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clvrnn
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« on: July 11, 2019, 09:19:20 AM »

I wonder if there is much of a difference between "ghosting" and the silent treatment? The silent treatment seems to be issued as a punishment of sorts within a relationship, whereas the concept of ghosting seems common at the end of relationships (as opposed to a mutually agreed/understood period of NC at the end of relationships between 'nons').

I myself, I think, was on the receiving end of ghosting a few times from my ex. A couple of times she would just reappear. During our second break up I was told we could be friends (after quite a heated argument, no less), but then she just disappeared and began avoiding me. This has caused me to constantly question my words/actions. Previously she'd tell me she didn't want contact - this time, though, she just disappeared without a word. I still can't quite understand that.

Wonder if any one else here has seen or experienced anything similar, and how it made you feel, etc?
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 10:31:32 AM »

I wonder if there is much of a difference between "ghosting" and the silent treatment?

This does, at first, seem like an issue of semantics -but instead it is an issue of intent.

I found a good article on it. Any article which includes "Analysis of Ghosting: This is just asshole behavior. " is ok in my book.  The rest of the article is professional and informative, but this laps into the subjective voice made me laugh.
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/savvy-shrink/2017/11/silent-treatment-ghosting-and-no-contact-telling-it-like-it-is/


Excerpt
The silent treatment seems to be issued as a punishment of sorts within a relationship, whereas the concept of ghosting seems common at the end of relationships (as opposed to a mutually agreed/understood period of NC at the end of relationships between 'nons').
Ghosting is also common when one needs to protect themselves from an abusive partner, friend or family member.  In the context of BPD, I believe, can happen when the sufferer is overwhelmed emotionally.  Silent treatment, on the other hand, is sadistic and childish.

Excerpt
...any one else...  ...experienced anything similar, and how it made you feel...?

I experienced a ghosting once in my relationship with my undiagnosed ex-partner*.  She had broken a promise she had made to us by going to a dinner and getting drunk with a dangerous man.  He had physically grabbed her and kissed her in the past -propositioned her with money for sex - so I was afraid for her.  In retrospect I think the danger of this situation was an impulsive thrill for her.  As with all her promises, she broke it and was so drunk she could barely text.  The next day we had a serious discussion about this transgression.  I was even and never lost my temper -but I went as far as telling her she needed to keep herself safe for all the people who love and need her in their lives.  Once again... in retrospect I believe she already felt ashamed for her impulsivity and my being 'caring but firm' doubled down on her shame.  I believe impulsivity in people suffering from BPD is a dysfunctional bandaid to momentarily mask pain.  Unfortunately, many of these impulsive behaviors just create... more shame.  People with BPD do not lack morals, what they lack is the emotional wherewithal to live by them -the disorder is, from my observation, just as much based in shame as it is fuel by fear of abandonment.

* BPD is not recognized in China as can be seen in this abstract The need to establish diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder in China  --she was misdiagnosed bi-polar and schizophrenic.  Understandable considering the state of mental health in the PRC.



Her reaction to this situation was to suddenly cut off all communication with me and hop in bed with an actor she was working with.  At the time I was blindsided.  The conversation just before she stopped responding to me was about us purchasing a house and what sort of apartment we should rent in Beijing.  She said 'I have to get off the line the actor has brought us cake' --it was 2 days later I figured out it was 11pm her time.

The complete silence was broken with her texting 'So boring' in reply to a message I sent more or less pleading with her to contact me.  It was perhaps the worst week of my life.  I had no idea what to do or what happened.  It was only in retrospect I realized the actor was not just a 'friend'.  In the heat of battle I could not fathom her breaking us in such a brutal, random and sudden manner.  What I would not give to be able to step back in time and give myself a really good talking to!

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

                                                                                               ― Maya Angelou

If I had not been so shocked by the suddenness I would have ended the relationship there and then -but instead I took the path of obsessing, not sleeping, not eating and failed to see the dysfunction in her actions.  I deluded myself into believing she still loved me, but was afraid of the commitment of buying a house.

When her job was done she returned to Beijing and cut herself (NSSI) for the first time in over a year.   She also had the worst  psychotic episode I had witnessed (I.e. the trees had given her a mission which 'You could not understand'...  I don't think she meant because the trees were speaking Mandarin...)  I agreed I could not understand, but I told her I was with her and would support her on her mission in any way I could.  The episode faded in a day or two.

I believe the NSSI and brief psychosis was fallout from her impulsive fling and knowing the harm she had done to me and us.  She ghosted the actor telling me 'I cannot be his friend'.  To lay tragedy upon tragedy I have come to believe she also had her previous boyfriend over to 'our' apartment during this time of crisis.  This I will never know for certain -but... there were 2 dozen roses without a card on my nightstand when I arrived back in Beijing.

When I briefly re-opened contact with her about 7 months ago the most important thing I learned was she could not tell the truth and cannot accept accountability for her actions.  We had been separated for a year and had had no contact -even then she could not have a discussion about what she had done.  --This helped me greatly.  I learned she lies constantly to protect herself from shame -if someone lies to me there is no point in speaking with them.  She is a lovely human being with a debilitating mental illness which precludes a healthy relationship at this point in her life*.

I read this abstract a while ago and it gave me hope for her -not for us.  I am done and my watch is over.  I wish her well, but from a silent distance.   

 The Lifetime Course of Borderline Personality Disorder     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4500179/

I tell this protracted story to illustrate how blinding love can be.  Breaking up has always been an ironclad line in the sand for me.  It is out of the question -but I was so blind, so shocked, so hurt I had not realized she had with actions instead of words broken up with me.

I saw her ghost 4 people (that I know of) during our time together.  (I cannot read Mandarin I was the 'perfect' partner for someone who, I believe, is constantly having in appropriate text conversations...  so who actually knows how many people she ghosted)   

Two of them were very close friends of hers, in fact one of them was her college dance instructor!  These poor people were so blindsided and hurt they were contacting me to get information about her -and these people don't know much English so it was not an easy thing for the.  She was in some sort of a crisis at this point, but would not talk to me about it.  She dyed her hair, which can be a form of self harm or a rejection of self and told me to never speak of these friends again. 

I believe she used ghosting when she was overwhelmed -not as a weapon, but as a method of self preservation -Fight, flight, freeze.  As time has passed I believe most of her actions are, in some way, motivated by dysfunctional coping mechanisms for her near constant bone crushing pain. 
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 11:05:55 AM »

Thank you, Wicker, for this insightful and detailed reply  With affection (click to insert in post)

You speak about how your ex pwBPD ghosted many others, who then reached out to you seeking clarity. This echoes an experience I had twice, with two old friends of ex pwBPD. One from years back, who I didn't even know (who I'd reached out to for answers, funnily enough) started asking me what pwBPD had said about her, had she ever mentioned her, etc.

Friend seemed to have perception that pwBPD had 'dropped' her in favour of some new exciting life at university - which wasn't the case at all. Other friend at university asked me the same line of questions (again it was I who approached friend, seeking answers) - it seems as if none of us really escaped this random disappearing act, and have tried to make sense of it.

Yes, it has been my perception and belief that disappearances by pwBPDs is very much related to overwhelming feelings, dysregulation, dissociation, etc. It's still a very hard concept to grasp, as nons you often believe you must have done/said something to cause the silence (as that's usually how it is in interpersonal relationships, no?).

I try to stay away from other toxic forums that label these disappearances as the pwBPD having found a 'new supply' or whatever else. Yes, it's true that pwBPD do often have a string of admirers/friends/relationships, but often too, I believe that it must be just due to the lack of conflict resolution skills/difficulty handling strong emotions.

In my case I do wonder if it was that she was feeling difficulty in knowing how to talk to me because she knew she'd caused the situation, or whether I was just annoying her. It's so difficult never having the answers.
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 02:57:35 PM »


this insightful and detailed reply
I hope it is somehow helpful.  I, once in a while, need to repeat these things to remind myself how extraordinary my experience had been.  It is easy to forget when the data points are off the chart.  It is easy to remember the limerence and easy to forget the random hurtfulness which always seemed to be around the corner.


Excerpt
...none of us really escaped this random disappearing act...

I only allowed contact with one of her friends after our demise, 44 (her name... to avoid writing 'she' and 'her' over and over...) was the only person in her life, who I knew of, had not been ghosted and was considered a close and trusted friend by my ex.  44 and I had an exhaustive conversation about why I was not returning to her.  44 also was the go-between who brokered our brief and final conversation.  I had been approached by two other friends to the first I said 'You are a good friend to her (not true)... But it is her story to tell'  ironically...  (stupid irony) the other one was today(!) just after responding to your post -A friend of hers inquired about the recent earthquakes and if I was ok.  I told him (ok... irony upon irony he is the guy she is living with) "You are a good friend to her, but contacting me on her behalf is not the way to help her." 

Excerpt
[Vanishing] It's still a very hard concept to grasp

As neuro-typical, or garden variety neurotics, it is, in my opinion, impossible to 'understand' the motivation of someone with BPD traits -we must just accept their actions.  I neither express nor imply we should find these deviant behaviors acceptable -but instead accept them as the reality they present. 

In my anecdotal experience there was never a Machiavellian and orchestrated plan to harm me -she just acted and reacted.  My proof, in so far as it is...  She broke up roughly a week before I was to wire money to buy her family a house.  (Love is so blind)...  Anyone having a premeditated plan would have opened the gates of Hell after receiving and verifying the wire transfer...

Excerpt
..stay away from... ...toxic forums that label these disappearances as the pwBPD having found a 'new supply'
Unless there is a comorbidity with NPD (which can occur in something like 35% of BPD cases) I do not believe they see other people as a 'supply'.  I believe in my heart they truly fall head over heals in love -on a level which a neuro-typical cannot fully fathom.  Then in a world which demands balance the pendulum swings back the other way and rage, mistrust, and hatred comes into play, once again -on a level which a neuro-typical cannot fully fathom.

I would like to go a step further and take to task 'Discarded' and 'Replacement'.  It is unwise to pathologize all of these behaviors.  We broke up... I was not discarded.  I am irreplaceable, sadly as she has come to realize. 

Excerpt
It's so difficult never having the answers [about ex's behavior].
This is going to sound glib and is far easier said than done... but stop trying.  We read here over and over relationships with someone suffering from BPD 'are not built to last'.  From everything I have read and sure as hell everything I experienced this is the case. 

I never missed a date, never lied, I was always available for her, I never fired back when she raged, I certainly never called her a bad name -or even raised my voice to her.  There is literally nothing more I could have done.  I became close with her family, I helped her little step brother with his English homework several days a week (I excelled on the English homework...) bought him a camera and was teaching him photography.

I thought I had found the 'golden ticket' to a life of happiness, adventure and fulfillment.  As a result I did everything I could to lay a foundation for a long lasting love and... as fast as I could lay bricks in that foundation she would manage to uproot them and throw them away. 

There is, in my opinion, no sense nor logic to be found.  She still, to this day, feels we were destined through past lives to be together... ummmm then why did she act the way she did?  The short answer, for those keeping score at home, is she suffers from a sever and debilitating personality disorder which effects mood, cognition, and emotion.

Someone in this relationship was going to get bear mauled and left bloody and broken -this time it was her turn.  I hurt myself pretty badly, but I have recovered -I am afraid she still lives with our loss daily.  From what I can ascertain all her previous relationships went the other way. 

I have nothing but the deepest sympathy and pity for her.
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 03:35:08 PM »

Carry the semantics further; what is the practical difference, net effect result between "ghosting" and going "no contact" for ghosting the term seems orientated towards narcissistic behaviour, yet going no contact is the same behaviour yet it is defined as a protective measure against abuse.

How do we account for the scenarios that there are simply people out there who lack effective social skills,  the timid who wish to break off but cannot articulate a goodbye or not want to open themselves up to offer up the real reason. The net result is what can appear as silent treatment, or ghosting, for lack of having access to the rest of the information.
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2019, 05:15:46 PM »

Ghosting is also common when one needs to protect themselves from an abusive partner, friend or family member.

This is true. When me and my ex split I had an overwhelming need to be away from her, I felt that I needed to protect myself at all costs. I did not know what was wrong and I felt that this distancing forced me to look at the bigger picture. I did also feel the need to protect my dignity, the offer of friendship I found insulting and disrespectful. She called me immature when I would not communicate with her and said many times that we needed to get along for the kids. I did not agree and I got to a point where I was beginning to feel way more confident and upbeat. I thwarted her every attempts to force me into communication, she became so mad at me, she stopped my boys coming to see me for 5mths, I still refused to speak with her and my plan was to fight for them in the courts once I'd saved enough cash for a bigger place. She eventually buckled but I learned that there was a reason for this (She wanted me back).

I found my ghosting of her to be a bit of a double edged sword. On one side I became much more happier and focused, I achieved many things and surprised myself. The other side though was her masterminding to bring me down, which she did.
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2019, 05:19:26 PM »

Carry the semantics further; what is the practical difference, net effect result between "ghosting" and going "no contact" for ghosting the term seems orientated towards narcissistic behaviour, yet going no contact is the same behaviour yet it is defined as a protective measure against abuse. 

Ghosting is pretty much just disappearing with no explanation, no closure, nothing. NC is more something that is made known to the other party. Both can be seen as narcassistic I guess and both can be seen as protective measures.
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2019, 07:00:58 PM »

Hi Longterm, I would appreciate if would you pass judgement on my actions and do they fall within the definition, the break up has been a source of difficulty in finding closure because it was abrupt ending. If I can give the context I think is related and let me know if you need more detail.

Disturbed night of sleep, a few days apart but for the past month there had been few issues, the relationship spanned over 3 years in it's entirity, half a dozen split ups and going back, the last one being just under 4 weeks which was the longest. We reconciled and it was generally not so much 'happy days' but it was a situation of relative peace. I woke up, got a snidey, cryptic text and in that state of just have woken, trying to embrace a new day, but faced with just another "oh, here we go again" moment, I deleted the text, blocked her number and went back to sleep for a few hours. I think if not the same day but the next, I had changed my sim card. Id heard about no contact as I had started to read about the disorder but I never really thought of it, the behaviour was nearly an impulse reaction to the text. In terms of mental health, it is safe to say I was near the worst I have ever been, besides  the situation where I split up from her prior where I felt at the peak of mental exhaustion, anxiety through the roof, depressed, a perfect storm where I did not want her so much out my life but I wanted/needed a break from it. I might have had the same motive here, or not, I think it was an action of not taking it anymore. But, if we go with the definition you state that I had "disappeared" and not said a word, I did not tell her I was blocking her, I did not say goodbye and whilst this made closure very difficult, in the context I did what I did that morning without the thought of punishing or a silent treatment to try and manipulate some sort of outcome. I acted with concern only to my state of mind at that moment in time and how I reflect on it today, it was not only reasonable in the context it was with regards to preserving my health.

Does it fit the definition of ghosting, was it narcissistic in nature, something else? Should I have contacted her later to explain once id got 'better'? I know these are a lot of questions, but I feel in a discussion on this it helps to give context to a situation which by it's nature, the other party is left perhaps clueless as to what has happened and there is the temptation to cast a judgement which might not be accurate, such as that it is silent treatment or a form of abuse, and this judgement based around lack of information becomes skewed in that it portrays the other in an abusive, manipulative light. As we know there are always two sides to every story, the lack of having access to the other story makes it easy to cast aspersions and manufacture assumptions that may or may not be accurate ones.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 07:49:38 PM »


Does it fit the definition of ghosting, was it narcissistic in nature, something else? Should I have contacted her later to explain once id got 'better'? I know these are a lot of questions, but I feel in a discussion on this it helps to give context to a situation which by it's nature, the other party is left perhaps clueless as to what has happened and there is the temptation to cast a judgement which might not be accurate, such as that it is silent treatment or a form of abuse, and this judgement based around lack of information becomes skewed in that it portrays the other in an abusive, manipulative light. As we know there are always two sides to every story, the lack of having access to the other story makes it easy to cast aspersions and manufacture assumptions that may or may not be accurate ones.

Hi Cromwell.

I think that in most breakups there is often blame projected from both sides and often tensions are quite high and both sides can do/say things that they later regret. People have their own opinions and thoughts. What you did sounds like self preservation but to your ex it could easily come across as something else such as rude/ignorant, when you add BPD into the mix there can be all kinds of variations and accusations. I was branded a toddler, a bitter twisted ex who just couldn't "let it go", when in reality I did nothing but leave her alone and would avoid conflict at all costs.

I think it probably does fit into the category of ghosting seeing as you left it where it was after the text then made efforts (SIM card) to avoid contact.

How do you feel about it? Do you have regrets?
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 04:22:30 AM »

Hi Longterm

Well, regrets is another double edged sword feeling. On the one hand it was like opening a window for the first time and letting a gust of fresh air back into my life, I started to heal, but it took a lot of work to climb out of that pit and I have no regret doing so in a practical - health related sense, I also got to the stage of severing the bond that was there and finding fulfillment in life without feeling enmeshed. There are still psychic strands of it today but in some ways I dont want to fully let them go and the difference is they do not give me negative reactions. When it comes to what skip said a while back "you would have freaked her out" - I believe from what I have learned since that this is likely to have happened, but the way I felt at the time was reading into the devaluation, the hatred, as a layperson, in my mind I thought "if you despise someone so much why would you miss them"? so I operated on that basis. Regret as to how my actions may have affected her came more post relationship learning. I also did meet her by chance, apologised for it, had limited contact and then went no contact again. but I would not call this a relationship or a friendship, I regretted giving her my number in the sense talking to her again was triggering and making me ill. I had became emotionally disturbed and severely depressed towards the end of splitting up, I reckon the stress had became high enough that I felt verged towards a stress related psychosis, prior to that I had repressed the emotional milieu of hurt over 3 years, I had moments of suppressing thoughts of physically hitting her, (anger management) it was an emergency action that was probably long overdue and I made the right choice, I look back and see how this affected not just 'us' either, but others in my life, these relationships are strongly charged and focus, I lost a lot of peripheral vision to others such as family, there are regrets there too, until I did something about it.

Its fine to eventually get to a place to be able to learn at an academic level, what a stalker is (I never had one before), specifically, what borderline stalker is. and if I had not been actively involved as the 24/7 victim of it and was sitting in the quaint grounds of a university, studying a course in psychiatry at my leasure, then there is time and space to learn compassion. But in the midst of a crisis, not knowing the fine details of what she is, what she is capable of and being just a layperson - I had no idea of how disturbed she was, what she could do - what she could encourage others to do. The worst I have had in life is an ex I split up was watching her from my window damage my car in the street as she was shouting in anger and I was not in a state of stress about it, because I knew she was upset but still otherwise a stable mentally healthy. Here I was in deep fear of the unknown. My ex had been violent to property, had stalked her exs, and had threatened me in the relationship. but she was mostly a triangulator and tried to get others involved to do her work. Her 'friends' are of the chav subculture type - you will understand more this term as I see you are from the UK as well. Deeply insecure to a point that words are hard to describe, an ego that can be threatened that is thinner than glass. Combine alcohol and all that stockpiled grudges and her riling some new guy up she has selected "a white knight" who wants to prove himself worthy. well, I have not just myself to think about - I have family members that do not deserve to be brought into the mix, property I do not want damaged. As much as I did not want to lose the plot myself and all it takes is a situation that becomes a crisis, reading the stories on this board and seeing what has happened helped confirm this to me. So I apologised to her 9 months later when I felt that pressure had been defused and made peace and better closure.

I think to reply more to clvrnn here, when we ask these sorts of questions "what is ghosting, the silent treatment etc" the way I offer an explanation is you can look these things up - where I dont know - but someone will give you their definition. But it is up to yourself to see beyond the words and apply them to the context of your very unique and inherently complex situation. When I do this, these definitions do not fit neatly, squarely, im not convinced, I see there is more to it and that is fine for I have no need to judge or use a label to make sense of something or to find inner peace about it.

If a nation expels all the ambassadors and diplomats that were once allowed, cuts off all future communication due to security concerns and a breakdown of trust - do we call this the silent treatment? or ghosting? or something else? Id call it a pragmatic, strategic move made with regards to national interests. But i could pick up a definition and instead psychiatrise the leader who ordered it narcissistic and that the action was rooted in it. There is a multitude of explanations that can be offered up for the same observed behaviour - what id caution against is when being in an emotionally vulnerable and conflicted and confused state is to appropiate an explanation that appears to give comfort to emotional pain and seems to ally it temporarily at the expense of looking at the situation objectively. It is hard I know from my own experience. In the same context, it helped to give understanding to my ex and how she had labelled me unfairly, projected, used me as a less threatening emotional punch bag for stuff that had nothing to do with me and originated with unresolved issues she had in the past with others.

If the quest here is to get a better nights sleep for the moment, achieved by psychiatrising our exs, label the behaviour as narcissistic abuse, neatly square it off with a handy definition we give it such as "silent treatment", and it gives some temporary solace. Well maybe thats fine as a temporary coping mechanism with a long term view of reserving the right to alter that thought in the future when new information comes to light.

clvrr, this silence, it is not a new thing you have went through with her in the past from what I recall, I think I recall you said there was even a pattern to it. Was it every holiday term she does it? My ex ghosted people she told me she does, I never got an explanation why but I look at the context. Usually it simply involves that she has found someone else and is so wrapped up in the relationship (idealisation of them?) that others who were a crutch get sliced off. It can be as much a tactical move that people do when they do not want people from "the past" who know them better and might reveal to the new partner stuff about them that theyd prefer not to know - that does not fit whatever image is offered on show. In short, it can be seen as a tactical move for this purpose and not a personal one of silent treatment as punishment to us. Maybe she is in a relationship and does not want you to know because you know her too well and are a potential threat to the new partner, "oh good luck with her, she broke my heart, she was not a real friend, unreliable, let me tell you about some of the crazy things she has done...."

I could dramatise that a bit and call it, the narcissist has discarded you, ghosted you, and is now strategically closing in on her new quarry. Maybe it is, but from my own experience I found peace eventually without having to psychiatrise, label or name calling. My advice is concentrate more on what her explanations to you were for doing this in the past? this is not the first time so there is maybe something here to work with. When you say it was resolved because she said "we can be friends" it leaves a lot out. First, it is a passive form of language, as if she directs the flow of your relationship. Did you not question what happened, why she disappeared? I ask because it happened to me and I did not - the way she talked was as if it was my choice, she said "of course I want to see you, its been 6 months!" the impression here as if I had some influence to her not being able to be contacted in all that time. A lot of us find ourselves here when these relationships fall on their face because we got too close to seeing them as smooth talkers, and once finding a loose thread started to pull on it. When I met her unexpected for the last time it was strange to see how unprepared she was, how stalled she was and how she stumbled with finding words. A contrast to the past of how at ease she was in the relationship. Like observing a drunk actress stumbling through her lines. I think I needed to experience this, and it is why i share it here, my feelings for her changed when I had detached myself from passive voice - Cromwell, the seduced.

Clvrr, The passive voice "she said we could be friends".

What happened next? I think it could help to explore a bit more your response (if any) to this.   
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 10:16:56 AM »

If a nation expels all the ambassadors and diplomats that were once allowed, cuts off all future communication due to security concerns and a breakdown of trust - do we call this the silent treatment? or ghosting? or something else?

When a nation cuts off all communication it is often a prelude to war. When talking stops weapons hot is the next logical step... But we are (relatively) healthy neurotics not diplomats... Smiling (click to insert in post)

In an interpersonal context, it is my opinion -Silent treatment might be defined as a punishment within the context of a relationship. 

Ghosting: when one party ceases contact with no forewarning.  Ghosting is certainly a rift within a relationship or a brutal end point. 

No contact, once again in my opinion, is after a break up when one or both parties decide to no longer speak to one another.

In my case I went no contact after a final call which ended 'So we will never speak again?' -- I answered 'Yes'. 

Interestingly (maybe a strong word... but here goes)... When I broke no contact to try to get some closure* the last thing I wrote to her was 'Until you stop using sex as a tool or a weapon people will see you as a thing instead of the beautiful human being you truly are.'  She was upset by this and didn't respond (silent treatment) so I then ceased communication.  By my definition I then resumed no contact.  I believe it is not silent treatment on my part because of intent -I wish her well, but have no intention of ever having contact with her again. 

* To Cromwell's point I dove so deeply into reading about BPD and indulged in so much rumination --I was no longer sure how much of my perception of the relationship was accurate.  I was afraid I had over pathologized the relationship and had lost sight of the forest for the trees... Our final discussion confirmed to me beyond a shadow of a doubt the die I had cast was accurate.  She is the most charismatic person I have met --and is utterly incapable of sustaining a healthy relationship at this point.

Excerpt
...label the behaviour as narcissistic abuse, neatly square it off with a handy definition we give it such as "silent treatment", and it gives some temporary solace. Well maybe thats fine as a temporary coping mechanism with a long term view of reserving the right to alter that thought in the future when new information comes to light.

I believe it is not unhealthy to think of the silent treatment as abusive.  There is no reason to necessarily add narcissistic in the mix.  Sadistic -sure...  However not necessarily narcissistic...

"I'd call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse."
                                                                                                               --What's Up Tiger Lily...

Terms and nomenclature are useful to a point -but...We don't necessarily have to dwell on them.  When it comes down to it we all ended up in dysfunctional relationships and now we do our human best to deal with the fallout.  Hopefully, through introspection and growth.

I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what in the wide wide world of sports happened in my relationship.  Learning about BPD certainly helped explain what I experienced.  Her behavior was novel to me and in the fray seemed outlandishly random.  She has not been diagnosed -but I would bet my last dollar she would greatly benefit from dialectic behavioral talk therapy.  Until she can get a handle on her emotional state she is not going to be a happy camper.

Can I diagnose her?  Certainly not -but I know she has a horrible self image, utterly absurd and dangerous coping mechanisms E.g. (NSSI, dangerous sex, previous suicide attempt, hears voices, and the odd psychotic episode), and is bloody murder on all of those who truly love her.  E.g. (in a rage tearing the flooring out of her grandparents humble apartment, in a different episode of rage throwing their possessions out a window), open war with her mother, and lastly closer to home the behaviors within our relationship which have compelled me to enter therapy, read everything I could on BPD, and spend months posting over 400 times here.

Longterm wrote "I think that in most breakups there is often blame projected from both sides and often tensions are quite high..."

Our ending was tear-filled, but without blaming.  I suppose it is, perhaps, the healthiest ending I could have hoped for in a wildly dysfunctional relationship.  What has kept me stuck for so long was how suddenly I had to reframe, accept and digest, going from being deliriously (word chosen carefully) happy to being suddenly jerked back to the stark reality of the objective situation.

It struck me this morning how I was swept away by her utter conviction.  When she first professed her love --I had never witnessed someone having such total and absolute certainty.  It seemed other worldly. It inspired fantasy
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2019, 08:28:21 PM »

Good to hear from you WickerMan, especially today, it has been difficult.

It struck me this morning how I was swept away by her utter conviction.  When she first professed her love --I had never witnessed someone having such total and absolute certainty.  It seemed other worldly. It inspired fantasy.

Are you open to the possibility it came across this way because it could have been said by her in a state of psychosis? I say this because the way you articulate this it conveyed the idea of it to me.

deliriously (word chosen carefully) happy to being suddenly jerked back to the stark reality of the objective situation.

I relate to delerious, this heightened state I think involves a change in neurotransmitter, in short this is the link between emotion and the physiology response, with the same operation when it goes into reverse gear. WM when you say the depression is lifting, for me I feel that I have readjusted back, there is a lack of the delerium, there has been a regression to the mean (a medical term). But my mean has always been that of mildly depressed, so i really on that front back to where I was. I ask how you feel about this if you self evaluate your progress.

Do you miss the delerium? If so, it is like reading someone who has taken crack, had it removed. The drug analogy used becomes more profound the more I have researched it, as much as I have my own experience to co-relate between recreational drug use and how I felt with my ex. I cross relate to the way you describe your state of mind, as much as I cross relate the majority of my life that was sober. I feel in a good position here to comment on it.

WM you have 400 plus points here and I cherish each of them, you have been a companion to me throughout this, but you know this yourself, or at least I will point it out in case it has been overlooked. You would do the same for me. You have a wide vocabulary to draw upon and words get interchanged but the crux of these moments together, they repeat themselves and do not read this as a complaint it is not - it is an observation. You said yourself, you notice when you think of her a dopamine hit. WM, I notice when I took a break from talking about her, thinking about her, the result was my nervous system starting to not get fired up each time. I believe part of you feeling better is also a regression adaptation back to the mean, whatever the mean was, but lets face it - you removed yourself physically from a stimulus that made you delerious and physiologically there is chemistry involved in this. Add in the emotional attachment/love for her asides from say being addicted to a drug - it is a double whammy. I say this from my own experience, I did not need to take crack each day when I got into a relationship with her, some times it was hard to discern the difference, I felt more in control of my life with the former, this is not melodrama.

It can be hard for me to discern the difference, do I crave her, or do I crave the feeling. An association between the two has been built. I am in no way reducing love to that of a hedonistic pleasure but I think however clinical and unromantic it is to neglect to bring forward the significance of what it does to us when we keep repeating thoughts that trigger and jack up our nervous system. Labelled as pathways, and WM they get reinforced the more we do it. It is part of the reason I avoid therapy and I have found benefit when I had to leave this group for awhile. Can I ask what the goal is for you WM - because if it is stabilised mood, the price to pay for this is not that dopamine hit each time. If this regression to the mean involves going back to a place where (i think you werent exactly happy back then either?) part of the push factor into this? It is a goal of having to go back to this place, or more accurately forward to it from where you are now and then deal with it. I just cant escape a feeling you are trapped, perhaps relating my own feelings of eventually identfying this in myself and I only offer it as something to consider if you have not.

We call it groundhog day during the r/s, but has post r/s really been different? We make progress, sure, but for me it was slow and subtle, it was scoped towards tackling only part of the factors, allaying the brunt of it. It got me to a place more clear headed to start going down other routes. It grieves me to see you in this state when I put into practice the advice you have given me, the tangible results. Is not the act of recall of the delerium memory, talking about, a world away from partially reliving it - albeit to a lesser extent? I use to recall those moments, it doesnt help in detaching, it has helped to have given attention and interest to other women, even porn, and to set pathways of new fantasies as much emotionally rooted as sexually. I encourage you to do the same because it helps down regulate the effect of this existing pathway that keeps getting reinforced. how often do you hear members here say "i think its the physical closeness I miss" but then go on to offer an excuse "not to say im a shallow person". and an underlying implying that it detracts from "loving" them less. Stuff like this is significant, should be explored, I thought psychoanalysis was built on this foundation yet in my time here you hear little discussion or advice how to manage these thoughts and how they affect mood regulation. If the goal is to detach than to some extent, the replaying of these memories needs at least to be subdued a bit more. It is important to talk stuff out but surely it reaches a point not just of diminishing returns but can actually start becoming counterproductive? Just my own thoughts, I stopped and noticed a difference.

Clvrr: my ex ghosted people out her life regularly, I think she got so easily into relationships she then felt out of her depth - became too much for her and had to cut them off. When I see the types of partners/associates she had, I see part of it to her making a very regrettable choice to 'befriend' them in the first place, but she got into them at times in an impulsive need seeking way. Have you ever related in a way, I know people I have shaken hands with them not long after tried to find a way to get rid of them for years and not know how, not relationships just certain people in general?
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 09:38:40 PM »

Excerpt
this silence, it is not a new thing you have went through with her in the past from what I recall, I think I recall you said there was even a pattern to it. Was it every holiday term she does it?

Yes, it has happened every time there is a break from university.

Excerpt
My advice is concentrate more on what her explanations to you were for doing this in the past? this is not the first time so there is maybe something here to work with. When you say it was resolved because she said "we can be friends" it leaves a lot out. First, it is a passive form of language, as if she directs the flow of your relationship. Did you not question what happened, why she disappeared?


The first time she did it, she didn't offer an explanation and I think at the time I was so - excited? - to hear from her that I didn't question. I was consumed by the excitement of hearing from her, the fact that she'd thought about me after so long in my mind confirmed that we did have a connection, etc. She later said she'd had issues over the summer with anxiety, and that's why she hadn't responded. This made no sense to me, as I'd seen her travelling and enjoying her summer with other people on Instagram. It's only recently that I have concluded, after knowing her short relationship patterns, that she must have been dating someone else. With the gusto that she threw into suddenly spending all her time with me, it makes sense that it didn't work out with whoever she had been dating, and plunged straight into giving her attention to me so as not to feel bored/lonely.

This time around I have no idea. I wouldn't want to know, either. Perhaps there is someone, perhaps she is self isolating. She speaks a lot about retreating from relationships due to her behaviour, so maybe she hasn't dated anyone. Maybe she has. I don't know either way. Spoke in the past of overwhelming feelings/emotions being the reason she stayed away from me too, which I suppose is feasible and may have been the case this time around.


Excerpt
Clvrr, The passive voice "she said we could be friends".

What happened next? I think it could help to explore a bit more your response (if any) to this.

Yeah, I didn't question it much and I pursued her. She'd backed off again and I confronted her about her saying we could be friends but being off with me. We gradually started dating, and the rest is history I guess.

I wish I had been a bit more steadfast, and not jumped straight into things with her. I did that a few times, never questioning her, never making her pay any emotional repercussions for bad treatment. Once I had the offer of going with a uni classmate for coffee or going with pwBPD to 'talk' (after first break up) - I went with pwBPD and we started dating again, only to be dumped a second time. I wish I had gone for the coffee. Not only did I experience more pain, I lost a friend as that person never spoke to me again. So double pain.

To be honest, I post here so often. I feel as if this experience has altered me in some way, I don't feel the same. I feel very empty and not sure who I am/what to do next. I don't know how anyone gets through this.
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 10:05:45 PM »


To be honest, I post here so often. I feel as if this experience has altered me in some way, I don't feel the same. I feel very empty and not sure who I am/what to do next. I don't know how anyone gets through this.

I think traumatic experiences do alter people but I think it's important to use this experience as a catalyst for change. I am far from "over it" but when I look back I can see many positive changes and moving forward I plan more. I share your uncertainty about the future and I spoke with a friend today who went through a similar experience to me, he is 14yrs out and we were actually discussing changes that we both have made during these very emotionally draining experiences. He is in a much better place and I give him a lot of credit with how he handled things, he's gives me hope.

We get through it one day at a time.
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It is, was, and will always be all about her.
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