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.