Friday, December 11, 2009

BPD Nails on the Back: Borderline Anxiety

I had forgotten about the nails on the back until I started to recount the Miami story and how the BPD had broken up with me when I was traveling in Miami. One of the most memorable things that came out of that entire exchange -- and something that created continual conversations throughout the relationship -- was the nails on the back incident.

The Breakup and Fallout 
Like I had indicated, I was traveling in Miami on a Thursday when the BPD had broken up with me, and was scheduled to fly out of Miami on Friday morning. I left Miami dejected and went to my soon-to-be-ex wife's house. She was going out with friends, so I had agreed to watch our children.

She came home early -- around 10 p.m. With nothing to do and far from my home, I went out myself, heading to the local bar. I met up with an old friend of mine. As usual, he was quite inebriated.

The town in which I had lived with my ex wife was one of those towns where everyone acts proper, very few divorce, and everyone puts on their best faces all of the time. Divorcing in a town like that is not only out-of-the-ordinary -- it's also looked down on. My ex wife lost friends when we separated. They weren't her friends anyway, but she never realized that.

When I was out, I actually met the divorced counterculture that lived in the town -- there was a group of maybe ten folks that were there, all divorced. It was surprising. Anyway, back to the story.

As I was leaving with my friend (who could not drive anymore because of his multiple Driving While Intoxicated charges), we ran into my ex wife's cousin. She was drunk and came up to me and hugged me.

As she hugged me, she reached under my back and scratched my back with her nails. It happened so quickly that I don't remember exactly what or how it happened; frankly I never looked at my back so I'm not sure how bad it was. In fact, maybe it never happened.

I remember thinking when the whole event occurred, if I was still with her (the BPD), she would freak. So, something must have happened.

Back With The Borderline
The BPD broke up with me on Thursday. We traded emails on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then on Sunday she called me. She told me that she didn't want the relationship to be over. So, we talked and agreed to go out on Monday night. I had the kids for the weekend and brought them back on Monday night, meeting with the BPD after dropping the kids off.

We went out, and things were good overall. When we went out, I remember her having anxiety when I went to bathroom, afraid that I was sending text messages to someone. How silly. So, I gave her my cell phone and said, "here, hold it while I go."

Looking back, how ridiculous.

She never said anything initially about seeing nails on my back until much later, as far as I remember. She never said, "what are those nail marks on your back?" But eventually, her anxiety flared and she freaked about it. When I was gone and away from her, the nails on my back were suddenly an enormous issue. I eventually told her what happened, but to the day we broke up, she told me that I never told her the truth. Some of her theories:

  • After we broke up, I went out in Miami and met someone who scratched my back
  • I got it from someone that I met when I got back
  • It was a slough of people -- my ex wife, my coworkers, you name it

No Win
When she first asked me about the nails, I told her, "you broke up with me; it doesn't matter who it was. Don't break up with me again." She eventually got into me and I told her, but that didn't matter.

The bottom line is that it didn't matter. Breaking up with someone then continuing the relationship, over and over, is a form of abuse. I was trying to protect myself. She had to keep pushing the boundaries because of her amazing insecurities.

To the last day that I saw her, she always brought up the nails on the back incident. She told me that she never would trust me because of this.

She never could trust herself, so trusting me was downright impossible.


  1. "Breaking up with someone then continuing the relationship, over and over, is a form of abuse"

    I agree. This is true for BOTH parties. That is why I, as the BPD partner, have told my husband that we just CAN'T get back together. We have been separated one year. Our sweet children are suffering, as all kids do during divorce. They see mom and dad getting along, being civil and courteous, even sharing laughs. So why can't we just all be a family again! Time helps. He has a new girlfriend. I am not fit to be with anyone - yet, or maybe even never. Some people really flick my BPD vengeance switch too much. He is one of those people. All too often, innocently enough, he will say or do something to which I take incredible offence. Usually related to my feeling inadequate COMPARED to him (those infernal, eternal, odious COMPARISONS), then I hate him for making me feel so useless, like such a loser. It doesn't help that he is a model citizen, Clark Kent AND Superman all wrapped up in one, while I am, truthfully, a FLAKE in comparison. Other people don't make me aware of this as much as he does. That is why for both our sakes, to stop the abuse, we cannot get back together. Every other week, one of us will say something like, "I should just sell my house and move back", or "this isn't good for the kids, this is dysfunctional to drag the kids back and forth every week!" But actions count more than words. In the end, neither one of us is taking any action on these words. Thank goodness. It just isn't doable. It is sad, though.

  2. On one of the many dramas i experienced with my ex BPD i moved to stay with my brother. While i was there i received lots of abusive texts. My friend was going through a split at the time and we decided a break away would do us both good. We booked a holiday to sunny climates,Turkey. My ex persued me,changing his tactics to loving me again. I told him i would come back but that there was something i needed to tell him first. I'll never forget that look coming over his face. I was shaking but proceeded to tell him of the holiday. His face changed to a look of reief. You can imagine what he was actualy expecting me to tell him.......... another man.I thought on this occasion that it was to my favour as my holiday was little compared to what he thought. For weeks before i was due to go he treated me so bad. The night before my flight i had to sleep in my car. When there my friend and i had a relaxing time. He constantly text me and topped up my phone so that he could not loose contact. On a funny front,my friend and i bought bikinis,very very tiny bikinis. We had to "trim" our bikini lines,ALOT! The day i arrived home he could not get me into bed quick enough,this was NOT the norm. At first he laughed at my new "hairdo". A week later i was raged at with verbal and texts saying.... The Turks only have sex with you if you let them shave you. I left again after weeks of this but returned. Why? I truly look back and ask myself the same question.


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