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Author Topic: POLL: Radical Acceptance - Marsha Linehan PhD  (Read 13450 times)
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 2299

« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2011, 09:32:15 PM »

Radical Acceptance = "It is What It is"

And, the things that "I" cannot change
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Relationship status: Married (together 6 years)
Posts: 849

« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2011, 11:55:20 PM »

When dealing with abusive PD people-how does this relate in regards to current behavior and not in reference to reframing the past.

Just curious-cause I am lost on this one with pwPD's, when you are (for whatever reason) their target.


I am a little more distant from the BPD person in my life... .she is the mom of my stepdaughters, my husband's ex.  So I am often the target of her rage, but not her child or partner, so I have less emotional attachment to her.  Her is how radical acceptance works for me.  This person is who she is.  She is angry at times, mostly triggered by something in almost every interaction with me, but also sometimes loving.  This is who she is.  After knowing her for 9 or 10 years, and being with her ex for 5 years, I have found it does not make sense to expect her to respond in an appropriate (read: coordinated) way to my actions or feelings.  Also, I am not always able to experience her rage and chaotic behavior and emotions and keep centered and peaceful (note the radical acceptance of my own incapacities).  I value feeling peaceful and centered.  So I have chosen to spend less time connecting with her.  At first, I hoped that my steadiness in caring for her even in hard times would help her to shift how she acts with me, would lead to her trusting me.  So I was willing to go out of my way.  But after several years, she did not seem to take in these messages, and I noticed that I felt depleted after these interactions.  So I now have chosen to have fewer interactions with her.  

At the same time, she is okay with me.  I truly believe she is doing the best she can do.  I know something of her childhood, and she dealt with pretty intense pain and abuse, and I am amazed she came out being as loving as she is.  So I do not expect her to be better, to treat me better, to know how to do basic emotional relationships.  But that does not mean I need to place myself in situations where I allow her to be abusive to me.  Allowing that when I have a choice is a way of feeding the abusiveness, and it is important to me to nurture loving behavior in myself and others, not to feed abusive behavior.  When there is not an obvious choice, I have responded to her abuse in various ways, mostly telling her that I love her as is, and letting her know what my boundaries are.  This seems to work fairly well; it has kept me physically safe.  

But in most all of these situations, I can come to a place of being okay with who she is.  

The hardest thing for me is when the kids bring home the negative stuff, because it is not really theirs, and because it is hard to have boundaries with kids who live in my home.  I have boundaries, but for me to feel good in my body when dealing with a BPD person, I need a LOT of space, and you cannot really live with kids and have that much space.  Plus, I would not want to be that distant from my SDs; they are lovable and great.  So I am often hanging out on the edges of my capacity.  So I have grief associated with this.  So then accepting that is my work, while I still try to work with the circumstances.  

A lot of this is very painful to me.  It is painful seeing the kids' pain, painful seeing my DH's pain, painful seeing the ways I have become less of who I want to be in some ways in this situation. Sometimes in pressing through the hardest parts, I close down to this grief and life feels less full.  Then I open up to it and I cry and feel sad more.  For me, this is not something like being in prison for life. I clearly see the benefits to me of all of this. I love the kids as they are; I am glad I am as close to them as I am because (in part) of their mom's BPD; I am also glad to have them only half the time (though this is what makes us have their BPD mom be such a pervasive part of our lives).  I feel like it is easier for me to accept a BPD ex-wife-in-law than it would be to deal with someone sane who is very judgmental and rigid.  The acceptance part is for me: this is who this person is.  I could wish she was sane, but that is not what is.  I love her kids and her ex, so she is part of my life.  I could leave at any time.  But I choose not to.  Because this is my life, it is what I want in this moment.  There may come a time when that changes, but it is not yet.  


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