Posted: June 6, 2011 in Mental Health

I speak to my son a lot, obviously, this may seem something that is elementary but I dont mean just the common or garden stuff, like whether Ben 10 is real or what the latest Starwars news is. He is highly intelligent for a five year old and as such demands some very particular information from me which fortunately I have access to. He talks about Spartans and Trojans, David and Goliath, moses and Noah all manner of stuff which usually ends up with a discussion on whether our ancestors were around at the time, which obvioulsy they were, this is an immutable fact otherwise we , none of us, would be here now, this leads him into hundreds of questions about where they were, were they cave men, did they live in England back then , and so and so forth.

I like these chats and I think he is benefiting from this information, I do have a famliy tree that I can refer to back to 1400 in Kent and some research information of where we most likely hailed from before then so he gets some of what he asks for. This got me thinking though, bad idea , I know. I have read in numerous articles online and in medical journals that BPD is in some ways inherent, that we are predisposed to have this condition, I have also read less often that this isnt really a disorder but opinions vary and I cant be bothered to listen to all the nay sayers who think we are just badly behaved attention seekers who have a penchant for suicide. So i am buying into this hereditary thing for the sake of arguement, and in doing so I wonder when this was brought into my gene pool, were any of my predecessors sufferers who were left to their own devices due to lack of anything to identify it as a problem, were they just considered highly strung, the village idiot perhaps. This may seem a bit of an odd thing to ponder on, after all what does it matter to me , now in the world we are in today, but if we didnt look back we would be rootless and that would only excacerbate my problems.

So what if they did have this disorder, condition or whatever we are going to to terms it as, how would it have affected them? my mothers side of the family isnt too familiar to me due to my estrangement from her but what I know of my grandparents they were both very accomplished people, my grandad was a school master, a leading mason and genral pillar of the community, and gran had her marbles right up until she passed a few years ago, I knew my grans mother and she was very astute at 100 years old. My dads family is harder to judge as both my previous generations were involved in wars, my great grandfather dying in 1916 and my grandad losing a leg in WW2. As they went through a horrific experience as young adults their mental health would have been at risk regardless of any underlying condition. There arent any clues in what I do know but as with most of these situations I probably wouldnt have heard about any family secrets as they would have been covered up, we only here about these things as scandals and my family doesnt give up any at this point so probably never will.

As I write this it is pure conjecture as to if and where this thing came from, I cant find out anything and maybe thats as it should be, let sleeping dogs lie. The truth of my situation is known though, my children, the older two know exactly whats been going on, once they were old enough to explain, and my younger son will be told again at an age it seems appropriate, I’m of course hoping this is all historical information, about what I went through and not what I’m going through still but I will have to work on that and hope I prevail. The thoughts about my ancestry have another positive effect, they remind me that everyone of the people who I descended from had to have survived at least long enough to have created the next branch of our tree, and I would imagine in a lot harder circumstances than those I find myself in, after all my mental health is not as stigmatised as it once was and the welfare state has allowed me to live a reasonably comfortable life, albeit sparse. I can look back and be proud of my past, and gain some strength from what I do know about them. I will move forward I hope and one day there maybe a young man sitting at a console of some sort reading his family tree and see me, maybe even have access to my blogs and not be fussed that I had BPD.

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