I’ve ridden a roller-coaster my entire life, fitting in nowhere, not even in my own home. Of course, by chance when I did, I’d find some way to mess it up. This life never allowed me to like myself or believe I deserved others to like me either. I’d moved out on my own by 16 and was expelled from school just before graduation. My life displayed a pattern: abusive relationships, drug abuse, eating disorders, and other self-destructive tendencies that I never once thought of as problems. I really had no idea who I was. I simply lived my life the best way I knew how.
Blunt force trauma to the head made it easy for me to leave a man who said he would love me forever. Most abused women stay. I’m proud to say I was strong enough to go. Accepting that I was not to blame but only played a part in what happened was an important step in my recovery. As a single parent in a brand new city, I was terrified, yet determined to show the world I could rise above my previous life. However, reality hit and striving to do everything alone took its toll. Nine months after moving, just two days before Christmas, contemplating driving my car off the bridge, I checked myself into emergency. I will never forget the fear and humiliation I felt in the small room with the guard outside. I didn’t feel like I belonged there, but they wouldn’t let me leave. Trapped again. I had done it to myself.
But, that was then…
It’s been one hell of a journey since I decided to start my life over two years ago. I have to admit that seeking help was the smartest thing I could have done. The psychiatrist, after hearing my story, diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). He asked me to read the book, I Hate You–Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality
. All I had to do was read the back to realize I was no longer alone. I don’t take medication for bi-polar, anxiety, or depression. For me, pills only make things worse. I needed to change my mind… learn to love myself. Something entered my life that I’d never experienced before…unconditional love.
Listening To Love
People may judge my flaws, but I understand now, they are only insecure about their own imperfections. I now choose to listen to healthy, secure individuals. They tell me I’m awesome— that I’m smart enough to achieve personal success. I believe them. This unconditional love has changed my life. You see, we can’t grow without it. Though I still find myself angry at times for 30 years of rejection, I still have a good heart and would give the shirt off my back to help someone. Suffering, rejection, years without answers, and the misdiagnosis of a real mental condition happened to me.
It happens to many…unfortunately.
I believe it’s important for people to be aware of BPD, as there are so many of us who experience emotional turmoil. Even if you personally don’t have BPD, I can almost guarantee that you come into regular contact with one or more persons who do. Over 18- million people in America alone have been diagnosed with BPD. That’s just the individuals who have come forward and sought help. After so many years of personal struggling, awareness has given me understanding about who I am and the reasons I do what I do. I no longer believe I’m crazy or incurable. I’m just a girl who didn’t get what she needed growing up, like so many others. Building self-confidence is the first step and crucial, as most individuality is envied. There also must be a self-assessment to recognize destructive behavior. With help and knowledge, it is possible to change non-serving behavior if you really want to. Most importantly, believe in yourself. I do.
For more information about BPD, visit The National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder
I read your story yesterday and it impacted me so much that I quite frankly could not even post a reply. Wanted to think about it. While doing holosync today I thought about it again and what stood out the most to me was what you said about unconditional love. I think at the heart of all journeys towards health is the need to unconditionally love ourselves. When we hear those words ‘unconditional love’ we almost think of other people. He, she, it should unconditionally love us. But in truth the love starts on the inside. Not that we don’t need some outside boosts at times but nothing remains permanent till we have learned that first lesson and decided that we are worth loving. We are lovable and we can love ourselves.
Wow, thanks for sharing your thoughts on unconditional love, Elisabeth. I got a tear in my eye reading it. Angela truly did move you. You have really hit on something imperative for health and life. You should incorporate that topic in an article.
Thank you Elisabeth… you are SO right. I started to touch about that in my article and have been thinking that I want to expand more in future articles. We do need to learn how to ‘unconditionally love’ ourselves. It is so important and something I think many of us lack. I know that personally, never having that unconditional love growing up taught me that I was never good enough, even for myself. I’m sure my parents never intended it this way, they were just doing their job the best way they knew how. Now that I am a parent, I can only learn from their mistakes and hope that I can teach my daughter how to love herself and others. We are all truly remarkable and should believe it.
This is truly a remarkable story about determination and deciding to take charge of your life. I’m so proud of you and your drive to make a good life for you and your daughter. I believe this is your time to shine and see your dreams come to pass. I know so many women will relate to what happened to you. I don’t believe any of us got all that we needed when we were young, and that hurts…a lot. But we can’t spend a lifetime blaming others if we want to harness success and true happiness. You are an example of one who rose above your circumstances and chose to forgive the past and find a new life. You go, Superwoman!
A lot of my drive has come from learning from women, such as yourself. We have all travelled different paths but we have all ended up here and have so much to learn from one another. The power I have felt today has been remarkable and I have this first article to thank for that. The feedback I am receiving has made me realize I am not alone, even more than before. This is just the beginning of my journey but I can already feel the ‘shine’. Thank you again for this opportunity to help others while I help myself! xox
How lovely to meet you Angela! What a journey!
I have two daughters myself and your comments “I’m just a girl who didn’t get what she needed growing up, like so many others. Building self-confidence is the first step and crucial, as most individuality is envied.” struck a chord with me. I am always talking with my girls, encouraging open communication and open feelings about what it going on in their lives. They know they are loved every step of the way. I came from a generation where there wasn’t a lot of talking, and both my husband and I talk alot. But we also watch and listen. There’s no guarantee in parenting but awareness helps out!
I look forward to sharing and learning more with you along the way.
Thank you for sharing! Knowing that my story will help others gain insight means a great deal to me. The feedback I receive not only inspires me to keep writing my story but also helps me gain knowledge on life. Confidence, awareness and communication are definitely powerful skills to have and I am grateful to have the support in my life in order to practice these, as I am sure your girls are as well. I look forward to building these positive relationships here on WLL and in my life.