Things are not always what they seem

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Avatar for Amoryarte
2 years ago

Last week, the girl I have been dating for the last 6 months or so finally made her decision that making me wait for her was not good for either of us, and that she should let me go.

I need to fix me, you deserve the best and I'm not the best at the moment, I am not good for you now

This obviously hurt, and is likely said under 'normal' circumstances at the end of some relationships, but what followed when we spoke in person a few days later opened my eyes to why this year, and close 'special' friendship with this person, has played out like it has.

She conceded she has had some phycological issues in the past, and then blurted out 'Borderline'. I actually had no clue what this meant but did understand 'abandonment', and the other symptoms that were mentioned. Apparently, in recent years some of the markers or traits have left her, but clearly there are some which remain - jealousy, emphatic emotional responses, and that signature fear of abandonment being ones that I have witnessed - signaled by those red flags many of the folks commenting here swept under the carpet due to infatuation / care / love for what we saw in front of our eyes.

We met 3 years ago and although the time as friends was short, I'd not forgotten about this girl with a gorgeous smile (yeah ok, gorgeous many things), and fate meant we met again earlier this year, her Birthday in fact, as I moved back to the Island to live and work.

Being a fair distance apart with only weekends being feasible for time together, this worked well for us both at the start, but I (and I think she, at least at times) wished that there there was less space and pressure on a set day and a night to get to know each other further.

She did talk to me calmly but sternly quite early on that she had noticed my wayward glances. I brushed this off with 'I look at everyone, it's natural and means nothing', but clearly in hindsight this was not going to be accepted, and I as the next favourite person or 'special friend' , was completely in the dark about how this was a trigger, set to re-open large wounds yet to heal fully.

As time passed, discussions around me moving closer begin and although mostly positive, I missed (or more accurately, over-looked) some obvious signs there were major doubts in her mind. (Two weeks ago yesterday I made that move - a week too early, or would it always have been a week too early?...)

Around a month ago she started to spend more time with a work colleague, and the reason given was that he was hurting from a previous relationship and needed support. I was positive about this and supported what she wished to do - especially as it involved a long walk in the countryside as that is something she enjoys and is a therapy to many, with or without underlying disorders.

They went on to meet multiple times in August, and I did start then to feel her slipping away but ignored the signs. You see we never made it out of 'dating', and although I was a 'special friend', I had no say on what she did or who she met with. I'm not a controlling person, rarely jealous, and believe freedom and choice in a friendship/relationship or otherwise is really important to have.

It was however following one of these meetings with him, that a message arrived the following day. He had (apparently) broken down into tears and declared his undying love for her, and obviously, this had 'confused' her feelings towards me.

I was later told that he had said what I now feel are the magic, temporarily magic words that a person with insecurity, jealousy, abandonment issues would love to hear on repeat.

when I am with you, everything around me disappears

My thoughts on this initially were, you bastard, that's a great line to steal someone's date. I didn't know then though (and could not possibly understand ever) just what those words would mean to a person requiring the attention and validation that they are the be all and end all - the single and only important thing in someone's life.

I don't feel I've explained this too well at all, but I do think that these words were the final straw. Despite all my good words and deeds, nothing would match those words, which were delivered in native tongue, something which I am at beginner level with.

However, did he do me a huge solid? I think in some way yes, but I also believe that this girl has some love and empathy for herself and others around her - making the final decision to call things off before my heart was completely smashed to pieces. This tells me that all is not lost for her.

The times we shared were 99% positive, at least through my eyes. Parting comments do show that she appreciated these moments too and I, rightly or wrongly, do believe this to be true. There are doubts though, thoughts that the last 6 months meant nothing and that I was in some ways being used to try and fill a gap that could never be filled, and that this parting was written on the wall from the start.

She is now back in healing mode, writing, planning her daily schedule, food intake, taking long walks alone, and other things to try and reset and begin again on a footing she feels is real and secure. I truly wish her the best, and now need to understand I cannot help 'fix' her, and need to work on resetting my own balance.

There are many comments in this thread that struck a chord with me, some of which I've added below.

There is a constant sense of anxiety, fear, desire to be loved and made safe. The problem is, these feelings are so deep-seated and so overwhelming, no external source of validation or love will ever be enough.

But when they meet someone new, particularly a codependent person who has poor boundaries and gives too much of themselves, it temporarily fills the void.
... Once the honeymoon phase starts to wane, once the novelty wears off, the void begins to open back up. Fear and anxiety set back in, but how could that be? They had found happiness. Their partner is just not giving them the same feeling anymore. They need more, but the partner is incapable of giving it.

The partner can step up their game and alleviate the feeling temporarily, but it gets harder and harder, all the while the partner is losing more and more of themselves in the relationship.

Whenever we had a great moment, something meaningful, she would talk about how amazing she felt, how much she loved me, how this was all so perfect... but I learned that just meant a crash was coming. She would inevitably need space to "reconsider the relationship" for an undefined amount of time with no explanation, would get super mad and start arguments over small things or things that had happened months ago that she never told me about.

I don't think that we were tricked so much as we deceived ourselves.

Looking back my pwBPD's bad behaviors were visible from the very beginning.

But instead of confronting her about them at the time in a healthy way, I swept them under the rug.

In summation, a pwBPD's unrealistic image of themselves is not sustainable and neither is the unrealistic image they assign to you. Therein lies the breakdown in reality between the internal and external world.

It's wild shit when you get into the mechanics of BPD phenomenology. It's completely natural to accept a pwBPD at face value (just like you would anyone else), and this is why these relationships are so mind blowing and traumatizing when the hinges fly off the cabinet doors. pwBPD not only live in the past, but they've created an alternate reality to cope with it in the present.

Your experience with a pwBPD may have had genuine elements. Some of us experienced nothing genuine and that is a huge shock and an immense emotional burden to grapple with. It is not empowering, most of us are left ashamed of ourselves, thinking we are very stupid and naïve, and we wrestle with self-trust....

If you are reading this:

I apologise immensely for my part in re-opening old wounds

Thank you for brightening my summer and in the end, 'setting me free'

Acepta el pasado, ámate a ti mismo, y un día creerás que los demás también lo hacen

On searching through the Steem and Hive archives, there is a lack of content on Borderline Personality Disorder. There are some general, re-hashed online content looking efforts, but that's not what I was looking for.

I did find a piece from June 2017, and wish to thank the author for producing this. He mentions parents and god, so close to the nerve relating to my account, but something I have purposely not written about above.

His message to you, as a person 'who has basically recovered (mostly, I think) from Borderline Personality Disorder', is likely a better way to end this blog:

You are an invaluable, inimitable, unique and wonderful human being on this planet. You do not need anyone's approval because you already have the approval of life itself. The road out of this hell is a long one, and to some degree or another, never ends, but as you ascend and see the nature of your hallucination, you will be empowered, and see that the world is, although dangerous and risk-laden often times, a sensible, logical and beautiful place, and that the nightmare of your inadequacy was just a short circuit put into place a long time ago. It is not too late to set it straight and start again.

You can do this! You are the shit! You are life, itself! And all the love in the universe is yours.

Though you may wish to push away those that claim to love you, because you can't believe them when they say so, and though you may wish to test their "phony love" by pushing them to the limits with insults and all sorts of emotional attacks, it is my hope that you will turn that mirror around, and see that truly you are only attacking yourself. Fuck what the people in the past may or may not have thought of you. You are born again, and I want to be the first to say...

Happy birthday.

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Avatar for Amoryarte
2 years ago