Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be a liar. Sometimes it says no one will ever love you. Sometimes it says you’re not good enough. Sometimes it says people will leave you no matter what. Even if rationally you know these things aren’t true, they often feel so true you can’t get them out of your head.
Sometimes, BPD can make you into a liar, too.
Maybe you lie because you desperately want to keep people in your life, and are afraid they will leave if you tell the truth. Maybe you lie because you’re afraid people will think you are a bad parent for feeling the things you do. Or maybe you have been hurt so many times before that being truthful about how you’re really doing doesn’t feel like an option anymore.
Whatever the reason you lie, it’s important to know you’re not the only one who feels this pressure — and that finding even small ways to be more truthful can have a huge impact on your BPD journey as a whole.
To better understand the lies people tell because of BPD, we asked our Mighty community to share what lie they tell when they’re struggling — and why they tell it.
Here’s what they shared with us:
1. “I don’t need anyone.”
“I want to believe so bad I can handle myself and accomplish what I need to without help from others, but really I just don’t believe anyone cares enough about me to want to be there for me when I need it so I just convince people I need no one.” — Antasia H.
2. “I’m just tired.”
“In reality, I’m probably irritated for no reason, and if you keep asking what’s wrong, my anxiety will ramp up and I will take it out on you in the form of anxiety-induced anger outbursts.” — Julie S.
3. “I don’t care.”
“I actually care so much. Too much. ‘I don’t care’ is a defense mechanism to shut down the conversation so I can have a chance to escape. It causes so many problems in my relationships.” — Ashley S.
4. “I’m fine.”
“Even when I’m contemplating suicide or self-harm, I don’t want people to worry as I fear if they knew I was not OK, they would leave me. People leaving me has happened too many times to count now…” — Beth E.
“I don’t want to burden someone with my feelings. People have already worried too much. I don’t want it anymore. Plus I don’t want to give someone a reason to think I am not a good mom.” — Mandy L.
5. “I just have a headache.”
“Multiple social situations over a few days is incredibly exhausting and overwhelming for me at the moment, so sometimes I use ‘normal’ or ‘valid’ reasons why I can’t catch up with people, like having a headache or being sick, rather than being honest. ‘I’ve already seen too many people this week and if I have deal with anymore, it will take me at least two days of complete isolation to recover’ sounds really melodramatic to most people, even though it’s 100 percent true. I don’t want my friends or family to judge me, or think I don’t want to see them personally.” — Sarah M.
“’I’m not feeling well…(insert fake symptom here)’ it’s a catch-all for when I’m sad, anxious, etc., etc. It’s just so much easier and more socially acceptable than telling people what’s really going on inside your head.” — Kristy E.
6. “I didn’t sleep well.”
“Honestly that’s a lot easier to say than explaining I woke up in one of my moods and no amount of sleep will make it go away. I’m terrified if I tell the truth, I will be judged or seen differently.” — Sarah V.
7. “I feel better now.”
“‘I’m better now. No I don’t have those thoughts anymore.’ Don’t want to stress out people I love. They don’t really need to know what goes on in my head. I’m happy they are happy, really.” — Sarah C.
8. “I’m on disability because of back problems.”
“‘I’m on disability because of back problems.’ But I’m actually on disability for mental health problems.” — Christina S.
9. “It’s just PMS.”
“Because I get tired of trying to explain my moods/anxiety.” — Miranda W.
10. “I’m OK.”
“‘I’m OK’ — I can’t explain why I feel so down. Sometimes it’s for no reason so I say I’m OK because it’s too hard to try explain something I don’t understand.” — Jemma V.
11. “Of course that doesn’t bother me. Why would it?”
“More like, why wouldn’t it? After all, everything bothers me. Maybe I tell people that so much so I start believing it as well.” — Christy M.
12. “I trust you.”
‘I trust you’ when I think I should but just can’t.” — Meg C.
What helps you be more honest with friends and family when you’re struggling with BPD? Tell us in the comments below.