You Drive Me Crazy
October 29, 2010
Ask borderline personalities about their past relationships and they might describe their ex-partners as either being crazy or horrible human beings. And you might think, “wow, what a terrible track record.” Is it possible that all the borderline’s exes were dysfunctional and abusive? Possibly. A BP attracts emotionally damaged people, because they, themselves, are emotionally damaged and have been raised in dysfunctional environments.
But what is more likely the reality of the situation is that the borderline is projecting. Rather than take responsibility for their chaotic life, they have projected that blame onto his/her lover. If a borderline’s ex was crazy, it is quite possible that the BP drove him/her crazy.
Imagine someone telling you how much they love you one day. And then the next day, they act hostile towards you (pushing you away). Imagine being in a relationship where both of you are inseparable. And then one day, the person who was madly in love with you, tells you that you are smothering him/her. This is what it’s like to be in a relationship with a BP. It’s the ole “push and pull” and yes it can drive anyone crazy. A.J. Mahari, a recovered BP and now BPD specialist comments on this:
Borderlines are incapable of intimacy which leaves non borderlines experiencing borderline push-pull which can be crazy-making. By the very nature of BPD, borderlines as the result of their defense mechanisms of splitting, projection, and narcissism, can’t help but push-pull. When those with untreated Borderline Personality Disorder try to get close to someone – attain emotional intimacy – they immediately fear engulfment so they push away or push the non borderline away. On the other hand, or relatively quickly and perhaps within the same interaction, the slightest moving out or distance taken by someone upon whom they feel dependant sends the borderline flying back to pulling for more that very closeness they just had to repel. Until and unless a borderline gets adequate treatment and begins to change and recover from BPD (to some extent) he or she is simply not capable of consistent, congruent, age-appropriate emotional intimacy. Something that many non borderlines continue to remain in denial about and hope against hope about.
Emotionally damaged people damage others. It is not unusual for ex-partners of BPs to experience withdrawal or trauma symptoms. When a lover suddenly flips the script and pulls a 180 on you, that can literally mess with your mind. It takes a while for people to recover from a BP relationship. Some have to go and seek therapy for themselves. Someone who was betrayed by a BP will be scarred and have profound trust issues for the rest of his/her life.
It would be nice if a borderline took responsibility for the harm they have caused others. But sadly, this is not always in a BP’s nature. In some cases, it is in a BP’s nature to make you feel like you are the crazy one and that you are the reason the relationship failed. Most BPs do not seek treatment and continue living in denial. They will continue driving people crazy, one partner after another.