Usually Bones is so casual when he’s off duty that people on board can forget that he knows all their personal information. Not that he’d ever misuse it. But one night everyone was very drunk, amd Jim was insisting that Bones couldn’t possibly remember who on board has an appendix. So everyone lined up and Bones walked down the aisle. Yes. Yes. No. No. Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No. No. No. You’re species doesn’t have one. Yes. Yes.
At some point, Jack became aware of his daughter crying, and he blearily dragged himself out of bed before Bitty woke up too. There was no sense for them to be both up.
Annie didn’t let up when Jack leaned over her crib to pick her up. He checked her diaper and tried to feed her, but she still continued to wail. He bounced her around and took a few turns around the nursery, but her cries only escalated until Bitty finally came in.
“Should we?” Bitty asked, still rubbing the sleep out of his yes.
“Yeah,” Jack agreed. “I’ll go. You go back to bed.”
Bitty shook his head. “No, I’ll come too.”
It was a familiar routine by now as they put on their jackets and pulled pants over their boxers. They efficiently buckled Annie into her car seat who howled through the whole thing even though they’d already done this twice this week.
Once the car started moving though, Annie finally stopped screaming at the top of lungs. She sniffled wetly a few times, but otherwise, she predictably quieted down.
“Wake me up in ten minutes and I can drive.” Bitty yawned. He’d wedged one of Annie’s blankets against the window as a makeshift pillow, and was snoring lightly before Jack even got out of the driveway.
Jack drove halfway around the block before the silence was too stifling, despite the quiet hum of the engine. He turned on the radio. He kept the volume low, mindful of the occupants in the vehicle, and settled on a channel that was playing something soft and slow.
After a couple of times of the neighbourhood, Jack pulled out onto the main streets. He was awake now, and he might as well keep driving for a little while longer.
He passed the garish, neon signs of stores that were lit even at this hour. The places that were so familiar during the day seemed intimidating in the dark of night. There was a surreal quality to it that Jack couldn’t quite put his finger on.
Jack glanced over at Bitty just as they passed under a street lamp, and for moment, Bitty was illuminated by the golden light in a way that had Jack desperately itching for his camera. He briefly entertained the idea of reaching over to grab hold of Bitty’s hand, but even asleep, Bitty looked exhausted. Jack didn’t want to wake him up.
It was a little after 3 am when Jack finally pulled back into the driveway and shifted the gear into park. He hesitated before finally nudging Bitty awake. If slept any longer in that position, he was going to screw up his neck.
“Is it my turn?” Bitty mumbled.
“No, Jack said as he carded his fingers through Bitty’s hair before smoothing it down. “We’re home.”
Bitty frowned, but didn’t argue as Jack got out the car and carefully unbuckled Annie.
After putting her back into her crib, Bitty hovered for a few minutes, just to make sure she really was asleep. He turned and kissed Jack lightly on the cheek. “Love you,” he whispered.
“Love you, too,” Jack replied fondly. “Come on. Let’s try and get some sleep before the sun comes up.”
When asked about BPD, most people who
know about this disorder immediately think of the “classic” symptoms: impulsive
behaviors and episodes of rage. The same holds true for even mental health
But rage and impulsivity are only two
out of the nine criteria in determining whether someone has BPD. Some people
with BPD—myself included—meet the criteria for a diagnosis but do not use these “acting out behaviors.”
So what does it mean to have quiet BPD?
You probably still suffer from extreme
mood swings and emotional reactivity, self-harm and suicidal ideation, chronic
feelings of emptiness, paranoid ideation, dissociation, a lack of identity, and
the intense fear of abandonment we love so very much (disclaimer: we hate it.).
And it may well be that your
relationships are stormy as well—even if the other person has no freaking idea
how distressing said friendship is to you.
How is that possible? Well, we feel the same things other people with BPD feel:
we idealize you and become deeply emotionally attached to you, then suddenly we
become emotionally cold and distant toward you over just a minor
disappointment, we’re kept awake at night by paranoia that you secretly hate us
because you didn’t text us back immediately, we spiral into crushing depression
over the littlest things you say and do.
But the difference lies in how we
With “classic” BPD you may tell the
other person what you’re feeling. You may accuse the person of lying to you,
avoiding you, abandoning you, etc. You may display anger toward the other
person or get into arguments. The other person becomes aware of what you’re
thinking and feeling. Not so with quiet BPD.
I almost never tell my friends what’s
going through my mind unless they ask. I’m too terrified of being a burden to
them. I internalize this tempest of dysphoria, letting it fester for weeks and
months. I will drop off your radar, distancing myself from you without you even
noticing. Unless you reach out to me, you’ll never hear from me again. I’ll
isolate myself, forever convinced you hate me and that you’re better off not
dealing with my burdensome self… even if there’s no evidence to suggest this.
Even if we’ve literally been best friends for years.
You may not notice this shift at all,
simply because I don’t express it. The friendship may not be distressing for
you, but it’s sure as hell distressing for me. I’ve cycled through so many
friendships in this way, in near constant agony as a result—and the vast
majority of my friends had no idea.
I’m obsessed over this idea that I’m a
burden. That my very existence is an annoyance to everyone, and so I very
frequently deny myself the very emotion so often associated with BPD: anger.
I loathe myself so much I feel I don’t
have the right to be angry for myself.
Sure, I can feel anger all right. If
you slight a friend or family member of mine, I cannot begin to describe the
rage that wells up inside me.
But if you insult me? I’ll sink to
depression and probably agree with you (this has happened multiple times).
People with different types of BPD
respond differently to the same triggers. For some, if they feel you’re going
to abandon them or that you don’t care about them, they respond with anger.
Others act impulsively in hopes of relieving some of their pain. But I respond
by turning inward. I justify these “signs” that everyone in my life hates
me—the same signs recognized by people with “classic” BPD—by deciding that if
I’m going to be abandoned, well, it’s because I deserve to be. If you do hate
me, it’s because I am, in fact, absolute scum. My BPD takes these signs and
twists them into reinforcement of my extreme self-loathing. If anything, I’ll
be angry with myself.
This translates into “acting in”
behaviors that aren’t as obvious as impulsive behaviors. I self-harm and don’t
tell a soul about it, I lock myself in my room and cry for hours, I become so
emotionally numb I just stare at the wall all day, I’ll sleep for an entire
weekend to escape my pain, I’ll even deny myself food because what’s the point
of extending my lifespan, especially if I don’t deserve it?
Any kind of BPD sucks, quiet or
otherwise. But raising awareness about quiet BPD is crucial: professionals may
not realize we have BPD because we don’t fit the “classic” model, and thus we
end up spending years misdiagnosed or in treatment that doesn’t address what’s
actually going on with us. We could be spared YEARS of additional suffering by
getting the correct treatment as soon as possible. So let’s raise awareness,
everything is awful right now, but please don’t give up hope. we are not alone.
i know this is hard for a lot of us but not everyone is a fighter and that’s ok.
if your heart is soft and kind, that is a gift. don’t let the harshness of the world harden it. protect it. nurture it. kindness will allow us to heal when the fight is over.
in the days to come we will need the caring hearts just as much as the warriors. the growers as much as the destroyers, and the places of quiet to retreat to to help us build something better than what is.
so protect each other, heal together. create safety around yourselves and resist the tide of cruelty that will come.
be strong, be safe. I love you.