Biting the Hand That Feeds You

April 24, 2014

When I think about all the damaged women I let into my life, the thing that hurts the most is the betrayal. I’m not talking about cheating. I’m talking about the things a damaged woman does to avoid heartbreak. I’m talking about devaluation.

She distances herself from you by devaluing you and everything you did for her. Two days ago, you might have been the best thing since sliced bread. But if something you did triggers the fear of abandonment, watch out. Prepare to be vilified.

You may have treated her like a princess. You may have treated her better than any man has EVER treated her. But that is exactly why she NEEDS to devaluate you. Only then can she ease her feelings of rejection.

Only then can she feel like the one who is rejecting you. Do not underestimate how important this is for a damaged woman. She must always feel like she is the rejector. Not the rejectee.

It doesn’t take much for a damaged woman to turn on you. If you aren’t giving her 120% of your attention, then she has all she needs to turn on you.

If you don’t agree to move in with her, then you’re an asshole. If you don’t put up with her high-drama, then you’re an insensitive prick.

The last ex accused me of having a bad temper. This was after she spent three months devaluing me and everything I had done for her. Her friends had never seen her happier, but she insists I tormented her. Which is why she was so heartbroken when I broke up with her. Which is why she said she hit rock bottom.

A damaged woman is too damaged to know her version of the story just doesn’t add up. If I was indeed such a tremendous jerk, wouldn’t she be jumping for joy after I broke up with her? Wouldn’t getting over me be a piece of cake?

The truth is I gave all of these women the love they never had as a child. But that did not stop them from insisting that I was the worst thing that ever happened to them. These were women who were abused/neglected by alcoholic parents. In some cases, they were sexually molested, raped and lord knows what else. But I was the worst thing that happened to them.

In return for all the love I showed them, they denied all of it. Erased history for their own convenience. That, my friends, is what betrayal feels like.

22 Responses to “Biting the Hand That Feeds You”

  1. jhan1969 said

    It’s like with Permanent Victims: every time you try to help them, it comes back to bite you in the ass. Every. Single. Time.

    That’s why I don’t waste my empathy or my effort on people who don’t deserve it. I’ve said it here before, I’ll say it again . . . DON’T CAST YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE.

    And if I DO insist on continuing to bang my head against that wall, the problem is Me AND deserve what I get.

    Once, shame on them. Twice, shame on me.

    • savorydish said

      Agreed. Victimhood is an addiction for these women. More to be written on this topic. These are women who come from families plagued by addiction. Shame on me because every time I try to get these women to see the light, they accuse me of being verbally abusive. Did you know the truth is abusive? That alone should tell you how much pain is attached to the truth.

      • jhan1969 said

        Here’s the question . . .

        How much value is there in trying to reveal the truth to people who are unwilling or – worse – UNABLE to handle it? There are just some people who cannot – or will not – even TRY to live by the truth because they have an agenda, or because they’re too emotionally screwed up. What value is there for ME in the pain of the inevitable backlash and loss of sanity?

        Even worse – and this is what makes it hard – people like this are convinced that what they believe IS THE TRUTH. Theirs is literally an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE tailored to sickness or manipulation. They have their own reasons for being there.

        Anyone who stays in a relationship with a serious, untreated Cluster B is co-dependent to a degree. When we’re untreated, our whole M.O. is built around APPROVAL SEEKING. We need that approval and love we didn’t get from our parents. And you know what? We’re gonna find a REALLY sick person and MAKE THEM love us. We’re gonna rescue them and PROVE to the world that if we can ‘save’ a real sicko, we DESERVE LOVE AND APPROVAL. Our slates will be wiped cleaned and our own broken childhoods will be all better.

        The reason why WE’RE in relationships with Borderlines is because WE have an agenda. That’s what we are: Knights in Shinning Armour with an agenda. We’re gonna save the damsel – who pays us with great sex in the process – and everything’s gonna be alright.

        It takes a major sea-change of thought process to get to the place where we don’t do that anymore. That’s why we keep banging our heads against the wall. We haven’t addressed the core issue. We’re trying to fix the WRONG PROBLEM. Until we do that, we’ll keep repeating the past and treating every relationship like a corrective experience.

        That’s what our friends and families don’t get. They tell us to ‘just stop’ putting up with crap and being in relationships with nutjobs. But until we address the core issue – OUR OWN CODEPENDENCY – we’ll make the same mistakes over and over. When we face the REAL PROBLEM is when it stops. And even then, there are hiccups along the way.

        Think about it: there will always be nutjobs in the world. NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. None of us can wave a wand and make them all disappear. None of us has the power to change anybody else. So what’s our best bet then?


        If I don’t fix the real problem, my shit’s gonna remain broken. Easy to see; hard to do. It takes truckloads of courage to face and fix what needs fixing. My answer was I was so codependent and needy, I would put up with ANYTHING to get the approval and love I didn’t get from my alcoholic home. Throw in a hot chick who rocks at sex – and I was done for. She could have gotten away with almost anything . . . IF I didn’t finally wake up because I’m just too old to put up with psychotic drama anymore.

      • savorydish said

        Amen. So what did you do to fix the problem? What was the process?

      • jhan1969 said

        I got lucky, man. I met the right therapist at the right time. I was done bullshiting myself, and he saw that. I went there because I was having trouble in the relationship, and then I learned the trouble was me.

        It also helped that he had the balls to actually TELL ME I was bullshiting myself. Like I said, I got lucky. Many therapists are bullshit co-signers. Either that, or therapists know that a person isn’t emotionally capable of handling the hard truth yet, so they dance around it to keep from scaring the person away.

        I’d just had enough, and the universe put this dude in my face who could help me. He pointed out that I was the common denominator in all my sick relationships. ME. No one else. Until I accepted that fact EMOTIONALLY, and dealt with all the pain and shame and embarrassment that went along with it, I was lost. I dealt with it and reconciled myself to it. In fact, I still deal with at times.

      • savorydish said

        So what was the next step, after he put the focus on you?

      • jhan1969 said

        I have a feeling you like things codified and laid out. That’s not meant as an insult – honestly. But I’m sorry to say there are no clear cut steps or methods.

        It’s about facing the bad stuff that happened to you as a kid, and understanding that it happened and there’s nothing you can do about it now. Nothing you do today or tomorrow is ever going to change it or make it go away. You have to accept it for what it was, and honestly experience the pain of it and come through the other side. In the sort-of words of my former therapist: ‘You just have to sit through it – all of it. You can’t fix it or avoid it by trying to make some other sick person better. There’s no way to ‘correct’ what happened to you. It’s done. And until you really experience the pain of it and understand that’s there’s nothing you can do about it now, you’re just gonna keep repeating it.’

        Actually, there was something specific. He talked about the core’ of a person. The ‘core’ of a person is who and what they are. Sensitive, tough, creative, caring, whatever. As co-dependents, we are very bad at protecting our ‘core.’ We invite people in to trample all over it in hopes of gaining approval. We need to learn how to protect the core of who and what we are from people who would damage it.

        He suggested I draw a circle on a piece of paper, and inside the circle, write ‘who and what I am.’ After I did that, he said, ‘That’s what you need to protect.’ It was a good way of making an otherwise abstract idea concrete. It was something I could SEE and define in reality.

        Codependents have damaged ‘cores.’ And that’s EXACTLY what Borderlines hone in on. They can smell it. It’s not a 6th sense; it comes from experience. After years of trial and error, they know that only damaged people will stay with them. That’s why damaged, codependent people do.

        Going this route requires that you deal with your own pain for real, and then find your OWN TRUTH and fuck what everyone else says. It’s like working the emotional muscles; muscles only get stronger when you work them.

        Some books:

        ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’
        Robert A. Glover

        Don’t be fooled by the title. This book is all about how sometimes ‘Nice Guys’ aren’t so nice, and often have their own unconscious agendas. This struck home with me, because I always thought I was a nice guy, until I realized I was using broken women to try and fix my past. Not so nice, right? Read this if you don’t mind feeling a bit uncomfortable.

        “In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People”
        Gorge K. Simon, Ph.D

        Just read it.

        “Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry”
        Albert J. Bernstein

        Ditch the BPD books. You know enough about it. You’re probably an expert in the area at this point. Move on to the things that can fix and protect YOU. And get a MALE therapist. Boys and girls are different – I don’t f___ing care what anyone says. Only a man can help a man with this stuff. As men, we need male strength and guidance.

        Stop trying to fix your borderline exes. Accept that they are beyond fixing, but that if they maybe DO see the light someday, good for them.

        Really . . . the sign that you’re getting better will be when you don’t need to write this blog anymore πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

      • savorydish said

        Thank you. I appreciate your input. I just wanted you to elaborate. I know there are no clear cut answers. But I like to hear everybody’s experience with therapy. The more details, the better. I know it’s between you and your therapist. But this blog works better when people get personal and tell their own stories. It gives other people something to relate to.

        Someday, I will stop maintaining this blog. I still have things I need to get out of my system.

      • savorydish said

        What I’m looking for is less of an instructional and philosophical guideline and more of an emotional
        account of your own experience.

      • jhan1969 said

        The emotional experience of getting better was HELL dude, I’m not gonna lie πŸ˜‰ But it was better than repeating the same horrible mistakes over and over again.

        It really hurt – on a visceral level – to face the reasons why I got into relationships with broken women. It hurt to admit to myself – OUT LOUD – that I was just as broken as they were.

      • savorydish said

        When you’re ready we’d love to hear more about those reasons. If it’s not too painful.

  2. willing captive said

    Dudes…..great exchange…good stuff. Jhan you make some great points that show how far along you have come and obvious work you have put in. So many key and pivotal points that are dead on.

    I too did the musical therapist routine. I kept searching for someone to make me feel better….someone that could tailor make a fix for me…make the pain go away!

    You make a super important point that everyone should heed: Guys need male therapists. PERIOD. I was fortunate to find a guy who really knew a lot about BPD cause he had been married to 2 different ones that did all the classic BS. This guy was a pastor by profession with a PhD in theology. After going thru all his personal BS and then the fact that he was a counselor to other pastors…he saw all kinds of nuttiness. He went back to school and got another PhD in Psych and began to specialize in PD’s. The important turn for me was when he hit me smack in the gut with the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and nuthin’ but the TRUTH. My choices were all about me trying to fix me by fixing others. The nuttier the better.

    His first question to me was “what is the pay off here?” He said “you are an addict and all addicts have a payoff for the destructive shit that they do to themselves.” He called it “chasin’ Jason”. Yes, Jason of the Friday the 13th movies. He said “why would you chase someone you know is hell bent on killing you?”
    The metaphor is used for heroin addicts. They are always chasing the exhilaration of that first high and you can never get it again. So you use more and more and then highballs and then meth or whatever. His point is that codependents involved with BPD’ers are doing the same. Conversely, the BP’s are doing the same in a different way. They seek to destroy a little more each time. Humiliate and abuse a little better each time because the high of the last adulation and then devaluation just doesn’t last.

    He called me out on so many things. He made me face some harsh realities. I could go on and on about the analogies that he used….the metaphors that defined my life thru f’d up relationships.

    I saw a couple of different female therapists hoping to somehow understand my ex. I was secretly hoping to equip myself with some sort of stealth knowledge and develop tools to understand and then control her into not being a freakin’ Cat 5 emotional hurricane. Funny thing is, the females played along. One gave me a 100% fool proof way to get my ex back…..WTF?

    The male therapist totally predicted the numerous hoovering events and pretty much told me the script to a T. He also kept telling me “you’ll take her back until the you lose the payoff.” He went further to say that until I care about myself enough to know and believe that I deserve better, the show will go on and only the actresses will change.

    As far as SD not doing the blog anymore at some point, I hope that doesn’t exactly happen, just the motivation or the need to do the blog changes. We all come here for a reason. I am still in the same boat as SD to a fair degree but also know to be true everything that Jhan says…I just haven’t done so well at internalizing it to a degree that it becomes a way of life.

    But codependency it is….definitely. I put up with so much BS from this chick. But as Jhan says….the payment for the drama was ridiculous crazy and constant sex. This girl is hot but deep down I knew from the day I met her that sex was her key to life. There is literally nothing that she possesses or any accomplishments that did not have sex intertwined.

    Another key point Jhan made is that they know deep down that if someone stays with them it is because they are equally or even more f’d up than they are. It is actually sad in a way but I do not think we should feel sorry for them or give them a passport to do the crazy shit that they do. They literally do create their own reality that fits their needy BS. I definitely had to get away from the f’d up notion that I was not good enough and jealousy over the new guy. There have been so many new guys in the past 3 years. A new soulmate that she met on Craigslist, which is exactly how I met her. I knew all along what I was in for but I held on anyway.

    We must all get comfortable in the reality that we are better off without them. I was addicted to the sex and to the drama of trying at all costs to get her to change….to love her enough to make her happy…to prove that I was a good guy…worthy enough. Jhan hit center mass with Mr. Nice Guy stuff. I thought I was a nice guy but in reality I had an agenda. And they do downgrade. They smell it a mile away. It is their nature. It is who they are. It is what they do. Same as a shark does what sharks do and snakes do what snakes do. To expect otherwise is nuts yet we try to get the shark to not devour us and the snake to not poison us.

    We do have to decide what we want for ourselves and that we deserve better and to protect ourselves from those who would have us do otherwise.

    I was jealous because she is now with a guy who has doctor for a title and a house on the water and all the associated accoutrements. The truth is, he is just as desperate as she is….maybe more so. People say he is a nice guy but that he is gay as hell. She is trying to prove to her family that she has “arrived” and has a good relationship, good job, and a harbor island address. The fact is they are both desperately using the other to prove to the world that they are not the people that the people outside of their reality perceive them to be.

    Codependents seek to do the same. We try to rescue fucked up people to prove that we are great guys…the knights in shining armor. Again, we are trying to fix the shit of the past in the present by reenacting the past with f’d up girls who most likely exhibit the same behaviors we grew up with and by changing them in the present we can change the past. IMPOSSIBLE.

    The past is the past. Let it stay the past. Let the dead bury the dead. Trying to do otherwise is truly casting pearls before swine.

    I really appreciate the stuff you guys are putting out there in an effort to reconcile the past and to develop a healthier future for ourselves and in the process demonstrate to others that recovery can be attained but only after hard, hard work and time….lots of time.

    Long ramble but thanks for the opportunity to observe, learn, and comment.

    • jhan1969 said

      Hell, to me that’s not a ramble. it’s the absolute truth. Testify it, brother.

      Two key things you said:

      1) ‘My choices were all about me trying to fix me by fixing others.’

      SPOT ON dude. Spot on. And until we start trying to fix the REAL problem – which is US – we’ll keep on doing it. And all we have to do is TRY!! Don’t worry about being ‘fixed.’ Just take the next step. One foot in front of the other.

      2) ‘What is the pay off here?’

      EXCATLY. What am I GETTING from my relationship with a PD’d person? What’s my ‘payoff?’ What is it . . . REALLY? For me, it wasn’t the sex, or that she was hot, or that she could be nice sometimes. It was that I had someone I could ‘fix’ and show the world I was actually a worthy person. The beauty and the sex were just the things that kept me there. They know that, and they use it.

      As you did, i will reiterate how important it is for us to find therapists who have the guts to tell us the TRUTH. Avoid the politically correct moonbats, hippie rejects, the ‘Tell me how you feel’ charlatans, feministas and their enablers. Find a MAN who actually knows what he’s talking about, doesn’t give a shit about what the rest of the therapy world says, and wants to see you get better.

      • savorydish said

        Yeah, I’m not sure I feel the need to fix others. I have actually spent a good amount of time fixing myself. Even here, I am reluctant to give people advice because I am still figuring stuff out myself. I wanted my exes to fix themselves and stop putting the blame on me. I didn’t want the hassle of fixing them. I’m not their therapist. I can only point out what is obvious to me. That’s usually when they make a run for it. If I have been foolish it’s in my attempts to stay friends. It’s hard when they are trying to make you the enemy.

  3. jhan1969 said

    I will actually give some concrete advice on how we can get better:


    An absolute prerequisite for us to get better is to detach COMPLETELY. So, learn how to recognize HOOVERING attempts. Don’t get sucked in.

    When we get sucked in, THEY’RE in control. When we refuse to get sucked in, WE’RE in control. WHhch would you rather be?

    A Borderline gets in fights for a DIFFERENT REASON than we do. For us, it’s about trying to work things out. For them, it’s about sucking EMOTIONAL ENERGY out of us because they don’t have enough of their own to go on.

    A lot of borderlines complain about chronic, recurring feelings of emptiness and lack of identity. One of the ways they fill the ’emptiness’ and lack of identity is by draining US. That’s what self-harm is all about. It’s very common for a borderline to say that the self-harm makes her feel ‘alive,’ that it reminds her that she can FEEL. Really, when it comes down to it, Borderlines suffer a chronic emotional NUMBNESS because of the trauma and the abandonment that they suffered as children.

    When the borderline ages, the deliberate self-harm usually stops. But the emotional ’emptiness’ is still there. So the borderline has to find other ways to remind herself that she’s alive. She starts conflicts with others as a kind of cattle prod to shock herself back into ‘feeling.’

    So . . . the REASON for self-harm is still there. The behavior just sublimates into something else.

    Looking at it in this light, I realized that my ex didn’t ‘like’ conflict, per se, She NEEDED it. Like the rest of us need food. She needed it to know she was alive.

    And with no one to STOP IT, the only logical thing for conflict to do is ESCALATE.

    Scary shit, right?

  4. Phil said

    First time I posted here. Great site, thank you very much!

    I’m quite familiar with the HPD/BPD topic. I’m recovering co-dependant, it’s obvious that I replay the relationship of my co-dependant father and my crazy mother. First girl long time ago crushed me, got me into major depression and therapy. Second time was unpleasant but manageble. Now the third time. We dated for some weeks but nothing realy happened. I’m not going into details because you all know them. She is in her early 30ties, very childish / immature and beautiful and very insincere. I caught on warning signs almost from the start which I’m quite proud of but kept going for a bit – because you know, it’s addictive. Now I had no contact for almost a month. Last thing I heard from her was a call to my cell phone which I missed and which was so short that I interpret it as either a wrongly made call or an attempt to get me calling her back.

    My point ist this: Although I know that it would be disastrous to have a relationship with her and although her childishness literally repulses me one day I’m convinced I’m doing the right thing for myself but the next day I feel tremendiously sad for her and feel the strong urge to somehow help her. and it’s driving me mad.

    I know where it comes from. Early on I had a chat with my father and told him about her and told him that something seemed odd about here and that I was afraid that she was somehow nuts. His answer: Perhaps YOU have to change (meaning: you have to adept to her, you are the fault). He wasn’t even aknowledging the possibility that I could be right and something was wrong with HER. He didn’t even ask about details, how I got the idea. How sad is that? This illustrates how co-dependent men are created.

    It’s very cursory, but: I think one important key to becoming immune is abundancy. Cultivate relationships to women in general. Recognize that there are many many great women out there. Develop hobbies etc.


    • jhan1969 said

      “I’m convinced I’m doing the right thing for myself but the next day I feel tremendously sad for her and feel the strong urge to somehow help her. and it’s driving me mad.”

      Yep. Gotta watch out for that.

      Remember the whole idea of Corrective Experience. We’re trying to ‘correct’ what happened to us in the past in an attempt to make a crazy person love us NOW.

      Never works. Ever.

      • Phil said

        Problem is, that she IS a pitiful person. This particular woman is a shell of a human being. No identity. No strength to do anything repetitive ( I very much doubt she will be able to work as a dentist which she recently has become) , no hobbies (She told me she envied me for my hobbies, which literally anyone can do as well. She herself just simulates hobbies). So until she has done anything nasty to me, I base my attitude towards her on the theory presented here on this blog and elsewhere. I don’t give her the benefit of the doubt because of a theory. That’s quite hard to do and contradicts somehow the idea of healthy interactions.

      • Jhan1969 said

        Phil, I have no idea really what you’re talking about, but the point is that if the relationship was harmful to you, the end goal should be to let her go and concentrate on what’ll make YOU better and keep you out of harmful relationships. We all have our own journeys, but the goal is pretty specific, I would think.

        When we’re obsessing about the whys and the hows of how THEY are , we’re still caught in the fog. It’s important to understand what we went through with these particular people, but it’s more important to understand why we get into relationships with these people and how to stop doing it.

        Again, it really comes down to US. There will always be crazy people and assholes in the world. There’s nothing we can do about that. But we CAN learn how to NOT get into relationships with them. Or at least TRY not to.

        Because . . . if we DO try and make relationships with these people work, we’re just as damaged as they are.

  5. Phil said

    And listen to Ross Rosenberg!

  6. Phil said

    Some remarks to the posts above.

    You don’t need a male therapist. That is BS. You need a professional therapist.

    In therapy you have to review your parents and their relationship and reevaluate it. That is key. If you fall for nutty women chances are that you mother is nuts and you need to realize that. I have thought for long time that my father is the evil one because he drank and screamed (He has problems, no question, he is co-dependant!!!) and that my mother is the poor vicitim. I went no contact with my parents for some years. My FEMALE therapist with 30 years experience got me to reconnecting with my parents. I realized that my father is quite affable and definately the more reasonable of the two and that my mother is complete nuts who is bugging literally everyone else 24/7 and who is probably Cluster B.

    In therapy so called reparenting has to be done. It means the therapist has to act to some extent as a father / mother surrogate who raises you again – with better parental behaviour. And for doing that he or she has to adopt both parental roles.

    • jhan1969 said

      As long as the female therapist is tough enough to tell you the truth and not BS around. And as long as she knows that males have different emotional needs than women. men and women ARE, in fact, different.

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