Borderline personality disorder is one of the most pathologically complex personality disorders which can make it feel impossible to know just what is going through the mind of someone who lives with it.
- I don’t know how I’m going to feel today: Living with borderline personality disorder can feel like waking up and spinning a wheel to find out which emotions you might have that day. It is normal for most people to expect the unexpected and manage their day appropriately. For those with borderline, the unexpected is every day and it can feel quite unmanageable.
- I am terrified you are going to leave me: Abandonment issues are believed to be at the core of borderline personality disorder. Many of the outlandish behaviors of borderline which push people away is a manifestation of a complicated relationship with reality in the brain: “I love you I need you, I hate you go away”. Much of the codependence, manipulation, and control which happens in a relationship with someone who has borderline happens because of the deep fear of abandonment.
- I can’t control my emotions: Emotional regulation is the most difficult part of managing borderline personality disorder. Switching from one feeling to the next, those with borderline can seem to switch personalities, but they do not. They run primarily on their feelings, meaning whichever feeling comes up for them is what defines their reality.
- I don’t really know who I am: Another core component of borderline personality disorder is a lack of identity. Those with borderline tend to identify themselves through other people and have a tendency toward “chameleon” behavioral patterns. During arguments with someone who has a borderline, there is a trend in switching opinion, perspective, and argument as a whole, without their realizing that is occurring.
- I can’t control my impulses: Impulsivity is what makes substance use disorders so commonly co-occurring with borderline. Turning to drugs and alcohol to feel better, feel more complete, or manage their emotions, they quickly develop an addiction to the euphoric effects of substances.
- I feel lonelier than I can comprehend: In addition to feelings of abandonment and identity crisis are inconsolable feelings of loneliness and emptiness. Even when receiving all the love, attention, devotion, and reassurance from someone, those with borderline still feel lonely and empty.
- I feel badly when I do or say something that hurts others: Often it seems as though there is no remorse or regret when someone with borderline intentionally, or unintentionally, hurts someone they love. They say cruel things, act in cruel ways, and can cause real harm to themselves or to others. When called on it, they will act with little remorse or regret. Inside, they feel terribly about it and their inability to express themselves appropriately worsens their shame.
- I know when I’m doing it but I can’t stop myself: The worst part about living with borderline is recognizing when behaviors and feelings are getting out of control, but feeling like there is nothing to be done about it.
There are therapies and treatments which can make living with Borderline Personality Disorder more manageable. If you are struggling with BPD and co-occurring substance abuse, the suffering does not have to continue. There is hope and there is help. Call Avalon By The Sea today for information on our residential programs for primary mental health. As one of southern California’s only certified primary mental health facilities, we provide trusted programs with trusted results. For a confidential assessment, call: 888-958-7511