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Author Topic: FAQ: How it feels to have BPD  (Read 7917 times)
SewingKit

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« Reply #30 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 #31 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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landstar8891
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« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2011, 11:44:40 AM »

 Bullet: comment directed to __ (click to insert in post) PDQuick

wow,this hurt but so so true with a BPD.Thanks
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PeaveyT40

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« Reply #33 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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Zena321
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« Reply #34 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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Let it Be
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« Reply #35 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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diotima
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« Reply #36 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.

Diotima
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JimNelson89
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« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2011, 10:02:31 PM »

20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:

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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DamagedFriend

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« Reply #38 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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itsaconspiracy
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« Reply #39 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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Cr8peace

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« Reply #40 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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This board is intended for general questions about BPD and other personality disorders, trait definitions, and related therapies and diagnostics. Topics should be formatted as a question.

Please do not host topics related to the specific pwBPD in your life - those discussions should be hosted on an appropraite [L1] - [L4] board.

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« Reply #41 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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oceanheart
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« Reply #42 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.
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Camoola
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« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2013, 02:53:17 AM »

20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:

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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pari
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« Reply #44 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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Oldsoldier2411

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

20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:

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

Ian
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oceanheart
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« Reply #46 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 #47 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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maxen
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« Reply #48 on: December 10, 2013, 02:49:37 PM »

i've found oceanheart's posts illuminating and i hope she comes back sometime.

i also foud zena's reply #36 above described my own frustration very well.
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Depth_of_Mind

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« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2014, 04:06:34 PM »

One thing I don't understand is in normal condition (When Boarderline's are happy and in good mood),  Why they can't understand that their thoughts and assumptions are unrealistic... Can they believe it if they get this info from trusted source

For Example if we tell them that "20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:" given by Oceanheart in one of the post, these assumptions are just the part of their disorder and not realistic. will it help by anyway?
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« Reply #50 on: May 27, 2014, 05:25:49 PM »

20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:

Thanks for posting this. What I find so unbelievably ironic is that for a BPD person, the ultimate fear is abandonment, and yet they do and say things that make it incredibly difficult for their partners to NOT abandon them. It's like the abandonment becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
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ZigZiglar
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« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2014, 10:08:50 PM »

Hi, this isn't my first post here, but I had no idea where else to post this ... .

I have found this forum very helpful and my now ex wife has reached a point of self awareness where she is actively partaking in self managed DBT. She constantly relies on me to articulate her BPD traits so she can put them in a diary or jog her memory. I thought it might be better for her to use a forum like this to get this kind of help.

I am trying to focus on the co-parenting after separation side of things and would prefer to keep my distance as far as therapy related stuff goes.

Do you know of any forums that she might benefit from?


Cheers!
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Rapt Reader
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« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2014, 10:28:45 PM »

Hello, ZigZiglar  

I think it is great that you have a decent enough relationship with your Ex-wife that she is willing to take your advice, and it's very wonderful that she is willing to seek help for herself. I wish you, and her, all the best in your continuing relationship dealing with your children  

We actually recommend that people with BPD go here: Resources for BPD Sufferers.
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ZigZiglar
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« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2014, 11:01:33 PM »

Many thanks for the links! My relationship with my wife is a lot better since she moved out, but we still have our ups and downs. I just find it SO much easier to look after myself and step away when her behaviour is out of line as I have my own safe haven (house) to fall back to. And obviously her expectations of me have lowered astronomically, so she actually appreciates the things I do to help now, unlike before.

She even said herself that she realises in retrospect that she subconsciously places expectations on me like a child would a parent - she was seeking unconditional love and radical acceptance with no consequences for any of her mistakes or bad behaviour. In other words she wanted something I couldn't give her - well something that NO ONE can give her (hence why she wants it so much?) since her mother committed suicide when she was 9 and was a terrible mother up until that point and she doesn't have anything to do with her deadbeat father. etc

As is fairly typical for BPD sufferers, she used me as a scapegoat for all her bad behaviour and only after separatinghas she reached a constructive level of self awareness. So in that sense it's much better for both of us. Just a pity we didn't meet in a few years time - not just for us, but for our children too ... .
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« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2018, 07:22:35 AM »

20 Common Negative Assumptions in BPD thinking:

I’m trying to understand what it’s like to have BPD- when looking at this list of distorted thinking, as a parent, where do I even begin to help my daughter?
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