As a 50-year-old husband, father and working man I was feeling in control of my job, my marriage and my two beautiful daughters, everything seemed to be OK. My eldest daughter, Ana Paola, called me one day at work to say ¨Dad, I really need to see you… NOW! Can we meet at Starbucks?¨
She sounded desperate and her voice was trembling, so I decided to run and meet her. Until then, I had no idea that Borderline Personality Disorder existed, not even a clue. As a family, we walked beside my daughter for two extremely rough years until one of the Psychiatrists (specialized in BPD) literally saved my daughter’s life and gently explained to us some the traits & symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. It was only until then that I started to understand what she was and still is going through. What detonates this? I’m still not sure. Is it emotional? biochemistry? social interaction?, medication or substance abuse? Is it all of them? I honestly do not know, but what I do know is that my daughter is a fascinating human being that lives in a contrast of super intense emotions of joy and sadness, she is brave and has superimposed her barriers. Maybe not all of them, but I know how much she’s tried and… damn! She’s come a long way.
I remember what that doctor said to me: ¨If she overcomes these critical years, when she turns 30 years old this is going to decrease and give her room to live a more steady life¨. And after almost 8 years, Ana Paola is a lovely and functional human being, with BPD and all.
She has learned to deal with those ¨gray days¨ and I’m happy to be able to say that they are becoming less frequent. I like to think I’ve helped by giving her space, love and understanding, that’s all. When she is on the ¨bright days¨, her enthusiasm, creativity, skills and clarity are 150% above any person I know.
My reflection on this is: BPD is not a ¨new diagnosis¨. I’m sure that some of the greatest icons in human history, writers, scientists, artists, leaders had BPD. Why do I think this? Well, maybe it’s just the fact that they have a more intense and powerful intelligence, sensitivity and view over the world. They feel, see and understand things that most people can’t. Their minds are not easy to understand, but… if we care enough to look closer and walk beside them… it’s a fascinating -though bumpy- road, totally worth walking.
Today, I enjoy every moment with my daughter, she is my hero, I love her.
* Do you have a friend or family member with BPD? Do you want to share your story with us? Remember you can write us here. We’re here, contact us! 🙂
2 thoughts on “Look Closer…”
What a lovely Daddy you are ! I am going to be 57 in several weeks and probably the majority of emotionally unavailable and outright users and abusers I’ve been with would have described me at your daughter’s age as ‘ my crazy ex-girlfriend ‘. BPD does improve with time, but it is my constant companion. In a world filled with poverty, neglect, rejection, animal and child abuse, war, crime, etc, it is very evident that BPD will never go away completely for me, and I am finally making peace with the face that I would rather react, feel and respond too much, rather than too little. Happy New Year to you and to your marvelous child !
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Elizabeth, thank you so much for your words. I read your comment to my dad and he almost cried, but he hugged me instead. Thank you, this really means a lot to us. Stay strong, and Happy New Year! 🙂