Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Borderline Twist

There's a new dance out there and it goes like this,
Let's all do the Borderline Twist!

Okay, maybe it's not the best dance, but it's something that I just learned about, but I had it happen to me all the time. They call it "The Borderline Twist" and it's something that those afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder do on a regular basis.

The Borderline Twist Defined
The Borderline Twist occurs when a BPD takes an event and literally changes it. They change history to fit their twisted theories, thoughts and fears. It occurs all the time and is a big problem for the Non in the relationship with the BPD. Why?
- As a Non in a relationship with a BPD, your life is constantly in turmoil as reality is changed in front of your eyes
- Over time, you begin to question your own sanity
- You realize that you can NEVER have a stable relationship with a BPD -- no matter what, history will be changed in front of your eyes so the BPD will think that you are bad.

I had this happen to me quite regularly with the BPD. She would change facts in front of my eyes. Things that I KNOW that I did not say, she would accuse me of saying. Man, it was brutal.

The worst thing is that I always treated her with respect, so when she would accuse me of these things, I would try to work with her on these issues and explain that I would not ever do or say such things. It didn't matter; she BELIEVED that I did those things.

A Different Reality
Those with BPD have a different reality than the rest of the world. The world is a scary place, and it is so scary that their fears rule their life. The only way that BPDs can successfully address these issues is through Dialectic Behavioral Therapy where they actually learn reality and have "safe people" that will tell them reality. Unfortunately, most Borderlines never admit their problems, shift responsibility to others and take no accountability for their actions.

If you are in a relationship with a BPD and see the Borderline Twist occurring regularly, you need to decide if you can live with such behaviors and instability. Those with low self esteem may be able to live with it; those that are confident will only be able to tolerate it for a certain period of time, before they decide to move on.


  1. I am borderline myself, and I do find myself doing this sometimes, but not near as much as my husband does. He is bipolar and constantly twisting situations/conversations into something else. Overall it's a big problem for us, I think. It's a hard thing to stop doing.

  2. I was in a relationship with a younger man with BPD-- a condition i didn't even know about until the whole crazy thing was over. Side One of this man is movie star handsome, generous, charming, thoughtful, sexy, loving, complimentary, sweet, funny etc.

    Side Two would flip in a nano over nothing, and instantly turn into a scary, foul mouthed beast who would make up things in his head that i did to him, and he'd slash gifts, chase me with his vehicle, threaten to destroy me and do all kinds of extreme and creepy things. He'd isolate himself from the world and drink for days. Then there would be the equally intense, and irresistible, makeup cycle, and i would get lulled into thinking that the bad guy was gone for good because we were so happy.

    I did this for a year, until the day i knew that he was coming over to physically hurt me and i had to flee my house. That's when i said enough, had to involve the police, and went to a therapist to try to get my own head straight again-- he would twist words and make up all kinds of things that never happened, and i wanted to find out why i would stay in this kind of relastionship.

    He was a genius about knowing exactly what to say to charm or wound... it was a bizarre experience, to say the least, and NOTHING i did or said made a difference. I was calm and caring throughout, and refused to rise to the bait, but that insane jealousy and twisting of facts and horrible punishments kept things off balance, hurtful and confusing.

    A month after i ended it ad cut off communication, there was a high drama suicide attempt and (fortunately) a SWAT rescue, and that's when i was told that he has BPD. now I live under a protective order, and the police, family violence team and the county attorney's office have been extremely concerned about this case. HE has been arrested for violating the P.O. over 50 times, and will probably go to jail. He wants a trial because he thinks this situation isn't fair, yet is always trying to tell me how much he loves and misses me... which just gets him in more trouble. I am so sad because i know he doesn't understand, and feels lonely and thinks I've punished him... his worst fear is abandonment, and it's become a self-fulfilling profecy. I loved him and miss the "good" guy, but I am not willing to live with threats anad danger, which was clearly escalating-- and i hope that he gets help. I don't think of him as a bad person, just a disturbed one who comes from a violent family. This is a serious mental disorder that wreaks havoc on everyone, but you can't make someone deal with it. Only the BPD person can make a difference by accepting their illness and allowing professionals to help them recover. Otherwise they will always have failed relationships.

    I did read an extremely helpful book, The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker, that put it all in perspective. it should be called The Gift of Intuition." A must read for women.

  3. i was in a 3yr relationship with a 33yr old divorced woman whos two kids lived with the father. I kicked her out in the end because of the unstable nature of the relationship. I then became obessed with her and wanted her back but she had immediately moved in with someone and married them within three months, this sent me into a deep depression and I had to get professional help.It was then I found out about BPD and I realised that I was not in a normal relationship. My former partner since her marriage has in the space of a couple of hours accused me of 'ruining her life'to 'will be there for me when I need help'....I still think about her alot but the best advice is to have no contact at all and thank my lucky stars I am out of a destructive relationship.

  4. I am hurting really bad after a four year relationship with a BPD man--as usual, he was the man of my dreams. We shared an incredible intellectual relationship (both of us are academics) and so I overlooked a lot and went back to him several times. I reached my breaking point this time around and I miss him terribly. He constantly has to have "new women." He didn't show up as planned when my mother was dying and I needed support. He of course blamed it on me! I wasn't available to do what he wanted, when he wanted. I still cannot get him out of my mind and heart. This has to be the most horrible malady for any one who tries to have a relationship. I tried so hard to understand him. I read many books, talked to my therapist, tried to figure out how to react so as not to set him off. I did everything I possibly could. Yes, he hooked into my childhood issues and yes I thought that if I could make it work I could solve many problems from my past--that was my problem and that is mine to bear. There is absolutely no empathy, no sympathy, and continual blaming for everything. This is a tragedy in human relationships.

  5. I am two months out a two year relationship with a beautiful borderline blond who, of course, was the woman of my dreams. I am still reeling and am just past thinking of suicide. My friends saw my soul leaving me as my personality changed from happy and funny to sad, serious and somber. She almost sucked me down the black hole of her painful existence. I believe that if I had stayed much longer she would have taken my life from me. Either physically, socially or legally. The sickest thing I have experienced in my 55 years. The sickest thing is that I would still like her back....Here goes the male to the Black Widow Spider.... If you meet one of these women run at the first sign. She can take your life and soul.

  6. I lived all the typical ups and downs having been in a short but intense relationship with a borderline. He loved me one day, made me feel like he really wanted his neighbor the next, made me feel like he was longing for his ex yet the next. The relationship with his ex was so hedonistic and dysfunctional, it’s embarrassing to articulate the details he described of it – but when we were dating, he insisted up and down he was over it, but it didn’t seem like it.

    Like many borderlines I’ve read about, he’s high functioning and has a side to him that is upstanding with a corporate job and he’s had spans of sustained responsibility – having gone through the army and subsequently college, stayed at a Fortune 500 company job for 7 years… so many of the messy, instability red flags apparent at first, I wrote off as a phase. He shared that many stressful events have occurred in his life at once: several job losses in the economic downturn, several deaths in his family – including his brother, then the breakup of his relationship, therefore it was easy to make excuses for his dysfunction and see some of his successes as reasons to decide to “work with” the dysfunction.

    After 9 months of rollercoaster ride, he loves me, he loves me not, abusive rage for no reason, small disagreements blown out of proportion, acting possessive like he wants to own me – yet insists on retaining emotional relationships with former lovers and crushes he labels as “friendships” – we finally broke up for good and he moved on to a quiet docile, part time receptionist in his office – that he claims is a better fit than I was because she has a calmer temperament and is more what he’s looking for “in a long term mate” since she’s a “grounded” single mom, as opposed to me and my occasional weekend enjoyment of friends, music and beer (in spite of my corporate job).

    Me getting angry and pushing back on this behavior made ME the abusive one, who was jealous of his “friends” and uncompassionate for not accepting a continued relationship with the 18 year old ex-stepdaughter of the ex girlfriend who burned her face while trying to make meth in her bedroom.

    So the common sense conclusion is to just let it go, see it for the ugly mess it was and move on – but I am constantly haunted by the sweet, loving good times – and my mind spins the possibility that the docile new girlfriend won’t trigger his erratic behavior AS BAD as I did, and that our experience will lead him to “get better” for her – then all the sweet wonderful things I loved about him will be something he now shares with her, minus the worse of the crazy. Please help talk me out of this thinking.


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