Articles and Handouts
Stories (BPD Experiences)
The Potential of Borderlines
When I first read I Hate You Don't Leave Me, it said what I needed to hear--I needed to know what I was up against, needed to have the seriousness emphasized. When the golden "overachiever" who *thinks* she can just let "everything roll off her back" ended up in the Psych ward three times and was immersed in a thrice weekly therapy she used to think was rubbish--the author's blunt rhetoric and assessment was quite helpful to me. At least there was a *reason* why this was happening. I really *was* mentally ill--the book described many of my emotions and behaviors quite aptly. Dr. Kreisman pointed out a lot of stuff that was definitely present--a lot of feelings and motivations I had buried, hidden and denied, but deep down, always knew were there. Where his attitude differs from mine is how he assesses the possibility of real fundamental change. Perhaps having lived it myself, and seen it in others, I see the chances as being far more optimistic than he does. This is true of many therapists and those who write on the topic, not just Dr. Kreisman.
People say that borderlines are Incapable of empathy, incapable of mutually satisfying adult relationships--it implies to me that somehow, the pathologies and distortions of BPD are so deeply rooted, so inherent, that it is highly unlikely they will ever change. Maybe this is because so much of the book centers on crisis management. How to cope, as one who loves a borderline, or perhaps one who is a borderline, with these emotions and behaviors, almost tacitly accepting the fact that they will not change, that they cannot be changed. Only controlled. Turning the radio down, instead of outright changing the station.
Dr. Kreisman is a behaviorist, emphasizing short-term crisis-to-crisis coping strategies. His SET principles are good--actually a pretty wise way to interact with people, BPD or not, as well as a good strategy for parenting. My psychiatrist, Dr. P., undoubtedly used them too to get through the immediate tough times, outbursts in the hospital, irrational threats and impulsive self-destructive behavior. But Dr. Kreisman pretty much stops there, and doesn't seem to holdout much hope for a borderline being able to do much more than control the impact and behaviors of a pathological mindset. His strategies don't go the "extra mile". Fortunately for me, Dr. P. did.
Many therapists don't seem to think the "extra mile" is worth it. Alas, in the world of psychiatry today, there are far more who believe that borderlines cannot change their mindset in any really fundamental way, than those who believe they can. With the advent of psychological pharmaceuticals and short-term behavior therapies, psychoanalysts are becoming an increasingly rare breed.
A lot of this, I'm sure, has to do with the fact that insurance companies--who increasingly dictate treatments-- prefer the shorter and, subsequently, cheaper methods. Unfortunately, with BPD, the behavior is rooted in deeply held beliefs and viewpoints of life that just aren't going to be disassembled and re-built in a short-term behaviorally oriented therapy or an in-patient clinic.
In essence, some therapists advocate coping with BPD, as if it can't really be "cured." Like teaching a paraplegic how to use a motorized wheelchair, or a blind person to master Braille--resigning to these disabilities as if they are permanent, to be coped with, not cured. This it isn't true. Change is difficult, granted, but it is possible. Some therapists don't seem to believe that--not in any fundamental sense.
Thus, the "disabilities" of a borderline are considered a permanent condition the overwhelming majority of the time. Let's take a look at some of these disabilities. The purported inability to empathize. Manipulation. Self-centeredness. Raging vengefulness. Eerily similar to the marks of a lousy character, let's face it. The antithesis of the kind of people we are taught to aspire becoming. To dismiss the hope for these things changing--other than simply being controlled by a compassionate version of classical behavioral conditioning--is to say that borderlines are *always* possessive of such traits.
So I ask you--what, then, is the difference between a mentally ill borderline and a flat out lousy human being? If these traits are supposedly so inherent in a borderline that the chances of escaping them are dismally slim, does the origin of the traits *really* make that much of a difference, other than in a clinical sense? No wonder there's such a preponderance of therapists and others who think the best way to deal with a borderline is to avoid one at all costs, or to get the hell out--the hope of change absent, what's the use of sticking it out with a person destined to be a rotten human being for the rest of his or her life--regardless of the reasons why, the name it is given?
Long term therapy--the kind that bases itself on a philosophy that fundamental change *is* possible--is a vanishing art. Insurance companies don't cover it, it is the most time-intensive for a therapist who stands to make a lot more money in other ways. (Like a $75 fee for a five-minute hospital rounds visit or fifteen minute medication consultation versus $120 an hour of the frustrations of therapy.) The profits aren't there in the same way they are for short-term BPD or other mental illness clinics, that tinker at the edges but don't go to the meat of the issue. "Realizing that all people are different in both their motivations to change and the financial ability to seek fundamental change, it probably is true that, for many borderlines, the chances of any real change are remote. But is that a phenomenon of BPD itself, or of the medical costs culture in which we live? Kreisman appears to argue the former point, while I believe the latter. And, in the meantime, a lot of people give up hope before they've ever had a chance to try.
That in a very large nutshell (a Brazil nut, perhaps ) is what I mean when I speak of the attitude of many therapists--the belief that the traits of the borderline can best hope to be controlled and conditioned, not changed. Inherent and intractable. Once a borderline, always a borderline.
I don't buy that attitude, and I never ever will. I'm living proof. Fortunately for me, I have a husband and a therapist who never bought into the pessimism either. My entire life has changed and I'm alive to tell the story.
It's too bad that general pessimism is the norm and not the exception -- and those who have BPD and those who love someone who does are influenced by that view. In reference to stigma, if I *were* to disclose to people in my community that I had been diagnosed with BPD, the fact is that many, if not most, of them, would have no earthly clue of what I was talking about. It isn't a household term like depression or anorexia. But if they chose to look into it, chose to read up on it, perusing I Hate You--Don't Leave Me and other similar discussions of the illness--do you expect that they would believe that I've recovered? I tend to believe they would look at me with a newly vigilant eye, waiting for the fireworks to ensue. Once a borderline, always a borderline. A philosophy with which I adamantly disagree, but one, realistically, I have to understand is the primary one to which most people are exposed.
Perceived Slights Make Me Angry
Part of being borderline for me is going bonkers over slights or perceived slights from others. That happened last night and suddenly the whole world is against me and EVERYTHING looks bad. When I feel that way there is no relief to be found until the "storm" blows over. I was/am still a bit completely unhinged, my sense of self is torn apart, my beliefs, my interests, EVERYTHING gets sucked in when I go down. Luckily I have managed to hide it pretty good from others and even myself at times. Someone once mentioned needing 'reality checks' from others, and sometimes I feel like I can trust other people's realities and other times I don't. Just depends on where I am at... and that changes a lot.
Feeling Fragmented, Guilty, Angry
Usually when I get angry (and usually only at my husband) at first I feel justified. But shortly afterwards, anger usually causes me to feel fragmented, question everything, question what is real, who am I etc. Then I usually feel a lot of guilt, fear, and self-hate and crazy. Over the years, I think I am finally seeing that the aftermath is worse then the release, and I tend to not act out my anger so much. Sometimes I don't know if what I got mad at is some projection or something justified. There is a kind of anger that I hate in my self. Sometimes I suddenly get filled with so much anger and disgust with husband (although this has always happened with all significant others.) I get torn over feeling full of hate for the person and feeling so very screwed up for feeling these feelings."
When I'm Mad, Please Listen and Help Me
When I am very angry and not in danger of losing control, it is best for others to listen and help me explore my anger without judging. Echo my feelings... for example "it sounds like when this happens it sends you up the wall" or "help me understand what is going on right now..." that kind of thing. I guess it's basic therapeutic communication that is helpful. This doesn't work overnight. My feeling is until someone can formulate what is going on inside it isn't going anywhere... and talking is the best way. I know it sounds artificial but... it gets to be a natural and empathetic way to help someone.
Being Scared of Losing Love Makes Me Angry
I think that borderliners are concerned of only one thing: losing love. When cornered I get very scared and I show that by getting angry: anger is easier than fear and less vulnerable: I strike before being stricken. Real anger, the anger normal persons feel, by getting unjust treatment or being disappointed, I don't feel at all, I don't have that capability. It would require a self, a complete being, self conscience and self confidence to get angry because people are treating you badly. Since I don't have a self (or better said: since I put away my own self so deep that I can't reach it myself anymore) I don't have all those things and I can't get angry.
I think this goes for all borderlines; that no BP will admit they are really scared when they are angry. When I'm angry I can't be that reasonable too. When I'm angry I'm angry and telling myself doesn't help. The only thing that helps is when my husband says to me: I know you are scared and not angry. At that moment my anger melts away and I can feel my fear again. But that's the only thing that works. But it's almost impossible not to react to the anger, but to say "I know you're only afraid." I see it happening with my husband.
We made an agreement about this, that he would tell me that when we would have an argument and for a little while this worked. But he has his own anger too, and we BPs know how to find weak spots in others to hurt them there where it hurts very much. So it's very difficult if not impossible to ask them to stay calm under all our attacks and just say I know you're scared and with that disregard their own anger. I wish all family and partners of BP's all the luck with that, because they really help us too: they create a safe environment in which we can say what we feel and in which nobody attacks us for feeling it but instead they accept us and see through it and with that they give us a chance to let our own true self come up. Reacting in anger only makes it worse, however logical it seem to be angry for a person who lies under attack of a BP.
Listen to Me When I'm Angry
I'm recovering, now, on medications that have quieted the internal noise and the inclination toward rage. As best I can remember, I could usually reconstruct an episode in which I was very angry, and the same rage was usually evoked. When I am angry, the best thing someone else can do to make me feel better is to LISTEN to me and BELIEVE what I am saying. I'm afraid that a good deal of current literature on BPD encourages others - family, etc.- basically to ignore what the borderline is saying because they don't know what the truth is, because they're manipulative, etc. Most of my anger has been caused by others not listening to me or believing me, and as the argument goes on, it is worsened by a continued lack of listening and belief. Those are very painful things to experience. They make you feel as though you just don't exist. The biggest thing that's happened in my life that has made such a change is that my husband now actually actively listens to me. He even seeks out such communication. That and having effective medication has made all the difference in my life.
When I Feel Toxic, I Hate Others
I had a dream the other night where a doctor told me I had a terminal disease and I might as well kill myself right now instead of putting my family through the pain of watching me die. I was torn....I didn't know what to do. If I didn't kill myself then I would be selfish but I wanted to live and be with my kids as long as possible. This dream really made me feel weird and screwed up. I think cause I feel like I am toxic to anyone who has to be around me. I have been feeling so full of hate. I don't understand this senseless hate I feel sometimes. When I am caught up in it I feel like I am so utterly justified for feeling the hate for the person (most often husband) I am hating....that they are so utterly disgusting, so pitifully stupid etc. When I am feeling this way there is hardly any insight and when there is it's only because I am somewhat dissociative and can compartmentalize different aspects of myself at times....I am glad I have this at least.
Feeling Lonely and Alone
It feels terribly lonely to be borderline. I am living in a castle, with very thick defense walls and a very tightly closed draw-bridge and door. Outside is a crowd, they are having a party. But I can't hear what it's about and I can't join them, although part of me wants to. So I stand at the window and look outside and I don't understand what they are doing. Also I feel like they look at me all the time and laugh at me for not understanding and not belonging. I don't know what I have to do to belong and to understand. The castle is empty. I'm the only thing in it. Not only the only living thing, but really the only thing: the castle is completely empty. There is no furniture, no wallpaper, no carpets. The wooden floors are bare, the closets are empty and the doors are standing ajar. The castle is huge, with many floors and every floor has many rooms and everything is empty. Try imagining living like this and you can just for a little bit understand how we feel.
I Couldn't Trust Him to Love Me Enough, and I Couldn't Trust Him If He Loved Me Too Much
Five years ago, I fell in love with someone who treated me well, and that automatically made me distrust him. I loved him, but I couldn't show him that because it felt too threatening and made me feel too vulnerable. So again and again, I would break up with him. And again and again, we would get back together when I told him I changed my mind. I told him that I wanted to get married, and then I would tell him that I never said that. And he just kept going along with it, doing whatever I said because he was a forgiving person, he just wanted to understand me. He made appointments for me to go see a therapist and I wouldn't go, he bought me books and I didn't read them. Pretty soon, I kind of got to like the control that I had over him. For years, I believed that he was the problem. Now I see that I have BPD. And so I lost the best person I ever knew because I couldn't trust him to love me enough, and I couldn't trust him if he loved me too much. I can't seem to trust -- fully -- another human being. I don't know if I ever will.
My Fear of Abandonment
I have a terrible fear of being abandoned by my boyfriend. When I first start dating someone, I always think sooner or later he'll realize I'm empty and leave me. I am envious of other women he talks about, even if it's a movie star or something and he will never meet them. My mind always convinces me that someone else will be better for him than I am. My current boyfriend is very affectionate and considerate, but I never get enough and I am doing the same thing to him. If he doesn't tell me he loves me every time we talk on the phone I get a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and I get angry, I call him back up and demand to know why he wants to break up with me. I want to have a normal relationship like other people have. And the funny thing, is when I DO feel loved, I can see what's happening so clearly. But then later that same day I fall into an irrational frenzy, imagining situations.
It's Your Fault
I purposely get myself into relationships that don't let me have freedom because the trap they give me gives me an excuse for nothing to be my fault...if I'm trapped, I'm not responsible. So on one hand I'm never at fault, and on the other hand I'm always at fault.
Why We Cut
We (borderlines) occasionally cut ourselves because we are hurting so bad, and no one knows how bad we hurt, that we cut ourselves just to somehow externalize how we feel. Like we could never communicate the pain we have (because it is too big, and people don't understand) and also because how could we feel so much without it somehow being visible from the outside. There are other times when we have cut ourselves because we were really hurting and it comforted us, but then there were those times when we wanted to say "See how bad I hurt!"...like it is a way of communicating and expressing the extent of our pain....words just are not powerful enough.
Look Inside the Soul of a Borderline
Sometimes I get angry that I've had to wrestle with this demon (BPD). I mean borderline isn't the "disease of the week," if you get my drift. No one "likes" a borderline. Society doesn't. Shrinks don't. (My therapist has said that often shrinks limit how many borderlines they work with because they can be very draining, though he does know of a therapist that *only* works with borderlines) You can't even feel sorry for one. We are chaotic, aggressive, manipulative, and angry to the world. But look inside the soul of a borderline (if you can get there) and you'll find something very different. Fear. Desperation. Abandonment. Incredible sensitivity. Another concern I have is not to define myself purely in terms of this diagnosis. In fact, I worry that all of us are in danger of defining ourselves by the diagnosis that some shrink has given us, but we are the sum of *all* our parts. It's too easy for it to become a self fulfilling prophecy.
I Am an Individual, Not a Diagnosis
I am an individual, not a diagnosis. I function quite capably at most times during my life, but sometimes, under stress, I experience psychotic episodes. This is not the NORM for me -- I am not psychotic at all times, and most of the time other people who meet me think I am "NORMAL." I do not wear a brand on my forehead reading "BORDERLINE.
I expect to be treated with the respect due all people. I resent and dislike being stereotyped to fit anyone's idea of a particular diagnosis. During my times in mental hospitals I have learned a great deal of compassion for mentally ill people. I have met individuals with severe schizophrenia who are finally being helped with new meds, and I have tried to imagine what it would be like to constantly have voices in my head yelling at me calling me bad names. I have met people suffering from difficult to control bi-polar disorder whose lives are completely unmanageable at almost all times. If I can have and feel compassion for these people, why is that those closest to me (and even those in the so-called "helping" professions) cannot understand my feelings?
Also, I do not like to think of myself as "sick" or "ill." I find that this is of no help to me. I try to focus on what is RIGHT about me, but most of the time the people in my life keep reminding me -- you're mentally ill; you're borderline. This is often difficult, because it seems that people want to keep showing me what is WRONG with me (Believe me, I know what is wrong with me -- LOL). To quote one of my favorite songs -- Don't confront me with my failures / I have not forgotten them (Jackson Browne). I am working hard to believe in what I can become; to see possibilities and believe in some sort of future in which I can be happy and productive. This is not made easier by those who label me "mentally ill" or "borderline," and refuse to recognize my individuality and potential to grow beyond what I am right now.
We Are More Than Our Behavior
It is very important that spouses, friends, and family of borderlines NOT consider borderlines to be "things" that have to be "dealt with" or "handled" (as in "how do you deal with a borderline?" or "how do you handle a borderline?"). We are people. We are more than our behavior. We have feelings. We feel pain, more so than most people (and that's not just my opinion, that's also the opinion of a researcher at NIMH I was referred to a couple of years ago). Our behavior is the result of our pain and our feelings. THESE are the things about us that have to be considered...just as though we were regular human beans with feelings and pain. I think the operative word is EMPATHY. Family and friends should try to put themselves in borderline shoes, because borderline behavior (and borderline feelings) are not much more than bizarre exaggerations of normal behavior and feelings.
Communication Helped Our Marriage
I have been married for almost 17 years. I'm deeply in love with my husband. We've been through hell and high water together, most of it because of my BPD, but some of it because of my husband's problem with cocaine (which, thank God, is no longer a problem). No matter what happened in our marriage, even when he was on cocaine, even when I was having a lesbian relationship outside of our marriage, I've always loved, been in love with my husband, love him so much it hurts. Things are going really well right now. I mean REALLY well. We're even talking about having a baby, something that was unthinkable before because I was too violent and we were too much at odds with one another. Things are different now. We communicate with one another. He actually brings up difficult subjects (like having a baby), rather than ignoring them or leaving them to me to deal with alone.
I think the thing that helped our marriage more than anything was getting it EXPOSED, out from the dirty secret thing that it was. The exposure came when I was in the hospital last Feb and March, when my doc would come by to see me, which just happened to coincide with visiting hours, so my husband was there, and we all talked together. I think my husband finally came to see that I WASN'T really a monster, that we really COULD talk about difficult things without me getting all out of control and berating him, that problems were CREATED when we ignored difficult subjects, etc. I guess what I'm saying for you is to keep the channels of communication open. If things stop flowing in both directions, get help for BOTH of you. More has been done to "fix" my life by my HUSBAND changing than by all that I did to try and change MYSELF. We are working as a TEAM now, the two of us, together. We aren't enemies anymore.
Remembering Why You Care About the Borderline in the First Place
I can understand why non-BPs would engage in a lot of discussion about the pathologies, the rages, the rotten things borderlines can do. Because they hurt and they hurt badly. A borderline has the capacity to destroy her/himself or anyone close -- and often both. It's healthy to discuss these things, to vent this pain. But there's also a *reason* why it is that you became close to a BP to begin with -- and sometimes, in the course of the books and the discussion and all the clinical terminology, it seems that such reason becomes lost. You don't fall in love with a borderline because you have some hankering to be destroyed, because you somehow made a horrid mistake in judgment. You did it because there were good qualities, that are just as inherent and characteristic of the borderline as the bad ones. And as the destructive bad qualities began to manifest themselves -- for as long as you have stayed around or will stay around -- it is because you believe that, in the end run, those good qualities will supersede the bad ones. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. You aren't masochists, you are optimists -- which may or may not turn out to be warranted. It certainly gives a good understanding of why all of this is so painful for you -- it is hard to give up on that optimism and "let go.
"Suck It Up and Knock It Off Now" Stuff Just Doesn't Work
I have a friend who really blew it with me when I made the mistake of letting down and telling her what I've been going through the past 9 mos. She listened wonderfully the first time around, but the second time (we live 3 hrs away), she jumped in with the "that's enough, now let's design some steps for you to take." What I needed from her was total, genuine acceptance, and the freedom to be my BPD me -- not calling my reactions "right", but for her to understand that these filters are a part of me that I cannot just cast off. The "suck it up and knock it off now" stuff just doesn't work with BPD, it just stuffs it back in the closet or under the rug. Boundaries? Yes-- to validate my pain, if not to agree with it as rational. You do not have the right to tell me that I "shouldn't feel this way", or that I'm "always discontent", like I choose to be this way! And don't deny me my right to exercise the initiative of reading between the lines. Yes, BPD people can and do read too much into things, but to rob me of *all* of my instincts and to suggest that I can *never* look for double meanings is to rob me of God-given radar. I would not argue the need to readjust the antenna tremendously, but don't try to cut it off; people are not always transparently honest and I can feel that.
My Whirlwind of Emotions Scares People Away
For me, anger is more than just intense feelings. It is the uncontrollable surge one feels that is associated with that intensity, and the inability to rationally control oneself. It is like being possessed by a whirlwind of emotions that cause one to act out heinously. When I act out, it is an attempt to protect myself, knowing full well, that what I am actually doing will drive a person away further. Just recently, I acted out with a man who I care a great deal about, and I drove him away, because the ambiguity of the relationship left me controlled by my emotions. As a result, I have driven him away, and am suffering tremendously. I just couldn't handle the intensity and I burst out on him, so to speak. The feelings controlled me, overpowered me, I had to lash out to let it escape. When I am acting out, I want reassurance that the person isn't going to leave me. When the intensity is not too strong, I remind myself that it isn't fatal. I focus on feeling the pain, and not trying to do anything about it. Reacting to the internal hurricane scares people away.
(NOTE: THIS NEXT PART WAS WRITTEN SEVERAL MONTHS LATER)
Since I wrote that to you, I think a lot of times my anger is justified. Lashing out (as in the case I talked about before) is not appropriate. However, my anger was appropriate. What I have learned since then was a bit of understanding of the core, or the fire of those whirlwinds of emotions. At the core is a person so incredibly insecure that she holds back until an explosion occurs. So insecure that she explodes and then regrets the consequences--not because the anger wasn't justified, but because she truly feels that if that person deserts her, she is worthless. This really supports the theories of problems with self-identification and boundaries. It's like I sometimes feel I can't stand alone, because without someone else there, there is a vast nothingness where I stand. I am so grateful that I have been graced with the gift of being capable of sorting this out. I might also add that sometimes the anger comes out for inappropriate reasons, and that is especially confusing for people who are on the receiving end. In short, many times a Borderlines anger is justified, however, the intensity is driven by ones own core insecurities and "lacking" so to speak.
The Stigma of BPD
There is no one alive on this earth that hasn't struggled with something, nor is there any one that doesn't need a hero. If you named just about any illness -- mental or otherwise -- there are documented stories, volumes, made-for-TV movies that tell the tale of those who faced their adversities and overcame them. Whether it is cancer or alcoholism, diabetes or bulimia, there is always someone -- and more often than not, someone famous -- that a person can look to for inspiration. Unfortunately, such isn't the case with BPD. I find it hard to believe that of the 6 million BPD's in this nation alone, there are no beloved celebrities, few heroes of which the public is aware. It's a lot easier to believe that there are few who will admit to having suffered BPD. Stigma plays a role here. In today's heightened awareness and acceptance of mental illness, I have felt quite open to tell people that I have suffered from depression, from drug abuse (years ago) and from anorexia. I've been loathe to share the fact that I have suffered from borderline personality disorder -- both because of the number of people who do not know what it is and, perhaps even more, because of the people who *do* know what it is.
What Brought Me to Recovery
I was one who most frequently repressed myself and the fiery BPD feelings inside of me, maintaining relationships with those closest to me, and occasionally lashing out at those who were not as close to me. The result of this was a constant inner struggle that led to self-destruction, and a few souls out there who were unfortunate enough to be the recipients of all that pent-up vindication. I have changed in ways so fundamental it is hard to believe I ever thought the way that I did. Sometimes, amidst a situation, I will think back to how that it would have affected me five or ten years ago -- it really strikes me sometimes just how much I have changed.
Shortly before my "breakdown" and subsequent three hospitalizations and four years of intensive therapy, I had begun to lose the self-control (AKA, total repression) I had mustered in my closest relationships for years prior to that. Typically, I would manage to exit relationships before the pull of the BPD poisoned them (not knowingly of course, I wasn't aware of the diagnosis then, and indeed was a major skeptic of psychiatry in general.)
As an extroverted, passionate, fun-loving person, I always had a lot of friends and people around me -- also had a series of sexual relationships that were never exclusive. My old coping strategy was to never get too close and never stick with anyone or anything for too long of a time. In marriage however (my husband and I just celebrated our ninth anniversary!) and in having children, this coping strategy could no longer work. I was faced with the reality that I could no longer be the drifter, I could not run from these commitments -- and it scared me to death. Literally almost *brought* me to death.
While during those first few years of infancy, I found myself with a nurturing maternal instinct and a patience I never thought I had within me -- once I quit nursing my children (when my daughter was about 18 months old or so and my son was 3 and a half), things began to fall apart at the seams quickly. It was during that brief stretch of six months or so that I began to have the classic BPD-motivated one-sided fights with my husband. I began to lose patience quickly. And when I found myself totally overreacting to my toddler son, ready to beat him mercilessly, and saw the fear in his eyes that I had had in my own when I was a ravaged child -- I simply snapped. I couldn't do what my parents (my mother a definite BPD, my father a classic narcissist/sadist) had done -- simply couldn't "pass on the legacy." And was disgusted with myself for even having the instinct. I quickly retreated from my son and was filled with the powerful wish to die -- in my desperation, I called a hotline. From there, the road to recovery -- painful, dramatic and anguishing as it was -- began.
I've been fortunate to have a very loving, supportive and understanding husband who came from a very emotionally healthy upbringing. We communicate well and we talked about therapy as I went through therapy, and all the turbulent, emotional times particularly in the earlier phases of therapy when I was forced to confront all of these things. Ben is aware of my BPD, aware of the instincts, the mindsets and thought patterns. Fortunately, too, Ben is a very strong person in his own right -- loving and sensitive enough not to give me back a dose of what, at times, he has been given, but also assertive and strong enough not to let himself be defeated or overpowered by my occasional irrational outbursts.
He's become quite adept at spotting the thinking patterns as soon as they emerge and pointing them out. I've become quite adept at thinking before I speak, and being able to accept it when he points things out. We've channeled the underlying passion of the BPD in a way that makes our marriage deep, committed and strong -- filled with passion and love. Both of us honestly convinced that we have "done well" in finding each other. We have a strong marriage, and a closely-knit and loving family. Trust me when I say that both Ben and I have been through absolute hell at times during this process -- but neither of us regret our decision to marry each other and our marriage is stronger and more communicative than many of those of couples who have never had to struggle with the emotional issues. Perhaps, indeed, because we *have* had to struggle with those issues, we met the challenge, neither of us ran, and it has brought us closer together.
An Interview with Someone Who Self Mutilates
WARNING: There are swear words in here, very strong emotions, and some descriptions of physical and emotional abuse. Please take this into consideration before reading. The writers of these words retain the copyright: they may not be used elsewhere.
2ND WARNING: This is a very graphic description of self-mutilation. Please consider not reading it if you are someone who does self-mutilate, as it could trigger unwanted feelings. We are placing it on this site to help those who do not cut understand why some people do cut themselves.
(This is only a portion of the interview -- the rest hasn't been transcribed). The interview is with a woman in her 20s who is now doing much better, thanks to medication she is taking.
Q. What thoughts are going through your head before the mutilation, during the mutilation, after, how does it make you feel and what specifically what are you doing?
A. It's just despair, absolute despair, hopelessness, anger and rage, that I am unable to cope or express the rage, kind of a mute kind of rage, helpless rage, and a need to express the horror and the blackness inside, and I'm unable to express it or say it or show it so the only way to do that is to mark up my body, and so I don't have to say it. I can say, "look, this is how I'm feeling, and I'm being very logical about this, but it's just a need, it's an addiction." I carry around sharp objects just in case, sleep with knives under my pillow. I kind of disappear in a way, where I'm functioning, and I'm talking, and I'm driving, or here, but my mind is gone somewhere, and so, during the act, it's just this rage and acting out, and wanting to bleed, wanting to see, if I just scratch it, that's not enough, it has to bleed. The desire to see blood, to show blood, sometimes is uncontrollable, to where I can't stop. And then, afterwards, kind of a peacefulness or having been expressed, and then very logical and calm, kind of. But then remorse and anger at myself for doing that, that I said that I wouldn't do that anymore and I did, I couldn't help it.
Q. What triggers cutting?
A. It was triggered even by traffic, today, it's just the anger and frustration of being in a place where I don't want to be. Or helplessness really triggers it, anger, where I've made mistakes, it's kind of my fault, and then there's something else I deal with also, is that I search for attention. I think that's part of the reason that I do it, so I struggle with that, I'm like, God, I think that part of it's reinforced because I get attention, and the shock and the reaction that I get from people, and people don't know how to deal with it, and that's satisfying to me somehow. So then I won't tell people, just because I think that's just doubly sick, if I'm doing this just for attention, and I don't know why I do it, and I've done it ever since I was about 7 or 8, some kind of self-mutilation, always hurting myself.
One time I was in the hospital, I wanted to get out of there very badly. I was so angry at being there, because they wouldn't let me go, and the doctor said, "well, I will come see you today before the day is through, and hopefully, if you are a good girl or whatever we'll let you out." Well, she didn't come and she didn't come, and then I was afraid, I said well she said she'd be here, and she didn't come, and I was so angry, so I found a paper clip that had come off of the food trays from the menus at the hospital, and I cut up my arm until it was bleeding, and then she walked in, and she saw that, and so that's why I had to stay in the hospital, so it's when a promise is broken, when I'm ... let's see, another specific example, supposed to show up at work at a certain time and getting into a minor accident, and my boss yelled at me because I didn't let him know.
Q. You got into the minor accident, and so you came in late?
A. Yes, and I had called, I had called and said, I'm in this, you know, and he didn't get the message. So when I finally did talk to him, he screamed at me, but I had done what I was supposed to do, and so I was misunderstood.
Q. What happened?
A. That was a particularly bad incident, I had taken, what was it, I think it was scissors and just gouged my arm on the top and I have scars all over my arm. Another thing that triggers it is abandonment. There was this person I was interested in, this man, and he was going to India for two years, and just the thought of him leaving me . . .I couldn't deal with it, and that's when I cut up my leg very severely, because he was going to be leaving. I was very conscious of what I'm doing, and I plan it in advance, it's like, OK, well I'm going to do this tonight, and there was about 50, some of them probably needed stitches.
Either Love Or Hate My Girlfriend
Every now and then I hate my girlfriend and think she is a real bitch. The same thing with my friends. The closer a person gets to me, I find faults with them, I think they're taking advantage of me and out to hurt me. When I think she is evil that helps explain why I think such bad things about her. Sometimes I think of myself the same way....I am either good or evil. Or at my job, I am the best or the worst. I do things either all the way, or none at all. And either I don't drink, or get absolutely plowed.
Real Therapy Is Hell -- But Worth It
I know I posted you the other day about leaving "all" the options open, that recovery is possible. And I still believe that it is -- in fact, I know that it is. It is, however, hard as hell. Absolutely hard as hell. Going to a therapist isn't enough. Unless someone is *very* committed to change, it could be costly (both financially and emotionally) and raise hopes for nothing. There is no way on earth that anything can be left "off the table" in seeking therapy to recover from something like BP. I mean absolutely anything.
The therapist I had was a very compassionate, patient guy. Exceptionally competent. Profoundly wise. Believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. And absolutely refused to leave stones unturned -- he could tell if I was holding something back or if I was being full of shit, and he called me on it, every single time. But, I was *open* to the process. I wanted to change. I did love my husband and didn't want to hurt him -- even though I did so many times. I, at the proverbial "end of my rope" had reached the point of desperation where I figured that if things didn't change -- I didn't want to be alive anymore.
So what did I have to lose by being open, and what did I have to gain by hiding stuff. Growing up in a pretty dysfunctional household with parents who had extremely negative views towards the mental health profession in general, I had this very distorted notion of what therapy was, what it would be like. My father used to always say that a person who was desperate enough to have to pay someone to talk to was pathetic indeed -- and I, for many years bought his view that therapists were no more than "mercenary friends." People that turned on the meter, sat back, nodded and "hmmm"-Ed for an hour, and basically spouted out nice little affirmations to let a patient know that whatever the problem, it was someone else's fault. The diametric opposite to the dark confessional I knew growing up Catholic.
Surprise, surprise, surprise! Sometimes after therapy sessions I scratched my head at how I could be paying big bucks (that I didn't really have) for someone to tell me everything I didn't want to hear. Far from being appeased, I walked out of there so pissed sometimes I could spit! During my first hospitalization, I had taken one of those fill-in-the-circles psychological profile tests. Little did I know the results would be handed to me at the end of my first official therapy session (right after I was released from the hospital.) Somehow, the little dots I colored led to this portrait of a raging woman with suicidal tendencies, manipulative, often seductive, selfish, at times socio-pathological, et al et al et al. My God, I thought, this is supposed to be me!
Did I sit there and calmly accept it? Think again. I was en route to my car on the lot, stopped by a pay phone and gave the good doctor a call... and a piece of my mind. "You rotten BASTARD", I cried through my tears, "What kind of bullshit is this? Did you read this crap? Manipulative, socio-pathological, selfish, raging -- fuck you, you asshole! Let me tell you a little bit about yourself, you son of a bitch!" Waiting, of course, for him to relent. Waiting for him to either be so intimidated by my rage and the fear of what I would do that he would somehow soften the blow or put a "spin" on the results. Waiting for him to start saying "nice" things about me to counterbalance the test results and make me feel better. Waiting for him to do what I know I could have gotten my husband to do. (And, as a matter of fact, when I arrived home, I got my husband to join on my side against this horrible "injustice.")
But my psychiatrist did nothing of the kind. As a matter of fact, he wasn't up for a discussion over the phone and would have it. All he said was "We can discuss it at your next session. "There won't BE another session, you sonuvabitch! I'm not gonna PAY to take these insults. What the fuck do you know, about ANYTHING? You're just a damned shrink -- you don't even have a real job. Screw you -- that was my last session. I'm quitting!
Well, a few hours later, I called back, talked to his secretary and verified that I *would* have a session the next week. (Dr. T hadn't canceled it anyway...) The man could lay the cards on the table. There wasn't a thing that I could do to make him paint a pretty portrait, to airbrush reality. He was patient, gentle and kind -- but he could draw the line. And, over the course of four years, we talked about absolutely everything -- things from my childhood, sex issues, self-destruction, inner emotions I was dreadfully ashamed to have. It was absolute hell. I ended up in the hospital twice more. Tried to starve myself, drove my car into every barricade on the parking lot, breaking every single one of them in half. Left unbelievably vile notes on the windshield of his car -- with threats and epithets and profanities. Left pictures of my children tucked under his windshield wiper along with a note that he had pushed me too far and if these kids ended up orphans, it would be his fault. Told him I'd report him to the psychiatric board and the hospital (of which he was psychiatric medical director) and accuse him of sexual abuse and make the charge STICK, going on the stand and lying without flinching an eyelash to watch him go down the river. (Charges, of course, that would be fully unwarranted -- he never so much as even shook my hand or hugged me -- he was a strict limits, no contact guy).
Dr. T never quit and never backed down, no matter what kind of shit I tried to pull. Then again, neither did I. Until, slowly over time -- LOTS of time, LOTS of sessions, tens of thousands of dollars later -- I didn't feel as compelled to do these things. I was willing to look at a lot more without resisting it. And slowly, I worked my way to recovery. Slowly, painfully, turbulently.
That is what you're looking at when it comes to true recovery and healing. That's the kind of process it takes. It's brutal and ugly and it ain't particularly easy on the significant either. When I left a session in that kind of rage, that rage stayed with me when I got home. But I was committed to being honest and candid, I was committed to sticking with it, I was committed to changing and getting better. I missed only one session in 4.5 years -- when I was running a 102 degree fever. My therapist had that same kind of commitment. As did my husband. It took every single one of us, the support of friends, and the kind eyes of a God I always doubted but now know to be a reality. If a borderline isn't willing to tell the full truth, isn't fully and 100% committed to the process, there's no way its going to work. No way. It's too hard. Just way too hard.
If the BP is only amenable to therapy as a means to appease someone else -- that isn't enough. It *has* to be self-motivated, it simply has to. It will take everything the BP has within them to withstand it. And I mean everything. If the BP is "shopping" psychiatrists or therapists to find a good rapport, qualifications -- in other words, for the right reasons -- fine. But if they start to "shop" them to shop around for the answers they want to hear, the answers they are willing to accept, the topics they are willing to discuss - forget it. The only effective therapists, I am convinced, are the guys who are willing to lay it on the line come hell or high water. Period.
I can see why a lot of borderlines hightail it out at the first signs of a therapist who isn't willing to bend -- one reads of BP's who go through 3, 4, sometimes a dozen therapists over time. It's no coincidence. BP's that do that are running. . . from the truth. Just like BP's that exit a relationship or marriage simply to enter another one, and perhaps another and another are doing the same thing. Running. Running doesn't help a thing, it only hurts. It buys time. But progress isn't made. The "flight" instinct is strong. The BP diagnosis is UGLY. Plain, flat-out UGLY. It's horrifying to read about. It's even more horrifying to look at the words and descriptions and realize that the BP they're talking about is YOU--I can't begin to tell you how horrible it is.
It's natural that, confronted with such things, any person is going to react pretty strongly -- and, in the case of a BP, there's plenty of ways to react that are eminently explosive. The temptation to run is overwhelming. But, as long as someone keeps running away -- running away from therapists, from marriages, from anything that reminds them of the ugly truths she or he doesn't want to face -- absolutely nothing can be accomplished. Therapy, at least for me, was like sitting on a surgeon's table, knife cutting away -- and being forced to watch every painful moment of it. With no anesthesia -- medications, perhaps, to make it marginally tolerable -- but nothing to dull the painful emotions. It's incredibly painful, and yet, if one cannot feel one cannot heal. A 4+ year heart surgery, dosed with the pain-dulling equivalent of Tylenol.
And, unlike a physical surgery -- it isn't enough to sit back and let the doctor do the work. Amidst the pain and the horror and the ugly reality -- a person has to actively participate in the process. There's no road map, no idea of how long it will take. No clear notion of what recovery is, or when it's reached. It takes, as my therapist would always answer to my desperate questions, as long as it takes. I know I've rambled on here. I've spoken much on-line of hope, of recovery being possible, of miracles happening. But I don't want anyone for even a moment to think that, somehow, the process is simple, passive or predictable -- it's hell. Pure, unadulterated hell. There's no other way to put it -- it's an arduous years-long nightmare that, hopefully, will have a happy ending.
But there are no guarantees. I also speak a lot of the vast difference between intellectual comprehension of all the pathologies, all the symptoms, all the highly-defined terms and feeling. Because, in my day, I searched through every book I could find, versed myself so well in the terminology that my psychiatrist once commented I probably knew a lot more about BPD and all its clinical ramifications and definitions that a helluva lot of therapists treating them. I wanted to find some step-by-step way that I could intellectually conquer my illness. Thinking, for some reason, that if I were to know all there was about it, immerse myself in this knowledge, I could become "wise" enough to overcome it. Dr. T had a good answer for that, too. No dice.
There wasn't a way, no matter how knowledge I accumulated, no matter how much I could recite the Axis-DSM backwards and forwards, that an intellectual recovery could be had. Intellectualizing, he said flat out, was a defense. Like raging and cussing and crying and self-destruction were a defense. To avoid, to run from, the work I had to do, had no other choice but to do if I were ever going to have real change, real recovery -- which is to dive right into that pool of reality, feel that pain, sludge through the mud, feel the pain, go through the hell and face those emotions. To dive in, without looking back, without any guarantees or timetables, without any idea of what to expect -- to be willing to bear all of that pain on trust. On faith. And, at least in my case, there were few things on this earth harder than to trust. Ultimately, I did trust, and, fortunately, in my case, the trust turned out to be warranted.
These poems are written by Lori, a 36 year-old who was diagnosed with BPD in 1990, though she began to show symptoms of it in the very late 1970s.
Joy--why does it not remain?
Pain and depression engulf me in their icy grip.
I long for the light-heartedness that I enjoyed;
brief as it was.
Why does the heaviness and discontentment have to
return--again; once more?
Inside I scream in anguish, but no one knows.
Do they see it in my eyes, hear it in my voice?
And if they do, do they really understand--do they care?
I want it to go away, all the torment, aching and misery.
I reach out for help; but they don't understand.
"Do something to keep yourself busy", "It'll pass soon",
"Try not to think about it, they respond immediately.
They do not know, do not understand.
I continue to search for comfort; within; from God.
Finding none, I look toward sleep--surely there I'll find
comfort and peace.
And I do.
Until the next day.
Insomnia hits again, or is it just that manic-like thing.
Thoughts; fleeting through my mind, though if I were asked
to speak them, I couldn't.
Anguish--so bottled up inside, ready to explode.
My feelings? I can not describe them, even if I wanted to.
And I do.
Instead I sit and ponder my predicament.
My heart grows heavy and I frown with distaste.
My mind; it has its own agenda.
powerless to my own desires.
The sun, it sets down beyond the horizon;
earlier and earlier each night.
Likewise my heart deep within me
begins to sink.
Oh blessed, happy, bright days of summer
where have you gone?
Soon the days will begin to have a chill in them;
as my spirit also grows cold.
Grayness, emptiness, darkness and death;
my entire being reflects this heaviness.
Wracked with pain and sorrow,
Fear...such incredible fear.
Can I be a friend,
do I know how?
Such pain, rejection and sadness
fill my past.
I can not bear the horrors of heartache...
Can I give? Can I be
just as I am?
Do I open myself up
make myself vulnerable?
Frightened as I am I shall try
And deep in my heart,
that this time...
it will be different.
Sad, lonely, hurt...
love slips away
Pain, longing, pleading
Life seems to be too painful.
I don't even want to take -
half as much as I want to give.
When will someone let me in;
let me love them?
Am I a freak...
destined to be heartbroken
Crushed in heart, mind and soul
I try to move on.
Others think I'm fine.
But I know.
my heart weeps.
Full of longing.
For what never is.
What It Is Like To Love A Borderline
I HATE YOU, PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME
I tried for hours with all my might
to win her love one Saturday night
we kissed and held each other tight
and when my energy was spent
into the night she simply went
Where eagles dare to build their home
from a lofty height my heart was thrown
it fell upon the ground so cold
she picked it up to hug and hold
again we rose to make the climb
to fall again another time
I hope to win her love again
with renewed hope amidst the pain
I held her more than ever before
she moaned and groaned upon the floor
and when her curiosity was spent
again into the night she went
she'll call me back tomorrow night
until we finally get it right
Why do I let myself return?
she's using me that's not unknown
but still we crave each other's touch
incomparable, unbridled lust
behind the doors of hotel rooms
the scent of sex gives off its fumes
Which one of us will turn away?
I dread the thought of that one day
to choose between a broken heart
or razor cutting skin apart
Corbin Skyes Copyright 1997, All Rights Reserved
To the Non BPD in my life.
LOVE ME. SAVE ME
I know I love you. do you know it?
I love you in a way that is more powerful than you could believe.
I am never in doubt of my love for you...
I love you even in the darkest depths of rage and hatred, though I can not feel it then..
I cant let you know this, even though I long to tell you..
If you knew it you might be able to hurt me.. again. and again.
I am afraid. such encompassing fear as you will never be able to know.
I am afraid that I will push you too far.
I fear for our lives. our love.
I am afraid of the pain and loneliness. yet I live each day with it.
I am afraid to trust you. yet I do...
If I trust you you could hurt me over and over...and you do.
When I hurt, I hurt worse than you could ever believe possible.
I want to die when I hurt.. I feel as if I am dying.
I want to die when I believe that you are the one hurting me...
I think you hate me... I know what I am.. I have seen it.
somewhere I know better.. somewhere there is love... but I cant feel it now...
I want to scream for you to love me... to hold me... to rescue me... but I cant. I am afraid.
If you heard that you might be able to hurt me...again.
Franticly I Rage at you, wanting you to hurt too.
you turn away... it is never enough... I always hurt more.
You don't see.. you cant see... what it is to be me.
I Hear what I say...my words a pale shadow against the emotions within me.
I want you to see I can hurt you too..... but.... it is never enough...
why aren't you crying?!
Maybe if you loved me more you would feel like I do,
your love is never enough.....I always love more..
Maybe I am not worthy of your love...
unworthy... unworthy...unworthy.... it echoes in my thoughts
I scream silently for help... hoping, wishing, praying, that it will be different this time.
HELP ME! SAVE ME! I LOVE YOU! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, LOVE ME!!!!!!!!!!!
Crying because I cant say that, how badly I need to... I want to.....I cant
If you heard that you might be able to hurt me ..again.
Unworthy I am filled with hate....
I hate you for making me feel unwanted when I love you so much...
I hate you for not seeing how much I need you to save me...
I hate myself for being too afraid to say it out loud.
I hate you for not loving me enough to help me.
I hate you for not crying like I am..
I hate myself for the cutting things I say.
I hate you for loving me when I hate you.. because I cant feel love...Right now.
it all boils over....
I hurt.... I hate.. I fear......I want to die.
I lie alone on the floor sobbing.
hating myself for the monster within..
Hating myself for the things I've said..
Hating you for not rescuing me...
Hating the fact that I live....
I hurt ... I feel I am dying inside.
The pain kills me.. it is torture
I wonder why you couldn't just love me...save me..
Cant you see I'm a frightened child?
you turned away when I needed you...
how could you not see past the anger to the pain..
it hurts me... you didn't care to look...
you didn't want to help me....
I live and I hurt... and I hurt you..
I should die so I wont hurt like this.
I should die to free you from this hell.
You told me to go ahead... kill myself..
now I know my worth to you.
But I couldn't. you wouldn't do it.... I asked you to...
I tried but I couldn't... I love you too much..
I want to.. I want to die... but I love you.
I love you but you abandon me time after time.
You hate the scars on me... I try not to cut...,
But if I cant die how else to punish myself ?
I am unworthy... you want me dead.. I am unloved...
It has happened again... like I knew it would
such shame in this... such fear... I want to die.
the knife is so shiny... I can feel it.. I long for it..
the hot sting that will free me... I cant... I shouldn't...
the silent plea comes again..
weaker this time... help me.. love me... please..I'm so sorry...
but you cant hear that... you wouldn't believe it.. and I cant say it.
I want to... I am so alone and afraid...
Hurting and hating
I see the way you look at me...
you said to do it...
How could someone I love so much not love me too?
you wont save me.... I hurt.. you want me to die...
I am such a monster that you want me to die..
kill myself? it hurts so bad... I cant escape and I cant die..
Pain numbs pain...
Maybe Ill just bleed instead..
Then your arms shelter me, the storm is over...
you tenderly wipe the blood from me.
I sit limply.. heartbroken.. betrayed.. aching
Crying into your chest, long wracking sobs, wailing as if to wake the dead
your tears fall into my hair as you hold me..
loving me the best you know how... not understanding... afraid.
looking up into your eyes filled with fear myself..
I whisper... I'm sorry...
we cry and hold each other... both alone...and afraid.. but hoping this time will be the last.
knowing it wont be...
slowly you rock me.. I rock you... I wonder how you see me..
I am tired, drained, safe at last in your arms.
the tension leaves me and the memory of the past hour fades quickly...
leaving a headache and the echoing words...
It was a shock to sit and read about me from my wife's viewpoint...
Your book has just become available in New Zealand this week and I sat and read it in one session. Although I had read your site in recent months, it was a shock to sit and read about me from my wife's view point. I have been in therapy for seven months and it is hurting. I have been unable to share my feelings with my wife for fear of losing her if she found out some of the pain I have suffered in past years.
I do feel lucky though with the therapist I have found - first go. The understanding and empathy has made my opening up to some of my feelings so much easier and although it is very painful at least I have not had to drag the agony out week after week trying to offer small bits of information. Once I found someone I felt I could trust after all these years (I am 44) it was like turning on a tap. We have a long way to go. Each week feels like a new start. My life has been locked up into boxes. When something became too hard I locked it away and didn't go back unless forced to. That was the only way I could cope.
What pleased and frightened me about your book was that some of it was so mirror-like I knew my wife would recognize the tale as something she has lived with. She is halfway through the book and can see me in it. I am bored easily, feel empty, have uncontrollable rages (at times), try and hurt the people I care about the most, etc. The test showed I had seven of the symptoms but I also feel better when I am helping others, even to the exclusion of my feelings and well being.
My wife and her friend finally persuaded me to seek help and hunted around for the best person they could find. I am the lucky one - having the support of a tight-knit family and some caring friends. The main thing to deal with right now is getting over the awkwardness of someone knowing so much about how I have feel and still feel. Reading can be great therapy, knowing you are not the only one facing this. I knew something was wrong but only found out what it was by picking up a book in the library. Now I avidly read as much as I can because if I can understand what is happening then I may be able to lessen the effects on others.
Your site has helped put my life into perspective and with the help of your book I hope to change.
I can't describe how I felt knowing that there were other people out there like me ...
I was diagnosed as BPD about 4 years ago while seeking therapy after my divorce. I don't even remember the therapist telling me, I just remember seeing it in my records or on a bill and thinking "oh, they just put something down there to get the insurance to cover it" kind of like previous therapists had done with "post traumatic stress disorder" for me. And at that point, all I had ever read about BPD was one paragraph in my college psychology text book, which didn't say much. I spent many years being treated for depression, drug addiction, and suicidal ideations. Nothing ever seemed to be working, I always felt like 'they' (doctors, therapists) were missing something. And I knew that my abusive childhood had a lot to do with how I am now, but that didn't help me figure out what to do about it.
Now, here I sit, after reading a book on BPD that caught my eye in the bookstore, doing more research on this disorder. I browsed through a few websites and I was in tears because I was reading postings from people that sounded just like me. They could have been reading my mind, and I can't describe how I felt knowing that there were other people out there like me, that there is a name for this, and that there is help. I then found your site (it was listed in the book I bought) and when I found the section on how to tell if you someone you love may have BPD, I immediately sent it to my boyfriend who had just the day before moved to another state after living with me for 6 months. He would always say that I twisted things that he said, and lo and behold, that was about the 3rd statement on your list. I am now hoping that, with the help of your site, he will get some sort of understanding about what wavelength I am on, that I can get some help, and that we can put our relationship back together and I can put my life back together for both me and my children.
Thank you so much, and keep up the great work, I hope you know how many people you have helped.
New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells
Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder
Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder
The Basics of Borderline Personality Disorder for Beginners
Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Conversations with William A. Eddy
Featuring Ken Lewis and James Paul Shirley
Protecting Your Mental Health When Your Partner has Borderline Personality Disorder