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 Post subject: Feeling vulnerable again
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:13 pm 
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I'm tired of constant conflict in my life. my kids are always caught between my ex and i and i have tried everything i know to stop it.....on my behalf. i try to take responsibility for my part of the problem but it still continues and i think i have to be able to separate what is mine and what is my ex's and his new wife's and then figure out what is my son's / daughter's....and that is sooooooo hard!!!!!

my son is 14...15 soon. my daughter is 11 almost 12........

my ex is vindictive......he has suffered from my anger, etc..... but in the past. i've asked for forgiveness....i've told him of my diagnosis....i've asked him to understand that i couldn't live with him because he intentionally pushes all of my triggers and i'm not strong enough to maintain a sense of sanity when he does that to me......and my problem is that he's still doing it....but now that my son is living with him he's gotten my son to call me crazy, a bully, a bitch, etc....just because i ask him to show me where his friends live and asked him to put away his iphone so we could visit.

last sunday when i went to the house to p/u my daughter (she lives with me) i asked to take my son out for ice cream so i could talk to him about his failing grade in math and quitting track.....midseason......and i was told i couldn't take him anywhere...i had to sit in the driveway with him.

i need to say....there is no reason for their intervention...i'm not abusive and i love my kids very much. my ex. is mad at me because he tried to sue me and i won the case......etc....(adult stuff that really doesn't concern the kids)....but when he doesn't get his way he will use anything and everything he can against me...including our kids.

i'm sad because my daughter is at his house this weekend and she had really mixed emotions about going. i reminded her that mostly she enjoys herself and that she had to go....so she's there.......but a part of me is scared that he'll do something to her if she doesn't just agree with him when he starts to berate me with his wife in front of her. She tells me that all 3 talk about me and laugh and she's really uncomfortable about that......so she tells them she's uncomfortable.....but then her dad (my ex) will withhold affection from her and so she's bored and sad.

honestly i feel like this part of my life is hell. my ex isn't consistently bad enough to take action against him but i can never relax and just focus on my kids needs because there is such unnecessary conflict between all of us.

sometimes i just want to completely abandon my son and just not keep trying to relate with him. I think that if I withdraw the conflict will go away.......but another part of me knows my ex well enough to know that he'll find conflict elsewhere and the kids won't be any better off. my daughter actually really needs me......so i'd never leave her.

but this conflict with my son (and ex) is so deep and so upsetting for me it infiltrates all parts of my life and i get impatient. it ends up hurting my job because i'm impatient with colleagues....especially when there is conflict.

i'm sorry i've gone on so long. a part of me thinks i should just delete this and use the process of writing it as therapy.....except this is the hell i live in a cyclical manner and i haven't known how to deal with it for years.......and i've never been able to find anyone who can help.

maybe someone here understands. maybe not. i'm feeling like i'm just really weird and even on this site i can't relate to anyone.
:hammer


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling vulnerable again
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 7:01 am 
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Dear skiotter,
wow, what a heartfelt and moving post. I feel like giving you a hug and your ex a big smack upside the head!
How frustrating it must be to have to deal with all the aggravation of a vindictive ex and his new SO, especially where the kids are involved. You know the saying 'living well is the best revenge' ? Well, it seems to me that you have a lot of insight and that will help you to build a better life for yourself. You are NOT your diagnosis, you're so much more than that. The fact that your daughter wants to stand up for you is proof that you have a warm nurturing side that she appreciates.
So, what little advice can I give? I guess just focus on yourself, what makes you a happier, more effective adult, and practice patience when dealing with your kids. They will see through the BS being fed to them at the ex's house. Don't let the ex's pettiness and cruelty draw you into fights, 'cause the kids will be the losers. Hope this doesn't sound too cliche.
Sounds like you have the right stuff (your post was wonderfully expressive) you just need some support. Here's that hug (((skiotter)))


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling vulnerable again
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 11:07 am 
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Thanks Medusa! I do need support!! Thanks for affirming that it sounds like I have the "right stuff"........that is the most important affirmation for me. I think with this BPD....often we've gone through so many years of invalidation that it is super hard to trust in our own inner self (intuition). So thanks also for reassuring me that I am more than my diagnosis.....as we all are....individuals with a common problem.

I am anxiously anticipating my daughter's arrival home this afternoon and I'm really excited that both kids will be with me for the next two weekends.....Yippee

gg work in the garden. i hope your day is going well.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling vulnerable again
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:01 pm 
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SkiOtter,

I've got a work project I need to wrap up before tomorrow and some school work I need to tackle right now so in lieu of an in-depth, step-by-step analysis, lecture-type of response, I'll just suggest that you might benefit from reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. A lot of the things your ex is doing reminded me to "Take nothing personally" and just yelled in my head "That's his story, don't make it your own!" (Which would make more sense if you get a chance to read the book.) The local library might have a copy as well.

It can be a life-changing book. It's such a simple premise but it's extremely powerful at the same time.

Don't take his actions personally. Don't accept what he says (or implies) as your personal truth. YOU get to define who you are, not him. Not him through your son. YOU and ONLY YOU.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeling vulnerable again
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 2:21 pm 
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Thanks, Ash. I'll look for that book.

BTW: can you tell me the name of the other book you quoted recently....It was the posting with the quiz....that was GREAT!! It really helped me reflect on how i use my words.....and i think maybe the book would be a great resource to have here at home.

i love this site. i'm so grateful to have found it.

thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling vulnerable again
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:08 am 
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That other book was called "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High" -- I'll try to remember to get it added to the BPDR Book Store cuz even though it was assigned reading for work, it's appropriate for personal relationships and a lot of the examples are around those types of relationships.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeling vulnerable again
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:16 am 
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Yay, I got it added - thanks for the nudge!

Quote:
i asked to take my son out for ice cream so i could talk to him about his failing grade in math and quitting track.....midseason......and i was told i couldn't take him anywhere...i had to sit in the driveway with him.

i need to say....there is no reason for their intervention...i'm not abusive and i love my kids very much. my ex. is mad at me because he tried to sue me and i won the case......etc....(adult stuff that really doesn't concern the kids)....but when he doesn't get his way he will use anything and everything he can against me...including our kids.

The thing is -- his saying "stay in the driveway" is a reflection of HIS reality, not yours. Not unless you choose to accept it and allow it to be part of your reality. It's his choice to make - whether or not he agrees to allow your son to leave the property, to invite you into his house to speak with your son, etc. Those are his choices and he's allowed to make them. The decisions he makes are a reflection of who HE is as a person.

As you've already pointed out through your initial characterizations, his decisions define him to be a vindictive, petty person. That's not a reflection on you or who you are.

Even if he's making those petty choices based on something you may have done in the past, it's still his decision to cling to the past rather than choosing to live in the present.

So as long as you continue to always do your best and don't take his actions / decisions personally, I think you'll find yourself less bothered by his pettiness. It's his "thing" - NOT yours.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeling vulnerable again
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:15 am 
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Good news about the book!!

Thanks for the reply too. It's a good point.....and one that others have tried to tell me....but I didn't understand before. The way you said it makes sense to me.

I think I need to keep reminding myself to trust that my children can see through the BS....and as adults they'll be able to assert themselves. The true colors always shine through.....

Good day to you....


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