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Author Topic: Is he/she aware?  (Read 12924 times)
Faith1520
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« on: November 27, 2014, 08:35:45 PM »

Is your ex person w/BPD aware they have the disorder? If so, how did they react to the diagnosis? Are they dealing with it or in denial?

If not, when did you discover they have it and have you considered telling them?

I am debating whether or not to bring it up to my ex. We'd been going to couples counseling and during a one on one visit with the counselor (to discuss my possible codependency) the counselor told me what he suspected he has... .went through the 9 signs/symptoms and he fit 8 of them to a T.  The counselor was going to wait to bring it up to him until he felt he was ready to hear it... .unfortunately, he never got to that point. I have a lot of compassion for what he's going through and I hope for healing for him someday. I figure if I just send him some information on it he can do what he wants with it. I am expecting him to disregard it and probably message me with more hateful things. But, if and when he is ready to accept help he will at least have a place to start and the counseling he's been through wouldn't be a complete waste.
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bungenstein
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 09:00:19 PM »

I don't think they are aware they are disordered, but I think hey are aware of the intentions behind their actions, and they are aware that their actions are perceived as wrong by others.

Also, I don't think many of them actually want to change at all.
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 10:27:10 PM »

DO NOT tell them!  It will backfire.  "Splitting" by Randi Kreger and countless other sources I have read recommend AGAINST telling someone they are disordered.

I do believe that most disordered persons are fully aware that they are quite a different breed - but also live in a place of superiority…resting largely and comfortably in the notion that EVERYONE around them has a problem.  It's all quite disturbing.

As for your questions, I found out about BPD, drug addiction, and criminal behavior while my uBPD/ASPDexH was essentially splitting.  It was like a landfall of hell.
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.cup.car
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2014, 10:45:48 PM »

They're aware. More than aware.

They seem to split between:

- Knowing they have a disorder and are just as "along for the ride" like everyone else around them is

- Believing everyone is out to get them

It changes based on moods, which is why it's so difficult to get these people help.

When they're in a good mood, they'll feel the first point is correct. But in a bad mood, they'll feel the second point is correct.
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OutOfEgypt
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 10:52:20 PM »

I did tell my ex (when she was my wife).  I gave her an ultimatum - get help or I'm done.  I told her that I thought she was BPD or possibly NPD or both.  She laughed at me, mocked me with her friends, and then filed for divorce behind my back to "protect herself" from me.  :)uring our divorce I had some lengthy conversations about what I thought was wrong with her.  It really isn't worth the headaches and drama, in my opinion.

Are they aware?  I think they are aware of much of it, but much of it is also unconsciously driven.  My ex admitted on a few occasions that she knew she was a "crappy mom."  She had said to me that she knew something was "wrong".  She told me that the boyfriend she had before me claimed she was "insatiable."  She told me on some occasions that she felt "empty."  She knows she's a liar.  She admitted to me that she "never really wanted to leave" me for that other guy.  She just wanted to "f### him," and then added, "That's pretty bad, huh?"  But will she ever do anything about it?  No, and *that* is the disorder.  That is part and parcel of being BPD: you externalize all of your internal conflicts on others.  Feeling empty and knowing that you are a liar and do horrible things, for a non, means "seek help, find out what is wrong so that I can be better."  For a person with BPD, it means... ."what is wrong with everyone?  why won't they love me enough?  oh poor me.  I have nobody... .oh, except for that person I can lure in... .and that person, too... and that one, too... .I'll find more people to triangulate, to manipulate and position against each other, all while they revolve completely around me... .that will make me feel better."

I understand that you still care about him... .but in my opinion what you are trying to do is rescue him.  After all, he was seeing a counselor, and the counselor had planned to bring it up, but he stopped seeing that counselor (another thing BPD's do... .they cannot commit to anything).  But you see... .that is his problem.  He continually puts himself in positions to short-circuit help, to avoid responsibility.  And now, you are going to try to save the day because you know, otherwise, he will never face the music.  Here's the plain truth:  he already has MORE than enough to know that something is wrong with him and to get help and stay with it.  His problem is that he keeps running away (which is typical BPD).  Let him go.  Stop trying to save him.  He already has "a place to start".  He just jumps off the race track.  This is his problem, not yours, and you can't save him from it.
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Elpis
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2014, 11:56:34 PM »

No matter what is wrong with any of us, we have to hit the point where we say "this isn't working, my relationships aren't working," etc. and then not only desire to change things but actually get help and start working toward change.

Nothing you say will help. Especially when that other person believes they're the one in the right anyway, cuz what could you possibly offer them?

The general understanding in the case of should I/shouldn't I tell them is that since we can only change one person--ourselves--we need to work on us and let the other guy come to his own conclusions. So if you were still in the relationship you would work on your own responses and learn tools to communicate better, etc. You'd still be able to communicate what you felt wasn't working in the relationship and then you'd see where that went and make your choices about the relationship based on those things. But the other guy has to realize they need to make changes on their own.

Really that's a blessing, we don't have to carry the burden of everyone else's relationships and lives around on our shoulders, and like was mentioned, telling someone with BPD that you think they have it will pretty much never turn out to be a positive experience. (sadly!) I've been the fixer type for years and years, and the problem is you can waste a lot of time and energy on somebody who doesn't even want to be fixed... .did it with my mother, did it with my husband. Did it with a couple of friends. How many times did I make a difference? 0. Bummer.
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bungenstein
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2014, 12:25:20 AM »

Also, change is basically impossible, their personality is the disorder, hence personality disorder, they cannot change their personality since its formed at a very young age, the disorder is who they are, they can only learn to cope with it better.
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CareTaker
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2014, 12:27:37 AM »

Excerpt
Is your ex person w/BPD aware they have the disorder?

My ex is not aware she has a disorder. She lives in a dream world, and expects everyone to fall to her feet. She thinks she is something, but in reality she is just a child in an adult body. She once said to me: I am used to so much better.

Yes, she was right. She is used to seductively getting her way with men. Any men. Any one who will give in to her demands. Her lies, cheats and abusive ways gets her what she wants and needs out of life. There is no true commitment to any relationship, just an attachment.

Excerpt
If not, when did you discover they have it and have you considered telling them

I discovered about 12 months into the relationship something serious was wrong. I knew it before, but because of circumstances at the time, she had me believing I am at fault. I always asked her to try and control her very bad mood. Then out of desperation, I did a google search on bad moods in relationships, and found the truth. I was shattered, but still willing to try and fix it. I never told her about it, eventually walked away and think it is best to just leave her in her own fantasy world. You not going to fix it. and telling someone else THEY have a disorder when they blame YOU for the relationship falling apart, will never bear any fruit. All that matters is that I know what it is like being in a real committed relationship. And this one was dysfunctional. So best is walk away and find that one that wants to share your life with you. Not suck life out of you.
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hergestridge
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2014, 03:48:46 AM »

My exwife is aware. But she will not admit it without a BUT. "Ok, I may have a personality disorder BUT you haven't been an easy person to live with either... .". "I know I am a diagnosed borderline, but bringing up kids can be difficult and everyone goes through a rough patch now and then... .".

When you question her about BPD she doesn't really know what it is. I can't imagine her DBT is progressing because she has no idea about her in what way her disorder affects her.
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2014, 03:55:15 AM »

My ex is a quiet borderline and she

Knows she has something not right about her but I don't think she has researched the disorder or knows really anything about it.
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Lion Fire
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2014, 04:54:43 AM »

My exBPDgf is diagnosed. She knows she has BPD and admits it (reluctantly).

However, she does nothing about it. Her sharp and cunning mind is able to rationalise and justify ALL of her behaviour- her actions and reactions. No accountability. That's on the surface. I suspect that deep down she is aware of her destructive nature but the many layers or distorted coping mechanisms and people who enable her behaviour stop her from hitting a true rock bottom. She leaps onto the next person, project or mission immediately when something crashes... .

Everyone else is always to blame for everything that goes wrong for her. She fails to see that she is the common denominator in all of the disastrous relationships. Unless she has a dramatic psychic change, the prognosis looks very bad for her from my angle.
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almostmarried

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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2014, 05:42:12 AM »

Reading all your comments here... .wow. As if almost ALL of you knew my ex-BPD-girlfriend... .

One question to you: What do you think happens to all these BPD-women when they get older? When they can´t get any more "supply" by seducing and manipulating and cheating... .because simply nobody cares about them anymore?
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Lolster
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2014, 05:49:54 AM »

Ex is undiagnosed (as far as I am aware) but he definitely knows something isn't 'right.'  He has a plethora of physical illnesses to hide behind as an excuse to take stronger and stronger meds and block out reality.

I did tell him the last time he stomped all over my boundaries and then raged at me when his shame hit.  Tread carefully if you expect to have any on going relationship, I only told him to encourage him to stay away from me.  Selfish I know, but so far effective.
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CareTaker
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2014, 05:56:40 AM »

Excerpt
What do you think happens to all these BPD-women when they get older? When they can´t get any more "supply" by seducing and manipulating and cheating... .because simply nobody cares about them anymore?

Interesting question, but I have read a few opinions on this, and who knows.

One was they the people you see at old age homes. Staring out the windows, lonely and sorry they never spent more time building happy homes. Regretting the fact they never had an opportunity to experience real love and commitment. Because of their disorder, then own family and children forget them.

Others have said you will find some of them homeless. Walking the streets at night looking for a place to sleep. No one cares for them.

My ex gets her kicks out of putting pics of herself all over the net. Any social site. She needs the assurance everyone is admiring her. She needs toy boys to tell her this every day. Therefore because she never made it as a successful model in her younger days, she would now, at age 34, book photo sessions with photographers. On her FB, model agency website (Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)) and her blog she would then load these pics under different headings, like: SUMMER 2014 SWIM SHOOT.

What a lonely world to live in. I hate to know what happens when this is no longer possible. When old age creeps up and nobody finds your pics attractive anymore.

I have also read of woman being very jealous of their children, because they no longer get any attention. This was one of the things that made me realize a future with this woman would never work. But will just be chaos.
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parisian
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2014, 06:20:56 AM »

I thought mine was diagnosed, although she never admitted it to me.

Lots of hints including the use of T words like acting out, co-dependency, ranting. Never heard any former healthy partners use those words before.

She once said she was 'heaps better than she used to be' when she was upset about something minor I had said. I didn't really understand what that meant at the time, and didn't ask either (eggshells). Quite a give-away tattoo.

Described herself as 'emo', said she couldn't talk about things, couldn't commit to a long-term relationship (said that right up front).

Very defensive about vulnerabilities - would never ever discuss it and would get angry if I tried.

Said she couldn't change.

I guess she didn't feel comfortable telling me she had it. I can't really imagine how hard it would be disclosing that to someone you want to have a relationship with. Although after we broke up I was a annoyed about that. If I was going out with someone who had an STD, I would really want to know. Not telling is a big breach of trust and puts your own health at risk.

With BPD, I feel like it's the same - if they know and don't tell, then that is a big breach of trust and puts your own (mental) and sadly, sometimes physical health at risk.

I wish she had told me - then I would have at least put some effort into understanding why in the heck she couldn't respond to things in a normal, healthy way, instead of just feeling confused and hurt and perplexed about her behaviour. At least then I would have known what to expect rather than going through that what the heck feeling with the way she treated me.



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.cup.car
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2014, 08:51:37 AM »

What do you think happens to all these BPD-women when they get older? When they can´t get any more "supply" by seducing and manipulating and cheating... .because simply nobody cares about them anymore?

My mom's 52. I never recalled any "friends" she had around from when I was younger. She made friends with other moms when I went to school, but there was a cycle of spending a bunch of time with them and then deciding after a few years they were "bad people" and then dropping all of them. Did this with my aunt too; she'll still call her and act like they're best friends, only to rage at her a month later and spread a bunch of stories about my aunt and that side of the family.

She mostly just tags along with my dad for whatever he does. For example, my dad coaches high school football, and she's the team photographer. When I played she would constantly flirt with both my teammates (who were like 16), as well as the numerous other coaches. It was really embarrassing. Their finances are fine though. She works at my old high school as a librarian's assistant, basically babysitting kids.

She's a photographer for another sporting event as well. Sometimes I tag along with her because it's our one shared interest, and there have been a few encounters like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJnp-q8X96M

It's embarrassing. But for the most part she keeps it together and just sort of hovers around my dad and does everything with him. I guess eventually they latch onto someone for life, but anytime I've asked her about their history just in an innocent way, she always repeats the same story of "I was the only one who went to his halloween party one year and I kept blowing him off but then I found out he had a lot of money saved and he proposed three months later."

And then the classic story of "I only went to high school for one year but I had five boyfriends... .is that bad?"

---

---

Not gonna say where I work cause it's nothing overly exciting, but we hired a lady in her early 50's. This was earlier this year so just the vibes she gave off alone gave me some real sketchy feelings. All I can really describe her as is a crazy cat lady. Really friendly, but like, a type of supercharged happiness. Lots of people thought she was hoped up on pills a few days but we don't really have a formal process for doing anything at my job, so our manager just sort of monitored it. Got to the point where she aggressively pursued the gay guy at work (who was 19) despite having a husband she talked about all the time. He rejected her advances several times. Eventually she freaked out and claimed he was running slave labor and that she'd complain to head office about him.

So it can go both ways.

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HappyNihilist
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2014, 10:08:31 AM »

My exbf was aware, but I wouldn't recommend trying to bring it up to him. 

I have a friend who's diagnosed and in therapy, and he struggles mightily with it.

Like others have said, the problem is that the disorder is their personality. It's very difficult to "overcome" a personality disorder, even if the person is aware and committed (a rare combination). They can certainly learn healthier coping skills, and how to better manage themselves. But awareness alone does not necessarily translate to a willingness to work on oneself, and in fact can lead to more self-loathing when the person can't "conquer" their disorder/behavior.
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FrenchConnection
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2014, 01:37:38 PM »

I dated my ex for 7 months with one recycle during that time.

I had a suspicion that she had emotional problems due to her past and rages and her fear of being left by me.  Then after our relationship ended i read all about BPD and she fit 7-8 of the criteria.  I decided to write her a letter and tell her what i thought she had, because her behavior was completely out of order and it WAS the factor that killed our relationship. 

She denied she has BPD and told me i was the one with problems.  We left it at that.

I was happy to communicate to her what i needed to say.  I don't really care what her reaction is to me.  What i want is for her to become aware of what happened and to ask herself some honest questions with the hope that one day she will get the courage to talk about all that with someone and seek help.  I am no longer interested in if we ever get back together.  I just want her to get out of this hell she is in and experience a somewhat normal, happy, love-filled life with someone.   But to do that she needs to get the proper help.  I pray she does.
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Infared
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2014, 01:41:31 PM »

Mine has no idea. She went to therapy but lied to and manipulated the therapist... .so there was no diagnosis of BPD for who she presented. 

She won't change... .all the lying, manipulating and playing victim works REALLY well for her.  She is not going to change something that works so well.  She is never alone... .and she has all the power.
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lm911
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2014, 01:54:53 PM »

DO NOT tell them!  It will backfire.  "Splitting" by Randi Kreger and countless other sources I have read recommend AGAINST telling someone they are disordered.

I do believe that most disordered persons are fully aware that they are quite a different breed - but also live in a place of superiority…resting largely and comfortably in the notion that EVERYONE around them has a problem.  It's all quite disturbing.

As for your questions, I found out about BPD, drug addiction, and criminal behavior while my uBPD/ASPDexH was essentially splitting.  It was like a landfall of hell.

I told mine after she tried to beat me. Why should be careful with them, when they are not? They have a disorder but this does not make them ill or sth like that in order to feel sorry for them.
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Faith1520
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« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2014, 02:07:35 PM »

Thank you all for the responses.

My ex knew that something wasn't right with him. On a good day he could be very rational, admitting his faults, apologizing for the way he's acted, agreeing that he needed to get better. He once told me that he felt like there was a storm inside him (counselor believes he has PTSD as well) He even sought out counseling on his own. Despite all of that, it ultimately came back to what I did wrong. He said I never think I do anything wrong or take responsibility for anything and made everything to be his fault and made him look like the bad guy, a "monster" I now know all about projection…

In retrospect, I can see that as time went on he took less and less responsibility for the way in which his actions contributed to the problems of the relationship. Even as our counseling progressed, arguments got more intense, more dramatic, and the blaming was worse. He said the counselor and I were a team and were against him. As if I slipped him a $20 before each session. 

.cup.car - It's like you said, their denial and acceptance changes based on their mood. I remember often wondering how he could be sorry for something one minute and then be defending it the next, or vice versa.

Hope0807 - I've read that as well… If I was still in the relationship, I'd leave it up to the counselor, but I figure at this point what do I have to lose. He's already painted me black. I am over trying to change him for the sake of the relationship and I have no hopes of reuniting… I just thought I'd do one last good deed as a compassionate human being and show him the information. If he's in a rational state of mind, I don't see how he can deny to himself that the symptoms fit him. Worst that could happen is he continues hating me and stays in denial. I can definitely see everyone's points, I just worry that if I don't do it I will regret keeping it from him.

OutOfEgypt - I think you said it well. Some part of them knows it, but they bury that part because it's too painful to deal with… so it always comes back to the fault of whoever is around them. So sad.

Elpis - Good points. I am learning that in the books I've been reading. You always hear that you can't make people change, but it's something I've had to live through to truly understand.

Almostmarried - I think they live very lonely lives, whether they are constantly in and out of relationships or live in a very unhappy marriage. What scared me the most about picturing a future with my ex is the thought of having children with him. After all the reading I did on how they can so negatively affect their children's lives as well, it made me sick to think about.

CareTaker - You are probably right. It is so sad about your ex and her obvious need for attention. It blows my mind some of the seemingly childish things people with this disorder will do or say.

FrenchConnection - That is exactly how I feel and why part of me wants to tell him.
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Infared
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2014, 02:53:52 PM »

DO NOT tell them!  It will backfire.  "Splitting" by Randi Kreger and countless other sources I have read recommend AGAINST telling someone they are disordered.

I do believe that most disordered persons are fully aware that they are quite a different breed - but also live in a place of superiority…resting largely and comfortably in the notion that EVERYONE around them has a problem.  It's all quite disturbing.

As for your questions, I found out about BPD, drug addiction, and criminal behavior while my uBPD/ASPDexH was essentially splitting.  It was like a landfall of hell.

I agree with this. I have absolutely no contact with mine... .

She is undiagnosed and I did not know about BPD until after our relationship. I found our about BPD in a quest for my pain and healing... .I was focusing on me but somehow my search lead me to the BPD info and everything just fits... .and I identify with everyone here.

If things were different and I was in a place to be able to tell her what I believe is true, I would not tell her. She would not take it well and if she did she would do nothing about it.   The short time that she had in therapy she told the therapist a bucket of lies.

That is a sick person in the right room who can/will get no help. Its twisted and sad.
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Elpis
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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2014, 03:01:41 PM »

Faith,

I totally get the desire to want to tell him, I've been much the same way in many relationships, feeling some compulsion to at least tell the person what I see. Sometimes it works out, but generally I could end up repeating the same words over and over to the person because they aren't at a place in their life to hear it--like you said about only understanding something once you yourself had lived through it.

My therapist always says, "Live your boundaries." I'm a talker, so I always want to explain things, like my side, or what the consequence of this action will likely be, stuff like that. So learning to just live my boundaries has been tough! I always wanted to say to my uBPDh "when you talk to me like that, talking down to me like i'm stupid, I don't want to be around you" instead of just telling him "i'm taking the dog for a walk now" and leaving. It's like the old writing saying, "show don't tell."

Telling him will be something you do for YOU, not for him. The reasons for his behavior don't matter as much as him coming to a realization that he's lost a really great person because of things he did, and then pursuing help to change those things. That's where the magic happens.

That's something you can decide, if it's a big enough deal to you that you want to tell him about it for yourself. If it's about helping him, often people are put off by the stigma of a personality disorder rather than inspired to go check it out. But you know him more than we do. Even getting help for PTSD would help since there are some similarities and cross-over traits between BPD and Complex PTSD.

But he has to want to get help for himself.
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2014, 03:39:54 PM »

"Telling him will be something you do for YOU, not for him. The reasons for his behavior don't matter as much as him coming to a realization that he's lost a really great person because of things he did, and then pursuing help to change those things."

Elpis

The person that I was with was not in anyway capable of that.   She got into a relationship behind my back, pulled the pedestal out from underneath me and inserted it under her new object of worship and ran off to him a week before Christmas, saying that there was no one else in her life. I was painted black as soon as the new knight entered the room. (whenever that was I will never know). I would be chasing windmills to think to myself or to try to convince my ex that she has "discarded" a really great person.  Not going to happen. What she thinks is none of my business. I just keep the focus on me.  I'm all I have!    Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2014, 03:58:21 PM »

Infared,

You're so right about so many of our BPD relationships! Most don't have that capacity for clarity like Faith mentioned her ex having. I know my husband doesn't seem to have the capacity either. I guess my thought was more about the fact that our ex won't change until they come to some sort of realization that they've screwed up. Many won't. They'll just go on believing their faulty thinking is true, and it was really all our fault. But it boils down to the fact that WE cannot change THEM, that part's on them.

And you're so right, all we have is ourselves, and that's where we need to focus. That's been hard for me to learn. I was married 38 years and I'm the one who chose to leave in order to find some healing of my very bruised soul. It's been a weird dance with myself learning that I can only control what I do. I was so very used to trying to "manage" my uBPDh's emotions, if that makes sense. Trying to keep the holidays pleasant, that sort of thing. It's only been the past 2 years that I was able to pull back and let him have his dark little holiday tantrum and not intervene "for the sake of the family." It's been really hard for me to accept that he gets to feel however he wants to feel and act however he wants to act. But i'm trying. My h's moments of insight have been few and far between, and he always goes back to what's comfortable, which is being the cranky, complaining, self-centered dude he turned into, where everything is somebody or something else's fault.

And i'm so sorry for the ugly stuff you had to go through--so awful. And that's a part of this BPD puzzle I can't possibly understand the feelings of, that being disposable and all that must do to your head. And you're right, we have to work on ourselves. SO MUCH TO LEARN AND SO LITTLE TIME!  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2014, 04:06:40 PM »

My ex has a diagnosis from a professional.  He received this diagnosis during an "off" time for us at an early stage of our relationship - at least, I think that's when he had finally decided to go to therapy.  He was very vague about when he was diagnosed, but, not surprisingly, he is in strong denial and believes that all therapists and therapy in general are the most horrible thing on this planet... .aside from me, of course 

I was willing to work with him, his diagnosis and his recovery, because I did believe him and believe in him.  He, however, does not feel the same way as myself.

All I can do is shrug it out.  His loss... .
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« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2014, 05:05:17 PM »

Infared,

You're so right about so many of our BPD relationships! Most don't have that capacity for clarity like Faith mentioned her ex having. I know my husband doesn't seem to have the capacity either. I guess my thought was more about the fact that our ex won't change until they come to some sort of realization that they've screwed up. Many won't. They'll just go on believing their faulty thinking is true, and it was really all our fault. But it boils down to the fact that WE cannot change THEM, that part's on them.

And you're so right, all we have is ourselves, and that's where we need to focus. That's been hard for me to learn. I was married 38 years and I'm the one who chose to leave in order to find some healing of my very bruised soul. It's been a weird dance with myself learning that I can only control what I do. I was so very used to trying to "manage" my uBPDh's emotions, if that makes sense. Trying to keep the holidays pleasant, that sort of thing. It's only been the past 2 years that I was able to pull back and let him have his dark little holiday tantrum and not intervene "for the sake of the family." It's been really hard for me to accept that he gets to feel however he wants to feel and act however he wants to act. But i'm trying. My h's moments of insight have been few and far between, and he always goes back to what's comfortable, which is being the cranky, complaining, self-centered dude he turned into, where everything is somebody or something else's fault.

And i'm so sorry for the ugly stuff you had to go through--so awful. And that's a part of this BPD puzzle I can't possibly understand the feelings of, that being disposable and all that must do to your head. And you're right, we have to work on ourselves. SO MUCH TO LEARN AND SO LITTLE TIME!  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Yes, yes and YES! LOL!  I don't like to throw the word co-dependent around as it is an over-used and misunderstood.  ... .but I think it's pretty clear these relationships with pwBPD are unhealthy.  ... .and the nature of the pwBPD makes the relationships ripe for co-dependency in a real unhealthy way. I know mine was and I was definitely not healthy either. She was boosting my self-esteem in an unhealthy way(something that I need to do on my own), and I was in full rescue mode. What a man I was.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) LOL!  I have been single since then except for a short 9-month relationship that I ended... and have gone to therapy, group therapy and self help groups to work on my stuff. I may never embark on another relationship... .just keep trying to get comfortable in my own skin.

Being friends with someone that I suffered through a dysfunctional mess with, especially when the other person sees no problem with their behavior, just isn't a good idea for my recovery and healing.  That's just my take on my situation, though.

I just wanted to ad that the short relationship that I ended I was able to remain friends with that person, as we had an adult break-up where we discussed things and let some time go by before the friends stuff. I wasn't' the ugly dishonest abandonment (that my ex called a break-up) that was the ending of my relationship with my pwBPD. Kind of impossible to be friends with a person who treated me and our relationship like that!
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« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2014, 05:26:34 PM »

Elpis - 38 years, wow! You are a strong person to work up the courage and confidence to finally leave! Good for you.

I'm a talker, too. I would always try to explain myself when I thought there was a misunderstanding (which I realize now they are inevitable due to the disorder) The biggest mistake I made in the relationship was not setting boundaries. I didn't know how important they are in dealing with someone with this disorder until I began my researching, which wasn't until a month before the relationship ended. I know I cannot blame myself for not knowing and I realize that even if I had set boundaries, the relationship still would have failed, just maybe a little sooner.

I think you're right that it would be something I did for myself. Like I said, regardless of how he reacts to it I think I will feel better for having brought it to his attention. I wouldn't have guessed in a million years the problem behind his behaviors was a personality disorder, and he may not either. PTSD was my best guess and the only thing that put that in my mind is he mentioned that his ex thought he had it. Personality disorders don't get nearly enough attention. After all I have learned I think they're responsible for a lot of wrongdoings in this world... .and what's most sad is that a lot of these disorders stem from poor parenting.
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« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2014, 01:37:49 AM »

Like others have said, the problem is that the disorder is their personality.

I don't think can be said enough. I think it's a problem that we keep viewing personality disorders as if they were diseases. We keep imagining that the pwBPD is a once healthy person that has at some point become "ill" and that can be reverted to the original "good" condition.

I read hundreds of posts here of "nons" who believe exactly this, and I am afraid they are wasting their time.

I think this view comes from the notion that people are essentialy good, combined with the fact that BPD is treated by psychiatry as if it was cureable condition. You have to talk to an awful lot of people before someone even hints at the truth - that the patient IS the illness.

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« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2014, 02:32:25 AM »

My ex admitted ONE time only that he knows he doesn't think the way other people think. He said if anyone could get into his mind, they would lock him up and throw away the key.

He could go from the nicest guy to a raging lunatic as fast as lightening strikes. Anything real or imagined could set him off. Lies and denial were his middle names and nothing or nobody could fix it.

He knew and he didn't care; it was his personality and he was happy that way.

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« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2014, 03:42:59 AM »

All I have to say is, when we broke up and I was moving things out, her parents were present and were very affectionate to me (I respected them a lot despite their blindness/enabling), my parents were nowhere to be found.

Later that night we had a true heart-to-heart (the ugliness and blame placing would occur days later) where we both admitted our shortcoming and came as close to closure as we ever came in this complicated relationship.

I think she knew something was wrong, but unfortunately the nature of the disorder is to place blame outwards; self-awareness is very rare.  I remember a few arguments that were going nowhere where I would try to frame the argument from her POV and it was _still_ empty talk.  If you want to free yourself, accept the hate hate hate as bad as it may be (your true peeps(FAMILY & FRIENDS!) will know whats up and will have known whats up since the beginnings!) and get a hobby/purpose/anything that moves your forward and away from the feelings of having thiis person as the most near person in your life.  Exercise, moving in with friends (much better than parents because they are usually going/have gone through the same ___ as you!), going back to school, reconnecting with your former children/family.  Whatever gets you away from the negativity is most important.
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« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2014, 03:50:36 AM »

Like others have said, the problem is that the disorder is their personality.

I don't think can be said enough. I think it's a problem that we keep viewing personality disorders as if they were diseases. We keep imagining that the pwBPD is a once healthy person that has at some point become "ill" and that can be reverted to the original "good" condition.

I read hundreds of posts here of "nons" who believe exactly this, and I am afraid they are wasting their time.

I think this view comes from the notion that people are essentialy good, combined with the fact that BPD is treated by psychiatry as if it was cureable condition. You have to talk to an awful lot of people before someone even hints at the truth - that the patient IS the illness.

For me, this realization has given me a lot of peace, acceptance, and empathy.

It's like when we wonder things like, "which was the real him/her?" The truth is that it's all the real person. This is who they are. There's no "lost, scared little child" trapped inside just waiting to be rescued, while the Rager or the Casanova/Siren or the Waif or whatever possesses them. The splitting, gaslighting, push/pull, triangulation, etc., aren't just bad habits. This is their personality, which has been developing since birth, shaped by their experiences, and which is unlikely to change in any significant way now.

They are, like all of us, who they are. It's neither good nor bad -- it just is what it is.

In any sort of relationship, you have to evaluate whether or not you find the other person's personality compatible with yours. This can be problematic in the case of PDs, where we want to latch on to certain aspects as the "real" personality while denying other aspects. And that really doesn't seem fair to anyone involved.
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« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2014, 05:17:59 AM »

A mental health nurse I dated and who worked with many PD's explained it as follows:  it is like a flint in front of your eye - you have it but can't see it.
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« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2014, 12:45:54 AM »

The truth is that there are some very successfully healing people with BPD, some of whom have teaching workshops etc. here on the site. I don't know the success rate of therapy for pwBPD, but I know it can happen.

Whether or not it stems from a personality disorder doesn't seem to be as crucial as the person somehow coming to the realization that their life is not working the way they're approaching it, and then pursuing healing through various possible types of therapy. I have Complex PTSD and much the same as a person with BPD, I had a very faulty belief system based on the rules etc I made up as a child to deal with the crazy dysfunction at home. Those beliefs have been challenged in therapy and that's why I've finally been able to change my living situation with an undiagnosed but likely BPD husband of several decades.

I guess I have a concern that it's easy for those of us who have been badly wounded by someone suffering from BPD to demonize the disorder. (Not like i'm gonna go out and look for somebody new with the disorder!) For me the bigger question has been why did i allow myself to be abused by someone at all? That has brought me a lot of clarity and a lot of healing.

I know it helps to know that's just how they're wired. I tried to make use of that truth while I was still in the marriage. It was still so hard for me to not take things personally when they felt aimed directly at my heart. And yet I stayed for years and years... . 

Surely it depends on the individual, but some of the best knowledge and information we have on BPD has been contributed by someone who has had BPD, in fact I believe that Dialectical Behavior Therapy was developed by someone who had BPD but who sought healing and a way to help others suffering from BPD.

Mental health is such a many-layered issue... .

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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2014, 04:44:42 AM »

The truth is that there are some very successfully healing people with BPD, some of whom have teaching workshops etc. here on the site. I don't know the success rate of therapy for pwBPD, but I know it can happen.

Whether or not it stems from a personality disorder doesn't seem to be as crucial as the person somehow coming to the realization that their life is not working the way they're approaching it, and then pursuing healing through various possible types of therapy. I have Complex PTSD and much the same as a person with BPD, I had a very faulty belief system based on the rules etc I made up as a child to deal with the crazy dysfunction at home. Those beliefs have been challenged in therapy and that's why I've finally been able to change my living situation with an undiagnosed but likely BPD husband of several decades.

What I think is important to realise (at leas in the context of a romantic relationship) is that in the case of BPD a person who goes through therapy is doing so in order to create something that was not there to begin with (a new belief system). The "healing" metaphor can be misleading because it makes the partner think that the disorder will be removed and that the "good" person will become visible.

I suppose it is a lot like alcoholics/addicts that go through the 12 step programme. Old friends meet them with suspicion and can even think they have been "brainwashed" because they don't seem like their old selves any more, but the thing is that the "old self" was the problem. The insufficient self that had do be improved upon.

An added layer, not a peeled off one.

The difference is not academic, because as a non it is very likely that you are in love with BPD aspects of your partner and you are having hopes of having them back. You may think that they are "good sides" but they are not.

What is the nons motivation for staying and supporting her/him through therapy? They know they will lose what they love and they don't know what will come out on the other side. If they're informed that is. If they stay, it's more likely because they're not informed.

Regarding success stories - apart from anechdotal ones - I have been told that DBT has been successfull in decreasing self injury and hospitalisations, but not that it helps a pwBPD to have better interpersonal relationships.
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« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2014, 09:19:13 PM »

I know it's silly of me to argue the point on the Leaving Board, since we're clearly here because our particular relationships DIDN'T work out. But BPD varies from person to person, and Marsha Lineman who developed DBT is a BPD sufferer herself.

My personal choice is to not stick around forever to wait to see if my uBPDh ever "sees the light." 38 years seems adequate, and it's been too brutal for me emotionally, and I have gone through the Staying and Undecided boards. I've tried to do my part, he's just not interested in losing any control of the situation which is what he seems to feel. But while on the Staying board I saw a lot of relationships where BOTH were willing to work on the relationship, and that seems to be the magic.

And going back to the very beginning and the original topic, my uBPDh read my personal journal stuff on my computer and saw that I thought he might have BPD. The response was not positive, he clearly sees that possibility as a personal attack. I don't think he's gonna be one of the pwBPD who are interested in working on building a relationship that's positive for both parties concerned. That actually makes me sad, he has some good qualities, he just refuses to use them with me.
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« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2014, 10:35:40 PM »

DO NOT tell them!  It will backfire.  "Splitting" by Randi Kreger and countless other sources I have read recommend AGAINST telling someone they are disordered.

I do believe that most disordered persons are fully aware that they are quite a different breed - but also live in a place of superiority…resting largely and comfortably in the notion that EVERYONE around them has a problem.  It's all quite disturbing.

As for your questions, I found out about BPD, drug addiction, and criminal behavior while my uBPD/ASPDexH was essentially splitting.  It was like a landfall of hell.

No matter what is wrong with any of us, we have to hit the point where we say "this isn't working, my relationships aren't working," etc. and then not only desire to change things but actually get help and start working toward change.

Nothing you say will help. Especially when that other person believes they're the one in the right anyway, cuz what could you possibly offer them?

The general understanding in the case of should I/shouldn't I tell them is that since we can only change one person--ourselves--we need to work on us and let the other guy come to his own conclusions. So if you were still in the relationship you would work on your own responses and learn tools to communicate better, etc. You'd still be able to communicate what you felt wasn't working in the relationship and then you'd see where that went and make your choices about the relationship based on those things. But the other guy has to realize they need to make changes on their own.

Really that's a blessing, we don't have to carry the burden of everyone else's relationships and lives around on our shoulders, and like was mentioned, telling someone with BPD that you think they have it will pretty much never turn out to be a positive experience. (sadly!) I've been the fixer type for years and years, and the problem is you can waste a lot of time and energy on somebody who doesn't even want to be fixed... .did it with my mother, did it with my husband. Did it with a couple of friends. How many times did I make a difference? 0. Bummer.

Hi Faith1520,

I have to agree to not tell and work on your co-dependency.

I can tell you have compassion and empathy. Put yourself in his shoes.

BPD is a part of his personality. Think about how ingrained your personality is and to change that. After all, your personality is what makes you the person that you are?

His reality is as real to him as your reality is as real to you. Think about that. This is how he interprets the world and people.

That said. How would your T and you feel if a loved one told you you are mentally ill? Would it trigger resentment, anger, audacity? More harm than good possibly. It's not a chance I'd take. He has to know there's something off inside and have the desire to change it.

You may worsen the symptoms by telling him. I suggest letting your heart catch up with your head and revisit your thoughts then. Learn as much as you can by getting your hands on material about BPD. Gunderson and Masterson are good starts if you're inclined. He's a person that's simply wired differently. Feelings are facts. Not facts followed by feelings.

Thanks for sharing. I hope that helps.
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« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2014, 04:09:15 AM »

The truth is that it's all the real person. This is who they are.

^^this

personality disorder is actually a bit of a misnomer... .more accurately, it is a disordered personality
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« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2014, 12:39:48 PM »

It's the way they view the world and themselves and others around them, from a point of needing to protect themselves. Pretty difficult to have a reciprocal relationship unless both partners are using the same "rules" of social interaction.
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« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2014, 06:01:11 PM »

IMO whether they are diagnosed or not, most lack the serious insight that is crucial to truly understanding that their behaviors have devastated others and prohibited quality relationships for themselves.  Everything that has gone wrong in their lives is someone else's fault.  This truth remains a constant regardless of age.  Age may slow their ability to manipulate, but they do not miraculously GROW insight even though their bodies and minds begin to fail them in old age.  Some are simply cruel to the bitter end.

I have an uBPD parent in nursing home who has to be fed and changed but still finds the ability to be incredibly mean to those tending to her needs.  She either denies just having cursed at the workers or makes up outlandish lies about what they did or didn't do to create a distraction about my questioning her cruel behavior.  It's mind boggling to me that she can be almost as cruel and manipulative of an invalid as she was when she was younger and completely independent.

PDs will leave me SMH for a lifetime.
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« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2014, 11:55:18 PM »

Thanks again everyone for your input. I decided not to mention it to him. Mostly because I fear he would retaliate with more hateful text messages. Each time I deal with a hurtful rage my healing process has to start over again. At this point it's been almost 2weeks of NC and I really want to keep it that way. Last thing I need is another coat of black paint.
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« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2014, 11:57:28 PM »

Whether or not it stems from a personality disorder doesn't seem to be as crucial as the person somehow coming to the realization that their life is not working the way they're approaching it, and then pursuing healing through various possible types of therapy.

This, completely.

That's why I say their personality is unlikely to change in any significant way, simply because it's difficult in general for people to do so. It takes a lot of hard, unpleasant work. I definitely believe it's possible for people with BPD to undergo even dramatic changes. However, I think it's more likely that they (like most people) won't do so, but we can all learn better coping skills and healthier habits and ways of thinking.

I guess I have a concern that it's easy for those of us who have been badly wounded by someone suffering from BPD to demonize the disorder. (Not like i'm gonna go out and look for somebody new with the disorder!) For me the bigger question has been why did i allow myself to be abused by someone at all? That has brought me a lot of clarity and a lot of healing.

Again, this. The most important thing is to focus on ourselves, our roles in this, what needs the relationship was fulfilling... .only this way can we learn the truths that our selves are trying to tell us.

I agree that we shouldn't demonize the disorder. Radical acceptance is the key to peace.  
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« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2014, 10:34:36 AM »

Reading all your comments here... .wow. As if almost ALL of you knew my ex-BPD-girlfriend... .

One question to you: What do you think happens to all these BPD-women when they get older? When they can´t get any more "supply" by seducing and manipulating and cheating... .because simply nobody cares about them anymore?

This is sweeping generalization on my part, but I find a bit of peace knowing this... .

My Exs grand mother was a bitter woman whos husband left her in the early 80s. He never returned and most of her children stopped visiting. She died a horrible and lonely death just a couple months ago. Couldn't tell you if she had BPD or not I just know she was a miserable person that was filled with hate for just about everyone.

My Ex Mother In Law is the same way. Miserable and spiteful. She is alone and miserable as well. Only my Ex visits regularly and commiserate about me or so I am told. Her two sons never come around. Her second husband bought another house under the pretense of purchasing a rental. Then dropped the bomb on her that he wanted a divorce. He gave her the new house, the old car, paid alimony and child support willingly to get rid of her.

My general understanding is they either die alone and miserable or they decimate the one they are living with until both are bitter and hateful.
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« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2014, 10:28:24 PM »

I thought mine was diagnosed, although she never admitted it to me.

Lots of hints including the use of T words like acting out, co-dependency, ranting. Never heard any former healthy partners use those words before.

She once said she was 'heaps better than she used to be' when she was upset about something minor I had said. I didn't really understand what that meant at the time, and didn't ask either (eggshells). Quite a give-away tattoo.

Described herself as 'emo', said she couldn't talk about things, couldn't commit to a long-term relationship (said that right up front).

Very defensive about vulnerabilities - would never ever discuss it and would get angry if I tried.

Said she couldn't change.

I guess she didn't feel comfortable telling me she had it. I can't really imagine how hard it would be disclosing that to someone you want to have a relationship with. Although after we broke up I was a annoyed about that. If I was going out with someone who had an STD, I would really want to know. Not telling is a big breach of trust and puts your own health at risk.

With BPD, I feel like it's the same - if they know and don't tell, then that is a big breach of trust and puts your own (mental) and sadly, sometimes physical health at risk.

I wish she had told me - then I would have at least put some effort into understanding why in the heck she couldn't respond to things in a normal, healthy way, instead of just feeling confused and hurt and perplexed about her behaviour. At least then I would have known what to expect rather than going through that what the heck feeling with the way she treated me.

On that point, if they don't know, or even if they do, I think it probably takes a massive life crisis for them to be motivated enough to do anything about it.

Mine knew and seemed to hint at having done some work, at some point (I think after her l/t relationship broke up), but I don't believe that work was ongoing.

Mine was very high-functioning, has a well-paying job, houses, lots of enabler friends, so not much motivation to do anything more about it and I don't think ever will, unless she experiences another major crisis in her life. Maybe the death of a relative, or an incident related to her alcohol abuse, maybe this time she might get a sexual harassment claim lodged against her (last time there was an incident but the other person did not lodge a claim). I don't wish any of those things on her.

Out of compassion and as much as we would not like to see it, they deserve a happy life too but it mostly evades them.

It took us nons the crisis of being smashed from a BPD relationship to face our own issues, although relationship issues I think are not a topic that would cause a BPD to seek therapy or other help. I think it takes a major major incident that affects all parts of their lives to actually act on their issues, or to seek the knowledge about why that crash happened. Even then, it takes YEARS of work from them. That is something that evades most of them sadly.
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« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2014, 08:00:03 PM »

Excerpt
Is your ex person w/BPD aware they have the disorder? If so, how did they react to the diagnosis? Are they dealing with it or in denial?

I really feel uBPDxbf is aware. It never dawned on me throughout the relationship  until now. The things he would say such as :



  • "I'm not normal"


  • ":)o you think I am normal"


  • "What is considered normal"


  • "My thoughts take over and I am always deep in my thoughts, at times I think I am cursed"


  • "I will always be alone"




After several arguments I mentioned to him that he has the characteristics of someone with BPD and he laughed and lashed out saying I'm not a certified therapist to diagnose him. Then later he claimed he seen a therapist in the past and he has no mental issue only PTSD and anger issues. First time ever hearing this. Later I asked him about the PTSD using the abbreviation and he asked me what was that. So clearing I think he was diagnosed with something else but doesn't want to tell me.

Excerpt
If not, when did you discover they have it and have you considered telling them?

I didn't discover anything was wrong until 3 weeks ago. I started reading about this disorder and all the traits fits the experiences I have encountered with him. Matter of fact he seems that he has both BPD and NPD. Just a total mess!
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peiper
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2014, 08:35:42 PM »

I know mine did. I told her my T suspected she was. She got a strange look on her face and ignored the comment.
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downwhim
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« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2014, 09:29:01 PM »

My ex admitted there was something wrong with him once... .yes, once. The rest of the time everything was MY fault. He could rage at the poor guy fixing his car but somehow the rage always came back at me. To take responsibility is not part of the disorder. Your the problem, its all about you... .so many times I heard how bad I was that my self esteem hit an all time low so now it is my job to build it back up and erase the damage as best I can. I know it will take awhile.
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billypilgrim
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Separated since 10/2014. Divorce will be finalized 10/2015.
Posts: 266


« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2014, 10:03:46 PM »

Reading all your comments here... .wow. As if almost ALL of you knew my ex-BPD-girlfriend... .

One question to you: What do you think happens to all these BPD-women when they get older? When they can´t get any more "supply" by seducing and manipulating and cheating... .because simply nobody cares about them anymore?

Not sure.  My exBPD's grandmother killed herself with an overdose of pain medication.  My ex's mother (who is diagnosed) is the same as she's always been, she seems to always find people who "care."

As to whether or not my ex knows, I think she has some sort of awareness that she has something going on internally.  2 weeks before she left, she said she wanted to see the same psychiatrist her mother sees (  ).  I know she's been going but I have no idea as to whether or not she's been officially diagnosed.  My T is convinced that she is BPD with NPD traits.  I think my ex probably thinks I made her that way.
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Infared
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1763


« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2014, 10:59:21 PM »

Reading all your comments here... .wow. As if almost ALL of you knew my ex-BPD-girlfriend... .

One question to you: What do you think happens to all these BPD-women when they get older? When they can´t get any more "supply" by seducing and manipulating and cheating... .because simply nobody cares about them anymore?

Not sure.  My exBPD's grandmother killed herself with an overdose of pain medication.  My ex's mother (who is diagnosed) is the same as she's always been, she seems to always find people who "care."

As to whether or not my ex knows, I think she has some sort of awareness that she has something going on internally.  2 weeks before she left, she said she wanted to see the same psychiatrist her mother sees (  ).  I know she's been going but I have no idea as to whether or not she's been officially diagnosed.  My T is convinced that she is BPD with NPD traits.  I think my ex probably thinks I made her that way.

Well... now Billy P. ... .she has to blame someone, doesn't she!   
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