coping with BPD in romantic relationships

lanawar

Romantic relationships have been a tremendous struggle for me my entire life. I was diagnosed with BPD (borderline personality disorder) at age 24, and that seemed to make sense for many of my failed relationships, especially the one I was in at the time. Emotional instability, chronic mood swings, fear of abandonment, impulsive tendencies – those traits all did their part to dismantle every attempt at a successful, long-term romantic relationship. With many mental illnesses, especially one as complicated as BPD, it’s hard to walk the line between “blaming” my actions on my illness and taking responsibility – especially when my impulses can be extremely hard to control. I’ve been in recovery for over three years now and it continues to be a battle. Though I am now in a loving, healthy, adult relationship for the first time ever, my BPD symptoms still come up quite often. Luckily, my partner is patient and understanding, which helps minimize my “outbursts” when they do occur.

Identity disturbance is listed as one of the 9 identifying traits when diagosing borderline personality disorder. That, above almost all else, is the most pronounced trait that I can identify within myself as a borderline.

“People with an identity disturbance may speak, think or act in ways which are contradictory to themselves. They may think the world of themselves one day and think nothing of themselves the next. Their actions or thoughts may seem self-serving one day and flip into self-effacing, or self-destructive patterns the next. They may excel in one activity and appear incompetent in another. They may have impressive energy and enthusiasm for a season and be lethargic and withdrawn in another…People who suffer from personality disorders are sometimes prone to think emotionally, rather than logically, and apply this kind of emotional shorthand or “splitting” to situations that ultimately hurt themselves and those around them. This can lead to extreme emotional highs and lows in response to the natural ebb and flow of life’s circumstances that can lead them to make unsubstantiated, grandiose claims of superiority one day and self-condemning statements of worthlessness the next.” (Source: outofthefog.net)

I really do feel like I have a war in my mind sometimes. I feel myself becoming purposely difficult, belligerent, even downright mean – and seem to have no control over what’s coming out of my mouth; I’m in my right mind. I feel like I’m always “testing” him and even though he always “passes,” I don’t want to put that stress on him. Being borderline is basically being the most difficult person to be with – I crave intimacy yet sometimes act in a way that pushes people away. No matter how loving, caring, supportive, and willing my romantic partner may be – BPD still continues to rear its ugly head. I’ve accepted that to some extent, I will always have to live with this inside of me. (Although many books and websites I’ve read say that the symptoms do lessen when the individual enters her thirties and forties.) It’s a part of who I am, and my partner has acknowledged this as well. I’m eternally grateful for his willingness and understanding, but in the end, I have to help myself.

savemyself

People don’t often realize that a seemingly “put-together” individual – with a job, a driver’s license, a 401k – can be “crazy.” The more intelligent and vibrant the individual, the more extreme the psychological effects of a mental disorder can be. I’ve been with my current beau for a little less than five months. While I’m trying desperately not to let often-crippling anxiety and BPD symptoms inform our relationship, I have to admit, I fear for its longevity. This is the love of my life. I don’t want my crazy to make it crumble.

Feel free to share your own experiences (if any) with BPD, mental illness, and how it has impacted your romantic relationships in the comments.

here I go a tumblin’

Over the years I have adopted pretty much every possible form of social media – instagram, pinterest, weheartit, twitter, facebook – all of which I use somewhat sparingly…so what did I do? I started a tumblr. My main motivation for doing this is to reblog pretty/funny images, short quotes and animated gifs for no real reason. I’m kind of loving it already.

Let’s play tumblr – http://agirlionceknew.tumblr.com

things in 2012

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Took a vacation with a plane ticket I bought with my own money. Got tattoos. Met the love of my life.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t set resolutions so much as I set intentions – I had intended to do the first two things in #1, and the third wasn’t so much an intention as it was a dream. This year I am intending to to go school (steps in place), get more tattoos, move in with my boyfriend and spend less money on nail polish.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
None other than the one I live.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A little more financial freedom. I grew a lot in 2012, it definitely became a happier year around July.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 29. Kissing in the parking garage.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making the decision to attend college.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Spending way too much money on dumb shit.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My New Hampshire tattoo.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
That’s an interestingly phrased question… I guess I’m super stoked about meeting my best friend Jen this year. I finally have a best friend who treats me well. It’s refreshing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Ex friends. Three men in particular. All of whom I am happy are no longer in my life.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Nail polish. Tattoos. Rent. Cat litter.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
GEORGIA/FLORIDA! Palm trees! Getting tattooed! New best friends! Meeting K and falling head over heels in love!

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier!
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter. thinner
iii. richer or poorer? A LOT poorer. Oops 🙂
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercise, saving money.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Sitting around. Being lazy. Buying nail polish.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my mom in the morning and with my love in the afternoon/evening.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Madly, deeply, insanely. Yes.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Parks & Recreation! Not sure how I lived without it.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Not hate. Dislike, perhaps.

24. What was the best book you read?
Sex and Bacon by Sarah Katherine Lewis
The Red Book by Sera Beak
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Lana Del Rey ❤

26. What did you want and get?
The boy I dreamed about for 27 years. NBD.

27. What did you want and not get?
A new , nicer, bigger apartment.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I’m not sure I had one. Looper if I had to pick. I didn’t see a lot of new films.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
27. Drank mai tais with my new best friend and a random group of people at a mustache themed party.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I’d been able to move.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Weird question. I guess biker grandma. I like tough looking things and flowery things, floaty tops that look like tablecloths or doilies, babydoll dresses, denim shorts and bikini tops.

32. What kept you sane?
My friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Eh, no one. Unless the Kardashians count. Ha.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
That Barack Obama was re-elected. WTF America.

35. Who did you miss?
My boyfriend, every second he’s not by my side. ❤

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Tough. #35 .

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Best friends aren’t always forever and people are selfish, and they will always disappoint you.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“But of all these friends and lovers, there is no one, compares with you. And these memories lose their meaning, when I think of love as something new. Though I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things, that went before – I know I’ll often stop and think about them – in my life, I love you more.”
-The Beatles (of course!) ❤