Those of us with BPD know only too well that feeling of emptiness. That feeling of loneliness. That feeling of not knowing who we are. Needing boundaries. Guidelines. A role model. Something or someone to define us. We browse our friends and family for identities to try on, much like browsing the shops for a new outfit. Do I feel like spots or stripes today? Shy or party animal?
Those of you who know somebody with BPD will probably know what I’m talking about. Some will have negative thoughts about it. Some won’t necessarily have thought about it too much. Some might look back on past incidents and laugh over the stupidity of us both buying Pepsi and Spring Onion crisps (that one’s for you, A-Toots!).
Finding your identity can be hard work. And you’d think, after managing to mould myself an identity I could live with, I’d be really good at creating firm identities for my book characters….HAH!
Regular followers from April/May might remember my struggles with Steve, an egotistical, womanising so-and-so, unfortunately necessary for the storyline of Book 3 (Moving Meditation). I didn’t like him. He got on my nerves. He was in danger of turning into a stereotype. I stopped writing. I lost my own identity as a part-time writer because I couldn’t write him.
Well, yesterday was a bad day for me. My head didn’t want to leave my pillow and it only did so because Mad Mutt needed looking after. Much of the afternoon was spent curled up on the sofa, attempting to learn lines for a drama I’m involved in, realising that none of it was going in, staring into space and then trying to sleep my way through to the evening.
But, in spite of feeling more depressed than I have done in months, I managed to write a new Steve. A more honest Steve. A Steve more like the character he started out as, but rounded. Developed. Filled-in. I took my empty self and turned it into Steve. I don’t know if he’ll continue as this slightly nicer guy (but still a womanising eejit who’s about to sleep with someone other than his 5 months pregnant wife), but at least I feel slightly more able to empathise and write him.