BPD: Brave People Discovering…

An alien, a foreigner in a strange land, a square peg trying to fit in a round hole , invisible…these are all terms I have used to describe how I have felt all these years.  I have always had friends, but no matter how hard I tried I could never connect intimately, but I faked it well.  I just couldn’t relate.  They just couldn’t relate.  No one, it seemed, understood me, whether they knew about my illness or not.  I was only diagnosed four years ago, where I could actually say, “Ok, this is me, now let’s do something about it.”  Before that, every psychologist I saw had a different diagnosis.  I don’t really believe in labeling anyway, but it does make it a lot easier for treatment.  However, as relieved as I was to finally put a name to my “illness,” I was that much more alone in it.  I was also angry, enraged, and I rarely get angry, believe it or not.  Seventeen years of therapy and no one saw it?  How could all those doctors miss it?  My therapy began at age 21 when I could not handle a suffocating feeling of guilt any longer, psychologists became frustrated at my lack of progress, psychiatrists became frustrated at my non-response to medication.  I became frustrated.  Time after time I’d hear the same words from the doctors, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you anymore,” and the door would shut in my face.  One doctor in particular, my first, stands out in my mind…”If you were paying and not using insurance, you would get better.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “Well, it is my experience that those who invest money work harder.”  I honestly think her license should be revoked.  I was working as hard as I could, I was actually alive, suicide attempt after suicide attempt.  Needless to say, six years and no progress later she stopped answering my calls.  But I persisted, and here I am 17 years later, finally working through this “mysterious” illness called Borderline Personality Disorder.  People around me gave up, friends rejected me, boyfriends left, everyone became immune to my despair.  I became a soldier fighting the enemy camp, completely alone, no backup, no support.  Some would ask me what the pain felt like.  You may as well have asked me what God looked like.  I cannot describe it, I would say.  Then, I started using  descriptions which do not nearly do it justice.  “I feel like someone shot a hole in my chest,” or “I feel like a tree being strangled by vines.”  The metaphors became tiresome.  I could not make anyone understand the pain. So why bother. When I was diagnosed, I became obsessed at finding out as much as I could about this illness.  I read. I watched. I listened.  Incurable, stay away, dangerous, abusive, ends in death…I became hopeless.  Me? Incurable? Stay away from me? Me? Abusive? I am going to end up dead?  I was in terror.  Better had I not known, I thought.  I was truly a green alien living among humans, and it was impossible to fit in with them.  So, after trying DBT once for about 3 weeks, I slowly began to reject the idea and stopped therapy.  I was fine, and this “borderline” that they talk of is not me.  I went on with life and stopped all treatment and all medication for a number of years.  But the illness didn’t stop.  Trigger after trigger sent me to the hospital , depression after depression withered my soul.  Finally, I gave “borderline” another chance.  I started reading again, this time I found out that what I was reading before were the wrong things…I started talking again…I have started treatment again, I have started writing again… And through this, I have found all of you…people who feel, act, talk, think, love, like me.  Finally, I found I wasn’t alone in this. I began to Discover…I began to understand myself through talking to people like me. I am not incurable, I am not dangerous, I am not abusive, I am not going to end up dead… We are recovering, we are kind, we are sensitive, empathetic, easily hurt, and we will survive, won’t we?  I am grateful to everyone I have met, it amazes me…I have become friends with people in England, Poland, Canada, Spain, France, the US; our circumstances might be different, our daily routines, our relationships, our life story… But I have talked more intimately with you and felt more at home with you than  I have ever felt.  All over the world, there are people discovering, just like me, and I am grateful for finally finding you and hearing your stories…it just goes to show that all life is truly one…


4 Responses

  1. Great blog – when describing the pain, I describe it as I feel like I am dying and that there is no separation from the whole world’s pain and my own. What they feel and what I feel ,,,,, I don’t feel my skin – the body turns invisibile and the insides of my tormented soul are there for everyone to see…

    Anywhooo – I have found by accident the Love is the cure web site and on the borderline. Kayla Kavanaugh, Lauren Leigh adn Stephanie Price have given me hope these last few months. I have used this blog as well to share my process – and it’s working. The Responses that I have received have given me hope, healing and have taken the fear out of sharing and the fear out of stigma and connecting with people.

    thanks for your sharing. It helps me as well in my process. I’ve been stuggling to ‘heal’ since i was 20. I’m not 37, and into the 2nd anniversary of my diagnosis….and my life has been turned upside down and I have more peaceful moments now ( without it being drug induced) and have far more authentic moments than I have before. I am beginning to ‘know’ myself – and ‘know’ the symptoms in my brain that work to make my behaviour extreme. I sit with those feelings, with which seems like more and more discipline some days.

    Other days….well – I fall into the deep,dark hole looking up from a well treading water asking….how did I get down here?

    Thanks so much. I love these comments, Thanks to Lauren – she’s created the BEST site for recovery. THIS is part of my daily routine.
    Namaste, Bless us all.

  2. Thank you for your responses, will look into Love is the Cure. Bless you on your journey…

  3. I can relate. There is so much lack of understanding and compassion out there in relation to this diagnosis. It can be frightening and discouraging both for the one with BPD and for those around that person trying to make sense of things, be supportive, etc. I love how you are reclaiming and re-framing this “label” in a new way, liberating it from its cage and giving it new life, with which comes the possibility of transformation. Write on woman!

    • wow.. what encouragement. I do think this “borderline” thing is silly. What border exactly is it that “they” think I’m on??? Name should be changed and I like the emotional dysregulation idea ( I think it was coined in England). But, anyway thanks for your support…

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