The Story of My Strife: Living With Borderline Personality Disorder
When I was first diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, I didn’t believe it at all. I mean I don’t think of things as in black and white (eye roll). But the thing is that I had misunderstood splitting. When I realized my mistake, I started to read more and more about BPD so I wouldn’t repeat the same mistake twice. As I continued to read, I felt a lot better because I could finally understand my thinking and actions. I felt free, free of the confusion, and free of the frustration born of it.
A lot of myths surrounding the disorder came to my knowledge as well. A major myth surrounding BPD is that individuals with this disorder are manipulative. That is so not the case though. Who is a manipulative individual? In my understanding, a manipulative person is one who plays people to get what they want, but people with BPD don’t do this. Their ultimatums and threats arise from a place of desperation, when they see that they can’t receive love or the person opposite them might abandon them they resort to ultimatums and threats. It is more of a last resort to them than a fun, sadistic act. Another myth is that people who have BPD are very violent which I can vouch that it’s so not true. Then the myth about all mental illnesses applies to a person with BPD as well, but to be honest, BPD is more of a personality type and is only put in the category of disorders because it has negative effects on the person’s life. People with Borderline Personality are very much normal and nice to be precise.
The symptoms that manifest in me majorly are splitting and fear of abandonment. Splitting is what I talked of earlier, seeing things in black and white; in reality, it means that I have an all or nothing attitude and behavior. I either eat a lot or I starve myself, I’m either so happy that I dance around in my room or so depressed that I become suicidal. This causes me a lot of problems especially because a lot of my loved ones don’t know what it is and how to deal with it. They have to walk on eggshells around me all the time. I am an overthinker as well and as a result, so many things trouble me that when posed with the question,” what’s wrong?” I can’t explain what’s wrong because either I don’t understand it myself or there are so many things that are wrong that I can’t explain all of them.
The other problem I have is the fear of abandonment. This fear has crippled my life. I was a bit lonely growing up and probably didn’t get the attention I needed as a growing child so I constantly fear rejection and/or abandonment. The problem begins when the abandonment doesn’t actually exist and is only imagined. I am constantly anxious that the other person is only pitying me or has nothing else to do and that is the only reason they are talking/socializing with me. If a person’s tone seems even a bit off I begin fearing that they might be planning to leave. And this fear and anxiety become so scary that I leave before I get left and the other person, most of the time, has no idea of what happened. I also oftentimes would do whacky or hurtful things deliberately to see who would stay. If a person leaves after a single episode I get depressed, and if they don’t the next episode would be a level-up game. I need constant reassurance that this person won’t ever abandon me to feel good and at ease.
Having BPD, however, has its perks too. It means that I don’t need medication throughout my life and just have to learn to adjust and live with this co inhibitor. It means simple therapy would be a major help to my problem. And simply being diagnosed also goes a long way and is a relief because finally before anyone else I can understand myself. And in my opinion understanding, one’s self is more important than anything else. Because only and only when you understand yourself can you understand anyone else to have a healthy life as an empathetic and caring person.