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I am a 20-something who was recently diagnosed with BPD. Right now, I define myself by this fact, even though I know I shouldn't. I'm torn between believing there is hope for me to overcome my painful past and a fear that I may never be a normal, mature woman. My childhood wasn't unlike many others. In fact, I had it better than a lot of kids. I never wanted for food, or clothing, or shelter. My grandmother was 100% devoted to me and treated me like I was her own child. I was never sexually abused, or brutally beaten, or deprived of food. I was often told by strangers and teachers and some family members how beautiful, smart, and charming I was.

My mother had me at a very young age. Everyone knew she wasn't ready to be a mother, and I'm sure that she knew it too. But she got married at 17, wanted to grow up fast, and realized only after I was already born that she'd made a mistake. She made up for those years when I was a toddler and a young child. She gave me to my grandparents, but didn't sign over parental rights. So, essentially, they raised me, but she had the legal right to come in and send my world into a tailspin at any given moment. I remember alternately being terrified of my mother and aspiring to be just like her. I created a wild fantasy life for myself, the center of which included a mother, a father, and siblings. [B]I could never get enough attention from both adults and playmates when I was little. [/B]

Around age 4, I began pulling my hair out at the roots, a sign of emotional trauma in children. Instead of being tuned in to this, my mother cut all of my hair off so it wouldn't look as stringy (since I'd already pulled half of it out). This just added to my identity issues, making me feel less attractive and less like a girl. I would beg to wear dresses and would cry and throw tantrums when I was forced into pants. My mother, trying to be progressive, would buy me toy trucks instead of dolls, and she threw a royal fit when my paternal grandparents would give me gifts such as toy ovens, or shopping carts, or toy vacuums. The truth is, I loved those items and I wanted to play house and be the mommy, and feel feminine and beautiful. But I never did.

There was some hitting, and emotional abuse. It didn't help matters when I started developing long before the other girls in my class. By age 9, I had my period, and was well beyond the training bra stage. I felt embarrassed, alone, and most of all, unheard. So, I internalized my rage and hurt and fear, and poured my heart into dance classes, school, and making people laugh. By high school, I was known as the nonconformist: funny, colorful, talented, and smart. All were labels I enjoyed, and I began to like myself. I got involved in a long relationship that failed due to my BPD tendencies and his infidelity. I recovered from that loss, graduated college at 22, but then couldn't finish grad school. I hopped between jobs and different majors and basically thought I was just trying to "find myself."

The last few years I've been coasting. I have a group of friends who love and support me, but it's easy to separate myself from them if I'm having a bad day. I numbed my pain with food and alcohol. [B]I don't fit the main characteristic of a borderline because I don't hop from one romantic relationship to the next, expecting each new love to save me. [/B] And recently, out of the blue, at a point where it was sink or swim for me, a man came into my life. I tried to get out of it before it got too complicated, but I couldn't. I couldn't not love this man. He was everything I've ever wanted, down to the most minute detail. And so now, here I am, with a second chance to change everything, and I am more scared than I have ever been.

I want so badly to be good to him, to feel secure in his love for me, to be able to show him how deeply I care for him. I want to prove that I am not crazy, that I'm not going to ruin his life, that I will never hurt him. The problem is that I am still so unsure of myself. I've heard that healing borderline personality disorder is a very difficult and painful thing. You have to revisit all of your old pain and deal with it head on. Ignoring the feelings works only for a short time. I am past the first hump- I readily admit that I'm sick, and I want to be better. But there is a lot of work to be done, and it will take time and living well to heal myself. It's not something you can just snap out of, it's a mental illness- a personality disorder that took years and years to create. There's no immediate cure.

When things are good in my relationship, they are mind-numbingly wonderful. We make each other laugh, we're faithful, commited, and thoughtful. But when I have a bad moment, it's hell. I don't rage or scream or lie or anything like that, I just get moody. I retreat inward and begin to question his love for me. I say bitchy things to get his goat. I have panic attacks about irrational fears, anything from money to my health to if he still loves his ex. And then the good times change immediately. And just as fast as that change to bad happened, they get good again.

[B] I see a therapist bi-weekly. I have read books, and my bf is reading "Walking on Eggshells." I know why I'm sick, and I know what I do is wrong and not rational. I know it's unfair to him. But we love one another, and I want to get a good job, have a loving Christian marriage, and maybe even have a child someday. For most people, all of those dreams seem to come so easily. But not for me.[/B]

I worry that my loving boyfriend has just placed himself into a hellish situation. There are many women out there who don't have to deal with these horrible problems. He could be with any number of them. But, he has chosen to be with me, and we regard each other as gifts from God. He prays for patience in dealing with me, and I pray that I can get better and while I'm in the process of healing, that I can be good to him. If he was going to leave me, it would have already happened. And vice-versa. But we aren't stuck, we've made a conscious decision to be where we are. And so I owe it to both him and myself to work hard every day to get better, no matter what it takes. I have borderline personality disorder, but I refuse to let that define me for the rest of my life.

[SIZE=6]
Has anyone "recovered" from this? Can anyone share any hope with me?[/SIZE] :angel:
Hi,my name is Mary. Try going to this website.

[I][SIZE=3][COLOR=Sienna]REMOVED[/COLOR][/SIZE][/I] She has a recovery book and workbook for total w/shipping (2 books total) for $40. It is set up to help you with borderline RECOVERY. A BP myself, I also recommend writing in a journal for anytime that you feel out of control. Write everything down as it comes it your mind, even if it seems trivial or silly, write it down, get the feelings onto paper and out of your head. You can just buy a note book at a dollar store and write the date and time of each entry. That way you can look back at what you've written weeks later and see what you were feeling, if it's rational, and if you've moved on from it.
Let me know what you think. I myself an a BP in recovery and don't plan to be BP for the rest of my life. I figured it out a half year ago, on my 34 birthday, how's that for divine intervention.

Laura Paxton is an author who recovered from borderline herself so she knows what's really going on, as opposed to $100 an hour herapists that, even though they may help you, DON'T or HAVEN'T HAD BP THEMSELVES, so it's hard for them to understand.

Love, Mary :angel: :angel: :angel:
Nondescript,

First of all, congrats on recognizing that you have a problem. And again, congrats on being in therapy.

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get to you, but I'm here now.

In case you haven't read any of my previous posts, I was diagnosed with BPD when I was a teenager. I am now 42. I am in recovery.

I don't believe that a borderline can totally recover anymore than I believe that an alcoholic can start drinking again and not be an alcoholic. But you can get better. You can have a normal and productive life. You are already taking steps to accomplish that.


[COLOR=Red]"I felt embarrassed, alone, and most of all, unheard. So, I internalized my rage and hurt and fear, and poured my heart into dance classes, school, and making people laugh."[/COLOR] I felt exactly the same way. Although I did not have dance classes, I still try my best to make people laugh.

[COLOR=Red]"a man came into my life. I tried to get out of it before it got too complicated, but I couldn't. I couldn't not love this man. He was everything I've ever wanted, down to the most minute detail. And so now, here I am, with a second chance to change everything, and I am more scared than I have ever been."[/COLOR] Of course you are scared. You would not be on your way to recovery if you were not.

[COLOR=Red]"I want so badly to be good to him, to feel secure in his love for me, to be able to show him how deeply I care for him. I want to prove that I am not crazy, that I'm not going to ruin his life, that I will never hurt him. The problem is that I am still so unsure of myself."[/COLOR]
It sounds like you have a wonderful man in your life. You have done all the right things. You cannot prove to him that you will never hurt him. I understand that you want to never hurt him, but no one can say that they won't hurt someone. You can say that you won't intentionally try to hurt him, but saying that is very risky with BPD.

It sounds as if he loves you, I mean really loves you. He's knows about the BPD, he's reading the books, he's still with you. He hasn't run away. AND YOU ARE TRYING TO GET BETTER. Let him help you, by loving you.

[COLOR=Red]" I've heard that healing borderline personality disorder is a very difficult and painful thing. You have to revisit all of your old pain and deal with it head on. Ignoring the feelings works only for a short time. I am past the first hump- I readily admit that I'm sick, and I want to be better. But there is a lot of work to be done, and it will take time and living well to heal myself. It's not something you can just snap out of, it's a mental illness- a personality disorder that took years and years to create. There's no immediate cure."
[/COLOR] You are so right, there is no immediate cure and it will take time to get better.

You have the intelligence and the desire to help yourself. You have a wonderful man who loves you and is standing by you. You must be easier on yourself. You are doing all the right things. You will not always get it right, you will backslide, you will have setbacks, you will get better. The periods of not having problems will get longer and longer.

The key to maintaining a relationship,is communication: open and honest.

I have a wonderful husband, we've been married for 2 1/2 years and we've been together for over five years. When I first met Larry, it was over the internet. We communicated for a few weeks that way, and then I allowed him to phone me. That first phone call lasted 6 1/2 hours!. The second one was longer. After a few weeks, I worked up the courage to meet him in person. I didn't know what he looked like, I didn't care. I already loved him.

I told him, during one of our phone calls, about me being borderline. I told him that I would understand if he wanted to back out or just be friends only. He did some research, and then even more research. I was more honest with Larry than I have ever been with anyone in my life, and this was BEFORE I met him. After we met, I continued being honest with him.... I still am.

I was scared that I would lose him because of the BPD, he was scared that I would lose interest in him because he is a large man.

I would love to tell you that everything has been wonderful and full of happy times since we've been together, but I cannot. We've had our share of problems.

Once, during a borderline episode, I threw him out. We were separated for two months. I saw someone else during that time. Larry didn't give up, he called him, he wrote me, he emailed me. Not to beg me to take him back, but just to let me know that he loved me and was waiting until I was ready again. He reminded me of how we were together. Of how we would go to Walmart and dance in the aisles, he even got one of his friends who worked security at the store to copy the video and send me a copy. He reminded me that we would go for walks in the snow after midnight. Of how happy I was when I was with him. He didn't pressure me, he just consistently let me know that he loved me.

After my episode was over and I came back to my senses, Larry never brought it up again. He never accused me of cheating on him, he never reminded me that I did cheat on him. We weren't married yet, but we were engaged when this happened. He just loved me.

He loves me still. We talked and talked and we think we figured out most of my triggers for an episode. The Thanksgiving thru New Year's holiday time is very difficult for me, although I have no idea why. Larry and I successfully avoided another episode recently by having open and honest communication. I can tell him anything and everything.

My point is, even as long-winded as it is, that you can do it! YOU can get better, you can have a happy loving life. YOU can have your Christian marriage and children.

I'll be here...

Lauralee





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