BPD: Self-Esteem and Self-Understanding
A Londoner, living in the North of England with my husband and two young children. I am a 30-something Freelance Writer and lead a busy, busy life. Oh, and I also have Borderline Personality Disorder.
On Twitter as @sjmyles.
On Jottify: http://jottify.com/writer/smyles/
My psychologist once correctly highlighted to me that my self-esteem (such as it was) was entirely defined by what I could do for other people, and what their judgement of me was in response. My reply, at the time, was “What else would I base it on?”
That was a genuine question – I really could not see an answer.
In my daily life, I was desperate - desperate to communicate, to please, to win approval, to fit in, to leave. I desperately wanted people to understand, but at the same time, desperately tried to hide everything from everyone.
That was a lifetime ago. Now I am entirely satisfied to just understand myself and, more importantly, have confidence in that understanding.
On my bad days, the paranoia and anxiety still eat me alive from the inside out, but they are thankfully few and far between.
On my best days, I know – to the core of my being – that any label assigned to me by others is a reflection on them, not me. This sounds incredibly obvious now, but was actually a very big step to take. It is really not easy to let that negativity go.
Anybody that thinks I am defined by any one thing, limited by someone else’s terminology, or restricted by any boundary society tries to reinforce, is simply betraying their own ignorance.
Anybody that makes assumptions about me as an individual based on my behaviour, appearance or experiences, is simply betraying their own narrow-mindedness.
The ignorance and narrow-mindedness of others is neither my problem, nor my responsibility.
Now I understand why I could not answer that question before. My self-esteem was based outside of myself because I had nothing inside to base it on. That’s why it was inadequate. That’s no longer the case.
Self-understanding has provided me with the very best armour for being in the world. Society can throw at me what it will, but these days, my defences are stronger – protecting the fragile peace of mind I am beginning to enjoy.