Borderline Personality Disorder is the most widely recognised mental disorder in the West. However, this should not make you underestimate it. Severe Borderline is excruciating for the sufferers. More than that, it heavily affects the people around them. This is because it is characterised by rage attacks, violent mood swings, irrational and dangerous behaviours, deliberate threatened or actual harm to both self and others and destructiveness.
If you are a man dating, looking for a partner, then you might encounter someone who displays the symptoms of Borderline. While we make our own decisions in life and are responsible for them, I would advise you to read this and watch the associated video. I have also added links to other sites with more information. I think you should inform yourself about this condition before you make a decision as to whether or not this person really is somebody you could make a life with.
I recently was involved with a girl who, it turned out, showed strong symptoms of Borderline. Indeed it was this relationship that made me research the topic. I put her through three different sets of standard diagnostic questions, on which she came up at 80% probability of Borderline. Here is a typical online test. This was confirmed by observation. I say this so that you know that I have direct personal experience of the condition. It is not nice.
As I said above, Borderline is characterised by violent temper outbursts, extreme mood swings, as well as swings in the evaluation of others, and self self-evaluation. None of this is static; Borderline causes people to constantly change so that they seem fluid. It is very difficult to find out who they really are and indeed it is a classic symptom that they do not know this themselves.
Because of this constant flipping, Borderlines are regarded even by professional therapists as extremely difficult to treat and those who do, often report feelings of sheer exhaustion. No matter what you say to a Borderline, it will be wrong. If you say she looks pretty today, she will accuse you: ‘You’re saying I didn’t look pretty yesterday’.
Borderlines are on the borderline
Borderlines are not actually schizophrenic; they are on the borderline. They are not actually psychopathic, they are on the borderline. In fact, just about any mental condition you can think of, they will be on the borderline of and frequently show symptoms of. That is the reason for the name.
As a result of this, their lives are chaotic in every way. Their relationships are chaotic. Their finances are chaotic. They will be chaotic students, if they are able to study at all.
Lurking behind the Borderline personality is the Narcissistic Rage attack. Borderlines are borderline narcissists, just as they are borderline everything else. But remember that they have only a feeble sense of self. This leads them to identify themselves in terms of others. This might be social group or family, but it might be partner. The point is that the Borderline’s personality is weak and ill-defined, yet they clutch at it like a security blanket. If you take it away their rage response kicks in because any threat is existential.
So when you tell a Borderline that you’ve had enough, she will destroy your home. She may attack you. She will weaponise everything. Never allow a Borderline to drive you anywhere, especially if she is in the throes of a rage attack. She may well provoke a crash. (Typically she will be an erratic, overconfident and reckless driver — but think that she’s Fangio.)
Damage to self
For the Borderline, damage to herself is inconsequential because her self-worth is so low. If she has identified herself as a person in terms of her relationship with you, then, if you break with her, her response will be to eradicate you. If that means eradicating herself at the same time, she cares not a jot, since she does not value her own self except in terms of you.
Borderlines like to hurt. If your putative partner repeatedly hurts you after you have told her it hurts and you don’t want her to do it, be careful. If she attempts to assuage you, should you push her away in annoyance, by an excessive effusion of affection, be even more so. The Borderline is seeing how much abuse you will take, because this is a measure of her possession and control over you; but she doesn’t want to lose you, because you have become the centre of her own identity.
She knows she is causing you pain; it’s just that she has felt pain and wants everyone else to. She can’t help it.
Relationships with Borderline subjects
These are characterised by intense stress on the people around them and especially their partners. One never knows when a casual word or act will provoke a rage response and, indeed, one may never know the actual cause of it. Because the Borderline is so paranoid, she suffers from delusions: what has set her off might have happened only in her mind. You get an unexpected message from an old flame. She takes a knife to you — because, obviously, you must be cheating on her.
The Borderline will go through your contacts book like a dose of salts, insisting that first your pretty female friends are removed, then your not pretty female friends, then your male friends. I would say that any demand for access to personal details is a cause for worry and that insisting on removal of particular individuals should be a deal-breaker. Relationships are based on trust, but a Borderline is completely incapable of trusting anyone.
HSTS in particular report high levels of childhood sexual abuse, often by other family members. They also report particularly high levels of non-sexual physical and mental abuse, usually applied to ‘cure’ them of their non-conforming behaviour, either at the hands of parents or school peers. This might lead to the development of Borderline in adulthood.
Autogynephilic transgenders are less likely to have suffered such abuse, because their condition does not appear till after puberty; but they are themselves exhibiting a disorder, a paraphilia, and we know that these tend to ‘cluster’. Since the issues surrounding autogynephilia are very much to do with self-image and the characterisation of the self, this tends to make them particularly prone to Borderline. (Asian AGPs might be less prone than Western ones, because of greater peer-group support in adolescence.)
It is not the Borderline’s fault that she has the condition. All too often it is the direct result of appalling parenting and childhood abuse. But at the same time it is not your responsibility to throw away your own life and happiness to cure her. There are plenty of transwomen (and for that matter natal women) without it. It is up to the Borderline herself to recognise her problem and to deal with it, before asking anyone else to sacrifice themselves at her altar.
At the same time, like all things human, Borderline appears on a scale of severity from mild to severe. Here we should apply the standard: does this condition allow the subject to live a normal meaningful life and sustain viable relationships? All too often the answer is ‘no’.
By no means would it be true to say that a majority of transwoman are Borderline. In fact, very few are. A survey in 2008 suggested that around 6% of people have this condition, or around 1:20. Even though other studies suggest the incidence in women is much higher than in men, there is no reason to assume transwomen are vastly more prone to it. But that still leaves a 1:20 chance, even if just being trans is not an aggravation, that the transwoman you have agreed to date has it.
These are just a few of the things you should be aware of. I strongly advise you to read the links I provide below and to consider this: is this relationship worth your own sanity, physical health and even your life?
Also published on Medium.