Resident Story & Poems
My name is Gina, I am 24 years old. When I was 17 I was diagnosed as having BPD. Otherwise known as Borderline Personality Disorder. I didn't know what it was until I was 23 years old. That is when I ended up in a mental institute after trying to kill myself.
Now I am learning how to recognize my behaviors and how to control them. I used to think it was fun to do things to see what would happen. Now I know that when I do that I am playing games and that is not healthy. An example would be when I was 22 and I was getting ready to go into Job Corps and my family was showing me no support. They were mostly ignoring me and giving me the silent treatment. I had really long hair that fell down past my rearend. I had to lift it up literally to sit down. My family was always talking about how they would kill me if I ever cut my hair because they said that is was so beautful. So the day before my plane left I went and got my hair cut off to shoulder length. I was laughing to myself all the way home. My thoughts were" I got them this time now they will pay attention." I got a lot of attention alright but it wasn't the kind I wanted. My family was furious and all of them refused to even see me off at the airport the next day. I left for Job Corps alone and to make it worse I hated my new hair cut. But I hadn't thought about that when I did it, all I could think about was getting my families attention.
Something that I used to be proud of, but I am not anymore, is that I was always told that I am a master game player and manipulator. I thought it was somthing to be proud of until people started questioning my every word and every action. I used to think that if I sat in a corner all curled up with my sweatshirt pulled over my knees and my hair covering my face and be really quiet that either one of two things would happen. I would be forgotten and be able to fade into the woodwork or aomeone would come ask me what was wrong and then I wouldn't have to go to them and tell them that something was wrong and that I needed to talk to someone.
Other times when I was having a really rough day and needed to talk to someone, but was afraid to say so, I would write a negative goal on the board that I knew would grab everyones attention, for example, one time I made my goal for the day to not let anyone touch me and I kept that goal there on the board for a week. About all it did was annoy a lof of people who really cared about me and still do.
I am not totally cured from this illness but each day I try to watch my behaviors. I am still in treatment for this illness but have faith that I will get better and not have to go through teatment. Someday I will be able to manage it on my own and that is what I am learning now. I feel that the biggest and best tool is being aware of the behaviors. By asking other around me to point out when I am doing something that is not very healthy I am able to put a stop to it and get to the bottom of why I chose to do it. I am very thankfull for confrontation because without being confronted by others about my behavior I don't always see it.
There are other things though that give me an advantage with this illness though. I am very observant and I notice a lot. I am also sensitive to people needs and I have a lot of insight.
All and all I feel that I can honestly say that I am doing alright and I am on the right track, I know that I will still have some bad days where I might take a few steps backwards, but I hope that I can lean from them and go on. And if I had to choose a motto for my life right now I guess I would say, "A mistake isn't bad unless you don't learn from it".
Written by "Gina", diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder"
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