December is a dreary month for a lot of us. For those who live alone, it’s a reminder that we’re a little different. We tuck ourselves away in the darkest corners of the world so we don’t accidentally hurt other people. We label ourselves as ‘undeserving’ and push away anyone that shows us a shred of love.
We can agree that the majority of us, living with borderline personality disorder, are so freakin’ hard to live with.
That’s why today, I want to share an interview with one of our blogs’ readers. His name is Victor and he is in a long-term relationship with someone who lives with borderline personality disorder. Victor and his partner currently reside in Florida.
1. Did you suspect that your partner had BPD before a diagnosis?
No, I did not know anything about BPD.
I suspected she was bipolar of sorts because both her sisters have been suffering from bipolar disorder for years.
We have seen and felt their struggle.
For years the thought that she could be bipolar played around in my mind but never solidified into a true behavior that I could identify. I had no clue that BPD was a thing until her psych eval revealed it.
2. What are some things about your partner that makes her worth it?
Wow where do I begin? Everything!
My wife is not a monster and she is not a bad person.
On the contrary, she is a sweetheart of a deal (most of the time). She is compassionate and fierce about the things and people she cares about the most.
Unfortunately, she has lived with this disorder for years (possibly a couple of decades) without it getting checked or treated which in turn has made it habitual and has compounded her tendencies to perform self damaging events that have damaged our relationship.
Normally my wife is very attentive to me and our 5 year old son. She is perfect for me in every way except on her promiscuity to engage herself emotionally with other men and seek their attention which turns physical.
I am praying that these tendencies will disappear soon and that she will be more focused on us and less on her strong emotions to seek attention from some one else.
Other than that she is an amazing woman, an awesome mom and an outstanding employee. She excels at her job and she is very productive. At the end of the day she finds a very reasonable balance in between her work and home life.
3. What was the most difficult thing for you to understand or grasp, about her disorder?
Obviously, the mood swings.
My initial reaction for years had been to defend myself from her barrage of insults or corrosive reactions to seemingly minute things. I would get upset as well which would compound the fiery nature of her outburst. She would then sink herself into a deep depression that would trigger suicidal thoughts.
I thought that she was being manipulative so she could get her cake and eat it too. For example: We would be ok and happy in paradise then all of a sudden I'd find out that she had been engaged in flirtatious behavior and conversations with a guy at work.
I would confront her and she would unleash the gates of hell on me. She would then, after a few hours of rage, slowly sink into a deep depression and lock herself in a room and not come out for hours on end.
Then she would threaten to kill herself or say things like "I want to fall asleep and not wake up", "I've caused you so much pain I don't deserve you"
Those events would make me feel scared, lost, and would spin ME into a barrage of questions as to why she had done what she had done. She would push me away but pull me at the same time. Not really focusing on her pain or her struggle to control those emotions.
Now its different. I see things from her perspective and can better detach myself from it and help her with her own struggle to control the severity of the emotion or walk away for a few minutes.
4. What resources (books, therapy techniques, etc.) do you feel would be helpful to people who love someone with BPD?
I am very early on my walk with the disorder.
I am subscribing myself to blogs and other forums to learn and get support from other people.
No books as of yet and no experience whatsoever with therapy techniques. However, I have already practiced some methods of soothing with my girl and she seems to respond well to them. I will keep trying until we find a good system.
5. For others who love someone with BPD, what advice do you have for them?
Don' give up!! Its tough, oh man is it tough!!
Loving my wife has been the single most difficult and challenging thing I have done in my entire life. But she is worth every single sacrifice and tear that I have shed.
I was about to leave her because I thought she was controlling me and flirting with other guys because she wanted to have fun.
Without excusing her, now I understand that her behavior is a product of the disorder and not necessarily because she was being a bitch. I have dedicated myself to her for a long time and have honored my vows in health and in this case now.....in sickness.
Do not give up but at the same time take care of yourself. Find hobbies and seek out a support group within your family or through a church. Seek positive reinforcement of the love and dedication that you have for your SO.
Do not listen to those that tell you to leave and look for someone better, that is ignorant and self gratifying. If you truly love someone you stick with them through anything, including BPD.
Seek and attend regular therapy for yourself to you can better cope with the struggles which will be many.
Thank you so much for your time, Victor.
Do you have any questions for Victor or have a story to share about loving someone who lives with borderline personality disorder? Let us know in the comments below!