"You sound like me when I was 16."
This is what a friend of mine (who deals with issues of his own) has said to me on a couple of occasions. The comment came from a place of understanding and not malice, but it's one of the truest statements someone has made about my disorder. My issues mainly stem from events that happened to me when I was younger, particularly as a teenager. Looking back I had a lot of anger and sometimes I still feel like that angry, scared, lost girl.
Right now I am under a lot of pressure and stress. When under such distress I become more irritable and tend to project my anger and frustrations onto other people. I'm going to be honest, the people I target are people who I feel I can dominate. This behavior is not something I do to those I put on a pedestal. This projection is magnified by the fact that I currently don't have a therapist, meaning I don't have a real outlet for my frustrations. Recently I treated a dear friend very poorly, and now I'm paying the price.
In my last blog I talked about how there are people who I wouldn't dare defy; people who I would obey with the snap of a finger. Then there are those that I seek to defy, to push harder the more they try to help. As I hurled insults and anger at my friend he tried to help me, but I continued with my blind rage. Part of BPD is being disassociated, and that's what happened in that situation. This is where things get tricky; for some it may sound like I am using my disorder as an excuse for my behavior. I'm not, but I am acknowledging that it is a huge factor. When I disassociate I feel like I am two different people. As I continued to spew my anger in my friend's direction, there was part of me that was screaming inside, "stop, you're going to regret this! STOP!" but no matter what, I wouldn't and I couldn't. Coming back to an earlier part of the post, this behavior is harder to control when I am not in therapy. Once a week group is not enough.
I hate feeling regretful, I hate feeling humbled, and I hate feeling ashamed. In that moment I knew if I stopped, that all those feelings would come on like a tidal wave. So I kept going, I kept going like I had this hard exterior, like I didn't give a fuck, but I did. I'm not that type of person, I am not the person my disorder makes me. I'm caring, open, supportive, and kind. I am not a monster, I am not a bully, but I acted like one because I let my disorder control me. Many people think this is something I can just turn off; it's not, and it's why being in therapy is so important. I can't turn off my borderline much like someone can't turn off their diabetes or cancer. They need help, and so do I.
I want to reiterate that I am not excusing my behavior, I am not justifying it. I am simply recognizing where it stems from. I am also recognizing that I have to face the consequences of my behavior. My friend has not spoken to me since Tuesday. No matter how many times I've apologized, humbled myself, and pleaded. He has not responded. However, this is not the only punishment for my behavior. Not only have I lost probably the only friend that hung out with my on a regular basis, but now I have to live with the guilt and shame that comes with what I've done. The same disorder that causes me to project my anger onto others is the one that's going to turn that anger inwards.
Self-fulfilling prophecies are big with BPD, and this is what happened here. My friend said he wouldn't abandon me and now he has. He has because I was horrible, and frankly I deserved it. However, another part of me is angry. Angry because people always tell me they can deal with me and they won't leave me, until they see just how awful this disorder can be.
I'm panicking now. Panicking because I know this person and I have mutual friends. Friends whom I know would easily turn on me if they knew what I did, at least that's my fear. The guilt, shame, and judgement I feel for myself is overwhelming and I wish I could say I brought it upon myself, but if that were true then I'd be able to make easier choices. I wouldn't have this harrowing, awful, monstrous enemy fighting me every step of the way.
I'm hoping my friend can forgive me. I'm hoping he can understand that my behavior wasn't me, it was my disorder and I am not my disorder.