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Hi, Lil, :wave:

WOW! That's great insight! I hadn't thought of it that way before, I guess, but you're right. It was my "child" who was abused. It's my "child" who got herself into the bad relationship to begin with (again) and then delt with it poorly when she did...until now.

Now, I'm determined to do the right thing as best I can from an emotionally healthy, adult perspective. I'm feeling my way along on this, but I have some good advisers like you and my girlfriend and even my shrink. And when I find I have a problem or a limit as to what I can healthfully tollerate, as with my issue with my husband's coming back to the house to get his stuff, I speak up. I have offered to have his stuff taken to another location for him to pick up from there at a mutually agreeable time. I can be there for questions, but not see him. That's something I might not have done before now. I suppose that's showing respect for myself.

As for romantic relationships, I don't see me trying to deal with that at all any time soon...if ever again. It's not that I'm bad looking, but walkers, canes and wheel-chairs aren't exactly draws in the romance department, if you know what I mean, even if I were interested.

I was reading the book that my shrink recommended last night and it said some interesting things, like:

"Many of us are hurt emotionally, relationally, and spiritually, but because we are unaware of the extent of our wounds, we don't take steps toward healing and health. Our problem is not stupidity but a lack of objectivity. Because of this, we fail to see the reality of pain, hurt, and anger in our lives.

"Why do some of us lack objectivity? Perhaps our lack of objectivity is a learned response from childhood. All of us desperately want our parents to be loving and supportive. If ours aren't (or weren't), we may protect our concept of them by blaming ourselves for their lack of love, and we may deny that we have been hurt by their behavior. (been there, done that)

"We all develop elaborate defense mechanisms to block pain and gain significance. We suppress emotions; we are compulsive perfectionists; we drive ourselves to succeed; or we withdraw and become passive; we attack people who hurt us; we punish ourselves when we fail; we try to say clever things to be accepted; we help people so that we will be appreciated; and we say and do countless other things. (HELLO??? Can anyone say BPD?)

"A sense of need usually propels us to look for an alternative. We may have the courage to examine ourselves and may desperately want to change but may be unsure of how and where to start. We may refuse to look honestly within for fear of what we'll find, or we may be afraid that even if we can discover what's wrong, nothing can help us.

"When the light of love and honesty shines on thoughts of hopelessness, it is often very painful. We begin to admit that we really do feel negatively about ourselves--and have for a long time. But love expressed through the right people and woven into our lives can, over a period of time, bring healing even to our deepest wounds and instill within us an appropriate sense of self-worth.

"When the light does come on in our lives, we will discover that we have tried to meet certain needs in the wrong way. It isn't that the needs are not real, it is just that we have tried to meet these needs in inappropriate ways.

"How do we know if something we want is really something we need? First, the simple answer is that when we are without something we need, we find ourselves uncomfortable, sometimes even miserable, perhaps even at the point of death. Without water we become very thirsty; without sleep we stay very sleepy. When we find that we perceive our lives as having no value, purpose, or significance, we become miserable. (this is where we have to be very, very careful...because it, whatever or whomever it is, can feel like a matter of life and death if we don't have it/them in BPD-land)

"From life's outset, we find ourselves on the prowl, searching to satisfy some inner, unexplained yearning. Our hunger causes us to search for people who will love us. Our desire for acceptance pressures us to perform to gain praise from others. We strive for success, driving our minds and bodies harder and further, hoping that because of our sweat and sacrifice others will appreciate us more.

"But the man or woman who lives only for the love and attention of others is never satisfied--at least, not for long. Despite our efforts, we will never find lasting, fulfilling peace if we must continually prove ourselves to others. Our desire to be loved and accepted is a symptom of a deeper need--the need that frequently governs our behavior and is the primary source of our emotional pain. Often unrecognized, this is our need for self-worth.

"Whether labeled self-esteem or self-worth, the feeling of significance is crucial to man's emotional, spiritual, and social stability and is the driving element within the human spirit. Understanding this single need opens the door to understanding our actions and attitudes.

"What a waste to attempt to change behavior without truly understanding the driving needs that cause such behavior! Yet millions of people spend a lifetime searching for love, acceptance, and success without understanding the need that compels them. Our value is not dependent on our ability to earn the fickle acceptance of people."

I was getting here already, but it was nice to have it spelled out plainly and reinforced by this author. The name of the book is "The Search for Significance, Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes" by Robert S. McGee. It's a book and a workbook together. I'm looking forward to the next chapter. Though the book isn't specifically written to address the BPD audience, he does specifically address the following areas in Chapters 3-10:

The Performance Trap: I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself. The fear of failure; perfectionism; drive to succeed; manipulation of others to achieve success; withdrawal from healthy risks.

Approval Addict: I must be approved by certain others to feel good about myself. The fear of rejection; attempts to please others at any cost; overly sensitive to criticism; withdrawal from others to avoid disapproval.

The Blame Game: Those who fail (including myself) are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished. The fear of punishment; punishing others; blaming others for personal failure; withdrawal from others; drive to avoid failure.

Shame: I am what I am. I cannot change. I am hopeless. Feelings of shame, hopelessness, and inferiority; passivity; loss of creativity; isolation; withdrawal from others.

I think that covers enough of my BPDisms to keep me interested. So maybe my shrink heard me after all and is going about this a little differently? Whatever, I'm cool with this. It gives me time to dig really deep and work on me then touch base with her.

I just hung up from my attorney. My husband turned down all offers of settlement so we'll go to court on Monday morning unless something comes up between now and 5 PM to continue it again, and we'll go for the continued Protective Orders (criminal part), continued Restraining Orders and Temporary Maintenance in court. My son hasn't heard anything from the DA on the criminal charges he filed against my husband either, but I'm guessing that he may have turned down that settlement offer as well. We'll see.

Talk to you later.

:angel:

Houston





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