Inspired to Tell My Story

by Jade S

The man in the below article- through his unwillingness to share his experiences, and his strength in doing so anyway-has inspired me to come clean about my own experiences with Borderline Personality Disorder.  I have found it helpful in the past to read others' accounts because it reminds me that I am not alone.

http://www.healthzone.ca/health/mindmood/mentalhealth/article/1005723--my-life-with-borderline-personality-disorder

Please forgive me if this blog is rather long; I have much to share with you, and I hope that you will not take it lightly that I have chosen to share my story, including the things I am unwilling to share. 

Instead of getting into the facts of BPD, I will just give you my personal story of how it has affected me.  When I was about 14 years old, the depression hit me like a freight train one day before dance class.  I simply could not get out of bed, and didn't know what was wrong.  My mother did, and as she lay in bed with me and comforted me and dried my tears, she said to me that she thought I must be depressed.  This was the beginning of my living hell.

The depression would come and go, so often that I no longer remember its frequency or duration.  My brother and father didn't understand why I couldn't "snap out of it" but my mother was more in-tune with what I was going through.  I was unaware of it, but she has struggled with mental illness since she was a child. 

Extreme rage began to show itself by age 15.  The arguments with my parents were simply unbearable, and the cruelty of the things I said and did still shock me.  I literally hated my parents, with a hatred that burned through me like a fire.  I didn't know why I hated them, but I knew that at the drop of a pin, they could bring out anger in me that was incomparable to anything I had ever imagined.  I was out of control of myself, my actions, my words.  So, like Lisa in the article above, I thought that I invented a quick fix by cutting myself.  The first time, I was in the car right next to my father and he didn't notice.  We had just finished a therapy session, and I tore into my skin without knowing why.  Thus began another level of hell.

The cutting increased until it was practically a daily occurrence.  When I was 17, I underwent a complete psychological exam and I was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder, a precursor to another illness on the list the doctor gave me: Borderline.  The doctor did not bother to explain to us what this meant.  I was sent home.  Soon after, my parents discovered my cutting.  They tried their best to send me somewhere to get help.  In the end they were forced to send me, involuntarily, to a residential program for girls in the mountains of Montana.  For seven months, I pretended to get better so I could go home.

When I finally returned home, my situation went right back to what it was before I had been sent away.  The fighting with my parents, the cutting... College was no different. I tried to hide my harmful behaviors, but my friends couldn't handle my illness and most of them deserted me.  Somehow I graduated college, after dropping out twice and being locked in the psych ward of the hospital for a few days, and returned home in a fog of depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and distress.  My poor family were at their wits' end.  It was at this time that Dr. Leland Heller entered my life.  He was the only doctor in a long list of doctors that seemed to know exactly what he was talking about.  He had been treating borderlines for 20 years, participated in research concerning the illness, and had successfully managed to improve the lives of many, many people who were proud to call themselves his patients.  Not only this, but he isn't even a therapist!! He is a medical doctor. 

I was skeptical as always, having gone through the ringer with BPD and finding no solace.  Yet after many months in his care, I have improved dramatically thanks to the proper medication and therapy. 

Do not  let me fool you, however.  I am a sick person; I suffer from an illness for which there is no cure, and it affects my life negatively on a daily basis.  I still struggle with mood swings sometimes, with rage, and sometimes even depression and the urge to self-injure.  Even though things have improved, I am still a borderline patient, and I probably always will be.  I don't know what the future will hold.  I do know that I am a survivor, and if you are reading this, so are you.  We can make a difference in this world so our children and our children's children do not have to experience the hell we have been through with BPD.  We have to stand up and fight against stigma, and fight for the proper diagnosis and treatment of BPD.  We have to fight against doctors who are unwilling to treat us.  We have to fight against misdiagnosis and mistreatment.  WE CAN DO THIS.  We just have to stand together.

Thank you for reading my story and allowing me to share my intimate past with you.  I am thankful for the opportunity, and I hope you will join me in this fight.

Comments

ugh......keep on keepin on. <3
Thank you for sharing this Jade. It does help other people to know they are not alone.
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