True Stories 4

About True Stories: This is my story, my experience of life with a woman who has borderline personality disorder. I tell my story because it is true and because many who will read this 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. Do you feel as if the other person sees you as either all good or all bad, with nothing in between? Is there sometimes no rational reason for the switch? When you come home from work each day, do you wonder who will greet you at the door: the person who basks in your love or the petty tyrant whose energy supply seems to come from intense, violent, and irrational rages? Does no one believe you when you explain that this is going on?

A. Yes, this was an ongoing problem of great concern.

Man, when I first read this I thought, “I’m not the only one?” It used to drive me out of my mind the way she would think I was the most wonderful man on the planet one moment and the spawn of Satan the next. I can’t count the number of times she flipped between these two poles in the same conversation. (I know, it sounds insane, doesn’t it?)

I knew I wasn’t nearly as good as she seemed to think I was when she thought I was good, nor was I nearly as bad as she said when she said I was bad.

But the worst part was that she seemed to have no awareness that she had made the switch. If she thought I was evil at that particular moment, then she had no memory of ever thinking I was anything but evil. If she thought I was wonderful at that particular moment, she likewise had no memory of anything else.

Have I mentioned “House of Mirrors” before?

After about 20 years of this, (and about 2 years after my first affair), I began to think that perhaps the only way she could feel emotional intimacy was by creating emotional destruction. She seemed to crave emotional connection, (as I did) but she was incapable of it. She’d draw me in, then drive me away, then blame for making unwanted advances, then accuse me of withdrawing.

With her meteoric mood swings, bizarro “splitting” of me from evil to good and back again, and her general emotional volatility, I learned that the only safe relationship to her was at an emotional distance.

Ours was the very definition of a co-dependent relationship and I played the role of Master Enabler. I was the one who allowed her to behave like a spoiled 3 year old rather than holding her accountable for being such a whiny, self-absorbed brat. She’d suck me in with my hunger for connection, then suck my brain inside out with her whacked out emotional neediness and narcissistic inability to recognize that there were TWO people in the relationship.

God, I was such an idiot.  Hopefully, I am slightly less of an idiot now.  As Nietzsche observed, what didn’t kill me has perhaps made me stronger.

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