Bloggers For Movember: I think I’m committed to someone with BPD

Borderline Personality Disorder Source:PubMed Health

People with borderline personality disorder often have difficulties controlling their emotions and impulses, and find it hard to keep relationships. They can experience feelings of emptiness, suffer quick changes in mood and they may harm themselves. Problems coping with abandonment and a rapidly changing view of other people can form part of their difficulties. All of these things make it hard for them to engage with any treatment they may be offered. Those who are able to engage often find it hard to stick with the treatment and leave before the end.

People with BPD are often uncertain about their identity. As a result, their interests and values may change rapidly.
People with BPD also tend to see things in terms of extremes, such as either all good or all bad. Their views of other people may change quickly. A person who is looked up to one day may be looked down on the next day. These suddenly shifting feelings often lead to intense and unstable relationships.
Other symptoms of BPD include:
Fear of being abandoned
• Feelings of emptiness and boredom
• Frequent displays of inappropriate anger
• Impulsiveness with money
, substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, or shoplifting
• Intolerance of being alone
• Repeated crises and acts of self-injury, such as wrist cutting or overdosing

Women who present with these symptoms are often referred to and characterized as crazy b****es. Men get characterized as abusive stalkers. All get treated as if they are social lepers and personas non grata. I know this because this is what living with Jerry has been like for the majority of the past 17 years.

I’m a crazy woman of the cyclical depressive, self-sabotaging, co-dependent, crisis junkie variety, who has brief and usually very minor manic peaks. The perfect life mate to a man with undiagnosed and untreated Borderline Personality Disorder. We are a match made in the DSM IV.

It makes a whole lot of sense that someone who is dissociated and disconnected with difficultly forming healthy attachments and bonding would be attracted to someone who is unnaturally clingy with abandonment issues and zero tolerance for being alone.

It meant he was the one doing all the emotional work in our relationship and the one with the overt behavior issues. I could be the heroic single-mom “making good” being victimized and dragged down by the big, bad, DV abuser. We were both just replaying the adult versions of our childhood roles.

PubMed Health: Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The causes of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are unknown. Genetic, family, and social factors are thought to play roles.
Risk factors for BPD include:
• Abandonment in childhood or adolescence
• Disrupted family life
• Poor communication in the family
• Sexual abuse

Based on that list and some of my own personal history, I probably fall somewhere on the BPD spectrum myself.

Many people consider risk factors for people diagnosed with behavior and personality disorders to be mere excuses for people who don’t care about anyone other than themselves. So they turn away from them, ostracize and vilify them. All very easy things to do if you’ve been flattened by their personality tornado or psychologically and emotionally gutted by desperate grasping interspersed with their porcupine offensiveness.

Sometimes, it becomes necessary to distance yourself and those in your care from someone like this. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your loved ones, but, please try to do it with compassion, understanding, and forgiveness because more than likely the one who harmed you is hurting tremendously living with the knowledge he or she caused you pain and pushed you away, against his or her own inclination and will.

This is part of the Bloggers for Movember campaign to raise awareness and funds for Men’s Health issues, specifically prostate cancer and mental health issues. If you still haven’t donated but would like to do so, please follow this link to donate to the Canadian Bloggers for Movember team and this link to donate to the US Bloggers for Movember team



    1. Athena,
      Our Thanksgiving has been fairly calm and mostly conflict free. We have been blessed to be around family and friends and partaken of food prepared with love. It has probably been one of the best ones in recent years.



  1. Really good post. Your descriptions in the paragraphs (excuses and distancing) were spot on and so well said! I have thought my ex might be BPD – not that I can diagnose. When I left him, I was in agony at what I was possibly doing to him by leaving, but in agony at what he was doing to me if I stayed. As a Christian, I beat myself up for not having a “biblical” reason to leave, and not being a good Christian and wife because I couldn’t cope. I wish what you wrote (the whole post, but especially those two paragraphs) had been available to me then. You just shot a beautiful dose of reality with compassion into cyberspace. I hope it travels far with many stops along the way. Thanks!


    1. Diane,
      I just refamiliarized myself with your story and the gauntlet of pastors you crossed paths with on your journey. So much of what you describe in terms of your emotions and thought process is familiar to me. Thankfully, much of what you describe in terms of Peter’s abuse toward you has been absent in Jerry. The ways that unrecognized, undiagnosed, and untreated mental illnesses and disorders play into and exacerbate the very real effects of domestic violence is inestimable. Alternatively, to have all these kinds of symptomatic issues and behaviors written off and masked as “simple” domestic violence further invalidates and stigmatizes people who need help and can benefit from actual psychiatric evaluation and treatment modalities beyond anger management and counseling.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



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