Uphill Starts
Emma Oulton

An Open Letter From Myself, With BPD, To My Loved Ones.

Dear Loved One,

It’s me, your loved one with Borderline Personality Disorder. At least, I hope you consider me a loved one. See, that’s the problem with my illness. I doubt my relationships almost as much as I doubt myself. I’m writing this to you because I want you to know that I love you. I love you so intensely that when you feel pain, I feel it, too — as if it were mine. I love you so excitably that when something good happens to me, you’re the first person I want to share it all with. I can’t imagine a more perfect person to share a positive experience with than you. But, I know I hurt you sometimes.

When you don’t text me back right away or don’t compliment me on my new haircut or show appreciation for a gesture I made towards you, I feel so lost and I get scared you’ll abandon me. My biggest fear is losing you and the saddest thing is that that fear is what will make my fear of losing you come true.

I try to take on some of your personality traits as my own and copy you because I think they’re so beautiful and precious. I envy you and I want to be like you because you’re everything in my eyes. I don’t know how else to express my approbation for the glory that is you. But I know it makes you angry and creeps you out sometimes. I’m really sorry about that. I don’t mean to be a bother.

Sometimes, I’ll crave your attention so badly that I get suicidal if I don’t have it. See, part of my illness is fear of abandonment. If you’re not giving me attention, I’m afraid you’re beginning the process of abandoning me. I’ll go to great lengths to get your attention. But sometimes, those lengths are very destructive to you, me, and the world around us. I’m so sorry for those times I didn’t just ask for your company like a “normal” person. It’s really hard for me to express my vulnerabilities because my illness gives me a distorted, or lack of a, sense of self. I act out of fear and paranoia most of the time. I’m doing my best to work on it. But it’s really hard.

I suffer. I suffer on a daily basis. Things that seem like easy tasks to most are like jumping over mountains for me. I feel less than everyone else in worth. I have social anxiety and I fight off self-destructive urges most of the time. But the thing that hurts me most, is knowing that my behavior hurt you. I just want to show you that I love you. I want to make you proud and make you happy and make you feel safe with me. I just don’t always know how because I have Borderline Personality Disorder.

So, maybe by me telling you this, you can see it from my eyes a little bit. It took all of my guts and strength to write this to you. Being open and honest is hard for me. But, I’m doing it now, for you, because I love you — every little piece of you. You are a glorious entity of life and I want you to know that I’m working really hard to overcome this. But, sometimes, I need your help.

So, when I demonstrate negative ways of loving you, gently redirect me if I can’t redirect myself. I promise I’ll be reasonable and open and I’ll do my best to listen to you and validate what you are feeling and thinking and saying to me.

But, when I ask you for a shoulder to cry on, or just for a simple positive affirmation, do you think you could help me with that? It would mean so much to me. Your words have a large place in my heart, in my mind, and in my spirit. When I ask for some quality time with you, if you can without damaging your own stability, could we maybe do something fun together? It would mean so much to me.

I promise to ask for what I need from now on, instead of doing destructive things as an attempt to get those needs met. I’m not holding you to always be my caregiver, but I’m humbly asking for some love sometimes when I need it — because you’re so important to me — more so than you could ever imagine.

I love you and the last thing I want to do is hurt you. So, let’s be communicative. I will hold up my end, I promise. With your help and support, our friendship can be healthy like never before! I can’t think of anything I’d like more in this moment than for us to have a healthy friendship based on trust and genuine love.

So, I’m sorry for the past. I’m sorry for the frustration, anger, betrayal, disappointment, and sadness I’ve made you feel. My intention was to love you. I’m working so hard to better myself in my therapy. It’s really hard but I’m doing it. I hope, one day, we can sit on our backs in a sun-drenched park-lawn, gazing at the clouds and be beaming about how far our friendship has come. Your life has more value to me than you’ll ever know. I love you.

All The Love & Respect in My Heart,

Your Borderline Loved One