Silenced.

silenced

*Contains very strong language – don’t read if this offends you*
*Self-harm & suicidal references*

 

———————

“I’m not even gonna discuss this, you’re making an issue out of nothing” – Holly
“It’s only an issue for you. I’ve moved on and have invited you to group events. You need to move on and stop making it an issue and discussing it, and making it awkward for our friends” – Holly
“I’m not discussing this anymore, on here or in person” – Holly
“I will not hear anymore on the Holly issue”
“I really don’t want to talk about her anymore. I can’t cope with it”

 

Why can’t anyone see that I NEEDED to talk about this?! She fucked up my whole life. What she did was not okay. What followed was not okay. Being badmouthed to all my other friends behind my back was not okay. Having none of them stand up for me, was not okay. Having them all wimp out of it, and meeting with her whilst I felt isolated, was not okay. People choosing her friendship over my wellbeing, was not okay. Being silenced by my friends, and not allowed to talk about my feelings around this major fuck-up of my life, was not okay. And is not okay. I cannot and will not be able to get over this. My voice has been silenced. I’m now afraid to even utter the word “Holly”, in case it upsets the applecart, and I lose more people because of it. But you know what, Holly, along with those other two people who I used to consider my friends, hurt me extremely badly – she was the bitchiest, nastiest person I’ve ever encountered, especially one I called my friend. She tipped my whole world upside down. And she kept crawling back for more. I want to forget her and the past. I know my friends want to do the same. Well, they don’t want to forget HER, they want me to shut up about what she did.

And this is why I’m splitting now. This is why I think I’m a shit person, and nobody truly wants me as a friend. They want her as a friend, and I’m the consolation prize. And it makes me think, you know what just go, be her friend, abandon me – you’ll be happier for it and I won’t have to feel so guilty for stopping you being friends.

I’m sorry that my talking about something that deeply destroyed me, stresses you out, I’m sorry I’m such a burden to you. I’m sorry I can’t just pretend nothing happened and that I’m okay with it. But you know what, you didn’t go through it! She wasn’t a psycho bitch to you! Why the fuck do people think they can comment on how I should handle things when they haven’t got the first fucking clue what it was like, and what it is still like in my mind because of these people?! Why can’t people accept that what these ‘friends’ did to me was WRONG?! Why won’t they just pure and simple defend me? Am I not worthy of loyalty and protection?

I have to keep my mouth shut now, just to please other people. Whilst I’m suffering so badly inside. Do they want me to slash my wrists open? Would that rid them of me, and all my pointless bullshit that I stress them out with?

I can’t talk about Holly. I can’t talk about the other two people who are mutual friends as well. Everything that destroyed my life, I cannot open up about anymore to those closest to me. Do you know how isolating and alienating that is? You should be able to talk to those closest to you about what’s troubling you. But I’m not allowed to. Because those closest to me LIKE all the people who hurt me.

And it makes me feel like repeatedly punching this solid wall next to me, until there’s a hole in it, and screaming until my insides fall out. Because how the fuck can they condone all the pain that these people caused me, and on top of that demand my silence? How can these people care about me, to do all that?
I have to break free. I have to get away from my past, and I can’t. And all the time that I can’t, I have this ‘untold story’ screaming inside me (though it’s been told many times… it’s not healed). Some people think something like this will just heal by ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist. Maybe that works for them, but thankfully we’re all individual on this planet, and people cope in different ways. I’ve been told all along for the last four years of my life that I handled everything wrong. I made the wrong decisions. People didn’t intentionally hurt me. They’re ‘not taking sides, but….’ they are defending the person who hurt me… and I just want to say to all those people who said or implied that I didn’t do what they would have done – fuck you. If you think you can handle all the shit I’ve been through in these four years, and handle it better than I did, then please, have my life. I’d gladly trade with any one of you. I’m sick of my past. Almost physically sick.

I am proud of myself for still being alive. What those so-called ‘friends’ did could and should have killed me. But I survived. And to have some stupid people, usually men, tell me that I made the wrong choices and didn’t handle it right, is a big fucking slap in the face. I’m still alive aren’t I? Okay, in your perfect world you’d have stayed friends with these people who stabbed you in the back. But that’s a guy thing, men get over things. Women don’t. And not only am I a woman. I am a sensitive woman. And I’m a woman with BPD and other mental health issues. I need people to have a little bit of sense, not to tell me my way of survival was wrong. Okay maybe you’re perfect and would’ve handled things amazingly…. but also maybe you wouldn’t. It’s easy to judge things from the outside and say, I’d do this, that and the other…. thrown in the deep end of emotions – seeing everything you have being stripped away from you – then what would you do? Talk to me then, once you’ve gone through exactly what I have. Until then kindly keep your opinionated mouths shut.

 

Survival.jpg

 

One aspect of BPD is the feeling of being misunderstood. Feeling alone. And this ‘alone’ isn’t about having nobody around you, or not having friends. It’s so much deeper than that. It is at the core. It’s inside the core, of the core of the CORE. It’s the feeling that the pain you’re going through could NEVER be felt by another… nor understood. We feel things SO much more deeply and in so much more detail, that we’re on a different level to ‘normal’ people. They can’t understand why we’re so upset. Why we react how we do. Why we can’t just move on and forget. They don’t understand – and not in the sense of they just haven’t experienced it themselves. It’s like, they’d have to experience being me, and feeling what I do, and going through what I went through exactly, in order for them to understand, and for me to NOT feel alone. But even then I feel they still wouldn’t get it. They’d still say ‘I’d do this differently… I wouldn’t feel so intensely upset about it as you do’ …. It’s that misunderstood feeling, like you’re abnormal, and always will be… just for feeling things more than most. And that feeling, on top of the immense pain and traumatic memories… it’s enough to make you want to end it, because nobody will EVER understand how hard it is to just exist in your mind, after all you’ve been through.

So, I’m splitting. I’m pigeon-holing my friends. Grading them. Based on their inability to understand me. When I feel misunderstood by someone close to me, my natural reaction is to explain to them, and try and help them understand. But this would require discussing the past in great detail, which I’m not allowed to do. And even if I was given the green light to discuss it, I’d be afraid to now. I’ve been robbed of my voice. And now I’m afraid to use it. So I keep it all locked inside, until it bursts out of me in rage and despair. I have no outlet. I’m one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have someone to confide in at the end of the day…. someone to hold her and reassure her she’s a good person.  I have no way to let out how I feel, other than writing now.

I never used to talk about my issues. And those were the days I harmed myself, and kept that quiet too. I’ve returned to this time of my life. I can’t talk about it, it builds up, I harm, I keep quiet about the harm (until now). But this is how it has to be. All my old friends taught me this. They taught me NOT to talk about what’s upsetting me, after the years of therapy which taught me TO talk about what’s upsetting me. They counteracted all that hard work. And I resent them for it. I really really resent them. In fact I hate them. They ruined my life. They stopped me talking about it. They destroyed everything I’d built, socially and through my therapy – I lost everything, including all the hard work on myself and conquering my self-harm… and then I have to deal with it on my own too. They have sent me back ten years in my recovery, and I can never forgive them for that.

Holly silenced my voice. She did not allow me the chance to talk to her about our issues and sort them out. And my other friends replicated that feeling when they forbade me to mention her again. In my ‘splitting’ mind, that makes them as bad as Holly… it makes them ‘accomplices’. It makes them her ‘flying monkeys’… her ‘enablers’. And I can’t shake that.

That’s when I will them all to go off into La-la Land and all be friends again without me… leave poor little me to rot away in isolation, as that’s how it feels daily anyway, trapped inside my mind, with my flashbacks… unable to talk to anyone about it. And it’s fair enough I could talk to new friends about it, but I’m afraid to chase them off, as I obviously pissed my closest friends off by talking about my heartache. And some would say ‘that’s what a therapist is for’… yeah, same problem, they often say things that make you feel you should shut up about it, accept it, and not release how you feel. I’m afraid to talk to anyone now about these things. But they’re a huge part of me. I haven’t healed. And anyone who thinks I should have healed by now can take a running jump. Either that or I will. I don’t need to feel like a failure on top of being a burden AND experiencing all of this hurt as well.

 

tired

 

This is terminal though. There’s no way back. I can’t now be told I can talk about it – it’s too late. Damage is done. It’s irreparable. It’s put blocks in the way of my friendships with people. Not just the people involved but others too. I’ve built walls. I feel I can’t truly be myself with anyone anymore because of this. And I keep getting the overwhelming sense of ‘Why do I bother being here anymore? Nobody cares. Nobody understands. Nobody will ever really be my friend and stick around through thick and thin’. I’m too much hard work for people who cannot understand mental health problems. And I’m tired of trying to explain it to brick walls. I want people who understand me to the core. The ones who see the dark and hug me until it’s light again. The ones who make the effort for me. I’m tired of the torment in my brain. I’m tired of doubting my friends, and myself. I’m tired of BPD thoughts and urges. I’m tired of the crushing breathlessness in my chest, and the pain in my heart. I’m tired of feeling scared of those closest to me. I’m tired of waiting to be abandoned. I’m tired of hating myself. I’m tired of memories. I’m tired of life.

“I’m just tired”.

 

 

Splitting.

 

splitting

 

Splitting is a term frequently used with Borderline Personality Disorder. It is commonly defined as ‘black and white thinking’, or ‘all or nothing thinking’. Thinking in extremes. If you think about it, the term describes it well – if you take something and ‘split’ it, you have two halves, and when looking at it you have the left half and the right half. You see them as two separate halves, rather than a part of the original whole you had in your hand, before you split it.

People with BPD often see life as all good or all bad, depending on circumstances at the time. The bad times, when they happen can totally trump any good times, and make the person feel life is terrible, and nothing good ever happens to them. In my experience it tends to work more in that direction than when good things happen – I’ve not had so many experiences of things being good and it trumping all the bad that’s happened, and feeling like life is wonderful and nothing bad ever happens…. I’ve not had that experience. In fact for me whenever things are good, I’m more of the opinion of ‘I’ll make the most of it while it lasts, because come tomorrow life will be bad again’. I’ve had far too many bad experiences in life to ever be beaten by good experiences.

Splitting is more commonly used to describe encounters with people. If you think of a person as a whole they are made up of positive traits and negative traits. They’ve had successes and failures in life. They’ve done very good things, but also made some terrible mistakes, and things they’re not proud of. They have happy days and days where they want to hide away from the world. But all of these things make up that one whole person. Nobody is ALL good or ALL bad. Nobody. Everyone has flaws. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has something to offer the world.

When someone has BPD and they find themselves ‘splitting’, what they essentially are doing is taking that whole person, be it a partner, family member, a friend, or even themselves, and they are splitting them into two parts – the ‘good’, and the ‘bad’, and focusing on whichever part is relevant at the time. When doing this they forget the other side of the person.

This can lead to idealising someone, putting them on a pedestal, thinking they can do no wrong…. which will lead to severe disappointment when this belief is shattered by the reality – that nobody is perfect, and anyone can hurt them or make mistakes.

It also means when they are hurt, betrayed or let down by someone, they recall all the bad things about the person, and forget all the good things about them. They ‘devalue‘ the friend, partner or family member. They believe the person to be against them. They think they don’t care about them. They feel taken for granted or taken advantage of. The love they had for this person can turn to hate and resentment in an instant.

But equally we can do this with ourselves as BPD sufferers. We can view ourselves as ‘good’ people, and this can lead us to strive for perfection… to expect ourselves to never make mistakes or hurt anyone. But this isn’t realistic in life. We’re all human. But we put too much pressure on ourselves and beat ourselves up so much if we make the slightest error in judgement. We label ourselves as horrible people. We then play back the movie of our lives, erasing the good things we’ve done and playing only our mistakes, our humiliating moments and the ‘ugly’ parts of our personality.

If asked to describe ourselves, we may come up with a list of things like – I’m kind, thoughtful, generous, intellectual, creative, honest, loyal etc… if we’re in a positive frame of mind. But in a negative frame of mind if we’re asked the same question, the answers come a lot easier. It’s easier to say you’re – stupid, clumsy, ugly, pathetic, needy, bitter, gullible, and a waste of oxygen. As BPD sufferers we are too comfortable listing our apparent bad qualities. And when we do that, we forget the good things. We think the negatives outweigh the positives. Yes we might be sweet, caring, giving people…. but since nobody wants to be with us, there must be something inherently wrong with us – we’re fat, ugly, too difficult to be with, we’re not ‘good enough’ and we’re too emotional. And that means we’re not worthy of anyone. No matter what good qualities we have to offer someone, any negatives mean we’ll be alone forever. We have this idea that we have to be perfect to be in a relationship.

I look at my friends in relationships, and I think why can’t I have that? And my answer is that I’m not good enough. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not thin enough. I’m not laid-back enough. I’m not ‘worldly’ enough… What I am doing here is idealising my friends. I know this. But it doesn’t stop me doing it. I’m looking at them and thinking that the men they’re with would only be with them if they were pretty, thin, laid-back, worldly, confident, positive, perfect people. Even whilst writing this and trying to challenge it, I honestly believe that to find a life partner, you have to be perfect. I’m aware that my friends have flaws, many of them, and their partners still choose to stay with them, so logically that tells me I don’t have to be perfect. But I still feel my friends are all better than I’ll ever be. In this way I am idealising my friends. I’m making them out to be better than they are. And I’m making myself out to be worse than I might be. But the fact I’m chronically alone tells me I am as bad as I think. I am as ugly as I think. I will never be someone’s first choice.

And that way of thinking leads me to make the mental list of what’s wrong with me. And I can add to that list, ‘self-pity’… which isn’t a very attractive trait, so only makes my case stronger, for not being good and attractive enough to the opposite sex.

I even do it with friends – I think I’m not a good enough friend. I think my friends prefer their other friends who are probably more upbeat and positive, and thinner and have partners and children and success – because this shows they’re of worth, they’re ‘normal’ and not a pathetic mess like me. I had a time I was going through a difficult period of life, and that was at the expense of someone else finding their happiness. My friends gravitated towards the happy people and left me alone in my despair. And that’s why I know I’m not even my friends’ first choice. There will ALWAYS be someone else who matters more to my friends than me.

I’ll admit, right now I am splitting with some of my friends. I’m on the ‘black’ side of the split. I’m going over the last year or so, picking out all the negative things they’ve said and done. It’s like usually I see them as a whole, but at the moment I’m picking out times from our friendship movie, when they hurt me or let me down. And I’m patching those moments together, to make a whole other friendship movie… a tragic one, that ends in us going separate ways. This year has been particularly difficult and I’ve seriously questioned some of my friendships… the depth of them, the loyalty of them, the honesty of them.

I’ve gone to bad places where I’m paranoid that a friend of mine is lying to me, and doing something behind my back that they knew upset me in my face. I can’t shake the thought that after being confronted about it, it’s just driven it underground. And if I ever find out this was the case, it would mean the end of the friendship, as I couldn’t trust them. I’ve had friends this year prove that they don’t really care about me. Their own wishes are more important. In my darkest moments and times leading up to my darkest moments, they weren’t there for me. I give so much to my friends, or I have in the past, but I’ve cut back recently as I feel it’s always taken for granted and it’s rare I ever get anything in return. Not that I do things to get something in return, but you do get to the point you think ‘do they even appreciate this, or is it just expected now?’ It’s funny that the only friends who ever told me they loved me and cared about me, were the two friends who went on to break me. It messes me up because I think I’m not cared about and loved by the people who I spend my life with. But the second they tell me I matter to them, it’s going to signal that they’re going to screw my life over like the others did. So I’m then torn between wanting to hear that I’m loved, and being afraid that I am.

I feel terrible about the tone of my thoughts at the moment. I can’t bear to be around myself, let alone be around anyone else when I’m like this. I’m thinking things that would upset people. I’m thinking that some of my friendships aren’t what I thought them to be. But I’m also thinking at the same time, I’m not who I thought I was. I’m not a good friend. I’m contemplating some very hurtful stuff. Out of character stuff. I don’t know if it’s just some ‘identity crisis’ at the moment. Or if it’s just because of the difficult year I’ve had. I know my anxiety and depression have worsened, but I think aspects of my BPD have also worsened. The splitting is awful. I really feel sick with it. I actually made a list the other day of negative things about people I care about. But I’m stuck in it. I need people to show me and remind me of the positive, to pull me out of it. Otherwise I’m just going to dwell in it, on my own. I feel this year I have spiralled, in terms of mental health. And I guess for those who have known me a long time, and seen me improve over the years, it will be tough to witness that, and to know what to do to help me. And I can’t even tell them how they can help me, that’s the difficulty. If I knew I’d say.

I’m splitting, I’m paranoid, I’m depressed, I’m feeling abandoned. I’m preoccupied with thoughts of harming myself and just hibernating from the world. I’m full of guilt and shame for the way I am right now, and the things I want to do. I can’t ask for help as I don’t know what would help. I think erasing this year might help. Bad things have happened all year, but this darkness really started back in May. It sent me so far backwards, and put me into a very vulnerable state, just before the worst experience of my life – the failing health of a family member. Ever since then I’ve been under a dark cloud. I’ve had a couple of good experiences in the last couple of months, but I’ve not felt this low in years. I can’t forget what started this, nor forgive the situation. I wish I could. I feel like a bad person for not being able to move on. But with the blows I’ve been dealt this year, and to think if I’d been in a stronger state of mind in the lead up to it…. I might’ve been able to cope better, and I might not be stuck in the depths of depression, anxiety and the world of BPD right now. I wouldn’t be splitting. And consequently I’d feel better about myself.

It’s the funny thing about splitting. A lot of the time you’re not aware you’re doing it. But once you’re aware it’s still hard to stop. Your brain’s been telling you for weeks / months that this person doesn’t care about you… they’re selfish, they’re manipulative, they’re disloyal, they’re stupid, they’re crazy, they’re evil, they’re a bitch, they’re possessive, they’re this that and the other… and by the time you realise what you’re doing, you’ve convinced yourself they’re not who you thought they were… and it’s difficult to see them in the same way ever again. So you feel guilty, for having pulled out their negatives and forgotten their positives. You took all the things they either don’t know about themselves or don’t like about themselves and focused on them. You’d hate it if they did that to you. So you feel so ashamed. But the thing is, it is an aspect of BPD. You couldn’t help it at the time. I don’t know the solution for reconciling your good opinions of them with your new beliefs, after you’ve become aware of the splitting.

I know I’m glad I realised that’s what I’m doing. For the last few weeks I’ve just thought about what ‘bad friends’ I have. But I now know that may not be true at all. It’s my state of mind, paired with their own lives that I know nothing about. It’s the BPD, splitting them and making me focus on the pain they’ve caused me, instead of all the good times we’ve shared and the reasons I became friends with them in the first place. So at least I’ve got that perspective now, to know they’re not the enemy… my mind is at the moment. I suppose I have to find a way to become friends with my own mind again. The thing is do I need my friends to help me do that? The same friends I’ve been splitting? Or do I need to take some time for myself, to get healthy again? Is that possible if I isolate myself? But equally do I risk worsening the split if I force myself to be around those I’ve trashed in my mind? How can I look at them again, after thinking such bad things and contemplating such evil things, which I’m not sure whether they’re as a result of splitting or are real, intentional, independent thoughts? Could they forgive me? If I can’t even forgive myself? Do I need their forgiveness in order to forgive myself? Do they need to know I’ve been splitting? Would they understand? Or would they abandon me? I don’t know the right thing to do. Right now I just want to curl up in a duvet and ignore the world. Deny reality and wake up in a new year, where everyone’s healthy and happy, and this year didn’t happen. I don’t know how to break out of such depression and self-loathing as this. But I have to find the answer alone, as I can no longer turn to anyone, trust anyone, nor confide in anyone, without fear of judgement and abandonment.

Sadly not many people understand BPD, no matter how much we try and explain it to them… they’ll still take it personally. I never want to hurt anyone. Sometimes this illness makes me do things I wish I didn’t do. And say things I wish I could take back. I often see the quote: “Don’t give up on somebody with a mental illness. You’re finding it hard to be friends with them? They’re finding it harder, I promise”… and it’s true. I know how difficult I am to know. I live in a constant state of beating myself up… either for not being good enough, successful enough, talented enough, beautiful enough, thin enough, clever enough… but also for my own judgements of other people. When people have hurt me, I view them negatively and might say and write things that could hurt them. It’s not intentional, and I punish myself physically and mentally for not only the things that I do and say, but the things I think in my own mind about people. I think it makes me a bad person to criticise someone in my mind, if they mean a lot to me. If I think about sabotaging someone’s life, or pursuing someone I shouldn’t, or ending my life, or exposing someone’s true colours, or having a breakdown in public – trashing a shop… anything I even just THINK about doing, I will be punishing myself forever for having thought of it. No matter if I’d actually follow through on the thoughts, just thinking about doing something makes me split myself. And when I’m feeling bad about myself, more so than usual, I don’t want to ‘inflict’ myself on anyone else. Yet I bet those people who I avoid feel it’s personal, and I don’t like them. And I wish so much they could understand I detest myself. Yes, I may be a little upset with them too at times, but even when I’m upset with them, I’m upset with myself for BEING upset with them!! It’s a nightmare in my brain, and I wish more people understood the burden of BPD on the sufferer, rather than thinking just of how it impacts on their own life. If my behaviour ever upsets any of my friends and family, I apologise. I never want to inflict myself on you. But please, understand however annoying, neglectful, infuriating, and hard work you think I am, believe me, I’m 100% worse to myself. Nobody can be harder on a person with BPD than the person themselves. But we’re trying. If you think we’re not trying hard enough, then I challenge you to live inside the mind of someone with BPD. Try surviving in the body of someone whose mind is longing to die. Try loving and accepting yourself when nobody else does. Try keeping friendships and relationships whilst knowing you’ll be abandoned in the end, because that’s all anyone has ever done. And try feeling good about yourself when every scar shouts at you ‘this is from a time you weren’t ‘good enough’!’

 

split1

 

I need to know my friends love and accept me, not just on my good days but also on my worst. I feel enough of a burden. I feel lonely enough as it is. And my experience has taught me that bad times reveal true friends…. and very often that’s when they disappear. Unfortunately I’ve spiralled this year, and the deeper into depression I have got, the fewer people talk to me. This only increases isolation and depression. And eventually I can’t reach out anymore. And so here we are. Feeling unloved. Feeling bad about myself. Feeling bad about others. Feeling bad with myself about feeling bad about others. Feeling this year has done too much damage. And I have to face it alone. So much has changed in 6-8 months…

Today is a dark day. But as I sit here and see the sun set, I’m reminded that it will rise again in the morning. That’s the thing about time, it doesn’t stop. Every day is a new day. And I hope tomorrow will be a brighter one.

xxxx