A borderline’s reality

Links: http://www.aapel.org/bdp/BLresisthelpUS.html

“Often, for many borderlines, anyone that tries to tell them anything different from what they “think” they know is seen as “lying to them”.

When someone is in the active throes of BPD — remember– they DO NOT KNOW WHO THEY ARE — WHAT THEY WANT– WHAT THEY NEED — WHAT THEY VALUE — WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN’T WORK. And borderlines do not know how to relate to others because they do not know how to relate to themselves. They are lost. It is a most profound and desolately-barren place to be. It is full of emptiness and uncertainty. It drives borderlines to demand a rigid sense of order — it may be disordered- order, or ordered-chaos, but borderlines cling to maladaptive and unproductive (unhealthy patterns) because in the absence of knowing self the patterns — or expectations are all that they “do” know. Consequently, many borderlines develop extremely rigid expectations of those around them who they look to, clearly, to define themselves.”

Link: http://www.healthyplace.com/personality-disorders/life-at-the-border/is-perceptual-distortion-part-of-the-bpd/

“When a borderline is stressed or threatened, the trapped animal part of the brain takes over – and is on “survival mode.” “Shoot first and ask questions later” describes it well. Since most of the time they are not really trapped and cornered this perception is untrue, and is called psychosis. Borderlines act very rationally from that incorrect perception.”


For a borderline, there are two realities (or more). For the sake of simplicity, let’s say two: the black and the white realities. The quotes above nail it. When I am “in the active throes of BPD”, I feel just like that. I am so lost, and I literally lack almost all verbal communication skills. I know there’s a mess of things going on inside of me, but trying to communicate them seems impossible. I would have no idea what to say. The only thing I really know for sure in those times is that I feel terrible, and I may be urging to self-harm…or die, simply because I can’t make sense of anything and it causes unbearable pain.

This creates such an immense amount of distrust for others, and an over feeling of not being safe, and leads into the borderline needing to adjust actual reality to fit with their borderline reality. Anyone then trying to communicate anything to them that doesn’t fit with how they feel, feels like they are trying to manipulate and lie to, and trick the borderline.

I read somewhere the other day that borderlines use many analogies when trying to describe how they feel, and they never actually state how they feel. It’s because they don’t know. They can try to describe what it feels like, but labeling those feelings (and therefore clearly communicating to someone else which emotion they have), is such a difficult task for borderlines, because we literally just don’t know.


One thought on “A borderline’s reality

  1. Another post I can really relate to….this sentence particularly resonated with me, and how I think I have been behaving in therapy over the last few months: “Anyone then trying to communicate anything to them that doesn’t fit with how they feel, feels like they are trying to manipulate and lie to, and trick the borderline.” And I hadn’t thought about talking about feelings using analogies before, but I do think it’s true for me – I know that I tend to ‘talk around’ a feeling, rather than naming it directly….

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