Trigger Warning: verbal & physical abuse, self harm, suicide attempts, death by suicide, hospitalization. Read at your own discretion.
The following post was written by Arpita
My Living with BPD Story
“Hello everyone. I am Arpita, a resident of Delhi, India. I will be telling you my living with bpd story today. I was born after 16 years since my parents got married. I had an elder sister and an elder brother. My brother went to United Stated when I was in kinder garden. I had witness a lot of verbal abuse in my childhood which was normal to me. Sometimes, even physical abuse.
There was not a single day I did not see anyone fight at my house. I felt extremely lonely and stayed isolated because I was almost always scared of sharing anything with anyone as a child. After 5 years my brother came back to India. Unexpectedly, the fights increased. As I was very young when my brother and sister graduated, I could not figure out that the environment was toxic.
Self-Harm & Abusive Relationships
During middle school, I started joining different activities to escape home. When I was 12, I had a fight with my dad over a trivial issue and I decided to cut myself out of nowhere, I cut my fore arm 3/4 times and slept. It happened few times after that. Then I joined acting classes and there, I met a person there who I started to like and eventually we got into a relationship. I was 15.
I was ready to do anything to escape the pain I used to experience at my home. Then 1 year passed the relationship started to get toxic. He used to control my life entirely. He made me quit dancing and acting both. Then he started verbally abusing me. I did not do anything because I was taught abuse in normal in love. I thought this is normal. Sooner it got physical (abuse). He wanted me to miss school tuitions and stay with him. I did that too for a while.
During that phase, I started experiencing alot of breakdowns which led to more frequent self harm episodes. I used to cut like its normal and only escape from pain. My school teachers were not understanding too. After 2.5 years of relationship, he asked me to quit my studies. I refused to do that. I wanted to break up. Yet, I decided to kill myself. I overdosed and even then he blamed me and finally I got the courage to breakup.
Getting a BPD Diagnosis
After the breakup I decided to see a psychologist and a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with bipolar first but then after various visits to different doctors I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. Then I joined the gym to work on myself. Meanwhile, my brother’s mental health condition got worse and he started self harming to the extreme level. He was taken to doctors many times but he never took proper treatment.
It all became normal in my life. I started meeting new people. Applying for colleges. Then I met a guy who I became best friends with. After 6 months of friendship when I had developed trust on him he asked me out. I was scared of the word “relationship”. But he seemed genuine and like he actually cared for me. So eventually I said yes to him.
Everything was going well.
Then in the 1st year of my college, my 9 year old best friend who had seen all the ups and downs with me, kindda started ignoring me. I thought she must be busy so I waited another 1 year but then I realized she never considered me her best friend. I expressed how much that hurt me and that I wanted her to leave my life. She agreed and left.
In my second year I got a call from my mother telling me my brother had died. I could not believe it, I rushed to home. I got to know he committed suicide. I witnessed everything that day. I did not cry, neither did I attend any ritual. After a month I suddenly got all the emotions which made me suicidal and I was rushed to the hospital. I was admitted for a month.
After 6 months I was admitted again and then after 1 year, once again. I was diagnosed with PTSD then. I blamed myself for my brother’s death as he had reached out to me few times and I could not help him as much as I should have. I had developed huge guilt.
My relationship also started getting unhealthy by then.
Fights started. My self harm increased. By that time I got addicted to cutting myself. It became a problem for my family and boyfriend. I felt like a problem. I attempted to kill myself many times but somehow it failed. I started to realized that my boyfriend had become my Favorite Person. We had a lot of fights and disagreements that I could cut but not handle the emotional pain. It was too much. It was too much for a human being to handle.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
I have had 2 operations as of now. One ACL reconstruction and one was cholecystectomy. I compared the unbearable pain you feel in the recovery room right after the surgery to the emotional-physical pain of a BPD episode. I couldn’t say it had a huge difference. One trick was told to me by a friend of mine who also had BPD and that trick worked better than any therapist’s trick. It was : “imagine you’re stealing at a house and everyone is asleep, a snake bit you and you feel intense amount of pain but you cannot say a word or shout. You’ve to stay silent till the snake goes and then you can go out of the house. So when you’re feeling emotional pain, imagine this scenario and pain will be tolerated.” It helped a lot.
I tried everything to quit self harm and over dose episodes. The only reason I used to do both was to escape the emotional pain. Then one day I suddenly realized that no one will help me or show enough care to make me quit. I put all my self awareness and psychology based knowledge into se activities and tried them, which actually made me quit self harm.
Today I have completed 324 days since I have self harmed. This achievement can only be understood/felt by a borderline individual. I am proud of myself. I have not recovered or healed but yes I am not as far as I was from my destination than I was back then. I am working on myself. Yes BPD has no cure but it does not mean we cannot lead a healthy life style.
We require more care/attention than others. So basically, by working on yourself, taking regular therapy and medication, surrounding yourself with good and supportive people and indulging yourself in the activities that you enjoy, you can definitely lead a healthy and stable life.
Recommended Book: “Building a Life Worth Living” by Marsha M. Linehan – Buy at Amazon
Agreed that our days are more painful than what others experience but whats the positive aspect? We feel more… be it sadness or happiness. We are emotionally rich and we can experience happiness like no other. There are numerous pros of being a borderline too. Google it!
As of now, I have lost 2 people close to me who had BPD. I know why people choose death over life. But I want to amplify few little reasons to just reach out in crisis. You may feel like family/friends/lovers do not care about your life but just once, before the big step, reach out to any helpline or any mental health organisation. Your value in this world is way more worthy than you might think.”
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