Have you ever wondered if you are who you think you are? Those weird little seeds of self-doubt sprout in your mind as unwanted weeds. Automatic adaption to our surroundings, various social groups and individuals is a human trait we all do subconsciously and always have done.
Yet people like myself with the wrongly taboo and judged Borderline Personality Disorder has long-standing paranoia when relating to people and their environment. Do they believe me? being the biggest social hurdle. BPD is not the only psychological condition affected I imagine, many mental health problems creates a feeling of social awkwardness due to people reading stark criteria and factors that are presented. Hoards of websites with dubious research and I personally find Quora and YouTube a minefield of unhelpful and insulting “facts”. Urgh.
I recently stepped back and studied my reactions to people on different levels and saw marked variations in my replies. I was very polite to those I considered “adults” (feeling a child never an adult world is really strange, trust me), upbeat and hyper to those whom I felt was equal to me and then my morbid fascination can also be keenly expressed. ‘Morbid’ is not necessarily a negative trait. Butchers, abbatoir staff, military, morticians, etc etc all are comfortable with the morbid side of life. Have you ever slowed down to look at an accident scene? Well that’s your primeval morbid side. You’ll always witness other people acting from inhibited to wild and free.
Everybody knowingly responds in different ways across the board. It’s basic adaption not deception.
As a teenager I was always changing around different groups of kids. My wardrobe was a mish-mash of social uniforms where I varied from iconic Kickers and Travel Fox trainers to Doctor Martens with funky tie-dye laces. On-trend Chipie jeans to distressed Levi 501’s. Yet I felt awkward, threatened even, with who I perceived as the popular kids yet at home with the so-called “freaks and geeks”. Was this abnormal or simply normality misunderstood? The latter of course.
During my time at work I felt lost amongst new colleagues who were all more or less equal in our official issued uniforms. Being a post woman in Bathgate and Whitburn was great fun, I was still in my fun-loving teens and I was comfortable as we all worked essentially by ourselves despite being one big team under a Royal Mail umbrella. Dental nurse training involved more uniforms but few staff and I was always too focused with my role to worry about how to relate to whom. My final role involved wearing either a lab coat full of ink stains or head-to-toe blues, wellies and head coverings. It was the hardest socially and being in my uncertain-of-myself twenties, being plunged into a delicate specialist hospital environment brimming with all sorts of people was more challenging than the position! The lab staff, I perceived as people who were “exceptionally better than me” and this triggered my inferiority complex and low self-esteem. I was always relieved when an autopsy request was phoned through and it was just myself and the very down-to-earth Irish pathologist whom I really bonded with. I’ll never forget her love of those cute Citroen 2CV Dollys with the leaking roofs. I’ll always be grateful for her guiding hand and gentle encouragement.
My point in the above being how as I was introduced into different environments, I adapted to each one so I could get through each day and feel a quiet success in my goal. Which was later snatched from me due to snowballing chronic health problems leaving me almost chocking on my inferiority complex and envy.
Some people feel they struggle to fit in and feel very “who am I?“. Over my years of CBT, CAT and personal reflection I’ve been educated in how adaption is normal for people. Just as nature adapts to environmental changes, habitat and food sources. Like a butterfly flying from flower to flower reacting how she needs to for each one. She’s deceiving nobody. She’s actually being open and honest. This lovely parallel helps me ground myself when I start feeling upset and paranoid after reading negative verbatim regarding the traits of BPD and should be recalled for anybody who feels unsure of how they are perceived.
Nature adapts to environment, habitat and food changes
A butterfly flying from flower to flower adapts to her needs
She’s deceiving nobody
She’s actually being open and honest
© Copyright: Sharon Lawson™