before the relationship, and has been really blown up by the emotional abuse and manipulation.  My T has hinted at this, but we haven't dug into it yet.  The pain...well, that's more of a vague sensation...something I know must be there but I'm only just becoming aware of it (or maybe I should say becoming willing to acknowledge it).  Of course I try to stuff that back down where it came from and hope it disappears.  Not sustainable, I know...my T is also specifically working with me on this.

I’m not yet very good at self care. I’m terrible at it. Do you do certain things to comfort yourself when you have the time to do so?

I think I generally do fairly well at self care, though I do neglect it occasionally.  During the 50% of the time that I have the kids, you're right that I don't have a heck of a lot of time for myself.  I do sometimes get a chance to go exercise while my mom watches them for me.  When they're not with me, I try to give myself that much more time and attention.  I try to maintain plenty of flexibility to do whatever I feel like doing...usually a mixture of being alone to clean house, run errands, and go exercise, along with occasional social outlets like visiting with a friend or getting together with family.

My T has specifically asked me to focus on things that make me happy.  That's a real tough one, because not much makes me happy these days.  Even the activities I described above barely make it above "satisfactory" level.

You’re doing a damn fine job. Just wanted to let you know.

Thank you for the encouragement, WTL...it's much appreciated.

mw
Logged
WTL
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Other
Posts: 1749



« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2019, 01:38:39 PM »

Hi again, MW. In what you’ve stated, you’re much farther along in the detachment process than I am. It sounds like you’re frustrated with trying to finally get the technicalities in place. Difficult with a disordered person to say the least.

I’m glad that your T is scratching other surfaces with you. First things first, though. If you’re ever curious, you should visit us on the PSI (parent, sibling, inlaw) board. There are folks there that could benefit from your wisdom.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Links and Information
CLINICAL INFORMATION
The Big Picture
5 Dimensions of Personality
BPD? How can I know?
Get Someone into Therapy
Treatment of BPD
Full Clinical Definition
Top 50 Questions

EDITORIAL DEPARTMENTS
My Child has BPD
My Parent/Sibling has BPD
My Significant Other has BPD
Recovering a Breakup
My Failing Romance
Endorsed Books
Archived Articles

RELATIONSHIP TOOLS
How to Stop Reacting
Ending Cycle of Conflict
Listen with Empathy
Don't Be Invalidating
Values and Boundaries
On-Line CBT Program
>> More Tools

MESSAGEBOARD GENERAL
Membership Eligibility
Messageboard Guidelines
Directory
Suicidal Ideation
Domestic Violence
ABOUT US
Mission
Policy and Disclaimers
Professional Endorsements
Wikipedia
Facebook

BPDFamily.org

Your Account
Settings

Moderation Appeal
Become a Sponsor
Sponsorship Account


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2019, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!