Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Criterion #6 & #8

One of the hardest aspects of BPD for me to control is inappropriate anger and anger outbursts. While I've come a long way, it's still something that I struggle with. On the plus side, I have been able to recognize my triggers.

For one, most of my anger outbursts happen online; someone doesn't understand what I'm trying to say, someone misinterprets what I'm saying for being mean, calling me or insinuating that I'm stupid, telling me or insinuating that I haven't made progress. Here's the caveat though, my reactions depend on my mood. If I'm in a good mood, then I won't react with anger. However, if I'm irritable, frustrated, or tired (just woken up) then I am more likely to snap or lash out.

The irritability can trigger my anger in "real life" aspects. I've snapped and lashed out at people getting my food order wrong, I've yelled at customer service reps over the phone, or I've yelled at random people in my way or who irritate me. Again, my reactions are mainly based on my level of irritability. Unfortunately, all three of my disorders cause me some form of irritability. I have, however, worked on this. I do yoga, color, I will pre-write what I want to say before calling customer service. These strategies are helpful if I'm in a place I can do them, or I have time to think about an upcoming event or interaction that might upset me. However, what I continue to have trouble with is spontaneous triggers, when I'm not fully cognitively aware, or if multiple things happen to me during the day and I'm far from my baseline (for people with BPD, it takes us longer to get back to baseline. So if a trigger happens, and then a second one happens before we're back at baseline, it can elevate us even more).

Sometimes, when it gets really bad, I will disassociate. While in this state, I'm aware of my actions, but I can't control them. It's like I'm standing outside of myself, telling myself to stop, but I won't listen. Unfortunately, I haven't quite learned how to deal with disassociating.

It's hard for me to open up about this because I feel a lot of shame surrounding my anger and behaviors. I am also affected in other ways; migraines, panic, night terrors. I am not trying to get sympathy by saying, "poor me," but trust me when I say no one punishes me more than myself. Both consciously and unconsciously.

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