The border line.

About a year ago now a psychiatrist with an irritating air of nonchalance asked me some intrusive questions and told me I fit almost all the criteria for emotionally unstable personality disorder. That phrase was a slap in the face and a kick in the gut and I left there feeling wounded and confused and insulted. I have no idea who thought that was a better name for it than borderline personality disorder, but I hope they get some awful karma for it.

I read a little about it and felt at ease. I read a lot more about it and it felt like home. I’ve not told anyone but my mum about it because that’s not really a label I want stamped across my forehead, but I’m getting used to it. I have some idea of when I’m falling now, instead of suddenly finding myself in a hole, and I can mitigate disaster a lot of the time, and I’ve been doing pretty damn well for most of the year.

But as anyone who knows anything about borderline knows, the problems are mostly in relationships with others, which I have largely avoided. I’m getting dangerously close to starting a relationship with someone and I am noticing old patterns coming back. He send me a text I can’t answer and I delete his number and turn off my phone. I never contact him first. He compliments me and I ignore it or make a joke of it. He gives me thoughtful gifts and I cry and laugh and display them and hide them and try very hard to resist the compelling urge to destroy them.

I’ve agreed to spend new year with him and I’m so anxious I’ve cleaned the walls and the doors and the floor and the drawers and my hands are cracked and bleeding from the chemicals and I’m still staring about the place trying to spot some other imperfection I can eradicate.

I’ve not told him I’m crazy yet. I’ve dreamed of his anger. I’ve dreamed of violent rejection so traumatic I’ve not slept properly since. How long can I pretend? Should I let him prepare for the storm? Or should I accept that I will destroy this, and probably him.

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