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New here, my story (BPD).

Hello everyone,

 

I hope to read a lot more and contribute when I get some time. I've had a glance around and it looks like there's a lot of support and great advice here. 

 

My story is that I'm separated from my BPD girlfriend. It's been 7 months, and we recently reconnected. It was previously my decision to leave (though, as I'm sure others can appreciate, at the time it felt hopeless, and I felt that was the only solution). It was also my decision to reconnect. 

 

The last week or so has been up and down, as expected. We did spend a day together, and it just felt like home, for both of us. It was awkward and tense at times, but still ... comfortable. 

 

After leaving and going back 4 times previously, naturally her, and those around her, are cautious (putting it nicely). I've availed myslf of some forums, therapy, and literature in the past, though it tended to drop off once the relationship felt 'back on track'. 

 

7 months is a long time. I'm shocked that I still have such strong feelings for her, though not displeased. I also have a lot of shame around the fact I left her, more than once, which of course is just seeing her realise her greatest fears. Of course, if a relationship were ever to be rekindled, I know the trust issues and abandonment fears would be at all time highs. Not insurmountable I'm sure, though she feels they are. 

I know she still has strong feelings for me too, but is worried about getting hurt. Probably reflective of what I felt when I said 'enough' in the past. 

 

I realise I've not previously put in the hard work required to support somebody with mental illness. I'm not saying it's easy, or that my reasons for leaving weren't valid, however what I felt were excessive overreactions and wrong perceptions of hers at the time, are just manifestations of something deeper that was making her feel afraid, and which often stemmed from my own reactions to situations, that should have been approached differently.

 

As it stands, she leaves for a holiday for 5 weeks soon. Not that I believe it could happen, given recent discussions, but entering a relationship with her would not be ideal given her long absence, and further, given that I want to make some changes around self help and education, which i've promised before but not followed through with. I actually need to know within myself that I've done something different this time, truly done all I can to be the best partner and carer I can be. Thinking about it, that gives me a solid two months ahead which I can use to address what i'd like to. Mindfulness/meditation, general mental health awareness, literature (specifically When Hope Is Not Enough, New hope for people with BPD, and The 3rd Alternative), online forums such as this and the ATSTP forum, and recommencing my own therapy as of next week - these are my starting points. 

 

I understand that this is a long road, it will hurt at times, it will require sacrifice and constant personal evolution. However, I'm positive I want this to work for the right reasons (not just that i'm lonely/bored/etc - I did have to check myself a few times over the last 7 months and held back contact because i wasn't sure if it was for the right reasons), and that I want to stop being just another person to walk out on somebody when they most need support. 

 

I'd love to hear from anybody else who's been in a BPD relationship, advice, thoughts, suggestions are very welcome. I'm in Perth, WA, so am particularly interested in hearing from people locally who may know of good support groups. 

 

Hopefully talk to you all soon across the forums. 

 

8 REPLIES 8

Re: New here, my story (BPD).

Hi @BananaHammock  (awesome name by the way!!)

Welcome to the forums!

What struck me about your post is that you seem so self aware - you seem to have a plan and it seems you want the best for your girlfriend.

The 5 weeks is going to give you a great window of time to focus on yourself.

 

I noticed you mentioned mindfulness - I just wanted to let you know that tomorrow night is Topic Tuesday in the Lived Experience Forum. We have a special guest who is a psychologist that specialises in mindfulness. She will be online from 6pm-8pm AEST  (3pm - 5pm your time) to answer questions and give practical tips.

 

I hope you can join the session. You can access it here

Again, welcome to the forums. I'm sure other members have suggestions and advice. Please feel free to treat this like an online support group Smiley Happy

 

Nik

 

Re: New here, my story (BPD).

Hey Nik. Glad you like the name! Thanks for that. Good point about the five weeks.. Need to focus on that, I can't control what frame of mind she will be with on her return, so need to just do what I can control. Still, it's hard to be so far from a loved one for so long.

Will endeavour to join in the session tomorrow work permitting!

Cheers,
BH

Re: New here, my story (BPD).

Hi @BananaHammock ,

I'm Hobbit, and I'm a moderator on these forums too. Just read you post, the underlying thing that I hear is that you are obviosuly a very caring type of person. I think that's great!! Focus on that.

I agree with @NikNik - 5 weeks is a really good window for both of you to work things through.

You will find many peopl on these forums who are really suppotive and can offer some great little tips. @PeppiPatty and @Alessandra1992 to name a few!!

Stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

Hobbit.

Re: New here, my story (BPD).

Thanks guys. Every day is up and down, I know she is hurting and I wish I could take some of that away.. At the same time I know I'm the source of a lot of her pain so saying or doing too much can have a negative impact. Time will tell.

Though I do lapse, I generally find within an hour or so I'm back reading, or browsing forums, and feel the end goal of being as understanding and supportive as possible has remained at the top of my priorities list. I wish there was more I could do, but I also know I've put myself in this position so just hoping for the best outcome whenever that may be.

I didn't make the session unfortunately, though I've spoken to a Buddhist monk and start seeing him for some one on ones in a few weeks. Can't wait. Smiley Happy

Re: New here, my story (BPD).

Hi @BananaHammock ,

Just thought I'd drop you a line and see how you're doing.

Hobbit.

Re: New here, my story (BPD).

Hi Hobbit, hope you are well. Thanks for following up. Since my last post we have had some enjoyable time together, also some negative experiences. I've just left this week's psych appointment and it revealed some interesting links to my past which will be explored further.

As it stands, I've done some things well and others not so well. She has told me she doesn't love me anymore, though we have still hung out. Last night I went to her home uninvited, after she said Sunday night we shouldn't see too much of each other this week. This was very upsetting for her as she had gone to the effort of imposing boundaries and I didn't respect those, I can see why she is frustrated and angry over that. There was also a time a week ago where I was near her house in case she needed me, turns out she did need me, and was upset that I wasn't there. I was maybe 50m from her door! As the psych pointed out today I have a barrier to communicating (ASKING if it's okay to come by or if she'd like to see me then following through) - I think this is because I'm afraid of the situation where she says no, then lashes out later on because she still expected me to be there. It's confusing, I won't lie. And I know she doesn't always know exactly what she wants, so I have no hope. I don't want her to feel abandoned or that I don't care, yet I need to respect her boundaries even if she still gets upset that I didn't push the boundaries (= showing I care).

As of this morning she doesn't want to talk to or see me ever again, she has had enough. Right now I'm sitting in the car park of my psych, and not sure if I should go to see her to show I care about how she is feeling (clearly very upset, frustrated and disappointed), or if I should go home and respect her boundaries. I think I'll sit here a while and think, and ask her if I can see her and just respect her answer - I'll deal with any backlash if and when it happens, I can only control my actions right now.

Phew. Sorry about that. I could have talked to the Psych for another five hours and I think some of that has overflowed into here Smiley Tongue

Re: New here, my story (BPD).

It's a tought situation @BananaHammock  - I guess what the pysch said about barrier to communicating might be something to think about. Often, we might think we know what's going on, but it's only through communicating with the person that we find out what's really going on. I guess no one really knows what another person is thinking until they tell them.

I really feel for you in your situation, but remember, there's an illness here.

All I can see is that your are obviously a very caring person. I don't have any magical solution for you, but maybe just keep on connecting here on this forum where people can listen and talk to you is a really good therapy in itself.

Hobbit.

 

Re: New here, my story (BPD).

Thanks Hobbit. I'll be seeing this psych weekly for the foreseeable future as I think there's a lot about myself I need to discover and work on. Communicating itself is something I've not been great at before, and there may be some deeper reasons for that.

I'll do my best to stick around and get involved here, it certainly helps hearing other people's stories, as well as having a bit of an avenue to vent!

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