So I was thinking the other night about this. It came up because I’ve tried to tell my boyfriend that the fact that my BPD symptoms get worse with him, is actually a good sign, even though it royally sucks for both of us. On the outside, to him, it appears that he is bad for me and that he is not making me happy. In reality, it is quite the opposite.
For “normals”, as they get to know someone and the relationship progresses, their emotional availability increases and so does the trust and the happiness within the relationship (considering the relationship is healthy). The two partners may have started off rather closed off but as they get to know each other, the guards go down and things improve and they grow closer.
For a borderline, however, it is quite the opposite. As a borderline’s guards go down, their borderline symptoms tend to increase. The more emotion they feel for someone, the “crazier” they become. Emotional vulnerability and I guess love, in a sense, are a trigger all on their own. There is a definite negative correlation between a borderline’s emotional availability and their psychosis. As long as they can stay detached, their symptoms will be at a minimum. While not ideal, sometimes being detached and/or dissociated is the safest place a borderline can be: within the confines of their enormous emotional walls. We want love though, of course, and so when we find someone capable of giving us what we need, either by our own will or against it, as nature will have it, the walls start coming down. It feels good and we allow it. This puts us in a very vulnerable position, however, and triggers are everywhere. We become on high alert which increases our symptoms, sensitivity, and fear. The more emotionally open we become, the more psychotic we may also become, because the two seem to fluctuate in reference to the other. When the two meet in the center, this is what results in a full-blown borderline episode. Sometimes it feels like the only way to be ok again, is to increase my level of detachment from the love object.
This is very unfair, but true nonetheless. I’m hoping this changes with therapy.