Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dead Heads: Experiencing a New High

Those of us that have been in a relationship with a BPD know the highs that we feel. We know how it feels to experience a bliss that many never feel. Maybe others feel this high from drugs and alcohol. Clearly, there's a high there that many don't understand.

There are other ways to get this high, though, and I had forgotten about it. Then I found it again.

Dead Head Highs -- Everybody's Dancing

Those that have experienced a Grateful Dead concert and have felt the raw energy know the feeling. There's little in the world like it. A good church sermon, or a good church congregation, will get you feeling like a Dead show.

It's the feeling of community, the feeling of transcendence, the magical feeling that only some ever feel. That's how most Grateful Dead shows make you feel.

I experienced my first show in 1987 and quickly *got it*. It wasn't about the drugs that others were doing, it was about the music, the community, the transcendence to another plane that you would go when you were at the show.

Once I felt that high, I craved it, almost like a drug. I sought the transcending feelings, and those highs where your state of conscience goes to another level. It's tough to explain unless you've gone there, either at a show, in church or on your own when deep in meditation.

The Borderline Relationship: Craving New Levels Gone Wrong

A borderline relationship is whatever we want it to be. We tell the borderline what we as Nons want, and they give it back to us. The borderline has such as low sense of self that they will quickly chameleon into what you want them to be.

Given that I was looking so desperately for a partner that could go to those new levels, when I found the borderline, they told me that they, too, wanted to go there.

I thought that I was in Heaven. I had found the partner that would go *there* with me.

She never knew where I wanted to go. I had such a strong sense that there was something else out there, but wanted it so badly, that hearing the borderline wanted to go to a new level made me feel like I was going to get it.

I did get it, but not with her.

Transcendence Requires Trust and Other Foundational Building Blocks

What I learned is that to go to new levels with a partner, you need to trust. The relationship has to be built on a solid foundation where both parties care for one another and will trust and respect one another.

The borderline, of course, does not trust or respect themselves, so they cannot trust others. Without these important building blocks, you can get to higher levels, but these levels cannot be sustained. The relationship will be severely dysfunctional and will eventually crumble based on the lack of critical building blocks that all relationships must have.

Further -- The New (or the Old) Grateful Dead

It's unfortunate that Jerry Garcia passed away and The Grateful Dead had to retire. Since the band retired in 1995, it has had a number of iterations, including The Dead with many filling Jerry Garcia's spot.

The most interesting and most professional iteration of this transformation is Furthur, a band comprised of Grateful Dead bandmates Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. The other members are world-class musicians and have made the music theirs. I've been fortunate to see a number of shows on the last tour, and am planning on seeing nearly every show on their upcoming tour.

This band and the venues they play is what the Grateful Dead were like in their early days when they played smaller, more intimate venues. The band is still filling arenas that are over 10,000 in size, but it's probably like the 70's and early 80's for the band. More of a family feel.

So, the music continues to play by this band, so silly Deadheads (we now call ourselves Furthur Faces) like myself can go and let the music keep playing. The beauty is that Jennie, my soon-to-be bride, also loves the music, so we can experience this together.

Jennie and I have been able to go to new levels of awareness and relationship-wise because the relationship is built on trust and respect. Look for more on this in future posts as I have had many readers ask me how you shed the baggage from the relationship. I'll share that so you can see what I went through.

The key to living is to experience all that you can. This is a journey we take, and we want to experience great things in our lives. Money isn't great, but our experiences are great. Be sure to have great experiences in whatever you do and wherever you go.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Choosing To Heal After A BPD Relationship

It's difficult, I know. You feel like someone just ripped your heart out, and you're raw. You're tender. The tears won't stop.

Maybe it's been a couple weeks. Maybe a couple months. Maybe a couple years. I recently had someone write me who has been hurting like it was yesterday for over 10 years.

Wow. I was in the relationship for nearly two years, and it's taken me about two years to heal. They say that for a normal relationship, it takes one year for every two years that you're in the relationship, but for those in a disordered relationship, particularly a BPD disordered relationship, I'd say it takes one or two years for every year.


Why Does BPD Healing Take So Long?

Healing from a BPD Relationship takes longer than normal. There is so much dysfunction, so much white noise, so much baggage that a borderline puts into your thoughts and conscience that it takes much longer to understand what is normal after the borderline has put such abnormal thoughts and feelings onto you.

Remember, borderlines project their anxiety, and as a partner of a borderline, you have now internalized the life of a borderline. It's time to clear that out now. It takes quite some time.

You can heal. You have to make the choice, then actually do it.

How To Heal After a BPD Relationship

First, make the decision to heal. If you just leave the relationship, you will heal, but it will take even longer. You must make the conscious decision to heal. If you do this, you are recognizing that you are having issues and will consciously seek help.

Next, determine whether you need to see a professional. I saw one for approximately two months after the relationship with the BPD ended (see the posts on Valerie and Counseling for other fun stories regarding seeing professionals with a psychotic person who has no true concept of reality). It helped me reach a point of feeling content and being comfortable with myself (you can see exactly how I was feeling here).

Next, learn about the healing process so you can understand what you're going through. You need to understand the emotions that you're feeling and know which ones are normal and which ones aren't. If you have a support group that you can join, by all means, join. Alanon is the group that many Nons join, so you may want to check out a group like this. Or, you can start meeting new friends and there are Non groups on as well.

At this point, you need to be clearing out all old negative memories and replacing them with new ones. They don't need to be romantic, but you need to start living life and realizing how great life can be. Plan an adventure. Go away. Go for fun excursions, be it running or a bike ride or a hiking adventure. Learn to love life here. You deserve it.

When you're ready, it's time to start dating as well. This site has a list of some of the top dating sites, some that I've used, some that I haven't. I met Jennie, my future wife, on, even though we knew each other from high school. When it's time, it's time.

With that said, remember that you're still healing and it will take you time to heal. People that you date need to understand this too and respect your need to heal. If they don't or start telling you, "I feel like there are three people in this relationship," make it one person in the relationship and move on.

Why? You're not at a point where stuffing old feelings as you heal is healthy for you, at all. They will come out later in undesirable ways. This is important. There are many other people that will love you and let you heal.

If you are not spiritual, you are going to need to develop your spiritual side as well. As humans, we have a spiritual element, and a fully developed spiritual side will keep us more well-rounded and more aware of those suffering from mental illness such as BPD. It's good practice, so do it. Join a church, synagogue or the spiritual affiliation of your choice. Just do it -- you'll be glad that you did.

You Can Heal and Recover From a BPD Relationship

It's not easy, but you can't let a relationship take you down. We're humans and we have many relationships in our lives. If you do the work and follow the steps outlined here, you will emerge a much stronger, more confident and self-assured person. This is critical for your growth.

Looking back, I'm happy that I went through the relationship with the borderline woman. I learned so much from myself that I wouldn't have learned that I can now appreciate so much more about life and myself. The journey is a good one -- if we let it be that way.

Monday, March 29, 2010


It's a feeling that one can't really describe to you. You know it when you have it, most don't ever want to feel it, but when you feel it, you know.

It's the feeling of despair.

Hurricane Katrina -- True Despair and Hopelessness

I just came back from a weekend in New Orleans where I spent most of my weekend with friends celebrating 25 years of being friends; what amazing people I have in my life. I truly am a blessed man to have such quality people that have stuck with me for all these years.

We spent the weekend bellying up to a New Orleans bar, but I did speak with a number of people about the Hurricane. I spoke the most with Anne, the Concierge at the Hotel where I stayed. She told me about all the people that died from the hurricane, 1,800 in total. She told me about five people that she knew that killed themselves.

Five people that she knew committed suicide.

We're talking about an event here that most of us can't come near comprehending. It was so bad that people took their own lives because of the trauma.


I spoke to person after person who said that they lived without food, or lived without water, for days. Having so many people get killed or lose everything from the hurricane impacted everyone in the area. The concierge told me that there are still events that happen that trigger memories of the hurricane and the aftermath afterwards.

I told her that she had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Then I asked her if she had gone to counseling. She responded that she couldn't because everybody here was going to counseling and had post traumatic stress disorder.

This woman felt despair. This town felt despair. Tears welled up in my eyes as I discussed these events and she told me how it took so long for things to come back to normal. All the people that were so lost as a result of this. I could see what she went through and the pain that she had felt.

The nice thing is that when you have so many people that went through the same event, together, you can, as a group, get through the event. This is what many have done in the area.

Ironically, the event that has helped the area give themselves hope again has been the local football team, the New Orleans Saints. They won the superbowl for the first time this year, and the town rallied around them quite a bit.

When you drive through the city, the billboard by the Superdome reads, "Goodbye to the Saint-Less."

The town rallied around the team, no doubt. They're feeling so much better.

Despair and BPD Relationship Recovery

When I got out of the relationship with the BPD Disordered, I suffered from despair. The pain I felt, the loss that I had, it was real. It was amazing.

Looking back, she had threatened my ability to have basic needs -- food, clothing and shelter -- but those that went through Katrina clearly had a more traumatic event happen to them.

Recovering from a relationship with a Borderline sucks. It's terrible. It changes the way that we view the world, and we lose some of our innocence.

However, we didn't feel like those that went through Hurricane Katrina felt. Our ability to eat and our ability to have a safe roof over our head wasn't compromised like those that went through Katrina. It hurt, we felt bad, but we didn't feel like them.

Or maybe we did:

  • Many of us have been threatened by the BPD, some of us to the point of being threatened for our lives. Many of us were beaten by the BPD as well. 
  • A couple times, I came home to locks being changed by the BPD, so clearly, my stability and knowing where I was living was compromised
Again, I think it's different. This was the person who I thought was going to be my partner, but I still, after writing through it, don't think that I had the intensity of feeling that those who went through Katrina felt. 

I think that those that went through 9/11 share more than those that went through a relationship with a BPD. Sure, it sucked, but it didn't suck nearly as much as those that went through 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.

We all shared feelings of desperation, though.

Making The Best of Despair

I'm not the kind of person who wants life to be monotone. I want highs, and I understand that there are going to be lows. 

We learn the most from the lows. The lows that we have help develop our character, our person; we learn how to survive and live through the lows.

You'll feel despair in your life. It's okay, you can get through it. When you get through it, you'll appreciate so much more of the good things, as long as you can learn and grow from the despair that you feel.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Should You Stay in the BPD Relationship?

This is a question that's posed to me quite often. You're in a relationship with a borderline. Do you stay or do you go? You know that it's going to be hard to leave, but the pain and abuse that you deal with is so great that you just can't take it any more.

The Good Outweighs The Bad
I remember being with the BPD and being asked by a counselor, "why do you stay in the relationship?" The reason was simple -- the good outweighed the bad.

Every relationship has difficulties. We all carry baggage from our childhood, our adolescence, our teen and high school years, and our adult lives. How we deal with the baggage and how we handle the issues in the relationship is important.

If you're in a relationship and can see that things are being handled in a constructive, healthy fashion, and you're happy, you should stay. Even if you were with someone who had borderline characteristics and was doing the right things to address them, then maybe it would work. You would know that they are doing the right things.

The problem with most borderlines is that they are so scared deep down inside that they won't admit their faults. They just won't. So they blame everything on their partners.

If you can look at the relationship and feel that the good outweighs the bad, then maybe it's worth it to stay in the relationship. In time, if the person is a true borderline, chances are that the bad will outweigh the good.

The Bad Outweighs The Good
You know the deal here. You're staying in the relationship because you're afraid. You don't know what life will be like without the borderline. You're afraid of being alone, you have financial issues, there's something that's keeping you in.

Here's the good and bad news -- everything will be just fine. You have to believe and get yourself out, because if the bad outweighs the good, you're in an abusive relationship. It's not good for you.

It's not good for you.

Only You Can Decide
No matter how much we try to help another with this decision, only you can ultimately make this decision. When it's time to go, you should go. Do not stay in an abusive relationship, because this is your self-worth that is at stake.

Do the right thing for yourself. You are responsible for your self-worth, so take care of you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Borderline Personality Disorder Defined

Are you in a relationship with someone where they make you always feel like you're doing something wrong? Do you always feel like you're Walking on Egghsells? Do you feel like your relationship is a constant battle and a constant fight, where you always feel like you don't know who you're going to be coming home to?

You may be in a relationship with someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. 

Below is the clinical definition of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Read through this blog to see examples of these symptoms in action; I was with someone who displayed these symptoms excessively, but you'll see what I mean when you read my stories.

Are you with someone who has BPD? If you're here, you may be. Want to confront them? Read the blog and the related stories before embarking on that one.

Symptoms of BPD

There are many symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. However, the clinical definition is pretty straightforward. Wikipedia defines the diagnosis as it appears in the DSM-IV-TRThe diagnosis is based on nine criteria; someone must exhibit five of the following nine symptoms to be diagnosed with BPD.
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  • Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging, for example, spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, or binge eating
  • Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  • Affective (mood) instability and marked reactivity to environmental situations, for example, intense episodic depression, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and rarely more than a few days)
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger, for example, frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  • Transient, stress-related paranoia or severe dissociative symptoms (feelings of unreality)
Go through these criteria, very closely. Study them and check them. Talk to a professional about them if you have questions.

For examples of this, check out my entry where I ask the question about my exBPD and ask if she really has BPD. I was upset (which is obvious), but you get the gist of what you should be looking for.

Read through the blog. Read all of the invaluable comments -- you'll quickly learn if you're with someone who has borderline personality disorder.

In upcoming posts, look for ways to deal with the issue -- should you stay or should you go?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The BPD Hook: What Keeps You in the BPD Relationship?

You know that the relationship is dysfunctional. You know that it's just bad for you. You know that it's a problem. You know that you're missing out on so many things in life.

Yet you stay with the person afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder.


The Borderline had (or has) you hooked into the relationship. Something that they did, you got something out of the relationship that kept you in, and kept you around and not leaving.

Welcome to the BPD Hook.

What Is The BPD Hook?

Simply defined, the BPD Hook is the reason that the borderline kept you in, or 'hooked' you, into the relationshp. It could be a multitude of things, but some of them may be:

  • They appealed to your insecurity about being alone, and told you that without them, you would always be alone
  • They appealed to your sense of financial insecurity, and that you would never be financially secure without them
  • They provided you with the most amazing sex that you've ever had, and you thought that you could never have such sex before, or after, the relationship with the borderline
  • They appealed to your need for a 'soul mate,' being that person that you always thought you wanted to be with
  • They made you feel like you were completed with that person
You can see where I'm going here. The BPD hook could be many different things, but something kept you hooked.

How To Get Out Of The BPD Hook

Borderlines are like mermaids. They call you in, say things that keep you mesmerized while they take your dignity, self worth and self esteem. When they're gone, you feel lost, abandoned and an overall wreck.

If you're starting to understand what's happened to you (or what's happening), one of the most important aspects of recovering from a borderline relationship is to get out of the borderline's hook, or get away from their spell.

The only way to get out of the spell of a borderline is to determine how they have you hooked. To do this, think about what life would be (or is) like without the person you suspect to be borderline. What do you miss most?

You've just found the BPD hook that they're keeping you in with.

For me, the BPD hook that I was suffering from was multi-fold. I had just gone through a divorce, so I was quite insecure about my finances and my overall sense of security. In addition, my ex wife was quite a frigid person.

I was a gold mine for a borderline, and ripe for her pickings. She found me and exploited me right away, making me feel financially secure and fulfilling my emotional needs as well as other needs.

However, this was clearly at a price. She would alter between loving me dearly and ripping me apart, so it was quite the roller coaster ride. After nearly two years, I had to get off the ride. I left the relationship feeling like I was going to be alone, like no one would ever meet my sexual needs like she did, and I was going to be bankrupt.

Very quickly, I realized that things were not as bad as I thought, and all of my insecurities were put to rest. Life wasn't easy at first, but within a couple of months, things were moving in the right direction. Healing takes a while, and taking the hooks out takes some time.

Insecurities Are Just That -- Insecurities

What I learned was that all the things that I was so afraid of before I started the relationship with the BPD were not insurmountable. I was able to get over each and every one of those hurdles, and they weren't real. I was able to get by financially after the divorce, and I clearly wasn't going to be alone. Even my insecurities about finding someone that was not as sexual as a borderline were quickly put to rest.

BPD Hooks are tough for the Non, but once you realize how the BPD is hooking you into the relationship, you can quickly make yourself feel better, and eventually heal yourself in the relationship.

There is a wonderful life awaiting those that are now out of a borderline relationship. If you want it, you need to take the steps to get out, but it can be yours.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Living The Life of a Free Man

I've been spending quite a bit of time traveling, working quite hard, spending a lot of time in my career. I've also been spending quite a bit of time playing and practicing guitar, listening to quite a bit of music, time with the family, time working out, time reading, and time doing a number of things.

I realized something. I'm a free man. I'm completely free. I've broken the chains.

You don't know what I'm talking about unless you've been in a dysfunctional relationship, particularly with a borderline. You live a life where you're weighed down.

Weights Will Eventually Break You
It's true. The weights of a borderline will eventually break you, one way or another. I used to think that I was superhuman in terms of my will, my work ethic, my attitude...I wanted to be Father of the Year, Husband of the Year, Boyfriend of the Year, Worker of the Year. I was so driven, so hungry, so...energetic.

Then I met the borderline and started dating her. She took my energy and channeled it. She channeled it primarily to her, because of her needs, she could not be comfortable with my energy. Her paranoid mind thought that my energies would channel towards other women, other interests than her.

Slowly but surely, my energies mellowed, probably as a result of growth, as well as a result of being in the relationship. When I was in the relationship with the borderline, my energies were aimed at her. However, the weight of walking on eggshells on a constant basis, not knowing when she would snap, weighs on you.

I told her that I would have had a heart attack if I stayed with her. Stress related illnesses are just that, stress related. These relationships cause major stress on you. I used to smoke when I was with her, a habit I had given up before meeting her.

The borderline will eventually kill you, one way or another.

Want Freedom? Shed The Weights

You can give the borderline boundaries, but you need to be able to enforce the boundaries. You need to get to a point that when the borderline in your life acts out, you can react with indifference.

This is the only way to shed the weights of the borderline grasp. We Nons know that we live life with a cloud over our heads, always waiting for the borderline to snap, to get upset about something that we don't understand.

How To Be Free From A Dysfunctional Relationship

The only way to truly free yourself from the weights of a dysfunctional relationship is to leave it. You actually need to leave the relationship.

If you have a borderline partner that is willing to go to counseling and therapy as well as medication, this may be a solution. You also need counseling to better understand boundaries, a better separation of responsibility, and the like.

It's difficult, but you can free yourself from the dysfunction. The key to this is awareness. Awareness of the situation, of the behaviors, and all of the associated dysfunction that goes along with a relationship with a borderline personality disordered person. More on awareness in upcoming posts.

Monday, March 8, 2010

BPD Relationship Recovery Always Continues

This is the first post in quite some time -- a couple of weeks -- I used to blog nearly every day!

Things have been good here in my personal recovery land -- more on this later. However, I've been so busy -- work has consumed much of my time, and I've been trying to keep myself well-balanced with exercise and family time -- so blogging took a bit of a back seat. One of my large projects is finishing up, so I should have more time to blog moving forward.

With that said, I'll always try to blog at least once a week. If I'm not blogging that much, I've been consumed by work. Rest assured, I'll come back. This year, I'll do more blogging than in subsequent years. This blog is important to My BPD Recovery, and it's important to those who read this and benefit from this.

Back to Myself
With that said, I realize that I'm pretty much back to myself now. I've come back around, and my true self is here more than it's ever been before.

Strangely, I was hiking yesterday when I came to that realization. She is no longer the one that was it for me and has now gotten away. She is another girl that I was with, a girl that I dated, someone who has some pretty serious issues.

I'll continue to blog and to post -- I'll cover some critical topics, such as some of the things that borderlines do when in their frantic efforts to avoid abandonment, contrasting this with their constant efforts to pre-empt you leaving them.

I Love Receiving Your Comments
Thanks to each and every one of you for your comments. I appreciate them and will publish them when they help tell stories of recovery and reveal elements of BPD relationship recovery.

With that said, I do not publish links in comments, and I do not publish any foul language. I have used such language on quite a limited basis if at all. I do not consider such language professional.

Continue to send me your comments and give me your feedback on what you would like to see published here.