Emotional Disassociation?

I was reading an article this morning on emotional disassociation. It really hit home for me for some reason. Having BPD, I know that disassociation occurs–but it is usually not so specific; it is more generalized.

For those of you who don’t know what BPD disassociation is, here is a good definition. When I have regular disassociation, I will tend to act in a way that goes against what my brain is telling me. My head says one thing but my actions don’t give a shit.  I will say and do things that I know better than to do–but it is like I cannot stop myself–I feel like I am watching myself from the outside and my outside self is telling me to shut the fuck up already, but my inside self isn’t paying attention at all. Then I end up feeling like a complete asshole and having to apologize for my stupid ass behavior and shitty ass words. I hate when that happens. It just amplifies the guilt…and my whole life is one big guilt party. I hate that I add to it….

I have huge gaps in my memories. I remember some things, but not others. I tend to forget arguments that escalated me to a severely heightened emotional state. I tend to forget situations that caused me emotional or physical pain. I honestly don’t remember over half or more of my childhood. I can see pictures and have no recollection of the event. Its like looking at someone else’s memories with me in it.  However, I will randomly recall events that I don’t know whether they really happened or not… Sometimes I wonder if they are true memories or I once saw a picture of it. I never know.

I have learned to deal with these gaps. I don’t really know any difference honestly. I always thought it was just normal BPD disassociation, but after reading this article about emotional specific disassociation, I now wonder whether I tend to do that more. On a normal day, I cycle through emotions about 5-7 times.  By this I mean I feel things very quickly in a row:  anger usually starts it, then it goes to sadness, guilt, frustration, annoyance, and back to anger.  I cycle through all these intensely within a time-span of about 4 minutes. Then it is over, but I am exhausted.  I am always exhausted. BPD is fucking exhausting; the never-ending emotional fuckery sucks.

Anyway, back to emotional disassociation. So as I was reading this article, I realized how much of my life I have forgotten—from past stuff to present stuff.  For example, Choney and I were having a conversation about a conversation we had a few months ago. I didn’t remember it at all…. but the stuff he said I said sounds like something I would say.  When he was telling me about it, I remember getting a bit emotionally heightened and while I didn’t realize it at the time, I think now that I tend to block out the things that put me in that heightened state. Maybe it is a defense mechanism so that my guilt doesn’t trigger too much.  Especially when I was the asshole in the situation. Which I am a lot. UGH.

Its just weird how I will basically ignore so much of my disorder, then I read an article and all of the things that relate to this come crashing down…kind of like an epiphany. Like, oooohhhh, thats what that was.  I kind of hate it and kind of appreciate it. Its a fine line.

Anyway, just thought I would blog this thought so I remember it later….

Thanks for listening.

 

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Death of a Pet

There is literally nothing harder than the death of a pet–aside from the death of a child. I don’t know why it is so much harder than other deaths. At least that is my opinion. I get so attached to animals–so much more than humans–and I don’t know why. Probably because humans are vapid, heartless, abusive asshats.  But again–thats just my opinion.

We had to put my moms’ dog down this week. It was so hard. It was time, he had some health problems and he was getting ornery. He had his third bite issue last week and three strikes your out here in my state when it comes to animals biting humans…even if the bite cannot be proven. Which it couldn’t.  But because of his past and because of the assholes dog he decided to fight with, my mom made the decision to put him down. It was soooo fucking hard. She was a wreck, I was a wreck, Nykee (that’s the dog) was terrified and confused, Choney was a wreck. It was horrible.

This dog was my moms entire reason for living. So with his death, we get another worry on our plate: will she manage to not kill herself.  Joy. She has severe depression and her dogs are literally her only reason for living… especially Nykee. Her other dog, Flex, will hopefully pull her through it, but he is struggling as well. Poor baby. He doesn’t know where his brother went and why he didn’t come back with his mom….  he whines at the door, sleeps in his kennel, cries all day, doesn’t eat, etc. He is in mourning. He will eventually be okay–probably sooner than the rest of us–but it is sad as hell to watch him be so confused and uncertain.

I love this dog. I have always loved this dog but I didn’t think his death would affect me so harshly. I cried for hours, and hours, and hours. Then I slept and woke up and cried some more. My eyes swelled shut, my head clogged up and it still makes me cry when I think about it or have to tell someone about it.  I cannot even IMAGINE what I will go through when I put my own babies down. I think I shall just go down with them. i don’t have enough strength to get through it….

Anyway–send prayers/healing thoughts/good vibes my way so I can pass them on to my madre…

RIP: Nykee– enjoy playing with your ball for the rest of your life. Bite who you want. Run pain free all the days!

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Useless

That is how I feel today. So fucking useless. I am shitty mother, a shitty girlfriend, a shitty daughter… <—this is what is happening in my head—-which makes me feel worthless. Which puts me into a cycle of self-bashing. Which just triggers all my BPD things. Yes, before you all jump on my page and tell me I am not useless or worthless, know that I know that in my right mind….  However, it doesn’t stop my cycles when I am in the midst of emotional fuckery.  Trust me, I hate feeling it as much as you probably hate reading it. I fucking hate it. I hate every second of it. I hate that I have to deal with this. I hate that it makes me hate myself.  BUT, this is why I write….. Even when I am feeling useless, worthless, shitty, etc., writing makes me feel better. It helps me to put everything in my head on paper and that does two things for me; it gets the chaos out and it makes me reexamine why I feel the way I feel about something. Then I am able to decide what I can and cannot handle….

Today in counseling I learned about something called radical acceptance. It means accepting things for how they are, even if you don’t approve, just because that is how they are. It doesn’t mean you agree or disagree with something, it just means it is what it is and there is nothing you can do to change it at this time, so just accept it.

OH. MY. GOD. I struggle with that so hard. My control issues rear their ugly head and make me feel bad about just accepting things that easily.  I need to be the one to make the decision…I need to be the one to manipulate the situation to one I can handle. Accept it????  HA!  Fuck that. I am not built that way.

However…………I need to rebuild I guess–because there are so many things, so, so , soooooo many things that I cannot control (I hate that, by the way).  So I guess I have to accept that. And the other thing. Fuck life.

So right now, I am so frustrated with my son and his lack of motivation. I keep thinking he will figure it out, but he is doing it so fucking SLOWLY. I cannot work at a snail’s pace. No matter what I say, do, threaten, etc, he just does what he wants.  Today I issued an ultimatum. I told him you have a month—a month to show up at school every day or a month to get a job. Whichever. At the end of that month, if neither has been accomplished, you need to find a place to live that doesn’t involve me.  Then I went to my room and bawled like a baby. I wish I could explain the way giving my baby boy an ultimatum feels. It feels like my heart shattered into a million pieces. Every part of me feels like shit about it. But I know what happens when I enable…. and I have always been able to do the tough love thing. But fuck this one is killing me.  And trust me, it is not just my baby boy. When I had to do the same with my daughter I was destroyed then as well—–but there is just something about your youngest, you know?

I wish they could understand how hard it is for me to do that to them. I know they feel hurt and betrayed and frustrated. Too bad they don’t realize how much I feel the same x 10.

So here I am, dealing with all the shitty feels. Isolating in my room because I cannot stop crying for more than five minutes at at time.  Awesome.

Anyway–there is not much more to say regarding this. I have other issues, but I am not mentally prepared to deal with them tonight. Maybe next time…

For now–peace out.

 

Who Am I?

I was sitting at dinner with my boyfriend the other night and I had just come from counseling and had “homework” to do. That homework was talking to him about the things I had recently had issues with and things that were making me feel bad about myself/our relationship/him.

Side note–I tend to keep all my shit locked away until it finally gets to be too much and I vomit bullshit on whomever is lucky enough to piss me off in that moment. No bueno.

Because of this, I am learning to just talk about my feelings when they happen. Fuck if that isn’t the hardest thing I have to do.  But I am learning. Baby step by baby step.

So, we were sitting at dinner and I decided to do it in a public place so I could have a little more control over myself and not embarrass the both of us by acting out.  This actually works for me. I do tend to end up crying because I am embarrassed by just feeling the way I feel sometimes, but I handle that OK, even in public. The public part just stops me from yelling or getting shitty.  Bonus for all.

OK, back to the situation at hand.

I was supposed to talk to him about how I had been feeling recently and why I had been isolating so much over the past couple weeks. It surprised me how intuitive he is–because he kind of already knew what my issues were. However, he does not like conflict or rocking the boat, so he tends to just ignore stuff. This is not good practice with someone who is so emotionally needy and needs someone else to start the conversation…

But I opened up and told him how I was feeling (he was actually feeling some of the same things) and I did it productively. I took  responsibility for my part in it and gave him some suggestions on what to do the next time I get to that place. It went well.

Isolation is my go-to coping mechanism. Especially now that I have pretty good control over my outbursts. I use it as a way to make sure I don’t take out my anger/agitation/irritation/etc on someone who doesn’t deserve it–since it has very little to do with most people.  What I learned from counseling this week is that isolating is pretty much the same as blowing up—-nobody understands why its happening and they just leave me alone til I am done. Which, sadly, backfires for me.

I learned that sometimes I isolate just to see if someone will give a shit.  So stupid. So fucking stupid–but truth nonetheless. It embarrasses me that I do that. That I have that stupid little needy ass pathetic side of myself that I manipulate to see if I am cared for. I know in my right mind that is part of my disorder—but it makes me so ashamed of myself when I have to admit it out loud.  UGH.

So this introspection brought me to the point where I started thinking about all the shit I do that “protects” this part of me that is so needy and vulnerable.  And while talking to Choney, he mentioned that one of the things he notices is how different I am with everybody in my life.

Looking at that, he is completely correct. I am my most real with him. I have so many personas for different sets of people that I sometimes don’t have any idea who is the real me….

My personality at work is the most controlled. Most people I work with have no idea I have a mental disorder.  I am the most “normal” there. Its’ once I leave work that the control slips and I can no longer contain the surges of emotion that cycle through me.

I also have a different personality with my dad and Roberta than I have with my mom. My friends also see a more real side of me than my family sees. My kids and Choney see the most real me that I have–which isn’t always a good thing–but is the truth regardless.

While thinking about this and all my different personalities I put out there, I started wondering why I do it. Here is my conclusion.

I do it to protect them–and in a sense me.  Most people don’t know what to do with someone who has a mental illness. It is a difficult thing to not only accept, but to deal with.

My family for example, especially my dad and stepmom, refuse to believe I have a mental illness–they just think I throw fits. Super supportive.  (<–sarcasm alert).  So for them, they see the minimum I can handle and that I think they can handle. They don’t get all the facets of me–they get a very small part. Once in a while I will slip and they will see a part of me I don’t usually show.  I hate those times. It makes me feel stupid and vulnerable and stupid. It tends to shock them a bit–especially my dad who is in total denial that I have issues. But such is life. I, unfortunately, don’t feel supported in any way by them…..they are too busy judging me. Hence why I am taking a break.

My mom used to be the same–but since we have gotten so close, she see’s much more than she ever did. For whatever reason, I decided that when I started talking to her again after so many years that I was going to try to just be my regular, crazy, emotional self and if she liked me, good. If not, oh well.  Surprisingly she doesn’t mind me. I do think I tend to worry her more now because she doesn’t see the old locked down me, but I like that I don’t have to hide who I am with her. She tries so hard to understand–which nobody has ever done before in my family–and it helps me a lot for her to realize that its not her that I am acting like this because of, but it is my disorder that makes me like this. I so appreciate that with her.  She is super supportive even though this disorder makes no sense to her….

My friends see one of the best parts of me…. and sometimes the not so best parts..but they all love and accept me regardless and I can’t explain how good that makes me feel. I try not to let them have to deal with all the shitty parts–but knowing that they would if I needed them to goes so far for me…. making me feel secure and loved and not so lost all the time.  My friends are amazing. Even though I don’t see them much because I tend to isolate so much, they still understand even while it frustrates them and they don’t allow it to damage our relationship. They let me do things at my own pace and that alone? There are words to express how I feel about that… they are fucking incredible. And I love them more than they will ever understand.

My kids. God, my kids have been through so much with me and this stupid BPD. They have seen the monster that lives in me and they still love me. I can’t even tell you what that means to me and how truly beyond grateful I am that they still accept me for all my faults and all my bullshit and all my emotional fuckery. THEY are the reason I am still fighting this every day…  THEY are my reason for being…THEY are my love, my heart, my soul and my life. My kids blessed me and continue blessing me in ways they can’t even fathom. I owe my life to all three of them–they are my saviors, in so many ways they don’t even realize. I love them more than I have every loved anything in the world.

My dogs. See above paragraph about my kids. I feel the same about my dogs. I didn’t save them—they save me. Daily.

My significant other. Choney sees the realest me, like my kids do, and accepts me. Unconditionally, even while it makes him angry, frustrated or sad at times. He loves me regardless. And he gets the brunt of my emotional shit. My kids probably appreciate that…lol.  But he still hangs in there, reading and researching how to better help me through those rough times. He has learned when to leave me alone and when to step up. He still has days that he has no idea what to do or how I will react to things, but he learns every day and does what he can. He is my rock. My calm in the center of my storm. The best part of me. I cannot tell you the love I have for this man–even when he frustrates me to no end. He is incredible.

So there you have it. My eternal question of who am I. Not a question I have ever been able to answer simply. I am so many people–and those people depend on who I am with at the time or where my emotions have taken me. I am a thousand things and feelings and more.

I guess that is my answer…..at least until I come up with something better.

Success

Tonight I was talking to my mom and she was asking me questions about my life. One of the things she asked me was “are you doing better?”.  This question was in regard to my mental health. And my reply was that life was a challenge…which was kind of vague I guess, but that is a really hard question for someone with borderline personality disorder to answer.  She also asked me if my BPD was something that would get better or if I just had to live with it forever.  And the answer I gave was this, “I have to live with it forever—and a successful life of a person with BPD is that I die naturally and not by my own hand.”  Of course, being my mother, she didn’t like that answer much…. :/

Regardless, it got me thinking about success and being a successful BPD survivor… if there is such a thing.  So I decided to write about the success of being BPD.

Success comes in many forms—for those with mental illness, those successes are defined quite differently from those without it.

For me, being successful with my BPD involves the following:

  • Today I didn’t want to die as much as normal.  That is a success.
  • Today I didn’t scream at anyone.  That is a success.
  • Today I managed to get through the last hour without crying. That is a success.
  • Today I didn’t get violent.  That is a success.
  • Today I did not hate myself as much as I did yesterday. That is a success.
  • Today I did not lash out at anyone. That is a success.
  • Today I did not hurt myself. That is a success.
  • Today I did not hurt anyone else. That is a success.
  • Today I managed to get out of bed. That is a success.
  • Today I did not convince myself that I am a terrible person. That is a success.
  • Today I only cycled 10 times instead of 20. That is a success.
  • Today I managed to not commit suicide. That is a success.
  • Today I showered and brushed my teeth. That is a success.
  • Today I didn’t feel as guilty as I did yesterday.  That is a success.
  • Today I managed to remember I am worth something. That is a success.
  • Today my self-loathing was kept at bay for over an hour. That is a success.
  • Today I used my skills to self-soothe.  That is a success.
  • Today I was a little bit productive. That is a success.
  • Today I remembered to take my medications. That is a success.
  • Today I spoke to another human being with anxiety. That is a success.
  • Today I realized my anxiety wasn’t too bad. That is a success.
  • Today nobody left me. That is a success.
  • Today I didn’t push anyone away. That is a success.
  • Today I maintained my boundaries. That is a success.
  • Today I went to counseling. That is a success.
  • Today I got up for work. That is a success.
  • Today I combed my hair. That is a success.
  • Today I went outside. That is a success.
  • Today I was not too sad. That is a success.
  • Today I was not impulsive. That is a success.
  • Today I did not cry all day. That is a success.
  • Today I woke up alive. That is a success.
  • Today I managed to get through the day.  That is a success.

You see….all the things  normal people take for granted, those of us with mental illness, especially ones like borderline personality disorder, are hard-won, and even harder recognized. It takes a conscious effort to remember that we actually did succeed in some small way, even if that way was only to keep on living for another day…

BPD is such a chaotic illness. The suicide rate for BPD is higher than all other mental illnesses combined. Do you even realize how scary that is for us? Considering that the self-loathing, the guilt, the fear, the chaos is a constant part of our everyday lives, I cannot believe most of us even manage to make it through as far as we do….

There is no magical cure…the regular medication, both anti-depressant and anti-psychotics do not normally work for us–so we have to put in so much work to even be able to manage day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.  Its fucking hard as hell and it takes some serious strength to keep fighting this shit day in and day out.

There is always something wrong with me–I am either overly emotional or with meds I am flat-lined with rare bouts of emotion. YET, I still cry at the drop of a hat and I still anger very easily. I have to personally remind myself that I am worth something, even if that worth is not apparent to me…ever.  Don’t get me wrong, my right mind knows that I am not worthless—but it is damn hard to convince the regular me that that is the truth.

So those small little successes that happen need to be acknowledged and remembered and brought to the light as often as possible for us.

Because without them…………we are truly the nothing we believe we are.

I Just Need Space…

So my assignment this week was to write my dad and stepmom an email and explain to them what was happening in my life and why I am taking very much needed space from them…

I thought it would be easy.

It wasn’t.

The guilt it produced pretty much overwhelmed me. I ended up crying for hours after I sent it….  I hated that part.  Thank GOD I have counseling on Tuesday to work through that bullshit.

I have been trying to figure out why it produced so much guilt, when the bottom line is that they trigger me the very most and make me cycle so much. They put me in such a shitty place in my head and all I do is self-bash for days after I see them….  I know it is for my own mental well-being that I take space from them…yet it made me feel so bad. Like I am disappointing them.

Which I do all the time, so why should this time produce so much guilt on my part? I have spent my entire life disappointing my dad and stepmom… it’s nothing new. Nothing I have ever done has ever been good enough for them—so you’d think that me taking time to work on myself and my issues would be a good thing, right? UGH!

Regardless, I guess I will figure it out on Tuesday. For now I will set it aside and focus on my life and the fact that I managed to do my homework assignment–especially since I haven’t been too good at following through on my others ones… oops.

Til then…

A Little Shocked…

So I went to counseling yesterday–it had been a couple weeks due to the holiday– and surprisingly, I didn’t have much to talk about. No situations, no outbursts, no agitation worth mentioning, etc. It was kind of weird. Usually if I do have issues come up, I tamp it down until counseling and then vomit it all over my counselor.  This time was different.

So we decided to focus on my successes in the last couple months. My job was to come up with stuff that I would have done in the past and reacted badly or emotionally or overreacted to, that I haven’t done that with. At first it was hard, because I am not used to saying good things about myself, but as I got going, I actually came up with quite a few scenarios that, in the past, I would have lost my damn mind, but in the present, I dealt with like a normal person.  Weird.

Regardless, we listed them on the board and I took a picture of them to remind myself that I am making progress even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

Here is my list.

  1. Decrease in catastrophic thinking
  2.  A molehill = a molehill
  3. Haven’t lost my temper in weeks–which means my guilt/shame cycle has decreased
  4. Recognized and taken space when needed
  5. Keeping my boundaries clear and sticking to them
  6. Practiced self-care–taken time for just me, not just when I am anxious
  7. Decreased self-judgement
  8. Have not experienced guilt from changing plans
  9. Planned events and gone without having anxiety build-up to make me cancel.

So this may not seem like a lot to most people who don’t have BPD, social anxiety or regular anxiety issues, but to me, who has all that, it is a HUGE deal.

I liked the reminder that regardless of setbacks–which I still have weekly or more–that I am doing so much more than I ever have and I am so much more in control than I have ever been..  its crazy.

For the first time in a long fucking time, I can honestly, sincerely say that I am proud of myself.  Who’d a thunk it??!

Go me!