How My Partner Reacted to My BPD When I Thought It Was Over
He’s sitting on the bed, staring at the ceiling, the floor, the sheets we’ve ruffled during the night, anywhere but me. He can’t stand me right now. But he’s a gentleman; we’ve been together for four years and, on top of all, he loves me. I know he does. I notice in the way he holds me like he wants to mend all my broken pieces back together, how he coaxes food on my plate when I shy away from eating and how he always assures me I’m not “crazy.” Even when I cry my heart out, screaming how much I wish I were dead; even when I drink too much and believe in the kindness of strangers; even when my sincerity wins over my best judgment and I blurt out something I know will hurt him beyond repair. Like today.
I know it’s over. His hand meets the back of his neck, his teeth sink into his lower lip and his eyes close shut. He’s holding back the tears that will let me see him at his most vulnerable state because he knows that’s when I attack. That’s when I say all the things that have managed to make all the other men before him leave. I use their insecurities, their deepest fears and let them know I am not to be trusted, not to be loved. I help them move onto their next relationship without ever wondering about the woman who bled them dry. And in exchange, I live with the sensation that I was the one who left them first, not the one who was left. I hold the upper hand, I make the choices. They are not breaking my heart, I am the one doing it. But that doesn’t make it any better.
In fact, it’s way worse than letting the relationship take its natural course and putting an effort into making it work. It’s worse than resting assured I gave my all to my partner and for some reason, things didn’t go as planned. It happens. It’s life. And avoiding those rejection feelings at all costs is a depiction of my deepest fears. I must leave them so they don’t leave me.
So I watch, mouth agape, as he turns around and finally faces me again. And despite all the dread I know was embedded in his soul thanks to my poisonous words, he manages to remember the smiles we’ve shared, the late-night conversations, the stargazing, the movies we’ve watched together and the mixtape I made out of all the songs he likes. He remembers me, the real me all too well to let this fearful creature take over our future. That’s how he’s able to push his fears aside just like he’s pushing the pillows out of his way, and envelops me in a hug. I furiously cry and wonder what did I do in my past life to deserve so much forgiveness from this one guy who seems to be infatuated with the fact I am an unstable mess, and I know it’s forever when I hear his whisper against my ear, his soft lips caressing my earlobe just like his words caress the deepest realms of my soul: I don’t blame you. You’re scared. Don’t worry, I’m here for you and always will be. Hush.
There are not enough ways for me to thank him for being so wise, for knowing all of my secrets and looking past the mask I put on to pretend I am strong, and I’ll spend my whole life trying to figure out how can I ever repay his favors. It always starts with a simple thank you.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash