My journals are filled with love stories, but it’s a side to me that few know about: the falls, the aches, the desperation and loneliness.
The patterns – oh, the patterns. I’ve been single for almost all of my 20s, yet seem to be a hamster spinning in a wheel, unable to figure out what I need to do to get it right.
While getting inspired to write this, I searched “borderline personality disorder and love” to see what was out there. Unsuspectingly but disappointingly enough, most of the articles and websites were about “how to love someone with BPD.” Ouch. So you’re telling me, Dr. Google, that not only do I have to navigate this dating world while living in the confines of a personality disorder, but I also have to face a double whammy of stigma while doing so?
I mean, sure, maybe we are different in relationships. I get it. “Intense and unstable relationships” is one of the key symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD), but that doesn’t mean we are incapable of being loved and reciprocating it. Although, what is perceived to be common knowledge about the condition basically equates to a flashing neon “nope” sign above my head.
Dr. Google, you’re making it difficult to believe in the chance of falling in love again. Again, you ask? Ah, yes… that. I was around 19 when I met my first real love. We had, in my mind, a magical connection that was sure to last. Though I was in constant mental crisis and lived with dire suicidal ideation, I can say I truly tried my best to be a doting and loving partner. That thought quickly dissipated once he broke up with me due to my mental illness. When he told me he was dumping me and that was the reason why, I broke. It was the most suicidal I’ve ever been (and that’s saying a lot), so I quickly rushed myself to the emergency room in a daze so I wouldn’t critically hurt myself.
I was in such hysterics that I couldn’t properly speak to the nurses. They put me in a private room, probably so I wouldn’t scare people, where I continued to scream and cry in terror at the thought of being alone. Long story short, it was that night I finally got my BPD diagnosis.
It was too little too late for my relationship. I often wonder, if this had been discovered and properly treated, there would’ve been a fighting chance for our hearts to stay together. I’ll never know.
What I do know is that my ability to love feels greatly diminished, almost a decade later. I am so frightened my illness will indeed push someone away again that I don’t dare get close enough to find out. It seems, Dr. Google, that I have fallen prey to your assumption that people with BPD are too difficult to love.
My current stance on men and relationships echoes the title of the Queen song “Another One Bites the Dust.” I go through flings almost monthly. I actively pursue multiple people and experiences at once, trying with every inch of my being to defy the BPD-ridden stigma. Someone will love me eventually… right?
By internalizing these negative attitudes about my ability to love and be loved, it feels like I am doubling the odds against me. Look, my track record isn’t so hot and I am encompassed with pessimism every time I meet someone new.
However, I am trying to move past this phase. I am trying to prove to myself I am worthy enough for a relationship. I am trying to give the middle finger to the stereotypes. I am trying to listen to the little voice that tells me love is a possibility. I am trying; really, I am.