BPD means to me someone who is essentially confused, not by their own fault and not to imply that they are in any way mentally deficient, but confused in the sense that to others, they appear to understand little of their own desires. Although to a BPD sufferer, it may feel perfectly natural to be feeling fine one minute, then self destructive for no apparent logical reason the next – to an outsider this can be very difficult to understand.
BPD has affected me in the sense of how I understand and react to someone I hold truly very dear to my heart. Their mood does change a lot, sometimes without warning, sometimes for long periods, sometimes it just seems to change for the sake of it – but that’s okay. Sure it may be difficult to come to terms with, yet deep down all they ultimately desire is loving care and attention. The great cartoon S posted on here before summarised this perfectly:
“You’re going to abandon me like all the others, aren’t you?”
“No. I won’t.”
“Yes, you will.”
“No, I won’t. Look I’m not going to fulfil your stupid abandonment complex!”
“You would if you loved me.”
While it is easy to understand the second person’s point of view, the first person is just worried, probably from a history of firsthand experience, of how people have strongly tended to abandon them with little reason throughout their life. Hence the expectation and questioning fear that the same is going to happen again and also then suggesting an illogical method of the other proving their love to them.
Emotionally, the extremes do tend to run high – for both parties involved. Partner A gets mad/angry/upset/depressed for any reason, Partner B responds (at the very least internally,) in kind. Unchecked, this can quickly escalate beyond all proportion (especially if Partner B has a tendency to initiate arguments already – my bad) however reasoning behind Partner A’s emotional change in the first place can be flawed or merely a misinterpretation of an otherwise harmless situation. That’s not to say that they don’t have very good reason to be feeling the way they do, just that to others this reason is excessive, sometimes to the point of absurdity. Nevertheless, it is still entirely real for Partner A to be feeling the way they do.
It is difficult to explain, moreso is how one can develop BPD. My knowledge of it has been the sad truth of a tale of neglect, ignorant, arrogant, selfish treatment and quintessentially a lack of tender loving care. Suffice to say, fail to attend to someone’s needs, constantly be completely unreliable and then fail to apologise or even recognise your misdoings and you are allowing said person in your care to develop a personality disorder such as BPD as a coping strategy for everything you have put them through.
BPD can have far reaching and long term implications. Firstly, mood stability can, for the large part, be quite literally thrown asunder as the BPD sufferer reflects all of the emotional instability and inconsistency they have experienced onto others. Secondly, you or someone you care about has BPD be prepared to make concessions and to be as understanding as possible for what they yearn for most is someone who is going to be there and love them no matter what they say/do/feel/like/dislike at any given time of day! Whether or not they’ve just told you how they can’t see themselves surviving with or without you (assuming you’re the lover of said sufferer,) and have self harmed already in that day alone, what you must do is simply be there for them. Try to make them understand that you are there to help, that you are going to keep being there and that your love is entirely 100% unconditional. Okay so maybe it might not ‘actually’ be 100% unconditional (I think you have to draw the line somewhere, for me it would be something along the lines of wanting a sex change…) but they need to feel that way regardless.
Similarly, personally I have a habit of starting arguments (although I prefer the term discussions,) over simple things with unsurpassed ease! Although I think of it as being an interesting dialogue between two persons….. My dear S, for the most part, sees it simple as how we always argue; how we don’t get along and how we aren’t meant to be together. Now, honestly I am not trying to start arguments for the sake of arguments but to her it seems that way. To her it seems that what I consider utterly trivial becomes utterly essential – thus expressing the true core of our relationship – that we argue too much and aren’t right for each other and as much as I know that it will hurt her reading this, I know that is how it makes her feel. What I, therefore, need to do is to limit arguments as much as possible, to hold my tongue (for the majority of the time anyway ;P) and to try to approach and word the discussion differently in order to minimise any potentiality of an undesirable eventuality resulting in severe upset and emotional pain (which as always, poses the risk of leading to physical pain) for S. In contrast, what she must do is attend her CBT sessions and to try and understand things in a more… colourful view which doesn’t simply state any given situation as being either entirely unhappy or entirely perfect. I wish I could do more to help her, I really do, yet all I can say is to simply hang in there, keep trying and keep attempting to realise things in a broader, less extremist sense!
Lastly, why do I put up with all this crap? Simple. I love her, I want to be with her and by god I won’t let anyone or anything get in my way. I don’t care if she can be incredibly moody all the damn time because I love her for it! I love her for all the little quirks that make her her and I do my best to see the real her that can be hidden away behind emotional barriers and defence mechanisms because it just makes me love her even more.
THAT is why I put up with her. ❤