Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Borderline Twist Revisited: How To Deal With The Borderline Twist

I've received many comments and questions about the Borderline Twist. Until you have it happen to you, you don't know what it is. Some call it revisionist history, some call it changing reality, some call it twisting the truth, some call it changing the facts.

It's the Borderline Twist.

Reality Changes, Right In Front of Your Eyes
You've seen it happen, an event or a past event or chain of events. Suddenly (or not so suddenly if it's being used as ammunition in a fight), the borderline in your life starts telling you about the events, and it's completely different than how you remember it.

There's nothing more frustrating than this. Absolutely nothing. Why?

You can't do a thing about the borderline in your life changing reality. They've just told you that the chain of events is different than what you remember.

For the normal person, when this first starts happening in the relationship, they question themselves and their own sanity? Am I losing it? Could I not remember how things like this happened?

You start to doubt yourself. This is the borderline's first way of getting into you and eroding your self-confidence. It's a slow process, but you may fall for it.

Three Sides of a Story -- NOT
For a while, I thought that there were three sides of a story. My ex wife and I were completely different, and we saw things differently -- we saw the world differently. This wasn't true though. The fact was that there is one truth, and while we may see things differently and even interpret things differently, the facts are just that, facts. No one can change a course of events.

Intention Giving
The worst thing about the Borderline Twist and borderlines changing the facts right in front of your face is that they usually go to the next level. Not only do they change history, they give you intentions of wanting to do something against them. They loathe themselves so much that they give you intentions of wrongdoing against them. For them, this justifies their feelings of intense emptiness and abandonment.

If you're like me, you cannot battle with this. They tell you that you did this against them, but it was anything but the truth. The problem is that their feelings are their feelings, so you can't take their feelings away from them. You can't say to them, "I didn't make you feel like that," because they do feel like that.

This is the essence of the Borderline Twist. The Borderline feels chronically empty, bad, and loathes themselves. They change history and reality to make you or someone else the reason for their feelings of chronic emptiness.

Unfortunately, there is little if anything that you can do to make the borderline feel better. They will cycle out of their episode, but this could take some time. When the borderline would twist something that I said, did, didn't do or say, all I could say is, "I never intended to make you feel like this."

This was a critical misstep on my part. This illustrates typical Non codependency as I have now become responsible for the Borderline's well-being. I am not responsible for making anyone else feel any certain way. We are all responsible for our own well being.

It's an easy trap to fall into. Heck, I did and suffered the consequences.

Think about a borderline's makeup -- they have never fully matured, so part of their mind is like a 12-year-old. They feel incredibly bad about themselves; so bad that they need to prove to others that they should be alone.

When things aren't that bad, how do you make it that they are?

You twist reality so it's all against you. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy on steroids, because you've made it a self-fulfilling prophesy.

View it like a child is telling you a fairytale -- an outright lie. Viewing the event and their changing history as such, then addressing the borderline like they had just lied changes your outlook.

It will take time to start changing your outlook, but using these tools should help you preserve your self-worth

How To Address The Borderline Twist

First, if you see someone twisting reality in your life, say to them, "we just remember what happened differently." If they start trying to convince you that you remembered the event differently, something is wrong.

Second, if you see that the borderline is consistently changing history and the fights are continuing to escalate, re-examine the relationship? Do you want this? If you feel that you can't get out, find coping mechanisms such as leaving the conversation, going elsewhere for a while, taking a break from the conversation and so on.

Next, you need to have boundaries. Don't let someone force revised history on you. Tell them that you do not remember the event like that and that you have to agree to disagree.

Finally, do not take responsibility for another person's well being or happiness. If you think you're becoming responsible for another person's happiness, check out some books on codependency.

Not Your Responsibility
You don't need to accept responsibility when the borderline in your life changes history. The Borderline Twist is something that can be difficult to deal with, but recognizing it when it happens and dealing with it appropriately will make it much easier to address.

Good luck!


  1. Ah yes the Borderline twist and changing history. ive been a victim of it many times. Like you, in the beginning, I fell for it thinking 'well maybe I *AM* remembering things wrong'. Shes so firm in her belief of what happened, its so detailed she must be right, right? Maybe I am a bit absent minded and I just dont remember what all I said and did and the sequence of events.
    When I got caught in that trap for the 100th time - I started REALLY paying attention.
    I even tried the "I didnt intend to make you feel like that" or "im sorry what I did made you feel that way, it wasnt my intention. I was trying to do something nice." (which she always twisted into some attack on her.
    I used to call it the no good deed goes unpunished routine.)
    Shed come back with 'Thats not how you apologize, youre not taking ownership of what you did to me! Youre turning it around on me like you always do!!'
    Id explain that no, I dont know how much more sincere and how much MORE ownership I can take when I say *IM* sorry that what *I* did hurt *YOU*.
    What ive learned in my experience now is that when she says 'youre turning it around on me' & 'youre not taking ownership' what she really means is 'Youre trying to make me responsible for my feelings and I dont like it. So im going to flip it back on you until you crack'

  2. i once actually did say to my ex BPD whilst having a debate about his actions ''oh well we will have to agree to disagree'' i said this because i was worn down with his constant no it didnt happen like that , when i said to him we would have to agree to disagree i got verbal abuse and he sent me home lol omg thank the lords iam out off that now

  3. Ah yes, the history rewrites. I remember those well. I am now about three months out of an on and off again four-year relationship with a BPD. After I was in the relationship awhile I started writing down a simple log of what happened in our communications about various things. He knew I was doing this. I tried to make it light and sometimes succeeded. That is, I tried to inject a little humor into situations--along with telling him that my memory of whatever it was differed. He didn't challenge the things I had written down and even took all this fairly good naturedly at the time, which made me think he was learning something, but alas the relationship had the same ending as everyone else's on this blog. He went off with another woman when I had heavy family responsibilities. I confronted him with his behavior when he wanted to come back to me. I didn't take him back, but in a later conversation he made it seem as though I left him (ended the relationship) when I was dealing with my mother's death. What happened was that HE LEFT ME and that relationship fizzled and he wanted to come back AGAIN. So, he rewrote the final history in order to absolve himself of his behavior. He ultimately learned nothing.

  4. My ex bpdgf always changed the story of how something happened. I dated her for 2 1/2 years and lived with her for a 1 1/2 years. At first I let it slide because she really cute about it. I was attracted to her serious crazy side, at first. After awhile when she continued to make stuff up I would always bring up the story about the boy who cried wolf. She wouldn't just lie and make stuff up to me, she did it with everyone. I tried to explain that eventually people won't believe a word out of her mouth. She never understood. I eventually just gave up trying to make her stop lying. In the end, I honestly didn't believe anything she said. I pretty much lost my mind living with her. Towards the end i got into trouble for spending time with my family, I could not spend time with my friends let alone talk to them on the phone. She needed to know every detail of my life. Zero trust and zero privacy. Its like she wanted me all to herself and would get very upset if I did anything without her. Its been 3 months since the break up. She cheated and left me for a guy she works with. She is the biggest hypocrite I know. Unfortunately I did not know how to handle her disorder until after I researched about BPD and that was after we broke up. I am still a mess and sad without her. But I won't take her back, ever! Infidelity is a deal breaker no matter what kind of problems you have.

  5. I was involved with a very sucessful woman doctor for about 1 and a half years. We had our own homes, but her house was nicer with a swimming pool and a lovely backyard. I planted over two hundred flowers in her yard last summer and she once said her yard had never been so beautiful and it was all because of me. We were basically living together sharing our lives together , including her dog who I grew to love as much as I loved her.
    Towards what would soon become an abrupt and final ending of our relationship, she said I loved the flowers more than I loved her. She broke up with me suddenly 1 year ago and her words were so cruel. After a year and a half of my devotion to her, she told me I had nothing to offer, should not be in a relationship and needed to see a psychiatrist. I think I must have been split black. She said many hurtful things and her face seemed distorted and scary whenshe said these things to me
    I have been though breakups in my life but have Never experienced anything this acute or opposite or just plain BIZARRE !


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