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Good Bye 2021!?

It’s been a while since I posted. People close to me know what I have been dealing with in my personal life which has been the reason I have been distant from here, but sit back because this one is going to be long.

I don’t think it’s shame of others knowing what’s going on but a worry that people just won't understand, but here we go...

Since before I can remember I have suffered mental health issues and have been very open about them. I have Bipolar II, OCD, unmedicated ADHD, and anxiety issues. I thought my illnesses where the worst mental health issues I ever would experience…until I met my soul mate.

He and I met four years ago when I myself was dealing with personal issues which led me to act out in inappropriate ways in my life. He rescued me when I was at a very low point in my life.

We had a wonderful first few months together, we would barely be apart, constantly texting when we were. Nothing seemed to get us down.

He slowly opened up to me about having Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, and for those of you unfamiliar with BPD, let’s learn a little about it shall we because before Jesse, the closest relationship to BPD I had was with Winona Ryder in “Girl, Interrupted”

Borderline Personality Disorder(BPD):

BPD stems from long-term abuse and trauma (usually in childhood and adolescence), a life time of rejection, and has a slight genetic predisposition. For him it was an abusive father he idolized, an over protective and in their own way abusive mother, and a long with a list of outside of the family physical abuse.

Below is cited from The National Institute Of Mental Health:

"People with borderline personality disorder may experience mood swings and display uncertainty about how they see themselves and their role in the world. As a result, their interests and values can change quickly.

People with borderline personality disorder also tend to view things in extremes, such as all good or all bad. Their opinions of other people can also change quickly. An individual who is seen as a friend one day may be considered an enemy or traitor the next. These shifting feelings can lead to intense and unstable relationships.

Other signs or symptoms may include:

· Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, such as rapidly initiating intimate (physical or emotional) relationships or cutting off communication with someone in anticipation of being abandoned

· A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)

· Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self

· Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating. Please note: If these behaviors occur primarily during a period of elevated mood or energy, they may be signs of a mood disorder—not borderline personality disorder

· Self-harming behavior, such as cutting

· Recurring thoughts of suicidal behaviors or threats

· Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days

· Chronic feelings of emptiness

· Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger

· Difficulty trusting, which is sometimes accompanied by irrational fear of other people’s intentions

· Feelings of dissociation, such as feeling cut off from oneself, seeing oneself from outside one’s body, or feelings of unreality

Not everyone with borderline personality disorder experiences every symptom. Some individuals experience only a few symptoms, while others have many. Symptoms can be triggered by seemingly ordinary events. For example, people with borderline personality disorder may become angry and distressed over minor separations from people to whom they feel close, such as traveling on business trips. The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last will vary depending on the individual and their illness."

People with BPD have very unstable relationships as they tend to push those they love the most away to save them the pain of you leaving them first. They want to protect themselves from their perceived pain when "you inevitably leave them" even though you tell them and show them the opposite.

These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. (NIMH, 2017)

They have been told so many times before that they are worthless or aren't worth the time and effort to try so why try themselves right. When he busts with anger and yells and throws things, it's because his entire life he was needing to be in a protective state, he is in a perpetual state of "fight or flight" and he is always ready to fight and it is for survival in that moment, whether rational or not, that is all they know, that is how they were raised.

When I met Jesse, he hid his demons to try and "keep" me, to prevent me from seeing the "real" him so I wouldn't walk away. I was his "favorite person" or FP. A favorite person is a person who gives people with BPD (pwBPD) what they feel they are lacking (ie: emotional support, reassurance, love) so they latch onto them in a sense and the fear of losing them is incomprehensible.

A favorite person is one person in a BPD sufferer’s life that they cannot function without. In most instances, favorite persons are crushes, partners, friends, or other people who the pwBPD interacts within their life (teachers, for instance). The term “favorite person” is unique to the BPD community because of the unhealthy attachment the pwBPD has towards their favorite person. (Meghan James, 2020)

Over the years it got harder and harder for him to hide. We lived together so it was hard for him to keep his moods in order. He feels with his all, with every molecule in his body, he feels emotions way more intensely than the rest of us. He reacts so drastically fast to the smallest thing. He would go from 0-60mph in less than 60 seconds. One moment he is cooking dinner and the next he is screaming profanities and calling me names.

From an outside perspective it is easy to say, why not walk away? Why? He never was a threat to me, he was always the man I loved inside even though the demons where controlling the body at that moment in time. Yes he was mean, yes he would throw things, but I was never scared for myself because I saw him, the look in his eyes wasn't malicious and scary, it was hurt and worry. We have come to realize the languages he is using is a way to cope, a way to communicate the best way he knows how. When he yells "Shut the fuck up" he really means "There is too much stimulation right now and I need it to shut off for a second so I can get my baring's." We worked very hard through the years and over time and with A LOT of work and patience, we are still here four years later.

I am here to prove to those who are living with a pwBPD that a relationship is possible. Yes it is hard, it can be heartbreaking. Jesse left me for almost a week thinking it was the best thing for both of us, but during that time we realized it wasn't being together that was the issue, it was the lack of communication, lack of caring for ourselves, and the fact that I thought I could take this on all by myself when in fact the phrase "it takes a village" works in this sense too, when it comes to mental health and healing, it takes a village.

I will be diving more into our relationship and how we manage with all our mental illnesses in future posts. I plan on being more active now that I feel a sense of purpose. I want to prove to others it is possible to love despite illness. We never once stopped loving each other, the only thing we needed to do was remove the way we viewed the BPD in our relationship.

So for now we look ahead and say good bye to 2021 and hello to a new year and a new us.

Peace and Love

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