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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Author Topic: A Small Victory Today  (Read 1458 times)
HurtinNW
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 665


« on: April 02, 2016, 10:46:00 PM »

Hello all

I had a small victory today I am feeling good about.

Today I went to visit the sister of my ex. Our relationship is like sisters, we call each other sister. We are both high-functioning to thriving survivors of horrible family dysfunction. Part of the lure of the relationship with my ex was this "bonus" sister. I don't have a family myself so this relationship is very special. I haven't wanted to lose her too. 

I worried we would talk about my ex, and I would get triggered. But instead we had the nicest time. I talked about how I am working on me, my needs, my decisions. I didn't bring him up at all, and neither did she, but we still talked authentically about our family histories and how they impacted us.

At one point while we were hanging out their extremely narcissistic father called. It says something she didn't recognize the number. She had him on speaker because she has disabilities. Their dad reminded me so much of ex. He asked how she was: she started to reply she was having trouble with her disability, but then he interrupted her to say how awful he feels lately, all these symptoms, and then got completely maudlin, fake-crying about how he missed her, a total guilt trip that ignored her needs. I watched how she quickly, firmly and compassionately ended the call. After she hung up she announced with some humor, "He is always so insincere!" And then she moved on and didn't let it faze her at all. It was such a nice example of boundaries, I really appreciated it. 

Anyhow, I know this seems like a small victory, but it meant a lot to me to set the groundwork for having a relationship with this special person that can be outside my ex and not involve that past. For the first time in weeks I walked out feeling good about myself. The sun was shining and life felt much better.
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heartandwhole
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2016, 04:38:01 AM »

That is a wonderful experience, HurtinNW, thank you for sharing that. It goes to show how much we can not only learn from each other, but how much we can enjoy relationships when we honor ourselves and our needs first and foremost. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it's true.
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When the pain of love increases your joy, roses and lilies fill the garden of your soul.
Lifewriter16
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: GF/BF only. We never lived together.
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2016, 05:23:58 AM »

Hi Hurtin,

This sounds like a success on so many different levels. I'm really pleased to hear your get-together went so well and that you are feeling GOOD about you as well.

Love Lifewriter x
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C.Stein
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2016, 07:31:10 AM »

After she hung up she announced with some humor, "He is always so insincere!" And then she moved on and didn't let it faze her at all. It was such a nice example of boundaries, I really appreciated it.  

This is a great example of just accepting someone for who they are and letting the BS wash over you without impact.    Smiling (click to insert in post)
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HurtinNW
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 665


« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2016, 10:25:39 AM »

Thank you all!

Yes, one reason it felt good for me is I maintained my boundaries. I didn't want to get into talking about my ex, going down that swampy path. I knew it wouldn't be healthy for me and yet I was afraid of doing it. I was so pleased I didn't, and pleased that she didn't either.

One thing that really hit me as I was leaving was that I don't need her to "know the truth" about whatever crap he is saying. It's okay if she believes it, which I doubt. It's more important that I feel good about myself, and bring positive parts of me to our friendship.

She is a great example for me because she has such a healthy, positive outlook on her family. The way she handled her father was really funny, in a positive way.
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C.Stein
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2016, 02:36:29 PM »

One thing that really hit me as I was leaving was that I don't need her to "know the truth" about whatever crap he is saying. It's okay if she believes it, which I doubt. It's more important that I feel good about myself, and bring positive parts of me to our friendship.

This is very mature and healthy approach HNW.  This is the positive kind of attitude that will carry you far.   
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DearBFF
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What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Friend
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2016, 09:58:44 PM »

That is so awesome!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  I'm so glad for you, HurtinNW!  It can feel like when my BFF paints me black every person she comes into contact must then also see me as black, it's nice to know some people can look past things and still get to know us without the input from the pwBPD. 

May I ask how the meeting came about?  Have you two kept in touch since you split with your ex or was it sort of an out of the blue get together?

I hope you get together more in the future!  It is hard that we as people who have had difficult upbringings seem to be drawn to people with BPD.  Also, the people around them, usually the closer ones, sometimes also have had difficult upbringings and so we find it easy to connect to them.  Then when the pwBPD is gone, any and all of these relationships can just sort of vanish.

I told BFF somewhere towards the beginning that her relationships with people are hers and my relationships with people are mine.  She was ignoring some friends at the time, but I had no issue with them and they lived closer to me than her so I realized I wanted to maintain those relationships.  I didn't need to cut them out of my life just because she did.  Also, it wasn't any huge fallout that she had with them, she literally just stopped contact for no reason and left them wondering what happened.

In my situation, there are been very few who keep in contact with me when BFF paints me black.  It's not as if they block me on FB and never speak to me again, but their tone towards me changes and they don't keep up with me like they used to.  I do sometimes wonder what they think... .I usually do not care much for the people though so I don't really care what they think of me.  That kind of changed when she got this newest BF because I really like him and I realized I don't want him to think badly of me due to anything I ever do or say that he doesn't understand (because he doesn't know about BPD).  I even found myself explaining something to him about a month ago only to realize she hadn't told him about it so he had no idea what I was talking about, then he said that he isn't like that basically putting my fears to rest that his thoughts and feelings on me are only influenced by his interactions with me.

As far as not talking to him about her... .once she asked me to talk to him basically to tell him she needed to talk to him, but she couldn't start the conversation.  He wanted to make sure he hadn't "done something wrong" that he needed to apologize for, which I hated to hear as he's such a great guy and I know when dealing with a pwBPD we can often feel like this.  Other than that one conversation I have asked him how she was doing after getting out of the hospital, she hadn't been talking to me so I truly did not know and he made a point to include her in his response so she knew he was updating me.  It was good of him and I respected that.  Otherwise, I have only said to him two other things... .I felt I needed to say them and I feel good that I did even if they were overreaching.  One was that if I ever disappear I didn't go anywhere.  With everyone else, I didn't care if they thought I just disappeared and abandoned my best friend, but I wanted him to know this in particular so that if I'm ever needed he doesn't feel like he can't reach out to me.  I also told him that if he ever needs to call me in the middle of the night, I don't care when he can.  He received these well and said ok, didn't ask further and I appreciated that.  I think it's that I wanted someone to tell me that, as when I started seeing things I didn't get I felt so alone.  The only feedback from those around me I would get about situations was about how horrible her behavior was and I should stop being her friend.  I wish I would have had one person as a support who loved her as I do so that at least one person wasn't telling me to run the other way and never look back.

He and I talk when we are around each other and it's nice getting to know each other.  He asks how I am doing, and listens to my answer responding with caring feedback.  I ask him about his hobbies and family and we chat about things completely unrelated to her, it's so nice.  I actually feel like he's the brother I alway wanted growing up but have no familial ties to call him this.  I have told him, and he said it made his day which made me grin ear to ear to have my open honesty be so well received.  Generally, people just think I'm weird that I'm so open and honest, and wear my heart on my sleeve.  Both my therapist (whom I see to talk about BFF/BPD) and my husband have told me that he is HER boyfriend, and he cannot, therefore, be MY friend.  That as soon as they break up, seemingly inevitable sadly, he will want nothing more to do with me.  While I can step back and see their point, and know that on some level it is true, I want to believe that if they ever do break up he might still call me his friend as he does now.
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