Wow, that is so so so interesting!! My H lost his mother when he was 18, and his father was a docter, and NEVER around. On top of all of that, he was adopted, which adds to the feelings of abandonment. I really think that is him.
His losing his mother at 18 would not have caused BPD. To the extent he has BPD traits, they were firmly entrenched in early childhood -- perhaps even before he was adopted.
He has even commented that he hates it when he acts that way, it's like something just comes over him.
Due to the childhood trauma and heredity, BPDers had to fight for survival using the only defense mechanisms available to them -- those of a 3 or 4 year old. Because they have to rely on those defenses so intensely, their emotional development becomes stuck at that age. That is, they are stuck with using magical thinking, splitting (i.e., dissociation), and black-white thinking.
As I said above, you can easily learn to identify such childish behavior because you've done it too. You did it full time when you were four and you still do those things occassionally. The black-white thinking, for example, is something your brain is hard wired to do -- all through your life -- when you are startled or frightened. When you look up from a cross-walk to see a truck bearing down on you, your brain is only capable at that moment of thinking "jump left" or "jump right." You thus tend to revert to black-white thinking to protect yourself when startled. BPDers, however, tend to do it most of the time and, consequently, they do not deal at all well with gray areas, e.g., people are good or bad to them.
You also do splitting (dissociation). Do you remember the time you were driving and suddenly realized that you could not recall seeing anything for the past ten miles -- not even the three intersections you drove through? And do you recall the times you went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door -- only to suddenly realize that you could not remember what you had gone there for?
Well, those two incidents are examples of dissociation -- where the conscious part of your mind is daydreaming while the subconscious part is driving through intersections or walking you to the kitchen. People with strong BPD traits do this far more frequently than you do. That is one reason that they sometimes cannot remember an event that you can recall easily. It also explains why they do the black-white thinking, i.e., they cannot be in touch with their good feelings about you and their bad feelings at the same time.
Because their emotional development is stunted, BPDers (i.e., those with strong BPD traits) never learned to regulate their emotions. They therefore are at the mercy of strong emotional tides that sweep over them -- or, as your H said, "it's like something just came over me." These emotions are so intense that, for a BPDer, the feeling constitutes reality. They therefore will believe whatever they are feeling to be true despite all the evidence you present to the contrary. To the BPDer, the intense feeling constitutes evidence. This is why a BPDer will accuse you of all sorts of outrageous behavior and your efforts to discuss it logically will not make a dent.
Yeah, it's so crazy, because he is so in love with me one minute, and the next, I don't understand how he could talk to me with such contempt?!
If your H has strong BPD traits, his perceptions of you are distorted. That is why BPD is called a thought disorder. Of course, you already knew that his perceptions are distorted when he is verbally abusing you.
What you may not realize, however, is that they likewise are distorted when he is adoring you. That is, he projects qualities onto you that you do not have and this projection occurs both when he is devaluing you and when he is adoring you. This means that BPD love is extremely intense but shallow -- and thus is sometimes described as being "a mile wide and an inch deep." I like to describe it as being infatuation which never evolves into a mature form of love (i.e., where your needs and welfare would be as important as his own).
Thank you so much for this information!!!! It is really a big help.
Willow, I am glad I was able to be helpful.
I am definitely going to look into this and therapy for us and my H.
At the BPDfamily site mentioned above, you will find that the usual advice to newbie-Nons like you is to arrange for him to meet a therapist but to not tell him upfront that you suspect he has strong BPD traits. The advice given is to let the therapist do that. The reasoning is that, if he really does have strong BPD traits, he already hates himself -- so the last thing he wants to hear is one more thing to add to the long list of things he hates about himself.
This means that, if you tell him, he likely will project it right back onto you -- like he does with everything else that goes wrong -- and he will firmly believe that you are the one suffering from BPD. He will believe you are the sick one because, for projection to be successful at ridding him of bad feelings about himself, it must be done subconsciously. He therefore likely will be unaware the projection is occurring. So please take care.