Manipulation

Wow, I haven’t written in a while. I haven’t had a proper therapy session in 3 months, which has honestly been affecting me a lot more than I expected. Fingers crossed that things will get better once I settle down with the new therapist and her schedule evens out and I get to see her more often.

Quite honestly, I still feel like I’m going nowhere. Like this is all one huge maze and every time I turn a corner it’s a dead end and I wind up going back to where I started, all over again. It sucks, to be sure, but I think the Boyfriend has been having an awful time walking through the maze with me as well.

I’ve been unstable ever since he told me he was going to India with his friends for ten days (although after more careful counting I’ve noticed it’s actually twelve). Twelve days is a long time. I’m more terrified than I’ve let on — and I’ve let on a lot, actually.

I even researched inpatient prices just in case I wanted to get myself checked in. But thank God I worked things out and managed to book tickets to Melbourne to visit a friend, which is where I’ll be when the Boyfriend’s away. Hopefully getting myself out of the country and finding new distractions will help.

The Boyfriend said kicking up a huge fuss about it and threatening to get myself checked in was manipulative and an attempt to guilt-trip him. Was it? I don’t know. It’s not like it was a threat — he’d already gotten his tickets all booked and ready. It’s not like threatening to check myself in was going to derail his plans.

First of all, I guess I honestly felt like I needed to look after myself in some way, and I wasn’t capable of doing that myself. Which is why, you know, hospital!

Second of all, I think one of my major problems with BPD has been not knowing how to adequately express how hurt I feel. When my inner landscape is collapsing and on fire, I don’t know how to communicate that to someone else. “Sad”, “scared” or “upset” is an extreme understatement to describe how I feel. And so I resort to acting out in an effort to say, “See, see, this is how AWFUL I feel, PLEASE HELP ME.”

The Boyfriend conceded that he didn’t think I was being manipulative on purpose, but still, that it achieved the same effect.

I guess he’s right. But acknowledging that he’s right makes me feel like an awful person who deserves to be punished. I know I have to find the middle line; I have to learn to acknowledge that “yes, I did something that was not very appropriate, but that does not mean I am a Bad Person.” But I honestly don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I don’t really know what this update is about. I guess I’m just trying to say I’m still really, really lost. But I suppose we all are, in some way.

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My First Tattoo

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So this happened yesterday.

I’ve been considering getting one for close to a year now, and I guess recent events coupled with BPD impulsivity made me think, what the hell, I’m going to do it. I’ve been so desperate for change these days, and most of all, for control.

I know most of my problems arise from my simple desire for permanence in an impermanent world. I want to know that the Boyfriend will love me forever and never leave me, that his feelings for me will be as constant as the daily rising of the sun. This lack of certainty leaves me terrified every day… and I don’t want to be terrified. I never asked for this. I never asked for my brain to be this way.

Part of committing to recovery in BPD is giving up the idea of trying to control the people I love. To give them the space to live their own life, be their own person, instead of attempting to clip their wings so I know they will never fly away from me. I never wanted to be a control freak, but every time I force myself to let things go, it feels like my world is stuck in a never-ending spiral. I can’t control people, I can’t control my brain or my thoughts… what, then, can I do to make things better?

I guess this was an attempt at making myself feel marginally more in control. A fuck you to the universe, of sorts.

I wanted an incorporation of a wave and a semicolon, two things undeniably meaningful to me.

wave is one of the most common metaphors that pop up in dealing with BPD. The analogy goes: emotions are like waves — they come and go, ebb and flow. Sometimes the tides are high; sometimes they’re low. They’re out of my control, yes, but that’s the way they should be. And they change, all the time. Just because I am drowning now doesn’t mean I will drown forever. The tides will recede. I will breathe again.

A semicolon because of what The Semicolon Project means (here is a great post written on it): “A semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. I got this tattoo as a promise to myself that I would never willingly end my sentence. I got it as a reminder to take this summer as a pause, and then to keep going strong next year.”

A sentence — I thought of the double meaning behind that. BPD is a life sentence, of sorts. There are so, so many days that exhaust me more than I know how to put into words. But there are also days I am okay with accepting that. I wanted the semicolon as a reminder to myself, when times get tough, that those days exist.

And most importantly, the pause. I wanted to remind myself that when I am exhausted, it is sometimes okay to pause, and that taking the time to pause doesn’t mean I am a failure, or that I am not trying hard enough. That it is okay to rest. That I deserve to rest, when I need it.

I chose to incorporate both of them together because it felt more personalized (I haven’t come across anyone with this design), and also because it felt fitting that the semicolon ‘broke’ the wave, of sorts. “In fluid dynamics, a breaking wave is a wave whose amplitude reaches a critical level at which some process can suddenly start to occur that causes large amounts of wave energy to be transformed into turbulent kinetic energy.”

I break, all the time — I spill, and plunge, and collapse, and surge. But I am doing something. I am moving forward, I am transforming, and most importantly? I’m alive.

Borderline meets Narcissist

First off, I’d like to say that this post is a reflection on my relationship with one undiagnosed person with NPD and is in no way a judgment against an entire group of people, especially individuals within that group who are self-aware and working on themselves.

That being said, writing this out offered me a glimmer of insight on why disillusioned “loved ones” of pwBPD act on the internet. As the marginalized in this situation, it hurts. We’re not all bunny boilers. I would never dream of calling the cops on my boyfriend and wrongfully accusing him. I am working hard and I am going to try my best to get better, damn you, and I do not appreciate you dismissing my efforts and saying I’m unsalvageable! I am not the woman who hurt you. I am someone who has never done anything to warrant your condemnation.

But the truth is, even now my brow furrows at the mention of a narcissist. I want to shake the people involved with them and tell them to run before their lives and sense of selves get royally screwed over. Even now I am still recovering, and to be honest, I don’t think I ever will completely. So I kind of get the vilification, although it still stings.


The events of this happened in high school and university, so it might sound a little childish at times. I don’t know. I’m only 21 now, which might be worth keeping in mind. At the point of time, I was also undiagnosed, although aware of my emotional volatility and reactivity.

There are always alarm bells, I’ve learned. One way or another, your subconscious recognizes that this person is bad news — survival instincts, maybe? But I was—and still am— stubborn, so I looked the red flags head-on and then very deliberately glanced away.

Red Flags | The Chase

  • He was oddly charming. Not particularly good-looking (I’m half-laughing while typing this out because I recall a conversation when I said that to him and he flipped out and vehemently insisted he was) but cute in a fresh-faced sort of way.
  • He was impetuous, reckless and childish. At the time I thought it was quirky and adorable.
  • He was also infamous for being a huge flirt. In hindsight, this was probably a sign of his need for attention and admiration.
  • He initiated conversations with me by telling me that he had a crush on this other girl, B, and coaxed me into helping him out. (Yes, this was high school, guys.) Later on he claimed that this was a lie and that he’d made it up so I would gain interest in him; until now, I have no idea whether this was true or not. In hindsight, triangulation, Goddammit.

I should have swallowed my budding crush down and walked away, but back then I don’t think I realized how bad things could be. I guess I thought the worst case scenario was I would just get my heart broken and led on……. little did I know.

Red Flags | Relationship (5 months)

  • 2 weeks later, we were officially dating and in love. He told me that he thought we were meant to be together. Being borderline myself, I really didn’t think of it as a red flag at all. Super fast commitment was my jam, after all.
  • A month in, he began to display jealousy. I danced with a gay friend during a high school event and he veered between putting the friend down with homophobic slurs and being prickly about our close contact. It literally made no sense—why would he be jealous if he genuinely believed Gay Friend was truly gay?! I will never understand how his mind worked.
  • He told me that he thought he was the ruler of the universe and that other people were “sub human”. I thought it was adorable and a joke. Spoiler alert: I would be proven wrong.
  • 1.5 months in, he began to grow distant, telling me he needed more time to himself. It was the most confusing situation I’d ever been placed in. He would strike up a conversation with me and then disappear 5 minutes later.
  • He accused me of flirting with my friends. I asked him what he meant. He proceeded to threaten to show me what he really meant. He also told me that he had a “bad feeling” about my friends (even the girls) and that he wouldn’t talk to me if he ever saw me with them.
  • He would constantly reference the girl B and gush about how she was his “ideal type” (never mind that he was dating me) and how I was basically the opposite of what he wanted.
  • By 3-4 months, he had stopped saying anything affectionate — no “I love you”s or “good night”s.
  • He told me about wanting to make other people “feel the pain” of losing to him in the upcoming exams.
  • I cried daily. Lost a lot of weight. Friends got super worried. At the 5th month mark, I finally got the nerve to break up with him. He later revealed that he’d been withdrawing in hopes that I would get sick and dump him so he wouldn’t have to do the dirty work. And I still took that asshole back, ugh.

For the next 1.5 years, I lived my own life. It was an okay sort of life; I had fun with my friends and watched a ton of TV shows. He would contact me once every few months, and would especially ask me if I was seeing anyone. It was probably his way of maintaining some sort of control over me by hoovering me in every once in a while. And it worked.

He finally started talking to me regularly, and I was thrilled. The past year had been spent trying and failing to get over him, and now he was back and telling me that he made a mistake and he really wanted to be with me. I believed it.

Red Flags | Relationship 2.0 (2 years)

  • He enlisted my help to tutor him for the national exams and to write his college essays. I got him into fucking medical school. He would later turn it against me and say that: a) he would have done well anyway; and b) he had dated me just to “make use” of me and that I was his “tool”. Good times.
  • He still hated my friends. If my friends commented on my Instagram pictures, he would message them to hurl profanities at them. It eventually escalated to him yelling at some of my random male acquaintances.
  • He emotionally cheated on me. I caught him and asked for a break-up. He apologized profusely. Months later, he would change his tune to “it wasn’t even a big deal”, “why can’t you just get over it”, and “even your dad did it” (yeah, thanks).
  • My control issues escalated furiously after the cheating incident. I grew paranoid about the girl (who was still in his friend group) and attempted to limit his contact with the friend group. He would lie and just go out with them anyway. Admittedly, I did the same because he, likewise, tried to prevent me from going out with my friends… let’s not forget that I am borderline, after all. The difference was, he didn’t actually give enough of a shit to hide his activities. It sounds a little sick to say this, but I brought my A game. I made sure my phone was completely devoid of any trace of my friends and that no pictures would be taken and/or posted online. He, on the other hand, only went through the trouble of verbally promising something and then reneging on it, then casually offering me an apology and a perfunctory promise not to do it again.
  • He started off being verbally abusive to me, calling me a cunt or a slut or a whore. If I was out late, he would accuse me of fucking another guy. He also very kindly informed me that if I got myself raped, he would dump me because I would be a used good and he wouldn’t want me anymore.
  • Would occasionally tell me, as mentioned, that I was a worthless piece of shit that nobody would love, that he never really loved me, and that I was his “tool”. Then would proceed to deny all of it and chalk it down to anger. I still don’t know the truth.
  • Insisted that I had to go to therapy to “fix myself”. I don’t know whether to call this gaslighting or not because… I did actually turn out to have BPD, so.
  • If I ended the conversation over the phone, he would repeatedly call me. I once woke up to a hundred missed calls. If I tried to leave in person, he would grab my arm and forcefully pull me backwards.
  • The abuse escalated to physical violence. He shoved and grabbed me in a chokehold. Once, I had a wound on my arm, and I remember the cool, calculated look in his eyes when he reached out and twisted it, hard. He also proceeded to pin me down on the floor and clamp his palm over my mouth so I wouldn’t scream.
  • Regarding all the abusive behavior? a) It was “my fault” for making him angry (NOTE: this has, on the bright side, made me extremely sensitive towards avoiding this stupid fucking excuse); b) He could and would control it (any insinuation that he should seek professional help was ignored); and c) “Everyone does it”.

There’s more, but I don’t really want to think about it.


I don’t know, it was just such a crazy period of time in my life. I had never felt so crazy. His behavior really caused whatever BPD tendencies I had to escalate (I responded to his verbal abuse by cussing back at him, and his physical abuse by slapping him to get him to let go) and I won’t ever forget how utterly out of control I felt.

And I think the most awful part is that until now, I will never know the truth. Did he really love me, in his own strange way? I know he still believes he does, although I don’t know if that’s persisted simply because discarded him, rather than the other way round. Which was the real truth: what he said in the heat of his anger, what he said when he was happy, or what he said when he was neutral? Which was the real him: Jekyll, or Hyde?

As a pwBPD, I guess the answer is that… they were all truths, in varying points of time. The cruel irony is that it really is extremely disorienting and debilitating when you’re the one bearing the brunt of it.


I dated a narcissist, and all I got was a truck load of insecurities and issues. Yes, a lot of them had their foundational roots laid by BPD, but I can say with certainty that they definitely would not have been as pervasive had I not dated him. I also sometimes wonder if I’d actually picked up FLEAS, and if it affects my behavior today.

The one bright spot is that the experience has really helped me gain a better stronghold on myself and my behavior. Because I refuse to be the way he was, or to treat someone else the way he treated me, I guess I put a lot more pressure on myself to “behave”.

And until now, I don’t know—I might be able to forgive him for the abuse, now that I’m acutely aware of how difficult it is to wrestle your PD into submission. But I don’t think I will ever forgive him for not truly putting in effort, for not getting professional help, for not caring enough about me to become self-aware.

Or maybe that’s just silly talk.

BPD and Relationship Imposter Syndrome

You see me better than I am, she said, and I’m worried what’ll happen when your vision changes.” — Brian Andreas

The Boyfriend has a school event tomorrow and I’m internally freaking out. My fear of abandonment alarms are ringing like crazy and I’m trying to deal with that healthily, but that doesn’t help with the fear and paranoia slowly suffocating me.

So I’m here, trying to process my emotions and why I’m so terrified.

How do I explain it? I know it’s just a fear but it somehow feels real, as if it’s already happened; I can see it in my mind’s eye—him laughing and having fun and forgetting about me and then abruptly recalling my existence and thinking, “Ugh, what a loser. I’m having so much more fun with my friends than I ever had with her. What was I thinking? Ew. I’m so done with her.”

The Boyfriend wants to know why it is that he can’t have fun with them and still miss me and love me. Just the thought of him having fun with someone else makes me want to throw up.

“My biggest fear is that eventually you will see me the way I see myself.” — Anonymous

I guess deep down it’s because I honestly see no reason why he would want to be with me. I mean, I’ve read enough accounts from the other side of the fence to know it’s no picnic to be dating a crazypants. It’s not that I have no good qualities; I have at least a scrap of self-worth to realize that I’m not a complete good-for-nothing. But I still don’t think I have enough light to make up for my dark. I don’t think there is anything good enough I can offer that can counter-balance the bad.

So, in my opinion, he’s dating me because he’s super deluded and seduced by, I don’t know, my borderline wiles and addicted to the lovebombing. And all of that is going to fade away one day. There’s going to be a day when he finally comes to his senses and realize he was being a complete idiot and then he will leave and never look back.

And every time he spends time with other people and has fun with them, it just makes me feel like that dose of reality will burst his bubble, and he will see me for the imposter that I am. And it absolutely, completely terrifies me. I go about every day wondering at the back of my mind if this will be the day it all comes crashing down, but it’s when he’s off having the time of his life with someone else that the fear springs to the forefront of my mind and utterly consumes me.

I know it’s deluded of me if I insist on isolating him from the entire world in order to make sure he never sees the light and remains in love with me. I know that if I have to go to such lengths to keep him by my side, then it’s not real love and I’d be better off without it. I know that ironically, it’d be my control freak issues that would actually push him further away from me.

Logically, I know all of this. Yet it’s always the emotions that are the toughest to deal with. I can’t reason with them, I shouldn’t shove them aside… it’s so tempting to switch them off until the event is over but I know that’s not the right thing to do.

It’s times like these I wish so much to be just a regular, non-clingy human being who would be all chill and see no big deal in all of this.

But ah, radical acceptance entails that I accept the reality that I am me, and then do the best I can from there.


So instead:

  • Boyfriend is not Ex. Boyfriend will not start preferring to hang out with his friends over me, Boyfriend will not ‘choose’ them over me, Boyfriend will not flirt with another girl behind my back. (I think…….)
  • Boyfriend claims that he loves me no matter what. Yes, there’s a chance he might be lying, or that he thinks he’s telling the truth but will wind up changing his mind. But what good will my panic do? What is going to happen will happen, no matter how hard I try to avoid it. If he’s going to fall out of love with me and in love with someone else… nothing I do can possibly prevent that from happening.
  • Even if he loves someone else, so what? I can do this on my own. I don’t need him. My worth is not dependent on his love for me. I am not defined by his feelings for me. Just because he might not love me, does not mean I am unlovable.
  • Whatever it is, I can get through it.

Unrealistic Expectations

Every time I make progress, I find myself thinking that I may have unlocked the secret code to BPD and that I’m finally done and dusted with it. And then I inevitably mess up; I get emotional and say/do things that I shouldn’t have, and I just get so crushed, like I was playing a game and I just ruined my combo.

What’s worse, though, is that I get frustrated and annoyed by myself. I wind up feeling like a failure because I didn’t miraculously recover from BPD after 3 months of therapy — I know it sounds ridiculous and silly to say it, but part of me genuinely feels like I should.

Of course, ‘should’ is a very big theme with BPD.

The irony about recovery and therapy is that I’ve begun expecting myself to consistently be ‘good’ and to be on my best behavior at all times. And when I fail and slip up, I focus on that one mistake and block out all the progress I’ve made.

2 days ago the Boyfriend went away for an event with his friends. I harbored thoughts of landing myself in the hospital so he would have to skip the event to be with me, but I didn’t. I thought of threatening him with a break-up, but I didn’t. I wanted to get angry and rage and scream, but I didn’t. Instead, I took the initiative to set boundaries for the both of us. I hated having to hang around waiting for him to reply my texts, so I suggested for him to check in on me every half an hour. I went out for dinner with my family. I drank a bottle of cider in my own room instead of getting drunk outside with strangers. I watched Friends and ate chocolate. I sat with my roiling emotions of fear and panic and jealousy instead of trying to get rid of them.

I was doing pretty great, until the event ended. The Boyfriend called me and I ended up crying into the phone asking him why he’d ‘chosen’ his friends over me. I did not raise my voice. I did not scold him or hurl vulgarities. I just cried and wanted to know why he didn’t want me anymore. Finally I guess he got a little annoyed so he said he wasn’t going to bother explaining it to me since I clearly wouldn’t accept it. I did not freak out. I said, “Okay, thank you” (sarcastically) and hung up.

In retrospect, that was pretty commendable! I’d done better than I would have a couple of months ago. But it still wasn’t enough. Instead of focusing on my progress, I started beating myself up for not being 100% perfect. I hated myself for being so needy and selfish and for getting upset with my boyfriend. I berated myself for being the worst person in the world… when I’d clearly done worse things before. Finally it got to the point where I became convinced I was a worthless awful bitch and slapped myself because I ‘deserved’ it.

Yeah, that was a bad night. It’s a tough fight, learning to be compassionate to yourself. I hope I’ll make it there someday.