Love Through the Eyes of Borderline Personality Disorder

I’ve only been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) for a couple of years now, but I’ve known that the way I see love is very different than most for quite a while. Love and feelings are something I’ve struggled with since childhood. I feel everything strongly, give completely, love extremely. When I say I love someone, I have strong feelings. I often admire them, respect them, enjoy spending time with them and see them as so much more than I see myself. I’d risk and even sacrifice myself for the people I love and their happiness. I’d do anything, move Heaven and Earth if needed, to help out the people I love. To me, that’s what love is: unconditional companionship, care and admiration. It’s that feeling of uncontrollable smiles when you see those people happy, or indescribable pain and sadness when you see them cry. It isn’t physical attraction or sexual interest: that’s lust and completely different to me. It isn’t just blood — love knows no boundaries.
I am learning these are common struggles for people with my history and diagnosis. I think these difficulties are why I struggle with boundaries and often do or say things that don’t make sense to most people in relation to my friendships and relationships. These struggles also lead to negative responses like jealousy, rage, disappointment, rejection and heartache. I wanted to share what love looks like for me.

I love extremely

People may say I got to extreme lengths to show my love. I crave physical touch, so I hug often. I desire validation and dedication, so I frequently say, “I love you” when talking to those I love. I give gifts for anything and nothing. I will message or call my friends almost daily just to let them know I care or to check on them. Some might say I smother, and some get uncomfortable when they mistake my version of love for something else (like romantic interest). I just feel with such intensity that I sometimes cannot control my feelings or keep them inside. I also don’t understand boundaries or ambiguity, so sometimes I mistake the gestures or actions of others for love and end up caring much more for someone than they care about me.

I love unconditionally

Another part of my love deals with being ignorant of flaws. I fear abandonment and failure, so often I am willing to look past what others may consider to be unhealthy or undesirable behaviors or habits. I find myself willingly accepting giving more than I get, taking mistreatment or abuse and just letting others walk all over me. The benefit of this is that I always feel empathy and can forgive, but the negative is I have low self-worth and sometimes don’t even see there is an issue with the friendship.

I love through jealousy

Because I love with such intensity, I often find myself getting jealous. I become upset or angry when I see a picture of some of my friends on social media hanging out without even asking me or I question when I see my husband has a text message from a female co-worker. I may express this jealousy outwardly to the people I love with aggression or sadness. Usually this outward expression of jealousy serves two main purposes: to try to “prove my love” to the person and to try to manipulate the person into giving me attention.

I love through heartache

Unfortunately, a common problem for me is that I find myself in a position where relationships and/or friendships become broken and end quite frequently. I struggle to let go, I try to live in the past and I spend lots of time being heartbroken over the loss of a friendship. I’ll continue to listen to songs that remind me of the person, look at pictures of them and even sometimes try to contact them even after the friendship has ended. Even through the pain, I still love the person and can’t stop. Some may say this helps in some way, but often it leaves me hurt as I watch people move on in life without me, sometimes it leads to damaging things even further because I don’t understand boundaries or confusing signals.

I am learning through my therapy that there are flaws in my view and understanding of love. I am not saying this rationalizes or justifies my actions, but it does help me make sense of my feelings. I’m learning how to regulate my emotions, maintain healthier relationships with defined boundaries and live in the present moment. I’m hoping with time that I can continue to be passionate and love, but avoid undesirable traits that cause the instability and heartache. Isn’t that what everyone wants? To love and be loved without pain or suffering?

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15 Comments

    • On one hand I’m relieved that I’m not the only person on the planet that feels this way (like most days when I feel like I am).
      On the other hand, my heart unconditionally and truly goes out to you because I AM so familiar with the toll that the pain, horror and utter exhaustion that feeling this way takes on you.
      I’d give ANYTHING to feel “normal” for just a few days every once in a while to get my bearings and replenish my emotional troops for the onslaught that I know is imminent. Sending big hugs and positive vibes your way. My email is in my contact info on my blog if you ever need an understanding ear to listen, sympathize or relate to.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh hun…. To quote Kermie ” It isn’t easy being green ” or words that effect. You are a handful – BFD. You’re worth it. Anyone who can’t see past the disease to the glowing heart within isn’t deserving of your energy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are right, as usual, my precious, beautiful, loving LaLaLiz!! Methinks you ARE a tiny bit biased when it comes to me, although I’m totally cool with that. Honored actually. There are times I think I don’t even deserve you’re deep, abiding, unconditional friendship but that usually passes pretty quickly when I envision us forcefully keistering some helpless unwilling participant in our “criminal mischief”! No matter how dark I feel or how deeply I’ve sunk in the moment, that particular scenario never fails to get a giggle out of me. Me gloves up to my neck (due to my germophobia “spreading and shoving” as I sweat like a hooker at a tent revival and you “holding down the fort” yelling, “Shut the fuck up and quit squirming fuckface. You’re only making it worse. She likes it better and only gets more forceful if you struggle!”
      Perhaps we can write a short story and turn it into a screenplay just for our own personal amusement. See, I’m belly laughing like the koo koo bird that I am at the mere notion. None of my other 3 1/2 friends would even entertain the idea. You’re a keeper sweet, Liz. I lalalove you with or without the keistering fetish😂♥️😂♥️😂♥️

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  2. I don’t know if I have BPD but I can relate to this. My feelings are extreme whether it’s a friendship or romantic interest, I push people away because my feelings are too intense for them, I get rejected and it really hurts, it has happened so many times. I want to be loved so I become clingy and it does the opposite of what I want, it drives people away. Thank you for this honest and brave post, I really appreciate you and I love how well worded this was. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

    • It makes me so very happy that I helped you understand yourself better. I am all too familiar with that particular battle within. Helping you helps me gain self worth, so thank you right back. Try googling empath, if you are not BPD, which from everything you’ve told me, I highly suspect you are, then being an empath would be my next guess.
      If you haven’t seen a therapist or psychiatrist (which I was totally adverse to until I was in my forties) please make sure that they specialize in BPD. Having one that can diagnose and treat this disorder correctly is a major key to relearning how to respond to your powerful emotions in a more healthy and positive way. There is no cure, but if I could go back in time, I would have gotten the help I needed much sooner. Obviously I still have bad days or triggers that set me off but I have learned a lot of valuable tools through therapy that make living life a lot less miserable and full of pain. Best wishes to you. Please do not hesitate to contact via email which is in my contact info on my blog, if you have any other questions or just need some “advice” from someone who is and has been in your shoes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You know what’s amazing. I just took a test and scored very highly as an empath actually. Along with that I have bipolar and am on the spectrum. And I am seeing a therapist right now and she is really helpful. Thank you so much for this incredible response and yes I’ll come to you if I need to talk thank you. I am also on fb as well where I do mental health advocacy and I run a mental health fb group

        Liked by 1 person

        • I normally can spot a fellow empath given a little conversation with them. If I meet another in person, most times they needn’t say a word. Once I understood that I was one, I read and researched everything I could get my hands on about it. So along with the sensitivities that come with having BPD, I’ve honed my skills over the years in that department. Being an empath is also a blessing and a curse.
          Fortunately or Unfortunately, whatever your perspective is, I’m not on any social media. It was terrible for my mental health. lol.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this! I’ve only recently realized that my way of love is much different from others. I used to get upset when someone wouldn’t love the same way, but it is important to know everyone expresses differently. Keep loving loud

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, elissajo, I used to feel that my illness was a curse, I sometimes still feel that way but by gaining perspective and insight I was able to see the blessings that come with it as well.
      You know I will. Thank you again for your sweet encouraging words 💕💕

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