Sunday was one of those dark days. Living with borderline personality disorder can be a challenge. It was recently described to me as,
“People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.. That badly burned “emotional skin” means people living with BPD lack the ability to regulate their emotions, behaviors and thoughts”.
I think that is probably the best way to describe the way I feel a lot of the time. It’s been over 10 years since I was diagnosed and began understanding the condition. I go through patches where I feel I have a handle on things and know all there is to know. Then without warning it blows up in my face or symptoms creep back into my day to day life making the most basic of functions seem impossible.
Suicidal tendencies are a big part of the condition and when the feeling of relief is no where in sight it can overwhelm and occasionally consume me. Couple a low point with the world seemingly reminding me just how cruel the human condition can be and things can turn. BPD has the highest rates of suicide as 10% of suffers end their lives. That number is 50 times greater than the rate of the general population which is massive and can be tough to deal with.
What do you do when someone you love is 50 times more likely to be successful at ending their lives?
One interesting theory I’ve come across over the years is the ,‘Anyone who threatens it won’t follow through’. Interesting! No that is not true and considering we are talking about someone’s life I wish we would take more care with our words. Yes I agree that this may be true in some cases but assuming that everyone who threatens suicide just leaves me disheartened by people. I can only assume this as a reaction of persons who either don’t have the answer of how to fix the problem. The other option is to assume that as a society we have become completely self consumed and narcissistic, too lazy to care but I am going to have hope for mankind and go with the latter.
My only explanation is that due to the way we live in today’s society we’ve become conditioned to too much ‘instant gratification’. What do I mean by that? I mean we have the answers to almost everything at the click of a mouse or swipe of our phones. How high is Mount Everest? Google it. How many calories in a Mars Bar? Google it. There are almost no mystories left in life because we can Google everything. What comes with this is inpatients and a need to have the answer to everything right now. It doesn’t leave any room for mystery or simply the art of waiting to see how things pan out. What ever happened to testing a theory or simply stopping, taking a breath and listening? The need to fix the problem right now has resulted in unhelpful thought patterns and theories which for some have left them feeling that they have no other choice as no one is listening.
From personal experience I can say that my past expressions of hopelessness have not been a threat, more so a case of me begging the people around me to change the way they are interacting with me as it is causing enormous pain within my life. In 2017 it was a case of me deciding that I was tired and if no one wanted to hear me that possibly there was no point in continuing to live in pain. My thought pattern was by ending things that it would force those within my life to wake up and actually listen to people who were trying to reach out. Had it not been for a 12 year old girl who somehow knew I had something planned I more than likely would not be here today. The people around me failed in a way because I did express myself repeatedly and the damage they were causing was making life not worth living. Grand gestures such as me giving away all the stock from my mirror making business. As they ignored the words coming out of my mouth I took this approach as well in an attempt to have them see me.
“This art is free. The only condition is you have to be kind to others”
“It only takes two minutes to hug someone in need. What if you didn’t take that two minutes which resulting in someone decided whether it was worth giving up or not. Some things broken cannot be fixed so take care of each other like you would one of these mirrors”.
A suggestion I might make rather than the above unhelpful advice is practicing the art of simply listening? Strange theory? Not at all! I know that for me sometimes I was just looking for an ear or even better a hug. While some females seem to want a hero, please don’t mistake me for one of them! This is my shit show and I will be the one to clean it up. All I ever needed in my life were good people and if you couldn’t have my best interest at heart then I needed you out of my life. Yes mother that is a message to you and the reason you do not exist in my life anymore. Can I ask “If you don’t like me but you still watch everything I do, does that make you a fan? In the end I am sorry the way things turned out but you don’t get to damage my entire life. I have never felt so alive since cutting you out. You may have the one thing that means everything to me but it won’t be too long before I come back for him and you know it. This is just a little reminder to you that there are no second chances here. Sometimes that’s like giving someone another bullet for their gun because they missed you the first time.
The funny thing about growing up with severely damaged people who seemingly want to ruin the lives of the ones around them, instead of breaking a person instead they created a monster and extremely resilient. I will come out the other end, yes damage has been done but you don’t get to win this one.
I’ve always found it easier to write about my pain as opposed to talking about it. I don’t know why that is, possibly a result of coming from a family filled with individuals who on the surface pretended to be one thing but behind closed doors a very different reality existed. It’s been some time since I wrote one of these but given my recent decline in mental health due to some unfortunate long standing issues I guess I found myself in one of those dangerous BPD lows. Had it not been for a few individuals in my life lately I hate to think the outcome.
One in particular I have to thank for being possibly the smartest man alive. Possibily it’s a case of us being very similar in thinking? So a random text put me in the vicinity of this person. A person that may be responsible for my future happiness. Have met the love of my life? For now I can say I met a man I would love to keep in my life for a very long time. I met someone who proved to me that ‘not all men are assholes’ and probably single handedly made it possible for me to not give up hope on one day finding the love of my life. I have always been fond of the quote by Marilyn Monroe “All a girl really wants is for one man to prove that they are not all the same”. This person definitely did this for me. For the first time in a long time I feel like someone sees me and actually cares for no other reason than they care. Who would have thought my anti-hero may have accidentally become my hero without even knowing it. We watched a sunrise and sunset, you took me out for lunch and looked after me like a true gentleman. I will never forget you describing me as “a sexy version of myself” and for noticing I had a lot going on and just wanted me to smile. But on that dark day some how a few little words, “Hurry up and come get into bed. I need a cuddle” was exactly the right thing to say at the right moment. In the end everything happens for a reason I guess and we learn’t that two of the craziest people in town love to cuddle! I wonder what else we don’t know about the rest of them?
So Kobazda who loves cuddles. Thank you for letting me be my own hero and for caring. We met briefly 3 years ago and didn’t see each other until recently but they say people come into your life for a reason and I am so glad that you came along at the right time. Without you simply taking the time to actually care about me, I hate to think where I would be right now.
Three other people who have given me a sense of purpose lately also came to mind that dark Sunday. I have been relatively on my own for sometime now but you have adopted me into your life and home and if I can’t be with my own son at the moment, then there is no where else i’d rather be. Although there have been lots of tantrums of late and getting used to routine, at the end of the day we all fulfill a missing part in one another’s lives. Let me work backwards.
I’m going to start with the littlest one. My sweet boy. You are kind and funny like you may never know. I enjoy so much the hug you give me every afternoon after school, you run up the stairs and occasionally run straight back down and sat ‘you get two huge today’. It’s things like this that mean the most to me. I hope we stay in each others lives for a long time. When I think about you all big and tall I imagine you’ll be the type of guy who freely gives his heart to many without another thought. You are amazingly resilient and will bounce back from heart ache. It’s been a pleasure to be one of those lucky woman to have you touch my life in the most special way.
To the oldest boy, my dear you are almost an exact copy of your father. Funny as hell and smart as can be. May your inner love-song-singing, at the top of your voice little boy find true happiness one day and you are able to learn from the mistakes I’ve made along the way. I hope you find that it is possible to find the one thing I’ve all but given up on is possible because you are full of so much love. I can see that you will give your heart to only a select few, I just hope they are worth such an honor because choose the wrong one will result in a devastation for you of epic proportions. Remember though that this life is not for the faint hearted and no one said it was supposed be fair.
Lastly there is the biggest kid of them all. My new adopted father and my fellow Disney Princess. While you may appear to be one thing to the general population I quickly saw past that and saw your true self. Someone desperately wanting to find the missing half of your soul. What do I say to you? I don’t have any answers on what to do to make that possible but it gives me some hope that I am not the only possibly delusional one in the world. I hope we find what we are looking for but in the mean time thanks for making me your ‘Clayton’s Wife”, the relationship you have when you don’t have a relationship!
So where did this all start?
Have you ever been so disappointed in someone that believing you meant anything to them was becoming almost impossible? To do what they did and at the time they did it was brutal and inhumane. To say it didn’t almost break me completely would be an understatement. The life I imagined with you and our sons became just a faded memory and a joke. Thank you for that. It may have been nothing to you but to me it was everything. Is it stupid of me to want to meet someone, fall in love and then walk along beside them through life? To stick together when things are good but most importantly when they get tough. Seriously is it too much to ask that they just do the same? Currently at this point the damage that has been done there may be no return. Do I need to accept that maybe it’s not something that exists because at this point I feel like I keep wasting my time.
Chronic feelings of loneliness are a massive part of BPD. I look at patterns of behavior and attachment to people or my overwhelming need to fix the feelings of emptiness and loneliness has probably been the number one reason for my current state. I always thought I’d be a mum again by now. I hoped that would be with someone I was madly in love with this time. As years pass me by I guess maybe that needs to be reassessed?
“Is happiness just a bullshit idea Disney gave us to never live up to so we’d forever be miserable and never realise our full potential?”
………………………………………………………………………….Screw you Disney!
I am a mother of one, artist and blogger from Australia. I write children’s books and want to introduce awareness education for children in all schools. This is my journey from domestic violence and beyond. Where it will end up is anyone's guess. Share in my story....