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.


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.