The Mighty Logo

What It’s Like to Be in a Long-Distance Relationship With Borderline Personality Disorder

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

It’s feels like agony. It is agony. Everything feels wrong and no matter where you step, it will be wrong. But it doesn’t matter anyway because you’re stuck. You are stuck in place with no way to move one direction or the other. Because you know both directions, whichever way, are going to be agony — pure agony.

There is always an underlying franticness daily — when you’ll hear from him, when he’ll text back, when you will see him next. You’re already whirling through your mind desperately trying to make a next weekend flight to Denver work. How can I shift my son’s schedule and my work schedule to make a quick reprieve from this agony and just book the flight for next weekend.

There is no end in sight. And right now, after not hearing from him for eight hours during the workday, you have decided it is over. He has found someone else and he loves his job so much more than you. And that place he chose to move to? Living there is better than living with you.

And that’s when the rage begins — the burning self-hatred for letting yourself get in this position again. The burning hatred for him for tricking you into believing someone could actually love you. And it hits like tidal wave after tidal wave, drowning in this complete blackness where nothing makes fucking sense any more.

Nothing makes sense.

Except for one thing. One thing makes sense in this agony and it creeps into your mind like a bleak, unwavering truth. And your mind begins to scream it from the rooftops and it is all you can hear.

The slightest (perceived) tilt in dynamic shakes me right to the edge of this suicidal downward spiral. On a bad day, it takes even less. And agony is the only way to describe it.

I feel exhausted and consumed. I feel used and disposable. I feel incredible guilt for lashing out, for feeling this way. I feel impenetrable self-loathing.

Most of us living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) know what having a “favorite” person means. My favorite person is my significant other. Distance from your favorite person is, again — that word “agony.”

I “check the facts” daily. I go through the lists I’ve made in therapy over and over again, taking relief in the fact they are there and true — but also fighting the waves of thought.

“Of course this isn’t right. You don’t deserve someone like this. It won’t work. You’ll drive him away, you always do.”

And that truth I rely on in these moments become dangerously skewed.

It’s continuous.

My significant other understands me completely and does his best to be there in these cycles, with reassurance that he does indeed still love me. After a while, even that can feel like a lie. Because if it were so, why would he abandon me here and move out of state? This is another toxic thought I cannot shake in these episodes.

Sobriety and intensive dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) have saved me. They have allowed me to see, if even within a tiny hole, through the bleak, foggy despair I feel.

Being with someone who understands my BPD is an important piece of the puzzle, especially with the distance. And most importantly, as insufferable as it feels sometimes, I am self aware. I am learning the skills to cope the best way for me — and that has made all the difference.

Long distance relationships are not easy with the healthiest of people. My significant other’s mental health struggles coupled with my borderline personality disorder is an uphill fight — but one we’ve committed to fighting through together.

Abandonment is the pinnacle of my own BPD and it becomes a daily restructure of everything is not black and white. No immediate text back doesn’t mean he left me for someone else and moving out of state for a job doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me anymore.

I refuse to let my BPD destroy what is otherwise a wonderful, loving and supportive relationship. Despite the distance — especially because of the distance.

The best thing I can do is keep fighting.

Getty Images: Motortion

Originally published: November 13, 2019
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