Tuesday, 3 May 2016

A breakdown of an article I came across about Borderline Personality Disorder and relationships

Ok, let's have a breakdown of this article. I'm feeling vehemently angry just from the introduction! 

Instable relationships (as in instability) are a characteristic of Borderline Personality Disorder.


What does an instable relationship actually look and feel like?


Instable relationships are a characteristic of Borderline Personality Disorder -- but what does an instable relationship actually look like? This article describes a common and very confusing failure pattern that evolves over time.

A common and very confusing failure pattern of relationship instabilty is described in this article. A relationship can present with this characteristic failure pattern over time. This pattern may take months or even years to evolve. The phases are typically not completely successive -- there is typically cycles of forward and backward movement between phases.


First of all, this article is so badly written that it hurts my brain to dissect it! Secondly, this writer is a therapist?! HOLY SHIT!! The third thing I immediately notice is unsurprisingly, the author is male. BPD is a disorder that predominantly affects women. You can't argue with statistics. However, his article has been written about women entirely. Poor form!  Finally before I delve into the hyperbole written here, Mr Melton has an MA and not an MSc. Frankly, that makes his take on BPD entirely unsurprising to me! (Yes I'm scoffing at his whimsical MA and point scoring - just my opinion. I'm not attacking anyone with an MA here, it's just unsurprising to see this kind of take on any mental health issue from a person with an MA.)

I am writing my response here using my personal experiences being both Borderline AND female, I think I have a little authority here. 

Love - the Vulnerable Seducer Phase:

At first, a Borderline female (or male) may appear sweet, shy, vulnerable and "ambivalently in neeof being rescued"; looking for her Knight in Shining Armor. In the beginning, you will feel a rapidly accelerating sense of compassion because she portrays herself as she "victim of love" and you are saving her. But listen closely to how she sees herself as a victim. As her emotions advances upon you, you will hear how no one understands her - except you. Other people have been "insensitive." She has been betrayed, just when she starts trusting people. But there is something "special" about you, because "you really seem to know her".
It is this intense way she has of bearing down on you emotionally that can feel very seductive. You will feel elevated, adored, idealized - almost worshiped, maybe even to the level of being uncomfortable -- and you will feel that way quickly. It may seem like a great deal has happened between the two of you in a short period of time as the conversation is intense, and her attention, and her eyes are always so deeply focused on you. Here is a woman who may look like a dream come true. She not only seems to make you the center of her attention, but she even craves listening to your opinions, thoughts and ideas. It will seem like you have really found your heart's desire.
Like many things that seems too good to be true, this is. This is borderline personality disorder idealization.
It will all seem so real because it is real in her mind. But what is happening is not what you perceive to be happening.

Personally, I AM shy.  People poke fun at me for saying this. It's true. I am painfully shy and incredibly socially awkward. This is not an act. Yes, I am vulnerable sometimes. However, I am not, I repeat NOT in need of rescuing. 

When I tell someone that no one understands me, it's true. Very few people understand me. Myself included sometimes! Borderline Personality Disorder is a very confusing illness to live with. I often have difficulties reading emotional signals from others and have once or twice misconstrued someone's caring feelings for love. 

I know I fall in love very quickly. I am happy to admit that and it rarely works out as planned but then, what does?! I have found more often than not, my "emotional bearing down" as Mr Melton calls it, causes prospective partners to flee in the opposite direction! 

I can fall very easily in and out of love. If a partner were to feel uncomfortable with my "intensity" then they should surely let me know! I am aware that I can be intense but if a partner allows that intensity to make them feel uncomfortable, who is really at fault here? 

If an individual's "heart's desire" is a partner who "... elevates, adores, idealises... Worships" them then frankly, Borderline Personality Disorder is the least of their worries! 

Love - the Clinger Phase 

Her intense interest in you will subtly transform over time. She still appears to be interested in you, but no longer in what you are interested in. Her interest becomes your exclusive interest in her. This is when you start to notice “something”. Your thoughts, feelings and ideas fascinate her, but more so when they focus on her. You can tell when this happens because you can feel her "perk-up" emotionally whenever your attention focuses upon her feelings and issues. Those moments can emotionally hook your compassion more deeply into her, because that is when she will treat you well - tenderly.
It’s often here that you begin to confuse your compassion with love, and you believe you're in love with her -- especially if your instinct is strong and rescuing is at the heart of your "code." Following that code results in the most common excuse I hear as a therapist, as to why many men stay with borderline women.

"But I love her!", you say.  Adult love is built on mutual interest, care and respect -- not codependency or rescuing. 

If like King Priam, you do fall prey to this Trojan Horse and let her inside your city gates, the first Berserker to leave the horse will be the devious Clinger. A master at strengthening her control through empathy, she is brilliant at eliciting sympathy and identifying those most likely to provide it-like the steady-tempered and tenderhearted.
The world ails her. Physical complaints are common. Her back hurts. Her head aches. Peculiar pains of all sorts come and go like invisible, malignant companions. If you track their appearance, though, you may see a pattern of occurrence connected to the waning or waxing of your attentions. Her complaints are ways of saying, "don't leave me. save me!", and her maladies are not simply physical -- her feelings ail her too.
She is depressed or anxious, detached and indifferent or vulnerable and hypersensitive. She can swing from elated agitation to mournful gloom at the blink of an eye. Watching the erratic changes in her moods is like tracking the needle on a Richter-scale chart at the site of an active volcano, and you never know which flick of the needle will predict the big explosion. But after every emotional Vesuvius she pleads for your mercy. And if she has imbedded her guilt-hooks deep enough into your conscientious nature, you will stay around and continue tracking this volcanic earthquake, caught in the illusion that you can discover how to stop Vesuvius before she blows again. But, in reality, staying around this cauldron of emotional unpredictability is pointless. Every effort to understand or help this type of woman is an excruciatingly pointless exercise in emotional rescue.
It is like you are a Coast Guard cutter and she is a drowning woman-- but she drowns in a peculiar way. Every time you pull her out of the turbulent sea, feed her warm tea and biscuits, wrap her in a comfy blanket and tell her everything is okay, she suddenly jumps overboard and starts pleading for help again. And, no matter how many times you rush to the emotional - rescue, she still keeps jumping back into trouble. It is this repeating, endlessly frustrating pattern which should confirm to you that you are involved with a Borderline Personality Disorder. No matter how effective you are at helping her, nothing is ever enough. No physical, financial or emotional assistance ever seems to make any lasting difference. It's like pouring the best of your self into a galactic-sized Psychological Black Hole of bottomless emotional hunger. And if you keep pouring it in long enough, one-day you'll fall right down that hole yourself. There will be nothing left of you but your own shadow, just as it falls through her predatory "event horizon." But before that happens, other signs will reveal her true colors.
Sex will be incredible. She will be instinctually tuned into reading your needs. It will seem wonderful -- for a while.
The intensity of her erotic passion can sweep you away. Intensity is her life.
But her intensity is double-edged. The other side of it comes from the instinctually built-in, turbulent emotionality of her disorder -- and an equally instinctually and concentrated need to control you. The sexual experiences, while imposing, are motivated from a desire to dominate you, not please you. Her erotic intensity will be there in a cunning way tailored so you will not readily perceive it.

“I love you” means – “I need you to love me”. “That was the best ever for me” means – tell me “it was the best ever for you”. Show me that I have you.


If an individual's interest in a relationship is solely themself, again, Borderline Personality Disorder is not the issue here. 

As a human being (all mental health related issues aside) I find it incredibly difficult to feign interest in something. If I don't like it, I don't like it. It's that simple! I will always support a partner's interests and actively encourage them to pursue things that bring them happiness but I simply cannot pretend to be invested in something I'm not. I would much rather hurt someone with the truth than soothe them with a lie. I think that's actually a deplorable quality that human beings have! I'm not saying I won't become interested in something. Sometimes I will. However, I know my own mind and I know my likes and dislikes! I'm pretty sure this is not a trait of BPD! Furthermore, who doesn't perk up a little when a conversation is either about them or something they are interested in? Again, this is HUMAN NATURE! That being said, I am absolutely not a narrow minded individual and my interests are vast and varied. 

If an individual confuses compassion with love (as I have) then they are the problem. They clearly have difficulties in reading emotional signals and perhaps need to have a word with themselves. I am very honest and open about my feelings. If I am in love with a person, I will let them know. How they choose to respond to such information is entirely up to them. 

Being referred to as a "devious clinger" enrages me so much that I'm not even going to dignify it with a response! 

I am often ailed with "invisible, malignant companions". It is called FIBROMYALGIA and yes, my pain can often intensify when I am feeling depressed or anxious. Once again, I am a human being and all of these things are intricately linked! 

By referring to BPD sufferers as a "cauldron of emotional unpredictability" is so disgustingly offensive! BPD is an emotional instability. It just is and yes, that makes us unpredictable but we are still worthy of love! Yes, we will erupt like Vesuvius. It is unpleasant. For us, for our partner, for anyone unfortunate enough to witness this. However, this is how BPD manifests.  It is not a trick. It is not a ploy. It is not a tactic used to "imbed our guilt hooks" into an individual! If our partner were willing to work with us, together we could abate the volcano before it erupts. This is not manipulation but common fucking sense! If an individual wishes to embark upon a relationship with an emotionally unstable partner, the risk is upon both of them and the decent thing to do is to work together on handling the emotions and identifying triggers and recognising the moods and then tempering them. We do this together. AS A PARTNERSHIP!

This next part, I cannot even deal with it! "...you are involved with a Borderline Personality Disorder..." Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?! This is one of the most outrageous statements I have ever come across and the fact that it was written by a therapist makes my very skin crawl!! 

I will repeat again, we do not need help. We are not in distress. We do not need saving. We don't like being this way but we are not victims and if you will treat us that way, again, you are the problem! 

"The sexual experiences, while imposing, are motivated from a desire to dominate you, not please you." Are you fucking kidding me right now?! Again, this is NOT BPD that Mr Melton is referring to! 

Yes, my sexual relationships have very often been intense and, not blowing my own trumpet, but sex with me is fantastic. This is not because of some desire to control or manipulate my partner. This is because I know what gets me off sexually. I derive great pleasure from pleasuring my partner. I like to know exactly what turns them on and I like them to know exactly what turns me on. After all, what is the point of being sexually involved with someone otherwise?! 

"I love you" means just that. It does not mean "I need you to love me". We all like to be loved. Of course we do but I don't NEED that. It is nice to love and be loved. That is all. 

"That was the best ever for me" means exactly that. If it was the best ever for them too it's nice to hear it but I am not begging for their affection or adoration. 

Love - the Hater Phase

Once a Borderline Controller has succeeded and is in control, the Hater appears. This hateful part of her may have emerged before, but you probably will not see it in full, acidic bloom until she feels she has achieved a firm hold on your conscience and compassion -- but when that part makes its first appearance, rage is how it breaks into your life.
What gives this rage its characteristically borderline flavor is that it is very difficult for someone witnessing it to know what triggered it in reality. But that is its primary identifying clue: the actual rage-trigger is difficult for you to see. But in the Borderline's mind it always seems to be very clear. To her, there is always a cause. And the cause is always you. Whether it is the tone of your voice, how you think, how you feel, dress, move or breathe - or "the way you're looking at me," - she will always justify her rage by blaming you for "having to hurt her."
Rage reactions are also unpredictable and unexpected. They happen when you least expect it. And they can become extremely dangerous. It all serves to break you down over time. Your self esteem melts away. You change and alter your behavior in hopes of returning to the “Clinger Stage”. And periodically you will, but only to cycle back to the hater when you least expect it, possibly on her birthday, or your anniversary.
Instable relationships are a hallmark of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Again, this entire section does not read like someone with BDP. This is Gaslighting. A term I suggest Mr Melton becomes familiar with! 

"Rage reactions are also unpredictable and unexpected." Well, yes! This is the nature of rage! Dur! 


Again, I cannot even dignify the rest of this paragraph with a response as it is so disgustingly written! 

I suggest that Mr Melton seriously reconsiders his career choice! 

Most of what is written here is NOT directly and exclusively related to Borderline Personality Disorder. There is a lot of narcissism involved here and predominantly Gaslighting. 

This article has portrayed women with BPD as dangerous predators who will sink their "guilt hooks" into a man and destroy them from the inside out. This is a dangerous and incredibly stigmatising view on Borderline Personality Disorder and I am incredibly enraged by it. 

Yes, individuals with BPD (NOT "a borderline personality" thank you very much you heinous excuse for a human being!) are emotionally unstable. Yes, individuals with BPD are statistically more likely to be women. However, we are NOT all as this article describes. We are very loving, caring individuals who want to essentially heal the world! We feel all of our emotions intensely and want to do anything to prevent anyone feeling the pain and turmoil we feel on a daily basis. We already feel unworthy of the love we are given. Be that in a relationship of a sexual nature or a relationship with a friend and this article only serves to make us feel much fucking worse about ourselves so thank you very much Mr Melton you absolute cuntbucket! 

Ps - this is how you write a gender neutral article you misogynistic twunt!