As a child I am sure I was told by my parents on many occasions to ‘play nicely with the other kids‘. And that’s what I did. Mostly. I wasn’t one of the popular kids in the playground, but was one of the next tier down. The middle of the road kids who were okay. I had lots of friends, no real enemies except for the one class bully, and even her, I tried to be friends with. I guess I wanted to be friends with everyone, rightly or wrongly, and pretty much, I achieved that.
It’s not an easy task to get along with everyone, and now to be honest, I wouldn’t be so open. Now I’m more selective, but as I child I did what I was told to do. What’s more, at that time as a young girl, I didn’t have a mental illness that contributed to how I ‘got along‘. Now I do.
You don’t have to look very far on the internet to come across the sites that talk about what awful people those of us with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are. Those sites, which I’m not going to quote or name, will tell you that Borderline’s are really hard work to have in either your family or circle of friends. Actually they probably warn you not to have Borderline’s in your circle of friends. And do what you can to distance them from your family. They’re simply too much work, and you’re just going to get hurt. Sites by health professionals are also in abundance telling you that Borderlines are the worst patients you could have, and actually if you are a health professional, those sites would probably just tell you to steer clear of us Borderlines.
Those sites are ones that I purposely avoid, as they simply contribute to the large amount of stigma that exists toward Borderlines. And actually, that is not what we need. Apparently we have low emotional intelligence. We are also impulsive and aggressive. We act like children and we are very sensitive to rejection. Basically we are too hard work, and as a non-Borderline you would probably best to run a mile (or 100 miles) from us.
I’ve been aware of those attitudes to Borderlines for a long time, but have wondered how much of that I am seen to fit with. I know BPD is a difficult illness to live with (for the person who has it!) but I’m not convinced there is the need for such strong feeling towards us.
I know that I don’t fit the classic mold of a Borderline. My psychiatrist would go as far as saying that possibly I don’t have BPD. I can’t afford to keep visiting psychiatrists until I get a definite answer, but so far BPD does seem to fit for me.
But while I played with everyone in the playground, and in my early adulthood was referred to as being a ‘people person’ who got on with anyone (and I mean anyone!), now I start to wonder. I’m too much of a recluse for a ‘people person’ anymore. I prefer my own company, and my own world. I am an introvert naturally, but more and more I prefer being alone. There are lots of reasons for that, and I admit that one is to do with repeatedly being let down by other people.
The people around me in my life actually don’t seem to want to be near me. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, or having a pity party. I just don’t get on with people as well as I did. And those in my life seem more interested in distancing themselves from me. We just don’t fit anymore.
Earlier this year I was victim of some lies told about me. It was a situation where there was very little I could do about it. I simply had to let it be, and hope that people worked out the truth in time. I became quite paranoid, mostly because I didn’t know who had been told the lies. I became very wary of people. Another reason to withdraw, and I admit I found it hard not to do so.
I continue to be wary of people. It’s hard to know who I can trust, and it’s hard to know who would choose to be on my side. Would they bat for my team? Somehow life has changed so that the people I thought would bat for my team, I suspect won’t anymore. And that is rather sad to find that those I thought would always be there have different lives and lifestyles from me, and we just no longer fit. Time changes. And time has changed me. I choose to be alone, so much more than I did. My own world knows my name, and I can be content there. Can’t I?
Has BPD changed me? Have the events in my life changed me? Maybe it is the other people themselves that have changed, but then it’s always easier to blame the psych patient, isn’t it? I don’t mean to accuse anyone of anything in this post, but rather I simply see that there has been a radical shift in my life. I’m actually okay with the solitude I have now, but I do wonder what happened to the little girl in the playground who was friends with everyone.
“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”
― Albert Einstein