The Symptom of My Borderline Personality Disorder You Can't See


“Just forget it,” he said.

How could I simply forget the immense pain welling up in his eyes. How could I forget the pain I felt as it stabbed my heart with a knife. How could he not understand the pain he felt — as he screwed up his face and tried to hide — was the pain I felt.

“Just leave your work at the door,” they said. “It’s not your problem anymore. It’s not your burden to bear.”

How could they not understand I just can’t “switch off” my feelings? That I feel everything my clients feel. I feel their pain. I feel their sadness. I feel their joy. If something goes wrong, I take that home with me because my feelings can’t just be switched off. They often last longer than other peoples’.

Having borderline personality disorder (BPD), combined with living through the pain I have lived through my whole life, both physical and mental. It gives you a sixth sense. I feel what you feel. I recognize pain and suffering in complete strangers. And to the people I love, their pain is my pain. I feel the intensity of their pain in my soul. It tears me apart as much as my own pain does. I often sense changes in emotion before others recognize it themselves.

It’s invisible. You can’t see it, and I can’t explain what it’s like to live with it. And despite the pain it causes me, I wouldn’t change a single thing about it because it’s what makes me who I am.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty Images photo via Grandfailure


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Borderline Personality Disorder

Broken red heart with white thread stitches

What It's Like to Be Heartbroken on Valentine's Day When You Have Borderline Personality Disorder

This isn’t necessarily exclusive to the upcoming “holiday,” but in light of Valentines Day approaching, I thought the timing was right. That, and the fact that this just recently happened near the end of January, so it’s all still very fresh in my mind and my emotions are still raw. With or without a mental [...]
female psychiatrist with male patient as he looks off into distance

How I Finally Received My Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis After 40 Years

For decades, it was clear something wasn’t right. My mother, a professional educator, knew there was something wrong with my behavior, so she sent me off to my first therapist at the tender age of 14. I can still remember him blowing smoke rings while I cried. My first therapy experience was not very productive. [...]
shadow of person in red, light-filled tunnel

These Are the Intense Emotions of My Borderline Personality Disorder

She asks: But if your emotions are so intense, aren’t you? If you’re happy, are you extra happy? Yes, but happy doesn’t feel like happy. Happiness feels like the sun outside shining so bright and lucid that my eyes melt from my orbits and my skin gets red and turns to ashes and I collapse [...]

How Art Became a Window Into My Sister's Struggle With Borderline Personality Disorder

“I threw two dishes on the pottery wheel today, which made me feel very happy. It feels good getting my hands wet with clay and making beautiful things with my own hands. It’s amazing. I’ve been sober for two weeks now, please God help me to be sober for the rest of my life, which [...]