A BPD extreme cry for help – Rage, Anger, Splitting and Panic (or Getting into a pub brawl and a night in the police cells)


Image credit: Cecee @ deviantart.com

This is a true, personal account of a recent night out that turned bad, very bad and how in such a panic to get some ‘real’ help for my BPD I made an already bad situation into something even worse…

*Trigger warning* – there is discussion of self-harm attempts in this post and bad language.

Thursday was a bad day with physio on my knee at 9am, therapy session at 1.30pm and then I had a biopsy for cervical cancer at 3pm. To say I was an emotional wreck after all that is an understatement.

When I got home from the hospital my kids were waiting for my ex to pick them up to go for dinner with him and I didn’t want to end up seeing him in the state I was in because he cares ‘too much’ and his overly sympathetic, pampering would have upset me further and worse of all he would want to ‘talk’ which drives me crazy how much talking he does now, when I needed it in the past to ‘help’ our relationship I couldn’t get him to talk but since I told him I was moving out (and ever since) he talks my ears off and pushes me to talk too, even when I have nothing to say. So, I had to get away from my house, but I knew I needed to be around people so I went to the place where we all hang out – the pub.

My closest friends there were not in that day (which was not good either) it just happened the day I needed them most they were all working late shifts at work so I couldn’t see any of them. It was now about 5pm and I hadn’t really eaten anything other than a snack all day. Other friends were there but they are not so close and supportive/helpful. I started out not drinking alcohol as I wasn’t sure it was a good idea to drink in the mood I was in (low). But later one of my closer friends did come in and encouraged me to have a drink to unwind, and at first it did help. But, foolishly I kept on drinking double shots all evening.

At some point in the evening a guy I have had an on-off thing with over the past year came into the pub and as usual the chemistry between us was high – despite him trying hard to keep a distance for once.

We moved on to another late bar after the pub closed around midnight and I ended up spending about an hour chatting with this guy while still drinking.

I often felt that the emotional connection with this guy must not be strong as his changeable behaviour from wanting me to being dismissive behaviour had never been a trigger for my BPD emotions before.

The conversation was frustrating, exciting and annoying all at once, it was like talking to a mirror, I realised he was exhibiting ‘splitting’ one of my BPD traits, only whereas mine has time delays his was within seconds.

One minute he would be saying great things that made me feel he considered me an angel he adores, followed almost instantly by nasty, scathing hurtful comments that brought tears to my eyes and made me feel he hates me.

In the end I was becoming so angry I stormed off, which was a good thing, if only I hadn’t stopped outside the bar, turned round and gone back.

I ran at him and started throwing punches like some fighter from a cage fighting match (onlookers later told me I launched at him like a professional boxer!) after landing a number of punches on him that sent him flying between tables the door staff came over at which point I just held my hands up and left.

It was this that made me realise he had gotten to a part of me no-one ever has before, the deepest emotion I bury, anger, non-one has ever hurt me enough to stimulate an outburst of rage like this where I have physically attacked them! I also really felt something else too, that he has BPD too, is this why our chemistry and constant splitting has been so intense over the past year? Because we are so alike?

Once outside the bar I collapsed on the floor in tears, I have never (since I was a child) lashed out at anyone like that before. I was devastated and wanted to die, how could I hit someone!?

While curled up in a ball outside the bar some drunk yobbo decided it would be funny it sit on my head. The door staff immediately dragged the bloke away and told him to ‘leave the poor girl alone’ but it was too late, he had made me snap again, I leapt up and ran for him screaming something about him ‘being a cunt’ and ‘picking on girls’ and ‘come back here if you think you’re so hard’ the door staff blocked me getting to him and his mates (all of these being people I did not know) tried to get him in the taxi as he tried to come back for me yelling ‘oh yeah, come on then’ which just made me launch again in a fighting stance, fists tight and bellowing ‘I’ll rip your heart out and eat it in front of you weedy little scum cunt!!’ luckily people stopped us from getting at each other or who knows what damage would’ve been done. But, the police were just over the road and the door staff decided to get them to come and have a word with me.

This is when things got even worse, the police were not very nice from the start – they obviously hate dealing with drunk people, only I wasn’t as drunk as I seemed, I was more upset and distressed than anything (along with the anger).

The patronizing, rude, arrogant way they spoke to me when I was now in full on ‘hate myself, want to die’ mode just provoked me further.

I yelled at them that ‘I’m not drunk I’m mental, I have borderline personality disorder and you need to section me under the mental health act before anything worse happens’ at this I was called a ‘stupid mare’ by one officer and another told me to ‘grow-up’.

I had found a broken plastic fork on the floor where I was sat and was now slicing at my wrist with this. The police decided they had had enough of me and wanted to cart me off home; they picked me up, handcuffed me and dragged me to their van.

I cried through the journey.

When we arrived at my home I wouldn’t get out of the van (they had found my address on ID in my bag). They got my son out to see if he could convince me to get out but by now I was convinced the only way to get the help I have been lacking for my BPD was if I got them to take me in and either assessed or sectioned or something.

I had now got my hands out of the handcuffs which royally pissed off the officers their comment being ‘how the fuck did you get out of those?’ and then shoving me down viciously (resulting in a grazed knee as I went down and bruised shoulder and forehead to go with the bruises on my arms where they had gripped me before) and replaced the handcuffs much tighter this time (I still attempted to get my hands out again which left them bruised and swollen as the cuffs dug in tightly).

Now mega pissed off with me they arrested me for drunk and disorderly and took me back to the station, during the whole ride I banged my head on the van in frustration and despair, which resulted in further abuse and insults from the officers and me yelling at them ‘You have no fucking idea you idiotic cunts, look up borderline personality disorder, and take some mental health awareness training, you wasters’ and repeating my request to be sectioned.

On arrival at the station, it was now about 2am I again became distraught at the officers interpretation of the events as he told the custody officer and tried to correct him, but the custody officer wouldn’t listen so I smashed my head into his desk at which point they yanked me straight into a cell and held me on the floor until all I could do was cry.

They released me once they had made me promise to just lay there. Then three female officers came in and I had to be strip searched due to now being a ‘suicide’ risk, all my clothes were taken away and I was given a padded top and shorts to wear.

They wanted me to remove my piercings and rings too but the rings wouldn’t budge due to my hands being so swollen from trying to get out of the handcuffs and I could not remove my piercings due to them being new.

I was then given a blanket and locked in the cell. A 7 by 9 foot yellow walled box, with a concrete slab bed sporting a blue plastic mattress and pillow, and a toilet in a sectioned off bit of the room, for which I could not figure out if there was a flushing mechanism when I needed to use it later.

I lay there for hours, not sleeping just wondering when I was going to see someone. Eventually the nurse came and took me for assessment, I explained about my BPD and not having any help and that was the only reason I was here rather than having been dropped home. She took notes, put a plaster on my knee and told me the doctor would see me in the morning. I was then taken back to my cell.

I had no idea of time as I lay waiting, unable to sleep or keep warm. I may have dozed briefly as I lay there but I never slept properly or for more than a few minutes.

Once in a while the slot in the door would open and I would be offered food and drink which I refused every time as I was not hungry or thirsty at all.

Sometimes I would press the button on the wall to call for attention to ask when the doctor was coming, it was a good job I didn’t need any urgent attention as it often took a very long time and many presses before someone came.

I was given another blanket at some point due to shivering so much when they asked if I wanted a drink.

Eventually the doctor came and he seemed uninterested in doing anything, he made a call to the crisis team (despite me already saying they wouldn’t do anything) and true to form they said there was nothing they could do as I’m not a patient, so it’s back to the GP again.

I laughed at him and said, well don’t expect me to speak to them cause I’ve been going to the point they are sick of seeing me and still I’m just on waiting lists as I have been since 2010 (takes the piss a bit, aren’t there supposed to be maximum waiting times on the NHS???) and I said I won’t see a GP again cause they are useless.

I was taken back to my cell and told they would speak to me shortly when the doctor had spoken to the custody sergeant.

After another long wait, I pressed the buzzer asking when I could go and this happened a number of times, each time I was told they were waiting for the doctor to call back; he was apparently trying to get something sorted for me…

Eventually I pressed the buzzer to ask if I could have my clothes back as I was so cold, at this point I was told that I could have them soon, when the female officer returned from her break and that they had just had the call from the doctor and had the crisis team number for me, so they would process me when the female officer was back and I would be released.

It must have been another half an hour before the female officer finally came with my clothes.

I was then taken through to have my DNA, fingerprints and photograph taken.

Finally at the front desk of the custody suite I was told they were issuing an £80 fixed penalty fine for drunk and disorderly, which meant I wouldn’t have a criminal record (slightly incorrect, my friend who is a PSCO said this penalty will show up on my record) and I was free to go, they would even drop me home.

I signed the penalty notice and signed for my property before being escorted out of the building where I got to have my first cigarette in 12 hours, yes, it was now 2pm.

I had been in the cell for 12 hours. Not interviewed, not questioned, no statement taken – just five minutes with a nurse and five minutes with a doctor, and for what? To leave with the number for the same crisis team that when I called them earlier this year told me to call my GP because they can only help people who are current patients!!??

I wanted help, and all I got was a goddamn fine… :/

24 comments on “A BPD extreme cry for help – Rage, Anger, Splitting and Panic (or Getting into a pub brawl and a night in the police cells)

  1. Hi,
    I have just discovered your blog and I read quite a few of them. I gotta say you have some really good stuff there

    About this particular blog, I give my heart out to you. First of all, because I know how it feels. In fact, I had a quite similar experience last week. I know that the way you acted had a deeper meaning to it. The anger you showed. The erratic behavior. They were signs of you being deeply hurt and wounded. I hope everything is alright now. If not, I hope they will be soon. Tomorrow sure is a better day

    I also have problems with anger and I know I need to heal that part. The thing is it can’t be heal if kept hidden. Sometimes the part of ours that we consider as a shame and defective isn’t actually that bad. All we have to do is give us as much compassion as we can. I see you as one great survivor.

    Again I knew I was acting different when I was angry. I was watching myself from a detached point. I think something triggered my brain and it perceived the comments ( or anything) as a potential threat. I was FURIOUS. And the person making the comment was my bf. He surely knows what ticks me off lol. So yea I certainly fought him; he didn’t fight back. But overall it was pretty fucked up. We both got hurt real bad.

    I rarely got angry to that degree with anyone. At that point, it was a matter of life and death to me. I don’t know why but I think I lost control over myself. Actually it’s not necessary to be like that. We get mad because we think something isn’t fair and we want to prove something. But what if our brain gives out a wrong signal? It is possible. However emotions come faster than thoughts. In that moment we are just really emotional and acting based on impulses.

    My bf and I don’t have BPD but we are all human after all. We have all sorts of flaws and imperfections. We “normal people” can be extremely destructive at times. In life, shit just happens regardless how much we try to prevent. But the good thing is we can learn something from it right?

    • Hi TTT,

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

      Yes, the hurt was very deep. I never normally express anger outwardly, taking it out on myself instead. Indeed, many people have said to me that my angry outburst was far from being part of my BPD, it was actually aa very ‘normal’ response to a very harsh trigger. I’m still trying to figure out the lesson to be learned in this one, but I’m sure once it becomes clear to me it will help me stop making the same mistakes again!

  2. That sounds like a really tough ordeal that you went through with being locked in a cell. It’s so so inadequate and unacceptable that you’re not able to access help and support for your BPD. x

  3. That is terrible, and I have found myself very angry and uncontrollable alot of times. After getting drunk hundreds of times and trying to self diagnose, I after pushing and trying to get help am going to my assessment for a new day clinic at Guys hospital. It is a intensive treatment in a day clinic, 3 days a week for 40 weeks. Where do you live? Is it possible for your local mental health team to help? Thinking of you at this tough, sad, angry and frustrating time. maxine. x

    • Hi Maxine, Thank you. I’m in Redditch, just outside Birmingham, unfortunately I fall in an area with very poor Mental Health coverage. I’m looking at seeing if there is more I can access privately but then even that seems limited :(

  4. That sounds awful. People complain about the US healthcare system, but there’s NO WAY they would have let you go home like that. You would have been sectioned and placed into a hospital as a suicide risk. I am so sorry you had to go through this! I hope you are doing better today than you were that day.

    • Thank you. I guess in one way it was good that I wasn’t sectioned (according to my therapist for someone with my condition getting sectioned in the UK would have destroyed me) I’m still in a huge mess currently and the self-destruct button has been pressed several times more with various consequences. Some how though I am still here to fight another day, and it sure is a constant battle! :(

  5. amazing post. i know very well how hard it is to share something like this, something so honest and personal, and i thank you for allowing us that glimpse inside.
    each day is something different, and i hope that today is a good one for you.

    you are an amazing woman. take care.

  6. I’m so sorry about that
    just 3 months ago, I was feeling very bad. I called my doctor, and for the first time, I admit I was suicidal and scared. She blamed me, saying that I’m clever and clever people don’t think about suicide, and she sent me back home. They don’t know all the harm they are doing. I stopped my treatment that day, and promised myself no more doctors

  7. Hey Sharon, I’m really astounded and outraged at the way you have been treated, this sounds like a terrible ordeal, I can’t begin to imagine how isolated, frustrated and helpless you must have felt. You are already under a great amount of pressure on a daily basis with your health, your children and your ex-partner, never mind being treated like a criminal by the police, which you clearly DID NOT deserve, no matter how unreasonable they deemed your behaviour to be. Again, lack of understanding, awareness has only led to yet another vulnerable person being vindicated. When will it end? When will they listen?

    You alerted them to the fact that you had a mental illness. They should have admitted you to A & E to see if you needed sectioning, or just a few days of time out, you have great strength and I imagine after a few days you would be able to process and feel more like yourself, you’ve worked so hard to deal with your illness by yourself. Where you admit you needed to be sectioned bought tears to my eyes, especially more so given the police’s discriminatory response. I imagine if a psychiatrist assessed you he would probably recommend rest and not sectioning, but when we’re in that state, and we’ve hurt ourselves or others, and we are distraught, we feel that we need to be locked up (in a hospital, not a f**in jail…) after the storm passes, we need support, not a police fine.

    Yes they have to deal with drunk people, a lot, that is not an excuse for the way you were treated. You were aware of what the real problem was, your disorder, and that you needed help. They refused to listen to you, imagine if you had attempted suicide under their care? I feel this is a frightening example of how mental health sufferers are not assessed or treated with respect or dignity, because of a difficulty to express themselves, especially under times of great stress.

    Thanks for posting so honestly about this, it must have been incredibly difficult but I think it’s really important your voice is heard – there will be others out there that have no way of speaking for themselves. Good on you for surviving this and still being able to accept it and inform others about your experience. You’re a fighter gal, a busy fighter gal, your spirit in times of such adversity is such a strength and a great inspiration and comfort to others (not that you are going through this – just that we aren’t alone)

    I hope that the future begins to stabilise for you and you find some peace. Sending lots of love and well wishes gal xxx

    • Hi Chrissy, Thank you for your kind words. Indeed it was appalling the way I was treated, I think they just didn’t believe what I was saying :( The self-harm I carried out in front of them should have been enough to show I was not just drunk, and my friend who is a PCSO said they should have done a vulnerable person assessment. Unfortunately there is no point complaining about it because it is literally my word against theirs (and as my friend says, they will just close ranks and it will go nowhere). I can only hope that by writing about it that if others like me think the police will help they will know better now and stay away from them! As always I have coped alone with this and the aftermath, I still have not heard from my GP even though they told me he would be in touch (I knew I wouldn’t hear from him!). This is a battle I have (and will) have to continue on my own, but sometimes the strength just isn’t there to keep fighting to survive every single day :( the rest of the time I just keep on trying as best I can and sharing my experiences here in the hope it helps others :) I hope that things improve for you too, lots of love xxx

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