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The Perceptions of the Loved-one and the BPD are Very Different

Written by Jean Holstein, parent of a child with BPD

BPD is a devastating disorder and the perceptions of the loved one and the BPD are very different - but equally painful.

Below, a recovering BPD mother discusses BPD from inside her own mind and that of her daughter's. ~~

Even though my BPD daughter can logically understand "gray" [the emotional middle ground], emotionally, all she can feel is "black or white" [the emotional extremes].

Having BPD, I can really relate to this. I don't know if I, or any BPD, can ever learn to feel the "gray".

The Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) model is logical; "mind meeting emotional" - "mind creating wise mind". But sometimes it just doesn't work; you understand the logic but can't correlate the feelings. It's hard when you don't know if you can trust your feelings or if you should override them.

We struggle with this a lot.

I liken it to being color blind and needing to trust that the bottom traffic light is green but still worrying that it's not, or what to do if I come to a horizontal traffic light.

Here is another way I tried to explain this to my therapist. I'm in a room full of poles of mixed colors, but I'm color blind. The red poles will shock me if I touch them. I struggle through the room trying to learn which poles will shock me and which won't. The world sees this as an easy task, but until recently, I didn't I realize that I was color blind.

Life sometimes sucks and I want to just sit in a corner and never move again. But my kids need me, so I struggle through knowing about my disability and trying really hard to find my way.

It's really hard.