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Author Topic: Exiting a 5 year relationship with a diagnosed BPD  (Read 2238 times)
Schlaff

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« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2020, 05:55:37 AM »

@once removed

Thanks for the post.

I do feel like I shouldn’t be placed on the codependent spectrum really, it doesn’t feel right to me. I’ve done some reading on it and it doesn’t seem to really quite fit, although from some of my posts I can see why that connection is made, and certainly o won’t dismiss it and maybe I need to learn more.

But, I should make it clear, I’m not leaning, I broke up with her, 3 weeks ago now I think? This is not a Break. This is not a “we broke up but we will get back together as soon as you know I mean business”. This is a full on break up. A year from now? If we’ve both worked out some stuff, and we reconnect? I dunno, maybe? But right joe and near future, nah. This was plain and simple, untenable. Had to end, no two ways about it.

I will definitely check out those other sub forums once the dust settles on finding a new place though.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2020, 05:37:48 AM »

Big set back tonight.

I signed my new lease yesterday morning. It’s under my name, but as she doesn’t have anywhere to go when she’s in town on weekends here, I’ve agreed to pretty much give her a room, and we essentially still live together half time. It’s still stressing her out that we are shortly actually leaving the house we’ve lived together in as a couple.

We worked a shift together today also. She had a few drinks afterwards, and her attitude slowly but surely spiraled into a full melt down. Knocking things over, screaming that she wants to die. After begging her to stop for a short bit, I left. Came back after a few minutes of driving around. Her attitude at this point shifted even worse, as I understand the terminology here, I’d been split black at this point. Went back outside, not knowing what to do. She came out to smoke and plopped a bottle of whiskey down. I immediately grabbed it and drove off and threw the damn thing in the ditch. She’s got zero good reason to drink more right now.

So now I’m back. She’s got a bedroom door locked and won’t respond. I hope she just went to bed. I can’t help but think she’s making good on her suicidal threats though. Yet I also don’t want to force the door open (I’ve shattered one door for the *exact* same goddamn reason), and I don’t want to just re-engage either. F***ing impossible.

So, like my previous posts. I’m unsure if I need to stay firm with my course here, or if a fuller detachment is what we both need, or if more support needs to be shown. And what that would even look like.

I’m ready to do the hard things. I just don’t know which hard thing is the right thing to do.
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Turkish
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« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2020, 09:23:45 PM »

 Was she already drinking when you first saw her? Dealing with this is hard enough but a lot tougher if someone is under the influence.  

It would be a good idea for you to call a local suicide hotline. They can provide local resources and it would also be good for toy to get support. The call is anonymous.

These guidelines may help.

Excerpt

If you are helping someone with suicidal thoughts:

1.   Take it seriously.

Myth: “The people who talk about it don't do it.” Studies have found that more than 75% of all completed suicides did things in the few weeks or months prior to their deaths to indicate to others that they were in deep despair. Anyone expressing suicidal feelings needs immediate attention.

Myth: “Anyone who tries to kill himself has got to be crazy.” Perhaps 10% of all suicidal people are psychotic or have delusional beliefs about reality. Most suicidal people suffer from the recognized mental illness of depression; but many depressed people adequately manage their daily affairs. The absence of “craziness” does not mean the absence of suicide risk.

“Those problems weren't enough to commit suicide over,” is often said by people who knew a completed suicide. You cannot assume that because you feel something is not worth being suicidal about, that the person you are with feels the same way. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it's hurting the person who has it.

2.   Remember: suicidal behavior is a cry for help.

Myth: “If a someone is going to kill himself, nothing can stop him.” The fact that a person is still alive is sufficient proof that part of him wants to remain alive. The suicidal person is ambivalent - part of him wants to live and part of him wants not so much death as he wants the pain to end. It is the part that wants to live that tells another “I feel suicidal.” If a suicidal person turns to you it is likely that he believes that you are more caring, more informed about coping with misfortune, and more willing to protect his confidentiality. No matter how negative the manner and content of his talk, he is doing a positive thing and has a positive view of you.

3.   Be willing to give and get help sooner rather than later.

Suicide prevention is not a last minute activity. All textbooks on depression say it should be reached as soon as possible. Unfortunately, suicidal people are afraid that trying to get help may bring them more pain: being told they are stupid, foolish, sinful, or manipulative; rejection; punishment; suspension from school or job; written records of their condition; or involuntary commitment. You need to do everything you can to reduce pain, rather than increase or prolong it. Constructively involving yourself on the side of life as early as possible will reduce the risk of suicide.

4.   Listen.

Give the person every opportunity to unburden his troubles and ventilate his feelings. You don't need to say much and there are no magic words. If you are concerned, your voice and manner will show it. Give him relief from being alone with his pain; let him know you are glad he turned to you. Patience, sympathy, acceptance. Avoid arguments and advice giving.

5.   ASK: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?”

Myth: “Talking about it may give someone the idea.” People already have the idea; suicide is constantly in the news media. If you ask a despairing person this question you are doing a good thing for them: you are showing him that you care about him, that you take him seriously, and that you are willing to let him share his pain with you. You are giving him further opportunity to discharge pent up and painful feelings. If the person is having thoughts of suicide, find out how far along his ideation has progressed.

6.   If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him alone.

If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave them alone - drive the person to the nearest emergency department or other service facility. They may be hesitant - that is normal. The local suicide hotlines can advise you of the best facility.

If the situation is life threatening, or the person refuses to go for care, or you are unable to transport them, call 911.

Please do not use emergency medical services to teach anyone a lesson.
.
If the means to commit suicide are present, try to get rid of them.

7.   Urge professional help.

If someone is acting suicidal or talking of suicide, it is vitally important to get them into professional care at the first signs. Like many disorders, early detection and treatment yields better outcomes. Persistence and patience may be needed to seek, engage and continue with as many options as possible. In any referral situation, let the person know you care and want to maintain contact.

8.   From crisis to recovery.

Most people have suicidal thoughts or feelings at some point in their lives; yet less than 2% of all deaths are suicides. Nearly all suicidal people suffer from conditions that will pass with time or with the assistance of a recovery program. There are hundreds of modest steps we can take to improve our response to the suicidal and to make it easier for them to seek help. Taking these modest steps can save many lives and reduce a great deal of human suffering.

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Schlaff

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« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2020, 02:45:05 AM »

I read all these things on suicide and I take them very very seriously, but...

At what point am I not helping, supporting anymore. At what point am I just her crutch? An enabler? A doormat? Even if I’m literally following the above to the letter?

Perhaps even a better question:  at what point should I admit (to myself, to her) that I’m incapable of helping her? Man, did I try. Of course I made mistakes, etc, but I seriously gave it everything I had to help.

Honestly don’t know how to help anymore.
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Turkish
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« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2020, 11:04:31 PM »

Christmas Day, 2012, my ex got into a row with her mother and stormed out of her patents' home. I remained with our toddler son, not wanting our Christmas ruined. We had driven separately for some reason. I received a text,  "bring our baby home!" So we left.

I found her collapsed into a ball on the floor in our bathroom. I found a note written on our computer that was full of suicide ideation. It was the closest I'd ever come to calling EMS. She was pregnant with our daughter and I thought, "it might help her, yet she'd never forgive me that shame." I talked her through it and encouraged her to "come out" about her diagnosed depression to her family and she did.

What followed were good times and bad times, culminating  less than two years later with she leaving me for a study college football jock 20 years my junior and 10 hers.

Did I help and maybe "save" her back then? Maybe. Yet with years to think about it, people are independent entities, free to make their own choices, no matter what we think of those choices.

Three years ago, I helped her again through a domestic violence incident with her husband.  Didn't save, rescue (or shame her even though she was the perp), yet encouraged her to reach out for help so she would be empowered to take responsibility for herself. That made all the difference.

It's not about what we can do for others, we can't save anybody. It's about supporting others so they can rescue themselves.
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« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2020, 03:05:50 AM »

Perhaps even a better question:  at what point should I admit (to myself, to her) that I’m incapable of helping her?

if you are an ex romantic partner, and you are committed to being one, then by and large, you arent capable of helping her, at least not in the way youre used to.

to the extent that you are, its a very, very different role than if you were her partner. and frankly, its a very fine line. you dont want help or support to be perceived as "hope for the relationship".

it would likely be a good idea to get in touch with a suicide hotline, get professional guidance.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2020, 10:57:12 AM »

@Turkish

Thanks for the story. I understand the concepts you put forth well enough, it’s just hard to apply them in real time, if that makes any sense. Frustrating.

@once removed

I hear you. I’ve told her as much a hundred times too, that I can’t be her entire support group anymore. (Can any one person *ever* fill that role?) Also we both know she needs professional help, and she’s taken some steps. But with moving, her working full time for her mother in return for tuition paid, for full time school, working weekends as her only real income, there hasn’t been time, or money for therapy. So progress on that front is just plain stalled.

I also fear that you are correct with that ‘perceived hope’ for the relationship. I don’t think it’s a great idea that we still essentially live together. She just literally had no where else to go. I fear no matter what I say, and even though there is no physical, romantic involvement, she’s still getting strung along.

I told her a couple days ago I was going to cancel our joint cell phone service to save some money and she completely broke down. The only way that should be so big an issue is if she doesn’t think the break up is real yet. But, that’s how *I* think, and not necessarily how anyone else would think, a concept I try to get her to understand.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2020, 04:19:53 AM »

Feeling like another update. First I wanna thank anyone who’s read or replied. It does help.

Last couple weeks were rough. Moving was super stressful. It was only last second I found a place, and had to really scramble to clean/pack/move to make it happen. Even luckily grabbed a last second storage unit for our extra stuff. Called several places, finally found one a brand new one that had booked half up *that day*. Bleh. Won’t go further into that, just.. added stress.

That added stress of course, magnified our relationship problems. I pride myself on being understanding for that and it mostly was okay. But here and there we had some standoffs.

What worries me right his second is:  how far has the pendulum swung? I am naturally one to roll with the punches. Be kind, patient, understanding with people. But after everything, I’m very very short with her on some things. Obviously in a broad sense, some of that is warranted, but I worry my overall demeanor has been kinda sabotaged. Don’t want a super long post so I won’t go specific in this one, but there’s been some arguments where, an hour later, I apologize for my reactions. It’s followed by a “but this is where our interactions have put me” kinda statement though.

I dunno. Normal? Too harsh sometimes? Worrying I’m harsh when I *should* be? Unsure there.

This is something I could bring up in therapy. Which I said I was going to but just haven’t made the time. I have excuses for that which don’t really merit listing, I think. Either I’m gonna or I’m not.

Could rant some more but I’ll leave it at that haha.
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Serenitywithin
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« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2020, 11:07:49 AM »

Schlaff,

just read the whole thread. Sorry for your pain I am in a marriage of a little over 15yrs. With 4 kids. I am trying to better it right now, but am really just in a toleration mode and my two older girls who have been the split black and target of her rage over the these years now see her for what she is and are talking to me about it pretty outright at this point. I have forced her into therapy but she has quit after a BPD dx. SO You are right you cant help her she will have to help herself.

I too am writing on these boards as a way to vent when angry and it does help and there are some really good folks on here who have been through it.  Know your not alone and others have been there. No one can tell us nons how to act or react to what is going on , or when to stay or leave. My family and friends and even clergy have told me I should be looking to leave for my sake and the kids but until recently I have not been ready to hear that because I too love my PwBPD... I am starting to see that alot of this is due to FOG(Fear, Obligation , and Guilt). So I understand you wanting to help her but ( and not telling you what to do) it sounds like your allowing her to live there on the weekends as an obligation and out of guilt. You may already know this but since you are not married and not tied together legally or with children, I would imagine it will be impossible for you to move on until you detach or at least make her get out on her own place so that she is not constantly bringing you back into her internal drama.

I do pray for peace for you in this situation and I hope that you are granted wisdom in how you deal with your situation moving forward. I know that I pray for these things for myself daily as I navigate this crazy life with my BPD wife.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2020, 05:53:43 AM »

@serenity

We had the marriage talk, we had the kids talk. Man, I can only guess how much more I would have tolerated had we taken those steps. Probly the same amount of years you did? I would imagine that makes it even more difficult... sorry to hear it.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2020, 06:13:51 AM »

Ranting some more.

She’s gotten into therapy again and sounds hopeful with the new T. However there’s another damn roadblock out of anyone’s control. She’s tested positive for the covid. I’ve tested negative, but I’m to stay quarantined til I get another negative a bit later. So we are both stuck in the apartment. She can’t do one thing her T told her to do, which is get the the gym. I’m trying to distance, which she is taking as an affront, calling me ‘cold’.

I calmly but firmly told her I’m done defending what I say.  if I explain I’m not being cold, I just need to not get sick and get back to work. If she wants to run with it and make it into a big ordeal and feel attacked, I’m going to eventually simply let her think that. I can’t explain that it’s not the case for the second thousandth time. Unsure how fair that is, really. But I said it and I feel justified in it.

Just frustrated. From what I read, people with BPD or BPD traits, either have no clue they are doing wrong, or know but just don’t know why, or how to fix it. She’s the latter. She knows she needs help, she knows her actions are unacceptable. It’s just a never ending cycle of obstacles for her to get some dang help! Some of that’s her own fault, but the end of the day, I’m still gonna feel bad about a person that needs help and can’t get it.

I mean, being quarantined is bad enough for me even. I’ve already been struggling with just working, laying in bed, working, laying in bed. I had just built some momentum getting into the gym consistently myself, back to square one. Tack it on to everything else she’s going through... yuck.

End result here is the same problem I’ve struggled with the whole way. That is, finding the balance. I want to be available for support. I care. I want to give her what I can. But I’m absolutely done with some of it, and I need to stay firm I’m not tolerating certain things. So hard to ride that line sometimes.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2020, 03:17:19 PM »

So, after her third session with the new therapist, we got to a different diagnosis. Like I think I said earlier, the thought now is that there are/may be traits of BPD, not full on BPD. I understand this, I think. Not an uncommon scenario.

The new diagnosis, though, is OCD. So, I will be doing some more digging into that. On the surface so far, it looks like the two can kinda present the same way, or have a lot of overlap? And of course, while we try to neatly label everything, its just never so simple.

Just frustrating, that I/we finally landed on BPD as the Name of the Monster, it was reassuring to have a name. Now we have a different answer. Just hoping that whatever name the affliction is, some actual progress can be made. If anyone following can point me to resources on OCD that would be appreciated, although I think I can probably figure it out.

Anyways, since last post. Things are kinda the same. I am definitely depressed, by my own expert diagnostic opinion haha. I dont feel significantly sad, really. Im just tired and uninterested in everything. Not pursuing hobbies, looking forward to just going to sleep, etc. Morbid/suicidal thoughts (with zero intention to do anything dumb). Low appetite. Problem is, while I know intellectually that it could be helpful to go talk to someone, I just dont care to. Id rather just keep my head down and push through this.

I dunno.
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« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2020, 05:31:43 AM »

bpd traits can be a monster.

in intimate relationships, they can be even more so than someone with diagnosable bpd. when you get right down to it, it can seem like semantics. my personal takeaway was not so much dismissing bpd, as much as it couldnt explain everything about her, or between us.

there are lots of things going on Schlaff, that i would encourage you to reflect on.

as much as you think you are done with this relationship, you are very involved. thats not a judgment. i know how complicated this is. grappling with it can either help you detach, or try to improve the situation.

the vast majority of us (70-80 percent) arrive here clinically depressed. i did. i waited longer than id have preferred to, regarding my symptoms. suicidal thoughts, even in absence of a plan or intention, are a sign of severe depression. and the thing about depression is that its insidious...it makes everything, everything, harder.

how can we help?
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Schlaff

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« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2020, 02:49:06 PM »

bpd traits can be a monster.


as much as you think you are done with this relationship, you are very involved. thats not a judgment. i know how complicated this is. grappling with it can either help you detach, or try to improve the situation.


Correct, I am very much involved. I still care about her, and frankly never understood how people can just up and completely drop people from their lives overnight, after spending every day with them for X amount of time. I'm done being her SO, but we still live together half time, still work together once or twice a week, still share friends, etc. And I still want to be there for her while she gets help. Still just struggling with what that support needs to look like.

As for my own depression, its possible Im being an idiot, procrastinating, etc. But I do think that I can just work through it. The idea behind putting it in writing on this board is, if I look back a couple weeks from now and its not better, then I can get off my butt and set up an appointment. Of all my wide range of symptoms of depression, one I dont have, really, is a long term hopelessness. I do worry that I will never find a long term, happy, fullfilling relationship, but... that seriously doesnt bother me terribly much haha.

And more on her new diagnosis, the more I dig in and research, the more I think this:  I still feel like BPD is a better description of her issues, however, this is a licensed therapist who went to school for this, does it for a living. I have to think she knows better than me. And, there seems to be some significant overlap here, not only in how each can present, but in what the treatment is. So perhaps it doesnt matter what we want to call it. Bottom line here is, I need to remind myself that her getting significant, consistent help is the key, not the Name of the Monster.
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Schlaff

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« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2021, 10:48:59 PM »

I hope this is my last few posts about my own issues.

Since the previous one: I have been trying to just get by. Be friends with her, be part of her support group. I thought eventually we would maybe settle in to that role: friends. I knew it was a long shot.

She, however, was completely unable to come off the idea that this is just a break. We are working on us. We will get back together. Even though I told her weekly at a minimum, that that’s not the case.

I dunno why, but today she finally got it. Stormed off to who knows where. I’m positive she expected me to chase her in some fashion:  either physically out the door, or at least ask where she went. I didn’t.

So, while I type this, she’s taking out boxes, taking drapes off the windows, stomping around. If I talk to her at all in instantly erupts. She says things like “I hate you”, which isn’t the first time. I can’t help but wonder how I ever thought that was tenable? I would never say that to a person I cared about. Ever. How did I get so hung up? Why did I put myself through this? Why did I put *her* through it? It’s done no one any damn good.

Ugh. I don’t even know what else to type. Just felt better venting in here before. Certainly can’t vent to her.
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« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2021, 11:17:39 PM »

so, she’s taking all the silverware, plates, bowls. Shower curtain. Bunch of things that will make my life worse, and I feel safe assuming where she is going, doesn’t need them at 11 at night.

I’m hiding in my bedroom. She yelled in here that she needs the window curtain in here too. I took it down with tears in my eyes. She sees this and immediately spouts off : “oh! You must be happy! This is what you wanted all along!”

Man... I still don’t understand. I can look at this logically, and even emotionally to some extent, she’s an asshole. There’s no beating around the bush about it. But I’m still sad for her. And I’ve been stuck here forever. What a nightmare.
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« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2021, 01:36:56 PM »

She ran out of angry packing energy last night, and I assume slept on the couch.

She’s up this morning, opening my bedroom door without a knock or permission, taking my keys without asking (I assume for the mail key). She is content to put ‘her’ shower curtain back up for a shower, and to use her hair dryer. By her logic of taking the curtain down, that’s my shower/water/electricity (I pay 100% of the bills, she isn’t on the lease here). Maybe a minor example, but that’s my point of this post. How on earth did I let things like this go for so long? From minor incongruities like this one, all the way up to screaming at me for nothing, saying she wishes I was dead, and physical violence?

On the flip side, I worry this all broke something good in me. I’ve looked at codependency:  I don’t think it’s a description of me really. Perhaps mildly. Maybe I’m wrong, and codependency answers the questions in the previous paragraph. But I still feel like my kindness, empathy, patience has all been destroyed by this.
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« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2021, 11:46:07 PM »

And right on cue:  we are back to her apologizing. Saying give us one more chance. It will be different, promise! And just like always I half believe it.

I’ve never been even close to this drained, emotionally and mentally. Even physically at this point.

I’m having a hard time staying calm with her now. I want to explode at some of it. I also still don’t want to damage her even more. Still no clue how to navigate this.
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« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2021, 01:21:14 AM »

Schlaff, take a deep breath. Now another one. Self care for a little bit. What makes you happy? A cup of hot coffee in the morning sun? Some good music and a cold glass of something as the sun sets? Sleeping until the cows come home? Do it. Now more of it. This too shall pass.
What you have done is a truly brave thing, a kind thing. You are a good man. You have chosen to let compassion guide your actions and tried to do the right thing. Yes, I know about co-dependency too and have had the same thoughts you have. At the end I decided not to let fear of codependency to stop me from trying to do what I thought was right.  Like you, it depleted me. There is the broken heart suffering of the end of the relationship that one doesn't even get time to grieve because one is so caught up in supporting. One's own needs come last, just like they did in the relationship. Still, I don't regret doing it. It means something to be the slightly saner one - the obligation to live morally.
Breaking up while trying to remain supportive friends is hard. It took every last resource I had to make it work, and indeed at some point we end up where you are: drained. It is the worst of both worlds, you still have the dysregulations, but not the intimacy. The only thing that kept me going was my conscience. You will discover it gives you sufficient strength.
I personally think last night was a breakthrough. I suspect she has been staying with you in the hope that you will get back together. Now she realized that it isn't so, but is still hoping  against hope/grappling with denial. The best way to complete the realization on her part is through your actions. Just like in your relationship you had to set some boundaries, you have to do so in this new friendship. Don't let her replace her window curtain. Tell her to finish the packing. She has to learn that every action has consequences. She started the move, let her complete it. This will give you a chance to deal with the emptiness that arises. That emotional work should not be postponed anymore.
My therapist once said to me that depression is suppressed rage. That turned out to be true. As much as you want to be supportive, the best thing you can do for both of you right now is deal with your anger and grief. We are here for you.
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« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2021, 03:32:29 AM »

Thank you for your words.

You’re right, of course, that I needed calm, and to consider that this will pass.

And, we did get a calm talk in. I was clear the entire time, this relationship is over. There’s two choices:  friends or nothing. I tried to be brave, kind, and good about it. I fear I could’ve done better. On the other hand, I struggle still, with the thought that maybe I need to be more... harsh, or firm. 

For instance, I’ve learned through her actions and reading other posts, BPDs tend not to follow through on things. She indeed has paused her moving out, and gone into apology-mode. I don’t feel emotionally good about your suggestion to tell her to keep packing, even though it might well be the best call. I have about 14 hours to think on this. I intend to be as clear as I can about any decisions I make at that point, when she gets off work.

Still kinda stuck on what the right decisions are. I’m also quite certain my indecisiveness is/was part of our problem all along the way. Part of me wishes I could just tell her to get lost, and part of me wishes I had the tolerance left to give her another chance. Both of those choices feel wrong, though, yet the middle ground is perhaps the worst outcome. Friggin impossible.
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« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2021, 04:32:33 AM »

You are so welcome  Smiling (click to insert in post) Schaff, you are almost there. Having lived so long in the middle ground, believe that you can make it the last little bit.
Look, if the completing the move boundary feels too much, imagine something in between. Yes, you will still feel unsure it is the right thing. No worries. If you have managed six months in that liminal space, you can manage a few weeks more.
What I am saying is that in a sense it doesn't matter where the boundaries are, as long as there are some. It is not OK what she did. Essentially she is a friend and a roommate. It is not OK that any friend or roommate behaves like that. She has to get it. Apologies are one thing, that is nice and many don't get that far. My expwBPD rarely apologizes, it would have made our life so much easier if she could. But at the end of the day, "sorry" is borne out by actions.
How about she purchases a new set of window curtains for you? Makes her own set of keys? Anything that makes sure that what happened never happens again. Or starts contributing to the bills? Puts money in a jar or cleans the bathroom every time she dysregulates?
The link between these actions and the big picture is that you can spend hours arguing about the fact that you are over. It doesn't really get you very far. What I found was that boundaries helped me think of myself and my mental wellbeing. I had to think about what was needed to make the relationship livable for me. And with each one expwBPD became more disinclined to make the sacrifices  necessary for us to be together. It was too much for her, and that was her right to be honest about it. I appreciated that, and friendship was really a good bargain for me. Like you have benefited- at least you get half the week in peace and quiet. Now to take it forward to the next step.
In short, find a boundary and stick to it. Enforce it between dysregulations. In the short term it will buy you some peace of mind. In the long term, it will prove wonderfully effective in getting her back on her own feet and out of your life asap.

Would I get back with my expwBPD if she healed and was ready? Like a shot. Still, in the meantime betweentime she needs to heal and so do I. So to grieve the old relationship fully and lay it to rest is necessary work. Your friend needs to be able to do that on her own. Next time, take another walk and let her call her therapist.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 04:43:37 AM by khibomsis » Logged

 
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« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2021, 10:01:37 AM »

Thank you for your words.

You’re right, of course, that I needed calm, and to consider that this will pass.

And, we did get a calm talk in. I was clear the entire time, this relationship is over. There’s two choices:  friends or nothing. I tried to be brave, kind, and good about it. I fear I could’ve done better. On the other hand, I struggle still, with the thought that maybe I need to be more... harsh, or firm. 

For instance, I’ve learned through her actions and reading other posts, BPDs tend not to follow through on things. She indeed has paused her moving out, and gone into apology-mode. I don’t feel emotionally good about your suggestion to tell her to keep packing, even though it might well be the best call. I have about 14 hours to think on this. I intend to be as clear as I can about any decisions I make at that point, when she gets off work.

Still kinda stuck on what the right decisions are. I’m also quite certain my indecisiveness is/was part of our problem all along the way. Part of me wishes I could just tell her to get lost, and part of me wishes I had the tolerance left to give her another chance. Both of those choices feel wrong, though, yet the middle ground is perhaps the worst outcome. Friggin impossible.

Firm and indifferent. This is the only way to be in the situation. Here is the sad thing...you care, you are nice, you mean well, but it also leaves you vulnerable to being manipulated. How this disorder works it makes you a mark and emotional prey. The best thing you can do is work on you and invest in you.

Stand up for yourself and don't take any sh*t and under no circumstances do you make any concessions. The first time you give in, the first time you show emotion you lose. You have to hold the power for you. You deserve to be happy and never let another person dictate your happiness.

You do not need to be harsh. Being harsh honestly will just keep you trapped in the loop. By being firm and indifferent you are able to show poise, maturity, and confidence.

You are responsible only for yourself and your own feelings and emotions. The disordered person has to choose to get better. Even if you lead a horse to water that doesn't mean you can make the horse drink. Remember that. You have done your job. You are a good person so have the kindness and strength to choose yourself and move on.

Want better, expect better, do better!

Cheers and best wishes!

-SC-
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« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2021, 12:33:34 PM »

Mmm yes I did need reminding I need boundaries, and firm ones. Thus far I’ve failed there. Told her the day I moved in here: “there will be no loud fighting. None. Period.” It happened anyways. And obviously that’s why I’m mad. Will set some firm boundaries today.

A word on her apologizing:  from the start of our problems, she *never* apologized. For anything. This was before either of us knew what BPD was. We would fight, or she would wrong someone else, and just... feel bad about it? And bottle it up and be even more abrasive? Rather than apologize. This progressed slowly into apologies, but really awful ones. Like when a mother tells her 4 year old to do it. Full of tone, indignation. For a while I thought, well this is something. A step. I kept pushing. “This is not how sorry works”. It’s still often how her ‘apologies’ come.

However, as of lately, it’s like she knows damn well, a real, actual, sincere apology is the only thing to talk me back of the edge. And I don’t blame her much there, I told her as much once. When I said it years ago, I believed it, that things are okay as long you sincerely apologize later. I hope to believe that again, honestly.

For now though, it’s been too cyclical for too long. ‘Sorry’ is just a part of the same cycle. I agree it’s borne out by actions.

Sorry, I’m kinda replying to both of you and mostly just ranting some more haha. I do feel better this morning.

My plan right now is to outline my boundaries clearly, in written form. Gonna ask her to go over them with her therapist.
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khibomsis
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« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2021, 01:52:28 PM »

Great idea Schaff! Well done. If you could teach her to apologize who knows what the future holds...
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« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2021, 03:06:42 PM »

Boundaries set. I don’t know how to be more clear in outlining them. It’s in writing (for the second time) and we spent a couple hours of me asking her if there’s any questions, if anything in confusing. And this is on really very simple things.

1: loud fighting. Zero tolerance in the apartment.
2: if she melts down and starts packing again? She keeps packing
3: personal space. If I walk away from her because we are arguing, she has to let me. If I want alone time, it needs to be okay.

Boundary 1, I have little faith she won’t cross. Big part of it is because sometimes when we are fighting, she doesn’t even realize how loud it’s getting. How nasty. I try to explain, but... I can’t get through.

Boundary 2, I worry is vague. She will find some other way to be overly dramatic and cause negative result to my life. Dunno what to do there.

Boundary 3, we had problems with this even a little while happy. I love cuddling. But I absolutely cannot sleep while cuddling. And sometimes I wanna sleep. Also I’m very introverted, independent. I like my space. I love alone time. She is the exact opposite, always always wants company and contact, even while asleep. And if she’s not getting it? I must hate her. Compound this with BPD traits, and that we are broken up? Been tough on her. But this is a boundary I need to somehow enforce.

Of course, we aren’t cuddling or anything. That would be a bad mixed signal. But, there’s times when I need more space, physical and emotional. Think I need to work this out more myself
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« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2021, 10:25:14 PM »

Schlaff,

It sounds like you want to better the relationship. You would get better support on the Bettering Board, and also learn from the lessons there,  like setting boundaries.

You can always come back here  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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Schlaff

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« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2021, 12:28:35 AM »

Yeah, originally (and now, I guess) I was unsure which sub forum to go to. I want to better our relationship as friends, via detaching more.

I mean, we’ve been broken up half a year, and we’ve been over it 100 times, this isn’t a break, we are broken up. But she’s stuck. I dunno.

Will read some threads in that section though, maybe get some more insight.
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khibomsis
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« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2021, 01:02:52 AM »

Well done, Schaff! I think those are great boundaries  Way to go! (click to insert in post) well written, clearly expressed and impossible to misunderstand.
Look, I think the biggest problem is the dysregulations. This is about the point where you discover that the same problems that broke up the relationship are the ones that are going to  bedevil the friendship. See this as an opportunity for solving them. Obviously you are not done with relating, and that is OK. I found sticking it out and all those recycles really helped in making the recent parting easier. I had worked through so many things before during previous cycles. Although one is never done with the pain, it seems, each successive working through makes the next one easier.
Yes, those of us that choose to retain a friendship end up posting on both boards. When you work at bettering the friendship, by all means post on the bettering board. You will receive good advice there.  When you need to work on detaching, we are here for you on this board.
Lots to discuss here. Consequences are good, having set your boundaries, use the time while she is thinking through them, consulting with therapist, etc, to figure out consequences. You must expect that she will boundary-test, so be prepared.
The good thing about the friendzone is you are freer to walk away when it gets bad or to confront her, gently, with the inevitable consequences of her behaviour. You are no longer obliged to consider her interests before your own. I found that freedom exhilarating, and interestingly, it is helping me improve our interactions.

From a very practical point of view, being the lover of a pwBPD almost invariably causes depression and PTSD, from the constant abuse. The friendzone is safer, we get time off to collect ourselves, and so I have noticed that the safer I feel, and the more time I get to work on my mental health, the better I am able to work the tools and avoid/prevent/redirect dysregulations. This works!  

Yesterday we had a big breakthrough, I said 'I need to discuss something difficult, do you think you are able to handle it?" Halfway through the discussion I could see her starting to trigger, I said "come we give it a break and get back to this some other time." She calmed down - self-awareness, which is a big step for her - and we were able to finish the discussion which was, by the way, about a boundary I needed to set. Looking back, I could see how all our previous failures to prevent conflagrations gave us the practice we needed to get to this moment. Very happy, though it was tough getting there Smiling (click to insert in post)

So see your friend's triggering as an opportunity to work at your conflict resolution skills. You can't change her, but your behaviour can play a big part in preventing dysregulations or lowering their intensity. Many people here speak of how surviving a BPD relationship helped improve their skills in relating to other people, so it is never time wasted. A difficult road but worth walking.
Here's a great tools workshop which can help (from the bettering board) :
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=139972.0

If you want to give a specific example there, for instance, the most recent rage, you will find people are happy to talk you through it and think up other ways it could have gone, given a different set of responses.

Keep up the good work. We are here for you.    
 
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« Reply #58 on: February 10, 2021, 12:47:10 AM »

Correct, I am very much involved.

you still are.

thats okay, but not being clear on your goals is tripping you up.

youre posting on a breakup board about how to navigate transitioning into a friendship, while going through a breakup, and a breakup with a person who has maintained hope and some level of dependence, while youre trying tools to improve the relationship, and while youre struggling as well.

Excerpt
Boundaries set.
...
It happened anyways. And obviously that’s why I’m mad.

there are no boundaries, schlaff. what you listed are house rules you would like to see happen, with a houseguest youre trying to break up with. my above description is what the boundaries are. they are very blurry. that is why things are complicated.

boundaries work best as a lifestyle approach. boundaries in this case really means behaving only as friends, or a couple, or hard fast committing to a breakup (you can work toward a breakup with the intention of being friends, but those are precisely the boundaries to work to get clearer on).

but on the other hand, youre trying to do that while youre struggling with her words and actions. to have an intimate relationship with someone with bpd inherently means youre going to be on the receiving end of some nasty stuff. thats going to take its toll. coping with it is a skill youre going to need if a friendship, or being part of her support is the path you are choosing. it is difficult to do in the best of circumstances. it is exceedingly difficult to do when youre trying to detach from the wounds.
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« Reply #59 on: February 10, 2021, 12:55:35 PM »

@once removed

I hear you.

It’s a bit more complex than just full on kicking her out and wanting absolutely nothing to do with her, ever, period. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how *anything* is blurry, though.

Again, maybe I’m on the wrong sub forum? My goal is indeed to detach. Fully, if necessary. Only a bit more, if we can make a friendship work. I’m not trying to be rude, I legitimately am asking for your help here:  How exactly am I not clear?

Relationship = over
Friends=maybe:  here’s some basic ground rules if she wants that to work. 

How do I set better, clearer goals? How do I set better boundaries?
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