MUST BE A PONY IN HERE, SOMEWHERE
Sorting Your Way Through the BPD Madness!
By Shari Schreiber,
These are just
some quickie highlights culled from my articles, to help you navigate
this difficult terrain you're on, without having to read through
the more detailed pieces that are specifically intended to help
save your life after
loving a Borderline. While my materials can seem harsh, I do
not hate Borderlines (I usually have several in my practice
at any given time), but I don't tolerate oppression or abuse of
any type, and neither should you!
First of all,
try to hold onto the fact that when you're feeling like you're going
insane, you're not the crazy one, and this is only temporary.
In the beginning,
this was an 'Elationship' which felt glorious! When it started to
become a Relationship is when you began having
problems--because Borderlines have no capacity for empathy,
and cannot relate to another's feelings, inner experiences
there are special qualities and characteristics this person has--and
if they didn't, you wouldn't have stuck around as long
as you did. You found yourself putting up with the painful, difficult
times--and yearning hungrily for the pleasurable ones you glimpsed
at the start. The problem is, you had to keep wading through so
much horseshit to get to the good stuff or
pony, it hardly seemed worth it.
It isn't the
crazy, abusive parts of a Borderline that are the most injurous
to you~ it's when they're lucid, and you wanna trust 'em again.
If a Borderline
lets you see their vulnerable side (which they loathe)
and you don't respond perfectly to it, they'll vilify you~ but the
truth is, they've rejected this aspect in themselves, so rather
than respond with hurt, they react with rage (how dare
You somehow confirm that these parts are "unacceptable").
If you keep
falling for BPD Waifs,
there's a damned good chance you were raised by one!
With a BPD individual,
you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop~ especially
after the good, loving, really close/intimate times. You can't relax
into those nourishing episodes, because your Borderline will inevitably
pick a fight with you soon after. Because of these come-here/go-away
periods, you develop an addiction
to adrenalin (high-octane body fuel, which makes you feel alive).
Whether he/she puts you in pain or pleasure, intense feelings
are triggered, and without them you feel dead inside. This is the
crux of your inescapable
obsession with a Borderline.
If getting blitzed
by a Borderline can happen to an emotionally over-cautious guy
like Hugh Hefner, it can certainly happen to you!
never marry for better or worse. They only marry for better.
You might feel
excruciating shame and regret, as your Borderline throws herself
into a rebound relationship, and leaves you behind. Your obsessive
response to this, is acutely tied to self-worth issues you've been
battling and compensating for, since childhood. Whether these boyhood
difficulties are consciously held or not, they've actually enabled
this woman to control and manipulate your self-image throughout
this entire relationship. While this tormenting pain you're feeling
is (in part) due to the scabs being torn off some early esteem wounds,
you must try to remember; the exact same patterns that you wrestled
with during this relationship, will be repeated with other suitors.
In other words, this broken doll you discarded, will not miraculously
become normal/well with some other guy who pulls her out of the
dumpster! Her disturbing, disruptive patterns are associated with
deeply entrenched survival mechanisms. Without skilled intervention,
she just can't help herself.
will often hint at their feelings (like not feeling in the mood
for sex, needing to leave the relationship, etc.), but the moment
you confront their meaning directly, they'll acuse you
of wanting out of it! They'll either rage at you or become the weepy,
injured, "abandoned" party. You cannot reason with a Borderline,
and make him/her see that it is they who initiated this
upset~ but you must firmly state/confront their attempt to manipulate
your feelings, and then take some time away--no matter how guilty
he/she tries to make you feel.
The most dangerous
element you share with a Borderline, is poor self-worth.
If you truly liked and respected yourself, you wouldn't be involved
with a damaged, self-sabotaging individual who's toxic and hurtful
You'll be attracted
to aspects in the Borderline, that are missing in yourself. If you're
a fixer/rescuer, you'll be drawn to the fragile/vulnerable facets
of The Waif. If you're meek/passive and afraid
to assert yourself, you'll be drawn to The Witch.
If you lack empowerment, and have discomfort/shyness around others
because you feel unworthy, you'll admire The Queen.
If your nature is outgoing/gregarious, but your family of origin
didn't share this characteristic, or saw their world as a dangerous/scary
place, you could find yourself inhibited (and limited) by The
We are reflexively
attracted to people who match our
own level of emotional development. Learn, Heal and Grow~
and raise your bar.
try to control you. The Witch controls with intimidation
and abuse. The Queen controls by making you feel inferior and defective.
The Waif controls by shaming and guilting you. The Hermit controls
by making you responsible for her survival, and inhibiting your
If you think
your waif-type Borderline won't survive without you and your help
or care, that's your narcissism
talking! He/she managed just fine before you two met, and they'll
continue to be fine long after you're gone.
is scary for most folks! Attachment means needing
someone emotionally, and feeling devastated when they leave or die.
Borderlines have acute attachment and abandonment fears from childhood,
that amp-up the volume on this very human concern. What you must
understand is, if you're persistently getting/staying involved
with people who are reluctant to attach, You struggle with precisely
the same issues.
how many female Borderlines have names like Candy, Amber, Bambi,
Misty, Kristie, etc. Kinda makes ya wonder if they might have had
a shot at growing up and becoming adults, if they'd been given different
monikers. (Well of course not--but it's an intriguing theory.)
Does your female
Borderline have Golden Vagina Syndrome? Are you starving
for affection and sex--but she always seems to have an excuse
(or mood) that gets in the way? Does she keep dangling promises
about sex she doesn't keep? Have you passively stood by, waiting
hungrily for her to throw you a bone--no matter how little meat
is on it? Have you tried to be sweet and gentle regarding your needs
for contact--presuming it's what she's needing to let you
in? You've let yourself be castrated, controlled and manipulated
by a sadistic female. The question is, how long
do you wanna keep being that guy--and how comfortable are
you, without your testicles?
into pain and humiliation, it's a lot cheaper to hire a Dominatrix.
may be wanting unequivocal proof that your guy or gal is indeed
a Borderline, because not every single trait listed for
BPD describes him/her. Humans are not all made with the same cookie-cutter,
and neither are Borderlines! If he/she's not a cutter
or doesn't threaten or attempt suicide, you'll want to believe this
diagnosis doesn't fit--but that's just wishful thinking on your
part. Are you struggling with shame and guilt in this relationship?
Is it ever possible to achieve conflict resolution with
your lover, or do they deflect it by shutting down or stripping
naked and seducing you, when it's time to talk about something important?
Keep reading and learning, m'dear.
fear that if they let you feel really good about yourself, you'll
leave them for somebody better! Yes, it's totally
idiotic--but no matter how beautiful or bright they are,
they're still extremely insecure and terrified of abandonment.
If you've found
the courage to break away from someone with BPD, and you're being
bombarded with text messages and phone calls that feel cajoling/seducing
or crazy-making, shaming and guilting--but they're pleading with
you to return, make sure you read this psycho-woman
phone message log (thanks to Dr. Tara @ Shrink4Men.com), to
help you maintain NO CONTACT.
may be a religious zealot who regularly goes to church, quotes bible
passages, talks about their piety, etc. They might take really good
care of neighbors in need and seem like pillars of the community,
but all this seems incongruent, when they treat You without kindness,
respect or empathy! Well my dears, the core principle of every
religion is: "Do unto others, as you would have them do
unto you." That's what empathy
actually means--but it's absent in someone with BPD. In short, they
can talk the talk--they just can't walk
same lines, your Borderline may think that he/she is a highly spiritual
person; "a child of God, who's worthy of love." The problem
is, no matter how many of these confirmations they give themselves
on a daily basis, they're so damaged and filled with self-loathing
and rage, they'll undermine and sabotage themselves at every turn!
Borderlines can't accept love--whether it's from you, or
God. The only Affirmations that can ever
work, are the ones we actually believe.
You will never
control whether your Borderline loves you or hates you (hour to
hour, day to day), but you MUST set
firm limits and boundaries for him/her, and command their respect!
(It's the only way you'll survive this relationship!) The
Borderline is like a person with no epidermis (they lack a container).
You must treat them like a three year old in an
adults body, and (like a good parent) provide the containment
they need. Given that your nature is likely passive,
you'll need help learning this technique.
stacks the deck by seducing your family and friends into
thinking he/she is the sweetest, smartest, most charming guy or
gal you could possibly hope to capture. The problem is, all those
people never see what happens behind closed doors! When you finally
start coming out of the ether and consider leaving, part
of your reluctance is; "what will they think of me,
for walking away from this (amazing) person?" They're not sleeping/living
with all this drama, chaos and tension--You are! Your
needs are what matter here.
of what you may have read or heard elsewhere, Borderlines do
not "get better" with age--unless
they've entered into (and stuck with) core trauma focused recovery
work. The longer these core
issues go untreated/unresolved, the more entrenched they
are, and the deeper and more habituated the one's defenses and acting-out
behaviors become. Age can't heal the borderline disordered personality--but
hard inner work can.
No matter how
beautiful, sweet, thoughtful, sexy or caring this gal you're dating
is, if she suddenly tells you she's
pregnant and won't consider abortion, you'd
better get yourself a crash helmet, 'cause you're
headed straight for a tornado! No emotionally healthy, sane female
will force a man to marry her, or pay child support for the next
eighteen years of his life. You may wanna be a dad someday--but
it's gotta be Your choice as to when and
with whom that happens. Anything
else, is entrapment! If you and your lover have developed
a stable and loving, ongoing/committed relationship that's built
on solid trust and mutual respect, you might have a shot
at being good partners (and parents). But then you wouldn't
be needing this web site, would you?
Make no mistake--these
are highly toxic relationships! You may think you
can just stick around for the goodies (like great sex, for instance),
but a Borderline's noxious allure will soon have you neglecting
your feelings and needs, your job or business, your health and finances,
your friends and family (even your kids) and before you know it,
you're in too deep to extract yourself or repair the lifestyle you
took for granted, before you met him or her. In short, no matter
how brilliant you are, you'll be just another statistic.
No matter how
smart or successful you've
become, you will never win with a Borderline,
nor have him/her view you as they did initially when this
romance (the Honeymoon phase) began. Once their distancing tactics
and criticisms begin, you'll naturally try to get back into their
good graces, so you can feel loved (and worthy) again, but it's
impossible. The shame that's invoked in you at this stage
triggers your compulsion to 'get it right' with your Borderline,
but you can't (which prompts even more shame). Seek
typically operate with an agenda. Very early in your romance
(like your second or third date), BPD females may talk of marriage,
kids, travel plans, new homes, etc. It's like they're always fast-forwarding
into the future, and weaving fantasies about how wonderful your
life will be, once this or that happens. You'll want to
believe that giving into these things will make their incessant
nagging and fixating stop--but it won't! Each time you give them
what they want, they find something new to pressure/harrangue
you about, and you keep feeling inadequate for not making
them "happy." Nobody can please a Borderline--he/she
is an empty, bottomless vessel of neediness and unresolved rage
one is better at raining on your parade than a
Borderline! When you go to great lengths to show 'em a good time
or plan a special event (like a birthday party, New Years Eve, Valentines
Day, etc.) they'll find a way to beat you up for it, either during
or after this lovely occasion. They can't simply appreciate your
kindness and generosity--their glass is always
half-empty. Especially good/close feelings prompt attachment anxiety,
and they have to push you away with complaints about something/anything
(like an 'engagement ring' you haven't given them yet, or how "rude"
you were to a friend of theirs three months ago). The upshot? You've
bent over backwards to show him/her how much you care--and they
take a shit on that gift, and rub your nose in it! Don't
ever expect this to change.
asked if Borderlines can love.
Sure--but love is a sustainable emotion, and an (untreated)
Borderline is only capable of feeling any/all emotions
on a very transient/short-term basis. This is the crux of those
love-you/hate-you episodes, brief bouts of guilt (which is really
core shame), histrionic outbursts, etc. Like a three year old,
their moods shift on a dime, and so do their emotions. If this were
not true, they couldn't behave as if "everything's
fine," soon after a meltdown or blow-out with you!
Disorder (BPD) is too often confused with Bipolar Disorder. They're
very different, although a person may be dual-diagnosed with both.
Acting-out behaviors (like extreme/unfounded jealousy) are common
with BPD--but not Bipolar
Disorder. Learn to differentiate them!!!
you're thinking you can maintain a friendship with a Borderline
after your romance falls apart, think again! First
of all, real friendship is built on mutual trust, respect
and consideration. Second, the Borderline will keep you around just
to meet his/her needs (so what else is new?) and
yours will continue to go unmet. Third, when she/he is
getting involved with their next victim, you'll be used for leverage
in that relationship--a virtual tool to keep the present lover on-edge
and insecure (remember that??). Fourth, he/she will extol their
new lover's virtues, to where you're thinking; what am I,
chopped liver?? Fifth, whenever your ex-Borderline thinks
it serves him/her, they'll use their new love's "feelings,"
or their own (supposed) moral highground as an excuse to
break away from your lovely friendship--and you'll be dropped on
your head all over again. Don't play the fool--it'll only
come back to haunt and hurt you!
often feel the need to defend yourself when
you're in love with a Borderline. He/she will accuse you of the
most ridiculous betrayals, and malign your character. Their intense
jealousy is directly proportionate to their insecurity,
and lack of self-worth has them conjuring up all sorts of fantasies
which have nothing to do with your actual behaviors! No
matter how hard you try, you'll never talk him/her out of their
feelings or misconceptions, or get them to listen to reason. This
exact same issue will keep repeating, 'cause it isn't about you
(beyond having gotten involved with a damaged soul) and
You are not equipped to fix him or her!
Your new love
interest might tell you very soon after meeting, that they're a
Borderline, or they have Borderline Personality Disorder. You may
never have heard of this before, and might think it's no big deal.
Think again! People usually tell you what you need
to know about them, right up front. Maybe it's not in the words
they say--but if you're paying close attention to their behaviors,
there are warning signs you definitely shouldn't ignore!
Even if you know a bit about BPD, you could be inclined to think;
"gee, isn't it lovely this person is being so open and honest
with me, and surely he/she is trustworthy" but they're
actually cautioning you about what lies ahead. If you stick
around, they presume you've made a well-informed choice, they're
off the hook for any emotional responsibility, and You're
at fault for thinking this could work out! Don't just walk away--RUN.
how amazing the sex is, or how gorgeous this woman or man is, they'll
leave you hurting--and life won't feel worth living for awhile.
Waif is notorious for making you feel guilty and ashamed.
He/she will clobber you with pitiful diatribes about how much they
"love" you, and if you could just return their
love, you'd have a blissfully happy relationship. Two things are
terribly wrong here: For openers, no matter how loving you are to
a Borderline, they can't accept or retain it--it's like pouring
thousands of gallons of water into a well that has a huge fracture
at the bottom. Nobody can fill a bottomless pit,
so quit trying! Secondly, if they're not getting what they want
from you, why are they bothering to stick around?? They're
needing to punish someone for their emptiness and self-loathing,
and you're an easier target than their parents! Healthy
people don't stay in relationships that are painful or toxic. One
of you must find the courage to break away, and end this destructive
Borderline might frequently object to being "analyzed"
by you, and he/she is entitled to get angry about this!
You've learned to separate from your more vulnerable or difficult
feelings since early childhood, and you've gotten very busy (in
your head) trying to figure out the confusing or confounding treatment
you've received at the hands of others. In short, you've learned
to control your own emotional pain by thinking your way
through life as opposed to feeling your way along.
Rather than being able to express how the Borderline's behaviors
make you feel, you micro-analyze virtually everything you're
exposed to, due to early conditioning that has you needing to be
in a 'one-up' position in your relationships, and feel in-control.
It's this reflex in you, that's igniting your partner's fiery reaction--and
it won't just happen with Borderlines.
might begin therapy--but it's generally in the midst of a crisis.
As soon as their major upheaval has settled or passed, they often
terminate treatment before the growth part of the work can be done.
If you're treating a Borderline, the most you can expect
to accomplish is 'damage control' (unless they're highly
motivated to mend) because any healing and growth that brings about
substantial/lasting change, is way too frightening.
family man married to a Borderline might think that
staying for "the kid's sake" is the most reasonable and
best option--but it's not! The assumption is, they
can provide more 'stability' for their children if they remain in-house,
rather than separating from the madness. This works fine
in theory, but not in practice, because Borderlines are typically
crazy-making. So now, we've basically got an entire family living
in an asylum, and those children have no alternate frame
of reference for normal adult interactions.
As kids learn from example, they've learned what 'marriage' is from
You! They typically grow up to create these same dysfunctional dynamics
in their own marriages--or become commitment phobic, and
never marry at all.
of the most painful aspects of having loved a Borderline, is that
after the affair's over, they appear to move on with their
life as if you never mattered to them, and your nose is rubbed in
it! Facebook or MySpace
postings about their new partners or activities make it seem as
if you've been obliterated from their memory and wiped off the face
of the earth. If you're unlucky enough to see them out in public,
they're acting flirty and jubilant (as if this break-up hasn't impacted
them at all), while you're still licking your wounds, wondering
how the hell you're gonna get through each day without him or her.
This issue is twofold; first, the Borderline has been dissociating
from difficult feelings since they were very young (they're masterful
at it)--and two, regardless of who left whom, they need to find
immediate sources of ego gratification to soothe their emptiness
and self-loathing--which you're not allowed to see,
any more than when you were with them! This is their defense
mechanism; it's not about You, so try not to personalize it.
is about sharing genuine feelings and thoughts, and not
about relating one's entire romantic history--or highlighting his/her
failed relationships and how "awful" all those people
were to them!
You may feel flattered a person is sharing these private
details with you immediately after meeting him/her, but don't
be. This has nothing to do with intimacy, and you shouldn't
regard it as such. It typically means they have nothing meaningful
or interesting to share about themselves--and they're showing
you how poorly they've handled loving! You
should take this as a warning sign
that you're likely with a Borderline. You may want to be a sympathetic,
concerned listener, but he/she is just setting the tone for this
relationship--and no matter how wonderfully you treat them, you
could one day be added to that list! You're signing-on to be this
person's dumping ground--and this is your 'audition' with an emotional
vampire. They'll be using you, instead of seeking a therapist
who can help them resolve their unfinished business.
Many of us grew
up having to make sense of confusing, painful experiences at home,
and the feelings we had in relation to them. Hence, we spent a lot
of time in our heads trying to figure others
out, and this became second nature/automatic to us. When you're
struggling to survive being dumped by a Borderline, obsessional
thinking about him/her is the natural reflex you adopted as
a kid to survive early-onset confusion and chaos, and escape painful
emotions about it. When you begin learning how to respect/honor
your feelings and detach them from the object
of your obsession, you'll start growing beyond this current pain,
If you have
a Savior Complex and feel you absolutely must save
someone, give serious consideration to engaging the help of
a skilled professional, who can help you learn how to start saving
In the beginning
of this relationship (the honeymoon phase) your Borderline mirrored
everything you've always wanted/needed to believe about yourself.
As your dance continued however, he/she echoed how you
truly felt about yourself deep down beneath all your accomplishments,
your successes and the great guy or gal you've worked hard to become.
That's the hold they've had on you, and how they could turn your
world upside-down and inside-out. You tried valiantly to get back
to that self-image you had with them initially, which was
a futile exercise.
are never responsive--they're reactive.
studies are suggesting there's a
link between ADHD (seldom seen or diagonosed in females) and
Borderline Personality Disorder. Attention
deficit issues are attended by mood cycles, which can
heighten acting-out behaviors. This newfound awareness may help
us more easily discern what type of pharmaceutical intervention
can lead to favorable outcomes. This is not to imply that BPD issues
are solely neuro-chemical rather than emotional, but we may begin
to treat/manage the symptoms of this disorder differently
and more effectively.
If you weren't
a passive personality, it's extremely unlikely you'd have
stuck with a borderline disordered individual for any length of
time, nor allowed him/her to keep beating you up with harassing
phone calls, incessant criticisms, abusive text messages, etc. Your
nature actually contributed to the chaos in your BPD relationship--and
this aspect in you will undermine future romances,
no matter how healthy/sound your new partners are. Passive
individuals might be bad or good people--but
they're always frightened, disempowered ones.
personalities are typically consummate actors.
They're adept at ad-libbing, especially when you catch
them in a lie, or they've done something that undermines your trust.
They'll twist the facts and make you doubt your perceptions--no
matter how much concrete evidence is stacked against them!
This is the crazy-making part.
You may want
unequivocal proof that your partner is in fact, a Borderline
despite all the material you've read here and elsewhere, that perfectly
describes a lot of your relationship experiences. Ask yourself if
anything would change in terms of your longing for this
person, if you had absolute confirmation that this was true--and
while you're at it, check-in with how you've been feeling
in that relationship! Do you often feel guilty, ashamed, sad, anxious
or angry? Are you frowning much more than you're smiling? Let that
be your barometer, as to whether you should stick around.
to popular belief, you are not attracted to someone
who's like your opposite sex parent (boys to their mothers,
girls to their fathers). You're attracted to someone who's like
the parent (of either gender) with whom you had the most
difficulties or issues!
are exceptionally bright, which can make them seem rational, sane
and healthy (at times). These intermittent episodes help to convince
you it's your fault or shortcoming that's destroyed
this relationship, and keep you striving to make it work! They seize
upon things you did (or didn't do) to clobber you with, whenever
there's opportunity to problem-solve, and you'll be guilted and
shamed each time, for not doing something 'right-enough' for them.
In truth, you can never please a Borderline,
no matter how hard you try--but you'll be inclined to hold Yourself
accountable, for disappointing her or him. This makes no sense whatsoever,
until you start resolving the painful issues from childhood, that
made you susceptible to this person.
Disorder is not a "mental disease." It's
an acute emotional
disturbance that stems from childhood neglect and abuse.
As a People
Pleaser, you've grown up making allowances and excuses for everyone
else's fuck-ups, but you've never given Yourself the same consideration
or margin for error. How much sense does that make??
seeks its own level. Both you and your Borderline have had to
cope with childhood wounds to your sense of Self, and these unhealed
injuries attracted you to each other and made you feel
like you'd found your 'soul mate.' We're drawn to people who match
our level of emotional development. Your very best
option is to begin to heal and grow, so you can make wiser, more
with a Borderline, you're hypervigilant about discerning his/her
moods before you can determine yours (you
would have learned this in childhood). This is unhealthy enmeshment,
which means you're always taking their emotional temperature
to decide whether you should be happy or sad. Get help to learn
how to discern and honor your feelings, and start
taking your emotional temperature, instead.
A healthy, whole
person is as comfortable receiving in a relationship as
giving. Emotionally developed, sound adults seek reciprocal
partnerships, not codependent
ones with folks they can try to control, fix, teach or rescue. Healthy
people want to be on a balanced playing field with their
significant others. They want to build something solid with someone,
rather than taking on a high-maintenance 'project' who generates
chaos, drama and pain.
are damaged, but you're not gonna change that--and it doesn't
give them the right to treat you badly, and drain the life-force
out of you like a succubus!
very worst thing about having loved a Borderline, is that when the
relationship's over, you haven't just lost them--you've
lost yourself. It's impossible to hold
onto You, when you're involved with a borderline disordered individual.
They make you question your every move and motive, second-guess
all your feelings and thoughts as to how they'll be construed by
the Borderline, and fear being punished for crimes you
haven't committed. In the midst of it all, your character's
constantly impugned. Nobody can live like this, and retain any sense
of Self. If you left home to get away from someone's control
and abuse--why would you be wanting more of it??
end of your relationship is abrupt, or it's dying a slow painful
death, there's a behavior Borderlines engage in--which I've
coined, the Redundant Interaction Phenomenon (or RIP). RIP
is when they keep stating the exact same wounding things
to you over and over, as if you need more nails driven
into that coffin! You might hear, "I'm
not attracted to you--I don't love you anymore--I wish it could've
worked between us," etc. Every time
your Borderline says this stuff, it feels like they're pounding
a stake through your heart, or lopping off your balls--but why the
hell do they need to keep reiterating it, to where you
wanna leap across that lunch table, and throttle 'em?! God only
knows why they do it--but if you'd heard them the first
time, why keep taking their calls, or showing up
for more pain??
When the relationship's
ended, the 'no-contact' rule is there to help you
break your dependency on this person, and all the chaos and drama
that came with the deal. When you're withdrawing from heroine, you're
not sticking a needle in your arm, right? This is an addiction
like any other. When you want to get sober, you've gotta stay away
from booze, bars and broads.
time you read, listen to or respond to your BPD ex's messages, you're
giving away your power, and perpetuating your anguish!
You'll be inclined
to assume your Borderline is thinking about and missing you
as much as you do her/him, which is incorrect! This is not
to say that you won't show up on their radar (now and then) when
they're struggling with their own emptiness and self-loathing--but
it's not about You, or what you might have meant
to them. The 'myths' section of this
article speaks to your questions and concerns.
No matter how
relentlessly you mirrored your Borderline to mitigate his/her negative
self-image, it fell on deaf ears and you couldn't alter their mindset.
In truth, all the compliments, encouragements, bolstering and flattery
in the world can't change their core beliefs about how unworthy
of love they are. Their impulse is to try to prove you wrong
for your views (prompting more acting-out behaviors). Alongside
this, how could they possibly respect you for loving them, when
they feel so despicable and unlovable? (Yet another reason to reject
you!) No amount of cheerleading can make a dent in a Borderline's
self-loathing. The phenomenon of 'splitting' occurs when their own
feelings of shame and lack are projected
When your Borderline
was upset, angry, sad or stressed, you might have mistakenly tried
to talk them out of their feelings. Maybe you wanted to reason
with him/her, and help them see their situation logically or
practically (to no avail). Any effort to fix, train, teach or rescue
a Borderline from their immediate struggle is fruitless. First,
this is your need
to feel needed and in control of any/all situations, and I doubt
you'd relish someone responding to you in this manner.
Second, there's futility in behaving this way with a distressed
Borderline, because they're emotionally three years
old. A toddler has no capacity for reasoning or mood regulation,
and neither does your BPD lover! Most the time, they've just needed
to vent--and your only effective strategy is empathic mirroring;
"I can see that you're (upset, anxious,
sad), and I'm sorry you're struggling with these feelings. If you
want my input, just ask--and I'll do what I can to help."
If you're fairly
certain your BPD ex is rebounding with someone
who's better looking, wealthier, brighter, thinner, more loving,
etc., in most instances, this is a totally erroneous assumption!
It's unlikely you'll accept this at present, but the Borderline
is more prone to choosing an easier mark the next time
around--even if it's someone who feels stuck in an unfulfilling
marriage. In truth, many non's are utterly shocked
when they finally discover who he/she has deserted them for (and
they mostly feel insulted, rather than jealous). This relentless
preoccupation with who the new lover is, taps into childhood
wounds that deflated your self-esteem.
remember the good times, and you'll have to work really hard to
recall the bad ones. That's human nature. Let the rational (left)
side of your brain do your thinking for you, while you're letting
your heart hurt. Longing is normal, and you're missing the closeness--but
balance that with a written inventory of all the times he/she made
you feel inadequate, rejected, unworthy, ashamed, etc., and read
that list aloud, at least once a day!
What makes us
happy? Watch this video--it holds a secret to your enduring, self-inflicted
struggle with the Borderline; http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html
Do you remember
all the kind, loving, thoughtful gestures you made, and how dismissive
or under-appreciative your lover was about them? Remember how you
could never do enough, or be enough to please him/her or
make them happy? I suspect you grew up with a parent
who made you feel this way--and none of that was about
You! In truth, nobody can fill a well that has
a huge fracture at the bottom--but loving a Borderline feels exactly
like that, and it's foolish to keep trying.
get involved with someone who has more problems than you!
If you're making
yourself wrong or 'bad' for any mean, angry thoughts you're entertaining,
let yourself up off the mat. If someone you barely knew, treated
you like your Borderline did, you'd punch their lights out! Feel
the rage, get yourself a baseball bat, golf club or belt, and whack
the hell out of your mattress with it, as hard and long as you can.
You'll be pretty surprised by how you feel afterward.
you've been dropped on your head, you'll feel totally confused about
how and why this happened. You'll obsess endlessly about this, trying
to make sense of it--'cause that's what we humans do, to bring some
degree of order to our life. You won't understand why he/she
shut you out or cheated on you, right
after declaring their undying love! You can't relate to
these behaviors, and that's why they're confounding to you--but
all this is just standard operating procedure for the Borderline!
In other words, all their acting-out or
acting-in behaviors simply come with the (BPD) territory.
myself if you leave (or don't return)" is your Borderline's
way of controlling you, your feelings and your behaviors. Emotional
blackmail works wonderfully with folks who are
People Pleasers, rescuers or fixers, and have dragged around codependency
issues their whole lives. The BPD
Waif is notorious for using this tactic,
and you can't let yourself be taken-in by it! If you believe you're
solely what's standing between someone committing suicide or not,
you've got narcissistic features. Give the Borderline an
800 # for the suicide prevention hotline, recommend they
call 911 and/or see a mental health professional--and take your
cannot change or fix someone else. You can only change
Borderline mother or father may have beat the living daylights out
of you--but soon after, asked you to give them a hug or kiss. They
might have said things like, "who do you love?"
or "Tell me how much you love me" when you were
still trying to recover from their latest assault! This makes a
child grow up with skewed, conflicting notions about love--and
of course, your Borderline partner simply reconstitutes all that
childhood trauma and confusion.
holds the darker
feelings and facets that you've amputated out of your personality
structure, since early childhood. He or she will act-out
the emotions (anger, envy, jealousy, etc.) you've always believed
are bad or wrong. When you finally decide to become a whole
personality instead of half-a-one, you won't keep choosing these
intense, troubling, dysfunctional relationships to balance-out your
Self any longer.
To be continued
. . .
you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod this app will let you hear
here, to determine if you're in an abusive relationship!
MY BPD LOVER BE RIGHT ABOUT ME??
may phone for assistance, but I
do not offer online/written therapy. Only emails under
150 words are read, due to time constraints. Please
be clear/concise, and expect a straight answer within four to six