Although I have often been asked about my attraction to darker literature, films, music and people in general, I have never really given it much thought (in terms of where BPD is concerned).
Growing up, I was always a considered a bit “strange” or “weird” by my peers – other kids were reading “Dick and Jane” books, yet as early as the age of 7-8 I was engrossed by Stephen King, Dean Koontz and others. I was engulfing these books at a pretty rapid rate, and instead of using my school library, I would go to the local public library to get my fix (school didn’t cater for me).
Horror films started earlier, my parents being the way they were, would let my brother and I watch whatever we liked, alone (or often while they were doing other things around the house).
We purchased our first VHS recorder when I was 4-5 years of age, in 1979-1980, and that was a great time for films (horror in general), and some of the first films I saw on this incredible new platform were Stephen King’s The Shining, Friday the 13th, Alligator and (of course) Jaws
When I started school, this lead to a fair bit of bullying – I couldn’t really communicate or connect with other kids through common interests, because not many other kids I knew were watching and listening to the things that I was.
This made for a very lonely time, but in a lot of ways I did not mind – I liked being different and feeling as though I was the only one in my school who’d seen a particular film or heard a particular album.
I was bullied a lot, both for my medical conditions and for my interests, and it seemed that whenever I did try to fit in, it never felt natural to me and was always forced. Even though forcing myself to behave in a certain way pleased others, it made me miserable and dealt me a hefty dose of inner solitude and sadness to take home with me.
Whilst abuse was always rampant in my household in many different ways, the films I watched (although very violent), somehow numbed my feelings towards both the abuse and how it was affecting me.
In many ways feeling numb was easier for a kid than to have to feel the pain of abuse. Although the abuse “bothered” me, I had something to look forward to, something to replace it’s effects with which made me happy.
I spent the first past of my school years in 1980-1981 going to the same school as my brother, but it was not for very long before he was sent to a secondary school. I had somehow been shunted by him anyhow as he built friends at school and refused to even eat his lunch with me any more, so when he was moved, I was somewhat relieved of how that had made me feel also.
I encased myself in numbness, sat on my own during lunch hours, and was rarely ever asked “how are you?” or even “are you OK?”.
I was essentially, left alone to my own devices, and the only attention I gained was through being bullied, which was no fun at all.
When coming home from school, I would lock myself away in my room with my horror magazines and music. Although feeling what would now be described in today’s day and age as “depressed”, I was content with what I had, yet still craved something else.
Along with being bullied, the abuse at home, my rejection from family and peers, I was also spending a lot of time back and forth to hospitals, doctors and soon developed a terrible fear of them.
(Psychiatrists (ie: drug dealers) scare the shit out my, they never helped me in any way. shape or form, as soon as they learned that the drugs which they fed me did not “work”, they wanted nothing more to do with me and had exited me from the system.)
Although going to a hospital appointment as a child seems normal to most people, I was constantly there – sometimes more than 2-3 times a week in my early childhood, I developed a nickname “Sickboy” that my brother gave to me, simply because I was always there.
Times at doctors/hospitals ceased somewhat as I entered adolescence, but as we moved around so much, I couldn’t keep the 1-2 friends that I’d been able to make. When I left them, I think I took it a lot harder (emotionally) than most would have, probably because I think I’d worked so hard within myself to make that friend and then it had been taken away from me.
I gave up the search for friends at a certain point, I had accepted that it was too hard to simply find someone who was interesting enough to me in order to share myself with. I would just allow whoever entered my life access, and see what they were like. This, however, was not a good mood, as I am sure you’ll agree – people of all walks of life tried to take advantage of me in a lot of different ways, and I allowed it to happen, simply because it felt better than having to be alone and have nothing.
The loneliness has somewhat increased over the years, yet I have now accepted that in many ways this will never change (at least not to any significant degree). I am too old now to invite new people into my life and expect them to accept me for who I am – I do not even accept me, how can I possibly expect others to?
All of this sounds very morbid and deep, but I have (as I said) come to an acceptance of this fact, and it has helped me in a lot of ways to deal with how it makes me feel. The urge and need to find connection and stability in people is still very much there, but the thought of being rejected, misunderstood and judged is much greater.
I have been discriminated against my whole life, both by peers, and by mental health system workers (yes, this does happen, people), and every time it happens, I feel as though it couldn’t possibly get any worse, but it does. Sometimes shit just gets worse, and never improves for some people – I guess it is just how you deal with and manage it that changes the outcome and how it affects you.
Being bullied and discriminated by the people who are supposed to be helping you is a real head-fuck of a situation to try and comprehend, and even though I am almost 40 now, I have still not worked out why people do this.
I believe that through all of this, I have earned the skills and experience to actually know this system better than the people who are working within it. Sometimes I wonder what thing would have been like, had I been treated differently.
If only I had not been born with so many defects, if only I had been able to have “normal” interests and tastes, if only I had been a robot like my peers and followed the sheep…
Screw that, I would rather be alone than like everyone else 🙂
Acceptance and kindness goes a long way, as does understanding, and people need to start learning this before it’s too late for someone like me…