…an appropriate emotional response?
If you are a fellow BPD-sufferer, this is a tricky question to answer. I think most of us would say “not ours!”.
My emotional reactions have always been (and will always be) too much. I can’t help it; if something upsets me, I can’t hold back. It made life at school incredibly hard. Even working in a group at University led to tears, tantrums and taking on too much work myself because I didn’t believe other people would pull their weight.
So it’s nice to hear that The Porglets are doing so well at school. It was parents’ evening last night and I saw both teachers. Both were filled with praise for the Porglets maturity and ability to get on with their work when the classroom is falling apart around them. Maximus is apparently brilliant at helping out the younger kids in her class, and lead a successful group project. The teacher knows who to call on when she needs an 8-year-old explanation of grammar etc! She makes friends with anyone and everyone and doesn’t get upset when “friends” make snide or silly comments; it’s water off a duck’s back now!
Minimus’ teacher was equally impressed. I had to laugh when she said that Minimus was a “calming influence” in her mostly male classroom. She’s not so calm at home, trust me! She’s full of natural bounce (it’s the curls!) and is constantly on the go. Her sheer enthusiasm for life is a joy to see. It can turn to sulks and upsets when things aren’t going as she would like, but she’s clearly learnt how to control her emotions now. She doesn’t burst into tears when she gets something wrong at school, just grins and corrects it. She’s learnt not to burst into tears when something hurts her; instead, she gets a heavy book and hurts the door/floor/wall back!
I’ve worked so hard to help them explore their emotions and to drill it into them that THEY have the control I lack. THEY are the ones who CHOOSE what upsets them. And, from all reports at school, they’re doing just fine.
As for me: I still need to practise my mindfulness skills to catch myself at that tipping over point. It’s a lifelong battle for me. I’m just glad I can use what I’ve learnt to help my children live a happier life.