The Illusion of Control

March 27, 2015

Emotionally-damaged women love telling you their sob stories. But when you use those sob stories to explain why their behavior is so erratic and irrational, they shut down. They run away and block your phone number. They accuse you of being abusive. They play the victim. 

These women live in denial, because denial keeps them warm and fuzzy. Acknowledging the damage that has been done only happens when they want to give you the impression there might be hope. But with each damaged woman I make the mistake of loving, I realize there is little hope…  if any.

Something about their condition prevents self-awareness and change. Is it their self-destructive streak? the bubble of denial? Or is it this need to appear perfect in every way. All the women I dated, were obsessed with their appearance. They brushed their teeth until their bristles were warped. They spent hours in front of their mirror, obsessing about their hair and their outfits… looking outward to prevent themselves (and the world) from looking inward.

My ACOA-ex was OCD. I would come home to find that all my shirts had been buttoned up and folded neatly. My sink and bathtub scrubbed so hard that the enamel and chrome was worn off. This was her need to control things. She obsessed about things until she wore it down… like she wore me down. She tried to control me with her mind games and her tantrums. But that was what pushed me away. She is her own worst enemy and she has yet to figure that out.

Like all my exes, she found a quick replacement when it was convenient for her. That was the only way she could soothe her feelings of abandonment and satiate her sexual appetite. The only way she could rid herself of the fear that I might leave her was to leave me. She knew she could not control me or convince me that I was the problem. So she found someone she could control and would take the abuse.

I laugh whenever I see the men who would become my replacements. They almost always have that look of cluelessness on their face. It is almost as if my exes intentionally found someone who was more gullible… someone so dense, they could not possibly know what they were in for. My troubled exes are trying to find someone who will believe the lies and the manipulations. Because that is the only way they can feel in control.

I made them feel out of control. Because I would not play their games. I called them out… one, too many times. I knew too much. They would accuse me of using their sob stories against them as if I were putting them on trial. I burst their bubble of delusions. And that was the only reason they needed to run.

Unresolved Trauma

March 10, 2015

Found an article on unresolved trauma. Below are 20 symptoms:

1. Addictive behaviors – excessively turning to drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling as a way to push difficult emotions and upsetting trauma content further away.

2. An inability to tolerate conflicts with others – having a fear of conflict, running from conflict, avoiding conflict, maintaining skewed perceptions of conflict

3. An inability to tolerate intense feelings, preferring to avoid feeling by any number of ways

4. An
 innate belief that they are bad, worthless, without value or importance

5. Black and white thinking, all or nothing thinking, even if this approach ends up harming themselves

6. Chronic and repeated suicidal thoughts and feelings

7. Disorganized attachment patterns – having a variety of short but intense relationships, refusing to have any relationships, dysfunctional relationships, frequent love/hate relationships

8. Dissociation, spacing out, losing time, missing time, feeling like you are two completely different people (or more than two)

9. Eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia, obesity, etc

10. Excessive sense of self-blame – taking on inappropriate responsibility as if everything is their fault, making excessive apologies

11. Inappropriate attachments to mother figures or father figures, even with dysfunctional or unhealthy people

12. Intense anxiety and repeated panic attacks

13. Intrusive thoughts, upsetting visual images, flashbacksbody memories / unexplained body pain, or distressing nightmares

14. Ongoing, chronic depression

15. Repeatedly acting from a victim role in current day relationships

16. Repeatedly taking on the rescuer role, even when inappropriate to do so

17. Self-harm, self-mutilation, self-injury, self-destruction

18. Suicidal actions and behaviors, failed attempts to suicide

19. Taking the perpetrator role / angry aggressor in relationships

20. Unexplained but
 intense fears of people, places, things

The rest of the article can be found here:

http://discussingdissociation.com/2009/07/04/20-signs-of-unresolved-trauma/

Too Much. Too Fast.

March 7, 2015

Beware of things that come too easily. This is especially true when it comes to love.  This is true of all my relationships. They were all too good to be true.

My last ex claimed she knew I was the One, the first time I met her. I knew this was hogwash and a redflag, but I took the bait anyways. I was out for a good time when I met her. No intentions of falling in love. But she asked for my phone number and I was only happy to give it to her. It was too easy, but I didn’t care.

Of course, there were many other redflags. She was hours late to our first date. Being flaky and inconsiderate of other people’s time was her trademark. It never occured to her that this was a redflag. It seems small and insignificant, but in fact it was an early sign of her relationship-sabotaging ways.

This is what they mean by Push-Pull behavior. They are pulling you in and pushing you away at the same time, leaving you confused and frustrated. Within months, there was talk of living together. I was still dating another woman when I first met her. She would later chastise me for this, because I was completely unaware that I was already in a commited relationship. Oh yes, she had plans before I knew there were plans.

To be fair, I walked into it. It’s hard to walk away from that feeling of being loved. Even if you know it’s being artificially inflated for dramatic purposes. I even introduced her to my family. If you ever want to see a troubled woman freak out, introduce her to your family. She will relish it and use it as an opportunity to fall apart. It is, at this moment, that you will see the effect that intimacy has on her. She will become irritable and start fights for no reason. She will look for any reason to fight. 

This is because the same intimacy that she demands, is the same intimacy that triggers her fight and flight response. My ACOA-ex was overjoyed to meet my parents, but this is when I started noticing her flip-flopping ways. This reaction was remarkably similar to the way my BPD-ex reacted. Maybe, on some level, this had become my litmus test.

When a love comes this easy there is no foundation. The expectations are built up high like a house of cards on a foldout table. It is why these relationships fall as quickly as they are built up. 

My BPDex married her ex months after our relationship crumbled. Three years later, there are no signs of that marriage. This is the speed at which these women operate. So it’s actually good that I’m dating a woman who wants to go slow. Maybe too slow for my liking. But that’s a good thing because I recognize that I am as responsible for those relationships moving quickly as the women who pushed for it.

Admittedly, I miss that feeling of being in love. It may not have been real, but it felt real… at the time. But the fact that it was so easily taken away confirms that it wasn’t real. Real love doesn’t disappear after two years or after you come back from a business trip. Was any of it real? Well, something had to trigger her fight/fight response.