In Which I Try To Explain Borderline Personality Disorder By Jasper Hardin

In Which I Try To Explain Borderline Personality Disorder

We admire the chameleon,
the way it can blend into
any environment of its choosing.
Become the background or sky,
so bright and shining
even if the chameleon
itself doesn’t feel bright or shining.

We admire the chameleon,
who can have a fulfilling life
even if it means losing itself.
We admire the chameleon,
until a person sees the stars
sparkling in the sky and says:

‘I could be a galaxy, than
maybe someone might love me.
then maybe I’d want to breathe.’

We don’t ask what kind of
sharp tooth predator saw the
chameleon in all it’s ever
changing glory and decided
to feast on it, saw it up against
a tree so comfortable as the
bark and thought what a good
home it would have forced
inside the predators body.

I’ve tried so hard to
forget about my rapist.
What it felt like to have
her lying on top of me.
How she said she loved
me so I thought it meant
that her not listening to me
say no was just affection.
She called me a boy
as she undressed me
and I think I mistook that for love.
I spent the whole night attempting
to make myself the color of the couch.
Wishing I could become
my surrounding environment.
Hoping that she would stop
or at least that my heart
would stop in the process.

What we don’t know about
chameleons is they also change
color to regulate temperature in
their body and reflect their moods.

What people typically don’t know is
that borderline personality disorder
is often formed from trauma.
The fluctuating moods that come
with the illness is the brains attempt
at protecting the body that contains it.

We forgot that the chameleon
camouflages as a tool of survival.
We forgot that in some point in evolution
it became necessary for a creature to change
everything to protect itself.

We don’t ask if a chameleon
has ever sat across a river bed,
blended in with the sand, saw
the water moving in such an
enchanting manner and thought:
‘I could swallow myself.’

We don’t ask if a chameleon
has looked at the animals
swimming across the river
and envied the liquid beneath it.
We don’t ask if it ever thought to it self:
‘I could carry everyone on my back.
That way I’d never be alone.’

We admire the people who sparkle,
but not the people who can’t stay
with themselves for too long.
We admire the people who can
survive adversity without lasting wounds.
But not the people who have
to adapt as a form of defense.
Not the people whose trauma is too heavy.

It is an unknown fact that the chameleon’s
main reason for camouflage is not
protecting themselves from predators.
Chameleons are very resilient animals.
They can typically out run
whatever wants to eat them.

It is an unknown fact that people
with borderline personality disorder
are also extremely resilient.
We can outrun the pain and the trauma.
Even when it doesn’t feel like it.
Even if it hurts the most.

I have become extremely resilient.
I have promised myself that
I will not camouflage myself out of existence.
That I can be a galaxy.
I can be an evolutionary necessity.
And even if someone doesn’t love me,
I can be the reason that I want to breathe.

By Jasper Hardin


Jasper Hardin is a poet of many identities who lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He competed in the 2018 Rustbelt Competition. He has a self published chapbook entitled I Could Be A Galaxy. He is developing an online journal dedicated to Non-speaking and Semi-speaking writers and visual artists. Jasper uses poetry as a vehicle for conversations he feels are important. He is so glad that you’re here to listen!

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