BPD Distortion Campaigns

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December 29th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

One of the classic behaviors of a person suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder is the vilification campaign. The target is the person against whom the perpetrator Borderline conducts the vilification.  The intent is to destroy the target’s reputation and thereby destroy the target’s relationships with family and friends, employers, co-workers, doctors, teachers, therapists, and others. The intent may even be to force the target to leave the community, put the target in prison, or even kill the target.  As with so many things involving Borderlines and their typical inability to understand or respect boundaries, there really are no limits. They will use basically any means available to them to cause damage to their target, including denigration, endless disparaging remarks, fabrication, false accusations, and even teaching others (including their children!) to lie on their behalf as part of their vilification campaign.

Distortion Campaigns Not Limited to BPD Victims

People without BPD may practice vilification campaigns, also, but they are often tied to BPD or similar personality disorders, especially Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The classic BPD book Stop Walking on Eggshells refers to these as distortion campaigns.  This choice of words emphasizes that the campaign employs lies, exaggerations, fictions, partial truths, and other reality distortion techiques.  As it is unusual for a Borderline engaging in a vilification campaign to not use distortions, we shall refer to these as distortion campaigns just as the authors of Stop Walking on Eggshells have done.

It’s a myth that only women have BPD. Older research suggested that about 75% of BPD cases occur in women and that about 2% of the population is affected. Newer research shows that the ratio is probably closer still, possibly nearly evenly split, and that as much as 6% of the population may suffer from it.

It can be very difficult to distinguish BPD from similar personality disorders, particular from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) as both tend to involve a lot of emotional abuse. Many believe that males are more likely to have NPD and females BPD. Other disagree. Psychology is a very subjective science. Gender bias in therapists and researchers often makes it even more subjective.

Please don’t assume if I use a gender-specific pronoun such as “he” or “she” that I mean the statement only applies to men or women. Writing in a gender-neutral manner in English can be awkward at times because the language lacks a truly gender-neutral third person pronoun for people that could replace the use of “he” and “she”. “It” just doesn’t sound right, and repetitively using “he or she” makes for some annoying reading.

Most of what I write here about distortion campaigns applies equally to men and women suffering from BPD or NPD or even a combination of the two as. Recent research shows that BPD and NPD are often present at the same time.

Distortion Campaign Does Not Intend to Help the Target

It’s critical to differentiate between a real distortion campaign and something that may look like one but is not.  For instance, Borderlines often have drug and substance abuse problems.  If a family member or friend of a Borderline tries to get help for the Borderline by discussing the problems with other family members and friends, this is not a distortion campaign.  It is based upon caring about the person and trying to discuss what is going wrong in order to get help. There is not intent to harm.  But a Borderline may have a very hard time distinguishing the intent of helping and lack of intent to harm.  Such a friend or family member may be accused by the Borderline of conducting a distortion campaign, even though this is not accurate.

Not All Borderlines Practice Distortion Campaigns

It’s important to note that not all Borderlines practice distortion campaigns. Some exhibit more “acting in” behaviors in which they hurt themselves, such as self-mutilation (often cutting), suicide attempts, and primarily self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse or binge eating. The Borderlines who practice distortion campaigns tend to exhibit “acting out” behaviors. They go after others with the intent of hurting them.

Typical Targets: Current or Former Family Members

Distortion campaigns are often done behind the scenes against people who are or were related or emotionally close to the perpetrator.  They may start months or years before the target is even aware of the campaign.  For instance, the breakup of a relationship is often connected to a distortion campaign against a former partner.  The campaign may have started a long time before the breakup, to give the Borderline “justification” regarding what she or he has done or is about to do to the target, be it having an affairs(s), kicking them out of a home, filing false domestic violence charges, running away with the children, stealing large quantities of joint money and property, or some other hostile actions. By the time the target is aware of the distortions, people around the Borderline may have been hearing for a long time that the target is some evil, horrible, cruel person as part of the distortion campaign.

Borderline Recruits Others to Lie and Distort

The BP (short for “Borderline Personality” or “Borderline Person”) is likely to make extreme false allegations, distortions, and varied lies to defame and harm her or his former partner and other targets. The BP is also likely to involve many other people in the distortion campaign. Many are passive participants who will listen and believe the BP’s lies. Others become actively involved in spreading them further. The target may find that there are dozens of people, many whom have never met him or her, who believe and repeat the lies of the BP.


Common Lies and Distortions

What lies do BPs tell? Often they revolve around false claims of partner abuse, child abuse, perverse sexual behaviors, drug and substance abuse, mental illness, and criminal conduct. BPs tend to pick false accusations that are difficult to disprove. Although we supposedly live in a society in which people are “innocent until proven guilty”, the reality is, that is not how people are treated. This is especially the case when accusations of sexual abuse, child abuse, and spousal abuse are involved. The victims of the distortion campaign often are treated as pariahs or even criminals, assumed to be guilty without any evidence whatsoever.

The perhaps surprising aspect of many of these defamatory statements is that they are not about the target at all. Often BPs are aware at some level that they themselves are doing these bad behaviors. So instead of taking responsibility for their own problems, they blame them on others. This behavior is known as “projection.”  (See Wikipedia: Psychological Projection)

For example, an emotionally and physically abusive BP female will falsely accuse her male partner of abuse. A typical example might be a distortion such as blaming him for an incident of physical abuse. She may tell others that her husband got mad at her, started yelling and screaming at her, and then slammed the door on her hand to break her finger. This might even be part of the truth. She’ll get a lot of sympathy, people will think bad things about her husband, and she gains allies. That is, so long as nobody hears the full truth before they’ve been effectively brainwashed by her.

The full truth might be that she was very angry at her husband.  She came at her husband with a knife while berating him loudly. (Reputable studies indicate that females use weapons to commit domestic violence more than males do.)  She might have been drunk, or maybe was just irate. (Borderlines often have substance abuse problems and nearly always have trouble controlling their emotions — it is sometimes called “Emotional Intensity Disorder.”)  He may have then yelled “Stay away from me!”, fled the room, and slammed the door behind him as he tried to get away. He was acting in self-defense trying to escape a bad situation the BP wife created. But she will reliably tell everybody that he screamed at her, slammed the door on her hand and broke her finger. She will portray it as a pattern of abuse by him, even though the real abuser is her. This is lying by partial truth and distortion. BPs excel at this. They are believed and seldom questioned because of their emotional intensity and conviction they exhibit while they repeat their lies.

Related to projections is the behavior known as “gaslighting” in which the Borderline tries to confuse a person into believing things that are not true. Often this is to create self-doubt in the victim. The target for this abuse can end up questioning his or her own sanity as the Borderline matter-of-factly relates “events” or “things said” that the target does not recall because they never occurred. You can read more about this behavior in our article Borderlines Can Make You Feel Insane Via “Gaslighting”. If you realize that the Borderline in your life is engaging in gaslighting against you, this is often a good clue that he or she is probably also capable of running a distortion campaign. After all, if they have you confused about your own experiences, they will likely have a much easier time misleading others to believe inaccurate negative misinformation about you.

Borderlines Have Trouble Knowing the Truth

BPs have trouble knowing what the truth is. This is due to a combination of problems. Sometimes they may experience cognitive dissociations in which they temporarily break from reality and may honestly experience reality completely differently from any observers, even video cameras will not agree with their version of reality.

Other times, it may simply be from their extensive pathological lying and avoidance of the truth. As a result, they may repeat their vilifying lies in varying inconsistent versions. The inconsistencies won’t be simply of opinions, they will be of even basic facts. They may have such trouble keeping their lies straight that they will come up with multiple versions of events, often growing in severity, over repeated tellings of their lies. Version one might be that somebody raised a hand to strike them, version two might be that somebody pushed them to the ground, version three might be that somebody tried to strangle them, and so forth. The reality might be that they slipped, fell and hurt themselves . But reality does not matter to Borderlines, what matters is the ability to convince other people to take their sides and to protect themselves from “threats” such as being alone or being held accountable for their actions.

Trouble Recognizing Borderline Liars

Why don’t people see the BPs who conduct distortion campaigns as the liars they are? The reasons are many. Often BPs tell varying lies to different people who don’t “compare notes” and so don’t see what should be really obvious deception. Often the BP’s emotional intensity and ability to play on people’s emotions makes them master manipulators. People tend to “just believe” because the BP can come across as very charming, warm and friendly. Untrained, uncritical listeners are particularly susceptible at being duped by their lies. Eventually, they may believe the lies so completely that even when confronted with evidence such as writings, photographs, recordings, 3rd party versions of events, and other evidence, they will refuse to accept that they were duped into believing lies.

Even many mental health care professionals will fall for the distortion campaign for a while. They get sucked into false sympathy and emotional alignment with the BP rapidly. They fall for false stereotypes, such as “all men are abusers”, that BPs use to their advantage. 

Many mental health care providers have not kept up to date on reliable psychological research that amply documents that “men are abusers, women are victims” is not the truth.  (See Women commit more than 70% of single-partner DV)  They may tend to be empathetic and take the statements of their patients at face value. Many of them also lack specialized training in recognizing and treating personality disorders. With the necessary training and skils, many of them can be easily suckered into believing the Borderline lies.

Adverse Impact on the Targets

What happens to people who are victims of BPD distortion campaigns? Here are some of the examples of the results:

  1. They are alienated from their family and friends.
  2. They lose contact with their children for months or even years.
  3. They lose their jobs.
  4. They spend tens of thousands of dollars or more fighting false accusations of the BP attacking them.
  5. They have restraining orders placed upon them based upon false accusations.
  6. They end up in jail or prison due to false accusations.
  7. They develop severe mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and others.
  8. Some commit suicide.

Distortion campaigns can destroy people’s lives, even becoming lethal. This is particularly the case when the people around the BP’s victim do not understand how Borderline Personality Disorder works. The victims of distortion campaigns need extensive support from others in order to survive such an experience without life-altering damage. Although an estimated 6% of the US population suffers from BPD, most people do not end up being targeted with a BPD distortion campaign. As a result, they have trouble understanding how severe, damaging, unrelenting, and widespread these campaigns can be. And many of the victims of distortion campaigns consequently are left without effective support systems and suffer far worse damage than might have been the case if their friends and family understood they are being victimized by a Borderline.

The distortion campaign also tends to damage many people around the BP.  Divorce situations in which the children are taught by a Borderline parent to hate the other parent based upon lies is very common.  This is also known as “parental alienation”.  (See Wikipedia: Parental Alienation)  Parental alienation can be so severe that it may permanently damage the relationship between the target parent and the children.  It is important to keep in mind that parental alienation is a form of emotional child abuse.  Borderlines or others who do this to children are child abusers.

The damage does not stop with the immediate family.  It tends to spill over into all relationships around the target as the target is accused of crimes, immoral and unethical behaviors, embarassing incidents, and so forth.  The siblings, parents, new spouse, friends, and employers of the target may all suffer serious damage from the distortion campaign.  The target may be unable to function normally, have insomnia and other sleep disorders, not be able to work normal hours or focus on work, and even feel afraid to been seen in public. This may be a time during which those around the target have to band together to help the target in safe settings.  However, by doing so, the target’s support system itself may become a new target for the BP.  It is not unusual for the BP to proceed to attack people the BP sees as helping the target.  They may endure distortion campaigns.  As a way to protect everybody, it may be useful to minimize knowledge that the BP obtains about the people around the target.  The target and those who support him or her may need to become very secretive about their lives in order to protect themselves from ever-widening and intensifying attack by the BP.

Borderlines Must Be Held Accountable

Borderlines did not chose to be mentally ill, but they must be held accountable for their actions. We must educate ourselves and others about Borderline Personality Disorder and act to keep people who suffer from BPD and similar mental health problems from harming others. It is in the best interests of everybody, victims of BPs, the BPs themselves, and all the people around them, for these people to be identified. Once identified, others can be protected from them and attempts can be made at getting them into effective treatment. Although today’s treatments may not cure many of them, they may learn to curb their destructive behaviors, hurt others less, and lead happier lives themselves. But that is not going to happen without awareness, identification, and willingness to tackle the problems posed by this mental illness.

Recent Articles Mentioning BPD

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Further Reading

Relationships and Divorces with Someone Who Suffers Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderlines Make You Feel Insane Via “Gaslighting”

Borderline Mom: Emotional Self Defense for Children

Recovering from Personality Disordered Abusive Relationships

How to Win Custody by Framing Your Ex for Child Sexual Abuse

What is the Cost of BPD to Society?

Click here for more coverage of Borderline Personality Disorder.

High Conflict Institute: HCP Definitions

Heather Mills and Her Vilification Campaign

  1. Bill Wright
    July 25th, 2009 at 10:50 | #1

    I have lived your descriptions above, my wife BPD took her life two and a half years ago. The vilification began six months before her death. Married almost 39 years.

  2. Eralynn
    December 9th, 2009 at 20:40 | #2

    I am living this now. I survived one round of vilification and am in for another round in family court. It has nearly cost me my life, my business and now my home and my daughter is only 10 years old. The BPD just won’t stop….. He told me I have 8 years to go and the lawyers and the courts just don’t get it. I even have hard evidence.
    I am sorry for your loss Bill Wright but it would be a favor to me.

  3. Atlanta One
    December 20th, 2009 at 16:22 | #3

    Living this story for about nine years from someone that married my younger brother…good article…very accurate.

  4. Carol
    February 2nd, 2010 at 18:09 | #4

    My husband is a vilification victim of his ex-wife. He has also spent many years (7) and $100K’s in Court fighting for his children. While the courts haven’t recognized her BPD at least they have her controlled. She can only visit with the children for a few hours per week under supervised conditions. We have begun the process of undoing the effect of alienation. In the meantime she has taken to the Internet (surprise) to continue her vilification campaign. We are fortunate that for the most part no one pays attention – just the those who unwittingly get caught up in her outrageous story.

    Yes, this article is VERY accurate and informative. Perhaps one day there will be a faster resolution to identifying and controlling those who suffer from BPD and minimize the damage to others.

  5. Joseph
    March 2nd, 2010 at 21:04 | #5

    Does projection and obsessiveness ever interact with BPD? I know of someone who obsessively projected BPD upon their spouse, and claimed that a vilification campaign was being waged against them, while it was clear to everyone involved that the roles were reversed. Pretty bizarre, but nevertheless, that person ultimately faked their loss of a job (quit), spent $200,000 in attorney fees, and ended up with minimal time with the children, and despite ongoing therapy, continues to suffer. Can a person like this ever be cured of these disorders?

  6. T. S. Adler
    March 29th, 2010 at 13:04 | #6

    Joseph said: “Does projection and obsessiveness ever interact with BPD? I know of someone who obsessively projected BPD upon their spouse, and claimed that a vilification campaign was being waged against them, while it was clear to everyone involved that the roles were reversed.”

    That’s a typical distortion campaign. The false charge that the victim is waging a distortion campaign is an especially pure example of projection, but projection is so common in these things that the false charge(s) can serve as warnings of what the malicious person is secretly up to, or afraid of being caught at. For example, a false charge of infidelity might be a hot clue to check for infidelity. The false statement, “You did X to me,” can often translate pretty directly into a true statement, “I did X to you.”

    Just as a thought, a hot clue here might be in what the false distortion campaign was supposed to be alleging.

    As another thought: Like with a bear or a tiger, it’s noble to worry about the needs of a person with a personality disorder, and to be concerned at their suffering, but the first priority is to keep them from hunting and killing people, terrorizing the survivors, destroying vital resources, and secretly spreading lies about people. Bears are the worst, because the lies are almost never traced back.

    • March 30th, 2010 at 20:08 | #7

      T.S. Adler made a very accurate comment that Borderlines often falsely allege their victims are the ones who are running vilification campaigns.

      “Joseph” appears to be describing a case that has similar details with one which I am familiar. While I don’t know if it is the same case, I suspect that it is, that “Joseph” doesn’t know the facts or is fabricating and distorting about them, and that “he” is either the wife in the case or somebody working with her to further attack the husband.

      If “Joseph” was writing about the case of which I am aware, he probably doesn’t know that “his friend” was found by the court to have falsely accused her husband of domestic violence and child sexual abuse and to have coached their children to report these things against their father. He probably also doesn’t know that she had a affair with a coworker when she was pregnant. That affair culminated in her duping her husband into dropping her off at airport to fly to a nice climate for a “relaxing weekend” which she claimed was just by herself using a ticket that a coworker bought for her as a present.

      But it was really a trip she arranged with her lover. They proceeded to have sex when she was seven months pregnant. The husband years later found out about this affair and also discovered that the lover was also helping destroy this man’s life and spreading around claims that he was a child molester who should die in prison. The lying wife and her lover continued the affair on and off for years while she was married and after she filed for divorce, even continuing it after her lover married.

      But even though all of that is true, she has been lying to other people for years that her ex-husband was having affairs. That’s where the projection comes in. She was the one having affairs, hiding them, and then spreading around the false claims that it was her husband who was doing it. Borderlines often engage in sexual promiscuity, it is part of their very nature as reflected by the mention of this behavior in the DSM-IV criteria for BPD.

      She spread these lies to friends, family, and his coworkers, just like what she did with her false domestic violence and child sexual abuse allegations that cost her husband his time with his children, his health, and his job.

      While she asserts that he faked his job loss and quit, the facts are that her continuing harassment of him left him unable to work effectively and unable to work full-time as his employer normally demands. Then she or somebody associated with her sent threatening email to his company containing many of her false child sexual abuse allegations and a demand that he be fired. He had even more trouble working after this and became well-known to the large company’s HR department which was concerned about employee safety, both his and that of other employees. Eventually after a long time of trying to work around his inability to focus on his job given the harassment he was enduring, they told him he had a choice to either sign a release of liability and quit to get some severance pay or to be fired and get no severance pay. He opted to quit, sign the release, and get the severance pay. This is a common way to fire a troubled employee while minimizing liability for a company. Yet the wife and people like “Joseph” are now spreading around false statements even about this job loss that they caused.

      In the end, the broken family law courts gave her custody with little time for the kids to spend with their father. This was against the recommendations of the psychological evaluation in the case which cited that the wife was not credible and that joint legal and physical custody was recommended.

      The evaluator didn’t like how the husband had reacted to being falsely accused of DV and child sexual abuse and the many other defamatory statements the wife spread about him as it worsened the conflict. Yet the judge refused to hold the wife accountable for the ongoing serious false allegations that triggered the husband’s reactions to attempt to expose the wife’s hostile and dishonest behaviors to make her unable to continue the defamation against him.

      The judge appeared to have zero understanding of cause and effect (e.g., attack vs. response) and refused to carefully examine evidence that matched the husband’s testimony, instead effectively calling him a liar because the judge was too lazy, incompetent, and biased to examine critical evidence over which much of the divorce trial had focused. The judge also made numerous factually inaccurate statements that are at odds with evidence and testimony, including stating that the husband believes the wife is “bipolar” when in fact he believes she has BPD and has never believed or claimed that she is bipolar. It is clear the judge is incompetent, sloppy, and is likely biased with a personal animosity towards the husband and/or a gender bias towards the wife.

      Even though the wife got nearly everything she wanted, she still wasn’t happy with that. Since the trial ended, she has been working hard to block the children from seeing their father, block him from being able to pick up the children from school as ordered by the court, engaging in further defamation against him including continuing to insist that he is a violent man who is a child molester around whom the children are not safe, and attempting to interfere with visitations, the children’s access to their extended family, and dishonestly color their opinions of their relatives especially including their father. The wife is a parental alienator, something that is common for Borderlines.

      I strongly suspect “Joseph” may be a part of this recently stepped up distortion campaign.

      I hope that readers may now have a better understanding of just how deceitful these people are and some of the methods they use to wage their distortion campaigns to ruin their target’s lives.

  7. Albert
    April 8th, 2010 at 20:15 | #8

    The comment about “minimal time with the children” is weird coming from a guy. This maltreatment is common for fathers and kids. Here’s a quote from another site about how sexist the courts are against fathers:

    Despite a shift toward shared custody over the last 20 years, up to half of fathers lose contact with their kids after a divorce. “In 85% of divorces, fathers get just two weekends a month and a couple of hours during the week,” says Mike McCormick of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.

    So Joseph is saying that happens even to fathers who spend their life’s savings on trying to get time with their kids. Fathers get no justice and no equal rights! This teaches children that fathers don’t matter much and boys and men will be treated unfairly.

  8. Tariq Mousa
    May 29th, 2010 at 00:28 | #9

    PROVERBS 24
    11 Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

    12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
    Does not he who guards your life know it?
    Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

  9. Tariq Mousa
    May 29th, 2010 at 00:46 | #10

    15 Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against a righteous man’s house,
    do not raid his dwelling place;

    16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again,
    but the wicked are brought down by calamity.

    17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
    when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice,

    18 or the LORD will see and disapprove
    and turn his wrath away from him.

    19 Do not fret because of evil men
    or be envious of the wicked,

    20 for the evil man has no future hope,
    and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.

  10. Tariq Mousa
    May 29th, 2010 at 09:04 | #11

    Regardless of how a person with Borderline Personality Disorder alters and tailor her appearance and actions to please others, she often presents with a clear and characteristic personality pattern over time. This pattern usually evolves through three stages: The Vulnerable Seducer, The Clinger, and The Hater. This evolution may take months, and sometimes even years to cycle through. In the later periods, the personality often swings wildly back and forth from one phase to the next.

  11. eralynn
    June 10th, 2010 at 19:04 | #12

    Well I just noticed I posted here in December. It is June. My daughter is being forced to meet this monster tomorrow. He has torn through my life, my finances and my spirit. I am in disbelief how empowered he becomes with just being heard while telling his lies. A multi convicted felon just released from prison and all the while I realize my years of doing the right thing by this child and by the law are irrelevent to the courts. I don’t lie so this is my demise. I really appreciate Proverbs from Tariq as I needed that. It is bizarro world to be in this. I am accused of all he has done and is. Nobody is willing to look at the facts or connect the dots for the sake of a little girl. I am not the same a year after this started and I am a strong person. He has gained while I have lost.
    He said to me “how do you think I feel? I hurt everyone I care about.” I just don’t get it. I did nothing to this person ever except respond to something after years of no contact in an understandable way but never had the chance to discuss or work anything out. I was attacked. I feel like killing me would have been kinder than breaking my core beliefs and slowly taking all that I believed in from me. This disorder is brutal and I cannot understand why or how this should be able to go on.
    I have heard police call it “disorder disorder” as it just creates disorder.
    I sure hope something shifts before long but hearing 7 years, $100,000 and $200,000, it is mind blowing and such a waste of precious life.
    I long for my life.
    No matter man or woman who has dealt with this, it is destruction and needless.

  12. paul d
    July 6th, 2010 at 09:09 | #13

    Reading the comments and the articles is like reading the story book of my life whilst only married for 3.5 years and with one child. The word “projection” is exactly what happens.

    Being only out with friends twice in the last year has led to breaking of house items, locking doors, now eviction, threats of divorce, and not seeing my son again.

    Quite honestly it is too much. I wake up early in the morning and sometimes barely have a shower so I am out of the house before she wakes. If she does, I have no idea what that person will be or a phone call during the day will start nice then end up with #$#% off you don’t understand etc., etc.

    Then the walk of doom to come home. I ponder sometimes how death row people feel. When I open the door, I have no idea what person will come to visit me and will that person be there all night or will it last 30 minutes or 3 hours.

    But she knows how to hurt, taking my son out of my arms when she knew I wasn’t going to argue in front of her, abusing and threatening in the house and by phone but never in public, and now the accusation that I beat her all the time which is absolute rubbish.

    Living in a non-English speaking country is difficult enough without the additional isolation and lack of support.

  13. Atlanta One
    August 18th, 2010 at 01:51 | #14

    Eralynn,

    I know my support is just words when it comes to the destruction of the BPD v/d campaign, but that is what I have to offer. I am so sincerely sorry for your encounter and can tell you that as an 11 yr. old victim of the campaign that it is a terrible thing and wish you well!!! I have lost virtually all friends, relatives, acquaintances, strangers and jobs due to a “BPD?” v/d campaign. Stalkers (borderline, acting out, waif, rejected stalkers) have much in common and I only talked to the person for a few minutes about boring unrelated topics upon meeting before going “no contact.”

    You are not alone! “Mine” is a female HR lawyer (go figure) and is relentless! DSM IV Cluster B proxies stink! The “stalker” married my younger brother “S” about six years ago.

    Atlanta One

  14. Zap
    September 25th, 2010 at 04:28 | #15

    So very grateful for your article, having experienced some of this distortion campaign and being damaged by it myself, from my BPD boyfriend. It’s hard for me to be concise especially about emotional content, so I’ve started a response to the article that is not yet completed and it will be posted in parts. Although I wasn’t perfect in the relationship I am certain what I was up against was the cold heart of a BPD sufferer, although he didn’t appear to be suffering much when he gave me the finger as the police took me away from his house, he having the police thinking I was a chronic abuser and he was an innocent and nice young male victim who’d been abused.

    OMGsh I cannot tell you how validating this article is to me. At present, I am depressed and hurting from a breakup with a BPD’d boyfriend who broke up with me a little over two years ago. (Sounds like a long time, but read on.) This was after he began his campaign and set me up for some terrific damage, and I will also, to be fair, tell how my faults came into the picture. He never mentioned Borderline and I believe knew nothing about it, but I am not certain of it. I have recently asked him if he was familiar with it and he said “no.” He is very much a BPD. I will tell you that all the time we were together, and most all of the time since, I knew next to nothing about BPD. In a recent exchange, I was left hurting and puzzled as to how his mind works such that I began a research project online.

    Somewhere not so long ago — I might have read a blurb online, for example, — I had seen “Borderline” and I regret that I don’t recall specifically what I read; but suffice it to say that I gleaned out enough of an idea about it that a marker in my mind noted a possible similarity to how my boyfriend behaves. This came to me hours after a recent hurtful talk with him from which I felt such unrest, and for peace of mind more than anything, I keyed in Borderline. That was about 3 weeks ago. I have read, searched, read, scrutinized a wealth of info about the disorder since, reading also blogs of SOs and about treatments.

    In being fortunate to come across articles such as this — this and one and a handful of others stand out — that convey very on point what I have had the misfortunate to experience with my BPD boyfriend (ex). They have validated my feelings and explained so much that was not explained in my mind, and from the very beginning of our meeting up to the present, the symptoms described have fit, so that I have no doubts. I just wish the disorder did not affect their ability to absorb the material and compare from their standpoint, themselves with what is described. I believe I can get him to read some, but that he will become angry and turn off to what has been written, if I were to send him copied material that describes his behaviors, for example.

    A recent hurtful talk consisted of a 1 1/2-hour talk outside his house in the winter cold on a Friday morning (his voice mail said he would be out until Monday), with him insulting, blaming, and shaming me throughout, putting me down.

    I had driven 25 miles to get there, primarily to plead with him not to go through with his threat two days earlier of getting a restraining order, having had enough legal trouble related to him over two years ago, still a menace to my becoming employed. Specifically, my driving there on this Friday morning, was due to his having gotten livid over the phone on Wednesday afternoon because I called one too many times, and his verbal and emotional abuse became him at that point. His verbal assaults were and have been representative of overkill (and painful to me), not befitting the circumstances. So this was Wednesday p.m. on the phone; I was threatened with a restraining order; he said he wished he had a girlfriend, he’d send her over to “trash” or “thrash” me; he said something like he would have liked to knock my block off in the car when we talked the night before (Tuesday — for 3 hours — in his car outside of where I was moving from), and he made another comment “I should have killed you,” referring to when we were in a relationship over two years ago.

    I was left bewildered and panicky, knowing he might actually seek a restraining order, thus I was led to try and try and try to get him by phone at his job Thursday seeking reassurance he wouldn’t go through with this, but I continually, without exception got his voice mail. At the end of Thursday having called repeatedly to no avail, I heard his message had changed to that he wouldn’t be in Friday, and I knew from experience with him he might be going to pursue the order. I was terribly upset, and he lives 25 miles away and I have no car…I tried beginning Thursday evening to borrow one and was able to get a friend’s word I could borrow his car early Friday morning, hence I went, thinking I needed to get to him before he left for the PPO office.

    But I should never have had to do this: Tuesday, the eve before his angry Wednesday p.m. threats (and they are temper-tantrum-like intimidating threatening comments), he had shown up to talk, good to his word, and we did so for 3 hours. No one was forcing him to be there talking with me for 3 hours, and in that time, he went from holding hands, to barring his teeth and getting in my face, to allowing me to kiss him good night; most of the talk was quiet and peaceful. It was the second long talk we had had in about a month and a half. So to turn on me felt shocking, and wrong.

    We broke up over 2 years ago, and were together 1 1/2 years, in which time we lived together. I have been loving him but have been without him a long time now. The first 6 months we did not talk at all, and I tried to get myself to a better place financially, which to this day has not been completed, and I have felt this had hurt our relationship as well. Had I had money and a steady income I would not have lived with him. The next 6 months were splotchy contacts about some of my belongings (a lot of boxes and some furniture) still at his house.

    Once I was in more stable living quarters as of March of 2009 (we had been broken up almost a year and a half total), I began to more consistently try to win him over, to win him back, to show I was changed for the better, still loved him, and believed we could surmount out troubles and be happy together. I was believing at one time he had truly loved me. I was so wanting us to be as loving as we were back at that time and knowing we could make a relationship better than ours was even then; however I did not know about BPD.

    So since my own campaign began around March of 2009 (to help us get to a point where we could start over), I have given so much from my heart to no avail pretty much. His outbursts of hatred, blame and unforgiveness, following times when he behaved more neutrally, have repeatedly hurt–me knowing nothing about BPD. While I started out with determination to win him back and to not be dissuaded by negativity, his changes in behavior on a dime and unforgiveness, his attacks when I’ve shown myself for two years now to be sorry for my past mistakes, his blaming me totally and not taking responsibility for his mistakes – to experience these over and over for close to a year has been wearing my energy down; I’ve been feeling so tired and discouraged from it.

    I recently told him before reading about BPD symptoms, that I feel I have to “pad” everything I say – to be so careful so that he won’t take it the wrong way . . . he feels criticized at times when I am not being critical at all. I remember saying to him within the past few months,” I am not criticizing you at all, why would I? I love you.” In fact that Friday morning I drove to his house, he brought up something I’d said the Tuesday before in our car talk to use against me. He had totally misunderstood a great compliment to him expressed by me as to my feelings toward him. He said it had been still going around in his head since the previous Tuesday night and when I asked “Has it really?” and set him straight that it was actually a great compliment he had misunderstood, I saw no reaction of relief from him.

    For nearly 2 years–without any knowledge of BPD–I have been trying to work with his attitudes, behaviors and any remnants of feeling toward me, toward having a new start at a better relationship. Now is a new time, with different situational stressors; we had many heavy-duty ones back then. My strength of conviction that winning him back is possible has been based on several things, including how much he said he cared, and how he behaved when we were first together.

    My faith in God and in His strength have kept me strong. I have known I am very emotionally attached to my boyfriend (he wasn’t at all like this when we met!). I have been prone to rare anxiety attacks when someone I feel deeply toward is not accessible to me; this began when I was about 7, a little girl who had attached feelings toward a little boy named Carl at a lake my dad used to fish at. I remember my father saying he wasn’t going to go there anymore, and how horribly anxious I felt that I would never see little Carl again.

    Ever since then, a breakup with me has been likely to bring about one of these anxiety attacks so in a sense, I have my own issues from childhood. My mom also was able to make me feel very guilty as a young girl, and I have an active conscience. With my having been convinced by my boyfriend that he feels I was totally at fault for our r-ship’s downfall, even though I realize this is not true because I was there throughout it and I know what we each did and said, I have worked to correct whatever he and I felt was needing correction. I know I behaved badly and wrongly at times when we lived together. Now for my confessions.

    I slapped his face in reaction to his hurtful, denigrating name-calling and trashing me verbally on three occasions when I was with him, long ago. Previous to my accepting my boyfriend’s offer to live with him, I had been insensitively booted out of my brother’s house at a very bad time when he got mad about something. It was a particularly bad time to have nowhere to be since in just a few more months I would have passed the probation period at my new part-time job, and been able to seek more suitable full-time work with the same employer. Now I lived more stressfully and out of town, and was late one too many times, so lost the job. Prior to that I could not get sufficient hours anywhere, even in menial jobs to support myself for some time; the economy in MI is very bad.

    Where I have never collected unemployment, and have been privileged to work for the City over 2 1/2 years and the State over 10 years, I have truly struggled for years now to get sufficient employment to sustain myself, and this is the way it had been prior to meeting my boyfriend. He has never seen me in a better financial time, unfortunately. When he asked me to stay with him, I had no other place to go, or so I thought, and so I accepted, not truly wanting to live with him until we were married.

    So there I was. He got my things out of storage to lessen financial obligation, and brought my belongings to his house. I was insecure about depending upon him. I was too keenly aware of that I am older than he is, and I was driving an old car that eventually died. I lived out of town, The cafe job I had when moving in I lost. Now I was totally dependent, and very uncomfortable with all that was happening; I felt very stressed, but was trying to not turn off this new boyfriend and I was trying to keep some optimism in my thinking. I felt I needed his reassurance that he wasn’t down on me.

    I worried would I get a job or be humiliated in front of him not getting hired, as had been the case for too long by then. Anticipating more hardship as had been the case, I asked how he would feel if I didn’t work and he said it would be fine . . . this would come back to me as would my telling him I was experiencing age discrimination—he would later insinuate I was being lazy and making excuses. There in truth wasn’t any part of laziness in this picture and I am not lazy; I look younger than my age but I found myself being called “ma’am” in interviews, and I wasn’t getting offers. I was trying to get reassurance from him my not working wouldn’t affect our relationship; it was that I loved him, feared he’d be turned off supporting me but knew from recent past that it would likely be tough to get hired at all, let alone enough work, and I wanted his assurance in worst-case scenario, should it play out that way.

    As I grew more tense and stressed and no one was hiring me, my own insecurities were cropping up to the surface of my mind. Will he still love me if I don’t get a job? What if I get a menial job in a dumb-looking uniform (to him) and he finds me less appealing? Is he seeing smart-looking younger girls where his new job is and comparing them to me? Are his feelings changing toward me to the negative? Does he really love me as he says he does? On and on, and I would ask him; he would reassure me; he wanted me to trust him and in response to these questions for him in which I sought reassurance, he would bring this up repeatedly. He didn’t seem to understand why it was somewhat understandable I would be concerned about any of this. He reassured me but faulted me on the lack of trust.

    I was not prepared to handle all of this — previous loss of apartment, falling out with brother, job loss, not getting hired, stress building between me and the man I believed I would marry — all of this at once was not something I was prepared for, after financial struggles for years prior to this. I was becoming more anxious and depressed, and had no money to get more medication (antidepressant). I was taking his feelings and our relationship to mean so much to me — taking it so seriously; one day when he was angry and what seemed judgmental and dismissive in an argument, I slapped his face.

    I had no criminal record other than traffic misdemeanor (no DUI, no reckless) prior to meeting him. Now I have a domestic violence, a disorderly person, an attempted trespass, and two other arrests for violating a no-contact order, although those don’t carry as much weight. I really was sorry for slapping his face, and I wanted to stay out of trouble, but I was vulnerable at that time beyond imagination, and he when angry would say such mean and hurtful things; he would intimidate me with threats of being arrested for breaking the no-contact order while saying he loved me and would get it lifted at other times, while he was still having relations with me as well, knowing I wasn’t having a frivolous r-ship.

    He was instrumental in helping those convictions onto my record. Were it not for his reacting like a vindictive teenager, escalating a talk into an argument and escalating an argument into a verbal abuse free-for-all, I believe I would have one thing—the first slap on my record, and nothing beyond, although I have always questioned how can we say what would have been. As much as he had said he loved me, would always love me, that I could and should trust him, that he would never hurt me–when he became angry over my threatening to call the police on him, he pre-emptively contacted them and had me arrested, telling them a one-sided story and able to set this up behind my back.

    All that I owned was in his house and I had nowhere to go, living out of town; no car, and he didn’t allow me to use either of his two vehicles. Depressed and stressed, I was still on a level trying to trust him, and he was betraying me, making me look like a loser to these authorities, one he didn’t want around and that he was afraid of, while telling me he loved me; I didn’t know all of this at that time. He’s admitted to lying openly and arrogantly this past year.

    I believe if I had had a non-BPD boyfriend, one who didn’t lie and who was Christian, the first slap wouldn’t have occurred, and we would be happily married by now. I am not a chronic abuser, and never used physical threat intimidation, although what I did was wrong and I have very much owned up to it; I have had to further defend myself as though I am a chronic abuser he was afraid of, even though this was not true. I remained at his house in violation of the n/c order since I had no job, no car, no money, and all of my furniture and belongings were now at his house; all of my clothes, everything I owned was there; and now I wasn’t even supposed to be seen coming and going.

    It was a terrifying and miserable existence, and he was lying to me; how rotten—but in light of the BPD, it makes some wicked sense. He felt entitled to snap his fingers and have me be gone (but to where?) when he was angry (which he went to and came back from, saying he didn’t mean what he had said when angry); and he wanted to look good to everyone – it must have terrified him the two times he went to the police immediately after I had threatened to tell them how he had treated me, telling him he could be arrested himself.

    I was not familiar with shelters as I am now, having had to live in and out of them along with residing with elders of the church temporarily here and there in the past couple of years. I felt I had nowhere to go. He told me that it was his brother as to why the police just showed up at his door and took me away.

    Was he afraid of me? They told me he was terrified of me. But picture he is much taller, much stronger, yet so scared of me that he would lunge at me when I was nowhere near him, pinning me to the floor, to the couch, to the washing machine, restraining me in uncomfortable positions from which I couldn’t breathe properly. Terrified? Who being terrified, would while restraining me to the floor, on top of me holding my wrists, use my hands to hit my head? So terrified that he spat in my face, pulled my hair, wouldn’t let me up no matter how much I pled with him to let me breathe. So I bit him and this is another thing I read – he has a high pain tolerance. He wouldn’t move. He would try to shame me about biting him many times later; this wouldn’t have happened if he would have stopped abusing me and let me up to breathe.
    Imagine he was so terrified, that he would come rushing at me from two rooms away if he reacted badly to what I said, once kicking the bathroom door in when I was inside, ripping the molding off the wall. Picture the “terrified” way he head-butt me while restraining me. Picture this man locking me out of his house, showing me he had the telephone in his hand, trying to intimidate me to hitch it down the highway. Such horrible humiliation and I was so distraught.
    I came from an alcoholic father who hit my mother. A mother who was faithful, dutiful, caring and loving, but who had no support system to turn to. I believed my father should never have hit my mother, and I hated him for it while growing up. Now that I have been called a C___! multiple times, been abused verbally and emotionally by this younger BPD boyfriend whom I was very committed to and so in love with, I did wrongfully resort to slapping his face on three occasions, and I am committed that it will never happen again.

    Having watched movies and shows while growing up in which the beautiful leading ladies reacted by slapping the face of a man who had insulted them and offended them, feeling hurt and indignant at what the man had said and/or done, I too reacted in this manner. I am sorry and was was wrong for doing it, but he seemed to arrogantly be tossing my worth out by the things he said and did preceding my reactive slap to his face, I must be fair to myself to say. He was doing worse to me in my opinion. I sometimes wished he would just slap my face, instead of brutal verbal assaults in which he seemed like a different person, or instead of punishment I got from his withdrawing or from what I later learned were a pattern of lies and betrayals.
    Nevertheless, having spent time in jail, having had to endure so much humiliation and hurt ( I used to work for a police department . . . now I was disgraced, having hurt myself and the one I love ) and having had time to analyze and think about why I behaved as I did, when I hated my dad for hitting my mom.

    To be fair, my father always loved my mother but had issues he would act out when drinking; he stopped hitting my mom when I was about 8-9; he quit drinking for good when I was 18; and they are still together. They are respecting one another and helping each other in a marriage that is peaceful for many many years now, in their retirement house up north, visited often by my brothers and their families. With my boyfriend and I having broken up so long ago now, I have repented to God, and I have determined to behave better and be guided by Him, long ago.

    I never had stopped believing in God, but I was so stressed, and had fallen away from Him, not having been as strong in faith as many I’ve come to love through church, to begin with. When I found out earlier last year that my boyfriend still hated me, I purposed myself to win him over, with God’s help. I had never forgotten our loving times together and was so wanting those to return, I set out to try to rebuild myself, and to hang onto my faith in God, asking Him to bless me with a Christian marriage to my boyfriend. I didn’t know how it would all come to be, but I was wanting to try, to not become discouraged, to stand in faith, to work through whatever I had to, to make amends.

    Little did I know for the past two years that no matter how much I explained to my boyfriend how my behaviors came to be, no matter how many times we would revisit the origin of some of the same devaluing and shaming statements he would continue to hate me for — with my explanations and filling in blanks, and sincere remorse and apologies, it would not make one bit of difference, other than maybe delay a confrontational assault on me. He has been seeming to be neutral between attacks and I have many times thought progress was being made toward him forgiving me and understanding me and anything I had said or done that hurt him, on a deeper level. As it turns out, he seems to still blame me for all that went wrong. He still doesn’t evaluate and own his part, or behave as though he does.

    My issue is not that I don’t want to be blamed. It is that he — in all the time I’ve spent with him in which I’ve gone without his affection and still continued to try to show I love him, knowing I wasn’t showing it as well back when I was stressed, fearful and hurtful toward him, he keeps dredging up the past again and again; it isn’t always the same thing he focuses on; as though he needs there to be something to hate me for which he has said about four times in less than a year, “I hate you” as though he really means it, despite all the good changes I’ve shown, my forgiving him, my not being critical of him. A non-BPD person I am convinced would have seen all of this clearly, and understood my sorrow and remorse that has been expressed so many times.

    I have issues with that he has never forgiven me; he has never taken ownership of his part in helping our r-ship to fail (he was one to escalate a talk, and behave like a kid when we’d argue, even sort of like in a sneering way — it’s been so eerily hitting home the parallels of what I went through with him and so much of what I’ve been reading). He, through all of my apologies, has not been able to say he is sorry for all that he did, and all the deceit and damage he’s done to me . . . it has been as though he has felt he had the right, just because I started the argument or talk, to go to any extreme that has damaged me. He gives little to no weight to his escalating things, a word I used about his behavior even when we were together. He doesn’t seem to evaluate and realize he has been very guilty of verbal, emotional, physical and psychological abuse when angry.

    I have told him so much about me, even back then when not at my best. A non-BPD would have had so much to work with, to help me nip misunderstandings in the bud – and I remember specifically this is why I shared much of what I did with him. He has when angry, used much of what I once told him in trust and in confidence, to hurt me, using things I said against me, bringing them up to slam me with.

    I remember tearing up different times when talking about the dysfunction and hurt in my family, and he would never empathize or express much compassion; he would just listen quietly. The first time he ever said anything about those tears, he said something like, “I don’t know how to respond when you start crying.”

    On the other hand, when his affect has come to the topic over these past months, he has pointed out that he behaves the way he is, by reacting to how I am. I take this to mean he reacts to me, to my voice, to my demeanor, etc., and I do believe this is largely evident; it also fits with that BPDs have a fragile image of self and need to see how others view them to feel/think something of themselves. But what about if I’m having a stressful time not to do with him? What about me—not aware of BPD–responding to his affect????

    So sometimes I see that I was responding to his affect when he was responding to mine, and since he is BPD, it was up to me to put forth a “front” that he could successfully react to without becoming negative, since he tends to easily feel criticized. That is a burden, to be sacked with always carrying the lead. I remember when he explained his tone recently was reaction to (how he perceived) me, that I said to him that he should be just being the way he is (I said this ignorant of the BPD).

    Back in our troubled times together when we argued, I remember telling him he was a boy, not a man, because he behaved less emotionally mature than a man of 34 should have been expected to. I would state that he acted like a teenager, like a kid — all of these criticisms he heard and I’m very sorry for, but they were true; and more understandable now that I know more.

    …I’ve told him I want him to forgive me but he has not been able to, even though I’ve sent him quotes on forgiveness, including Bible passages including what Jesus said to one of the disciples about forgiving seventy times seven times when someone sins against us and repents

    . . . I’ve sent him studies/results about the health benefits of forgiveness.

    . . . I’ve suggested to him that maybe he’s projecting when he has been offensive and insulting, inferring something with regard to me, as in my motive.

    . . . I’ve taken ownership for my past bad behaviors, and he ought to know I so want him to do the same, but he doesn’t do this; I can get him to acknowledge shortcomings on his part but he doesn’t do it on his own, and I never know if he really means it, in light of what he shows his attitude to be later, which is basically unchanged.

    . . . I’ve told him that it is so important to me that he be honest with me . . . but I have not had the pleasure of his being honest with me and in fact in the outdoor talk recently, he laid it out there, “Oh I lie all the time.” This was stated so matter of factly, and it is extremely insulting, given that he holds so very much against me; it is very upsetting that he holds against me things I did over 2 years ago, when he can do those things to me today, and not seem to give that much thought.

    So the Wednesday p.m. when he was threatening the restraining order, I was very concerned; I have not been the way I was during our relationship; and I don’t deserve or need any trouble from him. I had to borrow a car to go to his house, and within 60 seconds of his talking to me, I was a C___!, and he continued to threat about the r/o, because of the calls I’d made to him Thursday, trying to accomplish the same thing as I was there to do that Fri morning, but he was blowing off my calls.

    He said on that Friday morning about the day before, that he wasn’t answering on purpose, and he said he just had to get the statements of the people around him notarized . . . can you believe this??!! It is like I was being set up; he could have just taken my call. It is so much more clear to me now after reading so much about BPD how someone can do these things, but it is still extreme and shocking, and so very, very unfair; it is so insensitive, so lacking empathy, so lacking ethics and morals. He seemed to be wearing cologne that Fri morning, a thing he didn’t own when with me.

    But is he dating? I’ve asked and his answer has consistently been no; yet if he were to want me to wonder or ask, he couldn’t do a much better job with his times available to talk, his comments – it is as though he would want me to think he is seeing someone, then I ask, and he says no, except that morning, when I wasn’t asking and he brought it up, shaming me for asking him, he was stating it is none of my business. So very hurtful his insensitive comments are to me, as though he never even knew me. I’ve paid and paid and paid for being with him, I’ve thought, prior to knowing about BPD, that at least if we could make something out of all of this loss, it could be worth it.

    I was faulted for ringing his phone 25 times, yet he states he let it ring, others around him knowing he didn’t want to talk to me . . . letting me worry he’d now get a restraining order I didn’t deserve (the Tuesday [2 days] before his blowing off my calls, he had not only taken my hand to show me how when he said he liked it when I held his hand (something he’d allowed me to do in a 4-hour talk about 1 ½ mos prior), but he allowed me to kiss him goodnight.
    I feel he has gained by my caring, and that I have lost so very much as a results of our r-ship. He stated and I had feared, that he was home that Fri a.m. to go and get a PPO against me. I told him as I stood there in the cold with him what I had wanted, that he forgive me, that he own up to his own errors and get right with God; I let him know I had felt there were mixed messages I had been getting from him but that if he was implying I had been misunderstanding him, okay then I had been misunderstanding him; that there is nothing I am getting from him worth risking getting into more trouble related to him, and I told him I give up. He had never heard that from me before.

    Here this arrogant side of a BPD’d person was wanting me to stroke his ego on Tuesday evening, then turned on me the next day, threatening me . . . then let me worry an entire day whether he would follow thru on his threats, now he was standing there in the cold, dredging up all past bad behaviors of mine he has been unable to forgive — and not his, telling me he had taken the day off to get a PPO. He said he wouldn’t go through with it, and I stood there somewhat relieved, still trying to understand the thing that I have dreaded the most; that he seems like he hates me and would want to have nothing to do with me ever again. This person who had allowed me to kiss him goodnight a few days prior, who had allowed me to hold his hand a long time a month and a half prior to that, wanting to know what I had loved about him.
    When he continued with his accusations and I was freezing by that time, I commented “Oh this is too much,” and he commanded me, “then go,” so I turned and left, hurt, relieved he had said he wouldn’t file but distressed, and frustrated. I never criticized him in any way in that talk, and I think if I had, he would have walked into his house, called the police, then gone to try to seek a PPO. For my peace of mind, I then went to the PPO office to see if he had grounds and told them my side. She explained they allow anyone to file from any county office, but the order is up to the judge.

    I actually felt I had grounds to file one, but I had always not wanted to make things worse for us; I had not wanted to give him a criminal record. My attorney when I was in jail said he could have been arrested for the things he had been doing to me, so if I were the horrible person he makes me out to be, I might have out of vengefulness pursued that, but I loved him, and hoped for a time when things would be better between us.

    • September 25th, 2010 at 05:00 | #16

      Zap,

      Your very detailed comment spells out a story that is quite common, that of the formally abused child (you) who is not normally abusive ending up in a relationship with a partner who is abusive. What you’ve described is a pattern of mutual abuse in which you started to be abusive yourself because of how you were being treated. This is extremely common. It doesn’t mean it is right, but it does mean that you shouldn’t feel like you are the only person to have ever done this.

      You have to find a way to move on from this relationship and put it in your past. For starters, you’ve got to find a way to distance yourself from your ex-boyfriend. He’s nothing but trouble for you. I believe you keep going back to him because you’re dissatisfied that you cannot fix the relationship. Sometimes, things are just so broken there is no way to fix them. I think this applies in your case.

      I’d encourage you to read the article Relationships and Divorces with Someone Who Suffers Borderline Personality Disorder and buy or borrow a copy of the Beverly Engel book mentioned in the article. This book would probably be a great help to you in understanding why you are so enmeshed in this abusive relationship and what you need to do to emotionally detach from it. It may be that you have a lot of healing to do with your father before you can have a successful relationships with a man. The questions in Engel’s book will help you figure that out.

      Rob

  15. paul
    November 21st, 2010 at 13:54 | #17

    I have been married for 6 years and its been a living hell. I’m a practicing Christian and a chaplain, living with my wife has been some of the worse years of my life. I read the book Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder, that was like a novel in retrospect to her condition. I love her but she left 3 years ago after destroying my good reputation in church and with my friends, accusing me of all sorts of nasty things. I really thought I was going crazy and started to almost believe some of the things she would say. She wanted to be a victim so everybody would feel sorry for her and then in turn they would condemn me. The day she left God gave me the strength to let her go and not stop her. I fear now that she might vilify our two beautiful children. God help us victims.

  16. anna billich
    December 20th, 2010 at 21:37 | #18

    I had that problem with a young neighborhood female child. She was a bully and battering my daughter. I confronted her mother and she said kids fight. Except her daughter was in 3rd grade and mine was not in preschool yet. Plus her younger sister was in on the batterings too. They made me into the neighborhood witch and people actually run from me. No one will tell me what she said about me. She is grown now but her husband actually poisoned my dog but I got her to the vet in time. And he has tried to run me over with his truck a couple of times. She has cut my bushes and flattened my tires and keyed my sister’s van. I tried getting a detective to nose around but the cost was too high. This Connie still gives me that stomp look. I would love to take her to court for slander but I need witnesses. She slandered me in both Lincoln and St. Andrews grade schools and caused my kids a lot of problems. Need help in Calumet City.

  17. March 30th, 2011 at 15:43 | #19

    I understand the pain and confusion all too well, but you are obviously a survivor just as I will be. God bless you.

  18. IN court fighting for my kids
    April 12th, 2011 at 17:43 | #20

    Hello, May I contact the author of the above article??

    It was quite amazing to stumble upon Rob’s article. May I contact you via phone ? Are you a trained professional or just have a life experience.

    Really grateful if we could chat. PK

    • April 12th, 2011 at 19:18 | #21

      In Court Fighting for My Kids,

      I’ll send you an email so we can talk further. I’m not a mental health care professional, but have ample life experience with the nightmare of distortion campaigns as do several other people I know. As part of trying to recover from the damage caused, I’ve also gone through much counseling and read many, many books and articles on personality disorders, the family law system, psychological evaluations, and talked with many other parents who have been put through hell by people like my ex-wife.

      I know there’s a strong temptation for guys to say all of this is sexist and blame the women, but this kind of destruction is happening to women being abused by personality disordered males, too. So I try to stay neutral on the gender angle, even though I sympathize with the feeling that guys are usually treated with gender bias in family law courts. There are a lot of good women who know that men are often treated unfairly in family law battles and are working to try to level the playing field to get rid of gender bias.

      As an example of personality disordered abusers who are male running a distortion campaign, take for instance what has been done to one of my acquaintances named Dr. Tara Palmatier. Her Shrink4Men website is really a great resource for guys struggling with this kind of nightmare and most of the advice on the site applies to women, too. But as retaliation for her generous service to the world, she’s been attacked by people who are apparently mostly MALE personality disordered wackos out to destroy her reputation with an online distortion campaign. You can read more about it in her article Help Shrink4Men Fight Cyber-Bullies and a bit more about the general problem of sociopaths attacking people who are trying to help others in my article Sociopaths In Our Midst Hate the Truth and Its Advocates.

      Rob

  19. Mr. H
    April 22nd, 2011 at 20:54 | #22

    This article is an X-Ray of what I am going through.

    My wife who I still love very much left me on the basis of false accusations and a endless list of problems that were present in our marriage because of her behavior.

    I guess that my biggest mistake was that I never paid attention to this problem seriously. I treated her like a child and tried to control her because she acted like a little kid.

    Now I’m facing these horrible acts against me: all our friends, family, people in general turned their back on me and I feel that she is talking s.. about me just to justify all of her actions.

    Recently I discovered that she is seeing a guy.. we are still married, she just left without saying a word, I tried everything to contact her or anyone and everybody has shut me down.

    And now that she is seeing this person so quickly in her life.. there is more bad things coming at me.. because when she stops and realizes what she is doing she will be angry at herself and she is going blame me.

    I know that she will keep trying to hurt me.. I guess I’m vulnerable because I still love her..

    What can I do? to prevent these attacks or even to defend myself..

  20. Betty Eddings
    June 3rd, 2011 at 08:55 | #23

    I have a daughter that has been doing this to me and her Family for many years, behind our back she lies about us to anyone who will listen. We lost a daughter 8 years ago, and she has been continually attacking and she is causing me great hurt and depression. What really scares me is that she is getting her Masters in Psychology. If I try to let people know what I am talking about they think it is all in my head or that I am exaggerating. I am really at a loss on what to do. I would do anything to try and help her, but she would tell me I’m laughable and she does not have a problem…that I’m just paranoid??

  21. Atlanta One
    June 19th, 2011 at 03:51 | #24

    My younger brother “S” married a BPD (?) and now his favorite quotes to me:

    1) We figured out where you live.
    2) I can kick your a** (plus symbol for we’re blackmailing you).
    3) We’re going to ruin your life.

    His wife is an HR employment lawyer at an Atlanta hotel chain–go figure.

    The fear of abondanment is huge–even when the BPD creates the need for “no contact.”

    I went to their wedding only to have the father of the bride let me know that he was going to have someone stalk me at my workplace–perhaps feelings of victimization because I didn’t date her in our brief uneventful 15 second encounter 15 years ago.

    I now longer have much human contact–even strangers have been “picked off.”

  22. Atlanta One
    June 19th, 2011 at 04:10 | #25

    BTW- My BPD (?) tried to blackmail me into telling my brother that I found her attractive…

    The last time I saw him he was unconscious on the floor from a lack of food…co-mobidity issues from her anorexexia nervosa?

  23. Dinesh
    July 12th, 2011 at 04:42 | #26

    Why does my older brother think that stalking me at my workplace would be a good solution to not dating someone that I met for 15 seconds 15 years ago? He went to MIT…????? Umm, I don’t dictate who who he sleeps w/…his BPD sister in law influencer is too much for him to handle….loser of life…stalk your brother didn’t put out a couple of decades ago…

  24. Mcanr
    July 14th, 2011 at 16:53 | #27

    I am currently a victim of a BPD distortion campaign that started with a restraining order and then divorce papers. The papers also said I needed supervised visits with my minor age child so I would not abuse them. I think affairs (there aren’t any) would have been less cruel. We got that dismissed and moved from civil to family law which is at least good. I since left the area (leases are only 7-12 months and this will take at least that long).

    BPD is not understood and rarely diagnosed. A couple of family members figured this out only in the past year but I saw all of her medical records one year ago and none of the so-called professionals have even recognized it. We always thought it was something else too.

    I thought I had this figured out. In one of the very last text messages I received from her it said “I am giving you what you want”. It is a perfectly typical BPD thing to say and in this case the ultimate stunt. She crafts her theories, successfully gets a no contact order, and then gets self validation because it can’t be debunked. I think she actually believes I am the one filing the divorce motions, she is just my puppet doing it for me because I didn’t have the courage.

    I can’t decide if it is the ultimate BPD test against the impossible (will I attempt to stop it, will I break the no-contact order, etc.) or she just doesn’t like me. I should say she just doesn’t like “us” because she is not just divorcing me but divorcing part of the whole family including our of-age child. I am not saying the marriage could or should be saved (but for how long we’ve been married you would think it could) and there is a lot of work to do on both our faults but it still makes me wonder when I thought I had it figured out. The only communication we will have is during mediation so it will never actually be possible to talk about this. It is like a freight train that can’t be stopped but is it going where everyone wants.

  25. Mcanr
    July 14th, 2011 at 19:24 | #28

    @ Mr. H

    Mr. H, I feel like there is nothing you can do. It is too difficult to explain to others, too difficult to handle, and too difficult to defend. Basically, all you can do is back off and take the high road. If you want closure you’ll have to initiate it possibly or if you get attacked sit back and know that you can look yourself in the mirror and you did everything right, ethically, and everything you could.

    In my case I am thinking about giving full custody of my minor child just to save them because my wife will exert constant sarcasm and rants if I am only around once per month. Try to explain that to a social worker, mental health counselor or anyone not in your shoes. She will appear in an interview as a reasonable parent and spouse.

    I think we just have to hurt and go through whatever the process has in store for us.

  26. Robert
    August 2nd, 2011 at 08:28 | #29

    Dear “freedom fighters”,
    I am about to start a campaign here in Croatia, concerning custody that is given to women in 90%, of which percent is a big part when “mothers” reject custody. My wife has Anorexia nervosa, BPD, addiction syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder. This state’s “health care system”, also believes her “views” of truth. I am in a struggle with the society, but also have ideas how to start changing the moral maturity of society. I will take first step to a 1000 mile trip. I would be honored and much less incapacitated if I would have support from society members that understand these obstacles that not only take the truth out of sight of reality, but also bring devastation to those that are influenced by these unacceptable conducts of moral immaturity of society unawareness that spreads freely, bringing only devastation at large. I am able to provide support, as I have felt what it means to be mistreated and misunderstood by loved ones as well as the society and society imperative organizations, that hold the unawareness at it’s peak point.
    Our societies may be distanced by matters of miles or kilometers, but the essence of wrong being done is equally persistent in it’s prevalence. Let’s start to unite in a goal for a change. A change for a better society. A better life of our children and their legacy to be loved and to love.

    In service to a better preparation for starting with the change, please feel not only free, but obligated to send your experiences with this arising problem as well as your opinions upon measures to be taken in order to improve awareness. Personally I think that society that has no inner peace by mental health is a doomed society, before longrun, as medicine technology can provide more for cures of physical weakness and illness, is there an efficient cure for the mental state of mind? The answer is in the fact that the brain is an organ most unknown, misunderstood and questioned, with so many unanswered reasons. Nevertheless, we are constantly witnessing the consequences of mind instability, on the society as a whole. Lets care with preparations, before we and our loved ones become victims of the future’s biggest and enlarging health issue and an issue of possibility of happiness and love being felt. Our mind is a creator, do not fear a mind that creates true equality, true freedom and true justice, but the one that opposes that understanding with violent prevalence of truth being unavailable and vanished. Let’s fight for truth in us, expose the lies in others.
    “Everything faded into the mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lies became truth.”

    Sincerely yours,
    Robert Crnčić
    Croatia

  27. Robert
    August 2nd, 2011 at 08:55 | #30

    @ Mcanr
    Seems our society is not so different. In Croatia I have the same issues with my ex, or better to claim, her Borderline personality disorder as the primer one. I even started writing the diagnosed illness with a capital “B”, because it is almost to be treated with fearfull respect, due to the side effects that it creates for those surrounding ill one’s path of devaluation towards demonization. Seems all you can do is, nothing in the end. System rotten and filled with no knowledge and misunderstanding, postulates that are wrong ones. There is a way.

    Robert

  28. teresa
    August 9th, 2011 at 00:54 | #31

    WOW- all these years of mental, emotional, and verbal abuse from my husband. i thought he had anger management problems, he was even diagnosed w/ adhd last year. going through a divorce right now because he started cussing out our 4 daughters ages 13, 8, 6 and 2. he has gotten really bad, after reading all about bpd and npd i know now that it is NOT ME . and i am glad that i chose the hard decision of finally filing for divorce. i feel so great right now like i finally found this ugly disease my husband has. he does it all, lies to family and whatever aquiantances he has about me, the only so called friend he has is his drug dealer, he has smoked pot every single day i have known him, i left my friends, great job and alienated from family for because of him. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW- thank goodness for this sight. i thought he had bipolar disorder but the BPD AND NPD FIT HIM TO A BIG FAT T. I am soo, soo, glad i have a restraining order on him.

  29. Sean S
    August 19th, 2011 at 23:11 | #32

    I am going through it. My wife did it to me two times. One in year 2002 and one in 5/11/2011. Our law doesn’t do anything regarding her. I have an 11 years old daughter. I am going through it, it is very hard. She lies and teaches our daughter to lie. My wife requests divorce. I signed the divorce papers today. I lost my confidence and my value. I was wondering if any one likes to open a club for men abused by their wives. If you guys are interested please write me. I can use help.

  30. Dr. Peter
    August 30th, 2011 at 14:42 | #33

    I’m a psychologist and work with BPD patients. I feel for all of you in relationship with people with this disorder. It is truly crazy-making.

  31. david adkins
    September 19th, 2011 at 22:37 | #34

    Hi there. Here is a video I put together documenting my personal experience with BPD and parental alienation. I think it’s a high quality production, and a powerful rebuttal to the claim by some experts that parental alienation doesn’t exist–that it is just an excuse used by “bad” parents. Please let me know what you think. Please consider passing along this video to whomever you think it may benefit.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPpm4Gyi1jk

    Thanks!

    Dave

  32. VRT
    September 25th, 2011 at 05:27 | #35

    I didn’t have sex w/ a BPD waif I met for 30 seconds 15 years ago and deal w/ this campaign. Her best friend liteelly dragged me over to her for the conversation and I didn’t even know her…light acquintance..

  33. Leif
    October 13th, 2011 at 11:50 | #36

    I was married to a BPD for 10 years, and thru our divorce I was granted full custody of our four beautiful daughters. She is now continuing her distortion campaign against me. She is going for full custody. She has absolutely no care for the girls, its just a game for her. She is a cutter, and on Christmas Eve 2009 in front of me cut her wrist and neck, lucky the kids were sleeping, I rushed her to the hospital and I should have had her committed, but she begged me not to tell the truth, and dummy me I went along with it. Now she has spent the last two years planning the distortion against me. She has had me arrested numerous times on false accusations of, filed OFP’s, restraining orders, you name it. I feel like I am insane myself dealing with all of this, plus taking care of my four daughters, whom I love with all my heart, and if she were to get custody, they would be ruined for sure. So I know what you are talking about. It’s a life of pure hell!!!

    • October 13th, 2011 at 23:19 | #37

      Leif,

      Consider filing a lawsuit against her for malicious prosecution and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

      Don’t beat yourself up about covering up after her self-mutilation and/or suicide attempt. A lot of people in your circumstances have done the same, mistakenly thinking that they were somehow helping the Borderline. Just don’t do it again. Since you took her to the hospital, you should be able to obtain records that show her injuries that can be used in court to substantiate that she has a history of self-mutilation and/or suicide attempts. That should go a long way towards defeating her abusive attempt to get sole custody of the kids.

      Rob

  34. David A
    October 15th, 2011 at 00:23 | #38

    Here is the UPDATED video of my experience with spousal abuse and parental alienation. I was married to someone who I knew had a high-conflict personality, but I was completely blindsided by what happened during our divorce. I hope others will learn from my experience and will take measures to protect their children before it’s too late. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

    Warning, strong language.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJDsruc-xxg

  35. CHRIS POOCH
    November 2nd, 2011 at 16:47 | #39

    My hubby & I believe his ex to be borderline based on input from a physciatrist we saw years ago. The vilification & parental alienation has finally taken it’s toll. After living with us for 12 years, hubby’s 16 year old daughter moved in with the ex last year after 10 months of court filled with lies. The lies were all about me, how bad a step-monster I was. People who had never seen me before were brought in on the attack. Here we are 18 months later, his daughter doesn’t talk to either one of us. But she sure posts how much like her mom she is and how well her mom raised her and how much she loves her mommy. Funny, her mother didn’t want to raise her which is why dad had custody. She mostly slept during her visitations, never cooked (take out pizza 3 times a week). Didn’t show or if she did, she never stayed for school plays, musicals etc. Always had some excuse. Never had a birthday party for her or took the child to friends. What this young lady is doing to her dad breaks my heart. Over the years she questioned her mother’s lies. She has totally turned into her own mother.

  36. Lou Canjar
    December 3rd, 2011 at 11:28 | #40

    I no longer feel alone. This article reads like a checklist for my life over the past 1 1/2 years. I’ve watched my wife turn in to a stranger with no regard for boundaries, while overtly sabotaging me and my reputation and emotionally detaching from my children. All the while, she had me convinced that I was imagining things and she used the lies she created about me to get closer to another man and new friends (playing on his/their sympathies). I’ve felt like a impotent rube for the past year not understanding WTF was happening. Plus, she’d have weeks that she’d be professing her love to me and convincing me to wait this out. Any way, she went too far. I’m relieved to find this article, because it helps me see that I’m not crazy – I’ve been through an invisible tornado. Now I know what it is. I still don’t know what to do next, but I know that I am not crazy and not alone. Thank you.

  37. Erika
    December 9th, 2011 at 04:04 | #41

    The gaslighting and projection, and splitting have all set in so deep through my 14 years of marriage. There is a lot more research on the female BPD and this article written seems to identify with a lot of the female characteristics. I find myself reading, though, and still question if I am the one with BPD…NOT because I believe I have this, but projection is so ingrained that anything that I may think about him, I prepare that I will be led to believe that it is actually a fact about me.

    I have my children. They are 13 and 11. We packed up and went to my sisters one day when they said that they could not live this way anymore and could we please not go back home. They were “forced” to see him one day, in their counsellors office. My son lasted a few min. with his ears plugged and his jacket over his head and then left. My daughter tried to explain to him why she is scared of him, as well as discussing his inappropriate behaviour a the last time they were home together. She told him that they (her and her brother) never wanted to see him again. They believe that they will not have to, and if anyone forces them, they will flee. He is claiming that PAS and I have brainwashed the children in their though process. He was always telling me that there reserved nature to him was because of the way that I acted (in response to his abusive behaviour), was my fault and if I would act differently, so would they.

    I have my families support as they have seen questionable things throughout the years, that do not add up. However, we were apart of a large church community and I have no contact there and wonder what people are hearing or believing.

    I

    • December 9th, 2011 at 04:16 | #42

      Erika,

      Sounds like a difficult situation.

      That you acknowledge you yourself could have BPD already means you’re not likely to actually suffer from this disorder. At least you’re not likely to be one of the “acting out” ones who tend to hurt others. They very seldom ever admit they may have a problem. It is always somebody else’s fault that they lied, cheated, stole, and abused.

      You can probably put the PAS allegations to rest if they are not true. Here’s how. Suggest the kids meet with him periodically with a counselor present and that they also engage in individual therapy. Make it clear to the kids that even kids who don’t like their parents still ultimately will be better off if they can learn to deal with them constructively. Avoidance may make things seem easier, but they need to develop skills to deal with the behaviors such as gaslighting and projection. They are not going to do that without help.

      It’s better that they develop these skills in a controlled environment. On the unlikely chance that he somehow reforms or that the conflict between you dies down and he calms down, it’s a win for everybody. If not, at least your kids understand better how to deal with his destructive behaviors and then can make a choice on their own what to do as adults.

      Kids who are emotionally abused in the manner it seems you are suggesting has happened are a lot more likely to end up in similar abusive relationships. Kicking him out of their lives isn’t going to change that. Making sure they get an education about how to deal with problems like this may be the best thing you can do for them. When they know the ins and outs of how somebody lies and manipulates other people and how to protect themselves from it, they will be much better off. They may eventually decided that he’s too unsafe or unsettling to have anything to do with him. But that isn’t really a choice they should have to make at this stage in their lives.

      Moreover, if the problems are mostly between the two of you and you are unintentionally poisoning their view of their father causing them to have their current opinions, then it would be a disservice to them, also.

      You may really dislike this advice. But unless he’s done something criminal that clearly affects the kids and has been convicted for it, I think you should go with it. I would suggest the same if he was the one accusing you of being a sociopath. It’s common for sociopaths to falsely accuse other people of being criminals, insane, perverts, etc. Really the only way anybody outside of your immediate family is likely to know the truth is over a number of years of exposure to your family seeing how it works. If you come across as an other-parent-hater, you will only aid credence to his allegations. If you make it clear you think the kids would benefit from a good relationship with their father and work towards making that happen to the extent that you can, you are in my view on the moral high ground and your children will someday appreciate it.

      Please keep in mind that I’m saying this from experience dealing with a sociopathic ex of my own. Even a parent who is a liar, false accuser, perjurer, adulterer, and an emotional child abuser is still a parent. The children will still benefit in some abstract way from having some knowledge and contact with the person, even if they ultimately decide it isn’t worth the emotional rollercoaster when they get older. Even if you cannot appreciate this, perhaps you may realize that you don’t want the children to ever see you as being the one who took their parent away from them even if that parent is not perfect.

      Rob

  38. Janeey
    January 14th, 2012 at 15:15 | #43

    I have been in a relationship with my female partner for 7 years. We have been married for 4 years. I know she is BPD although she would never ever admit it and if suggested would go into a rage! I am a mental health worker and have a good undertanding of BPD.

    She walked out on me 2 months ago while I was at work and will not communicate with me at all but I am in the middle of a Distortion Campaign I am in a living hell! She has suckered people into her lies about me and from what I have now found out this has been going on for many months and she has been trying to get more and more support and get more and more people to believe her lies. She has her managers at work believing this and has claimed I am abusive. I found out that they even removed the knives for the kitchen in her office at work as she made them believe I could turn up, take a knife, and stab her! She has had me arrested twice! On harassment allegations I was put in the cells and released without charge. She has had a letter sent to my work claiming I am unfit to do my job and various other allegations. Luckily my manager could see this for what is was ..false!

    I am scared we have a joint mortgage bills together and a step daughter. She will not see me she, will not talk to me, says she wants no contact. I believe this is due to that fact to face me would be to face reality as she knows deep down none of this is true and to see me she would see the innocent person that loves her.

    She has projected so much on me and at one point we did have a few emails between us she started to say she loved me and her head was a mess and she didnt know who she was… the next moment its was over and I only have myself to blame nobody else..which is typical BPD as they cannot accept any blame or responsibility.

    At the moment I am staying away from her but I worry about the bills and know at some point I am going to have to deal with this I know the only way is through a solicitor, I just can’t afford one at the moment. I am scared as to how far she would go as it seems she has no limits.

    One thing I have noticed about BPD is they need an audience to do this and the bigger and better the audience the worse this gets. She has a very good job and is very well liked very intelligent and at work she has to be number 1. She is very manipulative, very charming, but in reality has very low self esteem and has no identity hence she will say many times “I don’t know who I am”. I would just be grateful for any support or advice right now as I feel very alone and very scared of her.

    • January 15th, 2012 at 19:52 | #44

      Janeey,

      Sounds like you’ve gone from the “all good” to the “all bad” person in your partner’s view. The “all good” vs. “all bad” splitting is one of the behaviors you see in Borderlines. While everybody has a tendency to do this to some degree, healthy people can consider that another person in a relationship has both good and bad points and can rationally discuss both. People who can’t do this often have personality disorders and will behave as you are describing.

      Your analysis that she has low self esteem and little sense of identity is probably right. Another way you could say this is that she is deeply insecure. You are a “threat” to her because she can’t control you and she doesn’t want other people to think there is something wrong with her regarding the end of your relationship. Her way of dealing with the “threat” that you represent to her is the distortion campaign.

      Borderlines in the “acting out” group who are faced with such a “threat” will try to destroy you and get as many other people involved as they can. The distortion campaign is their classic behavior. They intend to hurt others, primarily their “hated ex” or other target but they will often turn on anybody else who is viewed as supportive of their primary target of hate.

      Those in the “acting in” group are more likely to resort to drug abuse, reckless behaviors, and suicidal behaviors in order to “get help” or “get sympathy” for their problems. Both are harmful behavior patterns, but frankly the “acting out” group is much more dangerous because they harm many other people much more than they harm themselves. The “acting in” group may inadvertently harm others, such as DUI driving killing somebody, but generally they are not out to cause direct harm to others.

      From what you say, what she is doing is defamatory and harassment in and of itself and therefore it is probably illegal. But good luck getting anybody in government to do anything to protect you from her criminal behaviors. They are more likely to help her harass you.

      There isn’t a single response that is going to make things better. I do think you must take some steps to defuse her ability to manipulate other people to harm you or else it is likely going to get worse. Making sure she cannot continue to build a larger audience believing more and more lies about you is a good means to help limit the damage she can cause, but accomplishing that is often very difficult to do.

      It sounds like your manager at work is aware of the problem and if you’re working in the mental health field maybe he or she also is aware of BPD and distortion campaigns. Perhaps you could ask for this person or others in your workplace who are familiar with what is happening to write a simple letter stating what your partner has done to you to try to wrongly harm you in your workplace and to caution anybody who she tries to manipulate that she is not representing the facts accurately and shows an intent to cause harm to you. Then maybe you could show this to the cops when they show up to arrest you on yet another false allegation.

      You could file a complaint against the law enforcement agency that wrongly arrested you, explaining how they are letting themselves be manipulated and engaging in illegal harassment against you. Then push to have them file charges for false police reports against your partner. This may help reduce her ability to continue to harass you using the government.

      You should be able to fight her defamation with facts, publicly refuting her lies and pointing out her behaviors. But Borderlines will often attack you for doing this and get help because they can convince other people you are harassing them because you have publicly corrected their distortions and lies. Often cops will join in the attack on you because they are easily suckered into assisting the Borderline criminal to harm the victim.

      Ultimately the one sure way you can escape from a distortion campaign is to disappear. If they can’t find you, you change your work, home, and even your name, then there is little if anything they can do to you any more. But if you share a stepdaughter and have many connections to your community, this may not be something you can live with.

      Rob

  39. Matt
    January 31st, 2012 at 05:14 | #45

    This is the most accurate article about BPD is ever read. My ex sister-in-law accused my brother of building bombs, digging graves, obsessive porn use, physical abuse, stealing money, misuse of a company computer, child neglect, and sending her computer viruses to name just a few. She had multiple affairs and spent wildly. All in all he spent a fortune in court, lost his job, lost their house, lost all the college money for their kids, and she is now on welfare and she can’t hold a job or a relationship. It is true the courts and the police believe her wild allegations and have assumed his guilt. He was never convicted of anything but it ruined his life and the future of his kids.

  40. J. Doe
    January 31st, 2012 at 05:43 | #46

    @ Matt– Sounds like the perfect description to me…so VERY sorry. God bless. Been there….

  41. The Quiete Man
    March 4th, 2012 at 18:11 | #47

    Found this while attempting to understand an ex neighbour. Basically destroyed my reputation within the local community. Gets others on their side by telling people outright lies, got their children and neighbours children to start a smear campaign and harrass myself and family in order to get us charged by the police for child assault.

    Thank you for a wonderful site, I am starting to understand who we are dealing with, incidently it is a married couple and they are well matched.

    • March 9th, 2012 at 01:52 | #48

      The Quiete Man,

      It’s not uncommon for people with personality disorders or sociopaths to team up. But often they will turn on each other at some point. If not, then they can be particularly terrifying to their victims.

      Like I wrote to another person recently, seldom do these people constrain their abuses to one venue or one target. If they are doing it to you and your family, they have probably done it to others, too. Perhaps you would benefit from doing some background research on them and finding some other victims they harmed.

      Rob

  42. Anthony Santos
    March 6th, 2012 at 17:22 | #49

    I am a 25 year old male in the marine corp dealing with every single detail explained above. in fact the information was SO accurate i felt it was talking directly about me. My spouse has done all of the above from cutting herself, to trying to kill herself to trying to kill me on multiple occasions. She just recently got me kicked out of base housing and now i have to live in the barracks and i just got out of surgery a week and a half ago. we have two kids together which she took down to NC where she also got her parents involved and on her side as far as how to help hurt my career because her father is a retired Marine as well. So now im stuck looking like the bad guy because she has done an outstanding job at telling people who dont even know me and vise versa things that arent true and sure enough they help spread those rumors. One of her biggest tools for slander has been facebook. We will have been married for only 4 years before we file for seperation and what makes it worse is that she is bipolar as well. I am so lost right now i dont know my left from my right. My biggest concerns are our kids and her parents are NOT the idea people they need to be around because her mother is also like her.

    • March 9th, 2012 at 01:47 | #50

      Anthony,

      How much proof do you have of her violence and her bipolar diagnosis? If you have some, maybe you can go to your command staff and explain to them how she and her retired Marine father are harassing you and you want command to put a stop to it.

      Document her Facebook site and prepare evidence that shows she is lying. Prepare to sue her for libel in civil court. I don’t think you will get anywhere in family court unless you do that. Family court enables the liar, especially the female liar. Civil courts are often much more responsible than family courts, but even they sometimes fail to do their jobs properly.

      Rob

  43. Eileen
    March 13th, 2012 at 17:39 | #51

    I get totally what you said here. My husband calls himself Reverend, was a pastor and is now training to be a christian counselor all while tormenting me and the kids due to his disorder.We live in constant threat and fear. The only thing that has held me together is my faith and clinging to that im able to manage and gotten through some very dark days. its very wearing though, I would not wish this on anyone, it is a living nightmare!

  44. Eileen
    March 13th, 2012 at 17:45 | #52

    to the marine: my husband is also in the military like yourself, except he is the one with the disorder,spreading lies and so on. start gathering info on her, document everything you can. I keep a file on my husband and learned to be like a detective-you have to. She will ruin your career if not stopped and they dont stop without help and it sounds like she has enablers to cushion her. You are not helpless, it is scary and frustrating but you can take steps t protect yourself so please do.

  45. Kevin
    June 17th, 2012 at 11:05 | #53

    I too am a victim of a borderline woman. The doctors and therapists have told me that she is cluster “B” which is the worst of all. Anti social, histrionic, borderline and Narsasistic but no one will give a diagnosis of this for the courts. My court wouldn’t listen to the testimony of the therapist who was a expert witness at trial that has been seeing my children because I am a man in a biased system we call justice.
    My story reads very similar about false allegations of abuse towards her and our children. I was even arrested only to be told when I left the jail that no charges will be filed against me. There was no abuse on my part but because I was arrested she used this in court against me. She built a case on lies over the years and if I tried to defend myself, the courts said I was causing more conflict.
    I filed for divorce 4 years ago and because there was money in the marriage the lawyers have kept it going until I was broke. I went from a 2 million dollar home to a $1000/mo apartment while I fought CPS, juvenile court and the family court with many lawyers at the same time to regain custody of my twin 8 y/o boys. I lost them.
    For all the men out there, please get free from these women as soon as possible and accept the loss of your children. These borderline woman sing to the courts and are favored allowing the lawyers to cash in on all your retirement and leave you broke.
    Your children are lost but hopefully will be back one day. As a father, I love my boys more than anyone can imagine but have accepted this legal kidnapping. My only other choice would be to grab them and head for the border only to be caught and arrested and incarcerated for many years. We can only choose to lose them to keep our freedom.
    I hate my country, the one I once admired and loved. As men, we are oppressed by our country only because of our gender and trying to raise a family when facing a women with this wicked disorder.
    I am sorry for all of you and truly know what your going through but staying in a marriage with a borderline is a dead end that only gets worse with time. Get free now!!!
    Good luck to all and may life bring a new beginning for all of you.

  46. June 19th, 2012 at 19:36 | #54

    @Kevin

    Judges should be required to have an education in psychology that includes intensive study of personality disorders as they manifest in families. Instead, the vast majority of them are entirely ignorant of such information except for little tidbits they may get from Oprah and Dr. Phil that often bear scant resemblance to reality. And so they are very easily duped and used by personality disordered abusers (PDAs) and become themselves accomplices to abuse, even if that was not their intent.

    You should get a copy of the police report regarding your arrest. It is common for PDAs and other sociopaths in family law battles to get police reports and to them use them for defamation and harassment. You need to know what is in there. Many of these people are such prolific liars that they can’t keep their “facts” straight from day to day, and that is possibly why the police end up arresting the victim of a PDA but later decide not to charge. They may be able to see the PDA has no credibility even if there are no other witnesses to the alleged “crime”.

    Where the cops go seriously wrong is that they and the DA should be arresting and prosecuting many of these people who are making false allegations. In today’s legal climate of government assisted abuse, a false accusation is a weapon that is often more damaging than stabbing somebody with a knife or shooting them with a gun. If such an injury doesn’t kill you, you probably will heal from it in a few months. But a false allegation can ruin the rest of your life, particularly choice ones that are stigmatizing and require zero evidence to cause damage such as child sexual abuse or rape. The true criminal, the malicious false accuser, almost invariably escapes without any accountability or punishment, even when there is enough evidence to clearly establish malicious intent and to have a reasonable chance at successfully prosecuting such criminals. So today we have a culture that is rampantly rewarding abusive liars and helping them abuse their ex-partners, children, and often others.

    Gender has no place in determining guilt or innocence of abusive behavior in a family setting. While being victimized by malicious false allegations happens far more often to men than women, it is happening to women, too. This is increasingly so as society is inching slowly towards the far off goal of eliminating gender bias. So the idiot judges that populate our courts are sometimes now falling for the false accuations of the sociopathic father against the more or less innocent mother. And so you see a few moms ending up suffering all the abusive crimes by the ex and the courts that so many dads have suffered. There is no justice for them, either.

    Rob

  47. Rib
    July 17th, 2012 at 22:33 | #55

    @ Kevin

    Wow. I feel for you. I am the victim of an undiagnosed BPD woman living in the UK. Somehow, we were married for 12 years and I am ashamed that I ignored her abuse of me and, more importantly, our daughter.

    She tried the distortion campaign, but, thank God, one of our joint friends told me and I was able to put a representation into the court to stop the ex-parte proceedings.

    That was 18 months ago. She had abused our daughter and, unbelievably, denies doing so. My daughter stuck by me, and I gained custody. She spoke with her mother for a while, but after continued threats refused to continue.

    Unfortunately, I will be stuffed financially in the courts. But, I know that the abuse will not continue with my daughter, and the cycle can be stopped.

    The most awful thing is that my daughter was 10 when she left and started the campaign – had she been younger, I have no doubt that I would be in the same position as you.

    Stay strong and look after yourself.

    Rib

  48. Parent of a Borderline child
    August 8th, 2012 at 15:01 | #56

    I have a 20 year BPD step daughter who has lived with us for the past 5 years. I have spent the majority of the past 5 years trying to get her help but BPD’s are pros. She recently returned from a very short stay at a residential treatment center in Chicago and is worse than before.
    “P” has extreme emotions, which lead to actions that can range from puzzling to brutal. One minute she will say “J”is my favorite” and within moments “J” is a bitch” or “J”doesn’t care”. She will repeat these 3 statements over and over for several minutes and then may start to cry or laugh. Then she may start making animal noises or random sounds.

    Living with “P” is often painful and confusing. It is not just me and her father that have endured Paige’s behaviors but the family pets too have been physically abused by “P”. A ferret had to be given away because she broke its ribs because it “pissed her off” while I was working in California last summer. She has been seen slapping the cat and kicking the dog. Both cower when they hear her voice, when she is at home we keep them in the basement so that she has to make more of an effort to get to them. She will even say that the only good place for the dog is in a grave.

    No matter what I have done for “P”, she often tells me that it is not enough. Her father and I have spent over $100,000 over and above insurance coverage. She has been hospitalized over 20 times in 3 years and continues to manipulate and con all but a few preofessionals. They all give different advice but almost all feel sorry for her. It is not that they have had to deal with her for an extended period of time, most sympathize with what we are going thru.

    “P” has been unpredictable and destructive since she was very little. I remember a time when she was just 7; she ran into the living room of her Aunt with a huge welt on her face and crying uncontrollably. She stated her “Auntie slapped her’. This was not at all the case- Paige was angry at her aunt because she would not give “P” collectable Barbie and “P” slapped herself; hoping to get the police to come and take her aunt away away. The “behind the scenes” was observed by an adult and a cousin who quickly defended the aunt. “P” later admitted that she did slap herself to get her aunt in trouble and teach her a lesson. This sort of thing continued to happen with children her age off and on throughout grade school. In middle school it became more of a verbal thing with other kids and by high school she was left with few people that wanted to be around her for any extended period of time.

    Forget eggshells, it is like walking on glass with “P”, no matter what you do you will get hurt, it is just how bad it is to live in the house with her.

    It is great to read from others that although BPD is a mental illness; people with it and other cluster “B” personality disorders need to be held accountable for their actions and distructive behaviors. They should not be permitted to live with out consequences and to ruin the lives of those around them. Please be assured that although many threaten suicide, they are survivors.

  49. glad to go
    August 13th, 2012 at 18:59 | #57

    I have exited a marriage with a UN diagnosed BPD every sign and symptom technical or experiential matches his behavior.
    I’m strong so he didn’t break me, he did scar me. He really tried to make me a terrible person to friends and family even attempted to hurt my family and create division between my self the my family. I’m working like crazy to be healthy again. He went too about a year of counseling he may feel different inside, however I don’t experience much growth with the exception of him being able to verbalize his responsibility which is huge. This is promising until the hot a cold game starts & he twist time or event facts just to cycles into victim with no responsibility.
    His conversation goes in cycles.
    1) First apologies for hurting me or not honoring our commitments,

    2) How terrible he is,

    3) How sad he is, how much he loves me,

    4) To blame and accusing me of betraying him, to how horrible I am and the “bad Karma” he wants to see me endure,

    5) To criticize,

    6) In to a friendly warning of protection & how he wants to see the best for me and I should get help. An attempt to make me think I’m crazy or need help.

    7) Depending on my response he will start from the beginning. He can text me from 12 midnight to 5 am straight back to back minute to minute.
    When in defensive mode he will ask for what he doesn’t want i.e. divorce, to move out ex
    Or with strangers he will find the most ugly part of him or his life and exaggerate it out loud to push others away.

    The only way to have a relationship with one of these people is if you have extremely good boundaries and know how to protect your self in a moments notice.

  50. The nice wife
    September 6th, 2012 at 01:51 | #58

    Kevin has a point regarding the children. My husband was married to a high functioning BPD for many years. He stayed in the marriage for the children fearing he would never see them again. He was the best father you could ever hope for . Camping , fishing , vacations , coaching their sports.. Church , involved in their academics. He was their rock through all the years their mother was emotionally absent & abusive psychologically . But when they grew up into adult hood they had been brainwashed since birth that men suck and vilifying their father that when he finally felt the time was right to leave the abusive relationship , their adult children wanted nothing to do with him & remain on their sick twisted mothers side all these years later even to the point of helping ruin their fathers good reputation trying to get all family & friends against him to hate him. His grown adult children are monsters & they are great liars like their mother. So at the end he lost the very thing he stayed and suffered in the marriage to keep. Now he lost all his material possessions , properties, lots of money& the so called precious children.

  51. TDad
    September 20th, 2012 at 07:38 | #59

    I am currently going through a divorce/custody battle with my diagnosed BPD wife, We split up in 2009 and I have had our daughter ever since (for the last 4 years) with the mother having little-to-nothing to do in the involvement and upbringing of our child, well, 2 days prior to her court hearing ordering her to pay child support she decided to file an emergency temporary custody order, so police came and took my daughter to her mother, mother then filed a domestic violence restraining order claiming that I beat and raped her during our relationship over 5 years ago! She is attempting now to alienate our daughter away from me but asking the courts for sole legal and physical custody with me having no visitation rights whatsoever..of course that will never happen and if the court has any common sense will return our daughter to me once they have figured out the facts, but nonetheless, the fact that she would put our daughter through this just goes to show how little a BPD parent actually cares about those involved in their ploys and mind games, it’s sad to know that she would attempt to take our daughter away from the only people and only life she has ever known, it’s sad, I haven’t been able to speak or see my daughter in over a month because of this, just can’t wait until the court hearing to get everything settled I’ve had a difficult time sleeping and have been extremely stressed-out over this entire ordeal…not to mention the Stephen King relationship we had that nearly destroyed my self-esteem…if you are in a relationship with a BPD my best suggestion is that you run, it’s sad to say since they can’t help it but nonetheless, all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put humpty dumpty together again.

  52. TDad
    September 20th, 2012 at 07:50 | #60

    Of course, I fear that I may be in a more extreme predicament as my wife was diagnosed with not only BPD, but also Histrionic Personality Disorder, Bi-Polar Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, PTSD and Somatization Disorder :-(

  53. Gary Burford
    December 22nd, 2012 at 23:06 | #61

    Wow, Married 24 years, x starting having affairs and carried on a massive distortion campaign, alienated with my 3 teenage kids, lost all friends, had to move from community. It has been a horrible 3 years, now spilled over to work, she is banging some of my department directors who are now screwing with me badly, got disiplined for BS, she gets phone call 20 minutes later from his secratary. One thing, I have 8 months of recordings and massive text messages to stop it, but I am so screwed up, I cant finish the presentaion. Even have HR director verifying call happened to spouse, be he is controlled by top so nothing is done. I have the best documented case in existance, with recordings and the whole bit. The ATTY want 15 grand to go after my employer and a large bank that she had friends access my account, Having to move, I am broke, so I continue to get screwed.

  54. December 31st, 2012 at 07:50 | #62

    I wish I had found this website 7 years ago when I left my ex.

    I have been reading several of these articles tonight, and many of them hit so close to home that it’s scary. Everything from being abused for so long (15 years) that I became an abuser myself (the last little while of our marriage, I abused him as much as he abused me), to the smear campaigns that they may do themselves or get their minions to do (in this case the minion is his new wife).

    I actually found myself looking for this information again, as his wife has renewed, as she does every few months, her smear campaign against me. For the most part, I really don’t do much to defend myself, but it does bother me, because they have custody of our children, and have done everything in their power to turn them against not only me, but also my husband by extension.

    I found out that she has a complete website devoted to bashing me, although I avoid reading it, because I really don’t want to make myself angry or upset. They have used the courts to try to get me thrown in jail. They have claimed that because I have ADD, it means I’m a compulsive liar, and therefore, anything I say is untrue. Even documents that I have taken into court that proved what I say have been ignored because of their smear campaigns. They even accused my husband of abusing me stating that my kids saw bruises on me that were unexplained (I’m a klutz, that should be explanation enough). It was also a clear case of projection, because I had bruises almost the entire time I was married to my ex that were caused by him grabbing my upper arm.

    Unfortunately, I made the mistake of trying to keep our divorce clean and not bringing any of this up in court. As a result, I got all the false accusations against me instead, and still do to this day. Our divorce was started in 2005, over in 2007, and I have been all but completely alienated from my children’s lives since, and yet, they still target me as if this all occurred yesterday, and their behavior has nothing to do with the reasons I don’t see my kids according to them.

  55. David
    June 6th, 2013 at 18:58 | #63

    I have been married to a beautiful woman that I love for 35 years now… about 4 years ago my wife began showing these symptoms you all are talking about… I had no idea what it was, why she wanted to destroy me… we went to several therapists but she would quit going after she could not convince them that I was crazy, that I was trying to destroy her… she has convinced her family that I am trying to destroy her, that I have emotionally abused her for years but my family and my children know this is the opposite of what is happening. Finally, my son… who is married to a therapist, called me to tell me they thought my wife has BPD… this was just a few days ago. I am scared, I do not know what to do, I love my wife, but now I understand her a little better… but the vilification and her anger and hatred has just gotten worse to where she has lashed out at me and attacked me physically… our grown children have seen it and now her anger has turned toward them also because they have tried to confront their mom but nothing works. Can anyone offer any hope?

  56. Kevin K.
    June 12th, 2013 at 16:39 | #64

    @ David

    Is there hope?

    I want to tell you that it will go away. That all you need to do is be “understanding,” and that you can love her better.

    I want to tell you that, but I can’t.

    Because it isn’t true.

    She will not get better. Your life will not get better if you stay. There is nothing you can do about this.

    Most importantly: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

    She will set you up to fail, time and time again. It will be like Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football.

    The only way for you to survive this is to leave. Walk away. She will fight you, she will call you abusive, she will smear your reputation to as many people as she can. Warn people ahead of time, but only those you truly truly trust, because unless they’re your family, they’ll probably tell her.

    Be prepared to sacrfice friends.

    I highly recomment you visit A Shrink for Men. Read the articles. Read our stories in the forum.

    “In sickness and health” is one thing, but there will be no more “health” if you stay.

    Just remember – it is NOT YOUR FAULT.

    Good luck.

    I’ve been there. I know how hard it is to walk away.

    You will come up with a thousand excuses not to do it.

    But it’s the only way.

    This is the only good news and hope I can provide you – brutal honesty.

    It doesn’t get better. It only gets worse.

    Your only hope for your sanity, and, quite possibly, your survival is to leave.

  57. September 22nd, 2013 at 14:50 | #65

    Speak up?

    Trying to explain what happened to you with a BPD ex-wife and coping and living, after a BPD Distortion Campaign, is like telling a person that you just saw a Unicorn, or Alien or Werewolf.

    People who have not experienced the terror, horror, fear and surreal reality of life with a BPD do not believe it. They look at you like you are crazy and you are making the whole thing up, like it’s Fiction. You feel like the “Boy who cried wolf”….but the wolf was real and still out there, victimizing more unsuspecting, innocent, trusting people. My issues with my “Ex” is still ongoing 8 years after she turned on, because we have children together. I was lucky enough to get and maintain custody of my 2 small children who were 9 months old and 2 1/2 at the time of the split. But it was and still continues to be a living nightmare. I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I still have panic attacks, depression and what seems like Post traumatic Stress disorder. But, to explain it is nearly impossible. To have a judge or police officer, or Child Services worker believe you is also impossible. I happened to be lucky and have a Child Services worker and a State psychologist witness her rage and insanity and so I had a few believers but….my god, it’s just so hard.

    So far it has been a long, hard 7 years of Family Court. The money for divorce and a clear settlement ran out within the first few months. The house is gone, the savings gone, the job is gone, my health is gone, my possessions are gone. Thank God, I still have the only thing that truly matters, the custody of my two children. That said, however, it is difficult to survive and raise 2 kids in poverty.

    When you first arrive in Family Court and you have never experienced the reality of it all- you believe the “system works”. You believe the judge cares about the truth and the safety and well-being of your children (and they will claim over everything that is true) but the truth is they do not care.

    You would think they would allow you to subpoena mental health records, medical records, police reports DYFS and Child Service reports but you will be told that that is your wife’s private business. Should you vigorously argue that the real issue should be the safety and well being of your children, you will be seen as the “bad parent” trying to punish your wife and denying the children time to spend with their mother, although you agree to supervise the visitations and even allow the “Ex” to stay in your home and even give up your bed and sleep on the couch, to cook for her and be pleasant, even though she has tried to have you killed and has been questioned by the police regarding the matter. (of course, there’s not enough evidence” to do anything – so you continue to live in fear, and deep depression. You know the BPD sociopath is a empty, hollow shell and will never stop the attacks. She has no life and no emotion (besides the emotional acts) she has all the time in the world to think up the next attack while you go about trying to piece together your life and raise a family my yourself. No one knows the fear, the terror, the emotional nightmare of the BPD attack. You want to give up, to kill yourself-just to end the nightmare- but you have these 2 beautiful, innocent children to raise and care for, and they love you. You are all they have. You stop going out, you hide in your house, you shun people and conversation- you are numb and alone and you can’t explain it to anyone-because they just can’t believe it or imagine that such a horror is true.

  58. September 26th, 2013 at 10:41 | #66

    As someone in recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder, I believe that most of the women (and men) described here are not Borderlines. They may have some BPD traits, but they are more likely to be sociopaths. If you would like to know what Borderline Personality Disorder really is, please see my website: http://makebpdstigmafree.wordpress.com/

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