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relationships with "normal" people...?


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For those borderlines who are in a relationship... how many of you (if any) are in a relationship with someone who doesn't have mental health problems (at least, not the diagnosable kind)?

 

I know I've got my crazy problems, but I'm at a point in my life where I've learned mad communication and coping skills, and I'm super duper in "like" with this fellow, who has pretty much zero of the problems that I do, and I am pretty confident I'm as ready as ever to have a healthy and honest relationship... 

 

Overall, things are going well and slow- we are at the friends stage, but he knows how I feel, and we're slowly working towards maybe a romantic relationship, if things keep going well... and on the advice of my best friend, who gives me the best advice in the world, I am pretty much just trying to be cool, not rush anything, and generally "don't fuck it up". 

 

 

Cause that does seem to be my tendency, when things are going fine, is to project problems that aren't there, and end up creating actual problems as a result... "painting dragons", if you will...

 

Now, this guy is pretty normal, so he thinks like a normal person, and I generally don't... and I was wondering, for you that are in relationships with "pretty normal" people (if that's a fair description of anyone on this planet), how you bridge that thinking gap? How do you get on top of your thoughts and keep your imagination from getting out of control, so that you're not freaked out about something imaginary that he/she has no clue you would ever even thinking about?

 

(Hopefully that makes sense, somewhat....)

 

 

 

...thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow.  This is a big topic for me.  I'll probably come back to this, but this is what I'm thinking off the top of my head and sort of generally.

 

First off, I 'warn' people.  I don't consider it a warning, just information that they need to know, but other people have taken it that way. I'm very explicit when I say that I can be emotionally volatile and my reactions often look incomprehensible to other people.  I explain that I'm not being manipulative, but that literally there are times when I react the opposite of how they might expect me to react 'normally' and how I want to react.  This can be a good jumping off point to discussing WHY you may have been diagnosed with BPD, or you can simply say "It's a problem and I'm working on it in X Y Z ways."

 

I guess...  what I do when in the relationship is try to 'overexplain' what I'm thinking, just as an overall guideline.  I use things that my therapist and other friends have said that corrected my misinterpretations as examples to help them translate from "in sys's head" to "normal" talk, because I find that what I'm thinking and feeling can sometimes bear little resemblance to what's happening in reality.  That doesn't mean that I'm flat-out WRONG, I want to make that very clear.  It's extremely important for me to be with someone who understands that just because my feelings may not be logical or directly connected to the here and now, it definitely doesn't mean that they can invalidate or ignore those feelings.

 

I try to paraphrase what the other person has said in conversations when I'm feeling emotionally volatile, because sometimes my boyfriend says "I would like to watch a movie soon" and I hear "I have to get away from you" when what he meant was "Let's watch a movie together."  Active listening is a must.

 

Basically I need to be with someone who has a high level of emotional awareness and emotional intelligence and who is supportive enough to withstand my upsets.

 

I also spent a long time deliberately not in relationships (a year and a half) because I recognized that I was kind of 'addicted' to the high of finding someone new and being that perfect person for them.   I can go into more detail about that, but I know I did it because this cycle distracted me from the never-ending horror show that the rest of my life felt like: all the shitty jobs, panic attacks, exhaustion, depression, & a tremendous amount of self-loathing.

 

What has changed has been me getting enough distance from the cycle of NEEDING someone to actually realistically judge the qualities of the person I'm interested in and whether or not we're a good match.  If you feel like you can't do that (and really consider it hard, because I sure as hell didn't want to admit it) then I don't think ANY relationship is going to work out.

 

So, with all of this advice, uh...  I've been in a really healthy relationship with someone who doesn't have BPD or any emotional disorder for almost exactly 10 months and we're moving into a new place together in August.

Edited by saveyoursanity
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Wow, this is a great topic, I relate so much to how you're feeling. I'm sorry if my response doesn't make sense, I'm on my phone I feel like it's rushed.

So, I've been in a relationship with the most neurotypical (though I wouldn't say "normal", he's very much not the same as most people deemed normal) person I have ever met going on 5 years, and we've lived together for 1.5. He met me at my lowest, most crazy borderline hell, and he happens to be the most sweet, kind compassionate, and straight up good person I've also ever met.

Basically he liked me (though I don't know why) and saw through my crazy, and stuck with me. Without him I never would have sought treatment, recovered, stopped SI, stopped my ED, kept living.

That said, our relationship definitely wasn't healthy the first two years...I needed to be saved and he needed to feel needed. But, as years went by we've evolved into a mature, respectful, strong relationship.

Our support is now mutual, and somehow I've even grown to tolerate when we argue and he says "I need space" (instead of crying, following him, hurting myself, threatening to kill myself) which for me has been a huge effort and growth. So, to that part of your question, how do you stop your mind going out of control, I can only say with a shitload of practice, failure, practice, etc until you can do it. I still can't sometimes, but, I did get help from him by saying, for my example, can you tell me how long you'll need space for? So I know when you'll be coming back? Compromise wasn't easy but it helped.

So, I think it is possible to have BPD and be in a relationship with a neurotypical person. I'd say on the condition that one is actively and honestly communicating, seeking help, taking responsibility for behavior, trying to do anything you can to gain stability and health.

Ahh, I think maybe that was a tangent, but, yah it's my thoughts/personal experience.

I'd say you're doing the right thing by taking it slow. I didn't, and while it ended up okay, it would have helped a lot to go slow and build trust/communication. Good luck?

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I guess...  what I do when in the relationship is try to 'overexplain' what I'm thinking, just as an overall guideline.  I use things that my therapist and other friends have said that corrected my misinterpretations as examples to help them translate from "in sys's head" to "normal" talk, because I find that what I'm thinking and feeling can sometimes bear little resemblance to what's happening in reality.  That doesn't mean that I'm flat-out WRONG, I want to make that very clear.  It's extremely important for me to be with someone who understands that just because my feelings may not be logical or directly connected to the here and now, it definitely doesn't mean that they can invalidate or ignore those feelings.

 

 

 

....

 

 

What has changed has been me getting enough distance from the cycle of NEEDING someone to actually realistically judge the qualities of the person I'm interested in and whether or not we're a good match.  If you feel like you can't do that (and really consider it hard, because I sure as hell didn't want to admit it) then I don't think ANY relationship is going to work out.

 

YES!! I "over explain" myself to everyone around me, so that they understand my otherwise not-logical circle of logic...

 

And yes again - one reason I really want this to work so bad is because I feel like, for the first time, I'm seeing a real person that I think is a fantastic match for me, as opposed to just needing "someone" period. In fact, I broke up with my last boyfriend a few months ago, not because he had done something wrong, but because after 6 months, I was just able to get a sense that he really didn't care about me and we weren't clicking at all... and that for once, I'd honestly just rather be alone if that was going to be the case. (Which is a very new level of strength for me, and I'm quite excited about it.) 

 

And if this guy is a dick and takes too long to come around to how awesome I am, I do feel strong enough as an individual to say "I don't friggin' need you". Which is also new for me. I used to practically seek out ass-holes because of the level of guilt I heaped upon myself, and let them treat me however they wanted. Now, I have standards of treatment that I would like to be upheld, thank you very much.

 

Hmmmm..... 

 

 

So, I think it is possible to have BPD and be in a relationship with a neurotypical person. I'd say on the condition that one is actively and honestly communicating, seeking help, taking responsibility for behavior, trying to do anything you can to gain stability and health.

 

Thanks, LWP... that has been my overall gut instinct... it's just so nice to hear from someone else who is living the experience. :) 

 

 

 

Wow, I really appreciate both of your replies so much!! I'm fascinated that you are both seeing people who are "neurotypical" as well, very cool....

 

Would love to hear any other insights you guys have to offer... thanks for the help!! 

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