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Author Topic: I need help with a very close friend and colleague diagnosed with BPD.  (Read 140 times)
Tangerine90
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Friend
Relationship status: Dating
Posts: 1


« on: October 17, 2020, 11:51:18 AM »

Hello community,

I’m looking for support and ways to cope and move forward with my best friend of 15 years, and creative partner for the past 5 (we are working on a film together). I would see we are almost as close as sisters, of which I have two.

As mentioned we have been working on a documentary film together, one that touches on her trauma and mental health. For the past five years we have been working and trying to maintain a healthy friendship, but it is starting to feel completely unsustainable. Last night I tried for the first time to set my boundaries, and I’m terrified about how it might backfire. I would love to hear some advice.

I care very deeply for her, but I fear Im unable to continue offering support and compassion.

Thank you.
 
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 09:43:17 AM by Harri, Reason: removed name pursuant to guideline 1.15 - confidentiality » Logged
Naughty Nibbler
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Sibling
Posts: 1595



« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 10:20:08 PM »

Hi Tangerine90:
Quote from: Tangerine90
Last night I tried for the first time to set my boundaries, and I’m terrified about how it might backfire.  
It isn't likely that most people with BPD react calmly to a first attempt with boundaries.  If you are consistent with enforcing boundaries, then it could get better over time.  Initially, it's common to get a bad reaction, that is referred to as an "Extinction Burst".  Things can get worse, before it gets better.  If you are consistent, then things can get better over time.  If you cave, after angry responses, then you have lost the battle.

Quote from: Tangerine90
we have been working on a documentary film together, one that touches on her trauma and mental health.  
What is the narrative for the documentary, i.e. how is she being portrayed?  




Hello community,

I’m looking for support and ways to cope and move forward with my best friend of 15 years, and creative partner for the past 5 (we are working on a film together). I would see we are almost as close as sisters, of which I have two.

As mentioned we have been working on a documentary film together, one that touches on her trauma and mental health. For the past five years we have been working and trying to maintain a healthy friendship, but it is starting to feel completely unsustainable. Last night I tried for the first time to set my boundaries, and I’m terrified about how it might backfire. I would love to hear some advice.

I care very deeply for her, but I fear Im unable to continue offering support and compassion.

Thank you,
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 09:43:39 AM by Harri » Logged
GeekyGirl
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 2814



« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2020, 02:43:40 PM »

Hi Tangerine90,  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

Welcome. It's good that you're here and looking for ways to support your friend and make sure that you're taking care of yourself at the same time.

As mentioned we have been working on a documentary film together, one that touches on her trauma and mental health. For the past five years we have been working and trying to maintain a healthy friendship, but it is starting to feel completely unsustainable.

Have you noticed a change in her behavior as you've made progress on the film? How has your friendship made you feel like it's unsustainable?

Last night I tried for the first time to set my boundaries, and I’m terrified about how it might backfire. I would love to hear some advice.

How did she react when you outlined your boundaries?

There are some good resources here for helping you to communicate your needs and better understand her. There are many of us here with friends and family members who can relate to what you're going through. Keep posting and let us know how we can help.
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SteelGeraniums

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Friend
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 18


« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2020, 10:36:16 AM »

Welcome! My pwBPD is also a very close friend who is almost like a sister to me.

BPs hate when boundaries are set because it's a change, and it triggers their fear of abandonment, but boundaries are also so essential for them. When you first set boundaries, it will be difficult and she'll undoubtedly react by being upset/angry/hurt. Remind yourself that you aren't responsible for her emotions. You need to take the steps necessary to care for your own emotional needs.

I know for me, I really wanted to fix or save my friend. I had to come to accept that she might never change, and that I couldn't fix her, before I could start making healthy decisions for myself. Right now, she's receiving treatment at an in-patient hospital program, and I have made the decision to go no contact until she gets out, to allow us both some space to heal and grow. In order to be a support for someone else, we need to first care for ourselves, and then take a look at our relationship as a whole and decide what we do and don't want to do.

I hope that you can find a place of peace and balance for yourself.
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