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Scary book suposedly written by someone with BPD

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earthbound_misfit

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Possibly very triggering - there's a trigger warning on the ebook itself. I can link but don't want to trigger anyone else.

Just came across this ridiculous book, part of a series on BPD supposedly written by someone who had BPD. And it's aimed at family/friends of the person with BPD!

This particular book is about punishment and revenge. I mean, wtf?! They're not even symptoms of BPD, just symptoms of a caricature! It makes me realy angry (and frightened) that someone who treated people crappily assumes that applies to everyone else, and then you get (formal) reviews like:
"... Only someone who has recovered from BPD - been there and made it back - could explain this most central aspect of BPD the way [she] does. For that reason she has not only a unique voice but a very wise one that will teach anyone who reads this ebook."
Nononooooooooo!!!!! This is not a central aspect of BPD, you moron! (With a PhD!) What it is, is a convenient way for others to label us as bad people, invalidate and gaslight us, and treat us in a way that they would not find acceptable themselves. I'll agree the writer probably has a "unique voice", but that's precisely who it should not be generalised to other people!

Should there be two types of BPD? One that is the vindictive type (are they real? I've never met someone like that who actually meets BPD criteria, or who feels awful enough to seek psych help), the other would be the ... um... compassionate (?) type. Who has been very hurt in life, is probably a 'people-pleaser', and is concerned about people leaving, not getting revenge on them. This seems to be a radically important distinction, why is it not made? Why are people being blamed for the sins of another - isn't that a bit like racism? (Eg. hating all Muslims cos some did something awful.) There are so many as yet un-named 'isms' in psychiatry!!

In the blurb bit of the book it says:
... the insight that [she] shares about her own journey from being a person with BPD who had unmastered and unregulated talionic impulses to someone who learned in her recovery that it was much more important to lay down the struggle for power in the face of powerlessness.
and
[She] also learned, as she talks about in this ebook, that to recover from BPD one has to make a conscious choice to want something - something very precious - way more then they want or need to be or feel right.
Those last two get to me, they just seem so wrong. Lay down the struggle for power! Submit! Lose yourself, complying is more important that that silly urge to feel 'right'! I mean, if I think I'm wrong about something, I'll change my mind, and thus no longer be wrong. Of course it's important to feel right! Otherwise you'd have contant internal conflict (uh, the conscience she writes about developing in the book) and be depresed and unhappy from living in a way you felt was wrong. I get the idea of people struggling to admit they're wrong, but this sounds much more like they're just being expected to submit to others' views even if it still feels very wrong to them. You know, that message most of us got terrifyingly loud and clear earlier in our lives, and which messed us up.

I just find it so weird and upsetting/confusing that all the stuff officially for BPD (like DBT, or how professionals view us) seems to be the complete opposite of what helps or is healthy. I've always tried my utmost to be a kind, considerate human being; I try to do the 'right' thing even when it is not the easiest thing or what I want to do. The problem has come in because, in short, the rest of the world does not have the same moral standards! So I've been taken advantage of, of worn myself out/felt inadequate, and growing up I 'learnt' that I wasn't worth as much as others because I was trying so hard to be a good person but others could hurt me and that was somehow my fault, or didn't matter/I didn't come under the same social code as others. So actually being more 'selfish', which involves knowing what I want rather than automtically going along with others expectations, is actually important, and helps. Yet the professionals seem to have no clue, why is this?!
And then they can just say you're obviously evil and insane as you still don't agree with them... :scratcheshead:

Thoughts and reflections on all are very welcome... this is more of a discussion than need for help... it's nice knowing I'm not the only one who feels this way. :clap:

ETA - One of the BPD symptoms I've never really 'got' is the unstable sense of self. I've had an unclear sense of self, perhaps, obscured by trying to please and fit in with others. But the main, overwhelming feeling I get is that I know exactly who I am and what I think but haven't been allowed to be me. I've tried to submit, to agree, to fit in, and that is why I lost myself. Yet again, professionals would keep enouraging this! I think I might write a blog post about professionals inducing BPD symptoms!
 
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Toasted Crumpet

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I have read this sort of thing, it is all over the web and it is very very triggering for us as often we already feel like we are worthless pieces of shit and it just reinforces it.

Having said that I found the book and I am going to have to read it!!! As I am toooooo curious for my own good and want to see what stigmatising crap they have come up with now :rolleyes:

I might write a better response later, I like your posts earthbound, you are able to articulate the errors in these people who treat people with BPD like crap, whereas I just go off on a massive strop and start ranting and attacking myself.

Actually just had a look it is going on about Freud and emotional cannibalism and god knows what think I will give it a miss it actually sounds very dry and boring. I suppose that is my typical borderline devaluation at play there then! :LOL:
 
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SomersetScorpio

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Hallelujah - she is a shining, guiding light to us all! She has seen the error of her ways. :respect:


Err, seriously though, what the actual fuck?

You make really good points misfit.. I see exactly what you mean about professionals almost inducing that vague sense of self.
I think that's why I didn't get on so well with my last therapist, because i'd got stronger I wasn't prepared so sit there and listen to her bullshit presumptions she'd made about me.

Unfortunately, I really feel that the author of this book might have found themselves in that position.
A lot of this is could possibly be down to her taking in the messages she got from professionals and non-professionals alike.
I see this as a bit of a surrender to it all, rather than being true to herself. Just my opinion.

I could rant on and on about this.
The whole "Borderlines are Bitches/Bastards" thing really gets to me and I relate to what you said about that too.
 
Toasted Crumpet

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I am sorry to say, having read some of it online I think it does apply to me:redface:

I guess with 256 possible symptom combinations there are all sorts of different types of people with BPD.

Sorry if I have been responsible for stigma experienced by more benign types:sorry:
 
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earthbound_misfit

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I am sorry to say, having read some of it online I think it does apply to me:redface:
...
Sorry if I have been responsible for stigma experienced by more benign types:sorry:
I think the fact that you even say that means you're definitely not the ranting evil bitch from hell caricature of BPD!
I wondered myself, about the retribution thing, cos I used to have retribution fantasies (mainly the crisis team in stocks, :meanie: keep meaning to do a blog post about that... hmm). However I would not act on these thoughts at all, and actually they all involve the person seeing the error of their ways so I think a lot is to do with craving understanding when powerless. Also, a lot of people feel and even act on a desire for retribution in 'the heat of the moment' but it doesn't mean they're completely evil/BPD caricature.
 
Toasted Crumpet

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I think the fact that you even say that means you're definitely not the ranting evil bitch from hell caricature of BPD!
I wondered myself, about the retribution thing, cos I used to have retribution fantasies (mainly the crisis team in stocks, :meanie: keep meaning to do a blog post about that... hmm). However I would not act on these thoughts at all, and actually they all involve the person seeing the error of their ways so I think a lot is to do with craving understanding when powerless. Also, a lot of people feel and even act on a desire for retribution in 'the heat of the moment' but it doesn't mean they're completely evil/BPD caricature.
The thing about people with BPD wanting to get even rather than get better, that is something that is brought up a lot in 12 step programmes as well though the focus there is more on the resentments we carry and how this harms us rather than that we are wicked evil people who are trying to punish others.

I think I can see it in me though, for instance having been pressured to do well academically in order to please parents who were very conditional, I've "rebelled" by doing f*** all with my life. I am not sure if that might just be cos I am too depressed to really be arsed though rather than a deliberate attempt to rebel against their ideal "career woman" prototype.
 
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HospitalForSouls

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I think, that writing something symptomatic is very difficult here, as BPD as a MI is a little unclear on symptoms. 'Borderline' is referring to being on the borderline between Neurotic and Psychotic, so people who are diagnosed can have any combination of symptoms really-violence, self-mutilation, psychotic episodes etc... I must admit, I have sometimes enjoyed autobiographies/biographies or texts about peoples experiences... for example, I really love some Sylvia Plath, although it makes me very depressed :p however books like this really don't help people because, simply put, they are very black and white and MH issues as a whole, have a very wide spectrum and it just doesn't give a good, proportional representation of 'real people'. It gives these by-the-book definitions, which just don't apply to most people because human nature makes us more interesting than that
 
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earthbound_misfit

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The thing about people with BPD wanting to get even rather than get better, that is something that is brought up a lot in 12 step programmes as well though the focus there is more on the resentments we carry and how this harms us rather than that we are wicked evil people who are trying to punish others.
I'm a bit uncomfortable with this whole aspect. I mean, it gets pushed on people diagnosed BPD by those who don't demonstrate it at all. Professionals hold resentments forever, and have the power to make it permanent by writing nasty stuff in your notes. Them having all the power makes it easier for them to forgive than us, but we're the ones expected to be perfect!
Also, there's a whole load of stuff that isn't relevant/can be harmful if it's not done at the right time or in the right way. Encouraging someone to forgive, say, an abuser and 'let it go' when they haven't even had the self-confidence to be angry yet is not appropriate. I was taught about forgiveness, turning the other cheek etc. from a young age, but I never developed a healthy sense of self-respect - I just learnt to serve others, put them first at my own expense, not stand up for myself etc. So it's really galling to have professionals treat me like I must be such a nasty person! But also I'm figuring out (don't know yet) how to deal with a lifetime's worth of hurt and emotion that I simply supressed in order to get on with everyone and be a 'good person'. If someone apologises to me and means it, I forgive instantly. But if you're just forgiving, without an apology and without a healthy sense of self/self-worth, then you end up feeling like it's ok for other people to trample all over you/you're being silly to mind. So I don't think much should be made of BPD's being expected to forgive until their trauma has benen fully dealt with.

I think I can see it in me though, for instance having been pressured to do well academically in order to please parents who were very conditional, I've "rebelled" by doing f*** all with my life. I am not sure if that might just be cos I am too depressed to really be arsed though rather than a deliberate attempt to rebel against their ideal "career woman" prototype.
Are you not self-stigmatising (or something) here? If it was simple rebellion, wouldn't you know, on reflection? And "doing f*** all"... really? Or do you mean you haven't got a high-paying career, or whatever your parents taught you is the only worthwhile thing? I'd have thought you'd do somethig else like bum around the world working in bars, or something, if it was just resentment/rebellion. Not doing much due to depression is something else all together. I'm just concerned you're using it as a stick to beat yoursef with.

*hugs*
EM
 
Toasted Crumpet

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Are you not self-stigmatising (or something) here? If it was simple rebellion, wouldn't you know, on reflection? And "doing f*** all"... really? Or do you mean you haven't got a high-paying career, or whatever your parents taught you is the only worthwhile thing? I'd have thought you'd do somethig else like bum around the world working in bars, or something, if it was just resentment/rebellion. Not doing much due to depression is something else all together. I'm just concerned you're using it as a stick to beat yoursef with.
I am not sure. I know that growing up I was constantly compared unfavourably to other kids - mostly of my mum's middle class friends - and that when I was on the dole, and she was talking about how ashamed she felt when her friends told her how well their kids were doing, that there was a part of me that was glad she felt ashamed, and glad I hadn't done anything she could boast about, because she had never shown me any support and I did not want to please someone who had never had a good word to say about me. So there could be an element there of wanting to punish her rather than do something with my life. Though, as I say, I have never really wanted to do anything other then go to bed and be left alone. So it might be depression as well.
 
cboxpalace

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I'm sure people will hate my views, but that's never stopped me before. I am diagnosed bpd.

I don't like when anyone speaks in general terms regarding bpd. The only real commonality with bpd is that we have emotionally unstable relationships with others and even that varies. With some people it occurs only with significant others and with others it's across the spectrum. Not all traits of bpd apply to all individuals with bpd, we can be co-morbid with other mental illnesses, and we're also human beings and it all plays a factor in how illness presents itself and so we're all different.

That said we have an illness and with that illness comes some not very nice characteristics. That's a fact! If that wasn't the case there'd be no need for this forum or any forum that relates to bpd


Should there be two types of BPD? One that is the vindictive type (are they real? I've never met someone like that who actually meets BPD criteria, or who feels awful enough to seek psych help),
Yeah! It's nice to meet you. :) I think there are several people with BPD that exhibit this behavior and it develops through idealizing and then splitting all VERY common traits of BPD. Recently, I said some REALLY HORRIBLE things to a person. Basically calling them a worthless piece of sh*t and that they were a shitty friend. I may have called them a c**t too. I can't remember.

(at this point you're all thinking I'm a fucking asshole)

Most, if not all of us, are manipulative. That sounds bad and it would be if we were manipulating to be vindictive. That's not what we do though we manipulate in order to get our emotional needs met because we don't know how to ask for whatever it is we need or we don't feel that we deserve it.

There's a part of me (probably a big part) that enjoyed trying to make this person feel bad about themselves or to hurt their feelings. It wasn't because I just felt like doing it though for the helluva it. It's my fucked up dysfunction exhibiting itself. I missed this person and it hurt that they just stopped talking to me one day (a long time ago) for no reason. What's fucked up about this is I wanted them to take a moment and say calm down, what's wrong, let's talk, let's work this out. That would've made me feel like there was value to me as a person and friend.

The rational approach if I had ANY self worth would've been to approach this person and let them know that I miss talking to them, why did they drop out of my life, can we get back on track. That would be the healthy way of dealing with the situation, however I would've felt worse, because I didn't do anything wrong (to my knowledge) prior to her dropping out of my life. I feel worthless because I'm picking up the pieces when I didn't drop them. I have no self worth.

I tried to manipulate the situation by being a prick in hopes that she'd take the initiative to let me know that she missed me, was sorry and regretted dropping out of my life and in the process I'd feel that I meant something to someone.

I won't allow myself to feel bad or to apologize. I prefer to just try and stuff my emotions and not feel anything.

Does this kind of make sense??


the other would be the ... um... compassionate (?) type. Who has been very hurt in life, is probably a 'people-pleaser', and is concerned about people leaving, not getting revenge on them. This seems to be a radically important distinction, why is it not made?
I'll take issue here with you because it appears your associating being hurt in life only applies to those who are the compassionate people pleasers.

I think it's fair to say we've ALL been hurt in our own way. We just manifest our behaviors in different ways.

I just find it so weird and upsetting/confusing that all the stuff officially for BPD (like DBT, or how professionals view us) seems to be the complete opposite of what helps or is healthy.
I've VERY fortunate that I have a therapist who wants to learn and tries to understand me and how bpd affects me and my thought process. It's unfortunate more therapists aren't like this. I think as children we were placed in bad situations, where we had no control and we shouldn't have been in those situations. I think as adults we now WANT that control and may even need it, and I think this is what a lot of therapists don't understand. They want to control the situation to fix us when I think they need to relinquish that control to us and allow us to try and fix ourselves with their help. If I can't fix me then how can a therapist fix me when they don't fully understand how our brains function. When I was in DBT there were times that I just had to leave and rather than fight me the therapist just said I wish you'd stay but if you have to go we'll see you next week. He gave me that control to make a decision.

I've always tried my utmost to be a kind, considerate human being; I try to do the 'right' thing even when it is not the easiest thing or what I want to do. The problem has come in because, in short, the rest of the world does not have the same moral standards! So I've been taken advantage of, of worn myself out/felt inadequate, and growing up I 'learnt' that I wasn't worth as much as others because I was trying so hard to be a good person but others could hurt me and that was somehow my fault, or didn't matter/I didn't come under the same social code as others. So actually being more 'selfish', which involves knowing what I want rather than automtically going along with others expectations, is actually important, and helps. Yet the professionals seem to have no clue, why is this?!
And then they can just say you're obviously evil and insane as you still don't agree with them... :scratcheshead:
In my opinion, and you can tell me to fuck off, but I think this is your lack of self. These are more forced concepts rather than natural. You think this is how people should be and so you try to be that, but you're finding people aren't that way.



I hope you didn't take offense with anything I wrote.

~cbox
 
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earthbound_misfit

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I'm sure people will hate my views, but that's never stopped me before.
Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and you've actually read my post and engaged with what I've written and specifically responded to those points. So it's a thought-provoking discussion, not a "Lalalaaaaa, I can't hear you, I'm right cos I shout the loudest/have the power" that some engage in (the power bit relates to when professionals do it!) Not sure what to think but a friend of mine told me this week I shouldn't try to predict others (negative) responses and account for them in advance, eg. "I'm sorry to bother you, but ______", or in this case "I'm sure people will hate my views". He reckons it actually put's it in the person's head to think like that, or disagree or feel burdened, because you are acting like that's what you expect. Or something like that.

I don't like when anyone speaks in general terms regarding bpd. The only real commonality with bpd is that we have emotionally unstable relationships with others and even that varies. With some people it occurs only with significant others and with others it's across the spectrum. Not all traits of bpd apply to all individuals with bpd, we can be co-morbid with other mental illnesses, and we're also human beings and it all plays a factor in how illness presents itself and so we're all different.
This is so true. I'm not sure if emotionally unstable relationships are the commonality though - something very close to that, but not quite exactly that. I suppose what springs to mind is an abusive relationship (around the time I was diagnosed 10 yrs ago, no official Dx at present) where it would have been very easy to love/hate him, yet I didn't. Because he was uttely lovely sometimes and at other times just awful, picking on everything I said, taking the mick non-stop, felt like I was walking on eggshells, kind of thing. There didn't seem to be a middle ground, either. Yet I felt basically the same about him regardless, I just felt hurt and confused and like I wasn't worth much/it was somehow my fault & I could/should make it better when he behaved like that. So I guess I find the unstable relationships thing a bit insulting cos it kind of implies that the fault lies with the BPD dx'd person in a blaming way. I know the fault was partly mine for not leaving him, obviously, but that's to do with self-esteem and things that should be encouraged, not a "well, you're BPD, bound to have unstable relationships" blaming kind of thing! I mean, I do wonder if I was judged by services (another notch for BPD) because of that, because it wasn't me who was creating the instability, I was just reacting to him (by being upset and self-harming alone, not anything to do with him.)
Not that you were saying it in a blaming way, either, just thought I'd throw in what that definition brought up for me! I think maybe because the unstable emotional relationships can be so different (as above) that it relates to some deeper core issue. Something around emotionl instability/sense of self-worth in general. I think it's to do with high emotional reactivity too - my moods don't just suddenly switch unless there's an obvious trigger. Regarding sense of self-worth, when I am low and depressed and having to push to do anything and 'act' to some degree, I'm much, much more easily 'pushed over the edge' to breaking down in tears because my self-worth just isn't robust enough and feels like a worthless failure (as well as simply feeling exhausted). However, when I'm not feeling depressed like this, I feel more sure of mysef and have more confidence that my experiences and opinions are valid and that I matter, and don't feel the fear and shame if I make a mistake (even something like spilling something can break me when depressed).

That said we have an illness and with that illness comes some not very nice characteristics. That's a fact! If that wasn't the case there'd be no need for this forum or any forum that relates to bpd
What about forums that relate to depression? Or anorexia? Or diabetes or epilepsy? People use them for mutual support. I suppose you could say that's because their illness has "some not very nice characteristics", like feeling crappy, collapsing, fitting etc., but you seem to be implying people dx'd BPD have inherant character flaws and are somehow less deserving of the support or consideration given to other illnessess. It's like you've taken on board and internalised the stigma and shame projected onto us by others. Why would we need forums any more than anyone else? The only reason I can think of is that we are so often misunderstood so peer support means a lot, to know you're not alone. Please note as well that I always try to write "people diagnosed BPD" because it seems a questionable diagnosis for many, and I think it's incredibly damaging to assume these people (who are hurting, depressed and traumatised) embody all the traits of BPD, let alone the caricature of BPD. And a lot of those sites for family of those labelled BPD seem to be talking about narcissim, or some kind of psychopathy, if the posters are to be believed (big 'if' there, not going there now!) It just doesn't seem to relate to my experiences or others I've spoken to - in 'real life' and online. There seems to be so much misunderstanding, in particular attributing things to malice without taking into account what the person is going through in a way that isn't done (to the same extent) with other mental illnesses, or other people going through stuff. Ironically, those dx'd BPD are expected to be mindful of others in a way that often isn't done to them.
So I kind of thought, well, these people are being misunderstood. How can society react so strongly against child abuse, say, but blame and shun the adult survivors rather than compassionately help them heal? It doesn't add up. (I know child abuse isn't always behind BPD but where it is, people are still treated in the judgemental way and lumped together with *everyone* labelled BPD.) So I'm thinking, these other people dx'd BPD are having an experience related to mine, and I need to see that their behaviours (esp. those which I do not share) also come from the same inner torment and not knowing how people 'tick', just like me. On the other hand, if we are saying people with BPD are genuinely all *the negative characteristics* then perhaps myself and many others are not *really* BPD at all!
I suppose it's just such a broad diagnosis, it's like saying "you have hurty leg syndrome", it just doesn't really tell you anything at all. Unfortunately the system seems to treat us all the same and even offers only one treatment, in general!

(at this point you're all thinking I'm a fucking asshole)
I dunno, I mean you seem to know where you went wrong, and realise it's not good, so..?

Most, if not all of us, are manipulative. That sounds bad and it would be if we were manipulating to be vindictive. That's not what we do though we manipulate in order to get our emotional needs met because we don't know how to ask for whatever it is we need or we don't feel that we deserve it.
It depends what you mean by 'manipulatve'. Everyone is manipulative to some degree, it's present in everyday human interactions. How far do you take the definition? It just seems like there's a really low threshold when calling those diagnosed BPD 'manipulative' - eg. "She cried in front of me, how manipulative!" - yet it still carries all the loaded meanings and implications of someone full-on, calculatigly and in cold blood manipulating someone.
The other thing is, people are called manipulative when they tried to get their needs met the conventional way and couldn't - but especially those labelled BPD. Eg. it's seen as wrong if we feel we need support, so I can understand why some end up taking overdoses etc. to try to communicate how they feel - yet someone with a different diagnosis would have been helped at the first hurdle. So it ends up compounding itself. I've been called manipulative for honestly trying to explain to professionals how I feel and what I'm having problems with! - I mean, in a way I'm manipulating them by explaining and thinking they will help if they understand, but really?! What is a healthier way than that?!

The rational approach if I had ANY self worth would've been to approach this person and let them know that I miss talking to them, why did they drop out of my life, can we get back on track. That would be the healthy way of dealing with the situation, however I would've felt worse, because I didn't do anything wrong (to my knowledge) prior to her dropping out of my life. I feel worthless because I'm picking up the pieces when I didn't drop them. I have no self worth.
You see, this is what I would naturally do/used to do. And yes, I'd feel crappy for those reasons. So I stopped bothering with people that treated me like that. Even if I'd inadvertently done something wrong, I'd expect them to at least tell me. Actually, trying to talk to them never got anywhere, because the person is already being irrational/not wanting to talk it through so why would they bother now? (At least in my experience). Chasing after them just made me feel worse, and like I wasn't worth treating with respect. This sort of thing doesn't really happen anymore though, as I'm more careful who I trust and get close to. (Not that arguments never happen, but that we both want to make up and sort it out.) In addition others have helped provide perspective when this happens, and some of the people I've fallen out with in these sort of circumstances have actually come back and apologised/explained later or at least been friendly so we're on good terms even if not as close as before. So I can understand, which for me is the bit that drives me insane - not understanding why!

I won't allow myself to feel bad or to apologize. I prefer to just try and stuff my emotions and not feel anything.

Does this kind of make sense??
Yes that bit does. I also prefer not to feel anything, but that's more likely to make me want to withdraw from the situation altogether. I wouldn't want to do anything that would make me feel more bad, worthless and shameful. Also I have become increasingly aware that I tend to apologise and try desperately to make amends even when I'm sure I've done nothing wrong. So there's also the element of not wanting to be manipulated (!) by the other person. Even if I do get to speak to someone after a row, I feel a desperate urge to just agree with everything they say, so they don't leave, whilst also feeling disgusted at myself for doing so, and incredibly angry and unstable because the 'real me' is being repressed. Anger turned inwards = depression.

So for me, improved relationships have come with being true to myself, standing up for myself calmly/trying not to put myself in the wrong, and being more discerning in who I get close to/taking my time. However, many people (including professionals) seem to think that relationship issues are purely the fault of the person dx'd BPD. They seem to think the solution is just to submit, rather than expect to be treated with respect. What's more, if someone does treat us badly, it's assumed we must have provoked it.

No matter how bad your outward reaction was, this person still behaved in a hurtful way. You don't need to feel ashamed for feeling hurt by it, or that you 'deserve' to be treated that way. This is what gets me - rather than acknowledging genuine and perfectly understandable hurt, people just seem to go "Oh, it's the BPD's fault". It's being denied this legitimate voice that makes people act 'crazy', in my opinion. When others have understood why I am hurt, the validation helps me get everything in perspective and not react in an unhelpful/dysfunctional way. In time, I am able to validate myself to some extent.
So you're there saying "Oh, I was manipulative by reacting like this". Fine. But what exactly was this other person doing by randomly dropping out of yur life without telling you? They were being manipulative! Trying to get whatever they want in a hurtful way withot considering your feelings or autonomy. Now maybe they've got issues of their own making them act like that. Again, fine, lets take that into account... but why is it always the person diagnsed BPD who's expected to be rational and balanced and lay their feelings aside, whilst the un-labelled person doesn't acknowledge their mistakes or treat you the same in return? There is a point where you just lose any self-worth because people treat you like dirt without apology or explanation.

I'll take issue here with you because it appears your associating being hurt in life only applies to those who are the compassionate people pleasers.

I think it's fair to say we've ALL been hurt in our own way. We just manifest our behaviors in different ways.
Oops - it wasn't meant to some across like that, my apologies. The point I was trying to make was basically that you can't generalise with a BPD dx, and it seems particularly horrible to assume people are being manipulative and vengeful when they come quietly asking for help with the pain inside. It is also precisely the wrong thing to encourage people-pleasers (whether that's cos they're scared of people leaving, or whatever) with low self-worth to keep quiet and please people even more! They actually need a chance to be angry, in a contained/therapeutic environment, to say "I have been hurt and I'm allowed to express it", whereas psychiatry just seems to blame - 'disordered personality'. Professionals always bang on about treating symptoms not diagnoses, but it's not that way with BPD!
But if someone has always made a concerted effort to "be good", whether that's dysfunctionl or not, why are they treated like thay are fundamentally bad people? How can anyone actually do that - how does it work in their heads?! I suppose it's a bit more understandable if the person is actually being a dick, although it's still important to see beyond that. Professionals engage in such black-and-white thinking, don't they?!!!



I think this is what a lot of therapists don't understand. They want to control the situation to fix us when I think they need to relinquish that control to us and allow us to try and fix ourselves with their help.

I agree with what you say about control, although within the MH system I've experienced it more insiduously than being forced to stay/locked up etc. They don't believe anything I say, or listen properly, or know me at all. They just make nasty judgements, they don't seem to want to understand at all, they tell me one thing then write something different in my notes, they hide stuff and won't answer simple questions, and they layer misunderstanding upon misunderstanding and create a picture that made the therapist say I seemed like a different person to my notes! (Which was then seen as manipulative/lying so bye bye to any chance of NHS therapy). So it's the coercion and control of having my very personhood taken away, somehow. Like they will not let me exist, as me. It's difficult to explain, it feels a bit like if you were a ghost and trying to communicate with people who were still alive. One or two might almost pick up on something, but mainly you'd be standing there talking to them and they wouldn't even see you, you wouldn't be able to get through at all. You wouldn't exist.

I see a therapist privately now and it's such sweet relief to open up without being blamed and shamed. I'm piecing things together, getting there. It's like I've finally got help from someone who also wants to work it all out instead of just supressing things and acting fine. I'm allowed to cry, hurrah! (Had to explain to a friend recently that crying because I'm sad and working through past experiences is almost 'happiness' compared to feeling terrified/suicidal/ashamed/worthess!)


In my opinion, and you can tell me to fuck off, but I think this is your lack of self. These are more forced concepts rather than natural. You think this is how people should be and so you try to be that, but you're finding people aren't that way.
It did surprise me that people who seemed nice did really ignorant and hurtful things. But that's because we were taught/encouraged to be nice to each other in school and things, so it seems I just took on the message more than others. Probably because I felt inferior/didn't fit in with the other children so I was sort of learning intellectually what I should have been learning instinctively. Although it does make sense, why would you want any more pain in the world than is necessary?
My main shock was that the psychiatric system wasn't staffed by kind, psychologically informed people. I just couldn't understand how you could go in, explain the pain inside, and be judged and blamed. I still think that's wrong though. And regardless of where the concepts come from, most of it doesn't feel forced to me, it feels natural. And the bits that feel forced are currently under examination! (Although when I wrote the thing abut "doing what is right, not what is easy" I was thinking more of situations where you've had time to think it through, not where you feel you 'have to' in the moment).
I also cannot stand violence in films (have to look away or not watch film), and dark comedies or 'comedy' involving pathos. I find it heartbreaking when I see someone being picked on on TV, and it's supposed to be funny. I don't understand why others can watch people hurting each other and not flinch. To this day, there are children's books that send a shiver through me when I remember the fear they provoked, that others could not see, so I knew I had to keep quiet and pretend I wasn't affected. I have helped in situations where I cannot understand how anyone could just walk past. And I've been in awful situations where I could have done with some help, so I would want to help someone else in that situation.
The more unnatural side of things is to do with feeling I have to please someone else - but I do distinguish (inside) the difference between this and doing what I feel is right. It gets confusing when I am taking into account the other person's feelings at the expense of my own though. But that's what I was saying above, really.

I hope you didn't take offense with anything I wrote.
Ditto!
 
cboxpalace

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I'm going to try and give brief responses. This is quite long so I'm skimming through a lot of it. Also I'm speaking in a general context, not about anyone specific and not all people with bpd because we're all different and our traits manifest in different ways. I use the word relationship to describe romantic relationships, friendships, acquaintances. Apologies in advance if I misunderstand something you've written.


This is so true. I'm not sure if emotionally unstable relationships are the commonality though
People with bpd are emotionally unstable. The fact we're emotionally unstable is going to play a negative role in relationships. There's also been a lot of discussion about changing the name from borderline personality disorder to emotionally unstable personality disorder. I'm sure it's been discussed at some point in this forum, but it can certainly be googled.

- something very close to that, but not quite exactly that. I suppose what springs to mind is an abusive relationship (around the time I was diagnosed 10 yrs ago, no official Dx at present) where it would have been very easy to love/hate him, yet I didn't. Because he was uttely lovely sometimes and at other times just awful, picking on everything I said, taking the mick non-stop, felt like I was walking on eggshells, kind of thing. There didn't seem to be a middle ground, either. Yet I felt basically the same about him regardless, I just felt hurt and confused and like I wasn't worth much/it was somehow my fault & I could/should make it better when he behaved like that. So I guess I find the unstable relationships thing a bit insulting cos it kind of implies that the fault lies with the BPD dx'd person in a blaming way. I know the fault was partly mine for not leaving him, obviously, but that's to do with self-esteem and things that should be encouraged, not a "well, you're BPD, bound to have unstable relationships" blaming kind of thing!

The relationship you describe from what I can gather was a dysfunctional relationship altogether. The bpd, a person with unstable emotions, played a contributing factor but so did the dysfunctional issues of the other person. Neither person is to blame or both are to blame however you prefer to look at it.

If you take a relationship between someone with bpd and someone who is mentally healthy. In most instances the characteristics of the bpd will take a toll on the person who is mentally healthy until they can take no more. That is more common than uncommon. If you wanted to place blame in a situation like that then I guess the person with bpd would be the one to blame because it's their disorder. I'm NOT saying the person with bpd is a bad person. I'm saying their disorder is often more than a mentally healthy person can deal with.


What about forums that relate to depression? Or anorexia? Or diabetes or epilepsy? People use them for mutual support. I suppose you could say that's because their illness has "some not very nice characteristics", like feeling crappy, collapsing, fitting etc., but you seem to be implying people dx'd BPD have inherant chaQracter flaws and are somehow less deserving of the support or consideration given to other illnessess.
No that's not what I'm saying. A person with depression, anorexia, diabetes or epilepsy recognize how their illness AFFECTS THEM.

BPD is quite different in the sense that it affects us, but it also has a negative impact on AFFECTING OTHERS. It often pisses other people off until they can't tolerate us anymore. Rather than receiving support and accepting responsibility for our actions it can turn into a situation of enabling and in some cases placing the blame elsewhere like on the other person. Part of receiving support is accepting the fact that we have traits/behaviors that many people can't deal with over a long period of time. The fact that person would end the relationship with us and choose to move on does not make that person a bad person. It simply means they can't deal with our disorder.

That doesn't make the person with bpd a bad person. I think most people with bpd are good people at the core. It's our personality flaws, and it's a personality disorder, that most people are overwhelmed by and they can't be held to blame because they have to put their own mental health first.


So I kind of thought, well, these people are being misunderstood. How can society react so strongly against child abuse, say, but blame and shun the adult survivors rather than compassionately help them heal?
Ignorance on behalf of those considered to be mentally healthy. People with BPD don't speak up for fear of being shunned, labeled or discriminated against. Stigma against mental health across the board.

I see the point you're trying to make but it's really apples and oranges. A child has to be protected. It's not the responsibility of a healthy minded adult to try to help/heal an adult who is disordered because of trauma suffered as a child.

I think this is where I take issue with other people who have bpd. Our disorder is NOT fair, it's NOT fun and it's often painful. It's OUR disorder though, and we can't place expectations onto others. To me this is part of acceptance required to receive support.



It depends what you mean by 'manipulatve'. Everyone is manipulative to some degree, it's present in everyday human interactions. How far do you take the definition? It just seems like there's a really low threshold when calling those diagnosed BPD 'manipulative' -
It seems you want to extrapolate everything out to everyone. I"m not talking about everyone, I'm talking about bpd.

It's almost like putting the cart before the horse. Looking at the traits and saying well everyone has these traits to some degree rather than looking at what bpd is and using the traits to support the diagnosis.

In regards to people with bpd we often manipulate in order to get our emotional needs met because we either don't know how to ask for what we need or we feel worthless and don't deserve it. The way in which we manipulate is not vindictive or to be mean, but we need to be aware of the motivations behind our actions because it can lead to problems for us.

An extremely simple example. I get someone a birthday card and make a big deal about their birthday, am I getting them a birthday card and making a big deal about their birthday because I genuinely want to (no strings attached) or am I doing it because I want them to show me as much love and thought by getting me a birthday card and making a big deal about my birthday because I did it for them. If it's being done because there's strings attached and the other person doesn't follow through in most instances it leads to problems.

If I can genuinely do something for someone and expect nothing in return then I do it. If I know that I'll want a similar gesture in return then I don't.



I wish you well!

~cbox
 
Toasted Crumpet

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A person with depression, anorexia, diabetes or epilepsy recognize how their illness AFFECTS THEM.

BPD is quite different in the sense that it affects us, but it also has a negative impact on AFFECTING OTHERS. It often pisses other people off until they can't tolerate us anymore. Rather than receiving support and accepting responsibility for our actions it can turn into a situation of enabling and in some cases placing the blame elsewhere like on the other person. Part of receiving support is accepting the fact that we have traits/behaviors that many people can't deal with over a long period of time. The fact that person would end the relationship with us and choose to move on does not make that person a bad person. It simply means they can't deal with our disorder.
I have to dispute this, the other illnesses you mention also have an effect on others it is just that generally, the people involved can accept the other person is ill and can't "help" their behaviour, whereas with a PD you are considered responsible and that you are doing it deliberately and have control.

If a diabetic has a hypo they can behave very oddly, but that is excused as being part of diabetes. You can't say the same for BPD. And people will also leave those with physical illnesses because they can't handly it. Lots of women with cancer find their husbands leave them because they can't cope for instance (happens less the other way round).

I see the point you're trying to make but it's really apples and oranges. A child has to be protected. It's not the responsibility of a healthy minded adult to try to help/heal an adult who is disordered because of trauma suffered as a child.

I think this is where I take issue with other people who have bpd. Our disorder is NOT fair, it's NOT fun and it's often painful. It's OUR disorder though, and we can't place expectations onto others. To me this is part of acceptance required to receive support.
True thing, once you are an adult no one gives a flying fuck. And if they didn't care when you were a child either, they are not going to care once you're an adult.

An extremely simple example. I get someone a birthday card and make a big deal about their birthday, am I getting them a birthday card and making a big deal about their birthday because I genuinely want to (no strings attached) or am I doing it because I want them to show me as much love and thought by getting me a birthday card and making a big deal about my birthday because I did it for them. If it's being done because there's strings attached and the other person doesn't follow through in most instances it leads to problems.
Not sure that is an ideal example because loads of normal people do that.
 

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