The Waif’s Empty Eyes


borderline waifOne thing I noticed about my borderline waif ex-girlfriend is that her eyes almost always seemed lifeless and empty. It always seemed creepy to me. It is even noticeable in photos of her. She always appeared distant and alone, even in group shots when everyone was smiling (including her). It’s a sad sight to see. The eyes are telling. No amount of fake smiles or laughter could ever hide the emptiness in my ex-girlfriend’s eyes.

I’ve heard others say the same thing about their borderline disordered spouses or significant others. It seems to be a common theme. I wonder how it is that their eyes can give away so much…

Did you (or do you) notice the same thing with the Borderline in your life?

Comments 23

  • After our relationship was over, yes I did notice it in some photos. I know full well what she is now, so I have no illusions about rescuing her. But it is tragic to think of such an emptiness of identity behind those eyes.

    • I truly do get chills when I see her in photos now… It’s like looking into a vast void. For the first time since the breakup, I am really starting to feel pity for her and what she must be going through. We grow from these experiences, but they tend to keep repeating the same mistakes perpetually…

  • Yes, I notice the same thing. One of the hardest things for me to grasp is her ability to move on so easily. I can’t stand the thought of her with another person. I’d like to think that what we had was special. She was by far the most stunning and passionate person I’ve ever been with. I thought we were in love. And she seemed to be over me rather quickly, moving on to the next one within a week. A WEEK!

    • Reego – I know the feeling… It’s crazy to think we were so wrong about how they felt towards us. Mine moved on to the new guy she had on the hook in the weeks leading up to the breakup.

  • i only noticed this now that i read this post, but the second i saw the title to the post i knew it instantly. Its amazing how we all shared the same feelings. were your exes spacey? mine was, but i just thought that was who she was. i didnt realize it might be part of the disorder.

  • I’ve tried for a long time to get the image of those eyes out of my mind… They were like looking into a deep, empty well.

  • was your ex spacey?

  • Those eyes still haunt me. Our relationship was relatively short. Now I realize she must have avoided close long eye contact for quite some time, because she knew nothing was there. More than half a year ago I did look deep and long in her eyes and it scared the living daylights out of me. Complete emptyness, ghost-like.

  • This is fascinating.
    After I broke up with BPDGF and I discovered BPD through a therapist I showed her photos.

    She had already described the disease to me, that is how I discovered the Garbage truck disease that ran over my life.

    When she saw the photos she looked scared and said oh my God her eyes are a clear giveaway and gave me the medical term that relates to it.

    Her eyes were top dead center and mad and empty.

    Just before I told her it was over I told her she never hugged me and said I love you. She answered in a cold steely look that “I am not touchy feeley”

    As to the other comments our S*x was incredible for about a year and then pretty awful and only when she was ready.

    Before I broke up with her I think she was playing areiubd because she knew I was at the end of my rope.
    Once before when I left her she was on Eharmony.
    They are sad pathetic creatures doomed to die alone and lonely.

    Back to the eyes!
    When my therapist saw her top dead center eyes she told me to find a photo of the 911 terrorist and they had the same eye pattern, and it had veen studied by therapist for future identifications. She said I was very fortunate nothing had happened to me.

    I broke up with her 5 times and she terpenes me back.the last time was for good.

    I am ok and over it but she has every indication of loathing me. Oh well!

  • Hi Y’all, My memory is often haunted by those blue eyes often filled with a fear, I’m unsure of what. I know she had tried suicide once and self harmed regularly but I suspect the fear was deeper. Certainly the empty fearful eyes often preceded a break up and maybe she was fearful of how I might react; I would be devastated and very upset but not angry or violent. If I have to believe anything I reckon it was fear of committment, fear of getting close enough to trigger her abandonment emotion. I have asked myself over and over as to why I did not see warning signals, maybe the tug of the emotional quicksand I was sinking into was too great to notice. Ironically I am sure she never thinks of me so, yet again, the sadness and all thoe other stuff is still a one way street. I’m sure we all have been or are in the middle of what seems like a nervous breakdown. It is surely not the best time of our lives, but Susan Anderson talks about facing up to being adult and recognising that we are born alone and die alone! I wish it were that easy, best wishes to y’all.

  • Mine definetly had those crazy eyes, another weird thing I noticed about her was when she drinks out of a glass she uses 2 hands kind of like a little kid. She was very spacey to I remember one time she stopped over before going on a vacation? and wanted to leave her bag of weed at my place because she was going to see her parents. When I looked in the bag there was a plastic bic pen in it with the end chared from smoking out of it. I had to explain to her that was not a good idea. God the red flags.

  • Mike is so right. My partner had bright, shiny beautiful eyes full of life, EXCEPT a few days before an episode. He would always have periods where I would catch him staring at me with completely empty eyes. There was no sign of a soul at all and it really unnerved me because looked like a sociopath when it happened. My therapist told me when he looks like that he has completely emotionally disconnected and it is very possible that he could be capable of serious violence and not even have any recollection of it. I also noticed that during those times of the blank stares he never or very rarely blinked.

  • Yeah. I saw them too. The empty eyes.

    Also. I never liked her smile, the one she displays on photos and in social gatherings. With the fake laughter. I used to watch her during movies or performances. She’d laugh with the rest of the crowd but it felt fake. Like she used too much of her shoulders. Her real laugh is a chuckle. A nerdy, sweet chuckle and I loved it (all of the three times I heard in in 2.5 years).

    I know what her real smile looks like. It’s a shy crooked one and I loved that too.

    About the eyes. Yes. Hers are empty and her strange gaze freaked me out when we met a few months post the break-up. Maybe I saw things more clearly a few months out. I remember one time. She knew that it was soon to be over and had a tantrum. Provoked me into a verbal exchange. I got mad, screamed back and she just sat there. Blank stare. It was horrible and I remember thinking that it was the real her showing, finally. I could feel the cold void surrounding her.

    Poor people, they must feel horrible. And there’s where my sympathy stops. She’s to stay away from me and I’m doing the same. Nothing good can come out of a relationship with her. Pisses me off that she’s fishing to see if she can get a response, when she’s living with the new dude. I hope I’ve heard the last of her. I really do.

    Don’t know if it’s good or bad but I actually got to see the smile the last time we met. I think she was happy and high on the love toxins that the new dude provided. Hope she at least feels that for real. I suppose it’s something at least.

  • I did always notice a certain uncomfortable look with her when she was among groups of people. As if she was insecure of other people’s views towards her. Even if these people were as harmless as a 4 weeks old kitten.

    I know how she really feels about herself and the things around her, others do not; that’s what makes me able to see it when looking at her. There’s a loneliness there that can’t seem to be cured.

  • I noticed the eye thing years before I understood any of this. These are the eyes of one who has buried something so traumatic it cannot be dealt with. It is under lock and key , but represents a depth of loss and pathoe and hate if you provoke it –look out. In this regard , we are to have compassion. D NOT mistake compassion that you have for being in a genuine love relationship. You can learn this now. Or you can break up 25 times over 20 years –but nothing will change. You can change yourself ( and lets face it BPDs ONLY select certain types for partners) , you can grow, you can do so much –for yourself. But when all is said and done, those eyes will still be there in your BPD partner. She will have no memory or care for 1000s of hours you spent on the relationship, rescuing , helping, trying. On the last day whne you really ( truly) have had enough–it will still be “all your fault”. And those eys will be cold. Maybe a few tears. But they are not for you. Or the relationship They are for themselves when they see that their mealticket and scapegoat has finally grown up and out of this pathological relationship.

  • Yesss. The eyes. Wow! At the very beginning I remmeber those eyes. The intensity that burned in them, I only saw it a couple of times. the craziness, like they were going to pop out of her head. I can remember it vivdly. She seemed angry with me. But there was no reason why. I was puzzled. And this, only the second time we met. She did have beautiful big brown eyes but when I looked into them up close they were sad, terribly sad and empty too. They shifted away from me, couldnt hold my gaze up close. Up close. We never got up close. I remmeber after s*x the first time. After orgasm she seemed to shiver and turn away. Panic almost. Other times she just immediately disconnected from me. We never had those intimate post-s*x moments. Now I know why. The eyes..the eyes had it. Yes, she did look crazy. Someone pointed that out to me at the start. I didn’t want to hear. I was in love.

  • Though I only had a BDF friend/girlfriend online via Facebook, I found it strange that there were very few pictures of her (most girls have tens), and none showed her face clearly. She was either looking over her shoulder back at the camera, her bangs were very long and her face was kind of shadowed, or she was kind of looking down. The clearest one I saw showed those empty eyes. Scary and sad at the same time. Nobody home. “Need a host to show me who I am.” Anyway, she craves male attention way too much for my tastes, so I dumped her today. No remorse, though I hope she finds happiness, though we know that’ll never happen…

  • Yes I have definitely noticed that. In fact, the emptiness of my bpd ex-girlfriend eyes in one of her photos actually baited me into reconciling with her assuming that she was saddened by our relationship fall out 5 months earlier. Can you say “magical thinking?” This magical thinking has drawn us back into these unhealthy relationships in one way or the other. The emptiness in her eyes left me with a sense of compassion for her that I hadn’t felt for her during “no contact” which I had established.

  • This post just kills me. Like so many other finds online (esp. here), the most random details that I shrugged off are being confirmed again and again. I met my exBPD through a colleague. She (the coworker) asked me if I was open to being setup (hindsight irony?), and I jokingly said, “Okay, but are you sure you want to expose your friend to the likes of me?”. Boy, did I have it backward. Anyway, I was given the Facebook page for my ex, and I’ll never forget what I thought the very time I saw her picture: “this one is on psych meds – or should be”. Something was off about her eyes. The dilation was abnormal (large) and not matching the other eye. I had worked in the mental health field for about 3 years and became atuned to peoples eyes as a precursor to their state of mind. By the way, she indeed has been on depression meds of all varieties for about 15 years. The picture – which she still uses as her profile pic – is the only picture she has that looks nothing like her. At all. When I pointed this out some months ago, she became “hurt” and said that it is her favorite picture of herself. Anyway, it turns out that I really was setup…..

  • When I first saw my Bpd Waif on a dating site I showed her pictures
    To a female friend of mine. Her immediate response to me was,
    Stay away. I asked why she said that and her response was. You can
    See it in her eyes. Well needless to say, the end came when I helped
    Her to get her car fixed from a friend of mine who happens to be a narssist
    He’s married with two kids, and low and behold she broke up with me
    And persuaded him. I caught it just in time and threatened him to stay
    Away. She ran right back to me and one night at dinner his name came
    Up, she suddenly changed. The first thing I noticed was when my desert
    Came to the table she grabbed it and ate the whole thing. Then when
    She got home she texted me telling me not to mention his name because
    It was turning her off. What? Turning her off for hitting on my friend?

    Needless to say, I received the dreaded phone call the next day
    Telling me that she didn’t have any emotional attraction for me and
    She just considered me a good friend. I had finally had it and started
    To let her. Know how I felt after a year of abuse. I told her that her house
    Isn’t perfect since she always pointed out flaws in mine. I told her she
    Was a heavy heavy drinker and she should focus on that instead
    Of my occasational cigarette. Funny how she constanly complained
    About my cigarettes I would lite one and she would smoke three.
    She was so horrible romanticly and sexually that I also told her that.

    Any way after the huge fight and breakup that she caused. She messages me
    Two months later. To tell me that she doesn’t hold any anamosity
    And if she ever sees me out she hopes that we can be cival.
    Like in her mind it was and will always be my fault

  • Okay so I noticed nobody with bpd has left an opinion on this in the comments.

    Reading about red flags was truly interesting to me because I just didn’t know we had childlike mannerisms,empty eyes and all this in common.

    Then.. I’m a girl ,22yeard old

    I’ve heard elsewhere than some people think that bpd means having a lot of differents partners in the background.
    I’ve been going out with my first real boyfriend at 20 years old . Because I used to love the same guy for about ten years ,idealizing him ,thinking we were meant to be.

    As a girl with bpd I’ll never think it’s my partners responsibility if I’m feeling whatsoever ,excepting if (like my exboyfriend) he’s violent to me.

    I’m the type of bpd individual that will not lash out my anger on others but rather take it all on myself and to myself. I’m used to be alone,more comfortable alone and when I am ,I’m even having conversations with myself as if there was two persons talking to each other.

    My ex-boyfriend once mentioned that my eyes looked like the eyes of someone that witnessed a murder.
    I would say that I feel my emotions rather intensely and deeply and it shows in my eyes. Like if I feel angry ,people tell me that the Devils in my eyes. An intervenant once told me (while I was experiencing anger) that my eyes were like shooting knives at her. I’ve also been told that my eyes looks very sincere. When I do acts of kindness ,when I’m helping someone or just shaking hands when I’m meeting someone. When I’m feeling happy people also say that my eyes sparkle and shows it.

  • Thanks for your insightfull and hopefull reply Ihavebpd!

    My experience with the eyes of my ex:

    We were on holiday and had a fiery argument. At that time I didn’t know she had bpd. She walked away and then came back to me. She looked at me with eyes that were large and full of hate. I never have seen someone looking at me in that way and I really didn’t understand it. Just in case, that night I slept with a knife under my pillow.

    As we now have a child together (almost 1 y), I wonder how it must be for my daughter to look at her mothers eyes. She is a sweet mother but I’m worried about her ability to really connect with other people, especially my daughter.

    The eyes of my ex are almost never soft, full or loving. I would described them as empty, cold, scared, full of fear and hate at the sametime and sometimes just dead of blank. I somewhere read a comparison with sharkeyes and in my case I can relate to that.

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