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Think About It... Rumination is a mode of responding to distress that involves repetitively and passively focusing on symptoms of distress and on the possible causes and consequences. Ruminating often precedes onset of depression. However, emotional memory can be managed for those who are haunted by the experiences of their past. ~Joseph Carver, Ph.D
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Author Topic: 5.09 | "FOG" - fear, obligation, guilt  (Read 43900 times)
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« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2011, 11:24:07 AM »

The kids do pick up on the behavior in the house. i see it now in s17 and d13. The fog, though, keeps me in a kind of alternate universe in that I am constantly balancing meeting the genuine needs of my kids vs the irrational needs of my w. In my life there's work, kids, house, and of course w. It's really hard to always be on top of the situations and the fog goes unnoticed sometimes.


A mind stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimension; 'the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know, the more I realize I don't know,...the more I want to learn.'AE

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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2013, 08:36:47 AM »

What is my FOG?  I fear the divorce process.  I fear the trashing that will I will get in my social life, the trashing that I will likely get at work and the trashing I will get with the kids.  I fear that I will have to change jobs and move out of state.  I fear that I will lose lots and she will stay in my life harassing me.  I fear letting go of my dream.

I struggle with a sense of obligation to take care of the kids and her before I take care of myself.  Guilt eats at me when I don’t take care of them before myself.  Guilt eats me up when I let myself down and put others first. 

This hero crap has really got to go.  Being pissed off helps.  It pisses me off that we would have a pretty nice life if she would just act half way normal. There is not a reason in the world that I should have to put up with this sort of crap. I am not wanting all that much.  The task ahead of me to let go of the anger and stay just as fed up.   But then again, the anger helps to burn off the FOG.

I'm new to the discussion board but this nails it for me. My sister told me once to stay angry, it will help keep you focused and seeing things clearly.


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« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2013, 12:27:44 AM »

I'm so happy I found this site BUT...  it's very very difficult when the BPD is your child. I can't consider "leaving" or divorcing. I can't cure his mental illness thought that's my greatest wish. He's only 16 and only trust me and just a little bit. His step-day won't educate himself the way I am so while I try and validate he think's I'M CRAZY.

I've discussed NIF with my son and he said he'd much rather do that than talk therapy. I asked so you do think you need some things to change in your brain? He said Heck yes that's obvious mom. So he's semi self aware but I haven't discussed BPD in detail with him because I think he'll try to live up to that. I did tell him his therapist suggested he had a PD and I regret even telling him that. He does know he has ODD ...  I truely feel he wants a "normal" life. He want to be happy and connect with others.

Fear ~ my son never having real peace and joy in his heart. My family falling apart under the weight of these issues.

Obligation~ Uh YEAH He's my son. He's had a very difficult life. His Bio day has been in prison for 10 years (I suspect PD all the way) His step dad doesn't understand, has given up and they basically don't speak. He has type 1 diabetes for the past 8 years. He overdosed at age 15 on our first day of family vacation? His grapdpa, father figure passed away suddenly 1 year ago while he was still in treatment and we held his hand as he passed. He loved and trusted my dad more than any other.

Guilt~ see above. I was a teen mom and made a lot of mistakes. We failed him as a blended family. I know the pain he has in his heart. HIS life MUST get better. Depression and Bi polar runs in the family.

Any success with Neurofeedback? I'm willing to make the investment if it will help him with his poor impulse contral and bring him some peace.


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« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2013, 06:43:40 AM »

I agree with you that this is harder when it's your child.   I struggle with this also.  

Before I found this awesome site, this safe haven of acceptance and learning, alot of the books I had read tells you how to identify someone with BPD and then to stay away from them.   It doesn't relate to us parents.  

My ddBPD21 doesn't live with us (has been in and out of our home 5 times in the past 4 years) and each day I live in fear of her being arrested or dying.   Through the support of this site, I feel better about enforcing the boundaries we have in place (such as her not physically living with us) but at the same time I still worry about her and her future every single day.   As her mother I want to protect her from her impulsive, poor choices but I cannot.   And when she gets herself into a mess, as her mother I struggle with how to handle it.  Do I make her face the consequences herself or do I fix the mess?   My dd refuses responsibility.  

She starts a job and in short time stops showing up.  it's more important to 'chill out' with people than to have steady income.   It's very hard to see our children standing on the edge of a 'cliff'.   But each day we try and we pray and we hope.

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« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2014, 02:19:37 AM »

Never realized that I have been in the FOG for many many years. Although it is finally lifting.What was I thinking
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« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2014, 06:23:35 PM »

Fear - What else she will say to that kids/family/friends about me,  how badly she will ruin our finances in her abandoning the situation.  She tried once almost pulled the trigger on 4k(that we didnt have) of plane tickets to fly her and the kids away.  That she will be even more manupulating during the custody battle.

Obligation - To my children to keep some sort of peace, 2 of them are autisitic.  That she is my problem to deal with.  If I leave she gets the kids and temporarily they will get her wrath.  Obligation to break out of the pattern of brokeness that our extended families brought us up in.  The Mariage Vow, I know this dosent include commonly include mental illness here in this board, I AM obligated by my faith to go till I have no fight or I am given spiritual direction to leave.  Honnor(Im a Marine) What man leaves his wife and 3 children?

Guilt - That I WANT to leave, Hit her, Scream at her.  Get back at her for her adultry.  That She is the worst thing that I have ever been through and the hardest thing I have ever had to wrap my mind around.  That If I had left earlier that I would have left my daughter.  Guilt that I have 2 Beautiful sons that I love soo much and to want to have never met her would mean they never would have ever existed.  Guilt that I was mad that my daughter had been born and that was what my BPDw said was the reason why she didn't tell me about her infidelity earlier(took her 8+years).  Guilt that I HATE going to church with her at a good church when she forced me away from another good church because she painted them black. Guilt that I have wanted to end my life because of the unending FOG I live in EVERY day and take away the only consistant thing my children have.  Guilt that I just want to run away and live in the woods and turn my back on the world because I have such deep wounds.    

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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2014, 02:30:42 PM »

Psychotherapist Beverly Engel, a recognized expert in the field of relationships, explains how limits disappear.  In her book, “The Emotionally Abusive Relationship,” Engel writes, “Most of us begin a relationship thinking we have certain limits as to what we will and will not tolerate from a partner. But as the relationship progresses, we tend to move our boundaries back, tolerating more and more intrusion or going along with things we are really opposed to. . . . [Individuals] begin tolerating unacceptable and even abusive behavior, and then convince themselves that these behaviors are normal, acceptable, [and deserved]. 

My Fear was her constant instability with her decisions, in the morning she would call my to let me know about getting a job in my city and in the evening saying that wasn't sure about taking it.

My "felt" Obligation was to remind her about her words and logic's to apply, as I thought she was just depressed I was trying to help her being stable. That was then interpreted as I way to control her. Of course I admit that I was trying to have her close to me.

My Guilt, was when I would plan to go out with friends or when I would be out of town for work, these were the days she would cling the most.

She would keep me on chatting, even though she knew I had to go or work. I would feel some much guilt of not listening to her feelings and complaints. I thought that I had to be there for her 24 7/7 and it's just not possible for me.

Now I'm learning to put my feelings first and detect early abusive emotional blackmail. I still feel not completely at ease with the way of asserting my boundaries, I guess I should jump to the dedicated workshop.

Thank you all for this great thread.


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« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2014, 01:41:23 PM »

When I found this topic on FOG, I realized that when it comes to my BPD brother, this is why I can't let go. It's why I can't tell him "No more. I'm not helping you with your business any more, I'm done. I'm not going to let you treat me this way. This is not "You just being you & I have to get used to it." This isn't me having to get use to you walking with a limp; you're telling me to get use to the abuse. You know you have BPD and choose to get no help. You use it as an excuse to treat me the way you do. You manipulate me because you know my FOG. You know it because our mom treated me in some very similar ways that you do, and you just copied it & took it to a new level. You choose to not get help, so I choose to no longer deal with you unless it's as your sister, and if you can treat me in a way that is respectful. If you choose to finally get help I will support you, but it still doesn't change how you need to treat me. You can sit there & think I'm abandoning you, but I'm not. I'm just setting boundaries. But you go ahead & think whatever you want. Just because you have BPD does not give you the key to make me feel horrible & destroy me. I don't deserve that. So it stops, now."

My Fear:

Worse case scenario is that you will kill yourself. "Best case" scenario is that you continue to take tens of thousands of dollars away from our parents yearly, putting a huge stress on our sick father to work longer than he should (he's already 66-1/2), and causing them financial pains/struggles that they shouldn't have to deal with just because they trusted you & loved you. Yes, they continue to enable you and live in denial, but you admit it and continue to use them. I don't want them to suffer because of your actions. I fear that you will not seek help unless you literally hit rock bottom... and I don't know where that is & it terrifies me.

My Obligation:

You're my brother. Our mom has her own undiagnosed mental health issues, which makes her unable to be of any help in this situation. You were always her favorite and you two are similar in a lot of ways. She can't say no to you. You use her to get money, but you treat her like dirt. You point out her flaws & make her retreat even further into a mess. Our father knows she's not well, chose to stay with her but detached himself from the family decades ago. He knows you need help but can't even bring himself to talk to you. He knows it will cause issues between him and our mother, and he can't deal with her if she's upset, since he has to live with her every day. So he lets her just keep giving you money and lets you keep using them. Neither of them will do anything. They've given you everything you've wanted your whole life. You're 31 and never been financially on your own. Since I'm the only one who seems to want to live in reality and can clearly see everything that is going on, it's my obligation to help you. Not just for you, but for our parents, because even though they are our parents, they are unable to cope with the idea that you have BPD and it's going to affect all of our lives. How? Because when dad retires and one of them needs health care or more, they won't have the money because they've given it all to you. Which means the financial burden will fall on me, and I don't make enough to take care of them. I can contribute, but not enough to give them the care & support they need. Dad worked himself to death to give us a great life, to improve all of our lives. He deserves to have a great retirement, and should not need to be worrying about money. I am a smart person, I am capable of helping you if you were in the right mindset to take it. So I keep telling myself that I'm obligated to "save the family" by trying to make your business actually a real business with actual work. Because if your business works, then you can stop living off of them and ideally pay back the huge business loan you took from them, and it would also mean I won't be dealing with some huge financial obligation down the road that I can't meet because of all the money they gave to you and will never get back.

My Guilt:

Because of our not-in-her-right-mind mother, she enabled you & did everything for you, and you are clueless as to how to be an adult. Dad doesn't know how to be your dad or even communicate with you. So who else do you have? If I pull away, if I stop trying to "help" you, then I'm afraid of what will happen to you. I think that you are actually very smart & talented, and that the only thing standing in the way of you having a decent life is YOU. If I pull away and you end up never being able to do anything with your life, have a relationship, have a decent job... I will feel like I failed you because you were my baby brother. I helped raise you as dad was working and mom was often a mess. If you have a horrible life, I will feel guilty because maybe I should have done more early on when I saw things in you that concerned me. And worse case scenario, I don't think I can ever forgive myself if you were to take your life. You say you've tried before. You say you don't feel suicidal at all now like you did the last few years. But I don't believe you. The way you talk sometimes terrifies me. I don't want to lose my brother. I don't want to feel responsible for your death. How would I even continue to have a relationship with our parents, because part of me would blame them and the other part of me would know they would likely blame me. Everyone always looks to me. Dad's words on Christmas Eve to me, as you were in a rant & out of your mind, was "Fix this." He looked at me with tears in his eyes, Mom standing right there, four of us in the room, and I'm the one told to "Fix this." To fix you. They left me in the room with you for two hours, while I nearly lost my mind & was in horrible physical pain from my own issues, to get you to a place where you were someone we could actually be around. Meanwhile they walked around the neighborhood & enjoyed the outdoors. I feel like this is all on me, so how could I not feel guilty if your life gets worse or you die if I pull away like I know I need to do?
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Somewhere beneath it all lies the Supersoul

« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2015, 07:52:36 AM »

It's only now that I have had some time away from my BPDh that I can truly appreciate what it's like to be in the fog.  (This separation is temporary and stems from my work situation, and not because the relationship has dissolved.)  In the fog is where the unaware self lives.  It's that place where there is very little, if any, original thought.  It's simply reactive.  It's where every situation is lose-lose, every action 'wrong'.  And even when I would work through the fear enough to try something independent, it became a battle - being told I'm wrong, stupid or silly for trying.  Sometimes the words come from my BPDh and sometimes they simply come from my own mind.  I guess I've been trained to think that way.

Living independent has been eye opening.  For the first few days, I've had to pinch myself - is this really real?  Am I really here?  It feels foreign, but also like a long lost friend.  That knowing that this is how we are meant to live - un-meshed and unleashed.

Now, my fears stem from knowing my BPDh hasn't always been trustworthy, hasn't always been upfront and real about his actions.  So even though I'm away from him, I still worry about his actions.  I'm sure this will fade in time as I learn that my life can still be good, regardless of what he does or says. I fear not being my true self.  I don't really like this timid, nervous, unsure person I've become, but I still dont know how to be anything else.

My feelings of obligation and guilt have had the biggest shift.  I am only obligated to myself now.  This has been a long process, but something that I've done well at.  He still tries to make me feel like I'm expected to do certain things (You'll have to come home, the cat has a splinter in his paw, the bills need to be paid, the dog farted, whatever.)  but I see through this now.  I set a boundary around not 'rescuing' him about six months back, so I've had some experience with training myself to think differently.  It has helped a lot. 

Don't get me wrong, I do still get pangs of "I should" thinking, but that's my cue, my indicator, that perhaps the thinking isn't healthy.  Like my councilor says, 'Don't should on me and I won't should on you."  And right now, while I have time to consider things, with my new independent thinking, I can work through these emotions instead of holding on to them and living blindly, in the fog.

"For a star to be born, there is only one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse.  So collapse.  Crumble.  This is not your destruction.  It is your birth." - unknown
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« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2015, 10:13:23 PM »

My fear is making someone else feel badly. I feel obligated to put other's feelings before my own. I feel guilty when I am human.
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