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Recognizing When My Logic 'Switch' Is Turned Off in BPD Episodes

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If you are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), it isn’t your fault.

If you love someone with BPD, it isn’t your fault.

I don’t believe people with BPD shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. I know there is somewhat a “no-man’s land” with regards to accountability. Can someone really be held accountable for their actions if they have no idea what they are doing?

For example, there were many times I hurt my various ex-partners. I believed so powerfully I was going to be abandoned or hurt that I would lash out and attack at the merest hint — imagined or otherwise — that something wasn’t quite right in the relationship.

My immediate reaction would be a full breakdown, complete with self-harming, crying, sometimes getting aggressive and the standard “we’re breaking up.” Sometimes I would seriously consider it and even attempt it.

I thought if I wasn’t around to hurt, I couldn’t get hurt. Or sometimes I believed “you couldn’t hurt me if I hurt you first.” It’s the worst ploy in the world. “I’m going to show you how much I don’t care about you so you don’t think I’m weak and leave me, but in reality I care deeply about you, please never leave me.” None of it made any sense.

I find a lot of my worst experiences with BPD have heavily featured contradictions that somehow for the moment, made complete sense. In the midst of any kind of emotional breakdown it’s as if there’s a tiny switch representing logic that gets flicked off in all the ruckus and all semblance of decency, understanding and empathy just vanishes.

Then afterwards when you’re putting all the furniture the right way up again, you notice the little switch was off this whole time. And so you just flick it back on like, “Hey what does that do? Oh God.” And it all comes flooding back in in the next barrage of intense, overwhelming emotions. But this time it’s the guilt and the shame and the dregs of the logic you forgot.

I understand BPD is not an excuse for any sort of bad behavior towards another person. It’s not an excuse, but it is a reason.

In a way, it isn’t your fault. You don’t have the right tools yet. You don’t have the right skills to help you to communicate better. You haven’t learned how to grow thicker emotional skin yet and you’re still very vulnerable.

However, what you can do is recognize when these lapses in logic happen. Recognize and accept they happen. Don’t try to forget it or it will just repeat over and over and over. Once you recognize it, then you can begin to work on it.

Follow this journey on The BPD Informer.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Image via Thinkstock

Originally published: March 7, 2017
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