BPD and Pushing loved ones away

Probably one of the biggest ways to tell that your borderline loved one is experiencing BPD symptoms is when they start pushing you away.

This is sort of a hard one to explain, but I’m curious to hear feedback from other borderlines as to why you push people away, or from non’s as to what it feels like to be pushed away.

For myself, it usually goes something like this. I’m fine and life is great and then I start to feel “off”, sometimes by a trigger I am well aware of, and other times by a trigger that I never noticed happened. My symptoms start intensifying, my thinking gets more and more distorted, and things start hurting more. Little things like someone not responding to my text message quickly (especially if my text was something where I felt like I was opening up emotionally), will start to worsen my symptoms. For myself, I try to talk myself through those moments, but it doesn’t really seem to matter because once BPD sets in, its very hard to get out of it. These “little things” keep happening, everywhere, and heaven forbid other triggers occur, and the whole thing just grows and morphs and keeps gaining more strength.

On one hand, I want or need that person SO badly that I feel like I will literally die if I don’t get them close to me. I guess I already feel abandoned at this time. This need for them, however, hurts and is terrifying. It hurts because there is no possible way in the world that they could be there enough for me to ease the emptiness and the need that I have, because it’s just too big and too intense, and so any attempt they may make just causes me more pain because it feels like they’ve failed me because they must not have cared enough, etc, because I still hurt. It’s terrifying because what if they don’t try? Or what if my need burdens them? What if this need is what causes them to say “Goodbye” because it’s too much for them to handle? It’s also terrifying, because the hurt is already too overwhelming, and if accepting their love and care does not help, and therefore causes more hurt, I just don’t know if I will make it. Again, it feels like I will literally die. This is a time that is the epitome of Marsha Linehan’s saying that “People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.” This phase is like being one gigantic large severe open emotional wound.

This hurt and fear, and fear of more hurt and abandonment makes me extremely push people away, usually the very one(s) I need the most. I need loved, but I’m too sensitive, hurt, and afraid to accept it.

Another fear, at least for me, is that I worry I will hurt them. I know what I’m capable of. I know how sensitive I am. I know what I’m battling and the behavior I am trying to control, and what if that person gets close to me and I can’t control myself? I don’t want to hurt them.

So with all of these elements, I usually come to the destructive and counterproductive conclusion that I should just push them as far as away as possible until I’m “ok”.

And so now that leaves me with wondering about other borderlines; who relates, or who has things to add (I’m sure I missed stuff), but also wondering what this feels like for the non-borderline…for the loved one that’s being pushed away.

My boyfriend and I were sort of talking about this earlier today. He said he wants me to stop pushing him away and to let him in and let him help. I guess I have a hard time understanding that he would actually want to help. I tend to believe that no one wants to deal with this because no one ever has. My emotions were always a burden and I always got dismissed, ignored, and brushed off, or even verbally hurt for having the emotions and needs. However, I’m not sure how to let him in, how to communicate what I need, or…I just don’t know how. I also don’t want him to see me like that. He will think I’m crazy for sure. 😦

Is it more hurtful to push them away, or to let them in and to experience you like that suffering under the symptoms?????


124 thoughts on “BPD and Pushing loved ones away

  1. I tend to push others a way for several reasons but the most common reason is that they do something to trigger negative thoughts I have that they truly do not like me or want to be my friend etc. When it comes to guys it is even worse when they try to reject me I become very hostile annoying and angry and try to do anything to win them back they will usually result in aggressive behavior self harm and extreme clingy-ness.
    When it comes to my friends though I push them away so they do not have to see me how I really am if they makes sense. I need help to stop doing this because at this moment I have no friends because of it.

    1. I am with you on the trigger part. I find that people I am really close with intimately, like my boyfriend, are also the ones that most easily trigger me. I’m much more sensitive to them probably because the fear of abandonment is much stronger with him. I will “see” so many things that to me translate to mean that he doesn’t love me, doesn’t want me, etc.

      I, too, need a lot of help with this. I don’t have friends either but mostly I think by choice. I only get so close to people and then I tend to pull back once they’ve gotten too close because it’s too much for me to handle. I’d like to have friends though but I’m not sure I really know how.

      Anyway, all you said makes complete sense. Thank you for sharing. Btw, I really love your blog and the way you write.

      1. I am a non and I just stumbled upon your post which touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing your story as it is helping me understand the pain that a woman who isn’t in my life at the moment experiences. We started out as coworkers/carpoolers. Early on, during our hour long commute we shared intimate stories, laughed a lot and genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. But a couple months in to carpooling, it was obvious that we were becoming closer and were quietly attracted to each other, but we didn’t discuss it. I never shared my sexual orientation with her and while she had acquired a new group of gay friends she never gave me any indication that she was gay. In fact, on occasion, she’d intimated that she was “conflicted” about relationships and I never pried as she intimated early on that she was very private. I am too, and therefore, I gave her space. And one day she told me that she was trying to walk right with the lord and had lost her way in the last couple of years. Her mom is super religious and they are very close. This revelation slowed my attraction as I didn’t want to add to her conflict or disrespect her in anyway. Besides I am not out at work and have never felt the need to share my sexuality with anyone.

        Meanwhile, I became her confidant with regards to work matters and was very supportive. She cried in the car a couple of times out of frustration with work. I comforted her and became protective of her. So as our unspoken mutual attraction grew, she’d say little things out of the blue like she hadn’t been in a relation in nine years. Or how she couldn’t get a date (which was strange to me as she is very pretty), once she blurted out “emotions: and expectations”, but didn’t elaborate. Again, I wouldn’t pry, but as far as I knew she wasn’t dating anyone. Once she fell asleep during our commute and awoke and said she dreamt that she asked me a question, but I wouldn’t answer the question and she was wondering why I wouldn’t answer her question, but she realized it was just a dream. I took the bait and asked what was the question. She said she couldn’t remember.

        So, as weeks became months we were the attraction was there, but kept in its place. Over the months I’d give her little thinking of you gifts like a mason jar or water bottle filled with her favorite candy. I always gave her the $10 gas card we got for carpooling each month. I’d pick up extra snacks for her from Trader Joe’s. I was flexible with our carpooling schedule to accommodate her needs. Funny thing though, as close as we appeared to be, we didn’t go to lunch together at work and we didn’t do anything outside of work. I asked a few times, but she was always ” busy” so I stopped asking. But the closeness was growing and the mood in the car was becoming intense.

        In the beginning, we would not make call during our commute, but she started randomly making calls. As months passed, she started to become more quiet and more distant intermittently. I attributed her mood swings to her being a Gemini–we both are. There were days when she wouldn’t respond to my “Good Mornings or good nights. We stopped talking and sharing as much. My questions received one and two word responses. There was this enormous intensity and connection between us even with the silence. The silence eventually took over the commute and I found myself just going along with it. We never argued. But there were days I felt like she was upset with me even though I hadn’t done anything.

        I would play my music and sing along and as we rode in silence. In the last few months of our commute, she’d put ear ]buds in her ear and listen to whatever was playing on her phone. I think she may have been listening to biblical stuff…it wasn’t music. And while she wouldn’t talk to me during the commute, she would often call her friends or text them and ask them to call her and pretty much engage in small talk with them and not acknowledge me during the hour plus commute. Ironically, if I made or took a call she would quietly act out by making noise or singing or turning the AC on full blast.

        The intensity continued to grow and so did the darkness. We carpooled for 17 months and three months into the commute, the moodiness began. Six months into it, I was being ignored on a regular basis, but the good days kept me going coupled with the fact that I am a strong woman. Nine months into it, things were getting pretty bad. She was barely talking to me during our drive. And one day she accused me of repeating something she had said to me which couldn’t possibly be true since I really didn’t discuss my “carpooler” with anyone at work other than to say I was riding solo when she went on vacation. I told her that I NEVER discussed anything about her with anyone. She said I did because “this person repeated it verbatim”. First of all no one I deal with at work talks to her. In fact, very few people other than a couple of people on her team dealt with her because unfortunately, she has a reputation for being friendly and talkative to you one day and then the next, not acknowledge you at all. I never shared this information with her. Meanwhile, she wouldn’t tell me what I supposedly repeated and to whom I repeated it. And she used her story to put more distance between us. This stung because I cared so much about her, but a darkness had come over her and she gave me the silent treatment for about three months although we still carpooled. Our birthdays were in June. I gave her a card, a carpool pillow and 3 $150 tix to Disneyland ( I won them–she loves Disneyland). My birthday was 11 days later and she didn’t acknowledge it. The silence continued and it started breaking me. I knew it wasn’t healthy, but I hung in there. It was during the silence that I started researching mood swings, etc. At first, I thought she was bipolar. But she has bpd traits. As I learned about bpd I was determined not to abandon her. But the moods were getting darker and I wouldn’t allow myself to be upset with her. Then I finally made the decision that I needed to take care of me. I started to reacting to her silence with my silence. I think she sensed something because she slowly started coming out of the darkness. In fact, she came out of the darkness the very day I had planned to leave a note in her car upon exiting telling her that I wanted out of the carpool.

        The following week she was a totally different person. It was amazing. The darkness was gone. She was the girl I met 15 months prior. She was so bright and sunny. So pretty. After that beautiful week of carpooling I made the mistake of asking her to a WNBA basketball game since I had told her last season I would invite her. Well, of course she said she couldn’t make it. I said no problem. But the day of the game, I told her I wanted to leave work 20 minutes early so I can get into to town to drive downtown to the game. Well, she came out 20 minutes later and in a pissy mood. I asked how her day was. She said, “it was a day”. I also asked if she needed to stay later. She said no. The ride home was intense as she kept her iPhone two four inches from her face the whole time and wouldn’t speak look at me or speak to me. I’m assuming she was upset about me going to the game although I had invited her. She said no, so I invited someone else. I didn’t tell her this though. When she exited the car she said “have fun at the game and slammed the door”.

        That was it for me. I couldn’t take it anymore. Later that week, I left the letter on the seat as I exited. in the note I told her that I couldn’t deal with the silent treatment and the intensity anymore and that I needed to take care of myself. I also told her that the intensity was becoming familiar and addictive and that these issues were mine and not hers. I told her that I had never experienced such intensity in my life which is true. The intensity was magnified because I found myself in love with her in spite of everything. I just wanted to take care of her and protect her.

        Well, the intensity only got worse away from her. I could feel her when we were apart and I still can feel her now. Two weeks later I sent her a text basically saying that I wanted to ride with her again. She responded and was a bit cold, but we planned to ride together. The morning ride was a little quiet and a little tense since neither of us brought up my note., The ride home was different. I could tell she was raging inward as she asked me about things I wrote in the note including why I didn’t just talk to her…SHOCKER! I told her that she wouldn’t talk to me. She went on to say that we could ride together and not talk and “just share the ride”. I told her that I thought we had a friendship…she pretty much said we didn’t. That stung! I could sense her internal rage, Her words were controlled and her voice was trembling. I had never seen her like that. I think that she had been trying to conceal this part of her life from me for 17 months. We never argued or raised our voices with one another. I had seen her teary before, but not this intense, I told her that everything isn’t black and white. She responded with, “…see when you say stuff like that..(she didn’t finish the thought). I told her I was just saying that we can compromise and meet in the middle. I also went on to let her know that I would respect her wishes and that although I have a sharp tongue, I was not going there with her. I wouldn’t go there with her. So the ride was quiet. We were both quietly upset. Later that night she text me that she couldn’t carpool the next day, but could next week if I still wanted to. I was upset and basically text her back…thanks, but no thanks and said some strong things. I wasn’t rude…just very direct.

        Anyway, that was almost three months ago. I’ve sent a few texts, but haven’t gotten any responses. We run into each other on occasion at work and the intensity is still there and also a certain sadness. I feel her a lot and then suddenly she appears on my floor at work. We don’t speak, but the draw is there. Three weeks ago, I left a cool green mason jar full of candy on her desk. Later, I wondered if she would give it back…she didn’t. I know she knows I care so much about her. In one of my texts I told her that I am still here for her even in silence.

        Sorry this is so winded, but I hope it gives you an idea of how nons feel. I still love her and want to be there for her. I’ve never told her about my suspicions, but she knows that I read a lot and based on some of the things I’ve said about her mood swings, she may think I suspect something. It’s hard for me to believe that she has just shut all of her feelings off…when I still feel so deeply connected.

        I hope your post is still relevant as I am looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks for listening…

      2. Hi. The post is still relevant. I’m not sure I’d even confidently say that I’m in recovery yet. I mean, I am because I’m actively engaged in therapy, but I am at the very beginning and don’t know if I’ve made enough progress to count. Ok my therapist is talking in my head now telling me that there I go minimizing the positive again.

        But anyway…I’m around if you’d like to chat. It sounds like you needed to get all of that out. I hope you felt better after writing all of that.

      3. Please explain what you mean when you say ” when they get to close, its too much for me to handle”. What is too much?..How are you feeling and what happens when you feel you cant handle it and feel the need to push loved ones away??

      4. Hi, I truly can relate with everything that you wrote above. It’s amazing to find out that there are other people out there who’s going through the same shit as you. I have BPD too and at first I never realised how much damage I’m doing to myself by pushing people away (i didn’t even realise that i was pushing people away). I only realised this after seeing how alone i actually am, and that I have no real friends or support. I hate that I push my friends away, especially my loved ones because in the end, it’s me who ends up feeling more alone than ever, wherelse what i needed most was for people to comfort me and be there for me, not walk away from me.I feel that the one who is constantly pushing people away is not me, but my BPD that is forcing me to do so by whispering thoughts into my head (e.g you don’t deserve anyone, or everyone hates you, or nobody wants to be around you). I just can’t help it. I thought that by letting people(my loved ones) go, that they would be happier, because they don’t want to be around me because I’m too sick(too depressed) and it’ll be a burden to stick around me. I had pushed my one and only best friend two days ago when I needed him the most at that time. I was too stupid to think that if i let go of him now, it would hurt him less if i ever end up doing something drastic to myself. I sometimes hate myself because I can never keep friendships long enough, and sometimes I wonder if it was because I wasn’t good enough for them.

      5. Hi. Yes, I do the same exact thing. It’s something I’ve been really working at. I started doing it to a new friend of mine. So far he hasn’t ditched me and I’m fortunate but I know he will if I keep it up so I’m working on communicating what’s going on inside me rather than just acting on it. I am also in agreement that it’s not me, it’s my BPD. It talks to me too and it’s torture. It never seems to shut up. I’m sorry you are going through this. You aren’t alone.

    2. I agree I do tend to push people away when they say something negative even though they might not have meant to. I associate the negative feeling with the same feeling I felt in the past and assume the person is doing the same thing like it had happens before my fears of being alone or abandon are very real but there so real that I don’t no if I’m making the thoughts up in my head to trick myself into believing that I’ll be abandon or make myself think I’m alone when I’m not or if it’s really real and my loved one will leave like the rest. And on how they feel when we push them away well what they feel will be the pain i feel I will hurt them so bad that I regret it after noting I shouldn’t have said what I said or done what I done to make them go the more they hold on the harder i try to emotional hurt them cause I’m in so much turmoil that I want the to suffer cause they will never feel pain like I do they will never experience the overwhelming sadness that makes me wanna cut to release the hurt inside seeing the blood poor out is like seeing my emotional pain coming out every time I cut it feels like such a curse to have borderline that I don’t wish on nobody the sadness i feel in a moment you will only feel throughout a life time and all it takes for me to feel that much sadness is one moment it feel like my hearts been ripped out like im better off dead then to feel this emotional pain

  2. I think it is a little of both for me. It hurts to push certain people away, but at the same time it hurts to let people in and see how much I am really suffering. I think I have a fear that if I let people in, they will run as far away as possible as quickly as possible.

  3. It takes me a while to pass the pushing away, but once I did we improved a lot. It took almost all my energy to muster the trust though, to give him that power, that power to literally destroy me 😦 and to my dismay he has… he has left me due to my disorder being too distracting from his life and because my therapy waiting list is too long 😦

    So I guess the pushing away is our way of protection, because him leaving made me experience a pain so severe I now have gone numb in an attempt to survive my current stage in life. So i’d saying letting someone in and stopping pushing them away is essential and important to have a healthy and working relationship that can incorporate your BPD and help you cope, but you need to find a balance and it must be with someone strong enough to handle BPD otherwise they can leave and that pain well I just hope you never experience it.

    1. So sorry to hear this as it must be very difficult to trust again after this experience after having him push you away. I myself have been pushed away, but it was by my friend.

      I notice that while I unconditionally love her, am accepting of her behavior (not that I like them, although neither does she), and am nonjudgemental towards her because I have learned a lot to understand why she does the things she does and how she feels… it’s not currently enough to not be pushed away by her. The thing is though that while I am here and in it for the long haul, her pushing me away has had an adverse effect on me that I never quite realized. I have had a hard time letting anyone else in, for fear they too will push me away. It’s almost like her pushing and pulling over and over has heightened my fear of abandonment and dealing with just one in my life seems like more than enough so adding more (even though I need them as she unfortunately cannot provide adequate support for me emotionally when I have problems of my own), I have trouble bringing myself to trust a new person.

      1. Isabel

        I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this…I cannot imagine the pain and I just wish that there was something that I could do to be helpful. My fiance had a lawyer draft a letter insisting that I was harassing her or stalking her for calling her right after she broke up with me via text!!! I saw this letter today while going through some stuff and it was incredibly painful to read.

        The day before last, I sent her a very heartfelt short letter via text. that I had a borderline friend help me to draft – it was very much from the heart and free from any kind of insistence to rehash this or that or discuss matters.. It has been ten months and I have not heard a word from her…I figured that after so much time that she might have come around enough to respond.

        The good news is that I did not receive a call from a lawyer or the cops. The bad news is that she has not responded at all. This just boggles my mind.

  4. I’m a non. But my boyfriend is and I’ve never cried more…trying to love someone. Five years and then some. He’s hurt me in every way possible. If there’s one thing that I should say; it’s that, we’re all crazy in some way. I will love him till I die. But he does put me through hell. It’s mostly because I can’t reach him when he is out of control. I can cry, beg for mercy, and if you name it, I’ve done it. But I don’t plan on letting this beat us. I know that he loves me…and he’ll be back. My problems come with not knowing how to help.

  5. Hi, umm I feel that what your post says is in very close sync to what my best friend has been saying since she decided to push away–she told me she has BPD before, and we were kind of working it out to not have me trigger her and all, but I did end up triggering her in a way. I suppose it was also the school work that’s stressing her out a little. She doesn’t feel “off” all the time I think–as you’ve mentioned. I’m the only one who’s having this seemingly getting to be permanent problem with her, but she’s been avoiding her classmates by not going down for lunch or anything either too.

    At first she was really determined to have me gone, her argument was that her “shitty me” was angry at me, and her “mopey me” would kill herself to know that she’d hurt me more. I kept texting her to convince her that I’ll be fine with anything, but regardless nothing worked and I responded by approaching her few times afterwards offline, while she just awkwardly kept silent. So I told her I was giving up on my tries, although I’d still be around if she ever wants to talk.

    Then she decided to talk to me one night saying she has different halves and she was “Hyde” now–I presume that’s her “shitty me” in the other conversation. Her Hyde even helped me get a plan to talk to her Jekyll–which she ended up avoiding by being absent from school. While we were planning she was suggesting me to tell her Jekyll how hurt I am, because that intense guilt would be the only thing that would make her Jekyll “go crawling back” and talk to me again.

    But anyways that conversation never happened, I see her most directly on Saturdays because we’re in the same tuition class while we’re not in the same class in school anymore. I ignored her on that week’s Saturday. And she decided to talk to me again, this time mostly on inconsequential stuff like music and dramas she liked–we used to talk about that a lot when we first became close friends, in fact. She was giving me all the music recommendations. But when I asked the next day if I get to say hi in school now, she said she’d “be uncomfortable but won’t take against it.”

    I’m really lost. She wanted me to give up. So I did, and she’d talk to me in weirdest ways again, but still refuse to do anything to make things right. I do mean it that I’d always consider her my friend–even if I give up here I know I’d regret it whenever I think about it and wonder if I could have done anything more for her–and I believe that her intentions are not bad (her “past friends” who went through similar things are telling me she’s manipulative, and that she’s just talking to me when she’s bored and no one else would entertain her–I do start to wonder too, especially in the heat of moments when she just ditched me and all, but I really think she’s very confused herself when I look at it calmly.) But would she ever make things right? Perhaps when she’s feeling better overall? Or is she just completely done with me and won’t miss me much even if I decide to get a closure for myself? (She apparently never provided one for her past friends; continued that pushing and pulling until they decided to cut all contacts with her.)

    I’d love to know if there’s anything I could try doing to help her–I really would, if it’s possible at all and there’s any point at all in waiting and thinking things will be fine one day. But if that’s impossible–I’m wondering if I should go into damage control mode for myself (by perhaps telling her one last time and subsequently not responding/shortly responding to her random texts)–which would be the logical move if I couldn’t do any good for her anyway.

    Please tell me what you’d perceive as the best way to approach this, perhaps what made you feel the most comfortable when you were pushing away from your close ones! Thank you, your post itself was of great advice too!

    1. Hi. I apologize for such a delayed response. I’ve had a lot going on. So, “what I perceive is the best way to approach the pushing away”.

      To start, I do see the borderline tendencies here. It’s hard to say how to respond to them. We want you there as much as we want you to go away and leave us alone. On one hand, staying and pursuing them may make them subconsciously think that if they act out like that, you will get closer which A) proves you care, which we need, but B) may also allow us to continue our acting out, just to get it out, and you become a victim.

      You need to choose your battles so to speak. You need to take care of you if you want to be able to help someone else. You also need to hold this person accountable for their actions. My ex used to just leave me be. He’d tell me he loved me and that he was there if I needed him. It would kill me to death and I hated how he could just go away. Like, didn’t he realize how in pain I was? Being borderline, I would often text him repeatedly, very mean things. When he would finally tell me how I was hurting him, it was like a switch went off and I came back to reality. Knowing I hurt someone I loved was so hard to handle, but it beat the borderline episode. It was the only thing that seemed to work almost every time.

      So I guess in all honesty, do what you can in the moment, what feels best to you, but be sure to voice how their actions or words are affecting you. Never invalidate what they’re going through, but don’t let them invalidate what they’re doing to you either.

      I hope this helps. It’s a tough situation to be in.

  6. I know this post is a bit older, however I wanted to comment on your post. I felt like I was reading something that my girlfriend may have written herself. I’m a non and my girlfriend is diagnosed BPD. I have been with my girlfriend for about a year and a half. I am madly in love with her and knew from the start that she had BPD, as she disclosed this prior to us becoming serious. We do not live together, however I stay over at her place every weekend and occasionally during the week. I struggle the most with her pushing away when I am not there. When I am at her place the pushing away is much less severe and typically just is her being very quiet or taking an hour or two to decompress upstairs while I watch the kids. However when I am not there, she cuts off all contact, she doesn’t respond to texts all day/evening and she won’t pick up the phone. It makes me anxious not knowing if she is OK. I have already went down the road with her as far as having to put her in the hospital, against her will, due to a suicide plan she was actively carrying out last spring. She has told me many times that I saved her life that day and that she is very thankful I had the courage to get her help and I wholeheartedly believe her. The pushing me away has eased up since then, however it seems to resurface from time to time, especially after a particularly challenging group therapy or individual session of hers. I’m right in the middle of a moment where I have been pushed away again because she is struggling, although the silence broke about an hour ago so it likely ending for now. I am very much in love with her and it is painful to know she is struggling and there really isn’t anything I can do but be there when she is ready to talk again. We have had the conversation over and over again about how she feels much like you in the fact she pulls away from me in an effort to protect me from her BPD fueled behavior when she is not doing well and also because she fears that one of these times I’m just going to decide she is too much to handle. I have told her that I am not going anywhere and have proved it so many times already, however I have come to recognize that no matter what I say or do that fear that I am going to abandon her is one only she can resolve within herself. All I can do is show her with my behavior that I’m not going anywhere. I have explained that I appreciate that she wishes not to hurt me when she is struggling, but that I would prefer if she at least could text from time to time that she is safe. I have felt the sting of her words when she doesn’t pull back, yet I would rather her not cut off contact. It doesn’t take long for me to recognize when she is heading towards the dark place in her mind, as I have paid close attention, and have learned the signs in her behavior and some of her triggers. I also have taken time to try and learn as much as possible about BPD and how as a partner I can be helpful when she is not doing well. One resource that I read that was fantastic is a book titled Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, which taught me some very helpful skills in validating her feelings, keeping myself calm, and not allowing my reaction to further fuel her deregulated emotions. The interesting thing is once I started to practice what the book taught me, she started to point out that when I do have contact with her when she is struggling that what I say a lot of times brings her back down to a better place. I just wish she could remember this when she starts pushing me away. I highly recommend that you have your boyfriend read it, as it likely will be helpful. Thank you for your post, as it highlighted an inside view of pushing away behavior from the point of view of the one doing the pushing. Was exactly what I needed to read today!

    1. You are amazing! I suffer from bpd and I think that if all partners put in as much effort as you do then a successful relationship is inevitable. Keep doing what you’re doing and know deep down that you are making a difference and she appreciates that more than you will ever know.

  7. I push people away constantly. I was in a relationship for four years, everything was perfect and we were doing amazing and he kept doing little things (whether they were just in my head or he actually was doing them, I don’t know) that to me, was showing he was becoming uninterested and not wanting me anymore. I freaked out and left him because, I didn’t want to get hurt and now, I’m left alone, freaking out because I’m abandoned, lonely and hurting real bad. I’ll soon move onto the next person, this happens always. Why? because I just don’t want to be on my own, I want to feel loved, I crave love. Every night I go to bed, I cry panic and the thought of being on my own goes around and around in my head until I drive myself crazy. I push everyone away, family, friends, lovers because I always fear that in the end, they’ll leave or think bad of me anyway. I’m constantly feeling lonely and I just feel empty and numb, like no one could ever cure this pain or take it away from me.

  8. I have just come out of a relationship with a bdp. He told me from the beginning he didn’t do relationships well and it was clear within the first few months. He pulled and pushed for the whole 2 years. I didn’t help constantly taking him back after abuse but I loved him. Possibly smothered him with wanting to fix him. He would apologise for his abuse and say he hated his actions but would always revert to pushing me away. When we were good we were amazing. When we were bad it was horrendous, volition and I am nowhere near the person I used to be. I have come to realise that I need help now. I am unsure if I have traits of bdp as I feared losing him or whether I am just a codependant. 6 months have past and I miss him deeply. His last words to me were that he hated me and I ruined his life. (Said this a thousand times in our time together only to apologise) This time he acted in rage that the police were almost called. He has since changed his number and we’ve had no contact since. It tears me apart that I wanted to love him so much but he just pushed and pushed though he said he loved me. I really empathised with him and all previous posts from bdps as I feel you are in pain and are somewhat tortured souls. However, I cannot grasp how one day I meant everything and the next I am hated and then that is it. For good. I have no idea how he feels and I am unable to ask him. I know he will move on if he hasn’t already but does that mean I am not given a second thought? After all we went through he will literally find someone else to cling on to and repeat the process? Surely bdps don’t feel love if one can switch off so easily. Can any bdps give me an insight to how they are or feel for a an ex after ending it so abruptly? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey there 🙂 as a BPD sufferer, I can’t even begin to describe the pain you go through when a relationship ends. We all act like emotionless idiots when it happens, going on reckless binges and self damaging behaviour, coupled with massive highs…but underneath the front and chaos we create, is someone who is experiencing the most childlike fear. You feel like your entire world has ended, you think nothing will pull you out of it so you mask yourself, making out to the world you’re fine but underneath filled with total self loathing and hatred towards yourself, scrutinizing every minute of the relationship, trying to work out what you did wrong to make that person want to leave you. Of course, in hindsight, you see exactly what you did wrong and how awful you were towards them, and then you become desperate for them back, though stubbornness will prevent you from doing anything about it. You spend a long time absolutely fuming at the other person, only to want them to burst through the door and cuddle you, tell you its all ok, all at the same time. It’s a very rocky path after a breakup for a borderline. Our attachments play havoc and we enter a long period of chaos and depression. After my last serious relationship broke down, I spent 4 years trying to win that person back, but every time they got close, all of the hurt they had caused would come flying back and I’d push them away again, screaming murder at them and swearing to never speak again. Of course, come morning I’d be crying and apologizing, begging them not to leave me and promising them the world, only to then turn bitter and nasty when they didn’t respond how I wanted. Its only 5 years down the line now that I look back and realise how damaging that entire period was, to myself and to my ex. I can’t say it helped that they were borderline too. I guess in response to your question, rest safe in the knowledge he would have been incapable of just forgetting you.

  9. This is how I feel when I am triggered. I just recently was diagnosed, and can’t get to therapy so I am dealing with it on my own right now.
    When I am in a ‘mood’, I push everyone away so I don’t hurt them. Now a days I have a name for this ‘mood’ so I generally say something along the lines ” I am having a BDP flair up. I need to be left alone.” at least to my friends and partner.( My family doesn’t get it, so I start tuning them out so I don’t react negatively.)
    I get really…bad so I don’t want to hurt them..but I know it hurts my partner when I say that. I just remember before when I didn’t have my diagnosis that there was a lot of issues between us if I didn’t back up and just shut down. I have learned that I would rather deal with it on my own than hurt others, and that mentality has been with me for the past 6-7 years? Its really hard to unlearn and reach out for help when it has been your coping mechanism to not reach out for so long.
    I think that’s why I am so driven to help other people? When I am not triggered I mean. I’ll listen to anything for people and help them…but I can’t apply it to myself. I am not sure if I am the only one who does this or not.

    1. I’m bpd. At this point in my life I’ve chosen to push every single person in it away as I’m completely falling apart. My life is basically upside down, I can’t even work out what I’m feeling at the moment… On one hand I’m devastated and on the other I’m completely numb.
      I really do want to get better and let everyone back in but they are confusing me and hurting me.
      They keep saying that it is all me and that I need to take responsibility and yet on the same hand they say I need to just let go of everything….
      These double standards are just too much. I do take responsibilty for where my life is…. I also know that I wasn’t the only one that led it here but to everyone that’s me just shunning and trying to avoid the problem.. And to them I am the only problem.
      They have a lot to say on how I should get better and yet apart from one person who has actually bothered to learn about bpd they aren’t interested in being supportive, just about telling me what I do wrong.
      Yes I hate to be alone. But atm I’d rather be alone.
      I feel bad enough without taking on everyone else’s disappointment on too.
      I try to be good person. I try to control my moods.
      But it’s been told to me too much of late that everything I do or feel is wrong.
      My head is confusing enough.
      I’ve kind of given up, trying to just shut down….

  10. I’m a non…this thread certainly gave me some insight into the plight of pwBPD and why they push as they do. These accounts genuinely made me sad and I wish to God that all of those suffering could find the love and successful relationships that everyone deserves.

    I highly suspect my ex fiance of being a pwBPD. Although we recycled several times (I didn’t know anything about BPD at the time and though that it was just something she needed to ‘go thorugh’), we had an excellent relationship. Though I felt that she kept much of her thoughts inside, we otherwise never fought or even so much as disagreed. We had common interests, goals and enjoyed being with one another. We bonded and soon spent almost every day together and eventually became engaged.

    She sold all of her redundant household belongings and moved it with me. We were in the process of acclimating and planning our wedding. Three weeks in, I went out of town for work and received a text the next afternoon that our relationship was over…she had moved out and that I should not attempt to contact her.

    She blocked me from contact via phone, text and email. She also blocked me on social media, unfriended all of the people she had met through me and (somehow) successfully convinced her family and friends to do the same. Naturally, I attempted to contact her via email and phone, circumventing the blocks, but those attempts were responded to by a threat through an attorney to seek a PPO (I never even raised my voice to her!!!) against me and a stern phone call from the local police (on xmas eve!)!

    Along the way, I have caught her red handed stalking me on FB, have been receiving strange visitors to other social media accounts and was getting ‘silent calls’ (phone calls from spoofed numbers that remain silent when answered for a period of time) that I strongly suspect are her. Meanwhile, I found that I was unblocked via texting (but not calling) but I am blocked once again after having sent one successfully.

    While this episode leaves me profoundly hurt and confused, I have to be honest with myself in admitting that I still love her and miss her greatly. I consider this against the backdrop of this thread and it makes me extremely sad to know that she is suffering and likely wishes that things turned out differently.

    I had read on another forum that those that are moved to such extremes to cut off do so because their feelings are that strong for the person that they have pushed away so fully. Does anyone here have an opinion regarding this? I’m considering reaching out to her again; what does she want to hear, if anything, at this point? Is there any possible salvation?

    1. Im at work but read your comment. I wish i had something to tell you that woukd work for sure but the fact is that every borderline is slightly different and what may work one time may make things worse the next time. I guess try to leave things in her court. Tell her how you feel but dont chase her. Let her come to you

    2. This is basically my exact situation. We’re madly in love, change our lives to be together, feel so confident after on-again-off-again history that *this time is it!* — I changed myself completely, in a healthy way. I realized he has to go through what he has to go through and I told him, when you do, when you throw that wall up between us (and grenades of cruelty over it), I will not react, I will not get hurt, I will just wait for you patiently on the other side, I will not leave, and when you are ready to lower your wall again, I will be here. When we had this discussion he was so happy, so grateful. But now the wall is up again, he ignores me for days on end, except to send a text message to tell me to f— off, I’m a slut, I’ll always be alone, etc.

      Is there any salvation??? Yeah, I’ve been scouring the Internet looking for the same hope you are. I don’t know. I think there is only this cycle. The best I can do is learn to detach completely. Enjoy the good times and wait out the bad times. The good times might be a couple weeks and the bad a couple months. The best I’ve managed for myself is to feel truly and deeply secure in the fact that he does love me and want to be with me, and comfort myself with knowing that when his behavior is completely opposite to that fact (and as such entirely irrational and unable to be reasoned with), that it is just a product of a very severe pain; one that I cannot alleviate for him no matter how much I want to. In accepting that I have no control in helping his pain, I can let it go like I do other things I have no control over, like the weather. Just live my life the best I can, wear a raincoat, whatever, and wait until the sun comes out again..

      The real question I am asking myself, though, is…do I want to live my life this way? Is security in “knowing” that “deep down” he really loves me– Is it really valid to say this trumps the physical reality of repeated, brutal emotional and psychological abuse?

      It seems cruel to abandon someone with mental illness, when you are truly empathetic as those of us in relationships with these people obviously are. I wouldn’t leave if he had cancer, right? But I’ve done so much research and there is treatment available. People with BPD who commit to DBT (Dialectical behavioral therapy) can actually cease to meet the criteria for BPD, effectively “curing” themselves. In my situation, my man will never confront that he is emotionally and interpersonally dysfunctional. He has excuses for days, refuses to confront his behavior, is in extreme self-denial. And these are not qualities of BPD, these are independent qualities, and it is on these I consider letting him finally achieve success in pushing me away.

      1. Your comment was the most accurate in every way. My BPD partner does exactly the same thing..the emotional abuse is intolerable and brings out the worst in me..I get very angry even though I know she is acting this way because of abandonment issues…I feel like life is too short to tolerate and “wait” for the sun to come out…dont we deserve the sunshine 24/7? I am older and I feel like I spent my life in an unhappy previous heterosexual marriage and now that I have/had a same sex partner, it was really what I always wanted. I wouldn’t have chosen my partner to have BPD, but it is what it is…I am to the point now of saying..”yes, these ARE independent qualities that are determining you not seeking help”. Their lives are a nightmare, personal relationships never work for them, friends, acquaintances, partners, spouses…they can’t hold jobs, at least my partner could not, because of poor social skills and not being able to get along with people. The sunny side of BPD’s is mesmerizing..total commitment and love, loyalty, deep connection.
        It truly is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
        I have left my BPD now with a sort of “ultimatum” via text…get help and medication or we have nothing to say to each other…I am truly tired of being emotionally abused, its not healthy for me.
        The best thing I got out of your reply was that getting help is and independent quality, not one of BPD. This fact gives me the strength to hold true to staying away from her.

      2. @ Susan … Life is too short… I know it… As a friend asked me, “Do you want to spend your life trying to fill a bucket with 7 holes in the bottom, when you could be bringing water to people who need it? You have so much to offer the world.” Big hearts like ours often shrivel trying to love those who cannot be loved. It’s a very depressing perspective, but essentially BPD is the inability to receive and accept and trust love. It’s a chronic rejection of love–whatever the reason, that is the inevitable result. And it has nothing to do with how deeply or purely we may love them. I feel that now that I’ve refined my love to such an intense purity–a feat which I achieved believing it would make a difference in my relationship with my BPD partner–it is even more of a reason for me to let it grow and thrive and multiply in a world of people who can and will and want very much to receive it… It’s very confusing to love Dr. Jekyll.

        I’m happy my comment inspired you to think about your situation in a new way. I am constantly rethinking my own situation. I cannot help someone else at the expense of harm to myself. I don’t think I can truly fulfill my potential in this one short life if I continue to give so much energy to this one person, who eventually rejects and destroys all of it… Oye…

  11. Thanks very much for your reply Mandi….It really helps.

    During past recycles, persistence seem to have brought her back. This time, particularity with the threat of life-long legal action, I respected her boundaries and kept back. While my gut tells me that she had REALLY expected me to come chasing, I suspect that my silence may have confirmed abandonment and this may have confirmed her action in the first place. Notwithstanding, I have kept this off of my social media pages to the extent that it might appear as I never missed a beat and am, in fact, enjoying my life without her (which is not really true).

    I don’t want to ruminate the details of this, it doesn’t do anyone any good. But I wonder if you can indulge me in this way: what keeps her away? I mean, what does she need to hear in order to simply talk? I realize that she is different person but I am really out of ideas on this and need some help.


    1. Shes afraid. Fear is what drives her every thought and action. She needs to know that no matter what she does you will still bw there for her. That can be impossible for you to prove

      1. That provides me with considerable insight and confirmation. I still think that her heart is with me; I know that she has not replaced me and is not dating at all. That says a lot as do the silent calls and other activity. I would have hoped that after a year that my contact would prove my commitment to her. If you can think of anything, I am all ears!

        I have dealt with some very difficult tasks in my 49 years; roll them up and put them together and it still pales in comparison to this.

  12. Hi Jaye, hope you don’t mind me offering advice. As Mandi said each person suffering from bpd is different.

    I can relate to you in the fact that my ex when we parted for weeks at a time used to call me on witheld number, look at my social media accounts (I knew as he favourited a tweet in error), block me then unblock me on whats app, drive past my house and i thought he must miss me. He is thinking of me. Each time he did this I contacted him. We got back and it would happen again. What I will tell you now is that this wasn’t him thinking of me or missing me, he missed the chase. When I learnt this, I ignored all his reaching out. He quickly changed and just directly text or call me first with abuse then with an apology. Your ex may want you back. Just make sure it’s for the right reasons not becsuse she’s bored. Remember to have some self respect. It’s something I lost whilst in a relationship for 2 years.
    Take care.

    1. Isabel,

      Not only do I not mind your comment, but I am grateful for your thoughts. I never really looked at it from this perspective but I can see where some of these activities might be designed to bait me into pursuing her. We recycled in the past and got back with one another as a result of my persistence so its easy to assume that she expected the same thing this go around. I probably also gather that she is angry that I didn’t and might be showing through with her behavior as well.

      It has been a mystery: why does she silent call???? Why does she stalk me on FB? If she misses me and is still single, why doesn’t she call?? Why would she block, then unblock, then block again?

      This has been a painful chapter in my life made worse by the fact that we had a GREAT relationship, free from disagreements and arguing. The cut off was so abrupt and acrimonious. It perplexes me…..

  13. It is a mystery that I know only too well. I knew my ex had issues but I did not know about bpd at the time. I just told him to get help as it was clear something wasn’t right. He often admitted he hated the way he dealt with things and that he hated who he was.

    As she still seems to be interested in you or at least looking at fb, there could be a chance for you to make contact and tell her you want to understand and help her through this. That you won’t abandon her. She, however, needs to seek help or nothing will change. You can only do so much. You need to respect yourself enough to walk away if you see no change as you will end up ill. I give this advice as unfortunately I learnt all this too late. I gave my all and was met with abuse, both verbal and physical but I still couldn’t leave all because I loved him and believed he loved me too. We would part and he would make sure he crossed my path so I would fall all over again. He was very clever to make it look coincidental. Despite me being there for him and trying to understand I found him to be ‘moving on’ in front of my eyes. I know now his was because he knew himself there wasnt much more i could take. The end was coming and he needed to attach himself to someone else. Anyway, he ended it in the most vile manner. He told me he hated me and to kill myself. He projected all of his issues onto me.

    Not Suprisingly I have been one hell of a mess. Those were the last words of someone I spent 2 years with. I would have gone back had he asked me but 6 months later I realise what it all was.

    So I ask you to consider this thoroughly before you think of contacting your ex. Are you prepared for more? Is it worth the pain? I am not over it and I have been in physical pain missing him. You will go through this too. I am waiting for it to get better. I am free from drama but I am not free from missing him.

    Take care.

    1. @Isabel We are wearing the exact same shoes. 2 years of giving my all–which was a fucking LOT–and somehow always finding ways to up myself and give even more; I was dumped via text with no explanation only a “fuck you” and “over means over. quit contacting me.” Meanwhile the last words he actually spoke to me were, “Talk to you later honey, love you!” That night, out of the blue, no provocation, “fuck you we’re done” and that was it. And he’s ignored me since. Refuses to offer any closure or even basic human decency. I’m dying. Physical, emotion, psychic pain has saturated me. If you would like to connect as a little support group I would really like that.. My email is mclean dot cass at gmail — Cassandra

      1. Cass….so sorry to hear about this, I know how painful it is…your situation is very similar to mine: Mine was also 2 year relationship and we NEVER argued or even disagreed….after selling her redundant furniture, she moved in….we ordered our rings and began to plan our wedding….I went out of town for work and I received the following message via text …”our relationship is over….I have moved out….don’t try to contact me” …she blocked me from contacting her on her phone and by text, b;locked me on social media and convinced all mutual friends on her side to do the same….attempts to contact her have enlisted support from lawyers and the police as ‘we will file a PPO if you try to call again!’. This was 12 months ago and I have not heard from her since.

        As wild as my story is, it doesn’t seem unique from all that I have read about BPD’s…..I have come across myriad resources for support that I am happy to share if you would like…just let me know

  14. @ Cass

    There was a lot of commonality with what you wrote and my own situation, I can definitely relate. I am very sorry that you are going through this; it’s all so unfair – your only crime is that you found someone that you truly loved and wanted to have a future with and then the wheels fell of the car not at all of your own doing and despite your best efforts to keep it going. Like me, you seem like an eternal optimist prepared to go to great lengths for the benefit of the people that you love and care about, I hope that that quality never goes away, you are a rare breed in our selfish day and age.

    I can’t tell you what to do, only you know what that is; pay attention to your instincts and act upon them. I last spoke to my ex almost a year ago. She blocked me from contact, but I tried to call her from an unblocked hotel line while traveling a couple of times. Although she had no case, both efforts were met by a threatening letter from an attorney and the local cops (on xmas even no less) to never contact her.

    I respected her boundaries until a few weeks ago and sent her a text. She still has me blocked so I had to use an app to get around it – how pathetic (I felt icky). She leaned on a vendor law firm to her company to send me another threatening letter (again with no merit). I mentioned to the attorney that she still had property of mine including the engagement ring. She refused to return it and I decided to file a small claims court suit. She responded to that by calling the cops!!! She actually got the police to call me to demand that I withdraw my constitutional right to sue for with held property!!! Even Borderlines that I know are surprised by this behavior. The ring is worthless (she wanted a sterling silver band as an engagement ring for whatever reason) and she has retained a $500 an hour attorney to defend her in court against a $250 claim!! Such is the level of her avoidance! Strange….maybe its just a game.

    It sounds to me like you have at least some contact happening with them which give some hope that the person that you fell in love with might be open to to therapy and DBT perhaps. I too would have a hard time giving up on someone just because of an illness. But keep in mind that DBT takes years and there are few people that know the treatment. Be sure that this is the road that you want to go down.

    1. @ Jaye – Oh god that level of avoidance is *intense.* You have my sympathy. I understand the feeling icky part too well. I often think how my former partner has turned the magnificently beautiful love I have for him into something so ugly. My love is so pure and beautiful but the way he treats me makes it hard not to see it as pathetic and desperate. It’s a very ugly and merciless illness. I don’t want to “give up on him” as you say, I don’t want to abandon him to his pain, but it’s a bit of a Sophie’s choice. If I stay with him I’m going down into that pain with him. Do I save myself? Or let us both drown? At this point it is obvious to me there is no saving him. He doesn’t want to be saved, or helped, or treated. He wants to flail and rage. He will pull me under if I stay with him. The momentum behind my thinking about this lately has me reframing my emotional turmoil as grief. Complex, simple, grief. Time will tell if this reframing will help me move forward finally. It’s been 2 years of this pain, of which only a few weeks have been time spent with that wonderful man I do truly love. But he’s more gone than he’s ever been present…. Grief..

  15. Hey all, very new to this but looking for some advice.

    My fiancée and I met around a year ago, and from the first moment I was head over heels for her and I am know she felt the same. We move very fast and she moved in with me after a few months and for a year we were very happy. She would have her moments where she would just shut off for a night and not talk or just sit crying and couldn’t say why. She has always had problems keeping friends and would push her family away.

    She was adopted at a young age, she was split from several brothers and sisters. She got in contact with her natural mother about two years ago only for her to be killed six months or so later. Her mother was diagnosed with depression and bi-polar.

    About three weeks ago I was away with my Army Reserve unit. It was tough it was our first real time apart and although it was only 11 days it hit her hard. When I got back I knew something was wrong. She was distant and I could tell something was on her mind. She told me that she needed space and that we should have some time apart. This turned in a few days into a full blown split. She has put herself under so much pressure with a new job, new apartment, Car and other stuff that I think she has burnt herself out.

    She believes she is BPD and having read about the condition I agree but she has not been formally diagnosed. She did start seeing a mental health nurse but stopped after two sessions.

    I am not sure what to do, last night she said she wanted to get back together but we would have to leave our current town which i have lived in since a boy and have family, friends and a good job. Then today she has said she doesn’t need or want me and that she is not my problem.

    I know she still loves me and I love her so much that it kills me that I can’t take this pain for her.

    What can I say or do to support her. I want to respect her wish for space but feel everyone else in her life has abandoned her that is the last thing she needs.

    If someone could help shed light on my situation I would be very grateful as I would move the earth for her.

  16. Well said. This is what I do. I started reading and was like holy shit this is what happens. I was diagnosed with bpd when I was 19. I did dbt. And was doing well for awhile. I stopped using my skills. Recently my symptoms have been popping up. My fear of rejection is eating at me. I have a lot of anger . And I also feel that way if a text or something is ignored. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Hi Mandi,

    I have just read your post, tears streaming down my face.

    I am non BPD but strongly believe my fiancé has BPD although not diagnosed (he is refusing to talk about it).

    He has pushed me away many times in the past but has always come back crying asking me not to leave him after a while (although he is the one initially saying we are not working out).

    This time I am not so sure he will change his mind and too much have been said that cannot be taken back.

    He seems very certain that he needs to leave me this time as he cannot stand hurting me any more. He hates that his mood swings hurt me and that is why he has decided to leave me. I am trying to tell him that I am hurting because he is pushing me away, ending our engagement, not because of his mood swings. As unpleasant as they are, I can live with them but rather not live without him.

    I am heartbroken. There is no better way to describe it. My heart has been completely shattered and my life completely torn apart.

    I was once physically hurt by someone and I was left thinking what did I do to deserve that? The answer was NOTHING. And I am very much in the same predicament here. I have done nothing to deserve him pushing me away, deciding that it is the best thing for me.

    I feel anger and sadness swelling up inside of me not knowing when or how it will go away. I have always supported him and been there for him but gets pushed away instead.

    And the hardest part is that I know that he will regret his decision badly. He will be lonely and sad and I cannot stand thinking about him like that. I know that he loves me and I hate the BPD for casting such a dark, hard shadow on that love that is beautiful and within both of our hearts.

    1. Lilla

      Thanks for posting that. As I read it, I felt that it was written by me. I don’t know if it helps, but I wanted to take a moment and let you know that you are not alone. I was with my fiance for 2 years and had a fabulous relationship. We were very compatible and never argued or disagreed. She moved in and 3 weeks later, poof, she disappeared and cut me off with no explanation at all. That was over a year ago and I have not spoken with her since though attempts to contact her 3 or 4 times since then have been returned through law enforcement and the police!

      Like yours, though she did the cutting off and running, I know her well enough to know that her impulsive decision has led her down a road of self hatred and pain all the while invoking victim status to those that have called her out for her action. An extremely attractive woman, I know that she has not found a replacement for me and I am led to conclude for this and other reasons that she also regrets her decision and is painfully lonely as a result, I want to assert that when you say that it is not your fault, I want to confirm that this is true. In fact, given this scenario, you have probably done all of the RIGHT things in your relationship to foster a close intimate relationship with him. In the end, the disorder kicks in.

      There are many excellent online forums and resources that are available including this one that I have no idea what I would have done without. Don’t know if I am violating protocol here (just want to help) but am happy to provide them if you wish.

      Hang in there!

    2. “Lilla

      Thanks for posting that. As I read it, I felt that it was written by me. I don’t know if it helps, but I wanted to take a moment and let you know that you are not alone. I was with my fiance for 2 years and had a fabulous relationship. We were very compatible and never argued or disagreed. She moved in and 3 weeks later, poof, she disappeared and cut me off with no explanation at all. That was over a year ago and I have not spoken with her since though attempts to contact her 3 or 4 times since then have been returned through law enforcement and the police!

      Like yours, though she did the cutting off and running, I know her well enough to know that her impulsive decision has led her down a road of self hatred and pain all the while invoking victim status to those that have called her out for her action. An extremely attractive woman, I know that she has not found a replacement for me and I am led to conclude for this and other reasons that she also regrets her decision and is painfully lonely as a result, I want to assert that when you say that it is not your fault, I want to confirm that this is true. In fact, given this scenario, you have probably done all of the RIGHT things in your relationship to foster a close intimate relationship with him. In the end, the disorder kicks in.

      There are many excellent online forums and resources that are available including this one that I have no idea what I would have done without. Don’t know if I am violating protocol here (just want to help) but am happy to provide them if you wish.

      Hang in there! “

  18. Thank you for your awesome blog – I havent read something as moving and accurate as that for many years !!!

    I have been married to a wonderful woman who is classic BPD – although it took me about 3 or 4 years to find out exactly where the problem lay.

    I have physically abused many times,kicked out of home more times than I care to think about and been humiliated in front of friends family and in public. i have given the silent treatment for weeks at a time, kicked out of the car late at night on a highway ……… I could go on and on !!!!!

    However when she is not “in the zone” as I call it – she is the warmest , sweetest woman in the world – and I love her dearly.

    i have now read up on and bought books about BPD to try and get a better understanding of what it is that happens to this wonderful woman, as she turns into a rude ugly bitch in the space of 2 or 3 days.

    To answer your question as to what it feels like to a NON BPD to be pushed away and ignored – for me it is totally DEVASTATING. To get this kind of treatment from someone you love dearly, and to become “persona non grata” is absolutely mind numbing. To have things done to you that are deliberately vindictive, to just coming and going at home with no explanation… to just basically not being in that persons life for that period. I might as well be living on another planet !!

    And then when she slowly starts to accept me back into her life – there is no apology , no explanation no discussion – life just carries on as if nothing has happened – i find that incredibly difficult to accept.

    I now find myself in a position, where after being away on business for a week, i come home to find my entire home has been packed up and put into storage – my whole life just gone !!!!!! I have no idea where our possessions are… no idea where my wife is ( although I suspect she has gone to her daughter) and I have had no contact from her for 4 weeks now. I am quite sure within the next week or two, she will try to re-establish contact with me and from her side life will just go on.

    From my side, i sit here in total disbelief that this has even happened !!!!!!!!

    1. WOW!!! Thanks incredible!!! I hope that everything works out with you and that you are able to have your things returned. Let us know what happens.

  19. I recently started a relationship with someone with BPD and she told me she had it and I guess I didn’t quite understand it until now. The last two weeks have been extremely disheartening. Everything was going great and we were both super happy and I thought everything was awesome. Then 2 weeks ago out of nowhere everything changed. I should not that we are in a LDR and I know now that it’s really hard to have one with a person with BPD.

    As I digress, everything was fine and all of a sudden she started barely talking to me, didn’t want to skype and would barely respond to a simple question. I thought I’d done something wrong because we would say good night and I love you every night and then it just stopped. I would get a good night but no “I love you” then the good nights stopped as well.

    I thought maybe she was just having a bad week because she had the flu and then it was her time of the month and then her aunt happened to pass away.

    I brought it up to her eventually and I got an answer of something like she couldn’t do it because it was just too hard and that it would never work ect. She then didn’t want me to even come see her or come visit me either.

    It really hurt but I didn’t want to give up on her so I’ve kept on talking to her and some days it’s almost like normal and other days it’s really bad. Today we talked and she told me that her pushing me away is due to her borderline and that she doesn’t think that she will stop thinking like this or if at all.

    I love her and want to be in her life. I’m just wondering should I give her space and see if she comes around or should I just try to keep talking to her and see if she eventually reverts back to her normal self.

    It should also be noted that she’s been in a long distance relationship before and it lasted for quite some time so I feel like it is possible.

  20. I have BPD but It took me a long time to work out what was wrong with me. I always blamed thoughtless men I was dating and was always the “victim” but I now realise that I have very unhealthy behaviours. I am highly functioning in all other areas of my life, apart from within the context of intimate relationships. I have been single for over a year now and the loneliness engulfs me. Sometimes I feel so consumed with being alone, that I think about it every minute of every day. I have a special friend in my life, a guy who cares about me but he is abroad studying so we have a long distance friendship. When I feel he is not giving me enough attention, I push him away so much. I am jealous that he is out partying and start thinking he will meet other women and does not care about me. I know this is irrational, but even if I have only spoken to him a few hours ago, just being alone with my loneliness is enough to get me angry and the cycle starts all over again. I will then make comments to de-value him (even though he is so supportive and loving towards me). When I am going through this phase, I cannot even see reality. I am so sure I am right: that I am unloved, that he does not care about me, that he is using me and I’m wasting my time on him. When he tries to make me see that my reality is distorted, every comment he makes is amplified and I feel like he is attacking me. I then feel even more hurt and push him away, to the point where I will end things with him. I wanted to describe to nons what it feels like when we come out of the phase. I feel disgusted with myself, ashamed and so bad that I put someone I love through this. It is very draining and we then feel like we don’t deserve their love because we have just hurt them. It’s a vicious circle and one I do not know how to break..

    1. Hi. I do the exact same thing. It’s terrible. I don’t know either how to end the cycle. I’ve been trying since 2010 when I was first diagnosed. I just got into a new relationship and it’s still very new but just today I could feel myself slipping into that distorted mindset. I told him and just let him know I’d start pushing him away but to please don’t go. It’s so hard. I wish I had answers. It takes over us whether we are aware of it or not. Like you said, in that moment you completely believe yourself even tho you know you have this illness. All we can do is support either. Ty for your comment. I’m here if you ever need a friend.

    2. Mandi and Sunny

      I really appreciated hearing your perspective. I am sorry to hear that you suffer and wish that there was something that I could say that would be of any value to you both at all.

      Like many that are on this and other forums, I was deeply in love with a borderline, treated them exceptionally well only to have them leave out of the blue (or some variation on this them). I think that I speak for most here when I mention that we are confused, hurt and wounded by the experience.

      I wish that I knew what drove my borderline fiance to cut and run only three weeks after she moved into my house and only a week after she insisted we order our wedding rings. We never argued and things were going very well…,it was truly the shock of my life when I found out that she moved out while I was away on business. She blocked me from contact and I have not spoken with her in a year an a half. By this time, I am almost back to my old self. I was deeply in live with her and highly committed, the wound of this episode was deep.

      I wonder, however, what she was thinking that drove her to do this. And how she reflects upon the relationship a year and a half after the fact and in the future. It blows my mind that she she has not attempted to contact me (although I know that she was doing some eStalking and I was receiving strange ‘silent’ calls for a long time that I highly suspect were her). It breaks my heart to think that I spent 2 years with her, gave her some much unconditional love and support and that she might regard our relationship as all bad.

      I realize you are not her and cannot speak on her behalf, but even hearing your perspective on this is one perspective better than any others that I have.


  21. I started pushing my friends away when I was in elementary school. I seemed to have a very low self-esteem which I still have a lot of the time. I’m 42 years old now and after learning years ago that I had bpd, I realized that in my adult years I have pushed loved ones away due to my warped thoughts. But I my thoughts are not always warped. Sometimes they are more warped than other times and I think that my loved ones don’t like me, so I have to ask them If they do. But even if they tell me “yes”, sometimes I still feel that they don’t. Since reading this article I remembered about a website my former psychiatrist told me about called moodgym.org that helps you train your mind not to think warped thoughts. If it’s still around, I recommend anyone with warped thoughts to give it a try. I’m going to give it a try again. Hoping the site is still up and running.

  22. Mandi: I’m going thru a divorce with a bpd woman, which she initiated. I think she’s running due to the following:
    I strongly believe she has pushed me away due to her having cheated and feeling poorly about it. I believe it occurred when she was triggered by seeing an old affair partner from years back.
    Anyway, is it plausible for her to push me away thinking she doesn’t want to hurt me anymore and that I deserve better? How can I convince her I can accept her actions (as awful as they are) and to talk with me?
    Any insight would be great.

    1. Hi. I’m very sorry to hear about all of that. I guess I have a few responses and you can take from it what you will.

      BPD aside, no one deserves to be cheated on. I have never been unfaithful, but as someone with BPD I feel I can confidently say that she most likely woukd do it again if you forgave her and she chose to stay.

      To answer your question, I think it’s highly likely that is why she is leaving. That and probably also a “I will leave you before you leave me”.

      With BPD we tend to be proactive at getting hurt. So much so that we create situations (whether we realize it or not) that put us in a position that we hurt anyway.whether it’s by leaving before we are left or making poor choices within the relationship that basically force the other person to leave so we can “get it over with”, what we feel is the inevitable, or even ad a way to see if you’ll stay. As in, how much do you really love me or do you even love me at all?

      I am never an advocate for leaving someone with BPD just because of that, unless they are hurting you and are not actively working on themselves and their behavior.

      The decision is yours but my thought in this case would be to let her go. I’m sorry to say that. If you and her agree to stay together, you need to hold her accountable to her behavior and I think it should come with the understanding that she seek help.

      I hope this is helpful.

  23. Thank you so much for your response. I am trying to recognize my codependency, etc., but it’s difficult as we’ve had approximately 10 years together, and I love her dearly. I should’ve noted that she started the affair originally about the time we were engaged (2010), carried it on throughout the marriage which lasted about a year and we divorced (2012) as I found out. We lived apart for 6 months and reconciled with marriage counseling, and remarried (2014). Well, two years later, I found out she’s starting to contact him again. I told her I found out, and she packed up a ran off (again). Painted me black with friends and family. Claiming she isn’t happy.
    The affair partner lives in another state, is married with 2 kids and is 17 years older. It’s mostly emotional, but has been physical due to them working for the same company.
    For some reason this married man has a huge draw on her. I believe she realizes this but can’t reconcile her heart and head.
    Most would say run. I should listen and be happy I am getting out with my sanity.

    She is undiagnosed, but does have an ADHD diagnosis, which I know is comorbid with bpd. I do believe the diagnosis is wrong and should be bpd, specifically the high functioning, quiet type. I believe this due to her history I know of, our history, and things she’s said and done. Always talking about not knowing her identity and who “she” is (and being a chameleon), promiscuity, overspending, the idolization/devaluation I lived through twice, and her upbringing with her overly strict mom and dad who was unavailable emotionally.

    I just wish I could get her to see her issues. Do undiagnosed people with this illness recognize something is wrong? She said as she ran off the first time around “there’s something wrong with me”. When we reconciled, we never really discussed that statement.

    Sorry this is so long. It’s such an incredibly hard thing to go though as a non. I have all the compassion in the world for those with this illness.

  24. Again, I’m very sorry to hear all of this. It definitely is a difficult place to be in. Love is complicated enough than to add in mental illness and all of that other stuff.

    I do believe that people with BPD, undiagnosed, do feel that there is something wrong with them. While we may not believe there is always something wrong with our behavior, more so in the moment, we know we are different. I can’t speak for all. This is just my opinion of most.

    Living with her will be hard but long term pain. Living without her will be hard, but temporary pain.

    She’s already shown her pattern. I don’t want to sound like I’m telling you what to do. I support either decision you make and am happy to offer any insight at any time.

  25. I would really appreciate insight from people with an understanding of BPD; as I believe strongly that it is affecting a person I really care for.
    I am a 57 y/o man and last year lost my wonderful wife to cancer.
    I also changed jobs about a year ago, and met a delightful young woman (early 30’s) there. We kind of flirted some and there was a very obvious mutual attraction.
    We texted some and started talking on the phone a lot. 2-3 hour or longer conversations 3-4 nights per week.
    She told me a lot about her life and opened up about her problems:

    She has a boyfriend; lives with him. For 4 years; expected to get married-never happened; now no closeness, no ‘spark’, no sex; but convenient and comfortable for her. She doesn’t know what to do: wants to get out of relationship, but doesn’t want to ‘rock the boat’

    Previous 3 year marriage-husband cheated-divorce. Before that, an abusive relationship.

    Struggle for 10 years with eating disorder. Saw several therapists; still problem for her.

    She opened up a lot to me, seemed to trust me, cried.

    We talked about a potential relationship and the problems she saw with it, including age difference (she said didn’t matter to her), working together, her boyfriend, but mostly because she said that my daughters would ‘hate her’

    We talked about going on a trip together.

    But then she started saying that another woman was going to come ‘snatch me up’ because I was ‘a catch’, and she would get hurt. She told me that she had been hurt very badly twice and wouldn’t be able to stand being hurt again.She told me that when anybody got close to her she cut them off completely, and that she would do the same to me.

    We really enjoyed our conversations and I felt very close to her and I know that she felt the same. This went on December, January, February, and halfway through March.

    Then about 3 months ago, things began to change. She cut back on texting and quit talking to me. The last time I had a conversation with her, she cried hard and had to stop talking.

    At work she avoids me, won’t look me in the eye. On one occasion we accidentally arrived at the elevator together. She said nothing, took off to the stairs, and her expression and body language gave off sheer hostility- almost hatred!!

    She texted me a month ago and said ‘I’m sorry I’ve been such a bitch’ then quoted Pink Floyd ‘I can’t explain. You would not understand. This is not what I am’

    She often sings and records and sends me the recording to listen to: first was Wicked Game by Chris Izaak, also Sia’s Breath Me, Billy Joel-Always a Woman, Creep-Radiohead, and most recently Hurt (Johnny Cash+Nine Inch Nails), which absolutely gave me chills when she sang ‘ will let you down-I will make you hurt’ (I wondered if it was a clue or a warning)

    I recently went on a trip and brought her a couple of fairly nice presents. She didn’t respond to texts so I texted her that I would leave them in her office which I did a week and a half ago. She took them home so I guess she liked them, but has not acknowledged them in any way. And she is a good person, not in the least rude, although she is sarcastic.

    I have sent two texts in the past week telling her that I am aware she’s avoiding me and that if she wants me to not text or call and just basically be out of her life, to tell me–just send a text saying ‘STOP’ and she will not hear from me again. No response.

    I believe strongly that she is a pwBPD and that she likes me but fears having any kind of relationship with me. I had hoped to be a supportive friend. We obviously both knew there was more than friendship involved (and a lot of our phone conversations got pretty steamy) Right now I have been pushed away, and although we never have had a relationship per se, I have very strong feelings for her and I am sad and confused.

    I don’t know whether she needs me to continue to be there for her even when being pushed away or whether she needs space, or what. I know that this is hurting me; my gut tells me that it is hurting her even more.

    Sorry this is long and rambling, but the article I read really hit a nerve and I’m glad to see the comment thread still rather active. I appreciate any insights you can give me.

    Thank you!!

    1. I’m at work and there’s so much I want to say, but in short, please let her go and move on with your life. I say that as someone with BPD. She is not in a place in her life that she can give you what you need and I fully believe you will get very hurt if you continue on with her.

  26. Mandy, I really appreciate the time you have taken to read my post and your honest forthright response. I also hope you know that I mean no disrespect when I tell you that I probably won’t take it, at least for now. IF (and I have no idea if this is likely),she opens up communication with me again, I would try to reassure her that she can trust me. I would ask her to have a heart-to-heart conversation and ask her if she has ever been diagnosed with BPD and if she has been in therapy for it, and what she plans to do about it going forward. I would tell her she has my support and that I will be her friend (and ? more).
    Surely a diagnosis of BPD (and I don’t even know that she has it–just a strong hunch) does not define a person. Surely a person’s thoughts and emotions are not so utterly predictable.
    I don’t know whether or not she will contact me in the near future, or ever. But for the time being, I am assuming that she is very likely a pwBPD and am trying to learn as much as I can about this horrible disorder. I hate cancer after watching it destroy the person I care most about. Now I am also hating BPD and I have nothing but respect for the people like yourself (and likely my friend) who have to deal with it silently and alone every day.

    1. Well I completely support you. As long as you continue to educate yourself and put your mind in a place where you can understand that her actions and behavior are merely symptoms of something very big and not a reflection of you or even her real emotions toward you. It will be very challenging for sure. I hope she is open to it all. Please feel free to write back as things happen. We’re all here for you.

  27. Mandi, I have a question for you about the young lady I described to you. I still have heard nothing from her. However, when I send her messages (iMessage) I can see that she reads them instantly. I have told her twice recently that if she is merely annoyed by me and would prefer for me to just leave her alone, to not worry about my feelings, but to text ‘STOP’ and she can get me out of her life. She has not done that, so I can only assume that she cares about me still, but is very conflicted.
    I am absolutely convinced that she is a pwBPD, based on comments she has made and observing her behavior. I suspect she is aware of it but am not sure. I know that she has been in therapy off and on for 10 years (for an eating disorder, but apparently with no improvement) and I suspect she has BPD and is aware of it and that she is fearful and ashamed.
    But she has dropped hints, and I suspect that she may want me to know and that she might feel that I can help her. I may be assuming far too much but this is a very strong intuition that I have.
    So, to my question: Assuming for the moment that I am correct, is it better for me to:
    a. Text her and tell her that I believe I have some inkling as to what is a problem between us and that I am not angry, fearful, or judgmental, and that I care about her and would like to discuss it if/when she feels ready, or
    b. Say nothing an wait and see if I hear from her.

    BTW, i passed by her workspace yesterday with another woman who knows her. I am sure she heard my voice and just looked away. The woman I was with said hello to her and she muttered a hello back while looking down at the floor. I asked my friend if that reaction seemed odd or if I was just imagining things. She agreed that it was so strange as to be just bizarre.

    If I thought that she did not have feelings at all for me, I would drop it. But I believe that she does have feelings and that they are strong and that that is the reason for her very unusual behavior. That is why I can’t let go. That and my strong sense that she needs me.

    1. Hi. This is a tough one. BPD is so complex that it’s almost like there is no right answer. If you truly want to be with this woman, or want to be a part of her life then I woukd definitely not stop communicating with her. Let me just say that my advice is coming from what I and my BPD would want or need and how I would interpret your actions if it were me. So I can’t promise this will work. Not to mention my initial comment of not perusing this 🙂

      So, stopping communication and leaving the ball in her court will most likely trigger her. She will probably get angry at you and will feel abandoned which is most likely what she thinks you (and everyone else) will eventually do anyway.

      However, I don’t think I’d recommend talking to her about her having issues or a disorder of any kind. She probably tells herself that so much, she doesn’t need someone else reminding her that she’s got issues.

      So I guess I’d say that you should contact her, in very simple, non-confrontational, and even non-expecting kind of ways. And keep it consistent. For example, sending her messages that requires a response or some sort of conversation will possibly trigger her BPD to play it’s game and ignore you or tell her you’re being too pushy.

      So maybe send her one text just saying like you said, something like, “Hey. I can only assume that there are some things going on here that I may not be fully aware of or maybe this is a difficult time or situation for you. I want to make it clear that I care about you and I accept who you are. Until you tell me to stop, I’m going to show you how much I care, and will respect that when or if you’re ready, you will respond.” Then maybe every morning make it a point to say good morning and say goodnight before bed and maybe a lunch time thinking of you hope you’re having a good day kind of thing. It’s non threatening to her potential BPD and is showing her rather than feeding her a bunch of words that to her may seem like a Yea right you’re just saying that kind of thing.

      Does this make sense?

      I know this is a tough situation and probably feels like you’re walking on egg shells for miles.

      If she comes around, when you feel it’s a good time, you could gently ask her about her history with therapy so you can try to understand her more. It’s going to be a bumpy ride but if you’ve got the patience and strength, it can work out.

      Let me know how it goes. Happy to give any opinions or advice that I can. I don’t want to steer you wrong or feel responsible if it doesn’t go as planned. BPD is really unpredictable and what may trigger her one day will be nothing the next, and what will work and make progress one day may set you 10 steps back the next. 😦

      I’m sorry. I’d also like to say, though, that it’s because of people like you that people like me can learn how to get better.

  28. Mandi, I thank you so much for trying to help me. I sent her messages that I thought would be non-triggering, but I guess they did anyway. I was sending by FB messenger (so I could see that she got them) When I checkrd last night after my last message, her whole FB profile was not available to me, so I assume she defended me.
    I never heard directly from her, but I assume now she doesn’t want any contact with me.
    I am very sad. Very. But I am not angry, because I honestly believe she is dealing with something that is very difficult for her, and I wish her nothing but the best. I am hurt, but Ido not think she wanted to hurt me.
    I won’t send any more messages or try to call (she’s probably blocked my phone too; I’ll never know). I will nod at her at work and try to keep the pain inside. It’s too bad because I really believe we could have been good for each other.
    Although I suppose my story with her is now over, I have learned a lot about BPD and I will never listen to the ignorant people I’ve come across on the internet who vilify those who suffer from it. It causes so much pain and I have developed respect for my ‘friend’ and others who have to deal with this. I guess trying to deal with herself AND with me was too much for her.
    But I am always aware of this problem and maybe some day I can help make a positive difference in someone’s life. Wish it could’ve been hers.I am not sorry that I tried.
    Thanks again.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. While she may decide to keep things this way, she may also come back around. BPD is like that. Thank you for being open minded to people like us.

  29. This was an amazingly helpful and candid piece of writing, thank you so much. I feel and act in the same ways. The BPD part grows, and everything hurts SO, SO, SO much, and my anger starts to grow, at the same time. For me the initial trigger is always some kind of boundary crossing behavior, usually verbal abuse from strangers, trying to manipulate me for their own ends. Or sometimes, one of the other people I know with Borderline tendencies, who has been triggered, and is losing it…will then set me off too. In general, it’s usually some idiot who does not know what they are dealing with, and who has taken it upon themselves to “help”, because consciously or not they think that they actually can. Or they are just lying, and trying to get me to depend on them, to meet their own ego needs. Luckily people of that ilk, are truly in the minority…however, they can definitely set off a huge chain of potentially, very dangerous events.

    1. Yea. People definitely don’t know what they’re dealing with. Idk about you but when I am triggered in an angry way I feel posessed. It’s bad news. But all of my emotions are to the extreme. Very hard life.

      1. Yes, possessed is a word that I can relate to 100 %. Very bad news. Very, very hard life. A lot of psychic and emotional pain. Inner confusion to extreme levels, for me.

  30. Sorry to hear but glad you can relate. I know I don’t have split personalities, but do you ever feel like you’ve got different sides of you that dominate depending on the situation or what emotion has been triggered etc??

    1. Yes, and both parts of me are fully aware of the other, at all times. I have known this for a long time, butnot as long as others close to me have. It can be very dangerous to try to make one go away…the aim of treatment with DID, is always to have both accept each other. You are extremely perceptive, and no doubt highly intelligent and/ or knowledgeable, to have picked that up so quickly.

      1. Thank you 🙂 I’ve done a lot of research and self help for myself since I was diagnosed. I’ve definitely come a long way. It’s very hard and frankly just unfair that we or anyone at all, has to live with this.

  31. Mandi, Fortunatetail here with update and question. See last post(s) July 8.
    Don’t let me be a bother.
    Two days ago Two things happened at work:
    1. A woman who sits right by her (and works closely with me) noticed that she had been very noticeably avoiding me. I just told her I had noticed that but no big deal. She loudly stated “She’s crazy!” (these are cubicles and not at all soundproof.
    2. I made a referral for something that I have always sent to her team (lots of in-house competition!) to her competitor. I admit, I did that on purpose because I was hurt. Childish, I know, but it didn’t seem a big deal.
    That night, after not hearing from her in 6-8 weeks, I got an ANGRY text. She asked me to please not talk about her with the other person; that it had hurt her feelings. Then made a nasty comment about my referral.
    I texted back and told her exactly what had happened and that I had defended her to the other person (which I had done)
    I told her that I had gotten the unequivocal message that she did not want to have anything to do with me in any way (implying that she should not expect my referrals)
    I told her I hated for things to turn to shit and that I was sad and perplexed and asked her again to talk to me about it.
    I ended by saying that I sensed that she did not trust me and I said, “You know that I have never lied to you”
    She replied “No, I don’t know that” and then said that the worst part was that I had made a referral to a different team because of “ME”. And that she ought to “fucking quit”

    I do not know what to make of this. Frankly I am a little bit encouraged by the anger. At least it’s not indifference and makes me think she still has feelings for me. (Is this crazy?)

    I’m not telling you all this just to cry on your shoulder! I would like your thoughts, as a pwBPD and as a WOMAN, if I have done something wrong, if I can still potentially help her, and what I should do moving forward. I am not going to push the matter with her, but if she reaches out to me, I will be there. And I told her that again.
    It really hurts for her to say that she doesn’t know that I have always been truthful with her because I absolutely have! And I don’t think anybody ever has been before!

    1. Hi! Look, I want to be real with you and out of respect. The very first time I replied to your message, I still feel that way. I really believe that I know where she is right now with her illness and I really don’t think there’s any winning right now 😦 I feel like she isn’t healthy enough for you to pursue. I even hate to say that because she completely deserves to be loved and it’s just not fair. None of it. I don’t think there’s much you can do right now. I wish I had better words for you 😦 I feel like I’m not helping at all 😦

  32. Thank you, Mandi. You ARE helping me, in that I am completely befuddled by this. I do not know what is going to happen, but I can’t help but believe that this lady, who has so much intellect and creativity, and goodness inside; will be capable at some point of seeing through the prison she has erected around herself. I do not know if anybody can help her. But I believe that if anybody can help her, I can. I realiise that I may have been ‘split black’ and that that may be the only way she can deal with me now. And I try to understand that, even though it hurts to see her look at me like I am the very devil. But at one time she trusted me, and maybe she will again. I wish she could talk to me. But I guess she can’t do that without risking hurt. That is, frankly, what I think has been going on in her dealing with me for some time. Maybe it will change back-I hope so; I just don’t know. If I am correct about her, she is in tremendous pain. I know I can’t do anything right now. But I told her I would be there for her if she needs me. And I will be.I am extremely worried about her emotional and physical health right now.
    Thank you again for your insight. It really means a lot to me!!

  33. More questions, since you said you think you know where she is in her illness,
    Is she in an extremely bad situation?
    Am I making her worse just by being there? (like saying hello at work)
    Has she cut me off because of her feelings for me, and fear of being let down by me?
    Does she have an awareness of what is happening?
    Does she see me as a ‘horrible or bad or evil’ person?
    Is she going through hell all the time in her day to day life? Or only when I’m around? (she seems fine around anybody but me)
    Is she likely to try to hurt me? (she could potentially get me into trouble at work)
    With time, can things improve? For her? And if so, can I become ‘good’ again?
    I kind of feel like she had created a fairly comfortable situation for herself; with a ‘boyfriend’ but not a real relationship, and that I kind of came along and without meaning to,caused her pain.
    I plan to continue to educate myself and will keep my word to her-that I will be there if she needs me. Apparently she doesn’t believe that (AT ALL), or maybe she just doesn’t care.I think it might help me if you could describe what she may be feeling at this point.
    Thank you, Mandi

    1. Hey. This is really hard and let me continue to say that this is just my opinion and I may not be right. However, this reminds me if me around the time I was first diagnosed. When I was at my worst. I can’t say for sure whether she knows what is going on or not. I think you mentioned in another comment about her splitting you. I’m not sure if you meant that as the actual term for BPD or if you meant somwthing else. I’ll explain just in case. People with BPD do what’s called splitting. It’s the equivalent to what children do. When dad makes you mad he is the most awful person ever. Then you get over it or he does something nice and now he’s getting #1 Dad mugs for christmas. Love/hate. People with BPD don’t have a gray area when it comes to our emotions for people. We can despise you like the devil himself one minute, and the next minute you are up on the highest pedestal. It’s confusing for people in your situation and even more confusing for those of us that feel it. I can’t say it will never work. Anything is possible. Right now you are dangerous for her. By that I mean you are a trigger and she knows it because she feels it. And what is crazy about that fact? The people who trigger us tend to be the ones that are good for us. The ones that can help us get better. It’s a hard thing though for us. Letting someone in like that, we know will touch us to the very core of our deepest vulnerabilities. And so what do we do? Well what does anyone do with something they can’t handle? You push it away. You block it off. You create whatever you need to create about that person so they can fit the mold of what we are afraid of so it’s easier for us to let them go. Idk if you can fix it. Idk if she will get better. Idk where she is I just know she’s not well and she is most likely suffering and honestly I just wish I could talk to her. We are good at putting on facades but the problem even with that is there is a different facade for every situation and hence the “no sense of identity”. I know I really just blabbed here and probably didn’t answer much. Nothing wrong with proving to her that you mean what you say, but I know when I was at my worst with my illness, once a person reached that level with me, there was no going back. I didn’t know how. I’m very sorry. I’d love to keep updated on things. Feel free to come back and fill us in. We suffer. A lot. And whether we show you or not, we are aware we are making others suffer too. And so starts our downward spiral 😦

  34. Hi All!

    Mandi, thanks so much for listening and responding. Your advice has helped many of us have a better understanding BPD loved ones.

    I ended my relationship with my BPD partner two years ago, because she pushed me away with total silence for weeks on end. Unfortunately, however, we continued to work for the same organization.

    Over the last two years, I’ve watched her spiral downward and become even more withdrawn and dark (she always kept to herself) and can’t help but feel responsible. I tried to make amends a few times to no avail. She’s gained a little weight and just looks a bit in disarray and detached which never used to be the case.

    She wouldn’t make direct eye contact, but did a bit of cyber spying on me, as well as fake caller ID calling. In the last two years, I randomly left a few little Disney toy trinkets (her faves) for her to let her know that I was thinking of her, but didn’t really expect any response and got none.

    I left the company a couple of months ago, but a month before I quit, I came to work to find the trinkets I left for her months and a year earlier, on my desk with a typed note that basically told me to stop leaving things for her and if it continued she was going to have to “report me”. OUCH!

    Not sure what triggered her since I hadn’t seen her around the office. Anyway, I left the company. Since I left, the fake calls have been relentless. She made the mistake of dialing my number without a fake caller ID number, and left no message as was always the case with the fake numbers. I emailed her and told her that since she said she was going to report me for leaving her things, we didn’t have anything to talk about.

    She wanted to be the one who controlled the abandoning, so of course she emailed me back saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, exactly, please stop contacting me”. I’m guessing she didn’t realize she hadn’t used a fake ID number for call to me until I emailed her. I sent a nasty response to her email.

    Mandi, you said you believed that you knew where Fortunatetail’s friend was with her illness. Would you mind elaborating on this revelation? Also, can pwBPD have a adverse reaction to someone leaving that sends them into a downward spiral? Do you have an idea where my ex is in her illness as well? Despite my nasty response to her email, I still feel responsible and some guilt for her regressive behavior.


    1. Also…do not take responsibility for anyone else’s actions or reactions. As much as I feel for people with BPD…we need to learn to be responsible and held accountable for our actions. Very hard to get to that point but I know it to be true.

    2. Mine was calling me two or three times a day last year over a 4-5 month period using a caller ID spoofer….they are called ‘silent calls’ since they say nothing…they want to her your voice either on your machines greeting or as you answer.

      1. Yeah, I’ve heard that, but some people also say that the calls are from telemarketers. All I can say is that I didn’t have relentless calls from telemarketers prior to our breakup. When I answer, the caller hangs up…not sure if telemarketers would do that…

        Needless to say, these have been a crazy couple of years. How are you?

      2. Right! The telemarketers seemed to know when I was on vacation and would NOT call when I was away, lol. And like you, I never I never had crazy telemarketers call me and then say absolutely nothing and THEN hang up. I also don’t think it is a telemarketer looking me up on LinkedIn every day (now) in ‘private mode’. as well as some strange activity on a dating site. Neither did I catch a telemarketer RED HANDED stalking me on FB (even though my ex had blocked me there).

        Its what they do and they hid these proclivities from us….know I knew why she clung to that dammed cell phone likeit was a security blanket.

      3. Can’t shake the attachment that they deeply crave, but fear at the same time. What a lonely life…Well, I my email response to her oblivious email wasn’t nice. I more-or-less called her out. So, I’m sure I’m totally painted black without any chance of communication and I’ll be okay because that’s what I need. This game is exhausting…The call have decreased…go figure!

      4. And the purpose for all this behavior is to what? Initiate the chase? Stay close? I have no idea why my ex just dropped off the little trinkets I left for her months and over a year earlier with the crazy note. Perhaps she wanted a reaction…I stay away because I think that is what she wants and I don’t want to trigger her, but then she continues to do the things she does…Oy vey!

      5. pwBPD cannot shake the attachment…keeping tabs is the best that I have been able to discern.

  35. Thanks Mandi! I’m not sure if I missed part of your response, but I understand what you mean. I’m trying not to, but it’s really hard not to. I thought leaving the job would make it all go away. It hasn’t…

    Can I ask your opinion about her returning the trinkets after months and over a year after I left them for her? Why not return them immediately? The spying…the calls?

    “You create whatever you need to create about that person so they can fit the mold of what we are afraid of so it’s easier for us to let them go”.

    This is profound and quite sobering! Mandi, you are so right…Us nons have to learn to let go too. As much as I want to run to her and profess my love and my desire to be there for her in whatever capacity she needs me to be, I also recognize that is exactly what scares her the most…

    Thanks again.

  36. Mandi, I hope you don’t mind–I have a few more questions about my particular situation.
    Since I last posted, after I had been blocked (from Facebook + iMessage, and presumably her cell), I have been unblocked for a few days, then blocked again. No further communication from her at all. Have seen her at work a few times; she mostly looks away or down.
    I sent last week a fairly long email. I told her that I care about her; that I feel like I have some partial understanding of her; and that I am not angry with her. That I don’t see her as bitchy, crazy, evil, etc. That I see her as a good, intelligent, caring, beautiful person who is trying to get through things in the best way she can. I told her that I would like to be something positive in her life and that I feel like I can be. But also that the way things have been going is taking an emotional toll on me and that I can’t Keep it up. And that that would be my last communication with her if I don’t hear something back from her. I tried to not let it sound like an ultimatum and I made it clear that I care for her and am not blaming her. I was in tears as I typed it.
    Mandi, I know that you don’t know her and can’t speak for her. But I feel like you can get inside her head better than I can. (Funny, she told me once that I got into her head. In retrospect, I think that frightened her.)
    My questions:

    Can you guess what I am or have been to her. I know that pwBPD often flirt with people for attention then are done. (Don’t think I’m that because we talked very deeply over a 3 month period) Also that they may have brief affairs to ease their pain. We never had a physical relationship, but if we had ever been alone together, we would have and that was obvious to both of us. In retrospect, that may be why she cut me off–that would have made it harder for us both if things didn’t work out. I have read that they often have a ‘favorite person’, Don’t know how one qualifies for that honor–but I do know (or believe) that she opened up to me more than to anyone else; at least for many years. And does how she sees or has seen me have any impact on the possibility of coming back from this?

    Splitting. Yes, I have tried to research this. My assumption is that I have been ‘split black’, that I was at one time all good and now am all bad. But I have read different things about splitting. Sometimes I see the term used in a sense of happening for short term in an ongoing relationship of any type–lasting minutes to hours or a few days. But also in terms of a total change in that the person becomes permanently bad or even that they cease to even exist. I have read that when this happens they ‘never come back’, and in another place, that it is like 50-50, and may take months (already 3 months with me)
    Also this usually happens with a spouse or boy/girlfriend relationship, which we never quite had (although it went through our minds). Does that matter??

    Does she think about me? Or am I dead to her?
    What is she thinking when she sees me at work? ‘There’s that guy that I like so much I have to keep away from for fear of hurt?’ Or ‘there’s that worthless piece of shit that makes me miserable?’ Or ‘This person is nothing?’

    Do you think she will ever acknowledge the gifts I gave her? Or maybe she will wait a long time and dump them on me like happened to Paris (Above post) Oddly, about two months ago I left a small stuffed kitten in her office. Never saw it again until last week when I saw it sitting in her chair when she was at lunch. Then never saw it again. Go figure.

    I am aware that this is a very complex problem. I know that we can only guess. My guesses are pretty good because I know her. She told me several times that I had never been wrong about her) Sort of. Your guesses, Mandi, are also good because you have first-hand knowledge of the way her mind likely works. My guess is that she continues to ignore me at work and that I will get a text or a call from her but only after several months. Can we ever have a real relationship? I hope so, but chances are less than 50-50.
    Now I would like you to guess. And I also wish you could talk to her.
    In the meantime, I read everything I can about BPD; sometimes very depressing; sometimes encouraging.

    By the way, I read your blog, and am sorry you’ve not been feeling well. Hope things get better soon.

    1. Hi Fortunatetail,
      Our situations are quite similar. Like you, I don’t want to give up on my ex because now that I have more knowledge and a better understanding of BPD, I believe I can be the support that she needs. But calling her out like I did certainly didn’t help. And I do worry that by doing so
      I may have had a negative trigger effect…

      You and I think we could be that “one special person” who can change everything for them. But I wonder if most caring nons end up feeling as we do when they become involved with a pwbpd.

      I also wonder if some pwbpd even want the help and support. Once my ex casually told me that I “suffocate people” and at the time I didn’t know what she was trying to say and she really couldn’t explain it herself. I wasn’t the smothering type with her and gave her plenty of space…but for awhile I continued to be nice and loving to her even while I was in the throes of receiving the silent treatment from her. So, now I’ve since learned that she was projecting. She was feeling engulfed by me…my love and kindness…

      Anyway, perhaps Mandi can chime in when she’s feeling better. Meanwhile Fortunatetail, feel free to email me at neffy619@gmail.com so we can support one another as we try to understand, heal and move forward.


      1. Omg I had this whole thing typed back to you and hit a button on my phone and lost it all. I’ll try to re-cap…

        I liked your response.

        My main point I wanted to make was in regards to her saying that you were smothering her, when all you were doing was being a caring person.

        I don’t know the backgrounds of either of your persons that you’re talking about (you and fortunatetail), but I do know that a history of abuse is common for pwBPD. That is the case for myself as well.

        As with anyone who comes from a history of abuse, we often find that to be normal and familiar and so we tend to continue to be drawn to those types of relationships. Heaven forbid we find someone who actually wants to treat us right, and it throws everything off balance for us. We don’t understand it at all. We don’t know what being treated right feels like, how we are supposed to react, what to expect, just none of it makes sense.

        Add in BPD and the paranoid thoughts start kicking in. “Wtf is he doing? Why is he being so nice to me? I’m not loveable. What is he up to? What is his hidden agenda? He is so up to something! I’m not going to let this bastard get to me!”…etc.

        Ex. My current boyfriend is the BEST man I have ever had in my entire life. And I don’t mean he is the best just based off of the assholes that I’ve been with, he isn’t the best of the bad. He is GOOD. Amazing. He treats me SO well.

        A couple of weeks ago I was mentally not doing very well. He knew this. He came over and started doing things around the house for me. He pulled a bunch of weeds and removed this bush I’d been complaining about for months. He was trying to help me.

        Well, I got livid. The more he did, the angrier I got. Then we went to the grocery store and he put snack bag clips in the cart. That is when I lost it. I started yelling at him about how he is just coming into my life and my house and just changing everything! How dare he pull my weeds! What, do you think I’m incapable of doing it on my own? Do you think I’m lazy? Was my landscaping so horribly disgusting that you just had to fix it? And we don’t use snack bag clips in my house! Put them back! Stop changing my whole life!…oops.

        He walked away. Couldn’t find him for like 5 minutes though in the moment I didn’t care. I continued shopping and was carrying everything because he had the cart. Eventually we met back up but wow.

        It took me a day or two to realize, come back to baseline, and understand that he was legit just trying to remove some stressors in my life.

        I still struggle with how well he treats me. I don’t always get it and I’m still getting used to him. And being treated nicely. And by a man who would never raise a hand at me. A man who won’t get pissed off while doing some miniscule project around the house and throw a shovel through a window or something like that. I’m still learning that I don’t need to be on guard with him constantly, have a guard up at all, and I certainly don’t need to create a relationship where he is walking on eggshells either.

        (sigh). I think that’s all I got right now. I’m sorry for both of you. Again, we reject the very things that we need and the people most likely to be able to show us and give us what it is we’re looking for.

      2. Mandi, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us and everyone who visits your Blog. Your selfless willingness to help others in their journey shows the depth of your greatness and the beauty of your spirit and soul. Your boyfriend is the angel that was sent to you to show you and help you accept the beautiful gift that you are to this world. Just the fact that you are here listening, informing and engaging speaks volumes…Thank you!

        It’s very complex indeed. And your recent incident with your boyfriend provides a glimpse into how some pwbpd can feel suffocated when SOs show we care. It’s a double-edged sword.

        Can you answer this for me? Was the holding on to the things I had left for her over the past few months and then suddenly leaving them on my desk her way of trying to escape engulfment? I also sent her beautiful floral arrangements to her home a couple of times as a gesture to let her know I was still there for her. The message was Have a great Friday or Enjoy your weekend. Nothing else…I didn’t even add my name because she knew they were from me. I just wanted her to feel what it was like to have flowers delivered and also wanted brighten up her day. I didn’t attempt to reach out or communicate. I gave her her space.

        I honestly used the word “Borderline” to show her that I knew and it didn’t matter …that I was there for support if she wanted it.

        The caveat in all of this is that going through this experience with my ex opened me up completely and helped me acknowledge and accept that my deceased mother was more than likely borderline which undoubtedly is the reason why I still care so much…want to help so much. Perhaps my ex is my angel. The universe works in mysterious ways…

        I want to share this with my ex…good or bad idea?

        Appreciate you, Mandi!


    2. Yes, very complex. And you’re right with “splitting”. Can change from one minute to the next or can last much longer. I say to my boyfriend that the “crazier” I am with him, while it may not feel good to him, is actually a sign of how much I feel for him. In a positive way. The closer and more emotionally attached we are, the worse our symptoms will most likely be. We laugh about it but it’s very true. When we stop being crazy, that’s when we’ve officially let go. I would say it’s safe to assume that she still cares a lot about you. From what you tell me, there seems to be a lot of back and forth with her behavior like even the tiniest thing like one day seeing that stuffed animal and then it’s gone. She’s probably experiencing this splitting very often about you even in just a days time. She is probably battling a lot. Her heart kicks in and she decides you’re good for her and then her brain, like a loud demonic bitch, reminds her of the hurt you could potentially cause her or possibly even has created things in her mind that you’ve done to her that may have never happened. I used to do that. My brain would think so hard about the possibilities of being hurt and suddenly they become real true events and my mind would become so clouded between fantasy and reality and I could no longer tell the difference.

      There’s no telling where this may lead. Though when you tell me things that you say to her I’ll be honest and say it makes me cringe a little. One big thing that I’ve learned about myself and my illness, is that my thoughts, paranoia and feelings about things are NORMAL. What’s not normal about them, is the level of intensity that they’re felt and the “no gray area” which basically just means that our emotional maturity level is much younger than our age. I remember my therapist in 2010 when I got diagnosed told me that emotionally I was 13 or 14 years old. I was 24 at the time.

      My ex used to often talk to me about how I had BPD or how I was struggling etc and he became a second loud voice in conjuction with the “inner bitch” which really only made me feel worse. We don’t need someone to always bring to our attention that they’re even aware or understand that we are ill. We need someone who validates the emotions without making us feel like damaged goods. We do that to ourselves constantly.

      I feel you’ve done all you can do and at some point in her life she will need to decide to fight against her own self. It took me a long time to get there and I still struggle with it. She may or may not choose you but I can tell you it’s nothing personal. This is her battle and there’s nothing anyone can do to save her, as much as that’s what we so desparately want. We don’t just seek out attention. We are looking for a savior. And when we find that person is imperfect and therefore can’t save us, we split them and look for another. A continuous string of fails because that person does not exist. People can help us, but we’ve got to let them. And that’s the biggest hurdle for us. Vulnerability fucks us up.

      1. Mandi, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us and everyone who visits your Blog. Your selfless willingness to help others in their journey shows the depth of your greatness and the beauty of your spirit and soul. Your boyfriend is the angel that was sent to you to show you and help you accept the beautiful gift that you are to this world. Just the fact that you are here listening, informing and engaging speaks volumes…Thank you!

        It’s very complex indeed. And your recent incident with your boyfriend provides a glimpse into how some pwbpd can feel suffocated when SOs show we care. It’s a double-edged sword.

        Can you answer this for me? Was the holding on to the things I had left for her over the past few months and then suddenly leaving them on my desk her way of trying to escape engulfment? I also sent her beautiful floral arrangements to her home a couple of times as a gesture to let her know I was still there for her. The message was Have a great Friday or Enjoy your weekend. Nothing else…I didn’t even add my name because she knew they were from me. I just wanted her to feel what it was like to have flowers delivered and also wanted brighten up her day. I didn’t attempt to reach out or communicate. I gave her her space.

        I honestly used the word “Borderline” to show her that I knew and it didn’t matter …that I was there for support if she wanted it.

        The caveat in all of this is that going through this experience with my ex opened me up completely and helped me acknowledge and accept that my deceased mother was more than likely borderline which undoubtedly is the reason why I still care so much…want to help so much. Perhaps my ex is my angel. The universe works in mysterious ways…

        I want to share this with my ex…good or bad idea?

        Appreciate you, Mandi!


  37. Mandi, thank you for your comments.
    I took the liberty of copying the email I sent to my friend to you by FB iMessage. I didn’t want to clog up your blog with it but would appreciate any comments as to whether it would be worded in a way so as to not cause a severe negative reaction but still get my point across.
    I swear the more I learn about this the more helpless I feel and the more I feel for all of you who suffer from it.
    And shame on all those who say you are bad people heartless and crazy. I plan to keep educating myself.

    1. Ugh my comments everywhere don’t look like they’re working. In case not, can we email? You can fb msg me your email address, I feel it’d be easier

      1. Hi Mandi,
        Yes, it appears that my comments are landing all over the place as well. If it isn’t too much, would you mind responding to my recent comment as well. Fortunatetail and I are pretty much in the same dilemma which may be a bit confusing. I too am considering excerpts from you Blog to my ex as well. Not sure if it’s appropriate in her current fragile state though. Again, thanks for all you do!

  38. I have an adult daughter who has BPD, she is a treasure to me. So very kind and sweet, then I “trigger” her and she is spinning off in a tangent of what seems to me, hysterical imagination of evil with me as the culprit. Before she told me what she had, and shared some books and websites, I used to want to die when she went off. It would break my heart and I would respond in response to her wild accusations. She would block me and disconnect. Now, I understand the pain she is experiencing, I validate her fears, but, not her lies. She still blocks me, now I trust she will return when it is safe for her to do so. I wish she would understand I want to help her and love her, but she showers me with venomous hate, just after telling me how great I am. The best thing for me to do when she abuses me, is to nurture myself, do a reality check, if there is something I have contributed to her anguish, fess up and if not, then I call Bull Shit on her. And tell her I love her and will be here for her when she comes back down. It is all I have. Thank you for sharing, it helps to see I am not alone, and she is in treatment.

      1. Thank you, it is good to know I am not alone. And, very challenging to have patience in what sometimes seems like a one sided relationship, where I walk on eggshells and wait patiently to be treated like I am disposable to someone I treasure and love. Like a stray dog begging for scraps of affection only to be kicked. What frustrates me the most, is that she stops at a red light, goes at a green light, maintains her residence independently, then flies off the handle at me like she doesn’t know what she is doing. I really don’t get it. But, I wait again for her love to reemerge.

      2. That is such textbook behavior. Our symptoms are often the worst towards our closest loved ones. This is mainly because these people have the ability to destroy BECAUSE we love them so much, and so that makes us hyper sensitive to everything they do. I have the meme I wrote once and it’s basically that people with BPD are recognized for their intense anger or rage or whatever other negative emotion, but we love with that same intensity. It is so intense that, while love is a positive emotion, it is overwhelming to us. The mere thought or sense of that being taken away from us makes us fly off the handle. Fight or flight. Leave them before they leave you. Destroy them before they destroy you. I can only imagine what you go through, and you can only imagine what she is going through. I don’t remember if you said but is she going to therapy or taking meds??

  39. Yes, she loves intensely, generous and helpful beyond imagination! She is in therapy, started a few months ago, it is special for BPD. She comes back to me humble and loving, but, I just worry about what happens when she is gone. I can take the outbursts, it’s the silence that scares me most.

    1. Yea. Silence for me usually is bad news. I’m glad she is in therapy. DBT? I recently started that and it feels right but I can tell it will take a long time of very hard work. BPD doesn’t go away, you just learn how to manage it. It’s very sad.

      1. I hope it helps her learn to love life and enjoy the moments here, Yes it is DBT. I think the resentments just take over and spiral, I wish the good memories were more pronounced and the bad ones just lessons we learned from and moved forward. Applying that is way more challenging than it looks. How do you find joy if living with BPD? And, how do people eventually Not leave when they keep getting abused. Is it crazy to stay with someone who freaks out and lashes out? Sometimes I think that she would be better off without me in her life, like she says. Am I forcing on her a relationship she really hates. Just damaging her more. And as the insults and accusations fly, it hurts me to the point of wondering why I even bother. I love her, but where is she in there in all that pain she is dishing out, I see less of the one I love and treasure and more of the mean person. Really, how long until I should just say “never mind” it hurts too bad?

      2. This is a hard one. We are convinced we will be left and if you choose to do so, she will feel like her feats are validated and it only engrains those fears and beliefs even more. But you do have to take care of yourself. Something maybe you could try, when she is in an ok state of mind, is to make a contract with her. Decide together what is acceptable and what is not and agree to a plan when things spiral into the unacceptable. Plan what you will do and what she will do and both sign it. When it happens, you follow your plan.

      3. That is an excellent idea, like, it is ok to hurt and share, but not to hurt me, and put up some kind of time frame for her to regroup and reach back out to each other. It feels one sided right now and not good, she is calling all the shots, but, I want some respect for who I am and what works for me too.

  40. As a “Non” I can tell you it is devastating to be pushed away by someone you love so much you would literally die for them. My BPD ex Fiancé was to me the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and I know I will never again hold such beauty in my arms – that’s how much I love her physically. I also loved her just as much for who she was as a person as I understand her disordered thinking and would have taken all the abuse because on her good days you could not find a better partner in life. As naïve as it sounds I told her I could cope with the odd slip now and again in the hope she would realise the man at home (me) was too good to lose and then choose to be faithful . Unfortunately she became pregnant on one of these “slips” and while I still wanted to marry her and be there to support her the guilt was too much for her to bear and the pushing away started. We seemed to be fine -for a BPD relationship anyway – until she started slipping out for hours on end. Long story short she was seeing the Father of the child as she claimed she wanted him in her child’s life – even though he was never going to leave his partner for her. Her own father had left when she was only 3 years old and it seems this is where she thinks her troubles started. She was so confused, she did love me, and she knew I would bring up the child as my own. However for the child’s sake she wanted the child to have its’ “real” father – despite her telling me she didn’t and never had loved her child’s Father. This confusion for her over what she saw as having to choose between me and going to a man she didn’t love was tearing her apart – which then translated into an excessive push and pull cycle for both of us. On one day alone over 15 times she screamed at me to F off and leave her alone only to call me back for the process to start all over again. She would be in tears, hug me and say she was sorry, then rage again and off I had to go! She felt she had to choose but could not make that choice and it was killing her. The self inflicted pressure was getting to her so much it all ended one day with her raging in the yard throwing bottles and anything else she could get hold of and the Police being called. Ironically the Father of the baby arranged a flat for her then promptly abandoned her just three weeks later after she started pushing him away. The push pull cycle is the worst part of a relationship with a BPD – yes even worse than the cheating – because you just don’t know where you stand. This time, on the advice of our Doctors, I’m not having her back unless she goes for help with her cheating, she won’t go, so despite wanting her with every fibre of my body, she has pushed to far & its over.

    1. I am so sorry to hear all of this. I will never understand the good men like you that are willing to handle us through this. I’ve never cheated but have recently pushed my now ex, too far and it’s killing me. I am seeking help and can only hope for the best but it’s hard to be hopeful. I can understand her unbearable feelings of guilt and what she must be going through, and can only imagine what this is like for you. I do hope she seeks help even if not just for your relationship but for herself. Again, I am very sorry and tremendously appreciate your writing about this.

    2. I understand. My husband is bpd, although he won’t do anything to help it. I know how horrible it feels to have the person you love more than anything push you away. And even worse, tell you they hate you! It crushes me every time! I am also a non and for the sake of my son and my sanity, I have separated from my husband. I pray for him everyday and night. I know that God is working in him, I can see it. And yes what you said about he being the most amazing person on those good days, this is exactly why I won’t leave my husband. He is everything I have ever wanted! But he’s also allot of things I never wanted. This may be hard to hear, but I think you need to get your ex away from that baby. Monkey see monkey do. Children copy their parents. If that baby grows up with a bpd mom who is out of control, she could abuse them, emotionally scar them, and teach them to be borderline. Bpd is not hereditary, and it’s not a chemical imbalance. It’s the result of a traumatic experience and abandonment. That child can NEVER love his/her mommy the way she needs them too. And just like she took it out on you, she’s likely to take it out on the baby. She can’t control herself. Medicine can help, but she needs therapy. The only way to over come this illness is to go to therapy and overcome the abandonment issues and the traumas and hurts from the past. If you want to help her, pray for her. She’s broken, hurting, and feels alone. I don’t blame you for leaving. I feel as though one day it may come to that, but I don’t think I could do it even if I want to. I love my husband with all my heart and everything I am. I can’t imagine my life without him.

  41. I’m a non bp, and my wife is undiagnosed bpd. She was diagnosed rapid cycling bipolar. I of course looked that up and yeah ok, but then the meds really didn’t help much. Been together 20 years and it was like putting fires out. Rowing the boat of life and someone’s drilling holes in the boat. It means that I have to move and start all over just when life has gotten to an easier path. I as a man and husband want my wife to be happy so usually after many discussions and fruitless use of commonsense she gets her way. She is high functioningredients. If getting through an 8 hour day is high. Medium works better I think. She very intelligentand she slowly took control. After getting control she rapidly acceleratedo the controling behavior to where she wanted my opinions to be her opinions. She also had started diagnosing me with disorders and I went to therapy. Lol which actually helped me. I had been picking up some traits, but quickly realized that they were new and not always there. I then started coming out of the fog. Which sent her raging and boom I’m out on my butt. Protection ordered silent treatment. Which took a hell of a toll on me. I survived and started searching the Internet for answers to my problem. Bpd answers my problem. Of the 9 criteria, 7 pretty sure of. If I had known earlier I would have learned to communicate with her and not take what she says personally. I feel so sorry for her and would like to be supportive in anyway I can. I didn’t know that women weren’t all like this.

    1. Hello. I’m sorry to hear this. Yes, education about BPD is crucial when your loved one has it. It can maybe take the edge off but I’m sure it’s still very hard to handle. Is there any chance of getting back together? Do you even want that? I think it’s important that you also take care of yourself. BPD is a terrible thing to live with. I wish I had answers to the problems.

      1. I would love to try to get back together with her and try with my new knowledge. Restraining orders suck. Her favorite person is her mother. Makes sense to me. She is still trying to control me with fog. Communication is through her mom. We are divorced. She is still trying to get the response from me of either overt hostility, anxious helplessness, or anxious guilt, I believe. Something that we could get back together and leave her in control. She does a lot of threating and making a few demands, but I said that I had a job offer in another state and was going to take it unless she seriously got into therapy. Nothing in return. Except visitation time texts from her mom. Everything she told me not to do I did. To test her threats. Nothing. Anyway it’s her move. I have sent a few very supportive and understanding texts. Through her mom of course. I do have a job offer and I do intend to take it. I don’t feel good about it, but the money and my favorite sister and 3 very good friends are in the other state. I would stay here for her and my family, but not like this. 5 months of hell.

      2. Sometimes you need to live for yourself. I know where she is coming from I. Regards to her mindset in doing the things she is doing. Just know she is hurting but that doesn’t mean it should be at your expense.

  42. Hi! I love your post, thank you so much. It gives me insight into how it is for the bpd sufferer.

    I am talking to a guy. I highly suspect he has bpd, but he hasn’t been in therapy, so there is no diagnosis. He experiences all the symptoms though. Anyway he is very dear to me. I’m very worried since he has suicidal thoughts as well.

    He was crazy in love with me at first. Then he started to take distance. Now we have this love-hate thing going on. One day he says he loves me and I’m the sweetest. Other days he ignores me or gets upset with me and seeks out things to make me seem rude and not compassionate, without a reason! I don’t say hurtful things, he just seeks them out. It is so confusing for me and it sucks all the energy out of me. But I can’t help but care and worry for him so I don’t want this to break us apart.

    I would like to ask you if you have any thoughts on how I can cope best when he is in ‘devaluing mode’. I don’t know if I should give him attention or not. I’m afraid that if I don’t he might harm himself. And when I do, he usually is not very nice. Until it blows over and he says sorry or just acts as if nothing happened. You as a perspective from a bpd sufferer, would you want your loved one to leave you alone when in the ‘devaluing mode’ OR do you still want that person to talk to you?

    I’m so scared he might harm himself…. I don’t want him to push me away. Because I know that he loves me very much and it would be completely devastating. I want to help him… He has no one else.

    Thank you in advance for the effort of answering me!

    I wish you strength in handling this disorder!!! I can only imagine how hard it must be…

    1. This is a tough one. On one hand it’s important that you take care of yourself and essentially not reward unwanted behavior. However, people often misinterpret what may seem to be manipulative behavior as a true cry for help. When we are in emotional pain, it is severe. The only way we know how to express it is by just as severe, intense, or extreme measures. Leaving him in these times may do a lot of damage. It may validate his fears that you will leave him, especially in his time of need. I have other posts about this, but the best thing you can do in these moments, is validate. Let him talk his heart out because eventually something will come out that you can work with. Even if it’s just a “wow. I can see you’ve got a lot going on inside right now. I would feel the same way if I were carrying all of that around inside too. What can I do right now to help get you through this?” Validate but keep your own emotions in check. Don’t take it personally even though it seems personal. It’s not. He feels alone and overwhelmed. Be emotionally neutral but validate. If he can feel that you’re a team, it may make the episode much shorter which is the goal, at least in that moment. As a last resort, if you feel that you can’t handle it or he gets violent, there is nothing wrong with telling him that he is hurting your feelings or scaring you etc. you still love him and will be there when he has calmed enough to at least not hurt your feelings. It’s a tightrope I know. That’s the best I’ve got.

      1. Thank you for your good advice! I appreciate it a lot 🙂 I’m going to read your other blogs. And look up what validating exactly means. Keep up the great work!

  43. Thank you for this website and the insightful posts I have read here. I am a Non.

    I too, have found that when I have been caring, and especially when I have expressed my feelings, I have been pushed away severely.

    I have been in an on and off relationship with someone since October/November 2015.The relationship was intense -she had introduced me to her mother and given me the keys to her flat within 2 months. I had found out early on on December 2015, that she was seeing someone else, abroad – I asked her that since things were moving forward so fast, if there was anything I should now which ‘may be of interest to me’. She clammed up to begin – a sign – and I had to gently but firmly walk away as she was not willing to be open. As I was leaving she promised to tell me. I listened and found out that there was someone she was seeing, a man from her past, someone she had been with university for 1 year, who lived in Finland. She began seeing him again, on and off from 2008 onwards, in between what she termed ‘committed relationships’ with two others, a man from Germany and and another from the US. She said she never cheated whilst with either. She said in particular, she was deeply in love with the man from the US.

    She said she was considering committing again to the man from abroad before she met me. We were only together for just over 2 months, however, I said to her that given the intensity of the relationship, perhaps she should make a choice as to with whom she wanted to be with soon. She sent the man in Finland an email ‘ending it’, only to then it seemed, she regretted this.

    The first silent treatment occurred in February 2016. We went to a hotel together and I expressed my disappointment at the lack of intimacy (I was not aware of BPD then) as the sudden change in her seemed off. She completely blew up on me, rage I had never experienced before. I was then aware that she was a childhood abuse survivor, so immediately, I felt I had done something wrong, and felt guilty. She ended the relationship and I did not hear from her for two weeks. I later found out she had been to see the man in Finland.

    I contacted her after two weeks and said that maybe our relationship had developed too quickly and that perhaps it was too soon for me to ask her to make a choice. We agreed that we would take things slowly. However, the relationship once again became intense. She said that she was going to her home country for two weeks on a ‘retreat’ to ‘reflect’ on our relationship. I suspected she was lying and had planned to go to Finland, however I did not wish to probe too much and thought better to ask her questions after her return.

    After she returned, she betrayed the truth a little. I knew that she had been to see him however whilst she was abroad she would text me and say how much she missed me and that she had decided to commit to me.

    I was supportive of her. I would listen to her concerns intently, validate her feelings, I would cook, clean help her tidy up, but tried to do so to a level where I was not being codependent. I was supportive, and would give her space too.

    We began looking for a home to buy and found our dream home. However, just before the contract was signed, things became more and more confusing and sadly, violent. Whilst we were abroad together, visiting family in late August 2016, we had had alcohol and I noticed she was very flirtatious with a man, in front of her family, with me in the background. I felt uncomfortable and expressed my disappointment. She must have felt a great deal shame and this sadly manifested itself in a physical lashing out later in the evening when we were alone- I received two left hookers to my jaw, which meant I had to go to hospital.

    This was a huge breach. Not only did I feel that she had breached the red line of infidelity, but that physical violence was also breached. It was at this time that I came to realise she had BPD (I had feared NPD too). I had tried to persuade her as gently as I could, that her behaviour was hurtful, harmful to us both and that she could consider seeking therapy. I was told to F-off. so I did, just before exchange of contracts on our home.

    She fell into a crises -severe deppresive episodes, suicidal ideation, drug abuse etc it was heart breaking to witness (I would go and meet her from time to time to see if she was okay). I encouraged her during this period to seek help. She promised she would seek CBT and later DBT. This gave me some hope and made me reconsider commiting to her and the purchase of our new home. Things were going better and we recently bought the dream home late January 2017. She said would make her feel more secure.

    This is when things became really disturbing and frightening. Just before moving in together she ended the relationship, giving me the silent treatment for 5 days before moving her belongings to our home. She moved into the second bedroom. I must admit, that I was not as compassionate and empathetic towards her feelings as I had been before, as she was stating that she was going to ‘destroy me’,that she had given up on therapy.

    She was shouting abuse, spitting, and the last straw that broke the camel’s back, she attacked me physically pulling my hair, scratching, biting and bruising my arms and threatened to call the police and accuse me of abuse,over a set of misplaced keys! She then said that she would be going to see the man from Finland and that, although she did not want to hurt me, she was going to do it anyway. In what would otherwise be the sanctuary of our home, I felt deeply saddened, heart broken once again and afraid. I was shaking after that incident. The next morning, I felt I had to report the incident to the police. We have both been interviewed and we are not to contact one another until at the earliest later this month.

    This is a tragedy. I am devastated.Whilst I accept that I have not been as compassionate and validating of her feelings ( I have since been reading Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder – a Family Guide which highlights where I could have done more) I still feel and fear that whilst my reframing of sentences, being less logical would assist with reducing the likely hood of physical violence, there is one issue, no matter how I approached her, which would remain and this is the man from Finland. She said she never loved me, that she loves him. Why on earth did she buy a home with me?1? I am utterly broken. If only she would finally decide with whom she wants to be with, all the rest would be easier and if she chose me finally, I would be able to work towards minimising and look forward to supporting her. I can’t do this on my own. I am moderately depressed, on medication and seeking therapy to get better too. She will never be able to decide, unless of course she decides not to be with me, which I will be okay with eventually, because the level of pain I have experienced over the last 16 months has been beyond anything I imagined before and yet I still stayed. I have a lot of reflection to do myself.

    This has become so toxic. I have to let her go. I need to move on.

    I just wish it was different, because we have so much in common otherwise.

    1. Do you go to therapy? Do you need to talk about it? On my website I have a contact form so you wouldn’t have to tell me your email address. Confidential. No pressure but if you need to chat or we can talk here.

      1. Hi, yes, I am going to therapy. I’m on my way to my second session now.

        I believe by following Valerie Porr’s recommended approach, I would be able to better respond to her dysrequlated moments to de-escalate her however I have decided that her urges to maintain physical contact with this other man are insurmountable, for he is an enabler, so I am in the process of de-enmeshing and will move on.

  44. I have been reading Valerie Porr’s book Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change, as well as Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Living with BPD by Robert Feidel MD. I highly recommend both books to BPD sufferers and nons.

    The reasons why I have decided against maintaining the relationship are:

    1) She has serious disinhibition issues (externalised aggression) made worse by self medication including drugs (controlled and otherwise) and alcohol.

    2) She may well have dropped out of therapy.

    3) The man she has been having physical contact with, she’s known for many years. I have tried in the past to make her think about his motivations for keeping in touch. Although some progress was made between May and August 2016, I believe he would continue to be a major source of dysregulation if the relationship were to continue as she has little it no control over her urges and it probably is not in his interest to cut contact.

    4)By no means do I wish to Goethe impression that BPDs are hopeless – each is different, however I have read that those with serious disinhibition issues are most difficult to treat. Prognosis for these individuals is poor.

  45. I have been out of a relationship with a girl who has BPD. I was so ready to meet this girl when we met. I saw her at work, and I wanted to get to know her. We walked on a track while talking to get to know each other. One month into the relationship she starts pushing me away. She even says that she is sorry, but she doesn’t know what to do. I felt so terrible. I have a low self esteem too which added to my stress. We were laying together one night, but she had to leave. When she got home she wrote me that she was fine. I found out later that she wanted to drive into the median. We didn’t have sex, but I felt guilty. The end of the relationship came six months later. She was quiet to me one weekend. I wanted to know what was going on, so I asked her. She said she felt nothing for me. I felt so disgusting. I talked with her about her past often because she seemed to smile about it. I wanted her to be happier. I was blamed in the relationship breaking up. I cared about her, but she chose to leave. I had left the night before because I didn’t know what to say. She said later that God said we were done. I feel like my loving her made her even more upset. I didn’t know what I had done to make her care more about her past, or not want to see me.

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