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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: Ambiguous Loss  (Read 5688 times)
Spook120
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« on: September 25, 2007, 06:31:09 PM »

     I attended a tramatic brain injury conference at Mayo recently and found the key note speakers topic applicable to the situation some of us are or have been experiencing.  Dr. Pauline Boss discussed an aspect of relationships in which a significant other experiences a TBI.  In this situation, the person lives after the trama but is not the same person in a variety of ways.  Most people can deal with loss if it is defined and finite.  With TBI (and dealing with BPD's who leave suddenly) it is neither.  What is Ambiguous loss?  It is a loss that is unclear, thus confusing, it is a problem that has no answer, no resolution, a loss that has no verification, thus no closure.  Sound familiar?  Due to the ambiguity surrounding the loss, individuals remain confused.  Without comprehension they can't find meaning.  Without meaning they can't find hope to move forward in their lives.  Both the coping and grief process is immobilized.

     There are two main typologies of ambiguous loss:  Leaving with out Goodbye, a physical abscence with psychological presence and Goodbye without leaving, a psychological absence with physical presence.  In either situation the outcomes are predictable:  Immobilization of individuals and their relationships, confused decision making processes, a grief process which is frozen, prevention of closure, a helplessness and hopelessness, and emotional exhaustion. 

      Boss suggests that there is a process for recovery from ambiguous loss and relates these steps:  1.  Find meaning 2. Temper mastery 3. reconstruct identity 4. normalize ambivalence 5. revise attachment  6. discover hope.   A complete explanation of these are beyound the scope of this post and it is suggested you seek the complete statements from her postings/book.

      In summary ambiguous loss is a tramatic loss, but on going and without closure.  It is stress based on ambiguity.  It need not come from physical trama such as a TBI as some of us most graphically know.  Spook.
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Silas Pseudonym
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2007, 06:38:45 PM »

Thank you Spook,

Welcome back, haven't noticed you posting in a while.

This has me in tears.  I am at such a stand still.  It is not just getting out of the insane marriage, but the relationship that followed, so hot, promises, then gone without a word.  I cannot deal...

Thanks for the recognition.

Silas
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Spook120
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2007, 07:11:51 PM »

     As you know I too went through a hell that I cannot fathom wishing on anyone.  You will survive as we all do.  You are in my thoughts. Spook.
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Ruby Slippers

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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 07:54:45 AM »

Excerpt
Immobilization of individuals and their relationships, confused decision making processes, a grief process which is frozen, prevention of closure, a helplessness and hopelessness, and emotional exhaustion. 

Spook...Good to see you are still around! I found your post very interesting. The therapist I saw while I was in the process of getting out of the relationship and right afterwards used the term "complicated grief"to describe what I was experiencing.It's pretty much what you were describing in your post, and it definitely does have a physical component to it...physical changes actually occur in your brain. A year ago he refered me to another therapist who worked with people suffering from trauma and PTSD and used a technique called EMDR. It was the thing that finally helped me to completly heal...it acts on restoring the brain's physical condition as well as dealing with the psychological component...it's been amazing. I'm in the stage of wrapping up that last phase of therapy and my life is free of pain now and more...I'm actually restored to a state where I feel HAPPY to be alive every day when I wake up...not just "not-in-pain".My whole life has been transformed and people and possibilities I could never have imagined a short time ago are now entering my life in all areas of it. THERE IS LIFE...A GOOD LIFE...POSSIBLE AFTER AN ENCOUNTER WITH INSANITY!
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Peace4us
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2007, 07:57:44 AM »

Hi Spook

I too have been thinking of you and wondering how you are. You sound as smart as ever.

Thanks for adding this good info.

Hope your heart and head are doing well. We miss you.

Peace4us
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There are two ways of spreading light, be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. E. Warton

Spook120
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2007, 08:15:42 AM »

     Thank you for the gracious welcome back.  I have been spending a most satisfying amount of time in my private practice.  It is so good to not have to worry about running into old memories while at work.  I am doing well I believe.   As most can testify, the no contact rule must continue to apply.  Yet, at the oddest times the ache will appear from no where and then, thankfully, be gone until some other unspecified stimulus triggers a twing.  Yes, research has confirmed that emotional pain does physically alter the brain.  Not only the neurochemistry, but actual observable physical changes that can be documented by various means.  Scary stuff actually, but it does give credence that we are not just imagining when we say that interaction with a BPD is life altering on many levels.  I have graduated, I believe from letting her memories and my desires dominate my actions.  I live for me.  It is a rather refreshing and much needed change.  She has her life and I wish her nothing but happiness as if I did care for her as much as I professed, I can do nothing else.  I hope this finds all well and complete in there lives.  Until next time.  Spook.
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NHBeachBum
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2007, 09:28:51 AM »

Spook,

Nice to see you post again buddy. I was worried about you for a while. Glad to see that things are going well in your private practice & that you are still focused forward.

As for me, I never found much meaning in my relationship with my exBPDgf (#1), I spent the bulk of my time rediscovering myself (#3) & now I have much hope for my future (#6)!

Life goes on...

-NHBB
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Silas Pseudonym
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2007, 10:50:37 AM »

yeah

I need a bunch of cheerleaders.  I am starting to believe my brain has changed permanently.  They say it can happen.

Have the T does EMDR, when I told her my history, I had to tap her jaw to get it off the floor.  There were some short term fixes addressing some old stuff.  Some of this though, makes me wonder...

SP
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Peace4us
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2007, 12:35:56 PM »

The downfall of having children with the BPD in your life, you never get away and get to be NC. There are kids to deal with and confer about.

My uBPDxh is currently having work issues round 33. He is about to lose his job (of course all the employers fault again and he is victimized as usual).  Of course that means he can not pay his child support again and his need for the chidren to cheer him up has increased. My son is enmeshed for the entire weekend with dad and feels responsible for him. Its very hard.

I envy you Spook, you can move on and never look back. You sound good, I am glad.

Peace4us
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There are two ways of spreading light, be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. E. Warton

csandra
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2007, 12:47:22 PM »

Yes, welcome back.  You were definitely missed.  So glad that the new practice is giving you peace and fulfillment.

Great reference.  The ambiguity is SO difficult.  We loved them because they seemed so great, only to find out that none of it was real.  So what is it we grieve ?  Them or who we were, when we thought it was true ?  No, I'd never go back to my former life with stbxh.  I wouldn't go back even, to 5 yrs ago.  So why the sadness, why the pervasive lack of confidence ?  Surely a part of it is the shame and embarrassment of living a lie.  Anyway, hope you start posting again.  It's always good to hear from someone who has made it to the other side.
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Spook120
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2007, 12:50:18 PM »

    Peace, eventually you will be free of the burdens.  Children grow older and wiser and make choices that will allow you to know the freedom you richly deserve.  Without the burden of children, I have the burden of growing older without roots, without a family to share life and memories.  Both parents are deceased.  I guess MJ was going to be my surrogate family, with her 3 little girls.  Oh well, we all have things that one must accept and move on inspite of the disappointment and pain.  You are amazingly strong and were there when I was at life's end.  I will be here for you when needed.  Just ask.  Hang in there. Spook.
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Spook120
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2007, 12:57:05 PM »

     Csandra, thank you for your words.  I am not sure if I can legitamately say that I have made it to the "other side".  I am still very vulnerable and have moments when the pain comes crashing back.  For example, when I drove by her house (only way to get where I was going...honest!) and saw the "for sale" sign, it was like someone kicked me in the stomach.  I guess just the affirmation that she has totally invested herself and her children in her new life style was difficult.  So I thank you for the praise, but trust me when I tell you that I am not sure if one EVER is totally free of the effects these folks have on your head, heart and soul.  Let us just say, that I am advanced in my recovery from my addiction, but could not tell you in any truth that I am without weakness when it comes to that woman.  Sorry if that is disappointing, but I need to know that of myself as to assure continued growth and healing.  Spook.
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Peace4us
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2007, 05:26:54 PM »

((spook))

Have really missed you.  Its not the same I know, but you have a sister in Canada who has you in her heart and prayers.  You are a very special man.

Peace4us
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There are two ways of spreading light, be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. E. Warton

Spook120
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2007, 06:14:14 PM »

     Thank you for your kind words.  They are very meaningful to me.  Spook.
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