…just to clarify that at the beginning – as I have done nothing I didn’t like and not seen anyone save for my partner and my cat over the last few days and nothing bad has happened except for the boiler stopping to work, I am really well. Even if some things in this post might sound a little wimpy – I just want to cover this topic because I don’t have the strength for it if I’m not that well.
One important BPD-symptom is an unstable self-image which can manifest in different ways such as feelings of inferiority which one tries to avoid by others’ appreciation, megalonamia, insecurity concerning exact plans for the future, sexual preferences, inherent talents and so on. It’s hard to explain, some books even say that people with BPD don’t have a stable “self” but just fragments of one. Whatever, I guess the easiest way to understand is to just imagine feeling insecure about just everything that makes you who you are – that is about what I feel when I think about myself too much. Sure, I love other people, I have some ethical standards that are not shaken easily and I know what kind of music I like. All that makes me who I am to a certain extent but these things always depend on someone else. If you take away everyone important to me, everyone who shapes me, I just don’t know what’s left. I am my father’s daughter, my partner’s lover, my cat’s tin opener, a dear friend for some and an annoying fundraiser for others…but I can’t see how these things overlap. I am one person in one moment and another one in the next.
A few days ago, I put on some clothes without thinking (usually, my clothes always are a reference to a book that captures me, a song, a political statement,…something that offers me orientation). I just took something out of my cupboard and put it on. Suddenly, my partner grabbed me by the shoulders, put me in front of a mirror and said “Just cause you’re always asking – this is pretty much who you are!”. I don’t know if he’s aware what that did to me. It was a feeling as if he had lifted a ton’s weight off my shoulders. I breathed and thought “So this is me. My partners knows things like that. If this is actually me, I can live with that.”
Since July I have one place I live in for the first time in my life. One place where I wake up in the morning and get back to in the evening. Before that I used to be a nomad due to different circumstances – always on the road. And I had a different face everywhere. I didn’t have to act because as soon as I start adapting to a “role” I become somebody else, forgetting yesterday, forgetting what I used to be five minutes before. If two of my worlds (or people from those worlds) come together unexpectedly, that freaks me out completely.
My partner would tell me to stop thinking so much now as he can’t say who exactly he is in one sentence as well…still I have the feeling that this is different because he doesn’t feel like speaking about someone else everytime he uses the word “me”. Obviously he’s right about me thinking too much.
My mum would tell me I should try to see that all these things that make me who I am are different facets of one person – she damn sure is right about that but I still feel like lying to everyone because I never see this one whole person who’s supposed to be ME. I just get parts, facets, aspects.
I tried different special schools in order to discover an outstanding talent that makes me someone particular. So far, I haven’t found one. Then I spent a few years wondering whether men or women are more interesting for me, just to give in and mark myself “bi” in order to not go completely crazy after a while. Naturally, I had some relationships and never have I just wondered whether my partner was as great as I had thought but also who I would be with them (and not as in someone shaping you over the years but more as in being XY’s girlfriend in an instant).
I could go through hundreds of examples, so far, nobody ever got what I wanted to say…I can’t explain it much better, I just wish I knew what my name stands for. All the time, I have to rely on what others say about me (and yes, I love people talking about me, no matter how insignificant an anecdote might be, it can show me who I am for another person). But regardless of how tender the others’ words might be – they’re still just mirrors. Subjective perceptions. I guess I have to find the original on my own…