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Author Topic: Does anybody here know what they are talking about?  (Read 3577 times)
Skippy
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« on: August 04, 2006, 12:24:05 PM »

The title is just Skippy's "grabber headline" to get you to read. Works for CNN.  :evil:  I respect this board very much as most know.

Help me sort through this if you will.  It's a question about what is normal, what is healthy and what is toxic... .a question that as a support group is so fundemental that we should be able to recite it in our sleep... .but are we clear?  Don't we need to be clear to do anyone any good here?

Some would argue, if its BP it's bad. 

jmar has made some reference (not to be regurgitated here 8)) that all relationship are screwy and all partners have baggage (my paraphrase), and many BP relationships are normal and fall under that definition. 

To me, this is all talk about fire, and there is a big difference between a burning candle and a forest fire. 

It has always occurred to me that the definition of normal, healthy was a range around some mythical center.  And like a bullseye target, this is overlaid with another, larger concentric ring of "unhealthy", followed by another , larger, concentric ring of "toxic relationships". 

Going into a new relationship, it seem foolish not to want to be in the healthy range and if it looks like that not what happening, it would be best to adjust course. 

Life circumstances sometimes take us out of that range.  If we are in the "unhealthy" we need to look at tools to manage.

If we are in the out toxic... .things have to change.

So my question is, what BP relationship dynamics and/or BP behaviors are the defining points of these rings.  What are the hallmarks of healthy, "unhealthy/somewhat unhealthy", and toxic.

I recognize that, as jmar points out, situational considerations might mitigate any of these definitions, but for the sake of this discussion, let keep them separate (meaning put the mitagating factors in a separate paragraph after answering the primary question).

Skippy






POSTED TODAY... .

Excerpt
I have an ex borderline girlfriend who I see as having extra ordinary qualities, as well as having BPD.  Both.  Please, let's not overly focus on either this or that - she has extra ordinary qualities, as well as having BPD.  Both. 

I am very wary to approach this board.  I don't want a witch hunt against my views.  From reading some other posts, I've seen people attacked for wanting to be close to a person with BPD, as if the mere interest was a disease.

My need is to have discussion... .I trust in open honest liberal discussion.

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JoannaK
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2006, 12:35:42 PM »

That's quite a grabber headline, skippy!

To me the answer is so obvious... .Obvious because I am in a relatively healthy functional relationship now, for 4+ years now, and I was in a relatively unhealthy dysfunctional relationship for 20-odd years.

Also, though I was much younger, I had two relatively healthy functional relationships when I was in my 20's... .they lasted 4 and 3 years respectively.

I could go into the behaviors that are common in healthy relationships, uncommon in unhealthy relationships and vice verse, but I'm going to restrict my comments (now) to one big thing:  In a relatively healthy relationship, I feel as though I am a good, kind, loving supportive partner.  I felt/feel good about who I am most of the time.  In a dysfunctional relationship (with my exh), I did not feel good enough.  I felt as though everything I said and did was going to be examined critically and that I would usually come up on the short end.  I felt not good enough most of the time.  Even when things were going well, I knew that at any time, things could change and I could say or do something that would again be examined critically and I would be found "not good enough". 

Please understand that my exh did not engage in extremely difficult behaviors that some here have endured:  He never called me horrible names; he just made nasty insinuations.  He didn't cheat on me until the bitter end.  He never physically assaulted me or destroyed any of my possessions.  But I still felt shtty during most of the relationship... .  I even felt shtty as I look back before I was married.
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lennic
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2006, 01:03:22 PM »

Great question Skip and I have to think on all that it entails for a bit but I was first struck with the word perspective.

Silly cliche but they say everything is how you look at it. Guess I agree in most cases. Sometimes we just can't see things for what they are or they seem different in different cirstances... .

Your a driver... .I'm sure you drivne around at 60 MPH. A comfortable speed... prety safe i guess.

Did you ever go sixty in a go-cart... .Sht,,feels like your surpasing the speed of light... .Wierd... something to do with physical dynamics and perception... real real close to the ground kind of stuff...

That's why real good friends who have a history with us and a somewhat caring sense of objectivity can often be the eyes we need. They can tell us that we "really" were only going sixty and not in the shuttle like we thought... .8)

But I have to think on this one a bit more... .

Lenny
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eternaloptimist
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2006, 01:14:55 PM »

I, for one, have no clue at all what I'm talking about.  Seriously, having been in my relationship for almost 30 years, I'd be hard pressed to tell you what a normal relationship looks like - are there couples who don't argue every day?  What's it like to live with someone who doesn't curse and jump up and down when he spills water or breaks a glass by mistake?  What do other people talk about if not about how nasty one of them feels? 

I'm not joking here - its one of the things I'm trying to address with my counselor - any help on perspective out there?   EO
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sillyputte
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2006, 01:23:29 PM »

Excerpt
What are the hallmarks of healthy, "unhealthy/somewhat unhealthy", and toxic.

Well just as we are all individuals, we all have different definitions of these things I would think and there is no one correct answer.

For me a healthy relationship is one where both partners feel free to talk openly and communicate without fear of reprisal.  Both feel free to set boundaries around behaviours based on their own moral compass, which may be different for each partner.

For instance, for me personally I will not accept walking on eggshells ever again, a partner who cheats or lies (the big ones not the little white lies) or rages or has hourly mood swings,nor will I be in a relationship where it takes all of my energy to try to understand what another is thinking (thanks in part to the counselling I had following my last relationship with suspected BPD).

Now others will have a different moral compass, and different boundaries around acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

My current partner and I think quite differently on a lot of issues, and to some that would constitute an unhealthy relationship, but to me it is not because we have the ability to soundly and calmly talk these through.  We may not always agree on things, but we can talk without raging or blaming.

Bottom line for me is unhealthy/somewhat unhealthy is toxic.  For others that is not the case and the spectrum is perhaps longer with more shades in between.

So do I know what I am talking about (Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)).  Probably not... .but guess what... .it works for me.

Not a clear black and white answer to this type of question I don't think because it really does come down to what is acceptable or not to the individual.
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JoannaK
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2006, 01:40:24 PM »

The other part of your question, skippy... .  toxic vs. unhealthy.  I don't know that I can differentiate.  I think that unhealthy over time becomes toxic.  So perhaps, even in a healthy relationship, there are sometimes some unhealthy dynamics--  sometimes, occasionally.  But if the unhealthy dynamics start to be consistent and persistent, then the whole relationship becomes toxic. 
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Skippy
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2006, 01:55:51 PM »

 


A thought... .

In Skippy's own way, I'm trying to make a hard question a little easier by asking everyone to define "what it is not".  I don't think we need to comprehensive here... .just some key indicators of when you've left one zone and entered another.

I'd start with "toxic" first.  That shouldn't be hard (I know it is).  Look at the lists of behaviors you have read on this board, the deal breakers, the fatal flaws in the outer ring. 

Skippy's simplistic examples...

A realtionship is no longer just "somewhat unheathy" it is toxic when he holds a loaded gun in my face.

A realtionship is no longer just "somewhat unheathy", it is toxic when he kills my cat.




"Who doesn't curse and jump up and down when he spills water or breaks a glass by mistake

-eternaloptimist"


Not everybody does that... .but this doesn't seem like a defining point between any of the rings. Part this is the reality of people for sure.

Conversely, you might say a SO that has a high incidence of overreacting and unprovoked raging about minor things probably earns a relationship out of the center circle (example). And it moves to toxic when enters the physical abuse or pre-physical abuse stage.

sillyputte points are very clear to her, but they are personal... .others will have a different moral compass, and different boundaries around acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. 

Many seem to know when to tell someone to abandon ship - I read it every day.  What are the triggers that lead us to give these life altering recommendations.

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garyw
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2006, 02:05:24 PM »

WOW... one I also have to think about.

Usually I don't have to think much when responding and usually when I do think people go "HUH !"

So I will also be back but the first will also be about perception.

Kinda like when someone goes around yapping about how happy they are... something is usually wrong. Most happy people just are.

I could be in and have been a healthy relationship and if one day someone said "hey are you in a relationship with someone ?" I would pause because I probably wasn't even thinking about the fact that I was in one so my mind would shift to that part of my life and say "Yes."

With a relationship with a person with BPD... .YOU KNOW EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY THAT YOU ARE REALLY IN A RELATIONSHIP.

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JoannaK
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2006, 02:11:13 PM »

Excerpt
"Who doesn't curse and jump up and down when he spills water or breaks a glass by mistake

-eternaloptimist"

 To be honest, my bf (reasonably healthy) does this more than my exh ever did.  The cursing, not the jumping up and down.  But he never tries to make me feel that I did anything wrong when he knocks something over.  He takes responsibility for dropping or spilling or breaking, cursing or not.  With my exh, even though he wouldn't curse, I often felt that somehow I did something wrong and that's why he spilled or broke.  I'll take the cursing (which is never aimed at me) over the blaming any day.

And, yep, the threats of violence certainly will mark a relationship as toxic.  But there's a lot of other stuff that's pretty bad also.
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lennic
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2006, 02:21:32 PM »

Another late afternoon thought as the thunder approaches and this pewter of mine might need shutting down...

If feelings ever move, for any reason, from "fear for" to  "fear of"... the nature of the relationship is in shadow... .the change is from love to fear... .those two feelings don't coexist.

IMHO

Lenny
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sillyputte
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2006, 02:31:55 PM »

Well I guess it comes down to defining toxic (why do I fell like a you might be a redneck if coming on here).

Personally toxicity is not solely defined by me as physical abuse... .it also includes all forms of emotional abuse.

Examples:

If your SO continually handles differing of views with the silent treatment you might be in a toxic relationship.

If your SO leaves you or threatens to leave you offer differences of opinion you might be in a toxic relationship.

If your SO consistently twists you words around and makes even the most positive of comments into a negative you might be in a toxic relationship.

Feeling knots in your stomach every time you are with your SO/see you SO phone number on your phone or name in your e-mail might indicate you are in a toxic relationship.

Okay I will stop but feel free to keep this going Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)!

Clearly what is toxic in my mind is anything that keeps you in a constant state of heightened awareness (walking on eggshells) because that is exhausting and harmful to your own sense of self.

I don't need a gun pointed at my head, or an object thrown at it to indicate I may be in a toxic relationship.

On the contrary if I feel good about who I am, am learning to be a better person, and feel safe and secure with my SO, I can certainly say I am without a doubt in a healthy relationship.  Some who have been in a number of unhealthy/toxic relationships might miss the chaos and drama, finding what I define as healthy a bit boring, but for me it is far from boring... .it is calm, relaxing and enjoyable.



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JoannaK
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2006, 02:47:11 PM »

 
Excerpt
finding what I define as healthy a bit boring,

If life with the calm, decent, supportive partner gets a bit boring, you can always go do something!  Perhaps a roller coaster at an amusement park?   Or maybe just watch some crazy movie about craziness and laugh until the tears roll down your face?  As one of my teacher friends used to say when his kids came to him to complain about being bored:  "Maybe the problem is that you are boring!  Go find something to do!"  And perhaps that is something that anyone who is "bored" with a calm, supportive relationship needs to remember:  Go find something to do!  Be the starter in the relationship and make it fun and exciting, at least some of the time.

And I do agree, sillyputte, that you don't need fear of violence to be in a toxic relationship. 

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tweed

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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2006, 03:00:30 PM »



Wow... it's just crazy how we all feel the same way...

We don't know what's it's like to be in a normal relationship (unless you are in one now)... and it's actually pretty upsetting to hear people say that they don't know what it's like to not fight every day... .

I definitely agree... I don't understand a real relationship... but I do watch my parents... and they are great... yeah they fight... but they fight like any normal couple does...

they never treat eachother with respect... and they do things together, without having to beg them to hang out with eachother...

so... i am set on that... that is what i want...

and Sillyputte... I agree with everything you said...

I will never put myself in that situation again...

even though at time... it's difficult for me stil... especially since we are still at the stage of going out and we live in a small town... but once i get past that... and i am confident that i will... I will never let someone else treat me that way again!

Whatever doesn't kill you... only makes you stronger...

In a sense... i may be a better person for this...

I appreciate everything now... and i want to make time for the people that i care for...

I think it's possible to have a healthy relationship... and if you don't... you shouldn't settle

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eternaloptimist
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2006, 03:23:39 PM »

I think that Joanna has a good point about toxicity and unhealthy behavior - the line can be drawn over the frequency of the behavior as well as how dangerous it might be - putting a gun to my head once would do it for me - but how many times can we take being blamed for minor infractions that most likely don't even exist? 
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StressedinCleveland
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2006, 03:58:36 PM »

I think a big part of the porblem is that a relationship with a borderline partner is not crazy every minute. It will be mostly normal then take a sudden lurch to to the outer reaches then retrun without warning. You never know where you really are. You're left saying to yourself "What just happened?" Too often it's easy to ignore momentary weirdness. But sheer unpredictability of it wears on you and makes you insecure. The insecurity eats away at you like a slow drip of acid until you are an empty shell.
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Sapphire
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2006, 04:20:44 PM »

Clearly what is toxic in my mind is anything that keeps you in a constant state of heightened awareness (walking on eggshells) because that is exhausting and harmful to your own sense of self.

<<>>>

On the contrary if I feel good about who I am, am learning to be a better person, and feel safe and secure with my SO, I can certainly say I am without a doubt in a healthy relationship.  Some who have been in a number of unhealthy/toxic relationships might miss the chaos and drama, finding what I define as healthy a bit boring, but for me it is far from boring... .it is calm, relaxing and enjoyable.


I think these two definitions from SillyPutte sums it up well... :P

Sometimes, I don't explain things as well as I'd like to. So, maybe if I give expamples from MY perspective... .

<<>>

The differences between Jigsaw (my ex BPD), and Ace (my current S/O):

1) With Ace, I feel loved & cherished: with Jigsaw, I felt "used".

2) With Ace, I feel like I can speak my mind: with Jigsaw, I was afraid to say what I thought.

3) With Ace, I don't have to ask "permission": with Jigsaw, if I didn't "ask", I felt as if I'd get "raged" at.

4) With Ace, I don't feel as if I HAVE to have sex: with Jigsaw, I was afraid to say no, for fear of him cheating on me.

5) With Ace, if I'm sick or incapacitated in any way, he "takes care of me": with Jigsaw, I had to pretend that I was "alright".

6) With Ace, I don't fear him using my vulnerabilities against me: with Jigsaw, it got to the point where I was afraid to let him know anything.

7) With Ace, I can wear "duds" in my own house: with Jigsaw, I felt as if I always had to wear make-up & a party dress.

8) With Ace, I can eat what I want: with Jigsaw, I turned into a "sneak eater".

9) With Ace, I don't fear leaving him alone w/ my cats: with Jigsaw, I was afraid to leave to even go to work.

10) With Ace, I can spend money on something frivilous if I choose to do so: with Jigsaw, I couldn't ask for anything w/o him accusing me of being "selfish".

11) With Ace, I have trust & respect: with Jigsaw, I never knew what to expect, and I couldn't be "myself".

12) With Ace, I can make plans, and know that he'll follow thru on them: with Jigsaw, I was always waiting for the "excuse".

13) With Ace, my friends & family are welcome in our home: with Jigsaw, he would feign (SP?) being sick, and "hide out" in the bedroom (or leave).

14) With Ace, everyone tells me how "lucky" I am: with Jigsaw, everyone was telling me to "run".

To sum it all up, I don't "walk on eggshells" w/ Ace: I DID w/ Jigsaw.

Everyone has problems in a relationship: it's to be expected. But if you can't work them out in an adult manner w/o getting "raged at", or being told "you don't know what you're doing", or if you're constantly being made to feel like you're "wrong", then you're not in a "normal" relationship.

I, for one, am enjoying the "boring" relationship that I have w/ Ace... .

~SD~

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Sapphire
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2006, 04:23:35 PM »

I think a big part of the porblem is that a relationship with a borderline partner is not crazy every minute. It will be mostly normal then take a sudden lurch to to the outer reaches then retrun without warning. You never know where you really are. You're left saying to yourself "What just happened?" Too often it's easy to ignore momentary weirdness. But sheer unpredictability of it wears on you and makes you insecure. The insecurity eats away at you like a slow drip of acid until you are an empty shell.

I like what Stressed said, too... .

~SD~

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spamlady
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2006, 04:32:06 PM »

Hey SD,

I don't mean to sound crass, and I certainly don't wish for anything bad to happen to you, but if you, like, get run over by a bus or something, can I have dibs on Ace?

spam
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Sapphire
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2006, 04:42:02 PM »

Hey SD,

I don't mean to sound crass, and I certainly don't wish for anything bad to happen to you, but if you, like, get run over by a bus or something, can I have dibs on Ace?

spam

Smiling (click to insert in post) Smiling (click to insert in post)


Sure. I'll let him know how to contact you if I meet my demise before he does... .

~SD~
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Skippy
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2006, 06:13:07 PM »

So in a quest to get us all on the same page here, I think I hear you saying "unhealthy and toxic" can be defined on a number of dimensions:

Absolute behaviors , such as physical or emotional abuse, substance abuse, etc.  This requires little definition. (contributed by many) cheating or lying (the big ones not the little white lies) or rages or hourly mood swings, etc  (contributed sillyputte, others).

frequency behavior, chronic, reoccurrence of acts that collectively.  I would think an example of this might be one brief indiscretion in a relationship, vs a series of them (contributed by JoannaK, StressedinCleveland, ShatteredDreams )

interactive dysfunctionally - such as a relationship that materially degrades the other party, causing fear, anxiety, lowers self esteem (contributed by Lenny, sillyputte, Gary, eternaloptimist, others) .  This one is really a function of the individuals involved.  An example would be two strong people that can debate issues and not be offended by the process, vs a couple where on is overwhelmed by the confrontation and becomes afraid to speak their mind.  Same event, different outcome based on the personalities.

latency factors that lie in waiting and can create an environment for severe relationship failure (contributed by Skip).  The best example I can think of here is a man and women that no longer have sexual relations, but on party wants to, and there is nothing going forward to resolve it.  It's a latent condition that can easily be triggered into a full blown family crisis if an interested third party appears. I would put all the risk tendencies, such as , not yet problematic flirting, significant drinking, significant gambling, significant over working, or recently recovered alcoholics, gamblers, workaholics etc.

I also think I hear you saying that crossing over the line to "toxicity" occurs when:

1) clearly unacceptable behavior surfaces in more than an isolated incident - physical abuse, verbal abuse, public humiliation, etc.

2) the behavior and/or the couple interaction is materially degrading one party, causing fear, anxiety, lowers self esteem, or repeatedly violating of that persons principles.

And a lot of the other stuff goes into "unhealthy relationship" ring with the caveat that if it is not, or cannot be addressed it could lead to toxicity ( contributed by JoannaK).

I'm sure I tripped some triggers here and that's fine - I'm not selling this - I'm challenging us - please critique, calibrate, expand these thoughts... .

Skippy

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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2006, 12:57:47 AM »

i guess i'm not quite getting the point of the exercise. i don't draw lines like that.  i don't draw up grades of unacceptable in my mind, with some kind of idea that there's a less-unacceptable and a more-unacceptable.  relationships are optional.  'not actively horrible' is, to me, just as good a reason not to do one as 'furking awful'.

i mean, work - yeah.  working is kind of necessary, so i understand drawing up balance shts and looking for the level you can live with.  but it seems to me like in relationships you might as well go for something a bit more than just 'not toxic'.

like i say - i'm probably just not getting the point.
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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2006, 05:50:47 AM »

Good point, Meredith.  It seems that to some degree the question itself may reflect the tendency of some of us nons to want some external measure of what it's okay to do, perhaps because we distrust our own emotions -- a tendency I know I had to some degree before my BPD relationship, and which was greatly exacerbated by the relationship itself.

No doubt some of us mistrust our feelings because we know we have our own issues, and afraid of doing something rash, or blaming the other person, for the "wrong" reasons.  But c'mon, that's hardly likely for 99% of the people posting here.  We're more likely to ponder questions like, "Should I leave because he pointed a gun at me, even if it was not loaded. . . .?

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FeelingStuck
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« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2006, 08:32:21 AM »

Maslow developed a pyramid of needs that we all have, starting with basic physiological things like food and shelter on the bottom,  safety, socialization and a few others in between, and self actualization at the top. I get the sense that many of us here are the types that are trying to progress up the pyramid and become the best that we can be. This involves having hobbies and interests, social activities, maintaining fitness and health, etc.  My experience with the BPDs in my life is that they do whatever it takes: arguing, drama, emotional abuse to knock you off this track up the pyramid. They want you at the bottom with them. Misery loves company. Therefore, they attack your hobbies, efforts at fitness, socialization, because thats above their level. The specific BPD behaviors are really just the “tools” that they use to “customize” the task of derailing you, at an appropriate frequency.

Thus, for me its not completely the behavior or the frequency, but whether or not all of it succeeds in derailing you or greatly slowing you in reaching self-actualization at the top of the pyramid, when compared to the other circumstances in your life. For example, job loss may slow us in the sense that now we are down at the bottom of the pyramid again worrying about food and shelter. Hopefully such a setback is not permanent, as we are likely to find another job and get back on track. A BPD is always trying to send us back to the bottom more so than the other naturally occurring events in lives.  When we get sent back too often, its time to get out.

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Skippy
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« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2006, 09:02:32 AM »

i guess i'm not quite getting the point of the exercise. i don't draw lines like that.  i don't draw up grades of unacceptable in my mind, with some kind of idea that there's a less-unacceptable and a more-unacceptable. 

Meredith, JMR, I was going to name this thread Battlefield Triage Criteria.

So the question is not about how Meredith scores relationships in her life (for the good reason as you both aptly point out)... .it's about how we, as a group,  hand out "abandon ship" recommendations to others with a limited amount of information...

As a group, we tell others that come here to abondon their relationships quite often.  And I'm trying to assemble a "group think" on what it is that triggers us to make that call - sometimes after only seeing 1 post.

You probably be thinking "well, Skippy, you burger head, I don't do that" or "we shouldn't do that" ... .but we do and this thread may be most useful for the people that cannot clearly articulate (and are probably not writing here).  And I think it goes without saying that we should not be as quick sometimes... .but even if we wait for 20 posts or 100 posts, what is it we are looking for?   

My thinking behind using the term "toxic" is that these are the criteria that should generate a pretty clear "run" response.  My thoughts behind "unhealthy" is that it should trigger a different response, if only more thoughtful, more probing, more options.

So this is a post about us, the collective board... .and I'm looking for the best and most concise thoughts. 

The definition of NC has been defined and refined and interpreted (1,000 s of words) and there is a pretty good group think.  There is much less discussion on when to recommend it.

I feel a little like we are a hammer, and everything looks like a nail to us.

Skippy
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« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2006, 09:35:40 AM »

Skippy,

I am fully on board with this and totally agree.  Consensus of real purpose, definitions, and direction would probably help a lot of people doing the "walk-in".

I think that there is the penchant for people to walk in here and be way more concerned with "is s/he BPD?" when the real questions that they should be focusing upon are those you have stated.  Where is this relationship at--almost a sort of barometer to see what critical mass it has hit; evaluation tools.  While it is helpful to look at and discuss the minutia of BPD, it can sometimes be really diverting of our attentions in areas which are not very productive.

Or have I completely misunderstood you, Skip?  If I have, I cannot be blamed, for the Juice of the Java has not set course through my veins.  Ye.  Verily.    Smiling (click to insert in post)
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JoannaK
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« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2006, 09:53:54 AM »

Do we really tell people to abandon their relationships that often?  Many times people are already broken up or they express a desire to break up.  Many people mention that they've broken up and gotten pulled back in. Why would it be surprising that, in these kinds of situations, people are urged to stay away?

If someone describes physical abuse or threats of physical abuse... .or other violent behavior, I think it would be irresponsible to do anything but urge that person to get away and stay away... .unless the abuser is seriously seeking help and shows signs of improvement.  How could we urge someone to stay with someone who might be dangerous to them?

If someone is involved with someone who is cheating on them or they are in some kind of triangle... the other person is bouncing between them and somebody else, they have to think about what kind of relationship they want.  If they want a monogamous, faithful relationship, they have to move on.  What choice do they have?  You can't get what you want with the person you are now with... .seems pretty straight forward to me.

Actually, in almost any situation, the question should be:  Take a deep breath... .ask yourself what you really want out of life, out of a relationship.  Are you getting it with this person?  Consistently?  Is the person willing to accept that she/he has problems and he/she is working on his/her problems... so that you can have the kind of relationship you want?  If the answer is no, the person needs to find a way to move on.

It's not easy to move on if you have entanglements, kids, years together, and it's a good idea to try therapy, to talk to the other person about his/her difficult behaviors.  But ultimately, if the other person doesn't want to change or he/she is not capable of changing, then what choice does the person have?  Either live in misery... .fine, it's a choice, or find a way to leave, even if it takes planning and a few years to do so.

The biggest thing that new nons coming here have to learn is:  You didn't cause the person's problem, you can't control him or cure him.  People come here often looking for techniques so that they can keep the good parts of the person in their life and get rid of the bad parts.  There ain't no such "techniques".  
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« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2006, 11:46:14 AM »

Do we really tell people to abandon their relationships that often?

If someone describes physical abuse or threats of physical abuse... .or other violent behavior, I think it would be irresponsible to do anything but urge that person to get away and stay away... .

If someone is involved with someone who is cheating on them or they are in some kind of triangle... the other person is bouncing between them and somebody else, they have to think about what kind of relationship they want. 

Actually, in almost any situation, the question should be:  Take a deep breath... .ask yourself what you really want out of life, out of a relationship.

Your triage criteria are good... .as are the many comments in this thread, and that what I am digging for.  And please, don't anyone take this personal... .organizations and groups assume a "culture" and that is what I'm challenging... .ours.

Do we really tell people to abandon their relationships that often?   As a percentage of "newbies" on the Choosen Board,  I think, maybe YES

JoannaK, there is a case from just this week.  MattK, 1 post, summarized more or less as "We fell in love in less than a month... .  she told me she has borderline personality disorder... .some situational stuff... ."is there any hope"

And this is how we collectively responded... .

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=45423.0

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« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2006, 12:05:08 PM »



   I get where your comming from Skip. It's even in the guidelines here at bpdfamily about telling someone to get out of a relationship without knowing if what they are saying is the truth.

  It's also amazing the amout of fortune telling that goes on. Without someone even mentioning their problems, we sometimes tell the what is really going on and what to expect.

   Very interesting questions Skip. Don't know the answers, but definately gives us somthing to think about before we post. If I just based my posts, solely on my personal expierence, I would give the impression that all BP and non relationships work out in the end, with the BP getting it and working through their issue. But in reality all relationships are different, and evolve or end differently.

   Mark
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garyw
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« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2006, 12:34:45 PM »

This would be interesting.

I do agree that lots of first responces are on auto delete relationship mode.

It would be interestig to see at what stage a member is at as far as maybe how many post in corelation to how quick they are to advise run or learn more and then see.

So many varaibles. Some really should run and others are probably at that stage where the BP could go either direction... .either down or up.  There are those who do go up.

I do know this though. When I came here I was one of those that if told to run it would have been the correct thing to do.

But there were not enough members on every forum in the world that if said that, that I would have listened.

I mean hey... .how many are gonna come on here heads over heals in love and someone says "run" and they say "ok"  8)
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« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2006, 01:07:09 PM »

I started writing this before been there and gary answered, so I will post what I wrote:

*****************************************

Well, he didn't ask "should I leave or stay?", he asked "Is there any hope for this relationship?"  which is a different question.  The concensus was that that there really wasn't much hope and that the pattern he described was very typical of BPD people in relationships.  

Here are some specific stay-or-go comments:

Excerpt
Others here may say differently, but knowing what you know now, I'd be running for the exit now as fast as my legs could carry me.

Excerpt
I suggest that the best thing you can do for both yourself and for her is to end the relationship as you know it now.  If she is in therapy, she needs to focus ENTIRELY on herself without you in the picture.  BPD therapy is difficult at best and if she sticks with it, then she will be a wonderful and WHOLE person.  However, treatment for BPD takes a very very long time.  I'm talking YEARS.

I hope only the best for you.  Every person deserves a healthy loving relationship with an emotionally healthy loving person.  She is not it for you.

Excerpt
If you cannot deal with infidelity, raging, crazy-making, and erratic behavior, then you should get out of this relationship.

It's only been 3 months.  You should get out now and you will heal within a year.  Probably much less.  If you stick with her, you will be in great agony and pain, confusion and insecurity.  

Get out of that relationship.  Tell her to get therapy.  Get yourself healed.  Good luck.

Excerpt
The others are right, Matt. Get out, and get out now! It won't get any better, I'm sorry to say.

Excerpt
My advise to you is to take a deep breath and do what you are so wisely doing;  stepping back and looking carefully at where you are.

The biggest thing is that you are in love with her... .so every part of you is going to try to find  "the key", the solution to keep your love alive.  Love is a powerful emotion and can be blinding.

I can tell you, with a pretty high degree of certainty, that your relationship is not at all what you thought. It is something else... .the more complex question is "What is it?"

The pattern of your relationship is classic BP and she has confirmed that she has been diagnosed.  Matt, there is no magic key to BPD or  cancer.  I believe you will accept that soon if you haven't already.

Excerpt
This is what you have to do. And it is going to hurt like hell. But in order to save you you must rid yourself from her. She can't be your "friend" that offer will probably come up in the near future.

There is no way to get over her except to go No Contact. And go to your friends and family for support.

Excerpt
Some of the posting above will seem harsh and definite - I know that's how I read them when the same helpful people posted to me.

I can only go on my experience but I was in a similar situation - wirlwind romance, all seemed great, then behaviour changed - exes always in the background.

Excerpt
Being in love with a un-recovered BP can and will be a long and painful road. Not all BP's lie, cheat, or slut around, so look at your situation for what it truely is.

  I like Skip's adcice, as to slow things down and maybe even step back away from things to get a better view.

Excerpt
Mattk, I hope you will have the strength to save yourself the pain and truly believe the accounts of those here. But, I think you'll probably be like I was and keep believing there is a "diamond core" somewhere in that pile of mess. I did it, and so did many others.

O.K., enough.  I think it is a good thing to look at this thread.  :)id anybody categorically say "What are you thinking about?  She's messed up and of course you should leave!"  Not really... .everybody saw the pattern, which mattk himself mentioned.  It wasn't as if she told him she had BPD but her behaviors were just peachy-keen.  She had already caused him pain, and she had already engaged in many difficult behaviors.  

People were in large saying, "Your perceptions are very much in line with what happens in a relationship with an unrecovered BPD person."  Then they said, "this is what happened to me."  Then they said "If I were you/my advice to you/"  is to "run immediately/go to no contact/take a step back, maybe go out of town for a week or two."

I don't think that any of these answers were wrong... . or over the line.

What would have been the most appropriate answer to this man?  What points could we have/should we have made to him?

a.  The relationship so far sounds very typical of that of someone involved with an unrecovered BPD.

b.  If she remains unrecovered, your relationship with her will usually get more chaotic and more difficult.

c.  It is a good thing that she is in counseling, but many with BPD are in counseling for years and nothing really improves.

d.  If she is serious about recovery from BPD, it would be better for her if she was out of a relationship while she begins the process.

e.  It would be a good idea to step back from the relationship and ask yourself what you want, need, or will or won't accept in a relationship... .and whether or not you can get that from this relationship.

f.   Whatever you do, go, stay, take a break, wait for her to recover... .it won't be easy.

But doesn't Matt deserve some honesty as to exactly what might happen in this relationship?  Is it fair to spare him the horror stories just because he might be the one in a hundred who might have a different outcome?
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