Series

Life Traps | Pt. 21: My roles in Life

Posted by Maria

In this post, I go a little bit deeper into the roles I’ve taken upon myself in my life. I will attempt to answer questions such as: What these roles are, How have they affected me, and what have they taught to those around me? The roles we have in our lives have a lot to do with the direction our path moves, and so it will be interesting to try and find out where I have been headed.

The Good Kid

My earliest memories consist of doing my duty, respecting my parents, and the fear of punishment if I went against the rules. Now, This isn’t a cry about how wrongly I was raised, not by any means, but it does bring up some points of interest in how I turned up in my adult life.

When I didn’t do well at school and started to slack in homework, I got denied the right to go out and play with my friends before the tasks were done. This is completely understandable, and in the end, I turned into a young woman who loves to study. Just not everything on the planet, nor things that other people might find value in the modern world’s model of a ‘’proper citizen’’.  This synchronizes well with things like being told to sit on the table and finish my food, sometimes to the point where I fell asleep next to the plate. I have this vague memory of hurling some mash back on the plate after trying to cry-force it down the gullet.

When I was late from my curfew, I got spanked. Not that it made me do that any less, it was just a painful moment for both parties involved. I don’t see the point in spanking much, especially if it doesn’t have the desired outcome. I think grounding would’ve worked better, but then again I was, and still am, someone who enjoys being alone. I also didn’t have that many privileges to take away either, as I didn’t care for anything other than my writing as far as I remember. 

Some punishments were swift and scary, holes in the plaster walls, closet doors torn from their hinges, hair being tugged in an old-fashioned way. I even recall my sister getting punished for no reason, as it was thought that she pushed me and I fell. I fell on my own. And so I remember standing up to my parent, scared and angry. That is the only time I remember doing that in my past. 

Good kids have it rough

While most of the things I did were met with a few stern words, I am still to this day terrified of some things, such as losing my keys. I don’t think I have a solid concept of fair trade in cases when I’ve been hurt (or I perceived that I’ve been hurt), and so I keep dishing out things three times too rough. This happens even for minor bumps on the road. I have no real ability to talk things through, as I’ve learned that if I voice my concern or view, or God forbid, and piece of actual information about myself, to my ‘’superior’’, it will be labeled as arrogance or rudeness.

Being a good kid is hard. You have to maintain decent scores in school. You have to do what your ‘’superiors’’ tell you. You have to abide by the rule of these people that sometimes don’t seem to quite know what they are doing. Even if life feels unfair, you have to stay good and behave. I wonder if one of the things I started fearing from the get-go was that my parents wouldn’t be proud of me. If I failed to meet their expectations, the ones that seemed too much on occasion, would they not love me anymore? From a very young age, my life has been about performing: I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know, that I don’t have to do that.

What has this taught those around me then? Well, for one, I would say that I’m known as someone who will do their tasks decently. In vocational I had a bit of fun as my classmates typically shunned me, but when the time for one particular test came, and they could pick a partner, I suddenly got some friendly attention. Jokes on you mean girls, I didn’t study for the test and got you a mediocre score! 

The Silent One

A close sibling of being a Good Kid is the role of the Silent One. It goes without saying that when you are afraid of voicing your own opinions and views, you become quiet. On top of that, when this happens from the beginning, there is no chance for the person to evolve into someone who would be able to bring forth their thoughts. 

The life of a silent person entails a lot of frustration, as you never tell anyone about your desires or needs. Not even dreams. I got my dream of writing stomped to the dirt so many times I gave up on trying to tell people that it is what I want, and instead, got led into a life of unfitting schooling and activities. Not once did I want to do anything other than to write. In my whole life!

As you become more Silent, people start to learn that they don’t need to consider you. Your voice becomes weak, so weak that when you finally muster the strength to let out that roar of a decade, you are not believed. I had this happen in the past. I was silent for over a decade, and now people have a hard time accepting who I am as a person. Being called out for finally releasing your own voice is not very encouraging.

The Chameleon

As a Borderline, being the Chameleon is pretty much in my nature. In truth, a Silent Chameleon will become an abuser’s favorite toy. Hell, it’ll become the favorite toy of those that didn’t even know they had abusive traits in them. You see, we Silent Chameleons, we are very good at not letting the outside world know anything that goes on inside us.

For a while in my past I had no voice, I had no form. I took on the shape that got me what security I could get, even if it was a false promise of safety. For the sake of being accepted, of belonging somewhere, I would shift my colors into those that would be more attractive to the people I tried to mingle with. Somewhere down the line, I lost myself almost entirely.

I gave up writing, I faked being enthusiastic about cars, went to vocational, and even pretended to be ‘’normal’’ for the sake of other people. This perfectly proper behavior led people astray, at least I’d like to think that was the case. Of course, I’ve since found out that despite knowing the depths of my pain, there are people out there willing to make the darkness deeper, willing to hurt and manipulate, and in denial of their own wrongs while doing so. 

The Chameleon still lives in me, but I’m in the process of taming it. I won’t lose myself again, I’m amazing as my true self! It has taken a lot and I suspect will take way more, but I’m beginning to be in awe of my resilience, creativity, and curiosity once more. And my true colors are so beautiful, even if they aren’t a rainbow.

The Demon’s Shade

An unfortunate part of my colors is the Demon’s Shade. The BPD. The broken mental health. It will always stay with me, and will always remain a core part of who I am as a person. To some people, it is a threat and a true demon, and so, in my past, I got told many times that I should just kill it. Like, literally, off a part of myself. I’d never do that, just so you know.

The Demon’s Shade is there for a reason. And while the extremely volatile explosions tend to give people 101 reasons to stay well away from me, their only purpose is to protect me. To protect me from the hurt I’ve had to go through, the abuse that I’ve endured, and to keep safe my poor core, which has been cracked by the multitude of blows given to it. My disorder was my savior at some point, and it got locked to place. It’s time to let it rest now.

I’ve understood that in order for me to be complete and gain order in this chaotic mind, I certainly shouldn’t be trying to kill any parts of it. Much like with me spacing out while cutting cucumber, the dissociation, or the Shade, can be there, as long as I am safe. This means I have to work diligently to rewrite the rules of safety and danger, as I’ve managed to build myself an itchy trigger finger: the second I feel threatened, I will shoot.

The issue of this is, as I mentioned before, that people learn to be afraid of it. I absolutely hate those moments when I tell my husband I’m leaving, or that I want to die. All because I feel so intensely that he would be better off without me around. These things are shots, but instead of firing something a bit more safe like pellets, I go straight to the nuclear tips and try to level out the entire area within a 500km radius. Needles to say, this brings some serious urgency to the taming of the Demon’s Shade.

The Fool

In my past I kept being true to Einstein’s definition of insanity (keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result), I kept believing in liars, hoping they would change. I kept thinking I will find my seat in the council of madness that wasn’t my own and wanted nothing to do with me. I kept thinking that by giving all I had, literally, I would be loved more. 

I remember a day when a friend came clean to me and told me that I am naive. It hurt. But I had to accept it. What else would it be when I behave in such a manner, going to places that will hurt even when I know that’s the likely result? I am glad to let you know that I’m no longer that dumb. Even if some people might think so in their own insanity when I refuse to walk down the dark alleys with them.

Me being the Fool allowed for people to keep using and abusing me. My fear of being left alone, the fear of not belonging, drove my broken soul into these relationships with the wrong kind of personas. It let people think that it is ok to keep handling me the way they saw fit, with reckless abandon and only driving their own comfort. Welp, I’m sorry people, I don’t want to be that person anymore. I matter too!

While all of my Life Traps push me towards certain paths in life, there is hope for me to break free from the cycle. I don’t have to be The Foolish, Silent, Demonic Chameleon. I don’t have to be the good girl anymore. Keywords: I don’t HAVE TO. I can choose to be and become whatever I want, and for now, that is what I am searching for deep within myself. What is it that I want to become exactly?

What kind of roles have you taken in your life? Let us know in the comments!


Want to know more about life with Borderline Personality Disorder? Sign up for the weekly newsletter!

Related Post

2 thoughts on “Life Traps | Pt. 21: My roles in Life

  1. Amethyst

    I’ve been every roll you can name, from the good kid, to bad. Good grades, to poor grades. Happy to sad. I played the rolls that I thought people wanted. No more of that!

    1. Maria

      Time for us to play the roles we want to play, for ourselves and for our own sakes.

Leave A Comment

%d bloggers like this: