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Author Topic: 3.01 | How to escape, take a time out  (Read 23268 times)
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« on: November 21, 2008, 09:36:32 AM »

“Here it comes” you think. Your loved one is showing the signs of being unsettled. They are in the complaining mode, where they list all the negative things that have ever happened to them. You can feel your tension building and you can see them becoming more and more upset. They are now in a full blown rage. Their logic is twisted and illogical, they are tossing accusations at you, calling you names, being critical and judgmental, trying to emotionally blackmail you, interrupting you, not listening to anything you say, using words like "never" and "always" to show that they have become totally dysregulated.  

Now what?

You tried empathetic listening.

You tried validation (if unsure, then reread the validation workshops)

You tried not arguing with them.

You even tried fighting back

Nothing seems to be working!

Well - you can't make them stop. No one can. At that point they are so far gone that they can't be reasoned with. If you continue to stay there and engage with them you are sending  the signal that it is OK to abuse you.

So the last option is to get away.

That means telling them you are taking a time out and walking out of the room, going to watch tv, read a book, take the dog (or just yourself) for a walk, go for a drive, or go work on a favorite hobby. My favorite is going to the bathroom for some privacy and time to think. Essentially - It means that you will no longer just sit there listening to them abuse you. It means that you will take care of yourself enough to leave an abusive situation.



“But I've tried that before and it makes things worse”
, you say.

OK, I believe that you have tried, but maybe you were still too deep in the FOG to recognize how they were manipulating you.

* Maybe you did it in anger and frustration, yelling yourself and making things worse.

* Maybe you started out good, walking away and ignoring them, but they said something that you just HAD to respond to.

* Maybe you did it and they followed you into the next room, still yelling and carrying on.

* Maybe they stood in front of you and blocked you, or hid the car keys from you.

Only you know how things happened, but if they tried it once, they will probably do the same thing next time, so you need to be proactive and have yourself prepared on how you will deal with them next time it happens.


I want to hear your stories... .
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2008, 11:52:47 AM »

 okay with me it wasn't easy at first because my husband followed me also got angrier, hid the keys stuff like that i had to set a plan in action started putting a extra set of keys in the car money and stuff i would need if i need to leave right away, when he followed me i drove to police stations and dirt roads he hates dirt roads with a vehicle, so adventually would back out and go back home, i sat and decided what to do, now he doesn't follow me any longer he lets me actually leave, but if i still need to leave the  house due to he will not calm down, i  made it clear and will again if needed if he wants me to listen he needs to stop with the assults, when he calls leaves a message like every five minutes i dont' answer the phone when i listen to the message , the first verbal attack i hear  i erase... .when i check the messages and he has calmed down i will call him back, sometimes this can take hours... .lucky for me i like to shop 8) his rages that were three times a week and caused me to always leave lessoned to every four months and now once his episodes are over could take a few days of jeckle and hyde i most of the time have a normal guy,,... but planning for that time i dont' any more as much but when i did i stored alot of things in my car so i can leave on a spur moment...
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2008, 12:29:20 PM »

Me and my BPD had an "episode" last nite. Granted, it was MUCH better than it ever used to be. He's not as angry, but it still lingers and comes up to haunt me. We actually had an argument over the fact that he perceived my comments during a game of Uno as being a poor sport and he flipped out about it. He was in my face and started bringing up old stuff from our past and from the other day. I brought up the subject of both of us holding on to anger and I admitted that I have much anger towards him because of our violent past. I even went so far as to say I resent him. then I proceeded to try to figure out where his anger came from. I said "I have a reason, what is your's?" He simply said "jealousy". Well I said, that may be but where did the jealousy stem from? Aren't I right that this is where he needs to come to terms with his feelings? He needs to find the ROOT of the problem in order to work towards fixing it? I am, I try everyday to not hate him for what he's put me through in the past. I think what makes it that much more difficult for me to work on it is that he just says "stop living in the past and start thinking about the future." I'm sorry, but am I so wrong to need some TIME to move past it? Being verbally and physically abused takes a toll on your soul, and it takes time to heal right? He doesnt understand that. That sets me back. I just want to strangle him sometimes.

Anyway, my first reaction to his explosions is to leave. I just want to run and never come back. I've learned to stay and face them, because I think that maybe running from a problem is not the answer. Plus, in the event that I did try to walk out before, he would get physical and that just made everything worse [[of course]]. Even if I try to take a "time out" he perceives it as "disrespect" so now I dont knwo what to do! He's not the only one that can leave an argument and come back whenever he pleases. I feel like the only defense I have left is none at all... .just to sit back and let him vent and scream and just hope that his adrenaline dies down sooner than later. Then he thinks life is all hunky dory, and we're so in love when in reality I swear I hate him more than ever. Its like, I dont even need to be there! I don't even talk when we "argue" because everything I say makes his wrath worse. And to be honest, NOT responding makes him angry as well. Basically I have to make him feel in control and right so that he will shut up already and we can move past our drama. What can I do to make my side heard, and/or prevent this vicious cycle in the future? I dont want to encourage his behavior by allowing it, but I'm not sure what else to do?
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2008, 07:02:05 PM »

Ended up doing this a few days ago.

How have you done this in the past?

I have studio-garage space downtown if I need a break I go there let him know I'm going there to cool it and to call if he can talk more calmer.

What did you do?

... His argument was i am looking for someway to get rid of him in the future and just setting it up in advance. (pretty common argument for him although last time he was losing it.) I said that the issue that started the whole thing (making a plan for what to do if he hurts himself) was something we could come back to when we were both not pissed off. i went my studio and worked on some projects there for a while.

How did they react?

... usual, with "Fine! F*cking go!" He called about a hour later and asked if I could come home to talk after sulking a while.

What (if any) were the after affects?

. we did work out a plan. So far things have been pretty quiet.

What is stopping you from trying again?

taking a time out is something that usually we do if things get too hot. if all he's going to do is yell there's no point to stay around to be yelled at. i try to give him a time frame, or he can call when he cools down.

Fear? You want to win? You want to help them? What?
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2008, 08:19:31 PM »

HOW TO EXECUTE THE TIME OUT



Facing your Fear. We stay because we believe that if we leave that something bad will happen. We get so many threats and warnings from them. Ok, so face those fears then. Take the time to really examine them. Is it a legitimate fear? Can they really do what they are threatening? How many times have they followed through on previous threats? If they do follow through, will you be able to withstand the pressure to hold your own ground? What are you willing to lose? What will happen? Will they get even angrier than they are now? Will they not talk to you for a few hours, days? Will they punish you in some other fashion? If so, can you handle that? Is the fear greater than the reality? If they have gotten physical in the past, can I get away soon enough to prevent that from occurring again?

Their goal is to keep the argument going, since they are getting a release from it. Sticking around and listening to them communicates that you can be controlled and that they can do whatever they want to you. It reinforces the belief that they have the power, that you are weak and helpless. It guarantees that they won’t respect you - ever.


How we take a time out can also make a huge difference. When you tried walking away before, what did you say to them? Anything? Or did you just walk out? Where you screaming obscenities as you left?

To reduce any blame and to try to avoid triggering further shame, it helps to come from a place of love and concern, to let them know “that I really want to hear what is in your heart and mind, but that I need to feel safe and respected in the process. Right now I don't feel that way, so I'm going to take a time out to allow both of us to calm down. We can try again later." It is even better if you discuss your plans ahead of time, during a calm moment. That way they won't be so surprised. I know we never want to deliberately mess up the good times, but think of it as taking one step backwards to go two forward... .


Where to go? I like to use the bathroom as a short term way to escape. This 5 min interval can sometimes allow them to cool off a bit. Then when you return you can try to empathetically listen and to validate to see if that brings some calm. If they are still blaming and attacking you, then you need to go to another room completely. Plan on reading, watching TV, listening to the radio, playing a video game, doing some chores, or a favorite past time - anything to allow things to cool off and to get some space and distance from them.

If you have the type that follows you and won’t let it drop, accept that it will be a little more challenging for you, but that it is still possible. Your plan will require a greater distance, so just going to a different room won’t work. The first few times you will probably have to leave the area completely, by taking a walk (make sure you bring your house keys and a cell phone) or taking the car for a drive. If they follow in a different car, head for a police station or a large public place where they hopefully will fear creating a scene. If you fear they will become physical or if they have become physical in the past, then do not announce your plans to leave. You may have to trick them by going to the bathroom for a bit, and once you feel it is safe, then slip out the door. To avoid triggering their fear of abandonment, it may help to call them from your cell phone to let them know you are just taking a breather, that you will be back later and then hang up. Don't engage them on the phone. They need some time to cool off, and your very presence is triggering them even worse.


Now that I'm away, how do I deal with this feeling that I didn't do the right thing? Well, that feeling comes from breaking a conditioned response. You aren’t following their lead or allowing them to control you. Yes, there is uncertainty around this. Yes, they may become even angrier at you. That doesn’t change the  it is a very important step towards taking care of YOUR needs for once. If you believe in yourself, then you will be ok. They need to accept that verbally abusing you isn't ok, that from now on you will take care of yourself by taking a time out. If done in a loving fashion each and every time they become mean, they will eventually come to accept that you won't tolerate it anymore, and they will change their behavior. If they want to be heard, which they do, then they'll learn they can't yell at you. It will become worse before it gets better, remember the old extinction burst, but it should get easier to do and reduce the hurt.


** Safety concerns **

Arrange a safety signal with a neighbor as an alert to call the police if necessary.

Prepare an emergency bag that includes items you'll need when you leave, such as extra clothes, important papers, money, extra keys and prescription medications.

Know exactly where you'll go and how you'll get there, even if you have to leave in the middle of the night.

Call a local women's shelter or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233  to find out about legal options and resources available to you, before you need them.

If you have school-age children, notify the school authorities or school counselor about custody arrangements and warn them about possible threats.

Keep your communication private


US: what is an extinction burst and intermittent reinforcement

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=85479.0

US: Believe in yourself

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=78298.0

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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 12:21:23 PM »

You know it takes 2 to fight. If you plain do NOT, if you refuse, if you are not there... there is no firefight.

If you dont engage, if you dont participate, can you see how it will just burn out? You do not need his permission to time out. You just take it. If he gets out one abusive word, you leave.

If you dont play, there is no game. And the relationship will eventually improve. If you keep doing it the same way, it will, for sure, stay the same way, which is abusive to both of you.

Steph, I am not so sure that it is as plain and simple as this. In my case, if I refuse to engage and just let him spew, he gets MORE angry when I dont participate by responding. If I DO respond, of course, that makes things worse as well because then he attacks what I say and cuts me off anyway and gets this "how dare you think that" attitude. And if I try to walk away and leave, he really flips out and literally goes nuts. Not to mention he physically won't let me go anywhere.
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 01:06:49 PM »

DearStarling

Here is what is happening.

He is used to being in control, and your attempts to take care of yourself and not put up with the abuse is seen by him as a threat to his ability to control you. As you stand up for yourself, he will escalate his behavior to get the response he wants, you being his verbal punching bag. I understand this is tough. We feel trapped if we don't respond and the physical intimidation can be scary.

He needs time to calm down though. You staying there really makes things worse, not better. He can't see that since he is soo upset, so it is up to you to do the right thing and take the time out.

IF you fear he will harm you, then you need to be sneaky about this and just leave w/o warning him. You can always call him later to let him know that you are safe and that you love him and that you will come back later to finish discussing things. Then hang up! Do not continue the discussion over the phone. Call before you return to determine if he is in better shape.

Read this over and see if this makes sense in how he is behaving... .

Extinction burst: you enter an elevator and press the button, but nothing happens. You then press it again and wait, and still nothing happens. You then proceed to push the button a number of times rapidly and firmly, hoping that it will work. You may even get upset and punch the panel. When this meets with no results, only then will you realize that it is not responding to your actions,   and that you will have to accept that it is broken and get out to use the stairs.

The rapid pressing of the button is the extinction burst. You give it one last frantic attempt to see if it will respond before you accept that it won't.

This is why we say that you will always see an escalation and increase of the poor behavior right away, as the person tries to get things to work the way they expect them to.  It takes time, but if they get no response, they will give up and try something different. Things do get worse before they get better.

Here is a cute 2 min video on youtube on how extinction burst works in real life

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn97UnozDb4

*** warning ***

When doing this, you have to beware that you don't inadvertently give her intermittent reinforcement. This is easy to do, and once established extremely difficult to unlearn.

Intermittent reinforcement: slot machines use this. They pay out on irregular schedules. You never know when you will win, but you know that if you keep pulling the handle that sooner or later a pay out will occur. It may happen on the third pull or the twentieth pull, but you will win if you keep trying. The fact that you KNOW that you will eventually win, keeps you hooked into trying.

What does this mean? If you tell them you won't answer the phone while at work, and they call you 20 times, and you answer on the 21st ring, you have just inadvertantly given them intermitten reinforcement. Now they know that if they can bug you enough, that you will always eventually respond. This actually escalates the behavior you are trying to stop. They believe they can win if they just keep pulling the lever, even if they go broke trying, they will keep at it. Consistency in not responding is the only way to eliminate the undesired behavior... .

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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 01:35:17 PM »

IF you fear he will harm you, then you need to be sneaky about this and just leave w/o warning him. You can always call him later to let him know that you are safe and that you love him and that you will come back later to finish discussing things. Then hang up! Do not continue the discussion over the phone. Call before you return to determine if he is in better shape.

How do I leave if we are in the same bedroom? I can't be sneaky then... .and like I said, he would never physically let me leave. Not the house, or the room.


Excerpt
What does this mean? If you tell them you won't answer the phone while at work, and they call you 20 times, and you answer on the 21st ring, you have just inadvertantly given them intermitten reinforcement. Now they know that if they can bug you enough, that you will always eventually respond.

Well crap. Cuz he blows me up just like that, and eventually I answer so I can scream at him and hang up on him. Ugh, this is such a mess... .
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 01:47:50 PM »

Do you have to use the bathroom?

Need some aspirin?

Hungry for a snack?

The dog needs to go out?

You forgot to send out an urgent e-mail for work?

Do whatever you can think of to allow yourself some time to think and for him to calm down... .If you can't leave the house, then go to another room and lock the door. Take your cell phone with you in case he gets violent and you need to call for help (police). If necessary, keep an extra set of clothes in the trunk along with some cash.

He shoulds really out of control.

Dear, you shouldn't have to live with this kind of fear  :'(

Have you considered talking to a nearby womens shelter?

They can give you some wonderful ideas and options, and it will probably feel really good to talk to someone who can offer you some immediate assistance. Speaking to them doesn't mean anything more than you are gathering info... .just in case  xoxo


IF you fear he will harm you, then you need to be sneaky about this and just leave w/o warning him. You can always call him later to let him know that you are safe and that you love him and that you will come back later to finish discussing things. Then hang up! Do not continue the discussion over the phone. Call before you return to determine if he is in better shape.

How do I leave if we are in the same bedroom? I can't be sneaky then... .and like I said, he would never physically let me leave. Not the house, or the room.


Excerpt
Well crap. Cuz he blows me up just like that, and eventually I answer so I can scream at him and hang up on him. Ugh, this is such a mess... .

Understand that your response makes things worse, not better. Don't take the bait... .

Think of it like you are training for a marathon and you need to have super strong self discipline to win.

I know exactly how you feel  xoxo

It can get better, but it will get worse first.

nothing changes without changes
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 02:11:05 PM »

UFN, thank you, those are good suggestions. Well, the bathroom one is. Actually, I have used that before, was just not fully aware of it. All the other suggestions you mentioned wouldn't work for me though, because they "can all wait." In fact,  he would get angry with me for trying to change the subject or accuse me of not caring enough because I was thinking about something else.  :'(

I wonder if he's BPD, but also something else. Because I read others' posts and not many say much about violence or physical abuse or actually having a fear of their SO. He seems to use fear tactics on everyone first, instead of simply asking someone to do something or simply stating what it is he wants to say. For example, when his nephew gets a little rowdy, immediately he bellows, "YOU BETTER STOP! OR I'LL COME OVER THERE AND KICK YOUR ASS." Oh did I mention that his nephew is 4 years old? Yah, all 4 year olds get hyper sometimes. Or when his sister should be helping with dinner but shes not in the kitchen, he'll scream up the stairs at her about being on her phone and texting and the guy doesnt like her anyway-because if he does that means hes never seen her in person. See how irrelevant that was, but he like, puts everyone in their place. Instead of just calling for her or telling his nephew to calm down, his first course of action is to be extreme.
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 04:31:14 PM »

I wonder if he's BPD, but also something else. Because I read others' posts and not many say much about violence or physical abuse or actually having a fear of their SO. He seems to use fear tactics on everyone first, instead of simply asking someone to do something or simply stating what it is he wants to say. For example, when his nephew gets a little rowdy, immediately he bellows, "YOU BETTER STOP! OR I'LL COME OVER THERE AND KICK YOUR ASS." Oh did I mention that his nephew is 4 years old? Yah, all 4 year olds get hyper sometimes. Or when his sister should be helping with dinner but shes not in the kitchen, he'll scream up the stairs at her about being on her phone and texting and the guy doesnt like her anyway-because if he does that means hes never seen her in person. See how irrelevant that was, but he like, puts everyone in their place. Instead of just calling for her or telling his nephew to calm down, his first course of action is to be extreme.

Those I've had experience with can become violent towards anyone at anytime, if the right buttons are pushed.

Peace & Metta
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 04:48:13 PM »

The very first thing I would like you to learn

is to take care of yourself


You can't allow him to trap you, contain you, control you, or block you from moving around in your own apartment... .  His anger is out of control, but you need to learn to take a time out or to escape when he gets that way. He has proven himself to be untrustworthy, so you need to be more pro-active and not so re-active. Hopes are fine to have, but reality will smack you in the face if you aren't prepared for it.

So, how about you sit his mean ole butt down and you have a one on one discussion about this, so that it can be settled between the two of you ahead of time.  We can help you prepare ahead of time what will be said.

Can you do something like that?
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 09:11:06 AM »

UFN, The pattern you describe at the top of this post is so familiar to me.  Thank you for expressing a scenario that I have found myself in many times with my uBPDw.  It is good to know that others have been in the same boat, and to work together on tools, like timeouts, that can help defuse what can be a very stressful situation.  Ukeplayer
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 11:37:34 AM »

Since the very beginning of our relationship, I've always found myself "planning" an escape. Its hard too, because its almost like he expects it even before I consider it myself. He would do things such as NEVER leave me at the house by myself, he wouldnt let me take my dog home (he knew I would never leave without the dog) and even the other night he threw a tantrum that I wanted to go home instead of staying another night at his house. Apparantly he viewed it as a threat, saying "you never wanted to leave before." He told me how sad he was and made pouty faces. Ugh... .he is really worried about me leaving. Like he always thinks Im gonna stay gone forever.

What is your escape route?
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2008, 12:36:37 PM »

That is what they think - you're going to leave forever.  They have a difficult time with the concept that you still love them when you're not present.  My uBPDp has actually torn our daughter from my arms (when she was a baby) to keep me from leaving. 

Once you execute your escape plan a few times AND come back - they get that you are not abandoning them, just taking a break.

They have been abandoned at some time and are terrified of it.

Peace & Metta
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2008, 12:55:32 PM »

You say that once I escape and come back his fear will subside but I have done that 3 times and no such luck.
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2008, 01:56:22 PM »

Some people are slow learners DearStarling

This is about your safety. He will adjust. That is why I suggested sitting down with him at some quiet point and discussing with him some ground rules, to help you feel more in control when the time comes. (I know that we hate to spoil good times with difficult talk, but in this case, it is taking one step back to take two forward)


Remember - you aren't asking him for permission on this. You are confidently stating that this is how you will handle things in the future. You are informing him of this so that he will understand what you mean when it happens.

There is something I want to discuss with you. Can we speak after dinner tonight? (This allows him time to mentally prepare himself. If you worry that you will chicken out with this approach, then just find a quiet time and jump right in) This is really hard for me to say, so I'm asking you to give me the chance to speak my mind before you say anything - OK? I know in the past that we've both done things we aren't proud of. I also know that we love each other and dont' want to hurt each other. There have been a few times in the past when things have gotten really out of hand between us, and neither of us felt very good about it afterwards. I love you very much and I want to hear what is in your heart, but I need to feel safe when that happens. I'm sure you don't enjoy getting that way, and I know that I don't like seeing you that way either. So, what I'm proposing is that if either one of us feels like we are getting too angry or too upset, that we can call for a time out, kind of like boxers do when the bell rings, so we can retreat to a corner and regain our composure. A time out doesn't mean I'm leaving you, it means we both need some time to think away from each other, for 30 min or a few hours. When one of us calls for a time out, the other person needs to respect that request. That means no stopping or trying to prevent me from leaving. I will come back. I may just go for a short walk or a short drive, but it will give both of us time to calm down and prevent things from getting out of hand, which is what we both want, right?

This isn't a judgment or criticism, it is just me trying to be more prepared.



The exact words aren't important, the tone and the message that this is temp and that you will return will hopefully help him adjust to this new idea.

Do you think you can do this?
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TandooriChicken
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2009, 08:09:01 AM »

Well, I am just starting to use this tool with my wife... .it is so good to know there is an option besides counterattacking and passively accepting her abuse.  I think where I'm at right now is that I can listen to her and continue to validate her feelings when she is angry, even when her voice takes on that really hard edge, as long as she is actually engaging me.  Things that I need to look out for and walk away from, though:

1) Profanity and insults (spent 20 years with a very verbally abusive father, will not take that for one more second of my life... .need to find a way to get that across to W, although the situation is complicated by the fact that I have used profanity and insults in our arguments in the past, and anticipate that W will remind me of that if I try to establish some boundaries about it.   I am very aware that I need to establish and enforce those boundaries within myself first, and feel like I am doing that.  I cannot remember the last time I used profanity, which feels like a big change to me since I used to drop the "f-bomb" every other sentence.)

2) Actual yelling (for same reasons as #1 above)

3) She does this thing where she just starts listing and repeating the same complaints over and over again while looking off into space and not engaging me at all... .I feel like this is just a way for her to vent her anger and frustration without actually communicating or trying to solve a problem.  I am working on validating her venting (and internally validating my own frustration with it), but if that doesn't help bring us back into an actual two-way discussion, a time-out is probably called for.

Sometimes, just going to the bathroom for a few minutes is enough to hit the reset button, but sometimes it has to be longer.

The script I am planning to start using (so far I have only done this spontaneously, and explained it when we reconnected after the fact) is:

"I need to take a time-out from this discussion.  What you have to say is very important to me, but I am having a hard time dealing with my own response to it right now.  I will check back with you in 20 minutes." (That's usually long enough for the adrenaline to wear off.)

Any thoughts, comments?
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Auspicious
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2009, 08:53:04 AM »

The script I am planning to start using (so far I have only done this spontaneously, and explained it when we reconnected after the fact) is:

"I need to take a time-out from this discussion.  What you have to say is very important to me, but I am having a hard time dealing with my own response to it right now.  I will check back with you in 20 minutes." (That's usually long enough for the adrenaline to wear off.)

Any thoughts, comments?

I think the words are individual ... .and that the actions are more important than the words.

I think the principles are: keep any words you do say short, no arguing, justifying, or defending ... .don't get sucked in.
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2009, 08:31:05 AM »

This is a major gold mine of interaction do's, don'ts.  Add 4 grandchildren to the mix and I have some homework to do.  I have been pretty good establishing healthy time outs all of my life.  BPD or not.  Validation is key but not always possible when there are grandchildren.  My biggest challenge is when my uBPD DIL turns on the kids ... .she has only turned her emotions on me once ... .but she gets a creepy smile on her face when she is attacking my son or the older boys.  Usually that makes me feel like locking her in a closet or something. I need a time out plan that can work (give me a time out) but does not put the kids in more jeopardy ... .Will read through this board and see what I can find.
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2009, 11:32:59 AM »

UFN, Thanks for the refresher course on this important skill.  I get so intensely angry at my uBPDw when she gets unregulated, and refuse to be a doormat for her verbal bashing, but fighting fire with fire is not a good idea.  I have blown it a few times recently and need to remind myself to take more timeouts.  Ukeplayer
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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2009, 12:06:40 AM »

This is a great workshop!

Me and my husband have nailed the time out skill! Now we take turns, I feel upset then I call time out, he feels upset and off to his office to cool off.

Fights don't escalate anymore. Even the stuff that used to cause fights will occur and we handle it now by talking it out and if he gets too upset I will gently remind him that we don't want to fight and he either calms down enough to keep talking or he takes a time out.

I also know now that I can refuse to discuss a sensitive topic when the timing is bad, when I know I am too upset or when he is being irrational example

Out of no where he gets mad that the cat is scratching the couch, ranting ranting says we will have to declaw ( I will never do this or allow it) I don't take the bait. I say we can talk about this later I have to go to work in a half hour (i know later he won't care or remember or bring it up anyways he is just wanting a little conflict and I won't bite Being cool (click to insert in post) )

So I say this and he grumbles and walks off, minutes later hugs and kisses, I love you and sorry I was testy. Great improvement!

I feel like I can watch myself and control my reactions better and I also understand him motivations.

Remember folks - nothing is emergent as it feels, talk about it when you have a game plan or when the tension has gone. Don't take it personally and give yourself permission to not discuss stuff and leave the situation.
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Quantendynamik

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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2014, 11:03:55 AM »

Thanks for this great workshop!

The missing piece for my puzzle is the statement starting a timeout.

Excerpt
To reduce any blame and to try to avoid triggering further shame, it helps to come from a place of love and concern, to let them know “that I really want to hear what is in your heart and mind, but that I need to feel safe and respected in the process. Right now I don't feel that way, so I'm going to take a time out to allow both of us to calm down. We can try again later." It is even better if you discuss your plans ahead of time, during a calm moment. That way they won't be so surprised. I know we never want to deliberately mess up the good times, but think of it as taking one step backwards to go two forward... .

I think it would help a lot. 

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Samuel S.
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« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2014, 05:44:56 PM »

There was one time when a dear friend of mine was in the hospital. He called me up expressing a lot of fear and a lot of confusion. He lives about 2 hours away from where I live. It was early in the morning. My BPDw said that I should not go, because he caused his own problems. I tried to convince her about his physical and emotional status, but to no avail. So, I said that if it were one of her friends who lives out of town that had a similar situation, that she would drive there in a heartbeat and I would not object whatsoever, to which she said nothing. She still looked sad. So, I said that she had a choice. She could either stay at home while I visited my friend in the hospital, or she could go with me, visit my friend in the hospital for a little while, and enjoy the rest of the day together. She chose to stay home, and I left. When I got back later that evening, she asked how he was, but never mentioned again about this confrontation.
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« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2014, 01:07:51 PM »

Time out can work for me, but it usually takes several hours.  I must leave the house.  I tried finding a different part of the house, or going out to the garage (I have a workshop), but she just finds me and starts in again.

The big problem is that we have a 5 year old.  If I try to take him with me so he is not exposed to the raging, she will not let me do it.  So I must leave my own house, without my child.  Unfortunately, she has a habit of calling me up and screaming at me over the phone in front of him.  So now he is trapped and being exposed to it, and there is NOTHING I can do about it.

I welcome any suggestions.
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Isa_lala
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« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2014, 09:09:44 AM »

it is difficult for me to leave. He usually yells at me when my kid is sleeping. So, I cannot go out for a walk and leave my son behind. I tried to isolate myself in a room but he got angrier and yelled louder, so I went out from the room because I didn't want my son to be awakened and scared... .

he would feel more rejected than ever if I wasn't listening to him. When he yells, when is verbally agressive, it is a call for help. I know that I need to establish and respect my bounderies but still don't know what to do to make him stop the behaviour I don't like.
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LightnessOfBeing

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« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2017, 03:11:59 PM »

Excerpt
I feel like the only defense I have left is none at all... .just to sit back and let him vent and scream and just hope that his adrenaline dies down sooner than later. Then he thinks life is all hunky dory, and we're so in love when in reality I swear I hate him more than ever. Its like, I dont even need to be there!

Omg, THIS.

I can relate so much to this, DearStarling. If I 'validate' my BPDh's venting and screaming and hateful diatribe by being quiet and implicitly acceding, two minutes later he thinks everything is totally fine and expects me to want to be affectionate. Ugh    It does seem like we don't even need to be there! There's no real adult intersubjectivity, just the BPD and their self-object. Maybe I should make a cardboard cutout of myself to swap places with.

It looks like you haven't posted in a long time - I hope you got out and are living a great life!


As to the thread itself, I have tried to avoid engaging, and run into similar problems. There's a great Gary Larson cartoon of the devil saying "C'mon, c'mon, just pick one!" while prodding a poor unfortunate in hell who is standing in front of two doors: ":)amned if you do" and ":)amned if you don't". That feels like life with a BPD SO. If I engage, no matter how calmly and civilly, he rages harder. If I calmly don't engage, then I'm being "dismissive." I've done time out successfully, but then there's one of two outcomes: 1. When I return, he either does silent treatment/other punishment behaviors, or picks right back up where we left off, or 2. Acts like everything is, as DearStarling put it, "all hunky dory." Zero acknowledgment of what he did, zero acknowledgement of me and how I might be feeling after being screamed at, emotionally abused, and vilified unfairly. He truly acts as though nothing happened. Every. D*mn. Time.
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