“Psychopaths are not crazy. They are fully aware of what they do and the consequences of those actions.” – Hannibal Lecter
One thing that people with BPD often have in common is the ability to create chaos out of nothing. We thrive on drama and high tension, something I believe comes from our learning to survive trauma from a young age. When everything is calm and dull, it seems unfamiliar and sometimes even frightening – so we crave what we know. And what we know is drama. It’s not a concious effort to attack, but a desperate need for safety and security.
I have been accused of causing drama over many occasions in my life, some I’ll admit to conducting and others I ended up being dragged along with in my desire to feel familiarity. As I’ve got older though, I’ve always tried to keep myself to myself and out of other people’s business whenever I can.
It’s the best thing to do, really. If people want to throw accusations my way then they have no basis for it, which is always a good feeling. Yes I have history, but not this time. Usually there is a warped reason for all the nonsense I get in deep with, for example back in 2008/2009 I fell out with a friend of mine after she had got into a relationship I didn’t agree with. I was so self-righteous and I had no right to be. I became drawn into a battle that involved vicious blogs; pointing fingers and generally trying to outdo my former friend in who could be the cruellest. It came to a head when I went to extraordinary lengths to torment her, making a fake online profile and allowing her to confide in me so I would have some new secrets to beat her over the head with. I got caught, found out and I fell apart – ended up in my bathroom with a pair of scissors to my wrist as Manipulative Ex told my mom about what I’d done, finally deciding it was time to clue her in on my apparent insanity. It was a shit time for everyone. Luckily, myself and my friend have since put those demons to bed as she understood my struggles with my mental health and gave me the chance to put things right.
But not everyone is so kind. Or understanding. And sometimes, people will see your behaviour as a way to hide their own less-than-virtuous acts. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this ramble, thank you for hanging on for so long. Well, I got this comment on my last blog post;
And I’ve alluded to this particular bout of drama before, especially in this entry. I have to be careful with what I write, as people are still hounding me for what I said to them and how I acted – and despite my apologies and explanations, those involved are still very cold and sometimes cruel in response. Of course, there are always two sides to every story and this is my side.
A few years ago, my friend Blue started talking to me out of nowhere. We had known of each other’s presence through an online community of horror fans, but this was the first time we’d spoken. She told me of her previous encounter with a pretty well-known guy within that community where he’d seduced her into having a sexual relationship where boundaries weren’t a conversation topic, before ditching her without a word. As I’ve written before, Blue also has BPD like me, so this abandonment of course was devastating – and his treatment of her afterwards was pretty despicable. This guy – let’s call him Atlas – is someone I’d liked in the past and had a flirtation with while I was single, having had my heart broken by MFP and appreciating the attention. After Blue’s warning, I gave him a wide berth, appreciating his art but not being so fond of the man behind it.
Time goes by, and another friend of mine tells me that his friend/ex-girlfriend is getting involved with Atlas. After some of the things Blue had told me about, I warned this guy about Atlas, he in turn warned his friend, they had a fight and that was that.
Two days before my wedding, I am told some more information about Atlas, his friends and some of the other well-known members in this community – people I have spoken to and have been acquainted with over the years – and not only did it match up with what Blue had told me, but there were other incidents that made sense. Yes, there was mostly hearsay but also a lot of things I had known personally myself. I was shocked, angry and disgusted. I became swept up in this desire for these people to be outed and served justice for what they did. I have a terrible habit of being self-righteous at times – I think it comes from feeling that there were never any consequences for those who damaged me.
So, just after my wedding with all these conflicting thoughts in my head, I did the smart thing and took my grievances online. I shared that I didn’t want to associate with those individuals without saying openly why. One message came my way, asking for reasons. Without thinking, I told them what I had learned and knew to be true. Another message followed. Then another. Soon, my message inbox was blowing up with messages from both the concerned and curious. One of Atlas’s exes (and a friend of mine) posted openly in confirmation of his actions. Other people who had been involved with him messaged me and told me their stories. With every new detail, my rage built up.
It became a huge story, with me smack bang in the middle. I put myself there. I allowed others to put me there. And by the time Atlas and his friends caught wind, I was regretting every single word, everything I had put out there that I couldn’t take back. I trusted Blue, but I had put her personal life in the crossfire of everyone’s opinions. Everything made sense and people had to know. Except… I was losing control. I never had it in the first place but I was losing it regardless.
I wanted to kill myself. I had a BPD episode, lashed out at people before returning back to myself. I apologised publicly to everyone involved sincerely, and I approached Atlas and his friends to make things right. I explained in great detail how my behaviour was related to my BPD and didn’t hold back. Most people accepted it, friends became friends again and that was that. Atlas approached me, wanted to know who had said what, how much I knew and if I was willing to make things right as I promised. He was charming and relatively kind – apart from calling me unstable. I tried to appease him with what I knew, desperate for things to be made right.
A month passed before he posted openly on the site to the community, naming myself, Blue and another ex, calling us liars and some other very hostile things. He and several others claimed I was using my BPD as an excuse, that I was a psycho, a horrible human being.
“She tried to ruin my life,” Atlas said to everyone, “Not only did I find her apology to be insincere, but I also find it insulting that she even thinks that she would or should be forgiven for trying to ruin my fucking life. You don’t get forgiven for shit like that. It’s not OK, it’s not even understandable.” He asked me to make it up to him, then posted this.
“I pretty much said (my BPD) doesn’t give her a free pass to be an asshole” one of his friends wrote when asked why she was attacking my mental health, “And, that she’s using it to manipulate her followers for attention and sympathy. I don’t think that’s right.” I didn’t manipulate anyone, people do have free will.
A former acquaintance said “…you don’t just fucking spit someone in the face and then say that everything is fine, what the fuck? It requires a severe amount of brainlessness and stupidity to do such a thing, and there she is doing all that crap. Needless to say, it’s absolutely disgusting.” Not stupidity, it’s borderline personality disorder.
So, all that happened. In response to the shock and upset of it being brought up again, I self harmed for the first time since we lost Shandy. My calf
now has scars upon old scars – and they’re still healing, I did some hefty damage to myself. If I was truly manipulative, I would have posted up pictures and tried to blame Atlas and his friends for what I did to myself. My actions are mine and mine alone.
People that had forgiven me initially soon changed their minds after Atlas’ post. What I had been told and what I knew doesn’t matter now. There are now two general opinions of me as far as that community is concerned – I’m either a clever, manipulative liar who covers her actions by blaming it on a mental illness, or; I’m an unbalanced psychopath who has no control and should be kept away from society.
And I thought my mind only worked in black and white.
I tried reaching out to a former friend from that group of people last week. The response wasn’t positive. “I am not a fan of you due to the past few months, and I am afraid of you. I am afraid of typing out this response in fear of what you might do… I think you need help, and you need to try your absolute hardest to acknowledge what people are saying to you… if your condition is honestly so bad that you are unable to hold a positive social interaction with a person without manipulating them then I do not want to know you.” This ex-friend inspired this post at the beginning of the year.
People will see what they want to see. All that matters is what I see – and what I see every morning when I look in the mirror, is a damaged woman trying to make the best of what she has been left with. I’m not a monster. I’m not a psychopath. And I can’t be in control AND out of control at the same time, unlike what some might say. I have an illness and a very bad history, which makes me want to make things right where they’ve gone wrong. Sometimes it goes well. Other times… well, you can see what happens when I get it wrong.
So, there you have it friends. This essay is a very summarised version of what I’ve been dealing with over the past few months. It may not matter to anyone who reads this, but it’s been a huge cloud hanging over my head – I’m just glad to get it off my chest. I never want to hurt people, in my own stupid way I just want to help.
I don’t want other people to have to feel safe by needing chaos.