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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Silent treatment  (Read 114832 times)
izzo
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2008, 10:34:59 AM »

Excellent article,very powerful.I wish I could get my soon to be exWBPD to read it AND comprehend it.Won't happen I know,this article hits me right between the eyes as this has been her main method of torture.The whole mechanism is just crazy=she wouldn't talk about anything=problems,kids,money,hopes,dreams,plans and especially feelings!After a good week or two I would get sick of it and of course an argument would ensue(though not really an argument if only one person is arguing while the other sits there with a total blank expression)After sayin things in anger I was told I had an anger problem and I was the abusive one.I actualy went along with it,like everything else ,no more .Thanks again for even more clarity and peace of mind.
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2008, 11:23:54 AM »

I suppose it depends on what led up to the silence.

*If they have recently painted you black because you didn't fulfill their wishes/desires, then I agree that the silent treatment is punitive and definately a form of abuse. They are upset/angry with you, so they want to punish you by not speaking with you. To really rub the salt in, sometimes they will continue to maintain pleasant interactions with others to show you what you are missing.

*It could also be seen as a way to get sympathy, in a "feel sorry for me", kind of way. They won't tell you what is wrong, they will just act like a poor victim and expect you to jump and serve them. They enjoy the attention and will play the "poor me" card for all it's worth. It's manipulative and childish, because they aren't asking directly for support by explaining themselves, they are expecting us to be mind readers and magicians.

*Other times, it  could be depression rearing it's ugly head and they really don't feel the need to talk to anyone, much less you.


I had a cat that got his paw slammed in my car door. He limped around and I felt guilty, so I fed him extra treats. After a few days, I noticed that he would be running and playing until I brought food out, then he would limp up to me and hold his paw up, looking for sympathy and the extra food. I stopped feeding him treats and he quickly stopped playing the game with me. I know people aren't as easy as animals, but it is really knowing the reasons and the person that will help us deal with it in the proper fashion. Each one requires a different response from us.

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Change your perceptions and you change your life.  Nothing changes without changes
methinkso
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2008, 11:04:53 PM »

Nothing says 'you don't exist' like the silent treatment. It is of the most destructive.

When I was 6 to 12 both my parents ignored me for months on end. In between those months, I would be belittled momentarily every blue moon except when momster would rage about me for hours often. The most common visual I have of my mother was with her back turned to me when I entered the house going to and arriving from school. Being sent away weekends without a word of explanation for years, etc.

I have read that being ignored is worse than any other abuse because it says you don't matter and "I don't care". Even verbal bashings are more validating that you ARE than being ignored.

This thread also reminds me of a post from long ago about the three types of mothers. One ~ I love you and show you I love you. Two ~ I hate you and admit I hate you. Three ~ I hate you but I pretend I love you. The third, three, being the most destructive because of the mixed messages.

And I, Mts, have known same age children who's mothers told them to their face they hated them and consistantly showed it. Those mother's didn't vacilate. Those children were more balanced then than I. I had a hateful, but denying mother. It screwed me up and I have struggled with the fallout for most of my adult life.


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noahetal
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2008, 11:16:38 PM »

Joanne- I'm confused. My BPD is not silent..she's never silent! .I've been silent and withholding because when I tell her how I feel,what I need,etc..I'm met with the echo/interpution ( my w simply goes on about what she needs/how she feels) I thought,after reading eggshells, that I should only convey the necesary info to keep the family going and not "engage" in topics that wil start a fight( all topics start a fight) .

So..is it the BPDs that are silent or are we supposed to clam up when trying to de -emesh ? I'm confused... NOah 
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methinkso
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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2008, 11:49:23 PM »

Noah,

Some BPD's will be silent for days on end. My mother would lie on the sofa for 3 days and some would think she was dead, but on other ocassions she would rage for days on end. When she did either, it was directed to the whole family. Her ignoring me, was only directed at me.

Of course when she raged, she was met with withdrawal from Dad and us children.

There is one intricacy here in your variation, that Dad or us children were not allowed to express needs, she had torn that assunder by the behavior you describe, which was ME ME ME, ad nauseam on her part, because nobody would ever have their needs known, let alone, met!

IMO, you were simply in another variation of the 'concrete' BPD behavior, which was quite a natural response on your part (to withdraw).

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letitgo
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2008, 03:29:46 PM »

MeThinkSo: Thanks for bringing up the 3 kind of mothers subject; never knew their was such a classification.  This morning I was telling my psychotherapist about what my mother said to me when I was 10yrs old.  My mother looked at me and said, " I hate you, but I love you because you're my daughter".  That moment, even though it was 37 yrs ago, is so so so vivid in my mind! She was so calm and collected, but the hate was seething through her pores.  My therapist couldn't believe it.  And, I'm wondering how her (my mother) angry, hatefulness and other behaviors have affected me now.

I suffer from an exceedingly low self-esteem.  My pattern, whenever anything is going great, I sabbatoge it all.  I know that this means I subconsciensly (sp?) don't think I'm worth good things.  So, how do I change this?  Any ideas, or experiences people can share that helped them with low self-esteem issues?
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agirl
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« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2008, 08:03:08 PM »

I had read this article and bookmarked it. A year ago my ex walked out after 2 years of living together on me all the while spewing verbal abuse, and once he was gone, I have only gotten silence. He gave me no real reason before leaving and it was unexpected and sudden. I have even asked for more closure. I am starting to realize he was controlling and emotionally and verbally abusive the entire relationship. It is hard to break free of him mentally because I don't have a logical reason on what happened between us and I really loved him. It's cruel, and holds my heart hostage, and I'm trying so hard to break free of it.
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methinkso
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« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2008, 01:40:13 PM »

Letitgo,

Sorry I didn't see your post until now.

I wish I could site the book I read with the 'three' parents use/behavior of hatered. But I find it SO true. One friend of mine since high school (over 30 yrs) has a crass mother. Her mother hurts her at times but they speak their minds openly to each other. If the mother does not want the D's presence, mother will state "I won't go if YOU go", yet they are close. Her mother has always been there for her and D feel appropriate loyalty (not fog). In my own case, my mother was the type that feigned love, induced great guilt and expectations while hatred has always simmered underneath ~ threatening to surface at any moment. It's bullying at it's finest.

If I had a fantasy of us duking it out, I'd challenge her before our duel and say "Hate me, bhit. Get it out of your system so I can get on. Lay it out on the table so we can BOTH get some peace". But she'd never be woman enough to be real.

Sorry, I needed that right now. <smile>

I wish I had some really sound advice as to how to help with self esteem. I am not overly loaded with it, but even in school I had some good caring school mentors as teachers. I always felt my brothers had helped with that too. And I had a sophisticated neighbor woman next door (divorcee and independent). She was a very good mentor. LOL I could stop in her home at 16 yrs old and she'd offer me a highball. I know she KNEW my mother was abusive. And some of my peers mothers, and a few girl scout leaders too.

In high school, there was a local teen hang-out operated by an older couple. I became their pet and employed part time by them at times, would spend the night at their home, etc.

I think when we subject ourselves to healthy (or healthier) people, we just naturally gain in self confidance. And don't rule out plain ageing and experience. It helps ALL, those lacking in self esteem or not! And I think that chosing a variety of friends helps that also. As in don't just surround yourself with one type of person ~ seek out and enjoy all types possible.

I also think getting a little selfish with ourselve tells us we are worth it. Buy something you would not normally buy, get a makeover. Travel a route you don't usually travel. Get out in public and walk, and flirt, if you are not committed. And remember you are encountering like people at all times. There are MANY women (people) who suffer too right there among us. Just like here on this board. Were you made to feel 'alone' at times? You never really are.

It's so sad that people should even have had their egos damaged by another.    

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letitgo
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« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2008, 11:27:30 PM »

MeThinkSo: Thank you for responding! You're a very good writer, and you crack me up.

It's been a while since responding to this thread on Silence.  I read your latest comments, and I realize how far I've come!  I have done everything you've mentiioned! I've reunited with people in AA, and reach out to new AA'ers.  I have friends that aren't AAer's too.  I mix it up, and I'm really having a good time.  Also, since May 3rd began increase in running--endurance/long distance running, and keep a journal.  This all has built my self-esteem.

As for the silence which to me is a mixture of shame, self-loathing, anger, and fear, I do not miss that miserable negativity from my secretive exN/BPD or mother.  The fear I felt when I was around the silence literally made me nauseated because I was so scared.  It's difficult to see now why I lived that way with my ex for so long!  I go back and forth with missing/feeling sorry for her, and then, I can't stand her.

 
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JoannaK
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« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2008, 06:07:52 PM »

Quote
My BPD is not silent..she's never silent! .I've been silent and withholding because when I tell her how I feel,what I need,etc..I'm met with the echo/interpution



Some people withhold because they are depressed.  A person who is quiet because he/she is depressed is quiet towards everyone.  It's not aimed at a significant other, a specific child, whomever.  That's not silent treatment/silent raging/silent abuse.   Some people withhold because, as in Noah above, they are concerned that they won't be heard, they will be trashed, something like that.  So they say nothing.  That is usually not the silent treatment.  That is more akin to self-protection.

When my exh was silent raging, it was as if I did not exist to him.  He ignored me, even though he might have been friendly to everybody else.  If I asked him something he would mumble and I'd have to ask him again.  If he started complaining, ranting, and raging, it would feel better to me, because at least he was acknowledging that I existed. 

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