Hello, hello, hello! If you haven’t heard already, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week and to raise awareness I’ve asked a bunch of lovely people to help. Each of them will be giving their take on mental health/illness and we aim to inform the public and help reduce the stigma around discussing mental health issues. First up, is the wonderful and awe-inspiring super-mummy, Emily Scriminger. Emily and I have known each other since primary school and I’m in constant admiration at how she tackles her life and her mental health. Give it away, Emily:
Hi there! I’m Emily – mum to Alfie and person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is a disorder that is characterised by sudden extreme emotional outbursts, fear of abandonment, an unstable sense of self, and impulsive behaviours. So, quite similar to a toddler!
All jokes aside, it is a very hard condition to live with as it cause me to struggle with making and keeping relationships, and to struggle with paranoia. Keeping a friendship can be difficult when you’re secretly convinced that everyone hates you and is laughing at you.
When I fell pregnant, the first thing I did was search ‘BPD and parenting’, trying to look for some guidance. BIG MISTAKE! All I found were multiple articles discussing how abusive mothers with BPD are and how their disorder destroys their children.
So, here’s the truth about being a mum with BPD:
Yes, I get angry. But who doesn’t? Babies cry, they don’t sleep – they are general pains in the ass! Anyone would get frustrated after their tenth night with no sleep and a baby screaming in their ear. I’ve just learnt how to identify when it’s all getting a bit too much, so I can do something else and calm down.
Yes, I get frustrated. Sometimes I even shout. It helps. And again, who doesn’t? Sometimes, I’m really dramatic; I’ll message my partner telling him I can’t cope anymore and I’m a rubbish mum. I just want to stop the crying. But, guess what, so do most parents!
But the thing with BPD is, I love so deeply. My son is my entire world, he makes me feel better with just a smile. I’ve been known to cry out of sheer happiness, when he’s smiled or laughed for me. I wake up every night, feed him, settle him back to sleep. I change his nappy, get him dressed, wipe the tears away. I take him out for walks, read to him, play with him – anything he needs.
I’m not a threat or a danger to my child. My brain simply works a little differently to other people’s. I would do anything to keep him safe because I love him, and he’s mine.
And that is the reality of being a mum with Borderline Personality Disorder.