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Borderline Personality Disorder Life Stories
female with history of abuse, chemical dependency, self harm, rape and suicide attempts
My story begins a long time ago, when i was only 3 years old. That was my introduction to abandonment. My father left us, and since that time, i can count the times i have seen him on one hand.
My mother remarried, and she picked another winner. This one liked 'em young, and taught his son the same. At night, my stepfather would come into my bedroom and force me into oral sex. During the day, my stepbrother would make me do all kinds of disgusting, inhuman things. Once, he surprised me in a place i made as my own little "sanctuary" - we had a little wooded area behind our house, and i created a kind of fort with some old wood. i would go there to read. i remember it was raining that day, and he showed up there. he forced me onto the ground, pushed up my dress, and put small rocks inside me. He stuck his hand inside until i started bleeding. That's just one example of the sick things he would do.
This continued from the age of 6 until i was 12 years old, when my stepfather left us. i can only guess that he left because i got too old for him. i remember that i started drinking when i was 12 years old, after he left. i would hide whiskey in my dresser drawers, without worry that my mother would ever find it. She was so self-absorbed, i knew she'd never even look there!
At that point, i was practically self-sufficient, except for having a job. i would make my own meals, do my own laundry, i got up for school and left the house before anyone else was even awake. i got very good at hiding what i was doing. One day, i found a razor blade. i have no idea what prompted me to decide to do it, but i barricaded myself in my room and threatened to kill myself. i guess my mother didn't want to get too involved, so she sent her boyfriend upstairs to stop me. He knocked my door down, took the razor blade away, and that was that. My mother didn't do anything about it, never talked to me about it. i continued to drink, and within a year or two, i started cutting. The first cut i ever did, was kind of atypical. i made a huge cut on my face. When people asked about it, i told them a cat scratched me. We didn't even have a cat! My mother finally asked what happened, and i told her it was a friend's cat, and she chose to believe that.
i continued to cut myself, although not quite so conspicuously, until i graduated high school. i was involved with several guys in high school who were not exactly the best choices for me. When i was 15, i was dating a 23 year old guy i met at a fast-food restaurant. i just thought it was cool that he was going out with me at all! He thought it was great that he had a little kid to control. He raped me.
i went to college at the age of 17. (See, like many borderlines, i'm actually pretty smart!) i chose a college 1500 miles away from home, because i thought by doing so, i could re-create myself and run away from my problems. It worked for a little while. About 3 days, to be exact. My third day there, i went to a party, got completely wasted, and was raped.
i decided to focus on my studies and "show them" - my multiple abusers - that i was not a loser. By the time my junior year rolled around, i had a 4.0 GPA at one of the best colleges in the country. But then i crashed. Right before Thanksgiving of my junior year, i had a total breakdown.
My roommate was really concerned about my drinking, i was crying all the time, she didn't know what to do. She insisted that i go see a counselor. i told her i would not go unless she went with me. She came, we all talked, and within a week, i was in a psychiatric hospital as an inpatient. i stayed in the hospital for 3 1/2 months. i was in and out of their intensive care unit. i would try to escape.
i lost 40 pounds in 2 months. i used anything and everything i could find to SI. When my friends brought me Chinese food, i kept the chopsticks, and when i got back to my room, i broke them so i'd have something i could use to cut myself. i would drink the facial astringent for the alcohol.
They decided that i was a good candidate for ECT. That was an absolutely awful experience which should be relegated back to the dark ages along with lobotomies, where it belongs. All it did was give me even more memory gaps than i already had (don't remember much of my childhood, and now there are big chunks missing from my 19th year of life), and did little to aid in my "depression". You see, they still hadn't figured out what was wrong yet. All kinds of diagnoses were floating around - Major Depression, Treatment Resistant; Schizo-Affective Disorder; Bipolar II; PTSD; some kind of psychosis.... and they couldn't figure out what drugs to put me on either. You name a drug, i've probably been on it - i'm not exaggerating.
That was my first hospital experience. When i finally got out, i thought i'd go back to school. HA! i could barely function, let alone think on a higher plane of reasoning. That year, i had three serious suicide attempts. Each time, i ended up in the intensive care unit at the hospital, hooked up to life support that i intensely despised. i remember that very first time, especially - i woke up, hooked up to all kinds of tubes, so very angry that i was alive, and i just couldn't believe it. i couldn't even kill myself right! i told them i would go right out and do it again, so my wonderful mother committed me to the state hospital. It's not as if she couldn't afford to put me in a private hospital - she had married again, this time to a rich man, but no way would she waste that good money on me! So off into the state system i went for 3 weeks. By this time, i had learned what the doctors wanted to hear, and told it to them, so i was released. And i tried to kill myself again, failed again, ended up in the hospital again, but this time, i didn't make the mistake of telling anyone that i would try again. I went into a day treatment program.
This was when i first started to hear about the possibility of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in my case. I was still engaging in the self injury (SI) - never gave it up. I had large bruises on my thighs, long scars on my leg from cutting, and broken fingers.
While in the hospital, i had met a guy. We met up again around this time. i got pregnant, thought i was in love, and we got married. The relationship was always terrible, although while i was in it, i would have told you he walked on water. He was very controlling. i stayed home with my daughter because he didn't want me to work. i didn't have a car, even though we lived out in the country - if i wanted to go anywhere, i had to go with him. i had no money of my own - he would give me the money to go shopping with. When i finally did get my own car, i was only allowed to keep under 1/2 tank of gas so i couldn't go too far, couldn't run away. i had to ask for gas money.
When i started having more problems with BPD and needed more intensive treatment, he went behind my back and cancelled my health insurance. i found out from the treatment program i was in that i would have to pay for my meds. (The only reason i could stay in the program is because my grandfather had agreed to pay for it). i insisted there had to be a mistake, because i was on my husband's insurance. When i got a hold of the insurance company, they told me that my husband and the kids were covered, but that he had called and cancelled me, saying that we were getting a divorce. i confronted him, and he said that he was worried the insurance would cancel all of us if i used up these benefits. i told him that was a bunch of bull, but what could i do at that point? Nothing, and he knew it.
When i got home from the program, i found out that he had closed out our bank account. i had no access to any money. i tried to get him to go to counseling, but he kept insisting that i was the one with the problem, not him, and i needed help, not him.
The stress was extreme. i was smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, and i found out that burning myself with cigarettes was better than the cutting! i would burn myself several times a day. It got to the point where i couldn't smoke a cigarette without burning myself.
He finally snapped. One day, he told me he was taking our two small daughters to Dairy Queen. This was unusual, as he rarely did anything with them alone. My mother's intuition kicked in, and i decided to follow the truck. i followed that truck for over 30 miles, until he finally rammed the truck into my car. i got out of the car and went over to the truck to find out what he was planning on doing. At that point, he closed the window on my hands and dragged me down the highway. He ended up running over my foot, and i couldn't walk for a month after that. All this time, our two girls were in his truck, screaming and crying.
Obviously, i couldn't go back to him. And my mother wasn't willing to take me in. He took off with the girls for two weeks. Fortunately, the courts were smart enough to award me custody pending the final divorce decree. We ended up in a transitional program for homeless mothers and children, and stayed there for almost a year.
Strangely enough, during that year, i did not do any kind of SI behaviors. i even quit smoking. i think i was too busy trying to survive for my children. I got a job, and an apartment. And here i am. Everyone is so proud of me. How far i've come, how well i'm doing.
The sad part is, i'm not doing well at all. Yes, i've been able to stop myself from SI for 22 months. But it is such a struggle. i hate the world. And i think that there is not one person who truly knows me. i don't even know who i am. i've never completed anything important that i started. i have no sense of identity. i feel as though if i died, the world would certainly be no worse off, and would probably be a better place. Now, there are those who say i am letting my abusers win. But i say, maybe they saw something inside me that i am refusing to see in myself. i mean, how can that many people be wrong about me? From everything that has happened to me, i can only surmise that i have some kind of internal flaw that i was born with, that i will never be able to overcome. the sooner i accept that, the better for all of those concerned.
So i wait. When will i accept the fact that i am fatally flawed, and accept the fate bestowed upon me so long ago by my abusers? That is what remains to be seen. But for now, i refuse to trust any longer, i will no longer place myself at risk to be hurt by others, i will stay isolated, as i have learned is the safest way to be.
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