Why “Beautifully Borderline”?

One of my recently made yet good friends asked, “Why ‘Beautifully Borderline’? Seems contradictory.”

Having BPD certainly is not always beautiful, or maybe it never really is and this is just another one of my delusions. Some of us injure ourselves, leaving scars behind. We hurt people we love, not intentionally, but we do. We may have fits of rage that mimic the tantrum of a child, with the physical strength of an adult. We are sensitive to a fault which may cause us to break out in tears because heaven forbid you didn’t have a gigantic smile on your face for a split second. We may annoy you with our constant fear that you’re going to leave us. How could one possibly look at that and see beauty?

I’m not always sure. I have my times certainly that the last thing I’d label myself as is “beautiful”. I see scars, and I’m disgusted and ashamed. I ask someone, “Are you ok?” for the twentieth time in an hour, and start belittling myself for being so sensitive and worried all of the time. I physically cling to the one I’m with, and reprimand myself in my mind for being such a needy child.

But other times I look at all of these things and all I can come up with is that maybe I’m just a beautiful mess. Like an abstract piece of art that looks like a bunch of broken pieces all fit together to make one whole artistic piece of something that somehow just works. While other people walk around, using other people for their own amusement, and spending their lives trying to copy the lives of others, I love too hard and am permanently different.

I may not know who I am, but that means I’m constantly trying to find me. Along with that search comes an open mind to explore new things. To sum myself up, my borderline “traits” or symptoms (not sure), leave me feeling like this:

I know how it feels to feel different, and so I never leave anyone out. This leaves me with a lot of empathy for others. I’m that person that befriended the kid in school that everyone else was picking on, and started sticking up for them. I’m a voice for animals because they don’t have one, and I know how much it hurts to not be heard or to not be able to say what you need to say. I have intense emotions, so if you happen to get through my thick brick wall, I will love you with everything I have. This also means that you will be one of the very very few that gets to know and see more of the real me than I probably am even aware exists. When my emotions are high, I’m like a kid in a candy store; filled with uncontrollable  excitement and wonderment and adventure. With my black and white thinking, sure I see things as all terrible at times, but the flip side of that is that when in “white” thinking, everything is amazing to me. It’s like putting on a pair of glasses with super-HD lenses. I may literally stop and smell the roses.

Here is a chart that outlines some of the things rather well:


So, that’s why “Beautifully Borderline”. One of the cognitive distortions we are known to engage in, is magnifying things. Well I think that many people magnify the negative in BPD. They talk about the polarized thinking (the black and white world of a borderline), but they only ever talk about the black side of things. If you flip all of that and take a look at the white side, each negativity brings with it a positive opposite, and I think those things are pretty damn beautiful.






2 thoughts on “Why “Beautifully Borderline”?

  1. I like you calling your blog Beautifully Borderline. I may not like my scars either but the beautiful thing about Borderlines and Recovered Borderlines is that we know how a person feels because we feel emotions so intensely. We tend to be more empathetic than others even if the “professionals” don’t think so. In my opinion Beautifully Borderline is the perfect name for a blog regarding Borderline.

  2. When I first wandered on in Our Room, I started looking for blogs that delved into the same emotional nooks and crannies I planned on visiting: Mental Illness, Child Support in more than just a financial sense, certain social issues, and the clarifying frustration of getting older by the year than I used to by the decade.
    “Beautifully Borderline”, of course, just jumped off the screen at me. Didn’t sound like it would be one transcribed therapy session the next or another academic attempt at explaining the inexplicable.
    It sounded like it would be someone who was honest and strong enough to acknowledge their challenges and to go after them with a fiery passion.
    Then I started to read more and more, and whether I was right about Mandi in this sense or not, it was a concept I had embraced about my own idiosyncrasies years ago.
    When my wife was diagnosed with BPD, it was what made it so easy to stand by her side, sit by her side, lay by her side, but never want to leave it:
    I saw a beautiful soul, an exquisite angel who has so much to offer me, to continue to offer to our children for almost thirty-seven years, to her treasured pre-school students for over twenty-five years…
    but at times, seeing her go through the torture life could bring her, I was looking into the truly demonic eyes of her pedophile brother, even fifty years later getting such disturbing glee out of what he had done to her as a child. Even flaunting his impotent cowardice by rubbing it in her face in it in the presence of their family, all of whom have been in self-serving denial of what had gone on under their roof.
    When I heard some of the bile she hurled at me without so much provocation on my part as a popcorn fart, the voice I heard was Diamondback’s raspy rattle of her mother’s, telling Liz at a very young age how “crazy” she was, or how “stupit” (yup, that’s how she pronounced it) because she was crying over something that upset her. Upset her as a child, for God’s sake. This is the voice of the woman who took this child to a neighbor’s home to show her the detached garage where a neighbor had hung themselves AND set their body on fire.
    Because they were crazy. And probably “stupit”.

    So Mandi, my dear, your analogy of BPD as somewhat the Jackson Pollock of DSM-V diagnoses certainly works.
    I kind of look at it like the perfect cut of Filet Mignon, marinated and seasoned and grilled to Godly perfection –
    and the grill marks where the delicacy had been seared to keep the juices and flavors intact.
    And the chart of Positive / Negative Characteristics is priceless.
    Reminds me of the ADD that caused me to be unable to run repetitive tasks on work lists we had at work. Almost cost me the job, while on the other side of the coin, it also caused me to turn a money order for $179.89 into proof of a Custodial Mother’s hidden, unreported, undeclared income of as much as $6,000.00 per month while submitting to the Court that she only worked part-time at WalMart.
    It was one of them shiny things that caught my attention by the balls and wouldn’t let go. Just kept squeezing while I was trying my hardest to move on to the repetitive task on the next case.

    Gertie, my friend:
    “…we know how a person feels because we feel emotions so intensely. We tend to be more empathetic than others even if the ‘professionals’ don’t think so.”
    Some of those “professionals” deal with the statistical part of it all. Take a focus or target group, throw a bunch of bullshit generalizations at them, and see if they stick. If they do, you’ve got THE diagnosis.
    Statistics work really well when you’re dealing with 10,000 people. You’d be surprised how often they will be correct about how many people will watch a new sitcom with Ted McGinley and Henry Winkler as “cranky but loveable” golfing buddies..
    But it’s harder to be precise about one person than to be accurate about 10,000.
    And it’s all about feelings – the same feelings we all have to one degree or another, the only difference being the extremity of one’s reactions to those universal emotions.

    Two women such as yourselves can do a lot of good for a lot of others that even the “professionals” can’t, because what they have learned about – you have actually come to know.
    If the thought hasn’t hit you yet, join in some of the “Support Forums” at sites like PsychCentral, Psychology Today and “Welcome to Oz”. Don’t just plug your blogs, give the readers a link to one of your posts when it fits the subject at hand.

    You both have so much to offer.

    And you, Mandi, very well could have thoroughly endeared yourself to six total strangers this past weekend.
    How’s that for a “positive”.

    Gotta go.
    The dog’s staring at me like he wants to go outside have a heart-to-heart.
    He knows there’s stuff on my mind.

    Stay well, stay happy, stay yourselves.

    Pops / Harris / me

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