For me, having borderline personality disorder (BPD) means there is a constant running dialogue in my head that doesn’t belong to my true self. This voice tells me I’m ugly, I’m fat and unworthy of love. It tells me I look like a man or a troll and I should be ashamed of myself. This voice has me convinced that I am a horrible person at my core, and as soon as someone gets to know the real me, they’ll see how awful I am and they’ll leave. Not believing this voice is a battle I fight every day.
I think I’d be able to manage better if this was the only way the voice affected me, but it’s not. This voice chimes in constantly with every interaction I have with someone else. It narrates every situation and tells me what people “really” mean when they say or do things. When someone is kind to me, the voice says they’re trying to manipulate me or they’re being fake. When my friends say they miss me and want to see me, the voice says they only spend time with me out of pity. When my partner tells me he’s proud of me, the voice says he only does so to satisfy my narcissistic need for approval.
Being around friends and family is incredibly difficult with this running dialogue inside my head. No one can see it happening, and yet I react to it as if it’s real. I forget it’s my disorder talking and I feel like everyone is truly out to get me. Because of this voice, I require a lot of reassurance in relationships. I need to hear my partner tell me he really does love me and isn’t trying to hurt me. I need him to tell me I’m safe and he isn’t manipulating me. Addressing the voice like that makes it go away temporarily, but it always comes back.
I’m slowly learning how to combat the voice by reassuring myself and choosing to trust in the people I love. It helps to remind myself that it’s not possible for everyone to be against me, and that most people don’t pretend to care about someone if they don’t.
Life is full of uncertainty and trusting others is an extremely difficult thing to do, especially if you’ve been hurt as much as I have. The voice in my head is simply making assumptions based on that hurt. That’s all they are — assumptions. They are the worst possible scenario painted as the most likely. But at the end of the day, they’re not facts.