Thursday, June 24, 2010

Relationship Recovery Step 6: Find Others That Have Been There and Have Felt the Pain

So, you've started your healing process, you've committed, you've felt the pain, you've built your support group and you've flexed it, but you're still missing quite a lot.

You've just gotten out of a relationship with someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. This disease is like no other, and unfortunately, unless you've been there, most in your support group just won't get it. In fact, you'll even feel like you can talk to them so much, but there will still be aspects of the relationship where you won't feel comfortable telling. Part of it will be shame.

This is where it's important to have a group of people that have been through a relationship with a borderline and can empathize with you. There's nothing, nothing like mental illness, particularly Borderline Personality Disorder. The borderline seems completely normal to someone that doesn't know the person very well, so trying to explain the illness and get sympathy from others could make you feel -- and possibly be viewed as -- a little nutty.

It's difficult, though. How -- where -- do you find a group of people that have similar problems, similar issues? Especially if you live out in a rural area? 

This is when technology -- particularly the Internet -- becomes an invaluable gem.

The Internet Spawns Support Groups

There are many different support groups that can help you get through these issues.  The forums change regularly, so I can't attest to which one is best for you.

My personal favorite is Randy Kreger's Welcome to Oz support groups on Yahoo! Groups. They allow the person receive a regular download of those contributing as well as contribute when they are ready.  This group, and the people that are on the group, helped get me through the dark days when I was recovering from the relationship. People reached out to me and befriended me when I asked for the help. I'm eternally grateful to this group and the people that helped me get through these days.

BPD Relationship Recovery -- The Next Step

So, I've been thinking about this blog and what to do next with it -- the answer is provide more support for you. So, we're going to create the support in an Internet environment where we can support one another:

I'm working out the kinks of the site right now, but in this site, you'll (eventually) be able to:
- Create your own persona/personality
- Contribute and start topics
- Start your own "Me Project"
- Contribute to forums

All in one place. Welcome to the next phase of The Us project.

Please, cruise over to, take a look at the site, create your own ID, get a site and more. I'll be covering more of the "how to's" with this site in the future but the quick highlights include:

- There are forums in the Groups section -- some are confidential (men only) so your posts are completely anonymous, others are public.
- You can create your own "Me Project" blog. So, if you're like me and you want to write, you can create your own blog. 
- In the future, I'll actually create ways for you to make money from blogging on I'll put advertising on the site that you'll get a share (Note: during all the time that I've had this blog, I've made about $20 -- you're not going to make much, but every bit can help).
- You can contribute to the forums section, posting on different topics
- You can create your own person, avatar, and send messages to everyone in the group.
- There's more. this is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, The Me/Us project is now evolving to its next iteration. Please take the trip with me. Do the following:
- Navigate to
- Sign in, and get your own website if you want. Start blogging if it so suits you.
- Go into the groups (sign into the ones that suit you) and start posting topics.

I can't do this all by myself. I need your help. Please help as we move the Me/Us project to the next level.

See you at

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Things I can Do Now That I'm Out of a BPD Relationship

I was thinking about what my life is like now and how my life is so free now that I'm not in a BPD relationship. My life can be happy as I don't feel shackled or held back by someone else's insecurities.

Jennie is a very trusting woman, and I appreciate and cherish the trust that I have. She lets me be myself and doesn't try to steal any of my magic. I am eternally grateful.

The following list is by no means exhaustive as it only strikes the surface, but here are some of the things that I can do without being questioned, accused of inappropriate things, kicked out, demeaned, belittled, or generally treated poorly:

  • Spend a whole day not talking or communicating with my partner
  • Go to they gym
  • Go for a run
  • Go out with my friends
  • Go to see my family
  • Stop somewhere that's not planned
  • Take my children places without letting my partner know
  • Do special things with my children
  • Talk to other females
  • Have a friendship with other females
  • Get another female's phone number (for business or whatever purpose)
  • Stay late at work
  • Travel on business
  • Go into work early
  • Do things on my own -- whatever it may be
  • Talk with my partner about another female
  • Go away with my friends for a guys' weekend out
  • Go out with my friends for a guys' night out
  • Receive phone calls, text messages or emails from other females
  • Have a female coworker that was not put under the microscope
  • Have an attractive female coworker
  • Go out to lunch, dinner, breakfast...whatever without being accused of cheating
This is just the beginning. You can see the pattern here.

I'm now free. The Me/Us project continues. In the next post, look for updates and plans for this site as we move it out to a new site altogether where you can blog about your BPD recovery, enter forum posts, or do what you want. Look for more information in the upcoming blog entries.

For now, if you're out of the BPD relationship, appreciate the freedom you have. Do something constructive with it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Did Darth Vader Suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

So, I recently saw some type of analysis of Darth Vader, asking the question: Did he suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder?

When thinking about Darth and what made Anakin Skywalker Darth Vader (referring to the scene in Star Wars where he tries to jump over Obi-Wan Kenobi in a move that Obi advised him against doing), I would say that he had more narcissistic tendencies than borderline tendencies.

He thought that he was invincible, and he was shown that he was not invincible. He grew paranoid and hurt his pregnant wife, but he was more confused than borderline.

The more that I think about it, the more I would say that Darth was not a borderline. He was coerced by the Sith Darth Sidius to turn to the dark side.

Darth Vader a borderline? Not by a longshot. Maybe he was a narcissist, but not a borderline.

Look at the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan and voice your opinion:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Relationship Recovery Step 5: Build Your Support Group, And Flex It

When you're going through truly difficult times, it's difficult to find a way out.

You just can't do it alone. If you try to do it alone and handle all this heartache alone, you will be literally broken apart. I know from experience.

Bottom line -- you need a support group to recover from most every relationship. Dysfunctional relationships, like those with borderlines, require even more of a support group.

What Is a Support Group?
A support group is just like the name sounds, a group of people who are there to support you as you go through a difficult transition, or just life in general. This group can be comprised of friends, family, co-workers (as long as your working situation allows for this), or a group of people with common interests. For example, those that attend Alcoholics Anonymous are surrounded by other attendees who could all be considered part of their support group.

To have a solid support group, one must be able to trust their support group and believe that the support group truly has their best interest at hand.

For the Non in a relationship with a Borderline, they need a solid support group. Their recovery is critical and the Non needs this. Part of the Non's support group mix should also be a counselor for a number of reasons. First, there is quite a lot of shame around being in a relationship with a borderline. You have accepted so much in the relationship that you have buried, and these things (like being treated so poorly) have to be dealt with in a safe environment.

There were many things that happened with the borderline that I didn't want to initially tell my friends. They would ask me questions like, "why would you let her do that to you?"

There were a lot of things that they would ask me those questions. I wasn't ready. A counselor could help me get through all these issues and questions.


Many Nons that are in a relationship with a borderline find that they have codependent tendencies if they are not all-out codependent. This must also be examined and worked through.

Many Nons also find that joining a support group such as Alanon also helps them get through their codependent issues and makes them responsible for themselves.

We Need People To Talk To

We are human beings that have emotions. Working with a support group that helps you get back to a normal sense of right and wrong is very important when recovering from any relationship, particularly a BPD relationship. This is one part of the puzzle though. Ultimately, you need to decide what's right and wrong for you, which takes more time.

This is an important step. As you go through this process of recovering from a bad relationship, you need to learn from others what is right, what's wrong, and the healthy way to deal with issues that arose in the relationship and in your current life.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why Do We Rescue?

Many of us who have gotten into a relationship with someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder would fall into the role of Rescuer. We rescue people from their misery and make their lives better. They love us because we are so good at rescuing and making them feel better about themselves.

The problem is that after we have rescued, we inherit their misery, their upset, their hatred for themselves, and we are miserable. Or the person burns us out because we give so much to the person that we have nothing at the end for ourselves.

Rescuing Others From Their Misery Feels Good -- At First

When we rescue others, we feel great about ourselves, and the other person feels good as well. They give us love because we make them feel loved, while the rest of the world does not love them, no one loves them.

We look at them, and our hearts go out to them. I felt that way about the borderline. I felt so bad for her that I jumped in to save her and make her feel better.

At that point, I thought that I knew how to keep myself clear of the rescuer role. But I didn't know how to keep myself clear at all. Eventually, the person who has been rescued starts to give you their anxiety, their dysfunction, their whatever, and you have to deal with it. It's really not fun, I promise you.

I recently met with my ex wife to discuss how her actions were negatively impacting our children, in the past, now and in the future. We met at a diner and had quite a difficult conversation. She is drinking too much and has been dating a married man for the past few years.

Despite these indiscretions which are clearly impacting my children, I still felt so bad for her. My heart jumped to feeling her pain. What a shame that after all this time, she still cannot help herself and is now negatively impacting our children. She doesn't even know that her actions negatively impact the children.

We Must Rescue Ourselves First

Rescuing others gives us purpose. It gives us meaning. It makes us feel good and keeps our minds outside of ourselves. We get wonderful initial responses, so we rescue for the response that we get.

The truth is that we first need to rescue ourselves. We first need to determine our own meaning, our own insecurities and deal with them. We can rescue all we want, but until we deal with ourselves, we won't feel whole and complete.

Rescuing starts with the best of intentions, but we're actually masking our insecurities. Before we can help others, we must help ourselves.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Borderline Personality Disordered Coworkers: CYA

You're in the work force and have a coworker that acts, let's say, different. Great in some ways, not so great in other ways.

This coworker can be your best friend; you've probably spent time bonding with this person and may have developed quite a liking for this person. They may be someone that you consider a friend. They've asked you questions about yourself that make you think that you trust them. They've volunteered parts of their life that have made you think that they're trustworthy.

However, there have been other signs about the person that you can't really explain. They like to tell you gossip about their lives, and about the lives of others. Their home life is in shambles, and they always seem to be talking about someone in the office; they are pretty much always having some type of conflict with someone in the office. There needs to be some type of drama, and they will make the drama into a full-blown scandal if they are able.

Of course, they are always the victim; everyone does all these things to them, while they go about their jobs and do what they are supposed to. They're treated poorly by everyone, misspoken to by everyone, made to feel terrible by everyone.

When they have unloaded on you and they leave the room, you feel absolutely exhausted. 

If you feel this way about one of your coworkers, you may be working with someone who is suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder.

BPD Coworkers Can Ruin Your Career

If you work with someone who is a true borderline, you will know it. They will constantly be battling with someone that you work with; hopefully that person is outside your office. You will feel like they literally suck the life out of you when they are unloading their anxiety on you about the office drama, or about their personal lives. 

Remember some of borderlines' habits: black and white thinking, splitting, dissociating, high anxiety...the list goes on, but I hope that you're getting the idea here. In the workplace, a person like this can truly ruin your career. 

Meet Missey
I worked with Missey while running a small office. She was a good worker, quite diligent and when she put her mind to the task would meet and exceed expectations. She had multiple office duties, some of them repetitive, where she would pick up magazines and distribute them to a number of places every week. 

Missey admitted to having family and personal issues where she had gone to outpatient treatment for psychological issues and was heavily  medicated for anxiety.

Missey was good at what she did when focused, but at other times, she would miss responsibilities because of other things in her life. Her husband abused her, her daughter had issues, she was fighting with people in the home office...the list went on.

Missey would come into the office in the afternoon after meetings on the road and would unload on myself and the office manager. After she would leave, the two of us would feel compelled to literally take a nap after she would drain us emotionally.

Overall, my relationship with Missey was decent, but it did have drama. Melissa had serious family issues, and she brought some of those issues to work. As her supervisor, there were times that I had to speak to her about these issues. Melissa did not do good for my career though.

Overall, I liked Missey and we worked well together. I created a nurturing environment where she did quite well. She had her issues, particularly her bulimic tendencies. We would go to the bathroom after lunch and find pieces of lettuce floating in the toilet on almost a daily basis. 

Looking back, I think that working with Missey primed me for accepting a relationship with a borderline, as I began the relationship with the borderline at the end of my job with Missey. Some of my boundaries had been broken by a borderline coworker.

When I was involved in moving the office and up for a promotion at the company, Missey snapped and spoke poorly about me to the executives at the office. It became such a big issue that I did not get the promotion and  ultimately left the company. My replacement and Missey did not get along either, and she eventually left the company and filed discrimination charges against the company because of this boss' behavior and treatment towards her.

Borderline coworkers can ruin your career.

Most borderlines will move from job to job as their attention wanes and waxes. They can be good working at big organizations that have the structure and rules that borderlines need, but smaller companies are too lean and mean for them to hide their disorder. Of course, there are exceptions, as some companies will simply tolerate borderline behaviors for years.

Borderline Volatility Requires Covering Yourself

When you are in a working relationship with a borderline coworker, be sure that you stay civil with the borderline, but do not cross any boundaries. Crossing boundaries will later be used against you by the borderline when times get tough, and they will get tough.

If you are able to keep things on decent, civil terms with the borderline, work will be okay, but be sure to document everything. Cover yourself at every turn, and be sure not to give the borderline ammunition against you.

You can survive a working environment with a borderline coworker. Just be sure to treat the borderline civilly, not do anything inappropriate with or in front of the borderline, document everything and cover yourself. Eventually, time will change the situation, but you can get through it.