A Boderline Personality Disorder Journey
Sara Ali Mahran
© Copyright 2022 by Sara Ali Mahran
Photo courtesy of Pexels.
I was the shy girl in the family, the one who all the family members wouldnít understand why she was always shy and sensitive. I would cry if someone just yelled at me, I would hide in my room if anyone said anything negative about how I look, and this childhood was a part of the whole story.
When you always thought that youíre not good enough, that your value is based on your grades, and that you have to be like everyone else to be accepted, this easily can lead to a mental health issue. little did I know back then.
I was living a life where I had to hide to escape my familyís fights; I used to keep studying in a room because that will change my life. My dad was yelling at my brother, my mother would scream and try to end this whole thing, and I would be the person who never joins the fight because I didnít know what part I should take. At the times where I couldnít hide, I would stay with them, crying for both my brother and my father.
My father was my beloved one when I was a child, but while growing up, I realized that this was the case because he was always travelling. My mom was around, and from day one, she treated me differently. She always criticized me, and between my sisters, I am the one who was slapped on the face in front of other family members. I suffered as a child for being sensitive and for being different because I didnít know how to fit in with my family. I was always annoyed by this fact.
I grew up knowing that I have to prove them wrong. I grew up telling myself in horrible ways that I have to fight to be accepted. Unfortunately, no one ever told me that it wasnít my fault.
For people around me, I was living a normal life, but this was far beyond the truth. I hid behind many masks which I used to try and become another person. I taught myself how to stop crying because of everything, how to act good in every possible way. However, I didnít realize that I was trying to change myself for them, I was trying to be another person just to know what is means to be loved.
I was popular at school; I was a nerd, the one who helps people study and always gets full marks. I used to sing in front of my whole school, I was confident, or was I pretending to be?
When I think about myself as I child, I really cannot recall how I felt, and how my life was. I think I was happy with getting attention at the school and be known by the teachers and the students. Back there, I felt that I am not alone, that some people can really love me for who I am.
Everything was fine, or this how I acted like. I hid my familyís problems behind walls; I always acted like we are one loving family and that everyone should envy us for that. I was studying and studying all the time, and I was focused on getting myself what I want just to know how it feels to be more than a forgotten child.
Suddenly, Iím not sure when, but life started to shake underneath me, and I wasnít able to stand on it without losing control of everything. I was that kind of person who plans everything. I used to create a schedule for the whole week, and there was no room for not following through. I used to sleep for only 5 hours or less. I spent the whole day studying or talking to my friends, if I had the time, about studying as well. It was a cycle that I believed will one day lead me to where I want to be. I was nothing, and I knew that by hardworking I might be something, but it doesnít work like this. At the beginning, I had painful days where I couldnít feel which organ in my body aches. I visited many doctors and they all agreed that I should stop worrying about everything, but how could I?
I never knew how to stop planning for everything, and how to stop drifting with my feelings.
I kept visiting doctors, getting angry when every single one of them tell me that I am not physically sick, and I just need to relax. I wanted something to be wrong with my body so the pain can be understandable, I didnít know what to do with my aching body, and what to do with my life if thereís no explanation.
I have to be sick, there has to be something that led me to crying the whole day, not being able to talk to anyone, hiding from my friends, skipping my lessons and feeling like I am not able to do anything at all. Now, I wish my family were aware that this was depression, they would have saved me from suffering all these years.
I tried to survive by creating a new goal. It didnít work out, and I hated myself more. Every time I try again, the pain grows, and I felt like I cannot breathe anymore.
For a long time, I knew that I should visit a therapist one day because I hated myself, but I believed it was something that might get better when I reach my goals. I lost track of my goals; for years I wanted to be the first on my class, and it never happened. Every time I failed; my concern turned into belief.
I started self-harm early, when I was around 15 years old, but I couldnít identify this as a harmful attitude until years after that. When I couldnít get the grade I wanted, I would punch the wall until my hand hurts badly that I cannot move it, and I would tell my family that it happened out of nowhere. I also wanted the attention they would give me when I was sick, which I wouldnít get otherwise, and that increased the desire to harm myself again. I didnít understand how my soul was craving care until last year.
I kept saving memories that traumatized me. I hid these memories in a box inside my mind where I cannot reach it because of how much I suffered in my childhood. I didnít realize that until I was 20.
ďYou have borderline personality disorderĒ.
simple sentence changed the world I always knew, and made me question
everything. I didnít know what should I do? How would I accept
the fact that I should suffer because of something I didnít
choose? I felt angry towards the therapists, towards my family, but
most of the anger was directed towards myself. I blamed myself for
having a personality disorder, even when I knew it was never my
fault. A therapist once told me that having borderline personality
disorder as a woman reflects a horrible relationship with the mother,
which was so true. I followed my doctorsí instructions to get
better, I took the pills the doctors wrote, I kept visiting my
therapist, but during the process, I started the internal revolution
by fighting the disorder itsel. I couldnít understand the
symptoms. After self-harm, suicide came on the table, and my emotions
always seemed so hard to deal with. I tried to kill myself many
times, and I was hospitalized a lot. I always describe my final
attempt to kill myself as if I had touched the hand of death, but he
left me alone. I didnít try to kill myself again because it
took me months to be able to live again after I thought it was the
end. I was impulsive; I was ready to do anything that will numb the
pain, and I was so miserable.
I hid the fact that I am visiting therapists from my father because he was never here, and I knew he would never understand. However, I told my two sisters and my brother about it, and then I told my mother. I felt guilty for years as I put them under so much pressure by knowing that they might wake up one day and find me dead. They begged me to stop trying to kill myself. I promised I wonít do it again, but I just couldnít.
I kept trying although I was trying to be better not for myself, but for all the people who love me. I wanted to be dead, but I didnít want them to suffer, and this made me get into a cycle that would always make me feel worse about being me.
When one of the psychiatrists suggested that I should be hospitalized I had to tell my father about everything.
My dad said that I was delusional. He thought I should pray it out. He said that I am building a house of delusions over my head, and that I am totally fine. He never knew anything about me, but he thought he was right as always, and this is one of the most horrible things about having a narcissistic parent. My mom never understood what is really happening, and after each session she would ask me why are you not happy, the session didnít go well?
Like I should laugh more afterwards!
And every time my sleeping pills werenít around, she would dare me to sleep without them, and she would be surprised that I couldnít. She would say a lot of words about how this became an addiction and that I should quit them, but she never thought about what would happen to me.
At least she tried, my father on the other hand, was able to tell me I should never visit my therapist again after I was hospitalized in intense care room, and I should take my exams. He always just cared about grades, and he would never think I am good enough. He believed and sometimes wanted to believe that we will never be like him, that everything we do is wrong, even when everyone in our family envy him for having us.
During my healing journey, I thought that my borderline personality disorder could kill me. I couldnít understand how to accept my feelings, how to deal with emotions when it hits me from nowhere, how to stay alive when suicidal thoughts knock my head, and how to survive while the fight is happening between me, myself and I.
Sometimes I would sleep with a very good mood and I wake up having suicidal thoughts. I could laugh until I cry and I could cry until I laugh, maybe at the same time. For years, nobody knew, even my doctor, why depression suddenly hits me while Iím having my best day ever, and how depression always knew its way back to my life.
I try to understand what canít be understood with the help of professionals but I get lost between the words and descriptions. What a personality disorder means, how my mood swings change, what it means to have depression, how I should deal with the anxiety, and much more.
I used to describe anxiety, depression, self-harming, suicidal thoughts and self-hate as the demons surrounding my borderline.
I sleep with a disorder that wonít go away when I wake up, I know it will always be there, inside me, not beside me.
Personality disorders make you fight yourself all the time, you donít accept what your mind tells you because it will make you lose your life.
Some people who have borderline personality disorder harm people, but I was the one who broke after any relationship.
I was the one who loses everything because I give everything I have in a relationship; I would let people harm me in every possible way because deep in my heart, I believed it was what I deserve.
I hated myself that looking in the mirror and not feeling disgust was almost impossible. I always felt like I am ugly, like I am full of flaws in my face, that I am fat even when I was skinny. I wanted to look better, and I believed I will never be loved the way I am because who would to do anything with someone like me: an ugly loser who has no future.
For 6 years, I just wanted to be dead. I just waited to be another person who doesnít have to suffer that much, and this never happened.
I fought my soul thatís too pure to keep going in this horrific life, I fought my thoughts that order me to kill myself, I fought my demons who want me to be just a normal person which I canít be according to my personality, and I fought life that always gives me sorrow.
ďYou are differentĒ
I heard this expression from my therapist many times that I lost count. I am different, how I feel is different, how I think is different, I have to deal with everything also in different way, but I just wanted to be a normal person. I just wanted to be able to live a normal life, but this was not meant for me.
I wish I could be in another life where is being different is not a shame, where I can be who I am without being sorry for myself.
Some days I was able to believe that there is light in the end, that maybe the light is between my darkest thoughts, maybe itís hidden between my wings which I canít use to fly, and other days, I would be giving up hope because it hurts to expect that something will happen, and I will be better one day.
I doubted the whole therapy process; I used to tell my therapist that I will end up killing myself, and there is no way that I will be able to live carrying this personality disorder inside me. I used to keep going to therapy to be able to handle my life while I am waiting for a new suicide plan.
I always thought Iím not good enough for anything, that anything can easily kill me softly but with too much pain, that I canít be with someone without trying to be hidden between the lines as I know that he will see Iím not enough eventually.
My pure soul keeps asking me questions which I have no answer to, my demons keep telling me that I canít go on with my life anymore, my thoughts are so dark and there is a sweet laugh on my lips which I keep; pretending to be okay.
I used to believe that my borderline personality could kill me, and Iím here, hidden between my wings and my demons, asking why this life is so hard to live, and why I canít fly.
Through years of therapy, I was able to know what it means to accept myself; it took me years but now I am at a stage where self-harm is something I can fight because I love myself, now I am able to work for a better life, now I can laugh without worrying about my mood swings because I am better at handling them.
Now I am starting a new life, the one I thought I will never get. I finished collage after years of failing to do so, I have friends who I love and who will never abuse our relationship. I am able to be resilient when dealing with my depression, and I can handle my emotions most of the time. Of course, it wasnít magic, and borderline personality disorder does not just vanish, but I am at a peace which can make me keep living. Suicidal thoughts happen way less than before, and I can say that therapy saved me.
I am good enough, I am different but able to accept my unique personality, and understand how my life will always be different, and this is sort of a gift. Now I can smile at my reflection in the mirror because I like what I see.
Now I am able to have a personality disorder without blaming myself for it, and now I can be the ambitious girl I was before all this started, but with grace and acceptance.
acceptance and love gave me the wings I wanted from the beginning to
fly, and God knows how I wanted to be able to get out of the infinite
loop of depression that had its way to always bring me down.