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|In Love and Living with a BPD - Part 5|
|Written by siddiquf|
|06 March 2010|
In this 5th part of my serial article I wish to write about a recurrent scene that plays out time and again as I drive out on a car journey with my wife. The sequence of events is amazingly consistent, to a point where I can now predict correctly what is going to happen next, as the scene unfolds. One of the things I can be sure of is that there will be no problem if we have company with us in the car. However, if it is just the two of us, its almost always happens. The purpose of this narration is not BPD bashing but to act as a guide to better handling, by the non-BPD partner, of a potentially dangerous situation.
Let us take the example of a typical journey when she requested me to drive her to her childhood friend's house for a meal. This was my first time to visit her friend's house. Before starting off I asked my wife for the street address, consulted my street map book and noted that the address was about four kilometer east of us. The start of the journey was peaceful enough. As I drove I was quiet for a few minutes mentally visualizing my options on the best route to follow; a fairly normal situation I guess. So I was taken a bit off guard when she demanded to know why I was not taking the highway?
Now I knew there was no east-west highway en route and let us just say street navigation is not my wife's forte'; she hates map reading. I am thinking 'what highway?' and said so too. A very big mistake! I guess in her mind she thought she was being helpful and felt deeply hurt by my thoughtless rhetorical question. "But my brother always takes the highway" she insists with an edge to her voice. An old saying 'comparisons are always odious' crosses my mind. As I am driving, and need to focus on the traffic, I am finding this mention of the brother, who lives way north of us, not at all relevant or helpful. In fact I find it a bit distractive and therefore irksome. I verbalise these thoughts, this time with and edge to MY voice. She asks me to 'shut up' and I want to finish my sentences, in a foolish attempt to avoid recurrence of this type of argument in future.
And that was her rage trigger and beginning of some very dangerous actions on her part, especially as a passenger in a moving vehicle. This included lunging on the steering wheel, and opening and closing the passenger side door with loud bangs, scratching my neck and face and refusing to accept my requests to desist from such unsafe behaviour that was endangering our own safety and that of other road users. Eventually I had to pull the car off the road and wait for the rage to subside. The rage did subside quickly enough and when I informed her of my intention to quit the journey if her actions continued, there was silence and I was able to reach her friend's house where we were able to enjoy the meal and the company.
Subsequently there was no expression of remorse on her part, even when I showed her the scratches made by her on my neck and face. With the hindsight of my new understanding of BPD, I can see where I went wrong; I should have just told her my reason for going the route I had chosen, squeezed her hand for reassurance and continued my drive as if nothing had happened.
If you, the reader, consult the "Diasgnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder ....", as reproduced by CherrieAngel as one of the earliest articles in this section of MDjunction, criterion number 4 reads "impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, Substance Abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)". I think my wife has impulsivity in two of the areas, namely reckless driving (in her case reckless passenger behaviour while being driven) and 'spending'; but that's another story!
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