I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I was diagnosed with it when I was 17, but I’m only now coming to truly understand it. Only now am I truly understanding how it impacts my life and my decisions and my reactions. And only now am I coming to terms with the reality that surrounds coming from a family where people have this disorder and disorders like it.
I have very low self-esteem. I always have. I generally don’t think anyone really likes me. I definitely have trouble comprehending that they love me. I get on the nerves of some people who do love me because I always say that it doesn’t feel like they love me. To me, it feels like I’m not worthy of being liked or loved & that I’m bad.
And I know that it is hard to like or love me. I don’t talk much. I can be argumentative. I’m always questioning the motives of people I should trust, but I’ll trust people that I really shouldn’t. I hide how I feel about some stuff until I end up going on a full-on rage spree. And I have a tendency to blog about things that people don’t want me to talk about.
Dr. Helene Deutsch said borderlines experience “inner emptiness, which the patient seeks to remedy by attaching himself or herself to one after another social or religious group. — TIME
That even happens when it comes to family. The people I idolized as a kid ended up being the ones I couldn’t trust. When I would realize that, I would post about it, and they would remind me of just how worthless I am. Even when I try not to let it bug me, being reminded just how unwanted I am by those people ends up making me cycle back into the feelings of being unworthy of love or respect. I can have 2 or 3 members of my family try to bring me down, but have 4-5 friends or family members telling me how they respect me, and all I will notice is the negative. And when I feel especially depressed, I will relive the experience of being told how bad I am, so that I can ensure that I never forget just how horrible I am.
I don’t want to blame those family members because I know that, for the most part, they’re just as messed up. After all, well-adjusted people don’t start drama for kicks and families that aren’t dysfunctional don’t revolve around turning other family members into their punching bags. I know that they had hard lives growing up and they went through things that made them the way that they are. Still, I know that they shouldn’t keep choosing to be the way that they are.
“The patient’s first dilemma,” (Marsha) Linehan wrote in her 558-page masterwork, 1993’s Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, “has to do with whom to blame for her predicament. Is she evil, the cause of her own troubles? Or, are other people in the environment or fate to blame? … Is the patient really vulnerable and unable to control her own behavior …? Or is she bad, able to control her reactions but unwilling to do so …? What the borderline individual seems unable to do is to hold both of these contradictory positions in mind”. — TIME
I’ve been trying to get better. I know that my self-hatred isn’t good for me. I’ve been trying to mature. I’ve been in and out of therapy for 20 years trying to get better. They don’t try. Sometimes, they’ll take anxiety medicine or even anti-depressants, but they won’t try to change. And their inability to even try makes their lives harder and it makes the lives of everyone who interacts with them more difficult.
Sometimes it feels like every step I take towards learning to control my BPD results in someone pushing me back down a few steps. They shouldn’t do that, and I shouldn’t let them do that. There’s this saying that no one has control over you unless you let them have that control. Since I know the pathology of these family members, I shouldn’t listen to them.
But I do.
I listen and I believe it. It weakens me when I do this. And that empowers them because they know that the best way to hurt me is to tell me how horrible I am. It makes both parties worse.
I want to change. I want to grow out of this disease. It can happen, you know. People who are Borderline can learn to deal with life without feeling like they’re unworthy of all that’s good. We can learn to deal with our anger and our inner turmoils. And I want to do that. I want to mature. I need to mature.
To mature, I’m going to have to do something that terrifies me. I’m going to have to truly get some people out of my life. I’m going to have to truly accept that certain people aren’t really my family. I’m going to have to let go of them.
I’m also going to have to do something equally scary. I’m going to have to start trusting my friends and family who do care. I’m going to have to believe them when they say nice things, instead of thinking that they must be placating me to get me to shut up. I’m going to have to figure out how to boost my self-esteem and change my ways of thinking.
I have to do this because I won’t survive if I don’t, and I don’t want to lose this fight.