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.