Those who fight monsters inevitably change. Because of all that I feel and have done, I’ve lost my innocence, and sometimes a tiny piece of my humanity with it. If I want to survive, sometimes I begin to adopt some of the same characteristics as the monster I fight but whatever it takes I will never allow this monster to win. My monster is Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s changed me to my very core on so many different levels and in so many different ways. It’s made me delight in rage and violence that I never knew I was capable of. Like a malignant tumor, this BPD grows inside of me. Not with the cells of cancer, but with the cells of the unknown, the emptiness, the rage, the worthlessness and the most soul searing emotional and psychological pain that a human being could possibly endure. In equating it to physical pain, some professionals compare it to having third degree burns over ninety percent of ones body.
I try and keep the monster tendencies locked in a cage, deep inside. The monster only comes out for self preservation and only then. I can no more contain it when it becomes ready to burst forth any more than a runaway train. I just hang on for dear life and pray that I’m the only casualty. It is not for the perverse pleasure that the monster feels when it harms others. In fact, the monsterous tendencies cause more damage to the Borderline than the Non Borderline could ever fathom. Guilt, isolation, depression, PTSD. There is a cost for visiting violence on others when it is the antithesis of your very nature. I am not a monster, the disorder is. The cost inflicted upon the ones we love the most and hold deepest inside of our hearts is far greater than anything I could ever imagine in my worst nightmares. That is why I try to stand against those BPD impulses lurking inside with every ounce of fight I have within my soul. It is so difficult and lonely when I have no support network to speak of. I spend all of my days and many, many sleepless nights trying to deal with this ferocious monster alone. In my own heart. In my own mind.
I don’t always succeed but I do give every fiber of my being within myself to keep the evilness inside of me caged. That is what BPD is to me…pure unadulterated evil. Evil that I never asked for, or deserved, but was given at the age most toddlers are learning to love, trust others and to believe in themselves.
While trying to minimalize the damage I do with my venomous words and unfettered rage, I am eviscerated psychologically and emotionally a bit more each time I am unable to contain it. Being left exhausted and numb for days on end from the savage battle that I have just waged inside.
I witness things in my nightmares that any sane human is not programmed to see and ever be normal again. Alas, I try to never burden a single soul with the horrific recollections of them. I bury them deep, deep down inside so the ones I love the most (my spouse, my family, my children) who are on the front lines of this disorder whether they want to be or not, never really know the scope and depth of the psychological pain I never asked for or wanted but carry around like Atlas, with the constant weight of the world on my shoulders.
For those I love, I will always run head first toward the Borderline monster and fight it with savagery of a woman possessed.
Just to walk a very thin tightrope on the opposite side of what society deems normal is a delicate and brutal dance that I spin to in tune to music that no one else hears, because it plays only in my head.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
I will always fight for what I truly fear. The battle for my sanity. I will always stand between my loved ones and this cruel disorder to the best of my abilities through which the Borderline monster wants to hurt, damage and create chaos with it’s horrible words and behavior against my closest allies. The ones who love me no matter what. Believe it or not, I acknowledge the thing that the vast majority are too soft, too weak or too cowardly to even address. The stigma of mental illness and the toll it takes on those who not only rage a daily battle with it and suffer from it, but also deal with the judgments, cruel words and hurtful comments, complete disdain and/or utter contempt and doubt that there is anything wrong with one at all. “It’s all for attention.” “It’s all in your head (of course it’s all in my head because I wage a daily exhausting war to keep it contained as much as humanly possible to minimize the fallout to the very ones who speak those exact words to me)”. These are the same people who would NEVER ever be able to wrap their condescending, small, judgmental minds around what a day in the life of anyone who has the misfortune to suffer from mental illness, which one has no control over, is like.
To my fellow sufferers of ANY and ALL types of psychological disorders, we are the beautiful ones though. The ones that battle mind numbing psychological pain that more times than not manifests itself into mind numbing physical pain who still find enough beauty in this world to smile at a stranger or offer a kind word to those that we can inherently feel may need them.
The current political climate in this country and on a much greater scale this whole world holds very little near and dear, that is except the almighty dollar and ones personal smartphones, iPads, PC’s and other technologies that lessen the interaction and the necessary skills it takes to navigate this life in the midst of one another. This age of technology and vitriol is robbing mankind of its humanity just as BPD tries to rob me of mine. It is there, that we the ones that suffer the burden of mental illness, in the time of our darkest hours, feel every bit of our humanity, because our pain at least let’s us know we are still able to feel anything at all in the times that we must totally mentally disconnect to keep us sane. The pain. It lets us know we are still alive.
Submission is the popular mantra of the times. I will NEVER submit to my illness or the stigma attached to it.
Warriors are decried, denigrated, and cast as morally inferior in the world today. Warriors come from many walks of life, genders, faiths and occupations, but let’s not forget us, the warriors of illnesses. Physical and mental. The ones who fight through the fear, trauma, pain, exhaustion and for some, ridicule. These warriors fight monsters too. Theirs may not be made of flesh and blood but are nonetheless just as real.
We know how childish, how asinine, and how cowardly the mindset of most of society is today. They would rather look the other way and pretend such ugly things do not exist rather than speak of something which my be unpleasant to their “delicate” sensibilities as the most vulnerable suffer alone. Today I realize that it is a duty, my duty, our duty as the warriors that some are and that many of us will have to become, because we must, in order to bring out into the light what society would prefer to keep in the dark. We must stand up and change the mindset of how people view mental illness. We must start uncomfortable conversations.
As a person who personally suffers from severe social anxiety as well as BPD and PTSD, something of this nature is much easier said than done, but the spark to light the fire of understanding and acceptance MUST be lit. If I can start one difficult conversation, one open dialogue that needs to be opened because I “raised my voice” for one beautiful and freeing moment and brought this normally taboo subject out into the bright glaring light, then for someone whose illness is characterized by self worthlessness, today in my own eyes, I became worthy of being a warrior for my cause. If only for that moment, perhaps, I was even a voice for another who suffers the same battle, who is still working on finding their own voice and needs someone to speak up for them as well. I am not “recovered” nor will I ever be because there is no cure for my kind of crazy. I am no hero for speaking up. I will be battling this monster for as long as I live but I realized just this day that until I viewed it and treated it as something visceral and tangible that my fight would be so much more difficult.
I DO know this…..There ARE things in this life worth fighting for.
Faith, love, liberty, family, friends and standing up for those who are too afraid, weak or ashamed to stand alone as I have been for so very long.
I woke up changed yet again by this disorder but this time I’m fighting back.
There are some of us that believe that fighting what others disagree with, turn a blind eye to, or battle the physical and/or psychologically real monsters in our midst are honorable, noble, and just….and are willing to pay the price for that deeply held belief. Why? For us, today I discovered that there is no choice.
I have to speak out and hold on as tightly as I can to these beliefs, the reason being is that today is NOT a good day. I feel like I am being sucked deeper and deeper into the bottomless abyss. That being said I will continue the good fight against this “THING” that has destroyed my whole life AND practically everyone and everything I’ve ever loved. I may go down, but MY “monsters” know I will go down fighting until the sweet, bitter end.