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why does bpd make me selfish?

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LorenzoAuditore

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Feb 16, 2015
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2
Recently my borderline personality disorder has been getting worse again after a few weeks of feeling like I was moving forward. Ive had a bad spell for a few weeks now, and in that time I've been told that I'm not looking out for my partner how I should be, he's told me about these problems, and I thought that I had made at least a few changes to make him feel better. But again today has been another horrible day, where he has told me that I'm being selfish, because I haven't taken his needs into account. I honestly thought I was trying, but apparently I'm no different. How do I stop being so selfish? And how can I notice when I am being that way?
 
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earthbound_misfit

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Aug 8, 2013
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It's hard to know without knowing the ways he thinks you're being selfish.

I'm slightly hesitant to write the next bit, in case you are being selfish, but perhaps that's BPD stigma at work..! So here goes:

Sometimes, people find it much easier to scapegoat others than look at their own issues. Most peope have some kind of issues, or some kind of feelings they don't like to explore. My fella can seem incredibly distant and cold and hard to talk to, because he's terrifed of seeing anyone cry, due to painful times in his past. Now, I know this because he has (unusually perhaps?) opened up and is quite aware of his feelings, and has been willing to try so hard to be aware of mine, so we are slowly understanding each other and how to relate much better. However, he could have just blamed it all on me, which would be very easy for him - after all, I'm the one who's in therapy, off work with mental health issues etc.
For those diagnosed BPD, denial of their feelings, invalidation, and blame unfortunately happen all the time, which can lead the person in the middle of it all to be desperately trying to please everyone around them whilst trying to deal with their huge burden of inner pain alone. It's abuse, IMHO, when it comes from professionals.
Certainly I have been made to feel guilty for "being selfish" and "upsetting" people - because someone has been worried about me and it's upset them. The people having a go at me for this don't seem to consider the fact that I'm upset at all. (Like having a go at an accident victim for upsetting onlookers by being injured!) I've also noticed a massive difference in how people view the same behaviours or moods differently depending on diagnosis. So, a person diagnosed with depression might be irritable and tearful because they feel so overwhelmed, and someone might respond kindly, knowing how dreadful they feel, and make allowances or give them a hug or something, and not blame them for feeling bad. Whereas the person diagnosed BPD who is irritable and tearful will be judged as being "attention seeking", "needy", "pushing people away", "wanting to argue", etc., etc. For some reason this happens even - perhaps especially - when something crappy has actually happened that is hurting them. So whilst the person dx'd as depressive is understood to be 'ill', the person dx'd as BPD is seen as selfish for having emotions/doing anything that makes those around them uncomfortable.

So... depending on what happened, perhaps you're not actually being selfish. A few things to consider might be:
(1) How would you feel/view the situation if the roles were reversed? Ie. he'd done the supposedly selfish thing?
(2) Can you sort of see why he might view things as selfish? (Eg. he can't understand any other reason you may have acted like that/done that?)
(3) Is he basically saying the 'symptoms' you have are selfish? This one is a bit complicated, because sometimes people can be selfish because they are so frightened and in pain they can't think of any other way. This is rather complicated because understanding rather than blame is needed on both sides. However, if it's something like "You're selfish because you cried and that made me feel bad" then the person saying it actually sounds rather selfish!

Hope that makes sense.
EM x
 
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LorenzoAuditore

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Feb 16, 2015
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Thanks for replying :) I don't really want to explain much more because I do think I am the one doing things wrong, because he does have to make me think how would I feel and I do see his point. It's just hard when I thought I had tried to work on it, but he feels there has been no change. I thought I had offered to do more to help him out, but he says he's still doing more for me than I am for him.
I want to be different, I don't want to be selfish towards him. I just cant see when I am being until I've already upset him.
 
AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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:welcome: LorezoAuditore

I can relate to what you're saying, I'm sorry I don't have any answer for you, but I hope you manage to work things through :hug:
 
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