Saturday, January 15, 2011

Questions, comments, concerns...


I'm not sure I've said this openly so for the record: If ever you have a question, concern, or inquiry, please, feel free to leave me a comment or e-mail me @ . I'd be more than happy to address it or give my opinion.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Brutal Ideation - Criteria 8 / Anger Part 2

The one thing I don’t do but I fantasize about constantly:


I grew up fighting. I was heavily involved in the martial arts ever since I was young. I had an outlet, a channel for my aggression in a safe, healthy, constructive environment. Because I’ve moved so often in the last few years I haven’t had the ability to find a new place to continue my study.

It’s come in handy a couple times in the real world when guys have tried to press their advantage with me only to have their wind knocked out and taken aback by someone half their size. I’ve never been in out right fights though, like bar room brawls, in the real world, though I fantasize about it constantly. Especially when I’m running. If I want to amp up my energy, creating a scenario in my mind where I’m rescuing a pretty girl from some drunken brute, or disarming someone that has me at gun point with less than honorable intentions… it sets my heart pounding, adrenaline pumping through my veins.

I’m not afraid of damaging myself. Some days I even welcome it. I know how much my body can take and I’ve survived the worst that can be done to it. Short of death I have no fear of injury because I already know I can survive anything that I’m dealt. And I do mean anything. I don’t fear pain. The thought of taking a blow to the face, the stomach, the chest, doesn’t deter me, it makes me gasp and come back stronger, attack more fiercely. My anger boiling and bubbling over until all I am is a fury of fists and feet.

In my visions I never escape unscathed, I take my hits, bruised and sometimes broken, but I’m never beat down, never relent. I always get back up and I always end up on top. Some day I’ll push this into reality and see just how well my fantasies match up to reality….

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Deadly Sin - Criteria 8 / Anger

Criteria 8: inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights). 

Anger. Wrath would be a better description. Not so long ago when I was a turbulent teen my wrath was explosive and violent. The smallest things would set me off. I’d scream and lash out at my family, my friends, put my fist through windows and walls, break down doors, at the smallest slight that most wouldn’t think twice about. Anything that didn’t go how I needed it to, was a loss of control and I railed against the loss. Fought to get it back. Violently.

I’ve developed greater control of my anger as I’ve grown older. Learned ways to redirect and channel my inner rage. Of course I didn’t know why at the time, everyone just thought I was a temperamental teenager. I hadn’t been diagnosed with my personality disorder yet but I knew something was wrong with me. Oh yes, I knew. I thought I could deal with it myself. I’d try to control myself, hold everything in, bottle it up until I couldn’t hold it in any longer and then I’d pop like warm champagne spraying blood and tears across the walls. Usually my own.

Now I’ve learned to face my problems directly. It doesn’t always stop the unjustifiable anger, but I can calmly approach a problem and work to devise a suitable solution. At some point my dissociation also intrudes, and instead of maintaining the rage that I would normally feel, I feel nothing. My ability to care or give importance to a situation slips away. On the one hand it’s good, because I no longer blow things out of proportion. In the grand scheme of things nothing really matters all that much so I can just let it go. This is one of the ways I’ve learned to use my dissociation to my advantage. It has taken a lot of time and effort to work on though. Some days I can’t stop the agitation and irritability, every small thing sets me off when all I want is to be left alone to do what I’m doing. To block out the noise and chatter. Unfortunately when you work in the real world with other people you don’t always get what you want and you have to adapt. Adjust. Suppress the mental urges just to get by….

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hollow - Criteria 7 / Emptiness and boredom

Criteria 7: Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom.

Hollow. That’s often how I feel. Or don’t feel as the case may be. Like there’s a void where my internal receptors should be. There’s always a sense of seperateness, being removed from the crowd with only a hollow center to fall in on. I can never quite cross that emotional bridge that binds people together, I’m left to drift along the same river but never quite reach the shore.
Bored. I don’t know what it’s like to be bored. I hate to be bored and thus, never am. I plan and plan and plan ahead so that I always have something to do in case there is even 5 minutes where I’ll have to be left alone with my own thoughts. If you were to turn out my shoulder bag you would find, multiple books, my journal, multiple sketchpads, art/drawing supplies and my Netbook in case I manage to be somewhere with free WiFi.

When I was in school this was easy. I chose the hardest courses, would create elaborate study schedules and obsess over getting perfect grades. The more effort I put into my schoolwork, the less effort I had to put into my real issues. After I moved to New York I discovered the whirlwind that would become my social life. For months and months ahead of time I would have almost every day, every weekend scheduled away to see people, attend events, not leaving even an hour when I wasn’t off getting ready to run to the next thing. For nearly two and a half years I lived like this. Eventually the pressure and exhaustion caught up with me though and I turned inward once again.

Without something to occupy me I’m left only to think. My brain never shuts off, never slows down. My thoughts race. Being left alone with my own thoughts is dangerous. In the space of free time my thoughts can wander and roam. Often not to happy productive places. Feeling hollow it’s hard to hold onto the thought that there is anything good in me, when I feel there is nothing in me. What can there be to look forward to with nothing good inside? My thoughts are often ruminating and destructive, taking me down paths that will never actually be, except in my own mind. In this journey deep where those harmful thoughts dwell I have the power to destroy myself. I’m more a danger to myself than anyone else in this world could be. It’s no wonder I spend every spare moment trying to fill unused time with things that will allow me to escape the trappings of my own mind.
Maybe if I can make everyone see all the Stuff I do, I have, on the outside, they won’t notice how empty I am on the inside.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Questions from across the Borderline...

A follower presented me with the following:

Hi there,
I stumbled across your tumblr about a week or two ago and it has taken me until now to pluck up the courage to ask you this...
but, how do you live with your bpd?
I was recently diagnosed and the whole idea of it has crippled me. I was fine before my psych labelled me, now everything seems like it has been turned on its head.
I'm just a little lost.

I think one of the important things to remember is, nothing has actually changed. You're still the same person you were before the label, you'll continue to be you, even after a label. The label doesn't really mean anything anyways. It's a starting point to help you on a path to a better life. That label, however, does not define who you are or the life you ultimately choose to lead.  I can't say it will be easy for you, but for me, the label doesn't mean anything but something to keep in mind as I work through all the various issues I'm working through. It’s a category header, with all the things I’m working on listed underneath. It's also kind of encouraging to know that what I'm going through has been worked on enough to have a label. It means that people have researched, lived through, and progressed through lives lead fully, even healed as much as we can heal. Having that label means you’re not alone. Others have been where you are, are where you are, and others will be there too. You’re not alone. If it didn't have a label, we would all be right where we were, but probably with a less clear path of how to heal. Try not to worry about it. It’s just a couple words, not a definition for who you are, just something you’re working through.

As for how I live with it. One day at a time. I work with my psych to balance my meds with my therapy/therapist. I try to live the best life I can and hold onto the positive influences I have in my life. I can't say it's always easy, it can be really hard some days, but I always try to remember that as long as I'm alive, I have a chance, a choice, to bring about change in my life.

Mood Swings – Criteria 6 / Instability of mood

Criteria 6: affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

Duh. That’s really all I want to say to this one but that wouldn’t be very informative now would it. The important thing here is to understand WHY the moods of a borderline are so unstable. The problem is, it’s going to be different for everyone so I’ll just have to stick with why they’re so difficult for me.

I’m major depressive so my base set mood is mildly depressed. The best I can hope for on an average day is to just feel nothing; not happy, not sad, just a sort of blankness that doesn’t swing me in either direction. Of course it’s wonderful to feel happy. Merely talking to a friend, connecting with a loved one, will do this. This feeling rarely stays though because eventually people have to have their own lives or return to work. Resume normal everyday behavior. But to me it’s like I lose my hold, my connection to them. Having been happy while talking to them, now I slip from being happy to being left with only the thoughts in my own head and not knowing when I’ll be able to have that connection again; alone. I slip from happy, to alone, empty, spiraling down. In the space that was filled with that connection to a loved one, I’m now left with a hollow void where they’re gone and my thoughts can race and ruminate. This bleeds back to being alone, abandoned. It’s not rational, but it feels like something that was there is now gone. Being a thinking creature I can’t know for sure when it will be back. That uncertainty is maddening.

Anxiety is a big one. The smallest things seem to set me off, spike my anxiety and it feels like my world will crash in on itself. Especially if it’s something I’ve planned just so. I try to arrange things to bring about the most comfortable, stable environment for me. Calm. To feel secure in my surroundings I plan every detail to create the perfect scenerio. That house of comfort is built on a foundation of cards that even the smallest suggestion of change adds a weight, a pressure to, that can send it toppling to the ground. I have an incredibly difficult time getting through the fact that any change will not rock my foundation and will not wreak havoc on my plans because it feels like it does.

Lack of control of my environment means a lack of control of myself, my life. If I can’t even control my own life than what control can I possibly have in an ever changing world.

When a change attacks my plans it’s like an attack on my character. My plans weren’t good enough, that they had to be changed, an attack on me, my judgement when someone suggests I do something differently. They don’t want to accept my idea and therefore don’t accept me by extension. Of course this is not true, but that’s how it feels. Understanding how to make the emotional connection to the logical occurrence of this being not true is what’s difficult. For me there is a complete disconnect between what I logically know to be true and what I feel, if I feel at all.

Disappointment. I read disappointment into your reaction/suggestion because you wanted more than I thought to provide which translates to disappointment in myself because I couldn’t guess what it was that you would have wanted best. Or worse, that you don’t want what I want and I begin to fear that this one instance extends into the entire friendship, relationship, etc. What I’ve done isn’t good enough, I wasn’t good enough, it’s only a matter of time before you realize I’ll never be perfect and you’ll seek company elsewhere. Leave…  

On the other hand, if things go well, if I can do something that makes someone happy this also validates who I am. That I am someone good and worthy of being loved or cared for. If I can do something to show I care, and it’s appreciated, I can physically represent that I am an important aspect of someone’s life. Knowing this, in the moment, it’s euphoric. My simply being there isn’t enough, I must be able to SHOW it. If I can’t show it, how could they SEE it. I have a very difficult time believing that if I’m not immediately in someone’s presence that they can remember the care I hold for them (more on this later). Contrariwise, if it’s something I do isn’t appreciated I’m left with

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nevermore - Criteria 5 / Suicidal Ideation & Gestures

Why did I finally give up the ideation of suicide?

I’ve tried to end it mostly by slashing my wrists and overdosing. I’ve thought about it in a hundred different ways, in a hundred different places though; while I’m driving, just keep going right off the road/cliff, or pull in front of a semi, walk in front of a moving vehicle, take all my anti-psychs, stab myself through a major vein, etc. All ways I have easy access to. So why don’t I?

In a nutshell: 2 reasons.

To fight back. Just before graduating high school a ‘friend’ of mine worked to break up my friendship with my closest friend. He succeeded and later in a drunken confession admitted he’d done it to see if I would kill myself. He’d known how depressed I’d been for so long and thought it would push me over the edge. He had no reason other than his own god complex. The problem with this scenario is; I rail against adversary. If someone expects me to be one way, I am another (as long as it suits me). I don’t just go with the flow of a situation. I fight back. This act actually made me less inclined to kill myself and made me more determined to not let people close to me so that I could protect myself, my self worth, and my life. I don’t just roll over and die, I come back swinging, fighting tooth and nail. If you expect something negative from me, I will prove you wrong. If you try to push me one way, I’ll push right back. The less someone believes in me, the more reason I'll give them that they should.

But more importantly, I lost faith. I was raised without religion but even from a young age I held to the old Earth Religions, believed in Reincarnation and an afterlife of sorts. There was an 'ever after' that I didn’t fear. After so many tumultuous problems in my life I lost faith in the belief that there was anything better, anything beyond what I was currently living through. I adopted atheism (Well, technically I’m agnostic but a practicing atheist). No longer believing in an afterlife made me believe that this was my only chance at this life. Death is the end of my only chance. As long as I am alive, there is a chance to change things. I never considered suicide an option after this. I’ve always done whatever I could to hold to that potential for change.

Amusingly if anyone knows anything about the Tarot: Death is my card. Death is a card of change. Endings as a doorway for the potential of a new beginning. As long as I live there will be death, and change.
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