Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Kids and The BPD

When you're in a relationship with a BPD, you know that things are strange. You don't realize how out-of-whack it is until you hear from your children, years later, about what the BPD was telling them:

"She [the BPD] said that you were cheating on her with another woman."

That's where the line is drawn. Say what you want to me. Say something like that to my kid and we're DONE.

I didn't hear this until the BPD and were long over--at least one year over, if not more. If I had known that she had said such things to my kids, things would have changed immediately.

Getting yourself out of these kinds of situations are tough, but you need to draw the line. When I heard this, I was furious. Absolutely furious.

The BPD said one time that my kids are a bunch of mental patients. They're not -- they're actually quite well-adjusted and are top-of-their class in terms of academics and intelligence.

It doesn't matter. She said that about my kids. I loved on her kids like there was no tomorrow, overcompensating for the girls' losing their father and unstable mother.

The BPD had a good relationship overall with the kids. They liked her overall, she interacted well with them, but she clearly had times where she stepped over lines that she should not. Again, such as shame.

Be careful of Borderlines and stepping over these boundaries. Have clear boundaries; if the BPD in your life steps over them, have actions that you are willing to take in response to this.

My kids know that the BPD had issues -- they know the 'crazy eyes'. Ironically, since my youngest daughter was about two, we used to say to her "give me crazy eyes" and she could make the wild-eyed look that they have.

Now that she's ten, she has stopped having that ability.

Her eyes can only be normal now.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I'm beginning to realize quite a lot about this breakup. After realizing that my heart was broken, I'm also realizing that I was traumatized from this relationship.

Quite traumatized. Walking away from the relationship, I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, most likely.

My sense of right and wrong wasn't whacked, but she definitely wounded me deeply. I lost my understanding about how people worked. Think that I got quite cynical about people and their motivations towards me.

I viewed her as innocent and beautiful in the relationship. Looking back to earlier posts, particularly the ones about 'Dulcinea Syndrome,' I was suffering from Dulcinea syndrome. How can't you suffer from this when dealing with a Borderline?

They love you like no other
They adore you and tell you that you're the one that they've always been looking for
They change themselves to fit your every need
You think that you've found the one.

It gets worse. They tell you about all the mean people in their lives, and you feel compassion for them. You feel so sorry for them; you view them as innocent, precious, beautiful little flowers that have been hurt time and time again.

You become the BPD's night in shining armor. You protect her from the world. You want to make sure that others don't ever hurt her again, and you take steps to make sure that happens.

However, things get weird. Suddenly, she starts acting strangely and doing things where she's accusing you of being the bad person. But you're there to protect her, you assert.

She apologizes. Every time that she does this, which increases, she apologizes. She says that she was victim of someone who hurt her bad, and she's still weary. Your heart goes out to her even more. The innocent one was hurt, so you must protect her more.

While you're trying to protect her, she continues to hurt you. She continues to accuse you of hurting her too. But I'm here to protect you, you'll realize this soon. You'll realize it soon. You'll realize it.

As time goes on, she finds more and more ammunition. She makes it up. She twists the truth. She talks to people from your past. She does what ever she can. She takes your words and changes them to your advantage.

Doesn't matter. In the end, if you're with a true Borderline, you become the bad person and the object of their anger, fear, trauma, etc.

You're the bad person.

Yet they don't want you to leave. When you do, they push and pull.

Such is a borderline relationship. In the end, you walk away with major scars and major trauma. I think that, two years later, I'm finally fully healed. Yet sometimes, I still think about how whacked I was, and how wacky the whole situation was.

Don't ever want to be like that again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I don't think that I've ever said some of the basic things that resulted from the breakup -- first, I couldn't get through to her, no matter how hard I tried. Secondly, she broke my heart. Into a million pieces.

I thought that I could get through to her. I thought that she was doing it -- realizing what the issues were and ready to fix them. Instead, it became a sick psychological game -- I've written about this -- where I became the reason for her misery.

It was quite difficult. I thought that anyone would eventually realize that she had a good person in me. I thought that I could rise above her mental illness and pull her out of her misery and self-loathing. I tried everything -- from cards that I made that indicated 'if you're feeling anxious, read this' intended to calm her anxiety to the commitment declaration. Nothing worked, which was such a tough lesson -- that I couldn't get through to her.

In the end, she broke my heart. She broke my frigging heart. I don't think that I've written that since this entire blog began. Two years after I started writing about this, and I can now say that she broke my heart.

I'm not used to having my heart broken -- that was probably part of the pain I felt. However, with a Borderline, it's worse.

If a "normal" -- whatever that means -- person breaks your heart, you understand why. They just weren't into you. But when a Borderline runs from you, it's for reasons that don't make sense. They're not based in reality, so you don't understand it. It's nonsensical, usually wrapped in rage, and you don't understand why it happens.

What's the worst part of a borderline breakup? You know that you can get back into the relationship -- you can go back and you can get her back. However, you need to take certain demeaning steps -- let her kick you out and come crawling back. Have her hit you, nail you right in the face, and take it. I didn't take much from her, but there were times when I took her downright abuse.

At that point in the relationship, I probably could have gotten back in, but I would have been forced to break natural barriers -- like go to her house or do something heroic so I could show my love for her. I refused to do this -- it was too much. Ironically, right before the last incident, she had told me how much she had appreciated how much I had shown her about herself and how much she had grown since we had been together.

My heart was broken, and I had to stay away. That's why I wrote -- it was, and continues to be, the best medicine. All of you who read this help me keep this going. Now I've healed, and I hope that I can help heal those of you that feel heartbroken, broken and just down from a borderline breakup.

All of our situations are different. But borderline breakups share quite a few common threads. From the dysfunction to the abuse, this is all indicative of a borderline breakup.

Let me know what else you need -- drop me a line by sending an email to

Friday, October 16, 2009

BPD Family Continued -- Control

ON THE SURFACE, the BPD's family seemed normal. Quite normal.

Things definitely weren't normal. However, she wouldn't reveal too much about her family. She always seemed to assert that they were normal, and they seemed normal to a fault. What I did know reeked of problems:
- The BPD's mother had her younger brother die as a toddler while under her care. Her parents were out of the house, and the child died when she was watching him. I think it was from SIDS or a similar illness. She is an alcoholic, drinking a bottle of wine every night by herself, self medicating herself from her early born soul wounds
- The BPD's father had a strange background. He was unemployed for quite some time and was home, not working, for a good portion of the BPDs childhood. I know that right before the BPD's parents were planning on retiring, he came to the BPD quite scared because he had racked up over $70,000 in credit card debt.

They were nice people overall, however, they were quite judgmental. They passed judgment on most everyone, most everything. At first, it seemed that they really liked me. Then, over time, I became a bad guy in their eyes, most likely because of the things that the BPD was telling them about me.

One time, when the BPD had gone off about something and I sat her down for her daily talking-to where I explained the world to her, I was quite upset. I forget what she had done, but it was bad, and I wasn't happy.

The BPD was drinking at that time -- we drank espresso martinis. Out on her porch, when I began tell her just how unacceptable her actions were and seeing why she was acting the way that she does, she blurts out, "my parents were so controlling when I was a kid."

Huh? I never understood anything about that comment or sentiment. If you think about it, however, if you were her parents (particularly her mother), wouldn't you also be overprotective and controlling with your daughter?

I don't remember how her parents were controlling of the BPD. I remember that she felt like when they were growing up, they had no money and could not buy clothes that were comparable to those living in her affluent town in Central New Jersey. She also was not allowed to go out and do things that her friends were allowed. She went to college and kicked loose, never going home again. She met her husband in college and married him shortly thereafter.

I think that the Controlling Parents issue is pretty common with BPDs as there are BPD-focused books titled If You Had Controlling Parents. So, this seems to be a common thread with them.

Now, was the BPD just making excuses because she was about to be reprimanded by me? I'm not sure. Clearly, there were big issues with her parents that we never got near. The last counseling session that we had together, when she walked out in the middle of it, revealed that she needed to explore these issues more. The last night that we spent together, as we shared a bottle of champaign, she told me that when she fought with her parents and they asked her what was wrong, she was going to scream "I learned it from you," like the drug commercial.

So, the more I write, the more I realize just how dysfunctional it was. I've spent my last two years healing, not looking at her existence. These are clear indicators that I should have seen -- I guess that I did see these indicators and this is why I insisted on counseling so early. However, I got myself too involved -- I cared too much when there was so much out of my control.

We live. We learn. Life is not about all of our successes, but the journey that we take to get where we are.

I'm in a good place. Things aren't perfect -- they never will be. They're pretty good, and I'm grateful for that.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The BPD's Sister -- Family Illness?

My son saw the BPD's sister last week. He was playing soccer and his soccer team faced a team that the BPD's nephew plays on. Her sister was at the game with her husband.

They seemed like a nice couple overall, both of them having advanced degrees and a successful business that they owned. The BPD always told me that her sister's husband had large issues, and her sister grew tired of issues sometimes. Their children were very nice.

When I first started dating the BPD, she was the one that reassured the BPD that I was, in fact, a good guy. When the BPD would freak out about some issue and make something out of nothing, the BPD's sister would reassure her that her issue was minimal.

In fact, she (the BPD) told me that she would raise many issues to her entire family and get support from each of them. Strange, but I had never thought about this before. She essentially made me the object of her anxiety, tension and insecurities, then would bring the problem to her family. They would collectively judge the action and provide their verdict, through her and the family's eyes, of course.

When times were good, I was good in their eyes. As we had our issues and the BPD provided them with distorted stories, I became bad in their eyes. It was sad, but I became the bad guy. They backed her up, but I was still the bad guy. Makes me sad, looking back. I tried so hard with her, and she was able to make me bad.

Back to her sister and her family. My son said to me, "Dad, she has crazy eyes too." Thinking about it, she did.

Now, is BPD a family illness? Is the anxiety passed down through the generations? Did the BPD's mother pass her trauma on to her daughters?

Probably the anxiety was passed along, and the family dysfunction was definitely passed along. However, she probably didn't have the environment that the BPD had fostered to become borderline.

In the end, it's tough to tell. Highly dysfunctional families foster mental illness, particularly borderlines and other diseases. However, they don't pass the illness to all family members.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Barcelona -- Business As Usual

I forgot about my trip to Barcelona when I was with the BPD. I was traveling for work -- a quick three day trip into and out of the country for work where I was giving training. Of course, when you give training, you need to be alert and sharp. When you're sleep deprived because you're dealing with a Borderline, it's tough.

The BPD had her parents come and stay with her. It was a tough one -- from the start, the BPD didn't like me going away on business. International business made the BPD very nervous. Any business made the BPD very nervous.

On my previous trip which I had gone on the month before, I came back to a bag packed outside the house I lived and the locks changed. I wasn't expecting much when I got back.

The BPD's father talked some sense into her. He told her that I should be able to go on trips and not talk with her at all. That would be completely acceptable -- talking once during the entire trip would be acceptable, according to her father.

She took her father's word at face value, and I felt so relieved. Wow, I'm going to be able to have a normal trip.

Everything was normal on the trip. As a result, I gave part of the training session and did quite well.

The last night before leaving Spain, The CEO of the company, another trainer and myself went out to dinner. We had Tapas and walked through the town of Barcelona for a couple of hours. During dinner, the BPD called me, and I told her that I was in the middle of dinner. I told her that I'd call her back in a little bit.

Not good enough for the BPD. She raged, all angry and upset about this, accusing me of doing I-don't-know-what to this day. She evidently thought that I went and saw prostitutes, I guess. I came back with gifts for the children from the gift shop, and this wasn't enough. She said that I should have gotten gifts from the town of Barcelona and not the airport gift shop.

After dinner, I got back to my room and the BPD wouldn't talk with me. I spent hours trying to get in touch with her, then when I could get in touch with her, she freaked out on me and said terrible things. The phone charges from Barcelona to the United States were steep, and I ended up with a $1,200 phone bill. That's right -- a $1,200 phone bill for four days of travel.

As a result of the Barcelona trip, I was forced to get STD tests because of the BPD's accusations. Once again, I was accused of all these terrible things, and I found myself proving my innocence.

In the end, one shouldn't have to prove their innocence. A relationship like this has a number of fundamental issues, particularly that the relationship is imbalanced and no trust. Relationships should not be like this. They should be caring, loving with all the trust in the world. It's not out of reach if you really want it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Self Esteem

One thing that you quickly discover about a relationship with a Borderline is that they have low self esteem. Probably the lowest of anyone you've ever met. The strange thing is that their self esteem levels don't seem to ever increase or get to a healthy level. They have such constant self loathing that it's amazing. You end up spending the majority of your time helping them feel better about themselves.

This is one of the main reasons why BPDs are so unstable. Those that have low self esteem and such self loathing are so seriously impacted by external events that their worlds are regularly rocked. The partner of a BPD ends up having to continually rebuild the borderline's worlds.

Can A BPD Partner Maintain Healthy Self Esteem Levels?

This is probably the most difficult thing for a Non who is with a BPD. How do you stay out of the abyss of the Borderline, falling into their chasm of misery and self-hate?

It's difficult, and I wasn't able to do it. Those of us that choose to enter a relationship with a BPD without fully understanding that they are borderline usually have something in our makeup which requires correction -- somewhere that the needs of a BPD fits well. I was always a fixer, always a rescuer. I will always be one but I have learned healthy boundaries and ways to meet my rescuer personality without creating an imbalance in the relationship. In many relationships, my rescuer ways created large imbalances. I am always trying to keep this level healthy, even in my current relationship.

In the end, the dysfunction of my relationship with the BPD would never have let me maintain healthy self esteem levels. I needed to act in a codependent level with the BPD, or she would have run -- she always tried to run, but I chased her.

I guess that I should have let her go sooner.

In the end, I'm not sure if a Non who is in a relationship with a BPD can maintain a healthy self esteem level. If they maintain solid boundaries and do things to maintain a positive self-image, I guess that they can. However, there are simply too many obstacles in doing this.

Self esteem is tricky, and maintaining healthy levels is difficult for many. Combine that with a BPD, and life gets much tougher -- very quckly.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Do Borderlines Know That They Have BPD?

I've thought about this quite a bit and wondered this -- do borderlines know that they truly have Borderline Personality Disorder?

I think it depends on the person. Few doctors will actually diagnose a person with Borderline Personality Disorder. They will tell someone that many of their behaviors fit that of a borderline, but they won't put someone in that bucket.

The reason is because it is just that, a bucket that you put the person in when you give them the diagnosis. Most borderlines won't acknowledge such diagnosis anyway, part of their illness.

How Can You Tell If Someone Has Borderline Personality Disorder?

First, check the DSM IV Criteria and see if these behaviors seem familiar. If they do seem familiar, the person may have BPD. Of course, if you're quite close to the person, you're not objective, so it is difficult to tell. Professionals take multiple visits before diagnosing someone with BPD.

Anyway, I digress. Do they know that they have BPD?

Probably. The BPD that I was with had seen a professional that specialized in trauma. This person knew their BPDs, I bet. They eventually released the BPD, which most psychologists do with BPDs. Borderlines eventually start trying to manipulate professionals as well.

The BPD that I was with also had a friend recommend that she go on Effexor, from what she said. The BPD indicated that her friend was on Effexor and highly recommended it, so she said that she took it.

Research indicates that Effexor is one of the best drugs for treating BPD, but she said that she was on it for generalized anxiety. Anyway, she stopped taking it because she said that it made her fat.

When I told the BPD that I thought she had Borderline Personality Disorder, her response was, "I don't. You do."

She was so convincing that there was some time where I really thought that I had issues. Now, don't get me wrong, we all have issues, but we deal with our issues in normal ways. She made me believe that I was a headcase. They're good, those borderlines, very convincing and very good.

They bring you into their world, then unleash their anxiety and rage. Not fun.

So, I think that most Borderlines, especially older borderlines, know that they have something wrong with them. Seriously wrong. Many of them have grown up in highly dysfunctional houses, so they know no different and they don't know how to get out.

It's just a shame for us Non's. Our lives get turned upside down. I now know why I entered into such a relationship, which I will describe in more detail in a future post.

Stay tuned.