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Unstable Relationships - Accidentally Hurting Others

Do you have BPD?

  • No and I have never met someone with BPD.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No but I know someone with BPD.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No but I know someone with BPD and have negative feelings about them.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No but I know someone with BPD and have compassion for them.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    9
W

WorkingOnMyselfAgain

New member
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Michigan
I have BPD and struggle with relationships, even after DBT therapy. I have a conscience, so it weighs on me a lot that my disorder hurts people.

The way I see it, my pain is so great that it spills over to others. As I drown in emotion, other people drown too.

Let me give an example:
My closest friend sometimes triggers my emotions. Even when he is a little hurtful, it's not his fault my emotions are intense... I notice my emotion and try not to show it, but it affects him. He notices the shift and blames himself! He asks what's wrong, gets worked up if I'm quiet. If I explain, he gets mad, we fight, and he blames himself more. I tell him, "This is my disorder! It's not your fault how deep I feel things and hurt. Sometimes I need space to deal with it, I do not want it to affect you! I do not want you to blame yourself."

No matter what I do, it affects him. If I keep a distance or am quiet or tell him we shouldn't date, that hurts him. If I let him see the emotion, it hurts him.

Has anyone found any solutions or managed to improve their relationships/keep them?

(Anger is a hard one too, people can still sense it and feel intimidated even if I'm quiet.)
 
B

bpd2020

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
7,535
Location
England
Hello and welcome to the forum. Maybe you need to think carefully about your friends behaviours. If he is triggering you then could you talk about what it is he is doing? I can understand you do not want to affect him but if he cares about you and you can trust him then it could help to tell him how you are feeling.

I have been with my partner for 10 years. When we first met, he read up on bpd to educate himself. I am open with him and we are able to talk about how I feel. He has taught me it is possible to feel loved and to learn how to trust. I am very lucky.
 
W

WorkingOnMyselfAgain

New member
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Michigan
Hello and welcome to the forum. Maybe you need to think carefully about your friends behaviours. If he is triggering you then could you talk about what it is he is doing? I can understand you do not want to affect him but if he cares about you and you can trust him then it could help to tell him how you are feeling.

I have been with my partner for 10 years. When we first met, he read up on bpd to educate himself. I am open with him and we are able to talk about how I feel. He has taught me it is possible to feel loved and to learn how to trust. I am very lucky.
That is really hopeful, thank you. I get scared of relationships, I'm really glad you have been able to find someone to be with for that long. That really gives hope about things.

You make a good point too about my friend, that instead of just blaming myself maybe it's good to consider what they're doing as well.
 
O

OutsideTheLines

Member
Joined
May 9, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Illinois
Has anyone found any solutions or managed to improve their relationships/keep them?

THIS. RIGHT HERE.

I am in my second year (almost...) of my marriage, and I am desperately searching for ways to regulate my emotions.

I was diagnosed with BPD about a month ago, but we've known for a while. Prior to my diagnosis we approached my behavior from the perspective of PTSD. Pretty similar though, I guess. I was in an IOP. Low distress tolerance, difficulty with emotional regulation, etc.

I really struggle with riding the wave, mindfulness and radical acceptance (yea, can you tell I'm in DBT and have been through a program? ha). The thing is, yes, my husband does things that "cue" my traumas, which in turn trigger my emotional reactions, and he fully accepts his role. He takes onus and his favorite new saying is "he is 100% responsible for his 50%." He will even tell you he doesn't think I am the problem. He's even reading "Walking on Eggshells" to get a better understanding of BPD and how to support me. Sadly, he has PTSD from his own childhood abuse, and has developed CPTSD from the abuse he's suffered from my outbursts. I have to take responsibility for what I've done to him. I feel so much shame. I try not to judge myself. It's hard.

I don't really know what to do. Rationally I know my skills. I know how to do behavior chains, I can tell you all about "STOP" or "REST" or whatever acronym you want to use when taking a step back when emotions flare. I know about TIPPING (we even figured out that WHEN we can get me to TIPP, that a good Hot Sauce is my magic potion, literally works like a charm every time) and taking breaks. I know about self-soothing and about willingness. But when I am hurting, I just... don't care? Or I do, but I am so hurt that I just need to do whatever it takes to get the pain to stop. Or it's combined with the shame that I know I am hurting him. Or I can't see his side AT ALL. Literally -- I just see my pain. I don't think my issue is that skills don't work -- I think its that my pain gets so great so quickly, I climb the ladder almost immediately that I can't get to the skill quickly enough.

OK Great example... literally just happened...

My husband came in to say what's up during a quick work break and pointed out that I'm getting a ton of freckles from the sun. I've been on him a bit to put on Sunblock when we go outside, because he NEVER puts it on (he has PTSD and this particular activity is linked to one of the many abuses he suffered), and I worry about cancer (my uncle was a dermatologist and my grandfather passed from melanoma). We actually have been good about not fighting about this, so this is a good, calm example. So he pointed out my freckles, and he used this as an opportunity to share his feeling about how he feels a little frustrated that I am pushing him to wear sunblock, but I'm the one getting darker and freckled, whereas he is not. I wanted SO BADLY to defend myself! I felt my chest tighten, my emotions gear up for a fight. I told him this and he - rightfully - pointed out that this was a good opportunity for me to simply show him empathy and understand his perspective. That he understood why I was getting darker, that this was ok, that he wasn't judging it, simply sharing his own feelings and perspective and looking for me to acknowledge and validate him. And that its ok if I can't, and to just let him know I see him, but that I'm feeling "xyz" and can talk to him when I am feeling less "xyz." And this is just over a stupid comment about my freckles!

So I can KIND of see it right now because I'm not in too dark of a place today. But last night was really bad. I was driving him home from work and he made a comment about me sitting at a green light for too long, and I BLEW UP. Crying, not talking, when I did talk I was yelling at him about being an asshole back-seat driver. He had to leave the apartment for an hour to walk around because he was afraid of my outbursts (I don't touch him or anything. I just stop around and yell and cry, doesn't make it ok). I couldn't step back AT ALL and see his perspective for HOURS which was:

- He immediately agreed that unless there was a real safety concern, he would be more conscious about his comments when I drove
- He was worried that I wasn't fully aware because he felt the light had been green for an extended period of time and he wanted to make sure I was safe while driving
- This was a really a deeper issue because he'd felt for a few weeks now that it wasn't safe to bring up any concern to me, no matter how minor, without me blowing up, and the green light was just a symbol of the larger issue

I guess, the point of my novel is...

Has ANYONE figured out a way to step back from their own emotional pain in order to see their partner, or friend, and understand their perspective? I KNOW in my heart of hearts that if I can do this, that it will LITERALLY save my marriage. If I can just give my partner the space to be seen, just regulate my emotions enough to step back and breath long enough... it won't matter how sad I get or angry I get. He promises he can deal with all of that. He understands that I feel emotions much more strongly than other people. He's here to help me with that part. He even understands how scared I am of everything. But how do you step back enough to give the other person the space to be seen when you are feeling emotions so strongly that you black out?
 
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