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Longstreet....Toxic Love: Dating a Borderline
September 10, 2005
11:56 am
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StronginHim77
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Dear Longstreet,

Figured I would start a new thread, so that you would see this posting and know that you are NOT alone. Your girlfriend sounds like a classic borderline: highly demanding in terms of attention, affection, SHEER TIME and the necessity of severing all other personal relationships in your life, in order to placate their need to be focused on EXCLUSIVELY. This man I have dated is jealous of my sons (20 & 16), reacting in rage when I mentioned that my older boy was going to help me go car-shopping. (Because I did not ask HIM to help me, he is insulted and enraged.)

He is a heavy drinker. I recently made the commmitment to stop going to the bars with him. I have never been a big drinker and want to get out of that dead-end lifestyle. Needless to say, he is enraged at this betrayal, accusing me of "neglecting him," "having no affection for him" and "spending absolutely NO TIME WITH HIM." (Mind you, we were shopping and having lunch ALL DAY TOGETHER this past Tuesday, then went out for dinner, as well. He came over to our home for the Patriots game Thursday evening and I cooked his favorite meatball sandwiches. BUT - I am "spending no time with him.")

Basically, all this stuff is in their minds. You are only in their good graces if your most RECENT encounter with them was positive (from their viewpoint). If it wasn't, you are in the doghouse and all the good memories, times together, etc. are completely discounted. You are only as good as your last encouonter with them. That's part of their mental illness. They are all black & white in their perspective of people. We are either villains or saints: no grey area allowed. So, right now, I am a villain. Any good I have done or kindness I have shown is completely discounted and DOES NOT COUNT.

I am just plain worn out from this relationship. It is not physical, due to my religious beliefs (no sex outside of marriage),so at least I don't have to recover in that aspect of rejected intimacy. But my heart has footprints all over it from his verbal and emotional abuse: the raging, the screaming, the horrible accusations, the mistrust, the paranoia, the constant, "never-satisfied" demand for prioritized attention.

I read in a book that trying to meet the emotional needs of a borderline is like trying to fill up the Grand Canyon, using a water pistol. Just ain't gonna happen. And yes, your girlfriend needs to get serious therapy for her childhood abuse issues which created this personality disorder within her psyche in the first place. She adopted these unhealthy patterns of thinking and reacting, in order to survive. But she will never have a true, intimate relationship, until she gets the help she needs to break those unhealthy patterns and relearn new ones.

The question is....do you have the willingness to completely set your own emotional needs for intimacy and support to the side, until she recovers thru therapy, (IF she recovers thru therapy)?

That is a huge question. I can well understand the agony you are experiencing. I share it. God bless and comfort you, and give you strength to find your way through this nightmare.

September 10, 2005
12:26 pm
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Longstreet
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Strong, thank you so much for your thread. It sounds exactly, I mean exactly like what I am going through. I hear your same words (only as good as your last encounter, exhausted emotionally, etc), going through my head. I have been to counseling and coda meetings and feel like I have made a good attempt at getting my own stuff under control. She went to a couple of therapy sessions regarding her childhood trauma and quit saying she could read books and continue working on it by herself. So finally, after the 1000th time I hurt her and failed to be what she needed (due to MY issues of course!), I said you either take the lead step and work on the emotional void created by your childhood or I'm done because I can't take waking up every day having to apologize for completely normal things that normal people wouldn't be threatened by. All she said was that she felt my issues were what was getting in the way and creating my oversensitivity. Couldn't be her constant scrutiny and criticism, now could it? So, where do you go? She can't even see how her childhood has created this void and that nothing can be done till she starts to unravel that. So I thank you so much because I truly feel like I am going crazy. I just need time/space to remind myself love isn't always having to say you're sorry! It's about love, support and shelter and I got some of that from her, only as long as my "performance of the day" met her criteria. Sound familiar?

September 10, 2005
2:18 pm
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StronginHim77
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Dear Longstreet,

I don't know how old you are, but coping with BP's doesn't get any easier as they age. I am 55 and my BP boyfriend (ex?) is 61. He has been through three marriages, the last ending 12 years ago. I should have seen the warning flags, but was so lonely from widowhood that I plowed ahead. Now, I am facing a toxic relationship which must be ended. He is making me nuts.

Most BP's do "walk out" on therapy. My BP went to two sessions, then left in a rage, claiming that the psychiatrist and I were in "cahoots" against him...this because we both said the same thing to him. Had to be a "plot," right? These poor people are paranoid off the charts. They also do alot of "projecting" which is the technical, psychiatric term for "projecting" (accusing) onto you the very emotions/thoughts/actions of which they, themselves, are guilty. Because they cannot handle the guilt and misery of these "wrong" thoughts, feelings, etc., they PROJECT them onto their closest loved ones. Thus, YOU are "oversensitive." The reality? BP's are oversensitive. Classic projection.

I hope you stay in touch. Maybe we can help one another thru our messes. If nothing else, I think it always helps to have someone around who understands what you are going through without judging or expecting you to change your circumstances overnight. That just doesn't happen.

Obviously, these damaged people we care about have good points, or we would never have hooked up with them in the first place. A BP on an emotional upswing is bright, charming, sexy and makes you feel like the greatest person in the world. (By the way, that is known in psychiatric circles as "idealizing.")
While we are in the "idealizing" phase with BP's, life with them is awesome. But then comes the next phase: DEVALUATION. This is the dreaded moment when we fail to meet their insatiable needs for attention, reassurance, control, etc., and suddenly find ourselves demoted to VILLAIN. They threaten to leave us/dump us, rather than risk being left.

There are a number of great books out on this dilemma which I can recommend to you. One is STOP WALKING ON EGGSHELLS: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care AboutHas Borderline Personality Disorder (by Mason & Kreger) and I HATE YOU; DON'T LEAVE ME (by Kreisman & Straus). Both are available in paperback and are current publications. I urge you to check them out and educate yourself on what you have been experiencing. It will help you a great deal to learn that this is a bona fide mental illness...and that you are simply the bystander, caught up in the "...hell of BP..." as one book calls it.

Stay in touch? I hope we can encourage one another.

September 10, 2005
2:35 pm
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StronginHim77
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Nearly forgot your original comment about "having to arrange upcoming weekend plans in detail."

Borderlines need this for some reason. They want constant, advance commitment and planning. They don't live in the "here and now;" rather, they spend their time making sure we are "booked solidly" with them for the future.

Example: I am on phone with BP boyfriend on a Tuesday morning, discussing getting together at a bookstore for lunch. He immediately shifts the conversation to find out what we will be doing that evening. And I haven't even gotten thru the lunch date yet! This, too, is classic BP behavior. They are so insecure. And they require nearly regimental consistency in others, although they, themselves, do whatever they choose.

It is OK (in their eyes) if they go out to three different bars by themselves on a Friday night. But if we were to exercise the same liberty, they would be raging and in hysterics. So, whoever they date winds up with absolutely NO personal freedom, (you get scared to even take the dog for a walk, cause if you don't answer the phone when they call, there will be hell to pay), and they do whatever they choose with no consequences. Total double-standard. This can get kinda wearing after awhile.

I recall one evening that I had to dash over to the mall for some quick purchases. I managed three stores in less than 45 minutes. Called him when I was on my way home. Needless to say, I got another call from him when I arrived at the house: [delivered in severe, ominous tones...] "Is there something you want to tell me?" Me: "Huh?" BP/BF: "I'll give you one more chance. Is there something you want to tell me?" Bottom line: I had to SHOW HIM ALL THE STORE RECEIPTS WITH THE TIMES STAMPED ON THEM, to prove I was not out socializing with other men. I really and truly was at the mall.

To make this even more humorous, I am a fairly honest person. I happen to be an ordained prison chaplain. So, honesty and integrity mean a great deal to me.

It hasn't helped. He doesn't trust me (or any other human being) further than he can throw me.

OK. Enough for now. Hope this is helping you. Just "venting" is helping me quite a bit.

September 10, 2005
4:46 pm
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Longstreet
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Strong, you REALLY do understand what I am going through. It's sooo hard to describe how functional and wonderful these people can be but behind closed doors it's like a living nightmare. She either aggressively or passive aggressively attacked me in every turn. My sister and her husband went to dinner with my twin sister (who hates my ex, sees right through her). They went to a restaurant I went to w/my ex and sister and her husband. She was upset with ME because my sister and her husband went to dinner at "our" restaurant with my twin, who hates her. She said it hurt her feelings. How am I possibly supposed to control the universe enough to keep her happy? I found myself apologizing for my sister going to dinner with my other sister. Is this normal??? Why am I pushed up against the wall and even having a discussion about stuff like that? Same thing when I arranged a surprise party and called old college friend. Somehow that hurt her feelings because I was excited to catch up with old friends and she would seem "less sparkly" in comparison. I had to apologize for contacting people I hadn't talked to in 15 years! I asked her to consider counseling for herself and all she said was that MY issues were making me the oversensitive and controlling one. I swear every day was like a litmus test of what mood she was in and was I good enough today to keep her from criticizing or (her favorite), hysterical crying, telling me how mean I was. Never have I felt so valued (idealized), and then torn to shreds. There was no inbetween. I am so sad she can't see any of this and tells me I'm the messed up one. So all I have are these boards and wonderful people like you to share with. God bless you!

September 10, 2005
5:42 pm
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StronginHim77
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Dear Longstreet,

You will be able to compassionately relate to my "BP day from hell" today. I have been in therapy for nearly 6 weeks now for recovery from codependence, as well as grieving issues from my late husband's suicide. (It was dreadful; he hung himself, after nearly a year-long illness.) My session with the doctor this past Wednesday was VERY intense. The kind-hearted doctor warned me in advance that our current progress would probably trigger alot of sadness/grieving/need for solitude within me.

The same doctor is treating the boyfriend with BP. Interesting, eh?

Wednesday night was, predictably, tough. I wept a great deal. The doctor says I am grieving through my loss and to be patient...not push myself...that it is OK to grieve. So, I spoke with the BP/BF on the phone several times. He heard me weep. Shared with him that this is difficult for me, but necessary if I am to recover emotionally. That I would not be able to go out and "sparkle" with him for awhile, till I was thru this. He pledged his deep "love and support." Yeah. Right.

Today, he RAGED at me on the phone this morning because I have been "neglectful, unavailable emotionally, unloving and unaffectionate" for (get this...classic BP exageration) MONTHS. MONTHS. Heck...I just had a wonderful day with him Tuesday, including shopping, lunch, dinner and tons of laughter. Thursday, I had him over with my son for the football game. Cooked for him. But he has sulked since Wednesday. (He was sulking and moody Thursday evening; you could have cut the tension with a knife.) All because I am requiring healing time for myself and can't meet his astronomical need for constant attention and support.

I am trying to help myself. So, he is enraged with me. I finally told him that I realized he might wind up moving to another girlfriend, since I was not "available" for him right now. But that -- even though the possibility scared me -- I still had to continue with my therapy and emotional recovery. Well...he went ballistic. That gave him an excuse to rage, I guess. (As if they need an excuse?) How could I possibly insult him so? Say such a dreadful thing about him?

Quite honestly, I think I hit the nail on the head and touched a "nerve," so to speak. He does, indeed, flirt with other women whenever he is out...and he goes out a great deal without me. He can't stand being home alone, so hits all the bars whenever I don't join him. He MUST HAVE SOMEONE IN HIS LIFE. A sympathetic woman to fuss over him.

So, I think alot of his rage today was because I stumbled across a truth.
He hates that. It has happened before.

So, he hung up on me. (Mind you, I was weeping again...been a cotton-pickin waterworks all day). He didn't care. This is an emotional monster. So much for his promises to stand by me and earn my trust (I have trust issues, myself) and wanting me to remain in therapy, so that my grief heals.

I am hurting tonite, for certain.

Your friend,

Strong

September 10, 2005
7:47 pm
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Longstreet
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Strong, I can totally relate to your day and your sadness. I am sooo sorry for all you are going through. It would be hard with the healthiest partner by your side, much less a BP/BF. I will say a prayer tonight for your continued recovery. Interesting that we both received treatment for codependence. Do you think that's what draws us to BPs? I can't really say my BP/GF is as rageful as your BF, she tends to get completely hysterical, crying and telling me how mean I am. I was so afraid of her trying to commit suicide sometimes I would drive over to her house and sit outside her door till she let me in, where I could, of course, apologize. Not that she couldn't be plenty rageful. She was so sweet in counseling but let me tell you she could call me the worst names and hang up on me, no problem. My sadness is that she can't see how she manipulates the truth (that SHE is actually controlling), and I am the puppet, trying to please her and measuring every word carefully not to make her mad or hurt her feelings. I am so sad tonight, we would normally be together right now. I doubt she will call and say that she will go to counseling. All she said was, "Well what are YOU going to do about YOUR issues?". I just went to 3 months of individual counseling and weekly coda meetings, while she did nothing but alledgely read books on child abuse. But she won't budge unless I am working on my issues but she doesn't realize my issues (reluctance to move in/have sex), all stem from not feeling safe with her because of having to measure everything carefully. So I am here, broken hearted. Please take care of yourself tonight. These boards are a blessing. Thank you again and again.

September 11, 2005
4:36 am
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StronginHim77
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Dear Longstreet,I will not marry my BP/BF. To do so would be to give him even more tyrannical control over my life. He wants my house. I would have to find a legal way to protect it for my sons. Already, he wants to change the furnitue. And he does not approve of the type of car I need/want to trade up to. I have two sedate Mercury Sables (01"s) which need alot of work. It is time to trade one of them in. I would like a Mustang, Mitsubishi Eclipse or the XR 7 (Nissan?). My older son offered to take me test driving whatver I would like to check them out. My BF wants me to look at used jaguars. He dries one, himself. First of all, I wold never want a used car. I need something new and reliable. Also, it needs to be relatively cheap, so I must hunt in the "less expensive" dealerships. Well, this decision got him offended...jealous of my son.

They dont have a high opinion of him because he has come to this house drunk a couple of times and he treats me abusively, making me cry, every few weeks, regular as the clock. (Very definite pattern of cycling, in and out of anxiety/tension/sulking/self-pity/anger/rage/blow-up[attack on loved one [yup;.yours truly], then sorrow, clear head for maybe two days and the cycle begins all over again.

September 11, 2005
5:02 am
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Wow, I feel for you two. I have known a few BPs in my life and they are impossible. My aunt for one. I loved her so much, but i gave up on her. They can be so loveable and then turn on you, beyond belief...when you did nothing. She wrote me an email about all the horrible things my family did to her and why she won't call my deathly ill mother. This was all news to my dad and me. We always loved her so much, but she hated so many of the family members for no apparent reason. She just drove everyone away and then blamed them one by one. I had a grad student once who was BP, and it was horrible. I have a colleague who is, and I just avoid her at all costs. BP is really hard to treat and can make u feel really threatened by someone you really got roped into caring about. Sometimes I think my brother is somewhat BP. Anyway, sorry to barge into your conversation. Good luck.

September 11, 2005
10:00 am
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Longstreet
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Thank you Stong and we welcome your comments/experiences Nesh! Yes loving a BP is truly one of the toughest experiences of my life. Strong, I have a used Honda CRV (my mechanic suggested used Toyotas or Hondas), and I love it. Very inexpensive, fuel efficient and reliable. What you said about the cycling is amazing! It got so, that I wrote down the date of our fights and it was every 2 weeks. I have the "Walking on Eggshells" book and wrote the dates in there. That is so weird! Here is a classic fight, we were at the mall and I had given her some Origins skin toner to use because she was previously using Seabreeze or something on her face that smelled like a teenager. At the mall I said, "did you want to get more Origins?" she said, "I'm never using it again because it ran out and you never noticed!" So now add monitoring the level of her skin toner to my job description! It was the need for constant vigilance for teeny tiny stuff like that which made me insane. Couldn't she just not feel neglected for even 1 second? She called 4 times last night, I could tell she was drinking. It was sad, she said she knew it was over, thanked me profusely and told me my issues were getting in the way too and that we could fix them together. Should I believe her? I am so sad this morning because now she planted a seed of doubt I am doing the right thing. Should I still walk away?

September 11, 2005
10:49 am
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StronginHim77
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Dear Longstreet,

That is such a tough one. I know that everything within me is hoping that the BP/BF will call. That this cycle will pass and that we will be together again, even though I know it will recur. Regular as the clock. He can't help it. He is sick. No matter what I say or do, he will find something wrong in my speech or actions, to send him over the deep end, again. I am, (once again) the hated and despised Enemy in his life. I have been through this so many times with him. And each time, it hurts MORE, probably because I figure our talks about such occurrences (during his lucid cyles) should help him to overcome the urge to delve down into the pit...YET AGAIN. But it doesn't. Down he goes, very willingly, over and over, every couple of months. (His cycle from Rage through Lucidity runs about 10 weeks on the MAJOR eruptions of hatred, to every 3-5 days on general anxiety and moodiness.)

We did have ONE good day this week (Tuesday) when he was laughing, charming and totally happy. First time I have seen him like that in many months.

In the past, it has always been ME who smooths over the troubled waters and makes the peace, 2-6 days after his rage eruptions. I minister to HIS hurt; I apologize endlessly for upsetting/failing HIM; I practically stand on my head to pat and comfort him. And how much comfort does he extend to me? Is any acknowledgement made of how much he has devastated me, emotionally? None, whatsoever. He is oblivious to my own hurt. This is strictly a one-sided relationship: he takes; I give.

So, I have to ask myself...do I really and truly WANT to have him back in my life? That is where the codependency comes into the picture. Old codependent me would rather have someone dreadful, than no one at all. For this mini-monster to leave me is an unbearable LOSS on top of a huge pile of Lifetime Losses. And all my codependent heart feels is that someone I needed LEFT ME. (Never mind that he was hell to be around.)

So, I am going to hold on tight, refuse to pick up the phone, resist the impulse to send a conciliatory email and stand strong as I can. I don't want my choices dictated by the anguish inside my heart. I want to make healthy choices for my overall good, choices that will PROTECT me from the havoc and pain of having a BP dominating my life.

Pray that I make it. You know how hard it is...

I really understand how you felt when those drunken phone calls came in lastnight. That has got to be one of the hardest things in the world to deal with. Please let me know how you are faring today, emotionally? Do your very best to "stand strong" for yourself, too. Get out of the house. Don't sit there, grieving. Surround yourself with people who won't require that you talk too much(your heart is too heavy for chit-chat), but who will keep you occupied with something you enjoy. Eat. Take care of yourself. Tell yourself that for the next 12 hours, you are giving yourself a "vacation" from the chaos of maintaining contact with her...from the emotional exhaustion of the hypervigilance required to keep her pacified. Remember how hard that hypervigilance is to maintain??

Love,

Your Cyberfriend,

Strong

September 11, 2005
10:59 am
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A postscript that just came to me...Remember what that doctor said in STOP WALKING ON EGGSHELLS?

[paraphrased:] "If you find yourself involved in a relationship with a BP, you probably have unfinished business with one or more parents."

The dynamics of my relationship with the BP/BF are nearly identical to the dynamics of my relationship with my mother (a probable narcissist/BP).

Tell me about your Mom & Dad when you have time?

September 11, 2005
11:02 am
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Longstreet
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Strong, you are so right. I will admit she got under my skin by praising me to the moon last night. She clearly was having her "lucid" moment (can you do that drunk?), and realized what she was losing. I am so sad to think there may be a way to stay together and work it out and am I making a mistake to walk away? I do have issues that she touched on and she said she would help me and that she would be willing to look at her own stuff. But I don't really trust her. Do you know what I mean? The childhood abuse trauma, according to my therapist is something that will take years for her to work through. Can I deal with that? I'm 44, do I want to be with someone who is just starting a very, very long process to recovery? I just know, looking back at my "Eggshells" book, all the fights we had over NOTHING! Isn't the face toner issue just classic? I know there will be more of those episodes waiting for me along side overwhelming generocity. It's so confusing. I think I just need to let it go right now and concentrate on me, building a life (no friends, gave them all up for her, of course), I work from home and she was literally my only outside link. So I am doubly isolated and I am scared about that. I just want to run away, run towards her and run away from her at the same time. Thank you and be strong. It sounds like your situation is even MORE clearcut than mine, in terms of staying away! Thank you again!

September 11, 2005
1:20 pm
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StronginHim77
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Dear Longstreet,

The conversations you exchanged with your BP lastnight could easily have taken place (and probably HAVE taken place) between me and my own BP/BF. Yes, they do realize what they are losing when they calm down and the intense, emotional storm within them cycles down. And yes, they are perfectly capable of being quite lucid when drunk. My BP is an alcoholic who frequently admits to the Truth while under the influence. (Note: He only sees the Truth during his first 3-4 drinks; after #4, he is can "flip" and begin the crazy-thinking stuff again, including what I call "selective memory" of what really happened between us.) They ALL have selective memory.

My BP/BF finally returned to therapy, after storming out during session #2. I simply made it a condition of our resuming contact during one of his "lucid" and cooperative cycles. He has gotten through two sessions, since that reconciliation. Now that he is angry with me again, he may boycott the psychiatrist this coming Wednesday (his appointment date). There is no telling which way the wind will blow.

I figure that if he DOES show up at the psychiatrist's office, he may try to work things out with me. If he DOESN'T, then things are truly hopeless.

You are young, my friend. Surely you have hopes for a wife & family of your own someday soon? BP's do NOT make good mothers. They are too damaged to raise emotionally healthy children. If you have remote hopes for children of your own, your BP would not be a very good candidate (not only because of the wear & tear on you as her husband, but also on the children who would be innocent victims of her illness).

If you already have a child/children from a previous marriage, then I would encourage you to focus on them, the best you can.

Since you work at home, you will need to seek some new social outlets. No doubt about it, we ALL wind up isolated from both friends and family when we take up with a BP. They simply cannot handle us having other close relationships in our lives. My BP is jealous of my two sons which means he is utterly lacking in human compassion. These two young men have no one else in the world, except me, due to their father's tragic suicide two years ago. How could he heartlessly resent my deep attachment to their well-being and emotional survival of such a trauma?

OK. Here's some "homework" for you. Make a list of old friends...people who live within 25 minutes drive from you. Get on the phone. Line up a couple of dinners out. Or an afternoon at a sports bar, pigging out on wings and watching the NFL slug it out? Or check out a local church and see if they have alot of singles? (Many of the non-denominational Christian churches DO.)
Do you enjoy any sports? Time to resume them. Ditto hobbies which you may have abandoned.

It is very important to reach out. You have let her become your whole world. I can relate. I did the same thing with my BF. Going out with other friends exacted such a high price tag (sulking/rage/jealousy/anger/days of moodiness) that I threw in the towel and became increasingly isolated. I used to love ballroom dancing. Got so depressed (and overwhelmed by his jealousy of ANYONE I danced with, including my happily married teacher) that I quit the lessons and stopped going to the ballroom dance social events. He couldn't dance, took a few lessons, then quit. And resented my continued love for it. Needless to say, I was not "free" to dance with any other partners who invited me onto the dance floor, (his jealousy and rage would have been unbearable), so I phased out of something I loved.

I am sure there are probably many activities which you gradually "phased out," just as I did the dancing. Pull them out of the storage closet of your past, give them a good shake and start resuming the activities you once enjoyed WITHOUT her. If you don't have any hobbies, sign up for lessons in something. Or go to the local bookstore and attend one of their group discussions/guest author presentations. Attend a local concert. Go to a wine & cheese tasting. BUT GET GOING.

It will be hard at first, but it is DO-able. We cannot rely on one person to give us meaning and purpose in life...and social contact.

I have a little dog, a cairn terrior who is partially crippled due to autoimmune problems. Have decided to put her back into obedience school and try to get her certified for Therapy Work with children. This is something I have put off for a long time. I was too wrapped up in my BP to commit one evening every week to lessons with my little dog, even though I enjoyed my friendships with other dog-owners and the time with my loving little companion.

Still hoping you can share some of the dynamics of your relationship with your parents. That may have alot of bearing on your codependence issues. It sure did in my case.

You are in my prayers today..

Your friend,

Strong

September 11, 2005
3:43 pm
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Longstreet
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Hi Strong, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I am so sad today. Went to Bed Bath & Beyond and wandered around like a zombie. I did a lot of examining my family dynamics in individual counseling this year. Basically, it was overbearing mother, weak father. Lots of kids in the family (6) including a twin sister. Learned at an early age that mom would try to control me unless I capitulated or resisted and stuck to my guns, which is what I do. So when my BP/GF criticizes me I come back angry, instead of penitent, ready to argue my point till she sees the light, which, of course, we know they don't do. Got so out of control I pushed her one time, which I have never done before. I sought counseling around it and it's not reoccured (my counselor said EVERYONE has their limit!). Relatively happy childhood, middle class, stable home, strong moral and educational foundation (all kids have college degrees, 3 of us have Masters). So, that's what I know about how I came to be codependent and with a BP. I have no children but spoil my 2 cats which I adore. I will definitely need new friends. I'm from out of state, so don't have friends here. I reread my "Eggshells" book today to remind myself of all the stupid fights and how I wanted to get out. Now I just have to stay out. Thank you soo much for caring about it. It means the world to me.

September 11, 2005
3:43 pm
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StronginHim77
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Wow....got a terrific insight from Lass on another thread. Let me quote her and share it with you because it sure helped me to resist calling the BP/BF and begging him to take me back WHEN I WAS THE ONE WHO WAS ABUSED!

Basically, what she explains is that their "withdrawing" from us (rejecting us/breaking up with us/leaving us in a rage, etc.) is a CONTROL MECHANISM:

"...I was going along fine, when whammo! He withdrew! I was like a fish flopping around on the ground...Then he sets the hook and lets the line out. He reels it back in AT HIS CONVENIENCE. HE IS IN CONTROL. The only way to snip the line is to CUT HIM OFF."

I think there is some powerful truth in this. Everytime they "dump" or "abandon" us over some imagined wrong on our part, they are exercising highly refined manipulation and control. This hit me so hard, that I have journaled it for future encouragement at home whenever the guilt or misery starts eating at me.

September 11, 2005
7:16 pm
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StronginHim77
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Dear Longstreet,

Was very interested to learn about your "zombie-like" wanderings thru Bed,Bath & Beyond. I spent lastnight, wandering aimlessly through the local Barnes & Noble. At least I found a book which looks promising: MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS (INSTEAD OF YOUR EMOTIONS MANAGING YOU) by Joyce Meyer. I am really getting alot out of the chapter on codependency. But I did get a sad, mental picture of you, walking aimlessly thru that store, just as I did thru the stacks of books.

When your heart aches, life sure looks bleak. And it is tough to go through the motions. But I sure do commend you for getting out of the house and DOING SOMETHING. It takes determination. Keep doing it. Healing of the heart is a painfully slow process. Each day, the heaviness lifts, ever-so-imperceptibly, until ONE DAY, you suddenly realize that all of your thoughts were NOT centered on the absent loved one.

I remember working my way through that painful process when my late husband died. I can't remember when the agony lifted....but, eventually, it did. I still grieve for him, but I have entire DAYS without sorrow or a pang of difficult remembrance. Time does heal. Please be patient with yourself, my friend. And very very kind to yourself. If you have any close (and totally NONJUDGMENTAL) friends, now is the time to open up to them and seek out their sympathetic company.

And don't spend all your time talking about her. Yes...clear the issues here and there, so that you work off the guilt and the pangs of loss, but make a deliberate effort to cut off such ruminations at a certain point: "Ok...now, how about we choose which movie we wanna see, eh?"

In other words, vent...unburden yourself, but also have some positive conversation and interaction with true friends which does not center on her. This is hard at first, but it comes easier with Time.

I am thinking of you and praying for you.

Strong

September 11, 2005
8:37 pm
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Longstreet
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Thank you Strong, you are so...Strong! I can't imagine losing my spouse and having to recover from that. I'm not sure I would make it. I tried to keep busy today, washed my car and talked to my mom. Felt like calling my ex 100 times and saying, let's work things out. Joyce Meyer is her favorite spiritual leader, coincidently. So I am just trying to take it an hour at a time. I wonder what would be different if we did get back together. The shock would wear off and eventually the criticisms would begin again and I would feel nervous and on edge all the time, being resentful on the inside and secretly wishing for the freedom I now have. I don't understand myself, why I want out when I was "in" and want in when I'm "out". I miss her soo much. At least the good times, which I can't help but linger over right now. I am miserable and feel like my heart is breaking.

September 12, 2005
3:36 pm
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StronginHim77
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Dear Longstreet,

Boy, can I relate to your words: "I don't understand...why I want out when I was 'in' and want in when I'm 'out'." That might not make sense to anyone else in the world, but I have been there. Heck. I'm there right now.

I broke down lastnight and sent a conciliatory email to the BP boyfriend who erupted at me in rage Sat., declaring he never wanted anything more to do with me. The email does not beg to have him back, (it has a peaceful, neutral tone), but just SENDING it makes a statement, I think. If I were truly strong, I would walk away and never look back.

This morning, I tried to make a two-column list of his good points and bad points. I wound up with 4 PAGES of bad points, (ways in which he hurts me, fails me, torments me) and could not come up with one, single "good" point. That's pretty bad. And I must be deeply codependent to dread the loss of someone so "toxic." But I do know how you feel. Every hour that we resist picking up the phone and calling them is a battle.

If you break down and contact her, I completely understand. Don't beat yourself up about it. We do what we have to do...and what we can handle. I am continuing to pray for you.

Your friend,

Strong

September 12, 2005
3:45 pm
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Longstreet
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Strong, did you ever feel totally scrutinized by your BP/BF? Like they were watching your every move and analyzing it? I have been doing a lot of thinking and realized that she would withdraw and ask me if something was bothering me (I'm usually cheerful, so not often was the answer yes), but she would dig and dig, swearing I was hiding something until I would get mad and feel like I was going crazy, swearing nothing was bothering me. One thing about me, when I'm bothered, I don't hide it. It was a pattern of many of our fights. Her attempt at "helping" and me swearing nothing was bothering me (other than my wish she would quit asking me if something was wrong). Is this a common BP trait? I told my best friend, I felt like I was backed in a corner with her coming at me with a straight jacket and hypodermic needle saying, "There, there, everything will be alright" and me screaming, "No I'M the NORMAL one!" Can you relate?

September 12, 2005
5:37 pm
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StronginHim77
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Actually, you have hit on one of the peculiarities of BP's. They DO scrutinize those around them VERY intently. (Sort of like living under a microscope, isn't it?) And they will dig and probe when absolutely NOTHING is wrong. If I remember correctly, I read they do this because they, themselves, are so dreadfully insecure, unsettled and unhappy inside. They live in a constant state of inner turmoil and anxiety and constantly "probe" their significant others for any clue, any sign, any remote indicator that something is wrong and that loved one is preparing to abandon or betray them in some manner.

And yes...I have experienced this with my BP/BF and it made me NUTS. He would push me to a point of exasperation with his "interrogations" when I would be ready to scream. (Once, I actually did which, of course, hurt and offended him which meant MORE TROUBLE). It just never ends with these damaged souls.

Yes...I have felt exactly what you described: being approached by a soothing BP, waving a hypodermic syringe at me and I WAS TOTALLY FREAKED ABOUT THE INSANTIY OF THIS REVERSAL OF REALITY. THE REALITY? It is the BP who is nuts, but they start convincing us that WE have the problem. Once, my BF began "comforting" me, as if I were a nut case and I remember thinking to myself, "THIS IS CRAZY. HE'S THE ONE WHO GOT ME AGITATED LIKE THIS. HE IS THE PROBLEM. I'M SANE!!"

So, don't feel alone. Alot of us are experiencing the same craziness with our BP's. You are not imagining it. They REALLY do this stuff.

September 12, 2005
5:48 pm
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Longstreet
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Oh Thank God for your email. I truly felt like I was going crazy. She would scrutinize me, interrogate me (in her "loving" way of course), until I would finally make something up to be wrong, just to get her off my back. It was the weirdest thing! Like every other day (especially when we were apart), she was poking, prodding, telling me I sounded weird, distant, something was bothering me, what was I hiding? It made me CRAZY! Finally I would blow up and then she would tell me I had anger issues and needed help! I swear it was just like you said, they pat you and tell you it's ok and THEY are the crazy ones. No one ever sees them like that except us so it's their word against ours. No one sees this crazy aspect of their personality, especially if they are high functioning like her. I swear I felt like I was going insane. I never had anyone probe every nuiance of my being telling me I was hiding my "true" feelings all the time. I swear I'm pretty much a "what you see is what you get" gal. Thank you for this reassurance. It helps!!!

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