Why it's not always easy 'looking normal' with BPD
The thing I find most unfair about having Borderline Personality Disorder is that I look so okay.
And generally I act it too... And that's a blessing - mostly. I wouldn't want to not blend in most of the time.
The problem occurs when there is a misunderstanding. When someone expects me to act a certain way (how a 'normal' person would act in a certain situation), when someone doesn't understand my behaviour or thinks I am 'overreacting' to a situation or just can't work out why I am behaving the way that I am.
That is when things get messy and when things spiral for someone with my diagnosis.
Because when a person with BPD is already hurting and reacting, and is then triggered further by a person questioning their reaction, or calling them out (publicly or personally 'why are you getting so upset?' 'calm down' 'what on earth is wrong with you?' 'why are you always so dramatic?' 'why must everything be such a huge thing to you?' 'I understand what you're saying but there's no reason to get so upset') it just further highlights to us how different we are, how incapable our brains are at functioning correctly.
We already KNOW we are not 'normal' (whatever that is).
We already know that we aren't capable of processing emotions in the same way people without BPD do.
Having people around us show us some empathy and understanding in our weakest times is the quickest, easiest way to help calm us down and bring us back in to a rational way of thinking again.
Just a little tip for those of you who are ever wondering how to handle me or anyone else with when we are distressed and you genuinely can't understand our reasonings.
Please just know, our brains are formed differently to yours - they were shaped by trauma instead of empathy. We just don't have the same capabilities to self soothe that you do.
We are trying. And we know you are. But every time you look at us confused, it hurts so bad; because it just further highlights to us how different we are to you.
Just tell us you are sorry we are hurting, you understand why we are so upset/angry and that you love us. That's all we want to hear.
And then, instead of sitting alone at the end of a bad day, devastated and completely heartbroken because our blind rage has pushed away YET ANOTHER person that we love, who we know was 'just trying to help', we will be able to slowly start picking up the pieces again, safe in the knowledge that we ARE loved - even though we feel oh so very broken.