So yesterday morning was not good. I was reading my book (I’m a book worm as long as my concentration allows) and in it they were depicting a psychopath. This particular character was given a monologue and in it said “I guess you’re wondering what’s wrong with me, is it borderline personality disorder, am I a narcissist or just a psychopath?” and that really triggered me. Having bpd does not make us all psychopaths!!!! It’s a disorder! I’m not a mass murderer, in fact I’ve never even swatted a fly! I’m not a child abductor, I’m not a peadophile, I have never even broken the law! I’m an average girl next door who does her best to raise her child and survive each day. It sounds irrational I know, to be upset by this, but it all adds to the stigma we work so hard to irradicate. Then today. So I thought I was doing ok. Suffice to say, I’m not ok. I’m pretty much just trying to stay alive. The things in my mind are painful and I can’t stop seeing scenarios that are literally possible no matter how many times I’m told they aren’t. How do I know that! Promises aren’t kept, I’m left in the dark, and I might as well be left in the cold. Not a good weekend.
I love my other half. Like, really love. I’m in love. He’s my best friend, my confidant, my lover, and hopefully one day my husband. I trust him more than I’ve ever trusted anyone (including family) so why am I always so scared and suspicious? Granted our relationship started on tricky grounds and thanks to me has been up and down now and then, but we’re good and stable right now. I’m so scared someone will lure him away. I’m hard to be with, the bpd has featured highly in our relationship and I’ve done terrible things in states of emotional distress, fearing abandonment. My point is, how do you tell if I was just born this way or is this learned behaviour and part and parcel of bpd? How can you tell what’s you and what’s the condition? Where do I end, and it begin?
I know I’m suspicious over nothing and I know he loves and respects me as much as I him. Why can’t I just believe it? Will I EVER be able to just relax and enjoy being loved?
My fear of abandonment stems from way back. My father left when I was young, and I found out at 10 years old that he was gay. That in itself wasn’t the problem, it was me feeling like I wasn’t meant to be born. I didn’t belong on this planet because if he had been being true to himself and not pretended to be ‘normal’ I would not have existed. My mental health problems started at 10. My first attempt at ending it all happened at the same age. I started counselling but the feeling never really went. Other things have happened to exacerbate the feeling, to be disclosed another day. I just struggle with this feeling of fear and being this much in love is a scary feeling. I’ve handed over the reigns of my life and emotions to another human being. Love is a gift, learn to enjoy.
Can CFT really work? I understand that sometimes we over criticise ourselves, and that it can be detrimental to our mental wellbeing, but can being nicer to ourselves really make a difference? I’ve been given some stuff to look into by my counsellor. I’m sceptical but willing to try anything, but I feel like I DESERVE to be punished by others, if not myself. I want to feel like I’m being made to pay for my mistakes. Why should I be kind to myself when 3 years ago and then 14 months ago I hurt the one person I should be protecting and doing all I can for. I guess I have to learn to be kinder to myself in order to get better but I can’t get over feeling guilty for being kind to little ol me. So, let’s give this a go….. anyone else tried it?
Not many people who don’t have BPD understand the depth of thought you go through. Black and white is all you see. No grey. Not a single shade, certainly not 50 shades! (Bad joke, poor humour, but I can’t help it, I learned from the best at that!). You do something to upset someone by accident, you don’t understand why, they don’t understand how you can’t see it, and what makes it worse is you likely spend your life trying to fight the loosing battle of people pleasing! If a loved one leaves you, partner, friend, family member, it could be for good, a month, a week, a day, even an hour, all you see is abandonment. The balck and the white. No grey, no reasoning, no reason will be considered good enough. “No I’m not leaving you, I’m just going on a conference for the weekend, I’ll be back sunday afternoon, you’re going to be ok”. No, I’m not. You’re going and I need you. You’re going to go away, you’ll meet someone else who is ‘normal’, you’ll get chatting and you’ll realise that you could be happy with someone else. By this time you’re convinced that’s the case and you spend the weekend in bits, and I don’t mean a little upset or angry, I mean you literally feel like your world has ended. You scream and scream because the emotional torture you’re in is REAL. My Mum once told me off for being dramatic when my bus pass was lost….. to me, it wasn’t drama. it came after an already difficult day, I had a few quid in my purse, enough to get me to where I was going but not enough to get me home. I was terrified. Then to be told I was being dramatic, made me realise how exasperated I was with trying to explain to loved ones exactly what you feel, and the depth of every single emotion, was like getting blood from a stone. I feel angry, so very very angry, not with anyone, but with the world. People spend their lives, living in a warm, comfortable, emotiaonally stable world, whilst others are there struggling to convince themselves to live, to just stay alive is a battle. How is it ever fair? BPD is commonly thought of as a type of PTSD, and I feel GUILTY at having it, because I wasn’t physically or sexually abused as a child, I’ve never been to war, I had a relatively normal upbringing, but there was emotional abuse that I never considered to be abuse (another example of black and white thinking, it wasn’t physical or sexual so the abuse didn’t occur, when in reality, they grey shade of the situation is that, yes, it DID happen). Is there anyone out there that understands me? Anyone that knows of the turmoil you are in over the slightest problem or change to your routine? The chronic emptiness you experience, feeling grateful for this emotion because it means you’re not in complete agony……that is how I was spending my days. Distancing myself from everyone and everything because eventually everyone leaves anyway. In retrospect I have seen how I have tried to forceably push people away to get them to leave so it’s over and done with.
I’ve been fairly stable lately, I’m waiting for my DBT course to start, and whilst waiting I’ve been doing lots of work on myself with DBT workbooks and some brilliant apps that I’ve come across. I can, to an extent, cope with certain emotions. I’m working so hard to get better and yet all someone has to do is look at me funny and my brain goes off on one. All I want, what would I give to finally be like everyone else. To be able to accept a compliment, to be able to consider the reasons people have before they do things that I don’t agree with, so that I can make a rational, stable, conscious choice before deciding how to feel about it. To feel free and happy, without the weight of excessive emotions just waiting to jump in. To free myself of the BPD monster that lives in my head.
Maybe one day……
Evenings are the definitely the hardest time for me. I try and waste time watching tv or reading but invariably they are tough. The thing that helps me tonight is having had a lovely day, the thoughts in my head are good and healthy, even though Chris is out at work, and I may not see him until tomorrow, the day we’ve had together will keep me going until then. See, ‘borderline’ women get a tough time with love and relationships. People instantly label them ‘bunny boilers’ or ‘isn’t that like the crazy woman in Fatal Attraction?’ No no no!!!! Yes we have needs, and maybe we voice them more often and maybe even more desperately than some women, but it doesn’t mean we’ll kill you and bury you under the patio if you don’t acquiesce to our demands. The demands are voiced out of pain and desperation to numb the pain, we don’t mean to be ‘needy’ or irritating. That I promise you. BPD is, amongst MANY different symptoms, intense emotions, sometimes they are so intense you can’t handle them and be able to hide them. Sometimes you don’t feel anything and feel ’empty’. There are different triggers for all of us. Personally I find my triggers are feeling rejected or unwanted by those closest in my life. My sister and I have never been particularly close, it’s only in the last 10 years we’ve been able to hold a reasonable conversation and she practises tough love…..which I certainly do not respond to well. Not her fault she doesn’t get it I guess, but she doesn’t try to get it either. My Mum doesn’t get it either, although annoyingly she seems to making more of an effort since I got my ‘label’. The only person that truly makes an effort is Chris. I need this man in my life. He heals me.
So this is me…. I’m another statistic, I’m the 1 in 4. How alone do you feel in a room crowded of people? How can your friends know you when you don’t even know yourself? How much punishment do you put on yourself when you hurt someone you love, and don’t even know how or why it happened in the first place? How can someone truly love you when you can’t even bare to look in the mirror, let alone love yourself? This is my journey from ‘normality’ to complete torment, and the road to my hopeful recovery.
I’m a 30 year old mother to my 4 year old son, I am too ill to currently work and because of this my mind is like a minefield. I have a wonderful partner who is supportive and caring, in fact he’s the first person to ever have me believing I’m loved. We’ve had our fair share of problems over the last 3 and a half years, down to me and my ‘disorder’. My Dad left us when I was young, and my childhood was unhappy, I’d not say it was traumatic, although as I divulge into details later, some might disagree. I know the doctors do. Today is a good day. I’m writing at the table while my son colours in and my partner (lets call him Chris) is preparing one of his amazing roast dinners for us. My medication has started to take effect and I am not feeling like I need to cry, nor do I need to cut. Cutting has been a recent development. It started just before my diagnosis. Ironically, when I was seen by my local mental health team, they referenced BPD, and when I was seen out, the first thing I did was google BPD and read the signs, symptoms and all the info I could read, and in doing so, got myself so worked up I went home and immediately found myself in the kitchen draw reaching for the sharpest object I could find. I went from scissors to buying kitchen knives online for the purpose of nothing other than a tool for self-harm. I’ve got scars, I hide them in long sleeves, I’m lucky its winter. When summer comes, I guess I’ll have to bare them to the world. You don’t think about that at the time though. The immense mental and emotional pain your in is all that you can see, think, hear, smell, touch and even taste. It takes over all your senses. It’s debilitating and it’s hell on earth. No one understands. I barely understand. I rely on drugs to take the edge off. I have 2 ’emergency’ Diazepam. That’s my safety net. I withdraw, I snap, I cry, I cut, I hate. There is only one thing that makes me feel better.