What having a Chameleon Personality is like for someone with BPD.

When I was a young girl, I use to look at my best friend and see myself. I did this so I knew how to act. I would follow her manorisms, her words, clothes, music tastes, hobbies and talents and mimic her so closely you couldnt tell where she ended and I began. Imagine taking a parrot and putting it on your shoulder and having it mock your every sentence, actions and personality. I was really good at comforming and i was even better when it came to acting because I could “feel” what it was like to be another character. I could chose a person and mimic them almost down to their natural physique. Why did I do this? I had Borderline Personality Disorder and I didn’t know know it.

I would search for people who intrigued me. Saying I went through every clique in middle school is a huge understatement. I went through the phases before someone could even get through the initial “EMO” stage. I was past that and I was revisiting another stereotype already. It came natural to me and I didn’t mean to chameleon myself to my friends, famous people or fictional characters, I just thought one would be super cool and subconsciously I would already have begun the transformation. High School was rough. Becoming an adult was rough. Growing up was rough. I never knew who I was or what I liked. I never was LYNSEY.

I took this chameleon tactic too far back in the Summer of 2014. After experiencing trauma through childhood and reexperiencing it as an adult, really haulted my ability to grow into an independent adult. I was irresponsible with my money, I spent all my bill money, didnt know what love was or wasnt, made irrational choices that would effect my future and purely just didn’t give a shit on how to live. Living in the moment was what I did best. Only it isn’t living in the moment if you are disociated the whole time. It is living in an alternate reality while everyone around you lives on the same planet. All that you listen to is what you hear and create or eliminate yourself.

I ended up in the psych ward too many times in one year. Something was happening to me and I couldnt quite explain what. All the doctors told me I was either depressed or that I was grieving from my fathers suicide the May before. Yes, I felt depressed but it was something more than that. I was making choices that other adults my age were not making or would they even begin to think about making them. I was cutting myself frequently but it was not because I was “sad”. I was confused and angry and didn’t know how to show it. I was a fucking mess.

I started the endevour watching some of my friends eat in the kitchen at Timberline Knolls my first night spent away, locked in and surrounded by 29 other women. If you ate downstairs that means you are not “obeying” your meal plan and you get sent to eat in a small room with all the others who “broke the rules” instead of being in the cafeteria surrounded by the other 25. COOL. I decided to act like I had an eating disorder, Bullimia in order to be caught puking after my meal and kept downstairs with the other “prisioners” Never in my life had I tried puking up my food until that one night.

Next, I explored what I consider the most confusing time of my life. Being a sociopath. Just read this short story for yourself and see how crazy my thoughts were…

-PROLOGUE-

Have you ever told a lie? Think of a time where you may have exaggerated the truth. Maybe you did it to make yourself look better. Maybe you felt like you needed to so you don’t hurt someones feelings. Did you do it so you could avoid a consequence?What instances come to mind? Some examples for myself, I’m sure are similar to others. I know when I am having a conversation with someone who is extremely full of themselves and hyperfocuses on all their achievements, I find myself bending the truth so i can look better. I may give myself credit for someone elses success. It may not feel appropriate but at least you don’t feel belittled.

I remember this one time my friend asked me to hang out. She wanted me to go to dinner with her and then catch a movie later. It sounded fun, so i agreed and we decided we would meet at our gavorite resturaunt at 7:00 PM because that would give me enough time to finish cleaning up around the house and also get my errands completed. I was looking forward to our night together but something had suddenly occured to me. I forgot I had made plans to go over to my boyfriends house for his birthday. Surely I could have explained the situation to my friend and negotiate a raincheck, but i was so afraid she might get mad at me, so instead I did the first thing that came to my mind. I text her and told her I had not been feeling well for the past few days and that i thought id be okay to hanh out buut the migraine would not go away this time. Sure I felt bad lying to my friend, or maybe I didn’t but the fact of the matter was I didn’t hurt her feelings because she never found out the truth of me staying the night with the boyfriend.

My last white lie example comes from my rebellious teenage years. In high school I was percieved by my parents as an angel. I never broke the rules and i always did what they said; at least to their knowledge. I was very good at decieving. My sophomore year, i remember one instance specifically where i had to lie to avoid punishment. I had a few friends over at the house spending the night. I felt like we needed a little excitement so i snuck upsrtairs into my parents liquor cabinet and took a bottle off the shelf. I poured half of it out and into a waterbottle and then filled the alcohol bottle back up with Coca-Cola to make it look full again. My friends and I had a fun night.

A few weeks later, my family threw a Christmas party. There were lots of people, lots of food, and lots of alcohol. One bottle on the table stood out to me. It was the bottle I had replaced with the soda! Freaking out and on the verge of a panic attack, I ran upstairs to my room. I planned on spending the entire length of the party isolated, but my mother wasnt going to let that happen. She insisted I came down and socialize. Things were going pretty well until I heard one of her guests complaining that the Jack Daniels tasted funny and flat. Knowing my history of lies, my mother was quick to place the blame on me. Afterall, I had two straight edged brothers who would never do such an intollerable act. I didnt necessarily feel bad for what I did but I sure hated the fact I got caught. I have my parents the cold shoulder for a few days while I was grounded, until they budged and let me offgrounding.

Looking back now, these lies seem petty and insignificant but they did foreshadow a pattern that I would follow through with throught my teenaage and adult years; Although, the consequences were no where comparable to where I would end up this year (2014)…I found myself piling up the lies, until there was no way out. I started living my lies and believing in them, giving them power to control me.

In this book, I will take you down two different routes. First, I will explain my experiences and behaviors in as much detail as I possibly could. After I have outlined my background, I will take you through “MY STORY”. When I say story, I should clarify a few things:

ONE-Story means lies. My story is complex and may get a little confusing at times. Tje events which took place in my story for the most part are true but there are some details in which are exaggerated or made up. WHen i wrote the first route, I was 100% convinced that what i was doing and how I was percieving myself was correct. It is still difficult for me to pick apart the story and seperate fact from fiction considering at theat time it all seemed real.

TWO- I am only a human. I am not a doctor nor am i a therapist. I do not have credentials to support any research i did on myself. I do want to make one thing clear to my readers and that is the premise of this book. This book, ultimately is based upon opinion. It is completely subjective and no other perceptions were used in this delusion during Mania. Yes mania.

Maybe you disagree with my diagnosis of myself. Maybe you think i am making all this up too, trying to mimic another mental illness(Which I am). Even if I was, that still shows my sociopothy. Maybe my “skills” are born new and I have to adapt to better ways of manipulation. You may have caught on but either way, the fact I tried to manipulate you, doctors, family, ,friends and even myself, to get to my desired destination without care of being “reckless” goes to show how sociopathic I am. Maybe I am lying about lying and there is more to my story. There might be another chapter I want to tell if I get my diagnosis then what? I truely feel my story would be over, and it would be on to the next. So ultimately, the mark on paper is up to you, dear doctors. Now that I told you what to look for, youll be studying me closely, my eyes and the tone and vibration in my voice, my hand gestures and my body movements but; how will you know I am not purposely doing those things. I know what I am, I surely know what i am capable of. You agreeing with me is only going to give me “credentials”, whether you see things my way or not. I know what I am. I know who I am. You will never know.


Chapter 5-

Wow. Tonight is…interesting for a lack of better terms. I AM BORED. I’ve spent the last 4 hours on various websites researching information for an article or book I may never write, You may ask why I did this? Let me tell you.

My dad was a sociopath. He was never diagnosed but it is pretty clear that this term accurately sums up his behaviors. His lying, lack of empathy, inibility to show emotions, superficial charm, impulsive behaviors, irresponsibility and his narsisistic intelligence are proof of his diagnosis. So what does his sociopathy have to do with my research? Im obsessed with “crazy”. I find crazy fascinating and. I want to know eveything and then some about it. Why? Maybe its because I have adapted to all his traits and I am JUST like him.

It all started with a spark of curiousity. The first time I ever really heard the word and attached personal meaning to it was about 4 months ago. As soon as I heard someone assign a label to my fathers behaboprs, I immediately became intrigues by the word :sociopath”. Back in Feb is when I made the decision to start MY “game”. I had quit my job and moved back home in Aug and after 6 months of being home I had decided i was done with retail. I was bored. I needed to find something to do, but i didnt really want responsibility anymore. That is when I came up with my first “plot” or lie.

My father passed away back in May, so I already knew I had an “excuse” for starting my plan. I was going to say I was depressed so I had and excuse to act irresponsible.

And so I did…I went into my doctor in hopes for him to tell me I am depressed and send me to a therapist. I knew I was going to have to exafferate the truth a little in order to get what i wanted and so i did. i took a 10 question depression survey and scored the highest score you could possibly get, minus one or two numbers. Throwing some tears into the equation and saying how much i missed my father helped support his decision. sure enought, I had my referal.

My appointment with the therspist came sooner than i expected abd was easier then i thought. Within 15 minutes I had her diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. And soon I would have her diagnose me with Generalized Anxiety disorder, also usually i planned for these lies but I was feeling risky so i decided to try it on the spot.

“Do you feel anxious?”

“Yes. I feel nervous.”

“What are you nervous about?

“Being around people.”

“What does this feeling cause you do to?”

“Cancel plans and stay in.”

“Does your heart race or your palms sweat?”

“Yes and yes.”

These questions went on for about another 15 minutes, then I heard her speak.

“Anxiety NOS”

B-I-N-G-O

I did it, that was a lot of fun. She didnt suspect a thing. I can fool anyone, and slowly but surely i did. I continued to manipulte my there\apist throughout the session. I asked questions that seemed could be of concern for me, but i was onluy trying to stufy ways in which i could keep this goiing. One of the questions she asked me was if i ever had cut.

“Yes” I replied, “when I was little but i havent done it since.”… And thats where I got that idea.

Looking at it, if i were her i would have seen that as a wrning sign of my lying. A girl who did it once when she was in the 5th grade. I ask her if she does it in therapy and then the next session she comes to me and tells me she all of a sudden had? Even when asking questions about “How does it make you feel when you cut?” and my response is “I dont know” or I dont feel? Wow i must have beenbetter than the best of them.

Her suggestion after 3 sessions: PHP. I went home and contemplated it. Actually no. I convinced my mom into “convincing” me it was a good isea to go. Plus it gave me reason to go on a medical leave of absence and take a vacation from responsibility. I agreed on Friday ans I started the program Monday morning.

Over that weekend I wastched a movie you all are probably familiar with, “Girl Interrupted”. I STUDIED that movie. I was frawn in by the craziness of the psych ward, I wanted to go there and see what it was like gor real but I knew in doing this I would have to make my problem an even bigger one. I would attempt to MIMIC a mental illness I saw on the movie. Borderline Personality Disorder. I studied her traits closely but knew that getting my information from a character in a movie was not going to be enough. I got online and bought books and began my obsession.

I spent several hours that night trying to memorize the symptoms, behaviors and the emotions someone with BPD would feel. I had made up a story for each one of the behaviors I had been demonstrating, From my drinking, to the cutting , I imagined what a “borderline” would say and feel and go with it.

-MY CUTTING

I don’t know how to deal with negative emotions. I don’t allow myself to feel so i self inflict wounds in order to feel something .

-FEAR OF ABANDONMENT

This was easy to convince. I do not really have a fear of being left or if i do it is subconscious and doesnt bother me that much. the fact I have been “abandoned” by both of my fathers made this symptom easier to parrot. Especially when you start crying and worry that everyone else is going to give up on you, or leave you, especially in treatment/rehab.

-IMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS

This one was probably the most difficult to express, not because I couldn’t come up with the behaviors but because they alwasys want to talk about how these behaviors made you feel. It was hard because I AM impulsive, but how would a “Borderline” talk about that compared to whatever I am. A sociopath? So the whole evaluation at Partial I left out the emotion. I figured I could come back to it later. Little did I know I wouldnt have the chance to do that. So i talked and told them about the substance abuse, the sporatic spending, and the sex,( or promiscuity as they would say) without getting too into detail.

-IDENTITY CONFUSION

This was another tough topic to portray, considering i do have identity confusion but it wasnt in the way I expressed. When expressing my “BPD” I focused primarily on my fear of abandonment for the stem of my issues. My thought process was if Ive been left so many times , how could I have accurately got a real read on myself? I also hinted on points such as, sexual confusion, CHAMELEON LIKE PERSONALITY and addiction to feel different.

Now, some of these traits are proven true, but the motives driven behind them are completely different. It is actually funny to me how i can take an emotion and falsely attach it to a situation, or manipulate a “Story”. I just reach back somewhere in my brain, and pull out the tools I need in order to get what I want or get my point across. For instance, this story, You only look at what I say. If i tell you I want to die and I attempted suicide, i have a substance problem, i cut because i dont know how to handle emotions (anger and depression mainly), I dont like to associate with people, and I have unresolved grief, you are quick to hear my verbal communication but you pay no attention to anything nonverbal or between the lines. Could this be because you believe that everyone that walks through a psychiatrist or therapist’s door is going to buckle down and tell the truth? Right away? Maybe, that is giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is going to be honest though, and professionals are pretty blind to it especially if they are dealing with a sociopath.

You might be wondering why I would even share such information with you. Wouldnt a sociopath want to keep the story going or the lies up? Dont sociopaths get their pleasure from toying with people? Well, Yes and No. We like toying with people but really only if there is going to be some benefit to us. Otherwise, you are not worth our brain power or time. We’re not narcisists. We may be narcisistic in terms of manipulating to get what we want, but the difference between the sociopath and the narcisist is awarness. Sociopaths are aware of their self-centeredness and narcisists just think they are superior and don’t notice their selfishness.

Without revealing too many of my tecniques, I will get on with my story:

The entire time I am conversing with my first psychiatrist I am replaying in my head over and over again what it is I am going to say. Every question he asked I thought quickly over and reminded myself, “How would a Borderline answer this question?”. Here is where I starting getting pissed off… After everything I said, I got the diagnosis of Depression…AGAIN! WHAT THE FUCK??!!I have showed all symptoms, I have shared with them behaviors and I even told you it was genetic (If it really is, I dont believe that so much) How are you going to tell me that I am just depressed and have cognitive distortions? I AM DOING THIS ON PURPOSE! He really doesnt know what he is doing.

During CBT, i met with this doctor regularly once a week for about a month before I had had enough. I didn’t come here because I am depressed. And I am not going to sit back here and try to “Fix” a depression that doesnt really even exist. At our last visit I finally vocalized my concern for having BPD. I told him, in words, I am convinced I have BPD and his response was cooperative to an extent. He told me it was a possibility but they don’t like tojump to a diagnosis so quickly. Smart Man. Frusterating as hell but smart. His noncomplience drive my mind into a “I’ll do anything to win” mode. I needed to win and in this case the prize was power and control over him. That moment is when I decided that if i am going to be diagnosed a borderkube, Im going to have to be more impulsive, moody and sound irrational. I concluded that it was time for me to pay a trip to the psychward.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. It was April Fools day and I came to PHP in an OK mood. i think i hatted myself a 5 or 6. I’m never quite sure what i am feeling and assigning a number to my mood was near impossible unless I am thrilled or pissed off, then I am always a 10. A fellow resident brought some cheesy april fools jokes in and everyone else seemed to be having a good time. I did not know that today would be the day I went in to the hospital. I dont ever really plan for events let alone them happen with perfect timing. If you are not careful, you could blow your cover and lose the game. The only thing I ever plan is the innitial plot in the grand scheme of things.It caught me by suprise when I found out we were going to be talking about grief, but I sware if my piers or even the therapists could have nonticed the half smirk on my face, then I would have not been in a state mentally where I was ready to fake the “Craziest episode” I’ve ever had. I am young and my skills are not fully developed yet so sometimes i catch myself slipping and pray no one notices. In this case, I was in the clear. I would now be in the right mental state to “fake” the craziest episode of my life. Sometimes I catch myself slipping but I am working on mastering these “skills”. I hope no one notices.

During the group I invisioned my psychotic episode like an actress would right before reciting her lines during the peak moment. I closed my eyes and prepared myself for the main event.

I brought up the topic of suicide. PERFECT. They think i am going to open up about my fathers suicide. All eyes are on me. I begin to talk about the details of his passing. I tell myself in order to make this work, I need to get more emotional. I dont think about him being gone and leabving me or being fatherless, I think about how someone with a conscious would feel about their father dying and abandoning them by suicide. Next thing I know, I am so tapped into my character, I am crying uncontrolably and I run out of the room. I find a corner, bury my head in my lap and continue to let the ficticious emotion waterfall from my mind and onto the floor.

As I am sitting there, picturring the finish line(admittance to the psychiatric unit), a pier comes out and noticies my strange behavior.

“Honey. Are you okay?”

No respose.

“Do you want me to grab a therapist for you?”

Silence.

I hear footsteps trickle off and i am pleased how this is going. I start to let out a smile but I tell myself to pull it together and keep from distractionl. I cant let even the smallest pleasure knock me out of my character. In the back of my mind I knew this was going to happen and it was going to happen fast. I wondered who I was going to have to convince and I was hoping it wasn’t Louise. Thankfully, it was not. I could hear her voice speak subtle words to me but i focused only on my thoughts, or my speech. I acted dellusional and disociateive immitating a flashback with my father breaking his promise that he would never attempt suicide again. I was very convining in mu emotions that i personally lack, that it was a concern to the therapist who found me. I was being taken to Louise’s room and a sense of panic came over me. Once i got in there and realized she wasnt there, i transformed back to my character of a hopless, distraught, little child. My crying became hysterical and my language foreign. I was ramblimg about what i dont know but it was apparently a reed flag because the next thing i know is i had told the therapist i was going to leabe jere and run out into traffic.

A plan to harm myself.

I cried louder, my words became more aggressive and i was going to get what i wanted. She asked me if i would be willing to go to the hospital and i said YES. She exited the room and made the phone call to the doctor.

She was absent from the room for what seemed like an hour. During this time, I planned my next steps. i knew i was going to be evaluated more intensively, so i ran over the list multiple tiemes in my head all the symptoms and behaviors i was going to discuss. It occured to me they might not take my words seriously, so i hit myself over the head multiple time until i felt like i had concussed! I sat there, in the room on the couch looking helpless and delusional and feeling physical pain in my head. Patiently, I waited for her return.

The person who walked me over is a quiet, caring and loving person. Actually for a moment I felt bad that i was lying to her but that feeling soon passed. We walked into the hospital, checked me in and waited for me to be taken in and put up on the 5th floor. I remember asking her, even though i already knew the answer based on my research, what was going to happen to me while I was here. I played stupid saying that I didnt know i would be staying overnight. The way she cared so much about this percieved, sweet, innocent, broken child pleased me. I knew I was doing my job and that I was doing it way above average.

The wait for the two minute ride up the elevator was impatiently unpleasant. I was restless to take my mask off and relax, so I turned to who I was with and told them I would be okay to wait on my own because I knew she needed to get back. Do you see what I did there? I made it look like she was the one who needed to get back to her job. I guess it was in a way a guilty statement. She had no idea for my real intentions behind that comment, that i just wanted her to leave. She nodded her hear, asked for assurance I would be okay, and when she heard me say “Yes I am okay”, she took off.

I could feel the muscles in my face relax a bit as they fell back into their natural position. They werent being strained anymore. My eyes closed and for a few minutes I didnt have to think or try. I just sat there smiling and feeling completely accomplished. I was going to go into the psych ward and scope these people out just so I could write a lousy book about my experiences. My mind was shut off, there were no interuptions from the outside world and I drifted off tto sleep, unaware I had.

“Lynsey, I’m sorry for your wait honey, but they are here to take you upstairs.”

The receptionists hand on my shoulder startled me. I had forgotten where I was and I think she could tell too. It must have been the puzzled look on my face that gave it away.

“OK. I am ready.”

I gathered my belongings, my journal and notebook and sat down in the wheel chair.

A few thoughts kept coming to mind on that journey up.

ONE- iwonder if anyone I know has ever been here? If they have, I want to find them and ask them what their experience was like. Maybe I could add their interview to my story.

TWO- It is really true they don’t have a 13th floor. Do people really believe in superstitions like that? “Superstitions are part of the devil, and I thought this country was founded on religion.” Why can people keep their superstitions in our culture, but we have to take out the religious elements, such as, “Under God” in the pledge of allegiance. Looks to me we look up more to the devil and his plans than God.

LAST-I thought you needed a key to make it up to the “crazy” floor. If anyone can walk up, I doubt it is really that crazy.

When I finally arrived in the nut house, I was like a little kid in a candy shop. There were so many different kinds of crazy people, I didnt know where to start analyzing. I needed to fit in so I plotted how I needed to act. As I was scanning the room, I was interrupted by a Jesus Freak who recieved her nickname after the first conversation we had.

“Hi. I’m Lucy. What is your name?”

“Lynsey”

“Lynsey, huh? Both our names start with an “L”

“Yeah, youre right.”

Why is this girl even talking to me? She doesnt seem crazy; she is kind of annoying but I will find our more before I make an assumption.

“You have a tattoo on your hand? Don’t worry, you can get it removed and Jesus will love you again.”

No, this bitch didn’t. What the fuck does she know about Jesus and what he wants? She reminds me of the mother from the book “Carrie” by Stephen King. She thinks she is supperior because she does God’s bidding , but it is all just an act. She is a liar too.

And I was right. Everything she did was for attention. She acted crazy to be put in a place with actual crazy people…hmm…I kind of like her.

“God will love me if i remove this?” I asked, as i pointed to the three mountains on my left hand. “I think I will take that chance.”

Lucy’s eyes doubled in size and her mouth was so wide open I couldnt help but think, “Man this girl needs a cock shoved down her throat so we can wipe this innocense ct clean and actually have something of interest to talk about.

I gave her a warm smile, placed my hand on her shoulder despite the “NO TOUCHING” rule, and told her I would see her around.

Now I hope you are following me thus far. Let me summerize the jist of things in that chapter 5 I just shared with you. Being totally convinced I was a sociopath and so much better than the rest of the world, I soon fell. I mean that as in my delusion eventually wore off and the mania settled into depression again. At this point, I recognized my erratic behavior and tried diagnosing myself as Bipolar because of the delusion I was in. I don’t think you get it. I was 100% convinced I was psycho and could kill somebody. I would sit outside of gas stations trying to find someone to stalk but the last minute chickened out because I didn’t want to get in trouble with the law. I guess I really did have morals afterall.

Wheter it was a manic episode, A borderline delusion or something else entirely that I am not aware of yet because the doctors refuse to give me my accurate diagnosis. What are they hiding from me?

I mimicked having other personality disorders. I mimicked having OCD. I mimicked having tourrettes. I even mimicked having a split personality because all i wanted to do was feel like i was normal with the same group of people that had similar thoughts as me so i wouldnt feel as bad.

Mental illness is inevitable and we can prevent stigma from it. Yes I was delusional but why do we have to put a negative connotation on that word, delusion? We judge every symptom and it seems like I am on trial for something instead of getting the help I need if i had a cold or something like that.

Each diagnosis I played was like playing a whole new character and boy oh boy did I tap into it well. Over 10 diagnosis in 4 years. WOW

I wish I had a riddle for you or something to get you to understand these transformations I put myself through. Currently, I am pushing my desire to fit into a small category to the side and find things that LYNSEY likes to do. I’m finding that girl. That girl isnt flawed, she is different from everybody else and sees a perspective on life that not many people can see.

I hope to finish chapter 5 for you sometime soon, in the meantime please be patient with me as I have been struggling to find the right words to say.

Love and rage,

Lynsnich

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