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Author Topic: One BPD women's perspective on "control" and "vulnerability"  (Read 7099 times)
jammo1989
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« on: January 20, 2015, 02:24:38 PM »



Been asking a BPD woman about why they punish their partners, and this was her response:

I wanted to hurt the guy that I've been falling for only because he makes me feel crazy. It feels like he controls my emotions because of how much I truly am into him. Whenever I don't have control, I feel vulnerable. And whenever I feel vulnerable, I have a major urge to get rid of that feeling. I feel like hurting someone will make me stop the emotions I have towards that person, even it probably won't work. I feel like if I emotionally damage him, than my feelings towards him won't be as strong and I won't feel vulnerable and I'll feel that I have control. I know this sounds terrible but I always feel better whenever I imagine all of the ways I could hurt his heart.

This may come across as evil and vindictive, but from the words of a diagnosed sufferer it can help us NONs to understand that yes, CONTROL is the desired outcome, but it also allows us to understand why punishment and cutting loved ones out of their life is used from their perspective.

Hope this helps guys

Take care 
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Tim300
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 02:32:31 PM »

This is very interesting and helpful.  Thank you.

It seems like as the relationship with a pwBPD gets closer and closer the love/hate pendulum just swings further and further in each direction. 

I definitely felt like I was "destroying" my ex in some ways by living with her.  The anxiety she had about me was just nuts.  At times it was like if I glanced out the window she might fear I was plotting to leave her.  It's like my presence, in and of itself, was torturing her.  She would say that she couldn't believe that she had me.  It was like she didn't have control, and she is someone who lives for control -- no wonder that she cut me out.
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CloseToFreedom
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 02:33:13 PM »

Good stuff, not surprising at all.

After our 10th and last break up, she basically admitted in an email exchange (that was filled with hate towards me) that she needed to hate me. Her words were: "I hate you because it helps. It is better than falling in love again and believing your lies."

My lies. Sure. That's why I was always faithful.

Anyway, they need to split us black, to get on with their life.
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Tim300
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 02:34:54 PM »

My lies. Sure.

They just cannot trust.   
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fred6
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 04:58:53 PM »

My ex definitely had the control/fake independence thing down. But she had such low self esteem and opinion of herself that it seems like she looked down on me for loving her. It's almost like she thought, "If I'm so messed up and he loves me, then he must really be messed up". That's the impression I got at the very end
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saintjude

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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2015, 05:07:31 PM »

My ex definitely had the control/fake independence thing down. But she had such low self esteem and opinion of herself that it seems like she looked down on me for loving her. It's almost like she thought, "If I'm so messed up and he loves me, then he must really be messed up". That's the impression I got at the very end

fred6, I can relate.

Mine would say, "If you stay then something must be wrong with you, if you leave its proof that something must be wrong with me"

The possibility for a good outcome was pretty much non-existent.
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Tim300
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 05:26:38 PM »

My ex definitely had the control/fake independence thing down. But she had such low self esteem and opinion of herself that it seems like she looked down on me for loving her. It's almost like she thought, "If I'm so messed up and he loves me, then he must really be messed up". That's the impression I got at the very end

Yeah, near the end, mine said, "How can you still be with me?  What is wrong with you!"  She said this in the morning after the night she physically attacked me.  I tried to explain to her that I loved her unconditionally -- but I don't think she can process that, or she simply puts no value on that.  It's a no win situation.
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fred6
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 05:37:28 PM »

My ex never actually said anything to indicate that. It's just the impression or gut feeling that I had by the way she acted. However, a couple weeks before I moved out she did say, "You'll be better off". While I'm thinking, Yeah, thanks for making that decision for me.
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AwakenedOne
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 08:17:22 PM »

I have somewhat of a different opinion on the value of learning from what a pwBPD on the internet tells us regarding their failed relationships and why they acted the way that they did. If you talk to a thousand different people with BPD your might get a thousand different reasons why they do anything. A.J. Mahari is a cured pwBPD. Listening to her seems productive. She's on the other side of it all, recovered and clear headed. 

What I went through with my wife would certainly qualify as purposeful punishment. I tried to match up what this person says here in your quote with what I know about my wife of 4 years but it just doesn't synch. I do believe control is a huge issue though in general with pwBPD. I was called controlling by her which was in my opinion projection.

Another thing, listening to someone with a mental disorder giving a point of view on why they do what they do can be interesting but does it translate into something we nons can even understand? If you are a psychiatrist you might be able to sift through what you are being told by them and translate it into something sensible.
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JRT
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 09:30:03 PM »

This to me makes total sense... .about the most sense (if you want to call it that) regarding my b/u. In my relationship, there was zero acrimony... .no fights or arguments at all... .I took care of her and did small and thoughtful things to make her happy... .her family and friends were impressed and she shared their compliments with me as well as hers... .this was sustained over 2 years and I felt very good to support her (and her son, that part was NOT easy) and give of myself - if felt very good to do and I was completely happy.

She disappeared without warning, there was no incident or fight... .the only notification I got was an angry text telling me it was over, that she moved out and that I should not try to contact her... .I have not spoke to her since then but there has been SOME interaction between us via third parties and she is PISSED OFF! She called the cops and a lawyer to threaten a PPO when I did bypass her phone block from a hotel I was staying at. For the past 4 months I have struggled to better understand where the anger is coming from and the only thing that makes sense is the original post to this thread. I consider this post as one of my missing jigsaw pieces, thank you. She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

I'm an urban explorer among other things. We took her into an abandoned High School to check it out when I first started to date her. The uncertainty and loss of environmental control did something that actually scared me a little bit. Its hard to describe but it was almost as if she were about to shatter into a million pieces... .she was close to hyperventilating and complete breakdown. I wonder if that is what happens when I try to contact her now.

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?
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Tim300
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2015, 09:51:18 PM »

She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?

Yes, the anger is just a coping mechanism.  If she was indifferent she wouldn't care.

I don't think her issues will go away with therapy.  I've read a bunch on DBT, etc., and I'm not optimistic about it.  My BPDex-fiancee was doing it and it didn't save us.  

I will say that I had a breakup very similar to yours with a girl I dated seriously before by BPDex-fiancee.  (Although we were not engaged or anything.)  I had only dated the girl for a few months.  She wanted me to spend more time with her but I told her that I had to study.  She responded with extreme anger and refused to communicate with me or even look at me at all straight through graduation (we were in a small grad school program together).  I had no idea what the heck was happening, but now I believe it to be BPD (she also had some other odd behavior).  She was very physically stunning, so I thought maybe she wasn't used to a guy saying No before -- but I still couldn't make sense of the degree of anger and the refusal to be friends/cordial, especially when I even said I would be open to dating again if that's what she wanted.  I emailed her so many times to try to reconcile and explain that whatever she was angry about must be a misunderstanding.  Her NC with me just absolutely crushed me, as I'm used to getting along with everyone and keeping in touch with many people.  Then after we graduated I gave it a rest for like 1.5 years.  Then I sent her an email one day and she responded cordially.  Now I email her once a year around January 1st and she responds with a short "Thank you for reaching out. [and a couple additional nice sentences]."  It brings me great relief to have LC with her (I still have her blocked on FB).  Now that I've learned about BPD I feel very sorry for her.  Fortunately, I am not afraid of her b/c she lives on another continent and I am not vulnerable to her in any significant way really.  I'll always email her once a year.  But it's definitely NC with my BPDex-fiancee, who I fear greatly.  My point is that if you are not afraid of her, you might be able to achieve LC one day, but that could be years away, and I wouldn't worry about it one way or another.
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Tim300
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 09:53:42 PM »

[delete -sorry, didn't hit the wrong button]
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JRT
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 11:27:18 PM »

She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?

Yes, the anger is just a coping mechanism.  If she was indifferent she wouldn't care.

I don't think her issues will go away with therapy.  I've read a bunch on DBT, etc., and I'm not optimistic about it.  My BPDex-fiancee was doing it and it didn't save us.  

I will say that I had a breakup very similar to yours with a girl I dated seriously before by BPDex-fiancee.  (Although we were not engaged or anything.)  I had only dated the girl for a few months.  She wanted me to spend more time with her but I told her that I had to study.  She responded with extreme anger and refused to communicate with me or even look at me at all straight through graduation (we were in a small grad school program together).  I had no idea what the heck was happening, but now I believe it to be BPD (she also had some other odd behavior).  She was very physically stunning, so I thought maybe she wasn't used to a guy saying No before -- but I still couldn't make sense of the degree of anger and the refusal to be friends/cordial, especially when I even said I would be open to dating again if that's what she wanted.  I emailed her so many times to try to reconcile and explain that whatever she was angry about must be a misunderstanding.  Her NC with me just absolutely crushed me, as I'm used to getting along with everyone and keeping in touch with many people.  Then after we graduated I gave it a rest for like 1.5 years.  Then I sent her an email one day and she responded cordially.  Now I email her once a year around January 1st and she responds with a short "Thank you for reaching out. [and a couple additional nice sentences]."  It brings me great relief to have LC with her (I still have her blocked on FB).  Now that I've learned about BPD I feel very sorry for her.  Fortunately, I am not afraid of her b/c she lives on another continent and I am not vulnerable to her in any significant way really.  I'll always email her once a year.  But it's definitely NC with my BPDex-fiancee, who I fear greatly.  My point is that if you are not afraid of her, you might be able to achieve LC one day, but that could be years away, and I wouldn't worry about it one way or another.

On previous recycles, it was according to a template X number of day so fo no contact... .me calling and leaving messages and voice mails... .her finally emailing me after I stopped calling her... .then a phone call (she attempting to draw me into a contentious conversation, I successfully resisted and kept calm)... .then a meeting - by her own words, she would tell me after the fact that upon sight of me that 'all was well with the world' and the episode ended there and was never even really discussed. I have been thinking that she was desperately wanting to avoid contact just so it didn't lead to the steps to reconciliation as it did before. Clearly, this b/u can be called an atom bomb in comparison to the firecrackers of earlier in the relationship. Referring to the original post, she must have REALLY been into me!

It seems that you take a pessimistic view of anything good coming of this.
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downwhim
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2015, 11:32:46 PM »

My exBPD fiancé hates my guts and this tread is what I needed. He is a major control freak. He said "I loved you for 8 years, I love you now"... .gone. It was all too much for him. He needs to hate me so he won't fall in love again. It is too much for him to take. I felt this from him and his way of dealing with it in the end was 1) have an affair 2) cut me off physically. It is such crazy making, really all of it is exhausting to even think about let alone feel. Now he has hacked into my computer and following me on a dating site which I got off of because it is too uncomfortable... .yuck. I feel stuck somewhat yet free of the constant anxiety.
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JRT
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2015, 11:40:10 PM »

Sorry to hear that you are going thorugh this... .how long since your b/u?
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hurting300
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2015, 11:46:52 PM »

This to me makes total sense... .about the most sense (if you want to call it that) regarding my b/u. In my relationship, there was zero acrimony... .no fights or arguments at all... .I took care of her and did small and thoughtful things to make her happy... .her family and friends were impressed and she shared their compliments with me as well as hers... .this was sustained over 2 years and I felt very good to support her (and her son, that part was NOT easy) and give of myself - if felt very good to do and I was completely happy.

She disappeared without warning, there was no incident or fight... .the only notification I got was an angry text telling me it was over, that she moved out and that I should not try to contact her... .I have not spoke to her since then but there has been SOME interaction between us via third parties and she is PISSED OFF! She called the cops and a lawyer to threaten a PPO when I did bypass her phone block from a hotel I was staying at. For the past 4 months I have struggled to better understand where the anger is coming from and the only thing that makes sense is the original post to this thread. I consider this post as one of my missing jigsaw pieces, thank you. She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

I'm an urban explorer among other things. We took her into an abandoned High School to check it out when I first started to date her. The uncertainty and loss of environmental control did something that actually scared me a little bit. Its hard to describe but it was almost as if she were about to shatter into a million pieces... .she was close to hyperventilating and complete breakdown. I wonder if that is what happens when I try to contact her now.

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?

The short answer is no. Think of it this way, how hard would it be for you to completely change your PERSONALITY? There is your answer. Very very low rates of recovery. One psychologist noted that by the time a BPD is cured you yourself would be crazy. Source; psychology today.
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In the eye for an eye game, he who cares least, wins. I, for one. am never stepping into the ring with someone who is impulsive and doesn't think of the downstream consequences.
Tim300
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2015, 11:49:40 PM »

She NEEDS anger in order assuage the pain associated with a loss of control and residual vulnerability. Does this sound right?

Is this something that goes away? With therapy?

Yes, the anger is just a coping mechanism.  If she was indifferent she wouldn't care.

I don't think her issues will go away with therapy.  I've read a bunch on DBT, etc., and I'm not optimistic about it.  My BPDex-fiancee was doing it and it didn't save us.  

I will say that I had a breakup very similar to yours with a girl I dated seriously before by BPDex-fiancee.  (Although we were not engaged or anything.)  I had only dated the girl for a few months.  She wanted me to spend more time with her but I told her that I had to study.  She responded with extreme anger and refused to communicate with me or even look at me at all straight through graduation (we were in a small grad school program together).  I had no idea what the heck was happening, but now I believe it to be BPD (she also had some other odd behavior).  She was very physically stunning, so I thought maybe she wasn't used to a guy saying No before -- but I still couldn't make sense of the degree of anger and the refusal to be friends/cordial, especially when I even said I would be open to dating again if that's what she wanted.  I emailed her so many times to try to reconcile and explain that whatever she was angry about must be a misunderstanding.  Her NC with me just absolutely crushed me, as I'm used to getting along with everyone and keeping in touch with many people.  Then after we graduated I gave it a rest for like 1.5 years.  Then I sent her an email one day and she responded cordially.  Now I email her once a year around January 1st and she responds with a short "Thank you for reaching out. [and a couple additional nice sentences]."  It brings me great relief to have LC with her (I still have her blocked on FB).  Now that I've learned about BPD I feel very sorry for her.  Fortunately, I am not afraid of her b/c she lives on another continent and I am not vulnerable to her in any significant way really.  I'll always email her once a year.  But it's definitely NC with my BPDex-fiancee, who I fear greatly.  My point is that if you are not afraid of her, you might be able to achieve LC one day, but that could be years away, and I wouldn't worry about it one way or another.

On previous recycles, it was according to a template X number of day so fo no contact... .me calling and leaving messages and voice mails... .her finally emailing me after I stopped calling her... .then a phone call (she attempting to draw me into a contentious conversation, I successfully resisted and kept calm)... .then a meeting - by her own words, she would tell me after the fact that upon sight of me that 'all was well with the world' and the episode ended there and was never even really discussed. I have been thinking that she was desperately wanting to avoid contact just so it didn't lead to the steps to reconciliation as it did before. Clearly, this b/u can be called an atom bomb in comparison to the firecrackers of earlier in the relationship. Referring to the original post, she must have REALLY been into me!

It seems that you take a pessimistic view of anything good coming of this.

I think you are right.  She can't see you because she is so into you that she knows she'll be swept in again.

As far as me being pessimistic... . I think if you give it some time and get your head around BPD you will lose interest in her.  I mean, at this point, knowing what you know,  is this someone you want to procreate with?
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HappyNihilist
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2015, 12:02:24 AM »

it can help us NONs to understand that yes, CONTROL is the desired outcome

Control is the desired outcome, yes - but not control over the partner. Rather, a pwBPD is seeking control of their own emotions, or at least the power to make the bad feelings stop.

Excerpt
Whenever I don't have control, I feel vulnerable. And whenever I feel vulnerable, I have a major urge to get rid of that feeling. I feel like hurting someone will make me stop the emotions I have towards that person, even it probably won't work.

It's human nature to sometimes get defensive and/or lash out when we feel vulnerable. For most people, however, this vulnerability isn't as intense or frequent as it is for a pwBPD.

75-90% of dBPD patients have attachment disorders. There is often a history of childhood abuse. That feeling of being a vulnerable, helpless child with no control whatsoever of his/her environment and situation gets resurrected when the adult pwBPD feels vulnerable. That's strong, painful stuff.

For their own emotional survival, pwBPD have learned effective (albeit unhealthy) ways to numb the pain. One way is to hurt someone else emotionally. There's a great article called "The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence" by Steve Hein (full article) that explains this defense mechanism: "The survival instinct has programmed humans to attack what is hurting us and to defend ourselves from it. [... .] When the body is in attack mode, it doesn't feel its own pain."

Excerpt
I feel like if I emotionally damage him, than my feelings towards him won't be as strong and I won't feel vulnerable and I'll feel that I have control. I know this sounds terrible but I always feel better whenever I imagine all of the ways I could hurt his heart.

This part seems quite telling to me. Because there's another reason for this punishment - the ex or significant other has become the dumping grounds for all of the pwBPD's "badness." The pwBPD isn't trying to hurt the ex/SO directly, but rather what that ex/SO now represents.

Peter Fonagy, in an article on attachment and BPD, explains the externalization this way--

Maltreatment and difficulty in mentalizing preclude an organic self-image. Internal experience is not met by external understanding. In place of an image corresponding to the constitutional (organic) self, the self-representation will be the representation of another. In some cases, this is not a neutral other but rather a torturing one. This alien representation has to be expelled, not only because it doesn't match the constitutional self, but also because it is persecutory. The consequences for affect regulation are then disastrous.

For the self to be coherent, the alien parts require externalization; they need to be seen as part of the other where they can be hated, denigrated, and often destroyed. The physical other who performs this function must remain present if this complex process if to operate. The borderline can't feel that he is a self unless he has the other present to frighten and intimidate, to seduce and excite, to humiliate and reduce to helplessness.
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JRT
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2015, 12:05:19 AM »

My procreation days are over... .I am 48 years old and she is 44... .but I get the gist... .here is the deal: most of the r/s I read about here were characterized by serious acrimony and abuse... .there was usually cheating, lies and other problems... .

My r/s was not like that at all... .there were problems (recycling of course... .her son -BPD and THEN some... .her internalizing of her thoughts and potential problems... .some other minor issues) but all in all, I was VERY content. We were very compatible... .we had similar interests, values and goals and blah blah blah. The final nuclear b/u came out of the blue and was 10 times worse than any other episode in the past. The thing that took me the most by surprise was the anger... .it certainly was misplaced as I REALLY took care of her and treated her with so much TLC, that it made the buzz with her co workers, friends and family (who knows what they are telling her now that I am P Black). That why I cracked the joke that 'she must have REALLY been into me'.

If she was a rotten pos and abused me ( I have seen examples of these types and I do NOT take kindly to it), I would have had little problem moving on. But I see this relationship almost as salvageable; what do you do in a situation you were happy?  There are things that need to be worked on especially breaking up, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).

This sucks!
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2015, 12:10:51 AM »

it can help us NONs to understand that yes, CONTROL is the desired outcome

Control is the desired outcome, yes - but not control over the partner. Rather, a pwBPD is seeking control of their own emotions, or at least the power to make the bad feelings stop.

Excerpt
Whenever I don't have control, I feel vulnerable. And whenever I feel vulnerable, I have a major urge to get rid of that feeling. I feel like hurting someone will make me stop the emotions I have towards that person, even it probably won't work.

It's human nature to sometimes get defensive and/or lash out when we feel vulnerable. For most people, however, this vulnerability isn't as intense or frequent as it is for a pwBPD.

75-90% of dBPD patients have attachment disorders. There is often a history of childhood abuse. That feeling of being a vulnerable, helpless child with no control whatsoever of his/her environment and situation gets resurrected when the adult pwBPD feels vulnerable. That's strong, painful stuff.

For their own emotional survival, pwBPD have learned effective (albeit unhealthy) ways to numb the pain. One way is to hurt someone else emotionally. There's a great article called "The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence" by Steve Hein (full article) that explains this defense mechanism: "The survival instinct has programmed humans to attack what is hurting us and to defend ourselves from it. [... .] When the body is in attack mode, it doesn't feel its own pain."

Excerpt
I feel like if I emotionally damage him, than my feelings towards him won't be as strong and I won't feel vulnerable and I'll feel that I have control. I know this sounds terrible but I always feel better whenever I imagine all of the ways I could hurt his heart.

This part seems quite telling to me. Because there's another reason for this punishment - the ex or significant other has become the dumping grounds for all of the pwBPD's "badness." The pwBPD isn't trying to hurt the ex/SO directly, but rather what that ex/SO now represents.

Peter Fonagy, in an article on attachment and BPD, explains the externalization this way--

Maltreatment and difficulty in mentalizing preclude an organic self-image. Internal experience is not met by external understanding. In place of an image corresponding to the constitutional (organic) self, the self-representation will be the representation of another. In some cases, this is not a neutral other but rather a torturing one. This alien representation has to be expelled, not only because it doesn't match the constitutional self, but also because it is persecutory. The consequences for affect regulation are then disastrous.

For the self to be coherent, the alien parts require externalization; they need to be seen as part of the other where they can be hated, denigrated, and often destroyed. The physical other who performs this function must remain present if this complex process if to operate. The borderline can't feel that he is a self unless he has the other present to frighten and intimidate, to seduce and excite, to humiliate and reduce to helplessness.

So inflicting pain, seducing, exciting, etc. gives them the sense of being? A negation of the emptiness that they feel up until they bring a SO/target into their life close enough so that they can 'come alive'?

So why do they direct this anger at a SO? Why not make them their rock? The SO is usually willing. Why not just be a bully, say for example? What could have caused mine to hurt who was by all accounts including her own, very content?
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2015, 12:55:08 AM »

So inflicting pain, seducing, exciting, etc. gives them the sense of being? A negation of the emptiness that they feel up until they bring a SO/target into their life close enough so that they can 'come alive'?

It's not quite that. Borderlines lack a coherent sense of self. That part of you deep down inside that you can cling to and say "this is Me" -- a pwBPD doesn't have that. This is why they "borrow" selves from other people, and why they can have very different "personalities" in different relationships.

pwBPD especially have trouble reconciling Good and Bad within the same person. This is what leads to Splitting - someone/thing is either All Good or All Bad. There are no shades of grey. If a person has some badness, then that person must be All Bad. Well, everyone has "bad" in them, and pwBPD often behave in ways that can be seen as "bad." What, then, is the pwBPD to do? If they admit to their own badness, then they must be All Bad. So they avoid that by projecting their "bad" parts onto their partner.

The partner takes on a torturing, persecuting representation to the pwBPD. They become the "punitive parent" - responsible for the bad feelings that a pwBPD has.

If a pwBPD is feeling bad, then it must be because someone else made them feel that way. (BPD is a very persecution-based disorder.) And for a pwBPD, feelings are facts -- so the pwBPD truly believes that their partner did something to cause their bad feelings.

So why do they direct this anger at a SO? Why not make them their rock? The SO is usually willing. Why not just be a bully, say for example? What could have caused mine to hurt who was by all accounts including her own, very content?

You're looking at this from a rational and non-disordered point of view. That's not the mindset in which a pwBPD functions.

The pwBPD enters into an attachment like a child to a mother, looking for deep core needs to be met. But no one can meet these needs - and so eventually the pwBPD becomes unsatisfied, resentful, hurt, etc.

Add to that the fact that intimacy itself is what triggers the core fears of abandonment and engulfment. When a pwBPD is triggered like that, it's like they're experiencing the initial trauma in that moment. It's scary and painful and confusing. They're not conditioned to see intimacy and love as stable and beneficial. This is why they push away when they get close to someone.

The sad truth of the disorder is that loving someone triggers it. There is no way for a partner to just keep on loving and somehow "push through." It's something that can only be dealt with by the pwBPD.
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JRT
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2015, 01:39:14 AM »

MAN! It just seems so impossible! So sad. Is it even possible to climb out of this?
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2015, 03:33:03 AM »

Been asking a BPD woman about why they punish their partners, and this was her response:

I wanted to hurt the guy that I've been falling for only because he makes me feel crazy. It feels like he controls my emotions because of how much I truly am into him. Whenever I don't have control, I feel vulnerable. And whenever I feel vulnerable, I have a major urge to get rid of that feeling. I feel like hurting someone will make me stop the emotions I have towards that person, even it probably won't work. I feel like if I emotionally damage him, than my feelings towards him won't be as strong and I won't feel vulnerable and I'll feel that I have control. I know this sounds terrible but I always feel better whenever I imagine all of the ways I could hurt his heart.

This may come across as evil and vindictive, but from the words of a diagnosed sufferer it can help us NONs to understand that yes, CONTROL is the desired outcome, but it also allows us to understand why punishment and cutting loved ones out of their life is used from their perspective.

Hope this helps guys

Take care 

Yes. Psychopathic selfishness, with an extra large pinch of cruelty thrown in. I almost lived through it, too!   :'(
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downwhim
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2015, 10:17:17 AM »

So inflicting pain, seducing, exciting, etc. gives them the sense of being? A negation of the emptiness that they feel up until they bring a SO/target into their life close enough so that they can 'come alive'?

It's not quite that. Borderlines lack a coherent sense of self. That part of you deep down inside that you can cling to and say "this is Me" -- a pwBPD doesn't have that. This is why they "borrow" selves from other people, and why they can have very different "personalities" in different relationships.

This is exactly what I experienced in my relationship. When we would get too close he backed off. He could not take this kind of love. I mean it. I know it to be truth. To think that he asked me to marry him and how that was a commitment for life with a person that loved him deeply must have been so smothering to him. I think he tried to do the right thing by getting engaged like a non BPD would progress in a relationship but it was all too much emotionally for him and he had to pull away.

pwBPD especially have trouble reconciling Good and Bad within the same person. This is what leads to Splitting - someone/thing is either All Good or All Bad. There are no shades of grey. If a person has some badness, then that person must be All Bad. Well, everyone has "bad" in them, and pwBPD often behave in ways that can be seen as "bad." What, then, is the pwBPD to do? If they admit to their own badness, then they must be All Bad. So they avoid that by projecting their "bad" parts onto their partner.

The partner takes on a torturing, persecuting representation to the pwBPD. They become the "punitive parent" - responsible for the bad feelings that a pwBPD has.

If a pwBPD is feeling bad, then it must be because someone else made them feel that way. (BPD is a very persecution-based disorder.) And for a pwBPD, feelings are facts -- so the pwBPD truly believes that their partner did something to cause their bad feelings.

So why do they direct this anger at a SO? Why not make them their rock? The SO is usually willing. Why not just be a bully, say for example? What could have caused mine to hurt who was by all accounts including her own, very content?

You're looking at this from a rational and non-disordered point of view. That's not the mindset in which a pwBPD functions.

The pwBPD enters into an attachment like a child to a mother, looking for deep core needs to be met. But no one can meet these needs - and so eventually the pwBPD becomes unsatisfied, resentful, hurt, etc.

Add to that the fact that intimacy itself is what triggers the core fears of abandonment and engulfment. When a pwBPD is triggered like that, it's like they're experiencing the initial trauma in that moment. It's scary and painful and confusing. They're not conditioned to see intimacy and love as stable and beneficial. This is why they push away when they get close to someone.

The sad truth of the disorder is that loving someone triggers it. There is no way for a partner to just keep on loving and somehow "push through." It's something that can only be dealt with by the pwBPD.

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downwhim
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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2015, 10:19:33 AM »

This is exactly what I experienced in my relationship. When we would get too close he backed off. He could not take this kind of love. I mean it. I know it to be truth. To think that he asked me to marry him and how that was a commitment for life with a person that loved him deeply must have been so smothering to him. I think he tried to do the right thing by getting engaged like a non BPD would progress in a relationship but it was all too much emotionally for him and he had to pull away.
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« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2015, 10:44:10 AM »

So if I am to interpret my breakup and her flight on the basis of this conversation, (triggered by one or more associated events) she reached what was likely a, sort of, zenith point in her love for me and this is what resulted in her sudden and abrupt disappearing act? This is also what fuels her continuing anger (even though there was no anger or acrimony present in the relationship at all)? Does it ever mitigate? Is there a point in time where a BPD under these circumstances unpaint us black and the anger subsides? Is this a natural progression or not generally?   

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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2015, 11:29:34 AM »

So if I am to interpret my breakup and her flight on the basis of this conversation, (triggered by one or more associated events) she reached what was likely a, sort of, zenith point in her love for me and this is what resulted in her sudden and abrupt disappearing act? This is also what fuels her continuing anger (even though there was no anger or acrimony present in the relationship at all)? Does it ever mitigate? Is there a point in time where a BPD under these circumstances unpaint us black and the anger subsides? Is this a natural progression or not generally?   

Some pwBPD do come back (this is what you’ll see called a ‘recycle’ attempt), and some simply don’t.  Recycling is always about them…i.e., filling some need, usually temporarily.  Judging by your past history with this person, you very well may have been recycled a handful of times—you just didn’t know what to call it when it happened.  The likelihood of them returning could be a measure of how black they’ve painted us, their level of shame, and whether their needs are being adequately filled by another person.

“:)oes it ever mitigate?” 

If a person suffering from BPD truly dedicates themselves to long-term therapy, their outlook can significantly improve.  But as you’ve mentioned a number of times, JRT, this is very painful stuff.  I couldn’t agree more—I have been there and back.  A good question for yourself is, even if she does come back this time, are you prepared to go through the whole thing all over again, assuming she does suffer from the disorder and continues without addressing it?  If so, why would you risk your heart like that?  What do you think might missing for you that you’d put yourself on the line for someone who has repeatedly done this, albeit with varying degrees of severity?     

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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2015, 11:50:02 AM »

Thank You Hazel... .yes, I have been recycled in the past about a handful of times... .this episode 'improves' upon the previous ones exponentially. Her level of shame must be incredible... .I wonder what is going on on the other end... .I can only imagine.

Its a fair set of questions that you ask and they are ones that I have been asking myself. I have been in very difficult relationships in the past. One of them with an incredibly attractive and bright girl that, in hindsight, was very much a BPD. It was not easy to breakup with her especially since she recycled at least a dozen times (they only lasted hours in some cases before I broke up again). But I did what I needed and moved on (interestingly, she met a man dancing at a bar an hour after I broke up with her, married him and is STILL married 20 years later!).   

Anyway; the thing that makes this one more difficult than the one above or my marriage is that it was not at all characterized by the stormy elements that seem to define most of the r/s that I have been reading about. We did not argue or disagree... .there was no lying (at least none that affected me)... .no cheating (that I know of)... .we had common interests and values, and we did almost everything together and were generally happy... .In some ways I WISH that we had at least a small amount of acrimony so that I could leverage that anger to help move forward. But outside of the way that she has acted from the b/u forward, there is none.

There is something inherently god with this one and very much complimenting and desirable to me, even with her human flaws as well as those related to BPD. I WISH that there wasn't. Had she been like that woman that I dated after I got out of college, This would have only been a bump in the road and long ago in my rear view mirror.

Does this make sense?
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fred6
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« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2015, 03:40:24 PM »

You know, after reading the OP a few times. I realize how someone could snap and beat the hell out of a pwBPD. I'm not the type and I don't condone that type of thing. But thinking back to how I was treated, if someone had a bad temper or lack of self control. I could see them going ape $hit on a pwBPD.
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« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2015, 03:46:27 PM »

You know, after reading the OP a few times. I realize how someone could snap and beat the hell out of a pwBPD. I'm not the type and I don't condone that type of thing. But thinking back to how I was treated, if someone had a bad temper or lack of self control. I could see them going ape $hit on a pwBPD.

The behavior is a total MindFvck!  Me... .I just got clinically depressed.   I turned it all on me.  LOL! 

I am sure that what you are saying happens.   It could put someone over the edge.
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