In anticipation of the night I was excited to see you But then we met And the look you gave me said it all without saying anything at all I had warned you I had changed But you refused to believe it and held onto an idealistic image of me in your head Worthless small talk ensued Even though there was nothing left to say Your body language screamed: “Get the fuck away from me” But a small trickle of hope cemented my feet to the ground next to you And then a sorry excuse trickled from your lips And you left me stranded that night
It was April of 1996 and I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 3 months after he had grown distant from me. I was in a world of despair and teenage angst and longed to no longer exist. I was feeling this rush of intense sadness as I was walking home from school. I looked at the cars on the street and thought about how easy it would be to end my sadness if I got run over by one. As I was alone in my thoughts, I stopped paying attention as I crossed the street and wasn’t aware that a car was coming. It stopped within inches of hitting me and the driver honked at me and yelled at me. I continued to walk in shock of what had just happened. I didn’t know then but I would be walking into many more BPD episodes like this one.
Fast forward to the summer of 2021 and I’m 40, the mother of 3 kids, work 2 jobs, and have a complicated love life. I decide to go back to therapy due to some recent trauma and driving anxiety. I do a 3 hour assessment and when the feedback comes back, it’s there on my concept map: I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I expected the driving phobia but the new diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder was definitely unexpected.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
According to Mayo Clinic, “Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is amental health disorder that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life. It includes self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions and behavior, and a pattern of unstable relationships.“
What are the signs and symptoms?
An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel
Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all
Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship
Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety
Ongoing feelings of emptiness
Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights
Causes for Borderline Personality Disorder:
Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental health disorders among family members.
Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.
Risk Factors include:
Hereditary predisposition. You may be at a higher risk if a close relative — your mother, father, brother or sister — has the same or a similar disorder.
Stressful childhood. Many people with the disorder report being sexually or physically abused or neglected during childhood. Some people have lost or were separated from a parent or close caregiver when they were young or had parents or caregivers with substance misuse or other mental health issues. Others have been exposed to hostile conflict and unstable family relationships.
Learning about this disorder has been overwhelming and also life changing. Some of my friends didn’t think it was possible for me to have BPD because I’m too nice. I was also kind of in denial at first until I did the research and thought damn, my life finally makes sense to me. I’ve been coping with intense emotions since I could remember and have a pattern of risky and impulsive behavior and sometimes self sabotaging my own success and romantic relationships. One minute my mood can shift from happy and joyful to full on anger and sadness if I am triggered by feelings of rejection, abandonment, being criticized or judged. I also have a tendency to villainize people if I feel threatened by them. Also, when I feel like my life is “too normal” or “too boring”, I seek out an adrenaline rush and create chaos.
Throughout the years, I’ve leaned some healthy coping mechanisms like journaling, writing poetry or blogging, exercising, mediocre dancing and singing. I’ve also had some unhealthy mechanism like drinking, binge shopping, binge eating, having sex for only validation purposes. I’d like to think that I’ve gotten better with time because I’ve become more self aware of myself and my need to survive not only for my myself but also for my kids.
I’m hopeful that with this new diagnosis of BPD and therapy, I’ve have way better coping mechanisms to become a better version of myself. I’m hopeful that going on this new journey, I’ll not only be surviving but I’ll be thriving. I also hope that I heal the girl in the picture above who was a teenager trying to find love for within the arms of a any dude because she didn’t know how to love herself.
I wrote this on January 1st, 2003 about this dude that I hooked up with a week prior. I was upset about John and of course wanted to escape from my feelings of rejection. So I started once again seeking validation from men and ended up hooking up with some guy from the bar.
The night I met you I was drunk and blue Because of that impossible love Who said I wasn’t good enough So I decided to drink my pain away and then you came my way With your charming and smooth manner I should’ve known you were a player But you told me everything That I wanted to believe in How you had never met anyone like me And that you wanted us to be It sound almost too good to be true But i was feeling lonely too So i decided to give in to you Afterwards you promised to call But instead you went awol And many days later I sit here In a river of foolish tears Wondering why why why I always fall for the same false lines
I wrote this in January of 2003 about John. Guess I was still mad at the rejection I felt when he ghosted me.
If I was nothing more Than another girl Why couldn’t you have been straight Instead of acting in an enamored way And made me really believe You truly care for me but I should have known all along that you’d be the same jerk song Hopefully one day I’ll learn to stop taking all you crooked turns
I wrote this about John in 2002 when he ghosted me. I really liked him so I was really sad. Feelings of worthlessness came up and it was hard to not feel so shitty.
Our love has ended I know There’s nothing more to say To make you stay We were too different, you said I guess I was just too damn naive To think someone like you Could fall in love with an ordinary girl like me
Today is National Getting Over It day and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it than by sharing my ANGRY AF playlist. A huge part for me getting over something tragic in my life is to get angry. And when I get angry, it’s almost like a volcano eruption. This is actually pretty healthy for me because I’ve felt that at times, anger has saved me from feeling all of my sadness at once which for me can get really overwhelming right away. I can even say that Anger has probably saved me from spiraling into an abyss of sadness that would be hard to crawl out of. In other words, anger has helped me survive whatever trauma has come my way. I used to be so ashamed of being angry because of how it would turn me into the most self absorbed and reactive person. I don’t feel that way anymore because I’ve learned how to better manage my anger. Instead of drinking or hooking with random dudes because I’m angry; I exercise or write while I listen to music. Most of the songs in this list are geared more towards someone going through a breakup because that is when my anger comes out the most. Thanks, BPD. Lol. In bold are my favorite songs from this list.
For the Brokenhearted: I’m ANGRY AF Edition (the only where you scream out the lyrics):
FUCK YOU, GOODBYE-The Kid LAROI , Machine Gun Kelly
SELFISH-The Kid LAROI
SAME ENERGY- The Kid Laroi
good 4 u-Olivia Rodrigo
Cute Without the “E” (Cut from the Team)-Taking Back Sunday
Sugar, We’re Going Down-Fall Out Boy
Tell that Mick He Just Made My List of Things To Do Today-Fall Out Boy
The Patron Saint of Liars and Fakes-Fall Out Boy
Better Than Revenge -Taylor Swift
You Oughta Know-Alanis Morissette
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together-Taylor Swift
Stronger Than Me-Amy Winehouse
Death by a Thousand Cuts-Taylor Swift
Look What You Made Me Do-Taylor Swift
Your Name Hurts-Hailee Steinfeld
Great Romances of the 20th Century-Taking Back Sunday
Lying Is The Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Her Clothes Off- Panic! At the Disco
BEST FOR ME-The Kid LAROI
I Bet You Think About Me-Taylor Swift
This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things-Taylor Swift
Head Club-Taking Back Sunday
Screaming Infidelities-Dashboard Confessional
Sue Me-Sabrina Carpenter
Below are links to the playlist for your listening pleasure:
This was another poem about Paul. The first guy that would break my heart via email. I still don’t understand what was so hard about picking up the phone. Then, again, I might be a hypocrite saying that. Lol.
I need to be alone right now was your excuse Never your intention to hurt me Was what you said I’m still in love with her was what you meant Meaningless piece of ass was what I meant to you
I wrote this in November of 2001 after “the great breakup” of that year. To say I was pissed is an understatement. I don’t even know if angry is a strong enough word to accurately describe what I was feeling after that breakup. LOL.