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"Splitting" In Borderline Personality Disorder: What You Should Know
Many Borderlines when triggered see people closest to them as all good or all bad.
This is most prominent when they feel stressed.
Their emotions are often so intense that they can only see the world in extremes. There is no grey area to them.
Most of us know we love our partner even if they mess up. To a borderline they will often feel you are either perfect. The solution to all their pain. Or you become all bad.
These episodes can last for hours, days, weeks, months or years.
Their, emotional regulation is like a child. A child will say “you are my best friend forever” and next day if they get upset, they might say “I will never speak to you again I hate you”
It’s extreme and erratic and only what they feel in the moment seems real to them it’s like all the past is forgotten… like a child that is upset.
I know this can be so confusing to a borderline’s partner.
They say they want to spend their life with you, and you are the best partner ever and a week later they discard you and block your number.
That’s why their verbal commitments mean nothing as they like a child are just expressing how they feel in the moment but tomorrow they might feel the opposite and because they tend to act on the current emotion in the moment and are impulsive, they often take destructive actions.
The key aspect of Borderline personality disorder is lack of emotional regulation meaning they feel emotions much more intensely and they can’t regulate the emotions so emptions dominate and take over and what they feel in the moment feels as reality hence why logic and all your past will not help or count.
It’s why they are impulsive, extreme and erratic.
For you it seems so sudden and out of the blue.
They are terrified of any perceived abandonment and as soon as they sense this could happen, they will push you away or attach you.
Or it could be the “perfect” bubble they created in their mind bursted and suddenly you are not the solution to all their pain, so they devalue and discard you.
It’s from one extreme to another. Love of my life to I hate you or they numb out.
They might get hostile or seem like they feel nothing for you suddenly.
It’s very confusing to experience as a partner and might make you doubt your own reality.
Once they split, they will devalue you and start becoming abusive and often replacing you instantly.
Subtle putdowns are common, and it’s a very subtle kind of abuse that you will often not be aware of until you are out of the FOG and can see clearly again.
It’s very common that they line a replacement up before letting you go fully.
This again is because they can’t regulate their emotions, so they need someone to help regulate so they can feel better.
You were likely lined up as a replacement for the one before you and the pattern repeats itself.
It’s not that you did not mean anything or are not good enough. It’s that they are mentally sick.
What is important to understand is that you will never go back to the idolization stage.
These relationships can sometimes cause a trauma bond, where you feel guilty even when abused and you feel you should caretake them at the expense of your own well-being.
Or, you might feel addicted to the rush of good feelings they gave you when they love-bombed you and even though they cause you so much pain now you hope you can get back the good times.
You will NOT. They are sick and the pattern will repeat and often become worse as they see you accept it and they can get away with it.
So splitting is partly down to genetic factors and childhood experiences that impacted their brain development.
Their pre-frontal cortex that regulate emotions has not developed normally and their amygdala involved in emotional response and especially the fear response is overactive.
That is why they lack the emotional stability, and flexibility of an emotional health person.
They are therefore guided by their emotions in the moment and those emotions swing from extreme love and idolization to dislike and devaluing.
So, everything that happened before suddenly does not count.
You might have had the best time yesterday but like the child it does not remember that when upset.
You can’t use logic to make them understand what is happening, because their emotion has hijacked their brain.
Borderline Personality Disorder is closely linked with childhood abuse.
They might have experienced someone that was loving one moment and abusive the next.
Caregivers likely invalidated their experience.
There is nothing you can do to make it better, and your responsibility is to take care of yourself.
They need professional help.
Their emotions are not your responsibility.
Your emotions are your responsibility.
In the typical Borderline it’s easy to spot as you will see sudden, erratic and extreme changes in their moods, emotions and actions.
It will make no sense to you because you have a stable narrative and emotional experience.
You might have heard the expression the Quiet borderline and while it’s not a clinical accepted term it’s still very real because the typical borderline expresses their stress and pain outwardly often in hostile and aggressive ways.
The quiet borderline tends to internalize their pain instead so it’s harder to spot when the devalue stage starts as they might seem to retrieve inwards more, be more cold, unresponsive.
The love-bombing will stop and often a push pull stage will take place during the devaluing stage.
They will show affection like they used to in short periods and then turn cold again and retrieve or become hostile.
At the stage they will suddenly withdraw, emotionally disengage and push you away and it will happen very fast.
I often get the question “why do they break up by text and block me”
It again comes down to them feeling emotional overwhelmed so it’s less stressful to do by text and if they block you, they don’t have to deal with the stress of the fallout from how poorly they have treated you.
It also prevents you from being in contact with their friends, family and new partners as they don’t want them to know what happened. In their story they are the victim and you are the horrible person.
For that narrative to live, the trust cannot be known.
They can’t take responsibility for their actions and therefore again block it out.
There is also the saying out of sight out of mind which is true for many people with borderline meaning when they can’t see you their feelings for you can disappear quickly so that’s also why it’s easier for them to do by text and the block you.
Is in an awful, immature and very harmful way to treat others. Yes of-course it is and that’s why no emotional healthy and stable person would act that way.
A securely attached and health person, does not suddenly disengage and go cold, they don’t text breakups, they don’t block people and they don’t go from one extreme to another or replace you with someone else immediately.
They take time to grieve and heal before moving on. That the natural and healthy emotional process.
So, if you doubt if it was you, then just remember no emotional healthy person acts in this way.
It’s the emotional maturity of a small child full of the trauma and pain of an adult trauma survivor.
However, tempting it is to hope the good times will come back I can promise you they will not.
A black mamba is a beautiful and seductive snake, but it will eventually bite you again if you play with it, no matter how much fun you had together.
Cluster-b personality disorders are serious mental health illnesses and they are not safe to be in relationship with.
Unless they are in therapy or have undergone therapy for years, I would recommend you stay well clear of anyone with a cluster b personality disorder as a romantic partner.
I know many people will say “don’t judge them all as the same” and “we should not stigmatize mental illness”
I agree that they have individual traits, and don’t all act the same and I agree we should have compassion and help people with mental illness however we should also not be ignorant and ignore the obvious dangers and harm cluster-b disorders cause in relationships for political correctness.
They story I have read, see and hear of people coming out of relationships with cluster-b partners has shown clearly the horrific damage an untreated borderline or narcissist cause those they date.
They are not bad people just like the snake is not bad or evil but that does not make it less toxic and dangerous for the person that gets bitten.
Don’t play with poisonous snakes and don’t play with cluster-b personality disorders.
I am all for prevention and treatment of the abuse these souls have been exposed to, but I will not turn a blind eye to the damage these personality disorders and trauma projections cause to those around them.
Their emotions are their responsibility. Your emotions are your responsibility.
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