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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: Make the conscience decision -- happy or angry.  (Read 2209 times)
PDQuick
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« on: April 27, 2009, 07:19:02 AM »

I read these boards, and I love you guys, I truly do. I remember back when I first registered, and I remember all the emotions, all the hatred, all the anger and the fears that I possessed, and that lived inside of me. As I read here, its a common theme that runs rampant through the thoughts of many people. Its a natural thing, and it is to be expected.

We all want the same things in life. We want peace, happiness, comfort, and love. I ask you, can we have these things in the shadow of hatred, remorse, anger, and frustration? The answer is a resounding no. I never found any of it clutching the feelings of negativity in my life.

At some point, we have to make the conscience decision to either be happy, or continue with our negativity, and our toxic feelings. In order to embrace the greater things in life, we must first put down the negative things, or risk poisoning those fine things. At some point, we have to decide, anger or acceptance.

Just isnt right for me. Its a powerful sentence, and thought. It releases all of the quilt, possession, and wealth from any given subject and allows us to accept something as it pertains to us, rather than the world. Everything in life has value to someone, but it may not hold value to me. Trying to tear it down just because we dont care for it allows us to remain bitter, angry and hostile. Is that what we truly want out of life? Is it our goal? Of course not, so why allow those thoughts and feelings to continue in our lives?

It can work from everything from broccoli to past relationships. Life isnt black or white, its a multitude of colors, and grays. Something is never so evil that it doesnt have a useful place in this world. Everything has a purpose. There is no need to understand that purpose, as long as you understand your role within that object.

Religeon- wars have been started, millions killed because of a belief of a higher power. Notice I said belief, for noone truly knows for sure what awaits us in the afterlife. Wouldnt the world be a better place if a Muslim, looking at christianity, said to himself, that just isnt right for me? Then dismissed his feelings, and went about his life.

Relationships- Cant we realize that the person we fell in love with is capable of finding, and attracting a mate? Kinda like they did us? Why is it that we have to tear them down, even after the end of the relationship? That serves no purpose other than keeping us angry, and preventing us from moving forward with our lives. Its not that these people are totally unloveable, its just simply, they arent right for us.

Is there a reason we have to kick in the sandcastles before we leave the beach? What is it that we get from destroying the house we built once we have had to find a new place to live? Is there a purpose? Is there a meaning? Is there any finality in saying that there is no use for something, just because we are done with it?
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 09:01:46 AM »

Hey there,

I agree with much of what you wrote... letting go, letting go of anger, embracing good.  Accepting where we have been and choosing how we will live the rest of our lives..

BUT...
Excerpt
Cant we realize that the person we fell in love with is capable of finding, and attracting a mate? Kinda like they did us? Why is it that we have to tear them down, even after the end of the relationship? That serves no purpose other than keeping us angry, and preventing us from moving forward with our lives. Its not that these people are totally unloveable, its just simply, they arent right for us.

If my Ex would move on and live his life I would be perfectly happy. Honestly.  BUT he continues to work to engulf or destroy his children. He continues to work to destroy me and my happiness.  He has been on a relentless campaign to control our middle child or destroy her and to manipulate our youngest child and alienate him from me.   Anyone who can treat children, esp his own children, as objects to own and control, or "subjects" to bow down before the King Dad is, in my not so humble opinion, incapable of true love and unloveable.   

I will stay only as angry as I need to, to protect my children from his horribleness.

Crystal
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 09:19:57 AM »

Crys, I understand, and I say that those situations are known as "Extenuating Stinkums." 

If you keep your cool, the children will see your strength and will see his manipulations. As human beings, it becomes unnatural to keep "proving" ourselves to others, and we tend to want to be who we are, not what someone else wants us to be. Your children will see that "King Dad" doesnt want children, but pawns in his game of chess. Nevermind the fact that Kings can only move one space at a time, and Queens are capable of maneuvering the board completely in one move. A king is only important in his own mind, it takes the subjects to give him his persona. When the subjects finally see that the queen is all loving and accepting, the pawns checkmate the king, and the game ends.

I know you pretty well, and yet, for some strande reason, I dont worry about you. I know you will get what you need, and I know you have the wisdom and strength to see your dreams through to fruition. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 09:33:04 AM »

It took me quite some time to rid myself of the anger towards my ex, and towards myself for having accepted less than what I deserve out of a marriage/relationship.  I now live in a house bought during the relationship, do I curse the home for it's part in the hurt, do I hate the place due to the demise of the marriage, of course not...if anything good came out of this marriage, it is the fact that now my children and I have a home, that is ours, something I dared not dream of many years ago.

I have re-evaluated my life, my relationships, my friendships and although I do still have those in my life that are "just not right for me", I am able to limit my exposure to them and control my reactions to them.

I think some waste so much time and energy in life with negative emotions...what a very sad waste of time/energy ... when there is so much life out there to experience and enjoy.  Lessons can be learned from every interaction we have and if we could just each take what good we find and hold onto that rather than the negative...we could indeed make OUR world a better place.

To destroy what we once built is hurtful not only to those who may seek shelter inside it's walls, it is in fact hurful to us because it negates all the work we put into it's building...

Finding all the positives we can in our own lives and keeping our focus there, does not allow the time to find the negatives elsewhere.

Thanks for this post Quick, an excellent reminder.

“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.” - Paulo Cohelo
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 09:33:38 AM »

As always, PDQ

Yeah, there comes a time when I have to release the hurt and stand alone and be okay with who I am, first.  Once the bonds are permanently cut and after the hurts and harm have been purged, I have to take the responsibilty to stop reliving them, carry the gifts of wisdom I've acquired from it all, and to place myself in, "just isn't right for me."

I don't want to carry the connection to pain into the rest of my life with me and pollute the world around me with it.  I have no kids so I'm free to choose this, now.

Thanks for this.  I'll carry it with me.

Peace, UFH
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 09:37:34 AM »

PD, I agree with so much of what you suggest here.  What it takes is "emotional growth", ironically the very thing we so often tried to get our BPD to accept what was needed too.

So much of my own struggle was rooted in my own insecurities.  The "little child" in me wanted to "lash out" just as the BPD had repeatedly done to me.  This same "wounded child" in me, wanted to see her "hurting" for the hurt she caused me.  The healing process requires us to reach a level of "emotional acceptance and growth", before we can truly "let-go", accept it all as "it is what it is", and move ahead in life.

We all know the "right answers" when it comes to "moving on" and what we should do, but as "Morpheous" from the movie "Matrix" suggested:

"there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path"...Walking the path is really what promotes our own growth, as difficult as that can be.

Peace
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 09:50:49 AM »



Idea

Dammit...I'm still looking for validation from someone I don't want in my life.  The reason what she does affects me is because I'm still not okay with me.

Way to make a feller think.

I feel frustrated but empowered.

Thanks again, UFH

Addendum:

Rewording...

The reason I ALLOW what she does to affect me...the reason I ALLOWED myself to self-re-engagement...is because I'm not yet okay with me and still seeking masochistic validation by asking other people about how messed-up SHE is.

Okay...who's messed-up here?

Hi.
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 09:56:00 AM »

When we love, why do we do so with stipulations? Isnt it better to give unconditionally, that to give with strings? Isnt that what we get upset with others for doing?

When a break-up occurs, why do we not want them to be happy, or not want them to have someone else? Why do we want to take the things we have given, and destroy them, so that noone is free to enjoy the fruits of our love? Just because the relationship didnt last, does that mean it was all in vain? Did we not learn anything, feel anything, or grow as an individual?

If we ultimately decide that it isnt right for us, why do we insist that it shouldnt be right for others?

Its an interesting series of questions to ask ourselves. It will provide alot of answers into what makes us unhappy with ourselves, rather than trying to place the blame on someone, or something else. After all, nothing hurts us unless we allow it.
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 10:06:05 AM »



I still have a challenge with that whole unconditional love thing.

I have conditions by which a person will get the expression of my love.

Conditions:  Don't treat me like crap.  Don't hit me.  Don't lie and betray my fidelity. Don't rip me off.  Don't treat others like crap, hit them, lie, rip them off...things like that.

Somewhere inside of me there is something other than hurt and anger for this person but i have yet to identify...or even connect with, what that really is.  Love...or pity?

I do want her to be happy.  I just don't "want" her to take out her stuff on another human being as she did with me.  How do I know she will?  Nothing in the way she moves (a revision of the Beatles song) say anything different.

Oh well...not my problem anymore.

hmmm...just being honest
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2009, 10:08:54 AM »

It's okay to be disappointed, feel let down, and declare our hurt.  But how we harness those kind of feelings and channel them is the ultimate key to our evolutionary growth.

Out of all the struggles with my situation, one of the hardest things I had to quietly reconcile was how my ex BPD husband demonized me (and he left me!).  I vowed never to get on board with that kind of thinking, although, I had every right to do so. And quite frankly, I was too busy licking my wounds to spend my time being angry and hostile to even act out.

I use to say to my ex, "it's okay that you fell out of love with me but it is not okay for you to fall into hate with me."

So...I never was one to kick the sandcastle down, I was always one of those types of people who used up way too much energy to preserve it, thought it should be a sacred shrine.  How was I to know there were more sandcastles to build?
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 10:15:26 AM »

I use to say to my ex, "it's okay that you fell out of love with me but it is not okay for you to fall into hate with me."

 How was I to know there were more sandcastles to build?

Perfect...thank you
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2009, 10:23:40 AM »

Excerpt
I never was one to kick the sandcastle down, I was always one of those types of people who used up way too much energy to preserve it, thought it should be a sacred shrine.  How was I to know there were more sandcastles to build?

Love this.

Me too.

Crys
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2009, 10:24:09 AM »

Somewhere inside of me there is something other than hurt and anger for this person but i have yet to identify...or even connect with, what that really is.  Love...or pity?

OK UFH, Ill take a stab at that, being that I have already solved that in my own mind, regarding my own situation.

What I had was a hope, a false need, in my own mind, that she would eventually become 100% the woman that I liked 25% of the time. It was my hopes that she would become someone I needed her to be, rather than accepting her as she was. I thought of her as two different people, one that I loved, and one that I loathed. I wanted the woman I loved. What I failed to realize is that she is one entity, and inside that entity I drew the line, and seperated her into my likes and dislikes. It wasnt that I loved half of her, abd hated half of her, I wanted the half I loved, and wanted to discard the other half.

It was my internal struggle that kept me from accepting that she is who she is, and what she was was... not right for me as an entirety, but right for me in pieces.
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2009, 10:32:17 AM »



Yep.

Nailed it, PDQ.

It's not the first time this has resonated with me, either and I believe it was also you who had said this to me before.

Maybe this time I'll get it.

Obviously, I'm having a tough day. 

Just...thank you.

Another Addendum...Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

What I had was a hope, a false need, in my own mind, that she would eventually become 100% the woman that I liked 25% of the time.

Aye...there's the rub.

"Right for me in pieces" is still a pretty bitter fruit to chew but I'll be chewing it...slowly...cuz I know it's true...and I want to deny it.

~laughs~

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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2009, 10:40:05 AM »

We are all human UFH, and we are driven by our fears. My fear was that I would never find that Ms Right, so I felt I had to make one for myself. It is only in my trial and error there that I realized, being that noone can change me from my core of who I am, I have no expectations of changing anyone else from the core of who they are.

I accept all people for who they are, and instead of trying to place them where I want them to fit in my life, I allow them to find where they want to be in my life, and feel thankful for them.

There is nothing but disappointment in being handed a rubiks cube, and tying a string to it, because its a yo yo that I want so bad.
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2009, 10:54:45 AM »

I accept all people for who they are, and instead of trying to place them where I want them to fit in my life, I allow them to find where they want to be in my life, and feel thankful for them.

There is nothing but disappointment in being handed a rubiks cube, and tying a string to it, because its a yo yo that I want so bad.

I used to think it was a control issue and she was all too happy to reinforce that and true enough some things about my part were very controlling (surviving).  It was also that false hope and non-acceptance...wanting the Rubiks, yo-yo.

I feel a better direction here...now.

This helps allot...radical acceptance indeed.

Time to go to work.

Thank you all.

Peace, UFH
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2009, 10:51:44 PM »



Been thinkin' about this thread all day. 

I can't make anyone more right or wrong or make what "is" anymore "is" by hanging on to my toxic feelings.  I can only make myself more bitter and I don't want that for my life.  It's actually pretty scary to consider that I'm allowed to choose a bitter life and nothing outside of myself will magically stop me from doing that.  It's even more frightening to consider that I can choose it and pollute other lives with it in the same insidious ways I would allow it in my own life...mindlessly, selfishly, and irresponsibly...and I don't want that.

It is heartbreaking...and I think this will be the first time I will articulate in font or out loud...

I'm heartbroken.

That's it and there doesn't need to be any more blame to make it any less broken.

Finally...I'm weeping.

back... ...My cat needed comforting...lord.  I'm crying and laughing at my darn cat at the same time.

I've realized today that it has been my attachment to the pain that I have clung to in order to keep me attached to her...my illusion of hope...false hope...not acceptance.

To accept this means I have to say goodbye.

I've filed the papers and set the boundaries but I haven't said goodbye.

Scuse me...more weeping.

I don't care if it takes all night I'm gonna finish this post.

Dear W,

We've been through some wild rides haven't we?  We haven't tried so hard to make anything work as much as we did with each other...didn't we.  Some of our life together was good.  Some of what we shared with each other was good.  I mean, it can be hard to look back through all our struggles to try to find the good things but we both know they were there...don't we.  Just not enough of them for either of us.  I want good things for you.

It doesn't mean that you're not enough or I'm not enough...it's just that together, we couldn't create enough...good.  We just weren't right for each other.  Some friends helped me to understand how, hanging on to my hurt and blame was my way of hanging on to you...but not you.  I was hanging on to someone I needed you to be and wasn't able to accept you as you are.  I'm sorry and I hope that you can find someone who can.  I want your happiness.

I want to thank you, W for the gifts that you brought to my life and I want you to know that they will always be a part of me.  If I hadn't known you...if I hadn't loved you...I wouldn't have them as they could not have come from anyone else.  I hope that may mean something to you someday.  It does to me.

I also want you to know that nothing about letting go of you has been easy...it's been really hard...it still is.  That's just to say how much you have meant to me...how much I have loved you.

You once said something to me about just needing to "find your way," and I want you to know that with all of my heart...nothing less, I hope that you find it.

I'm letting go of you now, sweetheart.  Please take the best of care for yourself.  You deserve nothing less.

Goodbye.

Love, P

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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2009, 11:51:42 PM »

UFH- Your post made me cry while I read it.

I have been thinking about this thread tonight, and I know that I (and all of us) need to get to this place.  I'm not quite there, but feel I'm on my way.  I have anger still, not that we aren't together, but for the other verbal abuse/ devaluing/awful mean things that were said and done that would just break my heart.  Each day, it seems to lighten up and the anger comes and goes.

Which leads me to myself for a minute.  My heart is broken, and I think I have put his behavior and figuring it out before working on mending and healing myself.

Your letter you wrote and your post was just moving, thank you.  xoxox

B
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« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2009, 06:24:36 AM »

I couldnt be more proud to read a post in my 2 years of being here. Im really glad to read that as I sit here, on this beautiful morning, drinking a cup of coffee. UFH, I am humbled.  xoxox


The behavior in these relationships is often referred to as a dance. In mine, I felt terribly unaccepted as a person, because she always was wanting me to be who I wasnt. I am not a morning person, and take a while to get going. She jumps right out of bed like someone wound her up while she slept. She hit the floor runnng, I just hit the floor, and stopped.  Smiling (click to insert in post) She, in her frustration, tried to make me a morning person, and I, in mine, tried to make her more like a snail crawling across a floor covered in molasses. This is just a trivial example of some of the many things.

She tried to get me to love her in the way she needed to be loved, which I thought was kinda ridiculous, because of the way I needed to be loved, and the two were vastly different. I would get so frustrated with her in my frustration, that I would yell and scream when provoked by her, just because I wanted to be heard, and I needed her to love me. I looked at her behavior as abuse, but I did the same thing under the guise of validation. She felt the same way I did, invalidated, unloved in the ways she needed, and misunderstood. They only true differences between her and I is that I gave everything, even more than I had, and I never got physical with her. She took everything, and when she didnt get what she wanted, the physicality started quickly. It was here way of securing what she needed out of me, and to be totally honest, I taught her that if she did that, she would get it. So, physical abuse became just a tool for her to get what she needed from me.

She in her actions, and me in my actions were the same in intent. We were both trying to get what we needed out of each other. Neither one of us accepted the other for their strengths and weaknesses. I sliced a part of her persona, and wanted it all of the time, and she wanted a part of me all the time. We danced. We danced well. We danced for 13 years.

At some point, early on in the relationship, a shift happened. I have to say, it happened inside of me. I went from trying to get my needs met from a person, to trying to make a person meet my needs. Seems like a simple wordplay, but in all reality, it is a huge difference. Instead of looking for someone with the capacity of meeting my needs, I took a person incapable of meeting them, and tried to force them to be the person she wasnt. Thats all on me folks. My bad. Each time a fight erupted, I was more focused on getting her to meet my needs than actually having them met. I tollerated terrible things on a quest to acheive that. I tollerated it, because I had a goal, I was going to transform her into that person I so desperately wanted.

I was a treasure hunter, on a beach with a shovel. I actually knew that many had been there before me, but I was going to find gold in that sand dune, whether or not it was there. I dug and I dug, and with each push into the sand of my shovel, I got more frustrated. Eventually, I was standing in a deep hole, still without my precious gold. This is the personification of stupidity.

Now, Im out of that hole, and I am actively looking for where my treasure chest is. Im not going to dig, just to dig, and hope I get lucky. I realize that I am worth more than just breaking my back out in the hot sun, digging for something that isnt there. I dont blame the mountain for not having the gold, because that mountain has other purpose in life, and should be adored for the beauty it holds, not the beauty I want. One day, I will put the shovel to the ground again, and I will dig for what it is I need. Only this time, I will have reasonable knowledge that it exists below the surface. If I dig, and its not there, I took a chance, and will appreciate that spot for allowing me to try to find the things I yearn to find. It isnt that the spot is wrong, its that the spot is just...not right for me.
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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2009, 07:50:34 AM »

UFH, your letter is amazing. I'm crying with bkay. I could feel your love for your ex from that letter. That's how we - nons - love. That's how we deserve to be loved in return, isn't it? This board gives me so much hope that there really are good, good people out there, with so much to give. Between UFH, and PDQuick - there is so much insightfulness. I'm truly touched by this thread. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2009, 09:44:27 AM »



Thank you for this thread PDQ (I deepy identify with your last post too) and thank you for your participation, everyone.  Thank you for bpdfamily.com...thank you bpdfamily.com.  I'm healing in ways that are both so new and profound to me.

These changes that are happening in me could not have happened any other way.

Through the pain we all share lie the gifts we can give and receive from our collective experience, compassion, each other, and former SO's.  I have received so many of them here.

I am truly humbled...and healing.

Just...thank you.

Love, UFH

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« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2009, 10:04:14 AM »

Thank you for this thread PDQ (I deepy identify with your last post too) and thank you for your participation, everyone.  Thank you for bpdfamily.com...thank you bpdfamily.com.  I'm healing in ways that are both so new and profound to me.

These changes that are happening in me could not have happened any other way.

Through the pain we all share lie the gifts we can give and receive from our collective experience, compassion, each other, and former SO's.  I have received so many of them here.

I am truly humbled...and healing.

Just...thank you.

Love, UFH

bpdfamily.com is truly a remarkable forum.  I could not agree more with your sentiments UFH.

I am glad you have had that shift in thinking where the cloud is being lifted from around you and you are experiencing "your" awakening.

None of us can do that, experience the gift of our own awakenings, if we are entrenched in bitterness and ill will.  It takes up too much energy and distracts us from our real focus, ourselves.

There are many things that are simply "just not right" with this disorder or even the person behind the disorder, we don't have to be one of them.   
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« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2009, 09:58:48 PM »



Thank you, OFO

This surrender...truly is an awakening and it is indeed my own...no other way to do it but "own it."

Ever since my first post in this forum, I was gently guided to look within and by those here who have the evidence of recovery.  I need recovery.  It's not just a want...it's a need as much as air or water is to my physical form. 

Everyone needs to vent, I understand that and I have vented as much as anyone here.  It's a way of discovery.  It's a way of connecting when I have felt so alone and without answers.  It has been a way to understand that I was not...am not alone in my confusion.  But it's not a place to stay.

As long as I keep participating in something that just isn't right for me, I'll never be right for anyone...not even myself.  As long as I stay in blame, I'll never see nor allow myself the opportunity to grow beyond the hurt and anger enough to simply say, I have a broken heart.

I've learned that defenses are a natural part, and even sometimes an essential part of survival but it took the gifts of my former wife along with the gifts that I have received here to get in touch with that most essential vulnerability.

In this thread initiated by PDQ and through every ones input I've learned how to take all the blame out and simply say...it hurts.  I've been able to understand how I have clung to false hopes and how I have also tried to make her "my needs" from that 25% place.  I have come to understand my own non-acceptance of her and also my own non-acceptance of myself and I can now re-accept in honest self appraisal.

Most of all...I learned how to lovingly say, goodbye.

So now I can grieve...so now I can grow and maybe someday I can bring the better parts of myself and what I am learning to someone and be an asset to her life.  Only by letting go and accepting everyone as we are do I have a chance for this...and I want that chance.  I want it from this place of life with all the things I'm learning and re-gaining that could have happened no other way.  I  needed to change.  I need this...change.

In the interim, maybe I can help someone here find their path to freedom too.  I would like that.

All things in time.

There's allot to be said for being in the right place at the right time.

I'm exactly where I need to be...right now.

Peace, love and blessings, UFH

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« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2009, 09:26:19 AM »

Wonderful post UFH.  Thank you for sharing...

Peace
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« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2009, 10:36:09 AM »



And thank you arjay.   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2009, 11:03:09 AM »

There is a liberrating feeling knowing that things dont have to have a blame attatched to them, just that they have affected us. We can feel emotion without pointing the fingers at someone, and in focusing on that feeling, we are able to figure things out about ourselveves, rather than focusing on something, or someone else because we want to distract ourselves from the initial feelings.

Im sure someone, somewhere, when hit by another person, instead of getting angry at the person hitting them, thought to themselves, "that hurt, I wonder why?"

Emotionally, we should all do the same things, and learn more about ourselves, because it will give us a better understanding of who we are, and what we ultimately want out of life. As I have started this process of thinking, I have figured out that the emotional hurts I have sustained arent so much about who hurt me, but more about fears deep inside myself.

Then, comes the realization that I have kept myself out of alot of things because I was afraid of certain things, like rejection. The fear of rejection kept me from meeting people, and once I did meet someone, It kept me in a toxic relationship, because I feared that I would never have anyone, simply because I was afraid to go meet people out of my own fears.

As I was just telling a dear friend of mine, if you want something in life, seek it out. Do the work, because it takes less time seeking, than it does waiting for the things to fall in your lap. If there is a fear in the way of this seeking process, deal with it head on, and go about your journey. Life is for those who do, not those who wait. Placing blame, distracting, and not looking to yourself are ways of waiting. Accept who you are, seek what you want, and never give into a fear, for it stands in the way of who you want to be.
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« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2009, 08:52:52 PM »

I have tried several times to write a response to this thread, failing each time to express what I was trying to say.  So, just let me say, thank you for this thread and for all the posts and thoughts.
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« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2009, 09:55:56 PM »



I've sustained my whole existence in my former marriage, after the idealization phase, on fear of rejection and instead of saying, "that hurt, I wonder why?" it was about, "that hurt, knock it off."  The difference between the two is so vast and resonates so deeply with me now.

One is looking inward for answers that bring better understanding of what makes me who I am and the things I can do about what doesn't work in me.

The other is looking outward for an immediate solution to something that I cannot control.

Is the eventuality of looking inward like this a path to becoming more empathetic, more validating, more accepting of what simply "is" and making better choices not only for me, but for the people that I love as well?

It certainly seems so.  Yes indeed it does as I follow the stream of this truth in my heart...indeed it does.

I'm reminded of a story here...


Two monks were walking down a path one day in silence when they came upon a well dressed lady standing before a mud puddle across the entire road.  It was obvious to them that the lady didn't wish to soil her fine garments by attempting to cross the mud puddle on her own so one of the monks offered to lift her and carry her across.

The lady accepted and the monk obliged while his brother followed behind.  Once on the other side of the puddle the monk set her down, she thanked him, and all went on their own way.

About 5 hours later, the brother monk spoke and asked the question, "Brother, you broke your silence to ask that woman if you could assist her across the puddle so that she wouldn’t soil her worldly attachment to her clothing.  Aren't we, as monks supposed to give no regard to such trivial matters?"

The monk responded, "I set her down 5 hours ago.  Why are you still carrying her?"


Peace, UFH

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« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2009, 08:04:59 AM »

Excerpt
At some point, early on in the relationship, a shift happened. I have to say, it happened inside of me. I went from trying to get my needs met from a person, to trying to make a person meet my needs. Seems like a simple wordplay, but in all reality, it is a huge difference. Instead of looking for someone with the capacity of meeting my needs, I took a person incapable of meeting them, and tried to force them to be the person she wasnt. Thats all on me folks. My bad. Each time a fight erupted, I was more focused on getting her to meet my needs than actually having them met. I tollerated terrible things on a quest to acheive that. I tollerated it, because I had a goal, I was going to transform her into that person I so desperately wanted.

Hi PDQ.  You said something similar in the control thread a while back.  I'm not sure I entirely understand.  Were you aware you were trying to do this at the outset?  I've thought of the situation as more of an awareness problem, rather than a control problem.  We have a perception of who someone is and have difficulty reconciling various behaviors with that image.  When there are deviations over time, we ignore, we cajole, we argue, etc. . . maintaining that image.  It then becomes fractured. . . good spouse, bad spouse, rather than a coherent whole.  Oddly enough, that seems to mirror the splitting mentality of the BPD.  So, perhaps, I should say it became fractured for me.  I saw my ex-wife as almost two personalities (a good and a bad).  I saw the good personality as the real her (the one that met my needs, so I thought) and the bad as some sort of stress-induced anomaly.  Over time, in the dance, that anomaly became more and more present and severe.  The split was a device, a method of maintaining the relationship.  Without it, I probably could have ended the dance much earlier.  In my own recollection, I could conceptualize my behaviors the way you have, as an attempt to make someone meet my needs.  But, I don't think I had enough awareness to understand the nature of the dance, while dancing (also about 13 years).  Did you know what you were trying to do?   


Btw, I think the premise of this thread is excellent. 
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« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2009, 08:27:57 AM »

I had no idea what I was doing. It was in that ignorance that it kept going.

When a relationship starts out, it progresses because the person in front of us is meeting our needs. It is a fact that as we progress, if our needs are getting met, we become closer to the person. It the nature of the relationship. With that being said, she turned around and started doing things that didnt meet my needs, but were rather against what I wanted and needed in a mate. Instead of seeing that with a clear vision, my mind drifted back to the woman that she was just before the shift, when she was meeting my needs. I wanted her back, not the woman that stood before me. I made that split, it was my twisted thinking.

We tend to see these disordered people as two entities, and that is our own fault. The ":)esireable" entity entices us, and lures us in. Its the entity that we fall in love with, and ultimately bond ourselves to. Once that disappears, and the other entity takes over, it is our processing of that which gets us into trouble. We dont look at them and think to ourselves "Hey, I am not liking what is happening here, and I am not getting what I need out of it" and gradually detatch from the relationship, we think "what happened to the person I bonded with, I want her back," and we start the process of trying to resurrect the previous entity. In doing so, our only tools in doing that are control, and denial. We try desperately to contol the person into being the person we bonded with, and in our frustration of that not happening, we not only mourn the loss of the person, and the relationship, we tend to view ourselves as failures of the mission, and our self esteem gets tanked along with it in the process.

The dynamic is one of a disordered one on the opposite side. They arent "whole" people, who tend to act the same way. They have no true sense of self, so their morals, behaviors, and actions will differ greatly depending on their immediate need. There is no concrete personality, only on that rises and falls, and floats on the river of need. If their need changes, so does their personality. Its quite simple if you really think about it.

Where we get into trouble, is we expect the person we bonded with to be the concrete person. We use that as a slide rule on calculating their future actions, thoughts, and behaviors. Thats where the division occurs. As we now know, there is not concrete, just floatability.

When we are hit with this division, most of us try to tether them to the person we bonded with, and we "want." We try to get them back to the person we want, but the river has changed direction, and the tides have fallen, and they have floated off on a raft of their own needs.

It is us who are to blame for our own tethering, because we cant either see, nor accept the dynamics of the person we bond with. In our own fear of losing the person, and the relationship, we try to hang onto them, and we HAVE to control them to be the person WE WANT them to be. That is where I said that I was trying desperately to get HER to meet my needs, rather than trying to have my needs met. There is a huge difference in the two. I cant make anyone in the world meet my needs, but what I can do is embrace those that do, and discharge those that dont. In my past relationship, I now know that I did neither of the two. I tried in vain to get control a person to meet my needs rather than accept that she once did, and now has chosen not to.
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« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2009, 08:55:48 AM »

Hmm, so it sounds like we have different interpretations of the same phenomena.  I don't think I agree that denial and control are the only two alternatives.  Though, as in the other thread, defining control can be a challenge.  You could almost interpret this in a phylogenetic manner.  We evolve to process social relationships in a certain way, e.g., bonding in a romantic relationship.  Our view of a persona, what we believe is the core of a person, is formed rather early in a relationship.  It takes a lot to change that.  Rather than denial or control, we might have thoughts of, "What am I doing wrong?" or we might blame things external to the person (e.g., stress, life circumstances, etc. . .).  This is more a symptom of lack of comprehension than denial or control.  Our inability to shift our view of that core person is met with accumulating data to the contrary that we must reconcile.   Eventually, the disparate behaviors become so pronounced that we can no longer maintain a coherent view of our raging spouse.  This is the genesis of the split you and I both talked about.  Even then, we still see the original concept formation of that person as more "real."  I see it on the boards frequently.  The negative manifestations of the disorder are seen as other, not the real person.  I think the haywire nature of the emotional volatility and irrationality of the personality disordered individual screws with our relationship compass and we don't know which way is up.  The journey is one of understanding.     
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« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2009, 08:58:19 AM »

PD YES!
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« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2009, 09:11:44 AM »

Excerpt
It is us who are to blame for our own tethering, because we cant either see, nor accept the dynamics of the person we bond with. In our own fear of losing the person, and the relationship, we try to hang onto them, and we HAVE to control them to be the person WE WANT them to be. That is where I said that I was trying desperately to get HER to meet my needs, rather than trying to have my needs met. There is a huge difference in the two. I cant make anyone in the world meet my needs, but what I can do is embrace those that do, and discharge those that dont. In my past relationship, I now know that I did neither of the two. I tried in vain to get control a person to meet my needs rather than accept that she once did, and now has chosen not to.

I agree that we are to blame for our own tethering and that is is generally because we cannot see the dynamics of person we bonded with.  However, our understanding of that dynamic greatly effects just what it is we are trying to control.  If you believe, for example, you are at fault for various problems, what are you trying to fix?  If you believe external stressors are to blame, what are you trying to fix?  Sure, the goal may be to please your spouse, make her stop raging, be happy (like before), be like the person that you know she is, but I don't see this as a control dynamic, at least not in the way that is normally intended by the use of that term.  

I can recall this mindset quite well.  I might say something to her, say after a rage, like (this is a real example):

"Now, on a separate issue, your response to this kind of stress if often to lash out at me.  You dismiss my expressions of sympathy as trite and unoriginal and pressure me to "perform" appropriately under threats of divorce and property destruction.  I don't like the "you're not consoling me well enough, you're not empathetic, I'm gonna break your stuff and leave you routine."  Please be a little more aware when you get emotionally distraught about how you take it out on me.  I love you.  I don't want you to hurt.  Remember that."  

or

"I don't know how these things developed.  I know you want to be and are a loving person deep down.  I know you know those things are wrong and you don't like to do them, that they make you

feel bad about yourself.  You have a conscience, but those things tear me down."

In this one, I was so convinced of that original persona that I still didn't see it, and I wrote this after we had separated for the final time when I was coming out of the fog, when I realized how futile the situation was, and when I understood it was unhealthy. . . I still saw the negative as "other."  I don't think this is uncommon.  I think without awareness, any control, as you describe it, is difficult to assess with respect to motivations.

Btw, up from here,  congratulations on starting to move forward from this. . .

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« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2009, 09:50:23 AM »

Excerpt
I can recall this mindset quite well.  I might say something to her, say after a rage, like (this is a real example):

"Now, on a separate issue, your response to this kind of stress if often to lash out at me.  You dismiss my expressions of sympathy as trite and unoriginal and pressure me to "perform" appropriately under threats of divorce and property destruction.  I don't like the "you're not consoling me well enough, you're not empathetic, I'm gonna break your stuff and leave you routine."  Please be a little more aware when you get emotionally distraught about how you take it out on me.  I love you.  I don't want you to hurt.  Remember that." 

Wow. This is so insightful, and exactly the kind of thing I wrestled with for the duration of my own relationship with BPDxw. When you read it from another person's point of view, it is so obvious that it is very much a parent/child type of thing. It's amazing how when we are in it, we don't fully see that-just hanging onto that hope that  they will change for us, and relieve us of our "parental duty" to teach them the ways of a healthy relationship-as if we can actually do that. Yet, they are (biologically anyway) adults, and what we fail to see is that most often they already know what is right/wrong, but they just can't help their selves to lash out in destructive ways. I put the burden on myself to "teach her" how to be "nice, compassionate, patient, a good communicator, respectful of my feelings, etc.". How many of us all did the same thing? One of my best friends is just now coming out of the same fog with his "almost ex BPD/NPD girlfriend". He has done the same exact cycle for three years, and still has a hard time accepting that she is just not going to change.

Why then, do so many of us choose to stay with a partner that 1) once fulfilled our needs 2) chooses not to anymore 3) seems to have no clue as to what our problem is 4) is unwilling to fix their selves?

No, BPD's, NPD's, asd's...they JUST AREN'T RIGHT FOR ME. No sirree...
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« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2009, 09:58:15 AM »

Excerpt
It is us who are to blame for our own tethering, because we cant either see, nor accept the dynamics of the person we bond with. In our own fear of losing the person, and the relationship, we try to hang onto them, and we HAVE to control them to be the person WE WANT them to be.



My situation was such where it was not my inability to see my ex for who he really was and thus my fears pushing him to be who I wanted him to be, it was that the person who he was and with whom I knew and bonded with, had changed.  So the ground rules, the dynamics, and all the things that went into our marriage and that had existed in a healthy productive manner for years no longer applied.  I was given a foreign map with no compass and no preparation and I had about fifteen minutes to get to my destination.  So not going happen!

The disorder is the blame and the “tethering” that happened to me was my reaction and desperate response to try to understand what was unfolding around me.  I did not want to control my ex, I simply wanted to 1) know what the heck happened to him; 2) help him, me, and us get through it; and 3) honor my marriage vows and stay the committed course.   

Excerpt
The dynamic is one of a disordered one on the opposite side. They aren’t "whole" people, who tend to act the same way. They have no true sense of self, so their morals, behaviors, and actions will differ greatly depending on their immediate need. There is no concrete personality, only on that rises and falls, and floats on the river of need. If their need changes, so does their personality. It’s quite simple if you really think about it.



True if that is what you entered into in the very beginning.  But there are a group of us who did not.  We did not see the disorder nor were we exposed to it until much later.  In my case, shame of the first adultery was what woke the dormant borderline beast.  So we can’t really fault ourselves or say we were trying to force someone to be who they are not capable of being.  He was capable at one time…..he changed.  And I just was not capable of shifting formats alongside with him.     

Excerpt
Where we get into trouble, is we expect the person we bonded with to be the concrete person. We use that as a slide rule on calculating their future actions, thoughts, and behaviors. That’s where the division occurs. As we now know, there is not concrete, just floatability.

Set aside a disordered one….isn’t it okay to have certain expectations from your partner?  It isn’t a “well you have this point or function and I have this point or function and never the two shall meet”.  A relationship is supposed to be a machine where each part serves a purpose and a vital role in order for it to keep running.  And maintenance and upkeep is vital so that the machine keeps working.   Now factor in the disorder, you have one side not quite capable of offering parts to the machine and so the other side does one of two things, overcompensates and rigs itself to work around the missing part or decides it is time to shut the operation down.  In a BPD relationship, the expectations either fall solely on one side or are destined to have constant breakdowns, malfunctions and failures.

So I think our only shortfall is not accepting the realistic application of our expectations.  It is not wrong to have them, never in a healthy relationship!  But when you are involved with someone who is disordered and emotionally handicapped, it is completely unrealistic to think that you can expect many contributions, let alone healthy ones.     

Excerpt
When we are hit with this division, most of us try to tether them to the person we bonded with, and we "want." We try to get them back to the person we want, but the river has changed direction, and the tides have fallen, and they have floated off on a raft of their own needs.

I could never lay blame to myself for trying to tether the man that I once loved.  This is what we do for our spouse/partner when they have fallen, become wayward, and are not well.  We not only outreach, but we become the anchor so as to make sure THAT they don’t float away.  I think the only kind of reflection that needs to done is how long did we remain anchored for a ship that was destined to get lost as sea?
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« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2009, 10:13:58 AM »



Thank you Unreal,

One of the things I am seeing of myself from this newest perspective I've embraced is that I had a tendency to discuss what past tense was as though it were present tense.  I've been doing that.  Sure, there was allot I didn't know (pretty much everything) about what was going on and in my own stagnation in that mindset...in present day when I do know more, I would keep trying to absolve myself of my own interactions, reactions, and coping mechanisms, substituting responsibility and further, my own healing and growth with education.

I was phrasing my inner dialog in terms of, "Ah-ha!  It's the disorder in her therefore it's no wonder I reacted...thus!"

It's where I'm always a victim and not taking on the challenge of awareness in me.  I can't define anymore than that which has already been defined repeatedly by my own, and similar and even yet...almost identical stories about the actions of my ex-wife and those of any/everyone else.  It won't change the dynamic...it won't validate it anymore than it already is...it won't validate me anymore than I already am and it won't absolve me of the responsibility to grow beyond my own resentments to see the damage I caused...and change...me.

Now that I am out and I do have the opportunity to reach for the truth in me...about...me or stay in what damage I had when I walked in, in addition to the damage I acquired/caused within the marriage and relational entity, from where I am now it seems as simple as I can either choose it...or lose it.

Simple...not easy.

No one can tell me what I need to deal with except me.  I can be told by others what they see in me but ultimately, as we all know, the plate is on my table.  It was denial that kept me in and that belongs to me.  It was denial that refused to accept her as she was and that belongs to me.  It was the same denial that was the very foundation for all the controlling mechanisms I set up and while I can claim ignorance about the disorder, I can't claim it about the fact that somewhere inside of me I said...

NO!  I won't see her like this! (denial/control)

Instead of...

Yes...It is as it is. (acceptance/surrender)

And it's not like I didn't have plenty of chances to make the cognitive choice.  I even remember consciously choosing the denial and consciously fooling myself into placing my denial in a "faith box," thinking that someday all the things I needed her to be would manifest and that "she would see," but the problem was it was I, who didn't see and I, who wouldn't see.

Do I keep giving that to her by hashing out the blame under the guise of that "nasty disorder in her?"  I can but she won't care because she's not in my life anymore...so who carries it?

I do.

Or...

I don't.

For me, the disorder can't be any more disordered...it's well established so it's time to deal with my own disorder and for me to think that simply as that I'm a non means I'm exempt from "disorder" within myself only means more denial and taking assessment from what PDQ wrote about how he interacted with his former spouse(pg 2) and seeing myself in almost, if not every aspect of it...yes indeed there is some re-ordering to do in me regardless of how disordered anyone else is.

Doesn't matter, "why" anymore...it just "is".

Peace, UFH

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« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2009, 10:56:57 AM »

Though, as in the other thread, defining control can be a challenge.  You could almost interpret this in a phylogenetic manner.  We evolve to process social relationships in a certain way, e.g., bonding in a romantic relationship.  Our view of a persona, what we believe is the core of a person, is formed rather early in a relationship.  It takes a lot to change that.  Rather than denial or control, we might have thoughts of, "What am I doing wrong?" or we might blame things external to the person (e.g., stress, life circumstances, etc. . .).  This is more a symptom of lack of comprehension than denial or control.     

Control is the attempt to alter something from its direction or path. Even doing this subconsciencely, or without intent, still is the definition by nature. When we try to get what we want, or need, from something or someone who isnt doing it at that time, irregardless of outside influences or interpretations, it is viewed as controlling. What I did, was a passive contol technique, not a direct one. I thought by changing me, I could induce a change in her. Or, by going against my moral fiber, to give her what she wants, thus, hoping she, then in turn, gives into my needs. I didnt try to actively change her so much as to go against myself, to accomodate her, and hope it was reciprocated. Now really, is that anyway to live?

As far as the outside influences, if a car runs over a donut, do we get mad at the car, and keep wishing for a round, robust donut, or do we gracefully accept the flattened pastry and learn to live with it? I did neither. I didnt know why my donut was flat, and I didnt want to accept a flattened one, I wanted the donut the way I found it. The reason being, is that I liked the way I felt with my robust, round donut.

She unlocked something in me. She didnt give it to me, as I now know. I went for years thinking that I felt the way I did because of her and in losing her, I would lose the feeling. Hmmmmmm. Lets look at this.

She made me feel good, great, actually. I can sit here and blame it on the sex, the euphoria, the idealization phase, whatever I want to, but the hard truth of it is, I LOVED ME when she was good. I learned very quickly that I didnt like me much when she was bad, because I felt bad about myself. I took it upon myself to try to solve her problems because when she was down, I was down. The birth of codependency.

Lets see, did I like her? Ahhh, not really. She was a horrible parent, a theif, a user, would lie to you just as soon as look at you, did only things for her benefit, and would demean you for not bowing to her demands. Doesnt sound like a loveable person, now does it?

BUT I LOVED HER! My first sentence to my therapist, and the question that begged my brains answer to for many years was, "How can I love a woman that I dont even like as a person?" The short answer, because I loved the way I felt when she was giving me what I needed.

This wasnt her, it was me. I have that potential to feel that way, and it isnt something I took from her. She was just the person who unlocked it inside of me.

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« Reply #37 on: April 30, 2009, 11:05:11 AM »

Why then, do so many of us choose to stay with a partner that 1) once fulfilled our needs 2) chooses not to anymore 3) seems to have no clue as to what our problem is 4) is unwilling to fix their selves?

Rcoaster, welcome to defining the goal of the reason you are here. Its about us, not them. It took the presence of a disordered soul to hurt you to the point of finally realizing, and asking yourself these questions. In the answers, and the acceptance of your answers, you will find happiness.

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« Reply #38 on: April 30, 2009, 11:16:53 AM »

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Wow. This is so insightful, and exactly the kind of thing I wrestled with for the duration of my own relationship with BPDxw. When you read it from another person's point of view, it is so obvious that it is very much a parent/child type of thing. It's amazing how when we are in it, we don't fully see that-just hanging onto that hope that  they will change for us, and relieve us of our "parental duty" to teach them the ways of a healthy relationship-as if we can actually do that. Yet, they are (biologically anyway) adults, and what we fail to see is that most often they already know what is right/wrong, but they just can't help their selves to lash out in destructive ways. I put the burden on myself to "teach her" how to be "nice, compassionate, patient, a good communicator, respectful of my feelings, etc.". How many of us all did the same thing? One of my best friends is just now coming out of the same fog with his "almost ex BPD/NPD girlfriend". He has done the same exact cycle for three years, and still has a hard time accepting that she is just not going to change

Insightful?  Thanks, but I don't agree.  I see it as brushing the surface.  At that point, my insight was an observation, namely when she was stressed out and upset, she turned all of her attentions on my behaviors and became angry when I was found wanting.  I remember, when she was upset, consciously thinking to my self, ":)on't screw up.  Make sure you look empathetic. Etc. . ."  She wasn't usually upset with me at first, but everything sure as hell ended up that way regardless of the original problem.  In that quote, I was asking her to do something that she could never do.  Yes, this was a path towards insight, but I wasn't quite there yet.  Before this, I might have been perplexed, or felt that her responses were fair, if overzealous.  I recall complaining about her "over-reacting" quite frequently.  That email was a good characterization of her behavior toward me and what I wanted from her.  But, it was still reflective of a lack of full comprehension.  I also didn't feel I was in a role to teach her how to react.  She was/is a psychologist.  The dynamic early in our relationship, which she hammered throughout, was that I was the socially awkward one, and that I was the one who had difficulties managing adult relationships (projection).  She claimed to feel like she was in a mother-role with me.  This drove me nuts, by the way.  I found it very demeaning and insulting.  It was like she was trying to pin me into this image she had that I was a brilliant geek with no social skills.  And, it just amplified throughout.  I wasn't trying to teach her; I was just trying to communicate what I felt.  I was trying to defuse conflict; I dislike conflict.  I wanted us to argue fairly.  I'd suggest all sorts of things to make that happen, but I didn't see it as all her fault or her problem.  I was trying to solve a dynamic, an interaction.  I felt, at the time, that she was also trying to solve the same thing.  The realization that needed to occur was that she was mentally ill, that this pattern of problems was due to severely disordered emotional regulation, that the distortions and fud that I was dealing with were a moving target, and that I had no understanding of who this person really was.  

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« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2009, 11:19:11 AM »

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so it's time to deal with my own disorder and for me to think that simply as that I'm a non means I'm exempt from "disorder" within myself only means more denial and taking assessment from what PDQ wrote about how he interacted with his former spouse(pg 2) and seeing myself in almost, if not every aspect of it...yes indeed there is some re-ordering to do in me regardless of how disordered anyone else is.

Yes, and part of the path to that end (understanding your issues), is to understand how the distortion came about and why you hung on so long to what I'll call the primacy effect. 
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« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2009, 11:20:11 AM »

My situation was such where it was not my inability to see my ex for who he really was and thus my fears pushing him to be who I wanted him to be, it was that the person who he was and with whom I knew and bonded with, had changed.  So the ground rules, the dynamics, and all the things that went into our marriage and that had existed in a healthy productive manner for years no longer applied.  I was given a foreign map with no compass and no preparation and I had about fifteen minutes to get to my destination.

All of our partners changed, and in that change, we fell into the dance. Some partners changed in the first few months, some waited years.

True if that is what you entered into in the very beginning.  But there are a group of us who did not.  We did not see the disorder nor were we exposed to it until much later.  In my case, shame of the first adultery was what woke the dormant borderline beast.   So we can’t really fault ourselves or say we were trying to force someone to be who they are not capable of being.  He was capable at one time…..he changed.  And I just was not capable of shifting formats alongside with him.

Was it the shame that changed him? Was he not in a committed marriage, with vows? If he was the person you thought he was, would the shame have ever happened, because the first step to the shame was the actual adultery act itself. Just something to think about.     

Set aside a disordered one….isn’t it okay to have certain expectations from your partner?  It isn’t a “well you have this point or function and I have this point or function and never the two shall meet”.  A relationship is supposed to be a machine where each part serves a purpose and a vital role in order for it to keep running.  And maintenance and upkeep is vital so that the machine keeps working.   Now factor in the disorder, you have one side not quite capable of offering parts to the machine and so the other side does one of two things, overcompensates and rigs itself to work around the missing part or decides it is time to shut the operation down.  In a BPD relationship, the expectations either fall solely on one side or are destined to have constant breakdowns, malfunctions and failures.

So I think our only shortfall is not accepting the realistic application of our expectations.  It is not wrong to have them, never in a healthy relationship!  But when you are involved with someone who is disordered and emotionally handicapped, it is completely unrealistic to think that you can expect many contributions, let alone healthy ones.

It is not wrong to have expectations from your spouse, being that you both agreed on a set guideline for the marriage. If one faulters, that is ok, if you are willing to overlook it, and work to make it better. We all are human, and make mistakes. Where we go wrong is trying to hold onto what once was, and trying to recreate that. I think we all gave more than we knew we should, and even knew that it would come back and bite us. But we tried, and thats ok. The really bad thing is how much we were hurt in the process, a process that we put ourselves through. It isnt a blame game, we went through everything willingly.      

I could never lay blame to myself for trying to tether the man that I once loved.  This is what we do for our spouse/partner when they have fallen, become wayward, and are not well.  We not only outreach, but we become the anchor so as to make sure THAT they don’t float away.  I think the only kind of reflection that needs to done is how long did we remain anchored for a ship that was destined to get lost as sea?

Exactly, where does the seperation come in from where we are hurt, and we accept that for what it is, like Up From Here has in this thread, to hurting, and demanding everything from answers to restitution, even if its on an emotional level?
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« Reply #41 on: April 30, 2009, 11:22:50 AM »

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Control is the attempt to alter something from its direction or path. Even doing this subconsciencely, or without intent, still is the definition by nature. When we try to get what we want, or need, from something or someone who isnt doing it at that time, irregardless of outside influences or interpretations, it is viewed as controlling. What I did, was a passive contol technique, not a direct one. I thought by changing me, I could induce a change in her. Or, by going against my moral fiber, to give her what she wants, thus, hoping she, then in turn, gives into my needs. I didnt try to actively change her so much as to go against myself, to accomodate her, and hope it was reciprocated. Now really, is that anyway to live?

By that definition, anything is control.  If you understood the problem, namely that your ex-wife was disordered, that your perception of her core traits was flawed, and you decided to try and re-make her into what you wanted by some method, that would be controlling.  However, what you were doing, without understanding her, was trying to navigate and maintain a relationship in the face of rather extreme distress.  So, you adopted passive methods to affect your environment (e.g., stop rages, etc. . .).   Is that control?  Sure, you've done something to affect your environment (name a behavior that doesn't).  Is it a disordered control?  Only in as much as it reflects the state of your distortion with regards to the relationship and perpetuates an unhealthy situation. 
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« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2009, 11:27:47 AM »

Bottom line still exists, and it isnt a bad thing, it just is. I was faced with something I didnt like, and instead of making a decision on it and acting on it, I tried to change her. Admittedly, trying to change a behavor, and influence a person is one thing, banging your head up against the wall trying to "influence" someone for 11 years or so is another thing all together.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2009, 11:33:25 AM »

 Idea Idea Idea

Thank you so much again, everyone.

I need to correct myself here.

"Why," in terms of assigning blame doesn't matter to me anymore.

"Why," in terms of self discovery matters to me a great deal.

Discovery: maybe a little black/white thinking of my own here.
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« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2009, 11:49:30 AM »

Bottom line still exists, and it isnt a bad thing, it just is. I was faced with something I didnt like, and instead of making a decision on it and acting on it, I tried to change her. Admittedly, trying to change a behavor, and influence a person is one thing, banging your head up against the wall trying to "influence" someone for 11 years or so is another thing all togetherSmiling (click to insert in post)

That explains it then.  

But yes, guilty too.  I hung on for way to long and ultimately only injured myself.

True if that is what you entered into in the very beginning.  But there are a group of us who did not.  We did not see the disorder nor were we exposed to it until much later.  In my case, shame of the first adultery was what woke the dormant borderline beast.   So we can’t really fault ourselves or say we were trying to force someone to be who they are not capable of being.  He was capable at one time…..he changed.  And I just was not capable of shifting formats alongside with him.

Was it the shame that changed him? Was he not in a committed marriage, with vows? If he was the person you thought he was, would the shame have ever happened, because the first step to the shame was the actual adultery act itself. Just something to think about.

You and I have had this round table discussion before...Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).  I have thought about it ten fold and still come to the same conclusion, I believe the act and his temptation to experience it was the catalyst for what invoked the disorder that was within him and that he may have been able to successfully suppress because he was not full of shame until then.

It’s okay to say something is just not right for yourself but sometimes when you are in a marriage, that commitment kind of makes it hard to take on that stance and why so many of us who were married with a BPD find ourselves looking for ways to set it right again.  I can’t overlook that aspect….it is not a control thing, but a vow thing.  
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« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2009, 12:42:19 PM »

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Why then, do so many of us choose to stay with a partner that 1) once fulfilled our needs 2) chooses not to anymore 3) seems to have no clue as to what our problem is 4) is unwilling to fix their selves?

Excerpt
Rcoaster, welcome to defining the goal of the reason you are here. Its about us, not them. It took the presence of a disordered soul to hurt you to the point of finally realizing, and asking yourself these questions. In the answers, and the acceptance of your answers, you will find happiness.

Thanks PDQuick, but I've been through these questions over and over and I believe my answers are similiar to many of the rest of us...

1) Because she was diagnosed with depression and as a bi-polar, and I just thought it was situational and would end with therapy and meds 2) because I thought again that she was just in a "temporary state of stress", and again it would come back as she promised over and over 3) because I was wrapped in the FOG and began to believe her projections that I was oversensitive, unmanly, weird, and had control issues 4) because I truly thought I could "love the demons out of her", and it was my own sense of empathy and honor I was raised with that kept me there, believing in the best of the human spirit and holding onto the light I saw behind her smoky mirror. I BECAME co-dependent along with the enmeshment, but I was not this way in past relationships. It was my own empathy and belief that "love conquers all" that kept me there, and my sense of "honor" and patience that she begged from me which kept me there long after my energy reserves were spent. I just wanted that big poofy donut again too, but i wanted it for her as much as I did for me, because I saw how much she inflicted her own suffering upon herself, and I thought my love could save her from her own shadows. If anything, it wasn't my insecurities that kept me there, but my confidence that she would find happiness within herself, as it seemed so easy for me back then. Now, after all the wreckage, I not only don't believe love conquers all, but believe very little in anything women tell me, and have become so jaded I sometimes wonder how much of her pain, fears and inner turmoil re-conditioned me in that I have almost no ideals anymore.
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« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2009, 12:50:09 PM »

The conclusions that I have come up with are "right for me" at this point. I use to think that you can love too much, believe too much, respect too much, have too much honor, and care too much after I went through what I did. I was jaded. That was my thinking just a short while ago. Now I know that you cant love, honor, respect, believe in, and care too much...for yourself. We were all guilty of putting ourselves on the backburners, and trying to focus on our spouses, or significant others.

If we are to take care of those of us we love, we have to first take care of ourselves in order to facilitate our desires for the others to be taken care of. We are no good if we knock ourselves out of the picture.
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« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2009, 01:28:37 PM »

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If we are to take care of those of us we love, we have to first take care of ourselves in order to facilitate our desires for the others to be taken care of. We are no good if we knock ourselves out of the picture.

Right on brother. Right on!
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« Reply #48 on: April 30, 2009, 11:11:21 PM »

If we are to take care of those of us we love, we have to first take care of ourselves in order to facilitate our desires for the others to be taken care of.

In my situation, I was always trying to get my ex-wife to take better care of herself and in doing so abandoned myself and ultimately her in the process because I stopped seeing her rather, her as I believed she should be (and as I now understand) in order to meet my needs.  Some examples are that she wouldn't clean her apt, make her bed, do her dishes, hold a job etc.  I became the authority and symbol of stability for her to both answer to, and lean on in learning to do these things at 38 years old on up and in order to have MY needs met I accepted the role way against my better judgment.  I did have some better judgment but for the sake of my own needs (or even wants...and just plain ego) I abandoned it.  Was I fully aware of what I was doing? No I wasn't but I was aware that something about my choice wasn't right.

Fast forward to marriage.

This is a profound realization for me at this point as even within the embrace of our vows; I was still doing the same thing only with the additional weight of those vows.  My ex-wife had a very different interpretation of the meaning of the same vows in that I was supposed to accept her, for better or worse.

As I sit here and write this I have to ask myself, whose interpretation was more correct?  The borderline or the non?

From where I am now, accepting the worst would have meant that we never would have gotten married in the first place.  That would not have been a rejection of her but an acceptance of her as well as an acceptance of myself in an honest understanding that we just weren't right for each other.  I did love her (25%)...I still do and from here it looks to me like one of the single most loving things I could have done was to let go of her, stop blaming her for not meeting my needs, and move on.  I "tried" to do this several times...let go and move on, but I still can't blame her for talking me back into the relationship. I abandoned myself again...I abandoned her again and I wasn't giving care...of, and to, anyone...I was caretaking everyone.  Yes, the birth of codependency, indeed.

There wasn't anything malicious in any of my motives.  Nothing was about causing harm but that still doesn't absolve me of my own responsibility to see myself for who I was.  I need to so I can change it now.  She didn't show me that she was Ms. Wonderful out of the gate...she showed me that I was Mr. Wonderful and I was getting my validation from her that way rather than working out my own issues and finding my authentic self.  As previously illustrated, when I wasn't Mr. Wonderful, I was trash...in my own perception and I can't ask or demand that a person with a mental illness paint me any differently.  Again, therein was my own distorted thinking, trying to control the 25% I loved to BE my self image.  Yikes.

I just caught myself this past week...looking for outward validation...same stuff...but I caught it.  Rome wasn't built in a day.

This thread is amazing.

Thank you everyone.

Peace, UFH

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« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2009, 06:23:36 AM »

From where I am now, accepting the worst would have meant that we never would have gotten married in the first place.  That would not have been a rejection of her but an acceptance of her as well as an acceptance of myself in an honest understanding that we just weren't right for each other.  I did love her (25%)...I still do and from here it looks to me like one of the single most loving things I could have done was to let go of her, stop blaming her for not meeting my needs, and move on.  I "tried" to do this several times...let go and move on, but I still can't blame her for talking me back into the relationship. I abandoned myself again...I abandoned her again and I wasn't giving care...of, and to, anyone...I was caretaking everyone.  Yes, the birth of codependency, indeed.

That was pretty much "me" too UFH.  I could have written that word for word.

Peace
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« Reply #50 on: May 01, 2009, 09:19:30 AM »

This is a profound realization for me at this point as even within the embrace of our vows; I was still doing the same thing only with the additional weight of those vows.  My ex-wife had a very different interpretation of the meaning of the same vows in that I was supposed to accept her, for better or worse.

As I sit here and write this I have to ask myself, whose interpretation was more correct?  The borderline or the non?

That is the tricky part huh, for better or worse.  A tremendous amount of guilt comes tied to those three little words.

Let's face it, it really takes emotional maturity to be in a committed relationship/marriage.  Both partners have to not only bring something to the table but share it and appreciate the offerings from the across the table.  All so that a healthy and satisfying feast can be had.

At the end of the day, in my situation my ex's plate was always full and he was somehow satisfied and I sat across the table with very little and more longings.  Better for him and well, seemed worse for me as things progressed.  I don't think those three little words were meant to be like how we so often misconstrue and interpret them.

Prior to the madness, I have to say I was in a really cool marriage.  We were equals, and we shared our offerings with respect, enthusiasm and satisfaction.  I experienced what worked so when I saw what didn't work creep in...I voiced and I objected.  I expected him to do something about it, after all, he was the one that made the change.  I resisted it.  I thumbed my nose at his new offerings.  He thumbed is nose at my need for the same old dish.  So hostility and resentment brewed and we became two people who no longer cared to even sit at the same table together let alone look at each other's plates.  Lonely feast for sure...it takes so much to make a great meal, behind the scenes preparation, contributions, and presentation.  You can't just take it for granted and focus in on one's sole appetite and devouring what is before you.  I don't know I am rambling in metaphors...

It just takes such maturity to be in a relationship and I see where I was ill equipped and I certainly can see where my ex was ill equipped.  God, if I knew now what I didn't know then...
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« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2009, 10:38:47 PM »

That was pretty much "me" too UFH.  I could have written that word for word.

Arjay my friend,

I know you could have as I've read allot of your posts to this regard and you have also been one of those voices that I've paid attention to in looking inward.  It's such a large gift not only to be able to relate to the stories but that I'm not alone in the things that I'm looking at inside of me.  The healing and eye opening is tremendous.  Some of these things hurt to look at for sure but I wouldn't trade where I am now for where I was a year ago...even a week ago, for anything.

I see the gentleness and the strength in those who do the work here and I admire that to tears...truly because it's a part of myself that I have ignored for so long for the sake of "coping," and avoiding what I have feared about me instead of facing my own fears which, is how I chose and remained in, my former marriage in that I avoided how I actually felt about myself and the life I had created thus far in order to be a hero.

Thank you for being here, Arjay.  Thank you so very much.

OFO my friend,

Yes, a huge amount of guilt can come with those vows if, as in my case, they are made from a place of that need that I have so identified with at this point in my journey.  It was the same for her just from a different point of perspective.  "For better or worse," came with a much heavier price than I was willing to admit to myself and yes, one that she wasn't willing to fully disclose until later on as well.  In this, we were both dishonest with each other and ourselves so I can't point any fingers simply because I'm a "non."

Lord, I know how much it hurts when the table slowly shifts like finding myself at the empty side of a Lazy Susan and wondering what happened.  In my situation though, the withdrawal was allot more mutual.  It just wasn't right (there's that phrase again...boy do I identify) and neither of us knew why.  The blame and accusations and insecurities and coping...existing in the blinding confusion simply became the norm.

Again for me, I have said so many times that I didn't move my whole life across the continent for this but the truth of it is...yes I did.  I didn't move for some noble "love motivated" reason.  Yes indeed I did and do love her but all those flags had come up enough times for me to have paid attention to them yet I still ignored them.  No, I didn't "want" this for my life but I still chose it and what hurts even more now is that I didn't want it for her either.  Man, that breaks my heart like nothing else.  Maybe if my participation was a catalyst for her own healing as well as my own...I don't know.  I guess if I could have helped rather than harmed...but I don't think I did help her as at last glance, she was just repeating the patterns with a new awareness of how to "study up" for BPD in order to hide behind the knowledge of it without touching the reality of it...in her.  She's so gifted...so brilliant and I just wish she would not be so afraid of it.

Nothing left for me to do there so here I am.  Again, exactly where I need to be...letting go, saying goodbye, looking at me and praying for us both.

Thank you so much OFO.

Thank you both...thank you all.

Peace, love, and blessings, UFH

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« Reply #52 on: May 03, 2009, 09:15:29 PM »

"Instead of looking for someone with the capacity of meeting my needs, I took a person incapable of meeting them, and tried to force them to be the person she wasnt. Thats all on me folks. My bad. Each time a fight erupted, I was more focused on getting her to meet my needs than actually having them met. I tollerated terrible things on a quest to acheive that. I tollerated it, because I had a goal, I was going to transform her into that person I so desperately wanted."


Just re-reading this thread, resonating with the truths, and staying focused.

Peace, UFH
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« Reply #53 on: May 03, 2009, 10:22:14 PM »

Thanks to everyone who's posted.

This popped up at exactly the same time I started wondering if this was the right place to be, or if there was anything left here for me to learn from. The anger is passing and I'm looking more and more at what I contributed - this has given me a lot to think about Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #54 on: May 03, 2009, 10:27:03 PM »

Excerpt
so it's time to deal with my own disorder and for me to think that simply as that I'm a non means I'm exempt from "disorder" within myself only means more denial and taking assessment from what PDQ wrote about how he interacted with his former spouse(pg 2) and seeing myself in almost, if not every aspect of it...yes indeed there is some re-ordering to do in me regardless of how disordered anyone else is.

Yes, and part of the path to that end (understanding your issues), is to understand how the distortion came about and why you hung on so long to what I'll call the primacy effect. 

It's been addressed in another way and it's coming around in me now.


It was how and when we met.  Everything in my life seemed to be falling apart and so, enter a woman whose life is in shambles.  It was a perfect way to avoid dealing with what wasn't working in my life...by "helping" her get her life together. She was looking for it and said so in many ways and I made myself available for it.

"Thank you for helping me understand what I need to do.  You help me so much.  You're my hero.  You're so wonderful."  This was the antithisis of all those things that I hadn't reconciled within myself and I was getting from outside of myself.  Even after I rebuilt and reordered my life after leaving her early in our relationship when we tried to be together the first time, she became so abusive that I left and moved very far away, this dance continued.  I was "even more wonderful for being so strong" that I could escape her abuse, rebuild my life from next to nothing, and remain available for her remorse.  I was a hero again.

Some of these things went on for years and in them I was "valid"...I had a purpose and a reason.  I could feel good about myself because she told me how wonderful I was.  The truth was that I didn't feel good about myself at all which was why I would when the parts of her that I loved would show up to tell me to.  That's all on me.

I'd be okay for a while, then she would break my illusion by acting out, I'd feel horrible and get upset and try to control her into being the part of the woman I loved again.  She would, and again I would become, "valid"...for about two weeks, sometimes longer, for 7 years.

I deluded myself into believing that every time things would cycle around like this that we were making progress.  Of course, it wasn't progress, it was denial. It was avoiding how I truly felt about myself as well as how I truly felt about her which was...

"I love you...you're no where near safe for me but you make me feel (literally, because I put it on her to make me feel by allowing her to make me feel) so good about myself while I won't take responsibility for it."

I wonder how many truly live in that dynamic.  I sure did.

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« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2009, 11:27:35 PM »

I wonder how many truly live in that dynamic.  I sure did.

Excellent post UFH ... to answer your question count me in ... i know exactly what you are coming from and talking about.
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Relationship status: Divorce in process
Posts: 303


« Reply #56 on: May 04, 2009, 10:57:52 AM »



Thank you ION Smiling (click to insert in post)


It always helps to know I'm/we're not alone in these things.

Peace with you my friend, UFH
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« Reply #57 on: May 05, 2009, 09:34:32 PM »

She unlocked something in me. She didnt give it to me, as I now know. I went for years thinking that I felt the way I did because of her and in losing her, I would lose the feeling. Hmmmmmm. Lets look at this.

She made me feel good, great, actually. I can sit here and blame it on the sex, the euphoria, the idealization phase, whatever I want to, but the hard truth of it is, I LOVED ME when she was good. I learned very quickly that I didnt like me much when she was bad, because I felt bad about myself. I took it upon myself to try to solve her problems because when she was down, I was down. The birth of codependency.

Lets see, did I like her? Ahhh, not really. She was a horrible parent, a theif, a user, would lie to you just as soon as look at you, did only things for her benefit, and would demean you for not bowing to her demands. Doesnt sound like a loveable person, now does it?

BUT I LOVED HER! My first sentence to my therapist, and the question that begged my brains answer to for many years was, "How can I love a woman that I dont even like as a person?" The short answer, because I loved the way I felt when she was giving me what I needed.

This wasnt her, it was me. I have that potential to feel that way, and it isnt something I took from her. She was just the person who unlocked it inside of me.

PDQ,

OMG!  You nailed it.  This explains A LOT.  I didn't like mine either.  She is one of the most unlikeable people I've ever met.  And like you, I feel bad about myself too.  I really need to work on that...

Thanks for the thread and best regards,

Scott
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