Sunday, December 21, 2014

Moving On

Pete hasn't spoken to me since Thursday night (save for one text which I will get to in a moment). Last we had a conversation was on my birthday (the 17th). We were supposed to talk on Thursday, but he had had a bad day and wasn't up for it, and said we could talk the following night. It wasn't until Saturday afternoon that he text me after frantic efforts to get in touch with him (telling him was worried about him). What did he say? "I'm fine." That's it, no follow up and he hasn't said anything since.

I've stressed myself up thinking of every scenario and reason why he isn't talking to me and I finally just gave up. I admit, it's still on my mind, but I haven't contacted him since yesterday afternoon. Maybe this is a good thing. Let's face it, the major thing that was causing me stress, anxiety, worry, and depression the past couple of weeks was him.

I try to be forgiving of him. I know he's got a lot of issues and we've talked about them. I understand him in a way an outsider wouldn't, but I need to (as selfish as this sounds) think about myself. It's hard to admit, but I generally do better when he isn't around (case in point, the month we had no contact with each other). I do try to cling on, but once the wave of rejection/abandonment passes I'm pretty good at picking up the pieces.

In the past few days I've:

-Gone for a walk in Mines Falls
-Worked on my book
-Did two interviews for my podcast
-Did major job searching
-Got errands done
-Moved
-Visited my Aunt (the one with dementia)
-Started doing morning yoga, ab workout, and meditation

Over the past few weeks I've:

-Started going to a mental illness support group
-Started going to Al-Anon
-Started going to a 12-step all women's meeting (I determined that the 12-steps can be helpful to me as a person who used to self harm).

I noticed as soon as I stopped worrying about what Pete was doing, as soon as I stopped contacting him, I began to feel more confident and less trapped. It happened as soon as I let go of T, as soon as I let go of J. When I don't allow another person to consume me I'm pretty kick ass.

But it still sucks. It sucks not knowing. It sucks especially cause this is what M did to me. He just stopped talking to me one day with no explanation. I'm hoping that Pete will talk to me again. He is my friend and I'd hate to see the friendship end, especially with no explanation. But until he contacts me I'm going to live my life.

It's all I can do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How Do I Talk To You!?!

Recently I posted a status asking what the three rules of gun safety are. I had asked because I was having a conversation with my roommates and we were discussing it, and I couldn't remember one of them. I got my answer within the first couple of comments so I told people, "thank you that's what I needed." However people kept on commenting with what they thought I was looking for without reading the other comments seeing that I had what I needed. I got a little bit annoyed and I commented, "OMG stop!"

One of my  "friends" comes in and comments that, "maybe I shouldn't be owning a gun if I get so easily upset over something."  This triggered me because I was not even talking about wanting to own a gun, and if anyone knows me they know I have strong views when it comes to mentally ill people and guns (re: mental illness does not always equal crazed person who should not own a gun cause they will shoot up a school). After some back and forth comments he suggested I delete the status since I had the information I was seeking, so I did. I ended up deleting the status, since I had the information I needed.


Then the "friend" comments and tells me that I'm "a piece of work "and I am "unfit to own a gun." Not once did I ever say that I was going to buy a gun or I was interested in one ,or anything like that. So I didn't see how his comment was relevant. Then he just kept poking at me when I was clearly triggered and escalated, and I lost my temper and lashed out. Am I proud of the way I lashed out? No of course not. But even after he saw me clearly upset he kept saying things like, "you're a child," "everything you touch you destroy," "you're not doing well."

 I'm not saying that people have to walk on eggshells around me. But if I'm swearing and lashing out at you, the best option is to probably say, "hey you seem really upset I'm going to give you some space" This person kept pushing and poking me when I was in a very high emotional mind.

People with Borderline have over-active limbic systems and smaller amygdala's, which is the part of the brain that controls emotion and reaction to emotion. I can take meds for things like anxiety and paranoia but at the end of the day there is no "borderline medication". BPD is mostly an environmental disorder. It's manifested based on how a person grew up. I  grew up with a lot of emotional abuse and neglect. People who BPD had very strong emotions and very strong reactions to emotions. We also think and see the world in very black and white terms. One of the things we struggle with is understanding that there are going to be struggled, bumps in the road, etc. That does not undo all the progress we've made.

This person claimed they were trying to "help" me, but they weren't helping me at all. I am a very introverted person and that mixed with the borderline causes me to get embarrassed easily. Especially when I am publically reprimanded. Had they PMed me and said, "hey you seem upset. Is something up?" or "maybe you should delete the post if you have got your replies." Or even pm me asking "did you post that because you want to own a gun?" Not by posting it publically, because I'm not going to react well. Then messaging me after the fact, is just going to escalate me more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Realizations

I have a habit of worrying about things that are absolutely out of my control. When I was with J  and we broke up all I could think about was getting back with him, and I was so worried about what would happened if I didn't. Then one day I just didn't care anymore.

Pete and I have been hanging out, and it's obvious we both have feelings for each other. We talked last night, and he isn't ready to date anyone, let alone me again. He told me that I do have another chance with him, just not within the next couple of months. He says we are more than friends. Of course I have all these questions in my head.

Does he really mean that? Is he just saying that to make me happy? Is he saying that in hopes I find someone new and forget him? Will I see him when he moves? Am I going to waste years of my life waiting for him? Should I bother holding out? Should I just start dating someone new?

Then I realized, why do I care? Honestly, why am I worried about this? When I started dating (ironically Pete) someone else after J it happened because I was ready, and I wasn't pining for J anymore. Right now I don't want to date simply cause I'm not ready, and Pete supports that. He said even if I hated him and never wanted to see him again it would still make sense that I didn't want to jump into dating again.

Right now I just want to be with Pete, but the person I will be six months from now isn't the person I will be today. It may work out with Pete and it may not, but by the time I figure out it's not going to work I may have moved on or may be with another person.

I think what worries and bothers me the most is the thought of having to "start over" in a relationship. I have about 8-9 years to get married and have kids and if it takes me another 2 years to find someone new, plus a couple more to determine if they are the one...well now I'm 36. It worries me and makes me nervous.

But, like I keep saying I am going to focus on my career and being happy with me.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bucket List

It may be cliché to have one, but these are the top 10 things (in no particular order) on my bucket list. I plan on printing this out!

  1. See a Packers game in Lambeau
  2. Go Sky Diving
  3. See Garth Brooks live
  4. Visit England
  5. Visit 4 corners
  6. Drive the Kancamagus highway
  7. Own a dog
  8. Own a tea set
  9. Visit Amsterdam
  10.  Interview Laci Green

Bucket List Things I've Done
  1. Meet Ken Casey
  2. Publish a book
  3. Go to Italy
  4. Get a college degree
  5. See the Packers play
  6. Meet Neil Gaiman
  7. See a NYC Broadway show


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Free Spirit"

I have heard more than once that I inspire people. I am told that people are inspire by my  "free spirit". I'm seen as someone who does what she wants, is true to herself, and lives her life on her own terms. But if they knew what I've been through, if they knew what I live with, they might not be so inspired. Because my "free spirit" is cause of years of loss, break downs, and not being in control of a disorder that has controlled me for years.

I've pushed away countless people in my life. I've destroyed relationships, been spontaneous with my lovers, entered into a profession in a dangerous way, I've never kept a job longer than a year, Since moving out of my Mom's I've never lived in one place longer than a year; I've never had a relationship (an actual dating/romantic one) last longer than 10 months. I've self-harmed, I've attempted suicide, I've had such severe body image issues that I've occasionally made myself throw up, I've been in a psych hospital, and I can go on and on about what I've been through.

People say I'm a "late bloomer," but trust me if I had control over my disorder much earlier than I did then I might be where I want to be in life. I'm slowly becoming more okay with the fact I probably won't have kids until my late 30s. But it still bothers me sometimes. What could have been if I entered DBT at 15 and not 25?

I would trade being a "free spirit" to be able to have a long lasting and loving relationship, and hopes to have children.

If you want to be inspired by me, then be inspired by the fact I have one of the most difficult mental disorders to live with and treat, but I refuse to give up.

Ever.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Baby Steps

I've talked a lot about how I see the world in black and white. What some people may not realize is that this pertains to many different aspect of my life. Possibly the most frustrating is the black and white view point within myself. I am trying so hard to be less intense around Pete, that I end up being overly critical of myself. Let me walk you through what I mean.

One of the things I'm trying to do is tone down the amount I text him, especially when I don't get something I want. For example, if I have my heart set on hanging out with him and he says no, there have been times where I've had a melt down through text; or if he takes to long to respond I will send him message after message. In light of this I've been trying my best to be chill, and taking it one day at a time.  I didn't contact him all weekend, and I waited until he called me. It took a lot of patience, and implementing DBT skills, but that small "victory" made me confident that it could add up to more and more.

When he called me Sunday night we made plans for today (Monday). I continued to limit the amount I contacted him. Knowing we had set plans and not wanting to go overboard. These may not seem like things that are a big deal, but for someone with BPD it's progress. But that progress can seem hopeless in one moment. Which brings me to Monday.

I got so wrapped up in "proving" myself that I was nervous about anything I said or did. Was it too intense? Was it enough to make him want to date me again? Does he notice me trying? When he teased me and I got upset about it, I got so frustrated with myself. Then I just began to question everything. I began to get desperate with redeeming myself? I wanted so bad to text him over and over for approval. But I didn't. I distracted myself until I could barely remember why I was upset or frustrated.

He told me to just be myself, and I need to remember that. I also need to remember that I can't be trying to progress for the sole purpose of getting my ex back. Because I don't want to feel like it was all for nothing.  I need to do his for myself, to better myself.  If I get too focused on him taking me back then it will become an obsession and I'll constantly be lost in my own head.

I am also trying to remind myself, that there are things that I have no control over being the reason we broke up. A lot of what it has to do with is him and where he is at. The challenge for me staying in the gray area.

He's moving soon and I'm struggling with worry that I won't ever see him, or I'll have less of a chance to be with him again. What I need to remember is that if it's going to happen, it will happen naturally. I can't force it, and I can't obsess over it.

Some may see this as over thinking things, but in order to make progress this is important for me to do.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Self-Sabotage

One of the more difficult things that people with BPD deal with is self-sabotage. This usually happens when we are dealing with perceived rejection or abandonment. The fear is so strong, so gripping, that we will stop at nothing to avoid it ("frantic efforts to avoid real or imagine abandonment"). Often what happens though is we end up being our own down fall.

For example: someone cancels plans last minute. As people with BPD we see this as rejection, even though deep down we know it's not. We might do something like beg and plead that person to reconsider. Get angry, lash out at them, then call and text over and over. We may then start to feel guilty and panic because they aren't replying. We may then text them more, apologizing, frantically panicking. Until eventually the person just doesn't want to deal with it anymore. They weren't angry, but now they are and it was our own doing. It was self-sabotage.

I bring this up because it's something I've been thinking about after something happened this week. Pete and I had made plans to hang out on Wednesday. On Tuesday I ended up getting the afternoon off from work. I texted him to see if I could ride with him to his home town where he had to vote and then watch the election results with him. I wanted to created a "perfect" scenario where I could "prove" to him that I could be chill and not be intense (because one of the reasons he broke up with me was because of my intensity). He texted me back and told me that he couldn't because he was already on his way. Instead of just saying, "okay" or even asking what time he'd be back (because maybe we could at least watch the results together) I reacted in extreme emotion mind. I sent him several very angry texts, followed by several apologetic texts, followed by several self-hating texts. This caused him to cancel our plans for Wednesday because he was really upset about the things I said.

When I saw him on Thursday and we talked, I explained that I wanted to show him that I can not be intense. He told me that in doing so I was basically my own downfall (not in those exact words, but that was the gist). He was absolutely right. I was so obsessed with creating the perfect scenario that I didn't realize my chance was in the way I reacted when I was told no.

He still cares about me, and he told me that when we're together he can see us being with each other again, but it's the in between that makes him not want to be with me. It's when I freak when he doesn't reply to my texts, when I have a melt down because he doesn't want to hang, things like that.

Right now I am trying to deal with the fact that he's going to be moving back home at the end of the month. My BPD has been creating all sorts of scenarios in my head and making me very overwhelmed. I'm afraid I'll never see him again, I'm afraid he'll find another girl and forget all about me.

Now, I know what you're all thinking. "Who cares? He broke up with you. You shouldn't be so obsessed with getting back with him." That's exactly my point. If we are ever going to get back together he needs to see that I can be chill during the "in between."

I need to focus on me, enjoy time I have with him, and trust that if it's meant to be it will be. Because everything else is just self-sabotage.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Things To Know About Me Online

I get really overwhelmed by two much information.When I am online and I ask a question I want direct, blunt answers and will often become frustrated by too much explanation or "other" chatter. I am a kinetic learning and so I struggle with retaining long bouts of information verbally and visually. I can do a bit better visually, but it will often be a struggle for me if I have to read through a lot to get to the core of what I want to know. It's a big reason why I skim when I read.

This causes me to feel stupid and causes me more frustration. That frustration turns into irritation and becomes more increasing the more I struggle folllow along. The irritation then causes me to lash out at people. This in turn causes me to get more irritated and frustrated.

Basically I end up thinking everyone is stupid, I'm stupid, and everything sucks.

I have a really hard time articulating myself sometimes (though I tend to emotionally articulate myself better through words).

It's draining :(

Planning Like the Planning Planner I Always Plan to Be

I need a plan, I want a plan. I'm not so much going to focus on the when, but rather the what for now. I just want to make steps towards a more stable life (that's not to say I'm personally not stable. I just want the things in my life to be more stable.) So, without further ado here are my plans (both long and short term)

  1. No dating until after the new year. I think jumping into a new relationship at this point would be a bad idea. If someone is interested in me I will have to go from there, but for now I am not going to actively seek anyone out.
  2. Find a job where I can pay my bills and save money.
  3. Start saving money towards my own apartment.
  4. Stay at that job long term and eventually start a retirement fund
  5. When I'm more financially stable, work on getting a lower car payment
  6. Eventually file for bankruptcy to get a "clean" start.
  7. Pay off as much debt as I can come tax season.
  8. Join a group where I can physically meet new people (thinking of attending a local Wiccan Temple).
  9. Go to a paint night
  10. Write more
  11. Practice more yoga
I think the first big step in the long term is finding a job I stay at for more than a few months!



Friday, October 31, 2014

Bringing in Wise Mind

Since Pete and I broke up we've still been hanging out. It's something I am okay with and so is he. I understand many people would say, "you need time apart" or "it's unhealthy". Look, you do things your way and I will do them mine. However, the one thing that frustrates me is the juxtaposition between when we hang out and after. For example, we had a great night on Wednesday and since then he's barely replied to my texts. I try to engage him in conversation, but get nothing.

Obviously emotional mind comes in and tells me he's avoiding me or doesn't want to hang with me anymore. So, I've been really trying to bring in rational and wise mind. The first thing I did was ask him why sometimes he will suddenly stop responding to me or his replies will be short. He told me not to take it personally, he just has a hard time keeping up conversation with anyone through text. I reminded myself that he sleeps. A lot. He has slept from 4pm until 8 am the next morning, and longer. I know he has a habit of hanging up on people if the conversation gets to stressful for him (he's done it to his Mom and Dad). The other night he hung up on me and it turned out that he thought it was a text so he opened his phone. Now if that happens again I can give him the benefit of the doubt.

He's going through a lot right now. He's got some possible big changes coming up. I've been texting him trying to get updates, and when he doesn't reply I panic. I had a thought today; why do I care? He's not my boyfriend, he owes me nothing. He has no obligation to tell me what's going on in his life. Another thing is he has a hard time making decisions and he may not be replying because he doesn't know what he's doing and he doesn't want to talk about it.

I do have to say that I am happy about something. I gave him some advice and he actually took it. He told me he didn't do something because of my advice.

Now, I know to some of you this all may make me seem "crazy", but this is actually implementing DBT skills. I am using my rational and wise mind, and this is a very good thing. For BPD people it's not as simple as just "not caring". To others it may seem like "drama", but for us it's our emotion mind taking over and we need to rationalize.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Black, It's White

Sitting here thinking about my future. There's so much I want to do, but I worry if I'm ever going to get to do it. I know I'm never going to make the big bucks working in human services, but I'd like to be able to make enough to pay for more than my bills and a coffee here and there. I want to travel, I want to buy books, I want to buy sex toys, I want to go places, and I want to do all this without having to rearrange my budget every time.

I also think about when I'm older, when I start a family, when I retire. I know and understand that in today's economy it's not uncommon for people to not have savings and to work past retirement. That's comforting, but I still worry. Of course I worry, it's what I do best! I think this is why it's so important for me to find a career and not just a job. Something where I can save money, and I can be at long term.

A part of BPD is all or nothing thinking. Either everything is grand or everything sucks. It doesn't matter if we have wonderful things in our lives, if one bad thing happens then it's all bad. It's a hard thing to deal with as it affects us in all different aspects of our lives. All or nothing, black and white, splitting...whatever you call it, it can be like the metaphorical devil/angel in your head.

Right now I'm emotionally vulnerable so my anxiety and worry are going into overdrive.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crossroads

Frustrated. That's how I feel right now. I'm at this weird crossroads where I both know what I want to do with my life, but I also don't know. I know that I want to work in the human services field and I know I want to work with youth, but doing what?

 I also have this weird conundrum regarding my educational background. Everybody thinks it's so great that I have a Master's degree, but what have I done with it? Nothing. All my jobs in the human services field have required a high school diploma, maybe an associates. Sure it's gotten me higher pay at some places, but that fact remains I've still been working in jobs under my education level. The flip side of it is that while I have a Master's in psychology, I am not license eligible.

It is possible to work as a therapist in MA without a license, but it's not as easy as I used to think. I was told I could work as a therapist, but I would just need to work under someone. Well you know what? It's probably not that simple. I'd probably need to start at the bottom and work my way up, maybe even intern. I am also not even sure what other sort of requirements there are.

There lies my other problem. Because of my struggles with Borderline the only jobs I have stayed at for long periods of time were retail jobs. All my human services jobs were 6 months or less. That's not going to look very good to potential employers. I believe this is another reason I've only been working HS level positions, because most of those positions are always hiring and desperate for help.

I also want to talk about optimism and realism. It really bothers me when people tell me, "what's stopping you! You can do it!" and it's almost like I'm shamed for not deciding to do something. What's stopping me from getting licensed? The fact that I am not eligible and to become eligible I'd have to go back to school and I am not eligible for grants and only about $3000 in loans. So I'm sorry if my non existent optimism isn't, "gee golly! I can still do it! I'll just save money from my $10 an hour job!" It's not  me giving up, it's me being realistic.

Essentially I need to find a position that is at my education level (even Bachelor's level), doesn't require me to be licensed, and where I can move up (possibly to a therapist). Even if I don't become a therapist I would still like to be in a position at my level, not at the level of someone fresh out of high school. I know those positions exist. It's going to be hard though because I don't have the best track record with jobs. Borderline has been a serious issue in almost every aspect of my life, including jobs.

The other thing I wanted to mention is my ability to always doubt myself. For example, today at work one of the kids took off her coat. My brain told me that I should make her put it back on because it was cold out and if her Mom saw her without it she'd get upset. However, I had seen one of the older kids without a coat and a remembered a day a week or two ago (that's another issue, I have trouble with linear time lines) when a bunch of kids were taking off their coats and a co-worker who had been there longer said it was okay. So, I decided to let her keep it off. My boss comes up to check on me, and guess what? I get reprimanded for the child having her coat off.

I get defensive, I beat myself up. I feel stupid for not doing the thing I wanted to do. But then when I do go with my gut, and I'm wrong I feel the same way. Stupid and defensive.

Monday, October 20, 2014

On Vulnerabilities

I am feeling really dis regulated right now. I've been dealing with a lot of changes all at the same time. For someone with BPD change is hard, even if that is good change. As you can probably guess; getting broken up with out of the blue while still new at my job and moving to a new place isn't exactly my idea of a fun time.

Relationships, as I've mentioned many times, are extremely difficult for me. They are my biggest vulnerability. I have such a deep fear of being alone, of abandonment, of rejection that I not only struggle in relationships, but I struggle in the before and after. In the before I am scared, nervous, and not just the normal new relationship fears that almost everyone has. By the second or third date I'm already wondering if I'll be with the person forever, I'm wondering if we'll get married or have kids, and I'm wondering if we'll ever break up. Which leads me to break ups. It's like I shut down, I forget everything else good in my life, When J broke up with me it took me 2 years to get into another relationship. I felt guilty for even talking to another guy, and thought of sex with someone else made me feel terrible. I was afraid if I did, then I'd miss my chance to be with J again.

This is, of course, my emotion mind talking. I want to give up, I never want to date again, I feel like I will be alone for the rest of my life, and nothing matters. I feel like I become a different person when I'm in am relationship. I'm definitely getting better at maintaining individuality when I'm with someone, but it's still a struggle for me. Because what happens when I'm not in a relationship?

After the initial shock, after the emotion mind shrinks back, and wise mind takes over I become determined, confident, and I focus on me. But it takes a lot for me to get to that point. Because I feel like I can't function without a boyfriend.

So all of this is to say I know I'll eventually get to the point where being with Pete or even not seeing him all the time won't bother me. I won't feel guilty doing things for myself and I'll eventually find someone new. I just need to continue to work on being okay with being alone even when I'm in a relationship.

To start I'm going to make a list of good things I have going on and also things I want to do with myself (or things to help me regulate).

  • I have a job working with awesome kids
  • I just moved into a new place that's nicer and cheaper
  • I'm going to be starting full DBT which might be better for me
  • I'm doing NaNoWriMo starting in Nov
  • Bright Nights
  • Yoga
  • Mandala coloring
  • Fall/Winter hiking
I'm going to be okay. I think Beth just needs her time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It Means I'm Alive

During therapy today we talked about vulnerability and shame. I talked about how I will often feel ashamed of my thoughts because they make me feel naked. I have a hard time hiding my emotions, so even if I don't share my thoughts it's often easy to tell something is wrong. Having certain thoughts makes me feel like having a cut without a band-aid.

My therapist suggested I watch This TED Talk, and it really resonated with me. Here are some of the the points that I really connected with.


  • The original meaning of courage means to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
  • What makes you vulnerable is what makes you beautiful.
  • Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, creativity, and love. We can only open ourselves up to these if we fully embrace vulnerability.
  • You cannot selectively numb emotions. When we try to block out sadness, regret, anger we also block out joy, happiness, compassion.
  • We make the uncertain certain.
I'm a vulnerable person, I wear my heart on my sleeve and my emotions on my face. But you know what? That's what makes me, me. It what makes me able to love so intensely. I may feel everything stronger than the average person, but it just makes more compassionate, more driven, more loving.

You cannot selectively numb emotions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

An Open Letter

Dear Beth,

You think you're clever, don't you? You think that by causing me to have nightmares I'm going to break. You are trying to kill me by turning my own brain against me. I'm not going to deny that you're doing a good job of trying, but see there is a flaw in your plan. If you can cause my brain to turn against me, then I can cause my brain to turn against you.

You see Beth, all this time I've been freaking out about these so-called nightmares, when really I should have been paying closer attention. My nightmares aren't of dying from a tragic accident, or suicide, or even cancer. My nightmares are of me dying in an old age surrounded by someone I love. That's not really a nightmare, now is it?

Maybe you realize this, Beth, and so what you do is you try to make my brain think that by the time I am ready to leave this world I will be full of regret; not married, no kids, still jumping from job to job. Beth, this is where I fight back. Because no matter what happens between now and then, I will never be alone. You want my brain to make me think I am isolated, but I'm not. I have a sister who is only a couple years younger than me, step-siblings, soon to be in-laws. Even if I never get married or have kids, there will be someone by my death bed.

That brings me to another point in your plan. You want me to think that the only way I will be happy in life, is if I get married and have kids. Oh, but you are wrong. You are very very wrong, and I will tell you why. My Aunty Fran, my God Mother, never got married and never had children but she is far from alone. My two cousins, my sister, and me? We were her kids, she was a second Mother to us. Remember I said I was her God Daughter? Well, I'm not her only God child. My Aunt is more loved, and less alone than many people who are married and do have kids.

So, Beth, you keep giving me what you think are nightmares. But if I'm dreaming of dying an old lady, then I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something.

Now go and think about what you have done, and don't come back until you are ready to play nice.

-Me

Friday, August 22, 2014

If I Have to Think About the Future, I May As Well Think Positive

Everyone always gets sad when the summer ends, and it's mostly due to the warm weather going away. While I do prefer heat over cold, Fall is my favorite season. Lately I've been dreading the end of summer more than usual, and of course it ties into my fears of death and time going so fast. Then I started to remember all the stuff I look forward to. I need to remind myself of these things instead of looking at it like a bleak and dark time. So, here is what I am looking forward to in the upcoming months!

  • Chili/Chowder weekend (Labor Day Weekend)
  • NAMI walk
  • Alzheimer's walk
  • Sandwich Fair
  • Comicazi Halloweeniversary
  • NaNoWriMo
  • The Project for Awesome, 2014
  • Arisia
  • All my shows coming back
  • Holidays (including my birthday)
  • Apple Picking
  • Deep sea fishing
There's also a lot of stuff I want to do, but it will have to wait until I get a job.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Death and Love

There was a time where I couldn't wait to fall in love. I couldn't wait to experience the passion and joy, all the firsts, the getting to know someone. I couldn't wait to find someone to share my life with. No it scares me. I am scared to love because I love so intensely which means I hurt intensely. I want a relationship with lifetime guarantees, but I want them on the second date.

I used to imagine a good life filled with birthdays, children, Mother's days, Thanksgiving dinners, holiday mornings, Halloween costumes, Grand kids. Not anymore. Now I lay awake at night gripped by the thought of death. Scared to love, scared to fall in love because love ends in two ways: divorce/breakup or death. What's the point in loving someone? It all ends. Why be passionate? Why have sex. It will end one day. Why set myself up for that heartbreak?

Before: I can't wait to grown old with someone!
Now: I don't want to watch someone die or die in front of someone.

Before: I can't wait to have children and Grand kids.
Now: I'll eventually die though.

Before: I can't wait to fall in love and spend my life with someone
Now: What's the point? I'm going to die.

Before: I have so much to look forward to in my life.
Now: I'm going to die someday.

Someone mentioned in comments of my posts that they understand, and part of it is because death isn't on our terms. I also have an intense fear of dying alone, but at the same time I'm scared of losing people or leaving people. I know in reality once I'm dead I either will not know I'm dead or I will be reincarnated (which is what I believe) or I'll be in a place where I won't hurt even more. But even then I have night terrors about. What if I'm reincarnated as a rapist or the next Hitler? What if I go to the Summerlands and can see the people I left behind and I feel nothing but sorrow that I can't talk to them?

I know this is all stuff that I should not be thinking about. I try to think of all the good things that I have to look forward to, and if I try really hard death doesn't seem so scary. But when I am lying in bed at night it's like my life fasts forward and all there is, is the now and then death.

I also feel that I have a very stereotypical view of being old. When I'm old I'm supposed to knit, bake, wear nightgowns, and yell at people, right? I just have this image that being old is like it was in the 1940s. That I have to be like my grandparents. That I can't like this things I like, that I will completely change.

I plan on being a bad ass tattooed feminist old lady.

I know that relationships strengthen with time. But if I can barely deal with a breakup, how am I going to deal with someone dying. I have to die first.

I have it in my head that I have to do everything quickly. Go on trips, go places. Because if I wait it means more time will pass and it means I will be

Of course this is all Beth.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Patience and Battling Beth

I am in a relationship for the first time in almost two years. Pete and I finally made it official the other day. In reality we had been in a relationship for months, but he wasn't ready to put the label on it. This was different for me. When I was with J we dated a month before making it official, and I thought that was taking it slow. It took me almost 8 months of patience, of falling apart and coming back together, of worrying for Pete to finally call me his girlfriend. I am hoping that is a good thing, the fact I didn't rush into things. This is the first relationship that I've been in that's lasted longer than six month. Ya, you heard me right. I've been in an intimate friends situation, but this is the longest romantic relationship I've been in.

I am very happy, but of course Beth keeps trying to rear her ugly head. I am most vulnerable when it comes to relationships. All these questions swirl in my head. Is this going to last? How long? Will I grow old with him? Will I have to watch him die? Will I go through divorce like my parents? What will he think of me when I'm old and not "hot"?

I know I should just take things one day at a time, but it's hard. It's great that he thinks I'm so attractive, and I know he's with me for other reasons, but I still get insecure. I get paranoid if we disagree on something. Like, "OMG! We're not compatible!" I know I'm being irrational, but Beth doesn't care.

I think to help myself I am going to do a list of reasons why he's with me and *should* be with me other than physical appearance

1. I'm smart
2. I'm kind
3. I'm caring
4. I'm compassionate
5. I'm good with kids
6. I want to get married and have kids someday
7. I'm funny
8. I'm empathetic
9. I'm a liberal
10. I'm a feminist
11. I'm patient
12. I'm open minded
13. I'm strong (as in mentally/emotionally)
14. I love football
15. I like politics
16. I'm creative
17. I'm helpful

One day at a time.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Self-Harm Free

This month marks one year I've been self-harm free.

This is a HUGE accomplishment. I do not care what anyone says, self-harm is an addiction. It's an escape from emotional pain just like drinking or drug use.  The need to do it grabs you and it's so hard to stop. Just like any other addiction there's feelings of guilt, shame, and regret. But you keep doing it.

I make the choice to stop. I want to be a role model and I need to set a good example. I may have trouble with my emotional scars, but I can heal the physical ones a lot quicker.

If Only Death Were a Spunky Goth Girl

It seems that more and more recently I had anxiety/fears about getting older and dying. I have laid awake for hours at night (usually when I have forgotten to take my meds), scared to close my eyes. Every time I do I am haunted by images of death. The thing that is most troubling is that no matter how I try to look at it, it always scares me. The things that bring me comfort also bring me fear.

For starters every time I have these night terrors I seem to go from where I am in life now straight to death. I then try to imagine all the great things that will happen to me in the next (hopefully) 50-60 years and I just come back to, "but I will die one day," or "what if I am still in the same position as I am now?"

My partner will stay with me and try to comfort me, and it helps me feel not alone. Then my mind will flash to him dying in my arms, or me dying in his. Always scared, always in pain.

When people joke/talk about how "life flies by" or "time goes faster" I am filled with anxiety. I want to go back to work because I know I will feel more fulfilled if I make a difference, but I fear the days will go by much faster.

I try to remind myself that I believe in reincarnation and will probably not remember this life. I also remind myself that should I go to Heaven/Summerlands I will more than likely be "cured" of any mental or physical illness. But because of how my mind works I picture myself never seeing anyone I love ever again and being tormented by BPD for eternity.

I look at people in terms of how long they have to live, I count my life in years left, I'm scared for my birthday to come because I'll be "one year closer to death."

I hate it. I don't want to live my life like this.

I lucid dream and I've tried remolding my dreams, but the night terrors just seem too strong. Luckily meds help, but not always.

I think my biggest trigger is not knowing my current situation with my partner. I think it leaves a lot open and a lot of unknowns. Death dreams indicate change and with so many things in limbo it makes sense they are so vivid.

Friday, August 1, 2014

What The "J" Means to Me

Tales From an INFJ

I am an INFJ. According to wiki the J is defined as, "J – Judgment preferred to perception: INFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability."

Now this is not to say I am not an impulsive/spontanious person. Trust me, my impulsivity has probably done more harm than good (hence why it's a trait of BPD). However, when it comes to making plans I like to have, well, a plan. I get very anxious when I do not have all my ducks lined up. I think this stems from my fear of rejection. If I do not know exactly what the plan is, then in my head there is a better chance of things going wrong.

Let's say I want to take a friend to Boston, and she needs to get the day off. I need to know in advance; day, time, where, if she got the day off, where we are meeting, etc. If it's a day before and I still don't know what the plan is or if she hasn't asked for the day off, I get anxious and jittery.

The same goes for life in general. I like having a plan. I think my night terrors about death are more prominate when I don't have a goal or a plan. I don't mean planning my whole entire life out, but rather being able to have a concrete visual of things.

I decided that I want to try and go back to school to get my Early Childhood certificate. I checked out books from the library on different scholarships, filled out a FAFSA, and have been looking at schools. From what I've read a certifcate takes about a year. This would not only help out my resume and job search options, but would also help with my anxieties about getting older and the future.

I want to be able to make a difference. I want to get to the end of my life feeling fulfilled. I am scared I am going to die jobless, single, unloved, and alone. I need a stepping stone. I need my life to have a plan, I need something concrete. Something to feel grounded.

Therapy Victories

I had a pretty good therapy session yesterday. My therapist told me that one of my positive attributes is that I have a realy strong DBT skill set. He complimented me on the great job I am doing, and told me to keep up the good work. Hmm, interesting that there are people who say I need to "get help" and mark me as a terrible person yet my therapist is saying how good I'm doing and how much I've improved. Fancy that.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Borderline Confession #2

I have a terrible habit of fretting and panicking over the unknown in relationships. I sometimes want my partner to able to tell me exactly what is going to happen in the future, and lay it out like a set of blue prints. If they can't or won't I assume it means they plan on breaking up with me, or have plans that don't include me.

It's like mourning someone's death while they are still alive.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Borderline Confession #1

The reason I am so insecure and constantly fear abandonment in relationships, has less to do with the person I am seeing and more to do with how I see myself.

Because while I know I have good qualities, I can't see why anyone would want to stay with my for the long run. I see all my negative traits far outweighing and over shadowing my good traits, and I just assume the only reason someone would want to stay with me would be for physical reasons.

My self-esteem distorts my thinking and my distorted thinking lowers my self-esteem.

It's a vicious cycle, but I am trying my best to break out of it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This Is One You Need To Read

I started this blog as a way to have an outlet to talk openly and candidly about my mental illness. I started it as an opportunity to give people a peek into my life, and hopefully educate them on what it's like to have mental illness.

I hope that people would see my disorder does not define me. I chose to be open and honest in this blog. Because of this some posts would be negative, some dark, but I hoped to have equal or more parts positive and full of hope and strength.

Recently I came out about abuse I suffered from a public figure while living with him and his family. He and his apologists are using this blog and my mental illness against me.

"She's a lunatic"
"She's mentally disturbed"

Am I perfect? No, I freely admit that there are a lot of areas I struggle in. However, I had thought we were past the time where anyone with a mental illness was chalked up to being "crazy" or "a lunatic". I had thought that we had moved passed that binary way of thinking. Mental illnesses are not only different, but the same one can affected each person that has it differently.

People are also equating having BPD to being a liar. I'd like to present you with a quote from a friend who has known me for 6+ years. This is someone who I openly admit I was not nice to several years ago. We have since made amends and she is now one of my best friends.

"I also have evidence that your BPD doesn't cause you to lie. Because when we were fighting you'd tell me all the shit that people were saying about me and it matches [other friend's] Livejournal. You amplify stuff definitely [Meaning I feel more than I should. It fits the BPD trait of black and white thinking] and, as you said, block out trauma, but I dont think I've ever witnessed you lie"

There are also people saying I am an "attention whore" and just love all this attention. Tell me then, if I am an "attention whore"  the why have I spent the past five years trying to get the top Google Search of my name removed? Furthermore, I had several people told me I should have outed this person while he was running for Governor of the state. I certainly would have gotten plenty of attention then, but I chose not to.

It's interesting that the people calling me an "attention whore" are the ones having a conversation on FB where they are trashing me, mocking rape victims, and laughing about abuse.

Anyone with half a brain that reads up on BPD can clearly see that I fit the criteria. I read that someone thought I read about it or knew someone who had it, and it fit my MO so I made up that I had it. Well, not that I really have anything to prove, but if I "made it up" then why would I wait until I was 25? After years and years of experiencing BPD traits and not knowing what they were? Why would I allow myself to be misdiagnosed several times before I got my proper diagnosis?

Do I sound like a lunatic to you yet?

Unfortunately many people who have mental illness (a lot worse than mine) are not believed when they come forward about abuse. A girl with downs was expelled because she came forward about sexual abuse. She was not believed because the boy was a "nice kid", and once again having any sort of mental illness or disability makes you a liar.

Some of you may have heard of the Global Assesment of Functioning (GAF) scale. This is a scale used by therapists/psychologists to assess the level of functioning of their clients. Back in 2008 when I first started DBT my GAF was about a 53: "Moderate symptoms OR moderate difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning." I was very very close to "serious symptoms. A few years after my GAF score raised to about a 64: "Some mild symptoms OR some difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning, but generally functioning pretty well, has some meaningful interpersonal relationship."

So basically this is saying I am a high functioning and competent person.

A few more things; No, my triggers are not fake. They are very real, and for someone to shame them or tell people they are fake is shameful and disgusting. Me getting out and doing things (hiking, fishing, etc) is exactly what I'm suppose to be doing. It's very DBT oriented and my therapist encourages it.

I will finish by asking this. Who's assessment of me are you more likely to believe?

People who have known me a year or less, who have a history of snapping on me and screaming at me, and who are telling people what a mentally disturbed, evil, manipulator I am?

or

People who have known me for years. People who have truly seen me at my worst, when I was out of control, when I was a jerk to them, but now we are friends. People who have known me for years and years. People who talk to me every day?

If you answered the first one, then you are the type of person I don't want in my life.





Saturday, July 12, 2014

Progress

Let's say you're out with your significant other and they are not particularly affectionate with you. You ask why and they explain that they feel ill, and are not really in an affectionate mood. I would think that most "normal" people would take this at face value, but there is a reason I differentiate between my "normal" brain and my "BPD" brain.

Even though we had an amazing time on Monday. Even though he spent extra time with me Thursday. Even though he told me his stomach hurt. Even though he let me cuddle with him when I stopped by his house last night (I told him I wasn't unsafe or anything, I was just having a bad day. I ended spending the night cause he fell asleep, I didn't have the heart to wake him, and I was drifting in and out of consciousness). And even after he explained to me that he was in a really bad mood this morning (and he still hugged and kissed me goodbye), and it had nothing to do with me....I was still 100% convinced that something was wrong, he was mad at me, and on the verge of breaking up with me.

Why? I had done nothing wrong. If he was mad then he wouldn't have spent time with me Thursday, and enjoyed it. He would not have let me stay last night (he's had no problem telling me he wants to be alone, and this wasn't me showing up suicidal after he told me he didn't want to hang out, or something along those lines). Even if there was something  had done then why in the world do I have to think the worst possible outcome is him breaking up with me? Maybe I did something to annoy him, we'd talk about it, and resolve it. Or maybe it's just my own head making shit up and being paranoid. He's not in an affectionate mood and I am? Obviously he's cheating on me (oh wait, except we're open so that wouldn't fucking matter). He tells me his stomach hurts, his back hurts, he's in a bad mood? Obviously that's code for, "I'm about to drop bad news on you so I'm distancing myself." We had a great fucking time twice this week. Something *must* be wrong. Because, you know, things going well is a sure fire bad omen.

Oh and then there is the fact I can't just believe him when he says everything is fine. Oh noooo, I have to keep asking and asking. I have to pester him, because for some fucked up reason his word isn't enough. No, he must be lying. He probably wants to make sure he's far away from me, or he's deciding when to drop some terrible news.

This is what the BPD brain does to me.

So, what did I do? Well after texting him (even after he told me it wasn't me and I could call him tonight) he finally told me to leave him alone (ugh). Obviously at that point I was upset, and it didn't help my already paranoid brain. But I wasn't going to make things worse. I wasn't going to pester him to the point he *did* have a problem with me. I had no reason to think I had done anything wrong and I knew my brain was just trying to trick me. So this is what I did for the rest of the day:

  • Volunteered at a Big Brothers/Big Sisters event
  • Talked to a couple of friends (one on the phone and one in text)
  • Used ice and hard candy
  • Spent some mindless time online, chatting and watching videos
  • Called my therapist's office's emergency services and spoke with someone
  • Went to Crystal Lake (yet another newly discovered place) and swam, edited my book, and read

Were there no paranoid thought? No, they were there. However, I did my best to distract.

I may not be perfect, but this is huge progress for me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Imagined Abandonment

It's been a while since I've posted. Honestly I do not have a valid reason or excuse for this. I guess life just happened? I'm unemployed again, and although it's discouraging I'm trying to think positively about things. I've taken the opportunity to get out more. I've been fishing, hiking, discovering new places, visiting people. For someone who gets so attached to other people it's a great thing for me to be getting out and doing things on my own.

It is, as I mentioned, discouraging however. The only jobs I've been able to keep a year or more have been retail jobs. I've never really had a long term job, I think the one that lasted longest was Game Stop. What's most discouraging is knowing that people judge me (either to my face or behind my back), and not being able to explain to them why I can't keep a job. If I tell them it's because of my illness they will either tell me to go on disability (I have my reasons for not wanting to) or tell me I am using my illness as an excuse. But the truth is jumping from job to job is a very common occurance with BPD. My new therapist is going to set me up with a program that will help me better manage my skills at work.

Job troubles aside, I think I've been doing pretty good. I'm living each day moment by moment (or at least trying too), and I've been getting pretty good at managing negative thought. I've even been able to have conversations about things and people that previously were off limits because they did nothing but send me in a direction I did not want to go. I'm not saying I still don't get triggered, but I'm getting better at managing.

The last thing I wanted to talk about in this post is rejection/abandonment. Most of you know that fears of rejection and abandonment (whether real or imagined) are a core part of BPD. For me it's probably the symptom I struggle most with. What is most frustrating for me is not the abandonment I feel when someone doesn't call me for days or cancels plans or really does abandon me (break up, cutting me out of their life), but the feelings I get when something good ends.

Most people feel a bit sad when a friend visits and they leave. The fun is over, and the friend must return home. But for most that feeling ends relatively quickly with the knowledge they will see/talk to their friend again. For people with BPD something simple as a therapy session ending can bring on the same feelings one would have from a breakup or losing a loved one.

This happened to me today. Yesterday I hung out with Pete for his birthday, and it was an amazing day. I had a small trigger, but was able to get through it with his help. Other than that the day, as he said, was person. But this morning I woke up with a deep feeling of sadness and despair. I'm going to see him on Thursday, but it still felt painful.

This is what BPD does, and this is what is hardest for me to cope/deal with.

But I know I can do it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Every Cloud Runs Out of Rain

A lot has happened over the past few days, and luckily it went from bad to good. Saturday I had a pretty bad reaction to Pete not wanting to go to a club with me. I won't get into details, but I ended up doing something pretty stupid. I'm safe now, but a lot of people were worried. No, he didn't do anything wrong, I just once again prove that relationships and my fear of rejection/abandonment are my biggest downfalls.

Then on Monday I got fired, again. It's really discouraging getting fired from a job in your field. What's even more frustrating is I pretty much got fired for doing something I was told I wouldn't get fired for. I guess in the end it's probably better, I was struggling there and instead of helping me or putting me someplace I'd do well, they let me go.


I changed therapists a couple weeks ago, and had my second appointment the same day I got fired. We ended up making a safety plan that included giving all my sharps and pills to Pete, checking in with emergency services that night, and then calling my therapist the next day. That night I ended up going to western MA and hanging out with my friend who also has BPD. We walked around and talked, and it was great to be able to talk openly to someone who understands. After I went and spent the night with T.

Today was one of those days where everything was perfect. I woke up cuddled next to a gorgeous man who kissed me good morning before he left for work, I did some hardcore job searching, had lunch with my Aunt who I have not seen in a while (she's part of a writer's group I'm going to attend), visited my Dad and; got laundry done , had dinner, and went to the library, and finally since I was close by I took a trip to the Salem Willows where I; collected seaglass, found a cool skull thing, got popcorn bars, and of course salt water taffy!

I learned some new DBT skills. Let's just say I'm going to be using ice a lot more. I also put the emergency services number in my phone. I really need to get better at using it.

Finally, I picked up my checks today (I got a severance) and I will be able to pay a whole bunch of bills, and I think I can still collect unemployment.

Pete said I handled getting fired really well. Of course I did, getting fired doesn't involve relationship stuff ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Ripple Effect

I want Pete to come to a club with me next week, but he's still on the fence. Why? Because he's afraid of something going wrong, he's afraid of triggering me. Of course he feels this way, I've given him plenty of reason. As he says he's my "kryptonite". He is afraid to go because he causes me anxiety and angst, but in reality he doesn't. I explained to him that while  he is the "source", it's not him causing me anxiety, it's me. It's me and my BPD brain. The way I think has nothing to with him, it's all me. He's done nothing wrong, I just have a hard time controlling my emotions.

I hate this. I hate that I make people feel this way. What can I do? Nothing. All I can do is tell him I will do my best not to be triggered, but that's not even a promise I can make. I'm difficult, I'm unpredictable. My actions have caused him to assume I'm always going to have some sort of melt down if we go out.

This is why I'm trying to go outside my comfort zone. I'm trying to talk to him about things he's had to walk on egg shells with me about (there is still one subject off limits). I want to be able to promise that nothing will go wrong, that nothing he says will trigger me. But, I can't. Because I still have trouble if it comes on suddenly. It's like a switch flips in my head.

We talked and talked about ways we can deal with this. Being more open, him talking me through it. I really don't intend on being caused angst and anxiety or being triggered. It's my black and white thinking, it's my problems with relationships. It's me, it's not him. It's my problems, my issues

In a related issue I realize that when I compare myself to him regarding work I'm doing it in a a very black and white way. I thought about things today and realized, he was there longer and he knew more kids. But still my brain keeps going to that black and white. Thinking he's better because he has an easier time with adolescent girls. Thinking that if he came to my work he'd win them over like that.

I'm so jealous of him. I'm jealous he is able to be so "calm" and "cool". I'm not like that. It feels awkward for me to be "chill". That's why I work better with younger kids. He even says I do really well with younger kids.

I'm upset now :(

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On Body Image

Those who know me know that one of my biggest struggles is my body image. I've come a long way with it. For example, I used to make myself throw up. I wasn't bulimic since I didn't binge and purge and I wouldn't do it at every meal. Maybe bulimic traits? Anyway, I've manager to deal with these feelings to the point they are few and far between. This is one of those times.

My brain likes to tell me illogical things. For example, if I change my eating habits in anyway I am going to balloon to 200 pounds. If someone in the same situation is gaining weight, so will . I'm talking specifically about my job. We get to eat with the kids, and I've noticed some of them have been gaining weight. So, obviously I am too. Except, I'm probably not, it's probably my imagination. These kids are there all the time (except home visits) and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus they snack a lot. I eat dinner with them and sometimes lunch.

I've been doing my zumba work out, but if I eat more is it enough? Am I even eating more, or am I eating enough? I don't really like to eat much. It's this back and forth that goes on in my head. Maybe I'm getting my period and I feel bloated, who knows. I just know that right now I think I look like I'm pregnant and that I'm flabby, gross, and getting fat.

What's interesting is in the book, "Get Me Out of Here," she deals with the same issues. She'd pinch imaginary fat, feel guilty for eating, and she'd think if she skipped a day of working out and had a piece of cake she'd gain 50 pounds over night.

It's even worse when people I'm close to decide to lose weight or are. I assume their losing weight means I'm going to get fat.

I'm frustrated because I've been doing really well with my body image. I just look at my stomach now and I'm disgusted. To me it sticks out. I'm sure it's my imagination.

I need to stop writing, I'm getting too upset.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

No Alcohol.

I sit at a table just to the side of the dance floor. I'm enjoying the music and atmosphere when suddenly a man I've never seen before is standing in front of me.

"Hey," he says, smiling.
"Hey," I reply.
"Can I buy you a drink?"
"No thank you," I politely decline, "I don't drink."
"Why?" he inquires

It's a question I have gotten many times. "Why don't you drink?" I could just say it's because I'm straight edge, but that would be lying, and I don't like to lie. So I tell part of the truth. It's too expensive, not my thing, I only drink on certain occasions. I explain that I have 3-4 drinks during the entire year, each one designated on a specific day of my choosing. Always one drink each time.

I used to drink more, but in a very specific way. I've never been a bar drinker. I hate the bar scene. Though I have on more than one occasion gone to a bar just to prove I could get a guy to buy me a drink. I've never  been a home alone drinker. That was always too expensive for me. No, I was what I like to call a, "drink to impress" drinker. It started with a college party, then Rocky Horror parties, a few parties exes took me to, and finally house parties my roommates threw at the apartment I lived at in Beverly. The upside to all of this (if you want to call it that), is that it wasn't a nightly or even a weekly occurrence. I can probably count the number of parties I went to in those days on less than 2 hands, maybe 2 at the most. However, as you can probably guess by my description I would drink to impress people.

These people are so cool. What the hell is this? How many shots? Is it okay to drink a shot of rum, whiskey, scotch and gin in rapid succession? Better not say no. Fuck, what the hell was I just doing? I can't remember 10 seconds ago. Things are happening. I'm naked. Don't say no. I want them to like me. I hate being around people. Just take whatever drink they give you. Impress them, get them to like you.

When I moved to western MA in 2008 I didn't drink as much, but I still engaged in drinking to impress. This time it was with my new Rocky cast. You know what's interesting? Being naked and drunk in an outdoor hot tub in the middle of January. I also might have had one at the club here and there, or in later western MA years at a friend's gathering (a lot more low key than the wild house parties I was used to).

Why don't I drink? The reasons I gave were true. It is too expensive, I do hate the bar scene. I don't go to parties anymore, so I don't have to worry about that. But here is the real reason, or at least the reason I don't tell people. I feel that deep down I am an alcoholic waiting to happen. It's not because I have a family member directly related to me who is one. Though I heard it is hereditary. It's not because I'm Italian and have grown up around wine my whole life (my Dad's been a wine manager/connoisseur since I was about 8 years old). It's not even because I picked up some bad habits from my early to mid 20's that stuck with me. No, it's none of that. It's nothing that has even happened, it's what I know would happen.

The other night I was talking to a friend, and he mentioned having a rough day at work. He said he was going to have a couple of drinks at his house. I told him that sometimes I wish I could do that. It sounded nice, relaxing at home with a drink to knock off the edge. But that's not how it would go for me. The day before I talked to my friend I was having a rough night. Nothing specific was triggering me, but I was feeling anxious and sad. For a moment I thought about what it would be like to buy a bottle of Whiskey and drink the whole thing in one night by myself. I'm not even sure I like Whiskey, but making a White Russian is just too damn tedious when you want to quickly make the demons in your head shut up. What's scarier is no matter how drunk I've been I have never had a hang over (and yes, I am your stereotypical lightweight. Some Italian I am.) I didn't buy a bottle of Whiskey or even Green Apple Smirnoff (which was always one of my go-to's when Kahlua wasn't available.) I still have the good sense to know I'd probably be mad if I spent my money on booze.

I don't drink because I'm afraid if I decide one night to have those couple of drinks after a rough day, that one night would turn into two, then three, then a week, and so on. I'm afraid I will use those couple of drinks every time I'm having a hard time. Fuck the couple of drinks, I'll just have the bottle. The other night instead of Whiskey I took two Seroquel and an Ativan. I took it knowing my doctor told me not to take the Ativan with the Seroquel, I took it knowing it would knock me out. I didn't care, that's what I wanted. I just wanted to sleep through the night, dreamless. If I break my alcohol rule I fear drinking will become my Ativan.

It doesn't have to be booze. I have an addictive personality, it's just one I mostly manage to control. I don't buy weed not because I like mooching, but because if I did I'd be smoking every night until I passed out. It takes everything I have to continue not to cut. Because if I did, I wouldn't be able to stop. I'd be doing it every time I felt pain. Physical pain to take away the emotional.  Let's face it though, alcohol is probably the cheapest and easiest vice to get.

Alcohol is easier to acquire, more accessible, and if you're good easier to hide than scars on your arm.The reality is, I'm fighting against a lot. Genetics, temptations, always being around it, and the fact the DSM explains I'm suppose to be impulsive in two areas. I guess I'm lucky that my two areas are/were sex and spending. If you want to call that lucky. The point is, despite my past, I've never had a bona-fide problem or addiction with drugs or alcohol.

But the fear is there, the fear I could become that addict. I play it out in my mind, what I'm sure would happen if I abandon my "almost-no-alcohol rule." Some may say that I am setting myself up to fail, that I'm being too negative. Maybe they are right, maybe I could be sitting next to a bottle of alcohol and have no desire to touch it. I don't want to test it, I don't want to wave the temptation in front of my face. I especially don't want to do it knowing my decision making drastically changes depending on my mood. While I may turn the other cheek to that bottle when I'm in a good mood, I can't promise the same if the demons took over.

That's why I don't drink, but that's just too complicated to explain to people. Especially in a short amount of time. So, I just stick to cost and plain ol' not being interested.

After all, I have to stay uninterested or else I'll become too interested.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Outside My Comfort Zone

Change is difficult for me. Bad change, good change, change in others, change in myself. It doesn't matter what kind, I struggle with anything that interrupts my status quo. This reflects most strongly in relationships, and it manifests by me becoming clingy and dependent.

The other day I was talking to Pete, and I was emotional over some information he gave me. Later I got upset at something totally innocent he said. Pretty soon he pointed out that he feels he needs to be careful what he says around me. He was right, I was making him walk on egg shells. Don't talk about this, don't mention that, make sure it's the 2nd night of the full moon on a Tuesday to talk about the other thing.

I have always known that Pete was someone who would not always be around the corner from me. That, however, did not stop me from fretting and worrying about him someday moving away. I would secretly wish that he'd always stay close, and if he mentioned future plans I would become distraught. Imagined abandoned.

Abandonment/rejection are my biggest BPD struggles, especially when they are connected to relationships. I realize I need to go outside my comfort zone. I talked to Pete today and I told him that no matter what he does in his future, I will support him. It is selfish of me and unfair to him that I make him feel like he can't talk to me about certain things. Of course I will enjoy him in the moment since he is still here, and doesn't have any permanent plans.

All of this, though? It's nothing new. When T stopped talking to me for over a year, I survived. When M stopped talking to me out of the blue, I was confused and angry, but now I could care less. When J broke up with me, I thought it was the end of the world, now I barely give him a second thought.

It's also not a new thing for me to be jealous of another girl. When I was crushing on my boss Chris, it was his ex Liza he still had feelings for. When I dated J, it was Chelsey in CA. When J and I broke up, it was Emma and then Miranda. When I had a crush on my friend MC, it was his ex Christy who he was still in love with. When I dated T, it was N (and that made it hard because I loved that girl).

 I know these things, I know I'm always okay, but it's the moment. It's the moment of feeling like you're dying, like you're never going to be okay. It's hating goodbye, it's fearing that you won't be prepared. If I'm every going to learn I need to step outside my comfort zone. I need to stop making people walk on egg shells. I need to learn to cope because life is full of changes and goodbyes and I'm going to have a hard time if I keep trying to hide from them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Struggles

Despite how far I have come I still have my moments. I've been having a rough couple of days. Of course it all revolves around my abandonment/rejection issues. I was spending time with Pete and a subject I said I wasn't going to talk about because it was distressing for me came up. And just like every other time, I began to dwell on it. Then he mentioned possible future plans that included him moving very far away. Immediately my brain went into overdrive, and I started to panic and have an anxiety attack. It doesn't matter that the plans may not happen for at least another year, if at all. All the my brain says to me is, "this is rejection, this is abandonment." I know deep down it's imagined, but it's too late the emotion mind has taken over. I'm shaking, crying, and I can't breath.

He holds me. He tells me that my BPD wants me to feel this way, that it wants me shaking and scared. He tells me feel how still and calm his body is. My breathing slows. I think I'm okay, but then the shame and guilt set in. I felt so ashamed that he saw me like that, that I couldn't control myself. I then start desperately trying to get him to acknowledge that I've been making progress. I hate myself, I hate that I work hard to over come things, that I do so well when I'm on my own, but then I "slip" in front of someone who doesn't know how much progress I've made. They only know me from the point they've met me. I try to tell myself that no one can judge my progress but me, but it doesn't matter. I'm distraught, I'm upset, I feel like a failure.

That night I have night terrors. About her, about him leaving. Our "relationship" ending. Rejection. Abandonment. I hate it. I'm depressed the next day (today). I'm still dwelling on things a bit, but I'm able to process things. I see him again, we talk. I end up bawling again. I feel so frustrated by things I've said in front of him. I want him to see me as perfect. I don't want him to see me struggle. I'm trying to work on my own self-validation, but I feel like it doesn't count if I don't get it from certain people.

Imagine you are traveling. As you walk along you meet various people. One person needs a tire changed, another lost their keys on the dark road. As you keep walking the combination of meeting people and the dirt and dust start to wear on you. After walking for many miles you come across another person who decides they want to travel with you, but they look at you and see that you are dirty.They just judge you by your appearance, they have no idea what you've been through. This is what it's like having mental illness. No one knows exactly how far I've come, just I do. Everyone only knows me from the point they meet me. Pete doesn't see all the times I overcome my thoughts and emotions. So when I have a melt down I feel like I'm just seen as weak. When I say something I've worked hard to not say and to get over, but I slip up, I desperately try to get the person to see I am different.

I hate this disorder sometimes.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Condensing

I've been really busy lately, so I have not had much of a chance to give a real update. Things are going pretty well for me right now. I have a job I really like, I'm dating two guys, I have a car and apartment, I'm able to pay bills, I'm doing a bunch of volunteering, and I am about to start with a new therapist where I will also be able to attend groups. My last appointment with my former therapist went well, and I was able to see just how far I've come. I've also been trying to do more reading, and get through my TBR list.

Of course I still have my BPD moments, but it seems like I am at a point where I can at least condense it down to a main focus. That focus? Relationships. I am dating two guys, but one I only see once a week and the other lives two hours away. Both of these have their benefits, the main one being it is less likely for me to be clingy. Of course, when one didn't want to see me about a week ago, I still managed to end up in hysterics. That's my downfall, my vulnerability. Relationships. Abandonment and rejection issues are definitely what I need to work on most.

I have been getting better at "riding the emotion like a wave" as they say in DBT. I've been allowing myself to feel the emotion, and then letting it go. Last night my brain seemed to want to remind me of every little trigger, and I ended up crying out of frustration. I went to bed listening to rain and woke up feeling fine and barely remembering I was upset. I guess my ability to not dwell on things has improved greatly. I continue to struggle with certain thought. How long will things be good? When will the next change come? How much time will  have with my two guys? What will the future be like? All of these, of course tie into my fears of being alone, rejection and abandonment.

I still have a lot of BPD traits, obviously. Technically I still fit all 9 categories. I'm just getting a lot better at controlling them, and them not being as noticeable. My old therapist even told me it may not be vital for me to be in DBT, at least as much as it was in the past.

I know to some people it may seem that I'm still a basket case. That is why I am the only person allowed to judge my progress. Also, comparing me to me is important.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Disconnected Thoughts

This post has some disconnected thoughts....so apologies ahead of time.

I was recently asked to be a mod for a different BPD group I'm in (not on FB) because I am, "active, intelligent, passionate, you seem to be well rounded.

I feel like I've come a really long way in the past 5-6 years.

I used to self harm a lot, I made a lot of stupid choices involving sex (I won't go into detail), I had bulemic traits (I never binged and purged, I just sometimes purged), I had out of control rage (I still sometimes have trouble with anger, but I get over it quicker, a lot of it is mild annoyance), I felt empty/worthless a lot, and I was very unstable.

I had my last appointment with my therapist yesterday before switching to my new one. We went over my progress notes, and while they were hard to read they also provided concrete proof of how far I've come. My therapist mentioned that she thinks I am at a point where I may not need DBT as much as I did in the past.

I have definitely come a long way. Right now the main thing I struggle with is relationships (my therapist said they are my vulnerability). I've been doing well with self-confidence, I haven't self-harmed in almost a year, my body image issues have improved, and I feel like I have purpose in life (I don't feel empty/hopeless as much as I used to). Don't get me wrong, I still have my moments, but they are fewer.

Recently I've been getting a lot better at living in the moment, as well as riding emotions like a wave (not holding on to them, but not ignoring them). I've gotten through a lot of moments I would have had trouble in the past.

However, the second one of my partners tells me he can't see me when I really want to see him, I completely fall apart. Granted, I'm less "crazy" then I may have in the past. For example, in the past instead of sobbing hysterically I may have: Self harmed, texted increasingly mean things, driven to the person's house. Of course to someone who doesn't understand BPD, sobbing and being hysterical probably doesn't seem like progress....but, still...my fears of rejection and abandonment are my biggest hurdles.

The good part of this, is that my "borderline issues" are confined to one specific thing. Which, I guess will make it easier to know what to focus on in therapy.

In relation to my issues with relationships, I also have a really hard time saying no. I've gone on a date with someone I had no interest in because the thought of turning someone down to their face gives me anxiety.

I also have trouble standing up for myself (more if it involves someone I know rather some random internet person or even someone I don't like). For example, tonight I went to wake up my partner from a nap so he wouldn't be late getting to his parent's house and he snapped and said "fuck you." While I expressed that that wasn't cool and it upset me I did it interspersed between apologies . I didn't do anything wrong and I was apologizing.

My new therapist is a male. I don't know how I feel about this. I've always had an attachment to older men because my Dad emotionally abandoned me (jesus, how cliche is that?). I've become attached to boss', teachers, and other older males in my life.Relationships have always been my down fall. When I'm actually dating I tend to get clingy, and needy. My therapist thinks I date men that remind me of my Dad (though I can't always see that). What's interesting to me is that one of my partners does not trigger my BPD. It's weird. Well technically, it got triggered super bad when we broke up 6 years ago. Like, I had the worst melt down of my life. But other than that, he doesn't trigger my abandonment and rejection issues. My other partner does, pretty much every guy I have dated have.

I don't know what brought on this string of thought. But I think being able to recognize them, shows my progress.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mindfulness Month Comes to a Close

I decided to not do the weekly recaps. Partly because it's hard to keep track of everything that happens during the week, and partly because there will be weeks where not much will happen and I will struggle to find something to write. This blog is suppose to be for me to mainly talk about my progress with my disorder, so I will continue to document "tough(ish) stuff" as well as times I was able to use my DBT skills.

However, right now, I want to share the rest of the "Daily Calm" quotes from May. I think it's important since May was mindfulness month, and mindfulness is a core part of DBT.

No longer forward or behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
-John Greenleaf Whittier

You are only afraid if you are not
in harmony with yourself.
-Hermann Hesse

Each situation-
nay, each moment-
is of infinite worth;
for each represents
a whole eternity
-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

....the more clearly we can focus
our attention on the wonders
and realities of the universe about us
the less taste we shall have
for the destruction of our race.
-Rachel Carson

Let us not look back in anger,
nor forward in fear,
but around us in awareness
-James Thurber

Listening to the birds can be a meditation
if you listen with awareness
-Osho

You certainly usually find something,
if you look, but it is not always quite
the something you were after.
-J.R.R. Tolkien

Saturday, May 31, 2014

That Pesky Blue

Sometimes the best way to be hopeful is to know you're not alone. As much as they may want to, non-Borderlines will never understand Borderlines the way other Borderlines do. But really that can be said for any shared trait. For example, I have a friend who is an alcoholic. I can be sympathetic, but I will never understand alcoholism the way other alcoholics do.

I recently joined some BPD groups on Facebook and shared some BPD struggles. Without going into detail, below are some of the comments that were left on my posts:

"Thank you for asking this question. It's nice to be able to admit it without feeling judged."

"Yep, I definitely understand that! "

"Omg.....I don't post much but I do read most all.....but this one hits home oh so close."

"Omg yes I'm dealing with this now."

"I agree. I can totally understand you."

"All the time, you're definitely not alone."

"phew, I'm not the only one! good things."

"I think you are doing great! You've identified many times that you were able to resist doing things you normally would. He might not recognize your progress but we can!!! It can't happen all at once and you are getting some good practice in. Keep reminding yourself of the good choices you've made and forgive yourself for little backslides."

"Well I think you are doing good from the sounds of it."

"I'm a stranger and so on, but it sounds like you have your head on pretty straight around this. You're right: you ARE doing better. It sounds like you're doing great, actually."

All that? It makes me feel like I'm not alone. It reminds me that I have made progress, because I am getting feedback from the only people who truly understand Borderlines, other Borderlines. You see, to a non-Borderline doing something like sobbing hysterically on the phone because I can't see them may seem like it's a sign they are not doing better. But what that person may not know is 3 years ago instead of just sobbing, I may have texted them 40 times, cut myself and sent a picture, showed up at their house, called them nasty names, or worse.

We all have something we need to focus most on. For me it's relationships. But even if it's baby steps, progress is still progress. That's why it's so important for me to remember that the only person allowed to judge my progress is me. It's like judging a person for being over weight. You have no idea, that person may have actually been even heavier. No, he or she isn't "thin" by society standards, but they have made progress.

It's the same with BPD. I may have set backs, but if you compare me to me, it's obvious how much better I'm doing. If someone wants to judge me based on each little incident, and not the over all. Well, that says more about them than me.

Plus, "if your slate is clean then you can throw stones. If it is not, then leave her alone."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Therapy Notes: Diving in Deeper

Pete, if I haven't mentioned, is really good at his job. When I worked with him I witnessed the wildest, most out of control kid calm down in the blink of an eye at just the sound of his voice. A few times when I struggled with my one to one he would come over and sooth her like some pied piper of children.

My opinion of his seemingly effortless way with children often sparked two responses in me. The first was one of admiration, inspiration. He was like the god of children to me, glowing from his pedestal of pure perfection. The other brought out feelings of jealousy, rage, resentment. How dare he be better than me at this! He's got to be good at everything and he has to take this away from me!

Classic splitting. Idealization and devaluation all in one. I brought up the issue with my therapist and we delved deeper into it, and discovered there was more to it. Old feelings, as she likes to say.

The idealization part of it is pretty easy to figure out. In my eyes, in times like these, he can do no wrong. It's nothing new. It's very much a BPD thing to have someone on a pedestal. However, there was more to the opposite end of the spectrum. The feelings of rage and jealousy touched upon my fear of rejection, and my self-confidence.

Growing up I literally thought the only thing I was better at than my sister was the fact I was thinner. A couple years ago she lost a significant amount of weight and I began to fear she would become thinner than me. There are very few things I am confident in; being good with kids is one of them. So if I perceive someone is better than me (in this case, Pete) then I am jealous and resent them because I believe they are trying to take the one thing I can do better than them.

Of course Pete's natural way with kids doesn't mean he's better than me or worse than me. It just means he's good at what he does, and instead of learning from him I devalue myself and forget all the times I calmed a kid down. Maybe not in the same way he did, but when the class' teacher was gone who did all the kids ask for all the time? Who did they go to? Me. When I had Pete come in to sit with Chicken Little she was upset that I was leaving her. So I am good at what I do.

Then there is the rejection. This I didn't understand at first because the situation didn't have anything to do with me. He wasn't rejecting me. Except in my subconscious I do feel rejected, simply because someone I care about is giving attention to someone else. The other part of it is, when he's comforting kids I probably am seeing it as paternal nurturing. The type of nurturing that was lost on me when my father emotionally abandoned me when he married the woman who emotionally abused me. So part of the jealousy I feel is actually jealousy towards the kids for getting that nurturing. He makes the kids feel safe and that's something I was deprived of growing up.

I am not only splitting (idealization/devaluation); but also fearing imaginary rejection, devaluing my own skills and self-worth, bringing up old feelings.

This is comforting because I can remind myself of this analyzing of thoughts when he's telling me a story and I feel that twinge of jealousy, or when my mind starts telling me things like "all the kids like him, you'll never be as good as him. He's better than you." Knowing that there is much more to my thoughts helps me move past them.

This is what talking about mental illness achieves. Deeper understanding of one's self.

#Endthestigma.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Journey Back: 2007-2009 (24-27)


Note: I deleted any journals from 2007, so there isn't much I remember from that time. 
  • These were the years of severe cyber-bullying. Also, when my ED page was made
  • 2007 I officially joined the CAP. I was living in Beverly at the time, so I had to drive back and forth.
  • Loki was born in 2007.
  • Eventually my BF, Mike, and I broke up and my other roommates moved out. I had to get my own roomates, and they ended up screwing me over.
  • I did have a steady job in the end of 2007, but left it to move to western, MA
  • January, 2008 I officially move to western, MA. I also had my Honda around this time (I think I got it in 2007).
  • 2008 was my first Haven.
  • October 2008 was the first Academy of Music show. I was Trixie.
  • 2008 was when I dated T, and broke up with T, and had the biggest melt down of my life. It's also when I fell in love with a girl. But, we all know that story. Because of this I went into DBT and since then I've been consistent about it.
  • 2009 had a lot of ups and downs. It's when I got involved with URO, Worlds Apart Games (WAG), Graphic Novel Addicts (GNA). I won my first Haven contest (bead queen!). I dated Moon in 2009, started talking to T again, went to my first Wicked Faire, met and became friends with Terrance (and got him to come to our Academy show). However, it was also when I bullied my friend H, got suspended from cast, had my first holidays without my Aunty F (because she was living in a home) or at my Aunt and Uncles. It was a year of a lot of job changes, money problems, I think I got evicted, and I dealt with a lot of drama.
  • I was also getting better at recognizing faults in myself. I was a bit more in control, and felt bad when I lost it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Or a Gun to My Head

My BPD feels like this 400lb guy pinning me down and I have nothing and no one to help me, to free me. It feels like an abusive relationship, except the abuser is my own brain. It feels like the emotional part of my brain is driving 100mph, while the rational part just goes along for the ride. Meekly trying to object, but getting yelled at by the emotional bully. It feels like my own brain has a knife against my throat.

It makes me feel fragmented. Like the emotional part is another person taking over.

Emotion: "Anger, outburst, push away, have a melt down....."
Rational: "Um, maybe you should take a step back."
Emotion: "No. This is the only way. Blind rage, splitting."
Rational: "Yes, but, you might make it worse. Just try..."
Emotion: "I SAID SHUTUP. I AM STRONGER THAN YOU!"
Rational: "Stop, stop. Please don't do this. You're going to regret this."
Emotion: ::lays waste, wreaks havoc:: "Okay, Rational. I'm done. Have fun cleaning up my mess."
Rational: "......"

It's gotten easier to manage, to control. But the scars are there, and if I don't keep fighting, keep pushing back. My BPD will pull the trigger.

A Deadly Foe

I wrote this down in my regular journal, and decided to share it here is well. I do a lot of free writing in my journal, so this is going to seem fragmented. Hopefully it makes sense. I'm not sure what prompted me to right it, but in a way it made a lot of things click for me.

BPD. Borderline Personality Disorder. The serious, debilitating disorder that has laid dormant in me possibly since birth, that was triggered after a childhood and early adolescence of abuse, neglect, and abandonment, and that I didn't truly start fighting back against until I was in my late twenties.

A disorder that has gripped me, controlled me, shaken me. Severe mental illness that has not only damaged me, but people around me. A disorder that is both difficult to deal with and treat. Fears of rejection and abandonment stem from the neglect and abandonment of my past, from my Dad. Angry outbursts, rage, threats. A profile of an angry teen, constantly being screamed at by her Mother. Fear that people hate me, are angry with me. A projection of myself. Of a girl who hates herself sometimes. Who still feels 15. Cutting, promiscuous sex, over-spending, trying to not have any down or alone time. An avoidance of having and emptiness, a hopeless feeling. Forever trying to distract. A fragmented girl. An intellectual adult, avoiding emotion, and an angry, resentful child. Both me, disassociation.

Dead. My BPD has wanted me dead and it still wants me dead. It fights me, knocks me down. It is stubborn and persistent. DBT. A lifeline. The object I use to strike back as I'm pinned down on the ground by this harrowing, resilient disorder. It's the soft mat that I fall on after I'm pushed off the cliff. My disorder maniacally laughing. My BPD hates me, it wants me dead. It's tried. It may have succeeded if I didn't act or fight back.

I wouldn't want someone else to kill me, so why would I let my own brain?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Always With Me

I am going to look for a slightly bigger bag tomorrow. Why? Because I want to make sure I am never without the following two books. Part of the problem I have with implementing skills useful to me from DBT is that I never have the tools to do it spur of the moment. Two of those skills are art and writing. Sooo..

Sketch book: To draw, doodle, scribble, or whatever. 

Journal: Long entries, short entries, angry tyraids, positive words.

These are  two very powerful DBT tools/skills for me. I hope to implement them a lot more!