You've met someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), aka emotional dysregulation, or "borderline psychotic". 95% of the time, it's a girl. You know the one. She keyed his car; screwed two different guys on a coke binge; has Daddy issues. She goes from ultra-obsessed, through to disgust, via desperate pleas for you to stay when you weren't going anywhere. She's emotionally bipolar but not manic or depressed.
You will be especially familiar with this girl if you live in Los Angeles. If you're a Christian, you'll recognise her as the Adulteress in Proverbs.
She's not insane. She never developed Object Permanence in childhood because she was abandoned repetitively. It's perfectly rational if you've never actually developed a sense people don't physically or emotionally disappear when they walk into the next room.
Object permanence is the ability to understand that objects still exist even if they are no longer visible. (Very Well Mind)
Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be sensed.
Daddy left the room. She didn't get to the bit where she automatically developed an understanding he was coming back. This isn't fixable, It needed to happen at six years old.
Dating one of these girls can be a horrific experience which leaves you more traumatised than them. It's impossible to describe how intense the pain and confusion can be.
It's also extremely exciting. They're the really pretty ones.
The comment below was posted to Reddit nine years ago by a throwaway user account of someone who has two decades of dealing with a borderline-disordered spouse. It's brilliantly-written and harrowing, aimed at a poster whose heart has been broken. It deserves to be on a museum wall.
The uncertainty you feel right now is a bit uneasy and uncomfortable. You probably feel sad and miss her. You probably have told yourself a few times that you are "strong". You can help her work through this. That you "love" her and she "loves" you. You have probably felt that if you could be with her that she will feel better. It's nice to make people feel better. That makes you a good guy right? She will get over this and she will look at you with those sad and resentful eyes. She will be wholeheartedly appreciative that you are there for her and you love her enough to be there. You are such a wonderful guy......thank you!! You will be rewarded with the kind of adoration that made you fall for her in the first place. The world will be a wonderful place........until next time.
Until the next time that you ask her an innocent question and in her reality you have stepped over the line. In her head, you think that she is doing something the wrong way. In her reality, you have been growing a hate for her inside of you and you want nothing more than to shame her or put her down or use her for your own gratification. In her reality, you have said something hurtful. You have left her alone and exposed to the evil in this world. You have judged her unworthy. You are trying to hurt her and she will not let that happen. She will strike first. Because that is how she has learned to survive. She will hurt you before you can continue to hurt her. She will stare into your soul and tell you that you are evil. And all of this because you asked the wrong question at the wrong time. In your reality you were being normal, thoughtful and loving. At least that's how you think you were acting. But something way deep down. A little tiny voice. A murmur of something. You hear it say: Maybe you were wrong. Maybe that was harsh. Maybe you are just grumpy. Maybe you SHOULD be sorry.
At first, you argue with her. You tell her that you didn't mean anything by it. You try and calm her down. If only she would be quiet for a moment so you can explain. She will understand you then right? She will know that it is silly to be mad at you. Then you might get angry because you can't seem to get your point across. Maybe you decide to tell her she is a real cunt. Maybe you try and hold her and she pushes you away and screams. It doesn't matter what you said now. You have forgotten why this started. It didn't make sense in the first place anyway.
You wait. Time seems to make this crazy shit stop. Time brings about the good times again. You heel up.....on the outside. You get back to sharing life with her. She loves you. You love her. You fuck. You eat. You both laugh. She is really beautiful. She adores you. She tells you that she never wants to lose you. Ever. Maybe she says she is sorry for the way she acted. She will try harder.
Then a few years go by. Sure, you had lots of rough patches over the last couple of years. But maybe if you guys live together that would give you more time to help her figure her shit out. Perhaps you have spent some time learning about why she is who she is. Maybe that upsets you. Maybe you think you are doing okay with all of this. You feel strong still. You have overcome some really fucked up shit after all. And you really lover her. She really needs you. And she fucks like her pussy is going on a holiday. Besides, things have been really good. Your new job is da bomb. You can afford that new car you want and you can take your girl away for a week. Ya. That will be good for her. You will treat her so good. How could she ever think badly of you again. After all, you're a good guy. How could she not see this? She is growing up too right?
One day you are at work. She sends you a text message. You are so busy that you have not had a chance to even look at your phone. When you finally get a chance you see you have like 15 txts from her. Holy fuck!!! What could be wrong? You start scanning through them. You realize she is in full panic mode. You can see the progression of crazy coming through. She has gone from: "Can you grab some pizza for dinner tonight? XOXO" to "You are a fucking asshole that cares only about your self and those fucking whores you work with." And she has made this progression with absolutely no help from you. She has gone from your lovely SO all the way up the scale to seething mad, head case in a matter of 45 minutes. And you have done NOTHING to deserve this. You have done NOTHING to make her think about you this way. Your heart sinks into your stomach now. You have just remembered that you left your prized collection of mini dwarf statues unlocked. You remember that she picked one up and smashed it on the ground 6 months ago because she thought you were a fucking prick because you fell asleep on the couch instead of going to bed with her. Your stomach tenses up. You feel a weird flutter in your chest. It hurts a bit. But you dismiss it. You hope she gets over her rage before you get home. You hope she hasn't broken your stuff.
You come home one day. You two have not been talking a lot. You guys just went out for dinner 2 weeks ago to celebrate being together for 6 years. You haven't married yet. You were going to a few years back. But she got scared. Shit went down. It never took place. It was too stressful. It scared her. You lost a bunch of money on deposits for the reception hall. She threw the engagement ring in the river. That's OK though. You have forgiven her. Your a good guy that way. She isn't home. That's strange. She didn't tell you she had plans. You brought her flowers today. Flowers usually make her smile and forget the pain she has been keeping inside ever since she was just a little girl. You put the flowers in water and settle in to watch the news. You send her a text to let her know you are home. You wonder where she is. You are tired now. You cant sleep. She texted you back 2 hours ago. She was just out with a couple friends. She will be back soon. She loves you. You fall asleep on the sofa. You wake up as she stumbles inside. You know she is wasted. She promised not to get drunk anymore. The last time she was drunk she fucking beat you up. She threatened to fuck your brother. She told you that you fucking suck and that you are a piece of shit with no future. But you forgave her that time. She sobered up and was sorry.
You decide to make the best of the situation. She is horny as fuck right now. You make your moves. You grab her. She grabs your cock. It is as soft as mud puddle. You want to be hard. But your heart has felt too much pain. Your mind has denied you too much anger. There has been no justice. You are mad at her now. Not on the outside. You know you can't show her that you are mad. That never ends well. You panic. You cant get it up. She asks you why she doesn't turn you on? "That's not it!!!" "You do turn me on." "I must be tired." "I'm sorry."
You have lost her for the night now. She slams the door on her way out. You throw your shoes on and chase her outside. She throughs [sic] up the middle finger at you. Doesn't even look back. She pulls her tits out and flashes a car driving by. The next car stops. She gets in. You see a greasy looking fucker driving that car. You don't see her for three fucking days. Three days of anger, sadness, despair. Three days of questioning your own sanity. Three days of wondering how you could change yourself to be a better person. Three days of trying to work out what it is about yourself that is so awful. Maybe you are controlling. Maybe you are not attracted to her anymore. Maybe it IS you. Maybe you are a worthless piece of shit.
She shows up. She looks sad. She throws herself in your arms and cries and cries. You can tell that you are her rock. You know that you are bringing her more comfort now than she has felt in months. You know she loves you. She loves you. She loves you. Over the next two days she tells you that she fucked up. She tells you she did drugs, She tells you she fucked this guy. She thinks she might be pregnant. She thinks it is not yours. You are crushed. You leave her.
Then you miss her. You know how much she must hurt. You have learned to feel responsible for her feelings though. You have been conditioned over the years. You don't know it but you have been changed. You can't even remember what it is like to not worry about how you say something. You have forgotten what it is to be a free thinking human. You have forgotten to love yourself now. In some strange way, you begin to feel like.......what she feels like. You question the intentions of the people around you. You get angry at the world for being unjust. You cry when you don't expect it. You never cried before. You get depressed. You think you are unworthy. You believe that there is no justice and kindness. You are darkened. A piece of you is dead. Dead and gone. But you're fucked now. Your mind and soul have been drug through the depths of dark emotion and hate. But you have held your composure. For her!! You haven't seen the damage done to your self. You don't realize your own pain. You are numb. You feel hurt in there somewhere. Is it your hurt? Is it her hurt? Will she forgive you? Will you forgive her? Why? Why can't you figure this out? Why are you so exhausted? Is there any point to life?
If you're a man reading this and involved with a woman you recognise in the story above, telling you to RUN isn't going to help. It's going to be like a bloody separation of conjoined twins causing you agony and hell. The sheer ups and downs have probably caused addiction chaos with your dopamine levels.
If you're "not sure" if she does, know this: normal people who don't have BPD don't resemble people who do. Crazy people don't wonder if they're crazy; that's what makes them crazy. If she's even a "bit like" any of this, you're not accidentally mistaking a normal person for someone with BPD.
What you might be able to understand is this:
Dealing with Cluster B people is like being near a radioactive waste dump. The closer you are, the sicker you get from the radiation. When you're close to the radioactive waste, you're too weak from sickness to get away. As soon as you start putting distance between yourself and the radiation, you feel healthier. Eventually when you get out of range, you feel healthy again and can't believe you got sick.
You know you're sick. And you're weak. So, half of it is true. The question is whether the second part is.
Love feels like love. You know what love feels like. You can feel it when it's there.
There is no cure. And the only thing you can do is realise you either amputate, or lose the limb. It's not a "relationship"; it's a hostage situation. The pain of staying finally outweighs the pain of leaving, and you start to plan.
There's no half-way here. No healthy compromise possible. You don't keep an amputated limb in your cupboard, you slice cleanly; and it will need 6 months to heal and learn to regrow the limb.
Men are not meant to be full-time live-in carers to women.
Sneak a day away from the radioactive waste dump without your phone and feel the lighter air. Yes, it's the radiation making you sick. It's a tragedy, but you didn't cause it, you can't help, and no amount of your lovingkindness will cause any improvement.
It might feel like leaving her to die. It is. Make peace with that idea.