At the very core of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder, in our reality there is a longing, a yearning, a need to be understood. People tell us we are manipulative, selfish, needy, and clingy and we can never get enough of what we are seeking. Our motive is not manipulation. ‘Manipulation’ is a way to categorize the way we approach things. Rather, it is our desire, a deep desire to have unconditional acceptance and love by those who know us.
In order for that to take place, you need to come into our world in order to understand. Just as you need to understand a child with Autism, those of us with BPD have certain perspectives and parts of our personalities and thought processes you will never grasp if you do not have an understanding of those parts and try to love us. We don't want those parts, we didn't ask for them and just like the child with Autism, we struggle to find our way, to explain our way in a world that stigmatizes and categorizes us.
Yes, we have a dark side. We also have a side that is light, loving, loyal, and generous to a fault. We want you to be happy. We want you to love us back. The pain we feel when we are misunderstood or hurt others because our motives aren’t clear is enough to make us take our own life. That is our reality. Because we can't handle that pain, we act out in different ways to try to get rid of it. Whether it's harming ourselves or others, giving in to our addictions in an attempt to self soothe; we just want it gone. It is a pain that others cannot understand who have not walked this path. It rules us, defines us and makes our lives hell.
We try to adjust and make ourselves respond normally to situations that overwhelm us. We want to be and act the way you want us to, and we try so hard. Our loved ones walk away though in frustration leaving us with the pain. It is up to us to try our best to change and adapt ourselves to the norms of society. A society that is foreign and scary to us. We don't ever mean to hurt you if you love us. If anything we love you too much, it's too big, it's too much to handle. We will go to the ends of the earth to show our love for you but it is often misconstrued.
To you we are over the top, too much, our ways are too grandiose for you to consume. What we feel is wanting good for another people see as manipulation and trying to force ourselves, our needs and our wants on you. Like a big happy dog, filled with joy and love, we are all over you, licking, jumping, and asking for total attention. We retreat with our tail between our legs, realizing that we are too much.
The other disorders that cloud our minds, like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar, Depression or Panic Anxiety Disorder blend into our efforts to make us even more misunderstood. The medications we take have a way of changing us also. We don't recognize ourselves. In the ocean of confusion we face day to day, we seek that one thing that will anchor us to us. Yet, there is no such thing as stability in our lives. There is no such thing as peace. We are so used to the turmoil that we give in to it.
All I ask, on behalf of all of us fighting this fight and trying to please you, to be understood, and exist with you, is that you try to understand us and how God created our brains. The path is long and hard and I would not want to be you on the journey any more than I want to be me. Yet without your understanding, we cannot coexist. It is sad and heartbreaking that we cannot give back to you what you want. That part of us, never developed and does not exist in US in our brain. We can't know something we never knew.
Therefore, we rely on you to teach us and lead us to that place that makes sense. Those of us with BPD will have glimpses and snippets at times, of what it feels like to process things the way you do. However, it will never be our norm. We lack the capacity for consistency. This angers you and frustrates you. Us too. With my very last breath, I vow to help others understand our journey. No matter what that means, no matter the sacrifice, whatever it takes, I will fight for understanding for those of us with Borderline Personality.
With you on the journey, Alice