Growing up in Public (vyl8) wrote in nonbpd,
Growing up in Public

my story of my relationship with a high-functioning Borderline

Hi, I am new to this community. I dated a person who was diagnosed with High-functioning BPD for 11 months. My ex was really good at controlling the public image projected, so not many people realized how mentally ill my ex really was. We broke up and I refused to talk to my ex for a few months before realizing that I still missed and loved my ex. So we made amends. Sort of.

In about September we started to talk again after about four or 5 months of not speaking to each other. Unfortunately, even though we were not dating, things picked up pretty much right where they left off. We planned on getting back together. But we have this pattern, where my ex antagonizes me (which I know is not a deliberate attempt, it is just something people with BPD do) and I keep letting it go until finally, one day I just explode and say a lot of things I don’t really mean. Of course, this validates my ex’s belief of “You and everyone else (but you especially) secretly loathe and hate me.”

Recently I suffered a sort of mental melt-down. It wasn’t purely just the ex; there were a lot of other things going on in my life I needed to sort through. I started to take apart why I was feeling the way I did and realized that I need to establish emotional boundaries with everyone. My ex included.

Well, This Saturday I reached my breaking point. After a particularly nasty fight my ex tells me to "go find a butch lez" and I wrote my ex a long letter stating that I will not see the ex until the ex has sought treatment. I guess the kicker was that I wrote, “I want to support and help you but I cannot support and help you if you have no desire to help yourself.” So of course, this is seen as me abandoning through the eyes of someone with borderline.

Well, the therapy thing went over like a lead balloon. Partially because the ex doesn’t want to be put on medication (which makes sense, I wouldn’t want that either.) I’ve been doing a lot of research on BPD due to the fact that I want to help my ex. I’ve told the ex there are therapies that do not involve medication, like Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Dialectic Behavior Therapy. But the ex refuses any help. I know someone has to be willing and open to therapy for it to help. If the patient is not, then it won’t do a bit of good. I’ve started to reinforce to my ex that my ex is an adult (24 years of age, actually,) and is responsible for their own actions and the outcomes of their actions. All I can do is support their decisions. After almost three years of supporting the ex as a friend, then a lover, and then as a friend-being-depended-on-emotionally-like-a-lover, it is a complete and total shock to my ex. In all those three years I’ve loved my ex unconditionally and never asked my ex to change because I thought that even though it hurt me, I should accept the ex as they were.

Even though me ex has taken the initiative to end communication with me, my ex wrote, “you refusing to see me unless I see a doctor was telling me goodbye.” I’ve told my ex that this was up to their discretion; I never said that I wanted to cease communication and all I can do is support the decision and my ex knows how to reach me if there is a desire for us to be talking again.

I am pretty sad and angry about how the blames me for us no longer being on speaking terms. In the ex's mind it has now probably become an excuse for any sort of self-destructive behavior the ex want to pursue. I’ve backed off of the issue of the ex receiving formal therapy to doing some things on their own. I still haven’t heard anything from the ex, but as long as the ex feels I am responsible for us no longer talking, I probably won’t.

It just upsets me a lot. I love and care about my ex deeply and I hate to see my ex in pain. I want to fix everything but I know I cannot. “Get help” and “change” are two things a person needs to do on their own. At the same time, I’ve been slowly starting to feel better emotionally and mentally since I started enforcing my boundaries with others. I know if I just go and apologize and tell the ex that seeking help is not important, then in a few months I will be back to feeling how I felt with the ex before and the request for the ex to seek help will be used against me in arguments as validation of the ex’s thoughts of self-loathing. So I guess the only that would bring upon any change in the situation are the two things I would never wish on anyone:

1) The ex looses so much and feels so miserable and realizes getting help is the only alternative.
2) The ex finally has the nervous break-down that has been coming for years and is institutionalized for a while and forced into therapy (which, being unwilling, probably won't work.)

Deep down, my ex is a good person, just deeply hurt by everything, confused and depressed. I don't want anything bad to happen. I want to be back with my ex and I want my ex to be happy and healthy.

I don't know if I should just give up and move on. Sometimes I think that I would rather be in a healthy relationship with someone I like rather than an unhealthy one with someone I love. But still I have hope that things will get better. But I know as long as the ex doesn't want to change the relationship will stay as it is.

Well, I guess that is all. Thank you for listening. . . er, reading.
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