Saturday, January 21, 2012


 By Shari Schreiber, M.A.

This conflict between what you need and want, confuses and intensifies your struggle, because you're hopelessly trapped in yearning for a woman you'vesensed isn't healthy for you! Your ambivalence is completely normal--but it adds to your feelings of shame about being out of control and a little 'crazy.' There's a ridiculously simple explanation for all of this; you've been trying to have a functional relationship with a dysfunctional female.

Heaven knows, you're not perfect--but you've overlooked an awful lot, just to keep this woman caring enough to stick around. There have been times that taking care of her feelings and needs was a full time job--but you've gladly taken it on, and tirelessly kept trying to get a few crumbs of loving attention along the way. If you disappointed or let her down in any manner, the character assaults and twisted perceptions of you as an inconsiderate or "selfish" man, made you feel just terrible about yourself. These comments usually came on the heels of the good times, so you began to believe them, which made you try even harder to please her!

You'll keep wanting to blame yourself for this relationship faltering, but this is directly tied to experiences in childhood, which left you with self-esteem wounds. A young child can't make sense of why he isn't getting enough love, affection or support from a parent, and he doesn't even know how to ask for it! He'll try to find reasons for this lack of attention in his head--but the only rationale he can come up with is, it must be his fault; "I must not be good enough, smart enough, cute enough, lovable," etc. You've carried these self-worth injuries into your adult relationships, and now they're alive again. This damage must be repaired, or you'll continue being attracted to Borderlines. 

The dangerous, diabolical hook with Borderlines, is they initially come across as genuine, and completely without pretense, guile or disguise. This helps you drop your guard, and makes it easy to trust that their statements to you are real--and they're authentic, integrous individuals. The ease you have felt with them is so natural and wholesome, it seems you've waited for this your whole life! These early behaviors are central to their Seduction Plan; as soon as they sense that you're captivated, you're captured--and these episodes of delicious intimacy become fewer and farther between. 

You will never know where you stand with a Borderline, because they're not capable of discerning this for themselves--well, not beyond a few moments or hours at a time, anyway. One minute you're the center of their universe, but before you know it--you're dirt under their feet. You'll continually wrestle with this discrepancy, 'cause you're trying to make sense of it! Don't bother. It's nonsensical, until you start to accept that this is typical BPD behavior. 


I'm now going to debunk some myths about Borderlines: First, they won't all behave identically. You might assume that certain patterns you've heard or read about can be anticipated with every Borderline--but it just isn't true. For one; after an upset or break-up, her return is not chiseled in stone! It's likely she'll come around when she wants or needs something from you, but this is only when it suits her--which could take weeks, months or years.

Second, Borderlines can make tangible progress with solid therapeutic help, but you may have a better shot at flying to the moon strapped to a banana, than keeping them in treatment long enough, to accomplish any real growth or healing. Don't forget--they're terrified of attaching, and relying on anyone for their care. They'll act-out by devaluing the therapist, acting belligerent or picking fights, being non-compliant and/or seductive, missing appointments, rescheduling at the last minute, or lying in effort to control the therapeutic relationship. Week to week, the therapist hears them diminish you or glorify you, and this splitting reflex (of course) happens continuously. 

Third, no matter how much you try to please her or love her better, you're in for a rocky ride. Borderlines can be attracted to narcissistic or abusive men, because of poor self-image and attachment fears: What could be safer, than trying to get someone to love you, who's incapable of loving? The more you demonstrate that she's lovable, the more disdain she feels toward you. It's kind of like that old saying; "I wouldn't want to join a club that would have me as a member," holds true here. You can't be someone you're not, just to keep this woman interested in you--but your need to be who she needs you to be, is deeply rooted in boyhood!!!  

Fourth, when you're imagining that she's feeling exactly like you are, stop it! There are times you'll show up on her radar, and times you won't--no matterhow much history you've shared. An individual who lives with psychosis does not have the same feelings or emotional responses as you. To presume that they do, is unrealistic thinking, narcissistic and potentially very dangerous. 

Fifth, if you're thinking you need her to suffer like you have--and that being seen with someone new will make her want you again, watch your back! This is an extremely hazardous game you're about to play, regardless of whether or not she's left you for a rebound relationship. Dating a new woman? Keep a low profile, and put your car in the garage! Is this fair? No, but it's safer.

Sixth, if you're reflexively making yourself "wrong" for conjuring up all sorts of terrible fates befalling her, ease-up on yourself! Your anger is appropriate under these circumstances, and it's an activating emotion--which gives you temporary respite from this dreadful depression. Rage is a normal aspect of your healing process, but try to hold these feelings without self-judgment, rather than acting on them (unless you wanna do some push-ups). In other words, express this energy in ways that won't harm you, or anyone else.

Seventh, if she calls or "checks in" to see how you're doing in the aftermath of this relationship, it's never about you! Your needs didn't matter while she was with you, and they don't matter now. You may feel grateful she seems to care enough to keep the connection alive--but her sole purpose is keeping you around to meet her needs (no matter what she says to the contrary). A three year old hasn't developed any capacity for empathy (that comes much later on), so don't presume that she's calling for your sake.   

Eighth, no matter who left whom, emotional cut-off is second nature to this woman. It's natural for you to wonder if she ever really loved you, or meant the things she said while you were together--particularly if she's diminishing you or your importance to her, now. Was she "faking it?" No, but you mustunderstand, this is part of that splitting reflex described above, and just one of the survival tools she's carried since infancy. You cannot fix this.

Ninth, the minute you make contact with her, you're giving away your power. No matter what you think you need to say to this female, these dialogues will leave you feeling worse, not better. You may compulsively replay these conversations in your head afterwards, and think you did a really good job--but it won't be long before you're doubting it, and torturing yourself. Do notintercept her calls; if you decide to return them, do it when you're feeling more centered, and it's easy/convenient for you. Don't reply to any emails or text messages, and do not respond to her "emergencies!" It won't win her back, or make her think more highly of you. Besides, the crisis will blow over very shortly; by the time you get back to her, she's onto something else. It's best if you don't hear her voicemails, or read what she sends. Doing so, only prolongs your pain. Delete, delete, delete!!!

Tenth, Borderlines don't change, because they don't have to! Her great looks and captivating charms continually allow her to seduce men, which feeds her narcissism. Your ego's taken a serious beating, so you probably can't believe this right now--but you deserve better.

Eleventh, if you're fairly certain she's rebounding with someone who's better looking, wealthier, brighter, taller, more loving, etc., in most instances, this is a totally erroneous assumption! It's unlikely you'll accept this at present, but she's more prone to choosing an easier mark the next time around--even if it's a fellow who feels stuck in an unfulfilling marriage. In truth, most men are utterly shocked when they finally discover who she's deserted them for.This relentless preoccupation with who the other guy is, taps into childhood deficits that undermined your self-worth. If you grew up with a dad who was narcissistic, tyrannical, weak/sickly--or wasn't around much, there's a strong likelihood that his needs superceded yours--at least, where your mom was concerned. In short, you've had to compete for a woman's attention and love your entire life. It is this aspect that allows you to take her back, after each sexual betrayal with another man--regardless of how castrating it feels.

Twelfth, stop assuming that this female is the keeper of your pleasure and pain! You are the sole proprietor of these sensations; in short, they belongentirely to you--not to her. You might be inclined to credit her for bringing these intense feelings into your life, but they've been inside you all along, since you were born--she's simply awakened them. In a sense, you've been sleepwalking since childhood, when you had to discard certain emotions yourparents treated as unacceptable, or "bad."

Thirteenth, and perhaps most important: There will be moments where she'll seem rational and lucid--both while you're with her, and after the break-up. These episodes have insidiously kept you in this destructive relationship, by fueling your capacity to overlook, trivialize or normalize abnormal behaviors. These phases are very transient/fleeting--but they've indulged your fantasythat this lover is really whole, or sane. Watch out for this one!!!

Fourteenth, Borderlines lacked a healthy symbiotic bond in infancy with their birth mothers, which is the core of this difficulty. You may have sensed that she's wanted/needed you to be a mind reader or Mommy, when these primal needs got displaced onto you--but no male on God's green earth is equipped to take on these roles, or heal the archaic issues that drive her demands.

Fifteenth, Borderlines do not "get better" with age! Rereference my mid-lifeparagraph above. While some of their acting-out behaviors can mitigate over time, these generally transmute into other issues--unless there's been solid therapeutic intervention along the way; the Witch or Queen Borderline could adopt Hermit or Waif traits, for instance. We're not as aware of these folks, because they're no longer out 'trolling' in Our World. Have you ever noticed disheveled old people who are living on the street, begging, acting crazy and muttering to themselves? You're observing Borderline pathology in the aged, and/or more severe mental disorders, such as Schizophrenia.

Sixteenth, don't fall into the trap of thinking you can construct a relationship with a "high-functioning" Borderline. They may be adept in their professionallife, and far too many are psychotherapists--but their romantic partnerships suffer the same come-here/go-away interpersonal dynamics, as all the rest! Sure, they're exceptionally bright and capable--but emotionally undercookedand damaged. As hard as it is to believe, these may be the most diabolical and wounding relationships. Why? They're brilliant at making you think thatyou're the one who's defective and nuts!         


Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Modern Warfare 3