The label of Borderline Personality Disorder can lead to all sorts of misconceptions. I touched on this a little bit in my last post but today I’m struggling a little bit with this one. Most people have this belief that those who are diagnosed with BPD are hateful, manipulative, always looking for attention. They think we are filled with drama and many of our actions are done on purpose to hurt those around us. This simply isn’t the case. Individuals with BPD tend to feel everything, all at once. To explain to someone what it is like to be able to feel immense love and intense hate at the same time is next to impossible.
And yet there are so many positive traits to BPD that people fail to see:
We are resilient. If you know someone with BPD, you can bet they’ve been through the wringer, battling things like drug and alcohol addictions, self-injury, thoughts of suicide, and eating disorders. In addition, the majority of us are also trauma survivors. If non-borderline people were given a day to walk in our shoes and feel the emotions, thoughts, and urges we experience on a daily basis, we’d soon be regarded as warriors. Living with BPD is a full-time job. If you consider how much borderlines accomplish on top of managing their symptoms, you would see that our survival is nothing short of miraculous on most days.
We are empathetic. The internal and external turmoil borderlines face leaves us poised to empathize with those in similar situations. Once we learn effective coping skills, we can pass them on and advise those who remain stuck in the muck of the disorder, or simply offer advise to those around us who may be struggling with their own demons.
We are creative. High emotional intensity needs a release. Once borderlines learn to manage their emotions, they’re able to channel their intensity into creative endeavors.
We are intuitive. Borderlines notoriously pick up on other people’s emotional states quickly and, often, inadvertently. This tendency is generally learned in childhood when sensitivity is coupled with an unpredictable environment. Our intuitive natures may overwhelm us, but should be regarded as a gift. We’re more aware of people in distress and can treat them accordingly instead of accidently bulldozing over their pain.
We are passionate and loyal. Getting on an unskilled borderline’s bad side can cause a world of problems, but when someone with BPD loves you, they love you deeply. Yes, many of us struggle with attachment and fears of abandonment, but these are ultimately unskilled manifestations of our love. On our good days, we are lively, funny, and intelligent. The more skilled we become, the more these qualities tend to dominate our personalities.
The media paints a terrible picture of those with BPD and the stigma has stuck for decades. Only by spreading awareness and not being afraid to talk about borderline personality disorder will we shed the stigma, and open up the eyes of those around us to what the disorder truly means, which is simply emotional dysregulation due to trauma experienced as early as childhood coupled with poor coping skills due to this trauma.
This is all I got for now. I have therapy in two days so hopefully more will come to me because as of right now, I really don’t feel like talking this week.