Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Can You Fully Recover From a BPD Relationship?

When I first embarked on my journey after being in the relationship with the BPD, I never thought that I could get back to normal. But what really is normal, I would think.

The books and forums say, do the work. The only way you can heal yourself from a relationship with someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder is if you Do The Work.
  • Figure out why you were in the relationship.
  • Figure out what drew you to that person.
  • Shed the BPD tendencies that you inherited from being in a long-term relationship with a BPD.
  • Feel comfortable with yourself again. In a word, be comfortable in your own skin.
  • Shed any codependent tendencies that may have gotten you into the relationship
  • Learn to love yourself, not loathe yourself

So you go to counseling. You read book after book after book. Then you read some more. You get dismissed from counseling because you are back to "content," but you need more. You don't know what it is, so you read some more.

Then you find The Lord, which fills the hole. You learn about spirituality and what it's like to take yourself, your partner and your kids out of the center of your universe and replace it with another -- God.

Suddenly, things seem to make sense. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't require cataclysmic change. When you're ready, it's there, and it's so simple. I went to church and found what I had been looking for. Suddenly, the pain was still there, but it had lessened.

Don't get me wrong -- putting all of this together took some time-- about a year after I first went to church. I was still hurting when I was fooling myself and saying I'm healed in this blog, silly me. I wanted to be healed so badly.

Time Heals The Wounds
It's true, but time certainly does heal the wounds. Over time, if you have done the work, the pain diminishes until it's all but gone.

Your life is so different now. It's so calm, and for the most part, you're content. You still want some things to be different, but something has happened. You understand everything a little better. You're now older, wiser, and much more appreciative.

Sunsets are once again glorious and spectacular. When the sun rises in the morning and you're fortunate enough to witness them, you realize how thankful you are for having such a special, privileged life and such wonderful friends and family.

You're a different person. But you're the same. You've refined yourself, made yourself a little less vulnerable and have come to understand much more. You've grown into the person that you've always wanted to be.

Being in a relationship with a person afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the toughest things that a person can go through. You'll never feel more ripped apart when the relationship ends. It's like a drug addict that needs their fix, the non needs the BPD to idealize and then demonize them. When it ends, you're lost. Completely lost and utterly alone.

When the relationship with the BPD ends, it's an opportunity to become the person that you always dreamed. It's a wonderful growth opportunity, although you will not always know it. It will be the toughest thing that you do, probably ever. Career challenges, raising children, and doing intense athletic events such as triathalons and marathons pale by comparison. Those events are short-lived -- this lasts for quite some time.

When you get through it, you'll be an amazing person.

Yes, you can fully recover from a BPD relationship. You must commit to recovering and do the work. Then, life will be wonderful.


19 comments:

  1. I am struggling with the process of letting go of an emotional invovement with a BPD. I have loved this person for seven years. I call our relationship "Mr. Toads Wild Ride."

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  2. Another case here....I just found out about bpd....still in shock, working on getting myself out of this.

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  3. This has been living in hell during and even more so after the relationship. I don't know how I will ever get through this. I am constantly tormented by the intoxicated sex that we had and who she is doing those things with now.

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  4. My daughter's exboyfriend was not only became extremely attached to her, but also to me. She gained tremendous courage to leave him after many months of emotional torture. We feel as though we were both used and abused. Ironically, he immediately moved on to his next victim within two days and is "enjoying" life while we are still reeling in the aftermath. BPD is a wicked disease that affects ALL who are involved.

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  5. When the "relationship ended" I understood for the first time why people have such a hard time leaving an abusive relationship and how it feels to be addicted to something very powerful. I lost a dear friend in all of this, I choose the BPD over my friend who was trying to get me to see. After my dear friend's death, they send me a letter telling me about BPD. It describes my relationship to a tee.

    I am slowly coming to terms with things, but I am having a hard time understanding how someone with BPD can appear to move on so fast and compeltely. It is like we never had a relationship as mutual friends tell me. And this doesn't seem to fit with BPD, although my x has found someone else (the same day the relationship ended).

    The short of the difficulty for me at the moment is I can't help but wonder if I am the one with the problem and not my x. But than I remember a couple of things, 1 - it takes two and 2 - the cycle/patter was and is there. It is even apparent in my x's new relationship but their new person while they see the signs are ignoring them.

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  6. Here I am too, like the rest of you. In a BPD relationship for 18 months, definitely Mr. Toads Wild Ride, but I still yearn for her. Probably partially the intoxicating sex, but there was so much more. I wished and wished and tried everything I could to stop things from always spiraling into disaster, but they always did. It's hard for me to let go of the whole thing, even though I know I'm in denial about the relationship itself. Like an earlier posting said -- this is absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done. Good luck to all of you, and me!

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  7. Its been 9 months now and Im much better but still think about her everyday. Any stress makes me think of her and fall back into deep saddness. She hasnt called, not even on my birthday. I went no contact 2 months ago and it helped but I still cant believe she was lying and cheating the whole time. Its an absolutley devastating experience. I dont know what to do with my life anymore.

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  8. I too understood why people stay in abusive relationships and also understand how BDPs got to be that way in the first place. Child abuse destroys people for life. The mental abuse and abandonment we feel is what ruined them while they were developing. Add physical and sexual abuse and you create an abuser who see's themselve as the victim.

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  9. I spent sixteen years of my life married to a borderline woman and it almost killed me. If I were to give anyone any advise it would be to run as fast as you can, and don't look back. You are responsible for your happiness, and there is NOTHING you can do to rescue your partner. You may have lost most of your self esteem and you may not even know who you are anymore. This is why it is called crazy making behaviour. There is hope if you can detach. God bless, Peter

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  10. After 2 1/2 years I left my ex BPD. I am a NON. 6 months after leaving him the thoughts of the rages, verbal attacks, accusations and violence still run clearly through my mind on most days. The distorted thinking of this BPD often came out of nowhere and was so confusing. As time went on this person became more and more out of control. The crazy things he would say that had no basis in reality were the most frightening things of all. The EPO I took out on him was scary too but I had to protect myself and my child from this BPD's irrational behavior. So get out I say before you loose your own self worth and love of life. These BPD's are thieves they will suck the very life out of you if you let them.

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  11. Wow... I didn't know that other people were also strugling specifically with this... I went out with this girl for some months and olny recently I've learned that she was BDP. When I looked at the BDP article on wikepedia I couldnt believe it... it was ALL there, every single thing that had happened in our relation ship was a symptom of the disorder. Its been three months since we broke up, I still think about her all the time, still ask myself if there is something I could have done so that things would have been OK, but I guess not... I also, as other people mention, am haunted by the intoxicating sex... I think I'm happy to not be in the relationship anymore, after all Im seeing, but I still miss her. I guess the only think left to do is move on! But this one's gonna be hard.

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  12. My first step to let this go and start to heal is the realization that that they are BPD. A lot of people struggle with the fact that there is not an unequivocal diagnosis when the BPD's actions are so obvious. Once you let yourself truly believe they are sick you will feel the weight of the world off your shoulders. Now you can heal and put away the shame they put you through as it was not your fault. I no longer look at my BPD as a human being. I often asked her during our breakups "are you human" as you know their crazy making behavior makes no sense. I look at my X as an inanimate object now. Keep in mind this is someone I had known for 23 years and we had dated in high school. We were together for a year and half. Several of the times it was me wanting out. You have to realize that nothing was real to them. All the times they wanted to reconcile and profess their undying love for you, you have to realize it had nothing to do with you. They do not know how to love. Yes the sex is great but you can have great sex with with a healthy woman you feel connected to. Do not be jealous of your X's rebound partner. Pity the person as they will soon be in your shoes wondering what hit them. It already happened with my X. She contacted me telling me her new guy tried to strangle her. This is the same new guy she tried to rub in my face and shame me by telling me how much better than me he was. LOL. It was her crazy making behavior that set this guy off I am sure. Start looking at your X as a monster and you will feel better. Do not try to find logic in someone that is illogical. BPD's are the Terminator and to quote the movie with exception of the fear.

    "Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."

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  13. Two months ago, I was convinced by friends and family to get out of a relationship that I could not extricate myself from on my own. Everyone else saw how it destroyed who I was, but I was stuck. I found out a week before I ended my relationship that my ex was had been taking Cymbalta for two years for OCD (apparently) and that she was abusing Adderol (both had been prescribed by her father who is a doctor, SICK!!). I never knew. A person I was going to marry hid this from me. devastating. A week later, out of nowhere, again, while I was taking a MBA graduate school final she caused a major drama over absolutely nothing and I failed the test. Since the day that I dumped her my life has continued to deteriorate. She has harassed me at least once a week since the break up, one day trying to be sweet, the next being nasty. All of it manipulation. I have ignored it all. I recently have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and a psychiatrist unequivocally diagnosed my ex as a BPD. The stages of a BPD relationship described in this article http://www.bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a101.htm
    could have been written by me. It was verbatum what I lived. It destroyed me. I have spent my entire life as a successful driven person. I am now lost. I couldn't go to work, I had severe panic attacks, I completely lost myself. By the end of the relationship my life consisted of focusing on this person 24 hrs. a day. If I did not they would find something to explode about or accuse me of cheating or not loving them. But I was stuck and in essence brainwashed. I have lost all interest in my hobbies, have lost friends, my relationship with my family became contentious. This person drove a wedge between me and everyone else in my life. But finally admitting to myself, as mentioned above, that this person is very sick has enabled me to no longer want the relationship back. I, like so many others, am addicted to this person now. I yearn for it. She was a charming pro, who was able to make herself so desirable when she wanted. Pretty, witty, a blast to be out with, but behind closed doors these people are irrational terrors who play the victim like a professional actress. I know now in my heart that I want my life back and my old self back way more than this destructive person. But each day is a struggle. Instead of being the stable guy that I once was I am erratic and fickle. Some days I am so confused that I barely know who I am. I have taken on so many of her awful qualities. But realizing that I am not the only who has had this happen to them, helps me realize that this is a real thing, even if most around me do not understand it. I used to spend all day everyday replaying every aspect of our relationship trying to figure out what I could've done to save it and blamed myself, as she programmed me to do, for all of it. NO MORE! These BPD's are the most dangerous thing I have ever known and wish it on no one. The hardest part for me to wrap my head around is that the person I knew for the first two months, the person who made themselves to appear like my soul mate, was a fraud. They did not exist and never will again after all the time and effort and love I spent trying to get it back. This person was a cancer to my life, but I have finally removed the tumor. Now I need to start healing. Goodluck to all of you!

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  14. The pain of losing my BPD is equal to the pain he caused me throughout the relationship.This fact is as confusing as his behaviors(madly in love with me one week,hating me the next.Paranoia,idealization then rejection,lying,cheating,coming back and forth,feeling totally connected and in love then pushing me away,recounting things/conversations from a totally different perspective than what actually occured or was said,moving immediately into other relationships during splits,always playing the victim,etc)This sadness at the loss of an abuser has got me second guessing everything and myself....this is the most abusive aspect of dealing with a BPD.I have been counseled that zero contact is the only way out.Trying to make sense of this crazy making behavior is a waste and rescuing them,helping orschooling tham will not make them well or even appreciative.This is the most difficult and painful relationship (and subsequent loss)I've ever experienced.Not at all my only loss in my life...but somehow the most damaging and difficult.Searching for peace and health now while still doing my best to let go.

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  15. What I have come to realise over the past 6 months since leaving an extremely tumultuous relationship is that the learning in this is about me. What feelings and needs in me were the driving force in entering into and staying in a very unhealthy relationship. It is less about my ex (as he most certainly has his issues, healing and own journey to attend to) and more about why I was willing to accept and justify the behaviours that I did. My learning in this is most certainly around growing and feeling my own self-love (rather than looking largely externally for it), really being clear about what I want and need in relationships and being honest with myself about where those needs can truly be met. As much as I have missed my ex in many moments I know on a very deep level that there is no way we could have an equally supportive relationship as things are. I have really been looking into the part of me that can go into a "rescuing" role in relationships and feel clearly that it is not a pattern I wish to continue. I trust that this awareness will lead to brighter days...and relationships that are truly supportive :).

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  16. I love this site

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  17. Love this site and it's comments. The internet has been vital in my understanding of this problem and my recovery over a BPD relationship.
    3 year relationship, with the last year being marriage. Now recovery.
    It started when I moved to CA to find work as an attorney. First place I interviewed and later rejected was where she worked as support staff. Two weeks later, a random phone call from her, "I know your not from here." I wish I had never picked up that call. From there, a great honeymoon period, followed by a downward spiral. I resisted at first, told her I didn't agree, let her sleep on the couch. Somewhere along the way and many 6 hour one-way arguments later, I gave up arguing. Just gave up trying to prove a very mild point, or get clarity on a mundane issue like what the electric bill was. Her ego, and desire to skirt the issue eventually made me a hollow shell. Found out she was cheating, moved out, but lured back in, partially and eventually taking the blame (she hacked my email and noticed a paralegal tried to ask me out and I declined). Then, marriage. Kicked out 5 times in a year, fir the most ridiculous reason, one time because I put anwork out tape in the trunk. Eventually, I found myself on a plane to Phoenix, telling myself I didn't care if the plane crashed. Something was really wrong. I returned home, told her I lost my voice and something needed to change. Again, the blame game and ultimatums from her. I moved out, served her with papers 1 week later. Lived in the office for 2 months, with little contact. Found out during that period, she had already been married at least nice before for 4 years, had declared BK twice and was in the hole with the IRS for 100k. First, she blamed me for invading her privacy, then she denied it outright, then admitted it and apologize and finally back to blaming me. Ultimately stating that it did not effect me so who cares. Blaming me for her lies and telling me substantial lies like that did not effect me? I even found myself doubting whether the public rei Ed search was accurate.
    Now, moved into room, found office space, lost 20 pounds in two months and am aware she has moved on. I'm trying but realize this one will take time. My world view has changed. Realize that I thought the whole world was relatively innocent like me. Found out how good humanity is through friends reaching out with support and realized there are people out there like this. Picking up the pieces one day at a time.

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  18. Wow - reading these stories makes me feel less crazy - although its been a year since she went off with another guy, I am still healing. My trouble with the whole situation is that I often wonder do I have BPD?? I mean she fits the pattern; could not be left alone, constant raging, intense clinginess, suicide threats, never happy no matter what I did, always accusing me of cheating, one day cutting me out of her life as she went off with another guy. The trouble is, I did back away when I found her too clingy and she always used it against me. There were times when I did want to cheat (my bpd girlfriend had no sense of self or sexuality) So I was left with a double whammy. I was abandoned and I was made to feel like it was all my fault - and looking back I did make terible mistakes. For months after I was a nervous wreck, constantly breaking down, not sleeping, panic attacks - you name it - I entered into complete darkness -For the first time in my life having never thought I would say this, is that I even thought once of suicide.(Im over those thoughts:) I was completely alone in another country with no friends, family or anyone - and nobody understood the devestating effects it had on my physche. I guess I am glad to be free and trying to find my old self again.
    If I could offer any advice I would say to you guys/gals - be strong. Dont be passive like me. I put up with so much and deep down felt trapped by guilt for this poor bpd waif - but in the end they suck so much out of you, or another way, is that they blow you up like a balloon until the day they go off with someone else, you completely pop! I have always thought of myself as a strong person and never thought anyone could have such a devestating effect on me.
    You get hit by a tornado, and then are made to feel bad because your house was made out of wood - I think the process of healing is to rebuild the house out of brick - but to acknowledge you were hit by a tornado and only those who have gone through it can understand the pain and devestation it has on ones life.

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  19. I've finally detached myself from a 2 year relationship with a Borderline.
    It was the most tumultous and confusing, soul destroying relationship I have ever experienced.
    As soon as I relaized I was in a relationship with a borderline, I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. Everything made sense.
    They say most Borderlines are female, but I am the NON (female) in this scenario.
    I thought for the longest time there was something wrong with me. He made me believe I was crazy and he was very clever at twisting reality to make me wrong at every turn. He was possessive, controlling, manipulative,emotionally unstable, agressive, violent and unpredictable. The fact that he was extremely clever and brilliant with words made his distorted perception of events and of me, all the more believable.
    One second he was saying how much I was the most amazing person on earth and that he worshipped me, the next he would scream that I was a whore, a liar a cheat a thief, etc.
    no matter what I did for him it was never enough, he used guilt to manipulate me and I strived so hard until I was exhausted and financially in debt trying to please him.
    Worst of all my kids saw a lot of this behavior and now I am trying to rebuild our lives.
    I couldnt figure out for nearly two years what was wrong, but my gut told me this was not normal. Trust your gut.
    I'm currently struggling with forgiving this person. I know I shouldnt feel made at someone with a mental illness but I'm mad for my kids and what affects this may have had on them.
    I'm mad because I think he was cheating on me, I found pretty obvious evidence, (and think I may now have an STD, which I need to get checked out),but brushed off the other evidence and signs during the relationship, because he had me convinced he staunchly believed in fidelity.I was an idiot.
    I'm mad because he has killed my self confidence and I feel like I can never be myself again.
    I'm mad because he has taken 2 years of my life and I will never get them back.


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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.