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BPD And Me (splitting)

Mental Health and Trauma Blog | Noisy


BPD (borderline personality disorder) is a complex, and at times, unbearable personality disorder to live with. BPD is also known as EUPD (emotionally unstable personality disorder) which is a better name considering the former can be a little confusing. BPD is most often caused by a traumatic childhood (one which I most certainly had). It's described as one of the most agonising personality disorders to have. I was diagnosed with BPD just before I was diagnosed with ASPD. It took years for a diagnosis. Hundreds of hours spent with psychiatrists to figure out what was going on with me. Before I was diagnosed I was aware something wasn't quite right with me. For example when I lost my temper I wouldn't just be angry, I'd pretty much blow a gasket. I couldn't be reasoned with, it was just a black and white thought process. This is something called "splitting" and it's what we are going to talk about in this post. Do bear in mind that although we must fit a set criteria to be diagnosed with BPD, our experiences will differ. I also have ASPD (antisocial personality disorder), so my BPD works a little differently, but let's get into it. What is splitting? It's essentially seeing someone, or something, in black and white terms. There is no grey area. When splitting happens there's no reasoning or understanding to be had, it's simply a black and white situation, rational thinking goes out the window. This can happen with anything at pretty much any time. It could be something someone said as a passing comment, not meant in a negative way but interpreted as so. Due to our emotions being so unstable we don't just get angry about it, but we are filled with rage which could cause a split. No amount of explaining or apologising would make a difference, we would still split on them. Often once this has happened, trying to get us to see reason just makes it worse, it can be seen as our feelings are being disregarded. When we are in this state our fight or flight instinct is in overdrive, our temper is through the roof and our fear of rejection and abandonment start to creep in. This usually results in saying some extremely hurtful things that we feel unbearable guilt for when we stop splitting and begin to see reason again. If you're ever on the receiving end of splitting the best thing to do is give that person space to calm down. Trying to talk sense into them will only make things worse. Although I have found this to be helpful for most people with BPD, obviously not everyone is the same so the best way to know is to ask them. It may be an uncomfortable conversation to have but it shouldn't be. Communicating boundaries to one another shows respect and can often stop a bad situation escalating into a far worse one. There's no set time on how long a split can last, it can be anything from hours to days. Some I've experienced to be even longer. When it does finally end, for us, it's agonising. We feel overwhelming guilt and our fear of abandonment completely takes control. In a sense we split on ourselves, and we see the aftermath in black and white. We don't reason with ourselves, we can't convince ourselves we will be forgiven and that we can learn from the experience and move on. We see ourselves as monsters for the pain we have caused and are convinced you're going to leave us for what we did. We don't mean to split, it isn't a conscious decision, it's our unstable emotions spiralling out of control to the point of no return. The aftermath of a split can feel like a very lonely place, depression and anxiety can creep in, adding to the chaos. If we are able to speak to the person we split on, explaining what happened and why it did, even if we're told we are forgiven and everything is okay, we don't believe it. Our extreme fear of abandonment takes control and our mind catastrophises things.

We are the puppet, and our BPD is the one pulling all the strings. If you're on the receiving end of a splitting episode, please know we are sorry. No matter what negative feelings you have towards us because of it, I assure you we hate ourselves even more because of what we did. We are our own worst enemy. This is the fight of your life. - Noisy

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