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Author Topic: Feeling distrustful of him again  (Read 372 times)
LoneRanger307
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« on: July 30, 2019, 11:47:33 AM »

So you know from my previous posts that trust is the area by BPDh and I struggle with. Lately I have been feeling distrustful of him again, after a period where things were going ok. I think part of it is that when I try to make requests/set boundaries I don't set a deadline. When there's not a deadline he often will put something off for a very long time, and consider that he is sticking to the agreement as long as he has the intention of doing it.  He also easily gets off track by little obstacles. I find this super frustrating and experience it as a transgression, and then struggle with guilt and feeling I am being too hard on him. I guess I need a reality check?

Some examples:

1. We agreed to sign our kiddo up for swim lessons. He offered to take this over. A month plus later, she still wasn't signed up. First he put if off saying he was waiting for someone else do to the research for him. Then the one class was already filled. Then he took another five days to call already and try to find another option than the most expensive place (one I first identified). He found classes at the Y and signed up for a membership, and then found out our kid is too young for the class. I finally asked him to go sign her up at the expensive pool this weekend. He took her on Saturday, but b/c the class was full that day he left w/o signing her up for future classes. Today he finally called again and got her scheduled. Over two months to get her into a swim class, all together. I feel resentful about all the reminders I had to give him. I asked to take this project back, but he wanted to do it.

2. He hasn't updated his license or car insurance. It's still valid in our old state, even though you are supposed to do it within a month after you move. After about 4 it 5 months, he finally changed his insurance to this state. He set a day to go to the DMV, and then slept through his alarm. Another day he actually went, but was missing something for his car and then left without trying to get his license. This was a few weeks ago and I haven't asked for an update. Debating whether I should or not. I hate feeling like his task keeper.

3. He has had a "Full-time" job since end of April/May. I found out from him recently that its actually only 35 hrs a week, so not really full time. He took off 3 weeks in June (2 vacation, 1 sickness). Lately I found out that his boss has let him go home early most days in the past week due to his "pain." Again, he never directly tells me these things, but it comes out after the fact when I am asking him about details.

There are other things, but these are the main ones that have bugged me. These are things we have always struggled with. The difference now is that he is TRYING to work, and is being honest. But it seems his honesty is often limited to when I directly ask about things. He did bring up getting pulled over by a cop the other day for speeding, so I guess that is at least one example of a negative thing he willingly disclosed.

Am I being too controlling and micromanaging? I know I need to work on specific deadlines, but what do I do when he keeps moving the goal back due to obstacles? Am I settling for too little change, or is this progress?
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once removed
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2019, 11:18:40 PM »

Excerpt
Am I being too controlling and micromanaging?

it just seems like you may be relying on someone who is not necessarily the most reliable person. your expectations of him are higher than he may be prepared/equipped to meet.

Excerpt
I hate feeling like his task keeper.

im wondering, how did this arrangement come to be? i understand why you would want him to have a full time job and car insurance. why is this an area of distrust between the two of you? whats the backstory?
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LoneRanger307
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 08:54:59 AM »

The backstory, briefly--he stopped working a year after we got married without telling me. He lied about working for 6 years. It was very complicated and convoluted. He claims he stopped working due to panic attacks, but he never sought treatment and I never saw him have a panic attack all those years. Similarly he didn't have a valid drivers license for 10yrs and I didn't know it. Drove with out his license that whole time; drove me and our baby around. Drove his cars without registering them. Let the registration and insurance lapse on my car last year. He also lied about at least one major health problem for several years....

There's more. He was supposed to take our daughter for swim lessons last year, but never did and always had excuses all summer. I have good reason to get suspicious, upset about these things, I think. He reacts though like I am being mean and controlling. He would like us to live together as a family again, but I want him to show that he can be responsible and take care of himself.

I was thinking yesterday that I just need to learn to detach with love. Let him be in charge of himself and let go of my anger and suspiciousness. But I think to fully do that I would need to let go of our relationship. I have no intention of being his caregiver or the only working adult in the household again.
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 03:30:37 PM »

Excerpt
I have good reason to get suspicious, upset about these things, I think.

you do.

Excerpt
Let him be in charge of himself and let go of my anger and suspiciousness.

i think youre onto something here...i think its really about realistic expectations, and the things that you can control. people with BPD traits dont have adult coping skills, in general the idea that your husband should get his  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) together so to speak, may be unrealistic.

ill give you an example, albeit a simplistic one. i had a friend who was the worst possible person to go to as a shoulder to cry on. hed say the wrong thing. hed be terribly invalidating. and then id tell him that. and then inevitably id try again, expecting him to be better. i finally realized that just wasnt his area of specialty. there were plenty of things i liked about our friendship. i started focusing on those, and went to other people if i needed a shoulder to cry on. as a result, our friendship improved dramatically. years later, hes one of the best shoulders to cry on that i know 

there are reasonable expectations, and then there are realistic ones. i think all of the ones you have described are very reasonable. i think hes shown himself to be unreliable, and even dishonest. maybe that will improve at some point, and maybe it wont. but things can get more peaceful when we see the situation for what it is, as opposed to how we want it to be, and then we have a better idea on how to approach things.

before you approach this from a perspective of detaching though (which is one of gottmans stages of relationship breakdown), have the two of you really sat down and talked about this? do you know what hed say, what his reasons would be, if he were to read the perspective youve laid out here? have the two of you talked about solutions that can work for each of you?
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LoneRanger307
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2019, 10:02:28 PM »

Thanks, once removed. Your calm response is really helpful when I am feeling so full of chaos.

He and I do need to talk more. We've never really laid down any firm "trust building" rules or behaviors. When we've talked about these things, his perspective is that HE IS being fully honest and forth coming. He doesn't feel like he is lying or being unreliable. I've been thinking a lot about the Karpman drama triangle, and my BPDh always seems to present from the Victim role, or that's where he sees himself. Life just happens to him. He's doing his best, but he feels completely out of control. He said yesterday that he wants to work full time and be more independent. He wants to be the partner I am asking for.

Our T pointed out that our communication as a couple has gone way down in the last few weeks, and wondered if this might be due to BPDh's pain problem. He really does seem to be in a lot of pain some days, and I could understand how that might impair his functioning and thinking. On the other hand though, he still does not have a firm diagnosis for this problem. Its so similar to a health issue that he exaggerated 6 years ago and malingered on for years. Because of that past, I have such a hard time believing the level of pain he is reporting is real/accurate. And when I feel that way it's extremely hard to react to him in a compassionate way.

I get the similarity with your friend. Maybe my BPDh just has a lot more work to do and isn't at a point where he can keep simple commitments. He is doing trauma work in therapy, and I think that is probably part of all this too. But then, do I wait for him to finish the trauma work? And at what point can it really be done?

I'm so tired of being the only adult in this marriage. I can't rely on him to complete commitments without a lot of cajoling and looking over his shoulder. And that just feels to bad for me. I hate being in this role. And I don't know how to trust him or forgive him for the past. I still have so much anger toward him.
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Radcliff
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2019, 11:50:29 PM »

once removed is giving some great advice here.  I'm impressed that you're reading up on the drama triangle!  You mentioned boundaries, but in the context that you mentioned them it sounded like boundaries were expectations you were setting for his behavior.  We teach boundaries as things we do to protect ourselves, such as walking out of the room when someone is swearing at us, not as something we enforce to make someone else do something.  To learn more about boundaries, you might want to visit this page on setting boundaries.  
A great book to read is Boundaries, by Cloud and Townsend.  When I finally realized how to let others own their behavior and to stay out of things they were responsible for, I became a much happier person and my relationships improved substantially.

As a man, I'll say that feeling like I'm not meeting a woman's expectations can be hella discouraging.  Make sure he knows the positive feelings you have for him.  As you come up to speed on boundaries, you'll also find fewer things to apply pressure to him on.  He seems very sensitive to your disapproval, and him telling half truths or lying by omission certainly is not a mature reaction, but may be his coping mechanism for avoiding feeling bad.  He is who he is, so don't plan on changing him, but many of us find that by learning things like boundaries we can avoid making things worse, and often make them better.

RC
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Witz_End
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2019, 02:08:06 AM »

A question for you, not meant to excuse anything, but to consider root problems...

Could he be suffering from depression?

I've read that BPD can present with other disorders and sometimes depression can be overlooked in the way it sometimes appears in males.  I suffered from depression for years without even knowing that was what it was, myself.  It did not feel or look like "Eeyore" in any way.

It did... and does, as I find it returning... create quiet cycles inside me.  If I didn't do something one day for whatever reason, I'd feel guilty.  The guilt would drag me down, sapping some drive.  If I didn't the next, more guilt.  It can become a cycle of depression draining action, inaction cycling around into more depression.  It looks like laziness and bad procrastination, but beneath the surface is an internal storm of self blame, hidden frustration and dysfunctional response.

In some sense, it's a point of reference for me when it comes to the self-blame of a pwBPD and their dysfunctional response to it.  In fact, I can see where that kind of cycle could appear in a pwBPD because they can also split black on themselves and harbor a lot of internal blame.  If they feel guilty and are internally blaming themselves for a dropped ball or unfulfilled promise, it's conceivable that could kick of a similar cycle.

It can feel like "I don't know why the  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) I don't get up off my butt and do this... I feel trapped in a cycle that should be as simple as just doing it..."   Theoretically, it's an internal sabotage.  There is no such thing as DYSfunction in reality - every behavior serves a function, whether good/productive or not.  So, what is the function for sabotage involved?  Perhaps a need for self-blame that starts a cycle of more self-blame?  Based on guilt?  Some part is holding back from doing what needs to be done for a reason and that reason isn't really clear.

Just thoughts.  Considerations, maybe.  Even if it's so, it's not meant as an excuse on his behalf.
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LoneRanger307
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2019, 01:01:37 PM »

Thanks for the replies.

Witz- yes he has a depression dx and is taking medication for that.He also has an anxiety disorder dx. I do recognize that his behavior could be attributed to depression .  I have recognized his depression for a long time and encouraged him to get treatment in the past. (Another thing he lied about for years.)

Radcliff- thank you for your reply as well. I do recognize that boundaries are about what I am willing to do/for myself. But I also want my marriage to be a partnership where we can share responsibilities and each party tries to hold up their end. I suppose my ultimate boundary is that if he can't hold up his and, I am unwilling to stay in this relationship. I get that it contributes to his low self-esteem when I express disappointment, but I also don't think it would be right for me to hide my feelings or not point out when he is not following through on responsibilities.

I spent a lot of time this past week trying to meditation on forgiveness and insight around this. I realized that a large part of how I feel right now is processing of my past anger and feelings of betrayal around his past lies. I didn't feel those emotions at the time because I convinced myself I was being a lousy spouse by mistrusting him rather than trusting my gut. Now I feel so intensely distrustful and have a hard time believing anything positive.

Thinking of the drama triangle, I am focusing on trying not to persecute, getting in touch with my empathy and trying to be a problem solver. I realized that right now it is hard for me to feel compassion for him, given that I am still processing these negative emotions. I also realize he is deserving of someone who feels compassionate toward him and can offer him love and caring.

Our therapist have us an assignment to decide if we are proceeding as a married or separating couple. (BPDh took this to just mean related to finances, where as I took this to mean related to the whole relationship.) We talked yesterday and I expressed my thoughts above--that I don't feel like I can offer him compassion yet, and that we should perhaps proceed with separating formally. He wants to stay married and keep working on it. He says he is willing to wait and give me time and space to work through my past hurts. We agreed to a temporary plan of daily check-ins for the next week to try to improve our communication.

So we are still in the same spot, though I feel a lot less angry and distrustful now. I feel like I am crazy with all this still--like I swing to such extremes. (My therapist assures me I don't have BPD.) I keep waiting to get guidance from my higher power, but it hasn't shown up yet. I just want peace

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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2019, 10:35:26 PM »

You talked about a boundary of not staying in the relationship if it couldn't meet your needs.  That's important.  Many people just plunge blindly on, without regard to whether their needs are being met.

Leaving a marriage is a big step.  Having recently arrived, you're climbing the learning curve on coping tools that we teach here, and you also said that you're working on letting go of anger and developing compassion for your husband.  We normally advise folks to avoid making any big decisions about the relationship until they've been here for a while and have given the tools a shot to see where they can get them.

Regarding the separation idea, you might find this thread on therapeutic separation to be worth reading.

I found that I had a huge amount of resentment around unmet expectations.  It's a tough place to be in.  Looking at BPD as a disability really helped me to develop compassion and reduce resentment.  Have you thought about it from this angle?  Coming to this belief doesn't mean you're agreeing the relationship is right for you, but it can be an important step in finding peace regardless of the relationship outcome, and is an important early step if the relationship is to continue.  What are your thoughts on this?

RC
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LoneRanger307
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2019, 05:48:10 PM »

A little update:
We've had some talks about our relationship and I've decided to keep working on it. Part of what has helped is his acknowledgement that he will not push me to forgive him faster than I am ready. He's also stated recently that he understands why I originally separated from him and does not see me as at fault or as having overreached to his behavior. These insights on his part have been helpful for me seeing that he is getting better.

After many discussions about the things I am wanting him to do, my therapist nicely summed it up last week. 'BPDh, LoneRanger is looking for you to take some INITIATIVE. That's what she needs to see from you." Oh! Why couldn't I say it so concisely?

He did take initiative in signing up for college last week and applying for scholarships. That was a big step that I was not expecting at this point. He has tried twice in the last week to get his driver's license updated and get his car registered. But each time did not allocate enough time to be at the DMV so left without getting anything accomplished.

I'm starting to be able to see his behavior more clearly. Applying for college--maybe this was an impulsive urge that he road out for one day to get the application done. Perhaps there weren't too many hurdles, he had encouragement, etc. The DMV is a more complex task for him, perhaps. He needs to plan to potentially take multiple hours off from work, wait times can be unpredictable. He also seems to have more fear around car issues because of all his past failures in this area. Maybe cars don't hold his interest and there is nothing to make this task exciting or appealing? He says he is going to try again on Friday and his boss has already agreed to give him half the day off for this, if needed.

I am still learning about how to trust and what to trust vs. not trust. But I think I am seeing more clearly how his behavior is related to problems with processing and problem-solving, more that purposefully trying to be dishonest or hurtful.
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2019, 11:23:22 PM »

That's great that you're seeing how his limitations are affecting his behavior more than an intentional desire to be difficult.  That's fundamentally helpful to having compassion and understanding for him, which can help him feel accepted without being judged.

It sounds like you're being carefully observant about his DMV challenges.  If he succeeds next time, you'll be in a great place to congratulate him on overcoming the hurdles and planning for DMV uncertainties.  This feeds what they call a "growth mindset" which is a great thing for him to have.

Great work!  Keep us posted!

RC
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LoneRanger307
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2019, 04:22:14 PM »

Another update, related to my other post about anger:

This last week I gave up some of my personal time so that he could have more time to work on his stuff. But nothing got accomplished. He went to the DMV three times in a week but didn't get anything done. He was supposed to meet a college advisor on Saturday but the advisor didn't show up for office hours. Oh, and he has been cripplingly sick with a stomach bug all week, which he only brought up after our kid had some stomach problems.

All of this stuff triggers my distrust and the fear and anger. He has pretended he was sick in the past and copied symptoms of other people who were sick. The DMV we have discussed....its always other people's fault. I developed so much paranoia and an altered world view in the past, because he made up so many stories of other people doing intentionally mean things or just being flakes.

So now when he says these things, I don't believe him. I'm working on responding with guarded empathy instead of anger today.  "You must be exhaust. I bet that's hard." Etc. He is still going to. work. He supposedly started a college class this week.

I just don't know if I will ever be able to feel genuine trust and love for him again. At the same time I am looking for apartments for us to move in together! I think I need to stop doing that for a while.
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2019, 11:15:05 PM »

This stuff is hard.  You are working at letting go of things you can't control, which is very good.  But it's not easy, and is a learning process.  Your post brings up two thoughts for me.

Thought 1 -- What do you think about the idea of forgetting about the DMV issue?  Accepting that he's singularly incompetent at resolving his DMV troubles and simply putting it out of your mind and permanently off your worry list?  I understand that it's symbolic for you of his irresponsibility, which fundamentally runs against your values, but your worrying about it is just harming you and having zero impact on him succeeding.

Thought 2 -- If you don't feel like the relationship is on steady enough ground for you to move in with him, don't move in with him.  Maybe he'll do some growing to increase the chances you'll be successful.  Maybe you'll do some growing.  Maybe you both will.  You've made progress, but if you move in with him before you're ready, and things are not at a level that you want them, that's a painful situation to be in, and you'll likely be less effective in the relationship.

In the end, it comes down to balancing Thought 1 and Thought 2.  Really deeply looking at your most important values, holding onto them, and letting go of everything else.  There are so many things we can get out of a relationship.  The other person can help us earn enough to provide for the family, spend quality time with us, support us, etc., etc.  What are the top two or three things to you, the things you absolutely need in a mate to help sustain you?

RC
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LoneRanger307
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2019, 08:59:19 AM »

Thought 1 -- What do you think about the idea of forgetting about the DMV issue? 

I think what gets me stuck here is that last year he let the registration and insurance lapse on BOTH our cars. So not only did he endanger me through that choice, he endangered our child. I can take control of keeping my own car registered and insured now, but I get stuck on what's happening with his car. He has it registered in another state, and has insurance here, but is legally not in compliance with registration in the new state. So I justify my obsession with 1) he HAS to learn this adulting skill, and 2) I need to protect my daughter by making sure she is being driven in registered/insured vehicles.

I can let go of that first obsession, but I have a responsibility to my child's safety and health. I could ask for copies of his license/registration/insurance any maybe just put the dates that these expire on my calendar. That way, I can check when they need to be updated and if he has let them lapse at that point, he doesn't get to drive her around until he fixes it. Until those dates come up though, I can just let go of it. If he gets a ticket for not registering in our new state, that's on him. I can let go of the need for him to be punished or trying to force him to comply with legal rules. (Easier in text than emotionally accomplished!)

Excerpt
Thought 2 -- If you don't feel like the relationship is on steady enough ground for you to move in with him, don't move in with him. 

Yeah, I think this makes a lot of sense. I'm trying to force something I'm not totally ready for. Some days I feel ready, though. I think part of my logic for moving in together is that it would make our lives less complicated. He spends a lot of time over at my place now so we can co-parent. Me and kiddo stay at his place once a week. This results in two households that need cleaning and the constant running back and forth with suitcases of clothes. His place is often messy, which he says is because he's not home enough to clean it. I also want to move closer to my work and get out of my parents house because being under their thumb creates issues for me (another topic entirely). I think we just need to keep talking about it in therapy. I could move into an apartment near his, but this perpetuates a lot of the double household/expenses/work problems.
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2019, 12:12:35 PM »

Dear LoneRanger-

I realize I’m pretty late to the conversation here and this may already have been covered.  I apologize if it has...

I’ve found that sometimes use of the word “rely” rather than “trust” can make a difference.  “Trust” seemed to bring up “you think I’m CHEATING?????”  My uBPDbf is extremely faithful, so the word “Trust” is loaded.  Whereas “rely” means a whole different thing to him.  He can do things that I ONLY “rely” on him to do.  ...”honey...do you feel this is something I can rely on you to take care of?” 

Also is my state, DMV appointments can be scheduled online, so you don’t need to carve out an entire half day.  Are online appointments available where you live?  If he’s got some type of anxiety around switching the registration and license, perhaps THIS time only, you offer going with him to a scheduled appointment time?  Maybe then he’ll let you know what’s at the bottom of this hesitation.  And you can get these important things off of YOUR mind.

Warmly,
Gemsforeyes
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Fond memories, fella.


« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2019, 04:21:14 PM »

Gemsforeyes has an interesting idea, to help him out with the DMV appointment.  Partners help each other all the time.  It comes down to a matter of whether you're carrying too much of the load they should carry, or are helping them out with occasional things where they're in need of assistance.  You've got a vested interest in whether you're child is riding in a car with the medical coverage auto insurance brings, and your household is benefiting from the liability coverage.  The DMV appears to be a special problem for him.  Making a strategic decision to help here doesn't make you a doormat and doesn't prevent him from fending for himself elsewhere.  He might appreciate having a partner with him, and may even learn by your example (like, "hey, that wasn't bad, I could make an appointment and do it myself next time."  We can always hope ;)

Regarding moving in together, you're learning a ton right now about how to cope more effectively with BPD, what realistic expectations are, etc.  If you wait a bit and then decide to move in together, you will likely be making your decision based on a more realistic set of expectations of both him and yourself, which will likely make things go better.

RC
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LoneRanger307
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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2019, 06:28:32 AM »

I asked him about the DMV, but he says he would rather do it on his own. His father went with him last year, so he's had at least one time of someone walking him through it. He knows how to get there and what to bring. His father will be back to visit later this month, so maybe if nothing else he can ask him again.

Thanks Gemsforeyes on the advice for wording. I am trying to be clearer when I ask him for things, setting specific deadlines and asking if he thinks he can do it by then.

BPDh came over for the whole weekend after being absent for the week. He brought be flowers, chocolate and wine (a bit over kill) as a thank you for taking care of our kid while he was sick. His view was that he was "quarantining" himself this past week. I get that I guess...but it's not good for our kid to unexpectedly go without seeing him for so long. He cooked meals all weekend and took her for overnights. We had a nice family hike yesterday. It was a good, normal weekend. We haven't had one like that in a long time. Maybe we can work on having a few more...or even a normal month before we move in. Its about to get rough though with all the family coming to visit.
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2019, 03:27:38 PM »

Tell us more about the family visit.  Who's coming?  What has been difficult in the past?

RC
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« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2019, 05:21:31 PM »



I’ve found that sometimes use of the word “rely” rather than “trust” can make a difference.  “Trust” seemed to bring up “you think I’m CHEATING?????”  My uBPDbf is extremely faithful, so the word “Trust” is loaded.  Whereas “rely” means a whole different thing to him.  He can do things that I ONLY “rely” on him to do.  ...”honey...do you feel this is something I can rely on you to take care of?” 



Gem, found this helpful, been putting thought into this week.
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« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2019, 07:40:21 PM »

Hi Birddog-

I’m hoping “rely” works for you.. sometimes changing up one word makes a world of difference in the delivery/ what is received.

Take good care,
Gems
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LoneRanger307
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« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2019, 09:04:32 PM »

Tell us more about the family visit.  Who's coming?  What has been difficult in the past?

RC

That's a whole topic unto itself. I am living in a house my parents own. My mother (codependent) is coming to stay for a month.  She booked her trip after my FIL (codependent) had already booked a month visit. Their two stays overlap by just a few days on each end. FIL is staying with BPDh, but M can't stand him so it makes things quite complicated in terms of our regular schedules. Also during this month of visits, FIL's not-GF (codepedent) is coming for about 4 days and my father is coming for 10 days (luckily those visits don't overlap). And everyone wants to see toddler all the time. My father (who has some NPD traits/codependent) tried to already claim toddler for himself for a week. I'm trying to make a daily schedule of who is doing what and where and when, including some downtime and breaks.

I get really emotionally unsettled when my parents are in town. I go from being an independent adult to a child/guest in their house. They both interfere in my parenting a lot. They have not been very welcoming of BPDh in the last year (total switch from previously claiming him as a son). They really can't stand FIL, who they think is a narcissistic jerk.
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Gemsforeyes
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2019, 10:21:32 PM »

Hi LR-

These “relaxing” family visits can be an opportunity for you to “rely” on your BPDh to periodically take you out for lunch or dinner for a breather from your M and D.  And you can set it up that way in advance.  Tell your H (hopefully...?). “I know I’ll need some sweet, calm time with just you and me to steal away for a bit here and there.  Can I rely on you (count on you)  to help me with that?”

And find ways to calm yourself (bubble baths do it for me), meditation, walks with music on your head, whatever it takes to soothe your own savage beast.

Finally, you ARE a confident adult woman and NOT the codependent child who owes everyone everything all the time.  Please try to keep that in mind.  You are NOT responsible for everyone’s feelings.  That’s hard to grasp, but it’s true.

Let everyone enjoy the baby and allow yourself to enjoy the “help”.  Insist they help.  Suggest everyone pitch in on meals and cleanup, etc. 

Be DETERMINED that this time will be GOOD.

Your thoughts?

Warmly,
Gemsforeyes
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Radcliff
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Fond memories, fella.


« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2019, 01:13:56 AM »

Wow.  I'm impressed.  That is quite a crew that's headed your way!  I'm not even sure where to start!  Your parents are staying with you, and getting sucked back into that parent-child dynamic seems like a fundamental thing that underlies much of the stress.  Can you tell us a little more about it?  How do they interfere with your parenting?  What actions/words from them make you feel like a child again?

RC
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 04:44:28 PM by Radcliff » Logged
LoneRanger307
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« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2019, 10:21:35 AM »

Yes, I do have to work on reminding myself when they are here that I am THE MOM. It's slowly gotten a little better over the last few visits in someways, but worse in others. All the fallout with my H has made me deal with my family of origin and all of their drama. It's been eye planning and very necessary in some ways.

Examples:
- My family tells me I am demanding, over emotional. I see now that they gaslight me a lot and often see my emotions as invalid. My dad rages and demands all focus on him most of the time. My mom makes everything very dramatic and is extremely passive. If I do any of these behaviors I am the crazy one. Or I am being disrespectful to them if I don't validate their crazy. Its inconsistent though and if I can more calmly state my emotions or start crying, they can rescue me and offer validation and comfort.

-They see themselves as martyrs rescuing me from BPDh. As I work to repair my marriage, they feel threatened. They are also threatened by Hs family who that think are snobby and wealthy. (I do prefer to be around BPDh's family at times because they never yell at me.)

-They try to take over parenting from me when they are here. I am working to control that more by setting my own schedule for toddler and sticking to it. My M wanted to take toddler out of daycare for a week for "intensive potty training" which is unnecessary and I told her so. My F, when he found out FIL would be in town too, tried to demand getting sole access to toddler for a week and banning FIL from seeing her. Etc.

-There was an eye openning moment during the last visit where my F threatened to hit my M while discussing placement of chairs for a party. And everyone pretended it didn't happen. I talked to my M about it afterwards and she was fully of excuses and justifications. I don't remember anything like that happening before, but my F has a bad temper and would hit my brother a lot and me once....I think I must have blocked out a lot when I was a kid.

So I am preparing by setting a very structured schedule which allows toddler to see both me and H every day while not having BPDh and FIL in my parents' house very often. And prepping mentally to stay calm and stick to my self care routines (increase them when needed). M is already upset that we will be sleeping at BPDhs apartment a couple nights a week. She wants us there all the time.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 10:33:31 AM by LoneRanger307 » Logged
Birddog
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« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2019, 11:38:12 AM »

I'm just going to be a cheerleader here,  like all you are saying LR.

Excerpt
I am THE MOM.
Yes, you are!

Excerpt
They try to take over parenting from me when they are here.
Keep working on the healthy boundaries,  know from experience how rough this is.

Excerpt
So I am preparing by setting a very structured schedule which allows toddler to see both me and H every day while not having BPDh and FIL in my parents' house very often. And prepping mentally to stay calm and stick to my self care routines (increase them when needed). M is already upset that we will be sleeping at BPDhs apartment a couple nights a week. She wants us there all the time.
Good to establish limits,  you need your space to retreat, self care, and freedom not to be under constant watch.
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Radcliff
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Fond memories, fella.


« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2019, 02:40:50 PM »

Wow, I'm impressed both by how much you're dealing with, as well as how insightful you are at assessing things and how well prepared you appear to be.  I am sure it will be exhausting, but you've got this.  Your tales of persecutors turning into rescuers brings to mind the Karpman Drama Triangle.  It sounds like you might have some of that going on. 

You seem to have a good grip on reality despite having many people in your life who question your reality.  How are you able to keep your bearings on what a reasonable reality is?  In the past I've felt like I was flying a helicopter in a sandstorm, with no reference to which direction is up.  What advice would you have for a new member who's totally disoriented?

RC
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LoneRanger307
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« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2019, 01:00:28 PM »

Thanks, RC. I'm very good at intellectualizing it all....less good about maintaining my emotional center in the moment.

For a lot of the last year I felt very lost and abandoned. My therapist kept telling me "not to be vulnerable with people I can't trust" meaning my family. But I did not want to accept that, since I couldn't trust my H and it felt like if I didn't trust them I couldn't trust anyone. Strangers seem more trustworthy than those I should be closest to. It's frightening.

I suppose the answer has been learn to trust myself, be responsible for myself, control the things I can control, right? These are all really hard lessons to learn and took a lot of time to sink in. And even after I make a choice to take control--like needing to control my anger and not get pulled into cycles of emotional reactivity--it's still HARD to actually do that.

I think I would tell someone else that it takes time and you have to be patient with yourself. You have to be able to forgive yourself before you can forgive others. (That's a whole topic on its own.) You have to trust yourself before you trust others and find your own center or source of power. I've worked on this through a 12 step program, therapy, a lot of reading and learning, and support groups like this. (I did a deep dive on the Karpman Drama triangle for a few weeks, for example.) The repetition of certain themes over and over and over has really helped them sink in. Sort of a "it works if you work it," thing.
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Radcliff
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Fond memories, fella.


« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2019, 11:51:52 PM »

A 12 step program, BPDFamily, therapy, and reading are all great ways to get your bearings on reality.  Getting references outside the relationship is key.  It's interesting that you mention repetition in the coping skills helping.  I also found that recognizing repetition in my relationship patterns helped me to maintain my emotional center.  Before I knew about BPD, it felt like chaos.  Once I learned about BPD behaviors, I started to feel like "I've seen this before" and the predictability made me feel more confident in handling things, especially once I started to learn the tools.

RC
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