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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:29 am 
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Wow, reading all of your posts has been so insiteful! Here's three examples of my black & white thinking:

- Disowning my friends for letting me down 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.

- 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. 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.

Writing this kind of thing down is so helpful, I wish I could remember to practise this kind of thinking in times of great stress!!!


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:54 am 
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People I have placed on pedestals:

Since first falling in love and then being abandoned the first time around, I have repeatedly placed men upon pedestals, hoping that somehow if I loved them enough they'd stay with me (no matter how badly they treated me!) One man in question...we'll call him B, pushed absolutely every social boundary humanly possible. We were together for a year but in reality were just f buddies that went on for too long, what I didn't realize at the time was that I was substituting love for sex in the vain hope that he might just fall in love with me one day.

The catalougue of things he did to me in that time were unbelievable, he'd tell his friends I was just a girl he was sleeping with and ridicule me in front of them...strangely I just took it in my stride and reminded myself to be a good sport. He'd get upset when I didn't want to sleep with him and sometimes violate me physically, I told myself 'at least he still finds you attractive'. He gave me two sexually transmitted diseases while we were together. To this day I don't know what happened there- I was clean when I met him, he never got tested. In reality I know he cheated on me but at the time I blamed myself for not pushing him to get tested sooner. The worst thing he did was after falling pregnant I had a miscarriage, it happened when I was alone and I didn't know what to do so I left the miscarriage on a piece of tissue whilst I waited for the ambulance to come and get me, he photographed it and sent it around to his friends. I have no idea what kind of sick joke that was but I even forgave him after that. I don't know what my excuse was that time around in terms of defending him in my head- I just didn't want to loose him after such a vulnerable event. It was only when he finished it with me that I eventually found the relief of no longer being with him, at that time in my life I know that regardless of what he'd throw at me I would have stayed no matter what.

I guess in general (in the past pre-diagnosis), I tended to fall for men very quickly- not caring so much about who they were but more about who I wanted. After the initial 'establishing sexual attraction' I was already imagining them as my future husband and father to my child- even if they didn't seem right. One trend I noticed was that most of the men I involved myself with were reminiscent of my father ie; vastly intelligent, promiscuous and dark humored. When I first get into relationships I am illusive and controlled but as the relationships progress and I get to know the man better (and realize he's not what I thought he was) I get needy and possessive and try and force them into something they're not. Ironically, the part when I become needy and possessive is usually the part when I realize they're not right for me, I think any normal person at this stage would exit the relationship but because of my fear of abandonment I remain trapped. This makes me feel scared and helpless because I am trapped with someone I don't want to be with but terrified of being alone.

I now see that if you are in an unhappy relationship that it's best to exit it rather than drag it out, what I am still trying to learn is to banish the fear of being alone.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:30 am 
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Location: London, UK
Things that scare me in relationships

Rejection:

I started my life with an open heart. After a series of rejections in the form of my father leaving home, my peers turning on me due to bullying issues in school/ my BPD traits and men I've been romantically involved with leaving me without warning my heart has somewhat closed up with emotional scar tissue. I am the most confident at the beginning of a relationship but when I fall in love and I've built a reliance on someone I become irrational and needy because I'm scared of loosing yet another loved one, sometimes I think it's my actual fear and the behavior that comes with it that ends the relationships.

- I feel a bit like I need closure on these past incidents before I can truly move on or love another person properly in a balanced way.

My reliance on someone else to make me feel whole:

When I'm single I feel lost, my judgement becomes warped and I make risky life decisions. When I'm with someone all of a sudden I feel whole, I feel like I have an identity and a purpose. I've noticed that I tend to adapt my personality somewhat, depending on who I am with at the time- this can be anything from dress sense, dialect and even social habits. When I'm at this stage of a relationship I often feel trapped by the fact that my whole world revolves around this person because when things start to go wrong even if I want to exit the relationship I can't because I feel like my whole world will be sent into disrepair.

-I can totally see that there's a massive in balance here. I know logically that to be truly happy in a balanced relationship, I need to have my own identity and life. What I still struggle with is that in my former years before getting diagnosed I lost a lot of people due to my unstable behavior, now that I know a bit more about my condition I understand the way I acted in the past was bad but I've yet to discover how to change my thinking. This is something I'd really like to change. I'm hoping now I've started therapy and am doing these homework exercises that I will eventually be able to start making progress


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:17 pm 
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Black and White thinking:

1. There have been times that I have tried to intiate sex with my husband, only to be turned down. Of course, this made me feel like I was an awful human being, because how bad do you have to be for a guy not to want to get laid? And it would have been better for me to stop and realize that him not wanting to have sex is a reflection on him, and his emotions, and has no actual weight towards who I am as a person.

2. Any time that I go to a family gathering and try to engage my dad in conversation, only to get ignored. It makes me feel like I'm insignificant, because I'm not being heard. Yet again, this falls on him. His not listening is a product of his mind, and mindset. It doesn't mean I'm any less of a person. It's just his opinion.

3. There are times when I ask my mom to do me a favor, like watch my son and I get an instant no via text. It makes me feel like she doesn't care about me. Instead of automatically assuming that she is upset with me/doesn't care/is being cruel, it might be better to stop and think about the reasons why she might be telling me no.

Pedestal:

When I first met my best friend, I put her on a pedestal. She is a wonderful person, much thinner and better looking than I am, and she paid attention to me. For the longest time, I overlooked things like her short temper, and her stubbornness. When I did finally start to see those parts of her, I felt betrayed. Like she had been lying to me, or keeping things from me. But they had been a part of her all along. It was me who had not wanted to see there was anything that ran against my beliefs.

Any time I start a new friendship or relationship, I tend to put the person on a pedestal. I see nothing but their good qualities, and want to spend as much time with them as possible. Any sort of time apart makes me feel like I'm lacking, and they specifically don't want to be around me. I worried that they would move on, or forget about me, because I wasn't good enough.

Three things that scare me in a relationship:

1. Caring for someone, and being left. - I genuinely have no idea how to get past this knee jerk reaction.
2. Giving everything I have to someone, and not getting the same in return. - I never feel like anyone gives as much as I do, and I don't know how to change that.
3. Always being disappointed in my partner. - People never live up to my expectations.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:14 am 
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I put a guy on a pedastal, I loved him so much I let him do anything he wanted, he lived with me rent free and brought people back to my house a lot. I realised he was not the person I thought he was, I felt used and hurt and betrayed.


Three things that scare me in a relationship are

scared to commit to someone totally
scared to trust them incase they hurt me
scared they will leave me

Write about someone you split. How were you feeling at the time? How did you feel later, after the heat of the moment subsided?

I pushed my best friend Kelly away, we havent spoken in 6 years, I felt angry and hurt at the time, now I just feel sad, I really miss her and wish i didnt throw our friendship away.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Hi Iam new to the board and I read every one of these posts and they are very helpful
What I am not finding in the posts.. is ways to overcome it, I read lots of what we have done wrong.. but then what???
What are the ways to over come the black and white thinking if we can identify it at the time?


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Linda, something I am using with some success, albeit not great success, is trying to remember a time I felt the opposite of what Im currently feeling.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:39 pm 
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This is a wonderful support.thank you.I had many times in which I was reprimanded by my clubhouse staff for my behavior and I ended up giving them the silent treatment. I seem to fall into the black and white pattern whenever I sense rejection even if is just a reprimand.I want to change my behavior because I know it angers people and can lead to rejection.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:34 am 
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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) I engaged in unvalued behavior (masturbating to porn) behind my fiance's back (being dishonest). I felt incredibly guilty and worthless/weak, perverted. I could have taken a five minute break to think or write about what was going on for me, why the sudden urge? Consider the consequences of engaging in such behavior.

2) I engaged in binge eating. I felt fat, weak, ugly, hopeless, unmotivated to be productive and responsible. I could have delayed eating an unhealthy snack (trigger food) and instead had a glass of water and prepare something healthy while reminding myself that when I make healthier choices it feels better and works out better in general during the long haul.


3) I shout or verbally abuse my fiance. It keeps her distant and reinforces the negative self-concept I have of myself (being a monster). I strongly dislike engaging in this behavior and might benefit from stepping back for a couple of minutes and remind myself that I love her and she loves me and that it's okay to share feelings and be vulnerable and that it's not always necessary to fight fight fight for the sake of pride or when I don't feel like I'm being treated kindly.

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.?

I have placed my paternal grandmother on a pedestal. I tend to ignore her obvious favoritism and unfair treatment of some of my siblings (she favors boys), I ignore her negative talk about my mother, her passive aggressive interpersonal style, her enabling of my father. I felt disrespectful of her to realize that she has flaws, like I was doing something bad to acknowledge that she's a human being. I felt sad and scared and also angry to realize these things - like a loss of hope or an invalidation of my experience of her. I think this pattern of emotional and intellectual experience can be seen across most of my relationships. I hold many SO's in high esteem and have little tolerance for any deviation from this standard. I'll actually avoid interacting with loved ones in attempt to avoid feeling anything but positive feelings for them because it is emotionally trying to reconcile the incongruence between my wishes and what is reality.

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. I'm scared that I'm a bad person at my core - not born this way but nurtured to be selfish and insecure and defensive/combative, that it is impossible to completely allow someone in because I fear what is at the seed of me is ugly and/or nothing worthy of a meaningfuly lasting love/connection. I fear that others will see this and will be repulsed or scared or perhaps love me in a caretaker way and not a human/human way

Open up my heart and let the light and the dark in. Give my heart a chance - give the guards (very well seasoned and incredibly effective guards) a holiday from the fortress that is my heart/mind and perhaps help them find a better line of work:)

2. I'm scared to be intimate in a spontaneous way- I have come a long way in terms of allowing touch and allowing myself to feel sexual gratification but I am really scared of intimacy still - I fear that I'm boring in bed because I only like one position. I fear being bored in bed and will attempt to *O* as soon as possible because I don't want to have my thoughts wander to past abuse or other thoughts that might cause me feelings of guilt (eg. thoughts of ex's). I guess I'm scared of just the intimacy because I'm obviously a big fan of the *O* - I have a hard time appreciating the process. Sometimes I feel like I have to fake being into the process but really I have little interest in four play. I don't like that. I want to appreciate intimate moments with my fiance.

Perhaps I can open this discussion up with my fiance and we can talk about my fears and/or we can engage in touch exercises or I can practice mindfulness when just kissing or touching. Also, I can just try spontanaity and see what happens.

3. I'm scared of loss, of being rejected, especially the possibility that my fiance will leave me for another either literally or figuratively. I fear that she will slowly but surely begin to hate me, despise me, will treat me poorly and become abusive.

I can engage in flexible thinking and accept the complexity of human relationships. I can remind myself that even thought I have felt many negative feelings for those I've beein in relationships with, with those negative feelings there was always love. It is possible to both love and experience negative feelings for someone you care about. Also, I believe that as long as I do my best to be mindful and respectful of my self-health and the relatiosnhp health, I'm pretty sure our relationship will last a long and meaningful time. And if my partner decides to leave even with my best efforts then perhaps it is for the best.

Write about someone you split. How were you feeling at the time? How did you feel later, after the heat of the moment subsided?

So this questions is a bit confusing - is it asking when I broke up with someone for good or just a time when I pulled the "we should end this" card?

As for an actual breakup - I had ended one relationship when my SO was in her hometown and was spending time with an ex at a party. The relationship was a disaster for a long time but I took advantage of the very present surge of hurt, fear and rage in the moment and told her that I never wanted to see her again. AFter saying it I felt a sense of power and relief and tremendous fear and sadness. Once the extreme emotions dissipated I felt such sadness and loneliness and fear. I also ended up writing a letter to her apologizing for the abrupt end and clearly communicated my feelings regarding our necessary break. I ultimately talked to her as if it would be the last time I could, so this included genuine warmth and emotion. She returned with a very positive letter.

As for the "let's break-up card" we've installed the 24 hour rule where no break ups can be seriously considered until 24 after the initial thought is experiences (this is a great rule). But I still will throw out that card and the last time I did, was when I was very emotionally charged- I was in fight/flight mode because I had recently flown and needed to rely on my fiance to drive many many hours and I do not do well with others driving so my amygdala was super active. Ultimately, I felt completely out of control an freaked out and threw the card out there. It gave me some relief but mostly I felt like I was regressing and I was embarrassed for doing so. After a while, I apologized and shared my actual emotions in the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: So You Have BPD - Homework
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:41 am 
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Things that scare me about relationships:

1) I'm afraid that I'm not worth being loyal to. That I will never be that special someone. One ex boyfriend cheated on me multiple times, lying to me each time, and swearing that he would stop... that another relationship wasn't worth losing me.

2) That I will just wear another person down with my behavior until they can't take it anymore, and will leave and shut me out completely.

3) That I will never be able to open myself up to another person enough for them to know who I really am. I have such a difficult time with anxiety, that I shut partners out of some of the most important parts of my life by being too afraid to show them my art, writing, or letting them hear me sing... :(


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