friend with BPD, probably

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moshi210

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friend with BPD, probably
« on: May 15, 2016, 09:01:03 PM »
I have a friend with bipolar disorder type II (mainly depression, no known mania (according to her)). I think she may also have borderline personality disorder. She is 40 years old. I am 34.

Some background: I grew up riding (horses) with this friend. It was a very close knit community and our families were intertwined (but now her parents are dead and she is estranged from her siblings). When I was younger I was usually intimidated by this person because she seemed to give off angry vibes. But, still, our families were close and she would ride my horse and always when we interacted she was nice to me. But from a distance she seemed very intimidating. It could have been because she was older than I was.

About a month ago, after about 15 years, I reconnected with this friend. Since we live in different states (but I commute back to our home state/city once a month for a week each month) we have communicated almost entirely by text. I feel like she has poured her heart at me and bared her soul. It was almost too much but I am very empathetic and was supportive and responsive to her. I care deeply about her because I've known her for so long even if there was an intermission I always heard what she was up to vis a vis my parents.

She confided in me that she had major substance abuse issues in her 20s (meth) and that she is estranged from all her siblings. Both her parents passed away 3 years ago and this seems to still weigh heavily on her. She had a boyfriend of about 3 years, but he lived in a different state and they would go months without seeing each other. He finally broke up with her last week after not seeing her since September. The writing was on the wall but she refused to see it (and I did not try to help her see it-- I did not want to interfere in her relationship, or what she thought was a relationship).

Now, my interactions with her have been nothing but positive with frequent compliments from her about how sweet I am, or how much she likes/loves me and likes talking to me, or how happy she is that we reconnected and how she felt that I came back into her life at just the right time. She has expressed her (platonic) love toward me many times. I returned these sentiments. She is very guarded normally, so all of this surprised me. She shared more with me about herself and her feelings than she ever shared with her boyfriend. I encouraged her to share her feelings with him, but she didn't.

So here's where things went completely and insanely off the rails: she was supposed to call me a couple weekends ago to finalize some upcoming plans for when I would be in town. These plans needed to be finalized because they required reservations, etc. Anyway, she did not call me and instead sent me a text saying she went out partying. I responded with what I considered a very innocuous comment that she was being kinda flaky and that I was disappointed she didn't call me because I had set aside time for the call (I have been working on a very, very important work project non-stop). She immediately reacted that I could no longer be in her life because she has a "zero" tolerance policy for passive-aggressiveness because it would bring drama into her life.
I responded that I did not know of her policy and that we should discuss this by phone to avoid misunderstanding... I also walked back my "flaky" comment and told her that I did not intend it to be negative or passive-aggressive and that I was open to dialogue if something ever upset her in order to avoid "drama."

She responded that all her friends were "straight up" (I think this means honest) and that she was not upset or angry with me and that she forgave me but that this was her policy and she could make no exceptions even though she knew I was not one of "those" people who had hurt her with drama in the past.

(This was all happening in the context of me having told her before any of this happened that I needed the next few days to prepare for an extremely important work event and that I would only be available intermittently. I had told her how important this event was to me and how much I needed to concentrate.) I sent her a couple follow-up texts of confusion, which she responded to in such disproportion to the content. I basically said that I had an open-heart, that I valued my friendship with her, and that I hoped she would reconsider her "policy." In response to this I got several texts telling me what a horrible person I was and how she did not want me to contact her again.

This was really bothering me and since I wasn't in the same state at the time, I mailed her a conciliatory, peace-seeking letter trying to explain, rationally, what had happened and how confused I was-- how I never meant to hurt her or disturb her inner peace, how my love and appreciation came from such a deep and rare place (childhood bonding through riding in a closely bonded community (e.g., military families)) and how it was something we shouldn't turn out backs on.

This whole thing has me so twisted-- I bonded so much with her in the past month that I would have considered her an extremely close friend and I also considered her someone that I could trust almost innately given our shared history. The things she shared with me during the past month or so indicated that she also trusted me deeply.

She also told me that she after her boyfriend broke up with her she didn't want to talk about it with anyone because she wanted to keep thinking about him in a positive way. I didn't tell her that it wasn't healthy to do that; I just kept quiet hoping she would come to that conclusion on her own. But now I think she is projecting all her feelings of hurt and rejection from that event onto me.
Prior to this happening I had already booked a flight home to visit my mother (same city where my friend lives). So, since I am in town this week and I had not heard from her and have been worrying-- she doesn't have many friends, she lives by herself in an isolated area outside of the city, she works part-time, irregular hours. I know she is depressed about the break-up as I think she saw herself having a family with this guy, retiring, buying a house, etc etc and I think this is a huge blow to her. So anyway, I was concerned so I decided to stop by her house. When I drove up and got out of my car she opened the door and yelled something and then closed it and let her dogs out but I could not hear it so I just stood outside of my car waiting. About 5 minutes later the sheriff's department show's up! She called the police! on me! Now, some perspective-- I'm 5'3" and weight about 102 lbs-- I'm the chillest person I know. I like to talk things out and if we disagree, we just go our separate ways, no hurt, no foul. She is about 5'8" and has at least 50 lbs on me. Plus a ton of rage, apparently. So anyway, I only got to see her from about 15 yards away from me and only the back of her but she looked disorganized, distraught, and just generally crazy-- she was kind of gesticulating wildly with some papers in her hands. It was very disturbing. The police were required to ask her if she wanted to issue a "criminal" trespass warning so that if I came to her property again (she's a tenant, not an owner) I would be arrested. And she did have them issue it-- she was just being punitive. I don't even live in the same state. Obviously, I'm not going to go anywhere near her or her property at this point. I don't even know what to make of this behavior.

She is estranged from her siblings and has them all blocked on her phone so that they cannot call her or text her (I am also blocked now.) She takes medication for her bipolar-- wellbutrin and lamictal. She doesn't have many (or any?) friends. She told me that she knew she shouldn't have let me in so fast and a reminder for her to not to open herself up to anyone. I mean, this is so out of proportion to telling someone they were flaky for not making a scheduled phone call.

I sent her another text telling her I was concerned about her taking diet pills and she responded 'DO NOT CONTACT ME you are harassing me and I am going to give this all to the police' I already talked to my friends who are attorneys and this is not harassment. However, I won't contact her again except for a final letter I want to write and send her in the mail in a month or two. I have no ill feelings toward her and I genuinely want her to get better and find someone to spend her life with.

I'm just so confused. I told her she was acting flaky and her response was literally something like "this is going to hurt but I have seen this behavior before in other people and I have a zero passive-aggressive behavior policy so the has to end and there is no point in saying anything else. any time I have given someone a second chance it always bites me in the ass and creates drama. I know you are not one of THOSE people but I cannot make any exceptions."

Is this person ever going to be reasonable or look back and think that she overreacted? This is taking up so much of of my emotional energy and I know it should not be.

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Terichan

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2016, 09:40:30 PM »
Is this person ever going to be reasonable or look back and think that she overreacted? This is taking up so much of of my emotional energy and I know it should not be.

moshi210, welcome! I'm so sorry that you had such a difficult time with your friend -- it sounds like she really lost the plot with you. I'm trying to figure out what she called the police on you for? Because you came to her house? I don't get it, but it sounds like a lot of her behavior doesn't make rational sense.

As for what you asked above, it does sound like she has some kind of mental illness or instability going on, and also that she's hurt you very deeply. It also sounds like she's had similar problems with lots of other people in the past, so you know it's not just you. And based on that it is very unlikely that she will suddenly understand that she is overreacting, or that her behavior will change any time soon.

It's sad, but you seem to have accepted that the friendship is over. It's causing you a lot of pain as well. And one thing stood out to me, and that is that she has told you she doesn't want you to contact her any more. Though she may have mental issues going on, you are doing the right thing by respecting her boundaries -- even if you think that she is hurting herself by setting them. Letting her be is the best -- and safest -- course for you right now.

I wouldn't send her a "final letter", even if it's just to wish her well. If you want to, you could write it to her but not send it. We even have a special forum here called "Unsent Letters", where you can write the letter to her and post it here, so it's out in the universe, but not seen by the intended recipient. It can be a very helpful thing to do, very therapeutic. 

I'm sorry, I can hear the pain and confusion in your post, such hurt and drama from someone you considered yourself very close to. If you want to talk more about it we're right here, that's what this place is for.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

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moshi210

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2016, 10:42:21 PM »
Thank you so much for responding with such clarity.

I don't know why she called the police-- if she had asked me to leave, I would have but she didn't- -she just opened the door and let the dogs out (they are friendly dogs). I honestly thought she might just need to get dressed or something (she works odd hours and this was at 1pm). And then I went to the door and asked her if she was going to come out but I got no response. So I just stood there for a few minutes waiting. It was literally less than 5 minutes from the time I got there until the time the cops showed up.  They were very understanding to me because I seemed sane and I told them I had come to check on her because I was worried about her bipolar depression.

I think she just called the police for extra drama and to scare/punish me. I find that people who say explicitly say they hate drama are the ones who create it out of thin air. Her one and only friend (who is also an ex-boyfriend, so not really a great friend) is a cop and he might have told her to do that. I mean, it makes no sense. She couldn't look me in the eye so she had to call the police, I guess. Honestly, the police part didn't hurt me because I just chalked that up to irrational thinking/mental illness.

What hurts so much is that she bared her soul to me-- really I think more than she has ever told anyone. I am very empathetic and I guess I was very non-judgmental and supportive when she revealed things to me. She was just so radically honest. I think most of the time she has walls around her so high she can't see above them. I feel bad that she is 40 and alone but so badly wants a family. But with this behavior, she'll never get that. I know I can't help her but when we were texting I would sometimes question the way she thought about something (in the most gentle, non-judgmental way-- I used to do behavioral interviews with cancer patients about the most intimate things you can imagine) and she would thank me and say she had never thought about it that way but that I was probably right. And she had told me multiple times that she wanted her friends to be honest with her all the time-- that she always wants to hear my opinion. So I really didn't think 'flaky' would send her over the edge.

 We had planned this trip to go to this area kind of nearby where you can see all the stars on a clear night, but obviously that didn't happen. Where does all the rage come from? She's a massage therapist so I know that when she goes to work she can't be raging all the time...

Edit: the thing is-- I wish I didn't care about her-- if she had been a boyfriend who I just met and got involved with for a month I could say, wow, that's crazy I'm glad I got away... but when I think of her I see our childhood memories and it's just so sad that this is what has happened to her. I know she's still in a lot of pain over her dad dying-- I think she feels all alone in the world, which is so sad to me.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 11:27:00 PM by moshi210 »

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meringue

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 11:26:49 PM »
Hey there moshi210!

Welcome. I'm pretty new around here myself (within the last week) but I have to say I have felt more understood here in the past week than I've felt the entire course of my friendship with my uBPD friend.

Look around here and you'll find a LOT of similar stories to yours, including my own. My uBPD friend was relatively new to my life (one year) but same thing - she bared her soul to me and I did back - she told me things she'd never told anyone, showered me with compliments about being an extraordinary friend, etc etc etc. She had sent me several FB requests and I told her in person each time that I wouldn't accept them because I'm not friends with anybody I work with, it's just my policy. Eventually she left our company after about a year and we became FB friends.  Ten days in, after she had posted her third R&F post in 24hours and nothing else, I said "Are you gonna make me unfriend you?" She said "What do you mean?" And I said "That's all you're posting!" And she said "I'll do it for you." And like that, in 10 minutes, I was unfriended. Even after I explained it was a joke. A joke!!  :roll:

This was just the latest strange behavior, so while I was pissed/offended for a while, eventually I just thought it was tragic/comical/stupid.

The reason I tell you this story is I think it will sound familiar to you. They can be so good at pouring their hearts out and making you believe you've bonded.  Surely when you've told each other things you'd never talked about in years, you wouldn't just discard someone for a wayward jab, right? --But that's how WE think. And as you I'm sure know by now, the rules for PDs are completely different. They're dynamic and arbitrary. There's no knowing what will or won't set them off. 

Back to your case, frankly, Terichan said *exactly* everything I would say to you. In fact, I wanted to quote it until I realized I'd be quoting the whole post (edited from paragraph). I'm sorry you're here too; it's not *you*; and I also wouldn't send her a final letter. It's not going to do anything but exacerbate the situation, and you'll probably get more out of it if you stick that letter in the Unsent Letters board. You'll certainly get less drama which I think you've already hit quota for!!!

Your heart is in the right place.  Unfortunately, with PDs, that doesn't matter.

Keep poking around. There are lots of great people here and lots of sage advice. And most importantly, an understanding of what you're going through.

The only thing I'll tell you that Terichan didn't is in my signature line. haha.


« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 11:29:52 PM by meringue »
There's no reasoning with unreasonable people.

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moshi210

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 04:08:18 AM »
Thank you, meringue. Your supportive post was so helpful to read. I went back and read your original story and could identify with so much of it.

The part I'm having so much trouble with is not contacting her. I want to so badly. All signs point to it not making any difference, so I don't know why I care.

A question: was she setting a boundary when she said she could have no contact with passive-aggressive people after I told her she was flaky? Even though the flaky text was nothing near passive-aggressive, she apparently interpreted it that way (and then refused to communicate on phone even though I begged her after she said she was cutting me off). I keep thinking if I had just left it alone when she told me that and not responded, she'd be wondering what happened to me and where I'd gone but instead I made myself entirely too available.

I don't even think I was trying to fix her problems ever since I rarely offered her advice since I was not sure how she would take advice. But now I just miss her so much. I just listened and there was one point about a week before this all happened that I told her she had hurt me because I felt like she was shutting me off (she had been in the middle of an intense texting session about her boyfriend and then kind of abruptly said "I'm going. I'll be back a while from now." I kind of overreacted and thought she meant she was shutting down for a few days, which I shouldn't have cared if she was, but it turned out she was just trying to unwind and take a shower and then she meant to text me back but her friend had called her in the interim. She texted back that she was so sorry and that she would never purposefully hurt someone she cared about or loved... that she would never hurt me or cause me pain on purpose. Then she said she understood how I felt because she had been in my position before. I was asleep by the time I got that text (but I also said before I told her that I felt like she was shutting down that if things ever got too intense over text that she should just always call me to avoid misinterpretation-- but she never did) but I texted her back first thing in the morning and all was well and we moved right past that.

So I'm just confused. I can't help but self-blame.

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meringue

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 10:49:30 AM »
Hey Moshi!

Yeah - your story has a much more dramatic "rupture" than mine, but the parallels are all there. There is roughly the same age difference between my uBPD friend and me; she is in recovery also; suffers depression.

I know it's hard not contacting her. But, believe me. Even if this were to somehow "get fixed," you're in for another (and probably even more dramatic) rupture down the line. That is what happened with me. The first rupture happened about 3 months in, and I thought "OMG, what have I done?" And I owned all the blame to try to make it go away. I don't even remember what it was but it was something I'd put under the heading of "misunderstanding."

I'm very much a "talk it out and work through it" kind of person, so I wanted to try to understand where this initial anger came from. She has strained relationships with her mother and sister and I asked if I had been doing things that seemed familiar to her like one of them. She said she wasn't sure because I didn't totally remind her of her sister, but perhaps there were things I did. I tried to modify certain things with her. But then a rupture would happen again. Out of nowhere, you know? We'd be fine for weeks or even a couple of months and then suddenly we were way the hell NOT fine.  :stars:

After one of the ruptures where I truly did not believe in my heart of hearts I had drawn warranted anger, I finally began to understand a few things. (1.) No matter what, a rupture was going to happen again and there'd be no way to avoid it. (2.) The inability to take any kind of criticism made joking impossible and made off-handed comments that were not even directed at HER quite problematic; and (3.) There isn't the same emotional process happening there as there is inside of empaths. It's tricky because it sometimes *looks* like it is, but it's NOT.

I could tell you the same story and just switch the names and a couple of details - once when she did hurt my feelings and I told her so, she apologized; said she would never ever hurt me on purpose, I was so important to her, etc etc etc. But that could happen on a Tuesday and then another rupture would happen on Thursday leading me to wonder what the hell happened.

You asked if your friend was setting a boundary. It's possible, but in my opinion what happened is this. PDs are extremely sensitive to criticism and judgment from others.  Pretend I am the one in your story for a moment. If you'd said to me "Why are you being so flaky?" I'd say "You're right; I'm so sorry; I'll get it all taken care of today and get back to you." And we'd have a laugh about it later. But instead, she either internalized this as a judgment that she is unworthy; and/or saw it as a "flaw" for which you might leave the relationship and before that could happen, she essentially tried to break it off first so that you weren't the one leaving.

You miss her so much because at times it felt like a genuine great, rare friendship. And you want to blame yourself because you think you destroyed it. You didn't. What you didn't know, and none of us here knew, is that there was a ceiling on the friendship and you hit it.

I'm really sorry. In one way or another, we have all been there. -Which is why we're here!

Hugs!
m
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clara

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 11:52:30 AM »
It's hard to let go because, as a non-PD person, you see the different sides of the situation and feel you can help.  But the point comes where you can't.  A BPD has a world view that you cannot change--they have to make that change for themselves and it seems most of them simply won't.  You also can't understand it because it makes sense only to them.  And like the others have said, another rupture is always waiting down the line.  It's part of the pattern, almost a habit that can no longer be broken.  Don't take the "bonding" too seriously.  I know that sounds harsh, but BPDs are manipulative and are good at making you feel like you're their best friend, at least for a time--when they're at a point of need.  Then that whole push-pull dynamic kicks in and you never know where you truly stand.  You can try and help all you want, but it likely won't go anywhere.  I suppose there are the rare cases where someone does make a difference to a BPD, but it doesn't sound like this situation is going to be one of those times.  Ask yourself what you're getting out of the relationship.  That's been my test in dealing with people like your friend.  If you're consistently giving more than you're getting, then it's time for a re-think.  Remember that you, also, count when it comes to a relationship.

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moshi210

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 07:31:47 PM »
It's been so helpful to get answers and support on here. I finally feel like I'm on the path to moving on and away.

In retrospect, I wonder if she knows she has BPD because she would say things about her boyfriend like that he moved away because she broke up with him (and then they got back together afterward- via long distance). She would say she was not going to break up with this time no matter what because that is what he expected her to do and she wanted to defy his expectations (he broke up with her anyway). Afterward she said she didn't want to talk about it with anyone because she wanted to think of him only in positive regard (splitting white). Before he broke up with her she also mentioned that she didn't want to talk about it with anyone because she didn't want them to influence her feelings of him into anything except positive feelings. Like it was all or nothing. She couldn't even entertain grey areas of thought. She also said the thing that made her sad about the whole situation was that by the time he wants her back she will probably be over it (split black). It sounds like they probably have a lot of BPD issues and he ultimately moved away to a different state.

So, yeah. I kind of just wonder what I will do if she ever contacts me again. I feel like I will fall back into it because it's just so addicting and intense... so I hope she never messages me. And at least I'm in another state so there is a limit to how much I can ever be involved in her life. Even the overwhelming feeling I felt of wanting to just hug her is fading away... I think as soon as I'm around more friends I will be much better off. It's just that I only recently moved to this new state so I don't have a lot of friends yet...I mean I've made work friends and have friends from college and a friendly neighbor, so I think I'll be ok.

I don't even know if I feel bad for her anymore, especially if she knew she had BPD and could recognize some of the behaviors and 1) didn't tell me 2) acted out the behaviors on me in a completely destructive and intrusive way. I can't allow someone to drop emotional bombs into my life-- I have to be able to focus on healthy friendships, romantic relationships and work.

The curious thing is that when she wrote that break-up text over the "flaky" comment there were signs of introspection.. she said:
Quote
Ur "flake" txt was passive aggressive behavior. I hv no room for that in my life. I let u in way too fast. This a a good reminder to me why I rarely let people in. All my friends r straight up n they also r very understanding of people's plans changing, no matter what stressors r in their life at the time.
My phone call to u was not life or death n the fact I contacted u to tell u I may not call is respectful not flakey.
I'm sorry u r hvn a tough time. However, no one can b there for anyone at all the right times.
I could cont but there's no point.
I hope all works out for u. I knw ur going thru a lot n I do understand. I've been tryn to b there
For u n create a relationship w u. I've given u more of my time  then my other friends. R u aware I hv a friend who had brain surgery to remove a tumor last week n she's abt to b transferred to a rehab facility cause she's not recovering well? That's only one thing going on w only one of my friends. Not one of them would hv ever even consider txtn me what u did. I bring this up to also remind u what is truly important in life.
I care about u a lot [my name] but I hv a 0 tolerance on certain behavior. I've been down that road before n won't b going again-w anyone.
We all are dealing w issues. U thought I shut the door in ur face the other night when all I did was step away fr my phone. That's 2 things in one week. U hv no idea how physically challenging n busy my schedule is n yet I've been setting aside time for u almost every evening to txt n communicate.
So sadly i see no reason to continue any plans.
I hope u find peace.
Enjoy Mother's Day w ur mom. Ur lucky u can still hv time w her.

U didn't ask for this but I'm going to share anyways.  I hope u can figure out how to live n enjoy the present more instead of being fixed on what's in the future. I knw we all hv to plan some but we are also not promised tomorrow. So many times we humans forget to live n enjoy the very moment

I would suggest not taking anything in life personally. It's taken a while but I hv love n respect for myself. This is my priority. It has to b or I cannot feel that for others. This self love is not conceit. I chose not to allow specific behaviors into my life for a reason. I love myself n I know what I can n can't allow in my life to maintain my peace n happiness

I hope u know You are strong n u don't need anyone but yourself. Don't rely on others or u will b disappointed n hurt.... A lot

But she was completely unwilling to talk on the phone to see if there had been a misinterpretation of the flaky text or anything-- she just threw up this wall immediately. I mean, eff her. I wish I had had more support at the time I received this message so I could have stopped myself from responding and panicking about having ruined a 'wonderful' friendship. When I told one of my best friends about this whole "passive-aggressive" thing she was so surprised-- no one in my life would ever call me passive-aggressive... maybe aggressive and direct but there's never a passive part. I had to adjust for some people and beat around the bush but not in a passive-aggressive way. I think I am just so badly trying to convince myself that the problem isn't me. Given that I'm 34 and nothing like this has ever happened to me before and I'm not estranged from anyone, I would say logically it was not my fault but emotionally convincing myself is another thing...

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meringue

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2016, 09:37:13 PM »
Moshi,

It's been so helpful to get answers and support on here. I finally feel like I'm on the path to moving on and away.

In retrospect, I wonder if she knows she has BPD


...Doubt it!! If she hasn't ever thought any of the other fractures in her life were her fault, she's not gonna start now.

As for your text exchange, I could cobble together texts in my phone that look remarkably similar. Flying off the handle at seemingly nothing; the deliberate attempts to make you feel insignificant and too demanding; the painting of you as the villain; saying that she doesn't let anyone in and shouldn't have let you in, the "you have no idea" of all my woes, all of it.

And you know what? On occasion my uBPD friend has been introspective too. Once while she was in a multi-day fight w her husband (whom I've decided must not have feelings 'cause he'd have divorced her years ago) she confessed to me "It's hard for me to be 'wrong'" and she also admitted that she turns things around on him. It's a weird *almost* awareness? ...But not quite. Because she can't ever see any of those same behaviors with me or anyone else.

I don't think anyone's telling you not to fall back into it if she contacts you again; but you already know what you're in for. At least, your head knows. Maybe your heart doesn't yet, and that's ok. Sometimes it takes the heart a while to catch up.  :-\

My uBPD friend made me feel like I was closing my eyes and throwing a dart. Things I thought were totally harmless made her explode at me; and things I said in person that could have resulted in trouble, she laughed at.

I tried adapting but the problem is the rulebook changes and you never know it has until you break one. Friendships are dynamic, for sure, but there need to be a few baseline constants, and with my friend I just couldn't ever seem to find them.

Also, my math looks like yours here - I have never had drama like this with a friend before. However my uBPD friend was always "in it" with someone. Husband, sister, mother, coworker, me, Realtor, decorator, dog walker, etc etc etc. I shrugged off a lot of unkind things she said when she got angry because it's frequent for her; and while I admit I can get angry, mine is predictable and metered. Unless I'm hangry, haha.

I have different friend who is a strong personality and has lived in several major cities in the U.S. and abroad and *always* finds "the WORST roommate" that a city of 8 to 10 million people has to offer. She's harmless and funny, so I entertain her rants, but later I have a great laugh to myself and think "after the 8th time, don't you start to wonder if *you're* the problem?" LMAO!! :doh: ;D
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moshi210

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 10:45:55 PM »
Thank you so much, meringue. After re-reading her text I was beginning to think it was my fault all over again... I'm embarrassed that when I received that text I pleaded with her to consider it as a 'teaching moment' where we negotiate boundaries (and talk via phone so there won't be misinterpretation) but she wouldn't. I kept texting her basically begging her to change her mind, telling her how much I cared, etc... I feel so stupid for doing that. I lost a lot of my power when I did that and I knew it at the time but I was overwhelmed by my emotions and shock and so I didn't care.

I thought it was weird that on the one hand she was telling me she cared about me but on the other she was dropping an emotional bomb into my lap. And then she gave me advice to never take anything personally from anyone. Umm, I really don't know anyone who has ever achieved that. The whole experience has just been bewildering and it is taking too much mental energy away from me. I don't know... on the one hand she's saying she cares about me but just can't accept passive-aggressive behavior and on the other she's calling the police when I knock on her door... I kind of just wonder if she actually does care or did care? I know these are unanswerable questions.

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meringue

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2016, 01:06:22 AM »
Thank you so much, meringue. After re-reading her text I was beginning to think it was my fault all over again... I'm embarrassed that when I received that text I pleaded with her to consider it as a 'teaching moment' where we negotiate boundaries (and talk via phone so there won't be misinterpretation) but she wouldn't. I kept texting her basically begging her to change her mind, telling her how much I cared, etc... I feel so stupid for doing that. I lost a lot of my power when I did that and I knew it at the time but I was overwhelmed by my emotions and shock and so I didn't care.

We doubt our POV. Don't be embarrassed. You did what most of us would do if we thought we had caused a friend pain. I think the first time any of us have gotten a disproportionate response from our PDs we've gone into a tailspin trying to figure out how we caused it.  ...I know I did.

In fact, the first few times I had a rupture with my friend, I tried your tactics. I tried to get her to talk to me to help me understand what I had done wrong. Which was always met with an "I can't talk about this right now, I'm too upset." I'm prone to anxiety and it made me panicky.   :-\ I'm pretty sensitive and consider myself pretty careful about how I say most things. So the fact that my "method" was still offensive really threw me off.  I'm not sure which number rupture it was but eventually, I realized, 'Ok, you know what? This can't always be MY fault.' But by then I loved her and I still wanted to make it work.

One example I can think of is this. My friend has been in and out of therapy over the years, and said it never worked, but wouldn't elaborate. She isn't a patient person, and I've learned she sometimes is extremely uncomfortable delving into emotions. In fact she was more comfortable with that toward the beginning of our relationship than toward the end. Anyway, a couple months ago, I texted her, and it went something like this. "Can I ask you something?" I asked. And she said "Sure, but know that I've worked 12 hours today and have had a very long week and there isn't much I can handle right now."  And I said, "Nothing deep. I just wonder why over all the years of therapy, no one ever figured out that maybe all you needed was a good friend?" And BOOM.  :stars: :unsure:

I got "I don't know." Followed by "I can't handle this right now. I told you not to get into anything deep and you did it anyway. I don't know why you'd disrespect me like that." I apologized, of course, and said that I didn't think that it would have caused her so much pain. She said "You just know how much pain I've endured so I don't know why you think I would want to talk about it." I genuinely was sorry. But this was the umpteenth rupture so it didn't affect me as profoundly as others had. 

The next morning, I woke up to a list of like 7 or 8 bullet points of what went through her head when I asked her that. Things like, she forgot to put her son's clothes that he wanted to wear in the wash because she was thinking about this; and she got angry again about how she'd wasted thousands of dollars on therapy and it hadn't worked; and all this other horse sh** designed to make me feel guilty. I happen to be relatively unaffected by guilt. I was raised in a family where guilt was a non-issue; and as long as you weren't causing someone else pain, you had no reason to feel guilty. And then, here is the greatest part - at the bottom of the list was "Sorry to throw all these darts at you, but I wanted you to know how I'm feeling. Happy Birthday, Love You!"

Yep! It was my birthday and that's what she gave me. No, seriously.

At this point I just rolled my eyes and ignored her all day.

When this came back around a couple weeks later when she came at me with a "That's how you feel and I can't control your emotions," and I said that she insinuated I had caused all these things she was very much, "I didn't say you caused it. I just wanted you to know what my thought process was when you said that."  :roll:

Why in hell do we want to be good people and great friends to people who so obviously have no interest in reciprocating?

We try to be good friends because it feels good when we believe someone is truly appreciative of our efforts. Great, actually. Especially if we've gone deep emotionally for them.

So to your last paragraph:

...I kind of just wonder if she actually does care or did care? I know these are unanswerable questions.

I have wondered that often myself. From my own experience and what I've read of others' experiences, .......maybe?  :stars: It's honestly hard to discern. As someone else pointed out, PDs are master manipulators, that's just how anything gets done in life. So it's almost impossible to tell.
And a trait I noticed in my friend that is characteristic of BPDs is being very much at the mercy of whatever emotion is prominent in that EXACT moment. How many times have you asked a question and gotten a response that was totally off topic that was driven by whatever emotion she was feeling at the time? So - it's possible that in the moments when she told you how much you meant to her, perhaps she did mean it - but then five minutes passed, and it was done.

I'm not sure if this helps you or not. Being an empath really is not all it's cracked up to be!  ;D :doh: :tongue2:

There's no reasoning with unreasonable people.

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meringue

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2016, 01:11:50 AM »
It's hard to let go because, as a non-PD person, you see the different sides of the situation and feel you can help.  But the point comes where you can't.  A BPD has a world view that you cannot change--they have to make that change for themselves and it seems most of them simply won't.  You also can't understand it because it makes sense only to them.  And like the others have said, another rupture is always waiting down the line.  It's part of the pattern, almost a habit that can no longer be broken.  Don't take the "bonding" too seriously.  I know that sounds harsh, but BPDs are manipulative and are good at making you feel like you're their best friend, at least for a time--when they're at a point of need.  Then that whole push-pull dynamic kicks in and you never know where you truly stand. 

So true. So painful. And so true.
There's no reasoning with unreasonable people.

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moshi210

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2016, 02:41:45 AM »
Meringue, I'm just really impressed by your level of insight, especially given that you've only recently disentangled yourself from a similar situation. You seem to really have a great deal of knowledge and are able to put everything into perspective when it comes to these behaviors. I've been reading so much about it but it's still difficult for me to process. I have to admit I laughed at the text you got on your birthday. So typical.

I did do something that probably enraged her after the break-up text... she works as a massage therapist at a popular spa and I've been there before to have a massage by her-- it was her idea and it was kinda weirdly intimate. So the day after this break-up text I was just feeling like I needed to clear my head for the upcoming week so I took some LSD (as an aside I don't do drugs like hardly ever--I've only done LSD a handful of times but I find it to be very therapeutic in helping me clear my head-- she's done LSD at least 100 times and she still does psychedelics). Anyway, I was feeling so happy and open and connected with the world and I went online and booked an appointment with her. But the thing is, I live in a different state, like as in all the way across the country, and I booked it for the middle of the week when I wouldn't even be home. She knew the date I was flying in and she knew I had this big work presentation on that same day that I booked the appointment. There was no logic that went into me booking it, I don't know why I did it, I was just feeling so great. Anyway, she saw it on her schedule the next day and flipped out completely. I told her I had taken LSD and was not serious about the appointment and would never show up to her *work* or anywhere she wouldn't be able to speak freely unannounced...  she definitely knows what it feels like to be on it, but she didn't care. And also, I mean, I booked it under my name... if I had actually wanted to get an appt with her I would have booked it under a fake name, obviously. PLUS I wasn't even going to be in the *STATE* on that day. She also knew that I had definitely  taken LSD because I had texted her that I had on the day that I did it. So it didn't seem like I was trying to make an excuse up in the moment. I felt really bad that I did that, because I would never do that normally, but I couldn't get an apology through to her. It's kind of funny when I look back on it.

So that's why my next step was to mail her (I overnighted it) a conciliatory letter explaining everything. But I still don't know why she called the cops when I showed up at her house. I showed up on the day where we had actually planned to hang at her house before all of this happened. I'm a jr exec at a major company... (if I were to say the name, you've definitely heard of it) I lead a group of over 20 people. I consider myself good with people. I don't go to people's house's to fight them. I've known her and she's known my family for over 20 years. And yet she called the cops just because I knocked on her door. I think that was so cowardly. There's no way she was actually physically scared of me. I probably shouldn't have gone to her house but I was seriously worried about her, given that our only other mutual friend had been texting her over the past few days and she hadn't responded, which was unusual. I also just wanted her to look me in the eye and explain what the hell happened (a very unrealistic expectation, in retrospect). So I'm sure I didn't help things, but maybe that's for the best. Maybe if I had let things be I would have been pulled back in and stuck in a cycle not knowing what was happening to me. But, the cops, really??

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meringue

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2016, 03:19:15 AM »
OMG OMG OMG OMG!!
Don't be upset but I am laughing my ass off. Like, seriously.  ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D  Perfectly disastrous, or disastrously perfect?? I can't decide. Both!!!

I mean. Haha. I'm sure now that you know what BPDs are all about, you can appreciate the perfection in taking a hallucinogenic drug and provoking someone who probably has a personality disorder.  Hell. Maybe she was on it when you showed up at her house. Perhaps when she looked out the front door she saw Prince Charming rolling up in a pumpkin carriage and that's why she called the cops. Ha!

Sorry, I really do not have anything helpful to offer here! Lol! Part of me wishes I had tried it with my uBPD just to see what would have happened. Lol!
There's no reasoning with unreasonable people.

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moshi210

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2016, 02:10:12 PM »
The thing that is interesting is how much she LOVES taking psychedelics like LSD, mushrooms and MDMA. They let her feel connected in a way she cannot otherwise feel. There is a lot of research on using these types of enethogens for people with PTSD, but I wonder if they would help people with PD (obviously, given the number of times she's done LSD the effect isn't permanent but maybe it makes it less severe or maybe combined with therapy it can actually help). If you Google a recent study of LSD that was in the news you'll find brain images of LSD vs non-LSD and the patients with LSD had way more connections/blood flow in their brains than the nons. I'm not advocating this for anyone to try outside of a doctor's supervision, but it just seemed interesting.

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Arya

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2016, 05:02:21 PM »
Moshi im so sorry you experienced this!

Your story grabbed me because, im a horse person! I also have tried reconnecting with old friends. Many had similar dynamic, older, admired them once, my life very different from theirs, I was all about meeting on common ground.....but the differences in soooooo much caused melt down that felt like hitting a brick wall.

It happens. Especially with people who aren't as invested in meeting in the middle as we are.

What you describe sounds like the friend turned your growing dialogue into a control medium. Not sticking to the plan...missing the planned call...tip of ice verg to get you chasing her with concern etc. I hate to say it but, she put out some bait, you took it hook line and sinker. Your concerns...founded on the vulnerability and issues she confused in you, lead you to take more steps to make contact than if someone you'd just had a brief " hey yeah, we should meet up whn ur in town". But, this gave her a fix, that feel of power to have you chase...she reject.

Considering she just had a break up...the u chase me i reject u game would be attractive to her even though u are just friends. It's the control/ power trip fix.

Also, sadly, meth permenant alters the brain and its chemistry. One of things so terrible about it. Mood modulation, emotions, all that biochemistry that goes on gets damaged.....it may influence how she handles stress/ confrontation...everything. on top of what's likely not very effective life/ interpersonal skills.

She effectively made you the bad guy for attempting to be a good friend. You didn't do anything wrong, just walk away. Its hurtful, insulting to be wrongfully accused as you were.....and its a well worm technique for hurting people by this type of person.

Ha, I have been a shouting crazy person in my front yard before though! But not at all for same reason you were treated that way!!! I had disagreement w neighbors about their cat coming spraying my front door. I liked the cat but was concerned hed get hit by a car, caught by predator, and I was not happy that my door smelled like cat pee! After a few months of making nice, urging them to fix cat, offered to pay for it! I lost it one day shouted at them in public. Later they showed up at my house uninvited...and i was so angry I stormed out shouted some more for them to get the bleepity bleep off my property....i think might have looked a bunch like your not- friend....week embarrassing, I just was so fed up pissed off! BUT here's what reminds me of your friends actions, these neighbors then called cops and said I threatened them! They were uninvited at my house and i used rude language to kick them out! I never threatened them! It was speaking to me, and i told the cop so. Like your friend....these people did something wrong, they didn't like being confronted with it...so they did something to place blame on you...and by calling cops, accusation that no one witnessed, you're put in a icky little trap by them neither price or disprove but they are sure they've stuck it to you in a manner you can't fix.

Bottom line...icky passive aggressive manipulation. All you can do is walk away. ( Um.....and if ur like me, 2 years later whn u notice their car inspection expired...call it in :-) pay backs a beeeotch! Not worth dwelling on, but, ya knw, when opportunity knocks...and these jerks sooner or later always do something to get themselves in trouble...) that's maybe the takeaway.....these kind of people eventually get back what they put out there, just walk away, and move on to healthier people to make plans with.

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citypieces

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2016, 05:30:33 PM »
Quote
We doubt our POV. Don't be embarrassed. You did what most of us would do if we thought we had caused a friend pain. I think the first time any of us have gotten a disproportionate response from our PDs we've gone into a tailspin trying to figure out how we caused it.  ...I know I did.

This hit really close to home for me. Thank you so much for your post.

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Frazzled

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2016, 02:15:54 PM »
It's hard to let go because, as a non-PD person, you see the different sides of the situation and feel you can help.  But the point comes where you can't.  A BPD has a world view that you cannot change--they have to make that change for themselves and it seems most of them simply won't.  You also can't understand it because it makes sense only to them.  And like the others have said, another rupture is always waiting down the line.  It's part of the pattern, almost a habit that can no longer be broken.  Don't take the "bonding" too seriously.  I know that sounds harsh, but BPDs are manipulative and are good at making you feel like you're their best friend, at least for a time--when they're at a point of need.  Then that whole push-pull dynamic kicks in and you never know where you truly stand. 

So true. So painful. And so true.

Indeed. And seeing that his telling me I was "the best friend he ever had" was B.S. was liberating. After getting suckered/hoovered back into the "friendship" many times, this attempt failed.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

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pinkapplesparkle

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Re: friend with BPD, probably
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2017, 06:44:35 AM »
Hey I just wanted to give another point of view. I personally would have been a bit hurt if someone told me I was being "a bit flakey". I'm not saying I would have got as defensive as your friend, but still I don't think someone that takes offense should be deemed "irrational". You sound like you're quite easy going and don't take offence easily, which is a great quality to have, but that doesn't mean everyone else is going to react the same way and it doesn't mean that if a person doesn't respond the same the way as you, that they have a personality disorder.

I actually saw some similarities to your post with an issue I have had with some people in my life that have issues, so I sympathise  a lot with your story. I mean your friend does sound like she has issue due to her handling of the whole thing. I mean she could of just said "hey you hurt me when you implied I was flakey" or got upset and then later on realise she was overacting.

Anyway, just another perspective.