In order to understand where I am now, you have to know how it all started.
As a child, I was angry. During elementary school, I spent much of my time being aggressive toward male classmates. I was impulsive, defiant and corporal punishment was unsuccessful. I began receiving counseling at the age of 17 back in the late 80s. This happened after a series of events led me to break nine years of silence and tell of the childhood sexual abuse I endured for six years. My parents seemed cold, aloof, distant and unsupportive.
As I became older I was deeply sensitive, easily hurt by criticism and suspicious of praise. I felt misunderstood, stupid, unlovable, and I trusted no one. My emotions were intense and my rage was uncontrollable. During my 20s I engaged in a lot of self harm by cutting myself with a razor blade. Twice I attempted suicide and failed. I just wanted the emotional pain to go away. I suffered from chronic insomnia and when I was able to sleep, I often had nightmares.
Aggression toward others continued. In fits of rage, I tried to strangle people, tried to run people over with my car and attempted to stab someone. I had no boundaries and no fear of consequence.
My outbursts and unpredictability led me to being constantly reassigned to different counselors over and over again. And I was frequently being committed to a psychiatric unit.
I was on a lot of psychotropic medications, in which psychiatrists were attempting to “stabilize my mood”. By 1997, I was on total disability where I stayed for 10 years. I became a garbage addict but later went to rehab and then got treatment through an outpatient dual diagnosis program.
By the time I reached my mid 30s, some strange happened. I stopped physically aggressing toward others and stopped cutting myself.
In 2008, I became attached to someone and that was my first mistake. I was still becoming this or that…”I can be anyone you want me to be, just don’t leave me” I thought. After six years the relationship ended and I entered into a state of withdrawal and isolation (apart from working). I had no friends nor a desire to have any and I constantly battled periods of severe depression, infrequent dissociative symptoms and paranoia.
I have been diagnosed with different things, by different psychiatrists at different periods in my life: PTSD; Axis I: Bipolar I, Axis II: Borderline Personality Disorder; Schizoid Personality Disorder; Social Anxiety Disorder; Medication Induced Psychosis-Remission. Of all these terms, there is none I hate more than Borderline and I have made frantic efforts to erase it from my psychiatric history. This is perhaps the reason for the different diagnoses…I presented myself as having anything other than Borderline. Always becoming something else. I cannot reconcile it within myself and dwelling on the term only makes me worse.
It is unfortunate that most females who have a history of childhood trauma, self injurious behaviors, aggressiveness and no sense of self are automatically labelled as Borderline. On the border of what exactly? I’ve often felt that my inability to recognize and regulate my intense and unpredictable emotions were at the core of my problems. Emotional dysregulation might be a better term but instead, for the purpose of this blog, I have chosen Not Otherwise Specified.
People will develop their own conclusions about who I am. As for me, perhaps someday I will know who “self” is and finally stop becoming.