This really resonated with me, it is how I feel each time I reach out to someone and try and explain or gain support for what I am feeling or trying to do. It always comes up against a wall, that I eventually back down because I end up defending myself as opposed to finding the validation and help I need. And yes, I shut down, I shut up, i curl into my ball of hurt that I cannot be heard because I know beating it over and over will not make them understand, either they cannot, or they think if they rationalize enough I will see that I am mislead and they have the answers for who and what I am. That this is all overblown and in “in my mind” and as purely a money making racket from the mental health industry. But you see, the mental health racketeers weren’t there influencing me when I was 11 holding a knife to my stomach, or 16 trying to swallow enough aspirin to die, or 18 and cutting my arms to pieces, who was influencing me then? I have feelings that are tremulous, that choke me, that are so sensitive if I don’t handle them properly they hurt me, everything comes back to me, how I made me feel, how I made someone else feel. If someone else hurts I hurt for them regardless of the right or wrong, feeling control me, plus my own personal pain. Can that be encapsulated, how careful I need to be? That each time I am berated for my weaknesses it makes me close up even more. I don’t want to be weak and I want to be strong with my regulation but it is slow steps, it is DBT, it is counseling, it is medication, it is doctors. What may seem so easy to those who are normalized, that can whip things off the top of their head, rationalize, decide, express, understand, adjust their emotions, I want to be you, I am working, but I will never be that perfectly functioning individual that can bear the same stresses, pressures, pains and emotions.
How we feel doesn’t necessarily make sense to people without BPD. I remember getting extremely frustrated, extremely tired, and ultimately extremely angry when I would try to explain what I was going through only to have the other person try to rationalize it in their own way or blow off what I was saying as me getting worked up over nothing. It’s not nothing. You may not understand it, but our feelings are valid because we are experiencing them, and telling us that it’s in our head or that things aren’t as bad as they seem and walking away, just leaves us feeling frustrated, misunderstood, and alone. If this happens often enough, we shut down. At least I do. I quit going to people for help. I quit trying. And after a while the idea of asking for help stopped occurring to me at all. It feels like no one will understand because no one listens. Or they won’t understand because their normalized experience is so different than ours that they simply can’t feel what we feel. It’s difficult.
When we’re lead by our emotions, the things we think we need may not actually be the best thing for us either. We’re often so sensitive and highly emotional that our communication can be misleading. Not intentionally but when our emotions are SO extreme and SO changeable what we need can be as extreme and changeable as the emotions that accompany them. What we think we need in the moment may not be what will really ease our anxiety. What we actually need is often left unexpressed.