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Author Topic: Coaching Others - Do you find it frustrating at times?  (Read 20740 times)
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« on: March 12, 2008, 09:46:30 PM »

Coaching others - Do you find it frustrating sometimes

The subject of member to member frustration comes up from time to time and I thought it would be a good workshop discussion - why does it happen - how do we deal with it. I think we all have experienced it.  
 
It usually sounds something like this:
They are naive - that relationship will never work!  They are stuck and just don't get it!  If they only could see themselves!  They are enabling the dysfunctional dance!  The message is there - they don't hear it!  What reality are they dealing with?

I propose (for discussion) that possibly the best we can do is understand what we are reacting to first, before taking "pen to paper".

What part of it is them, what part is our own unfinished business?  Hard question, I know.

But there is the obvious -
~ It took me a long time to understand (or take action) in my life - why am I impatient with others?
~ I know there are multiple types of BPD, varying degrees of BPD, and in fact, that many of the BPDs discussed on this board have never been diagnosed - why would I think everyones situation is like mine?

Anyway, that's a start... .I look forward to a fruitful discussion.

Skippy
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008, 02:19:55 PM »

I think that one of the most important things to remember is that we are here to help fellow nons. Regardless of their situations.

Most of the time people come here because they are confused and hurting. It takes time to learn about BPD and it takes time to understand what you are up against. It does not help the person to push our own agendas on them. Usually this response has more to do with us than has to do with the person we are trying to help. This is an opportunity for us to examine our strong reactions and ask ourselves why we had such a visceral response to a situation. For me it was seeing someone else make the mistakes that I am most ashamed of.

We are here for support and to support each other. We should encourage Stayers to work on themselves without feeling stigmatized about their decision to try to work things out. It is all about the non being armed with as much knowledge as they need to be able to successfully process what they are living with.

There is empirical evidence that borderlines can recover with a proper treatment and the diagnosis is not as bleak as it once was. It is important to realize that there will be success stories out there. But we are here for the non and not to focus on the BP.

I don't think this means we should offer false hope but I do think we should speak in realistic terms. We don't want to enable anyone but we want to help them start examining themselves. The goal is to provide tools for the non so that they can decide for themselves what they want to do.

There are situations where we see that member or their children are in danger. The only responsible thing to do is to urge them to get to a safe place. Abuse is never okay and sometimes members don't even realize that they are experiencing domestic violence.

I think coaching someone struggling can mutually beneficial. It can be an opportunity for us to heal our wounds as we assist another member with their walk out of Oz.
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2008, 03:52:52 PM »

well i think extracting the most information you can is a start... .bits and pieces are useless and their are two sides to every story... .

examples... .

my wife  up and left... took the car havent heard from her for two days... .she is a diagnosed borderline... .shes at her mothers and wont answer the phone...

well 15 posts later the guy decides to share... .that the wife who left found his cell was ringing and his ex g/f was returning a call... .this guy wasted my time... he screwed up...

has nothing to do with BPD... .the non had unnacceptable behavior but hes gonna blame her leaving on BPD... .

staying is a particulary hard place to post... .some are hanging on to something they shouldnt,,, the violent husband. the cheating wife... .the abused children...

yes you love him or her ... .and i want you to stay and fix it so it works... .but,many times that is not possible ... .the s/o went to two sessions and they are fixed?

and he only hit the wife once this week... .and the kids arent as afraid as the week before... .and t tell them yes hes or she is doing great... .i cant... .i will tell you what i feel

and use it or discard it... .but dont close your eyes to it... .i would be doing you a great injustice if i ... just aggree with you... .

undecided area  there are some that would remain inundecided forever cause its easy... .if it wasnt for the 7 page lockdown... they would be there 56 pages later... .

the wife is cheating with the nieghbor, not coming home... .on the phone with a new guy while your still living together, spent 10000 on a boob job... .and verbally and physically abused you... .20 post later your still undecided... .tell me you spent all night waiting for her and she never came home... .do you need me to tell you there is a problem... BPD or not... .BPD is not an exuse of the non either bad behavior is bad behavior...

make a move . if your staying head on over there... .leaving... .head on over... it nothing written in stone but you might be in an area of differnt support and guidance... .and find similar stories... and out comes... .get out of the safe zone... .

the disapearing posters... .8 topics, 5o replies... and they vaporize... .there is allot of work done here... .say im taking a break... , im going home... were remmarrying... .i will wish you luck ... .but will leave the porch light on... .

as far as myself... .some of the stories mirror my realtionship... .i know the script... .how it plays out... .took me 10 break-ups to learn more and more... .

if i see someone traveling in my footsteps... i dont want them to become what i became... .then had to fix myself... .

i think my first response was jk... .i took everything in and in and in till the lightbulb moment hit... .i had the rose colored glasses  on for some time... .but i knew what i had to do... .just had to hear it enough to set it... .

its hard to watch someone drown... .the s/o refuses treatment and the non... they dont want see anything... .but they come and tell the horror story of last night events... .

some nons dont want to be helped... .as much as the BPD in thier lives dont accpet treatment and you tell the the documented truths  and they dont want to hear it and get mad cause you tell them the truth... .no opinion... .facts...

some dont want to hear the truth... .

but my bottom line i hope i can tell you to stay... .but it dont work that way too often

my summary... . some feel we maybe the senior members ... .are get out get out get out... .

i think people are wrong... .the seniors want you to stay married, stay with you g/f ...

we are not negative... .and i take offense to that... .

i sat behind this screen and cried at some of these stories... .i want to reach thru the screen, i want to talk to your wife... ., or husband but i cant... .i dont want anyone to live my past 4 years... noone... .

the woman who is sitting in the living room , whos husband decided its rage night as she is  thrown  into the bathroom, curses out the 4 y/o... .and the wife accpets it becuse she forgot to tell him to take his pill... .if i tell you to get the hell away i am negative... .

i think not... .





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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008, 04:39:43 PM »

EMERGENCY RESPONSE
 
I don't want hijack this discussion  - but this is a good place to add that that in addition to what we discuss with members on-board,  it is important to encourage members in domestic violence situations and those that feel hopeless/depressed/suicidal to contact a local live counselor.  If they are not seeing a therapist, we have a directory of free local phone contacts for assistance (click "Emergency" in the toolbar below each thread).
 
We shouldn't be afraid to write - communication is always good - but an important part of our message whenever a member faces potential bodily harm should be to "make the call".  The counselors are experienced, caring, and know the local resources, laws and practices.
 
If you encounter such a situation on board - please also call a moderator.
 

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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2008, 05:43:13 PM »

What I find frustrating is that I can't know the specifics. I wish I had gone to school for psychology sometimes. I would love to sit down and work with people directly rather than just reading bits and pieces on the internet. But I can only imagine the stress a therapist experiences dealing with personality disorders AND people who STAY with personality disorders. It's got to be a strain either way.

But the bottom line is I fight the urge to tell people to just run. I don't know and can't know what they're dealing with. Only they can decide what is too much or not enough. And then there are some people who tell stories that don't even make sense in crazy land and for those I just want to reach through the net and pull the non's out of the situations.

It also seems there are a lot of people on here who want others to give them the answer, to tell them what to do, to decide for them whether or not to put up with it or what have you.

I know I was doing that. I have also learned that the very nature of my indecisiveness was one of my flaws that was perpetuating the very issue. Until I decided for myself i was going to get nowhere. So I fight the urge to tell people what they should do. It's their growth opportunity to decide for themselves.

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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2008, 05:57:42 PM »

Those with kids... .incredibly frustrating.



Those that are young ( no offense to anyone) newly married... .and can save themselves with less pain.

That is frustrating. That they have the same thoughts as you did, the same dreams. It's like a time warp.

~AguyD


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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 07:27:22 PM »

I was a very late comer to this board and in fact came here in my after life. I stayed on at first because I could not believe the number of men who were in the process of leaving or who had been out of their relationship only a short time could not re-connect to themselves and dwelled totally on their despair of a lost one who didn’t love or respect them anymore or was hanging on to too much anger towards them. I tried to be as upbeat and encouraging that things do get better and you can go on and live an enjoyable life down the road. I did get discouraging to me because many appeared to want to stay in that pit of despair and not evolve upward and outward for themselves. I would tell them my route of recovery and encourage many on and have seen some great success stories over the past year. Thinking about it now I seem to feel the time shortening on many of the new members who enter under the same circumstances today.

I feel less frustrated today with the same situations and hope I have not become too de-sensitized from it but have started to think that rather than handing out generic advice doesn’t work as well as tailoring it to the individual’s situation. Maybe it grabs their attention more and appears we are on a more personal level of sincerity with them.

LA

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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: March 13, 2008, 10:05:04 PM »

Sometimes I can't even post... .  I read a few threads, particularly on the newbie board, and I just can't say anything.  It's too hard. 

Perhaps it is good for me to come back later in those situations...    because I really don't know what to say.

But situations in which the poster or his/her children are being abused, when the abuse or violence is very obvious, need to be addressed.  But if we are too strong we may run off the person!  But how else can we make it clear that the person and his/her children are in very obvious danger!

You know, every time I hear of a person being killed by an out-of-control partner, or an ex who has stalked and killed someone, I wonder if it is someone who has been here, who has posted here.  No way to tell, of course. 

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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 11:04:12 PM »

It's a balancing act for sure.

We don't want to condone or enable any unhealthy situation - not emotional abuse - not verbal abuse - not physical abuse.

But, at the same time, once we loose them our ability to help ends.  And we loose 71% of those that post before the 5th post.

To me, it seems like a matter of trust.  People have to know you - respect you - trust you - before they are going to take any hard direction or tough love. 

And "when they are ready" depends on each one-on-one relationship. Some show up very open - others are deep in denial.  Some will trust one member and not another.  Some advice requires more trust - some less.

I think it's clear that if we push before the foundation is established, many will respond by stepping away.
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2008, 11:24:53 PM »

What's difficult for me isn't the really angry folks, who may say some nasty things about people with BPD, it's those who keep making excuses for their BP's bad behavior (especially around/to their kids, like others mentioned). Sometimes I want to give a person a good shake by the shoulders and say, "snap out of it!""What the hell are you even thinking?" I guess it bugs me because I know it's hurting everyone in that relationship: the non, who continues to put up with stuff they shouldn't, the BP who continues to be ill and doesn't get better, the children who are "collateral damage", innocent victims caught in the crossfire. It's not fair all around. But lots of times the only one who has the power to change it is the non. THe kids can't no matter how much they may want to, and lots of the BPSOs here seem to be in deeeep denial of even having BPD, so that leaves the partner. I wish I knew more about boundaries and could explain them in a coherent way to people convinced on staying, because they are imperative skills to have. I think at this point, I lean towards suggesting the best thing for the partner to do is to leave, mostly when there is abuse and if the BP is not serious about recovery efforts.

But you can't tell someone else their own reality. You can't rush their own healing. You can't decide the limits of their patience or the depth of their relationship. You can only try to understand and support the tough emotions they're feeling, while suggesting other ways to think about the situation, give them all the information they can handle so they can make more informed decisions. It's up to them to decide what's best.
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2008, 02:16:55 AM »

Excerpt
~ I know there are multiple types of BPD, varying degrees of BPD, and in fact, that many of the BPDs discussed on this board have never been diagnosed - why would I think everyones situation is like mine?

Because most of them end the same... with horrible emotional damage to the NON.

I get really frustrated when the poster doesnt seem to be listening to any of the advice they are being told.  I of all people know first hand how hard it is to listen, but there were members on here that really helped me by being blunt and speaking their mind honestly to me about my situation.

I've taken a step back from the board a bit because I am trying to move past this all.  I want to help people here and tell them what I have learned along the way, but sometimes something stops me.  I feel like I start reliving it all over again. 

I have sat here and cried for people on here, thought about their stories throughout much of my day and want to help.  It is really frustrating to see/read all the good advice that people are getting and then realize they arent really doing anything that was suggested.  I know it is hard, but sometimes I feel like my words are falling on ears that are not really ready or willing to accept though the poster may claim otherwise.  I understand that it is a very personal individual choice to make as to whether ythe person stays or goes, but based on what I experienced, I dont think I could ever tell someone to stay. That is why I have no business posting in the staying board unless it has something to do with behaviors.  I also dont comment on the posters that are dealing with BPs that are members of FOO.  That is a whole different dynamic than chosen relationships.

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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2008, 07:19:58 AM »

I find it very healing to help others here, it is good for my own healing to be able to share my experiences and lessons learned.  But, like many others have said it is frustrating when you watch/read someone staying in a really BAD situation and make excuses for staying, excuses for the horrific behaviour of their BPDSO... .

Part of this is because we've seen this movie before, we've lived it... .we know the story line, the plot and the tragic endiing... .we want so badly to spare someone else the pain we have been through.  It hurts and yes it is frustrating that you know they cannot see that train until it is headed right for them.

I too have stepped away from threads that are too painful, or when it is clear that the poster is not ready to deal with the tough love... .or the truth.

Overall though, I think through coaching/welcoming/posting here to try in some way to help others we not only help them, but, we learn more about ourselves and continue our healing.
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2008, 07:30:43 AM »

I haven't been a member here for as long as many above me; I am a member of another forum concerning drug abuse/addiction and have been for a couple of years.  Accepting that my exh had a drug addiction eventually led me here.  A lot of the behaviors are exactly the same... .

Frustration comes for me when there are children involved that are obviously caught in the crossfire.  As adults, we have a real choice even if we can't see it for awhile.  Kids don't have a choice.  That's what breaks my heart. 

I haven't started posting much to newbies, because the wounds from my divorce are very fresh, as are the realizations of what has happened to my children because I didn't get them out of OZ years ago.  I sometimes read those posts, and I want to reach into the screen and shake the poster into reality.  That won't help, and I know it. 

I don't post much on the drug addict board right now, either, for the same reason.  I just want to scream when I read descriptions of violence, verbal and emotional abuse, etc, and then read "but I love him/her."

Then there is the issue of those posters who come here or to the other board to whine about how horrible their lives are and how mean their partner is and how much their kids are hurting, but they refuse to do anything about it and even get defensive when someone suggests they might want to start thinking about that. 

There comes a point when you have to either learn to live with it or start planning to get out.  I don't want to read account after account of abusive behavior when all the poster really wants is for someone to agree that the other person is horrible and they are saints for living with that person.  Of course, they have every right to be here, too, I don't mean that.  I just can't interact with someone who is in that place, at least not yet.

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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2008, 10:12:47 AM »

The poster's ability to see themself accurately is, imo, the linch pin to the whole thing.  When I find myself gettting the most frustrated is when it seems the poster is really missing their own part in the whole thing - focusing on how terrible the other person is, but missing how they are ... .doing whatever they are doing that keeps the whole "bad" part going.

I can get that everyone's story ISN'T the same, that sometimes things work out better or worse than what it seems, based on what's being posted. 

Borrowing from AA/alanon models, the "non" in an addiction relationship, as they are healing, needs to focus on their own stuff, and "have the courage accept things they cannot change".  Same goes here.  I think it's useful to get educated about BPD and other mental health issues, so you can really grasp what's going on; but in the long run, the journey is internal, not fixing the other person.

I also notice, if I'm getting angry or emotional about a poster's situation, I better step away.  It's about me, not them.  That's my sign that I need to look at what's going on for me.

M.
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2008, 10:20:14 AM »

i thought about this question some more last night... .

i find my self emeshed in thier relationship... .and somethimes feel i have said all i can say...

and when a poster... .well  need to be shaken... .

i have to walk away... .and i hate to do that but sometimes i must because i will cross the line of compassion... .to that of my personal frustrations that they are not paying attention... .
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2008, 10:30:05 AM »

Such a great topic and one I have studied diligently since I am a personal/life/business coach on the outside world.

I have also had the privilege of being a birth coach. That training was the most incredible of all the learning arenas I have entered. What is the most important factor for being an effective birth coach  and I have shared this before I know but it is worth repeating is this:

as the coach you are there to enhance and guide the experience, not direct it or experience the event for that person you are supporting. It is completely unfair to rob the participant of their true experience. As caring and committed as we are respecting the place the other is in and providing them with the warmth and sensitivity of the moment is their right and your responsibility as a coach

This philosophy applies for any coaching relationship.

I also like the analogy that we have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason. In a good coaching relationship we should listen twice as much as we speak.

Peace4us
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2008, 10:47:19 AM »

Reading through all the comments is interesting.  Tony makes a very good point about knowing our own boundaries.  There are a few questions I ask myself:

Do I respect this person and what they are going through?

If my answer is no, I let someone else speak up - someone who identifies better and will communicate more effectively.

This is especially important if the person is doing something we have strong feelings against for religious, political, moral or other reasons - or if their story reminds us of someone/something that hurt us.

Am I willing to stay with the dialogue when members aren't listening?

How much are we willing to put up with to help this member? We all have limits - and so do they - best to just set the boundary (for ourselves) - and when it's reached - move on.

Our best advice may be overlooked, not understood, beyond comprehension, or worse - discredited by the member or another poster. This happens. No matter how good, members may not be able to hear what we have to say for a number of reasons - being distraught - in denial - afraid.  If that's the case - does it help them to continue?  Or is it better to come back and try another day?

Some of the best thoughts that I've had have been in threads that were glossed over  - but if they're good - someone will read them and learn.  We have a lot of lurkers - and people re-read their old threads.  And, maybe my points weren't as good as I thought.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Am I willing to respect diversity - especially if I strongly disagree with the other points of view?

If someone says just the opposite of what we think is good advice - what should we do?  I think this is a hard one - the natural reflex is to debate it.  But that's not really "forum".  Forum is every one hanging out their best advice and letting the host (and readers) choose.

Diversity is good... .but hard, too.

Am I willing to work with another's decision - be flexible - even if I think it's the wrong direction to go?

This is an even  tougher one.  Everyone's learning process is different and we all need to make mistakes in the process.  We all did.

Often people go in a direction we think is not wise... .maybe for good reasons (that we might not know) or maybe it's just bad... .but it is for them to decide. 

When its clear that we've been heard, do we help them by continuing to challenge the decision?   Or is it better to just drop out - maybe try another approach another day.  Or share any knowledge that we have that could help them make the best of the path they have chosen?
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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2008, 11:39:18 AM »

This is a wonderful discussion.  I am one of the people that I imagine creates some amount of frustration.  I came to bpdfamily.com completely clueless, scared, and hurt in late January.  I have come a long, long way.  Thanks to the advice on this board, I am now receiving therapy, I am setting better boundaries, and I am not internalizing the emotional abuse the way I used to.  However, I am having a much harder time dealing with my father-in-law's death and it's effect on my uBPDW than a lot of my friends here think I should.  So, I sense that I am moving more slowly than they think I should.

I would like to say that perhaps part of the frustration stems from your collective experience.  Many of you have detached yourselves from difficult, co-dependent situations, and are better off for it.  It tears you up to see others in the same situation and pain that you were once in.  So, you are eager to help, and pay-forward the support and encouragement you received when you were still in the FOG.  But remember what it was like when you were in the FOG... .up was down, left was right, war was peace.  It is an awful place, and your frustration is so commendable: you want others to succeed and be safe.

I hope I am not testing some of your boundaries too much, because you have been so helpful.  It was incredibly validating to post on here the first time, and the outpouring of support I received was touching.  Now, as I am speaking from a stronger position, and with my therapist's help, I see that while I am moving deliberately, I am still gripped by fear, and I hate it.

The point I am trying to make is that a lot of the frustration comes out of your kindness and eagerness to help, but perhaps you forget a little how hard it was to get out when you were still enmeshed in the situation.

AG
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« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2008, 12:12:36 PM »

i have a different point of view on this.

i see no harm in presenting a very clear, accurate, strong message early on.

i came hear and stayed because i got that kind of message from gulfstream, joanna, and a few others.

the last thing i needed was wishy washy stuff. why? i was wishy washy myself at the time. i read swoe, and came here, and was suspicious of anything on the internet, and to my suprise found something of rare quality. the place was honest and direct.

we can't save everyone. and we all know that ultimately a non has to save himself, we can't do it for them. but, we can give them some new info that they will find very hard to find elsewhere, and the info is what could make the difference.

i see a risk here if we are trying to improve our numbers by excessive handholding.

if you get here, then you're looking for answers, and you're in a confused state.

looking at ave marina, it took her almost a year to act after she came here. why? i think in part because she chose to hear the message from some posters that her situation could be salvaged. we know that the stats on that kind of thing happening are miniscule.

so i see nothing wrong with a tough love type of coaching. the other approach is already practiced by the shrinks and therapists.

i say, tell it like it is. BPD is a severe mental illness. bps don't change (unless they're exceptional), they live in another world, they can't be managed, and they'll ruin your life if you let them.

in my darkest moments of nc it was some words from joanna about my "dingbat" that kept me from doing something stupid like calling the ex-bpgf.

b2     

   

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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2008, 06:40:02 AM »

Hi, again.

I've been guilty of impatience, and getting upset with those who decide to stay, or stay undecided.

But I've realized my real impatience is with my former self who endured 10 years of marriage to a borderline.

I few perceptions from a lot of years (I'm a slow learner).

I lived for, I'd say, eight years with BPD wife without a name for what she was. I used to think of her as semi-autistic, or narcissistic, or just full of problems and issues from a traumatic childhood. I didn't know BPD existed until I was cruising a bookstore and "I hate you don't leave me" jumped out at me because the title was exactly what I was going through. If not for that moment I might still (shudder) be there.

So, it is a confusing, often non-diagnosed illness. Who can blame non-professionals for being uncertain?

One shot back at the people who hold out hope for a BPD: If you got into relationship with one, that means the relationship worked for the BPD. If the BPD changes, the relationship will almost certainly change. Recovery from BPD, and don't kid yourself, is rare, means practically reconstructing a personality from scratch. Don't be so sure your partner will still want to be with you. That's rare too. Better to figure out the reasons why you fell in/stayed. You're unlikely to have those insights in the thick of it.

The laws, and society make divorce tough. Childhood custody, and the fact that more BPDs are women (I think there are as many men, they just get classified as anti-social pd), put the partner in a quandary.

In general. It ain't worth it. Run. Fight for the children to be free too.

But, recognize in your own impatience with others who stay might be hiding a bit of non-acceptance of yourself, the part of YOU that stayed.

just IMHO,

Phoenix

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AJMahari
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2008, 08:14:25 AM »

I think that anything done in life can, at times, be frustrating. Frustration is the paradoxical reality inherently parallel, if you will, to reward.

I have found coaching others (I am a life coach also) to be both frustrating at times and rewarding at times and no matter which really overall a very healing thing. I hope that it helps others to heal, in their own time and their own ways. Sometimes our efforts will connect with someone and it is known, other times we may give our best and seemingly nothing that we so want to change for another, changes. And thirdly, give as we may at other times, the times when someone else just isn't within our reach and for whatever combination of reasons there is the reality of not reaching them - right now. I believe strongly that even if we don't reach someone "right now" we can definitely plant important seeds in the garden of their journey. Perhaps there will be flowers rise up from what might otherwise have only been weeds and we may never know that.

I think it is very important to remember that no matter how much we care or how much we may have walked the path that someone is on right now we need to respect the other person's process. It can be difficult to do that when you know they are prolonging their own suffering. However, suffering is a choice. I believe strongly that suffering is about the learning of lessons. Therefore, when I am coaching, responding to messages (especially on my own website's board for those with BPD as well) writing and so forth I keep this in mind and in remembering how difficult some lessons were for me to take in, in my life, I am reminded that everyone has their own process.

There are times that call for gentle truth and for a more head-on approach and times that seem to require its opposite. This can be much more difficult online and on a message board than it might be in life. It is a delicate balance. There are those times, however, when to say nothing is to enable just as there are the times when to say too much is to enable. Enabling only ties the coach and the "student" if you will in an unhelpful knot.

Sitting in the middle, if you will, as someone who was on the non borderline side with 2 borderline parents, then developed and was diagnosed with BPD, recovered from BPD, and then managed to somehow end up in (heck we make these choices don't we?) - chose - to be with someone who (I didn't know at the time) has BPD/NPD and was again in the non role, as I live now on the non side, what I also realize to be most important about coaching/helping others and sharing my own experiences is that the greatest gift we can ourselves earn, and then share with others is the gift of understanding our experiences, making some sense out of them, and paying-forward that nothing happens without a significant reason.

Having said this, however, I have learned, the hard way, that I no longer have to wait to totally understand a reason before creating change in my life if something isn't working. To me, that's one of the greatest blessings I've received out of my journey thus far. Because as important as the reason, or the reasons are, they can also be very trapping if one sits and waits for that understanding and in fact, sometimes, that understanding will remain elusive until one makes a decision/choice to create change and face the pain - the pain that will be that sacred teacher of the needed and sought after greater understanding.

Finding purpose in pain has been in my life a very spiritual and healing way to make sense out of so much that otherwise is and always will remain on some level senseless.

When we connect with others to coach/care/give/help both those coaching and those receiving benefit most when respect for each other's level of understanding is in the forefront and when we maintain the sacred understanding of both our separateness as individuals and our connection via common experience and the very fact that we are all human.
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2008, 08:36:16 AM »

Well, I find that this is a LOT more complicated on-line because you don't get the feedback - eye contact, voice emphasis, rapid and fluid subconscious cuing and reassurances - that would usually inform your responses and allow you to feel somewhat secure interacting in person.  As was recently pointed out to me, we're all individuals, and one person's "Eureka!" is another's "Uncle!", but the lack of cues does make it harder.  Still, take a simple thing like breaking up a playground incident of bullying; do you make a big classroom lesson out of it, exposing both the kids to peer attention in the hopes of decreasing the behavior, or do you talk to the kids seperately?  Really, really depends on the context, how it's done, your relationship with the kids, their personalities... .for a shy child, exposure would only discourage them coming to you and perhaps provoke retribution.  For another kind of kid though, NOT addressing it publicly would be a signal that they weren't worth sticking up for/had something to be ashamed of.  It's a judgement call, but it's a LOT harder without the facial cues.  The less I have to go on, the easier I think it is to project or "fill in the spaces" with inferences that may or may not be accurate.

Something else I was thinking about though, and I don't know if this is a flea or just my idea of humor, is I think I sometimes am deliberately provocative.  Not intentionally mean or anything, but when dealing with new people, on a board about BPD, I wonder if there's a part of me that enjoys making just a few waves, just a little turbulence, both to get the poster's attention and to see if that person will attack me.  I'm not sure that's a great tactic, but I definitely relate to Bewildered in valuing very very direct, some would say tactless modes of communicating.  I just worry that intent gets lost in the tartness of my supposed objectivity; also, there's a part of me that's almost contemptuous of unconditional support.  That's the sort of mind-set that kept me enmeshed, so it's interesting to me that in a way, even my greetings are a show of conditional support - the condition being the willingness to hear abuse CALLED, abuse.  Which gets gray since well, we're not there, but I think there's something BETWEEN "tough-love", Vulcan-esque deductive breakdowns of the situation, and being self-esteem cheerleaders of the enabling variety.  I guess finding that balance is another one of those continual individual processes though... .fascinating to have you guys to work it out with.  
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2008, 09:06:28 AM »

Lava - I have also had those feelings and wanted to have that animated arm to push into my screen and have it pop out on their's to help pull them up and to give them a slap at times. I have tried to think about their situation before I reply to them when they relay a heavy and deep situation. We have to have some empathy because we have all been down there with them and felt the same type of pain they are in. Some want to cry about it longer than others, some are reaching out for help and want to heal and others want to learn and develop coping skills. Not seeing their eyes and body language does make it difficult to make the approperate response to what they are looking for and what they need. I try and make them ask questions and more of themselves because it is a learning and exploration they have to figure it out on their own. But I think the position here is great, they can read a book and see a new horizon and get some lightbulb moments but when they hit the end of the book, they close it. Her they can interact, get additional or new views and insights of others in the same boat. We can't tell the all the time what to do, we have to coach them on to do it themselves and this may be part of the problem in gaging how willing and capable they are of doing it for themselves?
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Letting go when it is too painful to hang on is hard to rationalize.

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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2008, 07:08:55 AM »

I must have frustrated the hell out of some people here at first. I couldn't see it, just wanted help. If someone had just told me to run I would have disappeared without trace. it wasn't what I wanted to hear and in fact didn't fit my situation. It was a year before I was ready to split with my wife.

What DID work was when people mirrored back the situation I was in so I could see for myself. They were very reassuring and supportive.

The time I spent in "Commited" I was 100% commited and wanted to do everything I could. I'm glad I went through that. It taught me that however commited I was, I was not in control. The time I spent in "Undecided" was sobering. It helped me to move to a state where I could determine what I really wanted and start to make leaving plans, "line up ducks" as they say. Separation and divorce came later down the line when I was ready to tackle it.

I would not have appreciated at first that that was the ultimate answer for me, and I wouldn't have thanked people who have gone before pushing me too much either. We have to remember that we're all on our own journey and we have to go at our pace. I'd been controlled and told what to do in an abusive relationship - I don't need "know-it-alls" telling me what to do, even if that advice is sound.

Finally, just because people go doen't mean they don't come back or they weren't helped. Sometimes you want to pretend everything's okay again (remember that?) and this place reminds you it's not so you avoid it. I did that for a few months but when I came back you were still here. The fact I didn't get too many "told-you-so's" helped.

Sam
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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2008, 04:44:47 PM »

i thought of something... .

sometimes i cant ... .relate cause its a womans issue... .and i have to pm a female and say... i need a womans touch here... .and click on a woman and say could you help me... .i cant do this... .a rape victim ... .or a woman violated... .

some things need a womans perspective... .a guy cant offer... .and i dont m,ean to make it sound buisness like but i thinks its best for the member to turn it over... .some one who might be better equipped... .

tony
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« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2008, 08:28:55 PM »

I have found coaching others (I am a life coach also) to be both frustrating at times and rewarding at times and no matter which really overall a very healing thing. I hope that it helps others to heal, in their own time and their own ways. Sometimes our efforts will connect with someone and it is known, other times we may give our best and seemingly nothing that we so want to change for another, changes. And thirdly, give as we may at other times, the times when someone else just isn't within our reach and for whatever combination of reasons there is the reality of not reaching them - right now. I believe strongly that even if we don't reach someone "right now" we can definitely plant important seeds in the garden of their journey. Perhaps there will be flowers rise up from what might otherwise have only been weeds and we may never know that.

for some reason i thought of this thread and needed to find it. thankfully i did because the words above spoke to me. it's exactly what i needed to read tonight. i've been dealing with this topic on a personal and professional level. there are just some people who i feel will never "get it" or seem too stubborn to listen to another's point of view and advice. nothing seems to sink in even though they continue to do the same thing day in and day out with the same results wondering why things don't change.

it saddens me. i hate seeing people struggle and hurt. it's frustrating to see them go down the same road, with the same complaints and not listen to those around them who offer smart, logical advice. but it is true, it's their journey. my words are not going to magically wake someone up unless they are ready to hear them at that moment. i can only encourage, support, and listen until that day comes.

i will continue "planting seeds" with those who it seems i'm just not reaching in hopes that the flowers do rise up.
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« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2008, 03:06:34 PM »

Excerpt
my words are not going to magically wake someone up unless they are ready to hear them at that moment. i can only encourage, support, and listen until that day comes.

 

This is so important to remember, sweetpea. 

It sometimes takes people here 8, 10, 12 go rounds of being angry, frustrated, re-engagemented, abused, then breaking up, getting back together, etc.  I think that the idea for these people... .  people who desperately want things to work out and haven't yet accepted that things won't work out or that they need to back off and see what their partner does... .is to plant seeds.  We can't plow them under; they may not come back.  But we do have to be straightforward (but kind) if the person is in a really difficult situation. 

Physical abuse is a tough one.  Many people do come through here and describe physical abuse, violent partners, etc., but they don't realize how difficult and damaging the situation is:  "Well, he isn't physically violent; he just throws things."  "He gets in my face and threatens me, but he doesn't hurt me."  "He only pushed me; he didn't hit me."  Perhaps with people in those situations we can suggest gently and kindly that they are indeed being physically abused and we can refer them to the Domestic Violence Workshop.

I have definitely become kinder and gentler in my responses over the years... .and I do try to remember the number of times that I was so hurt and frustrated but then he was nice to me and life was wonderful... .  again. 

What we need to do better is to follow up on those posters who stop posting... .  just a pm every few weeks saying, "how are you?  We're thinking of you!"  can make the world of difference and can keep people reading and posting here until those planted seeds start to sprout. 
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« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2008, 08:42:30 PM »

 I will say for me i might of not of been on here long but have been involved with my bp for over 11 years so i know the road and i know what needs to be done and i know if i keep repeating my self on the staying board  i am hoping what i keep saying will sink in sooner or later. the most frustrating part for me when i read abuse or really bad situations that are far worse then i ever had, mine started out bad, but not as bad as some and you can't tell them best if they leave and just divorce they so much want to stay in a abusive relationship... and boy when kids are involved that is even worse...

  but when i am helping others i am also helping me to remember my husband has BPD since he is so highfunctioning and keeps me reminded of the skills i need to use daily.
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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2009, 01:19:40 PM »

It's often easier to see the situation of others in clarity vs. our own situations.
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« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2009, 09:57:27 PM »

What Samuell said above pretty well describes me, with one big difference being that I'm probably frustrating the hit_ out of a few people now.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

As a long time "undecided" and likely to be longer, I agree with the view that our frustration will be lessened if we view each situation as unique and really listen to what the person is saying.  For instance, I'm in "undecided" largly because of my belief system and there are no boards entitled "disengaged but staying" or "working on me while I wait and see" which much more accurately describes where I am at.  I feel uncomfortable on the "committed" board because I just dont feel like putting that much work in the relationship anymore - I'm really enjoying finding myself again and getting healthier separate from his issues, but I'm not moving to "leaving" because I'm not leaving at this point either.  "Getting my ducks in a row," as Samuell said, at my own pace in case I decide to leave in the future.  Or maybe hubby will continue his mostly upward spiral of the last two years - especially now his meds are dosed correctly - and somewhere along the way I'll suddenly feel like working on it again.   Or not.  Whatever happens with him, the fog for me is getting thinner everyday.  Its my choice, my process, my unique situation to play out in its own way - their choice, their process, their unique situation to play out in its own way. 

I've really come to believe that the best thing to do - for ourselves and for them - (unless there is physical abuse involved) is to first of all encourage them to work on themselves.  So many who come here are so far off course from emotional health themselves they really can't handle working on the relationship or leaving - they need to recover consciousness and get some oxygen!   Leave their SOs or their BPD Child or their crazy parent in the dust for a while emotionally speaking and just nurture themselves.  And we need to nurture them in the right way - not enabling but not throwing them into shock either.   Look for the signs of positive change within the person rather than always looking at the external situation.    If we can help them become strong on the inside, they are so much more likely to be successful in what ever choices they make on the outside. 

And let me add now, I am so very very grateful to those of you who let me complain and whine and repeat myself and bang my cyber head against a cyber wall a few tmies, because with every post the light became brighter, even if it seemed imperceptible.  With every complaint my subconscious became a little more sure of what was really going on.  It wasn't wasted, and your worth as a "coach" shouldn't be defined by whether I jump to "staying" or jump to "leaving" - it should be defined by the fact that I jump for joy so much more than used to and the number of my "despair" posts continue to decrease.  You should even be proud of the fact that I'm  confident in stating that I want to stay on "undecided" as long as I want and will support others who want to do the same, because it shows I know my own mind and am willing to stand up for what is right for me at this point in my life.   Your child has grown! Smiling (click to insert in post)
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