When people don’t believe you’re mentally unwell because you hide it so well…

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Introverted

I am an introvert. I need a lot of space and alone time. I value privacy and independence, and loud non-stop-talking people can kind of annoy me.

But I also have BPD, so I must annoy myself because I’m loud when I’m upset, and I need to be around people or else I get lonely, and independent? No, I’m totally dependent. Right?

Well, for a lot of people, these are true. But they aren’t always true for me. I have the subtype of BPD known as quiet BPD. Borderline personality disorder is painful and emotional no matter how you slice it; those with BPD and those with quiet BPD feel emotions with the same intensity and pervasiveness. But those with the quiet subtype act in rather than act out. We don’t yell as much; we aren’t as “loud” about the pain and mood swings we feel. We internalize all our bad emotions, bottling it up until it comes out in solitary impulses like alcohol, self harm, and suicide. We hurt ourselves more than we tend to hurt others. I was able to hide my BPD for years from my family because I could internalize everything (though I also became really good at faking through interactions with people).

Every criticism, every painful word, every painful emotion cuts a deep, deep scar that I hide away in a locked ice box somewhere deep in my chest. And sometimes that ice box overflows; everything becomes too much – the pain, the self loathing. I turned to sobbing like a baby, cutting, and alcohol (after turning 20). My internal scars forced their ways outward. When I got an impulse to cut, there was no stopping it. I was going to injure myself, even if it wasn’t for a minute; an hour; a day, even. I had to release all those emotions somehow, but I wasn’t the type to scream and yell and kick at anyone near me. To me, I was the nearest thing to attack.

I’m in my head a lot, whether I’m daydreaming, planning an outing, or just singing a song. I don’t talk out my problems, I think them. Well, my thoughts can turn exceptionally vicious. They can speak of hatred; of failure. I am the most horrible person in the world. Everyone hated me; no one liked me. I was doomed to forever suffer alone because no one actually cared. And who could put up with all the mood swings anyway? I spent the night sobbing and bleeding all these negative emotions out. It was the type of sobbing that sounds really ugly, but feels worse. The kind that pulls and tugs ruthlessly at your chest sucking the air out of you, then sits heavy and tired in your body…

I am able to hide my scars, I am able to hide my emotions. Alone time is normal for an introvert, and no one questions what an introvert does alone. They are happy to be alone. I hide in my introversion. It is my cloak that I can sink into when the emotions start to get bad. But being an introvert isn’t all sorrow and pain, though. I love being an introvert. I love my time alone when my creative brain is rapidly coming up with new ideas; new ideas for writing, for drawing, for painting, for everything. I love my imagination; my daydreaming. It may be disordered, it may be crazy at times, but I love my introverted brain.