What is dating someone with BPD like?
a 12 question interview with my fiancé about what its like dating someone with Borderline Personality disorder.
Question #1: Before we met, what information did you have on Borderline Personality disorder?
Oh god. Very little. Very very very little. All I knew about Borderline is that it was the mental illness with the highest successful suicide rate and that's about it.
Question #2: When I disclosed to you that I did have BPD did that change the opinion you had on me?
At the time no. a (little bit of a giggle) no, at the time you were putting on a big ol front and I thought you were a bad boy and that was not the case. You catfished me a little bit.
Question #3: Did you feel pressure to move faster in the relationship because of how quickly I was going?
(immediately after asking) Yes. Absolutely. (Follow-up question was asked.) For how long? Definitely the first couple of months.
Question #4: Have you ever wanted to leave our relationship and only been stopped by the fear I would harm myself?
At the very beginning of our relationship. Probably until I think we came back from Utah and maybe a little bit of time after that. It was only the first couple of months I was actually scared and wanted to leave, but I think after a few months I started to actually develop a love for you, like a BIG love. I knew that I loved you but I started to actually fall in love with you, and at that point, it wasn't the thought of getting me out of this relationship anymore, it turned into God you need fucking help. You made me go psycho for a little bit. You would send me into panic attacks. That was really rough for a while there. But it stopped when we stopped threatening each other. Once we set that boundary it was better.
Question #5 How have your views changed on BPD from the beginning of our relationship to now?
Oh my... I don't even know if I could put that into words. It's one of the most misunderstood diagnoses. Ever. Like even hearing doctors talk about it. It is just so understudied. Like the one story we read about on the Reddit page where the girl had borderline and she removed herself from every single environment she had known and she no longer met the criteria for BPD. I believe that can happen when your environment is changed, even in your first testing your doctor wrote that being away from your family could help you and nothing was done legally even though they knew where this severe trauma and this severe suicidal ideation came from. The people giving you the severe trauma were the ones telling you when and where you needed to get help so it wasn't actually helping. I knew nothing about it, I used to think of mental illness like anxiety and depression- and also maybe the bigger ones like bipolar or schizophrenia. Like BPD is so unheard of I don't know one person who knows what BPD is, seriously not one person. Except for the people I've been around that I've educated. But even then they don't know to the fullest extent. And you wouldn't know unless you were with someone with BPD. It has helped me learning about it, it has helped me grow as a person because I came from a toxic family and you've helped me calm down so much. It's just so misunderstood and understudied.
Question #6 Have I changed since the beginning of our relationship and if so what do you think the main reasons for growth have been?
That's ALMOST a stupid question. You have changed tremendously, you are not even the person I met. I think getting an outside perspective of your family has helped a lot. Just hearing how everyone talked to you on the phone. Like everyone had so much authority over you. Always. You'd be asked a question and you would give your opinion and your opinion would be wrong. I just saw from an outside perspective of how invalidated you were and I was also able to experience that invalidation from your family firsthand. I think you realizing that you weren't the problem and also being out of that environment has helped you grow. I think you educating yourself has helped you grow. Like you continue to educate yourself through books and articles. You tell me something new every single day about my mental illness and yours. I think you have stayed open-minded and have been open to hearing things that you have done wrong and trying to fix them and it has helped you grow. You always tell me I give you safe space and that's really awesome, but yes you have grown 110%.
Question #7: Do you have any advice for people getting into a relationship with somebody diagnosed with BPD?
Educate yourself. To the fullest extent that you can. If you know you have a mental illness educate yourself on the problems you have. Educate yourself on communication skills that could benefit your relationship. Go to therapy individually and as a couple. You don't have to be in a bad place in your relationship to work on yourself. Find a therapist you both thoroughly enjoy. There's a lack of education and information, go search for it and learn. The beginning of our relationship was terrible, I do not know how we made it through that honestly. I had just gotten out of a five-year relationship and I had really bad anger issues and you've helped me cope with that. I think that us being willing to be honest with each other and being open-minded towards what each other was what helped us. Last tip if you don't see a future with them don't stick around just because you want a companion. Don't lead them on.
Question #8 Does being in a relationship with me being extremely mentally ill ever hold you back?
Mmm again I think that it did in the beginning, but I think that we're both trying to find ourselves and we both have realized we were very toxic and have taken steps towards bettering that and helping each other be our own person. We realized you can't JUST be a wife or a husband we are our own selves and have our own interests. It almost takes stepping out of your comfort zone to let your significant other be their own individual and that's been hard for both of us. I think educating ourselves and communicating has helped us a ton.
Question #9 Do you think that any better aspects of myself are from BPD?
Yeah your big ol heart, I think your ability to sympathize and ability to relate to others stems from your borderline. I think your mom and dad set you up for failure and I think that a lot of kids are in the same position. You just have an ability to be open-minded about other people's trauma that most people would make judgments about.
Question #10 Are you scared to marry me?
No No. I am absolutely not. I love you so much. I'm so committed to building a life with you. I've seen so many parts of you nobody else has gotten to see and I can't wait to see more. So no not at all. I love you
Question #11 If you had a button on this table that if you pushed it would get rid of everything in my brain that had anything to do with the cause or symptoms of BPD, would you push it?
No, I don't think I would. I fell in love with you exactly how you are. I fall in love with you every day how you are. My favorite part of the day is the morning. We get up together and you help me get out the door. You always find my scrunchies and you fill up my water bottle. It's just the small things you do. I love ya just the way you are.
Question #12 Do you have any advice for anyone with BPD seeing it from a perspective of being engaged to one?
Ahh yes! How do I put this into words? I cannot stress how important it is to educate yourself. Find therapies that would help you specifically. Like DBT and intense trama therapies. There are more kinds than just talking to someone. Boundaries need to be set. I think if you have the money for it you should get tested and try to pinpoint where your trauma came from. The best advice I've ever heard is you cannot heal in the environment that traumatized you. You are going to stay stagnant if you stay in that environment, it's hard but you have to just do it & remove yourself from it. You have to separate from that energy and that environment. Don't ever give up, somebody is going to unconditionally love you one day. But it should be yourself first.