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Do they still love you after they leave you?

Forum for significant others, family and friends of people with mental illness to discuss relevant issues they face.

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Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby nyce » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:05 am

Hello all. This older post is somewhat unusual, in that it addresses relationships with both significant others with BPD and also those with HPD. But in any case, it better fits our Significant Others, Family and Friends forum, so I am moving it to that location, leaving a shadow thread in the BPD forum, in case any folks with BPD have insights they would like to contribute. Thanks all, moderator Orion

(thread continues)

Or split you black? I mean, is there something deep inside of them that loves you? It's still so hard for me to understand the disorder on this level so would like to seek more answers.

Also, do BPD's feel justified in the things they do to you or feel toward you? Or is there some feeling among them that tells them they are wrong?
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Re: Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby TatteredKnight » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:47 am

No, they don't, at the instant that you're split black. Or rather the love is still there and it can come back again just as fast, but they can't see it or feel it while you're split black. Sometimes even something really small will flip them back again - I've had times when she started raging at me, after a minute or two of invective I just turned on my heel and started walking away. Two steps and she'd be begging me not to leave.

As for justified... again, absolutely so, at the time. Remember, with a healthy person, it's your thoughts and your environment that drive your feelings as much as the other way 'round. The two systems coexist and work together. Borderlines have problems with emotional regulation, and so their intellectual, analytical side tends to get smacked around by their emotions. They don't think and feel based on those thoughts. They seem more often to feel, then rationalise/justify/explain the feeling using their intellect. Afterwards they may find moments of reflection where they feel truly remorseful about the way they've treated you... but don't expect that to change how they behave towards you next time. It's an illness.
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Re: Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby DowntownDC » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:36 pm

Nyce, I agree with Tattered, who answers your question directly, explaining it nicely. I am hopeful that, if Tattered and I are mistaken, some of the BPD sufferers will weigh in and correct us. Meanwhile, I will add a few tangential thoughts that might cast a little additional light on this subject -- or maybe not. Whereas Tattered's views are on firmer ground, these are thoughts I have but cannot substantiate.

First, I believe it would be a mistake to think of your BPDex as being herself while splitting you white and not being herself when splitting you black. Instead, she is being herself in both states. So, as Tattered explains, her love for you is there all the time, regardless of whether she is in touch with it or not.

Second, it would be a mistake to think that her perception of you is less distorted when she is splitting you white. Instead, it likely is equally as distorted as when she is splitting you black. I say this because, when you are being split white, she is projecting onto you all sorts of wonderful attributes (i.e., an ability to make her happy and fix her) that you cannot possibly have. She uses such "magical thinking" to temporarily escape her pain and feeling of emptiness.

Third, because her perception of you is seriously distorted nearly all the time, the important question is not whether she loves you but, rather, why you are willing to settle for such an impaired form of love. All of us experience this immature form of love every time we "fall in love" with a new person. It is extremely exciting but, of course, has no staying power. We call it "infatuation" to distinguish it from the mature form of love, which occurs months later and which requires that you love the real aspects of a person, not the projected and imagined aspects.

Fourth, being the recipient of infatuation is not God awful but, on the other hand, is not too desirable either. It's not God awful because, after all, it is exactly what you get for the first three months of any new romantic relationship. And it is exactly what you get when raising a young child, who is incapable of seeing the "real you" and is in a constant state of splitting, i.e., either adoring Daddy or hating Daddy, depending on whether Daddy is meeting the child's needs at that moment.

And how bad can that be? You don't see mothers and fathers run screaming from their kids because the kids cannot see the real people that constitute their parents. Not so awful. The parents are perfectly willing to settle for "I love you" knowing full well that it really means "I desperately need you and don't know how I would survive without you." Yet, that quality of "love" is not at all desirable in a relationship between two adults. That is why normal men are willing to raise a four-year-old but -- unlike you, Tattered, and me -- they don't go out of their way trying to marry a woman whose emotional development is frozen at that level.
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Re: Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby uqli » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:24 pm

DowntownDC wrote:Second, it would be a mistake to think that her perception of you is less distorted when she is splitting you white. Instead, it likely is equally as distorted as when she is splitting you black. I say this because, when you are being split white, she is projecting onto you all sorts of wonderful attributes (i.e., an ability to make her happy and fix her) that you cannot possibly have. She uses such "magical thinking" to temporarily escape her pain and feeling of emptiness.


:idea:

insightful post, this stands out. a lot of folks who get involved hold onto the memory of the white split as the real person, and they have to get that back when experiencing a black split. the white split behavior resembles the kind of interaction you have with someone who you have good chemistry with... but its not quite the same, because when things go bad, nearly everyone recalls those red flags they failed to take heed of. as ddc pointed out, the person is using 'magical thinking' to escape pain, and you become an enabler of this, hence their projection onto you.
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Re: Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby nyce » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:43 pm

So in other words they are not capable of loving you the way NON-BPD's can? I know that their love for you is very child like but if they attribute magical thinking towards you in order to escape their own pain wouldn't that mean that their love for you is not real? Or more or so based on seflishness rather then loving YOU for you.

I am getting it better but still am a bit confused about this. Are the qualities that BPD's look for in a partner different then what NON-BPD's look for ? For example, most poeple look for these things:

Looks
Personality
Education
Finance
etc...

So do BPD's even care about any of these? I read from some sources that BPD's carefully pick out people they become intimate with. Its apparently based on how passive and easily manipulated they are.

What confuses me about this is that because even though people can be extremely selfish (without even knowing it sometimes) they can still love you for you . It seems to me that BPD's then do not really love you for you but rather what they think you are?
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Re: Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby AGCDEFG » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:48 am

I've been diagnosed with BPD and I would disagree with all of you (I'm in treatment and have already had years of treatment so I'm better). Maybe I was different because I never abused substances and had some insight into myself from the time I was little. I knew I was different and had trouble putting the screws on my emotions, but I didn't know why. I felt crazy. However, when I loved somebody it did not go away just because I left them or they left me. It really hurt. Embarassingly, sometimes I would even threaten suicide if a man left me, although I never intended on doing it. I blush at the old me and the manipulations I tried just to "get back" at somebody who had hurt me. I seemed to have a much harder time accepting "it's over" than others, but I still felt deep love.

The only time I had a black split was when my beloved grandmother passed away. I didn't grieve. I have never grieved. Yet I feel her spirit with me every day (I'm a believer in the paranormal and life after this world). I miss her a lot, but I blocked out her death successfully so that I just didn't think about it because it was so horrifying that I couldn't or I'd really lose it. Now that I believe in the next world, I feel her with me a lot and I remember her often, but I still have never grieved.

I have a really good understanding of my own disorder now. I'm really appalled at some of the things I did when I felt that somebody crossed me or rejected me. I was never a bad person either, which is hard for non-borderlines to accept. I always had a good heart and would give money to beggars on the street and rescue animals and cry when somebody told me a sad story and go out of my way to help people. I just have a disorder that sometimes makes my emotions completely take over my logic and, what should be, my normal restraints. Once the borderline is aware of his/her emotional dysregulation, this can be controlled most of the time, although it is a lifelong struggle.

I've been married twice. The first time it lasted seventeen years and was full of drama, but we also had lots of long stretches of normalcy. I never cheated on him or did some immoral stuff that some borderlines do. I did love him. Long story why we divorced, but we're friends now. My current marriage has lasted fourteen years so far and going strong. Hub hasn't seen the borderline side of me at all. He knows I have more anxiety than some folks, but I've really learned to control myself a lot. If I feel like "going borderline" as I call it, I ring up my therapist and she talks me through it and we usually end up laughing. It's nice to be able to see when I'm being silly.

By the way, I never picked men based on how much I could manipulate them. I picked men who seemed to actually like me. I felt so unlovable that I accepted the love of anyone I was halfway attracted to who I felt may care. Money didn't matter at all either. I just had such poor self-esteem that I married the first man who I was attracted to and who asked me to be his wife. When he would verbally abuse me, and he did (A LOT), I thought I deserved it. I cried and sometimes fought back in borderline fashion, but I stayed with him a long time and had children with him. In retrospect, I think both of us agree we had problems and did not understand one another. Amazingly, our grown children are doing well.

I don't even know why I posted all this...lol. I guess I wanted you to understand that not all borderlines are the same. Just as not all autistic children are identical there is no blatant "all borderlines." There are some sicker than others. There are some that are mean under their disorder and some who really don't like the way they are and understand when they are being obnoxious and want to be better. And some of us who do try hard and DO better. Some of us make amends to those we have hurt, if they are willing to allow it. So...yeah...there is no one way a borderline feels or behaves. Some may block you out and some may want to but be unable to. Depends on the borderline because beyond the borderline, we are all unique people.

I guess I just wanted to talk to you as a borderline who was a bit irked at "they all." Maybe I was just venting. Have a nice night :wink:
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Re: Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby DowntownDC » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:00 am

What confuses me about this is that because even though people can be extremely selfish (without even knowing it sometimes) they can still love you for you . It seems to me that BPD's then do not really love you for you but rather what they think you are?
Nyce, my belief is that BPDs love us partly for whom we are and partly for wonderful attributes they project onto us. Yet, as Alphabet states, BPDs are not all alike. So, if their BPD traits are very severe, I would conclude that they likely are in love mostly with the projected attributes. We normally call this type of love "infatuation" because, absent the projections, there is little actual love of our true selves. Conversely, if their BPD traits are much weaker, they likely are in love mostly with real attributes that we possess. In this case, you and I feel that we are truly loved and we regard the small projection-based adoration as icing on the cake. That much seems simple.

What is hard to understand is whether we are being loved when you add "I need you" to the mix. That is, are we loved mostly "for ourselves" when that love is based one-third on our true attributes, one-third on projected attributes, and one-third on what we can do for them? At issue here is the messy problem of whether the love for what-we-can-do should be considered as worthless as the love for projected attributes or, instead, as valuable as the love for our real attributes. Until we answer that question, we cannot determine whether we are being loved a third or two-thirds for "ourselves."

The easy answer is that only a third of the love is based on the real us because being "loved" for what you can do is not being loved at all and thus is worthless. But the easy answer is incorrect because we are simply incapable of teasing apart our real attributes from our actions and acts of kindness. As I explained above, any parent will tell you that they are deeply loved by their young child even though they know full well that the child essentially means "I desperately need you" when saying "I love you." Due to this difficulty, I sidestepped the problem above by simply declaring that this child-like love constitutes real love but nonetheless falls far short of the mature love needed to sustain LTRs between adults.
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Re: Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby TatteredKnight » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:26 am

DowntownDC wrote:First, I believe it would be a mistake to think of your BPDex as being herself while splitting you white and not being herself when splitting you black. Instead, she is being herself in both states. So, as Tattered explains, her love for you is there all the time, regardless of whether she is in touch with it or not.

As always, Downtown, you make an excellent point. I know I'd fallen into the trap of thinking that the way she acts when I'm split white is the 'real' her, and the way she acts when I'm split black is "the BPD talking". As you say, they're both equally 'her' and neither is 'real' in the sense of being a persistent, well-grounded and cohesive 'whole person'. Her white- and black-split pictures of you are just what she sees in the largest pieces of the broken mirror that makes up her emotional self - one piece reflecting only the good and the other reflecting only the bad, and both reflecting some things that aren't even you at all.
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Re: Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby DowntownDC » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:08 pm

Tattered, why is it that, when you agree with something I wrote, you always restate it in a way that is not only much clearer but also poetic? It's a little hard on my ego. But that's okay because I'll get over it. I really will. :D
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Re: Do they still love you after they leave you?

Postby Jaxz16 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:24 am

Hate to burst all of your bubbles but all of this in-depth speculation on the ability of BPDs to feel love like a "normal" person is complete bull $#%^. It's great that you've written it all down in a rational manner, but you don't have BPD do you? So your numbered and bulletined points are completely irrelevant. Therapist don't even begin to try and rationalize the way BPD people act/feel, but you guys think since you're in romantic relationships with a BPD that you're an expert? Dear god no wonder BPD people have such a bad connotation. News flash, BPD love just as well as a "normal person". I really hate seeing this forum turned into spectators who don't know what it's like to actually suffer from this disorder.

If you're looking for ways to rationalize how your ex has acted. STOP. It's never EVER going to be rationalized.

Ok, all you none BPDs, seriously wtf? Not all of us are as horrible as your disgruntled ex lovers.

So talk about the splits and the idealization only to be bored of you the day after, but try to be a little more objective.
Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living.
The bruises go away, and so does how you hate, and so does the feeling that everything you receive from life is something you have earned.
- J.S.F
Dx: BP 1
Rx: Lithium,Abilify, Klonopin,Topamax
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