Sunday, December 2, 2007

Letter to Dulcinea

Dear Dulcinea,

I am writing to inform you that I have enjoyed our relationship and I will always cherish it. However, I've realized something in the time that we have been together. Despite how I look at you and fantasize that you are the perfect woman, you are not.

In fact, once I come back to reality, I realize that you are a mask. You do not portray yourself for who you really are, and it takes some time before your mask comes off and I realize who is inside. Your inner serenity is flanked with angry rage, your honesty is lies to yourself and the world, your worldly view is more small-minded than I could imagine. You do not know your true identity and who you are -- you are a facade, a mirage, a shell of a person that only has anger in their core. I have now experienced this first-hand.

Dulcinae, I wished that you were the one for me -- my true love. But I have realized that I made you into my true love without looking at the real you. Now, part of this is because you changed into who I needed, so it took me more time to realize who you were, but also, I did not look at the real you. I accepted the unacceptable for too long and let the problems continue to grow. When I would make issue of them, you would say that I did something wrong. In fact, I began defending my own integrity so much that I could not look to see you anymore. The best defense is a good offense, Dulcinea, and your offenses kept me on my toes.

The problem, Dulcinea, is that I ultimately cannot live with such instability. If you were my true love, the one for me, our relationship would continue to blossom and build on what we have done together and the collective trust and respect. However, your lack of comfort with yourself was taken out on me, as if I had done something wrong. I could not support you fully because I was so busy constantly defending myself.

I am tired, Dulcinea. I had to leave our house to rest, but I came back to you. You continued to regularly push me away, and the rage that I saw and heard from you most recently cannot be in my life. No one has such rage and can live a normal life. I hope that you can correct these issues, Dulcinea, because there is a beautiful part of you that I will always appreciate and love its wholesomeness. However, until you learn how to appropriately display your emotions, you need to be alone. Or with another who can tolerate such emotions. I cannot.

Like I said, I will always love that part of you that is so wholesome and pure, Dulcinea. I will never forget looking into your eyes when you were calm, not anxious, and feeling like I could stare at you forever. I could have, and my heart is heavy. I still dream that you can be the beautiful princess that I imagined, but I know that, given the turmoil of the past two years, this may not ever be realistic. I will pray for you and your recovery every day and hope you can come out of your land in Oz. I know that your journey is far from over if you choose it, or you could continue this cycle of turmoil for years to come.

I wonder how you became like this, Dulcinea. I think most of it was set off when your husband died, but you had the prime ingredients for this making. You had an unhappy marriage where you were cheating, and you had a childhood that may have been happy but was certainly dysfunctional, particularly for your full development and growth. Your parents did not let you do things that normal children did, so your sheltered, controlled childhood was perfect for such a mentality of a non-developed self, rage and anger.

You alternate between helplessness and rage, playing the victim and having explosive reactions that you justify and say are appropriate. In your mind, Dulcinea, you feel like you can treat the world as you perceive them to treat you -- poorly. First, the world does not treat you poorly, and second, even if the world did treat you that way, you still need to maintain your integrity and treat others well.

I am so sorry, Dulcinea. I wanted to take you away on my horse and live the charmed life together. While a good part of our life was charmed, its core was rocky. It would continue to be rocky until you realize the situation, which you are quite some time away from realizing.

In the meantime, you will tell me that I have all of the problems, despite what is told to me by family, friends and professionals. You do not show the world the side of you that I see, and they will not see it. So, until you can come to terms with that side of yourself that contains such anger and rage, you will continue to have these issues, Dulcinea.

I am sorry to turn my back on you and stopping the cycle of dysfunction, Dulcinea. I just cannot have it in my life anymore as it is bad for me. I need to take care of myself and not worry about you, Dulcinea. In this relationship, I worried about you and you worried about you. The only reason you wanted me to communicate with you is so you could make sure that I was not doing anything to threaten you. Your needs always came before me.

I am still hurting, Dulcinea, as you can read from above, but I will work on getting better. I wish you the best in your journeys and hope that you can find the man of your dreams. When you meet that person, you need to be ready to be in the relationship and cannot have such rage and anger. I am sorry that it was not me.


Don Quixote


  1. This is an amazing letter that echoes so many of the things I am feeling and wish I could say to my former girlfriend. I am curious whether you wrote this for the blog alone or whether you actually sent it. Good work on this blog. It is very helpful, especially in the early stages of rebuilding myself from the experience.

  2. Dear Katie,

    I am unsure of how to begin this letter, because I decided to scrap the first one I wrote after reading the first paragraph. It was close to two pages long and it did not address the issue with any gentle consideration for you. However, I do believe it is important for you to know why I am writing this letter. It is because I feel there is a strong possibility that you have Borderline Personality Disorder. Many sources strongly advise against me suggesting anything. But, I care for you deeply and even if it means that I am now the shittiest ex boyfriend that you’ve ever had and the asshole who broke your heart worse than any other; then I am willing to deal with that. I have fairly severe ADHD and with that I also have a greater risk for a litany of psychological disorders such as: Aspergers, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Pathological lying (which is a subcomponent of NPD). So I understand how you might be thinking “Fuck you asshole! you’re the crazy one, you probably are the one with Borderline Personality Disorder!” I get it, I can be extremely impulsive, and it would appear that I have flip-flopped more than any guy you’ve ever dated. Many of the traits associated with Borderline Personality Disorder can be projected onto and displayed by the non-BPD partner if they have a certain vulnerability. At the time you met me I was going through a major identity crises and a major depressive episode, psychologically and emotionally I could not have felt more vulnerable and alone in the world. When I met you in class I didn’t really say to myself “I’ve gotta take this chick out on a date!” The reason why I asked you out is because I enjoyed flirting with you and felt chemistry with you; and because you were flirting back I figured it would be worth a shot to ask, even if you had a boyfriend. When you met me in Golden I thought you looked amazing! The tight black shirt, the yoga pants, WOW! Completely blown away! Then you actually tried longboarding with me and I was able to put my hands on your hips. In that moment I knew you felt “right” for me, I felt connected to you in a way I have never felt for anyone on this planet. As selfish and crazy as it sounds I never wanted to let go of you ever again. Saying goodbye to you in that windy parking lot over by the Morrison Conoco I actually felt a moment of panic, like I never wanted to spend a second away from you for the rest of my life. Before that date I had given up on life and decided to join the Army get the best military and martial arts training the world had to offer and go wreck shit wholesale. My masculine identity was so wrapped up in being “the ultimate badass” that I almost started believing that I was going to become some real life Rambo. One of the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is this delusional grandiose self concept that I had, and most likely still do. The key difference between me then and now is due to the fact that I realize I can harness this arrogance and god-complex for good by becoming a doctor. The thoughts of nihilism are giving way to thoughts of healing and how I can become an omnipotent and supreme authority of medicine.

  3. It is like one big cosmic joke that two people like us would end up together, to everyone around us our relationship sounds fucking awful. Yet every single time I hug you or kiss you I feel such intense love and chemistry that it is impossible for me let go of you. When I am doing the things that you feel an ideal man does, and when I’m being the type of man you consider to be ideal and loving man I feel you adore me and treasure me. When I don’t measure up to this vague subconscious template, I feel ignored and unloved. This is when I hear about all the men who are lining up to date you and flirt with you everywhere you go. This feeling that I could be replaced in a second and have no real power in our relationship is terrible, it brings out my worst qualities. The lying the manipulation, the excessive flattery, excessive agreeability. All of this bumps up against the Sociopath label that my former therapist was so ready to assign me. However, none of these tactics feel right, they feel downright terrible to use. Either someone wants to be in a healthy relationship with me or they don’t, playing mindgames with someone is the exact opposite of maintaining a healthy relationship. I refuse resort to these tactics ever again because I feel like I am compromising my values and identity to maintain a relationship that most likely needed to end.

    What it would take for us to have a healthy, stable, and consistent relationship is intense effort and couples counseling. There is a good possibility we both have personality disorders, the mere presence of each other in our respective lives are triggers. I would be willing to say that you experience more pain and confusion when you are with me than when we are broken up. Pretend for a second that you haven’t read any of this letter up to this point and ask yourself “Why am I even with this guy?” In the beginning I seemed to good to be true, the perfect guy! One who would never cheat on you, lie to you, leave you, ignore you, and would love you completely no matter what you did. I essentially did all of this in time, I cheated, I lied to you, I ignored you and blocked you, I left you emotionally alone, although currently I am still very much in love with you and always will be to some extent. This is what I mean when I say “Katie I’m not perfect!” I make mistakes, sometimes huge mistakes! But I am not a bad person for making them, I am merely naïve or ignorant in these cases. The only reason you should ever be with someone is because you enjoy their personality, you have great and fulfilling conversations, the challenge your view of the world and yourself in a great way. And the most compelling reason of all; you have fun with them! While I know that we do love each other in a completely genuine way, I also know that we are obsessed with eachother in a very addictive context. You told me yourself that you want to take things slow yet were already back to saying I love you at the end of the conversation, and even worse we are back to saying “babe” after getting back together last Friday and saying that we wouldn’t be doing any of that on Sunday. Personally, I have very little self regulation when it comes to taking things slowly; I have ADHD, I desire more and faster all of the time.

  4. I see my parents fight bitterly and threaten divorce constantly, from what you have told me your parents are pretty much the same. I can’t speak for you but I was neglected and ignored as a child and still feel unresolved pain from those memories. I don’t have an immediate model for a healthy loving relationship, what I do have is a model for what a healthy and loving relationship isn’t. I refuse to accept this fate and I refuse to be a victim of circumstance. I want better for my life and those that I love; however, I won’t do it for anyone. When you do things for people that they should do for themselves you rob them of their power and identity. I have learned more from my mistakes than my triumphs; my victories have been the reward for overcoming my failures, of which there have been many.

    I write this to you because it has been almost impossible to bring up my concerns without being told that I am wrong and that I am attacking you. I assure you Katie I have no desire to attack you, you’ve been through enough. You deserve to find yourself, I know that Eat Pray Love made a huge impact on you. And you may feel that by resuming a relationship with me you may have to put the self discovery process on pause and give more of yourself to yet another guy who will probably leave you and start dating some trashy little blond. Well here is the truth; I DON’T WANT TO DO THAT! When the woman I love tells me that, it hurts me! Why would I ever want to breakup with someone I have developed such intense love for? It is not about looks or bodies, looks and bodies fade. True love never fades, it takes considerable work to maintain that love for decades as two people grow and change, but healthy committed love never fades. This is what I would envision for us, a companion I can grow old with and would accept me even as I start falling apart and no longer have tight abs. My spirit and personality is what I am; the tattoos the muscle the great athletic ability I only get for a few more years, hopefully it will be for many more years but I will never know with any great certainty. I am also an eternal optimist I don’t want to give up on you even if it kills me, because I am crazy enough and stubborn enough to believe I am invincible. My logic tells me that it is only a matter of time before we start fighting again and that you don’t want to give more to our relationship. But my heart will not let you go, it refuses.

    I am writing this letter on Tuesday, that is why I sounded distant on the phone when you were telling me about your presentation. There is a strong possibility that this letter will be burned or destroyed in a fit of rage and sadness much like my painting or anything that reminds you of me. You are entitled to do it if that if that is what you need to get over me. Also, I am enclosing what I have read regarding this condition, some of which has been written by those recovering from BPD and those who dealt with undiagnosed BPD. If I don’t hear from you or if I hear from you immediately after finishing this I want you to know my motivation for writing this is not entirely selfless. I want to be in a healthy relationship with you because I love you and you make me feel good, and yet completely miserable and deeply conflicted at the same time. You have a beautiful soul and are completely worthy of love, even more to the point you are completely worthy of my love. The most powerful adversary in your world will always be you Katie, I have never seen anyone be so hard on themself, not even me. All I need is someone who can meet me halfway, I would never ask for more because I don’t need any more. For the record, I fell in love with you on the first date and almost said it as we said goodbye; I wouldn’t change a thing about that day. I will remember it forever Katie! I love you as much then as I do now, and I am crying as I write these last words because they may be the last ones I ever get to write to you.

  5. That was my entire goodbye letter to her. The first girl I fall head over heels in love with has BPD, who would have figured! After everything I have read about the condition I have had to finally accept that there is no possibility of a healthy romantic relationship with her ever. She looks, feels and sounds like the perfect woman. But there is an instability to her that threatens to rip me apart if I stay. On one BPD support website the BPD is compared to a black hole. Tomorrow is the event horizon of our relationship, if I break down and allow myself to entertain the possibility of staying together...then I face my own destruction. Luckily, this time I have an exit strategy, resolve, and most importantly...INFORMATION! I know she has BPD and will never change. I'm getting out now while I still can. If you are reading this, either you chose to do the same or are contemplating doing so. Always remember; Temet Nosce! Know thyself.


Please tell me your story and how it relates to Borderline Personality Disorder. I appreciate any and all comments that you leave on this blog, and as long as they do not contain inappropriate language or are not on-topic, will publish them. Please note that I cannot respond to blogs as this is an anonymous blog. However, I will publish all appropropriate comments.