Friday, January 29, 2010

A yearning for the unhealthy...being split black

Contributed by David

There comes a time in every relationship with a borderline where despite all that you as the non can do, say, not say, etc. that you will be split black (all bad). Being split can happen out of the blue and can leave one reeling with the mixed emotions to numerous to mention here. One day you may be enjoying the "best" intimacy, sex, 'love', times of the relationship and the next you are dealing with a robot void of emotion, icy cold, and being completely ignored. It's during these times that my ex and I usually broke up and she continued to abuse me by simply ignoring all of my attempts to "make" right or at least figure out wtf happened. YES, being painted black and being completely ignored is a form of abuse the borderline WILL inflict upon you even as they justify it by giving seemingly logical statements that usually go with a breakup (this is why for those who have experienced this you often feel violated and confused). In my case this is also when she would already be in the bed of another man, typically someone she knew would really get my goat! Splitting can last for minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and even years! With the borderline you just never know when they may reach out to you, it could even be a chance encounter on the street that causes them to split you WHITE (good) again.

The Relentless search for Mr/Mrs Right and Why Splitting?

One criteria for being diagnosed with BPD is the unstable and intense interpersonal relationships, marked by shifts in attitudes towards others (splitting) from idealization to devaluation or from clinging dependency to isolation and avoidance, and prominent patterns of controlling/manipulating others.

Splitting is a primitive defensive mechanism (we all do it from time to time) that for borderlines is an automatic response (not intentional, it just happens for them) to the pain of dysphoria--
anxiety, rage, depression, despair, being alone, perceived and real abandonment, etc. This is especially true when someone with BPD tries to relate to someone in even a remotely intimate, let alone intimate way.

"At any given moment, you as the Non are viewed by your borderline significant other as either all good, or all bad. They don't usually spend much time thinking, "Hey, you do bad things sometimes,but mostly you are a good person." This is beyond the ability of most people with borderline traits. If you disagree with something they say, then merely by disagreeing you become a bad person. The splitting behavior is what makes borderlines so addictive to Nons.
Sometimes a split can become permanent. If you are permanently split bad, then they can no longer see any good coming out of you. This is why it's so easy for them to engage in tactics such as the distortion campaign. After all, you are Hitler, Stalin and Satan rolled into one, and you get what you deserve. "

How do I know my ex uBPD split me this last time other than the obvious?

I hadn't thought about it until now, while writing but a couple days after the bomb was dropped and I stopped by her place to drop off and get a few things (she wouldn't let me in and only brought a couple of items out) she made the following statement, "Doing this goes against my complete grain. I just can't explain why I no longer have any feelings for you. I'm not sure I will ever be able to trust anyone ever again." Of course that night she was off sleeping with her "friend".

In this case you can see how I was already 'split'. Her comment about not having any feelings for me was accurate, by this point she probably was not and paired with a new "honeymoon" period with another guy she had no reason to respond or think differently. She was just ice cold.

Now, a yearning for the unhealthy...
I found myself very addicted to her after several splits. That pattern of being valued then devalued overtime can really set up a codependent like me for some suffering. It's hard to imagine a person with whom you love going from being so full of life and needing you, even clinging to you that suddenly changes and is now a cold, lifeless robot who executes the breakup with such emotionless precision all in what seems like the snap of a finger.

I've found myself certainly yearning for her return, has to do with my inner child still not getting "it" and just wanting the excitement back and this pain to go away. It has to do with the fact that I'm an addict to her and am going cold turkey, some days are better than others. Another thing is that according to our on again-off again pattern I am now approaching the time frame of when we would usually get back together. I not sure if this will happen (she is at least shacking up with a different guy this time) but as I've been told, it isn't over yet! Who knows how her new relationship has been or how long the honeymoon period will last and maybe, just maybe after two years of me not being able to meet her needs she won't value me as much as in the past. Either way I have found myself yearning for her and I wanted to share that and a response I received in regards to that...

"You can't save anyone with uBPD, no matter how much you believe you love them. the best thing to do when you're in that mode (yearning) is to NOT be afraid of that feeling. Acknowledge it and answer it with something healthy. You need some love and warmth. You know SHE can't be depended on for that. You know it isn't the healthiest thing to look to another woman for that while you're still healing. So give that to yourself. Take care of yourself and keep yourself warm.

I know you're already in this frame of mind, so this is just a reminder. That feeling of yearning CANNOT be mended by this woman. She CANNOT fill the emptiness. She CANNOT offer the salve to your burn. If she were to reach out to you, she could never mend your wound, only exacerbate it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

PTSD After A BPD Relationship

I've been out of the relationship with the borderline for nearly 2-1/2 years. Most bad memories are going away. They're mostly gone, but I need to admit that I still carry big scars from the relationship.

I definitely have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the BPD relationship. She scarred me badly.

All the accusations that she made about me took something out of me.

Everything that she said about me, ways that she acted, things that she said, hurt bad.

Past Life Amplified
My ex wife hurt me bad too. I'm not trying to whine here, but she said, usually during her drinking binges, things like, "the only reason that I'm with you is because I don't have to work." Ouch. Probably the one that hurt the most was, "I don't want you tonight, I want him."

Those things scar you. Now, I'm nearly ten years out of that life, but that one was pretty frigging traumatic. I got out of that one. I just had to. It was way too dysfunctional.

Now that I'm thinking about it, the relationship with the borderline was similar to my ex wife's but it was just amplified. She said things blatantly, while my ex wife had to be drunk to make such accusations. Either way, they both said things that were way hurtful, way mean, way too much for one to say to another lover.

In future posts, look for a formal definition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, how it happens, what the repercussions are, etc. For now, suffice it to say that you need to be aware of it, what it can do, and how it can affect you. If you were in a full blown borderline relationship, you probably have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Next, we'll look on how to heal from it. We will recover from the BPD relationship.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vacation: Replacing The Memories

I had a great week of vacation. Thanks to David for his contributions -- he wrote both You Are Not Alone and Remembering The Past. It still amazes me how so many of us had (or are having) the same walk.

If you want to contribute a posting to this blog, let me know. Send me an email at and let me know what you'd like to write about and how you'll cover it. We love to hear from guest bloggers.

Active Time
So, last week I went to Vermont for a quick, mini-ski vacation. My friend Chris was on military leave, and we decided to have a workout vacation. We did just that. Running, skiing, mountain biking, we were quite active.

On Monday, I picked him up from the airport, and we went running. We then drove north to Vermont where we skied at Mount Snow on Tuesday.

What a day of skiing we had. The conditions were absolutely perfect with the entire mountain being open and the  snow being loosely packed. We skied the entire mountain, and it snowed a good part of the day. There were few people on the mountain, so we had the place to ourselves to boot. What a great day.

From there, we went further north and drove to Killington where we stayed at the same place that the BPD and I stayed. Being lifelong buddies, Chris and I are different. We don't really even party. Every night, we were in bed at 10 pm so we could get up early and be on the ski slopes when the lifts start running.

Replacing Old Memories
This was the first time that I had been skiing in Vermont, particularly Killington, since my relationship with the BPD. Chris and I went to some of the same restaurants that I went with the BPD. Given the time that has helped heal the wounds and being with Chris, we had a good time. I was able to replace the memories with the borderline. Next, I'll take Jennie to these places as she'll love them.

Chris was married to a suspected borderline, and he actually first introduced me to the disorder. He's someone who knows my story, and he's a good person. We share a number of hobbies and see the world through similar glasses.

We hit the mountains of Killington hard and skied for the entire day, only breaking for lunch. The conditions were perfect, and the skiing was fast and furious. Later in the week, we drove home, ran some more, and went mountain biking as well.

What a great mini-vacation. I needed it, given the stresses and fast pace of work right now.

Self Realization
While I was away, I was able to think about the relationship that I was in with the Borderline and the needs that it filled in me. Given that borderlines lack any real identity, the relationship was initially what I needed it to be. I realized that there were weaknesses in me and my personality that needed work. The relationship with the borderline helped me expose these weaknesses and work on them.

I'm back from vacation and have lots of new material coming in the near future. From the definition of bpd to how to create rules to live by, I'll be providing more useful information that I hope you can use for dealing with your BPD relationship or recovering from your BPD relationship.

It's good to be back.

Monday, January 25, 2010

You are not alone...

This was also written by contributor David showing how many resources there are for the Non. Look for more tips and links to resources in upcoming posts.

It's amazing that after clicking my heels three times (well this is breakup number three isn't it) and hence returning from the Land of Oz, I have found so many online resources to aid in my recovery from a two year addictive (see how I need to replace 'love" with what it really was...) relationship to my uBPD (undiagnosed Borderline).

One thing I have absolutely realized is that my story is so similiar in many ways to others who have been in this type of abusive relationship. Another is that I finally realized that I was very codependent and that I had things to work on myself. Typically BPD relationships either last 18 months or 15 years, depending on the level of codependency a non like me displays. Me, I had it so bad that I actually developed traits of my borderline (suicidal ideation, impulsivity in regards to her, obsessing about her, rage to the point of grabbing her, etc.), all things that have since left me and where not there before her. Now I am not blaming her for my behaviors but I do realize how being with her did trigger these things inside me.

Besides this blog where I realized that the words and stories could have literally been my own, I discovered several other online resources. A website by a psychologist who has written some great articles for non's about BPD and relationships titled GettinBetter literally is what caused the lightbulb to go off in my head after year 2 and breakup #3. I've read that when you have this experience as a non, you journey to recovery can begin (though it will be very difficult) because you finally have that moment of clarity that you have been a part of a dysfunctional (and not love, stars aligned, soul mate finally, person you want to spend the rest of your life with, etc) relationship. I recommend reading shell shocked and at any cost first but then read everything she has. Another thing I have been doing is visiting a Psychology and Mental health forums that relates to BPD. I soon discovered that there a quite a few nons who share their struggles and personal accounts as well as diagnosed and recovering BPDers with some insight into the thoughts of a BPDer.

I'm so amazed at how with all the knowledge I have about BPD, my own dysfunctional realtionship expereince, the calmness that is now coming into my life, church, prayer, this blog, therapy, supportive friends, etc. how truly hard it is to push the thought of her out of my life. I have good days where I only waste a few moments of my time and others where I wake up and have thoughts of her all freakin day long. That's the addictive part I hate the most, it's worse than any drug or other behavior I've ever indulged in.

I did not love her, I was ADDICTED to her and the extreme ups she offered (subconsiously at times for sure) as well as the chaos in that relationship. That's been the hardest truth yet for me to swallow.

"yes it is time to educate MY inner child, who is encumbering me with nagging doubts and might have beens. The problem now is that MY inner child does not yet feel it is true. The hard part was not going through the end of that relationship nor learning about BPD but now internalizing to feel it at the gut level (inner child). Where as my gut once said she is the one, my soulmate, the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, I must now replace that with the cold hard truths of what it really was... a big fat LIE."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Remembering the past.....

This post was written by regular contributor David -- when you read this, you can see how we share similar stories. Happy Birthday David.

Today was my birthday and all I could think about was how the year before I spent it with my ex. We had just gotten back together in December (AGAINST all odds or so I thought), had spent a wonderful New Years together (alone, we couldn't have her friends knowing...), for Christmas I bought us tickets to a concert the day after my birthday so had that to look forward to. All the pain from before was covered by her borderline allure.

Of course within a month there would be signs (like on her birthday at the end of the month) and of course the pressure to commit by moving in together (none of our friends knew or would help that we asked), March move in and by the end of April all hell had come unloose!

Last year we went to a nice wine bar here in the city, my coworker had just been there and we had a nice evening together. I'm sure we went back to her place and had sex. I wanted to spend the rest of life with her. I wondered today why when we were together she always wanted me to stay at her place but when she was with other men (even now) she goes over there, they never (that I know of) are in her bed. I think I'm having hopeful thinking here and need to remind myself of the facts.

Not sure why knowing all this I missed her, on MY birthday! I miss the nuzzle of her against me, her laugh, her kiss, her body and intensity. All I could think of was how she was him now, today when she should have been with me....and on goes the addiction!

A couple responses I posted on another site are a good reminder of how it was this last time (maybe threes the charm to break free?). I tried to copy them here but it would work, plus you'll get to see the context of them.

15 days till I expect contact from her to begin, hence is the pattern over the past two years.

Vacation Time -- Guest Bloggers!

I'm going to be taking a few days off and will have guest bloggers on the site, providing their perspective on things. Enjoy their writings - I'll be skiing back at Killington and will be tearing up the US's East Coast. My friend Chris is coming into town, so we're taking a bit of a respite. See you soon.

When I come back, I'm going to start digging into some important and critical topics, such as:
  • BPD Defined
  • The BPD's Hook -- What kept you in such a highly dysfunctional relationship?
  • BPD Dissociation -- Welcome to Oz
Of course, I'll keep providing stories, relevant songs and other tidbits as I find them. I'll continue trying to bring us all, step by step, through the healing process of a broken borderline relationship.

Enjoy your week. I'll be tuning back in soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The BPD Family Revisited -- Partially Learned Behaviors

I've thought quite a bit about this and have researched it as well. The more I think it, the more I think that one's family and upbringing contributes significantly to their disposition to having borderline personality disorder. The DSM-IV indicates that many that have BPD came from a family where their parent suffered from the disorder -- given this, the fact that 75% of borderlines were sexually abused as a child and that most others came from overly controlling parents, you have the perfect storm for the making of a BPD.

The Making of A BPD

Many experts indicate that the making of a borderline is both nature and nurture, meaning that the person has to have a genetic predisposition for the disorder, but also have to be raised to acquire it.

Could most of us have borderline personality disorder? Probably. However, most of us are fortunate enough to be raised in homes where we were not sexually abused or raised by overly controlling parents.

In the instance of my ex borderline girlfriend, her mother had a brother die when in her care - she was 12 years old. As a result, she must have smothered her children, not letting them go up properly.

What's Happens When Someone Has Controlling Parents?

A number of things happen to someone with overly-controlling parents. Some of these could include:

Cannot Establish Healthy Boundaries

When someone tells us what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, we have difficulty thinking for ourselves. This is okay when we are quite young, but we as people must be given the opportunity to excel and fail as well, so we learn how to interact with the outside world. This is how we learn to tell others what we are willing and not willing to do. The person with overly controlling parents will have quite a difficult time saying no to people when they cross boundaries where others would clearly feel violated.

Under Developed Sense of Self

Like the lack of boundaries, when someone tells you everything to do as you get older, you lose the ability to be your own person and have differences with others. You want to agree with others for acceptance, losing your ability to be an individual.

Little or No Accountability
People who have been raised by someone who is controlling does not understand the impact of their actions, and will usually deflect responsibility as someone else has always shouldered responsibility for them. They learn to fly under the radar and have others be responsible for their actions. Unfortunately, in a relationship, we are accountable for our actions; if our partner is not accountable and does what they want and we accept this, our self esteem and self worth suffers.

Black and White, Judgemental Thinking

We live in a world where very little is black or white; there are extenuating circumstances surrounding most everything. When someone tells you yes or no for everything, you don't learn how to think about extenuating circumstances. The world is one way or another.

You Can't Change Your Family

Unfortunately, you can't change the people that had you. We're born into what we are born. All we can do is try to heal from our childhood scars and pain, become better people, and not repeat the patterns of dysfunction in our family. If we have done this, we're successful. Unfortunately, for some of us, there was too much damage done.

All we can do is try our best, try to get to our true self, love our true self, and strive for contentment.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

BPD Mirroring: Meet Your Soul Mate

When you met the BPD in your life, did you feel like you had met your soul mate?
Did you feel like that person had the same interests as you?
Did you feel like that person had same taste in style? The same taste in food? The same taste in, most anything?
Did you feel like this person was just that person that you'd always dreamed about?

Most of us Nons did too.

It's one of those things that pulls you in and makes you feel like you're in heaven despite all the flags that are going off in your head. It's called BPD Mirroring -- what the borderline personality disordered do that helps pull you into the relationship, makes the non feel like they are head over heels in love, and keeps them committed for way longer than they should.

For me, this mirroring was big, given that I had come from a relationship where I was married to my complete opposite. Being with someone that I thought was so similar to me

BPD Mirroring Defined

Borderline Mirroring is the technique that they use to come close to the Non in their life when they are first entering the relationship. The borderline will align themselves with the Non, determining the Non's needs, then giving those needs to the Non.

From the Non's perspective, they feel like they have met their partner for life. Someone finally gets them. Wow. That's it. They're done.

This is usually when the BPD's fears, anxieties, rages and disorder shows, slowly but surely. Welcome to the world of a Borderline Personality.

The BPD Chameleon: An Undeveloped Sense of Self

The borderline doesn't consciously begin a relationship like this. They have usually been quite successful in establishing relationships, and they are so insecure that they fear that others will reject them if they portray their true selves.

We all have a bit of this; that's why we put our best foot forwards when we first start dating someone. However, with a borderline, this is even more pronounced.

The dance that a Non has with a borderline is actually quite more indepth, because in some relationships, the borderline will actually put their anxieties on the non, but we'll cover more of this in future posts.

Changes Over Time

As the relationship develops, the borderline will try their best to mirror the non, but slowly, you'll see things about the borderline that aren't congruent with the person that they had portrayed earlier in the relationship. When I first was dating the borderline, I told her that I was thinking about beginning to rent out halls and giving motivational speeches to those that needed it, and she told me that she was going to help others get their lives back on track.

I never realized just how off-track her life was.

When the borderline and I looked at houses together, I told her, "we have the same taste, so we know what we'll like." The truth was that I subconsciously knew that she would like whatever I did. She would because her fear of being alone was so great that she would not go against my wishes. Also, I didn't really know what her taste in houses was. Her house was the exact same style from the person that she bought the house, as they had sold her everything, including all of the furniture, in the house. The woman lacked much identity at all.

How To Address BPD Mirroring: Celebrate Differences

The borderline feels that their partner must be exactly the same as their partner; anything else kicks their fear of abandonment into high gear. Clearly, identifying differences and helping the borderline celebrate these differences is critical for the relationship to survive.

I'll post more on this in future posts, particularly how to identify Borderline Mirroring and more on how to address. If you're coming out of a relationship with a borderline, recognize this mirroring and watch for it in future relationships. We are, after all, usually pretty susceptible to repeating our borderline relationships.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Relationships After The BPD: BPD Baggage For Future Relationships

I've mentioned it before, but I haven't spoken specifically about it for some time. After you've come out of a Borderline Relationship, what is it like? What are your relationships like? Do you live Happily Ever After?

You can, but it's not always easy.

BPD Baggage

When you're in such a highly dysfunctional relationship, you walk away from it with lots of baggage. Lots of it. It takes time to clear out the baggage.

In my case, I cleared the baggage through a number of ways:

  • I went to counseling for months after the relationship terminated to understand what needs the BPD fulfilled
  • I read books, lots of books, on healing and getting the love that I wanted
  • I focused on myself as best I could and found healthy outlets for the baggage:
    • Friends and family
    • Playing guitar
    • Exercise
    • Church
    • Writing -- I started writing a blog where I would express myself :-)
You have baggage, and it needs to be cleared out.

You Will Bring BPD Baggage Into Future Relationships
Regardless of how much work you do, you will most likely bring some baggage from the BPD relationship into future relationships. It's up to you to determine how much baggage you will bring into future relationships.

I brought baggage into the relationship. I was still scarred and not trusting women very much when I entered into my current relationship, which is now almost two years long. I was still healing and quite cynical.

Fortunately, I'm with someone who was a psychology major in college and is quite confident in herself. She has little if any jealousy and has let me go through the remaining healing. Overall, she has been quite supportive and reads the blog daily.

New Relationships: Not Always Perfect
I have learned that the relationship is not always perfect, and it won't be perfect because none are. There was a time, around one year ago, where I was quite unhappy in the relationship. I thought that she was too selfish, too preoccupied with herself and her own needs, without listening to me and my concerns. I brought my concerns and my issues to her and told her how unhappy I was.

Fight, Not Flight
I went from a relationship where I continually needed to stabilize the relationship and show the BPD that I was committed to a relationship where my partner was willing to fight for the relationship. When I told her my concerns, we went to a counselor and unpacked the issues. 

In counseling, she learned that she was not listening to me, and I learned that a lot of my issues were from my past with the BPD and that I was still quite guarded as a result of the relationship. Of course, we learned more, but this was some of the essence of our weeks of learning together. 

We walked out of the counseling much closer and much more understanding of one another and each others' issues. It hasn't always been easy, but it's based in caring, not resentment, anger, rage or devaluation, like a borderline relationship. 

Time Heals
If we are receptive to learning, we will learn, over time, that we can have fully functional relationships. It's not always easy, but it can be done with communication and care.

Jennie and I got engaged on Thanksgiving Eve and are now making plans to wed this year. The Me/Us Project will continue, but you can have a happy ending.It just takes time, a willingness to look at your past issues and make changes, and continual work on one's self. You can do it. I continue to do it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dreams About The BPD

Healing takes a long time, especially when you have suffered verbal and physical abuse in a relationship. I'm now over two years out of the relationship, yet I still harbor scars.

A couple of nights ago, a scar came out. I had a dream about the BPD.

Images of Healing while Still Harboring Pain

In the dream, I saw her (the Borderline Personality Disordered woman whom I was in the relationship with) and we said hello to one another. She was quite distant and wouldn't look me in the eye. She was wearing a man's outfit (most likely the outfit of the person that she is now with), and we exchanged pleasantries. I, of course, wanted to see how she was and see how things were.

I remember trying to talk with her for a couple of minutes but she said very little, then eventually responded with, "I'm done with you."

The interaction that I had in the dream wasn't really with the BPD. We obviously spoke, but did not really talk of anything meaningful. It was with her daughters.

Victims of a Borderline: More Than Just Partners
I've written about the girls before, from posts where I wrote about Missing the Girls to writing about When the Girls First Met My Kids. While I've pretty much healed from the relationship and the chains of addiction that the BPD had on me have been broken, I still miss the girls dearly and worry about them.

 The girls were so sweet and so pure. Spending so much time with them, putting so much of my time into them bonded us quite closely. I'm the kind of person that believes in quality time and values this time above all other, so I put quite a bit of time into them. I helped with homework, read books, and put them to bed every night.

When the relationship first ended, I was too hurt from the relationship to really think about the girls; clearly, based on my posts, I thought about them and missed them, but the loss has continued while the loss of the BPD has gone away in time.

In the dream, I saw each of the girls who were sitting next to one another. I hugged each of them, and I told them how I've missed them so much and that I loved them and will always love them. They both cried and told me that they missed me. Strangely, they hadn't aged.

Still Learning
I continue to learn about how I'm healing and how to deal with different parts of this loss. The dream taught me a number of important things: That I still miss the girls; that I'm not worried about the BPD; and that I harbor a lot of anxiety about when I actually will run into the BPD.

We live about 20 miles away from one another, but some day, our paths will cross where we will be face-to-face. I'm not sure why I'm so nervous about such a thing -- I would never worry about past relationships, but I am. I think this is because you just don't know what you're going to get when dealing with a borderline, if it will be an amicable interaction or if she will be crazy and start accusing me of things. Or, she could call the police after I saw her and tell them that I was stalking her. You just don't know.

This is why I've worked hard to avoid the borderline. When I saw her, instead of saying hello, I avoided her. Because the situation is so unknown, you just don't know what she is going to do. Who wants to go into a situation that could be volatile? When one is addicted to a borderline, they're more willing to take a chance (depending on the depth of the addiction); however, now, avoiding the situation is best.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Relationship Breakup Songs, BPD Songs and Others

I recently went through the blog and added videos to all of the songs -- in some places, I added general videos that may not have been there before but were appropriate. Please let me know what you think.

A Multitude of Emotions
When healing from a relationship with someone suffering from borderline personality disorder, it's not like a normal breakup. You feel more raw, more exposed, more hurt than a normal relationship, and you need to heal more. As I've written before (and I'll cover in much more depth in the near future), you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a Borderline Breakup. It takes time and counseling for this to subside and heal.

Some of these songs made me break down and cry. I heard Tracy Chapman's Change and pulled my car over and balled. When I heard the Wailin Jennys sing Take It Down I broke down as well. Sarah McLaughlin's Fallen got me also.

All of the emotions weren't bad. From the beginning, I knew that I needed this change but knew how hard it would be. When I started Healing, I looked to The The's This is the Day. This past summer, I was on a tear with laying my troubles down, looking at my life and moving, or daring you to move. I'll hear a song like From Where You Are and realize how we can go back there sometimes and look at the world that we think we had built and miss it, even though it wasn't real.

There are so many more songs that I've interjected into this blog - it's another form of expression for me, and I hope they help provide another element to the emotions that we feel when we're recovering from a borderline relationship.

Raw Emotion
Music emotes our raw emotions. It reaches into our core and pulls out the raw emotion that we're feeling. If we're happy, it hits a happy chord. If we're sad, sad comes out. If we're hurting, the pain comes out.

It should come out. The emotions should come out. If they don't, you may be hiding them. Let them go. Give them away to the music and get lost in the music. We spend too much of our lives trying to hold on, when maybe we should let go a little more and let life take you where you need to go.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Depression and Depression Treatment for Someone Recovering from a Relationship Loss

So, you've just ended a relationship with someone. Reading through this, we could actually apply these principles to someone with Borderline Personality Disorder or someone who ends a normal relationship. The pain is incredible, and you're feeling quite depressed.

You're suffering from depression. Do you need treatment?


Depression After a Relationship Ends is Normal
After a relationship ends, it's normal to be depressed. After all, this person meant something special to you, and now they're gone. What do you do?  

Mourn. You have to mourn the loss. It's what you do -- it stinks, but it's normal, it's human, and you can get through it.

Mourning a relationship is just that, it's like having someone die on youIn fact, these are the normal phases of grieving a death; they can be used for grieving the loss of a loved one as well:
  • Shock is the first stage. At first, you may be numb.
  • Next, you'll probably go into some type of Denial
  • Next you'll feel guilt. This is normal. You wish that you had or hadn't done something with the person.
  • The next phase is usually anger. This is necessary to get past the loss. 
  • Depression may come and go and be different each time in length and/or intensity.
  • Resignation means you finally believe the reality of the loss
  • Acceptance and Hope come when you finally understand that you will never be the same, but you can go on to have meaning and purpose in your life.
 Depression should decrease over time. If it doesn't, you should see a psychologist for evaluation, and maybe a psychiatrist for depression treatment. Sometimes, just talking through the issues with a psychologist is enough depression treatment.

Getting Over The Relationship
A suicide survival website also discusses how to get over the loss. This actually applies to someone who lost a loved one with or without BPD, but given the disorder, it may actually be even more applicable to someone leaving a relationship with a borderline:
  • Tell the story -- Isn't it true that you need to tell your story so you can 're-frame' it? You need to tell someone the entire story so you can make sense of it and understand what's normal and what's not. Some want to stuff this kind of grief and put it away, but clearly, that does not do any good long term
  • Express the emotions that you need to express -- Again, you can't stuff your emotions. They will come out in unhealthy ways. Be sure to let go of the emotions. If it's real difficult, literally schedule time to mourn, and go into a room or somewhere private and mourn. Doing this over and over will help you get through the pain. 
  • Make Meaning From The Loss -- Determine how you will change, what you will do to grow as a person. We all grow from the time we are born until we die. We continue to evolve, learn new things and change our behaviors, further refining ourselves. Will you join a church? Will you gain a spiritual side? Will you take up a new activity? Will you teach yourself to play an instrument? You need to show how you will grow from the loss, then demonstrate this growth.
  • Transition from The Person to A New Relationship -- This is the toughest one. You have to become a new person that displaces some of the relationship energy. Jumping into a new relationship usually doesn't work, because you need to grow. So, you need to find outlets for some of the relationship energies. Go out with friends. Join a support or social group. You see where I'm going here.
Depression from the loss of a relationship, borderline or not, is normal. It can last months, but you should begin to feel better. Don't get me wrong, it may take you years to feel completely back to normal (depending on the length of the relationship), but within 90 days, you should be feeling better.

If you don't, you may want to see a psychologist or psychiatrist for depression treatment. Allow yourself to grieve and go through the steps of getting over the relationship. You can do it.

Recommended Reading

Saturday, January 9, 2010

How To Get Your Ex Back

So you've just been broken up with by someone. It's time to see if you can get them back. So, you want to know: How to get my ex girlfriend back? How to get my ex boyfriend back? You need to first ask yourself a number of questions and be brutally honest with yourself.

Was it something you did (or didn't do)?
Did you do something that made your ex break up with you? Could you apologize and heal the relationship? If you can, then apologize and behave yourself in the future. In instances like this, a phone call is good. Call the person, apologize and tell them how important they are to you.

Did you not do something that you should have done? Did you miss an important birthday or holiday or event? Did you not pay enough attention to the other person and now you need to learn how to get your ex back? Figure this out. If you don't feel like you could have done something, then try some of the other approaches below.

If you can't apologize and heal the relationship, then see if there are other things to get them back. Sometimes you can begin seeing another person and jealousy will work, but I wouldn't recommend this tact. This could also push the person away -- for good.

Pride: The Greatest Gift & Worst Curse
Our pride often keeps us from getting too hurt. It also can keep us from realizing the pain we have put on others. See if your pride has gotten in the way of the truth; see if you were just being too proud and lost somebody because of this foolish pride.

They're Just Not That Into You
You may also realize that the person is simply not into you. They don't find you attractive or they have mentally moved on. If this is the case, it's time to move on. You then need to begin healing and making yourself feel better. Look at some of the posts in this blog, particularly the posts on healing, writing goodbye letters to lovers, and other exercises to get yourself through a tumultuous relationship.

Get The Help That You Need
Breakups are tough. They hurt, sometimes worse than you would ever expect. You're with someone for such a long time, sharing your hopes and dreams, then *poof* they're gone. It can be bad.

If you're feeling real bad, you may want to talk to a counselor to work through the feelings. If these feelings last too long, you may want to see a psychiatrist for medication.

Also, I recommend that you keep your spiritual side strong. Go back to church and talk to a pastor. People in church recognize that we are broken individuals, so you'll have people to share your world with, if you wish. If you don't, you can simply sit and listen. A spiritual foundation is quite important.

Do You Really Want To Get Them Back?
Don't forget that they're just people. They're human, and there are others in this world that are just as good, if not better, for you. There's a reason why your relationship was so broken, so don't forget that. Let yourself seriously ponder if you really want them back. If you do, then go after them.

You can get your ex back. You can get your ex boyfriend back. You can get your ex girlfriend back. You need to decide whether it's even worthwhile, though.

Reading Recommendations
Rebuilding: When Your Relationship EndsRebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends, 3rd Edition (Rebuilding Books; For Divorce and Beyond)

How To Survive The Loss of a LoveHow to Survive the Loss of a Love

Grieving the Loss of a Loved OneGrieving the Loss of a Loved One

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tell Her This: Life After First Moving Out On The BPD

I thought I wrote about this, but I just scoured the post archive and can't find anything. As a writer, I often compose posts in my head before I write them; some posts never get down on paper, obviously.

At the end of the relationship with the Borderline Personality, things were going badly. I gave her a timeline for getting it together, and obviously, someone who has Borderline Personality cannot get it together, so I moved out.

When I moved out, I told her that I wanted to continue to work on the relationship and for us to reconcile. She said no, but after a week, we got back together.

The first time we got back together, things were in their normal borderline nature. We went out to dinner, and I ordered espresso. "That's funny, you've never ordered espresso before..." A whole fight was started on the fact that I ordered espresso.

Jeez, talk about a world where your every thought is controlled. The evening ended poorly.

The next day, she came over my new place. We had a nice day. We were back to normal.

"I've got a song to play for you," I said. I then played the following song for her. I felt so bad that I cried.

"Den, we'll be fine. I love you," she said.

I really thought things were going to be okay. I thought that she finally realized who I was and that I wasn't someone that was out to get her.

Looking back, I compromised so much for her that I wouldn't have been happy long term. My mission in life became about keeping the relationship stable. You need to have a stable relationship so you can go on adventures in the world.

Tell her not to go
I ain't holding on no more
Tell her something in my mind freezes up from time to time

Tell her not to cry
I just got scared that's all
Tell her I'll be by her side, all she has to do is call, all she has to do is call

Tell her the chips are down
I drank too much and shouted it aloud
Tell her something in my heart
Needs her more than even clowns need the laughter of the crowd

Tell her what was wrong
I sometimes think to much
But say nothing at all
And tell her from this high terrain, I am ready now to fall, i am ready now to fall

Tell her not to go
I ain't holding on no more
Tell her nothing if not this; all I want to do is kiss her

Tell her something in my mind
Freezes up from time to time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Restraining Orders and BPDs

Some use them like candy. They get restraining orders on their partners regularly because of their black and white thinking. Many of the more advanced borderline personality disordered will have a number of restraining orders on others and themselves.

Why Restraining Orders?
Borderlines have such black and white thinking that you are either good or bad in their minds -- you are either evil and out to do them wrong, or you are their savior. Ironically, these thoughts about a single person could almost co-exist inside a person.

Once the BPD splits and views you as all bad in the moment, they will do everything that they can to get you out of their life. Remember that borderline personality is a chronic feeling of emptiness, so getting you out of their life also becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

One time, I asked the BPD that I was involved with, "what happens if I actually leave when you have one of these episodes?"

She responded with, "I always thought that's what I deserve, to be alone."

You can't have a normal, fully functional relationship with someone who thinks that they deserve to be alone. Given a borderline's instability and their self-loathing, this could come out in a number of harmful ways.

A true borderline continually plays the victim role. They have to be the victim of someone, something, constantly. As the partner of a borderline, they will be the victim of you.

Protect Yourself
If you are (or were) in a relationship with a borderline, you need to be aware of the restraining order trap and steer clear of it. The problem with a borderline relationship is that things can get so bad so quickly, and you don't know when it is going to happen, that you can find yourself in a terrible situation with very little notice.

Watch for the following warning signs when dealing with a borderline:
  • Threatening to contact the police: Many times these are false claims that are again trying to play the victim. However, they could be real, and I'd recommend staying away from anyone who wants to call the police. I know, you can usually calm them down. It's not your job, and you need to maintain your self dignity. Leave any situation where the borderline is threatening to call the police.
  • Physical violence: When an extreme fight breaks out, the borderline may hit, kick or scratch at you. At this point, your body's fight or flight responses take over as adrenaline rushes through your veins. DO NOT FIGHT. WALK AWAY. I can't stress this enough. Even if the borderline hit you square in the face, once you throw a punch, you may be defending yourself to the police or a judge. Walk away. You don't want to be with someone who is physically violent with you.
  • Beginning to play the victim role, of you: Follow me here. Once the borderline starts to become the victim of you and your actions, your world will be turmoil. I'm taking a leap here as I personally stayed involved with the borderline as she tried to be the victim of me over and over again, but maybe you'll be smarter than me. Believe me, in the long run, it's better. You don't want to be with someone that views you so poorly, even if they also idealize you. In the end, they don't treat you well, and you can find someone that treats you better.
What To Do If Someone Has Filed A Restraining Order Against You
First, get an attorney to defend you. Get the best attorney that you can afford as they will provide you with sound legal advice. I'm not an attorney and don't play one on TV, so I don't want to overstep my advice here.

Defend yourself to the fullest extent that you can. Be sure to have no contact with the borderline if at all possible. If children are involved, of course, you'll need to work through this.

You don't want to be with someone who is threatening to call the police on you, filing restraining orders, being physically violent or treating you like you're a terrible person that's out to victimize them. You can find people that will treat you well -- I promise.

If you feel you must stay in a relationship with someone who treats you so poorly, be sure to have boundaries before things ever escalate. Know when and what will make you walk away from a particular situation, and try to stick to those boundaries.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Believe -- Revisited

Quite some time ago, I wrote about my Believe sign that I got for the BPD, how she continually threw it out to the point that I eventually took it, and the journey that I have taken with this sign.

Believe has changed in meaning over the years. It has continued to evolve and grow as life has evolved and grown.

As someone who was in a relationship with a Borderline Personality, I fell into too many traps, including:
  • Believing that I could help make this person feel better
  • Believing that this person would eventually change
  • Believing that she would see beyond her issues and see my soul
My beliefs were unreasonable and unrealistic. I put too much pressure on myself, and ultimately felt like I took too much responsibility for the relationship. I knew that she was a borderline, yet I was willing to stay in the relationship if she helped herself. Eventually, she ran and I stopped chasing her.

When I got through the relationship, I wrote about how I believed in all these wonderful things, such as the beauty in people, pure love and the like.

As I've aged, this has evolved. I still believe in all the things mentioned in the Believe post, but it's taken on a much bigger meaning.

Now, it's a belief that I have in something bigger than me, bigger than anyone. It's a belief in God and Jesus Christ, a higher spirit that has paid for my sins.

This blog is not about spirituality or developing a spiritual side -- I'm working on planning a blog for this and should have something in the next few months, so stay tuned. With that said, developing a spiritual side is so important to your recovery.

Losing The Narcissist Inside
When you develop a spiritual side of yourself, you learn that there was a self-important side of yourself that thought they were probably too important. You suddenly lose narcissistic tendencies and step into a much more humble role. Even when I read my early writings in this blog, I see these tendencies in myself.

Go back to church. Talk to a pastor. Learn about Jesus Christ and what he did for each of us, and the change that you go through when you accept him into your life. I can attest that it truly is a supernatural change that you go through and it's like nothing that you'll ever experience. You can truly become 'born again'.

For those that are interested in such a change and need more information, email me at I'll be sure to point you in the right direction.

The Believe sign has grown from believing in myself and the love of things to believing in God and Heaven on Earth, which I believe that I'm living now. It's not always easy, but it's real nice. Believe will always have a power over me because it keeps me focused, keeps me humble and keeps me understanding what a wonderful adventure we have here on earth.

Come to me now
And lay Your hands over me
Will You find me tonight
Say it will be alright
And I will believe

Broken in two
I know You’re on to me
That I only come home
When I’m so all alone
But I do believe

That not everything I gonna be
The way you think it ought to be
It seems like everytime I try and make it right
It all comes down on me
Please say honestly You won’t give up on me
And I shall believe

Open the door
And show me Your face tonight
I know it’s true
No one heals me like You
And You hold the key

Never again will I turn away from You
I’m so heavy tonight
But Your love is alright
And I do believe

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Building A Support System: Critical For Survival

When in a relationship with a Borderline, you begin to inherit the fears, insecurities and attributes of someone suffering with a borderline. After all, you hear much of their thinking and begin to internalize it.

I remember when I was in the relationship with the borderline that it was so tough because I thought that I felt her pain. I saw the pain that she went through and wished that I could help make it go away. Unfortunately, her twisted mind made me the reason for her pain -- this is the paradox that a partner of a BPD faces. You want to help the borderline with their pain and suffering, and if you're like me, you try everything to help their pain go away. When you think you're doing well, they tell you that the reason for their pain is you. Definitely a conflict and craziness.

If you're in a relationship with a borderline, you know the craziness. You feel like you've done all that you can, and it's just not enough. You tiptoe around them, waiting for the next explosion (the vengeance switch) to occur. You always have to be defensive, and just when you feel like you don't need to be defensive anymore, BAM -- they unleash their fury on you.

Sound familiar?

We All Need Support
I used to think that I was strong and I could handle anything on my own. Maybe it's a male quality or curse, but I felt so strong, like I could handle anything.

With that said, I've always had a strong support system. I have a family that I'm close with, a solid network of friends from high school and college that I can call on in a moment's notice.

I don't use them regularly, but I have used them when I needed them. When my ex wife and I separated, I called on my network of family and friends for support, and they were there.

My friend Chris was married to someone that he suspected had BPD before I was in the relationship with the BPD, so he was quite aware of what it was like being in the relationship that I was in. I had other friends that were quite helpful with moving out, and doing other things as well.

Reality Check
The most important function that a good support network provides is a peek back into reality. We all get caught up in our own little worlds, so to speak, and a good network will look into your world and tell you if it's normal or not. You should be able to call on a support system that brings you back to reality and keeps your mind stable, not being pulled back into the crazy world of a borderline.

"If you stay with her, I wouldn't be surprised if I got a phone call saying that you were dead, that she had killed you," my friend Eddie told me in December of 2007 when I told him what was happening in my relationship with the borderline.

Now that's a reality check, and bringing you out of your little world. That's a good friend that cares.

The Ideal Support System
If you don't have a good support system and you're in a relationship with a borderline, I highly recommend that you get one. Your support system should have the following components. While this is the ideal, you can substitute where necessary. Also, depending on your situation, you may not need such depth in support:

  • Friends/Family: Having people that know you and your past, your heart and your soul is important as you go through trials and tribulations
  • Support Group: There are issues that are specific with dealing with borderlines that are so similar, and it's good to have a support group to discuss such issues. Join a group such as Alanon or even an online codependency support group, such as Daily Strength.
  • Professional Support: Going to a counselor will also be sure that your psychological foundation is firm. I highly recommend going to a counselor to be sure that you don't have other issues, such as abandonment issues, that are contributing to your staying in an unhealthy relationship.
  • Continual Education: Reading topical books and blogs such as this one will educate you on the topic and help you feel more comfortable when issues arise. You'll know that these issues are not your fault, and that others have also gone through similar problems.
  • Spiritual Support: Understanding that humans have a spiritual side and this side needs to be cultivated and nurtured will help keep you well-rounded and humble. Pastors and spiritual advisors can also provide some basic support that can be invaluable. 
This, of course, is the Dream Team of support; you may not need all of these elements, but they will certainly help you. 

You do need a support system. It is critical while you recover, or tolerate, a borderline relationship. A solid support system will keep you in touch with reality, be a good place for you to share experiences and get support. Be sure to have a solid support system that meets your needs. If you need more help on this topic, drop me a line at and we'll help get you the resources that you need.

Monday, January 4, 2010

How To Tell Someone That They Have BPD

How do you tell someone that they have BPD?

Can you really do this?

Maybe. Definitely maybe.

Shifting Responsibility
The problem is that when you tell someone that actually has BPD that they have Borderline Personality Disorder, they will shift the responsibility to you. "I don't have it, you do," will most likely be their response.

I've written about this numerous times before. I went from being a good person to a cheater, a narcissist, a liar, an abuser, someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder, a borderline...the list goes on.

A true borderline is the master of manipulation. They will take the most confident person and slowly erode their confidence through a carefully planned mixture of adoration and devaluation. Before you know it, you will actually feel like you could be borderline.

Get Professional Help
You could try to get the help of a professional counselor. I tried this, but found that psychologists won't usually actually diagnose someone with BPD. In the eyes of many psychologists, borderlines cannot be treated. Just like their partners, borderlines eventually try to manipulate their psychologists, so they are usually dismissed. They need to blame, and anyone that they are close with will receive that blame.

It's tough. If someone actually said that they were borderline or had a number of borderline behaviors, then they could get into dialectical behavior treatment. This, combined with an effective mix of anti-psychotic drugs, can actually help borderlines.

Getting borderlines into this type of therapy is rare, and quite difficult. If you can do it, there is a chance.

Make a Choice
As a Non in a serious relationship with a borderline, you must make a choice whether you want to stay in a relationship with a borderline. You know how the relationship will be -- constant ups and downs and little harmony.

If you think that you like or need the relationship this much, then stay in the relationship, but create boundaries to keep yourself from getting too hurt by the borderline. Also, join a group to help break the chains of codependency, as most Non's suffer from this quite a bit.

If you have told the borderline in your life that you think that they have Borderline Personality Disorder and you want change, make sure that they make the change and not shift the responsibility to you. The BPD in my life told me that she was the victim of me and that she kicked me out of her house when the situation was the opposite. I remember having to tell her that I had to leave but wanted the relationship to continue, provided she got help. The cycles of rage increased tenfold after we lived apart, and eventually, I stopped chasing her into her pit of rage, anger and emptiness.

You Can Tell Someone That They Have BPD
By all means, you can tell someone that you suspect that they are a borderline. Chances are, they will deflect and shift responsibility back on you. Just be prepared for the repercussions. You may want to do this in a professional's office, because with such a specific accusation, the professional will be forced to do something. I recommend finding someone who specializes specifically in Borderline Personality Disorder so you may have a chance at bringing closure.

Remember that borderlines are great at fight or flight, so be prepared for them to fight this issue, or completely avoid the issue. They could also flee from the relationship if they feel that threatened, so be prepared.