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Author Topic: FAQ: How it feels to have BPD  (Read 6646 times)
oceanheart
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« on: December 15, 2007, 11:04:44 PM »

I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I'm in recovery and approved to post at bpdfamily.com.

The behavior of someone with BPD can be so random, nonsensical, and bizarre that normal folks just can't understand the reasoning behind the actions. And that's because oftentimes, the BP is not reacting to the situation at hand - to what's happening then and there and now - but to either something that had happened in the past, or to a kindof ready-reference list of beliefs about the world, which was usually learned in childhood.

Over at Ash's BPD recovery forum (Resouces for Individuals with BPD) there's a list of 10 forms of twisted thinking (cognitive distortions) common to those with BPD (plus a list on how to "untwist" the thinking).

There is also a list of 20 disturbed beliefs that BPs often have. I'd like to share both with you, and also information on a particular type of therapy that deals primarily with changing the underlying dysfunctional belief system in people with BPD, which is called schema therapy (I'm not endorsing this therapy. It just has a particular emphasis on types of distorted thinking).

So this intro doesn't get too long, I'll put the list of 20 disturbed beliefs in separate post.



ARTICLE: Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking

bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=56199.0

By Dr. David Burns

From "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David D. Burns, M.D.
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Act as if the future of the universe depended on what you did, while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference. ~a wise buddhist


GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT

This board is intended for general questions about BPD and other personality disorders, trait definitions, and related therapies and diagnostics. Topics should be formatted as a question.

Please do not host topics related to the specific pwBPD in your life - those discussions should be hosted on an appropraite [L1] - [L4] board.

You will find indepth information provided by our senior members in our workshop board discussions (click here).

oceanheart
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2007, 11:42:43 PM »

20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:

  1. I will always be alone

  2. There is no one who really cares about me, who will be available to help me, and whom I can fall back on.

  3. If others really get to know me, they will find me rejectable and will not be able to love me; and they will leave me.

  4. I can't manage by myself, I need someone I can fall back on.

  5. I have to adapt my needs to other people's wishes, otherwise they will leave me or attack me.

  6. I have no control of myself.

  7. I can't discipline myself.

  8. I don't really know what I want.

  9. I need to have complete control of my feelings otherwise things go completely wrong.

10. I am an evil person and I need to be punished for it.

11. If someone fails to keep a promise, that person can no longer be trusted.

12. I will never get what I want.

13. If I trust someone, I run a great risk of getting hurt or disappointed.

14. My feelings and opinions are unfounded.

15. If you comply with someone's request, you run the risk of losing yourself.

16. If you refuse someone's request, you run the risk of losing that person.

17. Other people are evil and abuse you.

18. I'm powerless and vulnerable and I can't protect myself.

19. If other people really get to know me they will find me rejectable.

20. Other people are not willing or helpful.

Source: Behaviour Research & Therapy article [only abstract available]
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2007, 11:47:12 PM »

Thank you oceanheart, we often have so many questions, so may whys, it is helpful to have good information.

I think that it is also critical that we understand the twisted thinking.  We have a tendency to demonize the BPD behavior as evil as it "feels" like evil to us.  The reality may truly be that the thinking is so disordered that while the result may feel like evil, the intent may be something different indeed.  It helps to have such a good reference point.

HG
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oceanheart
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2007, 12:00:23 AM »

Thanks, HG. I'm not ruling out the possibility that some BPs are consciously choosing to be "evil" (mean, nasty, willfully destructive), tho I tend to equate that more with NPD/APD, but that's my personal prejudice.

I think that it is also critical that we understand the twisted thinking.

Skip has reminded us all, on many occasions, that the 10 forms of Twisted Thinking come from David Burns' book on depression and that 74% of bpdfamily members are depressed. https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=79772.0

But that aside, I do think there is an awful lot of knee-jerk reaction to deep-seated fears going on in the pwBPD. Of course, that's no excuse for their (our) behavior. To me, therapy and recovery are getting to the point of understanding "triggers" and preventing them, and then eventually not even being fazed by them because one is no longer stuck in the sorta fight vs. flight belief mode.

As a personal aside, I once believed almost all of those 20 assumptions (now, none of them are true for me). What a lonely, scary, hellish world it was to believe those things... to not be able to trust anyone, to hate oneself, to be afraid nearly all of the time. It's a pitiful existence, made so much worse when one abuses or leaves those who want to help the most.
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2007, 07:20:42 AM »

This is a good workshop because I think there are some erroneous beliefs about what is BPD and what is NPD or APD. I think it is important to have some distinctions in place because as I learn more and more about BPD and other disorders I am convinced many of the people being discussed here are NPD or APD.

What strikes me about the list is how impossible it would be to have a rewarding relationship if one of the partners believed those things. It think it is at the root of so much frustration. Kind of like 2+2=3.

When I talk to my ex it is like he is talking about something else. He interprets my feelings and words as he does his own. It makes for constant misunderstandings.

This makes it so clear why recovery is essential for relationships to survive.

Mod note: Discussion on NPD or ASPD bpdfamily.com/topic=90388.0
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008, 08:18:54 AM »

The borderlines, narcissists, and other personality disordered people confuse the hell out of us. They can be with us, tell us that they love us, one minute, and then leave us and be with another the next. Seemingly without hurt, confusion, or remorse. They treat us good, then treat us badly. WTH? It seems so baffling to our own minds.

To understand this behavior, you must first wrap your mind around the fact that everything is based soley on them, and their needs. They lack the forethought of seeing how their behavior affects us. They lack the compassion of caring about us, rather, they only care about themselves. It makes perfect sense if you look deep into their past, and see that noone ever cared for them in a possitive, nurturing environment. They have always had to fend for themselves, and as a child, that cant be done without using people. It is a pattern that resides with them through adulthood.

Think of them like a gardener, and us like a lawn mower, weedeater, rake, shovel, and sprayer. They need the grass cut, so they go to the lawn mower. Now when they got this lawn mower, they loved it because it cranked with the first pull, and it never gave a minutes trouble. They never take care of it, so it seems to be in disrepair. They will pull on it once, and if it doesnt start, they will get irritated. After subsequent pulls, if the lawn mower doesnt start, they will do out and find another one that will crank on the first pull, completely oblivious to the fact that only the spark plug needs changed. That new lawnmower is now the greatest lawn mower in the world. It may be ugly, and worn out, but it is theirs, and it cranks on the first pull. That qualifies it to be the best one ever.

After that one quits cranking, they make give the first one a pull or two, but if it doesnt crank, its off to find the next one, and they know where it is at, because they are always looking to find something that will work in case their old one fails them.

You see folks, its all about need, desire, and complete selfishness. Yes, us lawnmowers love our gardeners, and we want to run on the first pull, because we dont want to let our gardener down, and we dont want to be replaced. When we are replaced, we are hurt, shocked, and rejected. We spent along time mowing their grass. If only they cared enough about us to maintain us a little. If only they changed our oil, and replaced our spark plugs. Its what we need to be able to keep running for them. But alas, we are merely replacable machines to them.

It goes on down the line with all of the other tools in the shed. Why spend time fixing one, when mass production dictates that there will always be another one just around the corner that will work. And general maintenace just takes time away from them. They refuse to do it, and refuse to see what harm it causes us. If only they could be pushed around the yard a couple of times.
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2008, 01:07:19 AM »

Here is another lists posted on our website:

To the sufferer, BPD is about deep feelings, feelings often too difficult to express, feelings that are something along the lines of this :

If others really get to know me, they will find me rejectable and will not be able to love me; and they will leave me;

I need to have complete control of my feelings otherwise things go completely wrong;

I have to adapt my needs to other people's wishes, otherwise they will leave me or attack me;

I am an evil person and I need to be punished for it;

Other people are evil and abuse you;

If someone fails to keep a promise, that person can no longer be trusted;

If I trust someone, I run a great risk of getting hurt or disappointed;

If you comply with someone's request, you run the risk of losing yourself;

If you refuse someone's request, you run the risk of losing that person;

I will always be alone;

I can't manage by myself, I need someone I can fall back on;

There is no one who really cares about me, who will be available to help me, and whom I can fall back on;

I don't really know what I want;

I will never get what I want;

I'm powerless and vulnerable and I can't protect myself;.

I have no control of myself;

I can't discipline myself;

My feelings and opinions are unfounded;

Other people are not willing or helpful.


Assumptions in borderline personality disorder: specificity, stability

and relationship with etiological factors. Arntz, A., Dietzel, R., & Dreessen, L. (1999). Behaviour Research and Therapy, 37, 545–557


At one time or another we have all tried to get inside their head and understand what makes them do what they do or just to see why they see things that way. In attempting to do this we may become enmeshed in always analyzing things and keep getting sidetracked because tomorrow the chaos changes. Just trying to figure it out and keeping up with all the different feelings and emotional conflicts can be very draining and you can feel that you are crazy yourself.

Discovering that this craziness has a name often creates a “Lightbulb Effect’ for Nons searching for answers. Much of our BPD related experiences suddenly makes sense, in the context of the disorder and its behaviors. Finding others who have experienced the same patterns and trauma in their BPD relationship can be a lifeline of hope. The sense of being completely alone disappears and we begin to find and reclaim those parts of themselves that they’ve lost as a result of their despair.

The more we understand the dynamics of the disorder the easier we can accept and cope with what we have endured. When this happens we regain control of our own self control and can address the issues at hand with smarter tools and approaches.

When we realize we can change and can make our lives better is when we regain control over ourselves again and prosper.
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Letting go when it is too painful to hang on is hard to rationalize.

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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2008, 05:03:14 PM »

This short audio is very helpful:

https://bpdfamily.org/2011/04/untangling-internal-struggles-of.html

The speaker explains that family members without mood disorders themselves know that emotions are simply emotions that do not need to be responded to. This is not so clear to a person with a mood disorder.

The speaker also explain that family members also know that when they want to fulfill a goal, emotional responses need be put on the shelf so they can continue with the task at hand. For someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, doing this can be extremely challenging.

I found it helpful.
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2008, 12:32:14 PM »

Hi there:Another word for these is "defense mechanisms." We all use them. BPs tend to use those that are more "primitive" and typical of a child.
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2008, 08:32:37 AM »

I work with abandoned kids, and believe me it cuts them to their core. This is before they are labeled with BPD or some other superficial label.

These people were abandoned or abused early on in their lives. They develop this strategy to survive. I think they are seeking security and a sense of safety. My exBPDgf actually told me this in her own way. She wanted a "father figure." They want this security and safety really badly. They will manipulate, lie, do whatever to get it. The fear of abandonment is so great. Actually I don't believe that everyone hasn't experienced the same thing. They feel vulnerable, deprived, powerless, out of control, defective, unlovable and bad. On the other hand they see others as either "white" or idealized as powerful, loving, and perfect or "black" as controlling, betraying and abandoning.

1. They believe that they can't cope on their own.

2. They need someone to rely on.

3. They can not bear unpleasant feelings

4. If I rely on someone I will be mistreated, found wanting or abandoned.

5. It is impossible to control myself.

6. I deserve to be punished.

7. The worst possible thing is to be abandoned.

They believe this about themselves on a very deep level. But, none of this is true. They think they are bad but they are not. My theory is that you probably experienced the real woman you were in love with, believe who you saw was a real woman with flesh and blood. The problem is that SHE doesn't believe that she is that woman. The problem the "nons" or codependents have like me is that I was a "sponge" and not a "mirror." By doing things for my exBPDgf I was actually doing her harm. I was buying into her negative helpless view of herself. Think about her as much as you want. I think these people are in most ways just like everyone else. My therapist told me that if it were up to him he'd get rid of the concept of "mental illness." He thinks that we all to some extent have a little bit of something. I have serious issues of abandonment, I have feelings of emptiness, I get angry. Not chronically but I wasn't abused or abandoned as much as my ex. I think that you made a mistake in trying to "fix her yucky parts." The relationship might not have worked out anyway, but enabling someone with BPD doesn't work. What works is to have clearly defined boundaries I think and to not tolerate BPD behavior but in a loving way. But that's no guarantee either.  db
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2008, 11:13:33 PM »

Dr. Gregory Lestor teaches: 

The person with BPD is MISSING a sense of proportionality in life events and consistent sense of self.

These are not attributes that exist and are able to be restored through processing past victimization, but instead, need to be built as foundational in treatment.

So, whatever issues arise - the proportions and sense of consistent self of the person with BPD is not established, thus, the reactions that are so difficult.

Molly
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2008, 10:44:17 AM »

I'm in the unique position of having lived "both sides" - the insanity of BPD and the relative sanity of post-BPD (though I'll never be "cured" of it, since it's an inextricable part of who I am now, but I am living as BPD-free as I can).

It's funny how difficult it is for me to see from that POV anymore. I had to stop going to BPDRecovery.com partially because I just couldn't relate anymore. I couldn't understand that mindset anymore, and it was difficult not to judge, truthfully.

Many people in this thread have mentioned the cognitive disconnect between the person with BPD's perceptions and the more realistic POV of the non. That's fundamental. To borrow NewLife's analogy: 2+2=somebody's trying to hurt me. Uh, that's not logical even in the realm of higher, abstract math!

People are so much in their own heads that they believe their heads are the world. Does that make sense?

I'm a big fan of separating NPD from BPD, because they are different animals. I phrase it that NPD is a crocodile: predatory. BPD is a wounded bear: enraged, hurt, lashing out. Of course neither is a "pure" category and there is overlap (a beacodile? a crocear?). But I truly believe people with NPD intend to hurt others and may even get pleasure out of doing so. To use a horrid work jargon word, they're proactive. Peoople with BPD are reactive - they're reacting out of their well-entrenched belief system (see the list of 20 negative assumptions). It's rarely ever intended to hurt, that's a consequence, not the purpose.

Sorry if I'm rambling around the topic a bit, but it's been a while since I've even thought about BPD (I've been having some trouble, but mostly have been doing really well).

I like PDQ's thoughts. "They have always had to fend for themselves". Yep, *raises hand*. Not able to count on anyone. My trust in everything that had any authority or that held hope of safety was stripped away within a very short time at a period of my life when I was extremely vulnerable and of need of protection: I couldn't rely on my parents, religion/god, the government/police, my peers, the concept of justice. Everything was stripped away and I was left like a hermit crab without a shell, so open and raw and scared and alone. I only had myself.

I've come to realise I am as emotionally unavailable as the men I chose to be my partners. I must still believe deep inside that I can only make it if I do it on my own. I'm working hard to change that now.

Anyway, I'd argue only with PDQ's supposition that they don't care (sorry if I misunderstood your point). I've come to the conclusion that they (we) do, but that in the white hot heat of a BPD moment, there is no room for "others", there's no room for empathy - it IS truly all about MEMEMEMEME. It's like your world narrows to a pinpoint of the universe of yourself. This doesn't mean that in the rest of the relationship there is no caring. I'd say they're like the gardener who thinks that mere tools will help her/him get the job done, but what s/he really needs is a partner in the business - someone who is good at landscape design while the gardner is better at uh, laying manure  Smiling (click to insert in post) .

discardedboyfriend (((I'm sorry))) - you talked about being a sponge vs. mirror. Excellent point from both non-POV and BPD-POV. I can't speak much about being a sponge, except in the limited time period I was with my uBPDbf (and I sure did suck it up during that sad time). But how I came to be well and mostly recovered relied on a great extent to being mirrored. Let me explain...

Growing up - for whatever reason - I became convinced I was unacceptable as a person.

The first person to love me for ME was my maternal grandmother, when I was in my early 20's until she died 3 years ago (I'm in my late 30's). The second was my closest friend, whom I met in my early 30's. He showed me I was worthwhile, even if I couldn't fully believe it then. That was before my breakdown and recovery from BPD.

Afterwards, I had 2 amazing therapists: one a warm, loving mother type (my own mom wasn't demonstrative much), the other a no-nonsense practical, nonjudgemental man (my own father wasn't involved much). And I found acceptance at BPDRecovery.com People understood! They had gone through what I had! They did the same stupid things! They were trying to get better, too! I belonged. I belonged... I was ok, maybe.

Then, I came here. And no longer was my validation coming from professional carers or good-intentioned, but still sick peers. It was coming from "normal"   people. I'm ok? I may even be a good person? Really? wow. Maybe I'm a good person. I was accepted for who I am. You all have my deep gratitude, y'hear me! You'll never know what that meant to me.

Now, I have friends in RL. They love me for me. I think I love me for me, too. I am an acceptable person. I am a worthwhile human being.

And so is every person with BPD. They just don't know it yet.

And so is every person who loved a person with BPD. They just have to remember it always.
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2008, 04:42:32 PM »

I am really beginning to disagree with the notion alot of people have that BPD people are crazy through and through and that everything they do is narcissistic or psuedo-maniulative and they just fake the rest of us out. I think that the distorted thinking and negative behaviors are really situational and that alot of the time people with BPD are capable of being both rational and compassionate. It's just when really sensitive old wounds get stirred up and survival mode kicks in that these things become impaired and the past relieves itseld. I'm sure these long held habits and beliefs become significant threads running through a BP's personality, but I really think that it is not THEM.  It is just old patterns from the past and pain that is too touchy to be dealt with head on.

Yes, there can be false personas, but I also feel like after a while you can see which ones are the masks and get a sense of why they are emerging and how that relates to the person as a whole.

The more I understand about BPD the more I see that there isn't that much really special or different about it. I think for the most part BP brains function with the same structure just like nons do, except that nons have not had the same kinds of experiences. I think that the tough things about BPD are common to all of us, but just more intense and harder to cope with for some (maybe those lacking advanced coping mechanisms).
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2008, 08:49:03 AM »

I think generalizations fall apart when placed against our specific circumstances.  There are so many varieties of BPD...different mixes of the traits...and when you blur the edges by recognizing other PD traits in the (ex) SO...the variations are...well, not infinite, but enough that generalizations may not hold true.

Crazy is probably not a very good term.  Disordered is probably much closer.  I like the notion of "triggering"...though in my experience, manipulation was always there - whether conscious or unconscious.  Nons can certainly exhibit PD traits...not necessarily enough to qualify for a dx (and yes, a non can be a full fledged BPD in the relationship).  But it is easy to label some of these behaviors as CRAZY...mostly because as nons we cant see the connection to reality.  Just because we can't see the connection doesnt mean the other person is crazy.  We might be disordered and/or crazy.  However, history can guide us and let us know who is disordered and who is not.  Disordered people are different from non-disordered.  Lots of recent studies are pointing to the physiological and psychological differences in the disordered.  Its not just behavioral differences, by the biochemical processing thats different. 

Unfortunately, I just don't see pharmaceutical solutions as addressing personality issues.  A drug just can't fix emotional immaturity.
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2008, 10:12:09 PM »

mtn, I agree with the bulk of your post but I should point out that neuroscience can also show that the brains of depressed people, adhd and people with PTSD are all visibly different from 'normal'. Differences in the brain represent differences in how a person is thinking or percieving, but that does not mean that their minds are functioning in innately different ways. I think people just get tangled up in different ways and some are alot more tangled than others. This may be optimistic, but I think everybody has all the inborn human capacities to love and emphathize, even the most sociopathic people have only learned to dissociate or suppress these things to survive.
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2008, 02:29:13 PM »

Here's what I've figured out:

The BPD sufferer treats you (the intimate non-BPD in their lives) the same way they treat themselves. Badly!

It's not just you that gets the crap!

They beat themselves up all the time! They harangue themselves! They criticize and cruelly invalidate themselves all the time! In fact, they've beaten themselves into complete submission -that /is/ BPD.

They hate their "true selves." Their true self is writhing in intense shame and they'll say to it, "Your feelings mean nothing! Your perceptions are wrong! You don't exist!"

That's how the BPD sufferer treats themselves. (Sound familiar?)

With the "real self" effectively beaten into submission, the poor BPD is left with a void! Yikes! Scary! To compensate, they just make up a new, "false self" as a substitute. And, boy, it's fragile!

If they perceive criticism or rejection -false self might not be valid- the person panics that they're about to cease to exist! And, they'll do /anything/ to protect the validity of the "false self". This is their primary motivation, 24/7/365. Must maintain false self! Must maintain false self! -even if it means being cruel and insensitive to you and/or themselves.

Inside the BPD sufferers head, whenever the "authentic self" interjects a thought or feeling that conflicts with this "false self" (e.g., hey, I made a mistake!), they just smack it down! Your feelings mean nothing! Your perceptions mean nothing! You are nothing! SMACK! (Sound familiar?)

Oh, and your relationship together? Essentially, your partner is trying to maintain this fragile "false self", keep the pesky "true self" at bay, and love you at the same time! One big happy family! Oh, joy! A fake person in constant battle with an outcast, and you.

It's completely dysfunctional and it won't work.

They're not treating you any worse than they treat themselves.

They invalidate their own perceptions and emotions all the time! What, are they then going to validate yours or something? How?

I mean, could you treat someone better than you treat yourself? How could you? Think about it. It's impossible!

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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2008, 09:13:34 PM »

I think they are miserable too.  My uBPDw constantly makes little degrading snipes about herself.  Unfortunately, they have no effective way to deal with these feelings so they make everyone else around them miserable. It grinds you down. 

Just recently, I tried taking this approach with my W.  I told her I could tell she felt miserable and needed to explore things that made her happy, set goals, get a job, whatever.  She heard "You are a miserable person who needs to get a job."  She's rubbed my nose in the "insult" several times since. 

Someday, I hope she finds happiness, but I don't think she ever will.  What a tragic waste of a life. 
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2008, 10:49:11 AM »

I think we (strugglers on the board here) all feel this way. It's ultimately, I think, why we can't just get out.

There is something about being in one of these relationships. A lot of the dysfunction, I guess, is dependency issues on my part.

But, to "leave" this person, feels like leaving your child or something -it feels "haunting." I did not experience this with the two other long-term relationships I've been in.

The heartbreaking aspect of this is important to look at.

However, the intent of first post was for a different way of looking at how badly I get treated sometimes. I don't mean she's kinda moody and snapped at me or something. No, I mean evil! I mean behavior and words that look, sound, and feel like evil!

It really, really hard to have yourself emotionally open to someone who, at times, wants you to hurt. I think when she's "stressed" it makes her feel better to hurt me. I really do. She invalidates my feelings in awful, awful ways. It really screws me up.

I can get very, very angry. As in, my lower lip has scabs for a week where I've bitten it because I was so furious.

So, as a way of letting go of this anger, of validating my own feelings, is to realize that she treats herself this way too. That I am not singled out and she does this to herself. (she must feel even worse than me, no?) I find a little solace and validation in this. I have to really focus on it, but it does provide relief when I've been convinced there was none.
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2008, 11:02:13 AM »

It's a really interesting perspective, John.

Thanks!

Skippy
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« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2008, 11:00:53 PM »

The first time couple of times  it happened  to me, the rage, the slamming down of the phone  (I was so naive I had to call back and ask ":)id you just hang up on me?   I just didn't know that an adult would actually hang up on someone), the total disconnect, I really took it personally.

But then I started to look at the BPD's life.  He had spent years with an active alcoholic, he was a workaholic spending 70 hours a week at work, he has only 4 people in his contact list on his phone, NEVER NEVER socializes, feel very uncomfortable in social settings, poor eating habits, rail thin and so critical and rigid with himself, takes great pride in the fact that no one at works ever sees his emotions.

On his day off he had this to do list that included the gym, mowing the lawn, doing household tasks - in other words, no time whatsoever for anything pleasureable or spontanious.  Honestly, what really got to me was his dress shirts for work.  They had so much starch in them that they actually made a really loud noise whenever he moved. It was like he made this bulletproof starched construct. 

Living in his mind can't be the happiest place on earth.   

I just wonder where that happy loving place comes from that sucks us in.  It is in there somewhere?  Is it just something they've seen on t.v. and emulate?

Thanks for your post.
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« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2008, 10:05:27 AM »

Very good insight John. I have also done a lot of thought into the mind of the BP and we know it's impossible to really know how somebody we know feels and thinks we can run the circular path and make some firm conclusion of what is and what isn't. Many of your insights have been the same as I have thought about but one thing I might add is that when they are in their high and things appear to be on a normal state they may have all the bad and tormenting thoughts removed from their mind and they are functioning in a hypnotic state believing they are all the things that they fear they are not. When something shatters the state they tumble back down and the crazy cycle starts again till the calm appears suddenly, and all is OK for awhile.
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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2008, 03:10:24 PM »

This is so true.  It's incredible to me, and overwhelming actually, to take a step into a BP's mind.  I think there were many moments throughout the relationship (after I discovered BP) when I saw the dynamic you just described clearly playing out in his brain...and it was eerie.  I think at times it escalated his anger, or sarcasm, or distancing (whatever the abuse du jour was) when he could see that I was seeing what was going on "in" him. In fact, the day after I finally said I wanted out for good, exBPbf sat down on my bed and said he hadn't meant to hurt me with a comment...and I just looked at him and said "you said it because you felt bad about yourself at the time and wanted me to feel bad about myself too."  I think the look on his face when I said that will be seared into my mind forever...he happened to be in a "calm" and I think my statement actually registered, maybe.  Anyway, he didn't say a word and looked like he was going to cry...the "real" self had breached the perimeter...only to be beaten back less than 12 hours later, of course.

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« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2008, 08:04:53 PM »

This is absolutely fascinating!  Like Justso, I too have had a "light bulb moment"! I never thought of BPD this way, but it makes perfect sense.  I've seen this pattern of self-hatred played out so many times, but I didnt know what I was seeing! Nothing I do is ever right, I'm always wrong, insensitive, thoughtless, mean, abusive - the list goes on & on.  If I ask her to pull up, I'm accused of not allowing her to express her feelings - nevermind how hurtful they are.  But now I understand her projection so much more.  Thanks for this.  I'm gonna print it and keep it in my wallet to help me keep myself sane.
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« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2008, 08:14:23 PM »

Just another thing falling into place for me.  I had all the pieces, but this thread sort of cemented them into a logical order.

I remember saying to myself, friends, therapists and to him that I just wished he felt good about himself...that I knew he was never satisfied with what he had accomplished in life although it is much more than lots of other people.  Nothing I did was ever good enough because nothing HE did was ever good enough.

And it WAS such a cycle...I thought this early on and dismissed it as just a normal variance of moods.  And it snuck up on me as the moods got more severe.   I still held the same idea of "normal" and the moods were raging far beyond that.

OMG, yeah, another lightbulb. Thanks!
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« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2008, 08:24:11 PM »

i agree!  Very good observations
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