Distancing myself from a long term friend with bpd

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Distancing myself from a long term friend with bpd
« on: March 04, 2021, 11:49:41 AM »
Hey everyone! I want to share my personal story of my long term friendship with someone who has borderline personality disorder. When I was a kid, there was this girl who lived next door to me. At first I didn't like her because she would make fun of my appearance, but she tried to be my friend and she became nicer to me. I went to her house many times throughout my childhood. I've slept over her house many times. I've ate dinner at her house. She was pretty much the sister I've always wanted. She shared personal information about her family to me. Her parents were divorced and her mother was emotionally abusive. She yelled at her a lot (her sister not so much). There were times where I would hear her mother screaming from my house. There was one time that her mother has said something not very nice about me behind my back but to my face she was very kind. The "dark side" of my friend with bpd would usually show when other friends were around. One time we were hanging out with a mutual friend and that mutual friend was mad at me about something and my friend with bpd would get even more mad. There was another time where we were hanging out with this friend and she whispered something to her friend without telling me. There have been times where I would reveal to her about self-improving in some areas and she would dismiss it.

My family and I moved somewhere else by the time I reached high school age. Our friendship of course was never the same, but up until now, we would reach out to each other to hang out with each other. We still shared our personal lives with each other. I thought maybe she would get better as we reached adulthood, but she didn't. In our early 20's (we're in our 30's now) she revealed to me that she was diagnosed with bpd. I didn't know much about it at the time and I'll admit that I didn't do much research about it at that time. I just told her that I'll support her no matter what. I thought that with therapy she would get better, but not only did she not get better, she never stayed with one therapist for very long. She was in a relationship with a man for a couple of years but it ended shortly after she said she wanted to date other people while still being with him, and that she was capable of loving more than one person at a time. She also admitted to me in our early 20's that she was romantically and sexually attracted to women and that she had feelings for some of her friends (she never admitted feelings for me but part of me suspects it). After the relationship with the man ended, she had a few very short lived relationships with women after that. She'd tell women she loved them and call them her girlfriend after the first date.

In the past few years, I tried to regain the closeness that we had as kids and try to improve our friendship, but I've come to the conclusion that I can't due to the following reasons:

1. Passive aggressiveness. She has made fun of me in front of other friends. She's made fun of other friends in front of me.
2. Breaking people's boundaries. For example, if I told her I couldn't hang out with her, she would still pester me about it or she would triangulate me and say, "such and such demands that you come hang out with us."
3. Jealousy. She has admitted to having jealousy issues.
4. Mood swings. She gets irritated very easily.
5. Double standards. She breaks other people's boundaries but expects everyone to respect hers. She doesn't want her mutual friends hanging out with each other without her but she could pick and choose from her group of friends who she wants to hang out with.
5. Talking negatively behind everyone's backs, including family.
6. Poor communication. She responds to people when she feels like it and messages people when she feels like it, but you get the feeling that if you don't respond to her right away, she'll feel angry.
7. People pleasing. She has spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to please other people (not on me. I've never asked her to give me any money), and I've come to realize that she pretends to like certain things to make her friends like her more. I always knew she was kind of a people pleaser but I didn't know how deep it was for a long time because she was so good at convincing people that she was just like them. The façade wouldn't last though. Eventually she would reveal her true feelings. 
8. Lack of compatibility. We don't have much in common anymore.
9. Neediness. She wants everyone else to make every life decision for her, but if someone gives her advice, she seldom takes it. The only advice she accepts are the ones that are detrimental to her progress.

I've made the decision to set even more boundaries with her, but eventually I'm going to faze her out of my life. I'm too much of a coward to have a serious talk with her. I'd love to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for taking the time to read my post!



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Re: Distancing myself from a long term friend with bpd
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2021, 11:27:20 AM »
Welcome sunrise89,

Childhood friendships are not always easily kept.  There is a past and a present in the relationship where two people grew and evolved into adulthood with each their own childhood background and experiences.  We do not necessarily  follow the same path in our personal growth which makes us different and sometimes difficult to get along when we are full grown adults.

Your post clearly indicates that you are aware of this.   

I understand that it is difficult to come out and state all of the issues at once with this friend, especially if the person has bpd as they do not deal well with abandonment which is their biggest fear.

I had one or two childhood friends that I completely cut out of my life without telling them, I faded away slowly when I discovered their narcissistic traits without much knowledge of putting a name to it.

 Another one I kept because she considers me as a sister (she only has brothers).  We call eachother on our birthdays, holdidays and see eachother once a year but I don't reach out to her for my problems to confide as we have very different personalities.
She is pleasant and understood my past without judgement when I opened up to her a few years ago with my nc with NM and foo. 

Another longtime friend of 30 years that cut out 3 yrs ago after going on a girls trip which turned out horribly, She participated in ganging up with friend 2 on the third friend (we were four on vacation) without me there because they knew that I were very close with the victim.  Plus this friend gave me a hard time with lies when we were booking the trip. She has no filter when she should, not thinking that her words are hurtfult. I knew at this point that I was going on that trip putting everything that happened aside and that when we would come back home I would just cut it, didn't know how then. 
Several weeks passed when she  called me just to chat but I think it was more to get info on how I felt about our trip and I told her the truth, the other got word of it and never called me back.

You know your friend,  do what you think is best for you.

keep us posted.
take care
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 11:29:38 AM by blacksheep7 »
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

"When people show you who they are, believe them."
 Maya Angelou



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Re: Distancing myself from a long term friend with bpd
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2021, 01:20:57 PM »
I think your course of action is probably the best one, because PDs often cannot let go of a relationship until they want to let go, usually when they find someone else to take your place or you somehow no longer serve their needs.  It can be difficult to understand that basically you're just there for them, they are never there for you, not in any real sense.  But because they fear being "abandoned", they won't give up on the relationship without something of a fight.  Be prepared for this.  In my experience, a good way to phase out the relationship is to stop giving them what they want.  Generally, that means some form of attention.  They can only go so long without a reliable source of supply, so will eventually look elsewhere. 

I don't think what you're doing is cowardly.  You have a long relationship with this person, but it's no longer working, and she will never understand why.  Nor will she likely ever change.  Like blacksheep said, you have to do what's best for you.  You can't always consider the needs of the PD, because they will always demand their needs be placed before yours.  When they become a negative presence in your life, it's time to move on. 



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Re: Distancing myself from a long term friend with bpd
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2021, 03:47:52 PM »
Hey, I don't think it's cowardly at all to not have a serious conversation with her. Oftentimes you can't actually have a solid, progressive conversation, or a solid resolution in conversations with bpd people, mainly because they are mostly blind to seeing the role they play in matters. When you can't reason with someone, silence is a powerful remedy to put an end to the crazy-making. Most likely, it's the only way.