Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Life Continues to Improve

It's been 10 months since the BPD and I last spoke to one another, when she stormed out of my place, and I didn't give chase. Life has changed quite a bit for me, to say the least. I'd like to say that it has gone back to normal, but it hasn't.

It's gone back to better than normal. My normal has been redefined. Particularly the normal that I had with the BPD, because that wasn't normal. That was dysfunctional.

Looking back, the relationship with the BPD was important to my growth. It was important for me to see true instability and how to navigate away from it. 

Ten months later, she can't come near me now:
- I have a new woman in my life. She's kind, patient, caring, loving, funny, quite attractive, and much more my speed. She's a singer, a mother, a wonderful friend. She supports me like I've never been supported before. I don't think that I was ready for her until now, and that I had to have a relationship with a BPD so I could truly appreciate the new woman.
- I have a new position so she doesn't know where I work. No more calling my office and asking reception, "Is Dennis working today?" then hanging up. 
- I've moved to a place where she has no idea where I live. None. I moved in with my new girlfriend, and she couldn't find me if she wanted to.

With that said, I'm still healing. I'm kidding myself if I don't say that I'm still healing. After being in a relationship with someone inflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder for nearly two years, one has to heal so they can have healthy relationships again. They must learn their personal boundaries and exercise them, putting them up firmly for some, then learning to have flexible boundaries. I'm still healing, but it's nearly over. 

The Borderline Personality Addiction

When you spend years with a person afflicted with BPD, you grow addicted. You grow addicted to the highs of the relationship, and you grow addicted to the lows of the relationship. The BPD treats you like a god at times, then treats you as evil other times in their cycle of devaluing and idealizing you. 

Clearly, you love the highs, but you also like the lows as it becomes an opportunity for you to prove your worth. Proving your worth becomes critical when you're in a BPD relationship, as the BPD will constantly devalue you in between their fits of treating you like a God.

When the relationship ends, you want it back so badly that you will now violate boundaries -- the BPDs, your own, whatever -- to get the relationship back. You're now caught in the web of Borderline Personality Disorder. Some have called this, "living the life of a Borderline by proxy," and you really are living like a Borderline. You'll now:
  • Call the BPD repeatedly until they pick up. Before you would never do such things. To the BPD, this proves their worth. They don't pick up the phone, and you're desperate to have them talk to you so you can reconnect with them and have them feed you the idealizing that only they can provide
  • Get upset, jealous, angry about things that never would have bothered you before. Is this really you, or someone who has invaded your body? Look at the BPD, because they occupy your brain now, not you
  • Ignore, disown, not pay attention, disregard family and friends to the point of completely cutting them off. One of the key things that BPDs do is isloate you, because if you were well-connected with friends and family, you probably would never have accepted such unacceptable treatment. My Mom used to tell me that she could tell when things were bad with me and the BPD because she wouldn't hear from me for weeks. When things were good, she'd hear from me all the time.
  • Feel bad all the time. Maybe you're talking to yourself because you're feeling so bad (I did -- before the relationship ended and afterwards). Maybe you're clenching your teeth (I did for about 6-8 months). Maybe you're crying constantly (I did, particularly after the relationship ended). Believe me, life is fantastic. Stop doing it now.
Personal Growth After the BPD Relationship
The Borderline Personality Disorder Recovery takes time, but you must make sure that you perform all steps:
  • Go to counseling and determine why you were in a relationship with a person stricken with BPD. 
  • Fix the causes.
  • Learn to re-establish clear, healthy boundaries
  • If you stopped going to church, go back. If you never went to church, start going. This is critical as the BPD relationship filled a hole in you. It was most likely the "God Shaped Hole" as my Pastor likes to say.
  • Re-establish relations with friends and family, if you choose.
  • Enjoy life -- it's wonderful when you don't have all of the worries that a BPD puts on you.

The Cycle of Abuse
A counselor that the BPD and I once saw told me that if I stayed in the relationship, that her actions would be considered abusive and would continue to be abusive. Of course, I didn't listen, but that's another story.

Borderlines have a different reality than the normal person, and they have such self-hatred and self-loathing that they do not understand how anyone could care for them and love them. Because of this, they think that the people around them must have something wrong with them, alterior motives, or reason to take advantage of the BPD. This is the basis for how they operate -- they do not want to feel alone, but they cannot fathom how someone would legitimately want to be with them. 

Ultimately, you need to feel bad for the BPD. You can get out of your depression, sadness or whatever you're feeling. The BPD will always feel the way that they do. They will always be unstable. Their fear is that others will discover that they are borderline, so they do whatever they can to hide this, include:
- Take no accountability for anything
- Change reality so they are not responsible and others are responsible
- Accuse others of having BPD and other mental illnesses

When I was with the BPD, I had:
- Narcissism 
- Dissociative Identity Disorder
- A compulsive lying problem
- The list goes on

Now, you look at these things and wonder how you could have stayed in the relationship for so long, but it was a slow, gradual process, getting pulled in with the constant idealizing, then being accused of being such a horrible person. The slow process eventually changes your boundaries and tolerance of such inappropriate accusations, actions and the like. 

The most amazing thing about Borderlines is that they look -- and appear -- that they are so well put together.  After all, they have spent years knowing that they viewed life differently, and it takes time to pinpoint the issues and make a decision to go. It took me nearly two years. You've never had life be so good, but you've never had it be so bad either. You cling to the good. When the bad begins to continually outweigh the good, it's time to move on.

Key Learnings

  • The BPD took advantage of my own self-doubt. They saw it then preyed on it, playing on my fears. 
  • The relationship with the BPD was critical to my growth as a person.
  • I'm now much more of a man because of the relationship with the BPD. I no longer try to meet other's needs before looking to meet my own. Life is a compromise, not a sacrifice.
Stay tuned. More will be posted in upcoming months. It won't be as regular as before, but as I feel the need to provide updates, I'll provide them. 


  1. Hi there, excellent blog. After drain myself for the last 3 weeks, I finally find this blog.

    I've been with BPD girl for 3 years. All the symptoms are exactly typical BPD: Molested as a child, controlling parents, Passionate, beyond the border, black and white perception of the world, anxiety, OCD, idolizing and devaluation..

    It first I thought she was god sent. She was so romantic, passionate, worships me like a god, intensely sexual. She would do anything to me. After that, among worshipful attentiveness cycle has gone, she would devaluated me, insulted me and hurted me. Bust sometimes love and worship me again... she would cheated on me and apology to me and love me again.

    She left me last month, she ditched me, but I can't stop thinking about her. I keep reading all her love letters to me, remembering all the sweet and romantic things she did to me....

    Now what I want is to get back to her, I want to save her. I want to help her, the more I think about her, the more I want to be with her. What should I do ?

  2. You need to stay away from her. You can't save her -- I've been there and have tried to save a BPD partner myself, no matter how much I said I wasn't doing that.

    Think about this -- if you let someone cheat on you and let them back in time and time again, it shows them that they can do whatever they want to you. They can play their games and you'll be there to fill their needs -- when they feel like it. When you need them -- like now, they're not there.

    Mourn the loss of the relationship. I know it's tough -- I've been there, brother. Get some books on mourning the loss of a relationship -- one called What to Do When Your Relationship Ends was quite good for me, and heal properly. Try to figure out how you let yourself get into -- and stay in-- a relationship for so long.

    If you REALLY feel anxious, go on Lexapro or another medication that you can get from a psychiatrist. You will get through this, and if you do the work, you'll be better in the end.

    Good luck, my friend. I'll be praying for you.


  3. It's is very normal that you want to rescue her. It's the no.1 pittfall. But in fact. You can't. You will only make it worse. Because you will loose it at one point. You should really stay clear now for a while. NO CONTACT!!!! It will clear your mind.... However.. people told the same to me when I was at that point... I didn't listen either..The result was a lot of extra drama..So if you try to rescue her.. do your probably first have to hit bottom...But no worries.. the path of pain is there for you to experience.. its not a shame.. It's a sign your human...It's the empathy and love....but every man has a breaking point..
    You are a lucky man to experience borderline relationship..its a gift..but its even a greater gift after that she dumped you.. than the real knowledge can set in..that's the healing...good journey.. your not alone

  4. I can totally relate to what you guys are experiencing. I met my BPD ex fiance ten years ago, and quickly fell for her. She would dangle a bone in my face, but would never give me a chance to love her. Then,a year and a half ago, she contacted me out of the blue, after not being in contact for seven years, and like a fool, I went to visit her eight months ago. We were on cloud nine for about three months, and then her true self emerged. I was still so caught up in everything that I was blinded by her illness. I didn't even know she had it until she just broke up with me a month ago. I know, we shouldn't self-diagnose, but she is a textbook case after reading everything I have been able to find on the subject. Anyways, we ended up getting engaged in September, and in late October, after I made a comment that was totally taken out of context, she split me black, and wouldn't talk to me for two days. Finally, she texted me, and told me she had to move on. I was blindsided, and this has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I know that her illness is not going to improve (I mentioned to her a few times that she had mental problems, and she denied it) but somehow I still miss her badly, and struggle to get through each day. I know I will get better with time, but I now see exactly how addicted I was to her, and her idealization. Everyone else seems happy that the relationship is over, because my friends and family told me I was a different person when I was with her. I didn't see it, but I know that I felt like I was on pins and needles everyday trying to make her happy. I hope you are right, and that this will make me stronger. But, right now I feel hurt, betrayed, ashamed, lonely, sad, etc. We all must keep on moving on.

  5. Hello I am Michael, the first anonymous commenter.

    I am trying hard to do NO CONTACT with her. But occasionaly she would called me out of the blue. Luckily she lives in another continent now.

    The BPD HATES and feel tortured when she see her ex in the happy relationship. So if you are in the good relationship/marriage, she will really hate you.

    My BPD ex gf always talk good thing about her exes who remains single, she would call them time to time out of the blue. But she resent her exes who already married. She will also try to contact them.

    I think once the BPD prey on you, there is no escape, she will haunt you for the rest of your life. Even after she painted you black.

  6. Michael, I know what you mean. But please set your boundaries. Tell her that you want NO CONTACT in the name of love. I know its just to damm hard not to pick up the phone, but it drives you nuts everytime you do, because you are caught in the web. Release yourself from it...

    I was on 'good' terms with my BPD ex, but I turned myself bad, because I couldn't handle the contact (lies and broken promises). Turning myself 'real' bad turned out well to achieve no contact..(but beware this can be dangerous), however she hasn't called me since. And now I begin to feel much better..were talking 2 1/2 months here..

    So hit her with the truth. You know what it is and it will hurt her and paints you black. But remember.... the Truth will set you free......and yess no contact is make you life interesting. That's what we all have to do. Making your life intersting by coping with useless drama is just sad and a waste of time.

  7. Hi,

    Thank you all so much for what you've written. I too, like the rest of you are in exactly the same situation. I would write out my specific experiences but they mirror those I've read here so there isn't much point.

    I'm on the verge of walking away but just don't have it in me yet. The addiction is profound. What I am noticing though is the self described addiction. I'd never considered this facet of the relationship.
    I'd like to offer to those reading this that.......if you have a tendency towards addiction. Either substance, EtOH, sex shopping, you name it, the BPD relationship will even be more difficult to escape.
    My last stand now is to be more than assertive. It will lead to conflict. I can feel it coming. We are now in a counselling situation to manage the difficulties in the relationship. The therapist does not seem to suspect BPD in her. The behaviors which characterize this have not been brought up yet. They will be this Tuesday. I read somewhere that it is a huge mistake to try and self diagnose BPD in your partner and call them on it. What I hope to do now is bring the events to light which paint a picture our therapist can't ignore. If he sees it and raises it, I'll not been seen as the accuser.
    As with all of you, I love and adore my girl. I would give her anything. In that sentiment, my last "gift" should be the opportunity for her to see her true self and address her deep seated need for therapy. If she chooses to take this route, I'll support her. If she chooses to continue without therapy, I will walk away.
    It's killing me at times and I can't take it anymore. I've forgotten who I am as a person and what my priorities were. It has become all about her.
    This must end.
    Thanks for letting me vent.


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.