**The ideas contained in this post are the opinions of the writer and communicated without reference to supporting documentation. The writer also recognizes that BPD is a disorder that affects both males and females, and uses of “she” or “he” in the communication of ideas are not intended to covey sexual bias. Breakaway MHE Disclaimer
Having struggled with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) myself, I can say with absolute certainty that issues with insecurity played a significant role in the challenge to make improvements to my condition. For instance, problems with becoming easily jealous or fearing that my partner would suddenly abandon me were an ongoing issue before realizing that I suffered from BPD. I honestly believed that every time my partner was irritated or frustrated with me, it meant she was ready to make a move to end the relationship. As a result, my anxiety and emotions would regularly escalate, and I would end up saying or doing things to seek reassurance and make the relationship worse (e.g., asking too many unnecessary questions, getting angry over small things, becoming controlling, etc.).
The unfortunate consequence of following this BPD behavioural pattern (instead of developing a skillful way to work through emotions) is that my partner would sincerely want to be away from me instead of just being irritated or frustrated about something. So in effect, I was making my most feared reality (abandonment) a reality through the disordered personality approach I was taking to the relationship. Indeed, one of the tragedies of Borderline Personality Disorder is that the suffering person does not want to hurt people or relationships, but ends up contributing to these unfortunate outcomes anyways through the lack of awareness and emotional skill!
Intense feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, rejection, worthlessness, and intensifying fears of abandonment end up plaguing the suffering person as it becomes apparent (over and over again) that things are not going well in relationships, and that there is no doubt he plays a role in how things are happening. But instead of taking real responsibility for these emotions, the suffering person often digs a deeper and deeper hole through engaging in more of the relationship-damaging behaviours (mentioned above). Sadder yet, when a person with BPD doesn’t realize he has BPD, he may believe that the people around him are trying to induce the awful feelings he experiences. And when it seems like people are trying to cause intentional hurt in these ways, it can result in becoming unnecessarily and extremely angry, and thus damage relationships even further.
Having no insight, a person with BPD may also believe that his relationship damaging behaviours make perfect sense and that they are necessary at the time of use. Being confused like this is when everything going wrong might be expressed as being “everyone else’s fault.” Sometimes partners and others even fall prey to this faulty logic and reinforce the unhealthy pattern through their giving in/becoming passive instead of remaining assertive. In other words, the things that are said by the suffering person can seem convincing to both the suffering person and others in his life! After all, the suffering person FEELS his emotions so strongly that he believes his interpretations about life events are correct.
When things fall apart, and partners give up on the stress and drama of trying to make things work with the suffering person, the confusion about why things are going so poorly reigns supreme!! People with BPD will often utter the words: “why does this happen to me?”, or simply, “why me?” These are tough questions to answer when you haven’t yet learned about your mental health and unfortunately can result in the faulty conclusion that “I am a bad person,” or “I am not worth loving,” etc. When this happens enough times, a person with BPD may start to consider suicide as a possible way out of the endless confusion and emotional suffering.
For a person with BPD to escape the vicious circle depicted above, and to finally experience consistent harmony in relationships, he needs to come to terms with what has been happening all along. He needs to grasp the reality that he has no idea how to manage the problematic parts of his emotional experience, and that his relationships will continually remain unhealthy (or fail) unless he learns how to take proper responsibility. Luckily, it is, in fact, possible to learn how to make these improvements, but it does require total investment, willingness, and sustained determination to follow through with taking real responsibility for emotional management.
I believe it speaks to the character of a human when he is willing to face himself like this and take real responsibility for emotions. Denial and refusal to take responsibility for emotions always remains as an option but does nothing to end the vicious cycle of insecurity, suffering and despair.
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