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Author Topic: Can't make myself go no contact  (Read 138 times)
MariannaR

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« on: October 07, 2020, 01:31:48 PM »

Hi everyone.  My background is that I have a best friend who is likely uBPD, or maybe uNPD, a nearly six year friendship in which I've been in near-constant therapy to deal with.  I tried to work on communication, self-compassion and radical empathy, but I noticed myself not improving and getting more insecure, depressed, etc, as time went on.  I finally decided that I deserve to feel secure and loved in my friendships and relationships.  My T is trying to get me to see that my friendship follows a pattern of control and emotional abuse, and has always strongly encouraged me to get out.  

So, like ripping myself out of painful barbed wire, that's what I've been doing.  There really is no other option for my own health.  I finally asked for some space, but as she has major control issues, so did not go over well.  She doesn't like me to ask for space or be unavailable, and likely feels rejected (usually expressed in anger/abuse).  An aside - this never went both ways.  She controls the communication amount.  Anyway, she kept texting and asking if I "still" needed space, etc.  I responded truthfully that someone close to me has COVID and I'm a little bit consumed with that but I'd respond soon.  Finally she sent me a long message in which she wanted to treat me better and get therapy - with me - which broke my heart.  She seemed sincere though I've received messaged like this before.  She mentioned I could "take all the time" I wanted to respond, but within a day she sent another message saying she guessed she had my answer in my non-response.  Then she made her social media private and unshared some other things online.  

I was surprised at how hard that hit me.  I called her a couple times, but no answer.  It was painful, yes, as I still, always, probably forever, will hope for the seeds of change that are apparent after a fight.  I still have open accounts - and my question is:  Should I go no contact by unsharing all of my accounts?  It seems cruel and might have blowback in other ways among our mutual friends.  But I also don't see myself re-engaging in the friendship for a long time if ever... so maybe it would be helpful for her?  A previous best friend did this to her (went no contact) and I have told myself (and her) a story that I "wouldn't do that to her."  

In all of this, I'm very deeply sad, feeling grief and loss, and as though I'm breaking a promise to be there for her, though I've known for a long time this isn't healthy.  Would love your thoughts.
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schwing
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2020, 03:33:55 PM »

Hi MariannaR and Welcome

My background is that I have a best friend who is likely uBPD, or maybe uNPD, a nearly six year friendship in which I've been in near-constant therapy to deal with.  I tried to work on communication, self-compassion and radical empathy, but I noticed myself not improving and getting more insecure, depressed, etc, as time went on.

I have had my share of romantic and platonic/non-romantic uBPD relationships; and it has been a long process to shed some of these relationships.  The most recent one I left was one I've had on/off over the last 30 years.  At this point it was really a shell of a relationship: she only contacts me when she's in need of some kind of validation and I've had to "bore" her away.  In any case I can empathize with the difficulty associated with unentangling such relationships.

One perspective that helped me make such entanglements was accepting that it makes no sense to provide the other party "unconditional" love.  The only chance I had in my life to receive what could have been unconditional love was from my parents -- which didn't really work out.  And so I spent a great deal of my adult life seeking this kind of love from others.  What I ended up finding were relationships that mirrored my relationship with my parents.

I've had to learn to give myself that which I sought.  One big clue of what I needed was to observe what I seemed desperate to provide to these surrogates.  For some I wanted to be their ever loyal friend.  For others I wanted to show that there is good in the world in spite of all the rotten things that have happened to them. In retrospect, everything I sought to give, were the very things I sought for myself, only (in my mind) these things had to come from a specific kind of person, and not from myself. I have to learn to give to myself those things I sought and found in others, qualities that only augment my own happiness.

I finally decided that I deserve to feel secure and loved in my friendships and relationships.  My T is trying to get me to see that my friendship follows a pattern of control and emotional abuse, and has always strongly encouraged me to get out.  

I think you do deserve to feel secure and loved in your friendships and relationships.  But you might need to seek out these friendships and relationships in places that are unfamiliar to you, with people that do not initially "click" in the beginning as they have in the past.  You might be inadvertently seeking people who exhibit familiar patterns of control and emotional abuse -- never outright, but eventually these patterns may be revealed.

An aside - this never went both ways.  She controls the communication amount.  

Maybe in the beginning it wasn't control, it was more like assertiveness and apparent commitment, or dedication.

Finally she sent me a long message in which she wanted to treat me better and get therapy - with me - which broke my heart.  She seemed sincere though I've received messaged like this before.  

It might be thoughtful for her to offer this, but it is quite possibly outside of her abilities to ever provide such.

She mentioned I could "take all the time" I wanted to respond, but within a day she sent another message saying she guessed she had my answer in my non-response.  Then she made her social media private and unshared some other things online.  

When the carrot does not work, then the stick.

...my question is:  Should I go no contact by unsharing all of my accounts?  It seems cruel and might have blowback in other ways among our mutual friends.  But I also don't see myself re-engaging in the friendship for a long time if ever... so maybe it would be helpful for her?  A previous best friend did this to her (went no contact) and I have told myself (and her) a story that I "wouldn't do that to her."  

If you cannot trust yourself to be deliberate about how you might respond to her if she should ever approach you again (as if nothing ever happened), then I would completely disengage and unshare everything.

If you can trust yourself, then leave those threads available to test yourself and your boundaries in the future.

In all of this, I'm very deeply sad, feeling grief and loss, and as though I'm breaking a promise to be there for her, though I've known for a long time this isn't healthy.  Would love your thoughts.

Make only promises to yourself at this point.  And promise nothing to anyone who is not worthy of promises or trust.

Best wishes,

Schwing
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MariannaR

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
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Posts: 18



« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2020, 11:27:30 AM »

Thanks, Schwing, I really appreciate your insights. 

Excerpt
At this point it was really a shell of a relationship: she only contacts me when she's in need of some kind of validation and I've had to "bore" her away.
 

I can empathize with this.  The friendship that we have now is a "shell" to me, as I've had to be less vulnerable and share less, because she'll find ways to attack.  I have been stepping back more and more, but can still get drawn in emotionally when we do talk. 

Excerpt
I think you do deserve to feel secure and loved in your friendships and relationships.  But you might need to seek out these friendships and relationships in places that are unfamiliar to you, with people that do not initially "click" in the beginning as they have in the past.  You might be inadvertently seeking people who exhibit familiar patterns of control and emotional abuse -- never outright, but eventually these patterns may be revealed.

Agreed!  I have had one or two other relationships and another friend, who fit these characteristics.  They are magnetic to me, even if I can see red flags right up front.  I find myself opening up, seeking, willing to give more to these people.  Yet, I am blessed with many close, great neurotypical (if that's the right word) friends that do not hold the same magnetism though I love them dearly.  I agree with you that nurturing these relationships is one of the keys to my emotional health.


Excerpt
Maybe in the beginning it wasn't control, it was more like assertiveness and apparent commitment, or dedication.

Thank you for picking up on this!  Yes, very true.  In my case with my friend, it also involved her pushing/testing different boundaries, and my giving in after a period of me saying "no" and then dealing with her emotional withdrawal or scorn.  It made me feel very unstable, and at the worst periods like something was very wrong with me, and even that I was the abusive one when I'd finally react.  (And I realized I used the word "never" - which is a good reminder that things aren't "always' or "never" but many shades in between.)

Excerpt
It might be thoughtful for her to offer this, but it is quite possibly outside of her abilities to ever provide such.

I believe it is, and it makes me sad, but knowing I need to accept that.  I've been close enough with her to know that our minds operate differently and she struggles with empathy and engages in the world often through control and anger, even though at times she can be incredibly caring.

Excerpt
If you cannot trust yourself to be deliberate about how you might respond to her if she should ever approach you again (as if nothing ever happened), then I would completely disengage and unshare everything.

If you can trust yourself, then leave those threads available to test yourself and your boundaries in the future.

I have left the threads of communication open and we are going to talk. I plan to have good boundaries and will see how it goes.  I made a script of sorts to follow when we speak. For now, I am not going to go no-contact.

Thanks, Schwing for your feedback.









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