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Family & Friends

Maintaining Friendships with Someone with BPD

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friends with BPDPeople with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often have a difficult time maintaining friendships because of their tumultuous personalities. But these friendships can offer a source of stability in the midst of emotional turmoil.

Friendships with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder can be emotionally trying on you, so knowing how to handle a friend who has BPD is vital to maintaining an important relationship.

Signs Your Friend Has BPD

If you are trying to determine whether your friend might have Borderline Personality Disorder, here are some BPD symptoms the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) suggests looking for:

  • Inappropriate, intense, or uncontrolled anger
  • Mood swings with periods of intense depression, irritability, and/or anxiety lasting a few hours to a few days
  • Impulsiveness
  • Recurring suicidal threats or self-injurious behavior
  • Unstable, intense personal relationships with extreme, black-and-white views of people and experiences
  • Marked, persistent uncertainty about self-image, long-term goals, friendships, and values
  • Frantic efforts to avoid abandonment, either real or imagined

Because of their tendency to see things in black and white, people with Borderline Personality Disorder can develop strong and emotional attachments with friends that can shift without warning from idealization to intense dislike. Your friend with BPD may be highly sensitive to rejection and even a sudden change of plans or vacation without including them can make them feel abandoned and cause an extreme reaction.

According to NAMI, your friend with Borderline Personality Disorder’s symptoms are worst when they feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in desperate attempts to avoid being alone by acting out through impulsive behavior or suicide attempts.

How to Make Your Friendship Last

Being friends with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder can be a challenge and emotionally draining. But understanding the disorder and setting limits can help create a balanced, long-lasting friendship.

Here are some tips for making the friendship work:

  • Set limits up front and be consistent with them. Be sure to balance your own needs with the needs of your friend so that you take care of yourself.
  • As the friendship grows, communicate how you both can use your strengths to preserve the friendship. Create boundaries so that you can get your needs fulfilled.
  • Be there to listen and sympathize with your friend’s feelings. Even if you disagree you can let them know you understand their feelings. Your friend may be used to people telling them that they are overreacting, so having someone care how they feel without discrediting them can be powerful.
  • Find out as much as you can about Borderline Personality Disorder. These friendships can be rocky, so you need to know what to expect and how to understand that their behavior is not intended to harm you.
  • Be supportive of your friend if they decide to seek BPD treatment.
  • Take threats of self-harm seriously. About 10 percent of people with BPD commit suicide, so take note if you see signs of suicidal behavior. 

Maintaining a friendship with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible.

26 Comments

  1. Pingback: Abandonment Issues in People with BPD | Borderline Personality Treatment

  2. I have a best friend, that I’ve known for what seems like forever. She just found out she has BPD two or three weeks ago. She gave me a video on what it was, and I didn’t know what to think. She’s my best friend, no, more like a sister. But it hurts me to have her like this. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to console her. Every time I try it seems to have gotten worse. I didn’t look more into it, at first, and after I did, I felt terrible. How could I have been so selfish as to not have looked into it more??? But I’m just so happy to finally understand and know how to stay friends with her (of course I never even thought of not being her friend). But emotionally I’m beginning to feel very drained, and I just wish I could help, but I can’t. I can do what I can do. I just wish it was more.

  3. Caring Friend

    My best friend was just diagnosed with BPD a couple of weeks ago… and the way it came about was very hard and very scary for both of us. Now we are trying to recover from the crisis, and it’s tough. But I’m doing my part… reading up on BPD. Now that I know that her reactions are part of the disease…. and not HER… I can actually be a better friend. I have been missing important opportunities to help, and by help I mean listening, by trying to “fix” the problems. But I am making a committment to be the right friend to her by supporting, listening, but also creating boundaries for myself.

  4. My 20-year-old daughter has had extreme BPD her whole life. Her father has it as well. She either likes a person or hates them – there’s no ambivalence or neutral opinions of people. It doesn’t help when another BPD is around to validate her belief that everyone she knows fits into the category of either being demonized or revered. She has extreme, manic rages towards me over the least little thing, especially sudden changes in our scheduled plans. I am tired of walking on eggshells with her and wish I had more information on how to deal with this disturbing and heartbreaking personality disorder. She has been in and out of psych wards for several years, has been treated for bulimia as well as suicide attempts. I doubt a person ever outgrows this problem — her dad’s 72 and is worse then she is.

  5. I had to leave my friend of 10 years. She has BPD, stopped treatment, and the cycle of idealization/devaluation became unbearable for me. Terrible examples of cruelty to me. I tried and tried but at the end of the day, I needed to put myself first.

  6. Yes, BPD sufferers have abandonment issues. But those of us not suffering from it, whom have done all we can do for someone who has BPD, have to take care of ourselves, too. Human beings should not be guilted into staying in exhausting, abusive friendships and relationships involving someone with BPD simply because we’d feel guilty in acknowledging our own needs. Trying desperately to maintain those relationships where the person with BPD refuses to honor boundaries and continue therapies and/or treatment is a form of self-harming behavior, too.

  7. karen lee

    I just learned a friend has bpd. I run into people who are “a mess” and in the past have stayed by their side and been a devoted friend. Not any more. My attitude now is people who are messed up from bipolar or various other things can get away with a lot if people put up with this crap.

    Once I laid down the law with my bpd friend and told her that she was not allowed to incessantly whine and complain to me and use me as her personal dumpster she tested me a few times. I hung up on her as I said I would. Now she doesn’t do that anymore.

    Now I have to get her to stop telling me the same thing five times in one conversation. She is doing this in order to micro-understand someone’s inconsequential behavior toward her and wants me to play that game. Not gonna let her do it. I call her on it and she stopped.

    She is now seeking out other friends (she told me so) who will listen to her “stuff.” GOOD!!

  8. About one year ago, I was diagnosed with BPD which resulted from the abuse I suffered as a child.

    I have a dear friend who has helped me through so much on my journey to wholeness, these past two years.

    I just recently released her from being my friend because our friendship had become a very unhealthy relationship. I love her dearly and I believe she loves me, but until I get healthy, it is best that I keep my distance because I do not want to cause her pain and I personally can not handle the pain of rejection, even if the rejection is just my imagination; Trauma Brain kicking in.

    I feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: I believe I understand the “why” of BPD, (as Dr. Jekyll), but yet, I can not STOP from falling into “Trauma Brain” beliefs that are a part of being BPD, (as Mr. Hyde).

    Oh wretched woman that I am! IS there hope for me?

    I am seeing an amazing Counselor who specializes in BPD and trauma. She says that I am making great progress. She assures me that there will be an end to all this turmoil one day. I believe her.

    With God, all things are possible!

  9. Michael, Karen Lee’s post isn’t disgusting. It’s actually what you need to do to help both of you. All BPD aren’t the same but many test boundaries constantly. By setting firm boundaries with them, and honesty n humor work best I find, they will respect you and feel safe and you will feel like you can b there for them and take care if yourself. If you just support and listen without doing this, things w a BPD loved one most likely will not work out. People w BPD do best w strong, people who know and take care if themselves. Selfless giving and codependent friends and partners do not work out for either in the long run. But, again, BPD manifests differently and each person is unique. Obviously her friend isn’t the quietly self-abusing, loner, and suicidal type of BPD. With, any, tho, strong boundaries make them feel safe. If u can show that you have self love, self awareness, and give them clear boundaries, this is a great example to them. And only then will they feel safe and know they can’t hurt and that you won’t leave them because u take care of yourself. Good luck, everyone. Come at this from a position of love and strength and work on your own triggers when the BPD loved one activates them. It will help you grow and mature on your life path as well as your friend s and lovers. XO

  10. I have BPD, and I do my best to not be the person everybody pictures when they think BPD. I rarely lash out at anyone, but I take the anger i havewith others and i place it on myself. For example: my best friend used to text me at least once a week, and if i texted him he’d always reply eventually. Well he all the sudden stopped texting me and speed replying to my texts. I got scared, my abandonment issues flared up, but I didn’t say anything to him. After several months of absolutely no communication, I decided I had done something wrong. I decided i screwed up so bad with him somehow that he would be better off without me. So i texted him and told him i was ending our friendship. He flew off the handle. After, 5 months of not talking now he texted me back and is telling me this is just my BPD and how emotionally draining this text is and how i am being manipulative and how mean i am to our other friend. So, now I’m left with his words, not sure what to do. All I know is that no matter what I do or say, no matter how nice or mean I am, I am always the bad guy just because I have BPD.

    Please, try to understand your family and friends with BPD are not ot to get you. I would never wish this illness on anyone. Life as someone with BPD truly sucks. I am terrified to express my feelings to anybody because of being told I’m overreacting or I shouldn’t feel that way, or worse because i told someone whatever I’m feeling (happy, scared, sad, mad) I get accused of hurting them.

    I’m sorry if i am not supposed to post this here or if i said anything that upset someone or if i didn’t make any sense.

  11. I just ended a 45-year off again, on again friendship with a childhood friend who I believe fits the diagnosis of BPD. The never-ending drama and trauma that this person attracts became so draining and overwhelming that it was taking its toll on me personally. Once I got firmer boundaries and started pushing back a little on their “victim” mentality, they did not like it one bit. What ensued was a nasty vitriolic rage that seemed to come out of nowhere and that I can only describe as cruel – just hours after I was told “you are the best.”

    If you are friends with someone with BPD, and you want to maintain your own sanity, encourage them to get into some kind of recovery. Sadly, my friend thinks everyone else is the problem and probably always will. She thinks everyone else is ‘crazy.’
    Proceed with caution…

  12. If people treated others with respect and fairness, a lot of people with BPD wouldn’t have it to begin with!

    Sam and Karen Lee, you sound like the people I would gladly allow to have the same treatment placed upon you like my friend because you two don’t sound like you have an empathetic bone in your body.

    I’ve had a friend with BPD who was very close to killing herself.

    My friend was the sweetest person ever before she turned into someone I almost found it hard to stand by. When she was bullied, girls and boys would get every chance they could get to tease her. If it wasn’t for her aappearance, it was for her clothes. Since her family, and neither did she, like a lot of popular trends, she was always teased relentlessly about it. If I had never noticed how distant she’d been with me, I don’t think I would have ever figured out that she had BPD.

    I never went to the same school as her and she kept things bottled up until then.

    Her mom was an emotional abusive alcholic and her family was no better with trying to keep her in the house she was in. She tried to make friends but couldn’t because after those two experiences + being bullied, she kept to herself.

    But you know, whenever she had her freakouts, I was determined to help her. I always tried to validate her as best as I could. I told her that I gave a shit about her. After I started doing that, she started to become a little bit better. She started to trust me more and she even managed to be social and become friends with other people. Now hers weren’t as bad as most people’s but she would always apologize afterwards because she truly COULDN’T help herself.

    She’s still very much alive but she still struggles with making friends because of those experiences she had to go through. Not every child can handle being teased and even when they go to teachers for her, it never seems to do anything but make the situation worse.

    Not every person with BPD enjoys it. You probably will encounter some that enjoy it, but you won’t know that until you really get to know them. Most of them cannot get the help that they need. You don’t know what is going on with them until it’s too late.

    If you can’t handle someone with bpd, then maybe don’t talk to them in the first place? Don’t even offer to be their friends because they’d be much better without you. Don’t say you’ll give them support but then yank it away when it becomes too much for you.

  13. I was just recently diagnosed with personality disorder, both borderline and dependent. I went through a horrible divorce 5 years ago and have major depression. My ex abandoned My son and I. I was a very devoted wife and help put him through law school, traveled around the country and lived in places ai did not want to live so we could supposedly have a better life. I never got a chance to go to PA school ehich wad my dream because I was too busy supporting us. I trusted him. He was my best friend. I am now stuck all alone in this small college town in Pennsylvania. I am so lonely. Just out my son in college so I am completely alone. I have very few friends here but I am in a special treatment program here at the university for people with personality disorders called Transference Therapy. I meet with my therapist twice a week. I will be starting DBT group therapy there soon too. I am doing everything I can to get better but some days are so hard and so lonely. I miss my old life so much. I lost my ex who was my best friend. And I am worried my son may have this. I know my older sister most likely does and hers is much worse than mine. She is vicious and mean. But she has a good husband who stands by her. Both my sisters live 5 hours away in another state. I need an advocate and a support system. I need friends now more than ever. I have lost quite a few life long friends these past 7 years since he left. I would never do that to them. One friend who I met just a few years ago called me and left a message not to call her anymore because I am too stressful and give her a stomach ache. She pretends to be a Christian. Just cut me off Facebook for no reason. This is cruel. I am hurting so badly.

  14. i am good friends with a male whom i feel has bpd he has not been diagnosed by a physician but from the resaech i have done he is. MosT Of the time we get along but almost like clockwork every month or so he goes ballistic on me and totallt criticizes everything i do to the point of bringing me to tears which has no effect on him we are usually somewhere where i can,t walk away from him. Then the next day or comes around apologizes and says he didnt mean anything he said. It is very hard to take and leaves me with deep wounds which he doesnt really ackmowledge how do i handle this in the future? i dont want to desert him because i know he also suffers from abandonment issues
    R

  15. My best friend has BDP. I am know as what is called the FP or favorite person that many people with BDP seem to have. This is a person that a BDP idealizes like no other, his confident, the only person in his life that can do no wrong, and he is so gentle kind and caring with me. He flies between idealization and hatred of his wife, his family, and other friends. He has expressed extremes of emotion regarding his own daughter.

    Most of the time he has very distorted views of others and is very emotional; his emotions are extremes and little things will set him into a panic.

    One time he painted me black, which is devaluation, it was horrible, he had no idea why he hated me with such rage after he came to a realization that he extremely idealized me, and simultaneously felt guilty and compelled to stop hurting me, as he put it. He directs his rage internally, and at that time just stopped talking to me and wouldn’t even look at me some days.

    It was 3 months of hell on us both and that was when I started educating myself about BPD. The love me don’t leave me, push/pull is very real and exceptionally painful for a non-BPD but remember the pain is so much more intense for a BPD. I tend to be very emotionally tuned in to people, and I feel as if I lived what he goes through in his downturns in my own experiences. It is such despair, hopelessness, and confusion. I cried a deep guttural primitative cry for what seems like 20-30 minutes because I was mourning the loss of my friend: it would have been easier if he died but instead I was living a daily hell of passive aggressive emotional abuse.

    So, what did I do? Here’s a few tips:

    – it’s NOT your fault or his, the blame lies squarely on abuses in his past
    – explain how you feel firmly and with facts
    -always start a conversation or participate in one by validating his feelings (right or wrong validation is absolutely key)
    -pick good timing to help him think about how reality may be different from his feelings
    -DO NOT get angry back or even fake angry (I was so frustrated once I pretended to yell at him to see if

  16. Joshua 02. Dec, 2017 at 9:43 pm #
    My best friend has BDP. I am know as what is called the FP or favorite person that many people with BDP seem to have. This is a person that a BDP idealizes like no other, his confident, the only person in his life that can do no wrong, and he is so gentle kind and caring with me. He flies between idealization and hatred of his wife, his family, and other friends. He has expressed extremes of emotion regarding his own daughter.
    Most of the time he has very distorted views of others and is very emotional; his emotions are extremes and little things will set him into a panic.
    One time he painted me black, which is devaluation, it was horrible, he had no idea why he hated me with such rage after he came to a realization that he extremely idealized me, and simultaneously felt guilty and compelled to stop hurting me, as he put it. He directs his rage internally, and at that time just stopped talking to me and wouldn’t even look at me some days.
    It was 3 months of hell on us both and that was when I started educating myself about BPD. The love me don’t leave me, push/pull is very real and exceptionally painful for a non-BPD but remember the pain is so much more intense for a BPD. I tend to be very emotionally tuned in to people, and I feel as if I lived what he goes through in his downturns in my own experiences. It is such despair, hopelessness, and confusion. I cried a deep guttural primitative cry for what seems like 20-30 minutes because I was mourning the loss of my friend: it would have been easier if he died but instead I was living a daily hell of passive aggressive emotional abuse.
    So, what did I do? Here’s a few tips:
    – it’s NOT your fault or his, the blame lies squarely on abuses in his past
    – explain how you feel firmly and with facts
    – always start a conversation or participate in one by validating his feelings (right or wrong validation is absolutely key)
    – pick good timing to help him think about how reality may be different from his feelings
    – DO NOT get angry back or even fake angry (I was so frustrated once I pretended to yell at him to get a response out of him – he had a psychotic episode, very very scary
    -he needs to know I am there 100%, he texts me morning and night at least. I oblige him in reply because I understand he needs this and in fact I look forward to his texts, after all we are best friends!
    – when he’s in a funk I tell him I know he will be ok and I leave him to it, this is called de-escalating
    – doing anything more like trying to comfort him or press him to him men’s I am insincere, I doubt him, and I’m not his friend because I don’t have confidence in him
    – usually write a few sentences of encouragement on text, tell him I love him (I do and he needs this reassurance), and then leave it.
    – DO NOT add gas to the emotional fire at all costs, even if you have to walk away do it
    – I compliment him on his progress, this is called reinforcement
    – I make sure he knows that I appreciate him and the good parts of his personality.
    – I make sure he knows I will never leave him
    – if you love your friend you may have no choice other than to accept tests. The craziest one I “passed” was that I had to prove to him that I understood/lived him more than his wife. Basically I reached out to his wife to compare notes on his behavior and educated her on BPD, which made his home life much more bearable. Basically she got off his back and stopped adding fuel to the fire and changed her responses to him. It was a cry for help to help him get his wife some knowledge about his condition. I was forced to do this for him, as he was afraid she would leave him if his dirty secrets were exposed.
    – don’t assume good times or bad times will be forever, he changes his outlook on life frequently.
    – don’t assume logic ever applies, he is an emotional creature
    – his emotions dictate his reality, recognize this
    – as his emotions change, his reality and the truth changes, this is not lying, this is distorted concepts of object permanence (look it up)
    – and lastly, I never ever ever gave up on him and I never wills being a non required sacrifice and the greatest lesson in love you will ever be provelaged to learn. It will test you like fire, and if you love your BPD best friend, you will most certainly find your own way!

    Joshua

  17. Mona lotinbed

    A close friend of mine has BPD, and I have aspbergers. We’ve had our disagreements but considering that my friend has BPD, I’m amazed with how well my friend has been able to manage having BPD…and we have an awesome time together and my friend seems to understand me on a deeper levelin some ways more than anyone who else I know…now, having aspbergers, I need my alone time and tend to feel drained from crowds as does my friend, so we have bonded over that and understand eachother. so we’re able to maybe not interact with eachother for a month and be ok, or interact every other day for a week, or whatever….but also, after visiting at my friend’s place, I always send my friend a text that I made it home safely (this way there isn’t worries about whether I got into a car crash or if I was murdered or whatever else). I don’t mind if my friend texts me to ask if I’m ok either, since being creative myself, I understand the negative about creativity and being able to imagine several ideas or ways that how something could go bad..and another, probably the most important bond we have that keeps our friendship strong is our love for animals. Having aspbergers, I feel like animals understand me better than humans and I feel like I understand animals moreso than humans. not to mention, animals love unconditionally and don’t care if you have a mental condition…they will still love you just the same. now with that said and considering that many individuals with BPD suffered from abuse earlier in their lives from humans who hurt them (emotionally or/and physically ), if people ~ neurotypical and the special minded ones alike~ were to love each other like animals love us, everyone , not people with BpD, would be a lof better off, and I would guess that individuals who had BPD without unconditional love wouldn’t have any symptoms of BPD or have reduced symptoms of BPD as a result. I say this because my friend feels unconditional love from pets and if you saw how much love my friend has for these pets, you would be amazed with how big a heart my friend has. I don’t know anyone else who loves their and cares for them more than my friend…and I have a very bonding with my friend’s pets as well, so to see someone you love being loving to an animal you love, it can really bring two people closer to a unconditional loving friendship. I’m telling you if you saw the way my friend’s loves their pets, you wouldn’t have a doubt that people with BPD are able to love and can and love… and even love that goes deeper than a lemming’s “love” since I wouldn’t define the average healthy human relationship as unconditional love…but then again, I have aspbergers so what would I know…oh, and I’m not supposed to know what sarcasm is either. ha

  18. Mona lotinbed

    pieces of poop. my last comment has some serious typos. heh, at one part I meant to say. everyone, not just people with BPD, would be a lot better off…then I meant to say that if people with BPD had been loved unconditionally, they probably wouldn’t have any bpd related symptoms or their symptoms would be reduced as a result from being loved…is not exactly words for word as what I typed but is the general idea I waa trying to say… (hey, I rode the short school bus so hopefully you cut me some slack)…there’s more typos I missed but hopefully my last comment is not too confusing to understand my babblings. thanks

  19. I just found out that my friend has BPD and I’m finding it very hard to stay her friend right now. She has recently lashed out at all of her close friends and becomes very accusitory and defensive when I try to support her. She tells me she needs to talk about her family life, I offer my listening ears, and then she tells me I’m an awful friend because I don’t really care about her problems and she thinks she’s a burden and that I don’t care. And I try to tell her I do and then she just accuses me of hating her.
    She’s said some awful things and hit some low blows and her responses to me seem manipulative and abusive. My stomach flips when I see her name pop up on my phone because I know I’ll gave to walk on eggshells and risk another outlash (which come frequently). I’m just finding it very hard to stay friends with her because I know I don’t deserve this abuse, but I also know it’s not her fault. Any advice would be appreciated because I am so close to just ending the friendship.

  20. Kara, just try to stay strong and implement clear boundaries while still being loving if you can. Your BPD friend probably expects you to end the friendship because if you do it will prove to her she’s not worthy of friends (the underlying thought process of the BPD). Many times these people will act out self fulfilling prophecies where they push people away and can then say to themselves “see, this person left. No one stays everyone abandons me.”

    But the question you have is what to do… put up some boundaries, the next time your friend starts lashing out at you calmly tell her that you don’t like the way she’s speaking to you and that you are going to hang up until she can speak to you in a better way, or something like that. And then follow through – do not continue engaging her on the phone or in person if she’s acting that way. Remove yourself. But you can say something like “I’m here for you when you need me, and our friendship is important to me, I’m not leaving you, but I won’t allow you to talk to me like that either. So let’s talk when Its a better time.” Hope that helped!

    Now question for the community – I read Joshua’s post about the “FP” or “favorite person”, and that USED to be me for my BPD best friend. But she slowly started the devaluation process about a year ago and it’s been awful for me. She’s not necessarily flying off the handle at me, but it’s so clear I’m not the FP anymore… she barely reaches out and when we are together she’s not very engaged and it’s super clear. It’s very hurtful to me but I’m not sure what I should do. I’ve tried to address it but she denies having an issue with me and then ends up getting angry at me for bringing it up. Any suggestions? Anyone ever experience this?

  21. @Kara

    I am in the exact same boat. I have a message typed up and ready to send but I worry she’ll go ahead and kill herself. I wish I was joking. In the past when we’ve had a bad fight she’d write up a suicide story and send it to me without any explanation, to which she admitted she wanted a reaction (wanted to reaffirm that I love her) and I’m trying so hard to read these articles and remain understanding, but after having done nothing but support her for years I am suddenly “unforgivable” because I phrased something wrong.
    I said “It makes no sense that you’d think that way” and explained my pov on something, and suddenly I was taking a massive dump on her and her disorder and “there is no fixing it”. I agree, it was an insensitive way to words things, but she was asking for advice then refusing to listen to any of it, and just needed me to assure she was worthy of love and what not. When I instead answered with my thoughts, all hell broke loose. She wants me to be understanding of everything going on in her brain but she won’t be understanding when I, for the first time, worded something insensitively.
    She also suddenly decided to accuse me of having snapped at her and spoken down to her as if I was better than her, out of nowhere.

    I can’t take it anymore. I am so, so exhausted trying to be there for her. I never wanted to be one of the people who would, as Ali put it would make her “self fulfilling prophecy” come true, but I have reached my limit. Everyone I try to speak to just tell me to leave and never look back, but knowing it is not her fault, but her pasts’ fault, makes it all the more harder.
    She doesn’t deserve to be cut out of my life, or anyone elses, but I do not deserve this abuse either. I have extreme conflict anxiety due to my father having explosive anger issues in the past and she is terrifying when she’s mad, because of the black and white issue, it goes straight from extreme love to extremely nasty and abusive, and since she knows me inside out she knows exactly what to say to hurt me the most. And I dare say nothing in return. I’m like a fucking open target just taking each shot she sends my way, and it hurts. But I’m not allowed to feel anything, because she hurts more.

    I don’t know what to do. I really don’t.

  22. Anonymous

    I have a friend of 10 years who is BPD. Her behavior has become increasingly erratic over the last year culminating in suicidal ideation to gain attention. (as in messages saying “I tried to call you last night to say goodbye, I was going to kill myself). It leaves me feeling as though she is manipulating me into being afraid of not immediately responding to her.

    I feel bad for her but I honestly do not have the skills or the emotional availability to continue dropping everything. It’s got to where in addition to my own life stressors I feel like I’m drowning in the constant demands for attention and guilt trips if I don’t respond to an email fast enough or pick up the phone. She needs professional help, and it’s not reasonable to expect another person to save her. It makes me feel like I’m drowning. I love her, I feel very bad for her, but it’s just too overwhelming a responsibility. We have to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of other people – and if they are spiraling out of control i think it’s ok to admit what they need is beyond your pay grade.

  23. I’ve realized my friend has BPD. She has ended so many relationships with men and women, where they no longer speak. It is always something they have done. She is always so smarter than everyone else. She doesn’t speak to her parents, and her children don’t speak to her. She doesn’t want to work, and if she does work, it ends badly in an argument with the coworker and now she is unemployed. She mooches off everyone as far as I can see, and has become more and more negative about every single thing, especially things I have personally done for her or criticizes people who are close to me. So negative all the time. An energy suck. I’ve actually never really known her to actually hold a job. She hustles men for drinks at the bar and borrows money from me that doesn’t get paid back. Recently, she alluded that her parents hit her, and wasn’t g oing back. She hinted that she needed a room to live and when I didn’t offer it, she flipped out, saying I couldn’t empathize with her situation. She started telling me all my faults. Well, I haven’t known her for very long, and I have children and a family of my own. Until she gets help, I cannot enable or help her her any longer.

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