Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder responded and was quite upset at what I had said.
When you actually suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder there is a great deal in the name. People with BPD are often misrepresented as being narcissistic, compulsive liars, lacking in empathy and of being highly manipulative. This is not because we are, it is simply because we are lumped in with all the other personality disorders as being thought of as abusive. I’m not abusive, I’m not dishonest, I’m not incapable of empathy and I am a decent human being. It is incredibly painful when you suffer from an emotional dysregulation disorder that your behaviour is misinterpreted to fall into a category similar to that of your husband. It is incredibly disheartening to read this article after the one I had posted a week ago challenging these misconceptions. What a kick in the heart it has been to read this.
I wrote a response (which hasn’t been approved yet).
I am sorry you feel that way. I understand that it is difficult and disheartening. I read your article and it is well thought out and interesting. It must be devastating to be diagnosed with a mental disorder and particular one that has such bad publicity. Gaining support from online communities is helpful to you and others with the disorder.
However, the same goes for the people in my situation. I too need support and found it online. I learned many things which helped me deal with his ongoing behaviour towards me and my children. I too may have ended up taking my own life if I hadn’t found others who understood what I was dealing with gave me techniques to cope.
‘If they are dealing with someone who has no willingness to accept help or treatment, then finding a name to place on the cause of the abuse could deviate them from the important business of getting help’.
I say that finding a name gave me and many others like me, the direction to seek the right type of help.
For the partners, the particular name or category of personality disorder is not so important, the support, understanding and validation are what count.
For yourself, with a diagnosis and the insight to understand your situation and the ramifications of having a personality disorder, the name is of course important. The sad thing is that many people with personality disorders do not have your insight, nor will they ever receive an official diagnosis, as they do not recognise that there is anything wrong.
Additionally, many will not receive a diagnosis because it is only those of us that live with them and can see their behaviours over the long term and in different situations, that are able to recognise it as a personality disorder. I am not a clinician, and I cannot say for certain he has a PD or which category of PD he may fall into. It doesn’t matter. Just knowing he is displaying behaviours of a personality disorder is enough.
Just as you don’t wish to be categorised, discriminated against or viewed the same as all other people with a personality disorder, neither do I wish to be associated with people on support groups who only abuse people with personality disorders. The majority of us don’t do that and are only there to seek help.
Finally, as you quite rightly say, going no contact is the best way to move on and let go of an person in your life with a personality disorder. Unfortunately for many of us that isn’t an option. Children prevent that choice and leave us open to even more abuse through the children and family law courts.
We should ALL be thankful that the internet has given us access to the help and support we need from whichever side of the fence we come. It also gives us the opportunity to educate the world about all types of personality disorders and the suffering they cause.
It is often hard for us on this ‘side of the fence’ to have understanding and empathy for partners, ex partners and family who display behaviours of a personality disorder (with or without an official diagnosis). It is just as hard for people with a diagnosis to see our side of the story, and of course even harder if one of their symptoms is lack of empathy.
But we are all suffering and all share the same desire. We want to inform the world about personality disorders so that our suffering is understood. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all work together to reach the same goal.