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Author Topic: How do you know what your boundries are?  (Read 1021 times)
dindin
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« on: September 13, 2020, 12:28:52 PM »

Hi guys, I'm quite proud of 7 days no contact, so wanted to share that with you Smiling (click to insert in post) Everyday the highs and selfsoothing periods are longer and the depression and separation anxiety gives way to just plain grieving. Although it's still a pretty much a roller coaster, and a long way to go.

I didn't want to start a new topic, but I do have a question that I want to ask you that came to me while doing a review of my relationships: Boundries.

I am aware that in the past I used boundries to control other people and change their behaviour, as opposed to use it as protective measures. I own that mistake and wish to change that in myself. But how do you know what your boundries are?

On a very basic level, they aren't hard to know, like: no physical harm, no verbal abuse. But I really get lost on a more nuanced level. A lot of articles and books I read on the topic say that boundries should be derived from one's deep feelings and accepted as such. But how do I know if these are correct and are not, for example, an emanation of my codependency or narcissistic traits? Like jealousy or possesiveness?

Let me give you a real example. Every single one of my relationships has started with a similiar type of conflict: women I was dating were in contact with their ex lovers, fwb, or boyfriends even months into the relationship. And I absolutely hated it, it made me feel insecure and unimportant. When Iearnt about it, one way or another, I would simply say: I cannot be in a relationship like that, and walk away, with them chasing after the r/s and saying how sorry they were and that I should give them another chance. Which I did to, more often than not, find myself in the same situation months or years later. Every single r/s I had had this conflict. And now I really don't know if it is a reasonable boundry to not have your potential or actual partners have contact with former lovers and bf. Or not to be flirty with other people. Or to lie about it. Is it normal to expect complete transparency from your romantic partners? Or is it unreasonable, and hence the secrets?

How do I know if that need is not jealousy or possessiveness? Cause whenever that happens my partners would eventaully complain about me being controlling in that regard. I understand that my anger and manipulations with these boundries were not healthy. I need to work on that. But how can I investigate these feelings better so I don't repeat the same mistakes in the future? Are these reasonable boundries, how can I place them in a healthy way. Because even when I was completely honest and talked about how their lies or flirting hurt me, these were not taken seriously. How do I know if I am not overreacting? Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 09:46:44 PM by once removed » Logged
JNChell
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 05:10:50 PM »

That’s a great realization. Self awareness is the number one aspect to healing. Along with that, we have to kick through the mud. It’s a process that isn’t linear. You’ll feel different emotions at different times and it’s very important for you to understand that. At times I felt like I was going crazy, but I was simply shifting through my emotions. This is serious stuff and you’re doing a great job at pursuing it. Leaning in to it. Pat yourself on the back and stay the course of learning and healing.

I’m not qualified to discuss how you used your boundaries, or what boundaries meant to you at that time.

You have said plenty to make it understood that you were raised under the fist of narcissistic abuse. That’s a general term, but I understand you.

You bring up a very good point. The literature. Be careful on what you read. While you read, trust your gut. I’d like to recommend a book. “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach.

It sounds like you’re very confused. You’re safe here. Whenever you need to talk, bring it here. Somebody else is always ready to talk as well. Everything is going to be ok.

Relationships like ours start out in certain ways. You’ve recognized your pattern. Maybe try to take a break from dating until you figure out why that pattern keeps going. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 05:16:23 PM by JNChell » Logged

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FindingMe2011
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2020, 05:32:36 PM »

Hi guys, I'm quite proud of 7 days no contact, so wanted to share that with you Smiling (click to insert in post) Everyday the highs and selfsoothing periods are longer and the depression and separation anxiety gives way to just plain grieving. Although it's still a pretty much a roller coaster, and a long way to go.

Thats a good start...The white noise can be deafening at times. What are you doing that is self soothing? Trying anything different?  Acceptance takes a while and is a process that requires patience. Not a strong suit of mine back in the day. Get to the 30 day mark and it starts to become habit. Self boundaries.....thats progress.

I am aware that in the past I used boundries to control other people and change their behaviour,

How do you think you used boundaries to control others?  Typically these r/s are boundary-less. The behavior is accepted by all.

But how do you know what your boundries are?

They are what you want them to be........ Morals should play a part I suppose. Maybe these should change as we become wiser? To be implemented through communication in all our relationships with as much honest, we can muster, on that given day?

Like jealousy or possesiveness?

maybe ask yourself if your doing something for a selfish intention? These both appear to fit in this category. Objectivity seems to fit. Emotionally available people should be able to work through this, relatively easily. I would discuss and if not respected, walk.

Is it normal to expect complete transparency from your romantic partners? Or is it unreasonable, and hence the secrets?

This is why maybe you should be patient at the onset of a relationship? If you think maybe it has potential. Allow it to happen organically. There are many reasons people jump from one relationship to the next. None are good.

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dindin
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 05:56:03 PM »

What are you doing that is self soothing? Trying anything different?
I am trying to just let the time pass. In the past I was always in a hurry, always focused on some project, hobby, or r/s. Now all free time I have after work I spend doing nothing. For example, today I sepnt an hour feeding crows in the park. I also am trying to meditate and revisit stuff from childhood, as most of my memories were buried deep down.

I am aware that in the past I used boundries to control other people and change their behaviour,

For example, when I found out my ex BPD partner was lying about her unprotected sex with someone else at the beginning of the r/s, exposing me to the risk of STDs, I was very mad, and learnt that her friends were pretty much ok with it, even egging her on, so I insisited she limited contact with those friends. That was very controlling of me. But at the same time, I didn't really enforce a boundry on my end in that I tried to convince myself of all the reasons she might have lied about it, and I just let it be. I didn't walk, ever, no matter what happened. So yes, in the end, it was very boundry-less.

Relationships like ours start out in certain ways. You’ve recognized your pattern. Maybe try to take a break from dating until you figure out why that pattern keeps going. Thoughts?
I'm not dating, not planning to start anytime soon. Which is something I did very soon in the past after a breakup. But I made a pact with myself to wait till I get my stuff in order. I also noticed how the more resolve I have for this, the more I notice that people I found attractive in the past have cluster B personality traits. And I don't want to go down that road ever again. So I even need to question why I was/am so attracted to this.

They are what you want them to be........ Morals should play a part I suppose.

When it comes to boundries, I understand that I'm confused. My codependency and narcissism has revealed to me that I am pretty much boundry-less. I have a strong false self that insists on some "rational" boundries, but these were never in accordance with the true self. They were more of my narc dad's voice than my own. And I always struggled to really enforce them and respect them deep down. Hence, my questions. I need to find a way to get these and unhook them from my neediness as the main driving force.

And the books... Yeah, there's a lot of new-agy stuff that I came across while reading on codependency. I just don't buy it.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 06:02:29 PM by dindin » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 09:24:45 PM »

Now all free time I have after work I spend doing nothing. For example, today I spent an hour feeding crows in the park.

What you are calling nothing, is important to me. Nothing like decompressing without alcohol, or whatever.......I do beaches, lakes, parks, ect., have always worked outside. Nothing like nature, its real not fantasy.

I also am trying to meditate

Breathing exercises, another healthy, self soothing activity....Good stuff. I actually studied Vipassana a little. There was literature called " Vipassana in plain English" . It took 8 months....5 minutes a day, for the longest time. As I became more used to it, I spent more time..... I then started seeing signs and low and behold I got to true meditation. To this day I cant totally put it into words. Scared the hell out of me the first time. Then I got to where, I would think I had only meditated for minutes, when at time it would go for hours. Its a cleansing of the subconscious, so to speak. Amazing to say the least. I had a new found respect for my brain. I hope you get there

And I don't want to go down that road ever again. So I even need to question why I was/am so attracted to this.

You would be wise to take some time with you. Dont discount animal instincts in all of this either. We are human.
Its all very new to you right now, so maybe BPD phobia, for now?..........We all show traits of everything, you me, everybody......I still date crazy, hell at my age not much else is left....I go about it, a whole lot different than back in the day. It works for me and you will also find your comfort zone in time.

And the books... Yeah, there's a lot of new-agy stuff that I came across while reading on codependency. I just don't buy it.

Psychology is going to PLEASE READ, just like everything else.....You will find what fits for you and pursue it. Search all avenues for your truth, it will reveal itself. Just as you have started doing. Trust but verify your instincts. in time you wont need to verify. I wish you well, Peace





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JNChell
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 09:35:28 PM »

Keep working and pushing through. You’ll figure it out.see you on the parent board. BTW, feeding birds isn’t nothing. It’s really something. Nature is a good thing. Watching them interact can give us something to think about, if that makes sense. Hope you’re well, man. You asked for a book recommendation. What do you like to read, categorically?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 09:54:19 PM by JNChell » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2020, 06:26:09 PM »

Hi dindin

My codependency and narcissism has revealed to me that I am pretty much boundry-less.
And the books... Yeah, there's a lot of new-agy stuff that I came across while reading on codependency. I just don't buy it.

What was it like feeding the crows, hurried or unhurried, the ones around here will have a sandwhich out your hand before you even see them coming. People feed them so regular that they must have just learned to see a human with food in their hand as "that is food for me"

Just wondering also, who are you codependent on at this moment in time.
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JNChell
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 06:33:36 PM »

Cromwell. What do you mean?

 the ones around here will have a sandwhich out your hand before you even see them coming.

No point in being hurtful. Is something on your mind? I’ll listen brother. We can start another thread. Something is going on and it’s only fair to say what it is.

Look, you have specifically told me what your condition is. It is not ok to discourage other members in their process. You showed up here in pain, they did too. Whatever is on your mind and has you pissed off needs to be talked about. You game? Don’t go self destructive. Try to stay here. Self destructive is a coping mechanism that will never work. Talking with a stranger might.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 06:52:37 PM by JNChell » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2020, 06:54:46 PM »

Cromwell. What do you mean?

 the ones around here will have a sandwhich out your hand before you even see them coming.

No point in being hurtful. Is something on your mind? I’ll listen brother. We can start another thread. Something is going on and it’s only fair to say what it is.

no riddles JNChell Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

genuinely, we have sea birds that swoop and attack on a regular basis, snatch food away.

im doing much better thanks im so happy to be back at work and keep my mind focused on something else.
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dindin
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2020, 06:40:47 AM »

What was it like feeding the crows, hurried or unhurried, the ones around here will have a sandwhich out your hand before you even see them coming. People feed them so regular that they must have just learned to see a human with food in their hand as "that is food for me"

Hahahhaa, I get exactly what you mean. As long as I had my sandwich in my hand and there was enough to share it was cool and blisful - unhurried at that point, but as soon as I got to the part of the sandwich that was just for me, the lil bastard wouldn't let go, had to chase his feathery behind away - defenitely hurried Smiling (click to insert in post) But I just like those birds a lot for some reason, even when they're ***holes, so fun overall.

Just wondering also, who are you codependent on at this moment in time.
Could you expand on this question? Don't really get it. I am still emotionally invested in the previous r/s way past what would be reasonable in grieving and simply missing someone. So I guess I am still codependant as a way of relating to the world.

What you are calling nothing, is important to me.
It's hard do describe. I do meditate everyday, but apart from that I conciously take a pause from any action. I also lost a lot of "fun" for things I did in the past, for example I took great pleasure from going on motorcycle trips, but somehow the joy in that is lost for the time being. Also, I used to be a perfectionist when it comes to one of my biggest passions in life, that is making music. It was paralyzing. Gettnig better at it, practicing, and then disappointment and shame for not getting anywhere were a huge drain on my emotional life for years and years. But now I record any song that comes to my mind on "potatoe-level" equipment, I sing out of tune, and dance to it. It's quite liberating. And I don't plan those sessions I just reach for an instrument when I feel like it.

I also read a lot, and listen to people talk on subjects that just give me that "resonating" feeling. In my r/s I lost that inquisitive self thats sceptically-spiritual. It was a big part of my identity before, so I'm not so sure why I let that fly out the window.

I also wanted to ask something, I think I might have ptsd towards any cluster B behaviour. I have a lot of friends who are not necessarily bad or anything, but just emotionally volatile. And I am afraid I now have a phobia against it. I was just recently talking to my friend, who described an argument with her b/f, and said that she got so angry at him, accusing him of being disloyal when he was simply checking a girl out on the street, that she thought of "revenge", stalked his social media accounts taking stock of all the pictures he liked, and sent him really disturbing stuff to "punish him".

Another female friend of mine recalled how once she threathened her ex with a knife.

Yet another of my friends, who is chronically depressed and in some r/s drama, always hits me up with: "how are you?", and then proceedes to just list their emotions on me. I had the same reaction I had when listening to the knife story.

I just noped the **** out of those conversations. I had god**** flashbacks, like a Vietnam veteran. Whereas in the past I would try to help them sort out their behaviour or emotions.

Another example is a girl who was always attracted to me tried to meet up with me in the middle of the night. I said her straight that I am not interested because it is way too early after my breakup but that I appreciate the invitation. And all would be well if not for the fact that a couple of hours later she would try to manipulate me saying: "you need to relax, and it's not like we are gonna **** or anything, just was hoping we could meet up - you don't have to make a big deal out of it".

Am I overreacting, what is this response that I now feel? Everywhere I look I see some way of emanation of that wrong way of relating I was hooked up in my r/s. Am I just oversensitive now, or did I really surround myself with people who are like this? I don't mean to say that everyone I know is like that, but a lot of, especially women I met, are. Can you relate? I don't want to lose any friends over my oversensitiveness, because they were good to me on some other occasions, but I just can't handle even listening to this stuff, whereas in the past the exchange of such dynamics were the main basis of our friendship.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 06:58:31 AM by dindin » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 09:52:56 AM »


Just wondering also, who are you codependent on at this moment in time.
Could you expand on this question? Don't really get it. I am still emotionally invested in the previous r/s way past what would be reasonable in grieving and simply missing someone. So I guess I am still codependant as a way of relating to the world.


Dindin. Just the usual disclaimer i think important. These are just my views and experience and take it "as is" nothing mofd or less. Just a conversation with the pressuposing that you'd find something helpful or food for thought. I presuppose that's what you are after / other members are after. Im not pushing my views or being conflictual. Tone is hard to convey on boards. Disclaimer over.

Without a relationship there is nothing to relate to. For codependency has to be 2 persons as with every relationship as a minimum. In order to relate requires a relationship. Relating to the world? Very abstract dindin. How is that even possible? Is it possible?

Can you accept that this emotional pain resides within and is yours? Take ownership? Comparing to others is comparing two entirely different relationships and trying to find meaning. Also subjective, biased from all of us who try this.

Missing her and grieving the past, however painful this is. It is your feelings outside of the relationship. Shes not around to soothe or help out, you've done this/doing this yourself. So where is the codependency? How many weeks have you been single and despite the upset, life has gone on, your a grown up adult who prefers company than being alone but this by itself is not code pendency in my view.

I also wanted to ask something, I think I might have ptsd towards any cluster B behaviour. I have a lot of friends who are not necessarily bad or anything, but just emotionally volatile.

But not boring? Even if moments have given what feels traumatic. Just sharing that i craved excitement and my ex and former ones gave it in abundance, it was a depression salve. When the r/s is over so is the disordered excitement but so os the depression, it seems like it just starts because the r/s is over, coincidence. Or has it been carried through, and noe just more noticeable by having to face it alone. Find ways to make ones own entertainment. Lift ones own low mood up. Its a skill its also a different challenge, one id like if you keep for consideration. I had to find out i was depressed and crucially that it is is inherently, exclusively my own issue, not tenuous links towards my bpd ex.

Desires. Wants. Wishes. Preferences. These can be profoundly strong. I believe you may be calling yourself code pendent as a way to pave the way to go back to her, a convenient excuse. Rather than acknowledging other important clinical conditions like depression and how work on this could make a difference to your situ.
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dindin
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« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 11:34:01 AM »

Desires. Wants. Wishes. Preferences. These can be profoundly strong. I believe you may be calling yourself code pendent as a way to pave the way to go back to her, a convenient excuse. Rather than acknowledging other important clinical conditions like depression and how work on this could make a difference to your situ.

I understand this perspective. However I noticed my codependency before, it isn't an excuse to get back to her. It is a very real misaplication of relating that I felt ever since I was a child. This unfathomable thirst for what I thought was love. It is completely independent of the r/s itself.

Also I am aware of the remains of my hope for my partner, they are there, but I don't really play anything now. I managed to go full no contact, and although I don't really know what I would do if she came back, I am more at peace with her just vanishing from my life every day. I blocked and removed the number, I unfollowed her friends who could convey any info, and it's not like I go on talking with my friends that I'm codependent so that she could "get" it. It's my own thing now.

And as for depression, I simply know I am not depressed. More than a decade ago I was diagnosed with it and went through many years of therapy and medications. I managed to beat it. I know what that state entails, believe me, and now - it's not this. This is fundamental, this is childhood stuff. I know I can get self deluded and unsure of almost any opinion, but depression I do know.

However I really appreciate your point about how living in the "drama" could be a way to stir things up in yourself. To feel alive. I will give it a lot of thought. Thanks a lot!
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 11:41:20 AM by dindin » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2020, 06:17:02 PM »

dindin,

sounds like an adrenaline buzz?

was highly difficult for me to discern the difference between "being happy" and being buzzed by adrenal gland hits.

maybe im not the best to answer about boundaries, I dont read the literature on it. knowing what I truly want from a relationship and what I dont want, I cant see these things as anything other than crucial starting points.

stay true to yourself buddy. you have every right to demand that a partner does not contact their exs and make that a relationship rule not to be transgressed. why? because each unforgiving second you spend in that relationship is yours to account for - no one elses life.

I think "reasonable" from others perspectives is muddying the water. Ive met so many characters in life, I sort of wince at the idea of asking some of them on what they thought was "reasonable" and getting tips and tricks on how to go about things.

I have a good friend Ive made, in honesty im glad there is much I have felt envious about him and have not made it a secret. fulfilling relationship, happy life, I wanted to find out so I asked - him. "just be happy, do what brings happiness" his direct answer, nothing more to elaborate on.

what do you think about role-models to use that term you mentioned before. I think they are important, but I think it takes a bit of skill to find the right one, if that makes sense? who we ask the questions from.

Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs.
https://psychcentral.com/lib/symptoms-of-codependency/

wheres the relationship?
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« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2020, 08:29:35 PM »

Hi Dindin.

These are some very important questions you are asking yourself. Speaking as someone who does have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from my childhood and from a (couple) of abusive relationships with disordered people, I can say that I have asked myself a lot of the same questions that you are.

I also have a history of feeling extremely insecure and jealous of partners who remained in contact with their exes. I realized that it was because I was afraid that there was still some kind of attraction or emotional connection there that I wasn't part of and I believed that it had no place in our current relationship.

Now, part of that, the extreme to which I took it and the degree to which it caused me emotional distress, was out of balance. But, also, I do value being respected in a relationship and I believe that inappropriate contact with an ex is disrespectful.

So, for you, you have to decide what you value. Then you have to determine if the behavior another person exhibits is in line with your values. You also have to determine if you are overreacting due to insecurity. None of that is easy, it took me a long time to sort it out.

So, let's say we define what is "inappropriate contact" with an ex. Seeing them in a store and casually saying "hello?" That kind of thing used to set my nervous system on fire. Was that an overreaction? I think so. What about hanging out with a group of people where the ex is present? In the past, I would not be able to tolerate that either. Is it inappropriate? I guess it depends on the interaction between the two. If I observe that there still seems to be an attraction between them, or flirtiness, then, yes, I would term that "inappropriate" if the parties are in other relationships now.

What about texting/calling/messaging, or hanging out with them alone? Is that inappropriate contact? My values would tell me yes, it is, if the parties are in other relationships. Is lying about any of these behaviors inappropriate? Yes, I value honesty and trustworthiness.

Now. What does it mean to set a boundary around this behavior? Well, boundaries are for you. They protect you and your values, they do not control other people. Setting a boundary with the goal of changing another person's behavior is not the way a healthy boundary works. Do setting boundaries sometimes cause other people to adjust their behavior? Yes, but it is not the end result we aim for when we set a boundary. Why? Because a healthy boundary keeps us cleaning up our side of the street, not another person's. Setting a boundary by demanding that another person change their behavior is controlling, even if it is intended to minimize damage to you. You can only control your own actions. Setting a boundary around a behavior like this may look like taking a step back from the relationship when you see that the other person's actions are not lining up with your values. You cannot make someone respect you. You can choose to protect yourself emotionally, and that may mean stepping away from the relationship.

So, let's say that someone you are dating is having contact with an ex that falls outside of the bounds of "appropriate". You express how this makes you feel and the person still continues the behavior. First of all, the fact that this person is having inappropriate contact with an ex while in another relationship is a red flag. Put a  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) over that person's head. That means that this person does not share the same values that you do. Now. Imagine that you still want to continue the relationship with this person who does not share your values and acts in a way that you feel is disrespectful. That's a red flag for you. Put a  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) over your head.

Can you do anything about the red flag over the other person? No. That is their behavior, their issue, and their responsibility. Can you do anything about the red flag over your head? Yes. You can do some searching, recovery work and healing for yourself so that you can get to a place where you are comfortable enough within yourself to decide that losing a relationship with a person who does not respect you is okay and will not emotionally devastate you.

I'm nearly three years out from my r/s with my ex. I have done some trauma therapy and I have looked at some of the adverse experiences I had in childhood and how they have shaped my thoughts, feelings, and actions as an adult. I will say that I am by no means done with recovery or healing, but I ain't where I used to be Smiling (click to insert in post)

I have not dated anyone since the breakup, and the reason is because I wanted to focus on myself and on being okay with being me before I try to get involved with anyone else. I want to understand my lack of boundaries, insecurites, people pleasing, and other behaviors that caused me over and over again to be attracted to very emotionally and mentally unhealthy people. I have come up with some "rules" for myself regarding future relationships, and they are:

1) I will not compromise my values. I will make choices that honor my values.

2) I will remember that I am in charge of my life.

3) I will set healthy boundaries that honor my values and I will remember that I can choose to move boundaries back anytime I decide that it is necessary. (This means that I can choose to put some distance between myself and another person to protect myself emotionally, mentally, or physically).

4) I will pay attention to the signals I get from my nervous system and not minimize my intuition when I feel that my boundaries are being crossed.

5) I will not cling to any unhealthy connections out of the fear of being alone, because being single is highly preferable to being in a dysfunctional relationship.

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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2020, 09:46:02 PM »

And all would be well if not for the fact that a couple of hours later she would try to manipulate me saying: "you need to relax, and it's not like we are gonna **** or anything, just was hoping we could meet up - you don't have to make a big deal out of it".

Yes you are sensitive right now, dont fight it, respect it......Shes not manipulating, she is surviving. Simply convey your wishes once, and then dont respond to anything. She will learn very quickly. its actually the same thing you have done for a while now, just for different reasons most likely. She most likely fits the mold. We both know this would lead to a deeper attachment and so does her dysfunction. You are probably not the only one (possibly could be) she does this with. Hell, feel good you are wanted, held your boundaries, and one day you feel ready approach people you would rather associate with or at the very least, think you might want to be around. It may even be her, who knows. Associating with people is necessary to human nature itself............. Its taken me 8 years and I now have a relationship that seems to fit. I first had to figure out what really fits for me. Hope it doesnt take you 8 years, but if it does, it was meant to be, because it is. You now appear to be able, to possibly ask the important questions, of possible romantic partners. This being done BEFORE you decide to become attached in any way. Another way to be kind and forgiving to yourself.

I also lost a lot of "fun" for things I did in the past, for example I took great pleasure from going on motorcycle trips

Motorcycles represent freedom and need for adventure, and sometimes escape......Start it up every now and then, to keep it working well. One day this freedom and adventure will come back. You really will need to find new ways to motivate yourself in the future. The more fear you shed, you should realize just how fear based your life has been. Also maybe now, you wont feel the need to escape as much.

Also, I used to be a perfectionist when it comes to one of my biggest passions in life, that is making music. It was paralyzing. Getting better at it, practicing, and then disappointment and shame for not getting anywhere were a huge drain on my emotional life for years and years. But now I record any song that comes to my mind on "potatoe-level" equipment, I sing out of tune, and dance to it. It's quite liberating. And I don't plan those sessions I just reach for an instrument when I feel like it.

This is the difference between surviving and living. Maybe before, it mimicked your life to some degree. Now it appears to be a want, not a need........I have always felt music to some degree. My biological father was a musician, so who knows. Attracted to blues, go figure. Like lots of music and known to dance anywhere. Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) It is liberating.....What exactly is potato level instruments?

I also read a lot, and listen to people talk on subjects that just give me that "resonating" feeling. In my r/s I lost that inquisitive self thats sceptically-spiritual. It was a big part of my identity before, so I'm not so sure why I let that fly out the window.

This was the trade off. A loss of you, for these relationships. Im thinking this may not be the case from now on....This would be growth.................Maybe lean more to the inquisitive side, with less skepticism. Especially now that you are seeing your own faults. This should allow you, to be a little more kind and forgiving towards yourself and others. As we all have our faults. We are human.

I understand this perspective. However I noticed my codependency before, it isn't an excuse to get back to her. It is a very real misaplication of relating that I felt ever since I was a child. This unfathomable thirst for what I thought was love. It is completely independent of the r/s itself.

Also I am aware of the remains of my hope for my partner, they are there, but I don't really play anything now. I managed to go full no contact, and although I don't really know what I would do if she came back, I am more at peace with her just vanishing from my life every day. I blocked and removed the number, I unfollowed her friends who could convey any info, and it's not like I go on talking with my friends that I'm codependent so that she could "get" it. It's my own thing now.

And as for depression, I simply know I am not depressed. More than a decade ago I was diagnosed with it and went through many years of therapy and medications. I managed to beat it. I know what that state entails, believe me, and now - it's not this. This is fundamental, this is childhood stuff. I know I can get self deluded and unsure of almost any opinion, but depression I do know.


Very clear and well on your way and hopefully with no time frame.....I wish I knew what depression was. Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) I knew its meaning, yet couldnt see it while in it. Mostly between r/s, it seems like, but then from my childhood also. I wish you well, Peace

« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 10:00:24 PM by FindingMe2011 » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2020, 03:06:31 AM »

So, let's say we define what is "inappropriate contact" with an ex. Seeing them in a store and casually saying "hello?" That kind of thing used to set my nervous system on fire. Was that an overreaction? I think so. What about hanging out with a group of people where the ex is present? In the past, I would not be able to tolerate that either. Is it inappropriate? I guess it depends on the interaction between the two. If I observe that there still seems to be an attraction between them, or flirtiness, then, yes, I would term that "inappropriate" if the parties are in other relationships now.

Thank you for the reply. I understand shame and guilt have been blowing some of my emotional responses to boundry-crossing up to 11, and I felt even more guilty then for acting out. Because the emotions got the best of me. And I noticed, even in everyday life, if I just use a split-second reaction to a percieved or real slight or mistreatment: "regardless of who's right, you don't have to feel ashamed either way", the emotions just stop, and more often than not what in the past would simply trigger me, becomes an non-issue or an issue for some other time when I'm cool-headed. It makes all the difference, it's like shame and guilt were overriding appropriate responses and emotions. And this stuff is even evident in everyday life. Crazy, so I know what you mean when you wrote about being out of emotional balance. Is that it?

Also you writing about finding boundries really made my day. I know this might sound like I came from some other planet or something, but I never honestly thought that boundries are mine to set, maintain and change. With compassion, self reflection, emotions, discipline and open heart. I always thought there was some sort of "code" of conduct. I remember whenever I had troubles in my r/s I would call a friend or sister and ask: "do you think that was ok", and I would immediately take on board whatever they were saying. And if not take it fully, they would put enough doubt in me to make me incapable of any decision. And regardless of the intellectual outcome, my actions made it clear that the ultimate goal was the perservation of the relationship. On an emotional level the idea of me being autonomous in all this is comepletely new to me and quite liberating. It also appears to have an added benefit of treating others better if their boundries don't align, it's not like they broke the universal code, but just happen to be on a collision course with my boundries, so I can respect that and compasionatelly-detach with no black and white judgment.

You now appear to be able, to possibly ask the important questions, of possible romantic partners. This being done BEFORE you decide to become attached in any way

Game changer Smiling (click to insert in post)

What exactly is potato level instruments
In sound engeneering and production a lot of people have a fetish for audio quality while recording and mixing. Nothing wrong with that. But to me, and I know to a lot of people in that hobby/business, this becomes the ultimate goal and they spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to get a better mic, guitar or speakers. Once again nothing wrong with that. But at least for me that was a way for my perfectionism to completely paralize me from any creative fun. I would obsess over this stuff with research, money, and shame that my productions are not as "good sounding" - and the upper limit of what is considered good sounding is having a private studio, hiring session musicians to sing into a vintage six-figure-costing setup of mics to be mastered by a legendary engeneer who does commisions for tens or hundreds of thousands. So pretty much struggling with what they call "unatainable beauty standards". So when I say potato level equipment I mean stuff I can buy for 20$ instead of 20 000$. Just using whats available.
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« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2020, 12:40:04 PM »

Just wanted to celebrate 2 weeks of n/c  Way to go! (click to insert in post)

Also wanted to ask something. During therapy it became evident that I subconsciously punish myself for taking care of myself. If I spend a day beeing kind and understanding towards me, there's a pattern that I would kick myself with negative thoughts and ruminations.

How do I control this? Is excessive ruminating on the past and the "romantic" aspect of the relationship a type of self-punishment, since I know intellectualy that it was never that amazing? Is false sentimentality ultimately self-deprecating? I understand grief, but this obssesive thinking is beyond that, it is way past just being sad and missing the good stuff. It's like OCD. Lack of mental hygine so to speak.

It must be really subtle, because it is there, but in the tiniest of emotions. For example, when I was in extremely good mood, following a couple of days of really being compasionate with myself - this nice state of moving on, the good place on the roller-coaster - hanging out with some of my less emotionally-stable friends, bless their hearts. I found myself with this little voice: you cannot be happy, you cannot keep this up, you cannot leave them behind, look at them, they're stuck, you will be too: it's selfish to leave your friends and family and to want a better life. It was almost imperceptible, but I cannot deny hearing that voice.

How can I identify self-sabotage? Can anyone relate? What did you guys do, that in hindsight wasn't all that good in your recovery? Can everyday vices be used to keep ourselves down: alcohol, not taking care of ourselves, sleeping and eating poorly, a way to prevent ourselves from quicker recovery? Is coming out of codependency and narc traits, this battle, really on that many fronts?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 12:49:50 PM by dindin » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2020, 03:15:39 PM »

hey dindin

2 weeks of no contact   Way to go! (click to insert in post) Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

how to control ruminations? my experience is, a benzodiazipine has done the trick as much as at certain points, a bottle of cheap wine got me through. A joke from a friend. A smile from a stranger in the street. Talking - alot - here, reading. There has not been a single panacea. I believe Im likely to have OCD traits (they were diagnosed in the past) whether I still have them today is something I dont know. I stopped the rituals, do you have any? I used to go home often wondering if the cooker was left on, eventually I just told myself "if it, cest la vie!" Id rather deal with a burnt to the crisp home than to live my life any more so neurotically. I was bad for checking if Id forgotten my phone, keys, wallet. losing my phone is not the end of the world. my family have copies of my keys, I have 2 accounts and carry just my preloaded spending card, if I lose it, takes a few minutes online to cancel. I got these traits from my parents, it is learned anxiety. Im my own man now, nearly 40, want to do things my own way, including how I cope with control issues and learning to let go of the "petty" things in life, and defining them as petty. Just sharing, we are both different, what works for you will have different mileage, this is not an exact science or set in stone roadmap to 'recovery'. Just your post the other day on my quitting cigarettes was enough to find solace. I reached out for moral support, I could have reached for a pack of marlboro instead. Im here for you, we all are here for each other.
in terms of being around "less" emotionally stable friends - it helped me to be here and find those who have been through similar and have had the demonstratable strength to be able to be there for others. I look up to that as much as say, a role model of the gym who has a level of fitness I would want to work towards, or those smarter/more knowledged id like to learn from. Its helped my life to put myself in the "lowest" part of a higher class than choose to stay top student in the lower class. There is nothing 'wrong' or 'better' in either choice, but it is a choice to make and a personal one at that.

You mentioned before about finding the inner self. same goes, I might never fully do so, maybe no one actually ever has, but it is not necessarily a fools errand. part of what I want, how I view my self is in relation to others. Id like to be more like some other people I know and look up to - that to me - is - part of my inner self. my parents stopped me from motorcycling, I eventually later in life got my licence up to 125cc, loved the experience but did not love a top speed of only 60mph. Id need to learn to be as skilled as someone else who has the next licence up to proceed, im not going to find it by asking someone who cant ride a normal bicycle. Im hoping im not getting too off on tangents from the point im trying to articulate.

it deserves a second mention, to share in celebration and congratulate you for 2 weeks no contact and how you have put in this work, made of strong stuff.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2020, 04:47:01 PM »

Hey Cromwell,

Thanks for your answer and once again big kudos for not smoking.
As for OCD, now that you mention it, you know what, I used to be like that, I used to make copies of my keys and give it to friends, I used to tripple check the doors, faucets, etc. I couldn't go to sleep with tripple checking those things. Crazy times. But somewhere along the line I just dropped it. I completely forget that it used to give me anxiety. I think it coincided with me beating the **** out of my depression but not sure, can these things go to remission on their own? I never once addressed them, they just disappeared. But it could be that I still have some of it when it comes to ruminations. Interesting thought. Now that you reminded me, I'm gonna go check if the cooker is off hahah :D

I know exactly what your were trying to say in terms of having role models and aiming up, and thanks for the support. I also have a 125cc motorcycle, next season I'll try to get a proper licence! 125 are glorified mopeds Smiling (click to insert in post)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 04:55:32 PM by dindin » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2020, 09:14:29 PM »

Also wanted to ask something. During therapy it became evident that I subconsciously punish myself for taking care of myself. If I spend a day being kind and understanding towards me, there's a pattern that I would kick myself with negative thoughts and ruminations.

How do I control this?

 
What shows you that you punish yourself ? What in your childhood could have set up this scenario? ...............How many days do you get to, being kind and forgiving? How long with the negative? Notice the time frames, work in the correct way and these times will shift, with patience, and its not a coincidence that youre attempting to control this, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). The truth is you cant and there is a lesson to be learned in these thoughts....Its you not understanding you, and you dont have the patience, just as your primary caregivers didnt.

Is excessive ruminating on the past and the "romantic" aspect of the relationship a type of self-punishment, since I know intellectually that it was never that amazing?

Im thinking you have a different perspective on things? Revisiting was necessary for me. It allowed me to see me. To understand my dysfunctional thinking.....What has you seeing this as punishment?  I had 12 years plus, with BPD, everything didnt suck. At the time, it was amazing for me on many occasions. It sucked a few times also, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). Ok alot more than a few.

You mentioned before about finding the inner self. same goes, I might never fully do so, maybe no one actually ever has, but it is not necessarily a fools errand. part of what I want, how I view my self is in relation to others.

Its not about finding the inner self. Its more about bringing it closer to the conscious. The inner self is the subconscious. Absolutely this is possible. Its not a fools errand.............A funny thing happens when you actually see yourself in real time (actually appx. 3 seconds behind).... you also see others.

it deserves a second mention, to share in celebration and congratulate you for 2 weeks no contact and how you have put in this work, made of strong stuff.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

and a 3rd and a 4th.........you now have benchmarks, a record of healthier living. There will be peeks and valleys, expect them, and acquire patience and persistence, and doing both simultaneously isnt easy. I wish you well, Peace



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« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2020, 04:48:03 AM »

Im thinking you have a different perspective on things? Revisiting was necessary for me. It allowed me to see me. To understand my dysfunctional thinking...

Oh, I agree. I was talking more about negative ruminations, like reliving the pain of having been cheated on emotionally or lied to. This negative talk that tells you you deserved it. I have that. And still sub-level malignant hope that is there and at least for me, shows as this magical thinking: I think I see her car everywhere, etc.
I am talking about these things, as I feel they are unhealthy but have no way of controlling it.
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« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2020, 06:44:47 AM »

Hey Cromwell,

Thanks for your answer and once again big kudos for not smoking.
As for OCD, now that you mention it, you know what, I used to be like that, I used to make copies of my keys and give it to friends, I used to tripple check the doors, faucets, etc. I couldn't go to sleep with tripple checking those things. Crazy times. But somewhere along the line I just dropped it. I completely forget that it used to give me anxiety. I think it coincided with me beating the **** out of my depression but not sure, can these things go to remission on their own? I never once addressed them, they just disappeared. But it could be that I still have some of it when it comes to ruminations. Interesting thought. Now that you reminded me, I'm gonna go check if the cooker is off hahah :D



Hi Dindin,

Good luck with the licence upgrade.

With ruminating, a key way to break it and it is linked to certain brain areas that ruminators
use as opposed to non ruminators - is to take action on these issues, avoid them leading towards depression related illness. In my own case I was fortunate to get help here, so many posts, although I was ruminating at the time - to talk with others and it is a form of problem solving, it is an action step, going for therapy to learn emotional control methods should have helped in theory too - I realise you are doing this already. I hear that you are not depressed and you come across here as a happy go lucky guy often - upbeat - i wonder if this shows sign of just how strong you have been to be able to reach out and get support at such early stage. so to answer the Question, what would I change - not much but id be more concious when Id get trapped in rumination state and do something to interrupt it, at least work activities, exercise. therapy I realise is important, could have avoided or mitigated the depression I fell into, but I pulled through that eventually it might have just taken me a longer path to do so.

heres a link to the study that im referring to if interested https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5153413/
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« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2020, 10:37:31 AM »

I was talking more about negative ruminations, like reliving the pain of having been cheated on emotionally or lied to. This negative talk that tells you you deserved it.

It appears to be a self induced conflict, with no hopes of a resolution. These are your feelings and are choosing to associate them with others. Good luck with this. For me, this showed me, there was still work to do. As a child I could remember similar feelings and actually found healthier ways to self soothe, as opposed to the methods I used during adolescence/adulthood, for me it was alcohol, drugs, sex, and good times. (dont regret a second and many good memories) So youre telling me BPD cheated on you emotionally?.....The illness dictates this, but maybe youre so special the illness should act differently? You cant have it both ways. You either ignore or respect the illness. You have read about the illness. So how is your statement above, your truth? Putting a belief system in place, based on a lie, doesnt appear to be a road to anywhere. So maybe ask who is really lying to whom? or at the very least participating in it. The battle is always the subconscious vs the conscious

I have that.

As you always have in one form or another. The question now, is what are you going to do with it? I suggest keep collecting tools along the way. Make daily efforts towards your own well being, regardless how you feel, for the rest of your life. Its helped me and the rewards have been more than I ever could have expected. The more you work in positive directions, the less negative thought arises. It is this simple, yet hard to do.

And still sub-level malignant hope that is there and at least for me, shows as this magical thinking:

Sometimes the kind and forgiving thing to do, doesnt feel this way. Beliefs dont change easily and understandably so. It took a lifetime to get here...... Black and white thinking is now being called sub-level malignant hope. Magical thinking never worked out very well for me.................. This would be progress and understand that hope and uncertainty is dysfunctional thinking, with no resolution possible.

I am talking about these things, as I feel they are unhealthy but have no way of controlling it.

Its not unhealthy, you just fear them. Its you looking for answers from you. Answer them truthfully and they will subside. Lie and they continue. I wish you well, Peace



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« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2020, 10:59:28 AM »

Thanks for you support guys.

Could you elaborate on this:
Putting a belief system in place, based on a lie, doesnt appear to be a road to anywhere. So maybe ask who is really lying to whom?

I understand the truth intellectually - the illness dictated the discard, cheating and lies, and that it had nothing to do with me or my worth as a person - but there is this other voice that undermines that. It's gut-wrenching self-hate. Why would I lie to myself? How did it work for you when you had these issues?

When I tried to think about it lately, I came to the conclusion that, on top of childhood trauma and extremely low self-esteem, there could be some cultural programming going on that is so ingrained that I am/was barely aware of it. Is that the source of the lies that I tell myself? I cought myself saying to my T: "what is the point of having a r/s, of loving someone, if it's not unconditional". I didn't really think about it, and was down because I felt defeated at the idea that I will never find this divine, unconditional love. But now I really see it for what a twisted idea that is. Why on earth would you like to recieve and get truly unconditional love from anyone? If they are an addict or abusive, would you stay with them?  And on the other hand, if you are rejected holding this belief, this means there must be something royally bad with you. Unless you are a child, that is not how love should look like, right?

There is something extremely depressing for me in admitting that real-life relationships are to one extent or another conditional and unpredictable, so it's easier for me to admit that I must be defective, than it is to admit this reality.  Why is that?

It was like I was programmed by various codepenedent and abusive people in childhood, together with some hardcore religious beliefs, to have this twisted idea of romantic love: Catholic no-divorce policy. And this love you see in the movies. Chasing after someone to an airport. Love at first sight. Believing that true love will prevail and other nonsense, that in real life  pretty much enables abuse and clinginess. Does our culture really hold this infantilized idea of love, that is more for a parent-child relationship than for adults?

Could this be one of the reasons I try to lie to myself? What could be the other reasons be? What were they for you?
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« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2020, 12:26:38 PM »

but there is this other voice that undermines that. It's gut-wrenching self-hate.

Your subconscious and its false on a conscious level. Yet your behavior/thinking proves this isnt so, for your subconscious. So who really is in control for now? This is a choice.

Why would I lie to myself?

As a developing human it was survival. As an adult its the path of least resistance, a known. We are creatures of habit.

How did it work for you when you had these issues?

Spurred alot of anger as a child. The lonely child, yet i could always see a little light telling me it could be different. I was going to prove the world wrong. I then continued to do the best I could, with what I had. it didnt amount to much. As an adult I would seek r/s that validated this dysfunctional thinking. It took another dysfunctional person to full fill this obviously. I was getting just what I asked for, without realizing, what i was really asking for.

Why on earth would you like to receive and get truly unconditional love from anyone?

There are conditions to healthy love. Unconditional love ends as Bonnie and Clyde, or Romeo and Juliet................Reminds me of ex telling me one time, out of the blue, " I would help you bury the body".............WTF. Beware of anyone who speaks this nonsense, it doesnt end well.

Unless you are a child, that is not how love should look like, right?

Especially as a child. I cant see any reason to do this to a child, unless you are trying to make an excuse for poor behavior. Doesnt seem to give this child, a way to see things differently. Illnesses are always looking for validation so they can survive. its the order.

There is something extremely depressing for me in admitting that real-life relationships are to one extent or another conditional and unpredictable, so it's easier for me to admit that I must be defective, than it is to admit this reality.  Why is that?

Maybe partly because now, youre starting to see, you really dont control as much as you thought. Unpredictable isnt a known...........You using "Im defective" is a go to, for most anything you can justify. Its false. You are human and humans are imperfect creatures.

Does our culture really hold this infantilized idea of love, that is more for a parent-child relationship than for adults?


Yes. Child behavior is accepted, as many/most are playing this out whether they understand it or not.

Could this be one of the reasons I try to lie to myself? What could be the other reasons be? What were they for you?

Yes, all played a hand, forming your beliefs, as I suspect all do this. Throw in what society deems normal (which is off the chain these days) and this is what we got............We all lie to ourselves to some extent. The bigger the lie, the more dysfunction we experience it appears. Your reasons will become apparent to you, at some point. They will just fit and it will make sense........Your truth and be smart enough to realize that one day, your truth may change again. I wish you well, Peace










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« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2020, 09:50:24 AM »

FindingMe2011: Thanks for answer, it gave me a lot to think about! Maybe as a self proclaimed narc  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) you could help me with something. Or anyone for that matter.

During my therapy session it became evident that I have real problem integrating my "narc" or more aggressive "male" traits. Men in my family have been useless or drunk, and really didn't model how to live with those traits and put them to good use.

There is no denying that I am ambitious, sometimes aggressively so, and work-oriented. I like nice things and would love to make a lot of money just for the sake of it. But at the same time I feel immense shame when these qualities come out, like it's a sin to be this way. It causes me great problems, because I am naturally drawn to compete, I like money, I like excelling at something, and at the same time I feel it's sinful, wrong, etc. Like I'm betraying someone by taking stuff and making my mark.

How can I come to terms with myself  and these qualities. Because of my problems it's been oscillating between making these qualities narcissistic, and then burning all hope for the "good life" in an endless pit of procrastination, shame and indecision.

How can one do it tactfully, and yet not deny his nature? How to express these desires, get rid of shame, and yet not do it in a narcissistic way? I am really looking for some role models or examples, books? I had complete lack of competent people (especially males) modelling this in my life.

Now it looks like one of the goals for recovering from codependency and narc traits is to step by step discover a new philosophy for life - a more nuanced one with lots of compassion for myself and others, but true to my nature. Is this a right way to approach it?
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« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2020, 02:08:41 PM »

Men in my family have been useless or drunk, and really didn't model how to live with those traits and put them to good use.

These are not men, they just look like one. It takes a man to raise a boy into a man. A lost art in these times and those in control understand and perpetuate it.

During my therapy session it became evident that I have real problem integrating my "narc" or more aggressive "male" traits.

Its no longer as big of a problem, because at least now you see this. This is a narcs worst enemy. A narrow view of the world. Yet many narc traits are awesome and have their place. Leadership, protector and a never say die attitude, when others would crumble, come to mind. There is a place for all in this world, and all need to be respected.

There is no denying that I am ambitious, sometimes aggressively so, and work-oriented. I like nice things and would love to make a lot of money just for the sake of it.

And this is bad because???? The world has set up the rules. We have to figure out a way to live inside these rules. Hell, those in other countries dont even have these options, or the ability to live out their dreams. Our southern border proves this. Good business people are aggressive, so maybe picking and choosing the times for aggression (depending on the situation) is in order. You can only curb behavior. Be you and stand tall with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Now your seeing the ugly. It too will curb in time, be patient.

But at the same time I feel immense shame when these qualities come out, like it's a sin to be this way. It causes me great problems, because I am naturally drawn to compete, I like money, I like excelling at something, and at the same time I feel it's sinful, wrong, etc. Like I'm betraying someone by taking stuff and making my mark.

Unless youre actually stealing from others, this would be your trauma following you around in life. Finding ways to validate itself. Its faulty thinking and will also curb as you catch it, shut it down for the time being and move on. Just remember too much of anything isnt healthy, including money. Too much time spent here, will allow the world to pass you by. Theres a lot to see out there and most doesnt require money. Especially the best parts...Staying diligent with work and finding (making time) for peaceful outlets, surprised me. I actually cared less about money and somehow made more.....The peace brought better decision making. Its a balance you should search for. I can remember picking up checks, for amounts I would have never fathomed earning. I felt guilt and shame. Then I remembered I started this thing with just myself. It was false.

I am really looking for some role models or examples, books?

It needs to be you. Maybe associate with others you see as role models.....Take their good qualities, mix with yours, and YOU be YOUR role model. You will probably find, these people you seek arent the perfect role models. They are human just as you, and also have imperfections. Working on ( i actually laugh at mine) these imperfections, is all one should expect. The more work you put in the better results, just like earning money.

Now it looks like one of the goals for recovering from codependency and narc traits is to step by step discover a new philosophy for life - a more nuanced one with lots of compassion for myself and others, but true to my nature. Is this a right way to approach it?

This is how I have lived for the past 8 years or so......Searching for truth, not dictating it. Being open to understanding, that if your truth could change once, it may change again....The blinders are coming off, congrats. I wish you well, Peace

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« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2020, 03:23:11 PM »

Dude, thanks! You should really write a book for people who identify as narcs or have narc traits, epecially in the context of bpd rs. There is so much hate for it, mainly the internet is a big witch hunt, but I also found out that a lot of therapist are scared or defensive when you talk about this stuff.
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« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2020, 04:45:02 PM »

Dude, thanks! You should really write a book for people who identify as narcs or have narc traits, especially in the context of bpd rs. There is so much hate for it, mainly the internet is a big witch hunt, but I also found out that a lot of therapist are scared or defensive when you talk about this stuff.

Youre welcome.......The internet is a witch hunt for anything and is nothing but fantasy. The less tech you use, the better off one is. Tech CEOs dont let their own children experience till around 15. I wonder why?.............Most(if not all) therapists get into the biz to figure themselves out. They are no better than you, to figure you out.  I had a shrink tell me after 2 visits he could no longer help me. I was doing it. Says only 5-10% can do this.......I actually have started ghost writing, more so towards a philosophical approach, with a view from psychology. Somehow through all of this, I came to a point of discernment of psychology. This tells me others can also..........It blew my whole way of thinking into something massive, but in a way that has created more energy than I have ever experienced. A new lease on life, in many ways. I wish you well, Peace
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« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2020, 10:58:53 AM »

I mean, it's a reasonable boundary to not expect your SO to lie. But at the same time if you put unreasonable expectations on them like never talking to ex-boyfriends, then they might be more prone to lying. If their ex-boyfriends are getting more time/attention than you are, I would see it as a problem. I don't think exes should go into a blacklisted pile and you should be unable to talk to them.

Boundaries should be based on feelings to some extent, but also what is reasonable and what gives a person freedom and agency, if it's suffocating to a person as an individual then it might be too controlling.

Some of my boundaries are set based on my expectations, but also they are set on just how I feel. One day I might feel terrible and want to be left alone. One day I might  not feel like talking much. That's reasonable because if I remove myself from the situation the other person still has freedom, it's mainly focused on how they do or don't interact with me.

If you have trouble feeling secure in your relationships then either you need to focus on building self esteem, or working through unresolved betrayals that cause you to not trust. Or you need to pick better people to involve yourself with so that the person is actually worthy of that trust. It's important to use logic to discern how trustworthy a person is, based on your observations and especially their actions. Then ask yourself if it's your own issue mainly or is it them, or both?
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« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2020, 11:18:26 AM »

I mean, it's a reasonable boundary to not expect your SO to lie. But at the same time if you put unreasonable expectations on them like never talking to ex-boyfriends, then they might be more prone to lying.

I understand there are situations that someone can have a long-time-ago ex as a friend. I have no issue with that. I have an old ex that I feel nothing to, that from time to time just chats with me. But in each and everyone of my previous r/s there was this issue of this being a recent-ex, where there was an emotional connection still unresolved, where they would call them behind my back to get some emotional support and at the same time stone-wall me and be extremely distant.

Not to mention that in my last r/s with ex with diagnosed BPD there was this whole another layer of them accepting and even asking themselves on dates from stragers on the street! and still being obsessed about an ex - googling, trying to get to places where he's been, etc. All in secrecy and lies. But that is BPD, so it's the illness.

But even with normal people, how can I tell. You mean to trust my instincts. But had I not by sheer chance learnt of all these things, even through friends or their sloppy way of covering it up, I would be completely in the dark. And this was happening well into a year of r/s. So how can I protect against those things? Especially if they are so common nowadays.

Edit: I just had a good laugh at my own expese Smiling (click to insert in post) I reread my own post, and when I got to the final question "how can I tell" I contrasted it with "at the same time stone-wall me and be extremely distant". I'm not the brightest :

But the question is still valid. As much as I understand tackling my own insecurities and codependency, but how can you check if people are trustworhy, if all these things are done in complete secrecy and can take years to come out.
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« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2020, 11:49:28 AM »

Guys, I'm doing a little bit of CBT techniques on my own thought process, coming from that assumption that a lot of self-defeating and judmental opinions were installed in me, and are not necesserily mine, and I need you to help me regarding what I wrote above.

Is what I wrote in the post above an example of black and white thinking and a learnt trauma response that says: "don't trust anyone"? In this writing I can almost hear my dad's voice saying: "the world is a horrible place, everyone is out to get you". Like I'm programmed to distrust everything.

In CBT they tell you to challenge those beliefs. So would a more nuanced way to look at is this: there are trustworthy people, I just surrounded myself with untrustworthy ones because of narc abuse in childhood, and I am myself insecure which multiplies the problem in my head - and if I learn to trust myself, I'll develop better boundries and instincts to protect myself and be forgiving towards myself and others, which will allow me to be more relaxed and not obsess over "possible threats" ?
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« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2020, 02:20:54 PM »

Yeah I mean, sounds like you just got involved with the wrong people, if they are basically emotionally cheating on you and having a pseudo relationship with their exes.

I mean I have issues with trust too, I used to be WAY overly trusting and I'd constantly get walked on and burned. Then I got with my ex-BPDgf and I stopped trusting anyone, even myself, because I got hurt so bad. I still struggle with trust issues, somedays I have trouble connecting to others and feel untrusting and distant, I think due to trauma involving my ex. But other days I'm more clear headed.

It takes time and skill to gain discernment about who to trust. You basically need to be on the look out for red flags and see how a person is treating you and others. Don't ignore the red flags, it's hard to do because emotionally you might totally like a person, but then you realize you can't trust them. The level you can trust them at decides the level you can have a relationship with them at. Some people it will be more shallow, some more deep, some aren't worth your time at all. At the end of the day though, you are taking a risk by trusting someone, and you could get burned really bad, but hopefully you learn lessons from those experiences, in order to make better judgments next time. And hopefully you can mitigate your risk by trying to have sound judgment.

Yeah sounds like CBT might help you!
Good luck.
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« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2020, 06:18:04 PM »

it seems hard to trust but think of examples. each day, a lot of trust and interconnectedness with other humans, complete strangers. cook our food, transport us, hold our money. so on.

I mean, you trust my advice on this board or ?

we are all in decay at any event, trusting another or not. how many of us truly trusted - hear it all the time "i saw the red flags - but went a long anyway".......

is that not just a convoluted round-a-bout way of not admitting that maybe did not trust, but still continued, wanted to see what  happened....
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« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2020, 07:03:44 PM »

I am myself insecure which multiplies the problem in my head

Maybe this should read" Because of my Intimacy fears, I have alot of insecurities. This fear creates a lot of problems in my head"..............All internal conflicts boil down to either intimacy or abandonment fear, regardless of what you think you are seeing........I have yet to prove this false.

I understand there are situations that someone can have a long-time-ago ex as a friend. I have no issue with that. I have an old ex that I feel nothing to, that from time to time just chats with me. But in each and everyone of my previous r/s there was this issue of this being a recent-ex, where there was an emotional connection still unresolved, where they would call them behind my back to get some emotional support and at the same time stone-wall me and be extremely distant.

Maybe try having an issue with this....It is an attachment and if you feel nothing towards her( this possibly cant be 100% true or there would be no conversation. Nothing means nothing.) the appearance could show something else. You played a game and BPD played it better. Narcs dont like to lose. if you play the game expect to lose.

But the question is still valid. As much as I understand tackling my own insecurities and codependency, but how can you check if people are trustworhy, if all these things are done in complete secrecy and can take years to come out.

I could have a conversation with anyone and if they answered my questions, I could figure them out well enough to understand about where they come from. If they dont answer, dodge, or lie, this tells me more. You could literally shrink years into minutes or hours......In the business world where do these results get you? its not much different.........

In CBT they tell you to challenge those beliefs.

CBT or maybe a way of life?.........If you objectively challenge beliefs, especially your own, after you take a subject, thought, or idea, and repetitively attempt to prove this false and find after numerous attempts, you cant.......This is truth until proven otherwise......Move to the next issue........

and if I learn to trust myself, I'll develop better boundaries and instincts to protect myself and be forgiving towards myself and others, which will allow me to be more relaxed and not obsess over "possible threats" ?

You have good instincts, you just dont trust them yet...................Theres a piece of you left in your childhood. Youre doing the work and will find him.......This does bring more relaxation. For me, in the beginning, removing fear created another issue. Finding motivation. I wish you well, Peace
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« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2020, 05:45:10 AM »

You know what, I thought about this really hard for some time, and I really came to the conclusion that at least for me there is no reason to stay in contact with an ex or someone you once dated. I understand the nuance that there might be kids involved, work related interaction, etc., but ultimately, at least for myself, it is in accordance with my values to not have that contact and to feel uncomfortable if my partner does. At least in my opinion, the argument that someone should be free to persue a friendship with whomever they choose doesn't work. It's not like there is a limited number of people on this planet, and for the sake of transparency and ease of mind of their potential partners this should be respected. If someone doesn't have a big support group that they need to suplement it with past romantic interestes, it is a red flag of sorts. Of which in the past I was guilty myself.

From now on I'll respect that boundry of mine for myself, meaning I will not do it in any capacity, and with some room for nuance and openess, I'll try to communicate that need with others.

Working on anxiety and shame-based jealousy is another issue, but I'll trust myself on this one, I cannot come to any other conclusion for myself regarding this topic.

For me, in the beginning, removing fear created another issue. Finding motivation.
Can you expand on that? I found out that a lot of what I was doing was to get rid of trauma-based shame. At least when I try to get that under control, I'm really not motivated as much to do the work, because shame is tackled on head on, so there's no point in trying to "be better". For example, in my last breakup I hit the gym like a madman because I wanted to feel better about myself, and that feel better wasn't that usual feeling of wanting to improve or have positive chemicals in the brain, it was shame-based: I need to show them. But now I don't have that. Is that what you mean?
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« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2020, 06:03:07 AM »

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« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2020, 06:16:19 PM »

You know what, I thought about this really hard for some time, and I really came to the conclusion that at least for me there is no reason to stay in contact with an ex or someone you once dated.

Maybe this holds true for now. What if in the future you had a romantic r/s that was amicable, or at the worst, filled with little conflict? This has happened to me on occasion.

. I understand the nuance that there might be kids involved, work related interaction, etc., but ultimately, at least for myself, it is in accordance with my values to not have that contact and to feel uncomfortable if my partner does.

Guess Im not much for nuance.....I had 2 children with BPD trait ex wife. Soon after separation I asked for no contact. With the only need for emails regarding childrens health. My children had no illnesses. We havent spoke in a long time.............I also exit stage left, just after i ask this type of question of a potential partner. This kind of thing can be discovered very early, sometime in the first conversation.

Can you expand on that? I found out that a lot of what I was doing was to get rid of trauma-based shame. At least when I try to get that under control, I'm really not motivated as much to do the work, because shame is tackled on head on, so there's no point in trying to "be better"

For me it was loneliness, shame, guilt, and to prove to the world I was good enough ( or maybe just good). I had a chip. It also gave me the never say die attitude. Something thats helped me. Im wondering how youre getting it under control? So youre not motivated to do the work and get shame under control because you are dealing with it? So whats the point?. Avoidance maybe?. Why should one feel shame? Its dysfunctional from the onset, no?............I never really looked at it as getting it under control ( you are hard headed ), seems to create more conflict. Spent alot of time seeking where it came from. Then repeatedly correcting myself until it subsided, as where it came from was false.

For example, in my last breakup I hit the gym like a madman because I wanted to feel better about myself, and that feel better wasn't that usual feeling of wanting to improve or have positive chemicals in the brain, it was shame-based: I need to show them. But now I don't have that. Is that what you mean?

Thats exactly what you were getting from working out. Using anger to release Endorphins the natural way, to feel better. Its actually the same feeling opioid drugs give the brain to an addict........................Understanding how fear based my life was, put me on a path. I erased much of the fear not realizing how much I used fear to motivate myself. It took a while for my conscious to teach my subconscious. They never truly understood each other, until recently. They both had alot to teach the other. I wish you well Peace

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« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2020, 02:58:47 AM »

Maybe this holds true for now. What if in the future you had a romantic r/s that was amicable, or at the worst, filled with little conflict? This has happened to me on occasion.

I mean no conflict sounds a bit boring, and would assume I am inflexible, so some wiggle room would be welcome, but not crossing to the core values. What do you think about this?

Im wondering how youre getting it under control? So youre not motivated to do the work and get shame under control because you are dealing with it? So whats the point?. Avoidance maybe?. Why should one feel shame? Its dysfunctional from the onset, no?............I never really looked at it as getting it under control ( you are hard headed ), seems to create more conflict. Spent alot of time seeking where it came from. Then repeatedly correcting myself until it subsided, as where it came from was false.

I am doing minimal work. Taking baby steps and analysing what I do and how I feel and if there's any fear or shame present. I try to challenge these as I do "some" of my usual ambition-driven stuff, like career, etc. I just try to keep it to a minimum and then expand this as I go along. I don't want to get overwhelmed or sucked in into workaholism or perfectionism. Don't know if that makes any sense.

For example at work, when it comes to leadership roles or over-achieving, as I am doing it to a controlled degree, I try to keep an eye on shame and fear as a faulty motivator for these ambitions, and see how really alienating that was from other people and how it sucked the joy out of everything. I could never celebrate my successes, I could achieve something great, and feel bad about it. I try to apply joy and self expression as motivators, or at least allow them to have something to say in all this, and try to limit the force of comparison, trying to prove my worth, and narcissism - the chip you are talking about. Any thoughts?

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« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2020, 10:56:21 AM »

I mean no conflict sounds a bit boring, and would assume I am inflexible,

LOL, yes this would be inflexible, for now.....If you need conflict to not be bored. You are the boring one........Learn to live. Its a ploy by your subconscious to feel alive and is false. It has only one outcome. To find a partner who also needs conflict to feel alive. Good luck with this.

so some wiggle room would be welcome, but not crossing to the core values. What do you think about this?

Wiggle room equals excuses... I think youre already trying to dictate the future. Its impossible.

I am doing minimal work. Taking baby steps and analyzing what I do and how I feel and if there's any fear or shame present.

Hows this going, do you see/feel any fear present?  Do you discredit these feelings on a conscious level and explore the subconscious false feelings? Allow these feelings to flow with no outcome expected. Just observe them. The only feeling that should cause alarm would be suicide. The rest NEED to be heard genuinely, and maybe some help is required.

I just try to keep it to a minimum and then expand this as I go along.

So is your well being, just worth a minimal effort and maybe we can find a little time later? This is how the human mind works, its self defeating.

I don't want to get overwhelmed or sucked in into workaholism or perfectionism. Don't know if that makes any sense.

No it doesnt make sense to me. If done with objectivity (the opposite of narcissism) you cant possibly find perfectionism, nor could you invest in yourself too much. You have never invested in yourself genuinely and this also sounds like an excuse......

For example at work, when it comes to leadership roles or over-achieving, as I am doing it to a controlled degree, I try to keep an eye on shame and fear as a faulty motivator for these ambitions, and see how really alienating that was from other people and how it sucked the joy out of everything.

Control freaks have no real friends. There are no true friends in one upmanship r/s, regardless of the settings and people involved or the type of r/s. All people NEED to be heard, even the crackhead. You can learn from all, even the crackhead.....So maybe next time allow others to voice their opinions and listen OBJECTIVELY, allowing them to finish. ( Im still bad with this) Then have an objective discussion, asking questions to arrive at a solution. Regardless if you think you know the answer already. Sometimes you too will be surprised. You will suck the fun out of life, trying to dictate it. This appears boring to me, go figure.

I could never celebrate my successes, I could achieve something great, and feel bad about it.

Now this appears to be shame, showing its ugly head.......On its face its a ridiculous statement, no? Keep telling yourself how ridiculous this is. Dont look for a high to remove this feeling. Sit in it, until it does no harm or at least to the point, it could be brushed aside........I remember not being able to properly name my emotions.........For me it was depression. it was my go to normal. Didnt like it, but knew how to survive. I wish you well, Peace







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« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2020, 12:33:05 PM »

Learn to live. Its a ploy by your subconscious to feel alive and is false. It has only one outcome. To find a partner who also needs conflict to feel alive. Good luck with this.


Haha, how I'm drawn to it, still making excuses. That's why I'm on pause from dating Smiling (click to insert in post)
You know what's at the bottom of this excuse, come to think of it? Again, it's both this need to feel an artificial high, but also fear. I just cannot believe that I'll ever have a romantic rs with anyone who is level-headed, attractive, good and loving. And crazy-drama-making people really are the easiest pick  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). That I don't deserve the good things in life, and have no means of getting it. I guess it's back to the drawing board of self esteem. Lol

Hows this going, do you see/feel any fear present?  Do you discredit these feelings on a conscious level and explore the subconscious false feelings? Allow these feelings to flow with no outcome expected. Just observe them. The only feeling that should cause alarm would be suicide.


Yes sir. I am in full receiving of whatever feeling comes. It gets really, really dark at times, like not to alarm anyone or myself, but I feel a big need for self harm, not suicide. Like this biological and psychological need to do it. I'm not actually gonna do it, I have it under control, but it's the first time in my life that I actually had this feeling, seeing as I was familiar with it in my BPD partners, I didn't really understand it, I was always wondering why they do that. Now I get it. It's such a strange, dark, and yet liberating thing, makes your head spin. But no worries, I'm not gonna do it, but I choose to experience it and not throw this away as depression or anything - it gives me a really big access to the feeling of shame and self-hate. I try to notice where it flows from. There's this outpouring of darkness from the deepest parts of my personality, like this self-harm drive is connected to some very specific qualities of mine! That was a big revelation to me. It was always there, just buried under a milion different distractions.

No it doesnt make sense to me. If done with objectivity (the opposite of narcissism) you cant possibly find perfectionism, nor could you invest in yourself too much. You have never invested in yourself genuinely and this also sounds like an excuse......

Hmm, in recent therapy my T said I make decent progress, but she noticed I am a bit too avoidant to really put it in the next gear. It seems to echo what you're saying. And to be honest I don't know if I agree. Not in a way of a weak self of my usual unknowing. More like I just cannot explain it properly.

You know what it is? It's this lack of motivation you were talking about. I honest to god was motivated 99% by fear or false self, whatever I did. So It's not that I cannot invest in myself too much now. It's that I am learning to find any way of motivating myself. And since I'm a slow mf, I just take it a step at a time.

Like, I know it might sound funny to you, but I was struggling with finding a good reason to go back to the gym. Like an autistic person with emotions, I had to write it all down on paper, and find reasons that resonate with my emerging, non-narcissistic self. Like: self expression, healthy ego-building etc. Even something as simple as self-compassion and care has to be explained like to an alien. I am so dim with these things because of my upbringing, I had to write it down and meditate on it Smiling (click to insert in post) I'm just taking my time with it, because for whatever reason it's taking me so long.

So I don't see it as an excuse, but I am willing to be challenged on that!

Now this appears to be shame, showing its ugly head.......On its face its a ridiculous statement, no? Keep telling yourself how ridiculous this is. Dont look for a high to remove this feeling. Sit in it, until it does no harm or at least to the point, it could be brushed aside


I am doing just that. I fail at times. But win at others. It's one of the hardest things I done in my life. I also promised myself never again to wait for a high for anything - I did enough of that, it made me addicted to it, because it was the only time I had the energy to feel alive. F that
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« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2020, 03:04:38 PM »

I've been enjoying the discussion on this post as an inactive participant so figured I'd jump in and try to contribute.  :-)

Regarding keeping in touch with former romantic partners, there are very reasonable explanations for why that might happen.  I once dated someone for a couple of months after which we realized we'd never even kissed each other in a romantic way.  We enjoyed each other's company, but had zero chemistry.  We were friends all along and still are.  I also dated someone for 6 months who I was very intimately involved with, but we realized we'd never make a good long term match as our interests and habits were just too distant.  He and I are still friends with no romantic feelings.  My exBPDbf couldn't abide either of those.  He also couldn't abide my amicable relationship with my son's father, either, though.

My exBPDbf, of course, had a ton of contact with his ex-partners because he needed to keep the flames on low for recycles.  He had an ulterior motive for maintaining those relationships which included emotional affairs.  He couldn't imagine that there would be any other reason for people who had once been romantic to stay in contact with each other. 

Regarding, lack of conflict being boring... well, I would suggest that you have never sufficiently experienced a very good and satisfying amount of drama in a relationship.  In my mind, conflict leads to trauma but drama leads to intimacy. 
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« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2020, 03:57:51 PM »

My exBPDbf couldn't abide either of those.
I wouldn't either, especially that "intimately involved" one, but I made peace with that boundry of mine. To each their own Smiling (click to insert in post)

In my mind, conflict leads to trauma but drama leads to intimacy.
Now you got my attention. So I'll ask the obious one, what's the difference in your opinion between drama and conflict? I often hear girls saying they are drama-queens. Maybe I never knew what that meant  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #43 on: September 28, 2020, 06:22:17 PM »

You know what's at the bottom of this excuse, come to think of it? Again, it's both this need to feel an artificial high, but also fear.

Its all fear and the artificial high will validate the fear..........Excuses are cheap when you lie to yourself.

I just cannot believe that I'll ever have a romantic rs with anyone who is level-headed, attractive, good and loving.

Yeah, shame yourself some more. I believe there are more than 7.5 billion people on this planet. if you dont find somebody, it will be because you didnt look in the right places or expected something to magically land in your lap........You are not very far removed from, not understanding a lot of things. I believe i will find someone who can have a loving, reciprocal r/s. In fact all tell me they can, until they dont.......I actually met someone a couple of weeks ago, and we have spoken a few times. We will see....

That I don't deserve the good things in life, and have no means of getting it. I guess it's back to the drawing board of self esteem. Lol

Yeah 2 self defeating statements.......You missed something

Yes sir. I am in full receiving of whatever feeling comes. It gets really, really dark at times, like not to alarm anyone or myself, but I feel a big need for self harm, not suicide.

Been to the dark hole a few times.........The last time was when I begged it to drown me........I internalized it to almost feel invisible, non existent....I will be honest, my 2 children and their futures helped me through this time.....I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. it wasnt so bright then.

There's this outpouring of darkness from the deepest parts of my personality, like this self-harm drive is connected to some very specific qualities of mine! That was a big revelation to me. It was always there, just buried under a million different distractions.


Do they sting a little less, each time you go there? I had many revelations......Some life changing. There are millions of revelations to be discovered. LOL

Like, I know it might sound funny to you, but I was struggling with finding a good reason to go back to the gym. Like an autistic person with emotions, I had to write it all down on paper, and find reasons that resonate with my emerging, non-narcissistic self. Like: self expression, healthy ego-building etc. Even something as simple as self-compassion and care has to be explained like to an alien. I am so dim with these things because of my upbringing, I had to write it down and meditate on it Smiling (click to insert in post) I'm just taking my time with it, because for whatever reason it's taking me so long.


Never will you be a NON, there is no such thing....Working out would be a healthy outlet. Make yourself for 30 days, then decide............Its not taking long, you are just impatient and are guaranteed to miss things. These are not failures, just reminders you missed something.

You know what it is? It's this lack of motivation you were talking about. I honest to god was motivated 99% by fear or false self, whatever I did. So It's not that I cannot invest in myself too much now. It's that I am learning to find any way of motivating myself. And since I'm a slow mf, I just take it a step at a time.

Removing fear did this to me also, had me stuck for a while.....Keep moving forward, there is no going back. The core self needs to be nurtured until it controls 99% and fear gets the 1%..Its about what it deserves...

I am doing just that. I fail at times. But win at others. It's one of the hardest things I done in my life. I also promised myself never again to wait for a high for anything - I did enough of that, it made me addicted to it, because it was the only time I had the energy to feel alive. F that

Its not a failure, these are lifelong traits you learned and are improving. There is nothing more you can do, and need to have patience for yourself. Its required. Make no promises youre not sure you can keep.....Being aware and curbing to the best of your ability, is plenty sufficient. I also considered this the hardest feat of my life, yet also the most rewarding. The fact youre seeing another way of life should bring some motivation. Keep working and there is no finish line. Something to learn each day. This would be living. I wish you well, Peace



 



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« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2020, 06:32:17 PM »

In my mind, conflict leads to trauma but drama leads to intimacy.
Now you got my attention. So I'll ask the obvious one, what's the difference in your opinion between drama and conflict? I often hear girls saying they are drama-queens. Maybe I never knew what that meant  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)


The order appears backwards........Trauma leads to conflict. There is no room for drama in healthy intimacy.....Would this line of thinking include make up sex? Conflict is fantasy, so it needs drama to survive and appear legit. If a girl (which is what she really is) tells you she is a drama queen, rest assure its a warning and run.
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« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2020, 06:26:55 AM »

Yeah 2 self defeating statements.......You missed something

The depths to which this fear and shame work is just overwhelming. When doing cbt and trying to allow, name, and challenge these feelings, I literally spend the whole day doing it. Every interaction, epecially social, is filled to the brim with this. Narcissim seemed to defend me against it quite well until it didn't, and in reality it never did. It's scary. But I'm doing it, day by day. After grieving my rs with exwBPD, after accessing the difficulties in childhood, now it seems I have a full-time job managing and recognizing shame. Does that sound familiar?

I actually met someone a couple of weeks ago, and we have spoken a few times. We will see....

How do you feel about it? Do you feel hope, or is that a codependent way of relating? Can you tell me what you pay attention to when meeting new people, and what fears you recognised that held you back in the past? What differes in how you approached this whole process while shame and fear-based, as opposed to now?

Do they sting a little less, each time you go there?

Maybe? Hard to answer, now I focus on where it comes from and the whole array of other emotions that come with them.

The fact youre seeing another way of life should bring some motivation.

It does. It's a promise and internal hope like I've never seen before.

It is also quite funny, that now I feel the kind of shame and anxiety that I used to experience during a romantic relationship, that was projected onto another person, seeing them as the source of it. I now recognised that it was always me.
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« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2020, 08:31:27 AM »

The depths to which this fear and shame work is just overwhelming. When doing cbt and trying to allow, name, and challenge these feelings, I literally spend the whole day doing it.

Another example of why in the past you would seek an artificial high....Its new to you. For me, once i found this path I literally shoved it down my throat. It became a challenge and I had a hard time finding balance. Luckily I had some money saved and was able to eventually find some balance......It was a lifetime of me not listening to me. I had lots to say. The days will shrink to minutes as you process this new way of living. I take these minutes daily. its no different than servicing your car.

Narcissism seemed to defend me against it quite well until it didn't, and in reality it never did. It's scary. But I'm doing it, day by day. After grieving my rs with exwBPD, after accessing the difficulties in childhood, now it seems I have a full-time job managing and recognizing shame. Does that sound familiar?

Shame is Intimacy based. You also have abandonment fears in play. Maybe not as recognizable but in the mix somewhere. Yes, think about it, you have never processed things this way before. Its going to create fear, its an unknown. Over time the process moves much quicker and thoughts are processed in a healthy way. It also becomes addicting......

How do you feel about it? Do you feel hope, or is that a codependent way of relating? Can you tell me what you pay attention to when meeting new people, and what fears you recognized that held you back in the past? What differes in how you approached this whole process while shame and fear-based, as opposed to now?

Im somewhat hopeful, just as all humans are. Not so hopeful, to believe this person holds my happiness. More so hopeful, that we see things somewhat the same. The actions not the words will prove this in time.............For me there needs to be intellectual/physical attraction and some sort of body language expressing this back to me. How they do this says a lot. Watching others when they dont realize others are watching also says plenty. Conversations go where I need them to............... After exploring/understanding my intimacy/abandonment fears, others became a neon sign to me. It had me more apprehensive until I became comfortable with it. I literally gained the ability to see through behavior. I  question my motives.....................Fear based people seek out other fear based people. I really believe its the pain they relate to, not love.......it sticks out like a sore thumb.


Do they sting a little less, each time you go there?

Maybe? Hard to answer, now I focus on where it comes from and the whole array of other emotions that come with them.

Something you never did before.....So at the very least starting to understand and this should bring some peace, just maybe not noticed yet, keep working, you will.

The fact youre seeing another way of life should bring some motivation.

It does. It's a promise and internal hope like I've never seen before.

It is also quite funny, that now I feel the kind of shame and anxiety that I used to experience during a romantic relationship, that was projected onto another person, seeing them as the source of it. I now recognized that it was always me.


This is the most promising comment you have made.......Dindin meet Dindin hes a pretty good guy who deserves some peace. The healthy way. Your journey has started, I wish you well, Peace



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« Reply #47 on: September 29, 2020, 09:29:02 AM »

Perhaps we should clarify some definitions.

Conflict (noun): a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.
Conflict (verb):  be incompatible or at variance; clash

Drama (noun 1):  a play for theater, radio, or television
Drama (noun 2):  an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances

Drama queen (informal, noun):  a person who often has exaggerated or overly emotional reactions to events or situations.

Conflict is, by definition, negative.  That leads to trauma. Drama is, by definition, neutral. Conflict is sometimes necessary, but should not be the primary means of making a relationship exciting.  Healthy, productive, enjoyable drama in a relationship is good.  What that means to the individuals in the relationship can be different, but drama that creates conflict is most definitely not the goal.

A drama queen, I suppose, is not negative either, although I've never met one who didn't bring conflict with them as well.  However, that's also not what I'm talking about.  I don't see myself as a drama queen (quite the opposite according to people who know me well), but I do enjoy a dose of healthy drama from time to time.

Interestingly, I didn't really have this understanding of healthy drama until I found a non-emotionally-disordered man to introduce me to the concept within a loving, reciprocal relationship.
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« Reply #48 on: September 29, 2020, 09:56:39 AM »

I still have trouble understanding this distinction. Could you give an example or two of "healthy drama"?
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« Reply #49 on: September 29, 2020, 12:22:31 PM »

Conflict (noun): a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.
Conflict (verb):  be incompatible or at variance; clash


Conflict------ Its an excuse to project. Its fantasy and I leave it exactly where it belongs. Between others ears, not mine. When a person removes his part, of any conflict. There is no conflict. I ask others to not believe this is a sign of weakness. They really wont like the way things end. Many try.

Drama (noun 1):  a play for theater, radio, or television
Drama (noun 2):  an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances


All fantasy terms.( play, theater, radio,tv, exciting, emotional, unexpected(fear)........ Everybody has a choice to feed into it, or not. Funny you say series of events/ circumstances........TV especially, state run news does this 24/7/365 and people suck it up like drugs ( its the same release of brain chemicals) When TV was first invented, those that understood referred to it as the idiot box. How true it was/is.

Drama-----Also fantasy with no solution, except not to play. Waste of energy, time and space. It fears me.

Drama queen (informal, noun):  a person who often has exaggerated or overly emotional reactions to events or situations.

Immature and most likely stems from childhood....Its probably not a catch, maybe closer to a curse.

Conflict is, by definition, negative.  That leads to trauma.

Childhood trauma, if not dealt with in a healthy way, will continue to play out in ones adulthood (we are here) Trauma is stored in the subconscious. The subconscious dictates our lives........Conflict by definition is useless and doesnt get my attention. Others understand this very early, in any relationship. I can agree to disagree. its my choice. They need to respect, pretty simple.

Conflict is sometimes necessary,

This should be interesting, do tell?

I still have trouble understanding this distinction. Could you give an example or two of "healthy drama"?

There is no such thing....Drama is for fantasy. I can play fantasy for short periods and it is designated for when it starts and stops. So in small doses, fantasy can be a healthy release. Too much and you get drama queens, I will pass thank you. I wish you well, Peace


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« Reply #50 on: September 29, 2020, 01:42:13 PM »

Fantasy (noun):  the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are improbable or impossible.

A guy walks into a bookstore and after a few minutes of browsing sees a woman also browsing. He wants to meet her.  He takes a stack of books, walks up to her, holds out a book and says, "Excuse me, can you tell me if this book is any good? It's called Can I Take You To Dinner.  No, not good?  What about this one called If Not Dinner Then Maybe a Cocktail.  No, you're right, not good.  This one should be it.  It's called Too Soon for Cocktails You Don't Even Know Me But Coffee Next Door?"

That's drama.  Exciting, emotional (dude was truly scared by this amount of vulnerability), and unexpected (to the woman).  Not fantasy.  These were real people in a real bookstore having a real conversation, and there was nothing improbable or impossible about it.

(That's how I met the non-emotionally-disordered man I referenced earlier.)

Also us:  random Saturday buying matching fedoras, dressing up in white linen and exploring a part of downtown we'd never been before. 

Us again:  let's ride bikes today, all the way to the brewery in the next town, get tipsy and call an Uber to get us home.  Oops, Uber doesn't come here, guess we'll have to ride back buzzed.

Again, what is dramatic will vary by individual.  Maybe you don't see these events as particularly exciting, but I personally respond quite well to it, obviously.

There's no conflict and no fantasy to be found in these examples.  No drama queens, either.  No one involved reacted in an exaggerated or overly emotional way.

As for conflict sometimes being necessary, in any kind of relationship there will always be disagreements.  There are going to be arguments, perhaps even protracted ones.  You have to work through it to get to a resolution or to determine that no resolution is to be had.  How the people involved in the conflict behave is where things get tricky.  pwBPD don't know how to behave in ways that lead to resolution or even to a mutual understanding to agree to disagree.

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« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2020, 01:58:10 PM »

And now I feel like I've hijacked the thread that was meant to be about identifying boundaries.  I didn't know that was a thing until I went to therapy.  I was raised by a BPD mother and a narcissistic father (both undiagnosed).  They didn't allow their children to have boundaries, and in fact had no concept of their children being separate and distinct from them.

In therapy I started identifying my boundaries and learning how to enforce them.  At first, I had a LOT of boundaries and was totally inflexible with them.  There was no wiggle room and no nuance.  Looking back I realize that I was unreasonable with some of it.  But I don't regret it because it was, and still is, a process.  Circumstances change, values and people evolve.  My boundaries evolve with me.

I guess I'm trying to say that your boundaries are neutral - there should be no judgment.  They are neither good nor bad; they just are.  What would be negative impact to you and to your relationships is if you 1) behave badly in communicating or enforcing your boundaries, and 2) if you are forever unwilling to self-examine or evolve if circumstances call for it.
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« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2020, 04:47:27 PM »

And now I feel like I've hijacked the thread

You have

I was raised by a BPD mother and a narcissistic father (both undiagnosed).  They didn't allow their children to have boundaries, and in fact had no concept of their children being separate and distinct from them.

You were raised by people who were not shown in a healthy way to individuate in their childhoods. Therefore they could not teach you. They were doing their best, just as you and I.

Fantasy (noun):  the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are improbable or impossible.

Kinda like having dysfunctional relationships and calling it love.
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« Reply #53 on: September 30, 2020, 03:35:34 AM »

And now I feel like I've hijacked the thread
I don't feel you have, just because this idea of drama and boundries around it has popped up lately in my life - at least from an observer standpoint. So I'd like y'all opinion on it.
Now I want to extend this question to alcohol and drugs.

Recently I have been hanging out with some friends, and among them was a friend who is exactly the "type" of high energy and drama: you know like bothering people on the street, shouting, weak boundries - telling everyone of their intimate problems etc. Once I used to find this sort of behaviour endearing. Like I'm a guy who likes to be a little free-spirited and in good mood forget social boundries or at least extend them a little. I love talking to strangers for example, or singing out loud. But while we were hanging out for the first time I found this behaviour a little off-putting, it was too much, especially the need for attention that it seemed to be entailing. Like it's a weird type of a "high". Intensity vs intimacy. Of which I was guilty as well in the past, and now too.

And all of that was fine up to a point, I honestly didn't react in any way to this. But once I hit a certain amount of alcohol in my system, I again was drawn to it. Like I forgot to take care of myself and my initial discomfort, and was egging it on and participating in it.

Now, I'm a liberal type of a guy, I like to drink alcohol and other substances recreationally. But for the first time in my life I have a problem with it. Like it didn't serve me, to drink this much, to keep me safe emotionally. And it was literally measured in alcohol units, once the high buzz gave way to being drunk, I was cooked. I know this might seem so obvious to you guys, but I never thought about this aspect of the "party life", I always was the last guy to go home. Still I used to go on non-alcohol-non-partying sprees before, but that was also fear motivated, that I should "cleanse" myself. And I try not to think like that anymore, it's all-or-nothing.

So my questions are: 1) how do you incorporate alcohol and other stuff into your life? Any thoughts? How has the relationship between you and drugs in general changed?

2) How to develop in yourself, or attract in others, that switch from "intensity" in drama to healthy excitement? You guys were talking about drama, and at least to me, for now, it seems to cover up insecurity and some boring existance. What do you think?

I also noticed something funny in terms of "drama" and excitement. If I do something "crazy" (everyone has their own definition right), like for example, making wheelies on a motorcycle, or practice some semi-dangerous stunts, my need to drink or socialize with crazy-making folks just disappears for that day. But then again, this happens so rarely because of my avoidance and fear that my life is so "safe" in contrast to what I could be doing. And I am not talking exclusively about sports or adrenaline stuff, but also everyday ideas and plans and ambitions. I kinda recognise that my drinking and high-maintenance relationships were not only motivated by fear, but also by boredom. Is it really about having an exciting life to combat that need for an artificial high? How do I find courage to do it?

Sorry for rambling, just wanted to share, that there is a huge change that is observable, and I would like to share it with you. Even if I made a mistake and got too drunk and played with "drama", I don't feel bad about myself. I recognise it for a mistake and a learning opportunity. If the end result of it is me healthily adjusting my behaviour, I don't feel shame for it like in the past. It's an extremely good, warm feeling. That I have my back, you know? That for the first time in my life I have a project that is not external: myself. And it feels kinda exciting and good having the autonomy to reinvent myself for the purpose of self-love. Amazing stuff Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #54 on: September 30, 2020, 05:26:27 AM »

So my questions are: 1) how do you incorporate alcohol and other stuff into your life? Any thoughts? How has the relationship between you and drugs in general changed?

besides a handful of ocassions, past 4 years ive been teetotal.

I know this answer is to a closed-question but hope that is okay.

drugs and alcohol are objects, in hands of narcissist feeds illusion of power at being able to alter state of conciousness, wizard style. When the transformation is over and the drugs wear off, have to face the sobering thought that the hangover, the comedown, is pretty much the same as well, any other of the "little people" that do the same thing across the world. in short, nothing special achieved, but addictive nonetheless for temporarily being in that state of mind. For me it was long term outlook, living that lifestyle onwards becomes aggregate of boring, there must be something else to life on offer, and how else to find out but to try something different? the worst that can happen is that it will end up 'boring' too, but the other path is boring anyway, so nothing to lose.

"do you actually want to be a man?" and move away from childish, attention seeking, self indulgent infantile stuck behaviours. it is the question I asked myself.

2) How to develop in yourself, or attract in others, that switch from "intensity" in drama to healthy excitement? You guys were talking about drama, and at least to me, for now, it seems to cover up insecurity and some boring existance. What do you think?

the boring existence, is like anything else, you get used to it eventually  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #55 on: September 30, 2020, 09:10:58 AM »

And now I feel like I've hijacked the thread
I don't feel you have, just because this idea of drama and boundries around it has popped up lately in my life - at least from an observer standpoint. So I'd like y'all opinion on it.


Then i stand to be corrected and my apologies...............Healthy boundaries eliminate drama. Weak boundaries create drama.

friend who is exactly the "type" of high energy and drama:

Try high energy and no drama...Drama is created by one who doesnt want to deal with his own issues. It contains gaslighting, slivers of truth, and other forms of dysfunction.

But while we were hanging out for the first time I found this behavior a little off-putting, it was too much, especially the need for attention that it seemed to be entailing. Like it's a weird type of a "high". Intensity vs intimacy. Of which I was guilty as well in the past, and now too.

It is attention seeking and many will play. Maybe more like Intensity sitting in for Intimacy. They appear to work more hand in hand, than against each other......I too also catch myself and exit stage left when the motives are selfish.......No drama is needed to fill my head. Yet it still tries me.

Now, I'm a liberal type of a guy, I like to drink alcohol and other substances recreationally.

Youre also a medicating type of guy, using these temporary highs to avoid something.

But for the first time in my life I have a problem with it. Like it didn't serve me, to drink this much, to keep me safe emotionally.

This would be maturity/growth. Learning how to self soothe without drugs/alcohol was a game changer. I dont feel the need to get plastered and can monitor myself well. Having a drink, then a glass of water works well for me. Being in control is now my new normal.

So my questions are: 1) how do you incorporate alcohol and other stuff into your life? Any thoughts? How has the relationship between you and drugs in general changed?

I always make sure that todays FindingMe, is looking out for tomorrows FindingMe.........I have thoughts sometimes but the more I think about it, the less appealing it becomes. Its a worn out path and I know where it leads...........The self control will help your esteem. Drugs and alcohol result into depression when abused. its a viscous cycle that has no end.

2) How to develop in yourself, or attract in others, that switch from "intensity" in drama to healthy excitement?

Perception is the battle....... The need for adrenaline doesnt leave me. What I found exciting has changed. Anything not self defeating or life threatening could be called healthy......Its a balance that you will find, adjust and monitor. Nothing is written in stone, find your way that fits you.

Is it really about having an exciting life to combat that need for an artificial high? How do I find courage to do it?

Its more about finding a balance in life and the need to medicate will dissipate. The thoughts may still arise, but one day they can be brushed aside easily.

I recognise it for a mistake and a learning opportunity. If the end result of it is me healthily adjusting my behaviour, I don't feel shame for it like in the past. It's an extremely good, warm feeling. That I have my back, you know? That for the first time in my life I have a project that is not external: myself. And it feels kinda exciting and good having the autonomy to reinvent myself for the purpose of self-love. Amazing stuff Smiling (click to insert in post)

The true power of knowledge. I wish you well, Peace







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« Reply #56 on: October 01, 2020, 12:01:37 AM »

Hi dindin,

I have a question. Did your ex-partners continue to have intimate relationships with their exes when they were with you? Did they cheat on you?
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Dating
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« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2020, 02:31:38 AM »

Kaufmann
Last one had sex with other people while proclaiming exclusivity early on, so that's cheating in my book Smiling (click to insert in post) Later there was emotional cheating with an ex, some stuff about her wanting to date some guy, aggressively so, after an argument between us. Hiding contact with former lovers. The works. I would be extremely naive to not think there was something else going on, but still just as well there could not have been, but to be perfectly honest, I don't care.

All of my other partners in the past had hidden contact with an ex, for emotional support, etc - at least this much I knew Smiling (click to insert in post) And always acted like it was expected.

Why you're asking? I don't see why I'd need to know. I can't see the point of why so many people on this board obsess over this point, checking on the other guy, etc. I could find out if there's a rebound in 5 minutes, just look at social media or talk to a friend, but I never done that sine the discard, I am never curious about it. What good would that do?

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« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2020, 05:24:31 AM »

Why you're asking? I don't see why I'd need to know. I can't see the point of why so many people on this board obsess over this point, checking on the other guy, etc

Many rescuer types dont carry strong Narc traits......Its rumination with poor self esteem. If the r/s isnt available and romantic r/s dont come easy, becoming stuck here happens.......a lot.

I could find out if there's a rebound in 5 minutes, just look at social media or talk to a friend, but I never done that since the discard, I am never curious about it. What good would that do?

Absolutely nothing, and keep one from focusing on the only person they can save, themselves......To believe the behavior is/would be different with another shows plenty. I avoid these types, they look for validation not solutions. its the easier path.
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« Reply #59 on: October 01, 2020, 05:52:32 AM »

Many rescuer types dont carry strong Narc traits......Its rumination with poor self esteem. If the r/s isnt available and romantic r/s dont come easy, becoming stuck here happens.......a lot.


I have a whole range of friends and colleagues in terms of self-confidence. Obviously. But the funny thing is to observe how they all react differently to adverse situations in life. I have a really sweet but trobuled female friend who is really low on self-confidence, and on the other hand I have a really jovial, secure and stable mate. At some point in their life they got cheated on by their partners. Obviously they were both sad when it happened, but the way the handled it really inspired me. Despite that it happened 6-7 years ago, the female friend is still comparing herself to the girl her bf cheated with. Like she shows pictures and say: look, she's a narc, look how ugly she is, isn't she ugly? Whereas my mate only once talked about it with me, about a month after it happened, and he said, laughing: "oh man I dodged a bullet here. Good thing this guy showed up, because I could have wasted more time. Poor mf, god bless him." I never heard anything about the whole situation after he has grieved it.

It really inspired me to be more like him. I stopped snooping or checking my partners after that. It's like if you miss this one point of self-confidence, it can make you stuck for decades. And all it takes is for you to force, or naturally have that ability, to really value yourself more than the r/s itself. And if you're this confident, it's just a matter of time before you are surrounded with better opportunities in life. Like it's abundance mentality vs feeling crushingly inferior.

I don't know if it's narc traits or self-esteem, or if they are the same, but having that buffer... man, the difference it makes in the lives of my friends is night and day. So I'll try to fake it for the time being, thank you very much Smiling (click to insert in post)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 05:59:46 AM by dindin » Logged
FindingMe2011
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« Reply #60 on: October 01, 2020, 12:37:55 PM »

Whereas my mate only once talked about it with me, about a month after it happened, and he said, laughing: "oh man I dodged a bullet here. Good thing this guy showed up, because I could have wasted more time. Poor mf, god bless him." I never heard anything about the whole situation after he has grieved it.

The average time for the BPD cycle to rear its ugly head is appx 1 month. It would be hard for me to become too invested, in this amount of time. I make sure to speak with potential partners, asking questions that could later be asked again and also until Im comfortable..............Your buddy has good instincts

I don't know if it's narc traits or self-esteem, or if they are the same, but having that buffer... man, the difference it makes in the lives of my friends is night and day. So I'll try to fake it for the time being,
Its all about self esteem and all negative traits have their challenges.
Its about being more grounded. Typically, those having a better upbringing will run like hell. They may not know the full extent of everything in play, but they dont feel the need to play. For me, I think I can relate to others pain fairly well. I just never understood( or even knew) the differences of mental illnesses. Understanding brought a lot of clarity. Believing in me, took me the rest of the way..........and that is correct, fake it, till you make it. its a better way of life, by you, for you. I wish you well, Peace
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« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2020, 08:44:08 PM »

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