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Being seen as a person for the first time in my life

Visitor Selina Armitage talks about dropping the label and discovering herself.

I did my first ever blog in January of this year called “Treat me as a person, not a label”. This was about what it was really like getting crisis support with a label of BPD. But 6 months later, I have scrapped this label that I had been given and now I have become my own person again.

I have been working through a new way of helping me to manage my painful past experiences that I went through as a child, because sadly I have been traumatised by toxic relationships within my own family. I have been left feeling totally powerless within this, like a scared little girl that had no voice. I was told I was not allowed one and if I did speak out with my family I was just told to ‘shut up’. I felt like I was a child that was always seen but never heard. I always live within the dark shadow of my family and I still do to this day sadly, because I still this experience this emotional pain even as an adult.

I wanted the scared little girl inside me to be listened to so I could start to be free from the pain of the trauma

I then made contact with health professionals in my late teens after feeling like I needed some help with this and all they just wanted to do was label me because of my past. This is when I was given a label of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I started then to be made to believe that my past was just all my fault – I was yet again told to ‘shut up’ and just get on with it because this was going to be me for the rest of my life. I felt unable to share my feelings and emotions yet again. I felt like I was misunderstood and I just got to a point where I felt like the whole world was against me because I was not allowed to express my own feelings around the horrible story that I lived through as a child. I was also not allowed to show the scared little girl inside me because it was seen as not being helpful. They could not see the trauma that I have lived through. This made me feel worthless and dismissed just like my family did. I just felt so alone, broken, and I felt like I was the cause of my messed up life.

All I wanted in life was for this just to change for me, but I felt like there was nowhere or no one to turn to anymore. But I was wrong about that, because around nine months ago I started a new chapter in my life. I started a new way of working therapeutically that gave me more freedom and choice around my own support. I am now able to see myself as a person that has gone thought complex trauma, not a person with a label of BPD. I had never been seen this way by others before. For the first time I was told that it was not my fault because I was only a child when these things happened to me. This for me was the first proper time where the scared little girl was allowed to share her story. This was one of the most powerful and emotional times for me and still is. I now can say I am looking at ways to heal from the trauma I have lived, but within doing that I am working on my own relationships with other people in a therapeutic way. I have been given this chance to do these things now, which is helping me become the person I always want to be and to start to love myself and allow myself to be happy. Mainly, I wanted the scared little girl inside me to be listened to so I could start to be free from the pain of the trauma that was eating me alive every day.

They never want to give up on me and tell me I am worth more in life then the trauma I have been through

For me, dropping my label of BPD has made me become a person for the first time ever. I am at the start of something new where I feel like I can become the person that I want to be, and this would be the real me for the first time in my life.

I have also written this blog with certain positive people in mind that I work closely with. They never want to give up on me and tell me I am worth more in life then the trauma I have been through. They always say ‘#sorrynotsorry’ for not giving up, even when I want them to give up on me because all I want to do is give up on myself because it feels too raw and painful for me to deal with. But having this amazing support around me has made me learn not to be scared to have my voice heard. This is my story and it is my time to speak out.

Photo by Elie Nakazawa, Flickr Creative Commons