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Committed to Working On It / Re: Whose the victim?
« Last post by Bloomie on Yesterday at 09:00:18 AM »
Quote from: Wild Lupines
Now, I need to figure out how to step off the triangle here. I can see it will be easier for me with something concrete like dirty socks. That's an object you can have a boundary around. For me the trap often starts when he elicits my opinion or feeling. I think that's where he steps into the triangle. He begins persecuting me because he feels like a victim, and is just rightfully fighting back against what he perceives as my attack.

So for me to step off the triangle here it sounds like I need to have a boundary when he does this.

Maybe if he asks my opinion I answer honestly and not engage if he then claims I am being mean?

Lots of times he claims I have a mean tone of voice or am yelling at him when I am in fact not. Would it be okay for to actually say, "that's not true," and walk away? Or should I just ignore it and put the boundary around not listening to him mischaracterize me?

Wild Lupines you are right an object is easier to identify and work with in terms of boundaries.

I would think you could answer if you so choose when asked your opinion or what your feelings are about something and then if it becomes a entry point for false accusation you could disengage and not participate further in the discussion. "I don't feel comfortable talking about this further... or the direction of the conversation seems to be going in an unproductive direction so I am going to end the conversation..." Nice and neutral with no accusations and then don't hang around to go in depth into why you feel uncomfortable, if you have a right to feel uncomfortable, or sit and listen to accusations that you are the one making him uncomfortable... etc.

So, for example if he accuses you of having a mean tone or yelling you could say something like: "We will have to agree to disagree about my tone of voice... or if I was yelling..." and disengage by changing the subject or saying you need to go pull weeds or do the laundry or run an errand in a calm neutral way.

I have found with my own uPD family members there are times to speak up for ourselves and set the record straight or verbalize a boundary with consequences. And then there are times to use the tool from the toolbox about not Justifying, Arguing, Defending, or Explaining (JADE) because it only leads to circular arguments that resolve nothing and wear everyone in the room down.

Only you will know when and how to best speak or when and how to remain silent or calmly and kindly disengage. I found disengaging and building a toolset to get off the drama triangle with someone determined to provoke me to go right back to unhealthy communication patterns very challenging, but doable with time and practice. And with anything as we all come OOTF together... it is progress, not perfection that we are looking for. So, be gentle with yourself as you work through this! :hug:
Separating & Divorcing / Re: Just chiming In to say hello again.
« Last post by blahblah on Yesterday at 08:55:25 AM »
You are completely right. Everything I am describing here is pure PD behavior. No doubt about it. Maybe I'm confusing "she has changed" with "the situation has changed". Because the situation has def. changed because I explained things to her without holding anything back. Maybe that was what has caused a change for the positive, in the way that she knows what I am going through. But maybe that's it. Maybe she hasn't changed.

Things escalated further and it ended with me demanding an apology from her and told her I would never apologize to her.
In the end I got it.
But I am in doubt.
Doubting that she is just giving me the apology (thought it felt heartfelt) because I know I will leave of things don't change.

At couples therapy next week I will tell her that I need her to know if what she did was wrong. Because I am not totally sure she understands.

Oh life...
Dealing with PD Parents / Re: house rules
« Last post by LeeJane on Yesterday at 08:25:16 AM »
Oh my goodness, the fridge door rule!! 

I am mid 50's but still get a lot of pleasure from leaving my fridge door open for as long as i want. 
Co-parenting and Secondary Relationships / Re: Children's health costs
« Last post by turtlemama on Yesterday at 08:22:20 AM »
I provide health/dental/vision insurance for DS through my employer and this is mandated by the state agency. My ex pays his share through child support (which he doesnít always pay).  His dad has never taken him to a doctorís or dental appointment so I pay everything. Ex is supposed to pay 57% of all these bills but in the almost 3 years weíve lived separately he hasnít paid me a dime towards it.

I have legal say over DSís health matters so I am under no obligation to discuss or even let him know about doctor appointments.  All he is allowed is access to DSís medical record.  With a new therapist for DS, I am faced with a considerable monthly bill... Iím hoping the ex will start paying towards it, but why would he if he can get away with not paying?

There is always some excuse.. I didnít send him the correct bill, the attachments werenít there, he needs more information, he doesnít like the doctor I chose, etc.  However, not being forced to deal with the ex about medical decisions is priceless.  He could care less about these decisions while we were married anyway. At times I do try to involve him, when I had to switch a doctor for insurance reasons, I asked if he would pay out of pocket for the first doctor and I had no reply.
Chosen Relationships / Re: TV show reminded me
« Last post by LeeJane on Yesterday at 08:16:13 AM »
LeeJane - Soon after that incident, I started reading a book about controlling relationships and one of the very first examples was a boyfriend flipping out over the gf cutting her hair short. THAT had a real impact on me, seeing that example in a book like that.

Wow, that is incredible. 

I think things are sent to help us become aware of the abusive situations we are in.

My feeling is that it is never about what has actually happened, in this case us getting our hair cut, it is just a stick to beat us with. To batter us down and control.

My exhusband liked a particular model in the media at the time.  She was a large frame, amazon type woman. Whereas i am petite and with a very small frame.  He complained that i wasnt like her.  Insane.  If he liked the bigger frame, taller ladies why pick a petite woman to marry??

Again just a stick to verbally beat me with, i think.
Chosen Relationships / Re: Pregnant and about to leave OCPD Husband
« Last post by 11JB68 on Yesterday at 08:07:34 AM »
Chi15, I believe that my H also has uOCPD. It is a struggle. I've been with him for 31 years, married for 27 years - one Son (20). Your situation sounds like it may be more intense than my own, and I've found that mine runs in cycles...we can go weeks or even months with relative peace and in those times I think things may be okay...then something triggers him and it all falls apart again. I 'almost' left once about 15 years ago; what kept me in the marriage was concern over my DS - one of our 'fights' back then seemed to be around uOCPDh believing he was a better parent than I and I was afraid he would not let me take DS with me, and was afraid to leave DS alone with uOCPDh. At the same time I do love H (and have empathy for him). I try to separate the person from the behavior but it is difficult. We had  stretch of some really bad times, and then something happened in March that made me think I might be done. I met with a divorce attorney for a free consult, just to be able to objectively look at my options and to plan ahead if that day comes. I'd recommend researching the process, have a free consult if you can get one, etc.  I also started journaling (I use that term VERY loosely) to keep track of what happens, who says what, what works/what doesn't and possible patterns. It helps me sort out my feelings/reactions. If you're new to OOTF check out the Toolbox - it's very helpful. I have not found a lot of info here or other places about OCPD (most info seems to be about NPD and BPD). Hopefully you and I can help/support each other on this forum.
Dealing with PD Parents / welcoming home all our parts
« Last post by all4peace on Yesterday at 08:06:06 AM »
I've nearly finished the book "Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation" by Janina Fisher. It has been an incredible book for me, one that gave me the language and framework to better explain what the therapeutic process has been doing for me, and why some parts of it have been excruciating.

Janina is great at explaining the neurobiological effects of trauma, and how therapy using methods for welcoming and appreciating all our fragmented parts can make us whole again.

The premise is that we fragment when we are small children (or even adults suffering trauma for the first time) who were abused or neglected. Parts of us develop ways of coping, highly adaptive, ingenious and wonderful ways of surviving our childhoods. But those parts live on inside of us long after we've left the unsafe families of our childhood. And sometimes those parts are too weak or too strong to allow us to fully function in our adult lives. We also have our "adult selves" that are our "going on with life" parts that are doing great and unaware that our symptoms (depression, anxiety, addiction) are our small parts still not integrated into our adult selves.

Here's an example:
When one of my ILs came to our home yet again (repeatedly asked to not come uninvited) and I became actually hysterical once they had left, that's not really a normal adult reaction.

When I received a text from one of my PD parents after a period of NC, and every muscle in my body went weak with terror, that is also not a normal adult reaction.

Those are both child parts reacting in my adult body, coming from a terrified and powerless place. And too often we react or respond from our child parts, not fully integrated into our adult selves, thinking that WE are terrified, that WE are helpless and powerless, that WE are anxious/depressed/addicted/broken. And we are not. After all, we survived, we made it here, we've had a great deal of functionality in our lives. We are not faking. We are not pretending. We are adult selves with little wee parts of us who are still terrified, begging to be listened to, trying to hijack parts of our lives in self protection.

In T, it was really traumatic for me to start the marriage counseling portion in which my "fight part" felt like it was being demonized. I spent a tremendous amt of energy and time in my head fighting it out, feeling demonized, feeling desperate that I not have to kill that part of me, feeling defensive. This book helped me understand what was going on inside of me. My fight part kept my soul alive in childhood. It got me out of my home. It kept my voice alive. It helped me be the one to finally set boundaries for my ILs, to get my family safe, my daughter out of their reach. It was a very important part of my survival. What my "fight part" needed to be told was: "Thank you! You have been so brave even in your terror, you've protected and defended. Thank you for seeing injustice and fighting against it. And now it's safe for you to rest a bit. Now it's safe for you take deep, calm breaths. The adult all4peace can take over now, work through marital struggles without you needing to be involved. It's safe to take off our armor, to stop being defensive, to calmly stand before another safe adult and begin to work on our adult issues. You can rest. Thank you for your hard work! We'll let you know if we need you to bring your strengths to the table again."

Instead, my fight part felt vilified and demonized and it was fighting reallllly hard against that.

I'm learning that when I have strong reactions, it may be some part of me that needs to be listened to, some younger age, some fight/flight/freeze/fawn/attach part that needs to be heard. I'm also learning that the places I have been horribly stuck (like with DH's family) are sometimes when two parts (fight versus attach) are locked in battle with no way to resolve it.

We've had conversations on this forum about inner-child work. I see this as all about the inner child, letting them be seen, heard, empathized with, reassured, comforted, nurtured.

I highly recommend the book, as I imagine that a lot of what we talk about on this forum is directly related to this topic.
Chosen Relationships / Re: TV show reminded me
« Last post by 11JB68 on Yesterday at 07:57:26 AM »
LeeJane - Soon after that incident, I started reading a book about controlling relationships and one of the very first examples was a boyfriend flipping out over the gf cutting her hair short. THAT had a real impact on me, seeing that example in a book like that.
Dealing with PD Parents / Re: Should I say it?
« Last post by all4peace on Yesterday at 07:49:31 AM »
I think it's important that you carefully examine your motives and your wished-for outcomes. I think it is important for you to do the thing that you can live with. It sounds to me like you have a clear head, and I trust you will make the decision that works best for you. As long as your choice isn't motivated by fear or revenge, in my opinion it will be livable for you either way--saying your part, or staying silent.

Only you know how your anger works for you. There are many ways to let your truth be known, to not have it trapped inside you. I told T this year that I was sitting on a mountain of rage, that's how much anger I had inside of me. I told my parents very, very little of what I remembered from childhood, and yet my anger is nearly gone. I raged in letters (angry versions unsent, polite versions sent), I beat the stuffing out of my punching bag, I cried more than I thought it possible for a human to cry. I talked to and nurtured all the "little mes" inside of me who never had power or a voice. And slowly the anger has left me.

Our truth DOES need to be known. It DOES matter how we were treated when we were tiny and powerless and needed loving and caring parents. It leaves deep wounds and scars.

I'd just caution you that it is highly unlikely your parents will be able to acknowledge what you tell them. If they don't admit anything or show caring for your feelings, do you have other ways to have your truth be told, to vent out the anger, to begin to heal?
The Welcome Mat / Re: Hi
« Last post by all4peace on Yesterday at 07:41:16 AM »

I've really enjoyed Christine Lawson also! I read her book Surviving a Borderline Mother to better understand the dynamics with my DH's next-door uNBPDm, and when I read about the Queen and Witch realized that it sounded exactly like my mother.

I'm happy for you that you have a good adult life and have worked hard to be a better mother than the one you had. It sounds like you've had a long and difficult journey to get to where you are today. We're glad you found us here, to share your wisdom and to support each other. This forum has been a very supportive and welcoming place for me, and I hope you find it to be so for you also.

When you feel comfortable sharing more, we'd love to listen. If you prefer to sit back and observe, that's great too. Welcome!
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