Where’s Your Voice?
I remember when I was first diagnosed with BPD. It was 2002. I was 26. A new mother living in rural New Hampshire. My family was 3,000 miles away on the whole other coast of the country. I felt isolated and alone. Spiraling deeper and deeper into the pit that is mental illness, I struggled. My family struggled. I was in and out of the hospital. Bi-polar? Post partum psychosis? No, Borderline Personality Disorder.
We all assumed the worse; I wouldn’t make it thought the year. But I did! And I wanted to get better.
Back then my Internet still ran through a modem. Late at night I could get a decent connection but there wasn’t much I could find about people experiencing BPD. Well I lie, I found a lot of information about how we were incurable monsters that should be avoided and or destroyed.
I was not that person! I wanted help! I wanted healing!
But today, things are different. The Internet provides a place of refuge and encouragement and many have used the support to become well! This occurred because many refused to be silent!
I already knew was there were many faces of BPD. The face of those who suffer. The face of those who live with those who suffer. The face of those who are friends with those who suffer.
But many are still struggling to find their voice.
So I stared a project titled the BPD Voices Project to give everyone a place to have a voice in the darkness. To give a voice to those who want to help in the fight against stigma and misunderstanding that surrounds BPD.
We asked for people to submit short paragraph that speaks honestly about their experience with BPD.
With the only requirement to be honest about your experience.
Our first submission was anonymous:
Living with BPD is difficult. Not only is it one of the most stigmatized disorders, but not many people truly understand it. I’m going into clinical psychology, and I’ve discovered a sad truth; the majority of clinicians refuse to work with borderlines or they call them “tiring,” “difficult,” etc. I don’t mean to be this way. I either feel nothing or everything at once, no in-between. A friend or significant other can do one thing and I automatically think they’re bad. When I care about someone or something, I put all of my energy into it. I’ve used this for good, such as with school. I became obsessed with psychology when I was 16 years-old and as a result of that I have graduated two years early and am starting my doctorate in the fall. However, that passion also brings me the most pain. I know I will make a good clinician because I am so intuitive; I can figure out the source of almost any problem. I’m what they call a “high functioning borderline,” which ironically makes it worse because people don’t think anything is wrong. I will be fine one minute and then if something triggers me, I will be on the floor crying my eyes out. I know why I’m this way; my father was emotionally abusive and that’s why I seek validation. I am proud of how far I’ve come, but I’m afraid I will always live with the fear of abandonment. It’s so hard to be in a relationship because I end up projecting my fears onto them and push them away. I just need someone who understands. Until then, I will live with this pain and use my understanding of the disorder to help the millions of individuals living with it. – Anonymous
BPD recovery begins when voices are not only heard, but validated.
The project is meant to give us a place to speak our voice, tell our stories, our way, not in the way professionals tell us we should. It gives us a platform to come together as a community to fight stigma and misunderstanding by letting people into our inner world to see the battles we face every day. Let them know the battles we have won. The stories aren’t often pretty, but they are as raw and true as the disorder itself.
In my humble opinion the project has been a big success and I look forward to many more voices being heard! We are receiving submissions from around the world and are scheduling our voices project submissions months in advance! I hope this is a project that will go on for many years so that all may have a voice to heal.