Living With BPD
“Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?”
You’ve stumbled upon a post about borderline personality disorder, or you heard about BPD in a movie. Maybe someone you know has it, someone very similar to you. Whatever the case may be, you’ve searched ‘do I have BPD?’ or ‘I think I have borderline personality disorder’ and now you’re reading this post to find out what to do.
First things first, don’t panic. BPD isn’t a death sentence. If you do have borderline personality disorder, you are not hopeless. In fact, you’re now one step closer to feeling better.
Read that again. One more time, so it sinks in.
I was in your place once: frantically searching up BPD blog posts, reading everything online about borderline personality disorder and reading others’ stories with BPD and comparing them to myself. It’s scary to think you might have a personality disorder.
The term seems foreign in your brain, much less like something you can say out loud. You may wonder if there’s something wrong with you. Or you may question yourself. Maybe you’re just overreacting. You don’t actually have BPD. There’s no way!
In this post, we’re going to go over every step you should take if “Do I have borderline personality disorder?” or “I think I have BPD” is going through your head.
Trigger Warning: Self destructive thoughts, splitting black, invalidation, relationship argument
Hey there! I’m Audrey Harper and I have borderline personality disorder. BPD Beautiful is my recovery blog where I document my treatment & learned DBT skills, hold myself accountable and help spread awareness of borderline personality disorder.
In this post, I go over what splitting is and show real life examples of splitting including distorted thoughts a person with BPD might have during an episode. As always, please note that my experience with BPD does not reflect all people with BPD. We’re all different and unique. However, I hope this post sheds some light on the condition if you have a loved one with borderline personality disorder.
BPD Splitting: Introduction
“What’s, for the most part, made you consistently happy and hasn’t disappointed you?” Ellen, my therapist, had asked during our session.
I looked to the side, up and forward in thought, “hmming” as my eyes gazed where the wall hit the ceiling.
I blinked. “Bobby,” I said affirmatively with a smile. (My son)
“Ok! What else?”
Back in the fall—my therapist told me that after two years of working with her on my borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms and childhood trauma, I’d made enough progress in therapy to begin decreasing services. We went from weekly sessions to bi-weekly sessions. Then we did monthly check-ins. Now, seven months later, I’m on my own.
I was nervous at first to wean off therapy. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to hold myself accountable. I was worried my BPD would get worse. I was worried my marriage with Brian would fall apart and my son Bobby would be scarred.
For the most part, since therapy’s ended—I’ve been doing okay. Sometimes I feel strong, confident and ready to face whatever’s thrown at me. Sometimes there’s a small flicker of hope inside me that BPD will eventually be a thing of the past.
But then it comes back with a vengeance. And I quickly crumble into a raging, crying or sulking shell of a woman.
Trigger Warning: Suicide, perceived abandonment, hopelessness, negative self-talk, rejection, forever alone, self-sabotage. Read at your own discretion.
Disclaimer: I’m not a mental health professional. This post should not be considered medical advice or research. My experience with borderline personality disorder, triggers or symptoms do not reflect another person with BPD’s experience, triggers or symptoms.
If you’re new to BPD Beautiful, I’m Audrey Harper and I have borderline personality disorder (“BPD”). This is my Emotional Wellness and BPD Blog where I document my BPD recovery. I’m publishing this post in hopes to help loved ones and caregivers understand BPD and to spread BPD awareness. People with BPD are often labelled as dramatic, attention seeking or crazy. While it may look that way from the outside sometimes, what’s going on inside is A LOT more complex. What people with BPD need—especially during an episode, is patience, validation, support and reassurance.
What Causes a BPD Episode
In my case—a BPD episode usually happens after my fear of abandonment or fear of rejection are either triggered by…
- An outside stimulus: an innocent joke taken the wrong way or being left out of a conversation my BPD brain deems important (even if it’s really not when I think about it later, logically).
- My own distorted thought processes: obsessing over a stressor before it even happens, reliving a traumatic or upsetting memory that causes me to “split” (the infamous BPD splitting).
Episodes (for me at least) are usually started by the former and drawn out by the ladder. They can last anywhere from a couple minutes to several hours.