Unstable.

*Suicide theme*

 

 

It’s the instability aspect of “Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder” that troubles me the most at the moment. It’s not a rollercoaster. People enjoy those… supposedly. The build-up and then the rush when you come rocketing down…. you see…. with a rollercoaster you see it coming…. you feel the anticipation build as you wait to hurtle towards the ground. With EUPD/BPD you don’t see it coming. And it’s not a rush when it happens. To many who go on rides (which I don’t), the best part is the drop. With BPD it’s the worst part. It comes out of nowhere and threatens your life.

 

Just yesterday I was more or less okay. I don’t really remember how I was. I just know there was nothing particularly wrong. Next thing I know I’m sat writing suicide notes, crying my eyes out and having palpitations. I don’t know what triggered it. All I know is I was meant to be writing a list of things to take on holiday… not writing suicide notes.

 

I don’t know why I did it. Maybe it was a safety valve. Picturing me not being here anymore. Maybe it helped ease whatever I was feeling.

 

The other day I wrote something I wanted my former best friend to see. I felt so positive I was going to send it to her (somehow…. not sure how, as she moved house and didn’t tell me where to, and has me blocked online). The next day I decided against it. I now feel the next time she will hear from me will be after I’m gone. Unless she makes the move to sort things out with me in this lifetime, we won’t speak again until I’m dead. So I wrote her a letter for when the time comes. I don’t know if I honestly want that to happen or if going through the motions of it just allowed me to release what I felt towards her, in a more raw way, without all the BS.

 

I started writing other ones too. It was upsetting. It was very hard to wake up this morning and pretend this hadn’t been my reality last night. I thought I would have to take my emergency meds last night, but managed to get myself through without them. So it ended up being a success story anyway. But I am still unsettled by it all.

 

I wanted to reach out to people last night, and earlier. To tell the truth about how low I felt. Yesterday I typed out a status for Facebook. But I backspaced it all. I don’t ‘attention-seek’ anymore. Nobody cares what I have to say about my mental illness. I keep it all inside. I sort of feel if I write notes and then go straight online and talk about it then it’s just for ‘attention’. It’s not real. But this was real. Or the most real it’s ever been. I still feel incredibly low from what I wrote. Because what I wrote is my reality. I’ve spent so long talking about ending my life and not doing it, so I’ve stopped talking now. This being the exception.

 

Looking through my CMHT assessment letter I see “You described thoughts of not wanting to be around however there is no intent to act on these”…. “Fleeting suicidal thoughts with no intent and plan”. Of course that was in January. We’re in October now, and I lost my only remaining friend to suicide in May. These thoughts are not ‘fleeting’ anymore. I’m unsure of ‘intent’ now… I can’t guarantee anything. Same with a ‘plan’… no fixed plan, but ideas… it’s coming together. Planning ahead. I’m beginning to think about what I want people to know when the time comes. When… the time comes. Not if. That’s how things have changed since my assessment. It feels like a certainty now, that I will leave this world by my own hand. I just don’t know when. That’s how dark my mind has become. I see no other way. The death of my friend and the cold abandonment by the other friend, it’s all changed me forever. There’s no way back from that.

 

But like I was saying, it’s the instability that gets me. I can be plodding along just fine and then be swamped by painful emotions, or even numbness. It’s like a great looming suicidal cloud wafts in and takes over everything for the rest of the day. But then today, I was doing some tidying whilst people were out, and dancing like a maniac to some great music. Now I’m sat writing this blog… feeling the weight of depression and despair behind my eyes. Feeling paralysed by reality. Feeling detached from it all. Feeling I’m already dead.

 

Part of me sometimes feels hopeful, now I’ve finally taken the first step to getting some level of help. It’ll probably be at least a month to wait for an assessment, but at least it’s something to hope for… that they can help me want to live life again. I just don’t see how they could possibly fix someone this broken. I just hate how there are times I feel there’s a bit of hope. That I can do this. That I have to do this, because I have plans next year and want to be better by then…. and then there’s other times I’m certain I won’t be here for those plans. That none of it matters…. that it’s only a matter of time until I go.

 

It’s never been quite so extreme as it has been this year. In the past people may have noticed me seeming happy one minute and then being down the next…. feeling so lucky to have such great friends, to nobody caring about me….. but this is more dramatic than that. The highs aren’t high at all. But the lows would fool you into thinking there were great highs… I fall so hard and fast, and so far below where I used to fall. Having a day where I don’t contemplate ending my life – that is a ‘high’ point for me now. Though maybe I do feel happier than that sometimes, and just can’t see it right now, as I’m in one of my ‘lows’ again.

 

I have this difficulty that when things are bad I can’t ever remember them being good. I actually found the term emotional impermanence once – at least I think that’s what it was…. the idea that you can’t recall a previously felt emotion in its absence. I was looking at that from an aspect of relationship problems – that if someone isn’t showing caring towards me, I feel like they don’t care. They may be kind and say nice words at one point, but if they then go off the radar for a month or two and never check in…. that kindness, caring and those nice words no longer exist. They weren’t permanent. They were fleeting. I remember saying in a video journal I did sometime last year, about friends saying they care about me, and my thought was ‘How long for? A message? Then back to radio silence?’ – that’s one of the problems I have…. it’s why people like me need so much reassurance when we’re ill. We forget. We need reminding. It’s what I needed from people last year…. reminders that people cared. Rather than people assuming I know they care and are there for me, as they offered it once upon a time, I need them to remind me when I’m struggling. Because when I’m most ill I truly feel nobody cares. I need evidence that they do. Current evidence. So for the last year I probably seemed like I was ‘attention-seeking’ by saying nobody cared etc. – that was me asking people to reassure me that they did. So yes, I was seeking attention… but not to feed my ego or whatever, but because I honestly couldn’t remember the feeling of being cared for. I still don’t know how that feels. Kindness and positivity feel alien to me now. It’s like there’s a shield around me whenever anyone tries it. I can’t connect to either. I wish people would think of it like amnesia or something…. they wouldn’t blame me for not being able to remember something they said a few months back, if they offered support. But they expect me to remember it when I’m struggling with my mental health. I can’t. If something isn’t happening right here right now, I don’t know how it feels and find no comfort in sentiments that may no longer exist.

 

It’s like people saying to remember the good times with my granddad and how it felt. I can’t. I’m detached from my feelings. Apart from lacking actual memories with anyone, I can’t recreate feelings that are gone. Like looking at old photos – I can’t connect to them on any level. I have to trust that was me and I did those things. I sometimes do think I have some sort of amnesia. I look at photos and think I had a wonderful upbringing and was loved. But I’m basing that on photos and how much I love my family. I don’t recall how I felt growing up. I don’t know what sort of childhood I had. I have no memories of it. It’s like it wasn’t me. Sometimes I feel like an imposter in the body of this girl in the photos. I feel like a separate entity that has taken over her body but does not share her memories. It’s weird and slightly terrifying.

 

And my former friend… I miss her. I keep thinking about everything we’ve been through together and never will do again…. there isn’t a possibility in my mind that she ever really cared about me. A lot of the troubles towards the end came from me needing her reassurance and her not understanding this, so rather than reminding me she cared about me, she made me feel like a burden to her, and the distance kept widening between us… when all I wanted and needed was her to care about me, because I couldn’t remember a time when she did. The more silence there is, the more I split and forget how people once felt about me. She then effectively ghosted me and I’ve never been the same since. It was the final nail in the coffin of my sanity. I was left to fill in the blanks with my paranoid thoughts. I was left not only with an absence of her, but an absence of her care and supportive words, and worse than that, a feeling of being nothing to her but a nuisance. I see our whole history differently as a result. I don’t see any care in the highlights my mind offers me. I see detachment. I feel used. I feel tolerated. I feel pain and hatred. And all of this because about 12-14 months ago she couldn’t say ‘I care about you….. you matter to me’ and give me an hour of her time to show she still cared about me. None of this would’ve ever happened if she could’ve just reminded me of our friendship and who I was to her. That’s why I’m sad at the moment.

 

That and my recent loss. I remember Liv saying that the 4-8 month mark was bad for her mental health after her loss. It’s been almost five months now since she left. And I’d agree. I don’t know how I’m going to cope with this. I don’t know how to get through it. All I know is I can’t talk to anyone about any of it now. They’ve all made sure of that. I suffer in silence now.

 

My circumstances are the hurdle to me recovering. Having one friend ditch me and another take her own life…. leaving me with nobody…. no support network…. no safety net…. no rock to keep me going…. no reason to live…. I’ve never had to pull myself out of a place this deep and dark, and I’ve never had to do it alone. I know that will be the point… this has happened so that I can prove my strength to pull myself out of this wreck… and if I can survive this I can survive anything. The trouble is I don’t think I will survive this. Not right now. And if I do, then what? What am I surviving for? What life am I trying to get back to? I have none. I have nothing. I have nothing to aim for. If I somehow manage to survive and get well, I will be starting my life all over again…. but at a time where I’m also likely to face more painful loss all alone, as nobody’s getting any younger… which will just knock me back down again. It feels like a hopeless uphill struggle right now. I can’t see the light. I can’t even tell which way I’m facing or where the ground is.

 

I’m taking blind steps at the moment in terms of seeking help. It took me ages to send off the forms because I couldn’t fill in the box about my goals, and what I hope to get out of using the service. So in the end I was totally honest… told it like it is. Said how bad things are, that I can’t see a future so can’t say goals… listed all the problems etc. Obviously this worried them so they want me to see my doctor while I wait to be assessed. I have a tendency to put things off. I’ve been seeing my doctor every month for the last year or so…. there’s nothing she can do to help me. She knows how bad I feel. What’s the point in going back to see her to tell her ‘yep, still feeling suicidal’…? All it does is make me feel like a burden. I don’t like worrying people. I can’t do it in the next two weeks anyway, so not much point. It’s nice that they cared though. It’s an odd feeling, that unsettled me. Brings back memories of therapy two years ago… a problem in itself. But yeah I’m just going to have to put blind faith in them to help me find my feet. I’m just worried I’ll be beyond the realms of support they can give…. and I know CMHT won’t see me until they help me… so I’m kind of stuck at the moment. Too ill for anyone, but CMHT don’t want to help at the moment, plus the grief stuff kind of effs it all up too. Who the hell do I see first, and what for?? I don’t know how to solve the chaos inside me at the moment. I’m hoping talking to them might clear that up for me. It’s good they want to know why the mental health team didn’t refer me themselves and left me to self-refer. Gives me hope that they’ll do the right thing by me and get me to the right place.

 

It’s a long way off though. Many suicidal days to survive first. It’s exhausting. Especially hiding it from everyone and pretending to be ‘normal’. But I can’t open up anymore in real life. It’s impossible. Have to just take it a day at a time and put up with the unstable emotions and raging thoughts. Don’t have another choice. If I could sleep for a long time and wake up when I’m healed and life is better, that would be great. But sadly that will never happen. I have to tolerate this existence or opt out. Although my mind is preparing for it, I’m not ready to quit yet. So I must battle on.

 

 

 

 

Eleven Days.

*Self-harm*

 

 

I felt like I needed to write an update, to work through my feelings about a lot of things. So I’m sorry this isn’t a useful post!!

 

I can’t believe it’s only eleven days or so since I called the Samaritans for the second time in my life, and wanted to die. It feels so much longer ago than that. It feels like a lot has happened since then. I’ve written so many things about what led me to that place… letters to the person involved that will never be sent. I finally found compassion for them and intended to share that with them… but right now I’ve circled round again to anger, hurt, hopelessness and the urge to just walk away with them thinking what they do of me. I’m sure I’ll come round to forgiveness and compassion again, but right now I’m bloody angry and I have a right to be.

 

In those eleven days I’ve tried to keep busy – going out more, tidying, preparing for Christmas, I’ve taken up cross-stitch too, which keeps my mind off things…

 

This is the first time in a long time where all my injuries are pretty much healed up. After difficulties with wounds healing recently, they’re all finally scabbed. I took my bandage off all day yesterday and left it off today, for the first time in absolutely weeks! No bruised hands…. still sore from previous injuries, but nothing new. That’s not to say there have been no incidents for a long time…. I’d say a week at the most. That is a long time for me. I’ve had to fight to not hurt myself in that time. It’s not easy. Being physically unwell helps to some degree, as I feel so poorly that I tuck myself in bed and watch DVDs. I can sort of zone out from reality.

 

I’ve also had a letter from the Community Mental Health Team offering me an assessment in the new year. It’s progress I suppose. But I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m already 99% sure they will deny me the help I need… they’ll just do it to my face this time – if that’s how they do it?? I don’t know if they do that or if they write to you…. any clues anyone?? I’m worried about my reaction if they tell me there and then that they can’t help me. I won’t be safe. Anyway, I have this ‘false hope’ to get me through the festive period at least…. in the hope that I’ll be helped… but I know deep down that they won’t do it. And if they do I’m scared of what it means…. so I’m confused about the whole thing. Not getting the help was making me more suicidal as I couldn’t go on without support. Now I possibly could get it I’m scared… I’m partly scared they’ll make it even worse than it is now. My experience with a mental health service last year has put me off a little. I don’t want them to open up more wounds and throw me back to cope on my own. I need people to make me feel safe at the moment. And I’m scared of the unknown.

 

But I’ll talk to the doctor about it all when I see her this week. She’ll be pleased they’re at least seeing me this time. Hopefully also get some sort of answer from my blood tests I had, to explain why I’m constantly tired and ill.

 

I’m also finding it a little difficult in the lead-up to the second Christmas without my granddad. I’m really missing him at the moment. It’s lurking there in my heart. I can feel it. But I shut it out… I don’t let it evolve… I don’t open up the box and explore my feelings about it because I know it will hurt. So I let it fester. I know this isn’t the right thing to do, but given my circumstances at the moment, I don’t feel safe to experience grief again right now. I prefer to deny it or frame it as something other than ‘reality’.

 

I have had difficulties with ‘reality’ this year. Never in all the years of being mentally unwell have I ever felt so detached from reality. This is the biggest thing I will tell CMHT. I feel disconnected. That I’m not really here anymore. That interactions I have are just done on auto-pilot. It’s all fake. I’m experiencing it right now. Although I feel twinges of emotions, a part of me feels numb. Part of me feels I’ll never smile again. When I look around the room things don’t look or feel ‘real’. I can’t explain it. I don’t feel connected to anything. Or to anyone. And the paranoia I’ve experienced. Which may not have been paranoia after all – except I think it was, and that same paranoia pushed someone away – hence proving what I said in my blog about paranoia and about the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. I’m so disconnected from everything, it’s like I’ve given up on life, and on myself and other people too. It’s really hard… because I honestly don’t believe that can ever change now. I feel this is it. I’m damaged. Can anyone actually help someone once they’re at this stage? Or will CMHT give up on me as a lost cause? I feel like a hopeless case.

 

Everything feels flat. Lifeless. Empty. And yet filled with agony. I can’t believe we’re almost three weeks away from Christmas. It doesn’t feel like it should be Christmas. This year has been so awful. I have shut myself away for most of the year, especially the last six – eight months of it. I saw a bit of Summer. Autumn pretty much vanished. Now we’re in Winter, coming to the end of the year. I don’t feel very ‘festive’. I’m trying my best, but it’s hard to enjoy Christmas when you’re grieving, when you’ve lost your one and only  friend, and when you feel so detached from life. It’s sort of like Christmas is ‘happening to me’ this year. Inflicted on me whether I like it or not. I don’t want to do anything anymore. I don’t enjoy anything. Not in the same way. I’m fearing all the ‘fun’ things I have planned next year, as I can’t even feel connected to those things anymore. Even if by some miracle CMHT agreed to help me, there’s no way it would be in time for any of those events. I’d probably be put on a waiting list. What’s the point? I can’t even get a break from this hell by doing something I previously enjoyed doing…. I feel dead to the world. Like I’m just existing so as not to inconvenience other people…. and yet my existence seems to inconvenience them anyway, so really I’m screwed either way.

 

I’ll be blogging more in the next few days / weeks, but just wanted to put some of my thoughts into words for now.

 

 

 

 

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.

Reality Of Symptoms.

Symptoms

 

*Long post – take what you want from it*

 

syms

 

 

I saw this on Facebook the other day, and wanted to expand on it a little in a post. These symptoms do exist, they’re very real and quite distressing for those who experience them. Whilst some can be symptoms and signs of other mental health problems, for example depression, and anxiety, I have to admit I identify with almost all of those, minus promiscuity. So I wanted to talk about each point and the effects of these symptoms so that people can better understand the struggle of living with BPD, or any mental illness.

 

Needing Attention

BPD A1

 

Everybody in this world needs attention. When we were babies we’d all cry to get attention… to get our needs met. Whether that need was food, a changed nappy, or a cuddle and a bit of love and reassurance. We used our natural instinct to get those needs met – we cried. Even as adults we all have basic needs. And whilst some of us may have most of them met, for instance warmth and shelter, food, family, friends… it doesn’t mean we always have the love, support and understanding we need. We don’t necessarily have the reassurance we need, and the feeling of worthiness. And there are some damaged souls out there who cry out for this kind of attention… we want to feel loved and cared for. We want to feel we matter in this big, intense and often cruel world. We want to be understood and supported, and we want to have reassurance that the people we care for aren’t going to leave us. We need to know we’re not terrible people. So we may do things like push people away, to see if they care or not. If they just go, then they don’t care. But if they stand and fight for us, then we matter to them, and this gives us reassurance that our friendship /relationship is real and we’re loved.

Fine, it may not be the most constructive and healthy method of gaining this reassurance, but chances are we’ve tried other techniques and not succeeded in getting our needs met. Once we find something that works, that becomes learned behaviour and is repeated in future situations.

People often imply that self-harm and suicide attempts are a ‘cry for help’ or a form of ‘attention-seeking’… like that’s a BAD thing. We all need and deserve attention. And we all seek that attention in different ways. Some lucky bastards are given attention without any effort at all. Some show off their bodies to get physical attention. Some break the law, because negative attention is better than no attention. Some are ‘jokers’ and extroverts and gain attention that way. And some inflict pain on themselves. But 99.9% of the time it is NOT done for attention at all. In fact people most likely to self-harm are those who would rather not be in the spotlight. We don’t want attention in the sense of all eyes on us. The attention people with BPD need is compassion… warmth… love…. security… reassurance… consistency…. very basic things that every human being needs. But we can feel neglected in this regard, and asking for reassurance or love or loyalty, should not be seen as manipulative or attention-seeking… it should be a sign to people that they’re not putting enough into their relationship / friendship with us. I mean if someone feels so neglected, unloved and worthless, that they’d cut into their own skin, why would you deny them the basic attention they need?? We don’t do it TO GET attention. We do it because of a LACK of attention – it doesn’t mean we’re trying to make people pay attention, we’re just coping in our own private way with our feelings of inadequacy, after months and years of being forgotten, neglected and abandoned.

I’ll tell you, in my darkest moments recently, I have wanted to go to the top of a building and get the attention of the emergency services. This is SO of character for me and I find it disturbing, but it’s not because I’m an ‘attention-seeker’. I’ve just been in a difficult place, and felt isolated. I felt I had nobody to turn to, and wanted to end my life, and emergency services SAVE lives. And if they saved mine it would show I was worth something. This was because of a lack of love, support and attention from those around me. You seek it through any method necessary. If I couldn’t get the basic attention I needed in life, I would end my life. Attention – i.e. ‘human contact’ is so vital to survival. And nobody should make fun of someone or criticise someone for feeling neglected by the world.

Outbursts Of Emotion (Especially Anger)

BPD A2

 

This is something we hate about ourselves. It’s not something we’re proud of. We wish we could control it. But what these outbursts tend to be is repressed anger. I myself have always been afraid of anger as an emotion. I don’t know why. I don’t like conflict. I don’t like arguments. I don’t like aggression. And I see anger as a bad emotion to have. So I never showed it. I’d hide my feelings of anger. And often in the past I’d take that anger out on myself. And then through therapy I learnt that it’s okay to be angry, and I learnt to express that anger in healthier ways.

But sadly, over time I’ve lost those strategies of dealing with my anger, and without the support of the mental health services, I’ve gone backwards. I now try and ‘contain’ my anger again, and with life being so relentlessly hurtful, I quite often have ‘episodes’ of anger.

These outbursts are not meant to cause harm – physical or mental. It’s a build-up of stress and emotions, and they’re all crammed into this little space inside us, and our spirit can only take so much stress or heartache at a time…. but the world can’t see how much we already have crammed in there, so it continues to push us and push us, until the storage for all this stress is bursting and ready to explode. One more ounce of stress and BOOM, that’s it – we’re no longer in control of our emotions… they take control of us.

We all have triggers… things that set us off emotionally, and that’s why one tiny little thing (to someone else) can set off an episode that seems out of proportion with what’s just happened. But it’s because of a build-up of little things, and that last thing was the trigger.

We try so hard to ‘control’ our emotions, by pushing them away, denying them, ignoring them… but this backfires, as emotions want and need to be experienced. We have emotions for a reason. And if we ignore that reason, the emotions aren’t going to simply go away. They will morph into something even more powerful. They end up controlling us instead. We can’t control when these explosions happen. They are a loss of control. And that means the emotions win. Or the cause of our stress wins. The way to take back our power is to recognise stress and anger, and accept them as serving a purpose. We have to healthily express our emotions at an early stage, so they don’t build up.

But sometimes, no matter what we do, there will be some triggers that cut so deep… They’ll surprise us… Out of the blue they’ll attack us. I’m yet to find a way to put a safety on our triggers. I would guess it’s looking at the root cause of why a trigger is a trigger, and working through our feelings about it. But that would likely take time and a therapist – something which is hard to come by in this country nowadays!

Whenever I have an outburst, I feel incredibly embarrassed. It’s the last thing I want to happen. My outbursts usually involve shouting, swearing, storming off, slamming doors, throwing things, punching walls, crying, self-harming. I never want to harm others with my outbursts. I never want to hurt anyone else in any way. I’m aware I probably frighten others with my episodes, but I am also frightened at the time. You go into a dissociative state, where you feel like it’s not you shouting and swearing. You’re hyped up on adrenaline and can’t feel the pain of punching the wall. You’re afraid of what you might do. It’s like you’re watching yourself do these things you don’t want to do. And then you lock yourself away in a room, in a ball on the floor, in the dark, crying, and slowly coming back to reality. And you’re scared to come out and face people as you feel you’re an awful person. Usually someone will eventually come and knock the door and perhaps give me a hug. But I never feel I deserve it. I’ve had some pretty traumatic outbursts that I’m ashamed of and can’t get over. But there’s nothing I can do about them now. I never intended to make a scene. And these outbursts are usually triggered by other people’s anger. I wouldn’t have an outburst if it wasn’t triggered by an experience with another human being. It takes two people to create a negative emotion.

But bottom line is these outbursts are beyond our control, unless we can access the help we need to work on them. They are not something we enjoy or do for the hell of it. We don’t want to hurt you, and we’re often frightened of ourselves. Please look beyond the anger, and look at the cause… the trigger.. and the message it carries.

Not Getting Out Of Bed

BPD A3

 

I know this one quite well, especially in the last few months. This is more an aspect of depression, but that often goes hand in hand with BPD. I’ve had good reasons to be depressed in the last year, and as much as it would be good to keep busy and make the most out of my life, I’ve not wanted to participate in life.

Think about it… people with BPD often experience suicidal thoughts. It may not be that they want to die, they just find it hard to live. They want to escape pain and life. An alternative way to do this is to sleep more. Or to just stay in bed, because if you don’t get out of bed and participate in life, you won’t encounter other people or potential triggers. You won’t harm yourself as you won’t get triggered. You’re less of a risk to yourself, and feel less of an annoyance if you just hide away under the covers.

Sometimes I’ll wake up fairly early, but not get out of bed for a couple of hours. I’ll go online and read stupid things, or play a Facebook game, or write a blog post… it’s all a way of avoiding life. Avoiding decisions, stress and disappointment.

There is a downside to it though – we have more time to sit and think. We can actually make ourselves more depressed sitting doing nothing. I’ve done that before… I’ve looked at my friends’ social media and convinced myself they’ve forgotten all about me, as they’ve not spoken to me in weeks. If I wasn’t sitting around online I wouldn’t have time to concoct these ideas in my mind.

The other aspect of this is that having BPD or any mental illness is utterly draining. Those who don’t know about mental illness are lucky – they have no clue how exhausting it is, fighting with your own mind every day. To live in a body whilst your mind wants to die. Every little thing takes so much more effort when you’re mentally ill. If you experience anxiety alongside BPD that is tiring. The adrenaline involved with anxiety or with angry outbursts associated with BPD, can wipe you of energy and make you tired afterwards.

Depression makes you tired. It makes you feel weary in every sense. It makes you lethargic, like nothing really matters. Like everything is too hard to get through, so why bother. If you’ve never experienced depression then think yourself lucky. If you had it, you would want to hide away in bed too. It’s a tiredness that sleep cannot fix.

 

Social Withdrawal

BPD A4

 

Isolating yourself. It’s a protection tactic. You think if you avoid other people, you can avoid extreme emotions and triggers.

I’ve done this a lot in the last few years. You can always tell I’m in a very dark place if I come off of social media, or stop talking to my friends for a time. I had been doing this until about a week ago. I met up with friends I don’t see often or hadn’t actually met until last weekend. In my heart I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to see other people. I wanted to isolate myself.

We sometimes isolate ourselves to see who really cares about us. If people notice we’ve gone quiet and ask how we are, then we know we’re not invisible. This rarely happens with me now though. I know I’m invisible. I often have to instigate contact with my friends now, and I hate it. I feel such a burden and nuisance. I WANT people to notice I’m quiet… to MISS me and to actually DO something about it. Not just sit back and leave me on my own.

I’m not trying to manipulate people. I’m needing validation. I’m needing recognition as a person. I’m needing to see if I matter in anyone’s world.

Other times we withdraw to protect ourselves. If we’ve been badly hurt or betrayed by someone close to us, we shut down socially, so that nobody else can hurt us. We’re thrown as to who we can actually trust in the world, and believe the world is a nasty, scary place, and nobody has our backs. So it’s easier to cut ourselves off from everyone, since we can no longer trust our own judgement about people, to not see them as people who could hurt us.

And at other times we think it’s what other people want from us. We feel a burden. We feel like awful people. It’s our low self-esteem talking, and we think we’re doing others a favour is we shut the hell up and leave them alone. We think we deserve to be alone.

Sometimes though it is simply that the world is too busy and noisy, and we’re overwhelmed by emotions. And the depression and anxiety are too much, and drain us. So we need to take time to recharge our batteries. It’s nothing personal. We just need our space and some quiet time to rest, and prepare to face the world again.

 

Self-destructive Behaviours

BPD A5

 

This can be anything from self-harm, to drinking, taking drugs, gambling, sleeping around, reckless driving, binge-eating, excessive spending, to self-sabotage.

I’ve sabotaged my own friendships sometimes because of my illness. It makes no sense, but I feel if my own best friends think I’m worthless and abandon me, then it gives me an excuse to end my life. It’s something I do in my darkest times, and I regret it afterwards, and feel like I can’t come back from it. I feel like my friends would see a side of me they don’t like, and will honestly abandon me. And when I’m in a better headspace I don’t want that to happen. I can go from thinking my friends are lousy, to expressing that, to feeling like I’m the lousy one and I don’t deserve friends. That’s where I am right now.

I’ve never taken drugs and I don’t drink. I don’t sleep around at all. I don’t drive. I don’t gamble, although let me loose on the 2p slot machines and it’ll be hard to tear me away until I’ve won something!! I binge-eat when I’m emotional, and when I’m down or stressed I spend more money than I should in my situation. I try to control it though. And I self-harm.

These are all behaviours that are self-destructive. They undermine our spirit. Other self-destructive behaviours would be denying ourselves food and drink. Or denying ourselves sleep. Choosing to not give our bodies what they need to function, because we think we don’t deserve it, or we want to make ourselves suffer.

These things are often done to numb the pain we feel, or to cover it at least for a while. They don’t work though, not in the long-term, and they leave us in a worse position than we were to start with. But they are coping mechanisms, and we all have them.

If you see someone engaging in self-destructive behaviours try and recognise they need your love and support, not your judgement. They likely hate themselves and life. Why not give them a reason to love life a little more, and to see their own worth?

Some of these behaviours are compulsive though, so they’re not something we can simply stop doing. We will feel uncomfortable not doing them, and just sitting with our feelings. So we need support and reassurance throughout. Not to mention a lot of patience.

Being Clingy

BPD A6

 

I hate the word ‘clingy’ just as much as I hate the word ‘needy’. This is the language usually used by jerks, or more politely put ’emotionally unavailable men’ to describe a woman who has emotional needs that they cannot fulfil.

A lot of us ladies have been made to feel it is bad to show emotions, and not want to lose someone. We think it’s pathetic to chase after someone we care about, and to ask for what we need from them. It’s not. We’re not the pathetic ones. The pathetic ones are those we chase after who make us feel needy for making very basic requests of them.

For the purposes of explaining my point here, I will use the word ‘clingy’, but I do so reluctantly, as it has such negative connotations with it nowadays.

People with BPD are afraid of abandonment. We are afraid that people are going to get sick of us, discover something they don’t like, or get bored and leave us. We get attached to people, and feel emotions more intensely than others – so when we love someone we love them with ten times more intensity than ‘normal’ people. And the fear of losing them is even greater. So we are desperate to not lose them, and will beg and plead for them not to go. We will do anything to not lose them from our lives.

I have actually lowered my standards immensely and degraded myself to try and keep certain men in my life before, and feel extremely ashamed that I stooped to such levels. But I was afraid to lose those people from my life. I felt at the time, that I loved them. But now I have the wisdom to know that any man worth loving, will never make you beg, plead, and humiliate yourself just to be in their life. They won’t want to see you crawling on the floor after them. They won’t want to see you upset. They’ll want to lift you up, make you happy and be an equal to you.

Clinginess is actually a sign of love. Some people can’t cope with the idea of someone loving them. Clinginess is us not wanting to lose someone. People should be flattered, and if we belong in their lives it shouldn’t frighten them off.

For anyone who doesn’t like us being clingy – I guess this means you don’t like being loved and appreciated. It makes you uncomfortable. If you don’t want us being ‘clingy’ then simply reassure us you’re not going anywhere and we matter to you. This would calm our fears that you’re going to abandon us, and it’s all that’s needed. We’re not asking you to change who you are as a person, just to reassure us now and again. We shouldn’t have to change as people just because you can’t say a few loving words. If we’re afraid and insecure about losing you, why play on those insecurities and allow us to be afraid? We’re not ‘clingy’ because we want to be. We’re ‘clingy’ because you mean a lot to us, and we’ve had a lot of people betray and abandon us in the past, and we want just one person to prove not all people are the same… not all people will leave us. It’s a desperation to be proved wrong about people and the world. It’s a desperation to not be alone and to not be given one more reason to want to leave this life. It’s expressing our love to you. If you can’t handle the intensity of our love then perhaps you have issues of your own, you ought to work through.

 

Forgetting Things

BPD A7

 

Mental illness takes up a lot of mental energy. The tiredness mixed with the chaotic thoughts, can make us forgetful. It can be hard to concentrate. I sometimes get a sudden brain fog. I’ll be talking about something, and mid-sentence I’ll forget what I was going to say. I’ll walk into a room and forget why. I’ll forget an important date as I’m preoccupied with something else. At times I’ll appear to forget about my friends, but it’s because I’m trying to get through something difficult. I’ll forget the word for something. I don’t always feel very organised, and have almost forgotten a couple of appointments before.

We need people to be understanding and not joke about us having the memory of a goldfish. We usually have a lot of intense stuff going on in our minds, and sometimes our memory, particularly our short-term memory is going to suffer for it.

 

Getting Upset About Everything

BPD A8

 

I’ve been accused of ‘overreacting’ before. And of ‘letting things get to me’. Yes, things get to me that wouldn’t get to other people. So what? Not everyone is thick-skinned. Being thick-skinned to me signifies a lack of emotions. I’d rather be a thin-skinned human being, than a thick-skinned robot thanks!

Just because something isn’t a big deal to you, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be to me. You don’t know my story. You don’t know my triggers. There may be things that get to you, that don’t get to me – I wouldn’t invalidate your feelings though!

Sometimes it can seem we overreact to little things, but what most people don’t realise is that these ‘little things’ build up into bigger things, it’s just the world doesn’t see the build-up, as it happens internally.

Also remember we experience our emotions deeper than ‘normal’ people. If something upsets us we may seem more upset by it compared to someone who doesn’t have BPD, just because we experience more ‘extremes’ of emotion.

Sometimes people say we let things get to us, as a way of washing their hands of responsibility for the pain they cause us. It’s a way of not having to watch their words and actions, and turning the blame onto us instead. Never let someone say that you let things get to you, especially if that person IS the person ‘getting to you’… chances are they’re trying to deflect the blame, and don’t want to change their own behaviour. They want you to accept their manner and mistreatment rather than apologise for hurting you, and changing.

 

Bad Self-Care

BPD A9

 

This is anything from sleeping too much / too little, to eating too much / too little, to not getting dressed, washing, brushing your teeth, taking medications. This is something I don’t like to talk about too much, as I feel ashamed and like people would be disgusted with me and think I’m a dirty, smelly, lazy person. But sometimes, when your depression is at its worst, you don’t want to get out of bed. I have spent days in my pyjamas, not washing, not brushing my hair, heck, not even changing my underwear! That’s how debilitating depression can be. I’d lounge about in bed, no make-up on, or smudged from the day before, as I never washed my face. I’d have my glasses on. I’d not have my anti-depressants until 4pm as I was too depressed to get up and get them. I’d not eat all day. Or I’d scoff a whole big bag of Maltesers, whilst hating myself for being so fat. I’d not drink enough and then get headaches in the evening, and drink so much water at dinner time that I couldn’t eat much of my dinner. I’d take painkillers just to sleep better at night.

I still have occasions like this. But I NEVER talk about them. Nobody ever knows that sometimes this is my existence. Perhaps if they did, they might understand I really DO have depression. Because all they ever see is me with my contacts in, make-up on, teeth brushed, hair straightened, clothes on, clean, together, ‘happy’ mask on and making jokes and playing about, being friendly to people. How can anyone possibly believe my mental health problems if they never see it, and I never talk about it?

This is the reality of depression though, for many people. We pretend we’re better than we are… so then society can’t understand when we hit a limitation, or when we have a meltdown. They don’t see the signs. My closest family are the only ones who can tell if I’m in a bad patch. They’re the only ones who will ever see my real face. I hate this, as it makes it seem like I’m ‘two-faced’, but it’s not like that. It’s just being yourself at home, and being who society wants you to be, in public. They’re two very different personas. I feel people don’t like me already. If they saw the depressed me, no matter what they say, they would not want to be associated with me.

The thing with mental illness is everything is so much effort, and you get to thinking ‘what’s the point?’ … so you don’t bother putting clothes on, as you’ll only be changing back into your Pjs later on anyway. Why wash? You’re not seeing anyone. You’re not going out. It would require taking your Pjs off, and then you might as well get dressed. Too much effort. Why do your teeth? You’re not going to talk to anyone today, and you don’t plan on doing much smiling, the way you’re feeling… who cares what your breath smells like?? Why eat? Nothing tastes that good that it’s worth the effort of getting up and making it. And drink? That just means you’ll need to get up and pee – too much effort. Medication…? Does it really make a difference? Look, you’re already depressed, surely if they worked you wouldn’t be this depressed. So what if you’re late having it… couldn’t feel much worse right?? Going to sleep – what a waste of hours. The best part of the day is when it’s quiet and you’re on your own with no expectations. Better to stay up and think, and write. But at the same time, you’re wanting to sleep to block out the monotony of life. And then you can’t get up in the morning…. so what?? You’ve got no plans today. You’re not going out or doing anything with your time, why bother getting up?

I could go on. But you get the impression. Everything feels pointless when you’re depressed or mentally ill. And yes, doing these things would improve your self-esteem, but when you’re in a bad patch, it doesn’t matter, you can’t have thoughts like that. It’s hard to break out of. That’s why any little step, like brushing your hair should be celebrated. It’s a step towards recognising your importance as a person, and treating your body right.

 

Promiscuity

BPD A10

 

Now, I can’t comment on this at all! I’ve never been like this, being celibate and all!! The only experience I can bring to the table is in my head I’ve been promiscuous, in the sense of having crushes on people. I always wish to have the attention of somebody… very often they are men who are spoken for, which I’m ashamed to say. But the reality is I would never in a million years act on any of these crushes, as it’s not who I am as a person. I have morals, and I’m not like some of my old friends who would put their desires ahead of the feelings of another human being.

But this mental promiscuity is a desperation to be loved. It’s wanting someone to return the feelings and validate me as a person, and make me feel I’m not going to be alone forever. The only trouble is I never communicate my feelings to the guys, I keep them inside, quietly hoping I’ll sense a connection. But I can have feelings for one guy one minute, and switch targets the next. I’ve actually liked three or four people at the same time before – some involved, others not, but I’d act on NONE of them, because I have such little confidence in myself anyway, and don’t believe a single one of them would ever choose me in a million years.

This is how I imagine people feel who have BPD and are promiscuous… they’re searching for validation, and someone to return their feelings, and make them feel like they matter. Perhaps they sleep around to feel like they’re attractive, when they don’t feel like they are. Perhaps they do it to try and find a connection with someone, anyone. Perhaps they do it to punish themselves, or numb some sort of pain. I honestly can’t say from my own experience, and I find it hard to put myself in that position. But I do know the desperation to be wanted, loved and ‘normal’, like all my other friends. So I could understand how playing the field would increase one’s chances of finding that. Not all people who sleep around love themselves and their bodies. I can guess that much.

Weird / Unusual Triggers

BPD A11

 

People have all sorts of triggers for episodes and self-harm. In this moment I can’t think of any ‘unusual’ ones I experience. Seeing others’ wounds / scars, or everyday cuts (not self-inflicted), can set me off. It’s usually being shown up, let down, making mistakes and other social triggers that cause me to go off on one. Afraid I really can’t say much on this one, as I can’t think of any ‘weird’ triggers. But the fact is there is no such thing as a ‘weird’ trigger. Triggers are personal to us. If they mean something and set off a chain reaction of emotions then it is what it is. What may seem weird to one person may not to another. I’m sure for some people, being happy can be a trigger, as we’ve experienced happiness before and it’s usually closely followed by heartbreak, or we don’t think we deserve happiness. But a trigger is a trigger – it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. We own them.

 

Needing Validation

BPD A12

 

I’ve already touched on this in the Promiscuity bit… but it’s in more ways than sexually / romantically. We need validation as people. We need validation of our emotions. We’ve probably been invalidated too much in the past. Very often people minimise our experiences and feelings, and dismiss our fears. This can make us feel it is wrong to feel negatively about something. So we hide our emotions and then take them out on ourselves. What we need is people to say ‘I understand why you’re (angry, sad, scared etc), and I’d feel exactly the same way’ – no ‘buts’. Validate the experience, and validate our emotions. And don’t tell us we did the wrong thing in how we dealt with it. We’re doing the best we can with the skills we’ve got. Praise us for our efforts. Encourage us in our fight to survive and thrive. Tell us you admire how strong we are to deal with so much pain. Tell us we’re right to feel angry, betrayed, frustrated, and there’s nothing wrong with our emotional responses.

Validate us. We need to feel we are not bad people. We need to feel accepted. We need to feel our emotions are appropriate to the given situation, because for too long we’ve told ourselves it’s wrong to feel and wrong to show those feelings.

So please don’t dismiss us, minimise our situation, criticise our way of thinking. Support, encourage and reassure us we’re not insane, and we’re not bad people. It doesn’t take much to do. You just need to check yourself and make sure you’re not being dismissive. It’s an easy thing to fall into. You think you’re doing the right thing, telling someone ‘not to worry about it’ or to ‘calm down’…as you don’t want them to work themselves up over something, but sometimes fear and anger are appropriate emotions, and need to be felt and expressed. And telling us to calm down will have the opposite effect to what you intend. Encourage us to express our true emotions in a healthy way, and accept those emotions, whatever they are… even if they don’t make sense to you, we are feeling them, and calmly discussing with us, may make more sense of how we’re feeling, otherwise we’ll simply shut off and the emotions will intensify in our heads. We need to feel able to talk to you, and if you validate our feelings we’re more likely to be able to. Invalidate us, and you’ll be one more person we can’t trust and open up to. So don’t get upset when we no longer turn to you for advice and support.

 


 

Mental illness, particularly BPD is really misunderstood… as a whole and even when taken apart and examining each symptom. If people judge us by just one symptom, how can they ever feel compassion and understanding for our illness and for us as human beings? If people see us shutting down and isolating ourselves, and their reaction is ‘Fine, I’ll leave her on her own’, then they don’t understand mental illness. And if they don’t understand my mental illness they don’t understand me.

People need to educate themselves about mental health problems, particularly if they’ve been fortunate enough to not be touched by mental illness themselves. We only understand something once it happens to us. It’s true. But we can research in the meantime, especially if we want to connect with our friends and loved ones who are suffering.

There may be things you don’t understand about our behaviour…. maybe try asking nicely… learning… showing interest. Rather than judging and abandoning us for our uncontrollable mental illness. As BPD soldiers we already fear abandonment, but we’re aware our illness could make you abandon us… so it’s a vicious circle. Help us break that cycle and show us you’re not going anywhere. Accept our flaws. Accept our symptoms and aim to help us through them. Don’t stifle them. Don’t minimise them or make jokes about them. Don’t judge us for them. Not if you claim to care about us. If you care, you care through the good and the bad. And these are just some of the bad sides you’ll see of us. It doesn’t show the whole picture of who we are. I will be blogging about the positives soon. These are just some of the areas where people like me need understanding and unconditional love. I hope you found parts of this useful, please feel free to ask anything you don’t understand.

All the best xxxx