Letter Of Self-Compassion.

Dear Me,

 

You got through Tuesday … well done. It was difficult. It was draining and emotional. But perhaps now you might feel better, knowing that someone believes you about the intensity of your illness… knowing that there is help out there for you. Maybe it’ll feel better now you understand why your mental health has deteriorated…

 

Having your medication increased before Grampa passed away was a mistake. Funnily enough it did what you wanted at the time – it numbed your emotions. It made you more subdued. It got you through the initial loss, more or less. But as it was pointed out to you in your assessment on Tuesday, numbing your emotions isn’t the answer…. it stopped you being able to grieve properly. For all the time until your body adjusted to the new dosage and the pills lost their effect, you didn’t experience your feelings fully…. you didn’t grieve. You already know you didn’t grieve – you were staying strong for other people. You didn’t know what grief felt like… it was your first experience of it. So in the initial aftermath when friends were there for you, you weren’t truly experiencing the full effects of grief. By the time the ‘benefit’ of the medication wore off and you felt the true and full effects of the loss, people weren’t there anymore. Life had returned to normal and it felt like everyone forgot you were grieving. It’s no wonder you’ve struggled all last year…. your medication wasn’t working, and nobody was there anymore, at a time you needed them more than they could have known. You needed them more last year than you did the previous year, when he passed away, because your grief was delayed.

 

So it isn’t right how you were treated last year. You didn’t deserve what happened. And hopefully in time she will regret hurting you. You needed care, compassion and support. And it’s perfectly understandable to be upset that at a time you needed that, you were met with silence and eventual hostility. It doesn’t matter what people had on. You can be understanding that others have their lives so can’t be there, and still feel upset that you were neglected. You don’t owe anyone an apology for being angry at how you were treated.

 

Your anger comes from a sense of injustice – knowing you didn’t deserve it, and from a place of frustration…. not being able to make her understand. Just being honest about your emotions and having that ignored and being made to feel like a burden, and being blamed for the state of the friendship… it’s okay to be as furious about that as you are.

 

You were the one with a serious mental illness…. you were the one experiencing paranoia and splitting – which you know are not rational patterns of thinking. She clearly doesn’t know this fact, so took things more personally than she should have. It became about her defending and explaining herself, when you just needed her reassurance and care. Her responses to your paranoia and splitting only confirmed the things you falsely thought. You needed people to not take it personally, to see it as a symptom of an illness… one which they could have helped with by proving those thoughts wrong – not through explanations but through love. She didn’t do this. Fact is, she was supposedly the ‘rational’ one of the two of you, therefore she was more able to communicate and to protect the relationship… if she’d wanted to. She was capable of reassuring you and forgiving you for your behaviours. She had the potential to be reasonable where you couldn’t. The bad things you felt about her were as a result of your illness, not a reflection of her… you made that clear… they were irrational thoughts… ones you didn’t want to have. The bad things she thought of you were her actual rational opinions, based on the symptoms of your illness that she did not recognise as such.

 

Yes you perhaps should not have blogged about your feelings…. it led to her being hurt. But you know how unintentional that was. You know the motive behind your own blog. You know how much she misconstrued what you were saying. You accept you could have worded a couple of things differently and you have as such apologised for the pain you caused. It’s more than she has done. You accept that sometimes when you’re in deep despair you don’t always make the right choices. It doesn’t make you a bad person. You need to forgive yourself – it wasn’t the crime of the century. A mistake perhaps, but not even that. The meaning was misinterpreted and you had a lot of things thrown in your face as a result of her misunderstandings… at a time you needed love and support.

 

I know why you’re so upset… You feel sad because none of this was your fault. This was suppressed grief worsening your mental health at a time when people couldn’t be there for you. This made you split and be paranoid, which you cannot help – you can’t just switch off paranoia with rational thought! Even today you still feel paranoid about some things. It’s hard second-guessing reality. Your mental health took a nosedive…. you couldn’t make the effort for her. You made it clear all year that you needed others to make the effort for you, as you were struggling. You explained your illness all year, and you said you felt like you didn’t have friends…. instead of being offended by that, you needed people to assess their behaviour and consider if they could do more to make you feel you had them as your friends. You needed reassurance. You needed effort, care and love. You didn’t get that.

 

You got distance. This may be for very legitimate reasons, not related to you at all… but she needs to accept that the splitting and paranoia surrounding her, which is off-the-scale now, contributes to your beliefs…. they may be irrational thoughts, but it’s what results from lack of reassurance and being attacked unfairly…. it solidified the split and made you doubt her intentions even more. So you are bound to think that everything she did was to upset you or have some emotional effect on you…. it’s okay to say that. If she thinks that makes you sound self-absorbed, selfish or it upsets her that you think these things about her, then that’s not your problem and illustrates perfectly what the problem is. She’s the one who needs to learn that paranoia and splitting is not within your control… that it may be irrational…. the things you think and say may be untrue …  but she is the ‘rational’ one – she has the power to dispel these beliefs… and she will only do that by being nice to you. By being reassuring, caring, kind and not holding it against you. She is not in that mindset currently. She had a chance to do that before, and she was simply defensive instead… she thought you were attacking her in that blog and went on a counter-attack as a result. Only time will teach her that you didn’t genuinely think bad things about her – her behaviour since may have changed that. You didn’t want the friendship to end. You were simply suffering with your illness and your grief, and felt powerless to get anyone to give a damn about you… you felt so alone. You just wanted her to understand and to show some level of concern or care for you. And every time she failed to do that, it compounded the irrational thoughts. And those irrational thoughts upset her, and pushed her away. She gave up on you. Because she thought you honestly felt that way about her. One day she’ll realise that wasn’t the case. One day she’ll understand how much she hurt you… what she did wrong… and she’ll know that she walked away from and gave up on someone who would never have given up on her. No matter what you may have said in the last year… the things that may have given her the impression you didn’t want her as a friend… you know and you wish she knew that those were the cries of a desperately isolated, helpless and paranoid person, quietly pleading for her friendship. You never gave up on the friendship…. you just felt she had. And her inaction proves it.

 

At this point you have given up on her. Because you’re not getting the care you need and deserve. Because she’s hurting you more than helping you. Because you’ve now done all you can.

 

You sent her and the family Christmas cards and presents. You wrote to her, to apologise, to explain, to show compassion and to make amends. You should never have had to put that effort in for her, when effort was the very thing you needed all year from her. When that compassion was what you needed. She should have been doing the running, not you. It’s always you. This has to stop now. Stop chasing after people and fighting for people who wouldn’t do the same for you. Grow some self-worth. That effort was wasted on her. Don’t ever do it again. It was not appreciated.

 

For the first time in over a decade you didn’t even get a Christmas card…. or a text to acknowledge you or to even thank you for what you sent. You were completely snubbed over Christmas and the New Year, and there’s been only silence since. No matter how hurt you felt and how much you didn’t want to hear from her, that is plain rude and disrespectful. It’s unforgivable and the final nail in the coffin. And it seems like it was done to punish you…. for that horrendous crime of writing about your feelings…. which she misinterpreted. She wanted you to feel bad… she wanted you to feel like you were the one in the wrong and didn’t deserve her. Don’t start to believe that. I know you thought it all year anyway – you don’t need people to make you feel that way… you naturally feel you don’t deserve anyone. That changes now. I know it made it look like you were the one in the wrong – there she was blanking you, pretending you were dead to her, whilst you went running after her, saying sorry and wanting to fix things… it makes it look like you were trying to make things up to her. Don’t worry what it looked like. You know the truth. You know that you sent what you did in the full knowledge of your innocence and knowing she had totally misunderstood you and hurt you as a result. You were being the bigger person. And you know what? You are. Because despite being the hurt party and being mentally ill and suffering as much as you were, you still made that effort for her. You took hours making those things for the kids. Days. You didn’t have to do what you did. But you did because you are not petty. Because you were willing to forgive her for her misunderstanding. Because you have a good heart. Because you thought you owed it to each other to not end things on terms like that last message you received. You deserve better than that. The message she sent you indicated she took no blame for the state of the friendship…. she didn’t like that you expected her to make amends with you (even though that was a misinterpretation of you what you said anyway)…. and she was worried people would think badly of her and would think she didn’t deserve you.

 

I’ll tell you who deserves you…. the person who questions if they do deserve you. The person who looks at their behaviour, can reflect on it, consider your emotions and do the right thing, without making you feel guilty for expecting it. You need to build yourself some boundaries young lady. Some standards, and stick to them like glue. You might lose people you’ve known all your life because of those standards you set…. let them go. The people, not the standards! You are not a doormat. You are allowed to use your voice and say when you feel you deserve better treatment. You may need to consider the way you go about voicing those feelings – as you well know you are not perfect and can always improve – you’re not so arrogant to think you are never wrong… in fact you’re frequently wrong and feel genuine remorse about it. You deserve people who show genuine remorse towards you too. People who would do anything to not lose you. You deserve that. People who are not too proud to admit their mistakes and apologise. People who remind you of the good in you when you cannot see it in yourself. People who tell you how they feel towards you…. without you having to put words in their mouth. They say it because they feel it and they mean it. You deserve relationships and friendships like that. You need it. Do not settle for less. I’ll kick your arse if you do.

 

Let her think what she does of you. What others believe about you is not your concern. Your concern is picking yourself back up…. gluing yourself back together… holding your head up high and carrying on with you life, with or without her.

 

You have to accept that it is highly likely this friendship is dead. No matter how much you don’t want it to be… if what you did (however misunderstood), upset her that much that she says nothing will ever be the same now, and punished you by snubbing you, then how long would it survive if resurrected? It would always be in your mind that she holds it against you, along with her interpretation that you gave her an ultimatum. It will haunt you that she saw the reality of your illness and said nothing will ever be the same now, because of one misunderstanding / ‘mistake’. That she gave up on you that easily. That she was that petty and that rude to snub you, when you had gone to a lot of effort for her…. How would that last? Think about it… seriously… I know you don’t want to lose her – the whole point of last year was because you were afraid of losing her. The reality is that she was not afraid of losing you. She must have let go of you a long time ago… you’re always the one left holding on long after others walk away. Don’t do this to yourself any longer than you have.

 

The simple fact is that you can’t go back and undo everything that’s happened. You have ‘trauma’ issues. Undiagnosed but possible I would think, that you have C-PTSD. And this means that you cannot let go of hurtful things that happen. Or rather they won’t let go of you. What has happened has scarred you…. in more ways than one. That damage is done. Equally you cannot go back and change what you have done. You cannot go back and unblog your feelings. You cannot change the words you said to make it clearer what you meant. You cannot go back in time and change how you reacted to the Hannah stuff. you cannot unwrite what you wrote back then… you cannot unbeg for her to consider your emotions. I don’t think you should to be honest. If someone won’t consider your emotions then sometimes they need to be told about them! But if you had known it would lead to accusations of ‘ultimatums’, then in hindsight you would not have approached it in that manner. You cannot undo that. And the past won’t go away.

 

People do overcome difficulties in relationships and friendships…. people do forgive and move on… but the difficulty here is her level of understanding, and your emotional needs do not seem to match anymore. Her actions or more importantly inactions demonstrate that she will not forgive you for what she thinks you did wrong, because she sees things less compassionately than your illness requires her to. Perhaps in her mind it is unforgivable and she can’t forget it. That alone is reason enough to call it a day. You don’t need to beg for forgiveness. You don’t need to suck up to her. Because you know the story. You have apologised. Do not make it all about what you did to her… that you wrote about things that involved her, without naming her. Because if you do that, it sweeps over the things she did to you. It absolves her of her sins. It makes it seem like you are a piece of crap on the floor, you don’t deserve anyone or anything, and you’ll grovel to anyone to keep them as your friend. You have already done more for her than she has for you in this situation. Stop giving. It is her turn to fight for you. To apologise to you. You have tried being compassionate and forgiving to someone who hasn’t sincerely apologised. And she appears to be unforgiving to someone who has apologised.

 

Reality is that the whole debacle was because you are mentally ill and struggling so much with it. It’s because you are grieving without support from friends. It’s because you were abandoned when you needed people the most. It’s because you felt you were misunderstood, judged, blamed and punished for the symptoms of your mental illness. That is purely wrong. It’s okay to say it is. Call out stigma where you see it. All people make mistakes… even her….  the bit that shows how redeemable someone is, and how fixable a relationship is, is willingness to admit those mistakes, apologise for them and show dedication to making up for them. I wouldn’t expect it from her. Not now. She is moving on… by the sounds of it she’ll be moving, probably far away from you now she doesn’t need to stick around for you anymore – what a way to find out you’re potentially being actually, physically abandoned by someone you care about – online. You used to be the first she’d tell about things. Now she hints about them (in your paranoid mind, to hurt you). It makes you feel excluded from her life. So she clearly doesn’t want you in it anymore. She’ll move on and like with Hannah, you will be painted as the villain.

 

Even this post would be used as ammunition. It would be all about what you did wrong here, rather than admitting that this is as a result of how she treated you…. that this is about self-compassion and fixing what she broke in you. That it’s not about her, it’s about you. It’ll always be about making you feel guilty and like you have to apologise for what you do, without her taking responsibility for how she’s made you feel. But you know what is true. And one day she will regret it. It is her loss. No matter how sad it makes you to lose her, the kids and a long history…. if she cannot see what she has done wrong, and won’t do what is needed to fix it, then you’re better off. Because one day you will recover from this mental illness. You may look back with regret at some things you said and did in the midst of your breakdown… but ‘you will still be you’, as Grampa always used to say. You’ll make it out the other side of this breakdown, and you will be the same person you were before you went into it…. you will be the same person you know you are right now. You know you’re still in there, and you needed your friends to look into your heart and recognise you as their friend. You’ll know that she let go of a loyal, caring, thoughtful and honest friend… someone who would never have given up on her. Time will reveal the truth to her. And she will one day regret losing you. But not right now…. right now she hates you. And that’s okay. She’s entitled to. She doesn’t know what you know.

 

Always hold on to who you are. Don’t ever let anyone make you doubt that you’re a good person. Don’t keep punishing yourself for mistakes you make… other people don’t punish themselves for their mistakes – they take it out on you instead!!! Put the anger and the blame where it belongs. Stop inflicting pain on yourself. Stop hitting yourself…. stop trying to break your hand and your arm…. stop cutting and bleeding for people who don’t even blink at the thought of hurting you or losing you. It’s crazy. Focus on your recovery. Focus on getting well again. And cherish the people who are around you, supporting you, loving you and who remind you of the good in you. The people who never give up on you, especially in your darkest time. Forget what you have lost, and focus on what you still have. You will get there. Just stop letting the opinions of others become your reality. Forgive yourself, focus on your health and one day this will all make sense on a higher level. Love yourself first. You’ve got this.

 

xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

This Year….

this

 

How do I begin to explain how awful this year has been? From start to finish it has been an uphill struggle. I end this year worse than I started it, and that’s saying something. This time last year I was about to face my first Christmas without my granddad here. I had finished my therapy course where I had a breakdown and my mental health had got worse. I was trying to pick up the pieces of my life and get through a difficult time. I thought if I could get through that the worst would be behind me. Boy was I wrong….

This year I have had so much shit thrown at me from so many different angles…. from strangers… from friends.

I have experienced paranoia, splitting and what feels like the longest, most drawn-out mental breakdown. Things started going downhill in about February / March… it was the lead-up to the first anniversary of my loss. There was nobody around for me…. no sympathy…. no care…. no support. That’s when I started splitting on everyone and isolated myself. Over time I started to feel disconnected from everything and everyone…. detached from reality… the paranoia crept in and kept getting worse. I have struggled with my grief this year too. I reached the ‘depression’ stage of grief, and I’ve never come out of it.

The world is different now. I see life through a different lens. Everything is darker, flatter, heavier…. nothing feels ‘real’ anymore… not outside these four walls anyway. I don’t feel safe, secure or certain of anything. Life is pain. Just waiting for death. It’s very hard for someone who hasn’t faced a loss like that before to adjust to this new life … and I’ve had to do it alone.

Not only have I had to face it alone, I have had so many heartless people make it so much harder, by throwing their shit at me. I’ve faced more shit this year than I can remember getting any other year. I don’t know if it’s just because I can’t cope with it so well this year, or if there really have been that many more people causing problems for me.

I had a ‘trauma therapist’ (who I didn’t know) deliberately trigger and humiliate me on social media… I had an American ‘Democrat’ attack me for defending those with BPD, from her harmful misinformation where she linked BPD and Trump. I had the people who labelled me as a troll, stupid and a racist, for making a very rational, fair and non-racist point on my own timeline. I had someone stalking my posts because I disagreed with our MP.

I’ve had people thinking I was getting at them and making me feel awkward and disliked by other people, which contributed heavily to me isolating myself. I’ve had people turn their backs on me, who I never thought would. I’ve had people misinterpret everything I’ve said and paint me as a villain. I’ve had them mischaracterise me. I feel I’ve spent most of this year having to explain myself, defend myself and apologise for being ill. I shouldn’t have to do this. I’ve had people kick me when they know how suicidally down I’ve been. I’ve had people hurt me, and double down on that when I’ve brought it to their attention, rather than admit mistakes and apologise…. I’ve been compassionate, forgiving and had none in return. I’ve just had aggression, blame and punishment from them.

People who I thought would be friends forever have treated me the worst… but through it all I’ve discovered those who treat me with the care and respect I deserve. Those who know how to talk to someone this ill and grieving. People who see good in me and tell me. People who don’t think I don’t deserve them. I’m thankful to those people for not holding my illness against me, as some have.

This year has changed me. There may be some good aspects to that, but mainly it’s changed me for the worse.

I cannot stop hurting myself anymore. Whenever I’m left alone in the house I bruise myself… sometimes three times a day, over and over again. The urge is constantly there, so as soon as an opportunity arises I do it. I’ve managed to cut down on cutting recently… that had become a twice-weekly sort of thing at the least. Not done it for a while… the hitting has taken over. The only reason I may seem ‘better’ at the moment has been me focusing on Christmas. I know as soon as it’s over I’ll revert back to how things were before.

I have felt so suicidal this year. For the first nine months of this year at least, every single day I would want to kill myself. I would obsess over how to do it. Just over a month ago I had to phone the Samaritans because I couldn’t stop hurting myself and I just wanted to die. It’s really saying something if I phone the Samaritans, because I do not like using the phone. I had no other choice… it was 1am, I didn’t know what else to do.

My hair-pulling got a lot worse this year… I developed a bald patch on my head…. it grew back….. I got another patch….. it’s an ongoing battle.

I’ve closed down from people. I’ve shut myself away – I’ve hardly left the house most of the year, especially the second half of it. I stopped volunteering. I only went out in the car with family most of the time. But the majority of my time has been indoors at home. I’ve missed so much of the year. That’s why it’s shocking that it’s Christmas now…. I missed Summer and Autumn, so it’s suddenly Christmas and it doesn’t feel like it should be.

I went to the doctor several times as my only source of support for my mental health. She referred me to the CMHT, who rejected my referral without even speaking to me. That was difficult to deal with. She re-referred me and this time they’re going to assess me in January. I don’t expect they’ll offer me help, but at least it’s something. I’ve had to battle through the last year alone. No professional help. No friends.

I haven’t enjoyed things lately. I don’t feel I can anymore. ‘Fun’ events I’ve been to have either felt flat or totally ruined by my state of mind and the way I relate to the world around me. It makes me fear for all the good stuff I have planned for next year. In June next year I’m finally fulfilling one of my dreams I had when I was younger – to be front row for my favourite band….. I only hope I can survive until then. But more than that I want to feel better … I want to enjoy it. If it’s anything like this year has been I will not enjoy it at all. I don’t know if this has been as a result of my illness, grief, or how I’ve been treated by others…. or a combination of all three.

I cannot believe that at a time when I’ve struggled with my mental health and with grief, some people who are supposed to care about me have treated me the way they have. Those people online are strangers – they don’t know a thing about me or my life. They don’t matter. But those who do, and have chosen to be less than compassionate and sensitive, I really don’t understand how they could do that to me. I’m not sure how I can ever forget what they’ve done. But I have to focus on those who have been there for me. Those who have treated me kindly. Those who understand my illness and know how to talk to someone in despair. That will be my focus in 2019…. to focus on the good and put the bad in my past. And hopefully to try and separate the past from the present, which is something I’ve been unable to do this year.

This year has taught me what I deserve… although I feel so utterly shit about myself and think I deserve pain – that’s why I keep hurting myself – I know deep down that I do not deserve the shit people have thrown at me. I know that nobody deserves to be spoken to how I have been this year, not when they’re suffering with their mental health and adjusting to a world after loss. It has taught me not to accept that from anyone anymore, and that I need to stand up and say no to that sort of treatment. If it means losing a person as a result, so be it. They don’t deserve me. Those who care about me wouldn’t want to hurt me, and wouldn’t drive my self-worth down… they’d lift me up, tell me the good things about me and what I deserve and they’d strive to make me feel better. If they can’t do that then they’d at least not make me feel worse.

This year has opened my eyes to things I hadn’t noticed before. And particularly circumstances this Christmas have decided what I need to do to get better. It’s time for a change. I deserve better than this. That’s the note I want to finish this year on. I deserve better. If there’s nothing else I can say about this year, then it’s that. I see that as a positive, to even recognise that I deserve more from people. After the year I’ve had and how I’ve felt towards myself, it’s nice to point it in the right direction and to stop blaming myself. This has been hell  and whilst I know it will take at least as long to get out of it, as it took to find myself in this hell, at least I’m starting to recognise the good in me again. I’m remembering who I am in my heart. The words and actions of others have helped me to see it… to see I’m not what they think I am. So to all those who hurt me this year…. thank you. You may have broken me, but you’ve also allowed me to recognise my own worth, and that in a world where friends can turn their back on you at the drop of a hat, I need to be my own best friend.

A peaceful Christmas to everyone. May 2019 be a better year for us all…. it has to be, surely….

xxxx

 

Mental Illness Is A Thief.

I once wrote a list of positives about myself…. I have that list in front of me… I don’t remember when I wrote it, but I can only assume I was in a better state of mind, as I’d find it hard to say many good things about myself at the moment.

Here’s what I wrote:

 

  • I am sensitive to the feelings of others.
  • I have a good heart.
  • I am approachable.
  • I am honest and trustworthy.
  • I am protective of those I care about.
  • I am creative.
  • I have a good sense of humour.
  • I am respectful to people and animals and the world alike.
  • I have good morals.
  • I don’t let people down.
  • I say what I mean and I mean what I say.
  • Even if I sometimes doubt it, I am mentally strong – I’m still standing.
  • I like my own company.
  • I don’t need anyone else to complete me.
  • I enjoy the freedom of being alone.
  • I am a reserved person. I save my best for those who earn it.
  • I take the time to care about others.
  • I am polite.
  • I am capable of learning.
  • I am thoughtful.
  • I am not too proud to apologise or ask for help.
  • I am understanding.
  • I am down-to-earth.
  • I have good taste in music.
  • I may not have much but I have a lot to offer.

 

 

 

Mental illness robs you of many of those things. It also robs you of the ability to see any good in you, even when it is still there. That’s when you need your friends to remind you of who you are. I had a friend say to me just yesterday some of the good things about me. I may not believe them all, but hearing it does help… if for no other reason than to know they don’t all hate me!

 

When I look at the list, there are some things I feel remain – good taste in music, creative, sense of humour – these tend to be a constant. Other things are subject to change… for instance I do let people down… I’m not that approachable anymore… I don’t always take the time to care about others… I’m not always understanding, though I try my best to understand the motives and feelings of others.

 

The reality is that when you’re ill certain parts of you close off. You can’t be the person you’ve always been, because you’re fighting a battle nobody else knows about. The worst thing that can happen is for someone to judge you on who you are as a result of mental ill health. It makes you think that’s who you are as a person.

 

I received a message from a friend the other day which threw into turmoil my image of myself. Those of us with BPD struggle with a sense of who we are at the best of times…. It made me feel like I’m a terrible person. It created chaos in me, because everything said to me was a misinterpretation and misunderstanding of me, my words and behaviour. So whilst I was showing certain positive qualities (in my mind at least!), they twisted it into me showing all the worst qualities they could think of. And the trouble with someone like me, is that others’ opinions of me become MY opinion of me. I think if one person thinks something, others must too, and therefore it must be true.

 

They may not have said the words, but the words they did say painted a picture of me as a selfish, controlling bitch. Instead of seeing me as someone in huge emotional pain, traumatised, mentally ill and doing the best I could to survive… alone, they warped the truth and made me the ‘bad guy’.

 

Part of me was furious with them and thought what a horrible person they are and how much I hate them. But the rest of me took it as a reflection of ME. If I’m not all the bad things my friend thinks I am, then I must at least come across that way, either because of my illness or because I don’t communicate my reality correctly.

 

They were upset with me for blogging about them, as they interpreted it in a negative way, not as intended. And they asked if I could understand how that would feel…. yes, I do understand. And my initial reaction was that I should blog about what an awful person I am. Even though my blog was not about attacking them, and was actually about explaining that my own mind (my illness) is the problem – therefore I was effectively taking the blame (even though mental illness is not my fault!) …. they interpreted it as me blaming them and painting them in a bad light. So to ‘even it up’, in their mind at least, I felt I should tell you all how damn awful I am…. even though I already know that, and I’m constantly putting myself down for having an illness! Here you go:

 

  • I am a bad friend.
  • I don’t deserve friendship, happiness or love.
  • I’m too honest.
  • I’m selfish.
  • I’m messed up.
  • I’m manipulative.
  • I’m attention-seeking.
  • I’m a bitch.
  • I’m too demanding.
  • I’m a Debbie Downer.
  • I’m boring.
  • I’m lazy.
  • I’m a failure.
  • I’m a bitter, angry, resentful person.
  • I’m unforgiving.
  • I’m immature.
  • I’m clueless about real life and real problems.
  • I’m nasty.
  • I deserve pain.
  • I don’t deserve to live.
  • I’m hateful.
  • I’m a drama-queen.
  • I’m fat and ugly.
  • I’m stupid.
  • I’m an embarrassment to know.
  • I’m a terrible person.

 

This is the list I feel my friend would want me to remind myself of. At a time when I need reminding of my good qualities, they only want to make me think bad things about myself. Even if it’s unintentional, the way they talk to me illustrates their opinions of me.

 

But I look at this list, and as much as it came to me a lot quicker and easier than a positive one ever could, deep down I know it’s not the truth. Some of it is. I am fat and ugly, I am too honest and at present I am rather hate-filled. But most other things are as a result of my illness. Some of them aren’t even true then – it would just be an opinion of someone uneducated. I appear selfish, manipulative, attention-seeking, lazy, a bitch and a drama-queen, because I have a mental illness that has taken over and is close to winning. But I am none of those things. I do know that.

 

Whilst I feel like a terrible person and at present I question my original list about the ‘having a good heart’, I know what my intentions are. A lot of people may think bad things about me and my motives. Just as my friend interpreted my blog as me attacking them, rather than explaining my illness to them, other people probably think I’m a certain type of person. If my friend thinks I’m selfish, heartless and controlling then I’d like to say this…..

 

You’re wrong. I have a heart and you bloody broke it. While I might not appear to care about others, I care about them sometimes more than I care about myself. I have a lot of compassion and empathy. It may not seem it, but I AM capable of putting myself in others’ shoes… something they seem unable to do with me. I try my best to understand others whilst they don’t even try to understand me and my illness. I am aware of people having their own lives and stresses – I’m not selfish… but being in distress can make me seem that way, like I’m ignorant to the existence of others’ lives. I worry about them and show concern for them, whilst they just attack me and make me feel like a burden. I take my time to consider my responses to people…. I don’t want to hurt people. People don’t seem to do the same for me. They all just react. I’m actually a very reasonable person, where others without my illness seem to be the unreasonable ones. I will apologise when I hurt people – none of them do it for me. Even if they’re the ones who owe me an apology, they just double down on the hurt or give a false apology, whereas I feel genuine guilt, shame and remorse and am genuinely sorry (and I’m the one with BPD!). I am thoughtful, considerate and to some degree kind. Even if people hurt me, I’ll still send cards, I’ll still send thoughts on anniversaries, I’ll still try my best not to let their bitterness towards me change who I am at my core. I still try my best to be gentle even when hurt. It’s difficult though.

 

So whilst people are out there thinking bad things about me, I am here, hurt by their low opinions of me…. their misunderstandings of me and who I really am. The only reason I appear to show more of the qualities from the second list than the first, is because I am unwell. I’ve always been unwell – I just used to be able to hide it better. I’d wear a mask for everyone, even my best friend. After my granddad died last year my mental health deteriorated, and after a breakdown at therapy a year ago I’ve lost control. With being abandoned and isolating myself this year it’s just got worse and worse, until I can no longer hide how I’m feeling. I can’t wear the mask. I suppose if you were a fan of using the words ‘high-functioning’ and ‘low-functioning’, I’ve always been high-functioning…. now not so much. Now I’m a lot lower-functioning and my illness is plain to see…. except to those who refuse to see it as an illness. They will just think I’ve become a bitch. Thank God for those who see it for what it is and still believe in me. Thank you to those people. ❤

 

I am many of those things on that first list… inside. I wish I could show them on the outside again, because where I don’t, people think I’ve changed – I haven’t. I just can’t express the good as loudly as the bad is screaming from me. It then makes people treat me differently, which makes my illness worse and makes me feel worse about myself.

 

It is SO important if you know someone with a mental illness, to never treat them differently because of their illness, or to blame them for how they are. How they appear to you may not be how they feel inside. You need to remind them of the good in them, because mental illness is a thief, and an illusionist… it plays tricks on the mind, whilst stealing the good. It’s not the fault of the person with the illness. We never asked to be ill, and we likely hate ourselves enough, without feeling you hate us too.

 

I may not like who I am right now. I may not be able to confidently state to the world who I am and make a list…. but I DO know who I am at my core. And when people try and misrepresent me it frustrates and upsets me. But they’re not my concern. Let them think what they like. I’ve lost people in the past because they chose to stick by their false opinions of me, rather than admitting they were wrong, or trying to understand my illness. I don’t say this in a big-headed way, as I don’t actually think much of myself currently, but… ‘It’s their loss’. If people want to lose me because of their inability to listen and understand my illness, and because of the qualities they lack, then so be it. I shouldn’t have to explain myself to them. They should know who I am.

 

I struggle enough to hold on to who I am. I don’t need people gaslighting me.

 

One day I hope to rediscover the good qualities in me… those I listed, and hopefully more. But right now I just have to exist with my reality and try not to hate myself any more than I already do. I know some very nice and wise people would say to cut myself some slack… to not be so hard on myself. They’re right. It’s not easy but I have to try and block out other people’s opinions of me and forgive myself for being too ill to be the true me. Hopefully it’ll return in time.

 

xxxx