Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by an intense fear of abandonment, as with extreme emotions. The range of emotional instability is vast, from extreme happiness, sadness, boredom, loneliness and anger. When anger spikes in a diagnosed individual, it can become quite dangerous for them and the ones around them. Not to mention that these emotions can morph into extreme sadness, depression and suicidal.
Though not all of us are violent, some of us are. We do not wish to be violent, though some situations encourage our violent emotions to exude. Before being on the recovery path, we do not properly comprehend how to manage our emotions, and we resort to extremes to soothe the constant humming inside our minds.
Feeling unheard/misunderstood. A common trigger for the highest extremities of Borderline emotions is feeling misunderstood. Perhaps we aren’t communicating appropriately nor getting the words out, or what we are saying is detailed yet feels unheard. At time, our emotions make us feel like we are talking to a brick wall… Or hell, running into it repeatedly, trying to get through it but just causing irrefutable damage to ourselves instead! The sensation of anger we get from this is striking. It can start a building heat inside of us and release as an offensive rage.
If words can’t do the talking, sometimes we let our fists. We don’t mean to harm anyone in most cases, but it is the only way that we can display our inner torment. And you are left there, terrified of us, which was our last intent. We desperately want to tell you how we feel; we want you to understand, but it is not always easy for us. The complication of explanation situations boils our blood, and we lose our temper.
Abuse. If we feel we are in an abusive situation, we may explode on the person. There is only such a period that we can hold it together, especially with someone pestering us and putting us down. The last thing anybody wants to hear is how much of a failure they appear to be. Nor do we want a slap square in the face for not washing the dishes properly.
We will try being calm if we can. We will try to reason. But if someone is unreasonable, we may come to the conclusion that abuse will kill abuse. A main criteria for our disorder is a fear of losing control, or the inability to maintain control. By being abusive back to a person, we gain the control we once lost. We have gained all power.
Trauma/Flashbacks. Reliving a moment of grief or trauma is never exciting. If images return to our mind, and we are vulnerable, we may start throwing the punches without knowing it. If an individual who was raped was having sex, and had a flashback, they may result in trying to beat or harm the other person in response. In this case, they are not consciously responsible, and shouldn’t be shunned for it.
Trauma is delicate and is individual; no two people can be compared. The best thing to offer is a hand to hold, some company, and holding them down if they become a danger. Even if we are threatening to hurt you, understand that this is very real to us, vastly vivid, and our response can vary.
Fear. When someone is unsure about something, they become fearful. A deflection from fear would be to fight it, whether that be emotionally or physically. Logic isn’t always a priority to someone diagnosed with BPD, especially when we are facing the unknown. Fighting fear can be dangerous for us and anyone else. It is possible for us to even take our lives in fear.
A diagnosed individual will become frantic and do everything in their power to avoid that situation, and if trampling someone in the process will benefit them in any way, it will be considered.
Learned and Unbroken Behaviour. It is highly possible that this individual has adapted to this way of coping, and has never tried to break the behaviour. We could’ve been exposed to it as a child, and are now taking out that anger in the same way, on our own child. We were shown that this was okay, and though morality may have tried to stop us in the past, it is no longer effective to drive us to discontinue its use.
We may harm someone we love, or a complete stranger, but we do not wish to cause this harm. We, like the majority of society, have a conscience, and we can differ right from wrong. Some situations get the best of us and we lose control. In those moments, we need you to understand our Borderline, and be present.
Having Borderline Personality Disorder makes it difficult to manage emotions and the behaviours that accompany them. Though violence may be our go-to in time of “need”, understand that we do lose control. It takes years of persistent recovery to get to a place where we are stable and capable enough to withhold extreme emotions, and cope with them with healthy alternatives.
It will never make physical abuse acceptable, but we will need support to get the help that we require, and we will see a better day.