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I'm Mentally Ill but I'm Also an Asshole

My borderline personality disorder and inability to function around other people makes me quite a bit of an asshole. This is why.

Image from Netflix's Jessica Jones.

Revisiting a volatile relationship from my early 20s could either be the most enlightening experience of my week or it could make me want to chuck my phone across the room. I like to think that I'm not the girl from my early 20s anymore—aggressive, no fucks given, drunk as hell, and jealously paranoid... but there's only one way to find out, right?

So, I answered the phone, when my ex called. And yes, he—we'll call him Jay—knows that I'm writing this about him. About me.

Jay and I dated for a little over a year. We were 19... 20 years old. When I met Jay, I was still struggling with being on my own, prowling the streets of New York City, after leaving an abusive household. He graced my life with those green eyes and I put him on a pedestal.

Save me, Senpai. I'm a poor little lost girl that has no one and has nothing. Be my knight in shining denim.

And he tried.

Then his ex girlfriend appeared out of the blue, and I felt threatened. This boy? He's mine. Back the fuck up, girl. He didn't notice her subtle methods of showing possession... but I did. Or maybe I imagined it. Did her putting her hand on his shoulder mean anything or am I overthinking it? Is it both? Is it neither? Crap, I'm doing it again.

I did what any sane girl with borderline disorder would do in that situation... I went home, and like my therapist suggested... I talked it out with my boyfriend. Also known as, I yelled, "Why the fuck did you let her put her grubby hands all over you?!"

He took a step back, unsure if I was serious.

We went back and forth, tit for tat, accusations and buried thoughts flying in both directions. Objects and hands went at each other. Suddenly, he's got me pinned down on the floor, yelling at me to calm down. He's scaring me. I'm scaring him. I don't even know who provoked who in this situation.

I'll let you know though... I'm spiteful.

After that fight, I made sure he knew he was simply an option in my world... because (she? he? my brain? all of the above? none of the above?) made me feel disposable.

I would purposely start flirtatious conversations with other men and leave my Facebook chat open on my laptop, so he would find it.

Then he'd yell. I'd yell. We'd get in each other's faces.

He'd tell his ex about how things between him and I weren't going well. She offered sympathies. I'd find out about it.

Then he'd yell. I'd yell. We'd get in each other's faces.

We'd make up, promise each other things that 20-year-old's promise each other, and frantically do whatever we could, to keep each other. Until things got too smooth... too quiet. I'd get insecure. One of us will trigger my jealousy.

Then he'd yell. I'd yell. We'd get in each other's faces.

Jay and I talked about these events. We laughed about it. We accused... we pointed fingers... and we let it go. There wasn't a shred of love or romantic interest from either end—just two people who had been through a hurricane of emotional torment from each other, looking to check in.

I hung up the phone and I wondered... Am I still that girl?

It's been several years since I've found myself in a serious relationship, but I acknowledge that that was for my own good.

I'm kind of an asshole.

Sure, he—and other men in my life-—have had their moments where they'd poke me, but I'd always bite.

If they bite back, I'd rip them apart.

If they rip my heart out, I'd destroy them.

There was never a healthy place for us to talk and let our emotions out. I never allowed it.

I'm kind of like my own asshole parents who beat the shit out of me and then threw me out of the house.

But, I'm not going to sit here and give you some bullshit excuse about why I'm an asshole. Yeah yeah, I was abused and miserable people like to spread their misery, but there's a bit more to that.

I'm kind of a coward.

I'm terrified of being alone. I push people away. People can't leave me if I leave them first. I constantly feel threatened by the thought of abandonment, so I give people reasons to leave me.

That way, they're leaving me because I want them to leave. They never had a damn choice. It's a control thing. I'm a control freak.

I'm a freak.

And an asshole.

I'll also sit here and pretend that I don't give a shit what people have to say about it.

I'm sick. I have borderline personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder (bipolar type) and a whole lotta PTSD from a series of abuses and rapes from my childhood. None of those excuses the fact that I treat people like garbage or that I'm manipulative, narcissistic, and entitled, because of the way I perpetually feel.

So, I write this to people who are caretakers, loved ones, friends, family, or those who are mentally ill. You're the MVP. Yeah, we're the sick ones, but trust that the majority of us realize how difficult we are to love or live with. You might try your hardest and notice us pushing away... because we're scared that we'll become dependent on you and you'll leave us. We'll often fail to say thank you or acknowledge anything you've done for us. We suck sometimes.

A lot of us take medication and go to therapy. We work on it. We try not to be angry, awful, or agitated. Hell, we spend the majority of our lives fixated on fixing ourselves.

I'm probably a more mature version of my 20-year-old self that treated Jay like crap. I'm calmer and know better methods of communicating. I know to talk, rather than assume. I know to choose partners who don't invalidate what I have to say and to assert firm boundaries.

For the people that have loved me in my life... I couldn't handle it. I still can't. I want nothing more than to be adored, loved, cared for, and trusted, but I have no idea how to handle any of that. So, I'm going to tell you how badly I need it, and reject it the second I receive it. It's foreign to me... so I lash out.

Cause I'm an asshole.

I'm sorry.

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