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 Post subject: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:56 am 
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Taken directly from Putting the Pieces Together, here are some of the general BPD-oriented homework exercises listed in Chapter 2. These homework exercises are optional (they are NOT required for your participation or continued membership with the BPDR Forums.) The homework need not be posted in public nor shared in any way. The exercises are simply posted as a way to provide some of the recovery-oriented work that may be of assistance in your journey toward healthy, happy living.

For now, you are asked to simply identify the behaviors.
  • List three times you acted upon black-and-white thinking. How did that work out for you? What do you think you could have done to handle the situation differently? To achieve a more successful outcome?
  • Write about someone you placed on a pedestal. What sort of things did you tend to ignore when you elevated them in your mind? What happened when you realized that they were not that idealized person? How did you feel? Do you notice any trends – the basic relationship in which you generally put people on a pedestal, the types of things you initially overlook, etc.?
  • List three things that scare you in a relationship. Do you have any idea how to overcome those fears? (It’s okay if you don’t just yet. That will come as you make progress in your journey.)
  • Write about someone you split. How were you feeling at the time? How did you feel later, after the heat of the moment subsided?


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:02 pm 
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I can comment on the pedestal part of the homework assignment. For over 10 years, I was "in love" with R. I met him in high school and he gave me his complete and utter attention! Can you believe it? lol

Well, I instantly fell in love with him. We would talk all night on the phone and fall asleep on the phone together. We had sex almost immediately after meeting and I fell in love even harder. The next 10 years was a back and forth. He would disappear. My heart would break and I would obsess. Then he'd call me at 2 a.m. and I would come right over to his house because I loved him. He was intelligent, handsome, funny, sexy.... the best man I'd ever met.

He was a self-interested, narcissistic, drug-addicted, alcoholic asshole. He was only around when he wanted sex. And when he was around, he made me feel like I was the only person in his world. Until he disappeared again. He was never even my boyfriend! lol Eh, I laugh now. I hurt so badly because I just couldn't understand what was wrong with me that made him go away. And when he was there I forgot all the bad things.

I realized he was not the man I made him out to be in my head when he started seriously dating someone who would eventually become a friend of mine. At first glance, she was a shallow, stupid Hooters blonde. And I could NOT understand how someone as intelligent as R. could SERIOUSLY date someone like that. They had 2 kids! But before that, I started liking the girl a lot. I still thought the attraction between R. and L. was truly physical. So why did she get to be his girlfriend and not me? Something was obviously wrong with me.

Then I started seeing R. cheat on L. I wasn't surprised in the least. No one was. L. was the only one who didn't know. He would still try and get me into bed, but I liked L. and wouldn't do it, although I still wasn't over him. When he fell off the pedestal, he fell hard. He beat L. Badly. She called me once the police arrested him and I spent the night with her. The bruises were horrific. And while I was there for L. to lean on, I just thanked GOD I never got what I wanted with R. He was not the person I wanted him to be. He was a drug addicted, alcoholic batterer. That ended the pedestal for R.

I see him now as a majorly messed up person with problems he does not know how to handle. He seems evil, and may be, but I know he's truly damaged and someone who is unhealthy for me to have in my life.

Ten years of my life. Cheated on everyone I ever dated because of my "love" for him. I'm just glad I woke up.

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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:52 am 
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Black and White thinking is my speciality! I can definitely find you three examples:

1. I got on a bus and found i didn't have the correct change and the bus driver looked annoyed at me. I felt like this was proof i wasn't a proper person and couldn't ever fit in in society and started biting my hands. Right there in the bus!
The consequences. I looked like an absolute freak in front of everyone and my boyfriend, who was with me, was upset at having to witness it. I read somewhere that self harming in front of others is abusive so obviously i feel bad for that too.

2. My place of work suffered a funding cut and as a result my workload increased by about one third, meaning that i wasn't able to deliver the same level of service to the clients as previously. I worked myself into the ground trying to make up for these problems but inevitably, I was able to point to some situations where my best efforts were not sufficient to provide the kind of service i felt necessary. I decided that I was incompetent and felt so ashamed that i volunteered for redundancy, thinking that everyone would be better off without me.
My employers obviously disagreed with my assessment of myself because they refused my request and kept me on but i did have a few months were future was insecure and uncertain all because i acted on black and white thinking. The uncertainty added to my general feelings of misery and hopelessness and did not help my mental health!

3. This is from when i was a little kid but i'm gonna tell you about it because it pretty neatly demonstrates the general pattern of my shitty behaviour since. Everything i've fucked up as an adult is more or less a grown up version of this:
My friend was staying over the night and for some reason i threw a tantrum over what pajamas i was going to wear. My mum told me "Don't act like that: you'll spoil the evening for your friend" At that moment i realised that, my friend was indeed, feeling quite awkward and not having a good time. I felt the whole day had been ruined by me and there was nothing i could do to put it right. And because i felt so bad that i had ruined everything, i just kept on tantruming.
That is pretty much the mechanism by which my black and white thinking operates. I realise i have done something bad, I make a leap of logic that i am bad, I go into an almighty tail spin and ruin things for real.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:11 am 
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My idealised person:

I think its very easy to idealise people to start with, because most people will show you their best side in the beginning. Generally, as time goes on, i can continue to enjoy the good qualities, while acknowledging the rest. The bad doesn't wipe out the good for me (except when it applies to myself!)

I have known two people who have seriously disappointed. The one I'm going to talk about was someone who I really looked up to, sort of like a mentor. He ended up killing someone in a crack fuelled argument over something very trivial and is now in prison. I haven't written.

Looking back, I do wonder what clues to his personality I might have overlooked. I knew he was a person with a violent past and was too quick to assume that the past would be where it would stay. I think there is sometimes a mythology about violent men: "He looks out for his mates", "He protects his family" and so on. I was too willing to buy into that. I hope I wouldn't make the same mistake again. I am much more wary about people with any kind of link to erratic lifestyles now. I don't feel like I need to be around it.

When I realised he was not the idealised person: well as you can imagine i was very shocked. I think I described the feeling to someone as having candy floss in my brain. I spent a lot of time wondering how you can reconcile all the good people can do with the evil we are also capable of. In the end I decided that although these are important questions they are not mine to answer. I believe that someone who has killed has the responsibility to work out these questions (and more). But for me: one of the privileges of not ever having killed anyone is that I don't have to face that darkness unless I want to. I decided I didn't want to and now i barely think about him.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:42 pm 
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List three times you acted upon black-and-white thinking. How did that work out for you? What do you think you could have done to handle the situation differently? To achieve a more successful outcome?

1.)The other day I was trying to think positive and tried saying to myself that I was feeling more on my own side than the last several weeks, but I couldn't even really formulate this thought fully because it's like it didn't really count since I wasn't *mostly* or completely on my own side, nor getting much relief.

How did this work out? Not well. What could I have done differently? Not sure.Fighting really hard daily to overcome negative talk, but spinning my wheels. Heard a lecture recently with a message I'm going to "try on" about how self-blame is really not one bit better than blaming others. It's still the ego fighting for supremacy. I'm focusing there, going to "try this on" and see if that will help me let go of the negative talk.

2.)I'm in a lot of physical distress due to a chronic illness and almost constantly blame myself for not being able to get in a mindset where I can get relief. How does this work out for me? Not well. Been trying forever to have compassion for myself but my ability is very limited. It only worked well for about a month this last year. It's not working now. I can have compassion when others have compassion for me, but not at all well for myself by myself. Ugh! Going to look up some classes or groups on compassion. May look up a Compassionate Communication class - (book by Marshal Rosenburg). Going to keep trying the technique in the example in #1. Keep attending those lectures.

3.) When I can get relief or find myself surprised to feel relief (physically), I tend to blame myself furiously for not being able to get to that mindset that gave me relief sooner. This can feel intolerable and the self hate is overwhelming. It can lead to other negative things like eating for comfort, or dependency on others for assurance Im not a bad person. It seems the only option at the time to blame myself, but I'm going to try other techniques until I can get relief from this pattern.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:37 am 
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I didn't really answer how I could have done my three examples differently but said more what I will try in the future or what I hope might work. Thought I'd go back and say how I might have done things differently as a more concrete way to look at how it could have been...

1.) I could have spotted the black and white thinking and decided not to see myself as "all bad". Could have at least verbally or if I could - write down that I was more on my own side than usual.

2.)Could spot the twisted thinking: personalization. It's not all my fault that Im suffering and my physical state will certainly affect my mental state which will in turn affect my physical state. Could have said this to myself, or written this down.

3.)Could congratulate myself for feeling better either verbally or in writing and when the judgment thoughts come up, practice saying, Oh, that's a judgment. Regardless if it helps me feel better or not at first.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:47 am 
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Wanted to share some positivity with such dreary prior posts...

Yesterday I actually did NOT indict myself in a situation where I normally would have been tempted to. I was feeling physically ill, tried to mentally get in a better place, congratulated myself for the effort, and let myself off the hook for not being able to feel better physically. Did not take it personally that I couldn't feel better. Yay. :)


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:57 pm 
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Way to go, Liz!

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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:22 pm 
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Wanted to note something. I have been feeling that I've had a set back since I last wrote here, in the pattern I described here, but I can look at the last two days and see that I've actually done much better in this area. Yay!!

Also, while I've had a TON of painful emot. dysreg. around all this, still, the degree of self hate - of going off the deep end type of hate - is definitely less than it can be. It hasn't been like intense boiling hatred all really. It's been more like long periods of constant simmering. But I can see that as possibly being a change for the better.

The type of emot. dysreg I've been having in this "simmering" does seem at the time to be almost as painful as when Im in intense self hatred ("boiling"), but I'm going to take note that simmering is definitely different from boiling. That is different and I can see that as a positive change.

Losing all sense of self is very painful, but I have gotten it back for periods of time even through the simmering over the last week 1/2 or so. And the last two days had periods that were a lot better. Yay. : )


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:29 pm 
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Well, I'm still getting caught in this thinking. But Mon. and Tues. I still handled it better in a lot of ways than several weeks ago. It's less extreme. Just wanted to take note of this. : )


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:56 am 
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Just wanting to take note here that the degree of extreme thinking here and the degree of suffering around this pattern has still been *less* wed, thurs and friday too. This is good.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:26 pm 
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It sure sounds like you're moving in the right direction.

Recovery isn't a magic wand that can be waved or a pill that can be swallowed to make everything better all at once. And even though we offer a number of different tools, there's no specific "Start with A, then move to B, then move to C" associated with recovery. Everything seems to happen in fits & starts at seemingly random points - but it all seems to happen when needed and relevant. So whatever you need to go through or work on at any particular time is what will work best for you. And even with all of that "grey-ness" of recovery work, it's not like climbing a ladder or walking from Point A to Point B. There will be times when it almost feels like you're moving backwards or not at all. It takes a while to get all the various pieces & parts to come together all at once. Right now, you're working on and focusing on black-and-white thinking and emotional awareness. At some other point, you might find yourself more focused on the Five Steps or the Four Agreements and it will almost feel like you've completely set black-and-white thinking on a shelf in another room. But soon enough, there will come a point when you'll be able to integrate things you've learned from each of those (black-and-white thinking, the Four Agreements, the Five Steps for example) and call on all of them at the same time in a particular situation and you'll be over-the-moon happy that it's coming together!

For now, it's a matter of patience, practice and celebration of the small steps.

Did you know that sushi masters start by learning to make the rice and can spend five YEARS just practicing and learning to make perfect sushi rice? It won't take five years at this rate (or for most people who are dedicated to recovery) but it's nice to know that it's "okay" to focus on just one small aspect or component at a time before attempting to make the perfect spicy tuna roll / achieve recovery.

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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:36 pm 
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List three times you acted upon black-and-white thinking. How did that work out for you? What do you think you could have done to handle the situation differently? To achieve a more successful outcome?

This is hard, forcing myself to sit down and think about this and write about it...but I have to.

1. I was dating a guy who wanted to just continue casual dating because he wasn't ready for a relationship. I wanted a relationship, so I told him either we have one or we never speak to each other again. He offered friendship, but I said no, I couldn't handle that. I really love him and now he won't speak to me. I did try to do the casual dating thing and the friend thing, but usually after one or two times of seeing him, I'd go right back to nagging him about a relationship. I couldn't let it go. I would be miserable between the times we got together (which was usually a week or two), but I am 10 times more miserable now that I can't speak to him anymore. I guess if I was healthy, I could have maintained a friendship or accepted the casual dating for a least a little longer and see where things went.

2. At my last job I applied for a different position that I really wanted. I didn't get it and someone in my head that meant that I was worthless and I would never get anywhere in that company because people would keep passing me over. I hated the department I didn't get into and drove my boyfriend at the time crazy for being so depressed over something so trivial. I wouldn't have even gotten a raise. I felt I did my absolute best during the interviewing process and if that wasn't good enough, nothing ever would be. I could have just written it off as the person who got the job was just more experienced and friendlier than I am and that I would have plenty more opportunities in the future to apply for similar jobs. I could have asked my boss to give me ideas on how to improve my resume when a similar job opened up so I'd have a better chance of getting it in the future.

3. Often times I am the person who organizes get togethers and girls night out with my friends. This works out great if everyone agrees with what I want to do and shows up, but when people don't like my ideas or cancel at the last moment or don't show up, I go from being super happy and excited to extremely angry and depressed. It ruins the evening for me. it's either my way or the highway LOL I try to hid my disappointment because I don't want my friends to start dreading the idea of hanging out with me, but sometimes I am not successful. I wish I could go with the flow me, be excited about other people's ideas even if they are different from mine and enjoy the time spent with the friends who do show up.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:33 am 
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Write about someone you placed on a pedestal. What sort of things did you tend to ignore when you elevated them in your mind? What happened when you realized that they were not that idealized person? How did you feel? Do you notice any trends – the basic relationship in which you generally put people on a pedestal, the types of things you initially overlook, etc.?

My ex-husband. We have tried to remain friends over the years, but it's impossible really because of me. He goes up on a pedestal. I think, "Wow, what a wonderful man! He put up with all my shit for all those years and even though I left him, he still loves me unconditionally. Why was I so stupid to leave him? He was perfect. So what if I never wanted to have sex with him, everything else was PERFECT and sex is not that important! He loves me, that's all I need!" Then I expect him to be there for me when I need him, to drop everything and come help me all the time (even though he's remarried now) because I know he also still loves and cares about me, so if that's true, than he must want to help me, right??

Of course most of the time he can not drop everything to be with me and help me (although he has done so a few times in the past) and as soon as he "rejects and abandons" me, he is in the dog house. I hate him. I tell him he's a jerk and a liar. I tell him he promised to be here for me and be a role model for my daughter and he has done neither. He hasn't seen her in almost two years now. How dare he not only abandon me, but my daughter as well! I hate him, I want him to feel as hurt as I do. I insult him, his choices, his family, etc...I want him to go away and never talk to me again. I felt betrayed and alone. I felt the only person in the world who I believe loves me is rejecting me.

Wow, I knew that I did this pedestal thing to him, but after tying it out, I realize how bad it was/is. I never really noticed how irrational I'm being. The biggest thing I initially overlook in relationships I think is that no one is perfect! I know this logically, but when I meet someone I like I start thinking about how perfect he is. I tell myself how there is nothing bad I can say about him, he is good in every way. I sometimes even ignore things people tell me directly. One guy once told me right upfront that he sort of had an indifferent attitude about everything. This should have sent a red flag up for me because I need someone who can be loving and affectionate and an indifferent person generally comes across as cold and uncaring. But I had already decided he was perfect for me so ignored him.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:07 pm 
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List three things that scare you in a relationship. Do you have any idea how to overcome those fears? (It’s okay if you don’t just yet. That will come as you make progress in your journey.)

1. That they will get to know the "real" me and hate me and leave me.

2. That they will get bored with me and leave me.

3. That they will turn into someone I don't like or I will fall out of love with them and I will leave them.

I don't know how to overcome those fears. I would imagine I have to learn to love myself and know that I am a lovable, fun, non-boring person and that even if they do leave me, it's not necessarily a reflection of me and who I am, but of who they are. I shouldn't take it personally. I can say all that, but I have no idea how to actually feel that way. I don't know how to love myself.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:21 am 
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Write about someone you split. How were you feeling at the time? How did you feel later, after the heat of the moment subsided?

My recent ex, we'll call him A. He has many of the attributes of a schizoid, but this is not something I recognized until recently. I love him so much, and want to do everything for him, but as soon as he does something not to my liking (like canceling a date because he's sick or not making enough effort - in my mind - to find a sitter so we can go out) I hate him. One moment I love him and the next moment I am telling a friend what a jerk, asshole, piece of shit he is. Fortunately I have not gotten to the point of saying those things to his face, although he knows when I am displeased most of the time and he has mentioned that sometimes my anger is irrational. I have said some regrettable things like telling him the last year of my life has been wasted by him, wishing I had never met him and ultimately I am the one that ended the relationship (which, of course, I am not regretting and have been trying to figure out how to repair things).

When he becomes a "jerk" in my mind, I am feeling betrayed, unloved, rejected, but mostly unimportant (to him). I want him to love me so badly and any small "wrong" thing he does proves (in my mind) that he doesn't. He's never actually told me he loves me so I guess it could be true that he doesn't, but I know he DOES care about me very much and I want that to be enough.

Afterwards I feel guilty, sad, depressed and anxious that I'm not going to be able to repair things. That I'll never see him again. That if I give him some time and space, he'll realize how much better his life is without me. But, I am still trying to give him some time and space. I almost mentally tick off every hour that passes as "Okay, another hour gone by that I've given A some alone time." It's going to be a looong few weeks if things continue this way. Logically, I am pretty sure he will accept me back at least as a friend, but emotionally I am SURE he will never speak to me again. And even if he does accept me back as a friend, that is a "gray" area (between no relationship and a full on serious relationship) that I'm not sure I can handle yet.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:41 am 
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Three things that scare me in a relationship

1. That I'm not a good wife. I take more than I give, I can't be faithful. I hurt people who are good to me.

2. I don't want to need anyone. I don't want to be dependent on someone else so I don't let myself really commit to the relationship.

3. I will drive him away with my behavior.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:45 am 
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I forgot to post about how I could change those fear. Um... I need to stop with the negative self talk for one. That's hard for me right now. But it's one of my immidiate goals because it seems to be one of the most destructive parts of BPD for me.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:34 pm 
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List three times you acted upon black-and-white thinking. How did that work out for you? What do you think you could have done to handle the situation differently? To achieve a more successful outcome?
(1) About 4 years ago I was doing a doing a sort of diet: trying to keep my calorie intake around 800 calories daily. I had a 'moment of weakness' and got a tiny bar of dark chocolate. After I had to go vomit it. After this whenever I ate something 'bad, because I knew I would have to vomit it anyways, I would follow it with many more 'bad' things. I started eating whole packages of cookies, pints of ice cream and cheesecakes in one sitting to make the vomiting 'worthwhile'. I'm not sure if this is a good example of black and white thinking. A few months later I was a full-time bulimic, depressed and desperate for help. Finally I had to take a sabbatic year from my studies. I think the solution was pretty simple. I just had to allow myself my slip, and even enjoy it. More importantly, my eating habits were all wrong. I was starving myself. It's no wonder I had these 'slips'. If I wanted to keep my weight stable I should have combined healthy eatin with a few treats and regular exercise.
(2) About 6 months after this, i was knee deep in bulimia (and yet struggling to keep my weight from rising) as well as depressed (and struggling to keep up with my university classes and behind in my exam preparating. I remember thinking (and meaning it) that if I couldn't get help then I would become fat and fail my degree, and that I would prefer to suicide to living through this. As a result I hurt myself quite a bit, cutting my legs, wrist and trying to strangle myself. Negative thinking was certainly not helpful. It did nothing to improve my situation. I should have asked for help sooner, talked with people I can trust to get some perspective, and finally be more kind with myself by considering that my health is more important than my studies, and my personal value is not determined by my weight.
(3) A few days ago I had a big fight with my boyfriend because he went to a basketball game i another city and was meant to call me during the day and come back to mine at a certain hour. When he failed to call me until after the hour he was meant to be at my place, and arrived more than 2 hours late I concluded that he was probably lying and maybe even cheating on me. The more I obsessed about what he had been doing, the more i became convinced he was lying and cheating. Even after he had explained things to me in detail and i began to see that his explanation was not so weird, i was not able to shake off the feeling that he had been cheating on him. Not until I saw how much he was suffering. Sometimes when I see him suffer it sets my feelings straight again, it fixes me so i can make things better and fills me with remorse. Instead, I should have kept in mind all the things that I know for sure about him: things he has done and said in the past, and grounded my trust in him in these facts rather than nourish mistrust with pure paranoia. I should have been kinder, worrying about him and covering him with love instead of attacking him.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:56 am 
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* List three things that scare you in a relationship. Do you have any idea how to overcome those fears? (It’s okay if you don’t just yet. That will come as you make progress in your journey.)

I don't know if I can list 3 - I feel like I am afraid of EVERYTHING having to do with a relationship - but I will try to list 3.

1) I can't put my "walls" down and REALLY trust anyone. This includes family members. I always feel like I'm being lied to or someone is plotting behind my back. I have no idea how to overcome this except for me to realize that I am a worthy person who is deserving of someone's time and attention. I don't know if I am capable of that.

2) I feel like I want everyone to share my perspective and see things from my point of view (although everyone is entitled to their own opinion) and I will talk until the person finally gives in, agreeing with me or until it sounds like I am yelling (but I don't FEEL like I'm yelling). I believe that to over come this fear I will just have to stop talking. Realize what it must feel like to be on the receiving end of a conversation with me, and understand that everyone ISN'T going to share my opinion and my opinion isn't the only one and it's NOT always right. (This sounds like a lot of work).

3) My final fear is being sober. I dont know how to behave like a normal person and feel like I am surely NOT worthy of anyone because now I can see all of my faults that were hidden by beer. Self loathing is now my middle name. My daughter is afraid to be in my presence now, fearing what my next move will be (on 3/15/11 I tried to commit suicide in front of her and then blamed her for my actions - this was followed by a week long stay at the local psyche ward. It has been 3 and a half weeks since i attempted suicide and have only seen her once - she said I really screwed her up) or fearing even more that I will relapse. Maybe not soon but maybe in two years. She doesn't trust me or anything about me - and I totally understand. But I am learning to be sober, deal with my depression and BPD. I was misdiagnosed 12 yrs ago and didn't know that BPD was my biggest battle until after I got out of the hospital. The hospital diagnoses everyone with bipolar disorder in fear of insurance companies not paying for a claim on some with the label of BPD. But the correct diagnosis could really help someone. Thank God I have a great psychiatrist. I'm rambling on again......


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:47 pm 
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thank you for posting these exercises..i plan to do them all as part of my recovery : )

pedestal: well, one example among many - my exwife. I concentrated on how beautiful she was, the energy of our passion, the romantic story i was creating in my head..all the while not noticing if we were appropriate for each other in terms of shared interests, life goal, ways of seeing the world, personality..etc. When the bubble burst, I lost interest so fast and I felt so sorry that i did that to her. She hadnt changed at all - just my perception. I fell out of 'love'. Generally speaking in dating, I tend to focus exclusively on physical, sexual appeal, and ethnicity and then build a whole story around that while not noticing the person's mindstream, views, personality, weak points, or if we are a logical match. Then later have to find out how to extricate myself since attached to person i didnt even know.

scared of in relationship: (1) When my partner gets angry or purposefully ignores me, (2) when I am not in contact with my partner for extended periods and (3) fear of losing my freedom to do what I want when i want (since based on other's emotional state/feeling). Basically all 3 of these stem from abandonment fears, object constancy problems and approval/validation addiction, I think. So far I know challenging thoughts and reality-testing are the best ways to do this. Not much success so far. I am long on awareness but still short on fortitude.

split a supervisor told me that my skill in a certain area was not high enough to join a different department but that my current skill set in my current job assignment was very high. I stewed over this for some days and then exploded in angry tirade on the person and was very imtimidating (even she was female). Later I see i overreacted and took it personally and focused on negative only. I regretted the outburst.

_________________
-“Your greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look.”
-"The greatest con that he ever pulled...was making you believe...that he is you."

(quotes from movie "Revolver")


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:47 pm 
New Member
New Member

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:24 am
Posts: 270
thank you for posting these exercises..i plan to do them all as part of my recovery : )

pedestal: well, one example among many - my exwife. I concentrated on how beautiful she was, the energy of our passion, the romantic story i was creating in my head..all the while not noticing if we were appropriate for each other in terms of shared interests, life goal, ways of seeing the world, personality..etc. When the bubble burst, I lost interest so fast and I felt so sorry that i did that to her. She hadnt changed at all - just my perception. I fell out of 'love'. Generally speaking in dating, I tend to focus exclusively on physical, sexual appeal, and ethnicity and then build a whole story around that while not noticing the person's mindstream, views, personality, weak points, or if we are a logical match. Then later have to find out how to extricate myself since attached to person i didnt even know.

scared of in relationship: (1) When my partner gets angry or purposefully ignores me, (2) when I am not in contact with my partner for extended periods and (3) fear of losing my freedom to do what I want when i want (since based on other's emotional state/feeling). Basically all 3 of these stem from abandonment fears, object constancy problems and approval/validation addiction, I think. So far I know challenging thoughts and reality-testing are the best ways to do this. Not much success so far. I am long on awareness but still short on fortitude.

split a supervisor told me that my skill in a certain area was not high enough to join a different department but that my current skill set in my current job assignment was very high. I stewed over this for some days and then exploded in angry tirade on the person and was very imtimidating (even she was female). Later I see i overreacted and took it personally and focused on negative only. I regretted the outburst.

_________________
-“Your greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look.”
-"The greatest con that he ever pulled...was making you believe...that he is you."

(quotes from movie "Revolver")


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 3:57 pm
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Three things that scare me in a relationship:
1. That she will end our relationship because she is not truly in love with me
2. That she will leave me for another woman
3. That she will disappear (never call/e-mail me again with no explanation)

I don't know how to overcome these fears. I guess if I feel whole without a relationship it won't be such a problem, so I should learn to feel whole on my own. I am not good at being alone, and tend to have suicidal thoughts when I am alone. I am addicted to the emotional and physical connection I get when I am in a relationship with someone who is my best friend and to whom I am also wildly attracted.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:08 pm 
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So I've only just joined and I am so amazingly impressed by this site. I can totally see how useful breaking everything down like this can be. I'd like to record my homeworks on here, as I think it'll be good to keep track of my progress. For now here's a three of my rather insane black and whites:

- Disowning my friends for letting me down: this is a regular thing for me. I remove people from my life without thinking when I feel under threat or I assume I am undesired. I often sever ties permanently which at the time feels like a good idea (as a form of protection) but in reality it's probably why I don't have many friends.

In reality I need to remember that everyone screws up. There's some reality in the sense that some people aren't worth my time but also that good people can't always be consistently reliable. I need to find a balance of knowing who to trust and knowing when I'm being taken advantage of ie: by having boundaries but having an understanding that no one is perfect.

- Assuming I'm dying (no lie!): one week I convinced myself I was HIV positive. I had a promiscuous past and despite having a negative test before I felt like my punishment for past would be that there was a mix up and that I was dying. I got rid of all of my belongings and clothes convinced I had to shed myself of all of the slutty clothes I ever owned in an attempt for some kind of forgiveness (YES in that week I found God!) I spent a whole week thinking I was on deaths door only to be told I didn't have it. I also fear that I have coeliacs disease and that some how I am rendering myself infertile and yet I lack the motivation to find out if I really do have it. Instead I seem to prefer obsessing over it.

In reality this is a fear that many people have. The fact is, is that if you're ill, finding out about it is inevitable- going for the test does not determine this. When it comes to being ill knowledge is relief no matter what the outcome because it's something that can't be changed.

- Hating How I Look: I either feel very confident about myself in terms of looks or I utterly loath myself. There are times when I can note all of my good points and feel confident about who I am (to the point of feeling a tad elitist) and other times when I can only focus on the negative like my age and my weight. It really destroys me

In reality there is truth on both sides- yes I am prone to putting on weight if I don't work out and yes I am in my late twenties so obviously ageing is inevitable. Because of these two facts I should make sure that I look after myself properly to ensure I feel and look the best I can- this works in terms of mental and physical benefit. On the flip side I also need to remember that I am a pretty girl- I have modeled in the past and people find me attractive. I just need to recognize both aspects and not be so harsh on myself.

Whilst it's easier said than done, I just need to remind myself that nothing is ever black and white. I think it's something people with BPD pick up as a defense mechanism- I know I do. I guess if I get a vague scent of something negative I shut down and reject the person/situation in hand. I should refer to these examples the next time I throw myself into an extreme state of mind.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:17 pm
Posts: 21
It's funny, but I never really thought I had black and white thinking. I realized recently though, that this type of thinking... it's all about me. I can put myself in other people's shoes, I can be objective... but only when it has absolutely nothing to do with me.

At one of my jobs, I made a mistake... I mixed up orders, which ended up being very costly. I could only partially take responsibility for the error... someone else went and got the order for me, and I assumed they knew. And then... I didn't check it myself. So I was angry at this other person... I know he didn't mean to, and it wasn't his responsibility, but I HATED him from that point on.
Secondly, I was reprimanded... severely. I couldn't even deal with it. I cried... and asked to go home. After that, I ASSUMED everyone there hated me; I wouldn't say a word to any of my co-workers for weeks! I wouldn't even look at them. It wasn't until the manager, who reprimanded me, actually approached me and made me feel better.

The consequence... and this is normally the case, is that I wasn't able to be comfortable or close with my co-workers, the way they were with each other. They were all very nice, and I set myself at a distance from them.

Two things I could have done... own up to my mistake, and do better in the future, and... not take it so personally. It was a mistake... it didn't mean that I was bad, or despised by all.


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