The fog is never ending.

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mrconfused

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The fog is never ending.
« on: July 09, 2021, 02:00:40 PM »
So I have been posting here for a few years now on and off. And I'm probably just as confused now as I've always been, except I feel like i've broken bad on my situation so badly.

My undiagnosed NPD wife, caused so much conflict and drama for over 4 years of trauma and torment. I started to see a therapist and recognised that I was in an abusive relationship and then just ruminated over and over and over on whether I should leave or not. Things were awful and eventually I just checked out mentally, and we just limped on in a dead relationship. My wife being mean/angry/unreasonable/drunk a lot, me pulling away and that then becoming the fuel for her to be more mean/angry/unreasonable/drunk.

I obsessively read everything I could on personality disorders and mental illness and tried to get her to go to see therapists. Which after a variety of 'crisis' moments, she would see the light momentarily, quit drinking, or go see a therapist, or try new meds... to then after a few months of seemingly placating me, would then go back around in another cycle.

I detached so much from the marriage I would go and see my friends and family without her. We lived separate lives. Neither of us was happy.

Eventually, things boiled over last summer and there was another crisis moment where I refused to return to the house unless she sought immediate assessment for what ever is causing the behavioural problems. I wanted her to go through the whole process to be assessed for a personality disorder, as she had avoided it/dropped out/given up in the past.

She then embarked on the journey and received a diagnosis of having some mood disorder and that she needed further assessments that would need to be conducted. Around this time, I had just given up. I was exhausted. I had longed and longed for change, yearned for her to be the person I thought I was marrying.

I told her I wanted a divorce and we began to go through the process. Now at every step of the way it's been hard. First she made unreasonable demands in our early mediation meetings. Then she wouldn't agree to our child care arrangements. We agreed to separate, but continued to live together in the same house, but in separate rooms etc.

Around about this time I decided to explore other things as it had been so long since i'd felt affection, or to be desired. I literally had no self esteem. Meanwhile my wife's behaviour was very true to the way things had been over the last 4 years of our marriage. Drinking/anger etc.

We continued to try and work through the mediation phase and she showed such deep sorrow for everything, making huge dramatic declarations of love verbally. Which shocked me so much as her behaviour for so long had communicated the total opposite.

Moving things on and we have still lived in the same house 50% of the time, and the other day.. nearly a year on I suddenly felt such huge emotions through my chest that I just could not ignore it.

Am I doing the right thing??

I've suddenly tuned into the fact that my wife has been rebuilding herself. Mentally, she has been attending therapy consistently for 7 months, she has been taking her meds for nearly a year, and she is seeking out the assessment of the personality disorder (which she had not previously done due to me not paying for things anymore). She's eating well, not binge drinking, and going to the gym. All motivated by wanting to meet someone new.

We have been communicating better to the point where I enjoy her conversation. However, I don't know if it's all real or not. And I know that there's still some major narcissistic tendencies, and so many other lazy strange, chaotic ways. In fact, that's the one word I would use to summarise living with my wife. Pure CHAOS. In every way, and that chaos was not tame-able, She would not agree to a shopping list, or a rota, or anything that she would view as 'control' vs something that was agree by two parties endeavouring to be a team to make things fair and manageable. It was insane.

But then the other morning she says to me out of the blue. "I know I have a personality disorder, I always have, I just didn't know everyone wasn't like this - and i don't want to cause you pain anymore."

It nearly floored me. I don't know if this the manipulation of the last ditch effort. The previous week they said they wished our relationship was as it is now, but when we were together.

I find myself curious as to whether they could improve their chaotic-ness and therefore we could try and stay together so we can raise our child together and I could learn to accept the chaoticness in exchange for the continuation of a family unit.

Then I think to myself, perhaps the changes i'm witnessing are all temporary as she seeks someone new, but ultimately will not be able to sustain it. And my brain is just falling into the trap of fearing the loss and thinking it's better the devil you know.

I just needed to type this out. But as always, as my username suggests. I'm very confused.

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SonofThunder

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2021, 02:29:16 PM »
mrconfused,

Im sorry you are experiencing this.  Although my understanding of potential healing of a PD is very rare and typically through a process/procedure called DBT, i cannot deny its possible.  My experiences though, are of cycles and in the PD world, those cycles are IDD: Idealization, Devaluation and Discard.   

The purpose of the cycle is for the PD to remain in control of the target, to counteract the internal ‘out-of-control’ that is silently pervasive in themselves.  Idealization typically happens in the form of love-bombing.  Then, when the target is relaxing into and more stabilized in the idealization phase, devaluation begins, to put the target off-balance again and confused at the switch from the PD.  Devaluation’s purpose is to create reaction in the target, in order to gain the targets focus to provide desired actions and reactions from the target, to sooth the PD and for the PD to remain in control and for the target to try and get back in the PD’s good graces. 

If devaluation does not provide the supply the PD is desiring, the PD heaps the discard phase on top of devaluation to add pressure on the target and for the PD to feel powerful in their own supply of themselves.  At some point, the target either caves under the pressure and the cycle begins again (except the target’s bar has been raised, like a high jumper after each successful bar-clearing ) and the lovebombing ‘hoovers’ the target back in. 

Interestingly though, during the discard phase, should the discard phase go onward (target not reacting) the PD may seek supply outside the relationship and also in bettering themselves, in order to be more attractive, feel better about themselves,  and in order to have an excuse (“I've changed” for example) to hide behind, as an ultimate bait for the existing target or bait for a NEW target, to replace the previous target. 

You wrote “…. All motivated by wanting to meet someone new.”   That comment is, imo, the most important 8 words you wrote.  Consider those 8 words and the IDD cycle; looking back for previous cycles as well, to try and use for your understanding of where you are located currently.   

SoT
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 02:34:01 PM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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Jsinjin

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2021, 05:08:52 PM »
This one is way out of my ability to comment but definitely you are in my thoughts and prayers.
It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

-Wolfgang Pauli

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mrconfused

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2021, 05:29:12 PM »
mrconfused,

Im sorry you are experiencing this.  Although my understanding of potential healing of a PD is very rare and typically through a process/procedure called DBT, i cannot deny its possible.  My experiences though, are of cycles and in the PD world, those cycles are IDD: Idealization, Devaluation and Discard.   

The purpose of the cycle is for the PD to remain in control of the target, to counteract the internal ‘out-of-control’ that is silently pervasive in themselves.  Idealization typically happens in the form of love-bombing.  Then, when the target is relaxing into and more stabilized in the idealization phase, devaluation begins, to put the target off-balance again and confused at the switch from the PD.  Devaluation’s purpose is to create reaction in the target, in order to gain the targets focus to provide desired actions and reactions from the target, to sooth the PD and for the PD to remain in control and for the target to try and get back in the PD’s good graces. 

If devaluation does not provide the supply the PD is desiring, the PD heaps the discard phase on top of devaluation to add pressure on the target and for the PD to feel powerful in their own supply of themselves.  At some point, the target either caves under the pressure and the cycle begins again (except the target’s bar has been raised, like a high jumper after each successful bar-clearing ) and the lovebombing ‘hoovers’ the target back in. 

Interestingly though, during the discard phase, should the discard phase go onward (target not reacting) the PD may seek supply outside the relationship and also in bettering themselves, in order to be more attractive, feel better about themselves,  and in order to have an excuse (“I've changed” for example) to hide behind, as an ultimate bait for the existing target or bait for a NEW target, to replace the previous target. 

You wrote “…. All motivated by wanting to meet someone new.”   That comment is, imo, the most important 8 words you wrote.  Consider those 8 words and the IDD cycle; looking back for previous cycles as well, to try and use for your understanding of where you are located currently.   

SoT

For a couple of weeks, I noticed that she was acting more cold, and things felt like the way they had been for years before. And I thought to myself that she was giving up on trying to 'win me back' and 'pretending' to be more in control and 'better' etc.

I then found out that she had been on some dates with someone and she told me that she was really into this new person. I just calmly took the information on and she seemed to be really excited to tell me. The next day I had been away with my child and I found her unconscious, in her bed with evidence of multiple bottles of wine being consumed. I later learned that the new person had stopped answering calls and wasn't replying to her.

I felt sad to see this, it's not nice for anyone to go through this. Anyway, I found myself giving a pep talk and saying if the other person doesn't see your worth then move on they're not worth it. But anyway the cold/indifferent behaviour stopped again and she started intermittently sending me photos off of facebook of memories from 6 years ago of us together when things were good.

Anyway in the mean time she has told me she got 50 messages from different guys since this first set back and has been talking to 5 of them.

I just don't know if i've given up just at the last hurdle before she made progress, or if this is just manipulation and i'm falling for it again.

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SonofThunder

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2021, 06:28:10 PM »
Mrconfused,

Regarding what you wrote:  “ I just don't know if i've given up just at the last hurdle before she made progress, or if this is just manipulation and i'm falling for it again.” 

Yes, this is the issue you were describing in your initial post and my reply is the same.   I wish you the best in considering the IDD cycle, the rarity of healing of PD’s, looking back at your history and determining for yourself.  No matter what you choose, if the disorder is alive and well, time will reveal. 

SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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mrconfused

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2021, 05:26:26 PM »
Mrconfused,

Regarding what you wrote:  “ I just don't know if i've given up just at the last hurdle before she made progress, or if this is just manipulation and i'm falling for it again.” 

Yes, this is the issue you were describing in your initial post and my reply is the same.   I wish you the best in considering the IDD cycle, the rarity of healing of PD’s, looking back at your history and determining for yourself.  No matter what you choose, if the disorder is alive and well, time will reveal. 

SoT

Thanks SoT

I've been reflecting on what you wrote. I have drifted in and out of this forum over the years and picked up and then become rusty on some of the teachings. So thank you for bringing this up has it's a long time since i've thought about the love bombing, the devaluation etc.

Do you think this behaviour is conscious, or more instinctive?

It's been a funny few days, as just as I was beginning to get really sucked up and feeling emotionally consumed again. There's been a couple of events that have just made me remember all the pain and torment I have put up with over the years. I think because i'd not really interacted with her about anything for the past 3-6 months.

Last night I tried to speak about some parenting details, and I was immediately shut down. Made to feel so insignificant. And then today, I tried to speak about something... I have a lot of knowledge in particular areas and she is (as usual) doing her own thing and so I said she could talk to me about stuff and it is met with such indifference.

All these interactions reminded me of the past that i'd somehow developed amnesia of.

Can I really be considering trying to patch things up with someone who never ever ever agrees with me, never considers my perspective, is rude, and dismissive?

It's strange that she would be devaluing me already before even getting me back on the hook!

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SonofThunder

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2021, 09:42:36 AM »
mrconfused,

You wrote:  “ Can I really be considering trying to patch things up with someone who never ever ever agrees with me, never considers my perspective, is rude, and dismissive?  It's strange that she would be devaluing me already before even getting me back on the hook!”

For people who have relationships with PD’s, but are not “Out of the FOG”, the devalue is part of the process of “getting me back on the hook”, as the nonPD target is caught off guard by the devaluing and attempts to make changes to get back to the idealization. 

Imo, the entire IDD cycle has the purposes of 1. Keeping the non off balance 2. Supplying drama-feed to the PD.  3. Raising the bar for the non to meet always increasing demands of the PD (new norms), 4. Supply the PD with need to control  5. Keep the PD focused on others vs the themselves (internal deep self-loathing).  6. Provide an emotional wide berth for the PD to operate, since the target has no boundaries. 

But, when the target comes Out of the FOG, creates proper protective boundaries for themselves and develops the proper use of the OOTF tools, the PD’s IDD cycle becomes mostly ineffective and instead of running smoothly, it begins to grind harshly against the target’s  insight and wisdom and ability to predict what’s next and using the OOTF tools, make the cycle mostly ineffective.   

The IDD ineffectiveness then becomes a much more difficult task for the PD and all of the 1-6 above start to fail in supply for the PD.  The PD will heighten attempts to return (I’ve experienced this) to the cycle and the situation for both becomes much more intense and also at the same time, the emotional distance becomes a greater chasm between the PD and the target, even in the same room. 

So therefore, the devaluation is the first “D”in the IDD to get you back to the cycle’s beginning.  If you do not respond with “doing” because of the devaluing, the PD will move to a combo of devalue and discard.  Discard is extreme silent treatment and even such self-soothing by the PD to compensate for the lack of ‘supply’ by the target, that the PD may actually have affairs or take extreme measure (like BPD’s) to grab the attention of the target. 

SoT

« Last Edit: July 11, 2021, 09:46:37 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

*

Bunnyme

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2021, 12:54:26 PM »
You've gotten some great advice already.  I can relate to a lot of what you say.  I spent a very long time taking any positive step as proof of change and hanging on to the hope that "this time he may really change for good."  Though a gross oversimplification, there is an analogy that has helped me tremendously.  Once I realized it is kind of like a slot machine...i keep pumping money (energy, love, whatever) in with the hope of hitting the jackpot.  At times, it is hard to give up because I've put so much in.  How life changing it would be to get the jackpot.  I continue on pumping money in.  Along the way, there are small payouts (like when he finally did something that didnt seem selfish) that gave me hope and kept me playing.  How could I quit now?  I've put so much in.  Ive seen small payouts.  What if I walk away just before the jackpot hits?  Will the next person behind me win the jackpot I've been spending so much money on? 
At a certain point, I realized that the chance of hitting it big are so remote that it isnt worth bankrupting myself (and my kids) to try to get it.  In fact, actual slot machines are programmed to pay out eventually but there is no such guarantee with a PD.  I had to make the decision that what I was getting out was not worth what I was putting in.  Despite the (very) remote possibility that I will get what I want and live happily ever after, it isnt worth the risk of ensuring constant turmoil.
Having also read a lot about PDs, psychology, etc., I learned the term "trauma bond" and clarified the power of "intermittent reinforcement."  My understanding of the situation has become more sophisticated, which solidified the slot analogy.
Now, I have kids as well.  I get that it isnt as transactional as slots, so I hope I dont offend anyone by stating it that way.  There are higher stakes and emotions at play, too.  It just personally helped me to think of my situation in those terms. 

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mrconfused

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2021, 03:34:43 PM »
You've gotten some great advice already.  I can relate to a lot of what you say.  I spent a very long time taking any positive step as proof of change and hanging on to the hope that "this time he may really change for good."  Though a gross oversimplification, there is an analogy that has helped me tremendously.  Once I realized it is kind of like a slot machine...i keep pumping money (energy, love, whatever) in with the hope of hitting the jackpot.  At times, it is hard to give up because I've put so much in.  How life changing it would be to get the jackpot.  I continue on pumping money in.  Along the way, there are small payouts (like when he finally did something that didnt seem selfish) that gave me hope and kept me playing.  How could I quit now?  I've put so much in.  Ive seen small payouts.  What if I walk away just before the jackpot hits?  Will the next person behind me win the jackpot I've been spending so much money on? 
At a certain point, I realized that the chance of hitting it big are so remote that it isnt worth bankrupting myself (and my kids) to try to get it.  In fact, actual slot machines are programmed to pay out eventually but there is no such guarantee with a PD.  I had to make the decision that what I was getting out was not worth what I was putting in.  Despite the (very) remote possibility that I will get what I want and live happily ever after, it isnt worth the risk of ensuring constant turmoil.
Having also read a lot about PDs, psychology, etc., I learned the term "trauma bond" and clarified the power of "intermittent reinforcement."  My understanding of the situation has become more sophisticated, which solidified the slot analogy.
Now, I have kids as well.  I get that it isnt as transactional as slots, so I hope I dont offend anyone by stating it that way.  There are higher stakes and emotions at play, too.  It just personally helped me to think of my situation in those terms.

Thanks, did you make it out of the relationship?

I feel like i've been addicted to this intermittent reinforcement for years now.

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Bunnyme

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2021, 10:58:46 PM »
Yes.  In my case, he went to rehab and I we've been separated ever since.  I had to wait a year to file for divorce, and am now in the middle of that phase.  In the year and a half since separating, I've seen many attempts at therapy...that are eventually quit.  Sobriety that looks promising, but he eventually goes back.  Many promises that he has changed, seen the light, knows he made my life hell...but then doesnt follow through on promises.  The actions dont match the words.  There were many times I felt horrible because...maybe he really means it this time.  But so far, it hasnt stuck.  He is actually in a very good period right now.  The hoovering and love bombing are over the top.  I had to decide that even if he had changed and is an awesome guy now, he can be an awesome guy for someone else.  I doubt it will happen, but I had to get off the ride regardless.

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mrconfused

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Re: The fog is never ending.
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2021, 07:49:43 AM »
I had to decide that even if he had changed and is an awesome guy now, he can be an awesome guy for someone else.  I doubt it will happen, but I had to get off the ride regardless.

This bit was really powerful for me. Thank you. I need to commit to this too.

Has he seen anyone else, or have you started to move on like that?