Girl Interrupted, Single White Female, crazy bitch syndrome—these are the associations the severely uninformed link to borderline personality disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder, a personality disorder characterized by variations in identity disturbance, is one of the most stigmatized mental illness out there.
Psychologists and medical professionals alike, deem these sufferers as simply “untreatable”, out of their own inexcusable fears of paranoia. Ok, Doc. Borderlines are violent, manipulative, good for nothing vixens and playboys. Right? Its in the name after-all— we’re bordering the line that separates normal from psychotic.
But you know, for a sufferer, that line isn’t a label or a precaution— it’s a goddamn tightrope. And we are terrified of falling off.
Oh yeah, and we’re not crazy. We’re some of the most intellectual and creative people you’d ever be lucky enough to know. We are your beloved musicians (Amy Winehouse, do I even need to specify), your athletes (Brandon Marshall, wide receiver of the Chicago Bears), your comedians (Pete Davidson of Saturday Night Live) and your idols (love you, Angelina Jolie).
I mean sure, we are that good in bed, (hey, if you got it flaunt it), but as far as the rest of those rumors go— those are unauthorized, false declarations of the stigma of which dear reader, we are actively fighting against.
Here is What BPD Really Looks Like
In an excerpt from her memoir, “Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl” Recovered BPD sufferer Stacy Pershall, writes,
Borderline means you’re one of those girls… who walk around wearing long sleeves in the summer because you’ve carved up your forearms over your boyfriend. You make pathetic suicidal gestures and write bad poetry about them, listen to Ani DiFranco albums on endless repeat, end up in the emergency room for overdoses, scare off boyfriends by insisting they tell you that they love you five hundred times a day and hacking into their email to make sure they’re not lying, have a police record for shoplifting, and your tooth enamel is eroded from purging. You’ve had five addresses and eight jobs in three years, your friends are avoiding your phone calls, you’re questioning your sexuality, and the credit card companies are after you. It took a lot of years to admit that I was exactly that girl, and that the diagnostic criteria for the disorder were essentially an outline of my life.
If you read this carefully, Pershall is depicting an endless struggle of identity– a severe symptom of the illness, as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Identity is the foundation of self-esteem. Without it, we are vulnerable. We are weak. And most of all, we are begging to be loved and accepted by just about anyone who will have us.
We are often children of neglect, abuse, poverty, and forgotten trauma. Our perceived “craziness” is a cry for help when we don’t know any other way.
So yes, we yell, we scream, we throw things. But it’s not because we’re out to murder you. Its because we don’t know who we are and we don’t understand why.
So before you dump your “crazy” partner for “acting like a child”,
Ask them who wasn’t there to kiss the boo-boos?
Ask them why there’s a cut there in the first place.
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