Friday, April 30, 2010

Examine Potential New Partners Through Internet Dating

I'm going out of order here, but there's reasons for this. Each of us are at different places in our journey, and we may be ready to start dating. Dating for some may be something that they do to avoid the pain, which can be okay, as long as we eventually face, feel, and address the pain.

Today's dating world is different than it was five, ten and 20 years ago. The Internet has revolutionized dating, in some ways for good, in others for bad. 

If we use the Internet and Internet dating sites properly, they can be used for good and to help find a new partner.

Meeting Good -- And Bad -- People On the Internet

When I first started using dating sites, particularly, I met women that well, had BPD tendencies or were BPD. My nature was to gravitate towards women that had those tendencies, and after I read books like No More Mr. Nice Guy, I learned how to not meet these kinds of women. 

That was growth that had to take place within me, though. It took time, effort and a lot of self-examination, which I continue to do. 

At a certain point, I began looking for the right things in women -- I suddenly stopped looking at whether they liked to party, and I started looking at the substance behind them.

The Internet and Internet dating sites allow us to take that first step in the screening process. It's a time-consuming process, but the Internet allows us to quickly screen people like you weren't ever able to do before.

Now, you can go through enormous numbers of people on paper and see how they match up to you. Are they good fits or not?

With that said, the founder of eHarmony has said that it still takes about two years to get to know someone, and I believe that. You still have to spend the time to see how they are deep down inside, if you are compatible with them, and if you have the same outlooks on life. This takes time.

I met Jennie on a dating site. We've now been together for two years, and we're getting ready to marry. Without a dating site, we may never have met (again -- we knew one another in High School). 

Clearly, dating sites are beneficial. You just have to use them properly, then have fun!

Dating Site May Promotions, Packages and More

I recently heard about a number of new promotions that the dating sites are doing, so I wanted to pass them along. Be sure to still screen out your partners so you get the right ones, and watch out for the eyes...

Note: I've also included sites (below) that are not offering specials -- the ones that have specials are indicated below (by the offer)

Spring Into Love Now on  Special Seasonal Offer: Over 30% Off Two Month Subscription for Only $24.98/Month.

Try FREE with our Free Communication Weekend - This weekend!

15% Off - Start Search For Love

Find your special someone

Flirt, Date, Fall in Love on

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Relationship Recovery Step 1: Feel The Pain

When you get out of a BPD Relationship, it hurts like no other. The pain you feel is, well, quite painful.

You feel like you've been knocked down, and all of your efforts, all of your accepting the unacceptable, were in vain.

All you want is that person back in your life. You know, if they are BPD, that it's the worst thing for you. You'll be abused emotionally, maybe physically, definitely verbally. Your standards, whatever you believe in, will be thrown out the window.

Yet you want them back.

They say that the most normal person -- the person who has it all together -- can be taken apart by someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. The reason is simple.

Borderlines are perceptive. They know people. They're supersensitive, so they are sensitive to your needs. That's probably why you fell in love with them in the first place.

Unfortunately, they're not fully developed, and their disorder precludes them from developing fully, or usually so they can get to a place where they can be in a fully functional relationship.

How to Feel The Pain

Before covering how you can feel the pain, we must first cover how you will not feel the pain. If you start:

  • Drinking alcohol excessively
  • Taking drugs
  • Partying way too much
  • Dating someone else right away
  • Exercising in excess
  • Doing anything in excess -- way way too much won't feel the pain. Please understand that doing many of these things, such as exercising, is actually quite good for you. However, when done in excess, they become problematic.

Now, there is a time to avoid the pain, but only if you eventually deal with it. There are times when things are so bad, or you think that they are, that you just can't deal with them. If you feel like this, then go out with your friends, let them relax. I remember that when the BPD and I first split, my friends took me out to the local bar and grille then introduced me to the staff. "You're gonna love this place," they pumped me up. I have such wonderful, supportive people in my life.

When the time comes, you will need to really fill the pain. Believe me, it hurts. It will take time, and when you're in it, it will feel like a long time.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and in retrospect, it wasn't too long. They say that in a relationship, it takes you about 1 year to heal for every 2 years that you were in the relationship. With dysfunctional relationships (like borderline relationships), I'd say it takes longer than that.

Now it's time to really feel the pain. Lock yourself in your home and let it all out. Feel the loss. Mourn the relationship. Cry, cry and cry some more. Maybe you need to write a goodbye letter. If you do, then do it.

Put on some of the saddest songs you know. Put on those breakup songs that break your heart.

Your heart is broken. Let it be broken.

There are many phases of the mourning process, and after you deny that the relationship is over, it's time to feel the pain.

However, you can get through the pain, and you can feel great when you come out of it. 

How Long Will This Last?

You should feel the pain intensely only for a few weeks, no more than three weeks. They say that it takes about 23 days to change a habit, and you now need to get used to the habit of not having this person in your life. You know that it's for the better, but it still hurts.

You'll feel the pain for months, if not years, but the intense pain should subside after about three weeks. You need to start putting your life back together, which will be covered in some later topics.

If you start to have suicidal thoughts, if you cannot get out of the funk and stop feeling the pain intensely, if you just can't get it back together, get support immediately. Professional support can be quite helpful and can help get you over the humps that you need in life.

So you've felt the pain, and you've gotten through it. Time for the next step, Let Yourself Heal.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reader Comments Keep Me Motivated

Thanks to each and every one of you for your comments, questions and contributions to this site. I truly appreciate every last one of them, and they're the main reason I keep writing this site.

I've tried to find financial reasons to justify my continuing on this site, and they're simply not there. All of my efforts to monetize this site at all has earned me a total of $20. That's right, 20 bucks from all the links to books, the Google Adwords, the dating site links, everything.

So, it's not about the money. It's about the joy that I get from helping each of you. It's about the joy that I get when someone writes to me and says how much the blog has helped them.

I hope the blog keeps helping others. Your contributions also help others see that we're not alone. The Me Project has been, and continues to be a collaborative effort. So keep the comments coming.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Does She (or He) Really Have BPD?

I hear this question from quite a few people on a pretty regular basis. I even went through the same thing with my ex BPD girlfriend as you can read in the post Is She Really Borderline? Those of us that are in the relationship with the borderline feel such a strong urge to prove that the other is borderline for so many reasons.

Why Do We Need To Prove That They Have BPD

When a relationship goes wrong, especially when personality disorders are involved, we want to find a reason why. We want to blame the other person for the problems because we are trying to do the right things. We are working so hard to make the world right and things right, and it just isn't working with this person.

If you're with someone who has a personality disorder, you know what I mean. You keep trying to live your life by doing the right thing, and the person explodes on you when you least expect it, when things are good. Maybe they're suffering from the Vengeance Switch as you try to enjoy life to the fullest.

We know something's wrong, and we know that we're not doing it.

The problem with being in a relationship with someone who is borderline is that you can't ever have a fully healthy relationship without that person getting help -- years of help. You live life like the move Groundhog Day, always waking up and starting from ground zero, never getting to the next level because your BPD partner knocks the relationship back down because of their lack of trust, or their lack of respect.

When we try to bring these issues to the borderline, their fear of abandonment, self loathing and other defense mechanisms kick in. They're real good at this, and this is when you get the, "it's not me, it's you," response. The borderline will usually launch a full assault to prove that you, in fact, have the issues or problems.

BPD Gaslighting: The Worst For The Non

The worst thing that happens is when the BPD changes the course of events in their minds. It's a terrible event, because how do you argue the facts with someone? It becomes a "he said-she said" argument which is frustrating.

The biggest problem is that if the BPD was dissociating (which most of them do quite regularly), it's not that they are lying, they have actually change history in their mind! So they now believe the change of history that occurred in their mind. How do you argue this?

Over the long term, this makes the non feel like they are losing their minds -- one of the most frustrating things.

When I was with the BPD, she told me that I was dissociating when the roles were, in fact, reversed. She believed this so much that she went to counselors and told me this -- I went through special EMDR therapy to try to recall memories and everything. Because I thought that maybe the BPD saw things that I didn't. She did see things that I didn't because she made them up in her head.

Whew. What a nightmare. If you're dealing with this kind of difficulty, I'm sorry. All of this -- someone telling you that you have the problems and you are to blame and you need the counseling and you came from a troubled childhood makes you feel the need to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have BPD.

As a non, we have to explain the world. We have to explain why things are the way they are. Most things in the world can be explained.

Many parts of the Borderline's world cannot be explained.

I Guess It Doesn't Matter Anyway

Here's what the kicker is about this whole thing -- it doesn't matter if the person you were with (or are with) has BPD or not. You were/are in a dysfunctional relationship, a bad relationship, a relationship that just wasn't normal, plain and simple.

It doesn't matter who did what or who has BPD; it's irrelevant. The relationship did not work, was not working, and was not going to work. It was going to continue being dysfunctional because those with BPD cannot have healthy relationships without intense counseling for years, medication and structure that most cannot provide.

So, does he or she really have BPD? It doesn't matter.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 Steps To Recover from A BPD Relationship

Recovering from a BPD Relationship is a difficult endeavor. Some would say that it's the toughest thing that they'll ever do. For some, it will be the toughest thing that they'll do.

Let me tell you, you can do it. You can live through this and be the person you always wanted to be when you get out of it.

Follow these simple steps, and you'll have no problem getting yourself through the BPD recovery process.

*Note: Some of these steps are intermingled, inter-tangled, and interdependent. You will often be working on step 6, then slip into step 1. They are not a step-by-step guide, but you will walk through these steps in the process.

How long will it take to heal from a dysfunctional relationship? They say that it takes you approximately one year to heal from every two years that you were in a relationship. For dysfunctional relationships (particularly BPD relationships), double this time, and you should be safe.

Bonus For Finishing
Here's the beautiful thing that you'll discover from this guide: When you're done with these steps, you will emerge a person who is much better than before you entered the relationship with the BPD.

One more thing -- this recovery guide can be applied to BPD relationships or general relationships also. After all, you don't have to be BPD to be in a dysfunctional relationship, or any relationship gone bad, for that matter. All of these recovery steps can be applied to a regular relationship and will help you grow.

The 10 Relationship Recovery Steps

1. Feel the pain
2. Let yourself heal
3. Do the work
4. Start a Me Project
5. Reinforce (or build) your support group, then flex it
6. Find others that have been there and have felt the pain
7. Find spiritual fulfillment
8. Accept yourself
9. Learn to love yourself
10. Recognize that you are a Work in Progress

In upcoming posts, look for each of these steps fully outlined, described and detailed with examples. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 16, 2010

BPD Intimacy and Trust

It's a topic that keeps circling around my head, and the more I read about others' stories (many of you write to me), it becomes more and more prevalent in every story.

The relationships lacked trust. This is probably the worst thing to happen, along with relationships lacking respect.

If someone takes your trust, what do you have?

You can't have any amount of respect without trust?

How can you be intimate with someone that doesn't trust you and doesn't respect you?

Do you really trust or respect, or did you really trust or respect, your borderline (or suspected borderline) partner?

Without trust and respect, you cannot have intimacy.

So, let's go to work and figure all this out. Follow me here.

Trust: The Cornerstones of Any Relationship

Relationships with anyone are built on trust. If you have a quality relationship, you trust that person. They're critical to every relationship.

Think about this -- do you have a solid relationship where you don't trust the other person? I bet you don't. If you do, re-examine your definition of a solid relationship.

When I think about my time with the borderline, my support system had been weakened because I had gone through the divorce. Someone like me feels bad when you lean on your friends too much; you feel like you shouldn't do this because you'll strain the relationship.

In fact, my friends asked me when I was going through the divorce and talking about it, "why didn't you come to me?" This was a tough one for me -- when you're down, the last thing you want to do is go to your friends. I've always only wanted to go to my friends when I was good, not bad.

So, with a strained support system, I was prime for a borderline. Someone who fit into all my narcissistic fantasies, almost perfectly. I was a confident, strong man who could handle most any situation.

I was trustworthy. So when the borderline told me that she didn't trust me, I thought that in time, she would trust me. In time.

The time never came

Respect: The Other Cornerstone

Some may lose trust in a relationship but get it back. However, respect is the true cornerstone that becomes critical in the relationship. Without respect for your partner, what do you have? How do you look at that person and not respect them?

So, in these relationships, think about that. I would argue that the BPD cannot truly respect others, simply because they can't respect themselves. Without self respect, you can't respect others.

Intimacy: Taking It To The Next Level

Only relationships that have solid foundations of trust and respect can go to that next level, the intimacy that two people can share when they believe in one another. When they trust each other. When they want the best for the other person, they want the other person to be the best person that they can.

This isn't about amazing sex, because amazing sex can be had without intimacy. But when you're with someone and you feel this intimacy, the world gets even more special. Sex gets special. Going to the grocery store feels special. You feel like you're on life's mission with someone who gets you, and gets it.

That's true intimacy.

Unfortunately, without trust and respect, you can't have intimacy. Intimacy is based on trust, respect and a selflessness that borderlines simply can't get to.

Think about what you want out of life. Do you want the constant battle? The lack of trust, being treated poorly? I heard from someone who has a borderline partner that has cheated on him more times than he can imagine, and he feels like he's the one with the problem because he doesn't trust his partner.

Don't live that life. Live the life where you can trust openly because you're with someone that's trustworthy and respects themselves, you and trusts you. Then you can reach the next level of intimacy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Save Your Soul: Borderline Torture

It's one of those stories that you hate to tell, but it's true. One of those examples of abuse by a borderline. One that when you look back, you can't believe that you put up with it.

The problem is that when you look back, it was so strange and bizarre, so much something that you cannot explain, that you just block it out. However, when you look back, you know that it was detrimental.

One Sunday, the borderline fires up the stereo and puts on the Jewel song, "Who Will Save Your Soul." Then she comes to me, looks at me, and starts singing the lyrics.

People living their lives for you on TV
They say they're better than you and you agree
He says "Hold my calls from behind those cold brick walls"
Says "Come here boys, there ain't nothing for free"
Another doctor's bill, a lawyer's bill
Another cute cheap thrill
You know you love him if you put in your will

Who will save your soul when it comes to the flower
Who will save your soul after all the lies that you told, boy
Who will save your soul if you won't save your own?

We try to hustle them, try to bustle them, try to cuss them
The cops want someone to bust down on Orleans Avenue
Another day, another dollar, another war, another tower
Went up where the homeless had their homes
So we pray to as many different God's as there are flowers
But we call religion our friend
We're so worried about saving our souls
Afraid that God will take His toll
That we forget to begin

Who will save your soul when it comes to the flower
Who will save your soul after all the lies that you told, boy
Who will save your soul if you won't save your own?

Some are walking, some are talking, some are stalking their kill
You got social security, but that don't pay your bills
There are addictions to feed and there are mouths to pay
So you bargain with the Devil, say you're OK for today,
You say that you love them, take their money and run
Say it's been swell, sweetheart, but it was just one of those things
Those flings, those strings you've got to cut,
So get out on the streets, girls, and bust you butts.

Who will save you soul when it comes to the flower
Who will save you soul after all the lies that you told, boy
Who will save your soul if you won't save you own?

I was dumbfounded. She was convinced that I was telling lies, telling more lies, telling more lies. These were the things that chipped away at you, slowly but surely, you slowly but surely have more and more taken away from you.

When the person that you love, that you are willing to spend your life with, is telling you about lies that you've told, it hurts, plain and simple. How could she think such things about me? How could she tell me that I am lying to her when I tell her, time and time again, that I'm being honest?
- All the three hours talks
- All the efforts
- All the time that I spent trying to make her feel more comfortable
- All the lunchtimes I spent with her trying to make her feel comfortable
- All the fights that I accepted responsibility for things that I didn't do wrong
- The times that she kicked me out of her house and changed the locks, twice, but I came back because I thought she understood

It didn't matter. She still thought that I was telling lies. Unfortunately, that's a mental disorder for you.

That's what I realized, no matter how much I didn't want to admit it. I couldn't change her. No matter how much I tried, no matter how much goodness I tried to infuse into the relationship, her anxieties and fears overruled them.

I obviously took missteps also. I'm a free spirit, so those with control issues have difficulties being with me. She misinterpreted many of my intentions, whether it was her disorder or my outlook I'm not sure.

Regardless, playing a song like this, "Who will save your soul after all the lies you told, boy," after all you've tried to make her feel comfortable, is just mean and heartless, and abusive.

Another sign to get out. Don't accept the unacceptable.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Early Adolescent Girlfriends: The BPD Relationship Primer

I was 16 years old, had just gone through a number of traumatic events in my life, and became friends with a girl that I later dated. She was a pretty freshman, not exactly my type, but I think we were about the same age mentally at the time.

When I started spending time with this girl, I had just survived being a passenger in a car accident that nearly turned fatal. I and the driver both sustained head injuries; I underwent an operation to remove an epidural hematoma while his subdural hematoma could not be removed. I was in a car accident for one week; he was in a coma for two. Before the accident, I had refuted advances by a boss of mine; his name was Harry, and he was in his 40's. Looking back, he was your typical pedophile.

So, before meeting this girl, I was recovering from a major car accident where I suffered incredible head injury and had also had my boss, who at the age of 16 is a role model in your life, turn out to be a pedophile that made advances on me (and most likely every male that worked at the kennel that he owned).

I was primed for a dysfunctional relationship where I am not treated well, yet I take it.

Emotional Immaturity and The Dysfunctional Relationship
By nature, any of us who enter into some type of dysfunctional relationship are still suffering from, or accepting, some type of emotional immaturity. Either we are emotionally immature, our partner is emotionally immature, or both.

One of the most important elements of growing and evolving from relationships is having the ability to understand what went wrong in past relationships and growing from them.

Unfortunately, as most that are reading this blog, in the case of a relationship with a borderline, there is no normal closure. You leave the relationship not knowing what happened, then having to heal. This is probably some of the most difficult healing that one has to do.

Let's look at this girl for a minute. At 14, she was a child of parents who had divorced when she was a young age. What's worse, her father had passed away when she was in sixth, seventh or eight grade; needless to say, she had healing to do, and I was there to help her.

Looking back, we were a couple of kids, but we fit one another's needs quite well at the time. I was there to be secure for her as she got acclimated with high school (her older sister also helped her do that as well), but we initially fit together well. Or so we thought.

We both knew that we wanted security in a relationship, and we offered each other this. That's about it. We were too young, too immature, and way too wounded from all of our past trauma to have a healthy relationship. It took me years after being with her to shed the abuse that she laid on me, let alone the trauma which I had felt from the car accident and other incident.

Believe me, although she was traumatized, she sure did provide quite a bit of abuse to me. At the end of the relationship, she told me that she wanted to be single, yet she kept me around so I saw her start having boyfriends right in front of my eyes. What's worse, when my friends came over, she would get upset and scream at me, one time actually hitting me in a rage of fury.

Sound familiar?

I've never felt so feeble in my entire life. Even when I was with the borderline, I knew what the deal was. I had sacrificed quite a bit, willingly, but with this one, I was emotionally immature. Words like, "she is my life" came out of my mouth.

I'm ashamed to have ever said such things, but hey, it was nearly 25 years ago. Time heals all wounds, even though we may have scars.

Keep Your Dignity
That's what happens in a borderline relationship -- they can strip your dignity. They may not be trying to do such a thing, but by accepting the unacceptable, you allow the borderline to take your dignity.

It's important to keep boundaries. If the borderline is regularly doing things like yelling at you, hitting you, kicking you out and the like, you need to take your dignity back.

An Early Borderline Relationship?
So, was this girl an early borderline relationship? Maybe, or maybe not. She was too young to be considered borderline as she was only a teenager and a young teenager at that. We work through quite a lot of these issues in our adolescence.

I do know that she got her Masters in Social Work and is now a school social worker. She has two children, but their father is not with them and does not provide any child support. She lives with her mother and has had a number of tumultuous relationships.

With all of that said, I cannot judge. I don't know her current story or the reason for her current situation to make a judgement call whether she is borderline.

I do know that the relationship that I had with her was dysfunctional. When I look to the borderline relationship, I could (and did) draw direct parallels in the relationship, and this is one thing that kept me from becoming any more of a victim than I did. Without that previous relationship, I would have not had such experience to notice the projection and blame and lack of boundaries.

Look At Your Past Relationships
Be sure to look at your past relationships and see if you had any dysfunctional ones that were the primer to your relationship with the BPD

The past is just that, the past. You have to live in the present, live in the now. Be sure to look to the past and learn from it, but don't dwell on it. Today and tomorrow has yet to be made, so make the most of it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

BPD Family Problems: Children's Inheritance

I forgot about this until today -- the life that the BPD's little girls had to live because of their mother's limited abilities. I'm not talking about the BPD's parents or other family members -- you can read about this in other posts where I've covered the BPD Family and these issues. Now, I'm talking about the immediate nucler BPD Family -- the children of the borderline. Not partners, but children.

BPD's Children: Inherited Behaviors

These are the people that I feel bad about. Their parent (usually their mother) is someone who does not have a good concept of reality. When there is not a significant other in their life, they will project their anxieties onto their children, so their children gain borderline traits, right from the onset.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Trusting After a BPD Relationship

It can be one of the toughest things to do after being in a relationship with a borderline. You're in this committed relationship with someone who you think is the love of your life, then BAM! Right between the eyes, you're hit, and you are now on your own.

It's quite lonely, and it hurts like it has never hurt before. This pain can linger for days, weeks, months, maybe years. I just got an email from someone who has been hurting for over 10 years; he said to me, about an incident that occurred in 1999, "I feel like it happened yesterday."

The pain of a break up with someone that has borderline personality disorder can be enormous. If we don't choose to heal, the pain can be quite powerful and can continue to be there for some time after the breakup has occurred.

Eventually, we get ourselves together and begin healing. In time, we will go back out into the world, see our friends, and begin living again. It sucks, but we do it. We have to do it for survival.

In time, we'll even start dating again. We'll go to some dating websites, or find someone elsewhere, then will meet people and start having romantic relations with others.

How do we trust again? We do, but how?