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'Alternative Geek' - BPD & Identity


ParaDoxiPaladin

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Since being diagnosed with BPD it's helped me to step back and attempt to look at my thought processes objectively. It still means that I'll struggle with relationships, a firm grasp on reality (I have 'moments' and 'sensory episodes'), and other things that come with the condition. Recently my transition from Textiles to Graphics has been very difficult to deal with due to attachment/abandonment issues though I ultimately dealt with it by explaining the full situation honestly to my tutor who worked with me to form a plan to manage it.

However what I'm here to talk about today is my ongoing battle for a sense of identity. If it weren't bad enough that my mind still misinterprets things and constantly tells me 'I'm a piece of ' and 'I'm evil' and so on, then even outside of that I'm apparently 'nothing'. And yet... in recent years I've managed to step in a direction I've wanted to since teenage years. As of today I now have three tattoos (chest, upper arm, and forearm; brought in that order) and three piercings (my ears, and - done yesterday - my septum). I have a long custom made leather coat I order off ebay (cost about £180), a pair of lifetime docs, two sets of leather fingerless gloves (one pair with studs, one without), and a black beanie hat. The chest tattoo is custom designed based on my favorite band Nine Inch Nails, the upper arm tat is a Paladin's shield from the game series Etrian Odyssey, and the forearm tattoo is Kei Kurono from manga series Gantz, to be coloured in June. Currently I also have my hair dyed blue though after getting a haircut there's only a bit of blue left on top whilst the sides are my natural brown tone.

Why is this so important? Well with the way my mind works I could just say it's my BPD, my borderline Aspergers, my OCD, or whatever. But in general terms it's important; every little thing means something to me; I cling to it all dearly to show myself and others that I have an identity. Many of my t-shirts have game or anime or just weird designs on them. I want more gothic stuff but I'm pretty picky as I prefer a bit more colour than just 'everything is black' hence why I dub myself an 'alternative geek'. That's the best acceptance I've acquired in my life for a sense of custom-built identity. My interests really do vary on a wide palette and change round routinely over time and yet I know what I like and know what I don't like. It's goes similar for my beliefs; I didn't used to think I had any personal beliefs and yet in recent years I've realised I actually hold quite a few, I'm just not throwing them in people's faces unless they're being attacked. One such belief is that people should have equal rights and not be bullied especially when it comes to vulnerable people, and I'm finding myself have more courage to stand up to others and say in my own way 'oi don't do that'. There's been quite a few incidents where I've had to stand up for others recently and whilst confrontation of any kind always causes me to have a breakdown afterwards it's nice to be able to say that within the moment I did actually stand up and defend someone, in turn defending my own beliefs and - to a lesser extent - highlighting to others and myself what kind of person I want to be and work to be.

Now that summer's coming round the corner I've found myself stripped of my long coat, gloves, and docs and once again losing some of my identity. Though I've already been thinking of how I can amend that by filling the void with jewellery such as bracelets, chains, rings, and more piercings. Yes when I put it like that it sounds like it's some kind of desperate addiction but rest assured I'm being careful. I've had education on addiction before (I do have some; my biggest being self-harm, which I have generally managed to get under control for now, despite a few slips) and for my purchases I'm making sure to budget albeit loosely (and again it's good to know many BPDers can experience reckless spending apparently). I'm currently saving £100 for the rest of my forearm colour deposit in June. After that I might end up getting more piercings yes and in the future more tattoos too but again I'll be careful. Might be moving out, learning to drive, and hopefully going on numerous training courses later this year so might as well treat myself a little whilst I can. To anyone else it might sound silly (my mum especially gives me nothing but grief about it) but to me these kinds of purchases are very important for many reasons such as the identity situation and even the pain of it (the forearm tattoo especially was a Biotch on my wrist and elbow crease) which is somewhat therapeutic.

I realise now that I'm rambling hugely so I've put the cap on my head after it's vomited onto this screen and let you all read. Finding myself super busy with everything lately but as I said before I'll try to at least keep people updated with these blogs. I hope everyone else is doing okay.

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