Sunday, November 4, 2018

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder

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By, Anatasia Chasm, Guest Blogger

This isn't something that is easy to explain or even to talk about. I suffer from borderline personality disorder. I say suffer from because I can't say “I live with” since it really doesn't feel like actually being alive. BPD is caused by early childhood trauma that occurs while the personality is forming into a whole.

Similar to dissociative identity disorder where there are alters or parts, my brain did something like that but not as advanced. My parts don't have their own names and likes and dislikes etc. It's just raw emotions.

They say there is the emotional part and the apparently normal part, which are then split down into even more primitive and raw subparts. The emotional part is stunted, stuck on the trauma but often not knowing exactly what trauma that is.

There is a constant fear of abandonment but also a constant pushing away of those close to you. Along with the tilt-a-whirl of emotions is a void, a lack of sense of self, an internal numbness even while you are a blur of chaotic emotion.

The apparently normal part is a mask, it does it's best to hide the inner chaos and quite often fails, which is when people run away and don't want you around. This is a lonely illness with a constant need for human contact but never feeling like you belong.

Often it takes years to get the proper diagnosis, so you are a medication guinea pig. I've been on over 200 meds in 6 years. In and out of the psych ward for attempted overdose 11 times because I dissociate, and when I dissociate the voice in my head that says I'm better off dead has a higher chance of taking over and winning.

I've been through 7 therapists, none of them even understood what a personality disorder was and tried to treat me like I was bipolar. I'm not bipolar, bipolar is a chemical disorder of the brain. This is a shattered personality, a broken self.

When I get really bad I start to research, to try and find the answer that eludes me do I become normal? The doctors don't even know, my psychiatrist has given up since meds don't work.

My husband is frustrated and upset, partially because he can't help and partially because he doesn't understand that I can't just make myself happy and useful and functional. I feel like a horrible mom because I am so emotionally fractured I can't even have proper emotional reactions towards my kids.

Often I'm too numb to take care of anyone, especially myself. I forget to eat or shower or drink anything all day. I just am numb and I lay there with the music turned up, trying to feel the music.

On good days I can pass for normal..that's all it is though, passing. I will smile a bit, go for a walk with my family, hug my son's, cook a meal..but I still feel fractured and empty. I have no real identity, I am who people need me to be.

I start therapy again this week, this one specializes in BPD, maybe she will understand for once. Most likely though it will just be more judgements. My life has been one nonstop judgement since I was small.

I was the odd kid that wanted to sit and read my fantasy books not do sports like dad expected, so I got called fat and lazy. Then in school I got judged for wanting to learn, I was teachers pet and loser.

As I got older it turned into ugly, freak, weirdo. Then I turned to drugs and sex. I transformed into the life of the party and self medicated with liquor and drugs and nonstop sex. I needed to feel beautiful and wanted. In the end it made me feel used and worthless.

Then I met my husband, he actually did make me feel beautiful and wanted. He loves me, we made to adorable kids who also love me. I cheated on him over and over, self destructing and dissociative.

Never believed he really meant that he loved me and my messed up mind decided to go elsewhere to find acceptance and warmth. Which lead to self hatred and more suicide attempts.

Now, I can't hardly be intimate with the man who has stayed with me through nine years of me psychotically screwing him over because all I feel is guilt and self loathing. I'm not good enough to be loved or touched by him. My family begs me to be normal. Why can't I be normal? Why don't I just try harder?

They don't understand that I fight everyday just to stay alive and be near them. Some say this disorder isn't treatable. That my personality is just broken and can't be repaired. I refuse to believe that, if that's true then why keep fighting?

No. I can be helped, I can get better. I just need time, patience, understanding, love, compassion. I need friends that don't run and doctors that don't give up. I need to look in the mirror and see a warrior not a shell.

I help others on a daily basis, to feel better, to learn more, to understand themselves. So why can't I figure out this illness? I'm a borderline….on the edge between sanity and the abyss of the insane.

This is my life. Welcome to the madhouse.


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