Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Personality Disorder

Last week my friend and I were hanging out, talking about who knows what, when the topic of personality disorders came up. She gets on her nifty little i-pad and pulls up this test we can take online that will of course not diagnose a person, but may give you a little more insight to where your personality leans. So I washed the dishes and she quizzed me. Then she read me my results. They were wrong. So horribly wrong I figured she punched in my answers incorrectly or I had missed the point of the questions. So we did it again. Same thing, just a little bit more crazy all around. At this point I am having to admit I am lacking self-awareness, big time. For I never in a million years would have used the words "Borderline Personality Disorder" and "Leah Tyler" in the same sentence. Now I am in no way saying I have BPD, but according to this test it is a strong part of my personality. And this perplexed me beyond measure.

Actually, I did not even know what it meant. "Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions, such as feelings about themselves and others. These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships."* Okay fine, I thought. That's not so bad. I can admit I am up and down, quite impulsive and have many people in my life I would characterize as "difficult". But that was not my fault. It was them and not me! Wasn't it? And after chewing this fat around for a few days I realized I could pay attention and actually learn something here. If a great many of my relationships are indeed difficult, does that not make me at very least a contributor? If I have worked very hard over the last 35 years to get my emotions and feelings contained so that I am not a radiator cap blowing off an over-heated engine, does that not mean I am emotionally unstable? And yes, going to buy a pot for a palm tree and coming home with a puppy could definitely be considered impulsive, even if we are rather fond of Porkie and very glad she is ours.

Forgetting the others I focused in on that "have chaotic relationships" part, knowing it is the most volatile and disruptive to my health and life. I was recently blabbering to a cousin of mine and in his efforts to fix all the junk I was complaining about he came down pretty hard on me. At first I was very offended, feeling he hadn't the right or the knowledge to do so. But as we talked longer I realized he only attacked what I had given him. My feelings of inadequacy. My perceived failure to properly motivate myself or successfully execute my ambitions. Basically, my frustrations born from not being perfect. That damn type A just won't die! See in my Fibro-world there is no denying I have worked my ass off to get where I am. But to the outside I don't have a myriad of accomplishments to brag about, what people usually rely on to claim success. I have no PhD, successful business I built from the ground up or 5 kids shaping a better tomorrow. But I was disabled and now I am not. I was trapped in a body full of pain worse than death. And I no longer am. I could not leave my house for more than 20 minutes at a time, and now I can go for nearly as long as I desire. And all of this has happened in the last 6 years! So instead of stewing around mad at my fight being slighted, my success diminished, I realized the only reason he was able to criticize me and get me so worked up is because I invited him to. By bitching and moaning about my neurotic shortcomings I opened the door. So yes,  how can I not conclude I am greatly contributing to the difficult relationships in my life by continuing to seek approval where none will ever be found, then getting angry and defensive at the outcome. I am so unbelievably tired of interpersonal conflict and this eye opener, dose of cold hard truth, woke me up and made me realize that like everything else in life, if I want it to be different I have to change it. And finally, after 35 years, I decided if anyone is looking for perfect you have got the wrong girl over here. For never will I be, nor will I strive to be, that boring.

Thanks for joining,


  1. I had strong indications of having BPD also. However, I have come to understand that my crazy,hormonal issues were drastically affecting me ALL the time. And my crazy hormones stemmed from, you guessed it, fibromyalgia.

    BTW, I am post menopausal and I love it!!! It is definitely worth the emotional stability.

    I like your idea of trying to learn from the online test. Sometimes, if we think everyone ELSE is a problem, WE are the problem. However, an online test is by no means the definitive answer to whether you have BPD.

  2. YES, YES, YES! I think you should become my therapist. ;)

  3. Fibromyalgia and Borderline Personality: Theoretical Perspectives” In: Focus on Fibromyalgia Research ISBN: 1-60021-266-2 Editor: Albert P. Rockne, pp. 127-141 © 2007 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. :


    If future empirical studies confirm, among a minority of fibromyalgia patients, a
    relationship with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), what might the explicit relationship between the two be? To address this question, we might consider several theoretical models.

    Independent Co-Occurrence Model

    This model proposes that fibromyalgia and BPD actually have no genuine relationship to one another. Their association, or comorbid occurrence, in an individual is simply one of random chance. In other words, they independently co-occur.

    Common Causality Model

    This model proposes that both fibromyalgia and BPD share a common etiology (i.e. they are caused by the same phenomena), but have slightly different presentations and disease processes in the same individual. In other words, both originate from the same cause, but develop into somewhat different diseases.

    Spectrum Model

    This model proposes that fibromyalgia and BPD share similar etiologies as well as
    similar courses. Indeed, the two are not really distinct from one another, but are actually versions of the same disease phenomenon—i.e., they both exist as closely related spectrum disorders.

    Predisposition Model

    In this model, one syndrome precedes the other. In doing so, the first heightens the risk of developing the second. In this case, one would suspect that BPD is the forerunner disorder, which then subsequently heightens the risk of developing fibromyalgia.

    Whether any of these relationship models accurately describes the comorbidity of
    fibromyalgia and BPD is unknown. However, the spectrum model is appealing. Regardless, these models provide an interesting panorama of possibilities for future research.”

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