Surviving and Healing from a Relationship with a Partner with Borderline Personality Disorder
"Love bombing is not love. It's emotional abuse designed to get you to do what the person wants. It's manipulation. It's not romantic, it's sick." Rachel Thompson
Living with a partner with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is not an easy journey. I know this because I experienced it firsthand. For five years, I lived with someone who had BPD, and it was a rollercoaster of emotions, stress, and uncertainty.
I still vividly remember when my ex-partner courted me. For three months, he showered me with love bombs, sending me flowers, chocolates, and other gifts accompanied by special poetry cards every week. It was like something out of a fairy tale, and I felt like I was on top of the world. I was the envy of my girlfriends and colleagues, and it felt like nothing could go wrong.
At first, everything was amazing. We clicked instantly and had so much in common. But over time, I started to notice that my partner's moods were unpredictable. One moment, they would be loving and affectionate, and the next, they would be angry and hostile. It was hard to keep up, and it left me feeling confused and overwhelmed.
It wasn't until a year into our relationship that he told me, he was diagnosed with BPD. While the diagnosis helped me understand his behavior better, it didn't make things any easier. If anything, it made me more aware of how challenging living with someone with BPD can be.
One of the biggest struggles I faced was the constant fear of abandonment. He was always afraid that I would leave him, and he would do anything to prevent that from happening. He would cling to me and become possessive, making me feel trapped.
Another challenge was the intense emotional reactions he had to things. He would become incredibly upset over seemingly small things, and it was hard to know how to comfort him. I often felt like I was walking on eggshells, never knowing what would set them off.
Despite the challenges, I loved him deeply and was committed to our relationship. I tried to be understanding and patient, even when things were tough. But over time, the emotional toll of living with someone with BPD started to take its toll on me. I became anxious and stressed, never knowing what to expect next.
Then, one day, he told me that he couldn't do it anymore. He said he needed to be alone, and our relationship wasn't working. While part of me was relieved to be free from the constant stress and uncertainty, I was also devastated. I couldn't imagine my life without him, and the thought of being alone was overwhelming.
The first few weeks after our breakup were some of the toughest of my life. I felt like I was in a fog, unable to think or focus on anything. I cried constantly and felt like I would never be able to move on.
As I began to navigate the healing process, I realized that the intensity of the relationship had left a lasting impact on my mental health. I found myself questioning whether new people I met might have similar issues, or feeling triggered by things that reminded me of my ex. It was as if the trauma of the relationship had become embedded in my body, and it took time to work through.
For me, healing meant prioritizing my own mental health and wellbeing. This meant taking a break from dating and focusing on self-care. I started going to therapy and joined a support group, which helped me feel less alone in my struggles. I also made a conscious effort to do things that made me happy, like going for walks and spending time with friends.
But healing wasn't a linear process. There were days when I felt like I was making progress, and other days when I felt like I was back at square one. It was important for me to remember that healing takes time, and to be gentle with myself along the way.
Eventually, I began to feel like I was reclaiming a sense of myself that I had lost during the relationship. I started to feel more confident and sure of myself, and less triggered by things that reminded me of my ex. While there were still moments of pain and heartbreak, I began to see a glimmer of hope for the future.
Truth: Looking back on our relationship, I see it as a learning experience. I learned much about myself and what I need in a relationship. While the breakup was incredibly painful, it was also a chance for me to start fresh and find someone who is a better fit for me.