The Question I Dread Hearing as Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

For me, it has never been easy to deal with the stress of others. I have a hard time keeping my own head above water, if I can’t swim… how can I save you from drowning? Because of this… it’s always about me isn’t it? That’s what you say at least. Believe me I don’t want it to be about me… I don’t want any attention drawn to me. But if you are mad, surely it is my fault isn’t it? And then comes the most devastating comment… “Because it’s always about you isn’t it?”

I believe most people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) or any mental illness has been in a situation like this. Friends, family, co-workers, bosses, spouses or girlfriends — it’s bound to happen. And in that moment, I desire destruction. I want to destroy everything because I am selfish. As Kiera Van Gelder once wrote, “I’m so good at beginnings, but in the end I always seem to destroy everything, including myself.”

It’s precisely in that moment of accusation that I want to destroy myself. And by destroying myself I don’t mean suicide. It means my world. My entire existence around me. As Willie Nelson sung, “I’ve just destroyed the world I’m living in.”

This isn’t to say you are a bad person or that you are just awful for a reaction as such. But it’s a confession. I confess to you this is not normal, nor is it anything I desire. Dealing with a pain and paranoia so great round the clock, I’m just happy if I make the day without hurting myself and just… living. I am exhausted. I have no energy. I’m sorry. I know I’m your friend, loved one or whatever my status is with you… but it’s so difficult to handle your pain. How can those in pain ease the pain of those in pain? It is possible… but for me, it is not easy. I’m just trying to being healthy… I’m not trying to be selfish.

“Don’t give me that! You’re just taking away the focus!” No I’m not. My head says, “you are abandoning me.” And so I go on the defensive. Then I awaken from the drunken stupor of my borderline and I realize what I have done. The cock hath crowed three times and I bitterly weep. The mere sight of your face is a knife in the heart. And so I cry with the psalmist to Almighty God, “De Profundis!”

In turn this will pass. I will have a high, rejoicing at life and how good it is. But the noonday demon is ever lurking and eventually I will collapse. I will sin as man did in the garden… and once I am conscious, I shall be ashamed of my nakedness. This is my life as a borderline. It is a life lost in thought. Lost in impulsivity. In fear and trembling. A crown of thorns ever around my head. Please be patient with me. I am doing everything I can. I assure you.

Getty Images photo via Grandfailure

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