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Borderline Personality Disorder Makes Me Blame Myself for Everything

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

I’ve always been a fixer. For as long as I can remember, when I felt someone was upset with me, I took full blame for whatever the situation was that had caused the unrest. Circumstances didn’t matter — I always shouldered full blame.

Even when I was very young — 8 or 9 years old — when my friends and I got into a silly childhood argument, I was always the one sobbing and begging for forgiveness. I couldn’t stand the thought of someone being upset with me and was willing to sacrifice whatever it took, including my dignity and self-esteem, to fix it.

It wasn’t just with friends. When my mom got upset with me, I often cried and begged for forgiveness, afraid that her anger meant she was falling out of love with me. I started dealing with these feelings by self-harming when I was 12. I’m not sure why I thought this would make me feel better, but it did and I continued doing it.

Currently, I hold myself solely responsible for the happiness of my husband and my two sons. If they are unhappy, upset or moody, I think it’s my fault and I go into “fix it” mode. It’s exhausting for me and aggravating for them. But regardless of how exhausted I am or how aggravated they get, I can’t stop trying to fix it. If the issue deals directly with me, such as an argument with my husband, things get even worse. I feel as if I need to be punished, so I self-harm or sometimes have suicidal ideations. The voice inside my head tells me how much better off my family would be without me.

“I cannot fix everything. I cannot fix everything.” A mantra I repeat to myself during meditation to try to shift my focus to things I can make a difference. However, I think I’ll probably always be a fixer. It’s in my nature. My hope right now is to learn to cope with confrontation and accept that I won’t have all the answers. I need to let other people in and allow them to help me transition through difficult times without taking blame or wearing the uniform of “Mrs. Fix-it.”

Unsplash via Andrew Neel

Originally published: October 16, 2018
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