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Author Topic: Did you have to hit bottom before going NC?  (Read 4188 times)
Skippy
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« on: October 20, 2005, 01:05:04 PM »

For those of you that got out, help us (those that are still in) understand how you did it.

Did you go NC before you hit bottom?   What was the last straw/final moment of strength?    What bottom did you hit?  How did you get through the early weeks, months?

Its a very difficult time right now... .anything would help.

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JoannaK
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2005, 01:48:47 PM »

Skip, I wish I could help you with this.  By the time I filed for my divorce, I was just so tired of all of the chaos.  Yes, I felt sad, as anyone would when the end of their marriage looms.  But I didn't try to count days without him.  I was happy not to talk to him.  I wanted him out of my life.   I didn't know about the possibility of BPD, of course, and I didn't know about the value of No Contact.

I suppose you could say that I hit rock bottom... .The chaos was so tiring and draining that it also drained away any desire that I had for him.  But I wouldn't advise anyone to wait 20 years to get out just because they are too much in "love" with the abusive, chaotic person.  I never thought things would get as bad as they did. 

If you don't think the abusive difficult partner will cheat, just wait.  If you don't think the high-functioning, good-career person will quit, get fired, not earn money, and/or go through all of your assets, just wait.  If you don't think that the social drinker will turn into a raging alcoholic, just wait.  I'm not saying that all of these things will inevitably happen if you get back together, but I do believe that things just get worse with time... .unless the person realizes how messed up and wrong he/she is and does something about it.   

The reason for the No Contact, of course, is that contact at that point in time would serve to make the pain more intense or to pull the person back in... .either to be vulnerable to re-engages, to getting back into the push/pull, to being abused again.

When he first broke up with me, shortly after we met, I was in agony... .I was convinced that I would never find anyone as exciting and sexy and charming as he.  I just took things one day at a time.  I was miserable for months, and I kept seeing him or finding things that reminded me of him.  I figured that I would be over him  ... .and open to another man ... .after a year max.  But, unfortunately, we got back together. 

So... .the things that help:  Surrounding yourself with friends, family, activities that will keep you from obsessing about the person.  Realizing that you will be miserable, depressed, that everything around you will seem grey, even on sunny days.   
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deliza
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2005, 01:49:02 PM »

Hi SB -- I guess I had just taken enough abuse -- When I moved in with my ex BPD fiance I saw the behavior change, but I didn't understand what I was in the middle of. ? I thought it was just both of us getting adjusted to living together, but it went on, in a cycle, maybe once or twice a week. ? I never did anything right. ? I decided I would give the relationship time, (6 months) always keeping in the back of my mind that something just wasn't right. ? Well six months later, the abuse was so bad and he was raging over the smallest humanisms (is that a word?- well it is now). ? I had taken as much as humanly possible for me and got out -- ? after much fighting and screaming. ? He is sick, very sick. ? In fact, I'm getting the one-two rings on the phone again. ? Happened twice Tuesday evening. ? If it starts up again I will file criminal charges. ?

All I can say is that when something doesn't feel right, look right, smell right -- if your gut is telling you something is wrong and there's no way to fix it - ? Please get away from it. ? You wouldn't poison yourself with tainted food, would you? ?

Don't wait until it gets so bad that you will go on for years trying to fix yourself. ? You're worth being treated with respect and kindness. ? Your opinions and thoughts are valid. ? I know it will take time for me now to get through what I've just witnessed -- but I'm willing to go for the gold now -- I'm worth it.

hugs

d
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Hikergal72
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2005, 05:21:47 PM »

I definitely think I hit bottom... .I had resigned myself that it was over the night before I took him his rifle... .I went over there with all the strength I could muster, tried to smile, tried not to cry... .kissed him good bye and told him I'd come see him the next day.  I sobbed hysterically after I turned off his street, all the way to Cabela's to return some stuff, and all the way home... .the crying continued for several days... .wouldn't get out of bed, wanted to die, wanted him to die... .I spent hours writing in my "R" journal, detailing everything that was wrong and I'd read it over and over again... .I smoked probably 2 packs a day, hid from my friends, avoided my children, flaked on school and refused to even so much as eat!  The tears started flowing less and I forced myself to function through every day life and it wasn't until I finally got rid of our puppy that I was able to stop.  No more crying, no more anger, no more of the stabbing pain.  I'm three weeks NC, I quit smoking, I'm back to eating, I haven't cried since doggie day, and I'm back to making cookies for my kids.  I ran into his sister last night and it didn't phase me at all, and today I got an email from him that I didn't even hesitate to delete.  Thoughts of him cross my mind still, of course... .but the hatred and pain is nonexistent.  Do what you have to do... .focus on yourself... .start small, start by getting something little accomplished... .for me, it was simply getting my butt to the grocery store, let these little mundane things lift you up.  Be proud of yourself for even just getting up in the morning, taking a shower, getting dressed, etc.  Get hypnotized to forget her numbers if you have to... .I'm telling you, it's soo much better on this side... .grab my hand!
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zenguy
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2005, 05:45:30 PM »

Hiker, you've come such a log way, congrats on the smoking, man, when you change your life, you really do!

Dr. Ric
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Hikergal72
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2005, 07:08:09 PM »

Why, thank you Zen!  I figure if I gotta change, I might as well do it in a big way!
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webster
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2005, 10:35:29 AM »

Skip - I'm sorry for you man.

I am doing NC 7 days (this is the second time). But more/less prepared myself over the last couple of months. I then reached a point of no return - and will keep thinking of last Wednesday as the lowest and worst I have felt my entire life. Not the period after her, but the actual removal of her / her stuff from my apartment. What helps me a lot is my vast support system. I have about 20 people (close to me - work / clients / family / friends) that I am open about this break-up. I talk to at least one per day. I am self-employed and make a lot of time for myself amongst my various projects.

I do not see a T., but I lecture with two Psychologists - which is great for deeper understanding.?  I am best friends with my sister and speak to her every day. I spend a lot of time here at bpdfamily. I also assist others (students) with their projects and problems.

I make time for myself. Sleep a lot - something I didnt do so well the last year or so. I have decided not to date or "see" other women for at least?  30-days. Well at least not to focus on any. Have one/two bugging me at the moment. I take no phone calls after hours and block email / voice mail to adhere to the NC rule.

I am slowly starting to set new personal study and life objectives. I am not bitter towards my xgf, but of course allow myself to be sad. This weekend I know I am going to be alone - and that is / stays a choice affirmation.

Next week I have dinner Tuesday night with longtime lady friend from university (also in my "self-appointed" support group). Wednesday by myself. And Thurday a dinner with a mate of mine.

I have configured my notebook computer with all the latest service packs / software / deployed a new contact system for all my students and contacts. Slowly starting again with most of the things I neglected for more than a year. Also believe that in a relationship one's hobbies and intrests should stay and be respected. Something that was difficult for me to practice. At least now when I am doing email, I'm not accused for "chatting up some other woman" .?  

So yes it is tuff - but I look forward to me-time. do not watch a lot of TV at the moment. Spend time on Internet and do some marking of papers in the evening to keep busy. I allow myself to miss her. But focus on my own needs (healing the hole in my sole from all the abuse and lost expectations).

I do not "nail" her in my mind. I focus on me only. And assist other people where I can. After 7 days I can already feel the stress running like streams of a mountain. I do not focus on any other women or dream about any relationship. One day at a time... .?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
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tori
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2005, 12:06:06 AM »



when i found myself mentally saying "oh, hezell NO!" too many times and literally becoming a fly on the wall during his rants occassionally hed stop and look around like i was looking at some one else. i have the sort of face that shows exactly what im thinking so during those times i knew i was lookin at him like he lost his mind, which was exactly what i was thinking... .just too many boundaries being crossed and myself questioning myself about my own sanity. luckily fate stepped in and his ass was arrested for some stupid mess he got caught up in. yet before that he was trying to get me back, yeah right :Smiling (click to insert in post).

'tori.
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Bigbob
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2005, 08:11:22 PM »

Well Skip, for me it was like a slow death. It took months. After I think, her second drunken rage, I put my foot down about the drinking and told her she/we needed councelling---if she refused,I was done.

But because our last fight got physical and her daughter called the cops, I moved out most of my good sht,leaving only my bed, some beurows and some clothes. ( by the way, the cop realized just who was the problem, and didn't bother w/me at all)

As time transpired, we went to councelling, we made up of course, I came back and things were looking bright for about 6-7 weeks.(but I didn't bring back anything)

Then her depression began to creep back in, and she was sounding all defeated about our marriage. SHe thought we should split. Once again, i was mortified---everything was going so well, I thought, but... .so three days before her birthday I asked her for the last time, ":)o you want to be married or not?" and she replied "no", so I said "well that's not the answer i wanted to hear.

I waited till the day after her birthday to arrange to move out ALL of my things and i was gone. when she didn't show up for our councelling, my decision was made... .4 times moving out was enough, not to mention the silent treatment and her sleeping in the other room for 4 days AND she started with the beers once again.

After these repeating patterns kept occurring month after month, I was finally getting numb to it all. My resolve was waining, and to continue this feasco was pointless.

So  if you're still "IN" have you planned an escape? Give yourself a deadline or border that can't be crossed for you. If she violates it, GO! Humiliation can act like a medicine for your fears after awhile.
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Bigbob
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2005, 08:12:28 PM »

Well Skip, for me it was like a slow death. It took months. After I think, her second drunken rage, I put my foot down about the drinking and told her she/we needed councelling---if she refused,I was done.

But because our last fight got physical and her daughter called the cops, I moved out most of my good sht,leaving only my bed, some beurows and some clothes. ( by the way, the cop realized just who was the problem, and didn't bother w/me at all)

As time transpired, we went to councelling, we made up of course, I came back and things were looking bright for about 6-7 weeks.(but I didn't bring back anything)

Then her depression began to creep back in, and she was sounding all defeated about our marriage. SHe thought we should split. Once again, i was mortified---everything was going so well, I thought, but... .so three days before her birthday I asked her for the last time, ":)o you want to be married or not?" and she replied "no", so I said "well that's not the answer i wanted to hear.

I waited till the day after her birthday to arrange to move out ALL of my things and i was gone. when she didn't show up for our councelling, my decision was made... .4 times moving out was enough, not to mention the silent treatment and her sleeping in the other room for 4 days AND she started with the beers once again.

After these repeating patterns kept occurring month after month, I was finally getting numb to it all. My resolve was waining, and to continue this feasco was pointless.

So ? if you're still "IN" have you planned an escape? Give yourself a deadline or border that can't be crossed for you. If she violates it, GO! Humiliation can act like a medicine for your fears after awhile.
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Skippy
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2005, 09:54:52 PM »

So  if you're still "IN" have you planned an escape?

6 weeks nc.  second break-up this year... .first was 5 months.  very painful.  i am recovering inch by inch.  i do have better boundaries right now... .although she not around to know... .
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goochiegirl
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2005, 12:09:44 AM »

I'm not technically "out" yet I guess. Or if I am, it's only been a few days since I told him and emailed him not to contact me anymore. I haven't seen him in 17 days. I think I've seen him twice in the last month.  I know that I struggled with knowing what I "had to" do, versus doing it, because I still had those gosh-darn feelings.

But because I have, for months now, have had limited contact with him, I have gotten accustomed to being without him anyway, and have done a lot of my mourning. Enough mourning, so that I have been at the point of utter disgust for him for several weeks. I want nothing to do with him, don't want to hear it.  He revolts me.  He has managed to kill every particle of love I ever felt for him, particularly as he has gotten more and more hostile in the last couple of months (as he sensed my detachment, surely).  Which only infuriated me more, because after all he has done, I felt he should be kissing MY ___, how dare he get hostile with me?  Every time I turned around, God forbid I expressed something he didn't like, or hit too close to the truth of what he has done, I would get a nice little email telling me:  F*** off you f***ing c***! And he'd be trying to talk to me again 2 days later like nothing happened.

I may not have a long history of NC behind me yet, but I can tell you this. I went from being so in love with him that I didn't think I could survive, ever find such love again, yada yada... .to feeling nothing... nothing at all for him, except that revulsion. 

Oh, what really helped is my friend I made from a verbal abuse forum who is going through something similar.  We've been talking several times a week for a couple of months now.  There's NOTHING like one on one mutual support.
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2005, 02:00:48 AM »

... .particularly as he has gotten more and more hostile in the last couple of months (as he sensed my detachment, surely).?  Which only infuriated me more, because after all he has done, I felt he should be kissing MY ___, how dare he get hostile with me?  Every time I turned around, God forbid I expressed something he didn't like, or hit too close to the truth of what he has done, I would get a nice little email telling me:?  F*** off you f***ing c***! And he'd be trying to talk to me again 2 days later like nothing happened.

Tell me about it. Same situation here.

This whole situation I am in is unreal. I hope to never go through it again.

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JPS
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2005, 03:12:50 AM »



I hit bottom, sort of... .

Every break-up was worse, and I sortof let her decide for herself what she wanted... .

If she wanted back, I looked at the damage and if or not I wanted to give it another go... .And what needed to be changed... .

Didn't help tho... .

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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2005, 07:00:58 AM »

X and I are still in intermittent contact, but when we were together at the end there was a point of no return that was crossed that marked the end of it for me.  I asked X to leave and not to contact me for a month.  That month was so peaceful, so sane, so predictable.  I couldn't go back to the chaos after that. 

If you're not ready for total NC, you might give a NC break a try.  I was feeling better within a few days of X and I separating with no contact, but after a month I was certain I had done the right thing.  It was still a sad time, knowing that the relationship I had hoped we would have was over.  But I was getting myself back after having given so much of myself away to try to keep the relationship alive that I was happily surprised I had some of me left.  And determined it wouldn't happen again.
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sillyputte
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2005, 10:48:25 AM »

Wouldn't call mine rock bottom so to speak.  I simply reached the point after the fourth break-up of realizing that I was no longer the person I was, and that I was losing touch with reality (questioning everything I did and said).

Like many others I allowed myself to be re-engaged and I did initiate a re-engagement myself.  Each and every time I thought I was stronger and better able to cope and found out how wrong I was.

Bottom line was for me that the final time she said I loved you and then followed that with the angry venomous I hate you don't ever contact me again, I think I was seeing this for what it was, which was hopeless.

Love is not always enough, and after spending a year in counselling myself to deal with the infamous question of why I went back or asked to go back I had to work on my own issues.

I did not have to bottom out as many have, and I did not lose anything financially (thankfully).  I did lose a lot emotionally and I am still working on that, albeit with a wonderful new partner who is stable, sane, loving and caring on a consistent basis.  She knows what I have been through and is quite understanding of some of the fleas I am still carrying with me.  We talk things through like grown adults.

I am thankful I was not taken to rock bottom with my ex, and I wish her nothing but the best in her life, but I know now I will never be a part of that life which is littered with chaos, self-pity, self-doubt, unpredictability and unhappiness.
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Janthina
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2005, 02:03:19 PM »

Yeah, I hit bottom and HARD. But I was such a dimwit and she was so good at what she did that I had to hit bottom to figure out what the hell was going on.

What happened, and god I am so sick of the memory, of the loathsome story, is she brought in a guy and helped him molest me and try to rape me. That was quite the wake-up call. Of course the trauma knocked my functional IQ down to zip for quite a while. I was out of the house six weeks after the attack. It took that long because I was trying to figure what, if anything, I could salvage of my life.

It took me less than a week after the attack to learn what BPD was. And after maybe a couple of weeks of reading up on it I realized it was a total no-go.

Once I put the pieces of this miserable puzzle together, No Contact was the natural response, the only sound option. I tried to get together with her ONCE to try to negotiate some fiscal and property details. I made sure it was in a very public place. She was a raving evil loonytoon with shark black eyes. Seriously, I'd have had a more fruitful interaction with the Tasmanian Devil on crack than I had with her.

I'm making jokes, but I was a shattered woman. I couldn't believe what she'd turned out to be. I couldn't believe how much of my life had been destroyed.

I NEVER had a serious urge to break No Contact. Oh, I would have if I had any delusions that we could talk and reach some sort of understanding for purposes of closure. But she had taken permanent leave of even pretending to be a citizen of reality.

I missed my home and pets. I still miss my business. I very much miss my former step kids. That is what brings the tears the most. Sometimes I miss loving her, loving who I thought she was. But I do not miss her. And I really loved her. God, I loved her.

Step back and get a clear view of the situation and NC is easier than you'd think. There's pain and regret and all manner of suffering, but you realize that hope is not something that lies in the BPD's direction. You have to head on another path for joy and a full life.

Just educate yourself and be honest, ruthlessly honest with yourself. Then it will be clear.
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lml

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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2005, 02:31:15 PM »

In my case, I had to hit rock bottom before going no contact.  My rock bottom was really about being disgusted with myself and what I had become as a result of the relationship.  I could not stand that I had become someone that was accepting infidelity, disrespect, and even allowing abuse of myself and those around me.  I had lost my bearings as to what I was about and just could not continue down that path any further.  So when I finally went no contact, there was no turning back.  I could not accept myself like that.

However, I am certain that I could have accelerated the process and reduced my pain overall, by going to no contact much earlier.  It is really hard to go there when you still care, but that's the best way to get over it.  A big part of the problem is the addictive qualities of these relationships.  Essentially, you go into withdrawal because you are so used to focusing all the time on your bp and almost never on yourself.  When the bp is gone from your daily/hourly life, there is this huge void.  You have to get through that void and fill it with other things, or the draw is unbearable.  That's why when people go no contact, while still caring, they really need to employ extraordinary means to make it work - moving, changing e-mail and phone numbers, changing employers, whatever it takes.  You have to get through that withdrawal period to get back to sanity.  Otherwise, you keep going back.  And we all know where that leads ... .
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TaloninTx
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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2005, 02:45:17 PM »

Yeah, I think rock bottom is finally here.

I can't do anything else but not contact her anymore. She doesn't want to have anything to do with me and when I do try to talk to her I just upset her. I don't want her hurting because of me and the guilt of that has me at rock bottom. I will probably never hear from her again at this point and I have to stay strong and just walk away not just for her but for my own self.

Welcome to rock bottom.
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goochiegirl
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« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2005, 04:25:55 PM »

Excerpt
A big part of the problem is the addictive qualities of these relationships.?  Essentially, you go into withdrawal because you are so used to focusing all the time on your bp and almost never on yourself.?  When the bp is gone from your daily/hourly life, there is this huge void.?  You have to get through that void and fill it with other things, or the draw is unbearable.?  That's why when people go no contact, while still caring, they really need to employ extraordinary means to make it work - moving, changing e-mail and phone numbers, changing employers, whatever it takes.?  You have to get through that withdrawal period to get back to sanity.?  Otherwise, you keep going back.?  And we all know where that leads ... .

Wow, lml, you hit it RIGHT on the head?  This is exactly what I have been through?  For two years I had spent so much time worrying about him, that I had forgotten what it was that I used to do for myself.?  Now that I am on my own, I find myself swinging back and forth between loving and enjoying my newfound freedom again, and not knowing what to do with myself?  - still focusing on him.?  

I have plenty of things to do, and lots of interests.?  But when you're out of the habit of doing those, it's hard to just pick up right where you left off.?  Gotta do it a little at a time. Re-orient yourself.?  You just got tossed down to the ground by the tornado, and you have to get your bearings.?  

It's kind of like... .I used to be an extraordinary cook when I was married... .all sorts of things, I would attempt anything.?  I stopped cooking when I got divorced 6 years ago, and now I'll be darned if I can remember how to even make a meatloaf?  I literally forgot how to cook.?  Of course, if I really wanted to, I could slowly get back into it and it would come back to me... but I guess I'm just not that interested anymore.
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longhaul

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« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2005, 06:11:30 PM »

I don't think I hit bottom.  What made the difference for me was understanding why NC is such a good idea.  It's all about a little thing from Psych 101 called variable ratio reward scheduling.  Here's an online description:

www.chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/behsys/operant.html

It's the same thing that makes gambling, particularly slot machines, so addicting.  You know your BP has the potential to be one of the most attractive people you have ever met.  That's your payoff.  Now, often as things deteriorate, they become that attractive person less frequently.  You would think that would make you persue them less, but actually it makes you persue them more.  Every time you talk to them or e-mail them you are pulling the handle of the slot machine, hoping that this will be the time you get the big payoff.  And occasionally, like the slot machine, you get a little pay out, you get a little reward and a taste of what it is you are after.  And that just makes you do it more.

So you have to stop pulling the handle.  You have to realize that the jackpot you are after doesn't exist and that you need to stop re-inforcing your behavior.  Realizing that this was the point of NC helped me see it as a useful tool in getting past all this, rather than just some thing that people said I should do.  Until this happened to me, I knew nothing of BPD and I thought that it was always better to try to talk through a situation and to maintain communications.  Now I know better.
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Janthina
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« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2005, 06:45:55 PM »

Is that what it's called? I knew it from canine obedience training. You want to train a dog to come when he's called? You don't give him a cookie every time he comes, just some of the time he comes.

The promise of the cookie is more tempting than the cookie itself.
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lennic
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« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2005, 07:09:37 PM »

Just need someone to cook for and to cook for you Gooch... .nothing like doing dishes together and setting up for R and R with a full belly and a clean kitchen... .but hell there I go with my Disney thinking... .

Lenny
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longhaul

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« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2005, 07:09:00 PM »

Is that what it's called? I knew it from canine obedience training. You want to train a dog to come when he's called? You don't give him a cookie every time he comes, just some of the time he comes.

Yeah, that's pretty much the concept. It's not necessarily intuitively obvious but it's very powerful stuff, even when you know it is happening.  Lately I have been trying to become more aware of things that reward you in that way. It can lead to some weird behavior.  Back in college, we were using these techniques on rats and we were supposed to teach them how to press this lever.  Not that hard with the right techniques and rewards.  One group's rat somehow learned that it should press the lever and then do a back flip to get a pellet.  The back flip was unnecessary, but once the rat latched onto that idea, it wouldn't let go.  What unnecessary back flips do we do in our every day lives?
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Janthina
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« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2005, 07:12:01 PM »

What us little ratties have to realize is that we can get the hell out of the cage and there's more to life than pellets!
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