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Author Topic: FAQ: How it feels to have BPD  (Read 6484 times)
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« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2008, 11:55:01 AM »

Hello!

I hope you won't mind me joining this thread at this late stage, I am fairly new to the workshops board. So hope my share is appropriate for this part of the site.

When I first read Ocean's initial post it occurred to me that I have probably, fleetingly, made every one of those assumptions listed at some point in my life. That made me stop and take a breath and question myself . I do not, however, have BPD. What this thread topic confirms for me is that BPD, like all PD's is possibly a question of degree? To sometimes doubt ourselves, others and the world we live in is almost part of the human condition, isn't it?

To take, for example, Oceans first point, the assumption that people with BPD are said to make of "I will always be alone". This for me is almost like a point of existential analysis because ultimately, quite frankly we are all alone. We come into the world alone and we leave it alone. It is a thought that I have often pondered. :Smiling (click to insert in post)

*However* the difference between myself and someone with BPD is the degree to which I invest my thoughts and feelings into these view points and the impact that they have on my life. I may, some cold and lonely Sunday morning, be gripped by the feeling that I feel all alone in the world. This may last me ten minutes before I pick up the phone to chat with a friend, wander down the street to buy a paper and pass a few minutes with the newsagent, or get lost in my latest project or a hobby etc. It isn't long before I feel connected to the world again and my initial fear that "I will always be alone" has passed.

As I understand it people with BPD are unable to manage and overcome their emotions in this way, they stay stuck until their feelings become all pervasive and controlling, they are unable to escape them, so as a result their behaviour and thought patterns become more and more distorted to try and make sense of and accommodate these overwhelming feelings? I often find the notion "Emotional Dysregulation Disorder", (have I got the title right?), a helpful one in describing BPD. It reminds me that what people with BPD are experiencing is often just a very, very extreme version of what may be fairly understandable and even normal, in certain contexts, thinking? However, it is the extend to which they are unable to manage to be objective about their own thoughts and feelings, causing their assumptions to be more absolute in their minds, which results in them having a disorder?
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« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2008, 02:29:53 AM »

Yes, they are more sensitive to possible signs of criticism than most people. Whether that is due to them not having any real sense of themselves or not I'm not sure.

A theory I hear about recently; Some people are very sensitive to smells, and can't stand certain oders, others to colors or textures, maybe BPD's feel emotions more intensely than others and don't know how to respond to them. Extemes exist in all areas, why not in emotions? Then, to compound the problem, they were told over and over  again that they were "wrong" to feel as they did, so they then felt invalidated and unimportant on top of not understanding why they felt things so strongly. Even now, many of us tell the BP that "they shouldn't feel that way", we argue to prove our point, therefore proving "you're wrong".

They live in h#ll all the time, and when cornered they take down those closest to them - us...
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2009, 10:57:03 AM »

Emmie just posted this up in Coparenting in response to a poster who is having problems with her husband's BPDexw:

Excerpt
Does your therapist have experience with BPD people?  Her behavior sounds like classic BPD splitting, cutting out people who are threatening in some way.  I had an interesting talk with my therapist today about BPD folk.  He noted that in his work with BPD people, he has noticed that all the BPDs he has worked with are very loving and totally undefended in a certain way, terribly vulnerable, and childlike in being able to move from totally hateful to totally loving in moments.

I think it is a mistake to see her behavior toward you and your partner to be coming just from a place of loving him.  I have worked with mentally ill people at many times in my life, and I like to think of some types of mental illness as behavior patterns or perceptual patters learned very early that were very effective in an extreme situation, but that faced with a more safe situation, are not effective.  My partner's ex has the classic BPD childhood--severely abused by mom, dad abandoned crazy mom early in my BPD's life, a string of sexual abuse by those other than mom (mostly mom's boyfriends) in the first 1.5 years of life and beyond.  So I imagine her totally dependent on this very unsafe person, in the presence of other threatening and scary people.  Clinging to that abuser was critical for survival, but also unsafe.  Making crazy mama believe she loved her better than anyone, coupled with rage at that person, perhaps suppressed, and no ability to avoid pain but to be more pitiful than mom made her so she would feel sorry and stop.  Terrible fear of abandonment makes sense in this context--daddy had already left, and if mama left, she would be left alone with predatory child molester drug addicts.  In that circumstance, it makes sense to cling to something that you sometimes hate, to try to make that person stay by threats, flattery, anything.  It just does not make sense to sane adults.  My partner's ex hated him throughout the marriage, beat him up, told everyone how awful he was.  Then, they split up and she is alone, realizing that most of the very difficult things in her life--the rages, violence, drinking, etc, are not his fault, but who she is.  REalizing on some level that she does not know HOW to take care of herself, that without his keeping house, lying for her to preserve relationships, taking the kids when she was too drunk, without him her life is VERY painful and difficult.  She is also growing older, and just being a hottie babe may not be enough to keep attracting sugar daddies.  She has never had a job.  So she clings to the idea of my partner being "hers."  He is the only man she has a "claim" on, they made babies together.  Our legal system supports the ideal that the capable person is responsible for caring for the incapable parent, however dysfuntional that is for both of them and the kids, too.

Heck, yeah, she wants him back.  But love?  In my case, I think she is more terrified than in love.  If your only way to cope with the pain you have is to be hurtful to people around you, you do not make a whole bunch of strong friends and allies.  BPD people burn through friends and family.  AS you have noticed, they are very difficult to be with.  My experience is that my partner's BPD ex does not believe in her ability to change her life by changing her behavior.  That is hard for all of us, with much less tough stuff to change.  So she fantasizes.  She makes it up, what she wishes she had.  Then, when she sees me and her ex together, it is a major interruption to her pretend reality.

This is not helpful to her in her present adult life.  PEople are very turned off by having a made -up reality foisted on them.  But for a little girl in a terribly abusive situation, it is a way of holding on, not being abandoned, struggling to get one's needs met.  She made the best of a bad situation.

That said, it still is not working for her.  She would be better off if you were her ally.  And there is nothing your partner could provide to her that she would not be far better off if she could give it to herself.  But that is her problem, not yours.  You did not take anything from her, and you do not have something that she would be better off if she had.  She probably cannot sustain her fantasy of loving and being loved in real relationships without getting serious long term help.  It is not being loved by a man that she needs.  Her problems have nothing to do with you.  Don't take it personally.  You do not have the power to end her suffering.  I think you pointed out, or someone else has, that if you and your partner broke up right now, your mate would not be with her instead.

The bottom line is that she is who she is.  She creates a certain kind of drama on purpose because it helps her world to not be too scary and unpredictable (at least this is how my partner's ex seems to me).  What you do is likely to have little impact on her basic strategy for getting by, which is a hard reality to stomach.

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« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2011, 08:41:38 AM »

Although this was posted awhile ago, Im new to this awareness that I've been dealing with a bp husband for 20 years and I can't believe there are other people living with " 2+2=somebodys trying to hurt me"! Your whole experience is exactly what I've been living except for the first time I'm realizing it's not me always doing wrong! Try and try is never good enough and you nailed it here! Thank you!
I'm in the unique position of having lived "both sides" - the insanity of BPD and the relative sanity of post-BPD (though I'll never be "cured" of it, since it's an inextricable part of who I am now, but I am living as BPD-free as I can).

It's funny how difficult it is for me to see from that POV anymore. I had to stop going to BPDRecovery.com partially because I just couldn't relate anymore. I couldn't understand that mindset anymore, and it was difficult not to judge, truthfully.

Many people in this thread have mentioned the cognitive disconnect between the person with BPD's perceptions and the more realistic POV of the non. That's fundamental. To borrow NewLife's analogy: 2+2=somebody's trying to hurt me. Uh, that's not logical even in the realm of higher, abstract math!

People are so much in their own heads that they believe their heads are the world. Does that make sense?

I'm a big fan of separating NPD from BPD, because they are different animals. I phrase it that NPD is a crocodile: predatory. BPD is a wounded bear: enraged, hurt, lashing out. Of course neither is a "pure" category and there is overlap (a beacodile? a crocear?). But I truly believe people with NPD intend to hurt others and may even get pleasure out of doing so. To use a horrid work jargon word, they're proactive. Peoople with BPD are reactive - they're reacting out of their well-entrenched belief system (see the list of 20 negative assumptions). It's rarely ever intended to hurt, that's a consequence, not the purpose.

Sorry if I'm rambling around the topic a bit, but it's been a while since I've even thought about BPD (I've been having some trouble, but mostly have been doing really well).

I like PDQ's thoughts. "They have always had to fend for themselves". Yep, *raises hand*. Not able to count on anyone. My trust in everything that had any authority or that held hope of safety was stripped away within a very short time at a period of my life when I was extremely vulnerable and of need of protection: I couldn't rely on my parents, religion/god, the government/police, my peers, the concept of justice. Everything was stripped away and I was left like a hermit crab without a shell, so open and raw and scared and alone. I only had myself.

I've come to realise I am as emotionally unavailable as the men I chose to be my partners. I must still believe deep inside that I can only make it if I do it on my own. I'm working hard to change that now.

Anyway, I'd argue only with PDQ's supposition that they don't care (sorry if I misunderstood your point). I've come to the conclusion that they (we) do, but that in the white hot heat of a BPD moment, there is no room for "others", there's no room for empathy - it IS truly all about MEMEMEMEME. It's like your world narrows to a pinpoint of the universe of yourself. This doesn't mean that in the rest of the relationship there is no caring. I'd say they're like the gardener who thinks that mere tools will help her/him get the job done, but what s/he really needs is a partner in the business - someone who is good at landscape design while the gardner is better at uh, laying manure  Smiling (click to insert in post) .

discardedboyfriend (((I'm sorry))) - you talked about being a sponge vs. mirror. Excellent point from both non-POV and BPD-POV. I can't speak much about being a sponge, except in the limited time period I was with my uBPDbf (and I sure did suck it up during that sad time). But how I came to be well and mostly recovered relied on a great extent to being mirrored. Let me explain...

Growing up - for whatever reason - I became convinced I was unacceptable as a person.

The first person to love me for ME was my maternal grandmother, when I was in my early 20's until she died 3 years ago (I'm in my late 30's). The second was my closest friend, whom I met in my early 30's. He showed me I was worthwhile, even if I couldn't fully believe it then. That was before my breakdown and recovery from BPD.

Afterwards, I had 2 amazing therapists: one a warm, loving mother type (my own mom wasn't demonstrative much), the other a no-nonsense practical, nonjudgemental man (my own father wasn't involved much). And I found acceptance at BPDRecovery.com People understood! They had gone through what I had! They did the same stupid things! They were trying to get better, too! I belonged. I belonged... I was ok, maybe.

Then, I came here. And no longer was my validation coming from professional carers or good-intentioned, but still sick peers. It was coming from "normal"   people. I'm ok? I may even be a good person? Really? wow. Maybe I'm a good person. I was accepted for who I am. You all have my deep gratitude, y'hear me! You'll never know what that meant to me.

Now, I have friends in RL. They love me for me. I think I love me for me, too. I am an acceptable person. I am a worthwhile human being.

And so is every person with BPD. They just don't know it yet.

And so is every person who loved a person with BPD. They just have to remember it always.

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« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2011, 02:47:00 PM »

I am the parent of a BPD daughter, and I do not think their was any thing abnormal in her upbringing.  Sure, she'd tell you she was abused, emotionally at least, but so would she tell you that just about any one she's every interacated with, certainly 90 percent, have emotionally abused her, let her down, betrayed her etc.  BECAUSE she sees the world as a BPD.  She was very difficult as a child, and so often got negative feedback, but it was in response to her actions, and never ever reached the level of actual emotional or physical abuse.  AIn fact she was cherished and we had a pretty happy family.
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« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2011, 05:29:51 PM »

A theory I heard about recently; Some people are very sensitive to smells, and can't stand certain odors, others to colors or textures, maybe BPD's feel emotions more intensely than others and don't know how to respond to them. Extemes exist in all areas, why not in emotions? Then, to compound the problem, they were told over and over  again that they were "wrong" to feel as they did, so they then felt invalidated and unimportant on top of not understanding why they felt things so strongly. Even now, many of us tell the BP that "they shouldn't feel that way", we argue to prove our point, therefore proving "you're wrong".

They live in h#ll all the time, and when cornered they take down those closest to them - us...

This was my childhood. Except it was my brother who took everyone down cus he couldn't stand how he felt - especially me, so perhaps I was collateral damage BPD...

Anyway, informal forum topics on BPDRecovery.com show many pwBPD have highly sensitive nervous systems - cutting the neck out of tshirts because we couldn't stand the feel, having to go chill out in a dark room after a loud party, sounds driving us crazy that other people didn't even notice, food aversions for slimy or weirdly-textured substances, turning off flourescent lights at work (I have to do this). Also many of the pwBPD including me have fairly intense startle responses. Also, I have very slight synesthesia-like perceptions, but mostly it's spacial rather than "hearing colors" or whatever.And that's just the physical senses.

Emotional senses are fairly hightened, too - I'm quick to feel emotion, they are intense when they happen, they last a long time and I have a hard time "cooling down" from them, and they leave a bad "aftertaste", although I'm better at doing so through therapy and recovery work. For years I couldn't cry because it actually hurt to do so and made me feel worse. I do so now and after "practice" I see why people say it relieves you, because now it does. I must have trained my nervous system to be able to habituate to the feeling and accept it as normal rather than pathological. I've been reading about attachment disorders and one problem if the child doesn't form a bond, for whatever reason, is that they don't learn to regulate their emotional responses. If I remember, I'll go find the article and re-post.
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« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2011, 02:21:05 PM »

After reading this thread, I just wanted to comment and say: The h#ll that the BPDSO lives in must be so scary, they try to pull others in to help, not realizing those people are desperately trying to pull the BPD OUT!
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« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2011, 08:58:52 PM »

I'm just curious because so many of the traits and beliefs mentioned in the original post, as well as the black and white thinking (splitting) are also so prevalent in my own experience with anxiety, panic, and depression, which my therapist believes stems from emotional abuse in my childhood.  So how come I was diagnosed with panic instead of BPD?  And how come i was able to hear a diagnosis and get to the hard work of therapy, but my sister-in-law nearly sues people for suggesting she see a therapist?  How come my beliefs in my worthlessness led me to sit sadly and quietly in the dark, apologizing for my existence, but hers inspire her to physically back people up against the wall until they admit they know less than her about something?  Has anyone heard any theories about how these behaviors are learned, and why people with different illnesses respond so completely differently to seemingly identical beliefs and twisted thinking?

I am not doubting the severe pain of living a life with abandonment issues and feelings of worthlessness, and I certainly understand that, as completely separate, legitimate illnesses, they likely have completely separate cognitive and biological sources. 

I'm just really curious why feelings of worthlessness in some people cause them to quietly try to remove themselves from the environment, and others rage around like rabid elephant, and cavort as though they own the place.

Anyone have any theories?
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« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2011, 01:30:33 PM »

The behaviors exhibited during a relationship for all of these afflictions can look somewhat alike but the driving forces and the implications can be very different.  For example, was that lying predatory (as in ASPD), ego driven (as in NPD), defensive (as in BPD), a result of being out of control (as in alcoholism), or ineptitude (as in Aspergers).  Was it situational, episodic (bipolar), or has it been chronic. Yes, all lying is bad, but the prognosis for the future is not that same in all situations. For example, depression and bipolar disorder (mood disorders) are very responsive to drug therapy -- substance abuse often requires intervention and inpatient detoxification -- personality disorders require multi-year re-learning therapies (e.g. DBT, Schema) --  Aspergers is often considered a long term disability.  Chronic bad behavior and situational bad behavior are very different.

It is probably best to resist the temptation to immediately latch onto one of the personality disorder symptoms lists as the magic formula. Doing this may make the situation appear more hopeless and more one-sided than it actually is, and it may send us in a wrong or unhealthy direction. 

Getting back to the subject question "What is BPD" -- personality disorders, per se', are lifelong afflictions -- anyone can act "borderline" in a particular situation. To be a PD, symptoms must have been present for an extended period of time, be inflexible and pervasive, and not a result of alcohol or drugs or another psychiatric disorder -- the history of symptoms should be traceable back to adolescence or at least early adulthood -- the symptoms have caused and continue to cause significant distress or negative consequences in different aspects of the person's life. Symptoms are seen in at least two of the following areas: thoughts (ways of looking at the world, thinking about self or others, and interacting), emotions (appropriateness, intensity, and range of emotional functioning), interpersonal functioning (relationships and interpersonal skills), or impulse control.

"Present for an extended period of time" doesn't mean constantly and obviously present.  Many people with this disorder, especially as they get older, learn to adapt and control or isolate the worst of the disordered actions except when stress pushes them past their ability to control and manage.  This is why the disorder is more visible to the family and close friends.

It is also worth noting that personality disorders are spectrum disorders -  meaning that there is a broad range of severity - for example BPD can range from the selfish and hurtful sub-clinical traits all the way to the potentially life threatening conditions.

This may help.

I, too, had some concerns about myself, but saw this post on another thread that cleared it up. Everyone suffers from some of the criteria for BPD, but only for a short time, then we see where our thinking was faulty. pwBPD cannot escape the defeatist thinking patterns prevalent in BPD.

Hope that helps.
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« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2011, 11:44:40 AM »

The borderlines, narcissists, and other personality disordered people confuse the hell out of us. They can be with us, tell us that they love us, one minute, and then leave us and be with another the next. Seemingly without hurt, confusion, or remorse. They treat us good, then treat us badly. WTH? It seems so baffling to our own minds.

To understand this behavior, you must first wrap your mind around the fact that everything is based soley on them, and their needs. They lack the forethought of seeing how their behavior affects us. They lack the compassion of caring about us, rather, they only care about themselves. It makes perfect sense if you look deep into their past, and see that noone ever cared for them in a possitive, nurturing environment. They have always had to fend for themselves, and as a child, that cant be done without using people. It is a pattern that resides with them through adulthood.

Think of them like a gardener, and us like a lawn mower, weedeater, rake, shovel, and sprayer. They need the grass cut, so they go to the lawn mower. Now when they got this lawn mower, they loved it because it cranked with the first pull, and it never gave a minutes trouble. They never take care of it, so it seems to be in disrepair. They will pull on it once, and if it doesnt start, they will get irritated. After subsequent pulls, if the lawn mower doesnt start, they will do out and find another one that will crank on the first pull, completely oblivious to the fact that only the spark plug needs changed. That new lawnmower is now the greatest lawn mower in the world. It may be ugly, and worn out, but it is theirs, and it cranks on the first pull. That qualifies it to be the best one ever.

After that one quits cranking, they make give the first one a pull or two, but if it doesnt crank, its off to find the next one, and they know where it is at, because they are always looking to find something that will work in case their old one fails them.

You see folks, its all about need, desire, and complete selfishness. Yes, us lawnmowers love our gardeners, and we want to run on the first pull, because we dont want to let our gardener down, and we dont want to be replaced. When we are replaced, we are hurt, shocked, and rejected. We spent along time mowing their grass. If only they cared enough about us to maintain us a little. If only they changed our oil, and replaced our spark plugs. Its what we need to be able to keep running for them. But alas, we are merely replacable machines to them.

It goes on down the line with all of the other tools in the shed. Why spend time fixing one, when mass production dictates that there will always be another one just around the corner that will work. And general maintenace just takes time away from them. They refuse to do it, and refuse to see what harm it causes us. If only they could be pushed around the yard a couple of times.

wow,this hurt but so so true with a BPD.Thanks
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« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2011, 07:49:44 PM »

Excerpt
wow,this hurt but so so true with a BPD.

Ditto. A painful yet enlightening, and powerful, analogy. ty
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« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2011, 11:53:12 PM »

I was just reading through this whole thread and a post by PDQ actually was very similar to something that my H had said to me after we were seperated a couple years and I had no idea about BPD or NPD.

His anology of a gardner with a working lawnmower that replaces it when it didn't start on a first or second pull and instead of maintaining it,replacing it with a new reliable one that was easier etc.

When pleading with my husband at the time and saying "how can you throw away our relationship of all these years so easy , I feel like you could have never loved me."I was saying "when 2 people love each other and are married and committed they work things out "neither of us had done anything to cause him to leave like he did suddenly(he left because my son and him got in an argument and he would stick to that still 6 years after the fact by the way.)

His response(much like PDQ's anology I think)he said not to sound cold but "I feel and have felt if I have a car and its in an accident it can never be the same anymore so I have to sell it,trade it or junk it ,it can't be fixed. Thats how I feel about us." I was attempting to stay calm and not break down,I was on the phone so he didn't see my face and was able to say "Ok on that same line ,what about someone who buys a classic car or muscle car that needs to be restored and they work on it and it looks and runs even better than ever?" Of course my answer made no sense to his thinking.
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« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2011, 12:28:54 PM »

I am the parent of a BPD daughter, and I do not think their was any thing abnormal in her upbringing.  Sure, she'd tell you she was abused, emotionally at least, but so would she tell you that just about any one she's every interacated with, certainly 90 percent, have emotionally abused her, let her down, betrayed her etc.  BECAUSE she sees the world as a BPD.  She was very difficult as a child, and so often got negative feedback, but it was in response to her actions, and never ever reached the level of actual emotional or physical abuse.  AIn fact she was cherished and we had a pretty happy family.

I was wondering if you have looked into your family's background history and found any family members with possible BPD. 
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« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2011, 11:27:29 AM »

In response to Linne's post: I was at a conference this last weekend, which was not about BPD but I think relevant to this discussion. There have been posts now and then about genetic vs. experiential causes for BPD. I have read quite a bit about BPD and came to the conclusion that it is the result of a failure to attach at an early age, usually because the caregiver is inconsistent. In passing the neuroscientist/psychiatrist happened to mention a possible genetic predisposition (2010 will disagree with this) having to do with a dopamine something or other (can't remember the rest of the term). However, he then went on to affirm that it is an attachment disorder. So, it could be that a baby is more vulnerable to this and there is a mismatch--would be a very difficult child to raise, to attune to. This comment came up when the speaker was discussing attachment styles: secure, avoidant, anxious, and disorganized. [www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory  This particular Wikipedia article captures it pretty well]. It was very difficult to follow up on this because there were so many people there wanting to talk about other things. Anyway, the speaker (Dan Siegel) said that avoidant and anxious can repair itself through being with someone who is secure, i.e., that just being in a good relationship affects the brain, but that it is almost impossible for a disorganized attachment person to do this via a r/s without professional help.

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« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2011, 10:02:31 PM »

20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:

  1. I will always be alone

  2. There is no one who really cares about me, who will be available to help me, and whom I can fall back on.

  3. If others really get to know me, they will find me rejectable and will not be able to love me; and they will leave me.

  4. I can't manage by myself, I need someone I can fall back on.

  5. I have to adapt my needs to other people's wishes, otherwise they will leave me or attack me.

  6. I have no control of myself.

  7. I can't discipline myself.

  8. I don't really know what I want.

  9. I need to have complete control of my feelings otherwise things go completely wrong.

10. I am an evil person and I need to be punished for it.

11. If someone fails to keep a promise, that person can no longer be trusted.

12. I will never get what I want.

13. If I trust someone, I run a great risk of getting hurt or disappointed.

14. My feelings and opinions are unfounded.

15. If you comply with someone's request, you run the risk of losing yourself.

16. If you refuse someone's request, you run the risk of losing that person.

17. Other people are evil and abuse you.

18. I'm powerless and vulnerable and I can't protect myself.

19. If other people really get to know me they will find me rejectable.

20. Other people are not willing or helpful.

Source: Behaviour Research & Therapy article [only abstract available]

OceanHeart

This where it looks like my wife is not BPD.  Because none of this seems to be her, unless she is hiding how she really feels?  The person I see is confident and in control.

However, as a child, 2 severe things happened to her.

1.) Her mother was institutionalize for 6 months and the family was split up.  She was very close to her mother, so this separation had to be traumatic.  She lived with different relatives. When the family was re-integrated, her older sister reported that her sister would not speak anymore.  This happened between 2 and 2 1/2 years old.

2.) Later she was molested by an uncle.  I am not certain at what age.  She repressed these memories until her daughter was at a similar age.  Then she began having flashbacks and began clawing at herself, self mutilating and she sought counseling at that time.  There was no mention of BPD (unless she just never told me).

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« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2011, 06:49:39 PM »

These posts are very interesting to me because I am having the most difficulty seperating because I wanted to believe that my BPD friend thought like me.  I can't wrap my mind around their inability to be rational and willing to understand another point of view.

As I read through these posts, it makes more sense to read it from others.  I especially like the gardening tools analogy. That says it all.  When I did and said the right things I was awesome but as soon as I started to sputter it was time to put me out to pasture.  

I am working hard to seperate. I'm flipping back and forth between acceptance of the BPD behavior I dealt with and denial that this could happen to me.  My friend really toyed with my mind like nothing I have ever experienced before in any relationship.  I think I may start a journal to try and capture all my thoughts and feelings in order to work through it and make some sense and ultimate acceptance that this is who she is...long before I met her and probably for a long time to come.  Of course, knowing that she has trust and abandonment issues makes me feel guilty for being another person who "let her down", not really, but in her mind I did.
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« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2012, 03:26:09 AM »

Oceanheart,

My gf has been diagnosed recently with BPD, I see some aspects of BPD in myself either from my own behaviour in our relationship or beliefs and other things that are ingrained in me that help shape my outlook on other people. I have seen what a person is like who has BPD I have lived with and loved that person, but at the same time I can see some of it has either rubbed off on me or been there all along. Maybe I have some other type of disfunction (or I am too!, scary). One thing I know from reading posts on here is that although alot of our respective partners all seem to act in a certain way and our stories are all similar, each BPD seems to be a bit different, it seems to vary with each individual.
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« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2012, 05:22:12 PM »

PDquick- perfectly put! Honestly, reading the post by pwBPD and nonBPD is making me go in circles. I want terribly to have compassion for them. however, I know how badly i and others have been hurt and their behavior is inexcusable...unless they are like Ocean and truly seeking help. Hats off too you Ocean. you can do it
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« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2012, 11:39:58 PM »

I'm just curious because so many of the traits and beliefs mentioned in the original post, as well as the black and white thinking (splitting) are also so prevalent in my own experience with anxiety, panic, and depression, which my therapist believes stems from emotional abuse in my childhood.  So how come I was diagnosed with panic instead of BPD?  And how come i was able to hear a diagnosis and get to the hard work of therapy, but my sister-in-law nearly sues people for suggesting she see a therapist?  How come my beliefs in my worthlessness led me to sit sadly and quietly in the dark, apologizing for my existence, but hers inspire her to physically back people up against the wall until they admit they know less than her about something?  Has anyone heard any theories about how these behaviors are learned, and why people with different illnesses respond so completely differently to seemingly identical beliefs and twisted thinking?

I am not doubting the severe pain of living a life with abandonment issues and feelings of worthlessness, and I certainly understand that, as completely separate, legitimate illnesses, they likely have completely separate cognitive and biological sources. 

I'm just really curious why feelings of worthlessness in some people cause them to quietly try to remove themselves from the environment, and others rage around like rabid elephant, and cavort as though they own the place.

Anyone have any theories?

Here's what this made me think of... something I keep bringing up to T that bothers me. If you look at the subtypes of pwBPD, there are two subsets of two, which are complete opposites...sort of like you described above in your last sentence...why two people handle feelings of worthlessness completely opposite. The hermit/waif and those not with BPD but with BPD traits are quite similar. Yet those two subtypes are completely different that the queen/witch.

I told my T that I think hermit/waif BPDs and traits should have a different diagnosis label than queen/witch BPD label. It's apples to oranges.
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« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2012, 09:50:44 AM »

Ok, this might be self-serving    Smiling (click to insert in post) but I agree that there seems to be a big difference between waif-hermit/in-acting BPD and queen-witch/out-acting BPD. I think it has to do with how much NPD is present and that lots of the pwBPD on this board sound more like pwNPD.

My new therapist has said she does not think I have BPD. I have to gently remind her that she is seeing me at the end of a 5+ year recovery process and at one time all 9 DSM criteria fit, as well as ALL 19 of the cognitive distortions in my original 2007 post on this thread. She has straight-out told me I have better insight than 90% of ALL of her other clients, which is something others have told me, but I don't think that disqualifies me as BPD. I think denial of wrongdoing to the abusive and dysfunctional extent we read about here is a function of NPD. I personally have always taken too much responsibility for things (SewingKit's "apologizing for my existence", but that's mostly due to my FOO issues. I'll say that I'm glad I have the capacity to do so, because it has really helped me own up to my faults and face the consequences of my actions. BPDRecovery - the forum for pwBPD trying to get better - uses the Existential Paradox as a teaching/healing tool:

Excerpt
We are not responsible for how we came to be who we are as adults but as adults we are responsible for whom we have become and for everything we say and do.

But in the end, the diagnosis/label is irrelevant and what really matters is the work we do towards healing and growth and in the way we treat other people.

I'm just curious because so many of the traits and beliefs mentioned in the original post, as well as the black and white thinking (splitting) are also so prevalent in my own experience with anxiety, panic, and depression, which my therapist believes stems from emotional abuse in my childhood.  So how come I was diagnosed with panic instead of BPD?  And how come i was able to hear a diagnosis and get to the hard work of therapy, but my sister-in-law nearly sues people for suggesting she see a therapist?  How come my beliefs in my worthlessness led me to sit sadly and quietly in the dark, apologizing for my existence, but hers inspire her to physically back people up against the wall until they admit they know less than her about something?  Has anyone heard any theories about how these behaviors are learned, and why people with different illnesses respond so completely differently to seemingly identical beliefs and twisted thinking?

I am not doubting the severe pain of living a life with abandonment issues and feelings of worthlessness, and I certainly understand that, as completely separate, legitimate illnesses, they likely have completely separate cognitive and biological sources. 

I'm just really curious why feelings of worthlessness in some people cause them to quietly try to remove themselves from the environment, and others rage around like rabid elephant, and cavort as though they own the place.

Anyone have any theories?

Here's what this made me think of... something I keep bringing up to T that bothers me. If you look at the subtypes of pwBPD, there are two subsets of two, which are complete opposites...sort of like you described above in your last sentence...why two people handle feelings of worthlessness completely opposite. The hermit/waif and those not with BPD but with BPD traits are quite similar. Yet those two subtypes are completely different that the queen/witch.

I told my T that I think hermit/waif BPDs and traits should have a different diagnosis label than queen/witch BPD label. It's apples to oranges.

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« Reply #45 on: January 06, 2013, 02:53:17 AM »

20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:

  1. I will always be alone

  2. There is no one who really cares about me, who will be available to help me, and whom I can fall back on.

  3. If others really get to know me, they will find me rejectable and will not be able to love me; and they will leave me.

  4. I can't manage by myself, I need someone I can fall back on.

  5. I have to adapt my needs to other people's wishes, otherwise they will leave me or attack me.

  6. I have no control of myself.

  7. I can't discipline myself.

  8. I don't really know what I want.

  9. I need to have complete control of my feelings otherwise things go completely wrong.

10. I am an evil person and I need to be punished for it.

11. If someone fails to keep a promise, that person can no longer be trusted.

12. I will never get what I want.

13. If I trust someone, I run a great risk of getting hurt or disappointed.

14. My feelings and opinions are unfounded.

15. If you comply with someone's request, you run the risk of losing yourself.

16. If you refuse someone's request, you run the risk of losing that person.

17. Other people are evil and abuse you.

18. I'm powerless and vulnerable and I can't protect myself.

19. If other people really get to know me they will find me rejectable.

20. Other people are not willing or helpful.

Source: Behaviour Research & Therapy article [only abstract available]

This has been a huge insight, my boyfriend has BPD and he exhibits and flats out say most of the things on the list himself. However, I spend a lot o my time trying to show him that he is not a monster, I (and others) love him for the person he is when he's having a 'good day' (will not go into his past, but I completely understand WHY he has BPD).

I feel that because he knows he has BPD, he tries by himself to moderate. But it doesn't work and he goes through the whole above process again. It is truly heartbreaking to have your love thrown back in your face and having to start all over again. But i know it's equally if not more, hard for him. Which sends me into a loop of anger against him, then guilt because it's not his fault, then more anger because if he tried as hard as you clearly have, Ocean, then we would be in a better place, then guilt again etc...  

My point is, that there are BPDs who will try and explain their perspective through some means, and the problem is then what the nonBPD does with that information (I may be doing it wrong, or maybe there is no correct way to comfort them when they express their feelings)
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« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2013, 12:58:40 AM »

This is a wonderful thread.

Oceanheart: Thanks for summarizing these points. My BPDfbf has most of these feelings on and off.

I introduced him to concept of BPD and he wanted to cut me off his life, so that I can be happy and healthy. This hurts so bad. I kept trying to make it work and it hurt more. What hurts most is that he has no support besides me.

cocobell: You have summarized key points from entire thread for beautifully. I feel the exact same response for those statements. Worst part is that you know you can't live with them because they have a brain dysfunction but the thought of leaving them hurts so much. He feels so much like a child and I want to take care of him.

I feel so attached to my BPDbf and it keeps hurting me. Sometimes he is cool and stable. May be he hides his feelings from me. But I know inside he is weak and broken and needs help.  I feel guilty for leaving him miserable and helpless.


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« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2013, 09:47:45 AM »

20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:

  1. I will always be alone

  2. There is no one who really cares about me, who will be available to help me, and whom I can fall back on.

  3. If others really get to know me, they will find me rejectable and will not be able to love me; and they will leave me.

  4. I can't manage by myself, I need someone I can fall back on.

  5. I have to adapt my needs to other people's wishes, otherwise they will leave me or attack me.

  6. I have no control of myself.

  7. I can't discipline myself.

  8. I don't really know what I want.

  9. I need to have complete control of my feelings otherwise things go completely wrong.

10. I am an evil person and I need to be punished for it.

11. If someone fails to keep a promise, that person can no longer be trusted.

12. I will never get what I want.

13. If I trust someone, I run a great risk of getting hurt or disappointed.

14. My feelings and opinions are unfounded.

15. If you comply with someone's request, you run the risk of losing yourself.

16. If you refuse someone's request, you run the risk of losing that person.

17. Other people are evil and abuse you.

18. I'm powerless and vulnerable and I can't protect myself.

19. If other people really get to know me they will find me rejectable.

20. Other people are not willing or helpful.

Source: Behaviour Research & Therapy article [only abstract available]

Thank you oceanheart for this insight into what a BPD sufferer feels. It is very much appreciated.

Ian
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« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2013, 11:54:05 AM »

...    I feel guilty for leaving him miserable and helpless.

Here is the crux of it for many SO of pwBPD...    This is what makes you human and loving, and yet may keep you "trapped" in an untenable situation [especially if your pwBPD is not in active recovery].

I have no answers, only experiences to draw on. I have no good advice, either, expect maybe just please try to remember to take care of yourself and to honor the hard work you're doing, and the courage you have in trying.
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« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2013, 05:39:42 AM »

I think denial of wrongdoing to the abusive and dysfunctional extent we read about here is a function of NPD.

I can see a lot of the negative assumptions you listed in my ex but he also denied wrong-doing, IMO, to an abusive and dysfunctional extent.  I know labels are sometimes irrelevant but when I have read about Vulnerable Narcissists - it fits my ex a lot.
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