To the People I've Lost Because of My Borderline Personality Disorder

4k
4k

The road of my life has been long and filled with soaring ups and devastating downs. Today I realize and acknowledge the impact I had on my own life with borderline personality disorder. I felt like I was never good enough and let myself down daily by not being able to fulfill my own expectations. My mental illness is a blessing and a curse that both enlightens and eats at my soul.

It’s not easy being me and I know it’s not easy being around me. I want to be loved so badly and yet don’t know how to accept myself. I want to be happy and yet I have a voice inside me saying I don’t deserve to be loved. I want to stop my pain but I just don’t know how to do it.

As I continue on this journey without you beside me, I wish I could find the words and the courage to tell you I love you. I wish I could find a way to apologize for the times I let you down but alas, the courage does not come and I am left in my world of self-hatred.

Life is not easy and I know it has not been easy for you to watch me suffer. I know you tried, but you never found the right way to show me you loved me. In the end, either you left or I left before you could.

Some days I think it would be easier to disappear from this world, but I have so much more to learn and give. Each day I am learning more about myself, ways to live with and embrace this medical condition plaguing my mind.

I’m sad as I reflect on our memories and I know you won’t be there to share any more. I cannot change the past, but I’m learning I cannot live there either. I acknowledge I’ve made mistakes and I know I cannot change those. For me to be able to love myself, I must be able to forgive myself even though it’s the most difficult thing I’ve had to do.

As I continue my journey I realize I have reacted or behaved inappropriately at times and damaged relationships I held so dear. I wish I could tell you I did not do so out of malice or hate, but out of a lack of awareness of how deeply my illness controlled me. Please know, this is not an excuse, I am not denying responsibility or the part I played. I know I hurt you with my words and actions and I hate myself for that. I just wish I could turn back time.

There is a person inside of me who is screaming to get out. Screaming to tell you they are still there and to beg you not to leave. I keep hoping that person will emerge victorious over the demons that keep her prisoner. She is a gentle soul who loves deeply, laughs happily and lives life to the fullest.

This journey is a painful one as self-awareness and self-awakening occur, but the light at the end of the tunnel is self-love and happiness, so I will fight on.

There are many things I want to say but none as important as I’m sorry, I love you and I wish you well.

Love,
Belinda

The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

4k
4k

RELATED VIDEOS

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Love in the Time of Borderline

336
336

My superpower is that I move through the world without skin.

You can’t tell. My fake skin suit looks very real.

But it’s true. I don’t have skin. I am a bundle of nerves and raw muscle and sinew and blood and wounds.

It’s hard to love someone like this.

There’s a double meaning in that.

It’s hard to love someone who is like this and it’s hard to love someone when you’re like this.

I want to be in love. I have been in love. I tend to love with my whole heart and kind of immediately. It can be off putting.

I remember reading John Irving’s “The 158-Pound Marriage” a long time ago, and while I think describing yourself in quotes from literature is indulgent and gross, I’m going to ask you to indulge me grossly.

“…she is vulnerable for the same reason that she is strong. Whatever she puts her love in, she will trust. She will wait you out, she will put up with you  — forever —if she loves you.”

This is the truest way I know how to tell you about myself. I wish I’d written it. I wish I’d written something better. I haven’t. Yet.

I think this is sometimes a good quality. It doesn’t feel good. Most of the time, it doesn’t feel good. I also think it means I lack solid boundaries and look to others to meet my emotional needs instead of learning how to fulfill them myself.

I have borderline personality disorder. If you don’t know about it, congratulations. It’s hallmarked by unstable relationships, fear of abandonment perceived or real, unstable sense of self, self-harming behaviors, difficulty regulating emotions and suicidal ideation or suicide attempts and well, suicide.

But really, it just feels like I don’t have skin.

Everything is the most.

My deepest, truest, most honest fear is that if I tell you who I am, you will leave me.

Here’s what it feels like to be left: dying.

That’s it really. It feels like I’m dying.

OK fine, I’ll describe it.

I can’t get any air and I can’t move and I can’t feel anything and sometimes I weep in the shower and my body feels like it’s going in all directions and I don’t know if I can sit still and I want to talk to people but I don’t want to talk to people and I want to connect but I can’t and everything feels like I’m being stabbed right into a bundle of nerves and I can’t tolerate the pain for one single second more and I can’t get air and nothing will fix it not words or movies or weather or music or sex or food or drugs or people or…

That is what it feels like to be left.

Wait.

My real deepest, truest, most honest fear is that if I tell you who I am, I will have to feel all of that again.

I cannot weep in the shower again. I cannot contain my body and my sadness and my rage and my loneliness again.

I cannot.

I can not.

I can not.

I want to be in love. I want to be held and meet the person I think is so electric I can’t stand to be away from him and he will feel the same about me and we’ll dance and have a whole night where we just break dishes and scream into the void because it feels good to do that sometimes.

Maybe you think that sounds crazy and maybe it does and maybe that’s the idea of love from the perspective of a person with a mental illness.

Here’s what I also believe love is: horrible jokes you tell each other over and over, telling the truth no matter what, back rubs, dancing in the kitchen in the middle of night, nasty f*cking against walls and on the bed and the kitchen floor and in public if that’s your thing, coming over and tasting this melon to tell me if it’s bad, radical acceptance of every part of this beautiful human in your field of vision, lazy Sunday afternoons listening to Joni Mitchell while it rains.

This is what I want.

And yet.

What if I got it?

How can I enjoy it?

What will I do if it leaves?

What do I do?

I am so tired of being alone and I am so scared of not being alone because I know I am hard to love and it’s inevitable that you will go and I can’t stop thinking of myself weeping in the shower so I keep you at arm’s length.

But that’s not a life.

I go out into the world without my skin. I try again. I hope this time you won’t leave. Or if you do, maybe I am better equipped this time. I take medicine and go to therapy and meditate and stuff so that’s good, right?

I don’t like this.

I want my skin. I want the skin I was born with, but somehow lost along the way.

I want to love you in a way that is fearless.

I want to know that I will be OK. Eventually.

This piece originally appeared on Medium

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

The Mighty is asking the following: For someone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to have your mental illness, describe what it’s like to be in your head for a day. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

336
336
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

A Love Letter to the Teenager With Borderline Personality Disorder

140
140

Things have been hard lately, I know. You’ve made some questionable decisions that resulted in you being grounded, again. But I’m not writing to reprimand you. I am writing you to let you know I understand, and you are not alone. Like you, I also have borderline personality disorder and was diagnosed when I was your age. I struggled too — with constantly being in trouble and fighting with my friends and parents. I know it’s hard, but you can get through it.

I know it’s annoying that your mom stuck you in therapy once a week, but it’s important that you go, and when you do, you talk. I never wanted to talk to my therapist either, but I’m glad I did because she really helped me learn how to live with my BPD. Give your therapist a chance, and give her suggestions a go, and I promise you will start to feel more in control of your illness.

Relationships have been particularly difficult for you, like they were for me. And like me, your relationships have never been healthy or stable. I want you to know it isn’t and has never been your fault. Your BPD makes it hard for you to control your emotions and your reactions to physical and emotional triggers. And like me, you think everyone around you is always trying to attack or insult you. I want you to know you do not have to attack or insult back; you just have to learn how to interact with others in healthy ways, and your therapist can help you with that.

You thought you were just a bad kid who makes bad choices, but I assure you, that’s not it. You haven’t been in control of yourself because BPD has been controlling you. But you can take back control of your emotions, your relationships and your life. Just don’t give up while you’re trying to figure out how to gain control. You are stronger than you think you are, and you can fight BPD for control of your mind, and you can win.

I know sometimes you feel like it, but you are not a bad person because you have BPD. You are not your illness, and you have nothing to be ashamed of. You should be proud of yourself for being so young and fighting a mental illness; that shows how strong you are. Please don’t give up on feeling better, because it is possible. Just remember you are strong, you are not alone and you can do this. Giving up is not an option, but when it feels like the only option, please talk with your parents or your therapist. They will remind you that you can’t give up and give you the encouragement and hope you need to keep going.

Please don’t worry. You are going to be OK. This diagnosis is just another challenge, and you can overcome it, like you have a lot of things so far in your young life. Don’t be afraid of what others think of you; if they shame you for having a mental illness, that shows their true colors and not yours. I want you to remember that BPD is manageable and that you are strong enough to manage it. I want you know BPD is not your life; it is just a small part — a small part you can take control of. Just remember to give your therapy a fair shot, practice what you learn and put it into action. You can do this!

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to your teenaged self when you were struggling to accept your differences. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

140
140
TOPICS
,
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

The 'Frenemy' That Is My Borderline Personality Disorder

323
323

I’ve always been a free spirit. I didn’t like to have limits or boundaries. “The sky is the limit” has been put into our head since grade school, right? I’ve spent many of my years feeling comfortable in a position of authority, but not dealing well with others exercising their position of authority. Short fuse as a child was an understatement, especially when I didn’t get my way. This is considered “normal” for a child. Whatever the doctors and specialists say is normal, anyway. However, as I moved into pre-teen and teenage years, signs of something “abnormal” began to reveal themselves.

She was officially introducing herself.

She — my borderline personality disorder — was becoming demanding and uncontrollable. There were many incidents of outbreaks and breakdowns that still happen occasionally today. This includes external outbreaks of unexplained anger and hurt resulting in tantrums, hitting, kicking, throwing and laying on the floor. I scream and cry, unable to explain what I’m feeling and why I’m feeling it. When she comes out, it is only around close family and friends. She has hurt many relationships with those close to me. Other than those few who are somehow able to stick around, she stays in hiding and taunts me when I’m alone. She tells me it’s my fault, not hers. That I shouldn’t be this way and if I listen to her it will solve it. She makes me feel insecure, inadequate and alone.

Loneliness is a powerful feeling. It is just that — a feeling. I feel it for a bit and if I listen to it for too long, allowing it to trigger my brain, she will feed on it. It fuels her fire, making me sacrifice time and relationships with others in order to try and feel alive. Loneliness doesn’t have to mean no one cares. It doesn’t mean no one wants you around. It’s a temporary feeling of insecurity that everyone feels at some point or another. The temporary part is where she won’t agree with me. Aside from her, I blame the loneliness for many embarrassing and immature actions in my life.

It wasn’t until every doctor I met spent time trying to “cure me” and “solve the problem” I decided to take my alternate personality into my own control. Most people were convinced I would grow out of it, but I was told by an influential person, “Maybe you need to learn to live with her. Become comfortable with her and accept her.” I didn’t know what that meant.

I have a routine that has calmed me down and more importantly, calmed her down. I take four medicines that include two mood stabilizers. Medicine, like everything else she causes inside me, changes often. I have a few close people who can identify when I need to change medicines because the current ones have stopped helping. I’ve also learned to give her more of the attention she needs. I hear her and acknowledge her, but I can’t always agree with her. She has a well-intended heart, but a control problem. I am working each day to work on our temper and reactions. I am learning to make her verbalize what she needs. In turn, I am able to verbalize my feelings and why I am feeling a certain way. I can then relay these feeling to the few I am close with and they provide the reassurance, care and attention I need to get through her aggravating demands.

When all is said and done, I hope to come to terms with my disorder. Each day I have a decision to allow her into my life and accept her as part of my day. Every day is a journey, and sometimes a fight.

Even when she tells me otherwise, I am strong. I am important. I will make it.

The Mighty is asking the following: For someone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to have your mental illness, describe what it’s like to be in your head for a day. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

323
323
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

When People With Your Diagnosis Have Been Called 'the Devil'

335
335

I was 23 when I was finally diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). I had been through this process before, diagnosed with something I didn’t quite agree with and feeling lost, another psychiatrist who hadn’t really listened to me and had cherry-picked certain aspects of my story in order to give a diagnosis.

But then I began to read about borderline personality disorder and for the first time it felt like I was reading about my own life. All the pieces began to fall into place and I couldn’t stop myself from crying. Finally, I had something to say, look, this is what has been going on all these years.

My emotions are nowhere near as bad as they were when I was a teenager; adulthood seems to have evened them out. But I still found myself going up and down like a yo-yo in a matter of hours.

Morning: wake up, positively suicidal.

Afternoon: take a nap, wake up feeling OK.

Evening: have dinner and sob into the plate about what a terrible person I am.

I couldn’t keep up. My partner was terrified watching me go up and down, bouncing all over the room with euphoria one minute before wrapping myself in a blanket and crying into my pillow about how I wished I was dead the next.

At my diagnosis I had 10 years of self-harm and at least seven suicide attempts behind me, the last one being what propelled me to see a psychiatrist this time, for my second trip into a psychiatric ward. Not all of them were genuine attempts, most were cries for help — please look at me and see something is not right here.

But looking through the list of borderline personality disorder symptoms, I can’t help but feel not all of them apply to me. Yes, there are people with BPD who can be verbally abusive, sometimes escalating to psychological and physical abuse. But there are also quieter, more internalized sufferers of this illness, afraid to speak out about their disease because of the stigma surrounding it. It’s frightening for someone who struggles with it on a day-to-day basis to see the vitriol and hate that exists out there.

I’ve heard someone say, “Mental health problems are legitimate issues and need to be focused on, people with depression and anxiety need to be given help. But not BPD, a person with BPD isn’t even really a person, they exist solely to destroy those around them.” I’ve seen people refer to sufferers of the illness as “it” or call them the devil.

But that stereotype doesn’t apply to me. Not everyone who has BPD is the same. For exampleI’m not the kind of person who will continuously text or call someone because I am afraid they will abandon me, although the fear of abandonment is there

It’s been a year since I received my diagnosis and I am no closer to recovery, or understanding it any better, as my city doesn’t have any dialectical behavioral therapy, which is used to treat BPD. I’ve come to terms with the diagnosis but still find myself reluctant to tell others for fear of the stigma, or being ostracized from my social group. I was put on medication that was meant to help, but I still have a lot to figure out.

My BPD is not all of me, but it makes up a huge part. And that’s OK.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

The Mighty is asking the following: Were you diagnosed with your disease, disability and/or mental illness as an adult? Tell us about the moment you finally got your diagnosis. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

335
335
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Why I'm Happy to Be a Mother With Borderline Personality Disorder

71
71

Having borderline personality disorder (BPD) certainly has its challenges. I’m overly emotional, fearful of abandonment and argumentative when I don’t need to be. I’m so sensitive that every hurt feeling feels like a swift stab to my stomach, hard to heal from and hard to forget. When my daughter was born, I feared my symptoms would affect how I treated her. Would I be easily angered? Would I be too sensitive to her cries of protest? I surprised myself, and let these benefits of being a mother with BPD take over instead.

1. I love my daughter intensely.

BPD has always caused my emotions to be more intense than normal. Sometimes these emotions are bad, but in the case of what I feel for my daughter, the emotion I experience is great and powerful love.

2. I am empathetic toward my daughter.

Not only do I feel my emotions strongly, I feel others’ emotions intensely, too. So, every skinned knee, every fight with her friends, every break up, I will feel what she feels and be able to help her get through it better than I would if I felt couldn’t feel her pain.

3. I am passionate about her interests 

Blocks, ballet, soccer, boys. As she grows she will develop different interests, and I will be excited about each and every one. I will be able to build with her, dance with her, cheer for her and talk with her with such enthusiasm that we will have not only a strong mother-daughter relationship, but a fun one, too.

4. I will be able to teach my daughter unwavering confidence.

Part of BPD can be having too much confidence — confidence that can either be risky or foolish. Part of managing my BPD has been to channel my confidence in positive ways like having a healthy body image, enjoying feelings of success in a realistic way and teaching my daughter these healthy means of confidence are essential for her as well.

5. I can show my daughter what it means to “shine.”

On my good days, which happen more than the bad, I am witty, charming and great with people. I note how I feel during these times and look forward to showing my daughter the benefit of sometimes being the life of the party, the one making people laugh and the person who is so easy to relate to that people seek her out.

BPD, at times, has made my life hell. I have had broken relationships all my life, hurt people I didn’t mean to hurt and have feared losing the peopleI love because of my actions. Becoming a mother has made me see my BPD in a new and more positive light, recognizing that my life doesn’t have to be all about being angry, crying at the littlest things or being upset with the wrong people. I’ve discovered the beauty that is my BPD and am going to share that beauty with my daughter so she can see the light and so she can shine like her mommy shines.

The Mighty is asking the following: Are you a mother with a disability or disease? What would you tell a new mother in your position? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

71
71
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Real People. Real Stories.

7,000
CONTRIBUTORS
150 Million
READERS

We face disability, disease and mental illness together.