Welcome to Ms. Schreiber’s personal views about Borderline Personality Disorder
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Welcome to Ms. Schreiber’s personal views about Borderline Personality Disorder
You're hurting. You've never felt this excruciating pain before, and you need it to stop. Perhaps she's left you for another--or just abruptly left, and this terrible lack of closure has you confounded. You're constantly replaying each moment of this relationship in your mind...
I often wonder what our society would be like, if men could get pregnant. Would they be suing their former girlfriends or lovers for maternity? And how might women feel about being on the financial hook for eighteen years or so...
You'll be learning about emotionally dangerous men here, and how to avoid them. There are very few females who haven't encountered a borderline disordered male at some point during their lifetime, whether he's been a fellow employee, a boss, a neighbor, or somebody from an online dating site...
The trouble with growing up with a dysfunctional parent, is we have no other frame of reference for what's normal. Aberrant behaviors within the home happen on such a frequent basis, a child accepts these as commonplace, and naturally presumes all kids face these kinds of challenges.
You've probably heard by now, that these two personality types are drawn to each other, but might have wondered why this is true. I'll try to demystify this mutual attraction, and provide a little insight (as usual) along the way. For simplicity's sake, I discuss female Borderlines and male Narcissists, but these roles can certainly be reversed, and may include same-sex unions--in fact, the prevalence of borderline pathology could be considered heightened within the gay community.
Given the hundreds of letters I get from men who desperately "want to help" the Borderline after their troubling affair has ended, I suppose this article's time has finally come. I understand that you tirelessly tried to assist her, teach her and rescue her during that relationship, and you're wrestling with letting go of this fixation, weeks or months later. You may even be keeping your perceptions about what really went on in your dynamic under wraps, for fear of hurting her feelings--or risking that she will never speak to you again. In essence, you're still walking on eggshells, and putting her needs first.
Getting involved with a Borderline can feel glorious. Remaining with one can feel torturous beyond your wildest imagination. So many of my articles speak directly to what spawns Borderline Personality Disorder. Not only do they help you understand what makes them tick, they also uncover and explain the root of your attraction to this type of individual.
The Borderline has a dire need to be seen as 'perfect' physically, cerebrally and spiritually which drives a lot of issues within this personality type. At the very heart of the borderline's acting-out behaviors is core shame, a leftover if you will, from a childhood fraught with confusing messages, neglect and abuse, which left them doubting their lovability and worth from infancy onward. Any self-acknowledged error makes a Borderline think they're a "bad person," which is why their denial defenses are so thick and they're unable to accept or own their shortcomings and failings.
When you've begun dating your Borderline, you're so excited and enraptured, you don't want to hear anyone's warnings, or read anything that might make you think this Honeymoon phase won't last forever. It's natural/normal to feel this way, but it keeps you from benefiting from the prophylactic value of my writings, which can save you from indescribable pain up ahead.
My other articles on Borderline Personality Disorder speak to elements in the Borderline that seduce you and keep you enraptured, despite their push-pull emotional gymnastics, disruptive come here/go away cycles, and confusing, crazy-making behaviors. This piece exposes the volatile, frightening dark side of this individual who has gotten you under their spell and won't let you go, but also uncovers the root cause of these issues. There's a comprehensive list of features/traits at the bottom, which can help you determine if you're involved with someone who has BPD--or it may serve as a self-diagnostic tool.
For you Non's who are remaining, there is one inalienable truth you'll have to accept before proceeding: It is You who must be willing/able to change(not your Borderline) to alleviate the chaos/drama in your relationship. This task falls to you, because it's simpler for you to learn tools and strategies to navigate this course, than for your BPD partner to acquire enough emotional development to alter this painful, chaotic dynamic you share.
Untangling the snarled web of confusion, self-doubt and shame is by far the most difficult challenge of separating from a borderline disordered individual. For weeks, months or even years after your split, you're still trying to make the pieces of that puzzle fit, which traps you inside a labyrinth of obsession and yearning.
First of all, try to hold onto the fact that when you're feeling like you're going insane, you're not the crazy one, and this tormenting confusion you're experiencing is only temporary. In the beginning, this was an 'Elation-ship' which felt glorious! When it started to become a Relationship (ie both parties getting their needs met) is when you began having problems--because while Borderlines can experience feelings of sympathy, they have no capacity for empathy. In short, they cannot relate to another's pain, inner experiences or needs.
Probably the most heartbreaking aspect of my practice, is hearing from hard-working family men who are married to borderline disordered females. These fellows have taken their wedding vows seriously, and it's never occurred to them to have affairs or leave their marriages--despite of how much neglect or abuse they've suffered.
I've never met a lesbian who didn't have significant issues with her mother. This isn't to suggest they don't exist--I just haven't encountered one during the course of my personal or professional life.
Whether it's your husband or lover who has gotten involved with a borderline disordered female, you're in for some harrowing times. This issue becomes a monumentally stressful exercise for both of you--but sadly, you'll generally end up feeling the brunt of it, not him. Why is this, you ask? Females roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to foster and maintain harmony in their relationships, because it's elemental. It's in our DNA. We can't help it.
If you've ever been involved with a borderline disordered individual, you've struggled with massive confusion. The great disparity between their words and actions alone, has you running in circles, and trying to make sense of it all. Should you believe your lover when he/she states they "love you more than anything, and all they want is your happiness" ~or should you accept their destructive, diminishing behaviors as proof that all those declarations aren't actually true?
Whether you're presently involved with a borderline disordered individual or you've finally stepped away from one, you've been struggling with wanting someone who has caused you great harm. It seems that regardless of what they've put you through, you just can't get them out of your head or move completely beyond the longing you still feel, which triggers fantasies about having them back! Don't worry, you're not going crazy--you're just hurting, and needing it to stop.
When you've been dumped by a Borderline, it's a lot like coming down with a deadly, exotic disease from a foreign land--you're not certain you're going to survive it. A part of you may want to die because you're in such tremendous discomfort, the thought of even one more day in this agony, seems beyond anything you can endure.
At the baseline of Borderline Personality Disorder is an extremely complex set of psychic/emotional issues, which baffle laymen and psychotherapeutic professionals alike. We tend to label these people as "crazy," because their behaviors are so unlike anything we've been exposed to--and they drive us nuts, just trying to make sense of them.
You might be licking fresh wounds in the aftermath of your BPD break-up, or you may have somehow gotten beyond craving your Borderline at this point. If that's true, and you're continuing to ache and obsess, it's very likely you're beating yourself up for staying too long--or getting involved at all. This is counterproductive, and stopping it with effective new tools can be learned.
If you've found your way to this article, you're probably in a whole lot of pain because of a Borderline. Maybe a few of my other pieces on this topic helped you make sense of some of your experiences with a BPD person, but if that relationship has ended, you could be left with painful yearning, deep regret and shame.