Borderline Personality Week: What success looks like

Around the same time I was reading Buddha and the Borderline, I found a post on reddit by another model graduate of BPD treatment, which provides me another lovely BPD example I can use with violating someone’s privacy.  (To the best of my ability to determine based on self report on the internet…) This woman is doing everything right.  She did all the therapy, she is trying to keep from hurting others, she recognizes she has a problem and that it is her responsibility to make it right.  And what it has gotten her is a relationship in which any disagreement they have is assumed to be her fault, and any feeling she has is a problem.  DBT has let her stop listening to false alarms constantly ringing in her head, at the cost of ignoring the genuine alarms.  So even though her issue (3+ years of dating, woman wants to commit, man dragging his feet) is hilariously cliched on r/relationships, she, and everyone else, view it through the lens of “I must contain my unreasonable desires.”

[It’s also pretty instructive to look at the comments of that post.  It is abundantly clear that for a large subset of commenters, there is nothing she could say after the word “borderline” that would make them take her side.    I can’t prove she’s actually as controlled as she claims she is, but what borderlines do is usually not so much lie as convey their emotional truth, from which you can usually reverse engineer what actually happens.  This woman is objective as hell ]

I see a lot of this in chat as well.  The uncontrolled frequent flyer borderlines get all the attention, but I regularly talk to people who have done all the therapy and been very successful and what it means is that when they dysregulate, they contain the damage.  Which is much better than not containing it, but doesn’t make the dysregulation itself less painful.    Of course, I have a pretty biased sample- maybe lots of people genuinely do get better and I don’t talk to them because they never visit chat- but I would bet money there’s a substantial population like this.  And I hope we eventually find something better for them.

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