I’ve been reading websites on Borderline Personality Disorder and, either I’ve forgotten my reaction to the other couple of times I’ve looked into it, or I’m having new reactions. I don’t remember identifying that closely with it before. When I saw Girl Interrupted a few years ago I thought, why do I feel I have things in common with her? Why is she in the hospital? She seems normal to me. She’s actually kind of special, people should listen to her. Not that bad really. The other people, even those without a diagnosis, are definitely crazier. Then shortly after, when I first researched it online I think I thought, maybe I have that a little, could explain some things, but still…
Now I’m thinking, what if it is a disorder, and not just hypersensitivity? What if it is having emotions and reactions that really are all out of proportion? What if I can’t trust my feelings? I remember describing myself to my kids many years ago just like this part of this article, “People with Borderline Personality Disorder are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.” I told them that’s why I don’t need to be in close proximity to extended relationships. I can sense them from miles away.
One person in this article said they have a love/hate relationship with their diagnosis. That’s what I’m feeling right now, if I have it. I think I very strongly have 7 out of the 9 traits, and a modification of the other two behavioral ones. It practically defines all of my relationships. It’s nice to have my personal pain explained and organized on a tidy web page, but who am I if not my emotions and my relationships? Even though emotions and relationships are most important to me, I don’t think they totally define me. Even that last sentence is a symptom – the struggle for identity. Good grief. And that’s what I’m doing right now. Grieving for my lost sense of self.
One thing that doesn’t make me as “out there” as many of the Borderlines, and Borderlines probably feel the need to make that distinction, is my strong sense of right and wrong. I wont go the lengths most of them do, which is probably more because of a Myers Briggs classification than a case for personal triumph. Just saying that makes me think all these classifications are hyper in defining things, but I can’t deny that there is something that is called normal and healthy and there are deviations from that. Are you a threat to yourself or others? That’s the criteria. Borderlines have a 10% suicide rate. I wont go into my history of that right now, but I identify with at least the thought that heaven would be a welcome place, to the point of, what are we wasting our time here for? and beyond, and have since I can earliest remember.
Another site says “vulnerability to emotion
dysregulation in BPD is characterized by high sensitivity to
emotional stimuli, high emotional intensity, and slow return
to emotional baseline once emotional arousal has occurred….
BPD patients reported
more negative emotions, fewer positive emotions, and greater
intensity of negative but not positive emotions.”
It makes me feel better knowing that I’m not a freak since there are other people who have the same experience, even though the cause is not totally understood, but there do seem to be corroborating histories. And there are some positive traits listed in the above sites that go along with it.
What to do about it? Try to distance myself from my reactions. Recognize when I get upset, it’s most likely out of proportion to the offense. There’s a couple of other symptoms I need to work on too. Recognizing that they are symptoms of a disorder and not from being special is humbling. And maybe there is a way to channel some things more positively instead of distancing myself totally from how I interface with the world. Prayer, when I do it, is one thing that helps a lot. If it’s gone to the point of panic, I usually need the presence of a person though. There’s a few that have been able to stop the bleeding.