Over the eight years I’ve been writing blogs in this space I never thought I’d be sharing with the world my most interpersonal, intimate self. Having recently escaped from the prison that is being in a relationship with a suspected Quiet Borderline I felt it was appropriate to momentarily deviate from cars and electronics to share the knowledge I’ve gained in this experience, hoping to help others make sense of their relationships with Quiet Borderline people. You’ve probably come across this blog already knowing what qualifies a person as having Borderline Personality Disorder, or you did a Google search on my ex.
In this blog I’m going to share the story of my entire relationship with a Quiet Borderline and the lessons I’ve learned from it. I’m going to use real names and real places. I chose to do this because down the line I feel it may help specific people who are looking for answers in their own lives. I’m going to be entirely honest about our relationship and what lead to its demise. The purpose of this blog isn’t to victimize myself, rather share the entire story in all honesty to show others how not to treat people from both sides. I too made my own mistakes in this relationship and my story isn’t complete unless it’s shared in its entirety. I’ve often joked around that I could write a book with this experience. By the time you finish reading this story you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
The Story: Our Relationshp
I met Crystal Kazenske at Ray Frey Auto Center sometime late 2014. I wasn’t allowed by my company to work on their service vehicles so I took it to Ray’s, mainly because my supervisors father was the manager there. Seemed reasonable enough to find a shop to have a vehicle worked on, right? Crystal worked the front counter at Ray’s shop. At the time I wasn’t really looking for anyone, being quite focused on pursuing my career as a pilot. Somehow Crystal caught my attention. Might have been her outgoing personality as she’d come sit next to me, full of life, explaining to me the work done and additional recommended work on my truck. I’d always see Crystal when I brought my truck in for periodic service and we’d always talk a little bit while I waited. One day I decided to be a bit flirty as I was leaving. Crystal told me my truck was due back soon for a brake job. I smiled and said “Good, that means I get to see you again soon!” The smile on her face showed my comment was well received. About a month later, March 2015, I brought my truck back in to have the brakes done. I went in with the intention of asking Crystal on a date. Admittedly nervous, I walk into the office to hand her the keys to my truck. She’s not there. A little bummed, a little relieved from being nervous, my boss picks me up and takes me to work. Later that afternoon I get dropped off at the shop to pick up my truck. There she is, standing right outside the front door of the office. I approach her a little less nervous than when I dropped the truck off. She has the biggest smile on her face. Before I can even say anything she beats me to the punch. She tells me she wants to see me, I agree. She hands me a business card with her number on it and I leave the shop with the biggest smile on my face. In fact, I was so excited I left without paying my invoice at the shop and didn’t realize it until I got back to work. I was THAT excited.
I called Crystal the next day. While briefly getting to know each other at her work I knew she had two children, twins, her free nights were Wednesday and Thursday nights when the children were with their father, and she lived in Ramona. I called her on a Wednesday night a little later in the evening to let her get home and settle down. We talked for a bit and arranged a date at my watering hole down the street from her work, O’Briens Pub the following week. Our first date was pretty amazing. After spending some time over a beer getting to know each other I decided to take her out that night and show her some neat little date spots I know around San Diego. I’ll never forget taking her to a little known beach spot in La Jolla, looking at her as the sun was setting, and she immediately tells me “I have to pee!!!” Hop in the car knowing there was a Vons store near by with clean restrooms, I rush her to the bathroom. A woman needing a clean restroom will keep you on your feet at times. From there our night goes on until I finally had to drop her off at her van around 10PM so she can go home. We end our night with a nice kiss and I am the happiest man in the world. Everything seemed so perfect.
All of our dates were amazing. Crystal always had the biggest smile on her face and she was the most caring, loving woman I’d ever met. Whenever I took her on a date she’d just smile at me from across the table and put out both of her hands for me to hold. All of the time I thought to myself “how did I get so lucky to find a woman like this?”
Two weeks into dating Crystal told me it would be some time before I met her children. I agreed with the notion, telling her that if I get involved with her kids we would have to agree to be in this for the long term. I do not want to walk in and out of a child’s life. After our second big date Crystal stayed at my house because she didn’t want to go home. We agreed we’d hold off on intimacy, but it was comforting having her at my side the entire night. As I drove her home the next morning she sent a message to the children’s father informing him to delay dropping the kids off until I left. He agreed. That didn’t happen, however. As I was dropping Crystal off at her place Daniel showed up with the children. I was in a spot where I wasn’t seen and I would have understood if Crystal wanted me to just leave. Instead she looked at me and asked “Would you like to meet my family?” With a big smile on my face I replied “Yes!” So just like that, mere weeks into dating, I met Lucas and Olivia, the two most beautiful children in the entire world.
We agreed to be in a serious relationship shortly after that point. This is where the root of some of our conflicts began although it wasn’t apparent at the time. Crystal always described Daniel as an “asshole” and an alcoholic. Crystal said she left Daniel due to his alcoholism, stating that he chose alcohol over his family. She never had anything good to say about him. When Crystal informed Daniel that I was getting involved with the kids I was told by Crystal that he “wanted to have a talk with me.” It was presented in a way that suggested confrontation due to the way Crystal had always described Daniel’s personality.
Because our relationship was still young I didn’t get too carried away in getting heavily involved with the kids. I didn’t want to take precedence over their own father and as such I wanted to avoid conflict from him by not making him feel that way. When Crystal had to take the kids to urgent care I’d go with. We’d take them to the park, take little hikes around town, take them to the aquarium, and so on. Even though I wasn’t a significant part of their lives in the beginning, I was involved from the start.
Crystal and I spent her off nights together, Wednesdays and Thursdays. When we started dating she also had Daniel take the kids on Saturday nights. Because I wasn’t trying to step on Daniels feet and he hadn’t yet confronted me about being involved with his children, I always left Sunday mornings before or right after the kids got dropped off at Crystal’s. Looking back, that was a pretty fucked up gesture on my part. “Here’s this guy that mom’s involved with and he’s always leaving right as we get home on Sunday mornings.” But, I did still spend a significant amount of time with them when I’d come up occasionally on Saturday afternoons or if Crystal kept the kids because they were sick. Since Crystal never brought up any issues with it I assumed all was well with the time I was dividing between her and her children, despite leaving as they arrived on Sunday mornings.
We had a good, stable relationship. It was well balanced between our time together, time with her children, and our own personal time. I met a lot of Crystal’s family and spent a bit of time with them. Our own time together was spent going out to dinner and watching movies at home after work, cuddling together. Just unwinding after our work day. Saturday nights were our big date nights. I was content. I had a woman who said she loved me, who was always sending me little pictures expressing how she wished she knew me earlier, how she felt I was her soul mate, what I meant to her, how much she loved me, and so on. She was so affectionate and seemingly in tune with my own wants and needs, unlike any other woman. I showed equal affection to her. I was always doing things for her around her house, fixing her van when it was needed, taking her places and concerts she wanted to go to, and doing things for the children she’s always wanted to do but “couldn’t afford to.” I finally felt like I had “the one”. I loved her children to death. She was always supportive of my pursuit in becoming a career pilot. In fact, she got us involved with the San Diego Antique Aircraft Association. It felt amazing to finally have a partner who supported my life goals and wanted to be a part of it. And I supported her equally. The one thing we also agreed to, aside from a long term relationship for the sake of the children, is to always work out issues in our relationship. We loved each other enough that there was no issue too big or too small to handle.
Pay close attention to the previous paragraph. A lot of things I did for her and her children revolved around financial means. She’d always tell me things she wanted to do, and places she wanted to go, but was always held back from doing so because she “couldn’t afford it”. I was always there to provide the means to do what she wanted to do with us and/or the kids. Living in San Diego county it’s easy to understand that being a single mother of two children can be a financial struggle. But, this apparent struggle now becomes less apparent later on in the story.
I was Crystal’s first relationship after she left Daniel three years ago. She had a much younger guy around in a friends with benefits situation before I came along. The son of one of her friends, close in age. Kind of weird. Regardless, after hearing about the dysfunction and abuse from all of Crystal’s prior relationships she would always tell me how having a good guy for once in her life made me the best boyfriend she’d ever had.
Crystal came from a colorful past of partying, drug and alcohol use, and multiple aborted pregnancies. None of that mattered to me. She claimed that she had cleaned up her act after she went through with having Lucas and Olivia. I had a ton of respect for that. I mean, she was the most caring, loving, most beautiful woman I’d ever met. And it did seem like she had come a long way since her past. One comment she made, however, is when she found out she was pregnant with Lucas and Olivia she made the remark about Daniel “I didn’t want to have kids with this asshole”. A little off-putting. I was recently asked by a friend, with all of the aborted pregnancies and the desire to not have children with Daniel, why did she have them then? Why was she even with him? According to Crystal, her mother wanted grandchildren and on that basis she decided to go through with it. This plays a big role later in the story.
Crystal’s father is an alcoholic. Her parents separated when she was 14. Due to Crystal feeling that her mother was too strict in her teenage years she moved to Wisconsin with her father for a few years while in high school. This is when the promiscuity and pregnancies started happening, her first pregnancy at the age of 15. This is also when the drug and alcohol abuse in her life started as well. Most of Crystal’s past relationships have been with alcoholics, including Daniel.
Crystal doesn’t have many friends. In fact, there’s only two I ever knew of and I had only met one of them. Starley moved in with Crystal for a short time after a divorce to get back on her feet. Starley was a good individual, seemed a little lost in life, but a kind person nonetheless. The only other friend Crystal told me about was her “best” friend Sam, whom she said she had a falling out with right before our relationship. The only things Crystal ever said about Sam is how bad she treated her, all of the bad things she’s done, the bad person that she is, and that she’s a heroin addict. I didn’t think much about it at the time but this will come back to bite me in the ass later on. There were other random acquaintances of Crystal’s I had met along the way. Mostly people she deals with at her work as customers, or from prior employment. Nobody who would be considered a close friend. Looking back, Crystal really didn’t like going anywhere in Ramona in fear of running into people she didn’t want to see. There seemed to be a lot of those people. I don’t remember the exact reasons, however.
Crystal smokes weed. I used to, but my current career path doesn’t afford room for recreational substances. I took no issue with her doing it as long as it didn’t affect her ability to maintain our relationship or raise her children. When her friend Starley moved in with her is when a lot of that happened. I was there for most of it. Our relationship remained stable and she didn’t do it around the kids. I did notice that Crystal took a particular interest in the fact that Starley’s new boyfriend owned a dispensary in Ramona. That remark will become more relevant later in the story.
Crystal was pretty shy around my friends. She didn’t really associate with them much when she was around them, despite my friends trying to get her involved. I spent most of my time with her to keep her comfortable in those settings. All but one of my friends liked her. That one friend expressed concern about Crystal’s personality. When they first met they were both given some time together and I was told by my friend that Crystal introduced herself by saying “My children’s father chose alcohol over us” and that’s all she talked about. That left a bad taste in my friends mouth. Again, a sign I ignored at the time because I was focused on the better parts of our relationship.
Crystal did spend quite a bit of time complaining about the children’s father, about her boss at work, the customers at her work, her financial situation, and anything else she could find to complain about. She always portrayed herself as the victim in every circumstance. Of course, I always was there to comfort her.
Anytime Crystal had an issue with me she’d never directly address it. She’d bury it deep down inside and bring it up at a much later time. Her way of presenting those issues to me would be in the form of telling me how she complained to her coworker about me the previous week for something that I had done a few weeks prior. This made it exceedingly difficult to understand when she was upset because she would hide the issue and appear to be perfectly fine on the surface. I tried to work with her on bringing up issues as they arose in the moment so we can deal with them while they’re “fresh”. But she always struggled with doing so and would always bring them up at a much later time indirectly. Thankfully, I paid enough attention to her own wants and needs that these issues hardly ever arose and they were very minor issues. In the back of my mind, however, I always wondered to myself if she had a hard time bringing up the small things what’s going to happen when larger issues come up?
Crystal had problems dealing with her own issues as well. One of the customers at her work kept texting her asking her out. Pretty persistent. She would always send me screen shots of what he was telling her. She’d keep asking me how to handle it. Is it really that hard to say “look, I have a boyfriend, take a hike”? I never told her what to do. I just told her how it would make me feel if she started hanging out with someone who was pursuing her and handle the issue as she sees fit. All of the screen shots she sent me with her responses were in the type window and not sent. I always wondered if she actually sent those messages, but I trusted that she did.
Crystal seemed to invest a lot in the advice her step brother, Kenny was giving her. Crystal loved to brag about me to her family. She talked about my car hobby, flying, and how I liked to tinker with electronic design projects. Crystal approached me one day expressing concern over something Kenny had said about me. Mind you, I’ve never met this guy before. Kenny told her to watch out for guys like me. People who like to tinker get bored easy and move on to something else. Basically what he was telling Crystal is that I’d eventually get bored with her and leave her, and she was concerned about this. I assured her that would never happen. I thought to myself “does this guy really believe the bullshit that comes out of his mouth?” Looking at some of Crystal’s family members’ Facebook pages, it does seem that a few people in her family look up to this guy as some sort of philosophical prophet.
Looking back, all of the red flags were right there in front of me. Her quick falling in love, the immediate display of affection. Lack of friends, inability to connect with my friends, the constant complaining and victimization, inability to directly express minor concern, inability to solve her own simple conflicts, and expressing concern over issues that don’t exist.
I went way out of my way to make sure Crystal was always happy. I put aside the car hobby to focus more of my finances on, and spend more time with her and her Children. Priorities in my life were changing. I was beginning to focus on having this family that was in front of me. That was most important to me. In order to have that family there were certain little things I had to sacrifice that didn’t bring anything to the table.
The month of December was the most difficult time in our relationship. While we were just dating, months prior, I had told Crystal that I was going to be in Colorado with family for Christmas. I wanted to give her a fair heads up months in advance I wasn’t going to be around for Christmas. I had two big work trips that month as well as my checkride for my Private Pilots License. My plate was full that month. I never lost focus on Crystal and I was really hoping she would be supportive of me with everything I had going on that month. I had managed to cancel a work trip to attend her company Christmas dinner because I knew how important that was to her. Because of the financial strain I had that month taking my pilot exams, and not being around for Christmas, I could only hope she would understand that month was going to be difficult for the both of us. She seemed to understand. This was the only month in our relationship where I was not around a lot of the time. I figured it shouldn’t be too difficult to work though since this isn’t the norm.
While on a work trip in the middle of December I was talking to Crystal on the phone after work. She told me she felt “neglected”. I tried to get her to elaborate on what she was talking about so I knew how to handle the issue but that’s all she could say. Personally I felt a little discredited. I mean, up to this point I had bent over backwards in my own life to always be there for her and her kids. I honestly didn’t know if I was doing anything wrong to make her feel this way. She made me feel like I was doing something wrong to make her feel this way. Because she couldn’t explain to me what was going on I was left to just guess.
Because she felt neglected and couldn’t explain why, I tried to think what was lacking in our relationship. I decided that it was time to make Lucas and Olivia the most significant part of our relationship. At the beginning of this year I began to spend Sundays with the kids. I was no longer leaving them. I knew it was time to step up to the plate and I did. Lucas and Olivia’s birthdays are at the end of February. This year Crystal was planning a big birthday for them. I was so excited to be a part of it. We spent some time planning everything that was going to happen, my role in making it happen, and how amazing it was going to be for them. A good friend of mine was having a going away party the same weekend and without thought I told him I couldn’t go because Lucas and Olivia’s birthday was the priority.
Two days before the big party I was trying to coordinate with Crystal the final details on what she needed me to do. All she responded with was “I’m stopping by your house real quick to talk to you.” Odd, but OK. Crystal stopped by my house and began to question me how I felt about her children. I mean, if me getting more involved in their lives the few months prior didn’t show that then what was I to say? I told her how much I loved her children, that I was always there for them, and how much more involved I was getting in their lives (she didn’t seem to pick up on that). But that didn’t seem to mean much to her. She already had the idea in her mind that they didn’t mean much to me and she left it that. All off this planning and excitement for Lucas and Olivia, and I was told I wasn’t wanted at their birthday. She felt it was best I go to my friends going away party that weekend. I was torn apart. I didn’t know what all of the sudden happened for her to act like this. I respected her wish and didn’t go. Instead, that day I flew the Archer down to Brown field and participated in helping children with Autism be our co-pilots for the day, flying them around San Diego. Looking back I should have gone, if just for Lucas and Olivia. It was confusing. I really didn’t know what was the right thing to do. I felt respecting Crystal’s wishes was best at the time.
After the Relationship: Continuing to Provide and the Push-Pull Dynamic of a Borderline’s Changing Identities
Up to this point there had been no diminishment of communication, affection, intimacy, or any other indication that something was wrong in our relationship. We never fought, never argued, and never had any large conflicts that would normally bring about the behavior that Crystal was starting to display. It was unceremonious and hurtful. It just didn’t make sense.
After Crystal’s last visit to my house expressing concern (rather an accusal) that I didn’t like her children I noticed her beginning to develop cognitive dissonance. She’d get these negative ideas in her mind about what was going on around her and hold those ideas to be true, regardless of the reality of the situation or contradicting evidence. This is when I began to notice her behavior becoming quite bizarre.
After nearly a year of establishing this relationship for her and her children it was all gone in an instant. I was left wondering what happened? Why did this happen? I asked Crystal what was going on. I always got mixed answers, first it was “I don’t know what I want” then it was “I’m fighting this battle and I don’t know what it is.” She also often said “I tried to quit smoking weed in our relationship, but I just couldn’t.” Ironic, considering I had no issue with her doing it as long as she didn’t lose herself in the process. Either way, she could not give me a straight answer as to why all of these bad things were happening. Any time I pleaded for an explanation I was often left with “I don’t know” as an answer.
Out of the clear blue sky she became cold. She was like another person, a robot, completely disassociated. She showed no empathy or compassion. I’ve been in similar situations to this in the past. In my experience this is an indication they’re with (or found) someone else and looking to find an excuse to get rid of you. I suspected that back when this was happening and quite frankly, it’s still a possibility. I asked Crystal if there was someone else and she insisted there wasn’t.
Come to find out later on while I was away on one of my work trips Crystal had gotten back in touch with her best friend Sam, the heroin addict. Crystal had gone to Sam to seek comfort in these issues she was having. I felt as if I seized to exist in Crystal’s mind. Instead of us working out whatever issues she was having she turned to her drug addict best friend to seek comfort. It was upsetting that Crystal was seeking life advice from someone who destroyed their own life with a heroin addiction. The more time she spent with Sam the further she pushed me away.
We still talked and still loved each other(according to her), but never saw each other. As the days progressed she started distancing herself more from me, only talking to me once a week. I heard from her only if she needed something from me or if her coworker wanted to get a beer with me. She didn’t really seem to care about me or my affairs. It was torture. How can this woman who said she loved me and convinced me I was her soul mate turn on me like this without explanation? I was still wondering what happened. I asked her if she still wanted to be in a relationship and she said no, but maybe her mind will change in the future. I was so lost at this moment. Still believing this was all of my fault I wondered to myself “what could I have possibly done wrong to have lead her to do this?” Since she expressed interest in continuing a relationship I was still committed to put 110% into her and her children.
One day out of the blue, Crystal told me her van needed new brakes. She complained that it had to be done immediately, she couldn’t afford it, and she didn’t know what to do. (Remember earlier when I mentioned our relationship revolved around financial means?) I told her don’t worry, I’ll buy her new brakes and take care of it for her. She directed me to El Cajon Toyota where she said a guy that worked there was giving her cost on parts. Sort of odd, this random guy is going out of his way to give cost to a walk-in customer on parts. What did she ever do for him to get this deal? My guess is she laid the “I can’t afford this and I don’t know what to do” bit on him as well. Continuing to show her how much her kids meant to me I told her I wanted them to help me do the brakes. She agreed. I spent the day with the kids, they helped me do the brakes on her van and we had a lot of fun. After that they wanted to be with me the whole day. We went to lunch, went to play at the park, came home and watched movies. I went home after they went to bed. That day Crystal wanted to have nothing to do with me. Very little conversation, little interaction. But I had fun with the kids that entire day and I continued to show her what her kids meant to me, if there was still any doubt. After that, Didn’t hear from her for a while.
Some time passed before I heard from Crystal again, this time complaining to me that Daniel was no longer paying child support. She couldn’t do anything for the kids for Easter this year as a result. A few days before Easter I stopped by her work and left an envelope on her desk with cash that amounted to a little less than half of what Daniels monthly child support payment would be. With the cash I left a note saying “Give the kids a good Easter! Whatever’s left, use it to handle your business.” She thanked me, saying she bought the kids new clothes and a slip and slide deal for the yard. Like before, didn’t hear from her after that for some time.
My friends warned me that she was just using me by playing the victim. Even though I had that gut feeling, I gave her the benefit of the doubt.
We’re now at two months after she broke up with me and she still said she was in a relationship with me on Facebook. But, she said she didn’t want to be in a relationship with me. Crystal mentioned to me that she told her coworkers we were just on a break. I didn’t hear from her unless I initiated conversation or if she needed something from me. I was getting more and more upset by the day. She left for no reason, expressed interest in continuing our relationship, and everything I do for her goes with little acknowledgment and little gratitude. Yet, she was still projecting to the world we were together. I asked her about the FB thing. She claimed she didn’t know how to change it, yet she was the one that put it there. This is when I started noticing the weird and nonsensical excuses start popping up. I was left wondering if she was waiting for me to change it so she didn’t have to face the guilt of doing it on her own. Maybe she was waiting for me to do it so she could tell everyone that I’m the one that dumped her? Regardless, I left it for her to change. She wanted out, she can do it on her own.
I tried thinking of what could possibly be wrong and how can I restore this relationship that she was open to continuing? I wrote Crystal a six page letter explaining to her everything I loved about her. Intimacy was an issue with us because the birth control she was on left her always unsatisfied. I told her I wanted her to get off of it. She expressed concern that she didn’t want any more children. I told her I would sacrifice my ability to reproduce to restore our intimacy. I explained to her that her children were the center of my world and they were more than enough for me. I loved her children so much that I didn’t want to have my own if she didn’t want to. I wanted her to keep the kids on the weekends so we can spend more time with them and get them more involved with us. I even went as far as telling her I wanted to come home to her, Lucas, and Olivia every day. I told her I wanted to take over the responsibility of putting the roof over their heads so she could get the part time job she’s been wanting to get so she can be with her children more. I was met with hostility. She began accusing me of neglecting her and her children, accusing me of not putting anything into the relationship, and accusing me of never being there for her. I was upset. All of this hard work I put in, at the time working two jobs to provide for her and her children when their father wasn’t stepping up to the plate to take care of them. All of the things I did for her and her children, all of this time spent establishing a family, just to be told I did none of that. It was heartbreaking.
I asked Crystal about all of the things she said about me being her soul mate, and her loving me, staying together for the kids, and working out our issues. I was met with the answer “That’s just how I felt at the time.” I was infuriated. I felt betrayed. I felt like our entire relationship was a lie. At this time I still had self esteem so I brought up to her that I felt that she never loved me. I felt that she was just in love with the idea that she was happy for once and when she was no longer happy, it was easy to throw me away because I didn’t really matter. I was met with no answer. However, Crystal was still insistent that she tried to stop smoking weed in our relationship but just couldn’t. I began to wonder what this meant because she would always say it and at times where the subject wasn’t relevant.
Progressively Crystal started to focus her attention on weed. Any time I had a talk with her she was rushing me to finish the conversation so she could go score weed from her friend Starley. All she could talk about was weed. Who she was smoking it with, who she was getting it from, and what she was doing with it.
One day I became so angry over everything that had been happening. These accusations that the failure of our relationship was all of my fault. These stories that I never brought anything to the table, that I never put any effort into the relationship, that I didn’t care about her children. Yet I was still there providing for all of them. I told Crystal I felt it was fair that she owe me for doing the brakes on her van. I did that in good faith on her word of restoring our relationship, and all of these things I did for her after our relationship ended, providing for her and her kids. I felt owing me back for something that I did just for her would make her understand how hard I had to work to provide for her. If I’m going to get accused of not putting anything into our relationship, she could work hard to owe me back to realize what I truly put into it. I was met with hostility, her saying she owes me nothing. I told her I felt she was not a good person, that she lied to me about what our relationship really was, and that she chose drugs over a relationship that focused on her children. I told her I felt it was best we go our own separate ways. Immediately she laid the guilt trip on me “I can’t believe you would say that, we really care about you and appreciate everything you do for us.” Guess what? I believed her and I stuck around. Wait a minute….. Here I am being accused of not putting any effort into the relationship, yet the moment I express the desire to move on with life and all of the sudden there’s acknowledgement and gratitude of what I do for them?
We didn’t talk for a few weeks after that. For whatever reason I felt bad about what I said even though I meant it. I came forward to Crystal and apologized. I was still providing for her, giving her a days worth of wage when she had to take unpaid time off to tend to her sick kids. As time passed I was no longer thanked for it. She just took it as if it was expected. She was concerned that I’d lash out again and tell her she owes me that back as well, but I promised her I would never do that again and I never did. She was molding me to accept the shit she threw my way in stride, while continuing to supply her with her needs. Meanwhile….. What am I getting out of this besides emotional abuse?
No matter what I did, no matter how much I provided, the time I spent with her kids, it was never acknowledged. And Crystal continued to accuse me of being at fault for everything that went wrong in our relationship.
By this point I would have been done and moved on with my life. I knew I didn’t deserve to be treated this way. The only thing that kept me fighting for us was her children. I was not about to walk out of their lives (although close, as mentioned above). Lucas and Olivia were my motivation to continue to fight for my relationship with Crystal. I was willing to take a lot of shit to stand up for them.
Four months after she dumped me, Crystal’s attention by this point was anything and everything with weed. She began bragging about all of the weed her coworker was “giving” her. Since she could no longer substantiate the money I was giving her was going towards the kids, I began to suspect she was spending it on weed. People just don’t give away weed by the ounces, as Crystal was claiming she was getting at no cost. I started noticing other changes in Crystal as well. She began to quickly lose a significant amount of weight, she was becoming more dishonest and deceptive. I had a feeling she was hiding something. Her text messages became less coherent, some didn’t even make sense. She had excuses for everything she did. She lost all sight of reality and would come up with elaborate stories to justify her idiosyncrasies. Crystal stopped talking about her children altogether, as if they didn’t matter anymore. Something was wrong. Smoking weed doesn’t do this to you. I mean, she smoked weed in our relationship and remained perfectly normal. This isn’t the Crystal I know. Her behavior was progressively becoming more and more bizarre. Then one day it all came to me. All of these changes in Crystal started appearing when she started seeing Sam again back in December. Knowing Sam is a heroin addict I became suspicious. After our relationship Crystal started complaining about back pains to the point where she couldn’t move. Sam was always her go-to source for pain killers. I began researching symptoms and behavioral patterns of addictions to certain drugs. My research showed that Crystal displayed a vast majority of these signs. Because of all of these considerable changes in her appearance and personality I became worried that the her always insisting “I tired to quit weed, but just couldn’t” meant something else. With all of the signs in front of me, I began to suspect there’s something more than just weed going on.
My attention immediately shifted. There’s possible drug use going on and maybe that’s why our relationship started to have issues? If she’s lost sight of our relationship for no reason and lost sight of her children then SOMETHING must be going on, right?
I had to confront Crystal about these changes. The fact that she was losing sight of her children was just cause for concern. On her off nights I’d try to stop by her house to confront her about the issue. I didn’t want to address it over the phone or text. I needed to talk to her about this face to face. I’d stop by on Wednesday and Thursday nights. She was never home. I’d stop by much later those nights and still to no avail. After the second week of trying I stopped by her house at night bearing a gift, a growler of her favorite beer from Callahan’s. She still wasn’t home. I sent her a text letting her know I dropped something off. She thanked me and said she was with Sam. I decided to wait until she got home, if she ever did that night. These concernable changes in her were eating away at me. I had to confront her about it. So I waited. She finally got home around midnight. I greeted her, and went inside her house to talk to her. She asked me what was going on and why I was there so late. I simply told her “Look, I’m concerned there’s something other than weed going on.” Immediately she lashed out “Look! I’m not smoking heroin, OK?” There was a brief pause. She looked at me with guilt then she continued to say she’s not doing other substances as well. I never told her what I thought she was doing, let alone how she was doing it. The fact that she was so quick to lash out she wasn’t smoking heroin seemed to be a clear admission of guilt. She then volunteered to tell me she spent very little time with Sam and that she was always spending her time alone. Yet, she never came home after work and didn’t get home until midnight to one in the morning. Seems like her “alone” time was often spent with her heroin addict best friend until the early hours of the morning (on work nights) doing who knows what? As for all of the changes in her appearance, personality, and mentality? Losing sight of her children? Yeah, she had a bunch of excuses and stories to justify those was well. None of them made any sense and was often self contradicting. It was reminiscent of the blatant and poorly executed lies my sister as a teenager would tell my parents to mask what she was truly doing behind their back. It was clear she was hiding something and I pointed that out to her. Crystal said the only thing she hid from me was smoking cigarettes. This didn’t make much sense and seemed like yet another diversion. It’s unlikely she’d be so open about smoking weed but hide smoking cigarettes. The whole story just didn’t make sense. At this point anything she did or said went without any sense or reason and it became normal for me to expect this type of behavior from her.
While I was there I talked to her about getting the kids into swimming lessons because she wanted to do that while we were in our relationship. I was met with a ton of excuses why she couldn’t do it and why she didn’t want to do it. I kept trying to get her to focus on her children by suggesting activities we could all do together but I was always met with hostility and resistance, with the conversation going back to weed and drugs and inevitably how everything is my fault. The stories as to why she ended the relationship became more and more far fetched. It was the usual “you don’t care about me and my kids” and then it turned into fabricated stories, flat out lies that everything I’ve done for her and her children never existed. Despite me pointing how much my entire focus was on her children over the past 6 months, I was just met with denial that any of that ever existed. It was then Crystal told me she wanted me out of her life. Crystal told me before she broke up with me she began to feel awkward being around me, again without any explanation why. I asked Crystal if it was worth throwing everything away she had to return to her apparent relapsed habit, she answered with “I think I made the right decision.”
At this point I felt like I was going crazy. I was depressed. Here I was fighting for the woman I love and her two beautiful children I love to death, and she was going down this path of drug use. I was losing myself. I was spiraling into a deep depression. She really made me feel like everything was my fault. I was trying my best to put more in, but I was getting worn out. I was losing myself.
When I was at her house confronting her about her drug use I noticed the kids scooters were broken. I told her I wanted to buy them new ones. She agreed, telling me specifically what they wanted. I bought them and presented them to the kids a few days later. She limited my time with the kids that day. I enjoyed every minute of it, riding my bike around with them while they rode their new scooters. Two observations I made that day: Crystal didn’t seem to have too much focus on the kids. When I arrived she asked me if I had cigarettes. She’d just take them and go smoke in the corner looking the other way, paying no attention to what the kids and I were doing. She left them with me and went and did her own thing. Her house also smelled strongly of weed. I didn’t say anything at the time, but I took issue with it. It became clear she was smoking weed around the kids now. That day Crystal’s mother randomly showed up and asked if I wanted to help build the club house for the kids. I found it strange that her mom was asking me that question, as if she had no idea what was going on. I didn’t want to put Crystal on the spot that day because that project I was trying to get us involved in, for the kids, she didn’t want me involved in. Just a few hours later Crystal told me to leave. I withheld from crying as I gave Lucas and Olivia one last hug goodbye. I gave Crystal a hug too and left. I cried the whole way home. I knew that was the last time she’d ever let me see Lucas and Olivia. Hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life.
One other important detail I should bring up about my final visit with the children is their educational development. While I was playing with them they came up to me and asked me how to read the word “Razor” on their scooters. Now, I’m no educational expert and I understand five year old children develop at different rates. However, it seems a little off that two five year old’s that display no signs of any sort of learning disabilities would struggle to even pronounce the letters in the word “razor”. I spent some time with them, helping them overcome their struggle of pronouncing letters they were unfamiliar with. In a mere half hour they were reading to me everything that was written on the box their scooters came in. I wish Crystal would have seen that, but she was preoccupying herself elsewhere. She probably wouldn’t have cared either. It made me feel good that they were receptive to learning, and anytime I taught them something I was always overcome with joy.
Crystal didn’t spend any time teaching her children any sort of basic education skills, at least not while I was around. In the entire time we were together I never saw her read to them, or have them read to her. She never taught them how to write, never taught them anything. When I was around all she ever did is set them in front of the TV in the morning, put on a children’s TV show, put some food in front of them, and yell at them to stop standing on the table. When the TV shows were over, go outside and play. I can appreciate that part, much better than staying inside playing games on a tablet or video game. But, there’s this apparent fact that she does very little to contribute to their intellectual development. Seems like she’s relying on the children’s school to handle that part with no involvement on her part. But I digress…
My depression grew stronger by the day. I don’t know why any of this happened, and I felt it was all of my fault. I truly lost myself. My life revolved around striving to provide good lives for a woman and her children whom I’d die for, and no matter what I did, it was never good enough.
I had to make sure I wasn’t going insane. I approached some people that know Crystal on a daily basis. I asked them if they noticed the same bizarre changes in her as I did. They all agreed, saying things like “She’s become really stupid” as well as the same observations that she doesn’t really talk about her kids anymore. They did point out how she always complains about Daniel not paying child support, about me, and everything else. I told them what was going on with all of the weed, her heroin addict best friend, and what she was doing to me. They all told me I deserve better and to get the fuck away from such toxicity. But I just couldn’t. I was concerned about Lucas and Olivia. The environment that Crystal was starting to subject them to was not healthy for them. It was validating to hear from other people that Crystal was changing for the worst in noticeable ways. It was difficult to describe to people what was going on when I felt like I was the only one seeing it. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one baffled by her rapidly changing behavior.
My friends noticed my depression too. They asked me what was going on. I told them everything that was happening. They reaffirmed everything I brought to the table for her and how foolish she was for choosing drugs over someone that loved and provided for her children. But that didn’t make me feel better. Nothing changed the fact that Crystal was losing focus on her children and was focusing more on her friend Sam and all of the actives she was partaking in with her, especially all of the drug related activities. Many of my friends had the same concern. If the situation was getting this out of hand, to where the children were being exposed to drug use, I was told there was nothing I could do about it. She was already too deep into her addiction. Many of my friends suggested I call CPS and let them know what was going on. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I convinced myself in my own mind I could save Crystal from this.
Again, some time went without hearing from her. I was getting more and more depressed, blaming myself for everything that happened because of how she projected the situation to me. By this point Crystal was always expressing how ungrateful she was for everything I did for her and her children, and I felt worthless as a result. I knew I was losing sight of myself and I realized it was time to pull away. I was empty inside, I was no longer myself. I saw the shadow of what I once used to be but that’s it.
A little over a month ago I asked Crystal for my house key back. At this time I was going to tell her I was done, I can’t do this anymore. Before I could say anything other than asking for my key back she immediately went off on me telling me CPS was investigating her. I was mad when she told me that. Yeah, everyone saw what she was doing to herself but obviously it was to such a great extent that someone else took the initiative to do something about it. Of course she blamed me for it. Crystal never told me the details of the investigation, but she did say it scared her and that she was going to start quitting smoking weed and start focusing on her kids. What. The. Fuck? How is it not your natural instinct to focus on your own children? Seriously? Does it really take an intervention with CPS to motivate you to care for your children? At this point I felt like I cared more about her children than she did. Really, if you’re doing anything as a parent that makes you fear a visit from the CPS, let alone warrant it, then it’s probably something that you shouldn’t be doing. We’re talking basic common sense here. Crystal’s panic and fear over this situation once again suggested there was more going on than what I already knew about.
I tried to talk to her to see what was going on. I knew her well enough and I thought I was a significant part of her life to the point I truly felt like I could help her. Wishful thinking. She just made it clear she wanted me out of her life but only to the extent to where she could reach out to me if she needed something. At this point I wanted to explain to her all of this hurt and pain she caused by all of the lies she told about me, the fact that she never gave me recognition for everything that I’ve done for her, and all of the other hurtful things she’s done.
I never got my key back. I was just met with excuse after excuse why I couldn’t get it back. I was just done. I started to distance myself from the situation. There was concern by my friends and family that she could possibly retaliate due to her believing I called the CPS. I just changed my locks and beefed up security around my house. Who knows what she or her doped up “friends” are capable of doing at this point. One person that knows her pointed out to me “CPS shows up and all of the sudden she cares about her kids.” Yep, I wasn’t the only once noticing this trend.
This was getting out of hand. Crystal’s mother is the primary caretaker of Lucas and Olivia, more so than Crystal. I wrote her mother a letter explaining what Crystal was doing, who she was doing it with, who they were, and how everyone including myself noticed her losing sight of her children. I also explained in the letter how I stepped up to the plate to provide for Crystal, Lucas, and Olivia when Daniel allegedly wasn’t. Crystal never told anyone everything I did for her and her children, no, she just complained to everyone what a horrible person I was.
Yeah, you read that right. Crystal flat out denied to others all of the support I was giving her while Daniel allegedly wasn’t paying child support. Nobody that knows her knew I was doing that until I told them. Yet, she was quick to complain what a horrible person I am.
About a week ago I got a text from Crystal saying “I will ask a favor of you.” Sounds like a demand doesn’t it? Obviously at this point this is the norm. I only hear from her when she wants something from me. There was this TV show we used to watch, “Once Upon a Time”. She wanted me to burn the episodes she hasn’t seen on DVD. I should have said no, but of course the pushover I had become said yes without hesitation. I told her while I was at it what TV shows or movies do the kids want? I was met with “ummm, I don’t know.” Again, I became infuriated. How the hell can you ask me for something for yourself and not know what your own children want? I ended up copying all of the children’s movies I had, including a lot of new movies.
I lost it again. Out of the blue here’s Crystal only contacting me because she wants something from me for herself and that’s it. I finally expressed to her how she had treated me, all of the lies and deceit, all of these accusations that I did nothing for her, these accusations that I don’t care about her children. All she told me is “You always have to be right, don’t you? I hate it when you try to prove me wrong.”
I told her she had to come pick up the DVDs I made for her. I was done going out of my way for her. She came to my house to pick them up. I told her how ungrateful she was for everything I’ve done for her and how she’s made me feel worthless. All she could say is “well, sorry you feel that way.” She didn’t care how made me feel. She didn’t care about what she did. She proceeded to accuse me of calling the CPS because I’m “the only one that knows about heroin.” (Gee, is that another admission of guilt?) I explained to her that other people began to notice these suspicious changes in her and that I told those people (including her boss) what was going on. She looked at me in anger, said “that was stupid” and stormed off in her van.
Her life was in a clear downward spiral and I was allowing her to drag me down with. I sent her a text shortly after she stormed off asking her what did she expect? Everyone’s concern was growing about her physical, mental, and emotional changes. Am I just supposed to keep it a secret and tell everyone she’s fine? No, I’m going to tell people what’s going on so they too can encourage her to clean up her act. We all care about her. She responded with “I’m just trying to help my friend kick a habit and now everyone thinks I’m a druggie.” In the past year she’s been putting Sam down she never once mentioned that she was trying to help her quit drugs. How the fuck do you help a friend kick a drug habit by doing drugs with her? She proceeded to explain by keeping Sam in her life she’s inexplicably lost most of her friends. I told her “Congratulations, you just lost another.” I mean, really, is this not a sign you’re fucking up if you lose all of your friends because of who you become when you chose a drug addict to be the focus in your life? Again with the nonsensical excuses and elaborate stories with no basis in reality.
Now all of the sudden Crystal has this codependent relationship with Sam. While we were in a relationship it was nothing but stories of how bad Sam treated Crystal, how Sam doesn’t have a job and has to hustle goods to score money for drugs, and how horrible of a person Sam was. Now that Crystal is with Sam again the stories have changed. Now it’s “I can’t let her go of her, we’ve shared too many good memories together.” “I’m trying to help my friend kick a habit.””I’m leaving my foot in the door for her.” These memories Crystal shared with Sam were prior to Lucas and Olivia, the peak of Crystal’s past of partying, drug, and alcohol use. This seems to be sort of an explanation as to why Crystal appeared to lose sight of her children. They didn’t exist in the time of these memories that she’s trying to relive. Crystal was starting to act like her children are a burden to her own identity.
Crystal always hid Sam from me. I never met Sam and Crystal never had anything good to say about her. How am I supposed to think a worthless drug addict is a good influence for Crystal and her children? I knew very little about Sam other than her name was Sam, she was getting evicted from her home, she wasn’t a good person, and she was a heroin addict. I summoned the help of some friends in law enforcement to see what they can dig up with just that info. I wanted to know who this Sam person was, and if there’s any records of crime or drug abuse. A few hours later I was told of Samantha Diane Callahan’s criminal records, the attempted restraining orders against landlords to avoid getting evicted, all of the evictions, the felonies, and so on. I was also directed to former employer records, and accomplishments before the drug addiction. I just let my LE friends know who Sam was and Crystal’s involvement with her. Do as they see fit if the opportunity ever arises. It is unfortunate, it seems like Sam was a decent person before destroying her life with a heroin addiction. Was I wrong in doing this? I don’t think so. My concern for the well being of Lucas and Olivia became so great that I felt this was a necessary measure to take since I can no longer be around to look after them.
My focus is the safety of Lucas and Olivia. I had to reach out to Crystal’s mom and my LE friends to make sure that happens in the future. I was done at this point, there was nothing else I could do. I had to look out for myself. I had to remove Crystal from my life.
After Crystal stormed off I blocked her on Facebook. Before deleting her number on my phone I told her to never talk to me again, never ask anything of me. I also told her about the note I wrote to her mom and consulting my LE friends about Sam. Of course she got angry and told ME to stay out of her life. All of these demons she’s been hiding from the world, the demons that’s preventing her from raising her children in a healthy manner have now been exposed. She asked me if I was happy with myself for exposing who she truly is to everyone. I said “Knowing I did the right thing, yes, I’m content.” And that was that.
I lost sight of myself caring for someone who never cared about me. She became the product of her environment, choosing to surround herself with drug addicts, acting just like them and likely using with them beyond weed. Whatever void she has in her life, her own inadequacies she projected on to me. Her personality became toxic and I was becoming just as toxic as her, denying my own self-worth and having the same feelings of inadequacy. I was becoming just as horrible as the person she had become.
The Borderline Breakup – My Lowest Point. Trying to Make Sense of it all and Picking up the Pieces
Removing Crystal from my life didn’t produce the “instant” results I was hoping for in restoring my own self-esteem. I was still empty inside, drained from the hell I allowed myself to be put through. I still felt like this was all my fault. I was still depressed and I didn’t know where to begin to recover from the prison I just escaped from. And why the hell did this all happen anyways? I was still left without any answers for closure.
At the suggestion of some friends I went and saw a therapist to help in recovery. Told her everything I’ve recited in here in greater detail. Immediately I was assured I wasn’t the only one this has happened to, and none of it is my fault. Crystal has Borderline Personality Disorder.
Here’s the way it was explained to me: Think of our emotions as a bucket. When our bucket is full of water, we are happy and complete. When we’re down, we work on ourselves to fill our bucket. In a relationship we can occasionally take water from our bucket to fill our partners bucket and make them full. Crystal’s bucket has holes in it, all of the water leaks out and causes a constant feeling of emptiness and lack of identity. She depends on people close to her to fill her bucket. Since her bucket leaks she requires constant filling from others around her. When those close to her empty their buckets to fill hers they’re left with the same feeling of emptiness. Because they have no more water to fill the void in Crystal’s bucket they’re of no use to her and she moves on to find someone else to fill her bucket.
That’s what happened to me. When I was gone on my work trip back in December I was not there to fill Crystal’s leaking bucket. Being alone left Crystal, who has no core identity, feeling empty and abandoned. This combination of feelings does not set well with the Borderline and can lead them to taking drastic, often rash action. Borderlines fear exposing their emptiness to others so they project their feelings of inadequacy onto those they depend on for fulfillment. To Crystal, it was my fault that she was empty hence the outwardly expressed feeling of neglect. Seeking fulfillment, she reconnected with her friend Sam. In doing so she took on the identity of her heroin addict friend and pushed me away with no remorse or empathy whatsoever. In continuing to provide for her after our relationship, I drained my bucket and was left with the feeling of emptiness.
This is the game Crystal plays. Recall how I mentioned she was so in tune with my own wants and needs, unlike any other woman? Crystal mirrored my identity to portray what I wanted in a partner. This strategy allows her to lure people in and open themselves up to obtain her needed supply of fulfillment. Because I was not there to fill her bucket she turned to Sam to seek fulfillment and just like that her identity changed to become a reflection of the person that Sam is. This is why all of the sudden she identified as a drug addict after pushing me away. She will continue to change identities to keep certain people close to keep her never ending supply of fulfillment coming in. The term emotional vampire comes to mind.
A quote I found recently that accurately sums up the game that Crystal plays:
“There is always someone else, they discard relationships like we discard trash. They change identities in a similar way, but they never change their pattern of relationship, and they rarely change who they are underneath all of their masks. Still a lonely child hoping someone really special will love them, what a tempting trap, what a prison! Your love will never be enough to save them no matter how much they try to convince you it will. You will lose yourself trying to do that.”
I lost myself trying to fight for a person that never existed. My altruism was masking my own emptiness.
People like Crystal will never have fulfilling relationships with anyone. Many people in Crystal’s life see what she’s doing to them, that she has no remorse for how she treats them, and they remove themselves immediately. I wasn’t so lucky. I was blinded by the light, lead to believe I was working hard to establish a family. I fought for Lucas and Olivia. This is why Crystal doesn’t have close friends. She keeps everyone at a distance, only contacting them when she needs a supply, and pushes them back off in the distance. This way, they don’t get too close and discover what’s behind the facade. For those that do remain close, they’re eventually split black. They’re the enemy and they’re pushed away permanently. Earlier in this blog I explained that Crystal didn’t like going out in Ramona in fear of running into people she didn’t want to see. These people probably did nothing wrong, they were split black in Crystal’s mind and they’re now bad people. Throughout her own life and in her own mind, Crystal has created more enemies than friends.
This begs the question. What about Lucas and Olivia? How do children develop being raised by a mother who has a personality disorder? Doing brief research online, children of Borderline mothers tend to see themselves as failures for not being able to make their mothers happy. They are likely to internalize her mentality that everything and everyone is bad, becoming despairing themselves. They are also likely to become enmeshed in their relationship with her and find it difficult to separate. Basically, they could end up just like her. Recently I had a friend reach out to me, a former neighbor from high school. She talked with me a bit after reading this blog and was able to associate on a fairly deep level the issues I’ve been going through. One thing I’ve found in my readings and the assurance she provided me is it’s entirely possible the positive influence I’ve brought into Lucas and Olivia’s lives will later translate into them seeing the environment they’re in and being able to make a conscious choice to get out of it and make something better of themselves. Additionally, after finding out who Crystal really was and all of the bad things she’d ever say about Daniel, it’s likely he’s not even remotely as bad as she suggested he is, and he’ll be the influence in their life needed for healthy development.
Conclusion: What Have I learned From all of This?
Crystal has a personality disorder which means her view of the world is twisted and different. It’s a horrible burden for her, not an excuse to get away with what she does to others. Her emotions overpower her reality, she has a different reality in her head. She lives in an imaginary world where people are mere objects. There is no way to use logic or the reality of the situation(s) to make her “snap out of it”. If it were that easy, It wouldn’t be a personality disorder and it wouldn’t be difficult to treat. Basically, I was trying to have a functional relationship with a dysfunctional female.
That said, Crystal’s issues have nothing to do with me. Just because she laid blame at my feet for all of her issues didn’t make them my fault. It didn’t matter how much love I showed her and her children after she perceived me as neglectful, I was already split black at that point.
I’ve come to realize my depression, feeling of emptiness, and the thought of losing myself came primarily from Crystal projecting herself on me. This lead me to feel everything she was putting on me, I became Crystal. Once I came to this realization I began to understand what goes on deep down inside of her. The depression, the feeling of emptiness, and the lack of identity. It’s a horrible place to be. Unlike Crystal, I knew something was wrong with me. I didn’t hide it, I didn’t mask it. I talked about it to friends, family, and my therapist. I got help. How she on me made me feel would have been a huge struggle to deal with on my own, if at all possible. Knowing this, how Crystal feels on the inside, I can’t help but feel sorry for her. It doesn’t justify how she treated myself and others, but I have regained some amount of sympathy for her because of how tragic it is feeling like this all of the time.
Once I discovered the characteristics of the Borderline and realized our entire relationship was in fact a lie, it was easier to come to terms and seek closure for this entire mess. Getting over a breakup with a Borderline is nothing less than pure hell. In my past relationships there was always a sense of finality, a clear end to the relationship. In normal breakups there’s a certain degree of logic involved and we can understand why it happened, even if we aren’t satisfied with the reason(s). In the case of a Borderline we are often left wondering why? Things were going so well then all of the sudden everything changed. She suddenly became cold, distant, and detached. We are left feeling a hurt that we have a hard time equating to any other event in our life. We experience a new low in our lives while the Borderline has already moved on instantly. It makes no sense.
It’s difficult coming to terms with the fact that the Borderline seemed to love us, but was able to walk away. The truth is the Borderline was never in the relationship the same way we were. They were role-playing while we served a purpose for them. Lacking a core sense of identity, they draw that identity from us. If we trigger their fear of abandonment they come to resent us very quickly, projecting their inadequacies on to us. We are now the enemy. As a defense to this invalid perception of abandonment, the borderline abandons us instead.
I made the mistake of thinking I could change Crystal. She has to make the necessary changes herself. Looking back on my story I have to wonder, with a degree of introspection, what was lacking in me to allow myself to remain in a dysfunctional relationship. Admittedly, I was addicted to the relationship and the false dream of who I thought the person was. After reading my story, myself and presumably my readers are left wondering why I tried so hard to be in a relationship with someone disordered? She didn’t force me to stay at her side, I made the choice to remain in a bad relationship, for the sake of her children.
I’m not without fault in this. The fact of the matter is, a completely healthy person would have never put up with what I endured or received for very long (if at all.) Doing some self-reflection, there’s a selfish underside to this. There must have been something missing in my own life to shift focus on her, allowing me to forget myself. It worked. When things finally fell apart I had completely forgotten myself. Thankfully I never lost sight of my career goals, my current job, or my assets. I did, however, lose a lot of the little things in life that defined who I truly am. Recently another woman I’ve been seeing asked me what else I’m into other than flying airplanes. I drew a blank. I used to be able to rattle off all of the other little interests I had that occupied my time and made me an interesting person. That’s when I realized the person I see in the mirror is just a shadow of my former self.
That void I was seeking to fill in this relationship was my interpersonal desire to have a family. Stepping up to the plate for Lucas and Olivia, two children I love to death, I instinctively dropped the less important and selfish things in my life to prioritize my focus on them. All of the hard work in my life getting to where I’m at now was with the goal of raising a healthy family. I was lead to believe my relationship with Crystal was working towards having that family. It didn’t come as I envisioned it, but I was ready to have that family that I thought was in front of me. Crystal took full advantage of that desire she saw in me, using her children as leverage in the act she called our relationship. Losing Lucas and Olivia from my life has been a truly traumatic experience.
It really brings to question if Crystal truly cares about her children. If the best man that’s ever come into her life (according to her) steps up to the plate to unconditionally love her children doesn’t overflow her bucket, she has some pretty deep rooted issues. She acts as if her children are a mere extension of herself rather than individuals. Her inability to connect with her own emotions and feelings, her lack of identity, and inability to connect with anyone on any level deeper than the surface. If she can’t stay close to anyone then how can she connect with and stay close to her children? If she’s incapable of having empathy or caring about those closest to her then how can she care about her children? This sort of behavior from a mother will often leave their children with a feeling of abandonment, because the mother puts herself first over her children. Crystal took advantage of my desire to have a family as a means of temporary fulfillment, to suddenly disconnect without remorse or empathy, comes to show she has no connection of how this will affect her children. Just as she abandoned me and wanted me out of her life, Lucas and Olivia could only comprehend that my abrupt disappearance without explanation from their life was the same way. Just as Crystal projects her inadequacies on me, I’m certain she’ll project to her children that I’m the one that abandoned them without explanation. The thought that people like Crystal think this is acceptable behavior is quite sickening. It truly comes to show the disconnect from reality and lack of empathy the Borderline has developed. Additionally, the fact that she didn’t want to have children with Daniel and the choice to have them was based on her own mothers desire to have grandchildren, could easily be perceived as unwanted.
Reading the blog of a diagnosed Borderline recently, I found this quote to perfectly match Crystal’s cruel mentality:
“Then one day, I won’t love them anymore. It probably doesn’t actually happen overnight, but it feels like it. I’ll wake up and I just… don’t want them in my life. And the fact they still love me will actually disgust me. I will be repulsed by the fact that they can’t just “get over” me the way I’m already over them. And I’ll hurt and I’ll feel bad because I hurt them and I’ll cry because I feel bad. But I won’t really care, I’ll walk away and it will be as though I never truly loved them and I won’t know why. I’ll say “he just wasn’t right for me” and I’ll feel bad because I don’t believe there’s anyone out there who IS right for me and maybe that last one was the only chance I’ll ever get to not die alone. And I’ll tell myself I’m OK with dying alone because at least that way I can’t hurt anyone else- including myself. But then I always crave love again…“
Coming directly from the mind of a diagnosed Borderline, the splitting black becomes clearly evident. Because Borderlines are unable to connect with their own feelings, they’re incapable of connecting with our feelings. They have no remorse or empathy when they eventually and abruptly disconnect from their partner. They simply do not care about the pain they inflict on others as a result of their deceptive and careless behavior. As long as they get what they want, at whatever cost, that’s all that matters to them.
Much like other cases of bad relationships with Borderlines, no contact was the best way to begin my path to healing. This was difficult to do at first. Even though I had deleted Crystal’s number from my phone, I had not deleted the text conversations that had been on my phone for the past year and a half. A few days after I told her to stop talking to me I had made the mistake of professing the love I still had for her and her children, in a state of inebriation. After realizing what I did, I had to delete the conversation in its entirety. She’s blocked on Facebook, no longer in my phone, and I’ll be taking my work truck in for service elsewhere. Sorry, Ray.
I have learned a lot from this experience. I now understand things about myself that I couldn’t have articulated a year ago. Being with Crystal has made me feel better about the person I am in a strange way. I should hate her for the things she has done to me, but I feel a little sadness knowing the reality of her mental illness, how horrible it must be to be trapped in her own emptiness. I did everything I could as a human, as a friend, and a companion to support her. Sadly, like all broken animals, it was inevitable that she’d turn on me.
I do feel sorry for the next guy that has to deal with her. I’ll pour one for my fallen homies.
As for Crystal, I hope she eventually seeks the help she needs. I should hate her for everything she did to me. Now knowing how empty she is inside, knowing that she doesn’t know who she is beyond a vague notion of her “false self”‘, I can’t help but feel sorry for her. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never trust her again and I have no respect for her. But, there is a good person in her deep down inside wanting to come out. It’s going to take a lot of work on her part, including wanting to change.