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I am a 20-something who was recently diagnosed with BPD. Right now, I define myself by this fact, even though I know I shouldn't. I'm torn between believing there is hope for me to overcome my painful past and a fear that I may never be a normal, mature woman. My childhood wasn't unlike many others. In fact, I had it better than a lot of kids. I never wanted for food, or clothing, or shelter. My grandmother was 100% devoted to me and treated me like I was her own child. I was never sexually abused, or brutally beaten, or deprived of food. I was often told by strangers and teachers and some family members how beautiful, smart, and charming I was.

My mother had me at a very young age. Everyone knew she wasn't ready to be a mother, and I'm sure that she knew it too. But she got married at 17, wanted to grow up fast, and realized only after I was already born that she'd made a mistake. She made up for those years when I was a toddler and a young child. She gave me to my grandparents, but didn't sign over parental rights. So, essentially, they raised me, but she had the legal right to come in and send my world into a tailspin at any given moment. I remember alternately being terrified of my mother and aspiring to be just like her. I created a wild fantasy life for myself, the center of which included a mother, a father, and siblings. [B]I could never get enough attention from both adults and playmates when I was little. [/B]

Around age 4, I began pulling my hair out at the roots, a sign of emotional trauma in children. Instead of being tuned in to this, my mother cut all of my hair off so it wouldn't look as stringy (since I'd already pulled half of it out). This just added to my identity issues, making me feel less attractive and less like a girl. I would beg to wear dresses and would cry and throw tantrums when I was forced into pants. My mother, trying to be progressive, would buy me toy trucks instead of dolls, and she threw a royal fit when my paternal grandparents would give me gifts such as toy ovens, or shopping carts, or toy vacuums. The truth is, I loved those items and I wanted to play house and be the mommy, and feel feminine and beautiful. But I never did.

There was some hitting, and emotional abuse. It didn't help matters when I started developing long before the other girls in my class. By age 9, I had my period, and was well beyond the training bra stage. I felt embarrassed, alone, and most of all, unheard. So, I internalized my rage and hurt and fear, and poured my heart into dance classes, school, and making people laugh. By high school, I was known as the nonconformist: funny, colorful, talented, and smart. All were labels I enjoyed, and I began to like myself. I got involved in a long relationship that failed due to my BPD tendencies and his infidelity. I recovered from that loss, graduated college at 22, but then couldn't finish grad school. I hopped between jobs and different majors and basically thought I was just trying to "find myself."

The last few years I've been coasting. I have a group of friends who love and support me, but it's easy to separate myself from them if I'm having a bad day. I numbed my pain with food and alcohol. [B]I don't fit the main characteristic of a borderline because I don't hop from one romantic relationship to the next, expecting each new love to save me. [/B] And recently, out of the blue, at a point where it was sink or swim for me, a man came into my life. I tried to get out of it before it got too complicated, but I couldn't. I couldn't not love this man. He was everything I've ever wanted, down to the most minute detail. And so now, here I am, with a second chance to change everything, and I am more scared than I have ever been.

I want so badly to be good to him, to feel secure in his love for me, to be able to show him how deeply I care for him. I want to prove that I am not crazy, that I'm not going to ruin his life, that I will never hurt him. The problem is that I am still so unsure of myself. I've heard that healing borderline personality disorder is a very difficult and painful thing. You have to revisit all of your old pain and deal with it head on. Ignoring the feelings works only for a short time. I am past the first hump- I readily admit that I'm sick, and I want to be better. But there is a lot of work to be done, and it will take time and living well to heal myself. It's not something you can just snap out of, it's a mental illness- a personality disorder that took years and years to create. There's no immediate cure.

When things are good in my relationship, they are mind-numbingly wonderful. We make each other laugh, we're faithful, commited, and thoughtful. But when I have a bad moment, it's hell. I don't rage or scream or lie or anything like that, I just get moody. I retreat inward and begin to question his love for me. I say bitchy things to get his goat. I have panic attacks about irrational fears, anything from money to my health to if he still loves his ex. And then the good times change immediately. And just as fast as that change to bad happened, they get good again.

[B] I see a therapist bi-weekly. I have read books, and my bf is reading "Walking on Eggshells." I know why I'm sick, and I know what I do is wrong and not rational. I know it's unfair to him. But we love one another, and I want to get a good job, have a loving Christian marriage, and maybe even have a child someday. For most people, all of those dreams seem to come so easily. But not for me.[/B]

I worry that my loving boyfriend has just placed himself into a hellish situation. There are many women out there who don't have to deal with these horrible problems. He could be with any number of them. But, he has chosen to be with me, and we regard each other as gifts from God. He prays for patience in dealing with me, and I pray that I can get better and while I'm in the process of healing, that I can be good to him. If he was going to leave me, it would have already happened. And vice-versa. But we aren't stuck, we've made a conscious decision to be where we are. And so I owe it to both him and myself to work hard every day to get better, no matter what it takes. I have borderline personality disorder, but I refuse to let that define me for the rest of my life.

Has anyone "recovered" from this? Can anyone share any hope with me?[/SIZE] :angel:

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