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Borderline Personality Dissorder - How to cope? - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Borderline Personality Dissorder - How to cope?

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Dear Gary

I wish I knew about my husband what you know so early into the relationship with your girlfriend. I met my husband 20 years ago and we only learnt relatively recently that he suffers from bipolar, BPD and PTSD plus an array of other comorbidities. All those years I thought, well was made to think, it was me. I got assaulted physically on a couple of occasions, and, verbally on a cyclical basis. I was shouted at, mistrusted, my husband became promiscuous, went on spending sprees. I went through it all. My husband lost his job three years into our marriage because he had a nervous breakdown, and, over the years has become a virtual recluse because he would pick up arguments with people or simply could not get out of the house.

I developed a completely different world pretending to colleagues and friends my marriage was fine, without anyone knowing the full extent. I worked up to three jobs at a time just to remain sane, I put myself through a uni, achieved a first in a science degree, I am now finalising a Masters degree - so I could prove to myself I was not stupid. I did not have time to grieve the deaths of my dear parents, we do not have children, we are on the verge of loosing our house. Why did I stay? I never felt this was just a domestic, I married for better for worse. Yes, most of our marriage was "worse" but the "better" could not be better. My husband, when he is not in the throws of his illness, is the most generous, kind, loving, fun, attentive, intelligent, creative, knowledgeable person. He wears his heart on his sleeve, there is rather a child-like naivety and innocence about him which is so endearing.

Finally, after all those of years, he has been diagnosed. He is determined to beat it, he wants to make me happy. You see, my staying power proved to him there is some good in the world. Moreover, he does not have anyone else. However, his illness is pretty much for life. Medication may help but it may not. Recognition and learning about the condition helps. Certain states can be anticipated but we noticed that he can blow up totally unexpectedly, with no warning. That is hard, for both of us but we try to work it out.

The first thing you can do is to educate yourself and be prepared. There is lots of really good info on the internet about these conditions. Knowledge is definitely power in this case. Whatever your girlfriend says to you when she is down (or even manic) she does not mean. But it is so real and so believable, it gets to you. Beware, she can become violent, self-harm and go off with other men, amongst other things. You can go to therapy together, work on this together. If she does not want to, pack your bags and run miles away. People suffering from these conditions are charmers but when they are bad they suck out every bit of energy and sanity out of you. Do not isolate yourself, think twice before having children. I now suffer from anxiety and depression because one can only take so much after so many years. I am not discouraging you from anything, your girlfriend is really lucky. But, do not expect an easy ride, and, really, above all, educate yourself.

I will not wish you good luck, there is no luck, just hard work and very little reward. Had I had a crystal ball when I met my husband and knew what was coming I would run miles. But, I am here, battered, but stronger, I hope. We have been through so much it is difficult to part. After all, we do love each other, and, we hope... and work on this together....
Thank you everyone for your comments and kind words, I think i have it quite easy compared to most.

My situation has not changed much, my OH is still not letting me into her life, we have texted each other, but she says she feels slightly different about us and does not know when she will be ready to carry on as normal?

The thing is i can tell she is not happy, she is still going to work but i think that is getting on top of her too, and i cannot just leave her to it on her own, it goes against everything i say and beleive.

Should i just take control of the situation, go round to her's (not sure if she will let me in) and try to offer the help and support she needs, i feel like i have nothing to lose.

I was thinking about just seeing if she wants to go out for a walk or something, somewhere nuatral, no pressuse, just some time away from her thoughts?
Gary, perhaps a softly softly approach is what is needed at the moment. If you feel you have nothing to lose, then go and see her. If she won't let you in, at least you will know that you have tried to offer your support.
Best wishes
Your girlfriend is probably depressed at the moment, having negative thoughts about herself. My counselling lady told me when I said my husband was feeling suicidal that I should take him for a walk. Whilst that would appear sensible for 'normal' people, there is no way I could get my husband out in that state of mind. He cannot face himself let alone the world. Another piece of advice - do not see therapists who have no experience with psychiatrical conditions, especially BPD, they have absolutely no idea. In fact, even many psychiatrists are still not versed in it as I believe BPD was only officially recognised in this country in 2003. It is still a very underesearched condition, and, a very tricky for psychiatrists to deal with. You may have come across the terms of transference and projection.

Perhaps do go and see her, with no pressure, just let her know you are there for her if she needs you. If she does not invite you in or agree to go out for a walk just say you will send her a text, card or a rose every day until she feels she can let you in again. Unless she finds your behaviour clingy! You yourself seem to have formed a massive and instant attachment. How do you know she feels the same? BPD sufferers tend to "hoover" - they suck out all your energy, positivity out of you. One of their main problems is with interpersonal relationships so frankly, you will never quite know where you stand.

I find these websites and videos quite useful. I am quite academic and need to look at things quite scientifically.

http://www.anythingtostopthepain.com/fi ... -on-video/

http://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorde ... -by-topic/
Gary - Tilly has summed up exactly what i wanted to say in her last paragraph, but i couldn't get the words the right way round! There's nothing worse than not knowing where you stand.
Keep posting and let us know how you get on.
Hey Tilly,

Thanks for your reply.

I agree that she is depressed at the moment, but she has said that in the past being on her own makes it worse and sometimes wishes somebody would try to do something to try and help her see brighter times.

I have been texting her every day at the same times as we would normally do, a good morning text, a hows your day text and a night text, i have read that i should try as much as possible to carry on as normal and to be fair she is starting to reply, its difficult to make sure i am giving her enough space as to not as you say appear clingy but still letting her know i am there, thinking about her and waiting ready for if and when she needs me.

The point you make about forming an instant and massive attachement, yes in a way you are right, you know when you have met the right person, the 99.5% of the time we have spent together has been very muataly happy, perfect in fact, and thats not just my opinion, she told me at the beginning it was impossible to make her happy and i could see that in her eyes, yet when she has told me how happy i make her, and again you can see the change in her, everyone she know comments on happy she looks.

But i know, there is a flipside, and i guess its that that tests us and ultimatly proves my worth.

The thing is i know that if she let me in, let me take her out for a walk that she would start to feel brighter, she admits that, she cannot always climb out of the hole herself, she needs a helping hand, its getter her to accept that hand.

With time, reading and understanding i know i can be better prepared in the future and i may not always know where i stand but i do know my feelings for her won't change, i knew it would be hard, but your do anything for the right person, right....and yes that does mean walking away if she asked me to.
sounds a good idea for you to go out
Well to update......

Just got the "I don't see a future for us" text, i guess i have to accept that and see what happens when she comes out the other side of this.

Thanks for all your advice and kind words, but i guess ultimately i have failed her.
You have not failed. I absolutely forbid you thinking that. What you have tried to do was an amazing act of chivalry and deep care. NEVER forget that. Your girlfriend is not your responsibility, you are just a decent human being trying to do their best for another human being. I cannot promise your girlfriend will ever be able to see that clearly but I can assure you that there are women out there who can recognise how wonderful you are, and, will return your love and care in abundance.

You tried your best and there is nothing more you can do. If I may advise you though, from your writing I reckon you are very sensitive bordering on depressive, and, you tend to attract troublesome persons. It is not uncommon BPD sufferers are attracted to people with similar patterns so please go and talk to a therapist.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy may be good. I think you should explore yourself and your behavioural patterns to find mutually rewarding relationship. But once again, I cannot stress enough how wonderful you are. Keep it up but at the same time look after yourself.

Gary, you have not failed, you have not let anybody down. Your a lovely caring person, and please be secure in the knowledge that you could not have done anything more.
Keep posting - and let us know how you are.
Take care,