This is a guest post written by Steve, fellow blogger and BPD sufferer. You can read more of Steve’s posts on his blog Life in the Realms of BPD
I’ve read some stuff recently about BPD and its sufferers written by people who have had the apparent displeasure of encountering sufferers in their lives. The descriptions were quite familiar, the push me pull you stuff, the highs and lows and the constant tension that can be soul destroying for anyone but is even more devastating when you don’t get the chance to turn it off, as it were.
The implication was we (those of us with BPD) are a type, in most of the articles there was an assumption that we were all women, which may be a statistical likelihood but far from a fact. These people seem to have experienced the very worst of our traits and decided they wouldn’t allow whoever it was they had encountered a chance to mitigate the situation with their diagnosis. They point to the commonly held view that we are not in fact suffering from BPD, this life destroying problem of ours is simply poor behavioural development and we are just immature attention seekers out for some undefined pay off for our actions. This is a powerful lobby at the moment and the need to counter it is somewhat missed by those in the know, it’s the old ignore them and they’ll go away defence that is typical of the academics who run the institute for psychiatrists and their counterparts, I’m sure they are all worthy and distinguished folks but they have to stand up and quell this idea, to do nothing adds fuel to their growing fire and could eventually lead the policy makers to side with them and destroy any hope of adequate help in the future.
These nay sayers aside the people writing these article, blogs and general chit-chat are trying to pigeon-hole our “kind” in the most ludicrous way, in my recent history I have had the pleasure of knowing up to a hundred fellow sufferers, some directly others through Facebook and the like and one thing I can state categorically, and this is my second go at this, is we are all very different from each other, we do share some traits of course that’s how we got diagnosed but in the very basic things we differ as much from each other as we do from the rest of the world. I have been accused of attention seeking myself, which is ironic when you consider that this came from my refusal to leave the house because I didn’t want to encounter other people at all, the accusation sits ok on my shoulders they are broad and well-balanced, I have a chip on both of them, but to some this is a knife to the chest and could cause more of the behaviour they are being castigated for. I don’t see anyone going on Jeremy Kyle or this morning bleating about their condition, this would be a form of attention seeking yes but it could also be a way of gaining recognition for the condition surely, we don’t accuse Cancer patients of attention seeking when they appear bald and underweight to highlight their plight for others, but then again we aren’t ill are we.
I do think I have been very difficult to live with, the compulsion to act can be very disturbing the impulsive behaviour would freak the most understanding person out I’m sure but luckily my wife and family recognise the truth, that they are the actions of a disordered mind, if this wasnt the case it would make me a very unpleasant and uncaring person who deserves the disdain, and I would say that the same could be said for many others in my position, if it was later proved this was all a farce it would cause lots of relationships to break down, it’s never going to happen, it’s not one but the point is yes we have and will do things that are unconscionable in the realms of normal life but we are far from it and shouldnt be held to the same yard stick as others, should we?
If I was to describe the way I am it would start with these words that are bandied about, attention seeker, selfish, manipulative and so on and so forth but if my wife was asked she wouldn’t even include these in her list. I know I’ve asked, yes she has a biased view, but she was exposed to the very worst our illness can offer short of actual violence and she was strong enough to stand firm in the face of these absurdities and see me for what I am, and I am not unique, well I am but so is everyone else, but in this I am one of the thousands and it is to my eternal gratitude I had her beside me not one of these petty name callers who have decided to take the very worst of a situation and use it as a stick to beat those less fortunate themselves with.
I do not discount the trauma they may have been through, I have said here on this very blog that I feel the family and friends of BPD sufferers are just as much victims in this as we are but there is a line they do not have to cross, we could be trite and call it the borderline, in this case between utter madness and sheer terror, this line is thankfully reserved for us and until they experience it they should be aware that its real and is the reason for all this “Bad Behaviour”.
When all is said and done we are on a journey, each of us and this particular part of it is harder than the rest, if we are lucky we will get the care and treatment required to see us through to the next phase, some will fall by the wayside, its sad but true and others will stay in this particular part for longer than is bearable but if we get the right care, not the handicap of name calling and judgements by those petty minded enough to not only think this drivel but actually go to the trouble of spreading it, if this is the level of care they prescribe for us then we may as well all just sign out now and let everyone carry on without us. I for one am saying no to this opinion, I will not stand by and let others make generalisations which, if were an ethnicity, would be called racist but in the world we’re in they are lauded as free thinkers who have seen through the veil of secrecy we have embroidered to hide our true nature, sorry to be so crude but I say Fuck em, they don’t know and never will.
- Blog Round Up – The Three C’s and BPD (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Which celebrities have Borderline Personality Disorder? (showard76.wordpress.com)
- How do I live with Borderline Personality Disorder? (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Returning to work after a BPD crisis (showard76.wordpress.com)
- BPD or not BPD that is the question (stevegoldsack.wordpress.com)
- *Trigger* – Thinking about self-harm (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Returning to work after a BPD crisis by Sharon (stevegoldsack.wordpress.com)
- ‘Borderline’ diagnoses (thefword.org.uk)
- Jade S.’s BPD Story (ontheborderlineblog.wordpress.com)
- BPD Did You Know (untreatableonline.com)
- BPD, a measure (stevegoldsack.wordpress.com)
- Deception and the Borderline Personality: What Could have Been? By Ronnie (risablairlovitz.wordpress.com)