I hate my BPD.

bpd_crazy

Sometimes my BPD rears its ugly head. It comes off as narcissism to people who don’t understand. I don’t always understand it either, and because impulsivity is a factor, when I act out in Borderline ways, I’m not even always aware at the time I’m doing it. Sometimes it doesn’t become clear to me until it’s pointed out to me later, and then I’m all, “Oh my God, what have I done?”
Then I beat myself up with guilt and shame, which is what I did today.

Even though I learned tools for handling my BPD when I was hospitalized (for Bipolar II) in 1996 and have found those tools helpful, sometimes it’s not enough and my BPD gets the best of me. I’ve been accused of being narcissistic before. I know I’m not a narcissist, but I can understand why some people might think so.

bpd_things

God, I really hate this disorder. Out of all my disorders, it’s the worst one. It trips me up so often and destroys friendships and makes people think they can’t trust me. Then it’s very hard to convince them I never had ill intentions, but acted impulsively out of whatever emotion at the moment was driving my behavior.

I think blogging was the first step in my recovery from narcissistic abuse, but I’ve reached a place where a lot of emotional garbage that was buried and frozen because of my PTSD is coming up to the surface and it HURTS A LOT. I just wanted to cry all day. I didn’t but I wanted to.

I will still blog of course (I don’t plan to ever stop either), but my BPD is showing more and I think all the weird emotions I’m feeling that I can’t understand are becoming too much for me to handle alone anymore. It was suggested to me that I really need to seek counseling at this point. I know there are free or low cost mental health services in my area I could look into.

I hate my BPD. I wish it would just go away and stay away forever. It’s caused me and people I cared about so much misery. It’s destroyed so many friendships. I don’t want this anymore. I can live with my Aspergers and even enjoy it, but being a Borderline really sucks. 😦
Just one more way my FOO fucked me over…

“Coming out” about my BPD

Hand of a child opening a cupboard door

On November 22, 2014, I wrote an article about my daughter Molly (not her real name), who I suspected of having NPD due to having been used as a flying monkey by her father for many years. I prayed it was “just” BPD.

Last month she was evaluated and her Axis II diagnosis was Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). While BPD is a Cluster B disorder and shares a number of traits with narcissism, it’s more amenable to treatment because a Borderline does have a conscience and the ability to feel empathy–but their tendency to fly off the handle, their insecurity/neediness, and propensity to engage in self destructive activities that sometimes hurt others masks the fact they really aren’t bad people. My daughter actually has a huge heart and cries when she sees someone suffering or in pain, so it fits that NPD wasn’t her diagnosis. Still, I’m relieved she’s been officially cleared of it.

I was diagnosed with BPD myself in 1996. I have been hesitant to call attention to it on this blog or talk about it much, because of its close association with NPD and other “character disorders” like ASPD. At the time I was diagnosed I was in an inpatient psychiatric setting, where I was also diagnosed with Bipolar I (major depression with fewer or no manic episodes), generalized anxiety, PTSD, Avoidant PD (I didn’t know you could have two PD’s at once back then), and substance/alcohol abuse. At the time I was not diagnosed with Aspergers (that was much later, and I was self diagnosed at first).

I definitely had all the traits of a borderline, but in the hospital and in outpatient therapy following my stay, I learned ways to control my BPD traits, such as my tendency to fly off the handle easily, act impulsively without thinking how it would harm others, idealize/devalue people (black or white thinking), abuse drugs and alcohol, and generally coming off as being very self centered and oblivious to the needs of others.

DSM_borderline
Click to enlarge.

For a time back in the early 1980s I even test drove narcissism, but as an essentially empathic person who suffers from a lot of guilt and shame, and has no desire to hurt others, narcissism didn’t work for me, and I am so grateful for that (even though I became a codependent doormat instead).

In therapy, I remember a method we were taught called “turtling”–which basically means to imagine yourself as a turtle when you feel yourself about to act/react in Borderline, impulsive, or self destructive ways. Turtling calls for enough insight to recognize your feelings prior to acting on them. You imagine going inside your shell to think about things before you act. I remember in the hospital we made “turtle” totems to keep as reminders to always think before we acted and ask ourselves why we felt the way we did. I still have the little clay turtle I made. I remember also being given a workbook for people with BPD with many helpful exercises and activities to help us recognize and control our behavior. It did help me a lot.

clay_turtle

Today I don’t think I display many BPD traits, but I don’t think I’m cured either. When I’m very depressed, frightened or angry, those BPD traits pop back up like unwanted pimples. I still remember the lessons from my therapy and still look at my little turtle or a picture of a turtle to remind myself to go inside myself and not react until I think things through and process my feelings.

Because this is a blog for survivors of narcissistic abuse and many (if not most) survivors think of narcissists as demons or monsters, I was hesitant to talk about my BPD much, because it’s a Cluster B disorder and is so close to NPD in many ways. The disorders are easily confused with each other. A person with full blown BPD can seem very much like one with NPD, but for the Borderline, the motive behind their unpredictable and sometimes destructive behavior is fear of abandonment and insecurity. For the narc, it’s for obtaining supply. Some people seem to think of people with BPD as almost as bad as narcissists. Some of them are.

So that’s why I’ve been reluctant to talk about this. But again, from Day One I committed to honesty and I hope I won’t be judged too harshly for “coming out” as a person with BPD.

borderline
Borderline personality disorder.

My daughter, I’m happy to say, knows almost as much about narcissism as I do now, and has been reading my blog. She came across the above article where I speculated she might have NPD and she was so worried about that it made her cry. We had a long discussion about that. Since then, she has been improving a lot and says my blog has helped HER! She says she’s proud of me for having the courage to start this blog. And I have to say, I’m just as proud of her. Here’s my article describing how healing and emotional that talk we had was. I think we will both be just fine.

My next article, which I will write later today, will be about how malignant narcissists can transform a good person into an evil one. They can infect you with their illness. That’s another reason why they’re so dangerous.