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Author Topic: Learning after a breakup - true self and inner child work  (Read 2370 times)
dindin
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« on: August 28, 2020, 05:19:21 AM »

Two weeks ago I was discarded and broken up with by my exBPD partner. I described that in other topics here. I am trying to make sense of it, but it comes down to her not managing symptoms of diagnosed BPD, but also of me being extremely co-dependent. I am starting to take full responsibility for my part of the disfunction. And while I still hope that she'd come to her senses, I am not chasing that, not writing to her, just taking my time, and trying to address my problems, as oposed to hers: co-dependency.

Even the wiki article on codependency describes me to a T, there is no question about it. And sometimes when enough abuse or mistreatment happened in my relationship with BPD, I'd become almost narcissistic. Somehow I cannot forgive myself for not being calmer, and level-headed.

But my question is: how do you work on this? How do fix this problem of lack of self, of severe codependency?

I used to work on this with my therapist, who asked me to care for my inner-child. To deeply analyse my family dynamic. And it does make rational sense. At least to my understanding, I am a deeply co-dependent person, with an extra of narcissistic FLEAS from my dad. The therapist gave me exercises in assertiveness and also warned me that people learning these skills often go to the other extreme. I get that the DBT skills are work, work, work, and a good dose of acceptence for oneself.

But what do you do with your time? How do you find your true self? Having spent 2 weeks thinking about it, even if the codependent, self-sabotaging behaviour is rooted out, there is little, or no substance left. There is no true me.

If I am not in a relationship - I am a workaholic, who, when he cannot physically work anymore, turns to drinking and partying, and who often times finds himself  chasing "relationships" or love interests that no sane person would be interested in. I also have "hobbies", and by that I mean something that once was a true hobby for fun, but in time became an obsession - obsession to practice, obsession to please someone with it. Often times I think of hobbies as something to show my future partner, like a peacock feather or something. Add to that an inability to be alone and a desperate need for someone to acknowledge me.

If I'm in a relationship - I become a caretaker. 3 out of 4 of my long term, serious, partners had either bipolar, eating disorder or self-harmed. Often they'd accuse me of being controlling, while I wanted some basic maintainability of the relationship (not talking to exes, no cheating, no driving while intoxicated). And I guess they were right, but in a twisted way. I was controlling in that I knew from the start that they would be unable to provide that stability. Yet I took care of them, like a pet project. I should have just up and leave when these things became an issue. It's that simple. It's really sinister when I think about it. It's masochism.

But when we weren't arguing, I was jovial, happy, energetic. Something that just doesn't happen when I'm single. Why is that? Is what I was offering in those relationships a projection of the relationship that I should have with myself? I should be happy, relaxed, and jovial when on my own? I should be patient and forgiving? But that never happens. How do you attain that?

This inner-child thing is all good and all, but at the end of the day, no matter how much time I spend taking care of him, how many times I force myself to be good and kind to myself - I'm still looking at my phone, hoping that someone, anyone, even one of the exe-s that discarded me, acknowledges me. I try to now stay with this feeling though, to catch myself thinking that, and when in the past, I'd give in, and try to get attention from someone, I try to stop myself. But it feels so horrendously bad, I can't keep it up. It's so easy to turn to my imagination and live in the dream again.

What I found out is that when I try to stay with this feeling it has a huge impact on my unconscious mind. I get the same dream every night: For me a motorcycle is a symbol of complete independece. I love those things. And in this dreams there is riots in the street, some kind of a disaster with people running around trying to harm eachother, and while trying to escape I find an abandoned motorcycle. And I know that if I can get it running I can escape this madness, but the battery is dead so I try to kick start it, but the kick start lever is gone. I can't use it.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 05:32:06 AM by dindin » Logged
Beth2468

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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2020, 03:02:16 PM »

Hi Dindin

Hopefully you are still in therapy, as there is no substitute for professional assistance.

You have self awareness and a desire to change, and you should see that as a positive. Most of our ex-partners do not have this. 

But what do you do with your time? How do you find your true self? Having spent 2 weeks thinking about it, even if the codependent, self-sabotaging behaviour is rooted out, there is little, or no substance left. There is no true me

I am sorry that you feel this way, I am sure that there is more to you than that, you just need to find yourself.

You say that you should be happy, relaxed and jovial when on your own. You are setting a very high bar there. Maybe you could start by just trying to be relaxed on your own. What do you enjoy doing that could occupy your mind? Instead of looking at your phone, distract yourself in some way.
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FindingMe2011
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 08:07:09 PM »

I am trying to make sense of it, but it comes down to her not managing symptoms of diagnosed BPD, but also of me being extremely co-dependent.

If she has been diagnosed, BPD without intensive therapy isnt manageable by anyone. The shoe will always drop. The self reflection you exhibit is where the answers are. Understanding yourself allows you to do something. You are gaining knowledge and pro active with it. Understanding and ACCEPTING, the severity of the illness seems to go a long ways. In the end you will realize, you were no match, in more ways than one.

I'd become almost narcissistic

For me. I was narcissistic and still carry some traits. It was a very narrow view of the world. A place, I felt I was safe. Kinda like a self imposed prison of sorts.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=326872.0

But what do you do with your time? How do you find your true self?

Your true self will find you. For me, there was plenty of events in my childhood, that left parts of me there. It was my journey to find these parts, put them into a different perspective. I then found this child and brought him closer to me. Bringing the subconscious closer to the conscious, so to speak...What do you mean by asking what do you do with your time?

Add to that an inability to be alone and a desperate need for someone to acknowledge me.

Its you that needs to acknowledge you. Looking for your answers in others wont create anything but temporary happiness, I believe.

I become a caretaker. 3 out of 4 of my long term, serious, partners had either bipolar, eating disorder or self-harmed.

Care taking is part of me. Denying this is fruitless. Helping others that truly help themselves, is rewarding for me. Picking out dysfunctional partners is a separate issue, no? Outside of a couple of r/s that I have had, for the most part its been riddled with BPD traits.

Yet I took care of them, like a pet project. I should have just up and leave when these things became an issue. It's that simple. It's really sinister when I think about it. It's masochism.

To your defense, BPD is the eternal sadist and plays this role the majority of the time. So now that you have this information, using it to manipulate others would be sinister, so to speak. Learning of it, shouldnt be, I dont think. Pet projects are like jig saw puzzles with lots of pieces missing or the goal post that are always moving. It keeps us from focusing on us. The unsolvable puzzle.  The answers to why you couldnt leave would serve you well.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=131049.0

But that never happens. How do you attain that?

Self discovery. Persistence, consistency and the understanding that there is no finish line has helped me.

This inner-child thing is all good and all, but at the end of the day, no matter how much time I spend taking care of him,

He needs to be heard and understood, not taken care of. You appear to be minimizing him. The same thing you look for in a dysfunctional r/s, that has no answers except for the excuses you appear to distort. He needs more understanding, maybe placing his needs 1st for a while is needed.

how many times I force myself to be good and kind to myself

Until you believe this shouldnt have to be forceful, its fair and the kind thing to do. Therefore when you do this for yourself, you cant truly do it for others. Not that you dont attempt today, but some day you will do it better. The same could be said for love.

What I found out is that when I try to stay with this feeling it has a huge impact on my unconscious mind. I get the same dream every night: For me a motorcycle is a symbol of complete independece. I love those things. And in this dreams there is riots in the street, some kind of a disaster with people running around trying to harm eachother, and while trying to escape I find an abandoned motorcycle. And I know that if I can get it running I can escape this madness, but the battery is dead so I try to kick start it, but the kick start lever is gone. I can't use it.

Here is a website Dream Moods Dictionary, this is a very reputably site. Here is their perception.

 Riot

To see or participate in a riot in your dream suggests that you need to stand up for yourself. You need to speak up and address what is bothering you. Alternatively, the dream signifies a loss to your individuality. You are involved in a situation that is destructive to your well being.

Motorcycle

To see or ride a motorcycle in your dream symbolizes your desire for freedom and need for adventure. You may be trying to escape from some situation or some other responsibility in your waking life. Alternatively, a motorcycle is symbolic of raw sexuality. Perhaps you are moving too fast.

To see or be in a motorcycle chase in your dream implies that you are avoiding your responsibilities.


Maybe this puts a little different perspective to your dreams. I wish you well, Peace











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dindin
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2020, 08:28:42 AM »

Thanks Beth2468 and FindingMe2011 for your replies.

When I was asking: what do you do with your time. I meant really just that - what do you do. I am hurting now, feeling empty and depressed. I am relatively young, have no major money problems, no children, no pets, apart from my job all my life was filled with my r/s. Even my hobbies just drifted away and stopped giving me any pleasure.


FindingMe2011, your response made me think. You wrote about the uncoscious and the learning prcocess. Having read a lot of this forum, I can say that there are 2 camps of people here. One group seems to think that BPD is an illness, almost biological, and due to their poor choices or a lack of interpersonal techniques that illness caused harm in their life, and now they try to detach and move on.

Then there's another group, more academic or unconscious-oriented, so to speak. They seem to take radical responsibility for whatever happened. And this attitude is a thorn in the side of the first group, because they treat this disfunction an extention of their own personality. So when I, for instance, rebel against my BPD partner's accusations of me being narcissistic, the first group would say: they are really manipulative and often project their own evil onto you, don't listen to that, go NC. They seem to offer easy respones such as: if you ask whether you are, you most likely aren't. And the second group would say: wait a second, maybe you are, or even if you don't feel you are, why are you so bothered by this, why were in that position in the first place -- all seemingly to say that we, as if, summoned that relationship to happen, and everything in it is a mirror into our own being.

What I am trying to say is, I don't question the reality of the disorder. It is real, and it's brutal. But to leave it at that, at least for me, would make me simply more anxious about meeting people with personality disorders, and would make me up my defenses and boundries against them. And that's fine to a point, but it doesn't address the deeper meaning and personal accountability that I feel is warranted. And from your response I gather you seem to think similar, so I'd like to ask you all some questions, in the context of taking that insight with full responsibility.

1) The more I think about it, there is no other way for this disfunction to have happened than a dance of BPD and some kind of narcissistic (co-dependent?) wound in BOTH partners. But to say that it's only a matter of not having enough self-worth and boundries would be like saying that someone got shot because he wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest, and not that he was in fact in the middle of a battlefield. Would you agree with that?

2) What is the fantasy that is so attractive? Why do we seek out this mirroring quality. If say, we work with the assumption that we carry some form of a narcissistic wound, what are they reflecting if we have no true self? Is it exactly that? Do we project our own false self onto them, and what we get in the end is the realisation that there is no mirror, it cracks, and we are left with emptiness?

3) Why do they, inevetabily, feel persecuted by us? Do we really harm them by making them into carriers of our own darkness? I can imagine for me to want to see someting other in my partner than there actually is - my false self - would be a huge burden for anyone to bear. Just like for me it was hard to carry her emotional states all the time, if not more so.
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FindingMe2011
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2020, 11:08:12 AM »

But to say that it's only a matter of not having enough self-worth and boundries would be like saying that someone got shot because he wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest,

If you were more grounded, you would have already been wearing a bullet proof vest, to use your words. If you see a psychopath wielding a gun (BPD) do you run or go try and shake their hand, and then have the need to get to know them. A little exaggerated, but not so much. Boundaries for yourself should super seed. Applying this to ALL r/s goes a long ways.

But to say that it's only a matter of not having enough self-worth and boundries

Every time I hear the word but, I know an excuse is coming next. This is you minimizing the importance of you...Like trying to tell yourself just get over it and then it just keeps replaying over and over...Youre not listening to you. The self worth part is exactly where all the answers are. How did you get to this point? Do you believe there is another way? Do you see this in others to prove this?

Why do we seek out this mirroring quality.

A narcissist will ALWAYS fall in love with himself. If you studied this you would agree, I believe. Maybe try Altruistic Narcissism it fit for me.

If say, we work with the assumption that we carry some form of a narcissistic wound, what are they reflecting if we have no true self?

Its not an assumption, you do. You have a true self, its just shattered now. You are picking up the pieces and putting them back where they were, its comfortable. Just as you have always done. You could investigate these pieces and maybe put them where they belong, your choice.  She on the other hand has a HALF SELF, and needs a host to complete or become whole. See the difference and the problems she might be facing?

Why do they, inevetabily, feel persecuted by us?

You are just a stand in for the punitive parent in her childhood trauma. No more or less. The continuous loop that never stops. She is also trying to get it right this time. Her path is different than yours, but could appear the same.

Do we really harm them by making them into carriers of our own darkness?

This could be said of both participants. You are now both just triggers for each other. Good luck with that.

Just like for me it was hard to carry her emotional states all the time, if not more so.

This is how long the dance lasts. When you finally realize you cant be emotionally responsible for 2, the walls come crumbling down, its impossible and a fantasy. You will find your way through this if you continue. Im leaving for a couple of days. Looking forward to responses, I wish you well Peace





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dindin
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2020, 08:00:11 AM »

Thanks for your honest answer.

While I seem to understand the dynamic that played out in my r/s, I just cannot get a grip on myself emotionally. I am constantly just one step from contacting her and trying to explain, preach, boast, whatever selfish thing you can think of. I am constantly one step away from instant self-gratification, either drugs, a new fling, you name it, just to escape the brutality of the situation.

But now, thanks to just staying with it, I have a filter, small voice saying that maybe she rightly doesn't want to be contacted, doesn't want to be lectured to, maybe it's no time for new romantic interests or even sex. But let me tell you, even having these thoughts as options in my head is the hardest thing I ever done in my life. No tattoo hurts as much, no weight loss requires more discipline and control. And all I get from this is unbearable loneliness.

Is just staying with it, hurting through all this, the right thing to do? It feels like I am becoming a hermit to my own self. All the usual responses that didn't work in the past, are seen as maladaptions and I am literally left with nothing. Emptiness of not having control, of not relating with myself via the other. How does it help me? I need some support
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dindin
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2020, 10:14:31 AM »

Also, can anyone help. I feel a need to apologise for my part of the disfunction. Would it be advisable to reach out with this understanding? I don't know o why I feel this way. It's not going to change anything, and I'm afraid it's only me still trapped in over-relatedness to her.
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FindingMe2011
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2020, 01:09:09 PM »

I just cannot get a grip on myself emotionally.

Actually youre doing pretty good considering. Just know this is the healthy path to detachment. This is what you have avoided and now you see/feel why, to some degree. Be patient, do things you used to do, and find gratification in, by yourself, for yourself. It is that simple and a process. Making things simple brings calmer waters, eventually. It cant lasts forever and nothing you havent experienced before.

Is just staying with it, hurting through all this, the right thing to do?

Unfortunately yes.  The origins of these pains are yours. Discovering these and understanding how you could have interpreted them wrong, as a developing brain might do, would serve you well. Gaining this understanding through kindness and forgiveness, for YOURSELF (which right now youre having a hard time doing and most likely never have genuinely) Investigate this pain, dont fear it so much. Respect it.

I need some support

You have here, a T, and above all, you have you. A little wounded now but this wont last forever. Hang tight and EXPECT the roller coaster ride. Almost drown in it, till it hurts a little less. Lick your wounds and go back at it. This is where the most growth can be attained.

I feel a need to apologise for my part of the disfunction.

You do and to YOURSELF.  The rest you just need to accept for now. Its the process but it works.

Would it be advisable to reach out with this understanding?

Reach out for understanding from somebody incapable ? Its you needing understanding from you, others cant give you answers.

I don't know o why I feel this way. It's not going to change anything, and I'm afraid it's only me still trapped in over-relatedness to her.

It you NEEDING to do something for others instead of yourself. Yet you know this is fruitless. thinking of this is OK, acting isnt. The rumination will subside if you do this in a healthy way. The healthier, the quicker...its you trapped in your self imposed prison...Freedom awaits you. I wish you well, Peace
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dindin
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2020, 02:02:39 PM »

I feel a need to apologise for my part of the disfunction.

You do and to YOURSELF.  The rest you just need to accept for now. Its the process but it works.

I don't know o why I feel this way. It's not going to change anything, and I'm afraid it's only me still trapped in over-relatedness to her.

It you NEEDING to do something for others instead of yourself. Yet you know this is fruitless. thinking of this is OK, acting isnt. The rumination will subside if you do this in a healthy way. The healthier, the quicker...its you trapped in your self imposed prison...Freedom awaits you. I wish you well, Peace

Actually, I was feeling pretty low and wrote a letter that I intended to send to my exBPD partner. Basically outlining my role in the disfunction, but also of saying sorry for the controlling behaviour and a release from obligations that I narcisstically conveyed durign break-up communication.

I was ready to send it, but something stopped me, and told me to rewrite it with pronouns changed, as if I wrote it to myself. And tears just come pouring... I don't think I have ever in my life experienced so much warmth, compassion and accountability towards myself. I just don't think I ever was anywhere near close to forgiving to myself, the way that I was overly-forgiving to my ex.

The whole r/s seems to be like a fairytale made real just for the purpose of life showing me what I should focus on and how I should treat myself.
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FindingMe2011
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2020, 02:51:42 PM »

I was ready to send it, but something stopped me, and told me to rewrite it with pronouns changed, as if I wrote it to myself. And tears just come pouring... I don't think I have ever in my life experienced so much warmth, compassion and accountability towards myself. I just don't think I ever was anywhere near close to forgiving to myself, the way that I was overly-forgiving to my ex.

This is you listening to you, congrats and now they can be tears of joy. You have never been truly/genuinely forgiving to yourself. You are finding understanding from the one you NEED to you. You previously have looked for this feeling from others. It was false and impossible. This is the start of genuine happiness. I wish you well, Peace            P.S. I hope you didnt send expecting anything but peace for yourself. She also needs to do this but the illness makes this next to impossible


The whole r/s seems to be like a fairytale made real just for the purpose of life showing me what I should focus on and how I should treat myself.


Spot on. It was once said "there are moments when the pain becomes great enough, we then have the opportunity to make change". Maybe this is one of these moments. If you continue,one day you will consider this a gift or at least understand this is what, it just may have taken, to make change.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2020, 02:58:01 PM by FindingMe2011 » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2020, 06:40:02 PM »

It’s hard to figure out what to do with your time. Especially after coming to to realizations that you have. I’m simply guessing here, but you were a fixer. You wanted to make everything perfect. I get that. Finding other things to do is hard. If I missed the mark on the fixer thing, let me know. It’ll give me something to work harder on.
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dindin
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2020, 09:45:17 AM »

It’s hard to figure out what to do with your time. Especially after coming to to realizations that you have. I’m simply guessing here, but you were a fixer. You wanted to make everything perfect. I get that. Finding other things to do is hard. If I missed the mark on the fixer thing, let me know. It’ll give me something to work harder on.

I am not so sure about being a fixer. It was more like I needed to understand everything, like I deperately wanted to be understood. I had extremely strong ideas on how someone should be, which I guess can come across as narcissistic.

I remember circular arguments and conversations that basically came down to me asking: "why did you cheat or lie?" More than anything I wanted to understand. I just couldn't comprehend the reality of the disorder, that someone might not have a developed self.

I remember that when I opened up and showed my absolutely most vurnerable feelings, I kind of fooled myself into thinking that I was understood, only to find out that my exBPD partner simply accepts what any given person tells her, and if the next person that she is attached to says something  in opposition to what I said, she literally was able to hold two opinions at the same time. I was extremely confused by this. It was like I found a perfect enigma to discipher.

When she did something bad, instead of this being taken at face value, I pestered her about an explanation. And what this was, was me trying to give her ultimate understanding and forgiveness, something that I didn't show myself or even truely experienced as a person.

Is this being a fixer? I knew she was "damaged" from the start. I tried to help her, but I think the biggest driving force was me trying to summon this complete understanding and forgiveness. And when I think about it, this is my childhood dynamic in a nutshell. For whatever reason, when I was a child and now in adulthood, my "mode" of being was always questioned. I did all the wrong choices. And for some reason I choose very critical women as partners.

And this is not me being oversensitive, I come for a highly narcissistic family, where I was scapegoated and even hated! Now as I allow myself to think about this, there were incidents that would made any sane person not speak to their parents. And yet even thinking about this as abuse is so, so hard. And this plays over and over in my relationships. Why? And an important question, is what I was experiencing in my r/s really abuse, comperable to what I experienced from my parents, or am I projecting?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 09:55:56 AM by dindin » Logged
FindingMe2011
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2020, 10:08:37 AM »

I was extremely confused by this. It was like I found a perfect enigma to discipher.

The unsolvable puzzle. Just as the illness needs and it actually validated the illness correct, one more time in her head...The fixer part is you rather helping others, with their issues, so you dont have time to deal with your own. Its the path of least resistance. Most everybody does this.

I had extremely strong ideas on how someone should be, which I guess can come across as narcissistic.

It does and is...Takes one to know one, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post), my joke to myself, sorry.

I remember that when I opened up and showed my absolutely most vurnerable feelings, I kind of fooled myself into thinking that I was understood,

This was just telling the illness (and her also to some extent) your weak spots to be used later to control various situations. She is at the mercy of the illness.

And an important question, is what I was experiencing in my r/s really abuse, comperable to what I experienced from my parents, or am I projecting?

Spot on


As far as your time is concerned, get out and do things you remember giving you happiness. If you cant think of any, event some. You sitting around allowing others to rent space in your head for free, isnt going to help you. Fake it till you make it,. It works. I wish you well, Peace

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dindin
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2020, 10:34:34 AM »

I was extremely confused by this. It was like I found a perfect enigma to discipher.

The unsolvable puzzle. Just as the illness needs and it actually validated the illness correct, one more time in her head...The fixer part is you rather helping others, with their issues, so you dont have time to deal with your own. Its the path of least resistance. Most everybody does this.

I had extremely strong ideas on how someone should be, which I guess can come across as narcissistic.

It does and is...Takes one to know one, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post), my joke to myself, sorry.

I remember that when I opened up and showed my absolutely most vurnerable feelings, I kind of fooled myself into thinking that I was understood,

This was just telling the illness (and her also to some extent) your weak spots to be used later to control various situations. She is at the mercy of the illness.

And an important question, is what I was experiencing in my r/s really abuse, comperable to what I experienced from my parents, or am I projecting?

Spot on


As far as your time is concerned, get out and do things you remember giving you happiness. If you cant think of any, event some. You sitting around allowing others to rent space in your head for free, isnt going to help you. Fake it till you make it,. It works. I wish you well, Peace



There is something that I can't really wrap my head around. If I recognize some events as abuse, like for example, whenever I introduced my gf to my parents, even as an adult, they'd say: "I'm sorry dear you met him, you probably deserve better" in a joking way. A sane person would never have close ties with people like that. The same with boundries in a relationship, if a boundry is set as: don't cheat or lie. Then I'd get exactly zero chances at relationships, since everyone cheats or lies to some extent. Me included.

I know, this sounds like black and white thinking. But honestly, if I really guarded my personal boundries, I'd have no family to speak. If I respected myself, I'd have no relationships, or at least the pool of possible relationships is nearing zero. If I don't let myself being used to some extent, I'd have no jobs. I cannot get over this.

If I refuse to insert myself into drama, life feels empty. This sounds like addiction to disfunction. How do I overcome it? Is the price of boundries complete and utter loneliness or is that distorted thinking on my part?
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2020, 11:38:44 AM »

"I'm sorry dear you met him, you probably deserve better" in a joking way.

Very narcissistic in nature. A passive aggressive way to say " This is my object, back off"

A sane person would never have close ties with people like that.

Yep. They would run like hell. Somebody accustom to this speak wouldnt.

Then I'd get exactly zero chances at relationships, since everyone cheats or lies to some extent. Me included.

When you stop, you can then GENUINELY ask this of others. If you see different you will walk. Little investment necessary and way less damaging.

I know, this sounds like black and white thinking. But honestly, if I really guarded my personal boundries, I'd have no family to speak.

If it truly is family. This cant/wont be possible, but if you know and expect it, maybe you wont take it so personally from now on. Learn how to bow out gracefully before it gets stupid and make sense of it in other ways. If its others, then find new friends. It is black and white thinking

If I respected myself, I'd have no relationships, or at least the pool of possible relationships is nearing zero.

If you had more respect for yourself you wouldnt NEED r/s. You would WANT a reciprocal one. Then understand how one good friend is equal to 1000000 facebook friends. You might just understand how dysfunctional social media truly is and not feel the need. So maybe zero today but with work, these odds could increase dramatically.

f I refuse to insert myself into drama, life feels empty. This sounds like addiction to disfunction.

It is and start trusting your instincts a little better, they are pretty good. This obviously has been a staple in your life. Staples can be changed. Maybe not perfectly but in a way you can learn to respect.

How do I overcome it?

Its work, and depending how much your willing to put in, determines what you get back. Holds true for most things, no?

Is the price of boundries complete and utter loneliness or is that distorted thinking on my part?

Its distorted. Maybe jumping into the unknown has created some of this. The fact is you were lonely with the illness. It just didnt appear this way to you at the time...Keep searching for truth, dont dictate it. It will come. I wish you well, Peace

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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2020, 02:37:09 PM »

Its work, and depending how much your willing to put in, determines what you get back. Holds true for most things, no?

How did you manage to get your narcissistic tendencies under control?

As for my free time, nothing really is joyful for me now. I tend to stop myself from drifting into workaholism or some other obsession, as it's very tempting. In the past I usually went straight into work, working out or boozing. Don't want to make that mistake again. So I take my time. Just trying to feel as much as I can, and not escape it. It gets me to very dark places.

And although I always loved music, I never really identified with their contents on an emotional level. But now I am just listening to Beck's Sea Change, and I don't know if I am projecting myself onto the lyrics, but it sounds like archetypically the same PLEASE READ I am going through, and while it gives me comfort, I am ashamed to be so sentimental. Damn, I can't even enjoy things without questioning myself. I just don't want to drift away into too much self-pity.
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2020, 05:28:07 PM »

How did you manage to get your narcissistic tendencies under control?

Interesting question, never thought about it until now. Thanks...Guess it started with separation from ex wife. At some point between visitation days, with my children, I spent 3 days on my living room floor curled up in the fetal position, with the most pain I had ever experienced. It had me feeling lost and non existent, to a large part. There was this little piece of me saying this person was not the entire cause of this misery. I was correct. It took a while to learn I was having what some called a narcissistic extinction burst. It fit for me. When I looked further and it took some time to get there, I realized I was an altruistic narcissist.(not once had anyone spoke of this until I did) I was always looking for one upmanship r/s, that I felt I could control. My guy friendships not so much. In many ways they are/were like me, so the behavior is accepted. Healthier people walk. I do these days...So as I could see how I lie to myself, I then had to question everything in life. I came to some different conclusions and all has benefited me. I am the only one I can truly save. I can only offer advice to others that ask for it. They have to do the work.

. I tend to stop myself from drifting into workaholism

Maybe this isnt so bad for now. At least its going to benefit you. As long as its not self harming, all is on the table.

Just trying to feel as much as I can, and not escape it. It gets me to very dark places.

As long as the dark place doesnt touch suicide, this is just what the doctor ordered...You have been here before, this time try to understand it. Its not going to happen the first time, but with consistency it will happen.

And although I always loved music, I never really identified with their contents on an emotional level. But now I am just listening to Beck's Sea Change, and I don't know if I am projecting myself onto the lyrics, but it sounds like archetypically the same PLEASE READ I am going through, and while it gives me comfort, I am ashamed to be so sentimental.

I like Beck, one of the greatest. Listening to Traffic- Dear Mr Fantasy right now. Jam to Zepplin, AC/DC, Almond Bros, and many more. Music is a great release. I propose turning up a good one and dancing to it. I do it all the time, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).  Im not ashamed and neither should you.

I just don't want to drift away into too much self-pity.

If you stay vigilant, you wont. Its not going away over night either. You will figure out what is healthy or not, it will feel right. I wish you well, Peace



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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2020, 07:07:37 AM »

When I looked further and it took some time to get there, I realized I was an altruistic narcissist.(not once had anyone spoke of this until I did) I was always looking for one upmanship r/s, that I felt I could control. My guy friendships not so much. In many ways they are/were like me, so the behavior is accepted.

Interesting point. I just noticed that most of my friends are not, I don't know how to put it nicely, right in the head. Just now I am a support person for two people who are even in more drama than I was lately. And when I think about it our relationship was always one of listening to someone's drama, chiming in, and that's it. I don't know if I am selfish for saying this, but I can't be dealing with their stuff anymore, I don't want to be a confidante to a dimenshion of my life that I am not longer happy with. It's draining. I don't know why I choose people like these as closest friends, when I do have access to strong-willed individuals, who even like me, but I am never close to them. Why is that? Is this a narcissistic trait? I strangely feel this one upmanship dynamic playing with them.
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2020, 09:44:57 AM »

Just now I am a support person for two people who are even in more drama than I was lately.

if these people are not truly helping themselves, youre enabling them. Validating their shortcomings.

I don't know if I am selfish for saying this, but I can't be dealing with their stuff anymore,

No, and you thinking this says plenty. Another dynamic to keep you in dysfunctional r/s...When you finally get to a point where you say what they need to hear, you will see who your friends are, and those of them that are interested in growing. I dont reject anybody. I just bow out gracefully and move on. If a person cant respect you asking for a little space, for your own personal issues, they are selfish. A comment or 2 is sufficient. You can only save you and they can only save themselves, is one. Telling them if they remove their end of any conflict. There is no conflict. Give them this advice and notice the responses.

I don't know why I choose people like these as closest friends, when I do have access to strong-willed individuals, who even like me, but I am never close to them. Why is that?

You dont like sharing the pedestal. But the fact remains to have a healthy relationship with anyone, even a pet, it needs to be shared. Its also a much better feeling, especially when you see this play out.

I strangely feel this one upmanship dynamic playing with them.

It does

who even like me,

These are most likely grounded people who recognize your good core. They are just trying to help also. These are the people to invest in. Do this without expecting anything from them. Watch a real r/s blossom, pretty cool... Keep it up. I wish you well, Peace       PS Listening to Led Zepplin Kashmir, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) might just dance a bit

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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2020, 10:08:33 AM »

No, and you thinking this says plenty. Another dynamic to keep you in dysfunctional r/s...When you finally get to a point where you say what they need to hear, you will see who your friends are, and those of them that are interested in growing. I dont reject anybody. I just bow out gracefully and move on. If a person cant respect you asking for a little space, for your own personal issues, they are selfish. A comment or 2 is sufficient. You can only save you and they can only save themselves, is one. Telling them if they remove their end of any conflict. There is no conflict. Give them this advice and notice the responses.

Thanks. I started doing just that: when they ask me for advice or a comment I just reply: you know best what to think about it. And there's radio silence when I do that. And after an hour or so, there's more questions, or asking for validation. All our conversations were basically vomiting validation at each other. And I don't think that is helpful anymore.

I know it might sound insignificant, but when one of my friends was just complaining today, in the same manner that we've done for the past 10 years, I just said: "I don't really feel like dealing with it at the moment. Have my own stuff to do." I never in my life said anything close to this, either in my romantic relationships, family or friends. Or I might have said it, but I didn't actually mean it, like now. It's a big thing for me, but I don't really understand why rationally. It feels empowering.

It looks like just leaving people with their problems just makes everything the same that it would have been, except I don't get to spend time or energy on it.

PS. never really given Led Zeppelin a chance before, might try it :D
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« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2020, 10:33:01 AM »


PS. never really given Led Zeppelin a chance before, might try it :D

Led Zeppelin is great. Definitely give them a try.  As my local radio station says before they play one of their songs "Here's some Led for your head!"  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2020, 11:01:36 AM »

And I don't think that is helpful anymore.

It never was, but just where you were in life, doing your best. Your best is becoming better.



"I don't really feel like dealing with it at the moment. Have my own stuff to do." I never in my life said anything close to this, either in my romantic relationships, family or friends. Or I might have said it, but I didn't actually mean it, like now. It's a big thing for me, but I don't really understand why rationally. It feels empowering..

Because it is and you should pat yourself on the back...This is you respecting you and its not selfish to do this. In fact this creates a better you for whomever you come in contact with. Logic with emotional stability is powerful. Dont let the narc in you, ruin this. It will try.

It looks like just leaving people with their problems just makes everything the same that it would have been, except I don't get to spend time or energy on it.

If it looks this way, then it is. I would have to agree. Its just a game of triangulation. This game never ends. I wish you well,Peace
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« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2020, 01:07:59 PM »

Logic with emotional stability is powerful. Dont let the narc in you, ruin this. It will try.

Please expand on this if you can. How is the narc going to ruin this? He's such an a**hole, I need to be one step ahead of him Smiling (click to insert in post)

Still I think this is extremely important. Like, by accident, I came across a new philosohpy of relating. And while it might seem minor when it comes to friends. But if I applied the same "self-centerdness" to some of my more turbulent romantic relationships... if nothing else, I'd be far less devastated by anxiety and feel less long-term shame.

But even in my family, I live through years-long dramas or problems that are really not mine, which were constructed to be unresolvable, I never wanted them - they appear emotionally like chains. They feel fabricated and stupid now. It's almost like my romantic relationships... But I still feel an enormous guilt for being selfish when I try to detach. I really don't understand why. Any ideas?

Why do I feel like a bad friend if I don't listen to someone complain? Why do I complain so much? Why do I feel like a bad son for not trying to fix problems of my parents? Why do I feel like a bad partner if I say: "I don't give a ****." I used to say that just to posture, but never actually meaning just that. Everyone always accused me of being selfish, and saying "I don't give a ****" just appears extremely, criminally wrong.

Also, why did I find so much self-worth, pleasure and even divine meaning in arguing, conversations, asking for and receiving validation? Now it all has some nasty undertones, like something's rotting all around me. I'd rather be shot in the face, than having another "relationship" conversation, and yet I instigated them! And if she called me back, I'd probably have another one... But through the mental pain that I am suffering now, I feel there's something worthwile if I can reject the old.
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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2020, 02:18:11 PM »

Excerpt
One group seems to think that BPD is an illness, almost biological,

bpd is a set of personality traits, on a spectrum that ranges from functional, to dysfunctional, to extremely dysfunctional. at the more extreme end, mental illness may be involved. most professionals agree that personality traits are a mixture of nature and nurture.

the same is true for npd, as a personality disorder, but one key difference is that we all possess degrees of narcissism in general, ranging from healthy to unhealthy. suffering from a narcissistic wound, for example, is not the same thing as being "a narcissist".

Excerpt
1) The more I think about it, there is no other way for this disfunction to have happened than a dance of BPD and some kind of narcissistic (co-dependent?) wound in BOTH partners.

there are a number of different models out there to describe a bpd/non bpd partnership; those are two of them. another model points to schema modes (www.schematherapy.com/id72.htm) which also speaks to the inner child. there are several others.

what is important to remember is that we all bring varying degrees of baggage, some conscious, some unconscious, into every relationship. we all, to varying degrees, look for/gravitate toward partners in order to heal childhood wounds.

Excerpt
Why do we seek out this mirroring quality

because its hardwired, and it facilitates bonding.

its important to understand that "mirroring" is not a bad word, but its an equally important question youre asking. some people, for a variety of reasons, have a greater need to be mirrored than others.

Excerpt
Is just staying with it, hurting through all this, the right thing to do?

in general, yes. moving through abandonment depression and grief is formative.

that shouldnt exclude doing so in a mindful way, or a healthy way, of course.

Excerpt
The whole r/s seems to be like a fairytale made real just for the purpose of life showing me what I should focus on and how I should treat myself.

and others.

Excerpt
A sane person would never have close ties with people like that. The same with boundries in a relationship, if a boundry is set as: don't cheat or lie. Then I'd get exactly zero chances at relationships, since everyone cheats or lies to some extent. Me included.

it is a bit black and white.

everyone has a difficult relative, difficult friend, has difficulties with their partners, etc. while it may be popular these days, emotionally or physically cutting everyone off who offends you is not only not a good example of healthy boundaries, its not an emotionally mature coping mechanism. "sane" people have relationships that are safe, and work (and that can mean different things for different people), and thats what good boundaries are about.

of course, not everyone is meant to be, or should be in your life; this isnt black and white either.

Excerpt
If I am not in a relationship -
If I'm in a relationship-
...

the descriptions do fit within the realm of codependency.

another model i might look into is bowens family systems theory and the concept of self differentiation. bfst states, in part, that we mate with our emotional equals, or people with a similar level of self differentiation to ourselves. it took me a long time to see it, because the way mine and my exs emotional immaturity manifested could look very different. i dont "rage". self differentiation is more about how we see ourselves, how we see others in relation to ourselves, overall life functioning, and how we cope than "im just like my ex".

the opposite of codependency is a well differentiated person.

Excerpt
But what do you do with your time? How do you find your true self?

youve already begun.

what you have seen and learned cant be unseen or unlearned. you will take your new awareness into the future in all kinds of relationships.

two things, presumably, occurred at some point in your life.

1. you realized on a conscious level that you are a separate entity from your parents.
2. you realized, probably many, many times, that others think differently from you, feel differently than you, like or dislike different things.

both are about self differentiation.

that, in essence, is what id encourage you to do with your time. test how you see yourself. test how you see yourself in relation to others. test how others see you. test how you see others. grow in emotional maturity. learn more about human nature. pathology has value, but its all too easy to pathologize what is human nature at play.

additionally, it sounds like you may be experiencing depression. address that - it makes everything harder.

Excerpt
I am relatively young

youll grow; from this, and from whats ahead of you. just keep learning and keep reaching.
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« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2020, 02:19:38 PM »

Please expand on this if you can. How is the narc going to ruin this? He's such an a**hole, I need to be one step ahead of him

Thanks for the laugh. I can relate. We tend to be the smartest one in the room, or we find another room. Everyone exhibits Narc traits, some just do this more. We are more susceptible to out thinking ourselves, or under thinking at times...As far as relationships are concerned. If you are entering for selfish reasons, dont. It wont end well as you probably know to some degree. Question yourself more often. it becomes habit because it feels right and fits. Old habits never die, you just curb them, till they look a little better to you and they will eventually if you are consistent. And when your not, you start all over again. You missed something obviously.

Still I think this is extremely important. Like, by accident, I came across a new philosohpy of relating. And while it might seem minor when it comes to friends. But if I applied the same "self-centerdness" to some of my more turbulent romantic relationships... if nothing else, I'd be far less devastated by anxiety and feel less long-term shame.

This comes mandatory when you approach others with no selfish intentions. I brought this way of thinking to everyone I come in contact with ( romantic ones a little different but not much) You would be amazed 3-6 year olds relate to me better than adults on many occasions. Kids are just small not stupid...The anxiety and shame are yours. No r/s is going to fix this, just numb it for a while.( this would be your selfish intention) This needs to be addressed at some point, sounds like the root or somewhere close.

they appear emotionally like chains. They feel fabricated and stupid now. It's almost like my romantic relationships..

Yes the song remains the same. The only thing different is the instruments, to appear different...When in Rome do as the Romans, and yes it appears you continued this in other ways. Playing black and white, when most things are grey. Fighting for what is right. When there is no right or wrong, just different. Looking back I can relate, thanks.

But I still feel an enormous guilt for being selfish when I try to detach. I really don't understand why. Any ideas?

FOG (fear obligation, guilt ) and its all yours. Kindly opened up with a dysfunctional r/s

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=82926.0

I used to say that just to posture, but never actually meaning just that. Everyone always accused me of being selfish, and saying "I don't give a ****" just appears extremely, criminally wrong.

Me too, it worked thats why. Nothing much gets said. I just hid the selfishness a little better. Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) I see this play out daily around me just in daily activities. If you think this is wrong then start acting another way. Ask true friends to point out this behavior. You begin to laugh at yourself.

Also, why did I find so much self-worth, pleasure and even divine meaning in arguing, conversations, asking for and receiving validation?

This will be the first lie to yourself that I point out...You didnt or you wouldnt be here. This is just the fantasy you had to live, to avoid you...Money really distorts things and just creates more fantasy, it did for me.

And if she called me back, I'd probably have another one.

You might and this would be OK but it wont bare the fruit you are looking for and probably make you feel worse...You will bounce all over the place, hang on and know its the process.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=208969.0

But through the mental pain that I am suffering now, I feel there's something worthwile if I can reject the old.

Dont reject the old. Understand it differently than you did as a child. Have understanding for this child and help him back, with kindness and forgiveness. You will be fine. I wish you well, Peace

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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2020, 02:52:13 PM »

Healthy mirroring begins the day we’re born. Eye contact, mimicking the sounds that our kiddos make. I kind of view it as an early form of validation. Mirroring is a healthy function in adults that were properly mirrored as children. The validation helps to develop their own identity and true self. If a child isn’t properly mirrored by parent/s during development, the adult version of that child will continue to seek it out. It’s an important part of development that was left out of the equation. Therefore, there’s a void that it is very hard to fill after the innocent years.
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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2020, 04:24:20 PM »

Healthy mirroring begins the day we’re born. Eye contact, mimicking the sounds that our kiddos make. I kind of view it as an early form of validation. Mirroring is a healthy function in adults that were properly mirrored as children. The validation helps to develop their own identity and true self. If a child isn’t properly mirrored by parent/s during development, the adult version of that child will continue to seek it out. It’s an important part of development that was left out of the equation. Therefore, there’s a void that it is very hard to fill after the innocent years.

Guys, could you expand on this mirroring thing? I intuitively understand that this was the attraction that a feel to the BPD, and that this need for mirroring feeds both my codependent and narcissistic tendencies.

The void you describe is simply an emotional need not met during childhood, one for conectedness and ultimate validation? You don't question a child, right? If it's hungry it's hungry, if it's crying it's crying. Yet due to some disfunction in the family, or some biological predisposition of the child, this is simply not attained? Hence anxiety and fear?

'Cause in all honesty, when I felt most vulnerable and needy, I kinda detect that childish quality in it: it's all or nothing with the urgency of a runaway train. It literally feels like I am reverting to a child-like state. Is that it? That how I can recognise it? What do I do with it? Is really love and forgiveness to oneself the way to do that? How does one practically build it up?

Or am I completely missing the point somehow?
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« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2020, 04:37:23 PM »

I intuitively understand that this was the attraction that a feel to the BPD, and that this need for mirroring feeds both my codependent and narcissistic tendencies.

its the same gaze a baby has when they first look into the mothers eyes. We dont remember this, but our subconscious does.  Maybe this helps.

As some parents on the board with children diagnosed with BPD will tell you, there was no abandonment for the child. There was merely the failure to separate from the primary caretaker in order to individuate. So in this way, enmeshment was encouraging infantilization and arrested development. Some very, very good Mothers are guilty of this. Helicopter Mothers make Bpd children as much as neglectful or abusive Mothers.

BPD is the failure to separate / individuate from primary caretakers. Consequently, they seek out replications of caretakers found in people who need perfect mirroring.

Many BPD partners are also suffering from immaturity. They also have developmental deficits in their thinking, and they project these onto the unknowing Borderline in order to cast off their own shame and utilize the defects of the Borderline as their combination mirroring agent and marketeer for their false self.

When the false self fails from imperfect mirroring; a huge narcissistic injury ensues. If this causes a jump into a new relationship to soothe the ego and calm the reactive need -then rightfully, the Borderline withdraws. (One of the signs of immaturity and impulsivity is multiple partners overlapping.)

There is no devaluation and discard from the Borderline. There is only a detachment and protection from the failure to become the perfect mirroring agent to a person who NEEDS perfect mirroring.

When a person needs perfect mirroring and must have it from multiple sources; moving on to recycle old flames or search on-line for new ones, or have one-night stands- this is a sign of insecurity. Never to be alone, unable to delay gratification. Always needy. Multiple relationships overlapping during the BPD relationship eliminate trust, safety, and security for a Borderline. This isn't a discard and devaluation- this is an extreme valuation that once temporarily soothed the developmental deficit and need for value. Sometimes, for both parties. One person is doing the necessary stepping back to detach and protect, and yes it involves hurt and mistrust.

Considering yourself to be above average in attractiveness, a "catch" and a somatic is something that pivots on reactions from mirrors. Using a person to act as a mirror objectifies that person until they become exhausted with feelings of bondage and slavery.

The subsequent retreat from this is not a devaluation, but rather a self fulfilling prophecy, that comes from selling themselves out to be used and the failure of individuation. Never to have the safety and security of being loved for who they are because they haven't found themselves in development. It is a repetition compulsion.

Borderlines often pick partners who do this because it proves their self-defeating actions. It is an unconscious response and one that takes many years of therapy to overcome. 
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« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2020, 04:39:56 PM »

Let’s get you hooked up with the articles here.
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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
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FindingMe2011
a.k.a. *BeenThereB4*
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1227



« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2020, 04:44:08 PM »

Or am I completely missing the point somehow?

Not at all. You are asking questions that need to be asked. Dont feel the need to have the answers yesterday (Narc thinking) It took a long time to get here and there is no magic pill. You must search for truth, you cant dictate it. That doesnt work so well.

Is really love and forgiveness to oneself the way to do that?

At the very least love and acceptance. You were doing the best that you could, with the tools you had. Now youre collecting more tools and should do better. Do this a few times and see what happens. Nothing bad I can promise.
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