“My smile is just skin deep. If you could see inside, I’m really crying. You might join me for a weep.” ~ The Joker
I can’t imagine what it is like to have a normal human brain with normal functions—to be able to process normal functional relationships, to not have the constant raging tsunami that washes over my head, flooding it with upside-down thoughts that exhaust me beyond words whilst I still maintain a smile for all those around me.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is painful, not a physical pain but a draining and constant mental pain that eats away at you daily from the inside like maggots eating the rotten flesh of discarded roadkill.
Imagine waking in the morning and for at least 20 minutes. Your brain feels normal. Life feels great—and then the questions start internally asking themselves. Everything you managed to suppress for those few magical moments at the start of the day begins to manifest in ways that you find the impossible fight to against.
The vicious circle starts again—brain versus your own will.
And believe me, the brain usually wins.
This condition has attacks like waves that worsen and lesser over time and some days may be okay, like a placid lake, still water of reflection with no ripples—usually when the mind is active or you are involved in activities that can distract from the painful itch that drives you crazy inside.
Imagine that, having an itch that is in a place that’s impossible to reach and no matter what you do. No matter how flexible you are, the itch just keeps moving ever so slightly out of reach and progressing with time to a point it becomes unbearable and something has to give.
For me, being internal or Quiet BPD it is internal self-torture—but the giveaways are external.
I may question things, have internal panic attacks that manifest in myself worrying myself so badly that I feel I can’t breathe inside, and my head hurts so badly from the mental pressure that I feel I am going to implode and the worst thing is you feel like not a person in the goddamn world would even care.
It gets quite lonely at times looking out of a window of your mind at the people trying to hold you close, screaming that you are here but they can’t hear your words—instead they feel the words never meant as you cry at yourself in total anguish.
Attachments are invalid for most people with BPD. You can’t form real bonds with people because in your head you consistently feel worthless to that person and like you don’t matter.
One of the big components of borderline is that things are black-and-white. You have to work hard to find a grey area in our heads because they simply don’t exist but people don’t get that this is the way your brain works and when you try to explain, they get mad at you or call you stupid. (That in itself just f*cking hurts.)
However, at times, your brain takes a break and the calm settles.
Believe me, when it’s good, it’s great.
Then, you can revert and find yourself questioning words and feelings and are always looking at the dark even if a light is being shone directly in your face. Don’t get me wrong, there are cases where attachments can be formed and for a person with this condition. The power of love is somewhere between total ecstasy and agony.
The ecstasy of that rush of feeling a deep connection with someone who not only listens when you give them all the warning labels you come with but accepts they are there. Accepts the risks involved. The agony is the overwhelming fear that they won’t be able to handle you and that they will leave—like so many others have which leads to more feelings of total abandonment and pain.
One of the biggest symptoms of BPD is fear of abandonment. This can occur even when things in the relationship seem to be going well.
That damn brain doing its thing again.
There’s this pervasive fear that people will leave us, or that we aren’t good enough for that person. And even if it seems irrational to others, it can feel very real to the person who’s struggling.
Someone with BPD would do anything to stop that from happening, which is why they may come across as being “clingy” or “needy.” Though it can be difficult to empathize with, remember that it stems from a place of fear, which can be incredibly hard to live with for a borderline person.
How would you cope with these feelings every day?
For a borderline, love can be a massive high and a horrific low like nothing else you’ve ever felt. It can be addictive and devastating if not kept in constant check.
Meeting the one was amazing for me, I wanted to wrap myself in them. I want to have them close to me so I can feel that surge of chemicals that make the human brain feel good. It’s as though I’m walking on sunshine, and the world smells of jasmine and joy. I think I can do anything as long as that person is beside me—the power of love right—the power of Mrs. Right in my case and she has given me so much hope and for me hope is a precious gift.
The thing is that, sadly, people don’t understand the condition, and trying to explain that it’s like every word spoken has to be analysed in my head meticulously is something people don’t understand. Things said that have one meaning may have a different meaning when the words hit my ears or are read in front of me and if there is even something remotely that scares me, then it repeats through my brain over and over, getting worse with every replay. It’s exhausting and so painful. It’s a real pain that I can feel. It’s so hard because I feel like no one in the world gets it or gets me. To a normal person, I may seem needy or too much but if that person sat and talked to me and learnt what it is that plagues me daily, then they would understand better what kind of person I am.
I am not a monster.
I have and am learning daily that I am not crazy. I’m not even slightly broken, but instead, I am beautifully different—not psychotic, not dangerous, not anything that may be a stigma for this condition.
I have so much more love to give than the average person and am more devoted than humanly possible to the right person, the person who takes their time to know me.
People may not understand me. People may call me names or judge me inappropriately because of my words or actions. But that’s okay.
It’s to each their own, but try walking a mile in my shoes and see how far you get.
So few people are willing to look at the person behind the borderline disorder. There can be such immense creativity born in the minds of those tormented by mental illness. And these people are usually exceptional at poetry, art, music, or writing. It can be a powerful tool for recovery.
I hope that by reading these words, that you will see the human being behind the label and perhaps that the stigma can be reduced by just one more person today.
Unfortunately, suicide is prevalent amongst people with this disorder because of the feelings of not one person in this world caring if you live or die. It can be a translation of mental to physical pain—to feel the feelings on the outside rather than internally living with the mindful debilitating pain. It’s easier to bleed externally than to bleed thoughts into an empty obsidian mind of darkness and despair. If you are reading this and this is you, then I urge you with all I have to seek help, don’t suffer alone, and believe me people do care.
In conclusion, this condition is vile and incredibly painful, usually stemming from something early on in childhood. But it’s not all doom and gloom. There is always light in the forms of counselling therapy and drug therapy.
Never give in. Never back out. Write with all you have because you are worth it.
As for me, well, I’m lucky. I found my perfect understanding person who I love with all of my heart. My outlook is bright for the future but my head is my head and that has a mind of its own.
“…to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can …”