Today I’ll meet some relatives of mine whom I like very much. In principle I’m looking forward to the meeting but some things about it make me feel so insecure that I’d like a hand to hold on to: Usually we only meet when there are more people – what if I don’t know what to day? We’re going to meet at a museum – what if there are so many people that I dissociate, have a panic attack, whatever? Because they don’t know that there’s something wrong with me. I’ve been planning to tell them for a long time but somehow I suck at talking about it to people who don’t know already. I’m scared they won’t believe me because I’m always laughing. I’m scared they might ask why I am ill. I’m scared of not being taken seriously. And above all I’m scared of what a tactless reaction might trigger: More often than not has my stupid head completely devaluated people who are important to me after one statement that offended me and then I completely shut them out. That’s my biggest fear: That a dear person could say “Pull yourself together, I’m sometimes angry or sad as well, that’s no reason to act up like this!” and hurt me so much that the relationship would change permanently.
The easiest thing to explain are the panic attacks: They are visible, they are isolated episodes and they can’t be confused with ordinary everyday-feelings. BPD is somewhat different as it takes quite a long time to explain all the symptoms. And also they aren’t always understandable because only together they form a total picture. Anger – is something other people feel as well (how the hell can I explain that this rage is different?). Self-harm – is often viewed as attention-seeking and/or immature. Emptiness – so very hard to explain. Dissociation is the symptom that is generally accepted as strange as most people aren’t used to seeing themselves from the outside. This often leads to me talking about dissociation and panik attacks and leaving the other symptoms out. There are some people where I haven’t even done that so far. It’s a pity because I think it’s important not to make a secret out of it – I want us to talk about mental illnesses the same way we talk about physical ones and if I had a broken leg I wouldn’t wonder how to tell nice people for years.
I’m curious as to what our meeting will be like, if there will even be an oppurtunity to talk about my mental state and how well I’ll cope with the many people in the museum or the cafe. Nevertheless I’m looking forward to it.