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.

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