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Author Topic: For those who think they love you...  (Read 11742 times)
LongGoneEx

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« on: April 10, 2014, 05:43:08 PM »

I'm saddened by the number of people here who torment themselves with: "Did my ex pwBPD really love me?"  I suspect that when we can quickly answer this question with a definitive NO, we're on the road to recovery.

The question itself should be approach with caution as it's a form of rumination and therefore counterproductive in detaching from a pwBPD. Often we can't control our rumination so in that case I suggest that we approach it by asking: what is love? That is to say, in what actions does love actually manifest? Do some reading of the classics in philosophy and spirituality and you'll begin to see how shallow and unconvincing a pwBPD's "love" is in light their ACTIONS. A big part of our closure lies in fully accepting that the relationship we hoped for was never even a possibility with a pwBPD, and that isn't our fault. Recovery lies in quickly and safely stepping away from our mistake of getting tangled in the symptoms of someone else's mental illness.

Whenever your pwBPD (or suspected pwBPD) declares their love for you (which is usually often and prematurely), kindly ask them some questions about love. Be sure to do so in a tender moment and with empathy, so as not to trigger them. Just listen. Don't challenge anything they say.  And remember their answers, because it might help you later heal when you realize that you're both inside an emotional mirage.

Let me give you an example. Minutes after my pwBPD first declared that she had fallen in love with me, she said: "if I really committed to love then you'll have a special partner for life." Notice the dishonest hedging. From the get-go. As it later turned out, at the time of her declaration she was sexually involved with several other men and broke up with me in a rage several days later when I declined her offer of an open relationship and unprotected sex. Anyway, at the time of this love declaration I asked her when she first knew she was in love. She said with total seriousness that it was BEFORE we ever met (3 months prior). Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  Her whole concept of "love" was a fantasy in her mind that was already active before she even met me in person.

It's the classic BPD behavior of IDOLIZE-DEVALUE-DISCARD. "Love" to a pwBPD has nothing to do with you or me as unique, lovable persons, even though real love is precisely the mutual gift of shared personhood. To a pwBPD "love" begins and ends completely in their (disordered) mind. There is no orientation towards "the other," and no concern for the other beyond what selfish ego-gratification "the other" can provide. We are just props in their mentations. That is why they can dispose of us so quickly: we were always just a figment of their imagination and their ephemeral moods. As quickly as they conjured us as their love objects, they can unconjure us. To paraphrase Scrooge's depersonalizing and dismissive comment to the ghost: we were never anything but a piece of undigested potato.

As has often be said here: ignore their words, especially about love, and watch their actions. BPD invariably involves dishonesty, on many levels, whereas genuine love is synonymous with truth. Fire and water.

It's not their fault that they developed BPD as children. But it is their fault that they continue to be abusive children in adult bodies. Their moral choices are their responsibility and not ours. The only way that wouldn't be so is if we buy into their lies, and the biggest lie is that they love you. They are dishonest, firstly, with themselves. If they weren't then they'd take responsibility for their rages, abusive behaviors, disrespect, infidelities, substance abuse, etc. and thereby seek help and be on the slow road to recovery. But as we learn at our peril, most pwBPD never face themselves honestly and would rather have a string of disposable partner objects which they can use as emotional garbage dumps for offloading their projections. This is not what love is. Nor is love the fixing of this unhealthy dynamic. Nor is it becoming enmeshed in a mentally ill person's fantasy of idealized love.

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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 06:40:04 PM »

"Love" to a pwBPD has nothing to do with you or me as unique, lovable persons, even though real love is precisely the mutual gift of shared personhood.

You put everything so well! But, even if you said just the above - easily the closest definition of love I've ever encountered - it would be sufficient. It is impossible to have shared personhood without someone who lacks personhood in totality. You are basically alone in such a relationship. And the truth is that one is better off alone than being in a relationship with someone with BPD.

I also entirely agree with you that sickness is not a choice, but not doing anything about it is! If they are able to function to the level of hurting people who love them, then they are surely capable of comprehending the situation enough to help themselves and be helped!
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 08:17:48 PM »

Well put. How long did it take you to find indifference? Did you allow yourself to be recycled... . 

 I couldn't get a grip ... . split black 4 times. This 5th time... I couldn't turn my back to her lying and cheating and disrespect. I had concrete proof. I ripped her a new _______ " You are nothing more than an incredibly damaged, self-obsessed, emotionally stunted, psychologically immature, entitled, manipulative, selfish, empathy challenged, blame shifting, unaccountable, abusive child in an adult body who is incapable of love."  I then went NC for 4 days and caved in, addicted to her drama and sex, only to get her verbal onslaught like a twilight zone re-tape of what I said to her... . I was accused of being a manipulative liar who only wanted sex ( she was banging one other guy and perhaps her ex bf of 4 years who she is now back with AGAIN.) She reduced love making to a negotiation. I get crumbs and she ___s everyone she wants whenever she wants.    My reward for discovery was to be exiled permanently... . i haven't seen her for one month and 10 days. NC for a bit over a month. Fog is lifting but shes a splinter in my mind... . and the withdrawal seems never ending.
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 08:36:31 PM »

I convinced myself I didnt care if she was manipulating and using me as long as I was having a good time... . she made me feel so damn special and alive when she was sexing me and attentive. But after awhile, a short while... . my own self loathing at what I was allowing and tolerating became so frustrating, so alienating to the person I was... . my old self would have walked away at times in the past from women for far less, and never look back. ((Why do these BPD relationships make us feel our options are limited, as if we can never replace THEM with someone else as desirable? Its un-___ing real, the rejection we endure... . for what?))  I just FINALLY had enough... . I was all full of piss and vinegar. I was going to show her who had the testicles... . because in the back of my mind I really believed she call or text. Nope. That sac of mine ended up being a house for a couple or raisins. But with each passing day of NC Im growing them back.
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Skip
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 09:31:38 PM »

I'm saddened by the number of people here who torment themselves with: " Did my ex pwBPD really love me?"  I suspect that when we can quickly answer this question with a definitive NO, we're on the road to recovery.
What if we are on the road to recovery and we say yes   Being cool (click to insert in post)   I don't think all the SO's on this board were incapable of love.  Relationship instability doesn't preclude love.   

Is it healthy or helpful for any of us to think everyone is the same - isn't it more likely that there is a spectrum based on the person and the specific relationship.

Whenever your pwBPD (or suspected pwBPD) declares their love for you (which is usually often and prematurely), kindly ask them some questions about love. Be sure to do so in a tender moment and with empathy, so as not to trigger them. Just listen. Don't challenge anything they say.  And remember their answers, because it might help you later heal when you realize that you're both inside an emotional mirage.

This is a great idea.  I also think we should ask ourselves the same.
 
When I first told her I loved her - what did I mean?  Thinking about out, those words were probably more of hope.  After 3 years, what did it mean?  It was clearly more meaningful then.
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 10:11:20 PM »

This HITS so close to home. It's like I'm living the same story.
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 11:49:09 PM »

 Bullet: comment directed to __ (click to insert in post) Skip

I dont know Skip... . no disrespect but there appears to be a very specific template of behavior and although no two people are the same, its uncanny how being split black, objectified and used seems to be so universal. Does it matter where on the spectrum they fall? Borderline lite? I wanna detach completely so badly, I could use electro-shock therapy and 1200 volts.
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LongGoneEx

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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 03:12:57 AM »

I feel your pain. And yes, I cooperated in some recycles. I've gotten myself into two BPD relationships, both with high functioning types. The first one (who'd had some CBT before meeting me) involved two recycles and I was desperate to get back with her after each breakup. Her entire relationship history involved numerous breakups with her exes. #1 took me about 1.5 years to get over, mainly because we didn't go NC sooner. I can attest that healing won't begin until you go totally NC. The second one (undiagnosed, but with a family history of serious mental illness) didn't involve a full recycle but on our 2nd date she got angry when I wouldn't answer a very personal question and she broke it off in a huff.  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) A week later I got a long, apologetic letter from her saying it was all a misunderstanding and would I please give her another chance.  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post) She was a former journalist and a professional writer, so it was a very good letter and I caved. But this incident (and others later) were always suspect in my mind and so I never got sucked into the fantasy as much as with BPD#1. I feel quite sure I can ignore anything #2 may send, although she has her replacements and has been NC.

In my case aiming for indifference didn't work because it's too hard for me to be indifferent about something so emotionally powerful. And it's 10 times worse if they use sex against you. What seems to work for me is mindfulness with a goal of benevolent disinterest. This doesn't mean that I don't accept a BPD's beastly behavior for what it was, but ruminating on them is a waste of time and it won't change the past.

Make the most of your exile. Heal. Live the life that you deserve. Her exiling you is ironically the most loving outcome possible. It'll just take time for your heart to catch up with this view of the thing.
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LongGoneEx

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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 04:41:15 AM »

The answer to your question depends on how we define love. Is love a subjective emotion, only in our heads, or is it something objectively real which exists between two persons? The literature is diverse but most of it in the West is of the latter view. I'm also of the view that love exists between two persons, it is reciprocal, it wills the good of "the other" and it has permanence. I think this way because if we say love is only a subjective emotion then any behavior in a relationship can be called love, for we each define love in our minds. Which is exactly what we rebel against in the way our pwBPD treat us when they "love" us.

If [real] love has permanence then it cannot vanish in a puff of dysregulated emotion the way BPD "love" frequently does.

If love responds to the "ontological worth" of "the other," as the philosophers put it, it means that everyone is intrinsically lovable by virtue of being a person. That includes our pwBPD. But it doesn't mean that everyone is capable of loving because a true lover has to see the worth of their beloved as another person, separate from themselves but equal in worth to themselves. In my understanding and experience of pwBPD, this is not true: pwBPD see our worth only as it relates to themselves and they perceive our "being" as an extensions of theirs. We exist as actors in their mental scripts and they will rage or flee if we, as separate persons, deviate from THEIR script. They don't recognize our freedom or need to be separate persons.

If love responds to "the other" then someone with untreated BPD cannot adequately be "the other" because a pwBPD lacks a core sense of self. We see a mirror of ourselves in them and when their mirroring breaks down we see them: a raging, small child. A person, to be sure, but not a person who can reciprocate love in an adult way. Their "love" is need-driven instinctual mimicry. This is where we need to look closely at how need-driven we are to continue such a charade of "love".

"Instability" in a BPD isn't of the usual relationship variety. It commonly includes infidelity because pwBPD need their supply of soothing objects. It also commonly features breakups and threats of breakups. Those are unloving because it doesn't will the good of "the other," rather it wills the partner's servitude in the selfish meeting of a need.

Good point about hope Skip. I'm far more cautious now about saying "I love you" to anyone than before I met my pwBPD.
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 05:48:52 AM »

Excerpt
It's the classic BPD behavior of IDOLIZE-DEVALUE-DISCARD.

It's not like the classic NPD behavior of IDOLIZE-DEVALUE-DISCARD, but perhaps you are dealing with a narcissist and this is so. BPD is very different.

Borderlines do not devalue nor do they discard. Instead, they split people into part time selves because they themselves are part time people. They split themselves and they split others and they seek out people who can soothe them. They have an unstable sense of self that swings back and forth on a pendulum between rewarding people (objects) and withdrawing objects. They do not devalue you because your usefulness is very important either way the pendulum swings. This is a disorder that relies on splitting; hate and love. It is a fundamental lack of trust in object permanency during a crucial time of development in childhood. Do not underestimate your part in the disordered thought.

Excerpt
"Love" to a pwBPD has nothing to do with you or me as unique, lovable persons,

"Love" to a pwBPD has everything to do with you or me as unique, lovable persons.

In the beginning, we represented the part time good and this made the person with BPD feel very, very good. It made them giddy, like a child. It made us giddy too. Because they are not “whole,” the part-time bad soon arose out of the fears of abandonment, which forced the person with BPD to have distorted perceptions that the objectified partner was withdrawing, so they clung. And when they clung, they felt like ___, because all the fears and mistrust came to a head and this caused them to hate. That is NOT devaluation. It was an evaluation of your movement that fueled disordered thought which caused impulsiveness to do anything to prevent your withdrawal and when that didn't work, they did anything to not feel badly, including hating you. Anything to stop the fear meant lying, cheating, cutting, stealing, Triangulation... . whatever worked- including fighting with you or, dissociating and becoming mute, as in the detached protector persona that goes silent or speaks in one word replies.

Excerpt
even though real love is precisely the mutual gift of shared personhood.

“The mutual gift of shared personhood” implies an coupling that every person with BPD desires. To become one with the other.  A person with BPD cannot give themselves to others without enmeshment. They have an unstable sense of self, so they do not feel complete without others to support their idea of themselves. They often choose people who have ideas for them. This is the result of disordered belief that they are unable to feel whole and subsequently cannot self soothe their fears and must cling to (use) others. That clinging results in valuation behaviors, such as sex or acting out behaviors such as waifdom but these “personas” become so overwhelming that it turns into self hatred as well as hatred of the blamed “object” for their predicament.  A person with BPD feels despair, not “selfish ego-gratification,” as you stated, but this is a disorder that exists to deny itself. If you think this is done to you for ego, then you are not understanding what this personality disorder entails. People with BPD do this because of a fragile sense of self.

Excerpt
To a pwBPD "love" begins and ends completely in their (disordered) mind.

To a pwBPD "love" is actually a quest for survival that becomes a repetitious compulsion over and over in their (disordered) mind.

Excerpt
There is no orientation towards "the other," and no concern for the other beyond what selfish ego-gratification "the other" can provide

There is complete orientation towards "the other," and excessive concern for the other concerning what "the other" can provide; namely safety and survival. You were evaluated for your needs based upon what you felt was important, then the Borderline provided you with that need.

Excerpt
We are just props in their mentations. That is why they can dispose of us so quickly:

Borderlines cling in parasitic symbiosis, similar to remoras on sharks. That is why they feel controlled, persecuted and so small that they then rage against this slavery by striking out at the perception of you as controlling and persecuting, but they do not “dispose.” You are now a part of their “punitive parent” that exists in their psyche. That parent is the one they yearn for, and who is also the one they are angry about and feel abandoned by. You are all of those things now,but one thing you will never be again is all good.

Excerpt
we were always just a figment of their imagination and their ephemeral moods.

they were always just a figment of our imagination. We projected on to them. They are chameleons doing the work of the magician to make ourselves feel deep emotions that were long buried.

Excerpt
As quickly as they conjured us as their love objects, they can unconjure us.

As quickly as we conjured them as our love objects, they felt controlled and engulfed and were forced to flee to seek out new more rewarding objects to cling to, despite and in fact, because of, the protest from us. There was nothing we could do to stop this. It is a disorder.

Excerpt
In my understanding and experience of pwBPD, this is not true: pwBPD see our worth only as it relates to themselves and they perceive our "being" as an extensions of theirs.

Concerning object relations: narcissists subsume objects as extensions of themselves. Borderlines offer themselves to be subsumed. They do that as chameleons and change accordingly with what the partner desires. They perceive themselves to be extensions of us- not the other way around.

Excerpt
We exist as actors in their mental scripts and they will rage or flee if we, as separate persons, deviate from THEIR script. They don't recognize our freedom or need to be separate persons.

Yes, the disorder demands your participation. The best thing you can do for a person with BPD is to let them go.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 06:30:46 AM »

Whether they loved us or not only matters when our belief system is over reliant on the narrative that validation, importance, mattering to others and worth are gift and care packages that can only come from others. Clinging to the idea of love from the outside is why many of us feel so empty. It is why we take the behaviors of our borderline so personal!

When my BPDexbf began to paint me black, cheat, lie and otherwise set the stages for abandoning me I took that to mean that I was a worthless nobody. His behavior dragged me back into my childhood; a place that I never grieved and wanted buried for good.

When the relationship was over I felt like a discarded sandwich, meaningless, devoid of purpose, and empty. My BPDexbf tapped into that part of me that I believed was buried for good. I hid that sad little girl so well for so long that I wasn't even aware of it in my adult hood.  I buried myself in over accomplishment and by being as perfect as possible but I was very emotionally damaged and didn't value myself much.

For the most part of I was the "good girlfriend" then the "good wife." I was the one who gave too much, sacrificed self, and chose partners that lessened my chances of being abandoned all over again. I was the girl who chose the "excuse makers" and dated below. I was the one who believed in the "victim of circumstance" narrative when guys would pitch it to me. I was a willing participant in the narrative of "rescuer." I chose people who didn't respect themselves much because I subconsciously played out the role of rescuer so that I would not be abandoned.

These relationships are a blessing in that they are an opportunity to end this nasty subconscious cycle. Your worth will never come from other people no matter how hard you try.

The abused abandoned little girl inside of me was exposed once my borderline abuser mirrored my beliefs on what I was conditioned to believe that love was. Needless to say my definition of love was piss poor, narrow, and deeply flawed. Deep down I was replaying out an inherited schema from my childhood. My mother was very neglectful, cold and angry at life and I suffered as a little girl but in order to survive I placated, did the dance, played the protector, and did the people pleasing circus act to get the crumbs of affection that I so desperately longed for.

With the ex it was rinse, wash and repeat. Deja Vu. A mirror from my past and an enmeshment bond. In the beginning of our relationship I was finally the happy little girl who was loved, cherished, appreciated, put on the pedestal and valued only to have him flip that on it's head. I had no idea of his sickness or my mother's sickness.

To a person with BPD. Love=need. BPD love is unhealthy and unstable and our problem is trying too hard to make it something that it will never be.

We have no right to say whether they loved us or not because we aren't inside their minds. There are many faces to love and sometimes that face of love is an abusive enmeshment kind. I know my mother loves me; she's just damaged from her own childhood. Just like I know my ex loved me. But I'm an adult now and I don't have to rely on the love of abusers and people who hate themselves to validate me. Our ex's are sick in the head and heart so how the hell can they validate us? They're unstable, unhealthy, toxic to others, and often irreparably damaged.

Our BPD ex's loved us as much as they could. What we don't realize is that our ex's are suffering with a debilitating sense of self-worth, self-hate, self-loathing and this severely has compromised their ability to love others in a healthy way. And I'm sorry but you can't give what you don't have and only a child mind wants a damaged person to rescue them.

This journey is a healing chance to end a damaging screwed up narrative: that we have the power to make others love us the way we need them to. In truth no one has that power. Love and validation come from within. Not from sources outside ourselves.

With grieving and mourning comes the acceptance of the complexity of BPD. BPD's hate themselves and are passport stamped with inner ugly, shame and guilt. So how could they love you in a consistent healthy way?  

Spell
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 12:06:32 PM »

Unless they're also sociopaths, I certainly think that pwBPD are capable of love. This doesn't mean it's an emotionally mature, healthy form of love. But it's their version of love. Can it be replaced with hate so easily that it makes us reel? Yep. Does that mean it wasn't real to them when they felt it? Nope. Does that mean it's the kind of love we need? Hell no.

Like 2010 and BPDspell both said, love=need for a pwBPD. Just like a toddler who bases their "love" on whether or not their needs are being fulfilled at the moment ("You're making me go to bed early? I HATE YOU!". And we play our parts by chasing that love, by abandoning our own needs to try to fulfill our pwBPD, to keep that love from turning to hate. Because it destroys us when our partner withdraws love from us.
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 03:00:36 PM »

I like this string a lot. It's the first one I've seen that challenges the "disorder" concept. You can use BPD, NPD, or any PD to justify the hited up behavior of an individual. In the end it's just the the way that the individual in question chooses to behave. It's not instinctive behavior. There is no higher power that makes people behave that way. People who do have found that it is the way that they can get what they want from a relationship, society, or individuals. They choose to behave that way.

The sooner people realize that they were conned by manipulative, malicious, people who had self serving reasons to do it, the easier it will be for people to detach. Were those people disordered? Absolutely. The ones that want to get fixed will and the others will learn to deal with the disorder.
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 03:58:14 PM »

The sooner people realize that they were conned by manipulative, malicious, people who had self serving reasons to do it, the easier it will be for people to detach. 

Detaching from an illusion--thereby clearly perceiving is beneficial. But the methodology we choose, can sustain the same illusions which we are attempting to dispel. For example, if I characterize my efforts at achieving an idyllic relational outcome as being noble, but castigate my pwBPD as being a manipulative, malicious, chameleon--am I not cherry-picking my realities.

Isn't it closer to the truth that we both played a part in this dance macabre. Why is it that we have never felt more alive than when we were with a person who is lost inside? Surely that must tell us much about ourselves. To understand that dream-weaving, creating the ideal--that we have longed for all our lives--has always been illusory, and will remain so. That no attachment can fill us up, in the way that we yearn for, but that we must find a centered place inside--and let go of that unhealthy need.

When we clearly perceive our relational role in this bond, we are afforded the opportunity to progress--by shedding the desire for an illusion that at its heart is rooted in mimicry and submission. A pwBPD is not sans--this humanizing emotion, or that humanizing action. It is that those elements are arrayed in a mismanaged disordered design--jumbled with extreme pain, effectuating release (of pain) through maladaptive coping tools--which in effect causes their partners great sorrow. They are not simple people to sustain love with--but that remains within the realm of choice.       
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2014, 04:08:51 PM »

Yes, we were identified as easy marks for them. Because of human nature and the desire to love and be loved and certain signals that our guard was down and we were more open to their manipulation.

Saying that we were complicit in the behavior is like saying that an attractive woman is complicit in her rape. Or that an unarmed person is complicit in being attacked with guns.
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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2014, 07:03:35 PM »

Some loved us as well as they could, and some didn't.

Some of us loved them as well as we could, and some didn't.

Love can be both poison and antidote in these relationships.

On a constant disordered loop which we help spin.

Placing ourselves on a pedestal isn't much different than putting someone else there.

Except we're the ones who fall, when we fall.

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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2014, 07:08:45 PM »

Im an older guy... . my exBPD was young and incredibly sexual and not boring. She hooked me by making me feel like I was reliving my youth as much as drowning my very experienced senses with her intense love bombing. But from the beginning... . I knew I was never number one, together for almost a year... . I sensed she was lying about leaving her ex, I gave her money, clothes, set her up in an apt so she could be free of her ex... . who she is now back with! Not to mention other guys... . one in particular I busted her with... . and he is whining and spewing his undying love for her all over his FB page... . as her white knight if she will only talk to him. How did THAT happen under my nose?  

So yes... . it takes two to tango. But to be discarded 4 times, short durations only to be exiled now with NC for 5 weeks... haven't seen her for 6 weeks... . is withdrawal that is worse then any drug. The longing for her sex, her insane personality, the stupid drama... . is exquisite at times. LIKE NOW.  I have not broken NC. The fog sometimes lifts... . but then hammers me back down mercilessly. She never gave a ___ about me... . not really. Her actions prove it.
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2014, 09:20:08 PM »

 Bullet: comment directed to __ (click to insert in post) 2010,

Inasmuch as we both agree that a pwBPD (or NPD) has a disordered mind, it's self-defeating to focus too much on what they think or feel, trying to impose our scientific analysis upon their chaos. It's rational human nature to do so but it's also how we easily get trapped in nonsensical BPD FOG, instead of just walking away once we realize, in our own mind, that "the other" is disordered.

Probably anyone who has encountered it has an urge to classify, theorize, analyze, compartmentalize and organize the BPD/NPD behaviors. But does it really matter if our exes were BPD or more NPD? Isn't it like asking a bleeding victim what model of handgun they were shot with? These disorders overlap.  These disorders wound. And sometimes they even kill.  Both are illnesses characterized by extreme selfishness. NPDs and BPDs both objectify other persons and frequently don't care about the moral, emotional, ethical and relationship fallout of their behaviors except inasmuch as it relates to their own selfish gratification. Their focus is obsessively inward whereas (true) love is outward-focused and wills the good of "the other." People with UNTREATED mental illnesses like BPD and NPD are completely unsuited to be relationship or marriage partners and should be completely avoided. Easier said than done, as they don't come with a sign around their neck reading ":)ANGER, WILL ROBINSON."  Even the ones receiving treatment are risky propositions. So it behooves anyone to know the signs of these mental illnesses and get out fast as soon as they manifest.

If we must analyze what happened to us in these relationships then we must do so from a perspective which is external to the disorder. We have no choice: we can't directly know what goes on in a disordered persons's mind, or anyone's mind for that matter. What we can do is be mindful of our thoughts and observe the objective reality which is external to us, specifically the actions, reactions, lies and (just as important) the complete lack of empathic action of pwBPD or NPD. If we conceive of (true) love as ACTIONS, not just words, we'll quickly see through the fiction of BPD or NPD "love".
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2014, 09:59:50 PM »

I guess I was one of the "lucky" ones to know whether she loved me or not... .

My dBPDexgf actually told me that she isn't sure about her feelings for me. Then once NC started, she said she "thinks she loves" me. Then she loves me. Then questioning my love for her, and not even mentioning her feelings... . Then she stopped contacting me, and I hope it stays that way.

Does it hurt that I fell in love with someone who could not love me back? Heck yeah!

So, did she love me or didn't she? She does not even know what love is... . So, how can she love at all? I'm guessing your BPD exes are not all that different. I say, for now, believe whatever helps you detach faster.
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2014, 01:26:09 AM »



I like this thread because it raises the great tipping point of understanding for many on these boards who are trying to detach from these relationships. What is love?  Did he love me?  Did she love me?  Do I still love him/her?

The first point of understanding for me is that I can't define anyone other person's experience of love other than my own.  Again, I can't define any other person's experience of love other than my own.  Sounds banal but think about it.  If you were to interview 500 different people and ask them for their definition of love you would likely get 500 different answers.  More importantly, ask yourself.  "What is love to me?"  "What does it mean for me?"

I had breakfast with a friend today who knows all the involved parties in my BPD r/s.  I told him that the immense pain, trauma and heartache that I'm feeling is likely not actually for her.  In fact it is much more profound.  The pain comes from the realization that my own working definition of love was not reciprocated to me and the rejection of that belief causes me immense pain.  So does that mean I'm empty or unloveable?  It sure feels that way or something close to it but the answer is "no". 

What it likely means is that my definition of love was either poorly conceived, ill-defined or was simply offered to someone who had no ability to return it in kind to me.  No shame in our own uninformed folly, at least the first time.  Either iteration results in pain.

So I think as helpful as it is to understand all the psychodynamics of BPD (and it is fascinating), to read through the accounts (equally heartbreaking, harrowing and fascinating), process the behaviors, get out of the fog, etc, I have found the most profound thing for me moving forward is first to secure and perhaps rediscover my own healthy working definition of love that I want to hold myself accountable to and then choose from healthy people who have a greater real-world ability to return the offer in kind.

So instead of ":)id she love me?" or ":)id I love her?", I ask did I hold myself accountable to my definition of love -- for me the answer would be "no" -- and did I share it with someone who was able to understand, define and offer an equally accountable, healthy love of their own?  No again. 

Looking forward I feel that my new working definition of love is healthy, more enduring and infinite but the circuit must be complete for the current to properly return.

What definition do you hold yourself accountable for?  Do you have one?  Start now, it's never too late.




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« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2014, 02:45:53 AM »

Lone gone Ex

That was deep, and very well said and thought out... . It's true, especially if the person is trule BPD and more so if they are not seeking treatment or betterment of themselves.  It's one thing to say their childlike, but to not take responsibility for thier actions and chaos they bring in others lives and their projection, is completely wrong and easily put, dysfuntional... .

How can someone love you, if they don't love themselves?

How can some want you, if they don't even know who they really are?

How can you love some, or give them, when they are empty and broken? All the love will pour out and never be enough, until they fix the damage! And thats through dedication to treatment and them begining to admit that, they need help.

Nice post, thank you!
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2014, 03:12:27 AM »

2010 and BPD spell... .

Thank you for both of those posts... . Very insightful and hit the bulls-eye for me on some things.
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« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2014, 07:20:12 AM »

It's good advice now but at this point it doesn't really matter. I wish I knew now then what I didn't know then. I have always despised self=absorbed and selfish individuals and I always knew she had these tendencies. I used to say to myself, 'what a selfish bhit.' It doesn't matter or help me now.
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« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2014, 09:40:27 AM »

Such an interesting thread to read.

My story is a little different. I left my BPD and I have no desire to recycle. The one hang-up I have in my mind is she asks how I can so coldly end the relationship and walk away NC.

Since we broke up she has threatened suicide and when that didn't work she sent me a sonogram image to say she is pregnant. The sonogram is cropped and doesn't show any personal details and she is unwilling to provide further evidence. She still insists she will tell everyone that I left her and made her suffer an abortion without showing her sympathy or responsibility.

I don't believe she is pregnant, but I do recognize the desperation in her method to get me back. She hurts. She asks ':)id I ever love her?' And 'how can I leave her so coldly if I every genuinely cared for her.' These are relevant questions from the other side of the BPD breakup. In the time we were together I desperately tried to love her. I gave her all. The fact she needed that from me or manipulated it from doesn't mean I didn't have a problem here too. I gave away my boundaries so she felt loved and supported, special. Once I recognized that I had done this, I questioned "how could she do this to me and not see how much it hurts me". In reality, I rarely complained because I didn't want to upset her or cause a fight. I wanted her to feel accepted and loved.

The question here now isn't "did she love me" "did I love her" etc... . The only meaningful question I can ask myself is "why did I love in a way that was detrimental to my well being, that made me feel unloved?". I allowed this treatment and resented her for taking what I was willing to give. Her needs, actions and intentions were not pure, but my desire to find and develop love was so misguided how can I blame anyone else for the result? Finding someone to love is simple, defining what qualities that person should embody and what boundaries you need to set is not. Those questions are most important to me now.

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« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2014, 10:01:44 AM »

Thank you 2010, BPDspell.  It's always good to re read your thoughtful and wise responses.  It's a good cold smack of reality when Im down or feeling as though I didn't do enough. At least that's how I feel

CiF
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« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2014, 02:54:17 PM »


I have a question for you. My exBPDgf of 2 years and I had our first serious clash back in september when my grandmother died. She offered absolutely no emotional support and worse, even poking fun of her death with sentences like "at least you inherited her bottle of Xanax". It was devastating and utterly disrespectful. On the day of the funeral, she was sitting home, not giving a damn about the whole thing and as it later turned out, she was chatting with other men at a dating site while I was standing right behind a coffin. I trusted my gut feeling and checked her browsing history as soon as I got home. We broke up.


Few days later she contacted me, missing me badly. I asked about what she had done in the past 5 days, confessed a date but nothing serious happened, no sex so I gave in, we recycled. A week later I got back my old phone from her, she forget to log out from her Facebook account. When going through the message log, found out about my replacement, the same day we broke up she went on a date with him like nothing happened, had sex and took a morning-after pill because the condom broke. After the recycle, they still talked and met behind my back. Well, that was "nothing happened" from her perspective. When I confronted her she didn't show any remorse or guilt. In fact, started to torture me with the filthy details of their first night together while I was escorting her to doctor like a stupid chump. Out of blue, she told me informations like he had a big house, better car and more money. There was a cruel grin on her face when saw that I was hurt. I still can't belive what happened, just 1,5 weeks after the funeral, mourning and my significant other tortures me on purpose.

I know that their love is need based, lack empathy but this was unneceseraly cruel and callous. Textbook BPD or comorbid with something else?

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« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2014, 07:06:58 PM »

I know that their love is need based, lack empathy but this was unneceseraly cruel and callous. Textbook BPD or comorbid with something else?

BorisAcusio,

As with many mental illnesses borderline personality disorder can cormorbidly exist with other disorders such as HPD, Schizophrenia, and NPD. This is why we can't paint our ex's with one giant brush stroke. They're individuals. But BPD can exist with other offshoots of mental illness. Many can be full on NPD as well. My ex was certainly a hybrid took extreme joy in punishing others once painted black.  Smear campaigns, absolving himself of what really went down in his breakups, even revenge porn. Yep. He was a real piece of work.

Some borderlines can turn quite hateful and punitive but in my personal opinion this is how they spread their God-awful feelings about themselves to others who they have come to lean on.

My ex was so angry that I broke off things with him that he literally threw the kitchen sink at me. Things got so bad I had to get a restraining order. In their disordered minds they've lost control and now it's time to make you pay because they don't like losing. It's child's thinking at it's finest.

So yes. Telling you about her ex's and her dalliances is all about her plan to further attack your esteem cause hers is feeling pretty low. Believe you me. A happy person who's moved on isn't interested in dangling ex's for attention. It's all about hurting you because they hurt. It's all about having that last parting shot.

Borderlines lack empathy due to their stunted emotional child minds. So when things aren't about them they tend to panic and act out because they've worked so hard to groom you for their needs. Anything that throws this regiment out of whack changes the script and they can't make those emotional adjustments like an adult. Sometimes they can fake empathy but their empathy chip has been severely compromised.

So if your relatives are dying, if you lost your job, if your pets or your kids are sick….they will feel threatened. If they deem someone more beautiful, richer, smarter: instant jealousy. They are highly unstable and deeply insecure often making them possessive and territorial. Seems asinine to us but in their mentally ill minds not having that control is a  fear and trigger that our minds cannot process this because we aren't mentally ill.

Spell

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« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2014, 11:08:21 PM »

My ex was so angry that I broke off things with him that he literally threw the kitchen sink at me. Things got so bad I had to get a restraining order. In their disordered minds they've lost control and now it's time to make you pay because they don't like losing. It's child's thinking at it's finest.

So yes. Telling you about her ex's and her dalliances is all about her plan to further attack your esteem cause hers is feeling pretty low. Believe you me. A happy person who's moved on isn't interested in dangling ex's for attention. It's all about hurting you because they hurt. It's all about having that last parting shot.

There's another danger here which we perhaps don't directly perceive in all this BPD/NPD generated emotional drama.  Dr. Joe Carver has an interesting article on this site about how we form our memories of events.  He notes that if our emotions are aroused at the time a memory is formed then it's imprinted much more deeply into our minds. This is true for enjoyable and unpleasant experiences.

It seems to me this has some helpful implications for us nons. We can help ourselves by being mindful and thus avoiding emotional arousal AT THE TIME BPD/NPD ABUSE OCCURS. Ultimately this boils down to not deceiving ourselves with false hopes when the very first signs of BPD/NPD behaviors start to present. At the first red flags, we assume that they can cheat sexually, lie, abuse drugs, explode into rages and argue in circles. Since we know this, we expect it. So it ought not to take us off guard or draw us in. If it transpires, we try to let it go. And begin preparing to leave them. ASAP.

We may also want to think twice before getting prematurely or repeatedly sexual with someone we suspect may be BPD/NPD, because we may not be able to control our (euphoric) emotional state during sex - which attaches us more to a pwBPD. 

If Carver is right and if we can avoid or at least minimize emotional arousal/dysregulation in ourselves, the memory of all those BPD abusive behaviors and happy times is less likely to be deeply imprinted in our psyche. Which should help us in the detachment process.

I have no scientific evidence for this, but I can report that detachment from my 2nd BPD relationship went more smoothly than from the first because I was "expecting" certain BPD/NPD behaviors after the early red flags.  The overwhelming feeling at end was one of disappointed resignation but no great sense of anger, loss or any desire to be recycled.
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« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2014, 07:17:51 AM »

Do you love yourself?

This is a very important question to ask yourself. It can also lead you down a different path when you decide that you want to love yourself.
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2014, 09:57:38 PM »

Excerpt
2010, inasmuch as we both agree that a pwBPD (or NPD) has a disordered mind, it's self-defeating to focus too much on what they think or feel, trying to impose our scientific analysis upon their chaos.

The reason you are here is because someone has formulated a personality theory. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even know what BPD was and you wouldn’t be compelled to post here.

Personality theory isn’t scientific analysis; it’s just theory, which is just another way of saying that it is someone’s observations and personal opinion.

Since you keep mentioning the “other,” it’s important to note that you are referring to developmental theory. Developmental theory addresses every single one of us as human beings.

We all developed differently. We are as different as snowflakes, yet we share the same human traits. Some of us struggled through the different stages of development due to different reasons, such as neglect or emotional deprivation, abuse or enmeshment.  It’s because of those differences, that we can contrive reasons for arrested development.

But arrested development is not illness. It is the failure to mature successfully into an internally secure (whole) person due to distorted perceptions about free will. Those distorted perceptions are precisely what becomes the personality disorders that cause instability and interpersonal problems.

Excerpt
It's rational human nature to do so but it's also how we easily get trapped in nonsensical BPD FOG, instead of just walking away once we realize, in our own mind, that "the other" is disordered.

Plenty of people on the forum have been left behind before they could walk away. It is a trauma. No one is trapped by their understanding when they seek to understand themselves. It is a fundamental truth to know oneself. There is a reason why the break-down of these relationships are break-throughs for many people. They uncover many repressed fears and "cover-up coping" mechanisms that have been repetitious compulsions for much of early life.  This need to understand is really is a correction of sorts, for behavior that needs to be addressed in order to achieve personal growth. Sometimes we have to learn from our choices even if we try to claim them as mistakes.

Excerpt
Probably anyone who has encountered it has an urge to classify, theorize, analyze, compartmentalize and organize the BPD/NPD behaviors. But does it really matter if our exes were BPD or more NPD?

Very much so.  One suffers from ego grandiosity and the other suffers from ego deficiency.  You can learn allot about yourself if you ask who *needed* to be in the lead.

It takes two to tango. The lead was probably more narcissistically inclined then they would like to admit. Borderlines are not dominant. Narcissists are. Narcissists often do not know they are narcissistic because they have fashioned a false self that is very defensive. Borderlines can be considered quite open and often telegraph their woes to others as a learned helplessness. There’s a difference there that’s very important in recovery, especially if the false self of the narcissist has an identity crisis in the aftermath.

NPD and BPD are completely different yet they complement each other like pieces in a puzzle, especially concerning complementary needs. And yes, there is also a personality theory that Narcissists are attracted to Borderlines for a reason and vice versa.

Excerpt
Isn't it like asking a bleeding victim what model of handgun they were shot with?

No. It’s like asking them why they think they got shot. If you don’t ask, and choose to decide “objective reality” by saying there was no responsibility to the self- then you are actually repressing the learning experience. It will surface later again as a stuck point in some form of memory unless it is dealt with and resolved or it may even be repeated. Yes, the victim would get shot again unless they understood what it was they did to get shot. You can’t just tell them to avoid all people that appear like they have BPD. They have to know why for reasons that make them less anxious and paranoid.

People need to be heard. They need to talk about their experience. They have a perception. Sometimes it’s distorted and needs correcting. Having a theory about the reasons for the shooting helps remove doubt, guilt and gives a sense of reason to an otherwise unreasonable occurrence.

Excerpt
These disorders overlap.  

Not really. They are very different.

Excerpt
These disorders wound. And sometimes they even kill.  Both are illnesses characterized by extreme selfishness.

Maybe we should figure out what our attraction was to this person before we dehumanize them.

Excerpt
NPDs and BPDs both objectify other persons and frequently don't care about the moral, emotional, ethical and relationship fallout of their behaviors except inasmuch as it relates to their own selfish gratification.

Many narcissists are altruists and care deeply about “moral, emotional and ethical” behaviors, much to their own detriment in interpersonal relationships. Borderlines objectify themselves as offerings. This isn’t selfish gratification, but fears of worthlessness. Both NPD and BPD have defectiveness at their core but they have formulated “personalities” that seek to resolve that defectiveness with faulty methods that turn compulsively repetitious.

Excerpt
Their focus is obsessively inward whereas (true) love is outward-focused and wills the good of "the other."

“Wills the good of the other” is another way of describing projective identification. Most people involved with a person with Borderline personality, (especially vulnerable narcissists) use projective identification to “outward focus” good as well as have the Borderline carry their bad. This is a form of splitting against the self and others.

Excerpt
People with UNTREATED mental illnesses like BPD and NPD are completely unsuited to be relationship or marriage partners and should be completely avoided.

These are broad statements that are untrue. But if it helps you to put a sign out, “no BPD or NPD allowed,” then that’s what you have to do. This is all or none, black or white thinking which often overemphasizes the dangers in social interactions and misjudges people.

Excerpt
If we must analyze what happened to us in these relationships then we must do so from a perspective which is external to the disorder.

It’s important to understand what part you played in the disorder.

Excerpt
We have no choice: we can't directly know what goes on in a disordered persons's mind, or anyone's mind for that matter. What we can do is be mindful of our thoughts and observe the objective reality which is external to us, specifically the actions, reactions, lies and (just as important) the complete lack of empathic action of pwBPD or NPD.

“Objective reality which is external to us” isn’t going to help dig into the reasons for why this relationship was so deep. The entire point of therapy is to re-visit subjective reality, which is reality seen through our inner mental filters that are shaped by our past conditioning. We interpret a lot of things based on our memories of events that have happened in the past. When we re-visit them with the help of a calm arbitrator, then can re-think them through and create a more objective reality. But it’s only by asking the hard questions when we dig to get at the tough stuff from childhood. Many people have both BPD and NPD parents, and demonizing them by saying that it “behooves anyone to know the signs and get out fast” doesn’t make the memories or conditioning from childhood go away.

There are people on the forum who are choosing to ask the hard questions for their own personal growth. They understand that without doing the hard work of self examination, they may never discover their reasons for being attracted to a person who they both cannot live with yet cannot live without. There’s a long dormant reason for that which surfaces later in therapy.

Now here’s the hard part. You can come on to the L3 leaving board and say, I don’t care what people with BPD think or feel. It’s impossible to tell! Stop asking questions.  I don’t think I should change anything about the way I am. It wasn’t me. Why should I be the one who is introspective? Thank you, I’m not looking for any feedback.

Should the rest of the forum stop asking questions too? Or do we make the sober realization that sometimes, people do things for a reason. Those reasons can be fear or control or grandiosity to cover feelings of defectiveness. Those reasons can become a working hypothesis. They become patterns. Those patterns easily create defenses (coping mechanisms.)  And the coping mechanisms can be faulty and repetitious, done over and over again, rote, without consciousness without any change or development or personal growth. AND that goes for all of us in life until we have an experience that changes us. Let’s call it an awakening.

We all have coping mechanisms, denial, anger, splitting others when they make us angry, but yearning for this lost object that represented all good before they became all bad. That’s worth investigating and digging deeper (at the very least) so we don’t go out and fall into the same pattern again. It’s not enough to say you’ll avoid anyone who gives you pause. You have to discover the reasons why you find this person attractive in the first place. In fact, you may even be drawn to them for a reason that you need to discover something about yourself.

Now is not the time to stop asking questions nor is it the time to be avoidant. You cannot avoid every single person with a personality disorder. They are co-workers, Doctors, teachers, postal workers- they are everywhere. The best thing you can do is understand yourself first.  Idea

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