The World Through A Hopeless Lens.

The World Through A Hopeless Lens

 

*Depressing post, mentions suicidal thoughts / self-harm*

 

Picture a world coated in thick black tar. It drips from the trees, the buildings… the floor is daubed with this dark sticky substance. It even rains black, and the sun is obscured by a toxic dark cloud. This is my existence right now. Things I used to enjoy doing I no longer do. Things I once found beautiful I find merely mediocre now. Everything is gloomy, scary and unsafe. Things that make me happy or that I look forward to, are tainted by an overwhelming and sickening sadness and despair. Most days right now I feel like crying. I feel flat and empty. I feel hopeless. I feel gnawing emotional pain…. a violent turmoil inside.

You know that advert about cancer, where the man seems serene and calm on the outside, and inside he’s being battered by a blizzard? That’s me. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I’m a completely different person now. What I’m experiencing inside is like nothing I’ve ever faced before. There is nothing good in this world. There is nothing safe. Nothing to live for.

So when people talk to me as though I’m just a mindfulness practise away from living the life I want to, I think ‘piss off’. I’m sick of empty words said by empty people. People who have everything and don’t know what it’s like to be me. There’s a scale of happiness…. 0 is utter depression…. 5 is so-so… 10 is ecstatic. For me at the moment, when I’m ‘happy’ it’s a 5. That’s about as far as I get on the scale. The rest of the time I’m at a 0 to a 1.

I have violent visions. I see myself screaming like a maniac, tearing the room apart, punching everything in sight, throwing the TV out of the window, putting my arm through the glass, writing my pain on the wall in blood… my blood. That is where I’m at. That is what would happen if I let go of control for a moment. If I truly expressed how I’m feeling inside, there would be carnage. And I don’t think I could come back from that. This is frustration about what’s happened in the last few months, and how it’s led to me being in the worst place I’ve known. Nothing in this world feels safe. And I don’t feel safe with myself anymore.

The depression is the worst it’s been. It’s paralysing. And nothing can break me out of it. Maybe for a moment… a nice distraction… but nothing can chase the darkness away. And I’ve given up believing anything will ever work. For the first time in a long time if not ever, I can’t see me getting better. I can’t even see the possibility of it. And I’m beginning to not care about anything or anyone. I can feel myself mentally shutting down bit by bit.

I feel like people expect me to ‘keep my chin up’…. ‘stay strong’… I’ve stayed strong for at least sixteen years of my life. I’m sick of being strong. I’m sick of people expecting me to carry on.

Imagine a world without colour…. no sunshine… no warmth…. just dark fog and thick black tar everywhere. Your happiest moments are only ‘so-so’ and you feel all alone. Now take that ‘keep positive’ attitude and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. They’re empty words that mean nothing to me now. Don’t tell me things will get better. Tell me how to make it better. How am I supposed to live in this nightmare world? It feels like a punishment, people expecting me to carry on living, when they have no clue what it’s like to know no happiness, no love, no joy… only pain, depression and hopelessness. I want life to feel better. I want it to feel like the gift I used to see it as. I do see it as a punishment right now. I don’t want to die. But I just can’t see any reason to live right now. The only reason is my family – not wanting to hurt them. It would destroy them. But I don’t want to hang on to this punishment called ‘life’, and resent it, just because of guilt. I want more reason to live than that. I want to feel I matter in this world, to someone. I want to know that there’s some purpose, some hope, somebody who could love me… and not just by empty words, but helping me to find it. I’ve had years of false hope… believing things would get better….. they haven’t. They’ve got worse. I don’t believe anything now. I don’t trust anything or anyone.

I’m sorry I don’t write helpful posts anymore. I’m sorry I’m not there for my friends and family. I’m sorry I’m not good at replying to people. I’m sorry I am distant and negative. I’m struggling to put one foot in front of the other right now. I feel bad about it, and it only makes me feel less like I deserve to be happy, have friends and find love, if I cannot even give to anyone right now… if all I can do is take. Believe me, I’m trying not to ‘take’ either. I’m trying to keep to myself. I don’t mean to be selfish. The depression is crippling. I’m just trying to survive. Sometimes it feels like a losing battle. And it takes everything in me.

I had to battle the overwhelming desire to give up yesterday, in my therapy session. I was given the option for it to be the last one, or to have one more. The self-destructive part of me was screaming at me, to leave it like that, throw the piece of paper away, harm myself, continue to spiral down and throw my life away. But a tiny voice in me was fighting to save my life, and I discussed this with the therapist, and concluded I should have one more session…. it would give me three weeks to try and move forward. It would give me a reason to try out the things suggested to me. Believe me, I really don’t want to. I want to give up. But if I want to stay alive I have to listen to that tiny voice in my head. That’s why I’m starting to open up again to people, about my depression, suicidal thoughts and the fact I’m still struggling with the transference issue, as I felt everyone had forgotten it’s still a problem for me. I will try as hard as I can to push forward, but it will be difficult – wading through the thick dark sludge to make a tiny effort will be exhausting. But it’s something I know I have to do. I just hope people know that just because I’m making efforts to move forward, it doesn’t mean I see light and colour… it doesn’t mean I feel happiness or hope…. the world is dark, foggy and covered in endless mess, and I don’t know my destination – I’m just trying to find the will to drag myself forwards, for the sake of staying alive. I can’t do it alone. I need help. Life feels scary right now.

 

picture

Tired Of ‘Life’.

*Contains suicidal thoughts*

 

 

I wrote this last night….

 

 


 

 

This is hard for me to write, as I’m struggling to form thoughts and find the words to explain those thoughts right now. I feel like my brain is on shutdown at the moment. I feel like I’ve given up on everything. I feel scattered and an odd combination of ‘flat’ and ‘about to explode’ at the same time.

I can’t take living inside this mind and this body anymore. I’ve had enough. I can’t be fixed. I’m broken to a point where nobody can help me anymore. I just want to hand somebody my mind, get them to wipe it clean and hand it back to me. I cannot get over anything in my life. More and more painful memories are getting packed into it, and I can’t take any more. I’m full. I don’t care what people say about ‘use mindfulness’, ‘do this, do that’…. you don’t know me! These things don’t work for me. I’m a ****ing elephant!! I never forget. There are so many things and so many people I wish I could forget. But I can’t.

I don’t like life right now. I feel like I’m living in a totally different world compared to two years ago. Nothing feels certain, safe or secure. The family dynamic has changed after our loss. I’m feeling like a lot of friends don’t want to know me now they know how ****ed up I am. Politically things are insane, and I feel we’re going to be let down and I just think ‘what’s the point?’… The world feels scary. And then there’s this bloody person I don’t want to live without, but have to. I can’t do it. I’m probably not going to get the psychological help I need. And that will lead me to a very bad place. Because I really don’t want to do ‘life’ right now. Nobody knows how close to the edge I really feel. And I want to completely break down.

If I let go of that control over myself for a second, I will destroy the room I’m sat in…. I will roar louder than ever before…. I will hurt myself badly….. I will run away, and I will not be safe.

I don’t know how to keep living. But I’m trying my best to do it for now. I’m forcing myself through days, but I have no enjoyment in life. I have nothing to hope for. I have nothing to make it worth it. I’m sorry to have to admit that. I want to close off from everyone again. It’s a desperate, lonely chaos in my head and heart, and nothing truly brings me joy right now. Even this evening… I usually watch TV programmes and part way through I turned them off. I just couldn’t be bothered with them. I’ve lost interest in everything. I really am going through the motions, and surviving each day, just to go to sleep, knowing I have to do it again the next day. There is no point to my existence. All there is, is pain. Why would anyone want to live a life like that? How can anyone expect me to carry on, and ‘be strong’ or ‘be positive’ when there is no happiness, only pain and sadness?

I’m tired of this physical body. I’ve had enough of headaches, pains, a heart that doesn’t know how to keep a steady beat, and of always feeling tired. I’m sick of breathing. I am fed up with overthinking. I’m frustrated because nobody will want to help me… they’ll say I have to help myself…. they can’t see that I have given up on myself and my life. My experiences over the last few months have done this to me. I hadn’t given up on myself before therapy. A year ago, okay my granddad was still here, but I was still depressed. But I had it in me to get better… that’s why I reached out for help from the IAPT service. But now, I feel like a burden. I feel like nobody will want to help me. They will suggest things, I will express how little faith I have in it… the difficulties I have with it, and they’ll just give up on me too. All I need is that one bit of confirmation that I’m beyond help, and that will be it for me. All it will take is one more person giving up on me.

 


 

……

I went to sleep telling myself the same thing I tell myself every night… “It’ll feel better in the morning”… and sure enough somehow it usually does. I felt very flat today and tired… weary of life. There were some good moments… distractions. But now it’s the evening again, and I feel the same as last night. On top of that I’m feeling like a selfish person. I’m not there for other people. I haven’t got it in me to do what people ask of me. I can’t help ‘entertain’ other people right now. I’m trying to survive. People keep expecting things of me, but they have no clue how hard I’m fighting the desire to die at the moment. I know it’s well-intended, but to me it’s added pressure. People want me to do ‘life’ and I want to escape it. And pushing me more towards doing it, makes me want to escape it more. I’m telling myself things will feel better again in the morning… but I know this feeling won’t go away.

Nobody Will Ever Know.

Nobody will ever know how pleased I was to recognise it so quickly as transference, so not ‘real’.

Nobody will ever know the courage it took to try and tackle it head on with the person involved.

Nobody will ever know how bad I felt, that I chose to self-harm in those toilets.

Nobody will ever know what I went through that night, from the act, to the hospital.

Nobody will ever know how isolated I felt cleaning the floor, panicking about the wound.

Nobody will ever know that it still haunts me even now.

Nobody will ever know how guilty I felt for how it would’ve made him feel, if he felt to blame.

Nobody will ever know how hard it was to see him again after what I did.

Nobody will ever know my fear of him judging me / pitying me for what I did.

Nobody will ever know that both times I ended up at the MIU were after botched conversations with him.

Nobody will ever know how I felt about him… that I loved every little thing about him.

Nobody will ever know how I REALLY felt about him. I’ve told nobody.

Nobody will ever know how hard it was sitting in a room with him every week, both of us fully aware of how I felt.

Nobody will ever know how painful it was every week when people asked him about the baby / birthing classes.

Nobody will ever know how lonely it was, having this secret and none of them aware of the pain I was in.

Nobody will ever know the level of anxiety I felt every single Wednesday. Physical anxiety.

Nobody will ever know the things I sensed / saw that fed my imagination.

Nobody will ever know how much I hate myself for yet again liking a man, who would never like me, even if available.

Nobody will ever know how pathetic I feel.

Nobody will ever know the fear and heartbreak of losing him.

Nobody will ever know how hard I battled my feelings, to carry on attending the course… the strength it took.

Nobody will ever know how many times my heart was ripped apart in those twelve weeks.

Nobody will ever know the amount of tears I cried for him.

Nobody will ever know how many times I wanted to end my life because of this.

Nobody will ever know my battle with self-harm since week three; times I went for treatment; what my family endured.

Nobody will ever know how unsafe I felt, and what little support I received.

Nobody will ever know what this has done to me as a person.

Nobody will ever know the regret for telling anyone – it only made sure I was kept away from him.

Nobody will ever know the heartache from that decision… hating myself.

Nobody will ever know how hard it is to move on, without so much as a quick chat with him, for ‘closure’.

Nobody will ever know how invalidating it is to say I didn’t need ‘closure’ as there was nothing there.

Nobody will ever know how much I don’t want to live now.

Nobody will ever know that I would rather fall asleep forever than never see him again.

Nobody will ever know how stupid I feel admitting these feelings to people.

Nobody will ever know why I feel the way I do for him.

Nobody will ever know the way he made my heart smile and why.

Nobody will ever know that although I know it’s not ‘real’ it bloody feels real.

Nobody will ever know that it feels like I’m grieving his death. The world feels empty. Life pointless.

Nobody will ever know how deafening the screams are in my chest right now.

Nobody will ever know how much I still think of him and cannot forget him.

Nobody will ever know how judged I feel for having feelings beyond my control.

Nobody will ever know how much I wish I never met him.

Nobody will ever know that every time I write about him tears stream down my face.

Nobody will ever know the urges I have to battle… to not harm myself because of overwhelming emotional pain.

Nobody will ever know how restrained I’ve been.

Nobody will ever know how tired I am of feeling.

Nobody will ever know how broken I am.

Nobody will ever know my torment.

Nobody will ever know this pain.

Nobody will ever know him.

Nobody will ever know me.

Nobody will ever know.

Nobody.

Open Letter To MH Professionals, From Someone Lost In The System.

Professionals

*This is in no way an attack on MH services, as I’m sure you all feel the same. It’s an expression of helplessness, and a plea to the powers that be, for something to be done, not just for me but for millions of people in this country, denied the support they need*

 

Dear mental health professionals….

I know you’re under pressure. I know you’re underfunded. I know you have rules and tick boxes that prevent you from doing the job to the standard you wish you could. You work hard and do the best you can, and I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the majority of you, who have chosen a career based on helping ease the suffering of others. It’s admirable. But can I just share with you my experience of being on the other side? Because whilst you may have the option of walking away from your job if it ever gets too much, I cannot walk away from my mental illness. So I’d like to share with you the struggle of existing in this world with this illness, and nowhere to turn for support……

Nine years ago I was doing a couple of courses of DBT. Little did I know at the time I was actually being treated for Borderline Personality Disorder. I hadn’t heard of this before, and was offended at the suggestion that I had this – especially as I had not been told I had it. I thought it meant there was something wrong with my personality… it felt like an insult. I now know that not to be the case at all! A couple of years later during individual therapy sessions I would be given the opportunity to see a psychiatrist, and get the official diagnosis… but it was suggested to me that it may not be a good thing to have this label, due to the stigma around it. I worried it might affect my chances of working. So I decided not to.

I left the care of CMHT and had to try and cope on my own. I’ve had a good five years surviving on my own as best I could, and coming to terms with the fact I do have BPD. But the last couple of years have been the worst I’ve experienced and my mental health has deteriorated. And now I find myself in a bit of a predicament….

You see, I cannot get the support I need. I saw the doctor, who said I’d probably not have success with CMHT, as I wouldn’t meet the criteria to receive their support. There’s no counselling service in existence unless I go private. And given that I don’t work, I can’t afford to pay to go private. So I tried an IAPT service… unfortunately I experienced a problem during this, which wasn’t handled urgently enough or in the best way, and further worsened my mental health… I felt more suicidal, my self-harm increased dramatically, my self-esteem plummeted. And I’m now trying to pick up the pieces alone. I’m not convinced they were set up for someone like me. I feel they’re more for those with mild/moderate depression and anxiety or phobias. This resulted in me feeling like a burden, and too difficult… ultimately a ‘lost cause’.

So I have nowhere to turn now. I cannot afford to go private. I shouldn’t have to. There used to be support for people like me in CMHT, but now it’s like those with BPD have been abandoned. And given that one of the major issues within BPD is abandonment, I find this incredibly troubling that we’d be subjected to that in a therapeutic setting.

 

cmht

 

I know some people with BPD are under CMHT. But this is probably because they have the diagnosis. I am trapped, because I do not have that diagnosis, as I rejected it all those years ago. Now I cannot access the services to see a psychiatrist to receive the diagnosis. So I will never get the support I need. I know those with the diagnosis often don’t get the support they need. But I feel even more stuck, because it feels like nobody understands my battle.

This is one aspect of my mental illness I want mental health professionals to understand…. I am very good at pretending to be okay. I have a lot of pride and dignity, and I contain how I truly feel, because I don’t want people to see me how I really feel. I don’t want to upset / disappoint / trouble other people. I want to maintain control over myself. I’m a very introspective person… I read up about my illness, to make me feel less alone with it and to make sense of it. So I seem knowledgeable / ‘intelligent’. On the outside I may look calm, collected, ‘together’, and even confident and happy at times. This is a mask. One I can’t wear much longer.

All my life I have had this problem – people couldn’t understand why I could do some things, and not others. They couldn’t understand my anxiety, or my difficulties. Because it wasn’t blindingly obvious. They probably thought I was making it up. I never show my reality outside of my house. I don’t like to cry in front of people. I don’t like to get angry. I don’t like people to know I’m struggling. I don’t want them to know about my suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

I may look ‘normal’ to the naked eye, but if you could see the storm underneath… if I could show you how I’m really experiencing the world, you would be shocked. You would be horrified and probably deeply upset by it. But I cannot externalise any of this, because I don’t want to lose control. I don’t want people to see me that way, for fear they will never see me any other way. I don’t want to hurt those who love me. I don’t want people to look down on me.

 

shocked

 

But because I don’t have public breakdowns…. because I don’t try to throw myself off a roof…. because I don’t slash at my arms in front of people, screaming “Just let me die!”…. people don’t know that’s how I’m feeling inside. They think I’m more capable than I actually am. They expect more from me, which overwhelms me and when I can’t do it, they can’t understand why. Just the mere fact I can verbalise what my inner experience is, makes people think I’m fine, when I’m not – I’m just trying to express the inner turmoil in the only acceptable way I know – with words. Because I can’t release it physically, I hope that talking about it will ease the burden… but the burden is actually keeping it physically hidden. And nobody takes it seriously. ‘Actions speak louder than words’. So it feels like it’s going to take me giving up control and losing the plot completely, for my pain to be taken seriously. And what if I still don’t get the support I need? Do I spiral until I end my life? I won’t have control any longer, and that puts me more at risk of acting on my urges. I’m scared of letting go. But it feels like mental health services don’t know how to help if they don’t see someone standing, bleeding in front of them, incoherent.

I actually had a therapist tell me to go away and think what help I wanted from them, as long as it’s within their skill-set. With all due respect to you all, you are the mental health professionals…. you know what your skills are, therefore what you can offer. You know all about mental illnesses and what therapies may help an illness. Yes, I am an expert in my own BPD as I’ve lived with it all my life… but I don’t know what options I have. I don’t know what help there is. It’s not my job to know. I’M THE PATIENT. If I had a total breakdown and showed how I feel inside, you would have to help me. You would know HOW to help me. You would take the lead, do your job and try to heal me. But because I stuff it all inside, so nobody can see, you think I’m capable of doing your job for you and deciding what will help me best. I am the patient, you are the professional – please tell me how you can help me, and if you yourself cannot do it, then please point me in the direction of someone who can.

 

I feel isolated. I can't get the level of help I need as I don't have the diagnosis, and can't get

 

I need to feel there are options for me. Because right now I don’t. I don’t see a future for me. I can’t see me getting through this, because I have nowhere to turn. I feel isolated. I can’t get the level of help I need as I don’t have the diagnosis, and can’t get the diagnosis because of lack of access to the services… so I have no ‘label’ to explain my emotional turmoil…. on top of that I don’t let it show, so people probably question if it’s really as bad as I say. So in a sense I feel I constantly have to prove I’m as ill as I say, but I can’t do this by showing them, I can only tell them… but if they don’t SEE it they don’t BELIEVE it. So I’m also stuck in that way. I’m trapped within myself. And I’m trapped within the mental health services. Nowhere to go. Nobody can help me. And that makes me feel suicidal.

Another thing I want you to note is this: If you ask me if I have thoughts of suicide and I say yes, but that I wouldn’t act on them, don’t just believe me and carry on as if it’s not a risk. I am afraid of the consequences of admitting to wanting to act on these thoughts. So I’m never going to tell you that I might do it. This is how people end up dead. They tell professionals they’re okay, it’s accepted and then they act on it. When I was on a course recently I had a conversation with a therapist, and they asked me if I could keep myself safe that night… I was the most honest I’ve been about it, and said that it would be difficult. I said I would try, but I went home and self-harmed, ending up at the MIU. I knew this was going to happen but didn’t tell them. I don’t want to burden people. And I don’t want them to judge me. I want to seem like a rational adult. 

I self-harmed during my course, and this was discovered by one of the therapists, who had to treat me and advised me to go to the hospital. It was NEVER my intention for anyone to know about it. I was hidden in the toilets trying to treat it myself. That was the closest I’ve ever been to revealing my reality. They saw me crying, panicking, they saw my wounds and scars…. I was a mess that night, and I felt ashamed to have let the barriers down, and let someone see the mess inside me.

This is what I mean…. I feel ashamed of the thoughts I have, the emotions I feel and the way I would behave if I felt it socially acceptable. I know some would think if you’re really that bad you’d have no control over it – well the incident at therapy was one example of when I lost control. You might think it can’t be controlled, but you don’t know me. I have major issues with control, and I guilt-trip myself into maintaining a certain image. I think I would be letting a lot of people down if I didn’t give a damn anymore and behaved how I wish I could. Control is possible, whilst being very unwell. I’ll tell you how I know this… because I can feel it slipping away. I am about to lose control. And it terrifies me. I don’t know what is going to happen when I lose that control. I don’t know what I’ll do, what the consequences will be, and I fear losing myself in the process.

The control I exert over my own mental illness is such a heavy burden. It is like I’ve got myself chained up inside. Like I’m holding my reality hostage. So believe me it’s there, and it’s possible. It’s why every single time I say “I can’t do this anymore” I become one step closer to not doing it anymore…. not hiding it anymore.

 

I know some would think if you're really that bad you'd have no control over it – well the incident%

 

I know that when I finally lose control, I will feel so ashamed that I will not want to live anymore, and I need to know there will be a safety net to catch me. I need to know it’s safe to let go and lose control, and fall apart, and someone will keep me safe. Otherwise when I finally show you all the pain I’ve locked up inside, I’m not sure I will make it out the other side. And I don’t really want to die. I just want life to not hurt so much. I want people to care about me. I want to have something to live for.

It shouldn’t be that I have to reach utter crisis point to get the help I need. The help should be offered to prevent that risk to my life. That’s what makes me feel totally worthless – that I’d be left to reach that point where I might die, before you’ll help me. It shouldn’t be that way. But I can see in my case that’s the way it’s going to be. Because nobody understands BPD unless they’ve had it. And nobody can understand a mental illness that they can’t see. If the only visible sign I have are my self-harm scars, then nobody could ever understand what leads me to cause them. This is my personal interpretation of ‘quiet borderline’. I know many don’t agree with me on this, and I’m still forming my own opinion on it, but my BPD is so hidden most of the time, that nobody would believe how much I’m suffering.

 

crisis

 

With most illnesses the strategy seems to be to treat the symptoms… but if I hide the symptoms, and only write about them, then those wanting to treat them cannot do so. And I’m neglected. I just want one mental health professional to stick with me while I fall apart. I want them to believe what I’m experiencing and let me express it, whilst protecting me from myself. I just want to feel safe and supported. And I really don’t right now. I don’t know who I can turn to. I don’t know what to do. I feel powerless.

You see we’re not all that different – you feel powerless to help me, I feel powerless to get help…. the only difference is, to you I will just be one more person who couldn’t be saved… a statistic….but for me, I will be no more. Gone. Dead. So please, will someone do SOMETHING to provide the help and support people like me need in this country? I don’t want to die. I need help. Someone please create that help – don’t leave us all to an ugly fate. There may be some misconceptions out there about those with BPD, but I know from talking to many of them, they are the loveliest individuals with a heck of a lot to give. And to lose all those lights from the world would be a tragedy.

I know you try your hardest to help us where you can, but more people need to unite to get help for those of us lost in the system… those of us in the middle, who are ‘too ill’ for IAPT services and ‘not ill enough’ for CMHT to help us… at least that’s what I was told. Where are we supposed to turn? BPD puts us most at risk of doing harm to ourselves, or taking our own lives… we are desperately in need of support. Please value our lives enough to do everything you can to get us that support. I don’t know what my ‘rights’ are as a service user. I don’t know what’s on offer to help me. It feels as though different sectors of the NHS can’t agree on what help there is for me. Can you please start to communicate with each other and come up with a strategy, so that when someone in dire need comes along, they can be directed to the right support? I feel like I’m floating around in the system and don’t belong anywhere, which is a reflection of my experience in life… the feeling I will never belong, that I’m worthless and a burden. These beliefs are being mirrored in my experiences of trying to get help. It feels like my life doesn’t matter. And too many others have this experience. Things need to change.

 

mirrored

I want to start campaigning for more support for those with BPD. And when I feel mentally stronger this is something I will look into. In the meantime, I hope those within the profession can do all they can to change things from the inside. I know it’s a huge ask, and not something that can just happen – it takes a lot of work and money. I’m just asking if you have a voice within the profession, please use it to save lives. Those most in need are being left behind. This cannot be right. I know that most of you would agree, and are just as frustrated at the injustice. Hopefully enough of us can take action to try and bring about a change.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

xxxx

Alone In The Dark.

 

*I wrote this last night – contains swearing and suicidal / self harm thoughts*

 

I feel splintered at the moment… fragmented. My mind feels all over the place…. Think of Star Wars Episode IV when Han Solo fires a laser gun inside the trash compactor, and it bounces around off the walls… that’s what it feels like my mind is doing. It’s odd too, as I felt relatively okay yesterday (Wednesday). Also because I’ve done everything possible today to keep well – I went out for a walk, I sang some of the pain out, I did all the self-soothing… anything I could do to help myself. But still this persistent, looming depression is strengthening. And I can’t focus on doing one thing. My mind is darting around, between wanting to write helpful blog posts, wanting to do what I’m trying to do now – pouring my heart out, switching off from the world, screaming the world to deafness, ending my life, crying for help, giving up… I’m getting flashes to the past – distant and recent, flashes of what hasn’t happened yet, words said, emotions felt, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. I’ve tried to fight it all, but right now I feel beyond help.

My chest is screaming in frustration at the lack of support for those with BPD…. or is it just ME who isn’t offered the help? I’ve heard of others having support from CMHT… so how come I’ve been told they probably won’t accept me? I’m apparently not ‘ill enough’ for them, and it seems I was ‘too ill’ for the IAPT service I’ve just used. So is it pretty much “Go fuck yourself” then?? Is it my destiny to bow out of this world having achieved nothing, and never experiencing happiness and love? Is this it for me? Is this the end of the road? WHY WON’T SOMEBODY HELP ME?!

Why can’t someone know what help I’m entitled to and make sure I get it? Am I doomed to never get the support I need, simply because seven years ago I didn’t want to be stuck with a label of BPD, and then once I was discharged from the service I’d never be accepted back, so I’d never be able to see a psychiatrist and actually GET the diagnosis, to get the help – CAN NOBODY SEE HOW FUCKED UP THIS IS, AND WHAT A MESS IT LEAVES ME IN?!!!

I just want one mental health professional to give me the time to explain the chaos in my head. To try and understand it, and help me understand how I got this way. I want someone to tell me where I go from here. Because the way I see it, there is no help for me. I have to struggle on my own. I feel like I have no options. I feel trapped.

My mind and heart are too painful to live in right now. There’s just this overwhelming mass of emotions and memories and I never know which one is going to come out to play, and punch me in the face. It’s a tangled ball of hurt and upset from a few years ago, mixed with loss last year, mixed with transference and worsening mental health.

Although I’m having two sessions to look at transference, nothing can change how I feel. I wish I’d never said anything. I really do. Because no matter who I talk to and what they say, I feel utterly stupid and pathetic for feeling how I do. There’s not going to be any resolution. I’ll likely experience this feeling again in my life, but I know next time I will suffer in silence. Because clearly mental health professionals in this country haven’t got a flipping clue about transference. Everything I read about it online must have been American.

So not only have I had a bad experience with mental health services, but I also have been taught to lock my feelings up and not share how I feel. I just want to scream because of how frustrated and upset I feel right now. I was told this week, when I feel like that, to sing, or to walk… I can’t do either right now, as it’s gone midnight. So instead I’m just sat in tears, writing this. I need someone to pour my heart out to.

I should never have admitted to having that problem. I’m sorry I did. I’ve made damn sure I will never be allowed near him ever again. That’s exactly what I didn’t want to happen. And I’m so angry with myself for forcing that. So angry I want to rip my skin open.

I know there was one thing the therapist I saw this week said, that upset me, I can’t remember the wording as such, but she was talking about how there can’t be ‘closure’ as there was nothing there… that kicked me in the gut. I know there was nothing there, no relationship. But does it always require a relationship to need a sense of closure? People need closure from all different areas of life. I didn’t mean closure in a relationship sense… I meant closure on the experience of therapy… about everything that had gone on. I’m sorry it’s too much to ask for such closure… maybe closure isn’t the right word. Maybe there’s a better word. Anyway it doesn’t matter, as I’m not going to have it now so it’s irrelevant. But to say closure isn’t needed as there wasn’t anything, is invalidating of my emotional experience.

I’m sorry, I’m really hurting right now, and every tiny speck of invalidation kills me…. whether it’s telling me my feelings aren’t real, or saying I need to move on, or saying closure isn’t required…. or making me feel like I’m just some silly little girl, with a silly little girl crush on someone who doesn’t feel the same for me and never will / can. I don’t need to be told these things or made to feel that way. I know full well the reality – the reality is killing me. I don’t need telling it over and over by everyone. I know it. I just want one fucking person to look in my eyes and tell me they understand the level of pain I’m feeling, and that this felt like love to me… and that the thought of forever without him is unbearable… they know that, and it’s okay to feel that way. This isn’t about whether it can be or not…. that has never been the issue. And every single time people make it about that, it makes me close off, because they don’t understand what this is truly about…. love and loss…. attachment and abandonment…. my broken heart…. the lack of closure in my life… and how this has now added to that. I don’t give a fuck if someone says there’s no need for closure as there was nothing there – there WAS to me! Not a relationship, no. But emotions, yes. Experiences, yes. Trauma, yes. A lot of my issues with this came from admitting to men in the past that I liked them, and hearing nothing in response, and losing them soon after without a word. Confessing my feelings cost me them, and they silently vanished – this is what I have come to expect from men. I wasn’t meaning I want something said back to me in a certain way, in the sense of reciprocation – far from it!! …. I just meant a conversation to show I’m actually deserving of a decent ending, where I know he wishes me well, and appreciates the courage it took to say anything in the first place.

Therapy has fucked me up forever. Because I’m never going to have faith in therapy again. The people who were supposed to help me, have destroyed me.

 

I have one more appointment and then I’m abandoned. I’m left to pick up the pieces, and I have no idea where I can turn if I can’t cope.

The doctor seemed to think that the CMHT wouldn’t help me. These people clearly weren’t cut out to help me. So what? Do they all really want me to do away with myself? Is that the ultimate plan with the mental health system…. neglect those most at risk to themselves, so that they’ll end their lives and no longer be a burden to the system… is that it? Because it fucking feels like it. And that is NOT okay. What the hell are they playing at?!

I’m in the worst state I’ve ever been in. Completely swamped by all the hurt I’ve endured in the last six years. I may have done DBT twice…. but that was before all of that hurt. I’ve got six years of pain that I’ve had to cope with on my own. I bravely reached out for help last year, as I could feel myself slipping backwards and didn’t want that to happen, and look what’s happened. I have slipped much further backwards, and the people responsible aren’t even bothered about what will happen to me after my next session. Washing their hands of me. That’s how it feels. I wish so much that I never reached out for help last year. I only did so, before my granddad died, to have support in place for when that was going to happen, which didn’t happen anyway – I didn’t see someone until four or five months after he died. Had three appointments stuffed into a two week space, so I was rushed through the process… straight on to a twelve week course in a group setting, no individual support, and two days after the end, one last review session, then abandoned. These two extra sessions with someone else. Then who knows?

I was given the contact number for a bereavement service, but my life feels such a mess now, that dealing with just my grief, peeling it apart from everything else, is going to be impossible. Everything has got matted together. My grief probably made me vulnerable to self-harm and the transference stuff, but now those issues have taken priority over the grief... which makes me annoyed and feel guilty actually, that that bloody service and that bloody guy take up more space in my mind and heart, than my own granddad. That’s how I feel right now. It’s all so jumbled.

My life feels totally screwed. I have no memories of the past. It’s like it wasn’t me growing up. I see photos and don’t remember a thing. I remember tiny snapshots, and the bad things… some of them anyway. The rest is blank. The most I remember is 2012 and all the shit that went down that year, because of my ‘friends’… and then the last two years and nature’s attacks on my family. And this ‘support’ that’s only made me worse.

I feel out of control. I feel on the edge. I feel erratic in my moods and urges. I don’t feel safe. I am scared of myself. I have never felt that way about myself before. I can’t picture a future. But then I don’t feel society values me enough to allow me a future, as I’m neglected and left to fend for myself. And people think I’m capable of this because I appear to be, what people sometimes refer to as, ‘high-functioning’… I show signs of ‘togetherness’ and people assume I’m healthier in my mind than I am. Because I am a proud person, and fear people’s reactions, so I don’t want them to see me acting how I really feel. If I really acted how I feel they’d have to help me. And believe me, I’m getting closer to that every day. I’m getting close to giving up caring. I know once that happens I’ll have lost myself forever. There will be no coming back.

So I’m stuck without a diagnosis, misunderstood by those around me, not getting the level of support I need, expected to battle on alone, and I just really don’t want to do any of it anymore. This battle is too much to bear alone. Nobody with BPD should have to face it alone. I’ve had enough. I’ve really had enough.

“Toughen Up”.

*Very bad language & suicidal thoughts*

I have days like today where my emotional skin is next to nothing. Everything from the tone of someone’s voice, to the look on their face, to the words they say, to being ignored…. everything hurts me. It feels like a kick in the heart, a buzz in the head and a need to rip myself apart.

On days like this I feel there’s no place for me in this world. I will never fit in, because I’m too fragile for such a harsh world as this.

I help in a charity shop at the moment, and we were overloaded with donations today, so we had to turn down further donations… we actually had a sign on the door telling people, but nobody ever looks at the door as they come in… I hate having to say no to people. Some people are okay about it, and then there’s others who don’t think of the impact of their attitude. It was brave of me to decline a donation today, as it fills me with pure fear. And the person didn’t say a word, did a sort of ‘eye roll’ and turned away. I’m sorry – it’s not my fault! I’ve been told to not accept donations, and if I had, then I would’ve been made to feel shit by colleagues, so I can’t bloody win whatever! I kept calm and composed, but inside I’d been emotionally stabbed, and when I started to talk to a colleague about it, they said I need to ‘toughen up’.

This was the point I had to go silent and breathe, and focus on a task, because I was about to burst into tears in the shop. Not so much because of what was said, as I know it was well-intended considering who it came from, but the fact I felt they were right. I have to toughen up. I cannot and will not be able to exist in this world if people’s bad attitudes have such an effect on me.

But this annoys me. Why should I have to ‘toughen up’…. why can’t people just learn to be nicer people?? It’s a lot easier for people to have manners, humbly accept things as they are, and not make someone feel like shit, than it is for people like me to grow some magical emotional skin, out of nowhere. Why do nice, quiet, sensitive people have to change just to fit in?! Why the fuck can’t nasty, insensitive, loud arseholes be the ones to change for once?

Fine, you want me to change, I will… but you will not like the person I become. If the world asks me to toughen up and change, then fuck you world, you’ll see a change. I will be a heartless bitch. I will tell people exactly what I think of them. I will tell them next time – ‘It says it on the door, can’t you READ?!’ If that’s what you all fucking want, for me to not be my authentic self, then fine. If nobody can accept me for who I am…. if nobody appreciates a quiet, kind, friendly, polite woman, then fuck you all. I will be the fucking bitch you want me to be, just so that I can fit in with the rest of you!!!!!

I am so sick of my ‘niceness’ being abused. I’m sick of being trodden on. I’m sick of people telling me I’m too sensitive. Do you know what it’s like to be this sensitive, and to be told it’s wrong…. but you know no other way. This is who I was born as. You’re asking me to change my SOUL. I cannot do that. So if my sensitivity is so wrong, and I cannot fit into this world of rude people, then I’ll just end my life shall I?! Is that better?! It’s easier to kill myself than to grow emotional skin and change my soul that I was born with, I’ll tell you that much.

It is incredibly hard to live in this world how I am. I do not need people telling me that I need to change. NO. People need to learn how to treat other human beings with respect and courtesy. THAT is what needs changing. I am so sick of limping through life right now. I didn’t want to go into work today. I don’t want to do life at all right now. I have to fake being better than I am. But I cannot cope with incidents like today. I cannot cope with working. Not in that environment. I’m thinking of leaving. Because people have no idea how a charity shop works. We don’t have endless space to store things. Also a lot of decisions have to be made – I cannot do that at the moment. I have no confidence in myself. And my colleagues’ answer would be ‘be positive’. Well no. That’s not going to work any longer. I’m sick of being misunderstood. I’m sick of pretending to be okay when all I want to do is put myself in hospital, or worse.

I just don’t want to live right now. I want to rewind five months. There was at least a little light back then. Therapy ruined it. Now I can’t see anything. I give up.

The Awesome Blogger Award Nomination!

 

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I’m a bit late in accepting this, as my mind’s been frazzled, and the concept is new to me so had to work out what it’s all about!! But thank you so much to Ashley from Mental Health @ Home for your kind nomination. She’s a lovely, supportive blogger, with a great blog about mental health- you should check it out!

 

Awesome Blogger Award is….

“This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

Created by Miss Maggie @ Dreaming of Guatemala

 

The Rules Are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated

 

My questions from Ashley:

 

  1. What colour eye shadow? Usually browns, pinks and purples, mixed with a touch of gold. I like mixing up colours, using Sleek MakeUP i-Divine eyeshadows.
  2. Do you like sandwiches? (If yes, please describe favourite!) I do like sandwiches. I don’t have them as often as I used to, but I like a cheese sandwich, or my favourite is actually a marmite sandwich! I know… you either love it or you hate it.
  3. Flats or heels?  Flats. I’m tall enough without wearing heels – heels hurt my feet anyway. I can wear small heels, but I prefer to be practical and able to run if needs be!
  4. How much water do you drink every day, on average? Not sure… I drink quite a lot of it – it’s my favourite thing to drink… I struggle to understand how people can hate water or find it boring!!
  5. What is the best coffee you’ve ever had?  I hate coffee. I love the smell of it, but not the taste.
  6. How do you feel about the smell of rain? It’s okay… obviously living here I only get to smell that in the summer as otherwise it’s raining all the time!!
  7. If there is one blog you think I must follow, which is it? Any of the ones I’ll give a shout-out to in a minute….
  8. Corn chips or potato chips? I had to look up what these terms mean! Based on the description I would think ‘potato chips’. I like a variety of crisps though, like to mix it up a bit so I don’t get bored!
  9. Number one thing you want to do before summer 2018. Lose weight. Major goal for this year, alongside other ones that involve writing and mental health.
  10. How long have you been blogging?  Just under two years…. had a couple of different blogs before this one, but they’ve faded away now and my focus is on this one…. first post on here was 20th May 2016! I feel I’m still learning the ropes though!

 

 

Those I am nominating have made an impact on me, either by their powerful posts, their supportive comments on mine, or their bravery to talk about difficult subjects. Please do check out their blogs and give them a follow. Thank you!

My nominations:

 

My questions for my nominees:

  1. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
  2. Do you like looking at your blog stats? If so what intrigues you the most?
  3. What is your favourite time of the year and why?
  4. Name three things (not people) you love the most.
  5. If you could give one piece of advice to a new blogger, what would it be?
  6. What inspired you to start your blog?
  7. What is your favourite TV show?
  8. Do you prefer cats or dogs? Or some other animal?
  9. If you could have one wish come true right now what would it be?
  10. How has blogging helped you in your life?

 

I look forward to reading your answers, and your blogs this year! And although I’m a week late, Happy New Year!

xxxx

 

Ideas: Crisis Box & Grounding Object.

On the first session of my group course, another member suggested something that has stuck with me, and three or four weeks before the end of the course I produced what she suggested. I created my ‘crisis box’.

I’ve had questions about this since then, so I thought I’d share it with you, to help inspire you. This is a box I can open when I feel at risk of harming myself, and it has lots of things in it to try and remind me of the good things in my life, and about self-care.

I bought a box from the Post Office, covered it in pretty wrapping paper, inside and out, and started adding things to it. I put in things like colouring books and pencils…. a spirograph thing I had as a child, with fine line pens….. a couple of dvds – these can be your favourite film, stand-up comedy, or even Disney, to comfort the child in you…. some bubbles….. a nice smelling body cream….. nail varnish in my favourite colour…… photographs of me with my Godchildren, to remind me of those who need me and bring me joy…… stress balls for when I’m angry……. a fossil, as I love fossil-hunting…… cheerleading cards – one of which is stuck to the inside of the lid, saying “Self-harm will not solve the problem…. resist the urge”…. fluffy slippers…. chocolate….and any pampering goods – anything to look after myself, nurture the child in me, and protect me from harming myself.

I created this box near the end of the course, as I kept going away from sessions and harming myself, and my family didn’t want me going to the course in the end, so I said to them, I will put the box on my chair for when I get home, so that if I feel bad I can tuck into it and resist the urge. It worked. Until the last session of course – as nothing could protect me from that level of pain I experienced. It was off the scale.

I shall share a few pictures with you, just to give you a better impression of it:

 

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The box, covered with wrapping paper – took an hour or two to fully cover it!

 

 

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You can personalise your own box – decorate it how you like, choose any size, as long as it fits everything in you want it to. Choose whatever items mean something to you. I didn’t put photos of my granddad in, even thought he means so much to me, because in a crisis, seeing him and feeling the loss will only upset me further. So be careful not to put anything in that might upset you in some way. They’ve got to be ‘feel-good’ items.

Here are some of the cheerleading cards I’ve put in my box – they’re not all finished, but so you get the idea:

 

 

 

 

The person who suggested it to me only attended the group for the first session, but their suggestion was the one that stuck out to me.

I really would suggest you all make one too, and see if it helps you in a time of crisis, or use it to help prevent a crisis forming if you’re on the edge of one. Have fun with it, and always keep it handy, waiting for you at home if you’re doing anything potentially stressful. I might create a mini one to carry with me. For now a grounding object will do – which for me is a ‘worry stone’ – a smooth flat stone, with a circular groove in it, to circle with your thumb. I tried different grounding objects but this one seemed to work best in the end. I can use it to calm myself down, or to keep me in reality when my mind is dragging me off somewhere I don’t want to go. My mum actually gave it to me during my course, as it used to be hers… so that when I got stressed or upset, I’d have it there, and it was symbolic, like she was there with me. I found that useful, to feel I wasn’t alone.

 

 

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My grounding object.

 

 

With the lack of support out there for people like us, we’ve got to do what we can to help ourselves – so these are just a couple of ideas to hopefully help you start to do that.

All the best,

xxxx

Do You Know What It’s Like?

Do You Know_

 

*Contains references to self-harm and suicidal thoughts*

 

Do you know what it’s like to wake up in the morning and not want to get out of bed?

Do you know what it’s like when the only thing you look forward to in the day is going back to bed that night?

Do you know what it’s like to stay up until the early hours of the morning, crying into your pillow alone, fighting the urge to harm yourself?

Do you know what it’s like to go to bed alone every night, and wake up to the same monotonous, lonely life every day, with nobody to share it with?

Do you know what it’s like to feel so many intense emotions at once, that the only way to bring those emotions down and not totally lose the plot, is to harm yourself?

Do you know what it’s like to feel the only way to cope with living is to slice into your own skin?

Do you know what it’s like to feel you deserve the pain?

Do you know what it’s like to be so conflicted, that you don’t want to harm too badly to need treatment, because you don’t want to disappoint anyone, but at the same time you want to harm so deeply that it requires stitches and leaves lasting damage?

Do you know what it’s like to hate every single thing about yourself – the way you look, the way you speak, the way you walk, the way you think, the way you behave, the way you feel?

Do you know what it’s like to feel like an utter failure in life and a burden to those you live with?

Do you know what it’s like to feel you’ll never amount to anything?

Do you know what it’s like to have a constant monologue of negative thoughts about yourself, and to not be able to challenge those thoughts?

Do you know what it’s like to feel totally powerless? To have no control over what happens in your life…. and to feel there’s nothing you can do to improve your life?

Do you know what it’s like to be at the point of wanting to end your life, and STILL there’s no mental health help out there for you, except for the Samaritans?

Do you know what it’s like to use a mental health service and even they made you feel like a burden?

Do you know what it’s like to wish you wouldn’t wake up one day?

Do you know what it’s like to have no purpose in life?

Do you know what it’s like to have no hope?

Do you know what it’s like to feel horrifically alone and isolated?

Do you know what it’s like to watch everyone around you getting on with their lives, being happy, being loved, having families, and you’re stuck in a cocoon of pain and misery, which nobody cares to do anything about to help you?

Do you know what it’s like to feel so attached to someone that when they leave your life, it rips away some of your skin and takes a piece of your heart away from you?

Do you know what it’s like to feel like a freak for such attachments, and to not have help to understand and resolve the attachment issues?

Do you know what it’s like to be haunted by a past that will never go away?

Do you know what it’s like to see no light, only darkness?

Do you know what it’s like to pray for the pain to stop, and to not want to live anymore?

Do you know what it’s like to have NEVER been loved, and to think this is because of something fundamentally wrong with YOU?

Do you know what it’s like to feel nobody could ever love you, or be attracted to you? To feel like there’ s a mutual attraction with someone, only to say ‘Don’t be stupid – look at me! They’d never want me’? To always feel you don’t deserve love and affection?

Do you know what it’s like to not be able to trust anyone anymore?

Do you know what it’s like to sit and consider the best way to kill yourself?

Do you know what it’s like to see everything around you as a means to hurt yourself, or worse?

Do you know what it’s like to have to picture roots fixing your feet to the ground as the train comes into the platform?

Do you know what it’s like to feel the need to cut… like you deserve it… but to have to close your eyes to find the courage to actually do it?

Do you know what it’s like to feel frustrated and angry with yourself for being unable to do it as badly as you wanted to?

Do you know what it’s like to cross a bridge and have to force yourself to keep moving, rather than stopping and contemplating the damage of jumping?

Do you know what it’s like to have your therapist say to you ‘You have to do the work, I can’t do it for you’?

Do you know what it’s like to feel mocked for transferring on another therapist?

Do you know what it’s like to feel like you want to die, because someone you don’t want to live without can no longer be in your life ever again?

Do you know what utter despair feels like?

Do you know what it’s like to want to scream your lungs out, and rip your own skin off, and smash a whole room apart because of the pain you feel?

Do you know what it’s like to hate the world and everyone in it?

Do you know what it’s like to have therapy go so badly that you don’t want to use the skills you learnt, as you resent it so much…. that they didn’t help you, so the blood will be on their hands?

Do you know what it’s like to have zero motivation to do anything – to get out of bed, get dressed, go out, eat, drink, take medications?

Do you know what it’s like to want to put yourself in a psych ward, to have a break from ‘life’?

Do you know what it’s like always being left behind? Always being the casualty of a faulty system?

Do you know what it’s like to have a mental illness where one of the symptoms is about ‘abandonment’, and you’re abandoned by mental health services when most in need of them?

Do you know what it’s like to wish your life away?

Do you know what it’s like to feel sick with anxiety, and paralysed by depression?

Do you know what it’s like to feel nobody truly cares about you, they just ‘tolerate’ you?

Do you know what it’s like to switch from loving someone to hating them, and back again?

Do you know what it’s like to feel okay and the slightest thing and you’re the lowest you’ve ever felt, and can’t pull yourself out of it?

Do you know what it’s like to pray someone will come along and save you from yourself? And give you a reason to hope again?

Do you know what it’s like to have this void, which you try to fill with food, spending, writing, self-harming, but it never goes away… because what you need cannot be attained, and there is no substitute?

Do you know what it’s like to watch your world crumbling around you?

Do you know what it’s like to feel you’ll never fit in in this world? To feel you don’t belong?

Do you know what it’s like to just exist? And to wonder if you’re even real?

Do you know what it’s like for the world to suddenly become so painfully real, dangerous and scary? And to not want to live in it anymore?

Do you know what it’s like to feel the only way to stop the pain is to go to sleep forever?

Do you know what it’s like?

Surviving Therapy: “Life Goes On”.

*Mentions self-harm*

 

Four weeks ago was the last session of my twelve week CBT course. That night was hard, and I didn’t feel I would make it through. I had to phone the Samaritans for the first time in my life in the middle of the night. Somehow I’m still here fighting.

I won’t lie and say things feel better now. They don’t. I am awfully depressed and don’t see a future right now. I try not to think about the things that are hurting my heart, because I know if I really let the feelings in they will drown me, and each day I care less about keeping afloat. But I’ve got some new friends out of doing my course. They understand me more now, and are always there to remind me to use my skills, and look at my crisis box. I’ve mentioned this crisis box before and had questions about it, so I’ll do a post to illustrate this in a little while.

The course was intense, from start to finish. Before the first session I was so anxious, about going to a new place, knowing absolutely nobody there. I had identified the building, but wasn’t sure how to get in. There was a buzzer system, and I had no clue what to do. So I lurked around outside, observing. I saw someone who looked like they were doing the same. I had a guess they were there for the same reason as me, so I waited until they went in and then went to join them.

The first session was difficult. Everyone felt on edge, keeping to ourselves. I felt quite positive about it, and really wanted to give it my best shot, and get on well with the facilitators. It was all going relatively okay, until at the end we did a mindfulness exercise, and this led me down a path of thinking about my granddad who I had lost five months beforehand. I talked about how the exercise went and burst into tears, in a room full of strangers! I felt really embarrassed by this, and I think after that little outburst I tried to keep my emotions locked up. This may have been what led me down a path of self-harm as the course progressed.

The second session was better – I knew where to go, how to get in and what to expect. That was probably the better of the sessions. But after going away from that session I realised my feelings for one of the facilitators.

The third session I turned up early, wanting a word… I wanted to quickly admit to this transference issue, to nip it in the bud and refocus my energies. But the buzzer didn’t work. I phoned them to be let in and they didn’t answer. Others turned up and some of us went through the door when others came out, and went up to the floor the group was held on. We waited outside the door, and one of the others phoned this time, and her call was answered. Needless to say I took that personally…. Anyway I decided to have a word at the end… I got through the first half of the session, but as time went on I couldn’t focus on what was being said. I conveyed this to the facilitator in the break and asked if I could have a word at the end. He said they don’t have a lot of time at the end. So I had to have a chat with him in the break. I had to rush through what I’d planned to say. He asked questions which skirted around the issue and didn’t allow me to say it. He said I should talk to my individual therapist if there’s something troubling me. He didn’t let me unburden myself, I had to go back into the group feeling even worse and unheard. I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus, so last second instead of following him back into the group, I went the other way and broke down in the toilets before harming myself, the worst I ever have.

That was the beginning of a downhill slope for me. After that night I would struggle to stop harming myself. It became a weekly thing, which it hasn’t been for many years. One of the facilitators had to come and check on me, and had to treat me, before telling me I ought to go to the hospital to get it stitched. I was phoned by the facilitator who treated me the next day.

From that point on every single Wednesday I would have intense anxiety which left me feeling physically ill and unable to breathe. I didn’t know if it was anxiety about going back into the place where I harmed myself, or if it was anxiety about seeing him again. I gave them something to read to explain what happened and apologise for it, as well as apologising in person to them both for how it may have affected them. Whilst it felt they understood me better after that there was still a distance, and I felt a burden asking for support. There would be weeks where I’d ask for help and not be given it, or I’d be told it had to be quick. Eventually I stopped reaching out. I’d go away, go home and harm myself on a few occasions. I even did it at the session another time, though managed to hide it this time round.

After another session I sent a text to one of them to say I hadn’t felt able to approach them at the end, but I didn’t feel safe going away, and that I felt like quitting the group. This went ignored, as apparently it appeared as a multimedia message on his old style work phone, and didn’t have a subject, so he thought it was spam. That was also the week the other one refused to help me, and made me push myself instead. I had a lot of anger that week.

Four weeks before the end I got there early to have a chat with the facilitator I was transferring on. I wanted to know how to detach from someone, and if I’d receive any help for transference afterwards or not. I got a ‘politician answer’ in that I’m not sure I got an answer! I felt unheard and misunderstood. I told him I didn’t feel safe about the course ending… I meant losing him. He asked if I could stay safe that night, I said it would be difficult. He asked if I had the means on me to do anything, I said no – I didn’t, but that wasn’t the issue… I knew it could and likely would happen when I went home. I shut down for that session… didn’t say a single word. Nobody interacted with me – the facilitator I’d spoken to didn’t even look at me. I hid in the toilets during the break and decided I’d harm myself when I got home. At the end of the session I dashed out of there – I ran down the stairs and out of the building. I got in the car and said to the person driving ‘Don’t ask’. Went home, did what I did and ended up at the hospital again.

That was the point I decided to quit the group. But over the next few days I changed my mind and decided to see it through to the end; to apologise to the group for how I’d been and try to build better bonds with them. So when I said this at the next session, and had every single face looking at me and listening to me it was overwhelming. It turned out to be the best decision I made, as these people are supportive friends to me now. I joined in more and tried to get back to the more positive way of the beginning….

But lurking underneath it all I was still dreading the loss in the next three weeks. The end of the course was mentioned at this session, at the end, and put me in an unsafe headspace. So I spoke to one of the facilitators to say how I felt about it. And during that week I wrote something for the facilitator (the one I was dreading to lose) to read, to explain how misunderstood and unheard I felt by him in our discussion, and explaining the pain I was experiencing. He seemed to understand more after reading that at the next session. It felt better that he understood how hard losing him would be for me. But nothing could prepare me for the last session.

It was a nightmare blur, and didn’t go as I thought it would. We did one last mindfulness exercise at the end, where the facilitator I was transferring on spoke us through it. I closed my eyes and listened, and realised it would be the last time I’d hear his voice. I broke down in tears. I still can’t get over that feeling. There were lots of hugs, and a bunch of us went to the pub next door to celebrate getting through the course. On the way out I said a brief ‘See you, bye’ to him… but it was so fleeting it was as though it was nothing… when inside it was killing me a million times over, in a thousand different ways. I didn’t have the closure I needed. The conversation I needed. The chance to say goodbye. It was over. I’d never see him again.

Four weeks since I last saw and heard him. Four weeks is nothing compared to the rest of my life having to do the same. This is harder than anyone will ever understand. I know I have to use ‘radical acceptance’ and accept the way things are. I do know that. But it’s hard. I don’t want things to be this way. I’m resisting reality. I think I’m in the denial and bargaining stages of grief about losing him. I’ll be writing about grief soon. I want someone to hold me and tell me they understand how I feel. But I honestly don’t think anyone out there can understand it, not really. I’m alone with this. And it’s breaking my heart every day. The darkness I feel is overpowering. I don’t know how to overcome it.

But I’ll have to try. I may be very depressed, verging on suicidal right now, but all I can say is one good thing is I no longer have to face overwhelming anxiety on a Wednesday. Can’t say I’ve missed that!

I know I have to carry on, and get through each day, moving forward… there’s no other choice. ‘Life goes on’ after all…. but for me that’s the worst part. I don’t want it to go on….

BPD & Fixation.

fixation (1)

Hello, and Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had a tolerable one.
I somehow managed to get through it. 

 

Anyway I’ll dive straight in, as I want to talk about something very difficult to admit to. It’s something I’ve often wondered about – whether it’s just me who experiences it, or whether it is in some way an aspect of BPD. Apologies for the length of this, it’s a bit of an essay, but it’s the first time I’m externalising these thoughts.

I had it said to me in the past, by a ‘friend’ who turned out to be rather nasty to me, that I was ‘obsessed’ with a guy. While I accept it probably appeared that way to her, she didn’t know the whole story and had no right to say what she did, in the way she chose to. I knew it wasn’t just a case of obsession. But…. funnily enough I think I can be ‘obsessional’ about people and situations. I just don’t like certain words being used. Odd to say but I actually would prefer it to be referred to as ‘fixation’, rather than obsession. Obsessed creates a negative feeling of shame for me, possibly because of this friend who was quite offensive in her use of the word. Whereas to me, fixated means my attention, my care and my feelings of love are ‘fixated’ on one person. It’s more about the emotions and their direction, rather than ‘You’re obsessed’, which indicates a flaw in me. My friend actually said the words ‘This obsession you have with ______ isn’t normal’ – well, gee, thanks for that. I’m not ‘normal’. I do recognise it isn’t HEALTHY. But that’s not to say there is something fundamentally wrong with me as a person and I am abnormal or bad because of it. I can recognise it as unhealthy and if I could click my fingers and stop it, I would. But I can’t. It’s obviously a part of my mental illness, and I’m sure I can’t be the only one to feel this way about people.

Thinking back on that situation, it may well have been my BPD coming through there. I admit when I like a guy, I can’t stop thinking about him. He fills up my senses. He captures all of my emotions.

 

…………………………..

 

The next part I talk about is really hard for me to do, because I fear judgement and exposure of my ‘craziness’. I worry people will get the wrong idea about me and run with it, rather than hearing this for what it is – a confession to try and help others not feel so abnormal and ashamed. I don’t particularly want to talk about this, although doing so might remove the burden I feel, hiding such a hideous feeling part of me from the world. So please respect what courage it takes to admit to this:

 

…………………………

 

The last man I was fixated on, we were never ‘together’ but he was stringing me along, messing with my emotions and I was his ego stroke basically. I don’t know if he really didn’t know this, or if he did and it’s what gave him his kicks, but despite how shit he would make me feel sometimes, I felt like I was in love with him. That’s why when he hurt me it broke me and I ‘overreacted’… in his opinion… because I cared about him a million times more than he cared about me. I don’t think he cared about me one ounce.

There were many times we’d fall apart and not speak for months – well, he certainly didn’t speak to ME anyway! But we’d fall back together. He obviously got bored of his latest ‘conquest’ and wanted an ego stroke, and me, being naïve and totally inexperienced with men and also having low self-esteem and a mental illness, I was a prime target. So I’d always go ‘running back’ to him. Whenever we drifted apart, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I would cry most days about him. I would go on his social media and because he had a public profile, I could see what he was up to. I would seek out pictures of him. I would look at those whom I knew were his closer friends, and if their profiles were equally as public I would look at theirs too, to see if I could find out anymore about how he was, what he was up to. I would collect the photos together and sit looking at them – not in a psycho kind of way, but to cause myself pain and heartache. I was in almost constant pain anyway most of the time. But having these sessions where I looked at photos and listened to sad music, it allowed me to experience the pain in a way that made sense. It nurtured the heartache. I know what I’ve just said likely doesn’t make any sense to you, but it did to me at the time. In a way I was punishing myself over and over again, for not being good enough, and for losing him….. In reality it was actually his loss, not mine. But I couldn’t see that at the time.

I knew he was into racing, and his team would always do well. So whenever there was a race I’d watch the final results online and cheer him on. But he never knew this. This was purely for my own emotional benefit. I would feel proud of him. But he’d never know this. I know it makes no sense, but it fulfilled a need in me at the time. I wasn’t ready to let go of him. He was ripped away from me. I hadn’t made the choice. So I needed to decide when to let him go. I needed to feel in control of that.

…………….

With the latest man I fixated on, I’ve done things quite similar, only we never had a ‘relationship’ of any kind, only a brief ‘professional’ one. But I felt an almost instant attraction to him. He’s nothing like the previous guy whatsoever. Maybe that’s why I liked him.

Even after seeing him once or twice, the times in between seeing him were agony. I physically hurt from missing him. Hence realising I was dealing with transference more than anything else. I spent days crying and feeling sick from not seeing him. I couldn’t sleep or eat. Life seemed to stop. I lived from week to week for seeing him, and dying inside in between. So my answer to that became ‘Look him up!’ – I thought that would stop the sadness and pain, if I could see evidence of him online.

I looked online, I ‘googled’ him… any way I could learn more about him, and feel ‘closer’ to him than reality would allow. I found out enough to know we had quite a bit in common, though a couple of major differences. From what I learned and pieced together with other observations / assumptions, I concluded that he’s very intelligent (more so than me…enter feelings of inadequacy), creative, musical, quirky / individual, funny, respectful, possibly a little nerdy, doesn’t know how attractive he is, he’s compassionate, caring, an attentive listener, sensitive, conscientious, trustworthy, emotionally available and not afraid of commitment, given that he’s married and having a child. He appreciates poetry and writing. And he plays music.

This led me to discover, through looking for photos / videos of him (because I missed him and needed to know that although he’s gone from my life forever now, I can still see him and feel connected, until I’M READY to let go!), that he was in a band of sorts and wrote songs. I had a listen, and now one of the songs he wrote is stuck in my head. It’s driving me mad now actually – it’s on a constant loop, it’s really catchy and cleverly written. I even burst out singing bits of it occasionally and have to stop myself. It also turns out that someone who was in the band with him, is actually also in a band with someone I went to school with – someone who was best friends with my brother and in a band with him, and who also happens to be the first guy I ever had a crush on. Spookily small world! And a bit funny that both the first and last guys I had feelings for were both in different bands with this one guy. Something poetic in that for me….

I also do the same, looking at photos, listening to depressing music, and crying my heart out. I guess it’s a part of grief for me. It’s the way I’ve learnt to cope with losing someone from my life. The trouble I have is if I do this at the wrong time, the emotions will flood in and overwhelm me, and lead me to harm myself, so I try not to allow myself to do this too often.

……………………………………

 

I was reluctant to share this information as some would quickly shout ‘STALKER!’ at me. But to me ‘stalking’ would be taking the information I learn and using it to contact him or turn up where he’s likely to go. This is not something I would ever do. I am respectful of his space, his privacy and his life. I’m only accessing things that are publicly available. And I’m only doing it to work through my own emotions…. either to hurt myself or in an attempt to heal myself, by stopping the despair I feel from losing him prematurely. When I’m in intense distress, just knowing he’s still alive, and remembering him helps, yet at the same time I admit it does also hurt… to know he’s there, just out of reach – if I wanted to I could contact him, but I’m not silly. I know boundaries, I fear rejection and I’m just not that person.

 

raw

 

I am no threat to him or his personal life. I keep myself to myself. Even with what I’ve found out I still don’t know very much about him in reality, and never will. I’m fine with that. Obviously I would’ve liked to have known him better. I would love a friend like him, but I understand the reality is we’re eternally nothing to each other. I don’t know details about where he lives or where he works, and even if I did it wouldn’t mean a thing. I’m a very ‘inactive’ person when it comes to what I find out about people. I’ve always been an online detective, even with a friend in the past who I found out lied to me about something major. I don’t use the information to do anything. It just helps things make more sense to me. It helps me move forward. Or I use it to model what I like / dislike about people generally.

In this case, I know what I want in a man in the future. I know 100% it cannot and will not be him. But I can still admire qualities in him and use that to better my own future. Likewise, things I learned about the previous guy helped me to see him in a different light, that eventually helped me move on, and now I know what to avoid in a man, and I know how I deserve to be treated. I’ll only very occasionally look at his profile now, but just because I’m a nosey cow! And whenever I see anything I feel nothing for him, only disgust at how he treated me. It’s wonderful to be free. Last year I hardly looked at anything to do with him – I had far too much on my plate anyway, and that distance from information / pictures / memories etc released me from his spell. So I do know this fixation with the latest guy will go in time. I do need to stop clinging to any scraps of information I find on him, but again that will happen in time and I’ve got to be the one in control of that. It’s all still incredibly raw, so if this is a part of what I need to do to get over him, I have to allow myself to go through it, and not beat myself up for it.

It’s very hard to do that last bit…. because my morals tell me what I’m doing is wrong. It’s NOT normal. It feels like a violation of someone’s privacy, yet at the same time if it was private it wouldn’t be accessible on the internet – just like people could be doing the same towards me as I speak – someone could be reading what I write on my blog, without my knowledge… they could be looking at any accessible photos of me. If this is done because someone knows me and has feelings for me, but they realise it can never be, and it’s only to feel closer to me or to hurt themselves – as much as I wouldn’t want that for them, it would be okay, as they can only see what I choose to make public. If however they’re gathering that information with the intention of stalking me, contacting and harassing me, making me feel uncomfortable or to otherwise mess with me and hurt me, then that would be ‘stalking’ and would NOT be okay.

While I admit that some would think of what I do as a couple of steps away from being a stalker, I assure you in my case I’m not. For one, I’m too lazy to be a stalker. I’m too shy to be a stalker. And I DO know right from wrong, and hate to do anything wrong. What I’m experiencing now is ‘admiration from afar’ and ‘breaking my own heart over and over again‘… nothing more. Give it a few weeks / months and I will stop looking, I will hopefully begin to forget him, that’s my aim, and I will move on. For now this is what I need. I don’t have a shut-off valve, where I can magically stop thinking about someone. Life would be so much simpler if I did. I need these little windows to be able to appreciate his existence, until I am in the right place to release him from my heart. If I had these taken away from me now, I would fall apart. I would not be safe right now, especially as I’m unsupported.

My anxiety in talking about this, is that someone will read it, know it’s me talking about him, notify him, and he’ll make it so I can no longer see anything about him anywhere. This will drive me to despair. It’s bad enough to have lost him forever. To know that I can never communicate with him. But the thought of someone reporting what I’ve said here, which it’s taken a lot of courage to share, and denying me the ability to heal my broken heart in my own way and my own time, leaving me completely cut off, with thoughts that I’m despised and a bad person, I honestly couldn’t live with myself.

Believe me, I already feel like a terrible person… 1. For having these feelings for him in the first place. 2. For telling people, including him, about these feelings. 3. For being unable to let go of him, and clinging on to any reminders of him, wherever they might come from. I don’t need to be made to feel any worse.

 

I'm not for one minute saying I can excuse this behaviour because perhaps it's an aspect of BPD, but%2

 

I’m not for one minute saying I can excuse this behaviour just because perhaps it’s an aspect of BPD, but if it’s something that is actually quite common in people with BPD, then perhaps I don’t have to be quite so hard on myself and can see it as a part of my illness, rather than something ‘bad’ about me as a person. I know I’m a ‘good’ person… whatever a good person is! I know I’d never hurt a fly… literally. I would never wish to cause anyone upset, pain or make them uncomfortable. I’m a peaceful person. A private person (though I have started speaking out about mental health a lot in the last year or so, so it may not seem this way). I have boundaries and respect boundaries. I have a lot of empathy for others. I’m not a dangerous person, or a scary person. I’m not into harassing people. I’m not into breaking the law or getting in any sort of trouble. Even when I harmed at the therapy session I was more concerned with apologising, how it affected the therapists, and whether I was in trouble. I didn’t care about me! I’ve never been in trouble, and I never want to be.

So anything I do is always aimed at me. My self-harm is about me. My anger is taken out on me. My fixation on someone I’m emotionally attached to is about me, my inner experience and hurting myself. I am slightly masochistic and seem to be most ‘comfortable’ when in emotional turmoil. I know this is something I have to work on. I don’t snoop on people to get closer to them. I do it to FEEL closer to them, internally, though the reality is I’m no closer and eventually feel further away, as I witness them continuing their lives whilst I’m the one stuck, hurting over them. I said I’m a ‘good person’ I never said I’m not ‘messed up’…!

My belief is that this is an aspect of BPD… and it would make sense. We feel emotions intensely. We ruminate. We experience issues with attachment and abandonment. So if we feel strongly for someone… attached to them, then losing them will make us claw after any last remnants of them, as it feels like an abandonment… like they’ve been wrenched away from us and we were powerless. That’s the biggest troublesome emotion for me at the moment, the powerlessness. The despair we feel without them leads us to desperately seek out reminders of them, to ease the pain of loss, and to feel we still ‘have them’ (even though we don’t), until we decide it’s time to let go.

I admit when I feel I love someone it’s probably more intense than the average person. I’m not a smothering kind of person though. I very much respect personal space and time, and I actually NEED time alone. The thought of having to be attached at the hip to someone for the rest of my life, fills me with pure dread! But when I fall for someone I fall hard. I don’t feel these sorts of attachments to just anyone. Just the ‘lucky’ few. It’s rare. It has its positives. If the person returned my feelings I would be a fully committed, passionate, romantic, affectionate partner to them. I’d give them the world. It’s just unfortunate that I develop these attachments to people I can’t have, or those who are wrong for me and abuse it.

It’s a horrible feeling being this way. I feel like I’m too muchtoo intense to function in society. I think I’ll be alone forever because 1. Nobody will ever be attracted to me. 2. My mental health is too difficult for anyone. 3. My love is too intense it’ll scare anyone off.

And knowing that I get like this – that I get these strong emotional attachments, fear abandonment and quickly develop strong feelings for people who could end up hurting me… it makes me shut off from the world. It makes me not want to meet anyone I could fall for… to not put myself out there. Because it does feel like a flaw. And the emotional rollercoaster you go on when you form one of these attachments is sickening and potentially deadly. I have felt like ending my life because of these intense attachments. They make me feel very unsafe. So that’s why I don’t put myself in a situation where this might happen now. That’s why the attachment I formed at therapy took me by surprise and messed me up. Because I had planned to not feel that way about a man again, not anytime soon. I thought I was safe. And then I met him. And now I wish I hadn’t.

 

Remember_

 

Anyway I’ve got a couple of appointments starting next week, to talk about things like this I suppose. Two sessions won’t fix this, but I’ll take what I can get and see where it leads me. Can’t get much worse than it is right now. Hopefully I might learn a little about why I get so attached to people like this, and have difficulty letting go.  I don’t know if I’ll ever learn a different way of experiencing emotions… less intensely, or if this is my lot. I just hope one day I can find someone who can tolerate my love for them. Right now I don’t feel worthy of anyone.