Nobody cares about me as much as I care about them, so I always lose everyone I care about—despite the desperate things I try to do to stop them from leaving me. Navigating through this emotional minefield can be difficult and painful for both of you, but knowing that their thoughts and behaviors are the product of intensely powerful perceptional distortions deeply rooted in their mental health disorder, rather than a reflection of your own shortcomings, can bring some comfort.
For Thomas, educating himself about BPD helped him move from self-blame to empathy and compassion: There are a lot of nuances, complexities, and lines to be read through with BPD, but mostly I see Borderline Personality Disorder as an illness about pain, fear, and struggling to cope with all of that. But the common conception is just [that they are] crazy, which is an extraordinarily damaging misconception to those who suffer from it. For relationships to have a chance of succeeding, this is a critical piece: people with BPD aren’t acting with malice or being difficult, but acting on their own internal logic with limited emotional resources.
“There have been times where I have been so infatuated and so blissfully happy that I felt like running away with her,” he says.
Hearing someone else share your struggles and negotiate the realities of the illness can be both comforting and illuminating.
But successfully dating someone with BPD requires more than knowing it is possible or receiving validation that it can be hard—it requires understanding exactly how the illness affects someone’s perception of themselves and their interactions with partners.
But it is nowhere near as hard as being the one with BPD.
My girlfriend is not a burden, her BPD is.”Paddy’s story isn’t a fairytale romance.
A sociopath may repeatedly lie and manipulate others for their own gain.
Recover from a relationship with a sociopath by establishing distance, giving yourself time and seeking therapy.
“To say that this relationship has been a roller coaster would be an understatement.
There are times [when our relationship] has plummeted to the depths whereby we were both ready to give up.” Between the periods of elation and bliss come what Paddy calls “bad phases.” “Sometimes among the arguments, the fits of anger and rage, the distrust, the paranoia, the mood swings, it seems like my girlfriend is a completely different person.” In the worst of times, he likens dating someone with Borderline Personality Disorder to having a relationship with someone who has dementia.
Often, this emptiness and intense fear of abandonment are the result of early childhood trauma and the absence of secure, healthy attachments in the vital formative years.