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 Post subject: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:15 pm 
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So, I'm pretty proud of myself on this one. I have a friend who is pregnant. Her sister-in-law, who is one of my best friends, has mentioned the baby shower a couple of times. I have not received an invite. Another friend of mine mentioned that he won't make it to the shower that's planned in a couple of weeks. Everybody is assuming I'm invited. I never received an invite.

I started to wonder what I could have possibly done to upset my friend so much that she wouldn't invite me to the shower. Um... HALT! Ok, there's no reason I can think of. Hell, she invited me to her wedding last year. She came to my wedding reception. Maybe I just slipped through the cracks, right? So, I shot her a quick email yesterday.

Quote:
O. told me your baby shower is in a couple of weeks. I want to send you something. Where are you registered?


She wrote back. Apologized for not inviting me. Said she didn't want to impose on me since the shower is over two hours away from where I live. Said if I wanted to come, I was welcome.

So, it had nothing to do with me. It had to do with her feelings about asking people to go out of their way for HER. I'm sitting here, amazed that I actually thought things through and didn't twist and didn't take the non-invite personally.

Just wanted to share. I didn't assume and I didn't take something personally, and it ended up great! It still amazes me sometimes how the tools really keep me from suffering unnecessarily.

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:31 pm 
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:calvin :hobbes

Totally awesome, eh?! It's amazing how much pain and anguish can be avoided with simple questions or direct approaches.

Bravo, Trinity! :clap

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 7:35 pm 
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I am so proud of you!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:05 pm 
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Thanks Kari. I was pretty proud of me, too. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:42 am 
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Hi
I'm new to all of this and am wondering if this thread would be the appropriate place to ask a question about how you dealt with not being invited, or should I start a new thread that quotes this thread and ask there?

Thanks
Lea

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Being brave doesn't mean being fearless -- it means doing the right thing even when we ARE afraid.

"They denounce me as mad. But, is it mad to take the beak of a penguin and grind it into a powder and mix it with a chocolate phosphate? Is is mad to take the inner pieces of a concertina and sautee it with an artichoke? Is it mad to squeeze all the juice out of a venetian blind and mix it with parts of the San Bernadino freeway? Is that mad? A little goofy maybe... but not mad. Why am I so misunderstood?
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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:12 pm 
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I think if you want people to read your thread, start a new one. It will attract more people!

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:45 am 
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Hi Lea & BG

I would've thought here was the right place to post to ask Trinity how she dealt with not being invited. but if you wanted feedback about a situation where you hadn't been invited to something and it was upsetting you to start you own thread to help increase the number of responses you'd get. Neither BG or I am "right" about this though.

Just being in the conversation is the most important thing, not where, so don't get too self-conscious about doing it "right".

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:25 pm 
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Hi
I tried to start a new thread and kept getting an error page. I sent an email to the board's tech support and haven't received an answer yet on what went wrong. I guess, if it's ok, I could post it here and afterwards, staff could move it to its own thread if they want.

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Being brave doesn't mean being fearless -- it means doing the right thing even when we ARE afraid.

"They denounce me as mad. But, is it mad to take the beak of a penguin and grind it into a powder and mix it with a chocolate phosphate? Is is mad to take the inner pieces of a concertina and sautee it with an artichoke? Is it mad to squeeze all the juice out of a venetian blind and mix it with parts of the San Bernadino freeway? Is that mad? A little goofy maybe... but not mad. Why am I so misunderstood?
-- Harvey Korman as Dr. Jekyll, The Carol Burnett Show


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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:53 pm 
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Oops - I misunderstood. I realize now what leananshea wanted. I was wrong - I guess this thread is the place to post your question. Sorry.

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:53 am 
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When Trinity wrote...
Quote:
She wrote back. Apologized for not inviting me. Said she didn't want to impose on me since the shower is over two hours away from where I live. Said if I wanted to come, I was welcome.


...my insides went into knots imagining receiving that email myself and all I could think was, "What an unkind thing for her friend to do. It's seems obvious to me that the friend excluded this lady from the party, either consciously or by oversight. And then, once she felt cornered and embarrassed about it, tried to paint her cruelty/oversight as a nicety, saying something as transparently lame as, 'I wanted to save you the long trip to my house'! If it were me, there's no way I could accept that -- like I'm some child who can't decide for themselves whether or not I want to drive 2 hours to go to her baby shower? She's 'saving me the trouble' by not inviting me? I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid. Something definitely stinks here."

I know my reaction smacks of jumping to conclusions, not extending benefit of the doubt, over-magnification, taking things personally, etc., but where is the line? Does accepting a diagnosis of BPD mean becoming a doormat for others to wipe their impolite feet on? Do we effectively lose the right to call people on their own bad behavior because we can't trust ourselves to discern hurtful behavior in others, or to deal with it when it happens, in ways which are not innately destructive?

Personally, as sick as I think I might be, I can't trust myself to tell the difference anymore, but my instinct tells me that I'd want to send back a reply that would go something like this:

Quote:
Dear Lucy,
We have been friends for a long time now and I feel we're at a place in our friendship where we are able to speak honestly and from the heart with one another. In the spirit of that, let me tell you about a development in my life which might shed some light on some things about me which you may have been wondering about. I am currently exploring the possibility that I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and, without going into a lot of detail here, there are a few aspects of this disorder, which if shared with you, I hope will help our friendship become closer and stronger in the long run. One aspect of my suspected BPD is that I tend to over-emphasize the meaning behind how people act and react toward me. I also have a tendency to over-personalize how people treat me and can feel extreme hurt over very small slights, even if those slights were unintentional. These, and more, could be symptoms of the disorder and are not anyone's fault and certainly not anything for other people to fix or worry over. I'm working on it, and, part of what I'm learning is that I need to be straightforward and compassionately honest with the people in my life so that I can discern between what my 'illness' is telling me and what is really going on. And so, that brings me to a question. (Please don't feel a need to shield me from the truth here. Your fearless answer will only help me grow.) Is there another reason why you didn't invite me to your shower other than the long drive? I only ask so that, if I have done or said anything that has been inappropriate, I would like a chance to recognize it in myself, apologize for it, and seek to never repeat that behavior again, if possible. The help you can offer me with your answer is hugely appreciated. Either way, just know, that I value our friendship and wish to do whatever I can to show you just how precious having you in my life is to me.


So... would a reply email like that be inappropriate for me to consider sending? Am I so far gone in this illness that I can't even trust myself to operate in a friendship without constantly telling myself to suck up and deal with the hurtful, inconsiderate things people do? Just checking...

Thanks,
Lea

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Being brave doesn't mean being fearless -- it means doing the right thing even when we ARE afraid.

"They denounce me as mad. But, is it mad to take the beak of a penguin and grind it into a powder and mix it with a chocolate phosphate? Is is mad to take the inner pieces of a concertina and sautee it with an artichoke? Is it mad to squeeze all the juice out of a venetian blind and mix it with parts of the San Bernadino freeway? Is that mad? A little goofy maybe... but not mad. Why am I so misunderstood?
-- Harvey Korman as Dr. Jekyll, The Carol Burnett Show


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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:03 am 
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Hi Lea

It's possible that your interpretation of what Trinity's friend said is true. However, part of my recovery has been trying to avoid "mind reading" other people and instead accepting what people say at face value. It's similar to the 12 step philosophy of "minding your own business"... and "It's none of my business what other people think of me".

I've come to the realisation that whilst people may lie to me (either to avoid hurting my feelings or to avoid looking bad or causing conflict or a whole range of other reasons shame/fear etc) I can't control whether they do or not, and I can't protect myself by being wary and on the lookout for if I'm being lied to.

The closer I am to someone and the more important the relationship is and the more important the issue is will decide whether I chose to mention my concern that maybe something else is going on. But I try to make sure I communicate this responsibly.

My opinion in regards to the e-mail you would've sent if this had hapened to you is that it's too intense. Please bear in mind this is only my opinion so listen to my opinion and take what works and leave the rest :) I think by disclosing the possible diagnosis of BPD you are inadvertently asking your friend to be responsible for your issues. It seems the issue you're concerned about is that there may have been another reason she didn't invite you and that she didn't feel comfortable raising this openly with you (?). The issue isn't your BPD so no need to raise this. If you do the focus of the discussion then changes from concern about her and your friendship with her, to you and your issues. (The "It's all about me"-ness of BPD LOL!)

But then as I stated at the start I practice taking people at face value. Logically, if you're friend doesn't feel comfortable about being honest with you about concerns she has about you and her relationship with you it doesn't matter what you say is not going to change that, only actions will.
The best way to change a relationship is not to try to change the other person (i.e. get her to communicate concerns openly if she isn't) but to demonstrate change ourselves (mind your own business - be a good friend).

Anyway, hope this helps. Even if you disagree completely it's useful to me to see a different point of view and I hope it is to you too :)


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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:36 am 
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ChicitaGatitia,
That was a really great reply. I totally needed to hear that tonight. Thanks for sharing your insight. :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:02 am 
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No matter what goes on in my relationships with my friends, I would never tell them I have BPD. I do not want to be looked at by them as "less than" - or thought of as "oh, poor BG, she has a mental illness." No way! I have been burned once by a so-called good friend regarding my depression, and I will not allow it to happen again.

How I deal with my illness is my business alone. Yes, I need to learn how to deal with my relationships, but that's my issue - not anyone else's. I do not want slack cut for me because I have BPD. I have to learn to work with it.

Well, this is just my opinion and how I cope with my illness. I know other people have different ways of handling their friendships re: their BPD, but this is how I feel about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:04 am 
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I just thought of something else. Once you tell friends you have BPD, it opens up a whole other set of issues. They might ask you questions that you might not feel comfortable answering. They might look at you in a different light, sort of "watching" you for signs of the illness and how you react. It opens a whole can of worms. Again, my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:01 am 
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ChicitaGatitia wrote:
It's possible that your interpretation of what Trinity's friend said is true.


... and I get the distinct impression (yes, impression) that impressions are considered a no-no for people with BPD to indulge in. I'm 45 years old. Experience with people has got to mean something, right? I mean, does finding out you have BPD mean you can never use discernment based on experience again? Is the BPD so "broken" that they can't trust themselves to make "judgments" that will help them create the boundaries that keep a person safe from all manner of emotional turmoil that results when we set ourselves up by trusting untrustworthy people? Me personally? I would just have to rescind at least a little trust and respect if I couldn't openly ask if there was something "Lucy" and I needed to work out together. What Trinity's friend said would be a red flag to me that, if this lady is willing to "save me from driving 2 hours", what else could she be willing to "save" me from?

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
However, part of my recovery has been trying to avoid "mind reading" other people and instead accepting what people say at face value. It's similar to the 12 step philosophy of "minding your own business"... and "It's none of my business what other people think of me".


It's not "mind-reading" I'm accessing here... it's trusting my self-love to guide me into good relationships and out of potentially bad ones. Or at least keeping the faucet in my heart set to "lukewarm" if I sense someone is not trusting and respecting me enough to tell me the truth and/or thinks it's ok to "spare me" the 2 hour drive to a party. She's either lying or is pretty presumptuous -- neither of which make "close friend" material for me.

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
I've come to the realisation that whilst people may lie to me (either to avoid hurting my feelings or to avoid looking bad or causing conflict or a whole range of other reasons shame/fear etc) I can't control whether they do or not, and I can't protect myself by being wary and on the lookout for if I'm being lied to.


The hypothetical reply I wrote was not an underhanded indictment of Lucy, it was me trying to open up a dialog where Lucy and I could clear the air, if there was something I could do to resolve some potentially unspoken problem between us that I was previously not aware of. I took the vantage point, in my reply, that Lucy and I had history, and in my circle of close friends, it's an unspoken understanding that an ugly truth (not to be confused with "brutal honesty" which is just lazy and cruel IMHO) is preferable to a beautiful lie any day of the week. Maybe I'm just talking for myself here, but, I couldn't stand all the cloak and dagger stuff that goes along with everyone keeping everything tense and superficial at the expense of real understanding between individuals. If Lucy was a close friend, like the ones I do have, she would've picked up on my attempt to honestly and sincerely reach out to her and clear the air and hopefully seen it as an opportunity for both of us to form even deeper bonds through mutual trust and respect. I don't want to pretend or have others pretend friendship (again, assuming Lucy is in my close circle of dear friends), and that's what glossing over even "superficial" lying/presumptuousness feels like to me. And, to boot, "I didn't want to put you out by asking you to drive 2 hours to my house" isn't even a well-crafted lie, if it was a lie. It's demeaning to hear someone tell you that they excluded you as a kindness, even if it's the truth! But if it was a lie, it's really not ok left hanging like that. At least not to me.

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
The closer I am to someone and the more important the relationship is and the more important the issue is will decide whether I chose to mention my concern that maybe something else is going on. But I try to make sure I communicate this responsibly.


Reassuring Lucy that I know that there could be something "wrong" with me was my way of owning the situation so that she would know I wasn't accusing her of being the potential problem in the situation. I wasn't dumping it on her, like, "Hey, I might be sick so be reeeeeeally careful what you say to me." In fact, I made it very clear that I wasn't seeking care-giving from her, that I was on the job looking for better ways of taking care of my friend and our relationship.

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
My opinion in regards to the e-mail you would've sent if this had hapened to you is that it's too intense. Please bear in mind this is only my opinion so listen to my opinion and take what works and leave the rest :) I think by disclosing the possible diagnosis of BPD you are inadvertently asking your friend to be responsible for your issues.


My closest friends have experience seeing me dig deep for growth and healing and would know that I was sincere in my own reply. There is nothing to be read "between the lines" in what I wrote to Lucy. It wasn't a backhanded letter. I meant every word and was being genuine and open when I told her that I could hear whatever she might need to say. Hey, she could've come back with, "Sorry, I just accidently left you off the list" and I would've been fine with that. She could've even said, "Nope, we're good" and that would've been ok. Even if she'd come back with some really tough stuff for me to hear, I would've treated it with love and tried to see her point of view. Doing any less would've been less than honest on my part.

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
It seems the issue you're concerned about is that there may have been another reason she didn't invite you and that she didn't feel comfortable raising this openly with you (?).


Yes, you're right. It really was about the friendship not taking a hit (a truly close friend knows she doesn't have to lie to me) and not the lack of an invitation. I guess this is where I should ask... just because I may have BPD does it mean that I'm innately incapable, even disallowed, to confront people anymore? Is all confrontation necessarily going to end up as aggressive? I mean, a BPD confronting a potential problem, is that a problem in itself? Or as a BPD (if I am) will I have to assume from here on out that the "problem" is usually me thinking there's a problem? Does recovery include giving up one's right to see impoliteness and work toward good boundaries with others that don't just work for the NONs but work for the BPD as well?

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
The issue isn't your BPD so no need to raise this.


Knowing how nuts I've been lately, you could very well be right. But, as I see it, if I can reassure a good friend that I'm trying to take responsibility for my illness, then shouldn't I? Especially if I suspect my illness might be at the root of the problem? I wouldn't be ashamed to let my dearest friends know if it's true, and if I've done some things in my psychosis that might have effected them enough to exclude me from a baby shower, don't I owe it to them to take the steps to make amends and alter my previous behavior? Just asking her if there's a problem, without letting her know that I've already recognized that I might have a mental health issue, kind of puts it in her lap to inform me that I've done some things that have her upset with me or at least disinterested in dealing with me at her baby shower. Why should I foist that on her if I can alleviate her from that yucky position?

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
If you do the focus of the discussion then changes from concern about her and your friendship with her, to you and your issues. (The "It's all about me"-ness of BPD LOL!)


Well, if my illness has hurt/alarmed/disgusted/etc her, then it IS all about me, but not in a good way. It's about me in that, as a sick person, it's my job to reassure and mend things with my friend, if she needs that. I clearly stated in my reply that I was not seeking intervention/help/pity/attention for my illness, but rather, have recognized that whatever is wrong with me might be effecting my friendships. And the only person I can change is me... so doesn't that make any potential problem I've created "all about me"?

I really thought I got it across at the end of the letter that I intended to take care of my friend and the friendship. Sending that email, to me anyway, was one adult reaching out to another adult trying to present a chance for growth and healing between us. That's the part of the letter that is about her.

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
But then as I stated at the start I practice taking people at face value. Logically, if you're friend doesn't feel comfortable about being honest with you about concerns she has about you and her relationship with you it doesn't matter what you say is not going to change that, only actions will.


Well, of course, I don't know how close Trinity is with her friend. Certainly, if "Lucy" was someone I had very light interactions with (like some of my online friends, for example), I would've taken the same tack as you and Trinity and just let the "problem" go. An acquaintance doesn't have access to the places where I've gone with this. I don't want anyone to think that I go around confronting every slight that comes down the pike! Heck no! In fact, I put up with a lot of crap from strangers and acquaintances -- just like anyone. And I don't let it get to me... usually. That's why I found my way here to BPDR -- I lost it on a little old lady the other day -- my first public outburst ever. There are times when sales clerks can ruffle my feathers, and I react very firmly but quietly, but that's usually with the ones who don't give two hoots about how they treat customers. It's particularly bad here in France, I can tell you! So, if I was normally overly-reactionary, I would be blowing up every 5 minutes around here!

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
The best way to change a relationship is not to try to change the other person (i.e. get her to communicate concerns openly if she isn't)


Ok, here we're definitely not on the same page (if I understood what you wrote correctly). "Asking someone to communicate openly with me" does not equal "trying to change another person". She can decline. She can do whatever she wants, including telling me I'm being overly sensitive and go take a chill pill. I made no demands of her and I left her options open by letting her know that I could be taking everything out of context and over-emphasizing due to BPD, no?

It's ironic, really, that you brought up "trying to change another person": One of my most heartfelt mantras is, "The only person I can change is me." And I live by that as much as is humanly possible for me.

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
but to demonstrate change ourselves (mind your own business - be a good friend).


Am I out of line to think that my 50% of the relationship is "none of my business"? (again, I may be misinterpreting what you said here) Trying to clear the air with a close friend IS me minding my own business. I'm making an effort to sweep my side of the street so that she can see that I'm willing to make up for anything I might have done to offend her, thereby validating her needs in the relationship and seeking a better one through making efforts to effect the changes I might be unaware are needed in order to be a better friend.

ChicitaGatitia wrote:
Anyway, hope this helps. Even if you disagree completely it's useful to me to see a different point of view and I hope it is to you too :)


All is well. I'm here to exchange ideas/experiences and "being right" is not a priority anymore. Finding ways of communicating myself, my feelings and needs from relationships is though. So, I'm listening and trying to see if I'm off-track somewhere. Your input is valuable, so no worries, ok? ; )

Somewhere in all of what you and I have exchanged here is something I'm either not seeing or is intrinsically a part of who I am that I either have to decide to change about myself or learn to accept with self-love/forgiveness. I'm just not sure right now what it is*. I'll keep looking though.

Thanks, ChicitaGatitia
Lea
*there is a possibility that I'm not BPS; I'm looking into Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder (CADD) and Emotional Deprivation Disorder (EDD) as well, so who knows at this point... my H (who has both bipolar and Asperger's Syndrome (AS)) and I have an appt in the UK with an Adult Asperger's specialist who is the world authority on EDD in AS spouses (that's what CADD is btw). I intend to share that I have a suspicion about having BPD and see what she has to say. CADD is situational -- not neurological -- so, maybe what I'm suffering from would abate if my situation was improved. We'll see.

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Being brave doesn't mean being fearless -- it means doing the right thing even when we ARE afraid.

"They denounce me as mad. But, is it mad to take the beak of a penguin and grind it into a powder and mix it with a chocolate phosphate? Is is mad to take the inner pieces of a concertina and sautee it with an artichoke? Is it mad to squeeze all the juice out of a venetian blind and mix it with parts of the San Bernadino freeway? Is that mad? A little goofy maybe... but not mad. Why am I so misunderstood?
-- Harvey Korman as Dr. Jekyll, The Carol Burnett Show


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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:03 am 
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Bordergirl wrote:
I just thought of something else. Once you tell friends you have BPD, it opens up a whole other set of issues. They might ask you questions that you might not feel comfortable answering. They might look at you in a different light, sort of "watching" you for signs of the illness and how you react. It opens a whole can of worms. Again, my opinion.

I'm married to a guy who is so mentally ill, it shows. But he and I don't let that bother us. In fact, we've found that the people who know about his illness are our closest friends and there's no weirdness around his autistic behavior. That means I can relax when we are with those friends and not feel tense that he's going to offend someone.

Seeing how that works for my H and having other family members and friends who are open about their mental health is a disclosure on the lines of the AA greeting, "Hi, my name is Fred and I'm an alcoholic." You don't go around telling EVERYONE but you do tell the people who you trust, or at least might feel the effects of what the illness can do.

In my H's his mental health issues are so in the forefront that I even have to tell some people I would normally not even consider telling. We're having our apt renovated right now and my H freaked the contractor out so much that the guy nearly walked off the job. Once I told him about my H's autism, the guy not only calmed down, he ended up telling me about his cousin who has it too. Since then, when his carpenters and tile layers have come in and out of the apt and call him disturbed by this or that that my H has said/done, the contractor just tells them that my H is just eccentric and not to let it bother them. I needed that back-up, so telling was important in this case.

And it will be important for me to tell the right people in my case too -- no matter what the eventual diagnosis is -- because I'll need their support and love through my recovery. But will I tell just anyone? No reason to. So, no.

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Being brave doesn't mean being fearless -- it means doing the right thing even when we ARE afraid.

"They denounce me as mad. But, is it mad to take the beak of a penguin and grind it into a powder and mix it with a chocolate phosphate? Is is mad to take the inner pieces of a concertina and sautee it with an artichoke? Is it mad to squeeze all the juice out of a venetian blind and mix it with parts of the San Bernadino freeway? Is that mad? A little goofy maybe... but not mad. Why am I so misunderstood?
-- Harvey Korman as Dr. Jekyll, The Carol Burnett Show


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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:47 pm 
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It seems to me that you are assuming things about Lucy's commitment to this friendship. In one sense, you assume she's not a true friend because she didn't want Trin to feel obligated to drive 2 hours. (I would have probably done the same thing. More about not wanting to inconveince someone than a friendship problem.) But then on the otherhand, you assume that they are close enough friends that she should dump her insecurity and mental health issues on her. And A recovering BPD is different than autism, you don't have to tell everyone because you don't have to be sick forever, you don't have to act out, irrationally, forever. I have shared my diagnosis with my 2 best friends, but co-workers and casual friends, I haven't. Just my opinion on that.

Why is it so inconceivable that Lucy really was thinking more about not inconviencing Trin?

Why does it have to be an incident that you want to blow up into a issue?

Just because we've had years of feeling like we've been crapped on, doesn't mean we'll always be crapped on. Copied from the ten forms of twisted thinking
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2. Overgeneralization - You see a single negative event, such as a romantic rejection or a career reversal, as a never-ending pattern of defeat by using words such as "always" or "never" when you think about it. A depressed salesman became terribly upset when he noticed bird dung on the window of his car. He told himself, "Just my luck! Birds are always crapping on my car!"


Now, if Trin hadn't been invited to a wedding that she new was a big affair, then she might have to ask if there was a reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:01 pm 
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leananshea said:

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Is the BPD so "broken.......


I am not "a BPD" - I am a person who has BPD. Being BPD is not who I am nor is it my whole existence.

I think we disagree on this topic. As I said before, I have not told any of my close friends about my diagnosis. I haven't even told my twin sister, who I am extremely close to. I don't need to use BPD as an excuse for my poor behavior to them. Yes, I may screw up. Yes, I may have difficulties in my relationships. But how I work them out is my business - they don't need to know. I work with my T and he helps me unscrew things. I use DBT skills exercises to work things out. If I need to apologize to someone, I do. But hey, everyone screws up at one time or another. People with BPD are not the only ones who have issues with relationships. We all do.

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I mean, does finding out you have BPD mean you can never use discernment based on experience again? Is the BPD so "broken" that they can't trust themselves to make "judgments" that will help them create the boundaries that keep a person safe from all manner of emotional turmoil that results when we set ourselves up by trusting untrustworthy people?


We all have to take responsibilty for ourselves and our actions, whether we have BPD or not. We are not excused just because we have this diagnosis. Yes, we need to use discernment. Why shouldn't we? We have the same criteria that people without BPD have.

Many people with BPD do not know about or understand boundaries. So we have to learn about them and what they mean and how to use them. But many people without BPD do not know or understand about boundaries too. We all have to take individual responsbility for ourselves.

I admit that I sometimes will not trust my judgment. Maybe it is a symptom of BPD. But it is up to me to learn how to trust my judgment and make the right decisions for myself.

We also need to learn the Tools of not taking things personally, not jumping to conclusions, etc. It is not so much that we seem "broken" but that we do not know the proper tools to use. Once we have those tools in place, we can go back to them as much as we need to.

My T told me that I just have not learned certain skills to use in life. He would never, ever say I was "broken." When faced with a situation, especially in relationships, we can use past experience to help us. We can also use the tools and skills we have learned. If something did not work for us in the past, it makes sense that we do not repeat that mistake today. That's why I like going to a therapist - he helps me sort through my issues with relationships and steers me in the right direction.

As I said above, I think we have different opinions on disclosing our diagnosis of BPD. I agree with Kari. Having a personality disorder is a lot different than having autism, or even depression. I've shared with friends that I have suffered from depression. When I was hospitalized with depression, they knew. But in my opinion, you have to be careful when sharing diagnoses of mental illness. In the past, even telling someone you suffered from depression was like a stigma. But with public education depression is no longer seen, by most people, as a moral failure like it used to be. But most people don't know about or understand personality disorders. Heck, many people who have them don't understand them. So I don't go there. It's too complicated to explain and for me, not necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:02 pm 
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kari2171 wrote:
Why does it have to be an incident that you want to blow up into a issue?


Hashing a fine point out in an objective forum setting like this surely can make it appear that one is "blowing up" the subject "into an issue". I can see that. The incident itself was a hiccup, not the end of the world, and I want to assure you that I certainly have not made more of it in my own mind than what it was. I only seem keenly focused on this particular situation because it presented a good example of some of the things that confuse me about life as a person with BPD and how these tools which are offered at BPDR work in the real world.

Maybe I wouldn't have actually been as bothered as I sound here in "real life", ie, if it happened to me. I think I'm in a hurry to understand and I'm bumping into some things that don't quite fit (yet, or maybe not at all). Please don't read more into my line of query than just a simple exercise in trying to gain some deeper, clearer sense of things in a world where I might have BPD. But, looking back, it sure does look like I'm over the top, so sorry about that. I'm just raring to get on with getting on with it, that's all.

Bordergirl wrote:
I am not "a BPD" - I am a person who has BPD. Being BPD is not who I am nor is it my whole existence.


Sorry there. I fell into using a style of shorthand I picked up on the Asperger's forum where they prefer to be referred to as AS instead of as "Aspies". What is the preferred form here -- "a person with BPD"? And thank you for the straightforward boundary setting, Bordergirl. This is the sort of stepping up and "confronting an issue" that I was asking about to start with. You felt something I said needed clarification and you politely told me so. That pretty much answers my original question, so thanks.

About telling others: I think I can see how it would be different telling a bunch of people that I had BPD. It isn't the same as my H's illnesses which cause havoc a lot of the time if we leave people to figure things out on their own. I appreciate the insights from those of you who have lived with this diagnosis. I think it's wise to employ the discretion you all suggest here.

Thank you, all! This is all really helpful.
Lea

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:43 pm 
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I don't think I phrased my question very well either, more of "Why can't you assume she's telling the truth?"

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:09 pm 
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I can understand how difficult it is to first receive a diagnosis of BPD. When my T told me I had it, I didn't believe him. It actually took a few months before I truly believed him. I was seeing him twice a week at the time and at each visit I'd sit there and say, "I don't really have this, do I?" I was really shocked! But over time I came to believe him and we were able to work on skills, etc. So I can understand you not "knowing the ropes" - it does take time!

You said you "might have BPD." Did you get a diagnosis from a therapist or a psychiatrist? Or have you read about BPD and think you might have it? I think with mental health diagnoses, it's probably best to not diagnose ourselves but go to a professional who is better equipped to make that diagnosis (or not). There are so many things out there, you may think you have BPD but in actuality you don't. Of course, working on the skills here can help anyone, so you don't need the diagnosis to use the tools. I guess it's up to you whether you want to see a professional and get a diagnosis.

Again, all of this stuff takes time - learning the skills and learning about BPD doesn't happen overnight. So take things as they come and things will fall into place!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:14 pm 
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i just want to add this...as this thread is long and i dont have time to really read it all thru.

you said about how a AA meeting begins. i just wanted to remind you this is a closed AA thing, or if it is a open meeting, people are going for one reason. to work on being sober, or in al anon, have a family member who is a alcoholic. the rules for meetings are quite specific and strict.

these meetings are confidential. only first names are used, and nothing is meant to be told around a circle of " friends" that goes on in those meetings.

so i dont think the analogy works well. imho*

this would be a personal choice, as no one knows your friends nor do you know ours. for me, no one knows my dx(s) but here and it causes issues even here at times. i am dxed with C-PTSD and bpd traits. since all pdrs and counselors can argue 24/7 over mental issues anyways, i doubt it means much to begin with. my real starting point was my behaviors and others around me, i went from that. i wanted to be a better, positive person.

few people who have no experience with mental issues have a clue about them..i learned that one the hard way. to them it means oh, your crazy. and then they start hiding the knives when you come over. (maybe i need new friends, i dunno) i mean, try it if you have cancer or something. half run like hell, the others will flutter and hover and inconspiculously time your breathing or something.

but ....i am only speaking for myself, my personal choices. this will be your personal choice what you do with anything. keep that in mind :)

and please have a mental health specialist look you over, self dxing is dangerous.

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:52 pm 
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That's exactly it Jody - telling friends causes all kinds of trouble. If you tell them, then anything you do or say will be met with "oh, she said that because she has BPD." That is so not conducive to recovery. Do you remember what happened to me last year when I learned I had won my disability case and was awarded benefits? Upon hearing my news, one of my best friends said to me, "Well, I guess it pays to be sick." This is an intelligent person! I was so taken aback - I felt like she slapped me. So I am very, very careful who I share my personal stuff with. I don't have many good experiences in that regard. Yeah, they put the knives away. I don't see that telling helps with anything. It only makes things worse. At least that's my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:59 pm 
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been mine also. i agree. i have few of the true friend definition. you know..a friend will bail you out, but a true friend sits in the cell with ya? that type.

i suggested counseling to a past friend of mine and her response was "why? im not CRAZY!" i went ummmm im in counseling. she says i know you are. i said so you think im crazy? oh no...hahahaha. well , she said it. that told me a ton right there.

theres a ton i just dont think others need to know. this would be one of those.

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 Post subject: Re: Not taking things personally
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:07 am 
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jodyisme wrote:
been mine also. i agree. i have few of the true friend definition. you know..a friend will bail you out, but a true friend sits in the cell with ya? that type.

i suggested counseling to a past friend of mine and her response was "why? im not CRAZY!" i went ummmm im in counseling. she says i know you are. i said so you think im crazy? oh no...hahahaha. well , she said it. that told me a ton right there.

theres a ton i just dont think others need to know. this would be one of those.


Of course, I don't know your friend, but what I see in that anecdote is that people are often harsher on themselves than on others, as far as expectations. As illogical as it is, people really do think that, for them, counselling would mean they are crazy, while not thinking that other people who are in counselling are crazy.

Which fits with the topic of don't take things personally.

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