Heartbreak from a person with BPD

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    I also suffer from BDP. My therapist said I have traits of it. Although, I have learned to reduce the anger that has deeply affected me by living in the present and taking things as is if I cannot control it. I met a guy, PhD candidate in the midst of this COVID19 pandemic. We decided to go for a drink. We both just got out of a relationship, except he is going through a divorce. He has a lot of passion, and so do I. But, he is angrier. I learned to stop being angry because it has afflicted my past relationships. The first 2 weeks we spent time together, he asked me “are we playing table tennis or are we playing tennis?” I think he meant if we should be in a serious relationship or not. I told him that we should take it slow, because we were just getting to know each other. He would demean me for “living the moment.”


    We would chat every day, see each other a few times a week. Suddenly, we only saw each other once a week. Sometimes he is so dismissive and lacks communication. That I get thrown off, I tell him how I feel and then he lashes out on me. I withdraw, let it cool off. There were times where he would tell me he loves me and shows a lot of endearment. Then, it changes so quickly. Criticizes me, judges me, makes fun of me. Because I was practicing not to be that way, I just retreat and shut down. I spent time with him last Tuesday, I worked from home at his place and he worked on making kits for the protests. He is fueled by the protest. This week has been hard, it has been hard especially COVID19 and the civil unrest. We also live in Chicago.

    He was in a weird mood I could tell. I tried to kiss him and give him love every now and then while we worked separately in his apartment. We went for a walk after, I was going to make dinner at his apartment. When we went for walk, one of the restaurants opened their outdoor seating. A few men would walk by, and he said “why don’t you go after them?” I was just silently walking with him. I didn’t say a word.

    I have been loyal to him. Even though, we were still seeing each other. I always tell him how much I care about him and how much I miss him. Yet, sometimes, I think he thinks I am being dishonest. I have guy friends and he has girlfriends. I don’t get jealous. I did in the beginning when he used to talk about his exes and his ex-wife. I stopped doing that. He was ruthless that day, all week.

    He asked me if I wanted to have dinner at the restaurant, I said.. we can, but I also planned dinner. He goes “why not, o well Coronavirus, o well. What do you think?” I said “its up to you.”

    He goes “Why don’t you have an opinion?” I said “we can eat here its fine, or we can eat at home.”

    He is so quick to change his mind, gets irritable. Idk. Is it me? We talked about the protest. When I get excited, he says “you’re yelling.” Even though I wasn’t. we talked about the future and he goes “what do you want out of a relationship?” a second later, “Nevermind, let’s not talk about that.” Before I could respond. He was on his phone much of the time, and then shuts it off. He says ” I could tell it bothers you.”

    I said “Its okay, you have work, its important.” I was disappointed but didn’t want to anger him. We chatted again.

    Walked home, I gave him a kiss on a cheek and thanked him. Then he asked me if I was going to spend the night again. I said sure, I could go home in the AM for work. Then he brought up my hamster, if he was going to be okay.

    I told him my hamster is fine and that I check on him every day before I leave. When we got to the elevator, we stared at each other. At his apartment, I changed into comfortable clothes. Then he asked about my hamster again.

    I said, “I can go home if you’re concerned about my hamster.” I did not yell. I simply just said that. Then he raised his voice and said “you know what, get out of here.” My impression of him bringing up my hamster was because he wanted me out. I silently picked up my things and tired to give him a hug and thanked him for dinner.

    He goes “no, don’t touch me”

    I left. Took a lyft. He called me at the lyft. Ending it with me. Saying “We are not meant for each other, that we’re incompatible”

    A week and a half ago, he was telling me how great I was, that he misses me. Idk what changed? I haven’t done anything. He tells me I can do whatever I want, to “do me.” I always get so confused. He says “you’re not happy, I’m not happy.”

    He told me how proud he is of me. How I changed him because he is eating healthy, running more, and living the present.

    Most of the time, I want to spend time with him and talk to him. Yet, he gives me such mixed emotions. I am trying not to go down the spiral, and know my self-worth. I lost him, and I don’t understand why he is so angry at me. What do I do? I hate losing a friend.

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by lil.lily.
    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by lil.lily.

    Dear lil. lilly:

    “I don’t understand why he is so angry at me. What do I do?”- it doesn’t read to me that you did anything wrong. Reads to me that he was angry before the pandemic, then the pandemic happened and most recently, the tragedy of George Floyd’s death by police officers, then the demonstrations, civil unrest and lootings, and violence, all while the pandemic, quarantines and lockdowns and economic devastation are still happening.. and all together, he is besides himself.

    None of these things justify him mistreating of you. Again, reads like  you did nothing wrong. This relationship fell victim to his pre-existing, unmanaged anger, fueled by recent global (pandemic) and national (US civil unrest) events.


    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by anita.


    It sounds like he dumped you before you could dump him, honestly. I was reading the whole thing thinking, “Red flag, red flag, red flag”, then “Dump him, dump him, dump him”. Then when I read he dumped you I was honestly disappointed because I had a whole answer thought out for how you should dump him LOL!

    Girl, there is a reason why he is divorced! You couldn’t live like that. When you finally date someone nice and normal you will be SHOCKED, and angry at yourself, for letting him treat you that way.




    @inky I just don’t understand what happened and why he was like that towards me. I am trying to make sense of it. I know it takes time. I’m just open, approachable, and friendly. Did he take it the wrong way?


    Hi lily,

    This sounds a lot like an experience I had (which you can read about on my previous posts). Like you, I was tied up in knots trying to figure out what I had done wrong for a long while, and in the end… it was true what people said, it was just him.

    In fact, having read and learned a lot about BPD and vulnerable narcissism in the past little while, I think I can determine with decent accuracy that the person I knew had some of this going on (he even suggested as much, about the BPD).

    You are approachable, open, and friendly. Don’t let his gas-lighting or manipulation of the situation make you doubt yourself.

    And like Inky said, you will indeed be shocked when you are treated with basic decency with the next person you date. An important step in my healing and letting go of my bad relationship was being around happy couples who treated each other with kindness and love. Even if these weren’t destined to be ‘forever romances’, the work toward commitment was there. It helped me to see that what I was expecting from my ex was totally within reason, that I wasn’t, as I’d worried, being clingy or demanding. Relationships, all kinds of relationships, take work.

    Here’s a quote from Aldo Leopold I came across which, although it relates to ecology and environmentalism, is pretty apt for relationships, and it helped me to think through it in my time of need.

    “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

    You could think of your brain as the biotic community in this case.

    – LW


    Hi Again,

    In my mind he has BPD, which is a mental illness. Therefore when he says something hurtful and/or something that doesn’t make sense, that is an expression of his mental illness. If he snarled that you were a pink giraffe, would you believe him? NO! Why? Because you are not a pink giraffe. Did you DO or SAY anything that warranted him calling you a pink giraffe? No! Of course not!

    And by the way, what if someone is hurtful and doesn’t have a mental illness, or if the BPD is not to blame? Then that is called a jerk, Lily. You were dating a jerk. Who needs him?


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