Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Committed to Working On It => Topic started by: moglow on October 12, 2007, 10:54:42 PM

Title: About This Forum
Post by: moglow on October 12, 2007, 10:54:42 PM

This section is for people who are committed to working on their relationship, staying in their relationship, and/or improving their relationship. We can not force change upon our personality disordered loved one, but we can empower ourselves by setting boundaries and by clearly communicating our needs to our partner.

We share stories, concerns, fears, frustrations, advice, and inspirations with each other here. Our common goal is to find healthy ways to cope with the relationship. We also seek to better understand the impact a personality disorder has on us and on our loved one.

Many people who post in this section are choosing to continue the relationship with their personality disordered spouse or significant other. Flames (nasty yelling or sarcastic responses) are contrary to what we want to preserve and encourage on this board. Please do not be judgmental about how another person lives their life. If you do, others might find it more difficult to post for fear of being judged.

It takes some people a lot of courage to speak up, and a sarcastic approach can do a lot of harm. If you disagree with something someone says, disagree about the issue; please don't be disagreeable to the person. Feel free to speak about what's important to YOU and how your values and beliefs affect your BPD relationship.

Again, welcome to the Committed To Working On It forum.
You are encouraged to join us as we work together towards healthy personal growth within our  relationships.

 Originally posted at The Nook  by Tammy on: May 13, 2003, 03:56:24 pm
Title: Re: About This Forum
Post by: Spring Butterfly on June 24, 2016, 09:57:00 AM
Out of the FOG member guidelines prohibit giving explicit instructions to another member whose situation you do not know well.

Giving Advice:
Feel free to share how you cope or have coped with various situations - that's the purpose of this forum!  But please avoid making blanket statements like "You *should* do this and that" especially when you don't know the person well.  Another person's situation may be very different from yours.  Often, people need to come to their own conclusions in their own time frame.  Also, please avoid making blanket or derogatory generalizations about mental illness, personality disorders, personality disordered individuals or "Nons" that are unsupported by clinical literature.

Having a personality disordered relative, friend or partner can be difficult, and sometimes other posters may say or do things that you don’t approve of.  We are all coming from different stages, situations, and backgrounds.  Please be considerate and non-judgmental about how others live their lives.  If you respond harshly or judgmentally, you will make it harder for others to post for fear of being judged.

We have created a number of different forums to make OOTF a safe and encouraging place for a diverse group of people. Members who are committed to a relationship sometimes feel uncomfortable with comments which advocate immediate separation or "no contact". Members who have exited an abusive relationship often feel uncomfortable with statements which advocate unconditional commitment. All members have a responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of other members. Comments which are submitted in an inappropriate forum or insensitive way are subject to removal and repeat offenders will be asked to leave.
Title: Re: About This Forum
Post by: Spring Butterfly on June 24, 2016, 09:58:53 AM
Article on reasons why some choose to stay:

Many people think that the obvious answer to abusive relationships is to leave. We jump quickly to caustic victim-blaming of people who stay. “She must want it.” “He must be trying to work something out in his past.” “They lack the courage to make a change.”

Patriarchal cultures are permeated by abuse. Every day, we fight abuse, flee abuse, and make compromises to meet our needs. Some people tolerate abusive work conditions for needed money. Some people tolerate abusive doctors for needed medicine. Some people tolerate abusive relationships for needed housing, respectability, or companionship. Some people buy products and services created in abusive conditions.

Life is complicated
People stay for the good parts, to learn something, to understand how they got there, to avoid going there again, or to fulfill an internal or societal story about what life and relationships look like.

Abusive situations are rarely clear-cut and unambiguous. An abusive spouse can also be genuinely loving at times, especially early in the relationship. The abuse may be subtle, laced with gaslighting so victims believe they are imagining or causing it.

If an abusive situation is unclear to the people involved, it is even less clear to outside witnesses. Even when a survivor does name abuse, mutual friends often refuse to “choose sides.” This false neutrality compromises with an abuser to maintain comfortable community interactions for everyone except the survivor.

Safer to stay
Some people stay in abusive situations because they correctly assess that the abuser is more dangerous if they leave than if they stay. They stay to protect themselves and others they love from violence, blacklisting, and other reprisals.

Some people stay because they have (temporarily) surrendered their power to make choices and changes in their life. Learned helplessness is an injury caused by abuse. Any shame associated with it belongs to the abusers who caused it, not to the person who suffers through it.

We make commitments to people and organizations without full knowledge of what is involved. Some abusers use the bait of intense love and care to encourage premature commitments, knowing that integrity will hold the victim in place for more abuse.

Society, the abuser, and the victim’s Inner Critic say in chorus, “You haven’t tried hard enough. You haven’t fixed yourself yet. Have you looked at your part?” The victim continues to try harder instead of saying, “Wait a minute. This isn’t my fault at all.”

Gradual change
Even when someone cautiously waits to make a commitment, a relationship can change over time. Gradually the balance shifts from occasional minor infractions (“no one is perfect”) to larger blowups (“please forgive me“) to ongoing abuse (“you provoked me”). It is painfully easy to believe that if we do the right thing, the relationship will change back to its pleasant beginnings.

Traumatic bonding
Abuse is rife with secrets and extreme experiences. This shared world forges a bond that is hard to leave behind, because it seems that no one on the outside will understand. Sadly, even the most extreme experiences are understood by many others in the world. Pain, trauma, and abuse are part of the human condition just as much as sunshine and rainbows.

In search of a door
We can fiercely and creatively seek non-abusive ways to meet our needs. Simply the act of looking can reveal a way out, or it can require years to pry open a door. Discrimination and injustice such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and economic inequality conspire to limit avenues for escape. Starting over is hard. Without access to money and social power, it can be impossible.

Disability and chronic illness can also limit available options, and can be intensified by abuse. Abuse causes depression, PTSD, vicious self-criticism, and bone-deep exhaustion. It is painfully easy to believe that if we are being abused, we deserve abuse, even though no one deserves abuse for any reason.

In process
Leaving is a process. From the outside, a decision to stay and a decision to leave look the same until the moment of separation. It takes many internal and external acts of preparation to build up to that moment.

Some people stay because they correctly assess that they do not (yet) have the emotional and physical resources to leave. Change and risk are frightening for everyone, especially when past risks have turned out badly. Waiting is a valid strategy in abusive situations.

Express your trust
If you know someone in an abusive situation, affirm that they are doing the best they can with the available information and resources. Express your trust in their essential strength and capacity to find their way. Help them notice what they are doing well.

Consider doing the same for yourself, if you are or have been in abusive situations. How does it feel to send gentle encouragement back to a younger self?

Have compassion for your judgments and fears around people in abusive situations. It is difficult to witness someone’s pain with the knowledge that they do not deserve it and there is no immediate solution.
Title: Re: About This Forum
Post by: Spring Butterfly on June 24, 2016, 10:00:08 AM
Just a few thoughts, about being committed in a relationship with someone suffering from BPD. IMO, it is more about being committed to people first, then to the relationship.

   First, I feel that we need to be committed to ourselves, not in a selfish way, but in a healthy way being the person we are supposed to be. It may involve some type of counciling, to figure out how we got to where we are, and where we want to go.  Eating right and exercise, taking time to be alone and with family and friends, along with taking time for your spirituality(whatever your comfortable with).

   Secondly, taking care of any children. Don't believe that children are not effected, make them a priority. They need a strong and healthy parent, and they need to feel safe and loved. They need to grow in an inviornment free from abuse.

   Third, is being committe to our SO, and that is somewhat conditional. Our SO needs to see their 50% of things, and be willing to work on their issues. We can be there support them and cheer them on, but we must let them do the work. (It took Tina over 3 1/2years of hard work and dedication)

   Finally is working on the relationship together with our SO, which is a long and rough road in itself and IMO can not be accomplished without having everything else in place.