I frequent a couple of forums both for pwPD’s and for those trying to make sense of their pwPD …
and one of the questions that seems to come up over and over again, on both sides of the fence (if you will) is whether or not what the pwBPD can ‘really’ feel love.
I come from this question from both sides; I was brutally discarded by my Uex and found myself asking if he every really loved me in the way that I thought he did, in fact, the question of whether it had all just been a big lie haunted me for months and months.
I also know what it is like to be the one who walks away, who is accused of being cold and/or indifferent.
Fact is, both sides suck.
I have read A LOT about the discarding by pwPD’s (I say PD’s rather than just BPD because I am fairly certain my ex is comorbid, especially with NPD) and while I read about the devalue/discard and remember my own, I don’t see my own behaviour at all. I think back to the endings of prior relationships and I never once did the kind of 180 that my ex did, never just ‘woke up’ on morning and pretty much decided it was over for no conceivable reason.
But then I began to think about my only real LTR (14 years) and how I checked out of that one completely. It was years before I left (there were children involved) but once he had been split black, there was no going back. I could like him again, he was my friend, but I was never going to idealise and love him like I did in the early years – and believe me, I adored this man.
I also realised that I do indeed split other people frequently: family, friends, co-workers … workplaces .. I do it over and over again. So much so that I have no long-term friendships and am not in touch with any family except for my sons.
I can only speak of my own experience about splitting, but for me, it is a moment of indifference. Sometimes (but not very often) it comes from being angry at somebody – if they push me too far or confront me — this doesn’t happen often as I am not a very confrontational person for one thing and I am very good at disappearing before true confrontation can occur. I have literally walked away from homes, careers and people and never, ever looked back (and never wanted to). I usually hate having contact with or hearing about anything I have left behind because it is just too overwhelming to deal with — I up and ‘left’ for a reason; usually because I could not deal with what was happening and sometimes simply because I was bored.
For example, I have not had any contact with my family for about 2 years. I was in contact for about 8 months in 2012 but prior to that, I had not spoken to them in around 7 years. This doesn’t and didn’t bother me in the slightest. It is my choice to not be in contact, in fact, I stay away from FB and change my mobile (cell) number every 6 months or so just to ensure that nobody can ever really track me down. My kids know where I am, but they know me well enough never to tell my sister (the only one who ever really looks for me) exactly where I am.
In the back of my mind, I KNOW I love my family, I objectively love them. I do not wish them any harm (well, I wouldn’t mind having my sister’s husband tied to a chair and being in possession of a sharp implement – but that is a completely different tale) and I hope they are safe and well. But in all honesty, I rarely think about them.
Christmas Eve 2012, I was at home by myself, I had spent a few hours on Skype with my (ex)lover and my kids were coming over the next day. My sister lived next door at that time and had invited me to a small-ish party which I declined because I cannot stand her husband or her friends and we were kinda on the outs because I owed her and her husband rent money. So, it was a bit awkward (and potentially confrontational). After midnight, my sister came to my door, very drunk, and fell into my sofa. She then proceeded to tell me how much she loved me, how, as a child, I was the most loving creature she had ever known, that she would always love me etc.
I ended up crying … not because ‘she loved me’, but because she could never understand me and because I could never explain it to her … because she ‘thought’ she loved me but really … she has never known me and never would so, how could she love me? I’m positive she took my tears as empathy/regret/love but they really weren’t about her at all, they were all about me (as awful as that is to admit).
I split my sister black years before when she walked in on a suicide attempt. She found me bleeding after I slit my wrists and her reaction was to scream at me for being selfish and stupid – both valid points – but the shame she piled on me compounded with the shame I was already feeling was simply too much, is still to this day too much and she was dead to me in a most fundamental way from that moment on.
My oldest brother refused to come and help me when I was in dire need of assistance moving – I am somebody who very really asks for help and he had been absent from my life for 7 years at that point. I phoned him because I was desperate but he was not prepared to help. I will probably never speak to him again due to that one incident. I can’t help it, I felt completely rejected by him in that moment and I will never give him that opportunity again.
Did I ever truly ‘love’ them? I guess so, I mean I cognitively know that I did indeed, love them. I had been especially close to my sister in my mid teens (she is 10 years older than me) but I cannot go back to that place before the shame, it’s just not there. I have the memories of spending time with her before that happened and they are pleasant enough, but there is simply no access to the warm feeling I must have had toward her, or my brother.
Did I/do I ‘truly’ love them? Absolutely… I think.
As for lovers … for me this is a different story/pathology and I will write more about that in another post.