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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: The truth and "the truth".  (Read 244 times)
Couper
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« on: October 11, 2021, 11:53:32 AM »

I’ve refrained from posting this because it was probably the wrong thing to do, but it’s done and I can’t undo it.  I’ve mentioned before that my uBPDw, for years and years both before and after I came along, was a writer and journal keeper. She has a big box of them.  Volumes of them.  Nothing about it was ever said by me or her.  When we got married, I decided that was sacred territory and not my place to nose around and for ten years never once felt the temptation to do so.  About four years ago, I started journaling my own experiences and woke up to the fact that there was manipulation involved once I had something to reference back to.  That I wasn’t just losing my marbles. 

As many who have been so generous with their time here know, I very much feel stabbed in the back by her over this business of insisting we do marriage counseling and, if I don’t agree to it, we’re headed for divorce…. and it’s alllll my fault.  No sooner than I agreed to it the whole issue vaporized.  That was a huge turning point both because stepping up and agreeing to do so was such a big hurdle for me to jump and because I know she was using this issue to create herself the victim and further disparage me to others.

With that final act, I lost any remaining respect or affection that may have been left.  I’m civil, but I have just snoozed her and that at least squelched a lot of the drama.  That realization was two years ago, almost to the day.  I haven't even touched her, except once to Heimlich her when she was genuinely choking awhile back.  Some time before this, she also started blaming me for being the reason she didn’t write in her journal anymore.  Repeatedly and out of the blue when it had never even been a topic of discussion before that.  That was new and the combination of all of those things caused me to look.

What is triggering all of this is reading, again, somewhere on the forum the excuse that gives these BPD-types a free pass with respect to manipulation.  This sort of notion that we have to take the high ground and eat excrement because they are not in control of their actions.  I still have a lot of trouble accepting that.  Moreso since reading all that she has written.  Sorry, but I think she’s just evil.

I looked through ten years of our marriage.  Instances I remember vividly where I was told something never happened / that I remembered wrong / that I made up something to hurt her and was left questioning my sanity…. but she turned right around in her journal at night and wrote the truth.  Things where I was subjected to what I would now call emotional torture – blaming me to no end…. and then reading that her real reason was for things that happened many years before I ever came along, including things where she was a consenting party.  Things that I lived and experienced and was later told never happened…. but at the same time she journaled about and acknowledged before she went to bed at night.  When I started keeping my own journal, it helped me maintain my sanity in that I could reference back to it, but still with that excuse BPD’s aren’t liars – they just don’t know the truth.  Well, at least in my case, reading their diary shows they do know the truth – telling me to my face something didn’t happen and then turning around and writing on a piece of paper that it did, and then the same again should I have brought it up at a later date.

I haven’t posed a question and I’m not really even looking for guidance.  I guess I just wanted to talk it out and let people know there is a third-leg to this stuff.  It is probably an uncommon insight because I can’t think of anyone else I know that even keeps a daily diary anymore.  I’ve found myself wishing I could donate the whole box to a researcher to study.  It is probably exceedingly rare to find the unfiltered 30+ year accumulation of notes from a disordered mind.  Things you would never in a million years get them to verbalize or acknowledge even with the best therapist in the world.

I’m not encouraging anyone to do what I did and I’m not looking for approval of my actions.  Heap scorn upon me if I deserve it.  I question what dignity I have left anyway.  Many days I ask myself if I would be better off still not knowing, but that’s not an option anymore.  I haven’t even touched on the things that were before my time, much of which would make even the strongest person curl up in the corner with their teddy bear.  I guess my real regret is that I didn’t read them before we got married….               
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Snowflake90

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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2021, 12:16:18 PM »

I've snooped too. I think it's a natural human thing to do. Perhaps what is indeed more concerning is the fact that (if I understood correctly), you have had to start journalling as a way to "get covered". It's almost as if you accepted that it's okay for a partner to always "play the blame game", so you have to be ready for it when the time comes. I am not criticizing you in the least, just perhaps pointing out that, you didn't have a healthy relationship in any shape or form, by what you described. IMHO, in a normal relationship, even if one side is actually wrong, the other doesn't point the finger and spits fire at you. But unfortunately, we non's have come to normalize that. Do you have a trusted therapist? What I like about therapy is, that it's a reality check. They tell you when something is out of the ordinary. I frankly find it apalling that you have had to start journalling, in order to "survive" in the relationship. I'm actually glad you've read her journal and saw for yourself you weren't losing your marbles, and in fact, you were being gaslighted. Feel free to come here and vent. I know I did and it helped.
Anyway, best of luck.
 
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Couper
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2021, 09:22:13 PM »

I've snooped too. I think it's a natural human thing to do. Perhaps what is indeed more concerning is the fact that (if I understood correctly), you have had to start journalling as a way to "get covered". It's almost as if you accepted that it's okay for a partner to always "play the blame game", so you have to be ready for it when the time comes. I am not criticizing you in the least, just perhaps pointing out that, you didn't have a healthy relationship in any shape or form, by what you described. IMHO, in a normal relationship, even if one side is actually wrong, the other doesn't point the finger and spits fire at you. But unfortunately, we non's have come to normalize that. Do you have a trusted therapist? What I like about therapy is, that it's a reality check. They tell you when something is out of the ordinary. I frankly find it apalling that you have had to start journalling, in order to "survive" in the relationship. I'm actually glad you've read her journal and saw for yourself you weren't losing your marbles, and in fact, you were being gaslighted. Feel free to come here and vent. I know I did and it helped.
Anyway, best of luck.

Thank you for your perspective.  I hadn't seen my journaling quite as you have but there may be some truth to what you say.  Doing so seems to be recommended here and it is something I started doing before ever finding this group.  There were too many unresolved situations and when they would get rehashed, I would get told everything from it didn't happen the way I remembered to it never happened at all.  The point of the journal is to have something so that when that happens, I can reference back to it for the consistency I don't get from her.  I am not at all accepting of her playing the blame game.  The journal is purely consistency for me so I can keep all of these occurrences straight.

I don't yet have a therapist.  I keep looking and haven't found who I think fits.  This place helps a lot but I know it's not a full substitute.  I guess another thing that has me posting again is I'm a little heartsick after returning home from five days out of town.  It's an annual trip I make to an event that I love and get to spend a lot of time with friends.  Being able to fully detach in the company of mentally healthy people and then have to return to this always leaves me blue for a few days.  When I got married she knew it was important to me and it was one of the many things I hoped to share with her before I said, "I do" and found out Jekyll was going to get stomped into the ground by Hyde.  She is jealous of anyone or anything that makes me happy.  Anything that makes me happy -- she hates.  Yet another thing that, while in the company of friends, I have to do alone.

This morning I sketched up a chart of my assets thinking it's something I would need for an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer.  Certainly not where I ever wanted to find myself.  Maybe I'm finally getting closer to making a more permanent change around here.  I'm never truly going to know what I'm in for unless I make that first step.  Maybe it's not as bad as I think or maybe it will ruin me financially.  What really scares me more than anything, though, are these recurring tales of how members here have had their own kids turned against them.  That is my worst nightmare.  My kids are such lovebugs that I couldn't imagine such a thing happening, but a dozen years ago I also never imagined finding myself in the situation that I am now.      

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Woolspinner2000
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2021, 06:01:24 AM »

Hi Couper and Snowflake90 too,  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

An interesting topic for sure, and you're sharing honest thoughts.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) I am certain that you're not the only ones who have had similar thoughts! I know I also had my moments of discovery too.

My ex 'journaled' all the time. He called it writing, but in so many ways it was a journaling of his thought patterns. When he wrote, it was an expression of who he was. You could read his self published books and see him and his beliefs on those pages. I would hear it expressed in verbal fashion too, over and over. He would jot little notes, tear them off and then tape them all around the computer monitor. I used to go and read them, often shocked by what I would read. They were clear reflections of our marriage, of his perception of me and where I was or should be. They spoke in bold capital letters of what I was or wasn't. To me it was a passive aggressive form of his journaling and I was snooping, yet perhaps he meant for me to see the notes all along. I cannot judge his motives and it's not healthy that I journey into the land of judgement.

IMHO, the greater issue here isn't so much whether it was right or wrong to read their thoughts and the validation of what we suspected all along.

Go deeper.

Excerpt
What is triggering all of this is reading, again, somewhere on the forum the excuse that gives these BPD-types a free pass with respect to manipulation.  This sort of notion that we have to take the high ground and eat excrement because they are not in control of their actions.  I still have a lot of trouble accepting that.  Moreso since reading all that she has written.  Sorry, but I think she’s just evil 

Couper, when I read this, I know it really is the true sense of how you're feeling. There's anger there too, and anger is a surface feeling that hides what is going on underneath. When I read your post, I see it all summed up in one word: betrayal.

I felt so betrayed by my ex's notes and words and books and journal thoughts. It crushed me. My T would ask me if it really was helpful for me to read those things? It wasn't. I still had to deal with what was happening inside me, and that went way beyond anything my ex wrote or thought.

You're discovering yourself at a much deeper level. What will you do with this learning? Focus on helping you, not on her right now. As we discover ourselves, we heal from within which is far more important than healing from someone else's actions or words.  Oak trees send their roots deep to find a water source so they can grow tall, strong and straight to withstand the storms. 

Keep searching for a good T. Mine has been invaluable. Do you live in the US? If so we might be able to help you find a resource of where to look.

Keep doing the hard work.
Wools
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2021, 07:20:24 AM »

I don't agree that pwBPD get a free pass on their behavior due to mental illness. They still fit the legal definition of mentally competent and are responsible for their choices. I think the confusion is in adopting their reality as our own and reacting to it, due to poor boundaries on our part. I also think the actual work at improving our own relationship skills is on us to do. While this work may benefit them, it's not really about them but us. When we gain better relationship skills, they are ours to keep. Many come her focused on how to "fix" the BPD partners when in actuality, we can't control another person, only ourselves.

I understand this kind of shock you are experiencing. We are conditioned to trust those closest to us. Who is closer to us (supposedly) than our own mothers? I recall when I discovered that my BPD mother deliberately lies- to me and others, and she does so on purpose in order to maintain control and manipulate people. Not only that, she enjoys doing it and has in ways admitted it to me.

I confronted her about this, (having actual proof) and she said in her sweet voice "I have never lied to you".

While I could recall many incidents that harm a relationship, I think this is the one that highlighted the end of any hope for a true relationship with her. One can forgive a lot of behaviors, if the person owns up to them and truly shows change over a consistent time. Not the kind of temporary change that comes from wanting things to be the way they were.

She had a chance to own up to her behavior. The "I never lied to you" was a flat out deliberate lie. And she continues to lie, a lot, to the point where I have no idea if what she is saying has any basis in truth or not. I am not one to post "leave" messages - that is up to each individual, and I have not broken all contact with her. However, I know now that a true relationship, at least what I think a relationship is, is not possible due to lying as I can not trust anything she says to me.
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Couper
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2021, 07:50:06 AM »

Hi Wools.  Thank you for sharing your experience and your words of wisdom.

There is anger in the mix along with a lot of other stuff.  I'm not angry like I go around growling all the time, but it's hard to explain.  Reading the truth makes me feel like I was duped.  I don't like to go down that road because that sounds like self-victimization, but that's the truth of the matter.  While one narrative was playing out in my life with her face-to-face, behind the scenes a whole separate set of things about which I was completely unaware was playing out in hers and it was all intentionally kept from me.  I don't think the term "emotional predator" is out of line.  She wanted to achieve an objective and lying to me was the road to getting there.  Now I've brought two beautiful children into this whole mess and I can't even explain it to them.  It feels like being on this side of the equation is all about being told to sit down and shut up, that there's no justice in the matter.  I've tried to find some purpose in all of it, like having gained an understanding and perspective of the world I wouldn't have gained otherwise and hoping I can use that to help others when the need arises, but I'm at the point where I feel like the best years of my life are flying by and my hands are tied.  

I actually have a friend that has gotten himself into a domestic situation that I feel could be BPD'esque and try to guide him in the right direction where I can.  He's ten years younger than me and ten years ago I would have been completely blind to that.  He'll tell me he's late because he spent over an hour getting screamed at and then make excuses for her and because of my experience I'm in a place where I can tell him that's not acceptable.  At least he hasn't put a ring on her finger (yet) but in my case, one thing was being shown to my face while I was being screamed at in a journal.  Almost instantly from "I do" onward the real beast appeared.  When I read others here that post, "The first three years / five years were good and then it blew up", I almost get a little bit jealous.  I've never gotten to enjoy any of it.  I've never looked forward to going home at night.  It's complicated and I'm rambling too much now.

In my case, I do think it was useful to read her journals (and frankly, I've only been through some percentage of it.  It is oh-so many pages.  Aside from the pure volume, it is so dark and distorted and so emotionally draining that I never tried doing it beginning-to-end).   It explained a lot of the unexplainable and unresolved.  It wasn't just words or opinions -- it was happenings.  Things that were going on that never made sense and that at the very least she wouldn't give an honest answer to and, at worst, turned around and blamed on me when I now know I had nothing to do with it.  I just wish I could confront her with all of it, but I know no good would come of that and, once again, my hands are tied.      

It feels so selfish to say it, and I like to think that I'm not a selfish person, but I am focused on me and not her.  I no longer feel any loyalty to her, no obligation.  That hurts as much as anything because I envisioned marriage as two people helping each other 110%.  She's like an emotional vacuum cleaner sucking up her 110% and leaving you to fend for yourself and one person isn't capable of doing 220%.  The more selflessly I gave, the more she would distort my intentions.  I can't get the last ten years back, but I'd like to get to a place where I can do what I want with the next ten.  I've learned my lesson.  Uncle!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 07:55:52 AM by Couper » Logged
Notwendy
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2021, 08:50:39 AM »

You aren't being selfish to consider yourself.

We don't snoop under ordinary circumstances. But when people feel something is amiss with the other person, we might resort to that in desperation. You needed to know the truth.
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Couper
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2021, 08:56:32 AM »

I also think the actual work at improving our own relationship skills is on us to do. While this work may benefit them, it's not really about them but us. When we gain better relationship skills, they are ours to keep. Many come her focused on how to "fix" the BPD partners when in actuality, we can't control another person, only ourselves.
----------------------------------
I confronted her about this, (having actual proof) and she said in her sweet voice "I have never lied to you".
----------------------------------
One can forgive a lot of behaviors, if the person owns up to them and truly shows change over a consistent time. Not the kind of temporary change that comes from wanting things to be the way they were.
----------------------------------
She had a chance to own up to her behavior. The "I never lied to you" was a flat out deliberate lie. And she continues to lie, a lot, to the point where I have no idea if what she is saying has any basis in truth or not. I am not one to post "leave" messages - that is up to each individual, and I have not broken all contact with her. However, I know now that a true relationship, at least what I think a relationship is, is not possible due to lying as I can not trust anything she says to me.

I value your input, Notwendy.  Your post opened my eyes to something I think I had not pieced together before.  This concept of having to adapt our own natural responses to accommodate their deficiencies is something I have butted heads with previously.  Elsewhere online I read that lying is not a specific criteria of BPD (though it does seem to be quite common and maybe even many don't know they are being lied to).  I think this is where I have so much trouble with my adapting to the whole thing.  Were I not getting lied to, perhaps I would feel there is some improvement.  Maybe people that are in relationships with BPD's absent the lying don't have this constant undercurrent of betrayal lingering.  However, to have to pour so much effort into accommodating them and then continue to get lied to is a real slap in the face.

What you posted about your mother breaks my heart, yet is so relatable.  Just like what you shared, I have confronted my uBPDw about her trashing me to other people when she won't even talk to me directly about an issue (more of her self-victimization) and her response once was a sheepish, "I don't talk about you to anyone."  Immediately after that she turns right around and messages one of her easy to manipulate friends (almost as a need to confess) and says what I accused her of, followed by, "I don't talk about him to anyone.  I've only told you.... and my mother.... and my other friend.... and the women's group at church".  That's why I say I live in a fish bowl.  I've learned that many times it is over things that I was never made aware of or that never even happened at all.

I have so much documented proof about her lying that if there was a court for this stuff, it would be an open and shut case.  Here this summer one of the other homeschool moms was here reading a book at my kitchen table alone while her child was taking a test outside.  I've always gotten along great with her and she's good conversation.  I came in for a glass of water, attempted some small talk, and it was like she had turned on me.  She has never treated me like that.  When I could, I made another comment to my uBPDw that I felt like she was trashing me to the world again, which she outright denied.... then did just like before and confessed to the friend that, "He accuses me of this and I don't talk about him to anyone.... except {list list list names, now including the friend at the kitchen table}".  Between the people she does tell and the people those people tell, I don't think there's really anyone left within our circle that doesn't think I'm a dirtbag.  I try not to go down the rabbit hole of being paranoid whenever an acquaintance glares at me, but then something like the kitchen table thing happens and verifies my suspicions.  

Maybe what it all boils down to is (while I have tried) I have a hard time rewiring my brain to interact with her.  She's a damned liar and no matter how much effort I exert to accommodate her, she always will be a damned liar.  Again, I'm so sorry about the situation with your mother.  As much as we say we can only work on fixing ourselves, that doesn't mean there is a way to fix the hurt experienced from a situation like that.  

(Thank you for your follow-up reply, as well.  It brings me some relief.)
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2021, 06:06:04 PM »

Almost instantly from "I do" onward the real beast appeared.

My general observation (now, long after my experience) is that once you are perceived as being "obligated" then the other feels able to relax and "let it all hang out", knowing you will feel you can't leave the relationship.  That's one aspect of the F.O.G. we so often reference here — Fear, Obligation, Guilt.

When I read others here that post, "The first three years / five years were good and then it blew up", I almost get a little bit jealous.  I've never gotten to enjoy any of it.  I've never looked forward to going home at night.

I used to say my early marriage years were good but gradually deteriorated.  It was toward the end — after over a dozen years married and with a young child — that I too dreaded "going home at night".  I never knew whom I would meet, a calm spouse who had driven me out of the house that morning or a raging stranger rather than a nice person earlier that morning.

However, as I looked back, there were indications things were not always roses and rainbows.

My story, I also had an experience soon after my marriage.  Even before we left for our honeymoon she claimed I'd broken her back.  She only stopped me when I was getting a phone to call for a doctor.  Who does that literally in the first days of marriage?  While I didn't see BPD signs consistently or frequently, it did become more and more evident over the years.  And it got much worse a decade later after we had a child.  (That when clueless me discovered having a child does not fix a troubled marriage, instead it made everything so much more complicated.)

Whether my ex has BPD or some other disorder isn't the big point.  It is hurtful and damaging, well beyond normal.  Whatever the root cause, you're both adults and you have every right to protect yourself from further abuse.  Typically the resolution is to end the relationship if the discord, conflict or attacks don't stop or reduce.  Of course, if you have children then you don't end parenting.  That is where all the tools, skills and time-tested strategies described here are so helpful.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 06:13:15 PM by ForeverDad » Logged

Woolspinner2000
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2021, 07:24:56 PM »

Couper,

So much helpful understanding from the posters in this thread.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) I agree with Notwendy that you aren't being selfish to take care of you. It may seem that way or others may project that idea onto you, but it's only a projection.

My marriage was 35 years. If I'm honest, there were difficulties from the beginning, and like you, I gave more than my share and kept so much of it together. There does often come a point when a person runs out of the ability to keep doing that; I hit it and you are as well.  I can freely say I was a victim of the control, but as I worked through so much of the pain, I am no longer a victim.

I don't honestly know if a pwBPD deliberately lies or if they believe they're speaking truth. I suppose it is individual for each person.  Either way, the consequences of those actions will be mistrust and distanced relationship from those they're hurting. There are consequences for every choice made, and she isn't off totally free from them. She has lost what she had with you. That is a consequence for her.

Wools
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2021, 10:40:24 PM »

There is much to address above, but I need a break for the night, if not a day or two.  I'm sure you guys would welcome that, as well!  It has been a rough day.  When running errands this afternoon I even drove by the office of a lawyer that I researched.  Perhaps nonsensical, but it felt like a step I needed to take to edge the process forward.  I just wanted to add this acknowledgement so all of you know that you are heard, that your influence has been with me all day, and that I appreciate it more than words can express.


Either way, the consequences of those actions will be mistrust and distanced relationship from those they're hurting. There are consequences for every choice made, and she isn't off totally free from them. She has lost what she had with you. That is a consequence for her.

This is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.  Thank you. 

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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2021, 02:28:43 AM »

Take all the time you need. Writing, sharing, processing and absorbing takes a lot of emotional energy. This journey is not a race.

There is no obligation here at BPDfamily, and we aren't going anywhere.

Rest and kindness,
Wools
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There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.  -C.S. Lewis
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2021, 04:36:16 AM »

Thanks Cooper,

As a result, I have not been open with her either. I don't lie, but I also don't share personal information with her. I can't trust our conversations. I think trust is necessary for a close relationship so knowing one is being lied to is hard to deal with.

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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2021, 01:44:34 PM »

If you both were seeking to repair the relationship, then sharing would be necessary, how else could trust be restored?

But if that ship has sailed without you then it's different.  You would be cautious not to share information (TMI) that she could use to sabotage you, the separation/divorce or especially your parenting, if you have minor children.  You would of course share the various aspects of parenting such as exchanges, illnesses, etc.  But everything else you would review first before deciding whether appropriate to share.  (And beware of attempts at wheedling, manipulating or ultimatums.)
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2021, 05:23:19 PM »

As a result, I have not been open with her either. I don't lie, but I also don't share personal information with her. I can't trust our conversations. I think trust is necessary for a close relationship so knowing one is being lied to is hard to deal with.

Yes, this.  Very much this.  It is especially damaging to be told you can confide, you do, and then you catch her turning around and airing it to the world.  There has never been any "us" because of this, even from the very beginning.  

It's too odd and long to type out, but upon return from the two-week trip recently we came home to find that someone had done something unusual.  No clue who or if it was a mistake, or friend, or stranger, or what.  Not really a confide-type situation, but in trying to work through what had happened I made some comments.  Nothing scandalous, but things you would say innocently and not want repeated and, at that point, without any context about who it was.  I was able to check my cameras, still didn't know who it was, but she identified the people.  Given that, I said it's odd, but their intent was good even if they shouldn't have done it (it opened me up to potential liability should someone have gotten hurt).  I told her nothing good would come of doing anything but thanking them -- so be gracious, thank them, I know they had their best intentions at heart.

I knew she was seeing her the next day, she comes home, says nothing.  I let it go 24 hours before asking and she got extremely uneasy and starts blathering, "It was very awkward, the whole thing was very unusual, I was put in a very odd spot".  When I told her that thanking somebody for such an act shouldn't create such a situation, she got more uneasy.  Then I asked what she told her -- "I told her the truth.  I couldn't lie to her.  I couldn't lie to her and the whole thing was very awkward.  I told her the things you said."

Simply put, it's like getting an ugly sweater at Christmas and then telling the giver that they have bad taste.  Nobody told her to lie and after agreeing to thank the person and move on, she didn't, so she lied to me.... but lying to me has never been a problem.

It took me days to sort through why this happened.  This was another person that I see only about every six months.  She's good conversation and I know uBPDw has had personal beefs with her before because she's the opposite of my wife -- Type A, outgoing, leadership skills, etc.  I think this was a twofer for her to passively-aggressively strike back at her.  She was able to make her feel bad, use me to do it, and torpedo my relationship with this person at the same time.  Maybe that's a threefer.

At some point I'm going to have to see her again and I'm at a loss about what to say....



  
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 05:30:36 PM by Couper » Logged
Couper
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Relationship status: Married
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« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2021, 05:26:36 PM »

You would be cautious not to share information (TMI) that she could use to sabotage you, the separation/divorce or especially your parenting, if you have minor children.  You would of course share the various aspects of parenting such as exchanges, illnesses, etc.  But everything else you would review first before deciding whether appropriate to share.  (And beware of attempts at wheedling, manipulating or ultimatums.)

Thank you for this.  I'm already rather tight-lipped and, after what should have been an innocent part of life outlined above, I'm more tight-lipped than ever.  Fortunately, I once had a customer that was unreasonably secretive about the work that I did for him, so I got very good at keeping my mouth shut!
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NotAHero

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
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Relationship status: In the recycling phase
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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2021, 12:44:01 AM »

Couper

  When I was a strong and healthy person just before I met my current BPD I knew who I was and what I wanted. When she first started blaming and telling me about how she suffered I would respond right away : I have nothing to do with that I didn’t do it.

 When she would try to paint me as a knight in shining armor I would respond with Eminem song phrase “ nope Superman ain’t saving s***”

 But BPD through calculated manipulation and unwavering supply of unlimited rage provided by the mental illness itself, chips away small parts of your soul slowly. About a year ago after little over 3 years in the relationship I was no longer the man I once was. I was defensive, reactive and almost defeated. It wasn’t until I realized that even though my words and intention was not to be a rescuer, I ended up acting like one.  If you are staying, you are not excusing her for her actions, you are choosing to accept her instead. The disorder is part of them. Did you notice how many different people are here but it sounds like we are almost describing the same person?  The difference is in the display of the symptoms based on the person experiences but the mechanics are identical.

 I’m an atheist so I don’t see people as good or evil per say. That being said, even a BPD with “good”  heart will display the same symptoms. Perceiving them as good or evil in general will take us into a philosophical debate. I think it’s best to be results  oriented, ask yourself is my BPD a danger to me ? If not, do I accept what they can and can’t give me?  A book can be written on the subject, my few thoughts here are barely coherent in comparison to what I’m trying to say. It’s complicated …
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Notwendy
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2021, 05:17:25 AM »

I don't think even religions classify people as good or evil-humans are complex and people have free will to choose their actions. Do these actions lead to positive effects or harm?

We grow up learning by natural consequences. Of course, parents have to protect children from harmful ones. However we learn that if we are mean to others on the playground, nobody will play with us. Most religions have a moral code such as don't steal, don't lie- but these codes are universal to many belief systems.

While someone with BPD can have dysfunctional behaviors, I don't see it as due to being intrinsically evil. I think they are so self focused ( on their own inner turmoil) that they aren't always aware of the effects of their behavior on others. I also think that they tend to pair up with enablers. Enabling takes away the natural consequences of learning from behaviors.

The Karpman triangle has been helpful to me in understanding the "why" of my mother's behaviors. Her perception seems to be fixed in victim mode for whoever she relates to. I don't know how that happened but it's her pattern. Even if we try to do something nice for her, she sees it as some kind of expectation or attack. If you felt as if someone was attacking you, you would fight back with all your effort. You wouldn't be concerned about hurting your attacker.

I think early on, my mother found ways to get her needs met- and while these ways have impacted others, I think she sees them as necessary for her own survival. The lying and manipulation is part of this and it also gives her a sense of control. She doesn't see it as "wrong" in a morality sense. If you were being attacked, you'd justify lying to your attacker if it meant protecting yourself.

But I think NotAHero is correct in the sense that we have to ask ourselves- is this harmful to me? Because I know I can't change this kind of thinking. It would be up to the person to do therapy to work on this. If I do something nice for my mother, it needs to be from my own intrinsic reasons - because she may not receive the effort as such. To stay or leave in a relationship is a personal decision, but that question, how harmful is this to me- is an important one.

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