Projection (Is that REALLY what this is?)

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Phantom Muse

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Projection (Is that REALLY what this is?)
« on: February 10, 2017, 12:49:56 PM »
Hi, All,

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  I've not posted much in the past two months; I was really focused on reading a lot and trying to be tangibly productive.  I find comfort in the completion of tasks so, in that way, it's been a good couple of months.

Things with my uNPD/BPD SO have been up and down as per normal.  He still has trouble controlling his anger, but the difference now is that I am able to walk away more often when I see him heading in that direction.  That's been extremely helpful, but I also feel myself detaching from him somewhat.  I think that feeling goes hand in hand with my own focus on my own needs.

There is, however, one thing my SO continues to accuse me of-- projection.  As is fairly typical with PDs (I think), he often, IMO, projects onto me!  He will cut me off and tell me he already knows what I am going to say.  He will then proceed to list those things he is CERTAIN I am thinking or feeling.   When I tell him he in incorrect, he does not accept that.  The troubling part is that when I ask him to stop projecting onto me, he tells ME to stop projecting onto him.  I honestly don't think I do that very often (I'm not perfect).  After he rages, I do tell him that his words and/or actions hurt me, and when he does that sort of thing, it makes me feel as if he does not care-- especially because I have shared how I feel with him before and asked him to please avoid those words/actions.  This, he tells me, is a passive aggressive form of projection on my part.  Asking for affirmation is passive aggressive projection?  Does this make sense? 

Sometimes I feel so clouded and self-questioning, so any input would be appreciated!  Thank you for your support.  You are amazingly generous people.  :bighug:



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Re: Projection (Is that REALLY what this is?)
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2017, 07:46:52 PM »
No, it doesn't make any sense to me. I can relate with the projection part - uPDh assumes he knows what I'm about to say, what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling, etc. He is wrong more often than not but insists I'm lying about my true feelings - for what purpose, I have yet to discover. I suppose I'm "lying" just to be contrary? Or difficult. I just remembered that's one of his favorite labels for me - I do it to be difficult, because I am difficult to deal with (only to him because I don't worship the ground he walks on  ;))

Now I've also heard the "no I'm not, you are..." line a few too many times. Anytime I point out a behavior, I get it thrown right back into my face, just like a toddler on the playground would react if someone insulted him. I can say "I really don't like it when you treat me like I'm stupid in front of other people." He'll come back with "well, you treat me like I'm stupid in front of other people, that's the only reason why I do it." And he actually emphasizes the words I italicized. Just like a child would. It's pointless, but he got his way. I eventually stopped telling him when I was hurt or upset because I knew he would just turn it around and throw it back at me. So I would end up feeling twice as bad...once for the initial situation, then again because now I was being yelled at and belittled for pointing it out in the first place.  :stars:

You simply stating that his words/actions have hurt you is in no way projection. Are you telling him how he feels? What he thinks? No. You're simply letting him know a particular behavior has upset you. Making him aware of your feelings is in no was passive aggressive either. It sounds like he can't handle your negative emotions and retaliates each time you bring something up that casts his behavior in a bad light.

In other words, from where I sit: it's not you, it's him.
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.


Phantom Muse

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Re: Projection (Is that REALLY what this is?)
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 09:31:20 PM »
It sounds like he can't handle your negative emotions and retaliates each time you bring something up that casts his behavior in a bad light.

Thanks for your response, Whiteheron.  Sometimes my "sanity radar" needs some adjustment, as I can't always see things clearly.  That's one of the serious down sides of engaging with a PD.  It's never quite clear what is real and what is not real. 

I think, in the end, he really struggles with anything that A) involves him losing total control over the situation, and B) that questions his behavior or ideas in any way.  His self esteem is so low that any criticism-- or even light teasing-- can set him off.

As a result, he refuses to makes friends, as there has to be reciprocity for friendship to develop and be sustained.  Therefore, there must be give and take.  He can't do that comfortably because that would involve being wrong or sharing control or cooperatively resolving issues sometimes. 

In addition, he must always be right or an expert. If it is clear he is incorrect or misguided about something, he will simply say it over and again-- as if that somehow changes the accuracy.  For example, I am a professional musician, and he is a hobbyist.  However, he has (more times than I can count) tried to lecture me about a theoretical or compositional concept.  I used to try and correct (with great sensitivity) what were simply clear errors, but his hissy-fits were too much, so now I just smile and nod.  It feels a little pathetic, but his inflated negative response is not worth it to me.

I wish things were different, but I guess damage control is my priority right now.



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Re: Projection (Is that REALLY what this is?)
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 11:41:32 AM »
Oh yes-the man I have been seeing also can't handle my negative emotions and retaliates each time I bring something up that casts his behavior in a bad light.

He will often cut me off and say "I know what you are going to say.."!

His opinons are absoloute. if i say "well that is your view, I have a different one" he will say "no it's the truth !".
I say "you can not define reality for me...."and I am allowed to feel and think the way I think and feel.."!

He is ULTRA sensitive and gets his feelings hurt all the time - yet he lectures me saying I take things personally and get my feelings hurt! He accuses ME of doing what HE HIMSELF repeatedly does.

This man also really struggles with anything that involves him losing control over any situation that questions his behavior or ideas in any way.  Any criticism-- or even a calm behavior change request-- can set him off.

This last time together -over 10 days ago now-we were at Target in the parking lot -we had been shopping for things HE needed and were back in my car.he had a banana in the car which he was going to eat.
he peeled it and threw the peel out the window. i said why did you do that? and he said the store has street sweepers that are paid to clean sweep the parking lot every night.
 i said that does not matter-in the meantime someone could slip and fall on it - and i got out and picked up the
 peel and put it in a plastic bag in the car that i use for trash.
i was very upset and shocked and so I [ unwisely ] spoke tersely to him and said something about
how it shocks me he has to act like a slob. and that HE can act like a slob if he wants but i am not going to.

he then got mad and defensive and accused me of calling him a slob. i said " I did not say you were
a slob I said throwing trash on the ground is ACTING like a slob-I know you are not a slob so don't act like one".
looking back i can see how that was a huge mistake on my part. i should not have said anything to him but i was tired and fed up.
so his feelings were hurt and he went on and on about how i was wrong. So i apologized. Of course
he never apologized for throwing the banana peel on the ground!
we then went back to my house and he took a nap for over an hour.
when he woke up he was distant and aloof so i left him alone and took my dog
 out for an hour walk. when i came back he was playing his guitar and didn't want to talk. another hour goes by-i
was working on paperwork and after a bit i asked if he wanted something to eat. he said he did. so i fixed him something.
we then took a bath together - had sex and went to sleep.
i thought we had made up and "repaired" and the next morning
when we woke up we had sex again and he seemed to be in a good mood but then a few hours into
the morning,  out of nowhere, he brought up the banana peel incident again. i said "Hey I thought we went through that and resolved it.
i told you i was sorry and you accepted my apology. I thought we repaired that ?" Then i got a 15 minute
"lecture" - a long rant about how MY BEHAVIOR is "ruining" our relationship! and he told me
that i need to see a counselor and "fix" my behavior! By this time i was exasperated! so i just agreed
with him and sat and listened. he would have kept going on longer but after 15 min i said i can't listen anymore, please stop.
and then I went on to say " I am thinking out loud - maybe i have so many things
wrong with me that i should not even TRY to be in a
relationship right now - not with you or anyone -?" and when he heard that he twisted it around and said
"oh great NOW you decide you want to be alone-now that i have *______! that's NOT what i need to hear!"
i said " I have not decided that- i am just thinking out loud and why do you want to be with me if i have so
many things wrong with me?"!!!!!! then he left. that night he begins sending me long texts blaming me for
ruining everything between us. i did not respond and the next 2 days-more of the same. rants via texts.
i send back a few texts saying i am sad and confused and need time to sort out my thoughts.

I wonder what is the PAYOFF for this behavior they display? It is counterproductive to THEM yet they continue it.
I have repeatedly told him " the conduct you allow yourself to have is counterproductive to YOU. It is never going to go well for you if you yell at me and invalidate me..". So sad that they do not see how they are shooting themselves in the foot!

* he was recently diagnosed with a physical health problem



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Re: Projection (Is that REALLY what this is?)
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 12:31:45 PM »
Phantom Muse - sounds like crazy making circular conversations to nowhere. Ugh! I think you are wisely discerning things in what you say here:

Quote from: Phantom Muse
I think, in the end, he really struggles with anything that A) involves him losing total control over the situation, and B) that questions his behavior or ideas in any way.  His self esteem is so low that any criticism-- or even light teasing-- can set him off.

I used to call the behavior you describe here as claim staking... no matter what I was trying to convey to a uPD family member he would claim the same thing for himself so fast it would pull the rug right out from under me. Whoosh! Offended? Him too, only more so. Feelings hurt by negating behavior? Him too, only more often and most of the time he never mentions it, just suffers in silence! Feeling unsupported? He has never been supported by me - can't exactly give examples of these things often times when asked - but, whatever it is he claims that as a seat of honor and refuses to budge.  :upsidedown:

I have learned to not put myself in a position where I am wanting/needing something like affirmation from this person. When they do something that is hurtful or offensive I address it as consistently as possible from a boundaries perspective and from a place that is already affirmed and validated by me. I hope that makes sense? ;)

I have experienced this person talking over me, interrupting me and telling me what I am thinking, feeling, going to say, and like you I see it as coming a highly defended place of attempting to control the narrative.

In a calm moment I have set a relationship type boundary that says that him interrupting me, talking over me, and "mind" reading what I am going to say does not work for me and if he does it again I am going to politely end the conversation. And that is what I have been trying to consistently do in the past months and it is helping. He really didn't like it and pushed hard against it, but I am calm and clear and I am not going to engage in a circular conversation to nowhere with this person any longer.

I had to let go of the notion that I would find affirmation and acknowledgement of disrespect or hurtful treatment from this family member. It was not often going to happen when he was in a triggered mode - and any slight hint that I had been hurt, or their was a minute issue with his behaviors set off a huge tidal wave of defensiveness and desperate control behaviors. I am learning to move past the confusing back and forth verbal volleying that didn't gain either of us anything to setting boundaries around how I will or will not be treated.

With my family member I had to accept that there is a level of reciprocity and emotional maturity in relationship that he is not equipped to offer at this point, but I don't have to be run over like a freight train by him either.
Bloomie 🌸

The reality is that you cannot have an emotionally mature reciprocal mutual adult relationship with someone who is not emotionally and psychologically an adult.



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Re: Projection (Is that REALLY what this is?)
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 03:06:58 PM »
been through similar.  its like a voice inside their head gets attributed to you.

I just started calling it out for what it was.

when did I say that?  You may have heard that in your head, but I did not say it and should not be blamed as such.

I am not sure why you imagine these negative conversations, do you fell so poorly about yourself. 

what can we do to make you feel better, you seem to thinkibg some pretty negative stuff these days.  I am here with by choice you why are you imagining me to be an enemy?

re: bannana peel incident.  Be sure to notice he kept a lid on it intil he had had sex twice.  They can pick their times. 

« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 03:12:47 PM by 1footouttadefog »