emily cutler on autism and bpd

This is one of the best articles on BPD I’ve ever read.  In it, Emily Cutler notes some similarities with autism:

I thought about my friends in the Autistic community, who share many of my experiences being seen as weird, awkward, and overly emotional. Most Autistic people spend their whole lives being told they need to act more normal and try to fit in. They are looked down upon, condescended to, and even punished for their way of processing and responding to the world. Most of us have been teased and ridiculed throughout our whole lives and struggle to find people who aren’t prejudiced — who don’t see us as weird (or who like and respect our weirdness). To say that we should “have the confidence to know that we will easily find someone else” is, frankly, to say we should be delusional.

In fact, people with a variety of disabilities are often pitied and seen as inferior. Partners of disabled people are sometimes asked if they are “settling.” “You know you can be with someone normal if you want to, right?” they might hear. Or, “Is it hard to take care of someone like that? I’m sure that must be a big burden on you. Are you sure you want to deal with that long term?” In this way, so many nondisabled and neurotypical people are conditioned to see disabled and neurodivergent people as burdens; neurodivergent and disabled people are conditioned to see themselves as inferior and not deserving of love.


I accept that I may fit the DSM’s criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. I am not trying to say that this does not come with challenges and obstacles. I acknowledge that I have things to work on. While I may not feel completely comfortable or fulfilled while I am single, there are times when I may need to accept being single temporarily. While I may feel intense amounts of pain after a break-up, I will need to learn how to deal with that pain in a way that does not make romantic partners feel pressured to stay with me in order to prevent my self-harm.

But I also believe it is important to acknowledge society’s role in the creation and construction of Borderline Personality Disorder. As I described society’s treatment toward people in marginalized groups to one of my best friends, “First, they tell us we’re weird, disgusting, a burden, and undeserving of love. Then, when we’re scared that it’s true — that no one will love us — we’re told that we’re crazy, and if we were sane, we’d be 100 percent confident that we won’t end up alone, or, alternatively, that we wouldn’t think of ending up alone as a bad thing. Finally, because we’re truly crazy, we’re further marginalized, and told that we’re even more weird, disgusting, burdensome, and unlovable. And the cycle continues.”