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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: Epic journey post breakup w BPD months 0-4  (Read 518 times)
capecodling

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« on: February 04, 2023, 11:08:20 AM »

I broke up with my undiagnosed BPD ex almost 4 months ago and have been no-contact.  I have had 2 other relationships with BPD women, clearly I have codependency issues which I am working on to heal.

This most recent relationship was the longest of the BPD relationships — it lasted 6-8 months depending on whether you count the time she ghosted me, etc.  I’ve also had other healthy relationship that lasted 10 years each, with non-borderline women.

Initially I didn’t fully understand BPD so I spent several months post-breakup trying to process my continually looping thoughts, which seemed to go 24 hours per day.   I kept replaying events that lead to our breakup and wondering if I could have done certain things differently or somehow reached through to her to get her into therapy.  Then I really took some time to learn about BPD and I realized there never would be any answers, because she herself doesn’t even understand why she does a lot of the things she does.  

I see a lot of you on here trying to interpret different messages and signals you received from your BPD, the only way any of it will ever make sense is if you filter it through what drives borderine behavior.  And better still, just stop trying to figure it out as it will never really make sense.  You’ll just have more and more questions the deeper you dig.

I suppose a lot of you are wondering if it feels better to be the one who broke up with her — that I was the dumper instead of the dumpee?  Well I can say that I’ve been in both places with borderlines and that it can actually be harder to be the one doing the dumping, because as the one being dumped it sort of lets you off the hook when the other person decides to end the relationship.  I also know that she is still interested and that I could go back to her at any time, but doing so — and this is going to sound dramatic — will absolutely destroy me.  

I could see where the path with her was leading, don’t ask me how I knew this, but her disease didn’t want to just bring me down and weaken me.  It wanted me absolutely all the way down, like dead or in prison, or financially ruined.  I was losing so much vitality and energy of constantly having to prop her up from a never-ending series of disasters, it was starting to affect my heath, finances, and emotional well-being.  She just kept needing more and more like pouring water into a bucket with holes in it.

It got the point where every interaction with her was painful.  Even the love bombing of her trying to charm me back was painful because I knew it would be taken away at any time.  I tried being “just friends” with her, I tried to help her see the spell she was under, but even those interactions were too painful, borderlines are notorious for not wanting you to know them to well so she tended to evade questions that I would ask to better understand her.

When you don’t understand BPD the evasiveness can be one of the worst parts  because it triggers you into thinking they are hiding things from you, and in many cases borderlines ARE are hiding all sorts of things.  At the absolute best case they aren’t deliberately hiding things from you, they just have so many unprocessed emotions they can’t talk about their past so they will avoid the question, thinking that makes the whole problem just go away.   But for me it always just caused more and more anxiety that there was something seriously wrong.

Ultimately my anxiety got to be too much — from her constant hot-cold, evading conversation topics, her distortion of facts — that I couldn’t ignore my own anxiety anymore.  At the time I would have still not been able to say exactly what was wrong, but I have spent enough years in healthy relationships to see that I was being slowly hollowed out from the in inside.  

In fact, I was starting to act just as crazy as she was.  Getting angry over small points, making up storylines in my head that later turned out to be untrue, getting jealous over nothing, it was all so out of character for me.

When I finally did leave I spent about 3 months in 10/10
emotional pain with constantly looping thoughts as described above.  My subconscious was trying to make sense of where the whole thing had gone wrong.  I also think the borderline-codependent dynamic had hijacked my psychology and created a trauma bond that I was having a hard time shaking.

Educating myself about BPD helped me understand a lot of the behaviors from her that had previously seemed unexplainable.   I also am a long time meditator and self-improvement junkie and have added a lot more tools to start dropping this whole storyline and move on with my life.  I am around month 4 and I still think about her every day, but I have long spaces of feeling like my old self again too.  

It is quite a struggle to get back to normal.  My last BPD breakup in 2019 was the worst breakup I’ve ever experienced in my whole life and it took me 2 full years to recover from that.  Although I did feel better after about 6 months post breakup, but the thoughts about her went on for 2 years.  But back then I did not really understand BPD the way I do now, so my brain kept trying to understand her actions, which were being driven by her illness, not by any sort of logic.  The one thing I did do right was no contact from the day we broke up and just let time chip away at the negative emotions I was feeling, bit by bit.

This time I feel more optimistic I will eventually drop the whole storyline.  I had to take the rather extreme measure of moving away while I recover because I kept getting charmed back in by her.  But if my work did not allow me to move far away, I still would have moved away to another town to take the charming off the table.  Her pull on me was that strong.

Now I am dating, nothing serious, but I’ve had a few nice experiences and it has been a good reminder that not all women are borderlines Smiling (click to insert in post)  And that the fiery, passionate intimacy with a borderline can be replaced.  They don’t get to own an exclusive franchise and be “the best sex you’ve ever had.”  A lot of people say that online but it isn’t true.  Once the trauma bond starts to dissolve you’ll see that too.

I go to the gym every day, I meditate every day, do wim hof breath-work, cold showers, yoga, I work a full time job and a side business, I do no-fap, I journal, I go to therapy, EFT tapping, I do plant medicines.  In short, I have tried to feel the full pain of all of this and use it to make myself a lot better.  I never contact her, I don’t use social media except for WhatsApp, and she is blocked on there.  I moved away so I won’t run into her.

I see a lot of people on here saying they still feel pain after X months or years and my heart goes out to you AND in the same message I also see there is continued interaction with your boderline ex (checking social media, texting, phone calls, encounters in person) I am in no position to judge but any of those things is prolonging your pain.  If you want to heal you have to change your life completely and never see them or interact with them until your pain is all the way down to ZERO.

I know a lot of people in my position probably feel hopeless, like the looping thoughts about your ex will never end.  Sometimes I still feel that way too.  I had a work colleague in a similar position to what I’m in who said it took 3.5 years to start getting over the BPD ex, but even in the case of my colleague now says the pain is at a “0” and would have no reaction to seeing the BPD  walking down the street with a new lover.

So even if you feel hopeless, time is your friend.  You just have to let it go to work for you and start chipping away at the pain.

One last quick story, I recently went on a date woman and realized after the date (she ghosted, then came back and love-bombed 5 days later, then blocked me, then started to bombard me with constant phone calls) I ignored all of it and just sort of laughed about it to myself.  She and I had an absolutely magical first date, but once I saw the borderline behavior I was done.  So all of this pain and suffering I went through, there actually is some value to it.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2023, 02:18:51 PM by capecodling » Logged
SaltyDawg
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2023, 10:52:29 AM »

Thank you for sharing your story.  I too am a codependent, and have been to the borderline dance twice - ick.  I am currently with number 2 for the past 22 years, as number 1 was easy to leave as she was also NPD.  The 2nd one is the opposite end of the spectrum, as I am still with her.  There are several reasons why I am staying, and the primary reason is to protect the children we had together and reverse the damage of my neglect by allowing them to be alone with her for extended periods of time - while 'ignorance' is no excuse, I was totally ignorant of what my wife was as she is predominantly a high-functioning invisible, but can also present as a conventional 'monster'. 

There is an overwhelming number of positives; however, this is offset with the small number of negatives.  She is 'too bad to stay in a relationship with; however, she is also too good leave the relationship' -- that is my conundrum.

If you want to see more of my reasons, you can see them at this post https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=354759.msg13188333#msg13188333

I knew and agree with you on everything you have said as I have spent an obsessive amount of time researching and learning about the borderline, you have been able to concatenate a mountain of information into a single post with some very good advice in a very short and concise summary.  However, I did have to look up "wim hof breath-work" as I was not familiar with that - sounds like a good coping mechanism - thanks for sharing, I learned about something new I wish to try.

Once again, thank you for sharing, I know I really appreciate what you have communicated.

Take care.
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capecodling

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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2023, 02:58:51 PM »

I knew and agree with you on everything you have said as I have spent an obsessive amount of time researching and learning about the borderline, you have been able to concatenate a mountain of information into a single post with some very good advice in a very short and concise summary.

Thank you for sharing your story.  We come from opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what we have chosen to do about each of our situations, as such its easy for cognitive dissonance to cause me to look for reasons why you should leave your situation and perhaps easy for you to see reasons why I should stay with mine.

Leaving was really tough because my borderline made it clear she did not want me to leave, but fortunately I did not have children with her (as you do with yours) but I had connected with her 2 daughters which didn’t make it any easier to leave.

I am curious if your wife is actively in treatment?  If my ex had been willing to get treatment I probably would have stayed.  But she insisted there was nothing wrong with her and that therapists didn’t understand her and always tried to tell her what was in her head.  That was a big part in my leaving.

Also I was dismayed to see how your wife has handcuffed you financially so you can not leave without suffering serious financial consequences.   For a boderline or narcisst they seem to carry the philosophy “all is fair in love and war.”. I support you no matter what you do, whether it goes against my own belief system or not, I am here to hopefully show some of you there is light at the other end of the tunnel.  

I see very few people on here who have actually TRULY escaped their borderline — even breakups from months ago or years ago there is a lot of “checking the BPD on social media” and stuff like that.  But I suppose these message boards also select for those of us still hurting and are still in the healing process - why would someone who has moved on completely need to be on here at all?  There is too much other living to do.
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SaltyDawg
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2023, 01:48:44 AM »

Thank you for sharing your story.  We come from opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what we have chosen to do about each of our situations, as such its easy for cognitive dissonance to cause me to look for reasons why you should leave your situation and perhaps easy for you to see reasons why I should stay with mine.

Logically I know I need to leave; however, emotionally I need to stay.  My moral compass won't let me due to my codependent traits - so I am in a conundrum.  Since you had no biological children, you left, and I also left when I was in a similar situation as yours with my previous uBPD/NPDexgf from the late 1990's.

I am curious if your wife is actively in treatment?  If my ex had been willing to get treatment I probably would have stayed.  But she insisted there was nothing wrong with her and that therapists didn’t understand her and always tried to tell her what was in her head.  That was a big part in my leaving.

Yes, my wife is in active treatment for her 'anger management' issues.  I did inform my wife with her individual T of my BPD suspicions; however, she has refused to acknowledge that she is disordered, nor does her T tell her that she has it.  That said, my wife does exhibit in nearly every couple's counseling session a major trait of being borderline [except the most recent one] including admitting to domestic violence which this trait alone statistically indicates a 50% probability of having diagnosable BPD.  Some of the traits, which the couple's counselor acknowledges by saying something 'you are not being rational' when it is painfully obvious that she is splitting me black.  My wife is getting better, slowly.  Her T's refused to call it borderline, and I am not allowed to use any reference to that language as it is triggering for her.  However, I do recognize the tools my wife is being taught specifically for the borderline even though it is not being called borderline.  So, unofficially she is specifically being treated for it, although it is being called something else.

Also I was dismayed to see how your wife has handcuffed you financially so you can not leave without suffering serious financial consequences.   For a boderline or narcisst they seem to carry the philosophy “all is fair in love and war.”. I support you no matter what you do, whether it goes against my own belief system or not, I am here to hopefully show some of you there is light at the other end of the tunnel.  

It is what it is.  I am maneuvering to minimize the damage, but that too is causing damage.  I am staying more for the kids than the money, even though that is factor.

I see very few people on here who have actually TRULY escaped their borderline — even breakups from months ago or years ago there is a lot of “checking the BPD on social media” and stuff like that.  But I suppose these message boards also select for those of us still hurting and are still in the healing process - why would someone who has moved on completely need to be on here at all?  There is too much other living to do.

Then, why are you here? 

I 'escaped' the first one cleanly and ethically, she was a 'nightmare'; however, it is only me doing a deep dive self examination on myself, I am revisiting that relationship only because I became aware of BPD - for 20 years, I only thought about her a few times until I learned about BPD, now I realize, in retrospect she too was a borderline and have thought about her more now, in the past year, than I previously did combined. 

However, the second one with my wife, I am entrapped in it.  The answer as to 'why' is very simple - trauma bond - look up Stockholm Syndrome if you want to understand the mechanics of it.  However, correcting and extricating yourself from it is very difficult.  It is likely the same reason why you are here, even if you don't want to admit it.

Take care.
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capecodling

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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2023, 12:13:19 PM »

> Then, why are you here? 

Fair question.  I am somewhere between where you are now (stuck in a trauma bond) and where you ended up with your first BPD ex (completely detached.)  So there is still some value in sharing with others.   I am honestly not sure if I am better off being here and reengaging with the whole borderline trope or if I would be better off dropping the whole thing entirely at some point.  Most days I spend the first part of the day breaking out of looping thoughts and processing negative emotions that have become trapped and need to be released.  Then usually by the afternoon and throughout the evening I feel like my old self.   But it takes a lot of energy — i have quite a routine of things i do each day — in order to reach that point.  I’d love to reach a point where I’ve dissolved enough of the trauma bond that I can just wake up each day as my old self.  Eventually this will come with time - as long as i remain no contact - but I have no idea how long it will take.

> I 'escaped' the first one cleanly and ethically,

Well, that’s amazing!  You managed to escape one when you did not have the entanglement of kids and finances.  I am guessing you did some work on yourself and let the passage of time heal you.  How long did it take to reach a point of indifference towards her?

> However, the second one with my wife, I am entrapped in it. 
> The answer as to 'why' is very simple - trauma bond
>  is likely the same reason why you are here, even if you
> don't want to admit it.

Please call me on any of my being in denial, but in my story I fully admit that I developed a trauma bond.  I can see it for what it is.  Its essentially a fake version of love that gets implanted in our psychology by the borderline — and by my being a codependent and enabling that through my own vulnerabilities. 

Also I’m being earnest when I say this, but I’m a bit taken aback to see how captive many on here are to the trauma bond.  You are a good example of that, you know the situation is toxic to you - and probably weakens your ability to be there for your kids - but you can’t leave largely due to the strength and magnetism of the trauma bond.  At least you are aware that you are probably rationalizing why you stay with her, but I am not claiming to know what’s in your head.  I’m just basing it on what you’ve told me.

I know a man who was married to a borderline for 25 years and then one day, in the airport, over something fairly small, he finally had enough and left her right then and there.  She never forgave him until the day she died.  Decades later she was talking about him on her death bed.  And I was there to witness this because she was the mother of an ex I’d been with a long time.  I didn’t understand borderline very well back then but looking back now there were two lessons that helped me with my own decision to let go:

1) my borderline ex was probably never going to let go.  She would always keep me just close enough but never so close that I could truly know her or that she could start to heal

2) the only way I would ever escape would be when I finally made the decision that i’d had enough

When I saw how much I had compromised my own values and boundaries in the relationship I saw where it was headed if I stayed long enough: with me completely destroyed, so badly I would not be able to come back from it.  That was actually the “enough” moment for me.

I’m not trying to convince you to do anything different with your situation, I’m actually just putting all of this out there to see if i still have some BS that needs to be called out.
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SaltyDawg
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2023, 09:36:31 PM »

> I 'escaped' the first one cleanly and ethically,

Well, that’s amazing!  You managed to escape one when you did not have the entanglement of kids and finances.  I am guessing you did some work on yourself and let the passage of time heal you.  How long did it take to reach a point of indifference towards her?


She did take me for a $50k ride of unsecured loans that I 'lent' to her.  I cut my losses and ran with regards to finances.

She had two children, from her late husband; however, they each had their own issues, and I felt for them.  When I dumped her, she cut off access to them - it sounds cold, but it was less for me to deal with.  However, I did look them up a dozen years later on social media, one was still messed up emotionally, the other one did remarkably well.  I don't know about her though, I suspect she had a long string of failed relationships as she had moved many times.

I did no work on myself for the first one; however, the passage of time did heal me.  The point of indifference was only a few months, as I was being love bombed by the next one [my wife] a few months later which healed things with the first one.

> However, the second one with my wife, I am entrapped in it. 
> The answer as to 'why' is very simple - trauma bond
>  is likely the same reason why you are here, even if you
> don't want to admit it.

Please call me on any of my being in denial, but in my story I fully admit that I developed a trauma bond.  I can see it for what it is.  Its essentially a fake version of love that gets implanted in our psychology by the borderline — and by my being a codependent and enabling that through my own vulnerabilities.
 

My love is real, keeping in mind that there are several kinds of love [Phila, Pragma, Storge, Eros, Ludus, Mania, Philautia, Agape, and a few more].  However, she only said that she loved me during the 'infatuation phase' so her version of love may very well be fake.  However, I do know that she cares for me, and has some feelings, just not sure if it is love though as she cannot properly identify certain emotions.

Also I’m being earnest when I say this, but I’m a bit taken aback to see how captive many on here are to the trauma bond.  You are a good example of that, you know the situation is toxic to you - and probably weakens your ability to be there for your kids - but you can’t leave largely due to the strength and magnetism of the trauma bond.  At least you are aware that you are probably rationalizing why you stay with her, but I am not claiming to know what’s in your head.  I’m just basing it on what you’ve told me.

I do know the situation, I recognize the situation, I am working on it with my T.  Knowledge of the trauma bond, only strengthens my resolve to be there for my children and reverse the damage, and I am navigating in uncharted areas of managing the borderline.  It requires manipulation of the situation to minimize the irrational behaviors.  Knowledge is power in this case and learning how to contain irrational behaviors of the borderline.

I know a man who was married to a borderline for 25 years and then one day, in the airport, over something fairly small, he finally had enough and left her right then and there.  She never forgave him until the day she died.  Decades later she was talking about him on her death bed.  And I was there to witness this because she was the mother of an ex I’d been with a long time.  I didn’t understand borderline very well back then but looking back now there were two lessons that helped me with my own decision to let go:
Sounds like you have been in this dance for a really long time.  Decades?  How long?

1) my borderline ex was probably never going to let go.  She would always keep me just close enough but never so close that I could truly know her or that she could start to heal
Not true.  What you are describing is a rare exception.  Most borderlines push people away, even though they have a strong fear of abandonment.  As do those with narcissistic traits as well.  My first one discarded me, I didn't come back when she tried to recycle.  From what I have read, most are this way.  It's the ones that don't physically leave like my current wife, that you have to worry about those ones.

2) the only way I would ever escape would be when I finally made the decision that i’d had enough
Help me understand, you stated that she ghosted you.  She gave you the 'escape'; however, yet, here you are ruminating about it?  I'm confused.

When I saw how much I had compromised my own values and boundaries in the relationship I saw where it was headed if I stayed long enough: with me completely destroyed, so badly I would not be able to come back from it.  That was actually the “enough” moment for me.
They do erode one's sense of self, and then one is in danger of what you describe.  It is key to maintain one's sense of self, maintain your own values and boundaries, to prevent them from totally consuming the relationship.

I’m not trying to convince you to do anything different with your situation, I’m actually just putting all of this out there to see if i still have some BS that needs to be called out.

Ahh, the real reason why you are here -- pick the pile of S- you want to talk about, and we can do a deeper dive on it.
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capecodling

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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2023, 04:35:51 PM »

I did no work on myself for the first one; however, the passage of time did heal me.  The point of indifference was only a few months, as I was being love bombed by the next one [my wife] a few months later which healed things with the first one.

I'm not sure if I would agree that she healed you.   But she did cover up the pain from the previous breakup by giving you a hit of the drug (ie love bombing) your trauma bond was craving.

Ahh, the real reason why you are here -- pick the pile of S- you want to talk about, and we can do a deeper dive on it.

Well, I know that the answer lies in the trauma bond.   Or at least whatever in me that is allowing that bond to be created.   That's the part nobody wants to look at.   Everyone wants to talk about stuff like "what does such-and-such mean when my ex did this" but if we could heal the trauma bond -- or tendencies in us which forge that bond -- then is makes all the other stuff just go away.

Beyond therapy, because I think therapy should be a given for anyone dealing with these issues, what thoughts do you have on healing yourself / your codependent tendencies?   I can tell you that I am taking rather extreme measures.   I'll do basically anything to stop this process, it is just too painful and I'm not really helping anyone, at best I'm just enabling the borderline to continue treating people badly.  I mentioned some of the things above + plant medicines which are things such as mushrooms, etc, there are some very powerful tools for cleansing emotional baggage.



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SaltyDawg
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2023, 09:57:40 PM »

I'm not sure if I would agree that she healed you.   But she did cover up the pain from the previous breakup by giving you a hit of the drug (ie love bombing) your trauma bond was craving.

Yes, perhaps 'healed' was a poorly selected word on my part.  She definitely distracted me from the previous breakup, and my wife was the 'new drug' that was much more potent.


Well, I know that the answer lies in the trauma bond.   Or at least whatever in me that is allowing that bond to be created.   That's the part nobody wants to look at. 

I concur, 'trauma bond' is the issue for the majority of those that are here, this is my personal opinion.

More information can be found here on the 'trauma bond'.

Signs/symptoms:
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=229693.0

Treating:
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=327131.0


Beyond therapy, because I think therapy should be a given for anyone dealing with these issues, what thoughts do you have on healing yourself / your codependent tendencies?   I can tell you that I am taking rather extreme measures.   I'll do basically anything to stop this process, it is just too painful and I'm not really helping anyone, at best I'm just enabling the borderline to continue treating people badly.  I mentioned some of the things above + plant medicines which are things such as mushrooms, etc, there are some very powerful tools for cleansing emotional baggage.

Therapy is good.  I am still doing a deep dive with my individual T on being codependent, I am about 2/3 the way through the symptom list - I am finding that I am not quite as codependent as I thought I was, and a lot of the issues has already been addressed in therapy over the past several months; however, there are other issues still need addressing.  Time, logic, and therapy I feel will address most, if not all of my own issues.  Currently it is still a 'work in progress'.

I also noticed that you said you were NC with a borderline 4 months ago; however, the text that I highlighted in your statement seems to imply that you are actively enabling a borderline.  Which is it?  If you are currently active, I can suggest some strategies to stop enabling them.  #1, set firm boundaries, and enforce those boundaries.
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capecodling

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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2023, 12:39:58 PM »

I also noticed that you said you were NC with a borderline 4 months ago; however, the text that I highlighted in your statement seems to imply that you are actively enabling a borderline.  Which is it?  If you are currently active, I can suggest some strategies to stop enabling them.  #1, set firm boundaries, and enforce those boundaries.

I broke up with my BPD ex 4 months ago and we have been no contact.   She did try charming once during that time period, around the holidays, but I told her we must remain no contact from now on and she has respected my boundaries on that.   I was saying to you above, that if I went back with or -- or even just continued to engage with her -- that I would be enabling her.  The best chance she has is losing our relationship forever because then there's at least the outside chance she might wake up and get some help for herself.   But more likely she'll just keep bouncing from relationship to relationship.  She was always sort of vague about her past relationships *surprise surprise*

Her charming attempt showed me how weak I still am.   It was roughly 2 months ago.   Since then I decided to move away, work remotely, and start a new life for myself,  so there is no chance I could run into her anywhere or give into her charming in a weak moment.   My plan is to not return back to where I previously lived until my reaction to her is all the way down to zero (ie I would have no reaction to running into her and a new person on the street.)   I may never return there.  Who knows.

How do I know I will ever reach a point of non-reactivity?   Well if you extrapolate where I was the first 3 months (10 out of 10 emotional pain) to where I am now (around 6 out of 10) it will take about 9-10 months of NC to reach a 0.   I also have 2 previous breakups with BPD women that were especially gnarly, they each took me about 2 years to get over -- but one of them was not 100% NC and the other I didn't have any of the coping tools I have now, including going to therapy.

I believe that I am right about recovery.  That it will happen.   I think that's the scariest part about dissolving a trauma bond.   It can feel like the pain will go on forever.   But I am optimistic that it will end within a year.   I will definitely post updates.

It seems like you have been on here and seen a lot of war stories like mine.  What do you think?   Does the pain typically end in due course for those who do NC and treatment and stick with it?
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2023, 01:44:27 PM »

How do you use EFT? Do you have a regular practice?
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2023, 02:57:16 PM »

How do you use EFT? Do you have a regular practice?

ETF has helped me massively break looping thoughts.   I have specifically used the FasterEFT practice, though I think any of the ETF methods could potentially work, but I really liked it specifically (link below for basic recipe.)   I have been doing it about 30 days in a row now every. single. day.  If anyone wants to follow along and compare results, let me know.    Sometimes I only need a few minutes each day, other times I keep going through sets for over an hour until all the looping thoughts have been released from my body.   I know it sounds a little "out there" but it has really been a game changer for me.  Each tapping cycle is like peeling off a layer of the onion, another charged memory or powerful emotion gone, but there are so many layers remaining to be peeled back.   I can't say enough good things about it.   Also I have nothing for sale, just a desire to help others dig themselves out of the hell that is post BPD breakup.

https://rorybatchilder.com/how-to-do-the-faster-eft-tap-the-basic-recipe/
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2023, 03:53:42 PM »

I broke up with my BPD ex 4 months ago and we have been no contact.   She did try charming once during that time period, around the holidays, but I told her we must remain no contact from now on and she has respected my boundaries on that.   I was saying to you above, that if I went back with or -- or even just continued to engage with her -- that I would be enabling her.  The best chance she has is losing our relationship forever because then there's at least the outside chance she might wake up and get some help for herself.   But more likely she'll just keep bouncing from relationship to relationship.  She was always sort of vague about her past relationships *surprise surprise*

Understood.  I agree with everything you say here.  The likelihood of getting help for herself is low, especially if you are not one of her first relationships of this nature.  For each successive relationship there is a smaller and smaller chance for her to 'wake up and get some help for herself'. 


Her charming attempt showed me how weak I still am.   It was roughly 2 months ago.   Since then I decided to move away, work remotely, and start a new life for myself,  so there is no chance I could run into her anywhere or give into her charming in a weak moment.   My plan is to not return back to where I previously lived until my reaction to her is all the way down to zero (ie I would have no reaction to running into her and a new person on the street.)   I may never return there.  Who knows.

That is a pretty extreme response on your part; however, that will improve your chances of not getting h-o-o-v-e-r-e-d.


How do I know I will ever reach a point of non-reactivity?   Well if you extrapolate where I was the first 3 months (10 out of 10 emotional pain) to where I am now (around 6 out of 10) it will take about 9-10 months of NC to reach a 0.   I also have 2 previous breakups with BPD women that were especially gnarly, they each took me about 2 years to get over -- but one of them was not 100% NC and the other I didn't have any of the coping tools I have now, including going to therapy.

From my own experience it is not a linear line as you suggest, I experience more of a half-life type curve.  Based on your own admission, it will take up to 2 years, perhaps less since you are doing a lot more therapeutic stuff to distract yourself.  Some people have said it takes them one month for every year they were together.  I experienced a replacement of a medium-functioning uBPD/NPDexgf with another only few months apart with an ultra-high functioning uBPD, so the process was short-circuited with a much more intense love-bombing from a different source.


I believe that I am right about recovery.  That it will happen.   I think that's the scariest part about dissolving a trauma bond.   It can feel like the pain will go on forever.   But I am optimistic that it will end within a year.   I will definitely post updates.

The level of affection is pure from a pure borderline, the level of hate is pure of a pure borderline.  Time will eventually heal the wound; however, the scar(s) will remain.  The newer the loss, the newer the wound, the more pain will be felt, until it heals, and even then it can still be painful.  I have no pain for my two previous relationships, of which one was uBPD/NPD in nature.  I actually have less residual feelings for her, than my first love who was not BPD/NPD. 


It seems like you have been on here and seen a lot of war stories like mine.  What do you think?   Does the pain typically end in due course for those who do NC and treatment and stick with it?

Every story has similarities.  Every story has differences.  Every story exists on a spectrum.  Mine, I would characterize my own as moderately borderline, not severe, and it is not mild either as it had suicide attempts and domestic violence, and a lot of emotional abuse; however, there were no substance abuse, and no infidelity which is characterised by the more severe cases.  The pain will fade away into the background; however, it will never fully go away, you will always have some feelings for a lost love.  I initially did LC, and then NC a month or two later.  According to the book “Stop Caretaking the Borderline Or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get on with Life” by Margalis Fjelstad I test as a level 4 (out of 5) caretaker; however, based on the description, I would be a level 3.  The higher your number the longer and the more difficult the recovery process. 

I would suggest reading that book, the audio book is about 8 hours; however, it will take longer with re-reads to fully comprehend the book. 

Good luck in your recovery and healing.  Do self-care, and do take care.

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capecodling

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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2023, 05:33:43 PM »

Thank you for your well-thought-out response.  I appreciate you.

Excerpt
The pain will fade away into the background; however, it will never fully go away, you will always have some feelings for a lost love.

I'm not sure I agree with this.   I have recovered fully from 2 previous BPD relationships.   The first one, she actually later became a therapist and admitted to me I had been right about her condition.   This was years later.   She and I kept in touch and would send "Happy new year" texts once a year.   And of all the BPDs I've been with she was the least toxic and most functional.  But I had absolutely zero coping skills back when we broke up and we kept in contact and there were many cycles of charming and discarding, but -- even with all of that -- I was recovered in something like 2-3 years from that.   I have absolutely zero reaction to her now.   I could see her making out with another guy on the street and I wouldn't care at all.   

Excerpt
The level of affection is pure from a pure borderline, the level of hate is pure of a pure borderline.  Time will eventually heal the wound; however, the scar(s) will remain.  The newer the loss, the newer the wound, the more pain will be felt, until it heals, and even then it can still be painful.  I have no pain for my two previous relationships, of which one was uBPD/NPD in nature.  I actually have less residual feelings for her, than my first love who was not BPD/NPD.

This has been my experience as well.   Losing the long-term healthy relationship elicits for more of an emotional response for me now.   The BPD breakup is like 10/10 pain at first but then drops off more steeply.  The conscientious breakup with non-BPD was like 6/10 pain when it happened but some of the memories still have fondness attached to them (and other emotions too.)   

I don't think that BPD affection is actually what you and I would consider "real."  If your mind always attached conditions to love, then you would be -- by definition -- someone who has never given unconditional love to another.   Until one has both given and received unconditional love it can be hard to understand.   But I know that I would feel very broken and incomplete, especially knowing what I know now, if I was not able to have this type of experience.

Excerpt
According to the book “Stop Caretaking the Borderline Or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get on with Life” by Margalis Fjelstad I test as a level 4 (out of 5) caretaker; however, based on the description, I would be a level 3.  The higher your number the longer and the more difficult the recovery process.

I would suggest reading that book, the audio book is about 8 hours; however, it will take longer with re-reads to fully comprehend the book.

Thank you,  I will read that book.
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2023, 02:52:32 PM »

Thanks for sharing your story. It’s helpful to see your timeline and see how you came  from a 10/10 at month 3 to doing so well.. Your self care plan is inspiring!!!
I’m four 1/2 months out. Having a particularly hard time now and being hard on myself for still having so much pain after 4 1/2 months. I feel at a 9/10 this week, but trying to remind myself that last week I was a 5 and taking note of the differences. The looping thoughts are the worst, and just the sadness of this person I deeply loved is gone. I just don’t know how to reconcile how she is pretending I don’t matter to her when I do know the significance I played in her life. It really feels like she died. I get it is BPD, but it doesn’t help the looping thoughts of grief and just missing her. It only helps with the bargaining, and reminding myself she is sick and not doing this to intentionally hurt me. She is self protecting
 I will have to spend a significant amount of time seeing her every day in April and I just don’t know how I am going to handle the coldness. We have had only one brief email exchange and she is doing the cold aloof thing. She was at a 10 with the sweetness throughout our entire relationship, until the very end where I ended it right away. I FINALLY have gotten to the place to not regret ending it.. Our promised friendship is coldness and social media privacy settings on her part. Anyways after a long ramble your post helped me when feeling sad and hopeless.
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2023, 07:54:37 PM »

Thanks for sharing your story. It’s helpful to see your timeline and see how you came  from a 10/10 at month 3 to doing so well.. Your self care plan is inspiring!!!
I’m four 1/2 months out. Having a particularly hard time now and being hard on myself for still having so much pain after 4 1/2 months. I feel at a 9/10 this week, but trying to remind myself that last week I was a 5 and taking note of the differences. The looping thoughts are the worst, and just the sadness of this person I deeply loved is gone. I just don’t know how to reconcile how she is pretending I don’t matter to her when I do know the significance I played in her life. It really feels like she died. I get it is BPD, but it doesn’t help the looping thoughts of grief and just missing her. It only helps with the bargaining, and reminding myself she is sick and not doing this to intentionally hurt me. She is self protecting
 I will have to spend a significant amount of time seeing her every day in April and I just don’t know how I am going to handle the coldness. We have had only one brief email exchange and she is doing the cold aloof thing. She was at a 10 with the sweetness throughout our entire relationship, until the very end where I ended it right away. I FINALLY have gotten to the place to not regret ending it.. Our promised friendship is coldness and social media privacy settings on her part. Anyways after a long ramble your post helped me when feeling sad and hopeless.

Wow, I have quite a few things to say about your story!

First of all, she sounds exactly like my second exBPD.  In one bad day she went from enamored to completely cold, and it was over a really stupid thing too.  I didn’t really understand BPD back then so the whole thing left me heartbroken and confused with looping thoughts that seemed to go on forever.  Trying to understand the BPD’s actions through a logical visage isn’t really possible and just leaves you thinking “could I have done this differently” or “could i tell her XYZ and somehow break through to her.”  These kind of mental exercises will drive you crazy and just leave you blaming yourself for the whole thing.

Second - about looping thoughts and images of the relationship - I feel that ending the looping thoughts brought me down in the last 30 days from a 9/10 pain to a 6/10.  I actually used the EFT method linked above to stop the thought loops.   But I took it seriously, I did EFT every single day for the past 30 days.  Sometimes I would be done with it in 15 minutes, some days I spent much longer to dissolve the looping thoughts. I’d love it if someone on here would be willing to take the same 30-day challenge I just did.  I’d be happy to help out in any way I can.

Third, I would do whatever you possibly can do to find a way to avoid seeing your ex again.   You had said you have to see her. This scenario happened with my second BPD ex as well, where I saw her not long after we broke up because we had signed up to go to the same retreat for a weekend.  Trust me when I say she will find a way to twist the knife and it will be excruciating.   Some of the thought loops I had from the retreat involving her were the most painful emotional triggers I have ever experienced in my entire life, and I’ve been overseas to war and also had other adverse life events and this was more painful.  This is going to start to sound dramatic, but its all true, my second exBPD was a true black widow.  She could just put a spell on men, they would come up to her randomly in public just sort of spellbound.  I swear it was like she was using some kind of magic.  I know her ex (the guy right before me) ended up committing suicide, this was before she and I met, and to be fair it sounded like he had other issues, but I know based on my experience how much pain she could inflict and I’ve heard a lot of BPDs themselves commit suicide so its possible that malevolent energy infects the partners of borderlines.

The good news is that if you can just remain no contact long enough — even if you ignore everything else I do and just let time pass — it will eventually fade to memories without any emotional charge.   i can think of the worst 10/10 painful thing my second exBPDs did, and it causes zero reaction.   I am actually kind of grateful for those experiences because they prepared me for this most recent one.  And for the record, there will not be another one after this.   Now I understand myself and BPD to well to get caught again.  I really didn’t understand BPD until this most recent one when I took the time to learn about it.
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2023, 09:30:26 PM »

Excerpt
and reminding myself she is sick and not doing this to intentionally hurt me. She is self protecting

Funnily enough I was just thinking earlier today about how I used to believe that about my pwBPD (who is also high in narcissism). I no longer do and it didn’t actually help when I was deluding myself about this. In my case, they absolutely were acting intentionally to hurt me and the sooner I was able to accept this about them, the easier it was to move on because it allowed me to stop feeling so much empathy for them and to start having more empathy for myself. Now I just feel pity for them.

PwBPD normally have an anxious-ambivalent attachment style and they withdraw in order to punish  — not to self-protect.  
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