Final Goodbye Letter to my BPD ex-wife
This is personal, but no one knows me here. I was contemplating if I should post this but since so many people the BPD spouses or partners seek help here I thought it might help someone finding closure. This letter was suggested by my therapist, writing it helped me tremendously. I changed my number, and set a delete rule on my email. But all contact from my ex-wife seized anyway.
Her last response to me was “I got your letter, I am not going to reply – I simply can’t, I want to thank-you, and you know why”.
This is my story…
How can I emphasize the pain we are experiencing but I know, its part of the healing process to let go. The first thought going through your mind now is probably “what now again” and “telling me there is something wrong with me again” and “blasting out my faults again” On the contrary, it is not really about you, it is all me, my thoughts, my experiences and I can only share it with you.
I’ve heard it time and time again from you, and I have experienced it from you first hand. It is perfectly normal for you *****; it some state of denial no one can justify but yourself. I am not going to say you are crazy, I am not going to tell you how bad you are for leaving me, I don’t want to blame, I just want to share. We are divorced; the things I say might help you one day in finding yourself.
I am not qualified to diagnose any condition of the human phyci but I can share my experience with the hope you focus really on what’s inside bothering you. I am a person who needs facts behind actions, it drives me to understand. You can paint me black or white since you do not have the ability to see grey areas. But I aim to share my familiarity to this singular condition during our past three and a half years.
My sole wish is for this letter to be placed in safety for when you feel abandoned, lonely, empty, anxious and depressed to form bases of answers you might be seeking at that stage.
I was lonely, I prayed “GOD, please grand me with your grace a wife, someone I can love, someone I can care for, someone you distend for me, and I will promise to cherish this person for the rest of my life”. Shortly after, you came into my life.
But it was not love at first sight; it was compassion, empathy, kindness, consideration and the understanding of your hardship and pain.
At first, you appear sweet, shy, vulnerable and “ambivalently in need of being rescued"; looking for her Knight in Shining Armor.
In the beginning, I felt a rapidly accelerating sense of compassion because you are master at portraying yourself as the "victim of love" and I was saving you. Looking closely I could see you as a victim. As your peculiar emotional invasion advances upon me, I would hear how no one understands you, except me. Other people have been "insensitive." You where betrayed just when you start trusting people. But there is something "special" about me now, because "I really seem to know you now."
It is this intense way you have of bearing down on me emotionally that can feel very seductive. I would feel elevated, adored, idealized, almost worshiped, maybe even to the level of being uncomfortable. And I felt that way very quickly. It may seem like a great deal has happened between the two of us in a short period of time, because conversations are intense, your attention, and your eyes so deeply focused on me.
Here are you, a woman who may look like a dream come true. You not only seem to make me the centre of your attention, but you even crave listening to my opinions, thoughts and ideas. It will seem like I have really found my heart's desire.
Like many things that seems too good to be true, this definitely was. It all seemed so real because it is real in your mind. But what is in your mind is not what you perceive to be happening.
Once you had successfully candied your hook with your adoration, you welded it into place by “reeling in” my attention and concern. Your intense interest in me subtly transformed over time. You appeared to be interested in me, but no longer in what I am interested in. Your interest becomes my exclusive interest in you. This was when I started to notice “something”. My thoughts, feelings and ideas fascinated you, but more so when they focused on you. I could tell when this happened because I could feel you "perk-up" emotionally whenever my attention focuses upon your feelings and issues. Those moments emotionally hooked my compassion more deeply into you, because that is when you treated me well, tenderly.
It’s was here where I begin to confuse my empathy with love, and I believe I am in love with you. My instinct was so strong and rescuing at the heart of my being or code to existence. Adult love is built on mutual interest, care and respect - not on one-way emotional rescues. And mothering is for kids. Not grown men like me.
I’d fall prey to this Trojan horse and let you inside my city gates, the first berserker to leave the Trojan horse was the devious clinger. A master at strengthening your control through empathy, you are brilliant at eliciting sympathy and identifying those most likely to provide it like a steady-tempered and tender hearted.
The world ails you. Physical complaints are common. You back hurts, your head aches. Peculiar pains of all sorts come and go like invisible, malignant companions. If I only tracked their appearances, though, I may have seen a pattern of occurrence connected to the waning or waxing of my attentions. Your complaints are ways of saying, "don't leave me. Save me!" And your maladies are not simply physical. Your feelings ail you too.
You are depressed or anxious, detached and indifferent or vulnerable and hypersensitive. You can swing from overjoyed protest to mournful gloom at the blink of an eye. Watching the erratic changes in your moods is like tracking the needle on a scale chart next to an active volcano, and I would never know which flick of the needle will predict the big explosion.
But after every emotional thrill you plead for my mercy. And when I was imbedded in your guilt-hooks deep enough into my conscientious nature, I will stay around and continue tracking this volcanic earthquake, caught in the illusion that I can discover how to stop this mountain before it blows again. But, in reality, staying around this black pot of emotional unpredictability was pointless. Every effort to understand or help you was an excruciatingly and pointless exercise in emotional rescue.
How can I describe this: I am a sea rescue boat and you are a drowning woman. But you drown in a peculiar way. Every time I pull you out of the turbulent sea, feed you warm coffee and snacks, wrap you in a comfy blanket and tell you everything is okay, you suddenly jump overboard and starts pleading for help again. And, no matter how many times I rush to this emotional - rescue, you still keep jumping back into trouble. It is this repeating, an endlessly frustrating pattern which should confirm to me that I was involved with a borderline personality disorder individual. No matter how effective I am at helping you, nothing is ever enough. No physical, financial or emotional assistance ever seems to make any lasting difference. It's like pouring the best of me into a galactic-sized psychological black hole of bottomless emotional hunger. And if I kept pouring it in long enough, one-day I will fall right down that hole myself. There will be nothing left of me but my own shadow, just as it falls through you predatory "event horizon." But before that would have happened, other signs would have revealed your true colours.
Sex with you at first was incredible. You would be instinctually tuned in to reading my needs. It seemed wonderful but was only for a short while.
The intensity of your erotic passion swept me away, but your motive is double-edged. One side of it comes from the instinctually built-in, turbulent emotionality of your disorder. Intensity is your trump-card. But the other side of you are driven by an equally instinctually and concentrated need to control me. The sexual experiences, while imposing, where motivated from a desire to dominate me, not please me. Your erotic intensity will be there in a cunning way tailored so I would not readily observed it.
****, your adaptation of “I love you” actually means – “I need you to love me”. And “That was the best ever for me” means – “it was the best ever for you”. Show me now how you did not have me.
You succeeded and were in control, what happens next, the Hater appears. This hateful part of you may have emerged before during our confrontations. Shouting, fowl language, silent withdrawal, cutting, but I refused to see, bitter bloom until you feel you achieved a firm hold on my conscience and compassion.
What gives this rage its characteristically borderline flavour is that it is very difficult for someone witnessing it to know what triggered it in reality. But that is its primary identifying clue: the actual rage-trigger was always difficult for me to see. But in your mind it always seems to be very clear, correct? To you, there was always a cause. And the cause was always me. Whether it is the tone of my voice, how I think, how I feel, dress, move or breathe or "the way I was looking at you," – I’ve always justified your rage by blaming me for "having to hurt you."
Your rage reactions were always unpredictable and unexpected. They happen when I least expect it. And they can become extremely dangerous. It all served to break me down over time. My self esteem melted away. I changed and altered my behaviour in hopes of returning to the “seductive stage”. And periodically I would be able to manage, but in short term only cycle back to the hater stage when I least expect it.
I instinctively decided to enter a prenuptial agreement with you with the sole intention of protecting myself. I was ill at ease getting married in July **. It simply did not add up calculating our courtship time frame. Yet, I accepted and with you set December ** as our day of holy matrimony. *****, during my journey to <location>, the day before our wedding, I felt awkward about the road I am about to embark with you. The thoughts crossed my mind if this is what I really want. I ignored my head and followed my hart. I was without a doubt madly in love with you but was it enough, isn’t there suppose to be something more to it? The thought lingering in my head then, 3 years ago, I am about to make the biggest mistake of my life? I entered this marriage allowing thunder clouds to hang over us. Why could so many people discern failure but me? This feeling of “Love conker all” fogged up my eyes, clogging my trusted judgement.
The intention of my letter is not to crucify you for what was done and force guild on past experiences, but trying to encourage you to look deep inside yourself, to find the very core of your emotional distress and turmoil. Don’t blame others for your bad luck, but acknowledge the responsibility for your own actions. Dependence and responsibility to oneself will be your pathway to happiness within you. And with happiness within you will come to love for oneself.
I want to highlight key experiences and observations during our marital years. The feeling of neglect was experienced both ways *****; your experiences are unique to you and mine to me. No one can ever predict or infringe what you may have felt nor can anyone dare contradiction to mine, only the ability to theorize what it might have been approximating to. I want to share mine with you in the hope you relate and judge your actions and mine accordingly.
During the <location> days, I felt love, companionship and to some level of commitment from you, we had fun together, enjoyed life as a family. I had to break the habit of being in my own world and it was hard. I did manage for a while *****, you made me choose by setting an ultimatum during one of our arguments. I was not neat, I had bad habit’s which evolved during all my time alone. You needed more from me then, I remember clear how you request we in bark on couple’s therapy. I was ignorant, “she is asking me this only in our first year?” I was full of myself and selfish to assume we do not need prospective from outside. I thought at that time granting you individual counselling might assist your emptiness and depression. It did not prove its purpose. We had one counselling session together, but I was not set to believe we need to continue and was more concern about the financial complications rather changing my mind set as an investment into our relationship. Yet you stood by my side.
Our <location> days deteriorated our relationship; we started living past each other. We had our good times, but it was shadowed by the bad ones. The bliss in disguise was time apart; my times spend away on business made me long for your companionship and sweeten the relationship once returned but only for a very short period of time. Relocating to <location> provided us with hope of reconciliation in our relationship. The hope of rectifying our faults and problems was strong within both of us. At this time ***** I felt distends from you, I felt the love, I felt the companionship but the commitment was on the brink of extinction. Our communication broke down to a point where we lived different lives emotionally. You where distant and alone, I experienced abandonment, love making changed to sex and that was where we got wedged. I started communicated to you about all my fears, peeves, dislikes, heartache and pain the only other way I knew how, by email, to avoid impulse discussions and confrontational triggers. I’ve written books and books to you but hardly received anything back except your acknowledgements of my letters. This was the same when we tried a dialogue.
I moved to <location>, during our three weeks apart I reconnected to you emotionally, I dread life without you. I spend hours on the phone just listening to your voice. I slept with no ease, and felt the constant emptiness without my companion and life partner. Counting the days, the hours, the minutes for me to see you again and bring you home, home was always being together with you, no matter where or when. Things felt splendid in our new surrounding from my point of view but you never reconnected with me completely. You where distant then, the first impression you bestow on Aunty **** was your pursue to happiness, happiness but with something “out their”, and declare our differences and emphasise our incompatibility towards each other. Alarms were raised, yet I was ignorant to accept the signs. *****, since the break in our communication none of us could acknowledge where we were positioned in the relationship. I reached out to you in my letters and emails as in previous occasions; I received the same type of acknowledgements for my letters from you. Still, discussing any matter with dialogue either ended in gruelling resentment or sorrow with no accomplishment to whatever issue at hand. The one truly personal letter you written to me was the goodbye letter in March after I confronted the affair. You written stories on the laptop, your style intrigued me, yet you could not address something similar to me. It is perfectly understandable that you are busy most of the times, but making time for something you feel important is always possible. This is now part of the past, I am just sharing an experience. Due to our communication problem, we could not shape each other, we could not work on ourselves through our partner’s eyes and we could not address our problems and find constructive solutions. This is very sad, but so true.
I need to tell you something very important, something that took so much effort finding an answer to.
Think, that feeling deep inside you, the one who remained unexplained for so long, the one that made you seek the unknown, the hunger for new experiences, creating the emptiness deep within you making you seek new thrills and the level of attention you hunger from embarking in new relationships? It is the fear for emotional abandonment, the most feared circumstance to most personalities. It did not happen overnight or over time, it’s been with you for your whole life and will stay unless you disclose it. It stepped into my Life, and affected me to some extend I could not comprehend but I am not susceptible to its destruction like you.
I am overwhelmed with this troubled sentiment in writing this to you now and realise your frantic efforts to avoid real and imaginable abandonment.
The perception of impending separation or rejection, lead to profound changes in self-image, affect, cognition, and behaviour. You are very sensitive to environmental circumstances. You must have experienced intense abandonment fears and inappropriate anger even when faced with something small like realistic time-limited separation (I was away on business – Fights we had; Alone at my parents (wedding time for one) – confrontations occurred, even when I moved to <location> – we had conflicting episodes). What a terrifying reflection on our conflicts, it makes perfect sense calculating all the times we contested, and apologized over email-phone-in person. *****, I have the emails, I have the time lines, and most of these occurrences were when I separated from you in some form. Another trigger was when there where unavoidable changes in plans. *****, this "abandonment" does not imply you are "bad.", No, not at all, you are in fact a good person. These abandonment fears are related to an intolerance of being alone and a need to have other people with you, emotionally. Your frantic efforts to avoid abandonment included your impulsive actions such as the cutting or self-mutilating or those suicidal behaviours I always prevented and accompanied by rage, withdrawal and black and white (Right or Wrong) perception. A recent example perhaps: That confrontation between you and your sister one morning to work, not paraphrasing but similar to”I said so or get the f_ck out of my car”. I am not perfect, I have trades of this black and white perception too *****, but I have the ability easily negotiate grey areas.
During your life and relationships, emotional abandoned played the key role contradicting your next move. Your needs were not met. You never developed trust. You did not learn to love. You did not experience what it felt like to be loved or nurtured. You learned to abandon yourself. You could cultivate but often don't for fear of the pain that stands between the false self and the lost authentic self. Time and time again, from within the centre, you would abandon and re-abandon yourself. You get agitated or angry and that it is always someone else's fault. I will admit, I was the trigger to some anger and I dearly regret.
Learned to soothe yourself, *****. Learned that your feelings are your own and that no one has the power to make you feel anything. You choose what you feel. People that came into your life, friends, or lovers, are not doing so to re-parent you. This may sound simplistic but it is one of the base sources of why you are not able to sustain consistent long-term relationships or friendships. It is that neediness, those abandonment fears, that lack of trust along with the "acting out" of your past and the looking to another to do what you need to do for yourself. Each of us must take care of ourselves. You demand that another take care of you, when they try, they then effectively abandon themselves. Then you have two wounded people.
Take a piece of paper, and start writing your own autobiography. You will realise a pattern and this I explained to you will fall in to place. You remember your whole life, I always knew, you decided on the level of information deemed for my ears. You tested me during our marriage, tested my level of commitment. Maybe you don’t realise it now but I took notice. I failed on numerous occasions; one test that came to mind was when you told me you realised who raped you. I was intrigued and focused attention, but I failed since my reaction to the news was expected in another manner. You mentioned my flaw to my reaction a few times after this episode. I did acknowledge but was uncertain “Is she testing me again?”
You most likely think I am lost in a world of my own philosophy, but listen to me, for once, I’ve tried to explain before and I am doing this now for the last time *****. I was obsessed in finding sense in this all, I spend hours upon hours reading and asking for answers to my questions. I am the ONLY one having to deal and experienced you for a very lengthy time. I understand the motives behind your affairs; I understand your flirtatious behaviour, I understand your quest for freedom, I understand your drive for some form of accomplishment in life. You are not ready to settle down and never were, and at this moment you are not ready to be helped by anyone unless you help yourself first and doing it right.
I explained to you a few weeks back on the phone, with you in tears. This relationship you are embarking on is going to fail, it will fail and it will hurt you even more and it will not stop. Your motives are unhealthy. *****, if you remember correctly, I called you while still living with Uncle *** warning you this “roommate” arrangement is a mistake. Your ignorance to this matter was beyond my control. This poor guy is experiencing everything I’ve explained above exactly the way I have and that I could see the development very quickly with the few glimpses into this new relationship. You will get bored, you will get to a point of abandonment and you will wound another soul. You need to be honest with yourself and seek help. I attempt to convince you on numerous occasions stay depended on yourself. I wish I could do something about it, but it is too late for me to rescue you. I can’t rescue you anymore, someone else filled that position and I fear he is not mature enough to realise. You are free to decide whatever you feel like; I am trying to shine light in a very dark hole of emotional disarray. I will not elaborate any further on the status of your relationship.
If I am correct you are trying to manage this tremendous anguish, psychological pain, and deep shame inside you. It's not because you are a bad person *****, you are a good person. You just need to redirect your focus for a change. Don’t let the hatred by others preclude you by focusing on yourself. I don’t want to see you get hurt, hurt you inflect on yourself. Regrettably, I can predict the path you are following now is paved with rocks and thorns and if you fall, who will next be in front to pick you up.
You hurt me bad in March, you hurt me more in August and almost killed me in September but I understand why, and that is why I forgave you. My self-esteem broke down to its foundation. I feel so used for the security and stability I had to offer. I was the cash cow providing and caring. Now, you through me away and moved on to the next, leaving me behind to pick my own life up. If you search any sense in my predicament, remember one thing I read to you in therapy, “I never experience the true touch of love”. With this letter to you I hope to find my closure, I feel free now, not from you but from the betrayal. The pain in my heart is settling down and I still have some way to go. I don’t have any motive to study my history anymore. This was a painful journey during my quest to seek answers. But now I must grant myself time to grief the loss of my wife and heal my wounds. The longing for my companion will fade.
I loved you *****, I always did but I am moving in an opposite direction from you now. I accepted the inevitable. My life does not include you anymore and I begin to understand and re-live my own ideals and prospects. Due to circumstances the pain and scars are to raw within me to accepted you as a person back in my life. One day perhaps soon, perhaps later, no one can tell, our paths might cross again. I am slowly finding happiness, happiness with myself and happiness with others around me. I am beginning to look physically good, taking real care of myself. I was rejecting myself for too long *****, I don’t blame you, in the past I just had more important focus areas in my life than myself, my family. This is my disorder and flaw that necessitate my vital attention.
I am saying goodbye with this letter and this is as far as I am prepared to go. This letter might have no value to you now and judge me for what I told you, but perhaps in a few years from now when I moved on or unreachable, perhaps settled with my own kids and loving wife. Please take what I have said in consideration.
Take care of your son and yourself.