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Losing my best friend to BPD

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Sandler123

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Pennsylvania
I miss my best friend. For anonymity purposes, we will call her Amy. Any and I have been friends for years, but in the past year and a half have become very close. She was my other half (besides my spouse). Complete opposite of me but we respected and cared for each other a great deal. We have taken care of each other’s kids and we a have shared so much. In July of this year she allowed her abusive father back into her life. For years she had told me about the things he used to do to her and her siblings. Her mother also abandoned the family when she was a pre teen. And she was left to live with this man and protect her you g siblings. She said that her father had terminated al cancer and that she was the only one who could care for him. As time went on, she started to change. For awhile she was isolating herself and she wouldn’t return calls or texts or when I would see her she would look right through me as if I didn’t exist. And then things started to get better and then all of a sudden it was like a light switch flipped and she would attack me out of no where. Vicious verbal attacks. In the years that I have known her, I have never seen her like this. She apologized once. Telling me that she was “broken”, “all of a sudden very lost”, and that she needed help. She also admitted to me that she had been secretly drinking heavily and believed she had a drinking problem. I helped her find a therapist and some outpatient rehab locations and I think she was going for sometime. By the time October came around, I would reach out and sometimes it would be the old her and then one night she became so out of line with me. Telling me she wished she never knew me, that I was controlling her and she wouldn’t allow it, that I ruined her life and a ton of other very hurtful statements. I was beyond shocked, hurt and betrayed. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and depression and it sent me in a tail spin. I told her I needed break from our friendship because for 3 months all she had done was attack me and I couldn’t handle it anymore. After that she fell apart. When i would see her, she would ignore me most of the time. Then one day out of the blue she started talking to me again and we started to reconnect, but I was still guarded. And then an attack happened again recently. She accused me of talking about her and sharing all her secrets and that I am secretly setting up to destroy her. All because I was talking to the “wrong or bad” people. The same people she had been talking to only days before. I asked her if she wanted to talk in person and she refused and instead sent me a very long, untrue and insulting email. Accusing me of things that called into question my integrity and character. This time I responded by simply telling her what she was saying was not true. She asked me to leave her alone, so I did. But then she sent me a text in the middle of the night. I responded simply and she disappeared again. In this time I found out what BPD is. And my beautiful friend is borderline. It’s not her fault. Her trauma is deep and I recognize that. I want to support her the best I can but I don’t want to be in her crosshairs. What do I do? I feel like she is pushing me away but at the same time doesn’t want me to leave. I’m so confused. I miss my best friend so much. But I don’t know who this woman is. Is she even still there?
 
Shiroki

Shiroki

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That is the chaotic nature of bpd. I couldn’t tell you what you should do, but I can tell you she ultimately doesn’t want to let you go, and a lot of the harsh things she is saying is likely her projecting on you. I know because I am bpd, and have caught myself projecting my own weaknesses and problems onto my most loved ones. The fact that she is in such turmoil over you means that you are important to her, but as for what you can do? Nothing really. You can keep supporting her and suffering backlash until she figures out for herself one day that she needs to change. The only way for a bpd person to get better is for them to want to get better and to put in the work. You have to go against what feels natural to you and re-program your own thoughts and emotions. I’m sorry I can’t give you a good answer. But I do think if you cannot handle her, you should back out and stay out and cut off all contact. I know that seems harsh, but it would force her to accept the way things are and she would either get worse, or try to get better. You can’t fix her, and if she is causing damage to you, you need to take care of yourself first. Yes that may sound selfish, but you cannot help others if you cannot help yourself first. Good luck.
 
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Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
281
Location
London, ON
I went through the same thing a few years ago. My friend went form being so thoughtful, caring and upbeat, to being nasty, cruel and negative. We went from spending enough time together people assumed we were a couple, to we never speak anymore. And she lives 2 floors above me.

It's heartbreaking. Every step of the breakdown of our friendship was something I saw coming, and nothing could stop it. She just needed somebody to blame for why she felt like she did.

"Telling me she wished she never knew me, that I was controlling her and she wouldn’t allow it, that I ruined her life and a ton of other very hurtful statements. I was beyond shocked, hurt and betrayed. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and depression and it sent me in a tail spin "

You just described my experience exactly. It was projecting her traits onto me, and gaslighting. She accused me of a drinking problem. I had 3 drinks in 4 months. With her. And, the reason I don't drink is I don't like booze, not because I had a drinking problem. While she was drinking constantly.

When it started, I "made the mistake" of saying maybe we should untangle our lives a bit, so we didn't trigger each other. And that's when it all went psycho. Returning her keys had her complain about me to building management. Returning her stuff got me a visit from the police for harassing her.

Shiroki is likely right, half her anger is because she misses you, but can't admit fault with herself in order to "forgive" you. For "Sandra" to forgive me, she'd have to admit she was lying to and trying to manipulate me, that she was in teh wrong. And she can't do that.

Of course, the other half is, I think I said some incredibly cruel hurtful things to her, about her, calling her out, and they were pretty unforgivable, even if they were mostly true.

I hope you sort things out happily, but you can't do anything, she has to come to terms with events on her own.

For us, I think the big trigger was the "will we or won't we" be a couple question, and I didn';t react like she wanted to her games.
 
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Girl interupted

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When you are subject to being exposed to your abuser and having to care for them, there is no distance or escape and you are thrown back to being a helpless child again.

So you return to maladaptive coping mechanisms to drown out that conflict between obligation and trauma.

Your friend telling you she was worried about her drinking was a cry for help. She is probably embarrassed by her behaviour and because she’s subject to dealing with her abuser, has zero control of her reactions. She is likely desperately treading water to stop from feeling like she is drowning. I would not be surprised if she is contemplating suicide.

As long as she has to be exposed to her abuser, there is no room in her chaos for your feelings or pain. She is not doing it on purpose, she’s just trying not to drown.

If you can ignore the outbursts and just be the one steady thing in her life, you might save her life. And then,when her father passes, you’ll have the chance to regain your old friend again.

But right now she needs unconditional love, and more importantly, constant forgiveness. You will have to figure out if you have that in you or not.
 
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Sandler123

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Pennsylvania
All of this makes a lot of sense. And thank you because it gives me some perspective. I love and care for her a lot. I know she doesn’t think she is love able and that isn’t her fault either. I should also mention that we have the same circle of friends and work a part time job together. It’s very hard to cut her off because i feel like i would be cutting everyone else off and then there would be a lot of questions and i am a firm believer in not sharing other people’s business. So I’m not sure how i would respond. She still engages me in group texts and those go fairly well. Then she disappears. Sometimes she will text me late at night - a song i might like or how she needs to quit her job. If i am still up and engage, she shuts down, but most of the time i am asleep when she does it. I don’t know if she is drunk or sober when she texts me so late. But without a doubt, one day she hates me, the next day doesn’t seem to want to let me go. Last night, she texted me telling me she needs to leave her job so she can concentrate on getting her life back together and getting back to her old self.

As for her father, I don’t understand why she has allowed her father back into her life, but it’s becoming clear that it is something I may never fully understand. I don’t understand why her husband has allowed it either. She has children. I’ve met this man. She has told me horrifying stories. She told me originally that her father said he was terminal in July/August with only months to live. At Thanksgiving, she told me (when she randomly texts in the middle of the night) that he was suddenly cured. His doctor had never seen such a recovery. He told her it was because she allowed them to reconnect. That was the reason he was better and then she wondered why she has such trust issues because she knows that it can’t be true. But again, this isn’t for me to deal with. It’s for a professional.

I think I just need to figure out if I want to stay or go. And if i stay, how to have boundaries but love and support her as much as I can. I need to also have my own life and take care of myself.
 
Shiroki

Shiroki

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Forgive me for asking, but is there any romantic connection involved? Because she certainly seems romantically attached. Maybe not sexually, but bpd and women especially can become so attached to someone it turns into romantic love even if they never acted on it. This is just a theory, but maybe a lot of her frustration and confusion towards you is feelings she may herself feel are wrong. Like feelings of romance towards you that she knows would be cheating on her husband in essence or something. Longing for something you can’t have is a terrifying pain.
 
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Sandler123

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
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Location
Pennsylvania
It’s interesting that you ask that. We have had moments where we’ve shared a kiss or snuggled. Definitely crossing a regular friend boundary a few times. We have talked about it before and she said that sometimes she confuses friendship with intimacy. When it has happened, I’ve always told my husband and he is ok with it. She has given me several different stories about what she has told her husband so i don’t know what the truth is there. This hadn’t happened in 6 months. I also have terrible boundaries when I drink, so I really don’t drink. A few weeks ago, right before the last split, and maybe this was part of the trigger thinking about it now, was that I was at a little friend gathering at her house. When I told her I was leaving, she got very snuggly and hanging on me, after sort of avoiding or picking at me all evening. As i went to leave, she came up, gave me a hug, whispered that she was sorry and needs help and then went to kiss me before I left. I turned my head, kissed her on the cheek and left. I brought it up to her and she said it was innocent, and this is why she has to stop drinking because it plays with her reality. And then the big outburst happened hours later. Blaming me for the whole thing.

this is definitely something to think about.
 
Shiroki

Shiroki

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It’s interesting that you ask that. We have had moments where we’ve shared a kiss or snuggled. Definitely crossing a regular friend boundary a few times. We have talked about it before and she said that sometimes she confuses friendship with intimacy. When it has happened, I’ve always told my husband and he is ok with it. She has given me several different stories about what she has told her husband so i don’t know what the truth is there. This hadn’t happened in 6 months. I also have terrible boundaries when I drink, so I really don’t drink. A few weeks ago, right before the last split, and maybe this was part of the trigger thinking about it now, was that I was at a little friend gathering at her house. When I told her I was leaving, she got very snuggly and hanging on me, after sort of avoiding or picking at me all evening. As i went to leave, she came up, gave me a hug, whispered that she was sorry and needs help and then went to kiss me before I left. I turned my head, kissed her on the cheek and left. I brought it up to her and she said it was innocent, and this is why she has to stop drinking because it plays with her reality. And then the big outburst happened hours later. Blaming me for the whole thing.

this is definitely something to think about.
Very much sounds like you both have a romantic connection with each other, even if different levels of it.
 
G

Girl interupted

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All of this makes a lot of sense. And thank you because it gives me some perspective. I love and care for her a lot. I know she doesn’t think she is love able and that isn’t her fault either. I should also mention that we have the same circle of friends and work a part time job together. It’s very hard to cut her off because i feel like i would be cutting everyone else off and then there would be a lot of questions and i am a firm believer in not sharing other people’s business. So I’m not sure how i would respond. She still engages me in group texts and those go fairly well. Then she disappears. Sometimes she will text me late at night - a song i might like or how she needs to quit her job. If i am still up and engage, she shuts down, but most of the time i am asleep when she does it. I don’t know if she is drunk or sober when she texts me so late. But without a doubt, one day she hates me, the next day doesn’t seem to want to let me go. Last night, she texted me telling me she needs to leave her job so she can concentrate on getting her life back together and getting back to her old self.

As for her father, I don’t understand why she has allowed her father back into her life, but it’s becoming clear that it is something I may never fully understand. I don’t understand why her husband has allowed it either. She has children. I’ve met this man. She has told me horrifying stories. She told me originally that her father said he was terminal in July/August with only months to live. At Thanksgiving, she told me (when she randomly texts in the middle of the night) that he was suddenly cured. His doctor had never seen such a recovery. He told her it was because she allowed them to reconnect. That was the reason he was better and then she wondered why she has such trust issues because she knows that it can’t be true. But again, this isn’t for me to deal with. It’s for a professional.

I think I just need to figure out if I want to stay or go. And if i stay, how to have boundaries but love and support her as much as I can. I need to also have my own life and take care of myself.
I'm stuck in a similar situation as your friend. My abuser had brain cancer and rebounded so many times, they called it a miracle, too. It still didn’t change the daily onslaught of abuse, which grew more violent as the tumour took over.

I stayed and took care of her because that is what I was programmed to do, to ignore my own pain and be engulfed by hers. If my father had been capable beyond juvenile and terrified response, I might have found a way to get some distance. But he was weak from years of being on the bad end of her temper, and there was nobody else.

I started to untangle, revert to those feelings of self loathing, always on the verge of being suicidal or a breakdown. And it was because I was trapped, I had no choice. There was nobody else.

Unless you are a child of abuse, it’s hard to explain. You tend to put yourself last, when what you need is a support network that puts you first. Only you have so little self esteem, so little sense of self that you are either afraid to ask, because you feel so unstable, or you don’t feel you deserve it.

Nobody should be anyone’s sounding board for abuse. Boundaries are important. But understand from a bpd perspective, our greatest fear is abandonment, to hysterical non-rational levels, and setting those boundaries without giving full context will likely create a trigger.

I recognize what your friend is going through, because I lived it. And the abuser will typically leverage their control in all kinds of atrocious manners.
 
Shiroki

Shiroki

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I'm stuck in a similar situation as your friend. My abuser had brain cancer and rebounded so many times, they called it a miracle, too. It still didn’t change the daily onslaught of abuse, which grew more violent as the tumour took over.

I stayed and took care of her because that is what I was programmed to do, to ignore my own pain and be engulfed by hers. If my father had been capable beyond juvenile and terrified response, I might have found a way to get some distance. But he was weak from years of being on the bad end of her temper, and there was nobody else.

I started to untangle, revert to those feelings of self loathing, always on the verge of being suicidal or a breakdown. And it was because I was trapped, I had no choice. There was nobody else.

Unless you are a child of abuse, it’s hard to explain. You tend to put yourself last, when what you need is a support network that puts you first. Only you have so little self esteem, so little sense of self that you are either afraid to ask, because you feel so unstable, or you don’t feel you deserve it.

Nobody should be anyone’s sounding board for abuse. Boundaries are important. But understand from a bpd perspective, our greatest fear is abandonment, to hysterical non-rational levels, and setting those boundaries without giving full context will likely create a trigger.

I recognize what your friend is going through, because I lived it. And the abuser will typically leverage their control in all kinds of atrocious manners.
Nothing I say could make any of that better, but I’m sorry for what you went through. I wish all parents understood what profound and lasting effects they have their children. I don’t know if your abuser was your parent, but as a father, he should have done what he could to shield you. I don’t know his circumstances either, but I guess not everyone can be so selfless to save their child some suffering. I hope you have come to a better place in your life. And you are right that the friend does not deserve to be cut off without an explanation.
 
G

Girl interupted

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My abuser was my mom. My dad was absent. Physically there but that’s it. He can barely take care of himself now.

My mom passed last year. I am healing. It’s why I know this woman will get her friend back when her abuser passes. But in the meantime, she needs grace.
 
Shiroki

Shiroki

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My abuser was my mom. My dad was absent. Physically there but that’s it. He can barely take care of himself now.

My mom passed last year. I am healing. It’s why I know this woman will get her friend back when her abuser passes. But in the meantime, she needs grace.
I defer to your wisdom on this. It is good to hear you are healing, as a fellow human being, you are just as worthy and deserving of happiness as any other.
 
S

Sandler123

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I'm stuck in a similar situation as your friend. My abuser had brain cancer and rebounded so many times, they called it a miracle, too. It still didn’t change the daily onslaught of abuse, which grew more violent as the tumour took over.

I stayed and took care of her because that is what I was programmed to do, to ignore my own pain and be engulfed by hers. If my father had been capable beyond juvenile and terrified response, I might have found a way to get some distance. But he was weak from years of being on the bad end of her temper, and there was nobody else.

I started to untangle, revert to those feelings of self loathing, always on the verge of being suicidal or a breakdown. And it was because I was trapped, I had no choice. There was nobody else.

Unless you are a child of abuse, it’s hard to explain. You tend to put yourself last, when what you need is a support network that puts you first. Only you have so little self esteem, so little sense of self that you are either afraid to ask, because you feel so unstable, or you don’t feel you deserve it.

Nobody should be anyone’s sounding board for abuse. Boundaries are important. But understand from a bpd perspective, our greatest fear is abandonment, to hysterical non-rational levels, and setting those boundaries without giving full context will likely create a trigger.

I recognize what your friend is going through, because I lived it. And the abuser will typically leverage their control in all kinds of atrocious manners.
I know I don’t want to leave her. I know I can’t fix her or anything like that. I know she needs support and love. She has virtually no one because of her BPD. How do I tell her this? The last time I did, she was in the middle of a split and she told me that she wanted me to leave her alone. Do I just keep saying it, I love you and I’m not going to abandon you? And when I say boundaries, since she only attacks via text or email (in person she shuts down) do I not respond? Do I point it out? Politely end the conversation?
 
Shiroki

Shiroki

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I know I don’t want to leave her. I know I can’t fix her or anything like that. I know she needs support and love. She has virtually no one because of her BPD. How do I tell her this? The last time I did, she was in the middle of a split and she told me that she wanted me to leave her alone. Do I just keep saying it, I love you and I’m not going to abandon you? And when I say boundaries, since she only attacks via text or email (in person she shuts down) do I not respond? Do I point it out? Politely end the conversation?
Hmm, not a bad idea to just constantly tell her you love her and are there for her and do your best to ignore when she lashes out at you, I know that would help me feel better as I work through things.
 
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