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Why My Partner’s Response to My Borderline Personality Disorder Left Me Breathless

To the man who has chosen to love me,

Let me begin and end by saying, “I love you.” I have thought long and hard about how to approach this and conclude how to express what I am feeling. In this letter, there will be no lists that state what to expect when dating or loving me. There will be no “how-to” guide, where I tell you how I need you to react to my behavior. There will be none of that because I cannot tell you what to expect or how to react. 

I wanted to try and put words to how I feel when I am with you. At first, the thought may be the new bliss or honeymoon phase of the blooming relationship. The all-around happy and good feelings that come with experiencing a new relationship are what some expect me to say. There are those who expect me to say that being with you takes away all my thoughts and worries and that I feel only happiness with you. This is not the case. It is not even close. 

Having borderline personality disorder (BPD) means my mind lies to me every day. Pile a heaping scoop of anxiety on top of it and I become a train wreck, a dumpster fire, just an all-consuming hot mess. I tried telling you this tonight and you patiently listened to my downward spiral of negativity. You even let there be silence between us until you chose to reply. My mind, as I told you, was so consumed with scenarios A through Z that one thing you did say stopped me. Stopped. Me. In. My. Own. Head:

“No matter the scenario that you think of, remember that I love you in every single one of them.”

Even as I write this to you, after writing what you said, everything completely stopped. For a moment, I did not have words to express the herd of galloping emotions that thundered through my body. How I interpreted what you said left me breathless. Instead of telling me I need to change the way I think. Instead of telling me those scenarios were not realistic. Instead of telling me I am “crazy.” Instead of all those things, you told me you love me. Not just love me but love me in those scenarios. You had no clue what those scenarios were except that there were 26 of them. Twenty-six times, in my head, no matter the scenario, you reassured me that you love me. Without anger. Without frustration. You reassured me.

Now let me go back to the beginning of this letter where I told you it was not all gumdrops and butterflies when I am with you. You make me feel… no, “make” is the wrong word. You allow me to feel every emotion that crosses my mind. When I am with you, the emotions that would usually result in a complete loss of control become manageable. The more time I spend with you, the more I realize that my ability to experience so many emotions is a gift. My mind is a gift.

The metaphor becomes less about me trying to kill my dragon of emotions with a shaky sword in hand, to “I am going to ride that dragon and conquer that landscape of my mind.” If you think about it, if I were to continue to try and kill the dragon, my mind would become a landscape of ash. The dragon’s flames would incinerate everything I have worked so hard to build. On the contrary, if I were to find common ground with the dragon and be able to ride it, the dragon and I could work together to conquer the irrational fears and thoughts that my borderline mind creates.

So often, women believe they need a knight in shining armor to save them. You, my handsome man, have become my knight in shining armor but you have not saved me. You have awoken me. You have sharpened my sword. You have honed my battle skills.

I write this to you now as an invitation from the back of my magnificent dragon. Our relationship will be the ultimate adventure to experience by each other’s sides. Take my hand and climb upon this dragon’s broad back. Together, the life and relationship that we chose to build will be epic. One that neither of us will expect. I look forward to this and so much more with you.

Let me end with,

I love you.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash