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Author Topic: FAQ: Did she ever love me? [romantic partners]  (Read 6863 times)
oceanheart
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« on: January 24, 2008, 09:29:24 PM »

Did she ever love me?

One question often pondered by realationsionship partners is "What was the true nature of the relationship? Did she (he) love me?"

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the nature of BPD love.  

[The main text of this intro post is an extended version of the essay I wrote to accompany the article How a Borderline Relationship Evolves, by Roger Melton, MA. The approach I’ve taken in writing what it’s like to love as a person with BPD has been mostly academic and abstract, more about the process of it rather than the feeling of it. I’ve stayed away from becoming too emotionally detailed because even though I am mostly recovered, it still is a painful subject, made even more so because I am single. Those old ghosts sometimes come knocking, still.]

Anyway, input, reactions, thoughts, opinions, solutions (Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)), etc. about this subject would be welcome and appreciated.

What’s it like to love when you have borderline personality disorder?

...I don’t know, but only because when I was not yet recovering from BPD as I am now, I couldn’t love. Not because I wasn’t capable of it (after all we people with BPD are still people) but because it wasn’t really love. It certainly felt like love to me – the only way I knew love to feel: desperate, overwhelming, consuming, and ultimately destructive. Love was like Hiroshima. It truly was a feeling of searing heat.

It was that way from the beginning of a relationship, and it was certainly that way at the end of one, and there was always an end because no healthy, normal human interaction could survive that kind of intensity. But at the beginning there was always positive passion, which understandibly made the non-BPD partner feel so exquisitely wanted. At the end of it, the passion was as strong as the start, but regardless of who ended the relationship, it was wholly negative.

People with BPD are intense by nature: one of the disorder’s basic structures is mood lability. But the force of our love – and our hate, though never indifference – comes from something altogether different: from the deep emptiness inside us, where no warmth seems to reach. It’s an absense of a sense of self, a sense of being a good person, and comes from a lack (or perceived lack) of getting our primary needs met when we were children, for whatever reason: abuse, neglect, trauma, difficult innate temperaments, invalidation, loss of a caretaker, harsh environment, whatever it may be.

Love, for an adult, unrecovered BP, is still about getting those driving, unfulfilled needs met. It’s about finding THE person to love us unconditionally who will never leave us and who will make our lives bearable, who will give us a reason to live and give us back ourselves. Ultimately, that’s why it can’t be love, because romantic love is between two people who can experience emotional intimacy and who see each other as partners and as ends in themselves. The unrecovered person with BPD is not capable of that kind of selflessness and sharing: the partner remains an object to a BP, whether the BP is conscious of it or not: the partner is the “cure” for our lonliness, a source to feed our neediness, not a person in and of themselves.

So when our partner lets us down – for, as being humans they inevitably will – the once burning hot passion becomes a roaring fire of hatred or a self-immolation of agony and sadness. We don’t always mean to hurt the people we love, sometimes we don’t realise we have hurt the people we love, and often we hate ourselves because we have hurt the people we love. We want those we love to be with us and to stay with us, as does everyone else. That we folks with BPD are usually the very reasons those people leave is a pain beyond knowing: the thing we want the most is the thing we know least how to have. How horribly pitiful that is. Unless we grow and change and learn healthy ways, this will always be so in our lives, which means we will never truly experience the greatest thing that makes life worthwhile: love.
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 11:05:02 PM »



I used to write things like this in many a thread...

BPDs:



  • DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE

  • DONT KNOW WHAT LOVE IS

  • JUST DONT WANT TO BE . . .



 



  • They will do anything to win at whatever they think it is that's gonna make them happy or better than us. . . (really)

  • They will take no hostages, just leave a trail of victims..



(i have found it to be too true - sadly)


I quit writing those lines a while back; after I finally accepted it and the fact that she was not going to do what she needed for herself. She had the opportunity to improve and the structure in-place. She chose not too. In so doing she further demonstrated that she doesn't love herself yet... at least not how she should.

I quit writing them because it *hurt too much* to accept and understand both at the same time.





So when our partner lets us down – for, as being humans they inevitably will – the once burning hot passion becomes a roaring fire of hatred or a self-immolation of agony and sadness. We don’t always mean to hurt the people we love, sometimes we don’t realise we have hurt the people we love, and often we hate ourselves because we have hurt the people we love. We want those we love to be with us and to stay with us, as does everyone else. That we folks with BPD are usually the very reasons those people leave is a pain beyond knowing: the thing we want the most is the thing we know least how to have. How horribly pitiful that is. Unless we grow and change and learn healthy ways, this will always be so in our lives, which means we will never truly experience the greatest thing that makes life worthwhile: love.

I learned this long ago. I realized it before we ended. I committed it my heart after we split. But I refused to accept it. I loved her (as much as 'I' could). I detested knowing and understanding the truth to that which I knew. 

That is part of the reason I refused to give up... to get re-engagemented... to self-re-engagement...

She loved me as best as she knew how. I loved her the best I knew how. I too have a PD and I understand that I need to love myself first before I can really understand the what-how-&-why of real love. I realized that long ago.  Even before understanding my own defect(s) I realized that she did not realize that *love* in herself.

She was happy and feeding off of me. She didn't love herself, she never had; so she never knew what love was for or about.

Ocean notes that >>>when our partner lets us down...<<< it can ignite the torches which illuminate the inevitable the path downhill. I also noticed that when the BPD realizes they have made mistakes, when they let the non-partner down, that they will begin the sabotage cycle as well.

I am learning to love myself and I am learning about my PD. The more I do the more I can understand how the BPD doesn't understand "love". Remember that above I wrote "I loved her (as much as 'I' could)."  There is a reason the as much as 'I' could part is in blue. I too have to learn more about love. I think many nons need to learn more of themselves and their own love and reason for "acceptance of status-quo" better and in doing so they we will have a better understanding of how the person with the PD has this challenge with "love".

No, they never really love/loved us. But we can love them.

bumpy
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 12:03:30 AM »

In my heart, I believe that my ex really did love me. I also believe that he was capable of love. He expressed this in many ways when he wasn't in the BPD mode. I believe that he would have hung the moon for me. He would have done anything to protect me from the "evils of the world." He was kind and generous. He never missed our "monthly anniversaries." He did a lot of sweet things for me as an expression of his love. I would come home from work and he would be folding my laundry, or be cooking my favorite meal. I was always getting "just because" handmade cards, and little gifts and flowers. He would cry when I would bring him a little gift or give him a sentimental card for whatever the occasion. He loved children, and they were drawn to him. When we hugged, we held on to each other tightly. Many times there were tears between us as we embraced. Unfortunately his BPD got in the way. Every three weeks or so he would go off the deep end, and Mr. Evil would emerge. The least little thing would set him off, and he would be off on a tirade. It's like the sweetest guy in the world left and some other entity entered his body and took over for a period of time. In his irrational mind, I was expected to accept the Mr. Hyde part of his personality. When he was in this personna, I was supposed to sit there and take his rages, and name calling etc. Whenver this passed, he would return to normal and be my prince charming once again. It's like he never remembered what took place, or played it down as "one of our little spats." His ability to show love and affection were abounding. He dearly loved his Grandmother, sister, and niece. He talked to his Grandmother almost daily. To this day, I believe that he loved me and probably still does. The BPD is something that is out of his control. I feel that he is well aware of his personality defect. He just doesn't know how else to be. Sadly, I believe that there is a really good person deep inside that would like to come out. The BPD is holding him prisoner. This isn't to justify his behavior. No matter what the reason, nobody should have to endure verbal or physical abuse from another human being. That is why I ultimately chose to leave the relationship. I am sad for him because he is so miserable in himself. Capable of love? I do believe that some BP's are capable of loving. Just my dime's worth.

Ave
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 07:20:46 AM »

Ocean,

Although I have told you this before I must say it again, I am so very sincerely impressed with your ability to not only take an honest look at yourself with all your strengths and frailties...but, your eloquence in being able to express it.

Because of your words and as well other things I have read or come to understand since my marriage ended, I know that DB never truly loved me, not in the true/real/normal sense of love...he cannot, he is incapable.  His illness started showing at a very young age and has gone for well over 30 years basically untreated, it is about need, not love which are very different emotions.

It was one of the hardest things to come to grips with when it was all over, that none of it was really real.  I simply fed a need, and when I expected something real in return he could not give it and instead hurt those who cared the most. 

It was all he could give, but, it certainly wasnt love as a healthy person knows it.  I tried, Lord knows I tried to show him real love, urged him to get help, begged him to do something to save the relationship...he didn't...he couldn't...

Ocean - your bravery, honesty and ability to understand your own illness is nothing short of amazing, I know you are still working on it, there are still times where it is painful and hard...but, you are doing what very few BPD's do...becoming healthy and facing it all with grace and understanding...you have my respect and  xoxo
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oceanheart
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2008, 09:00:04 PM »

She had the opportunity to improve and the structure in-place. She chose not to. In so doing she further demonstrated that she doesn't love herself yet... at least not how she should.

She loved me as best as she knew how. I loved her the best I knew how. I too have a PD and I understand that I need to love myself first before I can really understand the what-how-&-why of real love. . . . She was happy and feeding off of me. She didn't love herself, she never had; so she never knew what love was for or about.

No, they never really love/loved us. But we can love them.

Really good points, Bumpy. That old cliche, which is oh so true: if we can't love ourselves we can't love another. And BPs hate themselves, for the most part, or don't know their true selves (AJ Mahari had written extensively on the latter subject of "false self", I'd recommend reading her stuff - she's posted here at BPDFamily.com, too). I'd be interested in what you think about your own sense of love, given your own struggles with a PD.

Ave - I believe we with BPD are capable of love, but only because I believe it comes standard on the human model, so to speak. It's there, it just isn't being used in the majority of people with BPD (just my opinion, of course), because so many weren't taught how to use it. We were taught the opposite, maybe: how to hate (mostly ourselves), how to mistrust, how to fear. It wasn't necessarily a parent who taught us that, it was often just life itself, or specific traumas, or abuse, which damaged the ability to love in a real sense.

It wasn't impossible: I loved my Grandmother more than anyone, and not (just) for selfish reasons: I loved her for the wonderful person she was. I loved my best friend, too, because he accepted me but also because I have never known anyone as special as he is. Deep down I loved my FOO, but only recently could I feel it because of a lifetime of resentment had obscured it. I have never truly loved in an adult way any partner I've been with. For one thing, I wasn't with them long enough to develop deep, true intimacy. For another thing, I mistook my neediness for love, for love itself. It's different if someone's with their partner for a long time, maybe.

Not to rub salt in a wound, Ave, because I know you've been through a lot recently, but do you think he loved you when he was Mr. Hyde? Wasn't that as much him as the wonderful Dr. Jekyll side? For you, did his abuse cancel out all his sweetness?

elphie ( right back at'cha), why do you think it is he couldn't ever get help? was it too painful for him to admit he was wrong? Did he believe he loved you and that he didn't have to "prove" it? What's it like to love someone who is incapable of giving back that same level of love (if that's not too painful to think/speak about)?

leo, I like your analogy of the script writer, because it's like we're writing the fiction of our lives and how we're supposed to be acting, as if we're characters. i.e., this is how love's supposed to look, this is the "love scene", this is what romance is about. But it's all fake: it's all 2-dimensional props, a darkened movie set after the cameras are gone...
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2008, 09:21:20 PM »

Oceanheart,

I appreciate your thread here and I'm glad you asked me about my own sense. ...am thinking about it now...  usually I just kinda take it for granted that I can love, I can learn to love better, blah blah blah.

I will be happy to share my own views and too contrast them to how I see xBPDso. (after I can relfect on it more)

for now I'll just note:

i know love to many degrees (as you do with various people). my idea of love has been polluted from transgressions in my past and I thought and confused the feelings that love meant and was related to sex, or money, or any (and I mean "ANY" affection. I also thought I *had* to love any and everyone that gave me a moment of time and concern.

my ideas of love have been so distorted that feeling the pitter-patter of infatuation can make me think I am in Love, that this is real love. A great round of sex with even a stranger can trigger love in me as those who loved me as a child rewarded me with affection and gifts to cover their actions.

for me to know me and to love me, i first have to identify the different ways that i see and feel love. from there figure out how i have twisted them.

i am glad you have this thread, i think Mr T is about to take me this direction in T next week. It funny how the board often fits in with my life...

anyhow, i think my ex (and I do love her still - for real) has a past like mine and so she got everything confused too.

bumpy
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2008, 05:03:37 PM »

oh boy... this thread real tugs at the heart... i still cry some nights at what my once BPD SO said... when she broke up with me... she said she "thought" she loved me and never did... but then she went on to tell me that she couldn't be happy with anyone because she wasn't happy with herself... a week later.. i was gettting hate mail from her... and the weekend of the break-up she was telling me how much I she loved and needed me... ugh... the worst part of this whole recovery process... is that it wasn't real.. the love... mine was.. but hers wasn't.. it was a need... and now she's saying the same things to her new bf that she said to me... and i'm going to be remembered in her book for a 1.5 year relationship the same as a 2 month relationship with another guy... i meant nothiing to her... and everything she said was just a web to get me sucked in... and worst of all i still love her and think about her constantly... i just wish she would have gotten help like she said time and time again...
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2008, 09:15:46 PM »

Ben, I'm not sure I've met you yet... If not, "Hi! I'm glad you're here!" Your post brought to mind the point of the ever-so-common "spare/new" person. Let's not forget that many with PDs will bounce from one to another...

":)id she ever love me?"

                      ... did she?

The unequivocal should be Yes. But the equivocal choice(s) we all seem to pony up to that answer are...

Yes!

Yes she loved me...

She loved me the best she could... or best she knew how...

Maybe she loved me...

I think she did...

I hope she did.

Did she?

It awful...

And then we get thrown the "next man" (aka Mr. Rebound). Or worse than that, he's not the rebound at the all. He was the security blanket that kept her shrouded, warm and safe from our reality on her journey out and beyond...

":)id she ever love me?" is one way to look at it. It can make it easier in a way...

Did she love ME? I think is the hard one to swallow. The ever component is the one we choose to reflect on and to remember. It is indicative of the good-times that we had. Those when we were idolized, on the pedestal and painted more whit than snow...


ever, ever, ever... it can be interpreted in two manners

A. Ever having been at least once...

B. Ever meaning "really"

I know it really means A but I can easily confuse it with B

We chose to over the look the cold and hard part of the reality in demise.

It didn't matter if she ever did.

It matters more if she really did.

And beyond that... do she still?

In order to be a "still" there has to be an ever. Too bad for me that is in the past because I still love her.  :'(


bumpy



ps - OceanHeart...

I think it was very clever of you to word the topic: Did She ever love me.

I think -just from my quick reflection- that this more often seems to be a male type question. Now I could be wrong, and could just be thinking that because I identify with it so well... But I wonder...

Is more a guy thing... Do the women not have this "question/fear" as much or as strongly as men do?

Heck, that might be an answer... as stronlgy... perhaps as males everything must be defined (outlined).  Hmmm...

Or perhaps you're just baiting us. what a clever way to gather a group of men that are softies... LOL   
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2008, 09:36:02 PM »

Excerpt
why do you think it is he couldn't ever get help? was it too painful for him to admit he was wrong?

Ocean,  I think in many ways he absolutely cannot face that something is that wrong with him, that perhaps it is just a phase...well 37 years is a long darn phase...and in many ways at this point he actually identifies himself with being miserable, so if he isn't...he doesn't know who he is, if that makes sense.  

What burns even more is that he's not struggling with any of it at all, he simply moved to the next person who would feed that need, the need is being fed, so in his mind he's cured...until he cycles again, drives the next group of people out of his life, blames them and again moves on.  He'll never deal with his illness, he may never be held accountable for all that he has done, he's surrounded by enablers and a FOO that too so desperately needs to belive that he'll just get well...

Excerpt
Did he believe he loved you and that he didn't have to "prove" it?

I think he doesn't understand what love is, that is love vs. need...he cannot love in the traditional/normal way, and no, he never thought he had to prove it...I did, daily...or else he felt "unloved", but, I was just expected to deal with his inabilty to prove it.

Excerpt
What's it like to love someone who is incapable of giving back that same level of love (if that's not too painful to think/speak about)?

 

I'll be really honest here, because it is the only way I know how to be...What is it like?

Like the most painful thing you can imagine, like literally tearing your heart out of your chest and handing it to somone who looks at it and goes..."gee...thanks...what else ya' got?"  To this day, even writing that has brought tears to my eyes, I still don't sleep very well and I still struggle with the question as to why I accepted so little for so long.  What was/is it in me that made me want to be loved so much that I settled for what I knew for a long time was so much less than I deserved.   It is like having the life slowly drained from you, drop by drop...

One night near the end it had gotten really bad...I sat on the kitchen floor and told him he needed to do something to save the relationship, to save me...that this was killing me and that I was literaly drowning in my own dispair...he walked away, left me sitting there in tears and went to play guitars with his buddy...I think a big part of me died that night.

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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2008, 10:25:33 PM »

One night near the end it had gotten really bad...I sat on the kitchen floor and told him he needed to do something to save the relationship, to save me...that this was killing me and that I was literaly drowning in my own dispair...he walked away, left me sitting there in tears and went to play guitars with his buddy...I think a big part of me died that night.

Elp,

that's so awfully sad... not just the quoted part either. I am sorry for you.

Excerpt
I think he doesn't understand what love is, that is love vs. need...he cannot love in the traditional/normal way, and no, he never thought he had to prove it...

I think that's what it is for many of us that were in relationships. We were the "fill" to the need. That's what they loved. It wasn't us, it was still them. They got their "need" fix and we got screwed, abused, and left broken hearted. I guess it's the same for family members too.

And proving it... Heck, I had to prove it all the time although I never "had" to prove it... I showed it on my own in normal ways without condition... Still, she demanded more. And those demand seemed to different than the "worldly" needs, but she never appreciated them... She needed it -she got it -she just didn't see it or accept it.

Why do we settle for so little... (i guess that's gotta it's own workshop)
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2008, 10:34:14 AM »

Yes, females struggle with this question also.

My personal experience with this question mostly comes after an argument. See, I'm still staying and trying to work things out. My BP SO is sort of like Ava Marina's, a Dr Jekyll in that he can be extemely sweet, loving, kind, affectionate, and thoughtful for most of the month. He can be calm and understanding about many of life's curve balls and mistakes, and even put up with the pressures of dealing with teenagers and children in general. It is approxiamately once a month that he goes into his Mr. Hyde routine and rages at me. You never know exactly what will set him off. Sometimes it is something little the kids do or forget to do. Sometimes it is a comment I will make that he sees as not supportive or defensive. That is why you feel like you are walking on eggshells, cause what is ok yesterday, may be too much for today.

During one of his monthly rages, he will admit:

I don't love you

I don't respect you

I don't want to be with you

That is when the question for me happens - does this man love me?

Since I am still with him, I chose to believe that yes, he does. I believe that while part of him is the darkness, that there is more to him than that. I don't believe he means those things, even as he says them. I see a little boy in his eyes, who is crying out for understanding and help. I believe he lives with the regret of what he says. I am trying to teach him not to react in that way, and many times I am successful. He doesn't get that bad as often. He is learning to communicate with me in a more adult fashion.  I truly beleive that he has a desire to change, and he is taking St Johns Wort, which seems to be helping.

I didn't cause it. I can't change it. I can't cure it. I can only work on myself.

So for now, I answer yes to the question, but it still lingers in the back of my mind.

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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2008, 10:53:09 AM »

I had kindof an a-ha! moment in the car the other day, while listening to a certain passage in an audiobook called "Train your mind, change your brain", which gives a weird mix of neuroscience and buddhism and talks a lot about research into the brain.

The section that caught my attention is one on "attachment", which is sortof like bonding, but more to do with what happens between a caregiver and infant/toddler when the child is hurt, upset, or ill. When parents respond in a consistent, supportive, loving way, the child learns they are valued and can count on their parents in times of need. Other reactions to the child cause confusion and mistrust to develop. The theory is not proven, but it does have some validity and support in the professional community. BPD and attachment problems are related in some way, though the evidence is far from definitive that one causes the other.

The studies mentioned in the audiobook showed that when people have a history of secure attachment they are more likely to show compassion and empathy towards other people who are in distress. People who are characterized as either avoidant or insecure/ambivalent show much less concern for others, and the focus seems to be on relieving their own distress rather than the others'.

How does this relate to love? Secure attachment means the child was able to count on their caregivers. For whatever reason, avoidant and insecurely attached children were not (that doesn't mean the parent was abusive - there are many factors in attachment, including the behavior/temperament of the child themselves).

Love is about trust. Many people with BPD have an extraordinarily hard time trusting anyone, including ourselves. We often hate ourselves. But we also don't trust other people to be there for us when we need them to be. That is a pervasive, lasting pattern in some BP's lives. It's the abandonment fear, of course, but it's also a fundamental inability to believe in the love others have for us - perhaps because our own upbringing showed we couldn't rely on others, or that they were inconsistent in their caregiving. So if we can't trust you to stay, to be there when we need you (staying = "proof" you love us), then how can we have the courage to be vulnerable enough to love you back?

I was insecurely attached, btw. My parents were well-meaning, loving people who tried their best to be good parents, and for the most part they were. But there were issues despite that. Because I was adopted, there was a noticeable difference in personality between us, and that caused friction. I also had untreated ADD, and that can be taxing for any adult to deal with, but especially for 2 teachers who know their child is bright and can't understand her behavior in school. As teachers, they were also somewhat controlling, because that is all they know how to be - it worked well in the classroom. My mom was both over-involved in my life (no boundaries) and at the same time, somewhat emotionally cold (I needed LOTS of love as a kid, and I know that clingy-ness can be exasperating to many adults). Finally, my parents didn't seem to protect me or offer comfort when I needed it - especially against my brother, who was emotionally abusive. I learned I couldn't really count on them, and to a certain extent, i still can't. There were other things that contribute to my BPD, of course - things having nothing to do with my parents.

Anyway, it wasn't until I found a source of attachment as an adult that I could have a stable base to begin to give genuine love. My maternal grandmother provided that, starting when I was 19, and she continues to provide that even though she died 3 years ago (I finally achieved object constancy!). Then at 32, I met my best friend and he showed me I could trust other people, that there were good, decent people in the world. Finally, at age 34, after my breakdown and brief hospitalisation and subsequent recovery efforts, I found . . . myself, and was able to start loving the person I was (thanks to the example of the acceptance and love for me from the 2 special people in my life).

I guess I attached to myself, since that's the only true source of unconditional love we have as adults. And therefore, I was able to start giving love back. I'm doing so with my parents now, even though it's been a difficult relationship (for me & for them) between us most of my life. I'm trying to do so with my brother, even though it's been a very difficult relationship between us most of our lives. I'm doing so with the few close friends I have. I hope one day to be able to give that kind of real love to a partner.

I sincerely believe that I was not capable of doing so before recovery. If we with BPD are children emotionally, grasping so desperately for our fundamental need for unconditional love to be met, how can we find space in our hearts to include anyone else? But I do respect the experiences and beliefs of Ave and United, who have gone through different things with their SOs than I have in my own life. I could be wrong. Perhaps love is love, and even through their neediness your partners saw you for yourself and loved you for that, instead of what they wanted from you. Just please know that if they didn't - and you may never know the truth - it was no reflection on who you are as a person. It doesn't mean you aren't loveable, that you aren't worthy of love, that you don't deserve love. I hope you know that - really, truly know that.

ps - Bumpy, I didn't title the workshop, Skippy did. I imagine he did so that way because the majority of people diagnosed as BPD are females, even though it seems the majority of people on this site are female partners of a male with BPD (with the exception of female partners of a female with BPD).

(((ben))) I wish you peace of mind and heart, soon.

(((((elph))))) :'( You're a strong person and you've come a long way from that hard moment, sitting on the floor, but I'm sorry you had to go through that in the first place.

Chili - excellent point when you said, "So, if he couldn’t love my “imperfections” then he really didn’t love me." You are your imperfections along with your good qualities, and you deserve respect and love and acceptance anyway!
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2008, 09:43:54 AM »

Love is about trust. Many people with BPD have an extraordinarily hard time trusting anyone, including ourselves. We often hate ourselves. But we also don't trust other people to be there for us when we need them to be. That is a pervasive, lasting pattern in some BP's lives. It's the abandonment fear, of course, but it's also a fundamental inability to believe in the love others have for us - perhaps because our own upbringing showed we couldn't rely on others, or that they were inconsistent in their caregiving. So if we can't trust you to stay, to be there when we need you (staying = "proof" you love us), then how can we have the courage to be vulnerable enough to love you back?

I hope my comments here don't violate the policy of this board section. If they do please let me know and I'll avoid this in the future.

Love is built out of a few things and trust is one of the cornerstones. When I finally realized my ex didn't truly believe I loved and cared about her I found myself without any trust in the relationship. If someone doesn't trust you they most likely cannot be trusted themselves. Once I recognized that loss of trust the whole cycle took a life on of it's own. She'd say "You seem distant" and I'd say, "yeah, I became distant when I noticed you were distant". Loop endlessly. I didn't grasp the reality I was dealing with at the time but I do remember specifically feeling like if I was not there with her all the time then I could not feel safe in the relationship. After about the fourth time I heard "I feel like you don't care about me." I realized how easy it would be for her to latch on to someone else who could feed that need.

Love is not about need. That is fear.

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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2008, 04:27:48 PM »

Once again Oceanheart,

I must thank you for sharing your insight.  I truly appreciate it.

Schwing
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2008, 11:11:03 PM »

disco - I totally "second" chilli (well said, btw): everybody's contributions are important here. You said, "If someone doesn't trust you they most likely cannot be trusted themselves". I can't agree more. I don't know if you've read any of my other posts, but I'm rarely defending the behavior of people with BPD, even though I am one such person. Rather, I seek to explain it, out of my own need for understanding, while also hoping it maybe helps clarify it a bit for others, too (you're welcome, Schwing Smiling (click to insert in post)). I didn't mean to suggest that partners stay around so that BPs can feel secure (in most cases I don't support the partner staying at all, for the good of both people). The person with BPD feeling secure isn't what happens, is it. What often happens is what you said - they seek to assuage their fears by getting their needs met by other things (affairs, drugs, eating, cutting, etc).

There is no space in love for need, not the bottomless kind that BPs have. A partner can't feed the need so that it's satiated, just like a black hole doesn't get full, no matter how much matter it sucks into it... That may seem like a harsh metaphor, but I'm not saying the person is the black hole - I'm saying their NEED is. I don't have that need anymore - I trust people - and someday I'll be able to love another person for who they are, not what I could get from them. But until there's significant recovery in their life, people with BPD will act - and react - out of that driving, desperate neediness, not love.

***disclaimer: I don't pretend to speak for all people with BPD. I am only one person and my experiences are unique, as are those of every other person with BPD. There is common behavior, but there are also individual differences. My opinion is just that, and reflects my own beliefs. And, I have been known to be wrong, oh, once or twice or so Smiling (click to insert in post)***
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2008, 02:44:49 PM »

There is no space in love for need, not the bottomless kind that BPs have.

And see, I have struggled for a while because I believe my ex believed THAT IS HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK. On top of her emotional dysregulation she was also raised in a very isolating religious environment (jehova's witnesses) with a stepfather that exudes the patriarchal archetype. In otherwords her best examples of relationships in her life were ones that were built around needs being met, performance. Also, her childhood was very isolated socially so she could only interact with other jehova's witnesses. Kids would bring cupcakes to school for birthdays and she'd have to sit in another room. So her social development has been stunted too.

I remember her favorite movie was the camelot movie with richard gere and sean connery. Her face would light up when it came on and I believe she believed that's how love should be, the man giving everything including his life to ensure the happiness of his wife.

Why am I saying all this? Perhaps the controller in me wanted to hope that if I could show her this isn't how it worked then maybe she'd snap out of a fog and it wouldn't have meant her personality problems were malignant.

But to her love is something you give and take based on performance. It would be weak otherwise to give such a gift to someone who doesn't "deserve" that treatment because they let you down in some way, right? Yes I'm being facetious. I think that's why my love for her turned out so dangerously the opposite, because I was trying to demonstrate that a person CAN love in the hardest of times. I made it my martyrdom to try and make a point. Unfortunately a knight in shining armor doesn't look handsome anymore when they're being burned at the stake.

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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2008, 02:55:26 PM »

disco - I totally "second" chilli (well said, btw): everybody's contributions are important here. You said, "If someone doesn't trust you they most likely cannot be trusted themselves". I can't agree more. I don't know if you've read any of my other posts, but I'm rarely defending the behavior of people with BPD, even though I am one such person. Rather, I seek to explain it, out of my own need for understanding, while also hoping it maybe helps clarify it a bit for others, too (you're welcome, Schwing Smiling (click to insert in post)). I didn't mean to suggest that partners stay around so that BPs can feel secure (in most cases I don't support the partner staying at all, for the good of both people). The person with BPD feeling secure isn't what happens, is it. What often happens is what you said - they seek to assuage their fears by getting their needs met by other things (affairs, drugs, eating, cutting, etc).

I'm very familiar with your stance on things. I've read every free article of yours and even paid for one, the non-dilemma - do borderlines love.

I highly respect your work and I really appreciate what you've done to help explain things. I honestly wish there was another name for borderline personality because I truly believe my ex could benefit from reading your work. You have a way of explaining what's going on that's comforting to those who suffer and gives them a sense of acceptance for themselves without leaving them justified in staying that way. My only issue is the name borderline. I can't even hardly say it without images of fatal attraction showing up. And it's not so much I'd be worried about shocking her, it's more so that a wall would come up instantly as she said to herself "well I don't boil bunnies so this definitely isn't me".

But back to the point of love and trust. She had said on several occassions that I must not care about her, that she must not be important to me. I was completely hurt by that as it was a total negation of my love for her. I'd rather she said she doesn't love me because I'm fat.

But now that time has passed I could see this was a forewarning. An imagined scenario:" I felt like I wasn't important to you anymore. I felt like you didn't care. XXXX does care about me and he pays attention to me like you never did and that's why I slept with him, it's your fault for not caring about my needs before yours. I had no other choice" This is exactly the kind of conversation I knew would have been inevitable had I stayed with this person for years.
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2008, 01:11:52 PM »

woops, for some reason I thought you were aj, oceanheart. Regardless, your thoughts and words are a great asset to this board and I really appreciate your perspective.
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2008, 02:17:59 PM »

I'm very familiar with your stance on things. I've read every free article of yours and even paid for one<snip>

I highly respect your work and I really appreciate what you've done to help explain things.



woops, for some reason I thought you were aj, oceanheart. Regardless, your thoughts and words are a great asset to this board and I really appreciate your perspective.

  ::giggle::

I think Oceanheart's words, style and messages are awesome too. Heck, I'd pay to read 'em if i had any money left.




I honestly wish there was another name for borderline personality because I truly believe my ex could benefit from reading your work. You have a way of explaining what's going on that's comforting to those who suffer and gives them a sense of acceptance for themselves without leaving them justified in staying that way.

My only issue is the name borderline...

I too can understand that -to a point. But it's not the name (though awful as it may sound) that matters and hurts. Its the criteria, the symptom, and the cause-affect that is the problem. A name is a name, calling Borderline a different name won't make the problem any more simple to see, face, understand or accept. In fact, the name implies nothing of the sort. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder relates to the illness; it's doesn't explain it any better though. Call it BPD then. That means nothing.

Excerpt
But back to the point of love and trust. She had said on several occassions that I must not care about her, that she must not be important to me. I was completely hurt by that as it was a total negation of my love for her. I'd rather she said she doesn't love me because I'm fat.

again, back to the topic the symptom and topic...

my ex was similar (somewhat) but from the side of telling me that I shouldn't care for/about her. Not that I didn't.

Her's was one of self-esteem, an inability to see that she deserved and was worthy of love, and having little or no real love for herself.  Whereas I read your's to be self-esteem and feeling/imagining that you didn't love them. I too was devastated by this because I had gone to the greatest length to demonstrate my love and to show her that she deserved love and that she should be proud of herself too -even after the split, after accepting treatment (though not yet aware of the "name".

They each share that same common thread - self-esteem and self-love.

And until they (all PDs) can understand that in themselves it is basically impossible to really love another. Yeah, they can love you, what you do for them, and how you make them feel. But sadly from my understanding of PD love that's where it so often comes up short.
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2008, 07:30:35 PM »

I have come back and forth to this thread because I want to comment/contribute, but each time I start to write something, I cancel my post because I am not sure I even know myself.

Did my ex ever love me?  Yes, he did.

BUT----when this disorder came to be in him, I have learned that he did not.  Not that healthy beautiful love.  Whatever he may have felt for me (guilt, pity or security) was not the kind of love the drives someone to growth and evolution.  What he was feeling was driving him further into an abyss and therefore it ran from it. 

I struggle with the did he love me question in the course of the aftermath of his eruption into borderline hell all the time.  Those tender intimate moments, those divine out of body kisses, they were real.  I am not wishful thinking.  They were real.  But those were fleeting moments and few and far between.  Because the reality is there was mostly blame, anger, rage, lying, etc. that were the extent of our dealings with one another.  The thing is, I think because he is in bondage with this disorder, he is unable to fulfill the needs of a relationship.  When things were light and easy and good, we had our greatest strides, but the moment they became touch/feely and hard then things went south.

I often wonder why all the other women...and more and more as of late I think it is because he gets that light and easy feelings that make his world easier.  The early stages of those affairs feed him his supply of "good".  The minute they become challenging, then well we know what happens.

He can't handle the work of us, the challenge of overcome this pain.  He loves me, but he loves his need to feel light and airy more.  It sustains him.  When I show conflict, question him, challenge him or "reveal" him, it SCARES the hell out of him.  Those are the core things he needs to suppress about himself.  He needs to keep thinks light and easy in order to manage and cope with those difficult feelings stirring within him.  So does he love me as a borderline, no, not at all.  I am his mirror to his real self.  Looking at me is a direct reminder of WHO HE REALLY IS.

So, not sure if that contributes at all, but I just am realizing that borderlines only love what or who suppresses their fears, guilt, shame, hurt, and pain.  They will cling to whatever and whomever takes them away from all that, no matter if it is wrong or who it will hurt.  What they love is "light and easy".

oneflewover         
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2008, 10:19:27 PM »

disco, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post), I WISH I was aj - she's awesome! Her writings helped me enormously in the early weeks of my recovery effort right after my breakdown (and I still read what she writes because it's so wise). I'm flattered you got us confused, even tho I'm way cuter than she is Smiling (click to insert in post)

I honestly wish there was another name for borderline personality because I truly believe my ex could benefit from reading [AJ's] work...My only issue is the name borderline. I can't even hardly say it without images of fatal attraction showing up. And it's not so much I'd be worried about shocking her, it's more so that a wall would come up instantly as she said to herself "well I don't boil bunnies so this definitely isn't me".

The term "complexPTSD" is used sometimes to mean BPD, tho they're somewhat different constructs. My uBPDexbf was diagnosed with it, tho he was classic BPD. People don't feel so threatened when they hear that term because PTSD is more about a reaction to something justifiably horrible, rather than a set way of being. Who would gracefully accept the judgement of being personality disordered? That's says something about who you are as a person (that you're flawed, that you're horrible, that you're unloveable), and who wants to hear that?

Complex PTSD says something about what you've been through - it validates the experience of what got you to where you are - and for many many many people with BPD, that was childhood abuse, especially sexual abuse. Complex PTSD is a reaction against chronic abuse or control. I imagine a restrictive upbringing in a rigid religious environment could contribute (to those who are genetically sensitive to begin with). Interestingly, there's at least 2 JW's (one an ex-JW the other a continuing member) at BPDR. There's also a woman there who was raised in a strict Mormon home with a narcissistic patriarch. Kinda interesting...

Bumpy, I'd give you a discount on my works if I charged Smiling (click to insert in post)

Quote from: oneflewover
I am his mirror to his real self.  Looking at me is a direct reminder of WHO HE REALLY IS.

So very true! And since he hates himself, he hates what you show him, and thus he hates you. (Not you, of course, oneflewover, just what he thinks you're showing him). The fundamental flaw in him or her. The inherent "badness" they feel is at the core of themselves. Or the emptiness, the void, the abyss: their nothingness, their no-one-ness...

You have to learn love to give love. If, for whatever reason, there wasn't a feeling of being loved while a child, than how can that person give love as an adult? You can't give what you don't have. btw, I'm not arguing with you oneflewover, I fully respect your feelings about your BP - you're the only person who would know. No, I'm talking in a general sense now. For me, I knew my parents loved me, but I didn't believe they accepted me nor did they protect me. Those are 2 vital ingredients in being loved (as a child). So I was kinda confused whether I was loved or not. As an adult, I was so preoccupied with getting those 2 needs met that I used my partners to get it. I wasn't aware I was doing so (until therapy pointed it out to me). I didn't know I didn't love them for them. Tho, partly I did, of course, I'm not a monster or a robot. But mostly the "love" was about need, was all about ME, just me. But, love isn't a one-legged pair of pants, whatever that means (I'm a little loopy cus it's late, sorry!  so I better trundle off to bed!)
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2008, 10:48:37 AM »

You have to learn love to give love.

If, for whatever reason, there wasn't a feeling of being loved while a child, than how can that person give love as an adult?

You can't give what you don't have. <-snip->

For me, I knew my parents loved me, but I didn't believe they accepted me nor did they protect me. Those are 2 vital ingredients in being loved (as a child). So I was kinda confused whether I was loved or not. As an adult, I was so preoccupied with getting those 2 needs met that I used my partners to get it. I wasn't aware I was doing so (until therapy pointed it out to me). I didn't know I didn't love them for them. Tho, partly I did, of course, I'm not a monster or a robot. But mostly the "love" was about need, was all about ME, just me. But, love isn't a one-legged pair of pants, whatever that means...

From the way I understand it, those with a PD can't understand what real love it. It is something so confused with other stuff/concepts that for our BPD to love in a 'real' sense is practically impossible. Love for them is 'something else' and it is based on 'things' like need, security, acceptance, etc... It is NOT love for the sake of love -if that even makes sense. Love to a a BPD may be an item and not real love which i would equate more to a manifest emotion and component is one's psyche. Not psyche so much as "self" so here we fal back to the position that if they can't love themselves then...
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2008, 04:54:37 PM »

You know, there is no doubt in my mind that my ex husband had childhood issues that failed to promote him into adulthood properly.  He is very emotionally immature.

For me there were a series of events that happened that were ingiting this personality disorder within him.  No doubt.

I have been painted black for quite some time now, the longest ever.  In fact, I don't even hear from him at all.  The last pathetic (email) interaction we had, I told him he was a borderline.  (the big no-no, I know.)  And you can hear the crickets chirping...he is gone.

There are several facets of love.  But romantic love, let's face it, is conditional.  It is conditioned upon respect, nurture, passion, compromise, trust, and some other key elements.  These elements that I speak of are not representative of a borderline.  Borderlines have no respect, they cannot nurture, passion can be over-the-top one minute and then completey cold the next, there is no compromise and trust is unheard of. 

Truth be told, when my ex was physically around me and my child, he always looked uncomfortable.  It was as if he knew he didn't quite fit now.  He had this tormented look to him, like "I want so much to fit, but know that I don't anymore."  He looked so uncomfortable in his own skin but yet he would always have this longing look at me and his child like, "my God you two are so pure, like angels".  So yeah, I thinks the man doth love but he protest so much internally that he is incapable of harvesting that love.  So he seeks it somewhere else where his feelings, his failures, his pain and angst are so far removed from his suppressed identity because it is simply so much easier to deal with.  Escapism always works best for them.  And they will go to great lengths to accomplish their escape by distortion and false reality.  I will never forget a comment he made to me right before he moved his mistress out to live with him, he said, "You are the love of my life, but I have to see if this works with her."  Escapism.  Wasn't phony balony to him, he meant what he said.  The thing is, his love for me scares him, so it is easier to just turn and go in the other direction.       

Again, I repeat myself but this is a disorder of cowardly proportions.  My ex husband is truly a coward.  And as the more times passes with the no contact implemented, the more I realize that I have grown as a human being in "epic" proportions to him...he is so very child-like.  No longer a man that was my equal and my hero, but more a boy that is inferior and lacks such bravery.  I was one heck of a warrior in this fight and I am now commando in stature whereas he has been a soldier stripped of his duties and sent back to the barracks.

Love, it is a funny thing.  And it is no assignment for COWARDS.

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« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2008, 12:23:49 AM »

Again, I repeat myself but this is a disorder of cowardly proportions.  My ex husband is truly a coward.  And as the more times passes with the no contact implemented, the more I realize that I have grown as a human being in "epic" proportions to him...he is so very child-like.  No longer a man that was my equal and my hero, but more a boy that is inferior and lacks such bravery.  I was one heck of a warrior in this fight and I am now commando in stature whereas he has been a soldier stripped of his duties and sent back to the barracks.

Love, it is a funny thing.  And it is no assignment for COWARDS.

It's obvious that though he may not have loved you, you at least seem to be able to love yourself.
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« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2008, 10:00:03 AM »

Did she ever love me? Did he ever?

Yes,  she most certainly did and taught me , showed me ,shared with me ,her abundant love . Her face of love. Her compasion, her humor , her curiosity , her intelligence and wit. Her self disclosure , her williness to be honest about her eating disorder and to over come it. Her compassion that carried her on to become a medical doctor and go on and be married as well.

She trusted me enough to "show" me her struggles, stole my food ,  and swiped her parents food while I was house sitting making me look like the culprit ,and then came over and disrobed in front of me saying isn't this fun?

Uh well it wasn't. It was her mental illness going full bore but I could see it for what it was and still accept her because I knew it was not her it was her illness.   Our time together was a bit confusing at times  but a gift nonetheless. It was a gift that just drifted away and that did hurt .

She will  always have her eating disorder and her mental illness to work on each day and struggles of revealing it to the right people and the fear of stigmitation. May she be protected from that.  Many will never have the slightest clue of her nigtmarish struggles she endured and may still endure at times .   There were times when I could not return what she gave in the manner she was able to give it  and that hurt her. It happend with others as well.  I hope she has come to realize what gifts she has and not everyone will be able to give on the level she sees and feels . Its lonley at the top.

She is a mirical. Some took advantage of her love. For this she had to hide at times.

He , did he love me? 

I would say in a AGAPE way ,which was about the only level he was comfortable with . Hard to argue that kind of love.

He did not take the time  to get to know me as an individual . I have to take resposibility for letting him do that.  Anything that was separate from him scared him I believe. He was very religious and focused on "causes". I would say he knew how to love others in a sainlty way . He was highly intelligent and had difficulty reaching out to others on different levels.  I believe this was due to his being in a finacially secure world that was mostly text book/ school type of work.. never did the delivery boy paper route and have a go at serving the public a few Big Macs.   He now is married and  cranks out volumes of scientific work. He lived mostly in his intellect and gets paid well for it.  I believe thats where he willl always be.  So me loved me in an intelligent way.

I needed a wee bit more passion and down to earth companionship in ways he did not feel confortable  tryng. Like geting his hands dirty type of stuff.   I believe he saw I had thoe kinds of experiences and thats what drew him too me.  I accepted him  and gave him his place to be him . He did not provide that for me . I could no longer "grow in love" with him . I still and always will love him. 

I believe we meet others in life and learn a few things from them on what love might be about.


Thank you Oceanic for starting this work shop . May we be ever remindful that we can only speack about those we know and not for any group as a whole.

INFM
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« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2008, 08:44:21 PM »

I feel bad because I feel I've been saying that people with BPD can't love, and that's not my place to say.

I have never had a long-term relationship, so what the heck do I know for love? The longest has been 6 months while most have been 2 months. I can't speak for people who have been in years-long romantic relationships (my deep friendhships tend to last for years).

So don't take what I've said as being representative to all folk with BPD. It isn't fair for me to suggest that I have the insider's knowledge of what love is like for BPs.

Perhaps it would be more truthful to say that there is love, but with the inherent, fundamental, pervasive fear that is part&parcel of (full-blown) BPD, it isn't a stable emotion. It isn't steady-state, it fluctuates in inverse proportion to the amount of fear.

How can you love if you're afraid the love will leave? How can you love if you're afraid you yourself are not loveable? It's like asking an animal caught in a trap to be capable of caretaking its young or something - the energy of the animal is cuaght up in doing something else, namely, surviving. The panic of fear - which I've seen people with BPD show when they feel they might be abandoned - blinds the organism to all else.

Of course, no one is in fight vs. flight mode all the time. But BPD is like PTSD in lotsa ways, I'm convinced. I've mentioned elsewhere that "complex PTSD" is sometimes used to mean BPD, tho the two constructs are somewhat different. Correct me if I'm wrong, but PTSD is about being in high-alert to possible danger. People with BPD are on high alert #1 because of our biology (nervous system dysfunction, brain abnormalities) and #2 because of the vigilance many of us cultivated in childhoods steeped in abuse and malevolence.

But when feeling secure, like many folks mentioned previously in this thread, that's when the love capabilities of the person with BPD can blossom into something good and adult and true. Unfortunately, that's not a constant state until significant recovery happens. Then security comes from within and we are no longer scared, and we can therefore give. I've heard told that a person is more likely to feel empathy and to behave in altruistic ways when s/he feels emotionally secure. I know that's true of me. I am a much more "human" person when I feel safe in myself. Luckily, that's most of the time now. Smiling (click to insert in post) I love myself, too, now, which makes most of the difference...
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« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2008, 05:26:44 PM »

very very well put, oceanheart. This goes for many people, not just those with BPD. If we are afraid to love then we are not truly in a place of love. In a lot of ways I was afraid to love.
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« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2008, 08:10:33 PM »

Wonderful thread and subject.

I have PTSD and in some ways it is similar. Especially the emotional regulation part.

I think my ex loved me and still does in his way. But it is not healthy because it is all about how he feels and very little about my needs.

But it makes sense as you put it Ocean. It isn't love in the healthy feel good way it has neediness attached to it. It explains why I was mentally exhausted all of the time.
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« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2008, 10:00:29 AM »

I think my ex loved me and still does in his way. But it is not healthy because it is all about how he feels and very little about my needs.

Exactly - it's in their (our) own way, not the "normal" way (i.e., healthy adult intimacy). It's a limited capacity for love because like your last sentence says, it's a selfish emotion (much of the time). Limited in the sense of not how deep it goes, since most of the BPs I know have big hearts, but in the sense of being able to put other's needs first or to recognize others' needs are just as important as our own. Being BPD is being self-absorbed, if nothing else. And so how can you give love if you're so desperate to get all the love you can? [rhetorical question]

Loving and being loved by my Gramma and my best friend STV taught me how to share. Because they were exceptional individuals in their hearts, I could see that a healthy, loving relationship was about the 2 people in it, not just what I felt I needed to get out of it. I don't believe I could have learned that lesson in a romantic relationship - there would be waaaaaaay too many issues to overcome, especially with the sexual intimacy aspect (and I can't imagine how people with BPD who have sexual abuse in their past - I am not one of them - even begin to deal with it, and from what I've read here on BPDFamily.com, they don't deal with it well at all).
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« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2008, 10:19:54 PM »

I'm very familiar with your stance on things. I've read every free article of yours and even paid for one, the non-dilemma - do borderlines love.

I highly respect your work and I really appreciate what you've done to help explain things. I honestly wish there was another name for borderline personality because I truly believe my ex could benefit from reading your work. You have a way of explaining what's going on that's comforting to those who suffer and gives them a sense of acceptance for themselves without leaving them justified in staying that way.

But back to the point of love and trust. She had said on several occassions that I must not care about her, that she must not be important to me. I was completely hurt by that as it was a total negation of my love for her. I'd rather she said she doesn't love me because I'm fat.

But now that time has passed I could see this was a forewarning. An imagined scenario:" I felt like I wasn't important to you anymore. I felt like you didn't care. XXXX does care about me and he pays attention to me like you never did and that's why I slept with him, it's your fault for not caring about my needs before yours. I had no other choice" This is exactly the kind of conversation I knew would have been inevitable had I stayed with this person for years.

Hi discohornet,

I noticed there was a little confusion here re the mix up with Oceanheart and me Smiling (click to insert in post) I am glad that you've found something helpful in what I've written. About the name BPD, really, given the nature of what BPD is and all the defense mechanism in play I am not so sure that no matter what its name was the person with BPD wouldn't have the same type of reaction in many cases you know?

In terms of what you are sharing about your experience of your partner re love and trust and what amounts to the negation of what you give to her just know that she can't tell you why she feels as she feels likely because she really doesn't know. It isn't that she doesn't love you because of this or that, it really isn't about you and doesn't have anything to do with you. When nons experience this from a borderline, this negation, and "you don't love me because" or "if you loved me you would have ..." or "if you loved me you wouldn't have ..." it is really the borderline experiencing some aspect or degree of her abandonment trauma the way it played out with someone else in her life when she was very young and the non - in these moments is really NON-existant. Sadly, it is borderline suffering projected out on to the non closest to them.

You sure were insightful about that being a forewarning. As you likely gathered from my ebook the love that one thinks is even in play in the relationship can be most deceiving as well.
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AJMahari
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« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2008, 10:35:20 PM »

From my own experience with having had BPD I think it is important to say that when one does not know who he/she is one cannot find a sense of self from which to connect in ways that are relationally healthy. I can compare what I was like and what I knew or rather all I had no clue about love, connection, and relating when I had BPD to what I know and have experienced love to be and mean since I have recovered from BPD. I can safely say, that love with BPD is well, questionable to say the least. Love after BPD exists. They are two separate and distinct worlds. The "love" of those in the active throes of BPD and the love of those either recovered or who are non are two ships destined to either pass in the night or collide in the night but that cannot really manage meaningful lasting connection.

What does BPD mean to or for love? Well, it may well depend upon how you define love and how you experience love and what you expect the love that you hope to share with another to be. It also depends upon the foundation and base of the love you as a non have to give and the way that interacts with where the person with BPD is in terms of having any sense of self yet or not. Those with BPD who do not have a sense of self do not have an identity. One of the things that dramatically affects love in this relational dynamic between those with BPD and nons is the degree to which the person with BPD is needing and seeking to live through you and is needing and seeking to have you be a container for all that they cannot bear to know, hold, or feel that is so real and palpable about the abandonment trauma that caused the loss of the borderline's authentic self.

I do have an ebook on this subject and there are plans to feature an excerpt here on this site in the near future. I say this only as information and not any commercial Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #31 on: February 29, 2008, 03:23:49 AM »

Well when dealing with multiple PD's in another = I find it difficult to find the luv once the honeymoon/romantic myth wears off.  And wonder sometimes if there was luv? Yet I belive there truly was luv yet what difference does it make?  When one is only capable of transmitting 50 units of luv compared to my 50,000 units it is a joke to hear it said "I care about you or I luv you" (I never have to date ever heard this stated with any of my BPD dates numbering 4 to date).  GET IT! It is a joke! They do not have it in them even if they wanted to luv...not happening.  I now know that I need to HEAR sweetness and HEAR them say their feelings or it is a deal breaker and a done deal.  If you cannot speak it, what you are feeling (not just thinking) she is not the one for me. 



 
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« Reply #32 on: February 29, 2008, 06:39:29 AM »

Helo All,

   My BPDW has at times shown love and intimacy.  But I strongly feel it is given just enough to maintain her need and keep from her fear of abandonment.  We were going through a divorce when she suddenly came back...but it was more out of need intstead of love.  She was living with her mother, her car got repossesed, her family had loaned her a pickup and suddenly took it away from her and her children where living with their father.  When wanted me to help her buy another car but I told her that isn't my responsibility.  She than told me that she 'felt" as if we had unfinished business between us.  That maybe we could work things out.  I asked her if she loved me and she answered, "I think I could love you agian".  I didn't really believe it.  I told her that if she wasn't in the situation she was in she wouldn't even give me the time of day.  She of course denied that.  Within three weeks of our split she attached herself to another man.  That lasted a couple of months.  She immediately went to another man and that lasted only a month.    When she gets into one of her moods which makes her very angry and she starts calling me every name and tells me she is seeing other men.  When she tells me how unloving, evil , unfaithful, a poor provider, and many other things that I am...I don't think she is feeling any love for me.  I am painted black at the bllink of an eye.  She bit me on the nose and while it was bleeding denies that she had done that.  I called the police and she immediately told them I pulled her hair and that I am the abuser.  At that point and time their is no love between us.  I could burn in Hell and she would not care.  So LOVE as we percieve it becomes unimaginable, not believed in.  Have you ever asked why is this happening...WHY can't we just LOVE each other and enjoy each other?   I LOVE her...but it is like wearing armor,,,,,And she is chipping away until It will be removed and damaged, and destroyed.
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« Reply #33 on: February 29, 2008, 02:23:53 PM »

...when one does not know who he/she is one cannot find a sense of self from which to connect in ways that are relationally healthy.

That's a great point, A.J. I know you speak a lot about the authentic self in your writings, and that concept resonated very deeply with me in the beginning of my recovery and continues to guide my efforts towards healthy living.

When you are No One, there isn't anything there for others to connect with: just smoke and fog (and the BPD identity shifts as much as the latter). Insubstantial beingness. And of course if you are "empty" then what do you have to give to others? Nothing. I often quote the U2 song, "So Cruel" as a perfect description of a BP relationship. Part of the lyrics are:

Excerpt
The men who love you, you hate the most

They pass right through you like a ghost

They look for you, but your spirit is in the air

Baby, you're nowhere...

She wears my love like a see-through dress.

Also, AJ mentioned people with BPD seeking to put their negative emotions - which predominate in a BP's emotional life - onto someone else becuase of their own inability to handle them. So there doesn't seem to be much chance for love to survive in that kind of environment.

I wonder if theomorphic has the right answer about the question of love with someone with BPD: in the end, what difference does it make? The result of a relationship with a BP is often the loss of love, abuse, heartache all around, split marriages, custody fights, etcetcetc ad nauseum. I don't think I have to remind anyone here on BPDFamily.com the consequences of a BP's actions in a romantic relationship - love or no.

So what's my point?

Truthfully, I just don't know anymore. Maybe there shouldn't even be a point, just a place to come and figure out what we need to do NOW. As a recovering BP, I know the tasks I need to do: continuing to strengthen my sense of self; continuing to accept responsibility for my choices, decisions, and behaviors; continuing to connect in positive ways with people in my life; and continuing to add to the good of the world in whatever way I can. Maybe that's the way I can repay my debt for taking love out of the world when I was unrecovered (whew, that's a bitter truth to swallow).

So, what do YOU need to do...?
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« Reply #34 on: February 29, 2008, 02:40:24 PM »

Here's an odd thought,

Maybe non's are drawn (and quartered) to BPD relationships because some of us deep down inside don't believe we deserve to be loved.  So when we meet someone who is emotionally unavailable (which produces a strong draw) yet who appears to shower us with love (at the onset), it's like a fantasy fulfillment.  The honeymoon (aka carrot) is the fantasy that we can eat our cake and still have it, but as the relationship metastasizes, what keeps us in is the reinforcement of our deeply unhealthy beliefs about ourselves (aka stick).

Schwing
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« Reply #35 on: February 29, 2008, 03:52:01 PM »

oceanheart,

I think the point is balance. BPD when broken down to a very simplistic level is a lack of balance. Everyone lacks balance in certain areas and some moreso than others or in certain areas moreso than others.

Love begins in the innermost circle and moves outward. However as many have said if you can't love yourself then you can't love others as you will always be stuck on the problem of not loving yourself.

Love is about understanding that we as human beings BPD or not are part of a species. We all contribute positively or negatively but we all have an impact on how we develop genetically and behaviorally.

BPD seems to me that person has internalized that they are not part of the human race and should not be allowed to partake in the "normal" rituals.

Besides intimacy I'd almost say it's a disease that necessitates desire to fit in and be a part of something


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« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2008, 01:40:15 PM »

“Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.'

Mature love says: 'I need you because I love you'”
-Erich Fromm

I think that's all that really needs to be said. I was gonna ramble but this just sums it up so nicely.

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« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2008, 08:45:27 AM »

MY X BPD/GF would never give me the satisfaction of saying anything endearing, she refused to tell me what I meant to her when asked? Just went silent again avoiding responsibility.  Would never be straight with me just lied and called me a lier.  She is not capable of luv and being straight with me in terms of this is what I need, what I want, what I wish.  Only the demeaning, cruel one lines awaited me and she states she is walking on egg shells. I do not miss the lack of luv or the on-going misery, trama drama crap.   
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2008, 08:23:46 AM »

i think she loved me more than life... during certain periods... then something took over her mind...BPD? i dunno i think it went deeper than that...

but when she loved me she loved me hard...

and then there were the periods she morphed into another person... a person i didnt care for...

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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2008, 11:35:26 AM »

i rember me saying to her , in a conversation another heated one , then you want to be with this guy more than me , she said it's not as straight forward as that ...im still not sure what she meant.. confusion on some aspects still with me im afraid ... love for BPD  as i see it is getting what they need from who ever is willing to give it to them , imo you will never get lasting love in return ...it just aint in them to do so...w
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« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2008, 01:02:45 PM »

Nicely stated Schwing!

   I was listening to a lecture where it was stated that if we do not love ourselves we attrack others in our lives who do not love us.  Today and moving forward ILOVEMYSELF!  This pathology stuff sucks. 

I can now identify Narcissistic behavior and Bi-Polar behavior (somewhat) and MP/Borderline behavior is becoming more easily identified THUS today I RUN the other way.  They are a waist of my time!  I now understand more that ever I am cheating myself out of life.  They are callous, their feelings/feelers are burned out they only act out emotionally.   I want a soul who is with their feelings and emotionally available.  It has been a painfull process to stop my interfacing with them as they are so Outwardly Beautiful yet inside they are that same degree of uglyness. 

YES They Love us!  Yet Who Cares? = Their ability to love is So Little.  They do not have it in them to be grander or kinder or even get near even what we have to offer them...so why do we it?

   




   

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« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2009, 09:15:07 PM »



Thank you for explaining this, oceanheart (although it was over a year ago)...still, and thanks for keeping this workshop around Joanna.

My experience was that I was loved, but not for me so this clears things up allot.  It was tough to define that love and she would ask me frequently, "you do know that I love you...right?"  I would answer that I did and then occasionally ask her the same question in return after she would ask it.  Her response was always that she wasn't sure. (Now I know what that is.)  This would break my heart in very quiet ways as I couldn't understand what more I could be doing as my hope and happiness were eroding along with hers.

So...okay.

Yes, it was hurtful and frustrating.  I didn't meet her needs.  I couldn't have but not because I'm not enough.  I'm just not the one and neither was she, for me.  I can't be the love she didn't get as a child and somewhere in her she has to reconcile that for herself.  I so hope she does.

The view into the window here is very complimentary to this stage of my own awareness.  I used to feel so inadiquate.  Then I used to feel so resentful.  Then I used to feel so angry and hurt.  Then I used to feel self righteous, sad, hopeless, less than...and finally...emotionally gone.  It was a cycle of moving in and out of those feelings while searching for peace and questioning my self worth according to her perceptions, her projections and my own insecurities.  As it turned out these things were a perfect compliment to each other...her projections, my insecurities and all those confusing emotions.

And now these are some of the things I need to reconcile.

I was loved...just not the way she needed to love me...and not the way I need to be loved and I did love her...just not the way she needed to be loved...and not the way I needed to love her.

I think we all marry into each others past lives to some degree however, it really helps to know how far back and what I was being loved/hated as, and for.

I kind of thought so.  Yep, I did.  Sure helps with the process.

Thank you again.

Peace, UFH
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« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2011, 03:21:32 AM »

Split from: Is there any sensitivity

The only thing I can add to this, is that during the honeymoon/idealization phase, the pwBPD is actually quite real in their expressions of love towards you.  The general consensus I've found here states they are in love with the idea of love.  :)uring this phase, they are.getting the fuel and feelings they associate with love.  What we call infatuation.

They simply live for the feelings of the moment being the facts of life.  Most people know that infatuation isn't sustainable, and leads to either mature love or acceptance of a fling that has run its course.  We move on.  pwBPD don't compute this notion of an evolution and growth from infatuation.  They are high on endorphins and oxytocin; they are addicts that want to hang on to the fix.  They love bomb you, because it is how they feel about you.  You overwhelm them, making them forget their flaws.  They want to express 'love' and bask in their happiness.

It isn't your fault they don't understand infatuation becomes something else; they are incapable of the next step.  The chemical bond masks fall off both parties, and the high is gone.  The devaluing then begins, because we failed to keep giving that rush of 'love'.  That is the illusion they wanted.  Not a mask, just a person addicted to the idea of love no human can sustain.  Just someone that wants to feel accepted. Intensity is their mantra.
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« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2011, 07:55:59 AM »

Simple,

I relate to you more than you know.  I have been struggling with my anger, to the point where it has overwhelmed me at times.  I guess there are many perspectives on this disorder, with some taking the position that there are genuine moments of love with the BPD partner.  I have read repeatedly that they loved us in their own way.  There are others who state that all of their actions/words are exclusively about them. I tend to agree with the latter.  Not because I need to hate my ex to move on, but rather to recognize the relationship for what it truly was in order to regain my emotional health.  

Like Lucky, my ex bought me some very beautiful gifts, for which I was extremely appreciative at the time.  I do believe that she wanted to purchase the gifts at the time.  I have learned from much discussion here, that these actions like many others weren’t consciously calculated to manipulate or deceive.  However, the overriding motive for such actions was to elicit a response from us that helped the BPDex cope with his or her dysfunction.  Regardless, I agree with you that the relationship wasn’t real, at least for those of us that use nonBPD relationships as our basis for comparison.

I think it boils down to what we consider love.  As I assume you would agree, love requires selflessness and a genuine desire to shield your partner from harm.  That is not to say that we do not fail in these endeavors in healthy relationships. However, it is the driving motivation.  Since those who are afflicted with BPD live their lives by doing what is necessary to survive emotionally moment to moment, they lack the capacity to focus on love’s long term goals.  Therefore, they are equally capable of horrific acts of cruelty, (sub) consciously doing whatever is necessary to ensure their emotional survival.  Again, I understand this, but I cannot accept this as love.  I also think that we must remain consistent in our view of this disorder.  Most of the literature I have read states that the negative behavior of someone with BPD is not about us.  It is about his or her need to cope with the dysfunction.  Why, then, should I accept that the acts of kindness or “love” were anything less than manifestations of that same behavior?

For me, if I am to accept that my exbpgf was broken, then I must to do in all facets of our relationship.  To do otherwise would only be narcissistic.  In other words, she loved me because she recognized how wonderful I am, but mistreated me because of her disorder.  I still manifest some of this behavior.  I have been NC with my ex for almost two weeks and haven’t heard anything from her.  While I understand why this is happening, from both my and her perspective, I occasionally catch myself thinking “but she seemed to love me so much, how can she not reach out?”  This is fueled by my need, even on a subconscious level, to believe that the “love” we shared was real.   In doing so, I only serve to perpetuate the delusion that allowed me to endure so much abuse and pain in the relationship.  

Again, I don’t hater her and recognize that this experience has opened my eyes to some positive things about myself.  I owe some of that to her.  But I will not spend one more minute trying to rationalize her extreme ambivalence as anything more than a symptom of her disorder.

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« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2011, 10:09:27 AM »

I think it boils down to what we consider love.  As I assume you would agree, love requires selflessness and a genuine desire to shield your partner from harm.  That is not to say that we do not fail in these endeavors in healthy relationships. However, it is the driving motivation.  Since those who are afflicted with BPD live their lives by doing what is necessary to survive emotionally moment to moment, they lack the capacity to focus on love’s long term goals.  Therefore, they are equally capable of horrific acts of cruelty, (sub) consciously doing whatever is necessary to ensure their emotional survival.  Again, I understand this, but I cannot accept this as love.  I also think that we must remain consistent in our view of this disorder.  Most of the literature I have read states that the negative behavior of someone with BPD is not about us.  It is about his or her need to cope with the dysfunction.  Why, then, should I accept that the acts of kindness or “love” were anything less than manifestations of that same behavior?

For me, if I am to accept that my exbpgf was broken, then I must to do in all facets of our relationship.  To do otherwise would only be narcissistic.  In other words, she loved me because she recognized how wonderful I am, but mistreated me because of her disorder.  I still manifest some of this behavior.  I have been NC with my ex for almost two weeks and haven’t heard anything from her.  While I understand why this is happening, from both my and her perspective, I occasionally catch myself thinking “but she seemed to love me so much, how can she not reach out?”  This is fueled by my need, even on a subconscious level, to believe that the “love” we shared was real.   In doing so, I only serve to perpetuate the delusion that allowed me to endure so much abuse and pain in the relationship.  

desertbuck, this is a very well written position. You do these really well. They are stimulating to read. Smiling (click to insert in post)

The logic of this "argument" is very dependent on the definition of love in the first paragraph (which may possibly be limiting) and on what she was feeling in the relationship - you have set your own feelings aside (in the "argument".  :)o you want to do this?

You may in time, when the anger and the hurt subsides, find that you want to hold on to the good memories that you had. As you say, you had some of the most rewarding times in your life in this relationship.

I haven't seen it mentioned on the board recently, but one of the reasons we stayed for all the grief in these relationship is because there were many moments that we cherished and held dear.  If the relationships were simply pure hell, we would have gotten out much sooner.

I'm years out of the relationship and I found that in time my feelings on this evolved and went through stages. And I have followed many members here and seen their feelings evolve too.  And its not always the same path.

Initially, thinking about any good in the relationship can be threatening because we are trying to detach from the "addiction" of it.  So we focus on the anger and the injustice of the relationship to keep from going back in.  This is normal grieving - it is a phase - it is healthy.

Later we start testing our own emotional balance by venturing into the things that we enjoyed during the relationship to see if we are detached.  I remember that it was a milestone to be able to do the things we did as a couple again (by myself or with other) and enjoy them, not be pained by them.

Overtime a balance starts to set in.  We start to see the hyper-love that we felt as maybe not so monumental.  The anger / fight / flight as no longer necessary to our survival. We can pick out the good memories in the relationship and savor them and keep them in perspective with the overall fundamental flaws in the relationship.  This balance is, of course, dependent on how much damage was done in the end.

I believe this balance is important because it lets us really see who we were in the relationship.  It lets us take things from the relationship and sow them elsewhere.

The only thing I can add to this, is that during the honeymoon/idealization phase, the pwBPD is actually quite real in their expressions of love towards you.  The general consensus I've found here states they are in love with the idea of love.  :)uring this phase, they are.getting the fuel and feelings they associate with love.  What we call infatuation.

They simply live for the feelings of the moment being the facts of life.  Most people know that infatuation isn't sustainable, and leads to either mature love or acceptance of a fling that has run its course.  We move on.  pwBPD don't compute this notion of an evolution and growth from infatuation.  They are high on endorphins and oxytocin; they are addicts that want to hang on to the fix.  They love bomb you, because it is how they feel about you.  You overwhelm them, making them forget their flaws.  They want to express 'love' and bask in their happiness.

It isn't your fault they don't understand infatuation becomes something else; they are incapable of the next step.  The chemical bond masks fall off both parties, and the high is gone.  The devaluing then begins, because we failed to keep giving that rush of 'love'.  That is the illusion they wanted.  Not a mask, just a person addicted to the idea of love no human can sustain.  Just someone that wants to feel accepted. Intensity is their mantra.

What strings says above is something that I think rings true for a lot of these relationships.

Normal relationships go through phases...

  • Honeymoon/Romance


  • Power Struggle


  • Stability


  • Commitment


  • Co-creation


In many BPD relationship the breakdown happens (as string says) between phase one and two.  The person with BPD views the power struggle (which is challenge in any relationship) as relationship failure and keeps trying to rebirth the honeymoon/romance. While many of us are trying / willing to go the next step.
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« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2011, 03:36:15 PM »

Skip, I must say that you constantly challenge me, in a positive way, regarding my perspective on these issues.  

Excerpt
The logic of this "argument" is very dependent on the definition of love in the first paragraph (which may possibly be limiting) and on what she was feeling in the relationship - you have set your own feelings aside (in the "argument".  :)o you want to do this?

This is a very salient point and brings to mind the age old debate as to whether fact or perception shapes reality, especially when they are in opposition.  Obviously, fact can create or alter perception.  However, perception cannot, by definition, alter fact.  While in my relationship, I did feel a profound love for my exbpgf.  That was my perception at the time.  However, the facts, as I have come to know them, suggest that my emotions were not suggestive of love, as much as they were of frenzied infatuation, mirrored idolization and codependent tendencies.  

It has become important for me to acknowledge the difference between my perception and the facts, even if the line between the two became blurred during my relationship.  I felt that I loved my ex within the context of our relationship.  But with some distance, I see that it wasn't really love, at least in a healthy sense.  At times, she did things that brought me intense joy.  At times she acted kind and in a loving manner.  However, in other moments, she was very cruel and abusive.  The juxtaposition of such contradictory behaviors in one person heightened my response to any positive stimuli from her to almost manic levels.  I was so pleased that I could elicit warmth, caring and kindness from her, that I literally hit a euphoric high.  So, in retrospect, I can say that I felt more intensely than I ever have before.  However, I do not equate that intensity in this context, even when it was positive, to love (or at least any form of love that I would want in my next relationship).

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« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2011, 07:43:08 PM »

Thank you for this amazing dialog. Reading this over has been so help, so enlightening for me...
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« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2011, 03:52:47 PM »

None of us can ever know for sure whether our ex loved us because we can't read their minds.  The only thing we can accurately measure is whether or not we felt loved.  It seems that most of us felt loved in the infatuation stage, but less so as this stage faded.  I agree that a pwBPD cannot successfully move into the next phase.  I found this quote on one of these message boards because it really hit home (I found that cutting and pasting the jewels is very therapeutic for me):

"While their need for love is apparent they don't know how to return love.  In reality they are afraid of intimacy and do not have the emotional strength to fight their fears of inadequacy or abandonment in a manner that makes it possible for them to return love.  After the passion of new love subsides they become bored, often moving on to a new partner.  If they continue in the relationship instead of deepening concern and communication, there ensues a struggle for control.  The arena of this often violent struggle may include time, money, sex, fidelity, spiritual beliefs, children, or physical and emotional distance.  The centerpiece of the struggle is the threat of abandonment."[/i]

Simpleone,

I can identify with how you are feeling.  I wonder if I have been replaced.  I am struggling with feelings of inadequacy because I wasn't "good enough" for him to stick with through his "recovery". 

You see, during the year that we dated was the longest r/s he had since his divorce 4 years ago.  A couple of years before his marriage ended and just after his father died, his memories of his childhood abuse that had been repressed came out.  He was hospitalized and diagnosed with BPD.  He did extensive DBT work as well individual therapy the first two years post-divorce.  During the year we were together, he dealt with constant flashbacks involving his father abusing him and had them basically under control at the time he dumped me.  I can't help feeling used, especially since I am a therapist, so I think I fulfilled a huge emotional need for him to "process" everything and have everything be about his victimhood.

Now I think, but not sure, that he is getting his emotional needs met by a female friend (she was friends with him b/f our r/s but receeded into the background).  I think he resurrected this friendship and will "see where it goes" (he told me that!)

Unfortunately I can compare oceanheart's story to my ex's story.  Like oceanheart, my ex's friend is of the opposite sex.  I hear in oceanheart's experience that her friend is definitely only platonic.  This was always a point of contention with me and my ex.  When we started dating, he had a number of what I called "nongirlfriends".  My theory was they were surragate "mommies", ego feeders, and good to have around for triangulation.  Both oceanheart and supposedly my ex are healing and he keeps his "nongirlfriend" and dumps me in the process. 

God, I feel like a bookmark!  He put her on a shelf, then pulled her down from the shelf once he was done with me. It makes me feel so crappy thinking that he is getting better and getting closer to the ability to really love someone and all I got was some crappy half-assed BPD version of love.  That is what I got in return for loving him.  Dare the residual codependent in me say that I loved him towards health, only to be discarded.  Crap!

Wow, so now I struggle with the thought of "ok we were both unhealthy going in and he is looking at his stuff and I am looking at my stuff separately and that is ultimately a good thing, but it still doesn't change the fact that the whole year was a mind f---k and an ego anihilater.  Couldn't there been a less painful way to learn about myself?

R

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« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2011, 12:30:13 PM »



Yes, she loved you. I have BPD and I dated a woman for over 3 years. We just recently decided to take a break, because of my unfair standards.  I cheated on her in the past, but told her if she had ever even flirted with someone, it would be over. I am dialectical behavioral therapy now and I see my faults a lot more clear. The people I cheated with never compared to her and I knew it. They meant absolutely nothing to me.  I just couldn't stop myself from doing it. I am extremely impulsive and attention seeking. I never want to feel alone so I try to surround myself with as many people as possible even though she is the ONLY one who matters. I do love her with everything I have and she is my motivation to recover. I know a lot of people with BPD seem incapable of loving, but it can happen. Just because they don't love the way someone without BPD would, doesn't mean they don't feel just as much.
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« Reply #49 on: April 14, 2011, 12:56:41 PM »

Thank you for your comments, numb4life07.
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« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2011, 02:11:01 PM »

Numb4life07, what about my ex, who was in therapy during our relationship and knew what his problems were and he dumped me anyway?  I guess I wasn't worth staying with, even though I was reading all the books, using the communication skills, basically doing head stands for him?  My ex wasn't a rager.  He was soft spoken and "sensitive".  He was seemingly self-aware.  He was seemingly reasonable when he wasn't being triggered and we could work things out.  Despite all of the nifty things that he was, he used and manipulated my feelings to get his attachment needs met, then he dropped me like a hot potato.

Many of us nons have been dropped not just for the typical "on to the next one" reason, but b/c the pwBPD supposedly gained insight and wanted to get "healthy" and couldn't do it with us b/c the relationship (and us) is unhealthy.  My ex said he wanted to work on his stuff and I was responsible for "cleaning up my own mess".  Can you say instant detachment?  Nons are deluding themselves if they think that their BPDpartners are going to stay, really stay, with them after they have been exposed.  The fear of exposure wins out over the love they felt for you everytime.

R
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« Reply #51 on: April 20, 2011, 05:37:08 PM »

rosannadanna --- I am really sorry to hear about your situation.  I don't believe borderlines can all be categorized though.  We are all different and I am so sorry for what your ex did to you.  I do not believe that all borderlines will leave once they have been exposed, however, I have been exposed and I am working very hard to make everything right in my relationship. But I wish you the best of luck in healing from your past relationship.
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« Reply #52 on: April 20, 2011, 06:37:25 PM »

Many of us nons have been dropped not just for the typical "on to the next one" reason, but b/c the pwBPD supposedly gained insight and wanted to get "healthy" and couldn't do it with us b/c the relationship (and us) is unhealthy.  My ex said he wanted to work on his stuff and I was responsible for "cleaning up my own mess". 

I'm not sure it helps (or is accurate) to generalize.  And it is hard for us to understand the driving force of our partner.

In your case, your ex started his recovery and he jettisoned your relationship.  This is not uncommon in recovery. This often occurs when the recovering party feels that the relationship was unhealthy or too connected to the life he wants to leave behind.  Sometimes this is true and even the therapist will encourage the breakup if the partner is an enabler and caught up in the cycle of conflict. Sometimes this is just unfair and unjustified.

Being on the receiving end of this can be devastating... especially if you were supportive throughout the relationship.

I too am sorry this has been so difficult.

Skippy
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« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2011, 03:11:15 AM »

Being on the receiving end of this can be devastating... especially if you were supportive throughout the relationship.

This was definately me too.   

Having been rejected my uBPDw shared this jem with me "I never loved you, I chose you because you were safe"!

I do not think that this was said to hurt me. I think is was said as a statement of fact.

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« Reply #54 on: June 04, 2011, 12:13:48 PM »

I just wanted to thank OceanHeart for her post. It is most helpful to hear the other side of the coin. It helps me personally to try to make sense out of all this.
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« Reply #55 on: June 04, 2011, 12:37:37 PM »

What I think I've noticed from what I've read and experienced is that every person BPD or non, is different.  There are nons that can't love and there are BPD's who can't love.  There are nons that can love, and BPDs who can love.  It becomes so easy for us to categorize and over generalize people.  "Oh this person has BPD, they can never love me".  It's likely true that the majority of people with BPD have difficulty with love because it's such a strong emotion and is intertwined with all of the core problems of that person (intimacy, abondonment, etc), but that doesn't make their love any less real, just harder to cope with.

Imagine a normal relationship, no mental illnesses to be involved.  This relationship is going to have arguments, it's going to have jealousy, fear of abandonment, rejection, hurt.  It's also going to have passion, intimacy, caring, and love.  A relationship with a BPD is no different, it has all of these things.  The problem is, someone with BPD has difficulty regulating their emotions, everything is either good or evil.  So while you may love someone greatly, when you are angered or upset that emotion is what takes over your actions.  Then when you are no longer triggered you are back to being happy, or on to the next emotion.

BPDs aren't incapable of anything a non can do.  It's just more difficult to control.  There are also degrees to a BPD.  Just try to remember, yes there are similarities between one person with BPD and another with BPD, but these people are individuals, they all act and behave differently.  They have different areas that trouble them, and different capabilities. 
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« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2011, 01:16:44 AM »

"After the passion of new love subsides they become bored, often moving on to a new partner.  If they continue in the relationship instead of deepening concern and communication, there ensues a struggle for control.  The arena of this often violent struggle may include time, money, sex, fidelity, spiritual beliefs, children, or physical and emotional distance.  The centerpiece of the struggle is the threat of abandonment."

This really helped. Fantastic description. My xBPDgf once said after the relationship, "I loved you more than anything, you were the best time ever, but everyday of our relationship was torture."

I think this is the dynamic described here. She constantly struggled with me for power of *something* (marriage, commitment, more attention, deeper actions of protection?) and when I didn't do them 100% perfectly, it escalated the fear cycles.
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« Reply #57 on: June 20, 2011, 04:18:47 AM »

"immature love is exhausting, mature love is energizing."

-david thorpe
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« Reply #58 on: June 20, 2011, 04:33:21 AM »

like some people have said here, thank you, thank you, thank you for this thread and dialogue.  thanks to everyone who has contributed.  the comments here have been very insightful and intelligent.  it is helping me understand more fully love and BPD, and love from a pwBPD's perspective.  it has been tremendously helpful to my own recovery.
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« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2012, 06:09:03 PM »

Hi there.  I've not read through all of these posts, but there's been a couple of comments near the beginning and end that have struck me. 

There was a reference early in these posts about the love of a BPD being like in the movies.  All the movies my xBPDbf said he liked were the 'chick flicks' the slushy romances.  In fact, he gave me a movie once, where the script was exactly like how he described our relationship (all part of the process of beig hooked in...).  I made a joke about it, and he said it was an interesting co-incidence that proved we were destined to be together forever.  I said well really I think you watched this before you met me, but that was a very sweet thing you said.  And I meant it.

I think his reference points were the fantasy-like stories of love.  This was always how he expected it to be.  That each bust would be the one that proved that we needed to be together.  That he had to keep testing the love.  He couldn't just believe it was what it seemed to be.  And maybe it never was...we talked for so many hours about his feelings and emotions.  And the only sense I got from him was that he had no idea what to do with them.  He felt them, but didn't know how to process them.  He'd learned to be very passive as a child and this was his pattern of behaviour in adult life.

Stuff said on the forum elsewhere about how actions are important, not words in our situation.  And I believe there are many viewpoints on whether a person is defined by their thoughts or their actions.  What I always wanted to make him realise was that failure to act was an act in itself...left to the fates, granted.  But it seemed to be his way of making sure that all of his perceived failures were of some higher power's making.  He was merely a victim.

I knew by the end I was fascinated by that conflict of intensity of emotion versus lack of action, I hurt with his inability to process...and it was no longer the right place to be in a relationship.  But I will always love him with all my heart because there was a beatifully delicate soul inside, and whether it was make believe or not, it was who he chose to be when he was with me, and he made me smile everyday...until he thought he could never be good enough for me (and off he went dragging his huge burden of loss around with him forevermore...dramatically...until the next one comes along...).

I also know he'll have forgotten me long before I have forgotten him.

Thank you to all your posts...it's such a help to read 300000000 different versions of my story.  To have somewhere to try and sort out all the car crashes he left in my head, when all my friends and family have tired of the subject long ago...I bore myself sometimes!
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« Reply #60 on: February 15, 2013, 02:29:24 PM »

Not even sure if you are still reading these responses, but I want to say a couple of things.  First, this is a really beautiful description.  I am a stepmom to kids with a BPDmom, and though I am clearly in a highly triggering role, I have been able in crisis to offer BPD mom unconditional love.  This has been profoundly effective in terms of diffusing crisis. 

I was also struck by how much BPDmom just desperately needed the love I was giving.  I am pretty good at giving love with boundaries.  It is sad for me that because of my role in her life, parenting her kids with her ex for half of the time,  she cannot really receive this from me, and  I do not really have the energy or desire to pursue this opportunity.  Because I think I would be good at it if she was just an acquaintance.  My father worked on a form of daily, interactive therapy with schizophrenic people that was very effective, and I often feel like a similar model would work well with BPD folk...   but for BPD folk, it would just be being surrounded by people who are willing to be real and loving, with boundaries.  I feel like every time I did this with BPD mom, it was such a huge relief for her. 

The other thing I wanted to ask is that it is interesting the idea of the BPD person (in this case, your former self) feeling intense passion, because I have often been struck by the BPD mom of my SD's expression of passion that it seems very devoid of connection to feeling or physical embodiment, seems very much coming from the "head" rather than the "heart."  Also, seems very disempowered--lots of victimizing words, of self and others, without any real "feeling" statements.  Rarely does BPDmom say, "I am really angry right now!" or make a request; mostly it is "people hate me," in a non passionate, rambling, monologue that goes on and on, sometimes for 6-8 hours, blaming all in her vicinity for hating her, ruining her life, making her want to kill herself, etc.  When confronted, she does yell and say, "I hate you! See, this is what I mean!"  but still never talks about feelings like anger, fear, etc. 

So I am wondering if this resonates with your memory, and where the disconnect is between the "felt" experience of being passionate, and the external perception of lack of feeling or connecting with feeling. 



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« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2013, 01:09:32 PM »

I am pretty good at giving love with boundaries...    My father worked on a form of daily, interactive therapy with schizophrenic people that was very effective, and I often feel like a similar model would work well with BPD folk...      but for BPD folk, it would just be being surrounded by people who are willing to be real and loving, with boundaries.  I feel like every time I did this with BPD mom, it was such a huge relief for her.

Exactly this! I hope you have found this helpful in dealing with your interactions with your pwBPD, especially since you being the stepmom to her kids must oftentimes be a fraught situation. 

Excerpt
The other thing I wanted to ask is that it is interesting the idea of the BPD person (in this case, your former self) feeling intense passion, because I have often been struck by the BPD mom of my SD's expression of passion that it seems very devoid of connection to feeling or physical embodiment, seems very much coming from the "head" rather than the "heart."  Also, seems very disempowered--lots of victimizing words, of self and others, without any real "feeling" statements.  Rarely does BPDmom say, "I am really angry right now!" or make a request; mostly it is "people hate me," in a non passionate, rambling, monologue that goes on and on, sometimes for 6-8 hours, blaming all in her vicinity for hating her, ruining her life, making her want to kill herself, etc.  When confronted, she does yell and say, "I hate you! See, this is what I mean!"  but still never talks about feelings like anger, fear, etc.

This is a very astute observation, ennie. I had to step away from the computer to fully process it, and I appreciate the chance it gave me for self-reflection (it's all about US for pwBPD   )

I won't go all abstract on the issue, but instead try to respond in a personal way.

Even at 42, with all my years of recovery work, I find it hard to simply say "I am really angry right now". This applies to all emotions, but especially with anger (partially because I am afraid of what I'm capable of when angry). In childhood, my expressions of emotion were ignored, belittled/mocked, and/or used against me, therefore "expressing emotion = unsafe". Passive expression became the only outlet, since emotions need to come out somehow, and thus the martyr/victim stance which is a protective reaction. My temperament leans towards shy so I became more of a waif/hermit pwBPD. Other people with more bold innate temperaments become Queen/witch pwBPD. Both are defensive strategies [not an excuse, just an explanation].

Thank you for the reminder that a huge aspect of healing is in asserting in an adult and respectful way one's emotional needs.

Excerpt
So I am wondering if this resonates with your memory, and where the disconnect is between the "felt" experience of being passionate, and the external perception of lack of feeling or connecting with feeling.

Back to the subject of the workshop - love - I do believe, especially with pwBPD who were victims of childhood sexual abuse, there is dissociation between the feeling and the expression of it. For CSA survivors it is absolutely a defense mechanism to having one's bodily integrity - one's very personhood - violated, this splitting-off of the self. Feelings are so intense they are painful and perhaps to lesson the impact of the feelings [also one of the reasons for self-injury] pwBPD verbally distance themselves from it? Could that be what you are perceiving? I'm not sure I fully answered your question, but I would value any other input.
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« Reply #62 on: April 04, 2013, 08:00:15 PM »

Oceanheart,

I've been following your posts on here for awhile and appreciate all the insight that you bring to all of us on this forum! Thank you!

This topic always gets to me and I've been wondering this for awhile about my ex boyfriend (undiagnosed borderline.) It seems like most people on here have mentioned that their ex's told them they were in love with them all the time. My Ex boyfriend would tell me that he loved me as a person but hadn't fallen in love with me. He would tell me that I needed to give him "my heart." He told me that he wanted to fall in love with me so badly, but hadn't. Told me he hated wanting to feel something he didn't. We've been broken up for a few months now and I don't think he knows what or how to be in love.  Early on in our relationship he told me that he didn't think he had been in love really, maybe only with his first serious relationship. Also, early in the relationship he mentioned that he told me it took awhile for him to open up or something like that...    red flag red flag! I admit that maybe we weren't right for each other, but it's hard to really fall in love with someone when they put you up on a pedestal that you never asked to be put on, just to be thrown off! A mix of push and pull, name calling, blowing up at you when he believes he isn't getting what you deserve, withdrawing affection, the depression, anxiety. I guess I rather have someone not lie to me about feelings they don't really have, but it also makes you feel pretty bad inside when all you did was try to love them the best you could. I guess I get confused why my relationship seemed so different. Almost like instead of telling me he was in love with me all the time, he made it seem like if I only I did this or that he would feel it. Hmm?

During a time in our relationship he wrote me a letter about him trying to figure out why he had been treating me the way he was and how to handle his frustration better. He admitted that he was stressed before he met me and as happy as he was to of met me, his stress got worse. My Ex told me about ways he thought would make him feel better which would make our relationship better and I believe that at that point he wanted to change! He had goals that he wanted for himself, like going back to school, but it seems like he gave up on it, he gave up on himself. Self sabotage, is a very sad thing! I'm not in contact with him so I don't know if he is going to do those things he said he wanted...    

Just for more background on my ex. He is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, he also had an alcoholic father who was abusive when he was very young. My Ex has made amends with his Dad and has a decent relationship with him now, his dad has changed very much and we spent time with him on many occasions. However, there is animosity under the surface concerning his Dad with him and his immediate family. When I met my Ex Boyfriend he was in AA and therapy (just talk not specifically for Borderline traits) he stopped going to AA after we had been going out for a few months. Also, he stopped therapy because he was feeling "good," and only went back when we broke up the first time. Between the two, I wish he had continued to stay in therapy, I believe if he continued to go when he was feeling good, it would of helped him to understand how to work on keeping himself that way. (well most of the time, since we can't always be happy all the time) Also, my Ex was taking anxiety medication when we were dating and had slowly been decreasing the dosage and he was completely off his medication by the last months of our relationship...    don't think it was the best thing. We dated about 17 months or so, still count when we "broke up," because he were still emotionally connected.

Well, now that I've bored you...    ha. If you have any comments, I would appreciate!

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« Reply #63 on: April 29, 2013, 07:18:13 PM »

My pwBPD said an interesting thing to me today. "I love you...   when I'm capable and I hate myself when I'm not."

Three years into this as of May 1st. We've been through many ups and downs - splitting. I've been his Goddess and his Medusa. I've been loved by him and hated by him; and gone through episodes where I'm expendible and other girls look like a good replacement.

Thank you for this thread. It explains a lot.
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« Reply #64 on: April 30, 2013, 02:58:28 PM »

I won't go all abstract on the issue, but instead try to respond in a personal way.

Even at 42, with all my years of recovery work, I find it hard to simply say "I am really angry right now". This applies to all emotions, but especially with anger (partially because I am afraid of what I'm capable of when angry). In childhood, my expressions of emotion were ignored, belittled/mocked, and/or used against me, therefore "expressing emotion = unsafe". Passive expression became the only outlet, since emotions need to come out somehow, and thus the martyr/victim stance which is a protective reaction. My temperament leans towards shy so I became more of a waif/hermit pwBPD. Other people with more bold innate temperaments become Queen/witch pwBPD. Both are defensive strategies [not an excuse, just an explanation].

Oceanheart, I just want you to know I so appreciate you and your awareness and words.  I struggle wih these things as well, but do express these feelings.  Maybe this is not helpful across the internet...   but your anger is okay with me.  Your awareness of the danger in your anger is also lovely.  I am okay with who you are.  Maybe that is not useful because I do not know you hardly at all, but I want you to know that.  I appreciate your insight into the disconnectedness, love, and other emotional experiences, not just your insight into the BPD perspective, but also your insight into the human perspective...   meaning, I can relate!  Take care.  Thanks for the workshop. 
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« Reply #65 on: August 19, 2013, 09:08:15 PM »

Ocean, a friend of mine said to me a few months back, "I think (BPD NAME) is in love with the idea of BEING in love but knows she'll never have the definition of true love. She'll never learn to trust anyone, she'll always abandon before she's abandoned, she'll never be happy with herself and therefore can't make anyone else happy because she can't make herself happy. She's what I call 'soul sick' and obviously needs psychological help."

The part that jumped out at me was when she said "I think she's in love with the idea of BEING in love". I think BPD'ers want to fall in love like the rest of us but have no concept of teamwork, trust and being team players. I mean, come on...  you can't possibly have a healthy, harmonious and happy union of two people when one is acting like a dictator and the other a peasant.

I really, really long for the day when I meet a woman who will meet me in the middle, meet me in her end and meet me in my end. In short, someone who will give balance to me as I will for her. I can honestly say I've never, ever met a woman who didn't try and control me or change me. (laughs) To be honest with you, I don't know what I would do or how I would act if I did meet that type of woman! I shouldn't laugh because I'm honestly worried I'm locked into this mindset that I need to fix the broken! 

Anyone else feel as though someone of healthy mind, heart and soul wouldn't be appealing to them too?   
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« Reply #66 on: August 20, 2013, 03:54:22 AM »

LoneWolf,

I relate!  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be attracted to someone who wants to give me what I want and need.  I've had healthy and caring men in my life, luckily, so I do have some references to remember.  My stuff gets in the way.  For example, when a man tries to take care of me (something I always tell myself that I want) I start to feel controlled    I'd really, really, like to break through this pattern, and I think it may be happening, because I'm noticing that I'm *not* attracted to the type of man that I used to be attracted to.  But I'm sure there is more work to be done.

I have an audio book by a therapist/Buddhist practitioner Bruce Tift.  He said something about us reinforcing our paradigms and patterns because it justifies our own coping strategies that we don't want to let go.  That really resonated with me.

I do believe that these patterns can be transformed - and I think it's through acceptance.  Acceptance that our patterns may always be something that we deal with, and being willing to feel what that brings up in us.  

Just to add: a big thank you to oceanheart for this thread.  I am grateful for your honesty and generosity in sharing your experiences.  It has helped so much more than you know!  

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« Reply #67 on: August 20, 2013, 11:05:29 PM »

LoneWolf,

I relate!  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be attracted to someone who wants to give me what I want and need.  I've had healthy and caring men in my life, luckily, so I do have some references to remember.  My stuff gets in the way.  For example, when a man tries to take care of me (something I always tell myself that I want) I start to feel controlled    I'd really, really, like to break through this pattern, and I think it may be happening, because I'm noticing that I'm *not* attracted to the type of man that I used to be attracted to.  But I'm sure there is more work to be done.

I have an audio book by a therapist/Buddhist practitioner Bruce Tift.  He said something about us reinforcing our paradigms and patterns because it justifies our own coping strategies that we don't want to let go.  That really resonated with me.

I do believe that these patterns can be transformed - and I think it's through acceptance.  Acceptance that our patterns may always be something that we deal with, and being willing to feel what that brings up in us.  

Just to add: a big thank you to oceanheart for this thread.  I am grateful for your honesty and generosity in sharing your experiences.  It has helped so much more than you know!  

heartandwhole, I'm trying everyday to try and develop some new routine that will get me away from what I'm doing now because it seems like everything I do is keeping her in my mind. The radio, the weather, certain scents...  it's killing me.

I WANT to be attracted to an emotionally healthy woman who won't judge me, try and control me, try and isolate me from my friends and family, and won't find it amusing to toy with my head and heart.

5 years ago this past July, I really, really had my world rocked by a g/f of 10 years. I wrote about this on another board. Long story short, we weren't  'together' but still doing things i.e. going out to dinner, bars, movies, having sex...  and she was seeing another man behind my back, planning a wedding and everything. She didn't even have the decency to tell me about this guy. Her niece told me. I was utterly and completely pulverized. I didn't even want to wake up. I just didn't have the emotional stamina to want to fight through the cesspool of misery on an everyday basis. She displayed sociopathic skills, for sure.

This recent g/f is someone I met 4 years ago this past March. We talked for a a good 2 or 3 weeks before we met. IN hindsight, I was oblivious to words like 'mirroring' The first night we met...  let's just say something happened that I had no idea would happen (and it wasn't in her living room, put it that way).  It started to get too fast and I broke it off. Then the love bombing started: the 'I cant help I'm in love with you' and 'All I do id shed tears for you and you don't care' - stuff like that. We did manage to stay in touch since then. Not all the time but enough to stay social - and argue about her wanting to get back together with me, too.

Last Fall, she just seemed different. We talked more than usual; she wasn't pressing me for a relationship; she admitted she missed me and has always loved me since the day we met (which was something she professed to another man about a year later about the same length of time knowing him, too - and oddly enough, seduced him in the same manner as she did me) . I really started to let my guard down and take in the feelings and wow, did they make me dizzy! I was flying higher than I can remember. It was the greatest feeling I can remember feeling for someone. As the months went on, the BPD sings began presenting themselves and instead of getting out like I did 3 years prior, I stuck with her and her BS to show her I was a good man, that I as loyal and that this relationship was worth fighting for (only I did the bulk of the fighting for it). I felt like I was being toyed with, deceived, lied to and manipulated and did nothing to stop it. This is when the fighting, name calling (not just your average name calling - these were names meant to hurt someone REAL bad), accusations, personal insults and

then our apologies and the waters would be calm for a while.

Our relationship was ONLY 3 months and it's been every bit as difficult as the last one. I never knew what kind of a stonghold this woman had on me until she was gone and telling a mutual friend she wanted nothing to do with me. Hearing that she wanted nothing to do with me was a dagger to my heart. No one has ever told me or anyone else they wanted nothing to do with me. It killed my spirit and any little amount of self-confidence I had. I was and still am devastated. Then came the threats involving the police and the massive amount of F bombs in each threat. This was NOT the woman I thought I'd fallen for. This was, as someone else wrote on another board, a 'illusion'. The woman I fell in love with didn't exist. I'm 100% certain she told her friends the same thing about me: that I had finally revealed my true colors to her. Why? Because I defended myself against her personal attacks? Because I retaliated after hearing way too many personal attacks on my character? Because she accused me of things that I'd never dream of doing to you? I NEVER had it this bad with someone. Never fought as much as I did with her and certainly NEVER put up with the shift in personalities. I'll never understand...  

I was at my recent therapy session on June. One of the questions my 'What's difficult about dealing with this type of breakup compared to the breakup in 2008?' I told her 'The difficulty is starting all over again.' Knowing how bad thing got between us, how much anger and hated is coming from her, how much she despises me for the name calling and insults...  it hurts. It should ever have gotten that far. I acknowledged my part in the war; she did not nor will she ever. Does this make her right?

The relationship is beyond salvaging. It's too far gone and no amount of talking and apologies will bring her back into my life in any capacity. I've been living with that everyday for months now. Most days I'm kicking the crap out of myself for engaging in that sort of vile behavior with her, too. She could care less, was over me long before she broke it off and I'm sure I'm a forgotten man. Just a blip on her radar, just some guy, just some name - nobody special. This is also why I'll always maintain the she'll never, ever contact me for any reason. There is NO benefit for her to pop back in my life. Not to ask how I am, not to want to talk, nothing. Ex BPD'ers pop back in their ex'x lives? Not her. Never. I'm trying to cope with the aftermath of it all. And it's a pain I wished I'd never wish in anyone - except her so she could feel how I feel.

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« Reply #68 on: November 08, 2013, 02:47:07 PM »

Here's an odd thought,

Maybe non's are drawn (and quartered) to BPD relationships because some of us deep down inside don't believe we deserve to be loved.  So when we meet someone who is emotionally unavailable (which produces a strong draw) yet who appears to shower us with love (at the onset), it's like a fantasy fulfillment.  The honeymoon (aka carrot) is the fantasy that we can eat our cake and still have it, but as the relationship metastasizes, what keeps us in is the reinforcement of our deeply unhealthy beliefs about ourselves (aka stick).

Schwing

what an excellent insight.
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« Reply #69 on: December 15, 2013, 07:28:16 AM »

Split from: Is there any sensitivity

The only thing I can add to this, is that during the honeymoon/idealization phase, the pwBPD is actually quite real in their expressions of love towards you.  The general consensus I've found here states they are in love with the idea of love.  :)uring this phase, they are.getting the fuel and feelings they associate with love.  What we call infatuation.

They simply live for the feelings of the moment being the facts of life.  Most people know that infatuation isn't sustainable, and leads to either mature love or acceptance of a fling that has run its course.  We move on.  pwBPD don't compute this notion of an evolution and growth from infatuation.  They are high on endorphins and oxytocin; they are addicts that want to hang on to the fix.  They love bomb you, because it is how they feel about you.  You overwhelm them, making them forget their flaws.  They want to express 'love' and bask in their happiness.

It isn't your fault they don't understand infatuation becomes something else; they are incapable of the next step.  The chemical bond masks fall off both parties, and the high is gone.  The devaluing then begins, because we failed to keep giving that rush of 'love'.  That is the illusion they wanted.  Not a mask, just a person addicted to the idea of love no human can sustain.  Just someone that wants to feel accepted. Intensity is their mantra.

Is exactly what i though often... and sometimes told to her too,while she was in her "devaluation-berserk mode".

I'm tryng to get out from a recent break-up so sometimes i really "need" to think she was in love with me... probably she was in love with her "idea of me" that's pretty different... as soon as that idea of me begun to shows my "unpleasant sides" and issues, this perfect image that she had about me crashed... and for sure this process it's been really painful for her too... i tried in every way to explain and show that the person she fell so strongly in love with was always the same "me" ,i was "that" person and not someone else... but like every person,with my issues and needs and sometimes "bad" behaviour too... she always told me "i love you like you are"... many times... it's been true maybe,until she discovered that beyond her "knight,angel,soulmate,saviour etc etc" there was just another human being.

Point of no return.
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« Reply #70 on: July 12, 2014, 07:16:56 PM »

Just wow. I don't know how I missed seeing this workshop for the whole time I've been a member here. Guess I was just ready to see it.

Big thanks for Oceanheart opening up on the topic.

I noticed anomalies throughout the nearly 38 years I've been together with my husband (undiagnosed but lots of traits of BPD!) Things like the power struggle in so many areas, or the inability to get to the level we should be at by this long in a r/s. I had no idea what I was dealing with until the past few years as his rages have grown more frequent and I opened up to my therapist.

Now that I can look back I can see there have been multiple people with PDs in my life--mother, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, possibly stepdaughter, husband, husband's first wife (which all of course makes me wonder if my therapist is just being nice to me in saying I don't have BPD.) And looking at relationships with all of them I have to say that they have all loved in the best ways they knew how. But what do I know, I thought it was love when I was a child and sick and my mom would let me use a special blanket--not spend time with me, not hold me, but put a chair by the couch with a glass of water and let me use her special blanket. So i'm guessing i'm fairly impaired in recognizing true "love you for you" love.

The passion, the heat and cold of the pwBPD that I read about here really speaks to me, as does the need-based r/s. All those things explain pretty much my whole life...

Thanks to all who participated in this workshop! It took me a while to get through it all but it was so worth it. And here's to my better-prepared next 60 years, just in case I live to 120! Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #71 on: August 09, 2014, 12:48:12 AM »

This helps me put thart question to rest an reading other  peoples posts brought me to this.  If my BPD stbx wife was abused badly enough to change her brain development where it seems that everything we do has the opposite effect.  Than you have to apply that to her as well.  To her abuse is love.   Is that not confusing?  So never talking to youj again and letting go is the ultimate sacrifice.  If you had to do everything backwards would you not be extremely stressed out.  And it helps with whay she can sleep with people so easily and maybe not you.  It helps me to move on and not hate her.  And quit asking why.
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« Reply #72 on: August 09, 2014, 12:37:38 PM »

blackmirror,

it's so good to find a place to "put" our unanswerable questions, and to find some kind of peace with the situation.
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« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2014, 12:20:13 AM »

This workshop has been so incredibly helpful for me at such a difficult time in my life. Thank you to all who have taken the time to write their thoughtful "two cents." I truly appreciate it.

I am currently going through an incredibly heartbreaking break up with my exBpd fiancé. Now that there is actual distance between us due to a protection order I was forced to put into place, I have been seeing things more clearly at times and seeing the relationship for what is was. So,writes seeing things in a very black and white way helps me to process my grief in losing what I still feel is the love of my life who also happens to be the father of my 7 month old son.

Sometimes I wonder if he ever really loved me for ME? If he ever truly loved his son? I want to believe he didn't right now because it helps me to move forward and accept him for what he is.

That he cannot love anyone because he doesn't love himself.

I drift back and forth and go from aching for him to wishing we never met. I can't understand how he could simply up and leave the territory we live when he states that he "loves us and wants us to be a family again and that he misses his son so much it is killing him." The protection order never stopped him from seeing his son. It simply kept him from living in my home as I needed to ensure that my child be safe and secure here.

If he truly loved his child would he be able to simply walk away? Actually fly away on a plane?i remember him talking about our son and saying that he "loves him so much that he is terrified that something bad will happen to him." Bpd fear of abandonment at its finest. He often opened up to me about how he was so scared of me leaving him and that he knows that he "drains the life" out of people. He knows he has patterns and seems to want to change but gets stuck in the talking and never follows through in his actions.

I have done a lot of soul searching and see my own role in the relationship and how it felt good to be needed and be there for him and to stand by him no matter what because as he often said "we made the best team." I know that I have some issues with codependency, but I have never been in more of an abusive relationship in my life. I suppose I got addicted to the crumbs that were thrown in my direction, the glimpses of the man I fell for...

He has been capable of being "selfless" for me at times when I have needed him but I find myself continuously questioning the validity of everything and wondering if it was all just one big lie.

I recognized that after the initial phase of all encompassing new love the cracks began to form and the downward spiral followed. Moving in together, having a child together, these were the two major life events that led to major unravelling. Despite it all I stood by him, went to therapy with him, and ultimately enabled him more.

Does it mean that someone loves you if they throw you a surprise birthday party? They get you flowers to cheer you up when they know you are down? They cook dinner for your entire smile? They care for you when you are sick and take you to the hospital? They pull it together to help you deliver your child even when you can see that the event is triggering major fear?

What about if the same person who did all these things also does things to deliberately push you away? To create arguments and drama? To project their issues onto you... To physically abuse you when you are pregnant and when you are holding your baby? It sounds horrendous to imagine that these two people are the same...

Facts and feelings are two distinct things. Words and actions are also two distinct things.

At times when I want to believe that his love was real I justify those terribly actions as being Bpd related and I find myself splitting my ex into the man I fell in love with and the man with BPD.

I want to believe that he loved me. That he loves my son. I want to believe that we were not props used to make him appear to have a full life and to have his needs met. I want to believe that our love wasn't about control.

We have been NC for a week now after not speaking for close to one month (the longest we have ever gone). The last message he wrote me was filled with anger over a silly misunderstanding and his final words were that he was "done with this." He has since contacted a mutual friend asking how his son and I are doing...

Again, why? I don't understand. I can't keep trying to figure it out...

He fooled me in the beginning because he told me about his BPD and stated he was in therapy and on medication. Unfortunately this was only partially true and his medication was taken sporadically and his therapy attendance only at times of crisis. Ultimately, his actions never matched his words and I can only look at his actions from this point forward in order to protect myself from further abuse and to ensure that my baby has a happy and stable life.

I suppose for me to love is to behave in ways that are ultimately loving. If there is no respect or consideration, (at least on somewhat constant basis) how can there be love?

I am left to flip flop from believing that he did love me/love us to feeling that if he ever truly cared how could he continue to behave in this fashion.

Did he ever love me? It's not my job to find out. It's not my burden to prove.
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« Reply #74 on: August 28, 2014, 03:48:29 AM »

Having read substantial amounts on NPD and BPD, the consensus I’ve found is that BPD cannot love others in the sense we would define love. Now I’ve read this often about NPD, but see many on this website state their was love from their mother. In my case there clearly wasn’t any love from my NPD bro and my BPD mom. My mom would often use the word, even talk about a thing called love, but I cannot recall a single action that irrefutably demonstrated love.

I read a thread where people agree their moms never showed empathy but did show love. Yet to me, you can’t have love for another without empathy for that other. Is this because of the spectrum that is BPD or is this just wishful thinking on our behalf ?

So I would be interested in knowing if anyone had found a reputable article that provided empirical proof that BPD love. I’ve found plenty that say NPD lack this. My sister’s view is that “all mothers love their kids.” period. Yet again, I have often read this is not the case.

Ironically I realise there was no love at a very early age (I’m the scape goat). I was convinced I was adopted (even hunted for my birth certificate which my BPD wouldn’t show me). Tried to take my life around age 10 and ran away from home age 12. You’d think by now I would have excepted it, but you always hold out hope. From the recommended reading I have, it seems to suggest that this hope, many not be helpful. It keeps you anchored to a BPD. It keeps you banging your head against a brick wall.
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« Reply #75 on: August 28, 2014, 05:26:12 AM »

Hey Happy... long time no see - hope you are carrying on all right Smiling (click to insert in post)

There is an American actor dearly beloved by many here in the States, Michael J Fox, who was dx'd with Parkinson's at a very young age, has allowed the public to share alot of his highs and lows... his wife Tracey just incomparably beautiful and brave and they have four kids I believe - simply a remarkable family... and he said this in a Rolling Stone mag interview I bought last year bec he was on the cover, he is sort of a touchstone of courage for me - integrity in the flesh - here it is:

"'My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations."

Some personal moments recently for me - burned my late mother's death certificate on a pile of dried roses and lavender, just to send the final sorrow on its way of ... never having had a mother. Not in the "mother" sense of things.

Made choices that were in my favor for once, like spending money on these nice guys mowing my huge lawn in spite of my idea that I'm not worth it - I simply couldn't keep up with it anymore and the lovely almost golf-links velvet of the lawn works in my head.   Being cool (click to insert in post)

Have cleared out of a very toxic relationship that I fell into way too soon after divorce, way too knowing better about this man - thinking I could prove him wrong that he was unloveable etc...

Reading your post - what happens when you find irrefutable evidence that those dx'd or seemingly BPD'd "can love?" or cannot? and just how does anyone measure that worldwide? or in relation to our particular family member? it's empirically impossible, I'll safely bet.

If some divine being came down from wherever and told you yes or no about your own loved one, wouldn't you still be sifting through the flotsam and jetsam of having been reared by a troubled individual?

Expectations in light of Mr Fox's quote - you are hoping to read that somewhere out there people who demonstrate these traits CAN love or DO love.

Acceptance - there's no way to know... or NO they cannot.

One seems to leave you dangling in extremis... acceptance seems to just say, who could figure that out in cold hard scientifically certain terms? or... no they can't, not like we needed them to.  Not like we would've dreamt and wished for.

Somewhere along the way, personally, something switched over inside of me about my mother's words of love but actions of harm and near malice. Even before she died. I accepted that nowhere in her mental nor emotional makeup was she able to demonstrate motherly qualities. But to see inside her head and heart and mind and say she didn't love or couldn't love, all I could ever come up with was my subjective certainty that none of it *felt like love* to me. Of that I was certain and could then make choices accordingly.

I'm just trying to encourage you, via Mr Fox's thoughts, who lives out every day overriding a body that wants to fight him and discourage him, that with or without proof that those with this disorder can or cannot "love," you're still in the same bind. Your mother in particular, out of all the other mothers on the planet, wasn't able to provide you with nurturing and care, and instead dished out the very opposite. As did mine.

Your last sentence is the problem - none of it keeps you banging your head against a wall, really... you are banging your head against the wall because you are still dreaming you will get this answer. But what would it change?

I am in the same boat you're in, up a creek, no paddle, as the saying goes. But instead of fighting the current, let it just carry you downstream a bit until you bump into shore. If you see a waterfall ahead, jump and start swimming.   Smiling (click to insert in post)

Our shore is a place of acceptance. I never thought, not in a million years, that I would ever be able to look back at my past with the ambivalence I feel about it now. And that is with current upheavals with siblings' kids in contact for first time etc due to fallout of family stuff. So juggling how to interact yet not burden them with crap that has nothing to do with them. If I try to live with integrity, then baggage can't taint new connections.

Good luck on the possible resting and letting the load settle into the dust. That's where it belongs, not in your heart anymore.

Honestly, study that quote - I'm not kidding when I say it seems to have life breathing in and out of it because it's us ACON's in a nutshell.  You take good care. 
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« Reply #76 on: August 28, 2014, 11:01:17 AM »

Thank you all so much for this thread. It really helped clear up so much torment in my mind about understanding my exBPDbf. It was healing to hear the truth about how  a person with BPD processes love. It hurts to have it confirmed, but is always felt his love was not the same as my love. I feel ok knowing he gave the best he could possibly give. It was hell, with the I love you this month and then I'm not sure the next month then I love you the next. It was what it was. I am 7 days nc. No communication whatsoever and Sept 3 will be a month since we broke up for the last time. The end of recycling and my power back to take a stand and say no more!

I am so glad that I found this thread! It was tough to hear, but I needed the truth.

Thank you again!
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« Reply #77 on: September 02, 2014, 01:53:52 PM »

And now, my turn to thank everyone who wrote on this thread.

Does my uBPD wife loves me?

To me, an answer like "she loves you the best way she knows" is the most true answer. It's instead of saying "no, she doesn't really loves you and only cares about herself".

In other words, you still say the same message, just you shift the blame from her to her situation.

Which is true, at least the way I see it.

Yet, it's very very difficult to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't really love you - based on what most people see love. It's like having to get used to eating with your hands when you learn about forks. It's like listening to kindergarten music after being exposed to adult music.

But that's life.
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« Reply #78 on: October 08, 2014, 04:57:04 PM »

Mine did a BIG effort to avoid abandonment , with acting, crying, was it out of love?, or just losing her supply , (she loves mirroring me), think she loves my personality , being a part of it.


Anyway , guess she did felt hurt by losing an object (me), but it is strange to say this , feel rude, are really like this ?
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« Reply #79 on: July 09, 2015, 09:09:55 PM »

Hi everyone, I want to thank you in advance for reading my post. I have been separated for 2 months now from my BPD ex (I believe). I have found so much strength in reading these posts, and educating myself on this mental illness. I feel in SO MANY aspects, I could insert her name into the descriptions, and yet other descriptions make me question if Im reading into this? I decided to post my story, and very much so look forward to feedback, or anything honestly. Lonely phase in my life..  Ill keep this as short as possible.

  I met her in a work setting (5) years ago, she was married, yet we flirted. We became friends and within 2 years of knowing each other, were best friends. Flirting and such, but never crossed the line. I personally was dating, yet always thought how perfect she was to me. We grew into best friends about year 3, and she revealed to me how she had been wearing a mask, and was mentally abused by her husband, wanted out, etc. I cared for her so much that I encouraged her to tell her family and stood by her. Let her know that no one deserved that. I genuinely cared and had good intent. I started to see this hurt, desperate side of her I had never seen. Sad, depressed crying on the phone..such a bubbly person otherwise. Within a few months of knowing this, we started crossing the line with flirting. She would even come over to watch a movie and snuggle, but I admired her strength to not cheat even though she "hated him". About (6) months later, she moved to MN to be around her family for support to leave(supposedly). We were full out having an emotional affair, and sexting by the time she moved. I wrote her a letter stating that I loved her, I couldnt believe how much we connected, and that if she did divorce, I would be excited to pursue things.

   To sum up the next year and a half after she moved, we grew actually. It was an emotional affair, but we couldnt go more than 2 hours without talking, she would tell me "she loved me so much it hurt", basically VERY intense feelings for 18 months. So intense it made me believe I found the one, soul mates do exist, just everything I wanted in a woman. She would tell me the same, that it was so natural, and so right.

   Those were the highs of the roller coaster, however. She would go from picking out children names with me, to telling me her counselor said she shouldnt date after she divorces, and she wanted a hiatus... no emotion, just cold. This hiatus would last a few days, a week sometimes, before she would want to hear something sexy, or break silence and jump right back in. I was on cloud nine again every time(15-20 times this happened) and so I told myself, she is trying to do the right thing. I felt disposable, confused, crossing oceans when she wouldnt jump puddles, but again told myself she loves me so much, she is just coming out of a divorce. We were ridiculously close, when in the high moments. Looking back, I think the hiatus' were the push/pull I read about?

   All the while, Im her set of ears when she was despairingly crying, he is mistreating her, "what if its her", etc.

I would console her, assure her no one deserves that, and she would tell me she didnt deserve me. I would have to convince her I lived her all the time, assure her I wouldnt leave her. The previously bubbly girl I knew, was replaced with an always sad, needing consoling, version. I again said it was due to the ending relationship, and thought "if I cant handle her at her worst, I dont deserve her at her best.

  Me and her would constantly talk about the house we wanted to build, parenting structure, marriage locations, just... deep, intense talk for the better part of two years. I felt it was a match made in heaven.

  Finally, she hands him papers, and moves out. I start flying to see her in MN, and we are finally physical, and its amazing, making love, not just sex. We talk of my transition there, and are marching forward, telling each other we cant wait. She is still in the process of divorce(with boys in the mix) and so the desperate sobbing continues, just such a deep sorrow, hinting at suicide, disassociative even when crying. Side note: Looking back, she would go from so sad, to chipper and confident within a day or two, like nothing happened.

  My last trip there(5 months after her moving out) I was exhausted from the work week, and went to take a nap in the hotel before dinner. I heard her sobbing, and when I looked up, she was on the bathroom floor, sobbing. I went and consoled her, and after a few minutes, she got up and did her make up for dinner. She was fine for dinner, and said my napping reminded her of her ex not caring. I went with it and enjoyed our last night together. The next month after that trip was our last, but was full of love. I left my ring there, and she sent a pic of it around her neck saying " Im not giving it back until you replace it", we talked every day/ said I love you, skyped for hours, loving voicemails, she even went to a bbq and texted she cant wait to be introduced as my wife.

   So, here is our abrupt ending, that has left me in shambles... About a month after my last visit(nothing wrong), she had her court date. She was awarded 50/50 custody in the meanwhile as the actual date was pushed back. She  was hysterical, everyone lied to her, the court was against her, it wasnt fair, and then proceeded to hint at suicide and hang up. She would say "make sure they know", click. She did this multiple times.  I admit, this is poor timing, but after years of this nonsense, I said youre being cynical, i want off this ride. I know thats terrible timing, but it was so bizarre to me, it was just a temporary hearing. I took a few days space, checked on her through her sister, and even said hi a few days later. Within a week, we were talking, and I said I was glad we were, she said she was too. We flirted and all seemed well. (2) days later, she completely was cold, and said she wanted to be platonic. She said her counselor told her she shouldnt date yet, etc. I noticed that same day she became friends with a guy she met at the bbq (the same bbq she told me she couldnt wait to be introduced as my wife) I asked her, and she said none of my business, that I had broke up with her when I said I wanted off the ride, that we had been bad for the last two months and the hotel was a bad sign to her of how I treated her. I tried being nice for a few days, and then she said she had a wall up against me that she wasnt even looking at. On FB, this guy was at a few events she was all the sudden, and again, none of my business, Im free to date, just cold, no emotion. Everything she said had a very punishing feel to it. I asked her sister, and she said she was known to be dramatic all her life, threatening suicide over bad grades in college. That opened my eyes...

   I wrote her a few letters clarifying that after years of being there for her, feeling one sided, etc., I was burnt out, but it didnt mean I was giving up on us growing old like we had talked for so long. She never responded. I finally called after a week, and she said she is being cold, because she has (0) sh#*s to give. She said love like ours doesnt exist, and brought up one bad moment from when we first met (5) years ago. I asked her how could she not believe in what we shared for so long, and she said she didnt know what to believe, and that I was only there all those years to get with her. Just such a care free tone to her, shark eyes via phone if you will.

   I know "normal" women can leave abruptly, but this was cloud 9 to no emotions, punishing even. I told her to keep my ring as it had too much sentimental value, she insisted on sending back..just to toy with me?

  Its been two months and mutual friends told me her and the bbq guy are talking lovingly on FB, pics together, etc. Never a word from her.

  My mom is a psych nurse and introduced me to the term Borderline..Ive done so much research and reading, and believe her to be a high functioning, quiet/waif borderline. Its just hard to accept, we were best friends for years, and then so much more than I thought existed. To... no closure, or empathy?

  Im a wreck still, cant understand it..Did I mess up in my frustrated comment? Was I used? I just want to believe its mental illness and use that as closure. Thank you all
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 12:16:25 AM by Suzn, Reason: edit out real name » Logged
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« Reply #80 on: December 24, 2017, 08:16:07 AM »

Hello,

Guys lets dont make drama here, I may understand 3 months of relationship but 1+ years of relationship beleiving that he/she didnt love you is just believing in drama. You cannot even stay with someone after one night stand and how come it is possible that you live 1 2 3 years.

Please keep in mind that they loved your, they did it truly with passion. However how easy they love how easy they kill the love. My ex she killed her ex love, and her ex bfs with me she did it. I was believing finally she saw the truth no she FINALLY DEVALUED THEM. I mean consumed it. The way they experience the love is different than us and they do suffer because of it too.

You are fool (me too, all of us unfortunately) to invest a lot it, just because almost we have no choice and non of us knew it before. Dont blame yourself, she wont come back even she comes she will come lots of guilt. She is not a devil but she is a child, love her like this and move on your life with a better women/men.

I dont say delete it completely some of them are really our soulmates, give them time they can date you can date and most probably you have a better chance to get someone you can date in more stable way. Even if you dont if you communicate with them after some certain time I dont think they will refuse.
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joeramabeme
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« Reply #81 on: January 01, 2018, 08:34:26 AM »

All,

This is an awesome thread, thanks to everyone for their sharing and heartfelt stories of tribulation and healing.  

I know my 2bx BPDw loves me.  There are multiple ways in which the love is distorted and I always felt whip lashed by the heartless comments she would make and then a follow through of heartfelt actions that indicated how she really felt.  It was/is all very confusing and kept me off balance for a long time (still regaining or just establishing for the first time my footing).

I wanted to add something to this thread.  I am struck by how many topics are brought up about the BP that I feel are personally applicable.  The whole business of feeling empty and needing/wanting someone to complete me resonates.  I feel guilty in labeling her BP when I see the same characteristics in me.  I did not see her as an object but I did at times objectify her.

Additionally this quote hits me hard:

Quote from: oceanheart
People with BPD are intense by nature: one of the disorder’s basic structures is mood lability (definition:Apt or likely to change). But the force of our love – and our hate, though never indifference – comes from something altogether different: from the deep emptiness inside us, where no warmth seems to reach. It’s an absense of a sense of self, a sense of being a good person, and comes from a lack (or perceived lack) of getting our primary needs met when we were children, for whatever reason: abuse, neglect, trauma, difficult innate temperaments, invalidation, loss of a caretaker, harsh environment, whatever it may be.

YES!  That is what I felt, deep emptiness inside from not getting my needs met as a child.  I did not see my wife as a CURE, but I did see the relationship as a end in itself.  The part that everyone else had that I always saw through the looking glass and fantasized about what it was like to have this.

Anyway, i know this is not a thread for questions, but wanted to add this to the discussion.

Thank you all, on my way to healing, perhaps this is another item I will need to place on my 'to be healed' list.

Joe
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