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major rant ahead.  I hope it's pretty obvious this isn't directed towards anyone in the community!
 
Borderline personality disorder, and people with it especially, get demonized a lot.  We're manipulative, we're awful, we're sirens who suck men in and spit out their bones.  (I'm sure it doesn't help that borderline personality disorder is predominantly diagnosed in women.)
 
In Jonathan Kellerman's novel, Silent Partner, this is the description of a person with borderline personality disorder  (by the way, Jonathan Kellerman IS A PSYCHOLOGIST):
 

 

“The borderline patient is a therapist’s nightmare… because borderlines never really get better. The best you can do is help them coast, without getting sucked into their pathology. At first glance, they look normal, sometimes even supernormal, holding down high-pressure jobs and excelling. 
 
But they walk a constant tightrope between madness and sanity, unable to form relationships, incapable of achieving insight, never free from a deep, corroding sense of worthlessness and rage that spills over, inevitably, into self-destruction. 
 
They’re the chronically depressed, the determinedly addictive, the compulsively divorced, living from one emotional disaster to the next. Bed-hoppers, stomach pumpers, freeway jumpers, and sad-eyed bench sitters with arms stitched up like footballs and psychic wounds that can never be sutured. Their egos are as fragile as spun sugar, like a jigsaw puzzle with crucial pieces missing. They play roles with alacrity, excel at being anyone but themselves, crave intimacy but repel it when they find it. Some of them gravitate towards stage or screen; others do their acting in more subtle ways.
 
No one knows how or why a borderline a borderline. The Freudians claim it’s due to emotional deprivation during the first two years of life; the biochemical engineers blame faulty wiring. Neither school claims to be able to help them much.
 
Borderlines go from therapist to therapist, hoping to find a magic bullet for their crushing feelings of emptiness. They turn to chemical bullets, gobble tranquilizers and antidepressants, alcohol and cocaine. Embrace gurus and heaven-hucksters, any charismatic creep promising a quick fix of the pain. And they end up taking temporary vacations in psychiatric wards and prison cells, emerge looking good, raising everyone’s hopes. Until the next letdown, real or imagined, the next excursion into self-damage.
 
What they don’t do is change.”

 

 
That is a goddamn lie.
 
I honestly never believed that I would ever be able to say that I liked any part of myself, that any part of myself deserved compassion, that my self-worth and self-validation could come from myself, and that I didn't have to live with pain eating a hole in me like a cancer.  
 
I can do all of that now; not perfectly, not easily, but I have changed.  And it wasn't people who told me that I was "living from one emotional disaster to the next" who helped me do that, it was people who treated me with respect, compassion, and understanding.
 
For everyone out there still perpetuating the stigma, go fuck yourselves.  That includes you, Sheri Shreiber, Savory Dish (a blog with the tagline "when the woman you love is fucked up beyond belief") and whoever the fuck is running my BPD recovery at blogspot.  (Look at how fucking self centered that is.  "His" BPD recovery is recovering from being in a romantic relationship with someone who supposedly has borderline personality disorder.  As opposed to, I don't know, ACTUALLY HAVING BPD AND RECOVERING FROM IT.)
 
You want to know what MY recovery from BPD is like?  This is what it's like.  I am what it's like, right fucking here----I have many friends, some of over 15 years duration, I have a stable life, I recognize and work on my problems, and I'm in love with a guy whose main criticism of me is that I'm too hard on myself and who wishes I'd open up more when I'm upset.
 
Demonizing people with BPD is adding insult to serious injury.  It makes it harder to get treatment, harder to recover, and worst of all, harder to admit that the diagnosis might be applicable in the first place----they're constructing barriers between someone in pain and treatment.  I really can't understand why they all seem so goddamn proud of themselves.   
 
I would never wish the seemingly unending pain on these people of having borderline personality disorder, but sometimes, I'm pretty fucking tempted.
Edited by saveyoursanity
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Amen.  I agree with what you wrote and commend you on your own recovery.  I have traits of BPD, and recovery is like walking uphill, in a sandstorm, while carrying the moon on one's back.  Basically, it is arduous and difficult.  Shame on those who demonize the borderline client who suffers.  I chalk it up to ignorance and lack of understanding.

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Technically, I suppose I only have traits.  In reality, I consider myself to have borderline personality disorder or c-PTSD and am pretty sure my psychiatrist emphasized the TRAITS so that I wouldn't flip a table on him.

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Great post.

 

My official dx is atypical depression with features of borderline personality disorder. I personally don't buy the depression part of it, but I think the borderline part is on the mark.

 

Can you share how you've achieved recovery? I honestly don't feel like I ever will get past this...it would be helpful to hear how someone else has been able to achieve it.

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I have traits too and I've had a hard time accepting the possibility mostly bc of the stigma such as what you quoted. I don't think we are bad people.

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Can you share how you've achieved recovery? I honestly don't feel like I ever will get past this...it would be helpful to hear how someone else has been able to achieve it.
 

A lot of therapy.  And um, I mean a LOT.   Christ, get ready for the longest post EVER.

 

To give you a small taste of how bad it was, I've been involuntarily committed twice, once voluntarily, and have tried to kill myself (using the means that were available to me, and yes, I did really want to die) at least 9 times that I can remember.  In all honesty, I probably should have been in the hospital at least 15 times, but I managed to develop agoraphobia with panic disorder along the way, and as fucked up as it is, it's basically impossible for me to admit that I need to go to the hospital.  The police have done "wellness checks" on me uh...  at least five or six times over the years since I turned 18, as much as I hate to admit it, and like I said, that's with me doing EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to keep my symptoms hidden from someone who might try to hospitalize me or call the police.  (I don't recommend that route, by the way.  Try to avoid developing agoraphobia and just go to the hospital if you're in danger!)  

 

The last time I tried to commit suicide was in February of 2008, but I still hated myself just as much as ever for awhile after that, I just decided that it was possible that therapy and medication for my depression might kinda be working a little bit so maybe killing myself was not the best idea, but I would keep it in reserve.

 

(This next bit I wrote in a post somewhere else that I'm way too lazy to find and link right now.)

 

I started taking classes in January of 2010. You can pretty much date my real recovery from that point. When did I start getting (real) treatment? January of 2006. (I'm not even counting the shitty, erratic treatment I got from 2002-2005.)

So that's 4 years I was doing anything I could think of: inpatient, outpatient, 3 different modalities of group therapy (DBT, ACT, and mind-body), 2 therapists (one left & went to private practice or I'd probably have stayed with her) once a week every goddamn week, a psychiatrist every 1-3 months and real trials (i.e. 12+ weeks) of more drugs & supplements than you can shake a stick at . . . hell, (as I told a friend), I would have cut up and waved paper in the air to catch fumes of happiness if I'd thought it would work.

 

(end self-quote)

 

After I wrote that post, I had a episode of severe depression in winter of 2011/2012.  It was terrible, I'm not gonna lie, and I did do some extremely stupid things like trying to push my friends away and going off all my meds.  However, I did not cut myself, harm myself, or try to commit suicide.  I also told people that I was in pain, and was able to mobilize resources to keep me out of the hospital.

 

I've also switched therapists since I wrote that part, twice.  CBT had kinda reached the end of its useful lifespan with me...  I'd stopped learning anything new from it and started using it to beat myself up.  So I tried Individual DBT (with group, like you're 'supposed' to do it), and it did NOT work for me, and it had nothing to do with me being a difficult patient (all my other therapists have told me that they really enjoyed working with me, because I have a lot of insight and motivation to change), and everything to do with the type of therapy that it was not being suited to my own ways of looking at the world and a lack of rapport with the therapist.

 

I'm currently in Internal Family Systems therapy and it is working really, really well.

 

soo...  what did I do that helped me recover from being "severely borderline", as the jerks I wrote about would say....?

 

I committed to therapy.  I continued to go even when I thought it wasn't working and I was beyond help.

 

I found therapists who both supported me and gently challenged me and who were, very importantly, willing to repeat themselves over and over and over and understand that it would take time for me to progress.  My first therapist said that she realized I needed to hear something contrary to my beliefs at least 5 times from 3 different sources before I was willing to consider it.  That's the kind of patience you need in a therapist.  My second therapist told me that she was extremely proud of the progress that I've made because in over 25 years of being a therapist, she had never encountered someone with such rigid thought patterns, and to see my self-hatred and cognitive distortions 'softening' and allowing other possibilities was a privilege and an honor.  [They both did CBT-based therapy, so that explains the focus on my thoughts/beliefs.]

 

I found a psychiatrist who was willing to treat the comorbid depression and anxiety and OCD and blah blah etc almost every mental illness diagnosis in the DSM-IV.  (On one hand, I'm a little jaded.  On the other hand, if I ever develop psychosis and mania, I win the DSM Bingo.)  To the best of my ability, I took my meds.

 

I have never lied to my therapist or my psychiatrist, because it really just seemed like it would be shooting myself in the foot, even when I did things that I was deeply ashamed of (shoplifting, obsessing over relationships, overdosing on meds that were prescribed to me by my psychiatrist, etc etc).

 

I developed a crisis plan.  I wrote it when I was NOT in crisis, but it explained what symptoms could be expected at what stages of being ill, named my preferred next of kin for medical decisions, and explained what had been done which helped me previously.  (You can google "WRAP" if you like, or there are tons of free crisis plans out there as well.)

 

Eventually, I stopped working due to disability.  I mention this only because I STRONGLY believe that simplifying your life as much as possible is necessary for recovery.  If someone is stretching themselves nearly to the breaking point, they have no energy left over to work on self-improvement and self-care.  Going on SSDI is NOT absolutely necessary, but it helped me NOT have a new crisis every fucking week to talk about and that meant that we were able to work more on the roots of the problems rather than treating the behaviors/thoughts.  (That's my problem with DBT, btw:  the clinical focus on only treating the evident symptoms now works really well to calm the SYMPTOMS of having borderline personality disorder, but I honestly believe that once those symptoms reach a certain point of remission, it's absolutely necessary to try to heal the root causes of the behaviors.) 

 

I have a social worker who comes to my house and assists me with "activities of daily living".  It sounds like something that's only necessary for "really crazy people" and I nearly rejected it based on that, but in reality what it can mean is something as simple as when I was struggling with agoraphobia, she helped me leave the house again.  Now that I can generally do that on my own, she helps me with budgeting, making phone calls, and is a great reference point for interpersonal relationships.  She reminds me to plan things, lets me know if she thinks I'm sliding into an episode, and helps me set realistic goals.  I've often described her role in my life as "someone who believes in my ability to recover/do better when I can't, and who supports and advises me when I try" and I still think that's a great way of looking at it.

 

And most importantly, I made recovering from my mental illness(es) and borderline personality disorder the major focus of my life.  Honestly, it was relatively easy to justify devoting a lot of time and energy to recovery, because I knew that if I didn't get better, I would kill myself, and I couldn't imagine what that would do to the people who care about me.  (I have two binders, one 4 inches and one 3 inch, nearly full of articles, thoughts, and paperwork from my therapist, my social worker, or my DBT group therapy that contain strategies and thoughts on helping myself feel better.  When I say it was the major focus of my life, I really fucking mean it.  Amassing that information, though, made me feel more in control, because it was like "hey, other people go through this too."  Print-outs were helpful because I could see them even when I was too upset to do anything else.)

 

As I slowly got better, I was able to do things that were impossible for me at the beginning that I think accelerated my recovery:

 

I became more of a spiritual person and found a religion that works for me.  (Buddhism)

 

I focussed on self-care to the extent I'm able to do so.  That includes things like hygiene, but also things like boundaries, meditation, validating myself, accepting how I feel and having compassion towards myself when I am struggling (instead of fighting the feelings or ignoring them).  it encompasses so many things and it is SO IMPORTANT.  Even something like not compulsively relying on others to check whether one's feelings are appropriate is self-care, in my opinion. 

 

I stopped engaging in self-destructive addictive behaviors when I no longer needed the "comfort" they gave, even if it was very hard for me.  For me, that was shoplifting especially, although I admit I didn't stop that until I uhhh, got into trouble.  I also would somewhat intentionally get into relationships with people who were assholes because I knew how to handle them.  I finally promised myself that I would only date or sleep with someone if I actually liked them.

 

I was celibate and single for over a year, ending only recently.  Being in an intimate relationship, for me and I'm willing to bet for most people with BPD, is the biggest trigger possible.  I don't recommend even trying to have a serious relationship until you no longer hate yourself.  Buuuuut...  giving up intimate relationships?  Seriously, it blew, it sucked, and I hated it, I'm not gonna lie.  Until I took a break, I had been serially monogamous with an average of less than a month between relationships for over 10 years.  Still, it was one of the biggest things I have ever done for myself and I really, really recommend it.

 

I also have never been able to do affirmations on any kind of regular basis, but I think they would really help if I could just get myself to do it.   :P

 

ALL OF THAT having been said, I've only actually begun to accept myself as being in recovery recently.  It's a big thing for me to claim, even though I think my recovery may have started back in 2010.  My therapists would probably tell you that I was really making strides as early as late in 2008 (2 years after starting therapy), but my symptoms were still overwhelming my life!  I didn't feel comfortable even really hinting at it until fairly recently.  

 

I still hate myself sometimes.  I still have an extremely hard time with criticism.  I am in a newish relationship and although we really adore each other, I freak out about it A LOT, maybe 2 times a week.  (Still, it would've been every day not that long ago!)  I get overwhelmed much more easily than other people do.  I'm hypersensitive to invalidation, which is understandable but sometimes problematic.  I'm extremely sensitive to behavior that resembles abuse, which can sometimes be good and sometimes be bad.  (For example, someone standing in front of the only exit and blocking it may be doing so because they want to harm you, or they might be doing so because it's the only place to stand.  I have a LOT of trouble telling those two things apart.)  I tend to assume the worst.  I also assume that people probably secretly hate me, but I don't necessarily assume it of EVERYONE anymore, especially people I know well, which is a major improvement.

 

]My symptoms no longer overwhelm my life.  Managing my 'overreactions' is finally not the major focus of my life.  I can now admit that I have many good characteristics, and have a sort of "emotional sixth sense" that alerts me to when I'm feeling overwhelmed and likely to get into a typical "paroxysm" (that's what I call those times when I get so overwhelmed with emotion that hurting myself, verbally hurting other people, or making very poor decisions is a real likelihood) so that I can try to soothe myself.  I believe that how I'm feeling deserves attention, no matter what, even if it's "illogical".  Those are major, major changes for me, and I'm probably forgetting things that have changed because I've been working on this post for an hour.   :P

 

I'm not sure what exactly facilitated my recovery, or helped me turn the corner.  These are pretty much just my best guesses for the things that helped, still, I want to reiterate:

 

The biggest most important thing you can do for yourself is allow yourself to express whatever hope you have for a better life in the form of reaching out for help.

Edited by saveyoursanity
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Thank you for sharing so much.  Hearing experiential anecdotes answers questions and addresses feelings that formal information and discussions often can't.  Thanks.

I found therapists who both supported me and gently challenged me and who were, very importantly, willing to repeat themselves over and over and over and understand that it would take time for me to progress.  My first therapist said that she realized I needed to hear something contrary to my beliefs at least 5 times from 3 different sources before I was willing to consider it.  That's the kind of patience you need in a therapist.

This^^^.  I feel similarly.  It makes me feel like a shitty patient.  But its making everything less frustrating to have realized and started dealing with this particular point.

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Damn, you fucking ROCK, SYS. I'm blown away by your story, how well you tell it, and how much hard work you've put into it.

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SYS....you are awesome. Fuck those haters and their self rightious arsehole misguided opinions bout BPD

 

and Jonathan Kellerman sounds like a right cunt

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The thing about needing to hear things multiple times does NOT mean that you are a bad patient, a bad client, or a bad person. It simply means, imo, that you need to hear things over and over again because they contradict the ideas that often times you learned in childhood.

 

I look at it this way-- say you're singing a song you learned as a 3 year old.  Someone you trust is listening and tells you "nope, that's not how it goes, the real lyrics are XXX."  Are you bad or wrong or horrible if the next time you sing the song, you can't remember the corrections?  Nope-- it's just been engraved in your mind that the way you sing it is the way the song goes.  It feels wrong to do it a different way.  It's just not going to stick unless you hear the same thing multiple times, maybe from different people.

 

I mean, obviously that's not the greatest analogy, but you should ask me about the schools of fish analogy for co-dependence versus trust sometime.   <_<  Not here, though, I've already written like 12 pages of this thread.   :D

 

Oh, and thank you, everyone, for your kind words!  I'm sorry it was so long, I just had SO MUCH to say.  I think the take away message is the last line I wrote, and this:

 

Believe in hope.  Believe in the possibility of change.  Don't ever let someone's preconceptions, whether it's a shitty therapist or your family or even yourself, stop you from believing that your life can be better and working to make it that way.  It's a long hard road, and it sucks for a long time, I know because I did it and I'm doing it right now, even though I often hated having to work so hard, and I hate that I still have problems but...  oh my god my life is SO much better now, in ways I could have never begun to imagine or hope for.

Edited by saveyoursanity
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I totally agree with you SYS.

 

My most recent Shrink has said that I have aspects of BPD & I told him that I agreed and already knew that I did. He's still working on refining my diagnosis (he's gone back to BPII & aspects of BPD to start with) & I'm going to question him about the BPD and work with him to get a more stable diagnosis.

 

I too see how stigmatised BPD is and it makes me really sad and upset that BPD is so maligned :(

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Wow SYS! Your post is so inspirational. I'm really in awe of you! You should be very proud of yourself! Now go give yourself a big pat on the back! You so deserve it!

And fwiw, you are right that no every type of therapy jives well with each individual. I have no BPD tendencies and DBT has worked wonders for me after years of CBT and psychotherapy aka talk therapy. So go figure!

I just really want to thank you and congratulate you too! Keep up the great work!

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Yeah, I get that objectively it doesn't automatically equate with bad patient.  It just feels that way.  Now I'm curious about the schools of fish thing.... but later is cool.  Its awesome to hear about how you've come so far.  And speaking of trust, it is definitely easier to trust the opinions of people who have been on the ass end of things themselves.  Thanks again for sharing. 

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Thank you, Sys. The part about needing to hear over and over is so true for me. I've felt guilty like I was wasting time having to have things repeated. It's like things have stronger and connectful meaning each time important points are repeated to me. Enjoyed hearing your story about your path to wellness. it gave insight into my own path.

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hahaha, you guys are all crazy, but I'll take the compliments before you take them back.   :P

 

CirclesOfConfusion, I think really accepting that I could feel one way and logically think something else was a big hurdle for me.  I was and continue to sometimes be really angry that my feelings and my logical knowledge of things didn't match up when I most wanted them to.  It's OK to feel bad that you can't easily change your mind about things that are painful.  I struggle with both those things all the time.

 

I think that's something that techniques falling under "mind-body awareness" may be able to help you with.  Doing things like meditation and body scans and yoga helped me really believe that sometimes I just think things for no real reason, and it's okay to let them go.  When I start ruminating & overthinking everything on the knee-jerk worries that pain is coming, that's when the upset really starts.

 

That's not to say it's easy to let things go, especially if it seems like there's evidence for how I feel.   I fail at this allllll the time.  I feel like I'm failing right now, in fact.  I'm worried and upset about a lot of things right now, and I've had repeated urges to do things that would be bad for me, even though the last time I did this particular thing was over 7 years ago.  

 

I try very hard to pay attention to how I feel and honor it and let it pass, but it's so hard to feel these intense painful things, or accept that I need to take care of myself, or let it go when what I want to do is worry about it until I fix it.
 

But...  when I'm able to let the urge to DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW go and just allow the feelings to be there, taking care of myself...   After the upset (or paroxysm) has passed (and it always does, which I still don't believe most of the time) I can deal with my worries much more productively.  AND I don't have any giant fuckups to deal with that I created while I was super-upset and trying to self-destruct.  

 

That's why I keep striving, you know?  I can see the positive results, even though it doesn't usually come naturally and it's still very difficult.  I have objective evidence that my life is better when I take care of myself, and so are the lives of those I care about.

Edited by saveyoursanity
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Dear saveyoursanity. I just want to say thank you, as sincerely as I can, for answering the question. I've read through it, and will have to study it several times. Your story is very inspirational, and the information is really, really helpful in my efforts to sort out and deal with where I am in my life.

 

Thank you so much.

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Your 2nd post gave me strenght to fight today's urges to SH. Thank you again. You gave me a nice gift for the holidays, to feel more at ease with my thoughts and feelings right now.

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That was an epic post about your road to health.  CB should pin it.  

 

 

But...  when I'm able to let the urge to DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW go and just allow the feelings to be there, taking care of myself...   After the upset (or paroxysm) has passed (and it always does, which I still don't believe most of the time) I can deal with my worries much more productively. 

 

This is so important.  Someone gave me a card years and years ago when I wanted to quit smoking.  

The urge to smoke will stop whether you choose to smoke or not.

 

It was so true.  Just waiting out that awful urge helped.  So many times I go into an Major Upset and just make it worse because I Have To Deal With It Now.   Just breathing steadily in and out until the paroxysm (great word) has dissipated, puts my head back on straight.

 

I am curious about the Internal Family Systems therapy and how it works.

 

 

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Wow, SYS, I can't even begin to find the words to express how much your big long giant post impacted me and how thankful I am that you took the time to post it. 

I'm not diagnosed with BPD, but one of my best friends is. She told me that she thinks that I have it as well, not that self-diagnosing or non-dr-diagnosing does much of anything except spin you into a whirlwind of even more confusion. But what you said about how you went on disability leave for work and also had a social worker come and help you with daily living stuff, that hit me hard and made me question if that would be helpful for me. I don't know how I would go about having that help considering I just lost my therapist and psychiatrist because I had to drop out of school because of a bunch of other unrelated bullshit. Hopefully when I find a therapist I can inquire about something more hands on like that.

Thanks again.

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This.

 

Ironically, I do see a lot of myself in the quote from the book you referenced on the original post.  That said, hopefully I can make the change.  The DBT seems helpful, but really only when I can motivate myself to care...

 

Thank you for the back story.  It's helpful to read.  I see a lot of myself there as well...

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I guess I'm at the part where I'm "...doing EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to keep my symptoms hidden from someone who might try to hospitalize me or call the police."

 

Therapy seems to have gone sideways over the last month. There was a triggering event that I've not responded to well. Sessions have not been good. To the point where, on leaving the house tonight to walk the dog, I encountered two sheriff's deputies in cars just down the street. My first assumption was my therapist had finally given up after tonight's session and called them. They left in fairly short order, so he apparently hasn't. I've had touches of paranoia in the past. It seems to be getting much worse.

 

Not sure there's a point to this.

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That Savory Dish blog looks primarily like a vehicle for misogyny and pathologizing women for basically anything that doesn't involve being nice, quiet, and possibly smiling at all times.

 

The rhetoric is very suspicious to me because it is rhetoric that has been used on me no matter my emotional state - whether very calm or genuinely angry. Never mind the invalidation of emotions entirely because apparently being angry means that one's concerns have no merit? Sickening.

 

Studying this stigmatization is something I spent a lot of time doing, and it is generally not consistent with my interactions with people who have been diagnosed with BPD. It's very dehumanizing and awful. Glad to see pushback against it.

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      I finally stopped accusing my boyfriend of cheating on me. Literally, one day I just told myself I was going to stop. And I did. When I would begin to worry, I would ask myself if he was actually at work late (and if I didn't believe myself, I'd call. If he didn't answer his cell, he was at work. If I needed more assurance. I called his work, which they don't really care if I just ask if he's about to leave.) He's even given me his time cards (they bring them home everyday.) And he made a good point, he goes to work, and comes straight home, everyday. When one of us leaves, we say where we're going. (if we're fighting I sometimes leave without a word.)
      But, in a recent counseling appt. my counselor even pointed out that my old insecurities are filling with new ones. The "not being good enough" one is harping on me like fucking crazy and it's annoying, really. 
      Things have also felt weird because the other day, I almost was done for good. I called my dad to get me, we packed my stuff, and we left. But, I wasn't gonna get to see my boyfriend like normal. My dad told me, it was him or my boyfriend. I chose my boyfriend. I love my boyfriend. Lately though, he's been nagging at me over stupid shit. Like, the air conditioner for example. He wants it on 70 and auto, and I want it on 68 and high. Well, the compromise was 68 and auto, even though it makes him cold sometimes still. We have a window unit in our motel room. I always say, "I don't wanna fight/argue." He doesn't realize when he's nagging/harping on me, sometimes. And the reason because of lack of nicotine needs to stop, IMO. He plans to stop smoking SOON, so yeah. There are times I'll say, "you're nicing (lack of nicotine), and need to calm down." and he normally apologizes and calms down. His insurance has finally kicked in. He's still agreed to get on medication, at least try. He doesn't want to, but he said he would for me. We plan to set him up with my PNP and he's already made an appt. with my counselor (to go alone of course and work on himself.) He likes my counselor, which is understandable, he wants someone he's comfortable with. I'm also not forcing him to see these people, it just happens a lot of them take his insurance. (including my dentist.) But, after me packing up and leaving, then coming back like 15 minutes later things have felt....weird? We went to a counseling appt. that night, we were going to Friday, this happened all this week too no less. 
      With me still forgetting to take my meds, and taking myself off of lamictal ENTIRELY, I'm kind of wonky. I had a bad breakdown the day I tried to leave, when I came home. To the point of suicidal tendency because my dad disowned me....again.
      My anxiety has crept up into my head again, telling me I need to leave my boyfriend. In my heart and my head I know I love him, and I'm pretty sure he loves me. Although, last night was sort of weird? I was laying next to him in bed, getting ready to go to sleep. He pulled up his messenger app and quickly closed out of it when he realized I was watching him, I guess? I asked, "what was that about?" and he says, "I accidentally opened my messenger. Trying to look at my facebook feed." I just said oh. I asked him about it again, and he said the same thing just a little irritated. He then went into his contacts, and I was trying to go to sleep again. I opened my eyes, again. He was looking for someone. I asked who he was looking for, his initial response was "I don't know." so I asked again, and asked why he was in his contacts. He stated he was looking for the contact info of an admin who's on a website he uses, because he forgot his password and wanted to get on there on his phone. I just realized though, like ten minutes ago, he uses that website on this laptop. (we share his computer). His login is saved into the browser, I'm sure. He never remembers passwords to a lot of things, really. We both have our own accounts on the laptop, password protected. I'm just worried he's cheating on me online. When I brought that up, he's like, "who would do that? what's the point?" I said, "well some people end up meeting and stuff...." he just said, "that's still stupid. there's no point." I guess he didn't realize you can talk to someone online who does live in the same city? I don't know. I ask to see his phone, and he hands me it. He'll ask why sometimes, and if I straight up say to go through it, he hands it over. I knew his password to his old phone, the last four of his social. (Which I also know because of gov't. assistance and helping him apply for his insurance.) Granted, he doesn't like me snooping through his things. I don't think he even has a lock on the new phone? We just got new phones Thursday. If I ask who he's talking to, on the phone, or text, or Facebook he usually tells me. If I ask how he knows them, if they have a past, etc. he tells me. My insecurities have crept in telling me I'm not good enough. I compare myself to other girls he thinks are cute. I compare myself to the fact he prefers Latina and Japanse/Asian/Chinese women over white women. (I'm a white female.) I compare myself to the women he watches in porn. I always compare myself. It's weird. I'm comfortable in my skin, with my size, etc. I think I'm about average in the face? My self esteem fluctuates though. Am I being totally unrealistic or do I have reason to worry? Might I also add, once my phone broke I seized the computer to get on my social network accounts. I'm on it more than him, really. When I think about it. If he's up later than me on his phone, I hear him playing games (or watching porn to get off so he can sleep, if I've said I'm not in the mood). Any time I compare myself, or bring myself down, he says, "hey that's the woman I love you're talking about." or that "you're beautiful, more beautiful than any porn star, or girl I think is cute...because I LOVE you. Not them."
       
      I hate the fact that he's pretty much everything I want in a man. His charm. His looks. his personality. All of it. I know though, too that MI relationships tend to take more work. I'm trying to give the nagging thing a chance until he starts therapy and medications. I mean, he did say I really don't wanna take meds but I will for you, if you want us to try it. I appreciate that, a lot. I just feel like an insecure ugly potato.
    • By ZenOut
      The many moods of BPD This is by no means comprehensive, but I thought I'd throw a little information out there.
      What is a personality disorder? Most people could define a mood disorder like Bipolar I, at least in general terms. They understand that BPI has extremes of depression and mania, and sometimes people go psychotic or try to kill themselves. Often they are great artists and great sufferers. It has classically been the most recognizable psychological disorder to the point that it has been used colloquially to describe simple mood swings that everyone experiences. Despite our awareness, mental illness is still stigmatized and misjudged. I have Bipolar II, for instance, which presents differently (I don't get full blown mania with psychotic symptoms usually), but simply by saying Bipolar, a lot of people just assume you're "nuts." Maybe I am, but I don't swing cats around or believe in tinfoil hats or eat dryer sheets, and I don't hurt anybody. We all have our own kind of nuts. Borderline is a lot like BPII, with mood swings and suicidality, but it is classified as a personality rather than a mood disorder.
      Personality disorders are often misunderstood. The DSM-V says this: "A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment" (645). The name "personality disorder" is itself a remnant of earlier psychiatric academia as is the name Borderline. "Borderline personality disorder is a pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity" (645). And in "Cluster B...individuals with these disorders often appear dramatic, emotional, or erratic" (646). I think the name Borderline came about because they thought it was a crossover of psychosis and neurosis. People have suggested changing the name to "Emotion Dysregulation Disorder," but at this point it may be too stuck. The sad thing about BPD is that it is so vilified in both media and by the general public. When I was first doing research about BPD I came across some disturbing forums and book titles.
      "Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder." "Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder: How to Keep Out-of-Control Emotions from Destroying your Relationship" "Stop Caretaking the Borderline of Narcissist: How to End the Drama and get on with Life" "Borderline Disorder: 50 Solutions for Surviving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder" "Personality Disorders: Borderline Personality Disorder: Beauty Queen or Emotional Terrorist?" This one is so good I have to quote the Amazon "blurb": "People who suffer from BPD aren’t the only one in distress. Needless to say, those who surround them, including friends and family are affected, too. Borderline Personality Disorder is a tough nut to crack. The drastic shifts from one emotion to another, an abrupt change in decisions and episodes of identity disturbances are what you have to deal with. Are you in love with a beauty queen one minute and an emotional terrorist the next? Does he or she adore you one minute and then seem to despise you just as quickly for seemingly nothing? Are you damned if you do and damned it you don't? You may be dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is a serious, exhausting and sometimes soul-sucking personality disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder Beauty Queen Or Terrorist will help you face everyday life with somebody who has it. You can still develop a healthy relationship and provide support for these people if you have a deeper understanding of BPD. If you are at wit’s end and seem to be at the edge of the rope, hang in there, this book might just be the book you’re looking for! Discussion Includes The Following: • What Is Borderline Personality Disorder? • What Causes Borderline Personality Disorder? • How Is Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosed? • How Is Borderline Personality Disorder Treated? • How To Cope With Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder Learn the 10 Steps on how to cope with BPD! Don't suffer anymore. Purchase Now!" When I was first diagnosed, a friend I met with BPD told me to stay away from Borderline forums because they are full of angry significant others who just want to bash their partners because of their BPD. I understand better than most how frustrating BPD is, and I also understand how frustrating it must be for the people around me, but I am certainly not an emotional terrorist, nor do I think anyone with Borderline is.
      This is a particularly great breakdown of it: NIMH: BPD. Winona Ryder's character in "Girl, Interrupted" was supposedly borderline and it is actually believeable. Marsha Linehan is the current BPD guru and her book from the early '80s Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder is still the standard text. She pioneered Dialectical Behavior Therapy, the most accepted method of treatment for BPD patients, but it is also being used for a huge variety of different issues that standard therapies haven't treated. They recently released a second edition of her companion handbook that has been updated and is very useful.
      DBT teaches four main modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. These seem to be the most difficult issues for someone with Borderline. Mindfulness is useful for all humans, but it is particularly useful for people who tend to dissociate or feel empty because it is a concrete way to bring you back to your body and focus on the world at hand vs. the world in your head. I try to meditate a couple times a day. I am not always successful, but when I am I feel much more grounded. Handling distress is like drowning. People with BPD have extreme emotions, and distress can feel like it's the end of the world, every time. Distress can be caused by minor issues too but because we react so extremely, what might have been a small concern becomes something large we have to work through. For instance, if you've lost a job it might trigger a spiral of depression, feeling worthless, guilt, shame, self harm, and potentially suicidal ideation or action. Learning to sit with the feelings associated with disappointment and hurt is the goal of distress tolerance, and DBT offers lots of fun advice on how to do that. I will share some of that in a different post. 
      Interpersonal skills may be the most complex and complicated issue someone with Borderline has to face. I know for me I am always questioning my relationships. They can be extremely volatile, I can fixate on people, I get incredibly angry, I don't listen properly, I get so focused on being "bad" and the root of the cause that I don't actually hear the other person. My pdoc at the last psych ward said this was my main issue. At the time I wasn't sure, but he may have been right. People affect me intensely. Somebody simply not responding to me can send me into a spiral of guilt and self-loathing that is truly incredible. When Husband and I argue I tend to catastrophize and imagine that our relationship is over and that I should probably kill myself. As soon as we make up though, those feelings dissipate. 
      Emotion regulation is a big problem. I have mood swings (usually long lasting ones unless I'm rapid cycling) because of the BPII, but I have quick and intense mood swings because of the BPD. I can be screaming, fighting, and crying one minute, and then a few minutes later I'm fine and can carry out my day. It shocks Husband when that happens. It's the only way I know how to function. I can't handle staying with the bad emotion so I have to change it to something new. 
      Self-harm and suicidality are huge issues for people with BPD. I've been a cutter since I was 13. I've done some major damage, requiring stitches on at least a handful of occasions because I cut too deep. I was never trying to slit my wrists to die, just to feel the pain. That has a lot of motivations: sometimes it's because I was numb and wanted to feel anything, sometimes I felt like I hated myself and deserved to hurt, sometimes it was so spontaneous and impulsive that I don't really know the motivation other than anger and the inability to sit through difficult emotions.
      Suicidal ideation has been my life. Since I was a teenager my mind has been preoccupied with suicide for a predominant amount of my mental life. There is a difference between ideation and intent, I should note. It's like fantasizing vs. making a plan to actually commit suicide. I have attempted suicide on a few occasions. Clearly none of them worked, thankfully. The last was the most serious and hopefully the last time that it happens. I've never been more serious than trying to break my neck, but there's lots more on that in my journal. 
      Borderline is a condition of extremes. Happiness, sadness, frustration, pain, confusion... and it is very misunderstood. I hope that the more the media addresses these issues and people educate themselves, that treatments can improve and people will actually seek them out. 
      This post may be updated as I do more research.
    • By LogarithmicLiz
      I'm not really sure where to start. Not even sure how active this forum is. This is my first post, so bear with me please. 
       
      What happens when Ive only ever been told that I like treating people like shit? That I actually enjoy it and make the conscious choice? 
       
      I went undiagnosed until I was 27. I can remember the last good year I had in my life. I can pinpoint the moment that triggered my propensity into a full blown illness. 
       
      What I'm most curious about, aside from just wanting to talk to other borderlines, is my personal form of self harm/self soothing. I bash my head into walls, doors, cupboards. or anything hard. And I mean bash. Sometimes it's a running start head down, like a bull. If I can't, I rip my hair by handfuls from the sides. I've been doing this for about six years now. 
      I don't know that others do this. I feel like a fucking psycho. My bf calls me an idiot and to "go bash my head some more". He watches and rolls his eyes and walks away. 
       
      I feel really fucking isolated and I can't tell if it's real or if I caused it. According to him, every problem we have is because of my diagnosis or bipolar and borderline with dissociative. If I could just change and get over it, we'd be great. "I love you so much when you're medicated", but he fights back and bites back when I'm having an episode. He loves medicated me. Sometimes I love erratic me. I have good qualities hidden under all this mess. I wish he saw that. 
       
      Rambling about nothing, I'm sorry. 
       
      I hope I'm within guidelines. I have zero support from anyone who knows. 
    • By Kristen
      I have a dual diagnosis as bipolar 2 and borderline personality disorder. I lean more towards depression but have had bouts of extreme anxiety, daily suicidal thinking, anger, and risky sexual behavior. I am on 300mg of Lithium and 25mg of Lamictal and tapering up to 50mg soon. I feel exhausted all the time currently with episodes of intense anger and general sadness. I'm looking for other people with this dual diagnosis to share what meds they have tried and what has worked for them. I cannot currently say that my meds have helped. I know I am at a very low dose. In my mind I have tried so many meds (seroquel, Lexapro, Lithium, Lamictal, Nardil, Parnate, Abilify, Topemax)....all of these in various combinations with one another. I have and still feel like an outsider, a weirdo, mentally unstable. I would like to find others with my same struggle who are perhaps finding relief. Please share with me.
      Kristen
    • By grape.guice
      Too in your head to be voices, too loud to be normal thoughts? MAybe i'm talking about different  things here... Do you know what I'm saying if I say thoughts that won't stop talking? Not always a bad thing, but I'm very unresponsive to outside stimulation when I'm like this. It's llike all this information just goes into your mind like BAAM BAM usually accompanied by visuals in the brain (not usually literally visual) just being  supper "absorbed" idk is that the right word? sometimes its random "voices", "loud thoughts" NOT auditory. saying something just plain random.ex "Jerome, I kow you aint been at the grocery store!" or. .. "that's why old ladies don't buy eachhothers facewash" etc... maybe I'm all over the place here maybe I'm looking for some direction. ALso idk I this is EVEN RELATED but hearing the wrong the wrong words out of people's mouths. Like, they say "something" nd I hear "what a fuckin bitch" or I hear "that  was in ur head" and I say "wtf did u just say?!" and they sa y "something"..................... one more thing is that I SOMETIMES INVOLUNTARILY repeat the same phrase over n over(in my head or outloud) . why. if u have ny insight into one or more of these things I woud like to hear about it.. thnx for reading ttyl
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