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.