Seeking Fame

July 8, 2018

My BPDex was always obsessed with fame. She sought it out. She wanted to be famous and surround herself with famous people.

For her, it was an easy way to escape her tragic past and her dysfunctional present. Being almost famous flattered her fragile ego.

But if the recent deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade has taught us anything, it’s that fame is a world inhabited by damaged people.

Fame is a drug that they use to fix the sadness… many times, while drinking heavily or using actual drugs to numb the pain.

The reality is fame does not fix sadness. It covers it up. We are always shocked to learn when famous people do themselves in, because they do such a good job of covering up the profound levels of sadness that has gripped their mind.

It is in these moments when my BPDex seeks fame that usually signal her most vulnerable moments. Her family should put her on suicide watch.

Bourdain and Spade were at the top of their fame when they took their own lives. Families of these troubled people need to learn the signs as I have. LaLaLand is not as fabulous as it appears to be.

Nasty Woman

November 4, 2016

When those words were uttered at the debate, I instantly had a flashback of my nastiest exes. I must say I’m no fan of Trump’s rhetoric. But I can relate to the stabby feeling of being demonized by a nasty woman.

In politics, you expect your opponents to be nasty. But when you love a woman and trust her with your heart, you don’t expect her to be nasty. You definitely don’t expect her to play the victim after playing nasty. Because what kind of fucked-up monster does that?

Nasty women are not like other women. They can come off as charming and playful, at first. But as the relationship progresses, you start to see hints of who they really are. By the end of the relationship, the mask is peeled off and you see someone who you don’t even recognize. They demonize you just so they can do horrible things to you. All the wonderful things they said about you are now null and void. 

And when you confront them with all the nasty things they’ve done to you, they just grin. It’s a smug grin that feels like they are mocking you for not realizing how nasty they really are. Because in that instant, you realize that all the love and kindness was an act. That nasty grin tells you these women get a certain satisfaction from punishing men, emasculating men and torturing men. In their eyes, all men are pigs.

Nasty women indulge in grief. They write whole books and articles about it. They will blame you for that grief. But the truth is they’ve known that grief their whole miserable life. Pain is all they know. Pain is in their DNA. You better believe that they will pass that pain onto you. Pain is what makes them so very nasty.

The Fear of Being Revealed

February 22, 2014

Readers frequently ask why borderlines inexplicably shut loved ones out of their life. They are particularly confused when they did nothing to cause such a fearful reaction. In fact, many of these kind souls tried to help and support the borderline despite the never-ending drama. But their kind nature is exactly why the borderline has shut them out and (in many cases) turned on them. It doesn’t make sense because that is the nature of PDs. They defy logic. If you were to ask borderlines, themselves, they might also wonder why they behave this way. The following was a confession by a borderline who was struck with the fear that she might be discovered:

Hi All,
I think I am selfish. My BPD is underlined by some selfishness. Do you have similar feelings?

For fear of my BF abandonning me once he sees me in the light, I left him before he left me. It was inconceivable for me to see that he might accept me after all. I started concealing myself, then lying frequently, then hiding my friends from whom he may learn things about me, then demanding things from him, finally leaving him. ALL THIS IS ABOUT ME ONLY, WHAT i WANT

Now that he left, I am suffering. Why? because again of how he could bring balance and happiness in my life: AGAIN ABOUT ME = MY SELFISHNESS.

I am not saying that BPD are selfish, but with me I see a deep underlying selfishness.

Sufferingbe

A frequent contributor named Zan found this article which further clears the fog:

But consider, for a moment, that you have been deceived and because you do not understand that the ambiguous behaviors so well hidden by a family system that enables Borderline behaviors to go on undetected and that you have become the unwitting accomplice of something that holds the potential to destroy the family system that protects it.

It is common for the borderline personality to be relatively unnoticed by most people in the family, friends, and acquaintances circle– while at the same time a inflicting personal damage to family members. A common trait of the borderline is to utilize  attention seekingbehaviors that are used to gather a supportive network of understanding, enablers to rescue the Borderline from her worst fear from every crisis.  Some would call her a “Drama Queen” who “acts out” to gain the sympathy and support and  to keep the worst fear from being realized.  As a result, she is constantly burdened with a lifestyle that demonstrates a constant sense of “faking it,” and with the continual threat that sooner or later she will be “found out.”  So, what you are seeing is the great effort going into continually managing people, information, and perception–  to hide who she really is from the public eye.

The danger in a family system is being found out and rejected or abandoned. The very idea of someone exposing the borderline behavior is the trigger that it evokes (for her) the fear  of being exposed. This stress triggers the core issue– fear of abandonment. What you will witness is her intense feeling of rejection, pain, and the anger that triggers defensive mechanisms bringing rage, acting out, and acting in behaviors. Unfortunately, if you are the person who identifies the deception of the borderline, you should be prepared to be subjected to becoming the object of  rage motivated by an irrational belief  of abandonment, social isolation, and rejection. For the borderline, the loss of control, coupled with the fear of abandonment triggers a heightened level of stress that is unmanageable for her resulting in dysregulated emotions .  Consequently,  splitting occurs in her mind and what or was one good has suddenly become all bad.

A pattern among Borderlines, threatened with a feeling of lack of control or being found out, is to turn their anger to the person who knows their secret and threatens the myth that they have created.  This person is endangering their ability to exert control which  triggers dysregulation, anger, rage focused on the internalized threat.  The pattern of the the borderline which demonstrates the intense fear of being found out is rooted in an irrational belief that she/he will be abandoned if found out.  Her behavior presents in striking– outbursts of anger– out using innuendo, accusation that vilifies the person who threatens her total control , while painting a picture of her own victimization. As the borderline expresses rage, they build a circle of supporters around them, who  feed the ego-need– people, who are largely undiscerning, unaware, co-dependent, and capable of being duped through the coercive manipulation and deception that she demonstrates.

If you are not willing to join the company of enablers and participate in their plan,  then expect your life to become very difficult.  Borderline behavior toward the person who recognizes the deception will be skewed by rage, distorted reason, and perception and fueled by the belief that her behavior is justified, correct, and characterized by intense and cruel actions hidden beneath the innocent image being projected- the victim, so innocent. For the borderline, her control takes on the form of isolating support mechanisms that she believe that you depend upon– family relationships, children, grandchildren,  friends, relationships, and financial resources.  It is common for Borderlines to destroy your personal property, assault your credibility privately,  passive-aggressive anger,  projecting behaviors that demonstrate the intense rage and fear felt, an internalized feeling of a  loss of control  The goal of theses behaviors is to deflect any belief that they are indeed suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder and to paint the picture that you are the crazy one with a problem.  Borderlines are constantly putting others in “no win” situations in order to reinforce the myth they have created.

Make no mistake – This is abusive behavior. The psychological scars inflicted by a person who pretends to be your soul mate one minute and then stabs you in the back the next will last for years, if not a lifetime. Consider treatment for yourself and stay away from these people like the plague.

The story is an all too familiar one in the world of borderline personality disorder- Boy meets girl.  Girl falls madly in love with boy. Boy decides she is the one. Boy finds out girl has serious issues. Girl agrees to therapy. Girl stresses out and runs from boy. Girl cuts boy out of her life forever. One young man recounts his experiences falling in love with a borderline:

In any case, I’m in my Senior year in college and dated a girl for a year and a half, and she’s been thru it all. First off, she is smart, funny, and absolutely gorgeous. However, she was raped, sexually assaulted, saw a friend die, has a mom with biploar, really odd boyfriends, etc…when I met her I went thru most of which you guys wouldn’t be surprised to hear. I stopped her from cutting, hitting herself, had to calm her during flashbacks, panic attacks, suicidality, etc.

The bond that is established between a trauma survivor and a person that becomes the caregiver is much more intense than your average relationship. It is a codependent relationship for sure, but it is also highly addictive for both parties. When that trauma includes rape, the caregiver is biting off more than they can chew.

We also had numerous, heated arguments that led to us breaking up almost every week. Often she would try to make me jealous by flirting with other guys, or just start fights for no reason, often throwing things, screaming terrible insults at me, etc. I stood by her thru all of this because when she was actually healthy we were pretty amazing together. I always knew in the back of my mind that this girl was borderline, and biploar, and odds are it wouldn’t work out.

Nothing hurts more than going out of the way to care for someone with extraordinary emotional needs only to have them lash out at you in extraordinarily cruel ways. A BP is use to abusive/ dead-end relationships. When they finally meet someone who is kind and giving, they freak out. They feel unworthy of someone who is in it for the long haul. And so the self-sabotage begins. Unconsciously, they push their lover away. And then ruthlessly punish them, when they finally do drift away.

BPs are not evil people. They are terribly insecure and emotionally damaged. But a terribly insecure person can do horrible things to someone who loves them. Ironically, a BP is more likely to harm someone who loves them than someone who neglects them. To their credit, the partners of BPs are able to forgive BPs for what most people would consider unforgivable. This requires a tremendous amount of patience and tolerance. Most people would abandon a BP. But the few who do stick it out, hope for better days.

Then, I helped convince her to go to McLean Hospital, and seek DBT therapy. She definitely improved, and after that all of a sudden the relationship changed. She was an amazing girlfriend, did whatever she could to help me, was SO loyal to me, and basically everything I could have ever wanted. Last semester (Sept. 2009-Dec. 2009) things just skyrocketed. We practically lived together and hung out all the time

This sounds like a really inspiring story right?!?! I mean, for months my friends and my family told me that we could never have a normal relationship, they would sit me alone in my room everyday and tell me to get out before I got hurt. Even they started to admit they were wrong, and we were really on our way. I made the mistake of really letting my guard down, I completely ignored the fact that she was bipolar and could change her mind any second. I really believed that this was the right girl for me, and that we would be together forever. Before I was honestly afraid of breaking up with her because she was so attached to me, but that stopped even being a possibility. She would talk about our wedding, kids, family, future, everyday, and I really started to believe we would have all of that.

BPs are very good at pulling people into their drama. They are even better at giving false hope. When a BP can no longer deny their issues, they will promise to seek help. For a short period of time, the BP will display signs of improvement. But these are short-term gains, mostly superficial improvements. During this period, BPs are on their best behavior. They are putting up a facade of good mental health. But just one bump in the road is all it takes for the facade to fall off.

When February started, all of a sudden everything just changed. We had a hard conversation where she told me that she was really worried about being long-distance, and that her therapist at McLean might tell her she has to break up with me because distance is so hard on her.

It doesn’t take much for a BP to be discouraged. In their defense, dealing with BPD/Rape trauma is no easy task. But it is not unusual for a BP to throw in the towel after a few months of therapy. Whether or not the therapist actually told her to break up with her boyfriend is questionable. Sometimes a BP hears what he/she wants to hear. It is more likely that this BP finally succumbed to her fears of abandonment. A BP breaks off a relationship as a preemptive measure against his/her own heart break.They break your heart before you can break theirs. In some ways, it gives them control.

Also because she was too dependent on me this year, and next year it would be a hard transition to be without me– I was her whole life. I knew I was really in for a hard, hard time after that talk. The next day, petty fights just started up constantly for no reason. She soon went into a severe depressive state, to the point where she had seizure-like behaviors. Things turned really quickly, and became really bad. She stayed in my room for about 4 days straight and I had to carry her around everywhere. I had to get her every meal, call professors to tell them she was ill, carry her to the bathroom, etc. Her rape flashbacks also started up again, and the Zoloft completely took away her sex drive. As a result, her Body Image disorders just shot thru the roof, everything was going wrong. Then shortly before Valentine’s day she came and told me she didn’t know if she loved me anymore, obviously I was crushed! The next day she sent me a message, blocking me on facebook and saying she will no longer contact me because of advice from her parents and doctors.

When a BP becomes emotionally dependent on someone, the fear of losing that crutch is too much. It is this fear that brings out the darkside of a BP. Picking fights is a sign that the BP is looking for an out. They are devaluing you to make it easier to leave while pushing you away at the same time. Eventually, a BP devalues you to the point where they feel nothing for you. You are dead to them. A BP partner rarely sees this coming. They think the fights are just part of the ups and downs of a BP relationship, not realizing that this is the final dip.

In a matter of days, you have gone from the love of their life, to someone who is smothering them. Partners are usually shocked at how cold their ex-lover has become. Blocking you from facebook is the least of your worries. When a BP “splits you black”, they can resort to hostility to get rid of you. That hostility can translate into infidelity, a smear campaign and false accusations. When a BP is in the grips of fear, both rational thought and compassion are thrown out the window. The love you had is a distant memory as far as they are concerned. In some cases, the BP will convince themselves it was all an illusion. And in a way, he/she would be right. An untreated BP is incapable of actual intimacy. You have just witnessed what happens when a BP finds him/herself in a serious relationship.

Sadly, a BP in denial will never know how much pain they have caused their lovers. A partner who has been cut out of a lover’s life will go through unimaginable pain, self-doubt, and deep depression. These caretakers gave up their own well-being to love a BP, and in return were betrayed.

I feel like I wasted 1.5 years of my life. Logically, I know life must go on and I have such a solid friends/family support base that getting thru this really hasn’t been that bad. I’m still devastated though and think about her everyday. I dream about her every night. I hope to never hear from her again because I’m so angry, what kind of sick person gives you their life for 18 months, then just expunges you completely? At the same time– I secretly hope, everyday, that she contacts me and gives me a reason to take her back. I also know that I will never take her back again, or will I? I’m very confused. Does she come back to me? Do I contact her? Is there any hope? Is she going to make an honest effort to get better, then come back to me when she is ready? What in the world is going on?!?!?

But the fact is a BP is sick. Many lovers underestimate how sick a BP is at their own expense. Well-meaning friends will tell this person to move on, but it’s never that easy. A BPD love is an addiction. When you stop cold-turkey you go through withdrawal symptoms. This person has just been traumatized and victimized. It will take a great deal of time (and maybe counseling) to heal and trust someone again. Unless, a BP has been treated for years there is always the risk of being put through the wringer.

Mickey D

August 26, 2012

Mickey D shares more of her story:

Thank you graciously SD for welcoming my input. The second I hit send I was worried about what the ‘fallout’ might be….I’m glad I could offer a glimpse of understanding into a borderline mind. Please bear in mind that I was diagnosed 20 some years ago, I am now in my early 40′s and have had to live a life of this, in and out of therapy for several years (although it seems I only ever ran to therapy when I was in crisis, exited the minute I felt better….sheesh).

But I will tell you, the younger the borderline, the worse the situation (or should I say undiagnosed). When I was in my late teens, and met the first guy that took me out of my abusive home, when he realized he could no longer deal with me and the mental problems I was displaying (and trust me, I had no idea I was displaying mental instability, that’s how naive we are to this problem). I thought cutting, screaming, threatening suicide, spitting venom if he leaves me, was just a mere overreaction to his mentioning he needs to move out of the relationship.

I spent the next 15 years dating abusive NPD men, getting crazier by the minute because their inability to care (about anyone but themselves) or stick around, was non existant and I could NOT wrap my head around that….still can’t. This is why I’ve spent…..years…..reading and responding on ‘survivors of narcissists’….

I know what you meant when you mentioned the BPD who come running through here screaming foul play. I’ve seen the NPD run through some of the sites I visit too….and it riles me up even more. All I can say, the longer you get hooked up on trying to understand the BPD (or NPD for that matter), the more work you have to do internally from something that went bad in childhood. We are all trying to fix a core wound from our upbringing…if we could just figure out the PD, we will have it ALL figured out is our reasoning.

Again, I feel for all those who are struggling to get out from under what the BPD put you through, I know because I’ve put men through it myself. I’m not proud of it…and I truly am writing this to help you understand….not forgive….just to try and understand. Peace.

Recently, a man, by the name of Mat, asked if he could salvage his BPD relationship. He saw that Mickey D had come out a better person and thought, if only his own ex would seek treatment, he might be able to make it work. But let me say Mickey D is an exception to the rule.

A borderline has to want to get better and then they must overcome great emotional hurdles to stick with it. You are talking at least 7 years of therapy. Many borderlines can not stomach this. My own ex gave up therapy after 3 sessions, because of her fears of therapy. She would rather live a lie. For her, this was the less painful option.

Mickey D has grown into a wiser more mature woman. But age alone does not do the trick. BPD only mellows with age when borderlines find proper and healthy ways to deal with it. Denial, distractions and delusions are common coping methods, but these are maladaptive tactics.

A borderline must confront her past and her disorder with brutal honesty. She must walk across the hot coals of self-awareness before she can make it to the other side. Many BPs are not up to the task. So in evaluating your BPD relationship, you must first evaluate the borderline and yourself.

You must be in tip top shape to handle the roller-coaster ride that is before you. But chances are if you have found yourself in a dysfunctional relationship, you are not in good shape. Birds of a feather flock together. Damaged people find each other in hopes that love will save them.

But this is not true love. This is a co-dependent addiction masquerading as love. Instead of one person hurting themselves. You now have two people hurting each other.

I think we can all learn from Mickey D’s example. As she said, we all have things to work on.

Poor Sebastian

August 29, 2011

This is the story of Sebastian, a young man who married a histrionic woman. If you were to look at a photo of Sebastian now, you would hardly recognize him from his former days. That’s because he’s been transformed by a master manipulator. She tells him how to dress, how to behave… even how to think.

Look closely at photos of them together and you will notice her arm is always over his shoulder, like a leash around his neck.  This subtle body language states who is in control of this relationship. What Sebastian doesn’t realize is he is on a very short leash.

Histrionics are control freaks. This is the only way they can soothe the overwhelming feelings of insecurity that have plagued them since childhood. Their experience has taught them that bad things happen when you lose control.

Histrionics have been abused their whole life. They suffer from C-PTSD (lifelong trauma). This means that normal and healthy defense-mechanisms have been cranked up to abnormal and unhealthy levels to ensure survival. That is why the histrionic is so brutal. A histrionic lives in a dog eat dog world. The histrionic will eat you alive.

Histrionics are predators. They look for people they think they can control. They look for submissive behavior. And if you’re not submissive enough, they will try to break you down. They will soften you up with sob stories.

They will tell you what a horrible family they have. They will tell you they were raped in college. They will tell you they have a mysterious disease that no doctor can find a cause or cure for. She will tell you horror stories of ex-boyfriends who were abusers and stalkers. She will convince you that everyone around her is crazy. Everyone except her. Then she will look to you to save her. She is the damsel in distress and you are her knight in shining armor. It is a fantasy role-play that few are able to resist.

Sebastian has no idea what he signed up for. He is clueless. He doesn’t know about BPD or HPD. He doesn’t know about C-PTSD. He doesn’t realize that he is under her spell. He doesn’t realize that she has him wrapped around her little pinky.

Sure, there were times he noticed that she was a little off. Moody at times. Quick temper. He noticed there were times when she was paranoid (on red alert). And then there were other times when she was careless (like a naive child). But he couldn’t put all the pieces together.

Histrionics are good at fooling most of the people most of the time. Everything is an illusion to fool people into thinking all is well. They can even fool themselves. But for this they must employ mind-bending tactics. They must resort to mind games to keep their partner in check. A partner in check is less likely to leave them. A partner in check will not question their ways. A partner in check is clueless. And that is exactly the way the histrionic likes it.

Because if Sebastian were to wisen up, things would get very hairy. If Sebastian were to start questioning her behavior, she would suddenly become insecure again. Because a partner that questions a histrionic is a sign that he is thinking for himself. It means she is losing control. And a histrionic control freak can not allow that.

If he insists on being his own man, she will find ways to knock him down to size. This is the process of devaluation. When a histrionic feels inferior, she will find a way to drag you down to her level. She wants you to feel as insecure as her. This is when the histrionic engages in acts of infidelity- sex with strange men she just met, maybe after a night of binge drinking. Such behavior has the added benefit of distancing them away from you and sabotaging the relationship. Crisis averted.

If Sebastian were smart enough to know what’s up, he would be quickly shown out the door. There would be no sentimental good-byes. No thanks for the memories. He would be done. He would be expected to “move the fuck on”. And if he didn’t, she would accuse him of stalking her. She would accuse him of being abusive. False-accusations are the histrionic’s most potent weapons. Playing the victim is their first line of defense.

If Sebastian were to suggest she seek help, she would suggest he leave her alone. She would suggest that he was crazy. Everyone is crazy except her. Then she would slam the door, leaving him to reel in pain by himself. A histrionic leaves a relationship in a hurry to find someone else who will save her from this tragic life.

This is the histrionic’s MO. It is well-documented. But histrionics will fight tooth and nail to suppress the mountain of evidence. If you know a histrionic, you know this story well. Unfortunately, it is a true story. These are the telltale signs that you are in a relationship with a woman who suffers from histrionic personality disorder.

Nobody should ever accuse a partner or ex-partner of a borderline/rape survivor of not having enough compassion. If anything, they are guilty of too much compassion. A commenter, Chris, tells his story in response to a post titled When Borderlines Cut You Out of Their Life:

I have recently been there. I started to write this post twice about my experience but it started to turn into a book. My X also had been raped in her early twenties. I did not learn about it until a year into our relationship. She really played it down but I wonder just how much it affected her. Keep in mind this is someone I had known for 23 years and we dated in high school. She recently came back into my life.

Just some advice to anyone. Just run. It will zap your soul and drive you insane. A borderline works on an entirely different level of logic. They are not caring and they do not know how to love. You are only as good as your last conversation with them. They will tell you they have loved you all their lives and the next day you are the worse person for them.

When you leave them they will date your friends, ruin relationships with mutual friends, and tell lies to their new boyfriends about you. When you react to their insanity they will threaten you with restraining orders. Then they will come back to you. They will play vulnerable and seductive to get you back, and if you have any co-dependent tendencies you will take them back. Once they have you back they will tell you just how much they love you. They are smart, funny, charming and the good times are awesome and at those times you will love them and think perhaps it is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Get it in your head right now. There is no fixing them and it will not get better no matter how much of a white knight you are. Leave them and don’t look back. Get off facebook and break all contact until you feel strong. Do not respond to them and don’t even piss on them if they are on fire. They will try everything to get you back into their lives to repeat the hurtful cycle over and over again.

Case in point. In my last breakup with my BPD I caught her contacting men on craigslist for dates by reading her email. Our prior breakup resulted in her going after a guy I knew only to cheat on him with me. The remorse I got for reading her email and ending it was a call from the police threatening arrest for gaining access to her email. Three months later she starts contacting me again only to want to play I have a new guy game again. I refused to play. Two months after that she comes telling me the new great guy tried to strangle her. Me being the fool I get sucked in showing her compassion only to have her cycle of rejection and hurt start all over again. BTW…she got back together with the guy that tried to strangle her.

If she thinks you are the crazy one let her think that way. Do not try to explain your feelings to them as they don’t look at things as a history. They only react to the way they feel now and they will never see your point of view. They may pretend to have remorse but they do not. They are so caught up in their image of self it has nothing to do with you.

Save yourself and get out and forgive yourself for things you may have done or said during your time with your BPD. The fact you are here reading this means you are trying to make sense of things which already makes you a good person.

Be careful when dealing with a borderline who is also a rape survivor or even alleged survivor. This is someone who has been severely traumatized and most likely has been re-traumatized over and over again. Any impression that this person is perfectly fine is a false impression… Most likely created by the borderline/survivor. Never mind how much you think he/she loves you. Without treatment, this person is literally incapable of love or intimacy. When someone is this traumatized, they can turn on you at any moment.

The fact is people with BPD have a hard time with intimacy. Here are some thoughts from David Oliver, the founder of BorderlineCentral.com:

The fact is, a person in the throes of Borderline Personality Disorder is incapable of adult emotional intimacy, because the very nature of the disorder decrees that they have not matured enough emotionally to the degree that is required to have emotionally healthy adult intimacy. They are caught in a cycle of emotional Push/Pull, or “love-hate.”

One of the major characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder is that those with the disorder will push away the very people they love (need) the most. This stems from child abuse or abandonment they suffered at an early stage of development, which led to them having Borderline Personality Disorder in the first place …

… Another reason why your relationship with a person with Borderline Personality Disorder will be such a stormy one is that they will have the unrealistic expectation of you that you can take care of them, when the reality is that they cannot even take care of themselves. Another characteristic of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder is that they are needy and demanding. Again, however, with the push/pull cycle, they will seem needy and demanding one minute, and push you away the next minute (even as you try to meet their needs). They will seem to seek intimacy, yet at the same time they will reject that same intimacy, sometimes with anger and rage that you cannot understand. They can’t understand it, either…

I know these are harsh words for a borderline’s delicate ear, but they must be reiterated. I hesitate to post it, because I hate to discourage people like Skye when they are already struggling. But maybe it will help people understand that it’s not entirely their fault. BPD is powerfully destructive force that was forged long before a person has even met his/her borderline partner. So it is unreasonable to think that these forces can be wrangled under control before the borderline has had a chance to fully recover. But there is hope:

… The only way a person with Borderline Personality Disorder can change their destructive behavior is to seek help – they need psychotherapy; specifically, a type of therapy called Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which is designed to help people with this disorder.

Over time, it is possible for someone with Borderline Personality Disorder to become better; perhaps, even, to maintain an emotionally healthy adult relationship, if they are willing to seek help for their disorder, and if they are willing to change their destructive behaviors. Until a certain amount of healing is done, and insight achieved through help from a qualified therapist, someone with Borderline Personality Disorder is just not capable of emotional intimacy.

This is why it’s so important to raise awareness about BPD. So that people can avoid rushing into relationships. To get involved in a relationship before healing, can only spell disaster for everyone involved. In a perfect world, a borderline would avoid serious relationships until after they have recovered. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where a borderline’s fear of being alone is as great as their fear of intimacy. Another one of life’s cruel jokes.

If you’re already in a committed BPD relationship, I wish you luck. Your only chance of survival depends on the borderline continuing treatment. But the partner of a borderline has to be willing to put up with the emotional rollercoaster in the meantime. Most therapists aren’t even trained to deal with BPD. How can we expect the average person to cope? Not to mention the fact that most borderlines go out of their way to choose partners who are incapable of ever meeting their impossible needs.

Many times borderlines choose partners in the heat of the moment. They choose partners that resemble their parents. Parents who were most likely in a loveless marriage, one filled with chaos and turmoil.  Parents who either abandoned them, were emotionally unavailable or abused them.

Or if they happen to stumble upon a nice person who cares for them, they push them away. Nice people just aren’t a borderline’s “type”. Eventually, they will become bored, because a BP craves conflict and tension. And will create drama, if none exists.

Their self-esteem is so low, they think someone must be defective to love them. In other words, if a partner treats a borderline with kindness, a borderline will pay him/her back with abusive behavior. Eventually, a borderline will probably cut him/her out of his/her life.  A borderline has a way of antagonizing even the most faithful of lovers. This is how a person behaves when they fear intimacy.

Yes, you are suppose to be together “in sickness and in health”, but I don’t think the author of those words was thinking about BPD when he/she wrote that.

Payback is a Bitch

November 17, 2010

For those with borderline personality disorder, hostility is a natural response to real or perceived threats. It doesn’t take much to offend or scare a borderline. This type of reaction is a result of arrested development, abuse trauma and a life of unending misery. Whatever the reason, it only means more misery for the unwitting borderline. On a primitive level, they believe they can get what they want through hostility. But in reality, hostility begets more hostility. Their behavior only proves to be counter-productive.  If a loved one triggers the bp’s fear of abandonment/rejection, they use hostility to scare the loved one away (thus avoiding rejection). But this almost never works. The problem is they have ignored the fact that they have just spent the entire relationship creating an unbreakable addiction. BPs are masters at eliciting a codependent relationship. They tell sob stories of abuse (and imagined abuse) to draw their unsuspecting lovers in. They use sympathy and guilt to make sure their partners DON’T leave them.  They use tears to stop a lover from walking out the door. A codependent bond is powerful as it is dysfunctional. But a BP ignores/overlooks this (or conveniently forgets this) when they are in flight mode. The fear of rejection prevents them from thinking straight. They are lashing out with blind rage.

But to a codependent partner, this hostility translates to “please, fix the problem”. The bond that has kept the codependent in the relationship is the bond between caregiver and the injured. Through the course of the relationship, the partner of a BP has been conditioned to figure out what needs fixing when things go badly. In other words, the BP’s hostility draws the codependent in closer at a time when a BP is desperately trying to make a getaway. What we have here is a failure to communicate. A failure to understand the situation at hand. In short, a disaster in the making.

In the best case scenario, a BP will lash out and the caregiver will respond with more kindness. Like a parent soothing a crying baby, the caregiver is trying to soothe the savage BP with love. But this only triggers more fears of intimacy. The tragic irony is that a BP is addicted to love but fears the dependency. They run away from kindness because they fear losing it. A BP relationship never ends well, because a BP on the run won’t allow it. Hostility is the only way they can ensure emotional detachment. The BP’s self-destructive nature, includes the destruction of any possibility of true love. The partner ends up confused, not understanding why the BP reacts with hostility when they respond with tenderness.

In the worst case scenario, a BP will lash out and the caregiver will respond with more hostility. Each side hurting the other in retaliation for the pain the other has caused them. It quickly becomes a vicious cycle.  In this scenario, not only has the BP unsuccessfully scared off the lover, he/she has escalated tensions. It’s not enough for BPs to cut someone out of their life. They have to be ruthless about it. They have to tarnish loving memories (causing the ex-partner pain), because loving memories cause the BP pain. Demonizing their ex, devaluing a relationship and re-writing history is their way of emotionally detaching themselves. At one time, a BP might have sung a lover’s praises. By the end, they are spitting on their graves.

The partner of an ex will inevitably try to save the relationship, believing love will conquer all. They will try to remind the BP of better days, not realizing the BP has intentionally blocked such memories out of their mind. Acts of love and kindness become a nuisance, because they supply the BP with guilt and shame.

An ex will try to reason with the BP. But a BP on the run will not listen to reason. If once they acknowledged his/her illness, a BP on the run will now deny it. They will deny it because now their illness has become a liability, whereas before it was what kept the caregiver by his/her side. They will become defensive and say things like “shut up”, “you don’t know me”, and “you’re the one who’s crazy”. Denial gives the BP an illusion of a clear conscience, but they are only only repressing guilt. Guilt that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

On the other side, the partner of a BP is experiencing the pain of having cared for a wounded person only to have that person lash out at them in cruel ways. Previous to the split, the caregiver endured humiliation, abuse, and disrespect to love a borderline. Despite all the reasons BPs give to abandon them, the caregivers stand by their BPs. They stand by BPs despite knowing they are emotional damaged and may someday turn their anger on them. They wouldn’t abandon a BP, just like they wouldn’t abandon a wounded bird. They didn’t ask for this burden, but they made the best of it. Not only does a caregiver not receive gratitude, they receive insult on top of injury. They receive attacks on their character, false accusations and paranoid suspicions where once there was love and affection. For their generous heart and forgiving nature they are rewarded with the deep pain of being stabbed in the back by someone they once loved.

The Unfaithful Borderline

August 19, 2010

Though infidelity is not an official symptom, psych forums are replete with stories of BPs gone astray.

A woman confesses that she was less likely to act out if a guy treated her poorly:

Abandonment is my trigger. I’ve cheated in my two longest relationships after they made a decision that resulted in more time apart. My college boyfriend transferred to a school 300 miles away (for a stupid reason) and I started seeing someone in one of my classes. I started cheating on my ex-fiance with a coworker after he took a job that required a ton of travel. The weird thing is that I’ve only cheated on the boyfriends that were nice. I was with them longer, but I still find it interesting that I didn’t act out and cheat on the guys that treated me like crap. My shrink thinks I sabotage relationships with men who are nurturing and fatherly because I resented my inappropriately close relationship with my father. Who knows.

A man replies with a similar story:

I dated a bpd for 2 years, that did cheated on me, in addition to not treating me that well at all. Funny thing is: All of her ex bfs treated her very poorly, and she never cheated on them, and actually treated them much better than she treated me. I was too much of a nice guy, funny how that works. I guess it’s just like…’this is too good to be true, so let me just #$%k this up before he does it to me.’ In doing so, she REALLY hurt me.

Another woman chimes in:

I’ve never cheated. If I’ve gotten close to someone, that person is the only one who exists. That is, until I see something that foreshadows them being tired of me, so then I would just get pissy, dump them, and do the fling thing. Then, usually, return back to the first person after realizing that they weren’t tired of me.

there are times when BPD delusions seem so real and everything makes complete sense. Well, at least to me. It’s not like I go nuts and do things without thinking. My drama is well-thought out and perfectly logical . . . in a borderline way.

He responds:

What really kills me about what you guys do is, you usually do awful things just out of fear of being left by us, or not loved by us. In some sick, twisted way, it’s kind of flattering that the thought of not having you love us would drive you to such extreme measures.

She would always mess up whenever she got some idea in her head that I might not care about her, or love her— and it’s hard to be mad at somebody for that reason. Sure, I was furious at her actions, but the reasons just always somehow worked in her favor.

The OP wraps up the discussion with this:

It is hard to explain…..
Like I remember those who gave me extraodinary amounts of attention, but if I sensed (or imagined) that were pulling away at all it would set me into motion imaging all kinds of things and then yes I would do something blatantly stupid…and I knew it!
It’s a vicious cycle …..
The more you want the relationship, the closer you are…the worst it is
The unfaithfulness, is like a testing thing…I guess

I don’t buy the BS that BPs don’t have control over their behavior. Their impulsive nature, their fear of abandonment, and their self-destructive tendencies drive them do stupid/hurtful things for sure. But the choice is always theirs. BPs need to be held accountable for their bad choices like everyone else. If they have that little self-control and that little respect for others, they shouldn’t get seriously involved with people in the first place. BPD is an explanation. Not an excuse.