WHY IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT AFTER ALL

If you are diagnosed with BPD, it isn’t your fault.
If you love someone with BPD, it isn’t your fault.

I do not condone that people with BPD should not be held accountable for their actions. I know there is somewhat a no-man’s land with regards to accountability. Can someone really be held accountable for their actions if they have no idea of what they are doing?

For example there were many (countless) times I hurt my various ex-partners. I believed so powerfully and so blindly that I was going to be abandoned or hurt, that I would lash out and attack at the merest hint – imagined or otherwise – that something wasn’t quite right in the relationship.

My immediate reaction would be a full-scale breakdown, complete with self-harming, crying, sometimes getting aggressive, and the standard “We’re breaking up.” Sometimes I would seriously consider suicide, and even attempt it.

I thought that if I wasn’t around to hurt, I couldn’t get hurt (hence the suicidal gestures) or ‘you can’t hurt me if I hurt you first’. It is kind of the worst ploy in the world: I’m going to show you how much I don’t care about you so you don’t think I’m weak and leave me, but in reality I care deeply about please never leave me. None of it made any sense.

I find that a lot of my worst experiences with BPD have heavily featured contradictions that somehow for that moment, made complete sense. In the midst of any kind of emotional break down it’s as if there’s a tiny switch representing logic that gets flicked off in all the ruckus and all semblance of decency, understanding, and empathy just vanishes.

Then afterwards when you’re putting all the furniture the right way up again you notice that little switch was off this whole time and you kind of just flick it back on like ‘hey what does that do – OH GOD.’ and it all comes flooding in in the next barrage of intense, overwhelming emotions. But this time it’s the guilt and the shame and the dregs of the logic you forgot.

I understand that BPD is not an excuse for any sort of bad behaviour towards another person, just like being labelled as a racist doesn’t mean that it’s okay to be actively racist. It’s not an excuse, but it is a reason.

In a way, it isn’t your fault. You don’t have the right tools yet. You don’t have the right skills to help you to communicate better. You haven’t learnt how to grow thicker emotional skin yet, and you’re still very vulnerable.

However, what you can do  is recognise when these lapses in logic happen. Recognise and accept that they happened. Don’t try to forget it, or it will just repeat over and over and over. Once you recognise it, then you can begin to work on it.

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