Ever wanted to know what it feels like to be treated like a leper? Get a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and you will come really close. Doctors, therapists and other people see those three little letters and they run like hell. BPD automatically gives you the reputation of someone who is a master manipulator, only cares about themselves and views the world though a black and white perspective with nothing lying in between. Is this accurate? It depends on the day.
A long time ago a small child became fearful of expressing his emotions to the so called grown ups that were in his life in fear of a response that is far from being pleasant. So what is this child to do? He learns how to survive and the first step is to keep all emotions bottled up inside then to present an image that will keep him safe. This new image begins to create a new personality where on the outside it looks like he is a strong stable person but on the inside it is constant turmoil. This new self image becomes the most important factor in the child's life so he learns how to keep this image appear in a positive light and develops a system to make sure that this image is kept in tact, for the better state of the new personality the better the child feels about himself. Some people are able to let this figure be put to rest when they enter a more positive stable enviroment where the rest of us allow this imaginary person to become very real and dominate all aspects of our lives and end up with the BPD diagnosis.
Living with BPD is all about maintaining that self image that is rocky at the best of times. This inner personality only cares about how the situation is going to effect him. If someone attacks me in the verbal sense my number one priority is to protect my self image so I do what it takes and unfortunately this means entering a "rage" that will send a message to the person that what they are doing is a very bad idea. A rage looks like the person is completely out of control and has the potential of doing anything but like the self image it is meant to protect it is an illusion as the person with BPD is in complete control. The rage is used to send a very clear message that the person has crossed the invisible line that puts my self image in jeopardy which is not allowed as the better off my internal personality is the better off I am overall so I do whatever is necessary to keep it safe .
Manipulation is used to get the response you are looking for either positive or negative. I rehearse every conversation that I may potentially have to make sure that I am ready and that no surprises will arise. A classic case of manipulation is when ending a relationship is I prepare a conversation that will have the other person set off a rage in me then giving me the excuse I am looking for to make the other person go away. By doing this I have no guilt about the relationship as it was the other persons fault even though I controlled every step of the way it ended. My self image is still stable as I did nothing wrong and if the other person knew me better they would not have allowed them selves to be manipulated so I did the right thing by doing it this way. A long as I can justify it from a logical standpoint then I am fine.
Emotions don't exist for the most part in the BPD world and everything comes down to logic no matter how faulty it may be. BPD sufferers deal in a world that consists of yes or no or black or white with nothing that lies in between. The area that is avoided is where emotions exist and it is an area we do not understand as when most people were being taught how to express their feelings we were in a position where the emotions had to be buried so they never had a chance to grow and understand. What we do know is what other people expect from us in an emotional capacity so we learn how to fake it. I can appear as the most loving boyfriend in the history of the planet but like a lot of my life it is an illusion as I learned how to express my so called emotions by reading Cosmo so I know what each gesture is suppose to mean but for the most part it is an act like an actor playing a role.
Everything comes back to the self image. When my self image is at a good level I see the world in a rather positive way and my behavior reflects this. When my self image is having a rough period my depression kicks in to high gear and I have to deal with all the garbage that comes with it. Needless to say for the longest time I would do what ever was possible to make sure that my self image is kept up high and it justifies most of the actions that I take to ensure my inner personality is protected.
The problem that comes with living your life in this fashion is that nothing is real. My inner self image is a perception or how I view myself the confusion is which version of me is looking. Is it my upper self image or my lower self image that is taking it all in but the problem is neither one of them is based in reality but a series of boundaries, limits and rules that were created to make me appear as someone else not who I really am.
A couple of years ago I realized that every thought and behavior I had was not based in reality but what I perceived it to be. So very slowly I went through my head and picked every thought apart to see where it came from then tried to slowly implement change to bring out the real me which has been a royal pain in the ass because basically I had to start over from scratch and at the same time ignore the impulse that is saying if I let the BPD take control my life would be easier and it would be but not very fulfilling.
The medical and therapeutic community treat BPD like it is not treatable and once your beyond a certain point your destined to live the rest of your life in this fashion. Therapy is ineffective or at least BPD is very difficult to treat as someone who has multiple self images quickly switches from one to the other depending on stability. The goal is to finding the real self image then going to work on it. My doctors have called me untreatable but I have full intentions of proving them wrong once again. I have learned how to stop and analyze the situation before responding which has been a massive step that has made the world of difference as before my response would be to best serve my false self image now I see it from a different light and have realized not everything is a an attack so there is no reason to act as such.
A lot of people with BPD will never be diagnosed for the simple reason they do not believe anything is wrong with their logic. People with BPD run huge companies and corporations with success for everything is based off of logic and emotion never comes into play. This is perfect for a lot of work settings but the problems they cross is outside of work as they feel unfulfilled so they end up working way to much or start abusing substances to fill the void inside of them.
I made a decision to become a better person and to get the life that I deserve but to do it I had to admit that everything in my life was faulty and I have been living a lie since I was three years old. It is unfortunate that the battle is that much harder trying to overcome the stigma that comes with the Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis. I am trying to fix myself and a little help would be appreciated not the medical community writing me off as too difficult to treat.