When Borderline Personality Disorder Makes You Love 'Wrong'

I am very used to friends telling me they need space. As someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD), I get that all the time. I love too much.

When I love someone, I love them with everything I have — and that love is very intense. There is no in-between. For me, it’s either all in or nothing at all. I feel this love with every fiber of my being, and it often overwhelms me. I care about the people I love so much, more than I care about myself. I want everything good in the world for them, and want to support them in everything they do. Their happiness is my happiness. Their sorrow is my sorrow. I would do anything for them. My favorite thing in the world is seeing them happy.

Because my borderline causes me to love so intensely, it often overwhelms my friends. They often feel like I am suffocating them. They think it is “too much” and ask for space. I don’t exactly understand this, as I believe that anyone would be lucky to have a friend who cares about them that much. I wish I had a friend who cares about me that much. It hurts when a friend tells you that you’re overwhelming them, especially when you only want the best for them. To me, it feels like I cannot even love correctly.

I love my friends so much; I cannot imagine life without them. To me, a life without them is not a life at all. Because of this, I have a deep seated fear of rejection from them. At any hint of rejection, I blow up at them. When I have a fear-based outburst, I do not think clearly, and my entire body heats up. I can barely breathe and the self-hating thoughts start coming. I start to think the person hates me and does not want me alive. It is very hard to stop these outbursts, as I feel them so deeply and it is hard to contain them in my body. If I don’t get them out, it feels like I am going to burst. Although these outbursts are an attempt to “save” the friendship, it often does the opposite: drives them away.

Because I love my friends so much, I live for their reassurance, attention and validation. Unfortunately, I tend to idolize my friends in a way that is not healthy. Their opinion means everything to me, and I am happiest when they are paying attention to me in a positive way. I feel like I always need to be talking to them and spending time with them, which leaves me extremely depressed when I do not get that. I have a hard time seeing our friendships and remembering they love me when we are not talking. Because of this, I constantly feel lonely.

Here lies the “suffocation” of my love. All of this overwhelms those who I love, as it is too much pressure. I am “too much” for people. As a result, I have trouble keeping stable friendships.

One day, I will get my borderline under control. I work so hard every day, and one day I will learn how to love in a healthy way. However, for right now, I am so grateful to the friends who stand by me and stay with me no matter what. In the end, when I am in a healthy place, it will all be worth it.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Angel Monsanto III

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Borderline Personality Disorder

Smiling Young Red-haired woman dressed in jacket is enjoying vivid sunset in the streets.

The Bright Side of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD). What words come to mind after hearing such a diagnosis? Manipulative. Attention-seeking. That “crazy ex” of so-and-so who threatened to burn his house down. If you have it or love someone who does, you’re familiar with the fragile self-esteem, self-destructive tendencies and rollercoaster of emotions that can make daily life struggling [...]
bpd tv shows

6 TV Shows That Got Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms (Mostly) Right

Editor’s Note: The following post contains spoilers for the TV shows mentioned.  So much stigma surrounds borderline personality disorder (BPD). Finding a TV show that accurately depicts it can feel like an impossible task. Most only know BPD based on stereotypes, and because of this, it’s easy to question whether compassionate depictions of BPD and its symptoms exist in pop culture at all. [...]
woman shame covering face with hands against plain background

How I'm Breaking Through the Shame of Borderline Personality Disorder

What I have struggled most with is shame. I use language intentionally. And strategically. I have, to me, connotes something perpetual, but not necessarily something permanent. Each week, I attend a DBT group. DBT, or dialectical behavior therapy, is a form of therapeutic treatment geared primarily toward those with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It aims to support those struggling with [...]
Handsome middle-aged man sitting thinking in the sunlight at the coast with a serious expression and ocean backdrop

What Turning 55 With Borderline Personality Disorder Was Like

I turned 55 today. I stood in a very cold garage smoking a high-end cigar and drinking a maple bourbon and coke, listening to Sinatra’s “September of My Years,” wondering what all my dead relatives would think of me now. It’s play acting, I know. I try to catch a feeling and a place in [...]