Sunday, September 27, 2009

How To Tell If A Person Is BPD -- It's In The Eyes

There's a look that all BPD's share. I call it "anxiety eyes." When you see a person with this look in their eyes, you can tell that they're borderline.

Are all people that have these eyes borderline? I'm not sure.

I discussed this with a counselor once. The counselor told me that you could spot a Borderline a mile away, by the look in their eyes. The counselor also indicated that borderlines had so much pent up anxiety and intensity that as they aged, their faces would get a chiseled look from the constant clenching

I used to show the BPD her anxiety eyes in pictures. I would say to her, "look, there are your anxiety eyes...I can see them there." She would get upset when I would say something like this.

After we broke up, I saw a couple of pictures of her. She would have them taken where you couldn't see her anxiety eyes. They would either be taken far away or she would have sunglasses.

Strangely, her sister would also have those anxiety eyes in her pictures, although I thought her sister was much more down-to-earth than the BPD.

Do only borderlines have these anxiety eyes? I'm not sure. You can tell a borderline a mile away, though, from the look in their eyes. They have this look where they're looking at you, eyes all wide open, pupils fully dilated, but their look is still somewhat blank.

If you've seen it, you know it. You probably won't forget it.


Friday, September 25, 2009

More Perception

I truly have come far since starting this journey two years ago. I was so scared, so lost, so fearful. I knew that the relationship was bad, I knew that it was toxic, but I wasn't ready to break the chains.

The more I'm blessed to live on this earth, the more that I realize that we all have different perceptions of things and the perception that is given to us helps us explain and understand the world. I've blogged about Perception before -- you can read about it here.

If I am correct and our perception is formed by those that are around us, those that influence us from the youngest years, then one's mental health is directly attributable to those that raised us, our caregivers.

If you are raised in an environment of turmoil, an environment of instability, an environment where you are unsure about your basic needs and if they will be met, is your mental health affected? Probably, but you are also busy worrying about having your basic needs of food, clothing and shelter met.

When the BPD would have an anxiety attack and freak out about something. I would sit down with her and ask her about what happened. I would ask her why she reacted like such, and eventually, I told her that such behavior wasn't acceptable. But she continued, and when I would react more and more unhappily, she had numerous excuses. One excuse was, of course, Bob and how she was traumatized by him. Another one, was that her parents were controlling. Very controlling.

We know that we inherit many of our parents' issues as children. Being the noble people that we are, we want to carry on the family tradition, the family dysfunction, so we inherit these things. I carried crosses from my parents and grandparents, as I'm that ultra-responsible person. So, does the BPD do this also?

I think partially. From my experience, it seems that BPDs are in a state of arrested development. They've learned to adapt to the world and behave quite well in normal social situations. They understand the concept of love, but they are not equipped to internalize the concept.

This is why loving a BPD is the same as your first or an early relationship. They understand the concept of love, but they have not matured enough to take an adult attitude towards relationships. They can use their body sexually, but they cannot go to deeper levels like a longstanding relationship has. Over time, a relationship deepens. Relationships with borderline stays on the same level, because they are not equipped to go to other levels.

Back to perception. If we see high anxiety at a young age, and if we see a state of arrested development at a young age, can we as children easily grow past the state of our parents?

I would argue that it would be difficult. Very difficult.

The BPD's mother had lost her younger brother as an infant or toddler while under her watch -- clearly a traumatic experience that negatively impacted the BPD's mother and her life. She probably placed this anxiety on the BPD. Ironically, the BPD had an older sister who was married and seemed to be better adjusted than her borderline sister.

However, they both had the same eyes, which was clear in pictures. It was anxiety eyes. More about this in future posts.

So, I've digressed quite a bit here and have not even gotten to my initial point about perception -- that our perception is so different, that our lives are formed by the perception that our caregivers provide to us from a very young age, and that the Borderline's perception is lost in a state of arrested development.

Finally, I looked back at my old posts about Perception. Reading the posts that I wrote back then saddens me. I was so hurt, so upset, such a wounded soldier.

The nice thing is that I've come so far. I'm still a work in progress. I'll always be a work in progress.

That's why I'm proud to say that the Me Project continues.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


That's what everyone who's coming out of a relationship needs -- time. We need time to heal, we need time to understand what's acceptable and what's not, we need time to get back to normal. To get back to ourselves.

No matter how much we want to admit, one changes when they are in a relationship, even a healthy one. You create a code of rights and wrongs, do's and don'ts, lists of what's acceptable and what's not. When you're single, things are different. Much different.

After coming out of a relationship, one's inclination is to jump back into a relationship as soon as possible. Fill the hole that was just made by the person you were with leaving your life. While this seems like the best thing to do, it's farthest from what's best for you. You need time. Alone time.

Life with a borderline is much more acute. They make you feel like they are the only one that will ever love you, and they make you feel like you will never have a relationship like the one that you had with them. You miss and mourn the relationship when you're still with them because they paint such a bleak picture of life without them.

Living without the borderline that you were with is initially very difficult. The relationship is so dysfunctional that you've grown addicted to the borderline, and this addiction is tough to break. Very tough. I initially moved out from living with the BPD two years ago, almost to the day. However, we saw one another for two months while living apart until the relationship completely severed.

They say that you need one year of no contact with a Borderline before the addiction is broken. I would say that because of the acute nature of life with a borderline, you need two years without them to be over 80 percent healed. The trauma and abuse is much more acute, so it takes much more time.

I remember feeling terrible, crying on the train ride into work behind sunglasses every morning and feeling so lonely, so lost, so terrified. Looking back, it was quite irrational, probably partially because I needed spiritual fulfillment, but I felt pretty bad. The BPD puts guilt and shame on you that you don't deserve, that's not yours, but you take it because that's the type of person that you are.

Strangely, I also noticed that my ex wife will also put that same shame and guilt on me, and I take it. I'm not used to others putting their misery on me, as I don't do that to others. Yet they do this. My ex wife is telling me how I have strained the relationship with my son and that he resents me for being in multiple relationships after getting divorced. When I ask her if he has said this, she indicates, "no, but I think it's subconscious."

She's miserable. She has always wanted to put her misery and her miserable existence on as many people as possible. I feel bad for my kids and try to keep them out of that, but they'll undoubtedly be affected.

So, here's another connection that I've made about myself: I'm the kind of person that will let others lean on them, and I need to have clear boundaries. If I don't, people that are emotionally needy as well as emotional vampires will take advantage of me and try to put their own shame and guilt on me.

This is why I still write in this blog. As a professional writer, I need an avenue for myself to clear the cobwebs. A place for me to keep the garbage out of my head so I can write clearly and succinctly.

The funniest thing is that I said that the chapter ended almost 1-1/2 years ago. It had only just begun.

The me project and My BPD relationship recovery continues.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More About Bob -- BPD Drama

For those of you that have not followed the blog or don't remember earlier posts, before I was in the relationship with the BPD, she dated someone else, let's call him "Bob," for three years. Her relationship with Bob was, let's say, quite eventful:
- she had an affair on her husband with Bob -- they were from the same neighborhood
- she told her husband about the affair with Bob
- her husband died in a drunk driving car accident while they were still married, but she was having an affair with Bob
- after her husband died, she and Bob continued their relationship
- she was scorned by her neighbors about her relationship with Bob. Her neighborhood knew both her and Bob. They also knew both of their spouses.

Looking back and thinking about the true drama that this woman was able to conjure in her life, it was amazing. I always felt bad for her, and this is one of the major contributors for me feeling bad for her. She had so much drama in her life, obviously her making, but so much drama. Then I come along and I try to diffuse the drama, day in and day out.

I thought about something a while ago. I think that, in the end, she rejected me, not because of her perceived attitude towards me being a bad person, but rather that she didn't like how I operated. I refused to live in the drama, and I fought it every step of the way. I know that in itself was drama, but I believe that in the end, she had to reject me because she needed the drama.

Maybe I'm wrong. When I moved out, she told me, in no uncertain terms, "I don't want you to leave." But maybe she didn't want me to leave for the wrong reasons -- because she was afraid of being alone. Not because she cared for me. It was clearly no-win -- stay with someone who thinks you're evil, or be alone. I'd rather be alone, thank you.

Back to Bob. She told me all these things that she did with Bob and to Bob -- from cheating on Bob (uh, wait, she was married then, so she cheated on her husband and her lover and felt bad about cheating on her lover -- how whacked is that?) to seeing him on the road and giving him the finger. She told me that someone was trying to pick her up at a bar and he freaked out -- that made her feel good.

Looking back, I feel bad for Bob -- because I lived the life that he lived. Always trying to get close to someone who constantly pushes you away, and the only place you can connect with them is in the bedroom.

Constant drama. Eventual self-alienation where she felt so uncomfortable that she moved out of town.

You reap what you sew.

In the end, she was calling me the names and telling me that I was the narcissist. Bob was just a sick pervert in her mind.

In Bob's mind, he was planning on moving into the house that she bought out-of-town. In her mind, he was never moving in, or that's what she told me. He thought that was their dream house.

Poor Bob.

The entire Bob incident culminated one evening in October (I think she said that it was October 18) in a firehouse. Read about the culmination in an upcoming post.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Letting Go

I recently received a letter discussing the healing and how healing involves letting go of the BPD of the relationship, of everything. The email indicated that I had a lot more healing to do and I had to let go.

I disagree. I do have a lot of healing to do, but for other reasons. I haven't seen this woman for nearly two years -- how could I NOT have let go?

I've recognized the good times of the relationship, and I look back at those times fondly.

However, I also recognize the bad times of the relationship, and I'm still healing from the small abuse and control tactics.

I've let go, but I'm still healing.

Last night, I went out to my car to get something. I was gone for 30 seconds. When I got back, the fear that I used to have when I was in a relationship with the BPD fell upon ready, and I began to mentally brace myself for the 'what were you doing? Who were you sending a text message to?' accusations.

I quickly breathed a sigh of relief when those accusations didn't come from my girlfriend. They've never come and they never will come. I then tell her, "you don't know how bad my life was when I was with her."

I don't need to let go. I do need to heal from the abuse that I suffered from her. That abuse, no matter how confident you are, eventually wears on your soul and wears you down.

It wore me down and ate into me. I'm still recovering. Thank The Lord that Jennie is a patient and kind woman.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Facebook and The BPD

The other day, my girlfriend and I were talking about the BPD and she mentioned to me, "you know, she's on Facebook."

Really? I thought that she was against any such site. I guess not.

Within a couple of days, I went onto Facebook and searched for her. I couldn't find her. My girlfriend and I spoke some more about it, and she showed me where she was listed.

I couldn't get to the listing.


I couldn't get to her listing because she had BLOCKED ME! UGH!

I'm a reasonable man.

I'm a down-to-earth person.

I'm sensible.


I've thought about why it angered me so much -- being blocked on Facebook by a BPD who I was in a relationship with and am recovering. I figured it out.

It's my pride. She did it before I had the choice to do it. I would have blocked her, but I have no choice now.

Like I've said before, I won't have contact with her -- there's too much to lose and nothing to gain. We are prideful -- I am prideful, and she can see my external profile (not the details). I can't see hers.

I have to also remember that the BPD makes the world so she is the victim. In her mind, she was the victim of my evil ways, my taking advantage of her, my narcissistic tendencies. No matter how many counselors told her that she had work to do and she had to work through her issues, she spun it back and it was my fault. At first it was Bob, then it became me.

In my mind, she broke my heart. Into pieces.

So, my pride was hurt by her blocking me from Facebook. It doesn't matter, but that doesn't matter. My pride will recover -- not a huge deal at all.

The BPD struck again. At least she can't really hurt me anymore.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I hadn't thought about this until recently, but it's been on my mind for a number of reasons. I recently saw the BPD. I saw her. It was strange, real strange.

I had my two boys with me and we were trying to eat something -- quickly -- before they had to go to Youth Group at the church. We walked into an Italian restaurant, then walked out becuase we didn't want to eat there. So, we were pulling out, when we saw her get out of her truck with her nephew. Her sister-in-law got out of another vehicle and the three were walking into the local supermarket.

We drove around the three of them, being sure that they couldn't see us, then we left. It was strange -- real strange.

When you're in a dysfunctional relationship with a borderline that ended like it did, what do you do?

The best thing to do based on what I've heard from others' experiences is to avoid, avoid, avoid the situation. What good will it do?

- This woman, at the end of the relationship, told me that she would call the police if I went to her house to see her.
- This woman, at the end of the relationship, contacted a counselor that we both had seen and said that she was feeling like her safety was threatened
This woman, six after the relationship had terminated, contacted the police and accused me of sending her emails and putting pictures of myself and my family on her web photo gallery.

If anything, any interaction with this woman could end in hostility, accusations and more. For what? Because I would hope to get some kind of apology, acknowledgement of her wrongdoings, or something?

That's not going to happen. She thinks that she's been wronged. She believes it.

I had thought that she was in town because her nephew was graduating from high school. I now think that her deceased husband's father passed away and she was in town for the Memorial Service. This happened three months ago, but I hadn't thought too much about it. My girlfriend and I were talking about it recently and I thought about it.

I'm happy that I didn't have to see the BPD face-to-face and actually speak with her. Don't know what I'd say or if she would later accuse me of stalking her or something. My girlfriend said to me that I will probably run into her and I had better be prepared, but I will most likely avoid this run-in at all costs.

I was taught to think win-win in the world -- running into the BPD would be a no-win situation. I wouldn't get the apology, acknowledgement of wrongdoing or any other thing that would make me feel better about the situation, so it would just have the opportunity for trouble.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Abounding Love

When you're with a BPD, they provide this love like no other. They provide a level of love that few feel in their lives. When you're in their presence, the BPD loves you wholly like few have felt before. True puppy love can be felt.

As a Non, we thrive for this love. When you feel this kind of love, it fills most holes that you have in your life. The BPD gives you this love, then takes it away, devaluing you. You crave this love, this basic love that they give you.

I used to view the love that I had with the BPD as a pure love. This is what I meant, because she provided this low level love to me and it seemed pure. Looking back, it wasn't a realistic love. It wasn't a love that could deepen over time, because every time the BPD devalued me, said nasty things or made outrageous accusations, it was like we had to start over. The love would have to be re-established, trust would begin to be rebuilt, only to be knocked down again.

So, you have a pure love that you crave, but the love cannot deepen because you are treated so horribly.

You're suddenly in turmoil. Constant turmoil.

BPD Love Can Be Good
I've had many BPDs contact me recently, indicating that they are not given a fair chance on this blog. You can understand why I would do such a thing, as my relationship with a BPD ended in termination with me having many deep wounds. However, if a BPD is willing to do the work that they need to make their life and the lives of those that are close to them normal, I guarantee that this type of love can be a good love. The BPD's relationship would be allowed to deepen with their partner, and it could be a good love.

In general, Abounding Love is difficult, as one cannot provide another with abounding love. We need to have boundaries with the love that we give, and the love that we receive as well. When we do not have boundaries, we will burn out from giving too much, or we could feel smothered by receiving too much. If we are receiving too much love, the one that is giving may eventually grow resentful as well.

So, in the end, someone can get too much love. Abounding love is not a good thing. If you're getting it or giving it, there's a price that's being paid by someone else, or by yourself. Regardless, you don't want to be involved with this. Draw boundaries and enforce them.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Summer is exiting and fall is upon us -- it's the time of year when things are just beautiful in my part of the world. My life is good, but this time of year is still difficult. Two years ago, I was officially severing the relationship, then going back in. Then the relationship was off, then on, and the dance continued.

There was so much turmoil two years ago; I guess that I've never been able to really deal with it. I spent most of my days in a state of depression, or I was in automatic 'movin out' mode where I was readying myself for a big change.

That's what I've learned about myself. I'm good making change. I'm not good actually healing from the trauma or dysfunction that precipitated the change.

To make that a little more understandable -- I can make change easily. I don't easily heal from the change. I hide from it and try not to deal with it.

I guess we're all like this, but I may be a little more sensitive to it. Or maybe I'm just noticing this in myself now.

I bet that I'm going to feel like this even more in the future. I'll try to be strong and not run from these feelings, but when it's time to deal with it, you know.

It's time. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 11, 2009


September 11 is always tough. I watched the towers burn from across the river in New Jersey. Watched them burn, then watched them come down. In the town I was living, we lost 8 people, all of which worked for Cantor Fitzgerald.

I was driving in the car right after the first plane hit and while the second one did. I remember it so vividly, it amazes me. The smell of smoke lingered in the air for weeks, and the United States will never be the same.

Like they say, we will always remember 9/11.

That was long before I was in the relationship with the BPD. I was married, very unhappily, and pretty sure that my now ex wife was cheating on me. It was eating me up, and I felt terrible. Life was terrible.

It took me two more years to finally break the chains with my ex wife and separate from her; she was not borderline but had been abused by her school janitor as a 12-year-old. She matured very little from that point. Given the fact that her mother had suffered the same kind of abuse (but worse), she was wrought with negativity, close mindedness and being judgemental. Not my kind of person.

It took me many years to get over the divorce, and this is probably why I entered into a relationship with the BPD. The level of adoration from a BPD is so counter to what I received when I was married. The complete opposite.

I needed that level of adoration from someone. I needed to be pumped up and adored. I was wounded and sore, and I needed someone who appreciated me.

The problem is that the adoration was combined with being told how bad I was and having to prove my worth and trustworthiness. Ultimately, an unacceptable combination.

9/11 will always be a day that we remember. We cannot ever forget all the people that gave their lives that day. There were many firefighters that died, but many white collar professionals and workers that were just at work and perished for this country.

It also reminds you how important it is to celebrate freedom and your personal freedoms. If you have a mind that is troubled, make it clean. Make it whole. Keep yourself free from things that mess up your mind; this includes toxic people that mess up your mind. Your mind is too precious an asset to waste.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

100 Posts

So, this blog now officially has over 100 posts -- this is the 106th, to be exact.

This blog has taken on a life of its own. People around the world read this blog and contribute to it. I get regular emails sent to

What started as an exercise in healing for me has actually blossomed into a site that helps other heal.

I'm happy about that, and hope that I can continue to help others. I even get quite a few emails from actual BPDs that have seen what they can do to a partner.

Contact me at and let me know what you'd like to see here. I'll do my best to provide it.

Just remember -- this is the Me project, and I need to put myself first. After God, of course. Part of my recovery....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Committment Declaration

I'm not sure how much I've previously written about this, but it deserves mention again -- the Commitment Declaration.

What do you do when you're in a relationship with someone who is so insecure, so unstable, so untrusting?

You try to stabilize them, any way that you can.

I had just gotten divorced. I was now in a committed relationship with this woman who was so insecure for no reason, so untrusting for no reason, so unstable for no reason.

I thought I could make her feel better. All of my attempts were not helping.

What to do? Not ready to marry (after all, we had only been together for about six months). I got it -- a commitment declaration.

I wrote out a full declaration of the joint commitment. The fact that we were exclusive, we would not cheat or deceive the other, etc.

It was a beautiful document, if I can say so. About six pages in length, written professionally with rules and consequences for the rules (mostly professional counseling -- shocker), and it covered everything.

Everything was spelled out. Rules -- boundaries -- for the relationship. The BPD read it and actually recommended some other rules, so they were added also.

We both signed the declaration, then went and sat on the beach, drinking a bottle of champaigne together. We got Irish cloughter rings and wore them to show our commitment to one another.

I thought that this would make her feel much more secure, much more stable in the relationship.

It didn't.

Within a month, she got upset about I don't know what and ripped up and threw out the Commitment Declaration. All my work -- thrown out.

It actually took her much longer to throw out the cloughter ring. She disposed of that almost a year later in April when she threw them under her deck into a place that can't be reached by human hands.

Nothing I could do -- nothing -- would make the BPD feel more comfortable. For someone like me who feels that they can help positively influence the world, this was quite a frustrating exercise, but one that I had to go through.

Such a relationship really makes you define yourself. Even better, you're forced to verbally say who you are, which reinforces who you are. Before the relationship, I knew how I was but had self-doubt. This self-doubt was washed away, because Borderlines will find this self-doubt in you and exploit it.

You quickly learn who you are. You learn your true essence.

Looking back, I needed the relationship to help me grow. It helped me grow and define myself. It taught me that others do not perceive things the way that I do, and there are times I will not be able to convince others to see the world the way that I do, no matter how hard I try.

These lessons are sometimes hard to learn; they were hard for me. Growing up is not always easy, they say.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lay Em Down

Come down to the river
Come and let yourself in
Make good on a promise
To never hurt again
If you're lost and lonely
You're Broken down

Bring all of your troubles come lay 'em down
All you sinners
And the weak at heart
All you helpless
On the boulevards
Wherever you are now
Whatever evil you've found

Bring all of your troubles
And come lay 'em down
We're all tied to the same old failings
Finding shelter in things we know
We're all dirty like corrupted small towns

We'll bring our troubles
We'll bring our troubles lay 'em down
All you rich men
And the high above

All those with And without love
All you burdened Broken down
Bring all of your troubles
Come lay 'em down

It was tough with the borderline -- I tried to help her lay her troubles down. She put them on me though and made me the reason for her troubles. That was her perception, which I had no reason to try to change, although I tried to change it.

In the end, I had to lay my troubles down. That was the lesson that I learned. We all have troubles, and we need to lay them down to heal ourselves.

The relationship with the borderline was a difficult one, but it taught me quite a bit as well. I appreciate these things as I continue to grow into the person I want to become.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cape Cod

As I sit here in the Boston area traveling on business, it brings back memories of the time I spent in Cape Cod with the BPD. We were here during this time of year, as she had to attend a writer's conference on The Cape.

From the very start of the trip, there were problems. When looking for a place to stay on the first night (we left early and needed to find a place to stay on the first night), I was searching for a place on The Internet. The BPD accused me of trying to contact females when I was searching for a room.

"You've got to be kidding me," I said to her.

She wasn't.

I was angry. Quite angry. When does it stop? When does she start acting normal and not make crazy, outrageous accusations?

I told her that I was angry. I was so angry that I insisted that she apologize to me. She refused. We had already packed her SUV for the trip; I was so angry that I took my bags out of the SUV and told her that I wasn't going unless she apologize.

She finally apoligized. I felt it later, though.

We ended up staying in Falmouth, in a rathole of a hotel room. In the middle of the night, there were people fighting outside the room. I barely remember, but I know that the BPD was quite scared. I either went out of the room and told them to leave or called the front desk. I think the police eventually came and arrested some of them.

The next morning, we drove to Woods Hole where we dropped her daughters off, as they were taking the ferry over to Martha's Vineyard so they could spend some time with their grandparents. After we dropped them off, we went to Centerville and had reservations at a motel so she could go to her writer's conference. We checked in, drove around to get a lay of the land, then had a few drinks and relaxed.

Somewhere along the way, she got upset about I don't remember what. She said to me, "I'm going out," and was going to go out and drink some more. She never did go out, but I remember feeling quite a lot of anxiety over her possibly going out and drinking.

The next day was her writer's conference. I don't remember if it was only one day or multiple days, but I remember her going to the conference and coming back a couple of hours later during a break. I was checking my email on the office computer and trying in vain to get internet access in my room. This, of course, freaked the BPD out. She thought that I was doing something on the Internet -- I guess she thought that I was setting up dates for my free time because I had so much of it.

By this point, it was taking me longer and longer to get the BPD out of her rages. I could no longer tell her that I cared about her and would ever do those things to her and be able to make her feel better. Her rages now were regularly coming out, and they would last for hours, even days. Issues were never let go.

Despite this, I convinced the BPD to go to Provincetown at the very end of Cape Cod, and she agreed. I manufactured a new accent, my 'err-uh Cape Cad accent' and used it the entire ride:

Err-uh, I think we need to turn at this round-abowwwt, wat d'ya think Maaaaatha?

We had a nice dinner in Provincetown, then returned to the room. I had to go to the bathroom, and when I came out, the BPD accused me of going to the bathroom and sending text messages. She went as far as telling me that the bathroom didn't smell bad enough for me to go to the bathroom.

Talk about being put under the microscope.

The trip continued like this, the constant turmoil never stopping, constant fighting continuing. It's a shame, because it could have been such a nice trip. I knew that the end was near, and after we returned from this trip, I began looking in earnest for a place of my own to move out.

About one month later, I moved out.

Being back up here during this time of year as the summer begins to cool off reminds me of the trip that we had. Despite all the turmoil, I tried my best to have a good time. It was tough.