“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.