Do you feel that you are understood by most people most of the time?
Do you have a sense that you are on the same plane as most other people, and that you are an actor on the same stage as all the others?
Personally, I cannot say that these things are true for me. But I suppose that, after 53 years of living with depression in one form or another, I have grown accustomed to it. The world I live in is one in which I am somewhat apart, somewhat of an observer.
I often do not feel I am “in the movie”; rather I feel like I am the viewer rather than the actor.
The writer below, who has a BPD diagnosis, talks about how she wrestles with the problem of feeling “not understood”, of feeling not connected. A powerful and poignant piece, and one that is hard to answer if you are determined not to resort to platitudes.
Of platitudes she has probably had her fill……………
Wanting to be understood is part of the human condition. For someone with BPD, that can be a craving so strong that it eclipses almost everything else, save what I’m coming to see two sides of the same coin – wanting to be loved.
Wanting to be understood can be the force that drives us so strongly to connect with another individual that it tries to push all boundaries, physical and emotional, out of the way. I remember vividly, when in the grips of an obsessive attachment, the sense of wanting to be ‘in another person’s head’ and ‘under their skin’, or, conversely, the sense of wanting to be ‘taken over’ and ‘subsumed within another’s identity’. I’ve heard it described as ‘the urge to merge’, and I think it has its source in the desire for a perfect connection, a perfect understanding. A union so metaphysically powerful there is no…
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