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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: How do you know what your boundries are?  (Read 1024 times)
dindin
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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.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 11:26:39 AM by dindin » Logged
dindin
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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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FindingMe2011
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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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dindin
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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?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 06:02:31 AM by dindin » Logged
dindin
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« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2020, 06:03:07 AM »

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FindingMe2011
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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

« Last Edit: September 27, 2020, 06:22:10 PM by FindingMe2011 » Logged
dindin
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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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dindin
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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
« Last Edit: September 28, 2020, 12:48:05 PM by dindin » Logged
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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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dindin
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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)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 03:53:08 AM by dindin » Logged
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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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« 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
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