First up, forget everything you’ve read about Borderline Personality Disorder and love – most of it is just utter shite.
Context of this post: a few weeks ago, I was feeling pretty down about previous relationships and how I messed things up. So, as any millennial does, I took to Google. Top hit “When Love Is A Four Letter Word” and the following hits all describing those with Borderline Personality Disorder as emotionally manipulative, untrusting, sex-crazed users who live for the drama and are incapable of true love.
I call bullshit.
Here’s 10 things to bear in mind about BPD and love:
- Borderlines feel emotion so much stronger than your average Joe, apparently twice as strongly. This means we love harder, laugh harder and yes, maybe even fight harder than anyone else you’ll ever meet, but it is so definitely worth it.
- Sometimes one little thing that may seem unimportant to you, may cause us to ‘split’. Our brain sees everything in black and white, even though the world is many shades of grey (a lot more than 50). But, we’re pretty rational people when it comes down to it, our mind just confuses us for a little while. *Top Tip: write us a letter, get your feelings out on paper and let us reflect on it.*
- Many people with BPD have had a serious amount of trauma in their lives. It would be surprising if we weren’t untrusting, because most of our learned behaviour comes from trusting those who should not be trusted. But, once you’ve earned a way into our hearts, we are fiercely loyal and will protect you from anyone and anything no matter how much time passes.
- We’re used to people leaving. We may even test you to see if you do leave, but we won’t manipulate you into staying. Truth is, if you want to go, that’s your decision. You do you, we can survive whatever is thrown at us, always have, always will. If you can’t deal with some chemicals in your brain, then we’re not going to wait around for you.
- Control is a huge part of our lives. We may not even realising that we’re doing it, but we need that clarity to get through every day. Being that ‘control freak’ allows us to have some kind of grasp on what happens, because lots of things seem to be out of our control, including our emotions. Be honest and upfront and don’t commit to anything you can’t keep.
- The most powerful tool you can utilise is the power of education. Read, watch, listen to anything and everything about the condition. Even if it’s the shit posts that were aforementioned, use your power to discard the crap and hold on to the things that will help you. Make your own mind up in relation to the person you love/want to love/maybe want to see where it goes.
- As with any relationship you maintain, communication is essential. You need to maintain communication from both parties to ensure that it continues to thrive. But communication is particularly important when half of the couple has any mental illness, to allow the other to understand what is happening within their head.
- Equally as important as communication, is for one to recognise the triggers of your partner. These can include anything, from understanding that in that dark place – suicide watch may even have to be an option at times – to learning how to spot an anxiety attack. That’s love, right there.
- Limits are essential in any relationship, but perhaps more so in a relationship with an individual with BPD. We can be extremely impulsive and do things that we may not do when in a good place – such as heavy drinking, spending sprees or other ‘reckless’ things. We may also get a bit paranoid or anxious over seemingly small things. Setting boundaries together will help the relationship to succeed.
- We’re passionate, spontaneous and highly individual beings. If you’re fortunate enough to be loved by someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, you must be one very lucky individual!
It may not be easy, but it is so definitely worth it.