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Possible Borderline Ex?
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Possible Borderline Ex?

I suspect that my ex might have Borderline Personality Disorder...

I dated my ex for about 6 months before she dumped me out of the blue. It was a huge shock to me. We had never fought, raised a voice to each other, anything. When I had first met her she said she had a darkside.

I thought maybe depression or something to that effect caused by her upbringing. Her father left when she was very young. Had an affair with another woman from her mother, and had a kid out of wedlock. She sees him maybe once a year.

The relationship started out very intense, the physical and emotional aspects of it. We started talking marriage maybe a month and a half into the relationship. Before this I hadn't really ever had an intense relationship. This thing took off quick. She lived two hours away, and we would see each other 3-5 times a week. We took major road trips within a month of starting the relationship.

Up until about two weeks before the breakup she was still talking about living together for the rest of our lives.

She did have a meltdown one night after after a weekend of drinking. She told me she doesn't believe that I could love her as much as I said, and that she hates when I give her compliments. Also that me talking about marriage was freaking her out... even though she was talking about it more than I was.

After that I saw major Anxiety in her (she would develope hives from it), and some depression. She didn't want to go out anymore, just stay in. The strange thing was that the day she broke up with me I spent the night with her, and she seemed to be happy, laughing, being playful, and telling me she wished she could staying bed all day and cuddle. The break up was so strange, I treated the girl like a queen.

I remember her saying she didn't feel like she was ready for a relationship, and said I was hyper and nervious. I've never really been hyper ever in my life. I read someplace that people with borderline personality disorder project their feelings on others... is this true?

I remember she told me about attempting suicide once infront of her Mother, but her Mother didn't react to it.

Throughout our relationship she seemed to push away friends of hers for minor things. She even moved to the East Coast to get away from her mother for about a year, then came back to the West Coast. She decided where to move by randomly pointing on a map. She was talking about moving away from her Mother again while we were dating.

After we broke up, I was civil to her, but told her that we needed space. Later on I went to a wedding that a friend of hers was also at. She was keeping tabs on me all night through texting, and made this girl my "babysitter" for the night. I've never had a girl dump me, then want to keep tabs on me.

Later on in the week we got to talking about the wedding, somehow we got to fighting. I told her that I had been asked out by a girl in my social circle and that I was going to go see if there was anything there. I told her we needed some space. She reacted very bad at this calling me a jerk and that I was trying to play her. She also called me a lair for not being a good friend. She was the one that broke up with me. I figured she didn't have feelings for me anymore. I wanted to show her that I was moving on.

I'm not a doctor, but I do have a copy of the DSM and a few psych text books. Have a degree in it, with a Business Admin Minor. A lot of the symptoms seem to match up that I saw over a 6/7 month period now that I look back on the relationship. I really couldn't list them all her, but for example she speeds 20-25 over and is a pretty reckless driver (recieved a few tickets while we were dating, plus her fair share of accidents in the past), drinks pretty heavy a few nights (during the work week).

I don't think I want another relationship if she comes back, but I do want to be there for her. Is it typical for people with BPD to come back into an exes' life, even if they were the one to end the relationship? How should I treat her? She has told me that she has a low self-esteem.

I have heard through other friends that she's been taking the break up hard, and that she was hurting. Which seemed odd to me because she said she didn't feel bad for herself, but for me.

I just need some advise if she does have this. I still do love her dearly, and do want to help her. I do know that she can't get help unless she wants it. It's funny reading all of this stuff, you start to think you have it. I remember reading the text book for "Abnormal Psychology" a few years back in class. It said never diagnose yourself, you will start to think you have everything. I do know that I do have a bit of ADD, without the hyperactivity. So most relationships I was in I'd grow bored with within a few weeks.
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684030_tn?1357024374
I think that I know what you're going through.
I dated a man a year ago... and I knew about maybe, 4 months into dating that something wasn't quite right with the way he processed (projected) information. He was hyper-sensitive, especially when it can to language and the implied meaning of words. Often, he'd take offense when I was simply trying to pay him a compliment. And, he was an real expert at twisting my words around. In fact, if he wasn't dyslectic, he could have been a great lawyer!
Anyway, the toughest part of the relationship was witnessing the rants, rages (including road rage), hysteria and sudden outbursts over the most benign and insignificant issues... like, someone sitting too close to us in a movie theater; having to wait in line to be seated in a restaurant; my changing the radio station in the car; dealing with an unexpected change in plans... etc.
And, like your ex, my ex had a rather troubled childhood... neglect, abuse, abandonment, feelings of being unloved and unwanted. So, I'm sure that the dysfunctional family upbringing that he was subjected to had a lot, if not everything, to do with his behavior and personal struggles.
The only thing was that I didn't connect his behavior with BPD until after we broke up or, rather... he broke up with me. I tried to maintain a connection/ friendship with him because I still do care for him and I figured that he needed all the support that he could get. But, he never responds to my phone calls or e-mails... although, I'm sure that he's reading and listening to my messages and probably loving the attention.
Now, from my studies and research on BPD, relationships with a Borderline is extremely challenging. Some say... impossible. I don't know if that's true; but, if you want to give it a try and leave an opening for dialogue and communication with your ex; go for it. Just don't be surprised or too disappointed if that attempt doesn't work out or is met with... no response. Good luck!


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Right now I'm not sure it would work out. She is high funtioning if she does indeed have BPD. Very caring person, she takes care of two kids for a living. Plus it seems like she was the parent at home with her little sis, growing up.

I remember when she booked the hotel room we had another couple in mind to stay with us. After her friend in this other couple declined she was ready to have nothing to do with her, and was upset that we had two beds instead of one (Which seemed strange to me, what would it matter).

She took me off of facebook, but a friend told me that she is putting up depressing statues of not being able to love or let her guard down, and sad poems on moment. Then all of a sudden within hours/minutes they change to happy "I have the best life" ones.

I heard many times that people with BPD do come back? Is this true. As I said before, I come from a pretty unsable house hold so it seems like I'm use to dealing with cycles like that. I'm not meaning in a relationship sense, though I'm unsure of that right now. What steps should I take to insure this girl that I'll always be there when she needs me for help. I do care for this girl, as I see most Exs or partners of people with BPD do.
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684030_tn?1357024374
Yes, they do come back. But, only to leave, again... and leave you wondering, "what the hell happened? "did I miss something?
In the relationship that I was in, all would be seemingly well; then, BOOM!
my gorgeous and lovable "stick of dynamite" would explode for some weird and inexplicable reason.
From my perspective, I had the distinct feeling of being "pushed and pulled" within the relationship. And, I believed, at the time, that my ex was deliberately jerking me around and trying to mess with my head.
After all, one moment he said that he loved me; so, why was he acting like he hated me the next moment?  
I have since concluded that whenever that wave of "emptiness," that intensely "vacuous" feeling that he always complained about would creep up; he would, in turn, create chaos and conflict in an effort to "feel alive." Hence, the rages coupled with the faulty logic.
Again, these insights are in hindsight as I didn't know about BPD at the time of the relationship. In fact, I had never heard of BPD until I researched the characteristics and criteria that define it... and most happen to define my ex. Perhaps, had I known, things would have worked out differently. Then, again, maybe not.
So, getting back to how to help your ex... if you can deal with the "cycles," and not take things personally... like I did; then, leave an opening for her to "come back."
Stay in touch with her... even if she doesn't respond... let her know that you're there for support and that you care.
I can tell you that there's deep sadness and regret in knowing that a door has been shut between yourself and someone that you love(d)... even if you weren't the one who shut the door!
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Yup I hear you. She just added me as a friend again on the old facebook, seeing the last few status updates are seeming depressing. Something to the effect that the world spins out of contral as she weeps.

I dunno if a relationship would work. As I said before I come from a household with a bipolar in it, which can either be happy or utterly harrassing and hostial. You just get use to looking past the down part of the cycle and leave them alone until they get to the up/best friend part of it.

Like I said, I'm not sure if there will be a future between us. But We'll see. you just have to show tolerance. I don't have illusions that I'm going to change her, she has to want that herself. I just want to be there for support in some form.
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549913_tn?1278502861
Raider, I have BPD and I have ended all my relationships, usually I go back only to break up again.  Now I have been with the same person for over three years, I am 46 years old, and her dedication and support is making me better.  If you love this girl, you must be willing to stand strong everytime she pushes you away, every time she accuses you of not loving her.  She will look for inconsistensies in your words and actions.  It will not be easy as sometimes we can be cruel.  Deep down she loves you but is insecure and afraid that you really don't love her like you say you do.  She is afraid to let herself feel happy with you only to wake up some day to find that you are no longer in love with her.  Her self esteem is low and feels how could you possibly be happy with her.  Surely you will find someone who will make you happier than she does and you will run off with another.  In her mind everything changes, there is no stability, so she needs to feel like you are her solid rock and feel safe with you.  Yes, commitment is what she wants, and yes it scares her because she is afraid you will not stay around forever, that she will eventually drive you away. So she drives you away now rather than later.  Taking things very slow is the best approach even tho she talks about it more than you do.  She will blame everything on you real and imagined.  But at the same time she is very capable of sincere love and devotion.  Her trust will not come overnight, it took me 3 years to trust my woman.  I feel I am much better because she is stable and a rock.  Not everyone can do this, only you can decide if you can be her rock.  I just shared with you how my mind works, I hope it was helpful.  And yes, after about 6 months with my woman, I broke it off, we were apart for about 3 months and she won me back.  We have been together ever since.  I have never been happier.
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So what would the best approch be for somebody with BPD? I just want to come at her the right way, and not push her away. Most people say that if you want to get somebody back that you should give them space, but I read somewhere that to people with BPD that just comfirms their fears.

I do care about her. I have had friends tell me that she is hurting more than she thought. I did email her that I'd be there for her if she needed me, and she said the same thing back to me. I learned from somebody that knew her, on top of being from a broken home she got made fun of a lot throught school.

But she did tell me that she feels sorry for me, but not for herself. That she didn't want to me with me anymore, but a lot of her actions such as keeping tabs on me and getting mad at me for going on a date two weeks after the breakup tell a different story to me. It's a tad confusing.

I remember when she broke up with me she told me that she wasn't ready for a relationship, and that "You hate me... don't you"- her words.

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I think I might be able to handle a relationship with a girl like her. I'm a psych grad student right now. I'm not saying it would be easy. There is a lot of damage in her life. I don't have illusions of being a savor for her, but as I said before I'd like to be there to support her.
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549913_tn?1278502861
That is great, you are definately on the right track.  
I pushed everyone away and noone came back to me.  Except the one I am with now.  She came back, and that is what we want when we push someone away.  If the person who is pushed away comes back, it is proof we are cared about.  I was always testing the love and dedication of my relationships.  If she is serious about wanting space give her some, but not for too long, give her reminders that you are still there and she will be reassured.  I used to feel ugly and demon possessed and couldn't believe anyone could love me.  I hated myself.  It is possible she hates herself for the way she feels, and thinks others do too.  She doesn't want to believe you hate her, she wants proof you do love her.  A trick is to make her focus on her good quality as she focuses on her negative feelings inside.  Think of one of her good qualities and dote on it.  Tell her how awesome she is because of that quality.  It will make her feel special and more aware of that good quality she possesses.  It will be like a ray of sunshine penetrating the darkness in her mind.  That is how my woman helped me.  How old is she?
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I'm 26 and she's 23... going on 24. So youth might have something to do with it too? I just got a message from a friend saying that she sounded like she was scarred about the relationship, and didn't feel it as strongly as I did during the last month and didn't want to put me through that.

She is up and down, like I said before I'm friends with her once again on Facebook, and her statuses go from being depressed and worthless such as she can't let her guard down, to being the happiest person in the world. She would write about our relationship also, and she had a lot of statues after we broke up and recently being centerd around that she had lost her inspiration. I'm a bit of an observer of people so I like to study stuff like that. It seemed like she totally changed when we were going to do major things, such as move her mother into her mother's new house, a wedding and birthday party together. Those are major movements towards a very serious relationship.

Plus as I said before, a month before the breakup she freaked out about me giving her too many compliments, said she didn't believe that I loved her as much as I said, and about everyone saying that we would get married. One of her best friends was pushing for her daughter (the best friend's) to be the flower girl in our wedding.

We got to that loving calm, not the crazy love that happens during the first part of a relationship, so I believe that also added to that. She watches a lot of Disney, so I'm thinking she thinks true love should be like that "crazy love" all the time.
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Hello everyone. It’s so amazing to me to read what everyone has posted because it hits so close to home. My situation is so similar. I met my boyfriend, now ex for about two weeks, over a year ago. We hit it off pretty well. He lives in FL and I live in SC. We were  in touch with one another daily. I frequently went to visit him, he has visited me, and we have met half way. I have never loved a man so much in my life. He is such a wonderful, smart, funny, supportive, and loving person. Then there is his dark side. He has never been diagnosed with BPD or any illness.Recently I asked my psychologist and his symptoms and his behavior are so similar to BPD. I couldn't put my finger on it for a while until after the break up and research. He has had a difficult upbringing. His father committed suicide when he was just 17. My friend immediately joined the Army only to have so much pain, anger, and heart ache while there, prior, and afterwards.  He never healed from his Dad's death. He has calmed down a lot.  He still drinks beer excessively and only smokes cigarettes. His anger is not as bad as it used to be. Recently I went to FL to visit him and a trip that was supposed to be only for one week turned into three!!  Well anyway, he broke up with me out of the blue!! He asked me to marry him prior to that several times and I said yes each time and meant it. He would tell me over and over he wanted me to be the mother of his children as he has none.  I was so excited about  relocating to FL with him when my lease was over in July. He always told me that he was not good enough for me.  I am tired of seeing him suffer. He is so wonderful but ill. I still text him and he replies rarely. He knows he has an illness but just does not know what. I let him know that I care for him and cannot stand to see him in constant  pain. He has made me so happy and I just want to be that backbone for him as he was for me. He took me off of his Myspace friend list!!!  People are telling me to leave him alone but I don't care what people say.  I am willing to do whatever I can to help him get on the path to healing and be that support he needs. I know it would be difficult but not impossible.  Mental illness is so real. My father and little brother have serious illnesses (schizophrenia with different co-morbidities). I have inattentive ADD.  My gut said to intervene with my brother and I listened to everyone else and not my gut and regretted it. I gave my friend the space he wanted but I am still encourage him. He has got to see a professional and soon. He is pretty stable when I am with him. Any input or suggestions?
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I'm not sure off hand? I have read that most want to go back to people with BPD after a breakup. Mostly because they make an impression on the person they were with so deep. The Needy stage, then it goes to detachment. It is tuff though. You want to see that person happy in life, and get the help they need.
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684030_tn?1357024374
You can't make him seek counseling if he isn't open to the idea or, is in denial that he has a problem.
But, like I told Raider2009... leave an opening for ongoing communication and emotional support. Whether he responds or not... let him know that your there for him. Extend friendship and establish dialogue; but, don't insist, otherwise... you may be setting yourself up for deep disappointment.
Oh... and I would highly recommend doing research and reading as much as you can on the subject.
I highly recommend:
"I Hate You Don't Leave Me," by Jerold J. Kreisman & Hal Straus
"Sometimes I Act Crazy," by Jerold J. Kreisman
"Stop Walking on Eggshells," by Paul T. Mason & Randi Kreger
"Breaking Free From Boomerang Love," by Lynn Melville


  
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Avatar_f_tn
I told one of her friends to tell her the next time she saw my ex that I wanted to see her happy in life. Then probably about three hours later I see their is two calls from my ex and a text saying it wasn't right to talk to her friends, she totally blew up. As I hate to say it, I don't think this will work out. It seems like everything simple and well intentioned turns into a fight, and of course your's truely is the bad guy.

She had been talking to my friends about the relatioship, and even keeping tabs on me I so I didn't see where this came from. I just decided to blow up the little that we have for now. It seems like evertime we talked after the break up, there was always something wrong with me. Or something is always my fault. To be honest I hate to do this, but it's almost a relief. I don't want to come off a disrepectful of anyone with BPD here, but it's draining, and almost emotionally abusive.
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Oh, how I know that "beaten up" feeling... at this point, take a low profile and take care!
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I guess so... It's funny how small things can balloon up into major ones. She did tell a friend that she doesn't know who she has become the last few weeks. Too wild, and going out too much. I don't know. I think it is time not to answer the phone when she calls and put her on ignore for awhile.
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Hi. Just reading your comment in this thread and finding it very interesting. I believe my bf has BPD although he has not been diagnosed. He certainly meets all the criteria. He seems to alternate between low self esteem and projecting himself as the greatest man on earth. He will also suddenly turn angry at the drop of a dime at the most insignificant things, hang up on me and go for 3-4 days without contact with me. I believe if he has BPD, he is high functioning. He holds down a job, takes great pride in his work and his boss is very happy with him. His friends do recognize that he seems to have uncontrollable outbursts. They ignore them and often tell me they don't know how I put up with him. I put up with him because I love him and I want to help him. Everyone else in his life has abandoned him. I don't want to be the person to do that. I'd love to visit with you more regarding how your loved one helped you. I'm not sure I'm up to this, but I certainly want to give it a shot. I have been deeply blessed in my life, feel very secure in who I am, and want to have a lasting relationship with my bf. Thanks in advance for your help.
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I can relate to you JoFrisky. It's I love you, I hate you relationship with myself and my ex. I've heard from a mutual friend that she is confused. I ignored her for a the last month. She would just blow things up. I did tell her that I'd be there for her and would want to be friends. She's, from what I'm hearing, is starting to play games with another ex she had two years before me. People with BPD do make things seem perfect, then the raw emotions come out, and it seems like they run. If you love him, you just have to support him, but not get caught up in the emotions. It does take a toll. I'm not with her and I still feel it time to time. Most relationships I've had haven't lasted more than a month or two. I do have a bit of ADD and loose interest quickly. But this girl really got into my mind and is stuck there for the time being.
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To Ameiliana.  With your bf's history perhaps he has post traumatic stress disorder or even complex-ptsd.  They're also kind of similar to bpd.  Or maybe he's just depressed.  It can potentially be quite damaging labeling people so he should be evaluated by a professional.  Psychotherapy would probably be very beneficial for him too (to work through some of his issues -including his father's death).

To Raider2009.  It can feel like a betrayal when you discuss things with her friends and not her directly.  If you have anything to say then say it to her, not her friends.  This just creates more anxiety, etc for her.
Your ex sounds like she needs some support to work through some of these issues.
With regards to your original questions:  Yes, people (and not just those with bpd) can project their feelings onto others.  Learning to manage these would have helped your ex (although that is strictly not your responsibility).
Yes, people with bpd will return to previous relationships (although not always) no matter how good or bad the relationship is.  I think deep down they believe these people can save them if only they chose too.
People with bpd can be extremely sensitive and intuitive.  She may have picked up on some of your own thoughts and feelings.

To inlove265.  It sounds more like bipolar than bpd.  Perhaps you could encourage him to see his doctor or a psychiatrist.  Or a psychotherapist to talk through why these outbursts occur.

J
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Well looking back I was really comfortable with the girl. Just the last month I felt a tension and anxiety in her. I think that probably did rub off on me. She is a good person, but I think I'm probably going to just go my sepearate way. Part of me would love to go back to the way it was before the breakup, but that is most likely an illusion. All in all time will tell.

I've heard from a few friends that we need to stop playing games, but it doesn't sound like they understand the full situation. That this girl is feeling fear of loosing people, fear of being hurt, and no self-esteem at her very core.
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I do understand that she saw that as a betrayal. I'm just so use to my family were we are open and honest about everything. That's the type of person I am, most people know where I stand on an issue. Looking back I just wanted to know what was going through her mind, until I realized she showed many signs of BPD.

As I said before, I don't know if I could handle the pushing away every few months, or even every few weeks. It does take a toll on a person.
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I think it's great that you are able to acknowledge that she is an OK person, despite her having faults.

I think going back to the relationship the way it was before would be a big mistake.  I think you mean the same, but different (with all these and her issues resolved).
No, nobody but you and your ex could possibly understand the situation and even then I expect you both have different perspectives.

BPD is extremely complex.  It is best treated through psychotherapy.

Sometimes being open and honest feels too revealing leaving one feeling threatened and vulnerable.  Trust can be extremely difficult even with those who genuinely care, listen and are respectful.  It can take time to build up that trust and then believe in it.

I understand the toll it takes, and on her also -she has feelings too.
Although you are not a couple have you thought of couples counseling, or something like that?  That could potentially help you with your relationship and get her the help she desperately needs.

J
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Well she said her Mother had once taken her to counciling, and she hated it. It sounds like she isn't a fan of it. My thinking of it was that the school she went to sent her. She is a very smart girl, but she was picked on all through school, K-12 (Heard this from a guy that went to high school with her, that I knew for awhile, but didn't know they were friends). Add that to the family situation, and it takes a toll on the person.

For me I'm up and down with the girl every day. But we haven't talked in three weeks. The last message I got from her is that we can be friends after time, then she ended it with talk to you soon. The hardest part is that I know she has feelings too, it's just that I don't think she wants the help. That's a tough gamble from my stand point. Do I go through this cycle over and over again, if she doesn't want it or do I move on.

This is my first time with a BPD that I know of, so it's a bit different in real life than theory. I use to working with schizophrenia for Grad work. So I'm not sure how to approach it. I read someplace just to keep contact, even if she doesn't respond, with little messages. I'm not sure if that would get on her nevres (Seeing as she is very proud and stubborn), or if she is what she wants deep down.
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It is really hard to say and only you can make that decision.

No, you don't go through that cycle endlessly and without seeing any improvement.  That would be incredibly stupid and damaging for both of you.

Perhaps you could ask her if she would be open to counseling to try and work through the issues you have in your relationship.  Maybe for a trial period??

It sounds like your friend could benefit from some really intensive psychotherapy.  Maybe if she were to do that she would be in a better position to commit to the relationship and would also be in it for the right reasons.  A criteria for bpd is lack of identity or sense of self.  How can she realistically commit to you or love you when she can't do the same for herself?  She has heaps of work to do on herself.

How much do you have invested in her?  Do you love her?  Would you be prepared to support her through this and other difficult times?

J
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I only dated her for about six months, but it was perfect up until the last month. She freaked out at me one night after I gave her to many compliments. She also didn't like talking marriage, but she was the one that started it, and she had heard from four people that they thought we would be married. She even came up with names for our kids a few weeks before the break up. It seems interesting that the break up came around a time that we were going to do a wedding, week long road trip, and move her Mother to a new home.

I know that people with BPD tend to conform to a partner's personality. When we go out she is very out going, extroverted. When my parents met her they loved her. My Dad wanted me to marry the girl a week after they all met. But when we would stay in she was quite. I remember she didn't talk with her Mother for two months, and she lived five minutes away from this girl. Saw her push away two friends over minor things, and almost a third.

Personally I normally grew tired of relationships in the past, I have a little ADD, not hyperactive though (only 10mgs a day). I can't get her out of my mind. I was thinking that she might have Bipolar, but BPD seems more like it fits more. It seems like her depression, and hyperactivity/jubilation cycle quick like in a matter of hours and not weeks or days. She did deveoloped hives quite often (those are normally caused by anxiety if I remember correct, if not some chemical reaction), and some acne (but you couldn't notice it).

She came from a broken home with a baby involved by another woman other than her Mother, and the Father left. She's very smart, but struggled through school, and got picked on for basically being a loner. All that doesn't help. She seems to have a need to be in control and take care of people too.

I loved the girl, and probably would have those same feelings for her. I tend to be a very patient man, I think the mistake I made was reacting to the drama. Like keeping tabs on me through a friend after we broke up and calling me to say sorry, or an arguement.

I think I would have to learn to support her, but not get caught up in it. To not take it personal. I grew up with a few bipolars in my family, so I'm use to ups and downs. We would just give those people in the family their space when they were in the depression stage.

I really can see the lack of trust, self-esteem, and fear of being hurt in this girl. She was very need the first few weeks. I probably got 10 texts a day, two or three calls, and probably a status update on facebook about me, from her every day.
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It all sounds rather familiar.  I have been diagnosed with bpd too.

I find compliments hard too.  I think that while we like to hear them we don't trust them.  With me that can cause me to question the givers motive.  History taught me that positive feedback came at some personal expense.  So in a sense the compliment was meant or perceived to mean something else.
If someone were to pay me a personal compliment then I would also perceive that to mean that something wasn't very good.  I like your hair.  What was wrong with it before?  You're smart.  You think I'm dumb.

I have found that having something qualified or justified makes the understanding a lot easier.  I guess in some respects there is less room for the comment to be distorted.

With bpd you can get an abandonment/ engulfment thing going on.  You can either be too close or not close enough.  No wonder people have trouble understanding those with the disorder.

Minor to an observer but not to her.  You don't know how she may has interpreted/ misinterpreted events.  Usually an event can trigger off deeper issues and from a completely different context too.  This stuff with you may be related to issues she had with her mother in childhood.  It is likely she won't even understand it on this level.

ADD aside, perhaps you just never met someone you really cared about before or perhaps with age your values and beliefs have changed slightly??

Bipolar and bpd are often confused.  Bipolar is more up and down.  BPD is all over the place.  I'm not sure what constitutes a rapid cycle for bipolar.  You would probably know more about this than me.  A person can also have both.

Stress affects people in different ways.

Control is to manage anxiety.  Taking care of people is due to a number of different reasons.  Being sensitive, being rejected yourself, ...

Even professionals react, it is part of human nature -especially if we don't understand the behavior and we feel stressed and vulnerable ourselves.

Bpd can be different .  Just allowing that space can cause depression.

Relationships are so complicated.  Therapy, while hard and challenging would probably be quite beneficial for her.  I hope she doesn't have to learn life lessons the hard way.  That's potentially very devastating.  She may need to do things in her own time though, without feeling pressured and everything else.

J
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Well with Bipolar you just tend to leave the person be while they are in the down cycle. At least in our family. It sounds like you almost can't do that while a person, with BPD, is down. I'm just not sure.

It seemed like she opened up and trusted me more when I said that I would be there no matter what, after our only fight over the compliments. That was about a week later. The funny thing is that I come from a family of teachers, so we say what we mean, it may be blunt, brutal, and honest, but it's what we are feeling.

With past relationships, I have just always kind of lost focus. I may just like this girl. I always had fun going out with her to bars, movies, etc.

It seems as if she has a new best friend every few weeks or months.

It's so complicated, I don't want to reaffirm her fears of leaving, but I don't want to turn into that crazy ex that won't leave her alone. I kind of want to keep contact, but not having talked with her in a month it seems as if she's back down into a depression. She even had a status message on Facebook (according to a friend) saying her heart was broken and that she won't let anyone in anytime soon.

I care about this girl deeply, I just don't know if she can trust me. As I said before, she'll seem to put out feelers and then pull back, or not respond.
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Leaving a person with bpd can feel like rejection and can even precipitate suicide attempts.

I like honesty and transparency.  

It sounds like you do like her.

Relationships are always an issue for someone with bpd.

Trust will take time.

One of the experts just responded to one of my questions and he said I don't let people (therapists, etc) help me, which makes them feel powerless, which gives me a sense of power (when I feel powerless myself).
Sounds kind of similar to what she's doing.

You could always ask the expert on the mental health forum for advice.  I find him very good.  Be specific and you should receive some good advice.

Take care
J
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I was just watching our news.  There has been a court case where this individual with narcissistic personality disorder stabbed his gf/ ex over 200 times.  As cautions it warned against individuals who stalk, control, etc.

I know this is different to bpd (although in the same group/ class).  It suggested that the person (as in you) also seek counseling.

Just throwing that out there also.

J
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I don't think she shows any characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder. I do know they are both Personality disorders though. Normally when she get frustrated she goes into a shell. I've never seen any physical harm towards others or even herself (which can be a sign of BPD). Mostly it seems to be fighting, and you'd know better than me, but it seems almost for attention or maybe to keep herself relavent?

As for counciling myself, I'm kind of lucky having a Mom who taught for about 40 years. She's seen almost everything over that time period. She was the one that actually warned me about dating a girl whose Father left her. Like she said, you'll never know if it was something with you or if it was her not being able to trust. That's so true.

As I said before, I'm not sure how to approch this. A friend of her's who is worried about her is telling me most everthing. Going out drinking almost every night of the week, and the depression. That's where I'm hearing most everything. Good thing is she is working on small changes, and ready to tackle the "big scary ones" in the words of this friend. Maybe she just hit that point of her life where she is feeling the need to change?

In all honesty I'm not even sure she has BPD, but looking at the abondonment of her father, and the unstable relationships it seems to be a good sign of it. Plus all of the other things I put into the first post.
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On another note... if she could handle it I would go to counseling with the girl... as a support for her. I've done it before, and it really does help a person to think in different terms. My Dad probably has bipolar. It helped me to see him in a differernt light.

I think she might see it as a stigma, but in this day and age it's not. Plus nobody would know. Part of me does love the girl to death. She was the first girl I was ready to buy the ring for within two months.

I would do anything to see her happy, even if that means somebody else. I'd be happy for the girl. I know most exes say that, but I do mean it. She's had such a rough life...
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Sorry for not responding sooner.  I did start but then deleted it.

It's possible she hides that behavior or it is stable or she doesn't have that symptom.  You did mention that she tried to hang herself in front of her mother.

I think the fights would be largely out of frustration.  Frustration that her needs aren't being heard or addressed.  It can become a power struggle when people don't hear or get it so the intensity gets turned up.  The more people don't get it the 'louder' the behavior becomes.

True, but also very pessimistic and doesn't take into account the communication you have with your partner.  Not communicating doesn't work well for many partnerships or relationships.

The drinking behavior indicates she is not contained and probably feels pretty cut up emotionally.  That's not a good sign.  Depression and alcohol are a bad combo too.

You could be right.  Small changes are good.  Being ready or motivated to address the others can be good (unless they represent part of a split -then I don't think they're as successful).  Change is difficult and in my experience is extremely difficult.  

It sounds like she may have it, or at least traits of it, but to establish this she should be evaluated by a professional.

There is still discrimination.  The person themself is often their harshest critic.

Tell her how you feel about her, include both your love and insecurities or concerns.  Set limits.  Tell her what you don't want in a relationship (and why).  You shouldn't have to live your life on the same roller coaster -she needs to work through her own issues.

I know what you mean.  I think you should do what you feel is best (I'm not sure about that one.  I know that people have done things they thought were best because they tippy toed around me but that was not always best for me -often far from it.)

Good luck.
J
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She knows how I feel, I've told her many times. If you want somebody back you have to go out and show them that you don't need them, but I took the approach that maybe that's what she expected with the break up. that I'd just bail.

The friend called again tonight. My ex has been out everyday since last Tuesday. I really does break your heart seeing that destructive behavior. Something has to have her very down. When we were dating, we went out maybe once, or twice a week. Maybe it's just me, I grew up without really any Alcohol in the house.

I do love her, but there is a hard reality there. It may be tough now, but part of me hopes right now is the toughest part, and not being forced, if she comes back, to choose between the being with the girl I'm crazy about with a strong chance of her leaving again, or walking away from what made me happy.
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That approach has the potential to backfire, especially with a person with bpd.  Showing them that you don't need them isn't particularly constructive, or honest.  And would be extremely hurtful and distressing (and if it were me, I wouldn't be in a big hurry to open myself up again to someone who did that -despite them caring).

You think?  It could be due to the break-down in your relationship or that break-down could have triggered other stuff.

If she wanted to go out every night while you two were dating she would have pushed you too, because she didn't I expect she is just self-destructing.

I doubt it would be the hardest part now.  Being in therapy and having people say things and needing to change can be harder.  There will be ups and downs, as in any relationship.  My feeling is that she needs to be in intensive therapy.
I think you need to make a decision about what you want and I think you should be approaching her.  She is extremely unlikely to chase after you.  I think because you are a little uncertain yourself that this creates stress and chaos for her.  She'll be able to sense that.

If she made you happy then I think you need to decide either way about the relationship.  Make a plan, then talk to her about it.

I would be asking the expert on the mental health expert forum for advice.  He has more experience and would have seen outcomes (whether a relationship could work).  He also does the emotional eating forum.  People sometimes put their mh question there.  (Emotional drinking possibly isn't too dissimilar to emotional eating either).

J
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I hope you are still reading this JoFrisky. I wanted to know more about how your partner came back into your life after 3 months. Did they throughout that period contact you or was there some time before they got back into contact with you? I am going through a similar thing right now and I have gained a lot of perspective but there has been some post break-up push/pulling and I have dione a bit of it myself, to the point that it might be too late. Any advice?
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Hi :)  Thanks Volpino for posting and hoping JoFrisky is still reading...I too hope she is b/c I am in a similar situation and could use some insight from Jo...

My ex split with me 5 times in 9 months...Our first 10 months were great, we moved in together and things fell apart...Over the next 1.5 years was when all the bad stuff happened...She betrayed me for 6 months by getting into my email account and reading all my emails, chats & my personal journal...Then she started fights with me about what she had read; would ask me if there was anything I wanted to tell her...We moved on from that after she confessed but 6 months later (almost to the day) I ended it b/c her treatment of me was so bad...She really pushed me away big time but denied it when I asked her about it...I had to end it for my own emotional safety...There was a lot of emotional bullying going on from her...The both of us have gone no contact, her more so than I as I sent her a couple of emails in weak moments early on...but that was 2 months ago now...I now have so much knowledge & really understand (I believe) where she is coming from and think that I can be strong and be there for her like your woman is for you...Thing is, she is totally no contact with me and is all over the gay social scene making new friends (keep in mind she had NO friends when I met her...In 2.5 years she never introduced me to anyone) and yet on a straight dating website looking for a guy to have a long term relationship with...I'm very confused by her actions, see a woman I do not know out there but know how she really feels inside and feel nothing but compassion for her and want to be there for her...Not rescue her b/c I can't but want her to know that I truly do care about her and what happens to her...I fear however that it is too late, that she in no way wants anything to do with me and that quite possibly even hates me...I'm afraid to tell her how I feel b/c I remember all too well how she can twist my words so quickly and I end up feeling bad...Any insight?  Once someone is painted black are they black forever?  Would I be just wasting my time and breath?  Should I just let it go and if she contacts me proceed cautiously?
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I know how you feel enogal, it got to the point with us in August where I had to block her from facebook. Not just for from her, but from myself sending her messages in moments of weakness. She got petty bad. She was drinking every night of the week.

Right now I'm in a better relationship with a girl that is pretty stable. It's night and day from what I had before. The relationship I had with my ex was a blast, she loved to have fun, party and was a different person while out. She even had an alterego. The physical relationship was great. I kind of got addicted to that feeling of being needed also, that I was the greatest thing in her life. It was love on a level of 10, on a 10 point scale.

At home she was anxieic and depressed. It got to the point in the last month she made me nervious being around her. She was just tense all of the time.

The best thing I did was block the girl from facebook, and delete her number and email address. It really helps a lot. Of course I care about the girl, but we were too close (it was almost like we were married for four months). I mean we missed seeing each other maybe two weekends during a four month span. Probably saw each other 4-5 times a week... living about an hour and a half away from each other.

I tried to get her back, but it seems she wouldn't listen to a word I was saying. You'll be ok. I know it's hard right now. But the best thing I did was to start dating again, and I found a great girl. That really takes your mind off of the past.
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Enogal it's up to you if you really like this girl though... I'm not telling you what to do, but what worked for me. What I found out is that there are many many other great women out there.

I found one that made me feel a lot better, and I'm glad I found her. From what I hear my ex is seeing a great guy. I just hope this guy makes her happy, and I hope she can fight those feelings that bubble up. I still care greatly for the girl, I just don't love her.
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You should read Faces in the Mirror, I was seeing a girl for about one year. WOw! anger, depression, total controlling, hates everyone,hates her work, hates her coworkers. Her mom died when she was 14, mom died of alochlism. SHe never got  over that. Had all of signs of BPD ..i miss her alot but not the problems. I wish her well, but walking away was good. People with BPD will never get over it, the sickness can be managed, but never healed.  Get ready for this...she is a police officer

Good luck
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Is  "Faces in the Mirror" a good book?

To be honest with you I might have put the seed of doubt in her mind. I remember after a minor tiff, we made up, but she seemed different.

Three or four days later I told her if she needed it I would give her some space. At that time I didn't mean as I didn't want to break up with her, or that I didn't want to be with her. But, personally I'm wondering if deep down she took that as being that I was going to leave. So instead of getting hurt, she may have been detaching after that. About three weeks later was the breakup.

It is funny how hard it is to get over a relationship like that though. Funny how the one thing I miss the most was the friendship with that girl.
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I think people tend to give you (a person with bpd) space when you don't need it or want it.  Space can often be far greater, or create more distance, than strictly helpful.
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I love this response Jo. It says everything I feel as a person with BPD struggling in a relationship.  If the partners could only take time to understand this.  Everyone dealing with someone with BPD should read this response!
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I think she probably does have BPD, but don't make her a disorder...she is a person first. If you want to be a friend, make boundaries wiith her. Tell her that not accepting your compliments is rude, and being co-dependent and keeping tabs on you is just a from of insecurity, and if she needs re-assurance, just ask for it. Don't engage in fighting, and tell her you will talk to her when you both calm down and tell her when that will be. She has low self-esteem, and does not trust people, so breaking those habits while caring for her is the best thing.I know this, because I have had BPD. Not life-long, and not continously, but have driven away friends because of it, and my friends who stuck by me were patient and loving as I have described above. Try to get her to talk about her triggers, but also be clear when she hurts you. Take a break if she becomes overwhelming. That's my best advice.  
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