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Author Topic: 1.06 | Radical Acceptance For Family Members (DBT skill)  (Read 40231 times)
Peaceful.
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« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2009, 02:25:52 PM »



For those looking for additional resources, there are a few hours of Tara Brach's  speeches <a href="www.dhammaweb.net/dhammadb/author.php?author=Tara%20Brach">available here[/url] on Dhamma Web as mp3 files.
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JoannaK
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« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2009, 06:36:03 PM »

Essential reading for almost everybody here. 

Some of us, those who were in a romantic relationship with someone with BPD that has ended and no shared children, don't have to radically accept that someone in our life has a mental illness...   We don't have to understand what that means and how that impacts us and those that we love.   

But everybody else here, people with BPD parents, people with BPD children, people sharing children with someone with BPD, people married to someone with BPD who wish to remain so, people who have a spouse or family member who shares children with someone with BPD, will find that they cannot "escape" the fact that their life is impacted by someone with BPD. 

As UFN wrote above:

Excerpt
When faced with a painful situation, you really have only 4 options:

* Solve the problem.

* Change how you feel about the problem.

* Accept it.

* Stay miserable; continue to be a victim.

Does this mean that you accept abuse?  No, of course not... .   Abuse could be seen as a problem that must be solved.  If a child that you care about is being abused, you may attempt to solve that problem also.  But what if you attempt to intervene on behalf of a child that you think is being abused and the abuse is found to be "unfounded"?  What then?  That would be a situation in which "radical acceptance" might come into play.  You may have done all that you can do to get the child out of that situation.  You may not wish to change your feeling that the child is being abused and that is wrong.  But you can accept it (doesn't mean it's o.k.) and do whatever you can to provide a healthy environment for the child.  Or you can lose sleep for years, wake up every morning in a high degree of stress and anger, and generally start to hate life because the authorities don't see the abuse for what it is. 

You accept what you cannot change... .   You try to live your life with peace and harmony.  It beats staying miserable and becoming a victim.  That's when bitterness starts to set in.  When bitterness starts to set in, life may stop being worthwhile. 

Radical acceptance does not mean accepting abuse.  Radical acceptance does not mean agreeing when you don't agree.  Radically acceptance means accepting that some things cannot or will not be changed.  It may mean you stop harping, stop trying to change something, stop trying to control what someone else is doing. 
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JoannaK
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« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2009, 08:08:02 AM »

Another thought about "radical acceptance":

The opposite of radical acceptance is something like:  "I'm in a lousy situation, bad things are happening here; therefore, I deserve to be resentful; I deserve to be angry.  I want my anger; I want to suffer."

Many people in bad situations may have some of this feeling when they first realize that they are in a difficult situation.  But if it continues... .then it becomes a problem.  It's not that we don't "have a right" to be upset, annoyed, whatever, whenever something pertaining to the difficult situation ratchets up, but if we don't shake ourselves loose from the anger and the resentment fairly quickly, then we can really start to suffer and lose our lives and our spirit. 

 
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Auspicious
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« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2009, 01:11:10 PM »

It's not that we don't "have a right" to be upset, annoyed, whatever, whenever something pertaining to the difficult situation ratchets up, but if we don't shake ourselves loose from the anger and the resentment fairly quickly, then we can really start to suffer and lose our lives and our spirit. 

Very, very insightful!
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« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2009, 08:56:36 PM »

I finally got around to reading this in its entirety (after referring to it many times).  It really sounds so much like the last stage of the grief cycle - acceptance.  In grieving the death of someone we love, acceptance is the only healthy option.  You cannot bring them back, life must go on without them.  The challenge in radical acceptance in a relationship with a living being is that there are still options - you could leave, you could stay and work on it, you could accept without resentment or you can go for the gusto. On any given day, any one of those options may seem like the optimal one.  For some of us, does radical acceptance mean accepting the fact that we will likely never feel content in this life - we will always feel pulled in different directions by the options available to us - is THAT is what we have to accept?
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arjay
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« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2009, 09:06:30 PM »

For some of us, does radical acceptance mean accepting the fact that we will likely never feel content in this life - we will always feel pulled in different directions by the options available to us - is THAT is what we have to accept?

A level of "contentment" may actually be achieved through "acceptance", just as the serenity prayer suggests... .

When we are no longer "attached to outcome", meaning expecting things a certain way, we can often find a level of contentment and peace... .

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« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2009, 09:25:50 PM »

... .we can often find a level of contentment and peace... .

yes, a "level" of contentment, but not complete.  So in some cases, radical acceptance may mean becoming "content with our lack of contentment."
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Auspicious
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« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2009, 05:07:52 AM »

yes, a "level" of contentment, but not complete.  So in some cases, radical acceptance may mean becoming "content with our lack of contentment."

You might become more content if you leave - a better level of contentment.

But I don't think that complete contentment is on offer in this life, is it? Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2009, 10:30:05 AM »

But I don't think that complete contentment is on offer in this life, is it? Smiling (click to insert in post)

Sorry it took me so long to respond, Auspicious.  I have had alot going on and not been online as much.  Also wanted to give this some thought. 

No, total contentment is not an offer in life on this side.  I have to admit though, that when I think of accepting things as they are in my life right now indefinitely, I lose interest in life.  Stop excercising, stop eating well, etc.  There seems to be some fundamental change in my psyche for the negative.  On the other hand, if I think about moving toward having the option to leave, I care again.  For me its the "option to leave" that holds the key.  Some might say that if I'm still thinking about leaving, I haven't radically accepted.  But for me, its more knowing what I can handle short term versus long term.  i.e. - I very much want to unload my life of much of the material "stuff" that loads it down right now, but my husband seems to want to collect more and more material stuff.  This is one of those fundamental differences in attitude on life, perhaps seperate from BPD and all its issues.  Either we will reach a place of compromise where we both can feel content, or it will eventually drive us apart.  Ten years from now, I want to be spending the vast majority of my time DOING not collecting and cleaning.  I have to have that option in front of me, or I wither emotionally.   
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« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2009, 07:39:52 AM »

I've read this several times now over the last few months. Sometimes I am more successful at the radical acceptance than other times. I know it takes repeated practice.

But how do you apply this to a BPDDD17 who is self-harming and threatening suicide repeatedly? I can't just accept that she may be killing herself in her bedroom and just roll over and go to sleep. Someone needs to save her from herself. And yet the DBT therapist says that hiding in the hospital is not the solution, and I know she's right.

I have accepted already that she is very ill, that she may never finish college or be self-supporting or even able to live on her own, or have a healthy long-term relationship. I have accepted that I will probably outlive her. I have accepted that the stress of her BPD will probably kill my DH soon (OK, I lied - I still resent that one, I haven't accepted it yet). I have accepted that I may have to throw her out of the house or go NC someday to save myself, even though it would devastate her. I have accepted that for the indefinite future, my DD and I have a one-sided relationship, and I can't have any expectations of her caring about me or my feelings, even though she surprises me occasionally when she does seem to care.

If this were anyone else but my child, I would have walked away by now. But as a parent, I still feel an obligation to do something, to continue to seek help for her. Right now I am looking at age 18 as the magic age to wash my hands of the whole mess, but I don't know why. I don't expect that things will be much different when that happens, in just 5 months.

So how do I accept this problem while I'm still trying to fix it?
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« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2010, 03:04:27 PM »

i live with a duck...

i usually expect duck things from him... like

ducks are very good swimmers... he can always stay afloat...

ducks walk funny on land... bc theyre not built for it...

ducks have feathers... sometimes they get ruffled... some things dont stick to them at all...

ducks would rather fly away... or hide... than fight...

... but have a nasty bite...

ducks can fly... and walk on land... and swim... most animals can do one of those... maybe two... one of them badly... i walk on land better than he does... but i cant fly... and im not as good in water... i expect him to fly and swim very well... but be kind of uncomfortable on land... ducks are good at that...

i try not to expect dog things

i dont try to get him to play fetch... ducks dont play fetch...

if he wags his tail... its not the same as a dog wagging his tail... its a duck wag... different purpose...

he doesnt want a milkbone... ducks dont like milkbones

ducks dont understand barking... ducks quack...

im a lot happier... when i dont throw a stick and expect him to bring it back...

the duck is happier... bc he doesnt understand why i would throw a stick and want it back... so why should he get it? if i wanted a dog... i could go get one... the duck... is not a dog... trying to make him one... pisses everybody off...

even if he learned to play fetch... or to bark... underneath... hes still a duck... and probably wouldnt be happy... trying to bark...

he would be a terrible dog... but hes a very good duck Smiling (click to insert in post)
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Auspicious
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« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2010, 12:10:37 PM »

Sometimes, of course, we met the duck when it was wearing a dog suit, doing a passable, or even melodious, bark, and wearing a sign around its neck saying "lost dog needs home, does tricks, loves milkbones, very dry"

Smiling (click to insert in post)
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oceanheart
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« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2010, 05:19:02 PM »

But why isn't there an adage about "ducks being man's best friend"?

Ducks are good at duck things, but if we wanted a dog but somehow got a duck, it'd be hard to keep the duck, especially since dogs are so good at dog things like loyalty and acceptance and love.

A duck probably could learn how to do dog things, but will never grow warm, soft fur. Who wants to snuggle up with a duck on a cold winter night?

What if you think you can only handle a duck?

What if you always thought you were a duck and so were attracted to ducks, but realise that you're a dog, once you shed that duck suit your duck FOO [say THAT 5 times fast Smiling (click to insert in post)] thought looked so good on you.

And if one duck can deep-down be a dog, are all ducks dogs, deep-down? And how do they take of their duck suit? And do we have a responsibility to help find the zipper on that suit?

Or is it much better to just be a dog and wish them luck being a duck, and go on our merry dog way?


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« Reply #43 on: December 14, 2013, 04:21:35 AM »

Thank you Insightful
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« Reply #44 on: December 14, 2013, 06:41:59 AM »

I get 1 and 2, but the third is difficult. I guess the good news is that I incorporate most of this already.
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« Reply #45 on: December 14, 2013, 08:44:24 AM »

thank you gidget for bumping this.
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« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2013, 01:53:45 PM »

Must say I am happy with myself for not letting my daughter get to me. Normally I would get very hurt and angry and frustrated with my daughter for not picking up the phone all calling me back. Her punishment when she was angry with me.

I am finding it is getting easier to deal with these disappointments of her way of dealing with things. Acceptance I have truly began to accept this is the way she handles things. I wished sometimes I stopped as my husband would tell me have that cup of coffee than call her back. I didn't. I have to realize that is what I chose to do to always call her back and run. I am realizing that I can't get angry at her because I chose to act differently and hoped she would do the same.

Xmas shopping no calls returns for the questions I had about the grandkids. Oh well I went shopping and found that I did not let it bother me nor did it bother me as it did in the past ACCEPTANCE FOR WHAT SHE DOES.

I have a prayer above my desk I read it everyday now

                                                            God grant me the serenity

                                                        to accept the things I cannot change

                                                           courage to change the things I can

                                                        and the Wisdom to know the difference

I had fun shopping
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« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2015, 02:50:55 PM »

Wow, fantastic workshop! I particularly liked the article on happiness that Skip provided. Very helpful!

Looking back at my two marriages, the latter one with a uBPD, I can see how I fought accepting 'what was' every step of the way. I used every tactic under the sun, every dysfunctional codependent coping mechanism. I started out as the rescuer, caregiver, responsible one.  I ended up angry, blaming, resentful and anxious. I felt like a victim because I was trying so hard and they wouldn't meet me half way. I was expecting them to be someone they weren't.

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« Reply #48 on: March 30, 2015, 03:23:11 PM »

I fought accepting 'what was' every step of the way.

i wasn't able to draw the line between fundamental expressions of personality, and habits that could be changed. i wound up metaphorically and literally banging my head into a wall. could i have just accepted that not everything was going to be reasonable, as i understood reasonable? but that would have meant not holding my ex accountable for her drinking and spending irresponsibility, for her habit of non-communication. yet i still can't stop wondering, if i only reacted to this or that differently, why didn't i have the patience to tolerate such-and-such... i'm quite bad with it.
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« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2017, 08:14:07 PM »

Started this as a response to another thread but somehow I think this belongs here.

My SO's daughters are both struggling with how they view their mother, who isn't the mother they need or want.  D20 is angry and stuffs her feelings around her mother and is very low contact with her and D16 talks to and texts her mom and then occasionally will see her.  I always feel like these visits are checks... .is mom still the same?  Has she changed into the mom I need her to be? Unfortunately, in the 7 years I've been with their dad their mom is exactly the same. Without recognizing and owning that something is wrong she is destined to continue her same behaviors and patterns.

I wish both girls could learn "Radical Acceptance" in terms of their uBPDmom.  Be able to see her as she is, objectively, and have a relationship with her based on who she is and who they are, not what they all hope the relationship will be or should be. 

It's painful to watch the anger stuffing that will only resurface somehow later and the disappointment that mom isn't like other moms.  I wish they could love their mom in spite of her imperfections, recognize the problem areas, set boundaries and avoid the pitfalls.  I wish they could all go out to lunch and ignore mom's grandiose promises and see them for what they are, the only way she knows how show them that she wants good things for them, or understand that mom will be late... .mom is always late and plan on it don't be stressed and disappointed by it, and don't ever let money enter into their relationship with their mother because that is were a lot of mom's problems really seem to live.  It's so hard to find the detachment to see what is, when it's your mom, your dysfunctional mom, that you so desperately want to love you.  It's all so emotionally loaded!

It took me 47 years to figure out radical acceptance in terms of my own mother.  She isn't BPD but can be painfully critical.  I spent a long time being hurt over and over by her and felt like I was never good enough... .never met her expectations.  I finally had the realization that I would never be who she wanted me to be and she would never be who I wanted her to be and that didn't mean that either of us was a bad person.  It was like I stepped out of myself and watched our interactions as an observer.  I realized her criticisms were really about her... .her need to be seen as a good mom, seen as smart, to be approved of etc. And I figured out that I was a great person just the way I am and I have that mirrored back at me by my friends, my son and boyfriend.  So now when my mom throws out one of her criticisms I just think to myself... .that's about her, that isn't about me.  I can just let it go.

Panda39
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