{January 23, 2014}   1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Confused. Very confused. I suppose that happens after you’ve seen 3 psychiatrists, 1 psychiatric nurse, 2 emergency room doctors and your psychologist in the span of 3 weeks and tried to kill yourself and cut yourself.

That, all that, in itself is a lot of noises, voices, thoughts coupled in with well-meaning friends and family advice.

I saw a new psych today who thinks that on top of BPD, a lot in itself, I could also have depression on top of that. That’s just depressing, no pun intended. So, my medications have been mixed a little to see if it makes a difference, more bupropion, cipralex and trazadone. Yes, I am hoping it works and at the same time I am heaving a sigh of almost giving up. Can it get any harder?

depressionMeeting a new psych is also hard, new everything, start again, how do I compress 12 years into one hour and have you UNDERSTAND me. Then see you in a month and almost start again. I realize this is how psychiatrists work, especially govt run psyches, though when I had my first brush with death, I saw mine almost every week till life turned a corner.

I am still in home jail because I am volatile, to myself, being a quiet borderline and all. I’m prickly, sensitive and my mother poked me with a red-hot poker yesterday which induced a few steps backwards in the hockey pokey dance and involved some broken glass and cutting. I feel like a vibrating energy line loose from its pole, just on the verge of electrocuting.

I dont know what im supposed to do, stay where, do what, see whom, what do I want? One step at the time, I get it, but which path and which direction am I stepping? Am I going to live at my mother’s house and be visited by the psych nurse and another pysch every week, not guaranteed the same person each week, but they are just there to keep me safe, sane and stable. Then go see my psychologist. Then drive 40min to see the new psych I saw today once a month, plus the ones that see me every week, and attend DBT “light” classes once a week also 40min away from town, though without the 24 hour access to the therapists I had w my private program. I am already feeling crazier than the crazy I am. Maybe I should call the 1-800-SUICIDE line.

Safety plan, make my safety plan. And that includes who? It seems like a lot of people, professional people but other than there’s H and… 911 and some sedatives. SAD.

God, I have no idea what to do, why the fuck am I here, this is ridiculous, stupid, a waste of time, and I am miserable. Why does everyone have to be miserable along with me? It feels like playing a game with parts from other games thrown in, so nothing

stock-photo-close-up-shot-of-old-soccer-ball-basketball-baseball-football-bat-hockey-stick-baseball-glove-50956663quite fits together or plays together and you can’t win the game with mixing a basketball with hockey player with a soccer net on an football field. Yes, they’re all sports but which sports team am I playing with?

My head hurts, my heart hurts, my brain hurts and people wonder why I just want to go to sleep, this is so fucked the hell up. 





{November 27, 2012}   Unravelling (warning: trigger)

ImageI am unraveling, not the dainty  spool of gossamer thread, light and delicate, nor the bright unwind of a ball of warm yarn clicking into needles, this is rough thread leaving a still raw and weeping wound, being pulled apart slowly, each tug exposing healing and damaged skin, pooled with that glisten of wet that seeps from anguished cuts.

I came apart last night, thinking I was doing no wrong, knowing I was on shaky mental ground. I still don’t know what I did but my behaviour was wrong. I was feeling good, enjoying the mood, happy to be out and with people, but I was inappropriate, enough that my partner left me at the party in disgust of who I am. What was so bad about me, can I not see myself, can I not see the wrong I do. I don’t know what I did but I feel so bad and scared, because I felt like me and nothing felt wrong, so how can I not see my actions.

Who am I is the siren call of BPD, who am I? Do I see myself as I really am? What am I, am I a good person, am I pretty, am I generous, am I hard working, I don’t know, I don’t know the answer to my own self. Borderline is an unstable sense of self, I can see it written on paper, I wish I could see myself catalogued on paper, not just as a Borderline but how I am to the outside world.

People say things, some flattering, others not so much, do you believe them all, are they all of me. People call me pretty, yet the mirror does not say so, I like it when they say it, it makes me feel that maybe I can ignore the face in the mirror. Wen they say I am smart and work hard I have to laugh, maybe Amanda laughs, can they not see me? I feel like a child playing an adult’s game. When I look in the mirror I see insecure, fearful, tense, aging, pock marked, chubby, hollow me.

My head hurts, I cannot get out of bed, I have tried. My legs are inertia, and walking is an excruciating expenditure of energy I don’t have. Then the fear, I tried to go out and face the world and the fear came up in my throat like it was to strangle me, then the pain, then the uncontrollable tears of hurt that all I could do was hurtle back into bed and let the pain out and the hollow set in. Hollow, it flits in and out, alternating the stitches dragged out of my skin to then experiencing nothingness. Black and white. Tiny tremors of knife pricks scratch at my chest, I feel without the confines of my clothes my body would fall into shredded skin and bone on the floor, carcass.

Opposite action they said in class, opposite action would be getting out from bed and plastering that happy smile while I let the pain subside, I know it will, but in the thick of the flames I cannot imagine my screams going away. Someone is burrowing a point into the side of my head, I can feel the thudding so loud, they almost drown out the voices of negativity. Unfortunately, it hurts.

I walked home last night, under the light of the moon, surrounded by the dark of the trees. I should have felt worse for being left but I suppose this was punishment for being me. I thought of all the things that could happen on this dark road and I felt what was due was due, just one step ahead of the other. I fell in a ditch, mud soaked shoes and skin, walking my way back to a place that doesn’t want me. I was sad when an hour later a ride came by, it meant exponentially increasing the tidal wave of suffocation in my chest and the fray of my mind splintering.

I didn’t cut, yet. The easy out keeps slipping through my mind like a slippery eel, wending its way in and out of my consciousness, hissing when it finds a hole to curl in and remind me. Last night the urge was strong, I stood holding that knife, running the edge of the blade across my palm, imagining the panacea it could bring me. I put it down, I picked it up, I put it down, I walked away. I mindfully washed the mud off my legs, my shoes, my hands, my clothes while duelling with the knife in my mind.

This too shall pass, so easy to say when you are not living the hell with me. When you can’t see me. When you don’t understand me. All I can do is squash the words and find the smile, no words can describe this inner pain, so best to smile through the pain. Those stitches will soon come loose.

{June 6, 2012}   The Verdict Handed Down

I am calm right now, had some seroquel force fed into me.

im at a loss for words, truly at a loss for words, feeling quite numb, probably from the drug and so much i want to write before i forget or fall back into the low again once the meds subside.

shocking, but given the last few days not shocking, very upsetting, not sure how to cope, i have been given 4 weeks off work. im not sure what that means, bills, money, need to claim disability, something, cant deal with it now, i cant take 4 weeks off and may have to ignore that order. 4 weeks off means i’ll have every creditor in the city after me.

my medications have been curtailed to two weeks at a time, just in case, i you know… limited supply on hand.

however, not on suicide watch!

been put on clonazepam for a little while till i can get a better handle and work through this period. i havent figured out how i am going to get myself to the pharmacy without breaking down sobbing at the counter since just getting to the hospital was a shaky affair. i should get it tonight but i know its not going to happen, i cant do it. i made it 3 nights, i can make it 4.

too many things at the same time, my regulation shut down, overloaded, depression. constant tension at work made me have to put so much energy into staying even and managing the barbs and lost a safe place, having 8 hours of my day fraught just elevated my stress, i didn’t take proper breaks to re-charge, my mother’s little dynamo of a secret rocked a fragile space with no resolution and festered, and hugh pretty much jumping ship and declaring me unworthy of anything further due to my BPD tendencies and not sticking by or believing me when the first true ugliness of my BPD came through when i had put my trust into him pretty much hit the last trigger of abandonment and rejection.  Then my own guilt and self recrimination, thinking that i must have been wrong and bad, could have done better, why am I such an awful person… and the rest is history

i got validation, my disassociation while traveling was not because i was a loose provocateur. given the history and the tension, plus the trauma of history, my outlet for pain was not available, and to fend of an episode my mind disassociated to cope. It is not a facet of my morality but as he put it, a multiplication of historical factors that would be hard for any BPD sufferer to handle even with DBT training and unlikely for all those triggers to happen simultaneously again as they were historically based on the volatility of the relationship. Like a cub protecting her young, i acquiesced to protect my mind and that was the right thing to do, in a weird warped clinical way i am sure no sane person could understand.

My fear of emergency, the fact that I didn’t go to emergency for fear of them throwing me back into the psych ward and not letting me out based on my history was calmed. Repeat after him, do not be afraid of the system, they are here to help me. My psychiatrist swore to me up and down that if I ended up there, to have his card, drop his name, he would come, he knows that i am very high functioning, this was a dip in the road, they would not hold me. I am “a great model of a recovering BPD patient”

it was ok that i called no one or asked for help. Because my trust was broken, it would have been hard for me to not have been caged about letting someone in to help for fear of them disappointing me. My cutting was moderate, i think they didn’t want to berate me, given that i was  about to collapse, and i had managed to come for help, which was a step in the right direction.

This does not mean I am not still here, lying on the floor, struggling, crying and panicking. I should go get the clonazepam but i cant, just like i cant go to work, i cant get up again, once was enough, and coming back home after some rest and a sedative im just calm and regulated enough right now to write this before we repeat the cycle for the next few days. Going to stay bad, the depression they say will be at least a few more days but if i get on the meds, focus and work hard on getting back in control i should be in a better place by Monday.

no one said anything about a support system, my babbling and crying about trust and fear in people perhaps made them think i could go this on my own for a little while to gain some strength before letting anyone in in case they imbalance me. If i get too scared alone i am to go to emergency and ask them to admit me till i feel calm again.

i can feel the drugs wearing off and the anxiety starting again. my head hurts. i havent eaten but the nausea of self loathing is still present. im jittery, trying to count the slats in the wood, feeling my twinkling shards of pain surfacing, i missed the shadows coming through, and its very quiet. regardless of what they say, the damage is still tight in my gut, and if i could shed this life and person for another, i would.

DBT: How emotion impacts thinking, self, and relationships

Posted on April 12, 2011 by rhoekstra

One of the theories behind DBT is that emotions interfere with other aspects of functioning. If emotional arousal is high it has the capacity to interfere with thinking, experience of self, actions, and relationships. This may be especially true for people that are sensitive to emotions, experience emotions as strong and intense, and have difficulty getting emotional arousal down.

For instance, if you are feeling extremely threatened you may have a tendency to argue, attack, avoid or withdraw, attempt to problem-solve or fix by ruminating on past or recent interactions. You may become preoccupied with the event(s) in which you became threatened in the first place. When your thoughts become preoccupied with the threatening situation, it is hard to be “in-the-moment” in other areas of your life. (For instance, it is really hard to “be” with friends when your attention is clearly somewhere else).

Because people sometimes behave in out-of-control ways when they are under emotional threat, a person may experience him or herself as out-of-control of undesirable actions. Actions may temporarily reduce or control strong emotions, but most of the time lead to unwanted long-term consequences.

People who have difficulty with strong emotions often believe that emotions “come out of nowhere.” When emotions “come out of nowhere”, it is difficult to predict when they will show up. If a person can’t predict when emotions show up, and if strong emotions lead to out-of-control type actions (or interactions!)- a person will not experience a high degree of self-control. This may lead to confusion about experience, difficulty organizing or “knowing” oneself, or problems following through on tasks or activities. Intentions may not get carried out because 1) emotional arousal is already high 2) when emotional arousal is high, the person has a lower tolerance or threshold for new emotional stimuli 3) the environment will continue to make demands/ expect things of a person. Thus, one’s attention and energy can be so pre-occupied that one may lose all sense of purpose and direction.

Mindfulness is considered to be a “core skill” in DBT. As abstract as it sometimes sounds, the concept of mindfulness has to do with the ability to be centered, grounded, attentive, “real”, and connected. Mindfulness has to do keeping all the impinging emotional extremes manageable. One of the purposes of being mindful is to decrease confusion about oneself. “Knowing oneself” is a benefit of showing up, paying attention, and taking notice. It is extremely hard to do, takes a lot of hard work, and can be really frustrating to “get”. It is also really hard to think of how it applies, and can take considerable patience in terms of getting it “work.” It really does work, though!

The light no longer filters through the drapes, instead the shadows begin to fall into the room. The cracks remain, the ceiling stands, and still, here I am, torn. Torn between understanding and not, that what I thought would hold me afloat, tore, leaving all my weight to give way at the first gust that ripped through, with not a fibre left to lend a hand. The cancer ate through to the bone and the nurses and doctors left the room, with nary a fight, disgusted at the sight, repulsed. And so I lie, torn, wondering how this heart could still beat with everything else standing so still, a monotone landscape, dry and wide, watching, unmoving.

Stigma, torn open for all to see, charity is only for the pretty, when the beggars and lepers come forth, few stay to the end, willing to tear their hearts and gates open, embracing what they despise,  finding the truth and goodness in their own humanity and that underneath the filth their is light.  They are torn too, not given a choice, living the sins of birth, of circumstance, perhaps ashamed to reach out that hand, fearing that should they soil you, expose their crimes, disgust will make the hands that feed recoil. Maybe they too, lie on the ground, torn, watching the shadows descend onto their faces, tears tearing streams down their faces, self loathing spreading, bile resting heavy in their mouths for who they are.

I will have to get up and leave the shadows, tomorrow, the next day, perhaps the one after, before the world gives up on me and all charity walks away. Swallow the bitter words, that again, it is just Amanda and I, the only one that lives through it all, thick and thin, that when ugly comes to play, Amanda always stays. She loves the weakness, regales when the control slips away, when I lose the will, make the mistakes and become that leper that all abhor, who cut their facade of charitable nets and false understanding, leaving me, lying, naked, on the floor. Torn. Wanting to sink into the ground, feeling the dirt cover the shame that I could not hold, bury the side of me that is poison, let it seep away into the mud, free me from the weakness that keeps me alone, torn, again.

Splinters and shards, no one walks into fields of broken glass, we know this Amanda, they’re our pieces, they hurt everyone else, no one lies with us in the darkness, shards twinkling in the moonlight. Come Amanda, take my hand.

Dr. Marsha Linehan:

But the value of the therapy can be thwarted if patients return to an environment that misunderstands them. Thus, Dr. Linehan said, it is important for others to recognize that people with borderline personality disorder are genuinely suffering. “They are in excruciating pain that is almost always discounted by others and attributed to bad motives,” she said.

The idea is “to validate the person’s emotional reactions, to say, ‘I understand how you feel,’ to pay attention, not to the situation, but to the emotion behind it,” Dr. Linehan said.

Alan E. Fruzzetti, a psychologist at the University of Nevada, said that families have to learn how to “soothe themselves, to realize that though the situation is awful, not to blame or be judgmental of the person but to see the person as also suffering.”

Reacting in a nonloving way magnifies the trauma tenfold, he said in an interview, adding: “You may have to leave a bad situation, but you must come back in a loving way, maybe say something like, ‘That blowout yesterday, I really want to understand your experience.’ ”

{June 1, 2012}   Dear Amanda

Dedicated to my alter ego that haunts me, lives with me, loves me, hates me, torments me and kills me. One day one of us will win.

{June 1, 2012}   (trigger) Bring Me to Life

Another song that I used to listen to and contemplate.

{May 10, 2012}   Abuse

You can never see what is inside. Words can cut deeper than a knife.

I saw my psychiatrist today. It always brings up so many mixed emotions when I walk out the door ranging from confusion, questions, frustration, elation, tension. I think most of all I feel locked, like someone trying to speak a foreign language, the thoughts and emotions are in my head but I don’t know the words to bring them out. When I do it never seems to convey the depth of emotion, seriousness, fear I have behind them. I feel glossy and shiny on the outside but that’s due to the paint not the interior condition.

I feel pretty good right now but the fear is when will it end, be taken away in a big resounding crash like it always seems to. Lately I have been thinking it seems just too good, the boogey man is going to jump out at any moment and tell me it’s all been an episode of Pranked and none of this has been real. So does this make me tenuous? Or perhaps cynical, it never seems to have lasted before, I get choked, life becomes monotonous, life becomes to get set in stone, and people then have expectations and perhaps I sabotage.

That’s an interesting word to come out. In all the years I have been writing that word has never been written. Sabotage. Do I think I don’t deserve for things to be good, that if it will end that it should end on my terms? That I should make me the reason, so the fault lies with me, no one else, so badly that I can take the fall and go back down to the pit of comfort? It sounds so horrible but within germinates a kernel truth. That I think I am meant to fail.

It’s hard for me to talk, truly, I have support but I don’t think I really talk to any friends or family, I don’t know how to expose. How do you give someone Pandora’s Box, why would you give someone that? In addition to that, it’s that they can never understand, who understood Pandora’s Box of evil? When I start to talk to people and they start equating their lives and their emotions and their feelings and that they know and they’ve felt it and they can understand, I just get cold, shuttered and turn off the conversation. Why do I need to take the energy to explain to people who will never understand that nothing is like what they think, feel or do, nothing. Yes, I know you have had emotions, tough times, experiences, everyone does, and you can understand the average bear, but please don’t patronize me by thinking you know. In effect, I just don’t talk, I smile, I pretend, I act, to make you feel better. Or I agree with you, yes, you know me, do you feel better now, you fixed me, you’ve been through the same thing, you know what its like to hide all the knives in your house when you’re PMSing so you don’t fillet your arm. Sure, you know.


What walked out in my mind was abuse. The question of have I been abused, and my automatic answer has always been no, till today, when I took a pause. I never thought about abuse as something in my life, but if I put pieces together there is abuse.

My mother, who is a wonderful, loving and caring human being, that would do anything in the world for me, used to have her own issues when she was younger. I don’t know what they were but there was anger and unfortunately the outlet was me. Sometimes you think things are normal, till you dig deeper and deeper. I remember being beaten in the shower, maybe 4-5 years old, crying and cowering on the cold tile floors, huddled as close to the back wall as possible as my mother beating on me with a bucket, screaming and pouring water on me all at once so I couldn’t breathe, scream or cry. My mother had rage and sometimes it took one little thing for her to explode. She used to throw the furniture at me, little tables, chairs, I just learned how to duck. It didn’t go on for long, maybe a year, because abruptly it ended and I forgot about it but snippets in my mind. She was always repentent and I know it was her way of letting out her frustration, which doesn’t make it right but it ended.

Bobby, I dated Bobby in college, he would get mad, very mad, and the same thing, he just didn’t know what to do with his rage, how to control it. So he threw me, hold me up against the walls till I cried, squeezed my wrists and forearms so tight they would bruise, and if I ran he would get crazy and so best to just stay quiet, cry till he found himself again. He was always sorry, classic abuse, I know, I know, I know.

Mental, well there was always mental abuse from my father, but that’s par for the course in any non western family. You’re never ever good enough. They can love you to death but you’re never good enough. They can love you but never talk to you. They can love you and never feel you. So I went to friend’s houses for family; real, live, talking, engaging families. How I used to suck that up, sponge in what I never got, interaction, inclusion, attention. I thank my friends for sharing their families, such a part of who I am today with my own family.

Hurt begets hurt, and you either give in or fight, and at first I gave in, there was no fight, I would do and be anything anyone wanted me to be. I would be perfect. Their perfect. And when you fuck with who you are long enough, years upon years in my case, the dam eventually breaks because you’re hollow with need pushing and one day the crack starts and there’s no going back, you either die or swim hard and fight. I chose one and then the other but the line is never clear whether I am deserving of one or the other. Will anyone really stay the distance, be able to fight with me and against me, to see, really see through that sabotage and desire to close out and weather it. Why would you? This is where death seems so much easier, why am I fighting everyday to survive? What is the purpose? WHAT IS THE PURPOSE? It’s so difficult.

There are days I wish fairy tales did come true with happily ever after… mine seem to be more along the lines of the Grimm Brother tales.

Back From the Edge

This is a long film and I know if you have BPD you will watch with tears in your eyes.  I hope that non BPD, friends and loved ones will try and watch it to the end. I so you want you to love and understand me, I just don’t know how to not hide it.

It’s somewhat old, 2006, and 6 years has made some differences and changes in treatments and medication.

I have come a long way but the portions on cutting, suicide and emptiness linger with me.

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


The secret life of high-functioning borderline personality disorder.

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