Splitting and Borderline Personality Disorder

All it took was for him to say one wrong word, accidentally out of place, for me to go spiraling into a disaster. My mind fractures into two parts, love and hate, with my panicked heart desperately trying to grasp at the one that makes most sense. Hate seems to always win, whether it's hate for myself or hate for him. Sometimes both. The world goes black and I'm locked in a tunnel where I forgot every shred of kindness he has ever shown me.

This is what it feels like every time I split.

I become a dog, loving my owner until my owner leaves the room and forgets to take me with him. So I destroy everything. I believe that I've been abandoned and I don't matter. He doesn't matter either because all he does is throw me away. But then he comes back and my brain deletes the whole episode.

I'm not so sure where this mess came from.

Borderline personality disorder and splitting

Splitting is something commonly associated with borderline personality disorder. We fall into a cycle of loving deeply and then becoming repulsed by the person because they do something that disappoints us. That shatters the illusion that we built up of them, an illusion that they never asked for.

Our minds put us in this inescapable prison where we are forced to rewind and rewatch, over and over, the one scenario where they've hurt us. If you try to find another tape, it doesn't work. You are forced to watch and watch and watch this same scene play out until you know in your heart that this person you loved, is everything awful in the world.

And it hurts.

So when living with borderline personality disorder and splitting, it's so important to take a step back. To let the monster know that you haven't given it permission to step out of its cage. 

To take a breath and say, "I'm irritated right now, so I need some space. I love you, please don't leave me, but I need a few minutes to breathe."

It's a time to hold back all the threats, accusations, and guilt-tripping, and shove them back down to where they came from. All of those thoughts are manufactured by our psychosis, creating visions, sounds, and feelings, that aren't real.

Hence, why we tend to forget them the second we snap out of it and stare at the humiliating damage that we have wreaked upon the one we love.

To manage borderline personality disorder and splitting is to swallow the entitled pride we hold ourselves up to and make the conscious decision that the person we love is worth kindness. We choose to put our egos aside and say, "You don't deserve this hell that every bone in my body wants to shatter over your head."

Where our souls force hatred and pain onto us, we must push through and fight our way back to love. From black to white thinking. Out of the darkness of the tunnel and into the light.

Managing borderline personality disorder and splitting

You can usually feel it coming on, if you practice mindfulness on your body. It feels different for all of us. For me, it's a literal splitting of my head where my brain feels like it's set on fire. I can't breathe. My whole body swells up with repulsion and nausea, with a fabricated idea that my loved one is the most disgusting creature on earth.

I want to lash out.

The trick to managing BPD and splitting, is to catch it before it can rip your world in two.

To be able to stop yourself and say, "You're about to split."

"Run."

Go to your safe place. Hide in your room where all the sharp and fragile objects are carefully tucked away. Put your cell phone in another room where you don't have access to do more damage. Ask others to give you some space. Wrap yourself in blankets, close your eyes, and ride it out.

It's like a sickness that comes over us, temporarily, and we know that it always passes.

And you can either let it pass with minimal damage done or let it pass with a broken heart.

Your choice.

So, you have to be prepared.

Yes, every single time.

It's exhausting, but you're strong. You're tired of being strong, but that's the price of having the ability to love so passionate and hate so fiercely.

If you want to have relationships... if you want people to stay... if you want to beat the disorder and stop letting the monster destroy everything you'll ever love, you'll be strong.

Eventually, the minutes turn into hours, and the hours fade your stubborn, fractured mind back into its wholeness. You breathe a little easier. A part of you wonders why you made such a big deal out of it to begin with. And you come out of hiding.

You apologize.

Apologize for the freakout. Give your loved one a hug. Let them know that you're sorry for freaking out and ask them if they're okay. Show them that you're remorseful and take care of them.

Then take care of yourself, too.

Because you're a human being and you deserve to be loved and cared for.

Yes, even if that voice in your head is telling you otherwise. You know the voice I'm talking about.

Don't let it win.

-F