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Extreme BPD: Divorce and Borderline Personality Disorder

I stumbled upon this article today doing some research on profiles of Borderline Personality traits in marriages and divorce. One of the things that is unique about the case presented in this article is that the victim of the Borderline rage and abuse is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a scion of the Kennedy family and currently a lawyer and environmental activist. I include this article today as it captures rather well and completely the nature of being in a relationship with someone with a very aggressive form of BPD.  The articles details the physical and emotional abuse that the victim spouse suffered, along with the suffering that the children on this marriage endured. Unique about this case, as well, is the level of detail and analysis that is involved in identifying the traits of BPD, and the efforts that Mr. Kennedy made to demonstrate this level of abuse to the courts in the pursuit of his child custody case. The full article appears here:

“Whenever Bobby mentioned divorce, she would threaten suicide, but the next morning she would be calm and gentle. She would say she was sorry and didn’t know why she was acting this way. For a time she would be her old wonderful self at night as well as during the day, and Bobby had renewed hope, the affidavit said.”

” It is very common for the BPD to return “back to normal” after raging and spewing vitriol. I liken it to emotional projectile vomiting. As their partner, you are expected to pretend as if nothing untoward happened, even though you’re standing there, still dripping in their emotional vomit. If you do not accept her “apology” and apologize for “your part” in her rage, you will often be subjected to more rage and emotional projectile vomit.

The Jekyll and Hyde nature of BPD individuals is often confusing to their partners. How can she go from being so sweet to something like that scene in The Exorcist in which Linda Blair’s head spins round? This causes a profound cognitive and emotional disconnect for many of my clients. It’s very hard to reconcile the fact that the sweet, charming woman and cruel, controlling abuser both reside in the same person.

Also, the moments of kindness and promises to “make things better” often give my clients false hope, which is inevitably dashed after each new rage out or act of covert abuse. According to The Daily Beast, Mary was in and out of therapy for years, including family counseling, but nothing got better. Unfortunately, many BPD sufferers are highly treatment resistant and Mary Kennedy had the material resources to obtain the very best psychiatric care. It didn’t help.” Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD


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