Living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is like living with a bomb planted somewhere deep inside of you. You don’t know when the bomb is going to go off or even how much damage it’ll cause when it does. Your life is spent avoiding anything that could trigger the bomb, such as conflict or loud places. Mostly though, the bomb is sensitive to anything that can hurt you.
My personal bomb is fragile and highly sensitive. It reacts to little comments people make. It even reacts to the comments people don’t make. What really triggers it though is negative news, local, national or worldwide. You name it. I’m affected.
What’s really scary about the bomb is no one can see it. Most of the time, people don’t even know it’s there, but I do. I can feel it inside of me like a heavyweight, and when it does explode, my body feels as if it is under attack.
Once, I described this feeling to a therapist as if there were a second person inside of me trying to escape. I explained that I can feel her hitting me from the inside. I now believe her to be my inner child, and she’s terrified of the bomb. She is so fearful that I can feel her force in all of my limbs. I can feel her kicking me, fighting to escape.
When the bomb goes off, I feel like I need to tear my skin apart to set her free. There have been so many times I can be seen physically pulling at my skin in a moment of crisis. People will ask me what I’m doing, and I can’t reply. How can I tell them that I need to pull off my skin to make way for this scared little girl running away from the bomb?
Tonight, I saw a news article in which a woman made a racist comment about how many Muslims are living in London. I felt so much anger at this woman. The anger I felt was uncontrollable. It still is. That’s when I decided to write this article though. Writing is the only positive coping mechanism I have right now. I’ve often attested that writing saves lives, and in this moment, it is saving mine.
Before sitting down to write this piece, however, I felt the bomb go off inside of me. There was no warning, no build up even, just “boom,” an explosion of emotions all at once. I sent her a tweet telling her what I think of her, but that only made me angrier (with myself). My anger is never outward, which is why it’s so dangerous. No one can protect me from it, myself included. In that moment, in the height of my anger, I feel only one thing — suicidal.
I’m always one step away from suicide, and tonight is proof of it. Last night was too when I was triggered by something else. This is my day to day struggle. This is BPD. I am majorly sensitive and experience incredibly unstable emotions and moods because of it. This is one reason why the illness is also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder, perhaps a more fitting name.
Tonight, I wanted to kill myself because of one stranger’s racist remarks. I can’t tell you why these had so much affect on me. I am not Muslim, but I am a human being. When I see someone hurting someone else, either physically, mentally or emotionally, I break down inside. I feel despair, and so does the little girl. She and I both want to run away from that bomb inside of me. We want to be free, and in that moment, the only way we know how is to act on our suicidal thinking.
Suicide is a safety net I keep in my back pocket for times like tonight. Sometimes, when I’m honest and talk about what I’m going through, a person might be able to calm me. The safety net gets put away again for another day. Yet, it is always there, always ready to be used.
I hate that I didn’t have a “normal” reaction tonight to that woman’s comment. I sometimes wish I could brush things off like I’ve seen others do so easily. Better yet, I wish I could get angry, get passionate and then use that to help people and to make changes. Instead, all I feel is darkness.
Living with BPD feels like my life could end in any given second. The bomb keeps ticking, even after it explodes. The inner child still resides in me, even after she’s been cut out with a razor. She still crawls back inside of me, always ready, prepared for the next time she needs to run.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Image via Thinkstock.