Having a Personality Disorder myself I know only too well how much it can affect your life. Living with Anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder is a daily struggle. I know as I have grown older, I look back and see the behaviour that is atypical of BPD, in a lot of my decisions, how I related to people, my relationships.
Maybe, being older wisdom helps you to look back and see with clarity. It also helps you to accept responsibility for your actions and to understand why, given the life skills you had, why you did what you did, why you were the way you were.
I can remember as a child, always trying to gain acceptance and love from my mother and always striving for perfection, always trying to be better to have her feel I wasn’t the biggest mistake in her life. One thing I have realised is, that striving to become better has driven me to become a better person. An ideal of which I set for myself, an ideal that was created based on what my mother didn’t want from me. I formed this ideal by eliminating all that she consider bad or unacceptable.
The beauty of this is, it gave me a sense of purpose, to become the best I can possibly be.
Now, whilst with my mother I was never able to become the ideal daughter, the kind of daughter she could love unconditionally, it set a plan in motion for me to be a kind, gentle, loving person, working with what I was given, and making the most of life and myself.
I remember in my 20’s I began to search for answers. I didn’t know where to look but I was first drawn to Philosophy. It taught me to look at my beliefs and decide whether they were right for me, it gave me the skills to search for information to base my decisions on. Educate myself so I could continue my search for the answers I needed.
I often talk with other people who have BPD, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety and other mental disorders. And I can see the ones who wish to make a difference in their own lives and the ones who use their challenges as an excuse to behave the way they do. It appears to me that they like being damaged and want to continue as they are, most probably because it is what works for them. Dysfunctional as it is.
My philosophy has always been if something doesn’t work, do something different.
Back in my 20’s I knew there was something that wasn’t right about my life. Feeling like I didn’t belong at all, was not how I should be feeling. It took me a long time, more than 20 years in fact, but I found the answers I needed and it came in the form of my diagnosis. Reading the symptoms of Borderline, made so much sense to me, I was reading an accurate description of me on that website. I felt like I had come home. The emptiness inside me was filled up.
I was very lucky, to have found a psychologist who worked with me to learn coping skills, and the most important part here, is I was prepared to do what ever it took to make a difference. Before I attended my first appointment, I made a decision to be honest and be open to whatever the psychologist said. I did the homework and as difficult as it was I asked for the truth. My biggest peeve in life is lying and liars, I would rather the hard cold truth than to be lied to.
I work on myself everyday, and have learned to forgive myself. I never failed anyone, I never failed my mother, she failed me. And I have forgiven her and my child molester brother, but not so they can feel better about themselves. I have forgiven them so I can heal.
I can be thankful for my mother being who she was, because it taught me to be resilient and resourceful, I strive to be a better person because of her. But I don’t do it for her anymore, haven’t for a very long time. I do it for me. I know I can look at myself now and see someone who didn’t stop fighting, didn’t stop looking for answers and someone who my mother could never be, because I was willing to look at the truth for what it was.
We can live a lie and continue on the path we have chosen for ourselves, based on what we believe about ourselves or we can decide to find a better truth for us and work towards it. Besides there is nothing worse than being stuck in a rut, if your life isn’t working for you, find out why and do something about it. Help isn’t going to be handed to you on a silver platter and THERE IS NO MIRACLE CURE FOR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. IT TAKES HARD WORK, GUTS AND DETERMINATION, AND ABOVE ALL BEING TRUTHFUL TO YOURSELF.
No matter what our challenges are in life, we were all put on this earth as angels, we have within each of us the ability to overcome anything. IT IS UP TO YOU.