Too Sensitive For Their Own Good
March 1, 2014
Someone once described borderline personality disorder as being born without emotional skin. To date, this is the best description I have heard. It’s more than just being a little sensitive. It is constantly feeling like the world is out to get you, like people’s words are physically wounding you. When you are this sensitive, your knee-jerk reaction is to lash out without mercy or restraint.
And if you think these lash-outs are just reserved for enemies. Then you have never loved a borderline. Loving a borderline (as someone once put it) is like hugging a burn victim. Your hugs cause them to fight or take flight.
When you are this sensitive you become wary of the world-at-large. Which is why many of these uber-sensitive types seek refuge in small protective communities. Birds of a feather flock together.
I have found a lot of these communities on Tumblr and other corners of the internet. Here they can find other troubled souls. Here they can engage in “I’m OK. You’re OK” thinking.
These are secluded communities that provide shelter from the harsh realities of the real world. But every once and a while they post something that provides valuable insight into their dysfunctional behavior:
I am incredibly sensitive. So, so sensitive. That sensitivity allows me to detect subtle nuances in people’s behavior. So if I sense that someone doesn’t like me or is angry at me, I’m almost always right.
And the thing is, I spend a lot of time looking inward. I can’t help it. So if you point out a flaw, chances are I already know about it, and I’m already dealing with it. I am, quite literally, doing the best I can. It would be nice if I weren’t concerned about being wonderful and perfect and cool and nonthreatening and strong and brave and kind, but I am, and I continually fail at being all those things, because, try as I might, I’m just not very likable.
In the past, I walled myself off from everyone so I didn’t have to feel that way as often. But then I started allowing people (not on the internet) in, and it’s exactly what I expected. I always, always feel inadequate.
It was so much easier when I didn’t have to worry about feelings.
Reading this is a little heart-breaking. What she may not know… What members of her dysfunctional community have failed to pick up on is that she has actually diagnosed herself. She has just described the common symptoms of someone who is born with hyper-sensitivity, feelings of inadequacy and profound feelings of shame.
On top of that, she has feelings of being different and being unlikeable. It is the sum total of all of these symptoms (not each one) that suggest BPD or some early trauma. This is not your average teen angst. It is much more profound than that.
No matter how prickly they may be, you still have to feel sorry for someone who is born with this condition. It’s not their fault. But until they are professionally treated, they will most likely continue causing their own misery and the misery of those around them.
This one may very well be doing the best she can. But most of these people are ill-equipped for life. They can not help but act out, because it has been part of their conditioning since birth. These internet communities might ease the pain of loneliness, but they provide no real motivation to get better.