August 15, 2010
Being a non BPD in a BPD relationship is a lonely experience. It makes you feel like the crazy one. Some BPs do a good job of hiding their disorder from everyone including their own family, leaving their partners to deal with it on their own. Those who have never been in a relationship with a BP, might callously say “get over it” or “move on” and not understand why it is so difficult to walk away from a BP relationship.
What they fail to understand is a BP relationship is an addiction, a dependence on the feel-good biochemicals that are produced by a BPD love. BP lovers, primarily driven by the fear of abandonment, have become masters at eliciting feelings of attachment. BPs can only play the field for so long before they rush into “love” again. Once they find someone with dependency traits, they are eager to seal the deal.
Even a person who is non-committal by nature may suddenly find themselves in a serious relationship in a matter of weeks. BPs, themselves, are love addicts. That is they love the idea of being in love. The public displays of affection, the cuddling, and the hand-holding are not only lures to pull in the unsuspecting loved one but it is also what gives the BP a feeling of worth and validation. By the end of the process, even the most cautious lover drops their guard.
But their ultimate bait is idealization– a period where the BP lover puts the new lover on a pedestal. They make their partner feel like they can do no wrong, like they are the bee’s knees. But once the BP becomes disillusioned or fears abandonment, that pedestal is kicked out from underneath the once idealized partner. The higher they are, the harder they fall. It is a fall from grace very few people are prepared for. As quickly as BPs can fall in love, they can fall out of love just as quickly.
An ex will often display the same symptoms as a recovering addict – severe depression, lack of appetite, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, etc. Which would be fine, if it is were just a matter of the BP retreating. But often there is a period of devaluation, where the BP badmouths, degrades and sometimes publicly humiliates the fallen lover.
BPs in this period pull a complete 180 and can become shockingly cold-hearted and hostile. They will do anything to protect their heart from rejection and abandonment.
This is not your average break-up. This is an addiction withdrawal.