Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mirror, Mirror: (BPD Criterion 3: Identity Disturbance)

Identity disturbance: There are sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image, characterized by shifting goals, values and vocational aspirations. There may be sudden changes in opinions and plans about career, sexual identity, values and types of friends. These individuals may suddenly change from the role of a needy supplicant for help to a righteous avenger of past mistreatment. Although they usually have a self-image that is based on being bad or evil, individuals with borderline personality disorder may at times have feelings that they do not exist at all. Such experiences usually occur in situations in which the individual feels a lack of a meaningful relationship, nurturing and support.

This is definitely something I have a problem with. Identity? What identity?
I guess I need to address the sexual identity thing first. I will get more into my issues with promiscuity in the next entry on impulsivity, but I will address one part here. I don’t consider myself a lesbian. I don’t even consider myself bisexual. That being said, I don’t really know what I am. I know that I like men. I like sex with men. Well, some of them. haha. To be fair, though, I don’t have a frame of reference for women. I’ve never done anything sexual with a woman. I’ve only ever kissed women. I mean, I’ve kissed a lot of women, but only ever kissed. I can remember having fantasies about women as far back as the seventh grade. I even remember telling my best friend at the time about my feelings and curiosities and telling her that if she ever wanted to kiss a girl, I hoped it would be me. This was in middle school, so it was obviously before I ever did kiss a girl. The idea is so taboo in the area where I grew up that I just sort of pushed it to the back of my mind and let it only be fantasies until college. The night I had my first drink is when I kissed a girl for the first time. Since then, the only times it’s ever happened is when alcohol is present. I wasn’t shitfaced drunk every time, although I pretended to be to avoid judgment, but I think the alcohol was necessary as a sort of liquid bravery, if you will.
I think that I would be willing to explore further with a woman if given the option. I just never have had it. I really would like to at this point in my life when I’m not exactly constrained to a relationship. I’ve been having a lot of dreams of the sort lately, and I’ve been noticing women a lot more. But I don’t know. I doubt it will happen, though. I don’t know how to tell when a woman is interested. It’s a completely different game. Plus there are the social ramifications. I would die if most anyone found out. Andrea says that borderlines struggle a lot with not being sure about their sexuality and that it’s basically not really real. I don’t know. I think the problem is that I don’t think I’m brave enough to be bisexual. I think it will just always be a fantasy in my head.
Honestly, I don’t know who I am truly. As I’ve mentioned before, I have the “chameleon problem.” I tend to be more like the people I am around. Which, everyone does this to a point. Especially in school years, people will pretend to like things they don’t or do things they don’t so they will fit in. And sure, I did this  I remember being in junior high raving about how much I liked the band BB Mac when I never really thought they were very good. But what I’m talking about is more than that. It’s more than just pretending to like something.

It’s actually making decisions, having opinions, likes and dislikes based on other people. I honestly don’t know what I would like if it wasn’t for other people. Which, it could be argued that everyone is introduced to most things by someone else. My problem is that nine times out of ten, if something is introduced to me by someone I want to like me, I will like it. Even if it means watching, doing, reading, or whatever that thing over and over until I can like it
 I mean, I am a part of many fandoms. I think those are real things that I like. That’s why they are so important to me. Like Harry Potter. I know it’s lame, but I have been through so many relationships and friendships in the past 15 years, but those books were my constant. They were something I could always count on. I think, also, though, that I just like the feeling of being part of a fandom. Having people that relate to me and laugh at the same jokes as me and feel overly attached to fictional characters like me.
But anyway, to get off my tangent... I tend to try to blend in with my surroundings. I get called two-faced a lot. I try really hard to not be like that. I have gotten a lot better about it, but it’s hard. I may like person x just fine, but if one of my “pedestal people” (to refer back to idealization) doesn’t like that person, I will pretend to not like them either. I will possibly even trash talk him or her. I just have this overt need for people to like me. Even people I don’t like. I can’t stand the idea of being disliked.

  • Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
  • Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  • Emotional instability due to significant reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  • Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms
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