Still Wondering if I Have Borderline Personality Disorder: Thinking Out Loud

Yesterday and day before I found what looks like a good site for borderline personality disorder. The way I rage when B does something (or doesn’t do something) that makes my blood boil, I can’t seem to control myself.

I have a history of this. I go into my room and throw stuff. In the past I’ve kicked doors and punched walls. Once I broke a switch plate and cut my knuckle so bad there was blood all over the wall and the floor. Still have the scar. Shoulda gotten stitches. If that’s not a combo of impulsive behavior, rage and self-harm, I don’t know what is.

I know it’s trauma. But the behaviors are so intense, the feelings of rage intense also. So I revisit the BPD articles and info every so often.

During my reading on the above mentioned site, I came across a statement that said this:

“If someone’s currently in an abusive or invalidating environment, you can look pretty “borderline.” Like if you take any person and you throw them in an abusive relationship where you get gas lighted a lot for example, or invalidated a lot, you’ll start to act pretty “borderline” because that’s an adaptive response to a “crazy” environment.”

It does bring up questions such as, where do you draw the line on that? I mean most people developing the behaviors (which are really coping strategies for sanity in an insane situation) come from such an environment. It’s tough to fathom someone who comes from a healthy developmental environment, getting stuck in a situation that makes them act borderline. I mostly mean by choice. Thing is the foundation is built when there is nurture and love. A healthy environment becomes familiar and we aim for familiar when we get older. The one situation I can think of is if it’s against one’s will and that can happen to anyone.

Either way, the quote got my attention because I can’t think of a time I wasn’t in some sort of toxic situation, ranging from jobs to relationships.  My family was toxic too. And because my development was arrested, this is why I think I’m borderline. But then maybe the toxicity has just made me act that way. See what I mean?

The other thing is that the behaviors are ingrained at this point. So even if I was in a healthy situation I don’t know that I would not have those behaviors and feelings. I think I still would, although if I was seen and heard and validated and acknowledged, I know it would be a different story. There’s be peace within if I felt that I was being met half way and being valued.

It feels difficult to find that situation for myself when all I’ve known is toxicity though, because the toxic is familiar. Because I am now toxic myself. I am exhausted and don’t feel good about myself. I don’t have much self esteem, which stems from childhood but has gotten worse with all the (figurative) beatings I’ve taken.

BPD feels confusing because I’ve read of people who have that had trouble with very intense emotions as children.  This makes sense though if they aren’t getting their needs met. So I’m likely not getting the whole story.

Maybe it’s not an accurate label. I don’t know. I read one article by someone diagnosed with BPD, who claims not to have been traumatized and says that’s not where her ‘mental illness’ comes from.

I’m skeptical. But I don’t know her so I don’t know if it’s true or not.

Just some incomplete thought processes. We are all individuals and in different situations so I have to look at my own situation.

I don’t think these behaviors would be present in me if I’d had a nurturing and loving upbringing. Toxicity would not be familiar to me and I wouldn’t be drawn to it. And I would recognize it before it was too late. I wouldn’t question myself and instead I would know that the first show of toxic behavior would be the sign for me to bail.

No doubts, no questions asked, no guilt, no worry about someone else’s feelings to the detriment of my own.

And most of all, no getting stuck in a situation I can’t get out of.

Here’s the article that provoked my thought process and this post.  The whole site looks pretty good. The writers on the site are people with the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and in recovery.


 

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Awareness Can Be a Long Process

Original post date: May 24, 2014
This is another post originally from Safire Falcon.  It was even longer than what I’ve posted here. The second half includes a POV of co-dependence that I’m not completely sure of now. So I didn’t include it. I may edit and include it later. But for now, no. It’s interesting what you can learn about yourself when you go back to old writings. It can be discouraging too when it looks like there’s been stagnancy or even regression.  I did edit what I’ve posted here a little, but not much. I didn’t make any notes on where I edited either.

Awareness is still coming in like a process. I spent a lot of my life ‘asleep’ so awareness has been a bitter pill. But as bitter as it is, not knowing…not being aware of all the bullshit makes me what I used to call ‘stupidly happy.’

The absence of awareness makes any happy I felt non-existent(?) cancelled out. I was played…whether it was intentional or not. And when I say that, I mean whether the person was self aware of their own sickness or not.

I think of my sister when I say that because she is narcissistic in a big way. And I don’t mean in a healthy way. So although she has abused and hurt me I don’t think she has done it with the intention to set out to hurt me. It has everything to do with her having the need to avoid pain. She is very much about winning her arguments, being right and proving that her issues with me are bigger than anything I may feel. And if it means hurting me to accomplish it then so be it. I then become just a pesky obstacle to overcome, manipulate or push out of the way in such circumstances.

She feels justified in pointing her finger, blaming me and to sound all therapist-y, has no problem using “You” statements rather than “I feel” statements.

When it came to ‘romantic’ relationships, most of the time there was an issue or problem, I would try to rationalize any problem in any relationship to be all me. Even if at first in my anger I would blame the other. I’d be the one hanging her head in shame and guilt after it was pointed out to me how irrational I was being. And then I’d take all responsibility.

And just like the ruminations I’d have about my sister, those situations would come up in my head later and I’d ruminate about what I ‘should’ve’ said. What I’d so wished I’d said. Tense and so angry because this…thing…argument, was never resolved.

I’m sure all that owning up and taking the whole blame and feeling so much shame is a form of denial as well as confusion as to what is theirs and what is mine. Although I was conditioned this way, I still see a form of denial in this. Some of the issues would’ve been deal breakers if I’d had my self-esteem about me. But the denial allowed me to stay. It was better than being lonely and in pain.

I find myself thinking about what my sister might say in certain situations being the narcissist I believe her to be, and what I would say in finally sticking up for myself, no more tail between my legs. As well as still wish I could have redoes in many other situations.

A fellow blogger asked me in a comment recently:

“I can’t honestly say that I would rather be where I was, than where I am now. What do you think and feel about that? Comparatively?”

I made one comment saying that I wonder if my anger will ever go away while in the next comment saying that I don’t feel so angry anymore. Yeah, just a bit contradictory dontcha think?

I had to go back and ask myself about that contradiction. I think the first comment was just me speaking from how I’d been feeling that last week or two. Because to be honest I am not over it. I’m not done and I don’t think it’s that easy. I jumped to a response without really FEELING what my emotions really were/are.

So to comment here now on that question she asked me, I will say that I would much rather be aware than be foolishly in the dark. “Ignorance is bliss,” is a saying we’re all aware of but I don’t believe it’s true. We may THINK we’re blissful without knowing, realizing or understanding that someone is trashing us, lying about us, manipulating us.

But isn’t it a better and more empowering feeling to be able to CHOOSE whether we continue to include such a person in our lives with that kind of information as part of the decision making process?

I certainly think it’s better to know the truth…even if it hurts…to know the reality of what that person is doing…is capable of doing. If such people exist, it’s a matter of keeping yourself safe from them. I mean if someone was treating your child like that wouldn’t you prefer to keep them away from such a nasty human?

There is relief from being away from my family now. Thing is when I feel the relief of being away from them, the anger in moments and days can subside so much I don’t even remember that I’m still going through the anger.

If I’m by myself, alone, minding my own business, enjoying whatever I’m doing, there’s nothing to react to, right?

But mere moments later someone could say something, even if it’s something innocent, not intentionally or maliciously meant to push any buttons, and BAM! There I am getting angry, irritated, annoyed, frustrated and then finally confused. What the hell happened there?

Have you heard of Emotional Flashbacks?

Displaced anger happens within these emotional flashbacks.  I go through different points, where I am able to separate myself more in a way that my anger isn’t being taken out so much in situations where it doesn’t belong. But other times, not so much. And then I’m reminded to be careful not to have such a false sense of security. Meaning, “don’t be telling people I’m over it” when there is no possible way it can happen that fast.

I try to keep in mind that my anger and ruminating at their narcissistic behavior and lack of empathy is not hurting them. It’s not changing them. I’m not sending messages through osmosis about my side of it all and how I was hurt.

Intense anger over those things are only hurting me. Sometimes (not always) I can change the energy of the anger with a thought,  “There is no way I will allow this emotion to eat ME up because YOU are the douche bag who doesn’t give a fuck about me.”

And I continue, “You are not more important than me. I don’t care that you think you are in the right by thinking I am the selfish one. I don’t care that you are so self-righteous that when you say that I’m the one so messed up with my head up my ass, that you are so blind to how fucked up YOU really are. And that you can’t even see yourself when you are pointing that crooked finger at me. Look in the mirror and while you’re at it, look how many fingers point back as you point that one out at me.”

Obviously I DO care otherwise I would not be angry. But…

I take comfort in the fact that I am the one with the awareness. I am the one learning where my actual responsibility lies, not where some disordered other perceives it to be.

It’s those moments that I feel stronger in my anger, rather than out of control. The anger isn’t quite as mixed with fear of them anymore. I’ve had time to step back and see the situation for what it is, and these people for who they are.

That being said, I know there’s probably plenty more that I’m not seeing, that is still shrouded. But as I’ve said previously, it’s a process. Even if I had come from a healthy background life would still be a learning process, right?

I now have though the space to think about what I can do to take care of myself if I ever find myself in their presence again. Anxiety certainly creeps in there too, when I think about this. But some days/moments there’s a determination at the same time that comes out of the anger.

Disappointment is also part of the equation. The absence of a family foundation is very disappointing, especially when I’ve been walking around blind to my actual role in the dynamic. However it clears up a lot of the mind-fuck, head spinning confusion I was dealing with. Knowing the truth, SEEING the truth clicks on a bright light bulb in my head.

It sucks yeah. But there’s the reality, which has clarified so much of that disarray. It’s been one long continuous sigh of relief, that can also cause forgetfulness of how I once felt and even how I still feel at certain moments.

It’s always more productive to work within reality and know what you’re dealing with than to continue spinning wheels in fantasy.

Anxiety is a nasty part of the equation to which is something I’ve not always been aware of, thinking it wasn’t a problem for me. But that was wrong. Again, it’s something I was just unaware of, despite being able to look back and see my behaviors that indicated it and situations that brought it out of me.

I cannot change my own past behaviors and go back and ‘fight back’, letting them all know they cannot and will not walk all over me. I do resent myself, in that if I’d insisted on the respect, stuck up for myself, I would’ve felt so much better about myself, therefore manifesting that outward in my treatment of others, choices I made and even the intensity of the emotions I felt.

But I think that being said, I could get into a chicken and egg kind of cycle. I was groomed, ‘beaten down’ with abuse as a small child, into adolescence. My brain was forming all kinds of things at that time. It normalized things that shouldn’t be. It formed pathways to lack of self confidence and I was stripped of self esteem. My brain took to a shape that gave me the beliefs of not being good enough, worthy and that everything about me is wrong.

Over the last decade I have slowly become more mindful of my treatment of others. There were times I have been snotty and even nasty believing that if I show my displeasure I could get what I needed, whatever that was and whatever the situation called for. I was being narcissistic. And I could feel the chaos in my mind, the agitation, the impatience toward myself as well as the other.

I find that my anger is more toward myself than toward them in those situations and I’ve done lots of misdirecting. Something I catch myself at and apologize for, when I do.

That behavior may also come from the dissatisfaction I’ve felt about my life. I believe this is also a result of childhood trauma. Making clear and concise decisions about my direction in life and my future, were severely impaired.

I did not have someone who steered me in any sort of direction. I had no one to reel in the reins and I was neglected in many ways. I played alone a lot as a child, I remember. In high school my parents were completely uninvolved in what I was doing in school. And I was able to get away with dating a man 7 years older than me when I was 13 and then when I was 16, I ‘dated’ a man the same age as my own mother.

I wouldn’t call that dating, but used the word for the sake of simplicity.

At 18 I began to binge drink and worked only part time. College was discouraging for the short time I attended because as I said, I had no direction and had NO idea what I wanted to do with my life. So at that time I saw no reason to stay in school. And I had no parent speak to me about this decision. I had no support and I was left to feel my own way through despite not having been prepared to do so.

It all led to a chronic anger because I was not able to express a healthy anger. And by the time I’d reached young adulthood, I certainly didn’t even know that’s what I was feeling to induce such behavior. In fact I didn’t even know when to be angry sometimes. For example, I wasn’t hip to when someone was being disrespectful. Boundaries weren’t exactly something shown to me, given me or taught that I even had the right to.

Anger doesn’t feel good, especially when it’s chronic. Chronic embedded anger is different I think than healthy anger. Chronic anger seeps into every part of your life. It destroys relationships, it diminishes chances at having healthy relationships, including with the self. It eats away at the body and brain. It keeps blame right on top, even if it’s justified blame. Chronic anger keeps one in a state of not being able to move forward, feeling that someone else needs to make up for it. An apology is owed. Closure cannot be found from within.

But unfortunately, people like narcissists or other disordered individuals won’t come forth with apologies and validation. So working through it alone is a must if I want to move forward, despite the difficult.

Validation and acknowledgement and even approval is a healthy human need. But the need for those things can run over to the point of becoming pathological, meaning it creates codependence and people pleasing.This can obviously become detrimental and put a codependent in dangerous situations.

This happened to me. My family situation and their treatment of me while my father was dying is a perfect example of how detrimental it can be. I cared more about how they felt in general and what they thought of me more than I did about my own feelings pertaining to the situation.

Shadows in the Dark

At the in-between, just before complete sleep, sometimes I am visited by a shadow. It comes after me. It wraps itself around me, smothering and engulfing me. It doesn’t want me to get away. It scares me. I want out of its grip.

I fight to wake myself up as I know it’s the only way to escape. But it’s like I’m trapped, sort of. And it feels like attempting to get to the surface from a very dark depth of an ocean. Ocean of fear.

I try to scream and yell knowing the noise from my own voice will awaken me, but no sound comes. And I push to hear myself again.

There are times I’ve actually been able to get the sound out and as it escapes my lips, I awaken, beating heart in my chest. Other times, I have to continue the fight to open my eyelids, feeling desperate to get away from the ‘demon’ yet my body wants to continue its slumber.

It’s a battle between mind and body. And when mind wins out and I pull myself out, my heart beat is intense against my chest while simultaneously, there is a sense of relief.

Another small battle ensues as my mind is frightened but my body pulls me back to sleep.

I Need to Be Fixed

We’re fighting fleas again and still.

I’m feeling trapped as I’ve felt most of my life.

The fleas and smell of the landlady’s heavy cigarette smoking habit

are triggers for the way I’m feeling

Triggers, they make it next to impossible to get a foothold.

But I’ve always felt trapped.

Trapped in my life

Trapped with my family

Now trapped in this hole of an apartment.

Even trapped with Mr. B.

Trapped in my body

Trapped in my mind

Today I did it again.

I felt unheard and was already overwhelmed

The fleas and mix-up in communication

A common occurrence between Mr. B and me.

I feel unheard and

I wound up in yet another tantrum/meltdown.

Not as bad as the one before, but still

It happened.

I’m angry. I feel helpless and hopeless.

I slammed a bunch of stuff

Resulting in more yelling, scaring the cat just with the volume.

Threw a spray bottle and it spilled all over the carpet

and I did not give any fucks.

I picked up the bottle and left the puddle in the rug.

Found the spray bottle nozzle broken.

The closeness of the two events does not escape me.

I want to stop but I truly feel I can’t control it.

I become Hyde with no warning.

I don’t want to live like this anymore.

I need help…REAL help

Not the bullshit therapists who claim to know but don’t

But it’s not FOR me.

I’m too poor

I’m not in the right place.

I’m not lucky enough

I would give up every single material belonging

to be rid of this.

I research and find others getting well,

Others are healing

With cutting edge shit

But do I have access

Nope.

I don’t begrudge anyone for having this happen for them. But I do begrudge that it isn’t readily and easily available to others who NEED it years ago!

The next and only clinical study I’ve found that will happen next is in England.

The two previously happened right here in the U.S… but as usual I am a few years late and many dollars short.

Story of my miserable fuckin’ life.

And if it gets approved after this next study, legalization will take effect by 2021!!!!

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to find myself out of hell before that.

Oh and let’s not forget that even when it’s legal you’ll need access to a therapist who not only uses it but knows HOW to.

Sorry but I just don’t have that much faith in the world of therapy at large.

It’s up to me and leaving the planet is looking better and better every day.

I won’t be doing anything though. No plan. I will stay alive, even though I feel dead inside.

But I’m not going to be here on wordpress for at least the rest of the day.

I need a solution. I’m not sure blogging is it…I’m not sure of anything except the fact shit needs to change.

Complex PTSD is an isolating, severe, exhausting disorder ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

This is such an accurate and articulate description of the way I’ve been feeling in the last three years.

The update is hopeful. The issue for me though, seems to be that there are no specialized therapists available in my area who are covered under public assistance.

Without an income I’m on my own and that scares me.

Even attempting to reapply for disability seems daunting and scary.

Last time I had a lawyer that showed up two minutes before my hearing, giving us no time to discuss anything and then blamed me for not doing well/saying the right things in the hearing.

Other attempts have been met with feeling like I wasn’t taken seriously. I think I struggle with telling people exactly how this feels and why I can’t work, so they don’t take me seriously.

Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

shaming

Complex PTSD is a very isolating, exhausting and devastating severe illness.
The psychiatric equivalent of cancer.
It affects every part of your life, magnifying every problem intensely and affecting daily function.
PTSD is a very severe, but normal reaction to severe abnormal trauma.

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Encouraged to Keep Writing

If you’re wondering if you should keep writing or write at all about the traumatic experiences that have happened to you, this is a pretty interesting, albeit short read.Writing for PTSD Healing

It doesn’t even have to be made public on a blog. It can be done in a private journal. It’s not just about validation…it’s how it helps the brain process the events.

I found it encouraging to keep going.

I also included this link on my page of links.

Always Broken

Originally written February 19, 2014

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Credit via Pixabay

I’ve been thinking about the words in the title of a book called, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. And in mind word association I think, “Rebuild.”

But what if nothing was ever built in the first place? No foundation to build upon.

What if the roots were always damaged? Rotted with no nourished soil for them to take hold. Only the kind of shit where fungus thrives so well.

What if things just always felt…broken? Then what?

How do I start from scratch to build something good when I have no blueprint, direction, no guide, but my own un-parented mind?

How do I plant roots when I have no one and nothing to grow from?

The road looks too long and useless to even begin. Too far to go. I’ll never get there.

Many years, many jobs, many cycles of depression later…I spend much of my time asking how do I crawl out of the darkness long enough to consistently build a life, earn a living?

Who am I?

Where do I go?

What would fulfill me?

Could I even do it?

How do I get past the trauma?

Trauma…a relatively new word for me in relation to myself. The label put on me for many years was depression. A chemical imbalance to throw pills at.

Not one therapist, nor two hospital stays revealed trauma, despite my willingness to openly state my past, and to even have a family session when suggested.

The psychiatrist there couldn’t see the dysfunction, the roles?

He couldn’t hear my cries of help?

He was not aware of what he was seeing, to tell me what I could not put words to?

He could not understand the chaos and turmoil I so apparently conveyed?

He did not comprehend the pain in my eyes?

All those years, just like my family, I believed it was all because of me.

I’m further traumatized by such a delayed diagnosis. Pissed off because I did my part. I sought out the help. I asked the question: “What the fuck is wrong with me?”

And no one said, “Trauma.” !!!

So much of my life, gone now. And all of it lived up to this point, trapped.

Trapped by others in childhood and trapped within now.

I long to be free.