{August 31, 2012}   Are you Embarrassed of Me?

I think Hugh is embarrassed of me. This could be paranoia on my part but there is a part of me that believes he’s uncomfortable letting people he knows or we know that we are dating. If he does anything with friends it is without me, I can understand solo time with your friends, but all the time and them not knowing you are dating someone after almost 10 months of off and on dating? If I invite him to do anything with my friends or family, I already know its an assured no, or more so , a question on why? why cant i see them alone, why dont i enjoy them without him? why dont i go have fun he can take care of himself? maybe im proud of him? maybe i want to share? what  a concept…

Somehow, i feel guilty for even asking him and feeling inadequate for asking. now if this happened once in a while, ok, but all the time, leads me to think, hugh doesn’t want to be seen in public together or be associated with anyone, or is it just me he doesn’t want to be associated with.

yes, he is private, very private, just getting him to tell me about his day seems like an invasion of privacy. don’t normal people do that, share? thats always been my history, you want to share with someone you are close to.

its an outside looking in perpective, like im asking for permission and tentatively working around  the stainless steel door in case it falls over and smashes me into the ground without a second thought, because i dont exist in that world.

so is he embarrassed of me? he’s amazingly loving and caring when we are together, as long as we are alone or with strangers. he would never think to invite me to something he’s been invited to (party, dinner, get together), normally i have to invite myself which is beginning to make me feel pathetic, for pete’s sake if he wants me there he’s invite me, as opposed to my being the sad case that has to invite myself and twist his arm and then spend the whole time thinking im a dead weight.

i remember before we started dating he’d bring dates to joint events we would see each other at, i wonder if he still does that, with other women not me. i dont think he’s sexual with them, he’d just rather bring someone else other than me who he isn’t dating.

the other reason i can think he’s not proud of me is that ive dated 2 of his other friends which makes him seem like he’s got the cast off girl, embarrassing to admit  that he’s somehow dating me too, that in boy world, like im sloppy seconds or thirds. wow, that makes me feel terrific. didn’t we go steady withpeople in high school and university that your friends or acquaintances had dated?

this is me the pariah, hide me in the shadows and only bring me out with the crappy friends we have in common who’s opinions we dont give a shit about.

i have low self esteem, i know i do, I just push hard to hide it and put that face forward that makes everyone see confidence, where inside i pray and hope no one calls me on it. I guess this just reinforces that never quite good enough feeling.

yesterday i was at a work event for a wedding consult and i felt like the plainest, ugliest, shortest chubbiest woman there amongst all the women. if i could have been a dull wallflower i would have blended in perfect. my insecurity was at an all time high and without work to focus on it would have been tragic.


{August 24, 2012}   Addiction

Last night was hellish but I have to say that I did a remarkable job of pulling through harm free. I dipped down the road to that dark place, the howling emptiness that swallows me, cries that can barely leave my throat but are fighting to come out. All the ugly coalescing to take hold. Cutting was up front and centre and miraculously i found the positivity to fight it off, that I could not let a few words of judgement be my be all and end all of who I was. I found that strong Vida that knew she was good and she was going to take Amanda to task for trying otherwise. Somewhere in me earlier in the night I had done some of the silly fluffy things from group, made the house pretty, lit the candles, put the soothing music on, dimmed the lights, so it felt like a haven, and when ugly struck I was not in a place of grungy disarray to make it worse. Writing always helps and when the urge to cut came on I poured as much as I could onto paper. I picked my self up from the ball on the floor, found consciousness, that light, and cleaned myself up. I watched a dance on SYTYCD on addiction, where she was fighting against addiction and she lost, in my case it was turned around, I was the one pushing addiction down.

I wish it wasn’t so lonely having BPD, it is a very very solitary place where no one can fully understand you. Friends are wonderful, family loves me, but no one gets me. As sad as I was to hear other BPD sufferers say the same in group, that most of their days are hollow even with friends, it made me feel better that it affects us all, this isolating disease we have where we spend most of our days pretending to fit in.

{August 24, 2012}   Significant others and BPD

I don’t talk to Hugh about my BPD anymore. I am doing this because he feels it is his responsibility to carry and then when push comes to shove it becomes a burden that he says adds to his stress. Since he told me that, I have stopped sharing, I don’t want to become an excuse or a reason to come back at me later. So I say I am OK all the time and I dont share the nitty gritty of group, the days I curl up in a ball and howl or when I’m hurting down to my toes (he doesn’t seem to queue into my triggers). He also is very cold when he wants to be, which makes me uncertain he will be there, when he wants to close me out, he does so very effectively not realizing how crippling it is to my mental state. He wants to punish me, though he will never own up to that, by making an example of my “bad” behaviour, so much like my father. I couldn’t close him out, I would miss him and feel terrible which makes my insecurity on how vested is he in this if he can tune me out so easily.

Hugh thinks the world revolves around me but his world is his and if you ripple it, you get a spear in your gullet, hard, shoot to kill. I’m worried any weakness of BPD I give will fuel the ammunition when he does pull back to hurl the spear. My world is full of ripples, it would be a tsunami that would kill me if I paid heed to all of them.

So, is it bad I don’t talk to the person I am dating about my BPD? He doesn’t understand it, he judges what I do at face value, based on his parameters. As you can imagine, I cannot live up to that, I can barely make day to day of my own parameters. He can’t see sick and I can’t hold that against him. Of course would he be so hard on me if I had down syndrome or was autistically disabled. People on BPD can go on disability for a reason, we’re fuckin disabled! I digress, I don’t blame him for not understanding, which is why I think it better to not share, it would cause more upset and more frustration on his part that I can’t be normal and my BPD is just being whiny.

What do you think? What do you do with your partner or ex partners? What has your experience been with understanding? It sounds so awful when I write this but he really is a good man, he just can’t wrap around mental health disability.

It Takes a Village

{August 23, 2012}   Hallelujah

It’s been a rough start to my week. I came back from my trip to the cabin feeling good about the trip and my ability to use my newfound DBT skills to stay in the present and enjoy the time I had with my BFF. However, upon returning it was not so easy.

I was getting the cold shoulder from H, his way of punishing me, like the BPD child I am, positive reinforcement that I will always be a child and that he cannot understand. Monetarily this month has been awful, I had to swallow my pride and ask my mother for money today, something I never wanted to do. It brought out looming fears of what would happen if I could not work. There are a few DBT individuals in my group that do not work and are on disability living with family and trying to get better. I wish I had the luxury of having the time to focus wholly on getting better.

I opened up that I had BPD in group and for our destructive behaviour I talked about my cutting. It was hard and brought up tears from a few other cutters. I found out I am not the only one that digs her nails into their arm so hard to quell the rising internal pain when cutting is not an option. I am happy to be in group, it makes me feel good that other people can relate, and when I hear them talk I want to throw my arms around them and hallelujah that I am not the only inner child, anxious, needy, abandoned, unable to cope crazy person. I love that Y dissociates because normal people think I’m lying about separating mind and body, but the fact that Y does it too makes my heart sing that she can talk to me about pain making us split. That G also feels her boyfriend doesn’t understand how much it hurts when there isn’t reassurance and contact, and that he doesn’t understand the pain and abandonment that lives in our minds without the touch. That K has almost every single symptom I have, except that she’s on disability and her parents had to take a loan for her to be able to come to class, but in the last 3 sessions I have seen more life in her each time. That Y also takes a pen to paper and rips it to shreds when she can’t contain the emotion. B and K live in fear that their mental health will lose them their jobs, I get that. B said today he wished he as on crutches so people could see his illness, how many times have I said i would rather have cancer, diabetes, something on the outside so people would understand, I am sick.

I wish I could get Hugh and my family to take the DBT course for loved ones, so they can understand the fragility of our lives and that tiny pin pricks feel like stab wounds. And stab wounds feels like torture in a german detention camp. That lack of communication is crippling and takes our breath away. That we have raw skin on the outside of our bodies. I want them to understand so badly, that they would judge me less if they knew and could speak with someone when they didn’t understand as oppose to lash out.

{August 23, 2012}   Hold the Ice

My insides are burning and I can barely gasp for breathe, my chest hurts and the air is searing through my lungs, breathing so hard I want to pass out. I have to swallow all the judgement to make it go away, I feel like my father is standing over me again finding every fault and flaw he can to beat me down, to show me I can never be good enough, that no matter what I do its wrong. I want to scream, claw and cry the pain out, even when I havent done anything wrong somehow I am wrong. I cant seem to get past the legacy of never feeling like I can do anything right. I don’t know why I try, no one notices when I try, they only notice what they judge is wrong. I have been working so hard, so fucking hard that my head hurts everyday from the sheer volume of exertion to get better. But no one sees it, all they see is bad, always bad.

I cant let other people’s judgments take me down, I need to hold on to what I know is right, I cannot hold it inside of me, I cannot internalize the pain, I cannot hurt myself based on other people’s opinions, I need to fight this off, I will not cut, I didn’t do anything bad. I am not bad. I AM NOT BAD.

I can feel those dark hands coming up against my throat, winding around me, roots pulling me down, please stop, I can’t go there. I will not sink, I will not let words hurt me, my intentions were not calculated, no matter how twisted into ugly people want to view me, there was nothing but me, standing there, naked, open to flagellation. So, I’m beaten and now I have to beat the darkness that I let in, to get up off the floor, to stop these cries, to stop claws, to stop the tears on my words as I write. Find the breath. Find the soothing. Do not cut, you are not ugly, there is nothing to cut.

I need to sedate and work through what we learned in class today. Today I told the class I had BPD, today I talked about cutting. Today has been a big emotional day. I knew what was going to be thrown down on me, I knew it would be negative, and I need to remember that all I can do is listen, I cannot change people’s impressions of me, everyone is entitled to an opinion and if I internalize every negative I will hurt myself. DBT says I need to hold onto me, know me. If I know who I am it shouldn’t matter what people say, Amanda will not be allowed to come to play. Fuck you Amanda, you can’t use those words because they are untrue. Opinions. Opinions are not truths.

I am going to hold some ice.

{August 22, 2012}   Safety in Disassociation

This is a great excerpt I took off a post by Beyond the Borderline.

What she described to me was an instance of pretty intense dissociation. She was beyond the point of even crying. Her body and brain just shut down. She could walk and talk, but there were no more feelings. She moved to a place beyond her ability to feel emotion. Blank. Nothingness. There’s a reason for these defense mechanisms and sometimes I do think they’re a blessing. Especially since it only lasted that day and she was able to escape it. Imagine being under so much stress that your mind takes over and lets you have no say in how it functions and is able to interact with the world. It’s a really bizarre feeling.

Not all BPD persons experience disassociation and it is a very peculiar and out of control feeling when your mind and body shut down and you are a spectator watching yourself go through motions you neither care nor not care about. I liken it to watching a movie of yourself you have no control to stop, pause, rewind, just watch like a big screen movie.

For me, it only happens under extreme extreme duress and only a few times in the last 15 years. Once I had rented my vacation house out to a couple about to be married and she called screaming that he was trying to kill her. After the police, the hospital, the stress, the exhaustion, the sheer overwhelm off all I was doing hit, I blanked into zombie mode and eventually friends had to sedate me and put me to bed. The other couple of times have been with ex boyfriends, one was abusive and the other the emotional pressure was a catalyst. Thankfully, nothing has caused me great harm and perhaps the disassociation has saved me from hitting the edge and causing more harm in the situation.


{August 19, 2012}   Positivity!

I don’t have a bad life, outside of the calamities caused by my BPD, it is pretty amazing and I need to find the appreciation and moments to soak in days like these. If I could bottle the days of true joy to breathe in during the darkness how therapeutic that would be.

The groundwork I used the last few days to not obsess and tangent over work and Hugh surprised me. Surprised me tremendously how in the moment I was able to keep myself in, especially on a 5 hour drive to the cabin! I will digress to let you know, the thoughts that could intrude into my mind is that I made a few small mistakes at work the last couple of days which my boss pointed out and Hugh got annoyed at me for my lack of awareness. Which would lead me to- I am a disappointment at work and Hugh is going to break up with me and tell me again how he does not want any ties to me. BUT- right now, I am not a knotted up, gnarled, dark and stormy bundle of evil darkness washing across my happy.

My job is perfect for me, I don’t make a lot of money but the freedom that it gives me to be able to have time and space to balance my BPD is hard to find. I am given an inordinate amount of trust by my boss and the company as a whole. It’s also in an ideal location so I am not commuting and wasting parts of my life in a car. Where else could I work to let me be sitting here now writing.

Hugh, I think Hugh is amazing. Of course there are things about him that make me stop short but I am far from perfect and some of the things that frustrate me I also admire because they make him who he is. Yes, they can be unreasonable and hurt, but one has to weigh the pros and cons and the pros outweigh the cons and in those moments I have to take that internal mind breath and remember that relationships are compromise and work and we are different people, he cannot be me though there are times that I want to beat Buddhism into him, lol, which of course, goes against the grain of Buddhism. He’s great, I think we work well, and on the off moments I need to give him space and take mine as well.

The things that are always happy in my life, my children, my amazing, beautiful, sweet and kind children. Though life is much harder on my BPD for having them, they are now the guiding life of my BPD. I could not hope for more empathetic and gentle souls as they are.

Future, that scary far off nebula of fire. If I can keep this path I have set with the doctors, to concentrate on health first and foremost, the children and Hugh next, I see that tiny spark of a star.My gosh its work and I am exhausted by the amount of day to day focus and maintenance it is taking, and to make it succeed I have to watch that I take those mental breaks every few months to not let the strain trip me the tight rope. I can tell the DBT classes are going to help, and I thank and thank again that Hugh is here to help me with them or the chances of my being able to take them would be slim. I see a sliver, a fission of hope that I can do the work to take that next step.

Disclaimer, it is one step at a time. I am still not good at reaching out, at explaining, at not beating myself up. Do you have days that you wonder what you would be like without BPD? Would I lose my joie de vivre for the simple child like things, the spontaneity, that when I love you I love you beyond belief, that I will not fight. These are all things that are good, that my BPD enhances. Yes, there is the flip side of all of those items but we’re on POSITIVE today.

{August 17, 2012}   Dog’s Ass

I don’t understand how I am always the shit.

I so wanted to meet up with Hugh last night, he texted me at 11:25pm to meet him. I said good bye to friends, kisses, etc and texted him back at 11:47pm I was grabbing a cab and he pretty much said too late, i blew him off (he waited an hour and a half for me- huh? 47-25= 22 minutes?). I waited wondering if he would text me tell me where he was going and when he didn’t I went home and now I am the dog’s ass feeling like the shit hole who screwed up by wanting to see him.

Yeah, hurt, feel like crud. Trying to breathe, stay in the moment, not let that ugly take hold. Participate and non judge which I just failed at by judging myself as a dog’s ass. Don’t want to see him because its going to hurt but its going to smart for a few anyways regardless and I need to get my car.

{August 17, 2012}   Distress Tolerance

I started DBT group classes 3 weeks ago, yesterday was my 3rd class.

Two days ago I cut myself again.

We are learning in DBT to be able to separate the emotion out of the equation in the situation by observing, describing and participating. Which in practice in a controlled environment with a single focus and stressor is easily doable. Then with Distress Tolerance you are supposed to bring to mind the pros and cons, specifically the cons of going through with the destructive behaviour, yet again, makes sense but very hard in actual situational application.

I cut myself after feeling stripped to the bone by Hugh, he’s a strong personality and when he chooses to use his words, its lacerating. When I am hit with accusation and the worthlessness of my actions, or what seems to me is so, my soul shrivels and the pain is outstanding it takes all senses away. What comes to mind is having a knife stabbed repeatedly into my chest and there is nothing but a crippling inability to speak or defend because the pain and the noise inside of me is deafening and chunks of emotion are tearing off my skin.

Frantically, I am trying to take a step back from the anger I can feel him throwing at me to try and bow down and separate, no matter how much I know I was not entirely wrong or the words are painfully unjust I cannot argue, I’d rather just accept because I cannot find the conviction to stand up and defend myself. With Hugh I feel like I cannot win against the judgements, when he is mad there is nothing to do but accept and on the flip side DBT says for me to be non-judgemental to curb the emotion and not let mine exacerbate, so all there is to do is wait and listen holding as tight to control as humanly possible to not crest the edge.

But how do I do this when the pain is coming in waves as the words don’t stop to let me breathe, each judgement is another nail in my coffin towards cutting, and I in turn am looking for the space to not react, to stay non judgemental of him which makes me all the more judgemental of myself and my weakness. And when I am able to swallow all my pain to show externally it is OK, that I am OK with his perception of me, inside I need to cut to give myself the release to keep going without falling apart. And I am supposed to bring to mind the repercussions but in the moment i would rather cut the pain out and deal with the repercussions another day so we could go on and not continue in that space that would make him upset even more that I could not snap out. It takes us longer to come down and re-stabilize and so when we are dealing with normal people, how can we find the time we need when they are watching and judging, what else is there to do but the quick fix?

We did the matrix of destructive behaviour yesterday and I am looking forward to doing the homework with my cutting as the center piece. She rightfully pointed out that each time i do it, I am giving myself affirmation that it is OK by it giving me the release. Positive affirmation in the negative sense. But what do I care more about? When I look back I would rather appease Hugh than myself, so in my mind to bring things to equilibrium, I had to cut and it was worth it because I dont think he could see it from my side so it was up to me to fix me.

Its all fucked up and this is why I am in class. I don’t judge others, I do in silly materialistic ways, but true judgement I leave for myself, there is no harsher critic of me than me, and hence when people beat me down, I tend to believe them and absorb it.

Take a look at the example below… if I had said  “I’m noticing that you are raising your voice. Why are you doing this?” to Hugh, he would have blown my head off with all the reasons he was, how would this have helped me?

See if you can observe and describe in more emotionally charged situations. Remember to notice your judgments, but not get caught up in them. Notice the judgment in the same way that you notice tone of voice, for instance. See if it is easier to let go of volatile reactions when you withhold judgments. Part of observing is also withholding assumptions. Describe your observations to the other person. “I’m noticing that you are raising your voice. Why are you doing this?” Does the situation seem different to you? Are you seeing it in another way? Is the other way more healing?

“Although the stance advocated here is a nonjudgmental one, this should not be understood to mean that it is one of approval. It is especially important that this distinction be made clear to clients: Acceptance of reality is not equivalent to approval of reality.

“…. The distress tolerance behaviors targeted…are concerned with tolerating and surviving crises and with accepting life as it is in the moment. Four sets of crisis survival strategies are taught: Distracting, self-soothing, improving the moment, and thinking of pros and cons.”

{August 14, 2012}  

et cetera
A Forgetful Traveler

Remembering the world one blog post at a time

Life after BPD

Life after Borderline Personality Disorder; making a life worth living through love, laughter, positivity and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Bi-polar parenting

Thoughts and ideas

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