Content/trigger warning: suicidal ideation, self-harm
I took the day off work because I was triggered badly on Sunday night and spent most of that night looking up the LD50 of my psych meds to see if I could kill myself with them (I can’t, and decided not to anyway), and was a wreck most of yesterday. And I’m realizing something.
I was diagnosed with BPD once. The doc who diagnosed me didn’t believe I was Autistic, so I didn’t want to believe anything he said. But he also realized I had PTSD. And he was obviously angry at the person who had caused my PTSD, and that person believed I “had Asperger’s”, and I didn’t the doc wanted to lend credence to any of that person’s ideas.
Here is a list of BPD symptoms I have:
-paralytic fear of abandonment
-splitting (failure to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative in people, leading me to believe the person who gave me my CPTSD is nothing but a big scary monster as opposed to a flawed person who fucked me up by accident)
-self-hatred, feelings of worthlessness, and constant self-deprecation (although some of that may be depression-related, because my SSRI does help)
-self-harm (over bad grades because my identity was dependent on my grades)
-imprinting on people and idolizing them (they become my “favorite person”, or “FP”)
-unstable sense of self/easily influenced by other people’s ideas (this is why I’m such a hardass about ableism; it keeps me from being swayed by bigots)
-overreacting to, like, everything
-disordered eating patterns (in my case, restricting and purging)
-very intense emotions, especially rage/intense anger
-suicidal ideation (although, again, I think my depression is responsible for some of that)
I thought that these were caused by depression, CPTSD, or being Autistic–the black-and-white thinking is also an Autistic thing–but the overreacting, the idolization, and the feelings of worthlessness (which I remember pre-dating my trauma), and the fucked-up eating patterns…I think the diagnosis of BPD fits. I feel like it fits. I feel like “borderline” is an accurate description of me.
Mental illness count is up to five. That’s a depressive disorder (MDD is the diagnosis, but I think double depression is more appropriate), GAD, CPTSD, OsDD, and BPD. Is it any wonder I reclaim “crazy”?
So obviously now I will be talking about neurotypicalism against personality disorders at some point, but for now, I want to present another list: how to treat a borderline person with care and respect.
- Say you care. People with BPD often deal with their brains constantly whispering “everyone you love hates you”. In the absence of hearing other people say they care, borderline people assume that no one cares.
- Tell them what’s real. Sometimes we lose track of reality. If a person with BPD needs to hear “it’s Tuesday” or “that shirt is green”, please indulge them, even if it seems silly to you.
- Little concrete gestures mean everything. Even if it’s just a post-it note that says “hey, you’re cool :)” left on someone’s desk. It provides some nice physical evidence when a person with BPD has issues with their brain is being a douche.
- People with BPD will often come to the incorrect conclusion that you’re mad at them. Please don’t get annoyed if a borderline person asks “are you mad at me?”. Our brains lie to us. That’s not our fault. Please take the time to say “no, I’m not mad at you”.
- Understand how hard people with BPD may cling, and that sometimes we may push you away just as much as we may cling. Both mean we are afraid of losing you, or we may be afraid of how close you’re getting because we don’t want to get hurt. If a person with BPD is either pushing or clinging, this is a good time to ask us if a hug is okay.
- Don’t listen to the bullshit that’s floating around about how people with BPD and other personality disorders are inherently manipulative, selfish, or abusive. If someone with BPD comes to you asking you to tell them they aren’t a bad person because of their disorder, tell them what they need to hear. No mental illness makes a person inherently abusive.
That last one is especially important. You may hear that people with BPD are dangerous, manipulative, selfish, etc. It’s not true. Don’t avoid us. We need love the same as anyone else.
Carrie Fisher quote of the day: “If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”