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truthdevotee
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« on: March 03, 2021, 03:30:15 AM »

Waking up today at home, I see progress. I focused on validating feelings and empathizing this morning. I learned how powerful that is. She was on about 2 out of 8 intensity, allowing her to receive my support and connect. I now see clearly that once her anger reaches 6 out of 10, no amount of validating can help her. In those times, I should leave the house, as I did the last 4 days.

She's making progress, reading Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents. She sees the damage that was done in her childhood. She so far recognizes OCDP patterns in herself. I dropped in the possibility of BPD, but probably now isn't the right time. For the first time in a long time, this morning, she was relaxed and quiet enough to feel the emotional validation.

I learned again not to focus on her words, which are crazy-making, but the fact that she feels something deeply. "Yeah, that must feel extremely sad." When she's in the right state, this feels validating to her. I've seen her energy and happiness rise a lot this morning. She's just gone out to get my sick note from the doctor to help with the kids this week, and to do some food shopping. Amazing.

And as I was just writing that previous paragraph, she came to me, gave me a big kiss and said "I'll make changes." She then left the house. This was real rather than a control mechanism; it's born out of the last 4 days with us out of the house and her self-reflections on the book... she's willing to look inside and see what's going on, and although it might take a long time to see everything (e.g. the fact that she truly believes my FOO would walk all over her and her fear of them), she is strong enough to admit to having OCDP.

Interestingly, I noticed again that even in joy and happiness she gets overexcited and has trouble managing those feelings. Even the positive emotions make her out of balance, internally hyper, off balance, etc.

My personal growth through all of this has been learning what is true for me, what is real to me, what my feelings and thoughts are, and honoring them. As an archetype caretaker, due to my own childhood patterns, I totally lost myself in the control of my pwBDP.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2021, 06:51:11 AM »

It would be interesting for you to explore your childhood situations that led you to be a caretaker type. Not to blame the past or your parents but to understand yourself better. Although I discuss my BPD mother, the influence of my own family patterns has impacted the patterns in my marriage. It's easier to identify them with her as she is on the severe end of the BPD spectrum- and so more obvious. However, my father was a role model for me- both for wonderful characteristics and also for what you wrote- you lost yourself in the control of your BPD wife. This was the "normal" for us growing up and for me, I had to learn a different way to be in a relationship: how to still be a caring and empathetic person- while also including myself in that care and empathy.

It isn't a comfortable change to stop being a caretaker to the point of losing oneself. When you say "no" to someone or have a boundary- their response is that they don't like it. This isn't comfortable if someone is a people pleaser. However, if this was truly OK to do- then why the unhappiness and resentment? It was a counselor who pointed this out to me- is it really a gift to someone else to say yes when you mean no, and then feel resentment? Sure, we all have times we feel it's better to do something than to not do it, but I mean consistently and dishonestly.

When you do make a change, it's not just uncomfortable for you but for the other person as well. It's well known that we are attracted and attract people who "fit" us somehow. You, being a caretaker type- are now connected with someone who wants to receive caretaking. You two have a pattern of familiarity together.

When one person makes a change, the other person also becomes uncomfortable. The inititial reaction is to draw the partner back into the comfortable pattern. The pull is also on the partner to get back into it too. While this could include manipulative behavior, it's not just an accusation. The two of you are uncomfortable in this new configuration. The pull is to get back into it for both of you. If you wish to maintain the change, you will need to be persistent, consistent, and tolerate some emotional discomfort on both your parts. It's risky as you don't know the outcome. You do know what's familiar to you. Change isn't, but if you want something different you need to take the risk. You might not always "do this right"- it can be trial and error, but one can make progress as you learn.

So let's take this back to what has just happened with you. You made a change and it appears your wife was upset and in a way, elicited your care. I  wouldn't call this wrong. The key to deciding if this is progress is not with what she does but with you- were you able to be a caring person to her- without losing yourself? It's your behavior and being accountable to you that determines progress here. You don't have to stop being a caring person. It's the losing yourself to work on.

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truthdevotee
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2021, 09:39:03 AM »

Thank you for sharing Notwendy, and for all of your support.

I love this very much: "I had to learn a different way to be in a relationship: how to still be a caring and empathetic person- while also including myself in that care and empathy."

This is so spot on for me. I lost myself completely to the point of not knowing what was true for me, not knowing what I wanted or needed, and not trusting my own perceptions of the world. I see how this relates to an unhealthy level of listening to my mother's problems during childhood. My father was generally absent. Terrified of the family breaking a part, I tried to keep everything together.

I've struck a better balance between being caring and also expressing limits after this experience. I've seen how it's kinder to express limits as it's damaging for the relationship to allow myself to be disrespected. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not patient enough and if reminding of a limit and carrying out the limit too early actually escalates pwBPD's anger. When I walk away, it triggers deeper shame.

The thing is, that even when her anger is a 3/10, which is a situation in which I should probably remain in and manage my own anxiety in the face of her anger.... even though it's only 3/10, every sentence feels like blame. It's all "you, you, you." If I get pulled into it, then I start doing it in return, and then it's circular and there's no connection. I encourage her to use the words "I feel" at the beginning of a sentence rather than "you."

One of my questions is, how should I respond in the face of blame which is, pretty much, continuous? Even today, which I'd say as a good day as my pwBPD is having moments of open-hearted self-reflection on her childhood, it's mingled and intermixed with blame/criticism. If I remind her of a limit, it only seems to escalate the anger +1 or +2... increasing the likelihood of me also increasing anxiety. So with the (seemingly) never-ending "you this, you that, you the other, you didn't care for me, you're bla bla bla" ... it's not name-calling and it's under 5/10 on the anger scale... so I think here I might be dealing with my own (over?) sensitivity and shame.


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truthdevotee
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2021, 10:03:44 AM »

You might not always "do this right"- it can be trial and error, but one can make progress as you learn.

Yeah... I'm still a bit confused about when to stay put in a conversation and on the receiving end of blame, when it's not exactly name-calling but it is difficult for me and none of it is true for me...
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khibomsis
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2021, 10:22:04 AM »

Notwendy's words were so deep! Indeed, the thing I hate most about co-dependency is the inauthenticity of it, the fact that one is always thinking one thing and doing another and hiding resentment maybe even from myself. I like the idea that I can still be caring but not lose myself. Still working on including myself in the caring.

truthdevotee, don't sweat the small stuff. You are doing great, holding the family together and putting food on the table while caring for your wife through what appears to be a major mental health crisis. It's a lot. Give yourself a big pat on the back and a tall glass of something cold

What your wife is doing is projection, fairly common amongst BPD behavioural traits. She doesn't know how to deal with her own shame and fear, and so she projects it on to you. My expwBPD used to accuse me of things I knew she had done, that is how I became wise about this pattern.
Here's a workshop about it. https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=70931.0
Let us know if it strikes you as familiar?
When she triggers your anxiety I think you need to honor it. These are your feelings and they matter.  Whatever you usually do to manage your anxiety, it is your cue to say "Honey, it is important that I hear what you are saying but I can't right now because my anxiety is too intense. I am going to go off and chant for half an hour and we can talk after that." With time she will realize that if she wants adult company she has to consider your feelings,

Btw, chanting is the best cure for my chronic anxiety. Incredible stuff Smiling (click to insert in post)
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2021, 10:34:33 AM »

Notwendy's words were so deep! Indeed, the thing I hate most about co-dependency is the inauthenticity of it, the fact that one is always thinking one thing and doing another and hiding resentment maybe even from myself. I like the idea that I can still be caring but not lose myself. Still working on including myself in the caring.

truthdevotee, don't sweat the small stuff. You are doing great, holding the family together and putting food on the table while caring for your wife through what appears to be a major mental health crisis. It's a lot. Give yourself a big pat on the back and a tall glass of something cold

What your wife is doing is projection, fairly common amongst BPD behavioural traits. She doesn't know how to deal with her own shame and fear, and so she projects it on to you. My expwBPD used to accuse me of things I knew she had done, that is how I became wise about this pattern.
Here's a workshop about it. https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=70931.0
Let us know if it strikes you as familiar?
When she triggers your anxiety I think you need to honor it. These are your feelings and they matter.  Whatever you usually do to manage your anxiety, it is your cue to say "Honey, it is important that I hear what you are saying but I can't right now because my anxiety is too intense. I am going to go off and chant for half an hour and we can talk after that." With time she will realize that if she wants adult company she has to consider your feelings,

Btw, chanting is the best cure for my chronic anxiety. Incredible stuff Smiling (click to insert in post)


Hi khibomsis,

Thanks for the kind words... they mean a lot to me. Uplifting :-)

I'm excited to hear about chanting! If you feel guided to share, I'd love to hear more e.g. if you know of an introductory resource I could look into? I've done OMing in the past and that helped. Currently I do deep breathing but I tend to get unfocussed. Chanting sounds really interesting.

Thank you for sharing the workshop - I'll check that out this evening!

My partner is reading the book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents. It seems to be she's genuinely getting stuff out of it for her own self-development. However, I don't much like it when she quotes from it as a way to back up her negative perceptions of me. So far I've said in a gentle way that maybe we shouldn't do that, because it will create negative feelings about the book; if we share from the book, perhaps best is to only say things about ourselves in relation to the content i.e. self-reflection. I'll see if she honors this request or not...
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2021, 10:40:38 AM »

Personally, I think the blame is a part of the condition-denial and projection. If she feels bad, it has to be something external so something or someone is usually the "blame". Also the Karpman triangle dynamics could place her in victim perspective.

You can't control what she says but you don't have to constantly listen to it nor do you have to believe it. If someone blamed you for dinosaur footprints in the yard, you wouldn't be upset about it because you know that isn't true no matter if they believe it. You can use a similar measurement with blame and accusations. If it's not true, saying it or thinking it doesn't make it true.

If it is true you can apologize and make ammends, but you don't have to accept all accusations as true.

Sometimes we don't see our family dynamics as being dysfunctional as they seem "normal" to us growing up. Also, I don't think there's such a thing as a perfect family- and this can be on a spectrum. But each family has it's own quirks probably. Compared to my mother, my H's mother looks like a saint and in many ways she is, but she's also a bit controlling and co-dependent if you look closely enough. Things have to be done a certain way. So I join the family and don't know the unspoken family rules and do something different and that causes friction because to my H- this is what he knows as normal. He didn't see that. But for the most part, his family was functional. Also there were behaviors I grew up with that I didn't see were dysfunctional.

So your family doesn't have to be outright dysfunctional to have some patterns that could need adjustment. Your father was not emotionally available and you took on the role of emotional caretaker to your mother at a young age. I don't know what your wife is reading but there is a term called "emotional incest" to describe extreme situations when a parent leans too much on a child for emotional support. Another one is "parentification". Emotional incest sounds like a creepy thing- and again, I think it's a spectrum and personally think it's a term to not be misused, however if your wife has read it she may think it. Turning to a child for emotional support can vary- and doesn't make the parent a bad person or be a reason to not speak to them. But it puts the child in a position that is not appropriate for the child and that isn't good for them.

Kids seek approval and no doubt that made you feel special and loved and this feeling may have motivated you in your marriage as well. This is a familiar role to you. Your wife may see this role as part of the marriage and fears you will give this to your mother as well. It's absurd to think there's a limit to the love and that loving a parent or a child somehow takes away from the spouse but that isn't true- there's room to love all your family in different ways.

In my situation I was parentified by my early teens. What gave me any status or reinforcement was being able to be the other adult in the family- to do things for my mother, listen to her, and this made things easier for my father too. I know it wasn't intentional on his part, just like it wasn't on your mother's part for her to lean on you. It's how the family could function and that benefitted all of you. I can see how this background led me to overfunction and people please. I don't look at my FOO to blame them, but it gives me insight to how I can learn better ways to relate to others.

Once we become adults, our roles with our parents do change. It's not approprate for a 12 year old to be a parent's emotional caretaker. However, at some point we take care of ourselves and some of us will be helping our parents if we are able to. It is not emotional incest to want to remain in contact with our parents and help out as adults if we can. It's not incestuous to help a parent as they get older. Most likely your mother did far better for you than anything she might have not done as well. Having a relationship with her as an adult child is not incest.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2021, 11:40:50 AM »

Hi Notwendy, thanks so much for your post above. I intend to reply this evening when the boys are asleep and will have more time and space.

I'm reading the workshop on projection shared by khibomsis. It's really good so far.

One thing that came up this evening. My wife appeared to me to be blaming, critisizing, etc. Her anger was like 4/10. It was enough for me to feel uncomfortable and I kind of recognized there wasn't a way "in." I couldn't connect with her.

But maybe I just lost focus...

What I mean is, I reminded her the limit by saying "I'm feeling anxious in response to your anger level and blame" (in essence)... I reaffirmed that I want to connect but I'm finding it difficult right now. She left the room with about 5/10 anger level and then was on her own for a while. I invited her to come play with me and boys and she angrily told me she will go to shower, blaming me that I don't want to connect, listen to her, etc. She seems to believe that I should sit and bare it. What I'm trying to figure out is if I am a little bit oversensitive and should stick with it for longer, and if I lose focus i.e. by focussing on her WORDS and believing them I get anxious, but perhaps I need to remember earlier or immediately that I should focus on mirroring her FEELINGS... perhaps by me forgetting this and being unfocussed, my anxiety rises as a result of focussing on her words. Of course, ultimately it would be great if she could self-monitor, but if she can't, I suppose I need to minimize making things worse e.g. by saying I'm overwhelmed and prefer some space but I want to speak when things are calmer, she reacts to that and gets ANGRIER... at least in the short term... but from another perspective, in the long-term, perhaps the only way for her to learn to self-monitor and self-regulate is via the feedback through me setting and living according to my limits...

So perhaps both aspects are true...
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2021, 03:34:36 PM »

Personally, I think the blame is a part of the condition-denial and projection. If she feels bad, it has to be something external so something or someone is usually the "blame". Also the Karpman triangle dynamics could place her in victim perspective.

You can't control what she says but you don't have to constantly listen to it nor do you have to believe it. If someone blamed you for dinosaur footprints in the yard, you wouldn't be upset about it because you know that isn't true no matter if they believe it. You can use a similar measurement with blame and accusations. If it's not true, saying it or thinking it doesn't make it true.

If it is true you can apologize and make ammends, but you don't have to accept all accusations as true.

Sometimes we don't see our family dynamics as being dysfunctional as they seem "normal" to us growing up. Also, I don't think there's such a thing as a perfect family- and this can be on a spectrum. But each family has it's own quirks probably. Compared to my mother, my H's mother looks like a saint and in many ways she is, but she's also a bit controlling and co-dependent if you look closely enough. Things have to be done a certain way. So I join the family and don't know the unspoken family rules and do something different and that causes friction because to my H- this is what he knows as normal. He didn't see that. But for the most part, his family was functional. Also there were behaviors I grew up with that I didn't see were dysfunctional.

So your family doesn't have to be outright dysfunctional to have some patterns that could need adjustment. Your father was not emotionally available and you took on the role of emotional caretaker to your mother at a young age. I don't know what your wife is reading but there is a term called "emotional incest" to describe extreme situations when a parent leans too much on a child for emotional support. Another one is "parentification". Emotional incest sounds like a creepy thing- and again, I think it's a spectrum and personally think it's a term to not be misused, however if your wife has read it she may think it. Turning to a child for emotional support can vary- and doesn't make the parent a bad person or be a reason to not speak to them. But it puts the child in a position that is not appropriate for the child and that isn't good for them.

Kids seek approval and no doubt that made you feel special and loved and this feeling may have motivated you in your marriage as well. This is a familiar role to you. Your wife may see this role as part of the marriage and fears you will give this to your mother as well. It's absurd to think there's a limit to the love and that loving a parent or a child somehow takes away from the spouse but that isn't true- there's room to love all your family in different ways.

In my situation I was parentified by my early teens. What gave me any status or reinforcement was being able to be the other adult in the family- to do things for my mother, listen to her, and this made things easier for my father too. I know it wasn't intentional on his part, just like it wasn't on your mother's part for her to lean on you. It's how the family could function and that benefitted all of you. I can see how this background led me to overfunction and people please. I don't look at my FOO to blame them, but it gives me insight to how I can learn better ways to relate to others.

Once we become adults, our roles with our parents do change. It's not approprate for a 12 year old to be a parent's emotional caretaker. However, at some point we take care of ourselves and some of us will be helping our parents if we are able to. It is not emotional incest to want to remain in contact with our parents and help out as adults if we can. It's not incestuous to help a parent as they get older. Most likely your mother did far better for you than anything she might have not done as well. Having a relationship with her as an adult child is not incest.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2021, 03:55:42 PM »


You can't control what she says but you don't have to constantly listen to it nor do you have to believe it. If someone blamed you for dinosaur footprints in the yard, you wouldn't be upset about it because you know that isn't true no matter if they believe it. You can use a similar measurement with blame and accusations. If it's not true, saying it or thinking it doesn't make it true.


In my conversation with my wife this evening, I practiced this. Visualised a brick wall, or a kind of psychic shield bubble, and positive self talk to remind myself I'm an individual and don't believe her thoughts. Also practiced a lot of emotional validation which took me out of the content and into the context of her feelings. Mirroring her feelings also helps to remind me that there's a her and a me ; two individual adults.

Excerpt

So your family doesn't have to be outright dysfunctional to have some patterns that could need adjustment. Your father was not emotionally available and you took on the role of emotional caretaker to your mother at a young age. I don't know what your wife is reading but there is a term called "emotional incest" to describe extreme situations when a parent leans too much on a child for emotional support. Another one is "parentification". Emotional incest sounds like a creepy thing- and again, I think it's a spectrum and personally think it's a term to not be misused, however if your wife has read it she may think it. Turning to a child for emotional support can vary- and doesn't make the parent a bad person or be a reason to not speak to them. But it puts the child in a position that is not appropriate for the child and that isn't good for them.

Kids seek approval and no doubt that made you feel special and loved and this feeling may have motivated you in your marriage as well. This is a familiar role to you. Your wife may see this role as part of the marriage and fears you will give this to your mother as well. It's absurd to think there's a limit to the love and that loving a parent or a child somehow takes away from the spouse but that isn't true- there's room to love all your family in different ways.


Thanks so much for the beautiful insightful share. This is so true... It was a familiar role and I attracted the same dynamic in my marriage. Yes, I remember feeling proud how i could advise and care for an adult figure, and approved of for wisdom.

Excerpt

In my situation I was parentified by my early teens. What gave me any status or reinforcement was being able to be the other adult in the family- to do things for my mother, listen to her, and this made things easier for my father too. I know it wasn't intentional on his part, just like it wasn't on your mother's part for her to lean on you. It's how the family could function and that benefitted all of you. I can see how this background led me to overfunction and people please. I don't look at my FOO to blame them, but it gives me insight to how I can learn better ways to relate to others.


That's a beautiful context from which to see it - how the family could function and that it benefited all at that time.

Excerpt

Once we become adults, our roles with our parents do change. It's not approprate for a 12 year old to be a parent's emotional caretaker. However, at some point we take care of ourselves and some of us will be helping our parents if we are able to. It is not emotional incest to want to remain in contact with our parents and help out as adults if we can. It's not incestuous to help a parent as they get older. Most likely your mother did far better for you than anything she might have not done as well. Having a relationship with her as an adult child is not incest.

Thanks so much for everything written in your post. So helpful and insightful.

I'm happy with tonight's conversion with my wife. I gently held my limits, provided deep listening and validation, shared fearlessly my authentic self, and set the context that we desire to connect. I kept coming back to that intention that we both want connection when my wife's tone was becoming overwhelmed and reminding her that connection can only exist in calm. I had to remind myself at one point too, at a moment of overwhelm.

At the end, I hugged her and she seemed to glimpse that I truly love her and that she projects her childhood pain onto me and the deep loneliness she carries that gets triggered when I contact my FOO. I encouraged her to trust how much I love her, and that when the feelings are triggered when I contact FOO, to see it as a good thing... That we feel to heal, and I can provide my love and support through it all. She listened and cried a little bit.

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GaGrl
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2021, 05:26:34 PM »

Just as you assess your wife's anger/rage level on a 1-10 scale, you can assess your anxiety on a scale. Let your awareness of your anxiety level be a gift -- it tells you when you need to withdraw to give her space to self-soothe.
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2021, 08:14:03 PM »

I don't think having to step up to do more as a teen was the hurtful part. It was the expectation of being responsible for my mother's feelings and having to tolerate abusive behavior and having to pretend there was nothing wrong that was. Also as her confidant/emotional caretaker, she shared TMI with me. This crossed the line to child abuse. I doubt ( or hope not) that this was your experience with your mother.

I would listen carefully to GaGirls suggestion that it's your anxiety that needs to be monitored. You are still quite focused on your wife's feelings and moods and very much involved in soothing her. One can see this as the two of you mutually using each other to self soothe. When you soothe her, it helps your anxiety as you are less anxious when she's calmed down. The result of this is that neither of you learn to self soothe. How will she learn if you don't give her space to do this when she's upset? How will you learn if you keep soothing her in order to calm yourself down?

Maybe this is one emotional match between the two of you. She needs to learn to self soothe or she will continue to project her feelings on to you and enlist you to help calm down. If you wish to change this- you need to learn to stay calm when she's upset.



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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2021, 09:47:32 PM »

Excellent analysis! Yes.
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2021, 11:47:13 PM »

Thank you GaGrl and Notwendy. This is a very profound insight. I'm listening carefully. Today I'll put this into action and report back. I will use the anxiety as a gift and guide...
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2021, 12:13:39 AM »

Reflecting on this, I see how much obligation I feel to "talk" (soothe) pwBPD. If I say I need space, her anger increases and my anxiety increases, so I reinforce this obligation by talking to her even when i don't want to, in order to keep my anxiety low.
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2021, 03:03:50 AM »

truthdevotee, here's my tipple: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIuS_sjBImA
works like a charm, nontoxic and free Smiling (click to insert in post)
Let us know how it goes?
I love the idea of seeing your anxiety as a gift. Indeed it is a signal telling you how much you can take.  Listen to yourself.
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truthdevotee
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Wife, but not formally married
Posts: 265


« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2021, 05:06:03 AM »

Thank you khibomsis! I'll let you know soon!

The focus on my personal anxiety level is very transformative. I've not gone over a 3 today (out of 10). I've been calmer than ever before in the face of the same behaviour. The amazing thing is, I see my boys are calmer as a result of my calm, like a field effect. I am using different tools to retain calm like visualising a blue psychic force field (quite futuristic, which I love!), OMing (inspired by you, khibomsis, since you mentioned chanting), but fundamentally, by refusing to take responsibility for her emotional state, and instead focusing on my own anxiety level. This is truly profound.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2021, 06:43:48 AM »

Given a new level of internal calm and less caretaking, and appears to be getting more angry. I feel she's trying to pull me in to arguments. She blames me for not connecting with her and she distorts everything I've said over the last few days.

I have some self doubt coming up that maybe I'm being selfish. But i need to trust my inner feelings and perceptions, not hers.
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truthdevotee
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2021, 07:21:01 AM »

It's so confusing. After 3 hours of monologue and blame, I held her hand in the car on a trip whilst driving, and she responded positively.
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khibomsis
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Relationship status: Grieving
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2021, 10:55:13 AM »

truthdevotee, by all means please trust your own reality. She is the one with BPD. It is highly unlikely that her version of reality is trustworthy. Obviously she is the expert on her emotions, one must validate that. But when in doubt about what is actually happening in the external world I'd be inclined to go with your understanding.  Don't let crazy run your life.

I am so glad that you are able to keep yourself more stable today! Well done Smiling (click to insert in post) You must expect some pushback from her side, when we change there will be pushback since people don't like change, it makes them uncomfortable. One of the things I found hardest on a relationship with BPD was coming back from dysregulations. They will indeed be affectionate and sweet without a care in the world, because they have now discharged emotional energy and are feeling fine. We are a quivering mass of anxiety with our PTSD triggered maxiamlly and are now expected to give affection. I used to mantra for a little and then respond as warmly as I possibly could. My maxim is one should never pass up an opportunity for a hug.

What helped me do this was seeing dysregulation as something outside the normal world. I believed in Dr Jekyll as the real person and Mr Hyde as the disease, so to speak. I guess we can have different opinions about that.

It will be difficult in the beginning to hold your boundaries, but if you keep at it you express faith in her ability to self soothe and it will eventually become the new normal. It is wonderful the kids are calmer
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truthdevotee
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Relationship status: Wife, but not formally married
Posts: 265


« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2021, 12:22:08 PM »

truthdevotee, by all means please trust your own reality. She is the one with BPD. It is highly unlikely that her version of reality is trustworthy. Obviously she is the expert on her emotions, one must validate that. But when in doubt about what is actually happening in the external world I'd be inclined to go with your understanding.  Don't let crazy run your life.


Thank you, thanks. Really great reminder for me not to doubt myself.
It is all indeed crazy making. Everything she's said today is black and white, distorting what I said, designed to trigger FOG, and projection. Nearly every sentence has been a projection. I did get tired by the end of the day and I've been keeping myself to myself this evening.

Excerpt

I am so glad that you are able to keep yourself more stable today! Well done Smiling (click to insert in post)


Thank you =) it's been much better, but I had a sickening feeling this evening, I think from the recognition of the severity of her symptoms and the hostility I feel from her. It's scary to be honest. Ugh =(


Excerpt

You must expect some pushback from her side, when we change there will be pushback since people don't like change, it makes them uncomfortable. One of the things I found hardest on a relationship with BPD was coming back from dysregulations. They will indeed be affectionate and sweet without a care in the world, because they have now discharged emotional energy and are feeling fine. We are a quivering mass of anxiety with our PTSD triggered maxiamlly and are now expected to give affection.


Yes, so true. It's as if all the negativity is completely forgotten in my wife's mind. Suddenly she feels good, and I am the bad guy again because I'm feeling quiet or just want some space. It's as if there's no big picture tracking for her - whatever she feels in the moment MUST BE REAL and the next moment, it's as if it never existed. This can be crazy making too.

Excerpt

I used to mantra for a little and then respond as warmly as I possibly could. My maxim is one should never pass up an opportunity for a hug.


Very inspiring. Devotion to love.
I haven't been able to be so open hearted yet..
Which mantra did you use?

Excerpt

What helped me do this was seeing dysregulation as something outside the normal world. I believed in Dr Jekyll as the real person and Mr Hyde as the disease, so to speak. I guess we can have different opinions about that.


Thanks for sharing. I will adopt this too

Excerpt

It will be difficult in the beginning to hold your boundaries, but if you keep at it you express faith in her ability to self soothe and it will eventually become the new normal. It is wonderful the kids are calmer

Thanks so much for the support and encouragement. I'll stick at it. She's doing everything she can to make me backtrack
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