Borderlines have a fear of rejection that is thicker than humidity. It’s not a character flaw but pathology. The stored templates of being rejected by a primary caregiver create storms in the Borderline that rip into attendance of present life .
When I first went into therapy I told Dr. Holland, “I lie a lot.” My worldview of relationships both sexual and unsexual were that people used people. So I grew to be good at lying as the daughter, friend, girlfriend, I thought they needed me to be. I used their subconscious mirror of me to manipulate our experiences together in a way that would satiate their needs while starving mine. That was my mechanism to be less used. Borderlines can interact as the person we feel will be least likely to be seen, and yet we are desperate to be seen.
Borderlines create rules. These rules lack curiosity in order to measure previous traumas against imagined treats of new ones. After recovery, when I stopped lying over who I was, I had to give up the rules I wrote to protect myself. To stop being loyal to the me that was driven by performance instead of authenticity. More and more, Borderlines and non-borderlines stay behind the mask because it’s the only way we know how to breathe. To lower mine, I had to risk being seen exactly as I am. Even today, it’s terrifying.
Borderlines are like burn victims. We relive our childhood rejection within each real-world rejection. We walk amongst the world without the emotional skin one needs to survive being hurt by the world. And because we can’t grow it, we have to learn its weight through dialect. Borderlines will spend a lifetime learning the language of emotional skin, but we will never be able to speak this language without an accent.
To love a Borderline at times can be like trying to hold broken glass. The world simply does not teach us how to hold broken glass; the world teaches us how to run away like wolves. I’ve spent my entire life sprinting after these wolves. Maybe if I can catch one I can stop grieving them. But they sleep with their race shoes beside their bed at night. I feel that if I can just move beside them, I can prove there is no algorithm or metric system to judge the depth of a wound someone dug into another. That maybe I can help them find rest in the person behind the mask instead of the character they’ve scripted. The thing is I can’t run fast enough as pockmarks on my soul split open, again.
I’ve chased so many wolves so that they may speak, “I won’t abandon you,” to the child in me still picking at memories of betrayal. Wolves can’t heal people in their broken places, but it doesn’t mean that they’re broken. Developmental patterns of uncertainty may not be systemic to a mental health condition or emotional dysregulation. Do I want to suffer to chase wolves, or do I want to touch the fire in my own bones? Countless times I disguised gracelessness as grace to hunt for truths that don’t exist just to lead me here: Some are just meant to be fast and wild, maybe I’m a wolf for trying to catch them.
What resonates off this truth is that I haven’t given up, just replaced, my old Borderline rules with a new one: if I can change a wolf it means I’m worth a love brighter than a rose garden. It’s time I stop chasing wolves and learn how to plant roses.
Can You Feel This, Inspirational Writing for Borderline Personality Disorder and Depression. Like and Share Can You Feel This on Facebook.