Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
May 16, 2021, 01:33:58 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Board Admins: Harri, Once Removed
Senior Ambassadors: Cat Familiar, I Am Redeemed, Mutt, Turkish
  Help!   Groups   Please Donate Login to Post New?--Click here to register  
bing
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.
84
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Current struggles  (Read 276 times)
UBPDHelp
******
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 762



« on: May 02, 2021, 10:05:57 PM »

Hello all.  You all have been so helpful in my journey.

I’ve had one online therapy session but not sure it was a good fit. I have a couple more therapists scheduled so hopeful.

I’ve also almost made a final decision on a lawyer. My goal is end of month to have one formally retained.

Current struggles...

I’ve accepted that I have lived mostly a lie for 25 years. Most I didn’t know was a lie.  As the tides turned and the tipping point tipped, it has become more and more apparent that none of it was real for UBPDh. I certainly was living as if it were.

I’ve come to terms with this globally. I’ve accepted that it is not within my power to fix or in any way correct H. Not my job, couldn’t even if it were.

So the struggle is coming to terms with how I couldn’t see this.  How I allowed myself to be treated this way...for soooooooo long. How could I write off bad behavior and in little ways excuse it or turn the other cheek?

I’m not struggling with knowing I need to leave or accepting who he is. I’m having much more difficulty dealing with who I am.

Did I really not see it?  Why did I give up so much — family, friends, career?  When these things were happening they seemed minor things but they persisted for years and now I have no one. Not one person who would help me if I needed help. What kind of person am I that this is where I am?

I want to blame him but who am I that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t see it?

This is my first struggle. Anyone else go through this?  Thoughts?

My second struggle is more simply said.  I can’t get over the hurdle of starting the divorce. I just know I’m opening years of anguish. Literally there is nowhere to go. Houses around here are renting for 5k+ month, all houses for sale are going to bidding wars (not that I can buy now). So I start and then we fight for 2 years...with nowhere to go.

Any ideas how to overcome the fear?  It’s not like I can just go.  I might be able to make him go...but how angry if I try but don’t succeed. Any recommendations?
Logged
kells76
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner’s ex
Posts: 1121



« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2021, 10:34:26 PM »

Hey ubpdhelp, welcome back  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

Glad you're feeling empowered and vetting therapists. When you finally get one that's a good fit, it's a real gift. It'll happen... give it time.

Excerpt
I want to blame him but who am I that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t see it?

This is my first struggle. Anyone else go through this?  Thoughts?

Your question reminds me of when I was younger (early 20's) and had a sort of friends with benefits relationship with a housemate. Looking back, awkward! But when you're in your 20's, well...

Anyway, we never really talked about it at first. Just kind of were both lonely, and it was convenient, etc. We tried talking about it later, but that didn't change our behaviors -- lots of non-communication, not defining our relationship or making anything official or explicit.

Looking back, I was able to understand what I was doing better when I asked myself:

What was I getting out of that?

There must have been something about that setup that worked for me... that gave me something. Something important enough that we kept it going for quite some time.

So, if I were in your shoes today, yeah, there's the question of "what did I see/what did I not see", and also, the question -- what do you think you were getting out of that life setup? What did it do for you?

...

For me, the answers were uncomfortable -- I was afraid of rejection, so as long as we weren't "in a relationship", I couldn't be rejected. I was lonely and I was hurting from a previous breakup. Waiting on pins and needles every weekend to see "will we hook up or not" without making any healthy or explicit communication about it... it distracted me, big time. I could focus on those feelings, focus all my energy on "when will he be home, what's he up to, him him him" instead of feeling older, more painful feelings.

So it's a question you could consider asking yourself.

all the best;

kells76
Logged

babyducks
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 2433



« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2021, 04:55:03 AM »

So the struggle is coming to terms with how I couldn’t see this.  How I allowed myself to be treated this way...for soooooooo long. How could I write off bad behavior and in little ways excuse it or turn the other cheek?

This is the way it worked for me.     

Not all of my relationship was bad.    Some of it was wonderful.   What was true for me was the 'bad' parts fit my world view like a glove in many ways.   So many ways I couldn't see the forest through the trees so to speak.

Broadly speaking.   Very Broadly Speaking.     So Broadly Speaking its almost not helpful, there are several categories of people who end up with the disordered.

Narcissists tend to partner with pwBPD.   a Narcissist gets the need for adulation met when the pwBPD is in the idealization phase.   and a Narcissist gets to be the 'better' person in the relationship when the BPD acts out.

CoDependents.   someone with an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction.  CoDependents find the neediness of the BPD addictive.

Emotional Caretakers.   Some one who has trouble knowing what limits are.   Some one with low self esteem.   Some one who routinely ignores their own needs and beliefs.   Bullet: completed (click to insert in post)

Depressives or some one with Dysthymic disorder Bullet: completed (click to insert in post)   Persistent feeling of low mood, worthlessness, hopelessness and lack of motivation.

These characteristics might not reach the diagnostic stage.   Or they might.

I tend to fall in the categories of an Emotional Caretaker and Depressive.     Margalis Fjelstad describes Emotional Caretaker in her book.   And then she put my picture next to the definition.    Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)      I spent my childhood with my grandparents, to escape a mentally ill mother and to be a 'helper' to my grandparents because they were experiencing health issues.   So literally from a very young age I was trained to look out for, caretake, and put someone else's needs first.     It was my job.    and its automatic for me.     when my need to caretake ran into a person who had a need to be taken care of... we ran to all sorts of extremes.   we both doubled down on what we thought was normal.   until it clearly became abnormal.

and I am depressive.   my depression fit wonderfully with my ExpwBPD's mania.    Her mania got me up and moving and trying new things which I won't typically do without some type of outside encouragement.    Her emotional swings were so intense they could actually lift me out of my depression.    it was almost better than prozac there for a while.  (joking)    I think about 60% of members here are depressed in some way.   

The thing I found to be true is that the extreme behaviors that existed in my relationship brought all of this into high relief.    but that it took some time to see it because all of this was just so normal and ordinary for me.   I assumed that everyone felt this way and they just didn't talk about it.    these are deeply engrained life long patterns for me, that normally cause no significant problems.   they are part of me like brown eyes and gray hair.   I didn't have the language to describe a lot of what was going on.  When I read  Fjelstad's question of: are you overly empathetic, self-sacrificing, generous, perfectionistic, deferential, more willing to put other's needs before your own, and uncomfortable with conflict?   very faintly little tiny bells rang off in the distance.

I think we all have combinations of where we fall on the spectrum and why that lines up with our people with PD's.      after all each of us is unique.   and I think after spending time with a disordered person we are all hyper sensitive to any label that suggest we are defective or bad or not functioning perfectly ourselves.   Its a real wrestling match to identify our patterns without labeling ourselves as defective.

my two cents.

'ducks

Logged

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.
UBPDHelp
******
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 762



« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2021, 09:04:34 PM »

Hey ubpdhelp, welcome back  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

Glad you're feeling empowered and vetting therapists. When you finally get one that's a good fit, it's a real gift. It'll happen... give it time.

Your question reminds me of when I was younger (early 20's) and had a sort of friends with benefits relationship with a housemate. Looking back, awkward! But when you're in your 20's, well...

Anyway, we never really talked about it at first. Just kind of were both lonely, and it was convenient, etc. We tried talking about it later, but that didn't change our behaviors -- lots of non-communication, not defining our relationship or making anything official or explicit.

Looking back, I was able to understand what I was doing better when I asked myself:

What was I getting out of that?

There must have been something about that setup that worked for me... that gave me something. Something important enough that we kept it going for quite some time.

So, if I were in your shoes today, yeah, there's the question of "what did I see/what did I not see", and also, the question -- what do you think you were getting out of that life setup? What did it do for you?

...

For me, the answers were uncomfortable -- I was afraid of rejection, so as long as we weren't "in a relationship", I couldn't be rejected. I was lonely and I was hurting from a previous breakup. Waiting on pins and needles every weekend to see "will we hook up or not" without making any healthy or explicit communication about it... it distracted me, big time. I could focus on those feelings, focus all my energy on "when will he be home, what's he up to, him him him" instead of feeling older, more painful feelings.

So it's a question you could consider asking yourself.

all the best;

kells76

Hi Kells...that all makes sense.  I’ve been pondering all of this as I’m bouncing around empowerment and feelings of defeat.

At a basic level I thought I was doing right by my family and that my H’s more worldly view was in my best interest.  It never occurred to me that his “support” was not genuine. I thought it was a partnership and I trusted him. He was making me more and more dependent on him, skewing my view of how family treated me or friends. Told me multiple times I had none. But, “Jane is not your friend, if she were she would have ______,you should be careful or she’ll take advantage of you”.  When in reality it was just planting a lot of doubt. But I trusted him. I believed I was naive (I grew up in the Midwest, he was from the big city) and he was showing me how the world worked.

I thought we were in this together. I thought we were a team. Until we weren’t. But truthfully the red flags were probably there for a lot longer than I realized.

Thanks kells!
Logged
UBPDHelp
******
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 762



« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2021, 09:28:59 PM »

This is the way it worked for me.     

Not all of my relationship was bad.    Some of it was wonderful.   What was true for me was the 'bad' parts fit my world view like a glove in many ways.   So many ways I couldn't see the forest through the trees so to speak.

I was lost in that darn forest for so long.

Excerpt
Broadly speaking.   Very Broadly Speaking.     So Broadly Speaking its almost not helpful, there are several categories of people who end up with the disordered.

Narcissists tend to partner with pwBPD.   a Narcissist gets the need for adulation met when the pwBPD is in the idealization phase.   and a Narcissist gets to be the 'better' person in the relationship when the BPD acts out.

CoDependents.   someone with an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction.  CoDependents find the neediness of the BPD addictive.

Emotional Caretakers.   Some one who has trouble knowing what limits are.   Some one with low self esteem.   Some one who routinely ignores their own needs and beliefs.   Bullet: completed (click to insert in post)

Depressives or some one with Dysthymic disorder Bullet: completed (click to insert in post)   Persistent feeling of low mood, worthlessness, hopelessness and lack of motivation.

These characteristics might not reach the diagnostic stage.   Or they might.

I know this is broad.  I believe my H is primarily NPD, with a splash of BPD.  Does he attract himself?  That’s the NPD in him.

I have trouble feeling co-dependent (maybe I don’t like the way it sounds).

I suspect by the above I would be considered an emotional caretaker. I believe I have always been. In most cases, I don’t think it’s so horrible (or is it?) IF the recipient doesn’t take advantage.

I think back to a conversation that was relayed to me by my H.  When he first came to visit my family he was talking to my mom and she mentioned that I helped with my ex-bf’s (the one husband kind of knew) brother who had a terminal illness. She told H that she always thought I would be a nurse because I liked to take care of people.

She past away a short time later, which didn’t impact one way or another the conversation.  But in the last year or so I’ve wondered if that was a starting point or confirmation that I might be pliable.

My moms death I think made me cling to familiar and H was familiar and like you said, you get used to what you know. But mostly things weren’t bad in the beginning. They progressed. And progressed.

I don’t know that I’m depressive. I really do start 95% of my days in a good mood. Sure, a little depressed at my current situation but I can separate that as current situation vs where I’m going.

Can someone be just a caretaker and be that for 25 years?

Excerpt
I tend to fall in the categories of an Emotional Caretaker and Depressive.     Margalis Fjelstad describes Emotional Caretaker in her book.   And then she put my picture next to the definition.    Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)   
I spent my childhood with my grandparents, to escape a mentally ill mother and to be a 'helper' to my grandparents because they were experiencing health issues.   So literally from a very young age I was trained to look out for, caretake, and put someone else's needs first.     It was my job.    and its automatic for me.     when my need to caretake ran into a person who had a need to be taken care of... we ran to all sorts of extremes.   we both doubled down on what we thought was normal.   until it clearly became abnormal.

and I am depressive.   my depression fit wonderfully with my ExpwBPD's mania.    Her mania got me up and moving and trying new things which I won't typically do without some type of outside encouragement.    Her emotional swings were so intense they could actually lift me out of my depression.    it was almost better than prozac there for a while.  (joking)    I think about 60% of members here are depressed in some way.   

The thing I found to be true is that the extreme behaviors that existed in my relationship brought all of this into high relief.    but that it took some time to see it because all of this was just so normal and ordinary for me.   I assumed that everyone felt this way and they just didn't talk about it.    these are deeply engrained life long patterns for me, that normally cause no significant problems.   they are part of me like brown eyes and gray hair.   I didn't have the language to describe a lot of what was going on.  When I read  Fjelstad's question of: are you overly empathetic, self-sacrificing, generous, perfectionistic, deferential, more willing to put other's needs before your own, and uncomfortable with conflict?   very faintly little tiny bells rang off in the distance.

I think we all have combinations of where we fall on the spectrum and why that lines up with our people with PD's.      after all each of us is unique.   and I think after spending time with a disordered person we are all hyper sensitive to any label that suggest we are defective or bad or not functioning perfectly ourselves.   Its a real wrestling match to identify our patterns without labeling ourselves as defective.

my two cents.

'ducks



Thanks ‘ducks. You sharing your stories is helpful in so many ways. I’m sorry you’ve been through so much, for so long. You really seem to have a handle on where you are now.

I have to remind myself we all live somewhere on the spectrum. I do see right/wrong, good/bad — but in a very big way.  Mostly around treating people with kindness, doing no harm.  But then it leaves me with thinking H is wrong.

That said, I’ve reached a point I don’t need to prove or persuade or convince. We can just see things differently and I can choose what’s right for me.

Thanks ‘ducks!

Logged
babyducks
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 2433



« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 04:50:32 AM »

I know this is broad.  I believe my H is primarily NPD, with a splash of BPD.  Does he attract himself?  That’s the NPD in him.

Oh I think you are 100% correct.   I think your husband is primarily NPD also.  Keep in mind that there aren't firm fixed dividing lines between any of the characteristics we are discussing.    These are loose categories.    And that NPD and BPD are so close, over lap so much that its difficult for professionals to tell them apart.    Painting with broad strokes again,   both NPD and BPD present in very similar ways.   For an NPD or BPD the world view is 'you need to take care of me perfectly, love me exactly the way I need, be exactly what I want'.     For a pwBPD that springs from having an instable sense of self - "I don't know what I am or who I am so you need to love me perfectly to make me better. "   For a pwNPD that springs from having a fractured sense of self - "I can't be anything but perfect, if things aren't perfect clearly you made them that way".


I suspect by the above I would be considered an emotional caretaker. I believe I have always been. In most cases, I don’t think it’s so horrible (or is it?) IF the recipient doesn’t take advantage.

I don't think its horrible at all.    Some of us are depressive, some of us somewhere else on the spectrum.     Some of us can play the piano, some of us can't, some are good at math, some are great at baseball.    Its a combination of characteristics and what we choose to do with them.   Being great at baseball doesn't make you better/worse than the person who can play the piano.

She told H that she always thought I would be a nurse because I liked to take care of people.

Liking to take care of people is part of being an emotional caretaker.    Especially if we put other people's needs, wants or thoughts ahead of our own.   



I don’t know that I’m depressive. I really do start 95% of my days in a good mood. Sure, a little depressed at my current situation but I can separate that as current situation vs where I’m going.

Depression can often manifest in other ways than a feeling of sad or low mood.  A chronic low grade depression can present as no motivation, difficulty making decisions, difficulty focusing on yourself or taking care of yourself, low self esteem and paradoxically - being hyper busy, while having low energy most days.     I'm not disagreeing with you.    I am saying that depression is not sadness.

Can someone be just a caretaker and be that for 25 years?

Sure.    of course.     what I learned when I went to stay with my grandparents was that to be in a stable and secure relationship you had to take care of people.    That was the unstated message but that is how I learned relationships work.   I never questioned that message.   I tend to be wired to be a fixer and a helper and I seriously doubt that will go away.    I doubt I want it to go away.   I am much more aware now that I need mature and reasonable limits around fixing and helping.     


I have to remind myself we all live somewhere on the spectrum. I do see right/wrong, good/bad — but in a very big way.  Mostly around treating people with kindness, doing no harm.  But then it leaves me with thinking H is wrong.

I think when we all first arrive here we have been hit over the head with "you're wrong" "you didn't do that right".... that we are a little preoccupied with right/wrong, good/bad.    after all we have been stuck in a needs entitlement war that's been all about who is right, who is wrong, who is good/bad, who deserves more/less, who is better, who is worse.

what I think is that we need to really pay attention to the words we use to describe things.    some one smarter than me said "Words Create Worlds".   How we describe things creates how we experience/feel about things.     Think about your H being wrong.     Now think about your H being disordered.    Pay attention to how YOU feel as the description changes.   The word 'wrong' leads you down a certain path of thinking/feeling.    The word 'disordered' leads you down a different path.    This isn't about describing him accurately.    This is about creating flexible thinking for you... in your head... to allow for gentle problem solving.

'ducks
Logged

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.
formflier
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 17927



WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 08:24:01 AM »



Hey....I'm so pleased that you are moving forward.  Especially that you are trying to connect with a T.  I would encourage you to keep your focus on finding a good fit with a T, since that help you sort out your values/feelings on the rest of the issues.

I simply can't imagine my life without my current T (PhD level psychologist).

One of the places were are similar is "shock" that we didn't "see it" earlier.

In my case I realized that I invalidated my wife for several years and made things far far worse.  From time to time I still carry guilt over that.

One of the things my T helps me with is to not beat yourself up over ignorance.  I simply didn't know that...didn't have experience with that...completely foreign to me how "the truth" could be hurtful (especially when "the truth" was you have a faithful husband)

Once you know better...do better, then let the past stay in the past.  (and yes...it sounds much simpler than it is)

Switching gears:  Try this on for size.  (it is/was true in my case).  I didn't trust myself for a long time after I "saw" the stuff I had missed/done. 

The basic thought process was that if I was ignorant and made  a mess of things "back then"...who is to say that I'm not ignorant now??  If you don't trust yourself...trust and confidence are kissing cousins, so it seems reasonable that you would be worried about "where to go".

Last:   I'm going to be in agreement with others that there is a big NPD streak in your hubby. 

The challenge/opportunity is how to use that to your advantage..to the advantage of your family.

Any thoughts there?

Best,

FF


Logged

Gemsforeyes
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Ended 2/2020
Posts: 1024


« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 02:21:23 PM »

Dear UBPDHelp-

I’m glad you’ve come back.  Like your other friends here, and you, I also believe your H’s weaknesses and cruelty are centered in NPD traits.  In behaviors he likely will sadly NEVER take responsibility for.  I’m so sorry for what you and your children have endured.  I endured much of the same in a 19-year marriage and then in my most recent 6.5 year relationship.  That’s the one that led me here.

My friend-  so many of the things your H has said to you, my exNPD/BPDbf said to me, all in his effort to keep me off balance, feeling “less than”, and to isolate me from anyone and everyone who he thought would strengthen me or encourage me to get out.  It truly IS so sad and almost predictable (now that I understand what goes on with pwNPD).

When I found this incredible site in 2017 and began to learn about BPD (desperately poured myself into it) and looked at the traits and the behaviors of my now ex NPD/BPDbf, there was something that wasn’t quite fitting.  I couldn’t understand what I was missing. 

And then finally in 2019, somewhere on this site, a poster mentioned NPD and a T named Dr. Ramani and her You Tube videos.  BOOM!  Watching those felt like I literally found air to breathe.  My feelings about my exBF AND myself changed almost overnight. 

I was no longer *afraid* of his RAGE or the belittling he would throw at me.  I stopped having bottomless compassion for him, and started having a bit of that feeling for myself.  That was necessary... I was the one being abused.  He wasn’t.

Those videos helped me see who and what he REALLY is.  I NEEDED to see that.  I now see him as *weak* rather than “frail”... and *PATHETIC* rather than “pitiful”.  And a person who doesn’t deserve or receive any more chances.  At least not from me.  He’s taken enough.  When you look very closely, a pwNPD takes way more than any partner should have to give.  But then you already know that.

His last RAGE, which took place because I asked 1) did you feed the dog?  2). Did you give the dog her meds?... was his LAST rage toward me.  I had decided ahead of time.

So UBPDHelp... please do yourself the honor of watching Dr. Ramani’s videos... for YOU.  Google “Dr. Ramani Narcissism”.  And watch the videos where she’s alone, not with the guy.  Each video is about 10-15 minutes and it doesn’t matter what order you watch them in.  They’ll give you knowledge, strength and understanding.  Of him for sure... and THEN you’ll better understand yourself.

Finally, I believe maybe it’s best not to question yourself for now.  I don’t think you need to figure out if you’re on a “spectrum” of any sort.  If you can, Please try to be easy on yourself, have some of the compassion for you that you clearly have for others.  You’ll go through your stages and your “whys” later.  And the best you’ll do is forgive yourself FOR yourself....

Sometimes, for years at a time, we just put our heads down and do what we believe we need to do.  That’s what we knew in those moments, in that time.  And then we see something else.  You’ve seen something else.  The feelings that matter now are yours and your kids.  The man is a grown up.  Leave him to his own, whatever that may be.

Please watch Dr. Ramani.

Warmly,
Gems
Logged
livednlearned
Retired Staff
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced January 2012
Posts: 11759



« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2021, 04:48:23 PM »

I’m having much more difficulty dealing with who I am


What kind of person am I that this is where I am?

I want to blame him but who am I that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t see it?

It kinda seems like you're punching down on yourself ... doesn't your H already do that?  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

Being kind to yourself when you've been surrounded by anything but can feel terrifying. Recognizing that you are lovable, even if the first person to love you is you, can feel terribly painful.

Accepting that you are worthy can be one of the hardest things you do in life.

Sometimes it is less painful to believe you are less than, and if you have disordered people in your lives, you may be more susceptible to buying what they're selling.

The miracle happening is that you want something better for yourself. You believe there is something better than this. That's you, learning to care about yourself even if it feels strange.

Listen to that part of you! She ready  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
 
Any ideas how to overcome the fear?  It’s not like I can just go.  I might be able to make him go...but how angry if I try but don’t succeed. Any recommendations?

It's hard when the reality piece is so financially punishing.

One small step at a time, exactly what you're doing. Taking a therapist for a test-drive, talking to lawyers. Sharing here.

It's already impressive how much you've done to show how important you are to yourself.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
Logged

Breathe.
worriedStepmom
*******
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner’s ex
Posts: 1106


« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2021, 05:22:42 PM »

My mantra was one of the things formflier mentioned - I did the best I could with the knowledge I had.  Now that I know more, I can do better.

It's not fair to judge yourself based on what you know now.  Maybe you *should* have known better, but you didn't.  *Now* you know better, and you are taking steps to do better.  Getting a therapist.  Interviewing lawyers.  Looking for housing options.

Part of your therapy is going to be learning to forgive yourself and to stop blaming yourself for things that aren't necessarily your fault.  There's a lot of conditioning/emotional abuse you're going to have to unlearn.  I'm really excited for you that you are starting that journey.
Logged
formflier
Ambassador
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 17927



WWW
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2021, 05:48:20 PM »

  There's a lot of conditioning/emotional abuse you're going to have to unlearn. 

EXACTLY!!!

And this is not a self help project. 

Consistent work with a T that you trust is the only method that I would trust.

Best,

FF
Logged

PeteWitsend
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 488


« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2021, 06:28:18 PM »

...

So the struggle is coming to terms with how I couldn’t see this.  How I allowed myself to be treated this way...for soooooooo long. How could I write off bad behavior and in little ways excuse it or turn the other cheek?

I’m not struggling with knowing I need to leave or accepting who he is. I’m having much more difficulty dealing with who I am.

Did I really not see it?  Why did I give up so much — family, friends, career?  When these things were happening they seemed minor things but they persisted for years and now I have no one. Not one person who would help me if I needed help. What kind of person am I that this is where I am?

I want to blame him but who am I that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t see it?

This is my first struggle. Anyone else go through this?  Thoughts?

I'd echo the comments from worriedstepmom and FormFlier... don't beat yourself up.

BPD is insidious to begin with, and many of us who ended up in long term relationships with BPDers had some personality traits - typically positive ones - that they took advantage of in order to rope us in.  Our societal knowledge of BPD and other personality disorders is still developing, so it's not like the typical adult can recognize the signs of it ahead of time and understand what they're getting into.

My second struggle is more simply said.  I can’t get over the hurdle of starting the divorce. I just know I’m opening years of anguish. Literally there is nowhere to go. Houses around here are renting for 5k+ month, all houses for sale are going to bidding wars (not that I can buy now). So I start and then we fight for 2 years...with nowhere to go.

Any ideas how to overcome the fear?  It’s not like I can just go.  I might be able to make him go...but how angry if I try but don’t succeed. Any recommendations?

You may have to relocate to an area with a lower cost of living; if you're not willing to do that, then I think you need stop thinking about leaving and start learning to cope with living with your H for possibly the rest of your life. 

Divorce isn't easy, especially with children involved.  You have to be willing to make some sacrifices & let go of a lot in order to take that leap.
Logged
yeeter
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 2149



« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2021, 06:04:58 AM »

So the struggle is coming to terms with how I couldn’t see this.  How I allowed myself to be treated this way...for soooooooo long. How could I write off bad behavior and in little ways excuse it or turn the other cheek?

I’m not struggling with knowing I need to leave or accepting who he is. I’m having much more difficulty dealing with who I am.

Did I really not see it?  Why did I give up so much — family, friends, career?  When these things were happening they seemed minor things but they persisted for years and now I have no one. Not one person who would help me if I needed help. What kind of person am I that this is where I am?

I want to blame him but who am I that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t see it?

This is my first struggle. Anyone else go through this?  Thoughts?

Sure, I would say we have all been through it.  The fact that you gave up too much of yourself to maintain the relationship is a lesson.  Read 'The Black Hole Analogy' https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=319029.0

Its common, so dont think you are alone.

And dont own any more of the problems than is fair to you.  Own your own stuff, but dont own other peoples bad behavior because 'you didnt see it'.  The very nature of your focus on 'you', and what 'you did wrong'.  Or didnt do.  Speaks to your own tendency to try to take too much of the responsibility on yourself.  I would bet there are many things where you compromised and gave up for the sake of the relationship, but did not get the same reciprocity.    Which means work is needed on setting boundaries and enforcing those boundaries to 'take care of yourself' .  Something required even if in a relationship.  But that doesnt mean you need to feel bad about your own 'good' behavior that wasnt rewarded in return.

Why didnt you see all those things?  Doesnt really matter.  As a friend once told me: 

"Life is a series of lessons... if you dont learn that lesson the first time, dont worry, you will get that lesson again...."

So focus on the hear and now.  Once that is stable you can start thinking about the future path, which will include reflection on your past habits and learning and growing so you dont have to repeat the same lessons.

Give yourself time with a T.  It is a process.  I heard a comment once that to recover from a relationship takes 1 year for every 5 you were together.
Logged
livednlearned
Retired Staff
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced January 2012
Posts: 11759



« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2021, 12:11:57 PM »

There's also a bit of unraveling that happens when you work with a therapist to answer these questions.

You start to see how family of origin things imprinted on you in childhood, and how that conditioned who you were attracted to and then what you tolerated in adult relationships. 

I've had to learn that guilt can not be a guiding emotion for me because it was grossly distorted in childhood. I had a pathologic sibling who was violent but if I asked for help and he got in trouble because I told someone about it, I felt crippling guilt. My worth was inextricably tied to being stronger than the person abusing me. Stronger meant enduring it.

You may learn through therapy that there is a story you tell yourself, and it's tied to something (tolerating abuse) that no longer works for you.
Logged

Breathe.
Gemmie

*
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 28


« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2021, 06:05:33 PM »

Hello, hello!  Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

Wow, my love! We are KINDRED SPIRITS! I just joined this board a month or two ago and guess what?

I'm in 25 years, too! The last time he flipped out, cussed me out - and proceeded to cut off his wedding band (which magically reappeared fixed/on his finger days later) - "Broke me" - or perhaps I should say "AWOKE ME."

I literally felt like I snapped awake from a 25 year long coma! I was like - OMG! I Actually DON'T CARE that the did that. Matter of fact - I'm GRATEFUL! HE JUST SET ME FREE! OMG! I don't have to be "the bad guy" by leaving (or by staying, for that matter)!

Then - all the exact same questions your rolling around with - appeared to me, too. Where the hell have "I" been for the last 25 years? How did I allow myself to become a paranoid, shell of a being who existed only to keep peripheral eyes on him, peripheral ears on him (wherever he was in the house, to guage his moods), watch and edit everything I said, and after I WAS VICIOUSLY ATTACKED WITH "Eff you, you think you're so smart, you don't know a damn thing," etc. I would cry in fear that HE WAS GONNA LEAVE ME!

OMG!  (Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM about to complete my Ph.D. in June!) So, yeah, I AM smart. BUT - I let this happen to myself and make excuses! So I was self-blaming!

I, too, struggled with moving away from him physically. I have never lived alone before. Ever - not even an apartment.

So - I literally wrangled up every single resource I could, and I'm in the process of getting my own little townhouse. It was either "throw my money away in over priced rent" - or at least "throw it into EQUITY of property!"

I get that, too. But - if you don't have resources to buy - look into an apartment if you must. Check with friends, family, can you crash with them for a bit while ya look for options. Many places also have subsidized/rent controlled placed for those of us with income challenges. Sure, it won't be your "dream home" - but that's okay - it's only TEMPORARY!

You need to physically detach so you can work to refind and reclaim YOURSELF. Your life was given - individually and uniquely to YOU, exclusively! (It was Not given to him!) So - this is yours and all right of it is yours!

Sorry if I'm rambling, but I'm just so awe-struck at how SIMILAR our situations are!

In order to keep him as calm as possible, I have told him that I need space and that OUR ONLY HOPE OF POSSIBLY CONTINUING OUR MARRIAGE is that I have to leave on a "TRIAL SEPARATION." (He, of course is back to "honeymooning," love bombing, and promising the world, he'll never do it again - 25 years would say otherwise.)

I do feel a little guilty because he (although he is begging me to try to "heal" while we do some kind of "in house separation - I'm not even interested in that, and don't believe it's possible) believes that I'm merely "renting" a place for a year. He does not, yet, know that I'm getting a house. I figure I'll cross that bridge, ya know.

For now, it's just about getting out, and getting out safely.

So - just like everyone else has shared: big hugs to you! I'm sorry for your lost time - but YOU STILL HAVE THE REST OF IT, TO MAKE THE BEST OF IT. You deserve it!

Read, do research, watch the videos, educate yourself! Get support (a therapist is the best thing you can do to help you process the 25 year brainwashing you've undergone), and remember - your live was given to YOU - to live it how you want, doing and chasing whatever you feel - it was NOT given to him.

Stay strong - the pain WILL resolve, become managable, and distant! Survival IS POSSIBLE. The long-timers here can attest to that!

Keep posting, too, k? 

Good luck and know that your kindred spirit, Gem, is holding your hand!  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)
Logged
I Am Redeemed
Senior Ambassador
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Separated, divorce not filed yet
Posts: 1610



« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2021, 08:15:57 PM »

One thing I found that was true for me is that I place a very high value on loyalty. I don't believe in giving up on people I love, even if they turn out to have serious issues.

I also had a very poor skillset when it comes to setting boundaries, and, as LnL said, it stemmed from FOO dynamics that I uncovered in therapy.

I operated with the assumption that my ex didn't want to be the way he was, but he just needed help to figure out what his issues were so he could heal.

I couldn't imagine that anyone would really want to continue causing harm to those who loved him, and I thought love would heal him...or at least motivate him to want to be a better man (like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets).

I also clung on because I didn't have a close relationship with my family and I was terrified of being completely alone.

It took me a while to realize that his ship was going down and he didn't care if he pulled me and the kids down with him as long as he could avoid being honest with himself.

There are many reasons why perfectly loving, intelligent, capable, caring people get wrapped up in long term abusive relationships. Give yourself grace...you're in good company here.
Logged

"Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." ~Rumi
Can You Help Us Stay on the Air in 2021?

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Our 2020 Financial Sponsors
We are all appreciative of the members who provide the funding to keep BPDFamily on the air.
40days_in_desert
Ahquei3s
alphabeta
Amethyste
Angie59
ArtistGuy70
AskingWhy
assumezero
At Bay
Avanzando
Baglady
Beneck
bigredneck
Bittlecat
Boll Weevil
calmboom
Cat Familiar
Chosen
Dnmtnbkr
drained1996
Eggshellsbroken
FaintTheGoat
FaithHopeLove
FindingMe2011
Forgiveness
freespirit
GaGrl
ggGreg
Gift to Myself
gotbushels
Harri
hopeandchoices
I Am Redeemed
Imatter33
Jazzy48
jdc
jones54
Jonthan
Katrinalove
Kwamina
l8kgrl
LLgreen
Longterm
lorymac
lovenature
loyalwife
lucidone
Manifest32f
MariannaR
Meridius
Methuen
mgirl
Minttea
Mommydoc
Mutt
narcdaughter2
needPeace
NorseWoman
Notgoneyet
oceanheart
oftentimes
Omega1
once removed
Only Human
otherlife
palynne
PeacefulMom
Pedro
pest947
podsnapG
ProudDad12
pursuingJoy
Radcliff
Raul
Recycle
Resiliant
Rev
Rosheger
Sad4Her
SamwizeGamgee
Sandalwood
SBBayArea
SCM
SerendipityChild
SES
Silverhope
Skip
songbirdtwo
StillStuck
Swimmy55
Teno
townhouse
truthbeknown
turtleengine501
Ventak
vinnie77
Violet00
wavewatcher
wendydarling
WhatJustHappened?
Whichwayisup
whirlpoollife
Wicker Man
WindofChange
worn_out
WTL
zachira
zaqsert

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2020, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!