Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Showdown

We had both seen Valerie separately for about eight months. Sometimes the BPD went to Valerie alone for three hour sessions, sometimes I went to her alone.

We rarely went together.

I had moved out in September 2007 but we had continued to see one another on and off; now that we were not together, the BPD was pushing me away like we did when we were together. However, because we lived apart, I did not have to push through her constant turmoil and get the relationship back to stable.

It seems to me that when we lived together, every day, she would raise an issue that I would have to deal with -- either she thought I was cheating on her, I had lied to her, I had done something to cause her pain. I would then launch an offensive to show her that I didn't do such a thing, that I wouldn't do such a thing, and that I was, in fact, a good guy that only cared about her.

Even thinking about this makes me tired.

So, now that we lived apart, I could not deal with her turmoil every day. Her turmoil required me to often go over there to show her that I cared about her, and there were times that she even said, "don't come over here; if you do, I'll call the police."

What are you supposed to do then? Looking back, I should have bailed long before I did, however, I felt that I had to prove that I was a good guy, and I did such. Until she threatened police.

Back to Valerie. When she and I no longer lived together but still dated, I began to study Borderline Personality Disorder, the signs of a person affected with BPD and how to deal with them. I actually was told by another counselor that the BPD showed major signs of being borderline, so I knew.

Some quick searches on male abuse on the Internet confirmed that she was borderline.

I then went to her and told her that she was borderline. Bad move.

"I'm not borderline, you are," she retorted and then enlisted Valerie's help in proving that I suffered from BPD. She bought books, came to my place with books for those suffering from BPD so I could read it and feel better about myself, and the like.

I had known that she was playing a sick psychological game, but it had just gotten sicker.

So, let me go through the situation now:
- We're living apart
- I've told her that she's borderline and I have plenty of evidence to support this, including her meeting most of the criteria for BPD in the DSM
- She tells me that I am borderline and meet the criteria in the DSM
- The relationship is more rocky than ever; we both continue to see Valerie separately

We agree that we're both going to see Valerie so we can get everything out in the open:


The Showdown

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we both meet in Valerie's office to discuss everything. It was a 9 am meeting. We had stayed together the night before, but we took separate vehicles to the session -- I think that she had to drop her kids off at her sister's before the session.

The session was like no other. She accused me of being borderline, and Valerie literally pulls out the DSM in the session, and we go through it (I think she had accused me of suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder also, so we covered both). One by one, I have to show how I don't have each characteristic. Valerie is saying to the BPD, "you never told me that he worked for one employer for five years," "I never knew that he did that, that's completely normal," and the like.

I felt much better. Whew.

The session lasted over three hours. We talked about all the issues on the table, like the source for all of her insecurities, lack of trust and the like.

Being myself, I didn't push the issues too much, except I wanted them uncovered and discussed. I wasn't pointing fingers, just wanted progress forward.

In the end, after three hours of counseling, mediating, whatever you call it, Valerie says to the BPD, "so we need to schedule a follow-up session to discuss the issues that you have with your father and the control issues that you have with your upbringing."

The BPD looks at Valerie, stands up, and walks out.

I was clear. I didn't have BPD. Or DID or any D.

The BPD was gone.

Damage Control

So, the BPD has now left the office and is God-knows-where. What do you do?

First, let her vent. Then, take her somewhere so you can forget about the situation and have a good time.

We did just that. I let her rant and rave for about an hour, then took her somewhere where we could relax and have a good time. Of course, over the course of the night, she raised many of her issues, which she was becoming aware of:
- Issues with her upbringing and her parents
- Issues with her marriage and other relationships

Of course, she took no responsibility at all, whatsoever. She was always the victim.

The weekend ended up being a real nice one. The next day, we were talking about a number of things, and she said to me, "I've grown so much since I've been with've really helped me learn quite a bit about myself...thank you, I appreciate that."

Those were the reasons that I stayed, I hung on, I kept myself in the relationship. I always thought that she was about to change, about to turn the corner, about to trust, for good. If she could, then all would be well.

I remember riding on the train back to work on the following day, saying to her, "just remember the feeling that you had over the weekend. Remember how you felt, how you felt about us, and don't lose that feeling."

Then....SNAP. It all changed.

Read about the change in an upcoming installment.

Back to Valerie

So, that was the last time that the BPD saw Valerie. In her mind, Valerie became part of the problem; the one that was so good in her eyes was now bad.

As far as I know, the two of them never saw one another again. The BPD was told that they had to work on more issues, and they didn't want to hear that, so Valerie was demonized. In the BPD world, you're either good or bad. Valerie was now bad.

Pretty soon after that, I became bad. Read about that too in an upcoming installment.

1 comment:

  1. > I felt that I had to prove that I was a good guy

    That's what hooks us in, isn't it? We ARE good guys and it's a major part of our self-image. To have that taken away is murder to us, so we claw our way back.

    Early on in my relationship with a BP, when she was still a secret in my happy marriage and I was just trying to help her get through her nightmare life, before I knew anything about WHY her life was such a nightmare, her abusive husband raped her. Or at least she believed her husband had raped her. But I didn't get her email until much later, because I was sick, and thus her anxiety went into overload. So then she sends me a terrifying video message, letting me see how close she is to a genuine breakdown. At that point she tells me to get lost and never speak to her again!

    It was like she believed *I* had raped her. She'd accused me, convicted me in my absence, and then sentenced me to the loss of someone I loved, for a crime I hadn't committed. The blow to my self-esteem was unbelievable. I knew it wasn't my fault; I knew I'd done everything I could to be supportive; I knew she was acting crazy. But I COULDN'T let go. I soon sweet-talked my way back, because the cost of living with perpetual blame after all I'd done was just too much. If I'd known she was borderline it would have been different, but if you're a nice guy and you try really hard, to be left with a "conviction" for rape, even privately, in one person's mind, is too much to bear.

    So we're our own worst enemies in some ways. Now I'm separated I'm trying not to be such a nice person - I have a sign over my desk that says "I deserve a life too" and I'm trying to stick to it. But being a good guy is a kind of sickness too, sometimes, and it's a hard habit to break.


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