“They love without measure those whom they will soon hate without reason.” Thomas Sydenham
Many people are in relationships with borderline men and women and don’t even realize it. In their 1998 ground breaking book, “Stop Walking on Eggshells”, Paul Mason and Randi Krager demystify borderline personality disorder and teach non-borderlines spouses how to understand and get off the emotional rollercoaster that has become their life.
Many non-borderlines are verbally or emotionally abused by the person who has BPD. Many people who have BPD were also verbally abused as children. Emotional abuse is insidious. It is considered worse than physical abuse because it tends to be daily, ongoing, and has the effect of slowly chipping away at one’s self esteem, identity, and sense of self.
Here are some signs that might indicate you are in a relationship with someone who has borderline personality disorder.
- Are you constantly being accused of doing things you never did and saying things you never said?
- Do you feel misunderstood a great deal of the time, and when you try to explain, the other person doesn’t believe you?
- Are you afraid to ask for things in the relationship because you will be told you’re too demanding or there is something wrong with you?
- Are you told that your needs are wrong or not important?
- Do you find yourself concealing what you really think or feel because you’re afraid of the other person’s reaction?
- Do you sometimes feeling like you’re walking on eggshells, and that no matter what you say or do, it will be twisted and used against you?
- Are you constantly being blamed and criticized for everything wrong in the relationship, even when it makes no logical sense?
- Are you often on the receiving end of intense, even violent rages that make no logical sense, alternating with periods when the other person acts perfectly normal and loving?
- Do you feel like you’re being manipulated, controlled or even lied to sometimes?
- Do you feel like the person you care about sees you as either all good or all bad, with nothing in between?
- Do you feel like your spouse is “Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, one moment a loving, caring person; another moment someone who seems so vicious you barely recognize them?
- Do you feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster with high highs and very low lows?
- Are you constantly being put down, yet when you try to leave the relationship your spouse tries to prevent you from leaving in a variety of ways, anything from declarations of love and promises to change to outright threats?
- Do you sometimes wonder if you’re losing your grip on reality because the other person is always putting you down or denying your point of view?
If this sounds like your relationship then there is a good chance you are living with someone who is suffering with borderline personality disorder, and although there is no cure or single medication, the person can get better through therapy. DBT or dialectical behavior therapy was developed specifically to treat people suffering with borderline personality disorder, and has been shown to be very effective.
Source material: BPD Central, Walking on Eggshells, Mason & Kreger