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Author Topic: Broken up with afetr 3 1/2 years  (Read 972 times)
cwell260

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« on: September 02, 2013, 03:39:21 PM »

Hi there everyone,

Like many of you, I've recently been in a break up situation with my long term girlfriend, and trying to cope. She suddenly up and left about a week ago now, and things have not been easy.

We are both university students, so most of out undergrad career has been together. Late last year (around october/ november) she was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with BPD. Before hand, she was diagnosed ADHD, so it seems like the BPD traits are sometimes even more exaggerated due to her energy. We both attend counseling, her due to some past issues in her upbringing, as well as an abortion (which she had around the time we met). Me, I had initially sought counseling for a relationship I had before this recent one, and continued due to my (now) exBPDgf, and the issues that we seemed to persistently have.

Since her diagnosis, she has been willing to get the proper help to get through the times when the traits begin to take over, so she has been seeking behavior therapy. This was not something pushed by me, but something she decided on her own (even before talking to me about it). We also decided earlier this year to attend couples counseling with the two counselors we both have been seeing for the past few years (as mentioned above). The other part of the help shes been getting is by medication, so she has been on anti-anxiety meds for about the past 4 months. All of these things in combination seemed to have been doing so much good for our relationship. Of course there were still some issues, but they were much easier to work through.

Given that the school year is about to start once again, I feel that shes been going through some stress. Our living arrangements over the years have been constantly changing (her more so than me). When we initially moved in together (which did happen about 6 months into the relationship) we lived in her cousins basement, where the fighting and arguing began. Most of these fights related to her more so recent issues with her abortion, not that I was ever bringing it up, or throwing it in her face, but more that she was always feeling low about her decision. About 4 months later, she "needed" to move out because she couldnt take living with her cousin and her family (I had no issues with it). We moved into another basement suit (closer to our university) and lived there for a little over a year. During that time we fought quite a bit. I think this is where the major bit of trust in me faltered; I had a finacial hiccup and she ended up paying for it. This was something that pushed me into a slight bit of depression (to which I was medicated for) due to her devaluing of me. She used this mistake of mine constantly when we would argue, which would make me feel more and more worthless.

Finances were the major issue for her, even though we were decently stable (being students), but it was still too stressful and hard for her, so she suggested that we move out into my parents house (far outside the city). I objected, I didnt feel that doing that would progress us as an independent couple in terms of moving forward with our life. She pushed and pushed on the subject, and I think this frustrated me quite a bit. She eventually began fighting with me about it, and then turned the suggestion into me and her moving separately (but still staying together), which for me, didnt make the situation any better. She still used my financial mistake as arguments as to why it wasnt working, and her lack of faith in me about being stable, which maybe made me concede. I told her I wanted to be supportive, and that we should make the move (separately, as her main argument was for it to be easier on her for school... . but leaving me to have to make the long daily drive). As soon as we discussed that, her mood changed from what seemed to be frustration and hate towards me (because all the time we had fought about the moving issue, she seemed to literally hate me) to idolization and love. The move happened, but she ended up failing a competency test (shes a nursing student) and was removed from most of her classes. She was depressed about it for a while, and then asked me if she could move in with me at my parents place. I was of course willing to go along with it, we had lived together for quite a while already, so it only seemed fitting.

Problems persisted, but I think we started to get better at communication with each other. I think things were better simply because she didnt have school stress, and was not financially strapped due to being able to work. The next school year started, she succeed in her competency test, and was then diagnosed with BPD (which I didnt accept at first, but eventually saw how much any description of traits, and stories, related to our relationship). Once again though, at the beginning of this year she got stressed out about the travel from my parents house into the city for school, so she wanted to move (yet again). This time though, she treated it as something that I was for sure to get angry about. When she brought it up though, while feeling a little hurt that she once again wanted to leave, I told her that if its what she needed to be succesful for school, then she should do it. It wasnt as though we were breaking up, and that was what I realized. She moved in with a friend, but soon found it stressful living there, as she didnt like the state of cleanliness, and laziness of her roommates (her friend, and her friends sister), as well as finances (again). She asked me if she could move back after a month, but treated it as if I was gaining some form of power by her "crawling" back to me. Childhood issues surrounding her step father triggered that, and her step father had also been a major source of stress when ever we've gotten into arguments of the past few years. It was hard to convince her otherwise, but I was only happy that she was coming back, there was never any signs that I felt any sort of power, and I don't know why she was projecting that on to me (other than from her experiences with her step dad).

Our relationship since then seemed to be getting much better. That was earlier this year, and given all the prefessional help we both get, things were going so smoothly. It was only a few weeks back that she told me how much she felt we were getting closer as a couple. She had also gone to visit her family out of province a few weeks ago as well, she stayed with her sister (who has her own major mental health issues) and saw such a poor state of relationship for her sister and her husband, that she told me how much she appreciated me in her life and how good I treat her. The week before last was when I saw a slight change. Things were still really great, but she had all of a sudden become obssesed with finding a new car to buy, as well as planning all these activities for us in the coming weeks. And finally, she was stressed once again about living arrangements for school, which she was planning to stay with my sister (in the city) or the same friend she lived with earlier this year. But nothing else pointed to this break up, and the stresses she was feeling usually would subside with some talking, and possibly counseling. But early last week after she had finished work, she called me sounding happy at first. I asked when she was going to be home, and then her mood changed. She told me that "there was no easy way to say this" but that she had found a place and was moving out. I was hurt and confused as to why, but she told me that I wasnt going to like the truth. I said to just tell me, and thats when she said that she was leaving me, that we were two different people and that she needed to move on. I asked why and what was going on, but she kept telling me that there was nothing to talk about, and that I couldnt do anything to fix it.

It hurt quite a bit. She would not talk to me at all. She told me that She was moving the next day, and didnt want me to be around so that I couldnt be there to "convince" her to stay. I wasnt, being that it was so devastating to be at the home we had shared for such a long time, I went to stay at my sisters house. I came back to much mess, and still lots of her things here (which I have been collecting for the last few days). She left so coldly and seemed so angry. I have no full understanding as to why, but I know this is what she does, as shes acted this harshly many times before to me.

And now here I am, at the point where I feel I'm stuck dealing with picking up the pieces of our failed relationship, even though things were going so well. And I'm also dealing with the unfairness of how she broke up with me, don't I at least deserve an explanation? It all happened so suddenly, and no one that knows about it understands why it happened, I simply dont have an explanation to tell them. I still truly love her, and want her back, but I've also been thinking about if it were to happen. I don't want there to be an uncertain outcome, because I just don't want to deal with this pain again. I also dont want to end up hating her, maybe because its still so fresh in my mind, but I dont think anger and resentment is good for anyone to hold on to (I did this with my previous ex, and its a horrible feeling).

I just dont know fully how to get past the shock and hurt that I am feeling.

I apologize for the lengthy read, but I hope that this is enough info for members to look into and give me advice on so that I can gain some other insight and perspective on this tough situation.
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Learning_curve74
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1333



« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 02:05:11 AM »

Hi cwell, I can see you're hurting and confused. First a big hug for you. 

You sound like you have been through a lot and have made a great effort to support your BPDgf. Your relationship history shares a lot of elements of what other people here have experienced, especially being shocked and hurt when your gf suddenly moved out and said she did not want to see you without warning seemingly out of the blue.

Are you in contact with your gf right now? Would you want to try to work it out if she will communicate with you? Have you tried to contact her after she moved out? Most pwBPD have a fear of abandonment, and sometimes even when they ask you to stay away, they also want you to reach out to them. It is hard to tell because nobody can read another person's mind. It's also a paradox that they push away the thing they want most.

You might want to look at some of the other boards like the staying board and the undecided board for other perspectives. Having a relationship with a pwBPD is very challenging, and some people find that they cannot do it, there is no shame in that.
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cwell260

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 6


« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 05:49:28 PM »

Hi,

Thank you for the kind words of support. I've been trying NC for the past week, and she has sent me a few texts over that time. She sent me one last night asking me to bring some mail of hers and drop it in her firends mail box, which I texted back (and as civil as possible) that I didnt think I should go out of my way for her to get her mail. I told her I'd appreciate if we met up on fri at our Uni, which she agreed to.

If we could reconcile whatever it was that suddenly made her leave, I would want to think about it, but I think yes, I would want to try and get the relationship to work. I wouldnt have put over three years into making it work if I didnt. But I don't want to wait for her. I dont expect any major change, and havent for quite a while, because I've realized that her getting "cured" will probably not happen. However, I would hope that change, like the change that has been happening over the last year (like her willingness to seek help and such) would continue.

I dont know if this is a right move though, the meeting up to give her her mail.
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So hurt

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Posts: 26



« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2013, 06:17:09 PM »

She did it once, she will do it again. Save yourself first. Your worth it.

I too was dropped like a hot coal with no warning. My husband was caught cheating on me and I had no idea of what happened. Then he refused to talk to me, then resorted to blaming me for all of his issues.

It was gut wrenching. I lost 20lbs and still have tremors from the whole incident. There were so many red flags in our relationship but I truly trusted and BELIEVED him. So many of his words were bold face lies and manipulation.

I have read a lot about the issues that surround BPD. I would have waited now before I let him in so closely and would have never married.

The pain and agony that I have been going through the past 6 months would put many people in a psyche ward. He is on a bad bus of destruction and I refuse to get on that bus with him.

Good luck to you and I know you will get through this. It is soo painful but I refuse to let anyone have my sanity. No one good for me asks for it.
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blurry
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Posts: 219


« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2013, 09:21:12 AM »

The closure you get is when you realize there is no closure. They can even come back with apologies and explanations and excuses down the road, but you can't believe a word they say anyway. So how would receiving a false apology or explanation bring closure to anyone? Or if its real, its only in the moment... .
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Learning_curve74
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 03:00:09 PM »

I told her I'd appreciate if we met up on fri at our Uni, which she agreed to.

If we could reconcile whatever it was that suddenly made her leave, I would want to think about it, but I think yes, I would want to try and get the relationship to work. I wouldnt have put over three years into making it work if I didnt. But I don't want to wait for her. I dont expect any major change, and havent for quite a while, because I've realized that her getting "cured" will probably not happen. However, I would hope that change, like the change that has been happening over the last year (like her willingness to seek help and such) would continue.

I dont know if this is a right move though, the meeting up to give her her mail.

Hi cwell, I hope you are doing okay. You obviously have a lot of time and effort invested in this relationship. And you seem to understand that your gf isn't going to magically change. In fact, you may eventually come to the conclusion that she will not change at all. Or maybe she will, nobody knows because that is fortune telling. However, the objective truth is that the only thing you can really change is YOU.

If you haven't done so, you should check out the LESSONS on the staying board:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=56206.0

In my experience, the hardest thing that I had to deal with was seeing that my BPDex seemed to be trying hard to make it work. It was knowing that she struggled with mental illness plus those small glimpses of hope that kept me hanging on when I would've kicked anybody else to the curb for the things she did. In the end, I came to the conclusion that I would have to change into somebody I didn't like and didn't want to be in order to stay in the relationship. But some people can change themselves to maintain a relationship with their pwBPD, not everybody is the same.

I think it is within yourself and not within her that you have to look to find the answers. Good luck with your meeting on Friday and keep us up to date. 
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cwell260

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Posts: 6


« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2013, 05:04:42 PM »

Well, its been almost 3 weeks now since my (now) BPDex left. Like I had mentioned earlier, I was to meet up on fri the 6th (which happened to be my birthday) and we did. Did anything major result from the meeting? No, not really.

While I understand what is going on, its still fairly difficult to understand how someone can act in such a cold manner. She had acted as though nothing was going on, like nothing had happened. Defense mechanism? Of course, this wasnt the first time I've seen her act like this.

She hadnt remembered that it was my birthday that day either, and I guess with being in the emotional state that I was, and am still in, I had been even more hurt that I had to remind her that it was my birthday (again, not the first time I've encountered this with her). She had excuses, such as her dad being in the hospital earlier that week, or how busy shes been with the starting of school for the fall. Minus the family member being in the hospital, aren't I dealing with quite a bit as well? I mean I am a full time student too... .

During the meeting I had told her that she left a bunch of stuff at my house, and I needed her to pick it up. Her initial response was that she would get it when the semester was over... .but this wasnt something I was willing to allow, so I told her I needed the stuff gone quickly. She told me then that she would come by on Sunday evening, and she would text me when she was coming. I still have yet to hear from her about that.

We talked a little bit, but nothing at all about the break up. She finally told me where she had moved to (I had no idea, she did after all, leave abruptly) but acted as though I had known. Does that seem right of her to think we had some sort of conversation about where she was moving to? (maybe I'm thinking into it too much... .). We ended asking how each other was doing, and once again she acted as though nothing had happened. I may have finally gotten a bit bitter over the whole situation at that point, because when she asked me how I was doing, I shot back with "How do you think I'm doing". She didn't really react badly to me saying that, but said she didnt want to "assume how I was doing".

I've kept contact to below a bare minimum. I don't go out of my way to try and contact her, but some form of contact still happens on her part. Not persistently mind you, but not very often at all. A week later (as in yesterday) I ran into her at the school pharmacy, she again showed this almost cold and uncaring attitude as if nothing happened, said hi, and was quickly off. I didn't respond. She then send a text a minute or two later stating that she was sorry she couldn't stop and chat because she was late for class, and again I didnt respond.

In some ways, I wish that I could easily get over something like this as seemingly quickly as she has. Do I really believe that shes "healed" underneath it all, no, but her cold and almost heartless ways have always given her some kind of ability to distance herself. Its still difficult, I mean yeah, its only been 3 weeks so of course its still going to hurt, but I cant let this stress me out so much. I've been trying to do all the right things for me to get through this time by keeping busy, hanging out with friends and family, working out, and being heavily invested with my school work, but at the end of the day I always realize that I'm not going home to have dinner with the woman that I've loved for the past three and a half years, or to lay beside her when going to bed, or just to generally spend time with her, even though many a time, things were chaotic. I feel extremely alone, despite all the support from family and friends that I've been getting.

The other bothersome thing is that nightly, and not just recently, since we broke up, I've been having dreams about us. They always revolve around me either trying to get her back mid-breaking up, or actually getting back together. This is stressful because I wake up and feel a bit depressed, and it just gets me thinking about the whole situation over and over. So I guess that leads me to a question; am I coping with this break up all wrong? I feel like maybe I'm just pushing the feelings aside by keeping busy, like I'm not really dealing with this situation.

Any more insights from anyone? Thus far, Its all been great and helpful, and I am so appreciative for the support so far from the members of this forum.
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Scout99
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2013, 06:31:24 PM »

Hi cwell260!

Just want to join the others in welcoming you to this community!

I am happy you have found your way here, even though I fully understand the turmoil you must be feeling right now going through this for you very sudden and unexpected break up... .

I can totally understand you are wondering what just happened, and ask all sorts of questions in your head... .But like learning-curve says, many of the things you write is remnant of things many of our members have experienced... .

ADHD and Borderline together make for a serious mental disorder. And often mixed into the cocktail are also some pretty strong narcissistic traits, the often shows itself as ability to suddenly turn very cold and detach in a way that is hard for people not suffering from these disorders to comprehend... .What makes it hard is these disorders are not run by logic but mainly on feelings and or the ability to turn feelings off completely when they become too overwhelming... .

At the core or borderline disorder is a deep set fear of abandonment that has been created at a very early age and therefor has colored the persons whole perception of life... .In a way one could say that pw BPD have a very hard time believing that they are loveable at all and expect at all times to be abandoned and left alone. And therefore relationships, the more intimate and stable they get very triggering for this fear. As it to them translates into that the more stable and intimate the relationship gets, the more vulnerable they feel and the closer they feel they get to what they perceive the inevitable end of the relationship... .

At the same time together with the fear of abandonment and fear of intimacy also follows a fear of engulfment, since they have a very unstable sense of self and an unstable mind that makes it hard for them to really sustain feelings, which makes their mind fluctuate all the time... .You could describe it as the mind being constantly flooded with feelings, and that makes them easily overwhelmed. And when we as partners for natural and normal reasons move the relationship towards more stability and security, then they very easily get overwhelmed, and begin to feel engulfed... .Mainly because it triggers their core fear of eventually being abandoned... .

My guess here is you probably have experienced a lot of apprehension and ambivalence from her in the past too, but the dysregulated phases and the triggers have perhaps not been as strong? What we here call push and pull is very common in relationships with pw BPD.

The paradox for you, the way you feel right now, is you don't want the relationship to end, so why would she think you would leave or abandon her?

But this is where it becomes important to understand this is a serious mental disorder! Her perception of life and relationships is disordered and that has created in her a lot of dysfunctional coping strategies to be able to survive in a world she (wrongfully), perceives as a place where she will get hurt over and over again... .That is her reality and she lives according to it. Just as you live according to the life rules you have taught yourself to be true about life... .

If we anticipates something bad is going to happen take for example going to the dentist, (if we don't like that and feels it will hurt), then the fear and anxiety for that appointment will never be higher than the minutes before we hear our name being called while sitting in the waiting room at the dentists office... .Once in th chair and the dentists fires away with his drill or whatever, the fear and anxiety is not nearly as bad, and even if it may have stung a little bit while they gave us the sedative, it is way less uncomfortable than compared to the minutes before in the waiting room... .

This is how it often works for people w this disorder... .They walk around with a shifting and increasing fear of one day loosing this love they have got, and the waiting feels even worse than actually going through with the break up... .Therefor they often instigate it themselves... .because they cannot handle the emotional turmoil inside with all the conflicting emotions... .

Now this is in a way a generalized way of describing some of the mechanisms that can come into play in many pw this disorder. However all people are individuals, and that counts for pw BPD too! There are also differences is severity of the disorder and coping patterns and survival strategies may vary... .However deep down they all have in common an intense fear of being abandoned... .

But of course, pw BPD can also come to a conclusion that they want change in their lives too, without it always being only about their disorder! You guys are fairly young, and from an objective perspective, not that many of our earliest relationships, even though they often bring us fond memories throughout our lives do last! That too is important to take into account when things like this happens... .But the unexpected coldness of it and the dysregulated re-writing of events, that you bring up about her seeming to think she had told you about her new place or so probably has got to do with her BPD... .Their grieving processes look different from ours, where we often grief a lot in the beginning, and they seem not to... .But on the other hand they can carry on the feelings from time to time and relive the whole thing as being abandoned, (which btw they always will see it as, even though they have been the one taking the initiative), over and over throughout their entire lives... .This is also the reason we as left partners hardly ever get any kind of closure from our BPD loved ones... .

What is important now however is that you try to shift your focus a little bit more away from her, and turn it on to you instead... .Since you need to allow for you healing and your life to find its way to keep on moving forward. Make use of the boards here and allow yourself to take the center stage again in you life, since my guess is your life has probably evolved very much around her, for a long time... .perhaps even a bit too much, which often is the case for most of us having experienced relationships with pw BPD... .

I don't know if this straightens out any of your question marks about what you have been through but hopefully it can bring a tiny beginning of better insight into what may be going through her mind... .And perhaps also a bit of insight into the fact that you are not alone in going through this... .Most of us here have at one time or another been right where you are now... .And most of us are healing, and moving on with our lives in a better way than before... .So there is hope! Even though it may not feel like it to you right now... .

Best Wishes

Scout99
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