Borderline Personality and Abuse Cycle
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is highly associated with verbal abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, and/or domestic violence often suffered by those who are non-borderline.
The propensity for abusiveness in those with BPD can be instigated by the narcissistic injury that is at the heart of the core wound of abandonment. Borderline Personality Disorder is its own diagnosis and is not the exact same as Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
- Borderline Personality and Abuse
- Intra-Psychic Pain Is the Root
- Borderline Rage
- Emotional and Psychological Arrest
- Why Life Can Seem Constantly Painful
- The Cycle Continues
- Borderline Personality and Abuse Awareness
- Borderline Personality and Abuse “The Dance”
- The Pain of Borderline Relating
- What Non-Borderline’s Need to Do
Borderline Personality and Abuse
Those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or those with BPD who may not even know they have it, are more likely than the general population to be verbally, emotionally/psychologically, physically abusive.
But what is behind the connection between Borderline Personality and abuse?
The reality of this is such because borderlines lack a known, consistent self, and they struggle with abandonment fears and abandonment depression that stem directly from a primal core wound of abandonment that arrests their emotional and psychological development in the very first few months of life.
This arrested development impacts most, if not all, areas of relating and leaves borderlines unable to interact in age-appropriate healthy ways.
Ways of relating that unfold in the present and that aren’t layered with deep intra-psychic pain – pain that is unresolved.
Intra-Psychic Pain Is the Root
The roots of abuse in BPD, particularly in intimate significant other relationships with Non-Borderlines have their genesis in the borderline’s re-living of this deep intra-psychic pain.
Pain that is triggered through attempts to be emotionally intimate with someone else. The intimacy that non-personality-disordered people enjoy is stressful and overwhelming to the borderline.
It enlivens the borderline’s worst nightmare – the unresolved pain of the core wound of abandonment.
It arouses all the maladaptive defenses of the borderline because he/she re-experiences the terror and panic of either his/her past experience of feeling annihilated or engulfed and/or his/her fear of being annihilated or engulfed, often alternately when trying to be close to someone one else.
This sets up an approach-avoidance conflict, a “get-away-closer” style of trying to relate that has its roots in the “I hate-you-don’t-leave-me” struggle of the borderline who experiences any withdrawal of intense, close, (albeit also threatening) intimacy, attachment or bond as a threat to his or her safety at best, and entire existence (psychologically) at worst.
Add to this that when there is any distancing or break in the intensity and symbiotic-like closeness (if in fact closeness is ultimately achieved) the borderline then fears, and/or feels abandoned.
This conflict of fearing or re-experiencing annihilation versus engulfment and then the re-experiencing of the fear of or actual feelings of abandonment that the borderline experiences, often subconsciously, in trying to be in relationship to other, causes the borderline to be triggered back to his/her original core wound of abandonment feelings in such a way as to trigger the primal feelings of helplessness, loss of control, needs equaling survival, thwarted needs being akin with the death of the lost self.
This whirlwind of unregulated emotion meeting with fear and distrust generates the original feelings of rage that this core wound of abandonment aroused in the first place.
A Wound of Abandonment Can Feel Like Psychological Death
The core wound of abandonment, when one is very young and experiences it, is the experience of psychological death. It is intense and arouses the borderline to fight for survival while they experience the sheer terror of feeling like they might actually just die or be killed by what they are feeling.
This heightened state of arousal is both psychological and biological – it is physiological. It is a strong drive to survive and rage is at its core.
Rage is the most primal feeling generated and the most protective defense that a young infant can muster to try to have the caregiver return to once again provide some sense of being for the infant.
Feelings and reactions of rage are experienced by those who go on to develop BPD so early in life that they precede cognitive and verbal development.
This is what makes borderline rage so primal, so intense, and in the case of the borderline so raw and unmanageable in terms of often triggered dysregulated emotion of those with BPD.
It is pain that has long-since been dissociated from and abandoned by the borderline. This abandoned pain of BPD is the ignition switch that needs only the hint or flicker of an emotional flame to ignite a combustible, all-too-often abusive rage like no other.
This is what the borderline regresses to.
When the borderline is in a regressed and to varying degrees dissociated experience, the non-borderline partner is experienced by the borderline as that withdrawing or abandoning caretaker from the past that was needed for literal physical and psychological survival.
Issues That Trigger Rage
When the non-borderline partner, living, On The Other Side of BPD isn’t focusing 100% of his or her attention on the borderline (especially if you have actually attained closeness) and there is any experienced or even perceived break in the symbiotic connection that enables the borderline to feel somewhat secure (like the not having to attend to a child, or go to the washroom or any simple thing) – even when stressed by the closeness – and already beginning to cycle to the fear of the loss of it – the borderline will often react from this cesspool of ever-churning rage which is the protection for the very vulnerable and young abandoned pain of the borderline. This ends in a lashing out by the borderline personality, abuse is often the end result.
Different Expressions of Borderline Rage
All rage is not expressed the same way. All borderlines do not abuse in the same ways.
As you will see in my next article, there are many different forms that the abuse generated by this narcissistic woundedness takes. Some borderlines rage, literally, they scream and yell and throw things or hit people.
While other borderlines (known as quiet or “acting in” borderlines) may rage in such passive-aggressive ways that the non-borderline might not realize that the borderline is raging.
Rage is Always Smouldering
This inherent free-floating, always-at-the-ready rage, if you will, is the root source of a lot of the varying types and styles of abuse that non-borderlines are bombarded with.
It can often be sudden and seem to come out of nowhere because the source of it is deep inside the psyche of the borderline.
Emotional and Psychological Arrest
Borderlines lack a known self. They have not been able to emotionally or psychologically mature beyond a very early stage of emotional developmental arrest.
An emotional/psychological arrest that takes place when the developing authentic self essentially experiences a death, is lost to the borderline and is then supplanted by the false self.
Why Life Can Seem Constantly Painful
Life, for those with BPD, is, to say the least, one devastatingly painful experience of trying to live and exist in the absence of a known self in the fragmented pieces of the blurred experience of the here and now enmeshed with the past.
It is one perpetual separation-individuation crisis void of the big picture until and unless it can be resolved.
Current Feelings Trigger Past Wounds
Borderlines do not learn how to cope with the feelings that they have in the here and now, that trigger past intense unresolved feelings of the actual loss of the psychological self.
Lack of Object Constancy
Borderlines lack the ability to hold in any consistent or congruent way object constancy.
They experience relatedness as being as fragile as out of sight out of mind.
A bond that a non-borderline feels exists between him/herself and the borderline whether he/she is in the presence of the borderline or not is not something that the borderline can psychologically remember, trust, or believe.
Object constancy or any connectedness or attachment that could be defined as “secure” is fleeting for the borderline who has not been able to develop object constancy.
The fleeting nature of this inability on the part of those with BPD to hold object constancy in any consistent or congruent way leaves those with BPD in a very painful place – literally between a rock and a hard place in what is the classic relational no-win of an untreated person with BPD.
Loss of Authentic Self
This loss of the authentic psychological self is re-experienced over and over again and the fear of it and the fear of the pain of it grows each and every time one is triggered back to it.
The Cycle Continues
This builds both anger and a continually proliferating inability to cope with it in any constructive way.
Anything short of intense symbiotic connection that is uninterrupted will once again send the borderline cycling back around the re-experiencing of everything associated with the core wound of abandonment.
As the borderline cycles back to this enraging and vulnerable – which isn’t tolerable – place of abandonment depression (Masterson) and abandonment trauma so too begins the apex of the likelihood of abuse.
Along with abuse of all sorts, the result of this cycle is often a punishing talionic impulse acted on in the heat of the triggered-dissociated moment by the borderline in what are known as repetition compulsions.
Borderline Personality and Abuse Awareness
Most borderlines, until and unless they have substantial and successful therapy are not consciously aware of what I am describing here.
- Some are totally oblivious to their behavior.
- Some see their behavior as a means to an end and take little to no responsibility for it or any of its consequences.
- Others understand that they have acted poorly again, pissed someone off, have once again made real the threat of and/or fear abandonment and loss, but they do not understand why they’ve done it.
- Similarly, they have no clue how to stop it.
- Others project it out onto the non-borderline and think that everything that has come from them was actually done to them by the non-borderline.
This can be a crazy-making experience for the non-borderline. This is of little consolation to the non-borderline, however. It does not, at all, justify the abuse.
Will a Person With BPD Ever Change?
However, clearly I write about this here to say that if a borderline is not getting treatment, and I mean for real, not just going through the motions type of treatment, there is no logical reason to even begin to believe that the abuse that any borderline in your life is perpetrating upon you will stop.
The very thing that you most want from your borderline (or wanted if you’ve left the relationship) in terms of what it means to have a relationship and to relate was not ever even on the table because the borderline is not an emotionally/psychologically mature being.
BPD’s Immature Relational Ability
The borderline is still a very wounded and very young child, emotionally, in terms of the ability or understanding of how to actually relate to others.
This is the case because what borderlines do is not relate to others for who they are but as an extension of the borderline – and more to the point – as an extension of the parent (usually mother) that most failed them or by whom the borderline most feels abandoned, for whatever reason(s).
No Concept of The Real Self
The borderline has no idea who he/she really is. He/she often feels as if he/she does not exist.
This is especially true if the borderline does not have an other to project all of his/her feelings out onto and an other from whom they then require the mirroring back of an identity of what is a painful lack of known self.
Borderline Personality and Abuse “The Dance”
In her book, The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple, Joan Lachkar, Ph.D., writes,
“For the borderline, the focus is primarily on bonding and attachment issues. Borderlines often form addictive love relationships (including normal dependency), they form parasitic relationships, and project their needs in hostile, threatening ways. Because their defenses and demands are excessive, borderlines tend to remain in the dance, rarely achieving their aims.”
The dance that Lachkar refers to, in my past, for me, as I look back now many years into recovery when I was borderline, was one of seeking to re-invent, re-experience, re-do, the ruptured relationship with my mother.
This wound caused me to lose my authentic self to the defensive and manipulative abusive narcissistic defenses of the borderline false self in such a way that would once and for all satiate the developmental needs arrested at the time of my core wound of abandonment and teach me how to actually bond without feeling like it would kill me.
The dance, for me, was one of seeking to recreate and recapture that symbiotic relationship that I never had the chance to have with my mother, through others, in an end-justifies-the-means kind of way, that was, at times, very abusive to others in my life, in the past, on my part.
That dance was a complicated punishing and unforgiving dance of codependency through which I sought to resolve what for years seemed like the unresolvable woundedness that was the source of my rage and the abuse that I perpetrated against others in the name of trying to actually be psychologically born which is necessary in order to get on and stay on the road to recovery.
Narcissistic Defense Mechanisms
Most, if not all borderlines, have, as a result of this core wound of abandonment, a well-developed defense mechanism of narcissism and also have varying degrees of narcissistic injury that manifests in the and through the false self.
This narcissistic injury or wound and its subsequent usage as a defense mechanism along with the narcissism seen in the false self of those with BPD are not to be lumped together with Narcissistic Personality Disorder – they are not one and the same at all.
Incapable of Adult Intimacy
Borderlines who live from a false self and who do not have an active and keen awareness of their own core wound of abandonment and their abandoned pain are not capable of age-appropriate adult intimacy or relating.
It is from the core of this emotional dysfunction that borderlines end up abusing either themselves, others, or both. Non-borderlines, are often on the receiving end of many types of abuse.
The Pain of Borderline Relating
The very nature of borderline relating makes for a dysfunctional and toxic relational style that non-borderlines will benefit greatly from learning more about so that they can deepen their understanding of BPD and also take care of themselves.
Many non-borderlines come to realize that they want and/or need to break free from the puzzling and painful maze that is borderline relating. Relating that is more often than not abusive.
What Non-Borderline’s Need to Do
If you are a non-borderline and you are being abused by someone with BPD, you need to take care of yourself. It won’t do you or the borderline any good to deny or excuse his or her abuse and think that having a personality disorder justifies it in any way – it does not.
You cannot control what a person with BPD does, but, you can make choices about what you will and what you will not live with. Once you make that choice you need to identify and make known boundaries that are firmly explained and firmly enforced consistently.
Many non-borderlines do not realize that the sane choice for them if the borderline in their lives is not getting help and/or cannot take personal responsibility and stop and change any and all abusive behavior and/or relating, is to leave, break free and take care of themselves.
© A.J. Mahari
This is the most stigmatising, ignorant rubbish I have ever read. I have bpd. I am not abusive. stop making assumptions !
My girlfriend has bpd and treats me like shit so yah it happens deal with it
Hahahaha proving you are not abusive by BEING ABUSIVE. Classic borderline.
Nick, so true.
I had the same thing on YouTube
yes, deal with it….at your own peril.
Wrong! I am married to a bpd and it is exactly what happens.
I have dated a BPD for 5 years. If you are not aware of the truth behind this, you are not experiencing BPD. This article articulates the cycles clearly; They are real and dangerous to the health of the bpd and the non. Dangerous to the point of physical illness or death.
My BPD wife just tore apart our family after having everything a woman could want. They are incapable or real intimacy.
As did my wife of 19 years… This is an excellent article to explain things.
This article describes an personal experience with a BPD and states that not all BPD’s abuse in the same way. I have a relative with BPD. Every encounter with her fills me with anxiety. Before we even meet I go through a series of emails inviting me to meet, I agree, then nothing, then another request and agreement from me and this can go on over months and eventually we’ll either meet, or she’ll accuse me of not responding to her request. Before we meet she’ll harass me for not picking up my phone quickly enough when she calls to tell me she’s on her way, when she arrives, she’ll get angry and call me ‘slow’ because it takes me 2 minutes to come down 3 flights of stairs to open the door. Or after arranging to meet at a restaurant where I’m waiting for her, she’ll call to tell me she’s waiting at my home because the parking was too difficult at the restaurant and then say, she’s not hungry and just wants to go for a drive. Her most insidious behaviour is driving a wedge between her sisters. She’ll spend months communicating with both telling both, that she doesn’t communicate with the other, meantime bulling each of them into disliking the other and digging out any resentment they may have towards each other until it ends with one of them blowing up and having a big argument with the other. She then goes back to the one on the receiving end of the argument to commiserate and telling that one how wicked the other is. Believe me, walking on egg shells doesn’t even cover it, more like walking around grenades. Our last encounter, I’d had enough. I’d invited her to join me and my friends for lunch. She sat down and immediately said to me “I don’t want to see your face today” so I said to her, ‘that’s easily solved, you can leave, this is my lunch with my friends, you are my guest and if you don’t want to see me, go home” That shut her up, but believe me it never ends, I have distanced her, won’t meet her with anyone else, because the attention has to be on her at all times and to achieve that end, she’ll belittle me or talk over me. I don’t invite her to my home because she’ll find fault with my housekeeping, the quality of my food or wine. I meet her about once every 18 months, in a restaurant and if she doesn’t want to eat, that’s fine, she can drink. I won’t introduce her to friends anymore because she tries to drive a wedge, so we’re left with rare meetings and always in public places and I am feeling increasingly that I don’t even want to do that because the lead up to a meeting is so tiring and anxiety provoking. I’ve spent years trying to bond with her and realise it will never happen and I don’t want to put myself through this level of anxiety, and anger, for anyone.
Maybe you’re the exception, but yes, many people with BDP are abusive, manipulative, self-centered, arrogant, reckless, hateful, vengeful, and more. My ex-boyfriend has exhibited all the BDP traits. It helps to read other sources and educate yourself, you could be in denial. You sound angry – may be your wounds have been ignited or you seek attention. I could be wrong – so could you. Cheers.
Spot on A.J., thank you.
You sound like my wife when she’s screaming “I’m not angry”…
You’ve abused the writer and tried to silence the writer with your abusive and abrasive approach, in an attempt to devalue an excellent resource for those who’ve suffered horrendously from a bpd loved one or former loved one and in so doing have aimed to devalue the said writer’s person and ability yet you’ve failed miserably!
I am recently diagnosed with bpd, my husband has said for years that I have it. One of the many hard parts of this disorder is to see and admit our abusiveness. I want to blame it on my husband for calling me hurtful names and getting angry at me, not taking the responsibility myself. He doesn’t want to be around me any more or talk to me. So my issues with abandonment are becoming a reality because of me. I’m in a really rough place right now, trying to deal with my bpd and keep hope of saving my demolished marriage, and not do self harm. This is real and its hard but I’m gonna take it one step at a time and have faith in God. Only He knows what tomorrow will bring.
I agree…i am not violent, abusive or any of that crap….maybe those people are just manipulative assholes with a fancy name..
I’ve been diagnosed with BPD and I am abusive. It’s hard to admit it but it’s true. You don’t feel like an abuser because you don’t even know who you are. So to put a label like “abuser” on a person that literally doesn’t know who they are can be rough and often stigmatizing. But admitting it is always the first step. Even after being treated for a year, and I mean I am taking this 100% seriously because I love my partner, I’m still abusive, experiencing rage and dissociating. It’s a struggle, and saying sorry is never enough because sorry doesn’t change the bruises or the feelings of helplessness that my partner has.
Yeah, not everyone is the same, of course. But denying the truth is harmful– to yourself and to your loved ones. If you aren’t abusive toward another person, then oftentimes you are abusive toward yourself (for me was starving and cutting. I didn’t deserve food, and I deserve the pain.) Fortunately, I have gotten through abusing myself, but now I have to work toward not letting my rage hurt my loved one.
There are no assumptions being made, this is the reality being faced by many family members of loved ones with BDP that go untreated. I’m glad that you aren’t abusive, and there are many with BPD that aren’t. This article was written to educate and advise those that are and those that are dealing with loved ones who have BPD and aren’t being treated or are being undertreated.
The piece is not meant to be stigmatizing, in fact the author, AJ Mahari has herself recovered from BPD and writes extensively on the subject. I stand behind her fully, and I stand behind the article. If you’d like to present an opposing viewpoint, please feel free to present me with an article and I’ll consider publishing it.
Hello Sean. I have written an article that, although is not an opposing viewpoint, is written from the other perspective as the husband of a BP wife. We have an increasingly successful relationship, stemming from a great deal of hard work, so what I have to say is written from personal experience, like AJ Majari, but I am not a mental health professional. I think that what I write would be valuable because, unlike many husbands who are desperately searching the web for answers to their chaotic relationships, I am well past the anger and desperation and may be a voice of reason when these poor men are mired in confusion, essentially lacking the ability to reason.
I do understand why Anon is upset. Although this article is very fair and insightful, so much of what you find on the Internet on the topic of BPD is stigmatizing, judgmental, and, frankly, downright verbally abusive against those who suffer from BPD. I would simply like to offer an alternative way to view those with BPD, that would prove helpful for those who have BPD as well as their mates.
So, if you are interested, would you please let me know the proper method for submitting an article. Thank you for reading.
Was your article ever published here or anywhere else? Is your relationship still improving?
Ivan, when is abuse ever justified ? This article from A.J. Mahari is truthful and as so, can never be stigmatizing or abusive. You are not a mental health professional but can submit your own article as a comment.
This is one of the most insightful articles regarding BPD and a Non BPD relationship. I’ve been married to BPD woman for 22 years and this article describes the pain and suffering that Ivd seen my wife go through. The more I tried to love, protect and be the person that I thought she wNted me to be was never enough and triggered her pull/push behavior. Ivd finally got the courage to file for divorce but I worry about her wellbeing and survival. I love her so much.
this article i need to help me find someone to help and understand my children…i don’t know where to start…i need to help my children daughter age 5 son age 10….3 and a half years ago… my son reported my ex his mother dragged him down stairs and beat him…school filed dcyf report and said he had been crying i don’t want to go home for 3 weeks.. he is diagnosed autistic because testing scores are all over the place so high and low they don’t make sense,,,daughter diagnosed with anxiety…recently got a ptsd diagnosis for son….
First some facts it wasn’t a relationship i was living in Costa Rica and contraception was tampered with.. I’ve learned i am an empath and was targeted…then being male i thought i could fix things.. then the frog in the water happened and i was living for moments when i wasn’t being abused.. i convinced myself the abuse was just against me not the children.. i was separated for friends and family …thru support groups and reading you know all the classic story how it happens…
My sons beating got intense because starting school after a month they said he couldn’t ride the bus he had to ride the small handicap bus… Thats when things went ballistic….a month after the school reported the first incident to dcyf.. nothing was done nobody contacted…. then a month later i was beaten again b ex but she did it in front of son who told school and they filed another report .. then dcyf started to set up interviews… then ex tried to kidnap children back to costa rica…. then 5 days of court were i learned there is no perjury in family court… her lies were so blatant and easily proven that i was given placement with final say.. but they gave her unsupervised visitation and the abuse just continued.. i got children and myself immediately into therapy children have received in home therapy 20 hours a week each child for 2 years.. it took me a year to get it….the in home therapists have filed constant dcyf reports finally the children pediatrician wrote a letter an she has had supervised visitations for 5 months now….in those five months my son has gone from 25 incidents a ay of self abuse and 15 incidents a day negative self statements and several crying incidents…. with in a few weeks he went to 0 maybe 1 or 2 small incidents that he recovered quickly from…..
The only help like in home workers and therapists seem to be what have have learned is they are Behaviorists….I can’t find a single person to talk to about abuse/ BPD….
….I was told since day one that all i can do is the best i can when children are with me and document document document.. I have done this and can’t get anybody to look at it or discuss it…If i try to talk about abuse/BPD they instantly stop me and start with they are just children and they just need rules and praise and ignore etc etc..
Two books i have found that i believe opened my eyes are….Gentiling by William Krill and Just Like his Father by Liane J. Leedom……along with many support groups online I’ve learned about what happened… projection circular conversation ,passive aggressive, gas lighting, crazy making,,not to mention the sleep deprivation and bathroom abuse…
This is difficult because i am the male… and it wasn’t a relationship love gone wrong trophy child thing…
If i tell the stories of how life was when the ex was here.. i now know that nobody can hear them without thinking there must be something wrong with me also…
If i mention any help or concern about my children displaying abusive BDP behavior i am chastised…
I am in Rhode Island USA….for 3 years i have video or audio recorded every thing possible nobody will look at it…we just get throw in court and given dates a few months away then new incidents come up and were given dates few months away etc etc…
The ex/mother still has nightly phone calls .. were she love bombs and infantizes to unnatural extents…
The children have refused to go with her for 3 years.. i was forced to drop them at family court because of their violent refusal.. till pediatrician look at video and the physical effects it was having on my daughter…
Its a story i know can’t be told and believed.. i have mountains of paperwork from school and therapists and nuero psych testing and video and reports from in home therapists… court transcripts… every insane text from 6 months before attempted kidnapping…
How can i help the children.. how can i find a person to discuss abuse/BDP or since I’m not a professional it may be narc or sociopath or whatever kind of emotional abuse…
my son is 10 so maybe soon someone will begin to pay attention but there is no-one willing to discuss anything about a 5 year old… I remember reading about a Dr Washburn who was adapting adult test for children..
Any way i can tell when i am triggered with the feeling i am being abused by the children in the same way the ex/mother abused me…
And i feel helpless and i feel i am made to feel bad when i try to discuss it….
Thank you so much….if your ever interested in hearing about or seeing evidence of the unbelievable extent of abuse we endure i would be happy to share.. Thank you…..
Call Department of Children, Youth and Families (Statewide toll-free 24-hour/7-day-a-week hotline: 1-800-RI-CHILD/1-800-742-4453) or your local police department if you haven’t already done so.
This will take the situation out of civil/family court and put it in criminal investigation. If she is guilty of abuse, she will be removed from the picture as the mandatory prison sentence is substantial. Children that younge have a fairly decent chance of recovery with the negative source removed and really good therapy.
Word of caution: make sure you have real proof… Good proof, that she is the source of the abuse, otherwise, things could get a lot worse. Skip the police and call DCYF (number above) to discuss your fears and proof if you are not confident your proof is solid, they sometimes have their own ways of gathering additional proof.
Here is the Rhode Island statute defining child abuse:
Code Section40-11-1, et seq.
What Constitutes Abuse
Child whose physical or mental health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm including excessive corporal punishment, sexual abuse/exploitation, neglect, or abandonment
As a psychotherapist of more than forty years, this essay was one of the best written for the public and clinicians. The notion of stigma misses the point. It is only through true understanding that one can evolve to a stance of compassion, for self and other. When in training I recall a remark; “what we don’t know about ourselves can hurt ourselves and others”. This is true for therapists and patients alike.
Ivan can you share your article that you wrote please. I think this is the most clear and well written article for what I have experienced at times with my partner. There are so many positive things, but when things get bad this sounds almost exactly like the situation that unfolds. Congratulations for those who are undergoing treatment and managing things better and to those that have been able to work out their relationships with hard work. It is hard and I wish my relationship with my girlfriend was working, but at this time it does not look promising. All the best to everyone. One love
Leaving someone with bpd sounds like it would only add to the problem. How can you expect them to take responsibility for their actions when in the midst of this disorder. I’m not saying abuse it right but some people just can’t get help. Me for example. I need help. I have no money. No insurance. I’m a student and my entire family doesn’t believe I have bpd but when I learned of this disorder in college I nearly had ano attack. What I felt had a name. I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t all the horrible things my mother said I was. I had a problem. And I tried so hard for years to be perfect and saintly. But everything I did, my emotionall reactions were extreme. Suicide was always the only way out if everything and I was bad because I had extreme emotionalike issues. My mother and step father for years made me feel completely horrible about my eating disorder. I was bulimic and all they said was I was disgusting. Horrible. Sick. Vile. Why did I do it they asked. Everyone I grew up with told me I was fat. Friends boyfriends. I was ugly. Then I turn 13 get into alcohol and drugs and hey raped. And my.raped was also my fault. I was a whore a slut. I found a boyfriend. He cheated on me. Got me pregnant then left me. I lost the child. I have another boyfriend and he lied to me about previous partners. Gave me an std. Hit me when I got upset. Left me when I needed him. And I’ve never hit him until now. I hate that everyone has hurt me this way. I’ve done nothing in my life to deserve this! But I’m wrong. I’m abusive! Because I’m tired of feeling extremely horrible I have no one to go to. I’m completely alone. I don’t beat him but I say horrible things and apologize. I hate myself for being this way. No one cares about me in my life. And I just hate myself. And for this. Leave them. You have to just leave them. It’s better for the non borderline. It’s because of Non borderlines that I’m here today in this mess! But I deserve to be abandoned again!
You are worthy, and a good person. By accepting there is a risk your pain is also causing pain, you’re taking an incredible step. As you can see from the article, you can learn easier ways for you and those you love, and they’ll be SO lucky that you do. They’re already lucky that you are here, thinking, trying so hard. Keep going, you wonderful human!
I hate myself for telling him the things I do, I never hit him after that one time I couldn’t take it anymore but it still haunts me. I hate myself for it. I want out of this life. I want a while new life.
I’m pathetic spilling my guts on an article. Excuse the spelling I was pretty emotional when I wrote this. Who am I kidding. I probably deserve all this .
Cat, You are not alone.I have the similar story to yours.To feel left alone and misunderstood and not loved truly in own family or not having anyone you can talk to or any positive attention and understanding it s tough .That’s why everything goes that way.Noone can do all alone in life, just all alone without any support and help.Noone!I am recovery bulimic .Bulimia was my way out from “parents” Stepfather and single mother.There was no connection ..They had one another I was on my own.
You can have a new life. You do NOT deserve this disorder. No one does. It’s a disorder. (You are not the disorder). See yourself as separate from the disorder. Not something you own. Get the help you need. Realizing there’s a problem is HUGE and the first step. Have faith that you CAN and WILL be free with the right guidance. It can start with determination and prayer to be guided in the right direction. God bless!
I disagree with your statement that “nobody deserves this disorder”. Sorry if I sound nasty but my ex deserved every bit of sadness she ever lives with from here on. After years of doing everything I could to try to make her happy being the nicest guy in the world, she ditched our home, me, me, our son, and basically is no mother or grandmother to her offspring from an earlier relationship. She deserves every bit of her BPD for never once trying to get help and destroying the future for myself and our kids.
I entered into an extramarital affair with a woman I didn’t know had BPD, though she won’t admit it & says it’s PTSD. It wasn’t a physical affair, more of just emotional infidelity but I didn’t see how I was being psychologically abused. The abuse wasn’t her fault though, & that’s what makes this disorder so difficult. She didn’t show signs for weeks, maybe a month, then I would catch glimpses, an hour here, a day there and then it just escalated. She would accuse me of things I wasn’t doing, go into total rage over seemingly normal events. She was frequently paranoid & angry, but when supplied with evidence to the contrary, would shift goal posts and make the anger be about something else. She became vindictive & would withhold affection or attention, silent treatment, rage, and employ impossible double standards, would lie to me without even realizing it or caring & when I’d bring it up just ignore it. I gave up all my friends b/c of her jealousy. It was a slow erosion of my autonomy, I couldn’t think straight when she was upset with me b/c I knew the reasons didn’t make any sense so.i would become desperate to prove that her accusations weren’t true. When we’d make up she went back to how she started which was so sweet, intelligent, logically consistent, we had the greatest connection I’ve ever felt in my life – she was absolutely stunning, gorgeous, hypnotic & alluring, hysterically funny, charming, we had everything in common, our interests, views, activities, our history – the sound of her voice was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. I would do anything for this woman. I wanted to spend eternity with her. Even now I long to watch her sleep, to kiss her feet, to love her. I’m totally infatuated. I love her so much, she’s all I think about everyday. But she started to have an episode that would last a day, then a weekend, and finally she wouldn’t sleep or eat, the justifications for her anger got more & more trivial and bizarre, then last weeks. BC of how we met she’d never trust me even though I was completely dedicated to her. There were things i did wrong but her response was totally over the top vs the incidents. She was very intelligent so she could make it seem like it all made sense at times. I was in complete & total denial. The experience destroyed my psyche & grip on reality. I started drinking heavily, I switched jobs BC I embarrassed myself hysterically crying in front of co workers. When I finally read about this disorder everything started making sense and there is so much I would have done differently but it was too late. I don’t think there is anything I couldve done tho,she’d eventually invent some reason to hate me. I’ve never been so emotionally destroyed & confused. Because i was married, this became her fall back default reason to tell me to blow off if & when I was able to walk her through her anger being inappropriate. This happened to me after working with mental illness professionally for a decade. I think that’s why I thought I could make it work with her. This is a serious disorder. I have extreme feelings of guilt bcz I love my wife and never want to hurt her, but this wonderful woman & this unfortunate disorder so took me down a road – I’ll never be the same. I’m now confused about my marriage. My heart will never recover. I have no one I can talk to. Even now I feel like I need her. If u or someone u know suffers from this, be honest with them. I exacerbated her symptoms by not understanding what this is, to the point we are both hurt badly.
I was diagnosed with bpd back in 2014. I was finally at the point where my life was going in a positive direction and then I unfortunately met my now ex. He invited himself over to my parents house for the holidays. My family instantly felt sorry for him because of his difficult upbringing and he’s was a bit charming in the beginning. My parents constantly pushed him on me, my father insisted that we move in together and they loaded my things into my car to take to his apartment. There were several times I wanted to break up with him but because he lost his family I stayed and don’t know if I confused pity with love . He was verbally and at times physically abusive. Every time I tried to stand up for myself it seemed to make things worse. He would call me names and hit me but if I retaliated in any way there was something wrong with me or I was the abusive one. I was constantly getting blamed for making him upset and I believed it was my fault because of my disorder. He also would constantly keep pictures of other women on his phone and would message women and say that he has to do these things because I would not have sex with him when he wanted. I got upset and told him I would never stay with a guy who cheats on me, he said he has and would never cheat but would constantly go on dating sites and flirt with women online whenever he was upset with me. I decided to give him a taste of his own medicine and joined a dating site to show him how he was making me feel. He became extremely angry and started yelling He didn’t want me to talk to anyone and was very controlling, I was not allowed to have any male friends. He would try to force me to stand on a scale to check my weight. There were several times that he forced sexual acts on me. He is law enforcement and had a gun and he made sure I didn’t forget it. There were several times I had to lock him out of the apartment because I was afraid of him. I told him I would let him back in when he calmed down and he broke the window several times. He threatened to shoot into the apartment. He also threatened to shoot my dad. He did not have a car and would use my car and threaten to leave me in places. One time he left me stranded outside of work for three hours because he wanted to have fun and go hang out with his friends. He finally came to pick me up at midnight when I confronted him about his behavior he became defensive and said I just didn’t want him to have friends. The sad part is the only reason that I finally found enough strength to leave him was because I finally caught him cheating. I found another woman’s hairs on our bed and another woman’s underwear. I was upset but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t jumping to conclusions. I messaged a girl that he was constantly talking about and asked her how she knew him. She lied and said she was his cousin. I left him a few days later. As I was leaving he kept saying that he was going to kill him self. I kept checking on him and calling to make sure he was ok he kept trying to ask me to come back and I almost made that mistake. I knew the healthy thing to do would be to cut ties to him entirely. I sent one final message to the girl he cheated on me with saying that we have been together for two years I know about his family and thank you now I know the truth for sure. That night he called me saying that she was going to press charges and because of his position in law enforcement I would definitely get charged and if I came back he could help me. I was furious and told him that she could him and I never wanted to see him again. I changed my phone number and I haven’t heard from him for a few months. I’m still afraid of him and he said I would likely get a criminal record and never have the career I want. At first I wanted give up but I realize what he was doing was just another form of manipulation and he was likely lying again. It’s strange that I still care and hope he is ok after all that’s happened. After leaving him I am back in college and trying to be brave, I have been experiencing flashbacks and some days are easier than others. I’m focusing on myself and my education but I’m afraid to ever get in a relationship again.
Yes narcissists and pwAsPD can easily manipulate us borderlines…
My BPD partner drives a truck…we have been in the midst of a break up in the last couple of weeks. We have 10 years together…thru the years I have always just swept her words and actions under the carpet due to BPD. Something has happened..she has always had concern and love for me no matter how bad the episode was..now, she turns her phone off and will go up to 16 hours with no contact at all, let me know that she has another phone that I am not allowed to know the number…most of the time I do not even know what state she is in..no accountability from her with money…she told me she left yesterday for Colorado then today said she was just then leaving the yard. Keep in mind thst the yard is less than an hour from here. So I confronted her with “You sent me a text yesterday that you are on your wsy to Colorado” I got …you do not own me, you will not control me, you are nothing but an abuser that wants to control everything about me..I accidentally found her GTalk account..I asked about..i became a cyber stalker that hacked her phone and put it in there..she has informed me that there will be no financial support from her..she is getting the car and she does not want to be with me anymore…then 12 hours later she will text something really nice and lull me in…I can say anything that can set her off and she turns the phone off and I won`t hear from her for hours…I love her more than life itself…I have stuck it out for 10 years (I am no saint ) I am not blaming everything on her…I guess my question is…if she is interested in someone..talking to someone..even cheating..she will never tell me the truth, will she..and I know that the new toy will win cause they do not know how it can be so they are fun, sexy and all of that…no baggage i guess…but I have always been her girl no matter how bad it has ever been…I do not know how to deal with the complete coldness, apathy, disregard and no evidence of love at all. She says that she is preserving her and It will be her terms or not at all..do I see it thru…does this pass and can she just cut me off in her heart like that
I can significantly relate to this article. I was with my BPD ex for 3 years off and on. It was the most baffling, bizarre, and emotionally destructive 3 years of my entire life.
I knew practically immediately that something was off but I just couldn’t place what it was. She would behave in ways that would upset me, and so in turn, at first, I would attempt to mention how her actions made me feel in an attempt to communicate, and rather than talk these issues out like any other relationship I’d ever had, she would completely blow up on me and lash out and make me feel like I was the worst person on the planet. She would also then break up with me saying she just couldn’t deal with me. Naturally, I learned to never express my emotions or feelings on things because I feared the punishment and repercussions of doing so. She trained me to never have feelings or needs because I felt guilt for having them and I feared the consequences.
She would break up with me in the most horrific, traumatic, and unexpected of ways. She would leave me basically curled up on the ground in the fetal position not feeling like I could go on. In those moments I felt like I would do anything to get her back. Literally anything. It was like a drug and I was in withdrawals. I felt like I needed her. After a week or two she would calm down and come back into my life. She would apologize and be so completely perfect and charming and level headed. She convinced me everytime that she was better now and that everything would be good this time around and she had learned from her mistakes and would never do that again. I loved her so much and felt so lost without her that I believed her. I would have done anything to get her back. So I would take her back hoping that this time would be different. Everything would be great for about 2 weeks or a month. Flawlessly great. But once again, out of nowhere, in that span of time, she would inevitably find another creative and traumatic way to break up with me and destroy me. A week or two later she would come back again. This same cycle went on for three years until I finally broke free of it.
She used to tell me that I was the abusive one. When I would try to hold her accountable for her behaviors and tell her that they were unacceptable, she would tell ME to stop abusing HER. She then would in turn block my phone number from texts or calls. I actually started to believe that I was the abusive one somehow even though I knew that I couldn’t possibly be. I questioned my own sanity for so long. The only way I made it through were my friends who constantly reminded me that I was not crazy nor was I abusive. That I was the one who in fact was being abused.
It took everything inside of me to finally break free from the hold this woman had on me and my life. She legitimately took three years of my life away from me that I cannot get back. I finally got my self esteem and confidence back but it took lots of work on my end. she still tries occasionally to reappear back into my life. I finally told her to go away and leave me alone a couple weeks ago. her response was to get a job where I have worked for 9 years. An insane move. But she can try all she wants. I will never go back to that.
Just thought I would share my experience and know that I am still dealing with it all these years later. It was certainly emotionally traumatic and abusive to me and this article really touched home. Thank you so much for sharing.
I feel your pain i going through very similar situation right now and I’m still not sure how I’m going to come out of that..
I know that if she will come to my door call or email me i will take her.
Right now she said no more coming back she hot full pawoer over me …any advice how to stop this madness..?
I know its have to come within me….
Your story so damm similar to mine even though mine was same sex relationship, so similar 3 years also together, and a cycle of about 2 weeks of beimg nice / normal and then an excuse or problem created to cause a break up then to come back a few days or a week later, what i didn’t realise at the time was the breakups were caused so mine could go sleep with somebody else, mine used to end it with me, and then send me videoes of them having 3 sums with others, to say the damage thats been caused to me its been horrendous, the final ending was horrendous my ex ended up on heroin, i helped them get of a daily addiction to once in 5 days, once id last my life savings at this point, my partner engineered a breakup confessed to me they were done, how the whole relatiomship was just a game to them they had won, how they never cared nothing for me, how i was a fool to trust them, and how they had deliberately infected me with HIV on this I couldn’t take no more and approx 12 months ago i tried to end my life.. To this day I think killing myself a year ago would be better then how i live every day, the pain, the loneliness, the missing of what appeared to be my soul mate. All so hard to cope with 🙁
Your experience is almost verbatim of what I have gone through…..I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. My relationship is nearly a three-year relationship, and it finally went to verbal abuse, rages out of no where, many break-ups, and come-backs just to have it repeat the cycle until just lately in about a two-month period, the rages got physical. I have finally had to decide to break free but it is difficult….
I think one of the lingering questions for me was this: does she really have BPD? Could all this have been prevented in the event that she didn’t? But deep down inside, I am certain she is a borderline, however. I have had enough relationships come and go that I’m pretty aware of the dynamics involved and how they play out, give or take a few subtle differences, but never before was I compelled to “Google” the bizarre manner in which a girlfriend, past or present, behaved. I had searched such terms as “daddy issues”, “explosive rage”, etc, but once I stumbled upon BPD, everything quickly fell into place.
I found myself nodding in agreement with almost everything you said her. She was a dream come true until she wasn’t. I, too, was hooked on the heavy and heady doses of love bombing she dispensed. No woman had ever made me feel so good about myself. Upon watching us exit and kiss outside a restaurant (lunch hour get together), a complete stranger even commented: “walking on cloud 9, eh buddy?”. It was obvious to anyone who knew me that I was head over heels in love.
Then, almost without warning, the devaluation started and generally over things that normal people discuss, work out and don’t revisit every single time there is a future disagreement. The “kitchen sink” insults were the hardest to take. In those instances, she would bombard me with numerous real and perceived wrongs from days ago or from months past. It was methodical and sadistic. The rage outs were truly something to behold. We were both divorced and had girls from those relationships (mine considerably younger than hers) and while they had spent time with her and her girls initially, at the end she accused me of keeping them from her and her girls which only served to enrage her further because she was perceiving that I was pulling away. And while I denied this, the truth was that I started to fear the psychological damage she could inflict upon me in their presence and possibly upon them. How incredibly sad. Trying to convince her that frequent break-ups and recycles was not healthy for our girls and that I would not expose them to “US” until such time as WE could manage to eek out at least one SOLITARY day without her moodiness and passive aggression. She couldn’t even manage that. The low-intensity anger, always beneath the surface, was the hardest thing to endure. It wasn’t outright hostile (although sometimes it was) but it just lingered, never relenting. Before I knew about her condition, I used to state that “it seems like you derive pleasure from being angry – that you actually enjoy it”. Little did I know she really did enjoy it because it enlivened her deadened soul to be in conflict.
Sorry for your experience.
Shane, what you shared here brought me to tears. I am presently experiencing the same, and your words truly moved me. The person that I am presently with has BPD and doesn’t even know it yet. How I know, is because I am a recovered BPD. I have gone through all the treatments, and practice DBT and mindfulness daily. His behavior hits home and hard. Sometimes I think it’s karma for all the people I hurt in my life from dealing with BPD. But, enough of all that. My boyfriend and I have only been together for 6 months, and it has been one of the most traumatizing experiences for me. He can be the most wonderful person — charming, funny, expressive with his feelings and love for me, romantic, nurturing, etc. But when he rages, it’s like I don’t even know this person. It’s like he doesn’t even know me. I am not even me anymore, I am someone who hurt him, when that’s not something that I ever intend to do. When he rages, he accuses me of doing things I don’t even do, and speaks as if talking to another person. He says a lot of really terrible things to me. Yesterday, as I was curled up in a ball, crying my eyes out, feeling like I couldn’t go on, he kicked me and threw things at me. Told me that my tears were fake, and that I was a whore, a slut, how much he hated me, how much he felt trapped here with me, and more things that I don’t even want to think about. It had gotten to a point where he did get physical for the first time. Not hitting, but grabbing me and pushing me. I thought I saw the worst of him before when he had, in the past, abused me verbally. But, yesterday I saw something so much different, a monster, and I wonder now if that was even the worst of it. I cried for hours, holding onto my child, while he sat in the living room regretting everything he did. Eventually he came to me, as I sat in the bedroom, staring out the window into the darkness, feeling like I had nothing left in me, and he himself cried his eyes out too, wondering ‘why this all happened’. Today he admitted to his abuse, and he says that this can never happen again. That his intention wasn’t to ever to hurt me, how things weren’t supposed to be like this. I really absolutely love this man. I know the good parts of him and how this monster is only a false identity. I know what happened to him in the past as well, that would create a monster in him. Because I went through BPD myself, I feel so much for this person. I know he’s a good person. I may be stupid for doing this, but I am choosing to stay with him. I want to support him and bring BPD awareness. But, if he doesn’t get the help he needs, and if this happens again, I am leaving for good. I guess this is me sharing my story as well.
BPD and this abandonedment thing is bull shit. BPD needs to be re-classified as an illness as strong and as delusional as schizophrenia.
Brain scans show that BPD has some real structural issues. Schizophrenic s typically have delusions involving Jesus, god, Elvis, ETs, etc in the West and similarly culturally iconic delusionas im other parts of the world.
The point is psychiatrists have made up the abandonment thing. Sure it is an emotional explanation, but it is invented by the malromed brain of BPD and as consistent an explanation as the malformed brains. It is not a question of chicken and egg, rather an obvious case where the egg produces the chicken.
Bad brains produce BPD and the rest is made up by the bad brain.
Then why is it demonstrably curable, you speak from an amateur positron as if you know more than the professionals! A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Oh and fyi the author is an ex BPD sufferer!
Sincerely an awakened borderline doing his best to get help and change.
Well said. 22 yrs of living with someone with BPD lends itself to more knowledge than any book or therapist combined. I’m actually coming to the conclusion that these bad brains don’t heal bc there’s actual chips missing. It’s truly sad these people will not allow themselves to trust enough to bond- even bond to an everyday conversation, let alone a relationship. Everything is a manipulation. Everything. One has to have some sort of perspective, even the slightest amount, to see themselves and the world differently minute to minute, day to the next day, month to the next month, in order to gain ground to change, and that’s miniscule to none from my experience.
Dave Dunn, I have 25 years experience with an ex BPD spouse and agree. If a person with BPD is higher functioning, has a stable job, not a criminal, they can never be forced to get treatment. Edelweiss, I also had more knowledge then the psychologist who eventually was shocked to find she had BPD. I asked the psychologist to give us aptitude testing which also was on the high end of BPD. I felt as if I was my psychologists psychologist who was very professional but inexperienced and overwhelmed with BDP. You cannot go to couple therapy with a BPD partner. The BPD partner must get help first and make progress before anything else. The denial and projection in some BPD is so disturbing. The sky is not blue and you are a liar ! It is frustrating they often never get help.
Divorcing my wife of 3.5 years very shortly I love her and can’t stand her all in the same breath. Started out just like all the articles I have read recently and ended just like them too. I tried everything including a separation a few months back that our pastor thought might help. This only intensified her abandonment issues and says that is why she left recently. She made up stories to fit her distorted view of reality. I don’t want her back mainly because of all the broken promises she made and of course didn’t keep (might make a promise and it would last a day or two). These promises ranged from taking care of kids, to closeness and even just general things anyone else would do as a matter of daily chores. She might do the dishes, but then if someone didn’t leave a dish in the right spot all hell broke lose and that dish was the devil. Her sense of commitment was almost non existent whether it be with me, her kids, my kids or pretty much anyone else. The only reason at this point to take her back would be if she showed true remorse over a very long period of time and her actions followed her words over that period of time. But when I think about “that time” I come back to how long I have already tried with the situation always reverting and usually becoming worse I stop that thought immediately. I honestly believe BPD persons can be helped. However, when I am always hearing “it is someone elses fault” I don’t think she can be treated as she doesn’t believe she is wrong.
Sorry to hear about all the pain and confusion, broken promises, etc. I am with a BPD wife and it’s really hard. Just like you, I’m not sure how long she would have to be stable in order for me to actually feel comfortable or hopeful again. It’s probably broken beyond repair… I can’t stand when people insist on therapy and counseling, because dang- is that just going to extend the misery? Anyway, I wish you the best Matt.
Thanks for writing this. It wasn’t until after my relationship that I determined my x possibly has BPD….he told me he suffers from depression and a personality disorder and was getting help. I had no clue what I was in for…. the push pull, break ups..being dumped so cruelly …the last time I said some really mean thing that I regret…I also contacted a family member as he threatened suicide…he saw that as harassment he threatened a restraining order then texted he wanted to go in peace what could he do…I ignored it for a day as previously he was ignoring me…and made the terrible mistake of sending what I thought was a nice kind msg…..a day later a cop knocks on my door and serves me.
I filed one on him because to me he was now erratic..and not stable…on and off medications etc. so in court he tells his atty to tell me he only broke up due to low self esteem and feels I deserve better….my guess is his therapist told him that… I refused and resulted In two days In court….my x wanted less time…refused to agree …I was stunned…. I don’t know if it became about his guns or him just wanting to talk to me I dunno. He works around me daily….so I just don’t get that aspect of BPD….. I’m torn to pieces as I still love him and feel so horrible,… in a few months the temporary orders are up…. if he’s still in therapy I will see what happens….I just wish it was different
Thank you, recently due to my husband by chance having a discussion on an airplane with a Psychiatrist about my Mother whom stated within a few words that I needed to read “Understanding the Borderline Mother” by Christine Ann Lawson(which I recommend to ALL to read or listen to on audible) after listening and taking notes throughout I became more and more relaxed in the understanding and awareness that this is my Mother, she is a BPD Queen/Witch(the witch drifts in and out of most whether they are the “Waif”, “Hermit”, “Queen” etc..).
This was beyond enlightening for me because it explains so much of why I spent so much time alone, away from her negativity and why I left home asap to maintain my own self and my positive outlook ..
Sadly, she is even worse now, but she would argue with a room full of Psychiatrists in defense of any and all of her manipulative conniving hateful behaviors throughout the recent years towards me since being happily married. She can’t stand my husband, our children and my work, my Husband, our Children and love of work are all disrespected and spoken ill of, everything takes time away from her and this is best. She has smacked my Husband after she came between myself and my Son while I was washing dishes, he came to give me a hug and she pulled him away by sticking her arm between us and told him “she is mine, she was mine first” of course he teared up, he was 10, I told her to stop, my Husband saw him crying and asked her “what happened?” Wherein she replied with a smack and “you always have to be the center of attention…” which made no sense as he was sitting and talking to her boyfriend, but this is only one of literally thousands of situations that have been dutifully blocked.
She has turned almost my whole family against me even my Sister, she manipulates, lies and conjures, degrades and after calls me with a smile only after to begin talking about all of them wherein I have to go, I don’t engage in such and I have to control the situation and know when she sounds like the witch is on her way into the room. It is extremely difficult and the sad part is that the rest of the family, her Dr., her neighbors and anyone else whom may have met me once (because she MUST have validation that she is Right!) but do not know me well enough believe her, it’s painful to know most can’t see nor would believe such perpetuations are delusions she has created to make me look like I’m not being the dutiful child and putting her needs first.
Anyhow I could write here all day but I can attest to all I have read ine book that was recommended to me, I finished it yesterday and now I am looking for a therapist for myself to remove the residue of the past so I can truly be free from this, I cried when I finished it, I took a walk and for the first time I felt like “I Understand Why” I have certain fears that hold me back from being completely FREE of the past.
She has done things that people just can’t believe but even those close to her that know she is behaving NOT like a Mother say nothing, they fear her wrath in their own life so they just keep it all calm, even my Father whom passed recently, they divorced when I was 17, she moved out with her new beau, who was a creep and years after when the sexual harassment issues became undeniable they divorced and she sweet talked her way back into my Fathers house where she stayed until she met her current boyfriend and moved out to be with him and since his childhood was not good, his Father wasn’t around and his Mother was a prostitute he does not know the difference between what is proper behavior and what is not and when she gets on a rampage he deals with the “situation”. Also being that he is the same age as my own Husband my guess is that most likely he has some issues of his own.
I would love to connect with another whom is going through this and if anyone knows where or would like to from here I would love to, this is very difficult, rehashing what was left behind is not at all easy but it is not negotiable, it MUST be done so to be able to live the most fulfilled life possible for those who are the non-borderline otherwise we will suffer until our last breath.
For those of you who have BPD I applaud you for recognizing it and for getting the help you need for yourself and even more so for your Children land Husband…. May God Bless You ALL and give you the clarity of mind and heart to see it through so all can live their best life possible!
AJ Mahari’s article, for me, summed up the experiences that I and all the others who have commented, have experienced and are experiencing because of BPD. As the long term partner of a man who was originally believed to be suffering with bipolar disorder our lives spiralled out of control during the past two years and it’s still horrendous. One point that really hit home was the times that us non BPDs end up totally confused when we end up on the receiving end of our BPD’s anger and we try to work out how on earth we got to this point. This is so true for me. I knew there was something else ‘not right’ about my partner through the years because his ‘bipolar symptoms’ were pretty much constant, incredibly erratic with no breaks in between. We were all definitely walking on eggshells around him. Things got so bad in the end here at home that he was reassessed last year and diagnosed with cyclothymia personality disorder, a combination of bipolar and borderline personality disorders. Life with him has always been a rollercoaster but the past two years have been something else. He had a couple of affairs during our partnership but has been in another this past for this last two years. I knew about it all along, exposed it a few months in, tried my damndest to salvage things but it was hopeless. Throughout this time I have have been absolutely staggered and crushed at the cruelty I have experienced. Many times I was absolutely in hits in front of him but it just never registered with him, the pain I was going through. In the end I just couldn’t go on. I realise that my self esteem is non existent and that I and the children have been mentally abused and controlled all the time.
I fully understand how awful BPD is for the sufferer – I have read so much about it to try and understand how it is for sufferers and I really do get it but there is only so much understanding, support and ‘being there’ for your BPD loved one that you can give. When you get met with constant emotional abuse it chips away at your own worth to the point you question your own value and sanity. I’ve finally had to throw in the towel. I never wanted it, I never wanted to break up my family and home but I just had to. The sad thing is that now he’s left it has taken this step for him to finally realise what he has lost. Or is it because he now realises it is actually about him and he’s finally feeling the pain as a result of his actions? So difficult to tease out. I spent all this time during his affair to try and make him understand this would happen but it’s too late. I am now faced with dealing with a wreck of man who is trying to return but even this changes daily. The drama is still going on now and I either get texts or calls that show how wobbly he is. He has never had therapy and even though he knows he should get it I doubt he ever will. I think his affair partner may also be unstable which certainly isn’t helping either. She has threatened him with our kids apparently I just want this drama to end. I am just an ordinary person and can’t really understand how on earth I and my kids have ended up in such a mess!
My advice? if you’re with someone with BPD, who constantly abuses you by messing with your mind and you feel out of control of your own life; leave. I’ve been with my partner for 25 years! Unless your BPD partner is prepared to accept help there’s no point putting yourself through all the turmoil. Put yourself first.
Ldk, I divorced after 25 years from a BPD. Are you putting yourself first now ? It is difficult but can be done.
I know it must be really hard to have BPD. I’ve heard them say that it’s worse for the sufferer than their family/victims. I’m not God and don’t know for sure which is worse, but I’d be curious if a borderline had a close borderline family member: which is worse – living life in the home and office, doing life tasks with BPD, OR times when you interact with another BPD friend/family member? Which is truly worse? Do borderlines treat each other the way they want to be treated? If so, wouldn’t the whole illness get resolved that way? or… do they treat people like shit and want nothing to do with other borderlines… Be honest.
j – It’s an interesting thought. I suspect that BPD sufferers rarely come across each other and if they do they may recognise the similarities in each other but understanding these and developing resulting empathy/support/nurture etc I suspect isn’t long term. I think their emotional instability and volatility make them incapable of ‘being’ with anyone regardless of whether they have BPD or not. However, if a BPD sufferer is accepting and willing to make change, then who knows. Self awareness is necessary before tackling this awful affliction and moving forward in a healthy manner.
I am desperate!
My wife is a BPD sufferer, we have been married for 11 years and have two small kids.
This is now the 6’th time that there is another man in her life. Constant texting, hiding the phone, changing passwords. Then turns the tables on me and accuses me of abuse, jealousy, obsession, belittles me, insults me and threatens divorce!
Still I stand, for my children and my faith in God and my belief in my marriage vows.
If this is a disease, then I have an obligation and a responsibility as her husband to look after her.
The rejection is unbearable!
She has never confessed that there was ever anything physical with the other men, she just controls them.
It hurts like hell!
The uncertainty, the “not knowing” has devoured me!
Do I stay?
Yes you should leave. Talk to a professional counselor and an attorney first. The 6th person and not physical ? Do not take the chance. Good Luck
I don’t agree with this violence for me and I’ve been diagnosed with this disorder…however, after a recent non admittance to a hospital i threw a violent fit..i couldn’t understand why they were not going to admit me when i was feeling extremely suicidal..it happened yesterday and i still have no solution to the intrusive thoughts and idiology..
I couldn’t even get past the first three paragraphs. This is complete bullshit. I wasn’t abused or neglected or abandoned as a baby, but I sure was from ages 6 to 18. Every psychotherapist I’ve seen agrees that my BPD stemmed directly from those things. I would never dream of hurting another person and it would make me anxious even to yell. Implying that I will be likely to be abusive is absolute bullshit. Never have been, never will be. I have studied this disorder directly with doctors, psychologists and psychotherapists for years. Not one of those has ever said what you say. Looks like just another writer putting “doctor” before their name when you don’t actually know shit about the humans you speak of and misdiagnose. This article is offensive to those who know what they’re taking about. You should be ashamed.
Maybe you should have read the entire article to have a professional opinion. About 25% of BPD children are not due to parental skills from ages under what you experienced. It is thought to come from a more sensitive personality. BPD is usually developed at an earlier age. There is no malice in this article from A.J. Mahari. A.J. Mahari is sincere and probably will communicate with you during her podcasts. I do see some hostility in your reply.
While I do think that this article has some very valid points, and clearly the author has experience, what I think is very difficult about any and all disorders is that while there are strong similarities and patterns, every person still experiences it differently and expresses it differently. For one thing, in order to be diagnosed as BPD, you do not have to meet all the criteria. I think it is incredibly important to also look at why and how BPD develops. Many people with BPD did not just experience abandonment. Many have experienced sexual abuse, sexual assault and verbal and physical abuse for decades. With the level of consistent gaslighting that occurs in these types of abuse, it is not a surprise at all that people may lose touch with their core self. That does not mean they do not have one, or are not aware of it. It does not mean that they are going to be abusive themselves, certainly not in the same way (though that does happen). While I understand that this article is about individuals who do not get treatment, I think it is very stigmatizing and harmful to say things like sufferers of BPD are not capable of healthy intimacy. Or as I have seen in some comments, that people with BPD are hurting others more than themselves. As sometime who has dealt with this for years, I can tell you that the last thing I have ever wanted is to hurt another person. When I have, verbally, I have sincerely tried to make amends and have felt haunted by it. It is not a thing that we may do on a regular basis and it certainly isn’t as if people with no diagnosis are not capable of the same or worse. I am not invalidating anyone’s experiences. But understanding that there are deep roots in trauma for this diagnosis and that it IS often co-morbit with PTSD is important.
Thank you very much for this article. As someone relating to a loved one with BPD, I was filled with anger and confusion, always responding to attacks that seemed to be starting out of no where. As I’ve learned more, my personal reactions have come under control, and everything is getting better. Instead of reacting with anger, I have compassion, because I understand now where this is coming from. Progress is absolutely impossible without knowledge. The internet saved my life [and hers]!
How do you test a person for a “FALSE SELF”? I am married to a borderline, and to say the least it has been a rodeo. I have checked out long time ago, but put up with this stuff because we have children and don’t like what I see in her disciplining them. So, I am there as a buffer. However, I am usually labeled the abuser and she managed to convince her family of this as well. What is even deeper I found out a deep secret that I believe the family knew about and let us go down the aisle anyway. That she was sexually abuse over a long period of time, and now that I know they want to shut me up by pushing me out by manipulating her to separate/divorce. It has not gone there, but it has been close recently. When I confront the family they never really have been good help. I have been going at this alone, except to reaching out to my family members(cousins, friends, etc.)Help is much needed since I spoke with her the other day, she feels compelled that this is a marital problem and not a problem with herself. I have had enough of the merry-go-round of counselors who don’t understand the words/symptoms that are coming out in the sessions and turn around to address me for this stuff..
My Husband was a Borderline..no treatment work for him very long. Thanks to his Mother he was born with a Alchol and Drug problem and having seven step fathers who abuse him. after his mother died from a drug over dose. he got way worst. see a Borderline can not deal with the death of some one close to them. he was in and out of jail mental Hospitals. he would abuse any meds he took that was to help him. we lost homes. every thing we had more than once. he would beat me for no reason. he had a lot of rage. he was very spiteful, than he could be sweet nice and so kind than the rage again. all ways so sorry for bad things he had done. But would repeat the same things again. he would hurt his self to get pain pills he would drink mouth wash when there was no Beer..He done things that made no sense at all. he would try to kill his self more than once. I was all ways there all ways help him. The more you love a Borderline the more they will abuse you. July 1 2013 he died at home from a over dose I cry a lot for what happen to him. I will all ways miss and love him. Borderline is a very sad and miss under stood disorder. when he died my heat broke.
reading this pretty much validates the situation i’m in.. since the beginning of college i’ve been friends with someone who was diagnosed with bpd and at this point we’re best friends, they’re completely attached to me, always telling me i’m their only friend etc.. but i realized their clinginess has literally ruined my life.. i’m terrified of making them angry and theres nothing i can do to leave them at this point i am in way too deep and they are texting me constantly all this suicidal and self loathing etc etc stuff and its so mentally exhausting for me, when i see that i have a message from them it immediately makes me anxious.. i keep my phone on do not disturb half the time because they spam text me and now the sound of getting a bunch of messages at once gives me immediate fear and anxiety even if it doesnt turn out to be from this person.. everyone just sees us as really close friends but no one knows that this person is a literal parasite to me and trying to seperate myself would be literally impossible so long as we’re still living on the same campus and sort of in the same social groups and everything.. theyre extremely suicidal and dependent on me and i feel crushing guilt constantly feeling like its my responsibility to keep them alive.. i almost failed my first year because i spent all my time with this person, staying in their room, doing everything together, etc.. and i thought the way we were living was normal but it wasn’t.. i didn’t study enough or anything.. i’m so angry and bitter this wasn’t how i wanted college or my life in general to be and i wish i never met this person.. everything i have written in this comment isnt even the half of it i don’t know why i’m bothering to post it
This is an old article but I feel like I’ll leave my story in case anyone like myself stumbles in here.
My wife has BPD and I’ve only ever known her after she started treatment, we’ve been together nearly 8 years now. We can have a fairly normal if not intense relationship with treatment and setting clear boundaries of when her anger is justified. However even still there are the times where she believes her anger is justified but in reality it is nearly delusional. These situations are incredibly hard to deal with since standing up for yourself against what you are certain is pure delusion makes you an enemy.
The mother bit really stood out to me, she struggles to have a good relationship with my mother and just recently got on good terms with hers. Any small tiny remark my mother might make (the typical MIL, pure innocent with a dash of judgmental) my wife uses as evidence that there is some grand scheme going on against her. Her mother is a saint and I struggle to imagine her causing any sort of abandonment issues. She practically raised 3 kids by herself, each having their own difficulties. A tremendous mother who my wife literally owes her life too.
The first few years of our relationship was rough and I wasn’t very aware of the BPD diagnosis until recently. My wife has had several abusive relationships and even one where the man beat her near to death and was cheating on her constantly. So I assumed all the anxiety, paranoia, outbursts were from PTSD (it may still be). We had many fights but never was there any sort of insults or outright emotional abuse. Any time I felt she crossed a line I’d either leave or isolate myself so we could both cool down. We’d talk and make up, she either fakes remorse very well but it does feel very genuine.
She then started on some wonderful meds which curbed all the horrible symptoms I’ve read in this article and the comments. We got married, had a kid, bought a house, etc. Her symptoms were very manageable besides the issues with my mother, but she learned to stop bringing that up to me since it always led to a fight.
Recently we discovered some meds were causing pretty bad side affects so we had to switch to something different. All hell has broken loose since then. It seemed like overnight she had this new manic part to her personality and mood swings would come like a gust of wind. Add in our crying 1.5 year old, long work hours for me, and mild insomnia for her, and life has become very difficult.
When I come home it’s a 50/50 chance she is upset within 10 minutes of me walking through the door. Usually this stems from me trying to help with the kid in a different way then what she is used to or from some other small issue. There’s no outright screaming or name calling but its apparent anger directed at me for something that certainly doesn’t deserve such a response. I like to think I’m a responsible parent and do my share of raising our kid so usually what she is angry over is something I’ve done out of good intentions. A few times, it’s ok lets move past it. A few more dozen times I flip out, say my piece, cool off, then have the lets move on discussion. After a month of this I can feel it wearing on me, every time I get angrier to the point I think I might actually just leave.
Reading this article was fairly scary, the thought that my wife may be faking everything is almost impossible to comprehend. It hurts my heart to think she is always dealing with this internal turmoil. She would always mention these things to me that she is struggling with but I’d secretly roll my eyes and think she was being overly dramatic. I’m very emotionally stable with a strong idea of who I am so it’s very hard to imagine what it’s like to have BPD.
I think it’s only fair to say that my wife has been to me a very strong person in many ways. Despite all of this she is constantly going back for more therapy, reading books, seeing her doctor, and always open to talk to me about anything. This is far from my first long term relationship but it’s the only one I’ve felt we are building a life together. Sometimes I even think these bouts bring us closer as we both learn how to deal with it.
On the worst days I do wonder what it’d be like to share a life with someone without BPD. At this point I’m so far into this relationship that I imagine a lot of stuff has now become normalized. What would I be missing? What do normal people get angry about? I remember my previous relationships but they were a mess of no communication or plain not right for each other. In our good years it didn’t seem like we were having any more problems than any other couple.
She’s a wonderful mother to our kid, I’ve seen her go out of her way to help others in need, shown me great love and support in our years. So if anyone is reading these comments and starting to get worried I hope my post here gives some hope.