I went outside for the first time at 3pm today.
The shy but bright sun on 7th avenue made me feel ironically sad. In other circumstances, I would have felt joy and gratefulness and I would have spent time wandering oustide, braving the cold wind to charge up with sunshine’s warm and luminous energy.
But today, I am writing from a place of darkness. I hurt myself several times these last days, because it seemed like the only way out from how desperate I felt.
The first thing I put in my mouth this morning was some crappy whisky, probably left from an old party held in the basement where I am currently residing.
These last days, the idea that life might actually be too hard to handle crossed my mind many times, in a way that never happened often, even in the toughest situations.
Usually, I would always find reasons to fight and believe. But today, I feel nothing but emptiness, despair and, most of all, a deep, painful sadness. I know intellectually it will pass at some point, but for now, the experience is too vivid to be able to focus on this.
During my short walk outside – I just went out to grab some food in the corner of the street – I started suddenly asking myself how the hell I put myself in this.
How can I be so strongly « punished » for trying my best, how can I be so sad for loving so much, so misunderstood and so guilty for caring that much about others ?
I thought of several posts I read recently while making research on borderline personality. « Is a borderline person able to love ? » ; « How to protect yourself from a borderline person ? » ; « 5 tips for people who have to live with a borderline person. » Wow. Living with a borderline person. What a burden. It sounds as tough as living with a crazy dragon.
How did we get to this ? How can we borderlines be so demonized ?
Then, suddenly, the idea stroke my head that, obviously, I had my part of guilt in that.
I contributed to it myself, by systematically pointing out what is supposedly wrong or dysfunctional with us and how to be « better ». I implicitly accepted or conveyed the message that borderline personality equals : problems, need to be fixed, fundamental failure.
Through my sadness, I got this vivid wish to make it right.
I will have many occasions in the future to write more about what we borderlines should try to work on, from what perspectives we could hurt other people, what we should be constantly careful about.
But now, today, I decided this will be a self-love post. A grateful message. If some of us are made this way, there must be a reason.
I am tired, exhausted of being seen as a problem because, after all, I and other borderlines have mostly so much to give to other people.
Someone shared this with me on a Facebook group as I was trying to find comfort :
I think our loved ones get bright, intense, sincere love and care from us, despite all the potential hurt we cause.
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There are many reasons why, if you are lucky enough to be loved by someone with a borderline personality, you should cherish this relationship. What do you get from being loved by a borderline person ?
Empathy and compassion
Even though we completely fail at communicating properly sometimes, we are blessed with a strong capacity to feel what others feel and to make their burden easier to carry by taking our share of it. It is a reason why spending too much time next to someone sad or upset can have actual physical effects on us. The transfer of energy is real, and healing others costs us. We didn’t erect the fences and barriers other people have naturally learnt to build between them and the rest of the world. What other people think, say and do goes right into our heart. Many different friends often tell me : « you are the only one I can say this to, because I know you get it. »
Sharp sensitivity and intuition
We feel and are impacted by every subtlety of other people’s body language or voice tone. We are not always right about the exact meaning of what we sense, especially because our perceptions are biased by our fears and beliefs, but we still sense more vibrations that most people do. Even though we are not able to guess exactly what is going on, we do sense that something is going on, even when the others try to hide it.
As a result, we are capable of creating very strong bond with our friends and lovers. If you are attentive enough yourself to your environment, and when you will to embrace this bond, you end up having the kind of relationship where, most of the time, you can just look at each other without saying a word and know what the other wants or experiences.
The kind of relationship where, when things are good, everything seems extra-fluid and easy.
Again, we don’t always guess right. And probably guessing is not the best thing to do. One negative aspect of it is that we borderlines often feel like it isn’t necessary to talk, or are afraid that it will tarnish the magic of the moment.
It is important to give up on the illusion of the magic of the moment ; this is a romanticized, sugar-coated idea.
People need to say things to each other. I am having trouble understanding and implementing this, but this is the reality : things have to be said at some point, not everything can be sensed. There is always a risk that what we sense is not the reality and that, as a result, our response is based on the wrong suppositions.
As my partner tells me : « if you want to know how I feel, why don’t you ask me ? ». Yes, makes perfect sense. When it is too hard for me to ask, I am trying to think that accepting to tarnish the magic of the moment gives fuel to make the relationship more magic in the long-term.
Yes, we do idealize the people we love. And what is so wrong with it?
« The good thing about feeling in extremes is
When I love, I give them wings. »
Idealization or not, the results are the same. As long as we are committed in a relationship, no matter how agressive, how pushy, how rejecting we might be sometimes, we are genuinely and completely loyal to the loved one, and completely devoted in the relationship.
Passion & forgiveness
In romance as in friendship, the love is either complete and passionate, or is not at all. The passion should not be understood as something that passes as fast as it came. Borderline passion is the kind that can last for ages. This is the way love is given : completely, in a childish way.
Even though we can be pushers away, when we like or love someone, we really do, not in a semi way. We are ready to perform stupid moves to protect a relationship, and to deal with the harmful consequences without anyone even suspecting what is going on.
I often read or hear that you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. Well, maybe you can’t communicate properly, maybe you can’t have the sanest relationship when you don’t love yourself, but you sure CAN love other people.
And trust me, you can love them hard.
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I am aware that living with a borderline person can feel like permanent roller-coaster. I am aware that lots of things we do don’t make sense for other people. Also am I aware that we sometimes can cause real pain.
But I think that sharing your life with someone who is known as borderline is a choice and, even though I strongly encourage anyone, especially borderlines – first of all myself – to constantly try and improve themselves and their communication skills, I think it is unfair to benefit from the advantages of the borderline personality and to complain about the difficulties involved everytime they pop up.
It is like picking a video game character : you can either chose one who is average in every skill, or chose someone very skilled in some ways and very fragile in others. This is up to you and the way you want to play, or live your life.
If you chose the latter, then probably it makes sense not to expose your character to what makes him weak without taking some precautions. And if you do expose him to something that makes him weak, you can’t just be angry at his weaknesses, because you have benefited from his exceptional strengths at other times.
You can try and work on the weaknesses, but it doesn’t happen on itself, it requires time, patience, and support. And it requires a real will to make things better.
I think being loved by a borderline person is the opportunity to live an uncommon love experience. But this is a choice that needs to be remembered in hard times.
Living with a borderline person is certainly not a relaxing experience. And some people are not interested in living intense experiences. You can’t expect a borderline person to be a pale and dull person and – this is the same with each individual – people are not robots in which you can pick certain functionalities and desactivate others. Welcoming the good and rejecting the person every time she shows weakness is not a loving behavior.
As much as I encourage borderline people to never give up on getting better at communicating and handling their emotions, I also encourage their loved ones, if they chose to take the beautiful love they are given, to accept the person, to cherish her, to encourage her to get better and to support her, especially in tough times.
A borderline person will never hurt you on purpose and, trust me, seing you sad will always break her heart. Be extra-friendly in tough times and, I promise, you will be extra-loved.