BPD and Splitting

I can’t believe I never really posted just about this. It’s such a prominent aspect to BPD. Last night, it was a splitting night. I’ve had it happen before with my boyfriend and I feel like it’s been happening more and more. I know that’s “normal” for me, and I know this is how it goes: the closer we get and the more time our relationship goes on, the more committed we get, the worse my symptoms gets. It’s not fair…but anyway.

I guess I’ll start with this: What is splitting? Splitting is basically the black and white thinking. The “this person is all good right now”, but “Omg they just did something, triggered me” and…”this person is all bad right now”. For myself, the good person and the bad person, are two different people. When the person is good, they never were bad. They are literally all good. When that shift is made, it’s like I have a whole other person standing in front of me and that person was and is always bad, and always will be.

When I shift over to bad, the person even looks physically different to me. I hate looking at them, but I do, and with such confusion, fear, and rage. They look like a stranger. I look at them and I see a person who is deceitful, evil, and is only out to harm me. Everything they say to me, is a lie, and “I know it is” (at least I feel like I know it). When I look at them, I see such hatred in them…for me. They hate me. I hate me too.

I wasn’t feeling great yesterday to begin with.  My boyfriend was sort of quiet via texting the past day or two and I don’t do well with that. Then he surprisingly had a dozen roses delivered to me at my job for no reason. That temporarily helped. I cried (happy tears). I’ve never had that happen to me before and it was great. Then we went out on a date last night, and it just felt like trigger after trigger after trigger. Because I already wasn’t quite ok, I was SO nervous to be out. I was ultra sensitive to everything and I just spiraled.

I tried to use my skills. It didn’t really work, and the more things triggered me, the harder and harder it got to use skills. Finally, we got back to my place. I was sort of ok, and then I was triggered again, and that was it for me. He became bad. I remember sitting on the bed and just looking at him. He wasn’t him. He was a bad guy. In my mind, “He had been hurting me all night, lying to me, hiding things and sneaking things.” I was so angry and confused. I don’t think I’ve ever held on so tightly to the fact that I knew what was happening inside of me, even though I couldn’t stop it or change it.

I tried so hard to hold on to sanity…reality, but I didn’t know what the real reality was. I hated myself. So much, and had he not been there, I would have self-harmed for sure. I eventually came out of it enough to get through the rest of the night as normal as possible. I remember at one point laying there and looking at his hand. He wears these two rings on his one thumb, and it’s like an identifiable feature. I held his hand and just kept looking at his rings, and touching his hand, and repeating his name in my head like I was trying to remind/convince myself, of who was actually laying next to me.

This post could potentially be so much longer but I’m going to stop here.

If you’ve made it to the end…could you comment and tell me if you relate? I’m mostly curious if people relate to the specific part where I talked about how people look physically different to me, once I shift to “all bad”.


13 thoughts on “BPD and Splitting

  1. I’ve only very recently begun to realize that I too am a person that splits people into all good or all evil . I hadn’t really thought of how I view someone physically until I read what have written, but yeah I do that too. My most recent partner has become a lot less physically attractive to me now that he has fallen squarely into the “evil” category.

    1. Hi. Thank you for your reply. I wouldn’t say that my boyfriend is less attractive to me now. Just when he is “bad”, it’s like I hardly recognize him. His features are different. It’s hard to explain.

  2. Yep.

    Sometimes I have also depersonalization episodes, when I look into the mirror, I don’t recognize myself, or I look weird.

    Splitting? Yep to that.
    Holding his hand like you do, or touching him, trying to reconnect and feel that he is real and beside me.
    He also looks different to me in that episodes. Like he is totally uninterested in me, doesn’t care, he is just using me, our relationship is nothing, he does not respect me a bit….his face is different.
    He’s not the one I love or I have met. He is someone else.

    And yet again, I hate BPD.

    1. My god, yes. You do get what I was saying.

      I go through depersonalization too. I don’t like looking in the mirror. I do it to get ready for the day, but if I ever really look at myself, it’s almost frightening…like, who is that? Or I see the pain in my reflection and it’s sad.

      Yes to how he looks different in those times. It’s so crazy. He is completely someone else.

      Ugh. 😦 Thank you again.

  3. Thank you for sharing. Reading the “real life” feelings, experience behind all the theory i read makes it palpable.
    Makes me re-live a lot of situations, see them in a different light.

  4. Yep. 😦 I had a panic attack more than once after my ex broke up with me, because I still had to live with him for a while and I felt like I was literally living with a stranger. His physical features looked different sometimes, too. I would go and hide because I didn’t know nor want to be around this person. Even know I have trouble with losing grip on the fact that the same person who broke up with me in a really sudden, bad way is the same person that I’m friends with now. I tend to think of him as “two different people”, as well.

    1. I hate panic attacks. 😦 I’m sorry to hear that, but I do relate. It’s scary being with someone that you know so well, yet feel at that time like you don’t, they’re a stranger, you don’t recognize them, and that they’re out to hurt you.


  5. I agree – how someone ‘looks to me’ is definitely related to how I feel about them at the time. I have noticed it with my husband, and I have noticed it with my therapist. I have realised that I am acutely sensitive to the looks on their faces, and anything that isn’t an out and out smile, I tend to interpret negatively. Sometimes when I look at them, I think I see and feel waves of judgement and disapproval and dislike, and I feel suddenly incredibly small and worthless. They look stern and unforgiving – uncaring and harsh. I think this is all to do with splitting, but I think it can also be to do with projection. So, for example, if I’m feeling ashamed and judging myself for something, I project those feelings onto my therapist, and feel that she is judging me too….my heart goes out to you, it does feel absolutely awful 😦 But it sounds as though you have something that might work again in future, in terms of a strategy, and focusing in on his hand to remind you of who he is. I certainly find that I need concrete and obvious visual reminders sometimes, in order to continue to believe in the reality of a situation or a person. Object (and I guess ‘feeling’) constancy is difficult for those with BPD, and something visual can really help to call to mind a reality we don’t want to lose, when other things start crowding in……

    1. I am very sensitive as well to facial expressions. I feel bad because I am CONSTANTLY asking my boyfriend if he is ok, or why he made that face, etc. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about this particular topic (facial expressions) and borderlines naturally are much more sensitive to them and much more likely to interpret facial expressions that are more neutral (and not very very obviously showing a particular emotion), in a negative way. I know this actually has to do with neurological factors, and the fact that we are often in fight on flight mode, and facial expressions trigger a certain part in the brain that for us, goes into overdrive in these interpretive and fight or flight parts of the brain.

      I don’t know about you, and this is just a side note, but my constant worrying and asking if my boyfriend is ok, triggers a deeper level of fear that if he was ok, the fact that I keep asking must now have made him not ok. And then whole thing just snowballs.

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