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.

22 Responses to “Too Sensitive For Their Own Good”

  1. Amanda said

    “Loving a borderline (as someone once put it) is like hugging a burn victim.”

    You are becoming more and more adept at describing in prosaic form what it’s like to know and love a borderline personality.

    At some point, though, I hope you un-tether yourself from it all. Just end it. Totally. Finally. And set yourself free. For that to happen, you must finally release yourself from the ecstasy of the highs with your girlfriend. Banish it to the world of fantasy, for that is what it was.

    • savorydish said

      Yes at some point I will untether, but for now the world needs to know more about BPD. There is too much denial and misinformation out there. I can assure you the highs are long gone. And all that is left are the lows. But life will go on and someday I will find someone worthy of my love. But for now I need to do some spring cleaning.

  2. savorydish said

    Feminists talk about rape all the time, but the conversation never seems to turn to personality disorders. Which is puzzling because girls like the one quoted above are exactly what predators look for- emotionally fragile and desperately looking for attention.

    The truth (nobody wants to talk about) is girls like the one above are very likely to look for attention in all the wrong places. It’s a disturbing pattern that is repeated over and over again.

    You can fight for all the legislation in the world, it won’t make predators stop assaulting women. There is no shortage of creeps and low lifes in the world. Talking about “rape culture” till you’re blue in the face, isn’t going to make rape go away either.

    If you want to stop rape. Cut off the supply of emotionally damaged women. Educate young women on the dangers of untreated personality disorders. Address the issue of alcoholism and substance abuse. Like it or not,it does make a woman more vulnerable to rape.

    We’re not talking about a woman who drinks a couple glasses of wine at a cocktail party. We’re talking about the girl who goes to a frat house and passes out. We’re talking about a woman who blacks out and can’t remember what she did the night before.

    yes, you can argue that a woman has a right to do anything she wants without the fear of being rape. And I will argue that such reckless behavior makes her more vulnerable to predators. But no amount of arguing is going to change the facts of life. And living in denial, will only produce more tragedies.

  3. savorydish said

    As heart-breaking as the quote above is, you should be aware that the person who posted that was intentionally trying to pull at your heart-strings. The hyper-sensitive are not helpless waifs, they are extremely clever and extremely manipulative.

    If you want to know why I stayed with my abusive Ex for 8 months, read the quote included in this post. It is the same kind of sob story that my ex would tell over and over again. It was a way for her to continue her abusive behavior. There was always an excuse for her betrayals.

    Why do borderlines tell sob stories? To elicit sympathy, to pull you in. Small children know that when they cry they get attention from their mother. When those small children fail to develop like others, they continue to cry and tell sob stories to get attention.

    These Tumblr blogs are largely for the purpose of seeking attention they never got as a child. This is why this group of people are more likely to fabricate false accusations. If you’ve been following the Tiger Beatdown drama, you have seen it for yourself.

    When Shady and Garland get into a battle with some of their own followers, and then accuse them of abusive behavior, that is an example of “oh poor me” messaging. IOW always take their sob stories with a grain of salt.

  4. savorydish said

    When I think about why I end up with overly-sensitive women, I have to sort through my past. It sounds so cliche to talk about my mother. But she too is an overly sensitive woman with abusive tendencies. With each relationship I am trying to right the wrongs of the past. And failing miserably at it.

    My borderline ex was not my first sensitive woman. She was just one of many I have fallen for. One of many who betrayed my love and trust. But she was the first sensitive woman to give me insight into her life. Insight that lead me to discover the disorder known as BPD. I suppose I should thank her, because I now have a better understanding of my own past.

    • savorydish said

      She was also the first to show signs of self-awareness. And this too was the reason why I stayed by her side, despite her constant outburts and betrayals. She gave me the impression that she was aware of her mental issues. She convinced me that she was working on getting better. But this was an act. And when she could no longer continue the act (because you can only keep the act up for so long) she let the facade slip. She revealed the dark side that she had been hiding for 8 months.

      Before she had acknowledged her mental illness. But when she realized the jig was up, she denied everything. She then accused me of being crazy and this opened the door to all sorts of abusive behavior. It gave her a reason to betray me despite all my efforts to trust her. If you think I am the only person who has experienced this kind of betrayal, you have much reading to do. Read the 100s of stories just like mine before you decide you are going to get involved with a person who is too sensitive for anybody’s good.

  5. savorydish said

    The fact that these people need trigger alerts for blog posts, should be some indication of how fragile their minds are. If you’ve been following the Tiger drama here, you’ve seen how these unstable upstarts react when something triggers their past. I have received death threats and degrading comments. These people are not fighting for social justice. They are fighting for revenge. They will fight anybody and everybody that looks at them the wrong way. They are fighting memories of their past.

  6. savorydish said

    It should not come as a surprise that such troubled souls would find this blog offensive. The truth hurts especially for someone who is this sensitive. Notice how they misinterpret the truth for abuse.

    http://sinisterstrike.tumblr.com/post/3187389253/sady-doyle-im-really-happy-that-savory-dish-dude

    In their twisted minds pointing out their abuse is abuse. Where have we seen this before?

    • savorydish said

      It’s this repeated pattern of demonizing critics that makes it hard to believe anything they say.

    • savorydish said

      If you read her tumblr address, her handle is “sinister strike”. Clearly she is aware of her abusive behavior. And yet she accuses others of being abusive. We’ve definitely seen this kind of projection before.

  7. HarlemGurl said

    A hit dog will holla when it hurts.

    No worries SavoryDish. Keep fighting the good fight…cause everything you’ve expressed about being in a BD relationship has rung true for me as well. Can anyone be surprised by a Borderline being abusive, (sinister…lol), threatening, vengeful, and downright cruel? Its in their DNA.

    • savorydish said

      thanks for the support HG.

      unfortunately the most abusive ones don’t even know they’re being abusive until someone points it out. And then when you point it out, they accuse you of being abusive. Or they push you out of their life.

      What a fucked up mind game.

  8. Savory Dish,
    That is an interesting idea, being born without emotional skin; unfortunately, it’s not fully accurate. As a former borderline myself, a better description would be being born normal, but then being subject to such extreme neglect and/or abuse that one never develops the normal ability to regulate emotions that healthy people have. In other words, the early traumatic environment devastates the person and creates borderline conditions and emotional dysregulation. Emotional skin isn’t something one is born with; it’s something developed and socialized between parents and children. . While genetic causation theories of BPD exist, they have not yet been proven to be valid. Until they are, the many reports from borderlines and former borderlines like me about how abuse and neglect were critical factors in causing their problems must be taken seriously.
    And apparently you haven’t been reading the forums I post on. Because as a former BPD who worked very hard to recover fully and become normal, I am providing a healthy dose of motivation by example 🙂

    • savorydish said

      I don’t dismiss the abuse or the neglect. The metaphor was meant to describe the sensitivity a borderline has. But you are right. It is probably more accurate to say that one develops the sensitivity because of a chaotic family life. Although there is a genetic component to all this. So it is true to say you are born with the potential to be borderline.

      • If that is true SD about a genetic component, perhaps you could cite research that supports it? It is kind a strange statement, to say that someone is “born with the potential to be borderline.” One might say that almost anyone could become “borderline” given enough horrible abuse and neglect. You must know there are many researchers who support a primarily environmental basis for the “disorder” (quotes intentional). The best one is Jay Joseph, in his books The Gene Illusion and The Missing Gene. Of course, there are also people who support a genetic cause for BPD. However, if one carefully studies their research, I think you would see that their research is actually very weak. It is still an open issue as to whether or not there is a genetic component. I do think, however, that genetic strength (resistance to stress) is an important risk factor in whether or not borderline conditions develop. However, that is subtly different than saying that there is a genetic cause, or even a genetic component. The semantics of this debate are tricky and interesting. There’s a great book on this you might like – it’s called “The Mirage of a Space Between Nature and Nurture” by Evelyn Fox Keller.

      • savorydish said

        Well. Then you have to get into the nature vs nurture debate. If you do your own research you will find evidence for both. As mentioned in my other post alcoholism in the family is a major factor. And that we know is genetic. We also know that alcoholism is just people who self medicate. So we can assume PDs are passed from one generation to another.

      • If you do the research, you’ll find that genetic studies on both alcoholism and PDs is fraught with problems, including small sample sizes, biased assumptions, circular reasoning, discounting of environmental data, and many more. The bottom line of this analysis is that the seeming “passage” of both alcoholism and BPD within families could be explained entirely via environmental factors. There are some interesting critiques on Jay Josephs’s site, which is at http://www.jayjoseph.net/publications . Evelyn Fox Keller’s book even questions the notion that we can even talk about dividing the two meaningfully. I also recommend Evan Charney’s writing on the new field of epigenetics, which is undermining the twin studies that your ideas are based on.

      • savorydish said

        I think you are assuming that I have a bias. I don’t really care either way. Nor do I care to make this a debate. Nobody here is discounting the role of abuse and neglect so I’m not sure what you’re up in arms about. Unless you are trying to reinforce some image of the borderline as a victim of abuse.

      • No, I don’t mean to imply you have a bias. And my own focus is totally about encouraging recovery from BPD and for people to take responsibility for their problems, rather than focusing on victimhood. However, it’s concerning to see broad statements implying that genetics are a primary cause of these disorders, because that can be discouraging to the sufferer. But, I can see that that wasn’t your conscious intent in this case.

      • savorydish said

        The statement was about emotional sensitivity. There was no intent to imply genetics is the primary cause.

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