Understanding BPD: The Moving Target
You can go borderline crazy trying to manage someone with borderline personality disorder aka BPD. Whether it’s a friend, a family member, a co-worker, a spouse, a partner, a teacher, an acquaintance, pretty much any human being can suffer from BPD which means, so will you.
So what can you do? I honestly don’t think we have any specific concrete ways to manage BPD cause in my experience, although there are signs or traits to watch out for, the true crux of dealing with BPD is that every person is unique. Every BPD individual has their own story, their own past, their own baggage, and their own reality more or less. And sadly, a person with an open heart is likely to be targeted.
I am someone with an open heart that sits vulnerably on my sleeve, so, even though I try my best to educate myself on BPD, it is not easy especially since I am the perfect target for BPD. So what do I do?
I try to be a moving target. If I am going to be a targeted regardless, I might as well accept it, and do what I can to avoid all that unfolds when trying to manage a person with BPD.
Here’s a simple list I keep in my head when I find myself crossing paths with a person with BPD:
- I do not date someone with BPD
- I do not sleep with someone with BPD
- I do not move in with someone with BPD
- I don’t wine and dine with someone with BPD
- I don’t tolerate aggressive behavior from BPD
- I don’t drink alcohol around someone with BPD
- I don’t exhibit confidence for fear of retaliation or jealousy
- I don’t engage in risk taking activities like jumping out of planes
- I don’t entertain chaotic behavior
- I don’t feed anxiety to a person with BPD
- I don’t stay stagnant when I am met with mood swings from BPD.
Now, some of my list might come across as harsh, and maybe it is but, experience has shown me that as a person with an open heart, I am a target, so I have to be a moving target, to survive. Like I said, it is not easy but, it helps to think of yourself not as a target but as a moving one, for experience has taught me that my life can easily become unmanageable when I am too much involved, or even just around someone with BPD.
Having said that, I once heard someone describe someone with BPD as someone that is bleeding out and it shook me. It upsets me when I think about it to this day. Just the image of someone metaphorically bleeding out makes me cringe, and my moving heart bleeds for anyone suffering from BPD. I might not be able to tolerate or handle someone in my life with BPD, and have to keep it moving but, the mere thought of mentally and emotionally bleeding out sounds terrible. Yes, I feel bad for my lack of empathy but, when I look back at how I have felt when dealing with BPD, it is not good. It is littered with turmoil, sadness, depression, anxiety, chaos, and insecurity to the max, and I think I more or less have the ability to become someone with BPD which is scary. No, BPD is not contagious so to speak but, it definitely can rub off on you to the point of insanity.
So, if you know someone with BPD, and find yourself struggling with managing your own sanity in the process, maybe the bleeding out image will help you find empathy but, at the very least, think of yourself as a moving target.
Loberg, E. (2018). Understanding BPD: The Moving Target. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 27, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2018/04/04/understanding-bpd-the-moving-target/