Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016-The Year in Review/2017 Life Lessons and Goals

1. Daniel and I got back together, and I love and feel so loved by him. I got to go to his camp for the first time, and met his sister and friends for the first time (though some have just been e-meets).We baked a lot, went blueberry picking, went to the Sandwich Fair, went to the Halloweeniversary together, went deep sea fishing (and even though it was a terrible experience for me, I'm glad I did it. Especially cause it was Daniel's birthday gift), planned a trip to Canada, and lots of other adventures that helped us grow closer.
2. I joined a UU church, and found a positive community that has done a lot of good for me.
3. My sister got married in Jamaica, and I got to go.
4. I saw Hamilton and got to meet some of the cast.
5. I discovered the EMK.
6. I was employed all but one month out of the year.
7. I got back into DBT and did the women's program.
8. I saw Tyler, Meghan, and Brett perform in 1776 and Assasins, and Tyler and Meghan in Pirates of Penzance.
9. Hamiltunes
10. I went to my first Boston Pride Parade (I had been to the rally, but never the parade).
11. I went to NYC several times, and went to museums for the first time, a Mets game, walked around Central park, and discovered other places for the first time thanks to Larry.
12. I went to the Boston Marathon for the first time, and got to hang out with Kenny for a bit.
13. I moved into a great place with two awesome roommates.
14. Castle Island.
15. I went to two Red Sox games, and one of them I was able to get into the Rooters Club.
16. I was over $400 on a horse racing bet (and I went to live racing a couple of times).
17. Pokemon Go walks with Corey, Adriana, and co.
18. I got to spend lots of time with my nephew, and be part of his life.
19. I became more involved in activism; specifically Standing Rock and the Yes on 2 campaign.
20. I was able to explore my spirituality more.

Those who have been around my Facebook the past several years are aware that instead of resolutions, I do "life lessons." Mantras, quotes, anecdotes, etc that I try to live by throughout the year. The reason I don't do resolutions is because they always seem so concrete or too abstract ("I will lose 20lbs by March", "I will be more healthy this year.") What happens if you don't lose the weight? More healthy how? Also, I tend to get really down on myself if I feel like I've failed. Nevertheless, there are some things I would like to try and achieve this year. I tried my best to make my goals not too vague, but not too concrete. For example, instead of, "publish my books," I did, "work on my books." So, here are my 2017 life lessons and goals.

Life Lessons:
  • Kill yourself with kindness (be kind to me, even when my disorder says no)
  • Write your way out (write when I am feeling dysregulated. Write my way out of strong emotions. Just, write)
  • All you need is love (because we will need a lot of it this year. I gotta remember to love, it's the greatest weapon I have).
Goals:
  • Donate $12 a month to a different charity or organization
  • Work on my books
  • Work on going back to school
  • Try to do yoga daily
  • Save for a car
  • Get more involved with activism (sign petitions, go to rally's and vigils, write letters. I've already started this in 2016, and it will continue with Daniel and I going to the Women's March on Washington)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Being Mindful

One of the hardest things for me is accepting I'm struggling or I've stumbled. Not in a, "I can't admit when I've messed up" kind of way, but in a, "I'm going to beat myself up and dwell on this for days, maybe weeks." As I mentioned in my last blog, I'm really trying to work on my anger. In the past few days I've started doing yoga 1-2 times a day, practicing mindful walking whenever I can, and doing my best to avoid things I know will irritate/frustrate me and lead into anger. I've also struggled. I got into Facebook debates when I should have stayed away, and tonight I let self-hatred consume me until I was angry and disgusted with myself. I'm trying to be kind to myself, mindful, and move on. There's a saying in DBT, "don't judge your judging," and people don't realize how difficult that can be. One of the things I struggle with is staying away from Facebook debates. I'll see a comment that is just so ignorant that I have to comment. It usually just causes me stress. I need to get better at avoiding those.

Sigh....

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

On Taming the Red Lantern

One thing I want to work on in 2017 (and really, starting now) is my anger. It's no secret that one of the traits of BPD is, "Inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable anger—often followed by shame and guilt," and it's one of the traits that I struggle the most with*. What makes it so difficult for me to control, is the impulsiveness that also comes with BPD. Often, by the time I feel an outburst coming on it's too late to catch it. There are certain situations where my anger is hardest control, and please understand it takes me a lot to admit some of the stuff I am about to share. The feeling of shame and guilt that come after an anger outburst do not fade easily, and can be rehashed immediately.


  1. On Facebook. I have had to block several people because I couldn't control my anger during a debate/comment exchange/what-have-you. Not only have I had outbursts on people, but I've made sure I got the last word in by private messaging them and saying something nasty before blocking them. I block because I am ashamed of myself and my behavior, but by the time I realize it I'm in too deep.
  2. Dealing with customer service. I've talked about this before. When I have to deal with customer service at a company, the more complicated things get the more frustrated I become. I hate having unresolved issues, and so even if I'm fuming I will keep calling back until the problem is fixed. However, because it takes me longer to get back to baseline, I'm usually fuming and screaming by the time I get to someone who can help me. I especially have trouble controlling my anger if I have to repeat myself several times.
  3. Sudden frustrations. I don't deal well with sudden changes or wrenches in my routine. A missed bus, spilled coffee, someone cutting in front of me on the bus. For these particular instances my reaction depends on, 1. the mood I'm currently in and 2. how quickly it comes about. Unfortunately, because it takes me longer to get back to baseline, something small can alter my entire day.
I really want to try and work on my anger. Constantly feeling frustrated, having over the top reactions, and giving into my anger leaves me feeling stressed, frustrated (an emotion that fuels angers), annoyed, ashamed, guilty, and other bad juju feelings. I've also pushed a lot of people away (some recently). Here is my plan for helping my anger.

1.Yoga in the morning and before bed, even if it's just a 10 minute video.
1A. Once I do the bed time one, NO GOING ONLINE.
2. Writing more. Let my anger out through a pen.
3. Avoiding any Facebook debate for at least a month; whether it's on my own status, a friend's, or a stranger's who just said something dumb and I HAVE to comment. In a month, I will see if I can better handle intelligent debate without flipping out.
4. When it comes to the small, everyday things; take a breath and practice some form of mindfulness. For me, this will most likely be making commentary about stuff around me.

The most important factor, is forgiving myself if a struggle or mess up. Staying present, not judging my judging, and moving forward.

*please do not comment with advice unless you've specifically dealt with anger as a Borderline.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hopeful

Some of you reading this are aware of the struggles my boyfriend and I have had in the past. If you're not, here is a brief summary; he broke up with me, ghosted me several times, constantly avoided me when he had to tell me bad news, and had trouble making any sort of real commitment. In general he avoided and ghosted pretty much everyone for long periods of time, not just me. He has always had a very hard time making commitments and long term plans. He broke up with me because he couldn't see himself with anyone. He had a lot of self-doubt, and basically felt he wasn't worth it. He avoided officially getting back together with me because he, "couldn't see himself marrying [me]." Which, pretty much translated to he couldn't see himself marrying anyone (not cause he didn't want to, but because he didn't think anyone should have to deal with him). Last year he got interviewed for a local college magazine. This part sums up a lot of his issues pretty well,

"It’s the little things that trip Daniel up. The stuff of sticky notes. To-do lists, people whose names become to-do lists, copied and pasted forward to another day, another month, another year, another time in which he hopes to become someone different. It’s the little productive things. The emails that don’t seem important enough to write. The emails that become too important to write. The ticket he got for having an outdated registration, the one Daniel put on his windshield, the $50 ticket for which he wrote the check but for which he didn’t buy a stamp, the one he never mailed, the one that became a court case for driving on a suspended license. It’s the small, productive things that get him down."

Knowing all this, it's probably easier to understand the meaning and  happiness I feel regarding our current relationship. He has been making plans weeks, months in advance with me (he used to wait until last minute). If he needs to cancel, he actual calls or at least texts me and tells me. He told me he's getting more and more excited for our future. Recently we've started talking about the possibility of moving in together someday. Considering his struggles, this is a pretty big deal. We obviously aren't planning anything right now, but just the fact he can see it in our future means a lot. I talked to him about my worries as to where we would live. He has always talked about wanting to live in Stoddard, a town close to where he lives. I want to go back to school and get my teaching license, and would have to stay at my job so I could get tuition reimbursement. Even with a car, the commute would be too long (I've assumed that if we did move in together I'd go to him since he hates the city). He told me that the Stoddard thing would be eventually, but not right away. Then today he told me it's not set in stone, and he'd consider moving close to me if he got a good job offer. Another reason he broke up with me and wouldn't commit again for a long time is because he couldn't see himself having kids in the next 5-6 years (I'll be 40 in six years, and would like to have kid(s) before then). Today he told me he wants to figure out what he wants to do next as far as going back to school because, "I don't want to have a family and be makings [low about of money] a year." I know this wasn't directly related to me, but it says a lot; it says he's thinking about the future. He also told me that even if he's not ready, it wouldn't mean we would break up.

He's definitely come a long way, 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Taking Action

I've always been passionate about Social Justice issues. However, the action I've taken has been minimal. Talk about issues on my podcast, write a few articles, share stuff and hashtag on social media, participate in some walks; I wasn't doing nothing, but I definitely wanted to do more.

There are people who complain about those who talk about the activism they do, but I think for someone in my case it's a bit different. DBT literally includes helping others and getting involved as part of distress tolerance (Wise Mind ACCEPTS. The first C being for, "Contributing."). Getting involved not only helps others, but it also helps my self-esteem and mental health. Do good, feel good, and I don't think there's anything wrong in being proud of what you've done and sharing it.

Since the election happened, I have been inspired to get more involved. I want to do more, do different, and do stuff outside of my comfort zone. I am using this blog to keep track of the activism I have been doing, and am doing.

  • Wrote letters to my senators, house reps, and Paul Ryan asking them to not repeal the ACA.
  • Called Elizabeth Warren's office, asking her to help protect the ACA.
  • Made phone calls to several police departments asking them to bring back their officers from Standing Rock.
  • Donated money in people's names to organizations of their choice for holiday gifts.
  • Donated $1 to five different organization.
  • Plan on donating $12 a month to a different organization.
  • I am planning a letter writing/donation night at my church for Standing Rock. We will come together and write to as many people as we can to stop DAPL, and I will collect monetary donations.
  • I'm attending a BLM Vigil
  • I'm going to a Pant Suit Nation and Stand up for Racial Justice (SURJ) meetings
  • I will be taking part in the Million Woman March in Washington DC.
The biggest thing I need to be careful about overdoing it and burning out.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Putting Things Into Perspective

I recently went in for testing to see if I have Autism or ADHD. I had been diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, and wanted to get tested again as an adult. As for the Autism, I was told many people with BPD also are on the spectrum, and I seem to fit many of the criteria. I took an initial ADHD test, and scored very high on inattentive. However, after doing the hours long testing sessions, it was determined that I am neither on the spectrum nor do I have ADHD. So, how come I fit the criteria so well? Simple, it can be explained by BPD or my anxiety. Here are a few examples.
  • Trouble concentrating and focusing is a diagnostic criteria of Anxiety.
  • I become inattentive of things both when I am feeling frustrated (a sign of BPD) and because of my anxiety. This plays into the distress tolerance piece of BPD.
  • My difficulty in social situations is both an anxiety piece as well as a BPD piece. I thought I had Autism because I have a hard time carrying on a conversation when I'm not taking about my interests, or sometimes I will become anxious and want to leave a conversation abruptly. This is because BPD causes my sense of identity to always be in flux, so how I interact with people is always in flux. I am also looking for a way to control my surroundings.
  • My inability to retain information verbal information is due to, again, my anxiety as well as BPD. Because I constantly have anxious thoughts it makes it difficult for me to focus.
  • I learn best with small, manageable piece of information and multiple ways of retaining that information (for example, being able to write it down).
I was, however, diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disability (or learning disability NOS). What does this mean?
  • There is a large discrepancy between my verbal ability and my visual ability
  • It's a disorder which is usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial and social skills. 
  • I have difficulty with visual reasoning, spacial awareness, visual organization, visually fitting things together, and reasoning for things I see. Examples of this would be; a test where I had to copy shapes, visualizing a mental map, looking in my closet and visualizing how everything will fit so I can see all my clothes.
  • Challenges with mathematics and handwriting are common. The handwriting piece comes in when I have have to copy something (from the board for example).
  • Has difficulty generalizing previously learned information. This means I have a hard time integrating pieces/details into the bigger picture (which is odd because I'm an INFJ). 
  • Hyper focusing 
  • Rigid thinking 
Some of these points can also be explained by BPD (rigid thinking, hyper focusing, social issues); so there is overlap.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Love and Life

I spent the weekend with Daniel, and I left with a lot of positive feelings and thoughts. I've always had a difficult time believing someone could love me; especially if I don't hear the actual words. This weekend I questioned Daniel's love for me because of something I saw on his phone (I don't want to get into details). When he saw that I thought he didn't love me, he got upset and started crying. Then he told me, "you're on my team," and that we were a team and he's never felt like he was on a team before. When I told him I was afraid he'd break up with me because the distance between us was too much, he told me, "after everything we've been through, all the ups and downs. Do you really think I'm going to say it's a commute problem?" He also told me that I know him better than anyone and in ways most people don't. When I asked if I knew all his layers he told me not only did I, but I keep discovering new ones. 

Sometimes it's hard to tell if the love I feel is real. Borderlines have such intense emotions and we sometimes mistake  obsession for love. Daniel is real though. The love I feel for him is real. I love every part of him. The good, the not so good, the scary, the broken. I love it all. He doesn't understand why, and that's part of why we are so good together. He said that we both support each other, and I actually feel it. He know me, he can sense my emotions and feelings without even looking at me.

The distance it tough sometimes; especially for me. For him I'm a couple hours drive. Not a short drive, but something that's completely doable and at any time. For me it's not quite as simple since I don't have a car. I admit, it's hard not being able to see him during the week or being able to pop over his house whenever I want. Despite all this, we've been doing a good job seeing each other as much as possible. Before I used to feel like I needed a reason to see him. A holiday, an event, but now we've been seeing each other when nothing is planned.

There's a lot I'm scared of. The unknown gives me anxiety. Not knowing what the future holds. One big thing I worry about is when and if we're ready to take the next step, what will happen? Will we be able to compromise on a place to live? If it's closer to him, what will happen with my career plans? I want to go back to school and get a teaching degree. Will  be able to do that still? I worry about being 4 years and 7 months older than him. I wonder if he'll be ready to have kids within the next six years. Will he break up with me if he's not and replace me with someone younger? It's hard for me to control this anxiety, but I know he has a lot of fears too.

For right now I am focusing on the present. We are planning our first vacation together. We are hopefully going to Montreal in February for Valentines day. I'm super excited because I feel it's a sign our relationship is going well, and I've never been to Canada!

There's a lot I'm looking forward to. This month I'm going to NYC, next month is Jamaica and my sister's wedding, January is Arisia, February is Nerdcon and Canada. Work is going well, and I'm trying my hardest. I want to make sure they renew my contract in April. I plan on starting to save money in January for a car (added to whatever I get for tax returns). The last thing I want is to have to use that savings  for bills because I need to look for a new job. I know I shouldn't talk negative, but the way I see it at least I have a plan B. As much as I don't want it to happen.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Yeah...It Does Bother Me

I have a lot on my mind right now, so this entry is going to be a big all over the place. I have a boyfriend, and I love him; so you would think that I wouldn't get jealous over an unrequited crush. Well, you'd be wrong. I've had a crush on this dude for about a year and a half. He doesn't feel like same about me. Probably because I'm too skinny for him and I'm fucking crazy. Most of the time the fact he doesn't reciprocate my feelings doesn't bother me. Until I find out he's going home with a mutual friend of ours to fuck her. I mean, I shouldn't be surprised. I've known they like each other for a while now, and since he's recently single it was bound to happen. Really, I'm the one who had to ask if he offered her a ride home or if she asked. I don't know why I even care or why it bothers me. What I can tell you is that acting like I didn't in front of my friends, sucked. Just smile, and tell her it's totally cool while I feel like I'm falling apart inside. Walk out smiling, and then cry on the T. The only thing that made it a bit better was Daniel texting me. I was actually thinking about how I was going to try to not text him and wait for him to initiate conversation with me, and then I look at my phone and see a text from him!

I've been having some existential anxiety. I think this is best illustrated by (as best I can) typing out the monologue of thoughts that run through my head. Usually either all at the same time or one after another.

"I have a boyfriend and a job. This is nice."
"But I've had bad luck with jobs in the past, and what if something happens with Daniel?"
"I think I want to go to school for my teaching licence. That BU thing sounds neat."
"But if I go to school at BU, I'll need to stick around Boston and stay with my job for at least two years. That means I can't move in with Daniel if our relationship gets serious. But the time I'm done with school I'll be 37. I'd only have 3 years to move in, get married, and have kids."
"Well, I could have a car by then and maybe he'd move somewhere neutral."
"What if he doesn't want to? He wants to build a house in Stoddard. I can't commute 2 hours every day."
"Are we doomed to break up?"
"I shouldn't be thinking about this. I have no idea what's going to happen."
"What if this is a red flag?"
"Maybe I should think about something else."
"Climate change. When is the earth going to die? Are we going to run out of resources? How have they lasted this long?"
"I hope I get paid tomorrow."

My psychiatrist says I can start taking my Ativan daily rather than just a PRN. I'm going to be getting a new psychiatrist (through my PCP) because I'm changing therapists and I need to have one at the center my current psychiatrist is at to keep seeing her. I like my therapist, but she wasn't really helping in the way I wanted. I thought we were going to do DBT, but most of the time it was just me rambling on about what's going on in my life. I can do that with my friends. I want someone who's going to take charge and say, "here's what we are doing today." Someone who knows about diary cards, has DBT handouts prepared. I wasn't getting that with this therapist. I'm hoping I can be prescribed something  a bit stronger to help with my anxiety. My current psychiatrist didn't think I needed to be on meds because I had therapy, and I should focus on that to help with my BPD. The problem is, while there is no med for BPD, there certainly are several for anxiety. I feel that by medicating my anxiety disorder it will help with a lot of other stuff.

I've been having body image issues the past few days. I've actually been doing really good with that, and feel like it's been under control for a while now. I haven't had any negative body thoughts since I don't know when. Then suddenly it hit and I feel gross and fat. I hate my stomach, it looks flabby to me. I'm told that it's just skin and not fat. I've started doing ab workouts again, along with yoga every morning. I did read something that helped, "That thing you are calling your stomach pouch, it’s probably meant to be there. Human anatomy clearly shows a small hump from your navel to the top of your private area. This is clear on all people." I've also been having a lot of body pain lately. My Doctor says it's due to low iron. I did skip my pills for a few days, but I'm surprised the pain returned so quickly.

I feel better now that I got that all out. Little upset it took me so long. I just couldn't focus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Don't Pretend to Know, The Challenges I'm Facing.

As a person with BPD, one of the greatest challenge I have is maintaining interpersonal relationships; especially romantic ones. The following are specific problems I have within my relationship with Daniel.

Problem: Dealing with him isolating and not responding to my texts and calls. Putting aside the past, in general I have a difficult time with extended periods of no contact. The thing about Daniel is when he’s depressed he isolates. My black and white thinking causes me to always assume the worst. One of the major traits of BPD is, “frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.” So, even though we’ve talked about his ghosting me in the past, he hasn’t done it for almost a year, and we are both in different places; I still assume the worst when he doesn’t respond to me for a couple of days. This causes me to text and call him obsessively, which I know only causes him more anxiety and makes him want to hide even longer. The other aspect of this is, in the event that something is wrong or he is upset with me, I struggle with remembering I’m not going to make it any better by sending him 30 text messages in a row.

Challenge: How do I get through the times when he’s in isolation mode without going into a full blown panic?

Problem: I have some very strong feminist views, some of which Daniel doesn’t understand. I want to be clear on the distinction between not agreeing and not understanding. He has admitted he comes at issues from a very privileged place. We don’t always agree; for example, we both are passionate about women’s rights, but he tends to focus on larger scale issues. For instance, he has trouble understanding the role micro aggressions play into something like rape and violent racist acts. We also have slightly different views regarding prostitution (though I was able to change his view on this a bit). He loves the I’m so passionate, and he wants me to educate him. Here’s the problem, I’m so used to people who don’t understand my view point being ignorant, bigoted people. Because of this I tend to lash out at Daniel and attack him. He has worked in DC and is a political science major, so debating and discussion issues is something he’s good at face to face. I’m better at it on paper. I often get flustered and impulsively angry that I just start yelling. I’ll end up kicking myself for days and then typing out a perfectly mature and eloquent argument.

Challenge: How can I have conversations with him regarding issues he’s open to learning about, without flying off the handle? More importantly, how can I do this face to face and in the moment?

Problem: This one sort of goes hand in hand with the last point. Part of the reason I get so worked up is A. due to my anxiety and my tendency to make mountains out of mole hills and draw wild conclusions (oh he doesn’t understand micro aggressions, this must mean he slut shames women!) and B. My irrational fear that if we disagree on anything, it means we are doomed to fail. I also struggle with the fact he’s a tad less PC then I am.  


Challenge: How can I get over the fear that disagreement=not meant to be together? How do I not nitpick about everything? 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Frustrated

I hate that I've gone through so many cycles in my life that I am programmed to assume I am doomed to fail. Every time I feel like I have my life together, something goes wrong. Usually I lose my job first; then, with no income, I lose a place to live. Every time I get my hopes up or am confident, it falls apart. So now, I just expect to fail.

I know the problem, it's not like I sit around thinking, "why me?" Having BPD has severely debilitated my stability in life. I keep trying, all the time. What frustrates me is that people probably look at me and see someone who keeps making the same mistakes over an over, but they don't understand how difficult it is; they don't understand how much work I put in. I hate that I keep saying, "this time will be different," and then it's not. I thought that by being open about my mental illness problems at my last job, would help. I was wrong, I'm pretty sure I was sabotaged. In fact, I wasn't even the first person to recognize it. Someone else did.

I love my job, but I'm not very confident. Every time I get excited for all the things I have coming up, and the prospect of owning a car, it quickly  goes away and turns into trying to figure out what I'm going to do when I lose this job. Because why should I think any differently? I haven't been able to keep a job for at least a year since 2012, and the last time I kept a job for more than a year was 2006ish.

What do I do? It's not like I'm not in therapy. It's not like I don't know what the problem is. I guess I just need to focus a lot on therapy and the core issues.

I'm feeling really defeated, anxious, defeated, and not hopeful right now. I have no reason to feel any differently.  I have a million things going on in my head. I don't even want to get my license anymore. I don't want to be a lead teacher. But how long do schools employ Paras? Will I be able to have a future making what I do.

I'm so irritated, frustrated, and I can't....I really want to be confident right now, but I'm just not.

Friday, September 30, 2016

My Favorite Month

I am in a good place right now. My life is stable, and I have a lot of positive things going on. I start a new job working in a charter school on Monday, I live in a place I feel safe and get along with my roommates, Daniel and I are a couple again, I am part of a great UU church community, I've recently made new girl friends, I am starting with a new therapist (that I feel really good about), DBT group is going well, I finished my podcast conversion project and will be recording again soon, I'm getting along with my immediate family (after a couple months of strain), I'm consistently working on my book, and I just completed the testing for ADHD/Autism.

On top of this I have several plans coming up in October that I am looking forward to; writing group at UU starting up, Pay Equity Today's Vote premier at the EMK, Sandwich fair or Daniel's camp, Comicazi Cookie Clash, Hamilton documentary gathering, Comicazi Halloweeniversary, and the Charter school debate at the EMK.

It's easy to feel positive and confident when everything is going well, but that's the problem with BPD. Black and white thinking; everything is either all good or all bad. It is this line of thinking that has lead me to continuously go through cycles. Cycles where I have everything together, and then it all falls apart. Usually because of something small, something that disrupts the all white in the black and white. Grey is where I need to be, or else I become susceptible to the cycle. So, what can I do?


  1. Stay in wise mind. This is obviously easier said than done, but the most important.
  2.  Take things one day at a time. It's okay to plan for the future, but I tend to overthink and think too far ahead. Especially about stuff I have no control over.
  3. Continue with therapy and group.
  4. Look into an every day anxiety med.
  5. Do my best to stay in the grey. Things will go wrong, and that's okay. It doesn't mean everything has to fall apart.
  6. Practice DBT daily.
  7. Try my best to trust Daniel more. Give him the benefit of the doubt. If he doesn't reply it more than likely means he's sleeping or depressed. Try opposite action.
  8. Realize and remember I will struggle.
The most important stuff is not getting into black and while thinking. That's always been the cause of all my losses and cycles. If I have to repeat the word, "grey" in my head, I will.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

C-C-C-COMBO!!!

The combination of BPD and GAD sucks sometimes. It really, really sucks. SG has been so good about staying in contact with me, and not disappearing. He came to the conclusion that we are a couple on his own, it felt natural. Yet, since that my anxiety and fears of rejection have been kicked into high gear. Worried about the future, worried he's going to leave me, cognitive distortions running rampant. It's overwhelming, and when it's happening it feels like it's never going to be okay.

Yesterday we had an argument over something that we disagree about. After a while I was able to get him to change his opinion a bit. However, I was convinced that we were doomed to fail in the future; that because we disagreed on this one thing, we were going to break up. To make myself feel better, I made a list of all the reasons I love him, and sent it to him. I sent it to him, and asked if he could do the same for me. We texted back and forth, and then said goodnight. Everything seemed fine, but when I didn't get an email back from him in a specific amount of time, I started to panic. The Borderline in me is convinced he's abandoned me, the anxiety makes it seem like I am trapped and nothing will be okay until I hear from him. I try and convince myself he's probably sleeping, but it's no use.  I can't describe the terror when the anxiety takes hold; like you're paralyzed with fear, and no amount of logic will do anything to convince you that it's all in your head. It doesn't matter that we just spoke, or that I know him. None of it matters. The over generalizing happens, comparing the past to now. I know he's made a lot of mistakes and he's hurt me, but he's done so much better; he's put in so much effort.

Then, I get a text from him; and just like that it feels like a monster has been ripped off my back. I can breathe again, my thoughts stop racing. Everything is okay, but it really isn't. Dealing with that kind of anxiety is tiring, it's draining. It causes depression, and it takes a bit to get back to baseline. Anxiety and depression are cousins. I'm scared my behavior will push him away. Paranoid. The anxiety starts again. Emotional amnesia, I forget every time. Every time it's terrible. Black and white thinking, paranoia. It's so hard to stop. Hardest when it comes to close relationships.

BPD and GAD team up, they fight me. I'm stronger. I can make it through.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Everything is Awesome...ly Overwhelming

I want to talk about the difference between normal levels of anxiety and having an anxiety disorder. Nearly everyone gets anxious, it's normal. What separates every day anxiety from an anxiety disorder is when it starts to affect your life and how you function. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which basically means I am overwhelmed with worrying and anxious thoughts almost 24/7. To the point I feel it physically. I can't explain the sheer terror of laying in bed at night, not being able to breath or calm yourself down, and having every worry and question about your life go through your head. I should of's about the past, what if's about the future; all happening at once. You want every problem, every question, every worry solved right then and there. It's overwhelming, and you're sure you're doomed if you can't figure it all out.

My boyfriend and I disagreed on something having to do with Sex Work. After sending him articles I was able to sway his opinion a bit. I know this was a big deal since even one of his best friends couldn't do this. I know what we aren't going to agree on everything, but for someone with an anxiety disorder it isn't that easy. I jump to conclusions (he hates women and wants to control them!) I ask impossible questions about the future (what if he has a daughter who wants to be a sex worker?), and worst of all I forget all the good things about the person you love. Suddenly this one thing I disagree on is magnified and I dwell on it; maybe even twist it around so it seems a lot worse than it actually is, and pretty soon I'm so deep that I'm convinced the two of us are doomed to break up and not last. It's not as simple as just, "remembering people disagree," it doesn't matter if I know other couples disagree, it doesn't matter that there's so much other stuff we agree on; or that part of why he loves me is because I'm so passionate. What makes it even worse is the black and white thinking that comes from having BPD.

This anxiety isn't just reserved for my relationship. I've had a lot of good stuff happen lately, but I haven't been able to really enjoy it because I'm so overwhelmed with anxiety.

New job? What if I lose it? I have to do my budget. What if they don't renew my contract?

New therapist? What if it doesn't work out? What if I can't get an appointment?

New friends? How long before I push them away.

These are just some of the worries and anxieties that go through my head. All the time,at the same time. It's almost 3:00am and I can't sleep. My anxiety causes night terrors, I wake up panicking, desperate to make everything okay.

Anxiety disorders are cute, they aren't fun. And being anxious about a job interview does not equate to having an anxiety disorder.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old or Silver and Gold

My feelings on making friends are very complicated. On the surface, I don't like making new friends. Thus, I do not actively seek friendships out. However, if I meet someone and we are getting along, I get excited about the new person; I also get nervous and scared. I've pushed a lot of people away and when I feel like someone may be more than an acquaintance my brain thinks, "how long until you fuck this up and push this person away?" I also have different levels of how my Borderline reacts to friends (think of it like a risk alert chart). Let's use the example of a friend not calling me back within an expected time frame.

FP, Friend(s) I'm Attracted to ( Cis Men Only)-AAAAHHH THEY HATE ME, THEY ARE DITCHING ME.
Cis Male Platonic Friends-Annoyed, irritated.
Women/Gender Non-Conforming Friends I'm Attracted To-Worried, antsy
Women/Gender Non-Conforming Platonic Friends-Meh, whatevs.

Of course, this is not a consistent chart. For example, if I feel like my FP is ignoring me, it can heighten my anxiety and worry. I can easily start to feel like everyone is avoiding me. However, in general, because I get attached to men differently than I do women, my brain reacts differently.

Another reason I have so much trouble with new friends is I just assume everyone finds me obnoxious. Pair this with the fact I've been told when I was younger, "don't talk to my friends," and I pretty much always think I'm a burden. Recently I was introduced to some friends of a friend. I've been chatting with one, and my friend pointed out I'd really get along with another. What does my brain think? "He's annoyed I'n talking to his friends, I'm butting in. I'm a burden. I'm that annoying friend no one wants around. I'm not welcome, but he/they are just being nice."

Finally, and this may be the biggest reason, I'm often embarrassed for people to get to know me. How do you tell a person you keep losing/quitting jobs, moving around, haven't been in a relationship longer than 10 months; and not feel like they are going to judge you for being a complete loser and waste of space? I don't exactly bring these things up on my own, but if I'm asked I try my best to word it in a way that doesn't make me seem unstable as fuck. "I have a shitty mental disorder than severely affects my quality of life. Including, but not limited to, job and interpersonal relationships." I mean, I could say that, but are they really ready to hear about my Disorder? It's even worse when the person seems so put together.

This is a complicated topic, especially because some of my friends I have feelings for. Oh, there's a good example. Heidi and Green Lantern cut of contact with me around the same time. Heidi, told me she'd contact me again, and just needed a break. Despite having her literally sit across from me on the T and not say a word, I haven't tried to contact her once in the past four months. Green Lantern ended our friendship and said things that were upsetting and hurtful. I've emailed and texted him multiple times since then. I miss him a lot. The difference? Heidi, while one of my best friends, was just a platonic (and a woman) friend). Will was a dude I had a crush on.

The cherry on top? Add in my fear of abandonment and being alone.

Did your head explode?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's Not Fall Yet....But Soon

Like most stereotypical New Englanders, fall is my favorite season. Let me first explain why I love the fall;
  • I'm still able to spend time in nature as the weather, while a bit cooler, hasn't become to cold to bear.
  • Fall flavors; apple cider, Pumpkin, Cinnamon. I enjoy things flavors both in taste and scent. Instead of floral and sweet lotions, I prefer pumpkin spice and apple pie.
  • Comicazi Halloweeniversary. My comic book shop's annual Halloween/Anniversary party.
  • The Sandwich fair (named for the town not the type of fair it is).
  • UU church season. This is a new one, but now that I'm a part of the church community I am looking forward to the upcoming church season.
  • Halloween. I admit, I'm not as obsessed with Halloween as I used to be, in fact it's not even my favorite Holiday anymore. I'm not really a "spooky" person who makes a ritual out of watching Hocus Pocus. However, I love seeing different costumes and houses decorated. Of course, as a Pagan Halloween also means Samhain. That above all is why I look forward to the holiday.
  • New episodes of my shows!
  • The start of football season!
  • The colors. There's nothing like fall in New England.
  • Apple picking. If I can make it.
  • I'm starting to like wearing fall clothes a bit more than summer. I definitely have more "fashion" in the fall.
As you can see, there's a lot about fall that I love; it's also a trigger for racing thoughts. I don't mean to say I have them specifically all throughout the fall, but rather the thought of fall as an abstract. You see, fall means the end of the year is coming; the end of the year means my birthday is soon, my birthday means I'll be another year older, that means one less year I have to have kids. I start counting years, months, weeks. The solution? Make sure I have plenty to look forward to; not only in the fall, but the whole end part of the year. I feel like it's important to have stuff planned during these months. In summer it's easier to be spontaneous and go to the beach or Castle Island because the weather is usually nice. Planning things during the last half of the year gives me a sense of stability. Especially as the winter months come and I spend less time outdoors (I'm not a fan of being cold).

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Can You Love Someone You Don't Trust?

He told me he'd take me to ride horses, he told me we could go to Saratoga. I didn't get that. I should be used to him telling me things he doesn't follow through with.

We met in fall/winter of 2013 (when I started working at Easter Seals). He broke up with me in the shittiest way in Oct of 2014. First time he ghosted me was Dec 2014-March 2015. We talked for literally maybe 3 days. Then he ghosted me again from March 2015-early summer of 2015. Then from Aug 2015 until April 2016 and we've been talking since then.

Last summer around the middle of August, like the 15th/16th, I took SG to a football game. We had talked previously about him staying over after the game. The whole time I was under the impression that was the plan. It wasn't until we were driving back that he told me he wasn't staying over. I had, what I admit, was a really bad reaction. Basically he drove away with me sitting on the sidewalk in hysterics. We talked afterwards and he assured me everything was okay. I asked him about hanging out for Labor day weekend and possibly sometime before that. After that day he started to become flaky with communication. Promising me we'd talk and he'd call, but not responding to me and when he did it was only a text message assuring me we'd talk soon; or that he wasn't in the mood to talk. I kept trying to get him to let me know about Labor day weekend plans, and he didn't give me a solid answer until last minute. Eventually he just stopped talking to me all together in what would become the third time he would ghost me. We started talking again this past March/April, and I learned that the whole time everything was not okay and he was actually really upset about the way I reacted that night. But, you know, instead of being honest he just avoided me and acted flaky and eventually isolated.

Fastfoward to a few weeks ago, almost the exact same weekend as the football game. He cancels plans and then isn't able to hang out the following weekend. I have a not so great reaction. Suddenly he's flaky with communication, doesn't really get back to me about potential plans; says he'll call, but doesn't (ie-we texted tues and he said he'd try to call Wednesday. It's now Sunday and nothing). There are difference between this time and last, and I'm trying desperately to focus on them. -He has said this time that he wants to see me ASAP -He apologized for putting me through this -He said he wanted to try and make it down to see me this week -I might be overeacting about my reaction. It was not as bad as last year -He told me he's having a bad reaction to his meds One of the major things about SG is he absolutely hates upsetting me or hearing my, "sad voice." It's why he broke up with me the way he did. Not to be malicious, but because he's a coward and can't deal with hurting me;and he will be the first to tell you that. It's why him reassuring me and telling me everything is okay and things are fine does little to help, because he's done that so many times in the pase, and things were not okay. He's pretended they were just to keep me happy or avoid upsetting me. He has issues of his own, which I'm sure you've picked up on. The most difficult part about writing this is that I'm hesitant to talk about his struggles in such a public setting. At the same time, it's also hard for me to talk about my troubles with him without giving a full explanation of what he deals with, without fear of people judging him.
I want to trust him...but his actions speak louder. He says he still cares and wants to see me and isn't going to ghost me. I wanted to trust him, but I am realizing that part of me doesn't. His actions speak louder than his words. He keeps saying, "I don't know what else to say to you," every time he tells me he stills cares about me deeply and wants to see me ASAP. It's not that I don't believe him, but when he says it and then doesn't return my text or calls for days; how am I supposed to believe he's acting any differently than before? Maybe there is a difference, but he needs to work on letting me know through his actions. We've been over it multiple times. If he's having a hard time, he can text and let me know he needs space. He doesn't, and so it's hard for me to see the the difference in his behavior.

The thing is, I know he's trying. There's little things he's done, and small progresses he's made, but he still has such a long way to go. I also have a lot of work too. I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it's so hard with the timing of everything. Especially because within the past month he's seen three of his friends and his sister (they all live out of state). I've always been paranoid that they talk him into distancing himself from me, even though the rational part of me kind of believes that's not true. Still, sister visits and suddenly he's not communicating? But then on the other hand he keeps talking about how he really wants to visit? Then there's the fact that maybe he's not communicating because he was too upset that he couldn't. This is my point, I never know with him.

Here's the hardest part. I have trouble trusting him,but I love him. I love him so fucking much. A big part of what causes me anxiety is that I haven't really done much dating since breaking up with him. In fact, I haven't been in an actual relationship since we broke up. I've dated here and there, but nothing serious; and every time we start hanging out it's always intimate. I'm scared in order to have any type of a future I need to completely cut him out of my life. I cannot, we cannot, be platonic friends. We've tried. I also, know what it feels like to live with out him. It feels like a hole has been ripped from my chest, and the very thought of being with anyone but him, of him being with someone else, is too upsetting to even think about. I've breached the subject with him, about what we're going to do, and he won't talk about it. He doesn't really like thinking ahead, it's one of the ways we differ.
He told me that he doesn't see himself marrying me. I told him this made me feel like I was a place holder. Because it essentially meant he didn't plan on being with me long term (not that we are actually "together). So, what did he plan? Being with me until someone better came along? How did he intend on working that out? He explained that he doesn't seem himself marrying anyone, because he doesn't want anyone to have to deal with his issues. He's also is worried about not being able to be there for me. Basically all his reasons have nothing to do with how he feels about me. He loves me, all his best moments over the past couple of years having been with me. He's also said that he can't think that far ahead because we haven't spent a lot of consecutive time together. I also know he doesn't want to say things that hurt me, that he has unrealistic views of relationships, and that I have a hard time knowing if he means it when he says there's a possibility of us being together.

He won't let me go, and I'm afraid if he does the only way he can is by ghosting me. I can't let him go. It's a fucked up situation and right now I'm trying not to contact him. This is part of what's causing me to have such a rough time. I can do fine for a few days, but the thought of completely cutting him from my life....I don't even want to think about it.

I love him. I don't know what to do, and I'm scared I've wasted to many months and a future.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

What It's Like

Imagine a lot of people talking to you at once.

No, more.

More.

Are you imagining this? At least 100 people, all talking at you and to you. All at once.

Now imagine each of them is asking you a question that starts with, "what if."

Imagine now, more people join in. 

Everyone, all at once.

Imagine the people who just joined are nagging you; harping on you about your past, your future, and what you're doing with your life.

Picture yourself in the middle of 100+ people, all talking at once. Their words overlap, come in shouts and whispers. They repeat themselves, demanding a response from you; even when you don't have one.

Imagine yourself trapped. Unable to get away from all of the people, unable to shut them out.

You want to run, but you can't. You try to escape, but one of them grabs you and starts talking at you, "what if...."

Now take all of those people, all of the questions, all of the nagging; and most of all, take the feeling of being trapped and someone grabbing on to you.

Take it all, roll it all up into one big ball, and place it inside your brain.

This is what anxiety feels like.

People get anxious, but an anxiety disorder is different. It feels like a thousand voices at once. It feels like you're trapped, and no matter what you can't get away. It's not cute, or endearing. It's fucking scary. 
  • Constant racing thoughts
  • Always anticipating disaster
  • Not knowing how not to worry
  • Having your anxiety affect different aspects of your life, such as work.
Laying awake at night with tears streaming down your face, because you're so overcome with fear and worry that you don't know what to do.

Constantly thinking people are talking about you.

Assuming everyone is staring at you when you go out.

Not being able to slow down your brain.

Over analyzing everything.

This is what it's like to have an anxiety disorder.

It's scary. It can be even scarier when mixed with BPD.

Last night was one of those nights. I slipped, I cut. I'm okay. I woke up depressed, randomly crying.

Anxiety and depression are cousins.





Sunday, August 21, 2016

Communication is Key

I'm being tested for Autism. I've talked about this before, and have shared a list of my research (which I've gone over with my therapist). I just haven't brought it up because the testing had to be rescheduled so there's nothing new to talk about. If this were pre DSM-5 I'd technically be being tested for Asperger's. I'm not one to self diagnose, but both my therapist and a former friend with the disorder agree a lot of my behaviors and the information I provided align with the criteria for the disorder. I also learned that's actually not uncommon for people with BPD to also have Asperger's. Since it's not that uncommon for the disorder to go undetected in girls (or be misdiagnosed), it wouldn't be a surprise that it flew under the radar with me. Especially back in the 90's.

In this post, I want to specifically talk about communication. I believe these may or may not be communication quirks of people with Asperger's. This is based on what I've read, talked to my therapist about, and talked to other people with Asperger's about. There are also some in there that I've added that I am not sure about, but wonder. I'm going to be blunt as to give all information and details.

  • I have a difficult time in conversations if the topic is not about something I like or am interested in. I greatly enjoy talking about topics of my liking, but struggle to converse with people about things they like.
  • I hate small talk. Whenever I am engaged in a conversation that exists mostly of small talk, I am doing everything I can to think of a way to escape. Often I leave very abruptly.
  • I can be and take things very literal at times
  • I can be very long winded.
  • I hate eye contact.
  • Difficulty communicating thoughts in words, especially if anxious, stressed or upset. Often can type or write thoughts much better
  • I talk too loudly or too softly in conversations.
  • Not communication exactly, but in social situations my nervous system gets overwhelmed easily and that leads to withdrawal.
  • I am the queen of non-sequiturs. I just have a really difficult time carrying on a conversation that is not about something I like.
I guess we'll see what the tests say on Sept 14th


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Spoons and Self Control

I have a bad habit of only buying enough food for a couple of weeks and using whatever money I have left over on coffee, eating out, trivia, or random little things. I usually run out of money faster than I make it, and have to ask friends for help.

This isn't because I am intentionally being irresponsible or trying to manipulate people. It's because I need to see certain people, I hate being alone sometimes, I need to get out, it's easier to go to trivia once a week than go food shopping twice a month. Sometimes trivia is the only way for me to socialize, and to do that I need money and sometimes that means cutting corners elsewhere. 

It sounds ridiculous, but when you depend on your spoons it makes sense. Food shopping is exhausting for me. There's also the impulsivity factor. Borderlines are extremely impulsive. If there's money sitting in my account, there's a high chance for me to be impulsive about spending $10 here and there and not thinking about it.

I'm trying to change that. I'm not getting paid til the 25th. I know my food won't last til then. So I set aside money for a second food shopping and laundry. I also, previously set aside money for a couple things I had planned this month. It only leaves me with about $30 til pay day, but it'll be a lesson in self control.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Routine

I've always done a lot better with routine when I am working, and when I have a routine I find it can help tremendously with my mental well being. Adding the PLEASE skills from emotion regulation to my routine helps a lot with actually having a routine. However, I find that actually having that routine is easier when I have a job. Today is only the second day of my new job, and I already find that I am getting into a routine. Wake up, yoga, feed the cat, shower, make lunch, eat breakfast, check email, listen to NPR.

When I don't have a job, I tend to stray off that routine. The problem is, my brain starts to stay into thought of, "is this what it's always going to be like? over and over again?" And I'll start to get anxious, and it will eventually come around to my thoughts of (you guessed it) death. I believe I make up for this at night. Which is why I have a harder time maintaining a routine before bed. I intend to go to bed at a certain time, but don't. I'll say I won't go to trivia, but do. Because I don't want my entire life to to be a routine, to be the same. I see it as, "time is running out, so I have to make sure my life isn't robotic. It's ironic though, as an INFJ the J means I really like planning (how I orient myself to the external world). Hmm, well, I guess that's different isn't it?

Either way, I'm going to work on getting into a night routine.

Monday, August 8, 2016

On Death and Dying

I'm not sure if I've fully written about my preoccupation with death. If I have, I don't recall, but either way the subject is relevant so I am writing about it now. Relevant because I've recently been having some trouble with my thoughts on death. No, I do not mean my suicidal ideation. Though, that's part of it. The narrative is so complicated, and the thoughts weave an overlap. There are beginnings I am vague on, and one a particular beginning I can pin point exactly. Trying to organize my thoughts on death is complicated, but I think to really start to sort them out, it's best I do just that.


  • An overwhelming reminder that I will die someday with hit me. I will become scared full of despair, and desperate to escape the thoughts. How will it happen? Who will I be with? I'll start visioning my, "perfect death," but then I will be reminded that I have no control over it and the despair will start all over again. At worse I've had night terrors
  • I get bad anxiety when people talk about how, "life flies by." I become obsessed with "counting." How many months? How many years? Is it enough? It never seems like enough.
  • I will daydream about being young and being told I have cancer or some other fatal disease. 
  • When I dream about death, I never actually die in my dreams. It's always everything leading up to it, even when I am on my death bed.
  • I have visions of other people I know dying, of me delivering news of death to people. People I love dying of fatal disease, in car crashes, or even being murdered.
  • Sometimes I will be enjoying life so much, and I will think, "I am never going to be ready to go." I don't want to leave this all behind. However, I will be having those thoughts as I am now. I will also become afraid that I won't accomplish enough, and that I will be alone when I die. 
  • I become scared of the future and things changing (even for the better) because it means I'm, "closer to my death," and I will also be scared of things staying the same. So I get stuck at a stalemate.
  • For those who are unaware, I believe in reincarnation. Sometimes, especially when I'm in nature, I will think that when it's time I will be content to go. But my spirituality betrays me at times. What if I'm reincarnated when the world ends? What if I am born into a time of chaos, death, and suffering? I envision the end of the world ala disaster movies.
  • I get obsessed with watching death related things on TV/Youtube. I'll watch TV Episodes where a character dies, footage of famous people's funeral (there were several days where I kept watching footage from Eva Peron's funeral), and sometimes I will watch people dying in real life tragedies or footage from the tragedy (9/11, Boston bombing, Philandro dying).
  • Then there's the suicidal ideation. I wish I was dead, I want to die. How can I die? I've talked about suicidal ideation specifically on here, but I'm not sure I've mentioned this. Sometimes I'll picture myself jumping in front of a train, I'll feel my body slightly twitch. I won't do it, but that and other visuals like it are so vivid.
The suicidal thought have probably been happening since my early 20's, the watching death related media I'd say since my mid 20's; but all the fear of death? Well, that can be traced back to a single comment. Talking about people who do end up getting married, "all relationships end in divorce or death." I never had the thoughts about death I do now before that comment. What's worse is it was said by SG, so when I'm with him the thoughts can trigger and intensify.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Trauma: Why I Delete Posts or It's Been a Bit of a Day

I often use social media as a means of gaining support when going through difficult times. I do not have many "face to face" friends (this is mostly due to difference in location), and so when I am going through a particularly difficult situation I find comfort in the comment section of my statuses. Being the black and white person I am, I'll either want to talk to everyone (which will show an influx in posts) or no one (which will manifest in me shutting down). Many people judge me for posting my personal stuff online, and I try my best to only do it when I desperately need support; because here's what I'm not, I'm not a phone person. I am very picky about who I have conversations on the phone with. If you call me, I will gladly pick up and talk to you, but as far as me initiating a call with you; that is only reserved for a few and in the most desperate of times.

Usually, after a particular hurricane has passed, I will go back and delete all my posts having to do with the issue/incident. I do this as an act of cleansing, and to symbolize that I have moved (or mostly moved) passed what ever hardship I had been enduring.  I recently got done doing this after a particularly traumatizing 24 hours. Before, I go further I want to talk about Trauma.

When the average person thinks of a traumatic experience, they think of big examples; war, child abuse, living through a tornado, surviving a car wreck. However, trauma is defined as, "a deeply distressing or disturbing experience." Professionals in the psychiatric field will tell you that trauma effects different people in different ways. I recently read a book where the author described an incident with a man who groped her on the train to be more traumatic than being raped by a boyfriend. The psychology of the brain is confusing, and thus it is not the job of anyone to invalidate what a person feels is traumatic. Even if it may not seem traumatic to you, it could be to someone else. Trauma can be transient, long standing, come with flashbacks, or other reactions. Point is, chances are you're not a professional so, let it be.

It's been a bit of a day, or I should say 24 hours. I went to D's house for the weekend, and before I left had Molly shut in my room. I had done this before with no problem. Even among all the issues with my roommates, they seemed to keep the mindset that she was just an innocent animal. When I came home Sunday morning, someone had clearly gone into my room and gone through my stuff; Molly was also missing. While in the kitchen, I heard meowing coming from Joe's (the landlord) room. D and my other friend both confirmed they heard it as well. We looked around the source of the sound, just to make sure it wasn't coming from elsewhere, but it was pretty clear where it was coming from. D knocked on Joe's door and asked if the cat was in there. Obviously he denied it, but also sounded very defensive. Unsure of what to do, and wanting to get me out of there, we finished packing up and moved me to Malden. After we unpacked, I told D that everyone was advising me to call the police; so I did. The police told me to go back, wait in the car, and call 9-1-1. When the police arrived, they said they were unable to go inside without Joe's permission. They went to talk to him, and came back out telling me that I could go in and look around. Between the time I left, came back, and the police arrived, I'm guessing Joe got spooked and hid her or let her out, because she was not there. The police advised me to fill out a police report and call the animal shelter. Earlier, Glenn (the Jamaican guy) gave D his number (after refusing to give it to me) and said he would call if Molly showed up.

Today I was on my way to the police station to fill out the police report. By coincidence, Glenn called me while I was on the train to tell me that Molly was at the house. Glenn is very difficult to understand, and he wasn't being clear about where she was, whether he was keeping her safe, and kept telling me she was there and then not there; it was very confusing. Since I was already in the area I didn't want to go all the way back to Malden to get my carrier, so I contacted my friend G who met me and let me borrow hers. I let Glenn know I was on my way to the house, and he didn't say anything about anyone being home. On my way there I ran into my friend Michele, who by complete happenstance was near my house with a cat carrier searching for Molly (she had not even seen my post about her being found). Michele walked with me to the house, and while standing on the porch I could very clearly hear Andrew's voice inside (the one who assaulted me).

*rewind**rewind*. Last week while I was still living in the house, Andrew violated his restraining order by entering the apartment, and knocking on my bedroom door. The police came, but he had fled. They informed me to contact them if he came back. Also, the order was good until 7/13 and says for him to stay away from that address. Maybe I watch too many movies, but I assumed if someone violated a restraining order, the police would be looking for him. I was not actually informed of how anything works.

When Michele and I were at the house, Glenn came out and said that Joe did not want me to come inside, so Michele went in for me. While inside, I called 9-1-1 to let them know Andrew was there. The woman on the phone kept interrupting me, and then questioning everything I said before I had a chance to finish. She seemed to be twisting my words around, not understanding what I was telling her. For example, she didn't seem to grasp that I knew he was there because I was standing outside the door and heard his voice. She even mocked me when I told her I was tipping them off regarding Andrew's whereabouts. The whole phone call caused me a lot of anxiety. While I was on the phone, Glenn came outside and told me Molly was under his bed. Glenn has a separate entrance into his room, so he said I could come in through there. I got Molly, but not without comments from Glenn ("you're an ugly person").

After getting Molly, I continued my conversation with 9-1-1, and was told the police were on their way. When they arrived, it was the same story. Very bullying behavior; interrupting me, not allowing me to clarify things, making assumptions. I was told that I was supposed to have a police escort to go get my cat, I tried to tell them that I was never informed of this, but they wouldn't listen. I also tried to tell them, that me getting my cat as separate from me calling them cause I knew where Andrew was. I tried to explain that I didn't know how it worked, and I assumed they were looking for him. Eventually they explained that there wasn't a warrant and he would have a trial. They said even though I have an active restraining order, if I needed to go back to get anything I needed an escort. Okay, fine, but let me explain my piece and don't try and trip me up or confuse me or bully me. Especially as someone who has an anxiety disorder. After leaving and thanking Michele, I went to police headquarters and got a copy of the police report from the restraining order violation. I read it, and it was filled out wrong. I called and spoke to a supervisor, and he advised me to fill out a supplement to it.

Aside from the roller coaster ride with moving and molly, I also dealt with other minor and not so minor things over the past 24 hours. The two most notable being; 1. I went to Suffolk Downs with D and saw my family there. They all but ignored me, and were pretty passive towards me most of the time. Eventually they did talk to me, but it was frustrating. I was used to it, but D was so upset by it that he actually started tearing up. 2. I had a court date this morning that I was extremely anxious about. Not only was I there for two hours, but there was a guy in the court room who had clearly been drinking and was making me feel very unsafe. The other party never showed up, and I thought this was a good thing, but they got a hold of him and he said he never received the notice; so it's been rescheduled for next week. I'm pretty upset about it because I wanted it done and over with.

Think all this is enough? At the track, D locked his keys in his truck. Obviously this didn't directly effect me, but it made me upset to see him distraught. On my way to and from the court I had to pass by Green Lantern's house. Not gonna lie, it was pretty difficult. Finally, to top it all off,  I missed my therapy appointment (though I was able to reschedule).

D says I've been handling everything incredibly well. I think I have. I haven't had any suicidal thoughts, urges to hurt myself. I was having pretty bad anxiety/anxiety attacks yesterday and broke down a couple times over Molly, but as far as reactions go they've been pretty under control. The thing is, stuff like this usually makes me more resilient, and while it's draining and difficult; it's usually not what triggers my melt downs and self harm. Usually that happens when the incident involves an FP or significant other.

Some good did come out of the past 24 hours, though; Obviously getting Molly back is the big one, I went to as service at my church and it really helped center me; I've been doing a lot of journaling lately, and was able to write out my feelings about something. That cleared my mind a lot.  I had a wonderful time at quiz, I got most of my stuff unpacked, I got to see my nephew, and I am in a much safer and quieter place.

It's been a bit of a day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Resilience

Life has been throwing me a lot of curve balls in the past month. I found out my contract at my job was not being renewed, two of my closest friends ended and our friendships on hold, I've been having issues with my family, I was physically assaulted by my roommate, the person who physically assaulted my last year decided to get a restraining order against me under false pretenses, and I have been living in an apartment that is unsafe and unsanitary.

Despite all this I am, as always, resilient. I don't have much of a support system. Sure, I have friends who offer encouragement here and there, but I don't have people reach out and ask to make plans with me. If you don't count people I see at quiz (i.e.-Quizmasters), the number of friends I have hung out with in person (all initiated by me) in the past few months is three. As usual, I've had to depend on myself to get through hard times. I admit, it can be discouraging at times. When I see other people post of hardships they get dozens upon dozens of comments of support and offers of help, and my posts mostly go ignored; perhaps a few comments here and there by the same handful of people (who I am very grateful to). Am I that bad of a person? Am I so horrible that people do not want to help me? Do they think I am just some drama queen desperate for attention. Am I just the, "girl who cried wolf" to people? I decided that I wasn't going to depend on other people. Here is what I have been doing to better my life, my progress, and increase my self care.

  • I started a women's program. It's a partial hospitalization program that runs M-F from 10-3:15, but they approved me to go part time. I attend Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 11-2:15. The groups I go to are; Monday: Weekend Process, DBT, Art Therapy. Tuesday: DBT, Relationships, Creative Writing. Thursday: DBT, CBT & Healthy Thinking, Healing & Recovery. I am super excited about all the extra DBT.
  • DBT group on Wednesdays.
  • Individual therapy.
  • I joined a Unitarian Universalist church. It's an amazing community of people that is accepting of all religions and schools of thought. I identify as Pandeist Pagan, and worship nature. My time in nature is sacred and I do it alone. However, I wanted to find a place where I could also be around other spiritual people, but didn't like the idea of having to subscribe to the same ideals as everyone else. UU church is perfect for me. During the summer they do chalice circles, deep listening and discussion on various topics. I haven't been able to make one yet, but the first one I do will be on mental health!
  • Coloring group.
  • I started a free yoga class on the Common that runs until Sept, 1st.
  • I bought a notebook for program, but also use it to write down my thoughts. I often feel like I don't have anyone to talk to about what's going on in my head. People either don't know what to say or they say something that makes me feel defensive. It's good to get back to writing again.
  • I'm moving this weekend. I hate that I am moving again, but fuck it, this place is extremely unsafe. I met my new roommate through Queer Exchange Boston, so I know she is similar to me.
One thought pattern that I have been struggling with, and I brought it up with my therapist, is self victim blaming. This is the third roommate that I have been abused by. Two of them were friends. I keep thinking of the saying, "if you keep having issues with people, maybe the problem isn't them; maybe its you." It's hard not to get into the mind set that I bring this upon myself, that no one else has multiple abusers. Because I don't, and I'm not alone. No one deserves this. I know people with mental illness are more likely to be abused because we are more vulnerable. This is not my fault.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Don't Hug Me I'm Scared

When I was in my early 20's I worked as a salesperson. I did in home demos for a product, and one of my customers was my father's co-worker (and older male). After finishing my sales pitch, I began to leave, and he took it upon himself to give me an awkward side hug; his hand casually brushing my breast. I told my dad about it, and he just brushed it of as his co-worker just being a friendly guy.

Throughout my early to mid 20's I was a sex worker. This is a fact I have always been open about. I was desperate for money, so I posted ads on craigslist offering oral sex or nude photo shoots for money (I had sex once or twice as well). While everything was consensual, after all I was the one seeking out the clientele, I was not doing it because I enjoyed it; I was doing it to survive. Most of the people I "serviced" were older men, in their 40's, 50's, and 60's. I hated performing on them, I'd try to get it done as quickly as possibly. I hated the way the moaned, hated the way they leered at me, the things they said about me. I hated that I was reduced to a body. At the same time it made me feel like I was worth something. Plus, as I said I desperately needed the money.

When I was sexually abused in 2013 (or was it 2014?) it was by an older male.

I've had older men (such as roommates, and if you've read my Facebook as of late you-know-who) sexualize me and make lewd comments towards me.

I'm very sensitive to touch when I am angry, overwhelmed, disassociated, or dysregulated. I will sometimes have very knee jerk reactions if I am touched without warning, and there are only certain people who are able to when I am in these frames of mind. This sensitivity to touch, I have realized, is even more prominent when it comes to (you guessed it) older men; and not just in moments of anxiety and dysregulation. I am hesitant to hug older men, especially ones I am meeting for the first time, and become uneasy when I receive a harmless pat on the shoulder.

I was at a family gathering and I had on a tank top. I was sitting next to my Dad, chatting. At one point he placed his hand on my shoulder, a standard Italian Dad move. I felt uncomfortable, I wanted to recoil. I thought about the times I've hugged him lately; half hugs, arms by my side hugs. While my Dad did emotionally neglect me, he's never abused me in any way.

When I was in NYC the other week I was feeling overwhelmed, dysregulated, and exhausted from all the walking. As my friend (and older male) and I raced to catch my bus home, I began running up the escalator. Suddenly I couldn't, I felt like my legs were going to give out; I felt physically and emotionally drained. So I stopped; I leaned against the rail, put my head on my arm, and allowed the escalator to carry me up. Suddenly I felt hands on my shoulders. I knew in the back of my head that it was my friend, but I still freaked out. "Don't touch me! Keep your hands off me!" I cried. An image of the man who sexually abused me flashed in my head, not any of the events, just the person.

They've ruled out PTSD for me (which is surprising since BPD and PTSD tend to go hand in hand). I'm not even writing this to ask, "do I have another diagnosis." I'm sharing because it's something I've never realized about myself until recently, and I'm not really sure what to think of it.

I tried talking to a friend about it, but didn't get much of a reaction. Of course, he was high at the time, so that could have been why.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My First UU Experience

I have always said, "nature is my church." I do not feel comfortable worshiping inside of a building because what I worship cannot be found withing the confinement of four walls. I feel most spiritual when I am in the woods, walking along a shoreline, in the middle of a lake, or even walking through the Boston Common. I have a lot of anxieties regarding death, and when I walk among nature I find comfort in the unknown; I find security in my beliefs, and if something were to happen to me at that very moment I would be at peace (though, at 33 I certainly hope it doesn't).

The one feature of worshiping in a building that I didn't know I was lacking was community. When I lived in western MA I felt that I had a community. I have not felt that way since moving from there. Sure, I have friends and people I hang out with and talk to; but I don't feel a sense of real belonging anywhere. More so, I don't feel it in regards to my emotional well being. As a Pandeist Pagan, I have never been interested in Covens. I find most of them to include belief in anthropomorphic deities, and use of paraphernalia. I would not feel comfortable in that sort of setting. I am more than sure there are groups of nature based Pagans out there, but the thing is my time in nature is sacred. It's my alone time, my time to connect spiritually. I do it my way and on my terms.

As I mentioned, I didn't know I was lacking a spiritual community. I didn't know this until I went and visited the First United Parish in Quincy, MA. This is the church where John Adams and John Quincy Adams are buried, and I went there for their historical tour. During the tour I learned the the church was a Unitarian Universalist church. I had heard the term before, and knew it as "the churches with the LGBT flag", but never knew what it was really about; so I asked questions. I learned that while UU churches are rooted in liberal Christianity, what they look like today are more of a community rather than a religion.

From the UU Wiki page; "Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion characterized by a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning". The Unitarian Universalist Church does not have a creed.
Instead UUs are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth. As such, UU congregations include many agnostics, theists, and atheists among their membership. Unitarian Universalists state that from these traditions comes a deep regard for intellectual freedom and inclusive love, so that congregations and members seek inspiration and derive insight from all major world religions. The beliefs of individual Unitarian Universalists range widely, including, atheism, agnosticism, pantheism, deism, Jusaism, Islam, Christianity, neopaganism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Humanism, and many more.”

The UU Church is also a very liberal community. They are inclusive of all LGBTIAPQ people, people with disabilities (including invisible illness), and people of color. I decided to attend a service, to see what it was like. Here are some bullet points from my experience.
  • One of the readings was a letter from Jesus. What I liked about the reading was it presented Jesus as a human, and not a divine being. I have always believed Jesus to be a great Rabbi, Philosopher, story teller, but not as the son of God. This was the only "Christian" feel to the service, and I didn't feel uncomfortable.
  • When ending prayer the words "blessed be" were spoken along with "amen." As a Pagan this made me feel incredibly included.
  • There was a moment of meditation were the Reverend reflected on several people and events including; the people of Orlando, those living with physical and mental illness, the LGBT community in Boston who just celebrated pride. We reflected in our own way, and the words were inclusive of all schools of spirituality and thought.
  • A reading was done called, The Summer Day. The last line asks, "tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life." After the reading they has a, "Call Across the Ages." This was a multi generational sharing of the answering of the aforementioned questions. The people who spoke were a young mother (through the Reverend via email since she could not attend), a middle aged man, and an elderly woman of almost 90. Their stories and experiences were great to listen to, and I felt I could resonate (especially the young mother who talked of making the world a better place, servicing others, and seeing the best in people). There was no heavy religious undertones. In the Catholic Church a Priest could give a great sermon, but then it always comes back to the Christian God, and I lose the connection; I can't resonant.  Here, I was able to.
  • There was a point where people were encouraged to share a sorrow or a joy, and candles were lit. Again, a way for everyone to feel included. I shared a sorrow and had several people come up to me after and thank me; tell me I was brave. 
After there was a potluck and I got to meet and talk to people. Their last service is next Sunday and they start Chalice Circles (discussion and deep listening groups). I am definitely going back, and hope to be part of the community soon.

Nature is still my church, but once a week coming together with other spiritual, liberal, inclusive people is something I need.