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Author Topic: --OBSESSION--  (Read 4488 times)
Skippy
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« on: March 15, 2006, 09:23:21 AM »

Am I obsessing?   Are you obsessing?

I met M.  We dated for 4 years.  There were some good times, some bad.  We broke up.  Everybody moved on (her, the boys, her parents, mine).  No communication, no cards.  I've dated.  I'm seeing someone else casually.  This was not my first rodeo (we like to say that in Texas, it manly).

It's over, you grieve,  you let go, you disconnect.  That's healthy.

But I still think of M from time to time and it's more than just a fleeting thought.  I acknowledge (in my mind only) when each the families members birthdays come. I wonder how her son is doing in college.  I boxed the mementos of the relationship in the garage… but I haven't set it out for trash collection. I see her face.

I read others here talking about nightmares, and anger and hurt a year out or more… the opposite reaction, but still a connection.

At what point is this as dysfunctional as staying in a BPD relationship and accepting the bad behavior in the first place?

And how do you get beyond this?



I watched a great exchange in a movie recently. A 16-year-old girl asks her unshaven, drinking, loser dad why he can't run his life.

He replies, "It's your mother.  I still love her."

And the 16-year chastises her father, "I loved her to, but she didn't love us back.  Why can't you get it in mind? Its over.   It's over and she is never coming back."


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Gulfstream
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2006, 09:35:24 AM »

Skip,

Glad to see you again; sorry U are back. You know, there are things that I kept from Sniffles, some little things, because this did happen, it wasn't a dream or disassociation, it was real for you. This is a thing I've been through, but you know what, to know if it's healthy or not, ask yourself; if she showed up at my door right now, jammies in hand, you take her back? If the answer is no, even without the jammie, you are just a normal guy, who's had a bad experience and wonders "what if."

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goochiegirl
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2006, 10:33:15 AM »

Good question Skip.  I think I will always have a soft spot for him. I will always think of him from time to time. Hopefully, it will lessen as time goes by.

But I am curious from the "outties" who have been out for a long time, what their experience was.
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Silent Alarm
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2006, 10:40:06 AM »

I hear you Skip.  She's everywhere, and so is her family.  I think it will go away in time, but I know some of it won't.

I did a "purge" of my house over the weekend.  Found some old letters and photos.  Threw them in the garbage.  One of the more difficult things I've had to do.

It's a hard thing to let go of.  I wonder sometimes if just accepting that you'll never let it go is part of letting it go.  I don't know if that makes sense.  I want to let it go so badly, that I think about it all the time and get frustrated that it still bothers me.  Maybe if I just accept that the experience is part of me, that she's part of my subconscious now, it will take a back seat and fade a bit.

I'm not the most articulate today, but does anyone else see what I mean by that?  Is the fact that we keep fighting it, keeping it around for us?  What if we admit defeat, say yup, she got in there and isn't going to get out again, we can just move on with the new reality more comfortably?
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JoannaK
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2006, 10:52:16 AM »

When we get stronger, when we realize that they were not worthy of us, we stop obsessing.  As long as we still think of them as "better" and in some way desireable, we can fall prey to obsession.

But being obsessed doesn't mean we have to act on it.  Just keep going about our business and put one foot in front of the other. 

About the new woman: Eventually you will find that she has won over that spot in your heart that had been reserved for the ex.  Or she won't.  If you compare her to the ex, however, she may come up short.  So best to do something and keep your mind occupied when thoughts of the ex creep in.
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Skippy
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2006, 11:28:00 AM »

I fear that these thoughts are not healthy at this point... .I'm not fully in the here and now.   And I'm not alone.

I'm not looking for a sympathetic ear today (as in most days),  I'm looking for the cold hard reality that we sometimes choose to ignore.  Calibrate me, please (wow, Skippy is really demanding today, opps).

I ignored some clearly "red flags" in the relationship (and a bunch of yellows too).  Am I (are any of us) doing the same dysfunctional thing now? 

What types of things, charcteristics, etc. would be indictative that it is obsessive, and what would be indictative of it being just normal recovery?

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Gulfstream
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2006, 11:47:04 AM »

Skip, from my experience these feelings are latency from the relationship. More of "why didn't I do this or see that." Cause your are freaking normal and human, only borderlines run around in various states of paranoia, asking for proof statements of love and adoration.

Smack, Smack, the sound of a warm Gulfstream hand hittin a snowman head. Boy, bout time you went out and got... a good time. They still do that down there, don't they?

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JoannaK
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2006, 12:01:09 PM »

Skip, you've only been away from her a half year.  I have a friend who broke up with her bf of 9 years last summer and she still finds herself obsessing from time to time.  But she's going on with her life.  She's not dating, but she's feeling very sensitive about her weight (and her concern is justified).  But she keeps busy, goes to work, sees family and friends.  Of course, I think he was a creep and could never understand why she thought he was so charming and wonderful anyway, but that's a different issue.  But as long as you keep moving along in your life and enjoying yourself, you are probably doing fine.  If you find that you can't do things or you can't experience pleasure and you are moving backwards in your recovery, then you have a problem and probably need to get back into therapy.
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cmef
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2006, 12:02:35 PM »

I wondered if I were being obsessive, and had seen somebody post about "Obsessive Love: When It Hurts Too Much to Let Go" by Susan Forward. I bought the book online, used. I haven't had it long, but I think I can honestly say I am not obsessing. I was with a guy for over 20 years, was willing to do anything to make it work. He decided we didn't need to be married anymore, got another woman. I have a little trouble with it - DUH! That's kind of the nutshell, without going into his personality issues and my codependent issues.

Anyway, I have this book if anybody wants it. It is used, I paid $4 plus shipping for it. You can pm me if you are interested.

Mary

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spamlady
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2006, 12:04:12 PM »

I still think of M from time to time and it's more than just a fleeting thought.

I acknowledge (in my mind only) when each the families members birthdays come.

I wonder how her son is doing in college.

I boxed the mementos of the relationship in the garage… but I haven't set it out for trash collection.

I see her face.

She was a huge part of your life for 4 years. Aside from the pathological part of the relationship, there was "stuff" you shared that didn't go away. Some of it will go away someday. Some will probably never go away.

Can you examine this in contrast to your experience with recollections regarding some other close friend you had for 4 years and then lost touch with through a move or death or something? Afterward, wasn't there some "leftover stuff"? Maybe some mementos you kept? Questions about how the friend and their family members were doing?

Only you can judge whether your thoughts are obsessive. Passing thoughts are absolutely normal. My guess is, though, if you're worrying about them sufficiently to ask the question, it may be an issue you need to address through some kind of therapy. Good luck!

spam

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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2006, 12:13:03 PM »

Skip,

Your post resonated with me.  I broke up with my ex 6 months ago and I have OCD.   So I know all about obsessing.  All I can say is that it appears as though the grip of obsession over the ex diminishes over time but never completely goes away.  Silent Alarm's advise is very good... .to stop fighting the obsession and accept its presence.  Trying to get rid of obsessive thoughts about your ex places more importance on these thoughts and gives them more power over you.  Accepting these thoughts as part of your life will paradoxically loosen its grip over you.
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garyw
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2006, 12:44:56 PM »

Love athletes and March Madness and the agony of defeat... .and the lure of winning.

  This is about the only time I watch basketball is during the playoffs. I really get into it because it's the Big Game... .highschool, college but I don't watch the pros for some reason. It seems the same passion is missing as when you give it for free.

I'll get caught up in it pretty good especially the smaller schools. there is so much heart in those games.Then when it comes time to interview some of the players I keep feeling that this memory surley will be the biggest in their life... .The Big Game... once in a life time chance. How could anything take its place... .but it does... .for them.  There is then maybe the College play offs and surley that outweighs that ole high school game that is now just an ole highschool game one day played.

So after the college championship then I again think ... .wow... .what could ever replace this moment in their lives. This has to be it... .the  phoenix of their lives... .but it's not.

Then 5 or 10 yeras later you see them in some business or maybe a coach or some profession where they moved on.

They found a new game and didn't just hang around the gym or locker room living their lives with only memories obessing over what they thought was the only and "The Big Game".

Some how we need to get out of the locker room and the hollow gymnasium where there are only echos of the crowd where we once were the starr and find a new game

  We were stars and to us it was The Big Game  but the buzzer did go off and the other players have gone home.

They... .the real ball players had something over us though that we didn't have or that we didn't pay attention to.

They had a shot clock... .they had refs... .and all important they had a game clock that sounded real loud when that game was over.

Im sure without those clocks and buzzers that they with the passion they had for the game would have played till they fell over dead or would have stayed in that game forever till the last man was standing and a winner could be declared. I believe they could have become that obsessed with the moment.

The game clock saved them... .a new game saved them... .time  outs ,rules saved them from being naturally obsessed with what they felt was the biggest game in their life so why quit otherwise.

They also had something else many of us didn't have... .wise coaches that taught them not just how to play the game but how to win and how to loose.

So I can see obsession as being the natural choice or effect, if one feels that was the biggest and only game they will ever play... .that that one was the Big one.

Some how in our own way we need to accept that we lost one... .but there are more games to be played... .just not in that same old gym from before.

Watch some of the games and see if you don't see yourself there on the floor and on the bench going throuh one emotion after the other with victory so close and then taken away... .watch them at the end of the especially the close ones.

I don't know if that made a crack of sense and certianally didn't provide an answer (don't send the wagon after me :P) but March will be over soon and then fishin season starts
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NonBP_ex

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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2006, 08:08:38 PM »

This is what I'm doing: Remember that they don't give a toss about you and couldn't care less.  Remember how they hurt you.  Remember the expression of utter scorn on their face.  :-X Remember how unattractive they were when they were doing their childish acting-out, how angry they made you by constantly giving you crap.  ;==

Don't remember the good times - they were an illusion. The real person was always under the surface, waiting for you to trust them, waiting for a chance to hurt you. Remember the narcissistic glee they obviously got out of treating you like garbage. Do you really miss this? Of course not, only a masochist would miss hanging out with such an out-and-out sadist. Remember how annoying they were when they were pulling their submissive act, like that woman in the movie Secretary. Watch the movie Secretary. Do you really want to be the James Spader character? Because that's how they'll paint you- as the complete creep who abused them, because they have a broken record in their head of the first person that hurt them, and they make everyone they get close to fit that profile, whether the person wants to or not.

Ultimately, your only protection is flight. They don't want you - they want their tormentor so they can get their longed-for revenge. They don't need a lover, they need a shrink. You are not a shrink. Even if you are, you shouldn't be going out with patients! Smiling (click to insert in post)

You have to be callous with these people because if you are not they will rip your heart out and eat it. Remember - they think that you're their long-lost abuser.

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myboo
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2006, 08:27:12 PM »

Excerpt
only a masochist would miss hanging out with such an out-and-out sadist.

Hey NonBP.  I have actually thinking that I must have been a masochist to put up with such cruel and disturbed behaviour and then want to go back to it.        I think I may start a post about it. 

MB
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Skippy
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2006, 12:37:00 PM »

Some excellent feedback.  If I can paraphrase to get it all in one place:

Gulfstream = These feelings are a latency from the relationship

Spamlady=Passing thoughts are absolutely normal

Schhan = Stop fighting the obsession and accept its presence.

Silent Alarm= I wonder sometimes if just accepting that you'll never let it go is part of letting it go.

Gary= Some how in our own way we need to accept that we lost one... .but there are more games to be played

JoannaK = As long as you keep moving along in your life and enjoying yourself, you are probably doing fine.  If you find that you can't do things or you can't experience pleasure and you are moving backwards in your recovery, then you have a problem

Good feedback all... .obsessing:  It's normal.  As long as you are progressing you are probably OK.  Don't expect that it will go away totally... .accept that.  You know you're in trouble if you start regressing, can't enjoy your life, believe the person was the "one and only", or that you feel like its you might be in trouble.

OK, now I have to confess that I really goofed in starting this thread, my thoughts were not clear.  That's why I started it.  I really meant to say, when is enough, enough (or when is it excessive to be still thing about her).  Recovery can't be just be try to live your life and wait until you feel better. (no one posted this, its my thought).

I think recovery goals help us get through this better?

NC was, afterall, a goal.  It had a definition, often a timeline, rationale, and great support.

OK great, what's next? 

I picked some behavioral examples (behavior is easier to manipulate than the mind).

Maybe its getting yourself to the point, or setting a limit on how long you talk about her, write her name, refer to the relationship, you "my" in front of BPD (NT)

Maybe its working to a goal of how long you will talk about BPD(NB). I stayed on to help others as part of my obligation to the board... .but maybe I would be better to do this after I'm further down the recovery path.

I left the board for 30 days and this allowed me to shift my whole orientation from her to me, really helpful.

Other thoughts, a tool, a goal, a milestone.

I know it takes time to heal from these wounds... .but if I severely injured your legs, I would be fighting like hell in physical therapy to get better.  Pushing, resting, eating right, etc.

I'm trying to do that now?
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goochiegirl
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2006, 01:18:40 PM »

Skip,

Imagine this with me, for a moment:

You are a father of a teenage boy.  When he was born, so was your love for him, and it grew and grew as he grew and grew.  Now he is approaching adulthood, and he has acquired a drug problem, which you were helpless to prevent, as you did everything you could as his parent.  The drug problem keeps getting worse and worse... he is now stealing from you, raging at you, pawns your TV, beats up his younger brother, tells you his problems are all your fault, throws a chair at you, refuses to acknowledge he has a problem or do anything to change it.  So you go to Alanon, or join a Tough Love group.  You learn what you need to do:  tell him either he agrees to get help and change his ways, or you can no longer support him and allow him to live with you.  He tells you to f*** off as he goes out the door.  Days and weeks go by, you don't hear from him.  You call his friends... they don't know where he went.  You wonder how he could do this to you. How he could just walk out on you and not care who he hurts.  Months later, you hear he is ok, but he refuses to talk to you.

Now, do you stop loving him?  Do you tell yourself, "I deserve better, and he doesn't deserve my love. I shouldn't be angry or upset or missing him anymore. I shouldn't love him anymore." ?  Of course not.  Your love for him was and is REAL.  Regardless of what he does, you will ALWAYS love him.  You did what you had to do, both for his sake and your own, and removed yourself from the painful situation and his abuse. But does that mean you don't love him? Shouldn't love him?

I'm sure that some people will think, "yeah, but that's your CHILD!"  Well, to me, love is love is love. When it is deep true love, it doesn't matter what the source is.  Your mind may know the difference but your heart doesn't.  Could you imagine telling such a parent, he needs to be "over it" already?  That he is being 'unhealthy' by still loving that boy?  That he should just forget about him?  Yes, the father needs to move on with his life, and do whatever it is he needs to do for himself, but dear God, he shouldn't be chastising himself for loving him.

And I think that's what we do.  Obviously, none of us likes to suffer. But sometimes, life involves suffering and there's nothing we can do about it.  While my days are much much better now, I still have times when I cry and miss him to the point where I can't think to bear it any longer, and I still think of him every day. But all the while, I tell myself, there's nothing I can do. I am already doing everything I can. Sometimes, we can't escape the suffering no matter how much we try. It is what it is, and all we can do is say, "Oh crap, here it comes again. Well, ok then." We want to go back to when life didn't have this pain... we look back and see that we didn't appreciate just how good we had it before this suffering began.  But the milk is spilled now.

We WILL heal. Our hearts will always bear a scar, but it won't be bleeding anymore... .someday. Who knows how far off that 'someday' is.  But I think we'll get there sooner when we allow ourselves to know that it is OK to love someone, that it's self-defeating to try to fight it and kill it.  It just needs to run its course.  Kind of like the Chinese finger trap.  It'll be done when it's done, and not a moment before.



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Gulfstream
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« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2006, 01:39:49 PM »

Skip,

I was pretty ripped up after crashing with Sniffles. You know what, it's been a year, probably, and I can't remember (good sign or Alzheimers' I'm not sure). But you know, she feels like a big callous now, not good, not bad, just like a callous, you know, the kind you get from playing a guitar or banjo (I'm a banjo player). It's thick and I know it's there, but there is just no emotion, no feeling tied with it. So much so, that I really don't even remember what she looks like, or more to the point I don't care, not at all!

Skip, it just comes, it really does, you can't push it, and I tried, nope one day you just wake up and notice that you don't notice... .kinda know what I mean?

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Skippy
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« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2006, 01:58:14 PM »

Good post... .but you know I'm not easy... .

Your central theme is "it's OK to love them" even though everything went bad.  Or put in another way, getting over the realtionship doesn't have to have a component of not loving them.

I wrote to a friend recently, I love them, I'll never see them again, its a wierd space to be in.  I don't want to stop thinking about how little J is doing in sports (because I love him), but how healthy is to think about someone that is gone, and more importantly changing into something else I have no basis to even imagine (they grow, so I really don't even have a real basis to think about).  Yet its sad to just stop thinking about him.

If I apply your logic here, and mine "separating the suffering component from the grief component", I should really try to stop thinking about his current life, what his is doing, etc.  I should maybe try to keep my thoughts to the days we had, how cool they were, and how much it rewarded my life.  The first which causes me to suffer (it does), the later which feels more like grief (but peaceful and happy).

Thats a good tool.  I have really struggled with not wanting to let the boys memory totally fade, but I feel I'm helpless and lost when I think about them. 

I could apply this to her, but I've got to think about that.  Maybe try to direct my thoughts to a memory of the good experience (which was actually how she developed my ability to express my affections in a relationship), and just stay away from what she is doing now, or what went wrong, or abusive she was.  That feels a lot healthier too.

You're right I still love them and I've been complexed by all kinds of issues with saying that.  What is love? Do I even know what it is?  Did she love? Its over let it go. etc.  So , I might feel better about this too.

Lets see tommorrow... .if any of this makes sense when I read it.

I'm currently NT (not talking to others about her). That was long overdue  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Skippy thanks you.

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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2006, 02:19:21 PM »

Skip,

It's not 'unhealthy', it's just natural. And uncomfortable. No one said this would be easy. As humans, we are wired to avoid pain. Sometimes, there's no avoiding it.  I'm not saying it needs to be like this forever, I'm saying that we need to accept the way it is and ourselves while it's running its course.

When I'm feeling that way, it reminds me of childbirth.  With my first child, I was in labor for 27 HOURS!  Excruciating and exhausting.  I kept praying for it to be over. But the thing about labor is, you don't know WHEN it will be over and done with.  It's like having your foot wedged under the tire of a truck... and not knowing how long you will have to bear it.  I had no idea if I'd give birth in half an hour or 10 or 20. If I knew when it would all be over, at least I could count down.  But I didn't and I couldn't.  All I could do was my breathing exercises (focus on something else as much as I can).  I actually pushed for 3 hours!  I would fall asleep immediately in between contractions, I was so exhausted. So exhausted in fact, that they had to (after 3 friggin hours of pushing!) give me a c-section, because my uterus was too fatigued to do the work anymore and my son was losing oxygen.

Anyhow, that's the analogy I use: Yeah, it sucks, but I can't do anything to NOT feel the pain, when it's there.  All I can do is think, "this too shall pass."
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2006, 02:50:54 PM »

Very good analogy Gooch, at least from a trained labor coach... .I got tired too but no where near you gals... Again a wonderful image of not knowing when.

I had this second grade teacher Skip,,her name was Miss Balismo. Things were strained in my home,,My Mother did everything she could to keep the peace but war was food to some,,so it was a never ending job. This beautiful young energetic teacher loved me. I was her favorite. I was the first every day in my chair. I loved her for loving me. I still do today.

Well second grade was a stellar year for me... .it was then and came to play a large role in my life afterwards but anyway it came to an end... .summer came. It was a sad summer for me but I was 7 so life was large and I managed.

Third grade came... I got a teacher named Mrs. Creelman. A polar opposite to my beloved Miss. Balismo. As I was to her so it seemed. For some reason she despised me. It was hell. I was lost and alone. I remember one day I thought I had the answer... I waited for Mrs. Balismo after school. I walked up too her and said Hi. I asked her in my most serious 7 year old voice if I could go to second grade again. I explained my problem.

" Oh Lenny No... .you are growing up young man. And I know it's hard and some things will be. I miss you too. But there are bigger things than second grade waiting for you Lenny... .go find them and make me proud. Never try to go back Lenny what you leave will always be different. Let it go... .now go do your best with what you got. March, young man,,march."

She had a tear like me. It must be hard for teachers too knowing that June is coming... .some broken hearts are waiting.

I learned a lot about letting go from that Lady,,hard as it was, but I met some more folks like Miss. Balismo as the years went on. I always remember her though and some others... .but she was the first to gently tell me to never look back and to March forward even when your feet don't want to go.

Lenny
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Skippy
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2006, 05:01:09 PM »

Lenny you have focused right in on the point in the path that lies between "non in crisis" and "healthy non" that I'm talking about.   

Post NC, post tears, self esteem no longer in the toilet... .but maybe applying the old tools to a new phase without much luck.

I can see how people can get stuck here with 1 foot in first grade (some unfinished business), and still trying to walk over to second grade (to use your analogy).  I feel like there is "misc. stuff" that needs to be closed out, tidied up, put away... .like my comments about the boys above.  Solving/dealing with it looks obvious here, but I've been stuck at this crossroad for weeks and Gulf some things we just don't want to callous over as Gooch aptly puts it.

I'm finding some of this unfinished business is even be closer to finished than I know.  Going NT (not talking about the x) ended a lot of angst... .  friends would ask me about it, I'd explain it, sometimes they winced, I'd write about it here... .and it would take me back into it.  Now my mother is NT, my friends are NT, and I'm NT.  I got rid of 90% of that stimulus... .my mind hasn't gone NT yet, but it feels like that process is moving along better now.  I think about it only a small fraction of what I did... .but its still too much and it pops up at the worst of times... .there are people that care about me and I am short changing them because of it.

You're right Lenny... never look back and March forward even when your feet don't want to go.   I'm looking (and actually finding, thanks guys) tools to help me cut the last couple of strands of that rope that is holding me in place.

Skip

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Gulfstream
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2006, 06:52:34 PM »

Skip,

let me put something on the table about pain... .It is a wake up call, it makes you aware, but when my daughter was born, my wife told the doctor to use all the drugs he could, and after about 45 minutes of her groaning, I called the doctor in, and said "Scott, give her a C section." and he did, and Elizabeth was born 15 minutes later, my wife was fine, and Elizabeth didn't look like a beat up cone head.

Just because an act has pain associated with it, IMO you can and should within reason minimize it! Calluses are the natural process whereby the body protects itself from rough treatment! Without them you couldn’t wear shoes, or walk without shoes, right?

Point being Skip: can you tell me how the pain makes it better (like wearing a hair shirt) if the results are the same in the end? Yes Skip, I was on antidepressants during that early period, which also eliminated most of the compulsive behavior. As MY T said to me: "Gulf, if you don't want these little yellow pills, and get that serotonin all happy, maybe you are crazy! So I took them, and was happy, and when I walked away from them, you know what, Sniffles was just a borderline, a blip on life’s radar screen, she and I had come to an understanding, she was crazy, and me, I was just a vulnerable dupe (or was that dope) well, I may be crazy, but I'm a happy lunatic! :D PS Skip, I had also developed a BPD early warning system. Kinda like Superman; X ray vision. Yep, I can see those disordered little minds clicking away…: Goodbye borderline person… Find another person to destroy!

And the kids of BPDs, the ones we all fell in love with? Ya never know, Sniffles kid is moving in with me in a few weeks, he can’t stand her and Oz any more… So, I get the best of the worst, well, for a little while anyway…

Skip, it does get better, one day you'll wake up and have to remeind yourself that it all really happened! It does come; with work and faith in yourself.   
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Skippy
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2006, 08:38:10 PM »

Just because an act has pain associated with it, IMO you can and should within reason minimize it!

Calluses are the natural process whereby the body protects itself from rough treatment! Without them you couldnt wear shoes, or walk without shoes, right?

Can you tell me how the pain makes it better

Let me put something on the table... .I think it is odd that your therapist addresses you as "Gulf"  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I appreciate your comments on running through this muck either in 1) raw pain, 2) on therapeutics, or 3) numbed by calluses.  I don't remember seeing any recent posts that take this on.

Could it be that in different aspects of recovery , one option is preferable to the others and this changes over the course of the recovery. 

DRUGS.  I think I worry about the distorted vision you might have... a false sense of reality.  But then there are those times when you are so distorted by stress or the loss of self esteem that the you need intervention to get you back near ground zero.  I was so distraught in the beginning, I needed that help.  Later, when I had nightmares, I needed that help again... .can't fight through that stuff.   Do you titrate yourself on this.  I have a friend who has taken antidepressant for years, she is blissfully peaceful (actually fun) but she hasn't made progress on anything. I'm sure she is an extreme case, but I remind myself of her often.

CALLUSES.  I know the prevailing thought with therapists is "get angry and you'll get over it" (so you're in good company).  This is probably good advice... .and their is certainly a lot to be angry about.  But I also know  people that may have gotten over the relationship, but are so hardened by it all, then have to get over the anger.  You've met them too.

In many ways it would be easier to write the experience off to a cruel mentally ill person that really messed up and set my life back, probably a decade (4 years of relationship).  There was violation on all levels. 

RAW   The value of stepping out on this plank after NC, and BPD bashing (which I think you must do)  was to get at  that self discovery of what kept me on the BPD ride.  She wasn't all bad all the time.  She wasn't an animal... .she was just cycling through people with the same bloody eventaulity every time. When she was her ugliest, it was clear she was suffering to... .it wasn't sport.   I needed to see where her pathology left off and my stupidity kicked it. It was scary journey to embark upon... .what if I really was the worthless, dung she said I was. They are a lot of things... .and perceptive (keenly perceptive) is one of them.  I had some dark days as you might remember.

So I don't know Gulf... .  I keep asking myself if I'm going down the right path... .I've made some progress... .hopefully its toward the finish line and not off the cliff.




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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2006, 08:51:55 PM »

Skip;

Actually, she calls me "Mr. Stream", it's not one or the other, they are not mutually exclusive, but a combo of all. I did some serious work, I took drugs so I could do the work more objectively, you know, not being just pain-reactive for months longer than was necessary. In my opinion skip, it's all the things you mention, and must be tailored to the individual. A good T can, and will do that, not just apply a bandage and give you two aspirin, and make an appointment with the nurse for three weeks from now... .My T has worked with borderlines for almost 20 years, and won't go near one now! On day we were chatting, she said "Mr. Stream, I really dislike borderlines, they leave nothing but devastation in their path, and they most always end badly, either suicide, or alone and despised by their families. Seeing Son of Sniffles now, it is soo true!

OK Ts, I want my cut BEFORE he starts!

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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2006, 03:16:29 PM »

Hi Skip,

There is so much good insight and advice here.  I think acceptance wherever one is at the moment is important.  And, for me that is now learning to accept that closure will never come in the manner I desired.   Maybe it will just taper off and not matter anymore.

At times I still obsess (break-up is approaching 18 month mark); and when I do, everything feels hopeless.  I doubt my progress.

Then there are days when I realize how CALM my life is; how calm I am; how peaceful things are around me and how grateful I am.  And I let it in and really FEEL it.  Those days... .starting to appear in the last few months with more frequency... .  leave me feeling lucky and relieved.  I'm so lucky that he chose someone else to continue his healing and psycho-social development with, because I didn't have the strength to endure any more pain.   (Sorry to any BPD reading this).   I am grateful that my life is re-entering its former harmony and peacefulness... .even if I live alone.  It is good to be healing. 
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2006, 03:38:42 PM »

I had meant to respond to this post sooner, but have been kinda busy the past few days. Anyways... .

I still think about me ex too, even though I'm now with someone else and happy w/ him. I don't "obsess" over him like I used to, but I still have that occasional "what if" thought. Like what if I would have done such-and-such differently: would the outcome have turned out differently? What if I would have known about BPD while I was still w/ the ex: would I have been able to "counteract" his actions? What if I would have said or done some things differently: would it have mattered? I guess I know the answer to that, but I still wonder. I'm a different person now than I was back then: knowing what I do now, would it have been a different relationship? I guess I'll never know. Even if the ex ever came back and wanted another chance, I wouldn't take him back, b/c there is no trust, and he treated me horribly. And besides, I am happy now w/ my  current b/f, and the feelings I had towards the ex are different. I still love him in some ways, and probably always will to some degree, but it's not the same. I could never look at him w/ the same eyes again... .

I think it's normal to "obsess" for a long time over these relationships, unlike a "normal" one after a break-up. They are different, and you spend alot of time trying to figure out just what went wrong, and you never get any closure. You blame yourself for such a long time, till you understand the dynamics of a BPD relationship. When you do, it makes it easier to let go and move on. But I think a part of you will never forget your ex entirely, b/c they made you see things in a different light. And as Goochie pointed out, you don't stop loving them b/c they are ill... .

Loved that "Father/Son" analogy, BTW Gooch... .

~SD~
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2006, 11:01:06 PM »

I was driving today (I do much of my best thinking while driving)... and mulling over this topic, and I remembered something!  (Insert lightbulb here).   I remember reading something about grooves that get formed in the brain - that's how habits become formed... when we have thoughts that we repeat over and over, they actually have an effect on the brain - the path of the neurons form a groove. And so it becomes more and more automatic, our habit. And we get stuck.

I just did a search using the terms "brain, thought, groove" and came up with this article... .I'm not going to copy it here as it is somewhat long, so here's the link...

www.philipshapiro.com/art-habits.html
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