Lynn Melville

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February 12, 2007


"Unconditional love doesn't mean blind acceptance of abuse" For me, this is the lesson of me just leaving a BPD. I was trying to love him through all his stubborn personality never fought back and accepted more and more lack of boundrries from him.

I believe I learned this as a child and my father may have been BPD - conditioning, but also as a woman in society. I always felt that to be a good mother, I had to love unconditional - my children.

But after getting out of this relationship and the pain I'm experiencing today, the PSTD that I'm carrying with me... never again. It will not end good, you cannot love them out of it and you end up with the blood on your hands in shock.

Hello, Elizabeth --

Yes, once we actually learn the diagnosable name of what we've been dealing with (Borderline Personality Disorder) and how it acts and presents itself, it seems like a no-brainer.

But how could we have known? Do we see it talked about in women's magazines? In Reader's Digest? In the tabloids at the check-out stands?

No. So how can we break the code of emotionally abusive Borderline behavior?

It would be like having diabetes and thinking we needed to stop drinking liquids so we wouldn't go to the bathroom so often !! It's that ridiculous.

As partners of Borderlines, our efforts to 'fix' the emotional abuse and sometimes domestic violence coming our way are that misguided.

Congratulations that you found your way out of the tunnel of Borderline Personality pain. There are still many millions of people who don't know what they're dealing with.

Unconditional Love vs Blind Acceptance.

It was eery how closely her perspective matches the one I had for over 22 years. With all my education, all my intelligence, and all the COUNSELING, how come it is only now I figure it out? I am amazed at how something just isn't real for a human until another names it and validates it. It seems so obvious now.

Now that there is a name to this type of behavior, maybe we can come up with a solution on curbing that behavior.

Hello, Susan --

My heart goes out to you, with a Borderline daughter.

If we're in a relationship with a Borderline adult partner, we can make decisions as to whether we'll continue to allow them in our lives, based on their willingness to go for help to overcome the disorder -- and how much damage has already been done by the abuse.

But with family members who are Borderline, we're in a whole different drama. If we walk away from our adult children, are we walking away from our grandchildren also? -- grandchildren who 'really' need our help, because their parent is ill?

I'm reminded of people I've met who are struggling to deal with Borderline parents -- disordered Moms and Dads who are still continuing the abusive behavior but are getting frail and needing help in their old age.

What to do then? I'm pleased to be able to guide you to a non-profit organization based in New York that specializes in helping families cope with this sad disorder.

It's called TARA (Treatment and Research Advancements). You can reach them online at They have helplines to call, sponsor educational workshops,and actively support starting support groups for families in cities around the country.

Hope this helps. Let us know what you find out.


Hello, Emmanuel --

"What kind of abuse" will female Borderlines practice?
Pretty much the same as male Borderlines -- only with more tears and more words, as we women are prone to do. : )

Remember that the core aspect of the disorder is a frantic fear of abandonment. Thus, they're afraid we're leaving them when we just have to work late at the office -- we get accused of having an affair.

Since there are so many types of Borderlines (actively punishing ones and then withdrawing ones, for example), I like to say that there are many different 'flavors' of these disordered people.

An excellent book on the types of Borderline women is 'Understanding the Borderline Mother', by Christine Ann Lawson.

The author, a psychiatrist herself, has done a wonderful job of describing the various 'flavors' of Borderline women -- along with an eye-opening chapter on the types of men drawn to the different 'flavors' of Borderline women. It's fascinating reading and written in a simple form that's easily understood by laypeople.

But your post refers to my theory of Borderline disorder being behind domestic violence and what kind of DV a female might attempt.

What comes to my mind is the male comedian in Los Angeles who was shot to death in his own bed by his wife.

I think of the man I've been coaching recently who -- when his Borderline girlfriend discovered he'd had coffee with a female friend -- began stalking him, banging on his door at 6:00 am. He had to get a restraining order against her.

I'm reminded of a counselor friend of mine who counseled a man who discovered that his wife was slowly trying to kill him by putting rat poison in his drinks.

I'm reminded of another man I counseled, who for 20 years had lived with a woman who would suddenly fly into a rage, grab a knife and just come at him. He said he had survived by always having a throw pillow by his side.

Oh, and don't forget women's nails (strong and hard with today's nail salons). Harry Crouch, founder and director of California Men's Centers in San Diego, has told me of the men who come into his office, arms in slings, with nail wounds on their arms, chest and faces.

You can contact Harry at

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us, Emmanuel? We're here to listen.

I was raised by a Boarderline and my oldest child is also boarderline. I relate so much to the feelings expressed in the cycle of rage and then going back to the relationship. My thinking about loving them enough and then things might change is so very familiar. I have accepted the disorder and am learning how to respond, but thinking of leaving the relationship with my daughter is an option that I don't seem able to face. Thank you for your blog.

You relate the Domestic Violence to Borderline Personality Disorder.
I understand that BPD is a common disease among both men and women. How is this BPD translated in women's behaviour ? What kind of abuse will they practice ?

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