Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) has one of thte highest mortality rates of any mental illness. 1 in 10 people with BPD will die from suicide, complications from the disease, or reckless actions. I suffer from BPD and I have met and lived with many people who suffer. The most popular question people ask when I tell them about my experience with the disease is, “Can you love a borderline? Can a borderline love me?”
Borderline’s often struggle with intense and unstable relationships. It’s written in our DNA and supplemented by our environment. We are constantly looking for reasons to believe in real or imagined abandonment. We will push away the people we love most for their own safety. We believe that we are contagious, harmful, and unworthy of your love. We are the only ones who hear our thoughts that we can’t control and dig into our judgement. We are protective, especially when it comes to protecting you from ourselves.
Our emotions are intense and short-lived. Without therapy and medicine, our emotion regulation skills are often nonexistent. When we care about something (be it a person, animal, project, etc.) we will devote our life to it but not our forever. We often lose interest in time, sometimes it’s five minutes and other times it’s five years. If we were a product in a store, we would be in the “impulse buy section” right by the counter. We bring you immediate satisfaction, but we don’t last.
To understand how we love, you need to understand how we feel about ourselves. Borderline is characterized by poor self-esteem and poor impulse control. Every borderline feels different about themselves, we are still people with personality traits and no two of us are the same, but we all have similarities.
Personally, I am extremely cocky and I know I’m hot, fun to be with, exciting, hilarious, and cool. These are my favorite traits and are the ones I like to show off. I also know I’m conceded, manipulative, mean, impulsive, and extremely hard to deal with. When these traits are shown and you see my weak spots I will choose to protect you by pushing you away. Those who see me beyond my disease, see that I’m non-judgemental, understanding, caring, loyal, creative, and unconditionally loving.
BPD is crippling, it’s like having a 70lb weight attached to your ankle. We work twice as hard to get half the way and we can see the facts in a situation but our chemicals tell us we are wrong, ignorant, ugly, stupid, and not to be trusted. When you hear those words daily from your very own brain, it’s hard to see differently. Many people find it hard when a person they love puts themselves down, but somehow, we survive and we thrive. We will be the laughter behind your smile, the confidence whispering in your ear, and the unconditional love you deserve. You just have to be willing to let us in.