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Author Topic: Is he/she aware?  (Read 12736 times)
WhatTheFrank
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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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MrConfusedWithItAll
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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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hergestridge
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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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Mutt
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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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antelope
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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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Elpis
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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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Hope0807
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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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Faith1520
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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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HappyNihilist
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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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LeftSidePain

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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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parisian
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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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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