BPD & Difficulty with Relationships | I'm Sorry Jenny


On my way to the grocery store just now, as I approached the stop sign,  I saw an old friend and colleague get into her car. It was so good to see her face. I gently waved.


Things ended on bad terms between us, but the bitterness that remains with her surprised and hurt me. She stared at me with the chilliest, anger-filled expression, grabbed the door to her truck, got in, and slammed the door.


It all happened so quickly, but it seemed like a small eternity.


Jenny (not her real name), was my colleague and friend a couple of years ago. Her Dad owns a small business, and I worked there for a few months before I became ill.  An out-of-nowhere PTSD episode kicked in after a required business trip to Atlanta, and when I returned, I could barely function.


Due to my weekly DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) classes, I now have the tools to handle such situations and am in a much better place, but at that time, I really lost it. I couldn't eat. I was having anxiety attacks. It was really something. 


My doctor recommended that I attend an intensive program until I was able to pick up the pieces and become stable in mind and body.  I also knew that my spirit needed this as well. It was during this intensive outpatient experience that I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and much of my life began to make sense. I felt that finally, there was a name for what I was going through - and more importantly, treatment.


During my doctor recommended time off, I sometimes posted pics to Facebooks of things I was doing to try to cheer up and stay positive (for example, I dressed up for Halloween and went out to eat with friends.) Because Jenny and I were also Facebook friends, it turned out to not be such a good idea to do this. I believe that she saw these pics as indications that I was laughing it up, having a great time, and goofing off.  


What's more is that I was unable to return to my position, leaving her father and her in a stressful situation.


I can completely understand why Jenny would feel upset.  I tried to resolve things with her and explain, but she is a bit stubborn and holds grudges. It just didn't work.


It's too bad. In the short time we spent together, in typical BPD fashion, I got very attached. I adored her and looked forward to when she came into work.  All I can do now is know that, in my heart, I have sent her love and apologies. I also know that I will handle similar situations differently in the future. That's all we can do: learn and grow.


Much love to you, Jenny. 




Thanks for reading. More soon.




I chose this pic to give you an idea of what Jenny looks like. She looks like a young, edgy Debra Messing.


12 comments:

  1. Thanks for your blog posts. I am convinced my wife of many years had BPD, which contributed to our troubles and eventual divorce. When I am troubled by some of these memories, it is encouraging and healing to read some frank but positive accounts of those dealing with some of the same situations. I don't see a lot of comments on your posts, but I think that's more indicative of the private nature of the issues rather than an indication of the good will & positive information you are spreading.

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  2. Thank you so much. What a very nice comment to leave here. I appreciate it.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story. Having BPD, I understand how difficult it is to maintain relationships with others. I have learned a lot about dealing with my BPD symptoms and interactions with other at http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/social-work-ceus-tdp. I hope this is helpful to other BPD as well.

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    1. I can't believe I missed your comment. I am replying now since I received a new comment on this post and saw yours (finally!). Thank you for sharing.

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  4. so many good potential friends have been wasted at the hands of my bpd, i was always saying sorry sorry to alot o people, most forgave but didnt really want anything to do with me, 2 never spoke to me again, it has taught me what not to do but sometimes i just cant help it and i have an episode, ive only just began dbt, good stuff, already helping me with my crazy thoughts, and i always follow ur posts i relate very much to u :)

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    1. I have had the same experience -- lots of potentially excellent friends...but I know that once I learn how to truly be one in return, the right ones will show up in my life. Same for you. ♥ So glad that you have access to and are starting DBT. I watch it change my and others' lives, and it can change yours, too. Thank you for your kind words.

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  5. I have been through the same thing, it feels like over and over again, at different points in my life and with different friends. I feel like i always end up losing people. Mostly because i don't know how to deal with conflict. I get too attached too quickly. I had a good friend that i lost last year, kind of through no fault of my own this time...the only difference was she also had BPD so this made things ten times worse. I don't want to talk about it now as it's still very triggering. But she was the only friend i had made as an adult and now she's not in my life. It's very hard.

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    1. First and foremost -- you are not alone. You noticed something very important: that you acknowledge that you don't know how to deal with conflict. As you learn to deal with this and the boundaries around getting attached too quickly (and I speak to myself, too), you can take hope in what Maya Angelou says: "When you KNOW better, you DO better." ♥

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  6. Debbie..I can totally understand that..actually I've made quite a few "enemies"..yes they are "enemies" and truthfully I am so scared of running into any of them. Maybe they aren't enemies but to me, things ended badly at work and part of me can never forgive what has been done to me at that time, so I think I will still freeze and run away if I ever run into them. You waved at your old co-worker, and it was such a gracious act of kindness, and unfortunately your ex friend is the immature one here. You couldn't continue working at their company because of your illness and they should understand that. I think this is why we are trying to raise an awareness of mental health related issues because a lot of people still think that we should be able to snap out of it.

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    1. Hello Angel. Thank you, as always for leaving a kind, thoughtful comment. It means a lot. I think about Jenny from time to time. I now how much I have changed since the incidents that led up to me no longer being able to work there, and I hold that truth in my heart, along with the knowledge of how to handle extreme emotions in the future. Thank you again. ♥

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  7. is it true that bpds are intensely attracted to people who arent right for them or have other personality disorders? i have been attracted to a guy who i dont think is right for me. i initiate lot of arguments and fights because i dont think he fulfills me. but i'm confused if i'm having these thoughts because of bpd or because he's genuinely not for me???

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    1. Well, a person who has BPD is a unique individual, so I really cannot answer this question. Thanks for commenting, though!

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