One of the most difficult symptoms of my borderline personality disorder (BPD) is unstable sense of self. It is somewhat comparable to growing up in grade school trying to find yourself. Only, for me, I fluctuate from identity to identity quite frequently. This doesn’t mean I change everything about me. It is simply that at least one thing about me will change temporarily. This is why I can confidently say I don’t really know who I am.
The first example that comes to my head is my sexuality. I most often identify as a lesbian. It seems like that is my sexuality during the day. But at night, I become interested in guys also. And in the morning I am again — no offense — grossed out by guys. I haven’t figured out how to stop this from happening. This is a very good example of an unstable sense of self.
I also change the things I value sometimes. In this case, it’s a rather drastic change of thinking. For example, I can believe drugs are bad one moment and that drugs are fine the next. In addition, I can think that being gay is normal and then almost instantly believe it’s not. I do not mean to say that I am against the LGBTQ+ community. Simply that it’s unusual or uncommon. These values fight with each other and make it very hard for me to know who I really am.
Finally, the things I like and dislike can change. It is even the same with people. For example, at one moment I will completely love writing and then the next minute, think it’s totally pointless and not interesting. Ironically, I’m writing right now. With people, it’s that I normally like them but as soon as they cross me, I feel like I totally dislike them. And then eventually I will flip back to liking them again.
My sexuality, values, likes and dislikes can change on a dime. It is most likely not noticeable to others when I make these switches. They have their version of me in their heads. Thus, they would never think to ask about my sexuality, values, likes or dislikes. In their mind, they know. In my mind, I don’t. This is how I struggle with an unstable sense of self.