I fell in love with High Functioning Borderline Personality Disorder, meaning that she didn't cut herself, she wasn't suicidal, and if you met her and talked to her in a normal conversation, you would never notice anything wrong. However, I almost wished she was a low functioning BP, so that someone could help her. While there was no official diagnosis, and I am not a medical professional, she seemed to have the traits needed to describe her.
The first thing that struck me was how sincere she seemed. She is a sweet, innocent looking girl, smart girl, who, when describing her life, seemed like life beat her down. All you wanted to do was save her. She seemed to have lacked a lot of life experiences, and her innocence in life was very endearing.
Falling in love with a BPD is the most exhilarating thing in the world. BPDs crave intimacy, and when the relationship starts, they fuss and fawn over you like you are the greatest thing on earth. Every idiosyncrasy that you have is "cute" to them, every insecurity you deal with is a positive to them. They make you feel like the greatest person on earth. Everything you do and say is amazing to them. For a while, you think you found someone that "got" you. Someone who understood everything you did. Everything you say is perfect. Everything you do is right. There is a sudden rush of confidence by their very presence. You never have felt more alive and sure of yourself as when they are in their idealized state with you. And the first few months, that's all their is idealization. You start to think that all the sacrifices you made in life, all the heartbreak, all the suffering was worth it because you ended up with the greatest person in the world. In your mind, you could have even dreamed up a better girl.
But a BPD abandons people quickly, and my girl was no exception. So what made her compliments really sweet was the juxtaposition between her complaints about exes. A BPD is manipulative, and part of their manipulation is their sincerity and passion. So when my girl talked of her exes in a harsh light, but then said I was the exact opposite, I was on cloud nine. One ex was too traditional, but then she'd talk about how free and liberal I was. One ex was ..... Essentially, everyone in the world was wrong except for me. It made me feel like we were soul mates destined to be together. A one in a billion chance that we two would meet up. She found the one person whom she can on the world with, and I found the one person who truly understood me. We were true partners in crime. This is a powerful sword she wielded upon me.
Lack of Identity
A BPD lacks identity, but it is hard to tell that in the beginning. For my ex, it was really hard to tell, because during the idealization process, she tended to mimic my personality. This not only gave me a false sense of herself, but further reinforced the love I had of her. She seemed to love everything I did and understood everything I said. I would listen to a semi-obscure band, and she would immediately love it. I'd listen to a podcast, and she would say it was one of the funniest things she ever heard. When the podcaster came into town for a midnight show on a workday, she found out about and suggested we go right away, even though she had to get up early the next day and the podcaster is not very female friendly.
Every place we went to eat was great. I'd cook something for her, and to her, it was an amazing meal that fit her tastes perfectly. I like to do things outdoors, and when we went hiking, she had the time of her life and talked about all the hikes we would take. When we watched a show I would like, it was a great show. And she would say that after we get married, we'd watch the series together. Everything I did, everything I said, everything I planned was perfect. I brought her to the driving range, and she expressed how she wanted to learn golf for us. I'm a guy of wildly different interests and I thought I found someone I could share all these interests, all these activities.
Imagine if in your life someone came up to you and amplified whatever you found interesting to the next level? Everything you did not only was seen and appreciated through the eyes of a new person, but they were immediately infatuated by it, and in turn, by you. You found someone who not only appreciated everything you liked, but made you feel like a genius and Renaissance man for knowing it. Now imagine that for every new hobby, every new project, every new challenge, you had someone in the wings who be by your side, taking your appreciation to whatever you wanted to tackle next to the next level.
I thought I found a soul mate In fact, it wasn't. She had no defining characteristics, and adopted whatever I did. She never really experienced life. She never had the burning curiosity that most people have. So she adopted mine for a brief period of time. It was a huge facade.
Suddenly, all the things that were cute and awesome were a burden to her. My high energy, which she loved with a passion, was all of sudden too much for her and she needed more space. My favorite clothes, which she loved, were suddenly embarrassing to her and her family. My concern over long term finances, which she appreciated, was a leash that was meant to strangle her lifestyle.
One thing I really haven't seen in many writings is the coping mechanisms that a BPD would use in order to maintain their lifestyle. She couldn't work in teams, so she worked as a personal banker - essentially, when you go into banks, they are the ones sitting behind a desk and is exclusively a one on one job. A job way beneath her educational level, but one that allowed her to avoid working in teams or with anyone beyond 15 minutes. She lived with her parents her entire life, and set up a series of excuses as to why she never moved. Her mom couldn't drive, so she needed to stick around to help her (her dad can drive just fine). Money was tight (though she just spent nearly $30,000 on a new car) and she needed to help pay for her parents. Everywhere else was unsafe so they couldn't move (even though she lived in a pretty bad part of the Bay Area). Though my neighborhood was better, I made two and a half times as much as her, and she would still work close to her parents, she would be leaving her "safe zone". A place where she set up her life.
Her parents were enablers. She would spew lies and manipulate to get her way, and the only ones who weren't driven away was her immediate family. She lived in a city of 50,000 odd people in the Bay Area for over 20 years, but magically didn't have one single friend or acquaintance who lived in that city. Her parents were both retired, they rent in a more expensive, yet run down part of the Bay Area, and all their friends lived 20 miles away. They could have easily moved to that better neighborhood, closer to her friends. But that would have disrupted her life. She took control of the family. Her family's life was restricted. They couldn't buy a house because she would throw a fit about buying a house somewhere beyond her comfort zone. They had to live in an apartment close to her job, close to where she was raised. Both parents and the adult son had to share one bathroom because she wanted her own bathroom in the two bathroom apartment. Though her dad had trouble walking, he'd have to park in the street and she would take the only garage spot. She got a job so she would only travel a half mile to work and back. Her family, just to avoid conflicts or issues, agreed to her every whim. Her parents were looking for a place to buy, and during my second meeting, I started discussing home real estate (since I just bought a house two months ago in the same neighborhood they were looking at). Seemed like a natural discussion point. Later on, she told me that because of that one conversation, I was wrong to "force" her parents to move. She viewed any threat to her sanctuary as a huge problem. I didn't realize that a marriage between us was the greatest threat of her life.
Even during the wedding planning, when I asked if I could help her in any way and she refused, I offered to help move her stuff on the weekend when she was busy so she wouldn't be overburdened or worry too much. She refused to even discuss that. That would be "after the wedding". One day, two weeks before the wedding, she left a pair of sandals in my car. Next time we met, I was supposed to bring it to her. I thought this was odd, since she's moving in in two weeks, and she never wore them regularly, but that was her mindset. She knew she would never move in. Her castle was set up. She had servants she could control. She had no one to contradict her or "make her feel bad". She had no intentions of ever giving that up.
That is what a high functional BPD has. They have a lifestyle, however horrible, that they can control. A job that gives them the least to worry about. A small group of people that can be controlled or manipulated at home. A secure environment where the rest of the world won't make them a victim. The BPD will fiercely defend this. When we went out on dates, this world wasn't disrupted. But when the thought of moving into my house and combining lives came about, it brought about her protective nature like I've never seen
Isolation and paranoia
Her friends were portrayed as evil people. She would talk about one very good friend who somehow "upset" her and she never talked to again. One friend touched her ear once, so she figured that friend was trying to get a three-way with her husband. One friend.....
When stress hits (http://bpd.about.com/od/understandingbpd/a/whatisbpd.htm), a BPD often experience paranoid thoughts. The stress of the wedding was the most stressful thing ever for her. She has never had to deal with groups of people, and living at home and having her parents answer to her beck and call, along with the fact that she had to control everything, meant that her she never handled any coordination of anything significant. This threw her mind into overdrive into paranoid delusions that I could not handle. She was stressed to the point where she was bleeding constantly instead of once a month. I tried my best to help her, but the everything must go through her mentality and her trying to manipulate everyone in a certain way caused her to have a meltdown. I tried desperately to help. Her control issues wouldn't allow her to offload anything. Her need to manipulate meant that she had to be the only central figure in everything.
There were so many things I was blamed for. I just switched jobs and careers, so I was saving my vacation for the wedding and honeymoon. So, I wasn't available weekdays without some advanced notice. I said, with a week's notice, I can meet you on a weekday. But she refused. As she often had a Thursday off, so she would run back and forth, talk to different vendors, and then get mad at me for not being there. When I tried to be there for her, I would get answers like I wasn't needed and she would leave me at home. Then I would get accused of not doing anything. So, when I tried to do things myself, I was accused of going behind her back to sabotage the wedding.
Though I paid for a wedding photographer, in cash, in front of her, met with the photographer 3 times, spent 6 hours taking taking engagement photos, I was accused of conspiring with my dad to never take pictures. Though I already spent $10,000 for the wedding out of my pocket (even though my dad and brother asked repeatedly for me not to pay, as they would handle it), often times paying the cash right in front of her, I was accused of not paying a dime for the wedding. Though I made numerous trips with and without her, spend countless hours, since I wasn't there for a particular Tuesday afternoon meeting (which I was not invited or even informed of), I was suddenly never there for the wedding at all, which meant that I never wanted the wedding at (her words, not mine). She couldn't control my brother, so she got mad at me for not knowing thousands of years of Indian traditional wedding in a few weeks, I was "unwilling to learn", and that since I didn't want to know, I wouldn't care about our kids wedding, and I would be a horrible father.
There were many other delusions that made no sense. She really wanted to go to Malaysia for a vacation (to meet relatives from India, of which she was going through a idealization phase). Long story short - she accused me of conspiring with my dad to have the wedding in August so that I can take away her trip. She ignored the fact that I was making plans with my friends to meet them in Singapore right next to Malaysia in August, that she didn't have enough vacation anyway, or that I promised I would take her in January. I even suggested that she go in August before the wedding and I take over the planning. She basically said this was my way for making her pay for the vacation so I wouldn't have to pay for it. This was baffling because in a marriage, our finances would be combined, so we would be paying for it anyway.
The oddest one was the fact that my I didn't have biscuits for my friend. My friend from college was going to visit my house and see my fiance for the first time. I was really happy because I loved her and wanted her to be a part of any part of my life, including all my friends. Her first question was, "where are the snacks?" Huh? Well, she went on an explanation that when her mom has guests over, there is an array of biscuits and cookies for guests. I explained to her that no, I'm not a 60 year old lady from India. In America, especially for male college friend, a beer is fine. Well, 2 days later, she cries on the phone that since I didn't have biscuits, I didn't respect family, and that meant that I was never going to respect her parents or be a part of her family.
The paranoia and irrational conclusions are mind boggling, especially compared to the loving girl that you first fell in love with. And that's part of the problem. You feel that the girl you love is still there, and she comes out occasionally, so there must be something wrong with you. There is a lot of doubt. You actually believe that yeah, since I didn't have biscuits arranged in a snack tray for a guy I played football with, that I don't believe in family. These thought creep into you. You literally get to the point where you question everything in your life. When I replaced a roll of toilet paper, no hyperbole here, I thought to myself, "what way she be least offended, lower hand or upper hand position". These are not healthy thoughts, but she drove me to them. There is a reason why the most popular book about loving a BPD is called "Walking on Eggshells".
It all boils down to the splitting of idealization and demonetization You will be loved and idealized one minute, then viewed as the worst person in the world. To anyone unfamiliar with it, it is the most mind boggling experience in the world. A normal rational being would expect that if you did something wrong, you would be punished. But dealing with a BPD, you will be wrong for no reason with no idea. And the worst part about is that they will make you feel wrong, like you were the one at fault. After a few months, the idealization will end, and the pain will begin. The shifts between idealization and devaluation will become more random and unpredictable, and the true emotional roller-coaster will begin.
For me, the idealization lasted 6 months. A time so amazing that I never will forget it. A time so powerful that the pull to relive that time drove me to accept my ex-fiance when she lashed out emotionally. As described earlier, the adoption of my identity by her, along with just putting me on a pedestal made me feel god-like. I finally found my partner in crime.
Then the splitting occurred. After her and her parents proposed to me, I asked that we discuss finances. I asked what she wanted, and what her long term goals were. We talked about dollars for the first time, but I proudly was able to offer what she wanted (the vacations to Malaysia, Italy, the million dollar home, a good wedding, etc). Initially, she was happy that we discussed the long term. However, that little talk implanted a seed of doubt that suddenly made me cheap. We had our first break-up over the silliest thing in the world. We went out and ordered a drink. I made an off-handed remark that “boy, for $17, it better be a good drink” with my friends. Then, we were at a friend’s birthday party. Though no one else was eating since it was late and even though my friend was paying for it, the simple fact that I didn’t order anything meant that I was cheap. This was enough to set-off a devaluation phase. She never had money and neither did her parents. Anything to do with finances – all her hurt, all her struggles, was now suddenly my fault.
Then the weird things happened. She use to love my sense of fashion and style. Then, all of a sudden, I never dressed right for her. She was unhappy that my jeans were baggy – and that I was “embarrassing her”, or that I wore the same pair of shoes all the time, which meant embarrassed her because that’s all her family talked about. I knew this was a bold faced lie because I only met her family indoors, and I always took my shoes off. But this alone meant we were too fundamentally different.
I hated the dreaded "Sunday" call. Every 3 weeks, it was something weird and random that meant that I was a horrible person. But without fail, she would spend a wonderful Friday or Saturday with me, then, a little after 24 hours, she would replay every detail in her mind and extrapolate some minor thing to a huge problem. My personal favorite was the biscuit story that I will describe below.
Then her idolization shifted to her extended family and away from me. Suddenly, I was the one who prevented her from seeing her family. An aunt and cousins came for a month to stay with her. We only had one evening alone together because that was her new isolation, and I was a burden. Though she made plans, she often canceled After her family left, I was blamed for not spending time with her.
In fact, during the wedding time, a few of her long distance relatives were denied visas. Suddenly, her world fell apart. A week and a half before the wedding, she told me that she didn’t even want to consider having any kids until she could go to India and see her family (which, due to visa reasons, was 5 years). Just like that, her idealization of her family changed her outlook on our relationship and family.
All these irrational arguments made no sense to me. I tried my best to satisfy her. I took her to Macy’s and let her pick out clothes for me. I never discussed finances again and never pursued a per-nuptial agreement. I explained how she looking at things all wrong. And when the idealization phase came back, she said she seen the light, that I was right, that I was not doing anything to hurt her. But when the devaluation phase came back, all those points that I thought were resolved came back with a vengeance.
Fear of abandonment and lack of trust.
The splitting, fear of abandonment, and the constant need to blame someone makes relationships intense, but very short for a BPD. There are numerous websites documenting the passion, loyalty, and immense love that a BPD shows, and the stark contrast to what eventual comes about – unfounded betrayal, heartache, and spite. My ex-fiance was no exception.
In the beginning, she was the most passionate, loving person in the world. I am not the most handsome, rugged man in the world, but my girl made me feel that made me great looking. Everything she said was a complement about me. When I smiled, she'd always point out that she loved it. That would only make me smile more. I was a very shy person when it came to physical contact. She reminded me of those librarians in movies, boring on the outside, but a wild girl behind closed doors. She was sexually adventurous. A hot girl who threw herself at me. The first sexual contact was her going down on me in a theater. For a shy, not so great looking Indian guy who only went out with conservative Indian girls, this was the stuff dreams are made of. She would go down on me in her car almost anywhere, in her parent's garage, in the parking lot of convent where our outdoor wedding would be planned. She did research, she told me which port actresses to get videos of. She just loved to touch me. She suggested we get a massage table so she could give me massages. She would want to try new positions at new places, new techniques, test out new condoms, gels, and the like.
However, as time progresses, the passion, the compliments, and the feeling that you complete her disappear. The fear of abandonment is a self-fulfilling prophecy. A BPD will make your life unbearable because they accuse of doing things that signal abandonment, and when you can't take anymore, they say "see, there you go, I was right all along!". This brings about our break-up. Essentially, she called off the wedding twice before, as recently as three weeks before the wedding, and she looked for anything that could signal a call off. I had a large argument with my dad about the wedding cake on her behalf, I was running around to complete work before my vacation, I ran to take care of a lot of wedding stuff, including a half day for the engagement photos, and she kept calling and complaining.
Then, she threw a bombshell at me. She said she didn’t want kids for at least 5 years. This was after discussing it in detail. She said the kids, the house, the savings for retirement – were all my idea. She never wanted it all. I was breaking down, and I mentioned in a txt message that I felt that with everything going on, destiny was against me and that we needed to discuss the long term plans. Well, that txt to her finally meant it was over. She replied back that I just canceled it, though those were never my words, and that she told her parents and family it was off within an hour. She was apparently waiting for anything negative to cancel and then blame me for it. Again, she would be the victim. Of course, she never picked up my phone calls, and apparently she poisoned me enough with her family and friends that no one picked up my phone calls. It was all canceled without a single word spoken to me.
She had to be the victim, so she said I canceled it. She had to paint me as the bad guy. Even though I said I wanted to talk, that little bit of push back to were erratic ways was enough for her to say it was over. . She had to control the situation and manipulate, so she didn’t call me until after she canceled it, and forced her parents to not talk to me.
I saw the manipulation unfold in front of me afterward. She did call me to say that she was sorry she had to cancel it, but it wouldn’t work out, but call her back in two weeks. When she broke up with me the 2nd time, she brought her parents to my house to discuss this over. They actually saw the sincerity in my voice, they saw that I wasn’t a liar, that I did everything for her, and they welcomed me back with open arms. For her, this meant that I couldn’t talk to them again, and she took every precaution to ensure that we never spoke again. She could not control the situation. She told her parents that I canceled and they withheld the engagement ring and jewelry that was given until they could extract money from the wedding planning. As mentioned, the two mutual friends were shocked by the lies she spewed, but only told me afterward because I was in love.
Then, when I e-mailed her after a few weeks, she said that if I contacted her, or her family, she would get legal involved. Obviously, that was the last piece of contact I had with her. Her lies destroyed my relationship – if her lying and manipulating extended to the police, I could have landed in jail.
In the end, she caused so much heartache, she caused to families fight, she made me depressed for months and months on end, she broke my heart, and her mother’s, and yet, throughout all this, she still feels she’s the victim.
My ex-fiance was a sweet innocent girl, who you wanted to love and protect. Every sob story seemed so real and genuine. She used to her advantage anytime. As mentioned, she would paint herself as a victim for everything, but claim I was nothing like that. This did a number of things. Not only did it may cognizant of never doing her wrong, but it made me feel like if I did something she thought was wrong, it was genuinely horrible, because she loved me unconditionally in the beginning.
She surrounded herself with people who would believe her and be emotionally invested. I am not the most forceful person. I'm a kind, caring, passive, and yes, gullible person. I'll believe any sad story. That is why she fell madly in love with me. She viewed on a level equivalent to her mom. A person who won't question and would accept anything she said. My dad is hard of hearing and is often times forgetful. Looking at him, and he looks like a man who can easily be controlled. She had no complaints about him. Anyone who exuded any sort of confidence or was sure of themselves was an awful person.
During the wedding planning, I told her on multiple occasions that my dad doesn't hear very well, and cannot handle the responsibilities of a wedding at this stage of his life. I told her my brother is the best person to coordinate, as he knows our family, knows Indian and American traditions, and he knows everyone in my family, had his wedding a few years ago, and is a project manager at his job - so he knows how to delegate and coordinate. He is the nicest guy in the world, but the one thing is that he is not a guy who is a sap like me, who will apologize for something that is not his fault or give in because of feelings. My ex-fiance loathed him. She called him "controlling". Though he just spent $50,000 on surgery for his baby son, he lost a house to a short sale, and his was unemployed, the simple fact that he borrowed $1,000 from me that my life was going to be run by him. She tried to paint him as a horrible person to me. She did that with everyone who showed assertiveness or didn't kowtow to her every whim.
That limited her friends. She had a random friend here, and a random friend there. Often times, they were girls who had insecure relationships or failing marriages. People who could relate to a sob story and believe that men are evil. She kept her friends and family separated because she needed to control the flow of information. She loved to filter the information and present everyone else in a bad light. For the first four months of our relationship, I never met any of her friends because "they would get jealous of our relationship", and each friend was painted in a horrible light. All her friends were "sluts" and "irresponsible" and would "try to break us up" because they truly didn't want to see her happy. I met most of her friends, and all friends were happy for us and welcomed me with open arms. When I finally did meet them, I found her friends were sweet and caring (the type of people a BPD would try to control).
Often times, I found myself defending her friends from her own accusations. Her friend, who is not financially well off, decided to honor our tradition and buy a $300 Indian dress, but she couldn't afford a gift as well. So she wanted to give the dress as a gift. I thought that this was sweet, as she spent way more than we can asked, and she sacrificed a Sunday shopping for something that was outside her culture. My ex-fiance called it extremely selfish and hated her for it. When I announced that I was having a bachelor party on my facebook wall, her friend commented on my post saying "she wanted to throw a bachelorette party". However, since it was under my wall, my ex-fiance just assumed her friend did it for show, and she had no intention of throwing a bachelorette party and just wanted to take advantage of the situation to be hip and popular at the expense of ex-fiance. I defended her friend for a half hour, calling it a preposterous assumption based on the where wall of a specific Facebook post.
The oddest thing was that she could not physically speak in groups. If there were more than 2 people, she would suddenly shut her mouth. At first, I thought it was with my friends, since she seemed shy at first. Then it happened with her friends. She would magically spend all her time with me, and we'd find excuses to slip out amongst the crowd. I thought it was shyness, but as I did more research, it all came back to who could she control. If all information about one person to another person could be controlled and filtered by her, then she could control the situation. I asked to hang out with her brother on multiple occasions. Even though he was unemployed, he never wanted to meet outside away from her. To manipulate and control, she needed to control all lines of information. She spent a large amount of time and energy keeping me away from her friends and family, and keeping her family away from friends, and even her friends from other friends.
The smear campaign can be relentless. Apparently, it was so pervasive, that when she broke it off with me, the hatred and vile was so great, no one from her family or friends would even answer my call. When we last talked, she felt genuinely sad that she called it off, and even said that we should speak up in a couple of weeks. However, when her parents talked to my parents, it was how I was horrible, how I called it off, how I was a horrible person who deserved to live a horrible life. Later, it started to be unraveled that she bad mouthed me for months.
Whenever my parents talked to her parents on the phone, my mom always wondered why she was always in the background listening in. Nothing could be done without her.
It was apparent with her choice of family and friends. She loved hanging out with kids, because they would listen to her obediently as she was the adult. She got along great with old Indian relatives who didn't know too much about American culture. But people her own age and of similar background were impossible to hang out with. As stated earlier, she limited her friends and her time with them. Older individuals with limited English abilities were the best people to speak with, or kids who would believe her every word.
Feelings become facts
Lies become truths to her.
What have you done for me lately - emotional regulation not there.
Family and Enablers
A BPD can either progress with the help of friends or family, or remain troubled by the same people she loves and trusts. A BPD needs to have boundaries set, needs to not have their fantasies indulged. Unfortunately, she had no true friends, and her family were enablers.
Her dad, while I can’t be 100% sure, he could have Borderline Personality Disorder. He seemed strangely dissociative at times. He would sit through entire conversations and hardly said a word. When my ex went on a vacation to Seattle, her dad stayed home instead of venturing out. Like many BPDs, he had a person he loved, in this case his brother, who he had a falling out with. My ex-fiance let it slip that he would slap her occasionally. When my parents met them after the break-up, they were a little scared because he kept banging the table and raising his voice in public.
But her mom was the sweetest person on earth. I honestly appreciated her. During the initial tussles, she had my back and had my side on many occasions. She saw the fact that I loved the ex and appreciated it. My ex let it slip that her mom found my ex difficult. However, she was so sweet, innocent, and trusting, she fell victim to my exes lies and manipulation. I saw this when, after the second break-up, her parents repeated, verbatim, the exact same complaints she had over the phone. She coached her mom instead of letting her speak her mind.
Her brother was weird. He was very isolated. Despite being a guy in his mid-20s, he was unemployed for most of the time in his room, working on the Wii. He didn't seem to have many friends or a life outside the house either. This helped confirm that something was up with the genetic line.
But she withheld any meetings - finally struck a chord - that I never respected family
But once they saw, she made her mission to never have them speak to me again
Getting over it
The absolutely toughest part is to realize it is for the best. The idealization BPD who adopted your personality and made you feel like a living God? She doesn't exist. Her physical form is there, but the girl you fell in love with will never manifest itself. It is over.
Believe it or not, Schadenfreude comes in the healing process. At first, I couldn't believe the way she treated me. She lied about me, she lied to me, she played me, and she didn't show any remorse after our last talk. In fact, she was on a dating website the day we broke up. I could not believe it. But as I read more, did my research, I realized that she will suffer more.
However, I also know that she's the diseased one. Reading all the material, I know she is suffering worse than I could ever imagine. She's suffered her whole life, and without someone like me or someone who understands her pain, she will suffer more and more.
During the break up, I just kept going on and on about it. My friends got so sick of it. They probably saw me as a one-note wonder, but were too polite to say so. So, the one advice I have to everyone is to have an outlet for your thoughts. Writing became my medium, and this little crappy essay is a result.
I buried myself in research to help figure out what went wrong. I included a lot of the most relevant articles about Borderline Personality Disorder so that people can read them. I read books like "Walking on Eggshells", went to websites like BPDfamily.com and the life as well. I tried to make sense - to piece together the puzzle. And I was amazed at how many stories matched mine perfectly. How the symptoms, which seemed weird and outrageous, were quite common. It brought a lot of peace to my mind that, no, I wasn't crazy, but that she had problems that were well documented.
It is important to get into a routine. Without a routine, without the normal flow of life, the mind wanders to the dark places. I made the mistake of thinking traveling, getting away, removing myself from the situation would be beneficial. That was a colossal mistake. The key is to make sure that you don't have your mind wander. This means that you need to immerse yourself in any mindless activity you can find. Cleaning, watching the Lakers, surfing the Internet - all mindless activities that helped pass the time. And go to work after a few weeks, get into the rhythm there. It will be tough. My work is still not up to par. But you know what? It also passes the time.
That is the only thing that can truly heal. You'll go through stages, you'll make dramatic improvements, and then take huge steps backwards. The lack of a linear progression will be painful. There will be times when you feel like the pain will never, ever go away. But it does.
At first, there will be denial. Going out with a BPD, you've probably had numerous break-ups due to all the splitting. There is hope that this is just part of the cycle. There is a loss of hope, a loss of meaning of life. You'll be luck to sleep a few hours a night. Tears will flow at a drop of a hat. After a few weeks, it will intermingle with anger. How can she do that? Why did this happen to me - all I tried to do was be live a good life, and this is what I get? I hope she rots in hell. This will go on for months. Every day, at least every few hours, you will think of her. Remember, she understood you. You'll see something amusing, and your instinct would be txt her or call her about it. Only when you subconsciously realize you can't, will there be a twinge of sadness in your heart.
The pain will still linger, but the thoughts of her will be more infrequent. She will be a faceless entity. There will be a fight between your rational mind, which new it was never going to work, and the irrational mind that never knew such love. The irrational mind will slowly fade away. There will simultaneous pity and anger for her. Sadness for her turns to general loneliness, which, while on the surface doesn't seem like much, really means that you are ready for the next step. Sadness can't be cured, but loneliness can. Once you reach that point, it's time to move on.
I won't lie, I still think about her everyday. But the thoughts are not as prominent - her face is no long crystal clear in mind. I no longer remember the sound of her voice, nor do I feel the need to share any sort of accomplishment with her. I'm now more lonely than sad, but that means I'm starting to view my future love life as opportunity of what is out there, not what might have been.
I hate myself for many reasons. One was being duped into loving her. With the dramatic splitting, it does feel like a large, elaborate prank. No one could do so much and then walk away on the flimsiest of pretenses, can they? I was manipulated and controlled at her whim.
The other thing is that it may have shown that maybe I was a codependent. As stated, she made me feel like the top of the world. I never had that. I never really knew that type of love in my life. She provided me with that in the beginning, and I desperately tried to hang out too long.
I tried to recapture the idealization period by giving my all, and I was too stupid to see the signs that it wasn't going to happen. It was a exhaustive experience.
I also realized that I was enamored with a girl who, in the end, had a disorder. In the back of my mind, all I can think about is "for a girl to love, does she have to be crazy?"
I gave my life to her. And now that she's gone, I don't know what to do with myself. During the talk of the wedding and married life, it was always what would make her happy, what I could provide for her. My own life was put on the back burner for her. That was my version of love - being so devoted that I disavowed all notions of my own personal needs for her. My life was hers essentially. When she pulled away, I realized that I had no life anymore. No motivation.
I did many of the things that one shouldn't do for a BPD. I entertained her delusional thoughts, I never set up boundaries, and I thought love would prevail. I knew she had issues, but I thought I could help her solve them. I refused to dig deep and understand the root of her problems until way after the relationship was over.
Finally, I truly hate myself for still having feelings for her. I loved her. Yes, I would give anything to have that idealization phase one more time. I feel like an addict trying to chase that one last high. And I hate the fact that, even though I know this will never happen, I still sort of wish for the day for her to knock on my door, admit she's cured, and love me like she once did before. I hate myself for still fostering this impossible fantasy.
The most important thing to remember is that if you stuck with a BPD for a long time, you've got some saintly qualities. You gave it your all. Just know that the next person out there will be the beneficiary of the love and devotion that you can achieve. But during the heartache and pain, your true friends will come out, and you will realize that you deserve better in the end.
I, personally, sacrificed everything for her. And you know what? I was proud to do it. When my parents had a simple wish for the wedding, but she wanted something dramatically different, I fought for her. When she expressed doubt, I was there for her. When she started blaming everything for everyone, I was her ear. I listened and tried to understand her. When she blamed me for extremely illogical things, I took the brunt of it just to make her happy. Even when it was over, I wanted to help her out even after she broke my heart. I did not believe I had such capacity for love, understanding, patience, and trust. Now I do. My eventual wife will have a person who can stick through false accusations, lies, and mistrust, and still strive to make her happy. I was willing to give my whole life to someone. I worried that in a relationship, I was too selfish. After giving my life to her, I pushed my sharing and giving to new bounds. Granted, initially, I had the impression that she was the reason for all this. Now I realize that it was with me all along. I can actually give my all for love, and that is an amazing feeling.
After it was over, I learned who my true friends were. People came out of the woodworks to wish me the best. When my confidence was shaken, people who knew me let me know that I didn't do anything wrong. Friends who heard her lies backed me up. My family, who I clashed with on her behalf, new that my heart was in the right place and never held a grudge. They actually admired the fact that I stood up for my future wife and was committed to my new family.
I now have a healthy sense of skepticism. I learned that I cannot be a "hero" to everyone. She tapped into every man's desire to be a savior, the knight in shining armor. But love is a two way street. Give and Take. Unfortunately, I learned that the hard way.
I know why I fell in love with such a person, who I really am, and what I must do to be less codependent.
They're so loving and convincing, anything they say you did has got to sound right. Maybe there was ever a grain of truth involved, right? Well, there is not. I know that now. I don't deserve to have all the love sucked away from me. I don't deserve to be blamed for every feeling she had wrong. I don't deserve the accusations that I'm plotting behind or back or out to get her. I don't deserve to have to contribute bottomless pit of love. I know now that I deserve love. True love. And she did not represent it.
A BPD sometimes has bits of Narcissism. She was just like that. No one could meet her high expectations. Everything revolved around her. When she felt angry, it was somehow my fault.
Typical of Narcissism, there was no remorse in any of her actions. There was always someone to blame. As the examples above and below explain, she never did anything wrong. Anything that happened bad in her life was the fault of society, her manipulative friends. She was the best person on Earth, and no amount of facts of logic could deny it.
Why would it have never worked
There was an intense relationship in the beginning that won't ever be experienced ever again. But it is over and I see that. It would never come back, no matter how much I tried, no matter how much I bended. Her need for love is a bottomless pit. I could give all I had, but it would have never worked.
A BPD cannot love. Love involves trust, it involves empathy. She could never trust anyone, she could never empathize with anyone. She only said she loved me because of the idealized state she was in. If something went wrong in her life, I was suddenly hated. BPDs have an unquenchable thirst for attention
More practically, I would have been ruined financially. I've see what she is doing to her family. I tried to calm her fears down by throwing money at the situation. I got her an expensive ring, I got her an expensive photographer, I got her the honeymoon she wanted, I got her the reception hall. I promised her the expensive house, the luxury vacations, the nice cars. But her "what have you done for me lately" attitude would have destroyed me fiscally. I could spend $10,000 on a vacation, but if my bag was the wrong color, I would have been labeled cheap because she would claim that I bought the bag on sale in order to embarrass her. Her feelings are only as good as what you've done for her lately. So any sort of sacrifice today would be considered heresy in her eyes. All long term planning could be thrown out the window. The simple fact that I said she should save part of her paycheck to buy a large house was such an affront to her that she couldn't handle it.
I would have destroyed my emotional self in the process. I was walking on eggshells, suffering panic attacks. I worried if anything I did would distress her. At one point, when I was replacing the toilet paper, I worried that if I put in the wrong overhand/underhand position, that it would cause a fight. I was scared. Her projection led me to question my own securities. This would have only continued
My social life would have been over. She must bad mouth everyone, and I would have been the biggest culprit. Her friends probably view me as an ogre because of the lies. Any mutual friends would be out of the question, as she would destroy my reputation amongst them. She also just wasn't able to function at group events or parties, and I would be forced to stay at home or comfort her or fear the wrath of her abandonment issues. Any time I left her, her mind would race to all sorts of issues and thoughts, and I couldn't come home to that.
My hopes and dreams would have been crushed. I have very simple dreams. To be loved, to be secure, and to have wonderful kids. The loved part would have been gone, the security, both emotionally and financially, would have been ruined. The kids would have been the hardest part. Since her dad had BP, and she has it, the hereditary traits were there. There would be a significant chance that my children could have it. But also, when the inevitable divorce would happen, her ability to lie and cajole would take away my right to fatherhood. I'm sure she would paint me as a child abuser to get the kids, and the kids would the be convinced that by how horrible a man I am. I would probably lose my kids, psychologically and physically, forever.
Finally, maybe she is better off alone. To a non-BPD, her life looks miserable. She is now 30, she never traveled, she lives in 3 bed/2 bath apartment in a ratty part of town with her parents and brother. She works a menial, dead-end job down the street, has no real friends, and spends almost every night at home with her mom and dad. But now that I think about it, that may be the best life for her. She made an off-handed remark once that she would be happy living with her parents her whole life. I thought it was wedding stress, but I think that may be the case. Maybe the most ho-hum, life of nothing, is the best thing for her. Nobody to abandon her, nobody to make her a victim, nobody fall in and out of love with. Maybe by limiting contact with people, she can limit her pain and pain inflicted by others. The splitting would never be a problem if the people who have it projected upon are numb to it. Maybe just simple survival is what is best for her. With the most mundane life in the world, her demons wouldn't be unleashed. Perhaps it was wrong of me to project my version of ideal life onto her.
Borderlines, with their "what have you done for me lately", can abandon a relationship just like that. This was inevitable.
It is sad when there is a break-up. People just tend to dismiss it as a "just another relationship", but the idealized person that the BPD was beyond anything normal. The idealized person that the BPD was in the beginning was the greatest woman on earth. A woman who "got you". A woman who saw all your insecurities and saw them as a positive. A woman who you could relate to.
That makes the break-up especially tough. Since it seemed like she "got you", she was the only confidant in your life. Now that you are going through the worst situation in your life, the one you would confide to is gone. This is a double whammy.
As stated earlier, a BPD goes after the ones who really need the boost in self-confidence. One who can be manipulated, easily. Their idealization has the most affect on that type of person. But, unfortunately, so does their devaluation. When the one who gave you your self-confidence takes it away, the pain is especially prominent. Ironically, a strong person could perhaps survive the lies, betrayal, and hurt easier. But unfortunately, that's who the BPD tends to avoid.
What also hurts is the betrayal. A BPD not only turns on you on a dime, but they immediately forget about you. You, to them, was a huge mistake. So while you are going through a painful period of "what is life", your BPD is looking for the next man. My girl was on the dating website the day after she broke off the wedding. No remorse over the break-up, no concern over me. She just picked up and move on.
There is also the bad-mouthing and lies that she will spew about you. The people who you opened your heart to will all look at you with disdain. I hung out with her family .... Her mom was one of the nicest people on earth, and I couldn't wait to call her "mom". Since we were planning to live near her parents, this woman would be my default mom. She would be a big part of the our kids' lives. She would be an integral part of our family. She embraced me as a son. There was a language barrier which kept us from communicating fully, as she never really mastered the English language, but I truly couldn't wait to be a part of her life. When we got engaged, I gave the keys to my house to my future mother-in-law with an open invitation that she could drop by anytime unannounced. Whenever there
Then there is the second guessing. You will blame yourself, even if you know all the signs of BPD. I went through this every night. What if I called her at this particular time? What if I phrased something differently? She blames you for everything, and rationally, sure, you know you tried your hardest, you did everything you asked, and the breakup was inevitable. But there is that part that gnaws on your mind. Maybe I wasn't perfect?
Finally, there is sadness for her. Unless you are a BPD yourself, the caring for the BPD doesn't stop. I promised to share my life with her, to make her the happiest person on earth, and it pains me to know she's throwing it away. With many BPDs, they have avoided much of life, and when she experienced something new - like going to a comedy club for the first time, or learning how to throw a frisbee, there was a genuine sparkle in her eye. Often times, the BPD will push anyone away who knows of her condition. Her life choices have surrounded herself with people who will only enable her condition, she doesn't have any close friendships, and any help for her is out of the question from me. She loves kids, but she won't be able to handle a steady relationship until she gets better. Since improvement happens after age 35, she may be unable to have kids by the time she matures. I've seen her love life, but being the victim, avoiding people who may do her wrong, and burning bridges has ripped her life away.
A BPD needs therapy. A BPD needs to acknowledge her problem and work on it. But she has surrounded herself with people who will hide her problem, and pushed out anyone who can help. I can't make mistake of trying to "save" her. I know that now. I can't do anything for her now. Any attempt by me to save her would only reinforce her notion that I was out to get her and never respected her. The best thing I can do is just ignore it and move on. The only way she could possibly ever snap out of it is if her parents died so she would be forced to make a genuine connection. And waiting for someone's death is horrible condition which I wouldn't wish on anyone.
In the end, I loved her. I still care deeply for her. But she never loved me. Her BPD wouldn't allow that. In my mind, I know it's for the best that we never got together. But I still like to think that she knew this too, and her last vestige of love towards me was breaking it off with me, knowing that my life would be better in the long run. I sort of have to believe that in order to have hope for her.
I miss her, but more importantly, I miss my old self.