I came across a thread on here talking about autism (particularly female autism) and borderline personality disorder (BPD). I noticed a few posters felt very indignant that they had once been diagnosed with BPD and felt that, once they got their diagnosis of autism, this eclipsed their BPD diagnosis and made it defunct. They didn't seem to think that one could have both at the same time. They think I've got BPD; the diagnosis was confirmed after a crisis where I had to spend the night in A&E, but it had been talked about for a while prior to this. I have a theory about it; I'm not a psychologist or any sort of MH professional so I don't know if I'm right, but this is what I have come to think about my own life.
A lot of people think that BPD is caused by trauma in the early part of childhood. I would never say that I suffered trauma...it wouldn't be fair to those who actually have. But I feel I've been damaged by my Asperger's. It caused the adults around me to try and sweep my issues under the carpet (my mum reckoned she knew since that I had autism since the age of 18 months, and yet did nothing to try and help, even though she supposedly loves me. I was just allowed to go around suffering, with no one doing anything to support me). At school, other children constantly abused me, pretty much from the day I started school. I was rejected, isolated and excluded. I was physically hit, kicked, pushed etc on many occasions throughout my school career, but there were. When I was very young, I was at a birthday party (I used to spend birthday parties crying because I felt so frightened and alone, and like my parents had abandoned me there; I also felt abandoned every day when I was dropped at school from my first day at playgroup when I was 3) and a little girl from my class got frustrated with me, agressively snatched off the sticky label I was wearing with my name on it, and tore it up and threw it on the floor in front of me. When I told my mum about this, she said, "It's because (this little girl) wants to be your friend, and you don't play with her when she wants to play with you." I took this to mean: "It's your fault she went for you." There were quite a few other incidents like that. This is how I know that I've deserved the abuse I've had over the years.
When I got to secondary school, I was very overweight and ugly as well as a defective freak. To mock me, boys would make crude comments, shove me against walls or collect around me in big gangs. They would touch me when I didn't want to be touched, sometimes hit or kick me, I was once spat on, I was once hounded into a room and had food repeatedly thrown at me, and, on all of these occasions, I would scream and cry for them to stop. It feels like this happened all the time throughout my secondary school career, however, I never once school refused because for me, that was not an option. Sometimes when I close my eyes at night I still think about school and how hated I was for being less than what other children wanted. Even the kinder children were sharp and cold with me, When I try to talk to people about it, I get told to "move on." I feel invalidated, which apparently makes BPD symptoms worse. I ended up with an eating disorder, but because I was overweight when the restrictive eating started, my mum's friends would say things to me like, "You look amazing; a touch of anorexia never hurt anyone." They'd think they were joking or being complimentary but, as you can imagine, that sort of thing made the problem worse. Then my actual diagnosis happened which was a total nightmare and it was the "straw that broke the camel's back" - I knew I would hate myself forever and ever. Nobody ever acknowledged how much it hurt me.
I can't even begin to write everything that happened, and I'm too tired to try; I'm also kind of physically unwell today with this cold that's been going round. I know I deserved everything I got at school, but still, being different is painful. What I don't understand is why nobody agrees that it's potentially damaging. A friend of our family who is an autism specialist has told me that "growing up with autism is difficult, but it doesn't count as a proper trauma" - a) I never said it was and b) her saying that just felt like more invalidation. I've always struggled with my mental health but over the last year it has deteriorated significantly. I now can't get through a day without becoming very upset, or harming myself in some way. I lose control and have to resort to anti-psychotic medication to calm me down. Obviously being Aspie I find it hard to make relationships anyway, but the ones I have feel insecure and chaotic. I do not know what or who I am, apart from that it's bad. I have been told, and from what I have read believe, that I meet criteria for BPD. The actual term is problematic for some people, but I don't find it so: I found being labelled Asperger's far more humiliating. If Asperger's was a person, I'd love to hurt it. I am broken. I think it has caused my "BPD symptoms".
Does anyone else think this could be true? Not just for me, but for them?
I found this post because after days of obsessively diving into the intersection of autism, trauma, and emotional abuse in families, due to recent extreme meltdowns triggered by my untreated mother (Paxil making it worse after 15 years)... I searched “autists vs borderlines.” There’s helpful info out there of one can filter it beyond so much DSM smoke up their own you know whats. I’m the autist, with PTSD, and I realized this morning that I have serious interpersonal difficulties with borderlines. My mom, two friends, perhaps also my dad. There’s also alcoholism and ptsd for generations sooo it’s been fun sorting it out. The two friendships now essentially faded were insightful as we talked therapeutically a LOT. They assumed I was bpd too. Indeed my learned traits echo what I got growing up. I mirrored bpd. Of course I did; I was mystified and traumatized and blamed myself for the abuse. Add to this all the difficulty being autistic and labeled a thousand ways as the “problem” and it’s a right mess. But bpd didn’t sit right, in fact most of my struggles are the opposite. It was long very confusing figuring out “mine” from “theirs.” I bring it up to say, significant borderlines in my life have had serious problems with me: my way and struggles seem to be a strong trigger for them. Of course as they’re bpd it becomes a subtle resentment with passive aggression in tow, “my fault.” Both friends are in dbt therapy so there’s less damage. I’d even say dbt can really help both “types.” Maybe could be modified for autists. But yea, I think asd and bpd are generally a hellish combination and not enough is being said about this, especially intergenerationally (and indeed small studies show preexisting ptsd increases likelihood of asd in children). Thanks for this topic.
I have Autism and BPD combined, and I have been through a very, very abusive upbringing, and even as an adult, I am still being treated horribly by the people who caused my BPD and C-PTSD to flourish in the first place. In Public school, I was horribly bullied and discriminated against and it fit very strongly into the mentality snd my belief that "Everyone hates me, and no matter what I do, nothing will change" I then did things to prove my point right, I.E. Buying food for the inclusion program director to win her over, as I always felt she favored the bullies in the inclusion program over me, as when they bullied me they always got away with it, while for me, the tiniest infraction caused a detention and loss of privileges. Even though I had the best behavior out of everyone in the program, I was always getting in trouble. This made my catastrophic thinking worse and worse and I began developing a strong hatred towards the inclusion program director, and by the middle of the school year, I was saying such hateful things to her that I should be ashamed of saying, but she deserved every bit of it, and I honestly wish I said even more hurtful things to that ableist scumbag. The worse she treated, the worse I treated her. she was a narcissist who liked to take her narcissistic rage out on me, because I dared challenge her authority intellectually, despite being autistic and it made her feel so bad that a disabled kid could put her in her place. I always inquired with her as to why she only punished me, as I had the best behavior, (I didn't break things, was very polite, was always being bullied by the other students). I also reminded her of a time where she promised me in front of my mom that bullying won't be tolerated and no one will bully me. I tried to convince my mom not to let me go to that middle school, so in front of the inclusion director I said to my mom, she's not being honest, I swear to god because I am so unlucky that I will be bullied here all the time, and they will never get in trouble, but I always will.
My mom tried to convince me that will not be the case, but boy was she wrong, and boy was I so right. The bullying became extremely dangerous when following a string of other bullying-related incidents which ultimately resulted in one day on Tuesday, February 15th, 2005, involved me getting scapegoated and punished for being beat-up by the bully, which my pessimistic mindset anticipated and was preparing for since the moment the bully attacked me and began whaling on me, and after the inclusion program director decided to punish me instead of him, because according to her I "Set him off" after the bully left for class, and my anger came to a breaking oint, and instead of simply going off on the director, this time I decided to take matters into my hands, and I took the bully's jacket, threw it on the floor stomped on it, kicked spat on it, but I didn't leave any visible damage on the jacket as I didn't want a worse repeat of what had only transpired a few minutes earlier.
Later that day, at around 2:35 PM during dismissal, just as I was just about to walk down the stairs, I felt a mighty shove and I tumbled down the stairs, and at the simultaneous moment of the push down the stairs, I heard the bully say a cuss word as I flew down the stairs. My para quickly came to my aid and despite all the horrors of being bullied so badly in middle school and being treated and discriminated so badly by the inclusion program director, whose job it was to make sure I felt safe and secure, she was the only one I really liked. I hated the inclusion program director with a burning passion, and was constantly imagining what bad thing the bullies will do next to me, and then how she will punish me once the bullies do something to me. (I wasn't a violent student, I never attacked anyone, but I was incredibly pessimistic and thought everyone hated/was against me, especially the inclusion program director).
Anyway, I was lying on the floor in terrible and excruciating lower back pain, as my lower back took the brunt of the impact when I landed on the marble floor landing half the flight down. My para was beside me trying to help me up, but I was in a lot of pain, and as I laid down there in terrible pain, I was wishing, horrible, disgusting things happen to the bully and his family, I was shouting out loud in hopes that he heard it, but he was long gone.
The inclusion program director then came down to see what happened almost immediately what happened, and when she saw what happened, she was smug about it and with a smirk on her face she said, "I guess someone told him what you did to his jacket." Besides me and the inclusion program director, there was another kid in the inclusion office, but I never had any beef with him, and he was the only person in the entire inclusion program that never picked on me, and even though we hardly talked I valued him very closely and considered him to be my ly "friend" at the time. So when I accused her of telling the bully to get him to attack me, she accused that shy, quiet kid who I held in very high esteem to try and stir a fight between us, but I suspected she was lying, but I felt betrayed nevertheless so I confronted him and simply asked him, "why did you tell Allen what I did to his jacket, he deserved it for attacking me, and me then taking his punishment for him attacking me.
He denied doing it, and I took his word for it, meanwhile the whole time I was laying down on the ground in pain, and I was helped up and was taken to the door of the Nurse's office, but she wasn't there, and I wanted to go to the principal's office to tell him what happened, as I took the inclusion director's promise to finally put the bully back in his place with a grain of salt. and I insisted that I go to the principal, so the inclusion director threatened me with more punishments/detention if I attempted to go to the principal's office to tell him what happened. So then, I told her, "Do you really think I trust you, first of all you hate me, I know you do because if you didn't hate me, you would have treated me just like you do everyone else, but you treat me the worst because you know I will take your ***, and their *** as well. Also, because I am so f****** unlucky I swear to god that tomorrow when I will come back to school, not only will Allen not be expelled, but he won't even be suspended, or have any punishments whatsoever because I know you hate me so much, that's what you'll do, it's what you have always done, and what you will always continue to do, I don't trust a word you say, have a good day, Mrs. Magno (I am using the Bully's first, and the inclusion director's real surname, as those assholes do not deserve to have my generosity of allowing them anonymity, especially what they forced me to endure for two years.)
Next day, despite everything that happened, and just I pessimistically predicted, my family made me go to school, even though they told me initially that I didn't have to, but like usual for me, my pessimistic predictions always come to fruition, no matter what I do to prevent it from happening.
Anyway, the next day, Wednesday, February 16th, 2005, I came to school, during the morning breakfast period the bully was not only there, he was on the computer playing games, whilst I wasn't allowed to, which was even worse than I predicted as not only was the bully in school, which I predicted, he didn't lose any privileges, and I did. (At least during recess her disgusting fascist majesty allowed me to use the computer). When I confronted her, she told "At least I told his parents about what he did to you. Had you not insinuated that I was going to discriminate against you, he would have been in trouble, but because you decided to accuse me once again that I was going to discriminate against you, I am basically so tired of hearing you run your mouth, so I took away his punishment and gave you some of his for your horribly negative attitude.
That incident was just one of many discriminatory/bullying-related incidents that happened to me. A year earlier, before that school incident, my mom had to send me to live with my grandmother as an incident involving me and my very abusive stepfather occurred in which was beating me, and I threatened him verbally that I was going to stab him with the kitchen knife if he continued and I was beginning to throw dishes at him and smash them on the floor as well. (Invcident started with him abusing me because the thought I talked back to him when I was trying to defend myself from his false accusations).
Living with my grandparents also presented their own problems as my uncle was living there who was also abusive. I was constantly surrounded by people who did nothing but abuse me and berate me. Today I am so good at predicting adversity, I have a near 100% success rate and have hardly any friends and have always been single, despite doing everything to avoid the (I will always be eternally single prediction I made back in high school, as thus far, over 10 years later it is still spot on. Also, I have always wanted to dye/change the color of my hair and wear cartain clothing, but because I', autistic, and despite being an adult my family is incedibly controlling, and no matter what I have been doing to emancipate myself, they constantly find new ways to keep me within their control, as they are disgustingly radically right-wing, with me being radical left/anarchist. It was my abusive family that radicalized to despising authority and hating anything to do with the political right, as I feel the right-wing is synonymous with ableism, discrimination and child abuse.
What should I do to break the cycle of all my pessimistic predictions/expectations from coming true? A lot of them today involve rejection i.e. what's the point of going to college as I will never get hired because I am autistic/i'm so unlucky. Despite catastrophically negative predictions, my past experiences with abuse and the constant rejection I am experiencing today I am still fighting for my future. lately, I have lately been secretly recording all my job interviews in the hopes of bringing ableists and those who are discriminating against me to justice and setting an example of what will happen to people who discriminate.