Borderline Personality Disorder,  Resources

Why would you trust me?

Lately, I have been considering this question. Why would you (the Non-BP) trust ME? I mean, I’m nobody, right? I’m not a therapist. I have written a how-to book for Nons. (like “Stop Walking on Eggshells” – great title BTW – and my book will appear soon too… haha). Who the heck am I? Right?

Well, I am a regular person who loves and lives with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. I have been living with someone with the disorder for more than 15 years. A couple of years ago I decided to learn as much as I can about the disorder and abut what I could do as a loved one to make my life easier. I did read SWOE and the SWOE workbook. I started using the “tools” in SWOE immediately after I finished the book. (A quick note on SWOE. The co-author of that book doesn’t live with a BP, in fact she never had a relationship with a diagnosed BP. In the intro to SWOE she says she had to find out what was happening with a relationship that had just ended – with a man (I suppose) who was not officially diagnosed. Who would you believe more? Someone who has lived with a BP for fifteen+ years (like me) or someone who had a FORMER relationship with an undiagnosed BP? You can choose which person is more knowledgeable).

I also got on the Welcome to Oz (WTO) mailing list and started reading the advice of other Nons (although WTO is mainly a bitch session). Eventually, I started proving advice to others there. (If you are a member of WTO you can look up my archived posts). I met several people there who became my friends and walked with me on my quest to figure out what the heck was going on with our spouses, partners and children. After that I attended a DBT-FST (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Family Skills Training) workshop.That taught me a lot. But ultimately, I had to find the techniques that worked for me.

I have found a combination of attitudes and tools that are generally effective in having a relationship with someone with BPD. It is difficult, but my life is much better than it was three years ago. So, why trust me? Because I have experimented and found some things that work.

Read my book, I implore you. It’s not just self-promotion – it’s tried and true knowledge. Sure, you can buy SWOE and read it – but I’d like to know AFTER you read it and try it – is it effective?


  • BPD in OKC

    I think in the blog-world everyone who shares their stories and thoughts about Borderline should be thanked. I’m a Borderline sufferer, and I trust what you say. I think everyone who has any experience with this horrible disorder has the right to share their stories and thoughts. Your blog helps me see things in different ways. I think we owe it to ourselves to post what we can about the disorder so others can learn from us and so we can raise awareness.

  • Eric

    I can tell you from experience, SWOE, while interesting does not work. DBT and related methods do work. DBT is the only things that has been proven to help BPs as far as I know.

  • Bon Dobbs

    BPD in OKC,

    I agree. For too long I had no clue what the disorder was. I’m glad that May is BPD awareness month, but what does that do other than generate press releases (maybe that’s the point). I mean, we are all dealing with some serious issues – with the risk of suicide at 400 times that of the general population (if you believe those same press releases). Awareness definitely has to be raised – AND stigma and myths have to be dispelled. I had an acquaintance in college who had BPD. I didn’t know it at the time, but my then girlfriend (who was studying psychology) told me that she thought this young woman had BPD. Even my girlfriend didn’t understand the disorder and she had a dim and misconceived notion of what BPD was. Those notions stuck with me for many years until I researched the disorder more thoroughly.

    For the most part, I just want to help. I find it frustrating that when I discovered some of these effective tools and applied them to my life and found out “Wow, this works!” and then tried to share them with the group over at WTO (talk about misconceived notions about BPD), I got run off the board (basically). Some Non-BP’s clearly don’t actually want to understand the disorder and don’t want to bother acquiring the skills to more effectively manage it. They just want to bitch about how badly they have been hurt, which I can understand, but it seems you can only bitch for so long before you start to DO something about the situation you’re in. Maybe that’s just me.


  • Bon Dobbs

    And Eric,

    Yes, SWOE doesn’t work. I bought SWOE way back in 2005 (and the Workbook!), thinking that I had found the solution to my problems. I think that when you discover SWOE, you’re like woohoo! I tried the stuff in SWOE for about 2 months. At first it worked, but then it got worse. That was when I had to turn to DBT-FST. That helped more, but only practice and experimentation actually helped the most. Validation has been a HUGE help – but now I’ve moved on from validation to more advanced stuff. I think you have to see what works for you and for your loved one with BPD. I find it ridiculous that so many websites push SWOE. I don’t know if they haven’t found a solid alternative or haven’t actually TRIED to use SWOE’s prescriptions… I just don’t know. Maybe it’s the title. You have a bunch of women who are afraid of their raging, asshole husbands and they think “I’m walking on eggshells!” – viola!

  • Julie

    That’s what my blog is all about. I started it as a diary of my life but it has morphed into a blog about BPD and how I feel about BPD because as I work with my therapist and evaluate my relationships Im coming to the realization that I just might know alot of people with BPD (some with a diagnosis…some without). And I gotta tell ya…those that are aware are a whole different ballgame than the ones that arent. We MUST remove the stigma so that its not such a big deal to go OH…BTW…I have BPD so if I start acting weird that’s why. MUST MUST MUST remove the stigma.

    And…ya know…I say that because Im one of the few people that know what is wrong with my Ex. Everyone else just thinks he’s nuts. And…the funny thing is…when he’s acting out of control driving everyone else nuts I am still able to give him a look or say something brief (cause…technically…we’re still not talking) that seems to wake him up and calm him down. And I firmly believe its because he knows Im coming from an “aware” place so if Im actually saying something to him…when my normal stance is to be part of the group while leaving him be…that he must be acting funny so maybe he should give it a rest. Maybe Im wrong about that…but does it matter if its working?

    Anyway…Im pretty much writing about the borderline personalities in my life from my non perspective and none of the techniques work for all of them. I would hope that for both those that know they are borderline and those that go…OMG…Im having the same experience as you…is that what it is…can gain some insight from my personal experiences. I haven’t posted in awhile. I have a bunch to write but no time. In my last post I was MAD at my ex…or was it me that I was mad at? Both, I think. The point is for all of us affected by this its important that we share and compare notes. I know what works for me and the more I find out about this the better able I am to interact with those in my life that are on the other side of the pain (cause we all have some pain in this thing…ya know?).

  • Bon Dobbs


    Thanks for posting a comment. I know what you’re saying. As for techniques and whatever, I have developed a few and published them in my book – but you’re right – I’m not sure they will work with EVERY BP. Although I think sometimes people read something like intro to SWOE and think “That’s it! BPD!” when really their husband is just a jerk and they are conflict avoidant. I used to see a lot of those types on WTO.

    IMO BPD is chiefly an emotional disorder, so what I find works best is emotional tools. I found that most people try and solve the wrong problem when dealing with a borderline – meaning, they try to solve whatever the problem is in the real world not realizing that it’s the FEELINGS about what has happened that are the real problem. Solve the feelings (or get out of them) and no more problem. Still, it is difficult for us nons when OUR emotions get into the mix. Yes, we all have pain – no doubt about that. And we all have varying abilities (both in-born and learned) of regulating our emotional states.

    Take care and keep on bloggn’


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