Today has been a tough day. I’ve just been to the garden of remembrance with family to leave some flowers for my granddad. Today would’ve been my grandparents’ 69th wedding anniversary… they reached just shy of 68 years of marriage before he passed away – something I could never achieve…. unless I live to be 100 years old… and that would mean meeting and marrying the guy like right now!!
It was okay. I didn’t get upset like I often do when I go there. I’d already had a bit of a day, and didn’t want to get too emotionally involved in it all. I was just there to comfort my nan. It was a nice sunny afternoon, and the bushes and trees are green now, which they weren’t the last time I went. The birds were singing, and as we left the place where we left the flowers, we heard a seagull flying overhead. My granddad loved the sea, so we took it as a sign that he was with us. It was a lovely moment.
Earlier in the day I had bumped into the therapist I had transference issues with several months ago. He didn’t appear to notice me. I don’t know if that was deliberate. But it stirred many conflicting emotions up. I had never forgotten him. In fact only this morning I’d realised it’s six months ago today since I last saw him, thinking I’d never see him again. I probably never will again, but it was nice to know he still exists. I wish I could have said hello.
I had just had my therapy session, which is what I want to write about here at the moment. I need to get it out and clear my mind. I wasn’t happy about the session. I spent a lot of it just wanting to get out of the room. I didn’t want to be there. I felt it was a waste of everyone’s time. I’d made no progress, and the therapist didn’t seem to really understand the difficulties I have.
Many years ago when I was mentally unwell I was under CMHT, and although they’d occasionally make me feel like a burden, generally they were there to help me. Nowadays the services that exist seem to be a factory. They want to get people in and out as quickly as possible. They say they provide a toolbox, but otherwise it’s up to you to help yourself. That’s fine, if you’re in a place where you are capable of helping yourself. Unfortunately I am not. And this is something I can’t seem to get through to anyone. I might not be quite as erratic as I was when I was younger… but I promise you I am the worst I can ever remember being. I may not look it, but it’s the reality.
I wish I could help myself – I feel like such a disappointment to these services when I have to tell them why I feel physically unable to do anything about my life! I feel like I’m wasting their time, and they see me as a lost cause. I’m not being lazy. I’m not being stubborn. But if you heard the ‘motivation’ they try to give me, you’d be forgiven for thinking they believe that! I’m constantly told I can’t wait until I feel a certain way to take action… I have to do things even when I don’t want to…. do you want to step into my body for a minute and experience everything I’m feeling and all I’ve been through and then try and achieve these goals you set me, on a bad day? I’m sorry I’m a failure. I’m sorry I’m useless. I’m sorry I can’t click my fingers and magically recover. I’m sorry I’m not perfect. I’m sorry that I’m busy trying to stay alive, and that I have very little left over after that to put to good use.
I didn’t even admit to everything that’s been going on for me, as the conversation got swept elsewhere before I could finish sentences. I didn’t admit to the punching issues. I didn’t admit to the hair-pulling.
I tried to explain the rage, but I really don’t think it got through. I was told to use my anger positively and ‘let go of the negative stuff’…. that’s fine with rising anger. But I’m talking about full-on BPD ‘flick of a switch’, ‘seeing red’ RAGE. It comes from nowhere, and there’s no way I can use that anger positively. I can’t direct it into getting a job, or joining a club, or fighting for a cause. In those moments I am not in control of my body. In those moments the only thing I feel is the need to punch the living daylights of everything, particularly myself. Or I self-harm in other ways. They say ‘use mindfulness’ – but bollocks to that! ‘Mindfulness’ when you’ve been triggered and the rage is suddenly happening, will do bugger all. Once you’re triggered, and you react, there’s no space for mindfulness. There’s not even the awareness that it’s something that could be used. It is as they say – seeing red. Everything else vanishes, and very often the only way to bring it down and make it manageable, despite what therapists say, is to punch…. that brings me back into my body and more under control. I know they can’t understand this, and that’s the biggest problem I have with these people, is they really don’t seem to understand the challenges of BPD. I feel very misunderstood by them.
They also make things sound so simple. Like, ‘get out and make new friends’….. yeah… do you even know me? I have severe trust issues because of friends I’ve had. I hate myself so much that I don’t believe anyone new will like me – I even doubt the ones who do know me like me!
She talks about the fact that online connections aren’t real, and I need to have real friends in real life – again, this shows how little she understands. I had to explain that when you feel isolated from your friends and CAN’T have real life friends, then it’s better than nothing. It’s better to feel connected online than to be completely disconnected from civilisation.
When I talked about the fact I sing while I play the guitar, my therapist asked if I could go to an open mic night! I said no. I do not have that sort of confidence. I already said I’m not good at singing / playing. She said if I have musical friends I could get them involved….. I had already said my friendships are limited right now.
When I said about wanting to do office work but not wanting to have to use a phone, the typical therapist answer came – that I should challenge my fears… that I don’t want it to be a life-long thing. Why not? What is this CBT obsession of having to face every fear, and to not avoid?? Sometimes it pays to avoid! I had to explain to my therapist that doing a job where I answer the phone, and the idea of an open mic night, are throwing me in at the deep end!
The trouble is if I had a therapist for more than four sessions, they would get to know me, and would know the things that are ridiculous to suggest to me. Where it’s part of this factory procedure there’s no time to really get to know me, and to understand me. It’s not helpful to someone like me at all. I need more consistent and long-term support. Anything else is damaging or a waste. I hate to sound ungrateful… I just don’t think their methods work for someone like me.
I wanted to get out of there so much. I feel relieved I’m done with the service now. I feel reluctant to seek help anywhere else now though, as I feel they’re all going to be the same. They’re going to give me the same crappy solutions, and if I don’t or can’t do them, they’ll wash their hands of me. I feel I’ll be wasting everyone’s time.
I can’t help that I feel as bad as I do right now. Believe me, I wish my life was better. Nobody knows how dire it is in my mind at the moment. Nobody knows the carnage I see when I close my eyes… the tatters of my life. Nobody hears the cracking of my heart. Nobody hears the deafening scream in my chest. Nobody feels the force preparing to erupt in me, or the other force pushing me down… paralysing me. Nobody knows. More than anything right now, I want someone to give me their time…. listen to my depressing feelings, validate them…. show compassion and empathy…. tell me they hear me and how sorry they are that my life is so shit, and that they can understand why I feel so broken and just done with life. I don’t want advice right now. I don’t want solutions until I truly feel someone gets my reality. I want to be understood. Until I feel understood, no amount of suggestions will help… they will all be met with a feeling that nobody gets how hard this is for me.
Today was exhausting, upsetting and I’m glad it’s finished with. The rest of the week is busy, but at least I get to sleep soon. A short respite from reality and emotions. I almost live for sleep at the moment. Goodnight everyone.