Not gonna lie- I can have my crazy moments, I am that Borderline Girlfriend. That’s just something that comes with having Borderline Personality Disorder.
And I say “crazy” as a reclaimed word. I can call myself crazy, but if other people do then I will verbally kick their asses. Or just do my creepy smile and nod. It depends on the person.
There are two different types of crazy borderline girlfriends:
The bad kind, who go through your phone and freak out if you so much as like another girl’s Instagram post. These are the types who feed off of jealousy, and lead to unhealthy relationships that can’t simply be blamed on mental illness.
Then there’s the good crazy. I say “good” as in that our mental illnesses make us empathetic, loyal people with big emotions that can go either way. BPD is a really good example of this.
It can be hard to be in a relationship with someone with BPD. The black and white thinking makes them think you either love them or hate them, depending on the day. They’ll split sometimes, making them either love or hate YOU. They feel extreme sadness, fear, and anger, but they also feel extreme happiness, passion, and love. We’re also really freakin’ funny.
Being the partner of someone with BPD is no easy feat. The constant insecurities and validation required to calm those insecurities can be pretty intense, and you never quite know when your person will collapse into a panic attack.
Borderline girlfriends can also be seen as “manipulative”, but I promise you that’s never out of malice. People with BPD are typically pretty open about every emotion they’re feeling, and will express it. It may seem to others that it’s just a guilt trip, but it’s honestly just a need to be heard by your loved one.
My boyfriend in particular is a trooper. I have chased away so many people in the past (twelve to be exact), and every time I learn something new from it. I’ve had abusive exes, but I also learned that I can be very clingy and overwhelming (not that it’s an excuse for being abused). The relationship that I’m in now is so strong and healthy, and every day I work harder to control my illness and be the best partner I can be.
The lack of “emotional skin” that a person with BPD has can make their emotions very, well, not subtle. The moment an emotion hits us, our brain and body have nothing to protect it. It stings like nothing else. It makes us feel everything and nothing all at once. And as a partner, your impact means the absolute most to your spouse.
Getting a hug is the most emotionally filling, explosive thing in the world. However, being yelled out, or even talked to in a different tone, can immediately drain every single thing out of the borderline. It takes a lot of patience, and sometimes you may feel you need to walk on eggshells, but ultimately it just takes a healthy mix of openness and validation to gain the trust of someone with BPD.
On the topic of being open, it can be a tricky line to cross. The borderline partner can be suspicious- not of anything you’re doing, but what you’re thinking. We can’t fully grasp the acceptance that we never truly know what people think about us, and the guessing game is absolute torture.
Do not hide feelings. You may worry that the borderline might get too upset in the face of criticism, and honestly, they might. But it is way better to be open about the little things as they happen, rather than having to guess for ages until you get in a big argument and everything comes out. That’s way worse, and it makes it harder for the borderline to trust you.
Probably the most valuable thing you can do for your borderline partner is to validate. Always let them know that their feelings are valid, and that you love and care for them. If you truly don’t know how to comfort a person with BPD, this is a good place to start. We just want to be seen and heard, and told that everything is going to be ok.
Don’t think of us as crazy. Don’t reduce us to the stereotype of the “crazy girlfriend” or even “Borderline Girlfriend”. Because we aren’t- we just have a disability, the same way as one with a physical disability does.
It’s a sickness, and we need to just be taken seriously instead of dismissed. Communicate, validate, and be there for your partner. We appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.