The “quiet” borderline. It’s not something most people are familiar with, the perception of

borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one who acts out. That’s the “classical” definition, but

like every disorder, the condition manifests itself in different ways. BPD is one of the most

misunderstood and I believe one of the most stigmatized disorders. Well most personality

disorders seem to be. The perception of a typical borderline is someone who is violent,

manipulative, aggressive, hostile and in essence… a bad person. While these things can be

present in the disorder, most people with BPD are not violent people and are some of the

most loving and caring people you will ever meet. We just have great trouble in regulating

our emotions. It escapes me now but it was once said people with BPD are like people

covered in third degree burns all over their body.

So we all know the “classic” borderline as someone who acts out. So what does being the

“quiet” borderline mean? “Quiet” BPD is acting in, rather than acting out, but internalizing all

the emotions they feel. The fears of abandonment, mood swings, anxiety, self-injurious

behaviors, impulsiveness and even suicidal tendencies and black and white thinking (splitting)

are all part of being a quiet borderline. But those emotions are typically acted against

ourselves. We feel disconnected from the world, isolated, spending time rationalizing and

internalizing emotions, which leads to self-destructive behaviors and suicidal gestures,

including self-harm. One moment we have all the confidence in the world and then without

warning or explanation, we come crashing down hard. We love you at one moment and then

hate you in the next. Rather than telling you about it we act “in” on it, separating ourselves

from you and then making up some bullshit excuse as to why we went AWOL without telling

you the truth. I hate you — don’t leave me.


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