‘People who have what you’ve got…………..’ This sentence came up quite a bit with Therapist yesterday as we started exploring which aspects of this disorder apply to me.We were referring to it as ‘what you’ve/I’ve got’ partly because emotionally unstable personality disorder is a serious mouthful to keep repeating, partly because it is still more commonly known by its original name of borderline personality disorder (although now the trend seems to be moving towards EUPD), and partly because I’m only at the very beginning of trying to accept this big new label and I’m not sure which version of its name I prefer. At home, I mostly refer to it as ‘this whole borderline thing’ while gesturing somewhere off beside me, almost as if it’s something outside of me that can be disregarded or pushed to one side. If only it was so simple!
That said, things are starting to make more sense. Old patterns of behaviour that I really struggled with may now have a reason behind them which is a relief in some ways, although it doesn’t make it any easier to think about. My over reliance on Therapist, my intense and overwhelming need to speak to her at times, my fear around her going away, putting her on a pedestal – they’re all part of it. One of the biggest problems that I face (and with this particular diagnosis there are many) is knowing when my response to something is appropriate, and when it is disordered thinking. This concept isn’t new. I’ve been contending with Bitchface and her extreme reactions for a long time, I guess now I know where she comes from. I have been getting better at spotting when she’s my main driver so I need to keep working with that. That said, not knowing when to trust my own instincts and reactions is confusing to say the least.
I’m not quite sure what I was feeling as we talked through the many and varying symptoms that go along with this disorder (I really need to pick a name and just go with it). That was something else Therapist mentioned actually – she’s going to keep asking me how I feel about things until the phrase loses all meaning, because a lot of the time I don’t know how exactly I feel about a particular occurrence, or else what I’m feeling is out of all proportion to the event.
While it was difficult to hear all of the behaviour that I could relate to, I was also able to recognise that a lot of the bigger issues have actually been more of a problem in the past than they are now. Without realising what we were dealing with, we’ve been working on changing these behaviours for as long as I’ve been seeing Therapist. So, while there’s a long way to go, the groundwork has been laid.
There’s a lot that I don’t understand right now, and there’s a lot I don’t want to accept. But I feel safe working through this with Therapist -she knows what she’s about and I trust her. She’s helped me this far, so I’ll just keep going.