On Cluster B and Borderline - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
Physical & Mental Health Issues Marriage and relationships are difficult by themselves, but coping with physical or mental health problems can make things even more difficult.

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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 06:51 AM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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Originally Posted by Hope Shimmers View Post
Ella, have you been officially diagnosed with BPD? (I'm sorry if you said this before and I missed it)

I find it interesting, because you are very self-aware (more than most BPD'ers are), but then again. I think your level of intelligence and resulting communication skills are almost second to none. And at age 23!

So you are a highly intelligent, very articulate person who knows a hell of a lot more about life than almost any 23 year old I have ever known. Yet, you admittedly are emotionally at a level that others may have surpassed by your age, in terms of relationships anyway.

Honestly, I have no idea. You are so self-aware, and by definition, BPDers don't see that they have BPD (thus why it's so hard to treat). You are a fascinating person.
Ella sounds like a high school friend of DD1. Same age, and diagnosed with BPD as a young adult. It fascinated her so much she is now pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology. Same clarity and level of introspection. Great kid too. Her essays on BPD "from the inside" are remarkable.

This self awareness at a young age is what allows one to persevere. I suspect that is the difference between success and failure - my partner had the traits but full BPD did not manifest itself till she was in her 40's. Not difficult to digest given the rampant spread of mental health issues in her immediate family.

At a younger age your partner may also be willing to support / tolerate more. I did my best but having three decades on y'all makes it a bit less conducive to addressing it from my side as well. Especially if she firmly believes she's the healthy one...

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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 07:28 AM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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Ella sounds like a high school friend of DD1. Same age, and diagnosed with BPD as a young adult. It fascinated her so much she is now pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology. Same clarity and level of introspection. Great kid too. Her essays on BPD "from the inside" are remarkable.

This self awareness at a young age is what allows one to persevere. I suspect that is the difference between success and failure - my partner had the traits but full BPD did not manifest itself till she was in her 40's. Not difficult to digest given the rampant spread of mental health issues in her immediate family.

At a younger age your partner may also be willing to support / tolerate more. I did my best but having three decades on y'all makes it a bit less conducive to addressing it from my side as well. Especially if she firmly believes she's the healthy one...
you are probably correct in this. the first two years with my wife were horrendous. but, i was young, dumb, and full of ... ahem, youthful determination.


and, to be honest, i would have one HELL of a time dealing with my niece if i hadn't already learned a basic set of skills dealing with my wife. my niece has been abandoned multiple times, abused by nearly everyone, raped, used, ignored, etc. she displays every single trait of BPD. but, she is turning around. she knows she has a home with us and we will not toss her aside. she knows that we will not let her walk all over us, we wont put up with her crap, and that we will do whatever we can to help her succeed. she is "growing up" fast.

but honestly john, the way i see it, you don't have a lot of reason to do what i do. you don't seem to have any desire for your wife. as in, you really don't need her. and you certainly don't seem to find the idea of "playing the game" appealing. so, logically, i cannot see why you should ever even attempt it. what would you get out of it? what would be in it for you?

to me, the whole process of living with my wife is fascinating and fulfilling. call it the sociopath in me, but the idea of being able to manipulate my wife's very thoughts and actions, to the point where i am able to manipulate her into being able to live a happy life with or without me... well, its a hell of an ego boost.

every time i go off to war i get to see how much i was able to change her way of thinking. i have deployed in support of three different wars, all combat arms... the first war i was in, she fell apart and ended up hospitalized twice while i was gone. the second one, she made it through and managed to hold everything together and was even productive while running our business, but the stress was tough on her. third one? lol, despite some hiccups at the beginning, she is kicking ass!

i love her, i really do. i also love having the power to influence her in such a positive and lasting way. the game is like a dance to me. and i love the music! the journey really is the joy.

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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 07:31 AM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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Ella,

May I ask what age you remember first having feelings of self-hatred? And, is there some sort of therapy you know of that might have helped you back then (e.g. DBT).

Thanks for sharing.
that is an interesting question...

most of the people i have known with BPD learned the negative self view as a child, when the most influential people in their lives were telling teaching them the wrong lessons...

what kind of therapy can help someone in that position?

eek, it would be like God telling you that you are worthless while billy-bob-down-the-street is telling you "nah, yer gud!"

"The ecologist is continually having to look at the aspects of nature with which he is unfamiliar and perforce must be an amateur for much of his working time.... professionals may carp at omissions, misconstructions, or even downright errors in these pages. perhaps ultimately they may forgive them for the sake of the overall vision that only the amateur, or the ecologist, blithely sets out to experience."G. Evelyn Hutchinson
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 09:05 AM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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that is an interesting question...

most of the people i have known with BPD learned the negative self view as a child, when the most influential people in their lives were telling teaching them the wrong lessons...

what kind of therapy can help someone in that position?

eek, it would be like God telling you that you are worthless while billy-bob-down-the-street is telling you "nah, yer gud!"
As one develops, one becomes more capable of critical thinking, and having a supportive well-informed person outside the families dynamics can be a significant advantage; or so I'd think -- better than a consistent single-sourced message of inadequacy. As one becomes more separate and individuated (if those are the terms) parents become less than gods.

And, I suppose, some parents might pick up some lessons regarding their own behaviors via contact with therapist towards begin or end of child's session.

I don't know all the paths one can take to end up at stronger BPD traits. One young person I know experiences significant internal turmoil (and, for all I know this has nothing at all to do with and propensity to develop BPD traits). She has had, at birth and ever since, a more reactive temperament than others I've had the pleasure of knowing throughout their life. The self-hatred has been there at least since age 14. The emotions and harsh thoughts seem to come quickly and strongly and sometime seem to get turned inward on herself, reinforcing the self-contempt.

I'm not familiar enough with DBT but my vague understanding is it teaches skills for slowing down the would-be emotional runaway train, and I'd think that sort of skill is a lot different and more powerful than some stranger telling you "nah, yer gud".

But, I don't know. So, I'm very eager to hear of others' experiences.

"We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy." -- Amy, from Spike Jonze's "Her"
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Post Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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Originally Posted by Hope Shimmers View Post
Ella, have you been officially diagnosed with BPD? (I'm sorry if you said this before and I missed it)

I find it interesting, because you are very self-aware (more than most BPD'ers are), but then again. I think your level of intelligence and resulting communication skills are almost second to none. And at age 23!

So you are a highly intelligent, very articulate person who knows a hell of a lot more about life than almost any 23 year old I have ever known. Yet, you admittedly are emotionally at a level that others may have surpassed by your age, in terms of relationships anyway.

Honestly, I have no idea. You are so self-aware, and by definition, BPDers don't see that they have BPD (thus why it's so hard to treat). You are a fascinating person.

I have been as close to diagnosed as I can get. My therapist, the one I found shortly after the A, has said repeatedly that I, "have BPD traits" and is therefore doing DBT skills training with me. Given that so many therapists have a "don't tell the borderline" unwritten rule, I can pretty safely ascertain that I have it. She's come as close to outright saying, "You have BPD" as she dare.

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post #21 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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Originally Posted by PieceOfSky View Post
Ella,

May I ask what age you remember first having feelings of self-hatred? And, is there some sort of therapy you know of that might have helped you back then (e.g. DBT).

Thanks for sharing.
I was around 15 when I first realized that my dependence upon and extreme attachment to older, caring men (father figures) wasn't normal. Other girls wanted boyfriends; I only wanted someone to hold me and dry my tears and tell me it was okay and I was safe. I hated myself for needing something so badly, so very, painfully badly, that other people my age didn't even seem to be able to conceptualize.

When I was 15, I was also a compulsive liar. I didn't realize that the real me was deserving of love and affection and attention, so I lied to my boyfriends about who I was. I made up entire personalities so they would love me. I know, though, that the world hated liars, and so I hated myself for that, too.

Eventually, when I met my husband, I promised myself I'd show him the real me, consequences be hanged, because I really, really liked him. I wanted to be with him forever, and I knew I couldn't do that unless he knew the real me, who I was inside. I couldn't fake a personality forever.

He said he'd been hurt by other women, and I felt like I could erase his insecurities by loving him unconditionally. I was touched by his honesty and vulnerability, and decided if he could be brave enough to be himself, so could I. So I did. It was so scary to confess things to him that no one else knows, but he has borne my secrets beautifully.

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post #22 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 10:33 AM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

Here's the thing, and keep in mind the last behavioral psych class I had was during the Reagan era right now you have a balance of power that's skewed towards the "stronger" person in the relationship. That works great now because your needs are met, he handles your occasional ups and downs, soothes you, the whole nine yards.

You need to think how this could be sustained, or whether it even should be sustained as you grow older and face challenges.

All the therapy in the world can't help you the first time you get laid off, or have a scuff with your in-laws, BFF, family death, children stress, etc. Your partner can help but eventually it will be up to you.

(That's basically what happened in our case and it all went downhill from there about a decade ago).
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post #23 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 11:28 AM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

Ella, I wanted to share this with you in case it helps or means anything...

I have a close friend who has BPD. I have known her since we were both in our 20's and we are in our 40's now. She has had a lot of drama in her life...many of the types of drama that a lot of BPD people experience...broken relationships, difficulty holding a job, emotional roller coasters, financial issues.

I have seen how her disorder has caused all of these things and how she has coped or not coped over the years. She has been through some devastating times, to say the least, including hospitalization more than once. I won't even go into it all because it it sad.

But here's the bigger picture of her that I have seen by knowing her so long and so well....she is a very loving and beautiful person. She honestly has a beautiful positive attitude. She cares deeply for so many people and they for her. She has been the best friend or sister type person to dozens in her lifetime.

It is obvious to me now when she is in a BPD haze and when she isn't. So I know how to communicate with her based on that, I've been through her cycles enough times now. When she is on an upswing or is in a good cycle, her life gets better and better. If she can stay on that upswing for a year or so, she makes huge improvements in her mental state and the circumstances in her life.

When she swings down, things can go very bad very fast, and she really doesn't have anyone who can help her to the extent she needs it during those times. It is very rough on her, to say the least.

But over time now, she has figured out how to stay on the upswing as much as possible, how to get toxic people out of her life, and how to stay focused on her own lovely way of looking at the world positively. The longer she can do this, the more her life improves. Mostly she stays focused on trying to stay happy, whatever that looks like. Trying not to fall down into deep wells of depressive thoughts, tries to remind herself that she has a choice in what to think about.

If a spreadsheet of all of the kind or thoughtful deeds she has ever done could be made, it would be an incredible matrix of goodwill she has amassed in her life or karma bank.

I think people can be nice or mean, and then add on to that whatever disorders or mental illnesses or weird quirks they have (we all have something). So if a nice person has BPD, they will struggle with the disorder of course, but their lives will ultimately be more fulfilling and peaceful than a mean person who has BPD or other disorder. The disorder doesn't set your basic inner outlook and nature.

Peace to you, I sense you have a kind and beautiful soul like my friend.

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post #24 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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Here's the thing, and keep in mind the last behavioral psych class I had was during the Reagan era right now you have a balance of power that's skewed towards the "stronger" person in the relationship. That works great now because your needs are met, he handles your occasional ups and downs, soothes you, the whole nine yards.

You need to think how this could be sustained, or whether it even should be sustained as you grow older and face challenges.

All the therapy in the world can't help you the first time you get laid off, or have a scuff with your in-laws, BFF, family death, children stress, etc. Your partner can help but eventually it will be up to you.

(That's basically what happened in our case and it all went downhill from there about a decade ago).
You're not wrong. You're really not wrong. Inevitably, eventually something is going to happen to my exceedingly fragile security bubble and it's going to burst and leave me in a precarious position. I try not to think about it, but it's what I'm thinking about more often than not. I have learned how to stop (most) of my shame spirals, but not the worry spirals, yet. In theory it should be easy, applying the same techniques, but the thoughts are there.


What if my husband has a revenge affair?

What if my husband loses his job and/or his financial security?

What if I can't find work after college?

What if I never get published?

What if someone in my husband's family dies and I have to pretend to be strong?

What if global warming/wars/politicians destroy the whole country?

What if my husband gets mortally ill?

What if he just stops loving me for no reason other than that I'm me?


All the time. Non-stop. And I don't have a plan of action for any of it, because the more I try to get one together, the more stressed out I am and the more horrible possibilities I conjure up. So I don't have a plan. My plan, for now and for the future, is to keep taking my pills, move in with my parents if something happens financially, and keep breathing. That's it. And that is/will be hard enough. If any of that actually did happen, maybe if I kept myself alive long enough, a solution would just appear. Maybe not.

But even thinking about the possibility of that happening is enough to lead me to suicidal ideation, so I try really hard not to think about it, and to tell myself that I will somehow keep myself alive if anything does go wrong.

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post #25 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 02:24 PM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

It's OK.... legitimate concerns there. Today's rage is about the daughters' eating habits. Granted, both are thin, but not the anorexic waifs she thinks they are. And the rage goes on. Good thing for noise cancelling headphones 😁

Generally these triggers are legitimate, but the scope and scale of the response is way out of typical.

What I found works well is removal or mitigation of many triggers. As I said, watch the movie "goodbye Lenin". This worked for a while. But life cannot be mitigated away. Especially when one has reptilian ways of thinking.

For example, today's heated argument is not about my kids health; rather, it's about her not paying for any damage they may suffer down the road due to poor nutrition. So, you need to understand which of your concerns are legitimate and which, if any, are purely self serving.

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post #26 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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It's OK.... legitimate concerns there. Today's rage is about the daughters' eating habits. Granted, both are thin, but not the anorexic waifs she thinks they are. And the rage goes on. Good thing for noise cancelling headphones 😁

Generally these triggers are legitimate, but the scope and scale of the response is way out of typical.

What I found works well is removal or mitigation of many triggers. As I said, watch the movie "goodbye Lenin". This worked for a while. But life cannot be mitigated away. Especially when one has reptilian ways of thinking.

For example, today's heated argument is not about my kids health; rather, it's about her not paying for any damage they may suffer down the road due to poor nutrition. So, you need to understand which of your concerns are legitimate and which, if any, are purely self serving.

I see. Is your wife calmed down yet? If she is, can you tell me how you calmed her down? (Or if she's not, may I suggest you try asking her to put on her favorite pajamas and watch TV with her? Maybe make her some hot cocoa. That almost always helps me, at least for a few minutes.)

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post #27 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 05:15 PM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

My wife rarely calms down on her own, and the probability of her wearing PJ's and watching TV with me is about zero.

Generally she'll work or exercise herself to exhaustion then calm down, at which point she's too wasted to lay down and watch TV.

Usually she is very hard to go to sleep. The moment I watch TV with her she's asleep within 15 min. If I'm not there, hours.

Eventually I found the cat a far better cuddle buddy than her 😁...
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post #28 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 02:37 AM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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My wife rarely calms down on her own, and the probability of her wearing PJ's and watching TV with me is about zero.

Generally she'll work or exercise herself to exhaustion then calm down, at which point she's too wasted to lay down and watch TV.

Usually she is very hard to go to sleep. The moment I watch TV with her she's asleep within 15 min. If I'm not there, hours.

Eventually I found the cat a far better cuddle buddy than her 😁...
wow. despite everything, she feels safe with you.

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post #29 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 07:23 AM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

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wow. despite everything, she feels safe with you.
Nope. Quite the contrary.

Hopefully when she gets the property division proposal around Easter her fears will be justified
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post #30 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 11:47 AM
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Re: On Cluster B and Borderline

Something I noticed quite early on with my BPD SIL, even before I knew about BPD, is that she is a grown woman who needs and craves parenting.

Her husband parents her (as though she is around 5 years old) by styling her hair, choosing her clothes, giving her pocket money for good behaviour, doing everything for her, being over protective, arranging friendships, cooking and cleaning for her.

Even though her mother is in her mid 80's, she still treats her like a small, vulnerable child. SIL cannot care for anyone but needs to be cared for. I have even seen her children overtake her in maturity and have taken on a parental role in her life.

For years I found this all very inappropriate and weird, but now I have read so much about BPD I can now see that 'parenting' her as though she is a small child is what she wants, needs and craves. Whereas I would be highly patronised and irritated if my family were to treat me like this, it certainly seems to be comforting to her. I believe he has worked out this is his effective technique for soothing her.

Last edited by peacem; 01-02-2017 at 12:07 PM.
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