Inside My Borderline Mind


I have borderline personality disorder (BPD). It is a serious mental disorder which affects my personality functioning and traits through emotional dysregulation.  This basically means that I am unable to manage my emotions. I am emotionally unstable, and this instability strongly influences how I think, feel and behave.

image

The Impairments In My Personality Functioning: Self & Interpersonal Functioning

Every day I struggle with my identity and self-direction.  I know I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a mother and (in a few months) a wife. But beyond these titles, I have no idea who I am or what I want in life. I look in the mirror and feel no sense of self, no sense of belonging. Sometimes I feel so lost, my reflection is nothing more than a stranger staring back at me. This lack of identity runs deep. My mind often unconsciously adapts my personality to how I (unknowingly) wish to be perceived by others. Sometimes this alteration is a result of mirroring the way someone talks, how they behave, or even their interests and values. Other times it seems like I’ve just discovered a hidden part of my personality.

I’m also excessively self-critical. I focus on my flaws more than anything else. Some days will start off okay. I will feel great, and be full of confidence. But minutes later I will obsess over my imperfections, and feel like my existence is pointless. My “black and white” thinking stops me from merging my positive and negative qualities together. I’m either feeling good, worthy and secure about myself; or the complete opposite. There’s just no inbetween.

However, sometimes I feel nothing. I am emotionally numb. Every day is a battle against my recurrent feelings of emptiness. I will walk around with a smile on my face, and behave like I’m fine. But my emotions have been replaced with this silent pain, and I never know when they will return. It’s a horrible feeling, but I’m use to it. Then there’s the moments, minutes, where my emotions are sucked into a black hole. I become completely detached from my emotional self. Sometimes even my physical self. I dissociate. When I’m in a dissociative state, I am aware of my surroundings, what I see. But I’m watching through the eyes of an observer, with no connection. I’ve read that this happens when you’re under a lot of stress. But for me, it seems to happen randomly. Maybe I am just unaware of the stress, I don’t know.

When I meet new people, my judgement of them is based on first impressions. I am quick to like or dislike a person, and more often than not, my feelings towards them never change. If I like someone, our first encounter is the start of a relationship. It develops into a friendship or (before I met my S.O.) a romantic relationship pretty quickly, in my eyes anyway. But there’s a catch. When I am close to someone, the relationship can become rather intense, unstable and conflicted. I have an intense fear of abandonment and can be very mistrustful. I can be very needy too. These are negative qualities I wish I didn’t have, and I can’t help it when these aspects of my personality arise. They mess me up so much, that sometimes I back away from a relationship and cut ties. Only for me to (sometimes) return when I’m ready, and cling onto the relationship for dear life. Overall, I have issues with being overinvolved or withdrawn in a relationship. My thoughts and feelings always get in the way.

As for the individuals I’m involved with (friends, family etc.), I struggle to perceive their characteristics and behaviour as a whole, the same way I view myself. They are either “all good” or “all bad” in any given moment. I will idolize or devalue them and our relationship, depending on what they do or have done. I’m like a yo-yo, within myself and interpersonal relationships. Always up or down, hot or cold, good or bad; again and again.

There’s also another element of interpersonal relationships that I have problems with; empathy. I find it hard to recognise the feelings and needs of others. I can identify when someone is in emotional pain, and strongly empathise with them. But beyond that, there’s nothing most of the time. I sometimes do correctly identify other emotions, but in the moment I struggle to understand why another person feels them in a certain situation (unless I really think about it). I try to be more empathetic, but it seems like I’m only  in tune with emotional suffering. Unfortunately I often get caught up in my own emotions and don’t notice how others feel. I just get so overwhelmed by my own feelings, I fail to be empathetic. Especially when the persons actions have negatively affected me. It is not my intention to be so complicated and problematic, it’s just how my mind functions.

image

My Pathological Personality Traits: Negative Affectivity, Disinhibition & Antagonism

There are occasions where my emotions are “normal”, in the sense that I feel and express them in the manner that a person who can healthily regulate them would. But in general, I am emotionally unstable. I feel more intensely and usually express my emotions in a chaotic fashion. The ability to regulate emotions doesn’t come naturally to me. I have to work hard to stay self-aware, and even harder to manage how my emotions are released. My reactions to different events and circumstances are often intense and out of proportion, but they are an exact expression of how I feel inside.

Instead of gradually building up, my emotions jump from mild to extreme in a matter of seconds. Sadness transforms into despair, anger becomes rage, joy turns into ecstasy… Every emotion is intensified, and when I release them I either implode or explode. I fear losing control all the time, and try my best to regulate my emotional experiences.

When my anxiety is amplified, I have intense feelings of nervousness or panic. My mind fills with intrusive thoughts of uncertainty, and flashes back to memories of unpleasant experiences, then forward to possible future experiences. Sometimes when my anxiety is triggered by relationship conflicts, I think of all the times I’ve been rejected or abandoned, and relive the emotional experiences all over again. This is when my fear of abandonment usually reveals itself, and I am terrified of being abandoned by the people I feel close to.

Another troubling trait of mine is depressivity. I often feel miserable and hopeless. These emotions are sometimes triggered by something or someone, but sometimes they appear out of the blue. I struggle to break free from my depressive episodes, and get caught up in feelings of unworthiness of existence. I will lay in bed all day or have no motivation to take care of myself and attend to my basic needs. Thoughts of suicide creep into my mind when I feel depressed. There have been a couple of incidents in the past (years ago), where I did attempt to end my life. The first was premeditated, and the second was impulsive. But I will never try again, as now I have someone precious to live for (my daughter).

Impulsivity is also something I struggle with in many ways. A lot of the decisions I make are made in the moment. I don’t consider the possible outcomes, the consequences. I just act. This behaviour is sometimes dangerously self-damaging. See, I impulsively self-harm to cope with my emotions when they overwhelm me. When I am in despair, the physical pain of cutting into my skin distracts me from my emotional pain. And when I am in rage, the cutting seems to calm me down and give me relief. There have been times in the past where my rage was so intense that I unintentionally cut far too deep and needed stitches.

Having reflected on my emotions and behaviour, I think my rage is the worst. I am quick to get angry over minor issues; and lash out at myself, whoever has triggered my rage, or whoever is present. When I lash out at other people, I usually verbally attack them. I know my behaviour is inexcusable, but in that point in time I am blinded by my emotions. It’s like the thinking part of my brain has switched off, and I’m pure emotion.

All in all, these are the challenges I face every day. I am recovering from borderline personality disorder, and will soon find stability. But I still have a long way to go.

37 Comments Add yours

  1. Tenacity T says:

    Okay, seriously I am intrigued by you. This was so incredible and in so many ways. I can relate in many ways. In fact, a lot of it actually sounded (please don’t take this the wrong way) “normal.” It is not to say that you aren’t normal, that is the whole point here. I am fascinated by people that know their own flaws but can admit them and also learn how to deal with them. I have met so many incredible people with several disabilities, disorders, mental illness etc. You are very brave and that is the first thing I admire. Thanks for following me back. I look forward to getting to know you through your blog. What is your name?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S. K. Bosak says:

      Thank you for commenting! Don’t worry, I didn’t take it the wrong way 🙂 I’m glad you’re able to relate to what I’ve written. I’m Simran x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tenacity T says:

        Hi SIMRAN ! Good 😊 me too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rayne says:

    I can relate to this so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S. K. Bosak says:

      Thanks for commenting 🙂 I’m happy to hear the post is relatable. I hope more people will be able to relate and feel less isolated.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 2modestminds says:

    Fascinating, in a “the truth is in here” way. Can relate and can add a couple of more things towards my feelings for my boy. Perhaps the definition of love in its purest form (you already know what I’m talking about). Please keep sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S. K. Bosak says:

      Thanks for commenting! I do, our children are so precious and innocent, the greatest light in our lives. I had a look at your blog, you write beautiful pieces 🙂

      Like

  4. It’s incredible how much of this I can relate to, as a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The dysphoria and emotional numbness, disassociation, the false selves (I have several that come out when they please–I can’t always control it), the mood swings, rage, black and white thinking and insecurities. They are all issues I struggle with as well. It’s so interesting the overlap of all the Cluster B disorders. Some of our behaviors and thoughts are almost exactly the same, other times they manifest in a slightly different ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S. K. Bosak says:

      I never realised BPD and NPD were so similar, that’s interesting to know. I look forward to reading more articles about NPD on your site 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This was incredibly intriguing and I’m so happy that I came across your blog. I seriously have to set aside time tonight to read some of your other posts. You’re a great writer and this was really, really, really interesting. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 It felt like I was reading parts about myself sometimes. Being self-critical, the “black and white”, etc. Just awesome. Just wanted to say that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S. K. Bosak says:

      Thank you for the lovely comment 🙂

      Like

  6. I can relate to so much of this, and really enjoyed reading it. I really appreciate your openness and honesty. 🙂 Keep sharing and we will keep reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ~KL~ says:

    Oh man. I read this and realized….it was about ME. I, too, have Borderline (among other diagnoses). I could never write the way you do about it though. Hope youre OK. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S. K. Bosak says:

      Thanks for commenting! I’m doing alright, how about you?

      Like

      1. ~KL~ says:

        Im so glad to hear youre doing alright. Im struggling…

        Like

      2. S. K. Bosak says:

        I’m sorry you’re struggling. It takes a lot of time to heal, especially from what leads us to develop BPD. I found writing down how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking helps. Or using something as a distraction such as creating art. Sometimes just talking to someone who will listen can help too. You’re welcome to send me a message if you ever need to talk x

        Like

      3. ~KL~ says:

        Wow, thank you for being so kind. I fear if you knew the real me….youd run for the hills. Any way we can private message on here? Or send our number?

        Like

      4. S. K. Bosak says:

        If you send me a message through the contact page we can talk through email.

        Like

  8. Christopher Bourne says:

    I love this, thank you, I am currently trying to explain to friends and family about my own battle with BPD yet the words escape me, I have shared this with them all as you describe thongs perfectly. This is beautifully written and I have subscribed to you now as I wish to read more of your posts

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S. K. Bosak says:

      Thank you for commenting on and sharing this post 🙂
      I hope it helps your friends and family understand and support you through your battle with BPD.

      Like

  9. Eva DiCicco says:

    Wow! This is been the most accurate reading of borderline I have read since my diagnosis! Thanks for making me feel so am not alone in this fight! Xoxo Eva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S. K. Bosak says:

      You’re welcome 🙂
      I’m glad it’s helped you feel less alone x

      Like

  10. Thank you for this post. This is my everyday too. It is comforting to know there are others out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Elliesofia says:

    Hi. Thank you for writing this – I can identify with everything you say (you capture and echo my feelings exactly) – I have BPD and also DPD (Dependent Personality Disorder). I’m not coping well at the moment though despite psychotherapy. I would have liked the opportunity to have DBT which is the supposedly ‘best’ way of learning to deal with BPD symptoms and feelings but this is not available where I live. Can I ask what methods of coping or therapy (if any) you have found helps at all? I’m so glad I came across your blog – you write beautifully. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts both in the future as I’m following you now and hopefully, some of your previous posts later today. Sending you kind thoughts, Ellie x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S. K. Bosak says:

      Hi Ellie. I did CBT when I was an inpatient, and it was somewhat helpful. But as my psychiatrist put me on a lot of medication I couldn’t really focus (I felt that the meds I was on made me kind of stupid too). Since then I’ve just had one-to-one therapy and stopped takings meds. I think if you can find a good therapist then it’s really helpful. I’ve had a number of therapists but only my last one truly listened and helped me work through my thoughts and feelings.
      As of last year, I moved to another country where I haven’t been able to seek treatment. So to help myself, I take valarian drops for my mood and I try to stay as self-aware as possible. Whenever I feel that I’m losing control I write down how I’m feeling, thinking and behaving; then I just read through what I wrote. Sometimes writing is enough, but when it isn’t I keep myself physically active by doing something that calms me (exercise, drawing etc).
      There are a number of BPD support groups I’m in on facebook that help when I need to talk to someone who can relate/understand. If you want to look more into DBT there’s a free copy of a book online which you can print off and use. I haven’t got round to using it yet, but I’ve heard it’s great. I’ll post the link when I find it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elliesofia says:

        Thanks for replying so quickly, S. (Can I ask what your name is please, if you don’t mind)? Moving to another country and not being able to access help or treatment must be so tough for you. I’m on a lot of medication but think I’m only recently getting the balance right. I’ve been on meds for so long, I’ve got not idea who I’d be without them. Addicted? Quite possibly by now. You are truly very self-aware and that’s a great skill to have developed. I do find writing helps quite a lot. Exercise is a bit difficult as I am disabled but I can do a bit with the bits of me that decide to cooperate when I want them too 🙂 I’d appreciate that link when you can find it. Thanks very much, Ellie x

        Like

      2. S. K. Bosak says:

        It’s Simran 🙂
        I think meds can be helpful, but from my experience I decided to take the herbal route as what I was on clouded my mind so much that I couldn’t think straight.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Elliesofia says:

        Thank you for finding this for me x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Elliesofia says:

        P.S. Thanks for following my blog x 🙂

        Like

  12. Elliesofia says:

    (In addition to my previous comment): I just realised that somehow I started reading your post in the middle and have only just seen the paragraphs you have written under the heading of ‘The Impairments In My Personality Functioning: Self & Interpersonal Functioning’.This part of your post was liking looking in a mirror for me. I have no idea who I am and like you, I find I mould myself into whatever character I think the person I’m with expects me to be – not intentionally, it’s something I can’t help. I know that I also mirror the person I’m with, sometimes embarrassingly obviously but again, not intentionally. I can relate to everything else you write also, it’s almost like looking in a mirror at myself. Thanks again, Ellie x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reading this, I felt you were describing me to a T! Thank you for this. Its so hard to explain to people how we feel when we deal with this. I too have BPD and severe depression. Im 35 and slowly learning to cope. But at times it gets very hard. If it want for my 3 kids and my husband and my mom, I really dont think Id be here anymore. So I push on for them. Its the only thing that really keeps me going. Your second paragraph really hit home with me and made want to continue reading. Bpd is terrible, but can get thru. My faith in God also grounds me as well. Past couple days have been rough, but I will get thru. So glad I saw this!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. cecilia says:

    these borderline traits can be a blessing in disguise we realize what we are doing, and yet we continue un-likeable and frenzied characteristics. The good news is, there is evidence that as we age the bizarre personality fragments become less frazzled and more manageable

    Like

  15. guidinghope says:

    This was so, so we’ll written! Your insight and courage is so beautiful to see!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Simran…. Very well written article… I m also a BPD patient…. Im in my recovery phase, though i keep having my relapses from time to time and thats exactly how it feels the way you have so well put it… Plz keep the spirit going… You are not alone! We are together in this and there is hope

    Liked by 1 person

  17. S. K. Bosak says:

    Update: Two “bloggers” took the content from this blog post and published it on their sites without my permission. If you have stumbled upon my site because one of these individuals was “sweet” enough to link back to this post, I want you to be aware of the fact that they stole my written work. So please do not share the link from their site or any other site that has stolen my work.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s