Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
September 16, 2019, 08:15:11 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Board Admins: Harri, Once Removed, Scarlet Phoenix
Senior Ambassadors: Cat Familiar, FaithHopeLove, I Am Redeemed, Mutt, Only Human, Turkish
Ambassadors: Enabler, formflier, GaGrl, Longterm, Ozzie101, Swimmy55, zachira
  Help!   Groups   Please Donate Login to Post New?--Click here to register  
bing
Depression = 72% of members
Take the test, read about the implications, and check out the remedies.
111
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Why we want to know  (Read 282 times)
Wicker Man
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 507


« on: September 03, 2019, 11:33:42 AM »

Mod Note:  Post excerpt was taken from:  https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=90388.msg13073475#msg13073475
Thread: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=90388.msg13073577#msg13073577


I cut this excerpt from one of Skip's replies in the Borderline Personality VS Narcissism thread.  I feel there is sage advice in his statement and wanted to give it the 'double tap' of its own thread.


Quote from:  Skip
Why do we want to know what PD? Unfortunately, too many of us want to find peace by blaming our partner for a relationship where why we got treated erratically... ...We're wounded. The relationship WAS bad. But that does not make us experts.

What should we want to know? I think the first thing is to understand is if the person was mentally ill or if it was just a personality conflict.

I think the second thing is what was pathological in the relationship and what was just bad stuff - on both sides.

Then we can start to make sense of it - our role and our partners role. Remember, no matter how troubled our partner may have been, we were 50% of the relationship dynamics and we had free will. In other words, we were willing and active participants in the dysfunction.


I feel Skip's words offer a cautionary tale as well as (damn) good advice.  Firstly, we must not, cannot nor should we even attempt to diagnose another person. -this must be left to the professionals.  Instead our energy is better spent trying to learn from the experience.  Secondly, the brass ring is learning, growing, and grieving in a healthy and positive manner to the level of being able to process the relationship and ultimately be able to put it away.

Personally I found myself in a (nearly?) compulsive search for information on B cluster personality disorders and mood disorders.  Not to damn my ex partner, but in a vain attempt at some level of understanding the behaviors I experienced during our relationship.  Ironically, the more I learned about personality disorders the worse I felt for my ex.  Learning what her inner state might be was as enlightening for me as it was frightening and iconoclastic.  Perhaps... I theoretically knew there were people in crushing emotional pain -but to fall deeply in love with one of these people demonstrated the vast difference between theory and practice.  I cannot diagnose her, but as I live and breath she is not a very happy camper...  Something about dysphoria and psychotic breaks...  So as a layman I will certainly stand by my observation of 'not a happy camper'...

I found there was a danger in my lust for 'understanding'...  I began to keep our failed relationship alive through this compulsive research -I filled in the gap she left within me with research articles, websites and forums.  My research had become self rewarding and self perpetuating --it was an effort to let it go.  

It didn't help that psychology has always been intrinsically interesting to me and my relationship was a train wreck of epic (inverse square law... I was very close to it, so it was epic for me...) proportions... It is hard to look away from a train wreck...  However it became clear to me I needed to spend my time on other pursuits.

Looking back now, after 20 months, my relationship experience forced me to grow up on a very painful and root level -it forced me to look at a childish version of romance which I had (apparently) been harboring... well... since childhood...

Letting this notion of childish love go was as embarrassing (admitting to myself I had it) as it was important to my future wellbeing.  During my relationship I was all too willing to suspend disbelief and over look problematic behaviors because it didn't fit with my childish notion of fairytale love.  I had painted our relationship as a 'once in a life time' magic love.  God willing the 'once in a life time' part is right... 'Love' in this case is, however, a misnomer...  Infatuation, compulsion, and delusion fit the bill.

Naturally, in more sober times... aka the rest of my life...  I understood love is based on trust and respect.  Love is a long game, a marathon which begins after the sprint of infatuation...  I got caught up in the sprint and lost sight of the actual race.  

It took me nearly 20 months to gain some level of solace.  It took me 18 months to get out of therapy and 12 months to no longer feel the need for an anti-depressant.  

Previous to this life experiment in confusion and pain, which was my relationship, I had always managed to self-soothe and be quite happy in life. I found my relationship with my ex confusing to the point of needing to reach out for help and I am damn glad I did.  

I think the best lesson I have learned here on BPD Family is time healing must be spent correctly... otherwise it is just time spent.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 10:58:37 PM by Harri » Logged

        A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
Cromwell
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1291



« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 08:42:32 PM »

Wicker Man,

For an otherwise free of major mental illness guy to get plunged into this, fall in love, try to help not knowing the full extent, not having yet a grasp of the limitations but bailing out at the last moment. Youve been through it, but there is a strong baseline to draw upon. Same here. Youve helped my recovery, youve shared and helped others - but keep in context - limitation factors. Your expertise is film making, beyond this other skills. I did help her, tried to, with mixed success. My limitation before it drove me to the wits end, 3 years.

Love is a long game, a marathon which begins after the sprint of infatuation...  I got caught up in the sprint and lost sight of the actual race.

Are you reducing this to mere infactuation? Wicker Man, you knew she was unwell, she spoke to rocks. Your posts on "love conquers all" - are not limited to infactuation?

It is easy in hindsight having done all the reading, you know better of what you had got into - but at the time, the absence of knowledge, of just how disempowered it is to "want to" but "cant" (help).

WM, your ability to have rescued her is the equivalence of pleading me to make one of your films. Id oblige if I saw it in complete desperation - but it would be such a shambolic result that youd later have realised it would better not to have reached out at all. I find it (found it) hard to turn my back on any person that I see as desperatly helpless - but it is emotive induced sympathy stuff. There are days I have lamented to my self of being a fool and taken advantage of - manipulated, ive been through the youtube narcisstic abuse video circuit.

but none of it ever squarely fits. This recovery could not be solved alone by academic texts designed for clinical application only, but usurped for other layperson's uses.

Trying to psychiatrise and box in and label my ex just made it more foggier - it snipped out the rest of who she was, how I saw her beyond a mental illness diagnosis.

"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."

3 years of not having the right tools for the job but not seeing it that way. Learning my limitations as much as my strengths. Love was the tool I brought but it was heartbreakingly inadequate for the job. Net result?

more of a disordered chaotic mess than what already existed.
Logged

Physician, heal thy self
Wicker Man
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 507


« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 09:27:15 PM »

I have some thoughts. I’ll respond tomorrow.
Logged

        A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
Wicker Man
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 507


« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 10:50:04 AM »


Love is a long game, a marathon which begins after the sprint of infatuation...  I got caught up in the sprint and lost sight of the actual race.

Are you reducing this to mere infactuation? Wicker Man, you knew she was unwell, she spoke to rocks. Your posts on "love conquers all" - are not limited to infactuation?

I do feel I made the easy and honest human mistake of confusing limerence for love.  Limerence is important, but it is the first step in the 'long game' of love.  I like Dr. Gottman's idea of a 'love map' which is more or less memories of the strong bonding  during limerence which can be looked back upon later in a marriage when the going gets tough. 

I am not trying to reduce my experience merely to infatuation, but I am currently attempting to recognize its importance in my (questionable) decision making process.  I do believe I harbored an idealized view of 'perfect' love from my childhood -the hope of fairytales being possible. 

Our tryst had all the hallmarks of a 'magical' love.  We met in a situation where it was very unlikely for both of us to have been on that movie -we both had had other movies which we were supposed to have been on.  We appeared to have so much in common, although we grew up in extremely different environments and so on and so forth. 

Yes I knew she is 'special'.  She had been diagnosed schizophrenic and bi-polar.  I was trying to see the entire package -the good and the bad.  The good seemed quite extraordinary and the bad seemed manageable.  From my knowledge at the time both schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder respond well to a stable, consistent and loving home.

I was skeptical, even then, about her having schizophrenia -there were none of the tells.  She dresses well, is (overly) concerned about her appearance, she performs well at work, had her own apartment etc. By the time I saw (what I believe) was a full blown psychotic event there were other behaviors I had found far more confusing and problematic (lying, hopping in bed with other guys...)

I believe she had the trees and rocks event (by the way I know they spoke to her, I am not sure she talked to them...) because she had ghosted me and (very likely) been sleeping with another guy.  When I came back to Beijing she 'remembered' us and was thrown for a loop.  In this timeframe she also cut herself for the first time in nearly 6 months --and ghosted the guy saying 'He cannot be my friend'.  I asked 'Did he want more than friendship?'  She just mumbled something I couldn't quite understand -I think it was half Chinese and half English... more or less Bladerunner made up language (no German or Spanish though)... 

I had been proud of the 'progress' we had made during our time together -Love conquers briefly.  She stopped cutting, dysphoria was rare, there was never raged when we were together.  Together --that is the key word here.  For me, thank goodness, breaking up has always been utterly unacceptable because it leaves no room for healing, helping, nor negotiation.  It is essentially 'hanging up the phone' on the relationship.  Oh... -She had completely stopped hanging up the phone on me as well... until her final break up (on Christmas day... of course...)

Being a parentified child I am very slow to give-up on people.  It takes a lot for me to re-categorize someone as hurtful and remove them from my life.  I would have moved heaven and earth for her -but when it became (painfully and suddenly) clear to me she would not or could not stay in a 'stable, consistent and loving home' I knew I would have been dashed to bits on the rocks of what turned out to be a very dysfunctional relationship. 

As you mentioned not with all the Kings horses and all the King's men could you 'help' you ex.  From all of my reading what I have come to believe is without a commitment to therapy a lasting and healthy relationship with someone suffering from BPD or strongly eliciting the traits is all but impossible. 

My realizing the futility and danger of our relationship on the 11th hour was not some stroke of genius on my part, but instead I had run myself to an emotional breaking point and I was 'granted' an epiphany -a sudden moment of painful clarity.  If I had not been so utterly compressed with having just finished 160 days of work without a day off, finalizing a divorce, selling homes, arranging apartments, arranging health insurance, arranging her retirement(!!), looking into Chinese real-estate law, trying to get a next movie I think I would have very likely 'missed it' and it may have taken me years to understand our relationship was doomed. -- I am often a slow study.


Excerpt
I have lamented to myself of being a fool and taken advantage of - manipulated...
I feel foolish in not realizing my emotional state when my affair began, but I honestly thought I was happy enough in my marriage.  I had no idea the amount of repression I had created.  I thought the sublimation of getting my validation through work was well... working for me... It wasn't. 

When I met Dream Come True I had the strange notion that I had literally nothing to lose.  My marriage was a mess which in that moment I felt was beyond repair.  I wish I had had the clarity to realize I was making a big mistake -but it was unavailable. 

The 'right' thing to do would have been to not started an affair, but to have gone home to end my marriage.  If that had been the case then I believe we would have divorced and we would no longer been together -which would have been a shame.

I do not think my wife and I could have done the hard work we have done without some kind of a catastrophe.  Well... I certainly created a fine catastrophe...  Embarrassing and painful.  I had tried at home to 'fix' things for 20 years and in the last 5 finally acquiesced and accepted things as they were -I honestly thought it was working for me. 

I am happy to say our marriage, whereas it isn't perfect, is better than it ever has been.  I had tried to get us into couple's counseling for years -even threatened to leave once or twice... and then my eternal mistress (work) called me away and our marriage cycle began again.  Things would get terrible I would be close to a breaking point and then I would leave for work and feel refreshed enough to 'forget' how tough things were.

Excerpt
..Love was the tool I brought but it was heartbreakingly inadequate for the job. Net result? ...more of a disordered chaotic mess than what already existed.

I have no idea what Dream Come True's current state might be.  From our last conversation I was able to gather she is living with a guy who she was willing to dump if I came back -because she 'needed a year to explain to me we are destined through past lives to be together...'  So... yeah... I guess maybe I didn't have a lasting effect on her mental state. 

My hope is having been with someone who really cared about her would help her toward seeking therapy, but it is her race to run.  She is pretty enough that there are plenty of men who will be happy to take advantage of her -and she them.  I wish her the best, but the odds are stacked against her.  Culture, family, mental health care in China, and the inertia of life long dysfunctional defense mechanisms.

By the way as far as helping me on a film project... -if it were the 90's with an English accent (the closer to Pygmalion the better) and a ponytail you could have been a music video director in Hollywood...  America is the only place on Earth were we don't realize we have an accent... Accents are what foreign people have 'when they talk English'...  God help us we just aren't that bright...
Logged

        A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
Cromwell
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1291



« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 07:18:50 AM »

From our last conversation I was able to gather she is living with a guy who she was willing to dump if I came back

I dont know WM, I think it is advantageous from my side here to look at this unemotionally involved. I have had this thought in my mind since early on when you shared your story but felt trepidation to raise it. I feel youve extracted yourself far enough, healed, maybe can talk about it. I think my opinion might be skewered towards all these media reports I hear about people marrying in China, Thailand etc, then finding themselves completely destitute. It is a sophisticated form of fraud via targeting emotionally vulnerable people who get hooked in by this limerance. Cocaine like limerace. The sort of fuel that can keep a man working without a break for 160 days.

Whatever happened, in this theme of "why we want to know" - it would be reckless to not try to learn a bit, but it has to have an end point. The goal of therapy is to get out of therapy. For some, the quest for answers simply becomes a substitute for addressing the real life issues that are causing a lack of fulfillment, a distraction. "flogging a dead horse" is the saying where im from.

music video - Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) WM. The closest I could get is "Rhythm is a dancer, my ex is a chancer, spreading the clap around everywhere"

Too much reading into the disorder can end up with the faulty thinking that "everything that went wrong, everything bad about the relationship - BPD, schizophrenia, Bi-polar". If it were only not for these ailments, handicaps, all would have been but a "dream".

the learning is about trying to understand who she was "minus" the trump card of a personality disorder. Not a task to scoff at in terms of difficulty. Frankly, I gave up and couldnt give a damn anymore.

Im just happy to get to the day to see how far you got through this WM, and pass on my hope you advance from it stronger minded. It has brought with it some positives, even if avoidance of destruction was at one stage the priority concern.
Logged

Physician, heal thy self
once removed
BOARD ADMINISTRATOR
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 9636



« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 09:39:52 AM »

i took the point to be about the hazards of over pathologizing our exes.

learning about BPD, what it really is, what it really isnt, can go a long way toward either improving a difficult relationship or detaching from it. while i came to realize that my ex is lower on the spectrum, and wouldnt qualify for a clinical diagnosis, she certainly had a borderline flavored personality (and on some level pathology) that made her a very difficult person to love and be with.

most of the stuff on the internet and some books doesnt help in that regard. it obscures far more than it enlightens. it takes basic stuff that we all do, combines it with higher conflict stuff that believe it or not we will see in most relationships and calls it pathology, and tells you this is the stuff of a cunning psychopath/sociopath/borderline/narcissist/evil doer. if thats really how the world works, we are all powerless, and screwed.

personally i think not only is it unhelpful, its a narrative that can increase our suffering, our woundedness, and even fuel the attachment we seek to let go of.

i think there are two reasons we do this.

number one, it absolves us of any responsibility in the relationship. how can you be in the wrong if you dated a monster?

but number two, i think that it is a comforting way of explaining what is ultimately a disproportionate reaction/wound that most of struggle with. thats certainly one that i can relate to. these were very loaded relationships, and a lot of our reaction/suffering in the aftermath is more about that and our personal struggles (some of us have deeply wounded egos, some of us struggle with the feelings of rejection, some of us have attachment issues, or mood disorders, or even personality disordered traits) than it is about them. its far easier to say "im suffering so much because my ex was that bad". and it even makes some sense. for most of us, this was the most difficult person weve ever been with. one of the most complicated attachments that weve had.

Excerpt
I think the best lesson I have learned here on BPD Family is time healing must be spent correctly... otherwise it is just time spent.

i agree. good information can be a tool in better understanding our experience, a part of recovery. bad information can frankly leave us even more damaged.
Logged

     and I think it's gonna be all right; yeah; the worst is over now; the mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball…
Wicker Man
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 507


« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2019, 11:01:48 AM »

I think my opinion might be skewered towards all these media reports I hear about people marrying in China, Thailand etc, then finding themselves completely destitute. It is a sophisticated form of fraud via targeting emotionally vulnerable people who get hooked in by this limerance. Cocaine like limerace. The sort of fuel that can keep a man working without a break for 160 days.

ShangHai has a particular reputation for families being comfortable with  women marrying for money over love -but that is a gross generalization.  You should look up the marriage fairs where parents are trying to arrange marriages for their kids -it is like an auction house played out in public parks.  Definitely not Kansas anymore Toto...

I have never thought this was about money for her.  As 'proof' when she was raging and broke up with me it was about a week before a six figure wire transfer to her account to buy a house for her family.

The working 160 days is me and always has been.  I love my work and it pays well.  If I turn down work someone else takes the job --and the relationship with the director.  Back in the good old days (90's much hirer pay and better jobs) I left for a commercial shoot which was a 4 day job and went job to job for 3 months.  I still look back and smile about those days -first class flights, great hotels, embarrassing dinners and all this going on in my young 30s.  I was fortunate enough to realize it was special and was always grateful.

The film industry breeds workaholics because it is... once again... the variable reward schedule.  That and I love the work.  Next week I will be doing spots for a University hospital -selling something good is always more fun.

Where the 160 days does factor in was I was so damn high on work I never wanted it to stop and I believe subconsciously she was a gateway to more work.

As a further thought on money...
She was talking to a friend of hers, this conversation was in Mandarin and on speaker phone -we had just met so she didn't know I could understand. 
Friend 'Is he rich?' 
She 'No'. 
Friend 'Then why are you together?' 
She 'Because he treats me so well'. 

When I thanked her for the sentiment she turned beet red -she really thought my comprehension was slightly less than her dogs. 

For all of her failings I do not think greed is amongst them. 

Now... Had I continued and we married and divorced (transitive property of a BPD marriage I believe... If A then B then C Thus A=C) I know there would have been hell to pay.  She had some inhumane ideas of how I should orchestrate my divorce from my wife.  This too was a shot across the bow which I was factoring. 

***When a girl treats waiter badly on a date -take note... You will be the waiter soon.

Excerpt
...the quest for answers simply becomes a substitute for addressing the real life issues...

I will respond to this with a quote from my post at the top of the thread

"I found there was a danger in my lust for 'understanding'...  I began to keep our failed relationship alive through this compulsive research -I filled in the gap she left within me with research articles, websites and forums.  My research had become self rewarding and self perpetuating --it was an effort to let it go."

Yes... I was holding myself up and knew I had to stop.

"flogging a dead horse" "Anglo-Saxon Hun! I'd call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse."

--What's Up Tiger Lily.  Woody Allen...  Funny guy... although marrying his daughter does take a bit of the luster away...   No one is perfect right? ugh...


Excerpt
Too much reading into the disorder can end up with the faulty thinking that "everything that went wrong, everything bad about the relationship - BPD, schizophrenia, Bi-polar". If it were only not for these ailments, handicaps, all would have been but a "dream".
Actually... Part of the attraction was her dreamlike state.  Her world view is extraordinary because of her loose grasp of reality.  I was learning by leaps and bounds as an artist because she saw and felt things I had never considered. 

I don't care for abuse, never have, never will.  I have a thick skin and will take the good with the bad -but only if there is a long game in a relationship.  Maybe it is fallout from being a parentified child, but if I am being yelled at I go calm and listen, listen hard, for the real message -which is almost always fear.  I never fire back -no point.  I wait until the 'diffuse physiological arousal' (Gottman term) has passed and then attempt to address whatever issue may have arisen.  This has always just been me.  It has served me well working with high-strung directors and artists and perhaps done me a disservice in staying in relationships too long.  I tend to see the best in the people I love and hope I can mitigate the rough spots. 

Excerpt
...trying to understand who she was "minus" the trump card of a personality disorder...
Isn't this a Catch 22 at best or a fools errand in the worst case?  I know at least from my experience with Dream Come True her personality was a moving target.  While we were together she wanted to quite SFX make-up and work in my department.  However when we met it was the most important thing.  When we last talked she was sort of back with the boss ex boyfriend and SFX was the bee's knees.  (He is not the guy she is living with... The boss is the married father of her aborted baby).  --I have I mentioned I have extreme pity for her?  Yes... I suppose I have now and again... 

Excerpt
Im just happy to get to the day to see how far you got through this...

Amen!  Me too...  What a strange thing life can be.
Logged

        A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
Wicker Man
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 507


« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2019, 11:37:49 AM »

i took the point to be about the hazards of over pathologizing our exes.

Forgive me for being obtuse.  I took Skip's words too literally and as it applied to my compulsive deep dive into research.  It was when it dawned on my my research was a form of connection to my ex, instead of an academic exercise --I felt there was danger in it for me.  I thought I would start this thread in case anyone else has fallen into the same compulsion.  I was starting to pathologize my own view of my research...

Excerpt
learning about BPD, what it really is, what it really isnt, can go a long way toward either improving a difficult relationship or detaching from it. while i came to realize that my ex is lower on the spectrum, and wouldnt qualify for a clinical diagnosis, she certainly had a borderline flavored personality
BPD is a heartbreaking, painful and confusing disorder.  I cannot diagnose, but I would bet my last dollar Dream Come True would benefit from DBT.  China does not recognize BPD as a disorder from what I have been able to understand in the CCMD (Chinese DSM).  None of this has done me any good.  I feel desperately badly for her -I loved her very deeply and to learn one is not enough is humbling. (by humbling I mean horrible in this context...)

Excerpt
most of the stuff on the internet and some books doesnt help in that regard. it obscures far more than it enlightens. it takes basic stuff that we all do, combines it with higher conflict stuff that believe it or not we will see in most relationships and calls it pathology...
I could not agree more!  Some of the junk is just junk the worst is the weaponized misinformation constructed to garner clickthrough or sell books. 

We all from time to time exhibit some traits from all of the personality disorders.  But for neuro-typical folks it comes and goes.  It becomes a personality disorder when 'A deeply ingrained pattern of behaviour of a specified kind that deviates markedly from the norms of generally accepted behaviour' -excerpt from OED

This is compounded when a PD is ego-syntonic which means it is a worldview which they believe has no faults.  Not that it matters, but I wonder how much of BPD is egosyntonic versus ego-dystonic...  Dream Come True seemed to fall in and out of awareness her behaviors were problematic. 

Excerpt
...if thats really how the world works, we are all powerless, and screwed...
Ok... To be fair this thought has crossed my mind from time to time...  All joking aside... I understand your point.  These articles are trying to absolve people of their accountability for their actions, their own volition, and their responsibly for their own wellbeing!  When we give up our free will, our rights and responsibilities we are doomed.

I was not a victim, a supply, charmed, and I sure as hell am not replaceable.  I fell in love with someone who was not good for me and we ended things... Ok... I ended up good and confused afterward -but that was not witch craft on her part, there was no Machiavellian plan for my sadistic destruction...  it was just a big mess of a relationship. 

Excerpt
...even fuel the attachment we seek to let go of.
Spot on.  Yep... This describes my case to a T.

Excerpt
number one, it absolves us of any responsibility in the relationship. how can you be in the wrong if you dated a monster?
Unless the monster tied you down, kicking and screaming -- no pass.  I dated a monster?  I don't know.  I loved her and she could not reciprocate that love in a healthy or consistent manner...  But I always had free will -even if I was using my free will to make terrible decisions -it was my will.

Excerpt
i think that it is a comforting way of explaining...
The one bit of information which helped me was learning I had inadvertently done the right thing in agreeing to leave. The notion hit me hard and I knew in that moment I had to go -but it helped me to learn there was very little chance of a healthy relationship if she does not seek therapeutic intervention.  It was hard for me to give up and walk away -but learning later things would have likely gotten worse, not better did help me.

Excerpt
bad information can frankly leave us even more damaged.
I think this is an understatement.  Some of the information is outright dangerous and seeks to make 'survivors' into monsters.  Some of that Red Pill nonsense is out and out dangerous in my opinion.  As if relationships are not hard enough, as if real love isn't rare enough there are people seemingly trying to teach relationship gamesmanship(!)

Thanks for chiming in with your valuable insight.
Logged

        A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
Cromwell
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1291



« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2019, 05:04:53 PM »

WM, just wondering because it sounds like you are over this relationship and found not only peace, but some positives it has brought out.

In terms of "why we want to know" is this now past-stuff, have you ended the research here. Therapy is finished. Just wondering if some sort of goal has been reached or if there are still loose-ends to tie up?

From my side - life has gone on and I feel a sense of regained my health back and emotional solace. Yet I still feel a form of "grieving" and it is I think, rooted in the fact that I have learned more about her and the behaviours I witnessed. Research was important, this disorder is not run-of-the mill, I got too involved emotionally to bury his one as "wtf happened there" and casually move on. 3 years and as much the joyous times as the horror ones - I needed something more than "she was a crazy b1tch" to work with.

Being able to say "I made the right choice" also helps to be supported by having gathered some facts to bolster it. I suppose by the time I did, my health physically and mentally were periolous and that by itself is sufficient enough reason to. I have this feeling at the moment that what you said from day 1 and I challenged it, feels like it will apply - there will be scars, I believe they will heal, but after that it is a matter of time to fade to the point of joining all the other battle wounds of the past. No reason to want to know anything more, no reason either to care of offer "best wishes" either. I cant go that far WM, at least not in todays state of mind,but I dont wish her any more harm, learning enough to better insight of the undercurrent of pain she did carry forward and likely will continue to do so. Forgiveness? I exhausted the avenues to discern if the abuses - can be deferred squarely to 'BPD inevitabilities' and that I was just some form of collateral damage, or if she simply was by nature sadistic with intent to harm. I think I will just "forget" rather than "forgive" for now, I believe I can manage this.
Logged

Physician, heal thy self
Wicker Man
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 507


« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2019, 05:53:14 PM »

WM, just wondering because it sounds like you are over this relationship and found not only peace, but some positives it has brought out.
I am certainly over the relationship.  Missing the idea of the relationship still rattles through my consciousness now and again.  It was a lovely fantasy -living abroad, learning language, working in a film market where my skillset is rare.  The idea of having a baby etc.  However... all of this was based on a mortally flawed assumption.  It was a fantastical house of cards. 

The positive effects of my failed relationship were accidental -but welcomed.  My affair forced my wife and I to reassess our marriage and my wife is now considering how her personality disorder makes marriage more work than usual.  I.e. it is against her nature to give any validation whatsoever.  We are now approaching this as a team -which is really nice.  As I said things are better than ever. 

Excerpt
Therapy is finished. Just wondering if some sort of goal has been reached or if there are still loose-ends to tie up?
My therapist noted 'You seem really happy and you have for the last couple sessions -how about we meet again in 6 months'... So he fired... me I think Smiling (click to insert in post)  I still keep a weather eye on my emotional state and make sure if I do think of Dream Come True I temper the thought with a good dose of the negative stuff.  I.e. not trusting her.

Excerpt
I got too involved emotionally to bury his one as "wtf happened there" and casually move on...
You and me both brother!  I had 2 of the happiest weeks of my life with her and the year we were together was all in all one of my happiest -lots of work and a wonderful fantasy to look forward to.  It took a long time to sort that out and when the emotional pendulum swung back from deliriously happy it landed me in depression.  'WTF happened there' ringing through my ears constantly.

Excerpt
...there will be scars, I believe they will heal, but after that it is a matter of time to fade to the point of joining all the other battle wounds of the past...
I was beat up pretty good and there are scars, but they have faded to mere specters of what they once were. 

Excerpt
..."best wishes" either. I cant go that far WM, at least not in todays state of mind...
I loved Dream Come True deeply -possibly more than any other person I have met.  There is a lovely part of her -but I will go to my grave believing she was ultimately dangerous to me. 

You had a much longer relationship than I and if mine had been 3 years, perhaps I would have a different point of view.  From what I have read even a strong sense of self and a thick skin can be worn thin by the emotional juggernaut that is life with a BPD partner. 

I feel I am pretty lucky.  I was raised to be a people pleaser in a codependent household, but I was also adopted -so perhaps I was wired differently from my parents.  When things go too far I have always switched my priority from people pleaser to self preservation.  This often takes me far too long, but I have, so far, always managed it.

I hope Dream Come True is one of the people who can grow out of BPD -or seeks help and become happy one day --but that is where it ends for me.  I tried my human best and I was not enough for her.  My watch is done.

When I told my best friend about Dream Come True and the affair he said I am shocked.  I began to explain... He said 'No... I am shocked it took you this long to leave your marriage'.  Ultimately it appears my marriage is ending well, but we very likely should have separated 20 years ago.  That is life.

Excerpt
...I think I will just "forget" rather than "forgive" for now, I believe I can manage this.

Now... see... here I will take you to task.  I believe you should forgive and never forget. 

I forgive Dream Come True utterly and I will never ever forget she is a schedule 1 drug no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
Logged

        A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
Cromwell
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1291



« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 07:40:47 PM »

Hi WM

With previously exhausted dopamine levels now brought back up, im in the same position, I pro-actively engage in making sure I dont lapse. The depression angle is easy, for me it is residual anxiety. "why we want to know" has moved from learning about BPD towards complete self care package. I was vulnerable and predisposed to this moribund relationship type from the start, it just ramped up into high gear of devastation. what was "coping well" (I actually enjoyed a lot of aspects of my lifestyle before we met), had a job I enjoyed, good income, regular sex life, long term partner, social life. I felt during the 3 months of being in the emotional intensity of the relationship with her completely put anything negative into oblivion. The positives were all enhanced, the day that she cheated on me out of nowhere in the midst of the "fantasy" to borrow your choice of descriptor - I had stopped smoking and felt no reason for it, or any prior form of addiction. WM, schedule 1 drug sort of fits, I study this area this year, but so far beyond the BPD research - there is a lot of what I read you have described that makes me think of the (less fairytale, more physiological) rooted dynamics.

The stress stimulation you went through transiently surged a release of dopamine, (the 160 days work without break, studying real estate law, finalising marriage etc), glucocorticoid rise -> dopamine release. This happened so long ago, still it is a vivid memory and we both recall these memories often, reason being - same stress hormone activates Long Term Potentiation (LTP), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_potentiation#Drug_addiction to link in with what we often have referred to as a schedule 1 type addiction.

Long term, the stress results in dopamine neurons depletion and resulting depression. Cue: Finding you here, and I hope you appreciate when I say that despite this behavioural endocrinology warfare that you found me in, I look in hindsight with how strong you have battled through this and had the capacity to inspire me to find my own way out. I would have done well to have taken an antidepressant, but once I started cycling, the gym, the depression started to abate. (another hormone, growth hormone acting to modulate depression. It worked and does so over time. The other factors at play here, getting far enough through no contact avoidance to avoid a relapse.

WM, you already got to the capacity of emotionally stable enough to deem it as fantasy. Consolidate time and try since quitting the pills to be that "watcher" for yourself. Talking it through has been important, you have heard me out for a year at least - but each time it also strengthens already strong synapses. These scars we speak of metaphorically are memories, nothing more. DTC is 1000s of KM away, my issue is more profound, 20mins away and stumble over her on buses. I just dont take public transport anymore, if I see her again, ive learned enough and gone far enough to deal with it. This is part and parcel of "why we want to know" lest id make the same dopamine-depleted needing recharged, recycle that I have been guilty of in past times. If I had not your guidance back then, Im sure I would have, as much as I recall yourself have had difficult moments of that itch of wanting to go back.

It helped with closure, as I recall you reached out for closure too. One of the last things I heard from medusa was "save me" - it hit the emotional centre, I dont call this manipulation, I call it being the personality type predisposed to be reactive to this sort of stuff in the first place. Not because "I was destined to be her saviour" as could be out of fairy tale book. The reason I know, is for instance - much of during those years that she did including provocating anger in me - simply did not work - it was opaque, it was transparent in intent. If she would have "known me" so well, she would have been able to. In short, a lot of what we experienced has been filtered out. Part of that is also hormonal based, chronic long term stress suppresses LTP. It makes sense, I recall vividly the first part of the relationship where chronic stress had not existed, later on, those 2 years extra became a whirlwind blur.

Learning about BPD has mostly been to cement into my belief that these are moribund relationships with next to zero possibility of attaining long term fulfilment. I had to educate enough and put the emotions to one side and let hope dissipitate, it was all that held it together.

I think stuff like wanting a baby with her will have also involved another powerful (possibly very much overlooked?) impetus to wishing to stay involved. In short, these are just new observations from me from a different angle - only possible once actually getting to a state of frame of mind to actually view this from relatively much better healthier frame of mind/body, the connection of the two.

WM, all that is seemingly left is to stop smoking, not schedule 1 but in my opinion should be. I wanted to quit - I could have quit, no shadow of a doubt - coincedentally, the same day she cheated on me and that was when the relationship truly was "over". The remainder was push/pull cycles of drawn back in due to not having the ability to handle the disenchantment, the "fixing" the damage was a folly, rather than to have gone cold turkey on the analogy of a toxic narcotic. What im basically saying is I dont have this old-school magnitude of strength you have, how the hell did you do that?

WM I appreciate deeply all the over-watch youve done for me, this time I believe at this stage for me at least, is consolidating a bit, the worst for me is becoming increasingly history - I have a lot of "catch up" to do with regards to stuff I feel I "lost" in that time. I will recuperate 3 years, by forecasting to live the equivalent of 3 days into one. I can manage that, easily, 3 times the level of joy via positive relationships and other sources. WM, I sold myself short, in tandem with the poem "my wage" https://www.happypublishing.com/blog/i-bargained-with-life/

Forgive me for casting my judgement on all that I have gathered from my impression of you as a person and what you have gone through - it is one that feels for all your qualities, that it would have been a complete tragedy to have not bailed out when you did. It was not a fairytale, it was just not meant to be, however much if felt right with all those dynamics you have outlined - environmental triggers, etc.

The learning about BPD had to include, crucially, seeing her as an individual and not categorical thinking. The former apparently tames the amygdala. I guess the research you did, might have also helped not to remove the capacity to feel emotionally moved by the experience (forgive me for the times I often bluntly interuppted the eloquent way you would write) - it is not though that I have reduced this all to sterility, and clinical only post-relationship appraisal - it is just that part of the recovery had to mitigate those heightened feelings - they were too much, detrimental, too far skewed from reality. There had to be some form of healthy counterbalance.

The net aggregate effect of love was not supposed to be 8kg overweight from glucocorticoid stress hormones. Sleepless nights. I have OCD traits WM, im 1.6kg away from perfect BMI. First ever triathlon in two months. The difference in my life today is such a contrast I can wince when looking back. All for what difference, "losing" the mystical "one" - what a price to pay. Especially in the case of inherent unrequited form of love. I sold myself short (the poem), that is what I had to learn to "wtf happened here", I learned enough to get diminishing returns, the answer is "I no longer need to/want to know" it is indifference.

For forgive and never forget - agreed, but I will let regression to the mean take its place, most of recovery has been a case of rest from this absurdity. I expect to wake up one morning and have forgiven subconciously, automatically.

WM, Sun Tzu has a place on my shelf, but no longer applies here. When I saw her last on the bus, it changed everything, it was my closure. An enemy I would be ashamed to fight or even regard as such. It was a healthy at the time form of pseudo-speciation.

this quest of finding one answer to any of this stuff just spawns medusa-like, another 10 more "want to knows", tail chasing stuff, right? has to stop somewhere....

enjoy your day from me, I can extend a person my best wishes who has helped me as much.  simple cardinal rule - be happy avoid joy depletors, that is my "watch" nowadays. for "20 years should have/could haves", the old saying, better late than never - a problem squared away... result Bullet: completed (click to insert in post). I believe stuff like this happens for a reason despite being nigh impossible to see the wood for the trees at the time.

WM thanks for being there, I close now before this becomes a ramble if it has not already. The "no stone unturned" part of me has to find a stop point, as you declare in other words you have done. being a quid-pro-quo type of personality (another reason the rs failed), I am healthier today to appreciate just how much you have already done for me, as much as fortunate to be able to rejoice with you in getting as far as this. Emotional hell, right? but for all that it was, I never had to go through it alone. It means a alot. thank you. 
Logged

Physician, heal thy self
Wicker Man
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 507


« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2019, 10:53:30 AM »

I had stopped smoking and felt no reason for it

This is akin to my not drinking during my tryst.  We stopped because she agreed her behavior flew off the rails when she drank -so I suggested we both stop.  I didn't miss it a bit.  Now I am struggling to find a reason to stop.  It is interesting how there are social and contextual reasons for addiction.  With my wife having OCPD I have a feeling drinking became the only way to relax - it is something we talk about.  When I am away from home it is relatively easy for me to stop.  I worked away for 2 weeks the other month and had 5 or 6 drinks and those were entertaining a client. 

I am 8kg up from where I was during my stay in China - You should be very proud of yourself for being at fighting weight!  Congratulations.  I was just over 190 and I would like to get back there... but booze is the ultimate appetizer, and lowers one's inhibition toward eating... oh... yeah... and of course... something something empty calories... 

I plan to try to figure out a strategy to drink far less at home.  We both love to cook and laying down wine is a low energy hobby of ours -but drinking every day is a waste of time and it becomes merely a habit, rather than something joyful and special. 


Excerpt
...160 days work without break...
There is a lot of things involved in my lust for work.  Sense of purpose, drive to be a provider, creative outlet and the joy of 'circus life'.  When I am working there is a wonderful sense of being in exactly the right place and doing precisely the right thing.  The rest of the world washes away and I am completely alive in that moment.  All of my hobbies have been 'simulations' of this feeling to once extent or another.  All of my hobbies demand all of my attention -mountain biking as an example... lest it devolving into flying I had better pay strict attention.  I didn't like Tolle's Power of Now -but that is the state I have always craved.   

The other aspect of my 160 days of work is I always know the pendulum will swing back and there will be a lull.  If you remember the impetus for Dream Come True's ultimate rage was me saying we needed to wait until I got my next movie before buying a house -this was because I knew there would be a slow period.  I had worked so much there was no time to do sales -there would be a break.   So when I work myself 'ragged' I know there will be a long period to 'rest'.  The trick is enjoying both states of being.  This year has been scary quiet -but it is picking up now.  I didn't work for 4 months.  I wasted 2 of them wallowing in depression and in the last 2 months got my feet moving and finished a wood shop in my garage. 


Excerpt
...how strong you have battled through this and had the capacity to inspire me to find my own way out.
Thank you, but strong is not the descriptor I would have used when thinking about my state of being after my affair.  This has been the only time in my life I had found myself 'high center' (no wheels touching ground) after a break up.  Every other time, and I think I have had 8 relationships in my life, I was able to find some understanding, package up the emotions and move on.  The feelings had ranged from 'we tried' to 'Oh... That was a mess' -but never a long cycle of rumination.  Never such a feeling of confusion.

I had never been with someone I could not trust before... and... I didn't like it.  Not being able to trust a loved one caused me unprecedented cognitive dissonance.  Love is trust.  So I had found a contradiction and was forced to check my initial premise -which was found desperately wanting...


Excerpt
I would have done well to have taken an antidepressant...
To be able to work though emotional pain with exercise had always been my way out.  I am very glad for you -natural regulation is best.  This time it didn't work.  Not being able to run, because of my repetitive stress injury in my hip certainly didn't help matters for me.  I have just now dipped my toe back into jogging.  I believe I have a torn labrum -I am trying to work through it knowing surgery is a questionable option... 


Excerpt
...20mins away...
The inverse square law certainly is working to my benefit.  Even if I work in Beijing again there are something like 40 million people and it is a huge sprawling mess of a city.  It would feel very strange to ever see her face to face again.  I must admit when I worked there last year, about 20 minutes from our apartment, it did feel a little sad because I knew I would never see her again.  There was not even the slightest urge to reach out to her -I am not sure what her state would be if we were to meet again -and frankly I don't want to find out. 

Excerpt
..."save me" - it hit the emotional centre, I dont call this manipulation, I call it being the personality type predisposed to be reactive to this sort of stuff in the first place.
You mean you are a compassionate human being...  Of course 'save me' would hit hard.  In a way there was certainly a motivation to 'save' Dream Come True.  She is very sensitive and she lives in a very hard culture.  Just yesterday I went to a screening of a short I shot in China -the discussion was the rose colored glasses through which foreigners see Beijing.  I just kept quiet.  I know about the 'mouse people' (1 million people live underground in Beijing), I saw how Dream Come True as well as other friends are treated at work and otherwise.  I had hoped to be able to offer her equality in a relationship -not something which is likely to happen for her.  It is a very hard place for someone who feels too much.

Excerpt
I think stuff like wanting a baby with her will have also involved another powerful (possibly very much overlooked?) impetus to wishing to stay involved.
Actually I had always wanted a family.  I spent a few Summers teaching in day camps for kids, other times teaching martial artists to kids etc.  I really like children.  When she told me she wanted to have my baby I took that as the deepest expression of love I had ever heard.  Literally the ground felt soft the rest of the day -walking on a cloud. 

I had vision like dreams about it -because the notion had struck a chord deep in my psyche.  Like everything else she said I believe she meant it with all her heart in that moment.  The reality... I think she would hate having to take care of a baby.  When she was visiting me on my last movie there she would spend all hours in bed and some days never leave the hotel room -often not making it 2 blocks to the shop to pick up breakfast staples. 

There was something going on for her during this time.  She changed her hair color (which can, from what I have read, be a momentary identity problem or an expression similar to NSSI) and she ghosted 2 very close friends.  She would never talk about her emotional state during this time.  She certainly could be a mystery. 


Excerpt
...stop smoking...
It is a lovely habit, but it isn't very good for us.  (My mom was a model, so she smoked from 14 on and ended up with 2 stage 1 lung hits and ultimately succumbed to bone cancer)  I have had a few now and again, but since leaving Dream Come True smoking just isn't fun anymore.  I was smoking before I met her whenever I worked in China and it was nice -but with her it was magical.  Now I really don't enjoy it much anymore.  You will be able to stop when it is important to you.

Excerpt
"My Wage"
A lovely poem and it certainly contains life truths. 

Excerpt
Forgive me for casting my judgement on all that I have gathered from my impression of you as a person...
Judge and prepare to be judged is a more honest and better point of view than Judge not lest... something something...

One must never fail to pronounce moral judgment.

Nothing can corrupt and disintegrate a culture or a man’s character as thoroughly as does the precept of moral agnosticism, the idea that one must never pass moral judgment on others, that one must be morally tolerant of anything, that the good consists of never distinguishing good from evil.

                           Excerpt from The Virtue of Selfishness   -Ayn Rand


Excerpt
...part of the recovery had to mitigate those heightened feelings - they were too much, detrimental, too far skewed from reality. There had to be some form of healthy counterbalance...
It is too bad 'too good to be true' is usually the truth.  I don't know why it has to be the case in life -but it is.  If only half of the lovely things she said were sustainable...  I still believe my confusion stemmed, in part, from the utter certainty and seeming clarity with which she professed her love -and then of course the utter certainty she had in undermining and dismantling the foundation of our relationship.  High and Low -Heaven and Hell (Name of a 1963  Akira Kurosawa movie).

Excerpt
...The difference in my life today is such a contrast I can wince when looking back... ...I sold myself short...
I thought I saw once in a lifetime love -fairytale love and I acted accordingly.  but...

If you seem to be confronting a contradiction, then at least one of your relevant beliefs is false.

It was... 

Excerpt
An enemy I would be ashamed to fight or even regard as such.

"The only winning move is not to play." --War Games

Cromwell thank you, as aways, for the robust and thought provoking post.
Logged

        A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
Cromwell
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1291



« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2019, 06:13:18 PM »

Thanks for the calming words WM, Ive been feeling quite happy the past few days from it.

For the tear, only way to know for sure is ultrasound / MRI

Id just do physical therapy, get blood circulating there - lots of walking, nothing involving quick change of pace, 95% of tears in the hip joint are from age related deterioration, if there is out of alignment here it risks other joints in the chain. Vitamin E for the arteriosclerosis mitigation, thats what id be/am getting more worried about, age 40+ is high risk factor for it. Small diet changes, just lose it in a year slowly, sounds like you are no sensible with the drink and know how to diet proper. Walking whilst overweight is equivalent to a light to moderate jog, put some extra kg into a rucksack to really help. The underlying cause is tight muscles in gluteus medialis and tight piriformis. Nearly the entire population suffers from this. Stretches for them, if in pain, nsaids.

The only winning move is not to play.

sadstistics backs this up. of all the vast expanse of the internet, if someone wants a challenge, show me a bpd relationship with a reasonable track record of deeming it successful. ive not heard of one. there will be, as there are anomalies to everything - but I had to first learn the textbook of BPD to realise that is what I got - if there is a "game" it helps to be cognitively aware that you are even a participant in one. WM  I did not want to get through this only to feel I succeeded in overcoming one thing but it led to other problems. The whole experience was a health hazard cascade that Im only now giving full appreciation to. Big picture, real world stuff - take home message is, in the whole 'love' thing, my ex can not/did not/is not able to respond to my needs, whatever they are.

WM, I always try a phrase or quote that someone so well read as you may not have come across but applies well. "she was off her rocker", this is not a ignorant insult, it is simple matter of fact accurate descriptor from knowing her combined with research. I knew she was already in the relationship, I did not love her less, but staying was my choice, "why we want to know" - is why as a human I let emotions override rational thought. Probably conflated sympathy for love or something. This stuff - was - complex, past tense is critical here. "moved on" rather than "moving on".

Im happy to contribute and share if it helps someone insight but "not playing the game" is evidenced by over a year apart, it was one of the most difficult things to do in the first place, let alone abide to, but it was the only winning move (good quote WM), and thanks back at you, best wishes.
Logged

Physician, heal thy self
Wicker Man
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 507


« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2019, 06:44:02 PM »

I am going to have to get an MRI -xray showed a small amount of arthritis.  I had a steroidal hip injection (as much fun as it sounds) and the surgeon said, looking at live X-ray for needle placement, the arthritis didn't look bad.  MRI is going to be the only way to see what the soft tissue is up to.

I am 53 and I have been very tough on my body from power lifting as a kid until 35 at which point I was nearly 290#.  Fighting for 30 years and running. 

I am now just under 215 at 6'4" so my weight isn't out of hand -but yes I need to be lighter to keep my parts in order.  Fortunately walking, hiking and biking are all fine -I just miss jogging. 

I think 'off her rocker' or 'out of her tree' are fine -there is a sweetness to both of this cliches. 

I have to start prepping for dinner.  Have a good night.
Logged

        A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
Can You Help Us Stay on the Air in 2019?

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Our 2020 Financial Sponsors
We are all appreciative of the members who provide the funding to keep BPDFamily on the air.
AskingWhy
Bittlecat
Harri
Only Human
PeacefulMom
Radcliff
Skip
Teno
Ventak
wendydarling
Wicker Man
worn_out





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