BPD

BPD: Sick, or just crazy asshole?

I have been a longtime admirer of the scant handful of mental health professionals that have chosen to deal in the truth, rather than just peddle whatever is sellable to women in the misandric zeitgeist.

Staying on an honest road is tough in any arena. In the feminist dominated realm of mental “health,” it is brutal. I know, I lived that life for a couple of decades. I can tell you from personal experience that the greatest amount of flak I got from other professionals was for failing to follow the party line on any given matter.

My first serious conflict was over alcoholism, which I was supposed to view as a disease. That complicated things for me, mainly because alcoholism is not a disease. I don’t speculate on that, or assert it as my “perspective.” I claim it as the irrefutable truth. There is no evidence at all, none, that alcoholism is a disease, except that it was recognized as one in the year of my birth, 1957, by the AMA, with absolutely no scientific evidence to back it up.

It was purely a political and financial decision that enabled doctors to start charging alcoholics to “treat” them, and allowed active, drinking alcoholics to do what they do best…point at something other them themselves as the culprit in their lives. It was a win-win, kind of.

Another significant area of conflict I experienced in the mental health field was in respect to the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), or, the more accurately labeled, “dangerous asshole that should be avoided like the plague.”

Please bear with me while I cover some basics here. In dealing with mental health issues, we are dealing with a spectacularly wide and diverse array of problems and their causes.  There are disorders that a purely physiological in origin, like Organic Brain Syndrome (OBS) where medical disease (or injury) results in impaired mental functioning. OBS is a somewhat antiquated term, and has been removed from classification from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) because of a growing number of discoveries that point to organic (physiological) causes for many psychiatric disorders.

But of importance here is that what we find with many victims of brain injury or disease is that they have severely diminished control over their thoughts, and often their actions.  That capability has been taken from them due to the effects of brain trauma or disease.

Schizophrenia, a devastating condition which causes all manner of neurocognitive impairment, is also thought to be at least partially physiological in nature. As with other organic brain problems, the victim is completely powerless over their symptoms and sometimes their behavior. It is a crushing disease that literally terrorizes its victims. Imagine actually seeing demons come out of the wall to tear you to pieces, or your mind telling you that God is speaking through your dog, telling you to kill someone.

Schizophrenics do not choose these hallucinations and bizarre thoughts and without medical or even legal intervention, they sometimes have little to no control over how they respond to them. Similarly, bi-polar disorder can result in acute psychosis rendering an individuals ability to control their actions questionable at best.

There are other examples of when physiological causes are at the root of severe psychological and behavioral problems. Depression is a good example. It can be traced to a myriad of physical causes and result in some very dangerous physical symptoms, including alcoholism, drug abuse, violence and suicide.

But depression is a disorder, despite having some possible physical causes, that demands to be differentiated in approach from diseases like schizophrenia.

An individual, no matter how depressed, is capable of making an informed, rational choice about their actions. 

In that light, they are fully responsible for whether or not they drink alcohol, take recreational drugs, become violent or even kill themselves.  We can give them medication and psychotherapy, as well as provide other support services, but in the end they are fully and completely responsible for every choice they make in their lives. While their thinking can be clouded by their problem, they are fully capable of determining the difference between right and wrong as well as understanding the consequences of their actions.

That brings us to the BPD.  This individual, typically a female (yes, that is documented) is one whose mental state renders her a significant emotional, psychological and often physical danger to anyone in her life, and in particular men with whom she becomes involved romantically.

BPD is the indicated diagnosis when some or all of the following are present:

  • A long-term pattern of unstable or turbulent emotions, including frequent displays of inappropriate anger.
  • A pattern of impulsive actions and chaotic relationships, including, but not limited to impulsiveness with money, substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, and shoplifting.
  • Intolerant, often hostile reaction to being alone.
  • Repeated crises and acts of self-injury, such as wrist cutting or overdosing.

There is a more thorough examination of behaviors common to BPD, but you won’t likely find them detailed in diagnostic literature. The following are traits I have drawn from personal experience observing borderline women in clinical and real life settings.

  • A remarkable facility for lying and manipulation, particularly for sympathy and adulation, but also to enlist action from others that will further their personal objectives for revenge or retaliation.
  • A propensity to make false allegations of rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.
  • A near bottomless capacity for vengeance over the least, or even imagined, slights.
  • A sadistic pleasure in causing unwarranted harm to others who are perceived to be enemies, or even those determined to not love them “enough.”
  • The capacity to justify and rationalize any abusive behavior, no matter how extreme or how innocent the victim. No moral compass.
  • The repetitive demand that others sympathize with them, even as they cause destruction in the lives of innocents.
  • The distorted mindset that the abuse they inflict is not abuse, but that objecting to it or fighting back is abusive to them.

And one other thing must be incorporated into your understanding of the BPD. They are in total control of what they are doing.  There is no organic factor or deficit in self control that causes what they do. Their acts are willful and premeditated. They comprehend the difference between right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate, truth and lies, reality and fantasy.

They frequently hold jobs and involve themselves in social situations where their destructive behaviors would quickly work against them. They often perform admirably and demonstrate a respectable capacity for self control and appropriate behavior. Any notion that they cannot help their actions, which you will most frequently hear from BPD’s or the unscrupulous clinicians who profit from their condition by helping them rationalize their behavior, is completely fraudulent.

They know what they are doing and often enjoy it.

Do they suffer tremendously from internal chaos and unstable emotions? Certainly. So do the depressed, and alcoholics and those with anxiety disorders and other maladies. We just don’t offer any of them as pass on hurting themselves and others. Nor should we.

Given the absolute potential for devastation that the BPD brings into the lives of anyone unfortunate enough to be in their path, it is pretty important to understand the prognosis for their condition.

There is no psychotropic medication that treats BPD and there is no known cognitive therapy that works with them. In short, they have an intractable condition that is impervious to treatment of any kind. They cannot be helped near as much as they can be avoided for the sake of helping others.

There is a running joke among psychiatric professionals about BPD’s. And yes, we told jokes about serious problems. It is one of the ways clinicians deal with the stress of working with them.  Anyway, it’s a simple one-liner.

You don’t treat borderlines, you ignore them.

And that, in the broader sense, is also indirect professional advice when it comes to anyone with the misfortune to find themselves locked in the sights of a BPD.

Get away from them.

Go directly in the other direction. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.00. Just get thee…away; chalk whatever losses you suffer up to experience and be grateful about what you could have lost.

Families of alcoholics are told to cut them off (and the enabling) as long as they are drinking. It is good advice that helps the alcoholic face their problem and often saves the family a lot of misery.  But dealing with a borderline is not near as simple or easy as going to an Alanon meeting and learning better boundaries. Their pathology is far too serious and dangerous for that.

Hear this, and hear it clearly. They are not going to get better. Ever. There is nothing you can do, no kindness you can extend, no sympathy you can embrace, no psychological slight-of-hand, nor the culmination of wisdom from your entire life’s experience that you can bring to bear to make a BPD anything other than a major, life draining pain in the ass and a potential nightmare waiting to destroy everything you have, inside and out.

In fact, should you find yourself engaging in endless internal debate about whether you should stay or leave a relationship with a BPD, I suggest you get help for yourself. Unlike them, there may be a chance to reach you and help you identify what causes you to stay attached to a lifestyle of abuse, chaos and danger.

Then again, there is always the red pill.

About Paul Elam

Paul Elam is the founder and publisher of A Voice for Men, WhiteRibbon.org and the founder of A Voice for Men Radio, the AVfM YouTube Channel, and appears weekly on AVFM Intelligence Report, Going Mental with Dr. Tara Palmatier and weekly on MANstream Media with Warren Farrell and Tom Golden.

Main Website
View All Posts
  • AVFM seeks app writer volunteer

    Are you an MHRA? Can you write apps for iPhone and Android? Are you willing to do that for AVFM on a special project? Please contact us.

    A Voice for Men seeks a volunteer with solid app writing experience to help us develop an app that will be linked to the AVFM brand. If you have the qualifications and are serious about following through, we would love to hear from you. Your efforts could be of great assistance to this website and to our cause. Please contact Paul Elam at paul@avoiceformen.com for more details...

  • Wikimasters, Editors, Translators, and Writers Wanted *Apply Now*

    Fight Wikipedia censorship! A Voice for Men and WikiMANNia are working to increase knowledge of men's issues through two wikis: the AVfM Reference Wiki for scholarly references, and WikiMANNia for general-interest men's issues. Volunteers needed for writing, proofreading, and organizing. Some knowledge of the German language will be helpful but *not* required.

    Please write to editorial_team@wikimannia.org...

  • Jacob Shaftoe

    Hi there, oh great knower of all things… Quick query: Do you happen to know about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy? It’s you know, like the therapy that began being developed in the 80’s by a woman (I know, right) and it leads to people with BPD recovering. So, rather than look at two simple facts: A) BPD is basically PTSD but from a younger age (mostly) and is referred to a lot as Complex PTSD, so actually it’s functionally no different from hardcore, manly issues like surviving watching your friends get shot; and B) It’s also highly treatable, and as such undercuts most of the Feminist dogma about people who suffer trauma having to live pointless half-lives for the rest of time…

    So, here I am, a mostly recovered male BPD sufferer (or maybe not, I’m not sure if I’m definitely hitting the minimum criteria anymore), who has been looking at joining the movement for a few weeks now. As a part of my continued improvement, I had to face realisations about the massive emotional abuse suffered at the hands of my bitter, Feminist, divorced, sole custody, child-support demanding, father/man hating mother. You know, the same abuse that contributed to about 70% of my symptoms. So, funnily, as I’m getting over being demonised by feminist dogma, I start to come across antifem stuff online, mostly girlwriteswhat…

    I spend two weeks in hell (though not a hell like any given day of my life prior to treatment), then start to get it back together and do some looking…

    In the last two days I’ve discovered a really important thing: Both sides of this bullshit gender debate are all those things: Both sides are of the same coin, and both are bullshit. Both come from a place of anger, bitterness and pain, and both judge their enemies in ways far harsher than they are willing to judge themselves.

    Funnily enough, these are things I had to learn not to do, in order to have a happy, healthy life.

    But still, I can comfortably judge all you gender warriors as sad, bitter people, because that much is obvious.

    And anyone judging BPD from a gendered perspective best be aware, men have it just as much as women, and they don’t get diagnosed until they’re in prison, so I’d be careful talking this way about everyone who has a personality disorder the next time you are at the pub, because you never know…

    The guy you’re drinking with might have been raped by his mum, or his dad, or a priest, or beaten every day, until really warped and twisted understandings of self and other took the place of healthy development. And worse still, they may have a name for what happened to them, and that name could well be DBT.

    Also, um… I see a lot of people deride feminism for its reliance on dodgy facts and such… Maybe look up Marsha Linehan in a websearch sometime, then pull your head in, dingbat.

    It’s not only treatable, it’s treatable in the short-term, with no lifelong commitment, no drugs, and full recovery. It’s called science, you might wanna try it sometime…

    In other news, so glad you’re happy to drive men who’ve been directly harmed in the long term by feminism away from your cause with preachy, judgmental, unresearched hatespeech.

    Have fun winning your war mate…

    Yours,
    Jacob Shaftoe.

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ David King

    Yes, your lack of empathy for the suffering of others couldn’t be plainer. (BTW, no need to bowdlerise your words. We have rules against bigotry, not bad language.)

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ David King

    Given that nobody owes me their attention, I owe nobody mine — so yes, non-BPDs (indeed, anybody, including other BPDs) do have the right to avoid people with BPD.

    These are basic boundaries, lack of understanding of which (I gather) BPDs and NPDs suffer.

  • Denise

    I don’t think you sound bitter. I think you sound like someone who has been there and back with a BPD. Don’t listen to the souls who don’t know what hell it is and how hard it is to get away from their clingy selves.

  • tigger

    When people talk about the horrors of narcissistic abuse, often the distinction is made between “malignant narcissists” and “garden variety narcissists”. The victims/survivors/targets can then go onto completely and utterly slam these disgusting malignant creatures, while people who know a common narcissist, or recovering narcissists of that lesser/better kind, can sit back and not take offence on behalf of their loved ones or themselves.

    I suggest that the same distinction is needed here. This article is right on the mark, insofar as it describes *malignant* borderlines. There would have been no need for any of the fighting in these comments, were that distinction known and made explicit originally. There would have been room for the nicer borderlines to comment instead as allies, since the malignant ones have given them such a bad name.

    I further suggest that we should drop terms like borderline, narcissist and psychopath altogether, just for a moment at least, and simply call them “malignants” (or “crazy assholes” would work just as well). This would work, because there really is no distinction between a malignant borderline and the female version of malignant narcissist! Once we’ve focussed on the fact that it is their choice to wilfully do evil that is the real problem, then we might find it useful to understand the finer nuances of their behaviour by applying terms such as borderline, narcissist or psychopath.

    By looking at the issue in this light, I hope everyone here who isn’t malignant can make peace.

    • Object

      ‘Nicer Borderlines’!?
      Is this the same as ‘Nicer Psychopaths’ or ‘Nicer Cancer’.
      Hey, give them a chance….that’s all they need.

      Urgh, I need a shower.

      • tigger

        Actually, there are nicer psychopaths too. Psychopaths absolutely cannot help it that their brain is wired not to feel empathy. However, some people with that brain wiring make a moral choice to do right by others. They’re much more capable of doing the right thing too, once they make that choice, because their decisions are not clouded by emotion.

        There absolutely are nicer borderlines too. Maybe they’re misdiagnosed; they don’t really count, because they don’t hurt others. I disagree. What the borderline absolutely cannot help is that their brain is wired to be hypersensitive to the feelings around them. This is what gives the malignant ones such a lethal ability to target you where it will hurt you the most. If they don’t have that ability, then I would venture to say that they are misdiagnosed. They are malignant, but malignant something else, perhaps either a psychopath or neurotypical who has found it strategic to behave like a borderline. However, the ones who are not malignant, either it has never occurred to them to blame others for their pain (they don’t know the source of the overwhelming feelings of empathy they have; I think that’s the autistic or aspergers form of borderline) or they know others are impacting their feelings, but they have a sense that their own feelings are not normal compared to everyone else, that nobody (usually) is intentionally hurting them, hence they make a moral decision not to hurt others. Obviously, it’s a lot more complicated for a borderline, no matter what they do! So kudos to those who have made the good moral decision.

        Absolutely don’t give MALIGNANT borderlines a chance , nor any other malignant personality disordered individual for that matter. If that means you also don’t give the decent ones a chance, because you feel there’s too much risk that they’ll turn on you, that’s fair enough, that’s a very prudent strategy. You do what you need to do; there are plenty of other people out there who will give the good ones a chance.

        Also, cancer is a better analogy for the “malignant” dimension, not the borderline-psychopath dimension of brain wiring for high-low affective empathy.

        • Object

          The problem I see here is that to be BPD would include hurting themselves (acting in) through suicidal ideation, cutting etc, or hurting others (acting out).
          Both of these behaviours have a huge NPD root to them, it’s to hurt and traumatise others. They and their putrid emotions are absolutely the only thing that exists. I do believe they know what they do and don’t care, when the shame of what they do does seep through their delusions in some of their more sane moments, they cry and then erase it from their mind…Not Guilty.

          Their hypersensitive ‘feelings’!
          They have the emotional depth of the seven dwarfs…. and play Snow White. They are ALWAYS looking for narcissistic supply, so spend time mining for peoples wounds to exploit. If they get none the person is ejected, whether in the workplace, family or home. the ‘Cold Empathy’ they have is not a gift, it is a weapon.

          They are unable to really love, a complex emotion that requires empathy, this is why it turns to hate so easily, their ‘love’ is just need, fear and hate disguised. Their twisted sexuality is about control, their passion is disguised impulsive aggression, their desires are really just ‘shit tests’, their politics of whatever affiliation just an excuse to hate and berate, their ‘love’ of animals just reveals their hatred of people. They have no friends because they betray everyone and themselves on Biblical proportions. They run away and smear their victims to hide their putrid insides.

          I knew a young man (21) dead because of his girlfriend (and probably mothers) disorder, he ‘fell’ under a car the day after his Girlfriend raged at him, attacked him and bit through his cheek!

          I met a man who spent time in a mental institution because of his boyfriends destructive actions.

          BPD Mothers who have spent their lives crushing the souls of their children.

          It is pure trauma having these people in your life, The knife goes in so slowly it hardly registers.

          How would you tell if they were naughty or nice? check their name on Santa’s list!

          Perhaps ‘Malignant’ would best apply to BPDs who actually commit homicide, and are caught: Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Jodi Arias, Gadafi, etc…

          • tigger

            I’m pretty sure that when, for example, ACoN’s (adult children of narcissists) label their narcissist parent(s) as “malignant narcissists”, as opposed to the fairly harmless garden variety narcissist, murder is not a requirement. Sure, some of them have literally murdered someone, some have gotten away with it, but mostly they just chip away at their offspring’s wellbeing, often driving them towards suicide.

            Now, isn’t that just the way you’ve described what you regard as ordinary non-malignant borderlines? How the hell is what you described NOT malignant? You’re playing with words, just to avoid acknowledging the existence of those who have a good moral compass and those who are comorbidly autistic.

            I don’t dispute that the people you describe exist. I do say that they are only a subset of the borderline population. I assert that this subset should properly be called “malignant borderline”, to distinguish them from the garden variety borderlines, who sometimes get stuck inside their own heads, but don’t set out to hurt others.

            I’m curious to know where you get your knowledge about what motivations borderlines have. On what evidence do you assert that acting in borderlines cut for the effect it will have on others? Has someone you presume to be borderline told you that that is their motivation? Has a likely borderline said something about cutting, but you tried to read between the lines and imposed your own interpretation on what they said? Or is it possible that you are projecting?

            Now I’m not saying that you are someone who goes around doing borderline things, and then projects your behaviour onto other people. What I am saying is that you imagine what your state of mind would be if you were going around doing all these borderline things. Naturally, what you imagine is evil, because it goes so much against the grain of who you are, in such an abhorrent way. You would have to be willfully evil to go around doing borderline things. So what you now do, is you project that evil intent onto borderline people.

            This is the blessing of being autistic. I’m autistic. I don’t spontaneously imagine this stuff, I have to try really hard if I’m going to. I stay out of people’s heads (as do the autistic borderlines I’ve mentioned) so I don’t get locked into errant thinking about what is really going on in there. I can keep an open mind. That’s why I have a high resistance to narcissistic abuse, although that’s probably nullified by my propensity to attract it!

            Anyway, what’s happening here is that you are putting yourself in the borderline’s shoes, instead of putting yourself AS A BORDERLINE in the borderline’s shoes. It’s a bit like a philosophy article I read at uni years ago, by Nagel I think, “what’s it like to be a bat?” The point of that article, if I remember and understood rightly, was “no, not what it’s like for YOU to be a bat, but what it’s like for the BAT to be a bat!” And I guess “bat” is a pretty funny analogy for borderlines!

          • Object

            Of course a tiger is not ‘evil’, there are many examples in nature of parasites causing their hosts to commit suicide (The Lancet fluke for instance), are they evil?, a cat ‘playing’ with a mouse, ‘evil’.

            Chimps have been found to have serial killers amongst their troops, who also hide and play-act grieving the deaths they cause with the rest of the troop (trauma bonding). We must not judge people on their actions that would be wrong, the poor things. What is evil? Zero degrees of empathy?

            Warm empathy!!!???
            eg a male borderline can’t handle his girlfriend crying…..

            No because it’s ALL about his feelings, ONLY. If she was crying for him it would be OK.

            Now then Tigger.

            ‘I’m curious to know where you get your information’

            ‘Now I’m not saying that you…’

            ‘You are….’

            ‘You would have to be willfully evil to go around doing borderline things’

            You are precious.

            ‘At the root of all personality disorders is pure narcissism. BPD a failed attempt at NPD, the Psychopath at the far end of the narcissistic spectrum.

            If there is an absence of emotions, empathy, and the ability to form attachments to others, what replaces these human qualities?
            The inability to have emotions is replaced by the motivation for dominance, control or power……. to them, having power over another IS the pleasure.

            ‘Hear this, and hear it clearly. They are not going to get better. Ever. There is nothing you can do, no kindness you can extend, no sympathy you can embrace, no psychological slight-of-hand, nor the culmination of wisdom from your entire life’s experience that you can bring to bear to make a BPD anything other than a major, life draining pain in the ass and a potential nightmare waiting to destroy everything you have, inside and out.’

          • tigger

            I’m having a technical problem here. I posted two replies the other night, but now I can’t see the second one, even though you seem to be referring to something in the disappeared reply (warm empathy; the male borderline who can’t handle his girlfriend crying). I feel I can’t continue this conversation until my missing post comes back, or if it really is gone and gone for good, then I’d have to rewrite it.

            It’s bad enough thinking and writing about this shit, without having technical problems to contend with too!

          • Object

            You are precious.

          • tigger

            Is “precious” meant to be an insult? My reply was gone, so I couldn’t read it to try and see what miscommunication was in it that was causing you not to understand me. I figure it must be stuck in a pre moderation queue, or maybe just a database bug, who knows. So I leave the conversation for a few days or a week, to give it time to sort itself out. Sure enough, I come back now and my missing comment is no longer missing. What the fuck is so precious about that?

            Now let me see… I think there are two misunderstandings I’d like to correct, plus one major point of agreement I might have.

            Firstly, the bit where I say that if you were doing borderline things, it would be evil. I was particularly thinking about the so-called acting in side of things, though it could also apply to mindless acting out. My point was that, whereas for you it is natural for you to think of the effect on others, for borderlines this is not necessarily true. Yes, it is true for some borderlines, that they know exactly what they’re doing, that they are doing it to make you pay, for some completely disproportionate revenge, and that therefore they are evil. Those are the malignant ones, and half of them probably aren’t even borderline anyway, but just find it serves them well to bung on the behaviours.

            But there are other borderlines too, who really don’t have a clue how they affect others, whether acting in or out. Especially if acting in, they probably have the same logic as smokers or people who don’t wear seatbelts, that they’re not hurting anyone but themselves, therefore they’re not committing any great sin. As for those who act out, but in a mindless way, not being able to predict how others will be hurt, these types probably are on the autistic spectrum.

            Autistic borderline is totally different from neurotypical borderline. The latter knows exactly what they’re doing, just as you know exactly what you’re taking care not to do. The autistic version generally has no idea what they’re doing to other people. They can’t think about it in real time like you can. Maybe they take out the occasional petty revenge, just like any well balanced person does once in a while, but it’s nothing on the scale of the malignant ones. Their petty revenge may be a bit over the top, due to their cognitive empathy deficit (aka lack of cold empathy) but it’s no more evil than normal low level petty revenge.

            So, the point is, to attribute evil to a borderline, you’d have to have a fair idea that they have the same capability as you do to understand how others feel. If you have a fair idea that they don’t have that capability, that they may be on the autistic spectrum, then it’s not fair to write them off as evil. Sure, they’re a lot of trouble and might not be capable of improvement, and cutting them out of your life may be best for you, but they are not evil and this article unfairly condemns them along with the malignant ones who actually deserve condemnation.

            Now the second misunderstanding, the idea of hot empathy. Think of hot water versus warm water. Warm water is immensely nice and comforting, just like warm empathy, or the affective empathy that comes straight from the amygdala. Hot water burns or scalds, and is extremely unpleasant to that degree. This too is the affective empathy straight from the amygdala, but as you can see, a borderline’s affective empathy is not just quantitatively but qualitatively different from a balanced person’s affective empathy, and this is due to dysfunction of the amygdala. So even though hot empathy comes from the same place as warm empathy, they are very different experiences. Affective empathy is not pleasant for the borderline, like it is for the well balanced. Therefore, it naturally isn’t going to have similar effects on thinking and behaviour.

            Finally, to try and make a point of agreement: yes, it is hard to tell the difference, between the naughty and the nice… or rather the evil and the not so bad. It’s a continuum between the socially capable neurotypical based borderline and the somewhat innocent autistic based borderline, and to complicate that, the socially capable may bung on autistic cluelessness if it’s to their advantage. It’s a continuum between the psychopathic amygdala and borderline amygdala, where female psychopaths may find it advantageous to bung on borderline behaviours, as may female well-balanced (very very evil), and then when you get to the actual real borderlines with the “hot water” amygdala, there’s the continuum between the boiling hot water (they really can’t help it, unless someone fixes their brain) and merely uncomfortably hot water, where they may never be able to feel the same warm fuzziness as the rest of us, but they can learn to get along and be good.Maybe medical science can help with the last part, to accurately diagnose the genuine borderlines versus the normals or psychopaths who are bunging it on, but without that, it is indeed hard to be sure whether someone is “sick or crazy asshole”. And as you say, the bottom line is they are all potentially major life draining pain in the butts, regardless of evil intent. No contact and no children with them certainly is prudent. But not everyone is 100% prudent, are they?

          • tigger

            Also , the “cold empathy” you mentioned is not the empathy I was talking about. I was actually talking about “warm empathy”, or affective empathy, the stuff that comes through your amygdala. It’s probably more accurately labelled “hot empathy” for the borderlines who have a bad reaction to it. For example, a male borderline can’t handle his girlfriend crying (about something that happened at work, for example) so he kicks her out onto the street. That’s warm empathy gone into overload, hot empathy.

            Cold empathy would be cognitive empathy, coming from the cerebral cortex. This is the only kind of empathy that a psychopath can have. This is the kind of getting-into-people’s-heads that is antithetical to autism. Neurotypicals have it, but they have developed it through warm empathy. Borderlines may develop it through hot empathy, which is what can give it a different, malignant quality.

            Actually, considering that psychopaths can acquire the power of cold empathy only through scientific experimentation, they positively seem like angels compared to malignant borderlines! And the ones whose parents or teachers steered them in the right direction, probably are.

  • Object

    Oh dear,
    No love here,

    Just hate and fear,

  • tigger

    i know, it’s horrible that you should be lumped in with the malignant borderlines, half of whom might not even be borderline at all, but merely bunging on the behaviours when they can get some advantage out of it. I think it’s extremely dishonest that the blog author and most respondents refuse to acknowledge the distinction between the malignant ones who choose evil, and the good ones who choose to avoid evil. And they’re self contradictory to insist both A) they choose evil and (B) they’ll never change. Anyway, with all the stories here, do any of the alleged borderline exes actually have a diagnosis, or have they just guessed? These supposed borderlines could be anything: female psychopath ; histrionic; narcissist. The only thing for sure, is they are malignant. That term should be the focus of the vitriol – malignant.

  • Guest

    You miss the point or gloss it over.

  • Uphill

    Every Non who was with a true BPD has (essentially) the same story. The details are so varied, the substance so strikingly similar. Yep, we get over it, and I never thought i’d be satisfied to say it, but it’s an achievement, a good step toward higher independence, to live through the mind***k, and come out far on the other end, after hurt, then confusion then anger, and just say. “Well, that’s how it happened; whatever.”

  • Uphill

    This is way late, I’m sure you’ll never see it, but others will: I identify with that element of being confused as to how you could be so drawn- on deep, very meaningful levels to someone who really just isn’t there for you…if they’re really THERE at all, even unto themselves. Yet they can have this very real gravity. I don’t dismiss it. I believe it’s real and quite meaningful , when they may have been some sort of archetype to the non.
    By that I mean, were they NOT borderline, they might be the “perfect” match…or as close as one is likely to ever come. I believe, not based on any faith, belief in fate or other such delusion, but just purely practical reason, that hey HAVE these great qualities for the non lover in these cases…I mean it has occurred to me that once in a great while, we may encounter someone whom our genes, our DNA, wants us to be with, to experience, to bond with…to mate with. We’re terribly attracted to someone and bond so deeply, because our genes are telling us this is a good union for offspring. I believe it’s just our DNA doing it’s job to further the species, in short. We can frame it many ways in our minds and emotions, or God forbid, hehe- in some ridiculous mystic or religious terms, but it’s simple, real, important biology. It definitely involves traits our DNA finds attractive, whatever they may be.v
    I believe that probably a lot of us never even experience such a lobe; we never meet such a person, or we may meet a few, but they are not available, or are not interested in us. Sometimes we really hook up with one of the great ones, and they sometimes ALSO turn out to be terribly messed up, as in having BPD.
    The very, very good, the very meaningful, the irresistible, the highest desires are found in these people, along with the VERY worst. It’s just circumstance. Not fate, not in the non’s secret wishes to repair relations with mommy & daddy or any of that bullshit…that’s one of the vague, all-purpose sham explanations that keep people readin-orpaying to go to therapy. It’s snake oil.
    This shit can, and DOES just…happen. That’s one reason it’s such a mind-***k. But both the good and the bad are quite real. The amalgam, however, the total person, still amounts to a useless, destructive, harmful person who isn’t a partner but a predator at heart. For me (FWIW), that’s the take-home lesson, three years out. I’m open to changing opinions as my perceptions change, but I’m not expecting much!

  • Uphill

    It takes time, just like a bunch of broken bones and torn tendons. It heals. Ha! Such a victory to say that and mean it, to be far beyond the mystery, the terrible loss, the horrible anxiety, the feeling of the loss of center. Even if I NEVER meet “the ONE” again, and decide to go it lone because I can’t settle, it’s better than continuing my six year hell would have been. You’ll get there, too, and who knows what else. Funny, and I MEAN THIS! A part of you should begin, in the back of your mind and heart, to stop worrying about the terrible fix you’re in, and start being cognizant of the trouble you might get into later with someone else! Perhaps a bit of gallows humor there, but you’ll get what I mean. :) Anyway, time alone will indeed heal you as you slowly learn to let go in your own way, and the obsessions with making it all seem to make sense, fade away, and you just give in to the clusterfuck of it all, then it really falls away.
    I don’t know why, but for some reason, now about 2.5-3 yrs. out, I’m having A LOT of dreams about my borderline ex. I really want to get close to her in those dreams, physically, emotionally…I want to get her back (in dreamland, that is). Usually the emotional content isn’t very high…but the themes are clear enough. I’m simply acting out in my subconscious, what I still feel in my head: I MISS HER AWESOME QUALITIES, big time. The good ones, that is. And that’s natural, as I’ve not found anyone to rival her. But though sad or angering or whatever, it’s just a natural fact. I keep myself healthy over it all by separating the great qualities from the feral two year old she also is, and by remembering the intense damage that two year-old did to me, and probably will do to every man she ever gets close to.

  • Stitches Baglady

    Alright, I know I’m going to be one of a very small number of people to make a logical, level-headed, educational comment (funny because I do have a vagina and was diagnosed with BPD), but there is a book that really changed my life called the Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide that anyone who has bpd or loves someone with bpd should read (though I can’t imagine the author and his little followers actually LOVING anyone ever). It helped me (and still does) to learn about my illness, how to cope, and has been a huge part of recovery/therapy.
    …or you can just keep saying shitty, ableist garbage to further dumb down the masses. You can help make changes for the better, or continue to oppress and dehumanize disabled people. Your choice, but I know most commenters here will make the wrong one, sadly, because they are as intellectually lazy as the person who wrote the article. Good thing there are bigger hate groups to deal with and nobody takes your stupid asses seriously. :D

    • Frodo

      Why should any healthy person not suffering from Co Dependance want to deal with a person with a Cluster B Personality Disorder?

    • Frodo

      Paul was not oppressing persons with BPD or advocating oppression.
      what he said was get away from them and and avoid them.Especially under romantic circumstances.
      Duh

    • driversuz

      Wow, that book must be very helpful. You actually managed to string together ONE whole sentence in that diatribe, that didn’t insult the people you obviously consider your inferiors.

    • Object

      “The borderline patient is a therapist’s nightmare… because borderlines never really get better. The best you can do is help them coast, without getting sucked into their pathology. At first glance, they look normal, sometimes even supernormal, holding down high-pressure jobs and excelling. But they walk a constant tightrope between madness and sanity, unable to form relationships, incapable of achieving insight, never free from a deep, corroding sense of worthlessness and rage that spills over, inevitably, into self-destruction. They’re the chronically depressed, the determinedly addictive, the compulsively divorced, living from one emotional disaster to the next. Bed-hoppers, stomach pumpers, freeway jumpers, and sad-eyed bench sitters with arms stitched up like footballs and psychic wounds that can never be sutured. Their egos are as fragile as spun sugar, like a jigsaw puzzle with crucial pieces missing. They play roles with alacrity, excel at being anyone but themselves, crave intimacy but repel it when they find it. Some of them gravitate towards stage or screen; others do their acting in more subtle ways.

      No one knows how or why a borderline is a borderline. The Freudians claim it’s due to emotional deprivation during the first two years of life; the biochemical engineers blame faulty wiring. Neither school claims to be able to help them much.

      Borderlines go from therapist to therapist, hoping to fine a magic bullet for their crushing feelings of emptiness. They turn to chemical bullets, gobble tranquilizers and antidepressants, alcohol and cocaine. Embrace gurus and heaven-hucksters, any charismatic creep promising a quick fix of the pain. And they end up taking temporary vacations in psychiatric wards and prison cells, emerge looking good, raising everyone’s hopes. Until the next letdown, real or imagined, the next excursion into self-damage.

      What they don’t do is change.”

  • Jacob Shaftoe

    Well, maybe you need to find someone who knows something about treatment of BPD, and talk to them. Considering the person who diagnosed me tried to put me through a specially designed group therapy on her own, I’ve discovered that most psychologists stick to what they know, and those that don’t know DBT have read a page in a book (The DSM IV or V) that is widely discredited and written/edited by those with no clinical experience with DBT and BPD.

    However, I’d also state that I can understand how it feels. To be with an untreated BPD person in a relationship is truly horrific, and you have my sympathies and empathy.

    Still, I got the right treatment, am doing better, hurt very few people indeed, no longer behave in ways that would be identified as Borderline, and have lived in a loving and stable relationship, in which the only times I ever raise my voice is to yell at computer games (mostly because they cheat :p).

    But, chances are, with psych professionals telling her she’ll always be this way, what motivation would she ever have to change?