The Mighty Logo

How Borderline Personality Disorder Affects My Romantic Relationships

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

They all say I’m beautiful. Men love to look at me and appreciate the way I was created. I sing to them, laugh with them and wrap them up in good memories. They fall hard and fast and sometimes so do I. I revel in their attention and they wonder at mine. I touch them softly and our eyes swim together. They are enthralled and I am insatiable. I’m mysterious, playful and youthful. I’m passionate, ambitious and free.

Then I come undone.

I can only hide it for so long. They sense my anxiety when they leave. They feel my fear when they touch me. They hear my sadness as I reveal myself. They still say I’m beautiful, but worry creases their brow. They enjoy my time and my touch but tense when it is time to leave because they know how I will react to their goodbye. They still press their lips on mine but now they taste my desperation. They laugh to ease their discomfort as my fingers dig into their arm and my eyes are aflame with anger.

They become aware and distant. I become angry and bitter. The fun is gone, and I am lost and searching. It seems I can only reach to them, but then I start reaching for others because they are not there enough. It hurts too much to be alone. When I am, I escape into stories. Movies, songs or books. How is it possible to ever be loved? How can I find my happily ever after? Relating so much to the pain in each note or each scene that I carry it with me throughout my day.

I kiss them once and they are hooked. I touch them twice and believe they’ll never leave. I make love three times and want it all-or-nothing. I miss them too much when they’re away. I grieve what has not yet been lost. I fight to keep what I’m pushing away.

I go through cycles of loyalty and obsession. Fear of rejection turns it into anger and hostility. Soon, I seek out the honeymoon phase again with someone else, to feel that rush and to feel wanted, needed and safe. When someone really sees me, they’re not sure if they want me. Or maybe I’m just not sure if they do.

It stems from a childhood where I was forced to give hugs and kisses goodnight, even when I didn’t want to. But if they didn’t want a hug or a kiss and I needed it? Tough luck.

It stems from a mother who I dreamt was perfect even though I knew the court ruled her unfit to care for me.

It stems from a random hug from my father in the kitchen making me cry because he doesn’t show affection out of fear of setting off my stepmother’s issues.

It stems from wishing I would get a horrible disease and die because in a full home with so many kids, I felt so terribly alone.

It stems from creating dream worlds in my head where the handsome prince would save the fragile princess from the evil world she lived in and show her a kingdom they could run away to.

It grew from loving a grown man when I was still a confused teenager and being manipulated and used for his sexual gain.

It grew from loving another man who treated me better than any person had, but ruining it before it had the chance to begin because the previous man was familiar in his mental abuse.

And it will change, reshape and mend by finally realizing that the person I have been searching for was created in my own mind. The handsome prince cannot save me because he was created by me. Only I know what I truly need and want. Only I can love and heal the broken parts of me so fiercely that I will not allow another toxic person back into my life to set off my various mental health issues. I am addicted to this idea that a man will love me so deeply and unconditionally that finally I will not hurt anymore. Someday, I will find a healthy romantic relationship and have the sweet family I always dreamed of having. But for now, I must accept and love myself. I have to stop searching and asking who will love me? When all along I have known it was me.

Getty Image via Grandfailure

Originally published: December 15, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home