Fragile Conversations, Handle With Care
Bailey Anderson

I relate. I can’t figure out yet, in a relationship with someone I’m pretty sure I can trust, how to admit that things bother me that I feel “shouldn’t bother me”. I can’t untangle sexuality from honesty about those things. And I don’t even realize that’s what I’m doing until it’s too late. Then, I’m anxious, confused, and uncertain that sex isn’t what it’s entirely about. All because I wasn’t upfront; I didn’t bring seriousness to the conversation about “things I shouldn’t be upset about” but am truly upset about. I do this because I hate the part of me that’s labeled as BPD. I’d rather people didn’t know just how affected I am — because maybe then they’ll *like* me more and oh I want to be liked. In turn, I suffer a lot more than I need to. A lot more than I have to.

Truth is, people like us will suffer more. We will, as hard as it is to say and as bad as it might sound, have to learn to deal with all the little things on our own more often than not. In order to not be the one terrible relationship that scarred someone, because Borderline is not a fair illness to our loved ones. It sucks so bad I have lost my mind about it, it’s not cake walk for those of us who suffer either. Not close. But I can’t imagine how hard it is sometimes to love me for someone on the outside. How cold I can seem when I was just warm, how deep my despair goes and how badly I deal with it. These things are terrible for those who love us, and the Google searches don’t suprised me. They scare and hurt me deeply; we aren’t all incapable of being kind and acknowledging our insecurities and bettering ourselves. But I also know this isnt a kind illness for anyone involved. So, I will do everything I can to be better than I am — For myself, for those who love me. And yet, that doesn’t mean I have to hide either…

All this to say, I understand your desire to tell men upfront. But I would let it get to a point where you’re both clearly interested beyond that first, second - fifth maybe depending on how it moves - date and yet also before it’s too serious. A hard balance to find. But kind of necessary with any mental illness, or illness in general. It’s something you carry, and only some people will want to carry it with you. Mostly, those people who will stay by your side have to know you without knowing your acronym first. Acronyms are blinding and filled with stigma, especially to people with no first hand experience. “BPD” “MDD” “OCD”… these things stir up images created by movies and reality shows of extreme cases. Give them a chance to see you first, show them the truth beyond the acronym ;).

Thank you so much for sharing. Good luck on this insanely difficult journey.

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