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Borderline Personality Disorder Makes Me Feel Like A Burden

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A moment with my favorite person made me reflect on how I often feel like a burden due to my high sensitivity level and malfunctioning brain.

As people who battle borderline personality disorder (BPD), sometimes our brains can deceive us into thinking that others are secretly thinking and feeling negative things about us and our best buds or favorite people don’t truly wanna be around us. Our abandonment issues can cause us to find examples in the actions of others that “prove” to us they truly dislike us or don’t want to be bothered.

A simple run to the store can look to us as if they’re trying to have a second away from us. If someone hasn’t been on social media all day, suddenly we may start thinking they’re trying to avoid us without hurting our feelings. Our loved one may not be feeling well, but we can misinterpret that to mean they needed to find an excuse to leave us.

Once we perceive their actions in that way and allow those harmful ideas to enter into our minds, we end up reacting to it and either avoiding the person or confronting them. It may also happen that the other person will notice a shift in our behavior towards them or our mood. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes people do those things, but some of us with BPD get these ideas with everyone we make acquaintances with. For awhile, we could lie about it and tell others we were “just having a bad day” or that “it was nothing,” but eventually, when it happens again, we end up telling them the actual issue. After we finally break down and tell them the actual issue, we may end up feeling like a burden and like we are too much to deal with.

I don’t know about you, but even though I have BPD and I know there are reasons for my feelings, I still end up thinking eventually others will distance themselves from me because they will start feeling the need to walk on eggshells or look after my feelings as though I’m an emotional toddler. It feels very lonely and demeaning. It feels inhumane and embarrassing. Even when I have been holding so much in and shouldn’t beat myself up about it, my BPD brain decides I should beat myself up about it. It’s hard to turn the negative thoughts and feelings off.

My brain tends to tell me things such as:

Normal people don’t feel the need to throw tantrums like that. Nobody wants to read long paragraphs about why you felt abandoned. You’re too emotional and nobody is gonna wanna deal with that on a regular basis. They’re avoiding you. They are. Just cut them off. Distance yourself. Nobody likes you. You will always be too much for anyone.”

Having those thoughts often leads to overwhelming feelings of despair and down a dark path, which is why I find it necessary to inform those around me of my condition, even if it does end up making me feel bad. I think the biggest difference would be finding those who naturally care about us, even with our BPD traits. People who will validate our feelings while having the skill and genuine care to correct us when we’re mistaken.

I do know the world can be a scary place and especially for relationships for those of us with BPD. At the same time, there are people out there with a kind enough heart who will have no problem validating your feelings and showing you they do care.

A banner promoting The Mighty's new BPD Safe Zone group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Join the BPD Safe Zone -- a safe and nonjudgmental space for anyone living with borderline personality disorder to talk openly about their experiences. Click to join the BPD Safe Zone.

If you feel alone and like you don’t have someone like that around you, I understand how lonely it can feel as well. It’s not easy at all. Just remember that, while you might feel like a burden, it isn’t you, but the BPD. That’s even hard for me to remember, but it’s a part of self-awareness. We can work on being even kinder to ourselves.

It’s not you that’s a burden. You have BPD and there are thousands like you who feel the same way you do. They will understand. I do.

Originally published: August 18, 2020
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