Monday, November 13, 2017

Feeling Like She Cares

Another exciting weekend with Sybil.  She never disappoints.

Three nice episodes of knowing how much she cares.

1. I was feeling a little amorous.  I made my intentions known.  She informs me that she cannot due to "that time of the month".  I say that's ok.  I give her some affection, not expecting anything.  Naturally, Sybil is not one to let a good thing to go to waste.  She states that she has just about given up and thought I would never make a "pass" at her.  I reminded her of the passes I had made within the last 30 days (there were at least 2...I was rebuffed).  Sybil's eyes just glazed over.  Love is grande.

2. Having a discussion about all of the sex scandals.  Son#1 (23), daughter (20), Sybil, and I were having a nice conversation.  Sybil quickly let everyone know she was victim of a sexual assault.  Backstory: this is, technically, true.  It was an old man and she was a teenager.  She was not, actually, raped; he tried to get physical.  Anyway, Sybil's take was that no one should be made to something against their will.  Then brought up ancient times when a daughter was given to the king as payment or reward.  I stated that what if the daughter's lot in life was improved.  Living in a harem may be better than grinding poverty.  Sybil became triggered and started yelling at me.  Surprisingly, the kids came to my defense (even the daughter...she's kind of Sybil's flying monkey).  Son#1 went so far as to say that Sybil would never let me finish my thought.  If she had, she would realize that I was saying pretty much the same thing.  Sybil's eyes glazed over.  No apology was forthcoming.  I just have to suck it up, right?

3. After episode #1, I guess Sybil was feeling guilty.  She makes a small, tentative "advance" to me whilst in bed.  She states she can't do anything.  Then she states that she could do something for me.  A few heartbeats go by...then she says or I just take of myself.  A few more heartbeats go by.  I get up and use the bathroom.  I decide to just leave the room, make coffee, and breakfast.  Of all of the crap that Sybil has pulled, that was the capper.  I can live with the other stuff.  My wife being a "prick tease" takes the cake.

I just know how much I am loved.  Or not loved.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Quick Update

I was going to continue with the whole "Stop Walking on Egg Shells" thing.  After some consideration, I've come to the conclusion that it is only half way helpful.  The first half of the book gives some good stuff on Personality Disorders.  It goes into the emotional and psychological aspects of what this Disorder is.  My take away: people with Personality Disorders are great, big children.  Children have to learn to self-soothe.  When people are infants, they rely on parents to soothe them.  As they grow up, they have to be taught that their feelings cannot define their reality; they learn to self-soothe.  People with Personality Disorders, somehow, never learn that their feelings are not their reality.  Like a child, they rely upon someone else to soothe them.  Exhausting.

In the second half of the book, we read that we have to modify our behavior to live with these people.  My take away: it had to do more with appeasement rather than setting some sort of boundary.  The receiver had to keep in my mind that the PD person has issues and modify our behavior.  That becomes exhausting.  In the long run, I'm not sure it is realistic.  It seems like the best way to encourage a bully is to appease him/her.

I don't really have the answer.  My best guess goes back to setting and enforcing boundaries.  Since my personality runs more to a laid back way of living, boundaries are a new concept.  I've had lines I did not cross in my life.  I guess I have morals, ethics.  These were things I put in place on myself.  I never really put them in place for someone else.  Live an let live kind of thing.  This was a huge mistake and has cost me a great deal of emotional and psychological pain.  That is the one thing I try to tell my boys (the daughter already has that figured out it seems).  Setting and enforcing boundaries is for my protection.  I quit being the sponge of whatever emotional tempest that Sybil has.  I have to be kind of an a$$hole.  Sadly, a little bit of love dies.

Or, I divorce Sybil.  That is always an option.  I took that option off of the table.  Sybil has put it on the table of the years.  She even Googled, printed, and signed a divorce document, which is uploaded on this blog.  That is emotional blackmail.  When someone wants to really divorce someone, I don't think they do that.  I'm pretty sure they divorce.  They kick the other person out and get a lawyer.  The proceedings start.  Anyway, Sybil uses that as a cudgel to bash me over the head.  How does someone defuse that situation?

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Quotes from "Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder"

“The techniques of brainwashing are simple: isolate the victim, expose them to consistent messages, mix with sleep deprivation, add some form of abuse, get the person to doubt what they know and feel, keep them on their toes, wear them down, and stir well.”
p. 58

"Continual blame and criticism are other defense mechanisms people with BPD who act out use.  The criticisim may be based on a real issue that the person with BPD has exaggerated, or it may be a pure fantasy on the borderline's part."
p. 58

"Emotional abuse is any behavior that is designed to control another person through the use of fear, humiliation, and verbal or physical assaults."
"Emotional abuse is like brainwashing in that it systematically wears away at the victim's self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in her perceptions, and self-concept.  Whether it be by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of "guidance" or teaching, the results are similar.  Eventually, the recipient loses all sense of self and all remnants of personal value."
p. 60

"Many adult borderlines - especially those with young children - have noticed that their view of the world can be very childlike.  Splitting, object constancy problems, abandonment and engulfment issues, identity issues, narcissistic demands, seeming lack of empathy, and seeming manipulation are all borderline thinking patterns that correspond to developmental stages in children."
p. 65

"Filled with self-loathing, people with BPD may:

  • accuse others of hating them
  • become so critical and easily enraged that people eventually want to leave them
  • blame others and put themselves in the role of victim."
p. 67

"Meanwhile, the borderline's unhealthy behaviors are reinforced because the nonBP accepts responsibility for the feelings and actions that belong to the borderline."
p. 68

"Non-BPs being devalued by someone with BPD cherish clear and powerful memories of the times when the borderline thought they could do no wrong.  Some family members say they feel like the person who loved them has died and that someone they do not know has taken over the BPs body."
p. 70

"'Impulsive aggression' is an impulsive, hostile, even violent reaction, triggered by immediate threats of rejection or abandonment paired with frustration.  The source of these feelings may be obvious or triggered by something unseen."
p. 72

"Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be longer-lasting than physical ones.  With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism, and accusations slowly eat away at the victim's self-esteem until she (he) is incapable of judging the situation realistically."
p. 73

"The non-BP may leave the situation, either emotionally or physically.  This could include working long hours, remaining silent for fear of saying something wrong, or terminating the relationship.  This may result in the person with BPD feeling abandoned and acting out more intensely."
p. 74

"In an attempt to gain some control over what appear to be unpredictable BP behaviors, non-BPs often find themselves 'on alert'.  Being on alert requires a heightened sense of arousal both physically and psychologically that, over time, can wear down the body's natural defenses against stress, leading to headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, and other illnesses."
p. 74,75

"Borderline behaviors such as verbal abuse, perceived manipulation, and defense mechanisms can shatter trust and intimacy.  They make the relationship unsafe for the non-BP, who can no longer feel confident his or her deep feelings and innermost thoughts will be treated with love, concern, and care."
p. 77

"Tool 1: Take good care of yourself: obtaining support and finding community, detaching with love, getting a handle on your emotions, improving self-esteem, mindfulness, laughter, and wellness.
Tool 2: Uncover what keeps you feeling stuck: owning your choices; helping others without rescuing; and handling fear, obligation, and guilt.
Tool 3: Communicate to be heard: putting safety first, handling rage, active listening, nonverbal communication, defusing anger and criticism, validation and empathetic acknowledging.
Tool 4: Set limits with love: boundary issues, "sponging" and "mirroring" preparing for discussions, persisting for change and the DEAR (Describe, Express, Assert, and Reinforce) technique.
Tool 5: Reinforce the right behaviors: the effects of intermittent reinforcement."
p. 81, 82

"But in order for you to get off the emotional roller coaster, you will have to give up the fantasy that you can or should change someone else.  When you let go of this belief, you will be able to claim the power that is truly yours: the power to change yourself."
p. 87

"With BPD, the cause of an argument is not necessarily the actual event but the borderline's interpretation of that event.  As you probably know, you and the person with BPD may come to very different conclusions about what was said and done."
p. 88


More to come.  I've posted this because I need to remind myself that the person that 40% of the time seems to loving and nice acts so crazy the other 60% of the time.  I had Son#2 ask me if mom was "bipolar"...his words not mine.  Anyway, I have no doubt that Sybil is mentally ill.  Sadly, there is no hope for her to get any help because:

  1. She blames others (ok...me) for her problems.
  2. Admitting that she has issues would make her face the darkness that she has in her soul.
  3. She would have to realize that her actions makes those closest to her not want to be around her.  Son#1 moved back home and it is apparent that he has some pretty big issues with mom.  Son#2 moved to college and won't come home.  Interestingly, I believe that daughter is her "flying monkey" and will do her bidding.
  4. Finally, there is me.  My behavior may have contributed to her worsening.  By not being willing to use the nuclear option (ie divocrce), I have taken away a massive amount of leverage. Years ago (before 4 kids...just 1) I knew there was a problem.  The FOG I put myself in kept me from leaving.  I have much ground to cover.



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Various Stuff

A couple of things that are rattling around in my head.  Not much of a post, but has some personal stuff.

We hired a new staff member recently.  She's one of those kind of "earthy" types.  I'm not sure she'll stay long, but I find myself infatuated with her.  She's kind of attractive but not gorgeous.  I could not put my finger on it for several days.  Then, I had an epiphany.  She, actually, is kind to me.  She smiles.  She says positive things.  There is nothing overtly anything.  After my epiphany, I realized she's that way with everyone.  It was another reminder that a kind word will do more than an angry one.  I'm sure this infatuation will pass.  I do have not plans to even engage in it.  Yet, I feel even more depressed that this was all it takes for me to get this way: kindness.

I have been reading Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger.  According to the Kindle App, I'm 82% finished.  What have I learned?  Set Boundaries, Mirror Sybil's emotions (don't be a sponge).  Sadly, the subtext is that I have to be mindful of her emotions and feelings, so I can defuse the situation.  However, I can really never expect her to do the same.  Wow.  I knew this.  However, reading it seemed to make it so final.  Knowing that the one person closest to me does not really care about my feelings or emotional well being.  It really hit home last week.  I became slightly ill.  Chills.  Muscle aches.  Immediately, I layered clothes and went to bed.  Wearing fleece in the summer normally would be a clue.  Sybil made no comments.  Did not ask how I was or anything.  She, too, became a little under the weather.  I found myself trying to care for her and myself.  Very depressing.  Very depressing.  She could not see outside herself to see how I was doing.

No wonder a little positive feedback from a member of the opposite sex made me become infatuated.  Now, I am aware enough not to do anything stupid, but the power of negativity.  Like a fish not realizing they are in water until they are yanked out of it: jarring.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Horns of a Delimma

A new dilemma has arisen.  My class reunion is coming up.  Sybil has known about it for a long time.  We even blocked off days at the office to make the trip.

Naturally, Sybil has found a way to sabotage it.  I was trying to confirm whether or not she was going, since the deadline to pay was coming.  She became triggered.  Apparently, I should not have asked whether or not she was going.  Instead, I should have had everything planned (including caring for our 3 yo) and then asked her.  Since I started with asking her whether or not she was going, I did it wrong.  I explained that I wanted to make sure she was up for it, and then we can put our heads together to plan it.  She continued to get angry about not planning, and about my not acknowledging she had a point.  The latter eventually led to a complete melt down by her.  To add to her perceived insult, I started trying to use Medium Chill to not feed her narcissism.  Seeing that she was not getting the reaction she wanted, she started becoming very emotional and stomped away.  Meanwhile, my question is left unanswered.

Now we have a smoldering fire. I have not brought the subject back up.  Sybil is acting like a pouting, insolent child.  As I see it, I have a choice: not go to my reunion (which is what Sybil really wants) which will add to my resentment or go and face the music when I get back (I may find my stuff on the Front lawn).

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Sharp Turn to Ridiculousness



So we having nothing else to stress out about, apparently.  Last night we really took a turn into the ridiculousness.  

Summary: we only had one towel in our bathroom yesterday morning.  Last night I noticed we two.  I remarked on this observation (big mistake).  Sybil stated yes, we have towels in the clean clothes bag that is located in our closet.  Then everything became circular.  Her statement only said we had towels in the clean clothes bag not the bathroom (begs the question of why didn't she just put all of the clothes up?).  Finally, she commented that she put a towel in the bathroom.  Kind of a stupid conversation.  Typical misunderstanding: one person thought their statement was clear, and the other person was not understanding how the statement was pertinent.

Sybil stated that I am becoming worse.  I do not listen to her.  Since I do not listen to her, that means I do not REALLY love her.  Naturally, her statement made me go into Silent Treatment mode.  How do I respond to the hyperbole?  All I feel is anger at the craziness of this conversation.  To keep me from JADEing and engaging her in a circular argument, I keep silent.  Sybil remarks on this.  Finally, I say this was a simple misunderstanding, I should keep my statements to myself, and I cannot believe she is engaging in this hyperbole (I did use this word; I'm not sure she knows what it means.).  I go to "sleep", which really I lay there stewing in frustration.

This morning I am about to leave.  We talk a bit about work.  As I am leaving, I ask her is there anything else we need to discuss.  Sybil makes the statement, "Nothing else about the office".  Naturally, this means we need to delve into why I don't love her because I did not understand her, which means I did not love her.  To which, I replied, "We can talk about towels this afternoon."

Good times.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Stuck

Here we are...

So, I've been really trying to buckle down and figure out how to handle myself with Sybil.  It's tough to unlearn bad habits.  It's tough to de-program oneself from all of the negative comments over such a long time.  I've endured so many times being called selfish.  I endured cognitive dissonance due to being called selfish, yet that not "jiving" with my reality.  Having my self-esteem systematically taken away, I started to really believe Sybil.  Fortunately, I never really truly believed her.  I knew there was no way I was that bad.  I earned 100% of the money, took an active role in rearing our children, did as much or more housework, I actively listened to her complaints, yet I was being called selfish.

Over time, I had comments on this blog from folks that were trying to point me in the right direction (God bless 'em!).  I was stuck because many would use Borderline Personality Disorder.  The thing that kept me from buying into BPD was the tendency for those with BPD to be impetuous.  Sybil is a lot of things, but she is not impetuous.  She has never thrown caution to the wind and done anything "spur of the moment".  Since I just could not square her as having BPD with my real life experiences, I plodded on.  All of the while knowing that something was not quite right.  The rages over perceived slights kept me knowing something was off.  Who cancels a Christmas visit with my family because I happened to look at a TV, instead of help her with Christmas cards (which I never asked her to do in the first place)?  No sane person would do that.  I could go on and on with more examples.  This blog has been a testimony to something not being quite right with Sybil.

Sadly, there is something not quite right with me, too.  Who would put up with this abuse?  Does a normal, well-adjusted person continue a relationship with the type of person I've documented?  Maybe some of the reasons I have been in denial for so long is the realization that maybe I am the one with the problem.  That's a big pill to swallow.  Selective amnesia helps, too.  During the love bombing phase, I always tell myself, "Now everything will be normal.  She will be loving, patient, and understanding."  Hope springs eternal.  Over time, I did become callous, scarred.  I loved a little less.  Sybil seemed to sense that I was pulling away, so she stepped up her antics.  I think a normal person would try to find a way to heal the person they loved.  Normal...what is normal?  Part of the problem is she will not accept responsibility for her actions.  The other side of the coin is that I keep trying to get her see my point of view...JADEing.

Now we are here.  Kind of coasting.  No longer willing to open up and express my thoughts and feelings.  It is pointless.  I have started to internalize the waste of time and energy that is.  Sybil will never see beyond her thoughts and feelings.  She is incapable of empathy at least in my case.  We're stuck.