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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: You can go but you better not!  (Read 4054 times)
Guts42
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« Reply #60 on: June 08, 2021, 12:45:42 PM »

FF - brilliant, thank you!
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« Reply #61 on: June 08, 2021, 12:48:54 PM »

then after I booked it she said the weight of how much she'd have to carry hit her.

This is exactly the problem.  I'd keep letting her know that she can do it!  That you know she'll keep the kids safe and happy while you're gone.
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« Reply #62 on: June 08, 2021, 01:15:30 PM »


Hey Guts42,

I'm glad to be able to offer you some "tactical tips"...I think they will help.

Just as importantly I want to make sure you focus most of your brain power on some of the conversations with Notwendy (and others) about the big picture strategic things.

That's where you see patterns.  Once you see them and understand them...YOU then have the power to implement REAL changes...regardless of the "vote" of your pwBPD.

I hope you "see" that...

Thoughts?

Best,

FF
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« Reply #63 on: June 08, 2021, 01:40:35 PM »

Thanks and I think I'm starting to see it.

I'll admit it's difficult not to slip into the mindset of "well this relationship is over anyway, so whatever!"

I've also been resisting the urge to "play the game."  I almost said, "you know I think i've been doing too much for you so I can see why you're so anxious about me going.  Maybe we should come up with a plan to fix that so you feel more independent.  I have a few weeks for the few days I'll be gone, I think that's plenty of time to tackle anything you might be worried about!"
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« Reply #64 on: June 08, 2021, 01:43:52 PM »

  I almost said, "you know I think i've been doing too much for you so I can see why you're so anxious about me going.  Maybe we should come up with a plan to fix that so you feel more independent.  I have a few weeks for the few days I'll be gone, I think that's plenty of time to tackle anything you might be worried about!"

What do you think would have happened if you had said this?

Help us understand how you reasoned through this was not good to say?

Best,

FF
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« Reply #65 on: June 08, 2021, 05:09:10 PM »

I'll admit it's difficult not to slip into the mindset of "well this relationship is over anyway, so whatever!"

Even if the marriage ends, you are still going to be in some kind of relationship with her as a co-parent. It's worth it to gain skills to reduce the drama no matter what you decide and you don't have to decide to begin to learn the skills.

You don't know the outcome. It's possible that you learn to manage things better and it becomes workable (the BPD is still there but you can manage it better) or you decide it's not, but either way, you have better skills to handle co-parenting which is also better for your kids than to have less drama between their parents.

Sounds like win-win all the way around. Albeit, BPD remains, but perhaps the patterns between the two of you can become less dysfunctional.

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Guts42
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« Reply #66 on: June 08, 2021, 09:29:08 PM »

NotWendy- absolutely.  At this point that's my main concern- making things okay for the kids for now and in the future!

FF - my rationale is really just fear.  I can't say anything without it getting turned around on me.  I need to study the jiu jitsu stuff more and try to absorb it.  The more accurate my observations are the more they're met with a mighty counter claim with the trump card being just tears and "how could you?!"

To that end, I think someone asked if I had reached out to the kids' therapists.  I was finally able to chat with them.
They both suggested that the trip would be a great idea and fantastic example for the kids.
So, condition met - the kids' therapists think it'd be great... I did mention some behaviors and inconsistencies I've noticed.  For example when I talk about it with the kids they seem hesitant but okay and a bit excited... however after they talk to my wife behind closed doors she reports a very different story and asks me not to talk to them about it.  Their very astute therapists commented that perhaps their mother is projecting her fears onto them.  A few more great points were made.  I also mentioned that a few books (Eggshells, Hold Me Tight, and Braving the Wilderness) were recently recommended to me and I really enjoyed them all!  I followed up with "I'm noticing a few familiar patterns that remind me of my childhood and I just want to make sure the kids aren't in the headspace I was at their age when it came to my parents" and left it at that.

But now the issue is something else entirely!  Including "this is petty but you put me through hell so I just don't you to go because I want you to know how it feels to not get your way for once!"
There rest was much of the usual script... accusing me of gaslighting, manipulating her and making her question her character.  At one point in an argument I told her she was reminding me of my mother (uBPD) and that it wasn't okay.  That didn't go over well of course and even though I've explained what I meant, she's stuck on that.

I'm back to a comfortable "no-win" situation.  She clearly doesn't want me to go (for reasons we've been over way too many times) but now she doesn't want me to cancel because she doesn't want me to resent her.  That's a careful choice of words on her part.  She wants me to cancel, just not because of her...
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GaGrl
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« Reply #67 on: June 08, 2021, 10:10:42 PM »

Right. So...at this point, the ONLY reason you would cancel would be because of her. So...don't.

One principle we remind our members here is that it is not your responsibility to feel their emotions for them.

She is trying to manipulate you into feeling her emotions for her. You can never fully do that, and it is emotionally abusive for her to try to impose it on you.
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"...what's past is prologue; what to come,
In yours and my discharge."
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« Reply #68 on: June 08, 2021, 11:12:20 PM »

Thank you GaGrl,

That might be the boost in clarity I need at the moment.

She returned to hash it out again even after meeting all these conditions.
"Have you given anymore thought to our talk?"
"I have... I'm going."
"... Okay..." And she gets 'the look’ ... "I just hope it's worth it- worth everything you did!"

I have no idea how to respond to this so I just nod.

"Okay, I'm going to bed," she finally says.

"I'm not quite ready for sleep yet so I'm going to go the office and read."

She's been in the room crying for a while.  Feels like a trap.

I can't keep playing this game!

My trip was never about space to clear my head.  It was about seeing some friends I haven't seen in about a decade.  Now though, it is about space.  I need to clear my head, away from her, to figure out what it is I want to do next and how to do it.  This darn trip has brought all of our issues into the spotlight... Really better now than 30 years down the line.  I know until I enforce a change it's just going to keep getting worse.

I'm sure telling her this will just make it worse.  Any recommendations?
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« Reply #69 on: June 09, 2021, 02:55:54 AM »

"What's going on with my big guy?" I asked.
"... I'm not sure if I should tell you..." and she gave me "the look."  It's this cold dead 'BPD' look that my Mom used to get.
"I'd like you to tell me, if something's bothering him I'd like to know."

"... he said he's having a hard time with your trip- that he doesn't feel up to it and it's making him sad.  He said that 'sissy will be sad and that will make me sad because Dad is gone and sometimes he silly with me and I will miss him and what if he is gone much longer than he says?'  I comforted him and told him it's okay and that barring something going wrong at the airport he'll be home on time..." she just stares at me... "... and...?" A long pause.  "A thank you would be nice!  I comforted him for you so you can still go..."

"I think you should leave it- you'll just make it worse.  They're terrified of making you mad after your outburst- when you yelled at me for doing nothing."

First thing, this seems suspicious.  The closed door, asking if I heard anything?  Right after not getting a response from my daughter... She's made fervent claims that she's not lying or making anything up... however a "did you hear any of that" has preceded both times she's told me the kids have an issue with the trip after talking to them behind closed doors.

Why not talk with your son?  Oh, yeah, you may not get the same version from him.

Notice too that (she said) he said he was upset about the prior outburst.  As though that's another reason not to go.  (Guilting!)  So you apologized again.  My ex did that to me, though she demanded apologies.  Your spouse seems to be getting you to apologize multiple times by gaslighting you.

Before you feel about to apologize yet gain, take the time to ponder the matter and, if appropriate, validate it from a source other than her.

It was everything I could do to keep from losing it."

Looks like she's trying hard to get you perturbed yet again.  With implied blaming.  Don't play her game.  And don't let her rent space in your head - for free.

Don't get a tattoo either, not to please her.  (Personally I'm not into them but dermatologists probably make money removing them when people have second thoughts years later.)
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« Reply #70 on: June 09, 2021, 05:30:02 AM »

It's important now that you stick to your boundary of going on the trip, rather than reinforce her attempts to stop you ( to soothe her own feelings) regardless of her "reasons" which as you see change when one doesn't work.

Her anxiety is increasing and so is yours as she continues to press for what she wants. She's going to say all kinds of things ( consider projection in this- " you always get your way" I bet she gets hers a lot. )


There's no reason for you to get into a long circular discussion over her reasons "why you should not go" with her because the "reason" is her underlying emotions, not the reason you are trying to discuss. I would not suggest you ignore her if she brings it up, but have some short response that validates her feelings and reply that you will go. " I hear you are concerned about___________" I know this is concerning for you" " of course I will miss you and the kids and will be back in a few days".

 
People use the relationship tools that work for them.  If these attempts to get her emotional needs have worked for her ( for 30+ years) she will use what she knows has worked.

You also came in the relationship with a set of "tools" that work well with a BPD parent. You are probably used to appeasing and if you don't go along with it, I bet you become more anxious. This makes sense - I know in my family if we didn't appease BPD mom there were some scary consequences. We learned to read subtle signs like body language, tone of voice, facial expressions. ( I think the LOOK is when the person is dissociating and you can see them disconnect in their eyes- it's a scary hollow look). I can find myself appeasing someone even before they ask. If someone is angry or upset with me, I get anxious.

When we appease someone it appears we are taking care of their emotions, giving in to them, but what we are also doing is taking care of our own emotions, relieving our anxiety by appeasing them. This reinforces the patterns for both people- both get their anxiety relieved. This is why it's so hard to change.

These behaviors worked for us as kids. They were necessary for us to get by in our families. However, as adults they don't serve us well. On your side, you can work on your part, not hers. How to take care of your own anxiety during this. But it's good because you are doing something different, learning how to manage your part and so may change the dynamics. But it's going to be uncomfortable for both of you at first, as now, the anxiety isn't being managed the usual way.

My mother and my father's relatives were cordial to each other, but actually disliked each other. After my father died, I figured they would not have much to do with each other. My mother wasn't subtle about her feelings about them. But my family is still close to them and so we decided to visit them. We dreaded telling my mother, we knew she'd be upset that we weren't visiting her. But we didn't intend to hurt her, we just wanted to see them too. It wouldn't occur to us to invite her, knowing their relationship. But she felt left out even if we didn't intend it.

When we told her, she went bizzerk - threatening, refusing to speak to us. This lasted a couple of weeks. Then a friendly phone call as if nothing happened.

These kinds of outbursts are like emotion vomit. Once it's out, they feel better, and it's as if nothing happened. They feel better and so assume you do too. All is back to normal, ( except for you it's not because the outburst is unravelling). Learning to not react too much to these emotions and to not take what is said personally can help.








« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 05:46:44 AM by Notwendy » Logged
GaGrl
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« Reply #71 on: June 09, 2021, 11:43:43 AM »

Let me say a bit more about the "feeling emotions for the pwBPD."

 A pwBPD doesn't know what to do with uncomfortable emotions. They lack the ability to self-soothe. So they seek for others to soothe those emotions for them -- and that can look like projection, manipulation, guilting, raging, silent treatment, etc.

When techniques (that have worked in the past) to off-load uncomfortable emotions no longer work, because the partner/person targeted has strong boundaries, the pwBPD experiences an "extinction burst." All efforts to alleviate uncomfortable emotions and off-load the emotions onto someone else are redoubled, tripled. ..the rages provide some temporary physical release of negative energy but don't resolve the underlying issue. An extinction burst can last days, perhaps weeks, as the pwBPD continues to circle around in a new attempt to return the relationship to the previous status of being soothed and accommodated.

You are in the midst of an extinction burst.

If you don't hold true to your values (and subsequent boundaries), there will be a next time, and then a next time...and so on.

There are ways to be the emotional leader in your household without feeling your wife's emotions for her. Or feeling your children's emotions for them, for that matter. You, as the emotional leader, want to model how to respond appropriately and in a healthy way to life and its stresses. You want to help your children learn to self-soothe and be resilient. You can hope to help your wife.

Regardless of what you decide about your future, you can have a goal in place to work toward with your family's emotional health.
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« Reply #72 on: June 09, 2021, 05:20:28 PM »

Thank you GaGrl!

I looked up "extinction burst" and wow is that right on point!

The "BPD" came out strong last night with some very heavy accusations- all that follow the extinction burst pattern pretty well.

It was a lot of "you've changed!  You used to be the one to hold me together and now you don't and I'm scared!  I don't know what I did to make you not love me anymore!!" and specifically about the trip "all I know is I feel broken and you're leaving!!"

So today after some time to think, I have conceded a single condition for me not to go: if the kids don't feel safe without me home (ie they don't feel safe with her alone).  If that's the case then we have bigger issues.  I have no interest in being with someone I don't feel 100% trust with the kids alone.

I broke the mandate and had a long talk with the kids about the trip.  It went about as I expected- they're a little sad and they'll miss me but as long as I keep in touch and do a few things (presents, send texts/pictures, etc) they'll be fine.  To my wife's credit she did tell them that IF I did go they'd have a fun weekend.  This had heavy martyr overtones but hey they're onboard.
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« Reply #73 on: June 09, 2021, 05:29:58 PM »

Hey Guts42,

Excerpt
I have conceded a single condition for me not to go: if the kids don't feel safe without me home (ie they don't feel safe with her alone)

Is this a condition "just for you, in your own head", or is it something you're thinking of verbalizing?
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« Reply #74 on: June 09, 2021, 05:45:39 PM »


Hmm...that's a squishy one.  "if the kids don't feel.."

Look...how many people and therapists are advocating for you to go?

Do you think the kids therapists are in touch with the kids "real" feelings?  And there therapists have said yous should (fill in the blank on going or not).

So... Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)

Whatever you can do to limit talks about the trip..much better.

Please believe me...if you don't go on the the trip...YOUR LIFE WITH BPD WILL GET WORSE!!!!

If you go and then consistently hold other healthy positions in the face of emotional manipulation...well...there is a good chance for improvement.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #75 on: June 09, 2021, 06:41:34 PM »

I agree with FF. Not going on the trip at this point would be three giant steps back. You've spoken to the children, you've spoken to your wife, the aunt is on alert, you've spoken to therapists.

Now stop talking about it.

Please re-read what I wrote about being the emotional leader in your family. You've been, and are in danger of now allowing, your wife to be the emotional force in the family -- and that dynamic desperately needs to change.

This trip is a gift. Accept it.
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« Reply #76 on: June 09, 2021, 08:45:56 PM »

Agreed with everyone!

The single condition is something I've kept to myself and a few people outside (mostly my friends I'll be seeing - just so they're aware).

Again - kids are onboard, THREE therapists have said it's a good idea, nearby family is aware.  The trip is exactly two weeks out, time to stop talking about it.  I have encouraged the kids to of course come to me with concerns about me being gone so we can talk about them... but they're kids so I think it's okay.  Tonight my son asked if he could send a video to one of my friends telling him that if we 'have a chance to see a sea otter we should take it because they are very cute."  ... seems like a kid who's really broken up about me going on the trip right  ;)  They also asked if they could help pick my seats so I can be sure to have a window seat (they want lots of pictures and I am happy to oblige).

BTW - does anyone know if they still have those in flight phones?  I think they used to attached to seat backs? It's been about two years since I was on a flight and I don't remember.

I put up a good boundary today and feel pretty good about it.  I've got a LONG road ahead no matter what I chose but this trip has become a sort of turning point.

I also had a thought that kind of helped me put things in perspective.
My uBPD wife says the she feels like her emotional processing ability is always at 110% but I think it's because she has the capacity of a 12 year old.  It's like a Ford escort trying keep up with a U-haul while carrying the contents of a studio apartment.  The tiny Ford sees it's own load spilling over, it's wheels about to pop, suspension nearly crushed... but sees the U-haul  doing just fine.  So of course the Ford thinks "That's not fair!  They seem okay so their load must not be as heavy as mine!!"  The tiny car doesn't see that inside the U-Haul has just as much stuff but it all fits nicely and has plenty of power to chug along.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 08:54:28 PM by Guts42 » Logged
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« Reply #77 on: June 09, 2021, 08:49:22 PM »

You're doing really good work. It's hard!

I'll bet you've learned more in the past two weeks than you could have imagined. Don't let it exhaust your energy. Take care of yourself.
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« Reply #78 on: June 10, 2021, 07:35:10 AM »

GaGrl, yup!  I've learned so much in past few weeks about this relationship and myself than I have in the entire duration of the relationship itself!

Establishing a firm boundary for myself about the trip has given me a tremendous sense of peace.  All of the input and reassurance here has also been incredibly helpful.  So glad I picked up Eggshells and found this space.

A few thoughts and observations.
BPD explains so much- whether she only has traits or meets the criteria for an official diagnosis.
The tendency to "pop-off" in high stress situations, the juvenile behavior long after we've resolved a conflict, the fact that every conflict we've had has been explicitly "my fault," and the persistent victim mentality.  I can think of so many instances that should have been giant red flags.
I've also accepted my role in this and how I've enabled and encouraged the behavior by validating the responses.

A hard pill to swallow is that I may have developed some sexist preconceived notions!  My wife seems to be in an okay place at the moment... There are a few things that indicate she's nearing acceptance of something she doesn't like.
"I'm going to be calling you a$$hole a lot and flipping you off for the next few days- just so you know!  And I get to because you hurt me."
I've always accepted this as "normal."
This is just how women get sometimes... Yikes!!  I see how incredibly problematic this is in so many ways.  In one of her recent splitting episodes she accused me of being a "typical entitled white male" because she says I don't value what she does around the house and that i expect "hero worship for mundane sh#t."  I recognize now that this was projection.  However, there was a smidgen of truth in there: by accepting her behavior as normal "female" behavior I was developing a lack of respect for women in general... sorry about that!
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« Reply #79 on: June 10, 2021, 09:35:14 AM »

I am also beginning to understand the flaw in her logic.  I know, logic can't be expected here but it helps me understand how she's thinking to better respond.

One of her main "reasons" for me not going is that she "does everything" around the house and I don't carry my own weight.  If that were true why would it matter if I left for a few days?  If I do very little shouldn't my absence be of little consequence?

I understand full well that she's either projecting or just trying any form of guilt to get me not to go but seeing how flaws this logic is helps me to cope and not react in anger.

Going "radio silence" on it unless the kids bring it up with me but other than that I'm not going to engage in anymore discussions.  It's settled.  I am going and I'm not going to feel guilty about it.
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« Reply #80 on: June 10, 2021, 09:40:04 AM »

I've also accepted my role in this and how I've enabled and encouraged the behavior by validating the responses.


Massive amounts of understanding and eye opening are happening for you.  I think it would be great to stop thinking about the trip and associated details.....instead review lessons about validation.  

I'm pretty sure you will "see" things now that you haven't before.

Validation lesson 1


Avoiding invalidation

I'd be interested in hearing about any new insights or questions after you read these some more.

Best,

FF

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« Reply #81 on: June 10, 2021, 09:43:57 AM »

I am also beginning to understand the flaw in her logic.  I know, logic can't be expected here but it helps me understand how she's thinking to better respond.
 
tI would encourage to you identify those "flaws" and then set aside logic.  There is most likely a "hurt" or "emotion" there that needs to be handled quite carefully.

I would discourage you from trying to convince her of "flaws" in her logic.  It might be temporarily satisfying to you, yet I think there is more long term danger by "going there".

Best,

FF
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« Reply #82 on: June 10, 2021, 09:48:58 AM »


I would discourage you from trying to convince her of "flaws" in her logic.  It might be temporarily satisfying to you, yet I think there is more long term danger by "going there".


Absolutely!  Those little notes are just for me.  Bringing up logical arguments to an irrational person just isn't productive.
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« Reply #83 on: June 10, 2021, 09:54:34 AM »

I am also beginning to understand the flaw in her logic.  I know, logic can't be expected here but it helps me understand how she's thinking to better respond.

One of her main "reasons" for me not going is that she "does everything" around the house and I don't carry my own weight.  If that were true why would it matter if I left for a few days?  If I do very little shouldn't my absence be of little consequence?

This is where it's important to keep FormFlier's advice in mind - look for the emotions.

That statement of hers signals one of two emotions to me-
a) overwhelmed - she already feels as if she has a really heavy load, and she doesn't know what to do now that she's going to have to do your part too. 
b) jealousy - you get a fun thing and she doesn't.

You wouldn't validate the illogical - that she literally does everything, etc - but you can validate the emotions that she's feeling.  Or not.

I think your plan to set a boundary and have no more conversations about this topic is good.
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« Reply #84 on: June 10, 2021, 01:19:23 PM »

Well that didn't last long.

She had the kids to herself and came back with a different story than what the kids are telling me... but not so horribly different that I think it's really a big deal.  The more concerning part to me is the language/phrasing she's using (on top of the possibility that she's projecting her fears onto the kids)

She told me (of course) to not talk with them about it because they won't tell me.
"You've traumatized them enough and they don't want to disappoint you."

I have also now been accused of bribing them by offering airport souvenirs, picture messages, etc.
She encouraged them to "be honest with her about how they feel without your bribes" and OF COURSE they cried about no presents.  According to her both kids have said "I want Dad to go for him, because he has not seen his friends in a long time, but I don't want him to go because I will be sad and he won't be here to tuck me in."  I think that's a fairly healthy (and actually kind of mature) thing for a 6 and 8 year old to say!

I responded with "yeah, that actually seems fair and pretty normal- I'm so glad you can tell me!  I do wish they could tell me that but I'm glad they feel comfortable enough to tell you and you can tell me.  I really appreciate it."

And then the escalation...
"Well, yeah they're not going to tell you- you're their hero.  So I told them not to 'worry about Dad- I'll deal with him."
That emphasis was palpable, so I called her on it.

"I hear what you're saying, and again I'm glad they can tell you.  However, I'm a little concerned that phrasing it that way may just reinforce the idea that they can't tell me.  I think 'deal with' might give them the wrong idea."

"Well that's not what I meant!  But FINE!  I can phrase it differently from now on, okay?!" and then mockingly "sorry!"

"I don't think it's anything you even have to apologize for really, I know you didn't mean it that way.  What also concerns me is that I'm getting some of this hesitation from them but overall an expected and healthy amount, however what you're saying is very different than that and it's really quite different from what their therapists are telling me."

"I dunno, I think they need a new therapist- I've been thinking that for a while and I know you have too."

[I don't]

"Not particularly, I know you're concerned with the amount of 'play' they do and that they might not be sharing much because they just want to play.  However I spoke with them they said you'd be surprised how much comes out in play.  It can seem frustrating at times but they're probably too young to really articulate how they feel explicitly like we can as mature adults."

"Well okay, but I just want to you know that as your trip gets closer you should expect their anxiety to increase!"

"Of course!  I think that's totally natural.  I think we can help them find a way to understand and accept that.  I think it's a really important skill for them to learn and we have the opportunity to work with their therapists together.  I think that's pretty cool.
 We have a few sessions with their therapists scheduled before I go.  I'd also really like you to be part of the next conversation we have with them.  Do you want me to text and see when they're available?"

"No- that's fine.  I usually run into them while I'm there [alone] and we can talk."

Preaching to the choir here (and really just venting so that y'all for indulging me!) but wow are there ever some red flags here!

I texted the kiddo's therapists asked for a follow up when time permits and that my wife would really like to be on the call too.

I think talking about it too much is just going to make everyone anxious (even me!).
I want to get to a point where it's accepted that I'm going and we (me and the kids) can get to a comfortable place about it.

At the end I thanked my wife for telling me, that I'm glad she can tell me these things and the kids seems right about on par for what to expect per their therapists.

She kept slipping into "the look" when I didn't react.  I think she's either trying to get me to react in anger or flat out cancel the trip on account of the kids.  Not going to work Smiling (click to insert in post)
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LovelyRita50

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« Reply #85 on: June 10, 2021, 01:32:42 PM »

Right. So...at this point, the ONLY reason you would cancel would be because of her. So...don't.

One principle we remind our members here is that it is not your responsibility to feel their emotions for them.

She is trying to manipulate you into feeling her emotions for her. You can never fully do that, and it is emotionally abusive for her to try to impose it on you.

This whole thread has been illuminating for me, but especially this post.

My pwBPD has been doing this all along. She said she wanted "comfort and understanding" but in reality, I could never keep her emotions from flooding my space and upending my days ... or weeks. She didn't want comfort. She wanted me to feel and to process her emotions for her. Coupled with MY feelings about HER feelings, it's too much of a load for me. My emotional resources get exhausted quickly.

In a way, it takes me back to my childhood, when I used to pick up on my mother's emotions easily and fret about them. I don't think she was BPD, just volatile at times - perhaps depressed and anxious without a vocabulary to describe it, as she comes from a generation where people just "pulled up their bootstraps" and got on with life. I was a sensitive, serious, empathic child. I remember trying to behave as perfectly as I could (walking on eggshells) hoping that would make my mother feel better.

I have fallen into that old pattern with my pwBPD, but I don't have to stay there. Over time, I learned I could support someone without taking on their emotions. With my pwBPD, I may have to separate myself physically to avoid getting flooded, because when I'm in the same apartment as her, she persists in trying to put her emotions on me. But I'll do what I need to protect myself now that I know her inability to handle her emotions isn't MY failing.
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LovelyRita50

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« Reply #86 on: June 10, 2021, 01:39:02 PM »

"I dunno, I think they need a new therapist- I've been thinking that for a while and I know you have too."

[I don't]

"Not particularly, I know you're concerned with the amount of 'play' they do and that they might not be sharing much because they just want to play.  However I spoke with them they said you'd be surprised how much comes out in play.  It can seem frustrating at times but they're probably too young to really articulate how they feel explicitly like we can as mature adults."

Heh. Don't buy what she's selling here. For kids, play is HOW they get their emotions out. Their play time is often filled with rich symbolism that the therapist can access and help them with, simply by talking while they play.

I'm in a marriage and family therapy master's program, and one of my professors does therapy with a 14-year-old by playing Super Smash Brothers with him. He says it keeps the boy engaged and revealing his feelings much better than if they were sitting in a sterile office staring at each other.
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GaGrl
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« Reply #87 on: June 10, 2021, 03:16:27 PM »

Play therapy is akin to how much is revealed in conversations with your child while in a car. I had some of our best talks with my son while driving. They don't feel pressured by the contact, and they know all the attention is not focused on them. It's freeing.
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"...what's past is prologue; what to come,
In yours and my discharge."
Guts42
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« Reply #88 on: June 10, 2021, 03:51:40 PM »

Agreed - I even pick up on things the kids say while playing at home (their play room is upstairs next to my office)

Staying the course and not deviating (but not making a big deal about) me going.
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Guts42
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« Reply #89 on: June 10, 2021, 03:52:44 PM »

Heh. Don't buy what she's selling here. For kids, play is HOW they get their emotions out. Their play time is often filled with rich symbolism that the therapist can access and help them with, simply by talking while they play.

I'm in a marriage and family therapy master's program, and one of my professors does therapy with a 14-year-old by playing Super Smash Brothers with him. He says it keeps the boy engaged and revealing his feelings much better than if they were sitting in a sterile office staring at each other.

Hi there LovelyRita!  Welcome!  Looks like you're new here as well!  I've only been 'hip' to BPD for about two months now... talk about drinking from a fire hose!
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