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Stepping back from an abuser comes in stages? Feedback needed...
June 14, 2006
10:15 pm
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StronginHim77
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As many of you know, I have been involved with a man who has BPD (Borderline Personalilty Disorder) for nearly 1-1/2 years. I am 56; he is 62. I am a widow after 20 years of marriage, so I know I am capable of a sustained, working relationship. (Translation: I know how to forgive and how to compromise).

This BF has put me thru so much emotional turmoil that my health began being affected. Literally wound up in an ER twice in the past three months with BP soaring over 195/100...blacking out...heart pounding...all from the stress of his "craziness." He has predictable, two=week cycles of tension/rage/blaming/withdrawaling, then me trying to smooth things over, forgive the cruel things he has said and accused me of, etc. My feelings for him have certainly changed. I once felt great love for him...I was nearly "in love." (At 56, that is saying a great deal!). But his constant eruptions, cruelties and emotional unavailability have cooled my feelings for him immensely. At times, I an enraged with him.

We became engaged in Feb. (yup...ring and all, including public announcement at my church, etc.). Since becoming engaged, his treatment of me has gotten WORSE. He is only in a "good" or "reasonable" state of mind about 1 day out of 14. Used to be 2-3 out of 14. I am happier when he is not around....more relaxed. I don't feel safe in his presence. I actually DREAD opening his emails. He can send me a kind one in the morning, followed by a cruel "knife" type in the evening.

My mind has told me this man is toxic. I am stepping back (I have only seen him in person maybe 6 times in the past 4 weeks), but I still feel the urge to maintain some sort of contact with him. I sure could use some help on gaining the emotional strength to sever it with him, once and for all. The only time he is nice to me now is when he is ill (his health is very poor) or scared that I am DONE. And I have been close to that point several times in the past couple of months. He knows this. Cleans up his act, but it doesn't last more than a day or so.

I think deep down he distrusts and hates women.

I welcome your support and your input.

- Strong

June 14, 2006
10:19 pm
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StronginHim77
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P.S. I was afraid to post this thread because the solution is so obvious and my weakness and inability to walk away and totally sever this dead-end relationship is something I am very ashamed of. Most of my friends have disassociated from me because they are disgusted that I am still trying to "make it work" or something.

June 14, 2006
10:32 pm
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Careverymuch
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Hi, like you said the solution is obvious...I know you are probably looking for support though and you need to hear those words. Your health both physically and mentally are going to deteriorate quickly if you don't get out. Healthy relationships do not consist of what you just described. That must be absolute hell! I was married to someone similar to your man, but I left after 2 1/2 months of marriage. I don't know how you have been able to bear all this. There are lots of fish in the sea, but you will need to heal from this first after you do leave the relationship. You sound like an incredibly nice lady, go out and get what you deserve, not stay with this may, you are stronger than you think you are. Do not be ashamed of any of your decisions as it is YOUR life and no one else's. Yes, I am afraid to say if you keep this relationship you will lose friends slowly, then completely. I don't know that much about the treatment for BPD, but this man needs urgent help! Just be prepared if you break it off, you don't know what kind of reaction he might have. Have someone stay with you or stay with someone if you can, do not be alone as from my own experience, he may go crazy on you! I hope this post helps you even a little bit! Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, leave ASAP!

June 14, 2006
10:40 pm
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StronginHim77
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I have a protection dog (who hates him) and a concealed weapons license. I also work with my local police department and sleep with my .380 next to my cell phone on the nightstand. So, I am not afraid of this BPD harming me, physically. He stalked me once, but my older son caught him and it stopped immediately.

Interestingly enough, this man is a retired police chief.

June 14, 2006
11:15 pm
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Careverymuch
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Good thing at least you will be secure. Yes, that is very interesting that he is a retired police chief. I too worked with an ex-cop that had some major psychological problems including stalking a female I worked with. I was very scared while working at this place. One night some armed coworkers had to sit at the office (I worked afternoons) to secure the place as they had to let this guy go and they were afraid of what he might do. He was a Department head, how scary is that? Good night.

June 15, 2006
12:50 am
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on my way
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I Strong, I don't know specifically what to tell you to do, so I will pray that you know. But it sounds as if you are moving in the best direction..away emotionally. Wow, so sorry. But hang in there...and trust.

hugs,
omw

June 15, 2006
12:51 am
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on my way
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that was supposed to say "Hi Strong"
not "I Strong" =)

June 15, 2006
1:34 am
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gofigure
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Strong--I so completely understand your feelings. I was married 12 years and have been unhappy and wanting to leave for the last 3+ years but never felt able to break away until recently. It took so much though for me to get to that point that I must have had a mighty big lesson to learn from all that (or at least that's what I tell myself to justify allowing myself to be so unhappy for so long). I can't give you any advice on how to speed up the process, but what happened for me was the increasing awareness that my married life was wrong in so many ways. And finally there was the straw that broke my back when I decided this had to end. And I don't mean to discourage you when I say this, but that was back in August ro September and I didn't leave until the end of February. BUT, finally I realized and really took to heart the fact that we kept repeating the same patterns. I'd tell him I was unhappy and didn't know if I loved him the way I should if we were going to be together. There were things he was doing that I didn't want to get sucked back into and there were ways that he treated me that I thought were just plain wrong. He'd tell me to please give us another try, he'd "mend his ways" and yes, some of the ways he treated me were wrong. I'd give in. We'd repeat the same patterns again a couple of weeks later...One day I decided to look at apartments and then finally I moved out. It was a process for me, a very long one, because even though I was 'only' actively unhappy for our last 3 years together, I knew for a long time before that that this relationship was bad for me, but I loved him so damn much I didn't care. Then one day I did and realized that I actually desrved better, and the only one who could give me better was me. It can be so scary sometimes, but mostly I feel so free from the anguish and agravation. Strong, it sounds like you're getting close. Do your best to have patience with yourself to go at your own pace. You'll get there and when you do you'll be able to fly. I'll be thinking of you.

~go

June 15, 2006
9:31 am
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StronginHim77
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Careverymuch, Gofigure and Onmyway...

Thank you for talking with me about this. On the positive side, I am finally coming out of the illusion that I can "fix" this or that things will get better miraculously and facing the bottom line decision: Is this how I want to live out my "golden years?" The answer is "No." Living around someone who keeps you in a constant state of upheaval and emotional anxiety is worse than being alone. As he continues to mistreat me, I will keep shutting down inside, more and more, until I am numb and can sever it completely. I do feel that I am getting stronger and stronger. And I pray that enough strength and inner resolve will come to make the final break.

Gofigure, you are an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your own story so humbly and openly.

It helped me alot.

-
Strong

June 15, 2006
4:04 pm
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whidbey
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Bumping this up in case Strong wants to keep talking.... 🙂

June 15, 2006
5:00 pm
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StronginHim77
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whidbey -

You are good stuff! Thank you.

June 15, 2006
5:39 pm
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Anonymous
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Strong,
I know exactly what you are going thru,and I am sorry that you too are having my same experiences.The only thing I can say is--unlike me,you have financial security I'm sure,and you have all the support and protection of friends and family to help you out of this relationship,TAKE IT!!Take that chance,and escape while you can.My husband has "mended his ways" literally 1000's of times,and always reverts back and brings new behaviors and problems the next time.I am glad you are coming out of your illusionary stage where you think it'll get better with time,or love conquers all,because I am also well beyond that stage as well.I have this website,my cousin on the phone,and the hopes and dreams that I will be happy again someday to sustain me.Please,for your own sake,don't procrastinate if you don't have to,and I know that too,we will all survive.

June 15, 2006
5:44 pm
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Anonymous
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I saw in another thread that you do not live in the same house with this man,but he had behaviors of stalking you.Get restraining orders,call the police repeatedly if need be every time he shows up,and you owe him nothing.No explanation,no nothing.If he asks you why,you just say,"you know why and case closed".The man who made a cameo in your relationship and you fell for does not exist.It took me 15 years to realize this for myself,but you have nothing to be ashamed of,and you won't have any regrets.

June 15, 2006
11:03 pm
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StronginHim77
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Thank you everyone, for your help and encouragement. For the record, I am NOT financially independent. I am a disabled widow who receives a small amount each month from social security. It is not enough to pay my monthly mortgage, let alone my monthly expenses for myself and my son. But if I earn more than $690/calendar month, I lose my Medicare benefits AND my disability payment. This is hard. I am trying so hard to make it and still be honest.

This BF promised to "take care of me" and help me. Needless to say, that was just dangling a carrot in front of a rabbit. He never had any intentions of helping me. And yet he is upset that I have finally found a parttime job AND I am looking for "under the table" work, babysitting, dogsitting, etc. for cash.

Your advice is welcome, as always.

June 15, 2006
11:08 pm
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StronginHim77
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p'od in springs...

Also, I should add that I have no living family members who will acknowledge me or stand by me during this phase of my life. My elderly mother (84)wants nothing to do with me (she is a narcissist) and I have no other family. My former in-laws (from the suicidal husband) blame me for his suicide, instead of accepting the fact that he was a serious alcoholic/drug abuser who chose to leave because reality overwhelmed him. In fact, some of the drugs he OD's on when he died CAME FROM THEIR BOOTLEG Rx dealers. Yet, they still blame me for failing to intervene in time.

Life can be wearisome and unjust.

June 15, 2006
11:11 pm
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Beentheredonethat46
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Strong,

You are showing such strength, thanks for your kind words on the other post too.

I am keeping you in my prayers and know that you will come through this in your own time and in your own way. While all of us here can relate to these toxic relationships I have come to think that each one is enough different (since we are all different people) that there is no one answer.

You have found your answers and power. Moving on with your best interests in front is the best possible way, IMHO.

Strength, joy and love to all,
Kim

June 16, 2006
12:15 am
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Anonymous
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Strong,
All my best to you for the terrible experiences you've had.I apologize for jumping the gun on your financial situation.This BF made you empty promises,and he is not taking care of you.You can do this,it will be hard,but you named yourself Strong for a reason.I deal with this every day too...I know I can and will...but it takes time.Time is not gonna be on my side for a while as I have to go thru a divorce and take care of 2 little girls.Not that my situation is any more dire than yours,but youu do not have the marital or children ties to bind you to this man.You have nothing to prove...and as far as family and friends,I am sorry that your mother and in-laws have rejected you after all this.The best remedy for injustice,I've learned,is when the person/people who see you and want you to be miserable...see you happy and content.

June 16, 2006
3:19 pm
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StronginHim77
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Kim - Thank you for praying for me. And for the warm words of encouragement.

p.o.'d in springs -

Sounds like your situation is infinitely tougher than mine. My sons are basically raised. My older son is 21 and has a place of his own & a good job. The younger son is entering his senior year of high school in the Fall and began an internship at college this summer which includes 32 PAID hours per week at a participating company. (It is for training in A/C work).

So, my situation is not so bad. I only really have one year left to get both my children launched and they are NOT the children of the problem BF. It is much easier to stop contact with such painful men when we are not tied to them with either children or financial concerns. Thank goodness your children have YOU. From you, they will learn kindness, compassion, loyalty and faith. What a great mom you must be! You have hung in thru great personal suffering, to try your best to provide a home for them. I know what that is like. My late husband was an alcoholic/pill abuser who constantly raged at me. But I didn't know how to leave him and support my sons.

I will be praying for you, as well. Of the two of us, I think you have a rougher road ahead of you. Mine is simply one of broken promises and heartache over a failed relationship, whereas yours is one of shattered vows and legitimate worries about future financial provision for your little girls.

Please keep posting. I am blessed to have met you.

- Strong

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