Lynn Melville

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« MAY VOTED Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month | Main | 100 WAYS TO LEAVE AN ABUSER (SAFELY) »

July 15, 2008


My husband relapsed to his addiction for roxy's and oxycotton, sometimes heroine when I was 8 months pregnant with our son, who is now 3.

I've spent these last years separating from him, just to go running back into his arms, believing every time that he COULD change and loved me enough to do so.

Now that another Christmas has come and gone, filled with arguments and lies. I'm ready to leave, desperate to leave.

But also im scared to death. I have no job, no money. my family is 8 hours away and I cannot run to them. This life I live is hell and I have no help, no support system, and no idea how to get out.

People diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder are not Psychopaths. It's true that they are dimaatrc, unstable, manipulative, jealous, and abusive. They are not Psychopathic. Their inner torture can never be understood by those who have never experienced it.They are extremely sensitive. Groomboy doesn't know what he's talking about. If 99% are untreatable, then I'm of the 1%. 7 years of psychotherapy, and at aged 39, it's burned out of me. To all the Borderlines out there, NEVER give up!

The BIGGEST red flag is the total inability to take responsibility for hurting your feelings.

Also, something I've seen, and unfortunately experienced. When something bad happens and you confront him about it, instead of crying and saying "I'm so sorry I made you feel bad" or "made you feel that way," you'll instead get "I don't wanna lose you." Your feelings don't matter as you are a possession.

O-o-h, Christine. What a mean way you're being treated. Your guy is just continuing to beat you down emotionally. I especially hate to hear that your children are witnessing this. Do you have anyone you can go to for help? Family, friends, pastor at a church? You might even talk with the free counselors at your local domestic violence organization. They are familiar with your situation, whether or not you're experiencing physical violence. You need help to begin planning how to get away from this man, for your good and especially for your children. Please don't be ashamed. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Find your courage and reach out for help. I know that there are people around you who will want to help you.

Lynn Melville
Author, Boomerang Love

What I have experienced is that he doesn't get frustrated with the issue that is at hand. He uses the f- word right off the bat, and what we're disagreeing or misunderstanding over is never what he sticks to. He always throws a horrible wounding criticism that is completely out of hand. Like he is escalated immediately and says things that are so horrible the farthest from my expectation of where the conversation should even go. For example, if I ask a question about when he texted me, (like 'you said you were going to be stuck at work' for example)he automatically seems to have this phobia that I'm "controlling" and "questioning" him. And will then criticize by saying "you have way too much time on your hands. Sitting down making a Christmas list today" (one example of something i did that he used against me). You need to do something with yourself." Almost to give me a sense that I am worthless and lazy if I dare ask a question. Or if I ask for help with the kids, he just comes home and tends to himself, like he is the only one that exists in his world. And he throws in a criticism and screams and cusses in front of the kids and told me I am probably sitting with my thumb up my a--. Again, what did that have to do with the discussion that I would appreciate help with the kids, which he can CLEARLY HEAR, but is too selfish to acknowledge. He has told me in the past that I'm "insecure", but tell me how he would have a "secure" wife if any time we disagree, he speaks to me in a way that makes it very clear to me that i am a worthless piece of garbage. The fact that he screams at me and calls me names is enough to shut anyone down. I feel like a blob.And when I talk to people, like friends, neighbors etc. I feel awkward, don't want to look them in the face, don't know what to say. Almost like his words are with me like a shadow saying that 'they too will hate you and see that you are worthless.' How do you make him respect you when he sees you that way? No matter what I do, I am never perfect enough for him not to find something i do wrong that he could criticize. I have fought back and told him that he is garbage for speaking to his wife this way, And that I am not trash, but it doesn't fix anything. It's like when he is ready to be nice again, I take it like a breath of fresh air, just to have the horrible fighting be over. but it is only when he is ready to change his mood. There are even times when he can just brush it under the rug, like he didn't just call me a whore, slut, etc etc.

Hello, Pamela --

I love it when I receive posts from people who've been burned once by an abuser and can smell it in their next relationship. It's like we develop an internal alarm system that works even if our brain hasn't caught up to it yet.

What I would say to you right now, loud and clear, is, "Trust your gut!"

You're getting clear red flag behavior now. What I know from three years of coaching partners of people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder is that the red flag behavior we see at the beginning of a relationship (that we excuse because we're in the infatuation period) is just the tip of the iceberg to what we will probably experience once we commit to them.

I'd advise you not to "break it off", as you say you're considering. You don't have enough behavioral information right now to fight back against what your heart wants to do. : )

One of Ashleigh Brilliant's epigrams in my Boomerang Love book says, "My head always tells the truth. But sometimes my heart tells little fibs."

I'd recommend that you continue dating this man, but not move in with him. Keep your own space, by all means.

Abusers can't maintain conrol of their inner emotional turmoil for very long -- six months at the most.

Over time, the person he really is will appear, and you'll be in the driver's seat at that point as to whether you want to allow him into your life permanently.

In the meantime, educate yourself as much as you can about the Borderline disorder. Besides my Boomerang Love book, there are three others that I recommend. You'll find them in the Resources and Tools section of my book.

My web site -- -- also has some great information about the disorder -- the behavior characteristics used by the mental health profession to diagnose a Borderline, a comparison of the behavior of abusers and Borderlines, and more.

Good luck and keep us posted !

Lynn Melville
Author, Boomerang Love

I have recently started dating someone who I have been acquaintances with for a long time. At first we both had so much in common and enjoyed each others company month will make 6 months of it and he started to display some control issues. He was treated badly in other relationships and is now holding past resentment against me. We are in the discussing stages of moving in together but I starting to rethink that decision. I don't know if I should step back a bit, or, break it off all together. I was controlled and abused once for 11 years and don't want to repeat old patterns.

Hello, Christina --

Your story is horrendous. Do you not have any family to help you -- or friends?

I would suggest that you call your local domestic violence organization. They have people on staff to help women in situations like yours.

Your statement that your abusive husband goes back and forth, from abuse to being loving, is classic Borderline Personality Disorder behavior.

Small things can trigger enormous emotions with a Borderline, which they don't seem to have control over. Later they feel guilty and try to make up for it.

Yet the emotionally or physically abusive behavior comes back again and again, every time their emotions get triggered.

It's a cycle you'll never get out of, until your abuser begins to get in touch with the feelings that are overwhelming him and begins to be able to control them.

Please reach out for help. There are people who will help you. You just have to call.

my husband mentally, verbally and sometimes phycaly abuses me and my son..hes always saying he sorry after the fact and he is constantly say it was my fault..when hes not acting in these manners he a very loving person who cuddles and embraces me and shows love. when i throw him out he tells me hes coming back with friends to take everything in the house and our son. he has left me homeless carless and stole my son and there was nothing i could do. i had to get back with him to get my son back. im carring his second child also and he has trown me to the floor slamed me upagainst the walls. i was put on bed rest to say my unborn baby from being born to early and he supported the doctors decion for the first 2 days. now i had to throw him out again do to neglect of our 15month son. i cant exactly go file for divorce do to bedrest again and im very scared that i will take him back if he comes this point in my life i feel very weak and i need someone to help but who can i really turn to??? everything in life cost money and with an income of less than 600 a month i cant do anything how do i get out of this horror im living in

Like my husband, he would drink when a lot of the abuse happened and heavily at that. So, when I would tell him the things that happened to me, he would say that he "doesnt remember".

Hello, Cher --

You say he's "incapable of remorse and has no memory of the evil he has done."

My experience is that they 'do' have the memory, they just choose to pretend it didn't happen. And when we allow them to do that, they get away with it.

One of my favorite sayings is, "The more crap you put up with, the more you'll get." And I don't say that in any way at all to be judgmental -- I've done the same thing. Learning how to stand up for myself has been a hard lesson for me.

And of course he blames you and others for his actions. That's how he excuses himself 'to' himself. And again, if everyone around him accepts it, then he gets away with it.

And why do you still feel responsible for his care? I don't know about you, but for me, I learned to be overly responsible in my childhood home, due to my alcoholic Borderline mother.

I learned to put myself aside and just take care of others -- which has gotten me into a lot of pain in my adult life. : )

Keep taking baby steps in taking care of 'yourself', despite how much your partner objects. You deserve it.


incapable of remorse, and no memory of the evil he has done. He doesnt even try to change.But I think the worse thing has been the abandonment. For instance,he can leave without a reason and dissapear for months with no regard for his family? And then come back and act like there is absolutely nothing wrong with him, and blame others for his evil doings. Yet I still feel responsible for his care?

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