Return of the Waif


It’s been quite a while since I’ve last posted. I hope that my lack of posting serves as a source of hope for you; you too will eventually get to a place where you put all the craziness behind you and get on with living. In time this whole experience is little more than a distant, hazy memory.

Yesterday, she made contact. There has been no contact between us at all since July 2010 (she contacted me via text at that point and I never responded). She sent me an email yesterday. It was a strange experience. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but at the very moment I received her email, I had been peeking at her Facebook page (something I haven’t done in a long time).

waif returnsOddly, I felt some strange, overwhelming curiosity to look at her Facebook page just moments before I received her email message. Perhaps people are capable of making some sort of unconscious connection. Who knows.

If I were to have practiced everything I have preached, I would have immediately deleted her email without reading it. Actually, I should have had her email address blocked (so I’d never know the message was sent). I’m at a place with all of this where I am nearly certain I could read the email without issue. I don’t recommend you take the same risk unless you know for sure you can handle it.

The message was a forwarded message she had received. It was a stupid, feel-good, spammy message about people coming into and leaving your life at different points. I was one of seven other recipients that she forwarded the message to. There was no personal message of any significance included. I did not (and will not) respond.

How did it make me feel? When I first saw the email address in my inbox, my heart did a quick-skip, but immediately following, all I remember feeling was this feeling of, “what the hell could this be?” It certainly darkened my day a little be, but admittedly, I felt no sadness or feeling of loss.

I took a look at a recent photo of her today as I contemplated things a bit. She is still as beautiful as ever. Something about her has always set me afire. I suppose that is one of the single-most difficult aspects of the whole relationship with a BPD waif; the physical connection we have to them is so drug-like. We literally become addicted to them.

Thankfully, I am a recovered addict at this point. I am an addict who knows his limits. Like an alcoholic who knows just one drop could send him reeling back into alcoholism, I avoid any future interactions with her for fear of once again becoming caught in her snares.

So why the email? I have received no other emails from her in over 2.5 years… I know why. She must have had a recent breakup or situation that has triggered her. The email with me as one of many recipients (and with no personal message) was a safe way for her to send out feelers – safe bait for her to use. She’s not doing it because she wants me, she’s doing it because she just wants someone to make her feel like she exists again. It’s sad. I feel sorry for her to an extent.

I suspect I’ll be hearing from her again in the future, maybe six months from now, or maybe five years. I suspect she’ll pop in here and there for the rest of our lives.

Take care everyone.  I wish you well…

Comments 14

  • I enjoyed this post! I’ve had a very similar experience with text messages a year later breaking up. I felt the pull because I knew she was hurting and I started to think again about how great she’d be with several months of DBT under her belt. But then reality set in and I realized I can’t change her, and in all likelihood that she never loved me to begin with. I blocked her phone, email, Facebook, and the peace and quiet since then has been calming. It’s not my job to fix other people, and I must honor myself by shedding toxic people and being round ones that are more healthy.

  • Dude…I know. They are black holes and never get better without being strapped to a chair in a therapist office and forced to do the work to get better. It is sad but just pray for her and if you don’t believe in God send out good karma and thoughts. Hope everyone in our situation and on this site are getting better.

  • Mine left suddenly and abruptly almost two years ago. On a Monday she was talking about what kind of engagement ring she wanted, which chapel and reception venue we could use…Saturday five days later I got my walking papers. The way she just walked away and seemed to go on her merry way and continue her life hurt me beyond belief. I felt erased and zeroed out. I’d had breakups before and they hurt, but there was mutual respect and courtesy towards one another. This was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I reached out to her twice in the immediate aftermath and got radio silence for my efforts, so I went NC and that was the start of a long journey.

    In a much better place now, but there is still some residual hurt. My imagination went wild and I pictured her in the arms of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Warren Buffett and Jason Statham all rolled into one. It was torture. But I stuck to NC and gradually got better.

    Tonight I stumbled across her profile on a dating site. On the one hand it is kind of validating to know that they don’t get magically better after us, that they don’t automatically walk away to happily ever after. On the other hand I feel something stirred up in me. I know this is not something I would want to rekindle, but I remember the good times and I wish there was a way she could get help for her demons and in an ideal universe we could be together. It is painful.

  • I was also at the point, in which I wished her to get better, find a better place for her…thinking that it would make a difference…. Now, after some time of not seeing her falsely innocent eyes…. I don’t give a damn what she’s doing with her life, who she’s with (read: who’s destroyed by her) and what idiotic ideals command her mind….. It’s a waste of preciuos time.

    Sorry for my untrained english, thank you.

  • this post was enlightening to say the least….im still chasing the dream after 3 breakups starting back in may…..i didnt see her fron aug 30 to last saturday when i invited her to come see me and my new apartment…she came we played tennis went to dinner and kissed a little…it was sureal…the next day she slowly started to pull back again and i was (am) left grasping at straws…NC seems impossible to me…she is saying its not fair for her to be leaning on me and im saying no problem lets be friends anything to keep hope alive…based on what im reading there is no hope..since day 1 she has followed the BPD manual to a T…its so hard…even after everything ive read i still cannot stop texting talking playing WWF (words with friends online) with her and any contact i can get no matter how excruciating and frustrating….im praying for the strenghth to exit this toxic situation….can i do it??? please advise…….

  • Let me put it this way of what WILL happen if you prolong this contact with a BPD.
    Mistletoe is a plant that lives on/off host vegetation by sucking nurturance, foundation and weight demands on a host tree. Mistletoe survives and propagates using other Gods creation too. Birds eat the white taste berries, fly off and pass seeds that land on other trees. Although we have associate romantic gestures during holiday season by kissing “under the greenery” if you digest the white berries you would get deathly sick; so it’s not a symbiotic relationship where both parties benefit!!! Eventually the tree will slowly die; the Mistletoe will increase in size and multiply and exhausting the host tree. Bit by bit the tree limbs die off because all the nurturance to sustain its self were sucked off by “her”, once the limbs are gone only the trunks is left, however the trunk will rot to the ground; the Mistletoe will continue to exist by germinate on other trees “men”.
    God is with you for he gave you strong roots to survive and grow again…follow the no contact rule, because you may have a few limbs left. I stayed to long myself it takes a long time to grow when you are left with corpuscle roots.

  • Eddy, beautiful analogy about the uneven relationship that is part and parcel in being with someone with BPD. I am a recovering addict, and I’m still unsure what exactly it or who I was addicted to. Last year at this time, my ex contacted me and I was convinced to go back and I stayed for 4 excruciating months. Distance brings much clarity, and though the contact validated things I was coming to realizations about, it also increased the crap to the pile that I’d had to resolve and process later. I remember so many moments that I should have not gone back. If I had followed those moments of insight (that I dismissed) I would have saved myself so much chaos and suffering.

    • followed those moments of insight (that I dismissed)
      It is not until one gets deep involved with a BDP and get the necessary space to reflect back on those “moments of insight” that one is able to understand what truly one was looking at. It’s like walking down path in a wooded area, up close you see a three pointed leaf and “insight” tells one to be apprehension, however it’s not until one steps back that you see the vine that it’s attached to “poison ivy”. The point is while deeply involved with a BPD it’s not until one step back that you are able to see the disorder; the only way to stop the inching is no contact and seek medical help and or self-educate to not be a repeater. Furthermore with proper healing one can develop anti bodies to brush by this toxic vegetation “people” and not get infected, but remember don’t lose the lesson and pick it up again.

  • Eddy Out, this lesson will stay with me forever. It’s been a little over a year since NC and though I sometimes still notice the effects of that 5 year devil dance (feeling the need to give excuses, blaming myself for things that aren’t my fault), that spell is broken. But I am smart enough not to fall for the “just friends” line because I realize that those times where she was kind and fun and compassionate were the act, not the awful times. The awful times were the real her. It took me a while to accept that. I was in love with the person she became when she needed to reel me in. The BPD is a master of illusion and manipulation. They spend 24 hours a day plotting and planning, a trait that separates them from “normal” people. I can honestly say that I’d never go back because the desire is gone. It’s like being de-programmed after leaving a cult. You get the chance to look behind the curtain and see the truth and what was once beautiful in the shadows is now ugly and horrid in the light of day.

  • Hey guys,

    Im currently in a relationship (10 months) with a BPD, after having split with her twice before.

    We met online and seemed to hit it right off from the start. But less than one month in we separated for about 2 months. I thought it was over and had begun to move on when she text me saying she could not live without me. We got back together and stayed together for the next 6 or so months until she dumped me. I was obviously heart broken and she kept asking if we could stay friends. I told her that was never going to be an option and that I was gone for good. Saying that to her seemed to break her and about a week later she asked if we could get back together promising that she would get help and be the best GF ever.

    I told her it was her last chance and we took things slowly until she came out and asked me to marry her, about 2 weeks after we got back. The closeness and the intimacy was amazing until now. Now she is cold and issuing ultimatums to me saying ‘ill give you another month” etc

    Hardly texts me now and when she does its short one liners or just about how depressed she feels.

    Recently she has had a number of violent outburst with friends, thankfully not against me.

    The whole situation is pushing me to breaking point.

  • I highly recommend the book, Understanding the Borderline Mother by Christine Ann Lawson. The book describes different types of borderline personalities that control and manipulate using different behaviors: The Waif – dominant emotion: Helpless. Motto: “Life is too hard.” The Hermit- dominant emotion: Fear. Motto: “Life is too dangerous.” The Queen – dominant emotion: emptiness. Motto: Life is all about me.” The Witch – dominant emotion: annihilating rage. Motto: “Life is War.” This is an incredibly validating book with suggestions on how to deal with the behaviors.

  • Going through a legal separation with a BPD waif. Married incredibly quickly 6 years ago because of how powerful the connection was. “Why wait?” was the agreed upon reason: “this is sooo incredible and just what we have been dreaming of our whole lives!” and it’s REAL!! I kept telling her and everyone else how I felt like I was in a dream! She would say the same, but not always with the same level of abandon. The hook was in deep, quick. Best s*x I had ever imagined. Kids on both sides thrown right in to this fantasyland.
    Now, after countless rages and kick-outs and roller coaster rides, we are going through a legal separation. I can’t go NC because of sharing the kids. Its okay most of the time, but really really hard at times. The worse is waking up in a cold sweat, having dreamt of her with another man, and finally happy. That kills me. Probably because I gave everything I had to fill that void, and I couldn’t. If it turns out that someone else can, and they can enjoy all of the pleasures that I worked so damn hard to be worthy of, I just don’t know how I will be able to handle that. What a nightmare. My prayers go out to all others going through this struggle to stay afloat. You are not alone.

  • Hello

    I just want to say that my own experience dealing with my Ex resonates very strong with what you’ve written in those articles. Although she was never officially diagnosed (or never told me about it) I am 99% certain she has BPD. Her behavior fits perfectly and my reactions to it also.

    Everything from your list applies to her (I will not go into details because of time and space concerns). But these are especially prominent:

    1. Their words do not match their actions.
    – This is VERY prominent! She used to say one thing and then do the exact opposite! Or fake forgetting about it later.
    2. Your gut / instincts tell you something is not right.
    – Oh YES, they were not just “telling” they were “yelling” sometimes!
    3. They seem too good to be true.
    – In the beginning of the relationship I thought she’s too good to be true and i’m such a lucky guy to have such a girl.
    4. They make villains of past significant others.
    – Every single one of them was being labeled as “immature”, “toxic”, “jealous” or had some other major flaw that was the reason for her past breakups. Also the sheer number of unstable and short-lived relationships she had (at least the ones i knew of) is a major red flag by itself. She was also engaged once but it didn’t end up in marriage.
    5. They do not have many friends.
    – Actually NONE, except the hordes of men wishing to take their turn of abuse. She would use these men and triangulate me to make me jealous.
    6. The friendships they do have seem shallow.
    – No real friends at all. The closest girl-friend she had abandoned her after the breakup. She was fed up with it too.
    7. They have an abusive and/or controlling parent.
    – Her mother was always been described as a crazy controlling b***h by her. She openly despised her.
    8. They do not accept responsibility and are blameless for their actions.
    – Yes, she never ever apologized for anything. After the usual argument it was me who keep coming back and apologizing for everything.
    9. Chances are they abuse alcohol and/or drugs.
    – She is known to be tipsy and enjoys her alcohol.
    10. They are secretive and hide things from you.
    – I was being blocked from one of her facebook pages (she had three, two of hers and one of her cat), because she didn’t want me to see what goes around in there, where she openly flirted with other men. I was also being absolutely forbidden to talk to her best girl-friend (mentioned above) because she feared she might disclose sensitive information.
    11. They try to keep you to from your friends or family.
    – She tried to undermine some of my friendships, especially the ones with the different s*x.
    12. They are physically attractive.
    – She is pretty indeed and pays a lot of attention on her appearance. It helps her lure in victims.
    13. They lie.
    – In your face, without remorse. Sometimes it’s mind-blowing.
    14. They are impulsive.
    – She can fly off the handle for the very slight notion of criticism against her. This was especially harsh towards me.
    15. They fall in love with you way too quickly.
    – She said she loved me in the first month of knowing her.
    16. They say what you want to hear.
    – And she will often lie to achieve this too.
    17. They push you away and quickly pull you back.
    – Yes, several times too.
    18. You never feel completely secure about where you stand with
    them.
    – Yes. Sometimes she would even admit she feels single to her fan-boys, and then tell some other guy she has a boyfriend, whatever suits her at that moment. And on top of that she will come and tell me all about it.
    19. They have evidence of self-injury.
    – She picks her nails in anxiety until they start to bleed. She also had suicidal episodes in the past.
    20. The s*x is amazing beyond belief.
    – This is the only thing I disagree with. She was very lousy in bed. But to us it always feels amazing due to the deep emotional attachment we feel for these people.
    21. They quickly cycle through varying emotions.
    – Sometimes in matter of hours and minutes.
    22. They have friends of the opposite s*x that make you uncomfortable.
    – Yes, as I stated above she would use them in triangulation and create all sorts of turmoil and drama.
    23. They are always texting or chatting online.
    – 24/7.
    24. They have distant, empty eyes.
    – I think this is a very interesting trait and I confirm it too. Seems a lot of people have noticed this – it feels like staring in two empty wells trying to find the water reflection but there is none.
    25. They have acute, unwarranted emotional reactions.

    I would like to add another very prominent trait:
    26. Total lack of responsibility.
    – Anything and everything that happens to them is due to somebody elses fault. They lack genuine empathy towards people and can even show misanthropic tendencies. If there is an argument it’s always YOUR fault and no amount of logic or reasoning is gonna make them see it in a different light.

    I broke up with her 6 months ago and went NC. I initiated it myself because she blew her final verbal insult towards me and this was the final drop in the cup.
    She never tried to hoover me but she did wrote me a message on my birthday (to greet me), and then she announced her new relationship with “this sweet guy” publicly to our common friends. I think this was the final blow she dealt to me and a sort of “wakeup call”. Needless to say I felt like a ghost for days – a lifeless sack of flesh. I was surprised the news would hit me so hard after I’ve managed to deal with it for months now.

    But I’ve seen this movie, I was a main actor in it and I already know the ending. For everyone reading this post, please do know – THEY WILL NOT MIRACULOUSLY CHANGE WITH THEIR NEW BF/GF AND BE THE PERFECT GUY/GAL YOU ALWAYS WANTED. This was one of the thoughts I struggled for longest. Their new target will be a complete wreck after a few months and suffer through the same turmoil as you do now. It doesn’t matter how happy they look now, you were in the same fog once too, remember? Rinse and Repeat.
    The only way they can change is via their own will, and sadly very few BPDs have such an insidious view of their own behavior to even will to make a change.

    Now it’s time to work on yourself. My therapist helped me immensely in this endeavor. Main points to work on while in recovery are your self-worth and belief that you DID NOTHING WRONG. You played your game right and were a wonderful, caring partner. It’s these qualities that the BPD used against you in first place (do you think they could’ve pulled this out with some insensitive a*****e? no wayl!).

    Thank you for sharing your story, and to everyone who posted theirs. The more awareness about this sickness the better.

  • She came on to me at work. She was ten years younger. We met and it got hot immediately. She was very affectionate and like melted butter when making out. We lived about an forty-five minutes away from each other. I was married. She invited me to her place. She lived at home, the folks gone. She talked about an abusive former boyfriend at times. She mentioned something like she stays in contact with former bfs. I was like..whatever. From the very beginning I thought “this is too good to be true”. We had s*x. It was good, but not the best ever. I think she disassociated during s*x. She was quiet and seemed somewhere else. It was unprotected s*x also. She seemed to enjoy cuddles and other things together than actual s*x. She started saying this to me: “tell me what to do”… I had no idea what that meant. Now I do. She had no idea how to think and needed guidance. She had options (guys) and didn’t know what to do. We met a few more times. Then out of the blue texted and she said she could not do this anymore because she had morals and values and true belief in god etc. I said ok well, so long. She said she still wanted to talk and keep in touch. I hung in there in hopes maybe something could improve. That was a bad decision. Over many weeks we would agree to meet but always on that day she had a reason not to meet. Then she started the whole damsel in distress thing. Tons of dramatic things in emails: a drunk guy pulled a knife on her, her ex bf that abused her was trying to get her back, headaches, stomach aches, bone issues…you name it. Finally one day we did meet again. She was not the same person. She looked like she had been rode hard and put away wet. She was mean and manipulative and cut the meeting short. One more time that happened. Finally I sent her a text and said that I am out. She begged to keep in touch. Then I sent her a text and said I think she needed to see a therapist because something is not right and maybe its from the abuse (if those stories were even true). She had a difficult childhood for sure.
    She texted back that she did not like the way I am and that she can not be a part of my life. She said goodbye after blaming me. Its been over 30 days. I feel great, but there were days where I thought I was crazy for not walking away sooner. I did see her and a boyfriend during that time. She placated to him heavily. I could see he was not taking any junk from her and setting limits. What she needs in a relationship at least. I really dont think she has any idea of Borderline Personality. I am not going to be the one to break NC to tell her that. Stay strong, set limits and do not let them cross boundaries. Control was her thing.

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