Here I am standing outside on a cold night afraid to go home. I am a young man in distress. I can only wish for this day to end quickly as I hate every bit of it. Every passing second increases the anguish and anger I feel inside. Is it the sight of giggling couples as they hold hands together and pass by or the romantic songs playing in the nearby restaurant? I just can't tell. All I know is that I hate this day called Valentine's day, it only reminds me of the one I had lost, my Mary. Not quite long, another young couple passes by and they make funny faces as they take selfies. In my mind, I wish I had the mystic power to turn one of them into a cat or make them disappear. I just hate all of this.
In my frantic thoughts, I pull out my mobile phone to consult the one who has the answers to most queries. I really need answers to all my questions. At this point, I don't think I can bear another moment with the lady I have in my house now. Opening the Google app, I type the words that have been on my mind for over 5 months now, "what condition makes your spouse who was once loving to suddenly become insecure, unstable, and paranoid". These are the words that I can only use to describe what Mary has become now. Where was the loving girl I had met at my best friend's party, the one who was so affectionate, sweet, caring, open, patient, understanding, and passionate? Where was the lady I had fallen hard for, the one I couldn't stop thinking and talking about back then?
Almost immediately, I am interrupted from my thoughts by a beep. Finally, my Google search results are ready. On my screen are words in bold letters - BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER. Woah, this is something I have never heard of before. I open the first webpage, not knowing that I am about to get a shocking revelation. This is what I learn from google;
A personality disorder is the way a person's long-term patterns of thought, feeling, and behaviour causes difficulty in their day-to-day life. It is a type of mental disorder in which you have an unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning, and behaving. The types of personality disorders can be grouped into 3;
SUSPICIOUS: paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder
ANXIOUS: avoidant personality disorder, dependant personality disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder(OCPD)
EMOTIONAL AND IMPULSIVE: borderline disorder, histronic disorder, narcissistic disorder.
Now, borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that affects mood, behavior, and self image. A person with BPD experiences intense emotions, poor self image, and impulsive behaviour.
Symptoms of borderline personality disorder include;
-frantic efforts to avoid being abandoned by friends or family
-unstable and personal relationships that shifts between extreme adoration and extreme dislike
-damaging behavior such as substance misuse, sexual activity, unsafe driving
-having suicidal thoughts
-chronic feelings of emptiness
-engaging in risky sexual activities
-very low self esteem and self worth
In relationships, people with BPD often have patterns of intense or unstable relationships. This may involve a shift from extreme adoration to extreme dislike. It may be marked by attempts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, saying hurtful or inappropriate things that make them feel guilty or ashamed afterward.
After reading and researching more on Google, I feel much better now knowing the condition that is causing my spouse to act this way. She has borderline personality disorder, that can only explain the self harm Mary inflicts on herself, the accusations that I am always cheating on her, the anger anytime she sees me with another lady, even if they are family relations or colleagues at work. What I didn't quite understand before was the constant push and pull moments. One moment, I am her favorite person in the world and she literally adores the ground I walk on and the next moment, I am the most terrible person she has ever met and she doesn't even acknowledge my existence. What is even more depressing is the berating, the feeling that I am always the one at fault and I am not doing enough, the self doubt and anxiety after each fight and it has gotten to the stage that I am even scared to go home.
Taking a deep breath, I start the journey home. I don't know what to expect from Mary tonight. Thankfully before I get home, little Miss unpredictable is fast asleep. I look at her sleeping figure. She looks innocent. She is good at heart and certainly doesn't deserve this disorder. She grew in a toxic environment with a narcissist as a father and an alcoholic mother who had bipolar disorder. Now, I understand it's really not her fault but I'm also hurting by her actions. Tomorrow morning, we are going to see a psychologist or a mental health specialist, that's the first step of action to take. I hope things get better between us.
by Bolaji Ogunyade