Many young people develope Borderline a lot earlier in life than initial diagnoses. Often, long before the symptoms arise.
For me, I was diagnosed after having my daughter at age 26. However, I quickly learned that I probably developed at some point in my teens due to my childhood. I kept a journal when I was a teenager and I frequently get things off my mind with writing and artwork. When looking through it over the years I started to see a pattern in my journal writings that seem to mimmick the symptoms of BPD.
This page is composed of just a few journal entries from my youth. Ages 15 through til now. I'm 33.
I'm baring my soul a little here but this I feel I needed to share to see how you may be able to pick up signs.
The Walk Dec. 23/1997
I was walking down the hall today and I suddenly started to observe a guy in front of me. I won't mention names but he was an average Tweed guy. The thought suddenly occurred to me and I suddenly started focusing on the sway in his walk. I thought to myself that everyone has a different way of walking and I started observing everyone. It's something that everyone can call their own. My thoughts proceeded to create a smile on my face when I thought that even I have a totally different sway. I believe it depends on a person's personality. That person's mental structure is telling them to walk, sway in a certain way. I believe that you can tell what a person is like by their walk, body movements and through their eyes and voice. First impression is always the most important.
Again disassociation, BPD's have black and white thinking I think it stands out here, but I also think I was on to something here by saying that everyone mental structure makes up who they are. Pat on the back me !!!
RAGE - July 8/2000
It's funny, I'm 19 years old and the first vauge point of my existence is yet to surface. This wide and long mess of an experience seems to be pissing me off more and more. Driving me to the point where I just want to fade away. Into the dark, lonely cloud of unhappiness that surrounds me. Sometimes I can feel the blanket of emptiness . Talking to me , telling me that there's something out there to fill me. But the more it's dark whispers ring in my ear the more I drain into a senseless void. I look at you and feel nothing. The supreme fuck of the mind. I don't feel, I just like the taste.
I don't think I need to say anything here. It's apparent. Rage, Emptiness, loneliness, extreme highs and lows
SAVE MY BEAUTY Aug. 13/2000
The brink of insanity is very beautiful. It comes on weak at first and gradually comes on so strong. Until it explodes like a firecracker. A big beautiful spark of light that has a gradual and suspenseful beginning. Then shoots up the explode into a hundreds sparks of different colors and fire of great detail. Each little but of powder that explodes shoots out into different directions like moral thoughts spiraling out into a depth of darkness. Then it's over and all becomes the dark.
I believe this was my breaking point back then. I obviously had very stronge emotions that I wasn't sure how to deal with and MAJOR emptiness.
*From here on in these writings are random thoughts I had to get out from the last couple of years.
What is Stigma to me ??? Sept. 18/2013
Stigma is like a dark cloud that comes off from the distance. It comes on fast with the strongest of winds. Just like a tornado warning . Then it's over you and everyone can see it coming. It sits there and hangs on tight to your mind. there but not there . It squeezes your heart with the tightest and heaviest of pressure, like right before a heavy rain. Then BOOM comes the thunder and lightning and it crashes outward in every direction. Unpredictable in destination and the only way to stop it is the release of this pressure to the universe.
Stigma can be defined like the weather. It doesn't come from only one place, but many places, It starts from one place and finishes in another, It can have the most profound effect on its surroundings and it can hurt or kill the people who are targets to its wrath.
When I was first diagnosed I even felt stigma myself so there were two culprits in the matter. The person dealing and the person observing. This I would call the peak of stigma for myself because there was so much misunderstanding and not knowing going on around me. Stigma is the beginning of knowing that you have an issue. I'm going to be honest and say that there was a lot of shame and hurt feelings as well. It was when I got help that I started to hear the words " It's not your fault!" from people that understood. That took an enormous weight off my back. Which helped send my lightening in a good direction.
Stigma usually starts with someone who doesn't understand or even been around someone with a Mental Illness. It's powerful, fast, and can strike at any time. It has the potential to rip through a room like the daily news weather broadcast. I once had this ugly game of telephone that happened over me and it really hit home with me because it was someone close to me. It started in one place and ended in another and by the time it got to the end the story was so mixed up it was confusing. However it ended with me and I was extremely stigmatized. I was so hurt it sent my body into an extreme fit of crying. This person immediately found out the story wasn't true but the damage had been done. When lightening strikes , the earth can't take it back. It can only go forward and forgive the sky for being so aggressive. Which is what I decided to do . Go forward and forgive.
Stigma can have such a huge effect on someone who is ill that they can seriously hurt someone or themselves during a manic episode. I've seen more than once stigma play such a toll through embarrassment (including myself) it can be like a bolt of serious lightening and rip through a room in less than a second. Most people just stand and observe rather than getting in it's way because they are scared. The people that really matter are the people that want to get up and observe and record the behaviors. These are brave people and I give my sincere regards to them because without them we would not be able to determine which way the lightening is going to strike next. Word is getting out there about stigma and I would say it's been a long time coming. I was diagnosed over 8 years now and I can stand up and say as a consumer that I finally really feel the support !
Stigma to me is something that can still be very damaging but we have grown in understanding and knowledge of what it is and can do. To all of us . It doesn't come from one place but many places, it's starts in one place and finishes in another ,it can have the most profound effect on its surroundings and can hurt or kill people who are targets to its wrath.
I hope those who read this know that I have Borderline Personality Disorder . I'm a consumer and I have been stigmatized and misunderstood, but I'm still here because of the support and decrease of stigma in the past years. It's nice to know and feel the world finally understanding that Mental Illness is real and not a bad thing.
That is what stigma is to me..... GONE ! Like the calm after a storm.
The Fate of Wanting Nov. 3/1997
I once thought that all things in life depended on how bad you wanted it and how hard you worked for it. My heart was innocent to reality. I now see that I was wrong about that part and at the end of a long , hard and painful road of reality. I found the answer....FATE . Everyday people waste their time on wanting . It's like an inherited habit created by greed. To want something is to destroy the joy of unexpected surprises. I believe that LIFE IS the lesson. We are not here to learn the value of wanting. We are here FOR the surprise of LEARNING. To learn is to grow no matter your height, weight or shape. Knowledge is the fountain of young per say. It IS reality. So instead of sitting around wanting and wasting . Take the walk , but don't run. Take a look at what you already have in front of you instead of wanting more. To take a mental picture is beauty and value in itself. To stand and take a long blissful look of what is right in front of you . Your fate is, but is not a choice. What you are right now is highly unlikely to be what you will be. Yet destiny is in your hands. To want knowledge shapes destiny. To WANT a destiny is to exert or overkill the joy of life itself. To LOVE life is to seek knowledge. We can't delay the inevitable and our fate is created by time which will never cease to tick forward and mold the world around us. We have to keep going , flowing with the beauty around us. Ease in with joy and enjoy the beauty around us. Enjoy the intense universe that lies behind your lungs while it lasts , because to FEEL your heart and soul is priceless knowledge and wisdom . It's FATE .
This is obviously me reaching out to see the good in life, disassociation, an extreme high and low here.
The right mindset to have to recover from borderline - experienced by a fellow borderline Oct.2/2013
8 years ago I was in a dark, confusing, lonely place. I was engaging in self-damaging behaviors and self-harm. Anything to relieve the pain from within. I do believe today that I had to go through those dark years to investigate, dwell, look within myself and have many goods cries.
At my very darkest hour, it was then that I surrendered. I was exhausted! The emotions, anxiety and high stress level finally took its tole on me. For years my mother tried so hard to open my mind to my young daughter who needed me. It wasn't until I was finally at a state of realization that I could either live or die that I finally seeked help. I knew that I could not love someone else until I started loving myself first. So I started there. I then started medication and therapy.
I started with addictions and mental health counseling. It took a while but these therapies opened doors to several other therapies I later took. It was learning to ride a bike . Slow, uncomfortable and scary at first but then one day you take off and never look back and the wheels never stop.
That's what it was like for me. It wasn't easy by any means I had to do some soul searching . I went to the third floor 7 times but by the last time I went there I surrendered to the therapy and have not been back since. Then day by day , little by little I got better. Nothing is ever a quick fix. I have come from being a scared, lonely, angry little girl to a confident, rational, loving mother and wife that I know I deserve to be.
This ALL started with ME! Changing my mindset and practicing skills of mindfulness and reality acceptance so much that it eventually became everyday skills that I use to register events in everyday life. Along with medication this works for me. Otherwise known as DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy).
Today I have embraced my disorder and reached out to help others as much as I can. Local Guest speaking to different groups and the local college, volunteering (which is a great way to distract or fill your time) and also I have created a website to help others understand what borderline is that I pay for out of my own pocket.
I hope this message reaches as many people as possible. This comes directly from my life experience as a borderline and living and coping with it.
Thank you so much for reading.
Natasha Fellow BPD
That Dark Spot - By: Natasha Sinclair
It Reaches in with all its might,
It's surging, stinging awful bite.
It wraps a shield around your heart,
Knowing it's has in store it's worst part.
It dulls the mind like no one's there,
A look beyond a staring glare.
No thoughts in and no thoughts out,
Inside I want to scream and shout.
Mind hears things that aren't there,
Try to understand you can't compare.
I wish I didn't feel this way,
Not tomorrow maybe today,
Reach out my mind with all it's might,
It's not over yet I'm going to fight.
My heart is stronge today and now,
Because of her I take a bow.
Today I write and these words I mean,
For all of you who stand by me.
BPD is not a curse,
It's just a door you go through first !
Never give up HOPE !
Stipple Clover 2014