Borderline personality disorder is discriminated against by people who do not understand the mental disorder and by clinical professionals who have a hard time treating this disorder. This is part 1 of a 9 post series using the nine diagnostic criteria/traits of BPD from actual people that have permitted me to use their experiences. I have changed all identifying information to maintain the integrity of the conversation or therapeutic alliance.
According to the DSM-5, BPD is diagnosed based on a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships and self-image. BPD is a chronic mental health disorder marked with impulsivity and instability that impacts the way you think and feels about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life.
The first criteria:
- Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment:
I experience patterns of unstable relationships in my marriage and my friendships. I have been married for the past 2 years, been with my husband for 4 years. Two beautiful children later, I still feel as though he is going to find someone better. I drive myself crazy every day, accusing him of cheating with no proof. I have filed for a divorce within the last two years of marriage four times, and I lost count of how many times I threaten to leave him. I moved out of our home six times with my children.
Likewise, I alienate the one friend that I have left, to the point of no reconciliation. My friend and I are very close. Each time we argue, I blocked her. At that moment, I know for sure she wants nothing to do with me. Before she ends the relationship, I wanted to end it so I don’t get hurt. I always feel terrible for the way I interact with the people that I love. I stop speaking to my stepmother for 6 months because she corrected me on my parenting skills. I was embarrassed because I knew she was right, but at that moment it felt attacked no matter how subtle she approached me, then she cross the boundary of becoming my enemy. That is me shifting into my black and white thinking that she is all bad, not seeing all the aspects of her intention.
I leave the relationship to regain the control that my mind told me I lost when I felt attacked. It’s the only control I have in my life or over my current situation. In my effort to avoid my husband and my friend abandoning me, I have created a hostile environment, making it harder for them to stay.
Note that this post is not to treat or diagnose. My goal is to provide a general insight into how some people with BPD manifest their symptoms.