Emotionally Vulnerable

May 2, 2014

I was trying to find more material on why borderlines shut down and run away. Then I stumbled upon this blurb about emotional vulnerability:

Individuals with BPD have difficulties regulating several, if not all, emotions. They have a very high sensitivity to stimuli – even small things set them off. They respond to even low levels of stress. And when emotionally aroused, they take longer to return to a baseline level of emotion. Thus, they are emotionally vulnerable. The more emotionally vulnerable a person is the more they need to be able to regulate emotion effectively. BPD individuals tend to regulate emotions by either shutting down (avoiding emotions) or escape (intense overreaction). Under the influence of intense (positive or negative) emotions, they are impulsive (unable to inhibit inappropriate behaviors). In other words, they are unable to inhibit mood-dependent actions.

Family members of BPD individuals often feel that they are “walking on eggs” because BPD individuals are so emotionally sensitive and tend to over-react.

Emotional intensity means that emotions are extreme and difficult to regulate. On the negative side, partings may precipitate intense feelings of loss, annoyance may turn into rage, and apprehension may escalate to a panic attack or out of control feelings of terror. On the positive side, they may fall in love at the drop of a hat, experience joy more easily, and be more susceptible to spiritual experiences.

Emotions affect thinking. Emotional arousal narrows the attention. The more emotionally aroused you become, the more pertinent and compelling emotion-relevant material becomes. Therefore, when emotionally aroused, emotions dominate perception, judgment, and behavior. For example, when angered, those with BPD find it hard to let go of thoughts and feelings that reinforce their anger.

“Slow return to emotional baseline” means that emotional reactions are long lasting. Basic normal emotions are fleeting and generally adaptive, lasting only seconds to minutes. For the borderline, emotions are long-lasting because they are amplified with sustained attention and reactivated with memories.

Shutting down and running away may be the only way you can deal with feelings of rejection or “hitting rock bottom” when you are emotionally vulnerable. Projecting these undesirable emotions onto others is your way of distancing yourself. It is your way of feeling in control. But feeling in control is very different than being in control.

64 Responses to “Emotionally Vulnerable”

  1. willing captive said

    Pretty interesting article.

    I do find myself questioning the reference to “falling in love at the drop of a hat” as a positive” aspect of emotional dysregulation common among BPD’ers.

    My ex fell in love with me at a concert. Seriously. I knew it just by the way she was looking at me. That was the first time we had hung out socially and that night was the first time we slept together.

    She fell in love with everybody at the drop of a hat. She fell out of love pretty damn quick too. If any man had an interest or hobby that she shared…she would become enamored with them and begin to facebook them and text and so forth. Sooner than later she would be meeting them for coffee and having clandestine dates and then the next thing I knew I would get the ” I love you but I’m not in love with you” speech followed by the ” I need some time to get my head straight and figure out who I am and what I want” speech.

    She would disappear, dog me to her new love (be it a “he” or a “she”) and to his or her friends as well as my friends. This would last a few months and then “poof” she would pop back up by text or email and sometimes in person. I would let the past be the past and take her back. However, the past rarely stays in the past. Especially with BPD’ers.

    We tend to forgive. They never do. They can rationalize all their hurtful behaviors but they let no good deed go unpunished with their significant others. Their memory of your wrongdoing is on par with a pachyderm. She was the gentle seductress one moment and a venom spewing Category 12 hurricane the next.

    With regards to emotional vulnerability, Brene Brown is a good listen on TED talks.

    Another interesting point made by the reference article was the part about being “more susceptible to spiritual experiences.” That is true stuff. My ex thought God brought us together through Craigslist. But the dude she is with now she met on Craigslist as well as the dude she was with before me. She also studied Wicca. She could find something spiritual in a mud puddle.

    Also, another good point was holding on to negative thoughts and feelings that reinforce their anger. It doesn’t mean that those thoughts or feelings were valid. I believe that it is a powerful tool to self validate themselves when they launch their devaluation campaign. I also believe that devaluation only comes once they are becoming infatuated with something or someone else.

    They simply don’t get off one train unless they already have their bags packed and one foot on another train.

    Thanks again for this forum.

    • savorydish said

      You’re quite welcome. That second to last paragraph says it best. They don’t get off the train until they have their bags packed. And if you kick them off the train, they’ll step back on just so they can pretend stepping off the train was their choice. Hilarious.

      All the women I suspected of having BPD, were quick to love and quicker to un-love. The last one said she doesn’t know how to turn off love, but she is delusional. As soon as I broke up with her, all compassion went with her.

      And yes, that comment about spirituality is spot on. But it always seems to be a kind of pseudo-spirituality. I’ve know women who went to Landmark, dabbled in Wicca and even went to Burning Man looking for a sense of belonging.

  2. jhan1969 said

    “Are You Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?”

    The answers are out there. We know them. But we’ll NEVER believe them until we accept them EMOIONALLY. Until then, we’ll keep asking ‘why, why WHY??’

    “Part of the confusion may be your belief that your partner with BPD was experiencing the relationship the same way you were—this is likely not the case at all.”

    Your BPD-ex experienced the relationship in a COMPLETELY different way than you did. ACCEPT THAT.

    Your BPD did NOT believe all the wonderful things she said about you in the beginning. She said all those things because she NEEDED to. That’s her M.O. She’s done this with many others. The hardest thing for me to accept was there was nothing special about me, really. I was just filling a role that countless others had. I was just part of the machinery.

    “When your partner suffers from a major mental disorder such as BPD you would find it helpful to realize you both were never really on the same page at all.”

    Here it is AGAIN: Borderlines have a COMPLETELY different perception of reality than we do. ON EVERY LEVEL. Trying to get them to think like a ‘normal person’ is beyond worthless. STOP TRYING.

    “Although entirely too tempting to recall the periods during your relationship when your partner expressed vulnerability, openness, and candor which makes his or her complaint’s seem credible in part—his or her BPD causes the distortion of facts, and details and preys on your vulnerabilities and insecurities until you believe the wild fabrications and begin to become distrusting of your own intuition and gut reactions.”

    ‘But we shared such a strong connection. There was REAL LOVE!’ No . . . there wasn’t. There never was. You cannot share ‘real love’ with a person whose perception of reality is so vastly different than yours.

    • M said

      sometime ago i read “a stupid is someone who know the truth and stil believes in lies”.
      are we stupid, asking again ourselves WHY, after knowing they have a bdp?
      The funniest thing is that, after knowing her, I ve never felt the same emotions with any other girls.
      She is like… the top.
      Double stupid…
      Pure idealization.
      Of course, I m a caregivers. And still I m so worry for her when I see her in trouble.
      Btw, really I dont understand what I m now for her.
      Does she remember the time we spent togheter? Am I a person, for her? the man who she kissed and embraced thousand times?
      Or only a shade? A name without any other feelings?
      Maybe u are right, and that her love disappeared because it never was love… but still I hope it s buried somewhere, I m afraid.
      Understand with the mind, and not accept with the heart.. very stupid.

      • savorydish said

        No. Not stupid. Just blind. We are filling a need that was never met.

      • M said

        blind… maybe. or only… holed.
        when she left me suddently, i didnt lose only my lover… I lost a piece of me also.
        We aren’t “whole” persons, but we desperately need someone else to fill the hole inside us.
        Seeing how I m nothing for her now, its like saying I m nothing. As saying all I felt for her hasnt any value.
        Its overall this the reason I m asking again myself WHY.

        All I can hope now, is meeting a person who can wake up the same feelings I felt with her… without a bdp.

    • Thanks jhan for the link to that website. I bookmarked it.

      I’m finding further insightful info by reading the comments section–especially the one by Dr. Jabin on Apr. 2nd 2014:

      “…People with BPD have brain differences that can not be mitigated by the kindness of others. Being nice to sufferers, while kind and loving, is simply no match for the problematic genetic underpinnings, neurological differences (glucose absorption rate, brain volume, among other things I have written extensively elsewhere about), and interpersonal skills deficits. There are over 246 types of BPD — a spectrum of sorts based on symptom severity and combinations of symptoms…”

      Yeah, I had to experience the hard way that my forgiving loving kindness towards my borderline ex-bf was not enough to turn the tide after he split me black. :*(

      It helps to know that this wasn’t because of his character but due to a real tangible physical deformation in the emotional centers of his brain.

      There are over 246 types of BPD???!!! Oh my goodness! :-O One kind of BPD is already far too much!
      Well, I guess it would make sense since everyone is different and not everyone has all 9 of the main symptoms. Often times someone with BPD has it in combination with another mental illness (especially Cluster B).

      But 246+ kinds of BPD exist?? Wow, the things you learn every day.

  3. I can relate to how M and a lot of other people feel after breaking up with a BPD partner.

    I strongly suspect my ex-bf has BDP. Although our relationship ended 6 months ago, I still think about him everyday and am trying to come to terms with it all. A break-up with a BP is unlike any other kind of breakup where the couple wasn’t compatible any more or the chemistry just wore off.

    After the break-up, I deeply engrossed myself into research about borderline personality disorder to make sense out of my ex’s behaviour which was so senseless.

    I learned that what happened in my break-up was very typical of when a borderline ends a relationship:

    -he/she can end it abruptly and you may not have seen it coming

    -the non-bp is left to wonder if they were ever really loved by the bp, if the good times ever mattered at all, and above all: did we ever mean anything to them?

    -our bp partners made us feel alive because the good times were REALLY good (especially during the honeymoon phase of the relationship), so we miss those good times very much and yearn for “the way it once was”.

    -our self-esteems can take a hit because our BP partners can be abusive bullies

    -after the relationship is over we feel like we lost a part of ourselves and may struggle somewhat with being in touch with our identity.

    As upsetting as my break-up was, it helps me to know that I am FAR from being alone.
    I’m writing on here for the very first time after discovering this blog about a month ago. I have read sooo many entries on here that felt so identical to my own experience (it helped convince me all the more that my ex was most probably an undiagnosed BPD).

    So, thanks Savorydish for this blog! 🙂 I am one of the many countless victims you’re helping.

    I wouldn’t want to wish borderline personality disorder on anybody. It really is a relationship disorder because it doesn’t just affect the individual but everybody who loves them.

    I’ve learned from my research that I fit the profile of a “co-dependent” which is probably what attracted me to my ex in the first place. He was verbally/emotionally abusive towards me and I learned later about myself that had my self-esteem been higher I would never have put up with his abuse.

    My healing process is still indeed a very long journey ahead. I might put myself into therapy to find out how I originally became a co-dependent and how to overcome it. Eventually when I am ready to date again, I want to never ever attract another BPD!

    Ultimately, I want to learn to become a “whole” individual with a higher self-worth and learn to attract and be attracted to healthy relationships.

    • jhan1969 said

      Good to hear from you, and thanks for your story!

      My self esteem bumped up several notches after my Borderline relationship when I started to turn away the crazies. I just won’t put up with it anymore.

      Really, if I continue to get into relationships with nut-jobs, what does that say about ME?? Water seeks it own level, as they say. If I keep on getting into relationships with personality disordered people, I’m just as crazy as they are.

      Borderlines have a special way of getting under our skin, They lay their groundwork during the IDEALIZATION phase. They are EXPERTS at it. They honed their skills long before they met us.

      We’ve all been there.

      • Tom said

        jhan 1969 and Retro, I have written on this blog before. My relationship ended Feb 15, a few nasty emails, blame and few SMS’s and then I decided fuck it, NO CONTACT, blocked her on my phone. But Christ do I miss holding her, being close to her etc.

        My story lasted 1.5 years and all I have read about the cluster b’s match perfectly, as if someone was sitting beside us taking notes. Story after story all have the hallmarks of the stages, the break up and make ups etc. Mental and physical abuse. My saga is difficult because she has her hair dresser shop downstairs from my building. Yes she looks awesome and she really swept me off my feet, and the proverbial ‘you are the greatest sex etc’ even telling her proxies/enablers. But then shit hits the fan, flags are there, but we try even harder to no avail.

        jhan: you mentioned ….what does it say about ME….to me it sounds like you miss the drama. At least so it is for me, I have dated a few women since, but found them to be boring and uneventful, almost predictable. So what does that say about Me? Who knows. But something is missing in the nonBPD perhaps.

        Anyway, in the long run it is safer to be without my ex unBPD. This leads me along to say this too. I do not believe my ex was strictly BPD (never talk about sucide, the rest spot on). I believe all the cluster b monsters pop out depending the time of day or night. Thus mine was BPD/HPD/NPD and probably a few more.

        Men she strung along. She used the word…but I love you…as I stand there bleeding, or picking up broken glass…when I expect an apology, nope, it was my fault and I deserved it. Could never count on her to be supportive…it was all me, me and me. I want, I need, you should, I demand followed by you are nothing, cheap, poor, idiot etc which was followed by you are delusional (when confronted), X-files in your head, destroying everything we have together and round and round they go. Fight or flight.

        Ungrateful creeps who should be held accountable for the turmoil and destrution they cause non Cluster B’s. Yes they take something away from us and it is difficult to rebuild oneself.

        They lie…the twist the truth, rewrite history and can keep this bullshit up for however long. Then when caught out, they are a victim, the cry, and we are on to the next Oscar performance.

        Try score a goal (soccer) and you kick…ooops honey I just moved the goal posts…why did you move them? I did not, you are delusional, get new glasses. So do we counter attack with the facts, nope not worth it at times since there will be hell to pay later, so we walk on egg shells and deny our feelings, our needs etc.

        It is very very sad. Am I over her, no, have been recycled 6 or 7 times. Why, why, why?

        We shared such romantic times, trips, shopping, dinners etc and all this gone and they move on…very quickly I might add. Am sure my ex lay in bed when I was asleep social networking some other victim…who will be reading this like we have.

        Revenge! Yes I want revenge! I would like to tie her up, tape her mouth and yell at her, tell her all the lies and twisted shit she has done, force her to admit it, force the fucked up Cluster B demons that are in her head. Result…I will be charged with hmmm let’s see now: kidnapping, assault, battery, mental abuse, tying someone up, and the list goes on. Worth it? Nope, because I would go to jail, be fined, be sued and be financially finished. And probably run out of town.

        It is sick how they get away with what they do, and outside nobody sees these slimy creatures at work. Everyone says…wow she is so much fun, vivacious, good looking, friendly…you are such a lucky guy Tom to have someone like this who simply adores you, and truly in love with you. Yeah right…little do you know that behind that bullshit mask is a snake ready to attack…or simply betray you at the flick of an eye…then deny it. They are fucking accountable for their actions.

        br Tom in Scandinavia (excuse any typos). Am pissed at myself for not moving fast enough at her ‘hit and run’ games.

      • jhan1969 said

        Did they really love us?


        Did they really mean all the things they said in the beginning?


        Did they even see us as ‘people?’


        Did we even exist to them?

        Yes, but only as a part of their illness.


        Forget the ‘person’ for a minute; think of the ILLNESS.

        It’s WAY bigger than us. It’s huge. It’s a deep, dark, gaping abyss. It has no conscience. It doesn’t care who you are. It doesn’t care if you’re nice. it doesn’t care if your smart, or stupid. It doesn’t care about your feelings, It doesn’t care what happens to you.

        To the illness, you are a MEANS TO AN END. Period.

        So, when I ask myself the question: ‘Did I even exist in that relationship? Was I even a person?’ The answer is, basically, NO. I was a means to an end. I was something that the ILLNESS NEEDED in order to survive.

        This was the hardest part for me to accept. The fact that it really didn’t matter who I was. That I wasn’t a person, so much as a part of a script. That she had done this many times before, and I was not much different than all the other guys. There was nothing ‘unique’ about me; I was not ‘special.’ I was, essentially, a cog in a wheel.

        This is very hard to describe to people who haven’t experienced it. For those of us who believe in a soul, it’s like a ‘soul pain.’ In fact, I really didn’t believe in a ‘soul’ until my experience with a Borderline. The depth of the illness, and how it affects us NONS on such a deep, almost chthonic level, convinces me that there’s some ‘other’ kind of consciousness there.

        My therapist said that Borderlines essentially have ‘cancer of the soul.’ Whatever traumatic thing happened to them in their past, their souls are damaged – indelibly marked by it. Borderlines TRY to love, but when a sick soul connects with another soul, all it can do is SHARE ITS SICKNESS. It can do nothing else until it heals. It is simply NOT CAPABLE of doing anything else.

        When a Borderline tries to love, the sick soul intervenes. That’s the only way I can describe it. Other people will call it ‘consciousness’ or something, but it’s all the same, really.

        I’m not trying to cause a debate about the existence of a soul . . . that’s just the way I experienced it – being a weirdo artist and all 😉 With a Borderline, I felt and witnessed a kind of ‘soul abyss’ that scared the living shit out of me. I pictured a dark, gaping chasm that wanted to swallow me whole.

        And fuck that, right?

    • savorydish said

      You’re very welcome. I’m glad my posts have resonated with you. We all find strength in knowing that we are not alone.

      • Tom said

        I agree with SD totally, finding strength, venting, talking freely about our experiences, how we feel, what hurts etc. and most importantly that we have been duped, followed a script more or less…that is what makes all this uncanny.

        But why, sure this childhood stuff, take care of ourselves, search for the reason why we tolerated etc sounds great, but the reality is now, not the past. Why are we attracted, why do we tolerate etc. Sure we might be co-dependents, people pleaser, givers etc…so what. What is wrong with that. In a balanced relationship our partners should indeed balance us out, we can adapt, figure things out, then recipricate…but not with BPD/HPD/NPD. They twist and turn and we simply take it until we snap. Then we are the bad person. The abuser and they are the victim. FUCK THEM, sorry for being so brutal, but technically that is what they were doing to us unconciously even during the honeymonn period.

        So we vent, tell our stories (which are great to compare, then we recognize the thread between them all, but we still hurt, we still suffer, we still love, we care, we worry…whilst they lay in the arms of someone else grooming them for the same disaster (which we do not really care about…the other person since it is we who got screwed)….and we sit here assessing, and a great thing perhaps helping each other cope, get over and move on.

        But we still suffer. They stole the pureness from us. The genuine caring and simply spat on it. Then blamed us. They for the most part do not even achknowledge any culpability, they simply blame or make us believe we are in lala land.

        So I ask my fellow sufferers, and who cares what cluster B it is, how do we manage? How do we move on? Yes personally I have seen a few other women, and quite frankly they did little for me…

        So what do I do, try to go back to the monster, love her more and take somemore abuse and I fear it will escalate thereafter. We grow, we gain control of our lives but still yearn to go have them back…no not the abuse, just praying they will have a WTF moment and realize. But nope, that does not happen…they move on, get lots of admirers, lovers, and eventually settle for one, maybe marry, get pregnant and we stand there shaking our heads and say oh well c’est la vie, good ridence.

        No, I cannot believe, after my past experiences that this happened to me…this is only in movies. I watched with my ex e.g. Charlize Theron (looks like my ex) and she looked at me all the time raising her eyes, then commenting do you think she acts like me (another flag)…movie was Young Adult. Even the hair pulling…(which I equate to self destruction)…Yes, she was the same and is the same….and what do I do, wish and hope that perhaps she will read between the lines. Instead I get…do you think I am high maintenance honey…yes!…good, I deserve it…WOW, how can an adult even say these things.

        Please help me understand, and therapy is not the answer…friends, if you want to bore them since they have not been there…well Savory Dish perhaps, and this I truly believe, this blog is a life saver, a place that really helps.

        Truly thank you, and if I can contribute in any way financially…please say so. I will, because you are great, yes we all have our flaws, but these BPD’s are out there and everywhere…and I do not believe the estimates re percentages…I think there are lots of them out there…

        br Tom

      • savorydish said

        Thank you, Tom. I appreciate the offer.

      • jhan1969 said

        “Sure we might be co-dependents, people pleaser, givers etc…so what. What is wrong with that.”

        It keeps us in relationships with CRAZY PEOPLE and destroys our lives and causes us a great deal of emotional hurt. I thought that by the very virtue of your being here, you might have empirical evidence of that.

        But maybe not, judging by the elegiac tone you seem to take about the experience.

        Really, I’m not trying to come down on you, but this is serious stuff. Catharsis helps, but that’s not where the answers are. All it offers is temporary relief for a permanent problem. And the permanent problem is that many of us KEEP GETTING INTO RELATIONSHIPS WITH CRAZY PEOPLE WHO HURT US.

        And the problem is permanent until we try to FIX IT.

        I say ‘TRY,’ because that is all we can do.

        As far as ‘understanding’; this blog – and others like it – have a great deal of OBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGE about BPD and personality disorders. If you’re not finding ‘understanding,’ perhaps you’re looking for different kinds of answers; perhaps answers that you WANT to hear . . .

        “So I ask my fellow sufferers, and who cares what cluster B it is, how do we manage? How do we move on?”

        By getting OBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGE about what a severely personality disordered person is and learning how they operate, and by learning how to STAY AWAY FROM THEM.

        Really . . . what kind of answer are you looking for? How we ‘manage?’ By ‘manage,’ do you mean getting up in the morning, because most of us do that. Or by ‘manage,’ do you mean NOT getting into relationships with people who will ruin our lives? Because that’s a different thing altogether . . .

        “So what do I do, try to go back to the monster, love her more and take some more abuse and I fear it will escalate thereafter.”

        You yourself admit she’s a ‘monster,’ so if you go back to her, the problem isn’t her . . . it’s YOU. Just like it was ME when I went back to my ex over and over again.

        There’s your answer. No bullshit, no scams. I can be all nice and stuff and tell you everything is gonna be ok if you just do nothing, but I’m less worried about being liked than I am watching other people suffer like I did.

        As far as the ‘nice guy,’ stuff. There’s a difference between being a nice person and a doormat. Those of us who go back to sickos time again and keep hooking up with sickos aren’t ‘nice’; we’re DOORMATS. And we continue to be pathetic doormats until we go out and get some objective knowledge about how to change.

        This is the kick in the ass I needed to start getting better. Call it the 2×4 method. After all, no one ever accused me of being smart 😉

      • M said

        I agree with jhan1969…
        chatting with her, it s like I were a…unknown person. Like nothing happened and we never met.
        I told her I m still in love for her… she didnt answer me and some days after it was like I hadnt written anything.

        just a little curiosity. Have you tried to show her smth like ur old photos togheter, just to see if she remember that moments?

        And also… the most important question.
        what you wrote… I already know it. everybody, after leaving a bpd, know it. but only RATIONALLY.
        In my soul, I cant accept it. emotionally, I’ m still looking for THAT girl. I ‘m like splitted between an adult man, who understands that story was only a fake, and a child, who desires only meeting again my angel and relive that magic.
        After leaving, I had another gf and I met other girls. But I never felt again the same emotions…
        HOW explaining to my soul a truth I already know but that I cant really accept?
        I read a lot of similar stories… and also the gettinbetter web site.
        But in my deep… I dont want forget her. It would be like forget… my best memories.
        When I see her photos… she is still there. Sweety, and adorable… how accepting this is only a mask? it seems like a stupid bad jokes… and nobody, among her friends, know her real face…

        thanks to all
        and sorry again for my not so perfect english 🙂

      • Tom said

        This is to M below. I was curious about the same, the memories, the photos of good times, the trips, the shopping, the dinners…how can they simply cast all that aside, hop with a stranger and turn it all around and say…your fault (with whatever bullshit comes thereafter). I do not know. I simply could not do to someone I have had a close and initmate relationship with….

        I would consider, have empathy (key word) and simply give them closure. But not these vile types, they simply continue to no avail…hiding from the truth.

        What to do…I guess swallow it and accept that is how it is…it was nothing, an illusion, a dream, a nightmare ultimately.

        br Tom

      • Tom said

        To M: stop looking at the photos, words of love are simply four letter words. They do not know what love is…we let our guard down and think…Wow, where has this person been all our life…and then it starts. She is a cancer to the core of her soul. But there is no soul. This is what we cannot believe or understand…or accept. We saw beyond the facade, we saw beyond the mask…but they did not. Thus the whole thing is an illusion…and we burn

        br Tom

      • mauri said

        Hi Tom
        You asked how can they forget a person and a relationship…
        well, this is my personal opinion.
        Among other things, they fear changes. Living with a person is a change…and they cant manage it. They fear routine, they always are bored… but they fear also changes.
        And the second fear is stronger… so, unconsciously, they forget… to save them.
        I dont know if some memory remains in their minds…
        According to me, if I had say, I d tell yes. But when they come up, immediately they delete them.. its a mind defease.
        This is my opinion, of course.
        Watching her photos is not a good solution, I know. Believe me, I didnt watch her page for months… but she was still in my dreams. Isnt stop looking at the photos the solution.

        Btw.. yes, I agree with jhan, about doormat. I m not a doormat in my life… but she s my drug. Time isnt an answer, therapy isnt too. The kick in the ass… maybe. I dont know… I think there is smth, in my actual life, that avoids me to change mood.

  4. willing captive said

    Jhan, you are scaring me dude 😉 The reference to water seeking its own level is one of my most trusted statements.

    Again, you make some solid solid points. I do hope to attain a similar “groundedness” in the harsh realities of why I became so deeply involved with someone who was truly living on another emotional planet.

    I unfortunately have to recognize that it is always the nutjobs that attract me. I have had to realize that my habit to do so in itself says I am nuts too, Why would I try to solve an unsolvable puzzle? I am pretty much considered a level headed guy, a “good guy.” But I can tell you I did some crazy shit trying to keep things together. A good therapist told me a great truth: ” a sane person cannot make a crazy person sane, but a crazy person will make a sane person crazy.” True for me. Painfully true for me.

    Welcome Canuck…this is a good place to be.

    M, all of us have done the same thing. Unfortunately, I still do. Asking “why”? Asking if I really meant anything to her….did the good times really mean anything? yada yada yada!!! I have asked all the questions to death!!! Jhan has hit it dead center.

    It really only meant what they needed it to mean at the time. A total manipulation and distortion of reality. I too began to question all my gut instincts in an attempt to return to the idealization phase.

    It is hard to realize that I was just another cog in the wheel of f’d up relationships. I knew intuitively that I was nothing special. How could I be? She had been with a lot of guys that I knew of and even a couple girls. The codependent part of me wanted to believe the idealization that I was the one she had been searching for. The guy with whom she could be happy and her life would begin to make sense and she would be happy. Yeah right!

    It is HARD to accept that there was not really a healthy or meaningful “love” relationship. Normal people don’t plan a wedding and then move in with someone else a couple weeks after meeting someone else. It takes normal people a long time to truly develop a deep and meaningful love. Once established, it doesn’t just evaporate overnight, even if the relationship doesn’t work out.

    I think the majority of us here are pretty close to normal people. People with normal desires to have a companion and normal relationships with the associated joys and trials associated with any relationship. However, we have a small handicap. That handicap is codependency. Ok, maybe not a small handicap at first. But it (I HOPE) can become a small handicap when the root cause is identified and dealt with. One of the root cuases for me is low self esteem.

    I hope that I, like Jhan, will begin to realize that I deserve better and will in fact find better once I demand better and don’t put up with crazy making BS.

    I have dated some really crazy girls with some serious daddy issues. Through it all, I stuck in there. Thinking that one day everything would be fine. I do have a theory. I think that deep down these girls knew they were crazy. I also think they knew that if I stuck around, I must be nuts too. I think that triggers the devaluation. I believe that deep down, they cant respect you if you hang around because they know that a healthy person would not put up with their BS. I think that is a big part of verbal and emotional abuse. They do it because they can. They do it because they don’t know how not to. We stick around and take because we don’t know how not to.

    Ever heard the story of the guy that drowned learning to water ski? He got tons of advice on how to water ski…..but nobody told him to let go of the rope if he fell. I think I am the same…I have never adequately embraced the concept of letting go when I fall.

    Thanks again for the opportunity to share!

  5. M said

    Hi RetroCanuckJunkie
    every relationship with a bd partner are the same… in every detail.
    so, I feel exactly what u wrote.
    to be forgotten in their mind is like… disappearing.
    over all because… I think I loved her like nobody else.
    Of course, I discovered to be a codependent after reading similar stories such mine.
    I went in therapy for an year or a little more… and now I know what s the cause of my codependency. naturally, it s from my childhood.
    on the other hand, I m afraid to notice I m not changed… and still I m looking for her. Better, I m looking for the girl that I loved… who never existed.
    I m not so sure I could be a whole person… btw I see there are material reasons, in the city where I m living, that amplifies my codependency. I m working on this… hopeing working on the enviroments can help me a little more than teraphy.
    Maybe we need a material change in our life to change ourselves…

    about the dbp… I think their eternal crisis bring them to see a saviour in us… but when they discover we cant save them, they start to hate us. but really, I dont know what remains in their minds of us after leaving… And I admit I really d want to know it…
    I never asked myself why she chose me. A girl was in love for a man, nothing special. Simply, I was really, really happy the girl I liked so much fell in love for me.

    willing captive… Low self-esteem… I think every codependent suffer of this. But, as I mentioned before, I see there is a coaction in our life that doesnt permit us to grow…

    • jhan1969 said

      The material change is when we start ACTING differently. When we cut a crazy woman off on the first date – ‘See ya, bye!’ When we draw a clear and solid line in relation to how others treat us – and then STICK TO IT. When we say, ‘I’m not gonna put up with this bullshit, and then we DON’T.’

      When we stop being ‘Mr. Fix-Her-Up,’ or ‘Him-Up,’ is when we change. And the only way we do it is by ACTING DIFFERENTLY.

      It felt weird when I first started to do this – and then, after a while, it felt damn good.

      • savorydish said

        I think there is a learning curve. Or maybe the women I date are good at hiding their dysfunction. High-functioning PDs are my specialty. The ones who are really screwed up usually split after the first date. It’s the one who are trying to be normal that stick around. At least for the first year, and then they split when they sense I am catching on. So I’ve learned to be very vocal about my experiences with PDs. I find that is like kryptonite to these people. This way they know I know upfront. Then they don’t even bother with the act.

      • savorydish said

        Want to scare off Cluster Bs? Put on the brakes. They’re tendency is to move fast. Seal the deal before you catch on. Don’t move in with them. Don’t marry them. They will split you black in no time. And find a replacement before you know it. Anybody who is rushing into things is rushing for a reason.

      • savorydish said

        Another good way to scare them off is to call them on their bullshit. Psycho-analyze their every move. Nothing scares these women like self-awareness. Burst their bubble of denial and watch them run. Whatever you do, do not give into their mind-bending tactics. They will try to convince you that YOU are the problem. Let them know this is not an option. They will look for someone else who is more easily-manipulated. Let them torment someone else.

      • jhan1969 said

        Don’t sleep with them right away. They use sex as a hook.

        There’s always a learning curve. Me? I put up with less bullshit in general. That was always my problem: I put up with too much bullshit. I thought it made me a ‘Nice Guy.’ Turns out it made me an idiot.

        What I strive to NOT be is the guy with the ‘CRAZY WOMEN APPLY HERE’ sign hanging around my neck.

        Little by little . . . day by day . . .

      • jhan1969 said

        I tended to attract the really hot, OBVIOUSLY crazy ones. I had a few ‘intellectuals’ thrown in there, but I always pissed them off quick. (Nah, ME? Really?? 😉

        I tried to stick with the hot ones because . . . well, they were hot, and the sex was awesome. The ‘intellectuals?’ Sex = not so hot. They were too in their heads.

        I always liked flat-out, stark raving mad from the gate. With go-go boots . . . and no bra.

      • M said

        yes, of course there is a learning curve.
        Now that I know the dpb, I can say that from the beginning of our relationship there were a lot of little strange signals…
        Surely I ll recognize in future a border if I ll meet one.
        Btw, it wouldnt be necessary knowing all the mental illnesses to understand that a person has a problem.

        On the other hand… I have a question.
        Do you often fall in love with strange girls? I mean, unconsciously, do you like these kind of dangerous relationships?

        Maybe I m going to say a stupid thing… but I need to have another opinion.
        what I m thinking now is that I m still thinking of her because, in my life, I ve never met a so beautiful and sweety girl as my ex.
        The girl I dated after her… I wasnt a doormat with her. But I wasnt in love with her as I was with my border girl.
        In the city where I live, there arent girls like her.
        And what I feel now, is that I cant forget her because I dont hope to find another girl like her.
        Of course, she isnt of my country.
        Am I saying bullshit?

      • savorydish said

        I guess it depends on how you define “strange”. The girls I date are pretty straight-laced. No piercings through the nose. No pink hair. No go-go boots. My borderline ex had a tasteful tattoo on her shoulder blade. Nothing that would lead you to believe these women were crazy or traumatized. I met my last ex at a Burning Man party. But she was clearly the most normal person in that crowd.

        Slowly but surely, they reveal their quirks. And then by the end, you finally see the strangeness.

        I honestly don’t go for crazy. I wouldn’t have introduced them to my family if I thought they were crazy. None of my exes were violent or psycho. They were just very manipulative and passive-aggressive. They were runners. They ran from intimacy. Or they pushed me away and blamed me for keeping my distance. They played the victim to a T.

        I’m sure many of my readers have experienced far worse. But it’s the mind games that have left me jaded. It’s the psychological betrayal. It sounds like nothing but it does leave its mark.

      • jhan1969 said

        “On the other hand… I have a question.
        Do you often fall in love with strange girls? I mean, unconsciously, do you like these kind of dangerous relationships?”

        I often found myself in love with crazy women. I had unconscious, emotional motivations for being with them. I learned about these motivations and where they came from. I try fairly hard not to act on these motivations now – with decent results.

        Can’t give you more of straight answer than that.

      • mauri said

        Thanks for the answers, friends.
        Well, I m a little confused now, I admit.
        Surely I m a cod, surely I Idealize my ex borderline. Surely, I ve the abandonment trap and I need a gf more than “normal” persons.
        But… my ex borderline, in the honeymoon, really was better than all the other girls I ve met.
        So, I m asking… Am I still in love for her because I need dangerous relationships, or because simply I miss that magic moments? When I met her first time, I was immediately attracted.. and she looks very simple, classic next-door girl. So different from girls I m used to seeing in my city.
        I have not been feeling this attraction for several time, where I live.
        So… could the location where we live intensifies our codependency?

      • savorydish said

        Codepency was something that was ingrained in us at an early age. Your family is where it begins. The choices, like where we live and who we love, stems from that upbringing.

      • jhan1969 said

        Mauri: you’re stuck in Borderline Fog. You need to completely separate and get away from it. You’re stuck in a romanticized version of what happened. I’ve given you very concrete answers about BPD and what I did, but you just seem to keep drifting off.

        Get THERAPY. That’s not meant as an insult. I mean it seriously.

    • m said

      Hi jhan
      dont’ worry, you didnt offende me..
      I did more than a year of therapy… because I really wanted to understand why I suffered so much.
      This helped me to understand WHY I m a cod… but it didnt give me serious answers about how to manage it.
      What the therapist suggested me was… very practical.
      its the reason I asked if the mentality of the place where you live could amplifies -not creating- my problem.

      • m said

        Hi SD
        yes, codependency comes from childhood… I spent an year understanding what was the cause.
        Now, I know the prob was my family situation, as you told. Specially, from when I was 4 yo, till I was 9 yo.
        What I see now is there is a splitting between mind and heart. Reason and coaction istinct.
        Maybe I m wrong, but are you sure that changing totally our life style, as going abroad or meeting different people, we would be the same?
        Volonty is a great thing… but maybe we need also a little external help… as breaking our usual routine. Changing a mind mood isnt so easy after a whole life…

      • savorydish said

        It’s hard to change who we are. Especially that part of us that was formed in our earliest years. But every bit of change helps. My ex moved around a lot but she was using that as an illusion of change. She refused to look at herself.

      • M said

        Yes… I think we can change only a little, and very hardly.
        Our personality was born with us… and isnt so easy change it. Will isnt enough, I think.
        But I ve seen how, in my usual routine, is so hard changing my mind…
        I dont think relocating is enough. its necessary also the awareness to have a problem. but with this last… change totally our life can helps, I hope.
        Different people, different point of views… maybe can help us to take different ways.
        I see how, on me, the lack of hope brings me again on old ways.
        I have my work, my friends, my family… my life is a routine. I cant change in all this. I ll be always the same… I see myself as… on train rails. But deleting all this, and with the awareness that I have still to find myself… maybe beginning again from zero could help me. I hope.

      • jhan1969 said

        “Yes… I think we can change only a little, and very hardly.”

        I that’s what you want to believe, go ahead. But I’m gonna believe differently. It all depends on how motivated a person is and how much they’re willing to follow through.

      • M said

        Motivan is all… without it, we ll be the same in every corner of the world…
        I think I need to know who I am.
        My childhood, my family, the imprinting, decided who am I now. Here, all will be the same.
        I want to see how I ll face new ways. People say travelling is the best ways to find ourselves…
        I d like to try.
        bettere saying: “I tried, this didnt work”, rather than “I m still here and nothing is changed… why I didn try?”

        I need to find… other ways.

      • jhan1969 said

        Dude, really, the answers are inside YOU. not somewhere else in the world. Go get help, do what’s suggested, and you’ll stop getting into relationships with crazy women.

        The answers are all here, so I don’t know why you keep going back and forth.

  6. jhan1969 said

    I’ll add something else:

    One time, during a serious blowout with my borderline ex, she basically sneered at me and said in an offhand way that I was a sucker for buying into her whole game. The whole relationship was like she purposely smashed me on the hand with a hammer, then blamed me for having my hand there and laughed about it.

    Real asshole attitude, right? Borderlines will sometimes do that. They’ll TELL YOU they’re crazy and TELL YOU that you’re just as damaged as they are for being with them. Not all the time, but sometimes. My borderline was given to occasional bouts of brutal honesty and clarity, and she could be real nasty when she wanted to be. .

    But . . . she was essentially right.

    I knew she was a nut-ball. I knew it from the get-go. And the fact that I thought I could swoop in and make everything ‘ok’ did make me pathetic at the time. I was as pathetic as she accused me of being, right at that moment.

    But I got out of the relationship and moved on. I ripped the Band-Aid off. I went through the pain. And after a while, I was ok.

  7. jhan1969 said

    Good comment I just read:

    “Once we man up, set our boundaries, and know what to look for, we avoid these types of women.”

    Precisely. And forget all the PC crap about ‘labels,’ and doubt about what a ‘real man is’ or if there’s even such a thing. When I MANNED UP, set my boundaries, learned what to look for, and stopped putting up with crap, things got better for me.

    What is ‘crap?’ If a woman is more than 20 minutes late for a date – with no phone call or anything – I LEAVE. If a woman is habitually late, I DUMP HER. If a woman ‘shit-tests’ me, I DUMP HER. If a woman ever, EVER says anything bad about my family, I DUMP HER. If a woman pulls any kind of manipulative bullshit, I DUMP HER.

    I do not ‘call her out’ on her bullshit. I just f___ing DUMP HER. End of story. Doesn’t matter how long the relationship has been Doesn’t matter what stage. First date, first week, months later . . . I see bullshit, I’m unceremoniously OUT.

    It’s a waste of time trying to make assholes see the truth. Better for me to man up and move the f__k on. Put up with less bullshit, and you’ll get more respect. Period.

    I’m casually dating a really cute – and really NORMAL – hipster chick right now. Things are good. Normal is GOOD.

  8. willing captive said

    Hi comrades,

    I say again Jhan, I will be glad when my clarity and decisive actions, or inactions as appropriate, are as ingrained and autonomous as yours.

    Tom and M, I have the same issues to deal with. We have all been left to wonder how all the good times could be so easily dismissed as if they never existed or never happened. Like you Tom, I see my ex frequently. She doesn’t acknowledge me at all. I can deal with it. It has been just short of a year that she was asking me to marry her. Now she lives with another guy. That is just how it is.

    Jhan is right about how it never really was what it seemed. They were not who they seemed. They just were not who we made them out to be in our mind. Of course, they are never who they claim to be, short of the occasional request for clarity when they ask “Am I crazy?” The points in Jhan’s post about the illness is unfortunately true.

    I heard a great song yesterday that sums it up. Its called “Take Me to Church.” Check out the lyrics and tell me this guy isn’t one of us.


    • jhan1969 said

      Yep. Those lyrics are spot on.

    • Tom said

      Willing captive: Indeed, I see her frequently and I always hope she is in her shop versus outside smoking about 4 meters from my apartment building. Anyway, each time I reach the first floor I have anxiety, fear of confrontation. So I move briskly. Am not sure if she is 100% BPD, as I have said before, I think she is a mixed bag of BPD/HPD and NPD. I guess what hurts to most is the lack of empathy. The lies, the blame and vanity.

      Have always maintained that she does not see any fault, at least admittedly, in her cruel and unusual behavior, why…well she simply is very very attractive and gets any/all attention she wants. Thus her supply is always close by so to speak, but she is a huge black hole, a bucket with no bottom. The more you give, the more she took, and the more she demanded. Treat her like shit, she is interested, treat her well…go figure. Admire everything she says and does then you are a fool and a puppet.

      Without SD’s site, wow, where would one be. Glad to know am not alone in this situation.

      • Wizard said

        They usually are very attractive. Otherwise, they wouldn’t get away with what they do. It’s called the Beauty Premium. The price you pay for being around a beautiful woman is her shitty, insane behavior. She was probably great at sex as well, right? ‘Crazy in the head, crazy in bed,’ as they say.

        Apart from the psychological labels – which have their place in the world – have you ever considered that this woman might just be a complete asshole?

    • Wizard said

      “We have all been left to wonder how all the good times could be so easily dismissed as if they never existed or never happened.”

      I don’t think we want to know WHY or HOW they just dismiss and forget; I just think we’re extremely HURT by it. We’re just devastated by the fact that they CAN do it, because it means that we were never that ‘special’ on a human level, we were kind of just meat.

      But I’ll tell you why: they do it because they’re completely bat-shit fucking insane.

      • Tom said

        Asshole! To the nth degree, but my ex has more NPD…wtf, they all have similar traits i.e. npd, bpd, hpd….albeit my ex was not an introvert, sucicidal etc. but she most certainly could rage at a moments notice, physically abuse, feel entitled, shallow emotions and very critical….to the point of abusive.

        Sex, yes I was King Kong, stud of the barn, a stallion in delivering, you name it, yep that was me…until she simply stopped, after about 6 weeks of building me up…sure it made me feel great then, but soon thereafter I was Tom Dickhead, for not seeing the flags. I was being groomed for the proverbial slaughter.

        Then all hell broke lose. What bothers me is how desperate I tried to get back what it was initially…no fvcking way…unless she wanted something. When that stopped, the hitting started, the lies, the abuse, the social networking, more lies, manipulation etc etc etc.

        Naturally this was followed by her being the victim and telling everyone everything, even sacred personal crap…all on display for her entourage of enablers.

        Why she does not see fault in what she is doing or that this behavior is not normal…simple, she does not have to and never takes responsibility, shows empathy etc…sure she is fun, the center of attention (NPD/HPD) but also cunningly sly, secretive etc.

        So why does it hurt so much, why obssess, why care…I do not know, I think I enjoy some drama, some control but when it goes overboard and not having any boundaries…simple, she does not have to change, there is a line of guys (victims) around the corner waiting for their turn, she simply floats by and selectivly picks what she wants…and if he speaks good English…he will be here in 6-8 weeks, unless she can financially drain him or get him to jump off a bridge…then it would be poor her, he jumped because he had issues, oh well, got his home, bank accounts, now I will go pick another one.

        But one day this will all come back and bite them in the ass, if they have one left…

        So I maintain NC! Asshole, yep aboslutely.

        br Tom (SD: I think I sound better than late last year…or what do you think, still upset, but the final split was mid February)

  9. Henley said

    I’ve followed this blog for two years with all the energy directed towards understanding my ex. Its not until very recently, while much of this can describe him, it describes me. I went through the BPD symptioms and can check almost all.

    I’m horrified and it breaks my heart to have this realization. It took months of being away and suffering withdrawal and a great deal of self-work to to lift the denial of my actions.

    I re-read these posts of the pain inflicted and realize I’ve caused the same. Its awful. There is no pride in knowing you’ve hurt someone.

    Awareness is the first step. It spurred me to forgiveness for the pain be brought me, a forgiveness from the depth of my soul. I have a long history and a life built around insane behavior shielded with a socially acceptable exterior.

    To each of you out there, look to yourselves as well. Someone partnering in relationship with these characteristics shares in those characteristics or you wouldn’t stay. Sadly, water seeks its own level.

    I’m very grateful for this blog because it has given me so much insight. True healing is happening with the hand of God. I have apologies and amends to make but I don’t know where to even start to find the words but I trust God will give them to me at the right time.

    Thank you.

    • jhan1969 said

      “Someone partnering in relationship with these characteristics shares in those characteristics or you wouldn’t stay.”

      I wouldn’t say that exactly, but I hear you. What it seems is that a codependent type and a Borderline ‘mesh’ together very well in an unhealthy way. I would bet that a step towards the truth for a borderline would be the realization that most of their relationships were either with co-dependents or other Cluster B’s. My ex is a good example: before me, she was in a relationship with an sociopathic narcissist; then it was STRAIGHT ON to me ( an ex-codependent) like two weeks later. For me, it was the realization that I had run away from every healthy relationship I’d ever had, while trying to make relationships with sick people work.

      (Wow. tough to admit that.)

      There are patterns to this stuff. In most cases, they’re clearly discernible. Like my dad used to say; ‘twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern.’ When we all look back on our lives, we can see the patterns. They vary – according to the individuals that we are – but there are definitely there. We keep on doing harmful things through maladaptive coping mechanisms, and the results never change until we name the problem, reconcile ourselves to it, and take concrete steps to eliminate those mechanisms.

      And we can only do this IMPERFECTLY. That is the catch. We’re merely human. If we have enough courage and fortitude, we can strive. We’re always going to fall short, but we CAN make incredible progress. Our lives can change completely.

      We just need the balls to do it.

      Big, swinging balls. Cojones. Moxie. Fearlessness. Pure Viking courage. That’s what it really takes to face what we’ve done, understand where it came from, and sit through pain so we can come out the other side with clear heads and an ability to see the truth. Then, and only THEN, can we be ready to face the hurdle of actually putting knowledge to ACTION. This is a tough one, because it requires an entire change of BELIEF SYSTEM. Without that change, actions will be empty, and results will be nil. We actually have to BELIEVE, at some point, that our strange, new actions are the RIGHT PATH. And if we don’t believe it at first, we’ll have to trudge on until we do. Sooner or later, we’ll see positive results and our beliefs will follow.

      I was a weakling. That’s my truth. I walked away from a 2 year relationship with an awesome woman and right into a marriage with a spoiled manipulator. Out of that marriage, I went into a relationship with a Borderline. Both were complete disasters. Both left me emotionally depleted, bitter and miserable.

      The TRUTH is that I was afraid I couldn’t measure up to a real relationship with adult responsibilities. That awesome woman wanted to get married and have a kid. I was deathly afraid of that, because I unconsciously believed I was too broken inside to handle it. And this was more than a ‘self-esteem’ issue; this was a TOTAL BELIEF SYSTEM. A bone-deep, fundamental belief that I would just screw up a relationship with a healthy person.

      And so . . . I sought out people as broken as me.

      F___ing ouch!! I always hate admitting that. The desire to NOT be that person anymore is what keeps me on the right path. I’m still working on the bitterness; to be honest, if I don’t keep constant vigilance, it comes out like a pile-driver. How can I tell when this happens? People don’t want to be around me.

      • Tom said

        “That’s what it really takes to face what we’ve done, understand where it came from, and sit through pain so we can come out the other side with clear heads and an ability to see the truth. Then, and only THEN, can we be ready to face the hurdle of actually putting knowledge to ACTION”

        I believe no matter what, codependent, people pleaser, fixer, helper whatever, we are all f-uped to a certain degree. The more knowledge and experience we have coupled with our varying backgrounds makes us who we are.

        BUT…yes we go into relationships with e.g. a BPD/NPD/HPD (I believe all those clusters are mixed into one bag depending on the person), we are amazed and honored and our hearts are open to their ‘building us up’ making us feel more special than any other person has, we forget the flags, we even avoid their inconsistent stories from their past and accept blindly their bullshit…6-8 weeks later, well suddenly you see the flags, you are forced to see the flags. Why? Because it smashes you in the face. At least so it was for me, and I still hurt.

        Then we analyze quickly, assess and asume perhaps it is a moment, perhaps we did something wrong, or said something wrong. We try to amend, fix and crave the honeymoon. Wow, she and it was so great thus must be something I did…then another crushing blow happens, and another…we become desperate, but do not want to lose our dignity, so we become silent…angry, hurt, vigilant….then we remember the first few weeks….blame ourselves and again start tricking ourselves (again, I speak for myself), basically lying and bullshitting ourselves, fix, fix and fix.

        Quid, pro quo…the more we give, the more they take and in reality give very little. Then you realize the lies, suspicions about cheating, the social networking…the two faced Jekel and Hyde, alone they can be up and down (eggshells) and in company charming and magnetic. This confused me even more…Maybe I trigger all these behaviors in her???

        Nope. she Veni, Vidi, Vici and when confronted about her behavior…it was flight or fight followed by the proverbial victim…meanwhile collecting anything and everything to use against us during the smear campaign…twisted stories and rewriting facts.

        Fuck them! They know what they, perhaps they do not know why…but the make a decent person into a monster, they have the ability to mess you up without even knowing it. They use their looks, sex (or denial of sex), and entitlement to punish you for their own self hatred.

        This I cannot forgive, yes I appreciated what Henley said above. But so fucking what. An elephant in a glass store. And am tired of people saying forgive and move on. My ex put a knife in my heart, she twisted and turned it whilst kicking me in the head…then wow, new target in her sights, probably even during our relationship…never accepting responsibility

        Sure after maybe 10 years I might get a letter of apology and this WOW you were right, sorry, sorry for what I did. Well all I can say is fuck you! You deserve to sit in your stew and be miserable forever. Does she think I will say…finally you saw the light, great honey, what wonderful progress, not your fault, am so happy you contacted me to apologize. Where was the closure, where was the honesty…No way, sit and rot in hell like the way you did with me after the honeymoon phase for over a year.

        Am obviously venting, and just saying how I feel. But am VERY hurt, very sad, and very angry at myself for letting this lying, manipulative, abusive, cheating bitch into my life. She belongs to the ‘Ed Hardy’ types of emptiness and bullshit she comes from…whilst watching Housewives or any other of those rubbish coregraphed shows of empty shells.

        br T

    • jhan1969 said

      Don’t blame you Tom. Not one bit.

  10. willing captive said

    Hi Henley,

    Got to say that I agree with some points you make. A good therapist told me “You can spot it because you got it.” I have found this to be a true to a large degree. However, I think the difference for all of us here is that we have found or are finding the courage to take a hard look inside ourselves.

    In doing so, we realize things we have done or are doing to contribute to the dysfunction. Crazy fires can’t burn if there is no fuel.

    I think that all of us have been hurt deep enough and long enough that we have vowed a long time ago to not inflict such pain on others. Nonetheless, we do it while not meaning to. The whole nice guy/nice girl thing.

    Jahn is also hitting dead center as usual. The BPD and the CoD fit together just about perfectly. They are a black hole of need and we need to be needed.

    In my experience through this quagmire, I realize that I did some crazy stuff trying to keep this merry go round of insanity going. As stated before, crazy people will make a sane person crazy. The whole distortion of facts eventually makes you question everything.

    I do believe Henley is right about the whole forgiveness thing and the making amends. The closer I get to being able to see her as a person that is really really mentally ill, the closer I get to forgiveness and that knowledge makes me feel better. Better about me….not about her…better about me and I deserve to feel better about me….she’s the one that made me feel bad about me…or triggered it…but I participated…I was there and I let it happen. Those feelings were already there….and they hone in on them like a radar guided missile.

    I saw a pretty applicable statement:

    He who apologizes first is the bravest, He who forgives first is the strongest, He who forgets first is the happiest.

    True stuff I know but hard to live out. I am a grudge holder to the nth degree. Conversely, I have forgiven crazy mean shit that she did to me as soon as she showed back up and resumed sleeping in my bed. All the while I knew deep down I was sleeping with the enemy.

    Tom: I so dig where you are. I see mine often as well. I get sweaty and nervous. She lives right down the road. My friends see her all over the place in our old hangouts that I no longer go to. As far as the apology, hope and pray it never comes because it will be a Trojan horse. I got them a couple of times and got sucked right back in. I got recycled over and over too. I am thinking about having one of those green recycle symbol T-shirts that says I am eco-friendly on the front and on the back says “I recycle crazy chicks” cause its true.

    I am also with you on the whole deal of people saying move on. It ain’t that easy. However, I know that I should and that it is the healthy thing to do. That is where the addiction part plays in. I was addicted to the drama. I was addicted to the sex. I was addicted to the mind game of trying to anticipate her every move. That is classic CoD shit.

    For me it is a battle of Intuition vs emotion. The emotion is tied to the honeymoon phase and how good it was. BS!! Emotion is tied to how much I loved her and her me. BS AGAIN!!! We were never on the same page. I have begun to internalize that this shit did not work because it couldn’t no matter what. We idealize that it can if we worked harder, were nicer, did more of this or that, said or didn’t say this or that…BS. It wasn’t and couldn’t work cause we love crazy people and we are crazy for doing it. I feel a lot less crazy when she is not around yet I miss the hell out of her. Deep down I miss what I wanted her to be…. I ignored what she really is and the things she did.

    One thing I have noticed is that girls can usually smell these crazies out. We are stuck with our eyes on the beauty and our ears stuck on the words of praise. I too got the stud horse speech, the whole God led me to you, yada yada yada. Intuitively I know that she said that same shit over and over and still does. Ever the victim with the latest messiah. Yet while I was dating her my sisters and other female friends said ” there’s something wrong with that girl.” My baby sister told me within 5 minutes of meeting her that “sex is that girl’s currency and don’t think otherwise.”

    I think that is why they always say that they get along with guys better than girls. Of course they do, girls aren’t fooled by their deception or at least not for long.

    Another emotion land mine is the idea that she is now happy and life is great. Yep, she got herself a doctor that lives on a cool island and has all sorts of toys I cant afford. They eat out all the time, she parades him around like a prize rooster. But she did the same with me. I was wealthier than the previous guy and a lot older. Nothing new here. She has been with lots and lots of other guys and I act like I am missing out. BS!! I am better off yet I have my days when I miss her. But again, it meant nothing. I was occupying time and space. Wizard is right in that we don’t need to know why. There is no why….they are nuts. I am now friends with on of her previous boyfriends and he says “she is bat shit crazy.” Yet I wanted it all to be different???? Really?

    It is some consolation but not much in that people that are friends with the new guy are starting to ask questions about her. Other girls have picked up on her cattiness. The fact is that he is probably just a much easier mark and has all the material things that she likes. She doesn’t like anyone for very long but she can love a situation. I too battle with the revenge part but the saying is right about the need for vengeance is like drinking poison and wanting the other person to die. The best revenge Tom and I and everyone else can have is to move on, heal, and be happy. For me that means learning to be attracted to sane as opposed to crazy. Being comfortable in my own skin and not need to fix somebody. I am slowly starting to see the light and feeling better. The flip side of that is everytime I have done that in the past, she pops up. I truly believe that this time I wont fall for it. I can advise anyone that it is truly harder to get over each time I let it happen. This time has been a bitch but thankfully I found you guys.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend and thanks for letting me share.

    • jhan1969 said

      “In doing so, we realize things we have done or are doing to contribute to the dysfunction. Crazy fires can’t burn if there is no fuel.”

      Spot on, dude. if I’m part of the sickness, I’m contributing to it. That’s one of the reasons I got out. By enabling the insanity, I just made it worse.

      “They are a black hole of need and we need to be needed.”

      Couldn’t be more true. The ‘need’ is endless. And eventually, I had no more to give . . . thank God.

    • Tom said

      Willing Captive: I will start bottom up. THANK YOU for sharing, because it is my story told by you…amazing how these people follow a script. A script of lies, delusions, accusations and blame. The words and actions are foreign…split, opposite etc. but somehow in some odd way they explain explain until we either tune out and accept, back off so we can fix things or simply shrug our shoulders questioning ourselves.

      Yes CoD allowed us to be played. Was having dinner with my son last night in the same restaurant where we all three (ex, son and I) had dinner and thereafter I threw you pathetic ass out due to lles she initiated prior to going out. Anyway, my son said do you remember when we were here…sure I did. He said that I must still be thinking about her, and I concured. Then he said, come on, how happy were you really…20, 30 or 40 percent of the time…I said maybe 20-30%…he then concluded well there was something really negative about her…right from day one, yes she was hot and young…but negative and selfish.

      My son is correct. I guess the proverbial if you can join a club would you want to be a member, and if you cannot join a club do you strive to be a member. Something along those lines.

      But I do miss her company in bed, not just the sex. And sex was reduced to only when she wanted it, or maybe to manipulate me. The more I wanted the less I got. And my suspicions about cheating were always in the shadows. Maybe not physically, but certainly mentally she was stringing along her ex or someone new.

      She would be the type to use her sexuality to e.g. destroy a couple…that is an assumption, but a very valid target for her, the challenge, the distance, the manipulation etc. I could see her blackmail a married man who strayed that she is pregnant and now he should leave his family. That is what she does, for fun.

      Nasty and envious bitch. Revenge, yes I want to but I know that anything I do will boomerang back at me and make me feel worse. So I have NC, I walk past her shop and totally ignore, looking my best and walking with a purpose. I have blocked her mobile and blocked emails too.

      I sort of feel like a prisoner on my own street. Eventually she will move. But sometimes I fear that her ‘Ed Hardy’ type thug friends will be waiting or hanging out and I walk by and shit will hit the fan (that is me flying into the fan). Anyway, so it is. What bothers is her twisting of the truth, and those idiots believing what she says. A smart person would question her, so if he was so bad such a bully, such a xyz…why were you with him. That would confuse her. But no, nobody goes that additional step.

      I used to listen to her enabler/proxy friend how they plotted (really childish) revenge on some guy…short story, enabler liked a guy, slept with him and numerous others, he had multiple partners too, so she wanted him, she saw him talking to another girl, threw her wine on him, then smashed the glass in his head and put her cigarette out in his face. My ex and her giggled about this, I heard about it said WTF!!! You should be ashamed, you should apologize…nope, not them, they are entitled, thus began a smear campaign on their bullshit social networking platforms.

      Disgusting behavior! Oh well. Check this out, and if you do not want to read, scroll to the crib sheet of crazy. It is in my case 95% true, the accusations and deeds.


      br Tom, and thanks willing captive, jhan and SD.

      • jhan1969 said

        “You can spot it because you got it.”

        Ahhhh, come on now, I think that’s bullshit. Any therapist who believes that is a quack.

      • Tom said

        SD: A bit of of all the Cluster B’s wraped in one….

    • savorydish said

      Horrible. I see those kinds of women in NY all the time. Not my type. Gold diggers are a big turn off for me. The women I date are down to earth in that sense. But that makes it harder to pick up on their dysfunction.

    • I’d like to send these women to live on the streets of Calcutta or in a mud hut or shanty town in Africa with no running water or electricity.

  11. willing captive said


    When the therapist first said that I just laughed. Then I started to think about all the shit I had been through. Still, I did not like hearing that at all!! I was offended. I was pissed but as stated by Henley, we do some of this stuff when we partner with them.

    I was resistant to the idea but follow the logic. First off, this therapist is one of only 2 anywhere near us that will treat BPD’ers and we have a major medical school and hospital network in our area. She is not a quack at all. She does not sugar coat anything and does not just do the listening bit, and then bill you, and reschedule. She wants patients to recognize, realize, internalize, then mobilize. She seriously says that job is well done only when someone is in and out in about a year depending on severity.

    Some of the metaphors she used to bring me around to considering this as a possibility are the following.

    First we have to accept that if we were not a disordered personality to a degree, we would have never become enmeshed in these peoples’ BS.

    She equated it to two people living in the same house, ie same air, same food, same lifestyle etc and they both get seasonal flu; One is feeling lousy for a day or two, and one feels like death warmed over for a month or two. It comes down to immune response.

    One body responds quickly and develops antibodies to quell the viral horde. The other does not have an effective immune response and languishes for a long time.

    Same way you have developed and emotional and intellectual immunity to crazy making behavior in potential dates. You drop em at the first hint of the “infection.” You have “steeled” yourself up because you do not want to even be exposed much less infected by these people.

    We all walk around with “infections”. Some of us have the antibodies to resist these infections and some of us don’t.

    So both people in these relationships have a propensity to disordered behavior in the course of a disordered relationship.
    The difference is largely in the degree of these “symptoms” or behaviors. They misuse and abuse OTHERS around them trying to HIDE from this illness. We misuse and abuse OURSELVES trying to SAVE them from this illness. Both are illnesses but one way more damaging than the other.

    Her implication is not that we are BPD as well but that CoD behaviors have some aspects of those symptoms and behaviors.
    After all, BPD/HPD/NPD etc share some intersecting behaviors and even causes.

    Further, such as in cases of PTSD, some people can go thru absolute hell and come out the other side relatively healthy and high functioning. Others can go thru comparatively much milder traumatic things and never recover.

    The old adage has been around for ever “it takes one to know one”. this is much more than some playground comeback. Some of the best cops used to be thieves or drug dealers. Why, they no one when they see one because they recognize the patterns. NSA uses spies to catch spies.

    She also talked about the “yin-yang” symbol, the dark has some light and the light has some dark. If you prefer a more Christian view, God let the devil exist because that is what creates balance. There can be no “good” if there is no “evil” , “light” without “dark”, and most certainly “love” without “hate.” Also the old saying of ‘there is a bit of truth in every lie and a bit of a lie in every truth.” There is piece of these people in us. There is just a huge difference in the way we go about dealing with it. We want to help cause we need to, they want to destroy because they have to, at least in their mind.

    We know the behaviors but we have a sort of “colorblindedness” to it because we choose to. We are seeking a different outcome to previous traumas by the same sort of people. That is our weakness that we must build the immunity to.

    It may not be true for you, but I know that I did some crazy shit trying to get the winds of my lovely Category 5 emotional hurricane to calm down. I think that is part of what makes some of the area covered in ACOA applicable. We were raised in disordered households by disordered people and we tried to be mind readers to anticipate what shoe was going to drop next. Again, is we could say the “next right thing” or “do the next right thing” all would be ok. It just doesn’t happen. Just like with the people we have aligned with romantically in our past, you just couldn’t win…. Yeah you might have minor “wins” here and there but the big “loss” was always on the horizon.

    I don’t know….just my $.02….still trying to get down the road where this crap is less than a speck in my rear view mirror.

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