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Borderline Personality Disorder Makes Me Ask Myself, 'Am I a Monster?'

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There are infinite amounts of horrible lies plastered all over the internet about how people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are manipulative, evil monsters. The negative stigma is prevalent and intensely rooted into the minds of many. Although I firmly believe the phony verbiage that taints the intellect of the masses is complete fallacy, I can’t help but stare at my reflection in the mirror and see a demon gazing back at me.

My emotions constantly consume me, leaving carnage in their wake. I encounter feelings of indignation, also called “borderline rage,” frequently. The results are losing control, screaming at my children or targeting my own body with the negative energy. The disquietude of loneliness, or “fear of abandonment,” leaves me berating my friends and creating fictitious stories regarding their view of me and their feelings. All this brings is increased tensions and instability within my relationships with those around me. I easily become consumed with suicidal ideation, even on seemingly “good days,” and am constantly studying the world around me for possible ways “out.” I often feel a void within me, the typical borderline “chronic emptiness.” I fruitlessly attempt to fill that void with anything within my grasp: food, alcohol, sex, attention, material goods, new hobbies. Everything is a blur, everything is unstable, I am constantly unstable.

Do these behaviors make me the monster I see in the mirror, though, or is that image just another part of my instability? Are all these items I’ve listed occurring, or are they my false perception of reality based in my head, a head that is, by definition, “sick”?

I have yet to encounter a person with borderline personality disorder that I’ve thought was even remotely close to a monster (except me). The people in my dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills group are astonishing: they are strong, brave, empathetic, hilarious and kind. I see all their struggles, I connect with their pain. I never see a monster in their words, in their stories, or the expressions on their faces. All I see are beautiful people, gorgeous gladiators who battle with their illness every single day.

Perhaps this means I am not a monster either. Perhaps this means I am being too harsh and self-critical. Perhaps there are even moments of monster, but those moments do not define my being entirely.

I have a goal: I want to help others with borderline personality disorder and the world see that people with BPD are beautiful individuals, body, mind and soul. I know that before I can do this, though, I have to stop looking in the mirror and seeing the monster; I have to stare and the reflection and see what’s really there… just me.  

Unsplash photo via Mark Alexandrovich

Originally published: August 15, 2018
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