National Eating Disorders Association

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Moss3467 - Similar Boat.

Hey Moss,

I hope it's OK, but I started this thread to reply to you.

And gosh, what an experience, huh ? We think we have somewhat of a handle on how people can be, and then something like this comes along ! I have a pretty good idea of how confusing it must be.

And yeah, suddenly you are this terrible guy ! When several moments before you were wonderful. That has to be hard to make sense of as well. Plus, when things were going well, they were wonderful between the two of you !

Here's the "None of us are doctors" disclaimer. Because none of us are. But having said that, you might want to read up on Borderline Personality Disorder, because this really sounds like what you are dealing with here. Black and white thinking ( one moment you are great, the next moment you are terrible) "Tumultuous interpersonal relationships". The self-harm thing with her banging her head. "Impulsiveness" in certain areas of her life. "Fear of abandonment" (all those texts that you got). Along with things like eating disorders, and an unstable sense of themselves.

In the psychiatric community sometimes these folks are thought of as the clients from hell. Which really is unfair I believe. You saw the sort of a nice person she could be, and I believe it's a mistake to ignore that. I worked on a message board for people with BPD, and I can tell you that they aren't particularly happy about how they find themselves behaving, and will often speak with regret about the relationships they've ruined.

As you saw, "tramatic events from the past" are often involved too. You didn't mention the details, but it's not hard to imagine what they might be. There's a thought that things like this might be at the root of the condition, and what brought it on in the first place, but no one really knows for sure.

Also, it's possible that you should not expect things to change. And that if you should get together again, you'll need to set some boundaries for yourself, as to what you will and will not put up with. And let her know what those are and stick with them.

One persistent idea in the mental health profession is that folks with BPD are unable to develop any insight into their condition, but in my experience that's not true at all. But she'll probably need to start working on that part, and working on her self-awareness, if she's not going to continue befuddling other well-intentioned people in the same ways that she's confused you.

Keep writing ?

Bob J.


Hey Bob, thanks for the helpful words. I have gained some confidence and no longer feel alone in this struggle after reading everyone's stories. Seeing her around campus is difficult and sometimes the urge to reach out is very strong. Perhaps it just comes with the territory of being young but letting her go has been such a difficult endeavor. It's gotten to the point where it has effected other potential relationships from forming. But I have been seeing my therapist again and reading this response from you is very comforting


"...sometimes the urge to reach out is very strong. Perhaps it just comes with the territory of being young but letting her go has been such a difficult endeavor."

Yes, I know what you mean. I don't know bout you, but sometimes we really can have those "if only" sorts of feelings. That we care for the person, and that somehow we could be a positive force in their lives. Because of our good intentions.

But the other person has to allow that, and as you have seen, often they are not in the mood. Plus knowing the reality of the situation from your previous experiences, somehow that could magically change ?

I'm not sure how much we learn from situations like this, but it's good to remember that no matter how good our intentions may be, 50% of situations like this is always going to be out of our hands. And it's not really our place to hope that we can control what the other person does with their half.

But I hope you can consider what your good intentions say about you.

Nothing that's bad, would be my guess.