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  #31  
Old 09-22-2013, 07:52 AM
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AilaLynn AilaLynn is offline
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Kevin,
That is some very sound and wonderful advice. He and I both have tried to walk away so she can calm down and we have tried to tell her to go relax a bit before we continue the convo because it is not an environment we want the kids to be in. All she does is explode more and says "NO! I'M not going anywhere to calm down." or she will follow whomever tries to walk off to continue exploding...so, yeah kind of difficult doing that lol.

I have sat with her recently in private, and discussed her outbursts to try to understand where she is coming from. She says she feels a lot of times like she is just looking down at herself and watching herself lose control even when there is nothing setting her off or stressing her out. She says she hates that she does it and she knows that no one can stand to be around her because she can't even stand to be around herself. She says she has no idea why she does it because there's not usually anything bothering her when she does it, it just happens.
She has also cried and told me she feels bad that I have to shoulder all the responsibilities of taking care of the kids and cleaning house by myself because she cant handle being around them (they trigger her too) for long

She apologizes to me profusely for it(going off on me when hubby is home)
snce I get caught in the crossfire when she explodes when he is around.

He told me that he married her because she got pregnant the first night they were together (like they met, 6 hours later had sex, found out a few weeks later she was pregnant) so he got together with her and married her because it was the right thing to do. Stayed with her for 5 years because of the kids because, again, it was the right thing to do. He says for the first 6 months she was okay, then her true side came out.

I do sometimes wonder if she was initially supposed to be a one night stand, but because of his character with always trying to do right when he makes mistakes he took it upon himself to face his responsibilities. He's gung ho about taking responsibility. He is also gung ho about keeping promises. He has said that he did promise her when he married her years ago that he would make sure she is taken care of and the kids were taken care of, and he says that he is doing what he can to hold true to that promise.

I can understand somewhat where she is coming from because I have mild bi-polar disorder, but mine have never made me have outbursts I just go from really hyper and bubbly to down and morose then evenly mellow then back up to bubbly again. It doesn't help that I have ADHD lol.

So, yeah she is well aware she is overly dramatic...because I'm one of those people who has no filter and I get a bit flummoxed when trying to figure out how to turn one on between my brain and my mouth lol. I do, however, have some tact with it ..thankfully! LMAO.
So, yes, she knows when she's starting to be pissy, overly dramatic, etc cause I will let her know and sometimes I tell her "I've got to go to the store because I need to get away from you right now. You're being pissy and I can't stand it when you behave that way. You'll get me being pissy, so it's best if I go for an hour" She knows I don't intend to hurt her feelings so it doesn't bug her, she has said she appreciates that i'm honest with her and that i'm not brutal with it.

Ummm...what else... *scrolls back up*

Oh yeah...I do think also she stresses herself out over little things too, so you are right there. For example, today she was supposed to take 175mg of her meds, but only had 150mg because she forgot to get a refill yesterday. She was so paranoid and stressed over not having that 25mg that she got super edgy and pissy. I had to point out to her she was starting to act out, and suggested to her maybe going to her room to read or watch a movie or something will help her calm down. So, I'm aware of her difficulties and I do my best to help her with them.

I'm sorry I jump around so much, I try to answer the questions in order but I have to scroll back a lot because I forget what I was responding to ...having a lot of "ooohhh squirrel!" moments tonight lol.

Anyways, thank you so much for the advice. I will be implementing them and hopefully in time things will slowly get better so the family unit can function at a non-dysfunctional level.
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  #32  
Old 09-22-2013, 10:45 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
She says she feels a lot of times like she is just looking down at herself and watching herself lose control even when there is nothing setting her off or stressing her out. She says she hates that she does it and she knows that no one can stand to be around her because she can't even stand to be around herself. She says she has no idea why she does it because there's not usually anything bothering her when she does it, it just happens.
My daughter who is now 25 has Borderline Personality Disorder, which is only somewhat controlled by a cocktail of anti-depressants. She sounds a lot like your gf. My daughter however, has been in and out of hospitals and psych wards almost more often than I can count in the past 8 or so years. She abuses drugs and alcohol, and engages in self harm. She has suffered from bulemia, and one of her early hospitalizations was for that. She lost her driver's license years ago for drunk driving. She is impulsive and full of rage at the drop of a hat. She steals from loved ones, she lies and manipulates everyone she can. She has attempted suicide more than once. She is an extremely intense person. I have had to cut ties with her because all she wants is for me to give her money for drugs.

We have often called her disease a "monster" in her head, because she has a very warm loving funny side, and is talented artistically and musically, smart and a fast learner. But she has been unable to complete even a 2 year college and can't hold a job for more than a few months at a time. She is also very pretty. sigh...

She has gotten on disability payments from the government. Even that was difficult because for years she was virtually homeless, bopping around from one psych ward to sober home to crashing at a friend's, and you need a stable address to get on medical aid!

Your gf sounds difficult but not as severely affected as my daughter. Her rages and impulsivity and lies and disappearances, however, ring a bell.

Symptoms of BPD

Borderline personality disorder is a mental disorder that results in four groups of symptoms:

Impaired Emotional Control: excessive, poorly regulated emotional responses, especially anger, that change rapidly;
Harmful Impulsivity: impulsive behaviors that are harmful to you or to others, such as spending sprees, excessive use of alcohol or drugs, self-injurious acts (e.g., cutting), physically aggressive acts and sexual indiscretions;
Impaired Perceptions and Reasoning: suspiciousness, misperceptions, an unstable self-image, a poor sense of your identity, and difficulty in reasoning under stress; and
Disrupted Relationships: tumultuous relationships with a person close to you that vary from extreme fear of abandonment to episodes of excessive anger and the desire to get away from that person.




See if a test like this sounds like your gf.

http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/borderline.htm

http://www.bpddemystified.com/resources/online-test/

There are other online tests as well.

If it sounds right, get a hold of a copy of the book Stop Walking on Eggshells for information on how to deal with a Borderline person in your life. This book has helped me and my ex and his gf learn more about our daughter, what it's like in her head, and how to cope. I recommended it to a friend whose SIL also seems to be Borderline and she also thought it was great.

http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Walking-E...g+on+eggshells
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Last edited by Magdlyn; 09-22-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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  #33  
Old 09-22-2013, 03:21 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
My daughter who is now 25 has Borderline Personality Disorder, which is only somewhat controlled by a cocktail of anti-depressants. She sounds a lot like your gf.
Symptoms of BPD

Borderline personality disorder is a mental disorder that results in four groups of symptoms:

Impaired Emotional Control: excessive, poorly regulated emotional responses, especially anger, that change rapidly;
Harmful Impulsivity: impulsive behaviors that are harmful to you or to others, such as spending sprees, excessive use of alcohol or drugs, self-injurious acts (e.g., cutting), physically aggressive acts and sexual indiscretions;
Impaired Perceptions and Reasoning: suspiciousness, misperceptions, an unstable self-image, a poor sense of your identity, and difficulty in reasoning under stress; and
Disrupted Relationships: tumultuous relationships with a person close to you that vary from extreme fear of abandonment to episodes of excessive anger and the desire to get away from that person.




See if a test like this sounds like your gf.

http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/borderline.htm

http://www.bpddemystified.com/resources/online-test/

There are other online tests as well.

If it sounds right, get a hold of a copy of the book Stop Walking on Eggshells for information on how to deal with a Borderline person in your life. This book has helped me and my ex and his gf learn more about our daughter, what it's like in her head, and how to cope. I recommended it to a friend whose SIL also seems to be Borderline and she also thought it was great.

http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Walking-E...g+on+eggshells
I was going to suggest BPD. I have a cousin who remains undiagnosed because she thinks personality disorders are bullshit and that she shouldn't have to change. Her husband eventually left her because he was tired of being her emotional punching bag. And just like your gf, my cousin can seem sane when interacting with anyone else, but her soon to be ex.

Anyway, I just read an article in Psychology Today that indicated dialactical therapy (may not have spelled in right) is a huge help for BPD sufferers - much more effective than medication. You might want to check into Magdyln's links and dialactical therapy.
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  #34  
Old 09-23-2013, 08:34 AM
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It sounds like you can get her to accept a "time out" if you catch one of her rages in its formative stage. Once the fire builds up to an epic level, she is no longer open to "taking a break" and will even follow the person she is raging at.

As far as that goes, work around it if you can. Perhaps you and husband should both leave for an hour to go shopping, if she will at least refrain from following you into the car.

Next, catch her sometime when she is very calm, and explain that all three of you need to take a break when she cycles into a rage. See if you can get her to make a commitment to let the time out take place, to promise not to follow you around. If she can willingly make that commitment when she's in a calm state, then when she cycles into a rage she'll at least know in her mind that she did make a promise.

Finally, catch her as early as possible in her rage cycles. Try to catch her before it becomes an actual "rage." If she's just beginning to get unreasonable, tell her immediately that "This isn't going to be a good time to talk; let's all cool off and take a break. We'll talk again in about an hour." If you can catch her soon enough, before she cycles too far into the rage, she may still be able to reason enough to agree to "taking a break."

I think it will help if you can find ways to suggest taking a break without "singling her out" (even if she is ground zero). Look for phrases more along the lines of, "We're all getting a little testy here; let's take a rain check and talk again after we've all cooled off." I know that might sound like coddling her if she's the only one that needs to cool off, but you have to keep in mind that when she is in a rage state, she will interpret virtually everything as an attack against her as a person. And then of course she'll "have" to defend herself. So try to use statements that diffuse the appearance of a spotlight being on her. Let it "be" all three of you that needs to calm down. If she can swallow that pill, then the diplomatic sugar coating might be worth it.

It seems obvious enough that she is ashamed about her condition. That shame will morph into defensiveness when she goes into a tantrum. When she is angry, she won't want to be vulnerable. So then she'll start defending her faults. So when she goes into a tantrum, look for any little way to help diffuse her "need" for defensiveness. Try to remind her that the three of you constitute a team, that you all have your faults, and that you're all working together to try to help each other do better and get everyone's needs met.

These ideas and principles won't always suffice. She'll still often freak out so badly that she becomes quite impossible to manage. But if using these ideas and principles helps stave off even one or two of her would-be rages, then we've made some progress.

The biggest thing to keep in mind, I suppose, is that she can be reasoned with when she's calm; she can't be reasoned with when she's angry. That means that each of her calm states is an opportunity to negotiate with her to make commitments about what she'll agree to do during the rage states that are to come. When she's angry, all you have to work with is whatever foundation you were able to lay when she was calm. So take advantage of her calm states; they are golden opportunities.

And brace yourself for the chaos when she loses her cool, because there will be chaos. The first ten times you try to get her to "keep a commitment about taking a break," she may shout, "Screw your stupid commitment!" and continue to follow you around. But when she does calm down again, you sit down with her and ask her to confirm that yes, she should have kept the commitment she made. Maybe after the tenth tantrum, there will finally be one tantrum where she keeps her word (and lets everybody take a break). That's precious little progress, but progress nonetheless. It is (I believe) the beginning of a later stage in her life where she will hold to her commitment nine times out of ten (instead of just one out of ten).

Yah, it will probably take years to really chip away at these problems sufficient to be able to look back and say, "We really have come a long way," and, "We really are happier now."

It's all about figuring out little ways to mitigate the rages. With enough tinkering, the work may reach a point of critical mass and she may actually have a visible break-through. We can always hope, while stubbornly struggling along and doing the tedious work.

I am convinced that if she (with your help) can find healthier ways to cope with her angry feelings, then the chasm between her and your husband will start to close. The long-needed apologies will start to flow. And maybe, just maybe, your husband will start to feel like there's hope for him and her again.
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  #35  
Old 12-03-2013, 06:57 AM
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Long time no see. Hope you all are doing well. I've been quite busy with the 5 kids and my own school studies. Well, here is an update.

We all managed to sit down and have a conversation. She had been doing much better and hadn't picked a fight for 2 months over the phone. While my hubby was home she only lost it once, but was iffy a few times. thankfully it didn't blow up like it usually does. So, the convo happened and she stated that she knows he is not as happy and joking around or as apt to laugh as freely when she is around. He seems to be unable to truly be him when she is in the room almost like she sucks all the joy from him, but she sees how he has all that with me around. She acknowledged she tends to fuss at him when he jokes around.
She stated she will work harder at not biting his head off at being silly as is his nature. She will work harder at being quiet and listening when he is trying to communicate his feelings and thoughts as I do.

He told her that he knows and feels like she truly does not care for him as she tries to proclaim she does and that she needs to listen to my advice on how to make him feel acknowledged and appreciated.

She stated that she does care for him but it is hard to care more for someone that she knows will not have anything to do with her if I were not in the picture. She states it is easier to care for me because I give her all the things he doesn't and isn't able to give her, i.e. compassion, understanding, "female stuff" as she calls it.

He told her that there is no relationship between him and her. They are friends with benefits but nothing more and that the relationship is between her and I not him and her. He stated he doesn't care if she is with me or wants to be with me, he wants me to be happy and wants her to be happy by having me provide her with everything emotional that he can't provide her. He wants her here cause of the kids and he stated he brought her here cause the kids needed a loving, stable home with at least 1 mom who is capable of caring for them. He will do what he needs to in order to ensure she is took care of and happy to keep her here because the kids need us both and need him. He hopes that she will stay because of her feelings for me.

I told them that I don't want her to go anywhere, yes she makes me frustrated because he does not and I do not deserve the treatment she doles out to us when she gets mad at him and it pushes me away at the moment, because I'm very protective of those I love but mainly those who are treated unfairly for something they didn't do wrong. I would get upset with him if he unfairly jumped on her case for something she didn't do wrong as well. but despite the frustration I do care for and love her and even if those 2 are not going to be together, then I still want to be with her.

He said that is okay with him.
So, I guess it has come down to those 2 are not together beyond a platonic friendship with benefits until she decides she wants to go be on her own or doesn't want to be in a relationship with me anymore at which point that ends. She and I are in a relationship together. So, now we have that sorted out I'm hoping this can work because maybe it is for the best for it to be that way so those 2 can get along and make for a happy home for the kids. They do have examples to see with loving relationship between her and I and a loving relationship between him and I. Hopefully the friendship between those 2 can help them learn to communicate better and resolve disagreements better so the kids can see how to be able to dissolve issues such as that. I know they have her and I as an example of that and him and I(although extremely rare as he and I agree with about 95% of things). I feel to have a 3rd example will help them further to know and learn how to resolve arguments in a manner that is beneficial for all involved.

Long update, I know, but I rarely get much time to be on here to make them more frequent. I'm just glad something was figured out. It may not be what I was hoping it to be, but as long as it will be a way for all to be happy that is all that matters to me.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:42 PM
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Hi Lynn,

I am really glad to hear of what I thought was a very productive sit-down between the three of you. I know it might seem as if nothing technically changed; however, I think it was cathartic for all three of you (especially your husband and your ex) to express how they feel and be truly candid with each other about where they stood and how important the kids are in the equation. I feel as if the three of you are on the same page now and have a peaceful agreement to try to live together in harmony.

I feel that you should continue to schedule sit-downs, as time and opportunity allow. You never know when issues may pop up here and there and when they do, you'll want to nip them in the bud.

It's great news that the ex is doing better (probably largely thanks to her meds -- and to her for being willing to take them), and has been mostly keeping it together compared to her bad habits in the past.

I think if you can hold steady with the relative peace accord the three of you now formally have, and if you can exercise much patience as months and years go by, you may actually see a gradual melting in the wall of ice between your husband and his ex. I think your husband's trust is hurt so badly that he just can't even think of such a melting right now. But the day may yet come when the relative peace builds up sufficient to soften his heart towards her.

In the meantime, the agreement you currently have seems propitious and workable. You have something of an "emotional V," and a "sexual triad." Which is interesting and also totally fine, because it's something the three of you find adequate for yourselves and each other. It's at least good enough for now, and who knows, maybe it'll get to feeling increasingly comfortable just as it is over time. I personally think that would make a happy enough ending too.

I am glad that all three of you are watching over the kids and watching out for their best interests. It speaks well of the three of you; parenting is such a huge responsibility and must never be forgotten. You are right: A good example is possibly the best of all gifts that you can give to the children.

Anyway, thanks for your update, and I hope you'll keep chiming in whenever you can to let us know how things are coming along.

Regards,
Kevin T.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:58 PM
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lynn,

your picture freaked me out. I thought there was a spider on my laptop! =)
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:42 PM
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lynn,

your picture freaked me out. I thought there was a spider on my laptop! =)
LMAO! It did that to me as well the first time I saw it. I'm petrified of spiders, but I found it hilarious and wanted to give others the hilarity of nearly smacking their laptops as I did lol.



Kevin, thank you for the reply. I'm glad someone realizes that the kids are important, just as much as we realize it. That's why I can't understand why people can't sacrifice their petty differences or selfishness in order to give their kids the best they can. It's like a lot of people fail to realize that to cultivate their minds, hearts, spirits, and beings is not important. But it is important, simply because 1. our children deserve to know happiness and 2. they are our future and our legacy. If we can't make changes to our world or society ourselves, then why not give our kids the tools to be able to do so themselves. Even if it isn't changed right away, they pass their knowledge on to their children and maybe that generation can know better peace, acceptance, and humanitarianism amongst our fellow humans than we currently have. We may never become a world utopia, but any positive steps is worth it.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:27 PM
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Ah, but y'see, I fervently believe in that far-off utopia. Alas it's much too far off for me to see it in my day, but you're 100% right in saying that passing good memes/examples down to your kids is an invaluable service, both to the kids themselves, and to humanity as a whole.

As to your chilling avatar ... haha, ya had me going for a moment too! Sometimes I still get tricked again when I heven't looked at it for awhile.

Naturally my first thought is, "Oh no, that looks like the body of a brown recluse" ... but then I think, "Ah wait, brown recluses actually have a white or off-white body, not a black body. And they're not New Mexico natives, so I'm being silly."

Spiders: so fascinating and yet so creepy. That's my view of them anywayz.

Cheers,
Kevin T.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:07 PM
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Spiders: so fascinating and yet so creepy. That's my view of them anywayz.
I would have to agree. in fact, a few months ago, maybe in September during the seahawks game, a giant house spider walked through a crowd of toddlers at our house. we captured it, and I kept it as a pet. I fed it flies and cleaned its jar. took it to a arachnologist to have it identified as a European house spider. I named it Olivia but later was changed to oliver as it was a male. im still sad.

that's my story of a spider...not the first being caught and treated like a pet. lol
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