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I always find someone to bruise and leave behind: the personality of BPD

29 Nov

Trying to access my blog has been a nightmare today; it’s almost as if I’m being punished for putting off writing. I sit in the living room or the kitchen, staring at my laptop and willing the words to be there, but they just aren’t – I don’t particularly want to think about the negative side of things at the moment – and not being able to log in to my account all day has driven me half-crazy. Finally, I have the words… and the fear that I will never get my blog back. Similar issues have been had across WordPress according to their support forums, and my natural cynicism makes me wonder if they’ll ever fix it, or if I’ll be in blog limbo for the rest of my life, unable to download my content or ever update. It’s frustrating.

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I’m going to write anyway, because I received email notification of a comment from one of my old posts – Borderline Personality Disorder – and although I try not to put too much pressure on myself to respond to negativity, it was too tempting to reply, rather than let it go.

I can’t stand people with BPD!!!!!!!!, My soon to be ex-wife has ruined or should I say destroyed everything i built for the last 21 years. I’m retired military, she put me into 25k debt, sold my retirement gift (1972 Plymouth duster), took money from me, calls, texts, emails, hoovers, threatens, plays the victim, has filed PFA’S on me to hide her lies, told a judge she tried to commit suicide 3 times, told that crap to my youngest daughter, lied about 6 surgeries, accused me of killing the dogs when she had possession of the dogs, sold items of mine, harassed county attorney, hide my cell and car keys, twice told my daughter she doesn’t want to be her mom, called and emailed my family members about our sex live, hates my other kids, took all parental rights away from me with her son while we were leaving together, called child protective services on me for child abuse, lied about receiving taxes (my taxes 3.5k) and spent it all, gave her 4k for my daughter’s ortho and she never paid it, keeps getting into my retirement account and changing crap (it’s a federal crime!), every three days would be arguments until i apologized or caved……and so much more……..you people with BPD SHOULD ONLY BE ALOUD TO MARRY EACH OTHER!!!!!! The total destructiveness you bring into peoples/family/loved ones lives is just criminal!!!! Now I have to pick up the pieces; my daughter cuts herself, oldest daughter is on depression meds, claim bankruptcy, and start all over again age the age of 44. You BPD!!!! should never be allowed to date/marry/have kids……I feel so sorry and sick to my heart for all of your next victims…..GOD help them so they won’t be put through this hell I’m going through.

Wow. Where to begin.

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It’s difficult not to take such opinions personally when somebody says that the likes of myself and many of my readers should never be able to date, marry, or have children. Attempting not to take such comments to heart is nigh-on impossible. Those like myself already live with ridiculously low self-confidence and constant snipes from society and the media, without being told these things in shouty capital letters on a blog which – I like to think, judging by many comments I’ve received – has become a safe place to discuss issues like BPD and mental illness without being judged. Although I know there’s no way to stop such comments – and I wouldn’t want to, as everyone is entitled to an opinion – I don’t like to respond to them, as it makes me feel like a victim. The very act of explaining why I behave the way I do gives more ammunition, and I’m not always sure it’s possible to change somebody’s mind on mental illness when their beliefs are so set in stone.

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I will be the first to say that living with someone suffering from BPD must be a nightmare if they are experiencing the fully-fledged out-of-control side of BPD. If they refuse to take their medication, won’t or can’t accept help, or have attempted to get help but the system and/or friends and family have let them down, as is so common with borderline personality disorder. I will never deny that my past behaviour has been controlling and has caused pain to those around me; to lie about that would be to lie about my entire life from puberty onwards.

However, that controlling behaviour has never been out of malice, or acted out with any intent to hurt or cause distress. Describing the BPD mind is an impossible task; but, like everyone else, we have our own distinct personalities. Although outwardly we may appear incredibly bitter and resentful, hell-bent on causing mayhem wherever we go without a single thought for the consequences, inwardly can be an entirely different story. Inside there could be somebody who simply has no control over their actions, and who is lashing out because it’s the only way they know how. It may not be the right way, but it’s their way, and it’s the only thing they have at that moment because their entire being is consumed by all-enveloping fear.

BPD is not a free license to abuse people; when I was first diagnosed, I noticed a lot of resentment around the internet regarding relationships with BPD’ers, and their ability to destroy everything within sight; emotions, furniture, families, friendships, affairs… to the non-BPD partner it seems that everything their boyfriend/girlfriend touches turns to shit. That they get off on controlling others, and seek attention at every available opportunity.

This is a myth.

I have never, ever enjoyed having BPD. Since my symptoms started in puberty, my life has been an uphill struggle to find some form of sane balance. To connect with others without clinging to them. To know who I am, and why I think the way I do. It’s been hard; heartbreaking at times, and a nightmare for everybody around me. I’ve sprinted through life like a whirlwind, grabbing onto others for safety and leaving chaos in my wake. I’ve said and done terrible things. Threatened to harm myself when I had no intention. Lied. Cheated. Stolen. Caused undeniable pain and, yes, abused others.

Of this, I will never be proud.

However, I have made every effort to change, and gain control over the tangle of self-abuse and denial. Comments like the one I quoted above, and many I have read online, seem to suggest that abandoning those with BPD is the only solution. When I was first diagnosed, my mother bought Stop Walking On Eggshells by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger. After she read it, her suggestion to me was that I didn’t look at the book, as there were heavy hints that walking away from somebody suffering from BPD is an easy option. I haven’t read the book myself, so she may have been exaggerating, but it wouldn’t surprise me. BPD is a mental illness like any other, but it seems acceptable to cast suffers off with “they’re a cruel person” or “it’s not worth it”. Or, as above, suggest that we should never marry or even date.

I have worked hard to get this far. I’m twenty-eight in ten days, and there was a time when reaching eighteen seemed impossible. Admittedly, I find it difficult to recognise any achievement, but I know my life is massively different to how it used to be. Medication has the anxiety and panic attacks mostly under control, and stops me going too far into depression. Without the anxiety, I don’t overreact, I don’t convince myself that everybody I love despises me. I don’t believe that the world would be a better place if I were dead.

So, people with BPD can change. They can grasp some control, if they work at it. We’re not hopeless cases.

I called this post “the personality of BPD”, because the comment above angered me. It totally disregarded any of his partner’s personality, and attributed all her behaviour to borderline personality disorder. Just like anybody else, people with BPD can be cruel, regardless of their condition. They can also be kind, although sometimes the kindness is muffled under sheer panic. Somebody living with BPD is not the whole of the condition; they’re still the person you know, with all that person’s foibles, beliefs, experiences and knowledge. BPD may be a massive part of their lives, but it doesn’t entirely consume; they’re in there somewhere and not everything they say or do is dictated by BPD.

I don’t know if this post makes much sense; my head is everywhere right now. There’s a lot to write about.

 

Untitled-1

 
29 Comments

Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Every day life

 

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29 responses to “I always find someone to bruise and leave behind: the personality of BPD

  1. weordmyndum

    November 29, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Clearly something’s not right in this guy’s head, and he can’t blame all that on a spouse with BPD. I get being hurt. I even get being angry at the disease and people with it. I don’t agree with it, but I understand it.

    But to find some random BPDer’s blog on the Internet and attack her for something his wife did? A) makes no sense, and B) is a complete asshole move.

    Plus, how much credence can you give a guy who doesn’t know the difference between “aloud” and “allowed”? Just sayin’.

    There are so many ways of being borderline, just like there are different ways of being depressed or being a sister or being a teacher. BPD doesn’t make us a line of paper dolls all cut identically at the same time. His wife’s way is a different way of being borderline than yours or mine or anyone else’s. Yes, there are basic patterns and similarities. But there are as many shades of borderline as there are of brown hair. They’re in the same broad category, but the specifics vary widely.

    And borderlines absolutely can and do change. Hell, was diagnosed with BOD 12 years ago, and I don’t fit the diagnostic criteria anymore, just traits. One borderline’s refusal to change does not incriminate us all. And that includes you.

     
  2. Julie

    November 29, 2012 at 6:46 am

    *massive hugs* I was thinking about you earlier today, wondering how things were with you, hoping you were doing well. I’m sorry that it took such a mean-spirited, vitriolic comment (one which says more about him than anyone else in many ways) to draw you back, but I hope other words will find you now too. I have missed you.

    I agree with you that it’s about more than just the mental illness, but rather the more complex interplay between personality and illness. They do interact, but they don’t necessarily define each other. Perhaps part of the problem also arises from how difficult it is for some to grasp the very different way thoughts sound, feel and play out in the mind of someone with BPD. It’s probably why I try not to explain to people how I think and why. I always suspect that they just wouldn’t understand the chain of thought.

     
  3. nocturnefirefay- Miss L.F xoxo

    November 29, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I’m simply writing here to send you love as the title requests- Glad that you’re still fighting with a positive voice and surviving as a result – All love x

     
  4. mariner2mother

    November 29, 2012 at 7:10 am

    That was more than inappropriate, for that guy to shit on and dump his pain all over you. What a maroon. That said, I am realizing that a girl I grew up with since we were in diapers, definitely has a personality disorder. ?BPD? I don’t know. But maybe you can help me understand something she did recently that has me really confused. Because she really pissed me off just over a year ago, I haven’t spoken or written to her (we are across country these days and don’t call or write very often). Then, out of the blue, she sends me two post cards from a foreign country saying that she’s having a great time on her honeymoon- never mentioning to me when she could have on several occasions, that she had plans to marry. She’s been dating a fellow for several years, who is quite inappropriate for her and who, I belive, treats her badly from time to time, and is very controlling. It seems like she likes to not tell me what’s going on with her and then hit me with something to try to shock me; like she likes to create drama.

    And most recently, she called and said that she had to have her stomach removed. Then after a while, the story changed to- they left a tiny bit of it, and she has to be on liquids for the rest of her life. When I asked why they removed her stomach, she said she had a mass, a tumor (upon further questioning, it was not cancerous). After this odd conversation, I spoke to one of her family members, and found out that she had received gastric bypass surgery; and that she didn’t want me to know. But then why did she call me with such an outrageous story? More drama. (And there was no tumor at all- it was just regular bariatric surgery).

    Do you have any thoughts on why a person might need to concoct dramatic lies and fabrications. Is it all because of lower than low self esteem? I’d like to help her, because for years, she was like a sister to me. But, honestly, I believe she thinks that she is fine and the rest of the world is messed up. I appreciate your point of view.

     
    • judithatwood

      November 29, 2012 at 11:02 am

      I’m sorry, but you are almost as bad as the asshole up above. Your friend is happy to be married, and wanted to share her happiness with someone she thought was her friend. What right have you to judge her choices? None of us are allowed to tell others who or what is inappropriate.

      Have you considered asking, in a gentle voice and with a loving, not judgmental, heart:
      What’s really going on with your friend? I bet the reason she withholds information, and lies at times, too, is that she knows you will be critical of her, behind a facade of wanting what’s best for her. Wise up. Get past your need to oversee this woman, and just be a real friend. Is that so very hard?

       
      • mariner2mother

        November 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm

        So I just stand by and let her be abused and possibly beat up? Pu-leez! I have never shared to her my distain for this man she chose. I bite my tongue, congratulate her and let her go on with her life. If I thought she was capable of true happiness, I’d be happy for her. BTW, I don’t oversee her in any way. I bite my tongue and keep any critical thoughts to myself. And these thoughts are all based on my intuition- which I trust implicitly-and a lifetime of experience of being with her. I guess I was asking too much here.

         
        • judithatwood

          November 30, 2012 at 5:15 am

          Biting your tongue, as you say, makes no difference when you are harboring all these feelings. As I said before, try having a gentle conversation with your friend — be a true friend and listen to what she has to say, without letting your disdain for the man override your friendship for this woman. If you can have an honest conversation with her, where she knows you are willing to listen to what she says, without planning the next thing you are going to say. I recognize this because I used to do it too. I apologize for being so harsh — I took my anger at the first guy out on you. But let go of your judgment for one hour, and listen, and talk, with sincerity. You might be surprised at what she will confide in you, when she knows you aren’t judging her.

           
          • halfwaybetweenT

            November 30, 2012 at 5:58 am

            I think Judith has given excellent advice here. I do feel sorry for you, mariner2mother; it’s a difficult situation for anyone to be in, and I hope you somehow resolve things with your friend. Personality disorders can make it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to trust somebody… but trust *can* happen. I don’t believe anybody is a lost cause, and I think everyone has the ability to overcome certain difficulties, with the right support around them.

             
            • judithatwood

              November 30, 2012 at 6:39 am

              Thanks, honey. I apologize for losing my temper in your comment box, but that first guy’s comment really stirred my anger. When I think of how far you’ve come, just in the time I’ve known you,I get protective when somebody gives you shit. Love from Maine in the middle of the night. 8-)

               
    • halfwaybetweenT

      November 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      In an attempt to answer your question, I think I should refer back to my original post; that everyone – mental illness or no – has their own distinct personalities and it’s often nigh-on impossible to know what behaviour is due to BPD or a similar disorder, or if it’s simply a part of who they are.

      It’s pretty normal for BPD’ers to get into inappropriate relationships – I’d say it’s one of the main symptoms – and the problem there is that a cycle of abuse forms. Those with BPD can be very, very vulnerable and often seek out experiences and situations which are bad for them. It’s an unconscious decision, with the thought of “this time, it’ll be right, and I’ll be happy”. See, with BPD (at least, with me) bad decisions aren’t made out of spite or malice, but as an attempt to exist normally in a world which makes no sense at all.

      Obviously, I don’t know if your friend has BPD or not, or whether she’s even considered that her behaviour is out of order. When you say “she thinks that she is fine and the rest of the world is messed up”… that I can relate to. For most (if not all) of my adolescence I was convinced I was doing everything correctly and it was everyone else who made life so difficult. It’s not an ego thing – not deep down, anyway. Living with BPD can be like existing in a bubble, away from the rest of the world, and so it’s hard to see just what impact your actions have on others.

      I’d say low self esteem plays a huge part in it, but if she does have BPD… a lot of what she says and does will be driven by fear, and as such there will be no logic to her actions. I’m on the other side, so I can’t really give real advice on how to help her; I know what would help me, but again I refer back to personality. What helps one, may not help another.

      Be there. Don’t seek her out, and don’t take her lies on board. But don’t hate her for them either. There’s every chance her lies feel like truth to her.

       
  5. anicelia

    November 29, 2012 at 7:44 am

    That man has found a label he can pour hatred on – very uneducated. BPD in one aspect of a person’s behavioral spectrum.

     
  6. Ruby Tuesday

    November 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

    It’s good to hear from you, though I am sorry for the circumstances of this post. There seems to be a great deal of anger and hatred flying around the blogosphere right now, it’s so sad for me to know you have had it directed at you, too.

    We all have made mistakes and behaved badly in life, diagnosis or no diagnosis. The words if this, the generalizing of ‘all you borderlines’ or whatever he said makes me think of very scary things, like ‘all you blacks’, or ‘all you gays’ — these are the kind of sick thoughts and words that have led to beatings and lynchings.

    I call more than one person who deals with BPD good friends of mine, and I don’t see that those with this diagnosis have the market cornered on harming others. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I have my own mental illnesses to deal with, or because I have destroyed some relationships myself. . . Ultimately, though, I believe that everyone should always be looked at as an individual. . . And for this man to take his perception of things out on a complete stranger, with such vulgar language. . .

    Sending you love and lots of hugs. You are a very strong woman, yet I still wish I could wrap you up somewhere safe and keep people like this from you. I may not comment often, but that doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention or that I don’t care. (Plus I then make up for it with really long comments like this one.)

     
  7. Jaen Wirefly

    November 29, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Also, there are levels of BPD. The wife described sounded callous and out of control – her symptoms were different than yours or different than yours now. We need to take stuff we read on the internet with a grain of salt. We need to take what doctors say with a grain of salt. Only you know who you are and what you can do.

     
  8. judithatwood

    November 29, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Love from snowy Maine!

    Personally, I CAN’T STAND WHINY IDIOTS WHO BLAME OTHERS FOR MAKING THEIR LIVES HELL, WHEN IT’S THEIR — NO, HIS RESPONSIBILITY TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. TALK ABOUT PLAYING THE VICTIM; HE’S GOT THAT ONE DOWN. WHAT A JUVENILE ASSHOLE!

    *****
    I applaud your willingness to explain your own condition, but don’t you DARE feel guilty because of what this asshole wrote. You are a loving, sweet, beautiful and talented woman, and he is obviously stuck in his “I was in the military, so I am always right,” attitude.

    I hope he reads this — though I doubt if he’d get what I’m saying. If someone is making him so nuts that he would hold her foibles against all people with BPD, get the fuck out or shut up and stop whining, and have some consideration for her. She didn’t choose BPD. And where the hell do you get off telling others what they should or shouldn’t be allowed to do? First, get your shit together, and maybe someone would want to know your opinions. No one with a modicum of humanity, though.

    I’m glad to see you back in my inbox, BTW. I hope you and S. are flourishing and loving your apartment.

    All sorts of love coming your way,

    Judith

     
  9. ryoko861

    November 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    From the sounds of that gentleman’s comments, it was more of a release for him. He was venting about lord knows how many years of torment he’s gone through with this woman. You’re blog just happened to be his outlet. I don’t think he has any real malice towards you personally. He saw that you happen to be writing about it, that you suffer from it and the subject of BPD hit a nerve with him. You just happened to be the punching bag. It’s ashame he has this perception. Yeah, it would have angered me, too. Don’t take it personally. He’s gone on his way. I don’t think anyone that has read it has taken his perception of the illness to heart. If they have, they’re very narrow minded. You very calmly, eloquently and maturely have explained the effects of this and how others cope with it. You’re the bigger person here! I hope he reads this post. And I hope he gets his life back in line. I know all to well that the judiciary laws of a country aren’t always fair.
    So, now go bake something, hug S, and carry on. Yeah, WordPress can be a bitch sometimes.

     
  10. swabby429

    November 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    When I worked overnight in radio, there was a middle aged woman who called once or twice each week with similar rants. If I hung up on her, she’d just call back. I ended up putting her on speaker-phone mode so I perform my duties. One night her calls just stopped for a few months. Then they resumed. Pretty sad situation.

     
  11. buckwheatsrisk

    November 30, 2012 at 12:36 am

    This post is so well written. I do have to say that man sounds so incredibly hurt for himself and his children, it seems like he needed to vent and it came out towards those with BPD. xo

     
  12. gypsy116

    November 30, 2012 at 1:13 am

     
  13. coin

    November 30, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Well said and yes!! I have done so many things I regret but there has been love, acceptance & progress too.

     
  14. Hawkruh

    December 1, 2012 at 2:27 am

    No control over others. Don’t let their ignorance stop your healing.

     
  15. faithhopechocolate

    December 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    How irrational of that dude to write that – I wonder if his wife had had cancer and behaved like that, he’d post on a blog of someone with cancer to say he hates all people with cancer because of how she behaved? As you’ve very rationally said, how a person reacts to an illness depends a lot on their personality.

    You’re not his wife. You’re very aware of your own actions and reactions and how your mistakes have affected others, and you’re determined to not let an illness run your life for you.

    How is life with S going? And I’m so glad to see you writing again. Xxx

     
  16. imaginemyworldperfect

    December 1, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I’d like to think if he married her then he knew all of that beforehand. That would negate a lot of his comment by his informed decision to commit to her. If you can’t stand a disorder that someone has, especially one that affects her personality and behavior so much, maybe don’t lie to yourself and them by saying “I do”. With that being said, I’m getting out of a failed marriage and understand that it happens, but seriously? It can’t have all been peachy up until the day of the honeymoon! Thankfully there are understanding and caring people out there, but they are so damn few and far between in the dating pool. Ugh.

     
  17. thebirdieflies

    December 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    If that man knew that his wife has BPD, and he knew the symptoms of BPD, he is certainly a very thoughtless and narrow-minded man, to be writing everyone with BPD off like this. I mean, sure, he probably didn’t know how to handle her situation, was not sensitive to her needs, but to generalize like this, even after you Know that she was suffering, is kind of mean. That’s like calling every lame/blind/deaf guy a freeloader, or lazy, because he can’t do some stuff himself and requires assistance.

    That attitude, as you point out, ignores the personality and the intentions.

    That said, I don’t know how I would react to being friends with someone with BPD. Would I bail out, because it is so easy to? Would I try to be patient? I’m not even a very patient person, a little petty at times, and yes, I am not always very understanding. It would be a real test of character for me!

     
  18. Stellaluna Ravenwolf

    December 3, 2012 at 2:17 am

    I just. That guy. I can’t even think of words……..My brain refuses to acknowlidge his stupidity. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, and it’s my source of comfort and I hate to think that people would write comments like this. *sigh* I hate to think that people even think like this anymore, it’s so midieval…

     
  19. Katinka

    December 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Heard about this site called “Project Borderline.” Thought it might interest you: http://projectborderline.org/Official_Site/Home.html

     
    • halfwaybetweenT

      December 5, 2012 at 4:14 am

      Thanks for that, I’ll check it out tomorrow! I’ve heard of it, but can’t remember ever looking.

       
  20. Postcards From A Savage Star

    December 9, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Sorry you got random generalising asshole guy. People with terminal ignorance definitely shouldn’t be allowed to date, marry or have kids with anyone except each other.

     
  21. aasouthernbelle

    January 31, 2013 at 1:43 am

    As a woman whose mother has BPD and as a woman whose best friend has BPD, I can certainly say that I’ve seen the good and the bad. The mum refuses to take her medication because she enjoys her manic episodes too much to care enough to fight off the depressive episodes. She was abusive and cruel, and still is cruel, which is why I no longer speak to her as an adult. But my best friend? She’s different. She battles it. It’s a fight she wants to win, not one she’s decided it already lost. I can tell when she’s off of her meds, and together we find a solution to her problem. She’s one of the kindest most wonderful people I’ve ever known. But perhaps if I had never met her… if I’d only ever met the mum who refused to fight, the mum who became an addict and an abuser… perhaps then I would live in ignorance, too. I don’t think it’s the illness that makes a person who they are. I think it’s whether or not they want to fight it. Even though some days are harder than others, do we still wish to beat it in the end? Even though today is a day where I lose the battle, am I still waging a war? …. I don’t know.. .I’m in a bit of a hole myself these days. Who am I to comment on anything?

     
  22. jac

    August 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I am bpd (Avoidant) have been diagonosed since 2009 , although have known since very young (9) that my head wasnt right , im was sexually abused as a child and badly neglected which seemingly caused for my personality to be flawed , i am now in my mid 30′s a mother if 4 children and am suffering extremly bad at the moment , i feel i am in here somewhere but have 6 or more horrible personalities trying to take over me (my mind) and inside im screaming form these other personalities to f*k off and leave me to be happy , i am happy but then the bpd creeps in i see different personalities come out depending on what company im in , which is frustrating , i have done so much wirk over the years to try and take control bk which i have only it doesnt last long before it creeps up again , it is a constant struggle and i would wish the horrid mental illness on any1 , i have had many anti depressants over the years , anti phycotics sleepers , thearpy , self help books and still right now feel worse than ever , people dont understand bpd even i am still learning and have lived with it for as long as i can remember , it has a sh*t stigma to it which p*sses me off as i am loving kind caring i wouldnt ever want to destroy those people i love , i feel at times im being taken over by this where i have no control , tbh i try not to blame myself as i didnt want this disorder it developed throu no fault of my own , my sister has had an eatjng disorder for 20 years and i know better than most the damage it causes but here i am today struggling to fend if the anorexia i have developed due to that

     

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