Do you remember back in the playground when the overweight kid got called “fatty”? And the one who told some fibs was branded “liar”? There were endless names that children named other children without a care in the world. We (and yes, I probably was one of them too) didn’t know how hurtful those names could be. Perhaps half the time we didn’t even know what the words meant. We had simply heard them from others, and thought we’d give them a try ourselves. I think it’s where the re-phrased “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will always hurt me” fits. And yes, those names did hurt.
Today, I and all my friends who have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) with me, got called names. We were called ’demented chameleons‘. Apparently Borderlines (like Sociopaths) they said, are ‘demented chameleons‘. The original name was tossed at sociopaths (as the site was focussed) and my thoughts about that are another issue I just got angry when I saw someone throw Borderlines into the fire, calling us the same name, with probably no thought at all.
It’s something that I can walk away from. I’m used to it. This type of name-calling happens for people with BPD all the time sadly. Actually it happens to all people with mental illness all the time. I can walk away and that’s what I did. The person who labelled me a ‘demented chameleon‘ probably doesn’t personally know anyone with BPD, and simply read it somewhere on one of the awful websites that set out to degrade us. It is probably a combination of stupidity and ignorance… and so it deserves my walking way.
The difficulty I am left with though, is that ignorant comments like that get read by others, and believed. It’s what builds up the stigma against both BPD and mental illness as a whole. That’s what really gets my blood boiling. How dare they blast me with their stigma but also contribute to the overall stigma that all of us with mental illnesses face.
This is my idea. For each time I see such a combination of stupidity and ignorance, I need to post here, my opposing view. Maybe it might not be the same people that read both accounts, but in my world one can still outweigh the other regardless. If people choose to feed the world with negative views of me, then I can feed the world with the positive. Does that mean you are going to be reading posts like this everyday? No, that’s not my intention. But when my blood boils, I need to speak out.
People with BPD are not ‘demented chameleons“. If you stop to get to know someone with BPD you will find that actually we are beautiful people. We are generally very caring people. That’s part of our disease. But we are not demented. While we may change aspects of ourselves in how we come across to the world. we are not cynically one thing one day and another tomorrow. Moreover that changing does not happen out of an intent to hurt and manipulative. It is simply who we are as we battle with the internal struggle to own who we are. It’s not easy having BPD, and name calling such as this doesn’t help us.
I suspect that most people have no idea about BPD. The label tends to draw a blank expression on the faces of those who hear it. BPD is not well known (like say, Bipolar) and is certainly not well understood. But I will not sit quietly and see myself and my friends named as ‘demented chameleons‘. That simply comes from ignorance.
And now having said that, I walk away and breathe. Frankly, the people who choose to live in such ignorance are missing out on you and me. Emphasis on the missing. I almost feel sad for them.
Ending on a lighter note… I have been called a ‘demented chameleon‘ but I’m still waiting for the ‘incorrigible’.
PS. Victory after Publishing. I’m happy to see that the offending material has now been taken down.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou