View Full Version : Wife might be BPD


ADDrus
10-02-07, 01:49 PM
Hello all,

I've been a member for a while and just recently discovered that some of my wife's behaviors might be attributed to BPD. I seem to be suffering from some very bad behavior reactions to this disorder and I have recently picked up and read the book Stop walking on eggshells. It was very enlightening, however it seems to refer to the fact that the BP person is motivated by fear of abandonment. This fear may manifest itself with drastic attempts by the BPer to maintain relations with expressions of love of devotion or rage. At this point in our relationship, she is exhibiting signs of complete disinterest and no real concern for an end to the relationship. I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this or if the emotions are just too buried for me to see.

Thanks for any comments!

Matt S.
10-02-07, 02:16 PM
It goes in extremes with people like that, I have been there with one girl who held a knife to my throat when I attempted to leave. Their thinking is black and white and they will at a lot of points show no interest and it ends up backfiring if you suggest ending it. They like to make people look like the bad guy and they like to play the victim, she may be bored or may be seeking a reaction as well, it is hard to say, but be careful because it can be dangerous when you try to leave them, she may attempt to "hold herself hostage" if that makes any sense too. I am getting the impression that she is bored and wants to recreate conflict that she has always had in her life, so if you bring up leaving her, than you unleash the beast so to speak. Again the borderlines are experts at playing the victim, to so much of an extent that people in general feel bad for them.

ADDrus
10-02-07, 04:53 PM
mspen1018 thanks for the response,

I'm not at this point worried about a violent reaction. That would be very much out of character. She tends to act in and act out as the book describes. I'm thinking you're right about boredom though. She is now talking to me again after last nights encounter for lack of a better word. She has decided to play the victim. She's complaining about severe headaches and having to contact the doctor and talking about her sleep disorder. Feel sorry for me and don't think about abandoning me. This is her mode of operation. This I've seen way to many times to count. This is the first time I recognize it for what it is.

Matt S.
10-03-07, 08:43 AM
Well keep your head up, I know how it feels. Borderlines tend to be diagnosis junkies as well, they will rack them right up so to speak. Try to find a way to get her into DBT. I think having that as a support at some point, will improve your relationship, it helped a few BPDer's that I know, she will do the victim thing for attention, it's annoying but DBT teaches people like that how to learn skills so that they aren't recreating the chaos in their lives over and over again.

ADDrus
10-03-07, 02:53 PM
I will, thanks for the heads up. She has never shown a physically violent tendency, however the rages are very unnerving. I've realized recently that my kids are affected by these and I will need to set some limits in this area and I am concerned with the rage reaction that I am sure to receive. I'm sure these rages could lead to violent eruptions in some people, however she tends to manifest by internalizing her frustrations. I've had to deal with suicide threats in the past. She gets depressed and reverts in on herself.

She's been dx ADD OCD Anxiety Depression Panic Attacks Sleep Apnea, she's had her gall bladder removed and still suffers from gastronomic difficulties, migraines with no known cause. The list goes on and on.

ē frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
Iím not sure exactly what would be considered ďfranticĒ though. When she is scared about finding herself alone, she can get very upset and rage.
ē a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
She definitely has unstable relationship with me, her parents, her children, her friends. Her parents and me more than the kids from what I see though. Very black and white thinking here, she either thinks youíre the best thing going, or your not worth anything.
ē identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
She is always struggling with this. She has never had a job that she could stick with or was happy with. She started out as an accountant, then a computer store, then she wanted to be a novelist, then a retail toy store, then an on-line store for ADD sales, then it was a nutritionist, now a retail art supply store. Itís tiring me out just writing it down!
ē impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
Her spending is completely out of control and she has an ongoing weight problem that continues due to binge eating mostly chocolate.
ē recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
There have been instances of suicidal talk in the past, this was treated as depression and medicated at the time, but I have real concerns that this might recur.
ē affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
She has what she calls panic attacks, rage, irritability regularly. These are short term in nature and do not last weeks. Some are very intense and last from 30 minutes to a few days
ē chronic feelings of emptiness
I have heard many complaints in this department, so I can only speculate that this is true
ē inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
Again yes, intense scary to children type anger. So bad it starts to irritate me. Anger at uncontrollable things, road rage, traffic jams, anything that causes ripples in her life. No physical manifestations of this though, but silent treatment fuming type anger. Anger that makes you feel like youíre walking on eggshells
ē transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
Yes stress levels are always high, she has shown signs of dissociative symptoms been told that she shows signs of repressed memories and I've seen dissociation first hand.

Iím no expert in this, but to me Iíd think the likelihood of a positive diagnosis for her would be really high. Is there another disorder that I might be confusing these symptoms with?

Matt S.
10-03-07, 03:02 PM
I have a feeling you are right on, maybe not severe Glenn Close from the movie Fatal Attraction Borderline but it sounds as if she's within the criteria so to speak.

ADDrus
10-03-07, 03:21 PM
yes, I don't think I'll be bringing any bunnies home anytime soon! :eek:

QueensU_girl
10-03-07, 05:39 PM
I see you are in Ontario.

I'd suggest contacting www.NAMI.org or www.CMHA.ca

N.B. At least you have a "name" for her possible problem.

Your short temper is likely not that short. People with PDs are known to test the patience of even the most Saint-like individuals.


I was in a LT rel'p with a narcissistic/bpd/sociopathic/fraudster-stealer/chronic liar partner in my late teens/early twenties, so I have some idea of how painful this must be for you.

One way to view PD behaviours (that seem illogical) is to see that "hurt people hurt people".

In this paradigm, the person tends to JUMP WILDLY *back and forth* between the _incredible EXTREMES_ of being_ an aggressor/manipulator VS. passive victim.

Think of assertiveness [which is the healthy idea of "sticking up for your rights without trampling on others Toes, as being in the middle of our Yard Stick.

The BPD people are either at ONE end (passive/exploited by some more dominant people) or the OTHER end (hurting; 'playing' other people that they seek to dominate/control).

Never much in the middle.

The brain's ability to "self monitor" their emotions and exercise "emotional self-regulation", to keep things on an "even keel", is seriously impaired.

(The only emotions expressed seem to be "p!ssed off/irritated" and "not p!ssed off/not irritated", IME.)

What a sad emotional place to be, eh? :S

Hence, given the tendency for "hurt people to hurt people", it tends to be the one's they "love" (partner; children) that wind up getting hurt the most.

My understanding is that there are to big phases of bonding that can get disrupted, leading to Attachment Disorders (bonding disorders) like BPD (and other PDs).

These occur long before a child can even speak very articulately about themselves and their world around them: They are at 18 months and 36 months.

e.g. This is why people like the multi-nannied & personally troubled Britney Spears/Kevin Federline-type parents of the world are so damaging to young children!

They are so self-absorbed in their own problems and pain and self-centeredness (likely due to their OWN unmet early life bonding needs), that they can't ever put their kids FIRST.

Even seeing a Parent in great distress can disrupt childhood bonding (which is why Violence Against Moms* (think Pamela Anderson with her kids in her arms while Tommy is beating on her), etc messes kids up so bad. A parents 'upset' emotional state is traumatic to a kid. (I'll end the Interpersonal Neurobiology talk there.)

[*I say "violence against Moms", b/c these are usually the principle caregiver to a baby/child. There are nasty women who put Dad's thru hell, too.]

---------

Some theories and theorists (e.g. Dr. Van Der Kolk's research articles) talk about a "trauma trance".

This may be what is coming up in your altercations with your Wife. (although she doesn't know it.)

This is the idea that the person acts as though they were stuck in an interpersonal "struggle" from the Past, but is essentially [unconciously] RELIVING it [and ACTING it OUT] -- in the Present.

e.g. The BPDperson [your wife] May treat her husband ("archetype" for a powerful caregiver) like the original caregiver/powerful person who mistreated/let her down/abandoned her needs, in the Past).

It is called Re-enactment.

Dr. Van Der Kolk first discovered it in Vietnam Vets who were getting into trouble with the law, to resolve unconcious conflicts that they had left over from the Vietnam War.

The Police noticed that a Vet they arrested kept getting arrested on the same Day (July 5th?), whenever he was unincarcerated. It was always the same offence.

Dr. Van Der Kolk calls it the "compulsion to repeat the trauma".

In the link below: look under "REEXPERIENCING AFTER ADULT TRAUMA" for the Vietnam Vet's story...

http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk/

Sorta make sense?

Question: [I]What can you do to get yourself some support?

ADDrus
10-03-07, 10:28 PM
I see you are in Ontario.
I'd suggest contacting www.NAMI.org (http://www.NAMI.org) or www.CMHA.ca (http://www.CMHA.ca)
N.B. At least you have a "name" for her possible problem.
Thanks again QueensU-girl, seems Iím your pet project these days. I really do appreciate the time and effort everybody puts in here. It is very nice when there is nobody else you can talk too.

Iíve been slowly coming to realize what the heck is going on. Itís very frustrating and slow. It seems like a great big puzzle, but somebody has hidden all the pieces and the picture on the front cover is all mixed up.


Your short temper is likely not that short. People with PDs are known to test the patience of even the most Saint-like individuals.
Iím no saint by any means, but I do know when my behavior isnít getting the results I want and I am smart enough to change my behavior. It may take a while, but I do click in eventually.

I have been very enabling in this, this has to stop. My self esteem is pretty much in the toilet, but Iím reconnecting with my family and friends, plus getting out of the horrible job positions. I have no idea how I let myself get sucked into working for my in-laws. Itís impossible to break away and have a sense of self. My wife is very upset with this and itís 1 of her triggers. Any time it comes up, thereís no talking to her rationally.

I do need to connect with a therapist and explore how and why I got so far sucked into this. I really need some professional input to bounce ideas and such, reality check. There was 1 we went to for my daughter and son as well as my wife for a few weeks. She was very good in my opinion and really seemed to be getting into stuff. My daughter and wife both hated it though. Probably because my wife felt it was getting to close. Iím starting to suspect her fear of discovery drives her to switch therapist. My daughter was just uncomfortable with it, sheís a teen and going to a therapist wasnít anything she wanted to do. They really have to want it for it to help. Iím concerned with the response from my wife though if I choose this therapist though. I want to see her because she has first hand experience with us and she is the only person so far to ask me if I needed any help and support. As the non-affected spouse/parent itís amazing at how much youíre left out of the loop.


I was in a LT rel'p with a narcissistic/bpd/sociopathic/fraudster-stealer/chronic liar partner in my late teens/early twenties, so I have some idea of how painful this must be for you.
Yes Iíd say youíre fairly qualified to comment! I take it this was one of the factors that led you into your current career? You have to be in this field professionally with all the knowledge you have.


One way to view PD behaviours (that seem illogical) is to see that "hurt people hurt people".

In this paradigm, the person tends to JUMP WILDLY *back and forth* between the _incredible EXTREMES_ of being_ an aggressor/manipulator VS. passive victim.

Think of assertiveness [which is the healthy idea of "sticking up for your rights without trampling on others Toes, as being in the middle of our Yard Stick.

The BPD people are either at ONE end (passive/exploited by some more dominant people) or the OTHER end (hurting; 'playing' other people that they seek to dominate/control).

Never much in the middle.

The brain's ability to "self monitor" their emotions and exercise "emotional self-regulation", to keep things on an "even keel", is seriously impaired.

(The only emotions expressed seem to be "p!ssed off/irritated" and "not p!ssed off/not irritated", IME.)

What a sad emotional place to be, eh? :S
This is exactly how it is, there are times of I was thinking (pleasure, happiness) but itís more like contentment, but itís very rare to hear laughter. Itís not a place Iíd want to be, thatís for sure.

Iím surprised really that a health care practitioner hasnít come to this dx already. From what Iím reading though, they may have and not mentioned it, or if they did, she may have chosen to conceal it. She really doesnít like ďlabelsĒ and she mentioned that she doesnít understand why they do those disorder type tests as itís obvious which answer they are looking for. From this I conclude that she is answering the questions how she thinks they should be answered, not how she actually feels. In this case the therapist is really being kept in the dark.


Hence, given the tendency for "hurt people to hurt people", it tends to be the one's they "love" (partner; children) that wind up getting hurt the most.
Lucky us

My understanding is that there are to big phases of bonding that can get disrupted, leading to Attachment Disorders (bonding disorders) like BPD (and other PDs).

These occur long before a child can even speak very articulately about themselves and their world around them: They are at 18 months and 36 months.

e.g. This is why people like the multi-nannied & personally troubled Britney Spears/Kevin Federline-type parents of the world are so damaging to young children!

They are so self-absorbed in their own problems and pain and self-centeredness (likely due to their OWN unmet early life bonding needs), that they can't ever put their kids FIRST.

Even seeing a Parent in great distress can disrupt childhood bonding (which is why Violence Against Moms* (think Pamela Anderson with her kids in her arms while Tommy is beating on her), etc messes kids up so bad. A parents 'upset' emotional state is traumatic to a kid. (I'll end the Interpersonal Neurobiology talk there.)

[*I say "violence against Moms", b/c these are usually the principle caregiver to a baby/child. There are nasty women who put Dad's thru hell, too.]
Youíve been watching the news today  Her parents are both very much absorbed in their own little world and completely in denial. I can only imagine what happened at 18 and 36 months if at 14 and 15 they are leaving their child alone for months while they are on business (think liquid lunches) in Europe. On no sorry they didnít leave her alone, her grandmother was there, couldnít ďhandleĒ her and then abandoned her to her own devices. Oh yes, this is the same woman that when her husband left had her daughter (my wifeís mom) give up high school to go get a job and support her 4 siblings and un-employable mother. Can you say dysfunctional for generations? Her father is ADHD and Iím guessing BPD at this point also. Did she ever really have a hope?

Some theories and theorists (e.g. Dr. Van Der Kolk's research articles) talk about a "trauma trance".

This may be what is coming up in your altercations with your Wife. (although she doesn't know it.)

This is the idea that the person acts as though they were stuck in an interpersonal "struggle" from the Past, but is essentially [unconciously] RELIVING it [and ACTING it OUT] -- in the Present.

e.g. The BPDperson [your wife] May treat her husband ("archetype" for a powerful caregiver) like the original caregiver/powerful person who mistreated/let her down/abandoned her needs, in the Past).

It is called Re-enactment.

Dr. Van Der Kolk first discovered it in Vietnam Vets who were getting into trouble with the law, to resolve unconcious conflicts that they had left over from the Vietnam War.

The Police noticed that a Vet they arrested kept getting arrested on the same Day (July 5th?), whenever he was unincarcerated. It was always the same offence.

Dr. Van Der Kolk calls it the "compulsion to repeat the trauma".

In the link below: look under "REEXPERIENCING AFTER ADULT TRAUMA" for the Vietnam Vet's story...
http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk/

Sorta make sense?
Yes, I can see that, of course itís a no win situation though, I canít change the past! The other part of this is that early on in the marriage we did not have any dx. My responses were not appropriate; there was lots of anger resentment and years of dysfunction that she would have also seen as abandonment. I get this now and see the connection to her past. She is holding onto this.


Question: [I]What can you do to get yourself some support?Iím working through this, right now youíre my angel! Knowledge is power, right now I need to be empowered!

Matt S.
10-04-07, 08:47 AM
QueensU_girl is like an encyclopedia and I am glad that she wasn't judgemental about my response as well, it has been difficult for those of us who are on the receiving end of the unpredictable chaotic patterns of BPD, and some people may look at my responses as judgemental, but I have been in your shoes and you need someone who has experienced it, like me, with me though I am so afraid of relationships because I have attracted nothing but borderlines in all of my relationships except for one who was antisocial (which is bad because they a) don't care and b) generally want a "partner in crime") and that's self explanatory all by itself

ADDrus
10-06-07, 07:05 AM
Iím glad she let me slide also. I donít want to be judgmental of this illness. Itís horrible. Iíd hate to have it, but itís also very difficult to live with. Itís seems that everything is very negative about the persons ability to change or get better. The more I read the more I realize this is much more than I ever asked for. As Iíve been reading itís made me also reflect on past experiences and realize how unhealthy they were. Of course Iím now closely examining my parents relationship, looking for similarities, of course my overbearing, angry mother was no help. I donít think she is BPD, but very manipulative and controlling in her own way. My father I think compensated for this with a traveling salesman type job, so he was never around much, didnít demonstrate how to set any personal boundaries and left us kids to figure out how to deal with my mother. I always consider him spineless and here I am repeating this same type of relationships myself! Time to change my ways, I canít change her, she needs to find the desire to change herself. Sheís in therapy, undermining it every step of the way Iím sure. The book ďStop walking on eggshellsĒ explains the whole thing. Itís almost like they wrote the book about me, with the exceptions of the violence. Iíve had a run in with an antisocial as well, not a close personal one, but close enough. They are very scary, very hidden and capable of so much damage. I feel for you mspen1018. I hope you get past your fear of relationships, I still have hope there are normal healthy relationships out there, mines not one of themÖ

Matt S.
10-06-07, 11:36 AM
Yes and I think QueensU_Girl being as educated as she is probably has empathy and understanding enough to understand that those of us who have been on the receiving end of it, regardless of how rough a BPD effected person's life has been in the past, when they don't have the skills can wreak havoc on anyone's life. I don't think we were flaming or anything, I was just being empathic in a way that may offend a sufferer of BPD who has no skills traning behind their belt, but was something that you needed based on your position in that relationship.

QueensU_girl
10-08-07, 09:13 PM
re: 10
Folie a Deux? LOL

QueensU_girl
10-08-07, 09:16 PM
What looks like anti social can also be Narcissistic personality traits, too.
Such people totally negate the suffering they bring upon others.

Guess that's why they are sometimes called Malignant Narcissists.

re: Education

I'd really like to do DBT Training some day. (It's helpful for so many illnesses/scenarios. Helpful to plain human beings, not just clinicians OR clients. I view DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) for family members of BPD-type people, as being a sort of a "life skill".)

I have heard of it (in the US) for families of people with BPD.

My own extended family has very INDIRECT communication habits: noone will ever tell you anything important: directly to your face or politely. People are bitter and slag each other when they should be happy for one another. They view anothers success as a "zero sum game". (e.g. 'his win means she loses'; as if it's taking the penny out of their OWN pocket.)

(There are long explanations for this, potentially. It probably comes down to my own extended familly's "fear conditioning" (e.g. seeing violence) against their freedom to be verbal and direct with people. Some older generations of my family, essentially "weren't allowed to have a voice" or "have a feeling" or "have a personality" -- w/o risking injury of borderline crazy gramma, who was in turn just repeating the cycle of HER own childhood (and on and on). :O

DBT might help with dealing with such OTHER people's dysfunction, and how it affects us bystanders.

Anything to learn Detachment and Distress Tolerance and Emotional Regulation (latter two are DBT Skills), I say.

Futzbudget
10-08-07, 11:03 PM
Years after divorcing my first husband (and after years of beating myself up for not being able to keep my marriage together), I came to realize that he fit pretty much all the criteria for BPD. Which means that his being a controlling, abusive a****** was really not within his control, which was really difficult for me to accept. It is VERY hard to feel that you should have sympathy for someone who made your life a living hell.

Unfortunately, one of the issues with a BPD is an inability to admit that there is something wrong with him/her -- everything that goes wrong is someone ELSE'S fault. So how do you fix such a relationship? I'm not sure there's a way. Even if you can bring yourself to feel sympathy for her (since she has a disorder that is not her fault), your day-to-day life is unbearable, and can't be sustained unless there are drastic changes (which are unlikely since she won't admit... etc.).

I'm not saying the only solution for you is to leave your wife, but there are no easy answers, and in my case, for the sake of my sanity and my children, I had to get away, even though it has made me feel terribly guilty. Kind of like someone with some sort of dreadful infectious disease -- not his fault he has it, but you have to stay away, just the same.

-

justhope
10-08-07, 11:14 PM
Keeping in mind I am totally ADD here...I read about 2/3 of this...are you saying she is possibly Borderline Personality Disorder, or Bipolar? :confused:


I am confused because I kind of see reference to both in some of the writings here? Alot of folks but BPD in discussions about Bipolar Disorder...which throughs us off...cause it's not one in the same. :p

Just wanted a little clarification before I wander in and put both of my feet in my mouth... :foot:

ADDrus
10-08-07, 11:52 PM
She doesn't display the manic type episodes that are common to bipolar. IMHO it's BPD but I'm no therapist. Her niece and nephew have been dx bipolar though I think the niece is BPD as she has been known to self mutilate, not sure about the nephew yet.

I was thinking of calling her therapist and discussing my beliefs with her, however after some more readings I'm thinking that's not a good plan. I don't think I need an actual dx. My belief is she and many members of her direct family are afflicted with this so the dx would only justify my belief but not really change anything. I have already started to exert my own boundaries in a few small ways over the past couple of days. Just testing the water so to speak. I'm finding that I'm watching behaviors and reactions more closely.

The boundaries issues is huge. She didn't have any real boundaries set for her as a child and so she doesn't know how to set boundaries in the kids, or respect boundaries in others. One big frustration for me has always been the feeling that I'm the only one parenting the kids. She has opinions on how the kids should behave and such which she voices, but never never would she enforce those rules. Without consistent enforcement of the rules, the kids grow up confused and out of control. As the father and the full time out of home worker, most of this type of parenting should have fallen to her. Of course this hasn't happened and I've been solely responsible for many years. Had I known a long time ago about her inability to do this, it would have been a lot easier.

ADDrus
10-09-07, 12:04 AM
Years after divorcing my first husband (and after years of beating myself up for not being able to keep my marriage together), I came to realize that he fit pretty much all the criteria for BPD. Which means that his being a controlling, abusive a****** was really not within his control, which was really difficult for me to accept. It is VERY hard to feel that you should have sympathy for someone who made your life a living hell.

Unfortunately, one of the issues with a BPD is an inability to admit that there is something wrong with him/her -- everything that goes wrong is someone ELSE'S fault. So how do you fix such a relationship? I'm not sure there's a way. Even if you can bring yourself to feel sympathy for her (since she has a disorder that is not her fault), your day-to-day life is unbearable, and can't be sustained unless there are drastic changes (which are unlikely since she won't admit... etc.).

I'm not saying the only solution for you is to leave your wife, but there are no easy answers, and in my case, for the sake of my sanity and my children, I had to get away, even though it has made me feel terribly guilty. Kind of like someone with some sort of dreadful infectious disease -- not his fault he has it, but you have to stay away, just the same.

-Yup, I think I could safely describer her as controlling, abusive a******. I started writing down some of the things sheís called me and accused me of over the past month or so. Turns out this is a laundry list of the things sheís been working through with her therapist. Itís described in the book as a common occurrence with BPD and as the non-BDP I have to learn to reflect this back to her so she can take ownership. This should be fun! Itís really amazing how everything is my fault and I do mean everything. Statistically, this isnít possible!!!!!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

Some days are better than others, but for now there are some really huge outstanding issues that trigger her rage and anger, probably because she hasnít figured out how to blame someone else for them, so they never get discussed. <o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

Futzbudget, thanks for your input and you really shouldnít beat yourself up over this. You did what you had to do knowing what you did at the time. It may not have been your exís fault, but it wasnít yours either. Everybody has a tolerance level and a breaking point. Better to run out of tolerance than reach the breaking point.<o:p></o:p>

ADDrus
10-09-07, 12:22 AM
What looks like anti social can also be Narcissistic personality traits, too.
Such people totally negate the suffering they bring upon others.

Guess that's why they are sometimes called Malignant Narcissists.

The 1 I had contact was using false names, lying about credentials, embezzling money and almost drove her and her best friends (from grade school) business into bankruptcy. Tax evasion, theft, from clients as well as charitable organizations, the list goes on and on. No remorse either. Antisocial I think. Had a narcissistic boss once. He was fun.

re: Education

I'd really like to do DBT Training some day. (It's helpful for so many illnesses/scenarios. Helpful to plain human beings, not just clinicians OR clients. I view DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) for family members of BPD-type people, as being a sort of a "life skill".)

I have heard of it (in the US) for families of people with BPD.

My own extended family has very INDIRECT communication habits: noone will ever tell you anything important: directly to your face or politely. People are bitter and slag each other when they should be happy for one another. They view anothers success as a "zero sum game". (e.g. 'his win means she loses'; as if it's taking the penny out of their OWN pocket.)

(There are long explanations for this, potentially. It probably comes down to my own extended familly's "fear conditioning" (e.g. seeing violence) against their freedom to be verbal and direct with people. Some older generations of my family, essentially "weren't allowed to have a voice" or "have a feeling" or "have a personality" -- w/o risking injury of borderline crazy gramma, who was in turn just repeating the cycle of HER own childhood (and on and on). :O

DBT might help with dealing with such OTHER people's dysfunction, and how it affects us bystanders.

Anything to learn Detachment and Distress Tolerance and Emotional Regulation (latter two are DBT Skills), I say.
I can relate to the indirect communications. Nothing ever gets resolved. Conflict is avoided as nobody wants to ďspoil the dayĒ. It always happens behind the scenes. You would have loved thanksgiving dinner. Thereís competition, jealousy, slander, lies. They just donít seem to be capable of focusing on anything positive. My in-laws Christmas card last year featured a big picture of their new house and their new boat on the front. Unbelievably inappropriate but nobody had the guts to call them on it.
Iíll have to ask my therapist about DBT in the area.

Thanks again QueensU-girl.

Matt S.
10-09-07, 08:51 AM
I was hard to read as far as PD's are concerned, and dx'd borderline and antisocial until a thorough eval proved that I just seemed to attract them, so I have done enough DBT and read the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for BPD enough times to "trained", I now have the PD's of Narcissistic and ASPD (in partial remission I might add just got the upgrade). But I could run a DBT group and can spot a borderline within 30 seconds of a conversation now. Not to brag but I have managed to get into too many relationships with them and need to find someone without a PD.

QueensU_girl
10-14-07, 12:45 PM
re 16

And people can have both, too. :S

Matt S.
10-15-07, 01:15 PM
QueensU_Girl should be a moderator... it'd be a good fit for her

ADDrus
10-19-07, 08:22 AM
Well I just booked to meeting with the Therapist. We meet on Monday. Time to chat with a professional. I decided to book it with the one that saw my wife and kids last year. She also thinks it's a good idea to chat, so I think it's a good choice.

Thanks for all your input guys!

Matt S.
10-19-07, 09:58 AM
That will be an excellent thing for you guys, it'll most likely open the DBT door for her.

ADDrus
10-19-07, 11:02 AM
This is a meeting for me only, I haven't discussed it with my wife yet. I'm not ready to discuss this with her and I'm fairly certain she's not ready to hear it. In the end it may lead to DBT for her, but from what I've read this isn't always helpful with acting out behavior, which she displays more than internally directed behavior, so I don't hold a lot of hope for DBT. I'm keeping an open mind. It's one of the reasons I want to see the therapist.

Sargon
10-19-07, 05:07 PM
My wife's mother had a PD, described to me on different occasions as BPD or NPD. Problem is, I think my wife has one, too. She has been diagnosed as having an "anxiety disorder," but I think the fact that she is very wealthy has prevented her pdoc from pinpointing the correct diagnosis. In other words, whereas a doctor might think it strange that someone sits around all day doing nothing yet complaining about how "busy" or "tired" they are, it's just another average day in the life of the idle rich. If we didn't have a beautiful baby girl almost a year old, I'd be long gone. Things are fairly calm now, but I endured so much abuse our first year of marriage, I would have gladly gnawed my own arm off to stop it.

QueensU_girl
10-19-07, 05:20 PM
re: 15
Yup. Many people with various conditions can be what is called "ego syntonic". They "don't have a problem" (b/c it becomes everyone else's problem). ;)

(versus being "ego dystonic"; those folks seek help b/c of their emotional distress, and being able to acknowlege that 'something isn't right and needs to change'.)

BPD folks also often waver between acting like an offender and a victim. Like most bullies, they see themselves as chronic victims.

They do not take responsibility (response/ability) for any shred of their current life or future. (I prefer the term "personal power".)

Their inability to get past this, and stop always blaming someone else for almost EVERYTHING, means they will likely never recover.

I just finished reading Martha Stout's "The Myth of Sanity". She studies and treats people with dissociative disorders. (BPD is a DD, in many ways.) She says that people who have these orientations almost never improve. Sad, but true.

QueensU_girl
10-19-07, 05:29 PM
re: 22

Don't think i'd like the job. I need a real job. :)

ADDrus
10-19-07, 10:37 PM
My wife's mother had a PD, described to me on different occasions as BPD or NPD. Problem is, I think my wife has one, too. She has been diagnosed as having an "anxiety disorder," but I think the fact that she is very wealthy has prevented her pdoc from pinpointing the correct diagnosis. In other words, whereas a doctor might think it strange that someone sits around all day doing nothing yet complaining about how "busy" or "tired" they are, it's just another average day in the life of the idle rich. If we didn't have a beautiful baby girl almost a year old, I'd be long gone. Things are fairly calm now, but I endured so much abuse our first year of marriage, I would have gladly gnawed my own arm off to stop it.My wife and her family are very well off as well. I don't think this makes a difference to the therapist except that the person involved has more justification in their belief that their behavior is acceptable. A proper therapist should be able to see through this but afflicted people are very convincing. The wealth issue is also a problem in ending the relationship, for me anyway. I know I don't have the resources for an extended custody battle. Being the male here doesnít help much either. Leaving the relationship for the betterment of the children and an attempt to demonstrate a normal loving caring relationship would be worth everything. I just know the reality that I and my family do not have the resources to fight a long term legal battle and the nature of BPD does not lend itself to a healthy separation with understanding and looking out for the basic best interests of the children. There is very little logical thought process going on here. I've seen times where things seemed ok, but in the end these things have just been escalating over time. It seems to be a never ending battle to satisfy the unending stream of demands, wishes and expectations. You attempt to appease and are continually expected to give more and more. They do not appear to be able to "give" much back to the relationship.

My wife is constantly busy and tired and yet does very little. I've also found that she has a tendency to ask for opinions just to refute your answer. For example she'll ask for your opinion on what restaurant to go to, then cut up every single suggested option. If you ask for her opinion she's very reluctant to give it and will turn around and tell you she's not picky. It's a no win scenario that manifests in many different ways. I think this type of behavior is very difficult to pin down diagnosis to. She's also very bright and really doesn't want to be diagnosed with anything, so she wants help, but fights it and doesn't contribute to the diagnosis. I believe she's unconsciously hiding to the point of leaving therapists if she believes they are getting close and it becomes uncomfortable. People generally hate change. I don't believe she consciously knows what's wrong, but I don't think she's ready to accept that there is something wrong. In her mind it's better to attribute it to allergies, diet, unknown dx, anything but the truth.

I was hoping to find that there was a hope for improvement; most of my research is indicating that this behavior does not change.

QueensU_girl
10-19-07, 11:49 PM
re: last line

Not unless she sees she has a problem. This may be obtainable by "raising the bottom" for her to "hit bottom". But you'd likely need family intervention and support. If they are codependent (co-conspirators) in keeping her the way she is, functioning wise, it is unlikely that they can admit she has a real problem too.

re:"They do not appear to be able to give much back to the rel'p". Exactly. Such people will emotionally suck a person dry. Take, take, take.

Since BPDers tend to have abandonment issues, leaving this rel'p wouldn't be easy, if that is your plan. Possibly the whole clan could turn on you. Sick families can be like that. (They might be all PD people too. They raised her, so there is a distinct possibility there.)

I'd suggest getting legal advice and a lot of professional and emotional support. And do what you need to do for your own wellbeing and sanity (and your children's wellbeing and sanity).

Matt S.
10-20-07, 09:54 AM
She could be a "splitting professional", there is something called "staff splitting" in the treatment of BPD's and it is the same thing in a different context.

Staff Splitting is when they have more than one treatment providers and they manipulate them and pit them against each other.

They are professionals at doing this with people in their daily lives as well, be aware of that if you are in a family counseling session, and try not to react, if she does the reacting then it will be harder for her to make you look like the "bad guy".

QueensU_girl
10-20-07, 02:30 PM
re 31

Splitting is a term that gets misused a lot.

I think you are using it correctly, MSPEN. (The other usage, or the misuage, refers to dissociated ego states, or, dramatically varying areas of competency.)

ADDrus
10-20-07, 08:33 PM
re: last line

Not unless she sees she has a problem. This may be obtainable by "raising the bottom" for her to "hit bottom". But you'd likely need family intervention and support. If they are codependent (co-conspirators) in keeping her the way she is, functioning wise, it is unlikely that they can admit she has a real problem too.

re:"They do not appear to be able to give much back to the rel'p". Exactly. Such people will emotionally suck a person dry. Take, take, take.

Since BPDers tend to have abandonment issues, leaving this rel'p wouldn't be easy, if that is your plan. Possibly the whole clan could turn on you. Sick families can be like that. (They might be all PD people too. They raised her, so there is a distinct possibility there.)

I'd suggest getting legal advice and a lot of professional and emotional support. And do what you need to do for your own wellbeing and sanity (and your children's wellbeing and sanity).Yes, Iíve thought about letting her hit bottom, but as you mention she will just get bailed out again by her family, they are very enabling and you seem to have great intuition. Youíre correct they all display various pd traits and host a laundry list of issues. They are mostly so wrapped up in their own issues, they couldnít possibly help someone else out with theirs. My wife will find no real help there. Itís frightening really. I feel as if Iíve been sucked in, isolated from my friends, family and support network and now over time accepted a very different center of ďnormalĒ. Some of the stuff recently is just so off the wall you canít possibly rationalize it. In many ways I feel as though Iíve opened Pandoraís box. The knowledge and realizations have changed my whole outlook and perspective and I canít go back.

ADDrus
10-20-07, 08:56 PM
She could be a "splitting professional", there is something called "staff splitting" in the treatment of BPD's and it is the same thing in a different context.

Staff Splitting is when they have more than one treatment providers and they manipulate them and pit them against each other.

They are professionals at doing this with people in their daily lives as well, be aware of that if you are in a family counseling session, and try not to react, if she does the reacting then it will be harder for her to make you look like the "bad guy".It could be splitting, I wouldnít rule it out, but I donít think Iím qualified to say it is either. I will watch out and do some more reading up on it though so thanks for the heads up.
The first time we were in family counseling I was very hopeful open and forthcoming ok I didnít really want to go at all, but for the relationship and the fact that it was important for her, I went. There was an instance where I felt that I was manipulated and forced to admit that I felt something that I really didnít agree with. At the time I thought it was something that might help her and so I agreed with what she was saying. I now see this for what it was and if I had it to do over again, it would be very different. We saw the therapist for a number of months and tried working though issues. We got stuck on her anger issues not knowing they were BPD at the time, they became a central focus. She felt threatened and finally decided the therapist was a misogynist . At the time I didnít even know what the word meant. I never felt this from him in any of our encounters, however with her black and white thinking, he became evil. At the time I gave her the benefit of the doubt and that was the end of therapy for a few years. Fast forward a couple of years and the anger issues and everything else have gotten worse as there is no real reason for them to improve. Now she finds a new therapist. This guy has the idea that everything can be solved in 2 or 3 sessions no matter what the problem. He has no knowledge of ADD, looks at my wife and decides that she really doesnít have ADD because she seems focused in the first hour of the session we are in a doesn't squirm around in her seat, then turns and attacks me. Accuses me of being abusive for calling her ADD and tells us we really do make a great couple, everything is fine and go home and spend some quality time together. I had done my homework by this point and brought a full page of questions on how ADD affects relationships and stuff, after the first 5 or 6 minutes I folded it up and put it in my pocket. Iím oh so looking forward to couples counseling again!

Sargon
10-22-07, 11:04 AM
My wife and her family are very well off as well. I don't think this makes a difference to the therapist except that the person involved has more justification in their belief that their behavior is acceptable. A proper therapist should be able to see through this but afflicted people are very convincing. The wealth issue is also a problem in ending the relationship, for me anyway. I know I don't have the resources for an extended custody battle. Being the male here doesnít help much either. Leaving the relationship for the betterment of the children and an attempt to demonstrate a normal loving caring relationship would be worth everything. I just know the reality that I and my family do not have the resources to fight a long term legal battle and the nature of BPD does not lend itself to a healthy separation with understanding and looking out for the basic best interests of the children. There is very little logical thought process going on here. I've seen times where things seemed ok, but in the end these things have just been escalating over time. It seems to be a never ending battle to satisfy the unending stream of demands, wishes and expectations. You attempt to appease and are continually expected to give more and more. They do not appear to be able to "give" much back to the relationship.

My wife is constantly busy and tired and yet does very little. I've also found that she has a tendency to ask for opinions just to refute your answer. For example she'll ask for your opinion on what restaurant to go to, then cut up every single suggested option. If you ask for her opinion she's very reluctant to give it and will turn around and tell you she's not picky. It's a no win scenario that manifests in many different ways. I think this type of behavior is very difficult to pin down diagnosis to. She's also very bright and really doesn't want to be diagnosed with anything, so she wants help, but fights it and doesn't contribute to the diagnosis. I believe she's unconsciously hiding to the point of leaving therapists if she believes they are getting close and it becomes uncomfortable. People generally hate change. I don't believe she consciously knows what's wrong, but I don't think she's ready to accept that there is something wrong. In her mind it's better to attribute it to allergies, diet, unknown dx, anything but the truth.

I was hoping to find that there was a hope for improvement; most of my research is indicating that this behavior does not change.
Yes! Yes! YES!

I've met my wife's therapist and she's very bright. I sometimes wonder whether she knows my wife has something much more serious than an "anxiety disorder," but simply hasn't told my wife (I also don't know what duty a therapist is under to be completely truthful with the patient); or that she HAS told my wife, but my wife hasn't told me; or that the therapist really thinks it's just anxiety. But yes, you would think that at some point, the therapist would have to take note of the endless lies and bull****, and think, "This ain't right."

In our last marital counseling session, my wife went on a tirade, started bawling, and said the marriage was over. She's done this to me at least twice a month since we've been married. The counselor was 100 percent convinced that we were divorcing. Thirty seconds after we left, everything was fine again, like it never happened. I got a message from the counselor over the weekend, recommending resources for us to look into to help us separate amicably. I can't wait to call her back at lunch and tell her, hey, false alarm! Maybe now she'll start to understand that the things I say in our counseling sessions--which must sound totally outrageous--are actually true.

ADDrus
10-22-07, 12:02 PM
From what I understand the therapist owes a duty of care to the patient, not you and not the family. They owe it to their patient to do whatever they deem necessary in order to help their patient. This may or may not include telling them what they think. If they believe telling them their diagnosis will help, then they will tell them. Itís very frustrating when youíre in a session and you have no idea how to express the frustrations that are inside you. I feel for you and hope you can come to a real long lasting solution.

Sargon
10-22-07, 01:15 PM
Same to you. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's not always clear when there are children whose interests have to come first.

ADDrus
10-22-07, 02:47 PM
Hey Sargon, just back from my therapist meeting. It went well, we seem to be heading in a positive direction for me so thatís a good thing. My homework is to go out and have some ďguilt freeĒ me time and get some sleep! I think I can handle that, the guilt free might be tough. One of the things that really struck me is ask yourself this. If your wife doesnít change and you get incapacitated is she capable of taking care of you and you child? I was in a bad skiing accident last Christmas that answered this very question for me; I didnít like the answer much. Your childís welfare is important and you must do what you must do to protect it. This may included some real tough relationship choices.

Sargon
10-22-07, 05:16 PM
My wife would not, personally, be able to take care of me. But she would pay for the best care available. We already have TWO full-time nannies, who take turns working, so there's always someone there to care for the baby. My wife actually adores the baby, and I think motherhood has been very good for her. But she isn't capable of sustaining the effort it would take to be a traditional mother. If and when this thing finally comes to an end, I think we'll both want what's best for the baby. At least that's what she's said each of the hundred times she's threatened to divorce me in the past. :faint:

ADDrus
10-22-07, 09:54 PM
You should probably read "I hate you, don't leave me", might be helpful!

QueensU_girl
10-22-07, 10:00 PM
re: 33 (your mention of "isolation")

Concious or not, that is the abuser's plan: "Isolate and Control"...

QueensU_girl
10-22-07, 10:03 PM
re: 34

Maybe she is not ADD. Maybe she has dissociative states. BPD is a trauma spectrum disorder. Traumatized people can enter "spacey" states that seem ADD. They are not "present" in these moments. This is, in part, possibly why they are not understanding why their rage episodes, etc are so scary. They aren't self aware of themselves in these states.

A raging episode would be a hyperaroused dissociative state. A low energy, spacey state would be a hypo-aroused dissociative state.

We all have them sometimes (e.g. 'highway hypnosis'), but the difference is (a) if they are voluntary or involuntary and (b) how far they go away from "here and now".

QueensU_girl
10-22-07, 10:12 PM
re: 39 (SARGON)

wow. i hope you can be around the baby a lot and regularly.

Having multiple hired caretakers of a child is not good for 'bonding' and attachment. (Witness how Britney Spears kids are gonna turn out.)

Do you have a kind Social worker you can go talk to for support and child development information, Sargon?

I don't know a ton about instilling Childhood Resiliency and encouraging Attachment, but it sounds like a precarious situation.

There are some sensitive child Bonding periods at 18 and 36 months, regarding Personality Development and Organization, i understand.

My Mom used to go talk to a Social Worker for ideas in dealing with her own crazy and alcoholic family, and for ideas how to raise me better (in the emotional development sense), etc. (My brother and I turned out way better than most of my cousins.)

Learning how to cope and manage, while surrounded by everyone else's "crazy", helped her (us) a LOT.

ADDrus
10-22-07, 10:33 PM
re 41

yes, I've already picked up on this and I'm making changes, re-connecting with family and friends. It really really bothers her that I set up a facebook account a couple months back and connected with family and friends. I now have a link and I'm feeling very good about it.

Matt S.
10-23-07, 10:09 AM
There's another book about BPD called "Sometimes I Act Crazy", that may be another one worth looking at

Sargon
10-23-07, 10:42 AM
re: 39 (SARGON)

wow. i hope you can be around the baby a lot and regularly.

Having multiple hired caretakers of a child is not good for 'bonding' and attachment. (Witness how Britney Spears kids are gonna turn out.)

Do you have a kind Social worker you can go talk to for support and child development information, Sargon?

I don't know a ton about instilling Childhood Resiliency and encouraging Attachment, but it sounds like a precarious situation.

There are some sensitive child Bonding periods at 18 and 36 months, regarding Personality Development and Organization, i understand.

My Mom used to go talk to a Social Worker for ideas in dealing with her own crazy and alcoholic family, and for ideas how to raise me better (in the emotional development sense), etc. (My brother and I turned out way better than most of my cousins.)

Learning how to cope and manage, while surrounded by everyone else's "crazy", helped her (us) a LOT.
Our marital counselor is actually an LCSW; ironically, she isn't troubled by our child care arrangement. But I don't mean to give the impression that the nannies are raising the baby. My wife does spend a lot of time with the baby, and baby is very attached to her. But she doesn't have the "stamina" to do all the childcare. She would collapse within a week if she had to. All of the families in our neighborhood with two working parents have some kind of similar child care arrangement, whether it's nannies or daycare, and once I'm home at night, it's family time until baby's bed time. I'm actually changing jobs in a couple weeks so I can spend more time at home at night. Thank you for posting on this thread; everything you've said is dead-on. Now I have a question, if you don't mind. My wife has told me that she has an "anxiety disorder." I understand that this is a real, recognized condition. Is there sort of a "spectrum" of mental health, where "healthy" would be on one end and personality disorder would be on the other, and anxiety disorder would be in the middle? I'm trying to understand whether my wife's condition is an actual PD, or could either disintegrate into one, or go the other way and get better. It just seems messed up to me that I can read your and ADDrus' comments and go "yup, that's my wife," and yet these brilliant doctors can't see it. I have to be open to the possibility that they are right and it's not quite as dire as I experience it.

ADDrus
10-23-07, 12:41 PM
I'd be interested to know what kind of childcare she doesn't have the "stamina" for. My wife couldn't give my son a bath, he constantly needed a diaper change when I came home from work. I got to feed him morning and night. She refused to even go anywhere with him, claiming he was just too much work. Even now, she very reluctantly drives kids to activities or participates in any part of their lives, claiming too busy, not feeling well, whatever the excuse. I learn more about my teenage daughters lives sitting in the car on the way to dance lessons and wouldn't trade this time for the world. Good news is, I get hugs every day, kisses a plenty and my 15 year old isn't embarrassed to see or hug me when her friends are around. There are definite perks in being connected with your kids. She didn't do swimming lessons, doesn't go to soccer games, she'll show up for recitals and dance competitions. I havenít figured all the logistics but it seems like token appearances. I get the memory of the smiles on their faces when they got their bronze crosses in swimming. I get the memory of that first goal in soccer. The list goes on and on. The really ironic thing is she complains about how unsupportive her parents were for her, never getting her involved ect. Sad really.
I also left a great job like you so I could spend more time with the family in order to help out more and try to improve things. Looking back this was a mistake. I was manipulated into believing a situation was the way it was and it was more to do with jealousy and a very warped sense of reality. Seriously look at what youíre giving up and why. After listening to me yesterday, my therapist agreed there was something going on, I donít think she was convinced it was borderline and as she pointed out there are many possible attributes that look like narcissistic personality disorder as well. Donít get too upset with the doctors, they do their best and sometimes people just donít want to be diagnosed.

Sargon
10-23-07, 01:24 PM
PM'ed you.

ADDrus
10-25-07, 11:05 PM
She could be a "splitting professional", there is something called "staff splitting" in the treatment of BPD's and it is the same thing in a different context.

Staff Splitting is when they have more than one treatment providers and they manipulate them and pit them against each other.
Ok, lets see if I have this correct. My wife has been seeing the same therapist since October last year. I checked the schedule and she saw her like clockwork every month. Then the last appointment she had was end of August. I saw an appointment pop up in September, it got bumped to October, then disappeared altogether. No new appointments booked. I asked about the appointment and was told she was on a waiting list. Iím thinking she fed me a line and there is no problem with getting appointments, sheís had an issue and isnít going back. Safe bet?
Now, she still has problems, actually getting worse. Panic attacks, problems with me, (clearly) and other things, so she talks to her trainer (huh?) and gets a recommendation to a Naturopathic Doctor. This doc suggests after the first meeting of 1.5 hours that the problem could be low blood sugar related. She books in to see her chiropractor and he backs the ND up. Now sheís buying diabetics blood test equipment, books and god knows what else and she actually told me she doesnít have a neurological disorder (I hadnít said anything to her) and that this explains all her problems. I should note sheís been tossing around terms like neurological disorder and dopamine and other things previously foreign to her vocabulary.
Is this splitting? Iím convinced she heard something she didnít want to believe.

QueensU_girl
10-26-07, 01:34 AM
re: 49

No. Splitting is a different. Splitting is "creating divisive factions" to turn people or groups on each other. The crisis creator sits back and watches the action. :( It is a way to create trouble, and stimulation. it also takes the focus off of THEM as being a problem. ("Look, there's a fight over THERE.") They like to create "sides" and divisions.

"Isolate and control", remember? They love that weapon.

e.g. a Borderline person will start a rumour or make up stories about another person, etc. to create friction and problems. This can include false allegations of really serious crimes. :(


Your wife sounds like she bails when the counsellors/doctors start to figure out that she's probably a borderline. lol

People do something called "help rejecting complaining".

•'Help-Rejecting Complaining' involves dealing with stress by complaining and making repeated requests for help that disguise hidden feelings of hostility toward others, which is then expressed by rejecting the suggestions, advice, or help that others offer. The complaints may involve physical or psychological symptoms or life problems.

She also sounds like a Somatizer ('hypochondriac'). Somatization (sometimes called 'somatoform dissociation') is a sign of old and unprocessed early life trauma issues (perhaps preverbal trauma) which then goes on to impair a person's development of emotional processing and impairment of their emotional communication (alexithymia) skills. Alexithymia means "no word for feelings".

Notice that other than "I'm angry' and "I'm not angry" -- these people often have alexithymia, too. They can't really ever tell you how they FEEL (other than saying they are "depressed" or "irritated" or "ticked off" or "i have anxiety' [those aren't 'real' feelings, but moreso states.] This picture all makes sense b/c Borderline is a trauma disorder. It all fits, yup.

http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/126/9/747

QueensU_girl
10-26-07, 01:47 AM
I say somatization b/c you say she keeps looking for a disease or problem she doesn't have. e.g. buying diabetic supplies, physical complaints, saying she has neurological problems (that it sounds like "traditional doctors' can't see), and she is seeking out a Naturopath.

People who somatize a lot (we all do to a small degree; e.g. tension headaches; pain in the neck job that literally becomes a REAL pain in the neck) tend to like to seek out alternative practitioners b/c (a) they listen and (b) they'll never figure their emotional problems out.

The sad thing is: this is treatable, but the person has to admit and see a problem and want help.

And they have to face the truth about why they became the way they are. For some, this repressed truth of their pasts is too painful to admit. Like the ostrich with it's head in the sand.

ADDrus
10-26-07, 10:50 AM
Your wife sounds like she bails when the counsellors/doctors start to figure out that she's probably a borderline. lol
Yes, this is exactly what Iím thinking as well. Of course I have no rights to call her counselor/doctors and confirm theyíve made this dignosisis and sheís never going to tell me. She obviously canít admit it to herself, never mind someone else.

People do something called "help rejecting complaining".
ē'Help-Rejecting Complaining' involves dealing with stress by complaining and making repeated requests for help that disguise hidden feelings of hostility toward others, which is then expressed by rejecting the suggestions, advice, or help that others offer. The complaints may involve physical or psychological symptoms or life problems.
This is a really annoying trait by the way. Iíve seen her do this many many times over the years with me and others and itís maddening really.

She also sounds like a Somatizer ('hypochondriac'). Somatization (sometimes called 'somatoform dissociation') is a sign of old and unprocessed early life trauma issues (perhaps preverbal trauma) which then goes on to impair a person's development of emotional processing and impairment of their emotional communication (alexithymia) skills. Alexithymia means "no word for feelings".
Notice that other than "I'm angry' and "I'm not angry" -- these people often have alexithymia, too. They can't really ever tell you how they FEEL (other than saying they are "depressed" or "irritated" or "ticked off" or "i have anxiety' [those aren't 'real' feelings, but moreso states.] This picture all makes sense b/c Borderline is a trauma disorder. It all fits, yup.
Iíve been journalizing the complaints. There is a medical complaint every single day. Some days there are more than one, but every day there is at least 1. There is also an ongoing joint complaint that sheís seen the regular doctor, physio for months, x-ray, chiropractor, and personal trainer, anybody that will listen. Itís been around now for over a year and seems to affect her at certain times, then not be mentioned again for periods. Everything has turned up nothing. Now we have a ďback painĒ problem. Iím at the point that I donít know how to react to these. You feel sympathetic that the person is in pain, but nobody can draw on your sympathies like this forever.

Thanks for the links, that's some great reading!

She can also express "love" as in I love you to the kids, but I'll have to watch for expressions of her feelings. I asked her how she felt this morning and she said same as yesterday and procceded with a list of medical complaints. So there does seems to be an emotional manifestation as physical ailments. If that makes any sense.

QueensU_girl
10-26-07, 11:58 PM
re: 46

No. Borderline PD and Anxiety disroders are not on the same continuum. They are not even on the same Axis, diagnostically.

PDs are called "Axis II Disorders", by professionals.

Anxiety Disorders are treatable, PDs are not. Personality is considered to be pretty much formed ("organized") by age 14-16. Think of it as the grain of a wood. You can sand it and varnish it, but the grain is still 'set' in there as it is.

DBT is likely the only hope for improvement. That therapy stresses personal responsibility for recovery. Some people can't handle it. But some people come back, too, several times, before finally completing it. There is acceptance in that people who want help are welcomed back repeatedly. (Didn't Carl Rogers call this "unconditional positive regard"? LOL)

QueensU_girl
10-27-07, 12:05 AM
re: #52

Some of her pain is likely real. Stress that is not expressed or processed or denied, does that. (So does not exercising and sitting around. Anyone who lays around will get back pain, and stiffness, etc.) MDs are really poor at diagnosing back pain. However, the Physio or Chiro should figure it out, if there is something serious happening.

There is also benefit to taking the "sick role". (People get out of responsibilities, etc.)

re: Physical manifestation of stress or emotional things

That is EXACTLY what I meant.

Such folks are poor at expressing and naming their feelings. (Esp. true if one has grown up in an psycho family that twists the truth and punishes emotional expression, as PD families do. This is where the PD person often has learned their "game playing".)

Wish I knew more about services in Burlington to help you.

I know CAMH here has DBT programs.

meadd823
10-27-07, 08:07 AM
ADDrus Ė I had to stop, I remember you from non-ADD partner support Ė a rather lengthy discussion


I donít think she is BPD, but very manipulative and controlling in her own way. My father I think compensated for this with a traveling salesman type job, so he was never around much, didnít demonstrate how to set any personal boundaries and left us kids to figure out how to deal with my mother. I always consider him spineless and here I am repeating this same type of relationships myself! Time to change my ways, I canít change her, she needs to find the desire to change herself

I believe we learn ďnormalĒ from our parents Ė normal as in not the same as healthy.

If you are going to married to an ADDer and remain reasonabley sane you MUST let me repeated it again MUST have healthy personal boundaries and know how to protect them without violating thiers other wise you are doomed to a life of constant frustration and disappointment. . . . .


I know unbalanced when I see it, even in the midst of annoying NTers. :D So much for the crappy ADD memory. Actually I have a very decent long term memory. Remember a thread from three months ago no problems just don't ask me what I did with my car keys five minutes ago. :o

Boundaries are soo necessary - I am glad you have consulted a counselor for your self. If indeed your wife has borderline personality disorder boundaries are the only way you will be able to survive with your sanity intact. I also understand in the midst of the emotional turmoil and major frustration having an objective third party to help you keep a referencing point based in reality will be a god sent.

I also failed to understand

She doesn't display the manic type episodes that are common to bipolar. IMHO it's BPD but I'm no therapist. Her niece and nephew have been dx bipolar though I think the niece is BPD as she has been known to self mutilate, not sure about the nephew yet.

Manic episodes don't always look like the ones they describe in text book and many articles - okay my daughter's mania was none thing like what they described. See if this description is any thing like what you are seeing

Mixed Bipolar States: An Agitated Depressive Subtype? (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/436879)

Their most common features were agitation, irritability, pressured speech, and flight of ideas.

Other researchers identified hypomanic features in 97 bipolar-II and 64 unipolar patients with major depression. At least 2 symptoms were present in 73% of bipolar and 42% of unipolar patients; at least 3 symptoms were present in 46% of bipolar and 7% of unipolar patients. The most common symptoms were irritability, distractibility, and racing thoughts.

Comment
These findings suggest that depressed patients with atypical bipolar features that resemble anxiety or agitation may suffer from mixed states. This has implications for the diagnosis of bipolarity in patients previously thought to be unipolar, for antidepressant use (which may worsen such states), and for the selection of mood stabilizers (i.e., lithium vs. anticonvulsants) in known bipolar patients. Patients with treatment-resistant unipolar depression should be evaluated for symptoms that might suggest rediagnosis and alternative treatment with combinations of mood stabilizers, rather than antidepressants.
***End Quote


Judging by the context of your answer your wife niece has been diagnosed bi-polar. Bi-polar is one of the most genetic disorders there is.

My concern is not self righteous but the well known fact that bi-polar is progressive - meaning it will get worse with age! suicide is the second cause of death for untreated bipolar patients - seeing a suicide threat as a manipulative maneuver in a bipolar person could be a mistake that would be hard to live with.

Undiagnosed bi-polar can wreck havoc on the lives of those with the condition and those who must live with them. The more subtle forms may mimic borderline personality disorder. My daughter has mixed episodes and she meets several of the criteria for border line personalty - I would hate some one to get missed because their bi-polar look a lot like another condition. Yes bi-polar people can be resistant to "help" especially if they reach adult hood before diagnosis is made.

My daughter was caught early thanks to a health care professional - and a prescription of antidepressants. That medication hit her on Thursday before a long week-end. I lived with a 13 year old who was on a ***ching jag for three days solid . . . I mean solid 24 no sleep. The medication forced her into mania thus making her mania so much worse. I was on his door step waiting when he came into his office on a Monday morning - I told him point blank "Fix her, take her home with you, or I will be in jail before the sun sets. They simply do not make enough orange pills for me to put up with this crap, she has got to shut up."

Lucky for me he knew an agitated state of drug induced mania when he saw it.She was taken off antidepressants and placed on mood stabilizers. Bi-polar people do not know when their reality is warped even when it is painfully obvious to every one else. I accidentally put myself into a maniac state apparently I am genetically close to having the condition myself and minor tweaks in my sertonin will put me into mania and I can assure you things do look like other people's fault because bi-polar is not a polite condition it does not inform the person their reality has been screwed. I spent three days on here thinking every one on ADDF had PMS never realizing it was me who was irritable and crabby -

If she has a family member who is bipolar her chances are worth mentioning, if she has a first degree relative with bipolar or unresponsive major depression her chances are pretty significant. I just thought the bipolar angle was worthy of consideration.

Matt S.
10-27-07, 09:23 AM
A follow up from me with another potential possibility:

Relationship of Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder

Michael H. Stone, M.D.


<!-- null -->The relationship between borderline personality disorder and<SUP> </SUP>bipolar disorder has been a controversial topic ever since borderline<SUP> </SUP>personality disorder was incorporated into DSM in 1980. Borderline<SUP> </SUP>personality disorder was widely felt to be etiologically heterogeneous.<SUP> </SUP>Still, borderline patients were often divided into those whose<SUP> </SUP>disorder stemmed supposedly from biological factors and others<SUP> </SUP>whose condition was viewed as "purely" environmental.<SUP> </SUP>

Currently, many investigators have begun to adopt a more balanced<SUP> </SUP>view. Patients in whom borderline personality disorder and bipolar<SUP> </SUP>disorder co-occur are more apt to be understood as representing<SUP> </SUP>an interaction of biological and environmental forces. Sweeping<SUP> </SUP>statements like borderline personality disorder is a variant<SUP> </SUP>of affective disorder (especially of bipolar II type) are less<SUP> </SUP>in vogue. The same is true of the contrary assertion: that borderline<SUP> </SUP>personality disorder is not a genuine phenotype of bipolar disorder.<SUP> </SUP>As a former president famously said, it depends a lot on what<SUP> </SUP>"is" is: the moment one says borderline personality disorder<SUP> </SUP>"is" (or "is not") a variant of bipolar disorder, one has launched<SUP> </SUP>an all-or-none argument. Using "is" in this way has become increasingly<SUP> </SUP>hazardous because with contemporary research, there is neither<SUP> </SUP>compelling evidence that borderline personality disorder and<SUP> </SUP>bipolar disorder are so indissolubly linked as to justify the<SUP> </SUP>"is," nor that the two are "always" etiologically unrelated.<SUP> </SUP>

The strength of the article by Gunderson and his colleagues,<SUP> </SUP>published in this issue, rests on its more balanced position<SUP> </SUP>on the controversy. Theirs is a collaborative study derived<SUP> </SUP>from four centers in the Northeast (1) (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/7/1126#R1637BGBBICGJ), in which 629 patients<SUP> </SUP>were evaluated: 196 with borderline personality disorder and<SUP> </SUP>433 with other personality disorders (schizotypal, avoidant,<SUP> </SUP>or obsessive-compulsive). Each group was subdivided further<SUP> </SUP>into those with a lifetime comorbid bipolar I or bipolar II<SUP> </SUP>disorder diagnosis versus those without such comorbidity: bipolarity<SUP> </SUP>was an accompaniment in 38 of the borderline personality disorder<SUP> </SUP>patients (bipolar I disorder: N=23; bipolar II disorder: N=15)<SUP> </SUP>and in 34 of the other personality disorders patients. The study<SUP> </SUP>embodied a 4-year prospective design with assessments at yearly<SUP> </SUP>intervals. The aims of the study were to determine what relationship<SUP> </SUP>may exist between borderline personality disorder and bipolar<SUP> </SUP>disorder, using as measures the rates of their co-occurrence,<SUP> </SUP>and also the effects of co-occurrence on the longitudinal course.<SUP> </SUP>The focus was on whether the presence of either disorder heightened<SUP> </SUP>the risk for new onsets of the other during the follow-up period.<SUP> </SUP>Guidelines were established for identifying a new onset of bipolar<SUP> </SUP>I disorder (1 week or more of mania or hypomania in a patient<SUP> </SUP>with no prior bipolar episodes) or of bipolar II disorder (1<SUP> </SUP>week or more of hypomania and 2 weeks or more of depression<SUP> </SUP>in a patient with no prior hypomanic episodes).<SUP> </SUP>

Analysis of their data revealed that the combined bipolar disorder<SUP> </SUP>diagnoses were significantly more common in the borderline personality<SUP> </SUP>disorder group than in the other personality disorder group:<SUP> </SUP>19.4% versus 7.9%. As to the effects on the course of borderline<SUP> </SUP>personality disorder, co-occurrence of bipolar disorder at the<SUP> </SUP>outset did not exert a negative impact: two-thirds of all the<SUP> </SUP>borderline personality disorder patients showed remission at<SUP> </SUP>4 years whether or not they had a bipolar condition at the beginning.<SUP> </SUP>

If one looked at the total new cases of bipolar disorder emerging<SUP> </SUP>during the follow-up period, this phenomenon occurred more often,<SUP> </SUP>albeit to a modest degree, in the borderline personality disorder<SUP> </SUP>patients (13 of 158) than in those with a different personality<SUP> </SUP>disorder (12 of 399).<SUP> </SUP>

The reverse situation was also measured: borderline personality<SUP> </SUP>disorder occurring subsequently in bipolar disorder patients<SUP> </SUP>who at the outset had a personality disorder other than borderline<SUP> </SUP>personality disorder. Here the study showed only a somewhat<SUP> </SUP>higher tendency to manifest borderline personality disorder<SUP> </SUP>among patients with the combination "other personality disorder<SUP> </SUP>and bipolar disorder" than among "other personality disorders"<SUP> </SUP>patients who had not been diagnosed originally with bipolar<SUP> </SUP>disorder.<SUP> </SUP>

The study concluded that linkage between borderline personality<SUP> </SUP>disorder and bipolar disorder was discernible, but that this<SUP> </SUP>linkage was one of "modest association." An interrelationship<SUP> </SUP>was more noticeable; furthermore, if one began with a group<SUP> </SUP>of borderline personality disorder patients, a proportion of<SUP> </SUP>them was more likely to develop a bipolar disorder eventually<SUP> </SUP>than was a group of bipolar patients likely to develop the attributes<SUP> </SUP>of borderline personality disorder. The authors cautioned that<SUP> </SUP>even the new bipolar onsets in the borderline personality disorder<SUP> </SUP>group did not represent an evolution from borderline psychopathology,<SUP> </SUP>given that the bipolar conditions most often appeared as sequelae<SUP> </SUP>of stressful neurobiological or life changes.<SUP> </SUP>

Some of the confusion in the literature stemmed from a tendency<SUP> </SUP>to conflate purely depressive and bipolar disorders under the<SUP> </SUP>heading of affective. The relationship between depression and<SUP> </SUP>borderline personality disorder, when looked at more closely,<SUP> </SUP>turned out to be "surprisingly weak and nonspecific"(2) (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/7/1126#R1637BGBFFAEJ). When<SUP> </SUP>affective disorders occurring in borderline patients are divided<SUP> </SUP>according to categories, bipolar disorders are usually much<SUP> </SUP>less common than depressive disorders, yet significantly more<SUP> </SUP>common than are found in other personality disorders (3) (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/7/1126#R1637BGBGHFJG). Further<SUP> </SUP>large-scale studies with careful family history and long-term<SUP> </SUP>follow-up may help determine whether and to what extent genetic<SUP> </SUP>factors underlie the association between borderline personality<SUP> </SUP>and bipolar (as opposed to purely depressive) disorder.<SUP> </SUP>

From the standpoint of treatment, the authors argue against<SUP> </SUP>the growing tendency to diagnose patients who meet borderline<SUP> </SUP>personality disorder criteria as "really" examples of bipolar<SUP> </SUP>(usually, bipolar II) disorder, often omitting the personality<SUP> </SUP>disorder altogether. This tendency has, the authors mentioned,<SUP> </SUP>the decided disadvantages of relying excessivelyóat times,<SUP> </SUP>exclusivelyóon medication, while simultaneously neglecting<SUP> </SUP>the psychosocial interventions so important in the overall treatment<SUP> </SUP>of borderline personality disorder. It has not escaped the attention<SUP> </SUP>of the authors that, as a factor contributing to this problem,<SUP> </SUP>reimbursement for services is generally adequate for axis I<SUP> </SUP>conditions but meager when directed at "just" a personality<SUP> </SUP>disorder, such as borderline personality disorder.<SUP> </SUP>In summary the Collaborative Study goes a fair way toward resolving<SUP> </SUP>the "is" dilemma: we should be equally reluctant to assert that<SUP> </SUP>borderline personality disorder is (as suggested by some [4 (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/7/1126#R1637BGBFDBJG)Ė7 (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/7/1126#R1637BGBIDFED)])<SUP> </SUP>or that it is not (as suggested by others [8 (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/7/1126#R1637BGBECJAF), 9 (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/7/1126#R1637BGBHDCDA)]) simply a variant<SUP> </SUP>of bipolar II disorder. Rather, there exists a subgroup within<SUP> </SUP>the borderline personality disorder domain where risk genes<SUP> </SUP>for bipolar illness may lead to a joint presentation of both<SUP> </SUP>illnesses (10) (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/7/1126#R1637BGBBADJG). Hypomania (in the case of co-occurring borderline<SUP> </SUP>personality disorder and bipolar II disorder) may precede the<SUP> </SUP>emergence of borderline personality disorder in some patients,<SUP> </SUP>may surface a number of years later than when borderline personality<SUP> </SUP>disorder is first recognized, and in still others may become<SUP> </SUP>manifest at about the same time one is first diagnosed with<SUP> </SUP>borderline personality disorder. In valid cases of co-occurrence,<SUP> </SUP>both aspects of the condition may indeed arise from a common<SUP> </SUP>etiology and may respond well to a combined regimen of mood<SUP> </SUP>stabilizers and appropriate psychosocial interventions.<SUP> </SUP>
<SUP></SUP>
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/7/1126

meadd823
10-27-07, 10:25 AM
Further large-scale studies with careful family history and long-term follow-up may help determine whether and to what extent genetic factors underlie the association between borderline personality and bipolar (as opposed to purely depressive) disorder.

The meaning in my neurodiverse universe is that if the experts are having a hard time sorting between the two then the spouse of the person could also have the same difficulty distinguishing the difference between the two thus my point.

I only mentioned bi-polar due to the fact that it appears that other members of her family may have already been diagnosed - even the article mentions family history as being very significant. Those who do not have bi-polar or have close relatives may be unaware of how genetic this condition is. I do not meet the criteria yet I have three first degree relatives who do. I took a herbal supplement and found out what separates me from bipolar is a small amount of sertonin and that is it. I also understand that many may not be aware of the may expression of bipolar there actually is. Before learning about bipolar I would have placed my daughter in the borderline category because her manias were not obvious there was no euphoria or wonderful gradious illusions I had one irritable mean ***chy child period. I did not know super ***ch can be a manic state especially in females

I just wanted ADDrus to realize how close in resemblance the two conditions can be and as Queens_U mentioned earlier one can have both conditions.{just to make life more interesting} :rolleyes:

ADDrus
10-27-07, 10:03 PM
re: #52

Wish I knew more about services in Burlington to help you.
I know CAMH here has DBT programs.Thanks QueensU_girl but I think the TO locations are it. No local DBT according to my therapist.

Re 55
Hi meadd823, yes that old thread has come back to me on many occasions. I think I know now more of what you were saying. You were much closer than I knew at the time and you are completely correct. Bipolar or Borderline, the boundaries are a big issue. As to figuring out which or both, I may never know. Unless she really wants help, I canít provide it and I am not qualified to diagnose her and canít force her into therapy. Iíve started journalizing things, so maybe Iíll be able to discover a pattern. And yes her niece and nephew were both diagnosed bi-polar so itís in the genes unless it came from their father but itís her mother who is on her 4th marriage and an off the wagon alcoholic etcetera etcetera. I would really like a diagnosis because this will affect my children as well.

Re 56
Mspen1018 thanks again for providing info. Iím sure if I can get her proper help or at least open the channels of communication this would be helpful. Right now it isnít something she wants to discuss. If I brought it up she will get very defensive, argumentative and resistant nothing positive could be obtained. The method of broaching this subject would not matter she would still see this a ďcriticismĒ and discount it. My best hope according to the books is that her therapist would bring this up and they could work to an understanding, however this may have already been approached by her last therapist and she stopped seeing her. Iím not very optimistic for her. For me, Iím well on my way and will come up with a plan that suits me and my kids.

ADDrus
10-29-07, 10:02 PM
My wife went to see the doc about her back today. After being out of the house for about 40 minutes, she came back with appointments for 2 ultrasounds, a chest x-ray, a blood test, a prescription for Clonazepam and a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. I really donít know what to make of that. The script has me worried though; looking at the data sheet it could be very difficult to extract behavioral issues from side affects.

QueensU_girl
10-29-07, 10:47 PM
re: borderline vs bipolar overlap or confusion

Yup. Three different docs will look at one person and say (a) ultrarapid cycling bipolar, (b) borderline PD, (c) schizoaffective disorder.

Heard of that.

ADDrus
04-03-08, 11:06 PM
Well I finally get to come back to the post. Man it's already been 5 months. Who would have thought.

I got my wife to agree to marriage counseling. She's been fighting it the whole time. Drawing out the appointments, delays etc. At this point we've met with the doctor on 3 occasions since Christmas and I was the only one that attended the last session, yesterday. My wife's lack of attendance was not unexpected by the doctor who also happens to be the same doctor that my wife was seeing on an individual basis for the past year. In our last joint session the doctor was rough on my wife with my wife's illogical thought processes and "accusing" her of magical thinking in her views of possible resolutions to our relationship issues. So she appears to be waiting again for me to resolve the problem. She's not willing to commit to the relationship with a goal of happy. loving, caring, sharing. And she not willing to commit to ending it either. So it was left to sit and stew for a while. The yesterday meeting was then between me alone and her therapist which in most respects was exactly what I wanted. My wife was ok with this so it's not an issue between us right now and her excuse was an inability to walk due to a minor surgery she had last week for the ongoing joint problem noted earlier in this thread.

I still don't know if they found or fixed anything as it was exploratory surgery and not finding anything is a distinct possibility.

The one on one confirmed that yes she is borderline and narcissistic. I asked point blank what about DBT, the doctor said she would never go. I have now once again been asked why I'm still in the relationship. Her doctor feels that my wife has made no movement toward reconciling our problems but she also said it was still early in the process. I also found out that they haven't really been making much individual progress but she has asked me to try something before our next appointment and I've agreed to try. It is basically removing myself from the parenting functions ie getting the kids up and ready for school and taking care of the household cooking etc. My wife has been most adamant that this is something she wants back and that I somehow took this from her. Of course I could write an entire book on this, but you'd get bored, so I won't.

Of course fate works in weird and wondrous ways and a full time job fell in my lap this afternoon. I've been actively looking for a full time job in my field for the last 3 months as I'm not comfortable ending the relationship without one and when I really really need one, I get one. I start tomorrow afternoon and it's really a great opportunity for me and she now gets her chance. My expectations aren't very high.

I also met with legal council today to start to find out my legal rights. He's not the right guy as I really want to talk to a lawyer that's worked through an agreement with a couple where these PD's were present and he wasn't but he sent me a link to William (Bill) Eddy. an author and presenter. The book is:

SPLITTING: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing A Borderline or Narcissist
By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.


If anybody has an links to people in Toronto or sounding areas for a good family lawyer with PD experience I would love to hear from you! I would also like any comments on the author or book. I searched the forums here and didn't get any hits.

hugs to all, and thanks for reading!

QueensU_girl
04-09-08, 01:19 AM
[nice to see you back]

ADDrus
04-13-08, 08:40 AM
I haven't really gone anywhere :) Wish I could though. A vacation would be nice.

I was trolling around on the boards last night and I'm really trying to come to terms with the hows and the whys of the question "why am I still in this relationship". Outwardly it looks like I'm staying in this thing for the money and I'm being painted as a gold digger (our relationship predates the money as it's a new thing, so I know this isn't true). Deep in my heart I know this is untrue but I never really had a good handle on why I am doing this to myself and have been for years. I've learned that many people stay in abusive relationship for much longer than you would think because of the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt). While I like the idea of this and I can very much relate to the fear portion, the obligation and guilt just aren't sitting ok we me.

I've been examining my early childhood and the relationship I've had with my parents and also trying to gage the relationship they had with their parents and I've discovered some very alarming similarities. My mother's alcoholism, rages, rocky relationships, anger at my fathers death and constant need to belittle his memory as well as threats to deface his grave are not normal or indications of a healthy mentally stable person. My fathers extended absences while I was growing up and his non confrontational existence was due to my mothers uNPD/uBPD traits. I was raised to be in the relationship I now find myself and have never known anything else. I've spent years in this relationship, not out of fear, obligation, guilt or money, but because I was a victim of emotional and verbal abuse. I witnessed this with my parents and fully expected that this is how a relationship should be.

So now, after years of being abused by people I'm starting to understand. People will believe what they want. I can't change that and really I don't give a damn.

QueensU_girl
04-14-08, 01:47 PM
Sounds like you married your Mother, in a sense. A disturbed female who rages and whom you want to please.

Sounds like you are sort of playing out your Fother's role. "There there dear" and trying to emotionally detach to keep your sanity.


You should be very proud of yourself for having figured this out! (Most people never do figure out traumatic re-enactment stuff... Yet we all do it, to an extent. Not as a masochistic thing, but as a 'resolvement' seeking thing, in our search for 'mastery'.)

--

You may want to read some of Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk's writings on this 'phenomenon'. (e.g. the 'Vietnam Vet' story)

In this story, the Vet, who had lit a cigarette at night and caused the death of a friend by a VietCong sniper's bullet in 1968. From 1969 to 1986, on the exact anniversary of the death, to the hour and minute, he yearly committed "armed robbery" by putting a finger in his pocket and staging a "holdup," in order to provoke gunfire from the police. The compulsive re-enactment ceased when he came to understand its meaning.
--

Yeah, people 'learn roles' and they can be terribly hard to break. People seem to go for one extreme or the other in their role choices, too, BTW. (Depending on whether they fall into the victim or offender's role. This choice is called "identification'. e.g. 'identification with the Aggressor', or Underdog, etc.)

BTW, I call some NPD/BPDer folks 'victimoffenders'. Why? B/c they can seem to 'oscillate' between the two poles of those extreme roles. (Fascinating to watch; scary to live with.)

Emotional abuse, in some ways, is much more crippling than physical abuse. Mostly b/c the words and scripts and thwarting emotions keep playing over and over in one's head. :(

N.B. FOG: what a great acronym!

ADDrus
04-14-08, 11:22 PM
Thanks QueensU. I am very proud of how far I've come. I also blame my dad for not looking out for me. At a very early age I decided I would never let myself be like my dad. Took me another 30 yrs to actually figure out how to do that, but oh well, water under the bridge. I also have a very vivid memory of my mother's almost hysterical rage at a child that she was babysitting. He was misbehaving, not sure if the behavior was out of line for the age of the child, but she verbally reprimanded him and he swung at her and knocked her glasses flying. She grabbed him, slung him over her knee and wailed on him. He was crying, she was so angry. Scarred the crap out of me and probably explains my reluctance to defend myself in the face of aggression. Crappy place to be, but a starting place none the less.

Thanks for the reference and keeping an eye on me :)

The victim-offender is described as 2 of the 4 types, waif, hermit, queen and witch. My stbxW shows signs of all 4 types at times, but the witch is the violent raging scary one. The waif is emotionally abusive. The queen is the haughty attention seeking one and the hermit is plotting. None of them are very nice. The FOG is not my acronym, thanks go out to the new found friends on the BPDfamily.org website. If anybody is reading and relating to anything in the thread, I urge you to check out the other web site.....

cashmere
05-06-08, 01:53 PM
I haven't really gone anywhere :) Wish I could though. A vacation would be nice.

I was trolling around on the boards last night and I'm really trying to come to terms with the hows and the whys of the question "why am I still in this relationship". Outwardly it looks like I'm staying in this thing for the money and I'm being painted as a gold digger (our relationship predates the money as it's a new thing, so I know this isn't true). Deep in my heart I know this is untrue but I never really had a good handle on why I am doing this to myself and have been for years. I've learned that many people stay in abusive relationship for much longer than you would think because of the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt). While I like the idea of this and I can very much relate to the fear portion, the obligation and guilt just aren't sitting ok we me.

I've been examining my early childhood and the relationship I've had with my parents and also trying to gage the relationship they had with their parents and I've discovered some very alarming similarities. My mother's alcoholism, rages, rocky relationships, anger at my fathers death and constant need to belittle his memory as well as threats to deface his grave are not normal or indications of a healthy mentally stable person. My fathers extended absences while I was growing up and his non confrontational existence was due to my mothers uNPD/uBPD traits. I was raised to be in the relationship I now find myself and have never known anything else. I've spent years in this relationship, not out of fear, obligation, guilt or money, but because I was a victim of emotional and verbal abuse. I witnessed this with my parents and fully expected that this is how a relationship should be.

So now, after years of being abused by people I'm starting to understand. People will believe what they want. I can't change that and really I don't give a damn.

I must apologise for not replying on your thread,when you make so much effort replying to mine and so many of the others.

Briefly reading through things here sounds like you have been going through a pretty difficult period.Does your partner come on to any of the forums?

It's always difficult when todays stressful life styles and pressures seem to weigh people down.From what i have read of recent events ADDrus you have been exercising great strength when placed under tremendous pressure.

Maybe when you have a spare moment you could give us an update,hopefully things have improved fingers crossed.

ADDrus
05-09-08, 06:57 PM
Hi cashmere! :)

It's nice when someone notices you! Thanks! It's been a very long and slow learning time for me. I'll post an update later but right now I have to go and meet up with my bro and sis. My momster went in for arterial bypass surgery this morning. Docs are saying she did ok, but she may have had a heart attack, so we are meeting up for some sibling support tonight.

I'll post back later, thanks for watching my thread!

I will quickly answer one though, no my stbxW will not visit these or any forums. She is in denial and believes that there is nothing wrong with her. Part of her illness so it's to be expected.

ADDrus
06-05-08, 12:15 AM
I went to another MC session today, by myself. My stbxW texted me to tell me she had appointments and wouldn't be able to make it. Not a big surprise. She actually wanted me to cancel the appointment, huh???

She won't go and won't take the responsibility to cancel the appointment. Actually expects me to do the wrong thing for her. What a piece of work. So I told the MC of my plans to end this farce of a marriage. Retainers are paid, paperwork is getting collected. I'm packing up my personal belongings and getting everything in order. I'm waiting for the end of the school year so that the kids can do their exams, then it's done. Time to move on to a place much healthier than this.

Time to focus on my wonderfully emotionally scarred children and myself. What she does is no longer my problem or concern with the exception of preparing for the unhealthy responses expected throughout this upcoming ordeal. I expect to be blammoed for ruining her kids lives. I will be alienated from her family and the only support I have is my brother (which is better than none). My monster is uBPD/uNCP and no help. My sister is seething with anger at monster and me and my bro and I suspect she may be a high functioning BPD as well. My bro is in a relationship that may or may not be abusive. There is a strong likelihood that it is, but I guess we'll get to explore that together.

My MC is in complete agreement with the concealing I've received. She's also in complete agreement that if there is no attempt at working on the marriage, even little steps, and no attempt to work on the "blocks" that are stopping work on the little steps, there is no other option. I've warned her in a previous session that I would commit to working on the relationship as long as there was progress, but it would not go on forever. The MC and I agree that she will still not see it coming and will react with anger, so I'm preparing for a potentially violent eruption. Timing is everything. Having the kids in a safe location. The MC was sending her an e-mail, attempting to connect with her and get her back into therapy. She hasn't gone since January. I don't think she'll respond until after the sh*t hits the fan, but it's of no consequence.

So there's my update, back to my scanner.

Driver
06-05-08, 01:16 AM
Hello ADDrus,

Just popped in to say I wish you well with the road ahead; it's a road I started travelling on 4 days ago. I suspect my road is no where near as bumpy or windy as yours though.

reesah
06-05-08, 05:45 AM
Just came in to tell you I was wishing you well, be sure to eat and rest plenty for the tough times ahead

cashmere
06-05-08, 03:48 PM
Sorry to hear your relationship is ending ADDrus i myself am about to come out of a long term relationship so can share a little understanding of the pain.

Your thoughts for the children shows just what a great father/friend and rock you are to them.

In this difficult period of your life where you have tried so hard are not receiving the rewards you deserve for your efforts.

To both you and your children would like to touch the top of your shoulderblades with a magic wand which would then sparkle back the happiness you deserve into your lives.

May happiness return into all of your lives NOW"

beatrice22
01-18-10, 05:21 PM
ive actually known a few people with personality disorders including some family members (my dad was diagnosed with narrcistic personality disorder). they are all kind of similar in the way that they aren't fully capable of true empathy and can't maintain deep relationships and are also very selfish. some are very good actors i would say their family and friends are usually suffering way more than they are trying to figure them out and put up with their erradic behavior. with these disorders you can only change the behavior through medication and therapy but the personality never changes.