Yes I am new here and would like to share a bit of my story. I am seven weeks out of a year and a half relationship with a woman who it seems had all the symptoms of a borderline personality disorder. Over a year ago I discussed some of my frustrations with a good friend who is a psychologist. She immediately looked me in the eyes and said, "Your girlfriend is a borderline. I'm so sorry." The implication here was that one cannot win in a relationship with this sort of person. Nevertheless I tried for 12 more months. On reflection it seems to me that I must suffer from relationship addiction because I could not break away from this abusive rollercoaster relationship. Now I am in a very painful withdrawal but the break will be 100% permanent. Are relationship addicts particularly prone to relationships with borderlines, has anyone had this sort of experience and any success in the withdrawal/recovery process?
I haven't had an experience with a borderline person, but I did have a 3-year relationship with someone who I am pretty sure had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and that's also a personality disorder where it's impossible to ever have a healthy relationship - it always has to be their way. But like you, even though he was cruel and emotionally abusive, I just couldn't get myself out of it (for a lot of different reasons). I was addicted to the relationship (but not him). In the end, I realized it was one thing for him to be cruel, but it was another thing that I continually decided to stay with such a person... something that I have been wrestling with a lot during this recovery period. I have spent much of the last 9 months unraveling the riddle of why I stayed, so I can properly heal and deal with it so I never go there again.
It's been an eye opening journey... one where I have realized it wasn't really about him and his narcissism, but rather, unearthing the reasons why I betrayed myself so much by putting up with such poor treatment. My self-worth and self-esteem were in the toilet, and I was afraid of being alone.
I have had no contact with him for about 9 months now, and that's been great for me. I am slowly healing. Everything I'm doing for myself is all a step in the right direction to getting healthy, things like therapy, reading books pertaining to my issues, exercise, posting here, meditating and doing nice things for myself...
So that's the short version but I hope some of this may resonate and help with your own situation.
Now that you know that she has BPD that's great. It has propelled you to get out of the relationship and not look back. But now it's time to look at you. Why are YOU attracted to this kind of person? WHat can YOU do to get better. So often we want to look at the other person with the obvious disorder, but water seeks its own level. Now that you are out of the relationship, it's time to look within you for answers.
The relationship I had was clearly abusive on at least three levels. These behaviors began to appear after the 4-6 week honeymoon period when everything was more than perfect. First my POA would jump into intense tirades after a very minor stress. The first time was when we were eating lunch at a restaurant she decided she didn't like. For nearly half an hour she blasted me for not being sensitive to her needs and this hurt so badly as from my perspective I had never been more sensitive to a woman than I was with this one. Then there were the occasional insults which felt like getting stuck with a knife followed by the knife being twisted. When I told her how much this hurt she told me it was because I let me ego get in the way and that she was only trying to help me because she loved me so much and cared so much. Then worst of all were those often prolonged moments, or days, of nearly total emotional detachment. We could be in a pilates class together and I would feel like I was in the room with a total stranger who didn't know I existed. The breakup which was unequivocally cold turkey was when I literally got up and left her by herself during a weekend in Costa Rica (never to speak or contact again) and this step was very difficult. This is the first relationship in my life that I had to initiate the end even though so much of me still wanted it to work. Usually I might outgrow or get bored with a relationship and I would end it, or the woman might feel the same way about me and she would end it. This time it was really weird. She would never had ended it but perhaps I can look at this as passive aggressive behavior on her part to get me to do the dirty work.
You have summarized my relationship that brought me to recovery. I have finally made it through withdrawals and am thankful for recovery. Now I simply have to focus on me and oh boy, its not easy doing that!!!!!
I am now into 4 months of no contact with my P.O.A after two years of seeing each other.... my withdrawal has gradually decreased its now only minor when it comes maybe with trigger events or thoughts and i think controllable because when it comes it only a dull acke now vastly reduced from the pain in its peak when seeing her and i know that its only because i am missing the addictive buzz i got when being with her.
My two sons and daughter all say they see that i am a much better calmer person now i am away from her as she hurt me so much she was of a differnt culture so i did not use my boundaries making allowences all the time as cullture differences but got hurt so much ...i still miss her but like i said i have identified the missing her is the addictive buzz so i just need to wait till it goes ...im sure you will notice that when you are away form her its a relief and you feel much better even if not completely yet you will eventually....
I still miss her or should i say the buzz its hard to except its addiction when you miss them so much.... but it feels better when the craving in your tummy gets less and less and not controlling you as your actions become more informed ones instead of driven by addiction !!!
Post by magickwomun on Sept 13, 2012 16:22:09 GMT -8
I've been told that I have BPD. I've read several books about it, and i do have most of the symptoms. I'm also a codependent love/relationship addict. I'm usually attracted to narcissistic men, but I have played the role of "savior" to a couple of needy men in my time. The latest narcissistic emotional vampire I dated was also addicted to me, so yes, codependent love/relationship addicts it seems are drawn to people with both BPD and NPD. It's a bizarre and somehow fascinating attraction.
"Giant oak trees started out as little nuts that held their ground".
Post by freetolive on Sept 15, 2012 5:24:09 GMT -8
WOW. i think I have borderline characteristics. LOL. Oh well, I still love me and know that through the steps and God and my sponsor and others, I'll be ok.
I too can relate to your relationship. I had some of the same experiences....emotionally that is. i love how lover June asked you certain questions about "you." That is where our focus has to be. I love this process i'm on. I'm going to get better and be able to care for me and hopefully be able to have something to offer the world.
Last Edit: Sept 15, 2012 5:30:52 GMT -8 by freetolive
Life is short. Enjoy the ride with love as your guide~I said that.
Some of the books below are for the Borderline and some are for treating and living with a Borderline. Love addicts have borderline tendencies. They all have an attachment disorders even if they don't self-mutilate. This describes me: "Nail me the cross, but don't hurt my feelings."
Brentsch, I know you posted this years ago. I went through the same thing except I married my BPD/NPD POA and stayed for 6 hard years. We separated and got back together several times during our marriage. I finally had enough and filed for divorce. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I still think about her everyday even after no contact for over 1 year. I am relationship addict, that's one of the reasons I stayed for so long. I learned a lot on a forum called shrink4men.com. It helped me leave my marriage. I think we LA's are vulnerable to these types of relationships. I feel better today, knowing that others have gone through it too.