Sometimes I have to eat crow. A mess of personality disorders, it seems that whatever lies at the core of this person often has its words drowned out by the maelstrom going on upstairs. The comorbidity of psychopathy and Borderline Personality Disorder is well documented in the literature and results in a person that can be quite unpleasant to deal with. Sprinkle on organic illness, manifested within myself by Bipolar Disorder, and I can be a demon in the playground of angels. My intellectual self may often be drowned by competing disorders, but occasionally she cries out, trying to stop the madness. I know that in order to continue my own recovery (from Borderline Personality Disorder in particular), I have to own my disorders and – gasp – take responsibility for my actions. Personality disorders can never be an excuse for bad behavior, no matter how well they model such unappealing traits.
Lest I paint a completely damned picture, I want to celebrate the progress that I have made. I’m living mostly within the law these days and I’m learning to lean on my supports for a reality check when my own distortions drown out all words. I still stumble and always will to some extent. I am notoriously stubborn and once antithetic thoughts enter my mind, I can take weeks to get back on track. All that remains unknown is the degree to which self-destructive thought patterns will cause those around me to suffer … will cause me to suffer.
Combine the self-defeating distortions of organic depression (unipolar or bipolar) with Borderline splitting patterns, and all hell breaks loose. Hindsight is always 20/20. The recipe is so simple that I am ashamed that I still succumb to it at this stage of my life. The questioning of one’s ability and worth that comes with depression lends itself well to the fatal “logic” of Borderline splitting patterns, especially when one is narcissistic. Think about it, if there is psychic pain involved, and the psyche tells itself that it is without fault, then the pain must be coming from somewhere else. Of course, this reasoning is flawed, but personality disorders rarely exist in the realm of sanity.
I didn’t completely succumb with my latest bout of depression and Borderline-fueled demonization. While my erratic thought processes did single out targets, I did not sever ties with them as I have with others in the past. I may have poured gasoline all over the bridge, but I did not light the match. I do feel bad about such negative behavior. I need to explore whether I feel bad because I realize that my ego takes a hit every time I test the tensile strength of my support network or because I value those that I have hurt far more than I’d care to admit. Regardless, my penance is real.
I’ll slip and fall on occasion until the day that I expire. With each episode, I’m learning how to do less damage to those I bring down with me, and I look forward to the day in which I can fall without risking valued interpersonal relationships. Until then, it is a team effort to make sure that I’m not doing fatal damage to those that I value. I will take my responsibility for my actions and meditate on the strategies that I’ve been taught and others will remind me of what once was, and will be again, if I can only stop seeing red long enough to realize.