What do other people think…

…and does it really matter?

I spent most of my formative years living under that dreadful mantra “what will people think?”. I believe it’s fairly common amongst those of us with BPD because we have such a poor sense of self. What other people think becomes vitally important as we try to locate ourselves, and in order to stop the world from hurting us quite so much.

Let me tell you something I’ve learnt: it doesn’t work.

What people think of you is THEIR problem, not yours. Everyone has their own opinion and you can’t force them to change it. It would be like trying to persuade Lovely Boyfriend to like bananas…it just ain’t going to happen.

And why should it? It’s YOUR life, YOUR happiness. It’s not up to you to keep everyone else happy. If Ex-husband wants to cast me as the villain in our divorce, that’s up to him. If he doesn’t approve of my parenting methods, that’s his problem, not mine. I simply have to accept that he’s entitled to his own opinions, just as I’m entitled to my own.

Easier said than done, I appreciate. It’s taken me 3 years and a lot of support and straight-talking from Lovely Boyfriend to reach this point. But it’s a good point to be at because there’s suddenly much less pressure. If I’m happy and The Porglets are happy, then that’s enough for me. Obviously I like to try and keep Lovely Boyfriend happy too (i.e. by riding pillion on his motorbike so I could tell him “thanks but no thanks”…yeah…that one’s backfired on him!), but if he’s got a problem with something I’m doing, that’s HIS problem and he knows it! We’ll work our way through it together if we have to get beyond it, but I won’t necessarily be able to change his mind and I wouldn’t want to.

I spent 2.5 years in hospital with other people telling me what I could and couldn’t do. At times I had all my belongings taken away from me and I was searched if I’d been off the ward. I couldn’t do what I wanted when I wanted. I couldn’t leave without the threat of being sectioned. After all that, my independence and ability to make my own decisions is more important than ever. When you’ve had that freedom denied for so long, you don’t ever want to let it go again. So why should I deny other people that very same freedom to think and do what they want?

Let them get on with it and you can get on with your own life. Try it. If you like…who am I to tell you what to do? *grin*

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