About True Stories. This is my story, my experience of life with a woman who has borderline personality disorder. The Borderline will deny most or all of this, but that too is typical borderline behavior. I tell my story because it is true and because there are many who will read this who also live with a borderline. I want you to know you are not alone and you are not crazy.
The questions come from the book “Stop Walking on Eggshells” by Randi Kreger.
Q. After you try to explain yourself to the other person, does she use your own words and contort them to prove her own point (usually that you are “bad” or doing something wrong)? Does this person blame you for all the problems in her life (and your relationship) and refuse to acknowledge that her own actions cause problems for other people and herself?
A. Yes, this was an ongoing problem.
One of the most maddening things about living with my ex was not that she never made a mistake, (she didn’t), not that she never did anything wrong, (she never did), but that she never ever took responsibility for her own emotions and her own life.
I lost count of the number of times she’d get out of bed in the middle of the night, stub her toe on the bed, (which hadn’t moved in years), and get angry with me – apparently because it was my responsibility to make sure her toe never got stubbed. I lost count of the times she woke up in the middle of the night angry with me because of something she’d dreamed about. Apparently my power and responsibility extended into the realm of her subconscious. I lost count of the number of times I’d leave the house in the morning with her happy, come home in the evening to find her angry and be blamed for it because of what happened to her during the day – while I was at the office!
When she was afraid, I was solely responsible for eliminating the source of her fears – even if her fear was completely irrational. When she was angry – which was often – then I had done something wrong or failed to do something right. When she was depressed – her second-favorite emotion behind anger – it was my fault. When she couldn’t sleep through the night – I was to blame. When she gained weight – I was to blame. When the kids misbehaved while I was at work – I was to blame. When the grass wouldn’t grow under the pecan tree in the front yard – and it wouldn’t – I was to blame.
It was a hellish way to live.
What makes it worse is that I agreed to her rules for the game: I accepted without question that I was responsible for her happiness. For some twisted, stupid reason, I believed it was my responsibility to make her life problem-free. Talk about a god-complex! What a moron. I freely admit that I share half the blame for the dysfunction in the relationship. All I had to do was say, “you are responsible for you; I am responsible for me.” But the thought never even occurred to me. (Apparently this is a common experience of people in a relationship with a BPD.)
Had I been willing to continue being the scapegoat for every pain she experienced in life – real or imagined – I suppose the relationship would have continued. But after 24 years of this madness I reached the point where I was no longer willing. I finally understood that making her happy was her job, not mine. I had more than enough work to do on me.
When I realized that I was the only adult in the relationship; when she made it clear that she would continue to blame me for everything “wrong” in her life, I knew that the marriage was over.
Life with a borderline is not really living. It’s just a constant struggle to keep from drowning under the weight of her out-of-control emotions. I chose not to drown.