Dear Mitchell…

Those of you who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder know that it affects each and every personal relationship in your life; but you might not know how it feels to be on the other side of it.

In searching for other bloggers who write about BPD, I stumbled across the blog “The Abused Man”. It is a profoundly open look at how it feels to be the spouse of a Borderline; and riccain wrote a letter to his ex-wife this morning that contains many sentiments that have been expressed by my own husband. As such, I feel a need to try and respond as though Mitchell wrote it.

Though it might provide little comfort to my fellow blogger, I hope that it sheds some light on the inner-workings of a Borderline relationship. You can read his beautiful letter here: A Letter to My Abusive Ex. It stands as a testimony to the worst our loved ones can endure.

If Only I Could Use My Words…

Dear Mitchell,

My love. If only I could tell you of the pain inside me. Loneliness and despair are my constant companions; playmates I did not invite into the yard, bullies that haunt all the days of my life.

They were with me long before we met, and will remain long after you have gone… and my inherent fear, even after twenty years of sharing our lives together, is that you will leave. You will leave because everyone does; they always have, and I am ever at the ready for your departure. This dark knowing colors all the hours we spend together, and I have no respite from the unease of it.

I constantly seek the validation of others; not because the validation I receive from you is wanting, but because I cannot trust that it will always be there… and I must always have a source of external confirmation that I exist. If I have no reflection, I know not that I am here.

This internal fear and torment is not your fault. You are not the source of my pain, never have you been the true source, and I am heartsore at knowing you feel that you are.

You try so hard to heal wounds you did not inflict; and in fact, they are more than wounds… they are missing pieces of my soul that cannot be returned. Parts of who I fundamentally could have been that were taken long ago; taken by monsters that feed on the innocent trust of children. They had not your heart, your empathy, your compassion, your generosity, your warmth. They were dark and terrifying; and they stalk me still, in my dreams.

When you raise your voice, or express disapproval — the tiniest disapproval — voices from my past flood through my head. The only thing I hear is that I am not good enough, which equates to I am not worthy of love.

Upon hearing this, the protector deep inside rises. Born of former sin, she grew from the broken places, and is made of every sharp and shattered edge that remains. She bleeds through my rationality and love for you, and pounces on every perceived mistake. You are the only man she has on which to focus, but not the man she wishes to destroy. She is a blind creature, and cannot perceive the difference.

When the Witch B*tch takes the wheel, I have not the strength to fight her. I know that her fury is misdirected, that her anger is misplaced. She has learned that you are strong enough to withstand her might; and her wrath at your strength is merciless. Once unleashed, she stops only at the drawing of emotional blood… and because of this, I know you live in a permanent state of readiness.

You have paid for every transgression in my past. Not because you deserved it, but because you are here. The very thing that makes you precious to me is also your undoing. I push you away to keep you from leaving me first — I cannot bear to hear you say, “You are not worthy, nor capable of love.” So I say it first… because if I can make those words true of you, than they cannot be true of me.

I give you credit for withstanding the wrath of the harpy within, for holding the woman that remains when her outrage has run its course, and I lie exhausted, spent, and crying on the floor.

The Witch B*tch has taken pieces of you in an effort to make me whole, and I despise her for it. I despair at the constant wariness that has silenced your voice and made you ever-watchful of the woman you love. I cannot image how difficult it was to learn to walk on eggshells without making a sound; and am crushed by the knowledge that you have mastered it.

I cannot tell you that one day my protector will leave me. She has, unfortunately, come to stay. Ever mindful that you may abandon the girl she was sent to save; and that the one who takes your place could be another spectral horror.

Please don’t leave. Please don’t listen when the guardian rages. When I push you away, please understand it is because I desperately want you to stay.

With Love,


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