"I AM a Child" — Borderline Personality, Age 42

Women with BPD act out like children do, because they are children. Their emotional development was arrested due to childhood loss or abuse, says a BPD woman.

by Rosie

The main reason I want to tell my story is that people with Borderline Personality Disorder get a bad rap.

I believe that if more people understood things from the Borderline’s perspective, it would make things so much easier for everyone involved.

My dad left before I was old enough to remember him and my mom died a month before my 11 birthday. I recently realized in therapy that I was indeed molested by a caretaker around the age of four.

I knew something had happened with a particular person. But it was not until I explained to my therapist about the sexual things I was doing shortly after that, that my suspicions were confirmed.

She said, the things I was doing was not age appropriate. I remember the very day that I said, my mother would always be there. So when she died, I felt so alone and angry at her for leaving me.

I am 42 years old and still searching for her in anyone who shows me the slightest amount of caring.

There is a famous book about Borderline called, “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me.” This title says a lot. The abuse started while my mother was fighting for her life with cancer. It continued by various people throughout my childhood into young adulthood.

Through my own experience and research, I have learned that the worse thing you can do to a Borderline is leave or even threaten to. They will put up with all sorts of mistreatment as long as you are committed to staying with them. I know in my experience a lot of people have assumed that I did not realize that I was being abused, because I did whatever was necessary to keep that person close.

Many people accuse us of being manipulative. I wish it was that simple. The dread that one feels when someone close is threatening to leave is worse than the thought of death. It’s like that person is your life support machine.

Borderlines are very intelligent. They know exactly what went wrong, that the relationship is beyond repair, and that each of you would be better off without the other. But when a Borderline feels that they have been pushed into survival mode, nothing logical is going to make sense to them.

They say that Borderlines overreact to everything. Most of them have experienced some sort of trauma and the way they feel about what has happened makes their reaction seem appropriate, to them.

Once a Borderline feels like she can no longer trust you, that trust is gone forever. All that is left is raw pain that never heals. But they still cannot let go. They may honestly hate you, but they are glued to the “perfect person” you were when they met you.

On top of that, Borderlines will not take time to heal from the last relationship. They have got to be hooked up to that life support again.

All they are doing is collecting pain and bringing it along to the next relationship. Now you can imagine why a relationship with a Borderline  goes bad so quickly and why their anger always seems out of proportion to the situation.

People want to change the phrase Borderline Personality Disorder. They say it does not fit. For me it fits perfectly. I am too screwed up to be considered normal and too intelligent to fit in with the people with severe mental disturbances.

I say, I am bright enough to know how f *cked up I really am. But I have found hope in God. He is an amazing deliverer. Borderlines are usually missing the coping skills and tools that parents teach mostly by example. And their emotional growth is severely compromised.

I literally watched each of my ten nieces and nephews outgrow me emotionally. When you are an adult with the emotions of a toddler, the world can be a very scary place to exist.

But when I go into childlike mode, all my mannerisms are like a child. I even sound like one. People either laugh at me, or get angry.

It is very rare for them to seem unaware or care in spite of it all. Those are the ones that I cling to. I remember once in my thirties, a caretaker angrily told me I was not a child. Without giving it any thought, I responded, Yes I am!!!

In response to Henry’s questions:

To answer your question about why we act out and are sometimes
abusive. Like the love we felt for the first significant one who
abandoned us, we are still acting out the pain. We don’t realize that
what is going on at the time is truly out of proportion to our anger.
But it has triggered something(s) from the past. Before I started
personally working on my anger, I realized that I had been angry about
so much for so long, I could not remember most of it. 

Some of the abuse was too much for me to handle, so I blocked it
out. I have remembered some of it over the years and I will cry just
like the childhood me cried. I live in constant fear of suddenly
remembering things. For the most part, the only reason that I remember
them is that my two sisters and I talk about it. But I also remember
things that they don’t remember.
I have been on S.S.I since 2001. At that time, I was only taking an
antidepressant. Now I am taking like 20 different medications. However,
I am still only taking that one psych med, Paxil. My medical history
alone is a book.
As far as a cure, it is as complicated as the disorder
itself. Because it is a “Learned Disorder/Behavior,” there are only
medications to treat the side effects that it causes. Some of the side
effects are, depression, anxiety, P.T.S.D, panic attacks, and so many

Marsha Linehan recently developed a therapy called Dialectic
Behavior Therapy, it is exclusively for borderline. I tried it, but it
was much too weird for me. I almost had a mental break down trying to
explain to the therapist why this cure was not working for me. Before
this, there was only ten years or more of Psychotherapy. It works by
unlearning the coping mechanisms you have learned through abuse an
neglect and learning proper/healthy coping skills.
I have come a long way in trusting God. I am not in fear of
anyone abandoning me. It took some time for me to learn that the Bible
is true when it says that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. I
am living by myself and believing that every step of the way.


Men often have BPD also. But they are less likely to seek treatment. Men don’t self injure, they take it out on their love ones and generally end up in jail. Women are more likely to hurt themselves instead of others. If you want to see a good movie staring a man whom I believe had BPD, rent the movie, Antwone Fisher. It is based on a true story. Denzel Washington plays the therapist. A good movie to see about a woman who suffers from it is called, A Thin Line Between Love And Hate. Everyone already knows about and has seen Fatal Attraction, another good one.


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