Stories

I Told My Mom My Secret

Topics: Borderline Personality

I had a secret. Only my psychiatrist and a few close friends knew about this secret, and I wanted it that way.

After a few particularly bad days, my psychiatrist encouraged me to tell me mom. I didn’t have the guts to tell her but wanted her to understand. So that Saturday night, I took a major life-changing step – I told my mom my secret.

What is this secret you ask? I self harm. When I am down, I cut myself.

I thought cutting was something that only I did, something shameful, that no one could understand. Little did I realize that many other people have experiences like mine, and that I am not a total freak.

Well, back to telling my mom. It was hard to tell her that I had been self harming while living with her and then for years after. I said “Mom I have something I have to tell you - just listen please.” Then I went on to tell her “Mom, you know how sometimes I get really down or angry, well, sometimes I feel so bad that I cut myself to make it better.” She started to cry and asked me why over and over. I couldn’t answer her except to say that cutting helped me manage the intense feelings I was having. She was desperately upset that she didn’t realize what I was doing and didn’t get help earlier.

My life change from the time I told her. She now understands more about me. She did her own research, she came with me to see my psychiatrist, and together we started talking about my self harm, my shifting moods, and my periods of intense anger. My psychiatrist went through different possible diagnoses including depression, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder – and we discussed each symptom listed.

I can tell that my Mom is more optimistic now that we’re talking. She thinks I have symptoms of borderline personality disorder, though while I’m not too sure she’s right I’m okay with talking about it. She’s reading about borderline personality disorder, she’s found a family support program on the internet, and together we’re talking to my psychiatrist.

I didn’t realize how understanding parents can be. I thought it would hurt my mom too much to know, but I was wrong. Sometimes we underestimate our parents. Sometime you need to give them the chance to respond with love and acceptance and concern and let them help you. Sometimes you have to take the risk of rebuke to find the love hidden beneath.