When I am asked how it feels to have to live with Borderline Personality Disorder or as it is otherwise known, Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, I often find it hard to describe. But I will give it a go.
Imagine your life is a movie and you are watching it. Everything looks familiar, the people featured are your family, friends, co workers, etc. Every scene is just another piece of your life, day after day. But you just don’t feel like you are a part of it. You feel like an alien in your own life. You feel you don’t belong there. You are disconnected and feel out of control. People hurt you and abuse you and you can do nothing to stop it. You just don’t feel right. No body seems to listen or pay attention. Those that do don’t understand you.
You feel empty, like someone has just dug a huge big gaping hole in your stomach and chest. You ache to just fit in and belong, for someone to love you and accept you for who you are. Your thoughts are your worst enemy. You keep telling yourself how unworthy you are and how you don’t deserve to be happy. You deserve to be punished for all your wrongdoings. You don’t deserve to be respected, how can anyone love you because you are so flawed.
Your emotions have no regulator on them, you continue to feel pain and anger long after it has subsided for the average person. You hang on to stuff. You remember slights done to you a long time ago. You wonder what you could have done to make things better or if you had done things differently maybe it would have worked out. You quit tasks before they are finished because you can’t see the point to it, you would just fail anyway. You obsess over everything, whether you are in the wrong or not. You think to yourself that of course you are a failure because you are so defective and how could anyone love you and accept you.
You put yourself in dangerous situations because you have so little self-worth. Addictions can be your best friend they are a way to escape the truth, it numbs the pain and the self-hatred, for just a little while. Self harm give you a chance to forget the emotional pain. You injure yourself because at least physical pain is tangible and it can be made better over time. You cover your scars because you feel shame. You hide who you are because you know if people knew who you really are, they would reject you.
Anger is such a familiar emotion because it is the one way you can feel, it’s a way to protect yourself. Not having any long-term connections with people is so much easier because you can reject them before they reject you and you tell yourself it’s always your fault that people don’t like you.
You feel alone in a crowded room, you never fit in. You change yourself to hide who you are, a chameleon. No one knows your secret, you can’t trust anyone with the truth about who you really are.
Sometimes you shut down emotionally to stop the pain, but over time the emotions push out and you suffer dreadful anxiety trying to struggle with these feelings. You feel guilty that you feel this way because you were taught that your emotions weren’t important, they didn’t matter.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a complicated thing just as many of the mental Disorders are. You have to teach yourself how to trust and allow yourself to feel. You have to learn how to accept that you have emotions, that they are natural part of being human. You have to re parent yourself. To allow yourself to be vulnerable. Internal self-talk slowly becomes positive. You have to realise how you think and behave is dysfunctional, but that it is not your fault that you are this way. Everyday you have to choose to love yourself faults and all and remember that what you were taught to believe about yourself was a lie.