My mind: don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be clingy.
Honestly, I’m not sure he has Stockholm syndrome. I mean, I can’t say for sure but being a borderline myself, I’m just guessing. This is gonna be a little long so please bear with me.
So before I go into this, imma explain BPD a little.
Also, this might not really help with the stigma against us borderlines, so I’m saying this in the beginning, please, don’t give us shit for feeling this way. This disorder isn’t really something we asked for or something we’re happy with. As much as it might hurt the people dealing with us, it hurts us so so much more. We don’t like being this way, and having to deal with us either.
If your someone who’s got something against borderlines, don’t read this. It isn’t a request, I’m serious. I’m being completely honest about everything in this, and I don’t want to be insulted for a mental illness that’s already hurt me so much, that’s already taken away so much from me. So please, I’m open to questions about BPD, but I’m not going to tolerate any insults.
I’ve also added some spoilers I found from chapter 15. So this is kind of a spoiler alert. XD
- if you take a long time to text back please let us know it is not personal.
- if we ask you if you hate us, please do not get angry (this can scare us and make us more paranoid). please calmly reassure us that you do not hate us.
- if you ever get tired of a friend with bpd, please do not just ignore them. odds are they will either be extremely worried or concerned about your well-being or they will think they did something terrible and now you hate them. assure them that you don’t hate them, and then tell them that you don’t have the time or resources to continue the relationship. please assure them that it is not personal.
- we may seem obsessive or over-protective at times but we really mean well. we want to make sure you are okay. if you don’t like the constant checking-in, please let us know.
the main idea is to please be straightforward with us from the beginning and understand that we can be really kind and supportive friends, you just need to be patient sometimes. i understand that some people do not work well with borderlines - that is okay. we aren’t forcing you to be our friends. all we ask is that you are gentle and honest.
Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder
by Darian Rehder (someone who has BPD)
Things to Understand:
1. Their moods change a lot. This is not your fault most of the time. They just feel a lot, and when they’re attached to someone it can make their feelings stronger. It doesn’t mean that they feel all those things about you all the time.
2. They probably think you’re going to leave them about every day, sometimes more often. If they ask you if you still like them, it’s because they honestly don’t know if you still do. They need to hear it often.
3. If they get randomly angry in the middle of something that you don’t think needs that kind of response, it is usually because something has triggered them. Learn what triggers the person you’re with, so you can both work to prevent it.
4. Because they feel intense emotions, they also feel love and happiness at large proportions. This is great, because it means they really appreciate their relationships!
5. Their minds are often on the most emotionally simulating things in their lives, because emotions this strong are hard to ignore. This means you’re probably on their mind a lot.
6. They do not want to hurt you, if they truly love you. Sometimes when they get angry or depressed or anxious they feel like they need to hurt you or run away or that they don’t love you. This isn’t true, and they often regret or don’t stand by their emotional breakdowns after awhile. Sometimes immediately.
Things You Can Do:
1. Validate their emotions. Never call them too emotional, needy, dramatic, intense, etc. even if they call themselves that.
2. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Chances are, they really do hold onto your words.
3. If you are uncomfortable or need a break from them, which is okay, explain it in a way that makes them sure you aren’t going to leave and that you still love them or care about them.
4. Do something that makes them feel loved and cared for.
5. If they’re in the midst of some negative emotion, don’t say anything judgmental, don’t tell them what to do, and don’t fight with them. This would be a good time to say something reassuring and kind with no judgmental or controlling undertones. If this doesn’t work and it seems to be going in a loop, refer to number three or continue to tell them how important they are to you.
6. Remember that there are truths to everyone. Your person might feel like something is very sad, and it may not affect you at all. It doesn’t mean either of you are wrong to feel that way.
7. Spend lots of time with them! Spending time and using your actions is a good way to reassure someone of your love.
8. Learn what they love and learn what really upsets them. It’s always good to know someone and work to avoid hurting them. They can do this for you too!
9. Don’t take things to heart. I know this is hard, but when someone with BPD has a breakdown, they often say things that they don’t truly stand by in the end. When they apologize, they often mean it with their whole heart.
10. NEVER ignore them, unless you absolutely have to. If you can’t talk or don’t want to talk, explain this to them instead of ignoring their messages. When you ignore them, they assume you are going to leave them or that something is wrong.
Reasons Why Being with Someone Who Has BPD is NOT Bad
1. Their intense emotions are biological, in most cases. It’s the same thing as having less emotions. It is not a bad thing to feel deeply.
2. They, most likely, love you with all their heart. BPD people have the biggest hearts and really will work to do nice things for you and make you feel loved.
3. They are most likely loyal as hell, and will put a lot of time and energy into you.
4. Like any mental illness, BPD is something people do not want to have. This fact will help you remember that they are not deliberately trying to hurt you in any way and really do wish they didn’t have BPD. This is why they ARE NOT ABUSIVE
5. All relationships need work. Communicating and working together can actually strengthen the bond you two have.
6. It can be helpful for someone with BPD to have a relationship so they can practice ways to manage their emotions and actions. Chances are, the longer you’re with them, the more comfortable they will be with you.
7. They’re always there for you too! All people with BPD that I know, including myself, are very good at talking about issues and helping others with problems. If you want to talk, you can count on them to give you all of their effort to help.
8. Imagine dating someone with no emotions. That’d be probably a lot harder! Appreciate the deepness of your person’s feelings. It can make life a lot easier!
9. If they are in a relationship with you, it’s probably because they want to be with you. Keep this in mind when they start feeling negatively.
10. It’s a relationship! That’s always fun. It will have challenges like all relationships, but remembering that you are with someone you love will always make it easier.
…and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.
Warsan Shire, “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love”
I just found out a couple days ago that someone I love has BPD. We dated years ago, but have maintained a relationship of some sort through all of the dissociation and other relationships she's had. She tends to seek my attention and become hopefully for a future with me for awhile and then typically disassociates again. I've been trying to read and educate myself on BPD. Most things I read say to set boundaries... but they don't provide examples. I guess I'm reaching out for guidance/advice.
Shew ok I can finally answer you. [LONG POST WARNING]
Disclaimer: Not every BPD case is the same. This advice/encouragement may help you but I can’t promise anything. I hope it does at least. You’re already doing something great Anon and that’s reaching out for help to do your best for her.
1. We need constant validation. Remind her how much you care about her and why, that her feelings are valid and that you’ll stick by her. Borderlines question everything about their existence constantly. Often we don’t even feel real to ourselves so we seek out information from other people to either understand who we are or, unfortunately, to build some kind of personality from to seek acceptance. That definitely doesn’t happen to everyone but I know I’ve done it.
2. Don’t be afraid to let her know when you’re overloaded yourself. If life in general has just gotten to you, or she may be doing a lot of oversharing or having a really intense emotional ride, try to tell her you have something to do for a little while but you’ll be back (once you’re chilled out). We need, and I cannot emphasize this enough, reassurance we won’t be abandoned by those we love. Most Borderlines live in permanent dread of this.
I do. Even the people I love the most, I expect them to, any day, get sick of me and want me out of their lives. My significant others, my best friend. Shit I’m so bad I’m certain even my daughter will want nothing to do with me when she’s older. That’s not a feeling anyone should have to live with.
Anyway that is one important boundary you should set. You need to know each other’s limits .
3. I’m sure you already do at this point but be sure you know what triggers her. Try your best to keep her away from it. Speaking (once again) from personal experience, we can actively seek out triggers just for the purpose of upsetting ourselves. Some of us love being miserable cuz it’s what we’re used to.
4. Disassociation is different for everybody so I’m not sure what to tell you about helping her there. As long as she’s not hurting or neglecting herself I’d say let her do it and come back. If she can’t come back or doesn’t want to after too long, she’ll need to do grounding. If she’s able, she’ll need an ice cube or something frozen to hold on to. The cold sensation should bring her back. Or trying playing her favorite music…I’m not too well-informed on this topic so forgive me for the subpar advice. I never really disassociated except thru maladaptive daydreaming which is a whole other can of worms. I managed to stop that for the sake of my kid but it was next to impossible. I still want to do it everyday.
5. Talk to her about your problems too so she doesn’t feel so alien. Like she’s the only one on earth struggling so hard. It’s vital Borderlines don’t feel alone. We are often a danger to ourselves when alone. I hit my lowest point when I was completely by myself in late 2015, after my dog died. My boyfriend and eventual girlfriend brought me out of it.
In summation: validate her, reassure her she’s cared for,be sure she knows when you need to care for yourself but you WILL be back, be her connection to reality when she’s disconnected from it.
I hope this helps Anon. I am so sorry for the late response. Best of luck to you and her both.
The energy it takes to endure withdrawal [to an addictive or toxic relationship] is equivalent to working a full-time job. Truthfully, this may be the hardest work you’ve ever done. In addition to support from people who understand your undertaking, you must keep the rest of your life simple. You need rest and solitude.
In Ready to Heal: Women Facing Love, Sex, and Relationship Addiction, Kelly McDaniel
Hi! So I'm writing a character whose father has bpd and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder- the father has an explosive temper and is very controlling (he's not bad from his disorders, they just show the "type" of emotional abuse that would happen- not everyone with bpd and dmdd are horrible people) and I'm trying to figure out if someone could get ptsd from growing up with a father like that, and what symptoms would most likely be there from the constant splitting/ "eggshell" personality.
A quick note - disruptive mood dysregulation disorder can’t be diagnosed in people above the age of 18. Since this particular disorder is very new (only being defined as a disorder in 2013), the oldest that someone could be that has had a diagnosis of this disorder is 21. Still old enough to be a father, but it’s just something to keep in mind.
You are right in that people with BPD and DMDD are not always “horrible people.” But the (kinda) inverse of that is also true - not all horrible people are mentally ill.
I was rereading Lundy Bancroft’s “Why does he do that?” (which I highly recommend, btw), and I came across this:
Some clinicians will stretch one of the [DSM] definitions to apply it to an abusive client –”intermittent explosive disorder,” for example – so that insurance will cover his therapy. However, this diagnosis is erroneous if it is made solely on the basis of his abusive behavior; a man whose destructive behaviors are confined primarily or entirely to intimate relationships is an abuser, not a psychiatric patient.
So ask yourself - is your character’s father abusive / explosive / controlling in every area of his life, or just with his family?
I have a feeling you’re going to say “just with his family.”
You don’t need mental illness for your character to be an abuser - neurotypical abusers are fucking everywhere. Mental illness is by far more likely to be caused by abuse than to cause someone to abuse others.
Don’t give someone a mental illness to “justify” abusive behavior. Even though you acknowledge in your ask that not all people with mental illness are horrible people, your audience will not be able to see that in your writing.
But yes, absolutely. PTSD can, and often is, caused by growing up with abusive parents. I’ll be doing a gigantic masterpost on the effects of abuse once my classes start up again (I’m taking one on the effects of abuse).