Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Acting In, Acting Out with a Borderline Personality

“Most borderline behavior is about one thing: trying to cope with internal anguish. BP’s commonly manage their intense pain in two ways: they either act "in" or act "out". Some BP’s will mainly act "in". Some will mainly act "out". And some will act both in andout.

Acting “out” behaviors are attempts to alleviate pain by dumping it onto someone else - for example, by raging, blaming, criticizing, making accusations, and abusing others either verbally, emotionally or physically. They blame loved ones for all their problems, put others in no-win situations, and use emotional blackmail to get the love they need. Acting-out behaviors cause direct anguish for friends, family members, and partners.

BP's who act “in” may mutilate themselves, make suicide attempts, express self-hate, and engage in selfdestructive behavior. They may try to hold in their anger, and blame themselves for problems that are not their fault. Acting-in behaviors mostly hurt the BP themselves, although, those who love and care for them are affected.”

To pull on a BDSM term, I’m a switch. I like to think I’ve grown out of the more violent ‘acting out’ of my youth, but really I’ve just changed to almost solely internalizing and that’s not necessarily any healthier. It’s probably better for those around me, because I no longer take out my anger and frustration so overtly on those around me. However, all that anger and frustration is almost exclusively aimed at myself now. Though there are those certain occasions when something triggers me otherwise.

When I was younger (pre-diagnosis) I would rage at how little anyone seemed to understand me. Of course I also did my damnedest to keep people out of my life and my turmoil. Rarely did a day pass that I didn’t get into a screaming fight with my family. I would get in physical fights with my siblings. I would put my fists through windows, walls, kick down doors. I was wrath personified. I blamed all my problems on all things external. It was people not ‘getting’ me, people not taking the time to talk to me, people not being smart enough to understand, people not caring enough to understand, pushing my buttons to agitate me, make me uncomfortable to control me. All I saw were the things that set me off outside of me.  I didn’t understand what was going on inside me.

Through out this time however, I ‘acted in’ as well. I was suicidal. I kept what I was really feeling locked inside, not knowing how to deal with it, I’d take out my inner pain on my own flesh. I hated my life, the constant turmoil that my life was in, the pervasive feelings of hopelessness that this was all there was for me. Nothing else to look forward to. I hid these things. To me, the feelings of perpetual sadness, loneliness, these were ‘weaker’ feelings and I didn’t want anyone to know I had weak moments. The rage I felt, at least was strong.

Now, externally I’m calmer. I have developed a lot of self control over the outward manifestation of my emotions. I can still have a very sharp tongue and I do tend to criticize but I also try to temper this. Frankly I also justify my criticisms with the fact that I am incredibly intelligent and also generally honest to a fault, so when someone has an opinion or an idea that I know isn’t plausible I don’t stay quiet. I do try not to be mean, but I don’t let people run with silly ideas. Maybe I should just stay quiet and people will like me better, but that wouldn’t be me. I’d rather be disliked for who I am, than liked for who I am not. 

My self destructive behaviors have lessened significantly but they do still crop up. I’m working to end my expessions of self harm, though the thoughts can still be nagging. I have no idea how to stop these thoughts. I try to temper my drinking which can occasionally get out of control. I still have a lot of self-loathing, resentment for how my brain works and that I can’t lead a healthier life. I still struggle with hating my body image which I am also taking steps to work on. I am also prone to making impulsive decisions and letting myself get swept up in moments that would probably be better observed from the sidelines, but a girl’s got to live a little, right?

Maybe it’s maturity, or maybe it’s just being so sick and tired of living in so much turbulence. I don’t believe I can live this way any longer. The path I’ve tread most of my life will end quickly if I let myself go to the darkness. I can’t do this anymore. I want to live a happy, healthy life. One that is not wracked with such emotional upheaval. I’ve chosen to become a stronger version of myself and I’ve been doing everything in my power to not give up the only chance I have at this life.

7 comments:

  1. What I like about your blog is that it's so confessional, so honest. I'm sure that you will be able to work through all this in due time, to able to live your life the way you want.

    Take care :)

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  2. ::smiles:: Confessional, indeed! And thank you =)

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  3. You just wrote everything that is sitting inside my brain at this moment. I have tied my tongue for so long that I can't figure out how to say what I want to, but you just said everything for me.

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  4. Love this post. Glad you referenced it in today's "manipulation" post. :)

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  5. Thank you. I am definitely acting in. It is such an incredibly lonely existence. I am so grateful for your honesty, for saying out loud what I am feeling inside especially in your profile description. Thank you. Thank you.

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  6. I've been caught up with what I think is a BPD/Narc that I met on an internet specialist messageboard. The person has pursued me around various messageboards and can be vitriolic and contemptuous of my contributions. Still, this person wants me to engage privately by email and hasn't given up in 3 years, contacting me every 3 months or so and trying again. But never an apology. Never anything resembling interpersonal skills. And then the person ignores me when I respond intelligently. Perhaps it should only be about the BPD - when discussing other issues of importance they switch off. I don't kinow.

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  7. I have been diagnosed with BPD/PTSD. I dissassociated on so many occasions, that me not being present, caused its own trauma. I would find out later, the harm I caused because of this disorder. I was diagnosed by the finest minds in America. I was severely abused and neglected as a child. Born in trauma. It extended in adulthood and domestic violence triggered the train wreck in the perfect storm.
    It took losing my child against my asswhole ex husband and being forced by a Judge to go into therapy. He saved my life.
    I was put in Dialetical Behavorial Therapy, PTSD therapy, Relapse prevention, and it took 7 yrs to come to this point. Fighting a custody battle with this disorder was traumatizing within itself. I have been beaten raped, homeless, verbally murdered, and losing my son was the worst pain I ever endured.
    Not playing the victim, I turned into the mirror. I got off the Self Pity train and took the counsel. I was able to emotionally regulate my own emotions. Yes drinking is one of the tools of the BPD human. It is painful and it cripples you if you dont recognize it and hold it. Put a noose on it and train yourself to go against that demon inside who tells you your not worth anything.
    Going to therapy, made my family run for the hills. It exposes abuse!
    I had to do this alone. My anger was its own personality and I could not hide it. When it wanted to drink, it drank.
    I did not want my pain to be able to control me. I wanted my past not to control my future. I humbled my ignorance and convinced myself, I deserved a good life. My son deserved a good mother and I deserved to have a new world. Here I am! Whole! Thank you Jah!

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

Also, I apologize for the Word Verification captcha's... I've been getting an incredible amount of spam and I'm quite aggravated.

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