1. Borderline Personality Disorder isn’t being cute and ‘clingy’ and ‘adorably needy’. Being with (romantic or otherwise) someone with BPD isn’t akin to taking care of a pet. BPD isn’t an ‘aw it’s so endearing that they need me so badly’ type of thing.
BPD is a mental illness that is a conglomeration of several different tendencies and it’s not easy to diagnose. You don’t just decide you have it, just like you don’t decide you’re depressed because you had a bad day, or you don’t decide you’re bipolar because your mood changes quickly sometimes. Believe me, you don’t want it.
BPD is turning nothing into everything, is knowing you’re being irrational and not being able to stop regardless, is suppressing breakdowns for fear of being abusive or of manipulating the person you’re talking to into having to take care of you when they really don’t want to.
It’s thinking someone doesn’t care about you anymore because they made a new friend. It’s automatically registering new people as a threat. It’s a fear of abandonment and rejection that’s damn near omnipresent. It’s being able to shift from ‘I love you so much!’ to ‘I don’t give a fuck, I hate you, I don’t even want to talk to you’ and back at the drop of a hat.
It’s finding identity in a drastic hair change, and then feeling unsafe and desperately trying to fix it before you have to go out. It’s seeing someone you adore and trying to emulate them because you have no idea who you are. It’s waking up and trying to be a new person every day. Go vegan, go goth, go hipster, go glamour, cut your hair, change your makeup, gain weight, lose weight, and never feel quite there. Ever.
It’s comprehending ‘love’ as ‘pity’ and wanting to rip yourself apart if their tone is all too casual when your friend or love interest is returning compliments or affection. It’s regretting saying anything about your mood and desperately trying to turn the conversation around while simultaneously NEEDING to get it out. It’s wanting to bleed yourself dry as opposed to cry in someone’s arms because, at least then, they don’t have to clean your wounds for you. They won’t hate you. They won’t be annoyed.
It’s the constant battle, every time you get upset, of, “Is this worth being sad about? Is it worth talking about? What is more abusive, talking about this or hiding it? If I tell them I’ll bring them down and I’ll guilt trip them and they will resent me and it will all be my fault. If I don’t, I’m a disgusting liar, I’m manipulative, I’m untrustworthy.”
It’s wondering if you’re faking your symptoms. It’s disassociating and feeling like a ghost for days. It’s feeling like you aren’t real, and then wishing you weren’t. It’s fear, a lack of self, and about a million different thoughts running through your head at all times. It’s trying to live for the people you love as opposed to yourself. It’s feeling suicidal and then feeling bad for feeling suicidal because, whoops, you’re being manipulative.
2. Today, my S/o went to work. He texted me after and told me he made a work friend that he found out he knew from a high school club (they competed against each other apparently).
He shared this info with me to bring up one of those “small worlds” moments, but I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a girl, if they flirted with him, etc. I thought, what if he starts to like this person, thinks they’re better than me and leaves me? I rationalized these thoughts quickly but I’m not proud that I even had them in the first place.
Then he told me he was gonna start his drive home. Sometimes he’ll call me on his drive and tell me about his day. He didn’t today, so I asked if he wanted to, and if he didn’t feel like it, it’s okay. (I always make sure to do this, I do not want him to feel obligated to talk to me).
He didn’t answer because he was DRIVING. Rationally I know that’s why. But my brain is mean, and a bad thought I had was that he was sick of me, probably saw my text before he started his drive, and ignored it because he thought I was being clingy and annoying. I thought, maybe he’s thinking about that person he knew from work and doesn’t want to talk to me and ruin it. He clearly hates me because he didn’t respond.
I RATIONALLY know none of this is true, but the thing with BPD is, you can objectively know one thing, but feel the emotions of another, and not be able to stop it. It’s like you see yourself about to crash but there’s nothing you can really do to stop it from happening.
Then, he gets home, sends me a snapchat of his cat, and he hasn’t responded to my text. Rationally, I know he probably walked in, saw his cat, started to pet her, and thought, oh, my girlfriend would like to see this, sent me a video, thats it.
But my mind was convincing myself that he is ignoring me because he thinks i’m annoying and is trying to prove to me that he doesn’t care about my texts by letting me know he’s active on other social media. I figured he was afraid to say no to calling me on his drive because he knows i’m sensitive and I’ll be very sad if he rejected me in any way, so he doesn’t want to deal with me being emotional and burdening him. I started to feel like a massive nuisance. So I texted him and told him he can say no to me when I ask to call if he wants to.
Poor guy just calmly explained to me that he didn’t see my texts because he was driving, then came home, saw the cat, pet her. It was that simple. It was that simple for him, and for me I went on a whirlwind of intense emotions where I thought he hated me, was going to leave me for somebody else, that he was purposely ignoring me, that I was an emotional burden and he’d be better off without me.
And it’s only noon. lol
3. Having BPD means having a good day and doubting your diagnosis. It means feeling like you are a manipulative bitch no matter what you do or say. It means deciding on a drastic hair or style change to finally find yourself. It means your “happiness” being entirely dependent on how much attention you get from that one chosen person. It’s turning something “minor” into something world-ending. It’s turning nothing into everything and everything into nothing. It’s like sitting in the passenger seat of a car and watching the driver crash into a tree without being able to do anything to stop it. It’s losing the will to live over a late reply to a text. It’s losing your shit over a casual response. It’s constantly analysing everything you said, every gesture you made, every look, everything you didn’t say, everything someone else said or didn’t say, that eye contact they didn’t make.
It’s when asking for help feels like you’re a burden. It’s feeling alone and misunderstood when you’re the centre of attention. It’s a constant battle of questioning whether your reaction was appropriate considering the situation. It’s excusing mistreatment from others, because you think you probably deserved it. It means forgiving the unforgiveable because being alone is worse. It’s the constant battle between lightness and darkness, and the fear of what’s to come.
It’s constantly being scared of losing those you love one way or another. It’s constantly asking yourself if this will be the last time they forgive you. Maybe they’ll wake up one day and realise they can do much better than you. It’s feeling like you are constantly duping people into liking you, because you’re never quite yourself. It’s hating every part of yourself, even though you don’t know which parts are real. It’s the constant struggle of wanting to end your pain, but not hurting anyone in the process. It’s the urge to cut yourself, because it feels good to feel a different kind of pain.
It’s filling yourself up with goods, food or drugs to feel like you’re not an empty shell and never succeeding. It’s realising that every compliment or every bit of positivity gets lost immediately in that black hole inside of you. It’s having an all-consuming need for re-affirmation every second of every day, because people change their minds. It’s blaming every single thing that goes wrong in your life or in someone else’s life on yourself. It means never being relaxed because there are about 100 thoughts racing through your head at any given time. It’s getting used to pain and still being overwhelmed by it every single time. It’s always caring that little bit too much.
4. BPD is when you have a love-hate relationship with the people closest to you; the world; & yourself.
BPD is when people walk on eggshells around you because they don’t want to trigger you, but at the same time you walk on eggshells because – you’re afraid of them leaving you.
BPD is when you struggle to regulate your emotions and need/want so badly to tell someone, your favourite person, your love-hate parent, or Reddit, because you just want so badly for someone to understand and calm you down –
But BPD is also when your therapist tells you, “Your dependency on others and inability to regulate your emotions is unhealthy. You need to self-soothe. Be able to be your own person. Individuate. Stop depending on others. Emotionally. Financially.”
Yet deep within you, you stare at your therapists & the world and think, “But do you really understand what I’m going through?! Do you really think I don’t want to be normal, like you?”
It’s when your therapist tells you, “I don’t know how to help you anymore,” & then you tell them “But please, this is what I was afraid of,” & then their response goes, “It’s okay I’m still going to look after you,”
It’s the reality when people tell you, “You just need to find your purpose. Find your sense of self.” – Yet you wrestle because you’re always lost, you’re always searching –
You’re searching for belonging. Stability. Acceptance. Normalcy. Love. Self-love. Confidence. Friends. For people to stay.
You do want to know who you are; You do want to figure your purpose in life;
You want to be happy.
You just want so badly to be free from the 5-9 symptoms –
You don’t want to feel all these anger; then sadness; then a glimpse of hope; then back to, “Life is too hard, it’s too painful, I can’t deal,”
It’s when you feel like you’re a burden to the people around you; You want them so badly to understand you; to understand this dumb mental illness,
But will they ever?
You want to be completely free of this chokehold of a “disorder”