Recently I made the acquaintance of a person let’s call them X who seems to me like a classic BPD case. An internal struggle ensues because I am not sure I know how to be supportive of someone like X. But yet I can clearly see X is not in a good situation and sorely needs a friend. First of all it seems like X is misdiagnosed, and therefore is not receiving appropriate help. I suspect X’s emotional instability has contributed to X’s bad history with therapists and suspicion of the idea of treatment in general. X is clearly not stable at the moment. X also has an odious bully of a relative who invited himself into my private chill out session with X. Upon finding out that I am a fellow member of a support group X attends he immediately dismissed me as harmless and proceeds to verbally and emotionally abuse X right in front of me, after I have repeatedly told him this makes me feel very uncomfortable. He is pushing himself into my personal space and trying to bully me into submission. I shield tightly and refuse to engage. I feel powerless, which is triggering for me. I try not to let X see this. In the end, X is extremely apologetic about asking me over (which may or may not have been a poorly thought out attempt on X’s part to call out for help in a not too appropriate way). X is trapped in a cycle of guilt which again reeks of classic BPD. X sends me 10 smses apologizing. I try to validate how X feels, reassure X that I am ok, and we both agree that next time perhaps it would be better to meet outside, where the bully cannot assert himself.
In the meantime, I am trapped in a dilemma. I really identify with X because when I was going through the depths of my depression I felt powerless and like I was losing control of my life. After all the mind is everything and when one loses that well then you can’t even advocate for yourself. Having just one friend who cared and believed in me totally made a difference. However X is difficult to relate to and X’s relative is toxic. Without knowing a single thing about me he has dismissed me as crazy and helpless and no doubt a bad influence on X. I have obtained appropriate medical care and stabilized but the spectre of the chasm never quite goes away. This is something I fear greatly and odious bully makes me doubt myself. I am very angry with odious bully, both because of his callous treatment of my emotionally sensitive friend, and also because of the way he tried to push me, a stranger with no history with him, around. At first I put some of his smug domineering behaviour down to losing patience with X, but clearly he simply has no respect for anyone. Yet I feel like I can’t openly say anything about the bully to X because it is just going to be misconstrued. I’m pretty sure I will draw the line at meeting X at X’s place in future. This is for my own mental health. As for how to continue engaging with X, well that remains to be seen. I am also worried that if I try to help X odious bully is going to use his knowledge of my disease against me, and well I am not sure I am ready to deal with that.
I hate Singapore. I keep expecting better of people and then being reminded of how different this place is compared to the aware inclusive sensitive progressive culture I found in California. I don’t even know where to begin. I am dealing with such ignorance and sloppy thinking. And then there are the people who get it and just don’t give a shit. And there are plenty who still think that just because they have a Y chromosome that they have some kind of god given mandate to lord it over the household and emotionally (and sometimes physically) abuse people under their self-perceived power. I feel stripped of my power and belief in myself. Doubtful that if I ever have a relapse I can get the kind of help that will actually help me, rather than being labelled and dismissed as something broken and useless by people like him. Self-doubt is something I can ill afford.