My Take On: Bunny Boiler & Borderline Personality Disorder


LET'S BEGIN

Hi! My name is Elly.
I am a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
And many people think of me as a "Bunny Boiler".

WHAT DOES BUNNY BOILER MEAN AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

I've lost count of the number of times others have referred to Glenn Close in the movie Fatal Attraction as a way of explaining a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder, in other words - Me. If you've seen the movie, you know what I mean; the bunny boiler scene etc - Yeah, THAT Crap!


If you haven't seen it, watch the trailer and you'll get the gist:




The term "Bunny Boiler" is actually derived from this movie. Picture this: After a one-night stand, Michael Douglas' character wants nothing to do with Glenn Close's character. Whereas Glenn Close wants more; clearly more than Michael is willing to give. So, as a way to disrupt Michael Douglas' family life (Oh did I forget to mention that Michael is married with kids?!), Glenn Close ends up boiling his family pet; she literally boils his bunny. And that, my friends, is how "Bunny Boiler" was born.







It is basically a term used to describe women, particularly women with Borderline Personality Disorder, who are, apparently, "clingy, needy, emotional, manipulative, psycho bitch" type women.

I've read many articles discussing Borderline Personality Disorder and the "Bunny Boiler" term, and to be honest, they've all left me feeling rather disappointed and hurt. Many start with Glenn Close being described as "the ORIGINAL Bunny Boiler" suggesting that all women with Borderline Personality Disorder are copies of Glenn Close; thus, they are all "Bunny Boilers" too. What the actual fuck people?!




Did you know that, if you google "Bunny Boiler", one of the top Google search suggestions is "Bunny Boiler Borderline Personality Disorder". Here, I'll prove it:



I don't...even know...how to begin expressing my feelings on that one. It's so hurtful and invalidating, especially when in actual fact I'm the one that has been the victim of abuse; physical, sexual, emotional, mental abuse - and this abuse has mainly come from the men I've encountered in life.

Oh and when reading the Fatal Attraction Wikipedia page, I actually came across the following words when talking about Glenn Close's character; Alex Forrest: "The character of Alex Forrest has been discussed by psychiatrist and film experts, and has been used as a film illustration for the condition Borderline Personality Disorder" -  sigh! Here is my response to these words: All the Hollywood types working on this movie have done is, once again, continue to demonise and add stigma to mental illness. When in fact, me; a woman with a mental illness care too much, I give too much and end up forsaking my own health in order to make others feel better or good about themselves; actually I am the one that is easily manipulated and brainwashed. I am one of the most vulnerable in this society, and far from the "Bunny Boiler" people have lead you to believe I am.


MY EXPERIENCE

I used to be told, often, that I am "sensitive and emotional". It was meant in a negative way; it was meant in a "you are a Bunny Boiler" kind of way. And it made me think about how having emotions has actually become a bad thing. But there is nothing wrong with being emotional; "emotional" or "sensitive" are not bad words. What can go wrong is how we handle and cope with those emotions - for example, are we abusing others? are we letting others abuse us? - but we all have emotions and that is perfectly okay! Adding stigma to to the natural act of having emotions and feelings actually stops us from speaking out, and thus stops us from processing things in a healthy way.

In my experience: I am yet to meet women who have caused me as much harm as men have, and it seems that it is men who are responsible for most domestic violence and sexual harassment cases. Yet, somehow, it is women - particularly women with mental illnesses - who are labelled and treated as dangerous.

Don't get me wrong, I am in no way saying that all men are possessive, manipulative and dangerous, but how is it that women have ended up with such a shitty fucking term?! How is it that I am the one that is seen as a Bunny Boiler? Simply because of my gender and my illness. I'm lucky enough to have some amazing men in my life now, but what about the women who don't have that and have  to put up with abuse as well as be the one that is labelled the dangerous "Bunny Boiler".


HERE'S A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME

I've never wanted to be in a relationship, yet I've ended up being in relationships since the age of 13 (my last relationship ended when I was 28), and now I realise that this happened because the men involved were extremely persistent and wouldn't let me walk away when I wanted to; they chased after me for months, or even years, until I finally gave in.

I would also like to note that, I am in no way exaggerating or flattering myself; actually I don't consider this type of behaviour, from anyone, to be attractive or flattering at all. It's scary and makes me extremely uncomfortable. It's possessive, controlling, disturbing and thus abusive and dangerous.


LESSONS WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN 

The younger me gave in to the boys I mention above, partly because I thought "My gosh, he must REALLY like me!" as that's what I was taught to believe; society teaches girls that when boys bully them, that means they like them. It's the whole "Did he pull your hair? Was he mistreating you in the playground? Oh that's what boys do when they like you!" We are literally saying "if a boy likes you then he'll be possessive, controlling, manipulative, physically abusive". Unsurprisingly, this results in girls growing up to believe that abusive behaviour is desirable, and in boys growing up to believe that they must be abusive to girls - it's double fucked. We have to stop teaching our children that these behaviours are acceptable - THEY ARE HARMFUL.

Something else I was taught is that, as a girl, woman; a female, I'm here to please. I was taught that I should smile and be lovely and cute. Needless to say being a people pleaser can get you into trouble, like abusive relationships.

Ok, here I go again: This is yet ANOTHER lesson we need to re-think; females are not here to please anybody. We should, actually, ALL put our own well-being first; there's bad selfish which hurts others, and then there is self-care which is a necessity for our survival. It's like the plane oxygen mask rule; you should put and secure your own oxygen mask first, before helping anybody else - this goes for life in general, and I stand by this.


BECAUSE I'M NOT JUST A WOMAN, BUT A WOMAN WITH BPD

I have been physically, sexually and emotionally abused by men, yet because I am a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder, I am the one that gets labelled "Bunny Boiler"; I am the one who is thought of as threatening, manipulative, possessive and dangerous, whilst men literally get away with raping and murdering women?! This belief is so embedded in my head, that I find myself suppressing my emotions so that I don't end up liking someone "too much" and so I don't end up blurting out "I miss you" because that may mean that I come across as an emotional "psycho Bunny Boiler".

I often feel the need to explain why I miss someone, because I'm scared of how they'll interpret my saying that. Actually, I've recently fallen for a boy, and I am always scared of saying "I miss you" or a random "Hello! I'm thinking of you", because of the fear of showing I have emotions, as society has "shushed" me and told me that if I have emotions than I am a fucking Bunny Boiler, especially because I've been diagnosed with a mental illness such as Borderline Personality Disorder.

Fuck that noise, I am so sick and tired of being treated and seen this way.

Let me tell you something - and this is a message for others as well as myself - there is nothing wrong with missing someone; there is nothing wrong with liking someone and telling them how you feel. Harassment is not okay, by anybody, but there is nothing wrong with being sensitive and having emotions and expressing those emotions in a healthy way.

As a person with  Borderline Personality Disorder:

  • I experience intense emotions;
  • I have a fear of abandonment;
  • I struggle with my identity and self-image;
  • I often act impulsively;
  • I have suicidal thoughts and engage in self-harm behaviour;
  • I feel an intense feeling of emptiness and nothingness;
  • I get paranoid thoughts
  • I hear voices and have psychotic experiences.

Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental illness and it centres on the individual's inability to manage their emotions effectively, and some see that as "Oh god, you're emotional and therefore dangerous and you're going to kill me!" when actually, if I kill anyone, it will be myself and myself only. Yet, I am feared and seen as a Bunny Boiler.





Having a personality disorder feels like you're being told that you have a broken personality. It is really hard and it's taken me some time for me to unlearn this way of thinking and seeing myself; it is something that I may always struggle with. So, please society, give me or better yet, give us, a break. I bet that most people you meet with a serious mental illness can barely manage basic tasks, let alone go after someone else with a fucking kitchen knife!


TO CONCLUDE

Hi! My name is Elly.
I am a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
And I am not a fucking "Bunny Boiler".




Follow @unapologetically_elly on Instagram

Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved. Unapologetically Elly ©