Managing hope

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NumbLotus

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Managing hope
« on: February 06, 2020, 03:23:56 PM »
Hope died for me a few years ago. RIP hope.

But hope dies hard. Sometimes I find little ways it pops up, like whack-a-mole.

With PD, hope is basically futile. I mean, it's a spectrum, and people can sometimes live with it, like I lived with H for many years and still felt like we had a marriage despite major, baffling issues. But hoping a PD is going to suddenly get better, well, probably not.

In my case, I feel like PD is only part, possibly a minor part, of what is going on with H. I think he has some significant illness, maybe neurological. (No, medical help is not possible for Reasons). I have no hope this will improve, and assume further deterioration will happen.

But H started an otc hormone a couple of months ago that basically cut his rage off cold. Oh, he can still get angry, irritated, grumpy, whatever. But a big difference from RAGE. I am no longer afraid of him. Well, I still have to MC all the time but my heart used to hammer in my chest on a daily basis. Now we have had several incidents where he SHOULD have blown sky high, including me telling him things to his face he did not want to hear. And now if he's reaaalllllly mad, he will sit in silence for a few minutes, then leave the room (just leave, not storm, and no parting shots). And 15 minutes later we can pretend nothing happened. No, it's not perfect, but you can see the difference between that and total nuclear meltdown lasting nearly 2 days.

I have just had a couple of good days with him. Oh, I know. A couple of good days means nothing. But honestly, yesterday was maybe the best day I've had in years. I felt almost normal. We actually had a good time yesterday. Oh, there was still PD lurking, but the kind I was always willing to handle. I don't mind soothing him if he's being kind, and if he is not letting it take over a good thing.

My heart hasn't filled with hope. It was a good couple of days but I'm not holding my breath.

But.

Should I CHOOSE to take a bit of a risk?

Should I CHOOSE to trust him a little bit more and see what happens?

What wiuld that look like? Well, I asked him to do something fun with the family yesterday. He agreed and he HAD A GOOD TIME. Trust would be to ask again next week or so.

My risks are that his feelings/mood/personality will change and he will be irritated if I ask.

Or we could do it but it may not go well. And the problem for me is that I have shitty memories of nearly everything we've done - not every time, but say we went to three plays, the last had a horrible meltdown. So instead of looking back and saying, oh, we used to go to plays, that was nice, it will be clouded by THAT TIME that was absolutely ridiculous.

To hope or not to hope, a little bit?
To trust a little bit, or not at all?
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2020, 06:42:52 PM »
Whenever I read your posts I think of an AA saying “a sober thief is still a thief”.

For me I reached a point with my BPDxH where it didn’t matter what caused the behavior, the problem was the behavior.

Hope keeps a lot of us as prisoners. I know it did me. For me I reached a point where no matter how much better it could get, it would never erase what had come before. 

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2020, 08:06:25 PM »
Suggestions only, based on my experience:  I suggest that you don't hope and don't trust. However, I wouldn't use the lack of hope and the lack of trust as reasons to never spend time with your husband and to never ask him to do things with or for you.  Instead, try to accept that he is unpredictable and unreliable.

I think of your issue (and mine, at times) as one of "managing risk" rather than "managing hope."  That is, think about the worst that can happen in certain situations and evaluate whether you're comfortable with the worst happening.  If you're not, avoid the situation.  If you are, go for it:  who knows, your husband might behave well, and you can be pleasantly surprised.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 08:57:50 PM »
Whenever I read your posts I think of an AA saying “a sober thief is still a thief”.

For me I reached a point with my BPDxH where it didn’t matter what caused the behavior, the problem was the behavior.

Hope keeps a lot of us as prisoners. I know it did me. For me I reached a point where no matter how much better it could get, it would never erase what had come before.

My head is still stuffed in the sand, yeah. I know everybody is rooting for me to blow this joint, and I'd feel the same if I were on the outside looking in.

I do think, though, that I understand behavior is not acceptable no matter what causes it. I don't think I'm not leaving because I think xyz is causing whatever issues.

I may well be doing this all wrong but I don't *think* the issue is that I'm excusing his behavior. I'm not sure where my issue(s) exactly are, but I recognize that poor treatment is poor teeatment no matter what.

I think by talking ir writing, getting it out of my head, and I think I need to explore my reasons by sitting down at a laptop for some time every day for maybe a couple of weeks. Write out brainstorms. Look at the budget. Look at property listings. Write scenarios where I announce the Big D, anticipate the reaction. Imagine a day in the life where I live elsewhere and various oroblems come up. Imagine my DD's reaction and her life post split. I think matbe I could, that way, either put my finger on what is holding me back - or maybe just blow through it.

I can't do it here, though. I plan to do it this summer at my mom's house, on her laptop.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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NumbLotus

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2020, 09:05:30 PM »
Suggestions only, based on my experience:  I suggest that you don't hope and don't trust. However, I wouldn't use the lack of hope and the lack of trust as reasons to never spend time with your husband and to never ask him to do things with or for you.  Instead, try to accept that he is unpredictable and unreliable.

I think of your issue (and mine, at times) as one of "managing risk" rather than "managing hope."  That is, think about the worst that can happen in certain situations and evaluate whether you're comfortable with the worst happening.  If you're not, avoid the situation.  If you are, go for it:  who knows, your husband might behave well, and you can be pleasantly surprised.

I think it's good advice. I guess if I try something, it's still a bit of hope/trust to even ask, but done with no real expectations. Like I might say "wanna go ___ tomorrow?" And he can sigh and say "really??"and I can just shrug and say whatever, I didn't really think he would react well.

Or if we do it and it doesn't go well, just shrug and say what did I expect?

I guess one thing that I do belueve us different is I don't think I will get rage.  He might not go for the idea but a frustrated response is not something I need to be afraid of. Whatever.

Likewise, he may not do great if we go somewhere but I do believe it won't go THAT bad anymore. It will be a bummer but not, like, traumatic.

So why not? I am not leaving this week, I may as well see if I can get out if the house a bit in the meantime. If I can, great. If not, whatever. If anything, just more sand to weight the LEAVE HIS ASS scale.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2020, 09:10:18 PM »
I wouldn’t say I’m rooting for you to blow the joint. We all walk our own path. You must be getting something out of the relationship. My experience is that I left after it became to hard to stay, so that’s the perspective I write from. I often wish I could show women how much better it gets, but I also wonder if they stay because they are getting more out of their marriage than I was out of mine.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2020, 09:18:25 PM »
(Wrote before reading above reply) Man, he is having a week, though. Today he told me about plans he is implementing to resolve some problems in general. He also explicitly encouraged me to ask him for things (meaning help with taks ir requests to do activities or whatever).

Mm-hmm, yup, I hear all your eyes rolling there. Yes I do. I can't imagine this is some precursor to a life changing new way. He just is apparently having an up week I guess. Hopefully it's not the start of a mania.

I guess I also need to get my game plan together for if I feel mania has set in. He's had two, both around early March. See, guys, this is why I blob huge amounts of writing. I wish I didn't but I can't think only in my own head all the time. Now I realize I have to be on guard for mania.

But so far it looks fine. I think I will suggest another outing next week.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2020, 09:25:07 PM »
My eyes aren't rolling!  I hope things go well, for both of you.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2020, 09:45:03 PM »
Thank you both.

I dunno if getting something out of a relationship is always the reason for staying. I mean, there's FOG.

Look, I don't hope for anything long term, but I admit I really would like at least a few things. Another nice outing, maybe. We'll see.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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11JB68

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2020, 11:59:05 PM »
Numb, I've learned to count small blessings too. I often expect the worst, or at least manage my expectations, but sometimes he does surprise me and then I'm glad we did x.

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2020, 12:14:56 AM »
I've decided upon "radical acceptance". My T suggested a book for me to read, "The Four Agreements" (hang on, I think that's the name of it). I'm going to do that. As I understand it, radical acceptance is very like that serenity prayer that is so cliched now, you know, the one about the strength to change the things I can, the grace to accept the things I can't, and the wisdom to know the difference. 
I don't think it's to do with hope, really. Is this more what you mean?

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2020, 12:20:58 AM »
"Radical acceptance" popped into my head, too.  I strive for it.  I'm not there, yet, but not for lack of trying.  It's very sad, at least initially, to accept that the person you're married to (or, in my case, the person I was married to, for more than 30 years) is someone who probably won't change and whose behavior probably will continue to not be good.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2020, 12:37:40 AM »
I would love to radically accept a slightly less flawed version of my H.  ;)

I'm not gonna duct tape my heart to my forehead. Will just see if some things go okay-ish for the current up period.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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losingmyself

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2020, 07:59:14 PM »
Hope is scary.. I have a candle in my bathroom, on the wall  and behind it, it says "Hope speeds our prayers to God" And I always think that my prayers are going reeeaalllyy slow.
And often times I think  that I should take it down, it's just a reminder that I don't have hope.
But you're right, when they are acting nice, do you trust to hope a little?
Good luck, there's so much good advice here.

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sad_dog_mommy

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2020, 09:27:15 AM »
For the last 2 years of my relationship with my alcoholic BPD exbf I had a different kind of hope.   

I would hope he was in a good mood when I got home so I wouldn’t have to walk on eggshells. (I walked on them anyway)

I would hope he didn’t lose another job so I would have to bear the burden of 100% of the bills.  (It was never his fault, his bosses/co-workers were jealous of how smart he was)

I would hope he met someone else and run off with her.  (After the breakup I found out he was meeting women online for hook-ups)

I would hope he might finally hit his personal “rock bottom” and find the motivation to better himself.  (2 involuntary hospitalizations should have been a wake-up call...)

For me, it all changed when I realized that I had lost hope for myself.   I knew I had to rebuild my self-esteem enough so that I could finally end the cycle of verbal, emotional and financial abuse. 

Individual therapy, journaling and learning as much about BPD as I could gave me the courage and strength to set myself free.  There Is no magic wand that will “fix” a person with a personality disorder.  I could only help myself.   

((( hug )))

ps.  Re-reading my posts on this support forum was a sad but helpful way to see how long I had been searching for an answer to the question “why does he behave this way?”
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 09:33:00 AM by sad_dog_mommy »
Sometimes you don’t realize you’re actually drowning when you are trying to be everyone else’s anchor.   

Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.

Unconditional love doesn't mean you have to unconditionally accept bad behavior.

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Managing hope
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2020, 10:24:38 AM »
Quote
I would hope he met someone else and run off with her.  (After the breakup I found out he was meeting women online for hook-ups)

This was my exact experience too! I used to hope all of these things so I’d have an excuse to leave. At the time I told myself I wanted these things to happen as I wanted to make sure I had a “good” reason to leave. Now I see I was scared to take action my self. I was waiting for him to push me out as I was too scared to jump.