I’m good at being quiet, and I think that was always my problem.
I know I’m Borderline, I know the sub-types have a code, but I can’t remember what mine is. It’s the “Quiet” variety, I know that much, because every single problem I keep inside until I can’t possibly contain it any longer.
Anorexia was always a real problem, not primarily because I was afraid to get fat, but because the paranoia was such a problem I thought people were trying to poison my food.
I mean, my hands could never be clean enough. Something as simple as a crisp packet held a host of possibilities. If someone poisoned the outside of the bag, then I had to use my hands to open the bag, then the poison would be on my hands, and then I’d have to use my hands to eat, so then I would be poisoned. It then got to the point that they’d poisoned the crisps before they’d even put them in the bag. Poisoned potatoes. The only thing I could safely eat was bread and water. For some reason, no one bothered to poison the bread.
I was 13 years old when this happened. Do you know what happens when you starve your 13 year old self? You don’t grow up properly. I never matured. I still get mistaken for a teenager, despite nearly being 30 years old (could be worse I suppose). My periods went all wrong. I was told I’d ruined my bones and I would never be able to have children. The thought of having children as a 13 year old never really crossed my mind, especially as everyone was trying to poison me.
I was admitted to hospital. I learnt to eat again. I was discharged because I was “better”, only I never really was better.
I hate that my growth was stunted. What annoys me more is that I feel like my mind is stunted too. At 13 years old, living away from home in a hostile hospital environment – everything clinical and white, apart from the gaudy coloured green and red hospital carpets and curtains in the day room – I had to do a lot of growing up. I was old before my time. I had different worries to other 13 year olds. But now I feel that as my body stopped growing, so did my mind.
I feel like I am still stuck as that 13 year old. I’ve collected experiences over time, but my emotions and expectations are still immature. I don’t know how to describe it – I often feel like I’m stuck in a time warp. I see my friends around me, they grew up, they went to university, the moved out of home, many of them are married, they have honeymoons and holidays abroad and they have started having babies, and here I am, still stuck as this 13 year old playing the role of a grown up, but not quite living or believing it.
When my body and mind didn’t grow, I decided I would never have my own kids anyway. My body wouldn’t comply, as well as the fact that perhaps *this* is all genetic and I might pass it on, as well as passing on any inappropriate Borderline behaviours to people of a younger age.
When I was 26 years old I had everything I expected to have at that age. I had moved in with my boyfriend, we were engaged, we were happy, he wanted kids, but I knew it would never happen, I was happy to adopt. As a joint venture we would give a good home to someone who needed it.
Then one day, as if my miracle, my 13 year old’s body matured and I was pregnant.
Anyone who has been there will know the feeling. I remember it as if it was yesterday. Something maternal that I had never felt before and I get envious of every time I see someone else with that feeling, because I know that although it once was me, it will never be me again.
It’s bitter-sweet, it always is. I’m happy for people, but at the same time it causes so much pain, especially when you see one of you ex’s with a new-born baby and you just keep thinking “that should’ve been me”.