Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ask Haven: Potential to Hurt Me

Sorry Everyone. Last week was super hectic for me. Had major presentations and projects and big life things = extra long hours. Things should be back to normal now. Regular posting shall resume.

Dear Haven,

I’ve been dating a woman for a while now that I suspect has BPD. She’s been starting to push away and she said something recently that I’m confused by. What does a woman mean when she says “you have the potential to hurt me”? I really like her, I would never hurt her on purpose.


Dear Confused,

Ah! I know exactly what she means and I have a feeling every one of us with BPD know what she means as well.

You know the old adage “you always hurt the ones you love”? That’s really the thing we’re addressing here. This has nothing to do with your intent. It’s almost always accidental, and often in the case of BPD, not your fault at all depending on the situation (exceptions, of course, in the case of abusive partners). 

When you like someone, when you see the potential to really love someone, you see the potential for them to really impact your heart. To be even closer to you. With that closeness, comes power over your heart, power over your vulnerabilities, the places we’ve already been damaged and fight so hard to protect. You are invited within the walls we construct to keep out the villains that would stab us in that heart and potentially place your own knife, however accidentally. We live our lives struggling to find a balance of close but not too close but really, really wanting to be close, but HOLY CRAP WE REALLY NEED TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROMT THE PAIN… but not necessarily on such a conscious level. We’ve lived hard lives with a lot of damage. That we’re telling you this means we;  1. See something in you that we are really drawn to because we really like who you are, but 2. This is also kind of scary for us, because intimacy is scary for because we have been so hurt in the past.

The best thing you could probably do: Go at her pace. Respect her boundaries and gently ask her to elaborate if she feels comfortable. Expect that she may not though. She may need to slow things down to feel comfortable, allow her space, but don’t abandon her. Let her know you’ll be there for her.

I hope this helps you understand. Good luck.



  1. Good answer. And yeah it's true we always do hurt the ones we love. Another saying I really like is "Hurt people hurt people"
    This is especially relevant to BPD, because sometimes people like to villainise those with BPD because the've been hurt by them so they tag them as 'evil'
    But Borderlines don't really mean it.
    Borderlines are people who are very hurt inside, and because of these wounds they conciquentally hurt other people...
    Anyway I love that saying - HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE.

    Btw, how did you get that person's message? Does your email still work? Because I sent you some emails in hopes that you would reply. You probably did get them idk, so yeah it's okay if you don't want to reply..I'm a bit weird

    1. Hi there,

      I've been so busy lately (I'm a working professional 60+ hours/week) so I haven't had a chance to directly check my e-mail in a while so I've been hoping people would go to the Forum and engage there because I do get quite a lot of e-mail from people. I should have time in the upcoming weeks to check my personal e-mail. With any luck I'll be able to start getting back to people more directly. Sorry I haven't been more available! It is absolutely nothing personal and I absolutely would reply if I was able to.

  2. I totally understand. Sorry if I seemed touchy or something. You're a hard worker! No pressure, I know how exhausting things can be sometimes

  3. "Let her know you’ll be there for her" I think is hard be myself if i can be abandoned just for being myself. If i show how i'm hurt certainly i'll be punished. If i show myself angry i'll be hated. So when i do something that my boyfriend or my family don't like ...i think immediatly that life over. He is very sensitive also, sometimes defend myself can hurt him. Sometimes i get hurt just because he get angry that i did not understand something he said. If i hurt his ego he gets disapointed. Sometimes to hurt someone just show the truth is enough, it destroys that fake truth of that person. Sometimes it happens even if i don't want to hurt anyone. So, living without a mask is very hard. Can i accept myself if other people don't? Is better be yourself or is better to be loved? Sorry if my english is bad XP I really like here, is welcoming!!


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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