Borderline Personality Disorder, and the Rage No One Wants to Talk About
After struggling with mental illness since I was 10 years old, losing my dad and grandfather to suicide, and losing my husband to cystic fibrosis, life can be hard. I struggled, really struggled. After years of therapy and different medications, I gave up. I thought I was a lost cause and that no one could help me.
A few years later, after talking things through with my partner, I finally sought out help again with his support. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) shortly after I moved last year at the age of 26. Because I struggled with my mental health for such a long time, I’ve become an expert at pretending I’m fine. I hide it so well and seem to be so happy to others, not many people know anything otherwise. Suicidal feelings and attempts along with severe depression, panic attacks, rarely leaving the house, insomnia, emptiness and random emotional outbursts were a part of daily life and I didn’t manage it very well.
After reading up about BPD over and over again since being diagnosed, I noticed one of the topics people seemed to avoid talking about was the rage.
Unfortunately for me, this is a very big part of my BPD, which I really try to get a grip on, but sometimes I loose that battle epically. It could be from the smallest thing to any sort of argument that gets blown out of proportion, and can make me explode inside (sometimes outside, too). Most of the time I have no control of it, act like it never happened as soon as I start to calm down and sometimes don’t remember it happened at all, which can be extremely difficult for a loved ones to get their head around. I’ve pushed many people away with the overload of emotions I experience, and am the best at the self-destruction game. Sometimes I find life extremely difficult to get my head around, but I try to be positive when I can.
I can say I am very lucky to have an amazing partner who doesn’t really understand me, but tries to. He’s super supportive and loving, but he is always on the receiving end of my wrath (poor guy), which can make our relationship very difficult at times. I never mean what I say when the venom pours from my mouth, nor do I intend to hurt anyone with my outbursts. It just happens and sometimes it’s difficult to get over, but we manage to. I feel I sometimes have to be a walking apology. People don’t understand what’s happening when you have an emotional outburst or know how to deal with it. For me particularly, if I’m arguing with my partner for instance, I ask him to just stop and I leave the room and sometimes the house. Getting 10 minutes to calm down and reflect really helps. Well, just the headspace really helps to be honest, but I’ve found getting out of a situation when you feel overwhelmed is the best thing to do if you feel like you’re losing your grip. To me, BPD has an ugly side, and rage is definitely it.
Luckily there is hope and help. Managing it is just another battle for us, and we will get there one step at a time.
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Thinkstock photo via ruddy_ok