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Author Topic: Losing it / Does he have BPD (II)  (Read 5707 times)
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« on: February 06, 2007, 11:32:09 PM »

Hi All, this is a continuation to my earlier post, "Does he have BPD? Please help save my relationship".

A few days ago...

He threatened to commit suicide.  He walked out of the apartment, went to a higher floor and attempted to climb up on the railings.  I was barefoot and trying to block him by standing between the railings and him.  I don't know if he would have done it.  It looked like a weak attempt.  He wasn't trying very hard to push me out of the way.  He just kept saying how even though he was afraid of heights, that for the first time, it didn't look so scary. 

I kept trying to persuade him to fight for himself but he said there was nothing for him to fight for in his life.  I said I would support him, but I needed him to help me by getting help for himself.  Then more crying and I kept asking him to come back down with me to the apartment.  He said he couldn't jump in front of me, so he'd spend a last day with me, then he'd do it when i wasn't around.  I just kept trying to talk him down, until finally, his better sense kicked in and he decided to go back to the apartment.

Then once there, he took a pair of scissors and tried to get me to help him hurt himself.  I resisted and took the scissors away from him.  He tried (but not very hard) to get them back.

He said I wouldn't miss him and that I would just forget about him.  But I said if he hurt himself, it would haunt me forever and I would feel that I didn't do enough to stop him.  He said he didn't want me to blame myself, that it was all him.  And he was sorry that I was crying so hard and was so sad.  But I said that was nothing compared to how sad I'd be if he hurt himself. 

I asked him to promise me that he would not hurt himself.  He said he couldn't.  After a long while, and seeing me cry myself silly, he finally relented and said he would not hurt himself because he wanted a future with me.

I am worried as hell that in spite of the promise he made to me, he might hurt himself when I'm not around, if he gets agitated.  Or is this just attention seeking?  Should I tell his parents?  I am so angry, and frustrated and sad.  I kept telling him to please seek help, but he kept saying he was fine.  Huh?  No way. 

He says I don't love him or care about him.  He is so sad.  I wish I could make him get help.  I am ill now, and so tired.  I feel so manipulated. 

I want to help, but it's so hard to watch him cry and disparage himself.  Must I resign myself to the fact that he might hurt himself one day, whether or not I'm with him, and that it will hurt me forever?

Wrote yesterday...

Just to clarify, my partner has not hurt himself...yet.  He did not cut himself or anything.  And as far as I know, he never has.  Part of me doubts if he would have gone ahead to jump off or stab himself with the scissors if I hadn't intervened.  I don't know why, but I feel like it is attention-seeking and also to release the emotions he is feeling.  It's not that I don't take it seriously - I do!  It worries me.

Bewildered, I have read SWOE and am re-reading it all the time.  It gives me strength but I also feel frustrated that despite what I know, I seem to fall into the same situations again and again.

I can't take time off even though I'd like to as it will trigger him.  But I spoke to the counsellor on the phone last night.  This is the counsellor my partner's mum had approached and suggested that I talk to for a one-off session.  The counsellor said he was very concerned as the events I had described were indicative of a serious problem that would likely need both medication and psychotherapy; that it's no longer a Level 1, more like Level 10, in terms of seriousness.  I said that I was hesitant to tell his parents because I was afraid they would force him into therapy.  He is not a minor, but his parents have more power than me, in this respect. 

More than that, he would know I said something, that I had betrayed his confidence.  In his emotionally fragility, I'm afraid that he will not be able to take these blows.  It would make him feel so ashamed that others knew his darkest secrets; that there was no one he could confide in or trust in anymore, and confirm in his mind that he truly is all alone; and that there was no bastion of goodness left in his life to fight for.  Because of this, I fear he will be more likely to hurt himself.  What might seem like attention-seeking before might actually be given a push to turn deadly - and I am so afraid of this happening.  It will just take one really hard blow...

I know a part of him is bitter and cynical.  Sometimes I wish that part of him would absorb the pain instead of letting it batter at his fragile side.  I would rather he hate me, than suffer the anguish of feeling betrayed and abandoned.  It would crush him...

His parents have not seen overtly agressive or depressive behavior from him so they have no reason to insist he goes into therapy.  He will know it was me.  And he will cut me off, and lose the only person he trusts enough to confide in.  I think it's important that he always has someone to confide in and I would like to support him through therapy if he allows me to. 

How can this be done?  How can we get him help, without implicating me in the process?  Also, I'm afraid his parents will turn on me instead.  They have been really nice to me thus far, but i do worry.  As his partner, my natural inclination is to protect him, and I don't know that I have the strength to practise tough love should the need arise.  What to do?

The counsellor told me he's worried about me too, because he said I'm being stretched far beyond what a person can take, and it will wipe me out emotionally.  I said that's already happening, it's not an eventuality.  Because of it, I want to start getting counselling on my own, to support myself through this.  If I want to help him, I have to take care of myself first.

At this point, I am 'monitoring' the situation.  After a slew of hearfelt apologies yesterday, he is now behaving nonchalantly, as if nothing had happened.  I sms-ed him today to express concern and to tell him I care about him, and that I'd like him to talk to me if he ever felt urges to hurt himself.  He brushed it off, telling me that I was getting worried for nothing.  Exasperating!

Does anyone have suggestions how I can speak to his parents?  I had always been hoping that he would go into therapy voluntarily.  And now that it is a possibilty that he may be arm-twisted into doing it (even if it is for his own good), I don't feel good about it. 

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Gender: Male
Posts: 282

« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 11:48:53 AM »

Just my opinion of course...

I thought his Mom had talked to you before about some of this ?

If you fell that he should be in therapy (I think that's a given),

then just call them up, tell them some of the story of what he has been up to,

especially the suicide threats, and then back off and let them worry about it.

If you are truely concerned about his safety, why are you worried that he will

cut you off ? You don't seem to be getting the point of all this ! You cannot help him.

You are his enabler. That is what BPD is all about. As long as you are in the picture he will just continue

to play out the drama. There is no solution but to tell the parents, back off, and let them do what they will/must.

Taz, the longer you try to hang onto this, the more dangerous this becomes for you and him. The threat of abandonment

is a way a life for the BPD. he will continue to push, threaten, lash out, ad hurt you and him, until you leave. All of us

here have tried the path of "I'll just be the best GF/BF she/he has ever had, the best supporter they have ever had, the most

loving they have ever had... and then they will know and relax and everything will be ok.."   NOT ! It never works, it is the exact

opposite of what they need. They talk about needing support and love and not being abandoned, but it DOES NOT WORK !

In the end, now, or later, or much later, you will either run screaming to save your life, or you will crash and burn in maddness with him.

They fullfill their own worst fears. They make us leave them, or leave us suddenly. They are mentally ill, and you cannot help him directly.

you have got to accept this. read everyones postings here again. Find me a single example where your approach has succeded, where the story has a happy ending. The happy endings are all about a Non escaping and saving his/her life. read them again...

If you are truely in love with him, and truely fear for his safety, tell his parents, and back off.

It is all you can do. Staying in the middle of this Oz adventure will lead to nothing but sorrow. Save your own life,

and back off.

Just my opinion of course...

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Posts: 79

« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2007, 08:06:01 PM »

Lagrizzly I hear you..  But I'm struggling - I really am.

I know I am enabling the situation to continue.  It may have been borne of good intentions, but I know (and it saddens me) that I've put my partner in a place where he is increasingly viewing me as the only thing that can provide comfort.

The counsellor described my situation as one where I have moved from the centre of the room into a corner and I feel trapped.  If I continue to help this way, it will not give him an incentive to seek an alternative.  But if i try to move, my actions will cause my partner's behavior to spiral further. 

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that a big thing that is keeping things together for him at the moment is the thought that I'm still there for him.  NO matter how much he gets angry at me, and how his perceptions of my actions hurt and upset him, he keeps coming back to the idea that there is still goodness left in his life and there is still a reason to be happy, even if it is fleeting.  If I leave him alone, it will push him beyond his emotional limits.  I have a strong feeling that abandoning him might turn what I saw as acting out, into an actual suicide attempt.

On the flipside, Im losing it too.  I cannot care for him this way while dealing with my own problems. 

I have been advised by the counselor to arrange a session with my partners parents so I can share my concerns with them.  He said it is up to me whether I want to disclose the suicide threats.  I dont know if I can say it.  It seems so irresponsible not to, but it is so hard to tell them, nonetheless.

I know I have to relinquish control of this situation and let the parents handle this.  But it is entirely difficult for me to do this.  I am curious to hear how they have handled it in the past, as my partners sister had depression also.  And I think she was treated for it. 

Its hard to reconcile what I feel about all of this.  I asked the counselor if I should just resign myself to the idea that I should walk away, because Im making my partner dependant on me.  He said even though I am enabling the situation, it would do nothing good for my partner if I were to leave like that.  In fact, it might make things worse. 

But he thought it was a good idea when I told him I'd like to go for counseling on my own (not with his counsellor).  And he suggested perhaps I try to see if there are support groups that I can go to.  Then when Im comfortable, I could actually try to bring my partner along, a sort of ice-breaker for him to open up to the idea of counseling.

I had good intentions, but I have trapped myself into a Catch-22 situation.  I only thought to care for my partner and love him the best way I could.  Even though, Ive seen for some time that my partner is over-dependant on me, it wasnt until recently that I saw the analogy of me functioning like medication to his troubled life.  All along, Ive asserted my need to be independent from him and do my own things and there were many times when it caused me to be seen as being selfish.  And lately, Ive been trying to get him to take care of himself more, emotionally.  But as expected, Ive met with so much resistance because it is normal to him that I care for him this way.

At least, the only thing Im clear about at this moment, is that the idea of marriage cannot figure into this situation.  As much as I wanted to, and still want to, it would do me in.  We dont have a chance of making this relationship work, without him taking steps to heal himself.  He cannot be there for me, until he is there for himself.  And he cannot begin to do that for himself, unless he learns to stop expecting me to do it for him.  Sigh, too much to think about.

« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 08:24:34 AM »


Call mental health or the crisis line, you can't deal with this alone unless you want to continue to live with him and save you marriage this way or just leave.  My husband moved all of his pills out of his box this week its something every day.  These people make you go crazy I have been saying bad things and thats not like me. 

Search the post for  suicide see how others handle it

Call Mental Health

Call a crisis line

Do what these people on the board tell you

I got hurt bad and is trying to recover (head injury)

I had to look up suicide two times, got lost in my own neighborhood yesterday, I don't want this to happen to you.

You love him more than you love yourself - I see myself in you



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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2007, 08:12:18 AM »

LDL, I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. 

Even after being in this emotional whirlwind for so long, and having heard from so many, I still find it difficult to rationalize how I feel.  I'm coming to grips with things step by step...I know it's hard for those who have been in my situation (or far worse ones) to see me still here, still wanting to be with him.  But I still see the person I fell in love with and I find it hard to see him as a lost cause. 

I've read some of the stories here that are terrifying in comparison with my story.  I do worry that something worse will happen.  But this is someone I care so deeply about, I don't have the heart to leave.  I wanted him to help himself so much.  I never wanted it to be that others would have to intervene.  But I also can't shoulder this alone.  I'm going through a gamut of painful emotions and I don't know how to come through.  I hate what he is going through and that I haven't been able to help him get the help he needs; I hate myself for being on the verge of betraying his trust in order to get him help; I hate how he may spiral into greater depression if he doesn't get help; but I also hate how his life may be messed up even further if he is forced into therapy.

I am afraid that any decision I make from now on will make his life more painful and difficult than it is.  I don't want to contribute to his pain.  He's had far too much pain for one lifetime...

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Posts: 406

« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2007, 05:49:33 AM »


That must have been a terrifying and confusing experience for you.  Suicide attempts are awful things to have to witness.  I've been there.  I know what it's like.  But then this bit really stood out for me:

Then once there, he took a pair of scissors and tried to get me to help him hurt himself.  I resisted and took the scissors away from him.  He tried (but not very hard) to get them back.

This is the point that, for me, marks this out as not a serious suicide attempt but, rather, a serious attempt at emotional terrorism.  Truly suicidal people do not, as far as I can gather and based on my own experience with depression, need or ask for "help" to hurt themselves. 

I strongly suspect that this whole little pantomime came about not because he really was feeling suicidal but because of the effect it would have on you.  It's about control.

And then there was this:

He said I wouldn't miss him and that I would just forget about him.  But I said if he hurt himself, it would haunt me forever and I would feel that I didn't do enough to stop him.  He said he didn't want me to blame myself, that it was all him.  And he was sorry that I was crying so hard and was so sad.  But I said that was nothing compared to how sad I'd be if he hurt himself.

I know you were telling the truth here but you have now exposed a vulnerability to him - you'll be hurt if he hurts himself, and so you would forever blame yourself that you didn't do enough.  That's a warm, empathic and human sentiment.  Unfortunately, for the emotionally disturbed that can also be read as "If you threaten to hurt yourself I'm going to bend over backwards to do anything you want me to if it means you won't follow through."  Again, to me this reeks of being about about control, and it's about getting you to have all your attention focussed on him.

The bottom line here is that he may be depressed, he may be suicidal, he may just be playing mind-games, or possibly a combination of all of that.  Let's leave aside his inner motivations for now and just concentrate on how to react to what he does.  If he ever threatens suicide again, I think the best approach is to ask him if he's serious.  If he says he is, then the best thing you can do for him is to call the emergency services.  He will probably say he doesn't want you to but, let's be realistic here - if he's so out of whack that he thinks that killing himself is a good idea then he's in no fit state to judge whether trained professionals will be able to help him or not. 

Taz, I'm guessing you're not a trained suicide counsellor.  Me, neither.  So if he really is suicidal then the best, the kindest, the most compassionate and useful thing you can do is to get him professional help.  If the only way that can happen is to call out the emergency services while he's in the middle of a suicidal urge, then so be it.  If he's bluffing, though, he'll be outraged that you've called him on the bluff.  But if that's the case it's a deeply sick, twisted and abusive game he's playing with you. 

As for his parents...  you have every reason to be desperately worried about him and his health based on his actions.  To whose benefit would it be to keep this a secret from his parents?  How could it not be to his benefit to tell them?  Or is it that you're scared of his reaction to finding out you've talked to them about him?  I know that feeling.  I covered up for my alco-ex for years.  Because I was scared of her reaction.  But then I asked myself, "how much longer was I prepared to live my life in terror of her reaction to what I did?"

Suicide threats from anyone are scary.  Suicide threats from those that we love are even scarier.  In the face of them, we have to be realistic about what we, as non-professionals, can do to help.  The fact that he seems to eager to forget all about it suggests, again, that he wasn't particularly serious.  But, obviously, you cannot possibly know for sure.  So if he does it again, treat it like he IS serious and call out the emergency services.  It's the only realistic thing to do.

Take care,

« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2007, 08:59:13 PM »

Will just pray for you all.
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2007, 01:26:30 AM »

Thanks sucker_no_more, that is good practical advice.

I already find myself becoming wary.  I was caught barefoot the last time, and locked out of the apartment (his home, and I don't have the keys).  It was such a vulnerable situation.  If it happens again, I want to be sure I have my cell phone nearby so I can take it with me. 

I think perhaps he did it because he needed to feel and prove to himself that someone cared and that it wasn't going to be a case that no one would bother whether he did it or not.  I believe he doesn't manipulate intentionally, but it still affects me.

Yes I guess I did expose my emotional vulnerabilities.  It's weird but in a way, I think it kinda freaked him out to hear that I would end up blaming myself if he had hurt himself.  I  think he hopes that someone cares more than he expects but he finds it hard to accept when someone actually does, because he has convinced himself otherwise his whole life.

Yes I am scared of both his reaction and that of his parents if I tell them about the suicide threat.  I mean if he were cutting himself, I would tell his parents.  But when I'm not sure what his motivations are, I feel apprehensive about making judgement and passing that info onto others.  Especially if those others will be affected by what i say.

I think it is so important for him to acknowledge that he needs help and to be pro-active about getting it.  It grates at me to participate in anything that might affect his right at deciding if, when, how he will seek treatment.  Such as telling his parents behind his back...
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2007, 07:46:12 AM »

I'm sorry, but I have to chime in here. My H played the suicide card over and over and over again, and I really believed that he might do it.

So one day I called the police. You should have seen how he was after that. No remorse whatsoever, no desire to get help, lied to the psych ward nurse about what happened, denied he ever really wanted to kill himself. Told the nurse he "just wanted to get my attention." Pissed that the cops took away his precious gun! (357 magnum) Accused me of destroying his life, his family, his reputation... 

Then I disappeared for a couple of days and he started calling me and leaving hysterical and threatening voice mails - threatening legal action. Completely lost the desire for killing himself. No longer in the mood for suicide.

As far as telling his family about his suicidal gestures, they might ignore it as they may have become used to this behavior over the years and no longer pay much attention to it. Perhaps they know he doesn't really mean it, and will tell you the same?  It really makes more sense to call 911 or whatever applies in your jurisdiction. That way he can't use it against you later - he can't attack you for involving his family and "embarassing" him, although it is highly likely the family already know some aspects of his personality better than you and one can't be embarassed when they've already been exposed. What if his family abused him when he was a child and was an indirect cause of his acting out in adulthood? Do you want to put yourself in the middle of all that stuff? 

Now I'm not saying your BP doesn't have what it takes to truly carry out the act and complete a suicide.  No one can ever really know that. But the point is that you might want to consider calling his bluff and check his reaction - and be prepared that it might hit the fan afterward. That may be enough to wake you from your slumber. If it turns out he doesn't think he needs help, then why would you want to continue to try to rescue someone who truly doesn't want it?  Cutting himself with scissors? and telling you to help him?  Taz, you are being played like a grand piano here.

Also I'm not clear as to why you think you might be "contributing to his pain." Just your being in the room is causing him pain, as he is completely unable to deal with the most basic human interaction that life requires. His agony self-replicates like DNA and has little if anything at all to do with you. If there are any ultimatims to be made here, it should be yours - he gets professional help, otherwise you are taking a well-deserved break from his drama. After all, you need time to work on yourself too.

Lastly, whether his manipulation of you is intentional or not is not your concern. The point is, it is happening. And it is happening on a level that it is now affecting you and you're going to end up with your own issues as a result.  Is that fair to you? Does that sound to you like a relationship between equals?  Is it fair for you suffer your own problems because he'd prefer to wallow in his own drama rather than deal with his pain in a more appropriate way? This is not "selfish" thinking, this is survival mode. Your brain is trying to figure out how the rest of you can survive this.



Married w/children 21 years ubpd/unpd H, separated in 06, back in 07
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Posts: 258

« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2007, 09:20:01 AM »

Great post, sleepless!

Taz, it's time for you to set some boundaries.  You are in waaaaaaay too deep.  We can talk all day about his motives and what he might-possibly-maybe thinking.  The fact is, we don't know for sure, do we?  So let's look at his actions and set some boundaries.

Behavior: He makes a suicide threat/acts out in a suicidal manner

Response: Taz dials 911

Taz, you have got to do this every time.  There must be some other consequence to his drama beside you crying and begging him to stop.  If he tries to kill himself, how are you going to stop him?  He's stronger than you.  He can do it if he wants.  So you need to take the extra step of getting police intervention every time.

Behavior: He gets verbally abusive/ calls Taz names/ tells her to leave etc.

Response: Taz goes home and doesn't talk to him or associate with him for a minimum of 7 days.

You cannot let him play with your emotions.  There must be a consequence to his childish behavior.  If he gets verbally abusive, then he looses you for at least a week.  It is not okay for him to abuse you and it's time for him to know it.

Behavior:  He gets physically abusive

Response: Taz goes home and doesn't talk to him ever again

I know this is hard because you are addicted to him, but physical abuse is a deal breaker. 

This guys is like a child.  When my 2 or 5 year old break the rules, there is a consequence.  If I cried every time my 5 year old sassed me, what would be the result?  More disrespect.  If I begged my 2 year old to stop having temper tantrums, would it work?  Heck no! And I have to get on my kids case EVERY TIME they act up.  There is no letting things slide because if you do, you're just reinforcing the bad behavior.  You have to treat this guy like a child.  If you stay with him (and I pray you don't) be prepared to mother him for the rest of your life.



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