Living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is like being trapped in a labyrinth of emotions and instability. It is a struggle not only against external circumstances, but also against one’s own mind. As someone who has personally navigated the treacherous waters of BPD, I want to share my story.
This is a raw and honest account of my journey, filled with moments of despair, self-discovery and ultimately resilience.
My Journey with Borderline Personality Disorder: The Early Years
From a young age, I felt a constant whirlwind of emotions inside me, an intensity that felt foreign to me. I have a neutral family, my parents and a sister who is six years younger. I spent two years of my childhood away from my parents, at my grandmother’s village home in Punjab and those were the only golden days in my life, filled with childhood innocence and lack of understanding of complicated topics. Then, both my parents got stable government jobs at high positions and at the drop of the hat, my lifestyle was snatched when we moved to New Delhi. I lost my confidence that day, my nani (maternal granny). I didn’t know Hindi and it was a rough challenge for this four years old to make new friends or even talk with others in school in a different language.
On worst note, I wore thick glasses, went to school with an oily head and my desi Punjabi accent became the talk of the school, both among students and teachers. My Bengali class teacher who couldn’t understand P of Punjabi deteriorated all my marks. I began feeling like a loser. Oh, trust me, I was a bright child. As my nani was a school teacher herself, she used to take me to the village school. I learnt counting before learning how to walk. I knew how to add and subtract by the age of two. I didn’t need a proof of report card to tell me my worth but seeing all “Bs” was not what I expected either.
Later, I tried to maintain stable relationships and often alternated between idealizing and demonizing people in my life. My emotions were out of control and I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster that never seemed to end. I learnt to wear a mask on the outside, a facade carefully crafted to hide my inner turmoil. I had perfected the art of fusion even when my mind was in chaos.
Afraid of Abandonment, I Become a People Pleaser
My connection with my parents was weak. They both are busy professionals who earn in lakhs. The only memory I have of them is fighting, domestic violence, the slaps and taunts, the locked rooms and the hidings. I don’t think I ever connected with anyone on a deeper level in childhood, especially not my mother who’d announce my small secrets in her rage. My father, he was just like a bank to me, nothing else.
I was afraid of abandonment so I became a people pleaser and always put the needs of others before my own. I made friends, it got toxic. I made boyfriends, I was left feeling used. I befriended teachers and school psychologists and somehow started enjoying studies more than social interactions in real life. Behind closed doors I would crumble under the weight of my emotions, feeling isolated and misunderstood.
This real life story is a part of Survivor Story at Health Views Online. By sharing these stories, we aim to shed light on the resilience and strength that individuals possess, even in the face of adversity. These accounts provide a platform for survivors to voice their experiences, offering solace, guidance, and inspiration to those who may be navigating similar challenges. We encourage you to explore more stories in our Survivor's Story section, as it continues to grow with narratives that capture the breadth and depth of human triumph. Remember, everyone's journey is unique, and by listening to these stories, we can cultivate compassion and foster a greater understanding of the human condition.
And Then it Shifted Towards Self Harm…
Self- harm was my daily ritual by the age of sixteen. On my sister’s sixth birthday, my parents gifted her with love-birds or call them parakeets. There were four of them, a pair of green and yellow. Jojo became my first best-friend. She was the reason I got excited in my dull routine life. I used to be thrilled about coming back home. I felt like I had a life. On 23rd October 2017, 11:33 pm, she became the first one to die. I felt helpless. She was suffering. I begged them to take her to a vet. They excused themselves. Instead, my mom claimed, “Stop being dramatic, it’s not like you haven’t eaten any bird before”.
My body looked calm compared to how tangled my mind was and that crepuscule, I made two important decisions. First of all, there is no deity, and all those who chant its name are just some nincompoops. Second of all, I will be a vegan no matter what. Nobody should suffer because of me, especially the most vulnerable souls- the animals. In the following two years, I lost sixteen lovebirds, my pet mice, my squirrel, my bee, it was a lot.
In grade eighth already, a guy from my school began sexually abusing me, touching and molesting.
I felt too weak to utter a word. I had no voice. School, friends and my parents didn’t get the slightest idea of him. Finally, I had enough and borrowed a blade from my senior and began cutting myself in the school washroom. I had a bleeding arm but the dark navy blue coat was good enough to hide the strains. Soon in the years, cutting myself on arms and legs became my daily ritual. I purchased many cutters. I began burning them to give myself more pleasure. This is how I restricted the pain in my head.
Diagnosing and Living Optimistically With Borderline Personality Disorder
After years of confusion and internal struggles, I finally sought professional help. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and high anxiety – an explanation for the chaos that engulfed my life. Although I was relieved to have a name for my struggles, accepting the diagnosis was not easy. It meant facing the reality that I was different, that my mind worked differently than others.
The road to recovery was far from linear.
I have hit rock bottom many times, succumbing to self-destructive behaviors and toxic relationships. Pain became my only constant companion and hope seemed like a distant dream. Somedays, I used to feel so strong and on top of the universe. The first thing I did after the diagnosis was to look for the pros of having this disorder. My versatile ego was boomed when I got to know that only highly intelligent people with IQ of 130+ are prone to it. I began looking for its optimistic side to ignore the downfalls.
The Good Side of BPD (Yes!)
In the later run, I explored some of the benefits of BPD and shed light on the hidden strengths that lie within individuals who experience this complex disorder. One of the characteristic features of BPD is the intensity of the emotions experienced. While this intensity can be overwhelming, it also means that individuals with BPD have a deep capacity for empathy and compassion. They can relate to the emotions of others on a deep level, offering support and understanding that is often unparalleled. This emotional depth can foster meaningful connections and make them incredible friends, partners, and advocates.
I started my own pages and channels to get more people to talk to me. I felt the need to make an impact, even if it was small. At night, I would become a psychologist without a degree and in the morning, I would stress, get panic attacks and live a dual natured life. It went to a point where I had to beg my parents for actual therapy.
The Importance of Therapy in My Journey With Borderline Personality Disorder
Therapy became my lifeline, a safe space where I could untangle the tangled web of my emotions and thoughts. With the guidance of an experienced therapist, I dug deep into my past and explored the roots of my BPD. It was painful and challenging, but it allowed me to better understand myself and the triggers that fueled my emotional instability.
One of the most important aspects of my recovery was building a support system. I reached out to my loved ones, began realising that not always the things I was assuming in my mind were right, explained my problems and educated them about BPD, even if they took a minute interest. I took long social media breaks, cut people out of my life and a few came back along and some left for good. I still am trying to make my life with my parents a little more reasonable. My mother does realise her mistakes sometimes but I still do feel so broken to love her the way any normal teenager should. Nine days out of ten, I feel incapable of being loved or as if anyone can ever settle with me. Often, I just feel like a trashbag who can’t be decomposed.
Learning Coping Mechanism
Through therapy, I learned different coping mechanisms to manage my emotions and impulses. Mindfulness and grounding techniques became my allies and helped me stay present and focused in moments of anxiety. I have also discovered the power of creative avenues such as writing and painting that allow me to express my emotions in a healthy and productive way.
My psychologist told me that BPD is often associated with increased creativity. The emotional roller coaster experienced by individuals with BPD can inspire artistic expression in various forms such as writing, painting, music, or acting. Creativity becomes a powerful outlet for channeling intense emotions, transforming pain into beauty. Many renowned artists, musicians and writers have drawn inspiration from their own experiences with mental health issues, including BPD.
Individuals with BPD often have a heightened sense of self awareness and are intensely attuned to their surroundings. Living with this condition takes immense strength and resilience. The ability to bounce back from setbacks, learn from experiences and keep moving forward is a testament to their inner strength. Through therapy and personal growth, individuals with BPD can use this resilience to overcome challenges, transform their lives, and inspire others along the way.
While the emotional intensity can be challenging, individuals with BPD often develop a unique skill set for navigating and adapting to emotions. They become experts at understanding their own emotional landscape and can learn to regulate and manage their responses. Individuals with BPD often desire deep and meaningful connections. While this can be challenging at times, it also means they have a deep capacity for intimacy and vulnerability.
Recovering and Healing One Day at a Time….
Recovery from BPD is an ongoing process and growth is not always linear. Along the way I stumbled, experienced setbacks and relapses. But every failure taught me valuable lessons and allowed me to become stronger. I have accepted that my journey is unique and comparing it to others only hinders my progress. As of today, I am beginning to forgive my parents and asking for their forgiveness too. Slowly, I have realized that I have been a nuisance too and they have provided my every physical needs all these years and still do. After all, I am grateful that I am alive because of them. I am looking for ways to have my confidence in them, healing is a slow process yet the most winsome.
As I continue on my journey, I have discovered a newfound purpose, like, to use my experience to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding Borderline Personality Disorder. I advocate for mental health while caring for my own needs and share my story in hopes of inspiring others who may be trapped in the same labyrinth and ripple of change in the world . With my words, I try to provide comfort and support to those who feel alone!
Also Read: 10 Simple Tips to Be Happy in Life
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