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can have healthy romantic/sexual relationships, think I may be borderline?

By December 9, 2011 - 11:39am
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I am an extremely happy, well-adjusted 18 year-old young woman. I am very optimistic and outgoing, I love my life, I love my friends, and I am absolutely in love with the world of academia I am now immersed in. I have very strong feelings of euphoria about 99% of the time; one could say it's almost like an ongoing fit of 'mania', yet not recklessly. I am just really, really happy. I channel all this energy I have into productive things like exercise, friendships, work, and school. However, I also happen to have period of random suicidal thoughts, which happens about 1% of the time, and I also have a very difficult time with romantic relationships. I get extremely intense feelings of attraction or emotion towards men, and it terrifies me at the strength of these feelings. I will freak out, become rageful and vindictive, act in very manipulative and avoidant ways towards them, and every time in the past when I've fall in love, I find myself transforming into this unrecognizably insecure, almost psychotic and possessive stalker. Everything a guy does will either leave me elated or have my spiraling into a depression. I have extremely close and healthy friendships with people, yet my romantic/sexual relationships are extremely unhealthy. Right now I am single and not dating anyone, and I find that this is the only time I am truly happy and secure, but as soon as I start becoming interested in someone, it slowly begins to erode my sense of self-worth, independence, and emotional stability. Because I am INTENSE when I like someone, and I fall extremely hard, even after only knowing them a few weeks! I never really admitted this before, and it's horrible to even think, but I think the suicidal thoughts actually happen when or if I don't get enough attention from a particular man's recognition of my abilities (either my intellect, sexuality, or personality). I find it really disturbing, and have been looking things up about borderline syndrome. I find I have very intense emotions all the time, 99% of which are happy and positive, and I have an extremely intense work ethic which is wonderful because it allows me to be very successful professionally and academically. Yet the anger and negative emotions I have are scary, my best friends know to be patient with me and I find myself not feeling as angry at them for things they do, yet I find it very hard to trust people, especially men I'm attracted to, and when I'm stressed or feeling vulnerable I seem to regress into almost antisocial and manipulative tendencies towards men I'm interested in, to protect myself emotionally., i.e charming them, flattering them, and if they don't respond the way I want I will fly into a vengeful rage, or at times when they do respond to me. I know if I get close to a man he will lose interest in me, as has happened sometimes before, (because the intensity of my feelings are more than his) so I maintain my distance. I don't understand, and feel like it's an aspect of my life that's really hindering me, and I'd like to overcome it. I've seen therapists before, but spending an hour speaking aloud about my innermost thoughts absolutely terrifies me and actually makes these emotions of mine way worse; I feel vulnerable and narcissistic spending an hour talking about myself, feel like they must think I am completely psychotic, and wind up resorting to using the same tactics I usually use on men when I'm vunerable (i.e manipulation, charm, flattery, spinning the conversation around on them, avoidance, and if that doesn't work, flying into a rage) on my therapists, and wind up leaving feeling even more crazy and misunderstood than before. I know I can't just be simply a totally manipulative person towards people: it's just I have a lot of heartbreak in my past, and I want to protect myself. I really really want to get over this and have healthy relationships :(. I've seen psychiatrists in the past, and they have actually diagnosed me with ADHD, (which might explain my bursts of energy and work/concentration), but also have tried to diagnose me with depression and bipolar disorder. but I don't believe I have that, because like I said before, I am really really happy most of the time. My disposition is very optimistic and positive, but those rare times I feel such a strong anger towards people, impulsivity, and suicidal thoughts are what is concerning, as well as hindering my relationships with others and aiding to my avoidance of intimacy. Any advice or help would be appreciated; I find it much easier to voice these concerns over an anonymous forum online. I really hope I don't sound utterly psychotic:/

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I really don't know why I act the way I do, I would've definitely said so if I did! I do not have a good relationship with my father, our personalities clash. Growing up I was basically the center of his world and he always told me how brilliant/beautiful I was, yet when I got older he turned into the controlling, domineering and obsessive type: he was extremely strict and to get any freedom at all I had to learn to manipulate him into letting me go out, have own my space, stop him from telling me what to do, etc, and I know he loves me and only wants the best for me, but most of the emotions I feel towards him are that of rage and wanting nothing but to escape/avoid him. That might have something to do with my relationships with men. Thank you for your advice, I will try to stop dating and seek out a relationship-oriented therapist, yet I think I still face the problem of opening up to people and talking to someone in a therapist office, it makes me very anxious to talk to someone only about myself. I feel like they are judging me and will think I am crazy. So, would you say you think I am borderline? I feel like I have very intense emotions and moods.

December 9, 2011 - 4:44pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi spiceytunaroll1

Thank you for your post!

You don't sound psychotic but you do sound like you need to stay well away from romantic relationships until you get to the root of why you act the way you do around your boyfriends.You can certainly have healthy relationships in the future but you have a lot of work to do first.

It also sounds like you have researched your symptoms a lot - based on the mix of clinical terms and buzz words and expressions that you use.

Since your problems are with men - and are based on control, fear of rejection and mania, you need to examine your history with the opposite sex. Did you have a good relationship with your father, brothers or other male family members? What is your family history? Has anything happened in your past to interfere with relationships with men? Think about it for a while.

When you are seeing therapists - what kind are they? I strongly advise that you see a relationship expert - a female - who is specially trained in helping women who have high velocity, and histrionic relationships with men, so that you can work together to find the cause of why you behave like you do - work on these causes, and learn the tools to control or eliminate your feelings in the future. Find your triggers.

You also need to remember that you are still a teenager and haven't experienced the same kind of life that, say, a 40 year old woman has. So a tendency to panic and see everything as an all or nothing situation is not unusual in someone your age. Maturity and experience will also help you.

Stop dating for now. For an 18 year old, it sounds like you have been in far too many dramatic and frantic relationships with men. Don't allow yourself to continue with this or turn it in to a lifestyle.

Please let me know what you think - don't lose hope or feel like this is your life from now on. A good, specialized therapist and a lot of honesty from you will help. I think you know more about why you are behaving like you are but you haven't come out and said it yet. Perhaps you are hoping that we suggest reasons to you and then you can agree, thus avoiding having to be the one to say it first.

We hope to hear back from you soon!


December 9, 2011 - 12:22pm
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