I Hate You. Don’t Leave Me is one of the first, if not the first, books written for the layperson about borderline personality disorder (BPD). My wife gets it for people when they discover they, or someone they know, struggle with BPD. I just bought a copy for my roommate to give her a grounding as I prepare to initiate someone, other than my wife, into the inner workings of my mental illness and the driving force behind my self-destructive tendencies. I’ve been rereading my ebook copy the last few days myself.
It’s been several years since I’ve last read it and it’s very interest to notice subtle things (like, about opiate addiction) that I hadn’t noticed before (like, before I became a junkie). I’ve been exposed to some more of the treatments, psychological and pharmacological, as well and, as such, have more personal context to draw upon.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that many of the patients described are dealing with this in their 20s or early 30s. It also talks about how the impact of some of the traits diminish with age. I was not aware that I had it until my mid-thirties and it seems like it has only been getting worse as time has progressed.
My theory is that I’ve always been a relatively high functioning borderline. I am very intelligent, academically (not so much emotionally or in other ways). I’ve taken one ‘official’ IQ test, around when I was about 10 and scored 148. I breezed through academics at West Point and stopped my formal schooling with an MS in physics, not because I didn’t think I could earn a PhD but more so because of a combination of laziness and having higher priorities for how to spend my time.
My first wife was also very good at protecting me, emotionally. She basically got things set up so I could focus on earning a living for our family while running interference to keep my emotions from getting too out of whack.
It worked, to a point. Eventually I got to the point that she insisted I go into therapy. I did, but was not identified as having BPD for several years, which is not uncommon, during which time my mental health continued to deteriorate. Slowly, at first, then picking up steam. I believe, and I really don’t know what my ex’s take on it is, that my BPD was the main cause of our divorce.
And once I was divorced and living on my own, without her to buffer me from day-to-day life, that’s when my life really went off the rails. My decade long battle with bulimia turned into my 120 pound round of anorexia. My lifetime of alcoholism turned into a full blown heroin addiction. Self-harm turned into suicide attempts. My 800+ credit score turned into a $225k+ bankruptcy. I think one can see the pattern here.
Basically, I’m really fucking smart and really fucking crazy and that winds up making me really fucking dangerous, mostly to myself. I theorize that, because I was able to go for so long before BPD blew up my life, my borderline traits had years, if not decades, longer than most to really lock themselves in as part of my personality.
Now I’m trying to undo close to four decades of a personality disorder that sees roughly 10% of it’s sufferers commit suicide. I’ve certainly got a few attempts under my belt and the most recent one (my overdose on March 1st) really should’ve killed me outright, even if it was a subconscious suicide attempt.
I’m still trying to fix me, though. I think me starting to work with Swamiji at the Movement Center will probably be my last big ‘push’. By that I don’t mean that I’m going to give up trying, I just believe that I will die before I’ll be able to try another potential solution. I turn 44 in about 6 weeks and I honestly don’t see myself making 45 if I can’t start improving more than I currently am.
I suspect my wife would agree with me on that too.