phoenix_arose: (Amy brown - golden)
[personal profile] phoenix_arose

Seriously - i'm just tired and i'm starting to get concerned - *zen manta voice*

It will get better it will get better it will get better

If you have a partner with borderline personality disorder (BPD), your relationship may look something like this:

  • Yesterday, in the eyes of your partner, you could do no wrong. Today, everything you do is wrong.

  • Ten minutes ago, your partner was smiling and happy. Now, they are screaming at the top of their lungs about a perceived snarky comment from you, which was not meant in the way it was interpreted, and household objects are being thrown. You hastily leave to go to work.

  • By the end of today, you will get 15 text messages, eight phone calls, and 10 emails from your partner that ask if you still love them, and threatening suicide if you end the relationship.

Seriously this  my life - i'm struggling with acceptance

Low emotional intelligence

There’s more than one way to be smart. In addition to the kind of intelligence you can measure on an IQ test, there’s emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is about monitoring emotions—both your own and those of the people around you—and then using this knowledge to guide your thinking and actions. Many people think BPs don’t have empathy. They do—it’s just that their own emotions are so intense they can be oblivious to the emotions of those around them. They’re like a drowning person who grabs on to a would-be rescuer and pulls them both down.

Impulsive aggression

Impulsive aggression is what happens when the other shoe drops, when the eggshells break, and the emotional roller coaster takes a 180-degree turn. It can be triggered by immediate threats of rejection or abandonment paired with frustration. The aggression can be turned inward (self-injury, suicide) or turned outward (raging, verbal abuse, domestic violence).

Impulsive aggression is associated with a biological “tug-of-war” between the logical and emotional aspects of the brain, in which the logical side loses. These aggressive tendencies can be inherited.

Think of impulsive aggression as a “border-lion,” a ferocious beast that is uncaged when BPs’ emotions are so strong and overwhelming they can no longer be contained. It is not exclusive to BPD, but a component of several impulse control disorders such as intermittent explosive disorder.

Whether the border-lion is turned inward or outward, it is one of the top barriers keeping BPs and those who love them from developing the close, trusting relationship each partner yearns for.

It’s going to be tough, but try to hold fast to the notion that your family member and the border-lion are not one and the same.

Rejection sensitivity

In addition to fearing abandonment, people with BPD are overly sensitive to rejection. They anxiously await it, see it when it isn’t there, and overreact to it whether it’s there or not. This is why small slights—or perceived small slights—can cause major messes.

Child-Like Characteristics

People with BPD may seem as mature as any other adult in social or professional situations. But when it comes to coping with strong emotions, they can be stuck at a child’s developmental level.

Their sadness may be similar to the way a child feels at being left out by the other kids. When angry, it could be the anger of a teen, outraged at a parent’s refusal to let them attend a party. (As in, “You’re ruining my life!”) There can be a child-like ever-present vulnerability personified in Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe (both of whom had many classic BPD traits).

Five Familiar “Fights” (Relationship Behavioral Patterns)

Having a borderline loved one means having that “it’s déjà vu all over again” feeling much of the time. You may feel get stuck in these five familiar behavioral patterns, or “fights,” with no clue about what’s happening, how you got there, or how to get out.

1. The “It’s Your Fault” Fight

“Once my BP girlfriend snapped at me for looking through some DVDs the wrong way. I asked her in a very even tone of voice, “What are you getting upset about?” For the rest of the day she sulked and gave me the silent treatment.”

For BPs to admit to themselves or others that anything about them is less than perfect would be admitting that they are defective.

2. The “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” Fight

“My mother is the master of double-binds. When I call her as soon as I get home at the end of my day, she is short and rude because she is in the middle of something. But if I wait until later in the evening to call, she says in an accusatory way, “You’ve been home for how long? And you didn’t call me?”

You know you’re in a no-win scenario when you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. People with BPD are consistently inconsistent.

3. The “Projection” Fight

“There’s nothing wrong with me. There’s something wrong with you!

People often try to avoid feeling bad about their own unpleasant traits, behaviors, or feelings by attributing them (often in an accusing way) to someone else. This is a common defense mechanism called projection. people with BPD take it to the extreme.

4. The “I Hate You—Don’t Leave Me” Fight

I am totally confused. My BP boyfriend broke up with me on Tuesday, then on Friday wanted to know what I was doing over the weekend. I remember one night, we had a great time together and had great sex. Then he started a fight over nothing the next morning.”

When people get too close, people with BPs feel engulfed. In turn, they distance themselves to avoid feeling controlled. But then BPs feel neglected, even abandoned. So they try to get closer again, and the cycle repeats.

5. The “Testing” Fight

Before I recovered from BPD I would tell people, “I’m just testing you to see how much you love me.” I knew that I couldn’t start with a full-blown BP rage. So I started softly and slowly. With each test I set forth and the person passed, I upped the ante and said, “If you loved me, you would do this or that.” People usually accepted the most outrageous and inappropriate behavior to maintain the relationship.

You might think that once the non-BP passes the tests, their borderline family member would feel more secure. But that doesn’t happen. Instead, people with BPD think, “Why would a healthy, normal person take the abuse? There must be something wrong with them.”

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phoenix_arose: (Default)
Lindsey Swem

June 2013


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